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Library & Patron Policies

Click on the policy or procedure you are interested in learning more about.

Mission
Meeting Room Policy
Fines & Overdue Materials
ALA Bill of Rights
Internet Use Policy
Notifications
Confidentiality Policy
Unattended Children PolicyDamaged & Lost Items
Electronic Monitoring
Library CardsCopies & Prints
Non-Discrimination Hiring
Checking Out Materials
Fax Machines
Material Selection Policy
Holds

Mission
Blackwater Regional Library will provide a variety of library resources, access to innovative technologies, and a well-trained and motivated staff to improve the quality of life and meet the informational, educational, and cultural interests of the region. We will create an environment that encourages reading and learning while we promote and expand library use to all patrons in our service area.

Vision
The people of Blackwater Regional Library's service area will receive Education and Literacy, Community Enrichment, and an awareness and appreciation of Cultural Diversity.

American Library Association Bill of Rights
The ALA affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas and that the ALA basic policies should guide their services. ALA Bill of Rights

Confidentiality Policy
It is the policy of this Library to comply with all Constitutional judicial processes while preserving patron confidentiality to the extent allowed by law. In compliance with the USA Patriot Act the staff of the Blackwater Regional Library will respond accordingly to a court order, subpoena, or search warrant. In such cases the staff will notify the Director who will call the County Attorney.

In order to safeguard the privacy and rights of individual patrons, all records which are required in controlling the use of books, or other informational materials, either on or off the library premises are considered confidential in nature. The Library shall make every reasonable and responsible effort to see that information about an individual patron and his/her choices of library material remains confidential as outlined in Chapter 26 of the Privacy of Information Act of 1976.

The Blackwater Regional Library adheres to the following guidelines concerning the disclosure of information about library patrons. No information is to be released regarding or including:

  • A user's name (or whether an individual is a registered borrower or has been a user)
  • A user's address
  • A user's telephone number
  • The Library's circulation records and their contents as pertain to individual users
  • The Library's borrowers records and their contents
  • The number or character of questions asked by a user
  • The frequency or content of a user's visits to the Library or any other information supplied to, or gathered by, the Library shall not be given, made available, or disclosed to any individual, corporation, institution, government agent or agency without valid process, court order, subpoena, or search warrant

Upon receipt of any process, order, subpoena, or search warrant, the Library Director shall consult with legal counsel to determine if such process, court order, subpoena or search warrant is proper and in full compliance with proper legal authority.

Any problems or conditions relating to the privacy of a patron through the records of the Library which are not provided for in the policy statement shall be referred to the Board of Trustees and/or legal counsel who will issue a written decision as to whether to heed the request for information.

Non-Discriminatory Hiring
The library prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, handicapped status and any other categories protected by state or local law. The library will take all necessary steps to comply with existing federal, state, and local fair employment laws and guidelines.

Library Card

Applicants for a library card must provide proper identification and address, and must notify the library when there is a change in address. All patrons must register in person and provide a photo ID and current proof of address. Acceptable identification should have a photo of the person signing the application, confirm the address on the application, confirm the signature on the application, have a date to show it is current, and have confirmation of a state Division of Motor Vehicles or a Social Security number. In the absence of a valid driver’s license, the library requires one photo ID and one address ID. If the photo and address are on separate pieces of ID, the person’s name must be on both. These photo IDs may include employer identification or work badge, Social Services ID card, military ID, passport, or school identification and must be currently dated. The address may be verified from one of the following: utility bill, checks and bank statements, lease, tax assessment, recently postmarked letter or voter’s registration.

No one is denied a library card on the basis of race, creed, national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, age, gender or sexual orientation. Cards allow access to materials and resources (including computer access) of the Blackwater Regional Library.

Initial library cards are free of charge. Applicants must sign an agreement to abide by all library rules and regulations. Serious abuse of library rules and regulations may result in the revocation of a library card.

A parent or guardian must sign the registration form for persons under 18 years of age. In doing so, the parent accepts responsibility for the child’s use of the library, and agrees to pay fines and/or fees incurred for misuse of library materials. If a library patron under the age of 18 loses their borrowing privileges as a result of materials overdue longer than six weeks and/or accumulated fines in excess of the maximum amount allowed (see the General Library Fees chart available in the branch and online for a list of charges), the responsible party who signed the registration card on behalf of the minor will also be blocked from borrowing and computer privileges until all materials have been returned and the account balances have been paid in full.

