The Cape Girardeau Public library upholds the presentation of petitions as a fundamental right of political expression. However, aggressive solicitation toward patrons by petitioners, campaign workers or volunteers is prohibited. Petitioning, solicitation and campaigning activities must not interfere with patrons’ ability to enter or leave the library or library parking lots.
Solicitations of signatures or initiative petitions are allowed outside of the Cape Girardeau Public library under the following terms and conditions:
(1) Solicitations of signatures may only take place during the library’s regular business hours.
(2) Solicitations of signatures must take place at least 25 feet from the main entrance doors to the building and out of the main traffic lane. Petitioners are not guaranteed the use of an area protected from sun, heat, or inclement weather.
(3) 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.
(4) Signs promoting petitions may not be placed on library property and petitioners must in no way affiliate themselves with the Library, either through written publicity, signage, or verbal statements.
(5) Persons wishing to solicit signatures for initiative petitions on library property shall (a) notify the library of their intent, (b) check in at the user services desk, (c) fill out an information sheet and (d) 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.
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, to make a formal complaint, and to request the persons be charged with trespass.
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.
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.
Commercial solicitations are not allowed on library property.
APPROVED by the Board of Trustees of the Cape Girardeau Public Library this 23rd day of August, 2012.