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Behavior standards to provide a welcoming, pleasant, and safe environment for all patrons.

Patrons are encouraged to use the Library's resources and services, to enjoy the Library as a place of study and inquiry, and to participate in the Library's programs.

The Library Board of Trustees is responsible for determining the rules for public behavior in the Library that are necessary to protect the rights of individuals to use Library property, materials, and services; to protect the rights of Library employees and volunteers to conduct Library business without interference; to preserve Library materials and facilities from harm; and to ensure the safety of Library patrons, employees, and volunteers. Adults and children are expected to adhere to the Library's Behavior Policy.

For the safety and comfort of children, a responsible adult or caregiver should accompany children while they are using the Library.

Online Programs

The Indianapolis Public Library has zero tolerance for harassment of any kind. This extends to behavior within online programming and events. We unilaterally condemn abhorrent/threatening behavior, and stand with our authors, presenters and patrons and their right to stay safe. Any comments demeaning another’s age, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation or their person will result in the offender’s immediate removal from the program.

Incidents of Problem Behavior

Problem behaviors are defined as any disruptive actions that interfere with the rights of others to enjoy the Library’s resources and services, or interfere with the work of Library employees.


The Library reserves the right to eject or refuse further admission to those individuals who display inappropriate behavior, or threatening behavior, or actions or behavior that may violate the rights of the staff or Library users, or create disorder on Library property, including any of the following:

  • Any situation in which the actions of a person present an imminent danger to the life or safety of others on Library property, or
  • Any situation in which a person is observed in an attempt to steal Library property or that of another Library user or employee, or to maliciously destroy Library property, or
  • Any situation in which a person willfully and purposefully disturbs the staff or other Library users or whose behavior is in any way disruptive to the legitimate use of Library facilities by others, or
  • Any situation in which a person’s behavior is threatening, damaging, harmful or inappropriate to the use of a Library building facility or outside grounds for the purposes for which it is legally constituted.

Definitions of Inappropriate Behavior

Inappropriate behavior includes but is not limited to:

  • Neglecting to provide proper supervision of children
  • Loitering
  • Sleeping
  • Smoking
  • Eating and drinking except where permitted
  • Gambling
  • Begging/panhandling
  • Voyeurism
  • Unwanted sexual advances
  • Public indecency
  • Failing to wear shoes and clothing which substantially covers the torso
  • Exhibiting a pervasive odor that unreasonably interferes with others' user of the Library
  • Molestation
  • Solicitation for unlawful purposes
  • Using obscene language
  • Using threatening or abusive language
  • Fighting
  • Carrying a firearm other than allowed by law
  • Carrying a weapon (other than a lawfully allowed firearm)
  • Public intoxication
  • Possessing alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Vandalism
  • Misuse of Library computer resources
  • Violating any Federal, State, or Local laws, codes, or ordinances

Threatening Behavior

Threatening behavior includes an expressed or an implied threat to interfere with an individual's health or safety, or with the property of the Library, or property belonging to others on Library premises, which causes a reasonable apprehension or fear that such harm or injury is about to occur. Examples of threatening behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Direct or indirect threats of harm or injury
  • Words or gestures which create a reasonable fear of harm or injury
  • Prolonged or frequent shouting which creates a reasonable fear of harm or injury

Public Meetings

Intentional display of firearms during a Library Board meeting is prohibited.


Individuals who violate these policies may be ejected from the Library premises and may be subject to suspension of Library privileges, or, when appropriate, may be subject to arrest. Repeated violators and/or those who refuse to leave the Library premises for violation of behavioral policies will be subject to arrest and prosecution Indiana criminal trespass laws. Records of violators are maintained by the Library.

Posting of Rules

Policies and rules regarding inappropriate behavior are prominently posted in a public area of all Library buildings.

Computer Use Standards

Acceptable use standards for use of computer resources and equipment are posted on the Library’s web page and accessible on Library computers provided for public use.

Computer users are required to review and accept these standards when they begin each computer session.

Revised January 26, 2015

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