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Public Service Policy

Section 1: Operations


The Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library (CRCPL) is organized as a county district library. Its legally defined service area is equal to the boundaries of Ross County. As a recipient of Public Library Fund monies from the State of Ohio, the library extends its services to the inhabitants of Ross County and to other residents of the State of Ohio. The library is governed by a Board of Trustees which consists of seven members, three appointed by the judges of the Court of Common Pleas for Ross County and four appointed by the Board of County Commissioners of the county, for a term of seven years. The Board’s operating policies are described in its bylaws.


Public service hours are adjusted as needed to fit the needs and usage patterns of the community.Current hours shall be posted at each building and made available via the library’s website.

The library is closed on the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Presidents’ Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Juneteenth
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day

The library also closes at 5:00 p.m. on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and on New Year’s Eve.


When circumstances prevent effective delivery of services, the Executive Director, or in their absence, members of the Emergency Response Team, may close the library or a library branch. All other closings are to be determined by the Board.


The Board has the final responsibility for establishing policies for the library. Daily operations and general supervision of the library fall to the Executive Director, the Access or Enrichment Director, the Chief Fiscal Officer, then the senior manager on duty, acting as the person in charge. A library assistant may be in charge of the Main Library or Northside Branch as long as a manager is available to be on call. Daily operations at the county branches fall to the senior clerk on duty, under the supervision of the Enrichment Director or the senior staff on duty at Main or Northside.


In order to provide the most current and consistent information about the library, the Executive Director is the official spokesperson for the library. In the event of an emergency, the Executive Director, or their designee, will be responsible for all official statements to the public and the media. Questions from the public regarding the general operations or direction of the library should be referred to the Executive Director.


Library meeting rooms are available to groups or organizations which have a cultural, educational, civic, social, political, religious, professional, or other community-oriented focus. Community meetings shall be open to the public. No admission may be charged and no items or services may be sold (excluding library program materials).

Meeting rooms are available for individual use for persons volunteering as tutors as part of a non-profit program, and for individuals seeking a quiet space for study, research, job interviews, and social service meetings. A telehealth room with privacy curtains is also available for individual use at the Main Library and Northside Branch.

Meeting rooms are not available to non-library groups or individuals for the promotion or sales of services or products, fundraising, conducting classes for profit, or private social functions (birthday parties, baby showers, family reunions, graduation party, memorial services, etc.).

The following guidelines apply to all non-library meetings held on library premises: 

  • Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance. In case of cancellation, the library requests notification by phone as soon as possible. 
  • Meeting rooms are only available for use during normal library hours.
  • The person making the application is responsible for ensuring that no alcoholic beverages are allowed on the premises and no type of tobacco use is permitted on any library property.
  • For safety reasons the stated capacity for each room must not be exceeded.
  • Groups are responsible for arranging chairs, tables, and other equipment provided in the meeting rooms to meet their own needs. Following their use of the room, groups must return the room to its original state. Clean-up of the room by the group is required.
  • The following disclaimer will be posted in the meeting room: “The library does not advocate or endorse the policies or purposes of any group or individual using the library meeting room. The library is not liable for injury to person or property arising out of use of the meeting room by an outside group or individual.”
  • Meetings held in any meeting room must not disturb normal library operations. The Library reserves the right to stop meetings that are disruptive to normal library operations. 
  • Library meeting rooms may not be used for any activities prohibited by law.

CRCPL reserves the right to reject any reservation if it is determined that the organization has abused its past privileges, including but not limited to: violation of any of the preceding policy and procedures, vandalism, theft, failure to exit the building on time, and failure to appear for a scheduled meeting. The acceptance of library policy and procedures (electronically or in person) assigns responsibility for loss or damages to the room and loss or damage to any library property or equipment used during the meeting to the person submitting the application. The library reserves the right to prohibit any person, group or organization from using the library meeting space. 

NOTE: The library’s use of meeting room space takes precedence over outside reservations. Occasionally, it may be necessary to cancel or move a meeting reservation if a specific space is needed by the library. Every effort will be made to give adequate notification to the organizer and/or organization affected and to find reasonable alternate accommodations. 


Programs and events publicized through the library’s community information areas should be compatible with the library’s purpose of providing educational, cultural, recreational, and information services to the community. The presence of a poster, brochure, flier, or any other notice in the library does not necessarily indicate that the library either advocates or endorses the viewpoints expressed.

