Library staff members are responsible for maintaining an atmosphere that is both safe and conducive to independent study and reading. Certain types of disruptive behavior can be potentially harmful or dangerous, and should be monitored by staff:
- Inappropriate use of furniture or equipment
- Running or rough play
- Badgering or harassment
- Verbal arguments or confrontations
- Obscene language or behavior
- Willful damage of library materials or facilities
Staff intervention isn’t necessarily required in disputes between patrons. Allow/encourage patrons to resolve problems on their own, but be ready to intervene if needed in order to maintain order. If a patron notifies staff about a problem, staff must address situation.
When dealing with disruptions, speak directly but discreetly to person involved. Relate concerns, explaining why behavior is unacceptable stating clearly that continued disruptions will require that person leave library.
Sheriff’s office should be notified in the event that a person refuses to leave.
Complete incident report form in any situation involving expulsion from the library.
If a minor is involved, parents should be asked to monitor behavior. However, staff should act to halt inappropriate behavior if parents do not. If parents are not present, and minor is asked to leave, call parents if possible.
Depending on the nature of the incident, patrons may have library privileges restricted. (MCA 22-1-311) The nature of the restrictions will depend on the type and severity of the unacceptable behavior:
Non-destructive disruptive behavior: may not enter library for remainder of the day.
Second expulsion for similar behavior: may not enter library for one week.
Third expulsion: may not enter library for one month.
Persons caught intentionally damaging library materials or facilities must be confronted immediately. Complete incident report form, and identify value of the materials damaged. The person or persons involved will be held liable for cost of repairs or replacement. Depending on the extent of damages, legal action may also be taken.