STANDARDS OF BEHAVIOR
The staff of the Highland County District Library are happy you are visiting with us. In order to provide a secure, clean, and, supportive environment for all library users, especially children, the Board of Trustees has established the following standards of behavior. Patrons not abiding by these standards may be asked to leave the premises.
Please Respect Your Surroundings:
- Damaging or tampering with library property is not permitted.
- Recreational use of skateboards, skates, hoverboards, bicycles, and/or any motorized device on library premises is not permitted.
- No food and drink are allowed within the library building (with the exception of programs and meeting room use).
- Use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs is not permitted.
- Bathing, shaving, washing clothes, and general grooming in restrooms is not permitted. Extremely offensive personal hygiene may need to be addressed before using the library.
Please Respect Others:
- Making unreasonable noise by using cell phones or playing audio equipment without headsets is not permitted.
- Harassing, disruptive, or threatening behavior, and/or the use of abusive or obscene language is not permitted.
- State recommendations for public safety should be followed at all times. This may include the use of face coverings, following social distancing guidelines, and not entering the library when you aren’t feeling well. Exceptions for face coverings may be made for children or for those with underlying health concerns or religious objections.
- Any behavior on library premises which infringes on the rights of others using and/or working in the library is not permitted.
- Sleeping in the library is not permitted.
- Sexual misconduct in the library is not permitted.
- Panhandling, distribution, or selling of non-library approved material is not permitted.
- Proper clothing (tops and bottoms including pants, shorts, skirts, etc.) and shoes are required while using the Library.
- The Library does not accept or assume responsibility for personal belongings.
- Parents and/or responsible persons are accountable for their children’s behavior and safety while in the library. Police may be notified of unattended children in the library.
- Photographing or recording library staff members and/or patrons without permission is not condoned.
PROCEDURE FOR HANDLING UNATTENDED CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 10:
Children under age 10 may not be left unattended in the library. Parents and/or responsible persons at least 16 years old are accountable for their minors’ behavior and safety while in the library.
- Children left unattended are often frightened and should be comforted by staff. If lost, staff members try to identify and locate parent of the child by walking through the library with the child. Meetings in progress should also be checked.
- When parent is located, explain the policy on unattended children, stressing concern for the child’s safety. Parent will be handed copy of the policy.
- If the person responsible is not located in the library, every effort should be made to locate the child’s parents by telephone. A staff member stays with child while this is being done. If the parent is reached, ask that the child be picked up immediately, explaining the library’s policy.
- If the child’s parents have not been located within 30 minutes, staff in charge will call the police and a staff member will stay with the child until the proper authorities arrive.
CLOSING TIME PROCEDURE FOR UNATTENDED CHILDREN 17 AND UNDER:
If an unattended minor is observed thirty minutes prior to closing, staff members will ask the patron what his/her provisions are for getting home. If the minor seems unsure, the staff member in charge of the agency will call the parents/legal guardians. If closing time arrives and the minor is still in the library:
- Attempt to call parents/legal guardians. Notify of library’s closing time and ask them to pick up the minor.
- If a parent/legal guardian cannot be reached by closing time plus 30 minutes, the police department will be contacted to pick up the minor as abandoned.
- Staff in charge will remain in the building with the minor until a parent, legal guardian, or police officer arrives. A minimum of two staff members must remain in the building.
- A copy of the library policy on unattended minors will be handed to the minor’s parents/legal guardians or to the minor.
- Under no circumstances shall a staff member take a minor out of the building.
- The contact information for the parents/legal guardians will be given to the Director, if possible, and a letter will be written stressing that library staff cannot be responsible for youths not picked up by library closing. A copy of the policy will be sent with letter. If such letter cannot be sent, then any library staff member may give a copy of the policy to the patrons involved.
Disruptive youth over the age of ten will be asked to leave after two warnings. Disruptive behavior is defined as any behavior on library premises which infringes on the rights of others using and/or working in the library.
Examples include but are not limited to: Talking that can be heard four feet away, running in the building, going in and out several times, feet on the furniture, possessing food or drink, playing loudly, and making rude comments to other patrons or staff members.
PROCEDURE FOR HANDLING DISRUPTIVE CHILDREN UNDER AGE 10:
- Warn the child verbally that his/her behavior is unacceptable and explain appropriate library behavior.
- If the behavior continues, a staff member will inform the parent or responsible person of the library’s policy and issue a verbal warning.
- If the disruptive behavior still continues, the responsible person will be asked to take the child out of the library.
- If the responsible person refuses or cannot control the child’s behavior, the family will be asked to leave. If they refuse, the librarian in charge will call the police.
PROCEDURE FOR HANDLING DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR OF PATRONS 10 to 17:
- Warn the disruptive patron that his/her behavior is unacceptable. Explain what appropriate behavior should be. Tell patron that this is a first warning. (If situation is life threatening, or includes verbal abuse or repeat offender, go to Step 3.)
- If behavior persists, approach youth and responsible person with same warning as in Step 1. If youth is unattended, give him/her a second warning. State that this is a warning and if the disruptive behavior persists, the youth will be asked to leave the library premises.
- If the disruptive behavior still persists:
- Request that the youth and the responsible person leave the library premises.
- If responsible person cannot be located within the building, staff will ask youth to wait for them just inside the door where you can see them. Youth may attempt to reach parent by phone, if it seems necessary. Parent/guardian will be told to pick up the youth immediately, reminding him of library policy.
- For youth 10-17, if the responsible person cannot be located within 30 minutes, and the youth refuses to wait quietly by the door, (check with youth about his transportation) the staff may contact the police. If justified, police may be called sooner.
- UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should staff appear to using force with disruptive persons.