Patron Behavior Policy
The Hubbard Memorial Library Board of Trustees encourages all members of the community to use the library. It is the Board’s hope that patrons of all ages see the library as a warm, inviting, and secure place to be. To insure that all library users are able to utilize the library without unnecessary distractions, each patron must behave in a manner that respects the rights of all users.
Library patrons are asked to respect and follow the policies listed below. The library reserves the right to require anyone who engages in disruptive behavior to leave the premises, the right to restrict privileges for a specified period of time, and the right to ban the individual from the library for a specified period of time or permanently. Patrons who violate the Behavior Policy will receive two verbal warnings as notice they are in violation and will be asked to leave the library with the third violation.
Disruptive behavior is defined as any patron behavior that interferes with the normal operation of the library, or which unreasonably interferes with another patron’s ability to use the library. Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.
Disruptive behavior includes but is not limited to the following:
o Shouting, talking, or making noise loud enough to disturb others. If one person or group is heard above the general noise level in the building at a particular time, this person or group will be asked to lower their voices.
o Interfering with another person’s right to use the library or with the Library Staff’s performance of their duties.
o Threatening behavior, including but not limited to, violence, threats of violence, and possession of weapons.
o Fighting. Includes any type of fighting, including pretend.
o Loud or boisterous behavior. Includes running, horseplay, playing on the elevator or in stairwells, and annoying other patrons.
o Abusive, obscene or threatening language or gestures. Includes language or gestures that convey a sexually explicit message or are conveyed in a coarse or crude manner. Any language that verbally abuses another individual. Includes harassing, stalking, staring, or offensive touching.
o Eating except in designated areas. Non-alcoholic beverages in containers designed to prevent spills are permitted in all areas of the library except at computer workstations.
o Smoking. No smoking, including the smoking of e-cigarettes is permitted in the building, or within 30 feet of the exterior doors.
o Sleeping. Habitual sleepers, noisy sleepers and those who are sprawled on furniture or the floor in a manner disturbing to other persons will not be tolerated. Solicitation. Soliciting patrons and staff for donations or for the purpose of obtaining signatures on petitions is not allowed in the library.
o Improper attire. Patrons must wear shirts and shoes in the building.
o Cell phones. Not to be used in a way that disturbs other patrons.
o Loitering. Defined as a person who wanders around the building without apparent legitimate reason and disturbs other patrons.
o Animals. Service animals are welcome in the library. No other animals of any kind are permitted, unless part of a library-sponsored program.
o Unattended children. A parent, guardian, or other responsible adult must accompany children under age 10 at all times in the library. (See Unattended Child Policy)
o Public displays of affection. Includes any sexual conduct or physical contact deemed inappropriate for a public place.
o Abuse of library equipment, furniture, and materials. Includes placing feet on tables and chairs, standing on furniture, mutilating or defacing books or periodicals, and mistreating equipment or computers.
o Rest rooms. Misusing the rest rooms (using them as a laundry or bathing facility) is not allowed.
o The use of skateboards, roller blades, scooters, bicycles or any other similar device on Library property which includes but is not limited to sidewalks and parking lots, or within the Library building is prohibited. Such devices must be carried, or in the case of a bicycle, walked beside, while on the property. Bicycles should be locked using available racks, and are not allowed in the building. Persons found in violation shall be notified that their actions are prohibited and may be asked to leave library property.
o Bicycles should continue to follow standard rules of the road on library property.
o Weapons. Carrying weapons of any type on library property is not allowed, except by law enforcement officers.
Any staff member who witnesses illegal behavior will notify the director who will contact the police when necessary. Illegal behavior includes, but is not limited to the following:
o Those who damage or deface library materials or property may be prosecuted (MGL, Ch. 266, Sec. 100). Parents can be liable for damage done by a child under 18 (MGL Ch. 231, Sec. 85G).
o Theft of library materials, use of false identification to obtain a library card, or use of another person’s library card without his/her permission are against state law and may be prosecuted (MGL, Ch. 266, Sec. 99A).
o Theft. Wrongfully takes, obtains, or withholds the property of another.
o Assault. Intentional or reckless conduct that causes injury to another person.
o Criminal mischief. Intentional damage to the property of another. This includes vandalism and mutilating library materials.
o Drunk and/or disorderly conduct. Causes public inconvenience by fighting, unreasonable noise, abusive or obscene language or gestures, threatening behavior, hazardous or physically offensive
o Controlled substances. Includes using, selling, or possessing controlled substances on library property, and entering library property while intoxicated or under the influence of illegal controlled substances. The use of alcohol is prohibited on library property.
o Harassment. Threatens or annoys another person by physical contact or abusive or obscene language or follows a person in or about a public building.
o Public lewdness. Intentionally exposes the private parts of the body in a lewd manner in a public place.
o Trespass. Knowingly enters or remains unlawfully on the premises.
The Board of Library Trustees will review the Behavior Policy periodically, and reserves the right to amend the policy at any time.
Amended by the Board of Library Trustees 5/2021.