Jeff Davis County Library

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Library Policies

Jeff Davis County Library Policy Manual

Mission statement

The mission of the Jeff Davis County Library is to provide information resources to help fulfill the educational, cultural and recreational needs of the community in a welcoming and respectful atmosphere.

Goals

To promote literacy and lifelong learning.

To provide a variety of materials to support the library’s mission and goals.

To promote the people, culture and history of Jeff Davis County through the collection and maintenance of materials and resources and make them available to the public.

Governance

The library is governed by the five-member Jeff Davis County Commissioners Court, which sets the annual budget, approves policies and maintains the county-owned building and related systems. The Library Director reports to the County Judge and commissioners.

Standards and Laws

The library complies with local, state and federal laws. (See appendix, Standards and Laws)

Accreditation

The library seeks to provide the residents of Jeff Davis County with high quality materials and services. To that end, the Library Director will maintain its accreditation by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Hours of operation

Regularly scheduled hours of operation will be established to best meet the needs of library patrons within the library's financial ability to provide service and will be evaluated annually during the budget process or as needed by the Jeff Davis Commissioners and library director.

Library closures

The library will be closed on holidays established by Jeff Davis County and in case of emergencies, such as inclement weather or power outages.

Public participation in decision making

The library director welcomes suggestions and comments at any time, and maintains an open-door policy. Jeff Davis County residents also have the option to contact their county commissioner to provide input.

Patron registration

Library borrowing privileges are available at no charge to residents of Jeff Davis County upon application. Identification and verification of local mailing address are required to obtain a library card.

Acceptable forms of identification: current driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID; or school identification card. If applicant has no valid photo ID, then library staff may verify residence with the presentation of a personalized, printed check; current utility bill; tax receipt; voter registration card; or other items.

Library cards are nontransferable. Each member of a family 18 years or older may have his or her own library card.

Texas residents may present a valid TexShare borrower card to apply for a Jeff Davis County library card to borrow materials for free.

Out-of-state residents who stay in Jeff Davis County for regular and/or extended periods of time may be granted limited borrowing privileges upon application, payment of a fee to be determined annually, and approval of the library director.

Patrons should notify the Circulation Desk with any change of contact information.

Borrower's cards expire at the end of one year from date of application or on Dec. 31 of each year and may be renewed annually at no charge with proof of residency.

Minors

A parent or guardian must assume responsibility for materials borrowed by a person younger than 18, and all materials must be checked out to a parent or guardian's account. The library may issue a duplicate card to a minor older than 12 with parental/guardian permission.

Confidentiality

All information provided during registration is protected by rules and laws pertaining to confidentiality of records and privacy. Non-individual demographic information may be gathered to help plan library services, but this information is not disclosed unless required by law (see Standards and Laws in the appendix).

The U.S. Patriot Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-56) supersedes state law and expands the federal government’s authority for access to library records and documents to protect against international terrorism and clandestine intelligence activities. It also expands federal law enforcement's authorization to track telephone and electronic communication, including any dialing, routing, addressing, or signaling information and the actual content of the communication.

Under the Patriot Act, national search warrants (also known as "single jurisdiction search warrants") are authorized, which complicates verification and greatly increases the reach of a single warrant. If foreign intelligence is involved, the threshold is much lower: there need only be probable cause that the target is a foreign agent.

This law prohibits library workers from informing customers that federal agents have obtained their records (see “U.S. Patriot Act Search Warrant Procedures” appendix).

Nothing in this policy shall prevent authorized library personnel from using library records in the administration of their regular duties. The library has endorsed the recommendations of the “Texas Library Association's Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records” (see appendix) and will conform to the procedures outlined in “U.S. Patriot Act Search Warrant Procedures” (see appendix).

Library Materials

Books, audio and video policy:

Materials (except those designated as “library use only") may be checked out by patrons with a library card.

Renewals by phone, e-mail, in person or online are accepted if the items are not on a waiting list.

No more than 25 items, to include 10 audiobooks or 10 DVDs, may be checked out at one time on a single library card. Multi-volume sets are treated as a single item.

Lending periods are as follows:

Books and audiobooks: Three weeks, with one renewal. Items must be physically checked in at the library after six weeks before they can be checked out again.

DVDs: One week, with one week renewal. Items must be physically checked in at the library after two weeks before they can be checked out again.

Overdue materials

A patron who has overdue materials may not continue to check out materials in any format.

Periodically, library staff may prepare a list of borrowers who have overdue materials and notify them by telephone, email, text or U.S. mail that library records indicate that they have materials past due.

A per-day fine determined by the Library Director, in consultation with the Commissioners Court at the beginning of each year, may be assessed on overdue materials.

Book drop

An after-hours book/audiobook drop is available near the front door of the library. Replacement fees plus handling costs may be assessed for DVDs damaged by leaving them in the book drop.

DVD drop

An after-hours drop for DVDs is available on the terrace side of the library.

