Waterbury Public Library provides residents of all ages with access to entertainment, ideas, information, and inspiration through its books, programs, electronic media and online resources.
The Library supports lifelong learning, cultural enrichment, and personal development and serves its community as a multigenerational gathering place and a gateway to local information, both current and historical.
General Operation of the Library
Borrowers: All interested Vermont residents may apply for membership in the Library. Membership is free to residents of Waterbury and Duxbury upon completion of an application and showing proof of residence. Other adults may obtain a library card by completing an application, showing identification, and paying a $10 fee. Children through age 18 and students with a valid school ID are eligible for free membership, regardless of their town of residence.
Fines: There are no fines or fees for overdue materials; however, lost or damaged materials will be billed at full cost. Failure to pay these costs or to return materials within three months after notice may result in a loss of borrowing privileges. Parents are responsible for materials borrowed by children under age 16.
Hours: The Library will, to the extent feasible, be open during hours most convenient to the public, including some time during the evening and on weekends. The Library observes the following holiday closings: January 1st, Presidents’ Day, Town Meeting Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, and December 25; and half-day on the day before Thanksgiving, December 24, and December 31.Emergency closing because of weather or other reasons will be determined by the library director. Unscheduled closings will be announced through WDEV, and the Town Office will be notified.
Bookmobile: The Waterbury Bookmobile is an extension of the Waterbury Public Library and operates according to the policies adopted by the Commissioners.
Governance: The Library is governed under the provisions of VSA 22, Sections 104, 105 and 143 by a board of five commissioners elected, on a rotating basis, for five-year terms. The Commission meets regularly a minimum of six times per year at a place and time which will be posted in the Library and the Town of Waterbury offices and published in EXIT 10 and the Waterbury Record. Special meetings may be called by the Chair with at least 24-hour notice posted in the Town offices and the Library.
Relationships with community organizations: The Waterbury Public Library works closely with the school libraries, helping to support the informational and recreational needs of those schools. It also participates fully in the statewide interlibrary loan system. Close communication and collaboration is maintained by the Commission and the Library Director with the Friends of the Library.
Standards: The Library will meet the minimum standards for Vermont public libraries.
Use of facilities and equipment by outside groups: Library meeting space is available for use by nonprofit community organizations on a first come-first served basis, providing that use does not conflict with library operations or program needs. The Library Director may refuse to permit use of space if she/he believes that use to be in conflict with the Library’s mission or disruptive to Library activities. No fee is charged for the use of Library space, although donations to the Library may be accepted if offered. Organizations that use the Library’s space are expected to leave the room in the condition it was found and return borrowed keys within forty-eight hours. Failure to do so may result denial of permission to use the space in the future.
Confidentiality: All records relating to library patrons and their use of library materials and services, including computer and Internet use are confidential. Under 22 V.S.A. § 172., only authorized library personnel shall have access to patron records and only for necessary library administrative purposes. The Library will not share patron registration or transaction records without written permission from the patron to whom the records pertain, except in response to an authorized judicial order or warrant directing disclosure; or to custodial parents or guardians of patrons under age 16. Parents seeking records of their minor child, under age 16, may be asked to provide proof of their child’s age, as well as evidence that they are the custodial parent.
Library users who have concerns or complaints about the library’s handling of their confidential information should file written comments with the Library Director. 22 V.S.A. § 173. authorizes civil action if patrons feel their confidentiality rights have been violated.
Nondiscrimination: All aspects of library operations, including program scheduling, staffing and all other dealings with patrons and other members of the public shall be conducted in a completely nondiscriminatory manner with respect to race, nationality, ethnicity, political persuasion, gender, physical disability, and sexual orientation.
The first floor of the library is generally accessible to people who use wheelchairs. Although some areas of the library are not accessible, all materials and programs will be made available.
To ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to library resources, the library offers a variety of accommodations, including home delivery with extended loan periods, library cards for proxies, reference assistance by phone and e-mail, and electronic access to the library catalog and online databases. To ensure that people with disabilities can participate in library programs, reasonable accommodations or modifications will be made upon request. Whenever possible, such requests should be made at least two weeks in advance, to allow time for the library to make necessary arrangements or modifications.
Intellectual freedom: Enlightened and informed citizenship is fostered and basic principles of liberty are reinforced by policies that protect intellectual freedom. The Waterbury Public Library strives to provide a wide array of ideas and information to enable patrons to make decisions and choices for themselves. We also are highly concerned with ensuring equal access to materials and services for all, regardless of age, background, or belief and regardless of materials’ possible use, format, or content. To these ends we hereby adopt and incorporate by reference the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS and THE FREEDOM TO READ and THE FREEDOM TO VIEW statements adopted by the American Library Association. (They are appended to this document.)
