Behavior Rules Governing the Use of Johnson Public Library (B100)

The Johnson Public Library’s (hereinafter “Library”) behavior rules have a threefold purpose:

  • to protect the rights and safety of Library patrons,
  • to protect the rights and safety of Library staff members, and
  • to preserve and protect the Library’s materials, facilities and property.

Definitions and scope
These behavior rules shall apply to the building, interior and exterior, and all grounds controlled and operated by the Johnson Public Library Board of Trustees (hereafter “premises”) and to all persons entering in or on the premises.

Rules of Behavior
Persons engaged in any of the following behaviors may, by authority of the Johnson Public Library Board of Trustees, be ejected from the premises and excluded from all Library premises and services for the period of time listed below under “Penalties.”

  1. Committing or attempting to commit any activity that would constitute a violation of any federal, state or local criminal statute or ordinance.
  2. Directing a specific threat of physical harm against an individual, group of individuals or property.
  3. Engaging in sexual conduct, as defined by NJSA 2C:14-1, including, but not limited to, the physical manipulation or touching of a person’s intimate parts through a person’s clothing.
  4. Being under the influence of any controlled substance or alcoholic beverage
  5. Possessing, selling, distributing or consuming any controlled substance as defined by NJSA 24:21-2.
  6. Engaging in conduct that disrupts or interferes with the normal operation of the Library, or disturbs Library staff or patrons, including, but not limited to, conduct that involves the use of abusive language or gestures, conduct that creates unreasonable noise, or conduct that consists of loud or boisterous physical behavior or talking.
  7. Using Library materials, equipment, furniture, fixtures or buildings in a destructive, abusive or potentially damaging manner or in a manner inconsistent with its customary use or likely to cause personal injury to the actors or others
  8. Disobeying the reasonable direction of a Library staff member or security officer.
  9. Placing personal belongings or other objects in, on or against buildings, furniture, equipment, fixtures anywhere in or on the premises in such a manner that it interferes with Library staff or patron use of the Library facility, or interferes with free passage.
  10. Bringing bicycles, skateboards, scooters or other similar devices inside Library buildings, including, but not limited to, vestibules or covered doorways except where a bicycle rack is provided.
  11. Operating bicycles, roller skates, skateboards, scooters or other similar devices in or on Library premises.
  12. Smoking or other use of tobacco anywhere within the building.
  13. Consuming food anywhere within the building unless it is part of an approved program.
  14. Possessing alcoholic beverages in open or closed containers or non-alcoholic beverages in other than closed secure container as indicated by posted signs.
  15. Bringing animals (except for service animals and those which are part of a library approved program) inside Library building or leaving an animal tethered and unattended on Library premises.
  16. Violating the Library’s Internet Policy, a copy of which is posted online and at the reservation station.
  17. Taking Library materials into restrooms.
  18. Sleeping in or on Library premises.
  19. Improperly using Library restrooms, including, but not limited to, bathing, shaving, washing hair or changing clothes.
  20. Using personal electronic equipment at a volume that disturbs others, including, but not limited to, headphones, iPods and televisions. Cell phone use is only permitted in the lobby area of the library.
  21. Entering library buildings with bare feet or a bare chest.
  22. Disturbing others because of offensive body odor.
  23. Conducting unapproved meetings.

Penalties
Persons engaging in behaviors 1 through 5 will be immediately ejected and excluded from all Johnson Public Library premises and services without first being given a warning. Any person so excluded shall lose all Library privileges for a period of up to three years, and the infraction will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Persons engaging in behaviors 6 through 17 will be given up to one warning at the discretion of Library staff and, if the direction is not followed, the person will be asked to leave the premises for the day. Subsequent offenses by that person will result in that person’s immediate ejection and exclusion from all Johnson Public Library premises. Any person so excluded shall lose all Library privileges for a period of up to one year.

Persons engaging in behaviors 18 through 20 will be given up to two warnings at the discretion of Library staff and, if the direction is not followed, the person will be asked to leave the premises for the day. Subsequent offenses by that person will result in that person’s immediate ejection and exclusion from all Johnson Public Library premises. Any person so excluded shall
lose all Library privileges for a period of up to six months.

