Responsible Conduct Policy

Purpose

The purpose of the Responsible Conduct Policy (PDF 70.7 KB) (the Policy) is to contribute to the State Library being:

  • a safe place
  • a welcoming place
  • a respectful place, where
    • needs and interests can be pursued freely
    • people show due regard to the needs, sensitivities and rights of others.

The Policy defines the commonplace standards of behaviour on which fulfilment of this purpose depends, and establishes how State Library staff respond when these standards are not observed.

Scope

The Policy applies to:

  • State Library premises and anybody occupying those premises
  • Communication with State Library staff conducted from outside State Library premises, by mail,
    telephone, email, other Internet service, or any other means.

Related procedures

The Policy is implemented through the Responsible Conduct Procedures.

References

The Policy is supported by:

  • Intellectual Freedom Policy
  • Public Access Computer Facilities Policy
  • Information Privacy Act 2009
  • State Library Security Policy
  • Staff Code of Conduct
  • Bags Policy
  • State Building Protective Security Act 1983
  • Libraries Act 1988

Definitions

Term Definition
Inconsiderate or
offensive behaviour

Includes but is not necessarily limited to:

  • communication that causes offense or disturbance to others
  • displaying material that is offensive or objectionable to other members of the public, such as pornography, expressions of racial hatred, and representations of violence 
  • being noisy in designated quiet areas (including receiving and conducting mobile telephone calls)
  • personal hygiene or dress contrary to minimum community norms
  • canvassing or hawking
  • interference with personal property
  • abuse of State Library property, or behaviour that puts State Library property at risk, including misuse of furniture and eating or drinking in non designated areas
  • abuse of State Library systems and processes (e.g. deliberately misfiling library material, circumventing booking systems).
Infringement of
security
  • events, actions or behaviours that harm, or threaten or create risk of harm (including intimidation and harassment)
  • theft or malicious damage of property, including personal property and the property of the State Library
  • trespass, including unauthorised entry to non public areas and unauthorised access to State Library information systems
Client Behaviour
Incident Report
A report that is prepared following an infringement of security or when a client refuses to cooperate with staff enforcing the Policy.
The Policy The Responsible Conduct Policy
QPS
Queensland Police Service
SGPSS State Government Protective Security Service
SPSO Senior Protective Security Officer
State Library premises The South Bank, Cannon Hill, and Cairns sites, any transport service operated by the State Library and any other premises or areas that State Library has leased, hired, or otherwise contracted to use. With respect to the South Bank site the limit of State Library premises is the roofline of the State Library building and the adjoining Auditorium building. Surrounding common areas are subject to the Policy only if the State Library has contracted the use of those areas.

Policy Statement

Standards of behaviour

The State Library welcomes everybody subject only to observance of two commonplace standards of behaviour:

  • that the security and safety of people or property is not infringed
  • that due regard is shown for the needs, sensitivities and rights of others.
Failure to observe these standards is unacceptable.

Unacceptable behaviour

Unacceptable behaviour includes:

  • behaviour that is otherwise inconsiderate or offensive, including but not necessarily limited to:
    • communication that causes offense or disturbance to others
    • displaying material that is offensive or objectionable to other members of the public, such
      as pornography, expressions of racial hatred, and representations of violence
    • being noisy in designated quiet areas (including receiving and conducting mobile
      telephone calls)
    • personal hygiene or dress contrary to minimum community norms
    • canvassing or hawking
    • interference with personal property
    • abuse of State Library property, or behaviour that puts State Library property at risk,
      including misuse of furniture and eating or drinking in non designated areas
    • abuse of State Library systems and processes (e.g. deliberately misfiling library material,
      circumventing booking systems).
  • infringing the security of people or property includes:
    • events, actions or behaviours that harm, create risk of harm or threaten harm, including
      intimidation and harassment
    • theft or malicious damage of property.
    • trespass, including unauthorised entry to non public areas and unauthorised access to State Library information systems.

State Library staff are empowered to determine whether or not behaviour is unacceptable for the purposes of the policy.

