Policies

Computer/Internet Policy

The Putnam County Public Library believes that patrons have the right to the access of advances in technology and the changing needs of the community. The Putnam County Library endeavors to develop collections, resources, and services that meet the cultural, informational, recreational, and educational needs of our community. It is within this context that the Putnam County Public offers access to the internet.
 
The Putnam County Public Library does not monitor and has no control over the information available on the internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. The internet is a worldwide community with a highly diverse user population, and it is your responsibility as a patron, to use this resource wisely.
 
Internet resources accessible through the Library are provided equally to all library users. Parents or guardians, not the Library or its staff, are responsible for the internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. Approval must be provided by a parent or guardian before a child will be allowed to use the internet or the computers. Parents are advised to supervise their children’s internet sessions. Children under the age of 14 years must have a parent or guardian accompanying them at all times during computer or internet usage.
 
In accordance with the Missouri CIPA (Child Internet Protection Act), Putnam County Public Library equips each public-access computer with an internet filter. Adults may request that the filter be turned off during their session. Children under the age of 17 must have the filter activated during their internet sessions.
 
 
Internet Access Guidelines
 
Misconduct of the following guidelines is prohibited. The patron will receive one verbal warning (which will be logged into the library’s complaint/warnings log book); at the second offense, the patron will be suspended from computer usage for the day; at the third offense, the patron will be suspended from computer usage for one month, or terminated upon the Library Board of Trustees decision, at the next regularly scheduled Board Meeting.
 
1.      A valid Putnam County Public Library card is required.
2.      Internet sessions will be for a one-hour time period per day unless other arrangements are made prior to each session with the librarian.
3.      The Internet computers will be normally available, subject to periodic maintenance, during regular library hours.
4. You may not use your own software programs or download software
      from the internet.
5.   Access to “chat lines” and non-web based e-mail programs are
prohibited.
6. You may print information from the Internet. There will be a print
      charge of 20 cents for each letter-size page, 25 cents for each legal-
      size page, and $1 for each color page.
7. Respect for the property of others. It is not acceptable to attempt to
      modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others;
      to seek unauthorized access to any computer system; or to damage or
      alter software components or equipment of any network or database
      by the propagation of computer worms and viruses or any other
      means.
8. Respect for the legal rights of others. It is not acceptable to use the
      internet access for any purposes which violate U.S. or state laws,
      including the licenses and copyright laws governing software
      programs or data.
9. Respect for privacy of others. It is not acceptable to misrepresent
      oneself as another user; to use the internet access to transmit
      threatening, obscene, or harassing materials; or to interfere with or
      disrupt network users, services, or equipment. Disruptions include,
      but are not limited to: distribution or unsolicited advertising; and
      sending, receiving or displaying text or graphics which may
      reasonably be construed as obscene.
10. Misuse of the computers may result in the loss of your computer
      privileges.
11. WiFi is available for patrons wishing to use laptops in the library.
 
 
Appealing Warnings
 
If a patron wishes to appeal warnings or revoked computer privileges, he/she needs to contact the Librarian or President of the Library Board of Trustees and have the appeal placed on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled board meeting. At that time, the appeal will be heard by the Library Board of Trustees and will be voted upon by the members.

 


Meeting Room Policy

The Putnam County Public Library does make one meeting room available to the public for no charge during regularly scheduled business hours. It is with the understanding of the public group using the meeting room that it is not a private area. Food and drink are permitted if contained within the meeting room. Group usage of the meeting room outside of library hours must provide the equivalent wages to any staff member that is present. A staff member must be present at all times while a group is meeting. The library cannot be designated as a regular meeting place. The head librarian is authorized to deny permission to any group for any legitimate reason, especially any group that is disorderly or objectionable in any way or that violates any library regulations.

