Library Policy: Behavior


Shell Lake Public Library

Patron Behavior Policy


Purpose of the Library

The purpose of the Shell Lake Public Library (SLPL) is to provide library service to all people within its service area. SLPL defines its library service as providing books and other library materials for use by the general public as well as providing the necessary assistance and encouragement to use these materials.

Purpose of the Facilities

The library's facilities are intended to support the purpose of the library and its integral activities, including reading and studying quietly, searching for and using library materials, and asking reference questions. Patrons not engaged in these activities shall be required to leave the facility.

Need to Maintain an Acceptable Library Environment

In order to fulfill its purpose, the library must maintain an orderly, safe, pleasant, and attractive environment, conducive to reading and studying. Any activity that would disrupt this environment could impede the library's ability to achieve its purpose, and must, therefore, be considered unacceptable. Persons engaged in unacceptable conduct shall be required to leave the facility. 

Unacceptable Conduct

Unacceptable conduct includes both disruptive and illegal behavior.

Disruptive behavior includes, but is not limited to the following:
·        Playing audio equipment so that others can hear it.
·        Sleeping, consuming food, drinking alcoholic beverages, using illegal drugs, smoking, using tobacco or tobacco products. 
·        having bodily hygiene so offensive that it constitutes a nuisance.
·        Entering or being in the building without being fully clothed, which includes, but is not limited to, wearing a shirt and shoes.
·        Bringing an animal into the building, excepting that an animal may be brought into the building by a person with a disability who uses such animal for assistance.
·        Soliciting for sale or selling of any item, article, service, food or product of any kind whatsoever; distributing any leaflet or similar item or posting any notice, except in accordance with library policy; or circulating petitions or surveying by non-library groups.
·        Using library telephones without prior authority of library personnel in accordance with library policy.  Cell phones must be turned off or muted.  Cell phones may be answered outside the library-no answering in the library.  Verbal interaction via electronic devices (computer, cell phone, etc.) must be done outside of the Library.

  • rearranging any library furniture or moving library equipment from one location to another.
  • Remaining in the facility after its regular closing hours (Per Facility use Policy).
    ·        Blocking or in any way interfering with the free movement of patrons or staff.
    ·        Begging or panhandling, fighting, running, horseplay, throwing objects.
    ·        Misuse of the public restrooms.
    ·        Placing feet on tables and chairs.
    ·        Lengthy conversations, speaking or laughing loudly, or using obscene or abusive language.
    ·        Non-compliance with the Children Policy
    •     Any activity that disturbs others, interferes with library operations, damages the building or its furnishings, as well as rudeness, profanity, or any other behavior generally considered unacceptable in a public place.

Illegal behavior includes, but is not limited to the following:

·        Harassment or intimidation of patrons or staff
·        Interfering with the use of the library by other patrons or interfering with library staff performance of their duties.
·        attempting to remove any library property from the building without    authorization through established lending procedures.
·        Intentionally destroying, damaging, or defacing library materials, furnishings, equipment, or any part of the facility or fixtures.
·        engaging in disorderly conduct or other conduct in violation of state or federal law including conduct applicable to released sex offenders.
·        Carrying or being in possession or control of a weapon.
·        Lewd or lascivious behavior
·        Battery






Responding to Disruptive Conduct

In the event disruptive conduct occurs, the Shell Lake Public Library staff may take the following actions, as appropriate to the situation: 

(a) Level I – Warning

Advise the violator that his/her conduct is unacceptable conduct and request that the person complies with library policy. Warn the person that if his/her behavior does not comply with library policy, he/she will be directed to leave the facility. 

(b) Level II- Evicted for the day

If the person fails to comply with library policy after being warned, staff shall order the person to leave the building for the rest of the day. If a person does not obey an order to leave the building, staff shall request assistance of the Shell Lake Police Department to remove the person from the building. 


(c) Level III-Suspension of library privileges for one week

Repeated incidents of disruptive behavior will result in a one-week suspension of library privileges. “Repeated” is defined as more than two warnings (regarding any disruptive behaviors) in a 30-day period, or an incident of disruptive behavior from a patron who has been evicted for the day within the previous 30 days. 

(d) Level IV-Suspension of library privileges for a month

If a person who has been readmitted to the library after being suspended for one week repeats disruptive behavior, this will result in a month suspension. 


(e) Level V-Permanent ban of library privileges

If a person who has been readmitted to the library after being suspended for a month repeats disruptive behavior, this may result in the person being permanently banned from the library.  This action will be brought to the attention of the Library Board where the Board will make a final decision.