At GFJ Library

Animals in the Library

Animals in the Library Policy

1. Purpose
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library (“the Library”) recognizes that patrons with disabilities may have service dogs that are trained to assist or accommodate a person with a sensory, mental, or physical disability or to perform tasks for the benefit of a disabled individual. The Library recognizes legal rights under federal and state laws regarding the use of service dogs. The Library also considers the safety and health of all its patrons, the public, and Library employees to be of utmost priority.

2. Background and Definitions
2.1 Service Dog
“Service dogs” are dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Examples of such work or tasks include: guiding people who are blind; alerting people who are deaf; pulling a wheelchair; alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure; reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications; calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties.

Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks. Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under Titles II and III of the ADA.

2.2 Disability
The term “disability” means, with respect to an individual:
A. A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;
B. A record of such an impairment; or
C. Being regarded as having such an impairment.

If an individual meets any one of these three tests, he or she is considered to be an individual with a disability for purposes of coverage under the ADA.

3. Policy
No pets or animals other than service dogs or service dogs in training are allowed in the Library. Owners of pets may be asked to remove them from the Library.

Individuals with disabilities may bring their service dogs into all areas of the Library where members of the public are normally allowed to go. All service dogs must be under the full custody and control of their handler at all times. Also, all service dogs must be on a leash or harness at all times unless the handler is unable to leash or harness the dog because of a disability or use of a leash or harness would interfere with the dog’s safe, effective performance
of work or tasks. If the service dog cannot be leashed or harnessed, it must be otherwise under the handler’s control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means). Owners of the service dog are solely responsible for the supervision and care of the service dog. Therefore,
owners must keep the service dog directly with them at all times.

Users of service dogs are not required to show papers or to prove a disability. Service dogs are not required to be licensed or certified by a state or local government or training program, or be identified by a special harness or collar.

Employees may ask two questions:
1. Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

Owners of service dogs or service dogs in training must indicate that they are working dogs and not pets. Terms used may include assistance, service, guide, hearing, or helping dog. Employees may not ask about the owner’s disability.

A person with a disability may not be asked to remove their service dog or service dog in training from the Library unless the presence, behavior, or actions of the service dog constitute an unreasonable risk of injury or harm to property or other persons, or the dog is disruptive and the owner does not take effective action to control it. In these cases, Library employees must give the person with the disability the option to obtain Library services without having the service dog or service dog in training on the premises. Fear of allergies, annoyance on the part
of other patrons or employees, or fear of dogs are generally not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people with service dogs or service dogs in training.

4. Exceptions for Library Offerings
Pending approval by the Director or their designee, the Library may have animals in the building as part of its educational and recreational offerings.

5. Animal Endangerment
The Library does not condone leaving non-service animals outside the Library in a way that may endanger the animal or Library patrons. The Library reserves the right to contact the police regarding any unattended animals on its premises.

6. Grievances
The Library is committed to the equitable use of the Library for all its patrons. Any patron who feels their use of the Library has been compromised due to this policy should report grievances to the Director.

7. Staff Animals
Personal pets may visit the back room (staff only area) of the Library for no longer than fifteen (15) minutes at a time.

Citations and Related References
i) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Title II, Section 35.136 (Revised September 15, 2010); Beginning on March 5, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under Titles II and III of the ADA.

Adopted by the Library Board on July 21, 2022

View this policy as a pdf.

Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct & Disruptive Behavior
Staff and patrons of George F Johnson Memorial Library will follow a policy for disruptive behavior.
PURPOSE: To put down in writing the policy governing disruptive behavior in George F Johnson Memorial Library.

