Below you’ll find a list of updated Library policies. For questions please contact the Library during regular business hours.
Mission and Vision Statements
Mission: The Chester County Library opens the door to lifelong learning.
Vision: The Chester County Library will be the “hub” for unlimited learning and the place for all citizens to access information and resources in order to build a better community.
With your library card:
- You may borrow books and other materials free of charge
- You may borrow library computers
- You may borrow items and return items at the:
- Chester County Main Library 803-377-8145
- Lewisville Community Branch Library 803-789-7800
- Great Falls Community Branch Library 803-482-2149
- You may borrow books and materials from all SC Lends (a total of 17 libraries in SC)
- If you do not find a book in our library system, you may request that we locate the book for you.
- You may have access to the library’s online e-books.
- You have access to online educational encyclopedias and other databases free of charge.
- Children’s Cards: For children ages 18 and under, a parent or legal guardian must meet the eligibility requirements and accept responsibility for materials borrowed by the child. If a parent or legal guardian is a Chester County Library cardholder, his or her library card must be in good standing (defined as free of any blocks or charges due) including cards of other minor children, in order to sign for the child’s card.
The Board of Trustees of the Chester County Library has adopted the Code of Conduct to provide a welcoming and safe environment for those using library facilities and resources.
Warnings are at the discretion of library staff. Failure to comply with the Library’s established regulations may result in removal from the premises, exclusion from the library system, termination of library privileges and arrest or prosecution.
The following are prohibited at the Chester County Library:
- Any loud conversation or noise that disturbs or interrupts library customers (including cell phone calls) No disruptive or disorderly conduct.
- Sitting on tables or putting feet on furniture
- Refusal to leave library
- Bring non-service pets (no pets allowed) / animals into a library or leaving them tied up outside
- Theft, defacement or vandalism of library property or materials
- Leaving a child under the age of 9 unattended
- Using the rest rooms for inappropriate purposes such as bathing
- The possession or use of alcohol, drugs or use of tobacco products in a library facility or property
- Eating and drinking are not permitted unless in designated areas and as allowed for special library programs or events
- Engaging in any sexual activity, sexual harassment or indecent exposure including the public display of material inconsistent with the Internet Safety Policy
- Not being fully clothed, including not wearing shoes or a shirt
- No sleeping
- Bicycles may not be brought into the building. Skateboarding and or rollerblading are not permitted on library property.
- No weapons are permitted on library property (except law enforcement officers).
- Visitors are not allowed in non-public areas of the library unless conducting official library business or accompanied by a member of the library staff
- Patrons must leave the library at closing time. The library has the right to call the police for patrons that remain in the library at closing.
- Poor Personal hygiene or strong perfumes
- Do not solicit or sell anything, campaign, or distribute any materials without express permission of library administration.
- Any illegal activity
- Take photographs or videos of library users without their permission.
ADA Compliance at the Chester County Library:
- The ChesterCounty Library adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act that assures equal access to all library facilities, activities, and programs.
- Every attempt will be made to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities, and the library welcomes input from persons with disabilities about ways the library can serve them.
- Questions about ADA compliance and complaints or suggestions about accessibility of library facilities, activities, and programs should be addressed to the Library Director.
Previously the Policy was called the Patron Behavior Policy and originally adopted 2/13/2012 revised 5/8/2018, 2/11/2019.
Current policy was revised and approved by the Board 9/26/2019.
It is the policy of the Chester County Library to provide internet resources to our patrons. Library patrons are required to agree to the Internet User Agreement before using the internet at the library.
Chester County Library will not be held liable for the quality or accuracy of any information found on the internet.
- Users must use their own library card to access the computer or they must show a picture i.d. at the front desk in order to receive a visitor’s pass.
- Each user may use library computers up to three hours per day.Staff may override if the need arises.
- The Library may designate certain computers for the use of children only.
- Library cards must be in good standing in order to use the computer. Library cards that are defined as cards in good standing are those for which no fines exceed $5.00 and for which there are no other “blocks” on their library card.
- If the user has an “expired” library card, they must update their library card before being able to use the computers.
