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
Collection Development Policy is in process of being updated. Check back soon to see our new collection development policy.
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.
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.