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Patron Responsibilites and Conduct

Patron Responsibilites and Conduct

The purpose of the Library’s rules for behavior as described in this policy are to protect the rights of individuals who are using the library, to assist library staff in managing the library effectively and to preserve library materials and facilities.

Wis. Stat. § 43.52 (2) states: “Every public library shall be free for the use of the inhabitants of the municipality for which it is established and maintained, subject to such reasonable regulations as the library board prescribes in order to render its use most beneficial to the greatest number. The Library Board may exclude from the use of the public library all persons who willfully violate such regulations.”

Such exclusion from this Library shall occur on the order of the Director or other designee.  “Exclusion” means that an individual may not enter the Library.

The Library Board delegates authority to the Director and staff to ban people from the Library for a period of time. Individuals may be banned for a limited time, indefinitely or permanently. The length of the ban will depend on the following factors, as applicable, though other factors may be relevant in specific cases:

  •  Severity of offense
  •  Frequency of offenses
  •  Likelihood of possible continued offenses
  •  Safety of staff and patrons

When an individual is banned, he or she will receive a formal notification from the Director which will be shared with the Police Department, the Library Board, and the parents of the offender in the case of a minor. The procedure for appealing the ban will be included in this notification.  Should a banned individual return to the Library in violation of the ban, staff will contact Police.

If the individual disagrees with the ban, he or she may submit a written appeal to the Library for reconsideration. If the individual is a minor, the written appeal must include a parent or guardian’s signature. After receiving the written appeal, the Library Director will place the appeal on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled Board meeting. After the Board has reviewed the appeal, the individual (if present at the meeting) and/or parent or guardian in the case of a minor will have five minutes to address the Board. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Library Board will issue a written decision within 10 days following the meeting. The Library Board has the authority to affirm, modify or rescind the banning period and conditions.

When a person is banned from the Library, a note will be added to their computer record stating that the person is banned and for what length of time.

The provisions of this part of the policy apply to patrons of all ages:

Library staff expects all patrons to conduct themselves in a reasonable manner that does not impact negatively on other patrons or the Library itself. Staff has the right to ask any patron engaging in disruptive behavior to leave the Library premises. Repeated violations of library guidelines can be interpreted by staff to be disruptive. If a child is being unreasonably disruptive, staff will ask the parents to take the child out of the Library temporarily. If a young child who is unattended becomes disruptive, staff will make every effort to notify a parent or guardian of the child. Patrons engaging in disruptive behavior will be given at least two verbal warnings before they will be asked to leave. If a child asked to leave the Library does not make arrangements to be picked up, they will be required to leave immediately. If a child already has arrangements to be picked up at a designated time, they will be asked to wait for their ride in the lobby.


Staff will call police in the following situations:

  • When there are any threats of or actual physical harm to another individual, whether directed toward staff or other library users
  • There is physical damage to library property or the property of others
  • An individual refuses to leave the Library after being told twice to do so
  • An individual is using or possesses illegal drugs or is drinking alcohol or is publicly intoxicated
  • An individual views or prints out child pornography (photographs showing actual children engaged in sex acts)
  • An individual engages in acts of public indecency.  This includes:
  • Masturbation
  • Fondling another person’s sex organs
  • Sexual Intercourse
  • Public Nudity

Breast feeding is not considered an act of public indecency and is allowed in any part of the library.

Sexual harassment of staff and/or patrons will not be tolerated.

Library staff has the right to retain anyone they feel is trying to take materials out of the library without checking them out.  The police will be summoned in such an event.  (Wis. Stat. § 943.61 (4).