Library Policies

Contents

  1. Code of Conduct
  2. Computers
  3. Fines and Fees
  4. General Selection
  5. Library Cards
    1. Borrowing Privilages and Limits
  6. Unattended Children

Code of Conduct

Any activity or behavior that interferes with another person’s ability to use the library freely, or that interferes with the ability of library staff or volunteers to prefer their duties effectively is prohibited. Any activity or behavior that damages library materials or library facilities including unauthorized removal of materials, equipment or supplies is prohibited.

The Board authorizes the director (or staff member in charge in the absence of the director) to revoke, or restrict library privileges of any individual who violates this policy. The Board also authorizes the director (or staff member in charge in the absence of the director) to have the patron removed by the police and/or file charges against individuals who violate this policy when necessary.

Examples of activities/behaviors violating this code of conduct include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Concealed weapons
  • Loud boisterous behavior
  • Running in the building
  • Abusing Library property, violating library policies
  • Harassment of any kind including verbal, physical, unwanted conversation, impeding access to any are of the building or grounds.
  • fighting on library property
  • Using tobacco in any form
  • Possession, sale, or use of alcohol or illegal substances
  • Eating or drinking outside designated areas
  • Sleeping in the building
  • Using radios, tape players, cell phones, etc at a level that can be heard by others.
  • Skateboarding, roller skating, etc anywhere on library property
  • Using emergency exits when no emergency exists

The Library reserves the right to inspect all bags, purses, briefcases, packs, personal listening equipment, etc for library materials.

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Computers

PS 6.1 Internet Access Policy

The library provides access to public computers free of charge. Library computers are equipped with a variety of software packages and include access to online databases and the internet. Materials may be saved to USB-compatible mobile storage devices.

A valid library card or visitor pass is required to use the computers. Computer sessions are limited and are monitored by software. Time extensions may be provided for legitimate academic research, testing, job applications, and social service and unemployment applications at the discretion of the director or assistant director.

Patrons may send and receive email housed on remote servers. The library does not provide email addresses/accounts for patrons.

All users are encouraged to carefully evaluate information from the Internet for quality and appropriateness. The library does not guarantee the reliability of information found on the Internet; the library does not guarantee the safety of personal information entered or shared by patrons over the Internet. The library is not responsible for loss of data or software or hardware damage resulting from patron’s use of library computers or through the library website. Patrons viewing inappropriate web sites (pornography, hate sites) or engaging in illegal activity will lose their library privileges and may face criminal charges. Library staff reserves the right to view any computer screen in the library.

The library uses filters and monitoring software to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act and to enforce library policies regarding computer use and access. Parents please note: filtering software does not guarantee a safe internet environment. It is the parents’ responsibility to monitor their children’s internet use.

PS 6.12 Printing

Printers are available for public use.  Patrons are expected to pay $.10 for black and white printing and $.50 for color printing per page.  Patrons will be charged for all pages printed.  No exceptions will be made for computer errors by the patron or for pages not needed or wanted by the patron.

PS 6.2 Library Website

The library maintains a website to further communication with its patrons and to provide remote access to its resources.  In choosing resources to link directly to its website, the library follows its materials selection policy.  However, the library does not monitor or control information accessible through the Internet and is not responsible for the content of that information.

PS 6.21 Social Networking Software

The library may use social networking software to facilitate communication and encourage collaboration between library staff and library patrons.  The library reserves the right to monitor content before it is posted on all of its social networking software websites and accounts, and to modify or remove any messages or postings that it deems, in its sole discretion, to be abusive, defamatory, in violation of copyright, trademark right or other intellectual property right of any third party, or otherwise inappropriate for the service.  The library also reserves the right to edit or modify any submissions in response to requests for feedback or other commentary. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the library is not obligated to take any such actions, and will not be responsible or liable for content posted by any subscriber in any forum, message board, or other area within the service.

PS 6.3 Wireless Internet Access

The library provides wireless Internet access in the library and the Annex.  Properly equipped laptop and notebook computers and tablets can be connected to the network by requesting a wireless pass at the circulation desk and showing appropriate identification or a valid library card. The wireless network is unsecured and patrons should use appropriate caution when transmitting personal information over unsecured networks.

PS 6.4 Equipment Available for Public Use

The library does not check out equipment.

PS 6.41 Use of Workstations

Computer workstations are available for a limited time per day on a first come first served basis. Patrons must have a valid library card or guest pass. Patrons will be required to log onto the computer and thus onto the monitoring system that keeps track of time. Patrons may log onto the computers as many times per day as they wish until they have used their allotted time. Time extensions may be provided for legitimate academic research, testing, job applications, and social service and unemployment applications at the discretion of the director or assistant director.

PS 6.42 Laptop Computers for Borrowing

The library does not currently lend laptops to patrons.

