Basic Academic and Environmental Principles
1. Every child is unique, with unique talents, interests and abilities, and grows in his or her own way, and in his or her own time and sequence. Each child’s individual developmental path must be nurtured and respected.
2. Children of all ages and cultures can learn from and teach one another. Each child has the right to be respected for his or her own unique experience of life.
3. A child learns in partnership with his or her family. A child’s family is his first and greatest teacher.
4. Children learn alone, and with the help of others. Children learn most effectively when they teach and learn from one another in an environment that is interesting and inspiring to them.
5. The best teacher listens to, and learns from, the student. Children learn respect for others by experiencing the sincere respect of their teachers.
6. All aspects of a child are important; the mind, the heart, the body and the soul. Every child needs to develop an ability to deal effectively with the world around them, to appreciate beauty, to experience physical, mental and emotional well-being, and to find peace.
7. Children first learn through their senses, and by discovering how the world works with their hands. These early experiences and skills lead to a later understanding of ideas.
8. A wide array of materials, media, and activities in the learning environment offers children of different ages and interests the chance to learn useful skills and information they can use and understand.
9. Children need time and attention to explore how things are connected, to work out problems, and to create new solutions.
10. Positive limits and models teach children respect for themselves and others, for their environment, and for life itself.
11. Reading skills are the gateway to all human knowledge; to practical skills, to social and cultural wisdom, and to an understanding of our living and material environment. For every child, reading is a critical building block in achieving success and well-being.
12. These basic principles are also true for children who have grown into adolescents and adults.
Policies and Procedures Summary
The following is a summary of key provisions of the Library’s policies and procedures. The full document with all policy and procedure provisions is available for public review at the front desk of the Library.
I. Who May Use the Library
The library will serve all residents and visitors of the community and surrounding region. Service will not be denied or abridged because of religious, racial, social, economic, or political status; or because of mental, emotional, or physical condition; age; or sexual orientation.
The use of the library may be denied for due cause. Such cause may be failure to return library materials or to pay penalties, destruction of library property, disturbance of other patrons, or any other illegal, disruptive, or objectionable conduct on library premises.
The Round Top Family Library encourages visits by young children, and it is our desire to make this important visit both memorable and enjoyable for the child. Library staff is not expected to assume responsibility for the care of unsupervised children in the library.
Therefore, it is library policy that all children under age six must be accompanied by a parent or designated responsible person while in the library. Also, if the young child is attending a library program, we require the parent/responsible person to remain in the library throughout the program.
II. Patron Responsibilities and Conduct
It is a patron’s responsibility to maintain necessary and proper standards of behavior in order to protect his/her individual rights and the rights and privileges of other patrons. If a patron creates a public nuisance, that patron may be restricted from the Library and from the use of the library facilities. Those who are unwilling to leave or do not leave within a reasonable amount of time, after being instructed to do so by the staff, will be subject to the law.
Examples of unacceptable behavior include:
- Abandonment/leaving of young children unattended
- Abuse/vandalism of library facilities, equipment or material
- Behavior or language that is offensive to others
- Bringing pets into any of the library facilities (service dogs are allowed)
- Use of chewing tobacco or smoking in any of the library facilities or grounds
- Use of alcoholic beverages in any of the library owned facilities or grounds.
- Eating within library buildings, except as served during library events
- Entering library without shirt or shoes
- Excessive noise/noise which disturbs others
- Harassment/physical, sexual, or verbal abuse, in any form, of other library users or library staff
- Intoxication or behavior influenced by narcotics
- Illegal activities within the library or on library grounds
- Obscene language or activity
- Rollerblading, skating or skateboarding
- Use of cell phones (phones should be set to silent mode) except in library foyer
- Using library computer equipment for purposes other than those permitted under the Computer Resources Access and Internet Safety Policy, or performing any act that damages or disables computer hardware or software.
III. Alcohol, Drugs and Firearms
No alcohol will be consumed or stored on Library property, except for Board approved, library sponsored events. NO alcohol will be allowed in the Library.
Patrons, Library staff, board members or volunteers who appear to be intoxicated may be asked to leave the Library premises.
Library staff, board members or volunteers found to be consuming alcohol outside of approved events will be asked to leave the premises and may be subject to follow-up disciplinary action by the Library Executive Committee.
