Putnam District Library

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Public Relations

We appreciate your acknowledgment of these common standards of conduct and the library's appeal process.

Patron Code of Conduct

Patron conduct, dress, and personal hygiene shall conform to the community standard for public places. This Code of Conduct is intended to encourage behavior that supports the library’s mission to provide the best possible resources in a warm, welcoming environment. Behavior becomes unacceptable when it interferes with this mission, imfringes on the rights of others, causes damage to buildings or equipment, or is hazardous to one or others. Those willing to modify unacceptable behavior are always welcome to stay. 

Examples of Unacceptable Behavior include: 

    • Abandonment, or leaving young children unattended (see policies below)
    • Abuse or vandalism of library materials, equipment or property
    • Bare feet and/or being shirtless
    • Bathing, shaving, washing clothes or other misuse of restrooms
    • Bringing animals into the library (except service animals)
    • Consumption of food or beverages in an inconsiderate or careless manner
  • (No food or beverages are allowed by library technology.)

    • Disruptive use of telephones, radios, television, or other electronic devices

    (Cell phone use is restricted to the entryways of the library.)

    • Drunk or disorderly conduct
    • Illegal activity of any kind
    • Loitering, including refusing to leave at closing
    • Loud talking, crying, yelling, whistling or any other disruptive noises
    • Placing feet on chairs, tables, windowsills, railings, etc.
    • Possessing, consuming or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
    • Playing with or misusing elevators or any other library equipment
    • Running in the building or on the stairs
    • Selling or soliciting
    • Skateboarding, using roller-blades, or a similar activity on library property
    • Sleeping
    • Smoking or related tobacco use, including e-cigarettes
    • Unruly, disruptive behavior
    • Verbal and/or physical abuse or sexual harassment of library patrons or staff
    • All weapons are banned from the library premises to the fullest extent permissible by law

Unattended Children Policy 

The Putnam District Library encourages visits by young children and it is our desire to make the library experience an enjoyable event for all ages of patrons.  Responsibility for children using the library rests with the parent or assigned caregiver, not the library staff.  For this reason, the library has made it a policy that children under age 8 must be under the supervision of a responsible adult or caregiver (13 or older) at all times while in the library. 

Children Left At Closing 

Parents should make arrangements for their children to be picked up when the library closes.   Should it be determined that a child has been left at the Library without a ride or assistance home at closing time, every attempt will be made to contact an adult or family member of the child. If an adult or family member cannot be reached, the Police will be called to escort the child home or keep the child until a parent can be reached.

Code of Conduct Violations 

1. Initial Violation:  When a patron is exhibiting unacceptable behavior, a library staff member will notify the patron verbally that their behavior does not follow the code of conduct.  This notification will serve as a warning to the patron and if the behavior stops, they may stay. 

2. Second Violation:  If the patron does not comply with the initial request, he or she will be asked to leave the building for the day.  If he or she refuses, police may be called.

3. Subsequent Violations:  The Director, or the Director's authorized designee, may further limit or revoke the patron's library privileges for up to six months if infractions continue.  Such limitation or revocation shall be in writing specifying the nature of the violation.  Subsequent violations of the same rule shall result in additional suspensions of increasing length.

If the patron in question is a minor, official decisions regarding patron privileges will be sent in writing to the patron or the patron’s guardian(s).

Library Administration

The library director is a person hired by the library’s board of trustees to manage the business of the library.  The director is responsible for implementing the policies adopted by the library board, such as those contained in this document, and for interpreting them to the library staff and community.  The director has full responsibility for administration of the library building, staff, and collections within the policies set by the board of trustees and reports to the board monthly. 

It is also the responsibility of the library director, and in the director’s absence a designated staff member, to consider situations on a case by case basis, to consider the library’s mission statement, and to respond judiciously.

Appeals to the Board

Requests regarding patron accounts should be made in writing to the library director within 14 days of the date of the decision.  The appeal shall state why library privileges should be restored.  The library director or a designee will respond to the appeal in writing within 14 days of the date of the appeal was received.

Patrons may appeal the library director’s decision by sending an appeal in writing to the president of the library board of trustees within 14 days.  The decision of the library board is final.

Any person may request a review of a library’s policy by submitting a letter to the president of the library board of trustees.  All requests will be considered; however, the decision of the library board is final.