- If the user is under the age of nine (9), they must be accompanied with a parent or caregiver over the age of eighteen (18).
- Patrons must use appropriate behavior while on online,on social networking web sites and in chat rooms.
Computer users may NOT:
- PC’s may not be used to gain unauthorized access to the Library’s network or computer systems.
- Users may not damage or attempt to damage computer equipment of software.
- Users may not violate copy right laws, or software licensing agreements.
- Users may not engage in any activity that is disruptive to other library users.
- Users may not bypass internet-filtering software, or demonstrate how to do so to another person.
- Users may not download or use malicious software on library PC’s.
- Users may not disclose, use or disseminate personal identification information regarding minors.
- PC’s may not be used for cyberbullying.
The Chester County Library Board in compliance with the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and South Carolina Law has approved the use of internet filtering software on all public access computers. The software is designed to filter pornographic pictures or texts. However, filtering software may allow some inappropriate content to pass through and may block some appropriate sites.
As with other library resources, parents’ (legal guardians) are responsible for a child’s access to the internet.
An authorized staff member may disable the blocking or filtering software during use by an adult to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purpose.
Chester County Library computers cannot be used for any fraudulent or unlawful purpose, including any activities prohibited under applicable federal, state or local laws.
Chester County Library computers cannot be used for accessing websites in violation of Section 16-15-305, South Carolina Code of Law.
Material on the internet is copyrighted. It is the user’s responsibility to be aware of any copyrighted information and to respect state and federal copyright laws.
Internet use will be managed in a manner consistent with the Library’s Code of Conduct policy.
Violation of these rules will result in loss of access to the internet and/or other library privileges. Unlawful activities may result in prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.
*Adopted by Chester County Library Board on February 13, 2012-updated by Chester County Library Board on November 14, 2017.Updated and revised November 7, 2019. Updated but no revision at Board Meeting October 8, 2020.
The display and distribution of library, government, educational, and community information complements the Chester County Library’s mission to provide access to a wide range of information and viewpoints.
The display of any non-library materials such as newsletters, posters, brochures, flyers, or any other notices in the library does not indicate that the library either advocates or endorses the viewpoints expressed.
Items announcing and promoting library programs and local, state, and federal government information take precedence over all other types of information. Space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
All materials to be displayed must be approved by a library director. The library reserves the right to refuse to display any material based on size, weight, format, appearance, volume or timeliness. The library will not display materials that violate local, state, or federal laws.
The Library also reserves the right to limit the amount of material to be distributed, to monitor and control distribution methods used, and to determine the physical location where the material is distributed throughout the system.
The library director will determine what items may not be displayed, with a final appeal to the Chester County Library Board.
All dated items are removed by the library staff on a timely basis. Other items are displayed for a maximum of four weeks. Materials cannot be returned once given to the library.
All items posted without Library permission will be removed and discarded.
The Library will not copy additional materials or request additional copies for display.
Surveys, petitions, etc. may be posted but the library assumes no responsibility for collection or preservation.
Only the library will mount displays in display cases. Individuals interested in co-sponsoring a display with the library should contact the library director. The Library will accept no liability for damages for materials belonging to individuals placed in co-sponsored displays
Adopted by Chester County Library Board on February 13, 2012
The Chester County Public Library will attempt to meet most of the informational, educational, recreational, and cultural reading needs of Chester County residents. The library shall strive to maintain a well-balanced, current, and representative collection within the budget and space limitations.
The library’s mission is to open the doors to lifelong learning. Thus, the library will acquire, organize and make freely available to all residents in a convenient format to all Chester County residents. This form may include books, magazines, newspapers, and online resources.
The library leaves the decision to read, listen or watch library materials up to the patron. Patrons must determine what resources they consider appropriate for themselves and their family. Literacy needs will vary from family to family and from individual to individual. The library provides materials on many topics including topics that might be controversial.
The library will attempt to follow the concepts of the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read statements included in this document as Appendix I and Appendix II.
