MRLS Library Policies

 

Since the Mountain Regional Library System serves such a large portion of our communities, it is necessary that we have written and published policies regarding various aspects of our services. These polices are listed with links to the right and are there to be accessible to all and to make sure everyone can look them up at any time.

 

We appreciate your cooperation in following these policies and we hope you enjoy your experience at the library whether in person or online.

Behavior Policy


Patron Behavior Statement of Policy

Mountain Regional Library System (MRLS) is committed to providing all patrons an atmosphere and environment free from unnecessary distractions and spaces where patrons, library staff, and volunteers are respected and courteous to all others. Patrons, staff and volunteers are entitled to a relative expectation that visits to any MRLS library will be free from harassment, physical or mental discomfort, and danger.

Inappropriate or unruly behavior is defined as any behavior on MRLS premises which infringes on the rights of others to use the library in relative comfort and safety, behavior which could result in injury to oneself or others, or behavior which could result in damage to library materials or property. When patron behavior disrupts the use of the library for library staff or other patrons, staff will take one or more of the following steps appropriate to the situation:

  • Issue a verbal warning
  • Ask the patron to leave for the remainder of the day
  • Call law enforcement
  • Restrict library privileges – time and severity determined by infraction and previous incidents by the Director

This policy lists some examples of inappropriate or unruly behaviors, which are disruptive to or interfere with the use of the library by other patrons but is not exhaustive.

  • Any act or conduct in violation of Federal, State, or local law, ordinance, or regulation
  • Any act or conduct in violation of other MRLS policies
  • Use of abusive or obscene language
  • Any behavior that constitutes a nuisance or disrupts the use of the library by others
  • Threatening the safety or rights of another person including bullying and the physical, psychological, or verbal harassment of staff, patrons, or volunteers. MRLS has a policy of zero tolerance for threats and acts of bullying and violence. Any person engaging in such behaviors will be removed from library property.
  • Neglecting to provide proper supervision of children
  • Damaging or defacing the library property or materials.
  • Using language or gestures that incites violence or prejudicial action against a group or individual on the basis of race, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
  • Using library parking lots for recreational purposes
  • Soliciting, distributing materials of any kind or petitioning of any kind without the prior authorization of the Director.
  • Bringing animals other than service animals into library buildings without authorization.
  • Entering a non-public area without permission from a staff member.
  • Refusing to comply with requests of any member of the library staff.

Adopted: 8/12/2020




Meeting Area Policy


MEETING AREA POLICY

GENERAL INFORMATION

Meeting areas are provided as a public service and the Mountain Regional Library System (MRLS) Board of Trustees establishes usage regulations. Library can refer to MRLS or any of the member libraries.

For the purpose of this policy, meeting rooms, community rooms, conference areas, boardrooms, or other designated interior or exterior spaces will be considered meeting areas.

Use of the meeting areas by outside agencies or organizations does not constitute the Libraries’ endorsement of the viewpoints expressed by the participants in programs. No advertisement implying endorsement will be permitted.

In order to maintain building security, all public meetings must be held during regular Library business hours and must end no later than 20 minutes prior to the posted Library closing time. All activities in the meeting areas are subject to supervision. All state and local fire codes must be observed in addition to all other City Codes and Ordinances.

Any person can freely and openly attend all meetings held in any meeting area.

Those using the Library's meeting areas are subject to the rules set forth in the MRLS Patron Behavior Statement of Policy.

RESERVATIONS

Library sponsored activities take precedence over all other requests for reservations.

Educational, cultural and civic programs, local government agencies, and advocacy groups are also given priority over other reservation requests.

Meeting areas will not be used for private gatherings (wedding receptions or showers, birthday parties, reunions, etc.) political rallies or activities, or commercial gatherings, which advertise a product or service.

All other meeting requests from groups are considered on a first come, first served basis.

If necessary, the Library reserves the right to revise any schedule of meetings and to preempt established reservations upon reasonable notification of the group(s) involved.

A representative of the organization or group using a meeting area is required to sign an agreement assuming responsibility for the use of the area. That representative must be at least 18 years of age and provide identification.

It is not the intent of MRLS to provide ongoing, regular meeting space for any organization or individual. Therefore, standing reservations are not commonly made. A group may reserve a meeting area up to twice a month. The Director reserves the right to allow a group to reserve an area beyond twice a month if the reservation is deemed beneficial for both parties.

Reservations will not be accepted more than two (2) months in advance without approval of the branch manager and Director.

