Approved by the Board of Trustees 4/26/2016

St. Joseph Public Library
Behavior Policy

The St. Joseph Public Library strives to protect the health, safety and security of its patrons, volunteers and employees and to ensure equal and equitable access to all resources services and branches.

For the comfort and safety of patrons, volunteers and employees and the protection of library property, all persons are asked to comply with the following Behavior Policy while on library property.

  1. Observe all Federal, State and local laws while on library property.
  2. Behave with kindness and consideration toward all when on library property.  The library is here to serve everyone.  Library employees are expected to behave courteously and expect to be treated courteously.
  3. Library resources, services and facilities are paid for with local tax dollars.  Please help us keep all library property clean and well maintained for the benefit of everyone.
  4. Parents and caregivers, please supervise children and keep them from disturbing others.  Children eight years old and younger must be accompanied by a parent or a caregiver.
  5. All persons should refrain from any activity on library property that interferes with the rights of others to use the library, disrupts the normal functioning of the library or could result in physical, emotional or mental injury to one’s self or others.

In accordance with Missouri State Statutes, the Library may exclude from the use of the Library any and all persons who willfully violate the Behavior Policy.

Examples of Inappropriate Behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Any behavior that is unsafe or disruptive to library use
  • Hitting and fighting
  • Eating and drinking where restricted
  • Tobacco and e-cigarette usage
  • Not wearing shoes or a shirt
  • Obscene, abusive, threatening or intimidating language
  • Loud talking and general boisterousness
  • Loitering, panhandling or soliciting
  • Staring at, or following others for no legitimate reason
  • Sexual advances to library users or staff
  • Substance abuse or public drunkenness
  • Display of drug paraphernalia
  • Prolonged sleeping
  • Bringing bedrolls or other large pieces of luggage into the library
  • Engaging staff in extended non-library related conversations
  • Possession of a weapon
  • Offensive personal hygiene
  • Personal electronic devices, including cell phones, should be used quietly in designated areas

Procedures for Decision-making and Reporting

The following steps will be taken when staff observes inappropriate behavior on library property:

1.         Any employee who observes such circumstances should report them immediately to the branch manager, assistant manager, or the designated supervisor.  In the absence of all of the above, the employee is authorized to make a decision about what to do next.  This could include calling the director.

2.         Appropriate actions on the part of the staff, except in an emergency, should begin with asking at least once the individual or individuals involved to engage in more appropriate behaviors, stating that the behavior is disturbing others, interfering with others’ use of the library, or impeding the staff’s ability to do its job.  In the case of an emergency, or in view of dangerous or threatening behavior, staff is authorized to call the police immediately, before contacting a supervisor.

3.         If the individual or individuals refuse to comply with this request, the staff is authorized to ask them to leave for the day and to invite them to return later when they are prepared to behave more appropriately.

4.         If the individual or individuals refuse to leave, behave in a threatening manner, indicate a lack of willingness or ability to respond appropriately, or in any case of emergency, staff is authorized to call the police immediately, before contacting a supervisor.

5.         If individuals are asked to leave the library or if the police are called, an incident report should be submitted to the library staff and director.

Restriction or Loss of Privileges

The library reserves the right:

  • to require anyone who engages in inappropriate behavior to leave the premises.
  • to restrict privileges of the individual for a specified period of time.
  • to ban the individual from the library for a specified period of time or permanently.