Conduct Policy

 

The Board of Trustees of the Burlington Public Library affirms that the library is designed for the use of all members of the public and is dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming space for all people without discrimination, intimidation, threat of harm or invasion of privacy.

 

Library customers have the responsibility to use the library in a manner that

  • respects the rights of others to use library materials, resources, and services;

  • allows library staff to conduct library business; and

  • maintains a secure, clean, and comfortable environment.

Security cameras are in use in public areas of the library to promote the safety and security of the people, the building, and its contents. The cameras are used only for after the fact investigation of incidents in the library. See Use of Library Records policy.

General Behavior

Staff members have the authority to enforce this policy and determine when behavior is inappropriate. Inappropriate behavior is any behavior that is disruptive to library use. Each incident will have its own unique set of circumstances requiring judgment and flexibility.

 

Examples of inappropriate behavior include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Loud talking, yelling, or other noise that disturbs others

  • Abusive or profane language

  • Running or climbing on library property

  • Theft, vandalism, destruction of Library property or other illegal activity

  • Behavior that endangers or could endanger the health or safety of others, including sexual harassment and unwelcome touch

  • Willfully annoying, harassing, bullying, or threatening others by staring, following, photographing, verbal abuse, or stalking

  • Interfering with the ability of staff members or volunteers to do their duties, such as making inappropriate personal comments, verbally or physically harassing, refusing to comply with requests, or monopolizing time and attention through conversation or behaviors

  • Bringing animals in the library, with the exception of service animals recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act or animals for library sponsored events

  • Campaigning, petitioning, interviewing, or surveying, unless authorized by the Director

  • Selling or soliciting for sales or panhandling

  • Filming, recording, or photographing inside the building, without permission from the Director. This provision does not apply to staff members who may, during library events, photograph or film such events, or to general security footage captured by the library security cameras.

  • Using nicotine products such as cigarettes, chew, or e-cigarettes (pursuant of the Smoke Free Air Act) or possessing, consuming, selling, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs

  • Entering, or attempted entry, into staff work areas, including but not limited to any areas marked “Library Personnel Only.”

 

People exhibiting inappropriate behavior will be given a verbal warning. A person who refuses to comply after one warning will be required to leave the library for the day.

 

In the case of extreme misconduct, the people involved may be ordered to leave the library immediately. In the case of minors, the parents may also be called.

 

Library patrons will remain in areas designated for patrons. Any persons attempting to enter spaces off limits to the public, whether or not marked as such, shall be asked to leave immediately. The Library has legitimate concerns of employee safety and privacy, as well as the need to safeguard confidential information, in these areas. Persons attempting to film Library staff or confidential areas will be ordered to cease and desist.

 

Individuals causing repeated disruption that interferes with others’ use of the library, disrupts library operations, threatens library property, or violates the law may be temporarily or permanently banned from library property by the library director. Incidents will be recorded and kept on file.

 

Food and Beverages

Food and beverages are allowed in the meeting rooms, lobby, and outside the building on the library grounds. Library patrons may have beverages in resealable or covered containers in the library. Spills should be reported to a staff member immediately to avoid damage to library property. Property damaged by spills will be charged to the customer. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed; exceptions may be made by the library director for special events.

 

Safety of Minors

Children and families are encouraged to use the library together. While staff members will act with care and concern, responsibility for the welfare, behavior, and supervision of children using the library and computer work stations rests with parents, guardians, or caregivers. The library shall not provide childcare, and children should not be dropped off at the library for such purposes.

 

Preschool children should be in sight of and supervised by a parent, guardian, or caregiver. Parents or caregivers of preschool children are expected to remain in the library while children are attending library programs.

 

A child may be asked to leave the premises due to inappropriate behavior. If a child is not able to leave the library without a caregiver, the child should not be in the library without a caregiver.

 

The well-being of a child left alone in a public building is a serious concern. The library staff shall not assume responsibility for the safety of unattended children. When a child is found to be unattended, library staff may contact the parents or caregivers. If they are not readily available, the staff may contact the Burlington Police Department. If any child remains at the library 15 minutes after closing, staff will contact the police to ensure safe transport.

 

Revised: December16, 2020, November 15, 2017, November 19, 2014, April 16, 2014, March 20, 2013, December 16, 2009; Adopted: November 28, 2007