Farnam Public Library
Policies and Forms
The Board of the Farnam Public Library adopts these policies on Aug. 2014
These policies are approved by the Library Board Members on Aug. 2014
Dorthy Anders, president
Kathy Widick, secretary
Edna Lungrin, treasurer
Ruth Ann Hess, member
Kindra Oberg, member
2014 Farnam Public Library Policies
LIBRARY BOARD STATEMENT: THE FOLLOWING POLICIES WERE PREPARED BY THE FARNAM PUBLIC LIBRARY AND ESTABLISH THE OPERATIONAL POLICY OF THE LIBRARY. THESE OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES WILL BE EXAMINED ANNUALLY AND MAY BE REVISED AT ANY TIME BY ACTION OF THE BOARD AS OUTLINED IN THE BY-LAWS GOVERNING THE TRUSTEES.
I. GENERAL OBJECTIVES:
A. To be an active and progressive institution which provides materials in a variety of formats to its users, to reflect the particular needs, interests and life styles of its users.
B. To provide information and reference services which are accurate and current. To service the community of Farnam as a center of reliable information.
C. To provide access to resources and services beyond its own facilities through interlibrary loan and cooperative arrangements with other libraries, agencies and organizations at the local, regional and state levels.
D. To provide competent library staff to serve the community.
E. To provide an adequately equipped and accessible library.
F. To provide opportunity and encouragement to the library patrons to expand their education through the various media resources available in the library.
G. To seek continually to identify community needs, to provide programs of service to meet such needs, and to cooperate with other organizations, agencies and institutions which can provide programs or services to meet community needs.
H. To provide technology for public access that will address the needs of the community in this expanding area of service.
II. COLLECTION AND SERVICES:
A. Collection and Procurement Policy
1. The librarian shall be responsible for the selection and purchase, from the mass of available materials, those items which best meet the interest and needs of the community.
2. The library will provide adequate computer and technology advances for public use and access.
B. Gifts, Bequests, and Memorials Policy
1. The library accepts gifts of suitable materials with the understanding that they will be added to the library collection only when needed and disposed of at the discretion of the librarian. The same principles of selection applied to purchases are applied to gifts.
2. Unrestricted gifts of money, lands or property will be gratefully accepted by the Library. Restricted gifts or bequests will be reviewed by the Library Board before acceptance or rejection.
3. The Board should be aware of the possibilities of both bequests and gifts and actively promote this idea.
C. Materials Selection Policy
1. Ultimate responsibility for material selection, as for all library activity, rests on the librarian, who operates within the framework of policies and objectives determined by the Board of Trustees. All aspects of materials selection will aim at implementing the library’s general objectives.
2. The library will maintain an up-to-date array of selection tools such as reviewing services, review publications and catalogs of recommended purchases.
3. General criteria applied to all materials will include:
a. Collect material of contemporary significance and of permanent value. The library will be guided by a sense of responsibility to both present and future in adding materials which will enrich the collection and maintain an overall balance.
b. Material selected will meet the criteria of providing information for recreational and/or enlightenment of the patron.
c. Authoritativeness and/or standing and reputation of the author, creator or publisher.
d. Attention to critics and reviewers.
e. Suitability and importance to the whole collection.
f. Price and/or availability.
g.Technology enhancement as applicable to the Technology Lab and requests for service.
4.The library will endeavor always to balance special group interest with general demands, to present fairly and truthfully both sides of every controversial subject, and to maintain a true balance between its duty to present information on all aspects of public questions and its determination not to allow itself to be used as propaganda vehicle.
5. The library sets as its major goals in materials selection: the advancement of knowledge, the education and enlightenment of the people of the community, and the provision of recreational reading. Basic to the policy is the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS and INTERPRETATION, THE FREEDOM TO VIEW statement, and THE RIGHT TO READ statement adopted by the American Library Association and states, among other things: “As a responsibility of library service, books and other reading matter selected should be chosen for values of interest, information and enlightenment of all the people of the community. In no case should any book be excluded because of the race or nationality or the political or religious views of the writer. There should be the fullest practical provision of material presenting all points of view concerning the problems and issues of our times-international, national, and local; and books or other reading matter of sound fact-authority should not be proscribed or removed from library shelves because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”
6. The library recognizes that many items are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons: Selection will not be made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the work in relation to building a well-rounded collection and to serving the interest of the reader. Serious works which present an honest aspect of certain problems or of life in our society are not necessarily excluded because of coarse language or frankness.
