Library Policies

Borrowing of Library Materials

  1. ELIGIBILITY:

Any resident of the Highland Central School District is eligible to apply for a Highland Public Library card.  This is also extended, at the discretion of the Library Director, to those whose special circumstances would warrant.

  1. APPLICATION FOR BORROWING PRIVILEGES:

Anyone eligible and wishing to obtain a Highland Public Library card should complete the required form.  Evidence of residency is required.  Applications of persons under sixteen (16) years of age require the signature of a parent or guardian attesting to their willingness to assume responsibility for library materials borrowed.  The information obtained in the application process is for the sole use of the library as per law.

  1. UNIVERSAL OR RECIPROCAL BORROWING CARD OF THE MID-HUDSON LIBRARY SYSTEM

The Highland Public Library is a member of Mid-Hudson Library System (MHLS) which permits reciprocal borrowing.  Any Highland Public Library card holder may use their card at any other MHLS member library to borrow materials.  Materials borrowed may be returned to any member library of the MHLS.

  1. SYSTEM HOLDS AND INTERLIBRARY LOAN

Patrons may request materials from other libraries in the MHLS through use of system holds. Patrons who wish to borrow materials which are currently on loan to another patron may place a request on the item in person, online or over the phone.  When the item becomes available patrons will be notified either by phone or by email depending on the patrons preferred method of contact.  Items must be picked up within seven (7) days. Materials not found in the MHLS may be requested through Inter Library Loan. This service provides access to library collections in the Southeastern New York Library region as well as throughout New York State and the country.

  1. BORROWING PERIOD

The majority of library materials may be borrowed for up to three (3) weeks.  They can be renewed in person, online or by phone one (1) time for an additional three weeks as long as there is no one else waiting for them.  The only exceptions are DVD  and BluRayfilms; magazines, music CDs,  tablets and museum passes. Feature films on  DVD and BluRay, music CDs and magazines may be borrowed for one (1) week and renewed one time for an additional week.   Television series on DVD may be borrowed for up to two (2) weeks and renewed one time for an additional two weeks.  Tablets can be borrowed for one (1) week with no renewals. Art prints may be borrowed for up to one month no renewals.  Museum passes may be borrowed for three (3) days. The borrowing period for materials form other libraries is determined by the owning library.  Current issues of Highland Public Library periodicals and all newspapers may not be borrowed.  Patrons with fines of more than ten ($10) dollars or still holding overdue materials are not permitted to borrow or renew any library materials.

  1. CHARGES FOR OVERDUE MATERIALS AND CARD REPLACEMENT

Any item borrowed from the library which is not returned on the date due will be considered OVERDUE and a fine of twenty-five ($.25) cents per day per item will be charged for each overdue day the library is open.  Exceptions are tablets, art prints and e-readers.  The Overdue charge for tablets and e-readers is one ($1.00) dollar per day overdue.  The overdue charge for art prints is five ($5.00) dollars per day overdue.  If a patron has one or more items overdue they may not check out any other items.

Patrons will be expected to make arrangements to pay for repair or replacement of any item they have lost or damaged.  If a library card is lost the cost to replace it is two ($2.00) dollars.

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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 of the Highland Public Library,has established the following rules for use:

  1. Patrons shall be engaged in activities associated with the use of a public library while in the building.
  2. All members of the public will conduct themselves so that they will not interfere, by their actions or speech, with the legitimate rights of other library users. Reasonable quiet is expected
  3. Any form of harassment directed at library patrons or personnel will not be tolerated.
  4. Any behavior that is disruptive to library use and service is prohibited. Conduct considered improper in the library includes but is not limited to: Public disturbance; offensive or abusive language; offensive body odor, sleeping; loitering or soliciting; using, possessing or being under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or hallucinogenic drugs. Misconduct such as the use of foul or threatening language and gestures, public drunkenness, drug usage, sale or exchange of alcohol or drugs, fighting, and other offensive behavior will result in expulsion from the building and suspension of library privileges
  5. 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 10 must be supervised at all times.
  6. Only animals assisting the handicapped are permitted in the building.
  7. Patrons shall not be permitted to enter the building without footwear or without a shirt or other covering of their upper bodies.
  8. Patrons are encouraged to report disruptive individuals to the staff.
  9. Library materials must be returned on time and in good condition. Overdue materials deprive others in need of those materials.
  10. A library patron who deliberately alters a library computer database or destroys computer equipment will forfeit all library privileges and will be subject to financial liability for damages.
  11. Willful destruction or stealing of library property and/or materials is illegal and perpetrators will be arrested. Library privileges will be forfeited and patron will be subject to financial liability for damages.

