Santa Monica Public Library Santa Monica Library Homepage

Rules of Conduct


Rules of Conduct Addendum, June 2021 (PDF)

Rules of Conduct PDF Version

We are proud of our commitment to community, inclusivity, and diversity. Our goal is to offer a safe and vibrant library experience to everyone.

We maintain a welcoming environment for ALL, and we expect all customers to:

  • Respect each other and do their share in providing a peaceful library experience
  • Abide by the Library’s Rules of Conduct
  • Follow requests from library staff
  • Follow city, county, state, and federal laws

To continue to provide positive library experiences, we need you. Please tell a staff member if you see or hear anything that seems unsafe or unlawful.

Rules of Conduct

Adopted by the Library Board May 3, 2018

No person or group shall obstruct the operations of the Library by words, gestures or deeds.

The following is a list of prohibited actions and behaviors:

Dangerous, Destructive, or Illegal Behaviors

  • Violation of any federal, state, or local law while on library grounds
  • Engaging in or threatening physical assault or abuse
  • Threatening or harassing other patrons or staff, including but not limited to: verbal threats, stalking, offensive staring or touching
  • Displaying a weapon of any type, including firearm, knife, sword, or similar item
  • Brandishing any object (e.g. baseball bat or golf club) in a threatening manner
  • Lewd conduct as defined by Penal Code 647a
  • Damaging, defacing, or destroying Library property

Misuse of Library Facilities

  • Blocking aisles or access to Library facilities, furnishings or equipment
  • Sleeping in the Library or on Library grounds 
  • Using restrooms for bathing, shaving or washing of hair or clothing 
  • Loitering in the Library parking lots or garage (“Loiter” means to delay or linger without a lawful purpose for being on the property and for the purpose of committing a crime as opportunity may be discovered.)
  • Using more than one seat or table space per person
  • Distributing or posting printed material in the Library
  • Plugging in or using more than one library electrical outlet
  • Placing feet on tables, chairs or against walls
  • Sitting or lying on the floor

Disruptive Behavior and Hygiene

  • Disrupting the Library with noisy or disorderly conduct
  • Using the Library while shirtless, barefoot, or without shoes
  • Using the Library while one’s bodily hygiene is so noxious that it prevents others from Library use
  • Using electronic devices or other personal equipment that is disruptive, noisy, or unsafe
  • Selling, soliciting, or any other commercial activity in the Library
  • Photographing, audio recording, or filming for commercial purposes

Youth and Youth Areas

Note: For further information and guidelines about Youth in the Library, please refer to “Library Information for Parents.”

  • Bringing any child under 8 years of age into the Library and leaving such child unattended without a caregiver age 14 or older
  • Adult unaccompanied by a child or teen under the age of 18 being present in the Youth Services’ areas or the Youth Services’ restrooms

Misuse of Library Services and Materials

  • Misusing Library Property (e.g. using books as a footstool or pillow)
  • Damaging, removing, altering or bypassing Library software or hardware
  • Using another person’s internet or library card to get services

Personal Belongings

Note: All personal belongings are subject to inspection

  • Items that are collectively too large to fit under a table with dimensions that exceed 26” x 16” x 15”. Musical instruments are allowed
  • Possession and placement of items that block aisles, block access to library furniture, or prevent others from reasonable use of the library
  • Bringing any pet or animal into the Library, except a trained service animal, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Service animals must be under the control of the owner and leashed at all times)
  • Bringing any bicycle, shopping cart, or other wheeled devices to carry personal property into the Library
  • Riding on skates, skateboards, or scooters (except for ADA mobility devices) on Library grounds
  • Bringing sleeping bags, tarps, bed rolls, mats, or blankets into the Library. Blankets may be brought into the Library for use by children
  • Leaving any belongings unattended

Eating, Drinking & Smoking

  • Smoking of any kind, including vaping, in the Library or on Library grounds
  • Possession or consumption of controlled substances, unless lawfully and medically necessary
  • Using the Library while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other controlled substances, except any person using lawfully prescribed medication
  • Possession of food or drinks without caps or lids inside the Library


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.
Santa Monica Public Library © 2015 • 601 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401 • 310-458-8600
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Accessibility Policy | Contact Us