Customer Conduct Policies

Animals

Domesticated animals may be brought into the North Platte Public Library provided they are leashed and/or caged and are controllable by their owner. If at any time an animal causes disruptions including allergic reactions in library employees, volunteers or customers, the owner will be asked to leave with the animal. Wild animals are not allowed in the building unless properly contained and accompanied by a veterinarian certificate that clears the animal of diseases including rabies. Service animals are always allowed in the building.

Call the North Platte Animal Shelter at 308-535-6780, for assistance in dealing with wild or stray animals causing a problem or posing a danger to customers. If there is no answer, call the North Platte Police Department at 308-535-6789 and request animal control service.


Cell Phones & Pagers

Cell phone usage is strongly discouraged in the North Platte Public Library. Cell phone conversations and ring tones are disturbing to patrons and disrupt the traditional library study environment. Pagers and cell phones are requested to be turned off or silenced at the entrance and throughout the facility. Customers are requested to take and make cell phone calls outside the library facility.


Disturbing or Noisy Behavior

Staff must use their own judgment to determine when a customer is excessively noisy or acting in a disturbing manner. If staff is unsure what constitutes disturbing or noisy behavior, they should have a co-worker observe the behavior.

If an individual is under the age of 16, they are considered a minor in the library facility. Noisy or disturbing behavior may be exhibited by individuals or groups. Behavior that is disturbing to staff or patrons is not allowed.

If staff observes individual or group behavior that is disturbing or noisy they should inform a co-worker or team up with another staff member to go to that individual or group and explain that they are interfering with normal library operations. If the behavior persists the individual or group may be asked to leave the facility. Staff must complete an Incident Report Form at the time they request the disruptive individual or group to leave the facility. The Library Director will mail letters informing the individual and/or parent of the unacceptable behavior policy and the circumstances regarding the breach that led up to the individual or group being asked to leave.

When an individual or group has been asked to leave the facility and they refuse to do so, call the North Platte Police Department at 308-535-6789 or 911 from inside the library. If the situation appears immediately threatening, call 911 from inside the library.


Dress Code & Attire

The North Platte Public Library observes the common no shirt, no shoes, no service policy. Customers may be asked to leave the facility and change their clothes if they have defecated or urinated on themselves or have an excessive amount of any permanent or biological substance like grease, ink, oil, blood, etc. that can be transferred to other patrons, library furnishings, or equipment.


Eccentric Behavior

Eccentric behavior is not necessarily problem behavior unless it becomes aggressive, violent, or in other ways unsafe for patrons or the person exhibiting this behavior.


Eating, Drinking, and Smoking

Eating food is not permitted in the North Platte Public Library facility. Beverages are permitted, provided the liquid is in a lidded container. Staff may eat and drink in designated break areas. The Public may consume non-alcoholic beverages in the Meeting Room in compliance with Meeting Room Guidelines.

The North Platte Public Library is considered a governmental agency of the City of North Platte. Alcohol is prohibited on library premises.

North Platte Public Library is a smoke free facility; smoking is prohibited in the library.


Sleeping in the Library

Sleeping in the library is not allowed. Staff must use their own judgment to determine whether or not waking an individual is a potential danger. If staff decide to wake the patron, they should always team up with another staff member to awaken the individual. Staff are encouraged to call the police to wake individuals who appear to be under the influence of a behavior changing substance, or are perceived to potentially react violently when awakened. An ambulance should be called for any individuals that library staff are unable to wake or if the individual is not coherent to place and time upon awakening.


Smelly Customers & Possessions

While not an excuse for poor customer service or treatment, malodorous customers and possessions can be disruptive to staff and other customers. If homelessness or serious health issues are suspected, staff may consult with the customer or appropriate North Platte City, Lincoln County or State agencies to find a solution. Use of odor canceling sprays is encouraged to make the building more appealing to all. If allergic reaction to the spray is suspected, remove the person to fresh air as quickly as possible.


