1 Purpose Statement
1. The Niagara Falls Public Library (hereinafter referred to as the Library ) is committed to ensuring the safety of service users and staff in its programs, facilities , properties and services, and fostering an environment where there is Respect for others, and Responsibility for all actions. The Library will exercise zero tolerance to any form of violence, vandalism or inappropriate behaviour in its properties, programs and services or to library materials.
2. The Library’s programs, facilities, properties and services promote learning, education, culture and information and all users and staff have the right to be safe and to feel safe. With this right comes the responsibility to be accountable for actions or behaviours that put at risk the safety of others.
3. This policy & procedure outlines the measures and enforcement steps to be taken by staff and users in order to address inappropriate behaviour or violence in Library programs and in Library owned or leased facilities and properties.
4. The goal of this procedure is to promote a positive, safe, enjoyable and supportive
environment for all users and staff in Library programs and facilities, and to increase the level of understanding and awareness of this procedure.
1. Inappropriate behaviour and violence for the purpose of this procedure includes, but not limited to, the following behaviours:
a) Loud verbal assaults directed at the public or Library staff deemed to be aggressive or intimidating or having the potential of inciting violence;
b) Threats and/or attempts to intimidate;
c) Throwing of articles in a deliberate or aggressive manner;
d) Aggressive approaches to another individual (physical/verbal assault);
e) Physical striking of another individual;
f) Attempts to incite violence in others;
g) Theft of property;
h) Possession of weapons;
i) Vandalism to building or property;
j) Refusal to follow the rules outlined by the Library;
k) Racial or ethnic slurs;
l) Use of illegal drugs and alcohol in non-licensed premises;
m) Harassment (“engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome” as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code);
n) Contravention of Library policies, procedures and rules including the Rules of Conduct (Appendix B).
1. The Library will promote this Policy to the public to create a positive atmosphere;
2. In addition, any necessary and required ongoing training and education will be provided to staff to support its implementation of this procedure.
(B) Duty to Report
1. The Library ’s primary concern is the safety of staff and users. If at any time users or staff feel personally threatened, they are to call the Police immediately. It is NOT the expectation that staff or users put themselves at risk or jeopardize one’s safety in dealing with any perceived or real situation;
2. Library staff are to report immediately acts of violence, vandalism or inappropriate behaviours to their immediate supervisor or designate in charge of the library;
3. Users of library facilities are to report acts of violence, vandalism or inappropriate
behaviours to a Library staff member and/or a designated person in charge of the library immediately or within 24 hours;
4. All incidents of violence and or vandalism or threatening situations must be reported by Library staff or the public to the Police with Incident Reports filed.
C) Enforcement Options/Steps
1. The Library will take appropriate actions when incidents pertaining to this procedure occur in Library facilities, programs or properties. Library staff are authorized to act if inappropriate behavior or violence are observed or reported in the following instances:
a) Observation (or potential) of any physical violence or vandalism;
b) Observation of verbal abuse or (potential) threat;
c) The request by a member of the public who are threatened, intimidated, assaulted or persistently disrupted.
2. Upon witnessing or suspecting physical violence;
contact the police immediately by dialing 911 and follow (b) to (h) below.
Upon witnessing verbal abuse or activity;
Upon reported actions of physical violence by the public;
a) Assess the situation to determine if and what action should be taken;
b) Without jeopardizing one’s safety, advise the identified party to stop the activity immediately or they will be asked to leave;
c) If party does not co-operate, contact the police, inform identified party they are now trespassing (as Police have already been called);
d) If individual refuses to leave, do not engage in argument or physical confrontation but wait for Police to arrive;
e) Advise authorized staff supervisor or on call security staff immediately;
f) All staff shall cooperate and support Niagara Regional Police during any investigation and prosecution process resulting from any charges laid.
g) Prepare Incident Report;
h) Incident to be reviewed by staff
(D) Consequences of Non- Compliance
1. Individuals who engage in any unacceptable behaviour, as defined in this procedure may, depending on the severity, receive one warning or be barred immediately from the premises and if necessary, a suspension for a period of time. The suspension may apply to all programs, facilities, properties and services if warranted. Length of suspension will be determined by the Chief Librarian or her/his designate and will depend on the severity of the situation;
2. Most incidents that result in a suspension or barring from programs, facilities, properties and services will be followed up by a written Trespass to Property notice (see Appendix A).
3. Library staff will be notified of individuals who are barred or individuals who received a letter of trespass.
4. Incidents may be reported to the Niagara Regional Police Service, and charges may
5. In addition to any other measures taken, where vandalism or theft has been perpetrated, the individual(s) responsible will be required to reimburse the Library for all costs associated with any repairs as well as any lost revenues or where appropriate be asked to repair the damage.
(E) Appeal Process
1. Individual(s) wishing to appeal any disciplinary measure may present their case to the Chief Librarian in writing within 14 days of the decision. The written appeal must be mailed to the Niagara Falls Public Library, Attention Chief Librarian, 4848 Victoria Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario, L2E 4C5
2. The Chief Librarian, in consultation with the appropriate staff or with the Library Board, will
review the appeal and any decision made is final.