Non-library fliers for community events and/or resources must be approved by the Public Relations Manager, the Enrichment Director, or the Executive Director. Materials posted without approval will be removed. Permission shall be given based upon the limitations of display space, the timeliness of the material, and the relevance of the material to the civic, educational, informational, cultural, recreational, or vocational life of the community. Local organizations and events may be given preference. The library will not display personal advertisements, or for-profit or commercial materials. Political materials displayed in the general community information areas may provide information on ballot issues only and will be non-partisan. Partisan political materials may be placed in a designated area up to 4 weeks prior to an election.


The Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library welcomes artists of all disciplines to display their works. Exhibits will not be excluded because of the race or nationality or the social, political, or religious views of the artist.


  • to support the community’s cultural and artistic activities;
  • to nourish educational, intellectual, aesthetic and creative growth with a wide range of art, collections, and displays;
  • to encourage individuals who may be contributing to the increase of knowledge or extension of the arts;
  • to reach non-traditional library patrons.


  • The Library Board encourages fair utilization of the display areas by the largest number of artists and crafts persons in the community.
  • All exhibits shall be set-up and removed on the dates determined by the library. The representative of the library shall supervise the set-up and removal of all exhibits. Any items left at a library after the removal date are subject to disposal at the discretion of the Library Director.
  • All exhibits must conform to the space restrictions of the display areas. Exhibits to be hung on the walls or display panels shall be done so securely and under the guidelines of the library.
  • Prior to displaying, all exhibitors must sign a form that releases the library from any responsibility for loss or damage to an exhibit displayed at a library.
  • Exhibitors must provide their own printed or typed identifying labels subject to approval by the library administration.
  • No prices should be affixed to items. A list of prices for patrons may be obtained at the library front desk. No exhibited items can be sold through the library or library staff.
  • Exhibitors may leave business cards and/or brochures containing contact information and an artist's statement in an area designated by the library.
  • Exhibits in the meeting room shall be available to the general public only when no other meetings are in session. No meetings shall be interrupted to set-up, remove, or to view any exhibit.
  • Library use of display areas takes precedence over any other use. The library reserves the right without notice to cancel the use of the display areas by outside exhibitors if the Library Director or Library Board of Trustees determines that the display space is needed for library purposes.
  • The Library Board of Trustees reserves the right to amend these regulations at any time. The Library Director may deny or cancel any application for reservation of art display space and may waive any display policy. The denial of application to show within the library will be acted upon if exhibit material is not within the boundaries of the mission of the library. Challenges to an exhibit can be addressed through a Request for Reconsideration of Exhibit form and the form given to the Branch Manager and forwarded on to the director or Board of Trustees.


  • Portable—works of a scale appropriate for rotation through public spaces belonging to the library system. The placement of portable works may not be stipulated as a condition of a gift or loan.
  • Non-portable—works of a scale larger than would be appropriate for the portable collection and would require a semi-permanent or alternative site.
  • Commissioned—site specific works of art which are commissioned by the library.


The library system has varying abilities to provide areas for display. The configuration of library display areas are changed from time to time. Exhibit space may be shifted without notice by the Library Director or Branch Manager.


Artwork and exhibits that are not owned by the library may be exhibited for up to three months, but for no less than one week. An artist can exhibit in a specific building only once in a two-year period. Artist groups may exhibit once a year if space is available. The library reserves the right, however, to arrange for any artist to display at any time—even if the artist has displayed once in the current two-year time period—and for any duration.


Exhibitor should meet with the designated Exhibit Coordinator and bring examples of work or a disc of work to be exhibited for review. Exhibitor will receive written information about the display procedure at the library. If the artist has identified a specific site different than previously designated for the placement of art, an explanation and information about the site and the work of art in relation to the site should also be included in these materials. For non-portable and permanent or long-term loans, the Director will make the final decision.

  1. Review: the library or its designated representative(s) will review the request and a facsimile of the work(s) and may ask to see the actual art if it wishes. If the work of art is accepted, a recommendation should be made as to the provisions for future maintenance needs.
  2. Installation readiness: in order to be displayed in the library, works of art should be properly prepared for installation. Two-dimensional works should be framed and three-dimensional works must have a pedestal or appropriate hanging apparatus or be appropriately designed to sit directly on the floor without posing a safety hazard.
  3. Provisions for installation and future maintenance of gifts and permanent work(s): the library will evaluate the cost of the installation and future maintenance needed before the acceptance of the work(s). The artist will provide the library with detailed maintenance instructions for the art.
  4. Permanent gifts and donations must be accepted by resolution of the Library Board of Trustees.


