Patron Code of Conduct Policy
Resolution 2019-59 | Approved December 23, 2019 by Library Board of Trustees; Effective February 1, 2020
The Stark County District Library strives to provide open, equitable, and convenient public access to all of the Library’s resources, programs and services. The Library and its staff are committed to providing a safe and congenial atmosphere in which to carry out this purpose.
The Library’s Code of Conduct, set forth below, establishes provisions to ensure the mutual respect of all users and staff, the protection of buildings and property, and the health and safety of all. Entering the Library represents an agreement to abide by this Code of Conduct. Illegal activities of any kind are prohibited on Library property. Parents and Guardians are responsible for the safety and behavior of minors in their care, and he or she may be required to accompany minors in the building. See our Unattended Minors Policy for further information.
Library staff and security personnel are empowered to give directions to patrons and to respond to issues as they arise to help maintain a comfortable shared space.
Mutual Respect for Patrons and Staff
The Library is committed to maintaining an environment of mutual respect in order to allow all patrons equitable and uninterrupted access to the library’s resources, programs, and services. Actions or behaviors that may impede the use of the library by others, or that are disrespectful to patrons or staff are not permitted. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Loud or disruptive conversation outside of programming or meeting areas of the library.
- Audio equipment or mobile devices that can be heard by others working in the area.
- Disorderly, disruptive, sexual, or inappropriate conduct.
- Abusive, obscene or profane language, either on library premises or when contacting the library through phone, email or chat.
- Verbally or physically threatening or harassing Library users or staff (including following them around or prolonged staring).
- Photographing or videotaping of the Library and its collections, exhibits, staff and users without prior approval of the Executive Director or designated representative.
- Panhandling, solicitating, or selling merchandise of any kind, except during approved Library events.
- Circulating petitions or surveys to Library users other than outside entrances or in building lobbies.
- See our Internet and Computer Usage Policy for further guidelines regarding publicly displayed images on computer screens.
Access and Usability of Buildings and Property
The Library is committed to maintaining the condition of its buildings, property, furnishings, vehicles, and materials for the use of all. Actions or behaviors that may impede the use of these facilities or damage resources are not permitted. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Theft, damage, or defacing of library property or materials.
- Damaging or altering Library computer equipment, software or data.
- Bringing food or uncovered drinks into computer areas.
- Bringing uncontained food, uncovered drinks or other items that can spill into areas other than designated program spaces.
- Impeding access into or out of the building.
- Using restrooms for bathing or doing laundry.
Health and Safety of Patrons and Staff
The Stark County District Library is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all visitors and staff in its buildings. Actions that lead to an unsafe environment for other users are not permitted. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Not wearing shirts or footwear.
- Health or hygiene issues that constitute a nuisance to other patrons.
- Sleeping on floors or for extended periods of time on library furniture.
- Smoking, including smokeless tobacco and vaping, on library premises.
- Using illegal drugs.
- Bringing in large packages or containers that can create a safety hazard for other patrons.
- Consuming alcoholic beverages on Library premises, except for Library authorized events or functions.
- Bringing in animals, other than service animals assisting people with disabilities, animals used by law enforcement agencies, or animals used in Library programming.
- Leaving animals unattended outside the Library.
- Recreational use of bicycles, skateboards, and wheeled footwear on library premises.
- Entering non-public areas of the Library, except if accompanied or granted permission by a Library staff member.
- Possession of a weapon (as defined by law) within the Library premises by anyone other than Law Enforcement.
- Remaining in the Library after closing, or when requested to leave during emergency situations or drills.
Patrons should use the restroom for the gender by which he or she identify, except for those requiring the assistance of a caregiver, such as a young child, a person with a disability or an elderly adult. Single-occupant restrooms are available at most library locations.
The Library will follow the principles below in enforcing this Code of Conduct in a fair and reasonable manner:
- Anyone who observes violations of this policy may report them to a security guard or staff member who will take appropriate action.
- Anyone not complying with this Code of Conduct, or any reasonable request of the staff, will normally first be warned by an authorized representative of the Library and will be advised of the next course of action to be taken by the Library if the unacceptable behavior continues.
- A patron who engages in conduct inconsistent with the purpose of the Library, who refuses to comply with library staff directions, or who fails to follow the Code of Conduct may be asked to leave the Library premises, may have Library privileges suspended or restricted, and may be barred from all Library premises for a specified period of time.
- Following review of the circumstances of the violation, the Library’s Executive Director or designee will issue a written notice to the individual, informing him or her of the nature of his or her violation, any history of prior infractions of the Library’s Code of Conduct, the duration of any suspension, restriction, and/or eviction that is imposed, and any requirements that must be met before the suspension is lifted.
- Any person whose Library privileges are suspended or restricted or who is evicted from Library premises has the right to appeal by requesting a hearing before the Director of Security, provided such hearing is requested by written notice addressed to the Executive Director, Stark County District Library, 715 Market Ave. North, Canton, OH 44702, and mailed not later than ten calendar days after the date on which the Library’s notification was mailed to the individual. Any person requesting a hearing shall have the right to appear in person and to be represented by counsel if he or she chooses.