7. That said, the Library welcomes suggestions from our patrons. Customers can request that specific items be purchased by filling out a Recommended Title form at the front desk.
D. Request for Reconsideration Policy
The Library welcomes citizens’ expressions of opinion concerning materials purchased. Requests to remove materials will be considered within the context of these policies. Customers requesting reconsideration of a specific item in the collection of materials may fill out a Request for Reconsideration form available at the front desk. The form will be forwarded to the appropriate staff who will consider the request in a timely fashion in consultation with the Director. Questioned material will be reviewed in its entirety before a decision is made regarding the retention or removal of said item. A letter will be sent to the patron who made the request explaining the decision. Should the person still indicate dissatisfaction with the resolution, he/she may appeal to the Library Board. The Board will reconsider the decision based upon conformity to the Board-approved Collection Development Policy, as outlined in the “Materials Selection,” above.
E. Weeding Policy
Materials which are no longer useful in the light of stated objectives of the library will be systematically weeded from the collection according to accepted professional practices. Such materials will be put on a book sale as part of the library’s scheduled events, and if in bad condition, the material will be disposed of at the discretion of the library director. Weeding: 3% of collection per year. (Nebraska Library Commission recommendation)
F. Book Sales Policy
Books and other materials that have been weeded from the Farnam Public Library collection for no longer having intrinsic value and discarded appropriately from the catalog system as stated in policies and procedures may be sold to the public on a Book Sale for 25 cents per item. Monies collected through this book sale will be recorded in due form by way of the petty cash account to be used to purchase miscellaneous items for the Farnam Public Library.
G. Services of the Library Policy
1. The library staff will provide guidance and assistance for people to obtain the information they seek as recorded in print, audio-visual, video, computer, and digital format.
2. The library will initiate programs to stimulate the use of library materials for people of all ages.
3. The library will cooperate with civic and community agencies and organizations to help them with program materials.
4. Since the public library is a supplemental resource and not the main resource for school, day care providers and other teaching-learning centers, it reserves the right to limit the number of books and length of time items are taken out of the library by these organizations. The public library will at all opportunities cooperate with other libraries to strengthen the services and resources of all.
5. The library board recognizes that no single library can meet all demands in its community. Because of this, full advantage shall be taken of interlibrary loan services.
H. Computer and Internet Use Policy
All users will be required to review these policies before using computers in the library. Staff may choose to review these policy statements with the person asking to use the computer as needed.
1. A computer user must sign in and out using full, legible name, time of use, and which computer used on the provided sheet at the front desk before entering the computer lab. The equipment will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
2. Anyone found abusing library computers in any way or not following the rules outlined below will forfeit further computer use for an appropriate time. This includes any tampering with library-stored data or programming on the hard disks or illegally copying copyrighted software from library computers. First offense: 1 week; Second offense: 1 month; Third offense: permanently. The Farnam Public Library reserves the right to deny internet access to any person found violating the usage policy adopted by the Farnam Board of Trustees.
3. Library computers are primarily for research, business, and study purposes. Patrons may not bring in their own personal devices, CDs, software, or flash (jump) drives to play games on the Farnam Public Library computers.
4. The computers’ hard disk drives are for the storage of library software and information. No one can save personal files on the hard disk drive. Personal storage devices (ex. Flash drives) may be used; please ask staff for assistance with this.
5. Patrons MAY NOT use privately owned software programs on the Wilson Public Library computers. The user CANNOT download programs of any kind off the Internet onto a personal device.
6. The Farnam Public Library computers are NOT to be used to view, create, transmit, print nor otherwise distribute pornographic, obscene, sexually explicit, racist, sexist, or homophobic materials.
7. Patrons may only use the library computer in 1/2 hour increments and wireless devices for an hour at one time unless no one is waiting to use a computer. The computer will be made available within 5 minutes of being informed by staff that another person is waiting. Arrangements may be made with the staff in special situations. Patrons using computers for entertainment purposes may be asked to forfeit computers before patrons using them for research/educational purposes.
8. The user is responsible for any damage occurring to library hardware or software due to inappropriate actions or inaction while using computers.
9. Use of profanity when using a computer or computers will result in forfeiting further library computer use.
10. Printing costs are .20 cents per page for black and white and .50 cents per page for color. Please ask staff for assistance before attempting to print. Patrons are responsible for all copies printed. Special conditions may apply as to excessive printing.
