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Disruptive Behavior and Inappropriate Use of Library Facilities

Disruptive Behavior and Inappropriate Use of Library Facilities

  • Scope of Policy
    • This policy applies to all interior spaces that are part of the University Libraries.
  • Purpose
    • The Libraries strive to create and maintain environments that are conducive to the pursuit of scholarly activities.  This policy supplements existing University and Libraries’ policies with the purpose of defining inappropriate use and disruptive behaviors that negatively affect the ability of others to use library spaces and equipment.  In addition to the behaviors outlined in this policy, the Libraries comply with policies outlined in University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulations, Chapter 110: Use of Facilities and Equipment
  • Definitions of Improper Use
    • Disruptive behavior and inappropriate use includes, but is not limited to:
      • Any act that is illegal under State or Federal law.
      • Any act or behavior prohibited in the University of Missouri Collected rules and Regulations, Chapter 110: Use of Facilities and Equipment.
      • Any behavior that is deemed harassing, threatening, or abusive (either spoken, written, or physically) by the recipient. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, speaking in a louder than normal tone, using threatening bodily motions (waving hands, pounding fists or books, etc.) or using inflammatory language (cursing, ethnic slurs, etc.) or exhibiting offensive behavior (racial or sexual in nature, exposing oneself, excessive staring, etc.).
      • Deliberate misuse, misappropriation, or damage to library collections, resources, furniture, buildings, or equipment.
      • Any disorderly behavior within the Libraries due to intoxication by alcoholic beverages or controlled substances.
      • Rowdy behavior that disturbs other patrons.
      • Behavior that poses a sanitary or health risk to others.
      • Unapproved solicitation of staff or other library users, in person or through distribution of informational materials.  For example, selling products, seeking signatures for petitions, unauthorized posting of marketing materials, etc.
      • Use of skateboards, skates, bicycles, and similar devices. 
      • Presence of personal property that takes up excessive space such as shopping carts, bicycles, or bedding.
      • Smoking or use of tobacco products.
      • Pets and other animals are not permitted in the building unless approved by the Administration office.  Service animals are permitted.  For more information see the University of Missouri Business Policy and Procedure Manual:  Guidelines for Pets on University Property and MU Policy on Service Animals.
      • See also Policy 36:  Acceptable Use of MU Libraries’ Computers Regarding Sensitive Materials.
  • Enforcement
    • Disruptive behavior may be reported to library security or any staff member.
    • Regardless of who receives the initial complaint, Security and/or MU PD will be called to handle all cases in which the individual notified of the need to change behavior is not compliant or for any behavior that is verbally abusive or threatening to either persons or property. 
    • Once notified, Security personnel determines severity of behavior and takes appropriate action.
    • Enforcement of this policy will be conducted in a fair and reasonable manner.
    • Safety of employees and library users is the most important consideration in all disruptive situations.
    • Violators may be asked to leave the libraries and may be issued a trespass warrant.  Trespass warrants are generally issued for one full year from the date of the violation. 
    • Violators who are students or University employees may be subject to applicable University policies and disciplinary processes. 
    • Violators may face disciplinary or legal action in accordance with the laws of the State of Missouri. 
  • Appeals
    • Concerns regarding the implementation or enforcement of this policy may be directed to the University Librarian.
    • Any person wishing to appeal a trespass should contact the University Librarian.

Approved by the Library Management Team: October 2016; revised August 2018.

Note:  Previously called Improper Use of Library Facilities and Equipment, Policy 47 was renamed in the 2018 to reflect that we combined Policy 44  - Policy for Responding to Disruptive Patrons - with Policy 47.