Behavior Policy


The Forbes Library is a tax-supported community agency which is available to all, regardless of age, residence, race, education, socioeconomic status or religion. Everyone using this facility or seeking assistance in finding materials and information should receive impartial, helpful, and friendly customer service.

There is significant government interest in maintaining a library environment that is conducive to the users’ exercise of their constitutionally protected right to receive information. This significant interest authorizes publicly supported libraries to maintain a safe and healthy atmosphere in which library clientele and staff can be free from harassment, intimidation, and threats to their safety and well-being.

The establishment of a set of guidelines for behavior in the library building is necessary to insure the existence of an environment which promotes the use and enjoyment of the library’s resources and at the same time protects the public, the staff, the materials and equipment. In order to protect all library users’ right of access to library facilities, to insure the safety of users and staff, and to protect library resources and facilities from damage, the library governing authority, in this case the Board of Trustees, may impose reasonable restrictions on the time, place, or manner of library access.

Library Rules

The following code of behavior governing the use of the library by the public shall be enforced in order to provide a standard of acceptable behavior:

  1. Respect for other library users shall be maintained at all times. Patrons and staff will treat others with respect.
  2. Food Policy
    • Only beverages in securely covered containers and neat, snack food are allowed for consumption in the library. Patrons should clean up after themselves and alert staff if there are spills.
    • No food is allowed at computer stations.
    • No food or drink is allowed in the Coolidge Museum or in the Hampshire Room
  3. Disruptive behavior, i.e. destructive or continuing activity by any individual or group of individuals which infringes on or potentially infringes on other patrons’ rights to use the library, shall not be permitted. Examples of such disruptive behavior are listed below. The library staff reserves the right to determine whether other conduct not listed below constitutes “disruptive behavior”.
    1. Smoking, or the use or handling of tobacco or electronic cigarettes in the library or on library grounds.
    2. Being under the influence of or using alcohol or narcotics in the library building or on library grounds.
    3. Utilizing personal electronic equipment (examples include, but are not limited to, radios, cassette or CD players, laptop computers, cellular phones, pagers, or personal medical equipment) in such a way that it disturbs other library patrons or interferes with other patrons’ use of the library.
    4. Shouting, running, pushing, or other rowdy, rambunctious or disruptive behavior.
    5. Using abusive, obscene, or profane language in such a manner as to threaten the rights or safety of another person, or infringe on the sensibilities of others.
    6. Utilizing the public rest rooms as a laundry or for bathing.
    7. Lying down on the furniture or floor.
  4. No person shall take library materials without properly signing them out. Removal of library materials without checking them out is larceny. The library staff reserves the right to inspect the bags or parcels of any patron. In certain cases, the Police Dept. may be called to do this.
  5. No person shall leave children age 10 or younger unattended. Parents or caregivers must keep children under the age of ten within eyesight at all times. Children under the age of ten who are repeatedly left unattended will be referred to the police and/or DSS. Parents and caregivers are always responsible for the supervision and behavior of their children. The library/library staff assumes no responsibility for children who are left unattended.
  6. Canvassing, selling, soliciting or distributing materials is prohibited except during library-scheduled events when written permission to do so has been obtained in advance from the library director.
  7. Improper acts which are subject to prosecution under criminal or civil codes of law are prohibited.
  8. Destruction or defacement of the library building, property, or library materials is punishable by law.
  9. Appropriate attire including shirts must be worn. (Examples of inappropriate footwear include but are not limited to skates, cleats or rollerblades.)
  10. Patrons shall not use the library telephones to make or receive personal phone calls except in cases of true emergency as determined by the library staff.
  11. Blocking of entrances or aisles is not permitted. Members of the public must use only authorized entrances, exits and stairways.
  12. A person may be required to leave the library if their personal hygiene interferes with the orderly operation of the library or with the ability of other patrons to use and/or enjoy the facility.
  13. Animals in Forbes Library
    1. The pet/animal must be under the direct physical control of the owner/caretaker at all times.
    2. Pets/animals should not be left unattended on library property where they can obstruct walkways or driveways.
    3. The owner/caretaker will care for the pet/animal in a responsible way that ensures the safety of those on library property as well as the safety of the pet/animal.
    4. Owners/caretakers will ensure that the pet/animal relieves itself outside and will clean up after the pet/animal and dispose of its waste properly; and ensure that the pet/animal is clean, groomed, and in a healthy condition.
    5. Where applicable, the pet/animal should be licensed, vaccinated, and have identification tags.
    6. If the pet/animal creates a disturbance, poses a health or safety risk to others who are exposed to it, or disturbs library patrons or staff, it must be removed from the building/property.
    7. As permitted by law, the library may require the owner/caretaker to accept sole financial and legal responsibility for any injury, damage, or other harm caused by a pet/animal and the owner/caretaker may be responsible for indemnifying the library should it be found legally liable for any injury or harm caused by the pet/animal.
  14. Patrons are expected to cooperate with staff when closing time is announced. Notice is given to library users approximately 10-15 minutes before closing to provide enough time to check out materials.
  15. Dangerous weapons are not allowed on library property.
  16. Any person, who, in the opinion of the library staff, is engaging in conduct described here as inconsistent with the orderly operation of the library, will be asked to leave and will be expected to do so in an orderly manner. Police may be called if needed.
  17. Library privileges may be limited by the library director for the following reasons:
    1. Damaging library property.
    2. Stealing library materials.
    3. Threatening or physically harming staff or patrons.
    4. Criminal acts committed on the premises or grounds.
    5. Disruptive behavior.

Approved by Board of Trustees 1/17/2005. Updated 7/30/2015.