Appropriate Library Use

1. The Library is supported by the taxes of the people of Columbus Junction who expect our facilities to be clean, comfortable, and safe places for selecting materials, reading, researching, studying, writing, and attending Library  or community sponsored programs and meetings. It is the policy of the Library to provide, to the extent possible, an environment which supports the Library patron in his or her search for information and in which to read or study. The extent of that support includes such qualities as a building that is well-maintained, reasonably comfortable and barrier-free; staff who are knowledgeable, responsive, and pleasant; programs, services, and materials which are relevant to this community; and a general sense of order. To this end, the Library is responsible for establishing rules of conduct to protect the rights and safety of Library patrons, volunteers, and staff, and for preserving and protecting the Library’s materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds.


2. Library patrons are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which enables their fellow patrons, staff, and themselves to accomplish their intended Library tasks in a safe, reasonably pleasant, and orderly atmosphere. Staff will take appropriate action when patron behavior causes disruption or unreasonable interference in the delivery of services. Staff respects, and will respond to, complaints from patrons, and will exercise professional judgment in taking appropriate action on a case-by-case basis.


3. Enforcement of these rules will be conducted in a fair and reasonable manner. Library staff and/or law enforcement personnel will intervene to stop prohibited activities and behaviors. Failure to comply with the Library’s established rules, regulations, and policies could result in removal from the premises and expulsion from the Library for a period of one day to one year, or in arrest or prosecution. Violations could also result in the restriction and/or termination of Library privileges, including the use of Library computers and other equipment. It is not possible to have a written policy for every conceivable issue that may arise. Common sense and respect for public facilities and those who use them must take precedence in those cases.


4. The creation and maintenance of a sense of order within our building obligates the Library to establish standards of acceptable patron behavior which staff can reasonably enforce. For the comfort and safety of patrons, volunteers, and staff, and the protection of Library property, the following actions are examples of conduct not allowed on Library property. As a minimum, the following list of specific prohibitions may be enforced by staff and/or are used by staff as general guidelines in maintaining order within the Library:

a. Engaging in any activity in violation of Federal, State, local or other applicable law or policy.

b. Carrying firearms and dangerous weapons of any type. Law enforcement exempted.

c. Being under the influence of alcohol/illegal drugs and selling, using, or possessing same.

d. Verbally or physically threatening or harassing other patrons, volunteers, or staff, including stalking, staring, lurking, offensive touching, and obscene acts.

e. Soliciting or conducting surveys not authorized by the Library.

f. Stealing, damaging, altering, or inappropriate use of Library property, including computer hardware and software, printers, copiers, phones, and other equipment.

g. Trespassing in nonpublic areas or being in the Library without permission of staff before or after Library operating hours.

h. Fighting or challenging to fight, running, pushing, shoving, or throwing things.

i. Creating or contributing to disruptive noises.

j. Gambling and group activities which are disruptive to the Library environment.

k. Using audible devices without headphones or at volumes which disturbs others.

l. Using cell phones, pagers, and other communication devices in a manner that disturbs others. Cell phone and pager audible ringers must be turned off.

m. Using restrooms for other than their intended purpose.

n. Littering.

o. Smoking, chewing, and other vaping/tobacco use in Library facilities.

p. Entering the Library barefooted, without a shirt, with offensive body odor or personal hygiene, or being otherwise attired so as to be disruptive to the Library environment.

q. Consuming food or beverages at the computers.

r. Bringing in any articles which, alone or in their aggregate, which impede the use of the Library by others.

s. Using wheeled devices in Library property or on Library grounds, except in designated areas, including skateboarding, roller-skating, bicycling, scooters, and shopping carts (exceptions i.e. wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers).

t. Lying down or sleeping in the restrooms or on any floor, couch, table, or seat in the Library, and by blocking aisles, exits, or entrances by sitting or lying down in them.

u. Neglecting to provide proper supervision of children.

v. Bringing pets or animals, other than service animals, into the Library.

w. All bags and other items are subject to inspection by staff or law enforcement personnel.

x. The Library reserves the right to limit the size and number of items brought into the Library.

y. Any other activity that is generally regarded as unacceptable to society.


Written April 2008

Adopted June 2008

Revised April 2008

Reviewed March 2009

Reviewed January 2016

Amended September 2019