Code of Conduct
Welcome to the Billerica Public Library. The Library has an obligation to its patrons to maintain a positive atmosphere for reading, studying, research, and the pursuit of lifelong learning. Library patrons are expected to use the library, including its facilities, grounds, resources and materials, in a responsible, appropriate, and courteous manner. The library staff realizes that the library will be noisier at busy times. Reasonable quiet is expected, especially in study areas. No patron may disturb other patrons using the library.
The Code of Conduct, available at any service desk, is for the comfort and protection of all. Persons who fail to follow the library’s rules or who engage in unacceptable conduct will be required to leave the facility. Repetitive violation could mean permanent exclusion from the library.
All bags and other articles are subject to inspection by library personnel. These inspections are intended to prevent theft of materials. The library reserves the right to limit the size and number of items brought into the library.
Respect toward the library, its staff and other patrons:
- No loud talking or shouting
- Use of obscene or abusive language will not be tolerated.
- Do not play audio equipment so that others can hear it.
- Smoking is not allowed in the building or within 100 feet of the entrances.
- Seating is limited to the number of persons for whom the furniture is designed.
- Sleeping is not allowed in the library.
- Bicycles are not allowed in the library or at the entrances. All bicycles must be placed in the rack provided to the rear of the building.
- Skating of any kind (ie. rollerblading, skateboarding, heelys, etc.) is prohibited in the library or on the grounds.
- Shirts and shoes must be worn at all times.
- Entering the library with offensive odors as a result of a lack of personal hygiene is not allowed if it is disruptive to the library environment.
- Non-alcoholic beverages in lidded, capped or pop-top containers may be consumed anywhere in the library.
- Food is permitted in the café area only.
- Cell phones must be turned off or to vibrate mode before entering the library. Talking on cell phones is only permitted in the café area and in Study Rooms. Phone conversations, where permitted, are subject to the library’s policies prohibiting loud talking and noticeable noise that can be heard outside of Study Rooms.
- Begging, panhandling, petitioning, soliciting, or loitering in or outside the library building is not allowed.
- Playing in or on the elevator or playing with the elevator telephone is prohibited and may violate the law.
- Running, horseplay, general rowdiness and throwing objects in the library are not allowed.
- Sexual harassment or misconduct will not be tolerated.
- Use of computers to view obscene or pornographic Internet sites is prohibited. (Please see Internet Acceptable Use Policy)
- Animals except for assistance dogs are not allowed in the library.
- No conduct deemed by library staff to be disruptive or offensive.
Children’s Room Guidelines
- The Children’s Room is reserved for use by children from birth through age 11 or grade 5, their parents or guardians, and adults interested in children’s literature. For the safety of children in the library, older patrons unaccompanied by a child may enter the Children’s Room to obtain books or other materials but extended browsing is not encouraged, and library staff may at their discretion request that they leave the children’s area.
- Children’s Room computers are intended for use by children through age 11 or grade 5 and their caregivers. Children age 12, teens and adults seeking access to the Internet or other computer services may use computers available in other areas of the library.
- Please make sure your young children are properly supervised and never left unattended. The Library cannot assume responsibility for the care or supervision of children. (See Policy on Child Safety).
Consequences of Disruptive Behavior
It is the policy of the Billerica Public Library to provide a safe and appropriate environment both within the library and on library grounds. When the behavior of a patron constitutes a disruption which interferes with the use of the library by other patrons or which interferes with a staff member’s completion of his/her duties, the following steps will be taken:
- Patrons who are behaving inappropriately will be given one warning either verbal or written by staff and asked to adhere to the Code of Conduct.
- Patrons who refuse to behave after one warning will be asked to leave the library building and grounds and not return until the next business day. Repeat offenders may be asked to leave for a longer period of time
- In cases in which a patron poses a clear danger to himself or others, deliberately violates the law, or refuses to leave the library after being instructed to do so by staff, the police will be called to handle the situation.
- A patron who vandalizes, steals, or destroys any library material, equipment or other library property will forfeit all library privileges, up to and including permanent revocation of privileges, and will be subject to financial liability for damages.
Library staff will document all evictions and police notifications by submitting an incident report.
If a patron is asked to leave for an extended period of time, a criminal trespass notice will be mailed to their home and filed with the police department. Any patron on criminal trespass notice who enters the building or grounds during that time will be subject to arrest.
Any individual subject to disciplinary action, including but not limited to revocation or suspension of library privileges, may appeal the decision to the Library Trustees within 30 days of such decision. The Library Trustees require that all appeals be in writing.
Revised and adopted by vote of the Board of Library Trustees