Pursuant to State Law and County Ordinance, the Chester County Library Board is empowered to “Acquire books and other library materials and provide for use thereof throughout the county.” This Collection Development Policy has, therefore, been approved by the Library Board, who has delegated to the Library Director the responsibility for administration of the Policy. The actual selection of materials is performed by various members of the library staff, appointed by the Library Director, who are qualified by reason of education, training, and experience.
The purpose of this policy statement is to set the guidelines by which selection will be made and to define what limitations must be set in the selection and purchase of library materials. It is intended to inform the public, governing bodies, and others about the principles upon which selections are made and about the scope and nature of the collection.
No single standard can be applied when making an acquisitions decision. Some materials will be judged primarily in terms of literary merit, scholarship, or overall value to society. Some will be selected to satisfy the informational, educational, or recreational needs of Chester County residents. Other materials will be selected because of widespread demand by patrons.
The final decision will be made based on the application of some or all of the following criteria:
- Interest of the community (known and potential)
- Contemporary significance
- Permanent value to the collection
- Importance of the subject to balance the collection
- Favorable review in standard selection source(s)
- Appearance in special bibliographies or indexes
- Availability of information elsewhere in the library or via reliable online resources
- Authority of author(s), editor(s), or publisher(s)Clear presentation and/or readability
- Durability and appropriateness of the format to the subject matter
- Shelving or storage space available in the library
STANDARD REVIEW SOURCES
In choosing materials for addition to the collection, library staff members will use current, vetted review sources such as print and online professional journals and bibliographies. A recommendation for purchase is sought from one or more of these sources before purchase of most library materials. Some publisher reviews from catalogs or online resources may also be used in selecting library materials.
DUPLICATION OF TITLES
The decision to purchase duplicate titles is made on the basis of the title’s importance and its continuing need or popularity. Many titles purchased are duplicated for use in the branch libraries or in online formats. Standard, classic children’s titles may be duplicated as necessary. Bestsellers, whose popularity will be limited by time, should be duplicated through purchasing additional copies until the demand wanes. Many titles are not duplicated due to space and budget constraints.
The library will purchase a variety of non-fiction materials.
The library will not typically purchase textbooks or academic materials. Textbooks and academic books for universities will not be purchased. Both textbooks and academic books are both very expensive and are generally geared to single individual’s needs, and not the broader needs of the community.
The library will try to make available to the public general non-fiction materials about various topics of interest.
SUBJECT AREAS: ADULT NON-FICTION
Emphasis will be placed on the use and operation of computers including hardware and software. Representative coverage will be given to other subjects in this area as needs are recognized.
Historical and classical standard works are purchased and maintained. Recent writings which examine issues and problems of human concern are also acquired. In the area of popular philosophy, parapsychology, and occultism, public demand is a major consideration in the library’s selection of materials.
Important writers of both Western and Eastern countries and the sacred or distinctive books of well-known religions and sects are represented. Popular religious writings offering spiritual guidance and comfort are selected. General Christian church histories and denominational histories are acquired as are explanations of doctrines directed toward the lay person. General books and histories of non-Christian religions and comparative religion are also selected. The mythologies of diverse cultures, with special emphasis on Greek and Roman mythologies are acquired.
300s —Social Sciences
The library attempts to provide materials of general interest on all areas of the social sciences as it is the second most popular non-fiction area used by the public. Works dealing with current, controversial, and social issues are collected. Issues relating to government, current events, and political science are acquired. Popular and standard materials are purchased on the subjects of personal finance, law, etiquette, vocational and career guides, and folk traditions and culture. Study guides for basic education, scholastic achievement tests, armed forces tests, and civil service exams are added frequently. Some books may be purchased every other year due to cost.
Materials selected include the history, study, and use of the English language. This includes up-to-date dictionaries and grammar. The collection includes books for teaching sign language to the deaf as well as learning aides for popular foreign languages, basic dictionaries, and grammar. Materials in foreign languages representing significant populations of non-English speaking patrons and foreign languages taught in local school curriculums will be collected as resources permit.
