RULES OF CONDUCT
The Board of Trustees has adopted the following Rules of Conduct in order to create and maintain a safe and welcoming environment. Appropriate use of the library includes activities such as selecting materials, doing research or studying, attending programs and meetings, using BHPL’s computers and wireless, reading and quiet conversation. Inappropriate behavior is any behavior which interferes with the ability of others to use the library, causes damage to library property, disrupts the normal functioning of the library or results in unsafe conditions.
Please refrain from the following behaviors and activities on library property:
- Talking loudly, making noises or engaging in disruptive activities
- Interfering with another person’s use of the library building or with library staff’s performance of their duties
- Verbally or physically abusing or threatening other patrons or staff
- Eating is prohibited. Drinking is allowed only from containers with lids. No drinking is permitted near library computers.
- Using personal electronic devices (cell phones, laptops, tablets, etc.) or library-owned equipment in a manner that is disturbing to others
- Bringing animals into the library, with the exception of service animals
- Misusing the restrooms
- Soliciting, panhandling, petitioning, or distributing handouts.
- Taking photographs without the approval of the Library Director.
- Inappropriate attire – shirts and shoes must be worn
- Offensive bodily hygiene which constitutes a nuisance to others in the library and interferes with their use of the facility
- Damaging or stealing library materials or property
This policy will be enforced in conjunction with policies governing computer/Internet use. Any patron violating these policies (or local, state or federal regulations) will be advised that their behavior is unacceptable. Depending on the severity of the violation, the Police may be called for assistance.
If the unacceptable behavior persists, the patron will be asked to leave library property for the remainder of that day; for a second offense, the patron will be asked to remain off library property for the next day also; and, for a third offense, for one week. Repeat offenders may be directed to leave without repeat warnings. If warranted by the severity of the problem behavior, library privileges will be revoked for a specific time period established by the Director and Board of Trustees.
All staff on duty are empowered to enforce the Rules of Conduct and, as necessary, to call the police. Rulings made by staff other than the Director will be in effect for the remainder of the day or until the Director or Board President is consulted.
POLICY ON LIBRARY USE BY YOUNG PEOPLE
Berkeley Heights Public Library is a place where people of all ages are welcome, children as well as adults. BHPL encourages regular visits as a family activity to introduce young children to the resources and materials available, as well as promoting responsible and appropriate library use. Parental involvement is encouraged with older children to assist with the selection of reading and viewing materials for educational and recreational use, as well as reinforcing responsible use of the library facility. BHPL staff expects the cooperation of parents/guardians/caregivers in creating and maintaining, both inside and outside, a welcoming atmosphere for all library users.
Parents/guardians/caregivers must be aware that BHPL is a public building and modern problems such as stranger-danger are a concern. Library staff cannot assume responsibility for the care, monitoring and supervision of children or their interactions with other people in the building. Parents/guardians/caregivers retain that responsibility. BHPL staff should not be placed in the position of acting as babysitters.
Guidelines for young people and parents/guardians/caregivers:
- Children 6 years of age and younger: a parent/guardian/caregiver must remain on the same level as the child at all times and be immediately accessible. This includes story times and other programs.
- Children ages 7-8: a parent/guardian/caregiver must remain in BHPL for the entire visit. The child must be informed when the parent/guardian/caregiver moves to a different level or location within the building.
- Children 9-12 years of age are welcome to use BHPL unattended, but should not be left unsupervised for extended periods of time. These children should be able to reach parents/guardians/caregivers by telephone if necessary.
- If Library staff is aware of a child left unattended at closing, whether it is the regular closing time or an unforeseen closing, an attempt will be made to notify the parents/guardians/caregivers by telephone. If no one can be reached by telephone or no one can arrive within 15 minutes, the Police Department will be notified to transport the child to the Police Department to await pick-up. A note will be left on the Library’s doors indicating where the child has been taken.
- Parents will be notified by telephone if their children are not abiding by BHPL’s Rules of Conduct or are not adhering to BHPL’s Policy on Library Use by Young People or any applicable Internet policies.
- If a medical emergency arises and there is cause to believe a child’s health or safety is in danger, staff will call 911 immediately and will not accept responsibility for first contacting a parent/guardian/caregiver.
- During the school year, students using BHPL during the school day must be accompanied by an adult.
Adopted 11/10/93, modified 5/14/2018