Lost cards should be reported immediately. There is a charge for replacement cards. See the General Library Fees chart available in the branch and online for a list of charges.


Checking Out Materials

There is no restriction on the total number of items that an individual may borrow, although restrictions may be placed on materials in high demand. Materials in the circulating collection may be checked out for two (2) weeks and may be renewed three (3) times if there is no waiting list. Materials may be returned to any library within the system. Book drops are available after hours at all locations. Renewal may be done in person, by phone, or online.

Exceptions

  • DVDs are checked out for two weeks, are limited to five (5) units (barcoded items) per patron and may not be renewed.
  • Current issues of periodicals do not circulate until the next issue is placed on the shelf.
  • Materials designated REFERENCE and GENEALOGY may not be taken from the library.

Holds

You may place holds on materials at the library, over the phone, or online. You can choose to be notified of arrived holds either by email or by phone. Materials will normally be held at the library for five (5) days.

How to place a hold from home:

  • Obtain a pin number by calling or visiting the circulation desk.
  • Look up the book you want in the catalog by searching for title, author, subject, or keyword.
  • Reserve the book by clicking on "Request." The system will prompt you to enter your Patron ID Number (found on the back of your Blackwater Regional Library card, no spaces) and pin number (OR your EZ Login). Once logged in, the system will have you select which branch you would like to pick up your item.
  • Click on the Submit Request button. You're done!

Fines and Overdue Materials

Materials are overdue on the 15th day after checkout. Fines are charged on all materials not returned on the 15th day and there is a maximum amount recorded for each item. (See the General Library Fees chart available in the branch and online for a list of charges.) Accounts with materials overdue longer than six weeks and/or fines in excess of the maximum amount allowed will be blocked from borrowing and computer privileges until all materials have been returned and the account balances have been paid in full. Fines may be collected by personal check, cashier’s check, money order, and/or cash. When a personal check is returned by the bank for any reason to the library, there will be a returned check fee added to the patron’s account.

In an effort to bring overdue items back to the library in a timely manner, the library uses a collection agency that specializes in recovering long overdue library materials. Accounts with items 60 days past due and fines reaching the maximum amount allowed, will be given to this collection agency. In addition, a collection fee will be added to each account.

The library will observe Fine Free Week twice a year, on a schedule determined by the library’s administrative staff, to forgive fines on current overdue items. Accounts in collection will not qualify to have fines waived.

Notifications

The library notifies patrons of overdue materials in writing or by email. Patrons having materials overdue for longer than six weeks will be denied borrowing and computer privileges until the materials are returned and the fines and fees have been paid. Non-receipt of those notifications does not clear late fees. It is the responsibility of the patron to notify the library of any change of address or phone number on their account to ensure the proper delivery of overdue notices.


Damaged and Lost Items

Borrowers, who have lost or damaged library materials, or who have items overdue for six weeks or more, will be charged the current list price of each item plus a processing fee. The original cost to the library plus a processing fee will be charged for out-of-print materials. (See the General Library Fees chart available in the branch and online for a list of charges). Replacement copies provided by the borrower will not be accepted in lieu of payment.

Copies & Prints

Copiers and printers are available to the public at all branches. The copyright law of the United States (Title 17) US Code governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The person using the copier is liable for any
infringement. The library charges for printing and photocopying on library equipment. See the General Library Fees chart available in the branch and online for a listing of the charges.

Fax Machines

Staff at all branches in the Blackwater Regional Library may provide fax service to the public as needed. Fees are charged for sending and receiving faxes at the library. See the General Library Fees chart available in the branch and online for a list of charges.

Unattended Children

The Blackwater Regional Library is not responsible for unattended children. It is the policy of the library that a parent, guardian or caregiver, age 16 or older, must accompany children under the age of 10 on the library premises, except during story time and/or library classes where a teacher is present. Parents and guardians assume the responsibility for their children's behavior in the library whether the child is accompanied or unaccompanied. Disruptive behavior will prompt corrective action from the staff.

If an unaccompanied child under the age of 10 is at the library, library staff may notify the police. Library staff is not permitted to drive children home, nor will staff be responsible for children after hours.

Last Revised: 10/19/2011

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