Policies, Procedures

 and Personnel

 Manual
Table of Contents

1.    LIBRARY

SECTION 1.1 – LIBRARY MISSION STATEMENT

SECTION 1.2 - OUR CORE VALUES

2.    PERSONNEL POLICIES

Personnel Policies are not published on the web but are on-file with the Library Director.

3.    PUBLIC SERVICES POLICIES

SECTION 3.1 - INTERNET ACCESS POLICY

SECTION 3.2 - MEMBERSHIP POLICY

SECTION 3.3 - GENERAL CIRCULATION POLICIES

SECTION 3.4 - MATERIALS SELECTION POLICY

SECTION 3.5 - SPECIAL COLLECTIONS POLICIES

SECTION 3.6 - POLICY ON SERVICES TO CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS

SECTION 3.7 - POLICY ON SERVICE TO LIBRARY USERS WITH DISABILITIES

SECTION 3.8 - INFORMATION SERVICES POLICIES

SECTION 3.9 - BULLETIN BOARD AND INFORMATION DISTRIBUTION AREAS POLICY

SECTION 3.10 - EXHIBITS

SECTION 3.11 - VALUE ADDED SERVICES, RELATED FEES

4. EMERGENCY POLICIES (refer to Disaster Plan)

SECTION 4.1 - FIRE SAFETY POLICY

SECTION 4.2 – SEVERE/INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY

SECTION 4.3 - DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RECOVERY GUIDELINES, OTHER DISASTER POLICY STATEMENTS

SECTION 4.4 - LOSS PREVENTION – SECURITY INCIDENT REPORTING

SECTION 4.5 - LOSS PREVENTION – USE OF SECURITY SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT

5. GENERAL RULES OF CONDUCT WHILE USINGLAWRENCE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY AND ENFORCEMENT

SECTION 5.1 - UNATTENDED CHILDREN POLICY

SECTION 5.2 - CONFIDENTIALITY OF LIBRARY AND PATRON RECORDS

6. DONATIONS


SECTION 1: LIBRARY

SECTION 1.1 – LIBRARY MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Lawrence County Public Library is to provide and service the educational, informational, and recreational need of the residents of our legal service area and those persons outside our legal service area who qualify for library usage.

SECTION 1.2 - OUR CORE VALUES

The Library shall always strive to provide positive experiences for all persons who enter its doors seeking information. In fulfilling this important and essential public service mission, the Library, The Public Library Board of Lawrence County, the Administration and Professional Staff and LCPL employees shall value the following:

·         We believe that reading improves lives.

·         We believe that the library’s chief purpose is to support the individual pursuit of knowledge and life-long learning.

·         We believe that the library should be an institution for civic exchange and a community forum for ideas.

·         We believe that the bedrock of library service is a collection of reliable sources, preserving the best from the past and keeping current with new discoveries.

·         We believe that literacy and the ability to learn are basic tools of economic opportunity and personal success.

·         We are committed to children, youth, and their families.

·         We value our patrons, we respect them as individuals, and we benefit from the diversity of cultures they represent.

·         We support the wide range of the public’s reading and research interests as a reflection of that diversity.

·         We believe that the freedom to read whatever one chooses is a right as profound as free speech, and we defend that right and protect the privacy of a person’s use of the library as a sacred trust.

·         We take pride in our responsiveness to community needs and individual interests.

·         We strive for equity of access to library services across the entire county.

·         We embrace electronic information sources as new tools for extending the library’s usefulness.

·         We believe that every library in our system is a community anchor, strengthening the community it serves and reflecting the culture of the surrounding residents.

·         We believe that every library facility should provide space and surroundings conducive to learning as a reflection of the value our community places on education.

SECTION 3 -- PUBLIC SERVICES POLICIES

SECTION 3.1 - INTERNET ACCESS POLICY

The Library, recognizing the need to provide a variety of informational resources in varying formats, shall provide the public with access to the Internet and other forms of electronic media. The Library’s computer system and the Internet provide opportunities to integrate electronic resources from information networks around the world with other resources. Based on these premises, the Library will provide access to the Internet to the public at no charge, other than charges normally levied for supplies and utilities (i.e. costs for copies or printouts).

DISCLAIMER

The Internet is a resource that enables the library patron to connect to information beyond that which is contained in library collections. However, the Internet is currently not subject to any regulation. The Library can and will recommend interesting and useful Internet destinations and resources for patrons to explore. While the Internet does contain a wealth of information, it also provides access to sites containing materials that some patrons will find offensive and that may be illegal.

The Library does not monitor and has no control over materials obtained on the Internet, and cannot be held responsible for its content. The Library cannot control access to materials or protect patrons from materials they may find offensive. Selection policies, which serve to govern the Library’s purchase of materials, are not applicable to material accessed electronically. The Library cannot censor access to material. It remains the responsibility of the user (or his parent or guardian if he is a minor) to determine what he or she determines appropriate. While federal laws require the library to provide filtering software on Internet access to obtain federal funding for telecommunications and technology, the Library recognizes and hereby warns the public that no such software is fool-proof, and it will not guarantee that such software will block access to material that persons may find objectionable. The Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from access to the Internet obtained in any Lawrence County Public Library branch. The Library reserves the right to enforce Internet usage rules that shall be included as a part of this policy.

INTERNET USAGE RULES

1. Library computers are for library-related learning, research, and information. No settings are to be changed, and no software downloaded without prior, expressed approval of the Library Director.

2. All users of electronic information resources are expected to use these resources in a responsible manner, consistent with educational and informational purposes for which they are provided.

3. Usage time is limited to 180 minutes per day in increments of 60 minutes.  When patrons are waiting to use a computer, patrons currently using a computer will go to the back of the queue at the end of their 60 minute block until another computer is available.  The Director or a designee may exempt a patron from this requirement if they are taking a test or in the process of completing a job application.

4. If computers are shared, all users must agree to the Library’s Internet Access Policy.

5. Minors age 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult parent, guardian, or teacher when accessing the Internet without prior written guardian permission.

6. It is the responsibility of parents or guardians to determine what is appropriate for their own children.

7. Be considerate of your use of the Internet. You are in a public place where children may be present.

8. Library Internet terminals are for searches of the Internet for information only. Use of "chat lines" will not be allowed.

9. You may not send, receive, or display inappropriate materials, defined as text or graphics that may be reasonably construed to be obscene.

10. Respect the privacy of others.

11. Do not alter the hardware or software.

12. User is expected to abide all copyright and licensing rules regarding software.

13. Users of public access computers in any county library facility must hold an active Lawrence County Public Library membership card with active borrowing privileges. Officers-In-Charge may authorize exceptions to this rule.

VIOLATIONS OF INTERNET USAGE RULES

Users violating these rules and/or this policy will be restricted from use of the Internet for a period to be determined by the Library Director or Assistant Director. The Library reserves the right to prohibit violators from future access or use of on-line services in the case of repeated violations of these rules. Illegal acts may subject violators to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.

SECTION 3.2 - MEMBERSHIP POLICY

Membership in the Lawrence County Public Library of one of the following types is required to borrow materials from the library and/or to use certain services, as determined by the Library Director, his/her designee, or by the Public Library Board of Lawrence County.

