Adopted September, 2022
The Suttons Bay Bingham District Library (the “Library”) is open for specific and designated civic, educational and cultural uses, including reading, studying, writing, participating in scheduled Library programs, and using Library materials. In order to provide resources and services to all people who visit the Library facilities in an atmosphere of courtesy, respect, and excellent service, the Library Board has adopted this Patron Behavior Policy. The purpose of the Patron Behavior Policy (“Policy”) is to assist the Library in fulfilling its mission as a community resource to provide materials and services which will furnish opportunities for educational, informational, cultural and recreational enrichment to all of the people of the communities served by the library.
The following rules of conduct shall apply to the interior and exterior of the Library building (“Library property”) and to all persons entering in or on the premises, unless otherwise specified.
II. Rules for a Safe Environment.
A. Violations of Law. Committing or attempting to commit an activity in violation of federal, state, or local law, ordinance or regulation (including but not limited to assault, indecent exposure, larceny, removing Library material from the property without authorization through the approved lending procedures, vandalism or copyright infringement) is prohibited.
B. Weapons. Dangerous weapons including, but not limited to, knives, guns and explosives are prohibited on Library property, except guns specifically permitted and exempt from local regulation by law.
C. Alcohol; Drugs. It is not permitted to openly carry, sell, distribute, or consume any alcoholic or intoxicating beverage or marijuana on Library property. It is not permitted to possess, sell, distribute or consume any illegal drug or drug paraphernalia on Library property. Alcohol may be permitted at certain Library-sponsored events if specifically approved by the Library. Persons noticeably under the influence of any controlled substance or alcoholic or intoxicating liquor are not allowed on Library property.
D. Recreational Equipment and Personal Transport Devices. Use of skateboards, rollerblades, roller skates, or other wheeled form of recreational equipment is not allowed on Library property. Library patrons must park bicycles or other recreational vehicles only in authorized areas. Strollers and wagons used to transport children and wheelchairs, scooters, and other power driven mobility devices are permitted by those individuals with disabilities in accordance with Library rules, unless a particular type of device cannot be accommodated because of legitimate safety requirements.
E. No Blocking of Doors, Aisles or Entrances. All doors, aisles and entrances must remain obstacle-free. This includes a prohibition of running power cords across aisles or other areas that are used for walking.
F. Animals. Animals are not permitted in the Library other than service animals (as defined by law) for those individuals with disabilities, those used in law enforcement or for Library programming.
G. Incendiary devices. The use of incendiary devices, such as candles, matches, and lighters, is prohibited inside the Library.
H. Staff Only Areas. Patrons shall no`t be permitted in any areas designated as “staff only” unless otherwise permitted by the Library Director or designee.
I. School Groups. School groups using the Library must have a teacher and other appropriate staff present to ensure that the students use the Library in conformance with these rules.
III. Rules for Personal Behavior
A. Personal Property. Personal property brought into the Library is subject to the following:
- The Library is not responsible for personal property.
- The Library does not guarantee storage for personal property.
- Personal property must not be left unattended or take up seating or space needed by others.
B. Food and Beverages. Beverages in covered containers are permitted. Food is not permitted. Food and beverages may be permitted at certain Library-sponsored events and programs. See Community Meeting Room policy for food and beverage policies in that area.
C. Unauthorized Use. Patrons must leave the Library promptly at closing time. Patrons may not be in the Library during closed hours without authorization by the Library Director or designee, or the Library Board. Further, any patron whose privilege to access Library property has been suspended may not enter the Library. Any patron whose privileges have been limited may not use the Library in any manner that conflicts with those limits placed on the patron by the Library Director or designee, or the Library Board. See Community Meeting Room policy for access policies in that area.
D. Engaging in Proper Library Activities. Patrons shall be engaged in activities associated with the use of the Library while in the Library. Patrons not engaged in reading, studying, writing, participating in scheduled Library programs, or using Library materials shall be required to leave the Library. This includes sleeping on Library furniture or floor.