Any person engaging in behaviors 21 through 23 will be excluded from the premises until the infraction is corrected.

Repeat Offenses
Individuals who repeatedly violate these rules of behavior, after having been previously excluded for Library rule violations, may face a longer exclusion than indicated in these guidelines. Repeat offenders need not violate the same rule to be subject to stricter enforcement and may not be warned that their behavior is inappropriate before being excluded.

Appeals
Any patron whose library privileges have been denied may request, in writing, a review of the decision by the Library Director:
Sharon Castanteen
Johnson Public Library
274 Main Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601.

If the appeal is denied by the Library Director, the patron may appeal the decision, in writing, to the:
Johnson Public Library Board of Trustees
274 Main Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601.

The decision by the Board of Trustees shall be final.

Internet Policy

      1. Patrons may use Library computers only upon presentation of his or her valid library card. A patron is not eligible to use a library computer utilizing someone else’s library card. Patrons using Library computers must report to the Reference Desk before starting and at the end of each session.
      2. The Library internet users must adhere to all laws regarding copyright infringement. Use of the Internet for activities that violate local, state or federal laws is prohibited, including pornography, committing fraud, hacking, harassing others, or libel. Users may not misrepresent themselves when using the library’s Internet access.
      3. The Internet is a worldwide computer network with a highly diverse user population. The Johnson Public Library does not monitor or control the information available on the Internet and is not responsible for its quality, accuracy or content. Therefore Library patrons use the Internet and the information and services available on it at their own risk.
      4. The Library is a public place and in the opinion of the Board, certain materials are unsuited to a public library setting. The Johnson Public Library staff members at their sole discretion will determine the inappropriateness of materials viewed and reserve the right to end an Internet session when such materials are displayed on the screen.
      5. The Library is not responsible for any Internet information accessed by children. Parents are strongly encouraged to supervise their children’s Internet sessions. Juvenile cardholders (up through grade 7 or 13 years of age) must have a parental consent form on file with the Children’s Room and may use only the computers in the Children’s Room (unless assigned to the Adult Department computers by the Children’s Room Librarian.)
      6. Two (2) persons may work together at a single computer station ONLY if it does not disturb those working at stations next to them.
      7. Patrons are permitted to utilize flashdrives or CD’s and other peripherals only on computers designated for that purpose. The library does not provide discs or flashdrives for patron use.
      8. Staff may assist patrons, as time permits, but may not provide one-on-one instruction. Staff may not assist with e-mail.
      9. Patrons are to remain at assigned workstations and may not transfer to another station unless assigned by Library staff. In the event of a problem, the patron is to request assistance at the Reference Desk.
      10. Users of Library computers may not alter the screen setup in any way.
      11. Anyone tampering with the Library computers shall be held responsible for any damage caused and are financially liable for necessary repairs.
      12. The staff reserves the right to limit time and usage of the Library computers, particularly when classes are scheduled.
      13. All computer use shall cease at least fifteen (15) minutes prior to the closing of the Library.
      14. Failure to use Internet workstations in accordance with Johnson Public Library policy and procedures may result in the revocation of Internet user privileges.

Wireless Internet Policy

Wireless Internet access is available throughout the Library building, to anyone who has the necessary devices and software, via an open, unsecured network.

Wireless users must adhere to all laws regarding copyright infringement. Use of the Internet for activities that violate local, state or federal laws is prohibited, including viewing pornography, committing fraud, hacking, harassing others, or libel. Users may not misrepresent themselves when using the library’s Internet access.

The Library provides wireless internet access via an open, unsecured wireless network. Users are advised not to use the library’s network to transmit personal, financial or legal data. The Johnson Public Library cannot protect users of the network against malicious theft or interception of such data transmitted over our network.

Users are expected to avoid using applications that require large amounts of network bandwidth. These include servers and file-sharing applications.

Wireless Internet access in the library is governed by the Library’s Code of Conduct and Internet Policy.

