Behavior Policy

Effective Date: 08/05
Reviewed and Revised: 04/21


Code of Conduct

The staff and board of Ela Area Public Library strive to provide a library atmosphere that is comfortable, welcoming, and inviting while still maintaining areas that are conducive to quiet study and reflective reading. While in the Ela Area Public Library or on Library property, members of the public are to conduct themselves at all times in a manner that does not interfere with others. Anyone who disregards these regulations is subject to restrictions of Library privileges and/or removal from Library property.



  • Behaving in a way that disrupts or interferes with the normal operation of the Library, causes safety concerns, or disturbs Library patrons, or staff is not allowed. This includes, but is not limited to, rowdiness, running, throwing objects, or other inappropriate behaviors.
  • Harassing library staff or patrons, including verbal, sexual, or physical harassment or abuse is not permitted. Harassment includes language or behavior that offends, threatens, or insults groups or individuals, based on race, creed, color, national origin, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, physical appearance, physical or mental ability, socioeconomic level, education level and any other legally protected characteristics. This includes:
    • Making inappropriate personal comments or sexual advances.
    • Using obscene or lewd language or gestures.
    • Staring at, or following, a patron, volunteer, or staff in an inappropriate manner or in a way that makes them uncomfortable.
    • Exposing others to sexual Internet content (see Technology use policy).
    • Not respecting personal space or making unreasonable demands.
  • The filming of Library employees engaged in duties in public areas of the Library is permitted, however if the behavior of the person filming interferes with the normal operation of the Library or the ability of other members of the public to use the Library, they may be removed.
  • Use of loud, abusive, obscene, threatening language or gestures is not permitted.
  • Patrons are expected to follow reasonable requests of a Library staff member.
  • Noise level should be maintained at a level that is neither disturbing to other patrons in that area of the Library nor disruptive to Library service. Acceptable noise levels vary by zone through-out the Library.
  • The Children’s area and the Teen area are dedicated spaces specially designed to serve the needs of minors and their caregivers. Unaccompanied adults may be asked to relocate by library staff.
  • Covered drinks and snacks are allowed in designated areas but not near any computers.
  • Relocating or inappropriately using the Library furniture is not allowed.
  • Defacing or damaging Library property or committing any other act of vandalism is strictly prohibited.
  • As per Illinois Public Act 095-0017, smoking is not allowed anywhere in the Library or on the patios and is banned within 15 feet of building entrances and air intakes. E-Cigarettes are also not permitted.
  • Overpowering perfume or cologne or inadequate bodily hygiene that disturbs other patrons or staff is not allowed.
  • Children 10 years of age and under must be directly supervised at all times by a parent or responsible caregiver, high school age and older.
  • Patrons must wear shoes and shirts in the Library.
  • Personal items are not to be left unattended. The Library is not responsible for items left unattended and may report suspicious items to law enforcement.
  • Recreational use of skateboards, roller blades, and other sporting equipment is not allowed on Library property.
  • Selling, soliciting, or loitering is not allowed on Library property.
  • Distributing leaflets or posting of notices not authorized by the Library is prohibited anywhere in the Library or on Library property. See Policy 1.5 Display, Exhibits, and Charitable Collections Policy for detail on permitted and prohibited activities and limited public forum areas.
  • The sidewalks outside the Library are a public forum. People may, for example, ask patrons to sign nominating petitions or answer surveys. To help ensure safe and unrestricted access for all library visitors, this activity shall not occur inside the entry vestibule or within 8 feet of the vestibule’s doorways (the area from the inner doors to the outdoor pillars). See Policy 1.5 Display, Exhibits, and Charitable Collections Policy for detail on permitted and prohibited activities and limited public forum areas.
  • No one may interfere with patrons’ entry into the building or approach them in a manner which might be considered harassing. See Policy 1.5 Display, Exhibits, and Charitable Collections Policy for detail on permitted and prohibited activities and limited public forum areas.
  • The only animals allowed in the Library are working service animals as defined by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (seeing-eye dogs, etc.) or those authorized by the Executive Director for special programming purposes.
  • Patrons twelve and over who need to be able to talk to complete a project may use the Quiet Study Rooms. These rooms are intended for quiet, productive work: use of the rooms will be denied to those who abuse their privileges.
  • Groups larger than four may be asked to book a study or meeting room.

Vulnerable Patrons

The Library is concerned for the safety of vulnerable patrons in and around the Library. A vulnerable patron with mental or functional limitations and requires adult care. A parent, guardian or caregiver 18 years of age or older must be responsible for monitoring the activities and managing the behavior of vulnerable patrons during their Library visits. Vulnerable patrons who can understand and follow the Behavior Guidelines and who can care for themselves are welcome to be in the Library unattended. For emergency situations, they are encouraged to have contact information with them for someone who can assist them.


The Library staff enforces the above guidelines. When problems arise, the following actions will be taken:

  • In most cases, a warning will be given when behavior is unacceptable.
  • If the unacceptable behavior is not corrected, disciplinary action will be taken.
  • Disciplinary action includes separating patrons, requiring patrons to leave the Library, contacting parents of minors, contacting the police, banning from the Library for a period of time, or other responses that are appropriate to the situation.
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