4.1 Behavior Policy

The Mission of the Traverse Area District Library is to provide dynamic resources and innovative services to stimulate intellectual curiosity, facilitate lifelong learning, promote literacy, and nurture personal enrichment. The Traverse Area District Library Board has authority to establish and enforce reasonable regulations for the benefit of patrons of the Library, in keeping with its mission. The Library Director and his or her representatives shall be responsible for enforcing this policy. 

In observance of its mission and to make Library facilities and services available to everyone on a safe and equitable basis, to ensure the ability of staff members to conduct Library business and to safeguard Library property against misuse or abuse, the following rules for behavior are established by the Traverse Area District Library Board. These rules apply to TADL facilities in Traverse City, the Village of Kingsley and East Bay Township.

In determining the number of violations for purposes of withholding Library privileges as set forth in this Policy, only the number of violations a person has per each Category shall be used.  Past violations in any Category are removed if a patron has no violations within any Category for two (2) years from the date the patron’s library privileges were restored as a result of the patron’s last violation. All suspensions shall begin on the date of incident.

Category A. For Public Safety and Security, the Traverse Area District Library prohibits:  

    1. Stealing or vandalizing on Library property;
    2. Using, possessing, giving away or selling alcohol, marijuana or any illegal substance on Library property;
    3. Improper use or abuse of Library materials or equipment;
    4. Engaging in sexual acts or behaviors or indecent exposure;
    5. Harassment, intimidation or threat of any person by word or act;
    6. Fighting or provoking fighting or engaging in any act of violence;
    7. Unlawful possession of a weapon.

Persons who violate the above rules for safety and security are subject to the withholding of Library privileges as follows:

First Category A violation: Library privileges are suspended for six months; police will be called if necessary.

Second Category A violation: Library privileges are suspended for one year; police will be called immediately.

Subsequent Category A violation: Library privileges suspended for one year; police will be called immediately.

Category B.  To ensure proper use of Library Facilities, the Traverse Area District Library prohibits:

  1. Being under the obvious influence of alcohol, marijuana or any illegal substance on Library property;
  2. Profane, obscene, injurious or abusive language;
  3. Noisy or boisterous conduct inappropriate to the Library location; 
  4. Cell phone conversations in areas designated as “quiet” areas, or overly loud conversations in any area of the library;
  5. Animals unless involved in a Library-approved event or service animals as defined in 28 CFR 36.104;
  6. Failing to wear shirt, pants, and/or shoes; 
  7. Personal hygiene or body odor so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to other persons; 
  8. Sleeping in the Library;
  9. Petitioning, canvassing (e.g., seeking signatures on a petition), conducting surveys, distributing written material, or soliciting donations, selling merchandise, or otherwise raising funds anywhere on Library property, unless approved in advance by TADL;
  10. Violation of the Library internet policy; 
  11. Entering areas designated “private” or “staff only” unless approved by TADL staff;
  12. Refusing to leave the Library at closing time;
  13. Beverages in the Library unless secured in a container with a lid, or in designated areas;
  14. Food inside the Library, except in designated areas;
  15. Any violation of the Smoke and Tobacco Free Campus Policy;
  16. Restrooms used for washing clothes, shaving or bathing (simply washing one’s hands and face is not considered “bathing”);
  17. Unattended personal property unrelated to Library purposes;
  18. Use of skateboards, roller blades, or other similar items inside the Library or on Library property;
  19. Failing to wear required Personal Protective Equipment such as face coverings and/or maintaining six (6) feet social distancing, as required by federal or state law, rule, regulation, or order or Grand Traverse County Health Department Emergency Order or directive.

Persons who violate the above rules are subject to the withholding of Library privileges as follows:

First Category B violation:  Paragraphs 3-19 Library privileges suspended for rest of day;

        Paragraphs 1-2 Library privileges suspended for seven (7) days;

Second Category B violation: Library privileges suspended for one month;

Subsequent Category B violation: Library privileges suspended for one year.

For all suspected violations

    1. Police will be called if the Library believes a crime has been committed.
    2. Police will be called when a violator refuses to comply with Library rules.
    3. Police will be called if violator refuses to show identification.
    4. Police will be called if a patron suspended under this policy appears on Library property.
    5. Violators may be photographed by Library personnel.
    6. If patrons return while under suspension, that suspension shall be increased to the next violation level. 

Right to Appeal and Appeals Process

  1. The right to appeal is based on the right to due process of law guaranteed in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the right of access to public libraries guaranteed to all citizens in the Michigan Constitution (Art. VIII, Sec. 9).
  2. 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 within five (5) business days of the date of the violation, and shall include a copy of this policy with the notice. If the Library does not have an address on record and the patron refuses or fails to provide an address, verbal notice on the day of the violation shall be sufficient notice of the suspension, and the patron shall be hand-delivered a copy of this policy.
  3. An individual who wishes to appeal a suspension must do so in writing to the Library Board within 10 days of the postmark of the Director’s letter or the date of the verbal notice if no letter is sent. The notification of appeal must provide current contact information (address and phone number) and state the grounds upon which the appeal is based.
  4. Upon receiving a request for an appeal, the Board shall hold a hearing to consider the appeal within one month. The Board may consider the appeal at a regularly scheduled Board meeting or at a special Board meeting, at the earliest opportunity, called for the purpose of a hearing.
  5. The Board President will ensure the Appellant receives reasonable notice of the hearing.
  6. Prior to the hearing the Board will be provided copies of the Appellant’s letter appealing the decision and requesting a hearing. The 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, including but not limited to all incident and police reports completed by Library staff, witnesses and the Director. The Board shall have access to Library records necessary to make an informed decision on the appeal. Any Library record (as defined in the Michigan Library Privacy Act) shall remain confidential and shall not be disclosed to the public unless in compliance with the Michigan Library Privacy Act.
  7. The Appellant must have the opportunity to attend any hearing so scheduled personally or may make a written statement in support of his or her 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 his/her claim for rejecting the Library Director’s decision. The Board may ask questions in order to bring to light all the facts and issues involved.
  9. The Board may affirm or reject the decision to suspend Library privileges. 
  10. The Board will make its determination as soon as reasonably possible.
  11. The Board will issue a written decision and provide a copy to the Appellant if an address is known.
  12. The decision of the Board is final.
  13. 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. 

The Library shall post this entire policy in at least two prominent areas in the Main Library building and in each branch Library building.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Adopted July 15, 2004; Revision Adopted October 14, 2010; Revised January 20, 2011; Revised February 16, 2012; Revised July 18, 2013; Revised June 20, 2019; Revised September 19, 2019; Revised February 20, 2020; Revised June 18, 2020; Revised August 20, 2020