Library-use only materials

Reference materials, periodicals, vertical file materials, rare books and any other materials marked "library use only" may not be checked out unless arrangements are made with the director.

Interlibrary loan

The library participates in a regional interlibrary loan program, which permits the library to borrow materials for its patrons from other libraries. The interlibrary loan service is available to all patrons in good standing (no overdue items; no fines).

The patron may be responsible for charges or fines imposed by the lending library, and for any postage required to mail items to and from the lending library. Library staff will notify the borrower about any fees prior to requesting materials. Fees vary and are solely the responsibility of the borrower. These fees will be added to the borrower’s account.

The library may restrict the number of items requested through interlibrary loan by an individual patron to ensure fair, equitable, and timely service within the constraints of budget and staffing.

Fees and fines

Patrons returning damaged materials in the book drop box may be assessed a fine for replacement.

Patrons are responsible for replacing lost or damaged materials. Charges for lost or damaged materials will be determined by the library director and will be based on replacement cost and labor/materials cost to process.

The director may, at his or her discretion, make alternative arrangements with patrons for payment of these charges. Used materials will not be accepted as replacement for lost or damaged items.

Patrons will be assessed reasonable fees, to be determined annually in the budget process by the library director and county commissioners, on a cost-recovery basis for materials and services including, but not limited to: scanning, printing, copying and faxing materials.

If fines or fees are levied, they are automatically posted on the circulation computer as they are accrued and are collected when the patron returns the materials or by special arrangement.

Accounts that remain in arrears may be reported to a library collection agency and subsequently credit reported if the debt is not resolved within time limits determined by the library director.

Revocation of Library Privileges

Patron privileges may be revoked for reasons including, but not limited to, the following: failure to return library materials or make restitution; failure to pay library fines, if any have been assessed; failure to adhere to the library's behavior code (see the chapter "Patron Conduct" elsewhere in this manual); unacceptable use of public access computers (see "Public-access Computer Use" section elsewhere in this manual); and unacceptable use of library facilities (see the chapter "Use of Library Facilities" elsewhere in this manual).

Privileges may be restored at the director's discretion.

Copyright protection

It is the intent of the Jeff Davis County Library to comply with Title 17 of the United States Code, "Copyrights," and other federal legislation related to the duplication, retention, distribution, adaptation, public performance, public display, or any other use of copyrighted materials.

A notice of copyright will be prominently placed on the photocopier and any other library equipment that is capable of duplicating or reproducing copyrighted materials.

Interlibrary loan requests will be accepted subject to copyright restrictions (see also "Interlibrary Loan" section elsewhere in this manual), and staff members will refuse any request that they believe would violate copyright regulations.

Audiovisual materials for which the library has purchased public performance rights will be so labeled. Items without public performance rights are for personal and home use only.

Library staff will follow copyright law in selecting and using materials for public perfor mance.

Computer use

The library provides the community with computer and Internet resources to supplement and enhance its existing print and multimedia collection, and to provide access to the card catalog of the collection.

Filtering

The library recognizes that freedom of access is a fundamental tenet of a public library. The library provides access to the internet via Jeff Davis County connectivity.

Liability

The patron understands that he/she accesses the wireless internet connection at his/her own risk, and that the library and county shall in no way be held liable for any injury to any person, or property, received or sustained by any person or persons or property arising out of, or occasioned by, the patron’s use of wireless internet access.

Minors

A minor's use of public computers and the internet is the responsibility of the minor's parent or legal guardians.

Policy Statement

Use of the library’s public computers or wireless connection initiates acceptance of this policy.

Regulations

All public computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Patrons who wish to use the library’s public computers must use their library card to sign in. Visitors may request guest access.

Each computer login may be limited to one-hour sessions if patrons are waiting for computer access.

Wi-Fi internet access is available, at no charge, to all patrons and guests for their personal devices.

All public computers offer the same access to desktop programs, Internet browsers and various software.

The library’s public computers are not intended to provide access to every software or hardware application or to every source of information available.

The library cannot guarantee or provide access to restricted sites requiring passwords, fees, user accounts, or special software.

Printing is available in black-and-white or color for a cost-recovery fee to be set annually during the budget process by the Library Director and approved by the Commissioners Court.

Patrons may save documents and information on personal USB devices, or writable CDs. Saving material onto the public computers will only be saved for the active session, and cannot be retrieved once the session has ended.

Acceptable Use

Computer and information technology resources are essential tools in accomplishing the library’s mission. Individuals must act responsibly and respectfully in using shared resources.

Respect: Respect the privacy and sensibilities of other library patrons.

a. Library staff can monitor public computers and reserves the right to do so when a violation of its policies or regulations is suspected.

b. The library reserves the right to terminate a patron’s online session and deny Internet service if given cause to believe that the patron has visited inappropriate sites which by local community standards would be deemed obscene or offensive.

c. Patrons using the Internet in the library may not display text or graphics defined by federal or state law as obscene or pornographic. Deliberate and continued display of materials that are obscene or pornographic may constitute sexual harassment of the persons who work in and visit the library, in addition to being considered illegal.

d. Repeated actions that create a disturbance or that the library director considers sexual harassment may result in the loss of some or all library privileges.

