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Suspension Policy

Discussion

Our goal is to provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment in which community members can use and explore the wide variety of resources and programs available at the Pikes Peak Library District. In order to achieve that level of safety and security it sometimes becomes necessary to respond to errant behavior and to mitigate disruptions in the service we provide.
The Pikes Peak Library District has a patron code of conduct designed to identify behaviors that are disruptive to the library services. This code of conduct must be judiciously enforced in order to maintain the safety and security of the libraries. A consequence to serious or repeated violations of the code of conduct is a suspension of library privileges. The following provides the policy and procedure for those suspensions.

Policy

The person-in-charge or security officer may suspend the library privileges of a patron, including access to activities, services, or facilities, without prior approval if the situation is a serious offense and constitutes a violation of PPLD policies. Examples of serious offenses include but are not limited to: verbal abuse, violence, threatening behaviors, sexual harassment, vandalism, drug sale or use or attempted drug sale or use, intoxication, theft or attempted theft, physical harassment, sexual misconduct or any behaviors that threaten the safety and security of staff and/or patrons. In addition, any repeated violations of the patron code of conduct may be cause for suspension.

This policy will apply to all libraries in the Pikes Peak Library District.

Procedure

A patron whose library privileges are temporarily suspended must be advised verbally or in writing of the suspension. The temporary suspension is for up to a two-week period during which time the matter is considered by the Security Supervisor.

If a patron has received a temporary suspension or indefinite suspension, or has otherwise been ordered to leave the library and then returns, that patron is trespassing. (This includes all Pikes Peak Library District properties and facilities.) In order to support a trespass complaint it is imperative to note when, where, how, and by whom the suspended person was advised of the suspension.

At no time should a library staff member including security staff, argue or discuss the merits of a suspension with the offending patron. If the offending patron is asked to leave and refuses, the police should be called to remove the individual. Library personnel may be asked to sign a complaint for trespassing by the police if necessary.
All temporary suspensions will be review by the Security Supervisor. After reviewing all pertinent information a determination will be made as to the disposition of the matter based on the seriousness of the offense and potential harm to the library, its patrons and its staff. The Security Supervisor will notify the offending patron of the library’s decision in writing within ten business days of the offense. Action taken by the library may be a warning of potential sanctions for further violations or an extension of the suspension up to and including indefinite suspension. The offending patron will have ten business days after receiving that notification in which to submit an appeal. The appeal must be in writing and sent to the Security Supervisor.

If it is determined that the temporary suspension has had a positive effect and the circumstance warrants, the suspension can be left to expire at the conclusion of the two weeks or sooner if circumstances dictate.

A copy of the suspension letter shall remain at the issuing branch as well as on file in the Security department.

Since names and addresses are occasionally unavailable, copies of the suspension letters will be maintained by the Security Department and distributed to the affected libraries as needed. If the person returns to the library the letter (or a copy) can then be issued. In the event a person refuses to accept the suspension letter, the order will be in effect regardless. Again, it is imperative we document by email to the Security Supervisor our giving the letter to the person or the attempt to do so.

For offenses that do not require immediate suspension of privileges, the offending patron may be issued a verbal warning if the repetition of the offense would be cause for suspension (example: situational anger inappropriately expressed in a disruptive manner).

A Security Incident Report shall be written immediately and forwarded to the Security Supervisor. A copy of the temporary suspension of privileges letter should be attached, if applicable. The report should include physical descriptions in addition to the name of the patron. Incident reports shall be written for all suspension orders, verbal actions, and warning letters.
Library staff and Security personnel may photograph patrons (as safety permits) and/or use photo records of patrons who have had their library privileges suspended. The photos may be attached to the security report database.

The Security Supervisor or his/her designee will change the patron’s status to Barred or Blocked.

Right of Appeal

A patron whose privileges have been suspended may request reconsideration of the suspension decision in writing to the Security Supervisor within 10 working days of the date of the suspension letter. The Security Supervisor or a designee will respond to the appeal in writing within 10 working days of the date that the appeal is received. The decision of the Security Supervisor may be appealed, in writing, to the Associate Director. The decision of the Associate Director is final.