Policies

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

Libraries, as a gateway to knowledge, are particularly responsible not only for disseminating the idea of environmental responsibility and sustainability but also for leading by example and thus serving as exemplars. Ecological sustainability is part of the mission of a library as a socially responsible body.

The Library acknowledges the importance of protecting the environment to help reduce any damage or impact its operations and activities might have. The Library is committed to ensuring this in a sustainable, financial and technically feasible approach.

Our Purpose

To create a framework for the Worcester Schenevus Library to adopt best practices of environmental stewardship and sustainability by reducing its carbon footprint, decreasing resource and energy use, and making informed and responsible purchases.

The Policy

As part of the Worcester Schenevus Library’s purpose in serving the community, we must be engaged in the ongoing effort to limit the environmental impact of our operations and strive to be a leader in modeling ecological sustainable practices. We are committed to providing resources for our patrons to learn about sustainability through our example, our collection and our programming.

Guidelines

  • Reduce energy consumption
    • Optimize equipment settings (heat at 68, a/c at 75, water heater at 110)
    • Turn off light when not needed
  • Recycle
    • Separate recyclables from trash
  • Reduce plastics and styrofoam use
    • Use only paper cups
    • No plastic water bottles
    • Minimize purchase of plastic prizes, craft supplies, etc.
    • Limit lamination
  • Reduce paper use
    • Fit documents onto one page
    • Avoid printing documents that can be shared digitally
  • Cleaning products
    • Use non-toxic, biodegradable, environmentally friendly products
  • De-acquisitioning
    • All weeded books in readable condition will be routed to the bookstore
    • Equipment that is at the end of its usefulness will be donated to a non-profit, sold at a discount to the community, or recycled
  • Land use
    • No pesticides or chemical fertilizers will be applied
    • Landscaping will incorporate native plants that attract pollinators and are an asset to wildlife

 

LIBRARY USERS

A. Public Access

  1. The Worcester Free Library provides free, direct access to all materials. Service will not be denied or abridged because of religious, racial, sexual, social, economic, or political status.
  2. The Worcester Free Library belongs to the Four County Library System and by contractual agreement, will lend materials from its collection to other member libraries of the System via the automated Interlibrary Loan network or requests transmitted through system headquarters.

B. Restrictions

  1. The use of the library or its services may be denied for due cause. Such cause may be failure to return materials or pay fines, destruction of library property, disturbance, or any objectionable conduct on library property.
  2. The use of the library or its services shall be limited when excessive demands of groups or individuals tend to curtail service to the general public. Such demands may include those made by students or others whose demand for staff time, available materials, or space would prohibit attention and service to other individuals or groups.

C. Unattended Children

  1. Parents and guardians, not Library staff, are responsible for the care, behavior and supervision of their children while they are using the Worcester Free Library and while they are on its premises.
  2. Children eight years old or younger who are using the Library’s resources or who are participation in a Library program shall at all times by accompanied and adequately supervised by a responsible adult, which is defined as a parent, guardian, teacher, or assigned caregiver13 years old or over, who must remain with the child in the Library for the duration of the visit.
  3. Children nine years or older may use the Library unattended for a reasonable period of time, provided they are able to maintain proper patron behavior.
  4. It is recommended that children have a telephone number for their parents, guardian or other responsible adult who may be contacted in case of a health emergency or other special circumstance.
  5. If a child behaves in a disruptive manner, whether or not he/she is accompanied by a responsible adult, Library staff will give him/her a warning that he/she must correct his/her behavior or leave the Library.
  6. If the child continues to be disruptive after receiving a warning, the Library staff may, in its reasonable discretion, contact the responsible adult and ask the child to leave the Library.
  7. If Staff cannot contact a responsible adult within 15 minutes, the Library reserves the right to contact the Sheriff’s department for assistance in order to maintain the Library’s operations and/or protect the interests of the child.
  8. Parents must be aware of the Library’s hours and make advance arrangements to pick up their child, or have her/him picked up by a responsible adult, by closing time.
  9. If the unattended child is still in the Library at closing time, or in the case of emergency closing such as for lack of heat or electricity or because of inclement weather, Library staff will act as follows:  Library staff will not transport or escort the child to any location under any circumstances. Staff will make every reasonable effort to assist the child in contacting an appropriate adult 15 minutes prior to the Library closing. A staff member will remain with the child up to 15 minutes after closing and will continue to try to contact a parents or other responsible adult during that time. If a staff person is unable to reach a responsible adult, the Library reserves the right to contact the Sheriff’s department to request assistance. A staff member will wait with the child until the sheriff’s office comes to the Library to pick up the child. Children aged 15 and under will not be left on Library premises unattended after Library hours. If the child leaves the Library before the arrival of a responsible adult, staff may in its reasonable discretion, contact the Sheriff’s office to protect the interest of the child.

REGISTRATION OF BORROWERS

A. Library Cards

  1. All persons requesting to borrow library materials must have a valid library card.
  2. Any person, adult or child, permanently residing in the counties of the Four County system may complete an application for a regular borrower’s card.
  3. Regular borrowers may also include persons who may reside here temporarily, but own property in another area, and return on a regular basis. For these individuals, please obtain information as to their permanent mailing address, telephone, etc.
  4. When a person expresses a desire for a library card, establish definitely that he/she has never had a card before. Double check registration in Workflows.
  5. If the person has never had a card, he/she must complete a new user application form.
  6. Use juvenile form for ages 0-15 and adult forms for others. The forms are located at the Circulation Desk.
  7. Adults applying for a library card must produce a photo ID or mail with their address on it.

