Jay County Public Library 
315 N. Ship Street, Portland, IN  47371 
(260) 726-7890 or fax (260) 726-7317
Monday-Friday 8 to 8   Saturday 8 to 5


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Library Policies

See also Fine and Fee Schedule and Using the Internet at JCPL

A. Availability of Services 

1. Hours of Service 

 (a) The library shall be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. 

(b) The library shall close on the following holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve (noon), Christmas, New Year's Eve (noon), and such other days or partial days as the board may deem appropriate.

2. Area of Service - The library's service area is the taxing district, which is comprised of the entirety of Jay County except the City of Dunkirk, Town of Pennville and Penn Township. 

3. Type of Users 

(a) Resident borrower: An individual who lives in taxing district as a permanent resident or who can show proof of ownership of real estate in the taxing district. 

(b) Evergreen borrower: An individual whose home library is a member of the Evergreen Indiana consortium and has the borrowing privileges associated with same.

(c) Reciprocal borrower: A resident borrower of one of the libraries JCPL has a reciprocal agreement with. They are: Pennville and Ridgeville. 

(d) Public Library Access Card (PLAC) borrower: A non-resident who holds a resident or non-resident card from another Indiana public library -plus- a PLAC. {Examples: City of Muncie, Berne} 

(e) Teacher borrower: A teacher who resides outside the library’s tax district but is employed on a regular basis by the Jay School Corporation is afforded ‘reciprocal borrower’ ‘resident’ privileges at no charge while so employed. Proof of employment is required.

(f) Student borrower: A student who resides outside the library’s tax district but attends Jay County schools is afforded ‘reciprocal borrower’ privileges at no charge while so enrolled. Proof of enrollment is required.

(h) Temporary borrower: An individual temporarily residing in the tax district seven (7) to ninety (90) days must have their host countersign a registration application. If not residing with a host, the countersignature of the temporary employer is required. 

(i) Non-resident borrower: Any potential borrower who does not fall under one of the above categories. 

(j) Guest Internet user: No card is required but person must sign Acceptable Use Policy. 

(k) Any unregistered person may enter the library and make use of its books, magazines, audio visual items and microfilm materials in the building without borrowing privileges, subject to the Code of Public Conduct [see section F].

4. Registration requirements 

(a) Bookmobile borrowers in elementary school must have the prescribed registration form signed by a parent or legal guardian. 

(b) All other borrowers age 17 and under must have the prescribed registration form signed by a parent or legal guardian at the library, with the parent/guardian showing proof of identity and current address. Parent/guardian may grant permission for video privileges or Internet privileges (age 12 and older) at that time or at some later date. A parent or guardian's signature is also required to reactivate a juvenile's Internet privileges after they have been suspended. The library staff is authorized to request validation of parental or guardian relationship. 

(c) All other borrowers must complete the prescribed application form and provide proof of identity and address. 

(d) Elementary school bookmobile users are allowed one free replacement or duplicate card. All other duplicate/replacement cards for them, as well as non-bookmobile users, will be issued for a fee [See Fee Schedule in Appendix]. Duplicates can be requested only by the cardholder or, in the case of a minor, the parent/guardian.

[Section A adopted by the Board May 1, 2000.]

B. Materials Selection 

1. Responsibility: The selection of materials for the library shall be the duty of the director and his/her designees, with the aim of meeting the cultural, educational, recreational, and fact-finding needs of the community.

2. Principles: To assure that library materials are provided to meet the needs and interests of all of the people in the community, the following statement of principles concerning material selection is made: 

(a) Library materials should be selected for inclusion in library collections for the information, enlightenment and interest of the people of the community as a whole. Library materials should never be added or omitted because of the desires of any single individual or group, to the exclusion of the interests of the rest. 

(b) There should be the fullest practicable provision of library materials to present all points of view about the problems and issues whether of the past, the present, or the future. The presence of an item, whether magazine, book or other library material, in a library does not indicate an endorsement of its contents by the library. 