11. Parents/guardians are responsible for the behavior of their own children while using the library’s Internet connection. Parents must sign the User Agreement form on behalf of their children if under 14. Farnam Public Library assumes no liability for inappropriate conduct or acts conducted on the Internet. Children under 8 may not be left unattended in the library while an adult is in the computer lab
12. Farnam Public Library cannot control the resources on the Internet. The Internet is not a static entity. It changes each minute as new information is added and old information is deleted. Some Internet sites may contain information which is inaccurate, defamatory, illegal, obscene or potentially offensive to some. Farnam Public Library can attempt to prevent direct access to materials not generally acceptable in a public library but it is technically impossible to prevent access to all resources, which might be objectionable to some people.
13. Farnam Public Library employees are not responsible for providing personal instruction on the use of the computer or software programs but are available for quick questions.
14. Wireless Capabilities:
a. The Farnam Public Library provides wireless Internet
connectivity as a service for users with wireless enabled
devices. This service is not to be used as a permanent
b. By choosing to use this free wireless service you agree to
abide by the Farnam Public Library Computer and Internet
Use Policy that prohibits abusive or illegal activity
while using the Library’s Internet service.
c. It is the responsibility of the user to understand the
Computer and Internet Use Policy and his/her obligation to
refrain from viewing inappropriate websites, spamming or
any illegal activities.
d. Use of the wireless network is at your own risk and the
Farnam Public Library is not responsible for any damage
that may occur to your wireless device while connected.
e. Limitations: Wi-Fi is less secure than a wired network.
Signal strength may vary in the building.
f. There is wireless printing capability.
Please be advised that:
• Farnam Public Library staff members cannot configure your
• The Farnam Public Library assumes no responsibility for any
alterations or interference with a device’s configuration,
operation, or data files resulting from connection to the
• Virus and security protection is the user’s responsibility.
• The Farnam Public Library assumes no responsibility for
damage, theft, or loss of any kind to user’s equipment,
software, data files or other personal property brought into
or used at the Library’s facilities.
• The Farnam Public Library cannot guarantee that the service
will be available at any specific time nor can the Library
accept reservations for wireless access.
• The connection shall not be used for illegal or time-consuming
commercial purposes. Please restrict your use to the
connection to 1 hour if others are waiting.
III. USE OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY:
A. Patron Privileges Policy
1. Within the library, the use of all items available for check-out in the physical collection is free to all.
2. The privilege of using the library is free to all.
3. Residents of Farnam or those with a 69029 address may secure physical library materials by requesting a library number.
4. Services shall not be denied or abridged because of age, religious, racial, social, economic or political status.
5. The use of the library or its services may be denied for due cause. Such cause may be failure to return property or to pay penalties, destruction of library property, disturbance of other patrons, or any other objectionable conduct on library premises. Time limit restrictions as to when a patron may use the library
again can be set by the library board or library director as the need arises.
a. Any patron who has a penalty of $10 or more will be denied access to checking out materials from the library until fine is paid in its entirety.
b. When one patron from a family has a large fine, they may not use someone else’s card number.
c. The library director can restrict material access to all patrons from one family due to abuse of their library privilege or to unrelated individuals residing at the same address. This can include not letting any family member check out items until all fines, penalties, etc. are paid for by the family.
6. Individual Patrons are not allowed to share cards. Family cards are available for related parties living at the same address.
7. Any items returned damaged by the patron will be assessed at the replacement value.
8. All patrons are allowed computer usage. Children 8-14 must have a permission form signed by a guardian if they use the technology room. If the parent wants to have their child under 8 use the public computers, that child must be able to read the permission form by themselves and understand the User Agreement. The following penalty is applied if a patron is found to violate the Registration and User Agreement For Computer -Technology Use: The first time a patron violates the agreement they will not be able to use the public access computers for 1 week, a second violation and they will not be able to use the computer for 1 month, and a third violation will mean the patron has lost the use permanently.
B. Animal Policy
Animals, pets, birds, etc. will not be allowed in the library. The only exceptions to this will be the use of a service animal by a disabled individual or a special program set up by the library.
C. Unattended Children Policy
The Farnam Public Library welcomes youth to use its facilities and services. However, the library is not a playground, recreation center, or day care facility. Noisy or physically active behavior appropriate in such facilities is not appropriate in the library. Section 51-212 of the Nebraska Statues specifically gives public libraries the power to regulate the use of the library and to exclude from the library persons who violate or refuse to comply with the library’s rules and regulations. In order to prevent undue disruption of normal library activities, to provide for the general welfare of all persons using the library and to provide for general safety of children using the Farnam Public Library, the following policies have been adopted:
1. All children under 8 years of age shall, at all times, be attended and adequately supervised by a responsible adult. Children may be left unattended at scheduled library programs unless specifically noted in advertising. The responsible person should plan to be at the library when the program concludes.