Anyone found to be in violation of the user agreement will be asked to desist. If that person continues to violate this agreement, the director may revoke any and all computer privileges. Actions that violate federal, state (including but not limited to Texas Penal Code, §§§1. Title 7, Chap. 33, §3302.a; 33.021; 43.21, 43.22, 43.23, 43.24, and 43.26), or local laws will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Installation: Installation or modification of software or executable files is prohibited on any public library computer.

Noise: Volume of computers must be kept to a minimum. Patrons are encouraged to bring earphones or earbuds to listen to content on the computers.

Some features on websites may not function as intended because of constraints against downloading, storing cookies, etc. that are deemed necessary to secure these machines for public use.

Illegal activity: Internet access will not be used for illegal activity, or to access illegal materials. This includes, but is not limited to Texas Penal Code §§ 43.22, 43.23, 43.24, and 43.26:

Texas Penal Code §43.22: A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly displays or distributes an obscene photograph, drawing, or similar visual representation or other obscene material and is reckless about whether a person is present who will be offended or alarmed by the display or distribution.

Texas Penal Code §43.23: A person commits an offense if, knowing its content and character, he wholesale promotes or possesses with intent to wholesale promote any obscene material or obscene device.

Texas Penal Code §43.24: A person commits an offense if, knowing that the material is harmful [to minors] he displays harmful material and is reckless about whether a minor is present who will be offended or alarmed by the display.

Texas Penal Code §43.26: A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally possesses visual material that visually depicts a child younger than 18 years of age at the time the image of the child was made who is engaging in sexual conduct.

U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U. S. Code) prohibits unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials except as permitted by principles of “fair use.” Responsibility for copyright infringement lies solely with the patron.

Federal Law 18 USC 1030, VTCA or Texas Law PC 33.01 regarding computer crimes.

Compliance

Failure to comply with staff directives may result in loss of computer privileges.

Staff Assistance

Library staff is able to provide assistance in the use of public computers as time permits.

Staff is able to assist patrons with computer accessibility and general navigation of the Internet, but is not always available for in-depth, one-on-one training.

Staff is able to offer suggestions, answer questions, and to locate books and other library resources covering computer-related topics.

Library staff can assist in accessing the Internet for patrons, however patrons are responsible for their own internet searches.

Due to the nature of the public computers and ensuring their security, library staff cannot download and install software or hardware on public computers at the request of a patron, though suggestions for the future inclusion of software are welcomed.

Library staff is able to provide verbal assistance with electronic devices, but is advised not to handle any personal devices due to liability.

Food is not permitted in the library, except for special events and pre-approved by the library director. Only covered drinks are allowed in the library and not at computer stations at all.

Patrons are responsible for repair or replacement costs of equipment or software damaged by them or by minors for whom they are responsible.

Children’s Area Computers

The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA; PL 106-554) was enacted by Congress in December 2000 to address concerns about access in schools and public libraries to the Internet.

CIPA requires public libraries to adopt Internet safety policies that address

(a) minors' access to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web;

(b) minors' safety and security when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications;

(c) unauthorized access, including hacking, and other unlawful activities by minors online;

(d) unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and

(e) restricting minors' access to materials harmful to them.

CIPA does not require the tracking of Internet use by minors or adults.

The children’s area includes a limited number of computers that offer resources intended for young patrons. To best serve children, all computer in this area are for the use of children younger than 18, and for adult caregivers accompanying or assisting children on the computers.

Anyone under 18 years of age must have written parental or guardian permission to access the Internet as a user or an observer. Anyone younger than 13 must have a parent or parent's proxy physically present to monitor the minor's internet use.

Parents or guardians assume responsibility for their children's Internet use.

Collection Development

The library provides materials and services to support the informational and educational needs of Jeff Davis County residents.

Selection of materials

Selection and purchase of library materials rest with the library director, who will adhere to accepted professional practices when making selection decisions.

First, the recreational, educational, and informational needs of the community will be considered in selecting materials. Suggestions from the community for items to be considered for purchase are strongly encouraged, but materials must meet selection criteria.

When selecting individual items for inclusion in the library collection, the library director will consider such factors as (1) popular demand; (2) contemporary significance; (3) literary quality; (4) authority and reputation of author, publisher, or producer; (5) evaluation in reputable review sources; (6) accuracy and currency of information; (7) lack of other available material on the subject; and (8) price, format, ease of use.

Variations in age level, educational level, reading ability, individual needs and interests, and community needs will be considered when selecting materials for the collection.

