GRRL Security Policies

Chapter 1. Roles and Responsibilities

Chapter 2. Internet
Chapter 3. Unattended Children and Vulnerable Adults
Chapter 4. Service Animals
Chapter 5. Rules of Behavior
Chapter 6. Behavior Outside the Library
Chapter 7. Communication
Chapter 8. Injuries


A role of GRRL is to provide safe and welcoming physical and virtual spaces. This is achieved in part by the willingness of its users to respect one another and coexist in library spaces. Library spaces are designed for multiple purposes and are intended to be used by our diverse communities. Public library spaces are precious community assets that rely on the stewardship, mutual support and goodwill of all.

Chapter 1. Roles and Responsibilities

1A. Patrons

Patrons are participants in a shared, public use environment and must conduct themselves accordingly. They will be courteous, considerate, and understanding of other patrons and staff.

Parents and caregivers are responsible to supervise the activities and choices of their children.

Patrons are stewards of the library and its resources. They will value and respect library resources and conduct themselves in a safe and orderly way.

Patrons will comply with federal, state, and local laws and policies.

Library users are expected to behave respectfully toward staff and other library users. Harassment of others will not be tolerated.

1B. Library Staff

GRRL staff will monitor public behavior inside its libraries. Although not all public activities can be seen because of staffing limitations and building design, GRRL staff will attempt to remain observant and aware of any potential security issues.

Any designated staff member may issue a warning to an individual who violates library policy or local Rules of Behavior. If the behavior continues after a warning is given, staff may also ask the individual to leave the library. However, the facility supervisor and the Patron Services Supervisor should be notified after this occurs.

Inappropriate behavior will be addressed with a response proportionate to the severity of the behavior.

Staff should follow GRRL procedures when responding to security issues. In the case of juvenile patrons, contacting parents or guardians is an option. Staff is authorized to request identification from patrons as necessary. Refusal to identify oneself under these circumstances may be grounds for eviction or calling local law enforcement.

Designated staff members may ban people from entering a library for more than one day (trespass). Individuals may be banned for a limited period of time, indefinitely pending a legal resolution, or permanently. The length of time of the ban will depend on, but is not limited to the following factors:

  • Severity of the offense
  • Repeated offenses
  • Likelihood of possible continued problems
  • Safety of staff and patrons
  • Preservation of the library environment

When an individual is banned, they and local law enforcement will be notified. Other GRRL libraries will be notified if the ban is for all libraries. If a banned individual returns to any GRRL library in violation of the ban, law enforcement may be contacted to cite them for trespass.

The Library Executive Director is the final GRRL arbitrator in any trespass issue. Any appeals beyond that level should be directed to the local library board or city council as appropriate.

Chapter 2. Internet

Patrons may be banned from using the library's computer stations if they are found to be in violation of the library Acceptable Use Policy. Patrons found in violation of these policies will be banned from using the computer workstations. Length of ban will be based on the severity and/or number of offenses. If the rules violation is severe, however, the Executive Director may ban the individual from using library computer services, or the library, permanently.

If illegal activities are observed, law enforcement may be called, and the patron may be banned from all further access to GRRL libraries.

Chapter 3. Unattended Children and Vulnerable Adults

Great River Regional Library welcomes children of all ages to use its facilities and services. Since all visits to the library should be positive, enjoyable experiences for children, their safety and well-being while they are in library buildings is of great concern.

Children should always be accompanied by a parent/guardian or designated caregiver while in a Great River Library. Ultimate responsibility for the behavior and well being of children using the library rests with the parent/guardian or designated caregiver and not with the library's personnel. Young children may not be safe when left unattended at the library. Since responsible adults may choose not to stay with young children at GRRL libraries, the following identifies the unattended and/or vulnerable child and addresses problems that may arise.


An unattended child is any young person using the library facility unaccompanied by a responsible adult or left alone in one part of the library while the adult is in another.

A vulnerable child is an unattended child whose safety or well-being could be endangered either in the building, or if they were to leave the library.

Because children develop and mature at different rates, there is no particular age at which all children are ready to cope with the variety of circumstances they may face alone in the library. Library staff must use their judgment and discretion in determining whether or not an unattended child is vulnerable or at risk.