  1. No person shall engage in inappropriate conduct on the premises of George F Johnson Memorial Library or when participating in library programs. “Library premises” include the interior of the library’s facility, as well as the entryways, sidewalks, library parking area and lawns surrounding the building. Examples of Appropriate Behavior may be found as outlined in attachment B.
  2. Inappropriate conduct shall include any individual or group activity that is disruptive to other persons who are lawfully using the library premises or any behavior otherwise inconsistent with the activities normally associated with a public library. In general, behavior that violates the law, behavior that interferes with the use and enjoyment of the library by others, and behavior that interferes with library employees in the performance of their duties is prohibited.
  3. Library users are required to observe the Code of Conduct (attachment A) and all Code and policies governing the use of George F Johnson Memorial Library. If a person defies an order personally communicated by an authorized library employee not to enter the library or not to remain in the library for failure to comply with the library’s Code or policies, said person is subject to arrest for trespass (New York State Penal Law, Section 140.05).

Support of Staff Members’ Actions

  1. Library staff members who have acted on their best judgment in confronting a person will be supported by their supervisor and the library board.
  2. Any staff member who observes or receives complaints of inappropriate behavior may:
    1. Handle the problem directly with the patron. Staff should use judgment as to whether the situation requires assistance from another staff member.
    2. Call for police support immediately if the situation appears to be potentially violent or an emergency.
    3. Ask the senior staff person present to assess the situation and make a decision as to how it should be handled.
    4. Decide to contact the police if the offending person(s) will not conform to the Code of Conduct and the request of the staff to do so.
  3. In all cases, the supervising staff person who is present should be kept informed of the situation and should oversee the documentation of the situation as well as its satisfactory resolution.


  1. Staff members are empowered to determine the severity of the violations that they observe. If a violation is considered “minor” – i.e. if there is no immediate threat of damage to the library’s facility, collection or furnishings, or danger to staff or patrons– the following steps will be taken:
    1. Serve a patron with one warning, either verbally or in writing by using the Code of Conduct (attachment A), to notify him/her that he/she is in violation of the Code of Conduct.
    2. If the person persists with the behavior for which he/she has been notified, he/she will be asked to leave the premises. If the person leaves as asked, he or she will be banned from the premises for the rest of the day. (A staff person may extend the ban up to a week, if the situation warrants. The person should be verbally notified at the time of his/her ejection from the library and all staff should receive written notice of the situation.)
    3. If the person does not comply with the request to leave the premises, the police will be called. If this step is necessary, the incident becomes a major violation and the offending person will be banned from the library for thirty (30) days per procedures below.


  1. If a staff member observes a person involved in a significantly serious violation of library Code, he or she will proceed as follows. A “significantly serious violation” of the Code of Conduct may include, but is not limited to, theft, vandalism, harassment, threats, criminal activity, or violent or dangerously reckless behavior.
    1. The police will be called immediately.
    2. The patron may be banned from the library premises for a period of thirty (30) days to six (6) months at the discretion of the Library Director, depending on the nature of the offense, the extent of damage or disruption that was caused, and the history of prior violations.

A patron may be banned from the library premises under the circumstances described above.
Extended banning process
If a patron commits a serious violation and banning of thirty (30) days or more is being considered, the following procedures will be followed:

  1. The Library Director will review the incident as well as interview any staff members who were involved in the situation.
  2. The Director, or the staff person designated to act on the part of the Director in his/her absence, will provide a written decision regarding the banning within three (3) business days of the violation.
  3. The written decision will set forth the period during which the patron will be banned from the library and will specify the reasons for the determination. The patron may be banned for a serious violation for thirty (30) days up to (1) one year.
  4. The patron and all staff will be notified in writing of the reasons for and the length of banning. A copy will also be sent to the Endicott Police Department and the Library Board President.
  5. The patron will have the opportunity to respond to the ban within 5 days.
    • The Director will review the patron’s response, with the Board of Trustees if needed, and make a final decision on next steps.
    • If the patron does not respond within 5 business days, the ban automatically begins.
    • The Director, along with the Board of Trustees, reserves the right to continue to enforce the ban based on the nature of the violation, whether the patron responds or not.

Any person who persists in violating the Code of Conduct – including what may be considered a minor offense – may be considered to be subject to extended banning of thirty (30) days or more as deemed appropriate by the Director. The same procedures for extended banning of thirty (30) days or more described above will be followed.
Any person who enters or remains on library premises after having been notified of a period of banning by an authorized individual will be subject to arrest and prosecution for trespassing. This may be considered to be grounds for permanent banning of the individual.

