Code of Conduct

The Clearwater Public Library System strives to provide the highest level of service to all library users. The following rules are set in place to protect the right of library patrons to enjoy a safe environment conducive to the use and enjoyment of library materials and services. The United States Court of Appeals decision (Kreimer vs. Bureau of Police for the Town of Morristown, 1992) found that a library is a “limited public forum” created for the specific purpose of providing public access to materials. Further, the library may draft rules of behavior to ensure that the library is used for the general purposes for which it is intended.

The following list of activities not associated with the use of a public library are specifically prohibited at all library branches, including buildings, grounds and property.

  1. Violating any federal, state, county, or city ordinance. Suspected illegal activity will be reported to the police immediately.
  2. Disruptive, unsafe, or threatening behavior affecting library patron or staff use of the library. Patrons shall engage in activities associated with the use of a public library. Patrons who are not reading, studying or using library materials may be required to leave the building, library program, or approved event.
  3. Eating or distributing food outside of designated areas, drinking without covered containers, or smoking on library property. Using or bringing in alcohol or illegal substances is prohibited.
  4. Maintaining bodily hygiene that is so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to other persons in the library. Performing personal hygiene or washing clothes in restrooms is prohibited. Shoes and shirts are required.
  5. Bringing personal articles into the library that do not fit comfortably under a desk (except for items needed for library research and necessary human conveyances such as wheelchairs or strollers). All personal items must remain with the owner.
  6. Bringing non-service animals inside the library.
  7. Children under the age of 10 entering the building alone. They must be accompanied and visually monitored by a parent or responsible caregiver. Adults without children and not requiring immediate access to materials in the Youth Services area are required to relocate to other areas of the library.
  8. Patrons shall promptly leave the building at closing time or in an emergency.

Depending on the nature, seriousness, or recurrence of the offense(s), persons may be asked to leave the library facility or property, subject to the provisions of Section 810.08, Florida Statutes, or staff may contact law enforcement. Terms of the NOTICE OF SUSPENSION AND NOTICE OF TRESPASS may apply.

Reviewed September 2019