Public Behavior

Approved September 15, 2020

A principal part of Greenwich Library’s (the “Library”) mission is to offer a safe and welcoming place for people to read, learn, gather and share experiences. To support this mission, the Library has established, and requires all Library users to comply with, this Policy. In addition, the Library requires and empowers its staff (including security) to ensure that all Library users act in a manner that does not interfere with the functioning of the Library or disturb other Library users.

Please note that in connection with the foregoing, depending on the circumstances, Library staff may reasonably (i) inspect any property of any person who enters or leaves the Library and (ii) ask users to show their library card or other form of identification.

Users who do not comply with this Policy or any reasonable request of the staff may be asked to leave the Library premises. Serious or repeated violations of this Policy may result in suspension or termination of Library privileges or prohibition of access to Library premises, in all cases as determined by Library staff. Library staff may report any suspected unlawful conduct or activity to the police.

This Policy does not apply to Library staff activities reasonably deemed by the staff to be necessary for proper operation of the Library and in order to deliver Library services to users.

Library Safety and Respect

  1. Any activity that violates federal, state, local or other applicable law or Library policies is prohibited.
  2. Interference with, threats to, or the harassment or intimidation of any person is prohibited. This includes all threatening, unwanted or abusive attention by word or act, both in person and electronically.
  3. Weapons of any kind may not be brought onto Library property
  4. Engaging in sexual conduct or lewd behavior is prohibited.
  5. Viewing child pornography is illegal and subject to federal and state prosecution.
  6. Smoking of any type or using tobacco products, including vaping or electronic cigarettes and other inhalants, on Library property is prohibited except in outside, designated areas.
  7. Using, selling, or appearing under the influence of illegal drugs is prohibited on Library premises.
  8. Using alcohol is prohibited on Library premises except in such instances governed by the Library’s Food and Beverage and Meeting Facilities Policies. Appearing under the influence of excessive alcohol is prohibited.
  9. Quiet must be maintained in designated Library quiet areas.
  10. Making unreasonable noise, such as shouting, loud talking, or the playing of music and other sounds (with or without headphones) at a volume that disturbs others, or speaking on a cell phone via speaker, is not permitted anywhere on the Library premises.
  11. Cell phones must be silenced and may only be used in areas designated by Library staff.
  12. Persons who are ill or exhibit symptoms of illness may be required by Library staff to relocate or leave the premises.
  13. The Library administration may apply additional protocols or restrictions to protect the health of its users and staff.
  14. Appropriate clothing and shoes must be worn at all times in the Library.


Although serving children and families is an important part of the Library’s mission, it is not the Library’s function or purpose to supervise or care for minors. Accordingly, the Library and its staff cannot, and expressly do not, assume any responsibility to supervise or care for a minor on Library premises. Rather, a minor’s caregiver (such as a parent, guardian or other person having custody or control, or providing supervision, of a minor) is responsible for the supervision, conduct and safety of such minor at all times while on Library premises. Children under the age of seven, for their safety and well-being, must be accompanied by a responsible adult or teenager while on Library premises, although Library staff may in their discretion require any minor to be accompanied by a responsible adult or teenager while on Library premises. Children are required to comply with the terms of this Policy.

Library Spaces and Resources

  1. Library property (including but limited to books, recordings, furniture, walls) cannot may be misused, mutilated, damaged, or defaced, nor may any material be removed from the Library without being checked out appropriately.
  2. All materials borrowed from the Library must be returned or renewed in a timely manner.
  3. Large furniture, including desks and large armchairs, may not be relocated by users.
  4. Sleeping on library premises is prohibited.
  5. Food and beverages are allowed only in designated areas with the exception of water in sealed containers.
  6. Bringing in an animal, unless it is a service animal is prohibited. Animals that are part of a library program may be allowed in Library facilities with the consent of Library staff.
  7. Misuse of the restrooms (such as shaving, bathing or washing property) is prohibited. The Library staff may limit the use of the restrooms in the children’s area of the Main Library to young children and accompanying caregivers.
  8. Library staff may ask any patron with unhygienic conditions (including, but not limited to, clothing odor, body odor, insects, or pests) or with unsanitary belongings that
    interfere with the use of the Library by other users or with the functioning of Library staff to relocate or leave the Library premises.
  9. Use of the Library’s resources (including space, materials, furniture, equipment or outlets) is subject to reasonable limitation, at the discretion of the Library staff, particularly if others are waiting or if the Library is about to close.
  10. Personal items may not be left unattended on Library property (including workstations) for any reason, including to “reserve” Library space for a patron’s future use. Any such items may be relocated and/or disposed of by the Library staff at its discretion.
  11. The Library is not responsible for any loss of personal items or information left on Library property, such as near computer workstations or printers, including unattended items moved by Library staff.
  12. The Library’s parking lots are for use by Library patrons and staff only. Those who park in a Library parking lot for reasons other than Library business may be subject to removal by towing at the vehicle owner’s expense.
  13. Bicycles and motorized scooters may be parked and secured only in designated areas. The use of skateboards, scooters, and roller skates or blades is not permitted on any Library property.
  14. Users are prohibited from entering staff areas without permission.
  15. The Library may restrict the use of certain equipment by age in designated areas such as in the Innovation Lab, Children’s Room and Young Adult spaces. The Library may also restrict participation in certain programs by age.
  16. Library staff are prohibited from assisting users with matters of a personal nature such as making financial transactions, directly handling a user’s legal or medical matters, booking vacations, proofreading or translating text or editing videos.
  17. Without the prior written approval of the Library, the following rules apply to photography, filming, audio recording and other forms of recording on Library premises:
    A) Tripods, stands and other equipment (including flash or other lighting equipment) that may obstruct passageways or interfere with the use of Library facilities may not be used.
    B) Photographing, filming and audio recording of Library patrons, Library staff and Library programs without the relevant individual’s or the Library’s prior permission are prohibited.
    C) All photographs, video and other recordings shall be solely for personal use; and no photographs, videos or other recordings may be sold or otherwise reproduced or distributed for any commercial use.
    D) Photography, filming, audio recording, and other forms of recording in the Flinn Gallery shall be subject to the rules of the Flinn Gallery.

Replaces Public Behavior Policy
Approved May 9, 2017

Download Policy PDF