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Section 2: Patron Conduct

Section 2.1: Patron Behavior Section 2.2: Customer Service Policy
Section 2.3: Violence, Threats of Violence and Weapons Prohibited Section 2.4: Unattended and/or Disruptive Minor Children
Section 2.5: Harassment and Lewd Behavior Prohibited Section 2.6: Patron Use of Library Supplies
Section 2.7: Eating and Drinking in the Library Section 2.8: Library Theft and the Protection of Library Property and Materials
Section 2.9: Smoke Free Illinois Act/Use of Tobacco Related Products Prohibited Section 2.10 Animals in the Library

Section 2.1:  Patron Behavior

In order to maintain a pleasant and safe environment for patrons, the Library shall enforce the patron behavior policies set forth below.  A summary of these rules shall be posted prominently in the Library and on the Library’s web page.

Failure to comply with the Library’s patron behavior policies may result in removal from the premises and exclusion from the Library for a period from one day to one year, or arrest and prosecution depending upon the nature of the misconduct.  Violations may also result in restriction or termination of Library privileges, including use of computers and other Library resources.  When a patron is excluded for misconduct, he or she shall be given an opportunity to discuss the basis for exclusion with the Library Director or the Director’s designee.  A patron who is excluded for a period of more than one day may request in writing that the Library Board of Trustees review the decision at the next regularly scheduled monthly Board meeting.

Library Patrons Shall:

  • Engage in activities associated with the use of a public library.  Patrons who are not reading, studying, or using Library resources may be required to leave the building.
  • Ensure that children under the age of ten (10) who visit the Library are accompanied at all times by an adult sixteen (16) years of age or older.  Any unattended children under the age of ten (10) shall be dealt with in accordance with the Library’s “Policy Regarding Unattended or Disruptive children.”
  • Respect the rights of other patrons and staff members.
  • When study rooms are available, patrons should make arrangement in advance when a group of more than four (4) people wish to work together.
  • Cell phones and pagers should be on vibrate or off mode so as to not disturb other patrons.
  • Use photographic equipment of any kind on the Library premises only with advance written permission from the Library Director or their designee.
  • Park bikes in the designated bicycle racks during their Library visit.
  • Wear shoes or other footwear and clothing that provide appropriate body coverage at all times.
  • Comply promptly and courteously with all requests by any Library staff member.

Library Patrons Shall Not:

  • Engage in any illegal activity while on Library property.
  • Participate in disruptive or offensive behavior such as swearing, use other abusive or threatening language, throw things, run, fight, harass other patrons, or otherwise interfere with other patrons’ use and enjoyment of the library
  • Annoy or otherwise harass others through noisy or boisterous activities, such as staring at another person with the intent to annoy that person, playing audio equipment so that others can hear it, singing or talking loudly to others or in monologues, or behaving in a manner which can be reasonably expected to disturb others.
  • Solicit  for any cause without written permission from the Library Director.
  • Smoke within a distance of 15 feet from entrances. [See Section 2.9]
  • Loiter and/or impede access to the Library or any part of the Library property.
  • Bring pets or other animals into the Library. [See Section 2.10]
  • Use hoverboards, roller skates, roller blades, or skateboards on Library property including the Library building, walkways, entryways, parking or landscaped areas.
  • Eat food in unauthorized areas. [See Section 2.7]
  • Be under the influence of alcohol or nonprescription drugs, or prescription medications that negatively impacts behavior.
  • Be in the Library with body aroma so strong as to create a nuisance.  Patrons whose bodily hygiene is so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to other patrons will be required to leave the library.
  • Use restrooms to shave, bathe or launder clothes.
  • Leave personal belongings unattended.  Unattended items on library property are subject to immediate confiscation.  This includes bicycles, and vehicles which may be towed.
  • Move furnishings; sit on tables, or place feet on furniture.
  • Deface or damage Library resources or property, or remove them from the Library without permission.  The term “Library resources” includes books, magazines, newspapers, audio or video recordings or other items in the Library collection.  Among items included in the term “Library property “is copy machines, computers, security equipment and furnishings.
  • Interfere with Library employees’ performance of their duties.
  • Interfere with use of the Library by other patrons.
  • Leave minor children at the Library after closing time.  Any minor children left at the Library after closing time will become the responsibility of the Matteson Police Department after notification by Library staff.
  • Sleep in the Library.

Approved: September 9, 2013
Revised: March 14, 2016

Section 2.2: Customer Service Policy
Policy Statement: The Matteson Area Public Library exists for its users. Delivering
excellent customer service is a top priority of the library. All library customers will be
treated promptly and respectfully without regard to age, gender, sexual orientation, race,
ethnicity, disability, language proficiency, religion, and social or economic status.

