Customer Code of Conduct Policy

Board Policy
DATE REVIEWED:   03/18/2024

DATE APPROVED:  03/18/2024
EFFECTIVE DATE:  03/25/2024

In order to provide a comfortable environment for use of the Pickerington Public Library (PPL) and on the Library’s websites, the rules for customer behavior are listed below.  The term customer addresses anyone on or utilizing Library property. Any individual who repeatedly violates the Library rules and regulations shall be denied the privilege of access to the Library by the Board of Trustees. Specific violations with lengths of eviction are outlined in Appendix A. Any individual whose privileges have been denied may have the decision reviewed by the board.

The board authorizes the Library Director to bring to the attention of law enforcement authorities the identity of and circumstances involving those individuals who violate these rules. Individuals who have been evicted may be required to discuss the violation with a manager, or a member of the Library’s Executive Leadership Team before being readmitted. Juveniles may be required to bring a parent or guardian for such a conference.

Any individual evicted from the Library has the right to appeal that eviction by following the steps outlined in the Eviction Procedure.

The Library’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT) has the responsibility for maintaining order in the Library and enforcing the established rules. The ELT will maintain a Code of Conduct and ensure that the Customer Code of Conduct is posted prominently and communicated to Library customers in electronic and print formats. Library employees are authorized to bring to an individual’s attention any act or omission which violates these rules and detracts from the decorum of the Library.  Such an individual will be asked to change the problem behavior to conform to the rules.  If such change is not evident or forthcoming, that individual will be asked to leave the Library property in accordance to Appendix A of the Customer Code of Conduct.  Failure to leave, if asked, will result in the police being summoned.  A violation of section 2911.21 of the Ohio Revised Code (Criminal Trespass) will be considered if the individual does not leave of his\her own accord.

Any misconduct that hinders the use of Library materials or services, that disturbs the use of the Library by other customers or Library staff, or endangers the safety of the customer in question or other customers or Library staff, is prohibited.  The rules of conduct include but are not limited to:

  1. Appropriate attire, including a fastened/closed shirt must be worn.
  2. Children under the age of twelve must be accompanied by an adult. Responsibility for all children (under the age of 18) using the Library rests with the parent/guardian or assigned chaperone, not with the Library personnel.
  3. Customers must abide by the Library’s Computer & Internet Usage Policy.
  4. Customers shall promptly leave the building at closing time or in an emergency.
  5. Personal items are the sole responsibility of the owner. They should not be left unattended.
  6. Behavior that interferes with Library services and activities is prohibited.
    This includes, but is not limited to:
  • Unreasonable noise (including radios and ringing/musical tones played by cell phones) or loud talking which interferes with the rights of others
  • Physical or verbal abuse of Library customers or staff
  • Profanity or other abusive language toward other Library customers or toward employees
  • Harassing others, either verbally or through actions. Deliberate repeated behavior that is intimidating, hostile, offensive, or adversely impacts staff work performance
  • Fighting on Library property
  • Roughhousing or running in the building
  • Misuse of Library furnishings, restroom facilities, materials, or equipment
  • Unauthorized removal or attempted removal of materials (liable to prosecution —see Ohio Revised Code 2935.041)
  • Animals in the building, except service animals or those used in programs authorized by Library staff
  • Any illegal activity
  • Gambling, panhandling, soliciting money, any activity for personal profit
  • Trespassing, such as entering or remaining on premises after closing, or failing to leave property for violating the code of conduct
  • Engaging in or soliciting a sexual act
  • Consuming food or beverages while using Library technology
  • Excluding programming, consuming food outside of designated areas of the Library (The Director shall determine designated areas)
  • Offensive odors including but not limited to body odor
  • Bathing, shaving, or washing clothes on Library premises
  • Smoking, chewing tobacco, or using electronic cigarettes
  • Other acts disruptive to customers or staff

The Library does not permit weapons of any kind, either concealed or in plain view, in its facilities pursuant Ohio Revised Code, Section 2923, unless the owner of the weapon is a law enforcement officer.

The Library recognizes that Ohio Law gives all individuals the right to own, possess, transport, carry, and keep a knife for purposes of personal protection and other legitimate uses (e.g., hunting and sporting activities), and establishes that such right shall not be subject to any license, permission, restriction, delay or process other than those which are imposed by the U.S. Constitution, the Ohio Constitution or applicable state or federal law. Therefore, while knives are allowed on library property, the library reserves the right to prohibit the brandishing of knives, using a knife to threaten or intimidate others, or using knives in any unsafe manner that could reasonably result in personal injury or property damage.

