BARRING CUSTOMERS FROM LIBRARY PREMISES
The Mansfield/Richland County Public Library Board of Trustees is responsible for establishing rules regarding customer behavior on Library premises and property, in order to ensure customer, Staff, and volunteer safety. Any person entering upon Mansfield/Richland County Public Library premises or property is expected to abide by the Library’s Public Behavior Policy.
Any visitor or customer to the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library [hereinafter referred to as “customer”] who fails to abide by Board policy regarding the Public Behavior Policy is subject to having his/her Library privileges suspended either temporarily or permanently and/or the customer being barred from all premises of the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library.
The Library Director has sole authority to suspend Library privileges or to bar a customer from Library premises, based upon the guidelines described herein. The Director may also delegate his/her authority under these guidelines. The Security Staff, under the Facilities Coordinator’s direction, or any Branch Manager or the Manager’s designee, is authorized by the Library Director to bar any customer from Library premises immediately when an incident occurs that threatens safety of persons or property, or the good order and operations of the Library.
A violation of the Library’s Public Behavior Policy will be addressed in the following ways:
• If a Library Staff member observes untoward conduct by a customer, the Staff member is to contact the Security Staff or Branch Manager immediately. The Security Staff member or Branch Manager shall warn the customer to correct his/her behavior or risk being barred from Library premises.
• A customer, who has been warned, could also be told to leave immediately, in the Security Staff member’s or Branch Manager’s discretion.
• In some circumstances, a customer’s behavior warrants immediate barring from Library premises, without prior warning. Such circumstances include behavior which poses a real or perceived threat to customer or Staff safety, and/or which involves suspected criminal activity.
• In all cases of customer untoward behavior, even those resulting in a warning, an Incident Report shall be completed and filed with the Facilities Coordinator.
Barring from Library premises for one day or longer
• A Security Staff member or a Branch Manager is authorized to bar, for a period of up to fourteen (14) calendar days, any customer who violates the Public Behavior Policy or is suspected of criminal activity.
• A customer who has been barred from Library premises for more than fourteen (14) days shall lose his/her Library privileges during the time he/she is barred. A block shall be placed on the customer’s card.
• If a Security Staff member or Branch Manager bars a customer immediately following an incident, the Security Staff member or Branch Manager must review the incident with the Facilities Coordinator to determine whether the customer should be barred from the Library for more than fourteen (14) calendar days.
• The Facilities Coordinator is authorized to bar any customer for more than fourteen (14) days, including permanent barring, in his/her discretion, and depending on the circumstances of the incident.
• The Facilities Coordinator shall keep records of any customer’s barring.
Customer Appeal Procedure
• Any customer who is barred for more than fourteen (14) calendar days shall be given written notice of the reason for having been barred. Such notice will be sent by the Facilities Coordinator within ten (10) calendar days after the incident giving rise to the barring.
• If the customer is under the age of eighteen (18), the customer’s parent or legal guardian shall be informed of the barring and of the parent/guardian’s opportunity to respond. The appeal request shall be made, and any appeal heard, in the same manner as for adults except that a parent or guardian must be present during the appeal regarding a minor.
• The Facilities Coordinator shall mail notice of barring to the customer or to a minor’s parent or guardian at the barred customer’s last known address. The mailing shall be sufficient notice, regardless whether the addressee signs the return receipt.
• Any customer who is barred for more than fourteen (14) calendar days may request an appeal. The appeal shall be made by calling the MRCPL Business Office or in writing and addressed to:
Attention: Appeals – Business Office
43 West 3rd Street
Mansfield, Ohio 44902
• A two-member Management Appeal Team, whom the Director shall appoint, shall hear any appeal at a time that the Appeal Team determines.
• If a customer who has filed an appeal fails to appear for the scheduled appeal hearing, the customer shall forfeit any right to appeal thereafter.
• A Security Staff member shall be in attendance at any appeal hearing.
• No appeal outcome shall be determined at the appeal hearing. The Appeal Team shall deliberate and inform the Facilities Coordinator of their decision.
• The Facilities Coordinator shall inform the customer of the outcome, in writing, within ten (10) business days after the hearing. The notice shall be sent to the customer’s last known address.
Final Appeal Procedure
• A customer barred from Library premises for longer than fourteen (14) days, and whose appeal outcome is unfavorable to the customer, has one final appeal opportunity to the Director. If the barred customer is a child, the parent/guardian must accompany his/her child to the final appeal opportunity.
• The barred customer must address his/her final appeal request to the Director, in writing, at the Main Library Business Office. Such request must be received within ten (10) business days after the notice of the appeal hearing outcome has been mailed.
• A final appeal meeting shall be scheduled at the Director’s discretion.
• After the appeal meeting, the Director shall mail notice of his/her decision, certified, return receipt requested, within twenty (20) business days after the date of the final appeal meeting.
• The Director’s decision is final, and cannot be appealed.
Contact with Library Board of Trustees
• The Library Board of Trustees has determined that it will not play an active role in barring customers or the appeal process.
• If any barred customer wishes to contact any Board of Trustees member, such contact shall be limited to written communication addressed to the Board or its individual members at the Main Library business address.
Unacceptable Conduct for which Temporary or Permanent Barring is indicated:
• The MRCPL Public Behavior Policy is posted at Main Library and at all Branch Libraries, and on the Library website, www.mrcpl.org. The policy includes examples of conduct for which temporary or permanent barring is indicated, but is not an exhaustive list.
• The Facilities Coordinator shall determine whether specific circumstances of an incident occurring on Library premises or property warrant permanent barring. It is not necessary that an arrest for or conviction of a criminal offense occur for a customer to be barred permanently.
• Any act of violence, threats of violence, or attempted act of violence, shall be grounds for barring or permanent barring.
• Any sexual act, including sexual imposition, sexual conduct, or sexual contact shall be grounds for barring or permanent barring.
• Any theft, including the following: aggravated trespass, criminal trespass, breaking and entering, grand theft or petty theft of Library property or of the property of other customers or Library Staff, safecracking, or tampering with coin-operated machines shall be grounds for barring or permanent barring.
• More than one incident on Library premises or property, resulting in barring for less than fourteen (14) days, within a three-year period shall be grounds for barring or permanent barring.
• More than one incident on Library premises or property, resulting in barring for more than fourteen (14) days, within a five-year period shall be grounds for barring or permanent barring.
Approved by the Library Board of Trustees, March 25, 2014.
Revised by the Library Board of Trustees, October 24, 2017