Library services policies

Contents:

 

Borrower Services

Library Cards

Adult Resident Cards

Adult library cards are issued free to all persons, age 18 and up, who are Middletown residents and to non-residents who work, including temporary household employees, attend school or own property in the township. To obtain a borrower’s card, current proof of residency, employment, school enrollment or property ownership must be presented. If any street is in question, the library will verify with the Township Tax Department before issuing the card. Individuals who receive mail at a P.O. Box must also provide the library with a street address.

Acceptable forms of identification
  1. Driver’s license
  2. Employee or School ID card, current year
  3. Current tax bill
  4. Current utility bill
  5. Current pay stub with address shown
  6. Bank check with address printed
  7. School schedule or report card
  8. Letter from Middletown employer verifying current employment
Military service

Anyone 17 years of age and who lives, works, or goes to school in Middletown, and who provides proof of active military service shall be entitled to an adult library card.

Non-resident card

A non-resident may obtain a library card for a $75 annual fee. The card is valid for one year. Non-resident senior citizens, 62 yrs. and older, may purchase a card for $25 annually.

Juvenile card

Juvenile library cards are issued free to resident children. Library cards are issued free to non-resident children who attend school (grades K-12) in the Township. Signature of responsibility by parent or legal guardian is required. The parent or legal guardian must be present when applying for the juvenile card. The parent or legal guardian is responsible for transactions made with the juvenile card without exception, including any and all fines. Automatic expiration occurs upon child’s 18th birthday. The card may be used to borrow all items except the “R” rated movies.

Term

All resident library cards are issued for a term of three years, and are renewable. All non-resident cards are issued for one year, and are renewable. All card holders must show current ID for renewal.

Presentation of card

Library cards must be presented to borrow materials and to pick up waiting holds. Patrons may not pick up family members holds unless they have the appropriate card in hand.

Lost or Stolen cards

A replacement card is $3 .00. Stolen cards are the responsibility of the owner until reported to the library.

Right of Refusal

The Library reserves the right to refuse to issue a card. Library cards will not be issued to anyone who has family members with fines over $50 or anyone who resides with cardholders with fines over $50. Before a card is issued, staff will search by name and address to assess pre-existing fines.

Material loan periods, limits, and fines

14 Days Quantity Overdue Fines per day Maximum Fines All Books No Limit $.25 Book: $5.00 PB Book: $5.00 All CD’S No limit $.25 $5.00 All CD-ROMs No limit $.25 $5.00 Magazines No limit $.25 Adult: $5.00 Juvenile: $5.00 Adult Non-Fic Videos No limit $1.00 $5 Adult VHS & DVD series No limit $1.00 $5

Playaways 3 per card $.25 $5.00 Video Games 1 per card 1.00 $5.00

3 Days Quantity Overdue Fines per day Maximum Fines Museum Passes 1 per card $5.00 $50.00 7 Days Quantity Overdue Fines per day Maximum Fines Children’s Videos & DVDs No limit $1.00 Children’s VHS & DVD $5.00

2 Days Quantity Overdue Fines per day Maximum Fines Adult Feature VHS & DVD No limit $1.00 Adult VHS & DVD $10.00

Vacation Loans

Customers may request an extended loan period of up to 4 weeks on any item that has been in the collection for six months except reserves, 2 day items, rentals, museum passes, and school reading list items.

Fines

Fines are not charged for days the library is closed. Fines begin at the library opening time on the day after the due date. The library has the right to refuse to issue a card based on existing household fines. Fines are the responsibility of the cardholder or the parent/legal guardian of a juvenile cardholder. In cases where the parents of a juvenile cardholder are divorced, both parents/legal guardians will be held responsible for the fines. In the case that a duplicate card exists, all fines will be considered valid.

Renewals

All library material can be renewed 4 times.

Exception: a. Reserve items b. Inter-library loans (materials from another library) c. Museum Passes

Reserves

All library materials may be reserved without charge, except rentals and museum passes. Pick up must be within 4 days, or the item goes to the next waiting customer or is re-shelved. Reserves may be made by Internet on the library’s website catalog, or in person at any OPAC station or at the circulation and reference desks. Telephone reserves will be handled at the reference desk.

Limits

  • 30 reserves per patron at any time.
  • 5 holds per patron per day
  • Video/DVD titles rated ‘R’ by the MPAA may be borrowed only by Adults over the age of 18 who present a valid Middletown Township Adult card.

Returns

All library items may be returned in interior book drops or outside book drops except ILL’s and museum passes. Exception: ILL, see Interlibrary Loan Policy 2:10.

Lost or damaged items

The borrower is responsible for the replacement cost of materials that are lost or damaged. This is the price recorded at the time of acquisition. All items including damaged items should be set to lost. The library will accept exact duplicates of any lost or damaged items. Receipts for all transactions are automatically printed and available to the customer.

