Library Code of Conduct

Notice to All Users of Onondaga County Public Library

OCPL libraries are a place for reading, studying, and writing; participating in programs, activities and meetings; and, for using or borrowing Library materials. We ask for your cooperation in maintaining an environment in which all Library customers can use and enjoy the Library’s resources, services, and facilities. These rules are posted for the comfort and protection of all who use the Library. These rules will be firmly enforced by Library staff and security. All Library users must comply with the Code of Conduct listed below:

Onondaga County Public Library Board of Trustees establishes the Patron Code of Conduct to:

  • Protect the rights of individuals to enjoy the benefits of library facilities, materials and services
  • Protect the rights of library staff members and volunteers to conduct library business without interference
  • Preserve library materials and facilities from harm
  • Ensure the safety of library patrons, employees and volunteers

The Patron Code of Conduct is posted in each library building. Library staff members are authorized to bring to an individual's attention any act which is prohibited in the library. The individual will be asked to change the problem behavior. If such change is not evident or forthcoming, that individual will be asked to leave library property for a period of time that is determined by the library’s Guidelines for Dealing with Difficult Patrons. Failure to leave if asked may result in the police being called and a possible charge of criminal trespass. NYS Penal Code 140.05.

Each Children’s or Teen area may have a separate Patron Code of Conduct posted for using that space. Children of all ages are welcome, but children under age 8 must be with a parent, guardian or baby sitter at least 13 years of age. Please refer to the Unattended Child Policy.

Expected Behavior

Mutual respect makes it possible for every library user to fully utilize library materials and services. All library users can help by being respectful of each other and by behaving in a manner that does not disrupt other patrons or staff members.

Prohibited Behaviors or Activities:

Behaviors that disturb the normal functioning of the library and/or create a disruptive and unsafe environment include but are not limited to:

  • Failure to follow staff instructions
  • Noise disturbing to others, including loud talking, yelling, inappropriate/loud use of cell phone and audio equipment, including during computer use
  • Abusive or threatening language, profanity
  • Deliberate behavior that is intimidating, threatening, hostile or offensive, or adversely impacts customers and/or staff work performance
  • Fighting, physical abuse or assault
  • Theft of or damage to library, patron or staff property; altering or attempts to alter library materials
  • Violating the Internet Use Policy, including the display of obscene or pornographic materials
  • Bare feet or chest
  • Consuming, possessing or selling alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Eating food or drinking beverages, except at branch libraries offering beverage service. No beverages may be consumed at the computers
  • Excessive displays of public affection or engaging in or soliciting sexual acts
  • Exhibitionism, voyeurism or lewd behavior
  • Gambling
  • Leaving children under 8 unattended (see Unattended Child Policy)
  • Offensive bodily odor
  • Panhandling, petitioning, soliciting or selling merchandise
  • Rollerblading or skateboarding
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sleeping
  • Smoking, chewing tobacco or using other tobacco products
  • Spitting
  • Staring at others
  • Trespassing- entering library property when barred
  • Weapon possession

Inappropriate Use of Facilities or Equipment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Activities intended to interfere with or disrupt computer networks or equipment
  • Animals, except service dogs or animals which are part of a library sponsored program
  • Camping in library facilities or on library grounds. “Camping” refers to the use of library property for living or accommodation purposes
  • Improper use of library furniture that may result in damage or unreasonable wear, such as feet on furniture or walls, lying down, moving furniture
  • Obstructing passageways or blocking access to the library or any part of the library
  • Taking library materials into the restrooms
  • Use of public restrooms for bathing or laundry; other inappropriate use of restrooms; use of other public areas for personal grooming
  • Vandalizing library facilities and equipment