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Courteous Conduct Policy

Printable policy (PDF)

The Durham County Library offers library services to all residents of, and visitors to, Durham County regardless of age, economic status, race, ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. Library staff are committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all library customers. The user guidelines outlined below set expectations for all library users to ensure the safety, cleanliness, comfort, and accessibility of all Durham County Library spaces for all community members.

Illegal Activities

Illegal activities and behaviors that are violations of state, local and federal laws are prohibited on library property and at library events. Library customers may not engage in behaviors, actions, or activities that violate any Federal, State or Local Laws as well as community ordinances and regulations. Weapons of any kind are forbidden on library property.

Personal Behavior and Conduct

All library customers and staff, while on library premises, have the right to enjoy a library experience that is free from threat, harassment, lewd or disruptive behavior. To ensure this, library customers, while on library premises, must not:

  • Possess or consume alcohol
  • Smoke, including e-cigarettes
  • Wear attire inappropriate for public places
  • Sleep, bathe, or groom
  • Solicit for funds or signatures
  • Panhandle, sell goods, or gamble
  • Make unreasonable and disruptive noise, including speaker usage on electronic devices such as cell phones, computers, laptops, tablets, headphones, etc.
  • Bags and other personal belongings may not be left unattended, and must not block access to aisles, doorways, stairways, walkways, elevators, ramps, or computers.
  • Any items left unattended are not the responsibility of the library or library staff.
  • Shoes must be worn.
  • Roller skates and skateboards must not be used inside the library, scooters, bicycles, shopping carts or other similar objects must not be brought into the library location.

Service Animals

We do not allow animals of any kind except service animals and those used in library sponsored programs.


Beverages may be consumed in the library in covered containers. Food must be eaten outdoors or in designated areas, except as part of a library sponsored program or pre-approved event in a meeting room.


Furniture may not be moved without permission from library staff. Heads, legs, and feet must be kept off of tables and chairs.

Policy Violations

Violators of this policy may be subject to exclusion from library buildings and grounds and may lose library privileges. Violations of law will be referred to local law enforcement when necessary and criminal behavior may be prosecuted under the law.


This policy applies to all library customers and/or persons on library property. Any disruptive behavior as determined by library staff or security personnel will be addressed in the most equitable and appropriate manner according to library policy.


It is the responsibility of all public service staff and facility supervisors to understand this policy fully to ensure fair and equitable application. It is the responsibility of the Deputy Director and the Assistant Director for Planning and Facilities, with the advice of the Board of Trustees, to interpret, monitor and recommend updates to this policy. The Library Director is the final authority in regard to enforcing this policy.

Effective July 2023