Consistency in relationships with
patrons by all staff members is one of the most important features of good
library service, and the Staff Manual is intended as a guideline for the
region. Keep this document handy so that it can be referred to easily. Policies
acted upon by the Regional Board of Trustees are included for staff use and
REGISTRATION AND CIRCULATION POLICIES
The Albemarle Regional Library
System welcomes all patrons. Library cards can be issued to patrons who live in
bordering counties. Temporary library cards may be issued upon the discretion
of the Branch Manager to out-of-town patrons. It is expected that all patrons
adhere to current library policies. Library privileges may be suspended for
non-adherence to library policies.
A valid Albemarle Regional Library
Card is required to check out materials at all library locations and MUST BE
PRESENTED WITH EACH VISIT.
Patrons must show valid proof of
address in order to be issued a library card. Acceptable proof includes a valid
North Carolina Driver's License or a bill mailed to patron's current address. A
parent/legal guardian must accompany children under the age of 18 in order to
be issued a library card. Parental signature is required in the presence of
library staff. The first library cards
are issued at no cost to the patron. Replacement cards are $3.00 each or such
appropriate price as determined by the Regional Library Board of Trustees.
Patrons should be encouraged to
establish a "password" of their own choosing which allows for access to their
library records from remote sites.
It is the responsibility of the
patron to notify the library should their card be lost or stolen. The library will
waive the replacement cost of stolen cards if patron will provide a copy of the
police report. Patrons should be encouraged to notify the library should there
be a change of address, name, phone number, etc.
Library cards are updated on the
yearly anniversary date of issue to assist in maintaining more accurate patron
Patrons are responsible for all
materials checked out to their library cards and all fines/fees as applicable.
Library cards may be issued to
clubs, schools, or other institutions. Cards issued to these groups must be
signed by an individual/contact who represents the group and accepts
responsibility for all materials checked out to that group including the return
of materials, payment for lost or damaged materials, as well as any additional
fines and fees associated with lending of materials.
New patrons are limited to the
amount of materials that they may check out the first time: standard limit should
be no more than 2 items. Once those items are returned a patron may check out
materials within prescribed limits.
It is the belief of the Albemarle
Regional Library System that all patrons be treated equally and fairly in the
application of library policies. Library
staff should not extend special treatment to relatives, friends, board members,
nor should these patrons expect such.
Library staffs, including library
substitutes are exempt from fines and fees associated with normal circulation
practices. However, staff should follow standard circulation procedures when
checking out materials for personal use. Library staffs are not exempt from
fines and fees associated with lost or damaged materials. As a courtesy to
patrons, staffs should refrain from checking out best sellers until there are
no reserves on those items, and should avoid hoarding materials.
Patrons with overdue materials
and/or fines and fees on their records should not be allowed to check out
materials until all materials are returned and/or all fines/fees paid.
All materials (including
periodicals), with the exception of videos/DVDs, reserve books, equipment and
interlibrary loan requests, have a loan period of fourteen (14) days, with one
(1) renewal. Books with reserves have a loan period of seven (7) days with no
renewals. Videos/DVDs have a loan period of seven (7) days and may be renewed.
Equipment is normally checked out for overnight use, but can be checked out
over the weekend as determined by the Branch Manager. Special Loan function may
be used in those situations. Organizations/individuals must sign "Audio-Visual Equipment Contract" to check out equipment. Interlibrary loan requests must be returned by the date
established by the lending institution. There are no renewals on interlibrary
Special collections and reference
materials are for in-library use only or for a specified number of days to be
determined by the branch manager.
Materials with historical
significance/genealogical materials, or one-of-a-kind items should not be
allowed to leave the library.
Limit on amount of materials to be
checked out: no more than 20 items per day or number designated by Branch Manager
can be checked out.
A deposit may be required for some
special items. Monies collected by deposit should be maintains at the lending
institution until items are returned.
