Policies And Procedures

GENERAL PURPOSE

 

  1. To operate this library in accordance with the New Hampshire Library Laws and strive to meet the current standards set by the American Library Association and the New Hampshire Statewide Library Development System.

  2. To adhere to the American Library Association (ALA) Library Bill of Rights (Appendix A) and “Freedom to Read” statement (Appendix B).

  3.  To offer exhibits and programs for the community.

  4.  To cooperate with the district school library and other libraries in the Statewide Library Development System to strengthen its own services and resources and, in turn, the state’s library system.

 

MISSION STATEMENT

 

      The mission of the library is to promote the development of well-informed and literate citizens through open access to cultural, intellectual and information resources.  The library functions as a community meeting place.  The library is the most reliable source of understanding about our community’s past, present and future.

 

WHO MAY USE THE LIBRARY

 

  1. The library will serve all residents of the town of Epsom.  Persons residing outside the geographical area but owning property or employed in Epsom may use the library.  Non-residents may obtain a card for an annual fee.  Current fees are available at the circulation desk and on the library website.

  2. Residents receive a card for two years; non-residents receive a card for one year. 

  3. Non-resident students attending school in the town of Epsom may obtain a card at no charge, for their use only, for the school year.

  4. Use of the library or its services may be denied by the Library Director or Trustees for due cause.  Such cause may be failure to return library material or to pay penalties, destruction of library property, disturbance of other patrons, or any other objectionable conduct on library premises.

  5. The use of the library meeting room by any non-profit organization may be permitted at the discretion of the Library Director and/or Trustees, subject to the regulations pertaining to its use.  Reservations for the use of the library shall be made with the Library Director or staff, if the Director is not available.

  6. Programs scheduled by the Epsom Public Library shall be considered first meeting room reservations.

  7. Any non-profit organization using the library shall be responsible for leaving the premises as found; a janitorial fee may be charged if necessary.

  8. No admission fee shall be charged for any program held in the library.

 

USE OF LIBRARY MATERIALS

 

  1. Lost and damaged library materials will be billed to the borrower.  If repeated notices are ignored, a five dollar handling fee will be added to the cost of the books. 

  2. The procedure of overdue library materials is as follows:

    • A telephone call is made.

    • A letter and bill are sent.

    • A registered letter and bill are sent.

    • If all of the above steps have been taken and ignored by the borrower, the Library Director may at that time request that police secure the overdue materials and all costs.

  3. Fines are as follows:

    • Books and periodicals are ten cents per library business day.

    • Videos are fifty cents per library business day.

  4. Fines for overdue materials will be charged as determined by the library Trustees.

  5. Library equipment shall remain in the library.

  6. Any equipment may be used for offsite town group meetings if operated by the library staff or a person approved by the Library Director.  Library equipment is not for personal or private use.

 

DISPLAYS

 

  1. Materials, leaflets, or posters which advocate the election of a candidate, political or otherwise, may not be displayed at the library.  All postings need to be approved by the Library Director.

  2. Announcements of civic programs and town news may be displayed.

  3. Exhibits are encouraged, but the library is not liable for any damages.

  4. Other than for support of the library, no organization or individual shall be permitted to place any receptacle in the library which collects donations, nor shall any poster or display be permitted which advocates or solicits consideration of any product or item sold by any commercial enterprise.  Any exceptions require the permission of the Library Director.

 

SELECTION OF MATERIALS

 

  1. Responsibility for selection policy lies with the Board of Trustees.  The Board of Trustees delegates to the Library Director the authority and responsibility for the development and maintenance of the collection.

  2. The Library will, at all times, attempt to select materials that represent a wide range of viewpoints and will exercise impartiality in all selection activities.  Materials are judged by standards appropriate to their purpose and nature.  Not all guidelines and criteria are applicable to every item and they vary in relation to importance.  These guidelines are:  accurate information, reputation and significance of the author, extent of coverage, literary quality, originality and imagination, timelines and good taste, quality of production, reputation and standards of the publisher. 

