I. Patron Code of Conduct
The Michigan City Public Library Patron Code of Conduct is intended to protect the rights and safety of individuals who are in the library or use library materials and/or services, to protect the rights and safety of staff members, and to preserve and protect library materials, facilities and property. Library staff and security have the authority to maintain order and enforce these and other regulations to ensure the safety of all.
The Youth Services Department is reserved for use by children, their parents or guardians, and adults interested in children’s materials. The Young Adults’ area is reserved for young adults and those who accompany them.
Library users who violate the code of conduct may be subject to the suspension of their library privileges, be banned from using the library, and/or face legal action. Upon violation of any part of the code of conduct, the patron will be asked to stop the unacceptable activity. If behavior is not changed, the patron will be told to leave the library for the remainder of the day. If behavior is unchanged in subsequent days, the patron will be barred from using the library for a period of 90 days or more at the discretion of the Director. The Director will inform the patron of this decision via certified or legally served letter.
II. Posted Rules
These rules and regulations are posted at the front entrance to the Michigan City Public Library:
The library reserves the right to inspect all bags, purses or backpacks.
III. Rules and Regulations Explained
For the comfort and safety of patrons, staff, and volunteers, and for the protection of Library property, the following behaviors and actions are considered unacceptable in the library and will be subject to discipline:
Shirt, shoes and proper attire required. Appropriate attire must be worn at all times. Wearing unbuttoned or unzipped shirts, dresses, or pants is not permitted.
No animals allowed except for canine assistance – excludes library-sponsored programs. Patrons may be required to show proof for canine assistance.
No alcohol or being under the influence of alcohol. Patrons appearing to be intoxicated will be asked to leave.
No smoking or other tobacco products. This includes, but is not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, etc. Any open tobacco products are not allowed.
No illegal drugs. Anyone suspected of being under the influence of illegal drugs will be asked to leave.
No food or drinks. Patrons will be asked to take food and drinks outside. Food and drink allowed in staff areas and in the meeting room(s) with permission.
No gambling or game playing. Playing games in the Youth Services Department as part of its services is allowed.
No inappropriate displays of affection, obscene gestures, indecent exposure. Any other kinds of fondling or offensive touching are not permitted.
No loitering or disruptive behavior. Loitering is described as: “Individuals who are not using library resources or services but are merely sleeping, lingering, wandering aimlessly, or following others through the library, all without apparent legitimate reason for being in the library.” Disruptive behavior may also include loud talking, singing, audio and video device playing, etc.
No sleeping - includes snoring.
No stalking or staring. Voyeurism and any other forms of suspicious lurking are not permitted.
No soliciting - either inside or outside the library. Soliciting, petitioning or distributing written materials or canvassing on library property for any purpose, without permission, is prohibited. Panhandling, selling, surveys, or other activities that result in the disruption of normal library activities are also prohibited.
No running, horseplay, roughhousing, pushing, etc. Any other disruptive behavior that could cause physical harm is not allowed.
No bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, etc. Other wheeled devices, other than baby carriages or equipment for the disabled, are not permitted.
Unattended children are not allowed. Please see Child Safety Policy for details.
No verbal or physical abuse. Any disorderly conduct, profane language, physical contact, or inciting to fight that is likely to provoke violence will result in immediate expulsion.
No weapons. Other than security officers, possession of any dangerous weapons, including but not limited to the following, is prohibited: firearms, knives, billy clubs, martial arts weapons, pellet or BB guns, bats, etc.
No cell phones in use. Cell phones and other electronic communication devices should be turned off or set to vibrate while patrons are in the library. Patrons should be directed outside to use their cell phones.
No bathing, shaving, or clothes/hair washing in the bathrooms. Bathrooms are not to be used for any other inappropriate purposes.
No open flames - except with permission of the library as part of programs.
No offensive odors. Bodily hygiene or condition of personal effects that is offensive so as to constitute a nuisance to patrons or staff is prohibited.
No disruption/abuse of library furniture or property. This includes, but is not limited to: moving furniture; overcrowding furniture; feet on furniture; lounging on furniture not intended for that purpose; damage to library property, including materials, equipment, plants and trees; stealing, attempting to steal, damaging, and/or altering library property.
