STRONG PUBLIC LIBRARY
POLICIES AND FORMS
The Strong Public Library adopts these policies August, 2010.
approved by the Town of Strong August,
all policies and forms are available at the library.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Facility & Patron Information
Circulation & Borrowing Privileges
Public Access to Electronic Information Networks
Purpose of the Collection
Donations, Gifts, and Memorials
Request for Reconsideration of Materials
Appendix A: Library Bill of Rights
Appendix B: Freedom To Read Statement
Appendix C: Freedom To View Statement
Electronic Information Networks Registration & User Agreement
Book Donation Form
Gift Agreement Form
About Library Material: Form
STRONG PUBLIC LIBRARY
1. To assemble, preserve and administer, in organized collections, books and related educational and recreational material in order to promote, through guidance and stimulation, the communication of ideas to enlighten citizenship and enrich personal lives.
2. To serve the community as a center of reliable information.
3. To provide a place where inquiring minds may encounter the original, sometimes unorthodox, and critical ideas so necessary as correctives and stimulants in a society that depends for its survival on free competition in ideas.
4. To support educational, civic, and cultural activities of groups and organizations.
5. To provide opportunity and encouragement for children, young people, men and women to educate themselves continuously.
6. To seek continually to identify community needs, to provide programs of service to meet such needs, and to cooperate with other organizations, agencies, and institutions which can provide programs or service to meet community needs.
7. To provide opportunity for recreation through the use of literature, films, videos, and other art forms.
The Strong Public Library follows the personnel policies of the Town of Strong, ME
The head librarian will be selected by the Board of Selectmen with due regard for established professional qualifications for library background and general education
The librarian will be responsible for the administration of the library staff and programs under the policies established by the Library Trustees.
The first duty of the library staff is to serve the public. Every patron is entitled to prompt, efficient, friendly, courteous service.
Staff members are encouraged to read widely in both current affairs and literature. Outside interests and contacts of staff members are a valuable of communication between the community and the library and will be encouraged.
All professional staff members should keep in touch with current trends in the profession through professional reading, association membership and attendance at conferences, institutes, workshops, etc.
The library recognizes and appreciates the hard work and unique talents the volunteers of the community offer throughout the year. All work performed by volunteers is done without compensation and at the risk of the volunteer. The library does not carry insurance which protects the volunteer in the case of accidental injury.
FacilitY & PATRON INFORMATION
Hours of operation
The Strong Public Library maintains consistent, posted hours of service during which all services of the Strong Library are available to patrons. Those hours are:
Tuesday 1:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday 1:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
The book drop is available for the return of all material during the hours the library is closed. The book drop is located at the entrance to the Town Office.
To meet the objectives of the library as a community resource center, the library offers display space to organizations engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual or charitable activities as space permits.
The following general guidelines apply:
Approval for posting of materials must be obtained from the library director.
First preference is given to the promotion and display of library events.
Posters and / or other printed materials promoting programs/ projects of a commercial or political nature will not be displayed or distributed.
Notices / posters with printed charges are accepted if sponsored by organizations which can prove a non-profit, tax-exempt status.
Items left without approval will be discarded without notification after 5 days.
Posting of notices does not imply endorsement by the Strong Public Library.
The Strong Library reserves the right to make the final decision as to whether or not a given piece is to be displayed.
Occasionally, exhibits from sources within the community may be allowed in the library. All exhibits considered for space within the library must support the mission of the library and not cause disruption of the regular flow of library work and service. Such exhibits will remain in place for not longer than four weeks, with set up and removal being the responsibility of the exhibitor. The library assumes no liability for damage or loss relating to any exhibit set-ups for public viewing in the library and will take no extraordinary measures to insure its safety.
Service to patrons with disabilities
The Strong Library offers the same services to patrons with disabilities as to all other segments of the population
In the event of a fire, library staff will call 911, report the fire, and assist in evacuating the building.
In the event of an ill/injured patron, library staff will respond positively with any reasonable help. If the ill/injured person is unable to make calls, the library staff will assist in notifying a relative or call an ambulance if necessary.
All library patrons are expected to conform to the rules listed below. Persons violating these rules may be instructed by a person in authority to leave the building. Failure to leave as instructed constitutes trespassing.
