Policies & Budget

patron behavior policy

Adopted by Library Board of Directors 1.21.10

E5.1: Patron Behavior

All people are welcome to use the Library and have access to information and library resources. While every effort is made to create an accepting and open environment, ensuring staff and patron security, protecting library property, and creating an experience all library patrons will enjoy is of the highest priority.

If a patron makes it difficult for others to use and enjoy the Library, presents a health or safety risk, damages library property, or disrupts library operations staff will address the situation calmly and quickly. Library staff are trained to identify and respond to problem behaviors by talking with the patron and warning him or her that the behavior must stop or he or she may be asked to leave for the remainder of the day. If the behavior persists over an extended period of time, suspension of library privileges may occur.

Incidents which may be serious, threatening, or illegal are immediately referred to a supervisor, Librarian-In-Charge or Security Officer, who may contact the Salt Lake City Police Department if the situation warrants such action.

Serious behaviors will result in immediate suspension of library privileges, restored only through a consultation with Library Administration. These behaviors include:

  • Threatening physical harm, using extremely abusive language, or causing an atmosphere of intimidation toward patrons or staff.
  • Destroying property belonging to patrons, staff or the Library.
  • Physically abusing or fighting with patrons or staff.
  • Theft.
  • Threatening others by brandishing or displaying a weapon.
  • Engaging in solicitation, sexual acts, sexual abuse, masturbation, or intentional exposure.
  • Selling or using illegal drugs on library premises.
  • Viewing inappropriate images of children on library computers.

E5.2: Children and Adolescents

The Library’s behavior guidelines apply to children and adolescents as well as adults. Staff will occasionally need to remind children and adolescents of appropriate behavior in the Library. This will be done in a positive, clear, and consistent manner. When dealing with children and adolescents, staff will take into account the child’s maturity and developmental level and act accordingly.

If a child is unable to care for him or herself, library staff or security will try to locate the caregiver. If a caregiver is not in the building, staff will make every effort to contact the caregiver and ask that the child be picked up.

When necessary, staff will attempt to contact caregivers to pick up children who are having serious behavioral problems or are very ill.

If a child is left in the library after closing, staff will help the child contact the responsible caregiver. Two staff members or security officers must stay with any child left after closing until the child is released to the responsible caregiver. Staff will not transport a child to any other location.

If the child has not been picked up by a caregiver after closing, staff or security will contact the Salt Lake City Police Department (Community Support Division, Youth and Family Specialist). Security and staff will take into account factors such as the age of the child, the time of day, and the amount of time after closing when determining whether to contact the police.

If the library closes early due to an emergency, the same procedure used for children who have not been picked up after closing will be followed.

If the Library must be evacuated due to an emergency, Library staff will clear the children’s area and ask unattended children to remain with library staff as they exit the building.

Caregivers and children who are unable to locate each other after an evacuation at the Main Library will be directed to the designated meeting location for the Children’s Department staff as indicated in the Emergency Evacuation Procedures.

E6.3: Animals

Animals are not allowed in the Library with the exception of service animals, service animal trainees, and animals featured in Library programs and displays. The Americans with Disabilities Act defines service animals as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.

Leashed animals left outside the library should be a minimum of 25 feet from any library entrance and restrained in such a way as to present no hazard or annoyance to other library patrons.

E6.4: Unattended Belongings

Staff may need to remind patrons to watch personal belongings while in the Library. Personal items left unattended for longer than 20 minutes will be sent to lost and found. Personal items (such as backpacks, briefcases, and purses,) which are abandoned in the Library, will be searched to determine the owner of the object and ensure that the item does not contain any hazardous material. Patrons will be asked to move items that block aisles or impede access to library services or collections.

E6.5: Behavior on The City Library's Website

Section E6.5 pending approval by the Library Board of Directors.

Those using The City Library's Websites (slcpl.org, et. al.) and social networking pages (Facebook, Twitter, et. al.) are held to the same behavior standards as those in our physical facilities and are encouraged to exercise good judgment when contributing written material and other content. SLCPL prohibits comments that are offensive or objectionable to others, that use inappropriate language, or that are off-topic. The Library reserves the right to edit or delete user comments/content in a manner consistent with our mission and policies. Patrons may not insert their own or a third party's advertising, branding or other promotional content into any comments or content.