Library Policies

Please review and adhere to the following rules and policies to ensure your library continues to be a place everyone in our community can enjoy for study, entertainment, spending time with friends while making new ones, and learning new things.

[This page is under construction. Thank you for your patience while we update the information.]

All Policies

A complete library and patron policy manual may be downloaded below or you may request a copy by email from awise@alcpl.org.

ALCPL Policy Manual Adopted May 2024

Loan Policies & Late Fees

For loan & late fees policy, email awise@alcpl.org

Computer Use and Internet Safety Policy

COMPUTER USE AND INTERNET SAFETY POLICY
[Adopted: May 4, 2004, May 14, 2024]

Athens-Limestone County Public Library provides computer workstations, many with Internet access and wireless Internet access, to assist community residents of all ages with free and equal access to information which meets their individual needs.

The Internet provides a means to access information far beyond the Library’s own collections. However, the Internet is an unregulated medium. While most of the information accessed can be valuable and enlightening, the user may also find materials that are unreliable, personally offensive or illegal. Each user must take responsibility for his or her own activities while using the Internet, as well as all use by his or her minor children.

It is the policy of Athens-Limestone County Public Library to:
(a) prevent user access over its computer network to, or transmission of, inappropriate material via Internet, electronic mail, or other forms of direct electronic communications;
(b) prevent unauthorized access and other unlawful online activity;
(c) prevent unauthorized online disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal identification information of minors;
(d) comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act [Pub. L. No. 106-554 and 47 USC 254(h).]

Key terms are as defined in the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)*

ACCESS TO INAPPROPRIATE MATERIALS
Technology protection measures (“Internet Filters”) shall be used to block or filter Internet access (as well as other forms of electronic communications) to inappropriate information. Specifically, as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), blocking shall be applied to visual depictions of material deemed obscene or child pornography, or to any material deemed harmful to minors.
Technology measures may be disabled by Staff for bona fide research or lawful purposes by those users aged 17 and older.

INAPPROPRIATE NETWORK USAGE
To the extent practical, steps shall be taken to promote the safety and security of all users, including minors, accessing the Library’s online computer network when using electronic mail or other forms of direct electronic communications.

Specifically, as required by CIPA, inappropriate network usage includes:
(a) unauthorized access, including so-called ‘hacking,’ and other unlawful activities;
(b) unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors.

SUPERVISION AND MONITORING
It shall be the responsibility of Library Staff to provide and maintain all computer workstations, including the online computer network and access to the Internet in accordance with this policy and the Children’s Internet Protection Act. Staff will not monitor an individual patron’s Internet use, except for length of use and validating the identity of the user in order to ensure equal opportunity of access for everyone and compliance with all appropriate regulations. The patron, or the parent of a minor, is responsible for his or her Internet session at all times.

Procedures for the disabling or otherwise modifying any technology protection measures shall be the responsibility of the Library Director or other Staff designated by the Director.

The Library reserves the right to terminate an Internet session which disrupts library services or that involves user behavior which violates the Library’s policies.

Parents are responsible for their minor children’s use of all Library resources and facilities. As with all other Library resources, the Library affirms the right and responsibility of parents and/or legal guardians, not Library Staff, to determine and monitor their minor children’s use of the Internet. (Minors are defined in this policy as children and young people under the age of 17 years.) Parents concerned with content their children may encounter when using the Library’s Internet access are requested to monitor their own children’s Internet use.

Library Staff, with approval of the Director and within Board adopted Policy, will develop rules and procedures necessary to ensure fair and reasonable use of computer workstations, including those with Internet access.

RULES GOVERNING USE
Computers may be used in 60 minutes time blocks with a maximum usage of 180 minutes per day. If no one is waiting when the hour is up, the time may be extended as overall usage allows but not to exceed maximum time allotted. It is the patron’s responsibility to request an extension prior to their time expiring.

Print-outs are $.20 per page for black and white print. Color copies are $.50 per page. By confirming the number of pages printed, patrons agree to pay for all print-outs.

Use of Library computers is a privilege, not a right. Due to the limited resources available for provision of computers for public use and for public access to the Internet, the Library reserves the right to limit the amount of time an individual may use workstations, as well as which files can be downloaded and in what manner. The public must comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, including laws governing the transmission and dissemination of information while accessing the Internet.

Among the uses that are considered unacceptable and which constitute a violation of this policy are the following:
(1) Harassment of other users. (This includes standing behind other users’ computers, asking when they will be finished, or requesting staff to log a patron off a computer.)
(2) Invading privacy of others.
(3) Using computers solely for profit.
(4) Gambling on the Internet.
(5) Making unauthorized entry into other computational, informational or communication services or resources.
(6) Damaging or destroying equipment, software, or data belonging to the Library or to other users, including adding, altering, or deleting files on Library workstation hard drives or other Library computer equipment.
(7) Violating software license agreements.
(8) Violating computer system or network integrity, including attempts to bypass network security functions, obtain passwords, or alter the configuration of Library workstations in any way.
(9) Using the Internet for any illegal activity, including violation of copyright or other rights of third parties, or in a manner inconsistent with the Library’s tax-exempt status or its proper operation.
(10) Wasting finite resources. (This includes printing without paying).
(11) Accessing lewd or pornographic websites or material.
(12) Using another patron’s card.