Videos/DVDs are rented to patrons
eighteen years and older at a cost of $1.00 per item, or other such rental fee
as the Regional Board of Trustees may determine. Any combination of these two
formats should not exceed 6 items per family/person/household. Movies
containing multiple videocassettes should be treated as a single video when
charging rental fees and in charging overdue fines. Renewals are subject to the
rental fee of $1.00 per item. If the item is renewed over the phone the patron
should be informed that $1.00 per item will be added to their account and must
be paid prior to checking out additional materials. (See Videocassette Lending Policies)
Branch Managers may determine if
and when materials may be designated for in-library use only - limited
materials available to support class assignments.
The libraries within the
Albemarle Regional Library system depend on the collection of fines and fees in
part to offset deficits in the local operating expenses. They should be
collected equally and fairly from all patrons. See the FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT section for additional information on the appropriate disposition of collected
Patrons with overdue items are
fined .10 cents per item per day. Limit is $15.00 overdue per item. Monies are to be paid to the lending library
(the place where the items were physically checked out), even though the books
may be owned by another library in the Region.
Patrons with overdue videos/DVDs
are fined $1.00 per video per day. Limit is $15.00 per title. Multipart videos
are treated as one video. Monies collected from the
rental/fines/and/or replacement costs of audio-visual materials, including
cassettes and CDs are used to supplement the Region's audio-visual budget.
Patrons with overdue equipment are
fined $5.00 per day. There is no limit up to the cost of replacing the
equipment. Monies collected belong to the lending library.
All funds should be submitted by
weekly courier to the Regional Finance Officer.
The following steps will be taken
to retrieve overdue materials:
Overdue notices will be sent out
approximately every 5-6 weeks. Two
overdue notices are sent out before the Final Bill is sent. Overdue parameters:
7 days overdue (courtesy email notice only); 30 days overdue (1st notice); 45 days overdue (2nd notice, marked lost); 60 days overdue (Final Bill). This schedule is subject to change.
If the library must replace overdue items in
order to fill reserve requests or otherwise, then the patron will be charged the
cost of the replacement copies in addition to fines and fees associated with
the overdue items. Patrons will be notified either verbally or in writing of
the library's intent.
Parents/guardians with overdue
materials/outstanding fines or fees will not be allowed to register their
children under 18 years of age for library cards until their own records are
cleared. Parents may not check out materials on their children's cards in order
to avoid overdue fines and fees. The library reserves the right to stop use of
any library card for which the delinquent parent/guardian has signed
responsibility. Patrons 18 years and older may register for their own cards.
Patrons with long overdue items
exceeding $50.00 in value may under North Carolina Generals Statue
14-398 be taken to Small Claims Court. All fines and fees associated with
this legal procedure will become the responsibility of the patron. Parents of
children under 18 years of age will be legally accountable for all materials
checked out to their children.
*It may be possible with
automation to notify patrons of overdue by e-mail in the future.
Financial responsibility for all monies collected and
monies donated lies ultimately with the Albemarle Regional Library. Should an
unusual situation arise concerning the disposition of money the Finance Officer
should be contacted. All libraries must maintain the "Monthly Record of
Receipts Form" and mail this form to the auditing firm upon request. In
addition, libraries should submit a "Branch Library Revenue Form" with
reconciliation of funds forwarded to the Regional Finance Office.
All checks should be made payable
to the Albemarle Regional Library.
There will be a $25.00 fee
or other such amount as levied by the Region's banking institution for all
bounced checks. Staff should accept only cash or money orders in accepting
restitution for bounced checks.
The only purchases that Branch
Managers are authorized to make are those from a postage/petty cash fund.
Receipts are required for all purchases made from this fund, and a record of
petty cash expenditures should be maintained and submitted as needed. The
amount of cash maintained in this fund may vary from $20-$50 dollars. The
Finance Officer should be contacted when additional funds are necessary. Should
it become necessary to purchase an item that exceeds available funds, the
Finance Officer must be contacted PRIOR to making a purchase.
