Q: Are there any rules about respecting others while at the public library?

A: Yes, there are rules addressing this very issue. The Santa Monica Public Library is open to the general public and everyone has the right to use library services and resources, provided his or her behavior does not unreasonably interfere with the rights of others to do the same.

On Dec. 6, 2007 the Library Board adopted the Rules of Conduct. The purpose of the Rules of Conduct are intended to maintain the library’s peaceful atmosphere, facilitate library usage, preserve easy access to library materials, and protect library property. Those who do not follow the rules will be asked to leave the library.

The general policy is to be considerate of others by refraining from activities that may disturb the peace of library users and staff, disrupt library activities or damage library materials or equipment. Visitors are also asked to keep all conversations hushed and put cell phones on silent mode.

Some of the prohibited activities from the library website’s Rules of Conduct page include, but are not limited to:

• Smoking on any part of the library grounds, both inside and outside. This includes planters, walkways and any area up to the adjacent sidewalks.

• Bringing in containers, packages, parcels or bundles that collectively exceed 22 inches by 14 inches by 12 inches. Posted at each entrance are containers to measure your belongings and ensure they do not exceed the aforementioned size. In addition, all items are subject to inspection by library staff.

• Obstructing aisles or access to library facilities, furnishings or equipment or leaving belongings unattended. Any items left unattended will be removed.

• Bringing inside any sleeping bags, bed rolls, mats or blankets is prohibited, as is sleeping on library grounds, either inside or outside.

• Using the library while barefoot or without a shirt is prohibited. Outer clothing and shoes are always required when inside the library.

• Using more than one seat or table space per person or placing your feet on tables or chairs.

• Using restrooms for bathing, shaving or washing hair or clothes.

• Using the library if your bodily hygiene is offensive so as to constitute a nuisance to others.

• Eating in the library or on library grounds except in the courtyards or at special events when approved by library administration.

• Adults loitering in the Youth Services area; using the area except to accompany or assist a child; or, using the area without the permission of library staff.

All of the aforementioned prohibited activities and others not listed are in place to ensure that those visiting and using the services provided by the library are as enjoyable as possible without distraction or inconvenience.

If you see any violation of this policy while visiting any of the libraries throughout Santa Monica, please notify library personnel so they may rectify the situation.

For further information and to see the complete list of the Rules of Conduct, please talk to a library representative or visit www.smpl.org.

Introducing the New NRO for Beat 5

There is a new addition to the Neighborhood Resource Officer program as Beat 5 NRO Adam Gwartz has moved onto new responsibilities within the department. We would like to thank NRO Gwartz for three years of very hard work in the North of Montana area. Officer Scott McGee has been selected to continue on with the efforts as the Beat 5 NRO.

Officer Scott McGee is highly motivated about his new position and has an outstanding sense of ownership and personal commitment to the city. He was born and raised in Santa Monica, where his family still lives. He attended Roosevelt Elementary School, Lincoln Middle School, and Santa Monica High School.

Prior to joining the police department, Scott earned his bachelor’s degree at UC Davis where he studied psychology and played NCAA football. He was awarded the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar Athlete Award. This national award honors athletes who have demonstrated outstanding academic success, exemplary community leadership and superior athletic performance.

Scott began his career at the SMPD in 2005 when he attended the Orange County Sheriff’s Academy, where he graduated number one is his class. Upon receiving his commission as an officer, he was assigned to patrol. In those five years working the streets he has received training in officer safety and field tactics, undercover operations, bicycle operations, and community policing. Scott has been a member of the department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team for the past four years.

Aside from being a police officer, Scott is a Level 1 certified Crossfit trainer and fitness competitor. He also likes to learn by reading non-fiction books and studying online.

Scott believes the position of Neighborhood Resource Officer is an essential ingredient of community-based policing. He wants to be a friendly face, familiar voice, and a resource people can turn to for help with problem solving. He works very well as a member of a team, and feels working hand-in-hand with the people and community is a vital aspect to giving the people of Santa Monica the customer service they deserve. He believes his outstanding working and personal knowledge of the area will help him gain the trust of the community and help remove some of the barriers and stigma associated with police work.

This column was prepared by NRO Jeff Glaser (Beat 3: Downtown, including the Third Street Promenade). He can be reached at (424) 200-0683 or jeffrey.glaser@smgov.net.

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