Policy on Patron Behavior

The Maine State Library, funded by Maine taxpayers, is a clean, comfortable, and safe place for selecting materials, reading, researching, studying, writing, and attending programs, meetings and engaging in civil discourse.  The Library is a place of enlightenment.

The Library is responsible for protecting the rights and safety of Library patrons, volunteers, and staff (see Maine State Library Policy Concerning Workplace Response to Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking), and for preserving and protecting the Library’s materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds.  Additionally, the Library has a strong commitment to intellectual freedom and to freedom of access to information.

For the comfort and safety of patrons, volunteers, and staff, and the protection of Library property, staff may address any action deemed by staff to be disruptive to safely using the library’s resources. Behavior of persons, regardless of age, which is disruptive or detracts from library use will not be tolerated.  Acting or attempting to act in violation of state, federal, or local law, ordinance, regulation, or Library policy is prohibited.

Some examples of inappropriate behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Abusive/vulgar language, harassing, profane or threatening language
  • Loud disorderly conduct
  • Disrespect of staff
  • Use of tobacco products (or electronic substitutes), alcohol and/or unauthorized drugs in any form anywhere on library property
  • Possession of a firearm:  No person, except a police officer on duty, shall carry firearms, dangerous weapons, explosives, incendiary devices, or implements which by their nature are capable of being used to destroy or injure a person or property in the Maine Cultural Building
  • Vandalism, theft, or destruction of library property
  • Sleeping for extended periods of time
  • Aimless/restless roaming, loitering
  • Unsuitable dress (no shirt, no shoes)
  • Photography, filming, and/or audio/video recording staff and/or patrons without their permission (see Photographing and Filming in the Library Policy)
  • Violating Library Policies or Guidelines
  • Fraudulent use of another’s library card and/or number for any purpose
  • Viewing websites that are inappropriate in a public setting (see Internet Use Policy and Wireless Computer Useage Agreement)
  • Selling products or services, except as part of a library sponsored program or library support organization is not permitted in the library
  • Soliciting, circulating petitions, distributing leaflets and other similar activities are prohibited

Staff members are well-trained library professionals who strive to provide excellent service to every patron.  The staff has the authority to ask disruptive patrons whose behavior monopolizes their attention and/or restricts others use of the library to leave.  Security officers and/or off-duty policemen may be present during business hours to aid the staff in maintaining an orderly atmosphere.  Patrons involved in criminal behavior against the library will be prosecuted.  Chronic offenders will be denied use of the library.