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Library Policies Menu: Confidentiality of Library Records | Display Cases and exhibits | Gifts of Materials Other Than Books | Gifts to Library | Internet Access Policy | Library Grounds Use | Library Use Policy | Lobby Use Policy | Meeting Rooms and Application Form | Patron Policy | Sales Policy | Security System | Unattended Children

Library Use Policy

The Falmouth Public Library is supported by the taxpayers of Falmouth and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Board of Trustees' objective is to provide a welcoming, pleasant and safe environment, conducive to reading, studying, seeking information, writing and attending library or community sponsored programs and meetings.

The library is responsible for establishing rules of conduct to protect the rights and safety of library patrons, volunteers, and staff, and for preserving and protecting the library's materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds.

The Children's Department is reserved for use by children, their parents or guardians, and adults interested in children's literature. Seating in the Young Adults' Room is reserved for young adults and those who accompany them. Adults interested in young adult literature are welcome to browse the shelves.

Library users who violate the Rules of Conduct may be subject to the suspension of their library privileges, exclusion from the library and/or legal action.

A copy of this Library Use Policy and other policies will be available at each library service desk.

For the comfort and safety of patrons, volunteers, and staff, and the protection of library property, disruptive behavior will not be allowed, including but not limited to the following activities:

Bicycles and other wheeled devices:

Bringing bicycles and other means of transportation inside library buildings, including, but not limited to, vestibules or covered doorways, where no bicycle rack is provided;

Using wheeled devices within the library or on library grounds, except in designated areas, including skateboarding, roller-skating, bicycling, scooters, and shopping carts (exceptions i.e. wheelchairs, walkers, book carts and strollers);

Cell phones:

In order to provide an optimum environment for all our patrons, cell phone conversations may be conducted in the lower K.L. Bates lobby area or within Main's Café area. Cell phone and pager audible ringers must be turned off


Neglecting to provide proper supervision of children;

Leaving a child under 10 years of age unattended by a responsible person. Please see unattended Children's Policy;

Leaving any child or young adult (up to age 17) at the library after closing.


Failing to leave the library promptly at closing;


Entering the library barefooted, without a shirt, with offensive body odor or being otherwise attired so as to be disruptive to the library environment;


Sustained loud conversation, or noise, that rises above the ambient noise in the library;

Using any personal electronic equipment, including computers (together with Skype software), radios, CD players, etc., at a volume that disturbs others. Use of personal earphones at a reasonable sound level is encouraged.

Food and Drink:

Consuming food or beverages in public areas of the Library, including restrooms, with the exception of the following areas: Main's café, meeting rooms, at authorized events, and in specific areas of branch libraries as designated by the branch librarian.

Internet Use:

Violating the library's Policy & Guidelines for Responsible Internet Use. This policy is available in print at the Main Library and at the East Branch and posted on FPL's Website;


Loitering in the library, on library steps, entryway or library property thereby creating a safety issue for those trying to enter or exit the building or to use library resources is prohibited. Patrons shall be engaged in activities associated with the use of a public library while in the building.

Personal Possessions:

Personal possessions should not be left unattended. The Library is unable to guarantee the security of such items.

All bags and other articles are subject to inspection by library personnel. The library reserves the right to limit the size and number of items brought into the library.


Bringing pets or animals, other than service animals into the Library, except as authorized by library staff;


Misusing the restrooms (e.g. Using them as a laundry or washing facility, or defacing the walls)


Lying down or sleeping in the restrooms or on any floor, couch, table, or seat in the library. Resting head, feet or legs on furniture;


Distributing literature, gathering signatures, soliciting contributions or conducting surveys inside a library or on library grounds, without library authorization;

Staff Only Areas:

Entering areas that are posted "Staff Only" is not permitted without permission.

Threatening Behavior

Verbally or physically harassing other patrons, volunteers, or staff, including stalking, staring, or lurking;

Using obscene or abusive language or gestures;


Removing material from the library collection without authorization through established lending procedure. Theft of library materials is a serious offense and will result in permanent exclusion from the library and/or arrest;

Intentionally damaging, destroying, or stealing any library property, or a patron's or employee's property;

Borrowing privileges for library patrons who owe $25.00 or more in past due fines and/or lost or damaged materials will be suspended until billed materials are returned and/or replacement charges paid.

Unlawful Behavior
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms:

Possessing or consuming alcohol or illegal drugs or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs; (see MGL Chapter 270?)

Smoking or other use of tobacco within the library or on library grounds; (see MGL Chapter 270)

Carrying firearms and dangerous weapons of any type (except by law enforcement officers); (see MGL Chapter 140)

Please cooperate with the library staff who must interpret and apply these rules and regulations. Your cooperation will help promote safety, civility, and delivery of library service for everyone.

Any patron violating any of the above rules may be denied access to the library by the Library Director or the Director's designee. Patrons whose privileges have been revoked may apply in writing to have the decision reviewed by the Director.

The Falmouth Public Library Board of Trustees reserves the right to alter, amend, or terminate this policy.

Approved and voted 9/10/2010