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Petitions, Demonstrations, Surveys and Electioneering Policy

(Approved by Library Board May 17, 1999. Revised April 19, 2010 and May 21, 2012, June 20, 2016, August 28, 2017; August 19, 2019.)

The St. Louis County Library allows the circulation of petitions, demonstrations, and conducting of surveys outside its facilities as long as these activities do not interfere with the conduct of business or impede the free access of the public to Library buildings and resources. Specifically, individuals or organizations gathering petition signatures, demonstrating, or conducting surveys may stand on the Library's sidewalks adjacent to its buildings as long as they maintain a distance of at least 25 feet away from any entrance and/or exit and do not block pedestrian traffic.  Petitioners, demonstrators, and survey takers may not set up tables, chairs and other furniture or personal items or otherwise impede ingress or egress out of the Library, interfere with patrons seeking to use the Library, or otherwise disrupt Library patrons or activities. Petitioners, demonstrators, and survey takers are not guaranteed the use of an area protected from sun, heat, or inclement weather.  There may not be more than three petitioners, demonstrators, or survey takers at any one entrance and/or exit at any time.  Petitioners, demonstrators, and survey takers may not confront patrons in the parking lot or follow patrons to or from their vehicles.  Petitioners, demonstrators, and survey takers may not obstruct a patron, intimidate a patron into signing a petition, or harass a patron if the patron informs the person gathering signatures, demonstrating, or conducting surveys that the patron is not interested.  

Signs promoting petitions, causes, or surveys may not be placed on doors or buildings and petitioners, demonstrators, and survey takers must in no way affiliate themselves with the Library, through written publicity, signage, or verbal statements. Petitioners, demonstrators, and survey takers are required to register at the Library's Service Desk prior to gathering signatures or conducting surveys.  Nothing in this policy regulates the use of sidewalks that are on the perimeter of Library property and indistinguishable from adjacent municipal or other public sidewalks.

Petitioning, demonstrating, and conducting surveys inside Library buildings is prohibited. Petitioners, demonstrators, and survey takers refusing to comply with this policy will be asked to leave Library property.

Electioneering, including the distribution of election literature and the posting of signs, is permitted only on election days; however, any such activity is prohibited within 25 feet of polling places. (Missouri State Statute (RSMo § 115.637(18)). Non compliance may result in a conviction for a class four election offense punishable by fine and/or imprisonment.