Patron concerns should be brought to the attention of the Library Director.

Depending on the seriousness of the infraction, any patron who violates any of these Rules of Conduct may be banned from the Library for a period of up to one year.

Suspension of Library Privileges

The staff may suspend the Library privileges of a patron, including access to activities, services, or facilities, without prior approval of the associate director if the situation is a serious offense and constitutes a violation of Highland Public Library policies. Examples of serious offenses include but are not limited to: verbal abuse, violence, threatening behaviors, sexual harassment, vandalism, drug sale or use or attempted drug sale or use, intoxication, theft or attempted theft, physical harassment, sexual misconduct, or any behaviors that threaten the safety and security of staff and/or patrons. The staff member shall call the Police Department rather than place themselves, other staff members, or patrons in a threatening situation.

  • The staff member may issue an immediate suspension order by requesting that the offending person leave the Library immediately. If the person refuses to leave Library premises, the Police Department should be called at the non-emergency number 691-6102. Call 911 if situation becomes threatening.
  • For offenses that do not require immediate suspension of privileges, the offending patron will be issued a warning. After 3 warnings for the same behavior, the patron will be banned for a day. Staff shall verbally notify the patron of the action and request that he or she leave the Library premises. If the patron is banned 3 consecutive days he/she will be suspended.
  • Initial suspension of privileges is for 3 months. Subsequent suspensions may be for additional 3-month periods. Long-term suspensions require notification and approval of the Library Director.
  • An Incident report shall be written immediately and given to the Library Director for logging and review. Incident reports shall be written for all suspension orders, verbal actions.

Right of Appeal

A patron with suspended privileges may appeal a suspension in writing to the Library Director within 14 days of the date of the suspension. The patron must state clearly why he/she believes that his/her privileges should be restored.

The Library Director will respond to the appeal in writing within 14 days of the date the appeal was received.

The decision of the Library Director is final.

(Approved 6/2008)

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Internet Policy

The Highland Public Library establishes this Internet policy to ensure appropriate use of Internet resources

  • The Library provides workstations for free public access to the Internet as an informational, educational, and recreational resource.
  • The Library expects that all use of Internet resources such as the Internet will be responsible, ethical, and consistent with the purpose for which these resources are provided. This includes:
  • Using resources for educational, informational, and recreational uses only and not for unauthorized, illegal or unethical purposes.
  • Respecting the privacy of others by not misrepresenting oneself as another user, by not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others, by not seeking unauthorized access to any computer system, or damaging or altering software components of any network or database.
  • Further respecting the privacy of others using public access workstations at the Library District by not interfering with their use. Making any unauthorized copies of copyrighted or licensed software or data.
  • Not sending, receiving, or displaying text or graphics that may reasonably be construed by Library staff as offensive to the public. Making unauthorized changes to the setup or configuration of Library software or hardware
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for the use of the Internet by children. Subject to the above restrictions, it is the responsibility of the user (or parent, guardian, or caregiver) to determine what is appropriate. Library staff assumes that children and young adults under the age of 18 who are unattended while at the Library have parental permission to use its resources, including the Internet.
  • It is not possible for Library staff to control specific information people may locate on the Internet. Just as libraries do not vouch for or endorse the viewpoints of written material in their collections, they do not do so for electronic information. Selection policies that serve to govern the purchase of written materials may not apply to material accessed electronically.

Computer Users Guidelines

These computers are available for public access to the Internet and information in digital formats.

  1. The Library requests that the public sign-up for computer use time by presenting their library card or other form of identification to the Main Desk staff.
  2. Pages may be printed or photocopied at $0.20 each.
  3. No sign up will be permitted for the last 15 minutes before closing time of the library and patrons are requested to end their sessions in a timely manner.
  4. The display of sexually explicit graphics is inappropriate for a public and open environment and is prohibited.
  5. Users may not make any attempt to damage computer equipment or software

Violations may result in suspension or loss of privileges to use computer resources at the library. Any illegal activity involving the use of the Library’s computers, including the Internet, will be subject to prosecution by the appropriate authorities.

