Behavior Policy Statement
The Township Library of Lower Southampton’s Behavior Policy is designed to protect the rights and safety of library users and staff members. It helps ensure the security of library materials, facilities, and property.
In establishing and enforcing the Behavior Policy and corresponding Banning Guidelines, the library seeks to ensure that no individual or group activity occurs that is unreasonably disturbing to others or inconsistent with library activities such as reading, studying, accessing materials and resources, and other similar conduct associated with a public library.
All library staff members are authorized to enforce the policy. Violators generally will be reminded of the policy, given a warning, and then asked to leave if a behavior does not stop. Serious or repeat behavior problems may result in immediate banning without warning. Those who are asked to leave will be banned within the framework of the Township Library of Lower Southampton Banning Guidelines.
At no time will physical force be used by any library staff member to remove someone. If a person refuses to leave, law enforcement will be called.
The expectations in this policy also apply to children. Additional expectation for children and parents are outlined in the Unattended Child Policy (CUS 3).
Members of the Bucks County Library District and system have reciprocity agreements regarding the behavior policy and banning. Banning at a member library also applies to all locations.
Toward enforcement of the policy, the library reserves the right to inspect all bags, purses, briefcases, backpacks, or other containers.
Library users must:
- Keep their belongings with them at all times. The library is not responsible for oss or theft.
- Wear shirts and shoes at all times.
Library users may:
- Use cell phones in designated areas.
- Consume peanut-free, dry snacks, such as crackers or cookies, and covered drinks in designated areas. Hot or dripping food such as pizza, hamburgers, and hoagies are not permitted. Seating areas may not be used for eating meals.
Illegal activities are prohibited. Library staff will call law enforcement to handle violations of federal or state laws and local ordinances. This includes:
- Visible impairment, or possession and use of illegal substances and consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Smoking and use of tobacco products in library buildings or areas outside buildings where second-hand smoke can enter
- Indecent exposure and sexual activity beyond non-sexual affection
- Possession of offensive weapons per PA Title CS 908*
- Theft and vandalism of library, staff, and user property
- Criminal trespass, including entry into the library while banned
Harmful, disruptive, or destructive behavior is prohibited. This includes:
- Harassment, defined as any behavior that disturbs, alarms, or intimidates another person, including:
- Loud, abusive, threatening, or insulting language
- Physical contact or attempts or threats of physical contact
- Following another person around the building or grounds
- Disruptive or unsafe behavior
- Committing individual or repeated acts that serve no legitimate purpose
- Conduct not described above, but of a similarly serious nature
- Use of Library materials, equipment, furniture, fixtures, and the building for anything other than the intended purpose
- Damage to library materials, equipment, furniture, fixtures, or the building
- Use of sound and viewing of images on computers in a way that reasonably disturbs others
- Use of the parking lot, sidewalks, or grounds for recreation bicycling, skateboarding, or other playground or sports activities
- Use of skateboards, skates, and other sports equipment in the library
- Blocking or impeding access to interior or exterior walkways, entrances, and common areas, physically or with large items
- Trespassing in restricted staff areas or camping on library property
- Campaigning, petitioning, survey-taking, soliciting, sales, distributing leaflets, and any speech or conduct that interferes with another person’s right to use the library or with staff performance of their duties
- Disregarding the reasonable direction of library staff members
Inappropriate behavior is prohibited. This includes:
- Bringing animals in the library, other than service animals; leaving animals unattended outside the library
- Excessing displays of affection
- Moving furniture or equipment without staff approval
- Loud use of electronic devices with or without headphones
- Ringing cell phones
- Not conforming to generally acceptable standards of hygiene and cleanliness, such as body odor that is sufficiently foul to be a nuisance to other library users; and wearing infested clothing or carrying infested personal effects
* “Any bomb, grenade, machine gun, sawed-off shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches, firearm specifically made or specially adapted for concealment or silent discharge, any blackjack, sandbag, metal knuckles, dagger knife, razor or cutting instrument, the blade of which is exposed in an automatic way by switch, push-button, spring mechanism, or otherwise, or other implement for the infliction of serious bodily injury which serves no common lawful purpose.” (PA Titles 18 CS 908)