CUS-1 Patron Behavior
It is the responsibility of all customers and staff members to maintain a pleasant, appropriate, and safe library atmosphere. Behavior which interferes with the ability of others to enjoy the library will not be tolerated.
The library is committed to providing a secure, clean and supportive environment for use of its resources and services. To achieve this, the Library has established the following standards of behavior. The term “Library” used throughout this section is defined as any Billings Public Library building, building grounds and parking lots, and vehicles.
HygieneAn individual who is barefooted, or who is without a shirt, bottoms, or has other exposed body areas inappropriate for a public setting, or whose personal hygiene is so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to other individuals, shall be required to leave the building. When the behavior or issue is corrected, the individual may re-enter the library.
It is the responsibility of the library to maintain a healthy and clean environment for all library users and to protect the City’s investment in the library’s collections, equipment, and property. In order to fulfill this responsibility, the library may restrict a patron’s ability to borrow materials and/or visit library facilities when such use may jeopardize the health and cleanliness of library facilities, collections, and/or other patrons and library staff.
Should it become necessary to suspend library privileges of a patron, in order to protect staff, library collections, facilities, and/or other patrons, notification of the suspension will be made by an individual from the library’s management team and/or library security personnel. Access to facilities and/or borrowing privileges will be restored when the suspended patron demonstrates that the situation that caused the loss of library privileges has been remediated.
Minor Disruptive BehaviorsPersons who violate one (1) or more of these policies, or who exhibit similarly disruptive behavior, may receive a verbal warning; continuance of disruptive behavior will result in expulsion from the library. A person who commits multiple and/or serial violations of one (1) or more of these policies, may be prohibited from entering the library or otherwise using its services for a period of 30 days, upon penalty of a charge of criminal trespass.
The following minor disruptive behaviors are prohibited in the library:
1. Conversing above a normal speaking voice.
2. Sleeping, except in the case of small children or other dependent persons.
3. Causing or allowing unreasonable noise.
4. Chasing, running, or horseplay on or near furniture, shelves, stairs, or the water feature. Parents or chaperones of children who violate this policy will receive the same warnings and penalties as the children.
5. Using public restrooms or library facility for bathing, shaving, or laundering purposes or anything else other than its intended purpose.
6. Taking library materials into a restroom.
7. Tampering with arrangement of library materials that makes finding or using them difficult or impossible for all practical purposes.
8. Using library computers for longer than the permitted time period.
9. Blocking aisles or walkways with personal belongings.
10. Bringing bulky items into the library that take up excessive space in excess of 45 total linear inches (linear inches = length + width + depth). This restriction does not apply to musical instruments or items used for personal mobility, such as: walkers, strollers, or wheelchairs. Other exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis by library staff.
NOTE: The library is not responsible for items left unattended in the library or on library grounds. The library does not allow items to be left overnight. Items not collected by the close of business day will be disposed of. Patrons must be present in the library to leave materials in the designated storage bins located on the first floor.
11. Eating food in the library outside of the Café or designated areas without approval by management.
13. Viewing pornographic visual materials or content that would be considered obscene. The term "obscene" is defined by the American Library Association as: prurient sexual material that has no redeeming social or artistic value.
Major Disruptive BehaviorsPersons who violate one (1) or more of these policies, or who exhibit similarly disruptive behavior, may be prohibited from entering the library or otherwise using its services for a period of 30 days, upon penalty of a charge of criminal trespass. A person who commits multiple and/or serial violations of one (1) or more of these policies may be prohibited from entering the library or otherwise using its services for a period of one (1) year, upon penalty of a charge of criminal trespass.
The following disruptive behaviors are prohibited in the library:
1. Attempted theft, damage, or mutilation of library materials or facilities.
2. Smoking or using tobacco products in any part of the library or Bookmobile. Smoking anywhere on the library grounds, including the parking lot and garden areas. The term “smoking” includes, but is not limited to, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vape products, cigars, and pipes. Cigarette butts may not be discarded on the sidewalks or in the parking garden.
3. Intoxication or incapacitation from drugs or alcohol or using or selling drugs or alcohol on library premises.
NOTE: Alcohol smell on an individual’s breath does not constitute a violation of the policy; however, individuals with an alcohol smell that is offensive to others and other outward signs of intoxication such as: slurred speech, unsteadiness on feet, belligerence, etc., will be asked to vacate the library.
4. Taunting, stalking, following, challenging, staring at, or provoking another individual.
5. Abusive, threatening, harassing (verbal, physical, or sexual), or menacing language or gestures.
6. Entering non-public areas of the library without permission from staff.
7. Hindering or impeding or preventing the movement of an individual into, out of, or about a library facility or vehicle.
