[Libs-Or] 2 library policy questions

Perry Stokes director at bakerlib.org
Tue Feb 18 12:53:12 PST 2014

At BCLD, we recently updated our Code of Conduct <http://bakerlib.org/files/policies/BCLD_Code-of-conduct_2014-02-10.pdf>  to include e-cigarettes as a method of prohibited “smoking”. The update was in response to several instances of attempted use of e-cigarettes in the library interior and a new Baker City Ordinance No.3322 <http://www.bakercity.com/images/stories/documents/miscellaneous/proposedordinance3322.pdf>   prohibiting the use of tobacco and tobacco products in the City Park adjacent to the library and other outdoor recreational areas at facilities owned or operated by Baker City. 

Reasoning: e-cigarettes are disruptive to others’ use & enjoyment of the library. The devices are essentially water pipes in which various substances can be used, including nicotine, oils from marijuana, herbs, plants or synthetic products--even illicit drugs. Those substances can create varying degrees of fragrance. The exhaled vapor bears a strong visual resemblance to traditional smoking, causing a disturbance for our non-smoking patrons, and at least one study suggests it does expose others to second-hand chemicals.

Secondhand vapor does expose others to chemicals – 2013.  http://ntr.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/12/10/ntr.ntt203.short

So, to 

·         maintain a “safe, clean & welcoming”  atmosphere including control of air quality in our buildings, 

·         avoid having to monitor and supervise smoking activity or pipe (e-cigarette) contents, and

·         partner with Baker City to provide a cohesive No Smoking/Tobacco zone in the library & park area,

the BCLD board acted to include e-cigarettes  under BCLD’s smoking ban. The policy is now in effect in the library interior. Signage was posted last week alerting our users that the policy will become effective on March 1 for the outdoor areas. 

We’ve also struggled with odors .We needed a policy broad enough to include everything from b.o. & urine-covered clothes/packs to smelly food, stink bombs, and persons doused in Axe body spray or perfume, so changed our line previously about “poor personal hygiene” to: “May not…Create a disruptive scent in the library from strong body odor, personal care product, or personal belongings.”  It’s no less awkward to enforce, though.


Perry Stokes | Library Director 

Baker County Library District <http://www.bakerlib.org/>  | 2400 Resort St | Baker City, OR 97814
o: 866-297-1239 | m: 541.403.0450 | f: 541-523-9088 | e: director at bakerlib.org 


From: Libs-Or [mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney
Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 12:04 PM
To: libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us; Craig Carter
Subject: Re: [Libs-Or] 2 library policy questions


We just finished revising our Conduct Policy -- so recently that it's not up on the website yet. We have not had any issues with e-cigarettes as of yet, beyond inquiries from staff and volunteers over whether they can be used in the library or in work areas. For staff and volunteers, we include it in policies about professional conduct and the like.


For patrons, we have language in our policy about smoking or using tobacco products, as well as language about restrictions on "Consuming or ingesting any food, drink, or any other substance." We feel between the two of these, we could in good faith ask someone not to smoke e-cigarettes in the building if it became a nuisance. 


My husband actually uses e-cigs, and while most indications are that the vapor is likely much less harmful than cigarette smoke, I do find that the odor of the vapor can become overwhelming in enclosed spaces or in close proximity, especially with some of the brands. Smell-wise, it can sometimes be almost like sitting next to someone who's applying perfume, although it does dissipate quickly.


We have elected not to include language about personal hygiene specifically in the policy; instead we include a provision for "behavior that infringes upon the rights of others to enjoy the Library’s principal purpose of education and quiet study." It is our feeling that an egregious example of body odor or heavily applied perfume could fall under this, although we have not applied it in this manner in recent memory. Our biggest issue relating to odors has been a patron who repeatedly returned library items that smelled strongly of cat urine, which we eventually handled as a case of damage to library items.




Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney

Library Director

Driftwood Public Library

801 SW Hwy 101, #201

Lincoln City, OR 97367

541-996-1251 (desk)

541-921-5620 (cell)

541-996-1262 (fax)

www.driftwoodlib.org <http://www.driftwoodlib.org/> 

>>> Craig Carter <craigc at tigard-or.gov> 2/14/2014 3:53 PM >>>
Hello everyone,

We have been discussing two separate policy questions, and want to get some feedback from other libraries on how they handle each of them.
The first has to do with patrons with personal hygiene challenges. Do you have a policy that deals with this, and if so, what is your policy? Do you offer any resources to these patrons as far as someplace they could go to shower/bathe and/or get their clothes washed?

The second has to do with e-cigarettes. Do you have a policy that addresses them? If so, what is it? What about chewing tobacco? Do you lump all tobacco-related issues into one blanket policy, or are they separate?

Thanks in advance for your input!

Craig Carter
Circulation Manager
Tigard Public Library
13500 SW Hall Blvd
Tigard, OR 97223
503 684-6537 X2509
Craigc at tigard-or.gov


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