Behavior Policy for Patrons
The Board of Library Trustees has established guidelines for appropriate behavior in the Belmont Public Library to encourage an atmosphere that promotes the use and enjoyment of the Library’s resources while safeguarding the Library’s valuable collection and protecting the safety of all patrons and staff. The Library encourages patrons to share and explore different points of view in a respectful fashion. The views expressed by patrons do not necessarily reflect the views of the Belmont Public Library, any member of its staff, its Board of Library Trustees or the Town of Belmont.
The Library seeks to ensure the safety and well-being of patrons by requiring that hallways remain open for emergency and wheelchair access, designating certain areas of the Library for use by children or young adults, and limiting cell phone use to designated areas. The Library staff reserves the right to inspect all bags, briefcases, backpacks, containers and similar items and thanks patrons for their understanding.
The following behaviors are not consistent with the positive use and enjoyment of Library resources by patrons and are therefore unacceptable:
- Disruptive noise
- Drinks in other than approved containers, and food, unless at scheduled events (see food and drink policy)
- Use of 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)
- Use of sports equipment on library property (e.g., Bicycles roller blades, scooters, skate boards, 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:
- Children in the library are expected to follow the same rules and regulations as all other library patrons.
- While the library staff works to create a safe environment, we do not assume responsibility for the care of any child. Patrons should be aware of, and held to, the standards set in the Unattended Child Policy
Amended February 17, 2009
Amended April 20, 2017