Code of Conduct

Fulton County Library System


Full Document in PDF - Code of Conduct - Updated Approved 10-25-23


This code of conduct and the rules contained herein shall apply
to patrons visiting all branches of the Fulton County Library System, including the
Central Branch. Library patrons are expected to be engaged in activities associated
with the appropriate use of public libraries while in any of the facilities, including
reading, studying, using library materials and computers, and participating in
library programs.
In order to ensure public safety and security and to provide a suitable environment
for appropriate library use, the Fulton County Library System will require
compliance with all state and local laws. Unlawful behavior will be reported to the
police immediately and arrest may result. Violation of this Code of Conduct may
result in the violator being banned from all Fulton County libraries for six months,
one year, or permanently.


Patrons are welcome to:
(a) Ask questions of staff and receive needed information in the library
(b) Borrow materials by using a library card through FCLS established lending
(c) Bring children and teens to the library for materials and programs
(d) Comply with House Bill 60, the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014, when visiting
(e) Use the materials in all public areas of the library, under the following
conditions: The Fulton County Public Library System is committed to ensuring the
safety of all of its patrons, with a special emphasis on the safety of children in our
libraries. For that reason, the materials, services, and equipment in the children’s
areas are intended primarily for the use of children, their parents and/or caregivers.
Others needing to access materials or services specific to the children’s area do so
with the understanding that the library staff will determine whether or not a
particular use or activity is appropriate in the children’s area. Thus, patrons may be
asked to use alternative areas of the library, at the discretion of the library manager
or designee.
(f) Read, study, type, and write while using library materials
(g) Read materials held behind the desk or other off-site locations to maintain their
availability and reading access for all interested patrons, who will be required to
provide a valid piece of identification which will be held behind the desk until the
item(s) is(are) returned
(h) Register for and use free library computers
(i) Speak quietly whenever in the library and whenever on cell phones, which
should be used for calls only near restrooms and lobby areas

Patrons are prohibited from:
3.1 Engaging in any criminal or unlawful behavior on library premises, or
using any library property such as facilities, technology, or printed or digital
materials to engage in such behavior, including but not limited to the
following actions:
3.2 Engaging in nudity, sexual acts, or behavior, using profane language, or
entering the library without proper attire. Proper attire is wearing apparel in
conformance with the standards of the community for public places and
includes wearing shirt and shoes and having clothing properly fastened.
Indecent exposure is prohibited but this shall not prohibit the breastfeeding
ofa child in public which is permitted by OCGA Section 31-1-9
3.3 Bringing a weapon into any library unless explicitly authorized by law; box
cutters, knives, machetes, scissors, razors, and shaving razors are prohibited
3.4 Changing clothes or washing clothes, bathing, or shaving in public
restrooms, spending a prolonged length of time in, or misusing public
restrooms, damaging the function of restroom fixtures, or damaging the
fixtures themselves
3.5 Consuming or possessing alcohol or illegal drugs or to be intoxicated or
under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs on library premises. However,
this shall not include consuming alcohol at a library-sanctioned event.
3.6 Damaging, defacing, or destroying the inside or outside of any library
structure, or damaging, defacing, or destroying, stealing, or intentionally
tampering with any library property, patron’s property, or library staff’s
3.7 Stalking, following, or prolonged staring that could reasonably be
expected to annoy, disturb, or intimidate patrons or staff
3.8 Harassing staff, employees or officials of Fulton County, volunteers, or
Library Trustees in person, by telephone, by U.S. Mail or email, or otherwise
violating OCGA Section 16-11-39.1, Harassing Communications
3.9 Engaging in any physically intimidating or assaultive behavior or making
any threats of violence or unlawful activities. The Library System has a policy
of zero tolerance for threats and acts of violence. Any person engaging in
such behaviors will be required to leave the library immediately.
3.10 Committing criminal trespass by refusing to leave the library after being
asked to do so by staff