Response to infringements of security

Role of State Library staff
State Library staff are required to refer all apparent infringements of security to the State Government Protective Security Service (SGPSS).

Role of the State Government Protective Security Service
The SGPSS is responsible for maintaining security on State Library premises. The jurisdiction, function and powers of the SGPSS are defined in the State Buildings Protective Security Act 1983. The SGPSS has jurisdiction over all State Library premises.

Within the jurisdiction of the SGPSS, Senior Protective Security Officers (SPSOs) have all the powers of a police officer, except the power of arrest. SPSOs are invested with certain powers of search and the authority to demand identification, direct a person to leave a State Government building and to detain a person, pending arrival of a Queensland Police Service officer.

On State Library premises the SGPSS operate under the Policy and the State Library Security Policy. In any situation the two policies appear to be in conflict the State Library Security Policy takes precedence.

At the South Bank site the SGPSS maintains a continuous presence, undertaking regular patrols and continuously monitoring closed circuit television cameras in place throughout the State Library building and the Cultural Centre precinct. Duress buttons, which can be used to page SGPSS officers, are in place at service points in the State Library premises including The Edge.

Involving the QPS

The SGPSS have primary responsibility for determining when the involvement of the QPS is warranted and for actually requesting the assistance of, and liaising with, the QPS. State Library staff may independently request the assistance of the QPS only if difficulty in contacting the SGPSS would increase risk of harm to any person or prevent enforcement of the law.

Response to inconsiderate or offensive behaviour

The initial response to inconsiderate or offensive behaviour is to encourage the person responsible to behave in a more considerate manner. Ejecting a person from State Library premises or terminating communication with State Library staff conducted from outside State Library premises is a last resort, only ever warranted after conciliatory approaches have failed, or in response to infringements of security.

Initial response
With reference to the detailed description in the Responsible Conduct Procedures document, the response of State Library staff to inconsiderate or offensive behaviour is to:

  • point out the possible adverse impacts of the client’s behaviour on others  
  • support the person in using the State Library effectively.


Second response and ejection
A person on State Library premises whose behaviour is unacceptable, and who fails to heed initial approaches by State Library staff or SGPSS officers, will be informed by an SGPSS officer that under the Policy he/she will be ejected from the premises. When a person is being ejected from the State Library the person is told (by the attending SGPSS officer) why he or she is being ejected, that the ejection is occurring under the Policy and that he or she will not be permitted to re-enter State Library premises until the next day. In the case of a client leaving the premises prior to SGPSS involvement and ejection, staff should complete a Client Behaviour Incident Report.

Termination of communication with State Library staff conducted from outside State Library
premises

A person who behaves unacceptably in communicating with State Library staff from outside State Library premises (by being abusive, for example) will be informed that communication will be terminated unless the behaviour ceases. Communication will be immediately terminated unless the person complies.

Client Behaviour Incident Report
A Client Behaviour Incident Report should be completed following any of the circumstances described above.

Authority
The authority to initiate the ejection of a person from State Library premises under the Policy is delegated to the most senior officer available or to the attending SGPSS officer. Authority to terminate communication by any person from outside State Library premises under the Policy is delegated to all staff.

Bans

Grounds
A person may be banned from entering the State Library or communicating with State Library staff from outside State Library premises (‘banned’), on the following grounds:

  • infringements of security or safety
  • he/she has been the subject of Client Behaviour Incident Reports or has had communication with State Library staff from outside State Library premises terminated three times within a 6 month period.

A person may be banned only on condition that their identity can be positively established.

Authority
The State Librarian has the authority to issue bans for any period. State Library Program Directors have delegated authority to issue a ban and to determine the duration of a ban up to a maximum of six months.

Consequences
A person who has been banned may be issued with a letter on the premises or may be informed by registered letter of the ban. The letter will include a summary of incidents leading to the ban, the basis of the ban in policy, the duration of the ban and appeal rights and procedures.

The duration of a ban is at the discretion of the State Librarian or the Program Director and is determined by circumstances leading to the ban and whether the banned person has been previously banned. The usual period of a ban is two months.