The following policies are in addition to the Library’s Internet usage policies.

      • Library staff will not provide technical assistance for wireless networking.
      • Users may not extend or modify the network in any way, including adding access points and/or installing bridges, switches, hubs, or repeaters.
      • The Library reserves the right to remove or disable any unauthorized access points.
      • Any attempt to break into or gain unauthorized access to any computers or systems from a wireless connection is prohibited.
      • Any effort to circumvent the security systems designed to prevent unauthorized access the Library’s wireless network may result in the suspension of all access.

Children

      • Wireless Internet access is available to patrons of all ages.
      • Parents or guardians of children under 18 years of age are responsible for their child’s Internet use.
      • Johnson Public Library assumes no responsibility for the use of the wireless network by children.

System Requirements Laptops must have a wireless capability, 802.11b or g standard.

Violation of any aspect of this policy will result in suspension of all access.

Children’s Internet Policy

      1. The Internet is a worldwide computer network with a highly diverse user population. The Johnson Public Library does not monitor or control the information available on the Internet and is not responsible for its quality, accuracy or content. Therefore, Library patrons use the Internet and the information and services available on it at their own risk.
      2. The computers and the Internet in the Children’s Department may be used only by children in grade 7 or under. Children age 7 years or under must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or responsible caregiver chosen by the parent or guardian. Children must have a valid library card in order to utilize a Library computer or the Internet. The library card must be presented to the Children’s Room staff and held by the staff while the child is utilizing the computer.
      3. The Library is a public place. Since, in the opinion of the Board, certain materials are unsuited to a public library setting, the Johnson Public Library staff reserves the right to end an Internet session when such materials display on the screen.
      4. The Library is not responsible for any Internet information accessed by children. Parents are strongly encouraged to supervise their children’s Internet sessions. Juvenile cardholders (up through grade 7 or 13 years of age ) must have a parental consent form on file with the Children’s Room and may use only the computers in the Children’s Room (unless assigned to the Adult Department computers by the Children’s Room Librarian).
      5. Parents/guardians are responsible for any Internet information accessed by their children.
      6. Only one child shall be permitted per computer.
      7. The Library does not offer the use of CD-ROMS, or permit downloading, e-mail or CHAT groups on the Children’s Room computers.
      8. Staff may assist children, as time permits, but may not provide one-on-one instruction.
      9. Users of Library computers may not alter the screen setup in any way.
      10. Anyone tampering with the Library computers shall be held responsible for any damage caused and are financially liable for necessary repairs.
      11. Food, candy or drinks are not permitted in any area of the Library, including the computer area.
      12. Children may use the Internet only one time per day unless given special permission by the Children’s Room Librarian. The Library staff shall establish procedures to limit time assigned to each child. Computer time may not be reserved.
      13. All computer use in the Children’s Room shall cease at least fifteen minutes prior to the closing of the Children’s Department.
      14. Failure to use Internet workstations in accordance with Johnson Public Library policy and procedures may result in the revocation of Internet use privileges.

NJSA 9:6-8.21 prohibits parents from endangering the welfare of their children. NJSA 30:5B-1 prohibits the library from functioning as a child care center unless licensed by the State of New Jersey.

Therefore:

While school is in session, children of school age (16 years and under) may not be in the library unless accompanied by a parent.

Otherwise:

      1. Children 8 and under must be accompanied by a caregiver age 16 or older chosen by the parent.
      2. Parents shall inform the Children’s Room staff when leaving a child ages 9 – 12 in the library.
      3. Children 9 – 12 may be left in the library without an adult for a reasonable period of time, but parents will be responsible for their behavior and will be contacted if necessary. (Reasonable period of time may vary with a child’s maturity, but generally one to two hours is an acceptable period of time.)
      4. If problems arise while younger children are using the library and if they are left alone, the library staff will attempt to contact the parents. If the library staff is unable to reach the parents, the police will be notified to take custody of the child.
      5. Parents, or an appropriate caregiver, are required to be at the library fifteen (15) minutes before closing to pick up their children. The minors must leave the library promptly at closing time. At closing, if unattended children are still in the building, police will be called to take custody of the children.

PARENTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BEHAVIOR OF THEIR CHILDREN IN OR ABOUT THE LIBRARY AND SHALL BE HELD LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGE THEY CAUSE.

The auditorium and conference room may be reserved for use by local community or non profit organizations for meetings or programs whose aims are educational, cultural and/or civic betterment. They may not be used for commercial purposes. Reservations for the use of the meeting rooms are subject to the following provisions:

      1. Library meetings and cosponsored library programs will be given first priority.
      2. No admission fee may be charged.
      3. Meetings or programs must be held during regular library hours. No meeting or program should interfere with the normal functioning of the library.
      4. All programs must be completed 1/2 hour before the library’s closing.
      5. The use of alcoholic beverages, gambling and smoking are prohibited.
      6. Reservations should be made at least 30 days in advance. If the room is to be used by minors, the application must be submitted by an adult who shall agree to be responsible for the conduct of the meeting, for the payment of any fee which may be applicable, and for any and all damage which may result
      7. The 30 day notice may be waived at the Board of Trustees’ discretion.
      8. Fees are determined at Board’s discretion, and may be waived by the Board of Trustees.
      9. An application for the use of a meeting room may be denied by the Board of Trustees in its sole discretion.
      10. Permission to use the library’s meeting room does not imply that the library endorses any group’s philosophy, ideas, views or position.
      11. The rooms must be left in a clean and orderly condition. Only light refreshments may be served.
      12. The person or organization reserving the room is responsible for any damage to room or contents. Display materials that would damage walls, floors, furniture, etc. cannot be used.
      13. Only materials approved by the Director with the consent of the Board of Trustees may be displayed.
      14. Once permission for use of a meeting room is granted it cannot be transferred to another person or organization. Request to cancel use of the meeting room must be made no less than 24 hours in advance if the fee is to be returned.
      15. The library is not responsible for damage or loss of personal or organizational materials.
      16. Failure to comply with the above regulations may result in the loss of further rental privileges.

Employment Policy A300

The Johnson Public Library will not review an application from, or consider for employment, a relative of any member of the current Johnson Public Library staff, Board of Trustees, City Council or City Manager. “Relative” is defined as the spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or first cousin of the member or his/her spouse/domestic partner or any person residing in the member’s household. However, a relative, as defined above, may be utilized as a volunteer within the Library staff.

Gifts and/or bequests of money, library materials, works of art and/or property to the Johnson Public Library are welcomed and appreciated provided they serve to support its mission. Gifts of money and library materials may be accepted by the Director at his or her discretion and shall be reported to the Board of Trustees.

All gifts received shall be subject to the policies of the Johnson Public Library and shall be used or disposed of at the discretion of the Director and the Board of Trustees utilizing the library’s standard operating procedure and criteria. Gifts made to memorialize an individual, organization or events may be accepted after consultation with the Director, however, no gift shall be accepted where the donor requires any other restriction or limitation as to its use and disposal.

Gifts or works of art and/or property other than library materials may be accepted only after review and approval by the Board of Trustees. Such gifts will only be accepted when they serve to support the mission of the Library and are given free of any restriction or limitation as to their use and disposal. Donors shall be required to agree in writing to this requirement.

All gifts shall be acknowledged in writing. The acknowledgment of monetary gifts shall include the value of the gift. However, the Library shall not appraise other gifts for tax purposes, but shall identify and/or describe the gift in acknowledgment.

Selling, Soliciting and Canvassing on Library Premises

The mission of the Johnson Public Library’s is to provide members of the Hackensack community with the resources and programs to fulfill their evolving informational, educational, recreational and cultural needs in an environment encouraging lifelong habits of learning, self-improvement and self-expression. In its effort to accomplish the stated mission, the Board of Trustees establishes policies to assure that patrons are free to use Library resources and services free of interference and disruption.

To that end the following policy shall apply to all Johnson Public Library premises as defined in Policy B100.

