Rules of Conduct

Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) has a right to maintain each of its facilities in a clean, pleasant and safe manner. Every individual has the right to use HMCPL undisturbed and every HMCPL employee has the right to work without undue interference. All HMCPL users and employees should be free of any threat of harm, invasion of property, or gross indignity. It is impractical to address every behavioral situation that may occur in the library. HMCPL employees have the responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of HMCPL whenever the rules do not specifically cover certain situations. 

Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or caregiver at all times. This also includes any person needing supervision or assistance outside of HMCPL services because of physical or mental conditions. 

 Disruptive conduct including but not restricted to the following is prohibited: 

1. Behavior that unreasonably disturbs others or interferes with HMCPL operations and services including but not limited to: 

  • Speaking in a loud voice 
  • Playing any audio equipment or device that can be heard by others 
  • Running, horseplay, or fighting 

2. Behavior that annoys, harasses, or threatens another person, including but not restricted to the following: 

  • Conveying threats of any kind of physical force or harm 
  • Using obscene, abusive, or racially charged language 
  • Engaging in sexual misconduct 
  • Stalking, staring, or invading personal space 

3. Being under the influence or in possession of any intoxicating drug or alcoholic substance on HMCPL grounds 

4. Sleeping in, or using as sleeping quarters (Code of the City of Huntsville 1982) 

5. Drinking uncovered beverages in HMCPL 

6. Using any tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices, inside the HMCPL building or on the grounds 

7. Defacing, destroying, or tampering with HMCPL property or equipment 

8. Soliciting funds, panhandling, gambling, selling, advertising or petitioning for contributions, or support 

9. Using restrooms to bathe, shave, or change clothes where it unreasonably interferes with other patrons use or staff use of the restroom, or involves willful and lewd exposure in violation of ordinances and state law (It is not a violation of this rule for a woman to breastfeed an infant or a person to change a child’s diaper.) 

10. Interfering with patrons use of the HMCPL through poor personal hygiene 

11. Failing to wear shirts and/or shoes 

12. Entering HMCPL with animals or vehicles, except as required by persons with disabilities 

13. Leaving unattended persons in HMCPL who seek or need personal assistance for other than HMCPL related services, and where staff has a reasonable basis to be concerned for the safety of the unattended person (Examples may include minor children or persons needing supervision because of physical or mental conditions.) 

14. Failing to observe Internet use guidelines and policy 

15. Entering HMCPL with the intent to cause bodily harm or reasonable apprehension of bodily harm to employees or patrons 

16. Violating any City Ordinance or State Statute while on HMCPL property or grounds. 

HMCPL reserves the right to search bags, briefcases, etc. for HMCPL materials not properly checked out. 

Each person is expected to take full responsibility for his/her personal property. HMCPL is not responsible for personal belongings in HMCPL facilities or on HMCPL property. 

Parents may be notified of incidents involving minor children (under the age of 19) that occur in HMCPL facilities or on HMCPL property. Parents may request a copy of the security report. Minors who are repeat offenders may be denied access to HMCPL. 

HMCPL security or the supervisor in charge first warns anyone violating these rules at the time of the offense. If the conduct continues the offender will be ordered to leave the premises. Staff members or security officers at their discretion will expel patrons without a warning in situations of serious, threatening, or willfully malicious behavior. Failure to observe these rules may lead to revocation of HMCPL privileges, including the right to visit the buildings and grounds. Anyone wishing to appeal their exclusion may submit an appeal in writing to the Executive Director. Repeat offenders or persons ordered from the premises who do not comply may be subject to arrest and prosecution for trespassing. 

Approved Date: 7/15/09

Revised Date: 8/17/11

Revised Date: 5/21/14

Revised Date: 10/15/14

Revised Date: 3/19/24