Monies collected through fines and
fees associated with print materials become part of the lending library's
budget. Monies collected for replacement costs of lost or damaged print
materials become part of the Region's book budget.
Monies collected through fines and
fees associated with audio-visual materials, including cassettes and CDs, DVDs,
filmstrips, etc., including the replacement costs for lost/damaged audio-visual
materials become part of the Region's audio-visual budget.
Monies submitted to the Region for
staff purchases of materials are placed in the Region's appropriate
book/audio-visual line item.
The Region does not accept preview
items from any vendor prior to purchase.
Donated money or money raised for
special projects such as the Summer Reading Program, cannot be spent
directly. These monies must be deposited
with your other income.
Every effort should be made to
maintain money in a secure location not physically or visually accessible to
patrons when possible.
Reconciliation of collected monies
should be done weekly when practical to avoid excessive accumulation.
Reconciled funds should be returned with the library courier when possible.
No one (staff nor Board Member)
may purchase any item on state contract through the library system.
The Director or Finance Officer
must approve all purchase orders.
Neither Board Member nor staff may
enter into any financial transaction/obligation for any library under any
circumstance at any time.
In a Regional System the sharing of
materials between locations serves to make the region stronger and allows the
region to make available to its patrons a wider selection of materials, thus
extending our limited financial resources. It is imperative that staffs utilize
this capability to the benefit of their patrons.
All circulating materials may be
placed on reserve. Patrons should be notified by phone when possible that
materials are being held for them. They should be informed that the reserve
materials will be held for 3 (three) working days before being returned to the
owning location or given to the next patron on the reserve list. Should a
postcard be required for notification, then allow an additional 3 (three) days
for mail delivery. Requested title(s)
should not be listed on the postcard (privacy), only that a book(s) are/is
It is recommended that reserves
be first placed on materials within the local collection when possible, though
staff should not hesitate to utilize system reserves.
Charges are made to individuals
and institutions. Institutions shall have a registration card the same as
individuals with a person responsible for the materials listed.
Patrons are to be encouraged to
look for lost items before paying.
Once the lost item is paid for, it
becomes the property of the patron. There will be no refunds should the lost
item be found. Damaged items become the property of the patron after they are
paid for and withdrawn from the system.
There is a $3.00 per item
processing fee charged to offset the cost of re-ordering and processing lost or
damages items. The $3.00 processing fee also applies to the replacement of lost
or damaged audio-visual storage containers. If the cost of an item is not on
the item record Branch Staff my check sources such as Books In Print or
Amazon.com to get a price. The actual cost of an item, not its' resale price
should be used. If an item cannot be located online the following formula may
be used, in addition to the $3.00 processing fee:
Adult fiction hardcover: $25.00
Adult fiction paperback: $6.00
Adult nonfiction hardcover: $27.00
Adult nonfiction paperback: $13.00
Juvenile fiction hardcover: $20.00
Juvenile fiction paperback: $4.00
Juvenile nonfiction hardcover: $20.00
Juvenile nonfiction paperback: $6.00
Board books: $10.00
Music cassette/CD: $15.00
Magazine: cost of single issue on cover
Equipment: contact Regional Office
Items lost/damaged are re-ordered
as deemed necessary by the Branch Manager.
Interlibrary loan is to be used to assist patrons with
requests for special materials that are not part of our normal collection.
Interlibrary loan requests should normally be limited to non-fiction materials,
though requests for fiction materials should not automatically be denied
Should a particular item be requested in excess of 5
(five) times the Regional Library should consider purchasing the item for its
own collection, depending upon the availability and cost of the item in question.
Requests for materials from libraries outside our
region should be taken at branch locations. Library staff should assist patrons
in filling out the "InterlibraryLoanRequestForm".