Illegal drugs are not to be brought on Library property at any time. Patrons who are in possession of illegal drugs or who appear to be under the influence of drugs may be asked to leave the premises. Library staff, board members or volunteers found to be in possession of illegal drugs will be asked to leave the premises and may be subject to follow-up disciplinary action by the Library Executive Committee or law enforcement.
Library staff, board members or volunteers using prescription drugs under a doctor’s supervision are expected to utilize judgement and ensure they do not come on to Library property if their behavior or demeanor are impaired to a level that puts patrons, staff or volunteers at risk or discomfort.
The Board of the Round Top Family Library prohibits the carrying of weapons openly on library property.
IV. Responsibility for children
If a parent or guardian drops a child off for a scheduled program and the Library accepts responsibility for the child being here, we will not let the child leave the Library unaccompanied to return home or to meet their parents. The parent will be requested to return and pick up the child in a timely fashion. If a parent or guardian cannot be reached the Library Director, then the Fayette County Sheriff’s office will be notified.
If a parent or guardian leaves a child unaccompanied at the library or on the library grounds, and there is no scheduled program, the Library cannot accept responsibility for the child or for their return home. The parent will be requested to return and pick up the child in a timely fashion. If a parent or guardian cannot be reached the Library Director, then the Fayette County Sheriff’s office will be notified.
Children of all ages are encouraged to use the library for homework, recreational reading, and program attendance. The library staff realizes that the library will be noisier at busy times and that children by nature can cause more commotion. However, children (whether with parents or not) who are being continually disruptive will be given a warning. If after a second warning the child continues to be disruptive, he/she will be asked to leave the library. If the child needs to contact a parent, they may do so and then wait with a staff person until the parent arrives.
V. Suspension of Library Privileges
Patrons who break the library rules and have been dealt with according to proper library procedures or who participate in illegal behavior may have their library privileges suspended.
Patrons who have had their Library privileges suspended may not have access to the Library’s facility, property or services.
The length of suspension:
- for a breach of library rules will be no less than one month.
- for repeated breaches of library rules will be no less than three months.
- for abusing staff or patrons, damaging or destroying library property or any illegal behavior will be no less than six months.
Notice of suspension where the patron’s name and address are known will be issued by mail from the Library Director. The notice will specify the reason and the length of the suspension. One copy of the notice will be kept on file. Staff will be informed of the suspension.
VI. Services of the Library
The library provides materials and resources for information, entertainment, intellectual development, and enrichment of the people of the community. The library should endeavor to:
- Select, organize, and make available necessary books and materials.
- Provide guidance and assistance to patrons.
- Sponsor and implement programs, exhibits, displays, book lists, etc., which would appeal to children and adults.
- Cooperate with other community agencies and organizations.
- Develop and provide services to patrons with special needs.
- Maintain a balance in its services to various age groups.
- Regularly review library services being offered.
- Use media and other public relations mechanisms to promote the full range of available library services.
VII. Circulation Policy
All borrowers must be registered and must have a valid patron card to borrow library materials.
Registration is free and open to all ages and residency is not required. Patrons must fill out an application form to register for a new library card.
Applicants under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian give their consent on the application form before a new card can be issued.
Materials cannot be checked out until a library card is issued.
Lost or forgotten cards
If a patron loses his/her library card, they should notify the library and request a replacement.
All patrons, adult and children, are expected to bring their library cards with them if they intend to check out items. However, once the patron’s information is entered into the database, they can request the staff member to look up their card number by name. We prefer that patrons have their card available as a courtesy to other patrons and staff.
- Two weeks for books, DVDs, and audiobooks.
- Books may be renewed twice.
A patron may borrow a maximum of 6 total items at one time.
Reserves may be placed by patrons either in person or via phone. Patrons will be notified by email or phone when the materials are available. There is no charge for this service.
Fines and charges
There is a 10 cent/day fine for overdue materials with a maximum of $10 per item. A first notice is sent via email at 30 days overdue. A second notice via mail is sent at 60 days, followed by a third notice via mail at 90 days, if needed. After the 90 days’ notice, patrons shall be denied borrowing privileges until those overdue materials are returned or paid for if lost and/or damaged.