 


Public Service Policies

1.             Library Cards

 
a.     Library cards will be issued to residents of Putnam County, one per
Family. All family members, including spouses and other residents under 18, residing in the same household will be placed upon a single card.
b.     To obtain a library card at no charge, a person must be a resident
of Putnam County and provide proof of identification and proof of
current address.
c.      Effective January 1, 2002, library cards will be issued to
non-residents of Putnam County at an annual cost of $10.00 per family.
d.     Patrons must notify the library immediately of any changes in
name, address, and phone number.
e.     Patrons are responsible for ALL materials checked out on their
library cards and any fees or replacement charges.
f.        Any business or organization within Putnam County may apply for a
library card. The Chief Executive Officer must sign the application and the organization will be financially responsible for any fees and replacement charges associated with that card.
g.     Patrons with overdue materials may be required to return them
before additional materials are checked out; this includes using the Public Access computers in the library. An attempt will be made to notify the patron when an item is overdue, but it is the patron’s responsibility to return the materials on time. (See Lending and Overdue Policies for further information.)
h.      A patron who loses library materials will be required to reimburse
the library for the replacement value of the item or purchase an approved replacement copy and donate it to the library.
i.        Refunds will be made if the patron finds the lost item within 30 days
Of the reimbursements. Patron must have a library issued receipt to receive a refund. The lost item must be in satisfactory condition when returned.
j.        New patrons will be on a probationary period of 90 days with a limit
of five children items and five adult items checked out at any one time. At the end of 90 days, the patron will be allowed to check out an unrestricted number of items.
k.      Failure to comply with these policies or attempts to circumvent the
policies will result in the loss or denial of library privileges.
 
 
2. Lending Policies
 
The Putnam County Public Library lends books and audio-books for three weeks. Magazines, videos, and music CDs are loaned for one week. Items may be renewed one time, with the exception of materials that are on a current waiting list.
 
3. Overdue Policy
 
Overdue notices will be sent out each month in a timely manner. A call will be made at one week overdue. One week later an overdue card will be sent. The second notice will be sent two weeks after the overdue card is sent if the materials have not been found or the library has not been contacted regarding the materials. This notice will be reviewed and signed by the head librarian. If a patron with a suspended number tries to check out library materials, he will be discreetly refused. The third written notice will be signed by the members of the Library Board of Trustees. Upon receiving the third written notice, the patron’s library privileges will be suspended until the items are returned and fines paid or the material is paid for. Fines will accrue at the rate of 10 cents per day. A $5 re-instatement fee must be paid to re-activate the library card, once the account is cleared up. In order to dispute the fee, the patron must attend a board meeting and bring the item before the Board. The Library Board is the only entity authorized to rescind the charge. If the items are not returned or paid for, the names and addresses will be turned over to the Putnam County Sheriff’s office upon Board approval.
 
Chronic abusers of the overdue policy may be denied privileges at any time per the vote of the Library Board of Trustees. The patron will receive notification stating such action has been taken. The patron will return overdue materials or make restitution to the library before library privileges will be reinstated. Any patron disagreeing with the decision of the Library Board of Trustees may appeal their decision at the next regularly scheduled library board meeting.
 
The overdue policy of the Putnam County Public Library is in compliance with the Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri, Section 570.210, stating that failure to return library materials is a criminal offence. 
 
4. Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
 
The Putnam County Public Library participates in the interlibrary loan network, which allows libraries to supplement their collections by borrowing materials from and/or loaning materials to other library systems. Each participating library in the Interlibrary Loan Program is allowed to develop guidelines governing the use of their own ILL system. The following code has been developed for the Putnam County Public Library.
 
a.      The Putnam County Public Library will charge $1.00 per title requested at time of request. This money is used to defray shipping costs. If a request is unfilled, the fee will be returned to the patron. Requests will only be accepted from patrons with valid library cards.
b.      An individual patron may only request an item twice. When repeated
requests are made for a specific item, the library will consider it for
purchase, based on the collection development policy.
c.      The library will only accept three title requests per individual at one time.
d.      Patrons will be responsible for any charges made by the lending library for ILL items.
 
The Putnam County Public Library will lend materials to other libraries under the same conditions and terms as borrowed, with the following exceptions:
 
1.      Microfilm will not be loaned.
2.      Reference items will not be loaned.
3.      Non-print material will not be loaned.
4.      Photocopies of periodical articles will be made available whenever possible. Whole journals or periodicals are not available.
5.      At the distretion of the library, individual items may not be loaned.
 
5. Copier, Fax Machine, and Printer Charges
 
The Putnam County Public Library provides for its patrons’ use access to a photocopier, facsimile machine, microfilm reader/printer, and computer printers. The charges for use of these machines will be as follows: copier, computer printers, and microfilm reader/printer charges are 20 cents per copy for letter size, 25 cents per copy for legal size. Color pages will be $1 per page.   The fax machine will be $1 per page to send out, 50 cents per page to receive. 