4.1 Bringing animals or pets into the library except housebroken service
animals that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks
directly related to the owners' disability is prohibited. A: As provided in the
ADA, only housebroken dogs and housebroken miniature horses may qualify
as service animals. The ADA also defines miniature horses as generally
ranging in height from 24 inches to 34 inches to the shoulder and weighing
70 to 100 pounds. Such service animals must be under the control of their
handlers at all times. A service animal may be removed if the animal is out
of control and the animal's handler fails to gain control of the animal.
Animals whose function is to provide comfort or emotional support, do not
qualify as service animals under the ADA, and therefore are prohibited from
being brought into the library. A miniature horse may also be removed from
a particular location in a library if it is determined that the facility or area
cannot accommodate the miniature horse's type, size, and weight; or the
miniature horse's presence compromises legitimate safety requirements
necessary for safe operation of the facility. Animals authorized to be part of
library-sponsored program are not subject to this prohibition.
4.2 Bringing infested personal items into the library
4.3 Bringing into the library personal items that do not fit comfortably under
your chair, including bedrolls, blankets, frame backpacks and suitcases (a
maximum of two bags will be permitted, each measuring no more than 12”X
4.4 Bringing large duffle bags, shopping carts, wagons, wheeled carts, and
plastic bags larger than standard grocery bags into the library
4.5 Consuming food or carrying open food or beverage containers except in
lobby vending areas or areas designated for such activity
4.6 Displaying disruptive behavior so as to disturb other patrons
4.7 Distributing or posting printed materials or literature not approved by
library staff
4.8 Entering staff areas, offices, or supply areas unaccompanied by staff
4.9 Neglecting bathing hygiene to the extent that such neglect constitutes a
nuisance to others
4.10 Interfering with another person’s use of the library or with the library
staff’s performance of duties
4.11 Leaving a child under nine years of age unattended in the library;
however, children between the ages of 9-13 cannot be unattended for more
than 2 hours (Caregivers must be at least 14 years of age.)
4.12 Leaving a child or young adult under the age of 17 at the library after
closing time; Remaining in the library after closing time
4.13 Leaving personal items unattended (Library staff are not responsible for
the personal items of the public)
4.14 Loitering in any area of the library and/or on library premises
4.15 Monopolizing library equipment, materials, facilities, outlets, or spaces
such that other patrons and staff are unable to use them; no more than two
outlets may be used at a time
4.16 Obstructing library entrances or exits
4.17 Panhandling, selling, or soliciting for services, money, or items
4.18 Playing cards or games of any kind unless part of a FCLS sponsored or
approved program
4.19 Unapproved arranging or disarranging library furniture or using
furniture in ways not intended or for unapproved purposes
4.20 Riding wheeled devices such as scooters and skateboards anywhere
inside or outside of library property; they must be carried
4.21 Sleeping in the library
4.22 Smoking, vaping, using e-cigarettes or using tobacco products of any
4.23 Speaking loudly on cell phones or allowing a cell phone to ring
excessively or repeatedly in the library
4.24 Taking library materials into the restrooms or removing library materials
from the premises without authorization through FCLS established lending
4.25 Taking videos and/or photos of minors without the permission of their
parent or guardian, taking videos and/or photos of any patron over said
patron’s objection, or using cell phones, computers, or audio equipment that
produce excessive noise or constitutes harassing behavior
4.26 Using a wheelchair, walker, or stroller to transport items or personal
belongings unless such apparatus is needed because of a child or disability
4.27 Violating the directives listed in the Meeting Room Policy and/or
Internet Use Policy


Failure to comply with this Code of Conduct may result in an individual being
banned from one or multiple Fulton County libraries. Either repeated misconduct
incidents or one single severe offense may result in individuals being banned
from the library.
Notwithstanding an effective ban, any conduct that threatens the life or safety of
any person or that is damaging to library property, equipment or facilities may
result in immediate expulsion from the library premises by staff. Staff will call
the police for illegal behavior or when an individual refuses to leave when told by
staff to do so.
The following process shall be followed when an individual is being banned from
one or more library locations:

(1) Ban Letter Issued A written letter from the Library Director or his or her
designee will be sent by U.S. Certified Mail to the FCLS’s last known address
of the individual, notifying the individual that he or she is banned from one
or more libraries of the Fulton County Library System. The ban letter will
indicate the reasons for the ban, the effective date of the ban, which will be
effective immediately, the length of the ban, and the process for filing an
appeal. If FCLS has no address for the recipient of the ban letter, the ban
letter and other notices regarding the ban will be delivered by other means
such as email or posted on the library premises.