500s —Pure Sciences
The library purchases for the general, non-specialist reader to reflect today’s emphasis on scientific techniques and achievements and the current interest of lay persons in this field. It includes a representation of current, up-to-date materials in all branches of the pure sciences; mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, paleontology, life sciences, biology, and zoology.
600s —Applied Sciences and Technology
Current, popular, and useful materials for the lay person in most fields of the applied sciences are acquired. Emphasis is placed on the addition of current, accurate treatment of medical subjects for the lay person. Home economics receives great attention by the addition of books on cooking, child care, home decoration, and gardening. Interest in business administration is met by books on management and office practice with special attention paid to books for the small businessperson. Other areas singled out for new acquisitions include pet care, building, carpentry, engineering, and agriculture.
700s —The Arts
Materials on handicrafts, interior decoration, and sports receive special emphasis. Only art books intended for the lay person are selected for subjects such as architecture, sculpture, artists and their works, and photography. Art history and criticism for all periods and countries is acquired if it is written for the non-specialist. The section on music and the performing arts includes works on composition, orchestration, musicians, performers, musical instruments, collections of popular songs, and the history of music and the performing arts. Sheet music will not be collected. Music in audiovisual formats may be collected as resources allow. Individual subjects within this area will be covered as demand dictates.
The collection in literature emphasizes critical studies and literary history and biography. The most important works of poetry, plays, essays, and other literary forms, including those of contemporary writers, are included. American literature receives the most extensive coverage, including minor as well as major works and their authors, but English literature is also heavily collected. The history of literatures of other countries and classics and other distinguished works of foreign authors in English translation are collected as demand dictates.
900s —History and Travel
The library collects works on the history of all areas and all periods. Heavy emphasis is placed on American history. The history of Europe also receives major emphasis. Items are chosen for the non-specialist lay person to meet informational needs as well as for the student needing supplemental educational materials. Travel books and guides are selected for all areas of the world to meet three basic needs: to help people making plans for travel; to provide current, up-to-date information about different countries and different cultures; and to provide reading material for the “armchair” traveler.
The collection is a basic representation, world-wide in scope, of lives of people whose acts, accomplishments, or thoughts have influenced civilization, with special emphasis given to collecting the biographies of Americans. Collective biography will be chosen to supplement rather than duplicate individual biographies.
Because of its nature, fiction offers an almost limitless variety of styles, subjects, types, levels of writing ability, command of language, etc. Fiction, more than any other category, should reflect local reading interests and the specific enrichment needs of the library’s patrons within reason. Fiction titles by American, British, and other English language authors are acquired. Other languages are represented, selectively, in translation. Works of current, popular authors, best sellers, and genre fiction are acquired on the basis of local reading tastes.Urban Fiction is popular. Many of these books are self-published. The Chester County Library will try and acquire a variety of authors due to their popularity.
The library feels a responsibility to make available to those with impaired eyesight a collection of large print books and materials in audiovisual formats so that they may continue an enjoyment of reading. The collection consists of fiction and non-fiction titles. This collection is large at the Main library because it is heavily circulated.
The Chester County Library reference collection is selected and maintained to meet two basic goals: to provide answers to specific questions of any informational or educational nature from patrons’ in-person or telephoned requests; and to provide back-up reference assistance to Chester County Branch Libraries.
The materials in the reference collection will include, but not be limited to, the following types of publications: Encyclopedias, almanacs, atlases, handbooks, dictionaries, and directories in all fields of knowledge.
Patron requests may also be met through consortia and interlibrary loan.
LOCAL HISTORY COLLECTION
The main library houses the collection of local, regional, and state historical materials, the genealogy collection, and the collection of materials on Chester County. Because of the strong interest in Chester County in local history and genealogy, the Chester County Library will continue to build and maintain this collection. Costs, space requirements, and staff expertise dictate that this collection be maintained at the main library. The branch libraries will have smaller historical collections serving their communities.
The local and regional historical materials include printed books and manuscript materials such as maps, reports, biographical sketches, newspaper clippings, and photographs pertaining to the region and its people.