In the event that a person regains access to the library after a major violation and banning -- and then repeats that activity, he or she may be permanently banned from the library premises.

  1. The Library Director and Library Board will review the incident and staff statements at the next Library Board meeting.
  2. After discussion with the Library Board, the Director will provide a written decision regarding the permanent banning as soon as possible after the repeat offense.
  3. The written decision will state that the patron will be permanently banned from the library and will specify the reasons for the determination.
  4. The patron will have the opportunity to respond to the ban within 5 days.
    • The Director will review the patron’s response, with the Board of Trustees if needed, and make a final decision on next steps.
    • If the patron does not respond within 5 business days, the ban automatically begins.
    • The Director, along with the Board of Trustees, reserves the right to continue to enforce the ban based on the nature of the violation, whether the patron responds or not.
  5. The patron and all staff will be notified in writing of the permanent ban.
    • A copy will also be sent to the Endicott Police Department and the Library Board President.

George F Johnson Memorial Library
Attachment A
Recognizing the need to maintain an environment suitable for studying, reading, browsing and the general use of library resources, the Library Board establishes Code and procedures to assure the safety of library users, library personnel, and library materials, equipment and furnishings; and to assure that the use of the library is not obstructed by inappropriate behavior or actions. Library patrons are expected to follow all library Code and policies including this Code of Conduct. Entering the library implies agreement to abide by this Code and policies while in the library. Failure to do so may result in expulsion from the Library and/or loss of Library privileges. A person who defies an authorized library employee not to enter the library or not to remain in the library for failure to comply with the library’s Code and policies is subject to arrest for trespass (New York State Penal Law, Section 140.05) The following Code is to be observed:

  1. Eating or drinking is not allowed in the library.
  2. Use or exchange of tobacco, alcohol or illegal substances is prohibited.
  3. Pursuant to New York State Public Health Law Section 1399-0, smoking is prohibited in libraries.
  4. The ban on smoking includes no smoking of substitutes such as e-cigarettes, vapor or similar products.
  5. Animals are not permitted in the library, with the exception of service animals or those authorized by prior arrangement.
  6. Appropriate dress, including shoes and shirts must be worn in the library.
  7. Bicycles are not allowed in the library. Bicycles may be chained to the front porch or the side railing of the ramp. The library assumes no liability for damage or theft.
  8. Use of roller blades and skateboards is prohibited on library grounds.
  9. Selling, advertising, petitioning or soliciting for contributions is prohibited, except as authorized.
  10. Conduct which violates the criminal laws of the United States, the State of New York, and the County of Broome, the Town of Union or the Village of Endicott may result in suspension or revocation of the violator’s access to the library’s premises.
  11. Disruptive behavior is prohibited. Disruptive behavior consists of actions which are illegal, or which infringe upon the rights of others using the library and/or disturb the tranquility of the library, or the proper activities of its staff and patrons.
    Disruptive behavior includes but is not limited to the following:

    1. Lewd behavior or sexual misconduct including exposure, offensive touching or sexual harassment of other patrons or staff.
      More specific information about these types of incidents is covered under the GFJ Sexual Harassment Policy, which applies to GFJ employees as well as patrons.
    2. Any behavior involving an unwilling person or inappropriate or indecent behavior with a child.
    3. Behavior that makes it impossible for another patron to continue using the library.
    4. Loud or boisterous behavior including loud talking, shouting, running or fighting.
    5. Misuse of library property.
    6. Profane, obscene or offensive language directed at another person.
    7. Use of radios, stereos, video games, etc. - without earphones.
    8. Use of cell phones outside of the designated areas.
    9. Verbal harassment of staff or patrons.
    10. Interference with library operations or other patrons' use of the facilities through extremely poor personal hygiene.
    11. Any action which willfully annoys another person.
  12. Illegal activity will be reported to the proper authorities immediately. A person demonstrating disruptive behavior will be instructed by library staff to discontinue the behavior. If the behavior continues, the person will be instructed to leave the library. If a person so instructed does not leave within a reasonable amount of time, the staff will contact the proper authorities. Any serious incident involving a child will be reported to the child's parent or legal guardian, who will also be informed of any action taken by the library.
  13. The library is not responsible for the loss or theft of personal belongings of patrons.
    1. A person not abiding by the Code of Conduct will receive one warning. Those continuing to disregard the Code of Conduct, after being warned, will be asked to immediately leave the building for the remainder of the day.
    2. Anyone asked to leave is welcome to return the next day without consequence. However, a person who has been asked to leave, who returns and continues to violate the Code of Conduct, may be barred from future library use. The amount of time will be determined by the Library Director.