Responsibility for selection: Books and/or library material selection responsibility is vested in the Library Director. Any book and /or library material so selected shall be deemed to be selected by the Commission. The Library Director is also solely responsible for determining the most appropriate placement/location of materials within the library (e.g. stories or picture books written for designed for children placed in sections easily accessible to small children, etc.).
Gifts: Gifts and donations are encouraged and will be accepted with the understanding that gifts of materials may be disposed of at the discretion of the Library Director if they cannot be used. Memorial gifts are encouraged. Persons wishing to memorial such gifts should consult with the Library Director before making a choice.
Weeding, withdrawal, disposal: The collections will be weeded by the library staff on a regular basis using professional library standards for weeding and collection management. This will be for the purpose of eliminating outdated, inappropriate materials. In this process the core collection of standard works, classics, materials of historic interest and other materials which should be important to a public library will be retained without regard to the frequency of their circulation or current use.
Procedure for review of selections: The Waterbury Public Library contains materials representing widely divergent views. That is because the Library is attempting to serve the needs of all of the people in the community. Therefore, materials in the Library that meet the selection and placement/location policy will not be removed or relocated because of pressure from individuals or groups who object. This includes the selection/placement of materials that young people may obtain to which their parents object. Children have free access to all materials and can only be restricted by their parents. However, citizens have the right to petition their government (in this case the Library Commission) and therefore, the following procedures will be followed by a person or persons who object to the inclusion or placement of materials in the Library:
1) The person who wishes to protest the inclusion or placement or materials in the library must submit a written complaint on the appended form. 2) The complainant will give the completed form to the Library Director, who will immediately forward it to the Library Commissioners together with the Director’s recommendation. 3) The complaint will be addressed at the next regularly scheduled Commissioners’ meeting. 4) The complainant will be invited to attend the meeting and offer any clarifying or explanatory comments. 5) The Commission may discuss and make a decision on the complaint at this meeting or may defer a decision until a subsequent regular meeting. 6) After the Commission has made a decision, it shall be provided in writing to the complainant within seven days. 7) The decision shall include the rationale for the outcome.
Disposal of Unneeded Property
With the exception of library materials (books, audios, videos, and periodicals), items which are no longer needed for use by the Library will be offered to other Town departments before disposal.
Children and Young Adults
Welcome Statement: The Waterbury Public Library offers materials and programs that provide information and entertainment, foster an appreciation of literature and an understanding of the world, and promote the development of information literacy skills for children and youth of all ages. The Library welcomes children and young adults and encourages their use of library resources and their participation in library programs and activities.
- Access to Resources:
The role of library staff is to aid young people in finding and utilizing the library’s numerous resources. The library does not impose limits on access to these materials. Parents, guardians, and/or caregivers are responsible for setting boundaries and/or restrictions for their children (and only their children) regarding access to resources offered by the Library.
- Access to Electronic Resources:
The Library is aware of parental and governmental concerns about child safety on the Internet. However, Library computers are not filtered, and the Library staff does not monitor and/or control the content of materials offered through the Internet. Parents, guardians, and/or caregivers are responsible for their children’s use of the Internet at all times. Parents who believe that their children cannot responsibly make use of the Library’s Internet access are requested to monitor their children’s Internet use.
Young people are expected to follow the same guidelines regarding acceptable and/or unacceptable computer use as other patrons. (See the Computer and Internet Use section of this policy.)
- Unattended Children
The Library does not provide childcare. Responsibility for a child’s use of the Library lies with the parent, guardian, and/or caregiver at all times.
Children under the age of eight should always be supervised by a parent, guardian, or caregiver. The supervising adult must be in the same room as the child.
Unattended children age eight and older are welcome to use the Library, as long as their behavior is appropriate to a library setting. If, in the opinion of the staff, a child behaves in a manner inappropriate to a library setting, the child will be told to leave the library.
Parents are asked to familiarize themselves with Library hours and make arrangements for picking their child up before closing time. For the child’s safety, local law enforcement may be contacted if a child is left without transportation at closing time and parents, guardians, and/or caregivers are unable to be contacted.
- Programs and Special Events:
Age designations are stated in program publicity to ensure that those who attend programs and special events are capable of the behavior required. The Library staff reserves the right to deny program admittance to children outside the recommended age guidelines for particular programs.
It should be understood that parents, guardians, and/or caregivers of children younger than age eight are required to be in the same room with the children attending any library program or special event.
Computer and Internet Use
Internet Access: The Internet, a world-wide computer network, is an essential medium for obtaining and transmitting information of all types. Therefore, public access to the Internet is germane to the Library’s mission.
Computer access, Internet access, and wi-fi connectivity are offered at the Library.
Library users are asked to be aware that the Internet is an unregulated medium. While the Internet is a valuable tool for accessing information, it also provides access to information that is inaccurate, illegal or that some may find offensive or disturbing. The Library will identify on its “favorites list” specific Internet sites that have potential interest for Library users, but the Library cannot control a user’s access to other Internet sites. Library computers are not filtered, and the Library will not monitor content, nor deny or limit access, except when a clear violation of this policy has occurred.
