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I. Patron Code of Conduct

The Michigan City Public Library Patron Code of Conduct is intended to protect the rights and safety of individuals who are in the library or use library materials and/or services, to protect the rights and safety of staff members, and to preserve and protect library materials, facilities and property. Library staff and security have the authority to maintain order and enforce these and other regulations to ensure the safety of all.

The Youth Services Department is reserved for use by children, their parents or guardians, and adults interested in children’s materials. The Young Adults’ area is reserved for young adults and those who accompany them.

Library users who violate the code of conduct may be subject to the suspension of their library privileges, be banned from using the library, and/or face legal action. Upon violation of any part of the code of conduct, the patron will be asked to stop the unacceptable activity. If behavior is not changed, the patron will be told to leave the library for the remainder of the day. If behavior is unchanged in subsequent days, the patron will be barred from using the library for a period of 90 days or more at the discretion of the Director. The Director will inform the patron of this decision via certified or legally served letter.

The Library reserves the right to enlist the assistance of the Police or other authorities to enforce the code of conduct.

II. Posted Rules

These rules and regulations are posted at the front entrance to the Michigan City Public Library:

  • The library reserves the right to inspect all bags, purses or backpacks
  • Shirts, Shoes and Proper Attire Required
  • No Animals allowed except for Canine Assistance
  • No Alcohol or Being Under the Influence of Alcohol
  • No Smoking or Other Tobacco Products
  • No Illegal Drugs
  • No Food or Drinks
  • No Gambling or Game Playing
  • No Inappropriate Displays of Affection, Obscene Gestures, or Indecent Exposure
  • No Loitering or Disruptive Behavior
  • No Sleeping
  • No Stalking or Staring
  • No Soliciting
  • No Running, Horseplay, Roughhousing, Pushing, etc.
  • No Bicycles, Skateboards, Rollerblades, etc.
  • Do Not Leave Children Unattended
  • No Verbal or Physical Abuse
  • No Weapons
  • No Cell Phones in Use
  • No Bathing, Shaving, or Clothes / Hair Washing in Bathrooms
  • No Open Flames
  • No Offensive Odors
  • No Disruption / Abuse of Library Furniture or Property
  • No Blocking of Aisles or Monopolization of Furniture / Space
  • No Bedrolls and/or Large, Bulky Personal Belongings

III. Rules and Regulations Explained

For the comfort and safety of patrons, staff, and volunteers, and for the protection of Library property, the following behaviors and actions are considered unacceptable in the library and will be subject to discipline:

Shirt, shoes and proper attire required. Appropriate attire must be worn at all times. Wearing unbuttoned or unzipped shirts, dresses, or pants is not permitted.

No animals allowed except for canine assistance – excludes library-sponsored programs. Patrons may be required to show proof for canine assistance.

No alcohol or being under the influence of alcohol. Patrons appearing to be intoxicated will be asked to leave.

No smoking or other tobacco products. This includes, but is not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, etc. Any open tobacco products are not allowed.

No illegal drugs. Anyone suspected of being under the influence of illegal drugs will be asked to leave.

No food or drinks. Patrons will be asked to take food and drinks outside. Food and drink are allowed in staff areas and in the meeting room(s) with permission.

No gambling or game playing. Playing games in the Youth Services Department as part of its services is allowed.

No inappropriate displays of affection, obscene gestures, indecent exposure. Any other kinds of fondling or offensive touching are not permitted.

No loitering or disruptive behavior. Loitering is described as: “Individuals who are not using library resources or services but are merely sleeping, lingering, wandering aimlessly, or following others through the library, all without apparent legitimate reason for being in the library.” Disruptive behavior may also include loud talking, singing, audio and video device playing, etc.

No sleeping – includes snoring.

No stalking or staring. Voyeurism and any other forms of suspicious lurking are not permitted.

No soliciting – either inside or outside the library. Soliciting, petitioning or distributing written materials or canvassing on library property for any purpose, without permission, is prohibited. Panhandling, selling, surveys, or other activities that result in the disruption of normal library activities are also prohibited.

No running, horseplay, roughhousing, pushing, etc. Any other disruptive behavior that could cause physical harm is not allowed.

No bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, etc. Other wheeled devices, other than baby carriages or equipment for the disabled, are not permitted.

Unattended children are not allowed. Please see Child Safety Policy for details.

No verbal or physical abuse. Any disorderly conduct, profane language, physical contact, or inciting to fight that is likely to provoke violence will result in immediate expulsion.

No weapons. Other than security officers, possession of any dangerous weapons, including but not limited to the following, is prohibited: firearms, knives, billy clubs, martial arts weapons, pellet or BB guns, bats, etc.

No cell phones in use. Cell phones and other electronic communication devices should be turned off or set to vibrate while patrons are in the library. Patrons should be directed outside to use their cell phones.

No bathing, shaving, or clothes/hair washing in the bathrooms. Bathrooms are not to be used for any other inappropriate purposes.

No open flames – except with permission of the library as part of programs.

No offensive odors. Bodily hygiene or condition of personal effects that is offensive so as to constitute a nuisance to patrons or staff is prohibited.

No disruption/abuse of library furniture or property. This includes, but is not limited to: moving furniture; overcrowding furniture; feet on furniture; lounging on furniture not intended for that purpose; damage to library property, including materials, equipment, plants and trees; stealing, attempting to steal, damaging, and/or altering library property.

No blocking of aisles or monopolization of furniture. This includes blocking or monopolizing any physical library space with personal belongings or large groups.

No bedrolls and/or large, bulky personal belongings. Numerous quantities of personal property, luggage, bags of food, etc., are not allowed. Patrons will be asked to put their personal belongings outside the building until they are ready to leave. The library is not responsible for patrons’ personal property left unattended.

IV. Other Issues

Trespassing in nonpublic areas or being in the library without permission before or after operating hours is prohibited. Patrons are not allowed in library offices unless accompanied by a staff member or with prior approval from the department head.

Intentional non-emergency activation of alarmed exits, fire alarms, etc., is prohibited.

The use of photography, film, or television equipment is prohibited without prior permission.

Any other illegal acts or conduct in violation of Federal, State, or local laws, ordinances or regulations are prohibited.

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