Behaviour in the Library Guidelines

1. Patrons must not engage in illegal activities

See the Inclosed Lands Protection Act 1901, the Crimes Act 1900 and the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW).

2. Patrons must obey signs and all reasonable requests by staff

  • The Library Regulations 2018 enables local authorities to make rules to regulate use of their libraries and is the instrument to manage certain behaviours on public library premises.
  • Staff are empowered to make rules to regulate the use of any facilities, services or collections of the Library. The regulation outlines the use of libraries and library material and allows for the exclusion of those who breach it.

3. Patrons must not engage in disruptive behaviour

  • Patrons, staff and volunteers have the right to use the library's services, facilities and collections in safety and without being unnecessarily distracted or disturbed by other people. This includes the entire Library premises, exterior areas, the Library website and all services accessible through the website.
  • Patrons shall refrain from any activity that could prevent or negatively affect other patrons' use of the library, or with a Library employee's or contractor's performance of their duties.
  • Patrons shall not run or disturb others by such activities as loud behaviour, which includes talking in extreme volumes or loud music.
  • With the exception of patrons using adaptive technology devices, patrons shall use headphones with all audio equipment and at a volume which cannot ordinarily be overheard by others.

4. Proper use of a Library

  • The Library Regulation 2018 enables local authorities to make rules to regulate use of their libraries and is the instrument to manage certain behaviours on public library premises.
  • A person must not, without the consent of the governing body for the library, use a library for a purpose other than reading, consulting or borrowing the library material of the library or for any other library service or information service(s14).

5. Library users may be directed to leave

  • A library staff member may direct a person to leave the library (s17) and not re-enter the library for such period as the staff member directs, if the staff member is of the opinion that the person's condition, conduct, dress or manner is likely to give offence to any person in the library or to interfere with any other person's use of the library. 
  • A person to whom such a direction is given must comply with the direction. Serious incidents, for example threatening or violent behaviour, or more extensive collection damage or theft will be referred to the police.

6. Unattended Children

  • Public libraries offer a range of services that support the information, literacy, education and recreational needs of young people. Libraries do not, however, provide care facilities for children as part of that service. Libraries are not to be used by parents, guardians or carers as an alternative to children’s services that provide licensed care facilities, such as care by an agency or a day care facility. Parents, guardians or carers that attempt to do so are potentially putting their child at risk of harm. Libraries do not have the facilities or appropriate licences to attend to children who are sick, injured or hungry.
  • Unsupervised children can be at risk in any public place, including public libraries. Library staff do not supervise children in the library so there is a risk that unattended children may leave the library at any time, hurt themselves, or be approached by strangers. Libraries are busy public places, open to all, and staff cannot judge which members of the public present a possible danger to children. If library staff have concerns about the presence or conduct towards children of a particular person in the library, the appropriate course is to contact the NSW Police to report these concerns and seek assistance as necessary.
    - Children under 12 must not be left unsupervised in the Library in accordance with the Council's Child Safe Policy.
    - Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian and/ or carer aged 16 and above.
    - If Library staff notice a child has entered the library unaccompanied by a guarantor/ guardian, or that a child/ children left alone and unsupervised in the library building, Library staff will try to locate the guarantor/ guardian.
    - If staff cannot locate the guarantor/ guardian in the library, they will ask the child for their full name and date of birth. Library staff will check the child’s library membership records and attempt to contact the guarantor as listed on the membership records by phone.
    - If the guarantor/guardian does not arrive within 10 minutes, Library staff will contact the relevant authorities (Police)
  • Children left unattended in a public library may be classed as a child or young person at risk or harm under s.23 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 and may be reported as such to The NSW Department of Communities and Justice Services (DCJ). Parents who leave a child unattended in a public library are exposing their child to potential harm, and may be committing an offence under s.228 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998. Young children left alone in a library can become distressed, bored or disruptive. Young people who disturb other library users may be removed from the Library under clause 17 of the Library Regulation 2018.

7. Food and drink

  • Food and drink brought into the Library must be in suitable covered containers to reduce spills.
  • Food and drinks are not permitted when using any electronic Library resources, including computers, tablets, devices, photocopiers, databases, kiosk and electrical equipment; or when consulting the Heritage Collection or in close proximity to Heritage materials.
  • Please be considerate of other people and assist with keeping libraries in a good condition by:

            - Leaving Library spaces free of litter
            - Placing all rubbish in bins provided
            - Advising Library staff of any spills
            - Exhibit common sense and good judgement as to what is reasonable to consume in the Library

8. Damaging library material, equipment and facilities

  • A person must not damage, deface or improperly interfere with any library material of the library, or any equipment provided by the library. For the avoidance of doubt, turning down the page of a book or otherwise causing any printed matter or the like to become creased is damaging library material.
  • A person must not steal or damage books and other things in the library.
  • A person must not deliberately or wilfully misplace or hide any library material.
  • Any materials removed from the Library must be checked out on a valid Library card and returned by the item's due date or renewed as appropriate.
  • A Patron may be liable to pay the full repair or replacement costs of the lost or damaged property. We do not accept replacement copies instead of payment due to processing costs which are managed by our suppliers (book covering, RFID tags, spine labels). The Crimes Act 1900 has a provision (s525) relating to the theft or damage of library materials.