Materials will be selected that provide a variety of opinions on contemporary issues and that generate diverse points of view. The presence of potentially controversial items in the library collection should not be construed as support for a particular position.

Objections to items in the collection should be made in writing to the library director (see "Request for Reconsideration of Materials.”)

Before the beginning of each budget year, the library director will determine how funds will be allocated among the major collection subdivisions. Circulation statistics and counts of in-house use of materials will be maintained throughout the year to assist in decision making.

Materials will be selected based on positive reviews in professional journals or actual examination and evaluation of materials. Instead of reviews, popular demand (best sellers, school bibliographies, local interest) may be used as the criterion for selection of materials.

Items that must be updated every year may be placed on a standing-order list to ensure timely delivery. Multiple copies of popular books (e.g., best sellers, résumé guides, tax preparation) may be purchased to meet demand.

Materials in Languages Other Than English

The library strives to have a collection that reflects the diversity of the population it serves. To that end, part of the collection development budget may be allocated to purchase materials in another language.

Materials considered for purchase will be evaluated as much as possible under the same guidelines and policies used for English-language materials. When necessary, staff will seek assistance from appropriate community members in the selection of materials. Patron recommendations are always welcome and appreciated.

Gifts and Donations

The library welcomes gifts of new and used books, audiobooks, DVDs, and similar materials. Space and staff limitations make it necessary to evaluate all such donations carefully.

With the exception of certain types of materials in the genealogy, local history and archives areas, the library does not rely on donated materials as the primary means of developing its collection.

Donations to the library are not tax-deductible since the library is a branch of county government, and IRS regulations prohibit the library from assigning a value to donations.

Donated materials that cannot be added to the library’s collection will be offered to the Friends of the Jeff Davis County Library, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, to sell, donate, recycle, or dispose of at their discretion.

Other Donations

Monetary gifts, bequests, memorial contributions, or gifts in honor of a person or an entity are welcome, though these donations are not tax-deductible.

The library director will use these funds to further the library’s mission, unless the donor asks that the funds be used for a specific purpose.

Some donations may require approval by the commissioners court.

Any gift with a restriction or condition found to run counter to the library's mission may be refused.

Withdrawal of materials

Materials that no longer meet the needs of the community and that no longer support the library's collection will be withdrawn and disposed of in accordance with the policies outlined in "The CREW Method of Withdrawing Materials,” developed by the Texas Library Association.

These may include materials that are damaged, are obsolete, or are no longer used.

When necessary, local specialists will be consulted to determine the continued relevance and reliability of materials.

Request for Reconsideration of Materials

The library director welcomes comments and suggestions regarding the continued appropriateness of materials in the collection, especially outdated materials. The director will consider and use suggestions in the ongoing process of collection development.

Individuals may take issue with library materials that do not support their tastes and views. The director will be available to discuss concerns and to identify alternate materials that may be available.

If a patron's concern is not satisfied by discussion with the director, a formal written request for reconsideration of materials may be submitted to the director. Anonymous requests will not be considered.

The library is not a judicial body. Laws governing obscenity, subversive materials, and other questionable matters are subject to interpretation by the courts. Therefore, no challenged material will be removed solely because of a complaint of obscenity or any other category covered by law until after a local court of competent jurisdiction has ruled against the material.

No materials will be knowingly added to the library collection that have been previously determined to be in noncompliance with local laws.

An item will be evaluated for reconsideration only once in a 12-month period.



Library Programs

The library offers programs for residents of Jeff Davis County. Programs may be developed and presented by library staff or may be cosponsored by the library and other community organizations or persons.

Programs for children and adults may be scheduled throughout the year as interest and finances warrant.

Speakers from community groups and businesses may present programs on topics of general interest or of a timely nature. Presenters may not directly solicit business before, during, or following a program, although cards and brochures may be left on a display table for attendees to pick up. No fees may be charged to attend any library-sponsored or cosponsored program.

Library programs will generally be open to anyone wishing to attend based on space or occupancy constraints.

The library’s facilities may be made available to not-for-profit community groups, as determined by the library director, for programs that conform with the library's programming philosophy and with approval from the county commissioners for the use of county property.

Reference, Information, and Fee Services

Reference and Information Services Photocopying

The library will follow the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics (see appendix).

Library staff will answer all reference and information questions efficiently, accurately, courteously, and in a timely manner. If it is not possible to find an answer using library resources, other libraries, agencies, and community resources will be utilized and patrons will be directed to those sources.

Services available include information services; instructions on the use of the library and library materials; bibliographic verification of items requested; reader’s advisory from professional sources; referral to community services; and assistance in locating materials.

Confidentiality is a priority. Library policy requires that any information about a patron’s use of library materials or services not be shared. A breach of confidentiality may cause the library to lose the faith of its users, or even become involved in a serious legal entanglement.

Any proven breach of confidentiality will result in severe reprimand up to and including immediate termination of employment (see "Confidentiality of Patron Records" section, and “Texas Library Association Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records” appendix).

