Petitioning on Library Property
The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States affords citizens the right to freedom of speech as well as the right 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 to protect both the free exercise of individual rights as well as maintenance of a safe and welcoming environment for all citizens while visiting the library.
- Petition circulating in no way constitutes the library’s endorsement of a candidate, an issue, or an organization’s policies or beliefs.
- 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 any exits.
- Petitioners shall not occupy areas designated by the Fire Department as fire or emergency lanes.
- Petitioners shall not occupy parking spaces or disrupt the flow of vehicular traffic by standing in traffic lanes or entrances.
- Petitioners shall not prevent library visitors from getting in or out of vehicles or the building.
- Petitioners shall provide their own supplies and equipment. The library is unable to supply tables and chairs to petitioners.
- Anyone who violates this policy, or other library policies such as the Code of Conduct, or engages in unlawful behavior will be asked and required to leave the premises.
Approved by the Board of Trustees, rev. July 16, 2018