South Hero Community Library
Policies and Procedures
Revised September 15, 2014
The mission of the South Hero Community Library is to enrich, inform and educate the South Hero community. Our library strives to create a welcome, safe and respectful community space for all.
General Library Objectives and Goals
- To promote enlightened citizenship
- To enrich the lives of individuals and the community
- To encourage life-long learning
- To promote information literacy and provide access to technology
- To identify community interests and work to meet them through programming
- To work in cooperation with Folsom School
- To acquire and make available for circulation books (print, electronic, and audio), periodicals, digital media (movies and music) and related materials
- To serve the community as a center for information resources
- To provide friendly and efficient service to every resident of the community.
- To incorporate by reference the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement
The goal of the South Hero Community Library is to meet the standards for Vermont public libraries as established by the Vermont Department of Libraries, the Vermont Library Trustees Association and the Vermont Department of Education.
The South Hero Community Library (SHCL) is the result of the merging of the Arthur Hall Landon Memorial Library and the library materials of the Folsom Education and Community Center into one unit, with equal consideration given to the governing by the Arthur Hall Landon Memorial Library Trustees and the Folsom Education and Community Center Board of School Directors.
The board will consist of five voting members and the librarian. At the first board meeting after Town Meeting, the board will elect from its members a chairperson and secretary for one year.
The Board of Trustees will consist of two members to be elected by the directors of the Town School District from their membership or persons designated by the board of directors to serve for a term of one year; one member to be selected by the Town Select Board from their membership or a person designated by the Town Select Board to serve for a term of one year; two trustees to be elected at the annual Town Meeting, and serve for a period of two years (one member being elected each year); the current Librarian of the community library to serve as a member of the Library Trustees without voting privileges, and a Young Adult representative, who will be appointed by the existing SHCL Board of Trustees to serve during the school year, September to June.
The Board of Trustees generally convenes monthly in meetings open to the public. All trustees are expected to attend. Members of the Library Board of Trustees will report to their respective parent groups. The librarian is not included in executive sessions of the Library Board of Trustees.
Decisions made by the South Hero Community Library Board of Trustees are based on a three-fifths majority vote. Areas for decision making encompass:
- Acceptance and implementation of library policy.
- Purchase of furniture and materials.
- Requests by groups for display of their material in the library.
- Setting of library hours to meet Department of Libraries standards which shall include one evening per week.
- Dispersal of any grant or monies received as a community library.
- Budget development and approval.
- Annual evaluation of the Town Librarian.
Decisions made by the Library Board of Trustees with notification to the School Board and to the Town Select Board encompass:
- Approval of library staffing.
- Requests by groups for the use of the facility.
Responsibilities of the Folsom School and School Board made with notification to the Library Board include:
- Hiring the Folsom School Librarian.
- Purchase of Library materials with school monies.
- Maintenance of the library’s physical plant.
- Planning for student use of the library during the school day.
- Adoption of the South Hero Community Library Policy as policy of the Board of School Directors.
Responsibilities of the Town Select Board with regard to the Library include:
- Adoption of the South Hero Community Library Policy as policy of the Town Select board.
- Review the budget and the annual report of the South Hero Community Library for inclusion in the annual town report
Personnel Practices: Town library staff job descriptions and evaluation procedures are to be developed and regularly reviewed. Staff contracts, including a description of any benefits such as sick days, vacation, hours, etc. will be issued annually for the fiscal year.
Any person may make application to become a library aide (paid or volunteer).
Library Personnel Committee: This committee shall consist of three members selected from the Library Board of Trustees, one of whom must be a representative of the Town Select Board, one must be a representative of the Board of School Directors, and the third must be a member of the Board of Library Trustees who has been elected by the town.
This committee shall be consulted by the Board of School Directors when the Board seeks paid library staff to be employed during school hours. Such consultation shall consist of reviewing the applicants’ credentials, interviewing applicants and advising the Board of School Directors on the qualifications of the applicants.