The library staff will not offer advice, advise a patron, or interpret information. Staff members will present only factual information and limit suggestions to the search strategy and not the subject or content of the request.

The library staff member is an information provider, not a physician, health-care professional, attorney, or counselor.

Patron questions will be answered in the order received, with priority given to questions asked by patrons in the library. If a phone call interrupts the serving of a patron in the library, the patron on the phone will be asked politely if he or she would like to wait or be called back.

If the patron does not care to wait, or if library staff thinks it will take longer than a few minutes to serve the in-library patron, the staff member will ask for the patron’s name and phone number so she or he may be called back. When the answer to a question requires material to be read over the phone, it will be read verbatim. The source of the material will always be cited. If the material is extensive, the patron should be offered the option of viewing the printed material by visiting the library. If a patron cannot visit the library, materials may be mailed to the patron on approval of the director.

E-mail Inquiries: E-mail inquiries are welcome and will be handled in the order they are received. Inquiries received during the library's operating hours will be answered within one working day. A patron who contacts the library via e-mail will be given the same courtesy, timely service, and accurate information as one who makes a telephone inquiry or visits the library in person.

Use of Library Facilities

Americans with Disabilities Act

The library adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, which assures equal access to employment opportunities and access to all library facilities, activities, and programs.

Every attempt will be made to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities, and the library welcomes input from persons with disabilities about ways the library can more completely serve them.

Questions about ADA compliance and complaints or suggestions about accessibility of library facilities, activities, and programs should be addressed to the director.

Distribution of Free Materials

Items that publicize community organizations and local events may further the role of the library as the central source for civic, cultural, educational, and recreational information.

Display space is available in the library for community organizations to disseminate such information.

Materials that promote programs or projects of a personal, religious, or commercial nature may not be distributed or displayed in the library.

Items that may be distributed or displayed include flyers, brochures, leaflets, newspapers, and pamphlets that provide information about not-for-profit civic, educational, cultural, or recreational organizations and events. Items may be displayed or distributed for as long as they are valid.

If space becomes limited, preference will be given to items with a deadline and to organizations or groups that have not recently distributed items. Distribution or posting of items does not indicate endorsement of the issues, events, or services promoted by those materials.

All items for posting or distribution must be presented to the library director for approval. The library staff will date and display items. Library staff members will remove and discard items that have expired.

Items left or posted without approval will be removed and discarded.

Religious Programming and Decorations Policy

As part of the library's role as a community activities center, the library may sponsor or present programs on a variety of topics, including holiday celebrations from various religions and cultures. Whenever possible, publicity will include details about the program so that parents may make decisions about their and their children's attendance.

The library does not determine the content of programs not presented by library staff and volunteers, and information presented or opinions expressed by outside speakers do not necessarily represent the views of the library. Library decorations will not endorse any particular religion.

Patron Conduct

Everyone has a right to quality library services in an atmosphere that is safe and free of disturbances from others.

Failure to comply with these standards may result in loss of library privileges.

Help us create an environment that allows everyone to enjoy visiting the library.

  1. Keep noise levels down to avoid disturbing others by lowering voices; using headphones on low volume; silencing ringing or other sounds created by cell phones or other devices; refraining from talking on cell phones in the library; and quietly talking on cell phones on the terrace and other areas where others will not be disturbed.

  2. Behave in a manner that does not interfere with another person’s ability to use and enjoy the library or prohibit staff from providing services.

  3. Unacceptable behaviors include, but are not limited to monopolizing library equipment, resources, or staff time; selling, panhandling, or soliciting in the building, on the grounds, or in the parking lot.

  4. Parents or caregivers are responsible for their children’s behavior. Parents or guardians will be notified if a child or teen under the age of 18 continues to disregard the Library’s Standards of Behavior.

  5. The sheriff will be called if a child under the age of 16 is left at the library after closing.

Help us keep the library a safe place

  1. Follow staff instructions.

  2. Stay in public areas of the library unless accompanied by a staff person.

  3. Vacate the library at closing time and during emergencies.

  4. Follow all laws, including but not limited to, the prohibition of theft, defacement or destruction of library property; possession or display of weapons without a concealed handgun permit; illegal or controlled substances, or alcohol; sexual activity in public places; harassment, or behaving in a threatening or abusive manner (including but not limited to battery, verbal threats, stalking, offensive staring or offensive touching; being under the influence of drugs and alcohol; the display or dissemination of child pornography, or material that is harmful to minors.

  5. Follow all library policies.

  6. Ensure that a caregiver 16 years or older closely supervises all children.

  7. Make certain that children do not engage in unsafe activities, including, but not limited to swinging, climbing, or standing on furniture or equipment, or roaming unattended.