E. Considerate Use. The following behavior, including but not limited to, is prohibited on Library property:
- Running, pushing, shoving, fighting, throwing items, provoking a fight or other unsafe physical behavior;
- Climbing on furniture;
- Using obscene or threatening language or gestures;
- Engaging in sexual behavior.
F. Panhandling or Soliciting. Panhandling or soliciting Library staff or patrons for money, products, or services inside the Library is prohibited. Sales of products or services that are incidental to Library programming may be permitted if approved in advance by the Library Director or designee.
G. Interference with Library Staff, Volunteers or Board Members. Patrons may not interfere with Library personnel’s performance of duties in the Library. This includes engaging in conversation or behavior that monopolizes or forces the attention of Library personnel for an inappropriate period of time, placing excessive demands on staff, creating an intimidating or hostile working environment, inappropriate personal comments, sexual advances, or physical and/or verbal harassment.
H. Interference with Library Patrons. Patrons may not interfere with other Patrons in their use of the Library. This includes creating an intimidating or hostile environment, inappropriate personal comments, sexual advances, or physical and/or verbal harassment.
I. Campaigning, Petitioning, Interviewing and Similar Activities. As a limited public forum, the Library reserves the right to regulate the time, place, and manner for campaigning, petitioning, interviewing, survey-taking, pamphleteering, canvassing, soliciting and protesting on Library property.
- Campaigning, petitioning, interviewing, survey-taking, pamphleteering, canvassing, soliciting and protesting are prohibited inside the Library building.
- Campaign material, literature or petitions may not be brought into the Library, posted at the Library or left on Library property.
- Use of the Library does not indicate the Library’s opposition or endorsement of the candidate or issue that is the subject of talks, interviews or discussions.
J. Sales. Selling merchandise on Library property without prior permission from the Library Director or designee is prohibited.
K. Distributions; Postings. Distributing or posting printed materials/literature on Library property not in accordance with the Library’s Display Spaces & Community Bulletin Board policy is prohibited.
L. Restrooms. Misuse of restrooms including but not limited to laundering, sleeping, shaving, hair cutting or trimming, bathing, smoking, consuming alcoholic or intoxicating beverages, marijuana or illegal drugs, and sexual activity is prohibited. Unless a parent or guardian is assisting a child or a patron is assisting a person with a disability, there shall only be one person to a stall. Library materials may not be taken into restrooms.
M. Harassment. Staring, photographing, video recording, audio recording, following, stalking, harassing, arguing with, threatening, talking or behaving in a manner:
1. which can reasonably be expected to disturb Library patrons or staff while such staff or patrons are in the Library or on Library property;
2. that interferes with the Library patrons’ use of the Library or the ability of the staff person to do his or her job is prohibited;
3. would create or may result in an intimidating or hostile environment for Library staff or patrons;
4. and/or that violates Michigan law is prohibited.
N. Loud Noise. Producing or allowing any loud, unreasonable, or disturbing noises that interfere with other patrons’ use of the Library or which can be reasonably expected to disturb other persons or have the intent of annoying other persons, including yelling, cheering, talking (with others or in monologues) or noises from electronic devices, such as cell phones, tablets, headphones, and radio, is prohibited. Electronic devices shall be muted or headphones or earbuds shall be used at a volume that does not disturb other Library patrons or staff.
O. Odor. Offensive odor, including but not limited to body odor due to poor personal hygiene, overpowering perfume or cologne, or odors from items brought into the Library, that causes a nuisance is prohibited. For example, if the patron’s odor interferes with staff or other patrons’ use of the Library, the patron violates this Policy.
P. Phones. Those patrons desiring to use phones to place or receive calls must use the phones at a volume that does not disturb other Library patrons or staff. Phones notifications shall be placed on silent or vibrate mode or low volume upon entering the Library. Phone speakers shall not be used. Headphones or earbuds may be used at a volume that does not disturb other Library patrons or staff.
Q. Smoking; Tobacco or Marijuana Use. Smoking tobacco or marijuana, using e-cigarettes, vaping, electronic nicotine delivery systems or chewing tobacco is prohibited in the Library. Displaying tobacco or marijuana may be permitted at Library-sponsored events and programs, if specifically approved by the Library.
