Behavior Policy for Patrons

The Board of Library Trustees has established guidelines for behavior in the Belmont Public Library to encourage an atmosphere that promotes the use and enjoyment of the library’s resources and protects the public, staff, materials and equipment. As a community center open to all, the library cannot guarantee the safety of any patron.  Patrons are advised that certain areas of the Library have a designated use – children’s, young adult, cell phone – which must be respected. Safety considerations mandate keeping hallways open for wheelchairs and emergency access. Library staff reserve the right to inspect all bags, briefcases, backpacks, containers, books and any similar items.

The following are among those unacceptable in the library:

  • Disruptive noise
  • Drinks in other than approved containers, and food, unless at scheduled events (see food and drink policy)
  • Use of illegal drugs or alcohol on library property
  • Use of tobacco products in the Library
  • Cell phone use other than in designated area(s)
  • Diaper changing other than in designated area (lower level handicapped bathroom)
  • Absence of shirts and/or shoes
  • Soliciting or distribution of leaflets/panhandling in the library
  • Personal belongings which hamper the use of public space. (Personal belongings are the responsibility of the owner)
  • Loitering
  • Use of sports equipment on library property (e.g., bicycles, roller blades, scooters, skateboards, basketballs)
  • Animals (with the exception of service animals)
  • Inappropriate use, theft, or mutilation of library materials or property
  • Activities that violate the law or encourage others to violate the law
  • Activities that violate the rights of other users or library staff
  • Violent, threatening, defamatory, or abusive behavior
  • Offensive or disruptive behavior
  • Physical, sexual or verbal harassment
  • Weapons or items resembling or being wielded as weapons

Persons who violate this Behavior Policy may receive a warning from library staff and/or an opportunity to cease the violation or leave the library.

Illegal activity, as well as any willful or repeated violations of this Behavior Policy or other posted library policies and regulations, may result in removal from the library and/or suspension of library privileges by the Director subject to appeal to the Board of Library Trustees.

Violation of law may result in arrest and prosecution.

(Basis in Law: Chapter 266, Sections 99, 99A, and 100: Chapter 272, Section 41, General Laws of Massachusetts)

Children in the Library

The Trustees and staff of the Belmont Public Library strive to create a welcoming environment throughout the library. The Jane Gray Dustan Children’s Room provides a special opportunity for children to explore their interests, pursue assignments, and develop a love of reading. To ensure such an environment, we ask children and their parents/caregivers to be aware of the following:

  1. Children in the library are expected to follow the same rules and regulations as all other library patrons.
  2. While the library staff works to create a safe environment, we do not assume responsibility for the care of any child. Young children must have their parent/caregiver in the immediate vicinity and within visual contact.
  3. Children should be picked up at least 5 minutes before closing. If the parent/caregiver has not returned by closing, the Belmont Police Department will be called to take the unattended child until the parent/caregiver can be located.

Neither the library nor its staff members are responsible for an unattended child in case of a medical emergency.

Approved May 20, 2008
Amended February 17, 2009
Amended June 15, 2010
Amended January 18th, 2017