  • Artistic Excellence—accepted works of art shall be of exceptional quality and enduring value as judged according to the review process detailed below.
  • Appropriateness to Site—relationship of the artwork to the site shall be considered in respect to the social, cultural, historical and physical context of the site, either existing or planned.
  • Selection Process—in some cases, it may be necessary to select an artist(s) who may then submit a proposal for artwork.


It is preferable for commissioned works to go through a two-phase process: a selection of artists who are capable of carrying out the commission; and, selection of a design.

  1. Selection of artist(s): an artist is considered to be a practitioner in the visual arts, generally recognized by critics and peers as a professional of serious intent and of recognized ability who produces works of art. Any of the following methods of selecting an artist(s) are possible, although they are not exclusive:
    • Open competition: a request for proposal is widely distributed inviting artists to submit resumes, slides and a short proposal. A jury of art professionals and educators, and at least one Library Board member, will select finalists. When the selection is narrowed to a few finalists, it is desirable to ask the artists to produce models or working drawings specifically address suggested materials, construction of the artwork and placement at the site. A final decision is made after review of the models and drawings, which specifically address suggested material, construction of the artwork and placement at the site.
    • Invitation: one or more artists are invited to submit slides and/or proposals. If finalists are chosen, it is desirable to ask them to produce models or working drawings, which specifically address suggested material, construction of the artwork and placement at the site.
    • Direct Purchase: a completed work of art is selected for the site.
  2. Selection of a design: designs submitted by selected artists will be reviewed in accordance with the review process detailed above.


The library welcomes citizens and organizations to support its services and initiatives through contributions of book or non–book materials for library collections, and contributions of appropriate gifts that will enhance the library’s physical environment. Materials and equipment given to, and accepted by, the library shall become the sole property of the library to be managed as the Executive Director or their designee deems appropriate. The library is unable to furnish appraisals of donated items, and reserves the right to refuse any donation.

The library may accept gifts of miscellaneous books or other materials with the understanding that items not added to the library’s collection will be disposed of at the discretion of the library. The library may then use any proceeds derived from such disposal for library improvement or staff development.

Patrons or organizations who wish to donate gifts of a more specific nature, such as works of art, furniture, equipment, special collections, and real property, shall be referred to the Executive Director who, in consultation with the Board, will determine whether or how to accept such gifts. If a patron or organization wishes to donate funds for specific purposes, the amount and nature of the expenditure must be approved by the board before the gift is accepted; items so purchased become the property of the library and may be disposed of accordingly.

Patrons are encouraged to direct bequests, trusts, or donations of monetary or other assets for library purposes to the library’s foundation fund. However, such gifts given to the library shall be used in accordance with this policy.

Naming and sponsorship opportunities are detailed in a separate administrative policy.


The fiscal officer is authorized by the Board to dispose of library materials, furniture, or equipment that is determined to be no longer functional or useful. The Chief Fiscal Officer may sell or discard such items, or, when an item cannot be readily or practicably sold by the library, may give such items to an organization or governmental unit. That organization or governmental unit’s mission must be in line with the mission of the library, and preference is given to qualifying agencies serving residents of the library’s service area.

If an item of surplus inventory is believed by the Executive Director or Chief Fiscal Officer to have unusual, historic, or artistic value such items may be referred to the Board for determination of value; that evaluation process may require the services of a professional appraiser or outside expert opinion.


The library welcomes adult volunteers as a means to extend the library’s service, and to allow interested members of the public to become a part of the library community.

Adult volunteers are primarily assigned to collection maintenance tasks (i.e. shelving, pulling materials based on reports, shelf-reading, straightening shelves, etc.), and program assistance (i.e. crowd control, interacting with program attendees of all ages, set-up and tear-down, craft assistance, etc.). Other tasks that do not involve unsupervised customer service may also be assigned. Volunteers will not be assigned to work that allows them access to the circulation system due to confidentiality and security issues.

Adult volunteers will complete an application and be interviewed to make sure the work is a good fit. The staff members assigned to oversight of volunteers will make the determination as to appropriate placement or non-placement of volunteers. Volunteers may be asked to commit to a minimum schedule in order to be placed into a volunteer position.

All adult volunteers must clear a background check before being placed in a volunteer role. The library will pay for the background check. The Human Resources Manager is responsible for obtaining signed background check release, conducting background check, and authorizing clearance to schedule adult volunteer.

Practicum students will have a work plan designed to give them appropriate work/learning experience and will be supervised by a professional librarian, although they may work with other managers as well.

Responsibility for recruitment and oversight of volunteers will be assigned to a specific staff member; although for supervision purposes, volunteers may receive regular assignments from any manager or assistant manager.