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Library Policies

Eastham Library Policies

General Rules of Behavior


General Principles & Purpose

The Eastham Public Library is supported by the taxes and the charitable contributions of the people of Eastham, MA. Our users can expect the library to be a clean, comfortable, and welcoming place for reading, researching, studying, and attending library or community sponsored programs and meetings. The Trustees of the Eastham Public Library have established these Rules of Behavior to ensure the rights and safety of library users and staff, and to preserve and protect the library’s materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds. These rules, along with other library policies, will be applied in a fair and reasonable manner.

Respect for library users and library staff members shall be maintained at all times. Disruptive or inappropriate behavior shall not be permitted. The library staff reserves the right to determine if other actions not listed below constitute “disruptive or inappropriate behavior.”

Individuals who will not respect these rules may be asked to leave the library, have library privileges suspended, or be subject to legal action.

Examples of disruptive or inappropriate behavior include (but are not limited to):

• Any purposeful damage done to the material, equipment, furniture, building or property of the library is against the law and will be reported to the police. (Massachusetts General Laws, Ch. 266, Sec. 100)

• Any conduct that disrupts the delivery of library services or hinders others from using library materials (Massachusetts General Laws, Ch. 272, Sec. 41) such as using personal electronic equipment, such as CD players, iPods, MP3 players, laptop computers, and cell phones in a manner that disturbs other library users.

• Any conduct that disrupts the delivery of library services or hinders others from using library materials (Massachusetts General Laws, Ch. 272, Sec. 41) such as loud talking, loud audio equipment, use of profanity, running, throwing things, hitting, pushing or shoving.

• Theft, defacement, or damage of library materials or property. (Massachusetts General Laws, Ch. 266, Sec.99, 99A and 100) Parents can be held liable for damage done by a child under the age of 18 (Massachusetts General Laws, Ch. 231, Sec. 85G)

• Smoking (Massachusetts General Laws, Ch. 270, Sec. 22), using alcohol, or any other controlled substance while on library property. • Indecent exposure/public indecency (Massachusetts General Laws, Ch 272 Sec. 53)

• The use of false identification to obtain a library card or to check out library materials, or use of another person’s library card without his or her permission, is against state law. (Massachusetts General Laws, Ch. 266, Sec. 99)

• Using the public rest rooms as a laundry or for bathing.

• Excessive public displays of affection.

• Interfering with library staff members’ ability to perform their responsibilities.

To Ensure that the library is a clean, welcoming environment for all:

• Beverages in approved covered containers are permitted in most areas of the library. They are not, however, allowed in the Eastham Room or at the public computers.

• Food is limited to the Lobby, Children’s Program Room and to approved events in the Meeting Rooms.

• Appropriate attire, including shirts and shoes, shall be worn by patrons of all ages. Examples of inappropriate footwear include roller skates, roller blades, cleats and golf shoes.

• Walkways throughout the building and access to library materials should not be obstructed.

• Animals, except for guide or assistance animals, are not permitted.

• The distribution of written leaflets, collecting signatures for petitions, or soliciting patrons in the parking lot, in the lobby, or on walkways immediately adjacent to the library entrances may be conducted at a reasonable distance from the library entrances in order not to impede entrance into and egress from the library.

• Library staff members are not responsible for patrons’ personal belongings.

• Groups desiring to use the meeting rooms, the VIS room, small conference room and the Eastham Room are limited to those who have signed up.

• Bicycles shall be placed in the bike rack and locked. Library staff is authorized to enforce this policy, to call for police assistance, or contact a parent or guardian when necessary. The Library reserves the right to revoke or restrict Library privileges.

Approved by Board of Library Trustees on August 27, 2016.

Youth Services Safety & Behavior Policy


The staff of the Eastham Public Library is concerned about the safety and well being of our young patrons. We welcome all children and offer many programs to encourage lifelong appreciation of books and other resources. As the Library is a public building available to anyone, Library staff does not and will not take over the parental responsibility for children when they come into the library. Due to the many responsibilities of the library staff, monitoring each child’s behavior and location is not possible.

Therefore, the following policy has been established:

1. Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied and supervised by a parent or responsible caregiver. A parent or caregiver will be called to pick up an unaccompanied child.

2. Children under the age of 10 years must be accompanied by an adult when using the elevator.

3. Children age 10 or older may be left unattended for the period of time needed to select materials, complete a homework assignment, attend a program, or utilize other library services. Children should not be left for an extended period of time. Children left unattended should be aware of the closing time of the building, and should have caretaker’s contact information available.

4. With safety in mind, children should remain inside the building while awaiting transportation to avoid the hazards of the parking lot.

5. Parent/caregiver will be called if a child is left unattended after the library closes. If the parent/caregiver is unavailable, the Eastham Police Department will be called.

6. It is the policy of the Library that staff members will not transport children from the library to any other location, except in cases of extreme emergency.

7. Staff may plan field trips using approved town procedures.

8. Disruptive behavior including shouting, running, pushing, or rowdy activities is not tolerated. If unaccompanied, a parent/caretaker will be called to pick up disruptive child/children. If the parent/caregiver is unavailable, the Eastham Police Department will be called.

9. The Children’s and Teen area are reserved for use by youth, their parents or caregivers, and patrons using these collections. Adults and teens unaccompanied by a child or teen may enter the Children’s and Teen area to obtain books or other materials but extended browsing by unaccompanied adults is not encouraged, and the library staff may request them to leave these areas.

Approved by the Trustees of the Eastham Public Library on August 27, 2016