Solicitations on Library Property




ADOPTED: JULY 18, 2006

WHEREAS, the parking lot and sidewalks of the library have not been opened to the public for First Amendment purposes;

WHEREAS, the library recognizes that, in Jefferson County, limited public forum exist for individuals, corporations or groups to solicit signatures for initiative petitions pursuant to Chapter 116 of the Missouri Revised Statutes and as otherwise allowed by law;

WHEREAS, the library wants to allow individuals and groups to have the opportunity to gather signatures outside the library buildings; and

WHEREAS, the library does not want to allow said solicitation of signatures for initiative petitions to interfere with or disrupt the traditional First Amendment forum of the library, that being the quiet use, enjoyment, and contemplation of the written word.

NOW THEREFORE, the library adopts the following policy for the solicitation of signatures on library property:

    (1) An initiative petition for the purposes of this policy is defined as a petition by members of the electorate to initiate legislative or constitutional change, said petition to be acted upon either by the legislature or the total electorate.

    (2) Solicitations of signatures for initiative petitions are allowed outside of the Jefferson County Library Branch buildings under the following terms and conditions:

        (a) Solicitations of signatures may only take place during the library’s regular business hours.

        (b) Solicitations of signatures must take place at least 25 feet from the main entrance doors to the building.

        (c) Solicitations of signatures may not impede the normal business operations of the library, may not obstruct foot or vehicular traffic on library property, and may not block entry to the library building. Library patrons may choose to stop or not stop, and may not be harassed, threatened or detained by persons seeking to solicit signatures.

        (d) Persons wishing to solicit signatures for initiative petitions on library property shall (1) notify the library of their intent, (2) check in at the circulation desk, (3) fill out an information sheet and (4) sign a release from liability before they begin their solicitation of signatures. Each person involved in the solicitation must fill out the information sheet and sign the release from liability.

    (3) Persons who violate these regulations will be asked to leave library property. If such persons refuse to leave library property, the staff member in charge of the building is authorized to call the local police department or the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, to make a formal complaint, and to request the persons be charged with trespass.

    (4) Use of library property by petitioners does not indicate the Library’s opposition or endorsement of the issue that is the subject of the petition, and the Library will not assist the petitioners in the solicitation of signatures.

    (5) Solicitations, in the form of requests for donations (including receptacles for donations) and requests for monetary or other personal assistance are not allowed on library property.

    (6) Commercial solicitations are not allowed on library property.