Guidelines for Appropriate Behavior at the George F. Johnson Memorial Library
Attachment B
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library endeavors to provide an atmosphere conducive to study, reading, and the legitimate use of library materials and services.
To foster such an environment, the George F. Johnson Memorial Library encourages the following: Examples of appropriate library behavior for all ages include:

  • Asking for help
  • Browsing
  • Chatting quietly
  • Daydreaming
  • Doing research
  • Gathering information
  • Doing your homework
  • Participating in programs
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Photocopying
  • Checking out books, audio-visuals, & more
  • Only guide and assistance pets are allowed

Examples of Inappropriate library behavior for all ages

  • Damaging library material or property
  • Eating or tobacco use
  • Physically or verbally harassing or threatening others
  • Foul language
  • Behavior disrespectful to other patrons or staff
  • Disrupting patrons using the library by:
    • talking loudly or abusively
    • socializing for long periods
    • running
    • throwing things
    • fighting
    • playing headphones loudly
    • cell phone use
    • solicitation
    • persons creating a physically offensive condition, including odors will be asked to leave (NYS Penal Code, Sect 240.20)

    Any behavior that disrupts the orderly use of the library or that affects the staff’s ability to provide service will result in a verbal request to cease the inappropriate behavior. If the behavior continues, the individual(s) involved will be asked to leave the library premises.

    Prior approval by the Library Board on 11/12/2009
    Amended: 2/15/23

    View this policy as a pdf.

Internet Use Policy

George F. Johnson Memorial Library Internet Safety Policy

  1. As part of its mission, the GFJML provides Internet access and personal computing resources to
    registered borrowers. Individuals who do not meet eligibility requirements for a GFJML library card with borrowing privileges may qualify for Internet access via a guest pass if they present proper identification and meet such other requirements as may be established by GFJML administration.
  2. GFJML also provides wireless access, enabling individuals to use their privately owned computer equipment to access the Internet. Visitors who wish to use GFJML's wireless connectivity are not required to meet borrower eligibility criteria. Wireless access does require the acceptance of GFJML’s Wireless Network Policy.
  3. The GFJML does not monitor and has no control over the information on the Internet. The GFJML assumes no responsibility for any loss or damages, direct or indirect, arising from its connections to the Internet or from any other use of its personal computing resources.
  4. As with all library resources, patrons are advised to exercise their own critical judgment and discrimination when evaluating sites found on the Internet. Certain information may be inaccurate, misleading or offensive to some individuals.
  5. Unauthorized access, including so-called hacking, and any other unlawful activities by any Library users are strictly prohibited.
  6. To comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act and restrict access to online content that may be considered harmful to minors or offensive to adults, the GFJML employs technology protection measures (filters) on all computers with Internet access in its Children’s Room. Users must be cautioned that filters are not foolproof and due to technological limitations cannot obstruct access to all potentially harmful or offensive content. In addition, filters may block access to some legitimate or constitutionally protected material found on the Internet. By law, individuals who have attained the age of 17 have the right to unfiltered Internet access.
  1. Parents/guardians have the sole right and responsibility to decide what is appropriate for their child. The GFJML does not act in loco parentis (i.e., in the place or role of the parent). Parents/guardians are responsible for the supervision of their child's Internet activity. Children who use the Internet unsupervised may be exposed to inappropriate or disturbing information and images.
  2. The Library has taken measures designed to assist in the safe and effective use of the Internet, including:
    1. Employing technology protection measures (filters) on all computers offering Internet access in its Children’s Room.
    2. Developing and maintaining web sites designed for children and teens;
    3. Providing online and printed information about child safety and information on educational or recreational uses of the Internet.
  3. To address the issue of the safety and security of minors (individuals who have not attained the age of 17) when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications, the Library recommends the following safety guidelines. Minors should:
    1. Always ask their parents' permission before using their full name, address, telephone number, or school name anywhere on the Internet;
    2. Always tell their parents or another adult they trust if they see something online that is frightening or that they do not understand;
    3. Never respond to messages that make them feel uncomfortable or uneasy;
    4. Never give out a credit card number or password online without parental approval, and
    5. Never arrange to meet in person someone they have met online unless they discuss it with their parents and an adult accompanies them.

