Code of Conduct Policy
In order to provide resources and services to all people who visit Pikes Peak Library District facilities, in a manner that ensures their safety and in an atmosphere of courtesy, respect, and service excellence, the Library Board of Trustees has adopted the following Code of Conduct Policy. Its purpose is to guarantee that the Pikes Peak Library District is able to carry out its mission and ensure that no person or group is denied access to Library facilities, programs, or services because of behaviors that create an environment that is unsafe, disruptive, or not conducive to the Library mission.
Consistent with the Pikes Peak Library District non-discrimination policies, the enforcement of the Code of Conduct will be applied evenly, consistently, and fairly.
The rules set forth below are not intended to limit the Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) from taking action to ensure safety, security, and excellent customer service. Any behavior that is disruptive or that inhibits or prevents PPLD from ensuring a safe environment or from accomplishing its mission may elicit an appropriate response to deny access to facilities and/or services.
Rules for a Safe Environment
- Concealed weapons that are not legally licensed and open display of weapons are prohibited (Open Display of Weapons Policy and Colo. Rev. Stat. 18-12-105).
- Sidewalks outside and passageways indoors must remain obstacle-free.
- Library patrons must park bicycles or other vehicles only in authorized areas.
- Use of skateboards, roller blades, roller-skates, or scooters is not allowed in the Library, on Library premises, or in common areas shared with other businesses.
- Animals or personal transport vehicles are not permitted in the Library except as required by persons with disabilities. Programs sponsored by the Library that involve animals are permitted.
- Use of tobacco products is prohibited from all Library facilities and on all Library properties. Facilities and properties includes but is not limited to all library facilities leased or owned, parking lots, picnic areas, dock areas, entrances, entrance patios, garages, vehicles, green spaces and gardens.
- Using alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited. Persons under the influence of alcohol or non-prescription drugs are not allowed on Library property. Approved Pikes Peak Library District events may serve alcoholic beverages.
- Shirts and shoes are required for health reasons and must be worn at all times while in the Library.
The use of incendiary devices, such as candles, matches, and lighters, is prohibited inside the Library.
Rules for Personal Behavior
- Personal property brought into the Library is subject to the following:
- Size must be limited to no larger than a student’s typical book bag or a backpack used as a book bag (approximately 10”X16”X24”).
- The Library may limit the number of parcels carried into the Library.
- All bags are subject to search based upon reasonable suspicion that they contain material that is in violation of PPLD policy or Library materials that have not been properly charged out.
- The Library is not responsible for personal belongings left unattended.
- The Library does not provide storage for personal property.
- Items inappropriate to Library use, including but not limited to bicycles, wagons, shopping carts, luggage, large grocery bags, large trash bags, backpacks, bedrolls, and strollers without children are not allowed in the Library.
- Personal possessions must not take up seating or space needed by others.
- Personal possessions such as grocery bags, trash bags, backpacks, bedrolls, shopping bags, and luggage left outside Library facilities are subject to disposal.
- Food must be consumed only in authorized areas.
- Patrons must leave the Library promptly at closing time.
- Use of library buildings and property:
- Inside Libraries: Patrons shall be engaged in activities associated with library purposes while in library buildings. These activities include reading, studying, using library material and equipment, and participating in a scheduled community meeting or library program. Persons not engaged in activities associated with library purposes may be required to leave the building. Libraries are not intended for use as a waiting room or lounge.
- Outside Libraries on Library grounds: Entrance areas to libraries are intended for ingress and egress by library patrons, staff, and vendors. Parking areas are intended for vehicular travel and parking and for travel from vehicles to the library entrance or bookdrops located near the parking areas. Sidewalks leading from parking lots to the library entrance are intended for use by patrons, staff, and vendors to access and depart from the library. Persons are allowed to travel across parking lots, library sidewalks, and paved areas outside the library entrance for purposes of access to and departure from the library and its facilities. These areas are not intended as a place for recreation, eating, or for use as a waiting area. Similarly, lawns are designed for landscaping and aesthetic design, not for standing, walking over, lying on, or other similar use. Personal belongings shall not be left on outside library property while a visitor is inside the library building or attending to errands or activities off library premises.
- With prior approval by PPLD staff, and in accordance with PPLD guidelines, PPLD may permit certain groups and individuals to engage in petition signing, distribution of literature, concerts, and similar activities for limited periods and in designated areas outside library buildings.
Pikes Peak Library District, as a “limited public forum,” has the authority to make reasonable rules that are universally applicable regarding the allowed use of library buildings and property, including content-neutral restriction of conduct involving passing out literature. The public sidewalks around the library property are a traditional public forum subject to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on those wishing to use them for purposes protected by the First Amendment.
Any person or group who does not abide by the conditions stated above or creates a nuisance such that the regular business of the Library is disrupted shall be required to immediately cease all activities relating to solicitation for a petition or leafleting and to leave library property.
- Library employees will contact the police if deemed advisable.
- Spitting is prohibited.
- Sleeping or lying on the floor or furniture in the Library is prohibited.
- Soliciting or panhandling inside the Library or on Library property is prohibited.
- Using profane, obscene, threatening, or injurious language or gestures directed at another patron or a staff member is prohibited.
- Patrons may not interfere with the staff’s performance of duties. This includes engaging in extended conversation or behavior that engages or forces the attention of staff for an inappropriate period of time, inappropriate personal comments, sexual advances, or physical and/or verbal harassment.