Filming and photography are allowed as described below only to the extent that they do not interfere with the mission of PPL or delivery of library services.

Public library facilities and grounds are defined as limited public forums subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions. Sidewalks around our libraries are traditional public forums, defined as places held in trust of the public to use for free speech and other activities protected by the First Amendment.

PPL is within its rights to limit filming and photography on library properties or inside facilities when such restrictions serve library purposes. Foremost of these is ensuring the right of PPL customers to acquire knowledge and information freely and confidentially without scrutiny, intimidation, or distraction by others.

PPL may film, photograph, or record library-sponsored programs or events at its discretion.

The Library reserves the right to inform law enforcement if any customer appears to be under the influence of any controlled substance.

The Library reserves the right to limit the number of individuals who may gather together where ingress and egress are blocked.

The above rules are based on powers granted to a public Library Board of Trustees under the Ohio Revised Code, Section 3375.40(H).  They will be posted prominently in the Library building.

With everyone’s cooperation with the above policy, the Library will continue to be a pleasant environment for our customers and visitors.

The Board of Trustees of the Pickerington Public Library reserves the right to change this policy without notice.

Administrative Procedure:
DATE APPROVED    03/18/2024
EFFECTIVE DATE:   03/25/2024

Customers and visitors who fail to abide by the Library’s policies are subject to having their Library privileges suspended and/or being evicted from all premises of the Pickerington Public Library. Eviction or suspension of Library privileges will be based upon the following administrative procedural guidelines.

Under normal circumstances, evictions and suspensions should be decided upon and imposed by the Director, Executive Manager of Community Engagement, or department managers. However, in the absence or unavailability of any of the foregoing and if circumstances require prompt action, all staff are authorized to evict a customer from the premises for the day of a code of conduct violation.

In the event a staff member issues an eviction under the prior sentence, the staff member is required to review the eviction with his or her supervisor or the Director to determine whether the eviction should be extended beyond one day in accordance to Appendix A as outlined in the Customer Code of Conduct policy.

Library staff members are to address behavior by individuals that violates Customer Regulations, Customer Code of Conduct, or related Library policies and procedures in the following manner:

A. Warnings and Evictions:

  1. All staff members are required to inform customers immediately when improper conduct is observed or reported. Customers should be given a chance to respond to the allegation before any action is taken against the customer. If, after giving the customer a chance to respond, the staff member still believes that the customer has engaged in improper conduct, the staff member should warn the customer so the customer has the opportunity to correct their behavior.Under certain circumstances, a customer determined to have engaged in improper conduct will not be given the opportunity to correct their behavior and will be asked to leave immediately. These situations include conduct which poses a threat to the safety of the staff and other customers and/or involves criminal activity. Furthermore, if the situation is a repeat offense or disruptive to the overall operations of the library, staff may forego providing an opportunity to for customers to correct their behavior. See Appendix A of the Customer Code of Conduct.
  2. A customer who has been warned of improper behavior may also be asked to leave immediately after a warning and asked not to return until the improper conduct is corrected.
  3. Customers being accused of conduct that would normally result in eviction of a day or less will be verbally informed of the allegations against them and be given an opportunity to respond verbally.
  4. Customers being accused of conduct that would normally result in eviction for more than a day will be given written notice of the allegations against them and the opportunity to respond in writing to the allegation.
  5. If the customer being accused is a minor, his/her parents/guardians should be informed of the allegation and be given the opportunity to respond, if possible.
  6. Department Managers and PIC (Person in Charge) staff have the authority to inform a minor child not to return to the Library until the child’s parent or guardian contacts a manager, the Director or Executive Manager of Community Engagement. Any minor child evicted for seven (7) or more days must have their parent or guardian contact a Library Manager, the Director or Executive Manager of Community Engagement before returning to the library.
  7. Managers may issue evictions for up to 30 days. The Director or Executive Manager of Community Engagement is required to approve evictions for greater than 30 days.
  8. The department manager or his/her designee may mail the eviction notice to the adult evictee, or if a minor child to their parent or guardian.
  9. Customers being accused of conduct that poses a risk to the safety of other customers or staff may not be permitted on the premises while an initial determination of their case is made. In such cases, the Library will act as quickly as possible in ruling on the customer’s case.
  10. Customer’s accused of other conduct not posing a safety risk may be asked to leave the premises for the remainder of the day but will be allowed back on the premises while an initial determination of their case is made.
  11. For allegations that could result in evictions longer than one day, the Director or Executive Manager of Community Engagement will mail the customer a written notice of the decision within one business day of making the decision, if the customer’s address is known. If the customer’s address is unknown the Director or Executive Manager of Community Engagement will call to notify the customer of the decision, if the customer’s phone number is known. The failure to mail or notify by phone the decision within one day will not make the eviction invalid.
  12. Staff members should attempt to identify the customer being warned and evicted by name. If additional information can be obtained, such as address, telephone number, and borrower card number, staff members should record this as well. At the discretion of the Director or Executive Manager of Community Engagement, if a customer being evicted fails to provide their name, they can be informed not to return to the Library until they are willing to provide that information.
  13. The customer’s information as well as details about the warning and eviction, including date, time, and location of the situation, will be recorded on the incident report.