PS 6.5 Use of Personal Technology

PS 6.51 Plugging In

A limited number of electrical outlets are available near several seating areas, and patrons are welcome to plug in their laptops or other personal electronic devices.  However, power cords and other cables may not obstruct traffic, seating, or tables.

PS 6.52 Personal Communication or Entertainment Devices

Items such as, but not limited to, personal computers, portable listening devices, hand-held game consoles, pagers, and radios, should be kept at a volume that does not disturb other patrons or staff in the library.  In general, headphones or similar equipment should be used by patrons who wish to listen to broadcast or recorded materials inside the library.  Cellular-phone users are required to converse in the lobby or outside the building.

PS 6.53 Social Media

The library does not restrict the use of social media on its machines or on personal laptops, etc. except where such use violates other stipulated policies.

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Fines & Fees

PS 3.51 Overdue Fines

The library charges overdue fines of $1 per day on DVDs and browsing titles in all formats.  Overdue fines are not charged for any other items.

PS 3.52 Fees for Lost or Damaged Materials

Fees for lost materials or materials deemed unusable because of damage are determined by the price of the item entered in the catalog plus a $5.00 processing fee. The director reserves the right to determine the definition of useable condition.

PS 3.53 Refunds

A patron who has paid a lost item charge is entitled to a refund of the price charged for the item but not the processing fee. Processing fees are not to be waived. Note: No refund will be given once an item has been replaced.

PS 3.54 Overdue and Fine Notices

The director reserves the right to send out overdue or lost book notices.  Patrons may sign up for text and email notices.

An item 45 days overdue is considered lost and the price of the book and processing fee are posted to the patron’s account, as determined by the director.

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General Selection

PS 2 Library Materials Evaluation and Selection

Building a library collection is an ongoing activity: the collection evolves as the needs of the community evolve and as changing technology provides additional or alternative resources. Because no library budget or building is large enough to permit the purchase of every worthy resource, this policy guides the library staff in most effectively using the library’s financial resources to meet the present and anticipated needs of the community it serves. A policy cannot replace the judgment of trained and experienced staff, but stating goals and indicating boundaries will assist staff in selecting library resources, evaluating the collection, and maintaining the collection’s currency, relevance, and usefulness.

Library staff has a professional responsibility to be inclusive, not exclusive, in selecting materials for the library collection and in providing access to materials through resource sharing. The library should work to provide access to legally obtainable materials, and policies should not exclude access to materials even if such materials offend a library staff member or some members of the community. When staff consider an item for addition or retention, that item is evaluated as a whole, not on the basis of a particular section or sections. An item will not be added to, or barred from, the collection solely because of:

  • An author’s race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, or political or social views.
  • A work’s depictions or descriptions of violence or sexual activity.
  • A work’s controversial content.
  • An author or work’s endorsement or disapproval by any individual or community group

PS 2.1  Responsibility to the Community

The Newcomerstown Public Library plays an active and positive role in the community. The Board of Trustees, administration, and staff of the library are committed to these tenets: (1) that free and open access to information is necessary for citizens who think and make choices for themselves; (2) that by providing access to a wide variety of facts, opinions, and ideas the library helps to create a well-informed and enlightened populace.

The library fulfills its mission when it selects and makes available materials for the education, recreation, entertainment, and enrichment of the public: that public includes patrons of all ages, of many levels of interest and ability, and of differing views and opinions.  The library’s collection should include both materials that represent topics of current interest, as well as those of enduring value.

The Standards for Public Library Service in Ohio, 2010 Revision, states: “The library considers the diversity of community needs, interests and demands for titles and formats in the materials selection process.” Material that inspires one patron may also sometimes offend another.  However, by providing free and open access to diverse information and viewpoints, the public library may serve as a cornerstone of the principles of democratic society.  Inclusion of materials in the library’s collection acknowledges the importance of a diversity of views and interests; it does not represent an endorsement or imply agreement with any particular viewpoint, or suggest approval or certification of the content of any item.

The library does not label materials except to aid the public in finding them in the library.  Labels or ratings that provide assessments such as “This material contains language which some may find offensive” are not applied by the library.

The responsibility for monitoring a child’s reading, listening, and viewing rests with the parent or legal guardian. Selection of materials for the library is not restricted by the possibility that children may obtain materials that their parents or guardians consider inappropriate. Though the library is divided into age-appropriate areas and posits age-appropriate items in those areas, parents and guardians should be aware that all items in the library are available to everyone. Parents or guardians who want a child’s borrowing privileges restricted should accompany child to the library.  Library systems, staff, and administrators do not serve as surrogate parents or guardians.

All libraries are likely to contain materials that some patrons may find objectionable. In addition, collections may not contain all materials that some patrons feel are important. In both cases, the library has established procedures to hear the voices of the community. (see below).