2. Children with special needs related to physical or mental ability shall be attended by a responsible party as needed. Library staff cannot be expected to provide constant care or oversight.
3. Children eight years (8) and older may use the library unattended, subject to the rules and regulations of the Farnam Public Library.
4. The Farnam Public Library assumes no responsibility for children left unattended on library premises.
5. If library staff judges that any unattended child is not coping adequately, a staff member will immediately try to locate the responsible adult. If the adult cannot be found, or if the library is closing, the staff will contact the police department for assistance. The staff will under no circumstance take the child out of the building.
D. Operating Hours Policy
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Friday: CLOSED
Wednesday: 10:00 am – Noon; 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Thursday: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Saturday: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
1. If the need arises the librarian may arrange morning hours for school visits, during Summer Reading Program, or other special activities.
2. The decision to close the library due to weather or other factors such as a special occasion will be made in consultation with the city office, the Library Board president or other board member if the president is unavailable.
E. Holiday Policy
The library shall be closed on holidays per the Village of Farnam holiday closing policy.
F. Emergency Closing Policy: Emergency and Safety Issues
In case of fire/fire alarm sounding, library patrons in the building will be asked to leave by the nearest exit. Library Director will call 911 and, if possible, ensure that no one is in the building before exiting. Everyone will be asked to meet at the Farnam Bank, south of the library.
In case of tornado watches, business will proceed as usual. If a tornado warning is issued, the library will be closed until the warning for Farnam/Dawson County has expired per the National Weather Bureau. Library patrons in the building will be allowed to remain in the library’s designated tornado shelters until the tornado warning has expired. Unattended minors will be asked to stay in the building until a guardian picks them up or until the tornado warning has expired.
Adverse weather/equipment failure/lockdown status/shelter and place:
The library is a public service institution, and every effort is made to maintain regular hours for the public. The library will be closed only when weather conditions deteriorate to the point where emergency situations prevail, when vital equipment in the building fails, or when there is a general emergency that mandates closure or lockdown/shelter and place status. The decision to close the library will be made by the Library Director in coordination with the Village Office. After Village Offices hours, the decision will be made by the Library Director.
G. Circulation Policies
1. All borrowers must have a library number in order to check out items.
2. Books, audio cassettes, and audio cds shall be issued for a two-week period. Maximum renewals will be an additional two times or a total of six weeks. Materials may not be renewed by the patron if there is a reserve on the book.
3. Reference books are designated for use within the library, unless cataloged and processed for check-out. Under certain circumstances, a reference book may be checked out overnight, with the approval of the library director (Ex. If a teacher or business professional makes an overnight request, the director may give her/his approval.) Library materials may be put on reserve if a school teacher requests that we do so. This will allow more students access to the material within the library.
4. Video tape and dvd check-out is for a two-week period. Age is no determination for video/dvd check out. Staff has the right to seek parental approval if irresponsible behavior has been displayed in not getting the videos/dvds back, paying the fine in a timely manner, or returning the material in need of repair. Videos and dvds may be renewed once before they must be returned.
H. Copy and FAX Policy
A .30 cent per page fee for black and white will be charged to the patron for the use of the copy machine and for any computer printers within the library. This includes paying for “mistakes” made by the patron. A .50 cent per page fee for color. Nebraska tax is included in the charge.
Faxing services are available. There is a $1.00 per page outgoing charge and $2.00 per page incoming charge. Nebraska tax is included in the charge.
I. Fines Policy
Ultimate responsibility for an overdue item lies upon the cardholder as all items are stamped upon checkout with a due date. Monthly overdue letters to all patrons, and may also choose to call patrons regarding an overdue item, if other patrons are waiting for said item. After 60 days, the library director will send a letter noting what is overdue, cost to replace item(s), as well as any other prior fines.
1. Ten cents a day shall be charged for each overdue items.
a. Patron will not be charged a fine greater than the cost of the item.
b. Patron may not check out any items if fines or lost items exceed $10.
c. All fines totaling $10.00 and above must be paid in full before patron checkout privileges are reinstated.
2. Any person failing to return books or other library materials due to their loss or destruction will be assessed a fine as indicated above. When an item is reported lost, the fine is stopped and the patron is give a reasonable time to find it. All lost items shall be charged at the replacement cost.