(c) Library materials which are authoritative should not be proscribed or removed from library shelves because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. In no case should any item be excluded because of the race or nationality, or the political or religious views of the writer. Libraries must resist any and all attempts to abridge the full access to ideas, the full freedom of information and the full freedom of expression that are the tradition and heritage of citizens of the United States 

(d) Public libraries in particular, while adhering unequivocally to the right of the people to full freedom of information, have a responsibility to make certain that the materials in their custody are not misused to the injury of either the people or the nation. The best procedure against misuse of library materials is not to suppress the materials, but to counter the misuse of them by an honest and complete presentation of all sides of the question and issue.

3. Complaints: The choice of library materials by users is an individual matter. Responsibility for the reading or viewing of materials by children and adolescents rests with their parents or legal guardians. While a person may reject materials for himself/herself and for his/her children, he/she cannot exercise censorship to restrict access to the materials of others. Nevertheless, the library allows residents of its service area to file a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials for presentation to the Board of Trustees.

4. Gifts and Memorials: Gifts or memorial donations in the form of money or useable items are welcome, although gifts with potential value of $500 or more may require library board action to accept. The library will not set a value on non-monetary gifts for receipt purposes, but will only acknowledge by description the items received. Library materials (books, magazine subscriptions, etc.) which are given must meet the same selection requirements imposed upon items purchased with library funds. Items which cannot be used may be sold, passed on to another library which can use the material, or destroyed.

5. Collection Maintenance: The director shall be responsible for implementing an ongoing program of withdrawing from the collection items no longer in demand, outdated or worn, as well as a method of value-based inventory for insurance purposes.

[Section B adopted by the Board June 5, 2000.

C. Materials Usage. 

1. Confidentiality: All information maintained by the library relative to a borrower's name, address and materials borrowed is considered confidential. [See Public Records Policy in Chapter 5]

2. Loan terms: The director shall assign loan terms and renewal restrictions to the various types of media which will foster the greatest use by the greatest number of people.

3. Overdue materials: With the exception of materials borrowed through the bookmobile, a borrower who retains materials over the stipulated loan term shall be subject to fine. [See Fee Schedule in Appendix] A patron who has been notified of overdue materials may not be permitted to borrow additional materials until the overdue materials are returned and the fines paid.

4. Damaged or lost materials: A borrower shall be charged a fee for the replacement of lost or irreparably damaged materials, as well as a fee for mending materials that can be repaired. [See Fee Schedule in Appendix]. Replacement and repair charges pertain to items borrowed through the bookmobile. A patron who has been notified of such charges may not be permitted to borrow additional materials until the charges are paid.

5. Circumventing Restrictions: Another family member's card may not be used to circumvent using a card that is temporarily invalid due to fines, fees, and/or overdue materials.

6. Quantity Restrictions: The director is authorized to restrict the number of items borrowed by an individual/family at any given time so that other borrowers are not unnecessarily precluded from using materials or obtaining information.

7. Reserves: The director is authorized to establish a system which will allow borrowers to reserve items and computer time.

8. Equipment: 

a) In-house use of equipment should be documented by reservation books and require no deposit. 

(b) Equipment removed from the library requires the borrower to present a valid borrower's card, to sign an equipment loan agreement, and to leave a deposit in the form of a check or money order. 

(c) Library staff may fax documents for the public at a fee. [See Fee Schedule in Appendix] 

(d) The public may not use the library's business phone, nor is the staff permitted to take messages for or page people in the building, except in the case of an emergency. 

(e) Furniture may not be removed from the building.

9. Internet: Freedom of expression is an inalienable human right and the foundation for self-government. Freedom of expression encompasses the right to freedom of speech and the corollary right to receive information. Such rights extend to minors as well as adults. Libraries facilitate the exercise of these rights by providing access to information regardless of format or technology to facilitate research and education.

(a) Internet users must sign an Acceptable Use Policy. Users age 12 through 17 must have a permission form on file signed by their parent or legal guardian. Children under 12 years of age may access the Internet only under the direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian who has signed the Policy. Library staff will not act in loco parentis. In compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), all computer terminals in the library with access to the Internet will be filtered to meet the requirements of the act. 

