Waterbury Public Library Policies

Mission Statement

A place to connect, inspire, and learn, Waterbury Public Library supports lifelong learning, cultural enrichment, and personal development and serves its community as a multigenerational gathering place. The Library provides residents of all ages with access to entertainment, ideas, information, and inspiration through its books, programs, electronic media and online resources.

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/or landowners in Waterbury upon completion of an application and showing proof of residence or taxes.  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.  Materials more than 40 days overdue are considered lost and are billed at replacement cost.  Failure to return or pay for these items will result in suspended borrowing privileges until the borrower’s account is cleared.  Parents are responsible for materials borrowed by children under the age of 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:  New Year’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Town Meeting Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day. If New Year’s Day and Christmas Day fall on a weekend, the Library is closed the Federal holiday date.  The Library closes at 3:00 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.

 

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, on the Town website, and in the Waterbury Record.  Special meetings may be called by the Chair with at least 48-hours-notice which will be posted in the Town offices and the Library.

 

Relationships with community organizations:  The Waterbury Public Library works closely with the local school libraries, helping to support the educational and recreational needs of their students.  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, as established by the Vermont Board of Libraries.

 

Use of facilities by outside groups:   Use of the Library’s meeting spaces is governed by the Meeting Room Use Policy.

 

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.

If a member of the staff or a volunteer is presented with an official records request from a law enforcement officer, the officer should be immediately referred to the Library Director and the Commissioner and legal counsel notification procedure should be initiated.

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 library fully complies with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

To ensure that people with disabilities can participate in library programs, reasonable accommodations 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.

 

 

Materials selection

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 provides a wide array of ideas and information to enable patrons to make decisions and choices for themselves.  The Library provides 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.

Responsibility for selection:  Library material selection responsibility is vested in the Library Director.  Any book and/or 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 or designed for young children placed in sections easily accessible to small children, etc.).

The Library Director uses professional judgment and expertise, enhanced by an understanding of the needs of residents of all ages within our community, to select materials.  Reviews, standard lists of basic works, and recommendations from professional journals are used in the selection process.

Materials added to the library collection should meet high standards of quality.  Factors to be considered include accuracy and authoritativeness, effective expression, significance of subject, current usefulness, interest, permanent value and cost.  Relevance to the reading public and to the existing collection will also be considered.  The public may also make recommendations, and these recommendations will receive careful consideration in terms of overall objectives and the existing book collections.

Each item should be appraised as a creative unified whole, with consideration for the purpose of the item. Works which do not meet all of the standards, but which are of great interest, may be purchased to meet a strong, even if temporary, need.

When selecting library materials, the Library Director will consider the standards mentioned above, the overall needs of the community, and the library’s budget.  The Library will rely on interlibrary loan to borrow those materials which are beyond the scope of its collection.

Gifts:   Gifts and donations may 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.  The Library Director has the discretion to accept or refuse donations of materials by community members, in accordance with the above-mentioned considerations.

Memorial gifts are encouraged. Persons wishing to give memorial 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 to eliminate outdated or inappropriate materials and to make room for new works. Each withdrawal or replacement should be judged individually using standard library tools, considering the work’s physical condition, the existing collection as a whole, and the existence of the resource at other libraries.  An effort will be made to retain a core collection of standard works and materials of historic interest.  The Library Director has sole discretion for discarding withdrawn materials.

Procedure for review of selections:  The Waterbury Public Library seeks to serve the needs of community members whose views are widely divergent. Therefore, the Library contains materials representing widely divergent views.  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. This includes the selection/placement of materials that young people may obtain to which their parents or guardians 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 Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources 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.

 

Eating and Drinking in the Library

Although not sold in the Library, food and beverages may be consumed in the Café and/or as part of a Library program or meeting in the SAL Room. Please limit food and drinks to these areas.

 

Appropriate Library Behavior

Residents and visitors of all ages are welcome at the Waterbury Public Library.

All library visitors are expected to treat the facilities, materials and equipment with care and behave in a respectful manner toward other library users and staff.

