San Rafael Public Library

Guidelines for Library Use

Welcome to your public library! Our mission is to engage, empower, and enrich our community through innovation, imagination, and inspiration.

The San Rafael Public Library seeks to provide its users with a safe and pleasant library experience in an atmosphere conducive to study, reading, and appropriate use of materials and services. To ensure that all persons may enjoy the benefits of the library, individuals visiting or using the library’s facilities or services must comply with the following Guidelines for Library Use:

To enjoy library materials and services fully, the following are encouraged:

  • Read, listen, and view to your heart’s content
  • Study and learn
  • Ask library staff for help
  • Use the library’s physical and digital collections
  • Participate in library programs

The following behaviors are prohibited on Library property in order to ensure everyone can enjoy the library, and may result in warnings, expulsions, or suspension of library privileges:

Disruptive or unsafe behavior including any conduct that is incompatible with the library’s proper use and/or interferes with the comfortable use of the library by others or with the functioning of library staff or volunteers, including but not limited to:

  • Use of loud, abusive, threatening, harassing, or insulting language or noises or behaviors
  • Use of the library while under the influence of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs
  • Bringing weapons of any kind onto library property
  • Blocking or impeding access to library entrances, exits, or walkways with bicycles, strollers, power cords, tables, chairs, etc.
  • Entering library with animals other than service animals authorized by law
  • Entering library with items inappropriate to library use, including but not limited to bicycles, shopping carts, large trash bags, bedrolls, and strollers without children
  • Bringing into the library containers or packages which singly or collectively exceed 16” x 18” x 24”
  • Leaving personal belongings or animals unattended on Library property
  • Sleeping
  • Lying on the floor inside the library, except as approved for specific events
  • Failing to wear shirt/top, pants/skirt, and shoes
  • Eating inside the library, except as approved for specific events
  • Inappropriate use of restrooms, including laundering and bathing.
  • Fraudulent use of another’s library card and/or account for any purpose
  • Leaving children under the age of eight unattended on library property
  • Exuding offensive, pervasive odors, including fragrances caused by perfume or other scented products, which constitute a nuisance to other patrons, staff, or volunteers so as to interfere with their comfortable use of the library or with the functioning of library staff or volunteers
  • Selling, or soliciting services or merchandise, except for library-related purposes or events and with prior written permission from the Library Director
  • Petitioning for signatures, conducting surveys or investigations, leafleting, or soliciting for funds inside the library
  • Behaving in any other manner prohibited by federal, state, or local law

Persons who violate these Guidelines may receive a warning from the library staff and/or an opportunity to cease the violation or leave the library. Refusal to leave the library after being instructed to do so is trespassing. Illegal activity, as well as any willful or repeated violations of these Guidelines or other posted library regulations (e.g. computer use rules), may result in removal from the facility and/or suspension of library privileges. In addition, where authorized by Federal, State or local law, violations of these Guidelines may also result in arrest.

If a person is suspended and believes the suspension has been imposed unfairly or in error, he or she may appeal the suspension by submitting a written appeal letter to the City Manager’s office in City Hall Room 203.  The appeal letter shall state the name, mailing and/or email address, and telephone number of the person appealing and the reason for the appeal.  Upon receipt of the appeal, the City Manager shall obtain a report from the Library Director and may, but shall not be required to, schedule a meeting with the person appealing.  The City Manager shall issue a written decision on the appeal within 30 calendar days after the filing of the appeal.  The City Manager’s decision shall be final.  Pending an appeal discussion, the suspension remains in effect.

Library users who wish to request a reasonable accommodation of these guidelines because of a disability or health problem may contact library staff at (415) 485-3319.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees December 13, 2016