8. Gambling, panhandling, or soliciting is not permitted. Sale of non-library materials is permitted only when approved by library management.
9. Refusing to leave the library when directed to do so or at closing.
Criminal or Dangerous BehaviorsA person who commits a crime in the library or violates any of the following policies will be prohibited permanently from entering the library or otherwise using its services upon penalty of a charge of criminal trespass, and the library may pursue criminal charges against the person.
The following criminal or dangerous behaviors are prohibited in the library:
1. Threatening to attack or physically attacking another person.
2. Indecent exposure, public lewdness, and voyeurism.
3. Child abuse.
4. Intentional destruction of library materials, or of furnishings or equipment, or of library facility or library vehicles.
5. Theft of library, staff, or another person’s property.
6. Aiming or discharging a firearm within the library or on library grounds.
A library user who has been prohibited from entering the library will have all privileges, including remote access to online resources, revoked for a period of time equal to the length of time they are prohibited from entering the library.
A library user may appeal an expulsion penalty to the Library Director. All appeals must be in writing. The Library Director shall uphold or overturn the penalty within ten (10) business days of receipt of the appeal. The penalty shall be enforced until the Library Director has decided on the appeal.
A library user may make a final appeal of a decision by the Library Director upholding a penalty, to the City Administrator, in writing, within seven (7) days of notification of the upholding of the penalty by the Library Director. The City Administrator shall uphold or overturn the penalty within seven (7) business days of receipt of the penalty by the City Administrator. The penalty shall be enforced unless and until the City Administrator overturns it. The decision of the City Administrator is final.
EXPECTATIIONS OF USE OF CHILDREN’S AND TEEN AREASTo encourage the use of the Children’s or Teen services areas by their intended audiences, and to enhance the safety of the minors who comprise these audiences, the use of these areas is restricted to minors, teens, parents/guardians, teachers, or other chaperones who accompany them.
The TECH Lab is a digital learning lab designed to serve and be used by the youth of Yellowstone County. Participants in lab workshops or open hours must be teens (up to 19 years old) or in grades 6-12. Adults and parents are only allowed in the lab for designated library programs at the librarian’s discretion.
Other adults may enter these areas to browse and/or retrieve materials, or to briefly tour the areas, but they may not remain in the area otherwise to, for example, sit, read, or use computers. Adults not accompanying minors should check in at the Children’s Services Help Desk before entering the Children’s services area, or the Second Floor Help Desk before entering the Teen area.
The 3-D printers are TECH Lab equipment and are reserved primarily for teen use; however, adults may use these printers on occasion. Adults must schedule an appointment with the Teen/TECH Lab librarian to determine if printing is feasible. The librarian may need to convert, adjust, or change files based on 3-D printing capabilities. The library reserves the right to refuse to print items that could be used as weapons or do not conform to the library’s Customer Behavior Policy (CUS-1) or TECH Lab Code of Conduct. Learning how to design and save an object is outside the scope of the printing appointment.
The library prohibits the use of its 3D printer to create items that are in violation of local, state or federal law; unsafe, dangerous, or an immediate threat to the well-being of others; obscene or otherwise inappropriate for the library environment; or a violation of another’s intellectual property rights. The library reserves the right to refuse to print items that do not conform to this policy, the Library’s Customer Behavior Policy (CUS-1) or the TECH Lab Code of Conduct.
The creation of 3D guns in the Tech Lab is prohibited. Per federal law, the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 (renewed until 2023) states: it is “illegal to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive any firearm that is not as detectable by walk-through metal detection as a security exemplar containing 3.7 oz (105 g) of steel, or any firearm with major components that do not generate an accurate image before standard airport imaging technology.”
The library will maintain the confidentiality of users’ printing history in accordance with library policy. However, the prints themselves may occur within public view. The library makes no guarantee that a particular print will not be seen by members of the public.
The library does not guarantee a successful print.
3D printing will occur only during library open hours. Print jobs with estimated completion times that exceed open hours will not be started until the next non-holiday business day. Print jobs with an estimated completion time exceeding the longest scheduled open hours will be declined. Otherwise, print jobs are completed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
CUS-2 Unattended dependent personsThe library does not assume responsibility for persons left unattended on library premises. These persons include, for example, individuals incapacitated due to physical and/or mental disabilities or other conditions who may be dependent on others for their safety and well-being, and persons of juvenile age who are unable to make responsible decisions on their own behalf. All children eight (8) years and younger must be attended by a guardian at all times while at the library. Library staff will attempt to identify and contact a legal guardian if the welfare of such an unattended person appears to be threatened. In the event that a guardian cannot be identified and/or contacted, library staff will notify the Billings Police Department.