  • Users may not: Engage in any activity that is harassing or defamatory.
  • Users may not: Use the Internet for any illegal activity, including violation of copyright or other rights of third parties, or in a manner inconsistent with the Library’s tax-exempt status or its proper operation.
  • Users may not: Distribute unsolicited advertising.
  • Users must: Restrict use of chat rooms or games to computers or time slots designated for that purpose.
  • Users must: Refrain from illegal or unethical use of the Internet.
  • Users must: Respect intellectual property by only downloading information or computer files with proper permission.

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Wi-Fi Policy

Wireless allows library users to bring their own computers to the library and to get Internet access. Library users can use their wireless laptop computers or PDAs to get Internet access in most areas of the library including out front.

  • The Highland Public Library uses the WiFi standard (also known as IEEE 802.11b and 802.11g). These standards provide up to 54 megabits/second connection speed Speed will vary by location and number of users.
  • You will need to bring your own laptop computer to the library and it will need to have built-in WiFi or you will need to install a WiFi network card. The Library does not provide wireless cards.
  • Most WiFi equipment will be compatible. However, the library can make no guarantees as to compatibility of your equipment with the library’s network.
  • Printers are not available to wireless users in the library at this time.
  • The library’s wireless network is open to all visitors.
  • Because of special encryption settings, a password must be obtained from the staff the first time a patron uses the network.
  • Since everyone’s computer is different you are responsible for knowing how to configure your own equipment.
  • The Highland Public Library cannot be responsible for any changes you make to your computer’s settings.
  • Wireless access is available all hours the library is open.

Patrons still must adhere to the Highland Public Library Internet policy. Any activities deemed illegal apply to you whether or not you are on a Library-owned computer or your own computer. Any illegal activity will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

It is solely the responsibility of the wireless device owner/user to provide anti-virus protection, and to configure their laptop/PDA settings to provide the appropriate security settings to control access from other wireless devices within the Library and the internet itself. The Highland Public Library cannot and will not take responsibility for damages incurred for incorrect, insufficient or incomplete security settings; or lack of adequate or up-to-date virus protection. Wireless users assume all risks in this regard. If you need additional assistance you may need to contact your hardware and/or software manufacturers.

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E-Reader/Tablet Policy

The Nook, NookColor, NookTablet and Kindle Fire will be preloaded with NYT bestsellers, educational games and apps and children’s books. No patron will have the authority to purchase e-books on the library account. Any items purchased will be billed to the patron via their library card account.
Tablets and E-Readers may be borrowed by Highland Central School District residents 18 years and older who have had a library card for more than 90 days and have a current borrowing record of no fines, no overdues, no lost items.
Overdue fees for Tablets and E-Readers are $1.00/day. The tablet/e- reader will be checked out for a 3 week period. A refundable $25.00 deposit is required at check out. There are no renewals.

The tablet/e-reader must be returned to the Highland Public Library during operating hours. It may not be returned in the book drop.

The fine for returning a tablet/e-Reader in the book drop or to any other library is $50.00. Any damage incurred as the result of failed returns will be the responsibility of the borrower.

Failure to return the tablet/e-Reader within one week of due date will cause a block to the borrower’s record prohibiting borrowing of any kind and a $150 for Nook and $250 for NookColor, Nook tablet, Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, and Samsung galaxy tab and $450 for iPads replacement fee will be charged.

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Meeting Rooom Policy

RULES FOR USE

Use of meeting rooms in community libraries is primarily for programs conducted or sponsored by the Library, and secondarily, for use by non-profit community groups, associations, and agencies in accordance with these rules. The fact that a group is permitted to use a room does not in any way constitute an endorsement of the group’s policies or beliefs by the Library. All meetings must be open to the public.

Programs that are planned by the Library take precedence over meetings of outside groups. The Library reserves the right to pre-empt the use of meeting space for library purposes upon two (2) weeks’ notice to the organization which had requested that space.

As long as meetings do not conflict with one another, there is no objection to regular meetings of the same group; however, in fairness to the numerous groups of the community, reservations are taken not more than three (3) months in advance.

APPLICATION: Formal application for the use of any meeting room is made with the administrator of the Library. An individual responsible for the meeting must complete and sign an application form. Reconfirmation of the meeting must be made with the administrator at least one week prior to the meeting. Cancellations or change of meeting dates also must be cleared with the administrator of the library.