The patron is responsible for paying the postage costs
of returning interlibrary loan materials and must be informed of this prior to
ordering the items. The cost will be the same amount as incurred by the loaning
institution – located on the mailing label and must be collected prior to being
checked out by the patron. The patron is responsible for any additional fees,
i.e., copying costs, deposits, and etc. that the lending library might impose.
Patrons are also responsible for lost/damaged materials at such cost as the
lending library might specify.
Renewal is determined by the lending library and must
be followed by the patron's library. Generally, materials cannot be renewed.
Patrons must be informed of conditions when the materials are checked out.
Interlibrary loan materials should be returned to the
loaning library within the ARL system when possible.
The Albemarle Regional Library is
pleased to be able to provide its patrons with free access to the World Wide
Web. The purpose of this service is to augment existing library materials by
providing access to information not otherwise available. The Albemarle Regional
Library Board of Trustees believes that in accordance with the library's
mission as an educational institution, access to Internet be limited to
research and informational uses only. Due to limited resources and the nature
of some materials available through Internet, it is necessary to impose some
restrictions on its use. (*See the "Internet Acceptable Use Policy" and
the "Contract For
Responsible Use of Internet")
Reference materials are
non-circulating, and instrumental in the effectiveness of any library in
meeting the needs of its patrons. Patrons expect to find them available
whenever the library is open.
Should the Branch Manager
determine that it is necessary to allow the circulation of a Reference item, it
should be for overnight only, and checked out prior to closing and returned at
the opening of the library. An appropriate deposit, as determined by the
replacement cost of the item, may be requested at the discretion of the Branch
Collections are in each of the county
libraries. Genealogy books, microfilm/fiche are NOT checked out for any reason.
Many of the materials are one-of-a-kind or out of print or very, very
expensive. If materials need to be used at a meeting, for public relations,
etc, a staff member MUST take and stay with the information and return it to
The nature of some materials such
as study guides, tests booklets, etc., warrant that a deposit be required
before they can be checked out. The circulation history of those type items
indicates that they are seldom returned. Cash only will be accepted for deposit
titles. No cash, no materials. The deposit will be returned in full when the
material is returned in the condition in which it was checked out.
Branch Managers should use their
own discretion in determining which materials require a deposit.
Returned materials should be
shelved in its appropriate location daily in order to make the materials
available to other patrons.
New books are first displayed in
the "new books" sections with the month and year penciled on the last page
(usually blank) or the inside cover at the back of the book. They should be
shelved in the general collection after six months of display or at the
discretion of the Branch Manager.
New reference materials should be
first placed in a "new" section of the reference area if available. The Branch
Managers should insure that all staff members are aware of the reference
material and its contents.
Paperback books, which are processed
in the system, should be shelved when possible in alphabetical order by author
(including spine label) in the general collection. This facilitates access to
those materials by patrons and staff.
Donated paperbacks not processed
in the system and used for the paperback exchange program should be shelved on
paperback racks if available. No
particular order is required.
Easy books should be shelved in
A-B-C order though not necessarily alphabetically within the letter.
Shelf reading is an ongoing,
never ending process necessary to the smooth and orderly operation of a
library. Shelves should be read constantly to assure that materials are shelved
in proper order. With that belief, no library staff should ever be able to say
"I have nothing to do". An item shelved
improperly is in essence a lost book.
Physical appearance is one factor
used to determine if the materials warrant discarding or replacement.
Audio-visual materials, which are
available for circulation, (videos/DVDs, books-on-tape, books-on-CDs, music
CDs/cassettes, etc.) can be placed on reserve at any location.
Beginning in January 2003, each
library should receive an annual circulation report on audio-visual materials
that have not circulated in a two-year time period. The Branch Manager (in
consultation with the Regional Director) may choose to withdraw specific items
and make them available to other libraries within the region. These items
should NOT be placed in the book sale until all Branch Managers have had
the opportunity to peruse the discarded items.