9. Security and personal belongings

  • Patrons shall take responsibility for their own belongings to prevent loss, damage or risk of injury to others. Fairfield City Open Libraries is not responsible for patrons' personal property.
  • Do not leave your belongings unattended.
  • Personal belongings and power cables should not obstruct walkways, exits, fire extinguishers or fire exits.
  • Personal devices used in the Library are to be appropriately maintained and safe to use.

10. Weapons

  • No weapons are permitted in Fairfield City Open Libraries, other than those specifically permitted by law. Brandishing or intimidation using legally possessed weapons will be reported to Police.

11. Animals

  • Only registered assistance animals can be brought into the Library. Proof of registration may be required.

12. Alcohol, tobacco and drugs

  • Fairfield City Open Libraries is a smoke-free environment
  • Smoking, which includes all forms of smoking and e-cigarettes (vaping), is not permitted on Library premises, including within four (4) metres at the entrance and exits to the buildings.
  • Patrons shall not possess or consume alcohol, tobacco and vaping products, or illegal drugs in the Library.
  • For purposes of this policy, "tobacco" including but not limited to smoking, edibles and vaping. "Drugs" includes but is not limited to all illicit narcotics and substances.

13. Dress/ Hygiene

  • In the interest of other readers using the Library, acceptable levels of dress and personal hygiene must be met.
  • Footwear must be worn at all times. Do not put feet on furniture.
  • Patrons shall wear a shirt or other covering of their upper bodies.
  • Clothing and accessories that display offensive imagery/ text or that target a group or individual based on race, religion, gender or sexuality must not be worn.
  • Head coverings such as caps, hoodies and helmets must be removed inside the libraries.

14. Blocking aisles or doorways

  • Patrons shall not obstruct aisles or doorways or otherwise cause a dangerous situation with electrical cords or belongings. Library equipment cannot be unplugged to accommodate non-Library equipment.

15. Bikers, roller blades and skateboards

  • Patrons shall not bring bicycles into the Library building or secure them anywhere except in designated bike racks.
  • Roller skates, roller blades, skateboards, scooters, and similar equipment may not be worn or used in the Library.
  • Shopping trolleys are not permitted on the premises.

16. Photography and filming

  • Fairfield City Council may take photographs in the Library, which may include photographs of you and/or members of your family.
  • These photographs may be used by Council at any time for social, promotional or advertising purposes.
  • If you do not want your photo being taken, please notify staff at the time of entry. Council does not accept liability if no notification is made by you and your photograph is taken and used for promotional purposes.

17. Quiet environment

  • You will find a dedicated quiet space at Whitlam Library, Cabramatta (the Gough Room). If you're working in a quiet space, please:
    - Put your mobile phone on silent.
    - Move into another space to have a conversation with a fellow Patron or on the phone.
    - Use headphones with mobile devices and keep the volume low so it can't be heard by others.
  • If you want to be able to make noises, move to another space.
  • Disruptive behaviour and excessive noise are not acceptable in any public space in the Library.
  • Switch your mobile phone to silent when in the Gough Room. Talking on your mobile phone is not permitted in this area.
  • Headphones are to be used when listening to music or other multimedia. The volume must be at a level that cannot be heard by other readers or staff.
  • Group discussions and mobile phone conversations may be conducted in areas of the library except the Gough Room but must be kept at an acceptable level that does not disturb other readers.

18. Advertising and canvassing

  • If individuals, groups and organisations intend to advertise an event that they are holding in a Library venue they must get approval from the Senior Library Management Team first before advertising the event to ensure that there is no implication or otherwise that the event is being run or being sanctioned by the Library.
  • Individuals, groups and organisations wishing to distribute material, canvass, perform, or speak in the Library must obtain permission in advance from Senior Library Management Team. Materials including, but not limited to, posters, flyers, placards, political or religious campaign information, banners or signs of any type. 
  • Unauthorised or user surveys are not permitted.
  • No person entering the libraries shall carry out any form of commercial and/or business activity and/or enterprise within the Centre(s) unless consent for same has first been obtained from Management. If Management provides its consent to any form of commercial and/or business activity or enterprise, the person carrying out or responsible for the commercial and/or business activity or enterprise shall ensure that they comply with the terms of consent issued by Management.