The organization / group using the meeting area will not:

a. charge or accept any fee for attendance to the event

b. solicit any products or materials in the Library facility or on Library grounds. The Director reserves the right to allow solicitations of products or materials for specific events beneficial for both the Library and the host organization or presenter(s).
c. solicit personal information from attendees for subsequent marketing or financial transactions
d. use any materials in the room that would be hazardous, for example, flammable materials such as candles, incense, light strips, etc.

A cleaning fee, up to $100.00, may be assessed if special cleaning is required after a group has used the meeting area.

Continued non-compliance of this policy can lead to being denied privileges to use any meeting area in the future.

Neither the Library Board of Trustees nor the Library Staff assume any responsibility for loss, theft or damage incurred to personal or rental property brought into the building or on the grounds nor do they assume any liability for any injury to any person (persons) during the time the premises are used.

Adopted 11/18/20




Child Safety/Dependent Persons


Child and Dependent Persons Policy The Mountain Regional Library System is committed to providing its users an atmosphere and environment free from unnecessary distractions and conducive to the most efficient use of library facilities. Part of this commitment is a concern for the safety and welfare of everyone who visits the library. Library facilities are public buildings, and as such, have special security concerns. Library staff have many responsibilities, and they are neither trained nor expected to provide care and supervision for children or dependent persons of any age. Dependent persons may include, for example, persons incapacitated due to physical and/or mental disabilities or other conditions who are dependent on others for their safety and well-being. A parent, legal guardian, or caregiver is responsible for monitoring the activities and managing the behavior of children and dependent persons during their library visit. A caregiver is defined as an individual at least 16 years of age who acknowledges this responsibility for a child or dependent person. Children or dependent persons left unattended may be at risk. There are many factors that could place them in danger. A child or dependent person could be tempted to go off with a stranger, or could become ill; these are just examples of emergencies that could take place in a public building. It is for the safety of everyone who visits the library that the Mountain Regional Library System has adopted this Safe Child and Dependent Persons Policy. Statement of Policy Parents, legal guardians, and caregivers are responsible for the care and behavior of children and dependent persons at all times while in Library buildings.Children 10 years of age or younger must remain in the company of the parent or caregiver. A child who is attending a library program need not be accompanied into that program by a parent, unless otherwise indicated. Parents and caregivers must, however, be present in the building during the programming in case an emergency should arise. Persons Left Unattended When Library staff recognize that a child or dependent person has been left unattended in the library or on its premises, they will attempt to identify and locate the responsible parent, legal guardian, or caregiver:

  • Staff will search the library building and/or grounds in an effort to locate the responsible party.
  • If they cannot be located, a staff member will monitor the person until the parent, legal guardian, or caregiver returns to the library.
  • When the responsible party is located, the Safe Child and Dependent Persons Policy will be explained and a copy given to them.
  • Staff will record the parent’s, legal guardian’s, or caregiver’s name, address, and telephone number and the name of the unattended person.
  • Staff will refer any additional incidents to law enforcement.
  • If necessary at any time, staff will contact the appropriate law enforcement or social services authorities to assume responsibility for the welfare of a child or dependent person in need of attention.
Unattended Persons after Closing Time Parents, legal guardians, and caregivers are responsible for being aware of the times the Library opens and closes. Library staff must exercise appropriate procedures to ensure the safety of unattended persons, either minors 17 years of age and younger or dependent persons of any age, especially when the library is closing.
  • One half hour prior to closing time, staff will make an effort to ascertain that any minors or dependent persons of any age have arrangements for transportation from the library.
  • If no ride has arrived by closing time, staff will call the Police Department. Police and staff together will monitor persons left unattended until transportation arrives.
  • Staff will record the parent's, legal guardian’s, or caregiver's name, address, and telephone number and the name of the unattended person.
  • Staff will refer any additional incidents to law enforcement.
  • Under no circumstances will library staff members provide transportation to unattended minors or dependent persons, or leave them alone in the building or on the library premises.
Revised and Approved by the Mountain Regional Library System Board of Trustees, August 4, 2006




Internet Use Policy


Rules for Internet Usage The Mountain Regional Library System and the Library Board of Trustees are committed to serving the information and lifelong learning needs of all the citizens of Fannin, Towns, and Union Counties. As “a global network that connects computers via telephone lines, fiber networks, or both to electronic information,” the Internet provides access to information that significantly enhances the resources contained in the Library’s collection. As such, the Library’s Internet access is intended as an information resource. Patrons are expected to use this resource in an appropriate and lawful manner. Content The Internet allows users to connect to networks of resources outside the Library. Internet information may be reliable and current or it may be inaccurate, incomplete, inappropriate or illegal. The Library assumes no responsibility for the quality, accuracy, usefulness, or currency of any Internet resource. Users should be aware that the Internet may contain material of a controversial nature. Each individual must accept personal responsibility for determining the suitability and appropriateness of information obtained through the Internet. The Library does not select or edit Internet content. INTERNET RULES OF CONDUCT