If materials are damaged or to be judged by the library as being unsuitable for the collection, the patron must pay the replacement cost.
Records of any library, which is in whole or in part supported by public funds, indicating the identity of any individual who borrows or uses the services of the RTFL, may not be disclosed except by court order or to persons acting within the scope of their duties in the administration of the library.
The Round Top Family Library adheres strictly to the protection of the confidentiality of its users.
VIII. Programming Policy
A “program” is a planned interaction between the library staff and the program participants for the purpose of promoting library materials, facilities, or services, as well as offering the community an informational, entertaining, or cultural experience.
The board, in conjunction with the library director, will establish a budget and goals for programming to facilitate the effective implementation of this service.
Programs will not be political, religious, or controversial in nature. Speakers can only sell books not products or service at these programs.
IX. Use of Library Buildings and Grounds Policies
Playground and Outdoor Area
This is an unsupervised playground. Parents/guardians are responsible for the supervision and well-being of their children. Children or adults who fail to observe this policy may be asked to leave the grounds. The Round Top Family Library and the Town of Round Top are not responsible for their safety.
- No unsupervised children.
- No running, throwing, or rough play.
- No climbing of trees or hanging from tree limbs. The large old oak trees near the Rummel Haus are especially precious. Children should not walk on the roots or climb the trunks.
- No walking in the flower beds.
- No wading in the water fountain or climbing on the large rocks surrounding the fountain.
- Children or adults who commit vandalism, repeatedly use language that is inappropriate for minors, or repeatedly fail to play constructively or risk the well-being of, or hurt others, will lose all playground privileges.
- Obey direct requests of Round Top Family Library staff or board of directors.
Children’s parties may be held in the playground area upon contract approval by Library Director and/or Library Board.
- Children must be supervised and must stay in the playground area.
- Hosts are responsible for trash.
Follow rules on sign at playground area.
The Library building, art annex, and second floor of the Library annex will be used for Library business only. They will not be rented out.
The Rummel Haus and the main floor of the Library annex are available for rental by civic or non-profit organizations, by businesses, or for private events. Organizations other than the library are charged for usage as listed in the Fee Schedule Rates. These buildings are available for rental on a first come basis, when not in use by the Library, during normal business hours. Usage outside regular Library hours requires prior approval from Library Director and/or Board of Directors to ensure staff are available for opening and securing the buildings. All buildings must be vacated by 9pm.
Use of the facility does not mean that the library as an institution endorses the purposes and policies of the group renting the facility. The Library maintains the right to deny use of the building(s) to organizations/events which do not have a general community acceptance or when that rental would cause a disturbance of the regular operations of the Library.
Reservations and Fees
Reservations shall be made in person and will be made on a first come basis. At the time a building is reserved a rental contract must be filled out and signed, and a deposit paid. Events/meetings will only be placed on the calendar when a contract has been received and deposit has been paid. Rental fees will be due at time of service according to the current fee schedule.
The user is responsible for leaving the building in the condition in which it was found and disposing of any waste material appropriately.
Maximum attendees are as follows:
– Playground is 25 attendees
– Rummel Haus is 25 attendees
– Library Annex is 60 attendees
Food and beverages may be served but tobacco use, in any form, is strictly prohibited on Library property. Alcohol is permitted at Board approved, library sponsored events only.
The doors must remain unlocked during the event/meeting. The applicant is responsible for any publicity and must clearly identify the sponsoring group or organization. The location of the Library may be publicized but the Library telephone number may not be placed on marketing materials.
Any maintenance, repairs, or new construction on Library property over $1,000 must have 2 bids and be approved by the Library Board.
XI. Equipment Use Policy
Computers are available to patrons on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no charge for use of the computer; staff is available for general assistance in using the computer.
A printer is available. Printer paper will cost $0.25 per sheet and must be paid for at the conclusion of the session.
A photocopy machine is available to patrons who wish to copy materials at the rate of $0.25 per page.
A fax machine is available for public use with the help of a staff member. There is a $0.50 charge for each fax sent.
Copy machine users are advised that there are restrictions on copyrighted materials. Any violation of copyright is the responsibility of the copy machine user.
