Policy 7: Facilities

Library Facilities

Responsibilities & Access

  • The library is not obligated to provide electrical connections or other resources for personal devices. 
    • Library equipment should not be unplugged in order to plug in personal devices.
  • The library system is not responsible for personal belongings brought into or left in the library or on library property.
  • Library workrooms, storage areas, and other non-public areas are restricted from public access.

Animals on Library Property

Animals are not allowed inside county library buildings with the following exceptions:

  • Service Animals: In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), persons with a disability are allowed to bring their service animals into the library and must care for and supervise them.
    • If a service animal is aggressive or unruly with library visitors or staff, the owner will be asked to remove the animal from the building.
    • In accordance with ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered unless the disability prevents use of these devices.
    • Service animals are defined by Florida Statute 413.08
  • Library Sponsored Programs: Animals used in conjunction with library-sponsored educational programs for the public are permitted in the library building for the duration of the program and must be accompanied by the owner at all times.
  • Animals left unattended outside or in automobiles for unreasonable periods of time will be reported to law enforcement.

Behavior Expected from Library Visitors

Library visitors are expected to show respect for other visitors and library staff and should not engage in behavior that may materially interfere with the public's right of access to library facilities, the safety of users and staff, and the protection of library resources and facilities. Library visitors are expected to:

  • Abide by policies that govern all Florida and Santa Rosa County public buildings including:
    • Abstain from engaging in excessively loud talking or noise.
    • Keep noise levels reasonable while using devices such as computers, iPods, cell phones, and audio players.
  • Avoid boisterous conduct or other disturbing behavior.
    • No animals except service animals inside or within 20 feet of library facilities.
    • No destruction of library property or library materials.
    • No gambling.
    • No indecent exposure or sexual activity.
    • No soliciting, petitioning, or campaigning.
    • No smoking of any kind (including electronic or e-cigarettes).
    • No use of any tobacco products.
    • No alcoholic beverages.
    • No weapons unless authorized by law (such as law enforcement officials).
    • Refrain from violating public safety or local/state/federal laws or engaging in criminal behavior.
    • Use library facilities, equipment, furnishings, parking areas, sidewalks, and lawns respectfully, safely, and for their intended purposes-not for recreational activities.
    • Follow library policies and procedures: A copy of the library Code of Conduct (PDF) is posted inside each library.
    • Library visitors who engage in activities that interfere with the rights of others or who violate library policy will be dealt with by library management in a timely, direct, and open manner in an effort to constructively resolve issues.
    • If the issue cannot be resolved, law enforcement officials will be contacted.

Children's Behavior & Safety in the Library

  • Children must not be allowed to disrupt or disturb other library visitors and must not abuse library materials, equipment, or furniture.
  • Children should not be left unattended in the library since their safety is at risk.
    • Children of all ages who are left at the library after closing will be placed in the care of law enforcement officials.   
    •  Library staff are not responsible for unattended children and cannot monitor them.
    • Unaccompanied children under 10 years old may be placed in the care of law enforcement officials.
  • Parents should ensure appropriate behavior of their children while in the library and on library grounds.
  • Parents and legal guardians are responsible for their children's access and use of library materials in all formats, print, audio, visual, and access through computer network.

Meeting Room Use

  • All meeting room users must comply with the library's meeting room policies
  • An application is required and will be approved or denied by library and county administration - any disputes that arise will be settled by the Santa Rosa County Administrator.
  • Approval of meeting room use does not constitute endorsement of the quality or merit of meetings held or on the policies or beliefs of the organization using the facility.
  • Library and county use of meeting rooms have priority and schedules could be preempted for such use.
  • Library meeting room space is provided on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of the organization requesting use.
  • Meeting room applications are available at each library and on the library website.
  • Meeting room applications should be returned to the library manager.
  • Meeting room users may not charge admission fees but may charge for materials necessary for program participation.
  • Purpose may not be for personal, recreational use such as family gatherings, birthday parties, wedding / baby showers, and similar use.
  • Purpose must be non-commercial for educational, cultural, intellectual, civic, government, or charitable use.

Exhibit Spaces, Bulletin Boards, & Literature (Community Use)

  • Materials may remain no longer than one month. If the person placing the material does not remove it when time has expired, library staff will remove it. The library is not responsible for loss or damage.
  • Notices will be placed near the exhibit space stating that use of library space does not constitute endorsement of exhibitors or exhibits by the library.
  • Santa Rosa County Library System will provide exhibit areas, bulletin board space, and literature distribution space to community organizations engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual, civic, government, charitable, or non-commercial activities. Materials cannot be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  • Space is provided based on availability at each library. The library manager will determine whether the library has adequate space for materials and will determine the placement of materials.
  •  If a dispute arises regarding suitability of materials for placement in the library, the dispute will be settled by the library director. 
  • Spaces must not be used for the solicitation of businesses unless approved by the library director. 
  •  Any sales for any materials, such as art on display, must be conducted between the seller and the customer away from library property.

Petitioning & Solicitation on Library Property

  • Non-library activities, petitions, or solicitation of any kind is not permitted inside library buildings.
    • Petitioners may set up outside library buildings away from entrances and traffic but may not impede the flow of vehicular or foot traffic. 
    • Set up may not begin before the library opens and clean-up must be completed by the time the library closes.
    • Library employees will not assist the party conducting the petition.
    • The petitioner is responsible for his/her furniture, supplies, equipment, etc.
  • Personal, political, organizational, or business solicitation of any type is not allowed on library property.