IX. NON-DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR

1. GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR DEALING WITH NON-DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR

A distinction can be made between disruptive behavior which can be dangerous and non-disruptive behavior which is not dangerous.

Some library users may appear to act strangely or be a source of concern or irritation to the staff and/or public, but their behavior does not constitute problem behavior. Examples include someone whose body or clothing is so dirty that it is unpleasant to be near him/her, ritual touchers or people who exhibit other compulsive behavior, or the simply lonely talker or watcher. It should be noted that these specific examples of "problems" are not sufficient cause to evict a patron from the library.

To prevent certain types of non-disruptive patrons from becoming a branch or personal problem it may be useful to discuss them with fellow staff members to confirm that others have noticed this behavior and identified it as non-disruptive. This is useful for venting emotions and reactions so that you do not release them on a patron. You may also find that familiarity with a patron's eccentric behavior reduces its effect on you.

In addition to strange and eccentric behavior, which of and by itself is not cause for eviction, there are a number of behaviors classed as non-disruptive which may lead to eviction from the library. These behaviors do not necessarily disrupt the functioning of the library, but because they violate the rules of conduct, are cause to remove the patron from the library's premises. In these cases, negotiate with the patron to stop whatever is causing the problem prior to implementing eviction procedures.

The police/sheriff should not be called to assist with non-disruptive behavior unless that behavior becomes disruptive (see X. Disruptive Behavior) or the patron refuses to be evicted.

When a "Non-Disruptive Incident Report" (PUF-02) is prepared, it should be forwarded to the Branch Services Manager.

2. ANIMALS - DANGEROUS ANIMALS AND OTHER CREATURES

Definition: Snakes, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, swarm of bees, bats, birds, alligators, polar bears, turtles, rabbits, etc.

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. Approach with extreme caution. Do not frighten the animal by throwing things at it or by screaming at it. Any approach should be to encourage the animal to leave the library. Scare it and the result will be that it will hide or become very defensive.

B. Do not let patrons go near the animal. If the animal should attack a patron we might suffer legal complications.

C. If it is a four-legged animal or one that flies, open all doors and windows. The last thing it wants to do is stay in the building. Do not block the animal's escape routes. Snakes will need more encouragement to leave the building than raccoons, birds, etc. If the snake is known to be poisonous and it goes into hiding, temporary evacuation of the facility may be necessary. Permission to evacuate must be obtained from the Branch Services Manager.

D. If all efforts of the staff fail to remove the animal or other creature from the library, contact the proper authorities.

E. If patron or staff member is bitten, the animal MUST be contained; call proper authorities immediately. Provide medical attention to victim.

The following list of agencies may be contacted regarding wild animals and other creatures in the library.

WRANPS - Wildlife Rehabilitation and Nature Preservation Society, Lori Powell at 762-3742 or 452-WILD (9453) in Pass Christian.

Jackson County Animal Shelter (497-6350) will conditionally accept on a temporary basis injured birds and wild animals either for WRANPS or the Bureau of Marine Resources, Wildlife Fisheries and Parks.

Bureau of Marine Resources, Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (1-800-294-5551) services the area south of Interstate 10.

The Department of Wildlife Conservation (588-3183 or 588-646) services the area north of Interstate 10.

Lucedale Police Department 947-3261

Lucedale City Hall 947-2082

Moss Point Police Department 475-1151

Ocean Springs Police Department 875-2211

Pascagoula Animal Shelter 769-2798 for Bee Swarms: 826-1699

Shelby Anderson 762-4844

Aubrie Busby 475-3648

Robert Gracie 762-1473

David Kilburn 769-7584

Douglas Lowery 497-6218

(numbers obtained from Pascagoula Police Department May 9, 1995).

3. ANIMALS - PETS

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. Patrons are not permitted to bring pets of any kind, size or shape into the library. The only exception shall be Seeing Eye and other guide dogs. Staff should be aware that other breeds of dogs besides the German Shepherd are used as guide dogs. Explain policy and ask them to remove the pet from the library.

B. If patron refuses, refer to Person-in-Charge/Branch Manager.

Person-in-Charge/ C. Explain policy; provide copy of "Rules of Conduct"

D. If patron refuses to remove pet from library, initiate eviction procedures.

E. If patron is evicted, file "Non-Disruptive Incident Report" with Branch Services Manager.

4. ANIMALS - STRAY CATS AND DOGS

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A Approach stray cats and dogs with caution. If it is tame and appears to be in need of a drink of water, provide a bowl of water outside the building.

