SJPL Suspension Policy

SJPL Procedure 6.13.3

Statement of Policy & Text

In order to preserve the peace and provide public access to San José Public Library facilities, the Library Suspension Policy describes conduct that may be grounds for removal from, and denial of access to, the City libraries; and the procedures for suspension and the suspended customer’s right to a hearing.

Need for the Policy

The Suspension Policy describes actions that will be taken when library customers engage in conduct that is grounds for removal from, and denial of access to, the City of San Jose libraries, the guidelines for suspension and the suspended customer’s right to a hearing.

Requirements & Guidelines

In order to be fair and equitable in the application of Library behavior rules and to provide a documented record of the enforcement of these rules, authorized Library staff members shall apply the following procedures. Authorized library staff members are: Ranking staff members (defined as supervisors or staff members designated by a supervisor to act in that capacity), and Public Safety Officers.


Note: The Library reserves the right at all times to immediately discharge a customer that is dangerous or in any way threatening library staff or other customers.

Some behavior may be disruptive enough to ask a customer to leave for the day. A written report is not required for “remainder of the day” suspensions. In order to suspend a customer for a day, the following procedures shall occur:

  1. Library staff should explain to the customer that they are engaging in disruptive behavior. Library staff should tell the customer what the disruptive behavior is and the importance of abiding by the rules. The customer should be advised that further violations of the rules will not be tolerated and may result in their being asked to leave for the day.
  2. If the disruptive behavior continues after staff has admonished the customer, the customer may be asked to leave for the day. If the customer feels that the treatment is unfair, a supervisor or ranking staff member may be called to hear the objection. The supervisor’s or ranking staff member's decision will be final.
  3. The staff who delivers the “remainder of the day” suspension shall send an email to the SJPL Administrative Officer or designee, noting the name of the person being suspended, the date, time and reason for suspension.


  1. Some disruptive behaviors may require that the customer be suspended for longer periods of time. Longer than 1-day suspensions will be based on the severity of the behavior, or will be issued if a customer continues to be disruptive after receiving at least one 1-day suspension.
  2. Depending on the severity of the disruptive behavior, a customer may be suspended for a minimum of one week and a maximum of two years.
  3. If a decision is made to suspend a customer for more than the remainder of the day, staff must complete the “Notice of Library Suspension” document. A copy of the completed document and the Suspension Re-entry Procedure must be made available to the customer. In the case of a minor (under the age of 18), the Library will attempt to notify the parent or guardian and provide the parent or guardian with a copy of the completed document.
  4. Any customer who is suspended is entitled to a hearing. To receive a hearing the customer must follow the directions on the “Notice of Library Suspension” and Suspension Appeal Request" In addition, the customer must return the forms to the suspending library within 5 working days. Working days are defined as those days in which the library (where the suspension originated from) is open for business for any part of the day. The Hearing Officer will hold a suspension hearing at the Main Library. A parent or guardian must accompany a minor (under the age of 18) to the hearing. The Hearing Officer’s decision is final.
  5. The original suspension form shall be kept at the location where the suspension occurred. Copies should be made, and forwarded to, the Division Manager in charge of the location where the suspension took place and Library Security.
  6. Any customer who violates the suspension order by entering any San Jose Public Library or communicating with Library staff while on suspension will be asked to immediately leave the building and will be automatically suspended for one (1) additional month from the date on which their suspension was scheduled to end.
  7. Any customer who is suspended for one (1) month or longer must meet with a Library Security Officer or Library Branch Manager prior to return to any San Jose Library facility. The purpose of the meeting is to review the Customer Conduct guidelines and the Library’s suspension process with the returning patron. The Security Officer or Branch Manager conducting the meeting will ask the patron to sign and date the Customer Conduct Guidelines and forward the document to the San José Public Library Administration office.
  8. Any suspension, regardless of duration, is a suspension from all San Jose Public Library facilities.
  9. The maximum suspension period is 2 years.



If your suspension is for a period of one (1) month or longer, you must request a meeting with a Library Security Officer or Branch Manager prior to your return. The purpose of the meeting is to review the Customer Conduct guidelines and the Library’s suspension process. In the case of a minor (under the age of 18), a parent or guardian must attend the meeting with the minor. To request a Re-entry meeting, please call the Library Security Unit at (408) 808-2048 or speak with a Library Security Officer.

To ensure timely assistance with your re-entry you must schedule your re-entry appointment one (1) week prior to your return date. If this re-entry meeting does not occur, you will not be allowed into the Martin Luther King Jr. Library nor any of the San Jose Public Branch Libraries until the meeting takes place.

The assigned Library Security Officer or Branch Manager will:

  1. Review the reason(s) you were initially suspended;
  2. Review the current Library Customer Conduct Guidelines;
  3. Review the current Suspension procedures;
  4. Ask for your signature noting you have completed the Re-entry meeting.


Applicable Personnel/Departments

San José Public Library staff




Reviewed and approved by: Signature/Name Date of Approval
SJPL Assistant City Librarian  Ned Himmel  06/05/08 


Ruth Kifer, Rae Ann Stahl, Mary Nino, Luann Budd, Jill Bourne, Neil Rufino, Katie DuPraw, Angie Miralor, Jon Worona



Tracy Elliott, Rae Ann Stahl, Colleen Cuddy, Marie Chack, Jill Bourne, Jean Herriges, Jenny Choi, Vidya Kilambi, Chaunacey Dunklee, Michelle Amores


History & Dates

Category of Policy & WBS#: Administration/ Operations,User Services
Author(s): Gayle Davis, Access Services Library Assistant
Authorized by: Ned Himmel
Date Written: June 4, 2008
Date Effective: June 11, 2008
Date(s) of Revision(s): May 9, 2011; June 23, 2014, January 23, 2017


Customer Conduct Policy

Notice of Library Suspension Forms