Patron Code of Conduct – Enforcement Guidelines



Library staff members use the following guidelines to implement the Patron Code of Conduct consistent with current training provided to library staff.


  1. General
      • All Library staff members need to wear their ID badge at all times. This identifies library staff to library patrons as persons of authority.
      • All Library staff members observing violations of Patron Code of Conduct Guidelines need to report the incidents immediately to the Person In Charge (PIC).
      • Security cameras have been installed to aid in the enforcement of rules and to deter crimes. These cameras are installed in public areas where there is no expectation of privacy. Signs are posted notifying the public about the existence of the cameras.
  1. Warnings - For minor infractions of the Code of Conduct Guidelines, all library staff are empowered to:
      • Approach the patron and identify themselves.
      • Politely but firmly explain the relevant policy, point out signs if existing, and ask the patron to refrain from prohibited behavior, and, if appropriate, give the offender a copy of the Code of Conduct.
      • If continued infraction occurs, staff member will provide a second verbal warning with information about potential suspension to follow if violation continues.
  1. Suspensions - For continued minor infractions or major infractions of the Code of Conduct, the person in charge will:
      • Obtain the support of other staff members before approaching the patron(s).
      • Inform the patron that their behavior is prohibited under ELPL’s Code of Conduct.
      • Ask for identification.
      • Tell the patron that they will be suspended from the library for a specific number of days according to the Code of Conduct Penalties Policy.
      • For suspensions one week or longer, if possible, obtain a photo of the individual for security and identification purposes.
  1. Reporting
      • For all security incidents staff members must complete the ELPL Incident Report form with full details as soon as possible and submit it to the Library Director and Person In Charge. Staff work time will be adjusted if the incident report is not completed during their scheduled work time.
      • For serious incidents (those in which someone is arrested or injured), staff should contact the Library Director or designee immediately. The Library Director or designee shall report to the Board of Trustees President any serious incident.
        For serious incidents, all staff members involved will write a detailed description of the incident and submit that report to the Library Director. This information is needed in order to respond appropriately to staff and public concerns.
      • Incident Reports will be available in a physical file that is easily accessible to staff in the Staff Only designated safe room or on a secure online storage system. (When applicable photos will be attached to incident reports.)
      • Staff members shall periodically review the Incident Report Forms to learn which individuals have been suspended from the library.
      • Once the suspension period is over, all forms will be pulled from the current file or secure online storage system and kept for seven years after the end of the suspension period at which time they will be shredded or deleted by library staff.
  1. Incident Report Forms
      • Incident report forms are used to provide information related to patron/staff confrontations, breaches of security, crimes, accidents, or other incidents where evidence might be needed to enforce rules, report a crime to the police, or provide information for insurance. Copies of photographs and film may be included as part of the Incident Report. Film shall be preserved for one year.
      • In filling out an Incident Report, library staff members may obtain contact information (name, address, telephone number) from the Integrated Library System (ILS) or successor electronic database.
  1. Law Enforcement
      • Law Enforcement is not the first response in most incidents but staff will call law enforcement when they observe danger to self or others or any infractions of city, state or federal law on library premises. Be prepared with a thorough description of the incident, subject(s) involved, and location of the offender. Cooperate with the police in completing any requested forms in accordance with library policies. Ask any victims and witnesses to stay until the police arrive.
      • The Incident Report and accompanying information is prepared as part of the library’s investigative record for use by library staff members, the library’s attorney, and agents of the library such as the insurance company. When a crime is involved, if there is imminent danger, the Library Director, or designee, may authorize staff to provide a copy of the Incident Report, photos, and films to a law enforcement agency without requiring a subpoena or court order.
  1. Terms of Suspension
      • The Library Director will send the suspended patron a letter informing them of the terms of their suspension when the person’s name and address are known. If the suspended patron is less than 18 years old, a letter will be sent to the suspended patron’s parents.
      • A note written by the Library Director or designee explaining that the person has been suspended from 'date' to 'date' will be added to the suspended patron's library record and some specific library privileges will be suspended.
      • When the suspension period is over, a staff member will reinstate full privileges.
  1. Modification
      • Any person denied access to the Library or its services may request a modification of the denial to the Library Director.
      • The Library Director may reduce or suspend the individual’s suspension if the individual agrees to comply with ELPL’s Code of Conduct without any further incidents.
      • The Library Director or designee will change this information in the library’s Integrated Library System (ILS) or successor electronic database and update the Security Incident Report.
  1. Appeal
      • 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 within ten days of the date of the appeal decision from the Library Director. The appeal should be addressed to the President of the Library Board, 950 Abbot Road, East Lansing, MI 48823.
      • The Library Board will provide the person with an opportunity to be heard before deciding the appeal. The decision of the Library Board is final.
  1. Prosecution
      • ELPL will cooperate with the police to the extent allowed by law in the investigation and prosecution of any offenders. Staff members are authorized to meet with police or testify on work time as needed.

Approved by the East Lansing Public Library Board of Trustees September 20, 2023

Print this page