Disruptive Behavior Policy
Effective - July 1, 2012
Adopted by the Board of Trustees: June 19, 2012
The Gaston County Public Library offers a full range of public library services to all residents of Gaston County on an equitable basis. Library services will not be denied or abridged because of race, religion, age, gender, national origin, handicapping condition, beliefs, affiliations, or social and/or political views. It is the intent of the library to provide its services in all of its facilities with a minimum of regulations and restrictions, adopting only those which are absolutely essential to the library's operation.
The library recognizes that the users of the library are in fact the owners of the library. As user-owners, the public has certain expectations of the library. These include: an excellent collection of library materials; pleasant, attractive, clean, and neat surroundings; and courteous, efficient, and effective service from the library staff.
Library users have a right to assume that a visit to one of the library facilities will be free from harassment, free from physical discomfort and danger, and free from psychological and emotional stress. Library staff members have the same rights. All members of the staff should be able to work free of harassment, abuse, discomfort, and undue stress. The rights of both the public and the staff are sometimes violated by the attitudes and behaviors of a small minority of persons.
Therefore, it shall be the policy of the Board of Trustees of the Gaston County Public Library to maintain in all of its facilities a pleasant environment conducive to serious study as well as to casual use. To assure the successful implementation of this policy, the Board hereby exercises authority as outlined in the GENERAL STATUTES OF NORTH CAROLINA, G.S. 153A-266, and declares to all library users the following to be unacceptable behaviors:
- Any conversation, laughter, noise, or action which is disturbing to other users or to library staff.
- Any obscene or abusive language or gesture that is directed at other patrons or at library staff.
- Use of personal phones and listening devices in any manner that transmits sound to other persons.
- Blocking or in any way interfering with the free movement of any person or persons.
- Removal of any library property from the building or grounds without authorization through established lending procedures.
- Soliciting of any kind, selling of any kind, or distribution of leaflets or any other materials not specifically approved by the Director.
- Use of library telephones by any person other than library personnel unless approved.
- Consumption of unauthorized food or beverages brought into the building by individuals.
- Following staff or users around the building or any other harassing behavior such as making rude noises, gestures, or other intimidating acts.
- Rearranging or relocating any library furniture, books, or equipment from one location to another.
- Engaging in disorderly conduct, committing a nuisance, loitering, sleeping, or unreasonably disturbing and offending library users or staff.
- Carrying unauthorized weapons of any sort.
- Consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or drugs.
- Bringing animals other than lead dogs into the building.
- Willful destruction of or damage to any library property.
- Smoking or using tobacco products anywhere in a library.
- Entering non-public areas within a library building without staff approval.
- Using library parking lots, sidewalks, or grounds for skateboarding, play, or any other activities that could endanger participants and library users.
- Engaging in any other behaviors deemed inappropriate in public by North Carolina laws.
Persons conducting any of the above actions will be asked to leave the library building and its surrounding grounds and premises. Persons who persist in disapproved conduct will be subject to expulsion or ban from Gaston County Public Library use. Persons who refuse to leave the library building or grounds when requested will be subject to misdemeanor arrest under the following sections of the GENERAL STATUTES OF NORTH CAROLINA:
G.S. 14-33 Misdemeanor assaults, batteries and affrays.
G.S. 14-76 Larceny, mutilation, or destruction of public records and papers.
G.S. 14-127 Willful and wanton injury to real property.
G.S. 14-132 Disorderly conduct in and injuries to public buildings and facilities.
G.S. 14-190.1 Obscene literature and exhibitions.
G.S. 14.190.13 Definitions for certain offenses concerning minors.
G.S. 14-190.9 Indecent exposure.
G.S. 14-204.1 Loitering for the purpose of engaging in prostitution offense.
G.S. 14-269 Carrying concealed weapons.
G.S. 14-277.1 Communicating threats.
G.S. 14-398 Theft or destruction of property of public libraries, museums, etc.