The Board has authorized the Library staff to allow patrons to check out materials if they have an ID and/or can be identified by the staff.

General Membership:

Any resident of Lawrence County over the age of 16 is entitled to free membership in the Lawrence County Public Library provided they can prove their identity and their address. Persons will have to renew their membership every two years.

Children under the age of 16 years are also entitled to general membership, provided that a responsible party (parent or guardian) agrees to be responsible for any and all items borrowed on the membership card. Proof of identity and address shall be required for the responsible party.

A responsible party is defined as a parent or legal guardian that has a current library card with the Lawrence County Public Library.

Worker's Membership:

Any person employed in a business, company or government agency with offices or facilities in Lawrence County is entitled to membership in the Lawrence County Public Library provided they can provide proof of identity, address, and proof of employment at said business. Such membership is renewable after one year.

Institutional Membership:

Businesses, governmental agencies, institutions, etc. may be allowed institutional membership in the Lawrence County Public Library provided the chief executive officer/general manager of said agency makes such request in writing on company letterhead and agrees to be responsible for materials his/her employees borrows on the membership card. Such membership is renewable every two years.

Educator's Membership:

Teachers in Lawrence County educational institutions are eligible for Educator's Membership, allowing them extended borrowing privileges for materials to be used in the classroom. Such membership is valid for two years and is renewable.

Honorary Membership:

Honorary membership in the Library may be conferred by the Library Director or the Public Library Board to government officials or others for meritorious service to the Lawrence County Public Library. Such membership is continuously valid for the life of the honoree.

Paid Membership:

Persons who do not fit any of the above criteria, including persons who live outside Lawrence County may receive membership in the Lawrence County Public Library by paying a $10.00 annual usage fee. Such membership is limited to one year and is renewable.

Any person with membership in the library shall be required to follow circulation policies and rules and is responsible for any and all materials borrowed on their membership card. Failure to follow library circulation rules, pay overdue fines or other fees, or failure to be responsible for items borrowed on a membership card are grounds for revocation of membership as determined by the Library Director or his/her designee.

SECTION 3.3 - GENERAL CIRCULATION POLICIES

The following policy statements outline how items are borrowed from the public libraries of Lawrence County:

The Membership Card  

The official membership card (I.E. “Library card”) of the Lawrence County Public Library is required to borrow materials from the library as well as to access certain library services. Membership cards should be protected by the holder and persons should not allow other persons to use their card. Any membership holder is responsible for all items checked out on their individual card.

Check Out Periods:

Generally, all circulating items are loaned for three weeks. Limitations are explained elsewhere in this policy.

Renewals:

Most circulating items may be renewed for an additional three-week period except where noted elsewhere in this policy.

Check out limits/Circulation Periods:

Due to the small size of library collections and heavy demand, the Library is required to enforce checkout limits per card. The limits are:

Adult and Institutional cards: 25 items
Children’s cards: 25 items
Educator's Membership cards: 25 items

While the MPAA rating system is not a legal requirement, the Lawrence County Public Library will do its best to enforce the MPAA rating system for all patrons.  While the library staff will try to enforce the MPAA rating system, there may be times an item is inadvertently checked out to an underage individual.  The Library assumes no responsibility for these inadvertent check-outs.

The following items are limited by type to the circulation periods specified:

  • Videos: 2 items per card, one-week circulation, one renewals
  • DVD: 2 items per card, one-week circulation, one renewals
  • Audiocassettes: 25 items per card, three week circulation, 1 renewal
  • All other items: Check out limits as specified above, three-week circulation, 1 renewal
  • Book items borrowed on Educator Loan cards will circulate for four weeks with no renewals.

In order to ensure equal access, the Library will not renew items that another patron has placed on hold.

Items returned to the Library often must be inspected or otherwise processed. Therefore, no items may be returned on one library card then immediately checked back out on another card belonging to the same or another person. The Library reserves the right to limit the number of items checked out by one person or family in a particular subject area to not more than 4 items so as not to deplete the collection depending on current or anticipated need by the community as a whole.

Non-Circulating Items:

The County Librarian or his/her designee may designate certain items as Reference, Desk Reference, Special Collections, or otherwise non-circulating materials. Such items shall not circulate and must be used inside their designated facility.

Return of Items and After-hours book returns:

Items are to be returned on or before the date that they are due. Items may be returned to the desk or designated place at any Lawrence County Public Library facility. Outside after-hours book returns are available for books only at certain branch libraries, and users of such returns should determine their availability at their preferred library.

Audio-visual items of any type must be returned to the desk at any library. Any audio/visual left in a regular book drop will accrue a $1.00 damage fee per item.

Circulation Under Deposit Materials:

The Library Director, due to the cost or possibility of theft, may require that certain items be designated for “circulation under deposit” only. To borrow such items, a monetary deposit shall be required. Such deposits shall be no higher than the cost of replacement of the item. Deposits for such items shall be returned to the borrower when the material is returned to the Library. The Library Director shall set procedures for the selection of such items and for collections and return of deposits and shall review such procedures on a regular basis.

Overdue Fines

Fines shall be levied for persons who fail to return items on time. For books and audiobooks, a $.25 per day per item fine shall be levied. Fines for movie videos and discs are $1.00 per day per item. Borrowing privileges are revoked when any and all fines reach $5.00. The maximum amount of accruable/chargeable overdue fines is $10.00 per item. Lost items will be charged replacement costs and possibly a replacement processing fee.  

Waiving Overdue Fines

The Board authorizes the Library Director the ability to waive 50% of overdue fines a patron has accrued.  A patron that wishes the remaining balance to be waived must appear before the Board of Trustees during a regularly scheduled meeting.  The intent to appeal should be submitted in writing prior to the beginning of the Board meeting.

Lost or Stolen Membership Cards:

As membership cards can be used to borrow items of monetary value, and because members are responsible for all items borrowed on their cards, it is imperative that lost or stolen cards be reported immediately to the Library. Persons are responsible for items borrowed on stolen cards if they fail to report a card stolen.

Lost/Damaged items:

Borrowers are responsible for any and all items borrowed on their membership card, regardless of who actually borrowed the item. The charge for lost, stolen or damaged items shall be the replacement cost of the item. In lieu of paying for the item, the borrower may choose to replace the item with another similar item with the approval of the Library Director. The borrower shall still be responsible for any and all processing charges.

Overdue Notice Processing Charges:

The Library may send a written notice via United States Mail to persons who have items more than two weeks overdue, and will send a second and third and final notice at two-week intervals thereafter. For each mailing, the Library may levy a $.50 fee for mailing and processing.

Materials Recovery

The Library may employ an outside recovery firm or collection agency to recover library materials that have not been returned within a reasonable period of time. Costs associated with such recovery will be passed on to the borrower.

Revocation or Restriction of Borrowing Privileges

The Library reserves the right to revoke/restrict the borrowing privileges of a member provided that they continually fail to follow library circulation rules or regularly fail to return materials. A member may appeal such revocation/restriction to the Library Director for administrative review. The Library Director will review the situation and notify the member of his findings and subsequent decision on the matter. Should the Library Director rule that privileges are to remain revoked/restricted, the member shall have a right to appeal his decision to the Public Library Board for administrative review. In either case, the revocation/restriction of borrowing privileges shall stand until the review process is complete.

