Patron Code of Conduct
In order to insure constructive use of library facilities, materials, and services as well as the personal comfort of all patrons, The Board of Trustees and the Library Staff have established the following rules:
- Patrons shall be engaged in activities associated with the use of a public library while in the building.
- Reasonable quiet is expected, especially in designated study areas. No patron may disturb others using the library.
- Misconduct such as the use of foul language and gestures, public drunkenness, loud talking or laughing, running, pushing, fighting, or other offensive behavior will result in expulsion from the building and the suspension of library privileges.
- The library assumes no responsibility for the care and supervision of children. Parents or caregivers must supervise the behavior of their children. Additionally, children under the age of 8 must be supervised at all times.
- Smoking and eating must be done outside of the library. If you do smoke, please make certain you discard your cigarettes away from library property.
- Only animals assisting the handicapped are permitted in the building.
- Patrons shall not be permitted to enter the building without footwear or without a shirt or other covering of their upper bodies.
- Other unacceptable library behavior includes sleeping, staring, stalking, soliciting, loitering, littering, and damage to property.
- Patrons are encouraged to report disruptive individuals to the staff.
- Library materials must be returned on time and in good condition. Overdue materials deprive others in need of those materials.
- A library patron who tampers with the hardware or software of any computer will forfeit all library privileges and be subject to financial liability for damages.
- A library patron who vandalizes, steals, or destroys any library material, equipment, or building components will forfeit all library privileges and be subject to financial liability for damages.
Please scroll through the policies below that govern our library. (This is a work in progress, and not yet complete. Look again later for more.)
As part of our mission, the WBOFL provides Internet access and personal computing resources to registered borrowers. Individuals who do not meet eligibility requirements for a Four County Library System library card with borrowing privileges may qualify for Internet access via a guest pass if they present proper identification and meet such other requirements as may be established by WBOFL administration.
- WBOFL also provides wireless access, enabling individuals to use their privately owned computer equipment to access the Internet. Visitors who wish to use WBOFL’s wireless connectivity are not required to meet borrower eligibility criteria.
- The WBOFL does not monitor and has no control over the information on the Internet. The WBOFL assumes no responsibility for any loss or damages, direct or indirect, arising from its connections to the Internet or from any other use of its personal computing resources.
- As with all library resources, patrons are advised to exercise their own critical judgment and discrimination when evaluating sites found on the Internet. Certain information may be inaccurate, misleading or offensive to some individuals.
- Unauthorized access, including so-called hacking, and any other unlawful activities by any library users are strictly prohibited.
- To comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act and restrict access to online content that may be considered harmful to minors or offensive to adults, the WBOFL employs technology protection measures (filters) on all computers with Internet access. Users must be cautioned that filters are not foolproof and due to technological limitations cannot obstruct access to all potentially harmful or offensive content. In addition, filters may block access to some legitimate or constitutionally protected material found on the Internet. By law, individuals who have attained the age of 17 have the right to unfiltered Internet access.
- CHILDREN, PARENTS AND THE INTERNET
- Parents/guardians have the sole right and responsibility to decide what is appropriate for their child. The WBOFL does not act in loco parentis (i.e., in the place or role of the parent). Parents/guardians are responsible for the supervision of their child’s Internet activity. Children who use the Internet unsupervised may be exposed to inappropriate or disturbing information and images.
- The library has taken measures designed to assist in the safe and effective use of the Internet, including:
- i. Employing technology protection measures (filters) on all computers offering Internet access.
- ii. Developing and maintaining web sites designed for children and teens;
- iii. Providing online and printed information about child safety and information on educational or recreational uses of the Internet.
- To address the issue of the safety and security of minors (individuals who have not attained the age of 17) when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications, the Library recommends the following safety guidelines. Minors should:
- i. Always ask their parents’ permission before using their full name, address, telephone number, or school name anywhere on the Internet;
- ii. Always tell their parents or another adult they trust if they see something online that is frightening or that they do not understand;
- iii. Never respond to messages that make them feel uncomfortable or uneasy;
- iv. Never give out a credit card number or password online without parental approval, and
- v. Never arrange to meet in person someone they have met online unless they discuss it with their parents and an adult accompanies them.
