History: Library was started in 1932.
Mission & Strategic Plan
The mission of the Paxton Public Library is to serve the public by providing reading materials, along with other cultural and educational resources, that will enrich our small community.
Strategic Plan (July 2013)
The Paxton Public Library Board and Staff are committed to providing outstanding library services to the residents of Paxton and its surrounding area. Paxton is a farm/ranch community with a large rural population it is primarily an English-speaking community with a few Hispanic families.
The Board-approved priorities include the following:
Sufficient Materials for Reading Pleasure: Provide a variety of options that will enhance patron reading, viewing, and listening opportunities.
Life Long Learning: Provide resources for patrons to explore topics of personal interest and continue learning throughout their lives.
Programs for Children: Provide space and resources for children as they prepare for and then progress through school.
Technological Services: Provide access to up-to-date technological resources and services.
Community Resource: Provide information about community programs, services, and activities that are available in our local area.
The planned services will target the following specific groups: early childhood, elementary, junior/senior high, and adult. Most of the programs are already in place and will be monitored and strengthened as needed.
Goal 1: A community survey will be sent each accreditation period to better assess the current needs of area library patrons.
Goal 2: Residents of all ages will have access to a variety of reading, viewing, and listening materials.
Goal 3: Residents of all ages will have resources and space to explore topics of personal interest.
Goal 4: Young children and students of all ages will have the resources they need to support their education.
Goal 5: Residents of all ages will have access to up-to-date technological resources and services.
Goal 6: Residents of all ages will have access to community information and activities.
This strategic plan will be reviewed and updated by the Paxton Library Board and Staff annually.
PAXTON PUBLIC LIBRARY SERVICES
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICY
Selection of material for the library is a two-way process: Library users with varying backgrounds and tastes indicate their needs and interests. The librarian, with the help of the library board, exercises their best judgment in anticipating the needs and demands of the patrons with selecting the best materials for satisfying them. All materials are judged according to the intrinsic merit; the subject treated, reader interest, and need for the material in a well-balanced, organized collection. The decision to purchase materials rests with the librarian and the library board, after the above points have been considered.
• The material shall cover all basic fields of learning – the sciences, the arts, and the humanities.
• The selective process shall be inclusive rather than exclusive by providing information from various sources for further education, for freedom of thought, for history and growth in local, national, and world interests, and for an atmosphere of recreational reading.
• The material may include language of a coarse or frank nature if it is presenting an honest aspect of life or problem. The material will be selected on the merit of the work and not the personal history or politics of the author. This library’s main direction of emphasis is to provide recreational reading material for the youth and adults in this village and the surrounding community. Reference material available within the public library shall fall secondary to the recreational material.
• All new material received by the library shall be catalogued and shelved for public use as soon as possible. At each library board meeting, a report will be provided showing the number and nature of all new material put into circulation and disposition of those not catalogued.
Information related to a customer’s use of Paxton Public Library is confidential and can be disclosed to non-library staff only under certain circumstances.
• Library records that contain information about customers, the materials they have utilized, internet usage, or the information they have sought, are private and must be treated as confidential information. Access and disclosure of these records to non-library personnel are acceptable in these circumstances:
• For internal purposes (such as the recovery of lost or stolen library materials and/or fines), the librarian may grant access or disclosure to recovery agencies or any federal, state or municipal government agency, including representatives of law enforcement agencies and prosecuting attorneys.
• In all other situations, a valid subpoena or court order is required to disclose or release library records.
• Library staff may be prohibited by law from disclosing to the customer whose records were accessed, released, or subpoenaed.
• Photos, videos and recordings that appear on the library’s website may be gathered by library staff from public programs, events, and library spaces. To ensure the privacy of the individuals and children, images will not be identified using full names or personal identifying information without written approval from the photographed subject, parent or legal guardian. Under no circumstances may the public take photographs or audio/videotapes without the express permission of the library customers or staff who would be the primary subject within the composition.
CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS POLICY
Any concerns about these policies and procedures by a resident of the area served by the Paxton Public Library should be submitted in writing to the librarian. The librarian will forward say concerns to the library board.
Any objections about particular library material should be submitted to the librarian. If the librarian is not able to handle the problem, the objections will be forwarded to the library board for discussion and resolution. The Paxton Village Board will be advised of complaints at the discretion of the library board.
EMERGENCY AND SAFETY POLICY
The Paxton Public Library attempts to provide a safe environment for all patrons as well as a safe repository for library materials of many types. Despite best efforts, emergency situations may arise. These guidelines were designed to reduce risk to life and materials. In the event of a major disaster involving a wider section of the community, the library will adhere to the Emergency Operations Plan for the Village of Paxton and Keith County.
• Tornado or violent storm
• When warranted, staff will monitor weather conditions via radio and internet. If a watch or warning is issued, staff will follow procedures established for the situation. These procedures were designed by the staff and are reviewed annually and updated as needed.
