Law Library Guidelines
PUBLIC ROOM POLICIES
- Adherence to the Franklin County Law Library’s Code of Conduct is expected of all public room users.
- Reservations are made on a first come, first served basis, no more than three months in advance. Any person reserving the public rooms must be at least 21 years of age. The reserving party will be held responsible for the use and condition of the public rooms and the activities of the group and for ensuring that the rules and polices of the law library are followed by all persons in the rooms.
- Priority use of the Small Meeting Rooms will be given to attorneys using them for attorney/client meetings, and rooms may be reserved for a maximum of two hours.
- No meeting shall take place before 8:00 am, and all parties must be out of the law library by 4:45 pm.
- If the reserving party has not claimed the room within 15 minutes of the scheduled time, the reservation is voided and the room will become available to other parties.
- Patrons without reservations will be asked to vacate the space when there is a reservation for the room.
- Personal belongings may not be left unattended in public rooms. Patrons are encouraged to use the storage bins. Any personal property left unattended for more than ten minutes will be turned over to courthouse security.
- Any fliers, posters, or other advertisements announcing a meeting at the law library must contain the following statement: “The use of the Franklin County Law Library facilities does not indicate endorsement of any group by the Franklin County Law Library.”
- No person or entity using the public rooms is permitted to deny admission to the room to any person on the basis of race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, military status, or disability status.
- No product or service shall be sold, exchanged, or solicited on law library premises. An exception may be made for law library-sponsored or co-sponsored functions. No fees or dues may be charged or solicited on law library premises.
- Activities that are illegal or unsafe, use dangerous materials, or disrupt the operation of the law library are not permitted. Use of alcohol, tobacco products, and open flames is prohibited.
- Current food and drink policies apply to the use of public rooms.
- Damages to law library property may result in the loss of public room privileges. A reasonable fee for repair, replacement, or clean-up may be assessed.
- Public rooms must always be accessible to the law library staff.
- Law library furniture or equipment may not be removed or brought into any public room without permission from the Library Director.
- The Library Director may waive any public room regulation and may deny or cancel any application for reservation of public room space for good cause. The law library reserves the right to end a meeting and remove the participants from the room if the group or any individual is acting in a manner that is or has the potential to be destructive or disruptive to the law library.
- The law library is not responsible for injuries to people, nor for damage or loss of property belonging to individuals or groups using the public rooms.
- The Franklin County Law Library Resources Board reserves the right to amend this policy at any time. This policy will be reviewed on a regular basis.
PATRON COMPUTER USE POLICIES
- Use of the law library’s public computers and internet is intended for legal research and other official business. Priority in the use of these computers is given to attorneys in good standing with the Supreme Court of Ohio and county employees on official business. There is no time limit on the computers; however, if patrons are waiting, those who have been on the computers the longest or are not doing legal research may be asked to log off.
- The law library provides free wireless access. Patrons may bring in their own electronic devices to connect; however, access to paid legal databases and access to wireless printing will not be available from personal devices.
- Library staff will assist patrons is using library technology but will not assist patrons in the use of their personal technological devices, including phones, tablets, laptops, or storage devices.
- Patrons using the internet for any illegal purpose will be asked to leave the library. Individual privacy is protected when patrons use law library technology, but computers may be monitored to ensure compliance with library policies.
QUIET READING ROOM POLICIES
- Adherence to the Franklin County Law Library’s Code of Conduct is expected of all quiet reading room users.
- The quiet reading room should not be used as a meeting location. Conversation in the room should be kept to a minimum.
- All cell phones should be silenced upon entry. Leave the room completely to make or take any calls.
- Personal belongings may not be left unattended in the quiet rooms. Any personal property left unattended for more than ten minutes will be turned over to courthouse security.
- Current food and drink policies apply to the use of public rooms.
- The quiet reading room must always be accessible to the law library staff.
FOOD AND DRINK POLICIES
- Food and beverages are permitted in any area of the law library except at public computer carrels.
- Only covered beverages are permitted at the public computer carrels.
- Patrons are required to clean up after themselves. Failure to do so will result in loss of privileges.
CODE OF CONDUCT
The Board of Trustees of the Franklin County Law Library is responsible for establishing the rules for public behavior in the law library in order to do the following:
- promote a safe environment for library patrons and employees;
- protect the rights of individuals to use library materials, facilities, services, and websites;
- create an environment that is conducive for library employees to conduct library business without interference;
- encourage the use of the buildings, materials, services, and websites by the greatest number of individuals;
- safeguard library materials and facilities from harm.
The established rules are based on the powers granted to a law library board of trustees under the Ohio Revised Code. The library staff has the responsibility for maintaining order in the law library and enforcing the established Code of Conduct policy. The staff will prominently post the Code of Conduct in the library facility and will make it available to library patrons in electronic and print formats. In order to enforce the Code of Conduct, staff are required to intervene in situations at the law library that present danger to the safety of persons or property, interfere with the rights of others, constitute disturbing or inappropriate uses of the library, and/or involve the commission of illegal acts. Patrons who engage in such conduct may receive a warning from the library staff and/or an opportunity to cease the violation or leave the library. Repeated offenses will result in loss of access to the law library.
Illegal activity and any willful or repeated violations of conduct or other posted library regulations may result in removal from the facility and/or suspension of library privileges. Where authorized by federal, state, or local law, conduct violations may also result in arrest. Enforcement will be by library staff and/or courthouse security and, if necessary, the Columbus Police Department.
Examples of unacceptable conduct include, but are not limited to, the following:
Behaviors that disturb the normal functioning of the library:
- Engaging in illegal activities.
- Using harassing, obscene, abusive, or insulting language or gestures.
- Being in possession of or under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while in the library.
- Smoking, including the use of electronic or vapor cigarettes.
- Monopolizing/obstructing space, seating, tables or equipment to the exclusion of others.
- Creating loud noises that are disruptive to other customers.
- Causing strong pervasive odors that constitute a nuisance to others.
- Interfering with or disrupting the service of computer networks, library services, or equipment.
- Failing to wear shoes or clothing that covers the upper and lower body.
Creating a disruptive or unsafe environment:
- Engaging in illegal behaviors such as acting in a lewd or lascivious manner, voyeurism, or peeping.
- Harassing, threatening, assaulting, fighting, challenging to fight or intimidating staff or other patrons, including physical, sexual, racial, or verbal abuse.
- Bringing weapons into the library.
- Vandalizing library facilities, equipment, or materials.
- Soliciting, petitioning, panhandling, or gambling.
- Removing library materials without checkout.
- Engaging in behaviors that may spread disease or illness, including but not limited to bed bugs and lice.
Inappropriate use of facilities or equipment:
- Blocking aisles or any other passages in such a way as to prohibit free flow of pedestrians.
- Using furniture or building facilities in ways which may cause damage or excessive or unreasonable wear, e.g. lying down, putting feet on the chairs/walls, using more than one seat per person, etc.
- Using library furniture or collections in a manner other than their intended purpose.
- Using electronic devices or any other noisemakers that interfere with other library users, except when authorized by library staff.
- Leaving young children unattended anywhere in the library.
- Bringing any animals except service animals or animals authorized by library staff onto library property.
- Using library property for lying down, sleeping in a reclined position, or for living or accommodation purposes.
- Leaving personal belongings unattended in public rooms. Patrons are encouraged to use the storage bins. Any personal property left unattended for more than ten minutes will be turned over to courthouse security.
- Misusing library spaces that are designated for particular customers.
- Using the internet in ways that interfere with a safe, welcoming, and comfortable environment for the public and staff.