Code of Conduct
Public Code of Conduct and Safety Policy
It is the policy of the Daviess County Public Library to provide a comfortable environment that is conducive to the use of library materials, programs, and services either by individuals or small groups. The library is designed for the use of all members of the public. Patrons are expected to observe the rights of other patrons and staff members and to use the library for its intended purpose.
The Board of Directors of the Daviess County Public Library has adopted the following policy regarding conduct. Any behavior or activity that interferes with legitimate library business will be prohibited. Persons who fail to observe the following guidelines may be asked to leave the library and library grounds or be subject to arrest.
Enforcement of this policy is the responsibility of all Library staff.
The following behavior will not be allowed in the library or on library grounds:
- Violation of any local, state or federal law
- Vandalism or deliberate destruction of library property or materials
- Theft of library materials or the personal property of other patrons or staff members
- Deliberate disruption of library services
- Use of abusive language, loud talking or laughing that disrupts or could disrupt other patrons
- Smoking, use of tobacco products, and use of e-cigarettes
- Eating, drinking in areas not designated for these activities
- Inappropriate dress – for instance, library users must wear shoes and shirts
- Panhandling, soliciting and loitering
- Failure to supervise a child, of whom you are a parent or legal guardian, so that he or she does not disturb other persons in the library or damage library property
- Being under the influence, possessing alcohol or drugs, selling drugs or alcoholic beverages.
- Exhibiting bodily hygiene that is so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to other persons in the library.
- Use of Library computers which violates the Library Computer and Internet policies and procedures.
- Using the public restrooms for any activity not usually associated with public restroom use; including bathing, washing clothes, sexual activity, preparing or storing food and drink, etc.
- Harassment of, including staring, following, or photographing Library users or staff.
- Abuse or improper use of furniture, equipment or materials.
- Leaving personal belongings unattended. Large bags are not allowed. The library reserves the right to inspect all bags, purses, briefcases, packs and the like.
- Any behavior that endangers safety or health
These rules are not all inclusive of every behavior that will be regulated on library property. The Daviess County Public Library reserves the right to prohibit any behavior or actions, which we feel may be inappropriate or disruptive. We appreciate your cooperation in maintaining a pleasant atmosphere in the library.
Roles of Employees and Contracted Labor:
- All staff members and contracted labor (including security guards) are expected to address the problems they encounter by either resolving the problem directly, or contacting supervisory staff in a timely manner.
- Any staff member has the right to ask other staff members for assistance, and should provide assistance when requested.
- Any staff member may contact the Owensboro Police Department at any time to preserve his or her own safety, the safety of Library patrons, or for assistance in enforcing the Library’s Rules of Conduct.
- Supervisors and librarians are expected to have a greater awareness of policy, and to step in and serve as a resource in helping staff members deal with problems.
- Library staff acting in their best judgment in confronting a person on violations of policies and rules will be supported by their supervisor, the librarian or staff member in charge at the time of the incident, and by the Library Director.
- Any staff member observing serious criminal behavior, such as assault, robbery, child pornography, child endangerment, etc., should contact the Owensboro Police Department immediately, followed by contacting the Library Director.
- Library staff may ban individuals in response to inappropriate behavior. Individuals may be banned for a limited time, indefinitely pending some specified legal condition, or permanently. The length of the ban will depend on the following factors, as applicable, though other factors may be relevant in specific cases:
- Severity of offense
- Repeated offenses
- Likelihood of possible continued offenses
- Safety of staff and patrons
- When an individual is banned, that person will be notified via certified letter where possible. In the case of a juvenile offender the letter will be sent to the parent/guardian where possible. The information relating to the ban will be made available to all Library staff. Should a banned individual return to the Library in violation of the ban, staff should contact the Owensboro Police Department.
- Any staff member may stop someone from using equipment if the use violates rules or policy, or may contact a supervisor as the situation warrants. Supervisors or the Library Director may bar patrons from using the equipment for a period of time or permanently.
- Any staff member may issue a verbal warning, or may refer a problem to a supervisor.
- Any staff member may evict a patron for violations of Library rules or policies. Eviction will generally be from the Library as a whole, not just an area, and is generally for the balance of the day. In the case of juvenile patrons, staff may contact their parents or guardians if possible.
- Any staff member is authorized to request identification from Library users as necessary and appropriate for safety and security, or when Library rules have been violated.
- Library staff will communicate disciplinary actions with one another, including reports to the supervisor on duty and Library Director. Disciplinary actions should be followed by completing an Incident Report form. Incident Report forms should be sent to the Library Director within 24 hours of the incident.
Classes of Behavior
- Definition: Serious danger or overt criminal behavior including:
- Fighting or combative behavior
- Alcohol or drug intoxication
- Inappropriate, overt, unwelcome sexual behavior
- Physical abuse
- Possession of illegal drugs
- Child pornography
- Response: Staff response will include calling the police and eviction. A ban of an indefinite time period will follow from the Library Director.
- Definition: Potentially serious behavior including:
- Verbal abuse of staff or other patrons
- Refusal to leave when asked
- Excessively emotional, hostile, threatening or uncontrolled behavior
- Intentional entry into restricted areas of the building
- Possession of alcohol
- Not obeying the Library Public Computer Use policy, which includes viewing pornographic material.
- Intrusive behavior including staring at or following staff or patrons with the intent to annoy, harass, violate privacy, or interfere with staff performance of duties or patron use of the Library
- Repeat infractions
- Response: Staff response will vary according to the severity of the disruption or threat, ranging from a warning through calling the police and/or immediate eviction. A ban of up to one year will follow from the Library Director depending on the severity of the disruption or threat. Continuance of the behavior will result in an indefinite ban.
- Definition: Annoying or disruptive behavior including:
- Loud talking or yelling
- Inappropriate public displays of affection
- Blocking entryways or sidewalks
- Loitering, sleeping, panhandling, smoking, or intrusive personal hygiene
- Using someone else’s library card
- Any violation of the Rules of Conduct
- Response: Staff response will vary according to the severity of the disruptions, ranging from a warning through calling the police to immediate eviction. A ban of one week may follow from the Library Director depending on the severity or continuance of the behavior.
(Adopted by the DCPL Board of Trustees July, 2016)