Customer Ban & Bar Policy

Customer Ban and Bar Policy

Background:
On December 13, 2005 the Wicomico Public Library Board of Trustees adopted its Customer Rules of Conduct policy, to help ensure the safety and security of the staff and customers, and a comfortable and enjoyable library experience for all.

Use of the Library facilities and resources implies acceptance of the Customer Rules of Conduct, and customers who violate these Rules may have their privileges revoked and be banned and/or barred from the Library. All new card holders are given a copy of the Customer Rules of Conduct. The following policy gives the Library a mechanism to prevent repeated offenses and provides legal documentation to allege trespass under the Annotated Code of Maryland Criminal Law §6-409.

Definitions:
Ban -1. A public proclamation or edict; a public order or notice, mandatory or prohibitory; a summons by public proclamation.
Bar - 2. To restrict or confine, as if by a bar; to hinder; to obstruct; to prevent; to prohibit; (Ban & bar. (n.d.). Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary. Retrieved January 22, 2009, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ban)
Such as- Banned from the premises and barred from returning.

Enforcement:
Staff may ask a customer who is in violation of the Rules to leave Library property, and may call the Salisbury Police Department for assistance if necessary. Although the policy is designed for progressive application, staff will use their judgment in each situation to decide the severity of the offense and the appropriate course of action, including a ban from Library property. Likewise, customers are subject to arrest at any time if their behavior warrants it. Following each incident, staff will create a staff web security report, with all available identifying information.

Length of Ban: Based on the severity of the misconduct, an offender is subject to a ban for one day, one week, one month, or permanently with the possibility of appeal.
Staff prefers to operate under the underlying philosophy of a forgiveness policy. For example, if a person who was previously disruptive is in the Library and exhibits appropriate behavior, staff will not confront the individual. Nevertheless, customers who return to Library property while their ban is still in effect are subject to arrest for trespass.

Phase one: Staff may bar a customer for the day, hand them a copy of the Customer Rules of Conduct, and warn them that further violations of the Rules could lead to imposition of a longer ban. Staff shall explain the reasons for the ban. Staff will document the ban with a staff web security report.

Phase two: Staff may ban repeat or severe offenders for one week from the date of the first or repeat incident. Offenders will be handed a copy of the Customer Rules of Conduct, receive a letter from either security or administrative staff explaining the week- long ban and its consequences, and be warned by staff that further violations of the Rules could lead to imposition of a longer ban. Staff will document the ban with a staff web security report.

Phase three: is a month-long ban from the date of the third incident. This is for repeat or severe offenders of the Customer Rules of Conduct who have already been banned for a week. The violator will be handed a copy of the Customer Rules of Conduct and issued a written certified letter by either security staff or administrative staff explaining the seriousness of the month-long ban and warning them that further violations of the Rules could lead to imposition of a longer ban. Staff will collect available identifying information and file an incident report on the staffweb.

Permanent ban: An individual who interrupts the work of Library staff employees by continuously violating the library’s Customer Rules of Conduct and has been barred from the library for a month may be banned permanently. A Final Notice of Trespass letter will be issued as a written certified letter by administrative staff to the individual or be sent first class mail to their home address. The police will be called and the violator will be handed a copy of the Customer Rules of Conduct. All information surrounding the incident will be given to the police and the County attorney’s office will be notified. Staff will file an incident report on the staffweb indicating that this is a final ban.

Special Considerations for Minors under 14 years of age:

While children between the ages of 9 and 13 may be present in and use the Library independently of parents or caregivers (children under the age of 9 must be accompanied by an adult), they are accountable for their behavior and may be subject to the same progressive bans as adults or minors 14 and older. The following procedure modifications may apply with minors between 9 and 13:

Staff will make reasonable effort to call parents, caregivers, or adult person of record (e.g., on library card registrations) about the problem behavior of child.
Staff will not call the Salisbury City Police to remove a child under 14 from the building and property unless the problem behavior is severe, aggressive, threatening, or is creating a significant disturbance to customers and staff and there is no other recourse.
Staff will call the parent, caregiver, or adult person of record of a child who is an ongoing behavior problem (multiple bans without correction of behavior) and/or send a letter from Library Administration explaining reason(s) for child’s ban, duration of ban, terms of ban, and terms of required meeting with Library Administration before return of Library privileges for child will be considered.

Juvenile offenders: A juvenile is defined as any individual under the age of 18. If a juvenile has violated the Customer Rules of Conduct, the juvenile will be verbally warned by staff that the misconduct was unacceptable. If the juvenile does not accept the warning, they will be barred from the Library for the rest of the day and an attempt will be made to notify a custodial parent or guardian.

Appeal: A customer may request an appeal of the ban in writing to the Library Director within ten working days of the ban notification. The Director will respond in writing within ten working days. If the customer is not satisfied with the Director’s response, the customer may appeal in writing within ten working days to the Library Board of Trustees for a final determination. The Board will consider the written appeal at its next regular meeting and the customer will receive written notification of the Board’s decision within ten working days.

Approved by the Wicomico Public Library Board of Trustees on 2/10/09