All patrons must abide by the Library's Rules of Conduct and are expected to use Internet and/or personal computing resources in a responsible and orderly manner. Failure to comply with the policies and regulations that govern the use of the Library's Internet access and personal computing resources may result in immediate suspension of library privileges and, where necessary, civil liability and/or criminal prosecution. The following are prohibited:

  1. Damaging equipment, software, or data;
  2. Violating system security;
  3. Violating any legal agreement (e.g., software licenses);
  4. Violating any federal, state or local law (e.g., copyright, child pornography);
  5. Using personal software on Library equipment, and
  6. Engaging in activities that may be judged as disruptive by Library staff or patrons.

User responsibilities are not limited to the above and may be subject to change.

By adopting this policy, the GFJML Board of Trustees authorizes the Administration to acquire
appropriate hardware and software to provide Internet access and other approved computer-based services and to develop rules and regulations to implement this policy.

Adopted by the Library Board: March 17, 2016

View this policy as a pdf.

Meeting Room Policy

The meeting room policy of the George F. Johnson Memorial Library encourages maximum use of the library meeting rooms (the Beatrice Scott and the George F. Johnson rooms) by community organizations for educational, civic, cultural and/or business purposes under the following conditions:

  1. Library related activities/programs/meetings have priority scheduling of the two meeting rooms.
  2. Because the Library is intended for the use of all members of the public, all meetings are open to the public. This means that the meeting must be open to any interested individuals and must be free of charge. Limits may be placed on the size of the group if the room capacity is exceeded. The library also endorses Article VI of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, which states: “Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.” Business groups should not be conducting business on library premises, but are welcome for more general business-oriented purposes, subject to interpretation by the Library Director. Private social events are not permitted.
  3. There is a $15.00 suggested donation for use of the library meeting rooms.
  4. The library reserves the right to limit the number of times a group may use the room during a given period of time, in order to assure a fair opportunity to all potential users. Community groups should register online and book the room using the library’s online booking system. The person placing the room request will be notified by library staff once a decision on their request has been made. Library events have priority and the library reserves the right to cancel advance reservations in favor of library programming with 30 days notice.
  5. Meeting times are limited to hours when the library is open to the public. All meetings must
    adjourn at least 15 minutes prior to the closing of the library. The representatives of the organization that is meeting are responsible for ending the meeting on time and for leaving the meeting room in proper order. If damage occurs to any library property during an organizational meeting, the organization will be held liable for repair or replacement costs.
  6. Alcohol, smoking and open flames are NOT permitted in the meeting rooms and refreshments may be served only by special permission from the Library Director.
  7. Study Rooms may be booked using our online booking system. They will only be held 10 minutes after scheduled time of reservation, at which time they may go to the next request.

Adopted 3/08. Revised 7/21/16, 11/20/18, 1/16/20

View the policy as a pdf.