3. Penalties until items are replaced:
a. Borrowing privileges will be restricted and the patron’s name may be turned over to the City Attorney after material has been delinquent for a period of more than 60 days.
b. Prior to any legal action, every attempt will be made to recover overdue materials directly from the patron.
J. Replacement of Lost/Damaged Materials Policy
1. Replacement of damaged material is the responsibility of the patron who last had the item checked out. The preferred method of replacement is through either the payment for the item checked out (and a new title will be ordered) or the donation of a new copy of the same title in the same format. Second choice is with a donation of a new copy of a similar title in similar format, with prior approval of the director. From funds received, lost/damaged items will be replaced via the appropriate budget line and in line with Materials Selection Policy.
2. Materials are valued at full cover price.
3. Replacement of lost material is the same as for damaged material. However, if the patron feels the item(s) may turn up they should be renewed until the maximum fine is reached, then moved to Lost as per the procedures manual. The patron will then have 60 days before restitution is required.
4. No return of replaced material or money will be made if the original item is found. Upon paid replacement of damaged material, said item will be deleted from library’s catalog and damaged item is given to patron or discarded by Director.
IV. PHYSICAL FACILITIES
A. General Statement:
To achieve the goal of good library service, the Library Board will strive to provide and maintain the public library facilities which will adequately meet the physical requirements of modern, aggressive library service. Such facilities will offer the community a compelling invitation to enter, read, look, listen, learn, discover, and explore.
B. Exhibits and Displays Policy
1. The public library is anxious to provide for the public as many attractive, educational and cultural exhibits as possible.
2. No poster display, exhibit, pamphlet, brochure, booklet, etc. shall be exhibited, displayed or placed in the library for distribution without permission of the librarian. Items may be displayed for two weeks unless special arrangements have been made by the Director.
3. The library assumes no responsibility for the preservation or protection from possible damage or theft of any item displayed or exhibited.
4. No political or commercial solicitation is permissible.
A. Employment Policy
1. The Farnam Public Library is an equal opportunity employer.
2. Applicants are required to complete a standard job application and have an interview, if requested with the Library Board.
3. All employees are responsible to the Library Director and the Director is responsible to the Board of Trustees.
B. Responsibilities and Duties of Library Director.
1. General administration of the library, following policies agreed upon by the Board of Trustees.
2. Building the library collection.
a. Selection and maintenance of materials.
b. Weeding 3% of collection per year. (Nebraska Library Commission recommendation)
3. Working knowledge of all library equipment. This includes a working knowledge of the technology lab and library software programs.
4. Circulation of library materials.
5. Maintain current and accurate files and records.
a. Send statistical reports to Nebraska Library Commission when due.
6. Present a library report every two-months to the Board of Trustees.
7. Manage personnel, scheduling hours for work, etc.
8. Supervise overdue policy.
9. Provide reference service and access to state-wide library services such as Interlibrary Loan.
10. Supervise all programs and services.
11. Attend all Board meetings.
12. Oversee building maintenance.
13. Maintain an active program of public relations.
14. Affiliate with state and national professional organizations and attend workshops and complete required on-line classes.
C. Salary Policy
1. The Library Board will recommend a wage for each employee. This will be then turned into the City Council for approval.
2. Pay is subject to deductions required by law.
D. Dismissal Policy
The librarian may recommend to the Board, the dismissal with two week’s notice of any employee whose attitude, professional ethics, conduct or performance in his/her judgment warrants action. A discharged employee may request and receive a reinstatement hearing by the Board and the librarian. The Board will consider the recommendations of the Library Director and may reinstate the employee, with or without prejudice, and with or without loss of pay between date of dismissal and date of reinstatement.
E. Retirement Policy
According to city regulations.
F. Employee Benefits Policy
a. Employees working a minimum of 40 hours per week shall be entitled to vacation with pay. Length of time according to city regulations.
b. Library Director is responsible to arrange vacation schedules so that the library is staffed during all regular scheduled “open” days.
2. Sick Leave.
a. Full time employees shall earn sick leave per year cumulative as set up in the city policies. In case of extended illness, the City may authorize earned vacation to follow expenditure of sick leave.
b. Staffing of the library in case of illness will be arranged at the discretion of the Library Director, either by trading work days, or calling in part time help.
