Customer Services

CUS-1 Customer 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.

Billings Public 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 Library building, building grounds and parking lots, and vehicles.


An individual who is barefooted, or who is without a shirt, or whose personal hygiene is so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to other individuals, shall be required to leave the building. When the problem is corrected, the individual may re-enter the Library.

It is the responsibility of the Billings Public 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 Library collections, facilities, and/or other patrons, notification of the suspension will be made by an individual from the Library’s Leadership 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 Behaviors

The following minor disruptive behaviors are prohibited in the Library.
Persons who violate one of these policies, or who exhibit similarly disruptive behavior, shall 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 or more of these policies, shall 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.

  1. Speaking, to oneself, to other patrons, to staff, or on a cell phone, above a normal speaking voice.
  2. Sleeping, except in the case of small children or other dependent persons.
  3. Causing unreasonable, intentional noise.
  4. Chasing, running, and playing, especially 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. Permitting distressed children to cry continually in such a fashion that disrupts the ability of others to use the Library.
  6. Using public restrooms or Library facility for bathing, shaving or laundering purposes
  7. Taking Library materials into a restroom.
  8. Tampering with arrangement of library materials that makes finding or using them difficult or impossible for all practical purposes.
  9. Using Library computers for longer than the permitted time period.
  10. Blocking aisles or walkways with personal belongings.
  11. 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 by the Library.
  12. Eating food in any area of the Library outside of the Café or meeting rooms.
  13. Beverages in spill-resistant containers are generally permitted throughout the Library. No beverages are permitted in the Digital Learning Lab, Montana Room, Genealogy Room or Digitization Room
  14. Littering.
  15. Bringing sealed containers of alcohol into the Library, without a permit from the City.
  16. Viewing pornographic visual materials or content that would be considered obscene. The term "obscenity" is defined by the American Library Association as: prurient sexual material that has no redeeming social or artistic value. (Provisional language approved: 09/09/2021)

Major Disruptive Behaviors

The following disruptive behaviors are prohibited in the Library.
Persons who violate one of these policies, or who exhibit similarly disruptive behavior, shall 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 or more of these policies, shall be prohibited from entering the Library or otherwise using its services for a period of 1 year, upon penalty of a charge of criminal trespass..

  1. Attempted theft, damage or mutilation of library materials or facilities, while in the Library.
  2. 2. Smoking or using tobacco products, including chewing tobacco, in any part of the library or Bookmobile. Smoking anywhere on the Library grounds, including the parking garden. 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. 3. Intoxication or incapacitation by drugs or alcohol which creates a risk to the person in question or to others
    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 or provoking another individual.
  5. Using abusive, threatening 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 sponsored by the Library.
  9. Refusing to leave the Library when directed to do so, or at closing.
  10. Bringing a firearm, knife with a blade longer than 3”, or other weapon into the Library. This rule in no instance applies to law enforcement officers and other officials provided for in law.

Criminal or Dangerous Behaviors

All criminal and dangerous behaviors are prohibited in the Library.
A person who commits a crime in the Library or violates any of the following policies shall be prohibited permanently from entering the Library or otherwise using its services, upon penalty of a charge of criminal trespass, and the Library may file criminal charges against the person.

  1. Threatening to attack or physically attacking another person is prohibited.
  2. Indecent exposure, public lewdness, and voyeurism is prohibited.
  3. Child abuse is prohibited.
  4. Intentional destruction of large quantities of library materials or of furnishings or equipment, or of a building or vehicle, is prohibited.
  5. Theft of Library, staff or another person’s property is prohibited.
  6. Making bomb threats against Library property, or from Library property is prohibited.
  7. Aiming or discharging a firearm within the Library is prohibited.

A Library user who has been prohibited from entering the Library shall 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 a penalty to the Library Director. All appeals must be in writing. The Library Director shall uphold or overturn the penalty within seven 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 days of notification of the upholding of the penalty by the Library Director. The City Administrator shall uphold or overturn the penalty within seven 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.

