PATRON RESPONSIBILITY AND CONDUCT POLICY

Article 8, section 9 of the Michigan Constitution provides that Michigan residents shall have available public libraries “under regulations adopted by governing bodies thereof.’” It is the intention of the Romulus Library Board to create and maintain an atmosphere that allows all users to exercise their constitutionally protected right to receive information. To that end, the Romulus Library Board will maintain a safe and healthy environment and an atmosphere of courtesy, respect and excellent service. This policy sets forth the Romulus Library Board’s regulations regarding use of and access to the Romulus Public Library.

General Rules and Regulations

  • Eating in any public area, except as allowed by meeting room rules and regulations, is prohibited.
  • Drinks must be kept in a covered container away from computers. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
  • Smoking of any kind, including the use of e-cigarettes, is strictly prohibited inside the Library building and anywhere on Library grounds that is within 25 feet of any exit/entrance to the Library building.
  • Animals may not enter the library, with the exception of service animals that are aiding the disabled or animals involved in library programs.
  • Unauthorized solicitations for any reason are prohibited.
  • Skateboards, rollerblades, bicycles and other such devices are not allowed in the library. Bicycles are to be parked in the bike rack provided.
  • Cell phone ringers are to be turned off upon entering the library. Calls are to be taken outside the library so as not to disturb others.
  • Patrons are not allowed in library offices and/or other non-public areas unless accompanied by library staff or by prior arrangement with the director.
  • Patrons may not remain in the building after its regular closing hours.
  • Shirts and shoes are required in the library.
  • Patrons may not violate City rules and ordinances, State and Federal Laws and specific board policies.

Rules of Behavior

  • Engaging in loud, aggressive, or boisterous conduct is not allowed.
  • Patrons may not interfere with the staff’s performance of duties in the Library or on Library property. This includes engaging in conversation that monopolizes staff time for an inappropriate period of time, inappropriate personal comments, sexual advances, harassment, threatening behavior or physical and/or verbal harassment.
  • Patrons may not damage or deface public property, including library materials.
  • Patrons may not improperly or dangerously use or remove library materials or equipment.
  • No running or jumping in the library.
  • Patrons may not use, sell, distribute or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Patrons shall not use profane, obscene or injurious language in the library, cause a disturbance nor be a Disorderly Person.

In order to provide a safe and efficient atmosphere in which to use the Library, the Board further authorizes the director or other staff member to limit the number of patrons sitting at a table in order to control noise or other disruptive behavior. This policy does not prohibit quiet conversation between patrons and /or staff members or conversations required to carry on library business. It is designed to preserve a reasonable, quiet atmosphere where all library patrons may study and otherwise use library materials without disturbance. Anyone disturbing patrons or staff may be asked to leave the premises.

In addition, it is the policy of the Romulus Library Board to:

  • Ban all weapons from Library premises, including lawfully registered concealed weapons, to the fullest extent of the law.
  • Prohibit all campaigning, petitioning, interviewing, survey-taking, soliciting or sales, or other speech or conduct which disrupts library activities. The director may make exceptions to this rule when such activity may benefit the library.
  • Prohibit the use of photography, film, or television equipment without the permission of the director.
  • Authorize the director or staff member in charge to summon police assistance if necessary.

Unaccompanied Children

Although the Library Board recognizes the importance of library services for children, it also acknowledges that it is not safe for minor children to be left unattended in any public place. Library staff is not responsible for the care of minor children while they are in the library. For the safety and well-being of children and to avoid raising serious legal and liability problems for parents/caregivers, children may not be left unattended in the library or on library grounds. Therefore, the Romulus Library Board enacts the following policies:

Children age twelve (12) and under MUST be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian while in the library and/or on library grounds.

If a child is identified by a library staff member as possibly being unaccompanied, the staff member may:

  • Ask the child for his or her name and where the parent or accompanying adult is
  • Look for a parent or adult guardian in the library
  • Attempt to determine the parent or adult guardian’s phone number, if the parent or adult guardian cannot be found.
  • Attempt to call absent parent or adult guardian and instruct them to come to the library to get their child
  • If no one can be reached the police will be contacted immediately

Upon the appearance of the parent or adult guardian, the director or staff member in charge will talk with the adult, informing him or her of the dangers involved with leaving a minor unattended and notifying them of the Library Board Policy regarding unaccompanied children. Such incidences will be documented and kept on file in the library.

Repeat offenses may result in referral to the Library Board and/or to Michigan Social Services.

Violation of the Policy

Any violation of any of the foregoing regulations shall be cause for any patron to be expelled from the premises. The Library Director, or his or her authorized designee, is authorized to terminate any user’s access to the library if the user has failed to comply with the library’s Patron Responsibilities and Conduct Policy and/or related rules.

  • Initial Violation: Users who are observed violating the Patron Responsibilities and Conduct Policy will be asked to cease the violation with a verbal warning. If the user does not comply with the request, the user’s access to the library shall be terminated for the day. If the user refuses, the police may be called, and the user’s access to the library may be terminated for a longer period as determined by the Director or Director’s authorized designee.
  • Subsequent Violation: The Director or Director’s authorized designee may further limit or revoke the patron’s library privileges if infractions continue. Such limitation or revocation shall be in writing specifying the nature of the violation. Subsequent violations of the same rule shall result in additional suspensions of increasing length.
  • Violations Affecting Safety and Security: If the violation of the library’s Patron Responsibilities and Conduct Policy affects safety or security, or is a violation of law, the library has the right to immediately call the police and terminate the user’s library access or other library privileges without complying with the procedures outlined above. Illegal acts involving library use may be subject to prosecution.
  • Reinstatement: The patron whose privileges have been limited or revoked shall attend a meeting with the Director or the Director’s designee to review the Patron Responsibilities and Conduct Policy before their privileges may be reinstated. The Director or the Director’s designee has the authority to determine if the patron will be reinstated with full library privileges, partial library privileges or if the suspension of library privileges will continue for a longer period of time or indefinitely.

Any user who is denied access to the library may file a written appeal of the Director’s or Director’s authorized designee’s decision by sending an appeal in writing to the president of the Library Board within 10 business days of the violation. The Library Board will render their decision within 60 days of receipt of the appeal. The decision of the Library Board is final.

Adopted by the Romulus Library Board at the January 23, 2012 board meeting, amended 9/8/2014; amended 2/17/2016.