- USER RESPONSIBILITIES
All patrons must abide by the library’s Rules of Conduct and are expected to use Internet and/or personal computing resources in a responsible and orderly manner. Failure to comply with the policies and regulations that govern the use of the library’s Internet access and personal computing resources may result in immediate suspension of library privileges and, where necessary, civil liability and/or criminal prosecution. The following are prohibited:
- Damaging equipment, software, or data;
- Violating system security;
- Violating any legal agreement (e.g., software licenses);
- Violating any federal, state or local law (e.g., copyright, child pornography);
- Using personal software on library equipment, and
- Engaging in activities that may be judged as disruptive by library staff or patrons.
User responsibilities are not limited to the above and may be subject to change. By adopting this policy, the WBOFL Board of Trustees authorizes the Administration to acquire appropriate hardware and software to provide Internet access and other approved computer-based services and to develop rules and regulations to implement this policy.
The library has a responsibility to provide an environment that is safe and comfortable for every patron who is appropriately using its services and facilities.
The library board and staff are eager for children to use the library and welcome those who do so. Service to children is an important part of the Library’s mission. The Library is free and open to unaccompanied children who are 8 years old and older and who are independent enough to use the resources for recreation, information and education. If a child is not able to leave the Library without an adult, he/she should not be in the Library without an adult.
Parents should be aware that the Library is a public building open to all individuals. It is not the function or purpose of the Library staff to provide supervision or to care for children while parents or caregivers are inside or outside the Library. Staff will not monitor children leaving the library.
At all times, caregivers are responsible for the conduct and safety of their children on Library premises. Caregivers must provide appropriate supervision based on the ages, the abilities and the levels of responsibility of their children.
Children are expected to adhere to the same standards of conduct expected of adults. All Library users are required to respect Library property and to act in a manner appropriate to the use and function of the Library (see Library Patron Code of Conduct). Children who are not using the Library appropriately or who require excessive staff attention or supervision, will be asked to leave the Library.
To report suspected waste, fraud or abuse a written report should be filed with the Library Director. If it would be inappropriate to make the report to the Library Director, a report may be filed with any Board member.
Any William B. Ogden Free Library staff member or volunteer who reports waste, fraud, or abuse at the Library will not be fired or otherwise retaliated against for making the report.
The report will be investigated and even if determined not to be waste, fraud or abuse, the individual making the report will not be retaliated against for making the report. There will be no punishment for reporting problems—including firing, demotion, suspension, harassment, failure to consider the employee for promotion, or any other kind of discrimination. Steps will be taken to deal with the issue, and if warranted, law enforcement personnel will be contacted.
FINE PAYMENT POLICY
This policy was developed to set guidelines for the collection and distribution of fine payments collected at a library other than the billing library.
- Fines for lost and damaged items and are to be collected and sent to the owning library
- Fines for referral payments are to be collected and sent to the billing library (Referral payments are fees assessed when a patron’s account is referred to Unique Management for collection)
- All other fines are to be collected and kept by the receiving library, regardless of amount
ART EXHIBIT POLICY
The William B. Ogden Free Library invites artists to exhibit their works in the designated meeting room of the library facility. Artists must agree to the following:
- Artwork must hang from the exhibit rail and will remain on display for approximately one month.
- The artist will assume total responsibility for installing the exhibit. No additional nails may be used in the walls. Similarly, the artist is responsible for removal of the exhibit. A schedule for set up and removal of the exhibit must be arranged with the Director.
- The artist also assumes full responsibility for the artwork exhibited. All items are placed in the Library at the owner’s risk. Neither the William B. Ogden Free Library nor the Village of Walton shall assume any responsibility or obligation for any loss or damage to any item or items displayed. The displayed items are not covered under any insurance policy owned by the Library or the Village.
- Prices for any artwork may not be posted. Artist contact information may be provided so that patrons may contact the artist if they are interested in purchasing artwork off premises.
- Admission fees may not be charged.
- Artists will not be reimbursed for exhibiting.
- Artists must complete, sign, and date an Art Display Release Form.
MEETING AREA USE POLICY
Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. (From the Library Bill of Rights, revised January, 1980)
Application for Meeting Area Use:
- All applications for meeting are use must be made in person by an adult, age 18 or over, at the William B. Ogden Library.
- Meeting areas are available to community, non-profit, educational, cultural, social, civic, and recreational groups for meetings and other uses pertaining to the welfare and benefit of the community. Library-sponsored events shall have priority.
- Recurring reservations for the meeting areas will be accepted, but for no more than 3 months at a time. At the end of a twelve-month period, such reservations will be reviewed.
- No applications will be taken over the telephone.
- Rejection of questionable applications shall, on request, be forwarded and reviewed by the Library Director with the concurrence of the Library Board.
