Rules of Conduct

The Tompkins County Public Library seeks to provide a safe, secure, and welcoming environment for patrons and staff. Behaviors that disrupt Library services are not permitted. These rules apply to all public spaces in the Library and on Library property outside the Library.

The following behaviors are NOT permitted:

1. Engaging in any activity prohibited by law
2. Any behavior that is disruptive to library use, services, or operations
3. Engaging in disorderly conduct of any kind, fighting or challenging to fight, or using obscene/offensive words likely to provoke violence
4. Use of loud, abusive, threatening, obscene, or insulting language or gestures
5. Indecent exposure or sexual misconduct
6. Harassment
7. Smoking or other uses of tobacco in all forms
8. Misuse of rest rooms. Misuse includes shaving, washing clothing, and bathing (other than face and hands)
9. Entering or being in the Library with no shoes or shirt
10. Public intoxication or consumption of alcohol
11. Consuming food. All drinks must be in covered containers
12. Rollerblades, roller skates, skateboards, bicycles, other sports equipment, or large shopping carts in the Library or on Library property (other than storing bicycles in bicycle racks provided)
13. Blocking sidewalks or entrances to Library
14. Entering unauthorized library areas
15. Animals, except for service, guide and assistance dogs are not allowed in the library. Animals may not be tied to Library property. Service and guide dogs should have proof of current vaccinations.

16. Sleeping
17. Petitioning, selling and/or soliciting for services, money, or items
18. Intentionally damaging, destroying, or stealing on library premises
19. Destroying or damaging Library materials or property
20. Any behavior that creates loud or disturbing noises created by persons, electronic devices, or cell phones.

Failure to comply with the Library’s established rules and regulations may result in immediate exclusion from the Library for the day, from a month to a year, or permanently, and/or in arrest. Library staff and security guards have the right to request identification.

The Security Services and Library staff send a report of all violations of Library rules to Library Administration. At the discretion of the Library Director or designee, reports may be forwarded to County Administration, the Sheriff, or Ithaca City Police.

If suspension of Library use results, letters are sent to violators by certified mail and/or given in person by security services notifying the violator of the penalty. Persons who enter the Library during the period when they are banned may be charged with trespassing and may have their ban extended. Prior to returning to the Library, all banned patrons, including those who have been banned from using the internet, must arrange a meeting with Library Administration for review of the “Rules of Conduct” policy.

Communication of threats, physical violence, or sexual offenses will result in immediate exclusion. If violators do not leave, the police will be called and the Library will file trespassing charges. Trespassers will be arrested and prosecuted. Theft of Library materials is a serious offense and will result in exclusion from the Library and arrest.



1. Your Internet use must be consistent with the “Library’s Rules of Conduct”, which have been adopted and are posted in the Library. Your use of the Library’s Internet, computers, and services is a privilege, not a right.
2. Patrons under 16 require parental permission to use the Library’s Internet, and computers
3. You may not make unauthorized disclosure of, use of, or dissemination of a minor’s personal information by means of the Internet, e-mail, or any electronic technology.
4. You must respect the privacy and sensibilities of others. Displaying or printing images of child pornography, or those which are sexually explicit, obscene, or harmful to minors is expressly prohibited according to the N.Y. U.C.C. Penal § 235.00-235.24 (Consol. 2004).
5. The Internet, computers, and network services may not be used for illegal activities, including the harassment of others. You may not misrepresent yourself when using the Internet.
6. If you utilize system resources (for example, bandwidth) to the extent that your use affects other people's ability to use these same resources, you may be asked to stop.
7. If the computer you are using is equipped with sound and you are using it you must use headphones.
8. If you are observed in violation of these rules, you may be asked for identification. Depending upon the nature of the violation, you may be asked to leave, denied the privilege of using the Library’s computers and services, or denied Library privileges, from anywhere from one day to one year. Criminal or civil charges may result.

Library-Supplied Internet Computers
1. All public computer users must be registered TCPL library card holders. Users may not use any card other than the one issued to them. Passwords, established upon receiving a registered library card, are required in addition to the library card number.
2. Public computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis for the next available computer.
3. Users may have up to one hour per day, which may be used in multiple sessions.
4. Users may not extend their time by using other library cards.
5. The Adult Services PCs are reserved for adults and students ages 14 and up; teen PCs for ages 14 to17; and Youth Services PCs for ages 8 to 13.
6. Patrons under 16 require a parental or guardian permission form on file with the Library to access the Internet.
7. Parental permission forms are waived if students are part of a supervised class. Teachers and tutors who bring students are responsible for and must supervise their students when they use the Internet or the computers.
8. You may not tamper with, alter, edit, damage, or remove computer hardware, data, and/or software.
9. The Library reserves the right to limit the number of people at individual PCs.
10. The Library cannot be held responsible for loss of data or information created or used while using public computers.
December 2011

Internet Access Services via Ethernet Jacks (Wired Access) and the Wireless Access Point

  1. This Internet access option is open to patrons of all ages; parents or guardians of children 16 years or under are responsible for supervising and guaranteeing their child's proper and safe use of the Internet.
  2. Your use of the Library's Internet access (both wired and wireless) constitutes your acceptance of this Internet Access Services Policy.
  3. You are responsible for configuring your equipment to access the Library's Internet Access Service.
  4. No registration or sign-up is required.

Appeal Process

Persons banned from the library and or the Internet may appeal this ban by sending a written request to the Library Director explaining the circumstances and requesting a review of the ban. The Library Director shall respond within ten days of such a request with a written decision.

Tracking Of Violators

The Library Director and Security Services shall create a secure tracking mechanism for recording names, dates and violations of the library rules, which ensures fair and impartial treatment of violators.

Download Rules of Conduct Policy

Download Tompkins County Public Library's Rules of Conduct in pdf format.

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Page last modified Jun 5, 2012