• If the emergency sirens sound or at the discretion of the librarian, patrons and staff should take immediate shelter in the hallway between the bathrooms. If there is no warning, patrons should take shelter away from exterior walls and windows and hide under furniture and protect heads.
• The library may open late or close early when winter weather conditions present a threat to patrons and staff. The librarian is authorized to close the library as conditions warrant.
• Programs for all ages will be cancelled and the library closed if the Paxton Consolidated Schools close due to inclement weather.
• Staff should know the locations of fire extinguishers and how to use them.
• At the first indication of smoke or flames, staff should evacuate the facility immediately and call 911. If the problem can be easily contained, staff may use the fire extinguishers. Any incident should be reported to the library board president immediately following chain of command until a board member can be notified.
• Loss of utilities
• An electrical outage should be reported to the village clerk. If the loss impedes working in the library, the librarian may close the library.
• If water is shut off, meter pit is frozen, or there are plumbing problems, the librarian should call the utility superintendent. If no water is supplied to the restrooms for more than two hours, the library should close.
• Hazardous materials
• If carbon monoxide or other chemical fumes are noticed, staff should evacuate the building and call 911.
• Bomb threat
• If staff receives a bomb threat call, location and time of detonation should be requested. Staff should call 911 and evacuate the building based on the recommendation of emergency personnel.
• Health emergencies or accidents
• Librarian will assess situation and administer minor first aid only. No medications should be dispensed.
• If, situation warrants more than minor first aid, parent of minor child should be notified or an emergency contact voiced by the patron.
• If situation warrants, 911 should be notified.
EXHIBITS, DISPLAYS, BULLETIN BOARDS POLICY
Bulletin boards will be used for promoting community events and activities of the Paxton Public Library and the surrounding community libraries at the discretion of the librarian.
INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM: STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
A public library has both the obligation and the responsibility for the dissemination of knowledge and for making the knowledge available to all persons. A public library is the repository for the materials which make this knowledge available to those who desire to expand their own knowledge free of censorship or prejudice. America is a free country; freedom of speech and freedom of the press are guaranteed by the Constitution. The results of these freedoms are available to each individual; he has the right to this knowledge for his own reading and evaluation.
The freedom to knowledge shall include materials on both sides of controversial problems. However, the presence of these materials in the library shall not mean that the library subscribes to the ideas propounded by these materials, nor does their presence in the library mean that the library endorses the contents of the materials.
The library shall in no way label any of this material, since this act shall constitute a form of prejudice or censorship which in effect removes the freedom of the individual to select his or her own material.
GIFTS, MEMORIALS, DONATIONS POLICY
The Paxton Public Library accepts gifts of suitable materials with the understanding that they will be added to the library collection when needed or disposed of at the discretion of the librarian with the approval of the library board. The same principles of selection apply to purchases made with monetary gifts and memorial funds.
INTERNET USAGE RULES POLICY
The Paxton Public Library is pleased to be able to offer access to the internet to all library patrons. Use of the internet is intended to be an educational experience, while still remaining in compliance with materials acceptable in a public library. Library staff will assist whenever possible to help patrons find the information which they are seeking but will not be able to provide in-depth training on the internet and computer use in general.
The internet is a global network of computers and networks over which the library has no control. Therefore, the library makes no warranties or representations of any nature, express or implied, regarding the veracity or accuracy of any message or information found on the internet. The library simply offers the internet, like all other reference materials, to the public for general use.
In order to maintain an orderly system of access which provides all patrons an equal and fair opportunity to use the library computer for internet access, the following rules have been adopted by the library board:
• Users shall not use the internet in any manner which violates federal, state or village law.
• Users may not use their own software programs on the library computers. This will help prevent computer viruses that are common on public computers.
• Users shall not place copyrighted material on the internet unless permission is obtained from the author, nor shall users download and use copyrighted material unless permission is obtained from the author
• Users shall not use the internet for commercial purposes, including the use of advertising, as well as buying, selling, or trading material.
• Users shall not access information which is obscene, profane, sexually explicit or offensive to racial or ethnic groups; nor shall any information of such nature be placed on the internet.
• The library does not offer individual e-mail accounts.
• Users shall not vandalize or damage equipment, software or data belonging to the library or other users. Users are responsible for any intentional damage to computer equipment or software.
• User must have a valid library card.
• Length of use on the computer will be at librarian’s discretion.
• Printing is allowed. There is a charge of $.10 per page.
• The library reserves the right to discontinue access to the internet at any time.
• Illegal activities will be reported to the appropriate authorities.
• The user agrees not to hold the library responsible for any claims, losses, damages, obligations or liabilities relating to the use of information obtained from the library’s electronic information system.
Paxton Public Library will be promoted using posters, media outlets, school announcements, calling trees or other appropriate venues for upcoming events and activities hosted by the library, the board, Friends of the Library, or held at the library.