A designated caregiver should be at least 16 years old.

Staff will make every attempt to locate a parent or caregiver of an unattended child within the library. However, local law enforcement will be called if a parent or caregiver cannot be located.

  1. Library staff must assist all customers in the library and they are not permitted to assume responsibility for the safety, care, supervision, or entertainment of specific children at the expense of others who may need assistance as well.
  2. A responsible adult or caregiver must remain in the library when children ages 6 and under are attending a library-sponsored program, such as story time.

Vulnerable Adults

Vulnerable adults are those individuals who because of physical or mental disability are dependent on others for care. GRRL staff will make every attempt to locate a caregiver for unattended vulnerable adults before calling local law enforcement for assistance.

Approved Date: prior to May 2010
Effective Date:
Revised Date: 05/11/10, 03/20/12

Chapter 4. Service Animals

The Great River Regional Library System (GRRL) recognizes that some patrons with disabilities may have service animals, which are trained to assist or accommodate a person with a sensory, mental, or physical disability or to perform tasks for the benefit of a disabled individual. GRRL recognizes legal rights under federal and state laws regarding use of service animals. GRRL also considers the safety and health of all of its patrons, the public and library staff to be of utmost priority.

No pets or animals other than service animals, service animals in training, or animals featured in GRRL approved programs are allowed in GRRL libraries. Owners of pets will be asked to remove them from the library.

A service animal is defined as: "a dog that is trained for the purpose of assisting or accommodating a person's sensory, mental, or physical disability." A miniature horse may also qualify as a service animal under certain conditions set forth below. All other species of animal, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, do not qualify as service animals.

A miniature horse may qualify as a service animal if:

  1. the miniature horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability
  2. the public facility can accommodate the miniature horse accounting for its type, size and weight;
  3. the handler maintains sufficient control of the miniature horse; the miniature horse is housebroken; and the presence of the miniature horse does not compromise legitimate safety requirements that are necessary for safe operations. 28 C.F.R §36.302.

Individuals with disabilities may bring their service animals into all areas of the library where members of the public are normally allowed to go. All service animals must be under the full custody and control of their handler at all times. Also, all service animals must be on a leash or harness at all times unless the handler is unable to leash or harness the animal because of a disability or use of a leash or harness would interfere with the animal's safe, effective performance of work or tasks. If the service animal cannot be leashed or harnessed, it must be otherwise under the handler's control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means). Owners of the service animals are solely responsible for the supervision and care of the service animal. Therefore, owners must keep the service animal directly with them at all times.

A person with a disability may be asked to remove a service animal if:

  1. The animal is out of control, such as uncontrolled barking or jumping on people, and the animal's handler does not take effective action to control it; or
  2. The animal is not housebroken.

Fear of allergies, annoyance on the part of other patrons or employees or fear of animals are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people with service animals or service animals in training.

Dogs and other animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA and are not permitted in library facilities.

Staff may not make inquiries about a service animal when it is readily apparent that the animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. When it is not readily apparent that the animal is a service animal, staff may ask the following two questions:

  1. Is the animal a service animal required to be present because of a disability?
  2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

Staff may not ask about the owner's disability. Staff may not ask for documentation or proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal.

If an animal is properly excluded, library staff should give the person with the disability the option to obtain library services without having the service animal or service animal in training on the premises.

Approved Date: 05/21/13
Effective Date: 05/21/13
Revised Date: 01/15/19

Chapter 5. Rules of Behavior

Each GRRL library has its own Rules of Behavior approved by a library board or city council.

Chapter 6. Behavior Outside the Library

Activities occurring outside GRRL libraries are the responsibility of local law enforcement officials. It is not possible for GRRL staff to observe and/or monitor public activities occurring outside the library property.

Chapter 7. Communication

Staff will inform supervisors and other staff of issues related to violations of library rules of behavior. The Library Executive Director will be informed of all incidents that result in a patron being trespassed from the library.

Chapter 8. Injuries

Should staff sustain an injury from a patron, staff will inform a supervisor, Patron Services Supervisor and/or Associate Director immediately. The appropriate forms must be completed in accordance with GRRL worker's compensation policy.

Approved Date:
Effective Date:
Revised Date: 07/16/19