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Guidelines for User Behavior and Library Usage

Approved by the York County Library Library Board of Trustees on Nov. 11, 2021

York County Library is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for its users, staff, and volunteers. We strive to provide access to library property, materials, and services to all; to ensure the safety and well-being of users, staff, and volunteers; and to protect library resources, buildings, and property. The Guidelines for User Behavior and Library Usage are designed to safeguard everyone in the Library. Staff are charged with upholding the Guidelines and may take what steps are needed to maintain safety. This may range from a verbal warning, to a library user being asked to leave the building, to possible permanent loss of access to library property, materials, and services. 


Violations of Federal, State, and local laws and ordinances will immediately be reported to the appropriate authorities.  


Guidelines for User Behavior


  • Altercations: Fighting, roughhousing, yelling, cursing, or physical discipline of children is not tolerated. Any infraction of the law will immediately be reported to the appropriate authorities.

  • Animals: Only service animals meeting ADA standards (dogs, small horses) are allowed in the library.

  • Clothing: York County Library expects all users to dress appropriately, which includes wearing shirts and shoes, and clothing that is properly buttoned and zipped.  

  • Restrooms: No bathing, shaving, or any other unintended use of the restrooms is permitted. Toilet paper is the property of the Library. Library materials may not be brought into the restroom. 

  • Weapons: No weapons — including concealed weapons — are allowed on York County Library property.


Guidelines for Library Use


  • Cell Phone Use: Short phone calls are permitted with the understanding that the volume of the conversation is low.  Longer conversations must be taken outside of the building. 


  • Children/Vulnerable Adults: Children and/or vulnerable adults may not be left alone anywhere in the library. A responsible adult must accompany them at all times. Unaccompanied children or vulnerable adults will be reported to the appropriate authorities. (SC State Law defines a vulnerable adult as a person 18 or older who has a physical or mental condition that impairs that person from adequately providing for his or her own care or protection.)


  • Computers: York County Library complies with CIPA guidelines for computer use; whether in the Computer Lab or on a personal device that uses our Wi-Fi, we will not tolerate viewing of any questionable material according to those guidelines. When listening to music or watching an online video, the use of headphones or ear buds is mandatory. 

  • Distribution/Soliciting: No soliciting, distributing or posting materials without the permission of the library’s branch manager. This includes placing flyers on cars in the parking lot.

  • Food and Drink: Covered drinks are allowed in the library but not when using a public computer. No alcohol is allowed on any York County Library property. Snacks such as packaged crackers or cookies are permitted (please, no nuts); fast food, meals, or anything needing a utensil to eat it are not. Library users may not order in from any food establishment.


  • Library Policies: Users should follow all of the York County Library policies as related to library cards, circulation, meeting rooms, computer use, etc.


  • Library Property: York County Library expects users to treat all library materials and furniture with respect and care. Feet should remain on the floor, and soft seating is for comfort — not sleeping. Theft or vandalism are criminal offenses and will be treated accordingly. 


  • Personal Belongings: York County Library is not responsible for personal belongings left unattended.

  • Smoking: SC State Law prohibits smoking and/or the possession of lighted material in enclosed public spaces. The York County Library further does not permit e-cigarettes/vaping in any of its branches. Smoking is prohibited within 20 feet of any building entrance. 


  • York County Library Staff: York County Library staff work very hard at providing good customer service, and at making the library safe and welcoming. Accordingly, all staff will be treated with courtesy and respect.


Violations of any of the above will result in a verbal warning to ensure the library user is aware of the guidelines and has a chance to follow them accordingly. If the user disregards or continues to disregard the York County Library User Behavior and Usage guidelines, their library use privileges will be suspended by staff and can include any of the following:


  • Dismissal from the library for the day

  • Suspension from using any York County Library for a week

  • Suspension from using any York County Library for a month

  • Ban from all York County Library properties for one year, accompanied by trespass issue from the police

  • Permanent ban from all York County Library properties, accompanied by trespass issue from the police


In each case of a loss of privilege, staff will make a note on the user’s library card (if the user has one) and file an incident report.


Bans may be appealed: The initial appeal is to be made in writing to the Library Director, who may uphold the ban. A further, final, appeal can be made in writing to the York County Library Board of Trustees.  If the decision of the Board is made to restore library use privileges, the user’s library card will be updated and the user will commit to following all guidelines going forward, or be subject again to loss of library privileges.

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