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.
  • We require that you wear a clean face mask that covers both your nose and mouth regardless of vaccination status when you enter and while you are in the Library. This includes children ages 2-11. Children under 2 are not required to wear a mask.
  • If you do not have a mask, the Library will provide you with a disposable mask at the entrance.

All visitors to county buildings are required to wear face masks when in a county building according to (Tompkins County COVID-19 Directive #5.1).


In the event any safety requirement is not practicable on the basis of a disability, please contact the Library Director or Department Head prior to entering the Library to explore a reasonable accommodation. They can be reached at 607-272-4557.

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. pizza, fast food). Drinks in closed containers such as covered cups, cans or water bottles are allowed in most areas unless noted. Individually packaged snacks (crackers, cookies, etc.) are allowed in Library lobby only.
  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

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.
Computer Policy Anchor Link

Computer Access Guidelines

  1. Internet use must be consistent with the current Library Code of Conduct, which is posted throughout the Library. Use of TCPL Internet computers and services is a privilege, and is not a right.
  2. Individuals twelve (12) years of age or younger must have the authorization of a parent or guardian to disclose personal information on the Internet.
  3. Children and young adults (ages 5 – 17) who are issued library cards will have unfiltered access to our collections and our services, including access to the internet through our public computers and WiFi service.  Full responsibility for the use of materials and resources by minors (i.e. use by children under eighteen years of age) rests with their parents, guardians, and caregivers.   Any restriction of children’s access to the internet is the responsibility of parents, guardians, and caregivers.  Parents, guardians, and caregivers who do not want their children accessing the internet from library computers may opt them out of this service by notifying a staff member at Access and Circulation Services.  Access to WiFi services via personal devices cannot be restricted based on age.
  4. Unauthorized disclosure of, use of, or dissemination of any minor's personal information by means of the internet, email, or any electronic technology is forbidden. 
  5. Images of child pornography, or those which are sexually explicit, obscene, or harmful to minors may neither be displayed nor printed, and are expressly prohibited under New York State Penal Law § 235.00-235.24. 
  6. Internet computers and network services may not be used for illegal activities, including harassment of others. Patrons may not misrepresent themselves when using the internet.
  7. Library patrons may not tamper with, alter, edit, damage or remove computer hardware, data and/or software.
Internet Access - Wired & Wireless Access
  1. This internet access option is open to patrons of all ages.  Parents, guardians, and caregivers are responsible for supervising and guaranteeing their children’s proper and safe use of the internet.
  2. Use of the Library's internet access constitutes acceptance of this internet policy.
  3. Library patrons are responsible for configuring equipment to access the Library's service.
Library-Supplied Internet Computers
  1. All internet users must be registered TCPL or FLLS library card holders.
  2. Internet computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis for the next available computer.
  3. Patrons may receive up to ninety (90) minutes of access per day on the Information and Learning Services internet stations or up to sixty (60) minutes per day on the Youth Services and Teen Center computers and this access may be divided among multiple sessions.
  4. Patrons may not extend their time by using additional library cards.
  5. Information and Learning Services Internet computers are reserved for adults and young adults ages thirteen (13) and older.
  6. Teen Internet computers are reserved for young adults (ages 12-17).
  7. Youth Services Internet computers are reserved for children (ages 5-12).
  8. TCPL reserves the right to limit the number of people at individual Internet computers.


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 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 8/9/2021