Rules of Behavior Policy

Library Board approved June 1, 2011. Revised February 15, 2012. Revised February 24, 2015. Revised September 15, 2015. Revised October 23, 2018.

INTRODUCTION

The library is a place of information, knowledge, and learning. It is also one of the few public spaces and public goods in communities and in the country where one may come and be welcomed and be served, to find a space and to find a voice.

The Oak Park Public Library is committed to serving everyone, especially those in the community who most need access to services and resources and for whom barriers may sometimes hinder full and equitable access. That includes those who are experiencing homelessness, those with health challenges, those with income challenges, and other vulnerable or marginalized members of the community.

RULES OF BEHAVIOR

Because the library is for everyone, the Board of Library Trustees has established the following rules of behavior to ensure:

  • All library patrons may use and enjoy the Library’s services, materials, and facilities without unreasonable interference or disturbance from others
  • All library patrons enjoy safe and secure library facilities;
  • The library’s materials are protected from theft and damage; and
  • All library employees have a safe and secure workplace.
  1. The following are illegal or are not permissible on library property or at library events. This is not a comprehensive or complete list of examples.
    • Assault (threat of harm) and battery (actual harm)
    • Creating, viewing, sharing, or distributing child pornography
    • Engaging in sexual conduct or lewd acts
    • Harassment (physical, sexual, verbal, or stalking)
    • Selling, soliciting or using illegal drugs
    • Smoking
    • Theft, including deliberately removing library materials from a building without checking them out
    • Vandalism
    • Vaping
    • Weapons such as explosives, firearms, knives, look-alike weapons, or any other objects that can reasonably be considered as weapons.
  2. No conduct is permitted that may reasonably be expected to create a disturbance or otherwise interfere with the safe use and enjoyment of the Library by others (for example, (but not limited to) loud electronic device use and conversations, running, fighting, threatening or harassing behavior, obstructing others’ʹ access to Library resources, etc.)
  3. No conduct is permitted that may reasonably be expected to endanger the health and safety of Library users or employees or cause or threaten to cause damage to Library materials or facilities (for example, but not limited to moving furniture in a way which blocks aisles, using tables, chairs or heating units as footstools, sitting on stairways, defacing or vandalizing Library property or materials, etc.) The Library reserves the right to limit the number of persons who may sit together at a single table, carrel, or computer.
  4. Library staff is not responsible for caregiving duties, such as bathroom assistance, providing snacks, providing telephones, health care, or providing time and attention that prevents them from fulfilling their primary duties. Parents and caregivers are expected to fulfill these responsibilities.
  5. Patrons may not bring animals other than service animals into the library.
  6. Personal distribution of leaflets, survey taking, collecting signatures on petitions, solicitations, and similar activities inside library facilities are not permitted, except as authorized by the Board of Trustees as described in the Meeting Spaces policy.
  7. Library users may not leave personal belongings in the Library when they leave the building. The Library is not responsible for any loss of users’ personal belongings. Personal belongings may not obstruct walkways or interfere with use of shared spaces.
  8. Food and drink are not allowed in the following designated areas:
    • Silent Reading Room in the Main Library
    • Children’s Play Areas in the Main Library
    • Archives and Special Collections in the Main Library
    • Library computer areas.
  9. Sleeping is not allowed in the following designated areas:
    • Library computer areas
    • Group Study Rooms
    • Silent Reading Room

POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES

The Library reserves the right to inspect the contents of personal belongings.

The Library reserves the right to impose time limits upon the continuous use of Library resources.

Any behavior that violates the Rules of Behavior may result in cost recovery charges, suspension of library privileges, exclusion from the Library, and prosecution. Depending upon the offense and the particular circumstances of the case, violators of the foregoing Rules may be excluded from use of the Library. Illinois Library Law authorizes the Board of Library Trustees “to exclude from the use of the library any person who willfully violates the rules prescribed by the board.”

Security Monitors and other library staff are authorized to ask disruptive patrons to leave the library and to exclude them for a 24-hour period. Staff are also authorized to call the police at their discretion. Violations, both minor and serious, may also be investigated by library administrators who may exclude violators for varying and longer periods of time depending upon the seriousness and/or frequency of the violation. Caregivers will be notified if the offender is a minor. After the exclusion period, patrons are welcomed back to the library.

The Library may bring criminal charges against any persons suspected of criminal acts toward library staff or patrons, including theft or vandalism of Library property or materials or of any violations on Library property of federal, state, or local laws and ordinances.

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