 

Patron Behavior Policy

The Putnam County Public Library believes that patrons have the right to use library materials and services without being disturbed or impeded by other library users and that patrons and employees have the right to an environment that is secure and comfortable.
 
In order to provide an environment in which all patrons may safely and freely use and enjoy the library, some expectations regarding patron conduct must be enforced. All patrons observing proper conduct in the library are allowed to freely make use of the library. Those whose conduct is disruptive to library operations and other patrons’ use of the library may have the privilege of using the library shortened or denied to the extent necessary to deal with the problems.
 
 
Rules of Behavior
 
Misconduct that disturbs library users or staff or that hinders others from using the library or its materials is prohibited. The patron will receive one verbal warning (which will be logged in the library’s complaint/warnings log book); at the second offense, the patron will be asked to leave the building. In the case of any misconduct that is extreme, the offender will be ordered to leave the building immediately.
 
1.      Conversation or sounds that exceed an acceptable noise level, that are prolonged, abusive, indecent, profane or are disturbing to other patrons or are disturbing to other patrons or staff are prohibited.
 
2.      Running in the library is not permitted.
 
3.      Harassing others, either verbally or through actions is prohibited. Harassment may include initiating unwanted conversations with other library users or staff, impeding access to the library property or building, infringing on the privacy of others, or throwing objects.
 
4.      Fighting is prohibited. All patrons involved must immediately leave the library.
 
5.      Smoking or the use of chewing tobacco and the possession of spittoons are prohibited according to the Missouri Clean Air Act.
 
6.      Eating or drinking is prohibited in the library. Exceptions are staff areas and groups using the meeting room. All patrons will be required to put the food or drink away, remove food or drink from the library, or dispose of food or drink in a waste container.
 
7.      Charitable solicitation or sales by an individual are prohibited on library property. Community solicitation or sales may be made on library property.
 
8.      Animals except those to aid persons with disabilities are not permitted in the library. Animals may not be left unattended at the library entrances or exits. The patron must remove the animal from the library building an/or entrances or exits immediately.
 
9.      Shirts and shoes must be worn at all times in the library. Roller skates, roller blades or metal cleated sport shoes may not be worn inside the library.
 
10.Climbing on furniture or standing on furniture is prohibited. Equipment and furniture may only be used for their intended purposes. The library provides step stools for reaching materials on high shelves.
 
11.Personal belongings: The library is not responsible for personal belongings left unattended. Patrons may not leave personal belongings in the library when they leave the building. Should belongings be left unattended for an extended period of time or at closing, the staff members will remove the belongings to the lost and found box. Personal belongings left at the library will be disposed of after three months. Unclaimed wallets, purses, and other items of value may be turned over to the Unionville City Police Department.
 
12.The violation of federal, state, or local laws will not be permitted. Theft, vandalism, and mutilation of library property are criminal offenses that will be prosecuted.
 
 
Repeated Violations of Rules of Behavior
 
Adults: An adult patron who has caused repeated disturbances in the library will be warned that his/her library privileges will be revoked and he/she will not be allowed to enter the building if the behavior continues. This warning will be in the form of a letter sent by the Library Board of Trustees.
 
Minors: A child who has caused repeated disturbances in the library will be warned that his/her library privileges will be revoked and he/she will not be allowed to enter the building if the behavior continues. This warning will be in the form of a letter sent by the Library Board of Trustees to the child’s parents or guardians describing the problems, warning them of the consequences, and suggesting that the parent or guardian contact the Librarian and/or Library Board of Trustees if further discussion is needed. Minors who become a continuing disturbance in the library will not be permitted to use the library unless a parent or guardian accompanies the child to the library and supervises the child while he/she is in the building. The parent of guardian of the minor in question may also lose their library privileges.
 
 
Story Hour
 
The Putnam County Library is not liable for children left unattended in the library or on its property. Children must be attended by a parent or a responsible child care provider while in the library. Parents are responsible for their children’s behavior in the library.
 
 
Appealing Warnings
 
If a patron wishes to appeal repeated warnings or revoked library privileges, he/she needs to contact the Librarian or President of the Library Board of Trustees and have the appeal be placed on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled board meeting. The appeal will be heard by the Board of Trustees at that time and will be voted on by the board members.