City of Escondido

Escondido Public Library Code of Conduct

 

To provide the community with an atmosphere of safety, courtesy, integrity, and respect, the Library Board of Trustees have adopted a "Code of Conduct." All Library users and staff have the right to be safe while attending the Library or programs. With this right comes the responsibility to be law-abiding citizens and to be accountable for actions that put the safety of others or oneself at risk. Library facility uses are governed by policies approved by the Library Board of Trustees to encourage maximum public use and enjoyment of the public facilities.

The Escondido Public Library is a recreation area as defined by Escondido Municipal Code section 18-67 and subject to all regulations found in Chapter 18 of the Municipal Code.

 

Access to Library Materials and Services

 

The freedom of access to ideas and information is essential to a democratic society, and the equality of access to information is one of the highest priorities of the Escondido Public Library. Library staff will strive to provide access to Library materials even when a person's conduct might result in temporary exclusion from Library facilities.

Facility and program users who wish to request a modification because of a disability and who need accommodation are invited to present their requests to the City by filling out a Request for Accommodation Form, or by calling the City's ADA Coordinator at 760-839-4643.

 

Standards of Conduct

 

All users, program participants, organizations and groups, staff, volunteers, and visitors to the Library campus or programs are expected to:

  1. Treat all members of the community, participants, staff, and volunteers with respect by using courteous language at all times and refraining from any disparaging remarks, verbal abuse or aggressive behavior.
  2. Comply with all Library policies.
  3. Use computers and online resources within the guidelines of the Library's computer use policies.
  4. Respond to security gate alarms, emergency alarms, and other situations as instructed by Library staff.
  5. Leave buildings at closing, and limit use of the Library to authorized areas only.
  6. Present identification when necessary to address violations of this Code.
  7. Show proper care and regard for City property and make a reasonable effort at cleanup, returning the area to its condition immediately prior to use.
  8. Library patrons may bring personal possessions into the Library facility subject to the following:
  • Personal item may be no larger than 10" x 16" x 24 (standard student back pack size).
  • A maximum of two items are allowed, subject to the combined size limit provided above.
  • Items inappropriate for Library use, including, but not limited to, bicycles, tools, and wagons, are not allowed in the Library.
  • Personal possessions should not take up seating or space needed by others.
  • All property left unattended is subject to removal and disposal by Library staff.
  1. Personal possessions may not be stored anywhere on Library property, including in or behind bushes, trees, shrubs, and/or walls on the Library campus.
  2. Unattended personal property abandoned in the Library property will be removed and disposed as appropriate.

 

Prohibited Conduct

 

  1. Any disturbance or disruption of Library staff or other users; to include but not limited to; loud, excessive or boisterous noise, use of electronic devices emitting audible sound, abusive or threatening conduct, harassment, staring or following others with intent to annoy, or behaving in a manner which reasonably could be expected to disturb others, horseplay, inappropriate physical contact, running, or any other activity that disrupts others ability to the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the Library.
  2. Personnel hygiene offensive to others so as to constitute a nuisance including offensive body odor, excessive use of perfumes/fragrances, or uncleanliness that could damage Library resources.
  3. Children under the age of ten, unless accompanied at all times by a responsible adult.
  4. Smoking, use of related tobacco products, or e-cigarettes except in designated areas.
  5. Eating or drinking inside the Library, except for liquids in a spill proof container, or at events authorized by the City Librarian.
  6. Firearms, weapons, knives, fireworks, or any dangerous items of any kind or use of incendiary devices, candles, matches, lighters, or similar items.
  7. Using equipment primarily designed for outdoor use; including carts, bicycles, skateboards, and other outdoor sporting equipment, inside a Library facility, except for occupied strollers and personal transportation devices when needed for disability access.
  8. Failure to wear a shirt, clothing or shoes as designed to be worn.
  9. Use of restrooms for bathing, shaving, washing hair, or laundering clothes.
  10. Pornography, obscene or offensive material in any areas open to the public.
  11. Alcohol or drug consumption or possession.
  12. Sleeping or lying on the floor or furniture or placing feet on furniture.
  13. Adults in children only areas unless accompanied by children or under direct library supervision.
  14. Blocking aisles, halls, elevators, stairs, seats, entrances or exits with personal property.
  15. Leaving personal property unattended.
  16. Animals.
  17. Bicycles, unless secured in Library bicycle racks, and riding roller skates, scooters, skateboards, or other similar wheeled devices.
  18. Sharing, transferring or assigning a Library card to another person or using another person's Library card.
  19. Photography, video or audio recording without consent.
  20. Soliciting for donations or signatures or any commercial activity within the Library, unless expressly authorized by the City Librarian.
  21. Vandalism, defacing or damaging library materials including, but not limited to, underlining, highlighting, writing, or removing pages or security devices.
  22. Any nuisance activity or violation of the Library Standards of Conduct, local, state or federal law.

 

Library Disciplinary Process

 

Persons who violate the rules and standards contained in the Code of Conduct or other posted regulations may receive a verbal or written warning from Library staff. The City Librarian shall maintain records of any violations and disciplinary actions.

If a person fails to correct a violation, then the person shall be ejected from the Library. If a person fails to leave upon request, Library staff will contact the Escondido Police Department for appropriate assistance. Any Person who intentionally interferes with Library operation and refuses to leave the Library premises after directed to do so by a Library supervisor or a Police Officer is guilty of a misdemeanor. (Cal Penal Code ยง 602.1.) An ejection will include a minimum three (3) day suspension of library access.

If a person has a subsequent violation of the Code of Conduct within 90 days of a warning or any suspension of library access, then person may be immediately ejected from the Library as a repeat offender. A warning is not a prerequisite for serious violations of the Code of Conduct. Subsequent or serious violations may result in longer term suspension from the Library. During any suspension of library access, Library staff will offer to make Library materials reasonably available.

The City Librarian may impose increasingly longer term suspensions (7, 30, 90 days or longer) when necessary to ensure the quiet peaceful enjoyment of the Library by all members of the community. Longer term suspensions are necessary to address repeated, pervasive, or serious violations of the Code of Conduct.

 

Appeal Process of Aggrieved Party

 

Any person aggrieved by decisions of Library staff may appeal an ejection or suspension of library access. A person challenging an ejection may ask to immediately speak with a Library supervisor.

For any suspension, the offending party may file a written appeal with the City Librarian. An appeal shall include the name, address, phone number, and a concise statement addressing the facts and circumstances that resulted in the discipline. Upon receipt of an appeal, the City Librarian may stay the suspension until the appeal is resolved. For suspensions of seven (7) days or longer, the aggrieved patron must file an appeal within five (5) days.

An aggrieved party may demand a hearing with the City Librarian for suspensions of 30 days or more. The hearing shall be informal and the rules of evidence shall not apply. The City Librarian shall provide all documents related to the exclusion at least five (5) days prior to the hearing and shall promptly schedule the hearing within fifteen 15 days of the appeal. The hearing shall afford a reasonable opportunity for patron to be present and to present evidence in support of their position. Except for exclusions of 90 days or more, the decision of the City Librarian is final. For a 90-day or longer exclusion, the aggrieved party may appeal the City Librarian's decision to the Library Board of Trustees. In such case, the decision of the Library Board of Trustees will be final.

 

*The day of an ejection does not count toward the suspension period.
*The City Librarian may designate an office manager to act in his/her absence.