Regulations:

  • Staff members are responsible for providing the best customer service possible and
    are empowered to make decisions that will ensure the best experience for each
    customer while balancing the needs of the individual with the overall needs of
    library customers throughout the library district.
  • When answering the phone, a library employee will identify themselves and the
    department in which they work. Phone calls will be routed efficiently or a message
    taken accurately.
  • All staff will wear name tags so that customers can recognize them as library
    employees.
  • Staff will assist customers on a first come, first served basis to the extent possible
    without infringing on the service needs of other customers.
  • Staff members will enable successful library use by assisting customers with the
    library’s resources and equipment.
  • In cases where the library’s resources are not sufficient to meet customer demand,
    staff will offer interlibrary loan service or refer customers to other libraries with
    more appropriate collections. Whenever possible staff will contact the agency to
    which a customer is being referred to insure that the information, material or
    equipment needed is available.
  • Staff will recognize the need to enforce policies and procedures and that some
    patrons may find this disagreeable. In those incidences, staff will be patient,
    respectful and helpful even when being firm about library rules.
  • A customer with concerns about the service received or about library policy shall be
    referred to the senior staff on duty at the time or to the library director.
  • Business cards of senior staff are available at their service desks and cards for the
    library director are available at the front desk.

Revised: October 17, 2017

Section 2.3: Violence, Threats of Violence and Weapons Prohibited in the Library

Weapons of any kind are prohibited from the Library.  The possession, use, or threat of use of a weapon will result in removal from the Library.  Weapons are defined as any item designed to harm a person or animal, including but not limited to firearms, rifles, handguns, and BB guns, switchblades, martial arts weapons, and explosives.

No open flames, incendiary devices, or explosive devices, including fireworks are permitted in the Library.  Lighters, matches, and candles may not be used in the Library.

Should the staff observe patrons who are in possession of any of the foregoing items; staff will call the local police to assist in removing those items from the Library.  The involved patrons may also be asked to leave the premises for the day.  Items that are commonly used for nonthreatening purposes, such as canes or knitting needles are permitted.  However, patrons who threaten or appear to be threatening to use such items as weapons will be dealt with in the same manner as those carrying dangerous weapons.

Violence or threats of violence will not be tolerated.  If a patron is violent or makes violent threats, the Library staff will call the local police to ask for assistance in removing the patron from the Library.

Revised: March 14, 2016

Section 2.4: Unattended and/or Disruptive Minor Children

The Library is a place for reading, research, learning and quiet study.  Persons of all ages, including minor children, are expected to respect the rights of other patrons and staff members.

The Library encourages parents to consider the safety of their minor children, as well as the well-being and needs of other library patrons and to talk with their minor children about appropriate behavior in the Library.  Children under the age of ten (10) must be accompanied by, attended to and within the visual range of a parent or other responsible person sixteen (16) years of age or older who is present at all times in the library, except during specialized programming for children.  Children five (5) and under must be accompanied to the restroom by a parent or caregiver.

If a child under the age of ten (10) is registered to participate in an organized library program such as story time or summer program, the child may be left unaccompanied and unattended for no more than 15 minutes after the scheduled end of the program.  Children registered to participate in an organized library program must be dropped off no earlier than 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the program and must be picked up no later than 15 minutes after the scheduled end of the program.  This policy may be revoked at the discretion of Library staff if a child is repeatedly left unattended at the library.

If a child under the age of ten (10) is unaccompanied or unattended to except as provided above in relation to an organized library program, the following will occur:

The parent or other responsible person will be sought to determine their presence in the library.  If present, he or she will be asked to remain with and supervise the child.

If it is determined that the child is in the library without a parent or other responsible person, a staff member will attempt to call the parent and ask the parent to pick up the child.  If a parent is not at home, the staff member will ask the child for the name and telephone number of another relative or caretaker.  If the parent or caretaker cannot be reached within 15 minutes, the Matteson Police will be called to assume responsibility for the child.

If a child is being disruptive, library staff will take the following steps:

The parent or other responsible person will be notified and the Librarian in charge will tell the parent of the child that the behavior is not acceptable.

If undesirable behavior by a child continues, the parent or other responsible person attending to the child will be asked to intervene or if necessary to leave the library with the child.  In the case of a child who is ten (10) years of age or older, the child will be asked to leave the library.  If the child does not leave immediately or is not picked up within a reasonable time limit, the Matteson Police will be called to assume responsibility for the child.

Under no circumstance will staff transport children or otherwise accompany them home.

