General Principles & Purpose
The Cary Memorial Library is supported by the taxes and the charitable contributions of the people of Lexington, MA. Our users can expect the library to be a clean, comfortable, and welcoming place for reading, researching, studying, and attending library or community sponsored programs and meetings. To this end, the Trustees of the Cary Memorial Library have established these Rules of Behavior to ensure the rights and safety of library users and staff, and to preserve and protect the library’s materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds. These rules, along with other library policies, will be applied in a fair and reasonable manner.
Respect for other library users and library staff members shall be maintained at all times. Disruptive or inappropriate behavior that infringes on others’ use or right to use the library shall not be permitted. The library staff reserves the right to determine if other actions not listed below constitute “disruptive or inappropriate behavior”.
Individuals who will not respect these expectations may be asked to leave the library, have library privileges suspended, or be subject to legal action.
Examples of disruptive or inappropriate behavior include (but are not limited to):
- Smoking, using alcohol, or any other controlled substance while on library property.
- Loud talking, loud audio equipment, use of profanity, running, throwing things, hitting, pushing or shoving.
- Stealing, damaging, altering, or inappropriate use of the library facilities, collection, or technology.
- Distributing written leaflets, collecting signatures for petitions, or soliciting patrons within the library facility, in the parking lot, or on walkways immediately adjacent to the library entrances. (Such activities may be conducted a reasonable distance from the library entrances in order not to impede entrance into and egress from the library.)
- Using personal electronic equipment, such as CD players, IPods, MP3 players, laptop computers, and cell phones in a manner that disturbs other library users. Devices that play music may be used with headphones so long as the volume does not disturb others. Cell phones may be used so long as their use does not disturb others. Those holding loud or extended conversations will be asked to use their cell phones in the lobbies or outside.
- Using the public rest rooms as a laundry or for bathing.
- Using the Meeting Room kitchen for personal use.
- Excessive public displays of affection
- Indecent exposure/public indecency
- Interfering with others’ use of the library, its services and materials.
- Interfering with library staff members’ ability to perform their responsibilities.
To Ensure that the library is a clean, welcoming environment for all:
- Beverages in covered containers are permitted in most areas of the library. They are not, however, allowed in the Genealogy Room.
- Food is limited to the Main Level Commons, the Lower Level Corridor, and the Teen Space, or during approved events in the Meeting Room and Learning Center.
- Appropriate attire, including shirts and shoes, should be worn by patrons of all ages. Examples of inappropriate footwear include roller skates, roller blades, cleats and golf shoes
- Walkways throughout the building and access to library materials should not be obstructed. Sports equipment, musical instruments and other bulky objects brought into the library should not obstruct access to library materials nor block walkways throughout the building.
- Power cords should not cross pathways or be used in ways that create a trip hazard.
- Animals, except for guide or assistance animals, are not permitted.
- Library staff members are not responsible for patrons’ personal belongings left unattended.
- The telephones at all service desks are business phones. They may only be used by patrons, with staff permission, in cases of emergency or to call home for rides.
- The library reserves the right to inspect all bags, purses, briefcases, backpacks, etc., for concealed library material.
- The material and equipment in the library are here for patron and staff use. Any purposeful damage done to the material, equipment, furniture, building or property of the library is against the law and will be reported to the police.
- The use of study rooms and meeting rooms is limited to those who have signed up.
- Bicycles should be placed in the bike rack and locked. Bikes, scooters, or Segways may not be left inside the library or on the handicap ramp leading into the library.
- Patrons should not bring personal property into the library that the library staff considers to be hazardous. The library staff may refuse to permit a patron to have access to the library in such circumstances.
- Photography within the library is only allowed by permission of the Director, Assistant Director, or the staff member in charge, with the exception of patrons photographing their own family members. Photography within the library must not disrupt other patrons or staff.
Children in the Library
The library staff and Trustees have made Cary Library a warm and inviting place for children to develop a love of books, reading, and libraries. The Children’s Room contains a wide range of materials that are selected for children through grade 6. The library reminds parents that responsibility for a child’s use of library materials, regardless of format or content, lies with the parent or guardian, not the library.
Parents, guardians, teachers, and other caregivers are responsible for the safety and behavior of their children in the Library, and may not leave children under the age of 8 unattended. Children under the age of 8 must be supervised by someone aged 15 or older. Children between the ages of 8 and 12 may be left unattended for up to 2 hours, at the discretion of their parent(s), to complete homework assignments or special projects. These unattended children must know how to reach their parent(s) or guardian, and their parents should pick them up at least 15 minutes prior to the library’s scheduled closing time.
If the Library is closing and the parent(s) of children under the age of 12 cannot be located, staff will make a reasonable attempt to contact the parent(s) by phone. For the child’s protection, if parent(s) cannot be reached, staff will call the Lexington Police. Staff will wait at the rear entrance with the child until the Police arrive. It is the policy of the Library that staff members may not transport children from the Library to any other location.
If children exhibit disruptive behavior, staff will talk with the child about appropriate modifications. If the behavior persists, parents may be contacted. Some examples of disruptive behavior include: running, shouting, screaming, throwing objects, jumping on the furniture, banging on the fish tank glass, or banging on the computer keyboards. While very uncommon, families with children who resist repeated attempts from staff and parents to modify behavior may be asked to leave and try coming back another day.
Beverages in covered containers are permitted in the Children’s Room. Food is limited to the South Lobby, and to approved events in the Meeting Room and Learning Center.
Diaper changing must be restricted to the restroom diaper changing tables, located in every Library restroom. Please place soiled diapers in plastic bags before placing them in the trash. The Children’s Room can supply plastic bags, if needed.
Unaccompanied Adults in Youth Services Spaces and Programs
Adults are permitted in the Youth Services areas when accompanied by a youth or if the adult is actively using the collection or space in a way deemed appropriate by the staff. Unaccompanied adults may be asked by library staff to use the facilities, services, and equipment in the adult section of the library. If the individual does not comply with staff direction or repeatedly violates this policy, the individual will be asked to leave and may be banned from the Library. This policy was developed out of concern for the safety of children in the library.
Policy approved by the Library Board of Trustees on 10.17.12
Update approved by Executive Board of Trustees on 5.2.2018
Update affirmed by Full Board of Trustees on 5.16.18