Library Policies

Table of Contents

  1. Library Vision Statement
  2. Library Mission Statement
  3. Library Policies
    a. Material Selection Policy
    b. Gifts and Donation Policy
    c. Meeting Room Policy
    d. Internet Usage Policy
    e. Emergencies/Disasters Policy
    f. School Hours Policy

adopted and approved by the Board of Directors May 30, 2001 revised January 27, 2003

Library Vision Statement

The people of the Marion area will:

  • have the information they need to succeed at school, at work, and in their personal lives;
  • have reading, viewing and listening materials and programs that stimulate their thinking, enhance their knowledge of the world, and improve the quality of their leisure time;
  • discover the joy of reading and develop a love of learning;
  • enjoy a high level of access to electronic information resources and develop the technological, information seeking, and information evaluation skills needed in an increasingly complex world;
  • think of the Marion Public Library as a focal point of community life that connects and unites the people of the entire region;
  • use the Marion Public Library's resources and services and encourage others to do so as well.

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Mission Statement

The Marion Public Library is a center of community life, offering opportunities for people of all ages to learn, know, gather and grow.

The library is a dependable source of reliable information and of challenging ideas that enlighten and enrich, and of materials in many formats that enhance leisure time and expand knowledge of current events. The library encourages the love of reading and the joy of learning, and offers the assistance people need to find, evaluate, and use electronic and print information resources that help them live successful and rewarding lives.

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Material Selection Policy

Purpose: The Marion Public Library selects materials and develops collections in many different formats to provide Marion residents with a wide range of informational, recreational and educational resources which are easily accessible and cost-efficient. The library will acquire materials reflecting the full diversity of points of view on topics of interest to the public.


  1. One objective of the Marion Public Library is to select, organize, preserve and make freely available materials that help individuals and groups in the community to: a. pursue continuing education b. develop their creative capacities c. become more responsible members of the community d. understand their cultural heritage and that of others e. become more capable in their occupations f. use their leisure time creatively g. obtain needed information
  2. To achieve these ends, the library provides materials and services to residents of all ages. It seeks to direct and stimulate life-long learning by offering a carefully selected collection of materials and skilled professional guidance in their use.
  3. In its selection of materials, the Marion Public Library endorses the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement, as adopted by the American Library Association.
  4. The library will challenge censorship of any materials in order to provide complete and accurate information on all sides of an issue, and to foster a climate of intellectual freedom for area residents.
  5. The final responsibility for material selection lies with the Library Director. The Director will work with input from other library staff. Recommendations from the public are welcomed and encouraged.
  6. Challenges regarding specific materials will be reviewed upon written request. A form for this purpose may be requested from any professional librarian.
  7. The library will not promote specific beliefs or views, but will provide enough suitable material to enable the public to make informed and intelligent decisions.
  8. Materials judged to be of lasting value will be added to the collection. Those materials meeting present and anticipated user interests may also be provided. Materials listed in standard public library indices will generally be acquired.
  9. Selection of materials may be influenced by many factors, including but not limited to the following: a. budgetary considerations b. physical limitations of the library building c. suitability of the format and construction d. availability of specialized materials in other local libraries e. availability of material through interlibrary loan f. the need for added materials in subject areas g. the special needs of library patrons for materials in accessible formats
  10. The library welcomes gifts of materials, with the understanding that they will be evaluated using the same criteria as those applied to purchased materials. If the gifts do not meet these criteria, the library reserves the right to dispose of them as it sees fit. All gifts of library materials are subject to the Library's Gifts and Donations Policy.
  11. The library collection will be kept attractive and current by a continual program of repairing, discarding or replacing worn and out-dated materials.
  12. Plans for the development of specific collections may be written by library staff as needed. These plans may outline selection and acquisition procedures, reviewing tools, and maintenance of the specific collection. All such plans shall be in compliance with and responsive to the philosophy of this policy.

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Gift and Donation Policy

Rationale: The Marion Public Library believes that the private initiative has an important role in extending and enriching the services of the library. The Library Board establishes this policy to set guidelines for accepting gifts.

