The Ypsilanti District Library is open for specific and designated 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 Ypsilanti District Library facilities in an atmosphere of courtesy, respect, and excellent service, the Library Board of Trustees has adopted this Patron Behavior Policy. The purpose of the Library Patron Behavior Policy is to assist the Ypsilanti District Library in fulfilling its mission as a community resource enriching life, stimulating intellectual curiosity, fostering literacy, and encouraging an informed citizenry.
The following rules of conduct shall apply to all buildings – interior and exterior – and all grounds controlled and operated by the Ypsilanti District Library and to all persons entering in or on the premises.
Rules for a Safe Environment
- Committing or attempting to commit an activity in violation of federal, state, or local law, ordinance or regulation is prohibited.
- Carrying weapons, except bona fide officers of government jurisdictions or individuals with a lawful permit, is prohibited.
- Possessing, selling, distributing, or consuming any alcoholic beverage, illegal drug, or drug paraphernalia is prohibited.
- Persons noticeably under the influence of any controlled substance or intoxicating liquor are not allowed on library property.
- Use of skateboards, rollerblades, roller-skates, or scooters is not allowed in the library or on library premises.
- Library patrons must park bicycles or other vehicles in authorized areas only.
- All doors and entrances must remain obstacle-free.
- Animals or personal transport vehicles are not permitted in the library other than those required by persons with disabilities or those used in law enforcement or for library programming.
- Smoking inside library facilities is prohibited and smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of any entrance. Smokers must use exterior ashtrays and refrain from littering with cigarette butts.
- Shirts and shoes are required for health reasons and must be worn at all times inside the library.
- The use of incendiary devices, including candles, matches, and lighters, is prohibited inside the library.
Rules for Personal Behavior
- Personal property brought into the library is subject to the following:
- The Library personnel may limit the number of parcels carried into the library.
- The Library is not responsible for personal belongings left unattended.
- The Library does not guarantee storage for personal property.
- Personal possessions must not take up seating or space if needed by others.
- Covered beverages and food items such as those sold in the Library Cafe may be consumed anywhere in the Library with the exception of the computer areas, the Ypsilanti Heritage Room at the Whittaker Road facility, and the Community Meeting Room at the Whittaker Road facility during specified exhibits.
- Patrons must leave the library promptly at closing time.
- Patrons shall be engaged in activities associated with the use of the Library while in the building. Patrons not engaged in reading, studying or using library materials or facilities shall be required to leave the building.
- Spitting is prohibited.
- Running is prohibited.
- Putting feet or legs on furniture is prohibited.
- Panhandling or soliciting library staff or patrons for money, products, or services inside the library or on library property is prohibited.
- Using threatening language or gestures is prohibited.
- Patrons may not interfere with the staff’s performance of duties in the Library or on Library property. This includes engaging in conversation or behavior that monopolizes or forces the attention of staff for an inappropriate period of time, inappropriate personal comments, sexual advances, or physical and/or verbal harassment.
- Campaigning, petitioning, interviewing, survey-taking, pamphleteering, canvassing are prohibited in the Library Any activity that violates the Michigan Election law shall be prohibited.
- Selling merchandise on Library property without prior permission from the Director is prohibited.
- Distributing or posting printed materials/literature on Library property not in accordance with Library policy is prohibited.
- Misuse of restrooms, including laundering, shaving, hair cutting or trimming, bathing, and sexual activity is prohibited.
- Staring, photographing, following, stalking, harassing, or threatening library users or staff while in the Library or on Library property so that it interferes with the Library patrons’ use of the Library or the ability of the staff person to do his or her job is prohibited.
- Producing or allowing any loud, unreasonable, or disturbing noises that interferes with other patron’s use of the Library or that can be reasonably expected to disturb other persons, including those from electronic, entertainment, and communication devices, such as cell phones, headphones, and radio is prohibited. Cell phones and pagers should be answered promptly. Patrons should speak in low tones and keep conversations brief. If phone calls cannot be completed quickly, patrons should move away from reading, research, and study areas.
- Offensive body odor due to poor personal hygiene, overpowering perfume, or cologne that causes a nuisance or interferes with other patron’s use of the library is prohibited.
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 the Ypsilanti District Library Internet Use Policy.
- Library phones are for staff use only.
- Library materials may only be removed from premises with authorization through established lending procedures.
- Library materials may not be taken into restrooms.
Rules for the Safety of Youth
- Parents or caregivers must be present and responsible for the supervision of children age 10 and under pursuant to the Library’s Youth Safety Policy.
- Staff may restrict Adult use of Youth areas, including Youth restrooms.
Disciplinary Process for Library Facilities
The Library Director or the Director’s designee 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 pursuant to this Policy. If necessary, the local 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 the Patron Behavior Policy that resulted in a verbal warning or a suspension of library privileges. 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 physical descriptions in addition to the name of the patron. A copy of a suspension of privileges letter should 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:
1. Initial Violation: Library users observed violating this policy (will be asked to cease the violation with a verbal warning. If the patron does not comply with the request, they will be asked to leave the building for the day. If they refuse, police may be called.
2. Subsequent Violations: The Director or the Director’s authorized designee may further limit or revoke the patron’s library privileges if infractions continue. Subsequent violations shall result in additional suspensions of increasing length.
C. Violations that Affect Safety and Security: Violation involving 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 behavior that threatens the safety and security of staff and/or patrons shall be handled as follows:
1. 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 a minimum two-week suspension. During that time, an investigation will take place. Additional time could be added. The Suspension Letter shall specify the nature of the violation.
2. 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 Director or the Director’s authorized designee, may further limit or revoke the patron’s library privileges in escalating responses, which will documented in writing. Subsequent violations of the same rule will result in additional suspensions of increasing length.
D. Reinstatement: The patron whose privileges have been limited or revoked may be asked to attend a meeting with the Director or the Director’s designee to review the Library Patron Behavior Policy before their privileges are reinstated.
Right of Appeal
Patrons may appeal any decision in writing to the Library Director within 10 working 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 10 working days of the date the appeal was received.
Any person may appeal the Library Director’s decision by sending an appeal in writing to the President of the Library Board within 10 business days.
The decision of the Library Board is final.
Patron Behavior Policy (Replaces Code of Conduct – Approved 6/27/2002)
Amended and Approved by YDL Board of Trustees – 8/25/2005
Amended and Approved by YDL Board of Trustees – 4/23/2009
Amended and Approved by YDL Board of Trustees – 8/23/2012