Hoboken Public Library
Policies Governing Use of the Library

To Our Library Users:
In order to maintain a safe and pleasant environment conducive to reading and learning, the following rules of conduct must be observed by library patrons.
The following behaviors are prohibited at the Hoboken Public Library:

  • Harassing, threatening or disturbing other patrons or staff members, which includes:
    • Using abusive language, staring, stalking, making unreasonable noise, creating a public disturbance, using obscene language, sexual harassment, etc.
  • Use of electronic or digital devices in a manner that can reasonably be expected to disturb others, including using headphones loud enough as to be audible by others.
  • Engaging in illegal activities.
  • Purposely circumventing computer security or timing software or otherwise tampering with the operation of the computer network.
  • Use of or intoxication from drugs or alcohol inside the library.
  • Having offensive body odor or personal hygiene so as to interfere with other patrons’ and staffs’ ability to use the library and its facilities.
  • Viewing of pornographic material on library or personal computers or other devices while inside the library, which includes the 2nd floor computer area.
  • Sexual activity of any kind.
  • Plugging in devices for charging into undesignated charging areas: designated charging areas are located on the 2nd floor (power strips). Do not place cords or wires in a way that will reasonably be expected to disturb others or create a hazard.
  • Unplugging library computers or devices.
  • Making unreasonable use of the rest rooms, including laundering clothes and bathing.
  • Having a knife, gun, or any other weapon.
  • Soliciting.
  • Smoking.
  • Sleeping.
  • Leaving children under the age of 10 unattended.
  • Moving furniture or library equipment without permission from library staff.
  • Filming, photographing, or interviewing patrons within the library unless approved of by the library director.
  • Placing your feet on tables or chairs.
  • Eating food.
  • Drinking beverages from uncovered containers (covered beverages, like coffee with a lid, are allowed).
  • Stealing, damaging or marking library materials, premises or equipment.
  • Animals are prohibited with the exception of service animals covered by the ADA.

Bag and Personal Item Policy for Library Patrons

For the safety, health, and comfort of the patrons and staff of the library, and to ensure unimpeded access to the collections in an environment conducive to library use and enjoyment, the Hoboken Public Library has placed the following limits on bags and other personal items which may be brought into the library.

Personal belongings brought into the library should not be left unattended.  Unattended items will be removed from the library premises. Law enforcement agencies may be called.

Personal belongings should not block or impede any exits, hallways, or other walkways.

Patrons may bring no more than one large and one personal item into the library:
One personal bag (including purses, briefcases, small backpacks, musical instrument cases, and plastic or paper retail store bags not containing food or contraband)
One other item which may not exceed 2 ½’x 2 ½’x 2 ½’ .
All wheeled devices are prohibited inside the library property and on library grounds with the following exceptions: wheelchairs, walkers and similar devices to assist those with medical needs; shopping carts smaller than 2 ½’x 2 ½’x 2 ½’; single wide strollers for use in transporting babies or toddlers.  However, the Library reserves the right to prohibit strollers during library programs and during peak library hours when strollers will interfere with the delivery of library services.  Strollers may be left outside in the designated gated area at the owner’s risk.  The library will not be responsible for any damage or theft of strollers left in the designated area.

Internet and Public Computer Use – see Hoboken Public Library Internet Use Policies for details.

Sanctions for Rule Violations
Visitors who do not follow the Library’s General Rules and Regulations can be asked to leave the library premises and can lose their library privileges, law enforcement may also be notified in situations that merit it. Sanction procedures are listed below:
General Offenses:

  • The patron will first be asked to refrain from the offending activity. If they persist in the offending activity they may be asked to leave the library for the day.
  • If a patron continues to break minor library rules they may have their library or computer access privileges revoked for a period of time between one week and one month.
  • For continued and prolonged breaking of minor library rules the patron may have their library or computer access privileges revoked for a longer period or permanently.

Serious Offenses: includes but is not limited to physically or verbally threatening library patrons or staff, violence, viewing pornography, intoxication and any illegal activity.

  • First offense: asked to leave the library for the day.
  • Second offense: potential banning of up to a month from library computer use or from the library in general.
  • Third offense: potential permanent banning from library computers or the library in general.

For any illegal, violent, dangerous or threatening behaviors law enforcement may be contacted and a patron may be banned from the library for a significant length of time or permanently.
Conditions of the ban

  • If a patron is banned from the library then the suspended patron may not enter the library during the term of their suspension.  If the suspended patron does enter the library they will be asked to leave and escorted out by security staff. If the patron refuses to leave the police will be contacted.
  • If a patron is banned from using the computers then they will not be allowed access to the library’s public computers during the duration of the ban.

Appealing a suspension

  • If a patron or their parent, guardian, or caregiver wishes to appeal a suspension, they must contact the library director to arrange for an appeal.

Adopted by the Hoboken Public Library Board of Trustees
August 28, 2012