The Florence County Library System provides an inviting, educational, and fun place for students and children who use our library facilities. Many entertaining and educational programs are planned for children in Florence County in the hopes that they will become life-long library users.
Children left unattended at the library may become bored and disruptive. Young children left alone become frightened and anxious. Older children and adolescents may become disruptive, disturbing others as well as interfering with the responsibilities of the staff.
The following policy is established to protect and provide for the well-being of children who use the library and to provide a written statement of the library’s responsibility and/or liability.
II. STATEMENT OF POLICY
Adults* are responsible for the behavior of their children while in the library. Children, age 10 and younger, must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Children, ages 11-17, will be responsible for their behavior within the library. Parents will be notified of inappropriate behavior and library visitation may be restricted.
Children, ages 11-13 may not be left unattended for prolonged periods*.
Organizations bringing groups of children to the library must follow the ratio of adult to children listed below for chaperones. Groups must have an “adult” chaperone with them at all times.
Birth to one year: 1 chaperone for 5 children
One to two years: 1 chaperone for 6 children
Two to three years: 1 chaperone for 8 children
Three to four years: 1 chaperone for 12 children
Four to five years: 1 chaperone for 17 children
Five to six years: 1 chaperone for 20 children
Six to twelve years: 1 chaperone for 23 children
“Adults”* using the children’s section of the library either must have a child with them or be conducting research for children’s homework or working on a college degree working with children.
*”Prolonged periods” is defined as longer than three hours.
*”Adults” are defined as being 18 years or older.
Revised & Adopted by
Florence County Library
Board of Trustees 7/8/2019
III. CODE OF CONDUCT
Rules and regulations for conduct in the Florence County Library System.
The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to create an environment that is safe, comfortable, and welcoming for all users and library staff in support of the library’s mission. This policy applies to all library locations, including the Bookmobile, and provides examples of prohibited behaviors but should not be considered an exhaustive list.
Library patrons may not participate in any activities that are illegal or jeopardize the safety of other library patrons and staff, including:
- Loitering on library grounds or refusing to leave the library at the time of closing.
- Possession of concealed and/or illegal weapons of any kind.
- Consumption, possession, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
- Any form of sexual activity including the abuse or harassment of others, exhibitionism, or indecent exposure.
- Bringing animals into the library, with the exception of ADA-approved service dogs.
- Consumption of any tobacco product, including use of any e-cigarettes or vaporizers, in the building or on library grounds.
Disturbing patrons and staff
Library patrons may not engage in any activity that limits other patrons’ ability to use the library or staff’s ability to work, including:
- Violation of the library’s dress code, which requires patrons to be fully clothed and wearing shoes.
- Smells or odors which constitute a nuisance or interfere with others’ ability to use the library.
- Loud or disruptive talking, including conversations on personal cell phones.
- Disorderly conduct, including fighting or running.
- Sleeping in the library; bringing items such as luggage or bedrolls into the library.
- Any interference with the free movement of other patrons or staff members, such as by blocking entrances, exits, aisles, pathways, or violating others’ personal space.
- Harassment or invasion of the privacy of library staff or patrons, including sexist or otherwise offensive language toward library staff.
- Use of the library for child-care services, including leaving children unaccompanied as defined by the Children’s Safety Policy, or any other violation of the Children’s Safety Policy.
- Any type of soliciting.
- Posting of flyers or distribution of other materials without the approval of the Library Director.
- Any other actions or behaviors that are disruptive or disturbing to others.
Damaging equipment and facilities
Library patrons may not engage in any behavior that may damage library facilities, equipment, or materials, including:
- Removal of library materials without following established checkout procedures; deliberate mutilation or destruction of library materials, equipment, or property.
- Bringing food and drink into the library, with the exception of baby bottles, toddler sippy cups, or refreshments for an approved meeting room event.
- Improper use of restrooms for bathing, loitering, or solicitations.
- Unauthorized, improper, or unsafe use of library parking areas; vehicles may be towed at owner’s expense.
- Use of skates, skateboards, scooters, or other personal items that may damage library property.
- Unauthorized use of library staff supplies and equipment, including non-public telephones.
- Unauthorized movement or rearrangement of library furniture or equipment.
Violation of any of the above rules and guidelines may result in removal from the building, restriction of library privileges, and/or notification of local police. Repeated or flagrant violations of the code of conduct, or immediate threats of harm or danger to library patrons or staff, may result in legal restrictions of access to the library, pursuant to South Carolina Code Section 16-11-625.
APPROVED BY THE FLORENCE COUNTY BOARD OF TRUSTEES