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Rules of Conduct

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Santa Monica Public Library
Adopted by the Library Board October 4, 2012  

The Santa Monica Public Library is open to the general public. Everyone has the right to use Library services and resources provided his or her behavior does not unreasonably interfere with the rights of others to do the same.  Visitors are expected to follow these Rules of Conduct.

These rules are intended to maintain the Library's peaceful atmosphere, facilitate Library usage, preserve easy access to Library materials, and protect Library property.

Please be considerate of others by refraining from activities that may disturb the peace of Library users and staff or disrupt Library activities. Keep all conversations hushed and put your cell phone on silent mode.

Dangerous, destructive or illegal conduct, including any violation of local, state or federal law but not limited to the following, is strictly prohibited:

  • Engaging in or threatening physical assault or abuse
  • Displaying a weapon of any type
  • Threatening or harassing other patrons or staff (including but not limited to: battery, verbal threats, stalking, offensive staring, or offensive touching)
  • Damaging, defacing, or destroying Library property

Additional Prohibited Activities:

  • Sleeping in the Library or on Library grounds
  • Eating in the Library or on Library grounds except in the Main and Branch inner courtyards or at special events when approved by Library Administration
  • Using tobacco products in the Library or on Library grounds
  • Loitering in the Library parking lots or garage
  • Distributing or posting printed material in the Library
  • Leaving belongings unattended. (Unattended items will be removed.)
  • Possessing or consuming alcohol or illegal drugs or using the Library while appearing under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Disrupting the Library with noisy or disorderly conduct such as loud conversation, or running in the building
  • Using electronic devices or other personal equipment that is disruptive, noisy or unsafe
  • Soiling Library facilities, materials or equipment
  • Selling, soliciting or any other commercial activity in the Library
  • Using the Library while barefoot, shirtless or without outer clothing and footwear
  • Using more than one seat or table space per person
  • Placing feet on tables, chairs or against walls
  • Obstructing aisles or access to Library facilities, furnishings or equipment
  • Using Library restrooms for bathing, shaving or washing hair or clothes
  • Using the Library if one’s bodily hygiene is offensive so as to constitute a nuisance to others
  • Leaving children under eight years of age unattended
  • Adults unaccompanied by a child using the Youth Services Areas or the Youth Services’ restrooms.  (Adults may use the Youth Services Areas while accompanying or assisting a child, or with the express permission of Library staff.)
  • Failing to return library materials or pay library fines and fees
  • Photographing, audio recording or filming without permission from Library Administration or Library Supervisory staff except at governmental meetings open to the general public
  • Manipulating or bypassing Library software systems such as those that regulate computer use or tampering with Library computer hardware or accessories.
  • Using any other person’s internet or library card to obtain additional computer time
  • Removing any hardware component or accessory on Library computers.
  • Bringing prohibited Items into the Library.  The prohibited items include:
    • Food, alcoholic beverages, or drinks without caps or lids
    • Pets or other animals, with the exception of trained service animals
    • Containers, packages, briefcases, parcels or bundles that collectively exceed 22" x 14" x 12". Musical instruments are allowed. All items are subject to inspection.
    • Bicycles or shopping carts (Mobility devices and occupied baby strollers/carriages are welcome.)  Skates, skateboards and collapsible scooters must be carried and may not be ridden on Library grounds
    • Sleeping bags, bed rolls, mats or blankets, except blankets for use by young children


Any violation of these Library rules or violation of local, state or federal law in the Library may be addressed in the following manner:

  • Verbal Warning (e.g. Notification of violation and reference to Rules of Conduct)
  • Instruction to leave the Library immediately and not to return for the rest of the day.
  • Suspension of borrowing privileges
  • Suspension of Library privileges including removal from, and denial of access to, all Library services and facilities for up to one year.
  • Criminal sanctions

The above remedies may be cumulatively applied. 

Appeal of Suspension.  Anyone who has been suspended from library use may challenge the suspension.  To request a review of the suspension, please phone Library Administration (310/458-8606) for a copy of the Request for Appeal of Library Suspension Form or obtain it from the City Clerk’s office.  Complete it and deliver it to the City Clerk’s office, 1685 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA  90401,within 7 days of the start of the suspension. The written appeal will be reviewed by the Hearing Officer within 30 business days of the receipt of the request for an appeal.  The suspension will remain in effect during the appeal process. The Hearing Officer’s decision is final.

Santa Monica Municipal Code Section 1.08.030:
(a) The Library Board may promulgate rules for the use of City libraries and the City Manager may promulgate rules for the use of City meeting facilities.
(c) Any person who has violated any rule or regulation duly adopted by the Library Board may be subject to the suspension of his or her borrowing or library visitation privileges for a period not to exceed one year, as provided by the library rules.
(d) Any person subject to suspension of his or her borrowing or library visitation privileges, as authorized by subsection (c) above, may appeal the suspension pursuant to Section 1.08.035. Unless otherwise ordered by the Hearing Officer or by a Court of competent jurisdiction, suspensions remain in effect during the pendency of any administrative or judicial appeal.
(f) Rules for the use of City libraries and meeting facilities shall be conspicuously posted on the premises. Any person who violates the rules shall be advised of the violation and the rules' requirements. Any person who fails or refuses to comply with any rules after receiving a personal notice shall be warned that continued failure to comply may result in the person being required to leave the premises.
(g) Any person who fails or refuses to leave the facility after being given the requisite notice, warning and direction to leave, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor which shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars per violation, or by imprisonment in the County Jail for a period not exceeding six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
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