  3. The public library may supplement and enhance all educational curricula.

  4. In the event that a patron objects to an item or items in the collection, he/she shall be asked to put the objection into writing on a form provided for this purpose.  The written objection shall be reviewed by the Library Trustees at the next regularly scheduled meeting, and the patron shall receive a written reply.  See Appendix C for “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials.”

  5. As ordering materials is an ongoing process, so is discarding materials.  In an effort to keep the collection interesting, appealing and up-to-date, the library removes materials from the collection which are outdated, worn, no longer in demand, or of little historical significance.  Such material shall be systematically weeded from the collection according to accepted professional practice and may be sold, distributed to other institutions, if appropriate, or destroyed.

 

SERVICES

 

  1. The library staff shall search for information beyond its own resources.

  2. Correspondingly, the library shall lend to other libraries materials which are requested.

  3. The library shall be open sufficient hours to meet the needs of the community. 

  4. The Trustees will provide a library representative at the Epsom Public Library Historical Center for a minimum of four hours per month with the exception of winter months. This representative will maintain the historical collection and reference materials, and provide reference service. The hours will be posted at the Epsom Public Library Historical Center.

  5. Library materials may be loaned to registered patrons for the designated length of time as approved by the Board of Trustees.  Reference, unique or fragile items may be restricted to use within the library building.

 

CONFIDENTIALITY OF CIRCULATION RECORDS

 

      The Board of Trustees supports and accepts the American Library Association’s “Code of Ethics” point III which states:  “We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and materials consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.”  Further, although these records may be necessary for the pursuit of justice by law enforcement agencies, they shall not be released except by subpoena.

 

ACCESS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE TO DVDs AND OTHER NONPRINT FORMATS

 

      The Board of Trustees supports and adopts the American Library Association’s Free Access to Libraries for Minors, an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights which states:  “The ‘right to use a library’ includes free access to and unrestricted use of all the services, materials, and facilities the library has to offer.  Every restriction of access to and use of library resources, based solely on the chronological age, educational level, or legal emancipation of users violates Article V.  Parents and only parents have the right and responsibility to restrict the access of their children to library resources.”

 

COMPUTER AND INTERNET ACCESS POLICY

 

      As part of the Epsom Public Library’s goal to meet the cultural, informational and educational needs of the community, we offer computer services, including Internet access, to library patrons.

      The Epsom Public Library, Trustees and staff subscribe to the American Library Association’s “Freedom to Read” and do not limit the information available to patrons of any age, sex, or racial background.  The library assumes no responsibility for information available through electronic access which patrons may find to be inaccurate, offensive or illegal.  Therefore, parents are responsible for the information their children receive on the Internet.

      It is not the responsibility of the library staff or volunteers to provide detailed instruction to anyone using the computer.  The staff will be happy, to the best of their ability and time, to answer general computer service related questions, and to provide instruction for the various computer programs.

 

The staff will begin shutting down the computers ten minutes before the closing time of the library.

  1. The computers are available to registered library patrons in good standing.  All overdue fines must be paid in advance of computer usage.  Users under the age of 16 must have a parent/guardian come into the library and countersign the application for unsupervised access (Appendix D).

  2. Signing the Internet Users Registration Form means that you understand and consent to the rules governing use of the computer and access to the Internet.  Violation of the computer policies will results in the loss of computer privileges for a period of time as determined by the staff and/or the Board of Trustees.

  3. No one age 12 or under will be allowed to use the computer without an adult present.

  4. Users sign in at the circulation desk. They must show their library card and library staff will verify that the patron has no outstanding fines.

  5. Users may reserve a computer in advance.  A limit of one reserved hour per day per user is established to ensure equitable availability.  Unreserved time may be used on a walk-in basis if approved by the library staff.  In the event no one has reserved or is waiting to use the computer when a user’s reserved time is up, the user may continue to use the computer until a request is made.  Users who are late for their reserved time will have that time deducted from their service.  Users over 15 minutes late will forfeit their reserved time.

