Examples of disruptive behavior can include a patron who is talking in a loud voice; a noisy group of patrons; individuals who are fighting or about to fight; someone who is verbally abusive or someone who is sleeping in the library.
In dealing with disruptive behavior, University Police advise that, if library staff members feel comfortable doing so, they can ask to see patrons' IDs. However, IDs cannot be requested in a way that discriminates -- i.e., asking for IDs only from one segment of the community. University Police emphasize that they should be called anytime a staff member feels threatened in attempting to resolve disputive behavior.
The Division of Student Affairs has additional information on dealing with Disruptive, Threatening or Violent Student Behavior.
A. Loud Talking, Noisy Patrons:
- If a staff member notices disruptive behavior, ask patron(s) to lower
voice(s) or move to a group study area.
Note: If this patron appears to be drunk or rowdy, DO NOT CONFRONT, but call UMPD at 911 (or #3333 if using a cell phone).
- If behavior continues, ask patron(s) to leave the library. If behavior continues after the second warning, tell patron that the police will be notified.
- Call UMPD at 911 (or #3333 if using a cell phone)with a description of the patron. Meet the UMPD at agreed upon location to direct police to the patron's location. If necessary, press the panic button for assistance.
- Make a notation in the Log Book of incident.
B. Sleeping Patron:
The intent of this procedure is to clarify the difference between a patron who has put his/her head down on his/her materials while studying and the patron who is sleeping in the library.
If a patron is sitting at a table or study carrel and has put his/her head down on his/her materials, and naps, this is not considered to be a situation where staff should disrupt the patron. Leave the patron alone.
Situations that alert staff to talk with a patron may include:
a. the patron has brought a pillow, blanket, or sleeping bag
into the library; and/or
b. the patron has moved furniture to form a bed; and/or
c. the patron is sleeping on a sofa or on the floor.
d. if the library is at capacity (for example, in Late Night study), staff may ask
someone to either wake up or leave if other users are waiting for a study carrel or table.
If any or all of the above situations occur, staff are instructed to do the following:
- Relay to patron that the library is for study and research and sleeping is not permitted. If patron is not planning to study, read or do research, he/she should leave the library. If patron refuses to leave and continues to try to sleep, contact the UMPD at 911 (or #3333 if using a cell phone).
- Alert the supervisor, if one is on duty, and contact the UMPD at 911 (or #3333 if using a cell phone). Give dispatcher description and location of patron and request that police be dispatched to the library. Meet the UMPD at agreed upon location to direct police to the patron's location.
C. Verbally Abusive or Aggressive Patron:
- If a patron exhibits verbally abusive or aggressive behavior such as yelling, swearing or threatening the staff member, or fighting with another person, the staff member should say, "This is no longer productive and I am stopping this conversation. I am calling my supervisor and the police."
- Alert the supervisor, if one is on duty, and call UMPD at 911 (or #3333 if using a cell phone) Give dispatcher description and location of patron and request that police be dispatched to the library. Meet the UMPD at agreed upon location to direct police to the patron's location. If using the phone is not possible, press the panic button for assistance.
- Record incident in the Log Book.
See Appendix A, University of Maryland Policy and Procedures on Sexual Harassment.
D. Patron follows Staff Member in or out through the Staff Door.
- If a patron is waiting at the Staff door or tries to enter when staff member
does, ask person if he/she works in the library. If person says yes, ask for
name and determine the department where employed and name of supervisor.
If person is not able to do this, do not let him/her enter building. It should be suggested that the person use the loading dock telephone to call their supervisor for entry.
- If patron tries to exit at the Staff door when a staff member does, and
library hours, ask patron to exit through the front door.
See guideline for " Patron Locked in Library After Closing ."