SECTION 3.4 - MATERIALS SELECTION POLICY

Purpose

The Lawrence County Public Library shall strive to provide citizens of all ages, backgrounds, and persuasions with a well-balanced collection of print and non-print materials to meet the informational, educational, and recreational needs of the community.

Responsibility for selection

Responsibility for materials selection, as for all library activities, rests with the Director, who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Public Library Board of Lawrence County. Under the Director’s supervision, members of the staff who are deemed qualified by education, training, and/or experience may be assigned to participate in the selection of library materials.

General criteria for selection

The permanent book collection should reflect a strong, accurate, and up-to-date reference collection, a broad fiction selection of classics, as well as standard and popular items, and basic non-fiction titles covering a wide range of subject areas for the researcher and the recreational reader. If determined necessary by the Director and/or the Board of Trustees, specialized collections may be developed to meet specific research, information, or recreational needs of the community. Selection of materials will be influenced by:

A.) Anticipation of and response to continuing and changing needs and interest of the community and of individuals.

B.) Current and historical significance.

C.) The attention of critics and reviews.

D.) Budgetary considerations.

E.) Physical limitations of the facility/facilities.

F.) Needs for additional or duplicate materials in the existing collection.

G.) Availability of the materials through cooperating libraries in Lawrence County, through inter-library loan, or in more comprehensive collections in the area (i.e. North Alabama).

H.) Patron demand.

I.) Professional judgment.

A general representative collection, for all ages at a variety of reading levels is selected, but the collection will be attuned to the specific needs of the community.

Materials selection sources, such as Library Journal or Booklist, will be utilized as guide for collection, development; but these references will not be solely relied upon. Patron demand and perceived needs must still be considered even if reviews for a particular item are not favorable. In most instances, the library will purchase a title if there are demands from the community for it, because the importance of on-demand purchasing is recognized.

Popular Reading will be given a strong emphasis. To provide timely works, a book-lease plan can be utilized and supplemented with purchases from local bookstores and jobbers. Paperbacks may be used to provide inexpensive recreational reading. Periodicals will reflect a selection of scholarly and lay publications, with an emphasis being on the latter.

Materials will be selected in a variety of formats, including books, serial publications and periodicals, online formats, audiocassettes, phonographic records, cassette tapes, compact disc, cd-rom resources, videotapes, film, filmstrips, digital videodisc, and any other appropriate format which is in current demand and use. Such materials will reflect the diversified needs and preferences of the community. The purchase of audio-visual materials will reflect educational and recreational needs of the community as funding is available.

Widely diverse points of view, including controversial and unorthodox subjects, will be available in the collection. Inclusion in the collection does not imply library approval or agreement with the contents. The Board and Staff recognize that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patron/s. Selections will not be made on the basis or merits of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the work in relation to building the collection and to serving the interests of all the patrons.

The Public Library Board of Lawrence County and the Staff of the Lawrence County Public Library shall uphold the principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights as amended January 23, 1980, the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association adopted May, 1953 and the Freedom to View Statement as endorsed by the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the American Library Association and the Council of the American Library Association in June, 1979. Furthermore, these statements shall be incorporated as part of this policy.

Reconsideration of Library Materials

While the selection of materials appropriate to the needs of the community is one of the basic duties of the library staff and of the Director, it is not possible to read or view every item added to the collections of the Lawrence County Public Library. It is recognized that a member of the community may find an item personally objectionable or wish that an item be added to or deleted from the library’s collection.

Since the library is a tax-supported institution, any citizen has the right to question the inclusion or exclusion of any title in the library’s collection. Procedures have been established which will insure serious consideration of any request for removal, restriction, or addition of any item in or to the library’s collection. However, until such an examination has been made, and a decision reached by the Public Library Board of Lawrence County, no such removal, etc., shall take place.

Since all political, religious, and social opinions should be represented in a public library, no group or individual will be permitted to impose a partisan emphasis on the library’s collection. Frankness of language, a widespread and contemporary phenomenon, will never, in itself, be considered sufficient justification to remove or restrict library materials. The responsibility of the library is to serve all the community, not to promote – and above all, not to censor-- any particular political, moral, philosophical, or religious conviction or opinion. It is not the purpose of the library to stimulate, nor to cater to anti-social, prurient, or immoral interests. But no one, least of all a free public library, has the right to judge what another may not read, see, or hear.

Patrons with complaints concerning material content shall be given the "Citizens Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials" form to fill out. Such forms shall be forwarded to the Director and/or the Assistant Director for review. Only the Director may take action to remove such items or move them to a more appropriate collection, or he may refer the matter to the attention of the Public Library Board of Lawrence County at their next regularly scheduled meeting. A decision by the Board to keep an item in the collection will stand unless subsequent judicial decisions are rendered which prohibit housing the material in the library’s collections. The library’s philosophy is that censorship is a purely individual matter, and while anyone is free to reject for oneself any book or other material which he/she may find inappropriate, he/she cannot exercise the right of censorship to restrict the freedom of others.

Evaluation of the Collection

Collection Development is an all-encompassing and on-going process. With this understanding, staff involved in collection development will continuously and vigorously evaluate existing collections and make recommendations to update and/or delete titles. Final decisions regarding deletion of titles shall rest with the Director unless he/she delegates otherwise. The Assistant Director and other staff shall evaluate the periodical collection annually and submit recommendations to the Director for additions/deletions. Other library employees involved in Public Services may be consulted in this task.

Appendices:

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for Information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgement of free expression and free access to ideas.

5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 18, 1948; Amended February 2, 1961, June 27, 1967, and January 23, 1980 by the ALA Council.

The Freedom to Read

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove books from sale, to censor textbooks, to label "controversial" books, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid, that censorship and suppression are needed to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as citizens devoted to the use of books and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating them, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

We are deeply concerned about these attempts at suppression. Most such attempts rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy; that the ordinary citizen, by exercising his critical judgment, will accept the good and reject the bad. The censors, public and private, assume that they should determine what is good and what is bad for their fellow-citizens.

We trust Americans to recognize propaganda, and to reject it. We do not believe they need the help of censors to assist them in this task. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

We are aware, of course, that books are not alone in being subjected to efforts at suppression. We are aware that these efforts are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, films, radio and television. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of uneasy change and pervading fear. Especially when so many of our apprehensions are directed against an ideology. The expression of a dissident idea becomes a thing feared in itself, and we tend to move against a hostile deed, with suppression.

And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it less able to deal with stress.

Now as always in our history, books are among our greatest instruments of freedom. They are almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. They are the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. They are essential to the extended discussion which serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures towards conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.

The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free men will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.

We therefore affirm these propositions:

1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those which are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority. 

Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer if every new thought is a rebel until his idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept which challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.

2. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation contained in the books they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what books should be published or circulated.

Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one man can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.

3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to determine the acceptability of a book on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author

A book should be judged as a book. No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free men can flourish which draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.

4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

To some, much of modern literature is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters taste differs, and taste cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised which will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.