B. Rights of Redress:
Any customer evicted from Library premises has the right to appeal that eviction. The customer is not permitted on the Library premises during any appeal, unless the original term of the eviction has expired. If the individual disagrees with the eviction, the following procedure for redress will be utilized:

  1. The customer should contact the Director or Executive Manager of Community Engagement within 48 hours of receiving his/her eviction to initiate an appeal. The customer may do so via telephone, mail, or email. The customer should explain the reasons for the appeal and include any additional information that he/she wants considered during review.
  1. Upon receiving notice from the customer that he/she would like to appeal the eviction, the Director or Executive Manager of Community Engagement shall consider the appeal and whatever additional information is submitted and advise the customer of his/her decision on the eviction terms within seven business days or a reasonable amount of time dependent on the situation and the amount of research needed. Notice of the decision may be made via telephone, mail, or email.
  1. Upon receipt of the decision by the Director or Executive Manager of Community Engagement, the customer has the right to further appeal the eviction to Board of Trustees. The customer should notify the Director within 48 hours of receiving his/her notice of decision regarding his/her eviction to initiate a board appeal. The customer may do so via telephone, mail, or email. The customer’s appeal will be added as an agenda item on the next scheduled Board of Trustees Meetings. The Customer has the right to attend the meeting to personally explain the reasons for the appeal and to include any additional information that he/she wants considered during review.
  1. The Board’s decision will be considered final. The Library’s failure to meet any of the deadlines set forth above shall not invalidate an eviction.
  1. The Director or Executive Manager of Community Engagement will update the incident report involving the Customer’s eviction being appealed by adding a supplement stating the appeal decision.

C. Safety:
It is the expectation of Library administration that all staff manage customer code of conduct violations in a safe manner.

The seriousness of the action and repeated misbehavior of a customer may indicate that a longer eviction than that which is indicated in Appendix A of the Customer Code of Conduct is appropriate. The Director or Executive Manager of Community Engagement are authorized to recommend an extended eviction to the Board for consideration. The Board will make the final decision on any eviction outside of the approved policy.

D. Consumption of Food and Beverages:
In order to maintain a clean and conducive environment for study, research, and the preservation of library resources, Pickerington Public Library only allows the consumption of food within specified areas of the library’s facilities.

1. Designated Eating Areas: Food consumption is only permitted in designated areas of the library. These areas are specifically allocated for eating purposes and are equipped with appropriate facilities for the disposal of waste. Users are required to consume food only within these designated areas.

i. Main Library

  1. Meeting Room A
  2. Meeting Room C
  3. Youth Services Barn

ii. Sycamore Plaza Library

  1. Meeting Room

2. Restricted Areas: Food consumption is strictly prohibited in all other areas of the library, including but not limited to study spaces, conference rooms, computer area, and aisles containing library materials. This restriction applies to all forms of food, including snacks, and meals.

3. Cleanliness and Hygiene: Users consuming food in designated areas are responsible for maintaining cleanliness and hygiene standards. This includes disposing of food waste properly in designated bins, wiping down surfaces after use, and ensuring that no food debris is left behind.

4. Exceptions: Exceptions to this policy may be granted for library-sponsored events or activities with prior approval from library administration. Such exceptions will be subject to specific guidelines and restrictions outlined by the administration at the time of approval. The Library allows consumption of beverages anywhere on library property except when using library technology. All beverages brought into the library must be in a closed container.

E. Filming and Photography:
The library allows members of the community and media to film and take pictures while on library property. However, it is prohibited to film or photograph anyone without their prior consent.

  1. Enforcement of the policy
    1. Library staff members are authorized to enforce this policy and may request individuals to cease filming or photography immediately. Failure to comply with this policy may result in expulsion from the premises or suspension of library privileges.

Customer Code of Conduct Policy

The library will be closed on Wednesday, June 19, in observance of the Juneteenth holiday. Our E-Branch is open 24/7 to read, watch, listen and learn.

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