(b) The library will not provide home page service or electronic mail (e-mail) service for patrons, although users may access e-mail through free services available on the Internet. Because of the bandwidth required by interactive uses, activities such as chat rooms and interactive game playing, and instant messaging are not permitted. Information may be downloaded onto the user's own disk, but patrons may not load any programs or store any files on the library's computers, including files changing desktop or screensaver appearance. The library staff is authorized to delete any files on the hard drive or public access disks. 

(c) The following Internet access uses will not be permitted: 1. to access, upload, download, or distribute pornographic, obscene or sexually explicit material; 2. to transmit obscene, abusive, or sexually explicit language; 3. to violate any local, state, or federal statute; 4. to vandalize, damage or disable the property of another individual or organization; 5. to access another individual's materials, information, or files without permission; 6. to violate copyright or otherwise use the intellectual property of another individual or organization without permission; 7. to disrupt any of the Internet networks as a whole or any equipment or system forming part of the library's connection to the Internet; 8. to make mass distribution (or other form of intrusive "broadcast") of any message over the Internet, including but not limited to advertising. 

(d) Any violation of the library's Internet policies may result in the loss of the individual's right to use JCPL- provided Internet access and/or general library privileges. 

(e) Re-activating privileges for users under 18 requires a new registration form signed by the parent or legal guardian.

10. Non-Internet Computers: Non-Internet computers in the adult and children's galleries are available for public use subject to the following guidelines: time restrictions may be imposed; users may not load any programs or store any files on the library's computers; and charges will be imposed for using printers.

[Section C adopted by the Board July 5, 2000.]

D. Facilities Usage 

1. Meeting rooms 

(a) The meeting rooms are provided for the use of the library, its programs, library-related organizations and, as time permits, other organizations or individuals for educational, recreational, social, and cultural programs. First priority is given to library-sponsored events, and the library reserves the right to regulate the use of the rooms so as not to impede the use of the library as a whole by the general public. 

(b) The library reserves the right to refuse use of the facilities or limit the frequency with which a group or individual may use the premises, in order not to limit the opportunity of other groups or individuals to use the facilities. 

(c) The use of the library's meeting rooms does not constitute an endorsement of an organization's policies or beliefs. 

(d) The library, its Board of Trustees and its employees do not assume any liability for groups or individuals attending a meeting in the library, or are they responsible for any personal property brought to or left in the building relative to the use of those rooms. 

(e) Rental fees will be charged, payable in advance, to commercial and business concerns or for fund-raising activities. 

(f) The tenant will be financially responsible for any soiling or damage incurred while occupying the space. The room(s) is to be left in as-found condition.

2. Displays 

(a) Materials displayed in open areas, on bulletin boards, or in locked display cases must be approved by the library staff as being appropriate according to the library's mission. Examples of inappropriate displays are: political posters, advertising of for-profit concerns, jobs wanted, and jobs available. 

(b) Displays are placed at the displayer's risk.

(c) The library's own displays have priority over any display from outside the library, and appropriate displays may be denied access due to space limitations. 

(d) Posting of displays does not indicate the library's endorsement of the issue or event promoted. 

(e) Containers for contributions of cash may not be placed in the library. Containers for other types of contributions are subject to the director's approval.

[Section D adopted by the Board July 5, 2000.]

E. Staff-provided Services 

1. In house: The library staff shall offer a variety of services to 

(a) assist the library user in locating the necessary or desired information or media to meet his/her needs. (e.g. reference questions, specific Internet searches, reader's advisory, reserved items, requests, genealogy inquiries, Interlibrary Loan, etc.) 

(b) assist the library user in understanding the organization and tools of the library to make him/her a more effective and efficient library user. (e.g. instructional classes and brochures) 

(c) promote the use of the library and its collection of media. (e.g. reading programs, displays, tours, newsletter, etc.) 

(d) promote education and knowledge in general. (e.g. programming such as Local Expert series, etc.)

2. Outreach: The library staff shall offer (a) programming to non-profit daycare and pre-school organizations to introduce the library, books, and reading to their students. 

(b) bookmobile service to the elementary schools situated in the library's tax district to introduce the library to its younger citizens, to foster a life-long relationship with the library, and to promote the enjoyment of reading. 