      1. Except for members of the library staff distributing materials associated with library programs and services, no person shall distribute any pamphlets, brochures, posters, cards, circulars or advertisements to members of the staff or library patrons.
      2. Selling or soliciting services, money, items or signatures to or from library staff or patrons is prohibited.
      3. Canvassing of library staff or patrons is prohibited.
      4. Posters and/or fliers announcing a campaign or ticket sale to benefit non-profit, civic and/or community organizations may be displayed in the community information center if space allows, subject to approval of the Library Administration.

Objectives of Selection

The Johnson Public Library acquires, makes available, and encourages the use of materials in all media which:

      • Help people know more about themselves, their community, their country and their world
      • Supplement formal study and encourage informal self-education
      • Stimulate thoughtful participation in the affairs of the community, the country, and world
      • Give access to a variety of opinions on matters of current interest and encourage freedom of expression
      • Assist the individual to grow intellectually and spiritually and to enjoy life more fully

Free and convenient access to the world of ideas, information and the creative experience is of vital importance to every citizen today. The Johnson Free Public Library therefore incorporates as part of this policy the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement as adopted by the American Library Association Council. Since the library’s concern is the communication of ideas and information, these statements are extended for the purpose of this policy to include all materials in any format.

The library acquires materials, in a variety of formats, that support the aforementioned goals.

Responsibility for Selection

Ultimate responsibility for materials selection as well as for all library activities rests with the Director who operates within the framework of policies as established by the Board of Trustees. The selection of materials is the responsibility of the professional library staff.

Standards of Selection

Each type of material is considered in terms of its own merit and intended audience. Works that present an honest picture of a problem or an aspect of life will not be excluded because of frankness or coarse language.

The library, in its selection policies, emphasizes educational and informational functions. The library’s selection reflects the importance of basic books of permanent value and books on current issues and problems. A vital library in a functioning democracy has collections that contain opposing views on controversial topics. The library does not promote any views or beliefs, rather it is a repository for opinions as well as fact.

Complaints about Library Materials

Any complaint about materials selection should be in writing and addressed to the Director. The Director will answer in writing indicating what action was or will be taken. Any person who is not satisfied with the action taken may appeal in writing to the Board of Trustees.

Gifts

The library may accept gifts of books and other materials from donors with the proviso that it may dispose of them in any way it sees fit. No gifts with any conditions as to their use, disposal or housing are accepted. The library regrets that it cannot appraise gifts. However, upon request, it will be glad to provide a statement describing the gift.

Replacement and Maintenance

The library keeps its collection vital and useful by retaining or replacing essential material, and by removing on a systematic continuous basis:

      1. those works which are physically worn out
      2. those which are obsolete and outdated
      3. those which have not been checked out or used, relying on the librarian’s judgment

Replacement of a withdrawn or lost item is not automatic; the decision to replace will be based on the following:

      1. number of duplicate copies
      2. adequate coverage of topic by other materials in the collection
      3. demand

Quality paperbacks may be purchased in place of hardcover books when deemed advisable.

Policies of Selection

General Criteria:

      1. Suitability of physical form for library use
      2. Suitability of subject and style for intended audience
      3. Present and potential relevance to community needs
      4. Appropriateness and effectiveness of medium to content
      5. Insight into human and social condition
      6. Importance as a document of the times
      7. Relation to existing collection and other materials on subject
      8. Reputation and/or significance of author
      9. Skill, competence, and purpose of author
      10. Attention of critics, reviewers, and public

Specific Criteria for the Evaluation of Works of Information and Opinion

      1. Authority
      2. Comprehensiveness and depth of treatment
      3. Objectivity
      4. Clarity, accuracy and logic of presentation
      5. Representation of challenging, though extreme or minority point of view

Specific Criteria for the Evaluation of Works of Imagination

      1. Representation of important movement, genre, trend, or national culture
      2. Vitality and originality
      3. Artistic presentation and experimentation
      4. Sustained interest
      5. Effective characterization
      6. Authenticity of historical or social setting