B. Ascertain if the animal is actually a stray, or just wandering away from its home. If there is a tag with the owner's name and telephone number call the owner and inform him/her that the pet is at the library and that they should come and pick it up. Inform the owner that the pet is outside and that the library is not responsible if it decides to continue its journey and leaves library property.

C. If the animal is indeed a stray, ask patrons in the library if it belongs to them. Many animals, particularly dogs, follow their owners around, especially if they have walked to the library. Before calling the proper authorities, see if a staff member or patron would like to have a new pet.

D. If all else fails, call the proper authorities in your area.

E. If patron or staff member is bitten, the animal MUST be contained. Call proper authorities. Provide medical first-aid medical attention to the victim.

The following list of agencies may be contacted regarding stray cats and dogs.

* Jackson County Animal Shelter 497-6350

* Lucedale City Hall 947-3261

* Lucedale Police Department 947-2082

* Moss Point Police Department 475-1151

* Ocean Springs Animal Control 875-2211

* Pascagoula Police Department 769-2798

5. BICYCLES, SKATEBOARDS, ROLLER SKATES

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. The use of bicycles, skateboards and roller skates in the library is prohibited. Bicycles may not be brought into the library. Skateboards and roller skates may be carried into the library but not used. Patrons should be instructed to leave bikes outside.

B. If patron insists on using bicycles, skateboards and roller skates, inform Person-in-Charge/Branch Manager.

Person-in-Charge/ C. Explain policy to patron.

D. If patron ignores your instructions, initiate eviction procedures.

E. If patron is evicted, file "Non-Disruptive Incident Report" with Branch Services Manager.

6. CHANGING CLOTHES AND/OR BATHING IN PUBLIC RESTROOMS

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. It is strictly prohibited to bathe or change clothes in public restrooms in the library.

B. If a patron notifies a staff member of this activity, the staff member should knock on the restroom door and inform the patron that this activity is not allowed and that they should stop.

C. Provide the patron with a copy of "Rules of Conduct" when they exit the restrooms. Make sure that you hand it to the patron who was violating the rules.

D. If patron continues to defy policy, inform the Person-in-Charge/Branch Manager.

Person-in-Charge/ E. Enter restroom and explain to the patron that if they do not cease immediately they will be evicted.

F. If patron agrees, discontinue dialog.

G. If patron refuses, implement eviction procedures after they have dressed.

H. If patron is evicted, file a "Non-Disruptive Incident Report" with Branch Services Manager.

7. CHATTY PATRONS

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. Chatty patrons are often lonely and staff should be tolerant.

B. Be polite but discourage long conversations with patron.

C. Other staff members should intervene in situations like this to break up the conversation. Examples that could be used: telephone call for employee; need to finish work assignment; need to speak to another staff member on an urgent matter.

8. CLOTHING (PATRON DRESS CODE)

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. If a patron is dressed in a manner as to be considered acceptable on the public streets, he/she shall be acceptable in the library.

B. While we might encourage all patrons to wear some form of footwear, no one shall be turned away or refused service if their feet are uncovered and bare.

9. FOOD/BEVERAGES IN LIBRARY

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. Consumption of food and beverages is not permitted in the library by library patrons, except during authorized library programs and other library activities.

B. If a patron is eating and/or drinking in the library, a staff member should approach the individual and explain the library's policy. A patron who does not stop should be asked to leave and finish eating and/or drinking outside the building.

C. If patron refuses, notify Person-in-Charge/Branch Manager.

Person-in-Charge/ D. Instruct patron to stop, or to go outside to finish eating and/or drinking.

E. If patron refuses, initiate eviction procedures.

F. If patron is evicted, file "Non-Disruptive Incident Report" with Branch Services Manager.

10. GAMBLING

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. Gambling of any kind is prohibited in the library.

B. Instruct patron to stop. If he/she refuses, refer to Person-in-Charge/Branch Manager.

Person-in-Charge/ C. Instruct patron to stop. If he/she refuses, initiate Branch Manager eviction procedures.

D If evicted, file "Non-Disruptive Incident Report" with Branch Services Manager.

