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Rules of Patron Conduct in the Library Policy

Approved by the Board of Trustees of the George Hail Free Library November 10, 2004

Amended March 2015, January 2022


Purpose: Every individual has the right to use the Library undisturbed and every library employee has the right to work without undue interference. All library users and employees should be free of any threat of harm, invasion of property, or gross indignity. Failure to observe these rules may lead to the loss of library privileges, including the right to visit the buildings and grounds.

For the comfort and safety of patrons, staff, and volunteers, and the protection of Library property, the following actions are examples of conduct not allowed on Library property.


  • Language or action that results in annoying, harassing, and threatening a patron or staff member in a physical or sexual manner. ***

  • Being under the influence of alcohol/illegal drugs in the library and the selling, using, or possessing alcohol/illegal drugs in the library. ***

  • Being in the possession of firearms and dangerous weapons of any type (except by law enforcement officers). ***

  • Stealing, damaging, altering, or inappropriate use of any Library property/materials in Library facilities or on Library grounds, including computer hardware and software, printers, copiers, phones, and other equipment. ***

  • Engaging in any activity in violation of Federal, State, local or other applicable law, or Library policy. ***

  • Eating, drinking, or smoking in the Library. This includes e-cigarettes.

  • Loitering or sleeping.

  • Remaining in the Library after its regular closing hours. (without permission)

  • Soliciting funds or panhandling. (from patrons and/or employees)

  • Interfering with patrons use of the Library through poor personal hygiene.

  • Bringing animals or vehicles into the Library, except ADA guide animals.

  • Using wheeled devices in Library property or on Library grounds, except in designated areas, including skateboarding, roller-skating, bicycling, scooters, (exceptions are wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers).

  • Playing audio equipment without the use of headphones. Headphones must be used at a volume that does not disturb other patrons. No cell phones, pagers, and other communication devices are to be used inside the library.

*** Indicates illegal activities for which police will be called.


These rules apply regardless of age. If necessary, a staff member first warns anyone violating these rules at the time of the offense. If the conduct continues the patron will be asked to leave the premises. If there is no cooperation, the police will be called immediately. Depending upon the severity of the offense, the offender will be banned from the library for time to be determined by the Director. If the offender is a minor, the parent and/or guardian will be notified by the Director.

Staff may expel the offender(s) without warning at the discretion of staff in situations of serious, threatening, or willfully malicious behavior.


Circulation Policies

Patrons are required to have their library cards when checking out books.

Books: Books are checked out for three weeks and may be renewed for three more weeks. One renewal is allowed per item. You may renew books by calling the library at 245-7686. There is no limit on the number of books you may check out.

Videos, Magazines and CDs: Videos, magazines and CDs are checked out for one week. A maximum of 4 videos is allowed per card.


Library Cards

Sign up for a library card at either the circulation desk on the main floor or downstairs in the Children's Room. You will need some form of identification that shows your current address, such as a license, in order to get a card.

Lost cards may be replaced for $1.00.


What is OSL (Ocean State Libraries)?

Having an OSL card means that you can visit, request and borrow from 48 libraries within Rhode Island.

Ocean State Libraries is a consortium of public libraries in Rhode Island linked through a state-wide communications network and a Millennium computer system. This system offers access to 4.1 million items owned by the 48 member libraries. It circulates over 6.3 million items per year and sends and receives more than 1.2 million items annually in the interlibrary loan system. There are over 450,000 registered library card holders in the system. It also provides high-speed Internet access to all member libraries.

Additional Policies

Additional information on borrowing materials from George Hail Library.

Rules that govern the usage of computers in the library.

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