Patrons may NOT
1. Bring any weapon or object, device or instrument having the appearance of a weapon into the library.
2. Harass patrons or staff.
3. Use obscene, threatening, or abusive language.
4. Tamper with, alter, edit, or damage library computers, software, or equipment
5. Violate posted computer rules.
6. Talk loud enough to disrupt the quiet use of the library by others.
7. Damage, deface , steal, or misuse library property.
8. Leave children under 10 years of age or dependent person unattended.
9. Act in any disorderly manner.
11. Rearrange furniture.
12. Loiter, solicit, or sleep.
13. Go barefoot or shirtless.
14. Enter unauthorized work spaces.
15. Engage in conduct which
A. Is illegal
B. Is inconsistent with the purpose of the library
C. Disrupts the orderly operation of the library
D. Interferes with the use of the library by others
Anyone known to have violated any of the above rules or anyone known to have habitually violated the law may be excluded from the library as a matter of administrative policy. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office/Police Department will be contacted in severe instances.
Unattended and Disruptive Children
Parents are responsible for the behavior of their children while they are in the Library. The Strong Public Library staff is committed to help children with activities related to the Library. However, Library staff cannot, nor is it their responsibility to serve as baby-sitters, teachers, or disciplinarians. Violations of this policy are grounds for suspension of library privileges. Whenever advisable, the Library will notify the parent of incidents involving an unattended or disruptive child. [Form follows.]
Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied and directly supervised at all times by a parent or other responsible caregiver. When the safety of an unattended child is in doubt, or the parent or responsible caregiver cannot be located, or if the Library is closing, library staff is authorized to call the police and stay with the child until the police arrive. Attempts will be made to reach parents, but in no instance will staff take young people home
From time to time, the library schedules or provides programs that are designed and suitable for attendance by children without parental supervision. Such program announcements will so indicate, and if no indication is included, then supervision is required. When so indicated, if the parent or caregiver intends to be absent, they must leave word at the circulation desk as to their whereabouts and, if possible, a phone number where they or a responsible adult can be contacted.
Children over the age of 10 may use the Library unattended by an adult, subject to other Library rules and policies concerning behavior, conduct, and demeanor.
Disruptive behavior is any behavior on library premises that infringes on the rights of others using the library as referenced in the Patron Code of Conduct. In order to assure an environment conducive to reading and viewing and to promote an atmosphere in which lifelong learning and personal development can occur, disruptive children will not be allowed to interfere with library service to others. Library staff will approach disruptive children in the following manner:
Give a verbal warning to the child indicating that such behavior is disruptive to other library users and is unacceptable.
If the disruptive behavior continues, approach the parent or guardian with the same warning. If the child is unattended, give the child a second warning and send a letter home notifying the parent/guardian of the incident.
If the disruptive behavior still continues, request the parent or guardian to escort the child from the library premises. If the child is unattended, staff should use discretion in asking the child to leave taking into consideration the child's safety.
If the child's disruptive behavior continues and he or she refuses to leave the library premises, library staff will call the police dispatcher.
Library staff will document any incidents involving unattended or disruptive children and inform their supervisor. In all instances, the staff member in charge must be informed before appropriate action is taken.
and Borrowing Privileges
Circulation and Borrowing Privileges
The Strong Public Library is a tax-supported public library. This means that people residing within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Strong Library pay taxes to support the library. Those people who live within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Strong Library need pay no additional fee to be eligible to receive their first library card. Library cards are renewed every 2 years without additional fees, provided the library card holder continues to reside within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Strong Library and is a patron in good standing.
Individuals residing beyond the jurisdictional boundaries of the Strong Library and not within the boundaries of another public library, and owning no property within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Strong Library, may purchase a non-resident card for a fee of $15.00. This fee entitles the entire family to use the Strong Library.
Adults wishing to register for a borrower’s card, renew an expired borrower’s card, or replace a lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed borrower’s card at the Strong Library may be asked to present some form of identification, at least one of which bears their name and address. These forms of identification include, but are not limited to, driver’s license, utility bills, mail, or voter’s registration card.
