Article M - Prohibited Activities

Because public employees are in positions created for the public and funded by the public, the public has the right to expect that the incumbents in the positions will not abuse the trust placed in them by the public. The employees of the Athens Regional Library System are expected to observe local, state and federal ordinances, codes or laws.

Elective Office

No library employee shall hold an elective government office which affects the funding of the library, nor shall he/she solicit any contributions, assessments, or services nor publicly endorse any candidate for any elective office while on library time or physically on the library premises. A public endorsement is defined as making a public campaign speech or statements to the news media about a candidate.

Employees are free to engage in whatever civic and/or political activity they choose so long as their involvement does not infringe on library time and is not conducted on library premises, and does not adversely impact on funding or support of the library.

Canvassing, Solicitation, Literature Distribution

Solicitation of, or distribution of literature to, staff members or the public, including visitors, by anyone for any purpose is prohibited on Library property at all times except for the purposes and under the conditions outlined in the following:

  • Fund raising for Athens Regional Library System campaigns
  • Collections for staff gifts and the Sunshine Fund
  • Contributions for established charities approved by the Library Director
  • Friends of the Library fund-raising events
  • Information about fund raising events with which staff members are involved may be placed on the staff bulletin board in the staff lounge or on e-mail. (Examples: Girl Scout cookies, church choir candy, Little League light bulbs)

Solicitation of library employees by other employees for any purpose is prohibited in all working areas of the library. Distribution of literature to library employees is prohibited at all times in work areas. Work time should not be used for non-library activities. In no event shall literature be left on tables or distributed in any manner other than directly to fellow employees except for literature which specifically supports library goals.

Posters or flyers announcing community events may be placed on the Community Bulletin Board provided they meet the criteria for display.

F. 3. e. Canvassing, Solicitation, Literature Distribution

It is recognized that library employees may engage in the sale of goods or services outside of their employment with the library. However, it is never appropriate to solicit business from patrons during library work time.

Solicitation of, or distribution of literature to, staff members or the public, including visitors, by anyone for any purpose is prohibited on library property at all times except for the purposes conditions outlined in the following:

  • Fund raising for Athens Regional Library System campaigns pre-approved by the Library Director;
  • Collections for staff gifts and acknowledgements;
  • Contributions for established charities pre-approved by the Library Director;
  • Friends of the Library fund-raising events.

Information about fund raising events with which staff members are involved may be placed on the staff bulletin board (other than those boards reserved for official workplace legal postings) in staff break areas. Information regarding personal businesses may be distributed to other employees by placing ads on staff bulletin boards or by posting information or leaving catalogs or brochures in staff break areas.

Other than for library-approved projects, oral and written invitations to product parties, for distribution of other non-library information, to solicit funds, or to sell goods may not be made through interoffice “all-staff” emails.

(4-20-2017)

F. 3. Prohibited Employee Conduct

Because library employees are in positions created for the public and funded by the public, the public has the right to expect that the incumbents in the positions will not abuse the trust placed in them by the public. Employees of the Athens Regional Library System are expected to observe local, state, and federal ordinances, codes and laws.

F. 3. a. Firearms and Weapons

As a condition of employment, Athens Regional Library System employees cannot bring firearms of any kind into library facilities. Firearms and other lethal weapons are not allowed in ARLS-owned vehicles.

F. 3. b. Visitors in the Library

Library staff is not permitted to use the library as a regular child care solution. Children of library staff, who must occasionally spend after-school or other extended periods of time in the library due to extenuating circumstances, will be expected to follow the same rules and policies which apply to all children in the library. Each staff member will be responsible for ensuring that library work remains a top priority, and that library time is not used for supervision of children. The following special provisions will apply:

  1. Children must not be given security codes to enter staff areas or corridors.
  2. A child may join his/her parent in the staff break room during the parent's regularly scheduled break. Children may not enter or remain in the break room unattended.
  3. If staff children become a disruption or distraction for staff, a supervisor may ask the staff member to make other arrangements for child-care.
  4. Staff children volunteering for work in the library must follow established ARLS volunteer policies and guidelines and be officially registered as volunteers.

