Patron Behavior Policy


In an effort to provide a comfortable and safe environment for all Library patrons, the Board of Trustees of the Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library has established a Patron Behavior Policy. The Policy is designed to provide clear and reasonable guidelines governing patron behavior within the Library and on the Library premises.

Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior includes behavior within the Library or on Library premises that interferes with the use of the Library by other patrons, creates a risk of injury to other patrons or Library personnel, interferes with the work of Library personnel, or creates a risk of damage to Library property. 

The following are prohibited:

  1. Threatening gestures or unwanted physical contact
  2. Use of profanity, abusive or threatening language
  3. Possession of weapons of any kind, except by law enforcement officers
  4. Damaging, defacing or theft of any Library property or materials
  5. Unreasonable noise levels that are acknowledged by staff/patrons as disruptive to  the use of the Library, including shouting, loud conversation, allowing ringing cell phones, or engaging in loud and/or lengthy cell phone conversation 
  6. Possession or use of alcohol except at authorized Library functions
  7. Possession or use of illegal drugs, narcotics, or controlled substances
  8. Sleeping 
  9. Petitioning, soliciting or selling merchandise
  10. Viewing pornographic material
  11. Lack of personal hygiene that interferes with the use and enjoyment of the Library by other patrons or interferes with the work of Library personnel
  12. Bringing pets/animals into the Library, except registered service animals 
  13. Leaving unattended animals on Library property
  14. Leaving children under the age of 8 unattended in the Library (see Appendix A)
  15. In the Children’s Room: Unaccompanied Adults. For the safety of our young patrons, the Children’s Room is reserved for use by children, their parents or caregivers, and adults using the children’s collection. Adults unaccompanied by a child may enter the Children’s Room to obtain books or other materials but must leave once their selection is made. Staff may, at their discretion, ask unaccompanied adults to move to other areas of the library. The same restrictions will apply to any area of the library in which a youth program is in progress.

Shirts and shoes are required.


Violation of the Policy may result in escalating responses ranging from limitation or revocation of the patron’s Library privileges to removal from the premises or criminal prosecution if the conduct constitutes a violation of local, state or federal law. 


The Director or an authorized designee, upon staff recommendation, may limit or revoke the patron’s Library privileges. Such limitation or revocation shall be in writing and shall be effective upon being sent to the patron’s address on file with the Library. A patron whose privileges have been limited or revoked may appeal by filing a written appeal with the Director within ten (10) days from the date of the issuance of the written revocation. The appeal will be forwarded to the Board of Trustees, whose decision is final. The patron whose privileges have been limited or revoked must attend a meeting with the Director to review this Library Patron Behavior Policy before his or her privileges may be reinstated.

Drafted: 1-18

Approved: 1-18

Amended: 7-2018

Appendix A

Unattended Children Policy


It is a goal of the Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library to provide an inviting place for children to develop a love of reading, learning, and community. However, children left unattended in the Library are not safe.  In order to ensure the safety and well-being of our young patrons, the following policy has been adopted by the Board of Trustees to clarify for parents, children, and library staff, procedures and behavior guidelines:


  1. Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library welcomes children to use the Library’s services and encourages parents and caregivers to enjoy the Library with their child(ren).
  2. The responsibility for the safety and behavior of children visiting the Library rests with parents, guardians, or caregivers, not with Library staff.  
  3. Children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.
  4. Caregivers must be 14 years or older.
  5. Library staff has been charged by the Board of Trustees with the responsibility to enforce this policy. Use of the Library may be denied for due cause.
  6. If a child is found unattended:
    1. Staff will attempt to return a lost or unattended child to the caregiver as promptly as possible. 
    2. If the caregiver cannot be physically located, a staff member will try to contact the parent/guardian by telephone.
    3. If the parent/guardian cannot be reached, or the safety of an unattended child is in doubt,  the Boothbay Harbor Police will be called. Staff will remain with the child until the parent or the police have arrived. 
    4. The Library Director or designee will contact the child’s parent/guardian to explain the Library’s policy.
  7. Under no circumstances will a staff member transport a child to another location. 
  8. Disruptive behavior is any behavior on library premises that infringes on the rights of others using the library.  In order to assure an environment conducive to lifelong learning, personal development, and mutual respect, disruptive children will not be allowed to interfere with library service to others.  Library staff will approach disruptive children with a verbal warning indicating the disruptive behavior.  If the behavior continues, the parent/guardian will be given a warning.  Persistent disregard for the expectation of appropriate behavior may result in the loss of library privileges.


Drafted: 3/17/16

Approved: 1/9/18