Children under the age of 18 must have a parent’s signature on any initial application for a library card. The application must be completed with both the child and adult present in the library. Children under the age of 16 may use the proof of residency provided by their parent. Children 16 and over may choose to provide their own proof of residency, or use that of their parent.
ELigibility to borrow
Individuals presenting valid borrower’s cards issued by the Strong Library are eligible to borrow materials when the following conditions are met:
1. No materials which are more than one circulation period are overdue on their card.
2. No outstanding fines in aggregate excess of $5.00 have accrued to their card.
3. No materials borrowed for them from another library are overdue in any amount.
The library staff may not waive these regulations without the specific permission of the library director. However, the patron may request and receive a 24-hour hold on the item(s) he or she wishes to check out to allow the patron to correct the situation which has resulted in loss of eligibility to borrow.
Fees and Fines
The Strong Library has established, in addition to the schedule for lost or damaged items, the following schedule of fines for overdue materials as well as fees for other services provided by the library.
Overdue materials fines
Books, audiobooks, videos/DVDs .05 per day for each day the library is open, not to exceed the cost of the item.
Copies: .20 per page. If enlargement or reduction is required by the patron, the per page fee applies to each step in that process. Enlargement and reduction is not an exact science and may take several pages. Computer printouts: .20 per page. This fee applies to all material printed by library printers including, but not limited to, Internet downloads, CD-ROM product information, personal work, and graphics.
Length of Loans
The Strong Public Library circulates materials in a variety of formats including books, magazines, books on cassette, and CD-ROM. Borrowers may have materials for three weeks after which time these materials must be renewed either in person or by telephone.
Lost and/or damaged materials
Materials borrowed via any mechanism are the responsibility of the library patron. Replacement cost (not original purchase price) is the responsibility of any patron who borrows and loses any library material. In the case of children under the age of 18, it is the parents’ responsibility to pay for lost or damaged items in accordance with the following schedule of terms:
1. Retail replacement cost of any item which is lost or damaged beyond repair and for which a current price can be found.
2. Average replacement cost for any item which is lost or damaged beyond repair and for which a current price cannot be found
3. Materials borrowed through interlibrary loan which are lost or damaged are charged to the patron according to the bill provided by the lending agency.
When patrons want material that is not available within the Strong Public Library, we ask other agencies to provide it. This is the process of interlibrary loan. Materials borrowed through interlibrary loan have the same loan period (3 weeks) as the Strong Library. We are happy to borrow materials from other libraries for you, but we ask that you respect the date by which those materials must be returned to their home libraries. When the Strong Library is lax in returning materials borrowed through interlibrary loan, the library can lose the privilege of borrowing materials in that way for any of its patrons. It is crucial that materials borrowed through interlibrary loan be returned in a timely manner. Habitual failure to do so may result in individual loss of the privilege in order to preserve the privilege for other library patrons.
Patrons may reserve materials which are not immediately available for patron use, but are in the collection of the Strong Library. When the reserved materials are available to the patron who has placed the reserve, the library will notify the patron via phone. The specific title of the material will not be stated to anyone other than the library patron who placed the reserve. If the patron is not available by phone, a message will be left. The date of the message will be noted and the material will be held for the patron for a period of one week. If additional patrons are waiting for the material, the next patron on the list will be called and notified of the availability of the item, and the same procedure will be followed. If no additional patrons are waiting for the material, the material will be placed back into general circulation. In no circumstance will the library leave more than one message regarding a hold on a specific item. Relay of the message to the appropriate person in the household, and prompt retrieval of the material, are the responsibilities of the patron.
Confidentiality of Records
The Strong Public Library abides by Maine Statute Title 27, Chapter 4A section 121 Confidentiality of Library Records which states that the records of patron transactions and the identity of registered library patrons is confidential material. The Strong Library does not make available the records of patron transactions to any party except in compliance with the law. The Strong Library does not make available lists of registered library patrons except in compliance with the law.
The Strong Public Library serves a diverse public with unique individual needs and levels of ability to conduct research independently. At times of peak activity within the library, it is mandatory that rules for providing reference assistance be established.
All staff members are taught to treat each reference question asked with respect insofar as the level of assistance required and the topic of the question. Names of users and the transactions that occur between users and the staff are confidential and not discussed outside a professional context.
