Worthen Library General Library Policy
The mission of the Worthen Library is to enrich, inform and educate the community. Our library strives to create a welcome, safe and respectful community space for all.
General Library Goals
- To make available to the community of South Hero, materials, technology, programs, reference services and other resources for education, enlightenment, and recreation for all.
- To identify community needs and interests and provide relevant materials.
- To collaborate with other organizations, agencies, and institutions within the community in order to meet community needs.
General Operation of the Library
- Anyone may use the library without charge.
- The book drop will be accessible at all times.
- Assistance will be provided as necessary to ensure all patrons access to all materials.
- The library will be closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Martin Luther King Day, Friday after Thanksgiving, President’s Day, Christmas Eve or December 26 Memorial Day Christmas Day Independence Day New Year’s Eve Labor Day
- Library closure to do weather is at the discretion of the library director. In the event of a weather closure the library director will notify a member of the board and alert the public to the closure.
- The library may be used as a meeting place for individuals and community groups at the discretion of the library director . The request must comply with the guidelines in the Building Usage Policy.
- The library normally will not provide personnel to assist the groups using the library as a meeting place. This includes opening and closing the library.
Unattended Child Policy
- Children under the age of 9 shall, at all times, be attended and adequately supervised by a parent or caregiver.
- Children age 9 and above may use the library unattended, subject to rules and regulations concerning behavior, conduct, and demeanor. Inappropriate activities include: running, throwing, loud or abusive talking, fighting, or any other activities which disrupt the library. Vandalism will not be tolerated. Adult supervision will be required for continuously disruptive children of any age.
- The library assumes no responsibility for children of any age left unattended at the library. Parents or guardians assume all liability for personal injury and/or damage done by their children to the library facility.
- If a child is injured, library staff will make their best effort to contact a parent or caregiver. If the staff is unable to reach a parent or caregiver, staff will seek emergency medical assistance at the parent’s/guardian’s expense. Staff will notify the parent/guardian or caregiver as soon as possible.
- As closing time approaches, library staff will encourage unattended children to arrange for transportation. If a child is left unattended at closing time, the child will be requested to contact his or her parent(s) or guardian(s) to arrange safe transportation home. If these contact efforts are unsuccessful, the library staff member will seek assistance from the Vermont State Police or Sheriff. Library staff will not transport children. The parent/guardian may, at the Director’s discretion, be charged for staff time
- Residents of the town of South Hero may obtain a library card free of charge. Homecard patrons in good standing with their library may borrow books from the Worthen Library. In addition, non-residents are not eligible for Homecard borrowing privileges.
- There is no age limit for anyone who would like to apply for a library card; however if a child is under 16 years of age, a parent/guardian must sign the application.
- All materials, except museum/park passes, are loaned for two weeks with the privilege of two renewals. Museum/park passes are loaned for two days. Renewal requests may be denied if a prior request for the material is on file with the library director or if the library director deems the loan period to be excessive.
- Misuse of library materials, negligence in returning materials, or failure to make proper restitution for missing or damaged materials may cause library privileges to be suspended.
- Patrons may renew materials provided no one is waiting for the items. Materials may be renewed a maximum of two times. Museum and other attraction passes may not be renewed.
- The first overdue notice will be mailed or emailed two weeks after the materials are due. If necessary, two more notices will be sent, each at two-week intervals.
- If an item is eight weeks overdue the overdue notice will include a bill and letter revoking borrowing privileges (including Homecard privileges). Privileges will remain revoked until the bill has been settled or materials have been returned.
- The replacement cost of lost or damaged materials will be decided by the library director .
- Patrons have one week to pick up a reserved item or an item that has been ordered through interlibrary loan. If the item has not been picked up in a week, and the patron has made no special arrangements, the item will be placed back in regular circulation or returned to the lending library.
Selection of Library Materials
- Selection of materials for the library is the responsibility of the library director.
- Books, magazines, recordings, movies, and other materials are selected to provide education, enlightenment, and recreation for the community.
- In selecting materials, the library director will consult professional reviews and consider recommendations from professional sources, interests of the community, and the collection as a whole.
- No materials shall be excluded because of the author’s race, gender identity, age, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or political views.
Weeding the Library Collection
- Weeding will be conducted periodically at the discretion of the library director .
- The criteria used in selection will also apply to the removal or replacement of materials. Each withdrawal or replacement will be judged individually with reference to standard library selection tools and catalogs and to the existing collection.
- The library may receive materials or funds as gift donations.
- The library accepts these gifts on the condition that their use is at the complete discretion of the Board of Trustees and/or the library director . All donations become the property of the Worthen Library.
Exhibits and Displays
- All materials to be displayed must be approved by the library director . The library director may choose to submit the material to the Board of Trustees for approval.
- Posting areas are maintained by the library director .
- The display of brochures and other materials for non-profit events and educational opportunities will be in a designated area.
- Local artists displaying their work are responsible for the hanging and take down of their pieces.
Interlibrary Loan Policy
- The library director will participate in ILL according to the Vermont Department of Libraries rules and regulations.
- The library makes no guarantees about whether a particular ILL item will be located nor does the library make guarantees about when the ILL item will arrive.
- The use of ILL materials is governed by the rules and procedures of the lending library.
- Patrons with restricted library privileges may not request ILL items.
