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December 16, 2017
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Library Board Policies - Zero Tolerance of Violence and Vandalism

The Halton Hills Public Library has facilities to provide residents and visitors with opportunities to access material, use electronic resources, attend programs, read, research, and meet others in a safe, clean, and positive environment.   People of all ages, interests and abilities make use of library facilities. The library will ensure that all of its users can enjoy the many services available in a secure and comfortable environment.

As such, violence as defined by any behaviour that is physically or verbally abusive, harassing* or harmful to individuals or property will not be tolerated in library facilities.

Violent behaviour includes but is not limited to:

  • loud verbal assaults
  • abusive profanity
  • threats and attempts to intimidate
  • throwing of articles in a deliberate or aggressive manner
  • aggressive approaches to another individual
  • physical striking of another individual
  • attempts to goad or incite violence in others
  • vandalism to property, building, or equipment (willful, malicious and/ or deliberate destruction)
  • racial, ethnic or sexual orientation slurs
  • illegal consumption of alcohol or drugs

The Consequences:

Individuals who engage in any of the above behaviours will be subject to immediate ejection from the facility and depending on the seriousness of the incident, steps will be taken as per the Discipline Measures section of this policy.  Incidents may be reported to the Halton Regional Police Department and criminal charges may follow.

There will be no reconsideration by the library board with respect to the length of a suspension or prohibition.  Where new information is available, a suspended individual may request reconsideration of the facts on which the suspension is based.  Such request must be addressed to the Director of Library Services who will review the new information and make his or her recommendation to the library board.   All such decisions of the library board are final. Those individuals desiring reconsideration must include with their request, payment of an administration fee in the amount of $100.00.  In the event that the applicant is successful he/she will be refunded the administration fee.

Where vandalism has been perpetrated, not only will the individual(s) responsible be subject to suspension as outlined above, but will be required to reimburse the library for the cost of repair and labour, together with an additional administration charge of 20% of such cost.

In cases where the perpetrator is 17 years of age or under, the library will make every attempt to recover expenses and administration fees from the perpetrator’s family or legal guardians.

Reporting:

Staff will complete a report using the prescribed Incident Report Form.  Disciplinary measures will be taken as below.  The report will be forwarded to the Director of Library Services.

Discipline Measures:

Depending on the seriousness of incident, disciplinary measures will be taken as follows:

Stage 1:              For Minor Acts and/or First Offences and Damage under $500.00

                            At the discretion of the Director of Library Services:

  • A letter of reprimand will be issued
  • Invoice will be issued, if applicable, for the full cost of recovery to repair damages (material, labour, plus 20% overhead charges)
  • Ban from library facilities for a minimum 60 days (two months)
  • Individual must meet with the Director of Library Services or designate prior to being permitted access to the library’s property and facilities

Stage 2:              For More Serious Offences and/or Repeat Offences and Damages $500.00 to $1500.00

     At the discretion of the Library Board:

 

  • A letter of reprimand will be issued
  • Invoice will be issued, if applicable, for the full cost of recovery to repair damages (material, labour, plus 20% overhead charges)
  • Suspension of library card privileges
  • Letter of Trespass issued for up to 180 days (six months)
  • Individual must submit a request to the library board prior to being permitted access to the library’s property and facilities.  The library board may choose to meet with the individual if required.

Stage 3:              For Serious Offences and/or Repeat Offences and Damages Over $1500.00

                             At the discretion of the Library Board:

  • A letter of reprimand will be issued
  • Invoice will be issued, if applicable, for the full cost of recovery to repair damages (material, labour, plus 20% overhead charges)
  • Suspension of library card privileges
  • Letter of Trespass issued for one year or move
  • Individual must submit a request to the library board prior to being permitted access to the library’s property and facilities.  The library board may choose to meet with the individual if required.

These steps are being implemented with respect to the Trespassing Property Act.

*Personnel Policy Manual – Workplace Violence and Harassment Policy and Procedure

Revised/Approved:  November 12, 2014