In the instance of legal, medical, investment, or tax reference questions, the staff may only guide the patron to the material available on the topic of interest. The staff may not evaluate or interpret the information provided nor may the staff define the meaning of terms, offer investment advice, select income tax forms, or serve as a surrogate for a professional in any of the fields listed above. If all materials within the library are beyond the understanding of the patron, the patron will be advised to consult with their professional from the above listed fields for additional information or advice.
Some reference materials of local or historical value may not be removed from the library.
TELEPHONE REFERENCE SERVICE
The library provides telephone reference service during the hours of library operation. Priority attention is given to patrons who are in the building and needing assistance. If possible, all information inquiries are handled on a first come-first served basis. If the library staff cannot provide immediate help, patrons wanting service will be contacted as soon as possible.
The library provides a photocopy machine for the patron's convenience and to protect the library collection. Copyright laws are to be followed by all patrons making photocopies. The library has no responsibility for personal violations of copyright law.
Public Access to Electronic Information Networks
Libraries make it possible for citizens to have access to the information they need to make informed decisions. The Strong Public Library is committed to networking, which represents good public policy by maximizing the use of the resources of all types of libraries. Every library user benefits from expanded access to information beyond the four walls of a single library building.
The Strong Public Library uses electronic information networks such as the Internet for a variety of purposes:
1. Access to shared automation systems that provide bibliographic access to the collections of the local library and libraries in the region and across the state.
2. Access to the wealth of information resources available via the Internet.
3 Access to general and specialized shared licensed databases available to libraries through regional and statewide cooperative programs.
Most resources available via the Internet and other electronic information networks are “global” resources rather than “local” resources. The library does not and cannot control the information content available through global resources such as information obtained from outside sources via the Internet.
Internet resources enhance and supplement resources that are available locally within a library. Library users must be aware that this library does not exercise control over information obtained via the Internet and must keep in mind the following points when evaluating information obtained via the Internet:
The Strong Public Library urges library patrons to be informed consumers and carefully evaluate information obtained via the Internet. Library staff may be available to assist patrons in making judgments about the reliability or currency of certain types of Internet information sources, but are unable to provide definitive analysis of particular sources due to the extremely large variety and volume of information available via the Internet.
This library is not responsible for damages, indirect or direct, arising from a library patron’s use of Internet information resources.
Patron Assistance and Instruction
The Strong Public Library’s staff may provide assistance to patrons in the use of electronic information networks as time and staff knowledge permits. Printed and online documentation and instructions are available at or near points of service. Formal instruction in particular aspects of electronic information network use may be available.
Use of Equipment and Networks
The Strong Public Library requires that library patrons using electronic information networks such as the Internet do so within the guidelines of acceptable use. The following activities are unacceptable:
1. Use of electronic information networks for any purpose that results in the harassment of other users,
2. Destruction of, damage to, or unauthorized alteration of the library’s computer equipment software or network security procedures,
3. Use of electronic information networks in any way that violates a Federal or State law,
4. Use of electronic information networks in any way that violates licensing and payment agreements between this library and network / database providers,
5. Unauthorized duplication of copy-protected software or violation of software license agreements,
6. Violation of system security,
1. Behaving in a manner that is disruptive to other users, including but not limited to overuse of computer equipment that serves to deny access to other users.
Children’s Access to Electronic Information Networks
The Strong Public Library supports the right of all library users to access information and will not deny access to electronic information networks based solely on age.
This library recognizes that the electronic information networks such as the Internet may contain material that is inappropriate for children. Parents are expected to monitor and supervise their children’s use of the Internet. Library staff is unable to monitor children’s use.
PURPOSE OF THE COLLECTION
The purpose of the Strong Public Library materials collection is to provide resources to assist individuals in their pursuit of educational objectives, intellectual and emotional growth, the enjoyment of leisure time and practical solutions to daily problems. The library is responsible to its potential constituency to announce this purpose statement, to evaluate and alter it as the community changes and to increase the opportunity for all potential users of its resources to achieve their purposes through the library.
