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“Bad Behavior” in the Law Library


A lot of people think those of us who choose to work in libraries do so because we “like to read” and “don’t like noise very much.”

Give us a moment to stop laughing, deposit those beer cans in the recycle bins, return from making a statement to the police about that “incident in the stacks,” and wipe our brows after successfully and peacefully removing that badly behaving patron from the library to the relief of our other library patrons.

It is only 10:30 a.m. and way too early to crank up the Closing Time rendition of “Hit the Road, Jack,” so let’s instead talk about Library Work. In a nutshell:

1) It’s rarely quiet – at least not the kind of library-quiet you might remember from days of yore.
2) We rarely get time to read anything more exciting than official memos and emails, unless you count the latest behavior policy.
3) Most of what we have to read is digital and official (e.g. memos, procedures, policies, law, budgets, etc.)
4) Most, 99.99 %, of library patrons are wonderful.
5) A few library patrons should be banned for life from … the planet.
6) Library people know what RFID, Dublin Core, metadata, and digital asset management are.

We also know about Behavior Policies like this one, which is not unlike other Oregon public library behavior policies out there. There are reasons we have these policies:

1) Committing or attempting to commit any activity that would constitute a violation of any federal, state or local criminal statute or ordinance.

2) Being under the influence of any controlled substance, as defined in ORS 475.005, or intoxicating liquor.

3) Possessing, selling, distributing or consuming any alcoholic beverage, except as allowed at a library-approved event.

4) Engaging in sexual conduct, as defined in ORS 167.060, including but not limited to the physical manipulation or touching of a person’s sex organs through a person’s clothing in an act of apparent sexual stimulation or gratification.

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