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Patron Conduct Policy

The Germantown Community Library encourages people of all ages to visit the Library. Those using the Library and its resources have the right to expect a safe, comfortable environment that supports appropriate library services.  It is a patron’s responsibility to maintain necessary and proper standards of behavior in order to protect his/her individual rights and the rights and privileges of other patrons. 

If a patron creates a public nuisance, that patron may be restricted from the Library and from the use of the Library’s facilities. Repeated misbehavior, or refusal to leave the Library when asked, can result in revoked library privileges. Those who are unwilling to leave or do not leave within a reasonable amount of time, after being instructed to do so by the staff, will be reported to the appropriate authority.

Patrons shall not interfere with the ability of others to use the Library or interfere with Library employee’s performance of their duties. Behavior that demands constant attention of the staff and/or disrupts service to others will not be permitted.

The following are examples of misconduct that are disruptive to others. Persons involved in such disruptive activities in or near the Library may be asked to leave the Library and grounds.

  • Any behavior that disrupts the use of the Library or interferes with the Library’s operation, such as rowdiness, noise, loitering, and offensive interpersonal behavior.
  • Assault
  • Being in an unauthorized area of the building; remaining in the building after closing or when requested to leave during an emergency situation or drills
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Damaging library materials
  • Failing to follow Library circulation policies and procedures. Removing or attempting to remove Library materials with or without proper authorization.
  • Harassment; physical or verbal
  • Indecent exposure
  • Inappropriate displays of affection
  • Intoxication
  • Littering
  • Loitering on the premises or in the parking lot
  • Leaving children unattended
  • Loud noises or loud talking disturbing to other people
  • Offensive language
  • Possessing a weapon or hazardous substance/item
  • Running
  • Sending, receiving, or displaying text or graphics on a library or personal electronic device that may reasonably be construed as obscene by community standards
  • Smoking or vaping
  • Staring at, lurking or following people
  • Taking other people’s things
  • Tampering with emergency mechanisms (fire alarms, opening emergency exits in non-emergency situations).
  • Threatening behavior or gestures
  • Verbal abuse of people 

For the comfort and protection of all who use the Germantown Community Library, patrons are requested to observe the following guidelines:

  • Cell phone/PDA usage  - refer to the Library Noise and Phone Policy
  • Children under the age of eight must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Parents or guardians are responsible for the behavior of their children.
  • Appropriate attire is required, including shirts and shoes.
  • Solicitation is not allowed in the Library. This includes:
  • Solicitation of signatures on petitions
  • Sales of services or materials
  • Recruitment for employment or other services
  • Public opinion surveys
  • Requests for donations, including receptacles for donations
  • Requests for monetary or other personal assistance
  • Smoking is not permitted
  • The Library is not responsible for personal possessions
  • Prior approval is required to take photographs, video recordings or audio recordings in the Library.
  • Patron’s shall not deface, mar, or in any way destroy or damage library materials, furnishing, walls, machines, or any other library property inside or outside the Library.
  • Any materials removed from the Library must be checked out on a valid library card or through other standard library procedures.
  • Animals are not allowed in the library building, except when they are part of a library program or when they are registered service animals.

Young Children

The Germantown Community Library encourages visits by young children and it is our desire to make this important visit both memorable and enjoyable for the child. Service to children is an important part of the Library’s mission. The Library is free and open to unaccompanied children who are independent enough to use the resources for recreation, information and education. If the child is not able to leave the Library without an adult, he/she should not be in the Library without an adult.

The policy of the Germantown Community Library is that a child under 12 must be accompanied by an adult while the child is in the library. A child under 8 in the library must be under the direct supervision of the adult who brought the child to the Library.

Parents should be aware that the Library is a public building open to all individuals. It is not the Library staff’s function or purpose to provide supervision or to care for children while the parent or the designated responsible person are outside the Library. Staff will not monitor children leaving the Library.

At all times, parents/responsible persons are accountable for the conduct and safety of their children on Library premises. Parents/responsible persons must provide appropriate supervision based on the ages, the abilities and the levels of responsibility of their children.

Parents/responsible persons are expected to be aware of the opening and closing times of the Library, bearing in mind that these can and do change. Power failures or other emergencies can occur and require unexpected closing of the building. Children left alone in the Library, or on Library grounds, could be vulnerable. Every effort will be made to contact the parent/responsible person prior to closing.

If the child is left at the Library after closing time, the police will be called after 30 minutes. Police will arrive and pick the child/children up at the library. The child/children will be considered abandoned. Police will try and contact he child/children’s family, but if there is no response, a report will be written and the child will be transported to Juvenile court in Memphis, TN. If the Library closes as the result of an emergency, the police will be called as soon as possible. Staff can require that unattended children go with them during emergency procedures, such as seeking shelter from severe weather or evacuation of the building. Under no other circumstances will a staff member take a child out of the building or transport children to another location.

Disruptive Children

Children of all ages are encouraged to use the Library for homework, recreational reading, and program attendance. The Library staff realizes that the Library will be noisier at busy times and that children by nature can cause more commotion. However, children (whether with parents/responsible persons or not) who are being continually disruptive will be given a warning that he/she must settle down or be asked to leave the Library. If, after a second warning, the child continues to be disruptive, he/she will be asked to leave the Library. If the child needs to contact the parent, they may do so and then wait with a staff person until the parent arrives.

Children of all ages are required to respect Library property and to act in a manner appropriate to the use and function of the Library. Children who are not using the Library appropriately or who require excessive staff attention or supervision will be asked to leave the Library and, if necessary, the police will be contacted. 

The Library Director or designee may deny access to the Library to any person who violates these rules and regulations. If necessary, police will be contacted to assist Library staff in enforcing these rules.

 

In addition to the above policy, all patrons should be aware that children are often made uncomfortable when an adult they do not know initiates a conversation with them. As a result, we ask that, when adults initiate conversations with other patrons, they do so with other adults.

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