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Customer Services Section 1: Customer Behavior

CUS-1 Customer behavior
It is the responsibility of all staff members to maintain a pleasant, appropriate, and safe library atmosphere. It is important that behavior which interferes with the ability of others to enjoy the Library in such an atmosphere not be permitted and equally important that behavior which does not interfere with this ability be tolerated.

According to Billings Montana City Code (BMCC) Sec. 16-106. "Exclusion of Patrons".

"All persons who willfully violate the rules of the library or the ordinances of this city may be excluded from the library and the use of its facilities."

Billings Public Library is committed to providing a secure, clean and supportive environment for use of its resources and services. To achieve this, the Library has established the following standards of behavior:

  1. Conversations shall be conducted at a normal conversational level.
  2. Library users shall stay in public service areas, unless accompanied by staff members on legitimate library business.
  3. If a patron refuses to leave the lobby at the time of closing, the Library will notify the Billings Police Department that a person has refused to leave the locked lobby.
  4. Weapons are not permitted in any area of the Library. “Weapon” means any object that may be produced or used to threaten or cause bodily harm, including objects meant to look like a bomb or other explosive, or a toxic or hazardous substance or material. This rule in no instance applies to law enforcement officers and other officials provided for in law.
  5. Cell phones and other electronic devices may not be used at computer banks or at service desks. Other cell phone usage is permissible as long as it does not disrupt other Library users. Ringers should be set to silent mode, and conversations must be kept at a low volume or taken to the lobby.
  6. An individual whose personal hygiene is so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to other individuals, or who is barefooted, or who is without a shirt, shall be required to leave the building. When the problem is corrected, the individual may re-enter the Library.
  7. Food is permitted only in the first floor café area, the adjacent concrete floor area, and in meeting rooms. Beverages in personal-sized, spill-resistant containers are permitted in public areas and meeting rooms, except the Computer Classroom, Digital Learning Lab, Montana Room, Genealogy Room or Digitization Room.
  8. Disruptive behavior, including but not limited to behaviors listed below, shall not be allowed in the Library:
    • A) Active disturbance or harassment of other library users and staff.
    • B) Sleeping, except in the case of small children or other dependent persons.
    • C) Chasing, running, and playing, especially on the elevator or circular staircase.
    • D) Tampering with arrangement of library materials that makes finding or using them difficult or impossible for all practical purposes.
    • E) Damage or mutilation of library materials or facilities.
    • F) Smoking in any part of the library.
    • G) Intoxication or incapacitation by drugs or alcohol which creates a risk to the person in question or to others.
    • H) Blocking aisles or walkways with personal belongings.
    • I) Taunting, stalking, following, challenging or provoking another individual.
    • J) Using abusive, threatening or menacing language or gestures.
    • K) Hindering or impeding or preventing the movement of an individual into, out of or about a Library facility or vehicle.
    • L) Causing unreasonable, intentional noise or permitting distressed children to cry continually in such a fashion that disrupts the ability of others to use the Library.
    • M) Bringing bulky items into the Library that take up excessive space in excess of 45 total linear inches (Linear inches = length + width + depth). This restriction does not apply to musical instruments or items used for personal mobility, such as walkers, strollers or wheelchairs. Other exceptions may be made on a case by case basis by library staff.
    • N) Using public restrooms or Library facility for bathing, shaving or laundering purposes.
    • O) Gambling, panhandling, or soliciting is not permitted. Sale of non-library materials is permitted only when sponsored by the Library.
  9. A patron who uses more than the permitted time on a Library computer or Internet workstation (see INF-3), will be subject to suspension of Internet and other computer privileges for a week, upon first violation. Subsequent violations will be subject to standard penalties for violation of the General Rules for Library User Behavior.
  10. Any customer who has been prohibited from entering the Library shall have all privileges revoked for a period of time equal to the length of time they are prohibited from entering the Library.

A Library user who violates the ‘General Rules for Library User Behavior’ shall receive a verbal warning on first offense, unless the offense involves commission of a crime, threat to another person, or significant damage to property of the Library or another person, or other serious offense, in which case a more severe penalty may be imposed by Library staff.

A Library user who has previously received a verbal warning for violating the ‘General Rules for Library User Behavior’ but commits a second violation, shall be prohibited from entering the Library or otherwise using its services for a period of 30 days, upon penalty of a charge of criminal trespass, unless the offense involves commission of a crime, threat to another person, or significant damage to property of the Library or another person, or other serious offense, in which case a more severe penalty may be imposed by Library staff.

Upon commission of a third violation of the ‘General Rules for Library User Behavior’, a Library user shall be prohibited from entering the Library or otherwise using its services for a period of up to one year, upon penalty of a charge of criminal trespass, unless the offense involves commission of a crime, threat to another person, or significant damage to property of the Library or another person, or other serious offense, in which case a more severe penalty may be imposed by Library staff.

Upon commission of a fourth violation of the ‘General Rules for Library User Behavior’, a Library user shall be prohibited permanently from entering the Library or otherwise using its services, upon penalty of a charge of criminal trespass.

A Library user may appeal a penalty to the Library Director, in writing, within seven days of notification of a penalty. The Library Director shall uphold or overturn the penalty within seven business days of receipt of the appeal by the Library Director. The penalty shall not be enforced until the Library Director has decided on the appeal.

A Library user may make a final appeal of a decision by the Library Director upholding a penalty, to the City Administrator, in writing, within seven days of notification of the upholding of the penalty by the Library Director. The City Administrator shall uphold or overturn the penalty within seven business days of receipt of the penalty by the City Administrator. The penalty shall be enforced unless and until the City Administrator overturns it. The decision of the City Administrator is final.

RESTRICTIONS ON USE OF CHILDREN’S AND TEEN PIT AREAS
To encourage the use of the Children’s Services area and the Teen Services area by their intended audiences, and to enhance the safety of the minors who comprise these audiences, the use of these areas is restricted to minors and parents or guardians who accompany them, with the exception that other adults may enter these areas to browse and/or retrieve materials, but not to remain in the area otherwise to, for example, sit, read or use computers.