  • Public Access Computers are to be used in a courteous, appropriate and lawful manner.
  • Public Access Computers are provided primarily for educational and informational purposes.
  • Use by children 17 years and younger must be approved in writing by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Public Access Computer users must agree to abide by the Library's Internet Acceptable Use Policy each time they initiate a computer session.
  • Public Access Computer sessions are one hour long. A computer session may be extended if no one else is waiting.
  • Public Access Computer workstations are not to be shared, with the exception that parents or legal guardians may work together with their minor children at the same workstation. Regardless of whose account is used to log in to a Public Access Computer, all users agree to comply with the Internet Acceptable Use Policy.
  • Your PINES patron record must be clear of fines and fees before access to a Public Access Computer will be granted.
  • The use of chat or instant messaging software or services such as AIM, Yahoo or Windows Messenger on Public Access Computers is prohibited.
  • Minors should not disclose personally identifying information, such as name, school, address, and telephone number to strangers on the Internet.
  • Minors should never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone via the Internet without their parents’ or guardians’ approval.
  • All users are encouraged to notify staff of any online communication or Internet site that makes them uncomfortable.
  • Minors are strongly encouraged to not respond to any online communication or Internet site that makes them uncomfortable, and to notify their parent or guardian and library staff as soon as possible.
  • All users are to respect the privacy of others.
  • No user may send, receive, view, download or display obscene or disruptive messages, files or images.
  • Users may not misrepresent themselves by access code, password or signature.
  • Users may not alter or attempt to alter Library hardware or software, or attach peripheral devices to Library equipment without staff permission.
  • Users may not use Library equipment in violation of Intellectual Property laws, including, but not limited to making illegal copies of copyrighted or licensed software or data.
  • Users may download legally obtained software, files, etc. to their personal floppy disks, USB memory sticks, or CD-ROM’s, but may not download or install software on Library computers without staff permission.
Assistance Staff will assist patrons with Internet use as time permits. However, the Library cannot guarantee that Internet-trained staff will be available to assist users at all times the Library is open. To assist patrons in using the Internet, the Library also maintains a collection of current books and periodical articles about the Internet, including recommended web sites. Youth Access to the Internet Internet access may expose users to information that may not be suitable for minors. Parents or legal guardians are responsible for developing guidelines for their child's appropriate use of the Internet. Parents or guardians are also responsible for supervising and monitoring their child’s use of the Internet. Children under 18 years of age must have a parent or legal guardian's written approval to use the Library’s Public Access Computers without supervision. The parent or guardian must sign a disclaimer giving such permission in person at the time of a minor’s registration for a PINES library card. The Library encourages parents and guardians to develop a dialog with their child about online Internet safety. For more information on children and the Internet, visit MRLS' Internet surfing safety for kids and parents. Staff does not act in the place of a parent or legal guardian to supervise or restrict materials a child or young adult may legally access on the Internet. Use Users are encouraged to take advantage of the information resources available on the Internet and to exercise good judgment and discretion when using it. The Library’s document Internet Use Rules of Conduct identifies behaviors which ensure fair and reasonable use of Internet resources. Users are expected to abide by the rules and procedures of the Library as well as any remote systems they might access. Users are also expected to comply with all local, state and federal laws (including but not limited to those concerning fraud, privacy or obscenity) while using the Library’s Public Access Computers. Copyright and licensing agreements are to be respected. Inappropriate Or Unacceptable Use When a patron uses one of the Library’s Public Access Computers in violation of Library policy and/or applicable laws, staff have the authority to end an Internet session or to suspend or revoke Internet or other library privileges. A patron whose Internet privileges have been suspended must speak with the Regional Technology Librarian about appropriate and responsible use before Internet use can be resumed. A patron whose privileges have been revoked is no longer eligible to use Public Access Computers at any of Mountain Regional Library System’s locations. Use of computers and communication equipment owned or leased by the Library is subject to the statutes subsumed under the federal Children's Internet Protection Act and the Official Code of Georgia Annotated Section 20-5-5, Internet safety policies in public libraries. These statutes establish as unacceptable the use of such equipment for “sending, receiving, viewing, or downloading visual depictions of obscenity, child pornography, or material that is harmful to minors”. In addition, certain other acts involving computer fraud, abuse, alteration, tampering, etc. may be classified under federal, state, or local laws as crimes, and therefore punishable by fines, imprisonment or both. Patrons demonstrating unacceptable use that is illegal may be criminally prosecuted. Security Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium. The Library cannot guarantee that patrons who use the Internet will have privacy in their communications and other Internet uses. Ultimate responsibility for resolution of problems related to the invasion of the user’s privacy or loss of data rests with the user. The Library assumes no liability for loss or damage to the users’ data or for any damage or injury arising from invasion of the user’s privacy. The user should be aware of computer viruses and other destructive computer programs, and take steps to avoid being a victim or unwitting distributor of such programs. Users should report computer viruses and other destructive computer programs to staff as soon as possible. Revised and Approved by the Mountain Regional Library System Board of Trustees, August 3, 2013




