All are welcome in Essex Public Library and everyone should feel comfortable while using library resources. In order to provide an atmosphere that is welcoming, safe, and respectful, the Library Board of Trustees approved rules for patron behavior. The following activities are prohibited:

1. Illegal activities
All library users must follow federal, state, and local laws, ordinances, and regulations while on the property.

2. Destructive behavior
Theft, vandalism, or mutilation of any and all Library property is punishable by law.

3. Abusive or harassing behavior
The Library has a policy of zero tolerance for threats, abuse, harassment, and acts of violence. Any person engaging in such behaviors toward staff or patrons will be immediately ejected. Using offensive or abusive language or acting or behaving disrespectfully towards a Library employee, volunteer, or patron will not be tolerated.

4. Unsafe behavior
Unsafe behavior, including roughhousing, climbing on furniture, running, skateboarding, or other potentially injurious actions, is prohibited.

5. Bringing animals into the Library
For the comfort of all library users, pets and animals, other than service animals, are not allowed in the Library unless they are part of a library-sponsored event.

6. Leaving children unattended
The Library holds parents responsible for the supervision and conduct of their minor children when they are using the Library. We encourage parents and caregivers to accompany children to the Library. A parent/caregiver must remain within conversational or visual distance of his/her child(ren) under the age of 8 at all times. Any minor who has been unattended at closing time may be allowed to use a business telephone to call for a ride. If a parent or caregiver does not respond, police will be called.

7. Disruptive Behavior
Behaviors that disrupt library operations or prevent others from being able to utilize library resources are not allowed. This includes but is not limited to:
– Loud phone conversations
– Excessively loud headphones or sounds from a computer or other device
– Lack of hygiene including pervasive body odor
– Cursing and obscene language
– Refusing to leave at closing time
– Monopolizing or misusing the restrooms

8. Smoking or using other tobacco products in the building

9. Sleeping

10. Engaging in any sexual contact, activities or conduct

11. Inappropriate Dress
Dress must be appropriate for a public setting. Shirts and shoes should be worn. Bathing suits are not allowed.

12. Soliciting or Campaigning
Soliciting and campaigning is prohibited, including distributing pamphlets or flyers without permission from library staff. Selling goods on library grounds is not allowed unless approved by the director.

13. Eating
To prevent disruptive sounds and smells, pest problems, and messy spills, eating is not allowed in the library, except in the meeting room or as part of a library-sponsored event. Drinking from closed beverage containers is acceptable in general reading areas. Beverages are not allowed near public computers or in the Genealogy Room.

Patrons who fail to comply with this policy may be asked to leave the Library building and Library property for the rest of the day. Continuing problems, or extreme misconduct, may result in suspension from the Library building and Library property, on recommendation of the director. Extreme cases of misconduct will result in immediate expulsion. Library staff shall contact the police when necessary. Any patron whose privileges have been denied may have the decision reviewed by the Library Board of Directors.

This policy will be posted in public view, and copies will be distributed to patrons upon request.
Approved by the Essex Public Library Board of Directors on April 25, 2018.