Library Policies: Customer Services

CUS 1 – Customer Behavior
CUS 2 – Unattended Dependent Persons
CUS 3 – Exam Proctoring
CUS 4 – Service Animals
CUS 5 – Public Phone Access

CUS 1 – Customer Behavior
It is the responsibility of all customers and staff members to maintain a pleasant, appropriate, and safe library atmosphere. Behavior which interferes with the ability of others to enjoy the Library will not be tolerated.

The Lewistown Public Library is committed to providing a secure, clean, and supportive environment for use of its resources and services. To achieve this, the Library has established the following standards of behavior. The term “Library” used throughout this section is defined as any Library building and grounds, Book Station building and grounds, and parking lots.

Hygiene
An individual who is barefooted, who is wearing a swimsuit, or is without a shirt, or whose personal hygiene is so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to other individuals, shall be required to leave the building. When the problem is corrected, the individual may re-enter the Library.

It is the responsibility of the Lewistown Public Library to maintain a healthy and clean environment for all Library users and to protect the City’s and the County’s investments in the Library’s collections, equipment, and property. In order to fulfill this responsibility, the Library may restrict a patron’s ability to borrow materials and/or visit facilities when such use may jeopardize the health and cleanliness of Library facilities, collections, and/or other patrons and Library staff.

Should it become necessary to suspend the Library privileges of a patron, in order to protect Library collections, facilities, and/or other patrons, notification of suspension will be made by the Library Director and/or other police personnel. Access to facilities and/or borrowing privileges will be restored when the suspended patron demonstrates that the situation that caused the loss the Library privileges has been remediated.

Minor Disruptive Behaviors
The following minor disruptive behaviors are prohibited in the Library.

Persons who violate one of these policies, or who exhibit similarly disruptive behavior, shall receive a verbal warning and/or an order to leave the Library for the remainder of the day. A person who commits multiple and/or serial violations of one or more these policies, shall be prohibited from entering the Library to otherwise using its services for a period of 30 days, upon penalty of a charge of criminal trespass.

  1. Speaking, to oneself, to other patrons, to staff, or on a cell phone, above a normal speaking voice.
  2. Causing unreasonable, intentional noise.
  3. Chasing, running, and playing, especially on or near furniture, shelves, or stairs. Parents or chaperones of children who violate this policy will receive the same warnings and penalties as the children.
  4. Permitting distressed children to cry continually in such a fashion that disrupts the ability of others to use the Library.
  5. Using public restrooms or Library facility for bathing, shaving, or laundering purposes.
  6. Taking Library materials into a restroom.
  7. Tampering with the arrangement of Library materials, so much so, that it makes finding or using difficult.
  8. Using Library computers for longer than the permitted time period.
  9. Blocking aisles or walkways with personal belongings.
  10. Bringing bulky items into the Library that take up excessive space in excess of 45 total linear inches (Linear inches = length + width +depth). This restriction does not apply to musical instruments or items used for personal mobility, such as walkers, strollers, or wheelchairs. Other exceptions may be made on a case by case basis by library staff.
    NOTE: The Library is not responsible for items left unattended in the Library or on Library grounds. The Library does not allow items to be left overnight. Items not collected in 30 days will be donated to a local charity.
  11. Beverages in spill-resistant containers are generally permitted throughout the Library. No beverages or food are permitted while using Library computers or in the Local History collection space.
  12. Littering.

Major Disruptive Behaviors
The following disruptive behaviors are prohibited in the Library.

Persons who violate one of these policies, or who exhibit similarly disruptive behavior, shall be prohibited from entering the Library or otherwise using its services for a period of 30 days, upon penalty of a charge of criminal trespass. A person who commits multiple and/or serial violations of one or more of these policies, shall be prohibited from entering the Library or otherwise using its services for a period of 6 months, upon penalty of a charge of criminal trespass.

