All library locations will be closed June 19th for Juneteenth.

Guidelines for Library Use

Patrons checking out books


The Fort Smith Public Library’s Guidelines for Library Use are designed to ensure that all library customers are safe and comfortable and that library facilities and resources are kept clean and well maintained.

Library users who cannot follow these guidelines will be asked to leave the library.  Repeated and/or significant offenses will result in loss of library privileges including a temporary or permanent ban from all library locations.  Individuals who refuse to leave the library when requested are subject to arrest under the criminal trespass section (5-39-203) of the Arkansas Code.

Respect the Rights of Other Customers and Library Staff

Use inside voices.  Obscene or profane language, name calling, rude gestures, unreasonable noise, or violent, riotous, or disorderly conduct is not permitted.

The library is generally expected to be a peaceful place.  Running, hitting, slapping, shoving, fighting, and horseplay are not permitted.

The library should be used for library mission-related purposes.  Loitering is not permitted.  When waiting for a ride, wait quietly inside the foyer or on the sidewalk or benches outside.  At branch libraries, the area between the two sets of front doors should be kept clear.

Cell phones should be set to silent or vibrate.  Cell phones may be used inside the library as long as the user speaks in a low voice.  Speaker phone features should not be used.  Library staff may ask customers to leave the building or use designated cell phone areas during conversations.  The use of cell phones is not permitted during library events and programs.

Computer users must follow the library’s Computer and Internet Usage policy and Wi-Fi use policy.  Viewing inappropriate sites is not permitted and will result in the temporary or permanent loss of computer privileges.

Headphones or earbuds must be used for audio on library computers and personal devices, and the volume must be low enough so as not to be heard by others.  If needed, earbuds are for sale at all library locations.

Library users may not possess, consume, or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while in the library.

Children under the age of 11, or children of any age who are unable or unwilling to care for themselves, may not be left unsupervised in any area of the library.  Caregivers accompanying children under 11 must be at least 16 years of age and able to monitor the behavior of the child and be responsible for and responsive to their needs. Additional information on library policies related to children may be found here

Sleeping, bathing in the restrooms, and walking barefoot are not acceptable library behaviors.

Library users are expected to dress according to norms for indoor public spaces and should be clothed so as not to be disruptive in a public setting.  Shirts and shoes are required.  Clothing should not be deemed offensive or contain profane messages.

Offensive body odor due to neglected hygiene or other strong scents is discouraged.

Inappropriate public displays of affection are not permitted.

Soliciting, campaigning, petitioning, fundraising, and panhandling are not allowed inside the library or on library grounds (except on election day at locations being used as polling places, as prescribed by Arkansas law).

Weapons are not permitted in library buildings (Arkansas Code 5-73-122).

Customers should respect library staff and refrain from interfering with the library staff’s ability to perform their duties.  Engaging in extended conversations, monopolizing a staff member’s attention, or engaging in behavior that forces the attention of staff for an extended period of time is not permitted.  Inappropriate personal comments, sexual advances, verbal harassment, sexual harassment, or physical harassment will not be tolerated.

Library users should follow instructions given by library staff quickly and respectfully.

Respect Library Facilities

Furniture should be used for its intended purposes.  Climbing on furniture, sitting on tables, leaning chairs back, or putting feet on tables is not permitted.

Covered drinks are permitted in public areas of the library except near library computers.  Food and drinks are permitted in library meeting rooms.  Food is not permitted in study rooms.  Only food purchased from Dewey’s Café is permitted in Dewey’s Café.

Smoking or tobacco use, including smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes, or their equivalent, is not permitted in the library. 

Vandalism, graffiti, defacing, intentionally damaging library property, and theft of library property are unlawful and will be prosecuted.

Pets are not allowed in the library except those used for library programming or as service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The use of skateboards, roller blades, roller skates, and scooters are not permitted in the library or on library premises. 

Bicycles must be kept at the bike racks outside the building and are not to be brought into the library.

Trash should be deposited in trash receptacles inside or outside the building.  Spills or other messes should be reported to library staff as soon as possible for effective clean-up.

Library parking lots are intended for the use of library customers.  Overnight parking is not permitted without written permission of the library director.  Vehicles that present a hazard or safety risk, appear to be abandoned or inoperable, interfere with the normal operation of the library, or that violate this or any other library policy may be towed at the owner’s expense.

Respect Library Materials

Keep library materials clean and in good condition.  Supervise small children around library materials.  Do not highlight or otherwise mark in or on library materials, and keep them away from liquids, food, pets, and pests.  Replacement fees will be charged for damaged items.

Return materials by their due date.  Library materials may be renewed twice, as long as they are not on hold for another customer.  Renewals may be requested online, by phone, or in person.


Have more questions about using the library?  Click here to ask a question or connect online with library staff.