Secondary but important coverage is given to the State of South Carolina. County and family histories are acquired that are of value as genealogical and historical records. The library is not a depository for Federal or State documents or publications and will acquire only very selective materials in this area.
The library will attempt to make as many of these materials available to the public as possible, either in print or online formats. However, the library reserves the authority to limit accessibility due to the fragility of materials, loss mitigation, and copyright limitations.
The library will try and purchase local history books from the Chester area continually. When available, library will try and purchase one copy for reference and one copy for circulation.
(The Library is currently working on creating a specific collection plan for local history.)
YOUNG ADULT COLLECTION
A collection of books, paperbacks, and graphic novels is maintained for middle school through senior high school students (ages 13 and up) with awareness of the variety of interests, backgrounds, reading skills, and development levels within this age group. This book collection is overwhelmingly fiction selected for recreational reading with emphasis on quality and critically acclaimed materials as demonstrated in awards and specialized bibliographies.
The non-fiction titles in the collection are on subjects that meet the particular developmental needs of youth at different stages —such as dating, careers, and drugs —as well as titles of contemporary interest to this age group. Titles in the Young Adult collection may represent lifestyle trends and are for a variety of maturity levels.
Some material may contain controversial themes. Parents and guardians are responsible for minors book choices.
Graphic novels are popular. Graphic novels come in a wide range of topics from retellings of classic stories to popular Manga stories that are translated from Japanese. The library will maintain a collection of graphic novels. Graphic novels may be found in the children’s, young adult or adult collections.
Due to the visual aspect of these books, we remind adults that some of these books may not be appropriate for everyone.
Fiction is provided for a wide range of interest and reading abilities including picture books, easy-to-read books, and stories for children. The kinds of tutorial-type textbooks used for the teaching of reading in the school systems are generally not acquired by the public library. Well written books of imaginative fiction and those which authentically portray a period, incident, or way of life are selected despite the occasional use of a questionable word or illustration, provided the total impact of the book meets other basic criteria.
Juvenile non-fiction that is purchased that is accurate, informative, and up-to-date and selected in as wide a range of reading levels and interests as possible. Recommended books for children on sex and reproduction are not excluded because of the subject matter. Award-winning children’s titles are selected as a standard procedure.
JUVENILE MULTILINGUAL COLLECTION
The Juvenile Language Collection is designed to provide educational and recreational materials to the non-English-speaking children of Chester County as well to introduce to children to other languages around the world that may be spoken in the community.
PAPERBACKSPaperback books are considered for purchase for the following reasons: to acquire a title not available in hardcover; to provide inexpensive copies of a title; to save money for the purchase of other titles. Paperback gifts are accepted and added to the collection, cataloged or un-cataloged.
MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS
Magazines are acquired to supplement the book collection with current research information and for recreational reading. In general, this print collection is becoming smaller due to lack of demand.
Daily and weekly newspapers are purchased to provide local, regional, state, and national coverage.
Videos, primarily DVDs, are purchased for the recreational and informational needs of residents. As technology changes, this format may change to a database.
Following the selection criteria of the book collection, audio formats are carefully selected for this collection. Audio materials must be in a standardized format. Abridged and unabridged titles may be purchased. Specific titles or subjects requested by patrons are considered if they meet the selection criteria.
As this technology changes, this format may change to a database.
ELECTRONIC DATABASES AND EBOOKS
Ebooks are increasingly popular. The library offers access to ebooks for many reasons. For many residents they are easier to access outside the library’s physical hours. Online there is also access to materials in audiobook form and other formats that may be easier for people with visual disabilities. Online databases allow for a huge range of resources to be made available for the public. However, some databases are purchased and the content must be determined by the individual borrowing the material because the library purchases the entire database and may not review individual content. Some content may be controversial.
Ebooks are popular with patrons because of the fact they are not lost or damaged. However, cost can be a determining factor with databases as they are not inexpensive and may have time limits.
In recent years, many books and other materials have appeared that reflect points of view and life styles of segments of society that some might consider unorthodox. The library will attempt to include works which provide a picture of all aspects of life and which will help provide an understanding of social problems. The library approaches the selection process in a positive manner. It attempts to judge a work as a whole and not on its isolated parts.
