Torrington Library Behavior Policy
The Torrington Library is dedicated to providing a safe, welcoming and comfortable environment for all library visitors. The purpose of the Policy is to establish a code of conduct and define behavior that is deemed inappropriate for the library environment. The Torrington Library is private, not public, property. Visitors to the library are expected to respect the rights of others and to cooperate with library staff in maintaining a secure, comfortable and reasonably quiet environment. Library staff will interact with visitors with the same respect and courtesy they expect in return.
The Torrington Library Behavior Policy shall be prominently posted in the Library. Violations of the Policy will result in varying levels of action that may range from asking the visitor to leave the Library for the remainder of the day or for a longer period, to the visitor’s permanent loss of all library privileges, to legal prosecution when appropriate. The level of action shall be determined on a case-by-case basis and shall be within the discretion of the Library Director or the Director’s designee which may include staff Supervisors. Any member of the Library staff, on observing behavior that violates the Policy, may ask the visitor to stop that behavior. Should a visitor fail to heed a request to stop behavior that violates the Policy, a staff Supervisor or the Library
- Issue a verbal warning;
- Require the visitor to leave the building;
- Deny the visitor access to a particular library service for a period of time;
- Exclude the visitor from the building for a period of time or permanently, or
- Summon police assistance, when appropriate.
Prohibited behavior that is considered inappropriate use of the library and its resources includes, but is not limited to:
- Behavior that causes excessive noise levels, creates disturbances, interferes with other visitors’ use of the Library, or damages Library property.
- Interference with the ability of others to use the Library or interference with the library staff’s performance of their duties.
- Behavior which demands the constant attention of the staff and/or disrupts service to others.
- Use of profane and/or abusive language.
- Threatening and/or harassment of others, either verbally or by physical actions. This includes any actions that other visitors or staff members perceive to be threatening or harassing.
- Being under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or other substances in the Library or on library grounds.
- Possession of illegal substances in the Library or on library grounds.
- Putting one’s head down on the tables or sleeping in the library or on library grounds.
- Engaging in theft, vandalism, or other criminal acts.
- Viewing and/or displaying information or images which are obscene or pornographic via the Library’s public access computers or through any personal laptop computer or other personal electronic device.
- Excessive public displays of affection.
- Loitering in the Library or on library grounds. (For the purpose of this Policy, loitering is defined as hanging around and lingering idly without making use of library resources. Furniture is not considered a library resource).
- Staring at, lurking or following visitors and/or library staff.
- Possession of dangerous weapons of any kind; this excludes law enforcement personnel.
- Throwing items, running, pushing, shoving, spitting or climbing in the library or on the grounds.
- Inappropriate use of restrooms (i.e. bathing, laundry, consumption of alcoholic beverages, drug use). Except for caregivers assisting children, the elderly or handicapped, occupancy of the rest rooms is limited to one person.
- To ensure the security and comfort of visitors entering and exiting the building, people are not allowed to congregate at or near the entrances; blocking the entrances is not permitted (this includes people, bicycles, strollers or other personal property).
- For the safety of all, use of roller skates, roller blades and skate boards are not permitted on the grounds or in the building.
- USB ports on library computers may not be used to charge personal electronic devices.
- Laptop computers may only be plugged in to outlets designated for public use; they may not be plugged into an outlet whereby the cord causes a tripping hazard or interferes with the use of the library by other visitors.
- Visitors may not unplug library equipment to free an outlet for personal use.
- Radios and other sound producing devices may not be used in the library unless they are used with earphones and the sound is not audible to others.
- Animals are not allowed in the library except when they are part of a library program or are service animals.
- Visitors shall not deface, or in any way damage or destroy library materials, furnishings, walls, equipment or any other property inside or outside the library building.
- Visitors will not indiscriminately remove or rearrange materials on shelves or displays.
- Seating is limited to a maximum of four persons per table and one person per chair.
- Attendance at juvenile and young adult programs is limited to children of the age group for which the program is intended and their caregivers.
- The Children’s Room is reserved for use by children, their parents, guardians or caregivers, and adults interested in children’s literature.
- The Young Adult Room is reserved for use by teens (ages 11-17), their parents, guardians or caregivers, and adults interested in children’s literature.
- Backpacks and other belongings must be taken when the owner leaves the building; the library is not responsible for personal property left unattended or left behind.
- Consumption of food is not allowed in the library except as part of a library program.
- Non-alcoholic beverages may be consumed in the library if they are in a securely covered container. Beverages are not allowed at or near library computers or other equipment.
- Shirts and shoes must be worn at all times. No face coverings are allowed except for medical or religious reasons.
- Feet must remain off library furniture.
- Visitors will not tilt chairs backward while seated on them.
- Visitors whose personal hygiene (body odor) or excessive use of perfume or cologne is so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to others may be asked to leave the building.
- Cell phones or paging devices must be set to vibrate or silence upon entering the library. Cell phone conversations must be moved to the Lobby area at the Daycoeton Place entrance or outside the building where other visitors will not be disturbed.
- Only staff and authorized individuals are allowed in designated staff areas.
- Parents, legal guardians or caregivers are responsible for the behavior of their children.
- All visitors must leave the premises at closing time unless they are participating in a pre-scheduled program or library function.
- Staff may request identification (e.g. name, address) of visitors using the library. Refusal to show identification will result in expulsion.
- Smoking tobacco-based or electronic cigarettes and/or chewing or spitting tobacco is prohibited inside the library and within 25 feet of the entrances.
- Rolling cigarettes in the library is prohibited.
- The playing of card or dice games is prohibited unless part of a library sponsored program.
- Prior approval is required to take photographs, video recordings or audio recordings in the Library.
- Solicitation, other than that which is library-sponsored, is not allowed in the Library. This includes but is not limited to:
- Solicitation of signatures on petitions;
- Sales of service or materials;
- Public opinion surveys;
- Requests for donations, including receptacles for donations;
- Requests for monetary or other personal assistance.
Any person removed or excluded from library privileges on the basis of these activities (or, in the case of a minor child, the parent or legal guardian of said child) may request a meeting with the Library Director to discuss the situation and to request reinstatement of library privileges.
Determination of reinstatement will be made as quickly as possible following said meeting and the person involved will be notified in writing of the decision. Incidents involving permanent removal will be reported to and reviewed by the Library’s Board of Trustees.
Adopted by the Torrington Library Board of Trustees on: July 19, 2011 (rev. 8-2017)