The Board of the Rutherford County Library System welcomes visitors and encourages them to use its resources. The board also acknowledges the necessity to maintain an environment in which patrons and staff can be free from harassment, intimidation, threats to their safety and well-being, and protects library resources and facilities from damage. To provide safeguards against such behavior and damage to property, the Library Board has adopted the following Rules of Conduct, which specifies the type of activities or behavior that is not permitted on library premises. These Rules of Conduct and related policies and procedures incorporate federal, state and local laws which govern illegal behavior, the Library Bill of Rights, the American Library Association’s guidelines for the development of policies and procedures regarding user behavior and library usage.

The Rules

In order for the Rutherford County Library System to provide the public with an atmosphere conducive to the appropriate use of its services and facilities, the following activities are prohibited on library premises:

Class I Offenses

1. Distributing or posting printed materials and literature that have not been approved by the library

2. Soliciting library patrons or staff for money, items or services

3. Eating and drinking or placing open containers of food or beverages on tables, carrels and the floor (except as may be permitted and provided in designated areas) in library facilities

4. Smoking or other uses of tobacco in library facilities including rest rooms, or outside library facilities in any area likely to interfere with other patrons access to the library

5. Loitering on library premises. Loitering is defined as sitting or standing idly about, sleeping, lingering aimlessly or putting head on table for prolonged periods of time either inside the library building or, outside the library building in areas which obstructs other library patrons access to the library. The use of outside library benches and chairs for sleeping or lying down is also prohibited. Nothing herin shall be interpreted to restrict library patrons from standing around while waiting for transportation to pick them up from the library facility

6. Not wearing shoes or shirt inside library facilities

7. The use of skates, skate boards and/or roller blades

8. The use of library materials, comptuers and automated equipment for reasons other than their intended purpose

9. Placing feet or legs on the furniture

10. Users of the library are expected to maintain an acceptable standard of personal hygiene. Infested clothing and/or person or personal effects or unpleasant body odor, which offends other patrons such that other patrons’ use and enjoyment of the library is interfered with, is unacceptable. If a person can be smelled from ten feet (10′) or more, he/she may be asked to leave

11. Bringing animals or pets, other than those assisting persons with disabilities, into the library facility

12. Creating loud noises and/or disturbances which interfere with staff and or other patrons’ use and enjoyment of the library, including, but not limited to, by verbal utterances or with electronic devices

13. Using obscene or abusive language or gestures in a manner which reasonably can be expected to annoy or disturb other patrons or library staff

14. Leaving children 12 years of age and under unsupervised

15. Leaving children or young adults in library facilities after closing time

16. Misuse of rest rooms. Misuse includes: washing clothing and bathing (other than face and hands)

17. Bringing large items (packages, duffel bags, suitcases, etc.) onto library premises that take up excessive space, without the prior approval of library personnel. Excessive space shall be defined as an item or group of items exceeding 2.5 ft. in length, or 2.5 ft. in width, or 2.5 ft. in height

18. Removing library materials from the premises without authorization or without going through established lending procedures

19. Being on library property between — one (1) hour after official public closing time and (1) hour before official opening time except for: returning library materials to after-hours book drops and attending special events authorized by the library

20. Violations of written Library policies, procedures or guidelines

Class II Offenses

21. Intentionally engaging in harassing or threatening behavior towards other patrons or library employees for the purpose of annoying, intimidating or casing fear to the recipient

22. Soliciting for the purpose of prostitution

23. Public intoxication

24. Intentionally damaging, defacing, destroying or stealing property belonging to the library, a patron, or employee

25. Patrons are prohibited from bringing any firearm and/or weapon onto library premises. This prohibition does not apply to law enforcement personnel on official duty. Weapon means a firearm or anything manifestly designed, made or adapted for the purpose of inflicting bodily injury, or anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing bodily injury

26. Engaging in disorderly conduct, fighting or challenging to fight, or using offensive words likely to provoke violence

27. Indecent exposure or lewd sexual behavior

28. Possession, consumption or sale of illegal narcotics, alcohol, or hallucinogens on library property

29. Any other acts or conduct in violation of Federal, State, and Local laws.