The Newcomerstown Public Library’s Board of Trustees supports the latest revisions to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the interpretations of that document including: The Freedom to Read Statement; The Freedom to View Statement; The Statement on Free Access to Libraries for Minors; The Statement on Labeling and Rating Systems; The Statement on Expurgation of Library Materials; and The Statement on Diversity in Collection Development. Copies of these documents are in the appendices.

PS 2.2 Responsibility for Selection

The policies and mandates of the board govern the inclusion of materials in the library collection.  Overall responsibility for the collection is delegated to the director, and through him or her to library staff who are qualified by education, training, interest, and job classification to select materials.

PS 2.3 Criteria for Addition and Retention of Library Materials

Because its ability to purchase and store materials is limited by the size of both its budget and its building, the library has established criteria for the addition and retention of library materials. These criteria may be applied to all formats, and include, but are not limited to:

  • Current interest
  • Timeliness
  • Patron requests
  • Educational significance
  • Positive reviews
  • Recommendations by professionals
  • Accuracy
  • Contribution to the breadth of representative viewpoints
  • Value commensurate with cost and/or need
  • Reputation of author/publisher/producer

The library strives to provide material that promotes continuing, independent learning, and makes an effort to provide some curriculum-related materials for area schools and other teaching situations.  However, the library does not usually acquire textbooks, subscriptions to professional or academic journals, or other materials that directly support a particular curriculum except as such materials might also serve the general public, e.g. basic science books. Nor does the library purchase multiple copies in sufficient quantity to meet the assigned demands of local institutions, schools and colleges, or non-library reading groups.

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Library Cards

A library card is a valuable resource. A library patron is responsible for all materials checked out on his or her library card, and if such materials are returned late, damaged, or lost, the patron is responsible for paying fines or replacement fees. The parent or legal guardian of a minor patron is responsible for all materials checked out on the minor patron’s card. A patron must present a library card or photo identification in order to check out materials. A patron with a library card from an SEO library may not have a card from any other SEO library. However, the patron may choose the library he or she prefers.

Because minors do not usually have access to photo identification, library staff will provide services to a minor for that minor patron’s account, provided that minor patron can verify his or her name, address, and birth date.

PS 3.1 Borrower Registration

Any person residing, owning property, working or attending school in the state may apply for a Newcomerstown Public Library card.  Proper identification with a current mailing address must be provided for adults 18 and over.  Anyone who holds a library card from SEO member libraries has library privileges with Newcomerstown Public Library.  However, if a person wants to get one of our cards, any previous cards should be fine free and be deleted from the SEO system before issuing a Newcomerstown Public Library card.

A patron under age 18 may register for a library card, but must have the signature of his or her parent or guardian on the registration form. The parent or guardian must be present and show the required identification as outlined above.

By signing the library card application or by presenting a card from another SEO library,  the patron agrees to abide by library policies and rules including fine or fees for late or misused borrowed items.

PS 3.2 Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Cards

A patron should report a lost or stolen library card to the library as soon as possible.  The owner of a lost or stolen library card is responsible for all material checked out on that card up to the time that he or she reported to the library that it was lost or stolen.  The patron may request a replacement for a lost or stolen card in person at the library.  A replacement card costs $2.00.  Badly damaged cards will be replaced upon request.

PS 3.3 Restrictions of Borrowing Privileges

Borrowing privileges will be suspended when unpaid fines and/or fees reach $5.00.

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PS 3.4 Borrowing Periods

  • Movies on DVDs circulate for 7 days.
  • Books on tape, books on CD, and music CDs circulate for 21 days
  • Newcomer Browsing Collection books circulate for 14 days
  • All other books circulate for 21 days
  • All magazines circulate for 21 days

Most items can be renewed twice. Items can be renewed online or by calling 498-8228. Items with holds cannot be renewed.

Interlibrary loan item loan periods are set by the lending library and items cannot be renewed. Borrowers have 7 days to pick up interlibrary loan materials before they are returned to the lending library.

PS 3.41 Borrowing Limits   

  • A patron may have no more than 50 items checked out at once
  • A patron may have no more than 4 DVDs checked out on his/her card
  • A patron may have no more than 2 Wii, Playstation, or XBox games checked out on his/her card
  • A patron may check out a total of 6 DVDs and games in combination
  • A patron may have no more than 4 music CDs, audio books (CD or tape), or CD games checked out on his/her card

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Unattended Children

Library staff cannot supervise unattended children, nor do they have any legally recognized authority to take the place of a parent or responsible family member.

Newcomerstown Public Library employees cannot act as parents in absentia and cannot be responsible for unattended children.

Library employees are responsible for assisting children with locating materials, answering reference questions, and presenting programs for the education and enjoyment of area children. All reasonable care will be taken to provide guidance and a safe environment for children in the library and related functions. However, we rely on parents to supervise children so that we can serve all of our young patrons well.

Parents must accompany young children to the library or arrange suitable supervision.

If conduct problems or emergencies arise involving unattended children; the library staff has no choice but to contact local law enforcement who may then contact Children’s Services.

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