Conduct & Courtesy Policy


The Orange County Public Library offers library service to all residents of Orange County, regardless of sexual orientation, age, religious beliefs, ethnicity, or economic status. The Library staff is committed to providing a welcoming, quiet, safe environment in which to study, browse, and utilize library resources and services.

Staff and library users have a right to assume that their time spent in the library will be safe, free from physical or psychological harassment, stress or discomfort. In order to maintain a welcoming and safe environment for all concerned, the following rules of conduct and courtesy must be maintained. Failure to follow these policies may result in loss of access to the privilege of utilizing library resources and services.

Actionable Items

Actionable Items include:

  • Disturbing or offending library users or staff, by engaging in discourteous conduct, nuisance, or unreasonable behavior
  • Impeding or in any way interfering with the free movement of any individual or group
  • Threatening the safety or rights of an individual, including but not limited to, abusive language, violent or discourteous behavior, or threats of violence
  • Conducting loud conversations, use of cell phones, laughter, or noise that is disturbing to others and impedes their use of library resources
  • Harassing staff or library users, including but not limited to staring at or following individuals around the building
  • Failing to supervise children or teenagers. Parents are expected to monitor their child’s behavior while they are visiting the library
  • Defacing or destroying library materials, buildings, or property
  • Stealing library materials, using false identification to obtain a library card, or using another person’s library card
  • Refusing to comply with reasonable requests of any member of the library staff
  • Possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, or weapons while in or on library property
  • Smoking in the building
  • Using radios, CD players, tape players, and all other audio equipment in unauthorized areas in such a manner that transmits sound to others
  • Soliciting or selling of any kind, unless approved by the Library Director
  • Posting notices or distributing leaflets without authorization
  • Rearranging furniture or equipment from one location to another without permission
  • Entering non-public areas without the permission of a staff member
  • Displaying other behaviors inappropriate in a public setting including, but not limited to, running, sleeping, and public restroom bathing
  • Violating computer use policy
  • Consuming food or beverages unless as part of a library sponsored event
  • Committing a criminal offense, defined by local, state, or federal authorities

Related State Statutes

Violators of the Orange County Public Library rules may be subject to exclusion from the library premises. Criminal behavior will be prosecuted under the law.

North Carolina Statutes pertaining to Rules of Conduct and Courtesy in the Library include:

  • G. S 14-33: Misdemeanor assaults, batteries and affrays
  • G. S 14-76: Larceny, mutilation, or destruction of public records and papers
  • G. S 14-127: Willful and wanton injury to real property
  • G. S 14-132: Disorderly conduct in and injuries to public buildings and facilities
  • G. S 14-159.12: First degree trespass
  • G. S 14-159.13: Second degree trespass
  • G. S 14-190.9: Indecent exposure
  • G. S 14-204.1: Loitering for the purpose of prostitution offense
  • G. S 14-269: Carrying concealed weapons
  • G. S 14-277.1: Communicating threats
  • G. S 14-398: Theft or destruction of property of public libraries, museums
  • G. S 153A-266: Powers and duties of trustees

Library customers are also subject to the laws issued in the Hillsborough Town Code, Orange County Code of Ordinances, and Carrboro Town Code.