General Behavior Policy

In order to provide a safe environment for library use, the Pine Mountain Regional Library System has established guidelines for patron behavior. All patrons, adult or juvenile, are expected to abide by these guidelines while in the Library or on Library property. A Code of Conduct summarizing these guidelines will be displayed in all branches of the Library.

All young children must be accompanied by an adult while in the Library. Library employees have many responsibilities, and they are neither trained nor expected to assume responsibility for the care or safety of unsupervised children or dependent persons of any age in the Library.

Dependent persons may include persons incapacitated due to physical and/or mental disabilities or other conditions who are dependent on others for their safety and well-being. A parent, legal guardian, or caregiver is responsible for monitoring the activities and managing the behavior of children and dependent persons during their library visit. A caregiver is defined as an individual at least 16 years of age who acknowledges this responsibility for a child or dependent person.

If a young child is attending a Library program, an adult is required to remain in the Library throughout the program. Children who are able to work independently may be left unattended while in the Library. Parents or guardians will be held responsible for their child's behavior, even if they are not present while the child is in the Library. If a child or dependent person is left unattended after the library closes library staff will try to contact their family or caregiver. If family members or a caregiver cannot be reached, staff members will contact the local police or the Department of Family and Children's Services.

If unattended children become disruptive, they will be asked to settle down or to leave the Library. If they continue to be disruptive, library staff may contact the parents and tell them that they must come pick up their child immediately. If the parents cannot be reached, the library staff may send a letter to the parents informing them of their child's misconduct. If the misconduct continues, the parent may be asked to meet with the Director to discuss the issue.

If a patron or group of patrons (older children, teenagers or adults) are conducting themselves in such a way as to disturb others using the Library, they will be asked to settle down or to leave. If their conduct continues, library staff may contact the local police. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to: loud talking, running, shoving, throwing things, physical, verbal or sexual harassment, sexual activity and/or contact or threats. Habitual offenders will not be allowed back in the Library without the permission of the Director or his/her designee. Patrons who harass staff members are subject to the same measures as those who disturb other patrons. While patrons may be warned that their behavior can require a police visit, library staff do not need to inform patrons that the police have been contacted.

Any person who steals or defaces library materials or property may be prosecuted. Library staff reserves the right to inspect all bags, briefcases, backpacks, containers, books and any similar items. Library materials must be properly checked out at the Circulation Desk. Items such as reference materials, current periodicals, microfilm/microfiche or any other non-circulating items may not be removed from the premises.

Library furniture and equipment for public use must be used only for their intended purpose. The Library system provides meeting rooms in all four counties. These rooms must be reserved in advance. There will be no unauthorized or unscheduled group meetings or activities.

Patrons may not eat or drink while in the Library, except for the meeting room where light refreshments are allowed during scheduled meetings. Patrons may not use alcohol, tobacco or illegal substances while in the Library. Patrons are not allowed to carry, display or draw any unauthorized weapons while in the Library. Doing so will be reason for the staff to notify police.

For their own safety, patrons are asked not to enter non-public areas of the Library, such as staff work rooms, offices and storage areas, without first contacting a staff member. Patrons may not bring animals, except for service animals, into the Library.