Violations of Library Policy and/or Procedures will result in loss of computer access. Unlawful activities will be dealt with in an appropriate manner.

DISCLAIMERS
While the Library endeavors to provide access to information of the highest quality, the Library specifically disclaims any warrant as to the information’s accuracy, timeliness, authoritativeness, usefulness or fitness for a particular purpose.

The Library will have no liability for direct, indirect, or consequential damages related to the use of information accessed through the Library’s Internet service.

Having installed and enforced the operation of filtering software in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the Library will have no liability for damages related to the operation of, or failure of, the filtering software, or for its circumvention by users.

[Filtering software is not foolproof. It diminishes the likelihood that searchers will inadvertently retrieve text or images that they may find offensive, but does not eliminate that possibility. Filters often block access to sites that users would consider both inoffensive and useful.]

Since software and information downloaded from any sources, including the Internet, may contain computer viruses, users are advised to utilize virus checking on their home computers. The Library is not responsible for damage to users’ disks or computers or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from use of the Library’s computers. As with other equipment or materials, library staff may reserve certain times to provide instruction or proctor tests.

Library staff will attempt to answer basic computing questions or assist users in finding information. Library staff will not complete personal forms or provide in-depth computer instruction outside a class/lab situation.

ADOPTION
This Computer Use and Safety Policy was first adopted by the Athens-Limestone County Public Library Board of Trustees at a public meeting, following a public hearing held with advance notice, on May 4, 2004.

*CIPA DEFINITIONS:
“Minor” – any child or young person under the age of 17.
“Technology Protection Measure” – a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access to visual depictions that are:
1. “Obscene” – as that term is defined in section 1460 of title 18, United States Code;
2. “Child Pornography” – as that term is defined in section 2256 of title 18, United States Code;
3. “Harmful to Minors” – means any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that:
a. Taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion;
b. Depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; and
c. Taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors.
“Sexual Act;” “Sexual Contact” – have meanings given such terms in section 2246 of title 18, United States Code

Harassment

Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Athens-Limestone County Public Library sexual harassment policy accepts the principle that all employees have the right to work in an environment free from any type of harassment.

The library prohibits unwelcome sexual advances, requests of sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.  You may not threaten or even imply that refusing or accepting sexual advances will affect another employee’s job or future career.

Other prohibited actions are disagreeable flirtations, advances, or propositions; verbal abuse involving sex or gender; explicit or degrading comments about another’s person; negative or biased treatment of an employee based on suspected sexual preference; and displaying suggestive materials.

It is best to avoid any conduct that can be considered offensive or abusive. Such activity will result in disciplinary action, including dismissal.

Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to:

  • The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. 

  • The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex. 

  • The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee. 

  • The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected 
by the offensive conduct. 

  • Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge
of the victim. The harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome. 
If you feel that you have been subjected to any form of sexual harassment, report it to either the Library Director or Library Board. They will discuss the situation with you and walk you through the grievance procedures. 
Anyone who is victim of sexual harassment has a right to file a grievance without threat of retaliation or adverse effects on his/her employment situation or status.

Other Forms of Harassment

Racial harassment, as well as harassment on the basis of religion, disability, or other protected status, is prohibited not only by the Library but also by various acts of Congress, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended.  Other types of harassment are prohibited by applicable law.  Violation of these acts may subject individuals to disciplinary action and may have legal consequences.

The Library encourages prompt reporting of such harassment and its prompt resolution through either informal or formal procedures.  Complaints should be reported to either the Library Director or the Library Board of Trustees.

Photocopying Materials

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17 United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproduction of copyrighted material.  Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction.  One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user later uses a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

This institution reserves the right to refuse access to the photocopier if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Rules of Conduct

Library Rules of Conduct

The library is a place for serious study, as well as a place for recreational reading and borrowing books.  All who come into the library are expected to respect the rights of others by moving and speaking quietly.

Smoking and other tobacco use, food and uncovered drinks, pets (except service animals), and use of audio equipment without ear pieces are not allowed in the library. 


Library management is not responsible for loss of personal property. The library is a public building and it is the patron’s responsibility to safeguard personal property at all times. 


Inappropriate behavior includes, but is not limited to: running, loud noise, throwing objects, climbing on furniture, needless pulling of materials from shelves and abusing machinery.  Those in violation will be warned. Temporary eviction from library premises will result if inappropriate behavior continues. 


Disorderly conduct, fighting, harassment or any illegal activity will result in immediate suspension from the Library. 


Any child visiting the library who has not yet entered the seventh grade must be accompanied by a responsible adult.  Children under the age of seven must be accompanied and directly supervised at all times by a responsible adult.  For the purpose of the policy, a responsible adult is the child’s parent or another caregiver age eighteen or over. 


Children up to age 18 should not be left at the library past closing time.  It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to be aware of regular closing times and special holiday hours or closings.  If a child is left past closing time, two staff members will wait with the child until he/she is picked-up, or for a maximum of 30 minutes.  If no one comes for the child within 15 minutes past closing time, staff members will call the police for assistance.  Staff members should never transport children in their own cars or a library vehicle.

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