XII. Internet Use Policy
The Round Top Family Library is providing access to the internet as a means to enhance the information and learning opportunities for the citizens and visitors of the library’s service area. The Library Board has established the Internet Use Policy to ensure appropriate and effective use of this resource.
Access to the internet is available to all patrons and guests; however, this service may be restricted at any time for use not consistent with the guidelines. Parents of minor children must assume responsibility for their children’s use of the library’s internet service; prior to being granted access to the internet, anyone under 18 years of age, along with a parent or guardian, must sign the Internet Use Agreement.
Users should be aware that the inappropriate use of electronic information resources can be a violation of local, state, and federal laws and can lead to prosecution. The user will be held responsible for his/her actions using the Internet. Users are expected to abide by the policies below which include generally accepted rules of network etiquette. Unacceptable uses of the service will result in the suspension or revocation of internet use privileges.
The internet is a decentralized, unmediated global network; the Round Top Family Library has no control over the content found there. The library will not censor access to material nor protect users from offensive information, and it is not responsible for the availability and accuracy of information found on the internet.
The library cannot assure that data or files downloaded by users are virus-free. The library is not responsible for damages to equipment or data on a user’s personal computer from the use of data downloaded from the library’s Internet service.
The use of the internet and e-mail is not guaranteed to be private. Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities will be reported to the proper authorities.
Users may use the internet for research and the acquisition of information to address their educational, vocational, cultural, and recreational needs. Users may use the internet for the receipt and transmission of electronic mail (e-mail) as long as they use a free e-mail service which will establish and maintain an account for them; the library is unable to manage e-mail accounts for any organizations or individuals.
Users will respect and uphold copyright laws and all other applicable laws and regulations.
Users will not use it for illegal purposes.
Users agree not to incur any costs for the library through their use of the internet service.
Users shall not create and/or distribute computer viruses over the internet.
Users shall not deliberately or willfully cause damage to computer equipment, programs, or parameters.
Termination or Prohibition of User Access
Staff members are authorized to terminate any user’s access session, or to prohibit a user from subsequent access sessions according to the terms of the Round Top Library Code of Conduct, given cause to believe that the user has failed to comply with the internet Acceptable Use Policy and/or Rules.
U.S. Copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principles of “fair use.” Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials (including electronic mail, text, images, programs or data) without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Any responsibility for any consequences of copyrighted infringement lies with the user. The Round Top Family Library Association expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.
XIII. Wi-Fi Service
The Round Top Family Library allows for personal computer equipment to access the internet via a wireless network throughout the buildings and property.
Persons utilizing the wireless connection agree to comply with all provisions of the current Round Top Family Library internet policy which is incorporated by reference herein.
The Library’s wireless connection is unencrypted and unfiltered. Use of the wireless connection is done at the patron’s own risk. By using this connection, patrons acknowledge that security efforts and hacking are an inherent risk associated with any wireless service. For that reason, patrons expressly agree that they knowingly assume such risk, and further agree to hold the Library harmless from any claim or loss arising out of, or related to, any such instance of hacking or other unauthorized use or access into the patron’s computer.
The Library accepts no responsibility for any software downloaded and/or installed, email opened, or sites accessed while patrons are on the wireless internet connection. Any damage done to the patron’s equipment or self from viruses, identity theft, spyware, plug-ins, or other internet-borne programs is the sole responsibility of the patron, and the patron indemnifies and holds harmless the Library from any such damage.
The Library accepts no responsibility regarding the ability of patron-owned equipment to connect to the wireless network. Library staff will not change settings on patron equipment.
Unauthorized downloading of copyrighted material(s) and use of computers for illegal activities is strictly forbidden and will result in suspension or revocation of Library privileges and may result in a formal notification to the appropriate local law enforcement office.
XIV. Staff and Volunteers
Library Operations are carried out only by staff or adult volunteers. Volunteers are defined as anyone 16 years of age or older. All staff and volunteers, including Board members, 18 and over will be subject to a background check prior to serving at the Library. Any potential staff or volunteer whose background check reveals a felony conviction will not be permitted to volunteer in activities where children are present. Any misdemeanor convictions revealed in a background check will be reviewed on a case by case basis to determine if limitations on their activity are appropriate.
