Mutual respect makes it possible for everyone to enjoy library materials and services. You can help by refraining from behavior that interferes with the rights of others and the duties of the library staff.

At the Columbus Metropolitan Library, we strive for every customer to experience the joy and satisfaction of learning and enrichment. In order to preserve that opportunity, we ask customers to be respectful of each other and behave in a manner that does not disrupt other customers or staff.

The Library Board of Trustees is responsible for establishing the rules for public behavior in the Library that are necessary to:

  • Promote a safe environment for library customers, employees and volunteers
  • Protect the rights of individuals to use library material, facilities, services and websites
  • Create an environment that is conducive for library employees and volunteers to conduct library business without interference
  • Encourage the use of buildings, materials, services and websites by the greatest number of individuals
  • Safeguard library property and facilities from harm

Library staff are required to bring to an individual’s attention any act which violates these rules. The individual will be asked to change the problem behavior to conform to the rules. If such change is not made, that individual will be asked to leave library property. Failure to leave if asked may result in the police being called and a possible charge of criminal trespass.

The following behaviors are prohibited by the Code of Conduct:

  • Improper dress, including bare feet and no shirt.
  • Offensive body odor.
  • Bringing into the Library more than three (3) in total bags, backpacks, boxes, carts, wheeled conveyances or other items, which singly exceed 32” by 18” by 15” (excluding handles), with the exception of wheelchairs and baby strollers/carriages being used for the actual transport of a person.
  • Storing personal belongings on Library property or leaving personal belongings unattended or under the care of another customer who is not a family member
  • Consuming food or beverages (in type or quantity) that are disruptive or damaging because of odor, waste or spills outside of meeting rooms or café areas. Drinks without lids as well as hot or prepared foods are not allowed outside of meeting rooms and café areas. Examples of prohibited food include, but are not limited to:
    • Sandwiches
    • Salads
    • Pizza
    • French fries or other fried food
    • Entrée of any type
  • Eating at public computers.
  • Leaving children under age 7 unattended.
  • Insufficient supervision of children resulting in acts disruptive to customers and staff.
  • Bringing animals, other than service animals, into the library.
  • Sleeping.
  • Filming or photographing someone without their permission.
  • Improper use of furniture, equipment or materials.
  • Smoking, chewing tobacco or using electronic cigarettes or similar devices in non-designated areas.
  • Unreasonable noise to include: loud talking, singing, boisterous activity/cell phone use, loud headphones in non-designated areas.
  • Monopolizing/obstructing space, seating, tables or equipment to the exclusion of others, including restrooms.
  • Profane, obscene or abusive language.
  • Unwelcome conduct and/or unwelcome comments of a romantic or sexual nature, including but not limited to, references to a person’s body or physical appearance, as well as requests for dates or personal information.  
  • Gambling, panhandling or soliciting money, goods or services.
  • Use of the internet for unlawful purposes as defined by federal, state and local laws.
  • Running, pushing, rough play or other disruptive physical activity.
  • Distributing/posting unauthorized printed materials. (Materials must be submitted, reviewed and approved for posting and distribution.)
  • Bathing, shaving or washing clothes on library property.
  • Failure to comply with applicable health and safety regulations as mandated or recommended by federal, state or local health officials.
  • Intentionally damaging or destroying and property belonging to CML, another customer or staff.
  • Possessing weapons or replicas of weapons of any kind - firearms, dangerous ordnance, explosive devices (including fireworks), knives or other items that a reasonable person would consider to be dangerous to themselves or others in a public library environment where children may be present.
  • Trespassing, including refusing to leave library property when asked.
  • Theft of personal or library property.
  • Inducing panic. False 911 or emergency calls.
  • Harassing customers or staff. Repeated or severe behavior and/or comments that are intimidating, hostile, offensive or threatening. Acts, statements, jibes, jokes, images or epithets which may reasonably create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
  • Possession, use or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Actively distributing drugs or alcohol.
  • Engaging in or soliciting any sexual act. Indecent exposure.
  • Public urination.
  • Fighting, physical abuse or assault.
  • Other acts disruptive to customers and/or staff.