The City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to give Long Beach libraries the ability to enforce their code of conduct by suspending people’s access and charging them with a crime if they don’t abide by the temporary ban.

The ordinance, which the city’s library director requested in April, could revoke a person’s access for one day for minor offenses and up to one year for serious violations like bringing drugs or weapons into a library. Sleeping on library furniture, making loud noises and not managing personal hygiene can also result in patrons being temporarily suspended from the library.

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The move comes as the city’s librarians and other staff have been dealing with chronic safety concerns involving patrons having mental health episodes. Library staff have also struggled with the number of homeless people who often take refuge at the library.

Over the past few years, the city has closed some libraries intermittently because of those problems and a staffing shortage.

While the city’s libraries have long had a code of conduct, the ordinance the City Council is expected to vote on Tuesday was requested to “clarify” the city’s right to enforce those rules, which include three tiers of violations.

The first tier describes violations like vaping or smoking in the library; using someone else’s library card; or using skateboards or bicycles on library property. The tier also lists violations such as making loud noises, sleeping or lying on the floor or furniture, not wearing sufficient clothing and not “reasonably” managing one’s personal hygiene.

Repeated offenses in this tier can lead to a three-month suspension, according to the code of conduct.

The second tier prohibits patrons from going into “staff only” areas; not leaving the library at closing time and interfering with staff’s ability to perform their jobs. Those offenses can lead to a suspension of up to one year.

Under the third tier, violations like fighting, lewd conduct and possession of weapons or controlled substances would trigger a one-year suspension under the current code of conduct.

Under the proposed ordinance, someone who returns to the library and refuses to leave after they’ve been banned could face a misdemeanor charge that carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

In addition, the proposed ordinance says that any patron who owes $25 or more in library fines for lost or damaged materials would have their library borrowing privileges suspended until their debt drops below that amount.

The proposal also includes an appeals process, to give those who have been banned an opportunity to challenge their suspension. However, it is unclear how an unhoused person would receive notice of a hearing date if they choose to file an appeal.

The ordinance states that the notice would be mailed to the address on file for the person who is facing a suspension, but if no address is available the notice will be “served personally” to the person who filed the appeal.

The council is scheduled to vote on the ordinance at its March 19 meeting. If no major changes are made to the draft, the new law would go into effect after a second procedural vote and a signature from the mayor.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that not paying fines would result only in borrowing privileges being revoked, not a full suspension from the library.

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.