Code of Conduct

The Township of Mahwah Free Public Library is funded as an entity of the Township of Mahwah to provide educational, cultural and recreational materials and services to all people of Mahwah and the Bergen County Cooperative Library System (“BCCLS”).  In order to allow all patrons to make maximum use of the Library during regularly scheduled hours and to provide a safe, suitable environment for the specific purposes of reading, studying, attending programs and using Library materials and resources, the following Code of Conduct is adopted.  The Code applies to conduct on the Library premises, including not only the building, but also the land area surrounding it, such as the front, rear and side grounds, the sidewalks and the parking lots.

No person shall destroy, injure, deface or steal any Library property.

All Library material or equipment being removed from the premises must be properly checked out.  No person shall purposely conceal Library materials on their persons or among their belongings.  Library staff may inspect briefcases, handbags, and other packages to assure compliance with Library policies. (N.J.S.A. 2c:20-14)  All Library material shall be returned in accordance with the terms of the loan.

While on the premises of the Library no person shall conduct himself or herself in a violent or disorderly manner which shall include:

- Inhibiting the orderly use of the Library by patrons or staff;

- Use of abusive, coarse or offensive language;

- Engaging in unruly or disruptive conversation or conduct;

- Engaging in harassing, disruptive or violent conduct or threaten others;

- Sleeping;

- Being under the influence of alcohol and/or illegal drugs;

- Possessing and/or sell alcohol and/or illegal drugs;

- Engaging in sexual activity, contact or assault or any act of lewdness of exposure prohibited by N.J.S.A. 2c:14 through 2c:14-8 and any other physical contact or sexual activity which is inappropriate in a public place;

- Possessing a weapon unless authorized by law.

Loud talking or other loud sources of noise are not allowed.  Use of any electronic devices in a manner that disturbs others is not allowed.  While inside the Library, all cell phones must be set to silent or vibrate mode. The use of cell phones is permitted, provided such use does not disturb others.

Library furniture, equipment, and materials may be used only for their intended functions.  No person shall climb on or place their feet or shoes on furniture, sit on arms of chairs, or lay down on furniture.   Furniture shall not be moved without the express permission of Library staff.

Libraries are public places and the Library cannot serve in loco parentis (in the place of parents).  Caregivers and attendants are responsible to remain available for the personal and/or special needs of those entrusted to their care.  No person shall leave children under the age of 7 unattended on Library premises.  The Library cannot be responsible for any consequences of caregivers forfeiting their responsibilities.

No person shall smoke, carry or possess any lighted tobacco, or use any tobacco products including “electronic cigarettes” or similar while in the Library building or on Library grounds.

Snack food and nonalcoholic beverages in covered containers are permitted only in some areas of the Library.  Food and drink are not allowed in computer areas or on computer tables and stands. It is expected that patrons will dispose of all litter and debris in trash containers and leave table tops and chairs clean.  Meals may not be eaten in the Library. The delivery of food to the Library is not allowed and will not be accepted.

No person shall bring pets or animals into the Library building except those used in Library programming, working animals (as defined by ADA law) or animals used by law enforcement agencies.

No person shall enter the Library building without wearing proper attire, including shirt and shoes.  If a person’s bodily hygiene is so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to others, they may be asked to leave the building.

Patrons are allowed in those portions of the Library facilities that are open for public use.  Patrons shall not enter areas of the building designated “staff only” except when accompanied or directed by a staff member.

The use of athletic equipment is not permitted in the Library or on Library grounds.

All motor vehicles, bicycles, scooter, or any other kind of transportation shall be parked outside the building in designated areas.  Roller-skates, rollerblades and skateboards may not be used in the building or on the premises.  The only modes of transportation allowed inside the building are individual devices needed by the physically handicapped, baby carriages or strollers.

Loitering in the Library building, on Library steps, entryway or Library property thereby creating a nuisance to those who are trying to enter or exit the building or to use Library resources is prohibited. Patrons shall be engaged in activities associated with the use of a public Library while in the building or on Library premises. Patrons not engaged in reading, studying, using Library materials or resources, attending meetings or Library programs shall be required to leave the premises.

While on the premises of the Library, no person shall obtain or attempt to obtain signatures to petition, conduct surveys or investigations, distribute printed material, solicit or do selling or fundraising of any kind without the authorization of the Library Director.

Individuals violating any of these rules may be asked to leave by the staff member in charge.  Individuals refusing to leave may be arrested for trespass.  They may also, in appropriate circumstances, have their Library privileges revoked or suspended by the Library Director and/or be subject to legal proceedings.  A written appeal of such revocation or suspension can be submitted to the Library Board of Trustees.  The appeal will be reviewed and decided by the Library Board of Trustees and their decision will be final.


This Code of Conduct revised by the Board of Trustees on September 20, 2017

The following amendments to the Code of Conduct were approved by the Library Board of Trustees at their regular meeting on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, and are designed to safeguard public heath during the COVID-19 crisis:

  1. Face coverings that completely cover the mouth and nose are required while in the Library. Masks, bandanas or scarves are acceptable. Hands, shirts, or other clothing are not acceptable face coverings.
  2. Maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet from other patrons and staff at all times.
  3. No one under age 14 may enter the Library without a parent, guardian or other responsible adult who will supervise their behavior while in the Library. 
  4. No more than 50 patrons are allowed in the Library at one time.  Only three members of a household may enter at one time.
  5. No more than two people may occupy a quiet study room at the same time. Quiet study rooms are not available at this time.
  6. No individual may remain inside the Library building for more than one hour.
  7. Public computer sessions are limited to 30 minutes.
  8. Outside furniture may not be brought into the Library.


These amendments are temporary and will be reviewed by the Board in August 2020 to determine which, if any, will continue in the fall.

100 Ridge Road, Mahwah, NJ, 07430 201.529.READ
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