  6. The user agrees to obey all applicable federal, state and local laws governing copyright restrictions.

  7. No more than two patrons at a time may be at a computer station.

  8. After the first five pages, printing costs are 15 cents per page.

  9. Users are not permitted to download information to the computer’s hard drive.  Users may download to their own device. 

  10. Materials ordered from a vendor through the Internet must be paid for by the user via their credit card.  The Epsom Public Library will not be responsible for these items.

  11. No food or drink is allowed near the computer station.

  12. There is no public computer access when the library is closed.

  13. Any damage to the computer or its peripheral devices is the responsibility of the user.  Abuse of the equipment or service will result in the user being denied further access to the service.

 

RULES OF BEHAVIOR FOR USE OF LIBRARY FACILITY

 

      It is library policy to provide a respectful environment for its patrons.  Since the library is a public building, we are also obligated to provide a safe environment for patrons and staff in order to facilitate the public’s use of the library’s resources and services.

      Disruptive behavior includes behavior which intrudes on another patron’s or staff member’s ability to read, study, work or use library materials without distraction.  Unacceptable behavior guidelines also apply on the library grounds and may include harassment of other people.  Disruptive behavior by any patron may result in the following progressive actions by library personnel:

 

  • A verbal warning:  the behavior is unacceptable.

  • If the behavior continues, the person(s) will be asked to leave the library property.

  • If necessary, the police will be called.  Appropriate procedures will be followed to consider the safety of a child who is asked to leave the library property. 

 

      Any time a staff member feels that a patron’s behavior is threatening to the safety of other patrons or staff members, the staff member will call the police immediately.

 

SAFE CHILD POLICY

 

       The Epsom Public Library welcomes children of all ages to use and enjoy the facilities, collections and programming offered by the library.  The library attempts to provide a safe environment for children to select books and other materials and to attend library programming.  However, young children are not safe when left unattended in the library.  The staff cannot know if children are leaving the building with their parents or with strangers.  For the safety of minor children and the enjoyment of all patrons using the library, we have developed a specific policy regarding unattended children.

 

  1. Children under the age of twelve may not be left unattended at the library.  A child is unattended if he/she is in the library without a parent or responsible adult over the age of fifteen.  This includes children participating in library programming; a parent or other responsible adult over the age of fifteen must remain in the library during the program.

  2. Parents are responsible for the behavior of minor children at all times, even if they are not located in the library with the child.  Library staff does not serve in loco parentis, in place of the parent.  If a child’s behavior is inappropriate for the library, and he/she does not respond to appropriate guidance from library staff, the parent will be contacted to remove the child from the library.  If the parent cannot be reached and the child’s behavior is deemed dangerous or unduly disruptive, the Police Department will be called.

  3. If a child is left at the library without a way home one-half hour prior to closing time, library staff may call the child’s home or place of business using information provided by the child, the patron database, or the telephone directory.  If contacted, the parent will be told that their child must be picked up immediately.  If the parent cannot be located or if a parent has not picked up the child within one-half hour, the library staff may contact the Police Department.  At no time should there be fewer than two staff members or volunteers with an unattended child.

  4. Under no circumstances will a staff member give a child a ride home.

  5. The Epsom Public Library and its staff do not assume responsibility for any child left unattended in the library.

  6. All library patrons are subject to the “Rules of Behavior” policy concerning disruptive behavior.

  7. As used in this policy, the term “parent” may include legal guardians or other persons having custody or control of a minor.

 

NO SMOKING POLICY

 

      No smoking is allowed in any areas of the library or within 30 feet of the building.  Employees, patrons, visitors, and vendors are expected to comply with the non-smoking policy.  Any concerns or complaints with respect to anyone violating this policy should be directed to the Library Director.

 

VOLUNTEERS

 

      The Epsom Public Library welcomes volunteers aged 14 or over to assist the staff in extending the library’s service to the community.  Volunteers may work in many areas of the library according to the needs of the library and their own interest and skills.

