Policies

Patron Conduct and Facility Use Policy

The Jefferson County Library System facilities are available to all citizens and should be pleasant and safe places. In order to maintain this environment, library users are expected to be respectful of other users and staff and observe all library policies and procedures. Any use of the Jefferson County Library System libraries not in keeping with the nature of the library’s programs and services is inappropriate. Any behavior that is disruptive to library use or operation is prohibited.

Patrons are expected to be dressed appropriately and with shoes and shirts.

Because parents are responsible for the safety and behavior of their children in the library, they are strongly urged to accompany them. To ensure a reasonably quiet environment, crying babies and noisy, disruptive children should be taken from the library.

In consideration of others, cell phones should not ring in the library and cell phone conversations must take place outside the library.

Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to, loitering, suspicious actions, cursing, fighting or rough-housing, misuse of library materials and equipment, viewing inappropriate internet materials, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, smoking, eating, drinking, and excessive noise.

Library staff members who observe a patron engaging in an unacceptable behavior will politely explain the library’s rules and ask the patron to stop. If the patron continues the behavior, the patron will be asked to leave the library property for the remainder of the day.

The police department will be notified if a patron refuses to leave the library when asked to do so, or if a patron behaves in a manner that the library staff feels is dangerous, threatening, destructive, or illegal, including the viewing of illegal materials on the library computers.

Failure to comply with Jefferson County Library System policies and procedures may result in the loss of all library privleges.

Approved by Library Board of Trustees September 19, 1996
Revised by Library Board of Trustees July 26, 2001
Revised by Library Board of Trustees January 8, 2004
Revised by Library Board of Trustees September 27, 2010

 

Computer and Internet Use Policy

Jefferson County Library System supports patrons’ informational, educational, and recreational interests by providing materials in a wide range of formats including free basic access to information via the Internet. This policy governs the management and use of the Jefferson County Library System’s computers and Internet access.

Internet resources available through the library are provided with the understanding that it is the individual user’s responsibility to demonstrate judgment, respect for others, and appropriate conduct while using library resources and facilities.

All users are required to agree to the Computer and Internet Use Policy before accessing library computers or personal computers with library wireless connections. Parents or guardians must give signed permission for access to the Internet when a library card is issued to a child under 18. Parents are responsible for a minor’s adhering to and understanding this policy.

Each user must have a valid PINES library card with an account in good standing to use the computers in the Jefferson County Library System. A user who is blocked, barred, expired, or who has overdue books or unpaid fines and fees in the PINES system must clear his/her record before he/she will be able to use a library computer. A user may use only his/her own library card to access a computer; use of any other person’s card is not allowed.

Users 18 and older who will be in the area temporarily may use the library’s computers for up to one month using a driver’s license or other form of official identification. This identification must be presented each time the user wishes to use library computers. Users who will be in the area for more than one month will be required to register for a PINES library card.

Except for printing fees, use of the computers is provided free of charge. While the provision of computers in the library is a free service, computers may be used only for educational, informational, and recreational purposes. The use of this service for monetary gain or illegal activity is prohibited.

Due to potential security risks, users are not allowed to connect their personal electronic equipment to the library’s LAN or telephone lines. Personal electronic equipment includes but is not limited to: laptop computers, zip drives, other external drives, CD burners, PDAs, and printers. Users may access the Internet with their personal computers via the library’s wireless access points.

Confidentiality

Users have the right of confidentiality and the right of privacy. However, privacy and confidentiality are difficult to achieve when computers are located in a public area. The Internet is not regulated and there is no guarantee that sites accessed are private or secure. The library’s wireless network is not secure; information sent to and from a laptop computer or other wireless device may be captured by anyone else with a wireless device and the appropriate software. As a result of these factors, the library cannot guarantee privacy or confidentiality. Users are expected to exercise courtesy in respecting the privacy of other users and to exercise good judgment in sending information over the Internet.