1. Conditions under which gifts will be accepted:

  • Gifts for the library should be of such a nature that usage of them falls within the Mission Statement of the Library.
  • Gifts should be viewed as an addition or supplement to, not a reduction of, the operating budget of the library.
  • The Director will routinely determine if gifts are acceptable under this policy. Gifts resulting in ongoing costs to the institution such as staffing or special maintenance will require special board approval for acceptance.
  • Gifts should be complete and may be refused if the expenditure of library funds is necessary to make the gift item usable.
  • Gifts of cash, real property, stocks, trusts, etc, will be accepted. Such resources may be used to purchase materials in keeping with the library's collection development plan, or to provide services in keeping with the library's mission. The purchase of specifically identified titles with such funds cannot be guaranteed, nor does the donor have the right of approval of titles before purchase. However, donors are encouraged to recommend subject areas.
  • Depending on the wishes of the donors, some donations may be referred to Marion Public Library Foundation or the Friends of the Library.
  • Gifts of art objects, personal property, etc will be accepted if such items have a use in the library. If an item cannot be used, the library reserves the right to sell the item and use the proceeds of the sale for purchases in keeping with the library's Mission Statement. Books will also be accepted with the understanding that the material may or may not be added to the collection..

2. Disposal of gifts:

  • The library reserves the right at all times to dispose of any gift without notification to the donor, if in the judgement of staff, such an item no longer serves the purpose of the library.

3. Recognition of gifts:

  • Library bookplates will be placed in any library materials purchased with gift funds, format permitting. Programs and services made possible by gift funds will include recognition of such benefactors in their supporting literature. Recognition of gifts may be made through the library's newsletter; major donations may also be announced in the local newspaper. The Marion Public Library Foundation has distinct donor recognition mechanisms.

4. Solicitation of gifts:

  • The library will work with the Marion Public Library Foundation and The Friends of the Marion Public Library to develop appropriate methods for the solicitation of gifts.

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Meeting Room Policy

Purpose: The meeting room in the lower level of Marion Public Library is available for use by community groups for presentation of informational, educational, or recreational meetings and programs in keeping with the mission of the Marion Public Library


  1. Meeting room facility will be made available on an equitable basis regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. Meeting are scheduled on a first come - first serve basis.
  2. Rooms may be used for: a. Meetings which are open to the public; b. Public lectures, panel discussions, film and slide presentations, group discussions, workshops, and other similar functions; c. Organizations engaged in education, cultural, intellectual, governmental or charitable activities.
  3. Rooms may not be used for: a. Any purpose which may interfere with the regular operation of the library; Programs involving the sales, advertising, solicitation or promotion of commercial products or services; b. Personal, company, or family parties.
  4. No admission fee, Registration fee, nor donation may be sought from meeting attendees
  5. No charge will be made by the library for the use of the meeting room.
  6. Users agree to abide by all regulations of the library relating to the use of facilities and accept responsibility for all damages caused to the building and/or equipment beyond normal wear and tear.
  7. Use of the library meeting room does not imply endorsement by the library staff or the library board of the viewpoints presented.
  8. The meeting room may be reserved by groups for a complete year if they meet on the same day each month or every 2nd month. Otherwise the room may be reserved no more than 60 days in advance.
  9. It is understood that library programming will have priority use of the room
  10. Groups and people using the meeting room shall leave it in a neat, clean and orderly condition; if not the group/individual will be given notice that the continued offense will result in denied access. Refreshments may be served. Garbage from the event, will be removed by the group/individual.
  11. The library is not responsible for any equipment, supplies, materials, clothing or any other items brought to the library by any group or individual attending a meeting.
  12. The library board and staff does not assume any liability on groups or individuals attending a meeting at the library.

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Internet Use Policy

Purpose: The Library Board establishes this Internet policy to ensure appropriate use of Internet resources within the library.


