Homer Public Library

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Library Policies

The following policies govern how we use our library.

User Conduct Policy

To better serve the library users, we have established rules and standards of acceptable behavior to ensure an environment conducive to library use.  Library staff are responsible for maintaining a pleasant atmosphere, and a clean and safe building.  Library patrons are responsible for behaving in an acceptable and courteous manner.

Patron behavior becomes unacceptable when it infringes on the rights of others.  Unacceptable behavior includes any form of harassment which could result in physical, emotional, or mental injury to oneself or others.  Unacceptable behaviors also include any action that could result in damage to the facilities, equipment or materials.  Proper attire must be worn at all times, including shirt and shoes.

Violations of this Policy may result in a verbal warning, or in some cases, expulsion from the Library by a member of the Library staff.  Failure to comply with the policy after being notified of a violation by a library staff member may result in law enforcement being summoned and violators being prosecuted in accordance with applicable ordinances or laws

The Library staff may exclude from the use of the Library and/or withholding of Library privileges shall occur for a specified period of time based on the severity of the violation and the frequency and the number of prior violations and subject to the guidelines below.  "Withholding Library privileges" is defined as meaning that an individual may not enter or use the Homer Public Library and may not use the services of the Homer Public Library.

The Library staff may exclude from the use of the Library and/or withhold Library privileges from any and all persons who shall violate this Policy.  Such exclusion from the Library or withholding of Library privileges shall occur for a specified period of time based on the severity of the violation and frequency and number of prior violations.

Any patron who loses library privileges as a result of this Policy may appeal the decision within five (5) business days to the Library Director, whose decision is final.

Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to:

1.  Disorderly behavior of any kind, including excessive noise and/or noise that   disturb others or boisterous physical behavior.
2.  Harassment/ physical, sexual, or verbal abuse, in any form, or other library users or library staff.
3.  Engaging in behavior or language that is offensive, obscene or intimidating to others.
4.  Abandoning or leaving young children (age 8 and under) unattended.
5.  Abusing or vandalizing library facilities, equipment or material.
6.  Drinking or eating near electrical equipment.
7.  Use of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs.
8.  Rollerblading and skating, scooters, and skateboarding.
9.  Leaving personal property in the library unattended.  The library is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen property.
10.  Violating the provisions of the In-House Internet Use Policy, including exceeding computer access time limitations or disregarding requests by library staff to terminate computer use.

In-House Internet Use Policy

The mission of the Homer Public Library Internet is to enrich and empower out patrons by providing access to ideas, information, and entertainment in a working environment.  The Library endeavors to develop collections, services, and resources to fulfill this mission.  One such resource is the Internet which provides a gateway for library users to explore a world of information to meet their educational, professional, and personal needs.  The Homer Public Library is pleased to provide a free access point to the Internet.

The Homer Public Library does not monitor and has not control over the information accessed through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for the content.  However, there are information resources, which are inappropriate to the library, and therefore, the Library staff has the authority to end an Internet session when such material displays on screen.

Internet is a privilege, not a right and misuse of the computer or Internet access may result in loss of your computer privileges.  Patrons are financially responsible for any damage to the hardware or the software.

Use of the computer is a self-instruction experience.  The library staff will provide limited assistance to you in accessing the Internet only as time permits.

To maximize computer/Internet availability and to insure fair accessibility for all please read and follow these rules and procedures.
Computer/Internet usage is on a first come, first serve basis.
Computer time is given for a one hour session once a day.
Printing from the computers is a financial responsibility of the patron.
You may not use your own software.
No files are to be saved on the computer.

Parents or guardians concerned about their children's use of electronic resources are ultimately responsible for setting standards and establishing guidelines.  Children under the age of 18 must have a Parent/Guardian registration permit signed.

An acceptable use policy appears on the screen at each computer station when signing in for computer use.

Circulation Policy

The Homer Public Library cards are available to anyone who fills out an application.  Applicants will be asked to show a valid driver's license or equivalent identification with their current address printed on it.  Applicants under age 18 must have a parent or guardian's signature.

Signing an application tells the library that a signer accepts responsibility for all materials checked out under that library patron and that materials will be returned on time and in good condition.

Library materials go out for the period of two weeks and may be renewed no more than two times.  The exceptions are:
Any material that has a waiting list
DVDs go out for one week only and cannot be renewed.  Patrons are limited to 10 DVDs.

Charging fines is the library's way of assuring that materials are returned on time.  Overdue fees are 5 cents per day per item.  Fees will start two days after the materials are due.  The maximum amount will be $1.00 for paperbacks and $2.00 for hardcovers, videos and audios.