No blocking of aisles or monopolization of furniture. This includes blocking or monopolizing any physical library space with personal belongings or large groups.
No bedrolls and/or large, bulky personal belongings. Numerous quantities of personal property, luggage, bags of food, etc., are not allowed. Patrons will be asked to put their personal belongings outside the building until they are ready to leave. The library is not responsible for patrons’ personal property left unattended.
IV. Other Issues
Trespassing in nonpublic areas or being in the library without permission before or after operating hours is prohibited. Patrons are not allowed in library offices unless accompanied by a staff member or with prior approval from the department head.
The use of photography, film, or television equipment is prohibited without prior permission.
Any other illegal acts or conduct in violation of Federal, State, or local laws, ordinances or regulations.
Computer Use Policy
The library reserves the right to set rules as needed for these systems and their use.
Printing is 15 cents per page.
Cell Phone Policy
Children under the age of 10 (ages 0-9) must have adult supervision at all times while in the library, except while participating in library programs.
Children ages 10 - 12 (excluding scheduled volunteers) must have an adult somewhere in the library.
Children ages 13 and over may be in the library without adult supervision.
An "adult" is defined as one who has obtained legal age and/or exhibits an acceptable level of maturity.
The library reserves the right to require children ages 10 years and over to have adult supervision at all times, if the child's behavior warrants supervision. Examples of behaviors that warrant supervision are, but not limited to: loud outbursts, running, and disregarding staff instructions.
Meeting Room Policy
All meetings scheduled in the meeting room shall be free and open to the public.
The meeting room is not to be used for solicitation purposes. The library adheres to a strict no solicitation policy in the building and on its grounds with the exception of library and Friends of the Library business.
Library premises may be used for non-partisan political meetings or events such as candidate's nights, which invite all candidates and are sponsored by independent organizations.
Library premises may be used by religious groups in order to hold non-denominational or interdenominational meetings.
Private social gatherings are not permitted.
Only the library or library-related groups may conduct a fundraiser in the library.
Facilities & Fees
Groups serving food and/or beverages must provide their own supplies. All groups are responsible for cleaning up after their meeting and leaving the room as they found it.
The meeting room is free of charge. Groups who wish to serve refreshments at their meeting must pay a $10 fee to cover cleaning costs.
Scheduling and Reservations
Library-sponsored activities will always take precedence when scheduling meeting room use. Non-library groups who wish to use the room will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. To check meeting room availability, please call (219) 873-3049 on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Meeting room reservations will not be considered final until the library has reviewed the application. The application must contain complete information about the nature and content of the program. The library reserved the right to refuse a group based on an incomplete application and/or a program that is not in keeping with the purpose of the room and the policies of the library.
Meetings are to be scheduled during regular library hours. All meetings must end 15 minutes prior to the library's scheduled closing time.
The meeting room application and applicable fee must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the desired meeting date. The application may be mailed to the library, faxed to (219) 873-3475, or turned in to the Circulation Desk to the attention of Robin Kohn.
The library cannot guarantee the meeting room to non-library groups more than 90 days or less than one week in advance. No more than two meetings per calendar year may be held by individuals or groups that are not library sponsored. If you meeting has been canceled or postponed, please notify the library as soon as possible. Another group may be waiting to use the room.
Rules for Meeting Room Use
No activity shall be permitted which shall in any manner be potentially or directly destructive to library property or to the operation of the library. Organizations that reserve the meeting room assume full financial responsibility for any damage incurred resulting from the use of the meeting room.
The library assumes no responsibility for the personal belongings of those attending meetings.
Permission to use the meeting room does not in any way constitute approval or endorsement by the library of the group's policies, beliefs, or activities.
Medical organizations using the room to perform tests, vaccinations, or other procedures are responsible for the clean up and disposal of any medical and/or hazardous waste.
Alcoholic beverages may not be served or consumed in the library.
No smoking is permitted in the library.
All open flames, including the use of candles, are prohibited.
The use of balloons or other non-secured decorations is prohibited in the library.ADA Compliance
The library will comply with the provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) by providing a qualified interpreter or auxiliary aids upon request at least ten days in advance of library-sponsored programs. Outside groups using the meeting room must also comply with ADA. They are responsible for providing qualified interpreters or auxiliary aids upon request.