There is a wide variation of criteria used by parents/guardians to determine suitable titles for their children to read. For this reason, the library takes the strong position that the parent/guardian assumes the final responsibility over the book his/her child borrows from the library. This responsibility is affirmed by the parent/guardian when he/she signs the registration form giving permission for the child to borrow books from the library.
Any resident with a library card who feels that they have a concern about a book and its placement in the collection may ask for reconsideration of that material. This person must complete a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form (see Appendix). The Request will be reviewed by a staff committee, which will submit its recommendations to the library director for his/her decision. The patron making the Request for Reconsideration may, if not satisfied with the decision of the library director, appeal that decision to the Library Board who shall have the final decision. In order to fill out a request for reconsideration, the patron must be a Chester County Library resident and hold a current Chester County Library card.
CONSORTIAL AND INTERLIBRARY LOANS
Limited resources and the diverse interests of our users make it impossible to purchase everything that people want to read or need for research. A consortium and an interlibrary loan network make it possible to obtain books from the South Carolina State Library, other public libraries. This network is called SCLENDS.
Because of situations out of control of the Chester County Library, there may be a significant time delay from the time materials are requested until they are received. The library recognizes, however, that interlibrary loans are a right, not a privilege, for the residents of the County, and every effort will be made to obtain the requested material by the date it is needed. The library normally makes no charges for interlibrary loan. However, the lending library may have costs or fines associated with the loan that the patron may be responsible for paying.
The Chester County Library encourages and accepts gifts of books, pamphlets, periodicals, and the like with the understanding that the gifts are added to the collection only if they meet the same standards required of purchased materials. Gift materials not meeting those standards, those that are out-of-date, unneeded duplicates of items already owned, or those in a form/format unsuitable for library use are given to other organizations, sold, or discarded. Gift items are integrated into the regular library collection in normal sequence, available to all library patrons, and otherwise handled as any other material belonging to the library. A letter for tax purposes may be given or sent to the donor if requested at the time the donation is made. The letter acknowledges receipt of the gift only; it does not set a value on the gift (see Appendix for a copy of the letter).
The Chester County Library maintains a collection of local history and genealogical material at the main library. Donations of this type of material from county residents or interested people become a part of this special collection to ensure all such items are available in one location in the county system.
The library is not a museum and rarely accepts objects other than printed or manuscript material. The decision to accept materials other than printed or manuscript items rests with the Director of the Chester County Library.
Except for temporary exhibit purposes, the library does not accept storage responsibility for historical documents or objects owned or controlled by groups or individuals.
Whenever a gift is no longer needed, it is disposed of in the same manner as material purchased. For historical documents that are no longer usable by the library, a reasonable attempt is made to return it to the original donor or a local historical society before the decision is made to discard the material.
The Chester County Library welcomes gifts of books or other appropriate materials given in memory of a deceased individual or in honor of an individual or group. Materials accepted must conform to the same criteria for selection as materials purchased with library funds. The donor may make a specific request for use of his/her contribution, but the selection will be left to the discretion of the library staff. If the person or group being honored or remembered has or had a specific field of interest, staff will attempt to order materials reflecting that interest if the interest area specified meets current library needs.
Systematic weeding is an integral part of the selection process which helps maintain the quality of the library’s collections. The same care, thought, and judgment is used in this process as in the original selection. There are many factors which figure in the weeding process: the relationship of the book to other books on the same subject; the money available for more satisfactory titles; consideration of the degree to which the library wants to represent older material on a particular subject; or the possible usefulness of the particular title to some special group in the County.
There are certain categories of books which are the most obvious candidates for weeding. There are the duplicates of titles, purchased when the book was in heavier demand and now no longer needed. Superseded editions of books may be replaced. Books that are in poor physical condition that are not suitable for repair or rebinding are candidates for being discarded. Unfortunately, there will be mistakes in selection —books which were judged to be of interest and use but which turned out to be shelf-sitters —which can be weeded. Books which have become obsolete in content, style, or theme are candidates for weeding. Finally, books which have declining or nonexistent use patterns are considered for weeding.