(c) delivery service to those citizens for whom travel to the library is an impediment (deposit collections at nursing homes, elderly housing units, etc., as well as homebound delivery) or reading is difficult (storyteller at nursing homes). 

(d) programming to promote the library in the community. (e.g. displays, presentations, the Chamber of Commerce EXPO, etc.)

3. Services not included: 

(a) homework assistance beyond aid in finding appropriate resources 

(b) one-on-one reading or literacy training 

(c) research beyond ready reference or specific genealogical inquiry 

(d) locating and reserving large quantities of non-specific materials, whether specific to a theme or not, for use in a classroom or classroom-like setting (e.g. church, preschool, Girl Scout group) other than what is delivered by bookmobile. 

(e) legal, medical, or taxation-related reference questions beyond aid in finding appropriate resources

[Section E adopted by the Board on August 7, 2000]

F. Public Behavior 

1. General Statements: The library board, and by extension the library staff, is responsible for maintaining the decorum of the library property to facilitate its peaceful use by both the public and the employees. The fact the facility is publicly owned does not license inappropriate behavior by a member of the public

2. Prohibitions: the following types of public behavior, activities and items are not permitted 

(a) Unattended children age 7 or younger. 

(b) Loitering, sleeping, exhibitionism, gambling, voyeurism, harassment, or public intoxication 

(c) Eating or drinking in the public areas, except in the Community Room. 

(d) Alcoholic beverages, controlled substances ("street drugs"), or weapons. 

(e) Use of tobacco products. 

(f) Running, throwing, or fighting. 

(g) Loud, obscene, or abusive language. 

(h) Bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, or skates in the building. 

(i) Soliciting, except in support of the library or the Friends group as approved by the director. 

(j) Animals, except service dogs assisting the blind or physically handicapped. 

(k) Insufficient clothing. Shoes and shirts must be worn. 

(l) Theft of library property, including removal of books or other materials which have not been presented for check out. 

(m) Vandalism to library property, as well as other items not the property of the vandal. No feet on furniture, no tipping back of chairs, etc. 

(n) Such other activities not specifically mentioned which would interfere with the rights of others to peacefully use the library.

3. Children: 

(a) Parents/guardians/caregivers are responsible for their children's behavior and adherence to rules while they are in the library. 

(i) Children should not be permitted to climb on furniture, desks, or shelving; misuse books or other library materials; or misuse library equipment, such as computers. 

(ii) Children should not be permitted to disrupt the library by screaming, shouting or crying. 

(iii) If the parent/guardian/caregiver fails or refuses to control the child, he/she and the child or children will be required to leave the library. 

(b) Because the library is a large, well-trafficked area that can be a frightening and dangerous place for an unattended child, children age 7 or younger must be accompanied by a responsible parent, guardian or caregiver at least 13 years of age while in the library. Parents/guardians/caregivers attending meetings in the library may not leave young children unattended in other parts of the library. The library staff is: 

(i) authorized to advise the caregiver who is in the building to resume control of the child. 

(ii) authorized to locate an appropriate caregiver, if none is in the building, by phone to immediately pick up the child. 

(iii) authorized to contact the police to pick up the child if a caregiver cannot be located in a reasonable length of time. 

(iv) not authorized to take the child from the building, including transporting the child to another location. 

(c) When children age 12 or younger remain at the library at closing time, two library staff members will remain with the child for 15 minutes. If a responsible adult cannot be located to pick up the child in that time, the police shall be called to pick up the child.

4. Dangerous or disruptive behavior: In order to maintain safety and reasonable decorum within the building or on its grounds, the library staff is authorized to: 

(a) eject from the property a person who is endangering himself or others, disrupting the decorum of the facility, or violating Prohibitions in this section. The invocation of a warning before ejection and the length of the ejection shall depend on the severity of the offense. The minimal length of the ejection is for the balance of the day. 

(b) notify the parent/guardian in writing of the ejection, in the case of a minor. 

(c) summon the police if the person becomes confrontational; refuses to leave; or leaves and returns without good cause. Violators who are asked to leave the premises and refuse to do so may be subject to prosecution for Criminal Trespass.

[Section F adopted by the Board October 2, 2000.]





Jay County Public Library  Portland, Indiana