Code of Conduct

Introduction

In order to provide resources and services to all people who visit the Library, in a manner that ensures their safety and in an atmosphere of courtesy, respect, and service excellence, the Library Board of Trustees has adopted the following Code of Conduct Policy. Its purpose is to guarantee that the Manheim Township Public Library is able to carry out its mission and ensure that no person or group is denied access to Library facilities, programs, or services because of behaviors that create an environment that is unsafe, disruptive, or not conducive to the Library mission.

Consistent with the Manheim Township Public Library non-discrimination policies, the enforcement of the Code of Conduct will be applied evenly, consistently, and fairly.

The rules set forth below are not intended to limit the Manheim Township Public Library from taking action to ensure safety, security, and excellent customer service. Any behavior that is disruptive or that inhibits or prevents Manheim Township Public Library from ensuring a safe environment or from accomplishing its mission may elicit an appropriate response to deny access to facilities and/or services.

Rules for a Safe Environment

  • Concealed weapons that are not legally licensed and open display of weapons are prohibited (Open Display of Weapons Policy and Colo. Rev. Stat. 18-12-105).
  • Sidewalks outside and passageways indoors must remain obstacle-free.
  • Library patrons must park bicycles or other vehicles only in authorized areas.
  • Use of skateboards, roller blades, roller-skates, or scooters is not allowed in the Library, on Library premises, or in common areas shared with other businesses.
  • Animals or personal transport vehicles are not permitted in the Library except as required by persons with disabilities. Programs sponsored by the Library that involve animals are permitted.
  • Smoking inside Library facilities is prohibited.  Smokers must use exterior ashtrays and receptacles and refrain from littering with cigarette butts.
  • Using alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited. Persons under the influence of alcohol or non-prescription drugs are not allowed on Library property. Approved Manheim Township Public Library events may serve alcoholic beverages.
  • Shirts and shoes are required for health reasons and must be worn at all times while in the Library.

The use of incendiary devices, such as candles, matches, and lighters, is prohibited inside the Library, unless approved by the Director.

Rules for Personal Behavior

  • Personal property brought into the Library is subject to the following:
    • Size must be limited to no larger than a student’s typical book bag or a backpack used as a book bag (approximately 10”X16”X24”).
    • The Library may limit the number of parcels carried into the Library.
    • All bags are subject to search based upon reasonable suspicion that they contain material that is in violation of Manheim Township Public Library policy or Library materials that have not been properly charged out.
    • The Library is not responsible for personal belongings left unattended.
    • The Library does not provide storage for personal property.
    • Items inappropriate to Library use, including but not limited to bicycles, wagons, shopping carts, luggage, large grocery bags, large trash bags, backpacks, bedrolls, and strollers without children are not allowed in the Library.
    • Personal possessions must not take up seating or space needed by others.
    • Personal possessions such as grocery bags, trash bags, backpacks, bedrolls, shopping bags, and luggage left outside Library facilities are subject to disposal.
  • Food must be consumed only in authorized areas.
  • Patrons must leave the Library promptly at closing time.
  • Loitering is prohibited.
  • Spitting is prohibited.
  • Sleeping or lying on the floor or furniture in the Library is prohibited.
  • Soliciting or panhandling inside the Library or on Library property is prohibited.
  • Using profane, obscene, threatening, or injurious language or gestures directed at another patron or a staff member or volunteer is prohibited.
  • Patrons may not interfere with the staff’s performance of duties. This includes:
    • Engaging in extended conversation or behavior that engages or forces the attention of staff, volunteer or patron for an inappropriate period of time;
    • Inappropriate personal comments, sexual advances, or physical and/or verbal disrespect or harassment. Harassment may include initiating unwanted conversations, impeding access to the library, stalking, prolonged staring at or following another with intent to annoy, or intentionally behaving in a manner that could reasonably be expected to annoy or disturb others, and the like;
    • Refusing to comply with requests by any member of the staff to comply with library policy.
  • Signature gathering for petitions is permitted outside the Library, but must not block a Library entrance or exit.
  • Selling merchandise without prior permission from the Director is prohibited.
  • Unreasonable use of the restrooms, including laundering, shaving, hair cutting or trimming, and bathing is prohibited.
  • The Library prohibits any activity or condition that unreasonably interferes with Library user or staff comfort, safety, use, or quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the Library, including but not limited to:harassing or threatening Library users or staff;
    • photographing Library users or staff;
    • making any loud or unreasonable noise or other disturbance such as running or talking loudly;
    • disruptive use of personal communications or entertainment devices, such as cell phones, head phones, and radios. Cell phones and pagers should be answered promptly.  Patrons should speak in low tones and keep conversations brief.  If phone calls cannot be concluded quickly, patrons should move away from reading, research, and study areas;
    • offensive body odor due to poor personal hygiene, overpowering perfume, or cologne;
    • excessive public displays of affection;
    • sexual misconduct.