Substance Abuse

As a public facility, Library staff encounter people of all ages, backgrounds and health status. Drug behavior may include any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Substance odor on clothing or breath
  • Inability to carry on normal conversation
  • Unusual flare-ups or behavior outbreaks
  • Unfocused eyes or difficulty focusing on an object, dilated or constricted pupils, no response to changes in light, floating eyes (following a moving object that isn’t there)
  • Slurred speech, lack of facial expression, poor muscle control, rigid muscles, strange gait when walking
  • Flushed skin, raw nostrils, track marks, nose bleeds, excessive licking of dry lips, dry mouth, excessive watering eyes and runny nose
  • Distorted sense of time, sight, sound, touch, self perception, fear or terror
  • Excessive restlessness/twitching/fidgeting, or excessive drowsiness/unconscious
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia including: spoons, glass tubes, pipe-like objects,razor blades, mirrors, straws, needles, solvents, nitrous oxide containers, bottles labeled “incense” white or grey powder substances, and unlabeled bottles or pills.

When library staff suspect substance use by a customer, they should remain calm and firm when dealing with the customer. If substance use or drug paraphernalia is observed with any of the above signs and symptoms, library staff should report the behavior and observance to police by contacting them from a non-public area.


Unattended Children

Staff must use their own judgment to determine when or if an unattended child represents a problem situation. If a staff member feels that a child is abandoned, neglected, endangered or unsafe, the child should be immediately reunited with the parent, guardian, or caregiver. Staff should explain to the parent, guardian, or caregiver that you were concerned about the child’s safety and that children should not be left alone for their own protection and safety. If the child reacts suspiciously to a purported parent, guardian, or caregiver, staff should request ID from the parent, guardian, or caregiver or staff should remove the child to a safe location within the building and call the North Platte Police Department at 911 or 535-6789. If you feel the need to request ID from a parent, guardian, or caregiver, an Incident Report Form must be completed at the time ID is presented. If the police are notified of an actual, attempted, or suspected kidnapping, an Incident Report Form must be completed.

If the parent, guardian, or caregiver is not in the building, try to obtain the parent, guardian, or caregiver’s name and contact information. An Incident Report Form must be completed and staff should attempt to contact the responsible party. If the child is not picked up by a parent, guardian, or care giver within fifteen (15) minutes, staff should call North Platte Police Department at 535-6789 or 911.

When a child is reluctant to leave the library after staff has finished closing procedures, staff should make sure the child has called for a ride and that one is coming. If staff do not feel the child is in danger based on age, alone or with friends, the traffic or strangers hanging around the facility, or the weather outside, then staff may lock the child outside the library and leave the premises. If staff feel the child is in danger, they should wait with the child for 5-10 minutes. Staff should then call the parent or guardian and if no answer, wait another 5 minutes. If a ride has not appeared within 15 minutes after closing, call the North Platte Police Department at 535-6789, wait for the police to take custody of the child, lock the doors and leave. Under no circumstances should staff offer or provide rides to known or unknown individuals left at the facility after closing.


Vandalism

It is considered vandalism and illegal to knowingly write upon, deface, tear, cut, or destroy library materials, equipment, furnishings, or property. It is also considered illegal to tamper with computer equipment including hacking software, probing the network, removing peripherals, or pirating electronic content.


Verbal & Physical Abuse

Abusive behavior transcends angry behavior in that it incorporates personal attacks and/or causes people to experience an unacceptable level of discomfort. Patrons have the right to express anger to the library staff in writing, in person, or on the phone; they do not have the right to be abusive, nor does staff have the obligation to tolerate such behavior.

Staff should remain calm and should not become argumentative. Using reflective listening skills may be helpful to diffuse the situation. If the circumstances warrant, angry patrons may be directed to management for resolution. If the situation escalates to threats or physical violence an incident form must be completed by staff. Call the North Platte Police Department at 9911 or 535-6789 if physical violence occurs or when staff perceives their own or another customer’s personal safety is in danger.