Damaged audio-visual materials
should be withdrawn and placed in the book sale or discarded as appropriate to
its condition. Branch Managers should determine if the damaged material
warrants replacement, depending of course upon item availability and the
availability of funds, as well as if the item has outlived its usefulness or
(See "Videocassette/DVD Lending Policy")
Some libraries may have 16-mm
projectors, filmstrip viewers, and video projectors, slide projects and
overhead projectors with viewing screens available for checkout to community
groups and organizations.
These materials should be
barcoded so that an accurate record of their circulation can be kept. Equipment
is checked out for overnight use only except when used over a weekend.
Overdue equipment is subject to
an overdue fine of $5.00 per day. Patron must sign the "Audio-visual Equipment Contract"
prior to checking out any equipment.
Copyright law must be posted and
followed by anyone connected with the library system. This law is based upon
"fair use," and any copy made in lieu of purchase is in violation of the law.
The Albemarle Regional Library
Board of Trustees sets charges per page. Current charges are .15 cents per page
for black & white copies. Double-sided copies are considered two pages.
Copies made on 17 x 11 inch paper are .25 cents per page.
prints are .15 cents per page for black & white prints; $1.00 per page for color prints.
Microfilm reader copies are .25
cents per page.
Supplies are ordered through the
Regional Offices, expenses incurred are charged to each library's supply line
LARGE PRINT BOOKS
Each library maintains a
collection of large print books. Materials weeded from these collections should
first be offered to member libraries prior to discarding. Those titles not
selected by another library may be placed in the book sale.
Where convenient, libraries may
have exhibits provided by other agencies or organizations. (See "Exhibits Policy" and the "Application for
Meeting Room and Exhibits Spaces")
GIFTS AND DONATONS POLICY
The Albemarle Regional Library
System welcomes gifts of varied and sundry materials as long as those gifts
fall within established guidelines. The same standards for the purchase of
materials will be applied to gifts. No special shelves will be provided as a
condition of acceptance.
Gifts will be used in the library
to which they were given if possible and then in other libraries in the region
if desired. If gifts are not used or have historical value, they may be sold
and that money used to buy books for the intended library.
(See "Gifts and Donations Policy" for
MEETINGS AND MEETING ROOMS
Guidelines to determine the
use/non-use of available meeting rooms by the public are determined by each applicable
library's local board of trustees. (See "Meeting Room Policy for Non-Public
Should a local board allow their
meeting room to be used by the public, certain guidelines should be followed. (See
"Meeting Room Policy" and "Application for
Meeting Room and Exhibits Spaces")
DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR POLICY
This statute has two parts. While
it enables the head of a public facility to maintain order, it also makes it
obligatory for that person to do so for the safety of others. (See "Disruptive Behavior Policy")
SAFE CHILD POLICY
The Albemarle Regional Library
System welcomes children of all ages to utilize our materials and services.
However, the libraries do not serve in the capacity of providing daycare/after
school care for unattended children. Libraries however are public facilities.
As such, anyone can enter and leave the building without being noticed by
library staff. A young child left alone in the library may be persuaded to
leave with a stranger; he or she could become ill or disoriented while left
unattended. The library cannot assume responsibility for parental negligence in
the caring for minor children.
Library staff are instructed to
remain with minor children left at the library after closing for fifteen (15)
minutes. Staff are then to call the police to pick up the child if the child's
ride does not come within that time. Under no circumstance are staff members to
offer transportation to those left at closing. (See the "Safe Child Policy" for additional
LIBRARY SPONSORED PROGRAMS
Branch Managers should attempt to
provide adult and children's programming as part of their public service
commitment to their communities. All library-sponsored programs must be attended by at least one staff member
from the sponsoring library.