Lost and paid materials

A customer who has paid a lost item fee but later finds the item(s) and tries to return it to the library will not be permitted to do so. There are no refunds on found lost items. Once the lost fee is paid to the library, the library will record the change and remove the item(s) from the system and the item(s) becomes the property of the customer.

ILL

See Interlibrary Loan Policy 2:10.

Library suspension

The Library reserves the right to suspend borrowing privileges to anyone who abuses library policy. This suspension may be temporary or permanent. The Library reserves to right to suspend borrowing privileges based on outstanding fines. In the case of excessive fines, the Library reserves the right to suspend borrowing privileges of the entire household.

Confidentiality

Middletown Public Library upholds the American Library Association policy concerning confidentiality. This policy extends to” information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed or acquired.” Upon presentation of a juvenile card (user under age 18), a parent or guardian may access the child’s record. The library does not release any patron information to any law enforcement or government agency without the presentation of a subpoena, as per N.J.S.A. 18A: 73-43.2, or search warrant presented by the FBI under the provisions of the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), or the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECP A), two latter acts which supersede state law.

Copyright notice

It is the borrower’s responsibility to comply with the copyright law of the United States. (Public Law 94-553).

Hold Harmless

The Middletown Township Public Library accepts no responsibility for damage to personal computer equipment or software caused by use of library materials and provides no guarantee that the material will operate on the borrower’s equipment. Library employees who give technical suggestions or advice to customers regarding their personal hardware, software, audio visual material or any other matter shall be free from any responsibility and held harmless.

Approved by the Board: August 20, 2003
Implementation Date: September 2, 2003
Changes Introduced: March 17, 2004

Revisions Approved: March 17, 2004
Implementation Date: April 5, 2004

Revisions to ILL Policy Approved: July 20, 2005
Implementation Date: July 21 , 2005
Revisions to Non-Resident Fees Approved: January 17, 2007
Implementation Date: Feb. 1, 2007

Revisions Approved: May 16, 2007
Implementation Date: June 1, 2007
Revisions Approved: December 12, 2007
Revisions Approved: April 16, 2008
Revisions Approved: April, 15, 2009

Borrowing Policy Review

The policy has been reviewed by the Borrower Services Department and Administration.

Many of the changes are pro-forma, as they reflect procedural changes we have implemented since the last full review in 2004. All deletes are represented by cross-outs. New text is in italics.

The new section on Lost and Paid Materials is needed to clarify what money is returned to the customer and what is still their responsibility. We’ve had some incidents where our response to this situation has been inconsistent or objectionable to the public and this policy statement would rectify the former problem.

Update: Page 3. The number of renewals permitted shall go from 3 to 4, the same conditions apply.

Implementation Date: June 1, 2007.

Scholarship fund

The Middletown Library Memorial Scholarship Fund Including the Conover-Wihtol Bequests

Purpose

To provide funds for deserving scholars participating in Master of library Science (MLS) programs or other post graduate library science degree. Our purpose is to promote educational goals of current employees.

Scholarship amounts

The amount of each scholarship will be no less than $500.00 per annum. The number of awards per year will be wholly within the discretion of the Board of Trustees.

Manner of distribution

All monies awarded to scholarship recipients will be disbursed to the college or university they are attending, to be applied against tuition or fees charged. The check will be made out jointly to the college/university and the recipient.

Application procedure

The candidate must:

  1. Complete the standard application form which can be obtained from the Library.
  2. Submit a written statement of 200 words indicating what contribution you can make to the library profession and librarianship as a career.
  3. Submit a transcript from the college/university you are attending (graduate/undergraduate).
  4. Submit two reference letters.
  5. Submit evidence of enrollment or acceptance to an accredited program for a MLS or advanced degree.
  6. Submit all applications and attachments to the Middletown Township Library by June 30th of each year the scholarship is offered.

Scholarship conditions

  1. Must be a resident of New Jersey.
  2. Must be attending or be accepted for admission at an accredited School of Library Science for a Masters degree in Library Science or other post graduate library science degree.
  3. Must meet requirements of character and scholarship as determined by the selection committee.

Educational Reimbursement

Subject to the availability of funds, Middletown Township Library employees who wish to attend school and seek reimbursement may be granted reimbursement if in view of the Director and the Board of Trustees the course will show a direct benefit to the Library. The selected course/seminar must be a library science related course. No reimbursement will be granted unless a “C” average or better is maintained. The employee must be employed by the Library for 1 year and reimbursement shall be for the course tuition and books only. Each course request must be approved in advance of registration by the Board of Trustees. Approval and amount are wholly within the Board’s discretion.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical is~ues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries which 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 18, 1948.
Amended February 2, 1961 , June 27, 1967, and January 23, 1980 by the ALA Council.

