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Library Use Guidelines

To aid all patrons of the Decatur Public Library in their use of library facilities, the Library Board of Trustees has published the following use guidelines.

Patrons Shall

  • Engage in activities associated with the use of a public library. Patrons not reading, studying, or using library materials may be required to leave the building.
  • Respect the rights of other patrons & staff. Patrons shall not harass or annoy others by behaving in a manner which can be reasonably expected to disturb others.
  • Turn cell phone ringers to silent or vibrate.

Patrons Shall Not

  • Bring food into the Library, smoke, or use tobacco, tobacco products, or vapor devices. Drink containers with a secure lid are allowed except in the computer area. Drinks without a secure lid are not allowed in the library.
  • Sleep anywhere on Library property.
  • Interfere with the use of the Library by other patrons or interfere with library employees' performance of their duties.
  • Deface or mar Library materials. Patrons shall not deface, mar, or in any way destroy or damage library furnishings, walls, machines, or other Library property.
  • Enter the building without a shirt or shoes. Patrons must wear a covering of their upper body and shoes or other footwear. Patrons whose bodily hygiene is offensive so as to constitute a nuisance to other patrons may be required to leave the building. Underwear should not be visible.
  • Bring pets or animals into the Library. (Other than authorized service animals.)
  • Leave children under the age of eight years unsupervised. Children under the age of eight years must be accompanied by a responsible adult or child over the age of 13.
  • Sell products or services or solicit for charitable organizations. Except the Library of Friends of the Library.
  • Carry firearms on Library property.

In accordance with the Illinois Compiled Statutes, (75 ILCS 5/4-7), the Board of Library Trustees of Decatur Public Library has the following powers:

“To make and adopt…rules and regulations…for the government of the Library…” and

“To exclude from the use of the Library any person who willfully violates the rules prescribed by the Board.”

Therefore, the Board of Trustees of Decatur Public Library adopts the following as its policy on patron behavior:

  • The Decatur Public Library Board of Trustees has developed rules and regulations governing appropriate patron behavior. These rules are available for examination in the Library.
  • Any patron who engages in any activity that materially disrupts the use of Library facilities, collections, or services by patrons or materially disrupts the ability of the staff to perform its duties shall be given a verbal warning that his/her behavior is unacceptable and informed of the consequences should the behavior continue.
  • If, following this direction, the patron fails or refuses to comply, or responds to the request in an abusive manner, he/she will be required to immediately leave the Library property for the balance of that calendar day. If he/she fails to leave, the Decatur Police will be summoned.
  • Library staff will maintain a record of instances in which patrons are required to leave the premises.
  • Library staff has the right to request to see identification of any person on the premises who is violating Library policies or rules governing patron behavior. Library staff are authorized to direct individuals to leave the Library premises immediately if they continue to violate the Code of Conduct rules after being warned to discontinue unacceptable behavior. Supervisors are authorized to ban the patron for a week. Anyone may, without prior notice or warning, be removed from the Library premises if his or her presence or conduct is threatening, willfully malicious or poses an immediate and imminent danger to
    any person or property.
  • Parents or guardians of minors will be notified in writing, whenever possible, after the first recorded instance in which a minor is required to leave Library property, and advised of the consequences of any further recorded instances.
  • Upon the second recorded instance within a four-week period in which a patron is required to leave the Library, the City Librarian shall ban the patron from Library property for a period of thirty days.
  • In the event a patron banned from Library property attempts entry to Library property during any such period of exclusion, the police will be immediately summoned to respond to this trespassing violation.
  • In the event the patron persists in abusive conduct or disruptive behavior following a period of exclusion, the City may determine that a long-term period of exclusion of that patron is in order. If an incident is the result of a repeat offender, or a very serious infraction of the Code of Conduct, the City Librarian has the right to ban up to a year. The Decatur Public Library Board of Trustees may extend the ban beyond one year.
  • The Library is not required to go through the entire intervention process detailed in this policy. Intervention may begin at any step, including immediate involvement of the police and/or banning from Library property, depending upon the severity of the incident or behavior.
  • Any person who is excluded from the Library for a period in excess of one month will be notified of such in writing by the City Librarian and has the right to appeal by requesting a hearing before the Board of Trustees of the Library, provided such hearing is requested by written notice addressed to “Board of Trustees, Decatur Public Library, 130 N. Franklin, Decatur, IL, 62523” or emailed to or hand delivered to the Library. Exceptions can be made for oral requests.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees 11/20/14. Reviewed 5/17/2018. Amended by Board of Trustees 11/19/2020.