- The meeting areas are available only during library-staffed hours. Meetings should end fifteen minutes before the library closes unless special arrangements are made.
- Reservations are on a first come, first served basis. Two weeks notice is required.
- All scheduled meetings will be recorded on both the application form and meeting reservation calendar.
- There is no cost for the meeting area, however, there is a $25 security deposit, and if the group wants coffee, tea or cocoa, the cost is $1 per cup. The library reserves the right to assess a custodial charge subject to the nature of the program.
General Rules and Regulations:
- Groups using meeting areas may not charge admission fees, solicit non-charitable contributions, or take up collections; for may there be sell or taking orders of any kind.
- It is the responsibility of the group/organization to insure compliance with the fire code restrictions as to meeting room occupancy limits.
- Light refreshments may be served. If the kitchenette is used, the group will be responsible for leaving it clean.
- Smoking and open flames (candles, lanterns, etc.) of any kind are not allowed in the building.
- Groups are responsible for setting up the room for their meeting and pick up following it. Exits and entrances must be clear of furniture, bulletin boards and other material in accordance with fire laws.
- Lights above exit doors must always remain on in accordance with fire laws.
- Any advertising (press releases, flyers, announcements, posters, etc.) must in no way imply library sponsorship.
- The library’s address or telephone number may not be used for any purpose to retrieve mail or to leave messages, etc.)
- Groups using the meeting areas will conduct their activities in a quiet and orderly manner.
- Nothing may be attached to walls, doors or ceilings in the building.
- Any equipment or supplies necessary for meetings must be provided by the group and may not be stored in the building.
- The library is not responsible for the loss, theft or damage to any equipment or materials owned or rented by an organization.
- All users of the meeting room are to create their own signage to help attendees locate meetings.
- Organizations must bring their own pens, pencils, paper, tape, etc.
- All groups should notify the library of any cancellations as soon as possible. Three consecutive cancellations without notification to the library will result in suspension of user privileges for one year.
- The library reserves the right to close the meeting areas for reasons beyond its control (inclement weather, power failure, etc.). The library will attempt to notify the responsible individual listed on the application form. Emergency library closings will also be announced on the local radio station.
- Library and government programs take precedence over all other uses of the meeting areas. If a library-related program arises, which in the judgment of the library director has priority, the library reserves the right to ask groups to choose an alternate meeting date.
Exiting Meeting Areas:
Each group will be responsible for cleaning the meeting area after each use, returning furniture to the proper location, and replacing lost and/or damaged equipment. Any group not leaving an area in a neat and orderly condition shall be notified that a second offense will result in its being denied further use of meeting areas. Costs for damage and restoration may be charged in addition to the security deposit.
Groups/organizations may be denied further use of the meeting areas and may be liable for any damages and expenses incurred by the library as a result of violations of any of the policies. Groups will be notified, in writing, of violations as they occur.
TELEPHONE USE POLICY
The Library’s telephone is maintained by the William B. Ogden Free Library and is intended for library business use. The telephone must be kept open as much as possible for conducting library business and answering reference questions from the public. The Library does not permit the use of the telephone by patrons.
Valid reasons for allowing public use of the telephone are:
Patrons may use the telephone to place a local call for a ride.
Staff members will assist the patron in placing the call.
If the health, security, or safety of a patron is in jeopardy, staff will call 9-1-1.
The telephone will not be used for:
Any patron who wishes to conduct personal business;
Dialing 1-800/1-888 phone numbers;
Taking messages on behalf of patrons.
Emergency/Inclement Weather Policy
In order to fulfill its mission of public service, the William B Ogden Free Library will make every reasonable effort to open to the public as scheduled. However, inclement weather or other emergencies can cause transportation problems, locally hazardous conditions, and possible power outages. The library will close, delay opening, or close ahead of schedule when conditions become hazardous to the health and/or safety of the public and/or library staff. Emergency/inclement weather closings will be authorized by the Director and/or the Board of Library Trustees. National or New York weather service advisories concerning travel during storm conditions will always be followed.
When in session, the WBOF Library will follow the example of the Walton Central School District for emergency/inclement weather closings. The WBOF library will be closed if the Walton Central School District chooses to close for the day. The WBOF Library will close early if the school issues an early dismissal or cancels its after school activities.
The public will be notified of closing or changes in hours of operation through a variety of means:
- Library Facebook page
- Library email message system
- Local radio announcement at WDLA, 92.1 FM
- Library Website
- Signs on the door of the library
Approved January 22, 2019