Code of Conduct
OC Public Libraries is supported by the taxes of the people of the County of Orange. People expect their library facilities to be safe, clean, and comfortable. To this end, OC Public Libraries has established rules of conduct to ensure that the rights of patrons, volunteers and staff are preserved and library property is protected.
In addition, all library users can expect to: receive courteous service; talk to a staff member as needed; contact reference staff for information service; and have libraries operate in the best interest of all users.
The following actions are not allowed in or on library property:
- Engaging in any activity that violates federal, state, local or other applicable law.
- Entering the building without covering on their upper or lower bodies or without shoes or other footwear. Patrons whose bodily hygiene is offensive as to constitute a nuisance to other persons shall be required to leave the building.
- Entering the library with open sores. Open sores must be wrapped or bandaged while using the library due to the health risk presented by open wounds.
- Possessing or consuming alcohol and/or illicit drugs, or exhibiting signs of being under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.
- Using restrooms for bathing, shampooing, shaving, doing laundry, changing clothes, using drugs or engaging in sexual acts.
- Trespassing on library grounds and/or using library property in a manner inconsistent with its intended use of selecting materials, reading, researching, studying, writing, and attending programs and/or meetings held during business hours and/or within library buildings.
- Bringing in personal items more than 2 feet in length or height. A maximum of 2 bags of any type will be allowed. Personal property must be within sight of the owner at all times.
- Engaging in disruptive behavior preventing the free flow of pedestrian traffic into and throughout the library.
- Using roller skates, scooters, skateboards, bicycles, wheeled shoes or other similar devices in and/or on library property.
- Bringing animals, insects, or other living organisms, other than service animals assisting people with disabilities, inside library facilities or within 10 feet of any door. Exceptions to this rule include approved library programming that contains animals, insects, or other living organisms under the supervision of a responsible person or organization.
- Harassing behavior toward any person in the library, including but not limited to staring, stalking, lurking, repeated unwanted personal and/or embarrassing questions or attention in person or via electronic communication.
- Engaging in lewd behavior including, but not limited to, performing sexual acts and indecent exposure.
- Defecating and/or urinating on library property, other than a toilet in a restroom.
- Building of fires or using flammable liquids or materials.
- Using water spigots, outside electrical outlets, or tampering with lighting unless authorized by library personnel.
- Using obscene, abusive, threatening, profane, language and/or offensive gestures or gang signs.
- Fighting, intentionally making loud and unreasonable noises, using offensive and/or fighting words.
- Disruptively using electronic devices, including desktop computers, cell phones, CD players, MP3 players, walkie-talkies, PDAs, laptop computers or any other instruments. Exceptions to this rule include approved library activities that may involve loud noises.
- Neglecting to provide proper supervision of children and dependent adults at all times.
- Running or jumping.
- Fraudulently using patron library cards or account numbers for any purpose, including reserving computers.
- Destroying or defacing library property.
- Possession of weapons, including firearms. Law enforcement officers and individuals licensed to carry handguns in accordance with state or local laws are exempt from this prohibition.
- Failure to follow the reasonable direction of a library staff member or security officer.
- Panhandling or engaging in any kind of unauthorized sales.
Failure to comply with these regulations may result in expulsion from a library program or facility, suspension of library privileges and/or arrest and prosecution to the full extent of the law. The library will seek financial restitution for any damages and other expenses as a result of failure to comply with these codes of conduct.
Exceptions to the items above may be made at the discretion of the County Librarian.
Library users receiving a written notice of suspension of library privileges for thirty (30) days due to violation of the Code of Conduct may within seven (7) working days appeal the ruling by written correspondence to the Assistant County Librarian. Individuals unable to participate in a written process may request reasonable accommodations. The Assistant County Librarian will maintain a file of active suspension letters. The Assistant County Librarian will respond to the appeal within three (3) working days. If the appeal to the Assistant County Librarian is not satisfactory, the library user may, by written communication, make a final appeal to the County Librarian. The County Librarian shall respond to the user within three (3) working days.
Library users receiving a written notice of suspension of library privileges for six (6) months or one (1) year due to violation of the Code of Conduct may within ten (10) working days appeal the ruling by written correspondence to the County Librarian. The County Librarian will respond to the appeal within ten (10) working days. Individuals unable to participate in a written process may request reasonable accommodations. If the appeal to the County Librarian is not satisfactory, the library user may, by written communication, make a final appeal to OCCR Compliance for a meeting in person with a panel of three OCCR Administrators. OCCR Compliance will respond to the written appeal within ten (10) working days.
Approved by OC Board of Supervisors 8/21/2012 (ASR 12-001083 8/21/12)
Revision Approved by OC Board of Supervisors 8/31/2019 (ASR 19-000606 8/13/2019)