All patrons, visitors and other persons coming to the Library are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the following Rules of Conduct.
- The following activities are NOT permitted in the Library:
- Eating or drinking, except in designated areas.
- Playing audio equipment so that others can hear it. The use of headsets is permitted as long as such use does not disturb other persons in Library.
- Smoking, vaping or the use of chewing tobacco.
- Smoking or vaping of cannabis products.
- Possessing, selling, distributing, consuming, or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances as defined by N.J.S.A. 24:21-2.
- Carrying a weapon into the Library unless authorized by law. Any patron authorized to carry a weapon must notify the front desk staff that they are carrying a weapon.
- Bringing animals inside the building except service animals needed to assist a patron with a disability or animals involved in library programming.
- Intentionally or recklessly vandalizing or inappropriately using any Library facilities, including the rest rooms, such as using rest rooms as laundry facilities, bathing facilities or gathering places.
- Cutting, tearing, defacing, disfiguring, damaging or destroying any Library materials or other property borrowed from, owned by or in the custody of the Library, in violation of Denville municipal ordinance § 326-3.
- Leaving bags of any type unattended for more than brief moments.
- Leaving any child under the age of 10 unattended in the Library without supervision by an adult or responsible child aged 14 or older, in violation of the Library’s Policy on Unattended Children. Library staff members may not act in place of a parent or guardian.
- Talking loudly, including on a cell phone or other communication device, or singing loudly, shouting, or otherwise making noise or engaging in other disruptive conduct as determined by the Library staff in their discretion.
- Running, pushing, shoving, and/or throwing things in the Library.
- Sitting on the tables or countertops and placing feet on furniture.
- Engaging in inappropriate displays of affection, as determined by Library staff in their discretion.
- Using obscene, discriminatory or demographically offensive language, as determined by the Library staff in their discretion in violation of the Library’s policy on Nonharassment.
- Using abusive or threatening language towards another person(s); threatening to harm or physically or emotionally harming any Library staff member, patron or guest in violation of the Library’s policy against Bullying, Harassment and Lewd Behavior.
- Interfering with another person’s use of the Library or with a Library staff member’s performance of their duties as determined by the Library staff in their discretion.
- Filming, photographing, interviewing or otherwise recording patrons or staff within the Library, except with the Library Director’s express prior written approval and with the approval of the individual(s) being filmed, photographed, interviewed or otherwise recorded.
- Entering non-public areas of the Library without permission from a staff member.
- Distributing or posting unapproved or inappropriate material or soliciting anywhere in the Library or on Library property, including but not limited to materials that are commercial in nature, supportive of a candidate’s/candidates’ political election campaign(s), lewd, vulgar, pornographic, obscene, discriminatory (based on Protected Status), or otherwise violate municipal, state and/or federal law, and are not considered protected expression under state and/or federal law. Persons may submit a written request to the Library Director to distribute or post materials, which might otherwise violate this rule, and the Director may grant or deny such request in his/her sole discretion.
- Damaging, borrowing without proper authorization, or stealing Library materials, property and/or resources or the property of any other person, in violation of Denville Municipal ordinance § 326-4.
- Failure to comply with staff instructions regarding any Library policies or procedures.
- Registering or furnishing a false name or address to obtain a Library card or use without the owner’s permission any Library card other than the one issued to said person for the purpose of borrowing materials from the Library, in violation of Denville Municipal ordinance § 326-6.
- Peddling, hawking, selling or offering for sale any services, goods, ware or merchandise for profit upon the premises of the Library, without having first secured written permission from the Director, in violation of Denville Municipal ordinance § 326-10.
- Shoes, shirts and clothing covering the chest, and areas of the body below the waist(e.g., pants/skirts/shorts) must be worn in order to enter and remain in the Library.
- During a health crisis, the Library may request or require that all visitors to the Library, patrons, volunteers and staff wear masks covering their mouth and nose while anywhere inside the Library, in accordance with any applicable Executive Order or based on guidance from the Denville Health Department or the Centers for Disease controls and Prevention (the “CDC”).
- The Library may limit the number of individuals in the Library at any one time based on Executive Order or guidance from Denville Health Department or the CDC.
Library staff will enforce the above rules. Library patrons, visitors and other persons violating any portion of this Code of Conduct shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary and other responsive action by a staff member. This may include being asked or directed to leave the Library, suspension, limitation or loss of Library privileges, and other appropriate action, which may be immediate or following an investigation. Persons who violate the law also may be subject to arrest and criminal prosecution by law enforcement officials. Refusing to leave the Library, when requested or directed to do so by a Library staff member, may result in arrest and prosecution for trespassing. Library personnel shall prepare written documentation of all violations of the Code of Conduct detailing the person cited for the violation and the time, date and nature of the violation, and forward such documentation to the Library Director to maintain on file.
SANCTIONS AND APPEAL PROCESS
Long term loss (suspension or revocation) of Library privileges shall be determined by the Library Director through written notice, to be delivered in person within the Library, and/or sent by certified mail to the patron’s last known address. Patrons who wish to appeal their loss of privileges may submit a written letter of appeal to the Library Director within ten (10) days of the date of the Director’s notice. Written appeals shall be promptly forwarded to the President of the Denville Library Board of Trustees, who will convene a committee and make and issue a determination within thirty (30) days. The Committee will consider the specific details, circumstances, and impact of the violation, any prior history of the violator, and any other information the Committee deems worthy of its consideration. The Committee also shall consult with the Library’s attorney, as it deems appropriate in any particular circumstance. The decision of the President’s Committee is final. Any act constituting a violation of the law will be referred to law enforcement and may result in arrest and prosecution by law enforcement officials.
