1. Purpose: The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States affords citizens the right both to freedom of speech and to petition the government for redress of grievances. A library is obligated to permit the public to exercise only those rights that are consistent with the nature of a library and consistent with the government’s purpose in establishing a library.
The purpose of a library is to provide a place for reading, writing, and quiet contemplation. The exercise of many oral and interactive First Amendment activities is contrary to the very nature of a library. Accordingly, this policy sets forth guidelines and conditions for circulating petitions on library property.
Petition circulating in no way constitutes the library’s endorsement of a candidate, an issue, or an organization’s policies or beliefs.
2. Procedure: Each petitioner shall notify a library circulation staff member of their presence on library grounds prior to beginning their circulating activities. Each petitioner shall provide his/her name, address, and a copy of the petition to the library.
- Petition circulation must take place outside the library building at least ten feet (10’) from the library’s public entrances.
- Petitioners shall not block entrances, book returns, or exits. Petitioners shall not occupy areas designated by the Fire Department as fire or emergency lanes.
- Petitioners shall not occupy parking spaces.
- Petitioners shall provide their own supplies and equipment. The library is unable to supply tables and chairs to petitioners.
4. Violations: Anyone who violates this or other library policies or engages in unlawful behavior will be asked and required to leave the premises.
Approved by the Board of Trustees October 11, 2006