CIRCULATION POLICIES

A. Confidentiality of Library Records

  1. The Worcester Free Library’s circulation records and any other records which identify and relate to the names of library users including database search records, reference interviews, interlibrary loan records and other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities or services are confidential.
  2. Such records will not be released or used for non-library purposes except pursuant to a subpoena from a court of law or other valid process, which specifically identifies the information required, and the purpose for the request.
  3. General public access to circulation statistics invades the privacy of the individual patron, and would tend to discourage the freedom of inquiry into sensitive or unpopular subject matter.

B. New York State Law $4508. New York State Civil Practice Law and Rules: Chapter 112 of the Laws of 1988

“Library records, which contain names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of public, free association, school, college and university libraries and library systems of this state, including but not limited to records relating to the circulation of library materials, computer database searches, interlibrary loan transactions, reference queries, requests for photocopies of library materials, title reserve e requests, or the use of audio-visual materials, films or records shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except that such records may be disclosed to the extent necessary for the proper operation of the library and shall be disclosed upon request or consent of the user or pursuant to subpoena, court order or where otherwise required by statue.”

C. Procedures for Implementing Library Record Confidentiality

  1. The library staff member receiving the request to examine or obtain information relating to circulation or registration records will immediately refer the person making the request to the Library Director or President of the Board of Trustees.
  2. The Library Director or President of the Board of Trustees, upon receipt of such process, order, or subpoena, shall consult with the appropriate legal officer assigned to the institution to determine if such process, order, or subpoena is in good form, and if there is a showing of good cause for its issuance.
  3. If the process, order, or subpoena is not in proper form or if good cause has not been shown, insistence shall be made that such defects be “cured” before any records are released.
  4. The legal process requiring the production of confidential library records shall ordinarily be in the form of a subpoena, “duces tecum” (bring your records) requiring the responsible officer (i.e. Library Director) to attend court or the taking of his/her deposition, and may require him/her to bring along certain designated library records.
  5. Any threats or unauthorized demands (i.e. those not supported by a process, order, or subpoena) concerning library records shall be reported to the appropriate legal officer of the library.
  6. Any problems relating to the privacy of library records should be communicated immediately to the Library Director.                                                                                                                               Confidentiality policy adopted by the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, July 2, 1991

D. General Circulation Guidelines

  1. Patrons must be in good standing (fine free) to check out materials from the library.
  2. Patrons must have a library card to check out materials.
  3. If a patron has forgotten or misplaced his/her library card, but is in good standing, obtain another form of identification. Staff members should check patron registration to make ensure that address and phone number are correct and current.
  4. All books, audiobooks and CDs circulate for three weeks.
  5. Magazines circulate for two weeks.
  6. DVDs circulate for one week.
  7. Storytime kits and puppets circulate for two weeks.
  8. Local History does not circulate.
  9. Patrons may borrow up to 50 books.

E. Renewal Policy

  1. All Worcester materials may be renewed up to three times if there are no outstanding reserves.
  2. An interlibrary loan item may be renewed one time only.
  3. Renewals may be made by telephone.

F. Reserve Policy

  1. Holds may be places on any item that circulates.
  2. Hold requests may be made in person, over the phone, or electronically.
  3. Patrons will be contacted by phone or email when materials become available. Items will be held for 7 days.

G. Overdues and Lost Materials

  1. Staff members may accept full payment for all overdue fines owed to lending libraries within the Four County Library System.
  2. Books will be considered lost 30 days after the due date. Once an item is considered lost, the borrower must pay to replace it.
  3. Patrons must pay for the replacement of lost items before borrowing any additional materials.
  4. Replacement items in good condition may be accepted at the Library Director’s discretion.

H. Damaged Materials

  1. If a book, DVD, or audiobook is damaged beyond repair, the borrower is required to pay the cost of the item.
  2. The borrower may beep the damaged item once he/she had paid for it.
  3. When a magazine is damaged, the current issue price is the replacement charge.

I. Interlibrary Loan

  1. Items that are not owned by this library can be requested through the Four County Library System
  2. Patrons must have a valid library card and be in good standing to request interlibrary loans
  3. Out of system requests are restricted to materials that cost more than $12.95.
  4. Materials borrowed through interlibrary loan must be returned on time, regardless of circumstances.

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICY

The Worcester Free Library strives to provide people of all ages with current information on topics related to work, school and personal life; encourages self-directed growth and development; addresses the need for reading and enhancing daily life through the use of library services and community interaction. The Library also endeavors to offer resources that will enrich, inform and entertain the community which it serves. This policy supplies appropriate guidelines for the acquisition and removal of library materials.

A. Selection Responsibility

Selection of all materials ultimately lies with the Library Director and the Book Selection Committee. Library staff may also make appropriate recommendations. Additionally, suggestions submitted by patrons will be given consideration.

B. Selection Criteria

The method by which library materials will be selected depends on many factors, including but not limited to; subject suitability, similarity of proposed materials to those already in the present collections, relevance of resources with regards to community needs and desires, and availability of comparable materials.

Professional literature, such as Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, and The New York Times Book Review will be consulted to facilitate the selection of materials.

GIFTS AND DONATIONS

The Worcester Free Library welcomes gifts of books and monetary donations, but reserves the right to decline any gift or donation that does not fall within the guidelines which the board of Trustees set for acceptance.

A. Guidelines for Acceptance of Gifts

  1. The Director, and the Board of Trustees in its discretion, will evaluate prospective gifts for their suitability for inclusion in the permanent collection, or if they might serve the Library’s purposes in another manner.
  2. The Library will not accept gifts upon which the prospective donor places restrictions or special conditions unless the Board of Trustees specifically accepts those restrictions or conditions.
  3. The Library will specifically acknowledge gift items if the donor wishes. The Library will not appraise or estimate the value of gift donations, the responsibility for which rests with the donor.
  4. The Director of the Board of Trustees may request that the donor sign a waiver form relinquishing ownership.