Rules for the Use and Preservation of Library Materials and Property

  • Patrons must not deface, vandalize, or improperly remove Library materials, equipment, furniture, or buildings.
  • Patrons must abide by established time limitations and Manheim Township Public Library’s Acceptable Use of the Internet Policy.
  • Library phones are for staff use only.

Rules for the Safety of Children

  • Parents or caregivers must be present and responsible for the supervision of children under the age of 8.
  • Staff may restrict adult use of Children’s areas, including Children’s restrooms.
  • A child may not be photographed by anyone besides the parent or caretaker of that child.

Disciplinary Process for Library Facilities

The person-in-charge with line authority may restrict access to Library facilities with immediate dismissal of the patron from the premises, by suspending the patron’s access to Library facilities for a set period of time, or by denying access to specific services and/or programs.

Suspension of Library Privileges

The person-in-charge with line authority may suspend the Library privileges of a patron, including access to activities, services, or facilities, without prior approval of the director if the situation is a serious offense and constitutes a violation of Manheim Township Public Library policies. Examples of serious offenses include but are not limited to: verbal abuse, violence, threatening behaviors, sexual harassment, vandalism, drug sale or use or attempted drug sale or use, intoxication, theft or attempted theft, physical harassment, sexual misconduct, or any behaviors that threaten the safety and security of staff and/or patrons. The person-in-charge shall call the Police Department rather than place themselves, other staff members, or patrons in a threatening situation.

  • The person-in-charge may issue an immediate suspension order by requesting that the offending person leave the Library immediately. If the person refuses to leave Library premises, MT Police should be called – 717-664-1180 or the State Police Department could be called at the non-emergency number – 800-957-2677.  Call 911 if situation is threatening.
  • For offenses that do not require immediate suspension of privileges, the offending patron may be issued a warning letter if the repetition of the offense would be cause for suspension (example: situational anger inappropriately expressed in a disruptive manner).
  • The person-in-charge may issue a suspension of privileges letter (extended period of time) when the behavior is serious as described above or when the behavior is repetitious after a verbal warning has been issued. A copy of the suspension of privileges letter shall remain at the Library.
  •  The Library may send a letter to the patron that describes the action taken by the Library.   Since names and addresses are occasionally unavailable, suspension letters may be handed to the patron at the time of the action by the person-in-charge. In the event a person refuses to accept the suspension letter, the order will be in effect.
  • Initial suspension of privileges is for 3 months. Subsequent suspensions may be for additional 3-month periods. Long-term suspensions require notification and approval of the Director.
  • A Security Incident report shall be written immediately and forwarded to the Director for logging and review.  A copy of the suspension of privileges letter should be attached, if applicable. The report should include physical descriptions in addition to the name of the patron. Incident reports shall be written for all suspension orders, verbal actions, and warning letters.
  • After issuing the suspension of privileges letter, the person-in-charge notifies the Director within 24 hours, specifying the behavior or rule violation. The Director informs the Board of Directors via email (description of the patron, description of the behavior).
  • Library staff and Director may photograph patrons (as safety permits) and/or use photo records of patrons who have had their Library privileges suspended. The photos may be attached to the security log and kept on file at the Manheim Township Public Library.
  • The Library keeps a database of patrons whose privileges have been suspended with the effective dates.

Right of Appeal

You may appeal this decision in writing to the Director within 10 working days of the date of the letter.  Please state clearly why you believe that your library privileges should be restored.

The Director or a designee will respond to the appeal in writing within 10 working days of the date your appeal was received.

The decision of the Director’s office is final.