In order to keep the library a safe and welcoming place for all, patrons must maintain necessary and proper standards of behavior while using the library. Patrons are expected to:
- Respect others.
- Keep conversations and all electronic equipment (computers, music players, cell phones, etc.) at a low volume that doesn’t disturb others.
- Respect other patrons’ privacy and their right to use the library.
- Use appropriate language.
- Keep your cell phone in silent mode, and move to the library vestibule or outside to receive or make phone calls.
- Follow all town ordinances and state and federal law.
- Do not expose other patrons to explicit images or information.
- Do not threaten or harass library staff, volunteers, or patrons.
- Respect the library and library property.
- Respect the library facility, materials, furniture, and equipment.
- Keep food and beverages contained.
- Clean up after yourself.
- Maintain a safe and healthy environment.
- Be fully clothed and wear shoes.
- Keep pets out of the library. (Trained service animals are welcome.)
- Supervise children under the age of six.
- Do not use any tobacco products or electronic cigarettes in the library.
- Do not visit the library under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Do not carry firearms, concealed or openly carried, or any other weapons.
- Follow all instructions from library staff and volunteers.
Young children: The Mercer Public Library encourages visits by young children and it is our desire to make their visit both memorable and enjoyable. Library staff are not expected to assume the responsibility for the care of unsupervised children in the library. Therefore, all children under the age of six must be accompanied by a parent or designated responsible person while in the library. If the young child is attending a library program, a parent or responsible person must remain in the library throughout the program. Parents, whether present or absent, are ultimately responsible for the behavior of the child.
Disruptive children: Children of all ages are encouraged to use the library for homework, recreational reading, and program attendance. The library staff realizes that the library will be noisier at times and that children by nature can cause commotion. However, children (whether with parents or not) who are being continually disruptive will be given a warning that they must settle down or will be asked to leave the library. If after a second warning a child continues to be disruptive, he/she will be asked to leave the library. If the child needs to contact a parent, he/she may do so and then wait with a staff person until the parent arrives.
Animals: In order to promote the general health and safety of the public and library staff, animals are not allowed in the library unless they are service animals or are part of a library program.
Service animals, which are not always dogs, are not required to be identified by a special harness or collar. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, users of service animals are not required to show papers or to prove a disability. To determine if a patron is accompanied by a helping dog or has brought a pet into the library, staff members may ask the person if the animal is a pet. Owners of service animals should indicate that they are working animals and not pets. Terms used may include assistance, service, guide, hearing, or helping animal. Service animals are welcome in the library, but owners of pets will be asked to remove them from the library.
Cell phone usage: Ringing phones and loud conversations can become a distraction for other library users. We ask that cell phone users be courteous to their fellow patrons and obey the following rules:
- Turn off cell phones or set to a silent mode while in the library.
- Refrain from making calls from inside the library. The vestibule area may be used to make short phone calls during inclement weather. Please move extended conversations outside the library.
- If it is necessary to receive a call while in the library, please do so quietly and immediately move outside or to the vestibule to hold your conversation.
Concealed or openly carried weapons: In order to promote a safe environment for staff and for patrons of all ages, no weapons of any kind, concealed or openly carried, shall be allowed in the library.