Patron Behavior Policy

The Dartmouth Public Libraries are committed to serving the informational, educational, recreational, and intellectual needs of the community. The establishment of rules of behavior are necessary to maintain an atmosphere which promotes the use and enjoyment of the facilities and protects the safety of the general public, the library staff, and the materials, equipment and physical plant.

The Board of Library Trustees is responsible for determining the rules of behavior necessary to protect the rights of patrons to use library materials and services, to protect the rights of the library staff, to conduct library business without interference, and to preserve materials, equipment and facilities.


  1. No smoking or any use of tobacco or use of any controlled substance in the Libraries.
  2. Beverages with covers and small snacks are permitted in the library. Patrons are expected to observe reasonable caution with food and drink in the library.
  3. Use of cell phones, pagers, or similar communication devices is prohibited.
  4. Patrons must use headphones or earbuds to listen to computers or other devices in the library. The volume of such devices must not disturb other patrons.
  5. No animals, except guide or assist animals, are permitted in the Libraries.
  6. No soliciting or distributing of leaflets in the Libraries.
  7. Appropriate attire, which includes shirts and shoes, must be worn at all times.
  8. Loud or boisterous behavior is prohibited.
  9. Physical or verbal harassment of staff or patrons is prohibited.
  10. Roller skates or roller blades are not allowed in the Libraries.
  11. Bicycles should be placed in the outside bike racks and locked. They are not to be left inside the buildings or on the sidewalks leading into the buildings.
  12. Neither the Libraries nor staff are responsible for personal belongings left unattended by patrons.
  13. The staff of the Libraries reserves the right to request to inspect any/all bags, purses, briefcases, backpacks, etc., for any library materials which may have been inadvertently packed with the patron's own materials.
  14. Any purposeful damage done to library materials, equipment, furniture, buildings or property is against the law and may be reported to the police.
  15. The telephone at the Circulation Desk may be used, with staff permission, for short local calls or in cases of emergency. They are not to be used for casual personal calls.


  1. The staff will give a verbal warning of inappropriate behavior.
  2. The staff will explain the rules to the patron and suggest alternatives.
  3. In the event of continued minor disruptions, after warning and explanation of rules, patron may be asked to leave the building for the rest of the day.
  4. If the offending patron refuses to leave when requested, or if the staff feel there is a potential danger to themselves, other staff or other patrons, the police may be called.
  5. If a patron repeatedly ignores the warnings issued by the staff and/or the police, the staff has the right to remove the patron for specified periods of time. A specific date and time will be attached to the restriction, and it will be posted for the information of the entire staff.