19. Tutoring in the Library

  • Commercial tutors (where a fee charged for tutoring) are able to operate within one of the Library's hireable spaces. Tutoring for fees in the open area of the library is prohibited under the Library Act, Library Regulation 2018.
  • Volunteer tutors (where no fee is charged for tutoring) can apply for permission from the Library via email Please include your name, organisation, dates and times of tutoring and contact details.

20. Fees

  • Patrons shall be responsible for any of their fees or other charges in accordance with the Library's standard schedules. Failure to pay these fees may result in the suspension of borrowing privileges.

21. Copyright

  • When copying Library materials, sharing material online, downloading software, films, sound records and broadcasts, you are responsible for observing the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 with respect to materials in copyright.

22. Internet Usage

  • Access to the internet by children under the age of 18 is the responsibility of the child's parent or guardian.
  • Readers and visitors are not permitted to access, download or print pornographic, offensive or objectionable material, and must comply with the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Enforcement Act 1995 (NSW).
  • Readers and visitors must not in any way breach or infringe copyright. If a reader or visitor repeatedly infringes copyright using library systems or computers, the Library will terminate reader accounts and access to computers and systems in line with the Copyright Amendment (Service Providers) Act 2018 (Cth).
  • Readers and visitors are not permitted to use Library computers or its network for any unlawful or inappropriate purpose. This includes but is not limited to modifying or gaining access to restricted files or data belonging to others, installing software on the Library's computers, and accessing illegal or prohibited websites. The Library is not liable for the consequences of unauthorised use. 
  • Activity logs may be used for troubleshooting and security purposes. The Library may make disclosures of activity logs to relevant authorities where the use of our internet system raises concern that an offence is being, or has been, committed.

23. Use of library equipment and material 

  • Fairfield City Open Libraries provides free access to the internet through its public computers and wi-fi. Security on the internet cannot be guaranteed. The Library takes no responsibility for any consequences, direct or indirect, arising from readers' use of particular sites.
  • Damaging or misusing Library equipment, facilities or furniture is not acceptable. This includes disconnecting Library equipment or using it for any purpose other than its intended use.
  • Damaging Library material in any way such as marking, cutting, attaching adhesive notes and tampering with security tags, is not permitted.
  • Hiding or removing Library material from the reading rooms is not permitted.
  • Library equipment is for the use of Library material only. Requests to use Library equipment for personal items including microform and CD-ROMs will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

24. Library website

  • Fairfield City Open Libraries' website shares information and other content about the Library and its collections and activities, and delivers services for the interest, enjoyment and research needs of readers and visitors.
  • The Library is not responsible for, no endorses, any content that a member of the public contributes to the Library's website, or any other websites linked from the Library's website.
  • Removal of any content from the Library's website is at the Library's discretion.

25. Library social media community guidelines

Fairfield City Open Libraries social media channels share information and content that inspires, interests and engages the people of Fairfield City and beyond, drawn from events, programs and exhibitions at the Library, stories from the collection and the knowledge of our staff.

The channels facilitated by the Library are created as spaces where community members feel valued. The Library encourages users to join in the discussion, ask questions and share ideas.

To ensure the Library's online platforms are safe, respectful and inclusive, you must not use the Library's online channels to:

  • Post content that is insulting, threatening or hateful towards anyone. This includes the use of profanities, obscenities, explicit material and discriminatory language.
  • Abuse, defame, insult or intimidate anyone. The Library will not tolerate any form of cyberbullying or harassment.
  • Post any misleading, deceptive or false information regarding the Library's activities, where factual information exists and is publicly available.
  • Share personally identifiable information about yourself or other community members.
  • Spam, advertise or promote any commercial businesses.
  • Post content that is an infringement of intellectual property rights, including copyright.
  • The Library's social media channels are actively moderated, and the Library reserves the right to hide, delete or report posts or comments determined to be in breach of the above guidelines. Should an individual continue to breach these instructions the Library reserves the right to block that individual from posting to Fairfield City Open Library's social media accounts entirely and without notice.

26. CCTV cameras

CCTV cameras are recording throughout the internal and external areas of the Libraries (other than within bathrooms).

  • Images captured on CCTV are used for the purposes of crime prevention and may be used by the NSW Police Force for investigation.
  • The Operation of this system is subject to the Privacy and Personal Information Act 1998 (NSW). The CCTV system is owned and operated by Council.

Related key legislation and policy: