In order to provide resources and services to all people who visit Rogers Public Library in a manner that ensures both their safety and an atmosphere of courtesy, respect, and excellent service, the Library Board of Trustees has adopted the following Code of Conduct Policy. Its purpose is to guarantee that the Rogers Public Library is able to carry out its mission and ensure that no person or group is denied access to library facilities, programs or services due to behaviors that create an environment or atmosphere that is unsafe, disruptive, or not conducive to the Library’s mission.
Consistent with the Rogers Public Library non-discrimination policies, the enforcement of the Code of Conduct will be applied evenly, consistently, and fairly.
Access to Library facilities and/or services may be denied to any patron involved in behavior that is disruptive, constitutes a nuisance, creates an unsafe environment, or prevents RPL from accomplishing its mission.
The Library reserves the right to request patron I.D. at any time.
Personal Rules of Conduct include but are not limited to:
• Weapons of any type are prohibited.
• Use of profane, obscene, threatening, or injurious language or gestures is prohibited.
• Use of skateboards, roller blades, roller-skates, or “razor” style scooters is not allowed in the Library or on Library premises.
• Sidewalks and passageways must remain obstacle-free at all times.
• Use of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes are prohibited from all Library facilities and on all Library properties. Facilities and properties include but are not limited to parking lots, entrances, green spaces, and gardens.
• Shirts and shoes are required for health reasons and must be worn at all times while in the Library.
• Use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs is prohibited. Persons under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs are not allowed on Library property.
• Loitering is prohibited on all Library property.
• Solicitation is not allowed on Library property.
• Sleeping in the Library is prohibited.
• Patrons may not interfere with the staff’s performance of duties. This includes engaging in extended conversation or behavior that engages or forces the attention of staff for an inappropriate period of time, inappropriate personal comments, sexual advances, or physical and/or verbal harassment.
• Animals are not allowed in the Library with the exception of guide dogs, assistance dogs, and animals brought in for special programs.
The Library prohibits any activity or condition that unreasonably interferes with Library safety or use; performance of duties by Library staff; or the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the Library or Library resources. This includes but is not limited to:
• Harassing or threatening Library users or staff.
• Staring at, following, or photographing without permission Library users or staff.
• Making any loud or unreasonable noise or other disturbance such as running or talking loudly.
• Disruptive use of personal communications or entertainment devices;
• Offensive body odor due to poor personal hygiene, overpowering perfume, or cologne.
• Inappropriate public displays of affection.
• Sexual misconduct.
• Defacing or intentionally damaging Library property.
• Theft and/or attempted theft of Library property or the property of patrons and staff.
The Library reserves the right to search bundles, packages, backpacks, briefcases, purses, and other containers upon a patron entering or leaving the Library in order to protect and preserve the safety and security of property and people using the Library.
Rogers Public Library welcomes children of all ages to the Library. Library staff members are available to assist children with library materials and services. It is the responsibility of the parents or guardians to supervise their child or children at all times in the Library or on Library grounds. The Library is not a substitute for child care or a babysitting service. Failure to adequately supervise children may result in danger to the child or children and/or the disruption of other Library patrons.
For the safety and comfort of children:
• All children under 7 years shall be accompanied by a parent or caregiver at all times. Older siblings or babysitters under 16 are not acceptable substitutes for legal guardians or caretakers.
• Children between ages 7 and 11 may be left unattended for up to an hour and a half, subject to the rules and regulations of the Library. Children who have special needs related to physical or mental ability, disruptive behavior, emotional problems, lack of adequate attention span, incomplete social skills, etc. shall be attended by responsible persons at all times. Caregivers should make sure any child left unattended at the Library knows emergency contact information.
• Children 12 years and older may use the Library unattended, subject to the rules and regulations of the Library.
• If the person responsible for unattended children cannot be located within a half-hour the police will be notified and asked to pick up the child or children.
• Minors who remain at the Library after closing may be referred to the police to ensure their safety.
Any staff member may enforce this Policy by pointing out violations to patrons and requesting compliance. A Library Department Head or person-in-charge of a designated service area may restrict access to Library facilities with immediate dismissal of the patron from the premises, by suspending the patron’s access to Library facilities for a set period of time or by denying access to specific services and/or programs.
Suspension of Library Privileges
A Library Department Head or the person-in-charge may suspend the Library privileges of a patron, including access to materials, activities, services, or facilities without prior approval of the Library Administration if the situation is a serious offense and constitutes a violation of Rogers Public Library policies. Examples of serious offenses include, but are not limited to: verbal abuse, violence, threatening behavior, sexual harassment, theft or attempted theft, or any behaviors that threaten the safety and security of staff and/or patrons. The person-in-charge shall call the Police Department rather than place themselves or others in a threatening situation.
• The person-in-charge may issue an immediate suspension order by requesting that the offending person leave the Library immediately.
• The person-in-charge may issue a warning letter to the offending patron for offenses that do not require immediate suspension of privileges (example: situational anger inappropriately expressed in a disruptive manner).
• The person-in-charge may issue a suspension of privileges order when behavior is serious and/or repeated after a verbal warning has been issued. The time of suspension will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the number of times the patron has been suspended previously. Suspension orders will be issued in writing when possible.
Right of Appeal
A patron with suspended privileges may appeal a suspension in writing to the Library Director within 14 working days of the date of the letter. The patron must state clearly why he/she believes that his/her privileges should be restored.
The Library Director or a designee will respond to the appeal in writing within 14 working days of the date the appeal was received. Privileges will remain suspended throughout the appeals process.
If the patron is not satisfied with the Library Director’s decision, he/she may appeal to the Library Board of Trustees at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting. He/she must appear in person to make this appeal. The decision of the Board of Trustees is final.