Revised: September 9, 2013

Section 2.5:  Harassment and Lewd Behavior Prohibited

Patrons and staff have the right to enjoy an environment free from harassment, including,
but not limited to sexual harassment and lewd conduct. It is the responsibility of each and
every employee, volunteer, vendor and patron of the Library District as well as anyone
using the Library District’s facilities, to refrain from sexual and other harassment. The
Library District will not tolerate sexual or any other type of harassment. Actions, words,
jokes, or comments based on an individual’s sex, race, notional origin, age, religion, or any
other legally protected characteristic will not be tolerated.

Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical, or of a visual nature,
that is based upon a person’s protected status, including sex, race, color, ancestry, national
origin, religion, age, disability, veteran status or other protected status under applicable
law. The Library District will not tolerate harassing conduct that affects tangible job
benefits, that interferes unreasonably with an individual’s work performance, or that
creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

Sexual harassment deserves special mention. “Sexual harassment” means any unwelcome
sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or any conduct of a sexual nature when (1)
submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an
individual’s employment, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is
used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or (3) such conduct
has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance
or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

All employees are subject to the harassment policy established in the Personnel Handbook.

Any patron or volunteer who harasses other staff or patrons will be asked to leave the
library and a report will be filed with the Library Director for investigation. Repeated acts
of harassment and conduct that has the potential to escalate into violent or illegal actions
will be reported to the proper authorities.

Those who engage in inappropriate public displays of affection in the Library or commit
other minor acts will be given one warning and then will be asked to leave.

Revised: December 12, 2017

Section 2.6:  Patron Use of Library Supplies

The Library provides scratch paper recycled from the printers, copiers and other sources for patron use, but does not provide other supplies or materials.  Library supplies and materials purchased with budgeted funds are to be used by Library staff to complete their work.  As Library supplies and materials are generally purchased with tax revenue, said supplies and materials cannot be sold or given to the public.

Small quantities of typing paper, notebook paper, pens, pencils, index cards, and computer thumb drives, among other things are available for purchase at the front desk  and youth services’ desk priced on a cost-recovery basis

Approved: October 15, 2012
Revised: September 9, 2013

Section 2.7:  Eating and Drinking in the Library

Eating is prohibited in the Library.  Eating is only permitted in staff areas and during group meetings in the Meeting Room or as otherwise provided by, or with, authorization of the Library Director.

Persons found in the Library with food, must remove the food from the Library, or dispose of it in a waste container.  Upon the commission of a second offense, said patron must leave the Library for the rest of the day.

The consumption of alcohol on Library property is strictly prohibited.  A patron found with alcohol on Library property must leave the Library for the rest of the day.

A water fountain is available in the Youth Services department across from the elevator, for patrons who are thirsty, or wish to refill their water bottles.  Additional water fountains are available near the downstairs meeting rooms.

Only non-alcoholic liquid refreshments are allowed and beverages must be in a closable container to minimize stains caused by spillage.

Approved: October 15, 2012
Revised: September 9, 2013
Revised: March 14, 2016

Section 2.8:  Library Theft and the Protection of Library Property and Materials

Sections 16-1 and 16-3 of the Illinois Criminal code (720 ILCS 5/16 et seq.) create three categories of offenses related to library theft: theft of library property; theft of library materials by means of threat, deception or without consent; and theft of library materials by failure to return.

Section 2.8:1:  Theft of Library Property

If “governmental property,” which includes library property, is stolen and the value of the property does not exceed $500, the theft is considered a Class 4 felony punishable by the between 1 and 3 years in a State penitentiary and/or fines not to exceed $25,000 (720 ILCS 5/16-1 (b)(1.1)).  If the value of the stolen library property exceeds $500, but does not exceed $10,000, the theft is considered a Class 2 felony punishable by between 3 and 7 years in a State penitentiary and/or fines of up to $25,000 (720 ILCS 5/16-1(b)(4.1)).  If the value of the stolen library property exceeds $10,000, but does not exceed $100,000, the theft is considered a Class 1 felony punishable by between 4 and 15 years in a State penitentiary and/or fines of up to $25,000 (720 ILCS 5/16-1(b)(5.1)).  Finally, if the value of the stolen library property exceeds $100,000, the theft is considered a Class X felony punishable by between 6 and 30 years in a State penitentiary and/or fines of up to $25,000 (720 ILCS 5/16-1(b)(6.1)).

