The Pierce County Library System enforces established rules of conduct to create safe, welcoming, and respectful environments for the public, staff, and volunteers. Enforcement of these rules are applied in a fair, respectful and consistent manner across all service locations; behavior at one Pierce County Library System service point will impact use across all service locations.
To establish support for staff action(s) when addressing customer behavior and activities that unreasonably interfere with others’ enjoyment of the Library and to establish the framework for excluding an individual from library service for any amount of time so that library service can be the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people. This policy also establishes the steps individuals can take to appeal any ban or trespass issuance that is beyond seven (7) consecutive days.
Ban: A system-wide withdrawal of permission to remain in library facilities or on library grounds, or access staff assistance through all service locations for a specific length of time. A ban is issued in writing by library staff for a specific length of time, from one (1) day up to one (1) year. Bans are generally based on a person’s unwillingness to correct unacceptable behavior as defined in the Rules of Conduct.
Criminal Trespass: A system-wide withdrawal of permission to remain in library facilities or on library grounds, or access staff assistance from all service locations for a specific length of time. Criminal trespasses include the removal of library card privileges. A criminal trespass is issued by local law enforcement for a specific length of time, generally six (6) months to one (1) year, and is generally based on prohibited or illegal behavior as defined in the Rules of Conduct.
Permanent Trespass: In extreme circumstances, a permanent system-wide trespass is issued by the Deputy Director and may be imposed that includes withdrawal of permission to remain in library facilities and on library grounds or receive assistance from all service locations, and removal of access to staff assistance and all library card privileges.
The Pierce County Library System will enforce rules of conduct and will apply any decision that results in the exclusion of service to people in a fair, consistent, and respectful manner. Library staff and/or law enforcement officers have the right to intervene to stop prohibited and/or unacceptable activities and behaviors.
Bans are generally issued after staff have described the appropriate behaviors needed to continue using the Library.
Criminal trespasses will be issued by PCLS staff and law enforcement. A ban may be issued simultaneously with a criminal trespass. Criminal behaviors will result in arrest and possible prosecution. Trespasses may be issued immediately if the behavior is unsafe or harassing in nature.
Permanent trespasses are issued by the Deputy Director after a review of all incident documentation that identifies the behavior and activities demonstrated by the person are prohibited and illegal.
Individuals who have received a ban or criminal trespass for any length of time beyond seven (7) days may appeal this decision to the Library’s Deputy Director. When a permanent trespass has been issued, appeals may be made after twenty-one (21) days to the Executive Director and, if denied, an appeal for a permanent trespass may be considered again after five (5) years.
Trespass restrictions remain in effect during the appeal process.
The Library Board of Trustees delegates to the Library Director the authority to adopt policies, procedures, and guidelines to implement this policy, including timelines and procedures for appeals.
Adopted by the Pierce County Rural Library District Board of Trustees, October 9, 2019.
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