  1. Attempted theft, damage or mutilation of library materials or facilities.
  2. Smoking or using tobacco products. The term “smoking” includes, but is not limited to, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vape products, cigars, and pipes. Cigarette butts must be discarded in trash receptacles outside.
  3. Intoxication or incapacitation by drugs or alcohol which creates a risk to the person in question or to others
    NOTE: Alcohol odor on an individual’s breath does not constitute a violation of the policy; however, individuals with an alcohol odor that is offensive to others and other outward signs of intoxication such as: slurred speech, unsteadiness on feet, belligerence, etc., will be asked to vacate the Library.
  4. Taunting, stalking, following, challenging, or provoking another individual.
  5. Using abusive, threating, or menacing language or gestures.
  6. Entering non-public areas of the Library, without permission from staff.
  7. Hindering on impeding or preventing the movement of an individual into, out of, or about a Library facility or vehicle.
  8. Gambling, panhandling, or soliciting is not permitted. Sale of non-library materials is permitted only when sponsored by the Library.
  9. Refusing to leave the Library when directed to do so, or at closing.
  10. Bringing a weapon into the Library. Please see the City of Lewistown Weapons Ordinance.

Criminal or Dangerous Behaviors
All criminal and dangerous behaviors are prohibited in the Library.

A person who commits a crime in the Library or violates any of the following policies shall be prohibited permanently from entering the Library or otherwise using its services, upon penalty of a charge of criminal trespass, and the Library may file criminal charges against the person.

  1. Threatening to attack, or physically attacking another person, is prohibited.
  2. Child abuse is prohibited.
  3. Intentional destruction of large quantities of library materials or of furnishings or equipment, or of a building or vehicle, is prohibited.
  4. Theft of Library, staff or another person’s property is prohibited.
  5. Making bomb threats against Library property, or from Library property is prohibited.
  6. Aiming or discharging a firearm within the Library is prohibited.
    A Library user who has been prohibited from entering the Library shall have all privileges, including remote access to online resources, revoked for a period of time equal to the length of time they are prohibited from entering the Library.
    A Library user may appeal a penalty to the Library Director. All appeals must be in writing. The Library Director shall uphold or overturn the penalty within seven business days of receipt of the appeal. The penalty shall be enforced until the Library Director has decided on the appeal.
    A Library user may make a final appeal of a decision by the Library Director upholding a penalty, to the Library Board, in writing, within seven days of notification of the upholding of the penalty by the Library
    Director. The Library Board shall uphold or overturn the penalty within seven business days of receipt of the penalty by the Library Board. The penalty shall be enforced unless and until the Library Board overturns it. The decision of the Library Board is final.

CUS 2 – Unattended Dependent Persons
The Library does not assume responsibility for persons not legally responsible for themselves left unattended on Library premises. These persons include, for example, persons incapacitated due to physical and/or mental disabilities or other conditions who are dependent on others for their safety and well-being, and persons of juvenile age who are unable to make responsible decisions on their own behalf. Children under the age of 6 years old must be accompanied by an adult or responsible guardian when visiting the Library. Library staff will attempt to identify and contact a legal guardian if the welfare of such an unattended person appears to be threatened. If a guardian cannot be identified and/or contacted, the Library will not notify the Lewistown Police Department.

CUS 3 – Exam Proctoring
The Lewistown Public Library may assist students taking online or distance learning classes by proctoring exams if staff assistance does not compromise other library services. Proctoring must be scheduled at least on week in advance and is administered by appointment only. Proctors will not remain with the student during the test. Proctors will intermittently monitor students. The proctor will return exams directly to the school when asked to do so. The Library is not responsible for receipt of the exam by the learning institution.

CUS 4 – Service Animals
The Lewistown Public Library defines service animals as dogs or miniature horses trained to do work or perform tasks for the person with disabilities.

Under the American Disabilities Act (ADA), state and local governments, businesses, or nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where the public is normally allowed to go.

Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. The obligation of the Lewistown Public Library is to offer services for the patron, and not the service animal. Food and drink are not allowed to the service animals within the Library.

Miniature horses are defined as being 24 inches to 34 inches measured to the shoulder and weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.

Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support to the patron does not qualify as service animals under the ADA. Emotional support animals are not allowed in the Library. Refer to Montana Code Annotated 49.4.221

CUS 5 – Public Phone Access
The Lewistown Public Library has a phone available to patrons. This phone is only available to make local calls.

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