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Rules of Conduct

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The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (B&ECPL) serves as a center for information, education and entertainment.  Under Article 5, Section 262 of New York State Education Law, the Board of Trustees of the B&ECPL has adopted the following rules to ensure an atmosphere conducive to appropriate use of the services and facilities of the Central Library and its branches.  Library users are required to comply with these Rules and Regulations.

The following conduct is prohibited:

  1. Engaging in disorderly conduct, fighting or challenging to fight, or using offensive words likely to provoke violence or using language that offends others;
  2. Disturbing other patrons, staff or volunteers including but not limited to disruptive behavior such as any loud, unreasonable and/or bothersome noises created by persons or devices; interfering with staff or volunteers in the performance of their duties and persistent, unwelcome attention; obscene or threatening gestures such as staring at another person; or following another person on or around the premises; 
  3. Carrying weapons of any kind;
  4. Possessing, distributing or consuming alcohol or illegal drugs or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  5. Engaging in sexual conduct and/or lewd behavior (e.g., exposure, offensive or inappropriate touching, or sexual harassment of other patrons, staff or volunteers);
  6. Damaging, destroying, or stealing any Library property or the property of another patron, staff or volunteer;  
  7. Bringing animals or pets into the library except those required to assist persons with disabilities or those involved in library programs;
  8. Selling and/or soliciting; petitioning;
  9. Distributing or posting materials/literature that have not been approved by the Library;
  10. Smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless electronic cigarettes or using tobacco products inside of the Library and no closer than 10 feet to the side of any point of entry to Library property.  Note: Pursuant to the Central Library Access Ramp Policy (as amended 06/14/12), the Central Library Access Ramp is designated as a “Smoke Free”area.
  11. Eating or drinking in designated restricted areas;
  12. Making unreasonable use of the restrooms including bathing;
  13. Sleeping;  
  14. Photography or recording on Library premises without Library permission; and,
  15. Absence of shirts and/or shoes. 

Under Article 65, Section 3205 of New York State Education Law, each minor from six to sixteen years of age shall attend upon full time instruction.  Accordingly, access to the Library during regular school hours is denied for minors between the ages of six and sixteen except for such minors who wish to access the federal depository collection or for such minors who are accompanied by a parent or guardian or school official, homeschooled, or otherwise lawfully absent from school.  No children under six years of age may be left unattended in any library at any time.  Library staff will not be responsible for children who have been left without adult supervision.  Adult patrons who are not engaged in library activities that require materials from the children's area shall be asked to relocate to other areas of the library.  The staff reserves the right to seek the intervention of appropriate law enforcement or social services agencies, as required by individual circumstances.

Persons whose actions violate these rules will be advised of their infraction(s).  Failure to comply with the Library's established policies, rules and regulations or violations of local, state or federal law may result in immediate suspension of library privileges and, where necessary, civil liability and/or criminal prosecution.

Adopted May 16, 2002.
Amended February 20, 2003, September 28, 2006 and June 14, 2012.
Supersedes Rules of Conduct dated May 15, 1997 and
Policy Governing Unattended Children dated April 21, 1988.
Amended May 21, 2015.