Patron Behavior and Library Use Policy
SECTION 1. PURPOSE AND POLICY STATEMENT
The Marshes of Glynn Libraries consists of the Brunswick-Glynn County Library in Brunswick, Georgia, and the St. Simons Public Library on Saint Simons Island, Georgia (hereinafter sometimes collectively referred to as the “Libraries” or individually as “Library”). It is the mission of the Marshes of Glynn Libraries to provide quality library services and resources at the Libraries for the educational, recreational, and informational needs of Library patrons and to provide a safe and comfortable atmosphere conducive to the appropriate use of library services and resources. Use of the Libraries is intended for activities normally associated with the use of a public library as set forth below.
SECTION 2. RULES AND REGULATIONS
While on the premises of the Libraries, all Library patrons are required to comply with this Patron Behavior and Library Use Policy. In order to maintain an appropriate atmosphere conducive to accomplishing the Marshes of Glynn Libraries’ mission and in order to protect the rights and safety of Library patrons, to protect the rights and safety of Library employees, and to protect and preserve the resources, facilities and property of the Libraries, the Board of Trustees of the Marshes of Glynn Libraries has adopted the following patron behavior and library use rules and regulations:
(A) While on the premises of either of the Libraries, LIBRARY PATRONS SHALL:
- Engage in activities normally associated with the use of a public library, which includes, but is not limited to: a) selecting and checking out Library books or materials: (b) reading, studying, writing, researching, listening to, and accessing ideas, materials, and information; (c) tutoring; (d) using Library materials or equipment; and (e) attending programs, meetings, classes, or events. Patrons not engaged in activities normally associated with the use of a public library may be required to leave the library; and
- Respect the rights of other patrons. Patrons shall not harass or annoy others through noisy or boisterous activities, by staring at another person with the intent to annoy that person, by following another person about the building with the intent to annoy that person, by playing audio equipment so that others can hear it, by singing or talking loudly to others or in monologues, or by behaving in a manner which can be reasonably expected to disturb others.
(B) While on the premises of either of the Libraries, LIBRARY PATRONS SHALL NOT:
- Bring or consume any food or beverages in the reading room or smoke or use any tobacco or tobacco products, e-cigarettes or vaporizers inside the Libraries;
- Be under the influence of, use, or possess any alcohol or drugs;
- Engage in any illegal activity or any activity that would constitute a violation of applicable City or County Ordinances;
- Interfere with the use of the Library by other patrons, or interfere with library employees’ performance of their duties;
- Deface, mar, or destroy, library materials, such as books, magazines, newspapers, recordings, computers, or other items of the Library, nor shall patrons deface, mar, move (without authorization), or in any way destroy or damage library furnishings, furniture, walls, machines, or other library property. This provision shall apply whether or not the defacing, marring, or destruction occurs on the premises of the Libraries;
- Patrons shall not place their legs or feet on the furniture;
- Enter the library without shirt or shoes. Patrons must wear a covering of their upper bodies and shoes or other footwear at all times. Patrons whose bodily hygiene is offensive so as to constitute a nuisance to other patrons may be required to leave the building;
- Bring pets or animals into the library (other than service animals to accompany people with disabilities);
- Create any fire or open flame;
- Leave children age 8 and under unattended. Children age 8 and under must be accompanied by an adult (18 years of age or older) at all times in the library. See Unattended Children Policy;
- Leave a child or young adult (under the age of 18) on library property after closing time. See Unattended Children Policy;
- Sleep, nap, doze, or lay your head on a table;
- Possess, brandish, or threaten the use or display of any explosive, knife, or gun (except to the extent explicitly permitted by federal and state law) or use any other object in such a manner that a reasonable person would consider it to be a weapon;
- Engage in or solicit any sexual contact, activities, or conduct;
- Sell, solicit, survey, distribute or post written materials, panhandle or canvas for any political, commercial, charitable or religious purposes or take photographs inside a library building, doorway or vestibule without prior authorization of the Marshes of Glynn Libraries Board of Trustees or the Library Director;
- Run, jump, or climb inside the library;
- Bring personal possessions or items that are collectively too large to fit under one of the library’s study chairs;
- Change or wash clothes, bath, or shave in any restroom or take any library materials into any restroom;
- Enter non-public areas of the library, such as staff workrooms, staff lounges, offices and storage areas, without permission;
- Violate the library’s rules for acceptable use of the internet and library public computers;
- Willfully conceal and/or remove library property from the library without authorization;
- Engage in any fighting or physical violence or use any language or engage in any behavior or conduct which can be reasonably expected to provoke violence or be a disturbance or threat to others;
- Use any skateboard, rollerblade, or bicycle, except exclusively as a means of travel to and from the library;
- Make repetitive noises which can be reasonably expected to disturb others, such as repetitively tapping a pencil, rapping fingers or knuckles; and/or slamming books down or slapping book covers; or
- Fail to correct the behavior of any minor child of the Library patron or that is under the supervision of the Library patron when such behavior violates this Policy.