- Signature gathering for petitions is permitted outside the Library, but must not block a Library entrance or exit.
- Selling merchandise without prior permission from the Director is prohibited.
- Unreasonable use of the restrooms, including laundering, shaving, hair cutting or trimming, and bathing is prohibited.
- The Library prohibits any activity or condition that unreasonably interferes with Library user or staff comfort, safety, use, or quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the Library, including but not limited to:
- harassing or threatening Library users or staff;
- staring at, following, or photographing Library users or staff;
- making any loud or unreasonable noise or other disturbance such as running or talking loudly;
- disruptive use of personal communications or entertainment devices, such as cell phones, head phones, and radios. Cell phones and pagers should be answered promptly. Patrons should speak in low tones and keep conversations brief. If phone calls cannot be concluded quickly, patrons should move away from reading, research, and study areas;
- offensive body odor due to poor personal hygiene, overpowering perfume, or cologne;
- excessive public displays of affection;
- sexual misconduct.
Rules for the Use and Preservation of Library Materials and Property
- Patrons must not deface, vandalize, or improperly remove Library materials, equipment, furniture, or buildings.
- Patrons must abide by established time limitations and Pikes Peak Library District’s Acceptable Use of the Internet Policy.
- Library phones are for staff use only.
Rules for the Safety of Children
- Parents or caregivers must be present and responsible for the supervision of children age 11 and under.
- Staff may restrict adult use of Children’s areas, including Children’s restrooms.
Disciplinary Process for Library Facilities
Security personnel or the Person-In-Charge with line authority may restrict access to Library facilities with immediate dismissal of the patron from the premises, by suspending the patron’s access to Library facilities for a set period of time, or by denying access to specific services and/or programs.
Suspension of Library Privileges
The person-in-charge with line authority may suspend the Library privileges of a patron, including access to activities, services, or facilities, without prior approval of the associate director if the situation is a serious offense and constitutes a violation of PPLD policies. Examples of serious offenses include but are not limited to: verbal abuse, violence, threatening behaviors, sexual harassment, vandalism, drug sale or use or attempted drug sale or use, intoxication, theft or attempted theft, physical harassment, sexual misconduct, or any behaviors that threaten the safety and security of staff and/or patrons. The person-in-charge or Security Officer shall call the Police Department rather than place themselves, other staff members, or patrons in a threatening situation.
- The person-in-charge or security officer may issue an immediate suspension order by requesting that the offending person leave the Library immediately. If the person refuses to leave Library premises, the Police Department should be called at the non-emergency number (444-7000). Call 911 if situation becomes threatening.
- For offenses that do not require immediate suspension of privileges, the offending patron may be issued a warning letter if the repetition of the offense would be cause for suspension (example: situational anger inappropriately expressed in a disruptive manner).
- The person-in-charge or security officer may issue a suspension of privileges letter (extended period of time) when the behavior is serious as described above or when the behavior is repetitious after a verbal warning has been issued. A copy of the suspension of privileges letter shall remain at the issuing . A copy of the letter will also remain on file in the Security department at Penrose.
- The Security Department may send a letter to the patron that describes the action taken by the Library. Since names and addresses are occasionally unavailable, suspension letters may be handed to the patron at the time of the action by either the Security Department or the person-in-charge. In the event a person refuses to accept the suspension letter, the order will be in effect.
- If not previously delivered, the Security Department or person-in-charge hands a copy of the suspension letter to the patron if the patron returns to the Library. If the patron returns to a library other than the library issuing the suspension, the Security Department or person-in–charge shall verbally notify the patron of the action and request that he or she leave the Library premises.
- If it is unclear about the appropriateness of an immediate or extended suspension of privileges, the person-in-charge will refer the incident to the Facilities/Security Officer for decision.
- Initial suspension of privileges is for 3 months. Subsequent suspensions may be for additional 3-month periods. Long-term suspensions require notification and approval of the Facilities /Security Officer or the Associate Directors or the Executive Director.
- A Security Incident report shall be written immediately and forwarded to the Facilities/Security Officer for logging and review. A copy of the suspension of privileges letter should be attached, if applicable. The report should include physical descriptions in addition to the name of the patron. Incident reports shall be written for all suspension orders, verbal actions, and warning letters.
- After issuing the suspension of privileges letter, the person-in-charge notifies the Facilities /Security Officer, and the Associate Director, Administrative Services within 24 hours, specifying the behavior or rule violation. The Facilities/Security Officer informs the supervisory staff via email (description of the patron, description of the behavior).
- Library staff and Security personnel may photograph patrons (as safety permits) and/or use photo records of patrons who have had their Library privileges suspended. The photos may be attached to the security log on the PPLD Intranet.
- The Circulation Department, upon receiving the revocation notice, blocks the patron’s Library access.
- The Security Department at Penrose keeps a database of patrons whose privileges have been suspended with the effective dates.
- Upon expiration of the suspension notice, Security Department notifies Circulation and the library issuing the letter that the order has expired.
- The Security Department notifies the staff that the suspension has expired.
Right of Appeal
A patron with suspended privileges may appeal a suspension in writing to the Executive Director within 10 working days of the date of the letter. The patron must state clearly why he/she believes that his/her privileges should be restored.
The Executive Director or a designee will respond to the appeal in writing within 10 working days of the date the appeal was received.
The decision of the Executive Director is final.
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