Patron Behavior Policy

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The purpose of the facilities of the Deerfield Public Library is to provide a safe and welcoming environment that encourages the use of Library services and materials to the fullest extent, and for the necessary administrative and support activities required to fulfill the mission of the Library.

Persons on the premises of the Deerfield Public Library accept the responsibility for conducting themselves in a manner that does not interfere with that purpose. To support this purpose, the Library Board of Trustees has adopted the following rules and regulations.

Patrons are expected to conduct themselves in a manner respectful of themselves and others. Behavior that violates this policy may result in intervention by staff members. Such behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Interfering with another person’s ability to use the facilities or services or with Library employees’ performance of their duties. Interference includes behavior that is deliberately intrusive, intimidating, hostile, or offensive, or that demands the attention or monopolizes the time of a staff member. Examples of such behavior include, but are not limited to: following, interrupting, staring at, or spying on any patron or staff member.
  2. Damaging, mutilating, or removing from the premises without authorization any part of the library collection, building, furnishings, equipment, or supplies, or using any in a manner that is inconsistent with customary use.
  3. Altering any computer system hardware or software configurations. Patrons shall adhere to the Library’s Public Work Station Registration and Use Policy, Social Networking Policy and all applicable Federal, State, or local laws, ordinances or regulations.
  4. Making excessive noise or playing audio equipment so others can hear it.
  5. Using abusive or threatening language.
  6. Using matches, lighters, or other means of ignition, illegal substances or alcoholic beverages on Library premises. Smoking is not permitted in the building or within 25 feet of the building entrances, including the use of electronic cigarettes or other smoking-simulation devices.
  7. Eating in the building, unless the food is served as part of a Library program or approved meeting, and/or eaten in a designated eating area. Any beverage consumed outside of these programs or meetings must be in a lidded or spill-proof container.
  8. Placing or taking verbal phone calls in unapproved areas of the Library or in such a manner as to disturb others. (Cell phones used for verbal calls are allowed in designated areas.)
  9. Entering the building without a shirt or other appropriate covering on the body or without shoes or other footwear.
  10. Creating a nuisance to other patrons or staff with offensive bodily hygiene or use of scented products.
  11. Sleeping in the Library or on Library property.
  12. Leaving personal belongings in spaces where they interfere with patrons’ and staff members’ ability to use library collections, furnishings or equipment or to move safely and freely throughout the premises. Patrons shall not leave personal belongings unattended.
  13. Using the building’s restrooms inappropriately. Examples include, but are not limited to, use as laundry facilities, bathing facilities, or gathering places.
  14. Using bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, roller skates, or the rolling function of roller shoes anywhere on Library premises.
  15. Leaving children in need of supervision unattended on the premises. Specifically:
    1. Children 8 years of age and younger must be accompanied by a caregiver at all times.
    2. Children between the ages of 9 and 12 must be picked up prior to Library closing time. Any child age 12 or younger left unattended after the Library closes may be placed in police custody for his or her safety.
    3. See the Unattended Children Policy for more information.
  16. Bringing any animal into the Library, other than a registered service animal, or as approved for participation in Library sanctioned activities.
  17. Soliciting or panhandling on Library premises, including but not limited to, approaching library users or staff members to request money, food, or other donations. (See the Petitioning, Leafleting, and Soliciting policy for more information.)
  18. Bringing onto the premises any dangerous weapon. Dangerous weapons include, but are not limited to, the weapons set forth and defined in Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chapter 720, section 5/24.1 et. seq. and as prohibited by 430 ILCS 66 regarding Firearm Concealed Carry.
  19. Fighting of any type.
  20. Engaging in any illegal act or conduct in violation of Federal, State, or local law, ordinance or regulation.
  21. Disregarding the reasonable direction of a Library staff member. This includes, but is not limited to, remaining in the library past regular operating hours or when circumstances dictate evacuation, i.e. power failure, fire, threatening weather, or similar situation.
  22. Being present in Library offices, lounges, storage areas, or other non-public areas while unaccompanied by a Library staff member or without prior agreement with Library management.
  23. Any and all other behavior that is contrary to the intended purposes of the Library.

Library staff may address any of these behaviors in the following ways:

  1. Verbal warning to cease the behavior or actions
  2. Written warning to cease and/or not to repeat behavior or actions
  3. Directing the patron to leave the premises
  4. Involving the police

The Library is not necessarily required to go through the entire intervention process. Intervention may begin at any step, including immediate involvement of the police, depending upon the severity of the incident or behavior.

Extreme or repeated violation of this policy may result in a suspension of Library privileges. The Illinois compiled statutes, Chapter 75, Paragraph 5/4-7, permit the Board of Library Trustees to “exclude from use of the library any person who willfully violates the rules prescribed by the board.” Any patron whose privileges have been denied may have the decision reviewed by the Board of Trustees.  The Board of Trustees may, at its discretion, designate a hearing officer to make a finding of fact and recommendations in connection with such review.

Approved April 14, 2010
Revised August and October 2013
Rev. after Pol Comm November 25, 2013
Approved by Board on December 18, 2013
Re-approved April 15, 2015