Public Wireless Use Policy


Public Wireless Use Policy Introduction All four members branches of the Mountain Regional Library System now provide wireless internet access service for users with properly equipped portable computers or mobile devices. Wireless connection to the library's internet serivce is free of charge and available around the clock to users within broadcast range of an access point. Signal coverage varies by site and the user's device, but most users should even be able to connect from the library parking lot when the library building is closed. All users of the MRLS public wireless service are required to abide by the same policies and rules of behavior as users of our in-house Public Access Computers, discussed in the Internet Acceptable Use Policy and the Internet Use Rules of Conduct. Restrictions There is no time limit for a wireless sessions but users may need to reconnect to the public wireless to renew their session if using it for more than an hour. All Internet traffic across the library's network is filtered to comply with CIPA regulations. All users are expected to use the library's wireless access in a legal and responsible manner, consistent with the educational and informational purposes for which it is provided. Users may not violated federal, Georgia, or local laws, including the transmission or receiving of child pornography or harmful material, fraud, ot the downloading of copyrighted material. Caveats MRLS makes every effort to ensure that our wireless acccess points stay operational; however, due to intermittent outages and occasional equipment problems, the library cannot guarantee that wireless serivce will be available to users at all times, especially during closed hours. Most wireless- equipped devices wil be compatible with the libraries' access points, but the library cannot guarantee that your hardware will work with the library's wireless network. If a user experiencesproblems connecting to a wireless access point during business hours, staff will verfy that the library's network is operational, but staff are not trained to configure or troubleshoot laptop computers or mobile devices. Please refer to your owner's manual or other support services offered by your devices manufacturer. Documentation available at the Circulation Desk will provide general information on the procedures for accessing the Internet wirelessly; however, library staff cannot provide technical assistance to patrons using the library's wireless network. Users are solely responsible for any changes made to their computer's settings. If you choose to alter your device's configuration, it is always a "best practice" to write down your current settings so you can restore them later. The wireless network is not meant as a replacement for the wired network and is not to be used as a primary network connection. Users are expected to avoid using applications that will use large amounts of bandwidth. These include, but are not limited to servers and file sharing applications. The library's wireless network provides no security between the access points and your device; therefore, someone in the library vicinity can potentially capture information sent to or from your devices. The library cautions wireless users against transmitting credit card information, password, and any other sensitive personal information while using any wireless "hot spot". It is strongly reommended that your have up to date virus protection on your laptop computer, apply all security patches for your operating system, and take other appropriate precautions when using this service. Use of the MRLS wireless network is entirely at the risk of the user. The library assumes no responsibilty for the safety of equipment or for device configurations, security, or data files resulting from connection to the library's network or the Internet, or liability for any consequent damage to hardware, software, or data. Printing service is not available through our wireless networks at this time. If you need to print, you can save your work to a storage devices such as a floppy disk or USB memory stick, email files to yourself; then log on to an in- house library workstation and send jobs to the public network printer. Approved by the Mountian Regional Library System Board of Trustees, February 3, 2006 Revised and Approved by the Mountain Regional Library System Board of Trustees, August 1, 2013 Some content adapted from Terrebonne Parish Library Wireless Network Use Policy. http://mytpl.org/about/library-policies/#wireless (Accessed August 1, 2013)




Library Fees/Deposit Policy


Library Fees As a member of the PINES network, the Mountain Regional Library System has adopted circulation rules in accordance with PINES policy.