Disclaimers:

The library wishes to make the Internet and all computer resources available to anyone who respects the rights and property of others, including the library, and who abides by these policies. While users are free to access whatever Internet sites they wish, the library must also be mindful and respectful of the rights of other users, particularly children, not to be inadvertently exposed to materials and images they or their parents may find personally unsuitable. The library is obligated to comply with federal and state laws regarding the use of computer resources in the prevention of exposure to certain explicit images and material. Therefore, staff members will request that a user remove such an image or text from an Internet workstation screen if, in the staff member’s judgment, the image or text is displayed in such a way that other patrons, particularly children, are exposed to or cannot reasonably avoid viewing it in the course of carrying out their business in the library.

Because not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information, users are advised to use information from the Internet at their own risk. The library does not warrant or guarantee the reliability or truthfulness of information obtained from the Internet.

Because the Internet is not regulated, there is no guarantee that sites accessed are private or secure. Users are advised to exercise extreme caution when revealing any personal information over the Internet. The library does not warrant or guarantee privacy or confidentiality of information conveyed to or from the Internet.

The Jefferson County Library System assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from use of its Internet services or equipment. The library is not liable for any loss that may occur from disclosure of personal and financial information. The library is not responsible for viruses or other malware present on the hard drives of its computers, nor is it responsible for any damage, direct or indirect, caused by such viruses or malware.

Users are expected to have a basic working knowledge of the computers and software. While staff members are available for general assistance in using the computers, they may not be able to help users with a specific problem in a specific program.

The library makes no guarantee that a patron’s personal computer will be able to connect to the library’s wireless service. Staff members cannot provide technical support for a user’s personal equipment.

Legal Constraints:

While using the Internet at the library, users may not display or print images unsuitable for a general audience. This includes, but is not limited to, material that is obscene as defined under Georgia law (O. C. G. A. §16-12-80), child pornography as defined under Federal or Georgia law (18 U.S.C. 2256; O. C. G. A. §16-12-100), and material that is “harmful to minors” as defined under Federal or Georgia law (47 U. S. C. A 254(h)(7)(G); O.C.G.A. §16-12-102). In compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (Public Law No. 106-554 and 47 U. S. C. 254 (h)), the library employs filtering software on all computers to block or filter access to inappropriate information. This technology may be disabled upon request for users 18 and older only for bona fide research or other lawful purposes. Wireless access, using either library equipment or user-owned devices, will remain filtered at all times.

All of the libraries in the Jefferson County Library System are under the jurisdiction of the Georgia Computer Systems Protection Act (O.C.G.A. §16-9-93), which establishes certain acts involving computer fraud or abuse as crimes punishable by fines, imprisonment, or both.

Users must respect the legal protections to data and software afforded by copyright and license law, as contained in 17 U. S. C. §101 and following.

Internet Use by Children:

The Internet is an unregulated and rapidly changing medium; it is possible to intentionally or inadvertently find material that is offensive or disturbing to some users. In accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), all library computers are equipped with software that is designed to block access to sites that contain visual depictions and/or information which may reasonably be construed as being obscene, child pornography or materials “harmful to minors” as currently defined by law. Despite these provisions, users may still encounter sites they find personally offensive. For this reason, users must assume responsibility for their own and their child’s use of the Internet.

Parents or guardians, not the library or its staff, are responsible for the Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. While the library makes every effort to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the library does not warrant the effectiveness of the filtering software used. Parents are strongly encouraged to supervise their children’s Internet sessions.

A mature assistant should remain with any child who cannot yet read or who may need assistance with technical matters.

Rules for Acceptable Use:

Library computers are set up for individual use. With the exception of a minor who is accompanied by a parent or guardian during an Internet session, only one user per computer is permitted.

Users may not load software, change settings, or delete any items from the computers.

Users may not use personal software on library computers. Staff may grant an exception to this rule for students who can show that they are required to use particular academic software for school assignments.

Users must not make any attempt to gain unauthorized access to restricted computer files or networks, nor to damage or modify computer equipment or software.

Users must not save materials to the hard drive of the computers. Users who wish to save their work must do so with a personal storage device. CD and DVD burning is not available.

