When the behavior of a patron constitutes a disruption, a violation of the “Patron’s Rights and Responsibilities” policy, which interferes with the use of the Athens-Clarke County Library by other patrons, or with a staff member’s ability to complete his/her duties, progressive action will be taken by staff members to end the disruption. Such action may include, but will not be limited to, verbal warnings, requesting that the patron leave the building, banning the patron from the library building or property, or calling the police (regarding the involvement of the police, Section D may apply).
In extenuating circumstance, or where the behavior of a patron constitutes a continuing disruption, the patron may be suspended from Athens-Clarke County Library for a period of time to be determined by the Library Director. In such cases, a written notice outlining the reason(s) for the suspension will be mailed to the patron, who will then have ten days to respond in writing prior to the suspension becoming effective. Where the patron files a written request for a hearing within the ten day period, the matter will be referred to the Board of Trustees for a hearing and final decision. Staff members should promptly complete an incident report following each event part of continuing disruptive nature or which represents an extenuating circumstance.
Any time a staff member feels that a patron’s behavior is threatening to the safety of other patrons or staff members, the police should be called. Staff members may intervene with a patron in order to prevent injury or property damage.
If the behavior of a patron under the age of 17 (hereafter referred to as a child), as witnessed by the police or reported by library staff, is such that the police must take enforcement action and remove the child from the library property, the Athens-Clarke County Police Officer employed at the time will do the following:
- Contact a parent or guardian to come pick up the child. If the child cannot be picked up, he or she will be transported home by an on-duty police officer. No child will be forced to leave the property unattended unless a 16-17 year old has driven to the library. The parent or guardian will be called in that case and notified.
- Complete a Juvenile Complaint for the applicable charge(s).
- Complete an Incident Report.
- Request an appropriate staff member to ban the child from the building based on the disruptive behavior in accordance with this policy.
This is only if the police officer is the requesting party based on behavior necessitating a Juvenile Complaint. If the officer does not witness the behavior and progressive action indicates the child must leave library property, library staff must have witnessed the behavior and sign a Juvenile Complaint. No provision of Section D shall limit library staff’s ability to request a child to leave the building.