  1. The Library provides workstations for free public access to the Internet as an informational, educational and recreational resource.
  2. The Library expects that all use of electronic equipment resources such as the Internet will be responsible and ethical, consistent with the purpose for which the resources are provided. a. Using Resources for educational, informational and recreational purposes only: not for unauthorized, illegal or unethical purposes. b. Respecting the privacy of others by not misrepresenting oneself as another user; by not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others; by not seeking unauthorized access to any computer system, or damaging or altering software components of any network or database. c. Further respecting the privacy of others using public access work stations at Marion Public Library by not interfering with their use. d. Making only authorized copied of copyrighted or licensed software or data. e. Not sending, receiving or displaying text or graphics which may reasonably be construed by Library staff as offensive to the public. f. Not making unauthorized changes to the setup or configuration of the software or hardware.
  3. The Library does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. The Library assumes no responsibility for the quality, accuracy or currency of any Internet resource. Internet users should be aware that not all information found on the Internet is accurate or current.
  4. Parents and legal guardians who are concerned about their children's use of the Internet are expected to provide guidance to their children and monitor their use of their resource. Only they are in the position to define what material or information is consistent with their personal and family beliefs, and only they can apply these values for themselves and their children as they use the library resources. Parents are advised, but not require, to accompany children using the Internet at the Library, in order to monitor the content of the information to which their children are exposed.
  5. Users under age 18 must have a signed permission slip from a parent or legal guardian and are subject to the above restriction. It is the responsibility of the use (or parent or guardian) to determine what is appropriate.
  6. There is a 30 minute time restriction on use of the Internet computer.
  7. Copying or downloading is to be done to a floppy disk sold to patrons at the Library. No outside floppy disks or software can be used in Library computers. There will be no downloading to the hard drive. This is for virus protection for both the Library and all users. The cost for floppy disks will be $1.00. Paper copies will be $.15 each and only in black and white
  8. While respecting individual users rights to privacy, Library staff reserves the right to monitor use if Internet workstations to ensure compliance with this policy. Staff may ask users to remove themselves from Library equipment if they observe any behavior which they judge to be in conflict with this policy. Misuse or abuse of Library computers or Internet access may result in suspension of Library privileges.
  9. Patrons must have their own library card with them and it will be fine free and have no overdue items. Patrons must sign in and leave their card at the front desk for the duration they are using the Internet. Patrons will not be allowed to go on the Internet if they do not have a valid, fine and overdue free card with them.

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Emergencies/Disasters Policy

Inclement Weather
The Library may close (or postpone opening) when weather conditions exist making it highly improbable for travel. The primary factor of any decision will be the safety of the staff and library patrons. However, maximum effort will be made to maintain regular library operating hours. The Marion Police Department will be called for advice concerning impending road conditions. If hazardous road conditions occur, the director (or senior staff member) will call a board member, preferably the Library Board president, to advise him/her of the situation. If a decision is made to close or postpone, WFCL/WJMQ Radio Station will be called to make the necessary announcements. If the decision to close is made during the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. the City Administrator will also be notified. Staff members unable to work on the assigned day will not be paid for hours missed. Hours may be made up within the same pay period if the director so desires.

Health Emergencies
Staff members should exercise caution when administering first aid of even a minor nature because of the safety of the injured individual and the potential liability of the staff member. Without specialized training it is not advisable for staff to undertake more than keeping the sick or injured person comfortable and protected from needless disturbance until medical help can be obtained. Since each case is unique, staff members should use their own judgment to do what is prudent and reasonable. The Rescue Squad (or 911) should be called immediately in the event of any serious problem. No medication, including aspirin, should ever be dispensed to the public.

Power Failure
The library will be closed during a power failure and patrons already in the building will be asked to leave. Staff will continue to work with the available light and normal routine may resume when the power is restored.

When a tornado has been sighted within in the community, the city siren will sound the warning. The library staff will then advise the library's patrons of the situation and ask them to proceed to the lower level or leave the building. Patrons or staff unable to walk down the basement steps may seek shelter in the staff restroom. A radio and flashlight should accompany the group. Normal routine may resume when the all clear sign is given.

Staff should familiarize themselves with the type, location and application of the fire extinguishers in the building. If the building's fire alarms should sound, staff should investigate the situation to find out what is happening and where. If there is an indication of fire, the building should be evacuated and the Fire Department phoned. No one should re-enter the building until the all clear has been given by the Fire Department.

Bomb threats
Keep the caller on the line as long as possible. Ask the caller to repeat the message and try to write down every word spoken by the person. If the caller does not indicate the location of the bomb or the time of possible detonation, ASK FOR THIS INFORMATION. Pay particular attention to peculiar background noises such as motors running, background music, and any other sounds, which may indicate the location from which the call is originating. Listen closely to the voice (male, female), voice quality (calm, excited), accents and speech impediments. When the caller hangs up, hang up the phone. After hanging up the phone, do a trace by picking up the phone and dialing *57. Listen for a message stating that you have successfully activated Call Trace. Hang up and note the date and time. Call the Marion Police Department at 754-5060 to report the incident and notify them that you activated a call trace Clear the building. The police will handle the actual bomb search.

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School Hours Policy

The Marion Public Library requires all school-aged children to have a note allowing them to be in the library during school hours. They must have one of the following:

  1. A note excusing them from school with the library as a destination.
  2. A note from a parent excusing them from school with the library as a destination. There must also be a phone number where this note can be verified, at the directors discretion.
  3. Be home schooled with a note from a parent stating such.

If the school aged child does not have a note stating that they are allowed to be in the library, they will be asked to leave.

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