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Library User Behavior Policy

The Saugus Public Library encourages persons of all ages to use its facilities and resources for research, reference, study, reading, recreation and browsing.  Good public service requires that the library environment be open to all, but conducive to study, reading, and research.  This necessitates the willingness of all library users to be considerate of the rights of others to work safely and undisturbed.  To ensure that such an environment exists, the library has established guidelines for behavior within the library.

Dangerous, destructive or illegal conduct will not be tolerated. For behaviors which jeopardize the safety of staff or patrons, or which break Massachusetts General Laws, the staff reserves the right to contact and involve the police.

 

General:

  • Persons who trigger library theft detection systems may be asked to open any bags or pocketbooks for inspection; failure to do so may result in suspension of library privileges.
  • Unattended items (such as bags, backpacks or laptops) may be regarded as suspicious and removed.
  • The library does not accept responsibility for any lost or stolen items.
  • All persons are required to wear shoes and shirts.
  • All patrons must leave promptly at closing time.
  • Unaccompanied adults – adults who are not accompanying a child – are not allowed in the Children’s Room or at Children’s programs unsupervised. Unaccompanied adults who require access to our Children’s collection must check in with a librarian who will assist them. 

Food & Drink:

Patrons may consume individual, wrapped snack items or lidded/covered drinks in the Library (except when using electronic equipment such as, but not limited to, public computers, copying machines, or the microfilm reader/printer) provided they leave the area clean, dry and free of spill, stains, crumbs and trash. Consumption of meals, takeout food, outside food deliveries, overly-scented consumables or uncovered beverages is prohibited. The Library staff reserves the right to ask patrons who abuse this privilege to remove the consumable items from the Library. Patrons consuming beverages or food in the library may be financially responsible for any damage resulting from spills or stains. (see also Meeting Room Use Policy.)

Prohibitions: The following activities are inappropriate to the library setting:

  • Failing to promptly comply with staff directives (whether documented policy or not).
  • Smoking (Mass. General Laws Ch. 270, Sec 22).
  • Creating a disturbance by making noise, talking loudly, or engaging in other disruptive conduct (MGL, Ch. 272, Sec 41).
  • Interfering with another person’s right to use the library or with the library staff’s performance of their duties.
  • Threatening behavior including, but not limited to: violence, threats of violence, and possession of weapons (MGL, CH. 272, Sec. 10).
  • Bringing animals into the library except those needed to assist persons with disabilities (MGL, CH. 272, Sec. 98A).
  • Using audio equipment so that others may hear it.
  • Possessing, consuming, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Misusing the restrooms
  • Soliciting or canvassing of any kind.
  • Entering areas posted “Staff Only.”
  • Leaving a child under the age of 7 unattended (without someone 14 yrs. or older) in the library.  Parents are ultimately responsible for the behavior and supervision of their children. (see also Unattended Minors Policy.)
  • Running
  • Sleeping
  • Using or storing wheeled devices in the library (or on library property except in designated areas) including bicycles, self-propelled tricycles or scooters, skateboards, roller skates, rollerblades and four wheeled shopping carts.  All of these devices must be left outside of the building. (Wheeled luggage that would fit airline guidelines for overhead storage, collapsible wheeled carts used for shopping, wheelchairs, walkers and strollers are allowed).
  • Those who damage or deface library materials or property will be prosecuted (MGL,CH. 266, Sec. 100). Parents can be held liable for damage done by a child under 18 (MGL,CH.231, Sec. 85G).
  • Theft of library materials, use of false identification to obtain a library card, or use of another person’s library card without permission is against state law. (MGL CH. 266, Sec. 99).

 

Library management will enforce these rules with the aim of bringing the patron into compliance with the code of conduct, and to exhibit consideration for the rights of fellow patrons, without undue escalation of disciplinary action.  Any patrons, whether adults or minors, displaying these behaviors will be addressed in the following manner

FIRST VIOLATION: Initial warning, given copy of Library User Behavior Policy.

SECOND VIOLATION: Library privileges suspended for one week.

THIRD VIOLATION: Library privileges suspended for one month.

SUBSEQUENT VIOLATIONS:  Will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. For minors, this will entail contacting and involving their parents or guardians.

FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ONE OR MORE OF THE LIBRARY’S ESTABLISHED POLICIES MAY RESULT IN SUSPENSION OF LIBRARY PRIVILEGES.

 

Approved

Board of Library Trustees

November 7, 2013

Amended May 4, 2017

Revised December 7, 2017

Revised April 6, 2018