5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept with any book the prejudgment of a label characterizing the book or author as subversive or dangerous.

The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for the citizen. It presupposes that each individual must be directed in making up his mind about the ideas he examines. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.

6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large.

It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society each individual is free to determine for himself what he wishes to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive.

7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, bookmen can demonstrate that the answer to a bad book is a good one, the answer to a bad idea is a good one.

The freedom to read is of little consequence when expended on the trivial; it is frustrated when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for his purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of their freedom and integrity, and the enlargement of their service to society, requires of all bookmen the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all citizens the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of books. We do so because we believe that they are good, possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

A Joint Statement by:
American Library Association, Association of American Publishers

Subsequently endorsed by:

American Booksellers Association, American Civil Liberties Union, American Federation of Teachers AFL/CIO, Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, Association of American University Presses, Bureau of Independent Publishers & Distributors, Children’s Book Council, Freedom of Information Center, Freedom to Read Foundation, Magazine Publishers Association, Motion Picture Association of America, National Association of College Stores, National Book Committee, National Council of Negro Women, National Council of Teachers of English, National Library Week Program, National Board of the Young Women’s Christian Association of the U.S.A., P.E.N. – American Center , Periodical and Book Association of America, Sex Information & Education Council of the U.S., Women’s National Book Association, Public Library Board of Lawrence County, Alabama.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.

The Freedom to View

THE FREEDOM TO VIEW, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression. Therefore, we affirm these principals:

It is in the public interest to provide the broadest possible access to films and other audiovisual materials because they have proven to be among the most effective means for the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.

It is in the public interest to provide for our audiences, films and other audiovisual materials which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.

It is our professional responsibility to resist the constraint of labeling, of pre-judging a film on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or filmmaker or on the basis of controversial content.

It is our professional responsibility to contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public’s freedom to view.

This statement was originally drafted by the Educational Film Library Association’s Freedom to View Committee, and was adopted by the EFLA Board of Directors in February, 1979. It was endorsed by the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee and the ALA Council in June, 1979. This statement was endorsed by the Public Library Board of Lawrence County in 2010.

SECTION 3.5 - SPECIAL COLLECTIONS POLICIES

The Library, fulfilling its role of serving as the collective memory of this community, may develop and maintain special collections of various formats to document the history and heritage of this community, its culture, its businesses and institutions, its artistic heritage, and the history and heritage of its people. As these collections are intrinsic, they may require special rules regarding their use and regarding the provision of information services using these resources. Public access to these collections shall be granted and the following rules shall apply:

General Usage Rules:

1. Pens are not allowed when using Special Collections materials. Persons should use pencils only.

2. Certain items, due to preservation requirements, might not be available for photocopying. The Library Director or his designee shall determine those items and mark them accordingly.

4. Archival Collections are open only by appointment. Persons using archival collections must follow preservation procedures as outlined by the Librarian at the time access is granted. This may include the wearing of special gloves, use of special papers and materials, or refraining from handling certain materials.

5. The copying of items from the Archives Collections, particularly photographs and fragile or one-of-a-kind documents, is left solely to the discretion of the Library Director or his/her designee. The Library may and likely will use a third-party vendor for such reproduction, and will charge market prices for such copying, along with a $5.00 handling fee, collectable in advance. In no instance may a patron borrow an item from the Archives or the Special Collections to take it to a third-party vendor (or elsewhere) for copying or for other reasons without the written permission of the Library Director.

6. The Library retains copyright on all original items in the collection, including manuscripts and photographs. Permission to copy may be granted as long as proper credit is given to the Lawrence County Public Library.

Special Collections Department Service Standards:

1. Due to staffing, Library employees cannot conduct in-depth genealogical or historical research for patrons by mail, telephone or from requests received via the Internet. Staff will assist patrons in any way possible who visit the Library and are conducting their own research.

2. On requests for obituaries, a correct name and approximate date of death must be provided. Library staff will check local newspapers available for the week of the date given and for two following weeks and will copy the obituary, assuming that the material can be photocopied due to preservation needs.

3. Persons needing in-depth research work or assistance may be referred to a list of persons in the area who conduct genealogical research for a fee, or to the Lawrence County Historical Commission and/or the County Archives. 

4. Staff may, on being asked a clear, specific historical or genealogical question related to a specific reference work, check that reference work for the information and provide such information to the researcher, providing that time and staffing permit.

5. The Service Standards of the Library’s Information Services Policy shall also apply to Special Collections Information Services where they do not conflict with preservation issues.

SECTION 3.6 - POLICY ON SERVICES TO CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS

The Lawrence County Public Library shall provide equitable service to persons of all ages, including children. Collection expenditures for children shall be a set portion of the Library’s operating budget annually, and the library shall provide programs and services for children consistent with the services it provides for other age groups.

Library Staff may designate certain areas of library facilities for children and young adults for purposes of segregation of materials only.

All service standards in place by the Library shall apply equitably to children and Young Adults.

SECTION 3.7 - POLICY ON SERVICE TO LIBRARY USERS WITH DISABILITIES

The Americans with Disabilities Act gives civil rights protection to people with disabilities, including:

·         Equal access to employment

·         Public services

·         Public accommodations provided by public and private entities

·         Transportation

·         Telecommunications resources.

The Lawrence County Public Library shall make reasonable and necessary accommodations on request for physical access, communications or other needs that ensure our services, activities and employment are available to people with disabilities. In doing so, the Library shall offer:

·         Sign-Language interpreters for Library programs (must be arranged two weeks before the event by contacting the Library Director).

·         Sign-language interpreters for meetings of the Public Library Board (must be arranged two weeks before the meeting by contacting the Library Director).

·         Orientation to and escort within Lawrence County Public Library, on request.

·         Sign-language interpreted or sight-guided Library tours.

·         Assistance in finding and removing material from Library shelves and files on request.

·         Special interest programs and material about disability concerns for families, individuals and groups on request by groups. Information about Moulton-area resources and services for people with disabilities.

·         Transportation access to the facilities of the Public Library by the handicapped through prior agreement with the Lawrence County Rural Transit System. The Library shall work closely with LCARTS in coordinating the services of the two agencies and shall assist LCARTS in its efforts to serve the handicapped.

·         Books and information helpful to the handicapped on various topics.

·         Popular Fiction and Non-fiction materials in large-print format at all library service outlets.

·         Provide access and liaison services to the Regional Library for the Blind and Print Handicapped at the Alabama Public Library Service in Montgomery, including facilitating such services.

It is the policy of the Public Library Board that every employee shall insure that the disabled have as positive an experience as possible in its use of its public libraries and that equitable service shall be provided.

SECTION 3.8 - INFORMATION SERVICES POLICIES

Information Service Defined

Good information service involves identifying a person¹s information need and proceeding to fulfill it accurately, efficiently and pleasantly, using the resources available in the Library, and including referral to resources in other libraries or agencies, if necessary. It also includes providing instruction in Library use.

Information Service Mission Statement

The Lawrence County Public Library regards as valid every reference and information question asked by any patron. All questions will be given equal consideration, and each will be answered as accurately and completely as possible within a reasonable time limit. Full library service will be available to all patrons and no questions asked by a patron will be considered unanswerable.