  • Late Fees for Books and CDs are .20 per day
  • Lost books will be charged the price of the book plus $10 processing fee
  • Replacement library cards are $2.00
  • Out of state resident Library cards are ($12.50 for six months or $25.00 for the year)
  • Students in Georgia and those employed full time in the state of Georgia get free library cards even if they live in another state.
  • Copies are .15 each for B&W, .50 each for color.
  • Notary services are available for 2.00 per notary
  • Faxes for long distance numbers are $1.50 for first page, .50 for each additional page.
  • Faxes to local and toll free numbers are free, but there is a .25 charge for the confirmation page if you need it.
  • Lamination is available at some branches and the price varies based on size.
Revised and Approved by the Mountain Regional Library System Board of Trustees June 15, 2007 Deposit Policy The Mountain Regional Library System shall require a cash deposit to check out high value books that have a potential for theft based on circulation history. The amount of the deposit, and which books will require a deposit shall be determined by the branch manager. Patrons who are not capable of supplying the deposit, shall be restricted to using the book inside the library. All deposits provided will be refunded to the patron upon the return of the book. Approved by the Mountain Regional Library System Board of Trustees, November 4, 2015




Lost Materials Policy


Lost Materials Policy The Mountain Regional Library System will accept cash payment for lost, damaged, or unreturned materials at the replacement cost of the item determined by the library branch manager at the time of the loss. If the items cannot be replaced, the cost for purchase of a similar item will be assessed. If no similar item exist, the following minimum fees will be assessed:

  • $20 for juvenile fiction books and music CDs
  • $25 for adult fiction or juvenile non-fiction books and VHS tapes
  • $25 for large print and adult non-fiction books, DVDs, and audio book items on cassette or CD
  • A $10 processing fee set by PINES policy will also be assessed for each item in addition to the replacement cost or minimum assessment.
Mountain Regional Library System does not accept replacement copies for lost or damaged materials. If an item that have been marked lost and then paid for by the patron is returned within 180 days of payment, the patron will be refunded the cost of the book minus overdue fines and the $10 processing fee. If an item has been paid for by the patron and is returned after 180 days of payment, the charges are not refunded. Approved by the Mountain Regional Library System Board of Trustees, June 15, 2007 Revised and Approved by the Mountain Regional Library System Board of Trustees February 4, 2015




Challenged Material Policy


Challenged Material Policy If materials are challenged as improper for the library collection, the complainant will be requested to put the objection in writing on a form supplied by the library and complete the information requested on the form. A committee made up of library board members and library staff members will then review the material in light of the complaint and make recommendations to the Board concerning each title. Challenged Material Form Approved by the Mountain Regional Library System Board of Trustees, November 2001




Scanned Library Cards on Mobile Devices Policy


Scanned Library Cards on Mobile Devices Policy Effective July 1st. the Pines Executive Committee opted to allow an electronic facsimile of the PINES card on a held- held device. The Committee stipulated that the patron's identity must be confirmed by asking key pieces of information from the patron record. Name, phone number, email address, street address, or date of birth would be acceptable. The possibility of requiring PINs at the self check machines was also brought up, and libraries using these machines should inquire with their vendor to institute a prompt for patron PIN. Note that if the library scanners cannot scan the card number from the hand- held device, library staff will type in the card number displayed on the hand- held device alson with confirmation of the patron's identity. Approved by the The PINES Executive Committee, effective July 1, 2014.




Service Animals Policy


Service Animals Policy The Mountain Regional Library System affirms its support of equal access for persons with disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Library seeks to make its services, facilities, and programs as accessible as reasonably possible to the public, including those who have disabilities. Users who encounter barriers to access or services at the Library should ask Library staff for assistance. While animals are not generally allowed in the Library, persons requiring the support of a trained service dog are accommodated. Library staff may ask the user the following questions

  • is the service dog required because of a disability, and
  • what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. 28 CFR 35.136 (f)
As specified by the ADA, service dogs must be under the owner’s control at all times. 28 CFR35.136 (d). This means no potential harm to other patrons, and no excessive noise. An animal that runs wild in the library is not under owner control and you will have to remove the animal from the premises. Addressing Accessibility Concerns Requests for ADA accommodation or removal of a barrier to service may be presented in person or over the phone. These requests should be addressed to the Library Director who will attempt to provide accommodation within 14 days. If resolution is not achieved by the initial request, the user may submit a written Request for ADA Accommodation or Removal of Barrier. Requests are reviewed by the Library Director, and a formal response is made to the library user within 14 days of the date of original submission of the request. The formal response may be a telephone call followed by a written confirmation of the telephone discussion, or directly in writing. Approved by the Mountain Regional Library System Board of Trustees February 2016.





CONTACT US

Mountain Regional Library System

698 Miller Street / PO Box 159
Young Harris, GA 30582

​Telephone: 706-379-1327 ​Fax: 706-379-2047   

​hlee@mountainregionallibrary.org