Guidelines for User Behavior

General: The Board of Trustees of the Peabody Institute Library is responsible for establishing policy for the Library staff and the Library patrons. The Board must ensure maximum access to Library resources limited by needed security of Library property. Library staff and patrons must have an opportunity to conduct business without being unreasonably disturbed or impeded by other people using the Library.

Keeping this in mind, the Board has voted the following:

  1. Smoking and any use of chewing tobacco, snuff, or electronic cigarettes in any part of the Library building by staff, patrons, or visitors, is prohibited.
  2. Patrons may consume individual, wrapped snack items or lidded/covered drinks in the Library (except when using public computers, copying machines the microfilm reader/printer, or the Archival Center) provided they leave the area clean, dry and free of spill, stains, crumbs and trash. Consumption of meals, takeout food, outside food deliveries, overly-scented consumables or uncovered beverages is prohibited. The Library staff reserves the right to ask patrons who abuse this privilege to remove the consumable items from the Library.
  3. Patrons are responsible for their personal belongings. The Library staff cannot hold or watch personal belongings, nor are they responsible for personal belongings left unattended.
  4. Patrons may not talk loudly; make unnecessary noise; spit; loudly strike surfaces; threaten, accost, or physically harm other patrons/staff; or otherwise act in a manner distracting, abusive, or disruptive to other patrons or the good order of the Library.
  5. Patrons may not sleep in the Library.
  6. Patrons may not bring bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, scooters, wagons, cleated shoes, radios or personal audio players (without headphones), weapons (unless specifically authorized by law) or large items such as baseball bats, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks, etc.) in the building.
  7. Library patrons are required to wear shoes and be fully clothed in the Library.
  8. Leaflets, pamphlets or other materials may be left at the main desk of the Library for posting by the Library staff. The Library reserves the right to select the items to be displayed and may reject any materials which are illegal or that violate community standards. In no case, may an organization distribute leaflets within the building or on the property.
  9. The Library’s telephones are not available to the public except in an emergency and then only with express permission of Library staff.
  10. Because the Library does not have a paging system, the staff is unable to page individual patrons who receive personal calls at the Library.
  11. Mobile devices such as cell phones, smartphones or notebook computers/laptops or tablets must be muted or placed on vibrate while in the building. Mobile telephony to include voice calls made via mobile phones, video chat, walkie-talkie and any voice over Internet technology is prohibited in most areas of our building. Patrons wishing to place or answer mobile telephone calls may either step outside or use the foyer inside the main entrance, the hallway outside of the Children’s Room, or the 2nd or 3rd floor landing of the Sylvan Street stairwell.
  12. The Library reserves the right to inspect all bags, briefcases, backpacks, containers, and any similar items for Library equipment and material.
  13. Children under the age of eight (8) are not to be left unattended (beyond sight or conversation distance) by parents or guardian.
  14. Because of public and fire safety precautions, patrons may not block stairways, access to stairways, Library exits or aisles within the Library.
  15. Use of the Children’s Room and its resources is limited to children under 16 years of age and their accompanying parents or guardians at all times. Any adults not accompanying a child but who have need to access any Children’s Room resources should request assistance from a staff member before doing so.
  16. Use of the Teen Room on the Main Floor and the Teen Technology Center on the Second Floor, including the seating and computers therein, is limited to middle and high school-aged individuals at all times. Adults and younger children may access the room to retrieve materials for check out at any time.
  17. Patrons may not damage, deface, or misuse any Library materials or property. This includes disabling Library equipment, changing the hardware or software or settings on a Library computer, altering the wiring or connections to any computer hardware, or using a Library computer for a purpose other than that designated by the Library. Theft, vandalism, or mutilation of Library property is a violation of Chapter 266, Section 99A and 100 of the Mass General Laws and punishable by fine or imprisonment.
  18. Patron identity and intellectual pursuits are legally protected from public dissemination. Therefore, filming or taking photographs of library patrons without their permission is prohibited. Filming or photography for personal use is otherwise allowed in public spaces so long as it does not interfere with the operation or use of the library.
  19. No commercial or media photography or filming may occur in Library facilities without the prior written permission and approval of the Library Director. Such approval shall contain the conditions under which the commercial/media photography or filming will take place, and address the rights to ownership of the photos/films.

Approved by the Board of Trustees (Revised November 27, 2019)

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