Statement of Objectives

General Objective:

Reference service will be provided through direct provision of information or through provision of instruction in the use of sources to each person to the degree that he or she individually requires. Patrons will have opportunity to receive instruction in the use of sources and facilities but will not be denied information on the basis of whether or not they learn or accept instruction. However, the Library will encourage patrons who will need to use reference tools repeatedly to learn the use of these tools.


Priority of Service and Reference Triage:

The following service will be offered to patrons (listed in order of priority):

1. Direct personal service to library users who come to the library. Patrons are served on a first come, first served basis.

2. Telephone/TTY/Relay Service inquiries

3. Library orientation and bibliographic instruction

4. Mail reference

5. Email reference

Simultaneous requests will be managed at the librarian's discretion with regard to urgency, complexity and availability of staff resources, following rules of service priority spelled out above and in the following standards.

Information Service Standards

1. Basic reference services (ready reference, homework resources and reader's advisory services) will be offered at all service outlets during all hours those service outlets are open. Detailed and extensive reference services may be limited to certain libraries (i.e. the Main Library) and to certain times (i.e. times when professional librarians are scheduled to be on duty, or by appointment).

2. All information requests are to be handled. If information is available, it is provided to patrons without making a judgment on its moral or aesthetic worth.

3. No effort will be made to determine whether library users are entitled to library cards before reference service is given except to decide whether or not information material will be checked out or interlibrary loan requested. A current, valid Lawrence County Library card shall be required for Inter-library loan of materials.

4. The needs of every library patron will always be taken seriously and treated with utmost respect and confidentiality. Discussion of any individual or group of individuals, whether adult or child, or their inquiries, outside the professional context, is strictly prohibited without the consent of the patron.

5. While on desk duty, service to the public takes precedence over any other duties, and service to the patron in the library takes precedence over telephone inquiries.

6. It is not sufficient for the staff to wait for a patron to request assistance. Since many patrons are reluctant to request aid, it is the responsibility of staff to anticipate public needs and offer service when it appears needed.

7. Information given will always be based on accurate printed sources or learned from a reliable authority. The opinion, evaluation or interpretation of staff, even when requested, is never to be given as fact. Answers to reference questions will only be given after the answer has been verified and a source cited, even for the most common knowledge.

8. Neither the patron's nor the staff member's personal opinions and beliefs should influence the quality of service given.

9. Staff shall not offer their personal opinions on social issues, politics, religion, etc., to patrons.

10. No time limit should be put on searching. However, lengthy searches of periodicals, bibliographic sources, or searches through extensive reference materials are beyond the libraries resources to perform in most instances. The agency head should consult with the Library Director before making an exception to this general rule.

11. Telephone reference service should be used for short, factual information questions that do not require extensive reading or (any) interpretation on the staff member's part.

12. In all in-person and telephone contacts, if the librarian cannot answer a request immediately, he or she will obtain contact information from the patron and see that the patron receives a follow-up contact detailing what research has been completed within 2 business hours, and an adequate, appropriate response within 24 hours.

13. Staff will always offer to make an appointment with a professional librarian for cases determined to be detailed or lengthy in nature.

14. In all cases, official requests from local, state and federal government agencies have the highest priority.

15. Every effort will be made to complete each reference transaction successfully, consulting with colleagues, colleagues in other libraries, or representatives of appropriate agencies when necessary.

16. Informational/Reference services in the subject areas of local history and genealogy shall generally follow these service standards, but may be subject to specific limitations as spelled out in this section.

SECTION 3.9 - BULLETIN BOARD AND INFORMATION DISTRIBUTION AREAS POLICY

The Lawrence County Public Library maintains in many of its facilities bulletin boards for the posting of materials and designated areas (such as literature racks and spaces on countertops and tables) for the passive distribution of information. This policy shall govern the use of those facilities.

Community Bulletin Boards

Space may be available for announcements, for sale items, or other similar activities. Items placed on these Community Bulletin Boards are not moderated regularly by library staff and any event, product, service, issue, or idea promoted in such postings does not indicate Library endorsement. Such Community Bulletin Boards shall be clearly designated as such and include the statement that items posted on the Board are not endorsed by the Library. Boards shall be cleared monthly, or on a regular basis. The Library shall not provide supplies to hang items on such boards. The Library reserves the right to remove anything from these Boards on a regular basis and/or at any time.

Distribution Areas

Non-profit organizations may provide dated materials related to their not-for-profit purpose for passive distribution only in areas designated for that purpose. Passive distribution means leaving the materials with Library staff for Library visitors, if they so choose, to review and/or take with them. Passive distribution does not include verbally or visually (by means of signs, placards, etc.) encouraging Library visitors to review or take any materials with them.

A. Bulletin Boards and Distribution Areas That Are Reserved for Use by the Lawrence County Public Library

Some bulletin boards, literature racks, countertops, and tables are reserved for the exclusive use by the Library to post and distribute materials about Library services, programs, and events; from the Friends of Lawrence County Public Library and the Lawrence County Library Foundation, Inc.; and from other governmental entities such as the City of Moulton, Lawrence County, and other local, state, and federal governments.

B. Other Bulletin Boards and Distribution Areas

A limited number of bulletin board and distribution areas may be available within the Library for the posting and passive distribution of materials from other entities. In each facility, the branch or department manager (or designee) of a Library facility may designate specific areas as available for these purposes. A branch or department manager (or designee) must authorize all posting and distribution before it occurs. Authorization will be based upon the provisions of this policy and will not be based upon the viewpoint, beliefs, or affiliations of the non-profit group or the viewpoints expressed in the materials. Posting or distribution of any such materials in the Library does not indicate Library endorsement of the ideas, issues, or events promoted by those materials.

C. General Rules and Prohibitions

The following items may not be posted on bulletin boards or left in material distribution areas:

Materials that support or oppose any current or pending ballot measure or political candidate. The Library is not intended to be a forum for the support or opposition of political candidates or ballot measures. Official election information from the Board or Registrars, the City of Moulton and/or the Alabama Secretary of State is often made available in the Library.

Because it is not consistent with passive distribution, materials asking Library visitors to sign a petition or letter are not permitted.

D. Terms for Use

All materials posted or distributed must comply with this policy and any other applicable Library regulations or guidelines. No other materials may be posted or distributed.

To ensure equitable access to limited display space available at each facility, a branch or department manager (or designee) may establish criteria for that facility regarding posting and distribution of material, including:

  • the maximum size of material to be posted or distributed;
  • the maximum length of time materials may remain posted or displayed;
  • the maximum amount of time before or after an event a posting may occur;
  • the frequency with which material may be posted or displayed by the same non-profit organization; and
  • consistent methods for allocating space should the amount of material exceed the space available for posting or distribution.

All posting and placement of materials in distribution areas shall be done by personnel from the Lawrence County Public Library. Individuals requesting posting or distribution shall not themselves post or leave materials in distribution areas. The public may post items on the Community Bulletin Boards where available, pursuant to the terms detailed under "Community Bulletin Boards" above.

Materials left for posting or distribution without authorization from the Library will be discarded.

The Library assumes no responsibility for the preservation or protection of materials posted or distributed. Materials will not be returned.

