STATEMENT OF POLICY
Gilmer Public Library
(NOTE: This is a partial listing of Gilmer Public Library Policies. A full document may be requested at the Circulation Desk.)
POLICY CONCERNING CHILDREN
- Children under the age of 12 must be supervised by an adult.
- Child patrons ages 13-17 are permitted in the library without adult supervision on a probationary basis for no more than 3 hours per day as long as a parental permission slip and contact information are available on file. Any unsupervised teen who violates library policy or rules will lose this privilege and will be required to have parent or guardian supervision until they turn 18 years of age. Parents who are employees cannot serve as supervising adults.
- By law, library staff is required to report signs of child abuse and/or neglect. Children under the age of 12 alone in the library will be reported to Child Protective Services. Children under the age of 18 who are still at the library at closing time will be reported to Child Protective Services.
Senate Bill 161 (SB 161) states employee (s), coach(es), or volunteer(s) of an entity that provides organized activities for children must report cases or suspicion of child abuse or child sexual abuse within 48 hours to the Department of Health and Human Resources and/or the State Police or law enforcement personnel. This includes public libraries and public library workers. The law clearly states that the reporting person must also report the event to their superior (particularly to the administrator/library director of the agency). That person (the superior) may supplement the report already made or file an additional report.
The library Board of Trustees maintains a policy of “zero tolerance” toward threatening and offensive behavior:
* No violence (physical and/or verbal) towards staff or other patrons.
* No threats/intimidation of staff or other patrons.
* No stalking -- in person or online.
* No harassment (including sexual, political, and/or religious opinions) of patrons or staff.
* No guns, knives, sticks, clubs, tools, or other objects that may be used as a weapon on the premises.
* Individuals exhibiting offensive behavior will be asked to leave the premises. Contact authorities after establishing personal safety.
* If the assailant demands money or property, comply, as it can be replaced.
* If it is safe to do so, dial 911 and allow one ring before hanging up. Our address will be automatically activated for an immediate police response.
The Gilmer Public Library Board of Trustees retains the right to ban those who violate this policy from being on library grounds for a limited period of time, or permanently.
The library staff will provide limited assistance for basic start-up procedures; however, we cannot guarantee that Internet-trained staff will be available at all times. We do provide books, videos, and other materials that can be helpful to patrons with their Internet experience.
Note: Library staff members are not qualified or insured to repair, update, touch, or access patrons’ personal electronic and/or digital devices.
- All technology resources accessible through the library are provided equally to all adult library users. It is the responsibility of parents or guardians to monitor their children’s use of the Internet.
- In compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the West Virginia Library Commission provides technology protection and Internet access filtering.
- All users, especially minors, should be aware that the Internet is not a safe environment, should be careful about sending out any personal information, and should not believe everything read or seen on the Internet.
- Computer stations are located in public areas, neither private nor secure. Patrons are asked to use good judgment in displaying material on the screens that may be objectionable to others, and to logoff/sign-out of email accounts when finished.
- Misuse of the computer will result in the loss of computer privileges, potential loss of library privileges and possible prosecution. Patrons may not use the workstations in any fraudulent or unlawful manner prohibited by federal, state, or local laws or ordinances.
Misuse includes but is not limited to, using the computer for illegal activities, hacking into the library computer system or any other computer system; damaging or attempting to damage or modify computer equipment or software; interfering with systems operations, integrity or security; gaining unauthorized access to another person’s files; sending harassing messages to other computer users; misrepresenting oneself as another user; altering or attempting to alter the library computer’s settings; and violating copyright laws and software licensing agreements. Viewing of any graphic material considered obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors as stated in US Code 61-8A, WV Code Chapter 18-1460, and 18-2256 is ILLEGAL and could be prosecuted.
- Privilege of use of the library computer is up to the discretion of the library staff. Library staff has the authority to end any session when there has been any inappropriate use of the computer resources and can deny future access.
- Damage resulting from abuse of the equipment will be the financial responsibility of the patron (or parent of the child) causing the damage.
- Persons under the age of 18 need parent or guardian written consent to use the Internet. Children under the age of 12 require adult supervision.
- By mutual agreement, two persons may share one access session as long as their behavior or conversation does not disturb other users or staff.