A banned person apprehended attempting to enter State Library premises will be prevented from doing so. A banned person who is apprehended on State Library premises will be immediately required to leave. Entering or attempting to enter State Library premises during the term of a ban is grounds for extending the ban.

Appeals
A person who has been banned may appeal to the State Librarian to reduce the duration of the ban. The State Librarian may delegate consideration of the appeal of the ban to a Program Director but not to the Program Director who originally issued the ban. The determination of the appeal will be made by consideration of the available Incident Reports and records, and any case put forward by the person seeking the review. The appeal should be settled within 1 week of its receipt and client informed of the outcome as soon as is practicable.

Register of bans
A register of current bans is maintained and kept at the Reception counter. It may be viewed on request by client service staff. The Register may include a copy of the ban notice and other information identifying banned people, including photographs.

Protection of State Library Property

Under S.81 of the Libraries Act 1988, the State Library reserves the right to inspect bags at exits and to prevent bags being brought into non-designated areas. The State Library may seek restitution for serious damage to, or theft of State Library property resulting from apparently intentional or reckless actions.

Information privacy

Under the State Government’s Information Privacy Act 2009 and its own Intellectual Freedom Policy the State Library is committed to protecting the privacy of clients. Formal records are made of infringements of security or a clients’ refusal to cooperate with staff enforcing the Policy. These records serve the enforcement of the Policy, and inform improvement of the Policy, related Procedures and staff training.

A record made in the enforcement of the Policy is treated as confidential and subject to strict controls:

  • Records are registered in State Library’s central files
  • Records are made available within State Library only for purposes related to the enforcement of the Policy and only with the sanction of the State Librarian or a Program Director. Incident Reports are routinely distributed to:
    • Program Directors
    • Workplace Health and Safety Officer
    • Workplace Health and Safety Representative
    • State Government Protective Security Service
    • The Responsible Conduct Policy and Procedures Reference Group
  • Records are made available outside the State Library or the SGPSS (including to law enforcement officials) only with the specific permission of the State Librarian and only if this is required under law, is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the criminal law, or there are reasonable grounds for believing that any person’s life or health would be put at risk by not disclosing the information.
  • Members of the public have access to records created in the enforcement of the Policy in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2009.

State Library staff will discuss and disclose information about individual’s conduct only when reporting incidents or debriefing with supervisors or managers.

Training and Development

The Policy will form part of the orientation pack supplied to State Library staff at induction. Client service staff will receive detailed orientation to the policy and procedures which includes:

  • the legal and ethical framework underlying the Policy   
  • developing a shared sense of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour
  • engaging with clients behaving unacceptably
  • threat assessment and appropriate action 
  • responding to the display of potentially offensive or objectionable material
  • strategies for de-escalating conflict and withdrawing from unsafe situations and interactions
  • incident reports and administration of the Policy  
  • debriefing staff who have been involved in upsetting interactions (supervisors and managers).

Staff who have been involved in threatening or upsetting interactions with clients will be personally debriefed by a supervisor or manager and will be encouraged to access the Employee Assistance Service. The orientation will be delivered by the individual business units implementing the policy and procedures.

Administration of the Policy and Procedures

The Responsible Conduct Policy and Procedures Reference Group will meet on a quarterly basis to review the application of the policy, to ensure a shared understanding of the policy and procedures and to ensure most effective application of the policy at SLQ. The group is comprised of:

  • Director, Engagement and Partnerships
  • Manager Service Development, Visitor Experience 
  • The Edge representative
  • kuril dhagun representative
  • Strategic Reporting representative
  • Learning & Participation representative
  • LYPS representative
  • Marketing and Communications representative
  • SGPSS Officer - Principle Advisor - Security & Car Parks
  • SLQ SGPSS liaison officer (Facilities Manager)
  • SLQ WHS committee representative


Approved by State Library Executive Team
Date: 30 August 2013

Download the Responsible Conduct Policy  (PDF 70.7 KB)


This policy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia licence. You are free to copy, communicate and adapt this work, so long as you attribute the State Library of Queensland.

For more information see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/au

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