Circulation figures must be used carefully, however, because there are titles which have attained a status of “classic” which may not circulate well but which must be a part of the library’s collection. Weeding is done in all areas of the library’s collection, not just books. Careful, judgmental decisions are also made in the area of periodical holdings, electronic formats, and audio visual materials. Physical condition plays a large part in determining the shelf life of audiovisual materials. Rarely is a single criterion used to determine whether an item should be withdrawn from the library’s collection. These decisions are made on a combination of criteria and the librarian’s experience.
APPENDIX I: LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people in the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
Libraries which make exhibit space and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council. Amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23,1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.
APPENDIX II: THE FREEDOM TO READ
It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those which are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.
Publishers, librarians and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation contained in the books they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what books should be published or circulated.
It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to determine the acceptability of a book on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.
There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, or confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.
It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept with any book the prejudgment of a label characterizing the book or author as subversive or dangerous.It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large.
It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, book men can demonstrate that the answer to a bad book is a good one, the answer to a bad idea is a good one.
(Excerpts from a Joint Statement of the American Library Association and the Association of American Publishers.) Adopted June 25, 1953, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004.
Policy revised and approved by the Chester County Library 10/10/2022.
Approved by the Chester County Library Board on February 13, 2012
The Chester County Library Board has adopted an Unattended Children Policy in order to:
- Ensure the safety of library patrons, employees, and volunteers.
- Protect the rights of individuals to use library property, materials, and services.
- Protect the rights of library employees and volunteers to conduct library business without interference.
- Ensure the use of facilities, materials, and services by the greatest number of individuals.
- Preserve those materials and facilities from harm.
These rules exist for the comfort and protection of all. They will be courteously but firmly enforced by library staff. Any library staff member has the authority to enforce this policy, and all other library patron policies. If a library security guard is on duty, violations of this behavior policy may be referred to him or her.
Violations of this policy or any other Library policies may result in loss of library privileges, including notification to appropriate local law enforcement agencies of illegal activity subject to prosecution by local, state, and federal authorities.
Loss of Library privileges will be based on a progressive scale as follows:
- The first violation of Library policies will result in loss of privileges for one month.
- The second violation of Library policies will result in the loss of privileges for six months.
- The third violation of Library policies will result in the loss of privileges for one year.
- The fourth violation of Library policies will result in the loss of privileges on an indefinite basis.
Appeals to regain privileges must be made to the Library Director. Final appeals will be decided by the Chester County Library Board. Restoration of privileges may be made on a probationary basis subject to future incidents.
RULES REGARDING UNATTENDED CHILDREN
The safety and well being of children left unattended in a public building is of serious concern. Children left alone may become frightened, anxious, or bored. Older children cannot be expected to deal with a small child who is frightened, tired or ill.
Library staff has many public duties and cannot serve as babysitters.
We ask your cooperation in the following areas as we strive to make the library a safe and happy place for your child.
- Children 5-years-old and younger must always be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult caregiver at all times.
- Children 6-8-years old must have a parent or responsible adult caregiver at all times.
- Children 9-years-old and older are responsible for their own behavior in the library and must follow library rules and regulations. Any child 9 or older who is left unattended must have a means of contacting his/her parent or guardian.
- The library staff will attempt to contact parents of children whose safety is in doubt. If parents are unavailable, the library staff and/or the security guard will contact the police department to provide custody.
- If any child under 18 has not been picked up at closing, the Library will contact the police to provide custody.
Parents, not library staff, are responsible for the behavior of their children using the library, including supervision of computer use by minors. Parents will be notified if their children are left unattended and require supervision. If parents or caregivers are unavailable, proper authorities will be notified.
Additional policies governing unattended children may be detailed in other policies, including but not limited to: Patron Behavior Policy, Meeting Room Policy, and Computer Use Policy.
The Chester County Library is pleased to offer our meeting rooms to our patrons. Our meeting rooms must operate under the following guidelines in order to best benefit our patrons.
