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Public Service Policy

Section 1: Operations

1.1 SERVICE AREA AND GOVERNANCE

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.

1.2 PUBLIC SERVICE HOURS

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.

1.2 EMERGENCY CLOSINGS

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.

1.3 STAFF IN CHARGE

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.

1.4 MEDIA RELATIONS

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.

1.5 MEETING ROOMS

Library meeting rooms are available to groups or organizations which have a cultural, educational, civic, social, political, religious, or professional focus; other community-oriented organizations; or, to persons volunteering as tutors as part of a non-profit program. 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. Meetings shall be open to the public. No admission may be charged and no items or services may be sold (excluding library program materials).

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 smoking is permitted.
  • 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.

1.6 DISPLAY AND DISTRIBUTION OF NON-LIBRARY MATERIALS

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.

In keeping with its mission of promoting cultural literacy in the community, the library may exhibit artworks in public areas. Such exhibits will conform to the Materials Selection policy below. Artists may advertise their contact information for interested patrons, however in keeping with the meeting room policy above; no sales may take place on library property, and any publicity should be limited to the artwork on display. Displays must be approved by the Adult Services Manager, the Enrichment Director, or the Executive Director.

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.

1.7 GIFTS

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.

1.8 SURPLUS EQUIPMENT

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.

1.9 VOLUNTEERS

The library welcomes 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.

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, supervision of minors participating in the program, 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.

All volunteers must undergo a background check. The library will pay for the background check.

Volunteers will be interviewed before the background check is done, 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.

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.