Patron Code of Conduct



Commitment to Service

To ensure that the East Lansing Public Library (“Library”) is a safe and welcoming environment for all people, herein defined as patrons on library premises or using its resources, the East Lansing Public Library Board of Trustees has adopted the following Patron Code of Conduct.

The Library Director or the Library Director's designee will offer a library environment that welcomes all, physically and virtually, to utilize the Library and to participate in its events and programming. 

This Code establishes expectations for patron behavior (“rules”) that must be followed in order to ensure that all persons may enjoy equal and open access to library facilities, resources, and services. With the direction from the Library Board of Trustees, library staff shall utilize this Patron Code of Conduct to protect the safety of patrons and preserve their right to use the Library, protect the safety of Library employees and volunteers and preserves their right to conduct Library business, and protects Library materials and facilities. The Library Board of Trustees, the Library Director and all library staff realize that it is not in the community's interest to revoke library privileges unless a person poses a threat of damage to property or of harm to themselves or to others.

Mutual respect makes it possible for everyone to enjoy library materials and services.

Rules of Behavior

Patrons of ELPL are obligated to adhere to the following rules and regulations while on library premises:

  1. Patrons may not violate any local statute, ordinance, regulation, or state or federal law.
  1. All weapons are banned from Library premises to the fullest extent permitted by law.
  1. Patrons must follow library procedures when instructed to do so by library staff.
  1. Patrons must provide government or similar institution-issued identification when requested by library staff. If a patron refuses to provide identification and the need arises to create an incident report, library staff may retain photographic proof of identity with the incident report.
  1. Library patrons may not possess, sell, consume or be under the influence of any intoxicant or controlled substance (except as may be authorized by prescription) while on library premises.
  1. Patrons may not act in a way that would be expected to reasonably disturb others’ use of the library with understanding that certain areas of the library may be louder than others based on programming. Examples of disruptive behavior include staring at another person; following another person around the building; playing or using audio or other electronic equipment so that others can hear it; running; singing or talking loudly; using profane or abusive language; or behaving in any way that is intimidating, hostile, offensive, physically or verbally abusive; or behavior that adversely impacts the work of library staff.
  1. Patrons may not use tobacco, tobacco products and/or other burnable products on library premises. This includes smoking, chewing, or rolling of tobacco, other burnable products, vaporizers, electronic cigarettes or any other smoking devices.
  1. Patrons may not display materials or make verbal comments or gestures that might reasonably be expected to offend or harass others. Patrons may not engage in or solicit a sexual act; including but not limited to indecent exposure.
  1. Personal possessions must not be left unattended. The library is not responsible for personal belongings.
  1. Patrons shall not knowingly remove or attempt to remove any library materials without first checking them out. Unauthorized removal of ELPL property or failure to return ELPL property constitutes larceny, and ELPL has the right to report these matters to the appropriate authorities.
  1. Unreasonable use of library restrooms is not allowed, including, but not limited to, smoking, vaping, bathing, shaving, laundering clothes, congregating without purpose, soliciting, clogging plumbing, or looking into an area designed to provide privacy to a person using the area.
  1. For hygiene and safety purposes, adequate attire is required on the library premises. This includes clothing that covers the upper and lower body as well as shoes or other appropriate footwear.
  1. Patrons may not jeopardize the health and cleanliness of other patrons, library staff, library materials and library facilities with pests, bodily fluids, or waste. This includes fleas, lice, bed bugs, blood, urine or feces, etc. on themselves or their possessions.
  1. Patrons may not wear or emit strong, pervasive odors that unreasonably interfere with other patrons and staff comfort, safety, or use of the library.
  1. Patrons may not solicit or beg on library premises.
  1. Campaigning, petitioning, interviewing, survey-taking, soliciting, sales, or other speech or conduct may not be conducted inside the Library building and cannot disrupt normal Library use. These activities cannot impede access to library entrances.
  1. Patrons may not enter an area that is designated "Staff Only" with the exception of identified volunteers and contractors. Except for library programs, patrons may not remain in the Library after closing time or after a request to leave, including for emergencies and evacuation drills.
  1. Patrons may not use roller blades, roller skates, skateboards, or any similar recreational wheeled devices on library premises. Bikes and scooters must be parked in racks or designated areas so as they do not obstruct entrances and exits.
  1. No animals may be brought into the library building, with the exception of service animals and animals involved in library programs.

These rules are in addition to the City of East Lansing Ordinance, Chapter 108, Disorderly Conduct, Sections 9-101-9-104; and state and federal statues which apply. The rules and regulations included in this policy are cited by way of illustration and not limitation.

Library employees are authorized to bring to an individual’s attention any act or omission which violates these rules. Any person who violates these rules and regulations may be denied access to the library and to library services by the Library Director or designee upon notice for a period commensurate with the infraction (please see Code of Conduct Penalties).


Any person denied access to the library, or its services may appeal the denial to the Library Director. If the appeal is not resolved by the Library Director, it may be submitted in writing to the Library Board. The Library Board will provide the person with an opportunity to be heard before deciding the appeal.


“Library premises” refers to the spaces within the Library’s property, which include the Library building itself, walkways, outdoor spaces, and the library parking lots as well as a 6 foot easement along the east and north sides of the library building. It does not include the public sidewalks alongside Abbot Road and Library Lane.

“Other library property” is defined as the Library On the Go van and all assets owned by the library; such as furniture, materials, electronic collections, tools, technology, etc.

“Patron” is defined as a person who is on the library premises with the purpose of using the library resources.

Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees on November 25, 1986
Revised: June 16, 2004; January 16, 2008; April 17, 2013; March 15, 2017; September 20, 2023

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