Responsibilities of Library Staff and Users: The Library Director will establish procedures for use of the Library’s computers and Internet access, in order to ensure equitable access to resources. Library staff will not monitor an individual’s Internet use, except for length of use in order to ensure equal opportunity of access for everyone. The user, or the parent of a minor, is responsible for his or her Internet session at all times. Wi-fi users are expected to comply with all Library policies regarding the use of the Internet.
The Library reserves the right to terminate an Internet session that disrupts library services or that involves user behavior that violates the Library’s policies.
As with all Library resources, the Library affirms the right and responsibility of parents or guardians, not Library staff, to determine and monitor use of the Library’s resources and facilities, including the Internet, by young people under the age of 16 years. Parents who believe that their children cannot responsibly make use of the Library’s Internet access are requested to monitor their children’s Internet use.
Privacy: All records relating to library patrons and their use of library materials and services, including computer and Internet use are confidential. Computer sign-up sheets are used for statistical purposes only. After the number of users is counted at the end of the day, the sheets are destroyed.
Library users are reminded that computers are located in public areas where screens are easily viewed by staff and other Library users of all ages. Individuals are expected to respect the sensibilities of others when accessing potentially offensive content. The deliberate display of sexually explicit materials or images, including attempting to print those materials using library printers, is prohibited.
Unacceptable Uses of Library Computers: Access to the Internet is a privilege. Library users are expected to use the Internet in a responsible and ethical manner. This includes complying with Library policy, as well as local, state, and federal laws while using the Internet.
Among the uses that are considered unacceptable and which constitute a violation of this policy include, but are not limited to, the following:
· Using library computers or wireless connection for any purpose that violates local, state, or federal laws (including, but not limited to, committing fraud, hacking, or engaging in communications which are libelous or slanderous);
· Using library computers to engage in threatening or harassing communications.
· Offering for sale or use any substance the possession or use of which is prohibited by law;
· Viewing, transmitting or downloading any illegal materials;
· Viewing child pornography;
· Deliberate display of sexually explicit materials or images, including attempting to print those materials using library printers;
· Violating copyright law or software licenses;
· Compromising the privacy of users;
· Attempting to gain unauthorized access to the Library’s network or to cause degradation of system performance;
· Uploading any form of harmful programming or vandalism;
· Attempting to install or delete software on any of the Library’s computers;
· Altering the Library’s computer settings; moving library equipment, or in any way modifying or damaging the Library’s computer equipment or software;
· Disrupting the intended use of library computers.
Response to Violations: The user’s access to the Library’s computer network and Internet connectivity is a privilege, not a right. Failure to comply with this policy and computer use procedures will result in the loss of computer/Internet privileges at Waterbury Public Library.
Compliance with the Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act (NCIPA): The Library believes this policy to be in compliance with the requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), Pub. L. No. 106-554, Subtitle C (Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act), § 1731-32.
Disclaimer: While the Library endeavors to provide access to information of the highest quality, the Library has no control over the information accessed through the Internet and specifically disclaims any warrant as to the information’s accuracy, timeliness, authoritativeness, usefulness or fitness for a particular purpose.
The provision of Internet access does not imply sponsorship or endorsement of any particular content or point of view.
The Library will have no liability for direct, indirect or consequential damages related to the use of information access through the Library’s Internet service.
The Library will have no liability for any charges a user may incur when accessing commercial sites and online fee-based services while using the Library’s computer. Any service involving the submission of a credit card number involves the user in a transaction with an outside service provider, not with the Library.
General: All personnel are employees of the Town of Waterbury and function under the personnel procedures and policies of the Town. The Library Director works under the direction of the Library Commissioners and the Town Manager, and all other library personnel work under the direction of the Library Director. The ALA Code of Ethics (appended) is incorporated in the job description of each Library employee. The Commissioners have responsibility for preparing the Library Director’s job description, hiring and firing the Director, and evaluating the Director’s performance, in writing, on an annual basis. The Library Director is responsible for developing and reviewing job descriptions for all other library staff in collaboration with the Library Commissioners, and for hiring, firing, scheduling and supervising all other library staff. The Library Director will prepare written performance evaluations of all other staff on an annual basis.
Use of volunteers: Volunteers are a vital staff resource for the library. They are recruited, supervised, and trained by the library staff and must adhere to all policies to the same extent as paid personnel.
Review/revision of policy This policy will be officially reviewed annually at a regular meeting of the Commissioners and will be modified at that time to the extent deemed necessary.
By Library Commissioners
Jan Gendreau (chair), Margaret Luce, Harriet Grenier, Freya Chaffee, David Cohen