  8. No smoking of any kind inside the library or within 20 feet of main entrances, and exits.

  9. Wheeled devices should not be used in the Library. EXCEPTIONS: Disabled patrons may use assistive devices, and caregivers may use strollers for children in the library. Wheeled devices (such as scooters, skateboards, business cases, etc.) may be brought into the library if they do not block aisles and are not left unattended.

  10. Secure all bicycles outside, away from doors and book drops.

  11. For personal safety, library patrons must be fully clothed, including shirt and shoes, at all times.

  12. Use the library’s facilities, materials, and furnishings as intended.

  13. Animals are not allowed in the library or on library grounds, with the exception of service animals on duty or in training, and animals that are part of library-approved events.

  14. Use the library’s restrooms as intended; do not use them for bathing, shaving, washing hair or laundry.

  15. Food and uncovered drinks are not permitted in the library, and no drinks of any kind can be consumed at public computer stations. Any damage resulting from food or drink is the responsibility of the user.

  16. Use only the outdoor terrace area to eat.

  17. Food and nonalcoholic drink are allowed at special events when approved by the library director. All drinks must be secured with a lid.

  18. Keep personal items with you at all times. Library staff may remove unattended items.

  19. Do not block aisles, walkways, entrances, or access to library equipment or collections.

  20. Please report inappropriate or questionable behavior to library staff immediately.

  21. The library director and his/her designated staff are responsible for interpreting these rules in accordance with applicable law and for ensuring appropriate behavior in the library. Violation of the foregoing may result in the patron’s library privileges being limited or revoked, removal of the patron from the building, or criminal prosecution if the conduct constitutes a violation of federal, state or county law.

  22. Library privileges may be revoked for a period of up to one year as a result of policy violations. This action may be taken by the library director or designee. A library patron whose library privilege has been revoked may appeal this action. A patron whose library privilege has been revoked must schedule a meeting with the library director or designee prior to resumption of any library privilege. The purpose of the meeting will be to review the Standards of Behavior policy.

Children

The library is dedicated to providing a warm, welcoming and safe environment for people of all ages.

The library welcomes children of all ages to use and enjoy the facilities, collections, and programs.

Children and young people are expected to adhere to the same standards of patron conduct expected of adults.

Children age 13 or older who are disruptive will be asked to leave the library. If the child cannot safely leave the library to return home on his or her own, staff members will permit the child to call a parent or guardian. If a parent or other responsible adult cannot be located, library staff, depending on the severity of the situation, will either allow the child to remain at the library under close supervision until a parent or guardian can be contacted or will contact the Jeff Davis County Sheriff’s Office.

It is for the safety of each child that the library has adopted a Safe Child Policy. The safety of children left alone at the library is a serious concern of library staff.

The library staff has many duties to perform in order to serve all the residents of Jeff Davis County. The library staff cannot monitor the safety and behavior of children using the library.

The library staff cannot supervise children at the library or prevent children from interacting with or leaving the library with persons who are not the parents, guardians, or appropriate caregivers.

Furthermore, the library cannot prevent unattended children from coming and going from the library. The responsibility, supervision and safety of children in the Library rests with the parent, guardian or caregiver and not with the library staff.

Children under the age of 13 must be supervised at all times by a parent, guardian or responsible caregiver 16 years of age or older.

The library staff will contact the parent, guardian or caregiver (when possible) of any applicable unattended child to remove the child from the library.

If a child under the age of 13 is attending a library program a parent, guardian or caregiver must be in the building and aware of the location and behavior of the child at all times.

Upon close of the library, two members of the library staff will wait 15 minutes with any unattended patron under the age of 13 for the parent, guardian or caregiver to arrive.

After 15 minutes, the library staff will contact the Jeff Davis County Sheriff’s Office.

Parents, guardians or caregivers are responsible for being aware of the hours of operation of the library. Parents, guardians or caregivers must also keep in mind that the library may close unexpectedly for reasons beyond the control of the library staff and therefore parents, guardians or the caregivers should ensure that children should know what to do should this occur.

The library staff cannot transport any children or care for children after the library has closed for any reason.

Theft of materials

To protect the investment in library materials made by taxpayers, as patrons leave the library, staff members may conduct random visual 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 members believe that theft was intended, the Jeff Davis County Sheriff’s Office will be notified immediately. Vandalism of library materials will also be reported to the police.

Some personal items may be stored at the circulation desk. Library staff will exercise caution with such items, but cannot assume responsibility for loss or theft.

Appendix

PUBLIC LIBRARIES AND LIBRARIANS

I. LOCAL LEVEL

Public libraries (including those governed by cities, counties, and library districts as well as those created as non-profits) are funded primarily at the local level. The majority of policies, with the exception of those stipulated for the receipt of federal or state funding, are determined at the local level.

II. STATE LEVEL

Texas Public Library Standards

The Texas Public Library Standards were created by a special task force of TLA and were accepted by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. These voluntary standards set a statewide benchmark for services and resources.

