Patron Conduct Policy

Code of Conduct

It is a patron’s responsibility to maintain necessary and proper standards of behavior in order to protect his slash her individual rights and the rights and privileges of other patrons. If a patron creates a public nuisance, that patron may be restricted from the library and from the use of the library facilities. Those who are unwilling to leave or do not leave within a reasonable amount of time, after being instructed to do so by the staff, will be subject to the law.

Young children:

The Butler Public Library encourages visits by young children, and it is our desire to make this important visit more memorable and enjoyable for the child. Library staff is not expected to assume responsibility for the care of unsupervised children in the library therefore, it is library policy that all children under age 6 must be accompanied by a parent or designated responsible person while in the library. Also, if the young child is attending a library program, we required the parent slash responsible person to remain in the library throughout the program.

Disruptive children:

Children of all ages are encouraged to use the library for homework, recreational reading, and program attendance. The library staff realizes that the library will be noisier at busy times and that children by nature caused more commotion. However, children (whether they are with parents or not) who are being continually disruptive will be given a warning that he/she must settle down or will be asked to leave the library. If after a second warning the child continues to be disruptive, he/she will be asked to leave the library. If the child needs to contact a parent, they may do so and then wait with a staff person until the parent arrives.

Problem patrons:

If the staff becomes uncomfortable with a patron, they should bring this to the attention of the Library Board for direction and involve the police if they feel necessary.

Problem Behavior Repeat Penalties

Repeated disregard or violations must be taken seriously and acted upon to prevent the behavior escalating to the point where library operations are severely disruptive, and staff and the public exposed to behaviors that diminish their ability to accomplish their work or use the library in a comfortable, undisrupted, and unthreatened manner.

In order to provide a means by which the response to repeated violation is escalated and the seriousness of the continued activity driven home to the individual(s) involved the following stage picture is to be used.

Accurate and complete record keeping is absolutely necessary to make this escalation procedure successful. A staff member should file a code of conduct incident report at each stage of the escalation. Be aware that any written reports may be considered public records under Chapter 19 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

Stage 1 — Verbal Warning

The Stage 1 penalties in most cases involve a verbal warning and, in the event of repeated behavior, possible removal from the library for the remainder of the day.

Stage 2 — Written

If, for any reason, a customer is told to leave the library as a result of their violation of a regulation, it is mandatory that a code of contact incident report be completed and filed as soon as possible.

Stage 3 – Repeated behavior

Should a customer involved in a Stage 2 incident repeat their previous behavior or engage in other violations, staff may decide that the customer’s behavior is to be escalated to Stage 3. At Stage 3 the customer is denied entry to the library for a period of one month. Again, it is mandatory that staff complete a Code of Conduct Incident Report as soon as possible. The form must indicate that this is a Stage 3 violation.

The Library Director, in consultation with the involved staff and library managers, must approve the Stage 3 discipline.

If the Director approves this discipline, the customer will, when practicable, be given a written notice detailing the violation history along with the start and end dates of the period during which they are denied entry.

Stage 4 — Escalation

Should a customer involved in a Stage 3 incident repeat their previous behavior or engage in other violations, staff should escalate to Stage 4. At Stage 4, the customer is denied entry to the library for a period of one year.

Again, it is mandatory that staff complete a code of conduct incident report as soon as possible. The form must indicate that this is a Stage 4 violation.

The library director, in consultation with the involved staff and department manager, must approve the Stage 4 discipline.

If the Director approves, the customer will, when practicable, be given a written notice detailing the violation history along with the start date after which they are denied entry.

Preemption 1: Decision to Ban Individuals

The Library Director may, on his or her own initiative, or upon the request or recommendation of staff, bypass or escalate the above steps and ban on individual or individuals from using the library for a definite period or permanently. The Director may invoke this preemption when a customer engages in seriously dangerous, disruptive and/or illegal behavior. Examples of such behaviors may be, but are not limited to:

  • Engaging in any physical violence directed at staff or public.
  • Threatening physical violence against staff or public
  • Behaving in a manner that leads staff to reasonably believe that there is a substantial risk of violence
  • Engaging in behavior it disrupts library operations to such an egregious extent that police officers are called to assist with stopping the disruption or removing the disruptor from the library
  • Vandalizing library facilities or collections
  • Theft of library materials

In the event that the Library Director bans an individual or group under the auspices of this provision, the Director shall provide written notice of such action to the individual and will advise the Library Board of the action. If written notice cannot be provided for reasons beyond the director’s control, written notice shall be effectuated by posting the notice at the library and at any additional location the director reasonably believes would serve to inform the individual of the ban.

Appeal

Any person banned from the library by action of the staff for a period of one year or longer may request a hearing on the propriety of that ban before the Library Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

Preemption 2: Decision to Ban Individuals under 18

In the event that the individual involved in the incident is under the age of 18, the Library Director may follow the procedure outlined in Preemption 1 with the following modifications:

The Library Director may, on his or her own initiative, or upon the request a recommendation of staff, bypass or escalate the above steps and ban and individual or individuals from using the library for a definite period of time or permanently unless the individual or individuals are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The Director may invoke this preemption when a customer engages in seriously dangerous, disruptive and/or illegal behavior. Examples of such behavior are listed under Preemption 1.

In the event that the Library Director bans and individual or group under the auspices of this provision, the director shall provide written notice of such action to the individual’s parents or legal guardian and will advise the Library Board of the action. If written notice cannot be provided for reason beyond the Director’s control, written notice shall be affected by filing a copy of the notice with the incident reported and placing a copy in a folder in the circulation department with any active notifications, and any additional location the Director reasonably believes would serve to inform the individual of the ban.

Appeal

Any parent or legal guardian of an individual banned under the provisions of Preemption 2 for a period of one year or longer may request a hearing on the propriety of that ban before the Library Board at its next regular regularly scheduled meeting.