It is the mission of the Valley Falls Free Library to inspire learning, advance education, and help our community live, learn and grow through books, movies, media and technology.

Our policies are designed to facilitate our mission statement. We are continuously striving to review and refine our policies to better serve our community.

   VALLEY FALLS FREE LIBRARY

POLICIES

UPDATED AND APPROVED BY THE BOARD

APRIL 2019

  1. PATRONS
  2. BUILDING AND GROUNDS
  3. COMPUTER AND INTERNET USE
  4. STAFF AND BOARD 
  5. EARLY/DELAYED LIBRARY CLOSINGS
  6. STAFF & BOARD CONFLICT OF INTEREST
  7. NEPOTISM ISSUES
  8. YOUR LIBRARY IN MOTION
  9. PATRONS

Patron Policy

  • Valley Falls Free Library serves all members of the local community, and seeks to meet each individual’s needs to the best of its ability regardless of a person’s age, physical condition, race, sex, sexual orientation, religious or political affiliation, social or economic status.
  • To protect the rights and safety of our patrons and staff, the Library holds its patrons to reasonable standards regarding personal conduct. No library patron shall insult, intimidate, injure or otherwise harm (physically or psychologically) any other patron or staff member. Behavior unfit for the library will be determined by library staff, and consequences will be levied by either the staff or law enforcement as circumstance dictates.
  • As members of Valley Falls Free Library, our patrons agree to treat books, CD’s, DVD’s and other inventory with care and consideration. To protect our inventory and ensure quality goods for all patrons, each patron must be accountable to the library for late, lost or damaged goods. Anyone deemed to have lost a library item will be accountable for the full cost of replacing the item. Anyone deemed to have damaged a library item to such a degree that it no longer meets circulation standards will also be accountable for the full cost of replacing the item.
  • Children under 10 years of age must be accompanied by an adult unless a prior arrangement has been made with library staff.

*See Computer and Internet Use Policy for rules governing public computer use.

  1. BUILDING AND GROUNDS
  • The library and library grounds, which include the library’s yard and front porch, are for public use only during library hours, during library sponsored events, and while making short term use of the library provided wireless internet access. 
  •  Library patrons are expected to follow regular rules of conduct (outlined above in Patron Policy) when on library grounds. 
  •  Smoking is not permitted on library grounds. 
  •  Littering is not permitted on library grounds.
  •  Loud music is not permitted on library grounds. 
  •  Those accessing the internet from library grounds (i.e. front porch or parking) agree to the same applicable terms of service outlined in Computer and Internet Use Policy.  
  • The library will seek compensation for any damage done to the library or library grounds.

PARKING

  • Patrons park at their own risk. The library is not responsible for any damages, parking violations, or fines incurred while visiting the library.
  1. COMPUTER AND INTERNET USE

As part of Valley Falls Free Library’s mission to meet the information needs of its patrons, the library offers free public access to the Internet. However, some websites may contain inaccurate, controversial, and even offensive material. The library does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through the Internet and cannot be responsible for its accuracy, authenticity or suitability of content.

 Supervision:  

Parents and guardians are responsible for monitoring their child’s use of the computer and Internet. Any restrictions of a child’s access are the responsibility of the parent/guardian, not the library staff. 

Computer restrictions: 

Patrons are asked not to view pornography, extreme violence, hateful material, or any content typically perceived as offensive on library computers. Though the library staff does not monitor personal internet usage, the staff person in charge reserves the right to respond to a complaint by another patron, or to take initiative to investigate suspicious activity. There is no expectation of privacy when using library computers, as they are the property of the Valley Falls Free Library. Any user viewing content unfit for the library is subject to the loss of computer privileges. 

 Patrons must wear headphones when listening to music, and they must keep music at a reasonable volume as not to disturb others.  

Patrons may not load software onto library computers. 

 Patrons may not save files to library computers—USB drives are for sale at the Circulation Desk for your convenience. 

Reservations/time limits: 

Currently no reservations are needed to use library computers, but patrons are asked to be considerate of the needs of others. If any patron has been at a computer station for more than 30 minutes, they are expected to defer to any patron waiting to use a computer. The library staff on duty has the discretionary authority to end or extend any patron’s use of a library computer. 

 Circumventing, undermining, damaging and/or destroying the functionality, security and controls of the computers and Internet services by engaging in activities that include, but are not limited to: connecting unapproved devices to the Valley Falls Library’s network or telephone lines, modifying standard software codes or images, propagating viruses or malicious code, hacking and providing remote access to Valley Falls Free Library’s Internet services for use by outside entities will result in loss of privileges. When appropriate, violations may also be referred for appropriate parental interaction and/or civil or criminal prosecution.