These programs are held in or out
of libraries and must reflect the library objectives of public service. They
are given by staff or person/s retained by the library for that purpose. No
partisan opinions may be presented such as those of a political or religious
Children's programs can be given
in or out of libraries by a staff member or person/s retained by the library
for that purpose. Staff must present books along with other mediums unless the
program is advertised as a film program. When using films/videos of any kind a
lead-in and lead-out discussion must be conducted with or presented to the
The Albemarle Regional Library
System is proud to provide outreach services to the citizens of the four-county
library region. However, we have neither the staff nor time to provide outreach
services to all individuals or organizations. Outreach services are by
necessity limited to the homebound patrons who have either physical or mental
limitations that do not allow them access to a library; nursing/retirement homes and adult daycare
centers. Bi-weekly courier service is provided for branch libraries. Users of this service are required to read and sign an "Outreach Services Policy/Agreement".)
Circulation will normally be on a
once a month basis, with special arrangements made when feasible to cover
holidays, vacations, etc. See "Outreach
Materials Guidelines" for information on materials circulated through
Currently users of these services
are not subject to late fines and fees. They are, however responsible for the
cost of all lost and or damaged materials.
In order to facilitate the
orderly transfer of materials/reserve requests between all library locations a
weekly courier service is provided.
PRIVACY OF RECORDS
All records, formal and informal,
in the Albemarle Regional Library System relating to patron registration and
the subsequent circulation by patrons of library materials provided by the
library are considered to be confidential in nature. The library may release
this information if necessary for the collection of overdue
materials/fines/fees, etc., to an agency with whom the library has contracted
for collection purposes. (See NC
General Statues 125-18 and 125-19).
Parents of minor children under
18 may request information as might apply to payment of fines/fees and lost or
damaged materials as the parent is ultimately responsible for materials checked
out by children under 18. (See the "Privacy
of Records Policy" for additional information.)
Descriptions cited below cover
each position on a broad level only and are not meant to be inclusive of the
responsibilities associated with that position.
Associate (AV): Works with the branch
staff and Director in assuming responsibility for audio-visual materials
selection, acquisition and processing. Maintains counts of materials processed and locations where materials
Director: Oversees the
overall operation of the libraries within the region, including materials
selection, budget development and presentation to Boards and funding agencies,
and the dispensing of funds within guidelines. Works with staff to revise and
present policies changes to the Regional Board. Provides staff support,
training and evaluation. Plans for
future library service projects. Reports to the Regional Library Board of
Trustees. Maintains public relations on a general level. Represents region at
state and national levels so that local interests and needs are considered.
Finance Officer: Responsible for financial records, paying bills and financial reports to the
government and to the Boards of Trustees. Maintains periodical subscriptions. Responsible
for overseeing library operations in the absence of the Director.
Outreach Services Librarian:
Makes regular monthly deliveries of library materials to homebound patrons,
nursing homes and daycare centers. Gathers materials for delivery, and keeps a
record of circulation. Makes deliveries to the libraries bi-weekly. Maintains the resource collections, which are materials such as books,
flannel boards, puppets, activity sheets and so forth used by daycare
Regional Assistant: Orders
and routes supplies. Serves as interlibrary loan librarian. Assists the Finance
Officer with fines/fee receipts. Records all kinds of leave for staff. Picks
up/sorts and routes mail as requested. Processes materials as requested.
Systems Administrator: Responsible for the maintenance/operations of all technology associated with
the operation of the library system. Designs and implements training programs for staff, and assists branch
librarians in designing computer-training programs for the public. Serves as
Technical Services Associate: Works with the Branch Managers and Director in the selection, acquisition and
processing of books. Keeps count of new titles and number of copies of books
added in region. Maintains circulation records of all materials.
Statistics indicate that a
well-weeded collection helps to keep the collection vital and useful. Automated
reports on material circulation will be generated periodically to assist in that
process. See "Book Withdrawal Policy"
for additional information.
General Considerations. The
intent of selecting books, magazines, newspapers and audio-visual items is to
provide citizens with up-to-date library materials for circulation and
reference whether their use is for information, education or recreation. These
collections are not all inclusive because funds, space and staff are limited.
(See "Materials Selections Policy".)