Code of Conduct

The library attempts to provide a pleasant, orderly facility conducive to effective use of library materials and services. We want people to use our facilities frequently and to take full advantage of available materials, resources, and programs in an atmosphere that provides a positive and welcoming experience for all library visitors. We are unable to provide space for work or study by groups or individuals not using library materials or services.

This Code of Conduct has been adopted for the comfort and safety of all library visitors. It shall be posted at strategic places in the library and courteously and firmly enforced by library staff. We ask your cooperation in maintaining a pleasant atmosphere, conducive to the effective use of library materials and services. The following behaviors are not permitted in the library or on library property.

  1. Damage to or theft of library materials, equipment, or property; theft of the property of library visitors or staff.
  2. Misusing library computer equipment, including reprogramming or altering settings or using the Internet in a way that is in violation of the library’s Internet Use Policy.
  3. Eating or drinking, except for refreshments served as part of a library event.
  4. Making unreasonable noise (speaking loudly, singing, snoring, talking on a cell phone, and listening to music at a volume noticed by others); sleeping in the library.
  5. Using profane, obscene, or abusive language; racial, sexual, or ethnic epithets toward library visitors or staff.
  6. Possessing firearms, knives, or other items deemed dangerous by library staff.
  7. Provoking arguments, fighting, and/or arranging fights on or off premises. Behaving in a loud or rowdy manner.
  8. Harassing other library visitors and/or staff (deliberate or repeated behavior that is intimidating, offensive, and/or hostile) in a manner that impacts use of the library and/or staff work performance. Harassment may include initiating unwanted conversations or interfering with access to the building by congregating in or near entrances, exits, and stairways.
  9. Loitering, alone or in a group.
  10. Using emergency exits for non-emergency departures.
  11. Entering areas designated “Staff.”
  12. Leaving children unattended inside or outside the library, especially at closing time.
  13. Allowing children in one’s care to behave disruptively or destructively.
  14. Wearing inadequate or insufficient clothing (shirts and shoes, please).
  15. Exhibiting bodily hygiene so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to others.
  16. Soliciting, selling, or proselytizing, whether for personal gain or charitable purposes.
  17. Smoking and use of tobacco products in the library and on library property.
  18. Using, selling, or being under the influence of drugs (including alcohol) while on library property.
  19. Behaving in a way suggestive of being under the influence of alcoholic, hallucinogenic, or other controlled substances.
  20. Monopolizing/obstructing space, seating, tables, or equipment to the exclusion of others.
  21. Leaving personal items unattended in the library or on library property.
  22. Bringing animals into the library, except for registered service animals or animals featured in special library events.
  23. Bringing into the library carts, wagons, luggage, backpacks, purses, trash bags, or other personal property that cannot fit under a chair.
  24. Videotaping or photographing library visitors without prior authorization from the Director or the Librarian/Supervisor in charge.
  25. Distributing literature, taking surveys, or asking individuals or staff to sign petitions or similar activities, except as part of special events sponsored by the library.
  26. Running, skateboarding, rollerblading, bicycling, or “scootering” on library property; playing on outside ramps, walls, and walkways. Skateboards, basketballs, or other athletic equipment brought into the library must fit under a chair.
  27. Engaging in inappropriate displays of touching, affection, or sexual activity.
  28. Misusing restroom facilities, such as bathing, shaving, cutting hair, washing clothes, or using gender-inappropriate restrooms.

If you are confronted with the violation of any of these rules, please inform a staff member immediately.

Library staff are required to bring to an individual’s attention any act or omission which violates the Code of Conduct and related library policies. The person exhibiting inappropriate behavior will be asked to change his or her behavior to conform to the Code of Conduct. If such a change is not evident or forthcoming, that person will be asked to leave the library and library grounds. Failure to leave, if asked, may result in the police being called or a possible charge of criminal trespass. Depending on the severity of the violation, individuals who have been asked to leave the building may be evicted and barred from returning to the library for varying periods of time. Individuals who have been evicted may be required to discuss the violation with the Librarian/Supervisor or Director before being readmitted. Juveniles may be required to bring a parent or guardian for such a conference.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees, Haverhill Public Library, February 17, 2011