Video Recording Policy

The purpose of the George F. Johnson Memorial Library video recording policy is to ensure the safety and security of all library patrons and staff while on the library’s premises. The Library will allow recording consistent with its obligations and mission. The Library reserves the right at all times to refuse any recording that will negatively impact safety, staff and patron privacy, employee work conditions, and/or routine Library operations. To protect staff and patron privacy, employee work conditions and /or routine Library Operations, the Library has designated sensitive areas of the library in which filming is allowed only with the prior written
consent of the Library Director. The designated areas are the Children’s room, the Circulation Desk and the Staff area.

If, in the Library Director’s discretion, a patron is video recording in a manner that the Library Director deems is negatively impacting safety, staff and patron privacy, employee work conditions, and/or routine Library operations, he or she may direct the patron to stop video recording.

If a patron is directed to stop video recording by the Library Director, the patron may appeal the decision by writing to the library board. The staff member who denied the request will provide the patron with the library board president's email address. The patron's appeal request will be considered and voted upon by the Library Board of Trustees at the next scheduled board meeting. The Library Board of Trustee’s decision on appeal shall be based on a determination whether the recording negatively impacts safety, staff and patron privacy, employee work conditions, and/or routine Library operations. The Board president will notify the patron in
writing of the Board's decision within ten days.

All members of the public are allowed to tape or video record public meetings. The recording must be done in a manner which does not interfere with the meeting. The Board President may make the determination that the recording is being done in an intrusive manner, taking into consideration, but not limited to the brightness of the lights, distance from the Board, size of the equipment, the amount of noise generated by the activity, and the ability of the public to observe the meeting. If the Board President determines that the recording is interfering with the meeting, the Board President may request the individual alter their behavior to eliminate the interference. If the request is not complied with, the Board President may have the individual removed from the meeting room.

As with any other ongoing potential violation of Library policy, any individual or media outlet who, after being asked to stop engaging in recording, does not cease recording, will be instructed to leave Library property. Any person failing to comply with the library’s code or policies, is subject to arrest for trespass (New York State Penal Law, Section 140.05).

View the Video Recording Policy as a pdf.

Wireless Network Policy

The George F. Johnson Memorial Library (GFJ) provides free broadband wireless Internet access twenty four hours a day, seven days a week to individuals with laptop computers. Users are expected to use the wireless network in a legal and responsible manner. Violation of federal, New York State or local laws, including but not limited to the transmission of pornography or harmful material, fraud, hacking, spamming, and illegal downloading of copyrighted material is prohibited.

Wireless access at GFJ is not filtered. However, by choosing to use this free wireless service you agree to abide by the GFJ Library Internet Policy.

As the library is a public space, users are prohibited from using the network to access sexually graphic material as outlined in the GFJ Library Internet Policy. Sexually graphic material is subject to the interpretation of the library staff. Violators will be asked to cease and persistence will result in denial of network access.

As with most public wireless networks, the connection is not secure. Any information being sent or received could be intercepted. Wireless users should not transmit their credit card numbers, passwords or other sensitive personal information while using the GFJ wireless network.

Wireless users should have updated virus protection installed on their computer. GFJ will not be responsible for any information that is compromised, or for any damage caused to an individual’s hardware or software due to electric surges, security issues, viruses, hacking, spamming, or other causes. GFJ assumes no responsibility for the safety of equipment or for computer or other wireless device configurations, security, or data file resulting from connection to the GFJ wireless network.

Library staff cannot assist in making changes to user’s network settings or perform any troubleshooting on the user’s own computer. Please refer to your owner’s manual or technical support provided by the manufacturer. Since computer equipment is subject to repair and “downtime” the Library does not guarantee that the network will always be available. The Library also reserves the right to curtail or discontinue wireless service at any time.

The wireless network is widely available throughout the main floor and on the exterior grounds of the library; however you may encounter some “dead” spots where reception may be compromised. If you have trouble accessing the network or staying online please try moving to another location. The library has a limited number of publicly accessible electrical outlets (some with surge protectors) available for use. Please see staff at the Information Desk for assistance in locating them. The library printers are not available via the wireless network.

View the Wireless Network Policy as a pdf.