Statement of Policies

Appropriate Use Policy



The Austin Public Library is key to making Austin a dynamic creative center and the most livable city in the country.


We are committed to providing easy access to books and information for all ages, through responsive professionals, engaging programs, and state-of-the-art technology in a safe and friendly environment.

The Austin Public Library is supported by the taxes of the people of Austin who expect each of our facilities to be clean and comfortable. The Library is intended for reading, studying, writing and listening to written or electronically transmitted materials, and attending Library or community sponsored programs and meetings. To this end, the Library has established rules to help protect the rights of Library customers, staff and volunteers, and to help preserve and protect the Library's materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds.

Most behavior that is unacceptable on Library property will result in an initial verbal warning to stop the behavior. Failure to stop the behavior will result in being asked to leave the Library and may result in eviction. Anyone failing to leave when requested by Library Security/staff, or a law enforcement officer, may be charged with criminal trespass under Texas Penal Code 30.05. Criminal laws related to some prohibited activities are noted below. Criminal activities that occur on Library property will be reported to law enforcement.


  • Abandoning children or failing to supervise children at the Library − Children under age 10 should not be left unsupervised and must be accompanied by a parent or responsible person age 17 or older. Children who are stranded will be referred to the Austin Police Department.
  • Bringing animals into the Library − service animals and animals for Library events are the only animals allowed inside the Library.
  • No consumption of outside food or beverage allowed in the Library − Food and drink may be purchased within the library and consumed in designated areas only.
  • Bare feet, bathing suits, or clothing that does not cover both upper and lower torso is prohibited in the Library at all times.
  • For Library security purposes, remove caps, hats, hoods and sunglasses while in the Library.
  • Bringing bedrolls, blankets or sleeping bags into the Library is not allowed.
  • Leaving personal belongings unattended. The Austin Public Library is NOT responsible for lost, stolen, or misplaced personal items. By leaving items unattended, you run the risk of theft.
  • Disturbing others using the Library − Any behavior that disrupts the normal use of Library services or property by staff or other customers, including:
    • Blocking access to Library entrances, passageways or resources, Texas Penal Code 42.03
    • Disorderly conduct, Texas Penal Code 42.01
      Fighting, Texas Penal Code 42.01 (a) (6)
    • Harassment of Library staff or customers
    • Sexual Harassment of Library staff or customers
    • Strong Odor --Odor that is offensive to a person of normal sensibilities, caused by either poor personal hygiene or excessive use of perfume or cologne
    • Intoxication resulting from alcohol or drugs, Texas Penal Code 49.02 − Alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs are prohibited on Library property.
    • Mistreatment or vandalism of Library facilities, materials, or equipment, Texas Penal Code 28.03; 28.04
    • Restrooms − are to be utilized for their intended use and for washing of hands and face only. No bathing, shaving, or washing, or drying of clothes is allowed.
    • Sleeping in the Library is prohibited; applies to customers age 10 and older. 
    • Smoking in the Library, Texas Penal Code 48.01; Austin City Code 10-6-2
    • Soliciting or panhandling, Austin City Code 9-4-13
    • Using obscene language, Texas Penal Code 42.01
  • Entering unauthorized areas
  • Violating Internet Policy − See separate document, Acceptable Use Policy for Public-Use Workstations.

In most situations, a customer evicted from the Library may appeal the eviction. However, a customer who commits criminal acts on Library property may be permanently evicted from all Library locations and such evictions will not be subject to appeal.


  • Physically attack or threaten to attack another person
  • Making bomb threats against Library property, or from Library property, Texas Penal Code 42.06
  • Unlawfully carrying or displaying weapons, Texas Penal Code 46.02
  • Child abuse, Texas Family Code 261
  • Indecent exposure, Texas Penal Code 21.08
  • Public Lewdness, Texas Penal Code 21.07
  • Theft of Library, staff, or customer property, Texas Penal Code 31.03
  • Voyeurism and peeping, Texas Penal Code 42.01 (a) (11) (c)
  • Destruction of Library property
  • Criminal Trespass, Texas Penal Code 30.05

Revised: 12/14/2012