Library Policy for Individuals With Service Animals


In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are welcomed and permitted in the Alameda Free Library. The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government. Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. “Seeing eye dogs” are one type of service animals used by some individuals who are blind. This is the type of service animal with which most people are familiar. But there are service animals that assist persons with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities, including alerting persons with hearing impairments to sounds and pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up things for persons with mobility impairments.


A service animal is not a pet.


Service animals must be allowed in all public places.


No special license, harness or vest is required.


In order to help maintain a pleasant, productive, and safe environment for all Library users and staff, the following behavioral guidelines for service animals are to be observed:


  • Service animals must be physical proximity with their handler and under handler control at all times.
  • Service animals may not be left unattended by their handler at any time.
  • Service animals must be on a leash or harness at all times unless the use of a leash or harness interferes with the animal's effective performance of its designated task(s). If the animal cannot be leashed or harnessed, it must be under the handler's control via voice, signals, or other effective means at all times.
  • Service animals must not display disruptive behavior such as barking and growling and must conform to the Alameda Free Library Behavior Policy.
  • Service animals must be housebroken and their handler is responsible for any upkeep or clean-up of the animal.


NOTE: If a service animal's behaviors or actions pose an unreasonable or direct threat to the health or safety of others, or do not conform to these guidelines, it may not remain in a Library facility. In accordance with ADA guidelines, non-compliance of guidelines can be grounds for a request to remove a service animal from a Library facility. If the service animal is excluded from a Library facility, the individual with the disability is welcome to stay and will be reasonably accommodated by Library staff.




Adopted by the Library Board May 9, 2018