11. IMPROPER USE OF FURNITURE (TABLES AND CHAIRS)

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. Using chairs as rockers is not permitted. All four legs of a chair must be on the floor. Rocking back and forth on chairs not only damages the chair and carpet, but could result in serious injury to the patron.

B. Placing feet on tables or chairs is prohibited.

C. If patron continues with either of these activities, explain to them that the rule is in effect for their personal health and safety and that it will be enforced.

D. If patron ignores your instructions, refer to Person-in-Charge/Branch Manager.

Person-in-Charge/ E. Explain rule. If patron continues to ignore the rule,

Branch Manager implement eviction procedures.

F. If patron is evicted, file "Non-Disruptive Incident Report" with the Branch Services Manager.

12. PATRON-OWNED RADIOS, TELEVISIONS, COMPUTERS, ETC.

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. Patrons are prohibited from using the library's electrical outlets to power any personal radio, video, computer or other equipment without first receiving permission from the Branch Manager. (Refer to individual branch library meeting room policies regarding use of equipment in meeting rooms by groups and/or individual users).

B. Personal typewriters are not permitted in any public service area.

C. Personal DC operated radios, cassette players, computers, and televisions are permitted, as long as the patron is wearing a headset and the volume is sufficiently low as to not disturb other patrons. Wearers of headsets are, however, prohibited from engaging in a sing-along.

D. If the patron is disrupting other patrons or insists on using external speakers, inform the patron that if you have to tell them one more time to use the headset with low volume they will be asked to leave the library. Inform the Person-in-Charge/Branch Manager of your action.

Person-in-Charge/ E. If patron refuses to comply with the regulations, initiate

Branch Manager evictions procedures.

F. If patron is evicted, file "Non-Disruptive Incident Report" with Branch Services Manager.

13. PATRONS IN NON-PUBLIC AREAS OF LIBRARY

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

All Staff A. Staff should not hesitate to ask a patron if they can be of assistance if they do not recognize the patron as having legitimate business in non-public areas of the library. If they are looking for another staff member or are there for another legitimate reason, assist them.

B. If they do not have a legitimate reason for being in a non-public area, inform the patron that he/she is in a non-public area. Offer to assist them in locating whatever it is they are looking for and direct them back to the public areas of the library.

C. If the patron refuses, or continues to wander back into non-public areas, inform the Person-in-Charge/Branch Manager.

Person-in-Charge/ D. Instruct patron to leave non-public area immediately.

Branch Manager If they refuse, initiate eviction procedures.

E. If evicted, file "Non-Disruptive Incident Report" with the Branch Services Manager.

14. PESTS: ANTS, ROACHES, MICE, WASPS, HORNETS, ETC.

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. If patrons or staff report seeing ants, roaches, mice, fleas, wasps or bees in the library, inform the Person-in-Charge/Branch Manager.

B. If the problem is single wasps or bees, the library should keep several cans of insect spray on hand to take care of the little buggers. Hornet and similar nests should suffer the same fate, but only after dusk.

C. Ants, roaches and termites can not be treated effectively in libraries with over-the-counter products.

D. If mice are observed on very rare occasions, staff should acquire and set several mouse traps. Also, try to determine how the mice are gaining entry into the library and block that entrance.

Person-in-Charge/ E. Depending on the nature and extent of the pest

Branch Manager problem, the Person-in-Charge/Branch Manager may elect to call the exterminator for assistance.

F. If service is provided by a private contractor, always check with Purchasing Agent to determine if a purchase order is needed.

Each branch library should have on file either the name and telephone number of the exterminator that is under contract to service the library or the name and number of the local government agency that services the library or makes arrangements. The following list will be updated on an annual basis.

* East Central Contact County Maintenance 374-3464

* Gautier Contact Redd Pest Control 762-1561

* Lucedale (George Co.) Contact City Hall 947-2082

* Moss Point Contact Redd Pest Control 762-1561

* Ocean Springs Contact Wynton's Pest Control 875-5355

* Pascagoula Contact Southern Pest Control 762-5959

* St. Martin Contact County Maintenance 374-3464

* Vancleave Contact County Maintenance 374-3464

15. SLEEPERS

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. Sleeping is not allowed in the library. Patrons who simply doze for a short period of time may be left alone. This sleeping regulation pertains to habitual sleepers or those who are noisy, sprawled out on the furniture, or generally disturbing to others.

