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 materials 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 per the Ohio Revised Code.

Behavior that interferes with the rights of others includes, but is not limited to:

  • 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 not a family member
  • Consuming or possessing food or beverages (in type or quantity) that are potentially 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. Food may not be consumed at public computers. Examples of prohibited food include, but are not limited to:
    • Sandwiches
    • Salads
    • Pizza
    • French fries or other fried food
    • Entrée of any type
  • Leaving children under age 7 unattended.
  • Insufficient supervision of children under age 7 by older siblings or caregivers resulting in acts disruptive to customers and staff.
  • Bringing animals, other than service animals, into the Library.
  • Being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Sleeping.
  • Abuse or 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, racial, ethnic or sexual orientation epithets.
  • Gambling, panhandling or soliciting money.
  • Use of the internet for unlawful purposes as defined by federal, state and local laws.
  • Running, pushing, rough play or other dangerous physical activity.
  • Distributing/posting unauthorized printed materials. (Materials must be submitted or reviewed and approved for posting and distribution.)
  • Bathing, shaving or washing clothes on the premises.
  • Roller skating, roller blading, skateboard, playing games or cycling, except when participating in library-sponsored programs.
  • Other acts disruptive to customers and staff.
  • Intentionally damaging or destroying and property belonging to CML, another customer or staff.
  • Possessing weapons, dangerous ordnance, explosive devices (including fireworks), knives with a blade length over 2 inches 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. Violation of posted concealed weapons prohibition.
  • Trespassing.
  • Theft of personal or library property.
  • Inducing panic. False 911 or emergency calls.
  • Harassing customers or staff. Deliberate repeated behavior that is intimidating, hostile, offensive or adversely impacts staff work performance.
  • Possession of drugs or alcohol. Actively distributing drugs or alcohol.
  • Engaging in or soliciting any sexual act. Indecent exposure.
  • Fighting, challenging someone to a fight, physical abuse or assault.