Vandalism: is defined as the malicious, willful, and deliberate destruction, damage or defacing of property owned or provided by the Library.
1. Library Staff are the key personnel responsible for the implementation of this procedure;
2. Library branches and Departments are responsible for ensuring that preventative measures are in place so that incidents of violence, vandalism and inappropriate behaviour do not occur in its properties, programs or services;
3. Users of the Library, its programs, properties or services are responsible for behaving and acting in a manner that respects the rights of others in order for the services to be used and enjoyed by all. The Library’s Rules of Conduct (Appendix B) further details the expectations for behaviour for library users.
Notice Pursuant To The Trespass to Property Act,
R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, S.3 (and amendments)
IN THE MATTER OF
the premises municipally known as
NIAGARA FALLS PUBLIC LIBRARY
NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO
N O T I C E
TAKE NOTICE THAT, from to , you are hereby prohibited from entry in and on the following premises for any purpose, namely:
Victoria Avenue Library, 4848 Victoria Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario;
Chippawa Branch Library, 3763 Main St., Niagara Falls, Ontario;
Stamford Centre Branch Library, on the Town & Country Plaza, being part of 3643 Portage Rd., Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Community Centre Branch Library, in the MacBain Community Centre, being part of 7150 Montrose Rd, Niagara Falls, Ontario
This decision is as a result of your unacceptable behaviour on such premises on .
AND FURTHER TAKE NOTICE THAT you will be subject to arrest and prosecution in the event that you fail to comply with this notice.
DATED at the City of Niagara Falls this th day of , 20 .
Chief Librarian or Designate
c. Niagara Regional Police
4343 Morrison St.
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Rules of Conduct:
The Niagara Falls Public Library provides everyone with equitable access to a wide range of library services in welcoming surroundings. These rules are to prevent disruptions to library services, to ensure the safety of public and staff and to maintain the security of library property. Staff make every effort to apply these rules in a fair, dignified and positive manner for the benefit of all. We ask your cooperation in maintaining an environment conducive to the enjoyable use of the library. Rules of Conduct include, but are not limited to, the following:
1 Engaging in any activity in violation of federal or provincial law or municipal by-law or library policy or rules are prohibited.
2 Failure to comply with a reasonable staff request is prohibited.
3 Threatening, abusive , harassing, aggressive or intimidating language or disruptive behaviour including loud or excessive talking or noise are prohibited.
4 Cell phones must be turned off at the Internet workstations and there may be no more than two people at designated workstations.
5 Receiving or displaying online text, images, graphics or materials which are illegal, obscene, or offensive.
6 Unauthorized use, damage, vandalism or theft of library materials, equipment and property is prohibited. Interfering with the designated use of computers and networks is prohibited.
7 Children are the responsibility of the parent/care giver while in the Library or on Library property. Children seven years and under must be accompanied by an adult/care giver no less than 12 years of age. Library staff is obligated by the Ontario Child and Family Services Act to call the Police or a Family & Children’s Services Niagara if a child is in need of protection. (revised Feb. 2011)
8 Only authorized entrances and exits may be used. Members of the public are not allowed in staff areas without permission.
9 Members of the public must open all bags, books and papers for inspection if requested by staff.
10 Use of roller blades, skateboards or other sporting equipment is prohibited on library property. Bicycles and other similar items are not permitted inside the library building.
11 Possession of weapons, racial or ethnic slurs, harassment, attempts to incite violence and physical assaults are prohibited.
12 Use of illegal drugs and alcohol on non-licensed premises, and being under their influence, is prohibited.
13 Smoking on library premises and smoking with 6 metres or within 20 ft. of library entrances are prohibited.
14 Entering or being in the library barefoot, without a shirt or with offensive body odour is prohibited.
15 Animals are not permitted inside library buildings. This prohibition does not apply to animals needed to assist a person with a disability or to animals in authorized library programs.
17 Sleeping is not permitted inside the library building nor is placing feet/shoes/boots on tables and chairs.
18 Use of washrooms for bathing, shampooing, doing laundry or changing clothes is prohibited.
19 Posting notices, distributing circulars or petitions, soliciting, canvassing or engaging in any commercial activity is prohibited unless authorized by library staff.
20 Photographing, filming or video recording is permitted only when authorized by library staff.
21 All unauthorized vehicles in the library parking lot will be tagged/towed at the owner's expense (City By-Law 80-77)
22 Requests for service may not be discriminatory under the Human Rights Code.
See other policies on the library’s website www.nflibrary.ca including:
Bulletin Boards Public Notices; Distribution of Publications; Donation Boxes; Internet Use; Petition Policy
Any violations of the above rules may result in cost-recovery charges, suspension of library privileges, exclusion from all library locations or prosecution. These rules are enforceable under the Ontario Public Libraries Act, the Ontario Trespass to Property Act, the Criminal Code and other legislation.
Adopted by Niagara Falls Public Library Board October 15 2008