3.30 - Code of Conduct

The mission of the Royal Oak Public Library is to provide opportunities for all to learn, connect, create, and innovate. In keeping with this mission, the Royal Oak Public Library Board of Trustees has the authority to establish and enforce reasonable regulations for patrons of the Library. The following rules for behavior in and around the Library are established by the Library Board in order to ensure that Library property and services are available to everyone on a safe, equitable, and non-discriminatory basis and to ensure the ability of staff members to conduct the business of the Library and to safeguard property of the Library against misuse and/or abuse. This Code of Conduct shall be posted in the Library and made available to patrons who request it.

PUBLIC SAFETY AND PERSONAL SECURITY PROHIBITIONS
In order to ensure that patrons can freely exercise their rights to use the Library safely and securely, the Library Board prohibits the following conduct related to public safety and personal security:

A. Consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages, marijuana, controlled substances (without a valid prescription), or illegal drugs or substances of any kind.
B. Unlawful possession of a weapon.
C. Stealing, vandalizing, or removing Library materials from the Library without prior permission from an authorized staff member.
D. Stealing, vandalizing, or removing property from the Library that belong to another person.
E. Engaging in sexual acts or behaviors, including but not limited to, exposing oneself or participating in sexually-graphic discussions.
F. Harassing, intimidating, threatening, stalking, following, making sexual advances, or acting aggressively towards any other patron or Library staff member.
G. Fighting, provoking a fight, or engaging in any act of violence of any kind.
H. Damaging or vandalizing any space in or around the Library, including the Library restrooms.
I. Using profane, obscene, injurious, or abusive language or gestures, including but not limited to slurs based on a person’s race, religion, national origin, gender, gender identification, or sexual orientation.
J. Spitting on a Library patron, staff member, or property within the Library.

PUNISHMENTS FOR VIOLATION OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND PERSONAL SECURITY PROHIBITIONS
Persons who violate any of the above public safety and personal security prohibitions are subject to the withholding of Library privileges as follows:

• First Violation: Library privileges are suspended for a minimum of six months, and the police will be called if necessary.
• Second (and subsequent) Violation(s): Library privileges are suspended for a minimum of one year, and the police will be called immediately.


CONDUCT AND BEHAVIOR PROHIBITIONS
To ensure patrons are comfortably able to use Library facilities, the Library prohibits the following conduct, behaviors, and items:

A. Sleeping.
B. Smoking of any kind (including but not limited to e-cigarettes and vaporizer pens) and rolling tobacco on Library premises or within 25-feet of any public entrance.
C. Eating or drinking except for drinks in spill-resistant containers (i.e., cups with hard lids or screw tops). Eating or drinking within the confines of a Library approved function or in specifically designated areas is allowed.
D. Behavior that unreasonably annoys or disturbs another person including but not limited to staring at, photographing, or videotaping patrons or staff. If the violation is of a sufficient severity, the Library may treat such violation as a violation of the public safety and personal security prohibitions.
E. Loud or boisterous conduct inappropriate to the Library location.
F. Entering non-public and/or staff areas without permission.
G. Entering or remaining in the Library without a shirt or shoes.
H. Placing one’s shoes or feet on any Library furniture.
I. Soliciting staff or patrons.
J. Bringing animals of any kind into the Library without prior permission of the Library Director or her designee with the exception of licensed and trained service dogs as defined by Michigan law. Licensed and trained service miniature ponies as defined by Michigan law are allowed only with prior express permission of the Library Director or her designee. Emotional
support animals are not permitted inside the Library.
K. Misuse of the restrooms. Such behavior includes but is not limited to shaving, bathing, hair cutting, hair coloring, and using the restrooms to wash clothes.
L. Remaining in the Library after closing hours.
M. Leaving debris or waste anywhere except designated waste receptacles.
N. Bodily hygiene or odor so offensive as to constitute a nuisance or disturbance to Library patrons or staff.
O. Violation of the Library internet policy, meeting room policy, and/or facilities policy. If the violation is of a sufficient severity, the Library may treat such violation as a violation of the public safety and personal security prohibitions.
P. Use of skateboards, rollerblades, wheeled footwear or skates, hover boards, or scooters on Library premises. This includes all ramps and walkways entering the Library.
Q. Bedrolls, blankets, large plastic bags, suitcases, and garbage bags.
R. Bringing more than two bags of any type without prior permission from the Library Director or her designee except for bags used for carrying Library books and materials. Patrons may be asked to open any bag that they bring into the Library.
S. Spreading out of personal property across Library tables or that interferes with the use of the Library by other patrons.
T. Leaving personal property unattended.
U. Talking on cell phones except in the lobby, in the youth area near the emergency exit at the west end of the building, or in any other area that the Library may designate. Use of speakerphones is prohibited in all areas of the Library except for closed meeting spaces. Cell phone ringers shall be set at their lowest level, or, if possible, on vibrate.

PUNISHMENTS FOR VIOLATION OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND PERSONAL SECURITY PROHIBITIONS
Persons who violate any of the above behavior and conduct prohibitions are subject to the withholding of Library privileges as follows:

• First Violation: A warning or suspension of Library privileges for the rest of the day
• Second Violation: Library privileges suspended for a maximum of one month.
• Third (and subsequent) Violation(s): Library privileges suspended for a maximum of one year.


