8.1 Code of Conduct
This policy establishes guidelines and expectations regarding standards of conduct among the patrons of the Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library while in the library and its immediate premises, in order to ensure the highest standard of health and safety for all who use the library, and to provide for the most efficient and effective operation of the library.
The following behaviors are prohibited on library property:
Behavior that is prohibited by law or the CRCPL Patron Code of Conduct may result in the following consequences:
CRCPL gratefully acknowledges the Public Library Association and the San Diego County Library for articulating this framework for the Patron Code of Conduct.
Patrons who fail to abide by the library’s policies are subject to having their library privileges suspended and/or being evicted from all premises of the library. Under normal circumstances, evictions and suspensions should be decided upon and imposed by the manager on duty.
However, in the absence or unavailability of a manager and if circumstances require prompt action, all staff are authorized to evict a patron from the premises for the remainder of the day following a code of conduct violation. In the event a non-management staff member issues an eviction, the staff member is required to review the eviction with his or her supervisor or other manager to determine whether the eviction should be extended beyond one day. The seriousness of the action and repeated misbehavior of a patron may indicate that a longer eviction than that indicated below is appropriate. The director is authorized to modify the terms of or to extend an eviction.
8.2.2 Eviction Guidelines
8.2.3 Rights of Redress
Any patron evicted from library premises has the right to appeal that eviction. Patrons who have engaged in conduct that poses a risk to the safety of other patrons or staff may not be permitted on the premises while an initial determination of their case is made. In such cases, the library will act as quickly as possible in ruling on the patron’s case. Patrons who have engaged in other conduct may be asked to leave the premises for the remainder of the day but will be allowed back on the premises while an initial determination of their case is made.
If the individual disagrees with the eviction:
Patrons should be free to use the library without interruption from outside petitioners, survey takers, interviewers or solicitors. Members of the public may not engage in solicitation or distribution of materials on library property at any time for any purpose. Petitioners, survey takers and interviewers are permitted outside the building on library grounds provided that access to the library is not impeded and patrons are not pressured to sign. In the event any petitioner fails to follow the above instructions, they will be asked to leave the premises for creating a disturbance as outlined in the code of conduct and eviction policies above. Library-related questionnaires sponsored or co-sponsored by the library are allowed inside the libraries.
8.4 Tobacco Free
Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library (CRCPL) is dedicated to maintaining a safe and healthy public environment, improving indoor and outdoor air quality, and promoting the comfort of library staff and patrons. Research shows that tobacco use, including smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke and electronic-cigarette vapors constitutes a significant health hazard. In addition to causing direct health concerns, tobacco contributes to institutional costs, including fire damage, cleaning and maintenance costs, and costs associated with employee absenteeism, health care, and medical insurance.
Given these concerns, and in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3794.05, all buildings, grounds, and vehicles of CRCPL are smoke and tobacco free. Tobacco use and smoking in all forms, including the use of electronic cigarettes and smoke-free oral tobacco products, is not permitted in any facility, vehicle, or on property owned by CRCPL.
Tobacco use is permitted within personal vehicles as long as the vehicle is parked 25 feet from any facility entrance and/or 25 feet from any ventilation intake, and the smoke and tobacco products are completely contained within the vehicle.
Any person who uses tobacco products in library buildings or on library grounds in violation of the policy is subject to the provisions of applicable laws and/or library disciplinary action. Non-compliance with the tobacco-free policy, as with non-compliance with the other rules of the library, should be brought to the attention of library management.
Ensuring compliance with the smoke and tobacco-free library policy is the responsibility of the entire library community. The success of this policy depends on the thoughtfulness, consideration, and cooperation of users and non-users. It is the responsibility of all members of the community to comply with this policy. Any individual may voice objections to tobacco use on library property without fear of retaliation.
8.5 Unattended Minors
The library wishes to provide a safe environment for visitors of all ages; however, library facilities are open to the public, which can present risks to children. Parents, caregivers, and group leaders need to be aware that staff cannot be responsible for the safety and security of unattended children. “Unattended” is understood to mean that:
Children under the age of 7 must be accompanied at all times by a parent or caregiver. Parents and caregivers must exercise their own judgment regarding whether to leave their children over the age of 7 unattended in the library. The library cannot monitor children who enter and leave the library. Children who are disruptive may be asked to leave the library. Parents and caregivers should only leave unattended children at the library if they are capable of coming and going by themselves.
Children who become disruptive, a security or safety issue, or endanger themselves or others anywhere on library property will be asked to correct their behavior. If the behavior continues, the child will be asked to leave the library as indicated by the eviction policy above.
Parents and caregivers are responsible for arranging transportation to and from the library for unattended children. Transportation for these children should arrive prior to the closing time. If a child’s transportation has not arrived before closing time, the Library may call the police if the child expresses concern or if the Library staff member believes there is reason for concern.
If a child has been left at the library at closing time, staff will attempt to contact the parent or caregiver. At least two staff members shall remain with the child. If the parent or caregiver cannot be reached within 15 minutes of closing the police will be called. If the police pick up a child after closing time, staff should place a note on the library’s main doors indicating that the police have been called to assist with an unattended child. The note should not mention the name of the child but should include date, time and the child’s age and sex. Under no circumstances will staff take the child away from the library.
8.6 Video Surveillance
In order to deter crime and to aid in protecting the safety of individuals and the property of the library, the library uses video surveillance equipment. Video surveillance is limited to areas that do not violate the reasonable expectation of privacy; such as areas of public usage, staff work areas, parking lots, and grounds. Targeted video surveillance is prohibited if such observation is based on the characteristics and classifications that would be considered discriminatory under law (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, etc.).
The Executive Director, management, technical support staff, and authorized contractors are the only persons authorized to access the video surveillance system.
The Executive Director will review all requests received by the library to release recordings obtained through video surveillance. Video recordings and photos obtained through video surveillance will be released in accordance with applicable laws. Under exigent circumstances or in response to a search warrant or court order, recordings and photographs may be released to the police. Exigent circumstance is defined as an emergency situation requiring swift action to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property, or to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect, or destruction of evidence. No release of video recordings or images will occur without prior authorization by the director or his/her designee.
Requests for recordings and photographs which show identifiable persons, identifiable library materials in the possession of a patron, or identifiable requests or other readable communication from a patron to a library employee shall be evaluated prior to any release outside the library, under the library’s Confidentiality and Public Access to Library Records policies.
Recorded video will be saved no longer than 30 days and will then be automatically erased, unless retained as part of a criminal investigation or court proceedings (criminal or civil), or other bona fide use as approved by the director.
Video footage or images retained as part of a criminal investigation or court proceedings will be stored in a secure location by the Information Technology Manager.