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Code of Conduct

The Board of Trustees of the Milwaukee Public Library and Staff are committed to providing the best possible customer service in an open and inviting atmosphere.

In keeping with its mission to help people read, learn, and connect, the Board of Trustees of the Milwaukee Public Library and staff are committed to providing excellent customer service in a safe and inviting atmosphere conducive to the successful completion of library business.  Staff and library patrons share responsibilities to ensure this atmosphere is maintained at all times.  The following guidelines are set forth to define those behaviors and activities that are and are not allowed on library property. Library staff will enforce these guidelines in a consistent and impartial manner.

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Library staff is committed to providing:

  • Courteous and knowledgeable assistance
  • Access to library resources
  • A reasonably quiet environment
  • A clean physical environment in compliance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols (1) to reduce or stop the spread of infectious disease

Library patrons have the obligation to:

  • Interact courteously with other users and library staff
  • Properly check out materials that leave the library
  • Return books by the due date
  • Keep library materials clean, unmarked, and intact
  • Follow established computer use guidelines
  • Maintain a quiet environment in study areas and computer zones, and observe appropriate noise levels in more active zones and at programs
  • Refrain from entering the library when experiencing contagious symptoms
  • Mirror and honor physical distancing preferences of those around you
  • Comply with gathering size and occupancy limits as posted

The following behaviors and activities are examples of conduct not allowed on Library property:

  • All illegal activities
  • Entering with concealed or openly visible firearms or other dangerous weapons, with the exception of those carried by authorized law enforcement agents
  • Damaging, defacing, destroying, or stealing library property
  • Carrying, consuming, and/or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Harassing or threatening another person or staff
  • Behaving in a disorderly, boisterous, or loud manner
  • Wearing hoods, ski masks or costume masks inside the library
  • Panhandling or soliciting
  • Using library restroom facilities for inappropriate purposes such as loitering, bathing, etc.
  • Sleeping
  • Eating food or drinking beverages from an uncovered container
  • Smoking or use of electronic smoking devices, or rolling tobacco or other substances
  • Loitering or interfering with free passage
  • Creating an offensive atmosphere from poor hygiene, spitting, biting, wearing perfume, etc.
  • Entering without shoes or shirt and other manner of dress resulting in indecent exposure
  • Using cell phones, audio, or personal equipment in a manner that disturbs others or interferes with library use and service
  • Skateboarding, rollerblading, etc.
  • Socializing in a disruptive manner
  • Violating computer use policies
  • Carrying in excessive items that cannot be stowed under a standard study chair
  • Using another person’s library card to access library computers or check out library materials without their signed permission slip being on file
  • Bringing in animals except as required by persons with disabilities [Service animals such as a therapy dog.]
  • Refusing to provide library card or other identification to library staff or security guards when requested
  • Refusing to sign in when requested
  • Creating a disruptive atmosphere by allowing unruly children to go unsupervised by the caregiver
  • Trespassing on library property during a banning period

Anyone who disregards the above-listed prohibited behaviors or engages in any other conduct deemed inappropriate by Library staff is subject to removal from library property and/or restriction of library privileges.  Violations of the Milwaukee Public Library Code of Conduct may also result in a formal banning from all Milwaukee Public Library locations and/or criminal prosecution.

Library Code of Conduct approved by the Board of Trustees
Milwaukee Public Library, March 22, 2022

(1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Cleaning and Disinfecting: Plan, Prepare and Respond,”