- Under Sec 1. 22 V.S.A. Chapter 4, Library Patron Records, records relating to the identity of library patrons or the identity of library patrons in regard to transaction records are not public record, and are strictly confidential.
- No records shall be made available to any individual or agency of the government, whether local, state, or federal, except pursuant to the exemptions listed in Sec 1. 22 V.S.A. Chapter 4 s 172.
- Upon receipt of such process, order, or subpoena, the library’s officers will consult with their legal counsel to determine if such process, order, or subpoena is in proper form and if there is a showing of good cause for its issuance; if the process, order, or subpoena is not in proper form or if good cause has not been shown, they will insist that such defects be cured.
- Materials chosen based on accepted collection criteria will not be removed from the collection because of pressure by groups or individuals expressing disapproval.
- Children have free access to all library materials. It is deemed the responsibility of parents/guardians to determine what their children, and only their children may access.
- The selection of materials will not be restricted by the possibility that young people may obtain materials that their parents/guardians consider inappropriate.
Procedures for a Patron’s Complaint on Selections
- A patron’s complaint will be treated with courtesy and respect.
- The patron will be asked to fill out an item reconsideration form, which will be submitted to the Board of Trustees.
- The library director and the Board will then reexamine the challenged material and answer the complaint with reasons cited. Materials under consideration will remain in circulation.
- The Worthen Library follows the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read statement. The Worthen Library does not promote particular beliefs or views, nor is the selection of any material equivalent to the endorsement of the viewpoint of the author expressed therein. It does provide material representing all approaches to public issues of a controversial nature.
- The library is aware that one or more persons may take issue with the selection of a specific item, and welcomes any expression of opinion by patrons, but does not undertake the task of pleasing all patrons by the elimination of items purchased after due deliberation under guidance of the policies expressed herein.
- To provide a resource where an individual can examine many points of view and make personal decisions is one of the essential purposes of the library.
- Each reader is privileged to select among the materials of the library and no one is obligated to borrow personally offensive material.
Review and Revision of Policies
- The policy will be reviewed annually by the Board of Trustees and the library director .
- The policy may be revised at any regular meeting by a majority of the Board members, as long as a quorum of three is present.
- Building usage requests will be reviewed on a first-come-first-served basis.
- Authorization for use of the library will be granted only for times when use will not interfere with regular library hours of operation or previously scheduled events. Library-sponsored events will be given first priority.
- Smoking and drug use on library property is strictly prohibited.
- The Board shall provide equal access and shall not discriminate against any group based on the purpose for which a group is organized.
- The Board may limit commercial use.
- Applicants are compelled to report the number of attendees to their event and report building us attendance to the library director via the library usage form.
- The use of the library facilities is under the direct control of the library director, subject to the limitations imposed by the Board of Trustees. The Board retains the ultimate right to authorize or deny use of the facilities and to impose fees (e.g. damage, cleaning).
- Applicants who wish to use the Library must obtain the key from the librarian library hours. This key must be returned immediately after use.
- Applicants using the library after hours for private functions will pay a rental fee of $25.
The Worthen Library is committed to providing its patrons with access to computer equipment and the Internet. The Worthen Library adheres to the basic principles governing information freedom and access as outlined in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights. In order to ensure the fair and equitable use of the library’s computer equipment, patrons are asked to observe the following guidelines:
- Please be considerate of other users, and leave the computer and software as you found them.
- Please do not eat or drink near the computer stations.
- Any computer or printer problems must be immediately reported to the librarian
- Patrons using their own laptops to access the wireless Internet are responsible for the adequate protection of their computer and data.
- Users must respect the integrity of the library’s computers and utilize only those programs and services already on the computer.
- The Worthen Library is not responsible for any damage or loss of data that may occur while using computers at the library.
- Public access computer users may not load executable programs or data files onto the hard drive of any library computer. The hard drive, most specifically the “My Documents” folder, will be deleted of all non-library files regularly.
- Any application used by a user must be properly exited upon completion.
- Public access computer users must not alter settings on the computers or delete or modify any files.
- The cost of repairing damage to the computers or their peripherals by any library user may be charged to that library user.
- Printing costs 10 cents per page for black and white and 25 cents for color. Please check the length of any document before printing it out.
- The Worthen Library is committed to the privacy of its public access computer users. However, users should be aware that use of the Internet, at this time, cannot be considered secure, and that some applications may save temporary copies of data to the hard drive. Public access computer users should therefore assume that others may be able to retrieve their work, and should take appropriate care.
- In general, the library will treat information stored on the computer as confidential. Exceptions to this rule will only be honored when required by local, state or federal law, or when approved by the librarian.
- As these computers are in a public area, be aware that the screen will be visible to other library users.
- The computer’s cache and temporary files, as well as the location bar in the Internet browsers loaded on the computer, will be cleaned out on a regular basis.
- All public access computer users of the Worthen Library, regardless of age, have equal access to the information provided by the library.
- The Worthen Library’s policy on the use of computers and access to the Internet is the same as for the borrowing of books: parents and guardians of children are responsible for the appropriate use by children of the library facilities.
Users who do not follow these rules, or other rules of the library, may have their privileges revoked. If you are unsure whether your use of the computer facilities might conflict with these rules, please ask the librarian.
This policy is subject to review and revision every year.
By the Worthen Library Board of Trustees:
Kenneth C. Kowalewitz Melissa Hood
Elissa Giroux Luke Tremble
Adopted February 11th, 2020