Code of Conduct



The purpose of this behavior policy at the Burlington Public Library is to ensure a safe, orderly, and comfortable atmosphere in which all Library patrons can use the Library’s materials and services most effectively. Staff and patrons should be mindful of the effects of their behavior on others using the Library’s facilities. This policy addresses standards of public behavior in general. From time to time, the Library Board may adopt additional policies governing public behavior.


General rules of behavior are designed to protect the rights of Library patrons, to outline for staff members acceptable and appropriate behavior on the part of patrons, and to preserve Library materials and facilities.

Wisconsin Statutes s. 43.52(2) states: “Every public library shall be free for the use of the inhabitants of the municipality by which it is established and maintained, subject to such reasonable regulations as the library board prescribes in order to render its use most beneficial to the greatest number. The library board may exclude from the use of the public library all persons who willfully violate such regulations.”

Anyone who disregards these regulations is subject to removal from the Library and/or restriction of library privileges, which may include denial of specific privileges (such as use of computers) to denial of right to use the Library for a specified time period. In the event of inappropriate behavior by a minor, the child’s parent or guardian will be notified by the Library, usually after the second offense.

Staff members observing unacceptable behavior shall take appropriate action. When a patron is asked to leave the Library for any reason, the Staff member shall make a written record of the incident, including the person’s name, if known or able to be determined, and the reason the person was asked to leave.

The Library Director, or a person designated by the Library Director in the Director’s absence, shall review these records and make decisions regarding banning the person for a longer period of time, or until specified conditions are met. If the person is banned for a longer period of time, or until conditions are met, the Director shall forward this information to the person, or in the case of a minor child, his or her parent or guardian, along with an explanation. The Library Director shall offer the person who has been so informed the opportunity to appear before the Library Board at its next meeting to appeal the decision.

When the conduct constitutes a crime or an ordinance violation, the Library Director shall forward a report to the Burlington Police Department.


  1. This policy applies to patrons of all ages.
  2. There shall be no discrimination of any kind in the application of this policy.


  1. Behavior is permitted which does not disturb or infringe on the rights of other Library patrons and staff and is not prohibited by law or these regulations.
  2. Persons who because of a handicap or disability must speak and/or be spoken to in a loud voice shall be allowed to do so.
  3. Sleeping is allowed, providing other patrons are not disturbed.
  4. Game playing is allowed, providing other patrons are not disturbed.
  5. Drinking of non-alcoholic beverages is allowed, providing the drinks are in covered containers.


  1. Eating is prohibited.
  2. Running and noisy activities are prohibited.
  3. Conversations must be kept low enough so that other patrons are not disturbed.During busy times, the Library Board insists on a stricter standard in this regard.Loud talking is prohibited.
  4. Harassment of other patrons or of Library staff through abusive language, following or staring is prohibited.
  5. Patrons whose bodily odor is offensive so as to constitute a nuisance to other persons may be required to leave the building. Such a nuisance exists where hygiene is unreasonable under the circumstances, or where a person is wearing overpowering perfume, cologne or aftershave, and substantially and objectively interferes with other people’s use of the Library.
  6. Smoking is prohibited.
  7. Cell phone conversations must be kept low enough so that other patrons are not disturbed. Cell phone ringers shall be set at their lowest level, or, if possible, on vibrate.
  8. Excessive noise separate from an authorized Library program is prohibited, including but not limited to playing a musical instrument or a portable music device or radio (unless it cannot be heard by others), prolonged ringing of a pager, a child crying for an extended period, a hearing aid that continues to squeal, or rowdy behavior.
  9. Service animals, either certified or while in training, are allowed inside the building, along with animals brought in for scheduled programs.No other animals are allowed.
  10. Bicycles are not allowed inside the Library or on the ramp or stairs leading to the building, and are to be parked in the bicycle rack provided on the South side of the building.Bicycles shall not be left anywhere where they would make an entrance inaccessible or partially inaccessible.
  11. Skateboarding and rollerblading are prohibited on Library grounds. Library patrons may bring their rollerblades and skateboards into the Library for safekeeping provided they do not use them in the Library.
  12. Appropriate apparel, including a shirt and shoes, must be worn in the Library.
  13. Any illegal activity, including stealing, damaging or altering any Library property, is prohibited.
  14. Any behavior or actions not listed above will be left to the discretion of the Library Director or his/her designee for review and action.
  15. Patrons in violation of this policy, or otherwise breaking the law or causing a disturbance in the Library will be asked to leave the building and Library grounds. Persons refusing to leave will be referred to the Police Department for removal.


The Burlington Public Library welcomes and encourages children to visit the Library, use Library resources and services, and attend Library programs. Staff members are available to help and support children; however, the Library is not able to provide short- or long-term child care, or be responsible for unattended children.

Unattended children are children under 18 years of age who are apparently unaccompanied by a parent, guardian, and/or responsible caregiver. Children who are unable or unwilling to care for themselves may not be left alone in the Library and must have adequate supervision while in the Library.

No child aged nine or under may be left unattended in any area of the Library. Children nine (9) years of age and younger must be supervised by a caregiver at least thirteen (13) years old who is able to attend to the child’s safety and insure appropriate behavior. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of Library management. If a child nine (9) years or younger is found to be unattended in the Library, staff will attempt to find the child’s parent/guardian. If the staff cannot locate a parent/guardian, the Burlington Police Department may be notified.

The Library is not responsible if children leave Library property.


Parents, guardians, and/or caregivers are responsible for the safety, behavior, and supervision of children at all times in the Library and on Library property. Children are expected to respect Library property and adhere to the rules outlined in the “General Guidelines.”

Library staff will attempt to contact a parent, guardian, and/or caregiver in circumstances such as the following:

  1. A child is engaging in behavior that is disruptive to other Library users, staff, or the normal operations of Library business.
  2. A child is involved in a situation that is potentially harmful to the health or safety of the child and/or others.
  3. A child is left alone at the Library at closing time.

Such situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis. If parents, guardians, and/or caregivers cannot be reached, or are unresponsive, the Library will notify the Burlington Police Department as needed.


The Burlington Public Library promotes the safety and well being of the Library-going children of the community and provides a welcoming atmosphere for our young patrons.

It should be noted that the youth areas do not provide a quiet room, so patrons who are seeking a quiet Library atmosphere in which to study will find it necessary to move to another area.

The youth areas have limited resources, including the number of staff available for assisting patrons and computer access. As a consequence, the Library reserves the right to restrict adult patron use of these resources.

Adult patrons who are not in compliance with this policy may be requested to leave the youth areas.

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