Mid-Columbia Libraries (MCL) is dedicated to providing a friendly, respectful, professional, safe, and welcoming environment for customer use of the library; and for authors, participants, and attendees at all its virtual meetings and events, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, body type, appearance, sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), national origin, or other protected class.
MCL is a firm defender of freedom of expression. It shall not be a violation of this policy to express an opinion, raise facts, or describe an experience that is at odds with the opinions of others, provided that expression is part of a discussion of the subject at hand and is offered in a respectful manner that does not willfully offend or personally attack others.
All persons using the library are responsible for their safety, the safety of children in their care, and the security of personal belongings. MCL is not responsible for the safety of customers against their own acts or the acts of other library customers.
The following behaviors and activities are not allowed:
- Engaging in any activity in violation of federal, state, local, or other applicable law, mandate, order, or health directive, or library policy;
- Disrupting or interfering with the normal operation of the library, or disturbing library staff or customers, including, but not limited to, using abusive or threatening language or gestures, creating unreasonable noise, or talking/behaving loudly or boisterously; failing to follow posted signs and/or staff direction;
- Bringing animals inside library buildings, with the exception of service animals or for a library-approved event;
- Entering or being in the library barefoot, without a shirt, with a wet bathing suit, with offensive body odor or personal hygiene, or being otherwise attired so as to be disruptive to the library environment;
- Interfering with the free passage of library staff or customers in the library, including, but not limited to, placing objects such as bicycles, skateboards, backpacks, or other items in a manner that interferes with free passage;
- Consuming food or beverages;
- Using audible devices without headphones or with headphones set at a volume that disturbs others;
- Using cell phones or other devices in a manner that disturbs others;
- Soliciting, canvassing, distributing literature, selling, or begging; and
- Leaving unsupervised or apparently unattended minor (under the age of 18 years) children anywhere on library premises if the child's safety, well-being, comfort, or behavior may be an issue.
Library privileges will be denied to anyone who defaces, mutilates, destroys, wrongfully takes, or wrongfully retains library materials or other library property. After appropriate restitution, library privileges may be restored subject to all other rules of the library.
Library staff, board members, and local law enforcement officers have the right to intervene to stop prohibited activities and behaviors. Failure to comply with the library’s established rules and policies could result in removal from the premises and expulsion from the library for a period of time or permanently, or in arrest or prosecution (RCW 27.12.290).
Other restrictions may be imposed by the building owner as library buildings are owned by cities or private landlords.
Virtual Meetings and Events
MCL has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment of any kind and expects that all MCL virtual meeting and event participants and speakers will help ensure a safe and positive experience for everyone.
Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to:
- Intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory, or demeaning speech or actions;
- Harmful or prejudicial verbal or written comments or visual images related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability or other personal characteristics, including those protected by law;
- Inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images;
- Real or implied threat of professional or financial damage or harm;
- Inappropriate disruption of meetings or events;
- Photographing, video or audio recording of slides, oral or poster presentations without presenter’s permission; and
- Violating the rules and regulations of the online platform.
Consequences of misconduct may include immediate removal from virtual meetings and events without warning, removal of comments or posts, reporting of violating accounts, and restrictions from future MCL virtual meetings and events. MCL reserves the right to further action against individuals or groups violating this policy.
(12/15/2020; 11/17/2020; 09/25/2013; 11/19/2007; 07/16/2007; 10/15/2001; 01/22/2001; 02/26/1999; 11/18/1996; 6/21/1993; Adopted 03/17/1985)