      A volunteer’s role and responsibilities will be clearly outlined and a volunteer will serve at the direction of the Library Director or the Director’s designee.  The Library Director will develop procedures for running background checks, recruiting, appropriate placement, orientation, training, and evaluation.  The library will maintain a file on each volunteer regarding his/her service at the library.  Volunteers will be given periodic feedback on their contributions to the library program.  Those who do not meet performance standards, are not reliable or who violate the public trust will not be included or continued in the program.

 

MEETING ROOM POLICY

 

Room Use:

  • Use of the meeting room does not imply that the library endorses or advocates the viewpoints of meeting room users.

  • The meeting room is available for local, non-profit organizations (not available for commercial or private use).

  • Scheduling of all programs and meetings requires the approval of the Library Director or designated staff person.

  • Non-profit groups can reserve the meeting room after completing the Application for Room Use and the Release of Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Agreement (see Appendix E).

 

Application Guidelines:

  • Applications for the use of the meeting room should be made to the Library Director or designated staff person at least one week prior to the event – a tentative reservation may be made by phone, but final confirmation will not be made until all signed forms are received.

  • Use of the room is based on the order in which applications/release-waiver forms are received.

  • The library reserves the right to deny or revoke permission to use the room.

  • No group or organization using the meeting room will discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, age, sexual orientation, disability, gender, religion, national origin or citizenship status in the provision of services.

  • No admission fee may be charged – all activities in the room must be open to the public.

  • All publicity must carry the name of the organization sponsoring the meeting – the library may not be identified as sponsor.

  • Youth groups must have an adult sponsor and at least one adult in attendance for every fifteen young people.

  • Cancellation of the meeting room reservation should be made at least 24 hours before the scheduled meeting time; failure to notify may result in the forfeit of future use of the meeting room.

 

Room Rules:

  • Set-up and clean-up of the meeting room is the group’s responsibility; removal of trash (except from restrooms) is mandatory.

  • Fire code regulations limit the number of persons in the meeting room to 60 for banquet style and 132 for assembly style set-up.

  • Light refreshments, excluding alcoholic beverages, may be served.

  • No smoking is permitted in the library or within 30 feet of the building.

  • No program in the library may be broadcast or televised without the permission of the Library Director.

  • Displays and decorations require prior approval of the Library Director.

  • DO NOT USE tacks, nails, post-it notepaper or tape on the walls.

  • The Library does not loan AV equipment off premises.

  • Adults attending functions in the meeting room accompanied by children will be held responsible for the behavior of their children.

  • The Library Director may deny use of the meeting room to any group that fails to comply with these rules.

 

GIFTS AND MEMORIALS

 

  1. Books and other materials shall be accepted on the condition that the library has the authority to make whatever disposition it deems advisable.

  2. Gifts of money, real property, and/or stock shall be accepted if conditions attached thereto are acceptable to the Board of Trustees and subject to any applicable laws.  Personal property, art objects, portraits, antiques and other objects shall be accepted only upon approval of the Library Trustees.

  3. With the exception of special exhibits, the library reserves the right not to accept for deposit materials which are not outright gifts.

  4. The Library Director and/or the Board of Trustees are not qualified to evaluate gifts for tax purposes and cannot provide this information to the donors of gifts.

 

DISPOSITION OF MONEY

 

      Monies are collected at the library from fines, photocopying, donations made to the library, Friends of the Library products such as canvas bags, mums and other items.  All cash transactions are to be handled only by paid library staff.

      Since the library is as vulnerable as any other business to theft, at no time shall there be more than $100 cash at the library.  Money should be deposited into the appropriate accounts on a regular basis. 

 

PROVIDING PATRONS WITH RIDES

 

      In the event that a patron at the library requests a ride home or to another location, library staff are to politely refuse this request.  Library staff are not insured to transport patrons in their car.  Library staff who transport a patron, which results in injury of the patron, are liable for the injury on their personal insurance policy.