(2) Branch Managers Notified; Director Either Agrees with Ban, Modifies Ban
or Rescinds Ban A copy of the ban notice will be emailed to the Library
Director, all branch managers, and group administrators to notify them of
the ban, including a description of the underlying behavior, the name and a
physical description of the banned individual, and the time period of the ban.
This notification should be provided on or prior to the effective date of the
ban. If the Library Director agrees with the reasons for the ban and the length
of the ban, then the Director shall take no further action. If, after
consultation with staff, the Director deems it appropriate to rescind or
modify the terms of the ban, the Director shall notify the banned individual
in writing, as well as all branch managers and group administrators. The
Director shall also notify the banned individual in writing of the process for
appealing a modified ban. The ban shall remain in effect during the appeal

(3)  Alternative Juvenile Banning Procedure with Discretionary Restricted
Library Use for Juveniles: As an alternative to banning a juvenile, a branch
manager and a staff member may restrict a juvenile from use of a specified
library site without their parent or guardian present for a period of 30 days
for the first offense and 90 days for a second offense. The juvenile whose
library use is restricted may use the library during the specified period only
when the juvenile is accompanied by their parent or guardian who is not
banned. The juvenile’s parent or guardian must be notified of the restriction
in writing by U.S. Certified Mail. Failure to abide by the restriction may lead
to banning of the juvenile from all library premises.


6.1 WARNING A warning will be given for up to three violations of Section 4
which do not involve public safety or damage to property. A record shall be kept
office of the Library Director or in a central location as determined by the
Library Director of all such warnings issued.

6.2 Banned for Six Months A 6-month ban shall be imposed for:

(a)  the third violation of Section 4, Other Prohibited Activities, whether the
three violations occurred on the same day or over a period of time: or
(b)  any Section 4 violation which involves public safety or damage to
property: or
(c)  a single criminal violation of Section 3, Prohibited Activities Which Are

6.3 Banned for One Year or A Permanent Ban shall be imposed for:

(a) any serious violation or violations in Section 3 which relate to public safety
and security; or

(b) multiple violations of Section 4


(1) Notice of Appeal
The banned patron (appellant) may appeal a ban by sending a written notice of
appeal to the Fulton County Library System Board of Trustees (Library Board)
within 10 days after the effective date of the ban. A copy of the written notice
shall also be sent by the appellant to both the Library Director and the Chair of
the Library Board, in care of Fulton County Library System, One Margaret Mitchell
Square, Atlanta, GA 30303. If a modification of the ban by the Library Director
does not resolve the appeal, the Library Board shall hold a hearing on the appeal
at whichever of its next regularly scheduled meetings is at least 10 days following
the Library Board Chair’s receipt of the Notice of Appeal. Postponement of the
hearing shall be granted within the discretion of the Library Board Chair for good
cause only.

(2) Hearing
The hearing shall be presided over by the Chair of the Library Board and shall
conclude after a reasonable amount of time as determined by the Chair of the
Library Board. The appellant may present documentary information and verbal
statements for the Library Board’s consideration. The hearing shall be
administrative in nature and strict rules of evidence shall not apply. The
proceedings shall be recorded by the Library Board’s official reporter.

(3) Decision
Within 30 days of the completion of the hearing, the Library Board shall issue a
written recommendation to the Library Director as to whether the ban should
remain, be modified, or reversed. The Library Director shall have the power to
affirm the original decision to ban the appellant or follow the recommendation of
the Library Board. The Library Director shall notify the Library Board in writing of
the final decision within 14 days of their receipt of the Library Board’s
recommendation, but if the Library Director rejects the recommendation of the
Library Board, s/he must include an explanation for the rejection with the
notification to the Library Board. The Library Director’s decision to affirm and/or
follow the recommendation of the Library Board shall be final and notice of the
same shall be provided to the appellant, branch managers and group

Approved at the October 25, 2023, BOT meeting

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