Patron conduct policy

Click here for a pdf version of this policy.

Policy adopted by the Library Board of Trustees January 13, 1997

Revised and approved September 9, 2002

Revised and approved February 11, 2008

Revised and approved October 11, 2016

Revised and approved June 12, 2023

This policy was developed and approved by the Board of Trustees to ensure the rights, safety, and comfort of patrons and Library staff members; and to maintain the value and condition of the Library collection and resources. It enables patrons to use Library materials, resources, and services without impediment or disruption in a safe and comfortable environment. In addition, it allows Library staff to assist patrons and conduct Library business efficiently and without interference. Unless otherwise noted, the responsibilities within this policy apply to all interior spaces and all exterior grounds of the Library.

Patron Responsibilities

  • Individuals must refrain from language or behavior that threatens, harasses, abuses, or intimidates other patrons.


  • Individual must refrain from language or behavior that threatens, harasses, abuses, or intimidates Library staff or interferes with the conduct of Library business and services.


  • Individuals may not engage in conduct that creates disturbances or impedes the use of Library materials, resources, or services by other patrons or the work of Library staff.


  • Individuals may not deface, mar, or in any way cause significant damage to or destroy any materials, furnishings, or property of the Library and its collections.


  • Individuals may not solicit, sell, or distribute items or services inside the Library. Any solicitation, sales, or distribution of material on the outside grounds of the Library must conform to the standards set forth in the Library’s Solicitation and Distribution Policy.


  • Individuals under the age of nine (9) must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver at all times while inside the Library and on the outside grounds. If a child under the age of nine (9) is perceived by Library staff to be unattended the Bethlehem Police Department will be called after a reasonable attempt to locate the parent or caregiver. If a parent or caregiver of a child cannot be located at closing time or during an emergency at the Library, Library staff will contact the Bethlehem Police Department and request that an officer arrive and escort the unaccompanied child to the Bethlehem Police Station at 447 Delaware Avenue.


  • Individuals must use established procedures for checking out all items from the Library and respond to requests by Library staff to examine any items that activate the Library’s security system alarm.


  • Individuals must comply with all regulations and guidelines indicated on posted signs inside and outside of the Library building.


  • Individuals may not bring animals into the Library building, except for animals specifically required for service purposes. Individuals with service animals must abide by the regulations set forth in the Library’s Animals in the Library policy.


  • Any individual who violates any of the responsibilities in this policy may be asked by Library staff to leave the Library premises (including the Library building and outside grounds) for the day. Where necessary, Library staff will request assistance from the Bethlehem Police Department in order to ensure the safety of patrons and staff.


  • Individuals who repeatedly violate any of the responsibilities in this policy may be denied Library privileges by the Library’s Board of Trustees on the recommendation of the Library Director.

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