If, in the opinion of the staff, an individual behaves in a manner inappropriate to a library setting and/or disturbing to other library users (such as engaging in loud or long phone conversations, shouting, cursing, fighting or threatening other patrons or staff, running, screaming, or throwing things) the individual will be asked to stop the behavior or leave the library.  If the patron refuses, the police may be called.

 

Children and Young Adults

Welcome:  Waterbury Public Library welcomes children of all ages.  The Library staff is committed to making the Library an inviting place for children to develop a life-long love for books, learning and libraries.

The Library offers weekly Baby/Toddler and Preschool Story Times, picture books and books for growing readers, puppets and puzzles, fiction and nonfiction, magazines, audio books and movies, a learning station with educational games, computers and the Internet, places to study and socialize with friends, special programs that provide opportunities to learn and discover, and assistance from the staff in accessing these resources.

The Library’s Children’s Policy was put in place to safeguard the welfare of all patrons and staff.

Parental Responsibility:

The Library does not assume responsibility or liability for the actions, care, supervision, or safety of minors.  Parents and caregivers are responsible for their child’s safety and behavior while in the Library or on the Library grounds, whether or not the parent/caregiver is present.

It is the role of parents and guardians, NOT the role of the Library or Library employees, to provide childcare.

Supervision in the Library:

 

  • For the safety and comfort of all children, an adult or a responsible adolescent of at least 12 years of age must accompany and supervise any child under the age of 8 while on Library property.
  • A child is considered unattended if he or she is out of sight of the parent or caregiver.
  • An adult or caregiver who is using a computer is not able to provide adequate   supervision for a child.
  • Children are expected to behave in a manner appropriate to a library setting. If, in the opinion of the staff, a child behaves in a manner inappropriate to a library setting (see the section on Appropriate Library Behavior above) the child will be told to leave the library.
  • Parents or guardians are responsible for paying for any damage to library facilities, materials, or equipment caused by their children.

Parents are asked to familiarize themselves with Library hours and arrange for their child’s pick-up before closing time.  Library personnel will not provide after-hours child care or transportation.

Access to Physical Library Materials:

The library does not impose limits on access to any materials within its collections.  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.  Library computers are not filtered, and the Library staff does not monitor 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.)

Two Early Learning Station with educational games appropriate for children ages 6 to 12 are provided near the children’s computers.  The Early Learning Stations are not connected to the Internet.

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 has 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

Computer access, Internet access, and wi-fi connectivity are offered at the Library.

Internet Access: The Internet 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.

The Internet is an unregulated medium. Although it is a valuable tool for accessing information, the Internet also provides access to information that is inaccurate, illegal or that some may find disturbing.  The Library does not control a user’s access to 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 is disruptive to other patrons.

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 supervise 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.

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 content that is potentially disturbing to others.

Unacceptable Uses of Library Computers:  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 materials or images that are disturbing to others in the library space, 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.

Personnel

All Library 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 DirectorThe 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 establishing a process for evaluating the Director’s performance, in writing.

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 conduct an annual work review of all other staff.

 

Use of volunteers

Volunteers are a vital resource for the library.  They are recruited, supervised, and trained by the Library Director and staff and must adhere to all policies to the same extent as paid personnel.

 

General Expectations

All Library personnel are expected to

  • arrive for scheduled work shift on time and ready to work;
  • be courteous and friendly to the public;
  • be courteous, cooperative, and respectful to co-workers;
  • maintain a professional standard of grooming and appearance (be neat and clean; avoid wearing short shorts, mini-skirts, low-riding jeans, and clothing that exposes a bare midriff.)
  • support and follow the policies established by the Library Commission;
  • follow established library procedures;
  • refrain from using Library facilities or personal devices during work time for conducting personal business or entertainment, including, but not limited to, lengthy personal phone calls, online shopping, gaming, e-mail correspondence and/or social media interactions, and/or any behavior that is disruptive to the library or workplace environment.

 

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.