System Membership and System Program

 Administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, the Texas Library System is comprised of regional library systems across the state funded by contract with the Texas State Library. Nearly every public library in the state is a member of the system. Member libraries receive benefits from the system including consulting, continuing education services, and support. (Voluntary) This program was closed out as a result of zero budgeting by the State Legislature in 2011.

Authorizing legislation/regulation: Government Code, Title 4 Branch, Subtitle D History, Culture, and Education, Chapter 441, Libraries and Archives, Subchapter, I, Library Systems and TAC Code, Title 13, Part I, Chapter 1, Subchapter C, 1.71-1.86

Loan Star Libraries
Administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, this grant program provides direct grants-in-aid to public libraries that are members of the Texas Library System (see accreditation for System Membership above) for the following purpose. Funding levels for the program are contingent on the library meeting certain criteria.
This program was closed out as a result of zero budgeting by the State Legislature in 2011.

Authorizing legislation/regulations: Government Code §441.0091 and TAC, Title 13 Cultural Resources, Part 1 Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Chapter2, Subchapter C, Division 810 - 815

TexShare

Administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, TexShare is a broad library program that encourages the sharing of resources between Texas libraries. It includes several components: databases, TexTreasures grants, interlibrary loan service, the TexShare card, and the Library of Texas search interface. Participation in the program requires membership or an official affiliation with the program. Eligibility requirements. (Voluntary)

Authorizing legislation/regulations: Government Code Chapter 441, Subchapter M, Subsections 222 - 224 and TAC Title 13, Part I, Subsection 8.3

Public Library Endowment Fund

The State Legislature created a Public Library Endowment Fund in statute in 1997, although no funds were allocated to the fund. The fund does "statutorily" exist as a place for building a corpus of state appropriations and private donations with the interest from the endowment to be used for public library support. The endowment is created within the governing statute of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Authorizing legislation: Government Code, Chapter 441, Subchapter E, 071

Public Library District Legislation

This legislation allow for the creation of public library districts funding through sales and use tax.

Authorizing legislation: Local Government Code, Title 10, Parks and Other Recreational and Cultural Resources, Subtitle B, Chapter 326, Subchapter A

Multi-Jurisdictional Public Library District Legislation
 

This legislation allows for the creation of public library districts funding through ad valorem and/or sales and use taxes.

Authorizing legislation: Local Government Code, Title 10, Parks and Other Recreational and Cultural Resources, Subtitle B, Chapter 336, Subchapter A

Telecommunications Discounts

The Public Utilities Code specifies that certain institutions –institutions of higher education, public libraries, and school libraries – are to receive discounted rates for certain telecommunications services, including providing private network services at 105% or 110% of cost and the waiver of installation charges (e.g., frame relay service to link branches to central libraries or campuses in a school district). Eligible providers are not required to maintain these discounts past January 1, 2016.

Status: This program has now expired.

Authorizing legislation:Utilities Code, Subchapter G of Chapter 58Subchapter D of Chapter 59, and Subchapter A (Distance Learning and Other Advanced Services) of Chapter 57.

Texas Open Records Act

The Texas Open Records Act exempts the public disclosure of library records that identify a person's choice of reading materials.

Authorizing legislation: Government Code, 552.124

Voter Registration Requirements (Elections Code)

The state's election laws stipulate that public libraries are classified as voter registration agencies. As such, public libraries must offer patrons the opportunity to register to vote at the time of library card sign-up or renewal. The law specifies some library implementation policy for voter registration and requires public libraries that receive such voter registrations to submit them within five days to the county voter authority.

Authorizing legislation: Election Code, Title 2, Chapter 20, Voter Registration Agencies and Subchapter D: Public Library.

Open Carry (Penal Code, Government Code)

The state updated legislation allowing licensed individuals to  open or concealed carry of handguns on most state and public facilities. See the State Library's FAQ below for answers to library specific questions and citations to statute.

FAQ: Public Libraries and Open Carry. Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

New laws for Handgun Licensing Program (Formerly known as Concealed Handgun Licensing). Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS).

III. FEDERAL

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)

LSTA is the only federal program exclusively for libraries. It is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and is used to support statewide initiatives and also distribute the funds through subgrants or cooperative agreements to public, school, academic, research, and special libraries. There is a requirement for a state match, which helps stimulate approximately three to four dollars for every federal dollar invested. LSTA is now up for reauthorization. Texas receives upwards of $10 million every year for libraries from this program.

Authorizing legislation: Museum and Library Services Act, U.S. Code, Title 20, Chapter 72, Subchapter II

The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

CIPA was signed into law in December of 2000. This federal piece of legislation requires libraries receiving certain federal funds (LSTA and E-rate funding) to filter Internet access on federally-supported computer access. Libraries are constitutionally bound to unfilter access for adults (using those computers) upon request.