R. Shirts and Shoes. Shirts and shoes are required for health reasons and must be worn at all times in the Library.
IV. Rules for the Use and Preservation of Library Materials and Property.
A. Care of Library Property. Patrons must not deface, vandalize, damage or improperly use or improperly remove Library materials, equipment, furniture, or the Library building. Patron shall not load or install any programs or software on Library computers. Patrons shall be responsible to reimburse the Library for costs incurred by the Library for violating this provision.
B. Internet Use. Patrons must abide by established time limitations and all other provisions of the Library Internet Use Policy.
C. Equipment. Patrons may only use equipment designated for check-out or in-library use by patrons.
D. Authorized Lending. Library materials may only be removed from the premises with authorization through established lending procedures.
E. Use of Tables and Computers. Only four people may be seated at a table. Only two people may be seated at a desktop computer.
V. Disciplinary Process for Library Facilities.
The Library Director or designee may restrict access to Library facilities with immediate dismissal of the patron from the premises, by suspending the patron’s access to Library property for a set period of time, or by suspending access to specific services and/or programs for a set period of time, pursuant to this Policy. When necessary, the police may be called to intervene.
A. Incident Reports. Library staff shall record in writing in the form of an Incident Report any violation of this Policy that resulted in a patron’s dismissal from the premises, or a suspension of Library access or privileges, or the police being called. By the end of the day on which the incident occurred, an Incident Report shall be written and forwarded to the Library Director for logging and review. The report should include the name of the patron, if possible, and a physical description of the patron. A copy of the suspension letter should be attached, if applicable.
B. Violation of the Policy – Suspension of Privileges. Unless otherwise provided in this Policy, (see Section C below), the Library shall handle violations as follows:
- Initial Violation: Library patrons observed violating this Policy will be asked to cease the violation with a verbal request. If the patron does not comply with the request, the patron will again be asked to cease the violation and warned that failure to do so will result in being asked to leave the building for the day. If the patron does not comply with the second request, the patron will be asked to leave the building for the day. If the patron refuses, the police may be called.
- Subsequent Violations: The Library Director or authorized designee may further limit or suspend the patron’s Library privileges if infractions continue. Such limitation or suspension shall be in writing specifying the nature of the violation and the suspension. Subsequent violations of the same policy shall result in additional suspensions of increasing length or a police trespass order.
C. Violations that Affect Safety and Security. Violations involving verbal abuse, violence, threatening behaviors, sexual harassment, vandalism, illegal drug sale or use or attempted illegal drug sale or use, intoxication, theft or attempted theft, physical harassment, sexual misconduct or any behavior that threatens the safety and security of staff and/or patrons shall be handled as follows:
- Initial Violation: The police will be called immediately if the conduct constitutes a violation of local, state, or federal law. Arrest or criminal prosecution may ensue. Violations of this nature will result in an immediate minimum two-week suspension of access to Library property in order to give the Library sufficient time to investigate the incident. After the investigation is completed, the Library Director or authorized designee may add additional time to the initial suspension period.
- Subsequent Violations: The police will be called immediately if the conduct constitutes a violation of local, state, or federal law. Arrest or criminal prosecution may ensue. The Library Director or authorized designee may further limit or suspend the patron’s Library privileges in escalating responses, which will be documented in writing. Subsequent violations of the same policy will result in additional suspensions of increasing length or a police trespass order.
D. Reinstatement. The patron whose privileges have been limited or suspended shall attend a meeting with the Library Director or authorized designee to review the Library Patron Behavior Policy before their privileges may be reinstated. The Library Director may impose conditions for the reinstatement.
VI. Right of Appeal.
Patrons may appeal (1) a decision to limit or suspend privileges or (2) the conditions placed on reinstatement by sending a written appeal to the Library Board within ten business days of the date of the decision. The appeal should be sent to the President of the Library Board. The decision of the Library Board is final.