General Rules of Use

    1.  Meeting rooms may not be used for religious worship services, commercial and/or for-profit purposes, including investment seminars, sales/service demonstrations, marketing of goods or services, etc. Sale of merchandise is strictly prohibited.
    2.  Political meetings are acceptable for the discussion of issues but not for campaign purposes, party caucuses, or meetings closed to the public.
    3. Except as a designation of location, the name of the Library may not be used in any publicity relating to use of meeting rooms.
    4. Individuals or groups using the meeting room shall secure any necessary performance licenses and indemnify the Library for any failure on their part to do so.
    5. Attendance at authorized meetings may not exceed the maximum room capacity of 72 people.
    6. Groups of children or teenagers must be supervised by one adult for every ten children/teens.
    7. No cooking may be done or food served without approval. No alcohol may be served at any time. No smoking is permitted. Burning of any materials, including incense and candles, is prohibited.
    8. There is no charge for meeting room use during the library’s regular hours of operation. Programs should be planned so that meeting space will be vacated 15 minutes before closing time.
    9. Meeting rooms must be left in acceptable, un-littered condition. Tables and chairs should be returned to the positions in which they were found.
    10.  No games of chance may be played.
    11.  Meetings must be conducted in such a way as not to disturb library operations.
    12.  Use of audio-visual equipment must be arranged at time of reservation.
    13.  Library personnel will not move or rearrange heavy equipment.
    14.  The Library will not provide storage space and assumes no responsibility for equipment or personal articles belonging to applicants or their guests.
    15.  The applicant accepts liability for either damage to library facilities or loss of library property.
    16.  The Library reserves the right to close due to adverse weather conditions and will attempt to contact the applicant.
    17. The applicant assumes responsibility for participant accommodations (e.g. assistive listening devices, etc.) and specific articles of compliance as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    18. Library personnel must have free access to meeting rooms at all times. The Library retains the right to monitor all meetings conducted on the premises to ensure compliance with the above regulations. Infringement of any of the regulations here stated shall be grounds for denial of future use of meeting space.

Meeting room policy is determined by the Board of Trustees, and is subject to review and revision at the discretion of the Board. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Library Board of Trustees as it deems in the interests of the Library and the community. Appeals to any of these policies must be submitted to the Board of Trustees in writing.

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Volunteer Policy

 Highland Public Library volunteers are coordinated by the Assistant Director and must be at least 14 years of age. Each volunteer must complete an application which will be kept on file in the Library. Application forms are available at the Library.  In some cases, volunteers will also be interviewed to better determine their interests and levels of experience. Volunteer talents, experience, availability and interests will be considered in placement and job assignments.  

Library volunteers are bound by rules contained in all Library policies and guidelines as applicable, especially as they relate to patron privacy and confidentiality.

Volunteers working in the Library have liability coverage for property damage and/or bodily injury to others which results from the performance of their volunteer duties, and to themselves, if the Library is negligent.

Highland Public Library volunteers are recognized by the public as representatives of the library and shall be guided by the same work and behavior codes as employees. They work with the status of "at-will" employees. Volunteers are asked to record their hours of service in the Volunteer Log Book located behind the Circulation Desk.

The Library accepts volunteers requiring court ordered community service at the discretion of the Library Director. Court ordered community service volunteers are required to be interviewed by the Director prior to being accepted for service. 

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Tutor Policy

Tutoring is an activity that relates to the library's role as an educational support center. Space for sanctioned tutoring activities is subject to availability.

Tutors are individuals who provide instruction to others either on a paid or volunteer basis. Tutors shall work with a maximum of two (2) students per tutor per session. The library is not to be used as classroom or office space, but as a safe and quiet workspace for students to receive instruction.

All tables and chairs located in the main public space of the library will be available for use by tutors on a first-come, first-served basis during Library operating hours.  Tutors will contact the Library to reserve use of the Community Room or Conference room space. A Room request form will be kept on file for each tutor.

 Tables, chairs and rooms may not be available if being used by others or are needed for library programs or activities.  Reservations cannot be made for table and chairs in the main room and there is no exclusive use of these areas in the Library.  The Library reserves the right to limit tutoring sessions and area use at the discretion of the Library Director or his or her designee.

Tutors and their students are required to follow the Library’s Patron Code of Conduct.

The Library reserves the right to ask tutoring or study groups that become too loud or disruptive to leave the Library.

Students must be under the tutor’s supervision at all times.

The Library staff cannot provide secretarial support to tutors.

Tutors and students must bring their own supplies, such as paper, pens, pencils, etc.

Tutors may use Library materials (i.e. library books) in accordance with library policies.

Tutors may not solicit Library patrons in the Library.

Students being tutored in the library are encouraged to have a valid library card

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