Policies & Procedures
The following policies govern how we use our library.
USE OF COMPUTERS for non-patrons
In support of its role as an independent Learning Center, the library provides computers for public use. Computers and software programs permit citizens to improve computer skills, test new computer programs, and to enhance self-learning through self-improvement software. Software is purchased according to the collection development policy to support specific areas of library service. Recommendations for additional software purchases are welcome and will be handled according to the collection development policy. The library does not attempt to have the latest version of any particular software program. Programs are selected, updated, and discarded according to the collection development policy and funds available.
All computer users will be required to sign a user agreement form indicating that they understand the rules established for microcomputer use and will comply with relevant copyright laws. Staff cannot provide training on computer technology or software; however online tutorials are available for some programs. Users agree to observe all copyright and licensing laws and will not duplicate any computer programs or documentation unless expressly labeled as being “in the public domain” or “shareware.”
No personal software is to be loaded on library computer hard drives. No private files may be stored on the library computers and any files left on the computers will be deleted. Users will supply their own recording media (diskettes), when needed. Computer time is on a first come, first serve basis.
No appointments will be taken for use of the computers. If patrons are waiting to use the computers, you may be asked to stop your use after thirty minutes. Computer time is available to all patrons, regardless of age, who have a current user agreement on file.
Generally, no more than two people should be sharing the computer at the same time, and each user must have signed a user agreement form. Patrons must sign in before using computers and sign out when through. The computers will be closed down fifteen minutes prior to closing the library. Computer users must pay replacement costs of any equipment or materials lost or damaged as a result of carelessness by the user, or malicious destruction of equipment of software. The library reserves the right to suspend the Internet access or public computer use privileges of any person found guilty of “unacceptable use” of the library’s property.
Examples of unacceptable use include, but are not limited to: Damaging, tampering with, “hacking” or destroying equipment, software, and data belonging to the library; including adding, altering, or deleting files on the library workstations, hard drives or other library computer equipment. This includes changing any setup in the system software or any applications. Violating computer system integrity, including attempts to bypass security functions, obtain passwords, or alter the configuration of the library workstations in any way. Using the Internet for illegal activity. Harassing others
The Internet is a tool available for providing library services. Staff is encouraged to use the Internet for business communications, to conduct research for patrons and library programs. Staff may use Internet resources to answer reference questions and to supply information for patrons.
The library will accept requests for materials, reference questions, or other communications via its general e-mail address from patrons normally served by the library. Library patrons under age 16 may not access electronic mail or Use net newsgroups. No patrons may access chat functions, including web-based chat rooms. As the library receives its Internet access from the public school system, the content is filtered. Patrons having complaints about sites they want to visit being blocked can complain to the library director or aides. The library is not responsible for inadvertent exposure by minors or adults to potentially offensive material accessed by Internet users on library equipment. Because the library cannot monitor or control the large amount of material accessible through the Internet, it will be the responsibility of individual users to determine the suitability of the content of information received.
Be aware that others may be voluntarily exposed to what is displayed. Patrons are asked to please show respect for the sensibilities of others at all times. Library staff is not responsible for monitoring or controlling children’s use of the Internet. Parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding what library resources are appropriate for their own children, and exercise the same guidance for use of the Internet as they would exercise with other types of information sources such as television, telephones, movies, radio and other types of media.
Parents and legal guardians are strongly urged to provide guidance and assist their children while exploring the Internet. Children under age 12 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian during their Internet sessions. Patrons under between 12 and 16 must have a signed permission form from their parent or guardian, TO BE FILLED OUT IN THE LIBRARY. Paper for printing must be paid for by the patron at a cost of ten cents per page. This includes wasted sheets. Printing without paying will result in loss of computer privileges.
WARNING TO INTERNET USERS:
It is a criminal offense to do any of the following: Display obscene material Distribute, exhibit or display sexually explicit material which is unsuitable for minors Have or promote materials that show child pornography Anyone who is found using library facilities or equipment in violation of Federal, State, or local laws is subject to criminal prosecution.
