Guidelines For Library Use

Policy #201

See also: Internet Use Policy
Guidelines For Library Use - Russian (PDF 116K)

Purpose

The San Francisco Public Library ("Library") seeks to provide its users with a safe and pleasant library experience in an atmosphere conducive to study, reading and appropriate use of materials and services. So that all persons may enjoy the benefits of the Library, individuals visiting or using the Library's facilities or services ("users") must comply with the following Guidelines for Library Use.

To Ensure the Safety of All Users

  • Children under the age of 8 must be accompanied at all times by a parent, guardian, or other responsible person.
  • The City Librarian may restrict adult use of Children's areas in order to ensure the adequate protection of the Library facilities and of persons and property therein.
  • Shirts and shoes or other footwear are required.
  • Persons under the influence of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs are not allowed on Library property.
  • Smoking is not permitted inside Library facilities or within 10 feet of any door.
  • People, animals or property must not block aisles, doorways, stairways, elevators or ramps. Large objects such as carts, bicycles and luggage may not be brought into Library facilities. Personal property must be within sight of the owner.
  • Weapons of any kind are prohibited on Library property.
  • Animals, other than service animals assisting persons with disabilities, are not permitted inside Library facilities or within 10 feet of any door.
  • Persons who remain at Library facilities after closing, and who need assistance to return home may be referred to the police in order to ensure their safety.
  • Roller skates, scooters, skateboards, bicycles, or other similar devices must not be used on Library property.
  • Sleeping or lying on the floor or furniture is prohibited.
  • Library entrance areas shall be used exclusively for entering and exiting the Library and as temporary waiting areas for Library users.
  • Possession/illegal use of or intent to sell drugs is prohibited.
  • Indecent exposure, including but not limited to having sex and/or exhibiting lewd and offensive nakedness is prohibited.

To Ensure Access to Library Services for All Users the Following are Prohibited

  • Eating or drinking, except in designated areas. Water bottles, covered beverage containers, and foodstuff must be kept out of sight.
  • Vandalizing or abusing Library materials, equipment, or facilities.
  • Soliciting money, donations or signatures.
  • Selling merchandise without prior permission from the City Librarian.
  • Media or commercial photography or filming, without prior permission from the City Librarian.
  • Unreasonable use of rest rooms, including laundering and bathing.
  • Blocking Library entrance areas or interfering with the free flow of pedestrian traffic in such areas.
  • Preventing others from claiming computer reservations or turns at Express computers either verbally or physically (i.e. sitting at the computer not logged in).
  • Manipulation of/bypassing SFPL computer systems or databases to override established limits.
  • Refusing to leave a computer after being suspended from computers or continuing to create a disturbance while using Library equipment.
  • Fraudulent use of another's Library card and/or number for any purpose, including to reserve or use computers.
  • Refusing to leave building and/or library computer during emergency evacuation.
  • Refusing to leave the building after being suspended.
  • Entering or attempting to enter a Library building while suspended (i.e. trespassing).
  • Any activity that unreasonably interferes with Library user or staff comfort, safety, use or quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the Library, including but not limited to:
    • Harassing or threatening Library users or staff.
    • Staring at, following, or photographing Library users or staff.
    • Strong, pervasive odors, including odors caused by perfume or cologne.
    • Making any loud or unreasonable noise or other disturbance, including disruptive use of personal communications or entertainment devices.

Persons who violate these Guidelines may receive a warning from the Library staff and/or an opportunity to cease the violation or leave the Library. Illegal activity, as well as any willful or repeated violations of these Guidelines or other posted Library regulations (e.g. computer use rules), may result in removal from the facility and/or suspension of Library privileges. In addition, where authorized by Federal, State or local law, violations of these Guidelines may also result in arrest. Library users who wish to request a reasonable modification of these Guidelines because of a disability or health problem may contact Library staff or may call the Library's Access Service Manager at 415-557-4557.

STATE LAW PERMITS LIBRARY STAFF TO SEARCH PURSES, BAGS, PARCELS, BRIEFCASES AND OTHER PACKAGES. IN ORDER TO PREVENT THE THEFT OF BOOKS AND LIBRARY MATERIALS, STATE LAW AUTHORIZES THE DETENTION FOR A REASONABLE PERIOD OF ANY PERSON USING THESE FACILITIES SUSPECTED OF COMMITTING "LIBRARY THEFT." (CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE SECTION 490.5) Patron Conduct Policy: Guidelines for Library Use - Policy #201

Approved by Library Commission on August 7, 2001. Amended by Library Commission on August 16, 2007.

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