Library Behavior Policy
The St. Helena Public Library strives to provide inclusive experiences for all individuals, regardless of race, religion, creed, color, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical or mental disability, military or veteran status, citizenship, or housing status. Any behavior that reduces or interferes with others’ equitable access to library materials, services, and spaces – including acts of racism or hate speech – will not be tolerated.
A. MAINTAINING A SAFE LIBRARY ENVIRONMENT
Because the St. Helena Public Library is used by hundreds of people every day, it is important to have a clear, common understanding of approporaite behavior at the Library. The essential behavior while using the St. Helena Public Library is to be considerate of others. The Board of Trustees has established the following rules of conduct for the comfort and protection of all who work in and use the Library.
- Any behavior that is dangerous to person or property is not permitted.
- Children under the age of seven must be attended by an adult or caregiver at all times. The caregiver must be at least 12 years old and sufficiently mature to supervise child(ren). Parents, not Library staff, are responsible for the behavior and safety of their children using the Library.
- The children’s area is intended to be used by children and adults accompanying children or working with children’s materials.
- Shopping carts, bicycles, skateboards, scooters or similar bulky articles may not be brought into the building. Baby strollers and those articles necessary to assist individuals who have disabilities are permitted.
- Shoes and shirts must be worn while on Library premises.
- Weapons of any kind are prohibited on library property. (California Penal Code Section 171b)
- Running, contact sports, climbing or swinging on furniture, standing on chairs, placing small children on tables or counters are all potentially hazardous to the individual and to property and, therefore, are not permitted.
- Smoking is not permitted.
B. MAINTAINING AN ENVIRONMENT CONDUCIVE TO LIBRARY USE
- Any behavior or activity that interferes with Library user or staff comfort, safety, use or enjoyment of the Library is prohibited. This may include, but is not limited to, talking loudly, using abusive language, using personal listening or entertainment devices that disturb others, running, soliciting, emitting over-powering scents or odors; and game playing that disturbs others.
- Starring at, following, or photographing Library users or staff is prohibited. Photography is allowed when authorized by library staff.
- Harassment, verbal abuse, cursing, threats and fighting are prohibited.
- The solicitation of signatures or contributions for noncommercial or nonprofit purposes is not permitted except when authorized by the Library Director or designated staff.
- Selling or soliciting inside the Library, except by Library support groups or as a part of a Library-sponsored event is prohibited.
- Using electronic devices in a manner that disturbs others is prohibited.
- Violating the Library’s Internet & Electronic Information Use Policy or other Library policies is prohibited.
- Food may not be consumed in the Library except as allowed at library-approved events. Water bottles with lids and other closed containers for liquids are allowed. Food and drinks are not allowed in the California Room.
- Theft of or defacing library materials or other library property is against the law (California Penal Code Section 594).
- Service animals assisting the disabled and other companion animals are welcome in the library provided they are well-behaved, leashed (lead no longer than 6 feet), and do not impede the use of library facilities and services by others. Library staff reserves the right to ask that any animal be removed from the premises if its presence or behavior is interfering with the comfort of others in their use of library services.
- Use of public restrooms for bathing and/or laundry and use of other public areas for personal grooming is prohibited.
- Library users are expected to respect library property, staff, and other users.
C. ENFORCEMENT OF RULES
The Library Director and his/her designated staff are authorized to interpret these rules in accordance with applicable law and to ensure appropriate behavior of all persons in the Library facilities. Persons found to be violating these rules will be asked to discontinue that activity. If they continue, they may be asked to leave the library facility. If they refuse, police assistance may be sought by Library staff.
Approved by Library Board of Trustees January 2006, updated August 9, 2023