The first time materials are borrowed individuals may borrow only two items.  After that the number of materials borrowed at one time is limited only by the discretion of the librarian.

Failure to pay:
Overdue fees
Damages
Replacement costs
May result in suspension of borrowing privileges, at the discretion of the librarian.

If a person claims to have returned an item but it is not found in the library, his/her word will be taken the first time this occurs.  The second time the patron claims to have returned an item, and it is not found the patron will be responsible for replacement cost of the item.

Library Furniture Policy

No furniture will be taken out of the library complex.

Policy On Gifts

Gifts are a welcome addition to our resources and they are always welcomed, encouraged and acknowledged.

1.  Gifts of Money.  While tax revenues are the normal source of income for all public libraries, gifts and endowments have enabled the enrichment and expansion of many library programs.  Consideration will be given to the suggestions of the donors; however, the selection of materials purchased with these funds will be made by library staff according to our standard selection criteria.
2.  Gifts of books and other materials.  Gift materials are screened by the same criteria as are all other materials: therefore, the library's acceptance of a gift is not a guarantee that such gifts will be processed into the regular collections and made available to the public.  Gifts found acceptable are placed in their regular places on the shelves where they are most useful, rather than in a special gift collection.  If a receipt is requested for the dollar amount of the books or items donated, the prices must be set by the patron.  The library will not agree or disagree with the amount and claims no responsibility. 

By accepting and using such gifts, the library assumes no special obligation to the donors.  Gifts which do not meet the library's selection criteria are disposed of in any way the library sees fit.

Homer Public Library Selection Policy

The purpose of Homer Public Library is to provide a diversity of materials which communicate experience and ideas from one person to another.  The Library's function is to assemble, preserve and to make easily and freely available to all people print and non-print material. 

The library collection will provide its users a source of life-long learning and entertainment.  The materials will encourage the exploration of ideas and provide a point of access to learn of different cultures and ways of life.

The library attempts to provide a general collection of materials embracing the broader fields of knowledge, with due regard for variations in educational level, reading ability and reading interest.  Materials to satisfy specialized interests may be purchased if real or potential demand exists.  The Library also recognizes an immediate duty to make available materials for enlightenment and recreation, even though such materials may not have enduring interest or value.

All requests from patrons for specific titles or subjects will be considered.  If enough demand or interest in a particular title or subject exists, the item may be purchased.  In an effort to assure all citizens of their constitutional right to freedom of information, the Homer Library subscribes to the Library Bill of Rights as adopted by the American Library Association and endorses the Association's Statement of Intellectual Freedom.  (See below copies of these statements.)

Selection of materials is done by the Director and the staff.

Criteria for Selection, Duplication, Replacement or Withdrawal of Library Materials 
The library staff shall use the following general criteria in the selection, duplication, replacement and withdrawal of library material.  One or more of the following criteria may apply to the item being considered:
Patron requests for the material
Usefulness and appeal
Appropriateness of format, content and style
Value of the material in relation to the whole collection
Availability of special materials in more comprehensive library collections in the area
Accuracy of the material
Space available to house the item
Budgetary considerations

Materials Needing Special Consideration
The library recognizes that many materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons.  Selections will not be made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval by individuals or groups, but solely on the merits of the work in relation to the building of the collections and serving the interests of readers.  Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may inadvertently come into the possession of children.

Library materials will not be marked, altered, identified or shelved in a special manner due to controversial contents and no item in the library collection will be sequestered, except for the express purpose of protecting it from injury or theft.

The Library does not attempt to duplicate the intent or holdings of school libraries, from elementary through the university level.

Although the staff exercises professional judgment in the selection of all materials, the responsibility for the reading of children rests with their parents and legal guardians.

Re-Evaluation of Materials

If a patron wishes to register a formal complaint about a particular item in the library, he/she may request a copy of the "Request for Re-Evaluation of Library Materials" form.  This form is submitted to the director who will respond in writing to the patron.

Weeding Policy

Materials will be systematically withdrawn on a continual basis according to the following criteria.

If the material has not been checked out in five years and has no lasting value.
If the material is too damaged to be repaired without major expense.
If material is in very poor condition i.e. poor binding, dirty, marked up.
If material has outdated or incorrect information.
Unneeded duplications.

Withdrawn materials may be replaced depending on the need of the collection.

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.

I.  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.

III.  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.

V.  A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI.  Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 18, 1948, by the ALA Council; amended February 2, 1961; amended June 28, 1967; amended January 23, 1980; inclusion of "age: reaffirmed January 24, 1996.