Library meeting spaces may be booked on a first-come, first-served basis for public gatherings of the following types of groups:
- Community groups with a cultural, educational, or civic emphasis under non-profit sponsorship.
- Governmental agencies, municipal and state.
- For-profit organizations as long as they do not use the room for profit-making or advertising.
- Possess a Chester County Library card in good standing (good standing means no fines or fees over $5.00)
- Complete & have approved Meeting Room application
- Assign18-year-old or older person who will denote responsibility with signature
- Schedule a meeting no less than one week/no more than one month in advance
- Schedule meeting only during open library hours (exception: library and government programs)
- Ensure meeting attendees under the age of 12 remain with their group at all times
- Pay $25 refundable damage deposit atleast 24 hours prior to meeting (cash or check)–The Anne Collins Room does not require a deposit since food and drink are not allowed in that room.
- Provide IRS 501c3form as proof of non-profit status in order to use room free of charge or provide$50 donation to library in order for individual or profit-making group/organization to reserve room
- Pay the cost of any damages incurred within at least 30 days of notification
- Users must follow the Library Code of Conduct policy
- No candles or other incendiary materials may be lit or burned
- Using the rooms for religious services, partisan politics, profit making, advertising, or unlawful purposes
- Collecting money for any purpose other than registration or materials used for the approved meeting
- Using the rooms for any purpose that may interfere with the regular operation of the library
- Serving alcoholic beverages
- Using the kitchen and failing to properly dispose of garbage or to thoroughly clean the room
- Hanging anything on the walls
- No social events such as: weddings, showers, parties, anniversaries…
- Complete and have approved a Meeting Room Application (annually)
- Reserve a meeting roomat least 1 week prior to use of the room and pay the $25 damage deposit (specify room)
- Tables, chairs and a list of other room supplies that are available (ask for list)
- Set up the facility 15 minutes prior to the meeting
- Leave the meeting room clean, tidy, garbage free,and with all chairs & tables in their original positions at least 15minutes prior to library closing time
- Ask a library staff member to inspect the room for damages
- The library reserves the right to cancel any meeting for any purpose but resolves to provide as much notice as possible to responsible parties
- The library refuses to accept responsibility for items left in its facilities
- The library will not accept telephone calls or relay messages to meeting attendees except in emergencies
- The Library reserves the right to have a representative attend any meeting held in its facilities to ensure that no unlawful activities or activities contrary to this policy or the Library’s Code of Conduct are occurring.
Permission to meet or hold an event in the Library does not in any way constitute an endorsement of a group’s policies or beliefs. Groups may not state or imply that the Library is sponsoring their event.
Only activities sponsored or co-sponsored by the Library will be advertised by the Library. For groups advertising their own meeting or event, unauthorized use of the Library’s logo is strictly prohibited.
Neither the name nor address of the Library may be used as the official address or headquarters of any outside organization.
Approved by the Chester County Library Board on March 14, 2005. Revised effective March1, 2006; New revisions effective July 1, 2008; New revision effective September 19, 2001;New revision effective March 4, 2014and revised 4/8/14.Current policy was revised and approved by the Board 2/11/2019.
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
VI. Libraries that make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.
To protect our staff and our patrons, we ask that everyone wear a mask while visiting the library. If you are feeling unwell or cannot wear a mask, we ask that you use our curbside service or our WiFi.
Citizens must make their desire to speak to the Library Board known (30 minutes) before the start of the Library Board meeting. Citizens will do this by filling out a Citizen Input Form.
The Board Chair may reduce the time as deemed necessary – at his/her discretion, to ensure meeting efficiency.
- Each citizen will be limited to three minutes.
- State your name and address
- If you represent an organization, please state clearly the name of the organization.
- Speak loudly and clearly
- Do not address the audience – direct all comments to Library Trustees
- Do not approach Library Trustees unless directed
- Anyone addressing that Library Trustees will be called out of order if you:
- Use Profanity
- Stray from the subject
- Make comments personally attacking a member of the Library Board
Policy Approved by the Chester County Library Board 3/9/23
The Chester County Library Board of Trustees meets monthly.