Code of Conduct


Overview


The Princeton Public Library strives at all times to provide excellence in customer service. This excellence in customer service means that skilled and knowledgeable staff members are ready to assist customers in finding materials or using the library’s services.

We are guided by these shared values in everything we do at the library:

We make you smile. Excellent customer service is what sets the Princeton Public Library apart from other libraries. Our customers will have a great experience each time they visit the library.

We innovate. Our staff, trustees, and affiliated groups have a shared passion for innovation and creativity. We think about new ways to deliver exceptional service every day.

We inform. Our staff is committed to providing the best content possible to help connect our customers with the information they need to make good decisions.

We listen. Our staff and trustees love to hear from our customers about how well we meet their needs or how we can do better.

We collaborate. We are committed to working with each other as well as other community organizations to make Princeton a better place to live, work and learn.

We learn. Our staff is eager to learn and loves to lead. We continually monitor trends and ideas that we can adapt to meet the needs of our customers.

The library’s goal is to meet customer expectations for excellent library service. All comments regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcome. Customer comment forms are available at all service desks and on our website http://www.princetonlibrary.org/connect/contact/comments.


Purpose


The Board of Trustees has adopted a Library Code of Conduct to ensure a comfortable and safe environment for all library customers. This policy is intended to provide clear and reasonable rules to guide customer behavior while in the library and on library premises.

The Board subscribes to Article IV of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, which states that “library facilities should be made available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals requesting their use.”

Unacceptable behavior includes actions in the library or on library premises that interfere with the use of the library by other customers, create a risk of injury to other customers or library staff, inhibits the work of library staff, disrupts the peaceful enjoyment of the library, or creates a risk of damage to library, customer or staff property.

For those reasons the Library Code of Conduct is to be observed by all library customers. Unacceptable behavior in the library includes, but is not limited to:

  • Any activity that constitutes a violation of federal, state or local criminal statutes or ordinances.
  • Damage, defacement, or theft of any library property or material, or any property or material belonging to library staff or customers.
  • Possession, distribution, or use of alcohol except at authorized library events.
  • Possession, distribution or use of controlled substances.
  • Use of tobacco products or e-cigarette devices.
  • Sexual conduct.
  • Use of profanity, abusive or threatening language or threatening gestures, bullying, or unwanted physical conduct.
  • Unreasonable noise levels including shouting, loud talking or disruptive conversation, uncontrolled or repeated ringing of cell phones, and loud cell phone conversations.
  • Solicitations, petitions or canvassing in the library or on library premises.
  • Rollerblading, roller skating, skateboarding, or wheeled shoe use in the library or on library premises. With the approval of library staff members, children may store skate boards, scooters or similar devices at the service desk on the third floor.
  • Consumption of food except in designated areas or at authorized library functions.
  • Bringing animals inside the library with the exception of service animals or those allowed at a library-approved event.
  • Lack of personal hygiene that interferes with the use of and enjoyment of the library by others or interferes with the work of library staff.
  • Prolonged sleeping that interferes with the use and enjoyment of the library by others.
  • Use of the library restrooms for anything other than their ordinarily intended purpose, it being understood that such purposes do not include bathing, shaving, or washing hair.
  • Use of personal electronic equipment at a volume that disturbs others.
  • Leaving children or adults who are in need of supervision unattended.

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Enforcement


 

Violation of these rules may be cause for a temporary or permanent prohibition from future use of library facilities.

The Board of Trustees authorizes library staff to suspend the library privileges of customers whose behavior prevents or interferes with the effective use of the library by other customers.

Library customers unable or unwilling to abide by the Library Code of Conduct may be required to leave. Any person who repeatedly violates these rules, or any person who commits a single, serious violation of the rules, in addition to being required to leave the library, may not be allowed to return into the library until s/he agrees to abide by the code of conduct.

Any customer whose privileges have been revoked may have the decision reviewed by the executive director. Further appeals may be taken, upon prior written request, to the Library Board of Trustees.

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Unattended Children


Service to families and children is a high priority of the Princeton Public Library. Children of all ages are welcomed and encouraged to use the library’s materials, programs, and services. However, the library is an open, public building, and the well-being of children left alone is a serious concern. The library does not accept responsibility for the supervision of unattended children. Parents and other caregivers are responsible for their children’s behavior and safety at all times in the library.

The Board of Trustees has established the following guidelines to help ensure that children are safe and cared for while in the library:

  • Children under the age of eight (8) must be attended in the library by a responsible caregiver age thirteen (13) or older.
  • Children age eight (8) and older may be left unattended for a reasonable limited period of time provided that they are mature enough to stay alone and observe proper conduct during the entirety of such time. In the event an unaccompanied child violates the Library’s Code of Conduct in a manner that requires exclusion from the library for a prolonged period of time, staff will attempt to contact a parent or caregiver to apprise them of the situation.
  • Staff members have the discretion to require that a parent or caregiver accompany a child at all times, regardless of their age.
  • A staff member who discovers an unattended child under the age of eight (8) will attempt to contact the parent or guardian of the child. For the child’s protection, if a parent or guardian cannot be reached promptly, the library staff will notify the Princeton police department.
  • When the library closes, staff will attempt to contact the parent or guardian of any unattended child. If a parent or guardian cannot be located or contacted within a half hour, the Princeton police department will be notified.

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Cell Phones


The use of cell phones in the library may be disruptive to customers and staff. Library customers are encouraged to set their phones to vibrate when in the building, to answer calls in a quiet voice and to keep calls within the library very brief. When receiving a call one should move to a more public area such as the front or back entrance to the building or the third floor terrace to talk.


Food and Drink


To maintain the aesthetic quality of the library, eating is allowed only in the following areas:

  • The café
  • The outdoor plaza where seating is provided
  • The third floor terrace
  • The meeting rooms (only during special events and with advance approval)

Eating is prohibited in all other areas of the library.

Customers may bring covered drinks such as water or coffee elsewhere in the building. Care should be taken not to place drinks near keyboards or in other locations where spills are likely to occur.

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Solicitations


Balancing the rights of individuals to disseminate information in public places with the rights of customers to use the library in an atmosphere free of unwanted interactions with third parties, the Princeton Public Library Board of Trustees has adopted the following policy for individuals or groups wishing to circulate petitions, conduct surveys, sell goods or services, or collect donations at the library.

Solicitation of the public, customers or the staff is not permitted on library property or property under the control of the library by the public or by members of the library staff.

The only exceptions to the non-solicitation policy are the following:

  • Those requests authorized and directed by the executive director for projects that benefit the library or larger community.
  • Fundraising projects conducted by the Friends of the Princeton Public Library, the Board of Trustees or the Library Foundation on behalf of the library.
  • Solicitation and fundraising projects sponsored by the library staff association with the approval of the executive director (e.g. walk-a-thon teams, food drives, book collections, etc.).
  • Solicitation projects connected with the work of the library (e.g. voter registration, book donations, customer surveys, etc.).
  • Limited selling activity by library staff members to other library staff members in the staff lounge of the library (e.g. Girl Scout Cookies, etc.).
  • Library book sales, as long as the proceeds directly benefit the library.
  • Sales of materials by a library-sponsored performer or author in conjunction with an event.

Groups or individuals may canvass and sell outside the library as long as they do not do so on library property and do not block its entrances. Persons engaged in canvassing or selling must conform to municipal ordinances governing the regulation of canvassers and solicitors in public spaces.

Excerpted from the Princeton Public Library Policies and Procedures Manual Adopted by the Board of Trustees, January 2017

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