3. Emergency Leave.
a. The Library Director may grant emergency leave without loss of pay according to city regulations.
b. Employees are granted leave for jury duty and required court appearances according to city regulation.
a. An employee may resign from the City service by presenting his/her resignation in writing at least ten (10) working days prior to the effective date.
b. All employees resigning are subject to the resignation policy in the city policy manual.
5. Insurance and Workman’s Compensation.
a. Full time employees are covered by all city insurance.
b. Employees on duty for the library are covered by Workmen’s Compensation Laws of Nebraska. (Contact City Office for questions.)
G. Employee Dress Code Policy
Every employee representing the Farnam Public Library is expected to maintain a high standard of dress and grooming. Clothing worn to work should not detract from presenting a professional appearance. Clothing worn on the job must be in good taste, clean, neat and reflect the requirements of working in the library. If an employee is uncertain if a particular piece of clothing will be appropriate, ask the library director.
VI. PROFESSIONAL EXPENSES POLICY
A. Conventions, Meetings, Seminars, Travel.
1. The library encourages the attendance of all staff members and trustees at professional meetings, conferences and conventions.
2. Library funds will pay for mileage at the going rate per mile on one car, and registration fees for staff members and trustees who will attend state and district library meetings.
VII. PUBLICITY AND PUBLIC RELATIONS POLICY
A. Publicity concerning the library shall be under the direction of the librarian, who shall inform the public of the services that the library performs and its activities as a public relations agent between the library and the community. Full advantage will be taken of all media.
B. Public Relations is recognized by the Board as involving every person who has any connection with the Library. The Board urges its own members and every staff member to realize that he or she represents the Library in every public contact. Good service supports good public relations. Friendliness and helpfulness to patrons reflects the image we want to project.
C. Special Events to promote the Library can be held. These would be things like Book Sales and Amnesty Day for returning overdue books with no fines.
D. Farnam Public Library staff will strive to obtain written permission from patrons (and from minor’s parents/guardians) before submitting photos of Farnam Public Library events to area newspapers, posting on the library website. Farnam Public Library cannot be responsible for photos submitted to area newspapers or other forms of social media not associated with Farnam Public Library by outside parties regarding Farnam Public Library events.
VIII. COMPLAINTS POLICY
ADA Grievance Policy
This Grievance Policy and subsequent procedure is established to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. It may be used by anyone who wishes to file a complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in the provision of services, activities, programs, or benefits by the Wilson Public Library. The Library Personnel Policy governs employment-related complaints of disability discrimination.
The complaint must be in writing and contain information about the alleged discrimination such as name, address, and phone number of complainant and location, date, and description of the problem. Alternative reasonable means of filing complaints, such as personal interviews or a tape recording of the complaint, will be made available for persons with disabilities upon request.
The complaint must be submitted by the grievant and/or his/her designee as soon as possible but no later than 60 calendar days after the alleged violation to:
310 Main St, POB 8
Farnam, NE 69029
Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the complaint, the Library Director or his or her designee will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and the possible resolutions. Within 15 calendar days of the meeting, the Library Director or his or her designee will respond in writing and where appropriate, in format accessible to the complainant, such as large print, Braille, or audio tape. The response will explain the position of the Library and offer options for substantive resolution of the complaint.
If the response by the Library Director or his or her designee does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the complainant and/or his/her designee may appeal the decision within 15 calendar days after receipt of the response to the President of the Library Board or his or her designee.
Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the appeal, the President of the Library Board or his or her designee will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions. Within 15 calendar days after the meeting, the President of the Library Board or his or her designee will respond in writing and, where appropriate, in a format accessible to the complainant, with a final resolution of the complaint.
All written complaints received by the Library Director or his or her designee, appeals to the President of the Library Board or his or her designee, and responses from these 2 offices will be retained by the Library for at least 3 years, after which time the records will be appropriately discarded.
IX. CONFIDENTIALITY OF PATRON RECORDS POLICY
A. The Farnam Public Library Board recognizes its circulation records identifying the names of library users with specific materials are confidential in nature.
B. All librarians and employees are advised that such records shall not be made available to any agency of state, federal, or local government except pursuant to such process, order, or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of, and pursuant to federal, state, or local laws relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedure or legislative power.
C. The Board shall resist the issuance or enforcement of any such process, order or subpoena until such time as proper showing of good cause has been made in a court of competent jurisdiction.
X. FINANCE POLICY
All receipts will be turned in to the Library Board Treasurer, who will track and balance the finances of the Farnam Public Library.