Section 2.8:2:  Theft of Library Materials by Threat, Deception or Without Consent

If a person knowingly obtains temporary use of library materials by means of threat or deception or knowing that its use is without consent, theft has been committed (720 ILCS 5/16-3(a)).  If the stolen library materials have an aggregate value of $300 or less, the theft is considered a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine not to exceed $2500 (720 ILCS 5/16-3(d)).  If the stolen library materials have an aggregate value in excess of $300, the theft is considered a Class 3 felony punishable by between 2 and 5 years in a State penitentiary and/or a fine not to exceed $25,000 (720 ILCS 5/16-3(d)).

The Illinois Criminal Code defines “library materials” as including, among other things, books, pictures, photographs, engravings, paintings, sculptures, statues, artifacts, drawings, maps, newspapers, pamphlets, broadsides, magazines, manuscripts, documents, letters, microfilms, sound recordings, audiovisual materials, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data processing records or other documentaries, written or printed materials regardless of physical form or characteristics, or any part thereof, belonging to, or on loan to or otherwise in the custody of a library facility (720 ILCS 5/16-0.1).

Library materials are anything that a library owns except library property, which is discussed above.  In other words, anything that a library owns that it loans to patrons constitutes library materials, the theft of which is subject to the foregoing and following penalties.

Section 2.8:3:  Theft of Library Material by Failure to Return

If a person borrows library materials which have an aggregate value of $50 or more in accordance with an agreement with or procedure established by the library for the return thereof and knowingly and without good cause fails to return the borrowed library materials and further knowingly and without good cause fails to return such library materials within 30 days after receiving written notice by certified mail from the library facility demanding the return thereof, theft has been committed (720 ILCS 5/16—3)).

If the unreturned library materials have an aggregate value of $300 or less, the theft is considered a petty offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $500 and mandatory reimbursement of the library’s fees and costs, including attorneys’ fees, actual replacement costs of the material not returned and postage costs (720 ILCS 5/16-3(d)).  If the unreturned library materials have an aggregate value in excess of $300, the theft is considered a Class 3 felony punishable by between 2 and 5 years in a State penitentiary and/or a fine not to exceed $25,000 (720 ILCS 5/16-3(d)).

Multiple failures to return library materials by the same person occurring within a 90-day period and totaling more than $300 will be prosecuted as a single offense (720 ILCS 5/16-3(d)).

To deter theft of library materials, the following warning will be posted in a conspicuous location:

Warning

Theft of library property is a criminal felony with a minimum punishment of between 1 and 3 years in a State penitentiary and/or fines not to exceed $25,000 and a maximum punishment of between 6 and 30 years in a State penitentiary and/or fines of up to $25,000 (720 ILCS 5/16-1(b)et seq.).

Theft of library materials is: a petty offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $500 and mandatory reimbursement of the library’s fees and costs, including attorneys’ fees, actual replacement costs of the material not returned and postage costs; a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine not to exceed $2500 (720 ILCS 5/16-3(d)): or a criminal felony punishable by between 2 and 5 years in a State penitentiary and/or a fine not to exceed $25,000.

To prevent library theft and protect library property and materials, all items removed from the Library must be charged out through the front desk or kiosks.

To further prevent library theft and protect library property and materials, as patrons leave the Library, security staff may ask to examine books bags, backpacks, briefcases, and other large containers brought into the library when the alarm on the security gates sounds.  Any uncharged items will be returned to the front desk to be charged out.  If it is determined that theft was intended, the proper authorities will be immediately notified.

Approved: October 15, 2012
Revised: September 9, 2013

Section 2.9: Smoke Free Illinois Act/Use of Tobacco Related Products Prohibited

In accordance with the Smoke Free Illinois Act (410 ILCS 82/1, et seq.), smoking is prohibited within a minimum distance of 15 feet from entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes that serve an enclosed area where smoking is prohibited.  This Act ensures that smoke does not enter the Library through entrances, exits, open windows, or other means.

Use of chewing tobacco and the possession of spittoons are prohibited in the library.

Any patron found smoking, chewing tobacco or possessing a spittoon must immediately leave the library and dispose of prohibited materials.  Upon the commission of a second offense, said patron must leave the Library for the rest of the day.

“Smoking” shall mean inhaling of, exhaling of, burning of, or carrying of any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, e-cigarette, marijuana, or other plant in any manner or in any form.

Approved: October 15, 2012
Revised: September 9, 2013

Section 2.10 Animals in the Library

Animals are not permitted in the library, except for service animals and service animal trainees or animals participating in a Library-related program.

Patrons bringing unauthorized animals into the library must remove the animal from the building immediately.

Individuals who bring animals on to library property are responsible for cleaning up after said animals.

Approved: October 15, 2012
Revised: September 9, 2013

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