Policies referred to in the above:
Denville Free Public Library will not discriminate against any qualified individual with a disability or other person, and will not, directly or indirectly, exclude from participation, refuse, withhold from or deny access to or the benefits of, any programs, services, activities, accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges of the Library, on the basis of any Protected Status (as defined below). The Library also shall not make unnecessary inquiries into the existence of a disability, or with regard to the Protected Status, of any individual. The Library will make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices, or procedures to avoid discrimination. Modifications that will fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity will not be considered reasonable.
The Library also will not tolerate discriminatory, harassing, bullying or exclusionary conduct on the basis of any Protected Status by any employee, volunteer, patron, visitor or guest of the Library against any employee, volunteer, patron, visitor or guest of the Library. Violations of this prohibition will result in disciplinary or other appropriate action being taken against the offending party up to and including termination of employment or limitation, suspension or termination of Library privileges, or other appropriate action. Any act constituting a violation of the law may be referred to law enforcement and may result in arrest and prosecution by law enforcement officials.
For purposes of this Section, and throughout all Library policies, “Protected Status” shall mean race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, nationality, or any other characteristic protected by law.
For purposes of this Section, an “individual with a disability” shall be defined as anyone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits them in one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.
For purposes of the Section, the term “qualified individual with a disability” means an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modifications to the Library’s rules, policies, or practices, or the removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids or services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by the Library.
BULLYING, HARASSMENT, AND LEWD BEHAVIOR
Patrons and staff of the Denville Public Library have the right to enjoy an environment free from bullying, harassment, and lewd conduct. The Library will not tolerate any act of bullying or harassment by or against any staff member, volunteer, patron or visitor of/to the Library, or any other person, on Library premises, or at or during any on site or off site Library activity. The Library also will not tolerate any lewd behavior in the Library or at or during any Library activity.
For purposes of this Section, and throughout all Library policies, the following definitions shall apply:
“Bullying” shall be defined as any intentional conduct, including any act or threat of harassment, and/or coercion, hate speech (as defined by federal and/or state law), personal attacks, insults, and other threatening language, including statements made in jest, which is sufficiently severe, offensive, or intimidating to cause an individual reasonably to fear for his/her personal safety or the safety of his/her family, friends, and/or property, or to cause any person emotional distress, such that employment or other conditions are altered, or a hostile, abusive, or intimidating environment is created for one or more persons. Bullying also includes threat or act of violence that affects the interests of the Library, or which may or does lead to an incident of violence on Library premises, or while performing work on the Library’s behalf, or while attending any Library activity. Bullying may occur inside the Library, outside on Library property, or at any on site or off site Library activity. Where the bullying involves, or where the basis of the bullying is, any Protected Status, the bullying also shall constitute harassment in violation of the Library’s policy on Nondiscrimination.
“Library activity” shall be defined as any service, program, activity or event in which the Library is involved, or any Library employee or representative is involved on the Library’s behalf, occurring either in the Library, on Library property, or at any off-site location.
“Protected Status” shall mean race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, nationality, or any other characteristic protected by law.
“Lewd behavior” shall include offensive language, full or partial nudity, and excessive personal displays of affection.
REPORTING HARASSMENT, BULLYING AND LEWD BEHAVIOR
Any person who believes that he/she is or has been the victim of bullying or harassment, and any supervisor, employee, patron, or other person, who observes or is made aware of bullying or harassment, or lewd behavior occurring anywhere within the Library or by or to anyone associated with the Library, or during any Library activity, immediately should contact the Director or, in the absence of the Director, the senior staff member in charge at that time. The complainant will be asked to provide specific details, facts, documents, recordings, witnesses and other evidence, and will be asked to sign a written statement, although complaints may be investigated without a signed, written statement. All complaints will be investigated depending on the information provided, however, the Director or senior staff member in charge staff is authorized to take immediate action, such as requesting or directing the offending party to leave the Library or Library activity or calling the police, where appropriate based on the immediate circumstances.
Violations of this policy will result in appropriate action, depending on the seriousness of the acts, the impact on the victim, and the prior history of the violator. Those who engage in minor acts will be given a warning for a first offense and then asked to leave. An act of bullying, harassment, and/or lewd behavior will be regarded as “serious” when it involves unwelcome physical contact between persons, physical harm to any person, or serious threat of imminent harm to any person, as determined by the Library Director or staff member in charge, in their discretion. Serious acts of bullying, harassment, and/or lewd behavior, and acts targeted at or impacting minors will immediately be reported to the Denville Police Department. All violations of this policy will be reported to the Library Director. Any person who commits repeated and/or any serious violation(s) of this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary and other responsive action, including removal from the Library, suspension, limitation or loss of Library privileges, and other appropriate action, which may be immediate or following an investigation. Any act constituting a violation of the law will be referred to law enforcement and may result in arrest and prosecution by law enforcement officials.