XI. GRANTS & DONATIONS POLICY
a. Funds donated to the Library may be allocated according to the wishes of the donor. Memorial Funds will be used as designated by the donor or for library materials or furnishings chosen at the discretion of the Librarian. All donations to the Library shall be subject to the Gifts, Bequests, and Memorials Policy.
b. Utilization of grant funds from any source will be used in accordance with the requirements for receiving the funds unless no specific commitment was required. In such case the expenditure of these funds will be decided by the Librarian and/or the Library Board and approved at the regular monthly meeting of the Library Board.
XII. CELL PHONE POLICY
Use of cell phones is not allowed in the computer lab or library. Please put cell phone ringer on vibrate; you may use cell phones in the hallway by the restrooms.
This handbook is for informational purposes only. It is neither a contract nor a promise, so do not consider anything in it to be contractual or promissory. We may make and enforce changes from time to time at our discretion.
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.
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.
II. 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.
Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable bases, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
Adopted June 18, 1948.
Amended February 2, 1961, and January 23, 1980,
inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996,
by the ALA Council.
Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights
Although the Articles of the Library Bill of Rights are unambiguous statements of basic principles that should govern the service of all libraries, questions do arise concerning application of these principles to specific library practices.
Following are those documents designated by the Intellectual Freedom Committee as Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights and background statements detailing the philosophy and history of each. For convenience and easy reference, the documents are presented in alphabetical order. These documents are policies of the American Library Association, having been adopted by the ALA Council.
Access for Children and Young Adults to Nonprint Materials: Library collections of nonprint materials raise a number of intellectual freedom issues, especially regarding minors. Article V of the Library Bill of Rights states, “A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.”
Access to Digital Information, Services, and Networks: Freedom of expression is an inalienable human right and the foundation for self-government. Freedom of expression encompasses the freedom of speech and the corollary right to receive information. Libraries and librarians protect and promote these rights by selecting, producing, providing access to, identifying, retrieving, organizing, providing instruction in the use of, and preserving recorded expression regardless of the format or technology.
Access to Library Resources and Services Regardless of Sex, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, or Sexual Orientation: The American Library Association stringently and unequivocally maintains that libraries and librarians have an obligation to resist efforts that systematically exclude materials dealing with any subject matter, including sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
Access to Resources and Services in the School Library Media Program: The school library media program plays a unique role in promoting intellectual freedom. It serves as a point of voluntary access to information and ideas and as a learning laboratory for students as they acquire critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed in a pluralistic society. Although the educational level and program of the school necessarily shapes the resources and services of a school library media program, the principles of the Library Bill of Rights apply equally to all libraries, including school library media programs.
Challenged Materials: The American Library Association declares as a matter of firm principle that it is the responsibility of every library to have a clearly defined materials selection policy in written form that reflects the Library Bill of Rights, and that is approved by the appropriate governing authority.
Diversity in Collection Development: Intellectual freedom, the essence of equitable library services, provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause, or movement may be explored. Toleration is meaningless without tolerance for what some may consider detestable. Librarians cannot justly permit their own preferences to limit their degree of tolerance in collection development, because freedom is indivisible.
Economic Barriers to Information Access: A democracy presupposes an informed citizenry. The First Amendment mandates the right of all persons to free expression, and the corollary right to receive the constitutionally protected expression of others. The publicly supported library provides free, equal, and equitable access to information for all people of the community the library serves. While the roles, goals and objectives of publicly supported libraries may differ, they share this common mission.
Evaluating Library Collections: The continuous review of library materials is necessary as a means of maintaining an active library collection of current interest to users. In the process, materials may be added and physically deteriorated or obsolete materials may be replaced or removed in accordance with the collection maintenance policy of a given library and the needs of the community it serves. Continued evaluation is closely related to the goals and responsibilities of all libraries and is a valuable tool of collection development. This procedure is not to be used as a convenient means to remove materials presumed to be controversial or disapproved of by segments of the community.
Exhibit Spaces and Bulletin Boards: Libraries often provide exhibit spaces and bulletin boards. The uses made of these spaces should conform to the Library Bill of Rights: Article I states, “Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.” Article II states, “Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.” Article VI maintains that exhibit space should be made available “on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.”
Expurgation of Library Materials: Expurgation of Library Materials: Expurgating library materials is a violation of the Library Bill of Rights. Expurgation as defined by this interpretation includes any deletion, excision, alteration, editing, or obliteration of any part(s) of books or other library resources by the library, its agent, or its parent institution (if any).