The Library Director, or his/her designee, is responsible for the administration of this policy on a system-wide basis.

SECTION 3.10 - EXHIBITS

The Lawrence County Public Library may offer exhibits in library facilities. Library exhibits are used to assist patrons in their exploration of educational, cultural, intellectual and civic activities. The displays incorporate library materials whenever possible, as a means of informing users of the range of library resources and services. The Library endeavors to offer exhibits of diverse subject matter for children, adults and families.

The Library reserves the right to arrange exhibits in all library facilities and to make the final decision regarding content and physical presentation of all exhibits and displays.

Certain areas of library service outlets may be designated as gallery space for regular exhibitions, particularly of the work of local artists. The Library Director shall develop rules and procedures for the operation of such facilities subject to the review of the Public Library Board.

The Library Director is responsible for administration.

SECTION 3.11 - VALUE ADDED SERVICES, RELATED FEES

PURPOSE

To provide a policy to charge patrons for the value-added service of computer printouts, faxes and photocopies. The policy must be equitable for our patrons and support the Lawrence County Public Library in its efforts to be good stewards of its resources. The Library underscores its commitment to provide free basic library services. For the purposes of this policy, basic library services include, but are not limited to research and reference services and online searching of remote databases.

GENERAL POLICY

It is the policy of the Lawrence County Public Library to charge for faxes, photocopying and printing at public-access computers to defray financial costs, conserve resources and ensure equity-of-access standards. Discretionary guidelines will be established to help staff make exceptions to this policy in a uniform, unbiased, and non-discriminatory manner. The Library Director shall regularly review such charges and recommend changes in policy to the Board as necessary.

FAX SERVICE POLICY & FEES

The Library may elect to provide public fax service at any service outlet of the Library. The Library shall not be responsible for public misuse of fax services, and does hereby reserve the right to refuse to fax any item for any reason. The Library Board will review and post pricing on an annual basis.

Outgoing Fax Service:

It shall be the sender’s responsibility to determine that appropriate addressing information is provided on a cover page or on the first page of the document. The Library makes no representation and does not guarantee that faxes will be received by the intended recipient. If requested by the sender, a confirmation receipt showing date and time of transmission may be provided for an additional charge.

Incoming Fax Service:

Incoming faxes will be held for recipients for 3 business days and will then be discarded. Library staff may require photo identification from the recipient before providing the incoming fax to them.

PHOTOCOPYING SERVICE & FEES

The Library may elect to provide public photocopiers at any service outlet of the Library. This may include equipment to print items from microfilm, microfiche, or other similar media formats. Public use of photocopiers and similar equipment shall not be routinely regulated and persons using photocopiers and similar equipment are responsible for any and all violations of federal copyright law and other related laws that inherently apply to the copying of documents. The Library accepts no responsibility for public misuse of photocopying equipment.

The Library Board will review and post fees for photocopying service on an annual basis.

COMPUTER PRINTOUTS & FEES

The Library may elect to provide public printers and other similar peripheral devices at public computer workstations at any service outlet of the Library. Public use of such equipment may be regulated to control waste and protect privacy, but for no other reason; and persons using photocopiers and similar equipment are responsible for any and all violations of federal copyright law and other related laws that inherently apply to the copying of documents. The Library accepts no responsibility for public misuse of such copying equipment.

The Library Board will review and post fees for printing services on an annual basis.

The Library reserves the right to utilize hardware or software to adequately control the use of printing systems, which may require users to identify themselves.

SECTION 4 - EMERGENCY POLICIES (Refer to Disaster Plan)

SECTION 4.1 - FIRE SAFETY POLICY

The Library Director shall be responsible for a plan of fire preparedness, prevention and action in conjunction with local and state fire authorities. He may appoint a Disaster Preparedness Coordinator among the staff and committees as are necessary to develop and implement fire prevention, preparedness and recovery plans. Such plans will be presented to the Board for approval as they are updated.

The Library will conduct fire drills on a routine basis at facilities directly under its control.

All Staff will immediately assist in the evacuation of facilities upon the announcement of a fire drill, the announcement of an actual fire emergency, or on the sounding of corresponding alarm systems, and will themselves evacuate facilities.

Each Department Head or ranking employee per department shall insure that their respective areas are evacuated accordingly.

The assembly point for fire evacuees at the Main Branch shall be Lawrence County Board of Education rear parking lot or other area designated by the Moulton Fire/Rescue Service. Assembly areas at other library service outlets shall be determined by the incident commander of the fire department responding to the incident.

The Officer-In-Charge at their discretion may attempt to contain a fire with extinguishers while fire authorities are responding. By no means should any employee risk their health or safety.

Once a fire is contained, the Library’s Disaster Preparedness Plan will dictate and govern recovery efforts.

SECTION 4.2 – SEVERE/INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY

The Library Director shall be responsible for development of plans and procedures to protect employees, library users and library property from severe weather, including severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, in conjunction with local, state and federal disaster preparedness officials. The Library Director may designate a Disaster Preparedness Coordinator among the staff and committees as are necessary to develop and implement severe weather protection and recovery plans. Such plans will be presented to the Board for approval as they are updated.

In general, in the event of a Tornado Watch issued by the National Weather Service, library employees will be mindful of the potential for deterioration of weather conditions and be prepared to evacuate themselves and employees to a safe area of the facility.

Safe areas will be designated by the Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency at each library facility.

In the event of a Tornado Warning issued by the National Weather Service, library employees will evacuate themselves and employees to designated safe areas. No library services will be provided during the duration of the warning period. Patrons may leave library facilities, but the Library is not responsible for their safety. Persons entering facilities during warnings will be asked to take shelter in safe areas or be asked to leave library facilities.

In the event of severe thunderstorm watches and warnings, the Library Director or the Officer-In-Charge may take steps similar to the above depending on the severity of the situation. In the absence of the Library Director, such decisions should be made in consultation with the Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency.

In the case of any inclement weather, the Library Director has the authority to temporarily discontinue library operations for public or staff safety. Generally, the Library Director will follow the actions of the Lawrence County Board of Education Superintendent regarding the closure of library facilities due to inclement weather.

 The Library Board will determine annually if changes need to be made to this policy.

SECTION 4.3 - DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RECOVERY GUIDELINES, OTHER DISASTER POLICY STATEMENTS

The Library Director, being responsible for the development and implementation of all emergency plans for the Library may designate a Disaster Preparedness Coordinator and/or committee to assist in development and implementation of such plans. The development of any such plans should include the involvement of local, state and/or federal law enforcement, safety, fire, and emergency management officials. Such plans should be reported to the Public Library Board on a regular basis and shall be included as an appendix to this manual.

Plans for the salvage of library materials after a disaster must follow standardized national guidelines for the recovery of library materials.

Being an agency of the Lawrence County Government, the Public Library, in the event of a declared or undeclared emergency affecting the county, shall cooperate with any and all emergency response or government agencies in the dissemination of emergency information, providing assistance to response agencies and responders, or any other duty as may be directed by the Public Library Board, the County Commission, or state and federal emergency response agencies. In such cases, employees may be directed to work at facilities or undertake tasks that are not normally called for within their job descriptions.