The library keeps the collection vital and useful by retaining or replacing essential materials, and by removing, on a systematic and continuous basis, those works that are worn, outdated, of little historical significance, or no longer in demand. Materials that are removed from the library collection may or may not be made available for public purchase at book sales.
The Strong Library endeavors to build a collection representing varying points of view. The choice of library materials by users is an individual matter. Responsibility for the reading materials of children and adolescents rests with their parents or legal guardians. While a person may reject materials for himself or herself and for his or her children, he or she cannot exercise censorship to restrict access to the materials by others. The library supports intellectual freedom and has adopted the following statements as policy: ALA Freedom to Read Statement, ALA Library Bill of Rights, and the “Freedom to View” statement of the American Film and Video Association.
Requests for reconsideration may be made only by registered patrons, and shall be made in writing and given to the library director for a written response. Appeals are directed to the Trustees for the final decision.
Collection resources include:
1. Print and non-print materials available within the Strong Library.
2. Electronic database sources
3. Resources in other libraries or locations to which the library may achieve access through interlibrary loan or a similar resource sharing process.
These resources respond to three categories of activity:
1. Resources for Education
2. Materials that support self-education pursued apart from a structured or formal Resources for Emotional and Intellectual Growth
3. Resources that Enhance the Enjoyment of Leisure Time
4. Resources that Assist in the Practical Solution of Daily Problems
DEFINITION OF PATRON NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED BY THE LIBRARY
The library acknowledges that each person has information needs that are important to that individual. It also recognizes that it has limited financial resources to respond to these needs. The library has a responsibility to use public funds in ways that are advantageous to the largest number of its constituents. While the library's materials collection will not deny any need consistent with its mission, the library will nevertheless develop its collections with the recognition that it has the ability to meet certain needs more effectively and efficiently than other needs.
The responsibility for book selection rests with the library, adhering to generally accepted professional practices.
The copyright laws of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) govern the reproduction, distribution, adaptation, public performance, and public display of protected material.
Under certain conditions, public libraries are authorized to lend, lease, or rent copies of computer programs and videotapes to patrons for nonprofit purposes. Any person who makes an unauthorized copy or adaptation of a computer program or videotape or redistributes the loaned copy or publicly performs or displays the computer program or videotape, except as permitted by Title 17 of the United States Code, may be liable for copyright infringement.
This institution reserves the right to refuse to fulfill a loan request if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the request would likely lead to violation of the copyright law.
Selection is the decision to add, retain or delete material as part of the library's resource collection. All materials, whether purchased by the library or donated to it, are evaluated in accordance with these guidelines. Guidelines used by the Strong Library to evaluate materials to be selected for its collection include:
1. The needs of the community.
2. The overall balance of the collection.
3. The spirit of service and the philosophy of the library.
4. The availability of material from other sources.
5. Budgetary limitations.
6. Suitability of the format of the item for library use.
7. Relation to existing collection and other material on the subject.
8. Reputation or significance of the author.
9. Reviews in professional literature or patron request.
10. Accuracy of the item.
11. Appearance in standard bibliographies and indexes
12. In-print availability.
13. Literary merit.
14. Locally produced or authored material.
16. Suitability of reading level, interest level and treatment of subject to the age of the intended audience.
17. Use of the material locally as assigned reading, viewing or listening.
Because it is impossible for librarians to examine all items being considered for purchase, they depend on reliable selection aids. The librarians regularly depend on the reviews found in standard sources. Other selection aids, such as “Notable Book” lists chosen by the American Library Association, National Book Awards lists, Pulitzer Prize lists, and published lists of bestsellers may also be used as required.
The criteria for and the methods of selection of non-book materials are the same as for books.
Non-book items purchased by the library for in-house use or for circulation may include pamphlets, study prints, art prints, computer software, microfilm, compact discs and cassettes, recordings of books on cassette, cassette/filmstrip and cassette/book kits, games, toys, puzzles, and puppets.
The acquisition of a variety of non-book materials is under constant evaluation and is subject to change. Cost of items, budget, use, and availability of new items are the determining factors in selection.
The number of copies purchased varies with the expected use of any item. As extensive use for individual titles is demonstrated, duplication to meet the demand is implemented.
