Athens-Limestone Public Library

Athens-Limestone Public Library

Library Rules of Conduct

The library is a place for serious study, as well as a place for recreational reading and borrowing books. All who come into the library are expected to respect the rights of others by moving and speaking quietly.

  • Smoking and other tobacco use, food and uncovered drinks, pets (except certified service animals), and use of audio equipment without ear pieces are not allowed in the library.
  • Library management is not responsible for loss of personal property. The library is a public building and it is the patron’s responsibility to safeguard personal property at all times.
  • Inappropriate behavior includes, but is not limited to: running, loud noise, throwing objects, climbing on furniture, needless pulling of materials from shelves, and abusing machinery. Those in violation will be warned. Temporary eviction from library premises will result if inappropriate behavior continues.
  • Disorderly conduct, fighting, harassment, or any illegal activity including damaging library property, will result in immediate suspension from the Library.
  • Any child visiting the library who has not yet entered the seventh grade must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Children under the age of seven must be accompanied and directly supervised at all times by a responsible adult. For the purpose of the policy, a responsible adult is the child’s parent or another caregiver age eighteen or over.
  • Children up to age eighteen should not be left at the library past closing time. It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to be aware of regular closing times and special holiday hours or closings. If a child is left past closing time, two staff members will wait with the child until he/she is picked-up, or for a maximum of 30 minutes. If no one comes for the child within 15 minutes past closing time, staff members will call the police for assistance.  Staff members should never transport children in their own cars or library vehicle. 

Abusive Patron Behavior

While the Library has a strong commitment to customer service, the Library does not expect that employees accept verbal abuse from any patron. An employee may request that a supervisor intervene when a patron is abusive, or they may defuse the situation themselves, including ending the contact.

If there is a concern over the possibility of physical violence, a supervisor should be contacted immediately. When extreme conditions dictate, 911 may be called. Employees should leave the area immediately when violence is imminent unless their duties require them to remain. Employees submit a written report to their supervisor about the incident as soon as possible.

Types of Disrespectful Behavior

The following types of behaviors cause a disruption in the workplace and are, in many instances, unlawful:

Violent behavior–includes the use of physical force, harassment, bullying or intimidation.

Discriminatory behavior–includes inappropriate remarks about or conduct related to a person’s race, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability, gender, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or familial status.

Offensive behavior–may include such actions as rudeness, yelling, angry outbursts, inappropriate humor, vulgar obscenities, name calling, disparaging language, or any other behavior regarded as offensive to a reasonable person based upon violent or discriminatory behavior as listed above. It is not possible to anticipate in this policy every example of offensive behavior.

Library Response

Except in instances of extreme cases, such as violence, discriminatory behavior, or physical damage to the library, the Executive Director will issue a warning letter to the patron reviewing the incident and possible repercussions for repeat incidents. The letter will be mailed to the patron and a copy kept in the library. The patron will be required to sign the library’s copy of the letter in acknowledgement that it was received.

The Executive Director will notify the Board of Trustees of incidents of warnings and suspension of library privileges. It is not possible to anticipate in this policy every type of response required. The patron will have the right to formally request the Board of Trustees reinstate library privileges or change library policy.