Restrictions On Use of Children's and Teen Areas

To encourage the use of the Children’s Services area and the Teen Services area 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, 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 printer is part of the TECH Lab and is reserved primarily for teen use. However, adults may use the printer on an occasional basis, by appointment only and outside of teen lab hours. To use the 3D printer, bring a USB drive with an *.STL file of the design to the scheduled appointment. The librarian will help convert the file to a printable format and start the print project. Some projects may take several hours to print and a follow-up appointment for pick-up may be required. The cost to print is $1 per hour of print time. Payment is due at pick-up time. 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 the TECH Lab Code of Conduct. Learning to design an object and save it as an *.STL 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 open 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 Parental Guidance

The Library recognizes the right and responsibility of parents and guardians to provide guidance to their own minor children or wards, including the right to restrict access to Library resources and services. The Library cannot assume this responsibility or guarantee that your child or ward will not obtain access to these resources and services. The Library can and shall make available, for parents and guardians who choose to use it, the ability to pre-establish restrictions on access to Library resources and services for their own children or wards only. These opt-in restrictions shall be as extensive as practicable given facilities, staffing, technological capabilities and other potential limitations. This is not intended to substitute for direct guidance provided by parents and guardians, but instead provides another tool for those who choose to use it. The Parental Guidance Option cannot restrict use of in-library resources, except for access to internet workstations.

CUS-3 Unattended Dependent Persons

The Library does not assume responsibility for persons not legally responsible for themselves left unattended on Library premises. These persons include, for example, persons incapacitated due to physical and/or mental disabilities or other conditions who are 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. 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, the Library will notify the Billings Police Department.

CUS-4 Exam Proctoring

Billings Public Library may assist students taking online or distance learning classes by proctoring exams, as long as staff assistance does not compromise other library services. Proctoring must be scheduled at least one week in advance and is administered by appointment only.
Fees are assessed to help cover the cost of coordination, supervision, any necessary photocopying, and record keeping. The exam will not be administered until the fee is paid by the person taking the exam. Fees will be assessed as follows:

  • Billings Public Library cardholders with a current card and no fines or fees on account: $15 per exam session up to four consecutive hours.
  • All others: $30 per exam session up to four consecutive hours.
  • Any fines or fees owed to Billings Public Library must be paid.

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.

If taking the test on a Library laptop, students must return the laptop to the Library when finished. The laptop should never be left in the study room. Library computers will not be modified to accommodate online tests except as agreed upon and arranged in advance with Library technical staff. Proctors will not remain with the student during the test. Proctors will intermittently monitor students

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-5 Service Animals

Billings Public Library defines service animals as dogs or miniature horses trained to do work or perform tasks for the person with disabilities.

Under the American Disabilities Act (ADA), 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, and 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-6 Notary Public Services

Billings Public Library offers free limited Notary Public 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:

  • The Library does not charge a fee for Notary Public Services;
  • The requestor must provide the Notary with a valid form of photo identification, such as a current driver's license, military ID or passport;
  • The Library provides only basic Notary Public Services. The Library is not able to notarize more than 3 documents per person per visit.
  • 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 customers 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-7 Public Phone Access

Billings Public 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.

CUS-8 Gathering Signatures/Petitions

Billings Public Library welcomes the gathering of signatures for petition purposes. The Billings Public 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; 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. The Billings Public Library will not provide a table or chairs for signature collectors.

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-9 Food Consumption

Food must be consumed in designated areas. 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.

CUS-10 Lost Personal Identification Items

In the event a patron leaves personal, government issued identification cards at the Library, the item in question will be retained in the Director’s office for a period of thirty (30) days. Library staff will attempt to contact the owner of the lost item two (2) times during this period. Unclaimed government issued identification cards will be shredded. Social security cards will be mailed to the Social Security Administration in Baltimore, MD.