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Policies

The Mission Statement of the Windsor Public Library:

The Windsor Public Library encourages the participation of community members of all ages in both the individual and collective pursuit of knowledge, enrichment, and enjoyment through books, timely information, programs, public gatherings, and events.

To attain the goals of this mission, the following policies are in effect:

1. Standards

The Windsor Public Library will meet the Vermont State minimum standards for such a library.

The Windsor Public Library does not discriminate on the basis of race, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, income or disability with regard to employment or patron practices.

2. Borrowers

Permanent residents of the community may register as borrowers without charge. Non-Windsor residents will be charged a yearly fee of $15 per individual, $30 per family, or $40 per institution per year.

3. Hours

The library will be open at times that reflect the needs of the community, including some hours during the evening or weekend.

4. Privileges

All patrons are encouraged to participate in library programs, borrow books and materials, request interlibrary loan service when required, ask for staff assistance, and use patron computers (see Internet Policy).

Service and loan privileges will be denied only for due cause as determined by the librarian. For example, “due cause” may include a misuse of library materials or the building; negligence in returning library materials when due; failure to make proper restitution for lost materials; unruly, disruptive, or inappropriate behavior.

5. Limitations

The library will not be used for the following purposes:

Political advertising, by party or candidate; cash donation boxes of any sort (other than the library’s own “conscience box”); sale of commercial products, except for charitable purposes specifically authorized by the librarian and trustees; signing of petitions.

6. Library Bill of Rights

The Windsor Public Library endorses the Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement, herein attached as appendices.

7. Selection Policy of the Library

The Board of Trustees has adopted the following Selection Policy along with the ALA “Library Bill of Rights,” and its “Freedom to Read” statement. The authority for the selection of specific materials rests with the librarian, within the framework of these policies.

The librarian utilizes his or her professional judgment and expertise, enhanced by an understanding of our community needs, from the pre-school child through adult. For the process, he or she will use authoritative professional reviews, standard lists of basic works, and recommendations from professional journals. The public may also recommend materials which will receive careful consideration in terms of overall objectives and the existing book collection.

Regarding the selection and/or withdrawal of library materials, the librarian will consider the above-mentioned functions of our library, the overall needs of the community, and the possible budgetary restrictions. The librarian may borrow requested materials that are beyond the scope of our collection through the Vermont Department of Libraries.

All materials acquired should meet high standards of quality in content, expression, and form.

Evaluative factors are: factual accuracy and authoritativeness, effective expression, significance of subject, sincerity and responsibility of opinion, current usefulness, interest, and permanent value.  Relevance to the reading public and to the existing collection is very important.

Each work shall be appraised as a creative unified whole with consideration given to the total purpose of the items. Works which do not meet all of the standards, but are of great interest, may be purchased to meet a strong, though temporary, need.

The form of materials (books, periodicals, video cassettes, pamphlets, tapes, films, recordings, maps, pictures, etc.) should be appropriate to the content and use. The physical condition of the medium and the quality of its technical production must be evaluated.

The criteria used in selection will apply to the systematic removal or replacement of materials.  Each withdrawal or replacement should be judged individually with reference to standard library tools and catalogs, and the existing collection as a whole. Special collections will be an exception, i.e., Vermont authors. The librarian will dispose of withdrawn materials at his or her discretion.

Areas of Special Concern

Works of fiction should meet the literary standards of the period in which they were written. The language and style should be suitable to the content and author’s purpose. Current novels which might be considered experimental in nature, objectionable or sensational by some members of the community should nevertheless be included in the collection, if they meet the general criteria.

Textbooks are not generally purchased, except in cases when suitable material is not readily available in other forms. The public library collection should serve as a complement to the resources already available to students and should enrich their resources for personal interest or individual projects.

The library does not attempt to develop a comprehensive research collection in any one field, with the exception of local history. The library does not provide facilities specific to the preservation of historic materials.

Books of a highly technical or specialized nature are inappropriate to the general needs of the library community. Selections in the area of law, medicine, and related subjects are restricted to those of interest to laymen.

An attempt is made to acquire authoritative material representing all points of view and all sides of controversial issues. The library does not promote particular beliefs or views, but instead presents quality materials containing opposing views for examination by the public. The presence of an item in the library does not indicate endorsement of its content by the library.

The library will resist efforts to force inclusion of proselytizing works representing political, economic, moral, religious, or other vested positions when these materials do not conform to the selection policies.

In no case should any material be excluded from the collection because of the race or nationality, or the political or religious views of the author.

The trustees of the Windsor Public Library affirm the confidentiality of library materials borrowed or requested by any individual patron and will protect the confidentiality insofar as possible.  Circulation records are likewise protected.

8. Procedures for Patron’s Complaint on Selections

A reader’s complaint is to be treated with courtesy, respect, and promptness. He or she is asked to complete a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form, which is to be submitted to the Board of Trustees.  The Board and the librarian will then reexamine the item, and answer the complaint with reasons cited from library policy statements.