This committee shall be consulted by the Library Board of Trustees when the library board seeks paid library staff to be employed during other than school hours. Such consultation shall consist of reviewing applicants’ credentials, interviewing applicants and advising the Library Board of Trustees on the qualifications of the applicants.
This committee, or designee of, shall seek, select and appoint volunteer library aides to be employed during all hours of library service.
Custodian: Custodial services are provided by the Board of School Directors.
Library duties to be performed by the librarian or delegated to aides (paid or volunteer):
book selection and acquisition
guidance to patrons
preparing annual reports
volunteer coordination and training
compliance with Vermont Department of Library Standards
Cataloging: The Vermont Department of Libraries provides cataloging as a free service. Some paperbound books and materials of an ephemeral nature are not catalogued.
Shelving: The print collection is shelved in at least the following sections:
Easy and picture books
Young adult fiction
Other media, such as audio and video materials, are shelved in a manner which facilitates proper use.
Policies for the Selection of Library Materials:
- Objectives of Selection
It is the goal of the library to provide a wide range of materials on all levels of difficulty, with a diversity of appeal, and the presentation of different points of view.
To provide materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, and aesthetic values of the community.
To provide information in order to enable people to make informed judgments.
To provide materials on opposing sides of controversial issues so that citizens may develop the practice of critical analysis of all media.
To provide materials representative of various religious, ethnic, and cultural groups and their contributions to our American heritage.
To place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the
selection of materials of the highest quality in order to insure a
comprehensive and balanced collection appropriate for the users of the library.
- The Library budget is voted by the town every March. The approved budget allocation for library materials, unless originally designated for a specific use, will be allocated in approximately the following proportions: thirty percent (30%) for pre-school materials, ten percent (10%) for children’s materials, and sixty percent (60%) for young adult and adult materials.
- Criteria for selection of library materials.
Materials for purchase are considered on the basis of:
Timeliness and permanence
Importance of the subject matter
Quality of the writing/production
Readability and popular appeal
Reputation and significance of the author, artist, composer,
Format and price
- Procedures for Selection
In selecting materials for purchase, the Librarian evaluates the existing collection and consults:
Reputable, unbiased, professionally prepared selection aides
Final responsibility for the selection of materials rests with the Librarian who operates within the framework of this policy as adopted by the South Hero Community Library Board of Trustees.
It is the objective of the Community Library to provide materials on opposing sides of controversial issues so that citizens may develop the practice of critical analysis of all media. However, should a South Hero Community Library patron feel that a material does not comply with the materials selection policy, they may complete a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form. Challenged materials that meet the criteria for selection in the materials selection policy of the library shall not be removed under any legal or extra-legal pressure. The community librarian will examine the material, as well as critical reviews of the material, to determine whether the item should remain or be removed from the collection. The Library Board of Trustees should be informed of the complaint and the decision. The Director will write a letter to the patron who initiated the complaint, outlining the above procedures and announcing the disposition of the material in question. A patron desiring further action can make a request in writing for a hearing before the board of Library Trustees, who has final authority.
Gifts of used Library materials are accepted with the understanding that final disposition of the material will be determined by the Librarian. Some books will be cataloged for our collection and some will be place on our used materials cart. Gifts for memorial purposes are encouraged.
Any South Hero resident who wishes to use the library may do so and will be issued a library card.
All library materials will be available for circulation in the community, except that the use of some reference, current periodicals and irreplaceable items may be confined to the library itself. Most materials may be borrowed for two weeks. New arrivals are marked with a yellow dot. Patrons are permitted to check out no more than 2 new arrivals at a time. Certain reference books will be loaned only on an overnight basis. Materials borrowed for two weeks are overdue after two weeks unless renewed. Periodically the librarian will generate a list of overdue materials and contact patrons regarding their return. Patrons will be billed for non-returned materials at their replacement cost. The borrower may also be billed for damages to materials that occurred while in his or her possession. Materials and/or equipment damaged within the library will also be subject to either repair or replacement costs by the person or persons involved. Non-payment of charges for lost or damaged books will result in revocation of borrowing privileges.
Certain high ticket items, such as e-readers, will only be lent to patrons in good standing. The determination of “good standing” is based on a clean check out record for a period of 3 months and is at the discretion of the librarian.
E-readers may only be borrowed if the patron agrees to and signs an E-Reader borrowing Agreement. This agreement is an addendum to this Policy statement.
Inter Library Loan – ILL
If the library does not have a certain item that our patron is looking for we can use the Vermont Department of Libraries’ Inter Library Loan (ILL) system. A form will need to be filled out by the patron at the Circulation Desk.
Many libraries are reluctant to send new/very popular books so there may be a waiting period involved.
Lending libraries have their own loan periods/due dates. It may be possible to renew and it may not, and this will be up to the lending library also. It is important that a patron pick up the item as soon as possible since their clock will be ticking. Three failures to pick up a book at all will result in a termination of ILL privileges for 6 months.
There is no charge for requesting ILL books for SCHL patrons but out of town patrons WILL need to go to their home libraries to place an ILL request:: Grand Isle or North Hero, etc.
The Homecard Library Program is a county-wide cooperative library system which has served Chittenden and Grand Isle County library patrons since 1991. Patrons that have homecard privileges may use their hometown library card to check out materials at participating libraries. Public Patrons in good standing may have homecard privileges. Your validated homecard must be presented at the participating library in order to check out materials. Materials must be returned to the library from which they were borrowed. Materials are subject to the circulation policies of the library from which they were borrowed.
Seasonal patrons may not check out audio books for the ride home.
The collection will be weeded to cull outdated, unsuitable, worn or unused materials. Disposition will be at the discretion of the Librarian.
The town Librarian is responsible for weeding books and materials purchased with town monies and the school Librarian is responsible for weeding books and materials purchased by the Folsom School. Identification can be made by which library stamp is on the book or item.
Any weeded children’s books will be offered to Folsom faculty before further disposition.
A judgment is made between the cost of replacing and mending each specific volume that cannot be circulated because of its condition.
Accounting and Budgeting:
The Librarian will keep:
-An accurate account of monies encumbered by purchase order, the account to which these are charged, the receipt of these materials, etc.
-A petty cash account will be maintained.
-The Librarian will prepare an annual budget for the review and approval of the South Hero Community Library Board of Trustees.
Safety and Respect:
During school hours, Library patrons must enter through the main school door, sign in at the office and wear a visitor badge. The Library entrance will be opened after school dismissal, on Saturday’s, Wednesday evenings and during the summer.
The South Hero Community Library is a library and a community space where all should feel safe and welcome. With this in mind, the Library staff assumes the
right to ask any person to leave the library if he/she is creating an uncomfortable or unwelcoming environment for other patrons or staff. Parents and guardians of young children are strongly encouraged to accompany their children to the Library.
Use of the library and the Linda B. Smith Community Room during school hours by individual classes must be coordinated with the Librarian. The Community Room is available to the public with the approval of the School Librarian, the Town Librarian and the School Principal.
Open food and beverage containers are only allowed at the large table in the community room and the round tables in the library. Lidded beverages are permissible at the library’s three public computers.
Librarians are allowed professional time for attendance at workshops and encouraged to take courses that will stimulate professional growth.
The library staff informs the public of library programming and services through various media including, but not limited to, the Libraries website, The Islander, Front Porch Forum, Facebook and OPALS (Online card catalogue).
The Libraries website may be found at: http://www.southherolibrary.org/
The library’s winter hours are:
Sunday and Monday – Closed
Tuesday 9 – 4
Wednesday 11 – 8
Thursday 9 – 4
Friday 9 – 4
Saturday 9 – 2
Summer hours are the same except the Library will close at 2 PM on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
The library will be closed on national holidays. When the school is closed due to inclement weather, the library will be closed. In case of intolerable weather, necessary maintenance, and/or emergencies for other than school hours, a “closed” sign will be posted at the library entrance, if possible.