SECTION 4.4 - LOSS PREVENTION – SECURITY INCIDENT REPORTING

The Library Director and his/her designees shall be responsible for systematic program of prevention of loss to the library due to liability involved in the normal course of operations. To monitor and prevent such issues, as well as log and record incidents which violate library security, a system of reporting is hereby required.

In the event in which library security is jeopardized, a library user or employee is a victim of a crime on library property, or in any event which may entail the library to incur some liability, the Officer-In-Charge shall fill out and file a “Security Incident Report Form” in the Library Director’s Office. Such forms shall detail such incidents, parties involved, actions taken on the part of library staff and employees, and other pertinent information. The Library Director will review such incident reports and take actions which may be necessary to protect the library system, including making recommendations to the Board for capital improvements, policy revisions, or other actions.

SECTION 4.5 - LOSS PREVENTION – USE OF SECURITY SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT

Recognizing the need to protect the public’s investment in its library facilities and resources, the Lawrence County Public Library retains the right to utilize radio-frequency or electro-magnetic theft monitoring equipment, video-recording equipment, or other means to protect the Library against theft, vandalism or other losses.

SECTION 5 - GENERAL RULES OF CONDUCT WHILE USING LAWRENCE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY AND ENFORCEMENT

The Lawrence County Public Library is supported by the taxes of the people of Lawrence County, Alabama and its various municipalities who expect each of our facilities to be clean, comfortable, and safe places for selecting materials, reading, researching, studying, writing, and attending Library or community-sponsored programs and meetings. To this end, the Library is responsible for establishing rules of conduct to protect the rights and safety of Library patrons, volunteers, and staff, and for preserving and protecting the Library's materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds. In addition, the Library has a strong commitment to intellectual freedom and to freedom of access to information.

Enforcement of these rules will be conducted in a fair and reasonable manner. Library staff and/or law enforcement officers will intervene to stop prohibited activities and behaviors. Failure to comply with the Library's established rules, regulations, and policies could result in removal from the premises and expulsion from the Library for a period of one day to one year, or in arrest or prosecution. Violations could also result in the restriction and/or termination of Library privileges, including the use of Library computers and other equipment.

Individual patrons have the right to request an administrative review of an expulsion, which shall be referred to the Library Director or the Public Library Board (See enforcement below).

For the comfort and safety of patrons, volunteers, and staff, and the protection of Library property, the following actions are examples of conduct not allowed on Library property:

  • Engaging in any activity in violation of Federal, State, local or other applicable law, or Library policy.
  • Carrying firearms and dangerous weapons of any type (except by law enforcement officers and authorized security personnel of the Lawrence County Public Library).
  • Being under the influence of alcohol/illegal drugs, and selling, using, or possessing alcohol/illegal drugs.
  • Verbally or physically threatening or harassing other patrons, volunteers, or staff, including stalking, staring, lurking, offensive touching, and obscene acts such as sex acts and indecent exposure.
  • Soliciting or conducting surveys not authorized by the Library.
  • Stealing, damaging, altering, or inappropriate use of Library property in Library facilities or on Library grounds, including computer hardware and software, printers, or other equipment or furnishings.
  • Trespassing in posted nonpublic areas, being in the Library without permission of an authorized Library employee before or after Library operating hours, or camping or loitering on Library grounds, including before or after library operating hours.
  • Fighting or challenging to fight, running, pushing, shoving, horseplay or throwing things.
  • Creating disruptive noises such as loud talking, screaming, or banging on computer keyboards.
  • Gambling and group activities which are disruptive to the Library environment.
  • Using audible devices without headphones or with headphones set at a volume that disturbs others. Using cell phones, pagers, and other communication devices in a manner that disturbs others.
  • Using restrooms for bathing or shampooing, doing laundry, or changing clothes.
  • Littering.
  • Smoking, chewing, and other tobacco use in Library facilities.
  • Entering the Library without shoes and/or a shirt, with offensive body odor or personal hygiene, or being otherwise attired so as to be disruptive to the Library environment.
  • Bringing in articles that are too large to fit under one Library chair.
  • Using wheeled devices in Library property or on Library grounds, except in designated areas, including skateboarding, roller-skating, bicycling, scooters, and shopping carts (except for wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers).
  • Moving Library furniture from where it is placed by Library staff.
  • Lying down or sleeping in the restrooms or on any floor, couch, table, or seat in the Library, and by blocking aisles, exits, or entrances by sitting or lying down in them.
  • Neglecting to provide proper supervision of children (see Unattended Children Policy).
  • Bringing pets or animals, other than service animals necessary for disabilities, into the Library, except as authorized by the Library Director.
  • Otherwise using library facilities, grounds, or property, including equipment and materials for purposes other than their obvious purposes.

Enforcement

The Public Library Board formally delegates to Library management and/or Security Officers and local law enforcement the authority to enforce the Rules of Conduct, including the withdrawal of permission to remain on Library premises and the barring of certain persons from trespassing on library grounds or facilities. Patrons shall have the right to submit a written request for an administrative review of an exclusion order which is for a period greater than seven days. Patrons shall include in the request any written documentation they seek to have considered in the review process. The exclusion order shall remain in effect pending administrative reviews or until it expires, whichever comes first.

If a patron timely requests an administrative review, the Library Director shall review the barring and provide the patron with a decision in writing. If the Library Director withdrew permission to remain on Library premises or barred a person from Library property, the request will be forwarded by the Library Director to the Public Library Board for review of the Library Director’s decision. The Chairman of the Library Board, or another Board member acting as the Chairman’s designee, shall review the exclusion order, considering only the written record and the patron's written administrative review request, and shall issue a final decision. If a patron is unhappy with that decision, the patron may then request an administrative review of the matter at the next scheduled regular session of the Board. As such a review would involve discussion of the good name and character of individual/s, such a review would be held in an Executive Session of the Board.

The Library Director is authorized to develop procedures for the implementation of this policy including appropriate timelines for filing requests for administrative and Library Board reviews. Generally, such requests should be filed within 3 business days.

Related Policy Statements

Library or security employees, at their discretion, may search bags, briefcases, purses or any other similar item brought into the library by visitors, either on the visitor’s entry to or exit from the library.

SECTION 5.1- UNATTENDED CHILDREN POLICY

The Lawrence County Public Library welcomes library use by children. Staff members are available to assist children with library materials or services. The Library desires to provide a safe and appropriate environment for visitors of all ages. The Library, however, is a public building with staff trained to provide public library services. The Library is not equipped-and it is not the Library's role to provide long- or short-term child care. In no way shall the library or its employees accept this role or take responsibility for a child.

For the safety and comfort of children, patrons eleven (11) years and younger must be accompanied by a(n) parental/guardian/adult at all times while visiting the Library.  While in the Library, parents and caregivers are responsible for monitoring and regulating the behavior of their children.

 

Twelve (12) years of age and older is considered an acceptable age to for a child to be without parental/guardian/adult supervision.

