Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

The Tompkins County Public Library seeks to provide a safe, secure, and welcoming environment for patrons and staff. For that reason, behaviors that disrupt Library services are not permitted. These rules apply to all public spaces in the Library and on Library property outside the Library.


Safety Requirements Related to COVID-19

The Library will require all people on the premises to abide by the following safety practices:

  • Do not visit the Library if showing any signs of illness. If you are sick, stay home.
  • Masks are optional.


Computer Policy Anchor Link

General Guidelines

The following behaviors are NOT permitted:

  1. Engaging in any activity prohibited by law
  2. Disrupting library use, services or operations
  3. Engaging in lewd behavior or indecent exposure
  4. Harassing Library users or staff, including staring, following or photographing 
  5. Smoking or using tobacco in any form, including vaping and electronic cigarettes
  6. Misusing of restrooms
  7. Entering or being in the Library without shoes or shirt
  8. Consuming alcohol or illegal drugs or being publicly intoxicated
  9. Carrying uncovered drinks and consuming food/meals (ex. snacks, pizza, fast food). Drinks in closed containers such as covered cups, cans or water bottles are allowed in most areas unless noted. 
  10. Using rollerblades, roller skates, skateboards in the Library or on Library property. Skateboards, fold-up bicycles or scooters, and small children’s bicycles are allowed in the Library if carried or pushed. Bicycles must be stored in bicycle racks provided outside the Library. Other items with wheels will only be allowed when utilized for their intended purpose such as strollers, wheelchairs, and walker devices.
  11. Blocking sidewalks or entrances to the Library, or obstructing any passageways within the Library
  12. Entering unauthorized library areas or workspaces
  13. Bringing in oversized items such as large suitcases or sports equipment, four-wheel shopping carts, large bags 
  14. Leaving bags and items unattended.  Unattended items are subject to confiscation, and may be turned over to law enforcement.  The Library is not responsible for personal items that are lost, stolen, or damaged in or on the grounds of the Library.
  15. Bringing animals into the Library other than those as part of scheduled library programming.  Service animals are exempt, but should have proof of current vaccinations.  Animals may not be tied to Library property.  
  16. Sleeping
  17. Petitioning, selling and/or soliciting for services, money, or items
  18. Damaging or destroying any property
  19. Possessing any weapon (except by law enforcement officers)
  20. Causing strong, pervasive odors, including those caused by perfume or cologne or body odor

Computer Access Guidelines

Cell Phone Guidelines

Cell phones are permitted in the Library. We ask your cooperation, however, by observing the following guidelines:

  1. Respect the quiet of the Library.
  2. Turn off your ringer while in the Library.
  3. Use text messaging whenever possible.
  4. Keep all cell phone calls brief and quiet. (Lengthy conversations should be held outside of the Library or in the Cell Phone Zone outside the restrooms.)
  5. Casual amateur photography and videotaping should not include any other unrelated persons. For our complete Filming and Photography Policy, please visit
  6. Refrain from phone discussions while at one of the service desks.


Those failing to follow the rules listed above will be given a copy of the Library Code of Conduct and asked to comply immediately. An individual may be asked for identification if observed in violation of these rules. Those failing to comply will be asked to leave. If violators do not leave, the police will be called and the Library will file trespassing charges.

The Security Services and Library staff send a report of all violations of Library rules to the Library Administration. A patron may lose his or her library card or be deemed persona non grata. At the discretion of the Library Director or designee, reports may be forwarded to the County Administration, the Sheriff, or the Ithaca City Police.


Appeal Process

Persons banned from the Library and or the Internet may appeal this ban by sending a written request to the Library Director explaining the circumstances and requesting a review of the persona non grata designation. The Library Director shall respond within a reasonable time of such a request with a written decision.

These rules apply to all members of the public using the Library. Any behavior which is not consistent with these rules may result in the termination of the right to use the Tompkins County Public Library.


Approved by the Tompkins County Public Library Board of Trustees on October 23, 2018.

Updated with COVID-19 language and approved by the Tompkins County Library Board of Trustees on July 27, 2021.

Revised COVID-19 language to comply with Tompkins County COVID-19 Directive #5.1 issued August 9, 2021.

Revisions approved by the Tompkins County Public Library Board of Trustees on October 26, 2021.

Revised COVID-19 language to reflect mask-optional directive March 2, 2022.