Policies pertaining to confidentiality and coping with law enforcement inquiries based on ALA guidelines and Vermont State law 22 VSA 171-173:
Patrons’ privacy and confidentiality:
1) Only patrons’ names, addresses, commonly used patron telephone numbers and e-mail addresses will be recorded as identifying information for registration purposes.
2) Patrons’ transaction records including all activities of a patron within the library will be kept for only as long as needed.
3) The above information will be made available only to library staff and trained volunteers with the following exceptions:
- a) with the written permission of the patron to whom the records pertain,
- b) in response to an authorized judicial order or warrant directing disclosure,
- c) to custodial parents or guardians of patrons under age 16,
- d) to the custodial parents or guardians of a student, in accordance with the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.
Law enforcement visits:
1) The Librarian, the library’s legal counsel, or the Chairperson of the Library Board of Trustees will be the only designated persons for handling law enforcement requests (legal counsel should be notified immediately);
2) Identification of the law enforcement agent must be verified;
3) The Librarian should have another person in attendance and notes on the visit should be kept as well as notes on any material removed from the library;
4) The Librarian should comply with requests for information about patrons only if a current court order issued by a local or federal court in Vermont is presented;
5) The Librarian must assure that information on patrons, other than the case in point, is not disclosed;
6) If the judicial request is in the form of a subpoena library staff will refer the subpoena to legal counsel to be acted upon in the allotted time;
7) If the court order is a search warrant issued by a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court, no person served with the warrant can disclose that the warrant has been served or that records have been produced pursuant to the warrant
Communications with the news media:
The Chair of the Library Board of Trustees, the Librarian and/or the library’s legal counsel will be the only designated persons permitted to and responsible for communicating with the media.
Computer and Internet Use:
South Hero Community Library provides high speed Internet access.
WIFI is also available for patrons with laptop computers.
To ensure all patrons are able to use the computers and access the Internet and to maintain the security of the network for all computer users please observe the following guidelines:
3 Computers are in the main section of the library and are available for public use during regular library hours. These computers are unfiltered when used to access the world wide web.
Additional computers in the Community Room are available for the public when school is not in session.
A log-in sheet for computer use will be implemented if the computers are unusually busy. Patrons maybe asked to limit their computer time to ½ hour if others are waiting.
Library staff offers limited assistance with computer questions and troubleshooting.
Classes are occasionally offered on computer and Internet use.
- Adult use of computers:
Community members may download and print items free of charge up to ten pages. Over ten pages, we will charge ten cents per page for black and white and 50 cents per page for color copies.
Computer users are responsible for their actions on the Internet, adhering to all state, federal and copyright laws, and licensing agreements.
Computer users are discouraged from opening any questionable or unfamiliar emails.
Computer users may not upload or download information or executable programs.
Computer users may not turn the volume up while listening to audio material. (Headsets are available at the circulation desk.)
- Supervision of computer users younger than high school age:
During school hours: When school is in session (Mon.- Fri. 8:00 a.m. -3:45
p.m.), the school’s computer use policy applies. Patrons under 14 years
of age may not be on a computer unless supervised by a school staff
person (or a parent if it is during the after-school activities time.)
Evenings and Saturdays: Parents and guardians of children are
responsible for their appropriate use of library computers during non-
Adult guidelines for computer use also apply to younger computer users during non-school hours.
The library assumes no responsibility for supervising computer and Internet users who are minors. Parents and guardians are encouraged to accompany their children and guide them in their computer explorations.
This policy is subject to review and revision every year.
Adopted on __________________________________________
By the South Hero Community Library Board of Trustees:
Kenneth C. Kowalewitz Melissa Hood
David McDermott Jessica Valin
Adopted September 15 , 2014