Free Access to Libraries for Minors: Library policies and procedures that effectively deny minors equal and equitable access to all library resources available to other users violate the Library Bill of Rights. The American Library Association opposes all attempts to restrict access to library services, materials, and facilities based on the age of library users.
Importance of Education to Intellectual Freedom (New as of the 2009 ALA Annual Conference): Through education programming and instruction in information skills, libraries empower individuals to explore ideas, access, and evaluate information, draw meaning from information presented in a variety of formats, develop valid conclusions, and express new ideas. Such education facilitates intellectual access to information and offers a path to intellectual freedom.
Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries: A strong intellectual freedom perspective is critical to the development of academic library collections and services that dispassionately meet the education and research needs of a college or university community. The purpose of this statement is to outline how and where intellectual freedom principles fit into an academic library setting, thereby raising consciousness of the intellectual freedom context within which academic librarians work.
Labeling and Rating Systems: Libraries do not advocate the ideas found in their collections or in resources accessible through the library. The presence of books and other resources in a library does not indicate endorsement of their contents by the library. Likewise, the ability for library users to access electronic information using library computers does not indicate endorsement or approval of that information by the library.
Minors and Internet Interactivity (New as of the 2009 ALA Annual Conference): The digital environment offers opportunities both for accessing information created by others and for creating and sharing new information. The rights of minors to retrieve, interact with, and create information posted on the Internet in schools and libraries are extensions of their First Amendment rights.
Library-Initiated Programs as a Resource: Library-initiated programs support the mission of the library by providing users with additional opportunities for information, education, and recreation.
Meeting Rooms: Many libraries provide meeting rooms for individuals and groups as part of a program of service. Article VI of the Library Bill of Rights states that such facilities should be made available to the public served by the given library “on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.”
Prisoners Right to Read: The American Library Association asserts a compelling public interest in the preservation of intellectual freedom for individuals of any age held in jails, prisons, detention facilities, juvenile facilities, immigration facilities, prison work camps and segregated units within any facility.
Privacy: Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association. See also Questions and Answers on Privacy and Confidentiality.
Restricted Access to Library Materials: Libraries are a traditional forum for the open exchange of information. Attempts to restrict access to library materials violate the basic tenets of the Library Bill of Rights.
Services to People with Disabilities (New as of the 2009 Midwinter Meeting in Denver, CO): ALA recognizes that persons with disabilities are a large and often neglected part of society. In addition to many personal challenges, some persons with disabilities face economic inequity, illiteracy, cultural isolation, and discrimination in education, employment, and the broad range of societal activities. The library plays a catalytic role in their lives by facilitating their full participation in society.
The Universal Right to Free Expression: Freedom of expression is an inalienable human right and the foundation for self-government. Freedom of expression encompasses the freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly, and association, and the corollary right to receive information.
Freedom To Read Statement
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 or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label “controversial” views, 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 reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.
Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary citizen, by exercising 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 misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. 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.
These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. 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 accelerated change. 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 the less able to deal with controversy and difference.
Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that 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 toward 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 people 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 that are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.
Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that 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 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 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 those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.
3.) It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.
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 people can flourish that 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 expression 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 values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that 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 expression the prejudgment of a label characterizing it or its 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 individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. 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 individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish 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, they 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 the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader’s 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 the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians 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 the written word. We do so because we believe that it is 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.
Adopted June 25, 1953; revised January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991, July 12, 2000,
by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.
Freedom to View Statement
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 principles:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. It is our professional responsibility to resist the constraint of labeling or prejudging a film on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or film maker 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.
Adopted ‘February, 1979
American Film and Video Association
Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services.
The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)provides publications and other technical assistance on the basic requirements of the ADA. It does not enforce any part of the law.
In addition to the Department of Labor, four federal agencies enforce the ADA:
• The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces regulations covering employment.
• The Department of Transportation enforces regulations governing transit.
• The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enforces regulations covering telecommunication services.
• The Department of Justice enforces regulations governing public accommodations and state and local government services.
Another federal agency, the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (ATBCB), also known as the Access Board, issues guidelines to ensure that buildings, facilities, and transit vehicles are accessible and usable by people with disabilities.
Two agencies within the Department of Labor enforce portions of the ADA. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has coordinating authority under the employment-related provisions of the ADA. The Civil Rights Center is responsible for enforcing Title II of the ADA as it applies to the labor- and workforce-related practices of state and local governments and other public entities. See the Laws & Regulations subtopic for specific information on these provisions.