  1. STAFF POLICY
  • Staff must provide the highest level of service to all patrons using appropriate resources and accurate, unbiased and courteous responses to all requests.  
  • Staff members will not pass any information, tell, or make any personal judgment on or about any library user. 
  • Staff may not discuss or reveal confidential library information to anyone, under any circumstances, except within the scope of his/her duties. Patron accounts may not be accessed except for working with the patron who is present or who is on the telephone. No list of patrons, either with card numbers or without card numbers, may be kept for any reason.  
  • Staff members are to treat their fellow staff members with the same professionalism, courtesy, and friendly manner as we expect to be given to library users. Personal or personnel issues are not to be discussed in the presence of patrons. 

 

  • Negative comments about the Library, library patrons or fellow staff members will not be tolerated. Issues that a staff member may have are to be discussed first with his or her supervisor, then brought to the attention of a Board member, if necessary.  
  • Staff must distinguish between personal convictions and professional duties and must not allow personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the library’s mission or the impartial provision of access to the library’s information resources.  
  • No personal information about other staff may be furnished to non-library persons. 
  1. STAFF PAYMENT FOR LIBRARY DELAYED OPENING OR EARLY CLOSING
  • Delayed Library opening, or early closing may be necessary due to weather conditions or other emergencies. Employees serving on desk duty will be paid for the full time they are scheduled to work. This policy may not apply if notice of the unscheduled closing is given 24 hours or more in advance.  
  • Rationale: The staff made the commitment to serve the public and arranged their other affairs to make that possible. They deserve proper compensation. 
  1. CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY

The Board of the Valley Falls Free Library is sensitive to real and perceived conflicts of interest. When a conflict of interest is identified, the affected board member will refrain from participation in the discussion and will not vote on the issue in question. It is required that any potential conflict be transparently offered up to the Library Board for assessment. 

Guidelines for assessing and dealing with a potential conflict of interest:  

  • All staff and trustees of Valley Falls Free Library will consent to disclose any potential conflict of interest.  
  • Any such instance where a conflict of interest may be present will be brought before the Library Board for discussion.  
  • During this discussion the party with the potential conflict will be allowed to speak on their own behalf. 
  •  If it is determined by the Board that a conflict of interest does not exist, the concerned party will be allowed normal voting privileges in regards to the item in question. 
  •  If it is determined by the Board that a conflict of interest does exist, the conflicted party will not be allowed to vote on the item in question, nor will the conflicted party be allowed to be present during a final vote on that item.  
  • Meeting minutes will include documentation of all discussions and votes regarding a potential conflict of interest. Meeting minutes are available to the public by request.

 *It is the responsibility of ALL staff and trustees of Valley Falls Free Library to disclose any potential conflict of interest. To not do so could be grounds for suspension, dismissal from library service, or removal from the board.

  1. NEPOTISM POLICY
  • We understand nepotism as favoritism granted to relatives and friends. We intend to avoid nepotism in the operation of the library and in carrying out the duties of the board. Generally, it may be enough to view nepotism as a special of case of conflict of interest. As such, conflicts of interest will be pointed out as they become identified and the person or persons with the conflict will avoid influencing the outcome of a relevant decision. 
  •  On occasion, a relative or friend of the library manager, director, a board member, or an employee may be asked to fill a paying position without publicly posting the job. This is acceptable only on a temporary basis or while a broader employee search is undertaken. Any temporary employee who wishes to apply for permanent employment may do so by participating in the search and selection process. 
  •  Contract work falls under the same guidelines and the same attention to potential conflicts of interest will be observed by the board and by library employees.
  1. LIBRARY IN MOTION POLICY

Your Library in Motion is specifically intended to expand the services of the library to reach anyone in the service area who cannot easily come in person. The service will be offered and maintained only to the extent that volunteers are available to make deliveries. The Library Manager and the Board of Trustees retain the discretion to deny or terminate the service to any individual. 

Service area:

 The Your Library in Motion service area is the Village of Valley Falls and the Town of Pittstown.  

Eligibility:

Your Library in Motion is for everyone in the service area who cannot get to or into the building. Examples of persons for whom the system is designed include those with short or long term mobility problems, those without regular transportation, those homebound with debilitating health issues and those providing full time care for a child, parent or other family member.  

Selection of material:

 Patrons can select material of interest through the telephone, over the internet or via a volunteer delivery person. All books, magazines, movies and other materials the library has available for circulation, including items available through the Upper Hudson Library System, can be accessed through Your Library in Motion.  

Loan period, fines and fees:

 All the usual fines, fees and expectations of patron responsibility will apply to materials distributed through Your Library in Motion. All our usual limits on the number of items and the length of time they may circulate will apply unless special arrangements are made with the staff.  

Delivery arrangements:

 Typically, the library will call to notify patrons that a volunteer delivery person is available and confirm delivery expectations. Patrons are responsible for ensuring safe conditions for the volunteer to enter the home and reasonable accommodation for the volunteer while in the home. Materials to be returned to the library should be ready for the volunteer to take back.  

Volunteers:

 Volunteer delivery persons for Your Library in Motion are to be totally discreet. Delivery persons will not share information on library materials delivered or observations made in patrons’ homes with others.