Authorizing legislation: Pub. L. No. 106-554 (2000) Codified at 20 U.S.C.Sections 6801, Section 6777, Section 9134(2003), 47 U.S.C. § 254 (2003)

Universal Service Fund and E-Rate

The term Universal Service stems from the Telecommunications Act of 1934, where it was borne out of a drive to make telephone service available to everyone. As of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Universal Service now applies to information services as well, including the Internet, and telecommunications companies are required to contribute to the Universal Service Fund, which is administrated by the Universal Service Administrative Company.

E-rate is an extension of Universal Service, as authorized by Congress in the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This federal initiative provides discounts to public libraries and to public and private K-12 schools on telecommunications services, Internet access, and some closely related costs, such as inside wiring. The discounts range from 20% to 90% with the deepest discounts going to those communities with the greatest need based upon the local eligibility levels for participation in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). For more information, go to: http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/telecom/erate/index.cfm. See also the Texas State Libraries and Archives Commission, http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ld/funding/usf.html.

Authorizing legislation: US Code

USA PATRIOT Act

The "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism" Act (USA PATRIOT Act) was signed into law on October 26, 2001. The legislation expands law enforcement's investigative and surveillance authority and contains a "library provision," which allows law enforcement to gather information about patrons' reading choices and Internet access.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) became effective in October 2000, and it has been incorporated into the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the U. S. Code). This landmark legislation updated U.S. copyright law to meet the demands of the Digital Age and to conform U.S. law to the requirements of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and treaties that the U.S. signed in 1996.

Authorizing legislation: U.S. Code, Title 17

U.S. Patriot Act Search Warrant Procedures (For Library Staff Members)

Step 1. Inform the law enforcement agent that we have a policy you need to consult.

Step 2. Identify the agent-in-charge.

Ask for identification and verify it:

Do not call a number given to you by an agent.

The local FBI office phone number is (432) 570-0255 or (915) 832-5000.

Verify with the field office that the agent is legitimate.

Get the agent’s business card for our records.

Step 3. Tell the agent-in-charge the library director's name.

Request that the agent direct all inquiries through the director.

Request a brief delay to assemble the appropriate personnel.

If possible, escort the law enforcement officers to a private area, preferably the director's office, while the team is assembled.

Step 4. Contact the library director. The library director will contact the count attorney.

Step 5. If you cannot contact the library director, immediately contact the county attorney. Step 6. If the agent-in-charge will not wait until the library team can be assembled:

Ask for a copy of the search warrant and try to verify the information the library is being asked to produce.

Call the library director and the county attorney at once.

If the library is asked to consent to search items beyond the scope of the warrant, decline.

If production of the requested items is outside your scope of expertise, inform the agent that you will need to consult the appropriate staff member.

Step 7. Remember that there is usually a gag order associated with a search warrant issued pursuant to the USA Patriot Act:

Do not discuss the warrant with staff members other than the library director and the library's attorney.

Do not discuss the warrant with anyone besides those designated herein.

Do not disclose to the patron that his or her records have been seized or searched by the FBI.

Texas Library Association Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records

The confidentiality of library patrons in Texas is protected by the Texas Open Records Act (Texas Penal Code §552.124).*

TEXAS LAW PROTECTS THE PRIVACY OF LIBRARY USERS

The records of library materials you borrow or use, the information you seek in the library, or the library services you use cannot be disclosed to anyone except

as reasonably necessary for the operation of the library;

persons authorized, in writing, by the individual named in the records; or

by order or subpoena of a district court, issued on a showing of good cause.

*As of September 1, 1993, the Texas Open Records Act protects the confidentiality of the records of any library system which is supported in whole or in part by public funds, that identify or serve to identify a person who requested, obtained, or used a library material or service.

EXAMPLES OF CONFIDENTIALITY VIOLATION

  1. First and last names of children at story times on posters, name tags, etc.

  2. Users requesting name of books checked out by other family members.

  3. Administrators requesting the reading records of students or users.

  4. Leaving the name of the last user on the book card in noncomputerized library systems.

  5. Public sign-up sheets for use of online or CD-ROM resources that require the patron’s full name or other identifying information

American Library Association Code of Ethics


As members of the American Library Association, we recognize the importance of codifying and making known to the profession and to the general public the ethical principles that guide the work of librarians, other professionals providing information services, library trustees and library staffs.

Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict. The American Library Association Code of Ethics states the values to which we are committed, and embodies the ethical responsibilities of the profession in this changing information environment.

We significantly influence or control the selection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information. In a political system grounded in an informed citizenry, we are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information. We have a special obligation to ensure the free flow of information and ideas to present and future generations.

The principles of this Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations.

  1. We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.

  2. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.

  3. We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.

  4. We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.

  5. We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.

  6. We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.

  7. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.

  8. We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.

Adopted at the 1939 Midwinter Meeting by the ALA Council; amended June 30, 1981; June 28, 1995; and January 22, 2008.

Adopted by the Jeff Davis County Commissioners Court, 11-14-2016