Standards of Behavior

    The purpose of this policy is to ensure a positive library experience for everyone who visits any Sonoma County Library.

    1. The Sonoma County Library welcomes everyone.
    2. Everyone who visits the Library has a right to quality library service in an atmosphere that is calm, safe, and free of disturbances from others.
    3. All Library visitors are expected to be considerate of others.
    4. Failure to comply with these standards may result in loss of Library privileges.
    5. The Library retains the right to take any action necessary to ensure a safe and appropriate environment for everyone.

    1. The Library is expected to be a safe place for everyone who visits.  Library visitors shall:
      1. Obey the requests of a Library staff member or security officer.
      2. Follow all laws (including, but not limited to, those outlawing theft and defacement of Library property; possession of weapons, illegal or controlled substances, and alcohol; sexual activity in public places; harassment, or behaving in a threatening manner; the display or dissemination of child pornography, obscene material, or material that is harmful to minors).
      3. Follow all Library policies.
      4. Maintain a safe environment for children by:
        1. Ensuring that a qualified caregiver over the age of 14 closely supervises all children under the age of 8.
        2. Making certain that children do not engage in unsafe activities, such as running, climbing, standing on furniture or placing children on staff desks.
      5. Not use any tobacco or smoking products, including E-cigarettes, anywhere on the Library’s property.
      6. Not using wheeled devices in the Library:
        1. The only exceptions are assistive devices used by disabled visitors and strollers for children.
        2. Small, wheeled devices may be carried into the Library if they do not block aisles and can be stored under tables (e.g. carts, skateboards).
        3. All bicycles should be secured on outside racks, away from doors and book drops. Staff may remove bicycles not secured on the racks provided.

    2. All Library visitors are expected to use the Library appropriately and with respect.  Library visitors shall:
      1. Use the Library’s facilities, materials, and furnishings as intended. Theft, malicious damage and/or destruction of Library property are violations of the law.
      2. Leave furniture in its place.  Avoid putting feet on furniture or sitting on furniture other than a chair or couch.
      3. Animals are not allowed in the Library, with the exception of service animals and animals that are part of library-approved events.  Do not tether pets near library entrances or book drops.
      4. Use the Library’s restrooms as intended; do not use them for bathing, shaving, washing hair or laundry, or changing clothes.
      5. Do not bring food into the Library. Capped and covered non-alcoholic beverages are allowed.
      6. Follow all staff instructions:
        1. Stay in public areas of the Library unless accompanied by staff.
        2. Vacate the Library at closing time and during emergencies.
        3.  Do not enter the building when the Library is closed.

    3. All visitors shall help create an environment that allows everyone to enjoy the Library by:
      1. Keeping noise levels down to avoid disturbing others by:
        1. Lowering voices.
        2.  Using headphones on low volume. 
        3. Silencing ringing or other sounds.
      2. Behaving in a manner that does not interfere with another person’s ability to use and enjoy the Library.  Unacceptable behaviors include, but are not limited to:
        1. Soliciting.
        2. Begging.
        3. Selling.
        4. Sleeping on the premises, including entry areas and patios.
        5.  Using public computers or personal laptops in a manner inconsistent with the Library’s mission and policies. 
      3. Keeping personal items with them at all times. Staff may remove unattended items.
      4. Not monopolizing library seating, tables or equipment.
      5. Not unpacking personal belongings not necessary for library use.
      6. Leaving aisles, walkways, and entrances open, including free of electrical cords.
      7. Storing large packages or personal effects out of the way.
      8. Wearing shoes and clothing, which are required. Bare feet and bare chests are not allowed.
      9. Maintaining good personal hygiene so that body odor and excessive use of scented products do not bother or cause health-related issues.

    4. Library visitors are encouraged to report inappropriate or questionable behavior to Library staff or a security officer immediately.

    Revision adopted by the
    Sonoma County Library Commission
    May 12, 2014.