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Appropriate Library Behavior

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh provides a pleasant and safe environment for everyone. To that end, everyone is expected to treat the space and one another with civility and respect. Parents and caregivers are responsible for ensuring the people in their care conform to this policy, as well. The Library reserves the right to expel any person whose behavior violates this expectation.

All Library staff and security personnel are authorized to make judgments regarding individual or group behavior. Staff response to unacceptable behavior may include temporary or permanent exclusion from Library privileges, which could include all Library facilities. Appropriate law enforcement authorities will be promptly informed of any unlawful activity.

The “Appropriate Library Behavior” handout should be readily available in all sites and may be given to customers to help explain and reinforce library policy.


For the comfort and safety of everyone:

  • Keep all valuables and personal property with you at all times. The Library is not responsible for lost or stolen items
  • Follow Library computer policies
  • Keep the volume of all conversations at a level that does not disturb others, including telephone or internet conversations
  • Permission to use video conferencing is determined at the discretion of Library staff
  • Appropriate attire, including shoes, must be worn at all times

The following are not permitted in Library locations:

  • Destruction or theft of Library materials or property
  • Use of alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Disorderly, disruptive or boisterous conduct
  • Threatening, harassing or intimidating language or behavior, including that of a sexual or discriminatory nature
  • Poor personal hygiene*
  • Smoking, use of tobacco products or e-cigarettes
  • A pattern of sleeping
  • Weapons
  • Bathing or shaving in public restrooms
  • Solicitation of any type
  • Pets or animals, other than service animals
  • Any other illegal activities not specifically defined here

*When visiting Library locations, customers are expected to maintain an acceptable standard of personal hygiene. Creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition—including unpleasant body odors that may offend other Library customers, and infested clothing or personal effects—is unacceptable. In this case the customer will be asked to leave the Library until they addresses their personal hygiene issues. An effort should be made to refer the customer to community resources that have facilities that may assist with personal hygiene maintenance.


1. If a customer’s behavior is not acceptable according to this Policy, a staff member or a security officer, if present, will speak to the customer and attempt to resolve the situation.

2. If the issue escalates or if the customer’s behavior still persists and continues to disrupt customers and staff, staff may ask the customer to leave the Library location. If staff asks the customer to leave the Library location and they still refuse, staff will call the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police to have the person removed.

3. When an incident occurs, a Department of Security and Safety Incident Report will be completed by the person in charge or security officer.

4. Temporary exclusions of Library privileges of 29 days or less are at the discretion of the staff at each location. Exclusions of 30 days or more are at the discretion of the Assistant Director or the Department of Security and Safety. In these cases customers will receive a letter outlining the terms of their exclusion.


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