Behavior Policy

The Pelham Public Library Board has adopted the Patron Behavior Policy to provide a safe, comfortable, and welcoming environment for everyone, including patrons and staff. This policy applies to the use of library facilities, resources and services, whether received in-person, via phone or virtually, as well as the participation in library-sponsored activities on or away from library property. As a community for the sharing of information to all persons, library users and staff are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is courteous, respectful, and cooperative. Any library user whose behavior, in the opinion of library staff, is disruptive, dangerous, destructive, inhibits access to or the delivery of services or resources to others, or otherwise violates this policy or local, state or federal laws may be asked to immediately discontinue such behavior, leave library property, have library privileges suspended, and/or be subject to legal action.

Examples of unacceptable activities and behaviors include, but are not limited to: 

Disruptive Behavior

  • Talking or laughing loudly, yelling, or engaging in loud phone conversations 
  • Running, jumping or throwing things 
  • Interfering with the free movement of library users or staff or their access to and use of the library and library resources 
  • Using obscene, derogatory, insulting, or otherwise offensive language or gestures 
  • Engaging in public displays of physical affection or in lewd behavior including, but not limited to, petting, indecent exposure or sexual acts  
  • Using library computers or personal devices at a volume that disturbs other patrons or staff 
  • Soliciting, surveying, petitioning, campaigning, selling of any kind, distributing materials, posting flyers or otherwise engaging in activities for promotion or profit without specific authorization from the library director
  • Smoking, chewing or otherwise using tobacco products or e-cigarettes 
  • Using photographic, video, audio or other recording devices in a way that disrupts library users, violates user or staff privacy, disrupts the staff’s ability to perform their duties, or otherwise violates the library’s Media Policy 
  • Drinks with a lid and snacks from the vending machine are allowed in the library. Any other food may be eaten at the outside patio 
  • Sleeping or appearing to sleep within the library, laying down in the floor or across library furniture 
  • Any other behavior that disrupts other library users or inhibits staff from performing their duties

Dangerous, threatening, or illegal behavior

  • Hitting, pushing, shoving, brandishing a weapon, threatening, or provoking violence
  • Harassing any person in the library, including but not limited to:
    1. Following, stalking, or lurking 
    2. Asking personal questions or for personal information 
    3. Asking staff or library users out on dates
    4. Asking embarrassing questions or sharing illicit, lewd, or unwanted information or images 
  • Threatening or inflicting physical, verbal, or written abuse 
  • Using racial slurs, derogatory language, or hate speech
  • Consuming alcohol or using illicit drugs on library property
  • Using library property, materials, or resources in an unsafe manner
  • Any other behavior which leads staff or users to reasonably feel unsafe 

Misuse of library property

  • Monopolizing library furniture, equipment, materials or other property that prevents others from using them for an unreasonable amount of time 
  • Misusing public restrooms, including shaving, bathing, washing clothes, soliciting, meeting, loitering, using drugs, or engaging in sexual acts 
  • Bringing animals into library facilities, with the exceptions of service animals as defined by the ADA or animals which are part of a library-sponsored activity
  • Damaging, destroying, stealing, altering or attempting to alter, or otherwise improperly using any property of the library, library users, or staff 
  • Taking library materials or other property outside library facilities without following established loan procedures or other authorization
  • Hiding or relocating library materials or property 
  • Leaving personal property unattended on library property  


  • Any other acts or conduct in violation of federal, state, or local laws, ordinances or regulations, including but not limited to littering, theft, vandalism, sexual misconduct or possession of illegal weapons or substances  
  • Failure to follow the reasonable direction of library staff regarding potential policy violations, emergency situations, or other library business
  • Failure to vacate the library at closing or when directed by a library staff member
  • Exceptions to the policy may be made at the discretion of the Library Director or Library Supervisor. Notwithstanding the foregoing or any other policy or provision of policy, library employees may report to appropriate management, law enforcement, public health or other authority any circumstance, behavior or conduct that, in their reasonable judgment, may constitute a threat, danger, or risk to themselves, the public, any individual on library property, or to property. 

Appeals Process 

Patrons receiving a written notice of suspension of Library privileges or who are legally trespassed from the premises due to a violation of the Patron Behavioral Policy may within ten (10) days appeal the ruling by written petition to the Director of Library Services. If not satisfied by the Director’s response to the appeal, the patron may appeal the decision by a written petition to the Library Board of Trustees within ten (10) days of receiving the Director’s response