In order to maintain the best possible collection of materials, a continual weeding process takes place. Items are discarded if they are outdated, if they no longer circulate, if there are more duplicate copies than needed, or if they are in poor physical condition. A complete weeding of the entire collection is accomplished every five years.
DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS LIBRARY MATERIAL
Library property (i. e. print and non-print materials, equipment, supplies and or any personal property) which in the judgment of the Library Director is no longer necessary or useful for library purposes, may be disposed of in the following manner:
1. Books and non-print materials from the library's collection or gift materials may be discarded, sold, or, upon the approval of the Library Director, be given to local philanthropic, educational, cultural, government or other not-for-profit organizations.
2. Any other personal property having an individual current value of less than $100 may, at the discretion of the Library Director, be discarded, turned in on new equipment or made available for sale .
3. No favoritism shall be shown to library employees, members of the Library Board or members of their immediate families who make bids on or purchase any library item declared surplus.
The library welcomes patron interest in the collection and will seriously consider all requests that specific materials be acquired. The library is under no obligation to fill any particular request if not deemed suitable to the collection. Patron requests will be reviewed using the materials selection criteria
Donations, Gifts and Memorials
The Strong Public Library is grateful for gifts, and its collection has been enriched by donations of materials as well as by contributions. Through donors, the library has been able to acquire materials which could not have been purchased otherwise. The library staff can supply, upon request, a list of needed materials for consideration by the donor.
Donation of Books and Audio Visual Materials
In accepting a gift of materials, the library reserves the privilege of deciding whether items donated should be added to the collection. Some materials cannot be used because they may be: (1) a duplicate of an item of which the library already has a sufficient number; (2) outdated--interesting but not of sufficient present reference or circulating value to the library; and/or (3) in poor condition--which would not justify the expense of processing it, i.e. cataloging and preparing it for circulation. The material will be judged by the same standards of selection as those applied to the purchase of new materials. The Strong Public Library accepts gift books with the understanding that books which are useful to the library collection will be retained and other books disposed of in whatever manner the librarian deems best. The Library necessarily reserves the right to interfile gifts with other collections on the same subject, so that all collections are organized and classified according to library standards for the best public service.
Gift Book Program
The Library welcomes monetary contributions specifically for book purchases in memorial to or in honor of named individuals.
Donation of Art Objects and Other Types of Materials
Although such gifts are usually welcomed and valued, final decision on their acceptance rests with the Library Director and the Board of Library Trustees/Selectmen.
Donations—Others, e.g. Monetary
The Library welcomes cash contributions, gifts of real property, stocks, and bonds. It is our custom to expend cash gifts on materials, equipment, or a project which is acceptable to the donor. Although it is unlikely, there may be an occasion in which the restrictions set by the donor make it impossible for the library to accept the contribution. All donations are subject to the approval of the Library Director with the backing of the Library Board of Trustees.
Recognition of Gifts
For memorial books to the library, the library may place within the book the name of the donor, if desired.
Use of Gifts
All gifts are accepted with the understanding that it may some day be necessary that they be sold or disposed of in the best interest of the library. The Library cannot commit itself to perpetually housing a donation.
Income Tax Statements
The library cannot appraise the value of a donation of materials or art. It will, however, issue the donor a letter acknowledging the donation. It is the donor's decision whether he or she will determine the value of the donation or utilize an independent appraiser. While the gifts to the Library as a governmental unit qualify as tax deductible, the donor will have to consider the particular circumstances of his or her situation for the specific effect.
No donation can be accepted unless it is given to the library without restrictions unless the Board of Library Trustees has specifically adopted an agreement to do so. All gifts may be used, sold, or disposed of in the best interest of the library. All donations are accepted only if, in the opinion of the Library Director and the Board of Library Trustees, they are in the best interests of the library.
Strong objection to any library materials must be made in writing according to “Procedures for Handling Complaints about Library Materials” provided in the attachments. Examination and reconsideration of materials, if necessary, will be handled as outlined in these procedures.
The Strong Public Library subscribes to the provisions of the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement as adopted by the American Library Association. These documents are considered a part of this policy. All individuals have the right to choose which library materials they will use. However, no one has the right to restrict the freedom of others to read whatever they wish. No book or other material in question is automatically removed from the collection because of an objection to it.
