The Yocum Library Standards of Behavior Policy

PUBLIC ACCESS

The Yocum Library is the Library of Reading Area Community College (RACC).  Although RACC students, staff, and faculty are the focus of the Library's resources and services, the Library is open to the public.

Any patron over 18 years of age may use the Library. However, children under 18 who are not RACC students or participating in a RACC-sponsored event must be accompanied by an adult, who is at least 18 years old and responsible for the child at all times. Proof of age is required.  Children under 18 must be under direct adult supervision of a caregiver who is able to attend to the child's safety and ensure appropriate behavior.  The supervising adult is responsible for the behavior and safety of minors.  Library staff does not have custodial responsibility and cannot assume liability for unattended children.  If a child is found unattended in the Library, staff will attempt to locate the child's parent/guardian. If staff cannot locate a parent/guardian, RACC Security will be notified as well as police and children services if necessary.  Adults who cannot care for themselves must be monitored by their caregivers.

The Library honors all Berks County public libraries consortium Library cards (adult and children), but the Yocum Library only issues adult Library cards to community members who have a valid PA ID and proof of current address.

The Library's computers are available only to RACC trustees, faculty, staff, students, and alumni. There is a WiFi network in the Library that can be used with a non-RACC patron's own laptop computer to access the Internet. 

The Library staff reserves the right to remove any patron whose behavior violates the Library’s Standards of Behavior Policy.

ACTIVITY ZONES

While the Yocum Library staff wants to provide an environment that is friendly and comfortable for our patrons, we must emphasize that the Library is a center for learning.  Some people need a quiet place to learn while others learn best through group collaboration.  It is also a center for teaching because both teaching and librarian faculty instruct individuals and groups in the use of Library resources and services.  In order to create an environment that serves both types of learners while also accommodating the Library’s teaching function, we have divided the Library into two distinct activity zones.  Each zone has a different noise level expectation.

The Quiet Study Zone is intended to serve individual students who need to concentrate.  In this zone NO talking is permitted.  Headphones that are able to block all sound transmission must be used when listening to audio on computers or other equipment.   The 3rd and 4th floors are the Quiet Study Zones in the Library.  Nevertheless, some noise is to be expected in this zone during special events on the 4th floor.

The Active Learning Zone is intended for instructional and/or collaborative learning experiences.  In this zone moderate-level talking is expected and quiet cell phone conversations are permitted.  Headphones that are able to block all sound transmission must be used when listening to audio on computers or other equipment.  The 2nd floor is the Active Learning Zone.

Patrons who do not conform to the acceptable noise level of the Library zone will be asked to modify their behavior or move to a more appropriate area.  Patrons who do not agree to conform to the acceptable noise level of the Library zone or agree to use another area of the Library will be asked to leave the Library.

Please contact a Library staff member if you have a concern about noise levels at a specific time. 

EXPECTED BEHAVIORS

  • Patrons shall follow all RACC policies and federal, state, or local laws, including, but not limited to, the RACC Student Bill of Rights (RACC students only), RACC Computer Usage Policy which is posted on the Library’s website and near the entrance of the Library, and the Academic Honesty Policy; Federal laws on copyright infringement and peer-to-peer file sharing; and Pennsylvania laws on mutilating and stealing Library materials such as the Pennsylvania Library Theft Act which is posted on the Library’s website and information kiosk at the entrance of the Library.
  • Library patrons shall respect the rights of all other patrons and staff at all times. Patrons are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that enables patrons and Library staff to accomplish their intended Library tasks in a safe, civil, and orderly atmosphere. Patrons are urged to report disruptive behavior to Library staff.  Staff will take appropriate action when patron behavior causes disruption in the delivery of services. 
  • Patrons display behaviors appropriate to the Activity Zone that they are in.
  • Patrons must wear appropriate and complete dress, including shirt and footwear, at all times.  Clothing and accessories with offensive language, racial comments or slurs, or other inappropriate language, logos and/or pictures are unacceptable dress and if worn, the Library patron will be asked to leave the Library.
  • Patrons are responsible for their own property and should not leave personal items unattended.  Unattended items may be subject to inspection and/or removal.
  • If the security gates sound an alarm as a patron exits, the patron must return to the Service Desk to verify that the materials were handled properly by the staff. All briefcases, handbags, backpacks, duffle bags, overcoats, shopping bags, luggage, and other packages may be subject to inspection by Library or Security staff.
  • Patrons must leave the Library at the designated closing times or upon request from Library staff or RACC Security staff.  If the Library’s emergency systems are activated, patrons must follow all staff directions and instructions.

UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIORS

Unacceptable behaviors are those that, by the assessment of the Library staff, interfere with the use of the Library by other patrons, create a risk of injury to other patrons and/or Library staff, interfere with the work of Library staff, or create a risk of damage to Library property.  The Library reserves the right to interpret this standard, to apply it, and to change it as necessary. This is not an exhaustive list; unacceptable behaviors include, but are not limited, to:

  • Harassing or discriminatory behavior based on race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other status protected by law.
  • Any type of behavior that detracts from the teaching/learning process such as running, throwing objects; yelling; climbing on furniture; following patrons or staff throughout the Library; annoying fellow patrons by talking to them while they are trying to read, study or contemplate; abusing, verbally harassing or intimidating patrons or staff; use of profanity, abusive or threatening language; use of threatening gestures or unwanted physical contact.
  • Intentionally damaging, destroying, or stealing any property that belongs to the Library, a staff member, or a patron.
  • Possession or consumption of alcohol except at authorized RACC functions.
  • Possession or consumption of illegal drugs, narcotics, or controlled substances.
  • Consumption of tobacco products.
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior including engaging in lewd or lascivious behavior, solicitation, sexual harassment, indecent exposure and/or voyeurism.
  • Possession of weapons of any kind, except by authorized RACC staff or law enforcement officers.
  • Roller blading, roller skating, or skate boarding on Library premises.
  • Bringing animals into the Library except those that are part of a RACC program or are service animals.
  • Distributing, posting, or placing on Library property any printed materials except through authorized RACC procedures.
  • Selling or soliciting in the Library unless authorized by the RACC administration such as for RACC clubs.
  • Entering areas marked "Library Staff Only” or using Library staff telephones or other staff equipment without permission.
  • Inappropriately or excessively using the restrooms including bathing, shaving, or clothes washing.
  • Sleeping in the Library.
  • Viewing on computer screens images that are not appropriate for a public and open environment and that create a hostile or offensive environment.
  • Using emergency exits or setting off fire, elevator, and/or exit door alarms when no emergency exists.
  • Blocking walkways, exits, or entrances with electrical cords or personal belongings.

SANCTIONS

  • RACC students, faculty, and staff are liable to the sanctions as defined in existing RACC policies.  These sanctions may include warnings, immediate removal from the Library by Security staff, and/or permanent banning from the Library.  Appeals may be made following established RACC policies.
  • Non-RACC patrons who violate The Yocum Library’s Standards of Behavior Policy may receive sanctions that include a warning, immediate removal from the Library by Security staff, permanent banning from the RACC campus, and/or criminal prosecution if the conduct constitutes a violation of local, state or federal law.

June 2013