The Board of the Queen Anne’s County Library has established rules of conduct that all customers must adhere to when in a library branch or on library property. These rules serve to make the library a welcoming and safe place for customers and to maintain a safe workplace for staff.
The use of library facilities and resources implies acceptance of our customer rules of conduct which are based on these basic principles:
1. Respect other customers and their right to have a positive library experience.
2. Respect library staff whose responsibility is to help you get the most from your library experience and to maintain a safe and comfortable atmosphere for all customers.
3. Respect all library facilities, materials, computers, equipment and resources and follow the rules related to their use.
4. Understand that your library card is your contract with the library. Use it responsibly, enjoy the benefits it offers, and understand when privileges may be suspended.
1. Library staff members have the authority to enforce the rules of conduct.
2. Staff may call upon law enforcement to assist in managing some situations, including removing disruptive customers or those banned from using the library.
3. Staff may at any time request customers to show library cards or other documents (driver’s license, school ID, e.g.) for purpose of identification.
Unacceptable behaviors include but are not limited to:
- Behaving in a violent or threatening manner.
- Blocking entrances, exits, aisles or any other space designated for customers to access library collections or services.
- Creating a public disturbance e.g. taking loudly in conversation or on cell phones, loud ringing of cell phones, rowdiness in behavior and failure to observe quiet areas.
- Sleeping in the library or on library property.
- Use bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, or other sports equipment in the building or on library grounds.
- Solicit, petition or distribute material inside or outside the library that has not been approved by the library.
- Verbally abusing or harassing staff.
- Smoking or using tobacco products in the library or on library property.
- Using alcohol or illegal drugs or behaving as though under the influence.
Staff may ask a customer who is in violation of the Rules to leave library property, and may call the Centreville Police Department and/or Sherriff’s Office for assistance if necessary. Following each incident, staff will write an incident report, with all available identifying information.
The Director will use his/her judgment in each situation to decide the severity of the offense and the appropriate course of action, including a ban from library property if necessary.
Length of Ban
Based on the severity of the misconduct, an offender is subject to a ban for one day, one week, one month, one year or permanently at the discretion of the Library Director. All bans have the possibility of appeal. Staff prefers to operate under the underlying philosophy of a forgiveness policy. For example, if a person who was previously disruptive is in the Library and exhibits appropriate behavior, staff will not confront the individual. Nevertheless, customers who return to Library property while their ban is still in effect will be asked to leave library property.
A customer may request an appeal of the ban in writing to the Library Director within ten working days of the ban notification. The Director will respond in writing within ten working days. If the customer is not satisfied with the Director’s response, the customer may appeal in writing within ten working days to the Library Board of Trustees for a final determination. The Board will consider the written appeal at its next regular meeting and the customer will receive written notification of the Board’s decision within ten working days.
Approved by Queen Anne’s County Board of Trustees
Date: September 29, 2014