Anti-Bullying Policy

Library Board approved October 17, 2023.


The Oak Park Public Library works to create a safe and civil environment that is necessary for staff members to be happy, well, successful, and productive. Bullying, like other disruptive or violent behaviors, interferes with a staff member’s ability to positively contribute to the library on a day-to-day basis and the library’s ability to operate successfully. Accordingly, the library strictly prohibits all acts of bullying, including cyberbullying. 

Defining Bullying

Bullying is conduct that meets all of the following criteria:  

  • Behavior directed at one or more employees; 
  • Substantially interferes with work/prevents work from being accomplished; and
  • Adversely affects a staff member’s ability to contribute positively in the workplace by placing the staff member in reasonable fear of physical harm and/or by causing emotional distress.

Examples of bullying behavior may include but are not limited to:

  • Spreading malicious rumors, gossip, or innuendo; 
  • Excluding or isolating someone socially; 
  • Intimidating a person; 
  • Undermining or deliberately impeding a person’s work; 
  • Physically abusing or threatening abuse; 
  • Withholding necessary information or purposefully giving the wrong information; 
  • Making jokes that are “obviously” offensive verbally or in writing; 
  • Intruding on a person’s privacy by pestering, spying, or stalking; 
  • Yelling or using profanity towards another person;
  • Criticizing a person persistently or constantly; 
  • Belittling a person’s opinions; 
  • Unwarranted (or undeserved) punishment; 
  • Blocking applications for training, leave, or promotion; and 
  • Tampering with a person’s belongings or work equipment.

Expectations and Responsibilities

The library expects all staff members, interns, patrons, volunteers, contractors, vendors, trustees, and other visitors to demonstrate appropriate behavior, treat others professionally, and refuse to tolerate harassment and bullying.

Additionally, the library expects all staff members to conduct themselves in a manner that displays proper regard for the rights and welfare of other staff members, interns, patrons, volunteers, contractors, vendors, trustees, and visitors.

A staff member who believes they have experienced or witnessed bullying is encouraged to tell the individual the conduct is inappropriate and report the incident as soon as possible to their supervisor and Human Resources. A prompt, thorough, and complete investigation of each alleged incident will be conducted. Staff members found engaging in bullying will be subject to appropriate corrective action, which may include restorative justice (only if all parties agree to participate) and progressive disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment. The library prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying.

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