Behavior in the Library


It is our goal to have an atmosphere that is welcoming and comfortable, and safe for all as well as one that is conducive to the proper use of the Library. The public is expected to behave in a manner that is respectful of the Library's customers and staff, materials and equipment, and facilities and premises. A person who behaves otherwise will be required to leave the building. For the comfort and safety of Library customers, volunteers, and staff, and the protection of Library property, the following policy will be adhered to.

1. The Alameda Free Library will uphold all applicable laws and regulations in regard to public behavior.

2. Dangerous, destructive or illegal conduct, including but not limited to the following, will not be tolerated:

  • Possessing weapons and explosives is not allowed on Library property
  • Physically abusing or assaulting other customers or staff
  • Fighting or challenging to fight
  • Making violent and threatening statements
  • Engaging in or soliciting any sexual act
  • Possessing, consuming, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs

Any customer displaying any of these behaviors will be instructed to leave the Library immediately. Subject to the Library Director’s Discretion, Police may be called and appropriate legal action may follow. In addition, based on the severity of the situation, a suspension of Library privileges for up to one year may be applied without advance warning or prior suspension.

3. Library customers shall be engaged in activities associated with the use of a public Library while in the building. Customers not engaged in reading, studying, using Library materials, or attending a class/program may be required to leave the building.

4. The following activities are not associated with the use of a public Library and are specifically prohibited:

  • Smoking
  • Sleeping
  • Open container beverages
  • Bringing food and/or drink into the Library; outside food may be consumed in Dewey’s Friends Café
  • Bringing animals into the Library, except for service animals
  • Abusing, misusing or vandalizing Library facilities, furnishings or equipment
  • Using harassing, insulting, offensive, loud, or abusive language
  • Rearranging or disarranging Library furnishings or materials
  • Damaging, mutilating, cutting pages from Library materials
  • Using rest rooms for washing clothes, bathing, or shaving
  • Bringing in bicycles, skateboards, in-line skates, etc. must be carried at all times
  • Entering areas posted "staff only"
  • Soliciting for money or other items, or selling any items
  • Soliciting or conducting surveys not authorized by the Library
  • Gambling and group activities which are disruptive to the Library environment
  • Noisy , boisterous, or disruptive activities
  • Unnecessary staring at or following another person about the Library with the intent to annoy that person
  • Disturbing or annoying anyone with loud and/or unreasonable noise, including but not limited to using electronic equipment or mobile telephones at a volume that disturbs others
  • Personally monopolizing Library space, seating, tables, or equipment to the exclusion of other customers or staff
  • Fraudulent use of another’s Library card and/or number for any purpose, including using another’s Library card to reserve or use Library computers
  • Refusal to follow reasonable direction from Library staff, including but not limited to leaving the Library during normal closing procedures or during an emergency evacuation

5. Maintain bodily hygiene that is not so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to other persons in the Library. Exuding pervasive odors, including pervasive fragrances caused by perfume or other scented products, which constitute a nuisance to other customers or staff. Shirts and shoes must be worn in the Library; bathing suits are prohibited.

6. Keep feet off chairs, tables and counters, and treat the collection, furnishings, facilities and equipment with care.

7. The Library is not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen personal property.

8. Adults are responsible for the conduct of minors in their charge and are required to monitor their behavior.

9. The Library is not responsible for the safety of minors left unattended.

10. Report criminal conduct or vandalism of any kind to staff immediately so the police can be called.

All bags and other articles are subject to inspection by Library staff or other authorized personnel. The Library reserves the right to limit the size and number of items brought into the Library.

Adopted by the Library Board on October 14, 1998 / Revised and adopted April 2011


Expulsion from Building/Suspension of Library Privileges

Failure to comply with the behavior policy will result in the offending customer(s) being asked to leave the Library and staff may call the police for noncompliance with this policy for behavior; continued noncompliance will result in suspension of Library privileges.

The Director delegates to Library supervisors, and by extension any Library staff member, the authority to request a customer leave the building. Customers misbehaving are generally given a warning and then asked to leave the facility. Particularly egregious behavior may warrant immediate expulsion from all Alameda Libraries. Customers asked to leave the facility for disciplinary reasons are at a minimum barred for the remainder of the day and/or evening.

A suspension may be one day, up to one year, depending on the conduct. The Director is authorized by the Alameda Free Library Board of Trustees to exclude from the privileges of the Library patrons who repeatedly violate the library policy.

Physical force will not be used by any Library personnel to remove a customer from the building. As appropriate, other Library staff on duty may accompany an employee when a customer is to be informed that s/he is requested to leave the building or is not permitted to take this action. If the customer resists and immediate removal is needed, the police will be contacted.

Adopted by the Library Board on October 14, 1998 / Revised and adopted April 2011