Employees should limit their personal conversations with family members or acquaintances who visit the library. Visits are permissible, but should be infrequent and brief in order to maintain a productive work environment.

Restricted Access to Non-Public Areas of the Library

Access to non-public areas of the library is limited to current employees, registered volunteers, and scheduled maintenance or service workers. (For purposes of this section, non-public areas are those areas behind the public service desks, employee workrooms, employee offices, hallways, storage areas, computer equipment rooms, break rooms, and outdoor spaces designated for staff use only.) Volunteers should use public restrooms and vending areas instead of areas designated for staff use only. Other persons with business-related reasons to be in these areas (such as sales persons, vendors, or consultants) must be accompanied by an employee at all times. Codes to work area doors should be shared only with staff and facility service workers for connected local governments.

F. 3. c. Private Use of Library Property by Employees

All employees must protect library property from theft, loss, and damage. Library property includes knowledge and information as well as physical materials. Library equipment and supplies are intended for library business, not for personal use. Library property should not be removed from the library other than for library business unless pre-authorized by a Resource Team member or a Branch Manager. An employee borrowing library property is responsible for its safekeeping and timely return. The library reserves the right to inspect any vehicles parked on library property when there is reasonable suspicion of policy violations.

Violation of any part of this policy may be considered theft of property or services and subject employees to disciplinary or legal actions.

F. 3. d. Political Activities

No library employee shall hold an elective government office which affects the funding of the library, nor shall he/she solicit any contributions, assessments, or services.

Employees are encouraged to exercise their right to vote and, on their own time, to take part in political activities. However, employees' rights to express their political opinions during work hours or as a representative of the library are limited.

No employee may engage in political activities, including displaying political campaign buttons or other apparel, at the work place or during work shifts. No employee may make use of library time, equipment, email accounts, or other resources to aid or endorse a political candidate, party, or cause; nor may any employee use his or her position at the library to persuade, coerce, or intimidate any other person in the interest of a political candidate, party, or cause. Bumper stickers or decals may not be applied to library property or library vehicles unless specifically approved by the Library Director or Assistant Directors.

All Athens Regional Library System employees should be free of any and all political persuasion or coercion in relationship to their employment, and/or from their supervisors and fellow employees, and should report any such attempted pressure to their supervisor or the Human Resources Officer.

F. 3. e. Canvassing, Solicitation, Literature Distribution

It is recognized that library employees may engage in the sale of goods or services outside of their employment with the library. However, it is never appropriate to solicit business from patrons during library work time.

Solicitation of, or distribution of literature to, staff members or the public, including visitors, by anyone for any purpose is prohibited on library property at all times except for the purposes conditions outlined in the following:

  • Fund raising for Athens Regional Library System campaigns pre-approved by the Library Director;
  • Collections for staff gifts and acknowledgements;
  • Contributions for established charities pre-approved by the Library Director;
  • Friends of the Library fund-raising events.

Information about fund raising events with which staff members are involved may be placed on the staff bulletin board (other than those boards reserved for official workplace legal postings) in staff break areas. Information regarding personal businesses may be distributed to other employees by placing ads on staff bulletin boards or by posting information or leaving catalogs or brochures in staff break areas.

Other than for library-approved projects, oral and written invitations to product parties, for distribution of other non-library information, to solicit funds, or to sell goods may not be made through interoffice “all-staff” emails.

(4-20-2017)

Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

The Athens Regional Library System does not and will not tolerate discrimination or harassment of employees in the workplace and employees should understand that a claim of discrimination or sexual harassment bypasses normal grievance procedure. No employee shall be subject to unlawful discrimination or harassment based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, citizenship, age, or disability. If anyone feels that unwelcome advances or language is interfering with his/her productivity or comfort at the workplace or if he/she feels that any terms or conditions of employment depend on sexual favors, the employee should report that to the Administrative Assistant. (Refer also to the separate Prohibited Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy.)

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