Library sponsored programs

The Middletown Township Public Library will sponsor programs that uphold its mission of service to the community as a lifelong learning center, an information center, and as a cultural center. The library will bring together people and information, create public forums on issues and ideas, and offer enriching performances and presentations in the fine arts.

Activities covered under this policy are those that are sponsored by the library as a whole, or are designed to support the library itself. Programs that enrich the library experience, such as storytelling, discussion groups, interactive learning experiences, performances, lectures about our culture, history, society, and current issues, or which provide literacy based training, are examples of the breadth of topics and formats of library sponsored programs.

As a public institution, library-sponsored programs must eschew commercial, politically partisan, or religious/sectarian views. Since hosting or sponsoring a program may be perceived as implied endorsement, the library will utilize professional discretion in the selection of individuals and groups who may proffer their services for library programs, and reserves the right to decline or limit such presentations.

The library recognizes that there are many locally based, potential speakers who may well be experts in their respective fields and, who may, in turn, provide a public-minded message and deliver a true community service in their presentations. However, to avoid charges of providing “commercial advantage,” and in the interest of fairness to all, outside presenters from local businesses may conduct one library-sponsored program in a year (January-December). One program is defined as a single event.

Except where advance ticketing or sign-ups are required, attendees of library sponsored programs shall not be asked any personal information or be placed on follow up or marketing lists. The library shall have the right to ask for program evaluations from attendees.

Due to space limitations, attendance preference may be given to Middletown Township residents and those who work or attend school in Middletown, or are current members of the Friends of the Middletown Public Library.

In the event of a conflict of dates, the scheduled programs of the staff of the Middletown Township Public Library or Friends of the Middletown Public Library shall have precedence. All programs shall end by library closing time, unless special arrangements have been made in advance and approved by the library director.

Performers and authors of library-sponsored programs shall be permitted to sell copies of their works at the conclusion of their program. Exhibiting artists shall be permitted to list prices of works for sale in a printed brochure/catalog of their show. The catalog or list shall be provided by the artist and approved by the library, in advance of the show.

For other activities or programs that take place at the Middletown Township Public Library’s large and small meeting rooms, but are not sponsored by the library, the established Meeting Room Policy shall prevail.

Approved by the Board of Trustees: March 21, 2001

Mission statement, core values

The Middletown Township Public Library is a civic institution that provides materials, ideas, information, technology and cultural opportunities to enrich, empower and educate.

The Library Trustees, Staff and Volunteers uphold the following core values, to:

  • Act with integrity, honesty and fairness.
  • Treat our customers, co-workers and volunteers with dignity and respect. We believe people are important, and value their diversity.
  • Respond to our customers in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Encourage staff innovation and creativity. Recognize team work and superior performance. Support continuing education.
  • Protect each customer’s right to privacy with respect to information sought and materials consulted or borrowed.
  • Resist censorship.
  • Educate and inform our community of the roles and responsibilities of the library, its governance and finance.
  • Act in a professional manner, always mindful of the impression we make on our customers and co-workers.
  • Conduct our business affairs economically, accurately and with integrity.
  • Be aware of library technology trends and adopt change as necessary.

Adopted: April 16, 2008

Loan agreement terms

  1. The Library agrees to use the same care in the handling, treatment and use of the object(s) loaned as it would use if the object(s) were the property of the Library. The present condition of the object(s) is as noted on this Agreement.
  2. Lender assumes the full risk of loss or damage to the object(s) and agrees that neither the Library nor the Township of Middletown will have any responsibility for loss or damage. Lender acknowledges that neither the Library nor the Township of Middletown will provide casualty or other insurance covering the object(s).
  3. The Library will not be responsible for the costs of moving the object(s). Lender shall pay the costs of moving the object(s) and removing the object(s) from the Library upon expiration of the loan period or earlier termination of this Agreement.
  4. The loan is for the dates indicated. This loan may not be for more than one year from delivery of the object(s). In the event that the loan is extended beyond one year, a new loan agreement must be entered into by the Library and Lender.
  5. The Library agrees to place a notice acknowledging the loan on or near the object(s). The form of notice shall be entirely in the discretion of the Library.
  6. The Library will surrender the object(s) to Lender only upon the Lender’s signing this Agreement in the space provided indicating the receipt and acceptance of the surrender. If Lender dies or otherwise cannot receive return of the object(s) personally, a third party may receive the objects upon proper proof of authority.
  7. In the event that Lender does not pick up the object(s) upon expiration or other termination of the loan, the Library shall have the right to charge a storage fee and, after ninety (90) days after the termination date, to dispose of the object(s) for its own account. A certified or registered letter directed to Lender at the address given in this agreement shall be adequate notice of the Library’s attempt to return the object(s).
  8. This Agreement may be amended only by written agreement signed by the Library and Lender.
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