Chester County Library
Policy and Procedures

Use of the library:

            Service shall be free to all persons residing, working, owning property or attending school in Chester County.  Persons who do not meet this criteria will be charged a one-time $5.00 fee for a library card granting check-out privileges of library materials.  The use of the collection within the library is free to everyone.

          The use of the library shall be limited when excessive demands of groups or individuals tend to curtail service to the general public.  Library programs take place over group use.  Library usage may be denied for failure to abide by the rules of the library; destruction of library property; or objectionable conduct on library premises.


 Conduct in the library:

          Smoking is not permitted in the library.  Food or drink is not to be brought into the library except for a library sponsored activity. 

          Library directors may ask customer to leave when and if they are displaying inappropriate behavior, conduct which might be a safety hazard, or conduct which creates a disturbance to other customers.  Young children are not to be left unattended by a guardian or authorized adult except for planned library activities.  An authorized adult is a parent, guardian, or other relative or friend who is eighteen years of age or older.  A sibling who is younger than this does not constitute a responsible adult.  In addition, anyone who is under seventeen may not be dropped off at the library.  Any student who is sixteen or over and is able to drive themselves to and from the building may come in under his/her own power, but they may not stay without proper supervision as outlined above. The proper local authorities may be contacted at the discretion of the library director.  The library director and library staff are not a baby-sitting service for unattended children.
 

Circulation: 

            Library staff members will not restrict the circulation of materials based on age.  Parents are responsible for maintaining the physical condition of the books, videos, audio tapes and CDs checked out by their children  including  loss, damage or overdue, and are wholly responsible for monitoring the appropriateness of materials their children check out. 

          Patrons must apply for a library card in order to check out any materials and must do so in person. 

          To be issued a card, a patron must:

          1.    Be at least five years old.
          2.    Reside, work, own property or attend school in Chester County
          3.    Provide photo ID and proof of residence
          4.    Obtain signature of parent or legal guardian on application if younger than fourteen years of age

  Limits of materials per card are:

           Five hardback books and/or eight paperback books—they may be checked out for two weeks and the fines, if overdue, are five cents per book per day.

           Two videos or DVDs per household—they may be checked out for two days and the fine, if overdue, is $2.00 per movie per day.
         
 Children under 17 are not permitted to check out movies that are rated R.

           Two audio books per card—they may be checked out for one week and the fine, if overdue, is $1.00 per audio book per day.

           One cake pan per household—cake pans may be checked out for one week with a $5.00 deposit.  The fine, if overdue, is $1.00 per day.  Refunds for                      deposits are made if the cake pan is returned clean and with the instructions.
           
           One Hotspot per household per month -- they may be checked out for one week and the fine, if overdue, is $5.00 for each of the first two days.  On the                  third day, the Hotspot will be turned off. Fines will also be assessed if the cords to the device are damaged or not returned.  If the Hotspot is damaged
           or not returned, the patron will be charged a $50.00 replacement fee. Patrons must be at least 18 years of age to check out the Hotspot, must have read                and signed the library's Hotspot policy, and must not have any fines on their account or on the account(s) of anyone in their household..

         THESE DEVICES CANNOT BE PUT IN THE DROPBOX  AND THEY MUST BE RETURNED IN THE BOX THEY WERE CHECKED              OUT IN.  ALLOW STAFF TIME TO OPEN THE BOX AND VERIFY THAT THE HOTSPOT IS IN WORKING ORDER WITH ALL                    CORDS PRESENT.

            Library materials may be renewed up to three times and may be renewed over the phone. (This does not apply to Hotspots.)

           The following caps are placed on fines on overdue items: 

           Hardback and paperback books:  the price of the book
           Videos, DVDs, CDs, or audiobooks: $10.00
           Charges for lost or badly damaged material shall be the cost necessary to replace it at the present market price.

           Reference books, genealogy materials, and Tennessee Room books may not be checked out.  They must be used in the library.

           During the periods designated as Fine Free Month, if a patron contacts the library, all fines will be forgiven as long as library materials are returned.

           Patrons  who display a frequency of repeated overdue materials such as keeping materials out for months at a time without returning them will be                     designated an Unreliable Patron (Patron Type: 4) and will not be allowed to check out.  Computer usage will be granted upon payment of fines.
          
          If a patron has $1.00 or more in fines, they must pay a minimum of $1.00  to be allowed to check out library materials or use the computers until the                   fine is paid. If the fines are more than $10.00, they must be paid in full before the patron  may check out materials or use the computer.

Library cards:

            Library cards must be produced to check out library materials.  Fines that total over $1.00 must be paid before any other materials can be checked out. Any materials that are a month overdue should be returned before more can be checked out.  Replacement library cards cost $5.00.  In the event that a library card is lost due to theft, fire, or other natural disaster the library will replace the card without a charge.  Patrons who move away from Chester County and return later are still expected to produce their library card or to replace the card if it has been lost.  Personal identification is required to get a library card, as well as proof of residence.  Parents’ ID should be used for children under 14.

 

Cell Phone Usage: 

            Patrons should turn off cell phones when entering the library.  If a cell phone goes off inadvertently, patrons may be directed to the foyer or the hallway to conduct the conversation. 

 

Computer Use and Internet Access: 

             Computers must be checked out at the circulation desk.  A library card does not necessarily have to be produced just to use the computer, but fines that are over $1.00 must be paid before computer access can be granted.  Also, materials that are a month overdue must be returned before computer access can be granted.  Laptop computers may only be checked out by patrons who have a library card in our circulation system.  Visitors may check out a computer using a visitor’s library card.

           The Chester County Library provides wireless access without charge.  However, patrons who bring in their own laptops will not be able to print from the library printers.

           Free internet access and computer use is available to all Chester County Library patrons except for printer use.  Prices are charged at current rate.  Patrons are responsible for paying for every page they or their child print.

           Computer use is limited  to library hours and is on a first-come, first-served basis.  Use is limited to a one-hour session per user if anyone is waiting.

           Children under 17 must have a signed permission form from their parent or guardian on file at the circulation desk before computer usage can be granted.  Proof of age may be required at the discretion of library staff. This is in accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act. 

           The library is not responsible for the content or validity of information found on the Internet.  Parents are responsible for ensuring material is appropriate for their childen. 

           Library staff offers only minimal assistance with computers or internet applications.  Staff cannot assist in internet searches or in-depth personal computer training.  The computers are not to be turned off at any time.

Internet work stations are not to be used to:

  • Use fee-based services

  • Install, remove, or modify software

  • Violate copyright laws or software licensing agreements

  • Violate another person's privacy

  • Engage in disruptive offensive, libelous, or slanderous behavior

  • Engage in illegal activities

          Anyone who goes into sites that are lewd or pornographic will receive one warning that these sites will not be tolerated in the library.  Patrons who are caught viewing images of this nature a second time will have their computer priviliges terminated.

Failure to follow the above rules will result in loss of computer privileges.

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