9. Interlibrary Loan Policy

The librarian may loan books to other libraries in the state for use of their members without charge, subject to the rules and regulations of the Windsor Public Library. Such libraries shall be held responsible for the safe return of the books so loaned.

10. Censorship

Materials of the required quality, serving the purposes of the library, and relating to an existing need or interest, will not be removed from the collection because of pressure by groups of individuals expressing disapproval.

Children have free access to all library materials. It is deemed the responsibility of parents to determine what their children, and only their own children, may read. The selection of materials will not be restricted by the possibility that young people may obtain materials which their parents consider inappropriate.

In the event a library user wishes to protest the inclusion of a particular item in the collection, he or she must submit a written complaint (see item 8 above). This form should be completed in full and submitted to the librarian, who will refer it to the Board of Trustees with a recommendation for appropriate action.

11. Use of Library Materials

All members of the Windsor Public Library may borrow books and audio materials for a period of two weeks, renewable for another two weeks with the consent of the librarian at the desk. Local educators may borrow books for classroom use for a month at the discretion of the librarian.

Visual materials may be borrowed for a period of one week.

No one shall remove any library material for any purpose without the knowledge and consent of the librarian.

The books are the property of the Windsor Public Library and the library staff are the custodians of that property.

The librarian shall be in charge of ordering all library materials, in keeping with the allotment for the annual budget.

Lost Items

A patron is billed for an item reported lost or not returned. A $2.00 processing fee per item will be added to the patron’s bill.  Service and loan privileges will be withdrawn if the bill is not paid.

Damaged Items

The procedure for lost items is followed for an item returned in a condition that makes it unusable.

Overdue Items

Patrons are expected to return borrowed items on time.  It is the policy of the Windsor Public Library to encourage the return of borrowed items.  “Conscience box” donations are accepted in lieu of fines for late items.  Borrowing privileges may be curtailed if the items are not returned within one month from the due date.

12. Acceptance of Gifts

The library itself is pleased to accept donations of books as well as money.

All gifts to the Library in excess of $100, except books and unrestricted cash donations, shall be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval and acceptance.

The library will accept gifts with the understanding that the materials will be added to the library or its collection only when needed; if not added, the library has the right of disposal and may sell, give away, or discard the item(s) at its discretion.  If disposal is through sale, the library will retain the proceeds.  Once the library accepts a gift it will not be returned.  The items may not be retained or catalogued as an inclusive collection.  The Windsor Public Library offers no services for pick up of donated materials.  The library will, if requested, provide a written acknowledgment of the receipt of gifts, but in accordance with income tax regulations will leave the determination of a value of the donation to the donor. (See Release of  Donated Materials Form)

The library cannot afford to integrate into the collection any material it would not buy, if money were available, and will screen gifts of periodicals, pamphlets, newspapers, books, audiovisual materials, etc., using the same selection policies as are used for purchase.

Memorial Books

Memorial books are accepted by the library.  Patrons wishing to make such a gift should consult with the librarian before making a choice of book(s).

Exhibits

The library will not accept as a gift any item or objects if the condition of acceptance requires permanent exhibition of the item or object, or requires that the material be kept together as a separate physical entity.  The library is not a museum and will rarely accept objects.  Except for temporary exhibit purposes, the library will not accept storage responsibilities for historical documents or objects owned or controlled by groups or individuals.

13. Fundraising

Prior to any fundraising activities to benefit the Library, including activities by members of the Board of Trustees, the Friends of Windsor Public Library, and affiliated or independent organizations or individuals, a proposal describing the fundraising activity shall be submitted to the Board of Trustees for approval and acceptance at least a month prior to the event.

Such proposals shall include, but not be limited to:

  • Description of the event, including date and time
  • Expense and profit projections
  • All written language that shall be used in publicly presented documents, materials and other presentation formats
  • Purpose or goal of the event including specific designated use of funds
  • The amount or percent of funds raised that will directly benefit the Library within the calendar year shall be clearly stated on all materials as well as purpose or goal of the fundraising event
  • An explanation on all public materials shall be furnished relating to any funds which shall not benefit the library within the calendar year

14. Public Advocacy and Relations

Prior to any advocacy or public relation activities to benefit the Library, including activities by members of the Board of Trustees, the Friends of Windsor Public Library, and affiliated or independent organizations or individuals, a proposal describing the activity shall be submitted to the Board of Trustees for approval and acceptance at least a month prior to the event.

Such activities shall include but not be limited to: letter writing, public solicitations, and other general activities where the name Windsor Public Library is presented to the public.

15. Non Book Acquisitions

The Director of the Library shall submit timely proposals for acquisition of non-budgeted items or expenditures to the Board of Trustees for approval and acceptance.

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