Unattended Personal Property
For purposes of this Policy, the term “personal property” includes, but is not limited to, backpacks, bags, sleeping bags, bed rolls, blankets, pillows, luggage, containers, articles of clothing, food, personal technology, and all other similar personal property. The term “unattended personal property” means personal property in which neither the owner of the personal property nor the owner’s proxy (a person associated with the owner) is visibly present in the area of the personal property. All capitalized terms not defined in this policy shall have the meanings set forth in the Library Rules of Conduct.
In order to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all Library patrons, any unattended personal property will be placed in the Lost & Found area of the Account Services desk (the “Check Out desk”) if left unattended in excess of 30 minutes. If a Library Staff member observes unattended personal property on Library Premises, they should note the time and date immediately. The Library Staff member should then follow up regarding the unattended personal property at least 30 minutes later.
If, after at least 30 minutes, the personal property continues to be unattended and the personal property is located in any location of the Library (other than in a reserved study room), the following procedures shall apply:
- Library staff will be notified immediately.
- Library staff will wear gloves, put the unattended personal property in a clear bag(s), move the item(s) to Lost & Found area of the Check Out desk, and note the date and time on the walk-around log. Staff should use a cart, if necessary.
If the personal property is located in a reserved study room and the study room use period is expired, Account Services staff will be notified immediately and will follow the procedures set forth above.
No additional notice of the removal of the unattended personal property shall be required based upon the posting of a notice at the Library entrance - or upon other appropriate notice - advising that unattended personal property in violation of the Library Rules is subject to immediate removal.
Procedures for Handling Unattended Personal Property
Unattended Personal Property items of low or moderate value (such as clothing, cords, glasses/sunglasses, flash drive, pens, or notebooks) will be dated and stored for a period of 30 days at the Check Out desk. If the owner of an unattended or found items identifies the item to Library staff, the item will be returned. After 30 days, unclaimed items will be discarded.
Unattended Personal Property items of higher value (such as keys, wallets, laptops, phones, jewelry, or personal information documents) will be dated and stored for 72 hours at the Check Out desk. If the owner of an unattended or found items identifies the item to Library staff, the item will be returned. After 72 hours, the items will be turned over to the Boca Raton Police Department.
Other Unattended Personal Property:
- Perishable items such as food or drinks, including containers, will be discarded if left unattended after 30 minutes, or left in the Library building after closing.
- Hazardous items, including any items with blood or other biohazards, will be discarded immediately by qualified staff.
- Suspicious items, including abandoned bags, may be immediately reported to the Boca Raton Police Department.
- Items found outside of the Library Premises (see Library Rules of Conduct) will be treated according to the Recreation Services Department – Lost/Found or Unattended Private Property policy.
Library Rules of Conduct Relating to Unattended Personal Property
Account Services staff shall refer to Section 6 of the Library Rules of Conduct for enforcement procedures in connection with this Policy. When a Library User comes to Lost & Found to collect their personal property, the Account Services staff will give the Library User a verbal warning that if they leave their items unattended again, they will be issued a Notice of Exclusion for failing to comply with the Library Rules of Conduct. Account Services staff will give the Library User a copy of the Library Rules, highlighting the following:
Level One: Section 3(x) Engaging in any conduct that violates the Library’s Unattended Personal Property Policy.
Account Services staff will serve the Notice of Exclusion, if applicable, when the Library patron returns for their personal property.
Adoption and Effective Date
This policy was adopted by the City of Boca Raton on July 1, 2022 This policy shall be effective immediately and shall supersede any other Unattended Personal Property Policy.