Discretion should be used when approaching a sleeping patron. Do not physically shake or touch them as they may swing out at you as you awaken them. It is highly recommended that you call out to the patron or tap on a table or chair to awaken them.

B. Tell patron that they should stay awake and inquire as to the reason they are sleeping. It could be a medical problem and they are in need of assistance.

C. Tell patron that they should stay awake in the library; check back several times to see if patron has gone back to sleep. If so, inform the Person-in-Charge/Branch Manager.

Person-in-Charge/ D. Wake patron and explain library policy.

E. If patron falls back asleep, wake patron and initiate eviction procedures.

F. If patron is evicted, file "Non-Disruptive Incident Report" with Branch Services Manager.

16. SMOKING AND OTHER TOBACCO PRODUCTS

Definition: Cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff, etc.

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. Smoking and the use of tobacco products is prohibited in the library.

B. If patron is smoking or using other tobacco products, inform the patron that smoking and the use of other tobacco products is prohibited.

C. If patron does not comply, refer to the Person-in-Charge/Branch Manager.

Person-in-Charge/ D. Restate policy.

E. If patron refuses to comply with the rules, initiate eviction procedures.

F. If patron is evicted from the library, file "Non-Disruptive Incident Report" with the Branch Services Manager.

17. SOLICITORS, PANHANDLERS, PETITIONERS, ETC.

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. Panhandling, soliciting, passing petitions for signature, and distributing or posting of election campaign literature in library buildings and on library property is prohibited.

B. Staff members who witness a violation of this rule should explain the library's policy and remove the collection container, literature, etc. and return it to the owner (or discard if owner is not present) and/or tell the person to stop this activity on library property.

C. If problem persists, refer to the Person-in- Charge/Branch Manager.

Person-in-Charge/ D. Insist the activity stop immediately. If problem ceases,

Branch Manager no further action isnecessary. If problem persists, refer to Branch Services Manager.

Branch Services E. Explain library policy. No further discussion necessary.

F. Branch Services Manager should complete and file "Non-Disruptive Incident Report".

18. TELEPHONE, PATRON USE OF BUSINESS PHONE

Definition: The patron, because he/she has no money or because it is more convenient to use the library's business telephone, asks to use the telephone for personal business. Generally, this is to have someone come to the library to pick them up. This practice should be eliminated. Patrons should be informed that the library's telephone is for library business calls only. Explain that since business records, small amounts of cash, and items of a personal nature are kept at the desk, along with the fact that we must keep the line clear for incoming business calls, the use of the library's telephone for personal calls is not permitted. The patron should also be told that, in the future, arrangements should be made for someone to pick them up, etc., prior to their arriving at the library. Staff should know where the nearest pay telephone is located.

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. Explain to the patron that the telephone is for business purposes only and that it is not available to the public for personal telephone calls. Direct patron to nearest pay telephone.

B. If the patron indicates that he/she has no money or objects to this policy in any way, refer them to the Person-in-Charge/Branch Manager.

Person-in-Charge/ C. Explain the policy as stated above. At their

Branch Manager discretion, the Person-in-Charge/Branch Manager may elect to allow a personal telephone call to be made.

D. The only type of personal telephone call that the Person-in-Charge/Branch Manager can allow a patron to make (except in certain medical emergencies or disruptive incidents) is when the patron needs someone to come and pick them up.

 

19. TRUANCY

RESPONSIBILITY ACTION

Staff Member A. Truancy is a school problem. Do not approach a student unless he/she is creating a disturbance or violating a library rule of conduct.

 

The State of Mississippi has enacted the "Mississippi Compulsory School Attendance Law", (37-13-91). Paragraph 7 of this law states:

"(7) The district attorney shall appoint one or more school attendance officers in accordance with the of provisions subsection (8) of this section to administer the provisions of this section. However, from and after October 1, 1994, the board of supervisors in any county having a population of more than forty-five thousand (45,000) according to the 1990 federal census, in their discretion, may authorize the appointment of one or more school attendance officers in addition to the number funded from state funds under subsection (8), to be compensated from the county general fund...

...The school attendance officer shall:

a. Cooperate with any public agency to locate and identify all compulsory-school-age children who are not attending school;"

Until such time as the library system is requested by proper authorities to render assistance in this matter, the Jackson-George Regional Library System shall continue to recognize truancy as a school problem.