[Michlib-l] Bad Patron Behavior

Freier, Mollie P mfreier at nmu.edu
Tue Oct 18 11:41:48 EDT 2016

We are an academic library. Our Library Code of Conduct is here: http://library.nmu.edu/about/policies/library_code_of_conduct.htm

Mary P. (Mollie) Freier
Professor and Head of Public Services
Lydia M. Olson Library
Northern Michigan University
1401 Presque Isle Avenue
Marquette, MI 49855

From: michlib-l-bounces at mcls.org [mailto:michlib-l-bounces at mcls.org] On Behalf Of aldenlib at torchlake.com
Sent: Monday, October 17, 2016 2:55 PM
To: michlib-l at mcls.org
Subject: [Michlib-l] Bad Patron Behavior

On 10/13/16, Andrea Ingmire <aing at uproc.lib.mi.us<mailto:aing at uproc.lib.mi.us>> wrote:

...We are also working on our patron code of conduct.  I'd love to see what
other libraries have in place.  I am looking for a full policy but also a
shortened version that can be handed to patrons in the moment they are
behaving badly...

Here's our policy:




The rights of an individual to use the Library shall not be abridged or denied.  A patron has the right to undisturbed use of the library materials without the interference of others in the Library.  To guarantee these rights for all persons, any person on the Library premises shall be expected to conduct himself or herself in accordance with the Library Rules of Conduct.

Patrons are free and welcome to use all areas of the Library except the office and work areas.

The Library is designed to preserve a reasonably quiet atmosphere where Library patrons may study and otherwise use Library materials without disturbance.  This policy does not prohibit quiet conversation between patrons and/or staff members or conversations required to carry on Library programs and/or business,

Library office equipment may be used only by the Library Director, staff members and/or volunteers designated by the Library Director.

The Library telephone may not be used by patrons.  Incoming calls for patrons are prohibited except in the case of an emergency.

The Library shall not be used outside of regular Library hours except for scheduled Library functions.




Pursuant to Michigan Statutes (MCL 397-206), the Alden District Library Board may exclude from the use of the Library any persons who shall willfully violate such reasonable rules and regulations as the Library Board may adopt.  Such exclusion shall occur on the orders of the Director or Director’s designee.  “Withholding of Library Privileges” is defined as meaning that an individual may not enter or use the library.

Behavior prohibited by the Helena Township Ordinances as well as Federal or State Law is also prohibited on the premises of the Alden District Library.

The Alden District Library reserves the right to establish and implement policies and procedures as needed, including, but not limited to: user registration, scheduling and regulating usage of any audio, video and computer equipment, regulating usage of library property and materials, including, without limitation, specialized equipment and/or services provided by the library and made available to the public.  Such policies and procedures are intended to make Library property and/or services available to everyone on an equitable basis, to protect the rights of staff members to conduct Library business and to safeguard the Library’s property against misuse or abuse.

The Alden District Library Board hereby adopts the following Rules of Behavior and directs the Library Director to institute the necessary proceedings of enforcement.  The Library Director is further authorized to propose additional Rules of Behavior to the Board as the need may arise.

The Alden District Library:

  1.  Prohibits the consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages on Library property.
  2.  Prohibits smoking on Library property.
  3.  Bans all weapons from Library premises, including lawfully registered concealed weapons, to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Persons who violate the above rules are subject to the withholding of Library privileges as follows:

  *   First Offense: Library privileges will be revoked for six months.
  *   Second Offense: Library privileges will be revoked for one year.

  1.  Requires patrons to wear clothing appropriate for public facilities to insure their safety and the comfort of all patrons. Proper attire includes shirts, slacks, skirts, dresses and shoes or other footwear.
  2.  Requires all library patrons to conform to acceptable standards of hygiene and cleanliness in order to prevent the disturbance of other library users and their enjoyment of the library. A library patron who displays a lack of bodily hygiene or whose odor initiates a complaint from or unduly interferes with other patrons’ and/or staff members’ use and enjoyment of the library shall be asked to leave the library until they can meet acceptable standards of hygiene and cleanliness.  Lack of hygiene includes offensive body odor, open runny sores, lice infestation, or unclean clothing, hands or feet which may soil, stain, deface or damage library property.  When such problems are corrected, the patron may re-enter the library.
  3.  Requires patrons whose perfume or other scents may trigger allergic reactions to refrain from wearing such scents in the future.
  4.  Prohibits food in the Library except in designated areas. Non-alcoholic beverages in covered containers are permissible.
  5.  Prohibits sleeping on Library property.
  6.  Prohibits the use of roller skates, roller blades or skateboards on Library property.
  7.  Prohibits all campaigning, petitioning, interviewing, survey taking, soliciting, sales or other speech or conduct which results in the disruption of normal Library activities.
  8.  Bans conversation and other sounds in louder volume than the general noise level of the area.
  9.  Bans animals from the Library, except those who assist the handicapped, at the discretion of the Library staff.
  10. Prohibits loitering.
  11. Prohibits the use of cell phones.

Persons who violate the above rules are subject to the withholding of Library Privileges as follows:

  *   First Offense: One warning, then out for the day.
  *   Second Offense: Library privileges will be revoked for one month.
  *   Third Offense: Library privileges will be revoked for one year.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, any person may, without prior notice or warning, be immediately removed from the Alden District Library if his or her presence or conduct on the premises poses an immediate and imminent danger to any person or property.

Persons whose library privileges are withheld for more than 30 days pursuant to the above rules may appeal to the Alden District Library Board of Trustees by appearing in person during the Audience Comment portion of the agenda at a special or regularly scheduled Board meeting.  This appearance must be within sixty days after the Library’s notice withholding privileges.  To ensure such persons sufficient time to address the Board, time limits placed on Audience Comments may be extended at the discretion of the Board.  The Board shall hear the appeal and respond in writing within 10 days.

Any criminal activity, including theft or vandalism of Library property, shall be immediately reported to law enforcement officials.

I post these two related policies in the library, to have ready access to it for staff, or for patrons to view.   We're a class 1, and over nine years, I have had to ask someone to leave about three times.


Susan Riegler

Susan Riegler, Director

Alden District Library

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