Users must pay for all pages they have printed, even if the pages are not wanted. Users are expected to request assistance if they are unsure of how to print.

Users who destroy or damage any library equipment or who change security settings may lose library privileges depending upon the severity of the violation. Illegal acts involving library equipment may also be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.

Users who display inappropriate material will be given a warning by library staff, who are authorized to terminate any user’s access session. Subsequent offenses will result in a loss of Internet access privileges for a specified period, up to one year. Any offense following a one year suspension will result in permanent loss of computer access.

Users whose access session has been terminated or whose Internet access has been prohibited shall have the right to appeal and/or request that Internet access privileges be reinstated. An appeal must be in writing and submitted to the library director within five days of the termination or prohibition. Within ten days of receipt of the appeal, the library director shall review the matter and notify the patron in writing of his/her decision. If the library director’s decision is adverse to the patron, the patron may appeal in writing within five days to the library’s Board of Trustees, which shall thereafter consider the matter and issue its decision in writing within 30 days of receipt. No further appeals shall be considered. Denial of Internet privileges at any Jefferson County Library System facility will be effective at all Jefferson County Library System facilities.

Definitions

“Minor” is a person under 18 years of age. O. C. G. A. §16-12-102(3).

“Harmful to minors” is defined as per current Georgia law, O. C. G. A. §16-12-102.

“Inappropriate matter” for minors is material that is obscene as defined under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. §16-12-80), child pornography as defined under federal and/or state law (18 U. S. C. §2256; O. C. G. A. §16-12-100), and material that is “harmful to minors” as defined in Georgia law (O. C. G. A. §16-12-102).

O. C. G. A. = Official Code of Georgia Annotated

Approved by Library Board of Trustees January 25, 2010

 

Unattended Children Policy

Children between the age of 9 and 12 can be dropped off at the library by their parents and may stay at the library for no longer than two hours. At that point the parent has to come pick the child up.

Children 8 and younger can’t be in the library for any reason without their parents.

Children thirteen and older can be in the library on their own as long as they conduct themselves in a quiet manner.

If children under the age of 8 come to the library unattended, we will notify DFCS and the police.
Approved by board 9121/2015

 

Meeting Room Policy

General

The meeting rooms of the Jefferson County Libraries are available for library sponsored programs and for use by governments and agencies that provide financial support for the Library. Priority for use will be given to these entities. As a service to the community, meeting rooms may be used by non-profit or not-for-profit organizations for activities of a civic, cultural, or educational nature. Use of the meeting rooms by a group does not constitute Library endorsement of the group’s policies or beliefs. The Library reserves the right to preempt a reservation, with notification, if the room is needed for a library /library sponsored event.

Guidelines for Reservations

Reservations for the meeting room must be made with the person in charge of the Library. An “Application for Meeting Room Use” must be completed in full and signed by an adult, age 21 and older, who is responsible for the meeting. When a room is to be used by organizations with attendance by minors no one will be admitted until the adult in charge has arrived. The adult(s) must be in attendance at all times.

Signing the application indicates responsibility for conforming to the conditions on the form and to accepting financial responsibility for any damages to Library property.

1. All activities must be free of charge and open to the public. No one may be excluded.

2. Meeting rooms may not be used by individuals or groups for social events and private parties.

3. Regular meetings or bookings will not be allowed.

4. Admission fees cannot be charged nor can commercial sales or auctions be held with the exception of:

a. Library sponsored fund raising events, book sales, or other events in which proceeds directly benefit the Library.

b. Dues collected within a non-profit group.

c. Fees for speakers or materials used in a program. Failure to pay such costs or dues should not keep anyone from attending to listen and observe.

5. Use of the meeting room must not interfere or conflict with Library services or operation.

6. All Library rules of conduct will apply to meetings held in Library buildings.

7. The serving of food and drinks in the Library meeting rooms is limited to light refreshments which require no preparation in the Libraries.