Behavior becomes unacceptable when it impinges on the appropriate use of the library, when it could result in injury, or when it could result in property damage. In order for all patrons to enjoy a clean, pleasant, and safe environment, the following rules have been adopted by the library board:
• Disruptive behavior which disturbs others or destroys property will not be tolerated.
• Parents and guardians are responsible for their children. Disruptive children will be asked to leave, and parents will be notified.
• If a situation is deemed out of control, the library staff will call 911 and evacuate if necessary.
The following sanctions shall apply to any patron who violates any of the policies or procedures of this facility.
• First Offense: Verbal warning
• Second Offense: Patron asked to leave the facility
• Third Offense: Patron banned from facility
The librarian is an employee of the Village of Paxton and under the guidance of its personnel policy.
The duties of the librarian will include but not be limited to the following:
• Answers to the library board, who in turn answers to the village board
• Attends library board meetings
• Proposes and operates within the yearly budget of the library
• Completes the statistical report and other reports deemed necessary by the board or Library Commission within the stated timelines of the report
• Notifies members of the board about upcoming meetings
• Handles all correspondence for the library
• Notifies local media contact of library activities or events
• Checks library material in and out
• Keeps the library clean or alerts cleaning personnel to need for cleaning
• Organizes story hour – including recruiting any volunteers needed and supervises the action of the volunteers
• Learns the operating system and catalogs all new titles
• Coordinates activities for library week
• Sends overdue library material notices and collects a fee of $.05 a day on overdue items
PUBLIC SERVICES POLICY
The librarian shall provide guidance and assistance for patrons to obtain the information they seek as recorded in print or audio/visual resources. Service shall not be denied or abridged because of religious, racial, social, economic, or political status. Courtesy shall be a byword in library service.
The library will initiate programs to stimulate the use of library materials and meet the needs of all the people of the community. The library will supplement but cannot perform the functions of school and other libraries which are designed to meet special needs. This library will cooperate with other libraries to strengthen the service and resources of all.
The hours the Paxton Public Library will be open are:
• Regular hours: Monday: 2:00 – 6:30, Tuesday: 9:00 – 1:00, Thursday: 3:00 – 6:30, Saturday: 9:00 – 2:00.
• Story hour: September – April: Monday 10:00 – 10:45; June: Monday & Thursday 10:00 – 11:45 or to be adjusted to meet community needs.
The library will be closed on the following holidays:
• New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Library material will be checked out for two weeks and may be renewed for another two weeks. A fine of $.05 per day will be charged on all overdue items.
Certain library items will not be loaned out and can only be used in the library. It will be at the discretion of the librarian with the approval of the library board on what these items will be. The librarian may give permission to responsible groups to use the library as a meeting place.
The electronic equipment of the Paxton Public Library is not available for loan to the public. The equipment may be used for activities outside of the library facility that are sponsored by the library, the library board, or the Friends of the Library. The library board will approve the use of equipment at all outside activities prior to the event.
STAFF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The librarian and the library board will meet the required continuing education requirements for the library to maintain its accreditation with the Nebraska Library Commission.
“Weeding” of books will be an ongoing process. Selection of materials to be weeded will be at the discretion of the librarian, and disposition of the weeded materials will be determined by the library board.
The Library Board establishes this financial policy to ensure fiscal accountability, appropriate use of the funds in support of the library’s mission and goals and compliance with appropriate laws and ordinances.
The librarian shall propose an annual budget from the funds allowed to the library through the village board, the county commissioners, and the Nebraska Library Commission. The budget will be approved by the library board yearly. The approved budget will be presented to the village board for perusal.
The librarian will present expenditures for payment to the library board for review and approval at the regular monthly meetings. Approved invoices will be submitted to the library board treasurer for payment.
On an annual basis, all library revenue and expenditures will be audited as part of the village audit. Any notes or communications from the village auditor regarding the library shall be forwarded to the library board.
LIBRARY BOARD: POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
• At the regular meeting held in October of each year, the board members shall organize by electing a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer.
• Three members of the board shall constitute a quorum. Any motion, resolution, or order passed by the board, in order to be valid, shall require the affirmative vote of three members of the board at a regular or special meeting.
• The board shall meet the first Monday of every month. If it is determined that a quorum will not be present for a meeting, the president shall determine whether to postpone or cancel the meeting and inform the librarian and all other members of the board.
• The secretary shall be responsible for all the minutes of the board proceedings. The minutes shall be available upon request.
• The treasurer shall keep a record of all financial transactions and keep a running balance.
• The board reports to the village board yearly on the condition and activities of the library.
• All members of the library board shall be residents of Keith County, with the majority of members – 3 or more – being from the Village of Paxton.
• The library policies and procedures shall be reviewed and updated by the library board once every accreditation period. Policies may be amended by an affirmative vote of at least three board members at a regular or special meeting in which a quorum is present.
• It shall be the policy of the board to act in accordance with the statutes of the Nebraska Library Commission, the State of Nebraska and the ordinances of the Village of Paxton.
Revised 09/09/2013 reviewed on 09/12/2016