Utica Public Library

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Library Policies

The following policies govern how we use our library.

Code of Conduct

To ensure that all library patrons may enjoy library materials and facilities in an environment free of harassment, the Utica Library Board of Trustees has approved the following rules and regulations:

1.  Patrons will use the library for library activities.  Patrons may not use the library to conduct business (i.e. Use the library as office space to meet clients), sell materials, items, or services, or to solicit clients.  Individuals not reading, studying, accessing the internet or on-line databases, or using library materials may be asked to leave.

2.  Patrons should respect the rights and privacy of other patrons.  Patrons exhibiting the following behaviors may be warned and/or asked to leave the library:

          a. Loud or obstreperous behavior that disturbs others;

          b. Harassing other patrons by staring fixedly at them with the intent to annoy;

          c. Following patrons throughout the library;

          d. Engaging in unwanted conversation with others;

          e. Asking other patrons to assist in finding materials, using the internet, etc. Patrons should request assistance from a staff member;

          f. Playing audio equipment that is audible in the library;

          g. Taking or singing to oneself loud enough to be disruptive;

          h. Showing print or non-print materials of an offensive nature to others;

          i. Answering cell phones and engaging in lengthy conversations (cell phones may be answered in the library within reason; patrons should retire to the lobby to carry on conversations. Patrons whose cell phones ring repeatedly and are disturbing others may be asked to turn their cell phones off or leave the library).

Library staff shall determine when a patron’s behavior is infringing on the rights of others and may make the decision to request that a patron leave the premises.

3.  Patrons may not eat, drink beverages, smoke or use tobacco products in the library.

4.  Patrons may not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

5.  Patrons may not interfere with the library staff’s performance of duties.  Patrons may not hinder others from making use of the library’s facilities.

6.  Patrons may not engage in illegal activities in the library or on library property.

7.  Patrons may not deface or damage library materials or library property.  Doing so may result in charges for damages or replacements assessed to the patron.

8.  Patrons may not enter the building without shirts and shoes.  Roller blades are not allowed.  Patrons whose lack of personal hygiene is so offensive as to interfere with the use of the library by staff or other patrons, may be asked to leave the library.

9.  Pets or animals, with the exception of service animals, are not allowed in the library.

10.  Weapons, guns and guard dogs are not allowed in the library with the exception of those carried by governmental law enforcement officers.

11.  Patrons will be responsible for all fines and/or fees accrued on their library cards.  Failure to pay these fines or fees will result in suspension of library privileges.

12.  Parents are responsible for fines or fees assessed to their children’s (minors under the age of 18) library cards.  Failure to pay assessed charges on one card may result in suspension of library privileges for all cardholders in the family.

13.  Materials removed from the library must be checked out to a valid library card.

14.  Patron identification, i.e. name, address and phone number, may be requested.

15.  Any patron not abiding by these rules and regulations may be asked to leave library property and forfeit library privileges.

16.  The Utica Library Board of Trustees may deny library privileges to any patron who violates these rules and regulations, on recommendation of the library director.  Patrons whose privileges have been revoked may appeal the decision in writing to the Board of Trustees for review.

Internet Policy

Effective June 1, 2010, all patrons wishing to use the internet must have a library card in good standing from a Suburban Library Cooperative library (Utica, Sterling, Shelby, etc.) 
Patrons must have the library card in hand. Patrons owing fines or fees over $5.00 on their library cards will be required to pay the balance below $5.00 before using the internet. 

Patrons without library cards, or those who live outside the Suburban Library Cooperative (SLC) service area, may use the internet for a fee of $2.00 a day.  (The Utica Library limits patrons to an hour of internet use per day, in thirty minute intervals; the $2.00 fee follows that policy.)  Patrons outside the Suburban Library Cooperative but who have a card from a Michicard library with the sticker affixed will not be charged. Patrons who have a library card from SLC but have lost it or do not have it with them, will also be charged $2.00 for a day's internet use.
 
Due to the increased demand for internet use, patrons will be limited to one hour of internet time per day.  Exceptions to the one hour limit may be made at the discretion of the library staff.  While our internet policy does not prohibit patrons from playing games, using chat rooms, or other forms of entertainment, we view the internet’s primary purpose as a tool for obtaining information, doing research, job searches, etc.  Thus, staff may extend the usage time for a patron engaged in these activities.

Internet and Minors

Michigan Public Act 212 of 2000 requires that libraries protect minors from internet materials that are obscene or harmful to minors.  Unlike teachers, librarians do not legally act in loco parentis (in place of the parent).  Therefore, to comply with Michigan law, minors using the internet must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.  

Unattended Child Policy

While children are welcome at the Utica Public Library, we encourage parents or older family members to accompany children 12 years and younger.

Parents should be aware that a library is a public facility and individuals from all walks of society make use of the facilities.  Library staff cannot be responsible for watching or supervising your children.  Unattended children who are disruptive or whose behavior infringes on the rights of other library users may be asked to leave the library.  (We would apply this same standard to adults whose behavior was disruptive to others).

If a child is left at the library after the library closes, library staff will notify  the Police Department.  Parents will then need to arrange with the Police Department for pickup of their child (children).

We are concerned for your child’s safety and well-being; we encourage children to come to the library, to view it as a source of information and fun.  However, parents should be aware that library staff are here to facilitate the library experience for all patrons and as such, cannot be expected to supervise children who are left here on their own.