Library Bill of Rights
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable bases, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
Adopted June 18, 1948.
Amended February 2, 1961, and January 23, 1980,
inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996,
by the ALA Council.
Freedom To Read Statement
The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label “controversial” views, to distribute lists of “objectionable” books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as citizens devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.
Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary citizen, by exercising critical judgment, will accept the good and reject the bad. The censors, public and private, assume that they should determine what is good and what is bad for their fellow citizens.
We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they need the help of censors to assist them in this task. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be “protected” against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.
These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy.
Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.
Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.
We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings. The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.
We therefore affirm these propositions:
1.It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.
Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.
2.Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.
Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.
3.It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.
No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.
4.There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.
To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.
5.It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept with any expression the prejudgment of a label characterizing it or its author as subversive or dangerous.
The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for the citizen. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.
6.It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large.
It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive.
7.It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a “bad” book is a good one, the answer to a “bad” idea is a good one.
The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader’s purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all citizens the fullest of their support.
We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.
Adopted June 25,
1953; revised January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991, July
12, 2000, by the
Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.
Freedom to View Statement
The FREEDOM TO VIEW, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression. Therefore, we affirm these principles:
1. It is in the public interest to provide the broadest possible access to films and other audiovisual materials because they have proven to be among the most effective means for the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.
2. It is in the public interest to provide for our audiences, films and other audiovisual materials which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.
3. It is our professional responsibility to resist the constraint of labeling or prejudging a film on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or film maker or on the basis of controversial content.
It is our professional responsibility to contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public's freedom to view.
Adopted 'February, 1979
American Film and Video Association
The Strong Public Library Library abides by Maine Statute Title 27, Chapter 4A section 121 Confidentiality of Library Records which states that the records of patron transactions and the identity of registered library patrons is confidential material. The Strong Library does not make available the records of patron transactions to any party except in compliance with the law. The Strong Library does not make available lists of registered patrons except in compliance with the law.
Procedures for Handling Patron Confidentiality
A patron must present either their barcode number or their patron ID number, either in person or on the telephone, before any information will be given concerning:
A. Items charged out
B. Items overdue
C. Fine information
D. Hold information (either items on hold or those awaiting collection)
When speaking to a family member and not to the patron, information about the material should be restricted to information that does not reveal the content.
1. A videocassette borrowed is overdue and should be returned.
2. A book that had been reserved is now in and can be picked up.
If a person other than the patron requests information, staff will state that they are only permitted to discuss specific information with the patron.
Patron Personal Information:
numbers, or any
other personal information from a patron's record may
not be given out
direct consent of the Library Director.
Equipment and Computer Use Policy
The Library reserves the right to limit, refuse, and/or ban any patron from using library equipment and computers. Use is limited to patrons in good standing, i.e., all fines have been paid, all overdue materials have been returned, any lost materials have been paid for, and the patron has a current local library card.
Persons under the age of 10 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while using library equipment or computers. Reservations for equipment or computer use can be made at the circulation desk, and without them usage is on a “first come, first served” basis. However, all patrons shall log in at the circulation desk prior to use to avoid conflicts with reserved times. If a user has not logged in at the circulation desk, that user will be required to give up the usage if a patron who has logged in or made a reservation is waiting.
In addition, these rules apply for library computer (non-Internet) use:
1. Usage is limited to1/2 hour blocks, however, the patron may continue to use the computer in 15-minute intervals until another patron wishes to use it.
2. If a patron is more than 15 minutes late for a reserved time, the computer becomes open. If a patron is less than 15 minutes late, the allocated time will not be extended to reflect the tardiness.
3. A registration and use agreement form must be signed before usage.
4. Copyright laws forbid duplication of copyrighted software.
5. The Library may restrict the use of personal software on library computers. Library software shall not be copied and must be returned to the circulation desk before use of another software product.
There is a charge of 20 cents per page of printing from a library computer.
Library Procedures Relating to Electronic Networks
This library has developed these guidelines to assist staff and patrons in the use of electronic information resources. Violation of any of the following may result in the loss of library privileges.
