A Library for Everyone

Striving to Support Positive Experiences

Library Board approved as Rules of Behavior on June 1, 2011. Revised February 15, 2012. Revised February 24, 2015. Revised September 15, 2015. Revised October 23, 2018. Approved revision as “A Library for Everyone” on October 26, 2021.

Introduction

The library is committed to serving everyone, especially those in the community who most need access to services and resources and for whom barriers may sometimes hinder full and equitable access. That includes those who are experiencing homelessness, those with health challenges, those with income challenges, and other vulnerable or marginalized members of the community. 

The library listens to its community. Together, we value: 

  • Engagement through anti-racism, equity, civic responsibility, collaboration, compassion, gathering, and participation; 
  • Learning through knowledge, access, literacy, education, opportunity, and intellectual freedom; and 
  • Stewardship through accountability, preservation, sustainability, and transparency. 

The library does not tolerate illegal behavior which is never permitted in physical and virtual library spaces. Visitor conduct must never endanger the health and safety of other library users or employees or cause or threaten to cause damage to library property. 

Guidelines 

The library is committed to welcoming everyone, and the Board of Library Trustees has established the following guidelines to ensure: 

  • Everyone may access the library’s information, services, and opportunities; 
  • Library patrons experience safe library spaces; 
  • Library resources are protected from theft and damage; and 
  • Library staff members have a safe workplace. 

When individual values are in conflict, dilemmas occur. The library strives to support a positive experience for everyone. Visitor conduct cannot create a disturbance or otherwise interfere with the safe use of the library by others. 

Solicitations (support for political, charitable or other causes, not involving the solicitation of funds) outside of library spaces must follow Chapter 18 of the Village of Oak Park code; they are acceptable if they do not limit access to library entrances and exits, resources, and staff. Solicitations inside library spaces are not permitted except as authorized by the Library Board of Trustees in our Meeting Spaces policy. 

Personal items must be kept with you at all times. The library is a public space; staff are not responsible for loss or damage of unattended items. 

Small snacks and single-serving drinks are acceptable except in these spaces: 

  • Children’s Play Areas on the Main Library First Floor 
  • Silent Reading Room on the Main Library Third Floor 
  • Archives and Special Collections on the Main Library Third Floor 
  • Computer areas at all locations 

Sleeping is acceptable if it does not limit access to library entrances and exits, resources, and staff. 

Service animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, are permitted in the library. 

Accountability 

These guidelines apply to visitors of all ages. Parents, guardians, and caregivers are responsible for the safety of those who require care while visiting the library. 

Any conduct that violates these guidelines may result in cost recovery charges, exclusion from library spaces and from the use of library services, and prosecution. Restorative practices will be used to repair harm and address conflict whenever possible and appropriate. 

Illinois library law authorizes the Board of Library Trustees to exclude from the use of the library any person who willfully violates the policies prescribed by the board. After the exclusion period, patrons may be welcomed back into the library. 

All library staff are authorized to ask visitors whose choices violate the library’s values to leave the library. The library’s public safety team may choose to exclude a patron for a 24-hour period. All staff are authorized to call 9-1-1 and required to document the incident through the library’s incident reporting system. 

If unsupervised children and other patrons who require care are unable to tell staff their full name; parent, guardian, or caregiver’s name; and parent, guardian, or caregiver’s phone number upon request or if a guardian cannot be reached, the police will be notified. 

The library may bring criminal charges against any persons suspected of criminal acts toward library staff or patrons, including theft or vandalism of Library property or materials or of any violations on Library property of federal, state, or local laws and ordinances. 

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