 

The appropriate age for a consenting adult in the Library is eighteen (18) years of age

Library staff members will be guided by this policy in situations, such as:

  • An unattended child is found frightened or crying in the Library.
  • An unattended child is perceived to be endangering him or herself, or that another person in the library poses a perceived threat to the unattended child.
  • An unattended child violates other Library conduct policies, or commits an illegal act.
  • An unattended child exhibits specific inappropriate behavior
  • An unattended child has not been met by a responsible caregiver at closing time

After evaluating the situation, Library staff members will attempt to contact the parent or guardian of an unattended child. In the event that the parent or guardian cannot be reached, the child will be placed in the care of the appropriate local law enforcement agency.

For the protection of the child but particularly for the protection of the library employee, in absolutely no case is an individual library employee to be left alone with a child without another person or persons present. Any employees finding themselves in such a situation must call for the assistance of another employee immediately.

Staff shall not leave a child outside the library unattended upon closure.  Staff should insure every effort has been made to contact parent or legal guardian.  Due to finite resources and the library not assuming responsibility for the care of a minor, staff should contact local law enforcement to report an unattended minor and to request increased patrols around the library due to a minor waiting for a pick-up.  Staff will remain up to fifteen minutes following closure. Local law enforcement should be contacted a minimum of 10 minutes prior to leaving the minor.

SECTION 5.2 - CONFIDENTIALITY OF LIBRARY AND PATRON RECORDS

PURPOSE:

The purpose of the Confidentiality Policy is to ensure confidentiality of borrower information in the Lawrence County Public Library and to provide library users with information on the state and federal laws which protect their privacy or make access to their private library records available.

POLICY:

It is the policy of the Lawrence County Public Library to protect the privacy of those who use the Library. Staff members and volunteers shall protect information about Library borrowers, their requests for information and materials, the online sites and resources they access, and their loan transactions, and shall not transmit such information to individuals or to any private or public agency without an order from a court of competent jurisdiction, or as otherwise required by law. Library users should take into consideration that they are responsible for all materials borrowed on the card, whether or not they were the person who checked the materials out. Only patrons issued the library card is permitted to use the card.  When staff discovers another individual is using the card of a different patron, the card is disabled until patron presents a valid photo ID.  In the case of a minor, a parent or legal guardian needs to show valid photo ID to reactivate the minors’ account.

STATE LAW ON PRIVACY OF LIBRARY RECORDS:

The Code of Alabama, 1975, Title 48-8-10 amply protects of privacy of public library records in Alabama. It specifically states:

It is recognized that public library use by an individual should be of confidential nature. Any other provision of general, special or local law, rule or regulation to the contrary notwithstanding, the registration and circulation records and information concerning the use of the public, public school, college and university libraries of this state shall be confidential. Registration and circulation records shall not be open for inspection by, or otherwise available to, any agency or individual except for the following entities: (a) the library which manages the records; (b) the state education department for a library under its jurisdiction when it is necessary to assure the proper operation of such library; or (c) the state Public Library Service for a library under its jurisdiction when it is necessary to assure the proper operations of such library. Aggregate statistics shown from registration and circulation records, with all personal identification removed, may be released or used by a library for research and planning purposes. Provided however, any parent of a minor child shall have the right to inspect the registration and circulation records of any school or public library that pertain to his or her child.

To the degree that it is allowed under federal law, the staff and employees of the Lawrence County Public Library and the Public Library Board of Lawrence County shall follow the Alabama law.

The USA PATRIOT Act:

The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (USA PATRIOT Act) became law on Oct. 26, 2001, with subsequent reviews and revisions. Under provisions of the act, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and law enforcement officials may seek court orders for Library records for investigations relevant to national security or terrorism. Libraries or librarians served with these search warrants may not disclose, under penalty of law, the existence of the warrants or the fact that records were produced as a result of the warrants. Patrons cannot be told their records were given to law enforcement agencies or that they were the subjects of FBI investigations.

By including information about the USA Patriot Act in its policy, the Public Library Board of Lawrence County and the Lawrence County Public Library neither endorses or condones the USA Patriot Act. It is made available simply as a matter of public notification.

Minimum records kept: The Lawrence County Public Library keeps the minimum number of records necessary for maintaining operations. For example, when a customer logs off a Library computer, no information is retained on what the user did on the computer or what sites they visited.  

SECTION 6 - DONATIONS

Financial Gifts

Financial gifts are welcomed and accepted.  Monetary gifts given by donors who wish to place restrictions on their use are accepted upon approval by the Library Director.  Unless donated restrictions are approved by the Director, all donations are deposited as general funds.

Materials purchased for the collection with restricted funds will rotate out of the collection and may be withdrawn after three years, unless they have circulated regularly.  Materials that are damaged or deemed lost, i.e., patron does not return item after a reasonable period of time, are not replaced unless library is able to recover the purchase cost through fines for the damage or lost item.

Books and Materials

Gifts of books and other library materials are accepted by the library with the understanding that they are not necessarily added to the collection.  If the gift, in the judgment of the staff, will add value to the library’s collection, it will be cataloged and made available to library users.  Otherwise, it will be sold, given to another organization, or sent to the Recycling Center.  The Director will decide which of the above is appropriate.

The Library does not evaluate or appraise gift materials for tax purposes. If items are being donated to obtain a tax benefit, it is the donor’s responsibility to establish fair market value or obtain expert assistance in establishing any value. The IRS prohibits the library from determining market value.

Local Author Donations

 

The Lawrence County Public Library is pleased to have the work of local authors on our shelves, and wishes to recognize local literary and creative efforts by including them in the collection when possible.

 

1. Selection Conditions

a)    Authors must be Lawrence County residents, or the book must take place in Lawrence County, or otherwise demonstrate a strong local interest.

b)    Due to budget constraints, the Lawrence County Public Library cannot purchase local works. However, if an author/creator chooses to donate a single copy of his or her work to the Lawrence County Public Library, it will be accepted for review. Books will be considered for purchase only after review in standard sources such as Library Journal or Kirkus Reviews.

c)    Books will not be purchased at patron request unless they have been reviewed in standard sources (see examples above). Patrons may donate copies of authors’ books. These will be evaluated in accord with the Library’s gift policy.

d)    Self-published family histories or other similar genealogical materials will be considered for addition to our Alabama Collection or turned over to the Lawrence County Archives at the discretion of the Director.

e)    Materials that are donated become the property of the Lawrence County Public Library and as such cannot be returned to the donor.

 

2. Cataloging / Circulation Conditions

a)    Submitted works must have a slip of paper listing full real name of author, full title from the title page, not the cover, date of publication, number of pages. A brief listing for the book will be created in the Library Catalog.

b)    Books will be processed with a barcode and LCPL ownership markings. Items will be clearly labeled as an Alabama author.

c)    Items will rotate out of the collection and may be withdrawn after three years, unless they have circulated regularly.

 

3. Be aware that, due to time constraints, library selectors are unable to meet individually with authors.

4. Submitted works become the property of the Lawrence County Public Library and will not be returned or acknowledged.

5. Acceptance of a copy of an author's work for the collection does not guarantee that we will buy additional copies, and if we buy additional copies they may or may not be purchased directly through the author.

6. The Library does NOT accept:

 

·         Materials in languages other than English or Spanish.

·         Materials with obvious or possible copyright violations.

·         Materials in eBook or eAudio format.