8. Smoking and other tobacco use, alcoholic beverages, and illegal drugs are strictly prohibited in the Library buildings and on Library property.

9. Reservation applications must be made prior to an event, but not more than 90 days in advance.

10. The Library System and its telephone number cannot be used as the contact point for any organization.

11. All publicity for programs should use the correct name of the Library and must clearly indicate that the Library is not sponsoring the event.

12. Meetings must begin and end within Library hours unless the person responsible for the meeting makes special arrangements to get a key to the meeting room, secures the building as per posted procedures, and returns the key as instructed. Groups are asked to inform the person in charge of the Library of the number of persons who attended each meeting.

13. Library staff will not set up the meeting room or assist in handling exhibits or other materials needed by groups using the meeting rooms.

14. Any group using Library facilities will be expected to leave the room in a clean and orderly condition. A checklist will be provided.

15. Users shall pay the cost for repair of any damages to Library property. The Library will not be responsible for materials or equipment left in the building by users.

Failure to abide by the Jefferson County Library System Meeting Room Policy may result in denying the use of the space to that individual or group.

Approved by the Jefferson County Library System Board of Trustees January 24, 2011

 

Material Circulation Period

Most library materials are checked out for 14 days. This includes the majority of books, magazines, music CDs, and audiobooks. New books and videos have a 7 day check-out period. All print materials may be returned to any PINES library.

Renewal requests may be made in person or by phone. To renew items, the patron must either present a valid PINES card at the desk or read the PINES patron barcode number to a staff member over the phone. Certain categories of materials are not eligible for renewal. Items for which “holds” have been placed are also not eligible for renewal.

Overdue notices are sent from the PINES administrative offices in Atlanta at 7 and 14 days past the due date. The final notice, which assesses the replacement cost of overdue materials, is sent at 30 days past the due date. Any patron who feels they have received an overdue notice in error should contact their local library.

 

Fines and Fees

Overdues will be assessed on most library materials at $.20 per day to a maximum of $5.00 per item. Certain other items, such as high-demand or overnight materials, will be assessed at $.50 per day to a maximum of $5.00 per item.

Patrons may pay all or a portion of their overdue fines.

Patrons will be responsible for paying the replacement cost of a lost or damaged item. A processing fee of up to $10.00 may be charged by other PINES libraries for the replacement of their items.

PINES fines/fees may be paid at any participating library.

 

Gift & Donation Policy

The Jefferson County Library System welcomes gifts of library materials with the understanding that they become the property of the library system and will be evaluated against the same criteria as materials purchased by the Library System. The Library Director has the authority to use donated materials in the manner deemed most appropriate and beneficial to the Library System. Disposal of materials may include their discard, sale, or transfer to other libraries or non-profit organizations.

Funds for the purchase of new books or materials may be donated to the Library. Such funds may be designated as memorial or honor gifts. Uopn receipt of a donation, a letter acknowledging the gift will be sent to the donor and, if appropriate, to the honoree or the family of the person in whose memory the title was donated. A bookplate will be placed in each new title purchased with donated funds. The Library System encourages donors to place as few restrictions as possible on the funds in order to permit the most beneficial use of the donation for the enrichment of the entire collection. Professional librarians will choose items to purchase with donated funds, keeping in mind the wishes of the donor as well as the appropriateness of the material to the library collection.

Though permanently housed in the library to which the materials were originally donated, all non-reference or non-genealogy library materials may be circulated to all three libraries in the Jefferson County Library System or to other libraries in the PINES or inter library loand network. Only materials designated by the professional librarians as Reference or Genealogy are restricted from circulating.

Donations of equipment or other items will be accepted by the Library Director with the approval of the Board of Trustees. Equipment requiring ongoing costs such as set-up, maintenance, supplies and/or repairs will be accepted only with the understanding that all such costs associated with the donation of this equipment will not be the responsibility of the library system.

The library staff may not appraise gifts or attach a value to any donation for tax deduction purposes. However, upon request, a receipt indicating the quantity of books donated will be supplied to the donor.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees November 29, 2010.