Library Conduct Policy
Effective - July 1, 2012, Revised - July 1, 2018
Adopted by the Board of Trustees: June 19, 2012, April 17, 2018
The Gaston County Public Library offers a full range of public library services to all residents of Gaston County and visitors 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.
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 community-centered environment. 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, noise, or action, in person or from a device, which is disturbing to other users or to library staff.
- Any obscene or abusive language, gesture, or intimidating act that is directed at other patrons or at library staff. This includes following other users or library staff around the building or property.
- 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 or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages and/or illegal drugs.
- Smoking, vaping, using e-cigarettes, or using any tobacco products anywhere in a library or on library property, including the library parking areas.
- Blocking or in any way interfering with the free movement of any person or persons. Rearranging or relocating any library furniture, books, or equipment from one location to another.
- Soliciting or 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. Drinks in closed containers such as covered cups, containers, or plastic bottles are allowed. Packaged snacks that are consumed by an individual are allowed (crackers, cookies, etc.)
- Bringing animals other than service animals into the building. Service animals must be under the control of their owners at all times.
- Willful destruction of or damage to any library property. Removal of any library property from the building or grounds without authorization through established lending procedures.
- Entering non-public areas within a library building or on library property without staff approval.
- Using library parking lots, sidewalks, or grounds for skateboarding, play, or any other activities that could endanger participants and library users.
- Leaving children under the age of 10 and/or vulnerable individuals (individuals with mental or physical impairment who are unable to protect themselves from abuse or exploitation or comprehend and comply with Library policies) unattended in any area of the Library. Children, teens under 18, or vulnerable individuals may not be left at the Library after closing hours.
- Engaging in any other behaviors deemed inappropriate in public by North Carolina laws.
Failure to comply with Library Conduct Policy may result in exclusion from the Library for the day or permanently and/or in arrest under the relevant sections of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes of North Carolina.