Library Policies - Patron Conduct and Suspension Policy


 

En Español: Políticas de la biblioteca - conductas del cliente y políticas de suspensión (pdf)

In order to provide and maintain a comfortable and safe environment for all patrons and library staff, the Library Joint Powers Board has approved the Santa Cruz Public Libraries Rules of Conduct.

Violation or repetitive violation of any of the rules of conduct may warrant a suspension of library privileges. Suspension of library privileges will result in removal from and denial of access to, Santa Cruz Public Libraries services and facilities for a designated period of time.

  1. Suspension Procedures
  2. Service Animals
  3. Code of Conduct

SUSPENSION PROCEDURES

In order to be fair and equitable in the application of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries Rules of Conduct and to provide documentation of the enforcement of these rules, authorized library staff shall apply the procedures detailed in Sections A through G. Authorized staff members for the various sections are defined thus:

  • enforcement of section A up to and including 30 day suspension : any regular library staff member. Greater than 30 days: Library Division Manager, Manager of System Services and Support or Library Director
  • enforcement of Section B First Violation: any regular or temporary staff member
  • enforcement of Section B Second Violation: any regular or temporary staff member
  • enforcement of Section B Third Violation: any regular staff member
  • enforcement of Section B Fourth Violation: Library Division Manager, Manager of System Services and Support or Library Director

In summary, all staff members are authorized to suspend privilege for up to and including 30 days. Longer suspensions must by approved by a Library Division Manager, the Manager of System Services and Support or the Library Director.

A. IMMEDIATE SUSPENSION WITH FURTHER ACTION TO FOLLOW:

The following violent behaviors will not be tolerated:

  • physical abuse or assault
  • fighting or challenging to fight
  • making violent or threatening statements

Authorized library staff will instruct anyone displaying these behaviors to leave the library facility immediately for a period up to and including 30 days. Police will be called and additional legal action may occur, as appropriate. In addition, based on the severity of the situation, a suspension of library privileges for up to one year may be applied. Library staff will notify Library Administration immediately, where a determination of the appropriate suspension period and procedures will be determined by authorized staff. The appeal process applicable to Extensive Suspension as described in Section F will be applied.

B. ALL OTHER PROHIBITED BEHAVIORS WILL BE ADDRESSED IN THE FOLLOWING MANNER:

FIRST VIOLATION: Initial warning and given copy of Library Rules of Conduct
SECOND VIOLATION: Library privileges suspended for the day
THIRD VIOLATION: Library privileges suspended for up to and including 30 days
FOURTH VIOLATION: Library privileges suspended for 31 days to up to one year

C. FIRST VIOLATION: INITIAL WARNING:

When a patron has violated the Santa Cruz Public Libraries Rules of Conduct by displaying behavior that is prohibited but not violent or physically threatening, authorized library staff will handle these situations in the following manner:

  1. Provide the patron with a copy of the Library Rules of Conduct. Explain to the patron that they are engaging in prohibited behavior, what that behavior is and the importance of abiding by the rules of conduct. The patron will be advised that further violations of the rules will not be tolerated and may result in their being asked to leave for the day.
  2. The library staff member will fill out a Library Incident Report to document the incident and conversation with the patron. The Incident Report will be submitted to Library Administration.

D. SECOND VIOLATION: SUSPENSION – 1 DAY

  1. If the patron continues prohibited behavior either the same day or another day, authorized library staff will reaffirm all previous conversations with the patron regarding the behavior and instruct the patron to leave the facility for the day. Library patrons who feel the treatment is unfair will be offered the name and telephone number of the next ranking library staff member so that they may communicate their concerns.
  2. Library staff will again document the incident with a Library Incident Report submitted to Library Administration.

E. THIRD VIOLATION: SUSPENSION – UP TO AND INCLUDING 30 DAYS:

Longer than 1-day suspensions will be issued if a patron continues to display prohibited behavior after receiving a prior suspension.

  1. If a patron has been issued a one-day suspension for prohibited behavior and if prohibited behavior continues either during the suspension period or afterwards, a patron will then be suspended for up to and including 30 days.
  2. When a decision is made to suspend a patron for more than one day, authorized staff must complete the "Notice of Library Suspension- Up to 30 Days" document.
  3. A copy of the completed document must be provided to the patron. In the case of a minor (under the age of 18), the Library will also attempt to notify the parent or guardian and provide them with a copy of the completed document.
  4. Authorized library staff will also complete a Library Incident Report and submit the report to Library Administration.
  5. A patron will receive only one 30 day or less suspension for prohibited behavior. Any further suspensions for prohibited behavior will be considered a Fourth Violation as described in Section F.
  6. The patron will not be offered a formal hearing process for up to 30 day suspensions; however, they will be given the name and phone number of the appropriate Library Division Manager, Manager of System Services and Support and/or Director so that they may communicate their concerns by telephone or by submitting an appeal in writing.
  7. To submit a written appeal the patron must complete the "Appeal of 30 Day Suspension" document. The patron must return the completed form to the suspending library within one working day from the date the suspension is issued.
  8. The appeal will be reviewed by the Library Director, Manager of System Services and Support or Library Division Manager within one working day of submittal. If by a preponderance of the evidence it is determined that the suspension is unwarranted, the suspension will be withdrawn. The patron may call the designated staff member one day after submitting a written appeal to determine the status of the suspension.