- Patrons will be denied access if they owe fines or are overdue with library material, or if their children are left unsupervised in the library.
- Use of computers is on a first-come, first-served basis. A time restriction of one hour per patron will be enforced when others are waiting to use the computer. Patrons who have been on the computers the longest will be asked to logoff first, and will be given 2 minutes to do so.
- The number of access sessions per user per day may be determined by the librarian in charge and will depend on the sessions requested, in order to provide access for the majority of users.
- Patrons will request staff assistance when printing from the computer. Printouts cost $.15 per B&W page and $.25-$1.00 per page for color printing (see page 4).
THE FOLLOWING ARE NOT PERMITTED:
* Chat room use by any patron under the age of 18.
* Viewing of any graphic material considered obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors.
* Downloading software from the Internet or saving to the hard drive of the computer.
West Virginia law does not restrict any person from using computers or the Internet, including computers and Internet services provided by free public libraries. Sex offenders may be restricted from use of computers or the Internet as a part of their sentencing or probation, but they are not restricted from accessing such services by West Virginia law. Public librarians in West Virginia have no legal responsibility to know of such sentencing or ensuring that the requirements of such sentences are carried out. As library workers are not officers of the court, nor sworn under law to serve as law-enforcement investigative officials, it is recommended that they refrain from acting as such.
- Library cards will be issued to patrons intending to check-out materials. A photo ID is required to obtain a library card as is a current mailing address. Parents must cosign for children under the age of 18, and are responsible for materials checked out by minor children and for paying fines of minor children. Replacement library cards may be provided for a charge of $3.00.
Check-out period: Library materials may be checked out for 2 weeks at a time. Late returns will be charged $0.05 per day per item. Fines will not exceed $3.00 on each item. Every Friday will be FINE-FREE. Overdue books returned on Fridays will not be charged late fees. Some reference material may be circulated at the discretion of the librarian.
- Lost or damaged material: Any material(s) not returned within 3 months from the due date will be considered lost and the patron will be charged the cost of the book. Any damaged material will be evaluated by the librarian and assessed accordingly.
- Limits on material checkouts: Patrons may check out a total of 5 cataloged items At the librarian’s discretion, a patron can be limited to a check-out total of three books. All new cardholders are limited to three items out at one time until a period of 90 days has passed with a good return record. Patrons who have consistently kept books or movies far beyond the checkout limit, who have lost or damaged library items can and may be limited to check out one item at a time.
- Reserve/Hold Policy: Material will be placed on hold for one week after which if not checked out it goes to the next person on the list or back on the shelves.
- Interlibrary loans: Materials, when loaned, will be assigned a due date. Return postage will be paid by the patron.
- All Circulation policies for GPL will remain in compliance with policies set by NORLN.
EVERY FRIDAY AT GILMER PUBLIC LIBRARY IS FINE FREE FRIDAY! RETURN YOUR LATE BOOKS WITHOUT PAYING ANY FINE!
WEST VIRGINIA STATE LAW NOTES:
§10-1-11. Willful retention of library property.
Any person who willfully retains a book, newspaper, plate, picture, photograph, engraving, painting, drawing, map, magazine, document, letter, public record, microfilm, sound recording, audiovisual materials in any format, magnetic or other tapes, artifacts or other documentary (written or printed) materials, or all materials of any kind whatsoever belonging to any public library for thirty days after the mailing date of a written notice demanding the return of said material and giving notice of said violation, forwarded to that person's last known address, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $200: Provided, That date or dates designating a grace period for the return of library materials to public libraries shall be established, said dates to be established by the state Library Commission pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated thereto.
A conviction or payment of any fine shall not be construed to constitute payment for library material, nor shall a person convicted under this section be thereby relieved of any obligation to return to the library such material. Further, a conviction or payment of any fine shall not be construed as a waiver of any nominal daily fine which may be imposed by library rules, regulations or policies.
The parent or guardian of a minor who willfully commits any act prohibited by this section shall be liable for all damages so caused by the minor up to the amount of $2,500 after the parent or guardian is served with proper written notice as aforementioned.
CLOSING DUE TO SEVERELY INCLEMENT WEATHER
If the public schools close for inclement weather, scheduled library staff can open or close at their own discretion. Call before making a trip in bad weather.
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 in the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
- 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.
- 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 make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve and should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.