Texas Penal Code 43.11, 43.24, and 43.26 Behavior in the Library The library encourages people of all ages to visit the library. Those using the library and its resources have the right to expect a safe, comfortable environment that supports appropriate library services. Personal appliances, such as computers, cassette players, and calculators, may be used if the noise level is low and use does not interfere with others. Because of the lack of outlets and concern for electrical overload, all appliances must be battery-powered and may not be plugged into library outlets. Portable telephones and pagers should be turned off or switched to a non-audible signal and should be answered outside the library. Unattended Children The library is a public facility that offers services to a wide range of citizens, and children are especially welcome.
The library has the responsibility to provide an environment that is safe and comfortable for every patron who is appropriately using its services and facilities. Children and young people are expected to adhere to the same standards of patron conduct expected of adults. Parents, guardians, or assigned chaperones are responsible for the behavior of their children while in the library.Older children who are disruptive will be asked to leave the library (see policy on “Library Behavior” on page 39). If the child cannot safely leave the library to return home on his or her own, staff will permit the child to call a parent.
If no parent can be contacted, library staff will either allow the child to remain at the library under close supervision, until a parent can be contacted or contact the police, depending upon the severity of the situation. Harassment and Lewd Behavior Patrons and staff have the right to enjoy an environment free from harassment or lewd conduct. Anyone, including patrons, who harasses staff or another patron will be asked to leave the library and a report will be filed with the director. Repeated acts of harassment or acts that may escalate into violent or illegal actions will be reported to the police.
Patron Use of Library Supplies
The library supplies scratch paper, recycled from the photocopier and other sources, for note taking but cannot provide other office or school supplies. Office supplies purchased with library budget funds are for use by the library staff in the completion of their work. Because they are purchased with public funds, they cannot be sold or given away.To protect the investment in library materials, as patrons leave the library, staff may conduct random examinations of book bags, backpacks, briefcases, and other large containers brought into the library. Any uncharged items will be returned to the circulation desk to be charged out. If staff believes that, due to the large volume of materials and/or value of materials, theft was intended, the police will be immediately notified. Vandalism of library materials will also be reported to the police.
Signs indicating that personal items may be examined will be posted at the entrance and inside the library. Patrons who do not wish to have personal items examined may leave them at the desk. Bedrolls, duffel bags, suitcases, and other large tote bags must be checked at the front desk, but may not be brought into the library. The library will exercise caution with items stored at the desk but cannot assume responsibility for loss or theft.
Theft of Materials
Lewd acts or sexual misconduct is not appropriate in the library. Those who commit minor acts, such as teenagers who “make out” in the library, will be given one warning and then asked to leave. Serious acts and acts involving minor children will be reported to the police. All serious acts will be reported to the director. Children who have not been picked up at closing time will be given the opportunity to call a parent. Children who have not been picked up within fifteen minutes after closing time will be left in the care of the police department.
Under no circumstances will staff transport children in a vehicle or accompany them home. Children under the age of seven should never be left unsupervised in any area of the library. If a parent or guardian cannot be located, staff will call the police to report an abandoned child. Young children are not safe when left unattended in the library. Staff cannot know if children are leaving with a parent, a friend, or a stranger. Library staff will not deliberately seek out unattended children; however, unattended children frequently become disruptive when they become bored.
Parents are responsible for ensuring the appropriate behavior of their children while in the library. If a parent or other responsible adult cannot be located, unattended children who are disruptive will be placed in the care of the Honey Grove Police Department. Under no circumstances will library staff take a child out of the building or transport children to another location. People demonstrating disruptive behavior will be required to leave the library after one warning from library staff. Disruptive behavior includes, but is not limited to noisy, boisterous actions; inappropriate behavior, including eating, smoking, running, or loud talking; misuse of library property; uncooperative attitude; or actions that deliberately annoy others or prevent the legitimate use of the library and its resources. Abusive language and behavior toward staff will not be tolerated.