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Conduct in the Library Policy

Conduct in the Library
May 12, 1988
Reviewed: 01/10/07, 09/15/11, 05/15/14
Revised: 07/10/07, 10/18/07, 07/10/08, 8/9/12, 11/1213, 6/11/14


The Oelwein Public Library provides a safe, comfortable environment conducive to the use of library materials and facilities. The library is intended for the use of all members of the public. Patrons are expected to observe the rights of other patrons and staff members and to use the library for its intended purposes. Misconduct will not be allowed in the library.


Misconduct is behavior that is illegal or that:
•    interferes with the rights of individuals to use library materials, services, and premises which includes the inside and outside areas of library property
•    interferes with the ability of library staff to conduct library business, or
•    threatens the secure and comfortable environment of the library or those using the library.

Misconduct may include, but is not limited to the following:
•    Willfully annoying, harassing, or threatening another person. [Harassment is defined as any action taken or situation created intentionally to produce psychological or physical discomfort, embarrassment, or ridicule. Harassment is characterized by requests for sexual contact, unwelcome physical advances, or conduct (verbal or physical) of a nature that is intimidating, demeaning, hostile, offensive, or potentially dangerous to self or others.]
•    Any behavior that endangers or could endanger the safety or health of others.
•    Behaving in a disorderly, loud, or boisterous manner which disturbs or could disturb other patrons.
•    Using abusive or profane language.
•    Theft, vandalism, or the deliberate destruction of library materials, property, or the personal property of patrons or staff members.
•    Maliciously accessing, altering, deleting, damaging, or destroying any computers, peripherals, computer system, network, computer program or data.
•    Entering the non-public or locked areas, unless accompanied by a staff member or through prior authorization from a staff member.
•    Leaving personal items in the building. The library assumes no responsibility for any personal belongings left unattended.
•    Using personal electronic devices without earphones or with earphones at an unreasonable volume.
•    Distributing or posting material without library staff approval.
•    Picture taking or video taping of individuals unless authorized by the individuals involved or their parents if minors are present.
•    Soliciting of sales or selling to library patrons except at library-sponsored events.
•    Bringing animals into the library, except those trained to assist individuals with disabilities or for library-sponsored events.
•    Using tobacco products or smoking on the library premises.
•    Using alcohol on library premises.
•    Using the library for inappropriate purposes such as sleeping and bathing.
•    Wearing inappropriate dress such as bathing suits, no shirts, and no shoes.
•    Eating or drinking in areas not designated for these activities.
•    Possession, use, or threat of use of dangerous weapons, including all firearms. [Dangerous weapons are as defined in Section 702.7 of the Code of Iowa and include, but are not limited to any offensive weapon, pistol, revolver, or other firearm, dagger, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, or knife having a blade exceeding five inches in length.]
•    Violation of any municipal, state, or federal law or code.

Cell Phone Use:
For patron privacy and in consideration of other patrons, cell phones will be turned off or placed on vibrate when entering the building. If a call needs to be made or taken, patrons will go to the library’s main entrance or leave the building. Refusal to comply with this policy or its intent will result in the patron being required to leave the library.

No group or individual may circulate petitions in the library building. Petitions may be circulated outside the facility at a reasonable distance from the library, however, patrons must be allowed free access to the facility, and harassment or intimidation of patrons will not be tolerated.



The Library Director or delegated staff shall have the responsibility for enforcing discipline within the library and will determine misconduct. [Children age under age seven (7) must be accompanied and supervised by a responsible person at least fourteen (14) years old. It is their responsibility to supervise and monitor the behavior and safety of their children at all times.]

Enforcement of these rules may take the form of any of the following actions, depending upon the severity of the misconduct which will be determined by the staff on duty at the time.

•    Patrons who engage in misconduct will be given one warning and asked to behave in an appropriate manner.

•    Patrons who do not modify their behavior after one warning will be asked to leave the library for the rest of the day.
•    Patrons who engage in misconduct that, in the judgment of a staff member, is extreme will be ordered to leave the
      building for:

First Offense: 6 months
Second Offense: 1 year
Third Offense: permanent suspension                                                                                                    




•    If a patron appears dangerous, deliberately violates the law, is identified as a registered sex offender against a minor, or refuses to leave the library after being asked to leave, the director or the senior staff member on duty will call the police.