Mesa Public Library System
Free Speech Activities Guidelines
The City of Mesa and the Mesa Public Library System (“Library”) respect, value, and support the constitutional right of free speech. Members of the public are welcome to use exterior areas around Library buildings for free speech activity, subject to the time, place, and manner of use restrictions described in these guidelines (“Guidelines”). The Guidelines apply to the Main Library, Dobson Ranch Branch Library, and Red Mountain Branch Library (collectively “Libraries”). The Mesa Express Library located inside the private property of the Power Square Mall at 2055 S. Power Road Suite 1031, Mesa, AZ 85209 is governed only by Sections 1, 2, and 3 of the Guidelines, and is otherwise governed by the regulations set forth by the owner(s) of the Power Square Mall and applicable law.
These regulations are designed to enable those wishing to exercise their freedom of speech (“Free Speech Activities”) with persons visiting the Libraries, while protecting the public’s right to the use and enjoyment of the Libraries, the Library staff’s ability to conduct necessary business activities without interference, and the safety of all parties involved.
- Free Speech Activities include, but are not limited to: holding or carrying signs, protesting, using expressive conduct or speech, distributing literature, acting as a public speaker, panhandling, and requesting signatures/donations/contributions. Persons engaging in any Free Speech Activities are referred to in the Guidelines as “Speakers.”
- The activities of Speakers are not a reflection of the policies, opinions, or views of the City of Mesa, its officials, employees, and representatives; the City of Mesa takes a content neutral position as to the message of any Speaker.
- The interior of the Libraries are dedicated to the quiet study and enjoyment of customers, free from disturbance by others, and Free Speech Activities will not be conducted in these areas.
- For the safety and protection of Speakers, Library staff, and Library customers, Speakers are permitted to engage in Free Speech Activities on the exterior of the Libraries so long as those activities are not conducted: (i) within ten (10) feet of any door of the Libraries; (ii) in the Libraries’ parking lots; or (iii) in a manner in violation of federal, state, or local law. At no time is a Speaker permitted to block or otherwise prevent ingress and egress from the Libraries.
- The shaded areas on the attached diagrams of the Libraries (“Designated Areas”) indicate the areas within which Speakers may engage in Free Speech Activities using tables, chairs, booths, or other furniture (“Personal Furniture”). Access to and use of the Designated Areas will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The use of Personal Furniture is prohibited outside of the Designated Areas.
- Speakers will control the level of any noise resulting from their activities so that it does not disturb Library customers or Library staff on the interior of the Libraries. Speakers’ noise volume that interferes with the use of the Libraries for their intended purposes by customers or staff is prohibited.
- Speakers must provide their own supplies, equipment, and Personal Furniture; the Library will not provide or store any such property for a Speaker.
- Posters, pamphlets, or other printed information of any kind must be hand-held or hand-distributed unless attached to Speakers’ Personal Furniture. No such materials may be placed on or attached to the buildings, walls, columns, lights, or other structural/ornamental features of the Libraries.
- No unattended signs, posters, notes, pamphlets, Personal Furniture, or belongings of a Speaker are permitted and, if found, will be removed and discarded.
- Aggressive or harassing behavior by Speakers in violation of the law is strictly prohibited.
If a Speaker is in violation of the Guidelines, Library staff, at their sole discretion, may take any of the following actions: (i) provide a warning to a Speaker that they are in violation of the Guidelines; (ii) ask a Speaker to leave the Libraries’ premises; and/or (iii) when a Speaker’s actions are in violation of the law or presents a potentially unsafe condition to Library staff or customers, notify the police.
Revised Date: September 4, 2013