REGULATIONS RELATED TO ALL VIOLATIONS
• The following Library staff members shall have the ability to issue suspensions lasting for the period of one day: The Library Director, any department head, and Library monitors. The Library Director may authorize any other staff member to issue suspensions. The Library Director shall have sole authority to determine the final length of all suspensions.
• In the event that a Library patron is suspended for more than one month, the Library Director shall so notify the Library Board. In addition, at the end of each calendar year, the Library Director shall make available to the Library Board a list of all suspensions that took place over the previous year.
• The Library shall create an incident report to be filled out by a staff members related to any incident of discipline. The incident report shall include the time and date of the incident, any witnesses to the incident, the name of the policy violation at issue, any action that was taken immediately by the Library, and whether a police report was filed and/or whether police
were called to the Library.
• Police will be called if the Library believes a crime has been committed.
• Police will be called when a violator refuses to comply with Library rules and/or ignores the direction of staff members.
• Police will be called if a violator refuses to show identification.
• Violators may be photographed by Library security cameras.
• A violator will have their Library card blocked during any suspension in excess of one day.


RIGHT TO APPEAL AND APPEALS PROCESS
The right to appeal a disciplinary decision by the Library is based on the right to due process of law guaranteed in the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution and the right of access to public libraries guaranteed to all citizens in the
Michigan Constitution (Art. VIII, Sec. 9).

1. If the Library has an address on record or the suspended patron provides an address, the Library Director shall provide written notice to any individual whose Library privileges have been suspended for more than one day within five (5) business  days of the date of the violation. The notice shall describe the offense that resulted in the suspension. The written notice shall be sent via Certified Mail, return receipt requested. If the Library does not have an address on record and the patron refuses or fails to provide an address, verbal notice following the violation shall be sufficient notice of the suspension. If the violator is a minor, notice shall be provided to the minor’s parent and/or legal guardian.
2. An individual who wishes to appeal a suspension must do so in writing to the Library Board. The notice must be postmarked within 10 days of the postmark of the Director’s letter or the date of the verbal notice if no letter is sent. The
appeal must be sent to the following address: Royal Oak Public Library, 222 East 11 Mile Road, Royal Oak, Michigan 48067. An individual may also email an appeal to suspensions@ropl.org within 10 days of the postmark of the Director’s letter or the date of the verbal notice if no letter is sent.
3. The notification of appeal must state the grounds upon which the appeal is based. The notification of appeal must also include a mailing address so that the Library Board may inform the appellant of a hearing on their appeal.
4. After receiving a request for an appeal, the Library Board shall hold a hearing to consider the appeal. The Board may consider the appeal at a regularly scheduled board meeting or at a special board meeting called for the purpose of a hearing
on the appeal.
5. The Library Board president will ensure the appellant receives reasonable notice of the hearing. Notice will be mailed to the mailing address provided in the appeal. Such notice shall be provided to the appellant at least two weeks before the scheduled hearing date.
6. Prior to the hearing the Library Board will be provided copies of the appellant’s letter appealing the decision and requesting a hearing. The Library Board and appellant will also receive copies of the Library Director’s letter giving notice of the suspension which describes the offense. Supporting information gathered in the administration’s investigation shall be made available to the Library Board, including but not limited to all incident and police reports completed by Library staff, witnesses and the Director. The Library Board shall have access to Library records necessary to make an informed decision on the appeal. Any document that is considered a Library record (as defined in the Michigan Library Privacy Act) shall remain confidential and shall not be disclosed unless in compliance with the Michigan Library Privacy Act. Any document that is not considered a Library record (as defined in the Michigan Library Privacy Act), including but not limited to the name of the appellant, the appeal letter, the incident report, security camera footage (if applicable), and a police report, may be made public, and may be part of the Library Board’s public monthly meeting packet. All meetings conducted to review the suspension will be conducted pursuant to the Open Meetings Act.
7. The appellant shall have the opportunity to attend any scheduled hearing personally or may make a written statement in support of their position. If the appellant does not attend the hearing, the written statement must be received before the time set for the hearing.
8. The appellant shall have the opportunity to present their claim for rejecting the suspension decision. The Library Board may ask questions in order to bring to light all the facts and issues involved.
9. The Library Board may affirm, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the decision to suspend Library privileges.
10.The decision of the Library Board is final.
11. In no case shall the filing of an appeal pursuant to this policy act as a stay of the suspension imposed unless the Library Director makes a specific finding that the suspension would result in manifest injustice under the total circumstances.
12. Police will be requested to attend any suspension hearing for a violation of the public safety and personal security prohibitions. The Library may request police to attend any other suspension hearing.

Adopted by the Royal Oak Public Library Board on January 10, 1995; effective July 1, 1995. Revised June 27, 1995; December 14, 1999; July 18, 2000; August 27, 2002; July 27, 2004; August 22, 2006; October 24, 2006; February 27, 2007; May 27, 2008; September 23, 2008; May 25, 2010; reaffirmed May 24, 2011; revised May 27, 2014, revised May 24, 2016;
revised September 24, 2019.