Intervention on behalf of children
Staff is expected to intervene on behalf of children in difficult situations. In all cases of intervention staff will complete an Incident Report Form.
Staff will not, under any circumstances, drive a child home.
Staff will attempt to contact the parent(s)/guardian(s) of abandoned children left unattended in or about the Library premises.
Staff will immediately inform proper authorities, according to applicable law, of any case of suspected child abuse or abandonment. After doing so, a confidential incident report form shall be immediately submitted to the Library Director describing in detail the nature of those concerns.
Only the Library Director or President of the Board of Directors is authorized to comment to the media on behalf of the Library.
Conflict of Interest
A conflict of interest arises when an employee’s or Board member’s personal interests conflict with her/his duties and responsibilities as an employee/Board member of the Library.
A conflict of interest can exist whether or not direct or indirect financial advantage has been conferred on an employee.
If there is a perception of a conflict of interest with an employee, it should be discussed with the Library Director. A conflict of interest with a Board Member must be discussed at a Board of Directors’ meeting.
- Solicit, accept or condone the solicitation or acceptance of any gift, favor or form of entertainment and/or hospitality from any person or corporation having dealings with the Library that may result in undue benefit.
- Engage in business transactions or have financial, or other personal interests which are inconsistent with the impartial discharge of their duties.
- Extend preferential treatment to any person, relatives, friends, organizations, or groups in which they have or their relatives have a pecuniary interest.
- Gain personal benefit, or permit others to benefit, from the access to information acquired in their official capacity which is not generally available to the public through ordinary and proper channels.
XV. Relationships with Other Civic and Non-Profit Organizations
It is the policy of the Round Top Family Library to seek partnership with, to promote to the degree appropriate, and to avoid duplicating services with all non-profit and civic organizations in the Library’s service area.
It is the goal and policy of the Round Top Family Library to “build bridges” between local organizations and institutions. Divisive or directly competitive behavior by staff members/Board Members towards such groups is not acceptable.
XVI. Displays and Exhibits
The Library does not allow exhibits or large displays for non-library programs. Any posters, brochures, or business cards may be displayed at the discretion of the Library Director.
XVII. Gifts and Donations
Gifts to the library will be encouraged with the understanding that only materials which will be useful to the Library will be accepted. Used materials will be accepted to be used in the library collection or book sale with proceeds to benefit the Round Top Family Library.
Acceptance of Gifts
All gift materials must meet the same standards applied in the selection and acquisition of new materials and will only be accepted if deemed needed by the Library Director or Board.
Gifts of money, stock or real property can be accepted only if the conditions attached thereto are acceptable to the Library Board of Directors.
Materials left unclaimed in the library for more than 30 days shall be considered gifts.
Gifts of art will be accepted at the discretion of the Library Board of Directors.
No more than 2 boxes or bags of books will be accepted at one time. Books must be in good condition.
The Library Director or Board of Directors shall decide the purpose for which undesignated memorial funds are to be used, giving due consideration to the wishes of the family concerned.
XIII. Disasters Policy
Do not panic, but do not underestimate the potential danger to customers or staff represented by a fire. At the first indication of smoke or flame, investigate the situation to determine location and extent of the fire. If the fire can obviously be contained and extinguished quickly and safely by staff, proceed to do so. Evacuate the building and notify the fire department and the Library Director. However, if there is any doubt about whether the fire can be controlled, immediately clear the building. Once outside call 911 and the Library Director.
Staff members should exercise caution when administering first aid of even a minor nature because of the safety of the injured individual and the potential liability of the staff member. Without specialized training it is not advisable for staff to undertake more than keeping the sick or injured patron comfortable and protected from needless disturbance until medical help can be obtained. Since each case is unique, staff members should use their own judgment to do what is prudent and reasonable. 911 should be called immediately in the event of any serious problem.
No medication should ever be dispensed to the public.
Staff will be in contact with the Library Director and/or Board of Directors and decisions will be made accordingly. Use the kitchen in the Rummel Haus, if possible, depending on weather conditions.
XIX. Revision of Library Policies
The preceding statements of Round Top Family Library’s policies shall be subject to review and needed revision at least every five years by the Library Board. Individual policies will be reviewed or added as needed.