CUS-3 Exam ProctoringThe library may assist students taking online or distance learning classes by proctoring exams. Proctoring must be scheduled at least one (1) week in advance and is administered by appointment only. The cost of exam proctoring is $25.00.
Fees are assessed to help cover the cost of coordination, supervision, any necessary photocopying, and recordkeeping. The exam will not be administered until the fee is paid by the person taking the exam.
Instructors or Institutions must complete a Proctoring Request form as provided on the library's website. If tests must be returned, instructors should provide a self-addressed stamped envelope in which to return the test. Any passwords for online tests must be provided at least 24 hours before the scheduled exam. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange for their learning institution to provide the appropriate materials and contact information to the proctor. The proctor will not contact the learning institution to get exam materials or proctor forms.
After the instructor or institution has completed the form, the student should check with library staff to verify test arrival. Students must bring a picture ID when checking in to take the exam. The student must be on time for their appointment and is responsible for notifying the proctor 48-hours in advance if they cannot make that appointment.
Exam proctoring takes place in Computer Classroom.
The proctor will return exams directly to the school when asked to do so. The library is not responsible for receipt of the exam by the learning institution.
CUS-4 Service AnimalsBillings Public Library and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amended, (ADAA) defines service animals as dogs or miniature horses trained to do work or perform tasks for the person with disabilities.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADAA), state and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where the public is normally allowed to go.
Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices.
Obligation of the Billings Public Library is to services for the patron, not the service animal. Food and drink is not allowed to service animals within the library.
Miniature horses are defined as being 24-inches to 34-inches measured to the shoulders and weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.
Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support to the patron does not qualify as service animals under the ADA. Emotional support animals are not allowed in the library.
CUS-5 Notary Public ServicesThe library offers free limited notary services for the benefit of the residents of our community. Notary Public Service is by appointment only. To make an appointment please call the library at 406-657-8258.
The following general guidelines will be followed in the provision of notary service:
1. The library does not charge a fee for this service.
2. The requestor must provide the notary with a valid form of photo identification, such as a current driver's license, military ID or passport.
3. The library provides only basic notary public services.
Montana Notaries Public are prohibited from making and certifying copies of public documents such as birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, school transcripts, FBI fingerprint cards, and other official records that are issued by state or other government officials.
The library does not provide witnesses, and witnesses may not be solicited from staff or patrons using the library. In order to serve as a witness, the witness must personally know the person whose document is being notarized and must be in possession of valid photo identification.
Notaries will not provide service if the requestor, document, or circumstance of the request for Notary Public Service raises any issue of authenticity, ambiguity, doubt, or uncertainty for the library. In this event, the Notary Public may, at his/her sole discretion, decline to provide Notary Public Service.
CUS-6 Public Phone AccessThe library does not offer access to patrons for use of library phones. In rare circumstances, library employees may make a phone call on behalf of the patron for local calls only. This action is dependent on current responsibilities of library employees and emergent nature of the circumstance.
CUS-7 Gathering Signatures/PetitionsThe library welcomes the gathering of signatures for petition purposes. The library appreciates your desire to be engaged in our community and supports your right to engage other community members in the process. It is expected that signature collectors will adhere to the following expectations in order to provide a safe, harassment-free environment:
Signature collectors will check-in at the first floor public service desk before collecting signatures. Signatures will be collected outside the building unless approved by library administration. In the event of inclement weather or the air temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, signatures may be collected in the south entrance foyer.
Signature collectors may engage in conversation with members of the public only after the public citizen has concluded business at the library and are leaving the facility. This does not prohibit a member of the public from initiating conversation with the signature collector. Signature collectors will not prevent or delay the admittance of public citizens from entering the building.
Tables, displays, or any other information kiosks are not permitted unless authorized by library management. The use of library table and chairs must be authorized by library management.
Signature collectors are expected to be professional and courteous and follow all other library policies.
Failure to adhere to these expectations may result in the signature collector removed from the premises.
CUS-8 Food Consumption
Food must be consumed in designated areas. Café seating is for café customers only. Foodstuffs purchased from the café must be consumed at the café tables. Outside food is prohibited in the library.
Outside foodstuffs may be consumed during third-party meetings in the Second Floor Large Conference Room and the Community Room upon approval of library administration. All proper health codes must be followed when consuming food in these designated areas.
Utensils, paper products, and other items in the café are for café customers only. Use of these items without purchase from the café is considered theft and will result in permanent expulsion from the library.