1. Unauthorized duplication of copy-protected software or violation of software license agreements,
2. Violation of system security,
3. Behaving in a manner that is disruptive to other users, including but not limited to overuse of computer equipment that serves to deny access to other users.
Electronic Information Networks Registration and User Agreement
Name (please print)
Registration and User Agreement
1. I have read the policies concerning the use of the Strong Public Library’s Internet computer and agree to abide by the policies.
2. I agree to pay any repair or replacement costs of equipment or software damaged by myself or by minors for whom I am responsible.
3 I understand that copyright laws restrict duplication of copyrighted software, and I will follow all copyright laws.
4. I understand that if I fail to abide by the Library’s Internet policies, I will lose eligibility for use of this service.
5. I understand and acknowledge that the Internet contains material of a controversial nature including pornography, obscenity, inflammatory or dangerous material, and that the Strong Public Library has no control over the Internet and assumes no responsibility for the content, quality, accuracy, currency, or appropriateness of any Internet resources.
Library Card ID or Barcode Number: ________________________________
Patrons Under the Age of 18
As the parent or guardian of __________________________________, I give permission for my child to use the Internet computer(s) at the Strong Public Library. I understand that I am responsible for monitoring my child’s appropriate use of this service, that I am responsible for any damage that may occur, and that I have read, understand, and agree to the above statements.
Book Donation Form
I/we would like to contribute $ for a book to be placed in the library.
As a memorial for:
or in honor of:
on the occasion of a birthday , wedding anniversary ,
graduation , or other (please specify) .
The subject matter we prefer for this book is (please specify if you have a preference)
The Library will notify the following that this donation has been added to the library’s collection in memory of or honoring the above. In the space provided, please indicate the relationship between the honoree and the person to be notified of the donation.
Name of person to be notified:
Address of person to be notified:
Name of donor:
Address of donor:
Please make checks payable to the Strong Public Library
Please return this form to the Library Director
Gift Agreement Form
(Street) (City) (State) (Zip)
Description of material donated:
Information concerning the material or donor which would be helpful in organizing and cataloging this material:
This Gift Agreement transfers legal title of the gift to the _______________ Library.
Unrestricted gift Restrictions (please specify)
I have read the gift policy provisions of the Strong Public Library and agree that they are acceptable.
Donor signature: Date
Accepted for the Library by: Date
Library director signature
For restricted gifts only:
President of Library Board signature
Secretary of Library Board signature
Date of Board Approval
Form I—Complaint About Library Material
Complaint Represents: _________ Individual _________ Organization
Reason for Complaint: __________________________________________
Took Form II: _________Yes _________ No
Date Form II Returned: _________________________________________
Form II—Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials
Publisher or Distributor: ________________________________________
Request Initiated by: ___________________________________________
Address: _______________________________ Telephone: ___________
City: ____________________________ Zip code: ___________________
_______ Organization, list name__________________________
_______ Other, list name _______________________________
1. Have you read or viewed the entire work? _______________________
If not, what parts? ______________________________________________
2. To what in the material do you object? (Please be specific; cite pages or sections.)
3. What good or valuable features do you find in the material?__________
4. What do you believe is the theme of this work?___________________
What do you feel might be the result of reading or viewing this material?
Have you read any reviews of this material? ________________________
If yes, specify: ________________________________________________________
Do you think this material would be more appropriate for a different age group?
What would you like the library to do about this material? ________________________
Can you recommend other material that would convey as valuable a picture
and /or perspective of the subject treated? __________ If yes, please specify:
Date: _________________ Signature: ___________________________
Unattended or Disruptive Children Parental Notification Letter
Strong Public Library
P.O. Box 629
Strong, ME 04983
The Strong Public Library has recently experienced an incident involving your child,
, where he/she was:
_____ on library grounds unattended by you or a responsible caregiver.
_____ behaving in a manner disruptive to library services.
A copy of the Library’s policy on Unattended or Disruptive Children is enclosed here for your attention. We ask that you review this policy and make every effort to follow it. We do not wish to suspend library privileges for you or your family, but the safety of children as well as the proper operation of the library is our first responsibility. If you have any questions regarding this policy or its enforcement, please contact the undersigned.
Very truly yours,
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