The Great Bend Public Library strives to provide the highest level of service to all library users. The following rules are set in place to protect the right of library customers to enjoy a safe environment, conducive to the use of library materials and services. The library is a “limited public forum” created for the specific purpose of providing public access to materials and resources.
It is the policy of the Library to ensure that a positive and safe environment is maintained at all library programs and facilities. Our goal is to provide an atmosphere in which mutual respect and dignity is maintained for all individuals. Customers not engaged in reading, studying, library programs or the use of library services may be asked to leave the library premises.
In the operation of our libraries, the Library relies upon the Customer Conduct Policy to maintain a safe and orderly library. To enforce the Rules of Conduct, we will follow a series of progressive disciplinary steps or, if the offense is serious enough, one violation may result in suspending a customer from The library for a specified period of time.
No person shall engage in conduct that violates the law. The library will uphold all federal and state laws, and also local ordinances in regard to public behavior, including but not restricted to the following:
1. Threatening or physically harming themself, other customers or staff
2. Stealing library materials, property or equipment, including the removal of librarymaterials from the building without properly checking out or receiving authorization
3. Damaging library materials, property or equipment
4. Possessing or consuming alcohol or illegal drugs, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
5. Smoking or all other uses of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, and other electronic vaping devices, within 10 feet of the library
6. Blocking library entrances and exits or obstructing aisles and passageways.
7. Indecent exposure, exhibitionism, lewd and lascivious acts
Customers shall respect the rights of other customers and staff, and shall not engage in behavior so as to unreasonably disrupt another customer’s use of the library or disrupt an employee’s operation of the library by:
1. Talking loudly or making noise or behaving in a manner which reasonably can be expected to disturb other persons. Cell phones may be used outside of quiet zones.
2. Unnecessary staring at another person with the intent to annoy or harass that person.
3. Verbal abuse or harassment of staff or customers.
4. Use of profanity or other inappropriate language.
5. Following another person through the building or around the premises with the intent to annoy that person.
6. Violating the library’s guidelines on photography and video-recording in the library. Individuals or groups that wish to take photos or video-recordings in the library should talk to library staff.
7. Petitioning, panhandling or distributing unauthorized materials on library premises.
8. Soliciting funds or offering any goods or services for sale (unless authorized by the director in conjunction with library sponsored programs and activities.)
9. Maintaining bodily hygiene that is so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to other persons in the library.
10.Sleeping in the library.
11.Bringing animals into the library (except service animals.)
12.Using restrooms for washing clothes or bathing.
13.Having food other than small packaged snack foods, or having beverage containers without lids.
14.Having food and beverage near computers and equipment.
15.Behaving in any way or manner that can reasonably be expected to disturb other customers or staff.
16.Adults with children in their charge are the only adults allowed to use the restrooms located in the children’s area.
Customers are required to:
1. Wear appropriate attire. Shirts and footwear are required to enter the building.
2. Be responsible for their personal items. The library is not responsible forcustomers’ personal items.
3. Comply with the library’s Internet Access and Public Computer Safety policy.
4. Comply with the library’s Unattended Child policy. All children under 10 years of age and patrons of any age having special needs related to physical or mental ability requiring special accommodations shall be attended and adequately supervised at all times by an accompanying adult, age 16 or older. Parents and adults accompanying children are responsible for their children’s behavior while in the library.
5. The Children’s and Teen areas of the library are specifically designed to serve the needs of our younger patrons. Adults in these areas not supervising children or searching for youth materials will be asked to use other areas of the library.
6. Promptly leave the building at closing time or as instructed by staff in an emergency.
A primary mission of the Great Bend Public Library is to provide a positive, safe, and convenient facility for patrons and staff. We encourage visits by children and it is our desire to make these visits both memorable and enjoyable for each child and their families. The library is open for use to the general public and staff cannot be responsible for the safety and well being of children.
Although staff are available to assist and provide general guidance, the library does not provide childcare services. Children are encouraged to use the library for homework, recreational reading and attending programs. Staff is happy to help children use the library for finding materials and by providing programs.
Attaining the desired and appropriate environment for children requires the communication and cooperation of both staff and parents.
A parent or an adult accompanying a child is always invited and encouraged to attend library events along with their child. If the accompanying adult selects not to attend library events with their child, the accompanying adult is expected to remain in the library building and immediately join the child at the end of the program.
Children should know how to reach an adult at all times. Children will be given the opportunity to use a library telephone to call a parent or caregiver to inform them of the circumstances. If the child cannot contact the parent, the police may be called to pick up the child.
Inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated. Staff will ask all library patrons, including children to comply with library rules or instructions. Children whose behavior is disruptive to library rules and instructions will be asked to leave the library grounds. Children who demonstrate repeated disruptive behavior in violation of this policy and the Customer Conduct policy may have their library privileges suspended.
Parents should be aware of circumstances for unexpected closings of the library (storms, power outages, etc.). Library hours of operation are posted on signs and handouts.
Staff will report as soon as possible to their supervisor any incident involving an unattended child in the library, any incident of parental inquiry or any police report concerning the presence or safety of an unattended child while in the library.
Children-Unattended at Closing
Children left unattended at closing will be invited by a library employee to call a parent. At 5 minutes after closing, such child will be treated by the library employee as abandoned and as a child in need of care and the police will be notified and requested to take charge of an abandoned child in need of care. Staff will not provide transportation for children who have been left at the library.
Staff will ask children who are being disruptive to follow the Customer conduct policy, or they may suggest alternative activities. If the disruptive behavior continues the staff will inform the parents that their children are disturbing others. The family will be asked to leave if chaperones refuse or are unable to control their children.
Loss of Library Privileges
The library has the right to deny use of the library (including facilities and services) to those violating library rules and it also has the right to deny future library privileges. Customers who display inappropriate behavior as identified in this policy will be asked to stop and may be required to leave the library for the remainder of the day.
A violator with repeated offenses, multiple offenses, or one-time serious offenses will be banned from the library for an extended period of time.
Permanent banning for unacceptable behavior may be authorized by the director or director’s designee and will be used when repeated attempts to correct unacceptable behavior have failed or serious offenses have occurred.
A violator who refuses to leave under these circumstances or who returns to the library during the defined period of the ban is trespassing, and staff will seek assistance from the police.
Right of Appeal
There may be times when customers disagree with library decisions, policies or actions. Customers may appeal actions of the library in a variety of manners, including but not limited to, speaking with staff or the director, email or letters to the director.
Problems not resolved to a customer’s satisfaction may be appealed, first to the library director, then to the library board.
Effective Date: 4-9-18Revision Date:Reviewed and Approved: 4-9-1