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Behavior Policy

The Providence Community Library (PCL) endeavors to provide an atmosphere conducive to the productive use of the library and its services. All who enter any of our nine libraries are entitled to enjoy that atmosphere and have an implicit obligation to contribute to its maintenance.

In order to allow all patrons of PCL to use its facilities to the fullest extent, the Library Board has adopted the following rules. Please note that “library property” is defined in this document as any of the library buildings, the ground and any parking lots owned by the library.

* Patrons must respect the rights of other patrons and may not harass or annoy others or behave in a manner that reasonably can be expected to disturb other persons.

* Patrons may not interfere with the use of the library by other patrons, or interfere with library employees' performance of their duties.

* Patrons may not deface, destroy or damage any library property (this includes all of the library’s collections, furniture, equipment or other property.)

* Patrons may not engage in any illegal activity while on library property.

* Patrons may not use tobacco, or tobacco products (this includes, but is not limited to, cigarettes, and e-cigarettes) in our libraries, or within 50 feet of the library's main entrance.

* Patrons must wear shirts and shoes, or other footwear, at all times in the library.

* Patrons whose personal hygiene is offensive and constitutes a nuisance to other patrons, may be required to leave the library.

* Patrons may not engage in any indecent or obscene conduct or make any indecent exposure of their person.

* Patrons may not be intoxicated to the extent that their faculties are impaired, or endanger the safety of another person or property.

* Patrons may not bring animals onto library property, other than legally designated service animals.

* Patrons may not photograph, film, record, or use television equipment on Library property without the prior permission of the Library Manager/Supervisor or that person’s designee.

* Patrons may not campaign, petition, interview, survey, solicit, panhandle, conduct sales, or engage in conduct which disrupts normal library activities.

The staff member shall approach the patron courteously, tell the patron the behavior is unacceptable, and ask the patron to refrain from the behavior. The staff member shall step back or walk away but continue to observe the behavior. If the behavior continues, the staff member shall approach the patron a second time, reiterate the relevant policy, and warn that he/she may be asked to leave the library. Again, the staff member shall step back or walk away but continue to observe the behavior. This second warning is at the option of the staff member. Some behaviors may be so disruptive as to require only one warning before the police are called.

If the behavior persists, the staff member shall tell the person to leave. If the patron refuses to leave, the staff member will warn that he/she has no choice but to call the police and will go to the phone to do so. The staff member shall meet the police officer at the door (or a second staff person shall be alerted to meet the police) to instruct the officer what is to be done.

Any adult library employee is empowered to enforce the behavior policy.

Anyone ejected under enforcement of this policy may not re-enter the Library that day and up to an additional two days. A suspension of longer than three days is covered under “Suspension Policy and Procedure”.

Any patron ejected through the procedure explained in the Staff Enforcement Procedure section may be subject to a longer suspension for habitual or improper behavior.

Suspension from the library means that the patron may not enter the library for any reason or be present on outdoor library property. If the suspended patron enters the library or is on the property outside the library, the police will be called to remove the patron and the patron may be subject to criminal charges.

The Library Manager/Supervisor may suspend a violator's library privileges, including the right to enter the library, for a period of time greater than three days for repeat offenders or egregious behavior. In the event of a suspension for three days or longer, an incident report of the event will be written by the Library Manager/Supervisor and reviewed by the Executive Director and the Deputy Director.

In the event of a suspension greater than three days, the patron (or parent or guardian of a minor patron) may appeal the decision to the Library Board. The patron must provide written notice that he/she is requesting a suspension hearing. The written notice may be mailed or hand-delivered to the main desk of the library. A meeting of the Library Board will be convened as soon as practicable.

This policy shall be made available in all of the nine libraries and on the library website and copies shall be available upon request. Approved by the Executive Board on March 15, 2011