F. FOURTH VIOLATION SUSPENSION: 31 DAYS TO 12 MONTHS

31 DAYS TO 6 MONTHS

  1. If a patron has been issued a 2- 30 day Suspension for displaying prohibited behavior and prohibited behavior continues either during the suspension period or afterwards, a decision will be made to suspend the patron for 31 days to six months. Authorized staff must complete the "Notice of 31 days - 6 Month Library Suspension" document.
  2. A copy of the completed document and all accompanying forms must be provided to the patron.
  3. In the case of a minor (under the age of 18), the Library will also attempt to notify the parent or guardian and also provide them with the completed document and all accompanying forms.
  4. Authorized library staff will also complete a Library Incident Report and submit it to Library Administration
  5. Any patron suspended for 31 days to six months has the right to a hearing with the Suspension Hearing Panel. The Suspension Hearing Panel will be comprised of the Library Director and/or Manager of System Services and Support, and/or appropriate Library Division Managers, the Assistant City Manager for Santa Cruz and a library security guard, if one is available. Appropriate library staff or patrons that were witnesses to the event may also be asked to appear.
  6. To receive a hearing the patron must follow the directions on the "Notice of 31 days – 6 Month Suspension" and "Request for Suspension Hearing" documents.
  7. The patron must return the completed forms to the suspending library within seven working days from the date the suspension is issued.
  8. All hearings are held at the Downtown Library or Headquarters facility. A parent or guardian must accompany a minor (under the age of 18) to the hearing.
  9. The decision of the Suspension Hearing Panel for all 31 days to six month suspensions is final.

6-12 MONTHS:

  1. If a decision is made to suspend a patron for longer than 6 months, a Division Manager, the Manager of System Services and Support or the Library Director will complete a "Notice of Extensive Library Suspension" document.
  2. A copy of the document and accompanying forms must be provided to the patron.
  3. In the case of a minor (under the age of 18) the Library will attempt to provide the parent or guardian with a copy of the completed forms.
  4. Any patron suspended for more than six months has the right to a hearing with the Extensive Suspension (ES) Hearing Panel. The ES Hearing Panel will be comprised one member of the Library Joint Powers Board, the Assistant City Manager for Santa Cruz and at least one other authorized Library staff member such as the Library Director, Manager of System Services and Support or a Library Division Manager. A library security guard will also be present if available. Appropriate library staff or patrons who were witnesses to the event may also be asked to appear.
  5. To receive a hearing the patron must follow the directions on the "Notice of Extensive Suspension for 6-12 Months" and "Request for Extensive Suspension Hearing" documents. In addition, the patron must return the Request for Hearing form to the suspending library within seven days of receiving the suspension. All hearings are held at the Downtown Library or Headquarters Facility.
  6. The decision of the Extensive Suspension Hearing Panel will be final.

SERVICE ANIMALS

Definitions:

  1. Service Animal: Any dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to benefit an individual with a disability and can be reasonably accommodated. (28 C.F.R. § 36.302(c)(9)(i)
  2. Psychiatric Service Animal: Any dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability. (28 C.F. R. § 36.104)

Procedures:

  1. Any service animal must be appropriately managed, controlled and trained. This includes but is not limited to: on a leash or under voice control and housebroken
  2. Any staff member may ask handler and animal to leave if said animal is not appropriately managed, controlled and trained.
  3. Upon entry to any branch library, staff must ask handler if the animal is a service animal.
    1. If the answer is NO then the animal will not be allowed in
    2. If the answer is YES it is a service animal, then staff must ask:
      1. What service is it trained to provide?
      2. They may use the library according to sections 1 and 2 above.

This policy will be reviewed every three years
Updated: December 2012


Library Rules of Conduct

The library welcomes all members of the community, and asks that all visitors: respect other people’s right to use the library for its intended purposes; respect library staff; respect library materials; use the library in a manner which does not interfere with the library’s use by others and in such a fashion that others enjoy full access to the library’s materials, equipment, furniture and facilities.

To these ends, please:

  • Treat library materials and furniture with care.
  • Use beverages with lids only and away from computers.
  • Secure bicycles and other large items outside the library.
  • Bring service animals only.
  • Silence cell phones.
  • Keep personal belongings from obstructing access to library materials and spaces.
  • Note that children under 9 years must be accompanied by a person 14 years of age or older.
  • Refrain from sleeping in the library.
  • Understand that unattended items may be removed by Library Staff.

Violators of the Library Rules of Conduct may be asked to leave and/or photographed to assist in identification.

A copy of the complete Patron Conduct and Suspension Policy is available at any service desk.

Last updated by teeterj on Sept. 8, 2014

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