SECTION 3. ENFORCEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION
The Library Director shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this Patron Behavior and Library Use Policy. The Library Director may also delegate the enforcement of this policy to other members of the library staff. This Policy and the rules and regulations established herein shall be enforced in a consistent and impartial manner. When enforcing these Rules, law enforcement shall be contacted if: (1) a Library patron refuses to leave the premises of either library after being asked to leave by Library staff due to a violation of the Rules; (2) a Library patron is on Library Premises in violation of a Notice of Exclusion; or (3) if otherwise determined appropriate by staff of the Marshes of Glynn Libraries.
SECTION 4. VIOLATIONS
Failure to comply with the rules and regulations set forth in this Policy may result in access to the Libraries being denied for a period of time, as well as suspension of library privileges. Violations of this Policy will typically first result in a verbal warning and library staff attempting to educate or warn individuals about the Policy. If an individual continues to violate this Policy after a verbal warning, Library staff may order them to leave for the remainder of the day, until the violation is corrected, or for such other period of time as severity of the violation may justify.
However, repeated violations of this Policy over a period of time or any single violation (even in a single isolated event) where a warning will not suffice (e.g. violations that involve any illegal behavior, sexual misconduct or physical violence of any kind, any behavior that a reasonable person would find harassing, threatening, or harmful, or any behavior that threatens the life or safety of any person or that is damaging to library property, equipment or facilities) may result in the immediate expulsion from the library premises.
Violations of this Policy may result in individuals being excluded from the Libraries: 1) until the violation is corrected; 2) for the remainder of current day; or 3) for a minimum of one full day to a maximum permanent exclusion. The severity of the conduct and/or any prior bans will determine the length of the exclusion. Any person who disregards a request by Library staff to leave the Library as authorized under this Policy or will be considered trespassing and will immediately be reported to the appropriate local law enforcement agency.
If a Library patron is asked to leave the library or is excluded from the Libraries for any length of time, Library staff shall provide the Library patron with a copy of this Policy and a Notice of Exclusion that advises the Library patron of the length of the exclusion and of the ability to appeal the Notice of Exclusion. However, the enforcement of this policy and/or any exclusion from the Libraries shall not be affected by the refusal of the Library patron to accept the Notice of Exclusion or if the Library patron leaves the Library premises before Library staff can provide the Library patron with a Notice of Exclusion.
SECTION 5. APPEAL
A Library patron may appeal a Notice of Exclusion and request a hearing by submitting a signed and completed “Hearing Request Form” specifying the grounds of the appeal, along with a copy of the Notice of Exclusion, in person or by mail to the Library Director at the Brunswick-Glynn County Library, 208 Gloucester Street, Brunswick, Georgia 31520, no later than five (5) days from the date of the Notice of Exclusion. Being on the Library premises for the limited purpose of submitting a Hearing Request Form shall not be a violation of a Notice of Exclusion. Failure to make a timely request for a hearing will render the exclusion decision final. The filing of an appeal does not affect the enforcement and validity of the Notice of Exclusion while the appeal is pending. The hearing on the appeal of a Notice of Exclusion shall be held as soon as reasonably practicable before the Board of Trustees of the Marshes of Glynn Libraries. A decision on the appeal shall be rendered by the Board of Trustees as soon as reasonably practicable and shall articulate the grounds for the decision in writing. The Board of Directors may affirm, reverse, or modify the decision of the Library Director. The Library patron shall be provided with a copy of the decision of the Board of Trustees, which shall be final.
SECTION 6. ADOPTION
This Patron Behavior and Library Use Policy was adopted by the Marshes of Glynn Libraries Board of Trustees on January 11, 2017. This policy and the rules and regulations of conduct established herein shall be effective immediately and shall supersede all previous patron behavior and library use policies.