Austin Memorial Library
Friday: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
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Curbside Service Hours
Friday: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
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Policies

Mission and Goal Statements

  1. The mission of the Austin Memorial Library is to provide quality materials and services, which fulfill educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs of the entire community in an atmosphere that is welcoming, respectful, and businesslike.
  2. The general library goals of the Austin Memorial Library shall be:
    1. To serve all residents of the community and the surrounding region.
    2. To acquire and make available to all residents of the above area such books, periodicals, pamphlets, and other services as will address their needs to a) become well informed, b) locate answers to important questions, c) cultivate the imagination and creative expression, d) develop skills for career and vocational advancement, and e) enjoy leisure by means of reading and other media services.
    3. To acquire the means to provide the most frequently requested material locally and upon demand.
    4. To maintain a program of service which locates information, guides reading, organizes and interprets material for people of various backgrounds, and stimulates thinking and intellectual development in individuals of any age.
    5. To strive consistently to discover new methods and improvements for better service for the library's customers.
    6. To review regularly these goals of the Austin Memorial Library and, if necessary, revise them in the light of new developments. 
    7. Meet or exceed the basic level of service of the Public Library Standards set by the Texas State Library.

Who may use the library

The library will serve all residents of the community. Service will not be denied or abridged because of religious, racial, social, economic, or political status; or because of mental, emotional, or physical condition; age; or sexual orientation.  The use of the library may be denied for due cause. Such cause may be failure to return library materials or to pay penalties, destruction of library property, disturbance of other patrons, or any other illegal, disruptive, or objectionable conduct on library premises.

  1. Americans with Disabilities Act

The Austin Memorial Library adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 that assures equal access to employment opportunities and access to all library facilities, activities, and programs.  The library has completed a self-evaluation study and a compliance plan, both of which are available for review.  Every attempt will be made to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities and the library welcomes input from persons with disabilities about ways the library can more completely serve them.  Questions about ADA compliance and complaints or suggestions about accessibility of library facilities, activities, and programs should be addressed to the library director.

  1. Public Participation in Library Decision Making

Citizens are welcome at any open meeting of the library board either as observers or to present information and concerns to the board.  Any member of the public who wishes to speak to the board is asked to register upon arrival, indicate group affiliation (if speaking on behalf of anyone other than self), and to limit comments and general information to five minutes.  Library administration and the board welcome written documentation to support or restate information and concerns, but written documents are not required.  Any group or individual wishing to place a library-related item on the official agenda for action should contact the library director one week in advance.

When public information-gathering forums are planned, care will be taken to schedule forums at times that are convenient to potential participants.  If necessary, several forums may be scheduled to allow maximum input into library service decisions.

Telephone calls, letters, and visits to the library director are encouraged and the director maintains an open door policy.  Appointments to meet with the director are encouraged, but not required.  The library director or appropriate staff will respond to letters and telephone calls within five workdays.  Comments placed in the library’s “Tell Us What You Think” box will receive a personal response, if desired.

  1. Hours of Operation

The Austin Memorial Library will be open a minimum of 45 hours each week.  The library director, with the approval of the City of Cleveland, will determine days and daily hours of operation.

The library will close on holidays established by the City of Cleveland and at other times deemed necessary by the library director with the approval of the City of Cleveland.  Except in case of emergencies, notice of closings will be posted in the library two weeks in advance and will be reported to the local news media.

Regularly scheduled hours of operation will be established to best meet the needs of library users and will be evaluated by survey and/or public input on a regular basis.

  1. Library Programs

As part of its roles as a Preschoolers’ Door to Learning and a Community Activities Center, Austin Memorial Library offers programs for citizens of all ages.  Programs may be developed and presented by library staff or may be co-sponsored by the library and other community organizations.  Preschool storytime programs will be presented by library staff on a regular schedule throughout the year.  Other programs for children and young adults will be planned, staff time and budget permitting, during school holidays and summer vacations.

Programs for adults may be scheduled throughout the year as interest warrants.  Speakers from community groups and businesses may be invited to present programs on topics of general interest or of a timely nature. 

Library programs are generally open to anyone wishing to attend.  If space restriction or program requirements limit the number of people who may attend, preference will be given to those on a first come first serve basis.  Persons attending library sponsored or co-sponsored programs are expected to adhere to the library’s policies on patron conduct.

By separate action, and reaffirmed herein the City of Cleveland has endorsed the American Library Associations’ Library Bill of Rights and its interpretation, “Library Initiated Programs as a Resource.

Patron Responsibilities and Conduct

The Austin Memorial Library encourages people of all ages to visit the library.  Those using the library and its resources have the right to expect a safe, comfortable environment that supports appropriate library services.

People demonstrating disruptive behavior will be required to leave the library after one warning from library staff.  Disruptive behavior includes, but is not limited to, noisy, boisterous actions; inappropriate behavior, including eating, smoking, running, or loud talking; misuse of library property; uncooperative attitude; or actions that deliberately annoy others or prevent the legitimate use of the library and its resources.  Abusive language and behavior toward staff will not be tolerated.

Personal appliances, such as computers, audio/video players, and tablets may be used if the noise level is low and use does not interfere with others.  Portable telephones and pagers should be turned off or switched to a non-audible signal and can be answered but conversation should be held outside the library.

Young children are not safe when left unattended in the library.  Staff cannot know if children are leaving with a parent, a friend, or a stranger.  Library staff will not deliberately seek out unattended children however, unattended children frequently become disruptive when they become bored.  Parents are responsible for ensuring the appropriate behavior of their children while in the library.  If a parent or other responsible adult cannot be located, unattended children who are disruptive will be placed in the care of the City of Cleveland Police Department.  Under no circumstances will library staff take a child out of the building or transport children to another location.

Services of the Library

The library provides materials and resources for information, entertainment, intellectual development, and enrichment of the people of the community. The library should endeavor to:

  1. Select, organize, and make available necessary books and materials.
  2. Provide guidance and assistance to patrons.
  3. Sponsor and implement programs, exhibits, displays, book lists, etc., which would appeal to children and adults.
  4. Cooperate with other community agencies and organizations.
  5. Secure information beyond its own resources when requested. (Using interlibrary loan and other resource sharing methods provided through the system and state.)
  6. Develop and provide services to patrons with special needs.
  7. Maintain a balance in its services to various age groups.
  8. Cooperate with, but not perform the functions of, school or other institutional libraries.
  9. Provide service during hours, which best meet, the needs of the community.
  10. Regularly review library services being offered.
  11. Use media and other public relations mechanisms to promote the full range of available library services.

Responsibilities and Authorities of the Library Board

The Austin Memorial Library encourages each library board member to be active in the local, state, and national library organization.  The library will encourage the board to take an active role in its efforts to inform the City Manager and Council of the benefits and needs of public libraries. 

Examines preliminary budget developed by the director based on needs of the library; makes revisions as needed; and officially adopts the budget and presents it to mayor/city council.

Recommend library policies for approval to the City Manager and Council.

Is thoroughly knowledgeable of the library’s ordinances/policies and is familiar with local, state, and federal laws affecting library.

Advocates for library through contacts with general public, civic organizations and public officials.

Recommends qualifications and candidates for board to mayor/city council.  Notifies appropriate authorities of board vacancies.

Attends city council meetings regularly in order to keep council informed on library activities.

Adopt mission statement.  Employ mission as basis for setting priorities and plans.

Interpret mission to community and to community officials.

Adhere to open public meeting legal requirements as well as board bylaws and code of ethics.  Establish library policy and directions that are substantiated in board minutes.

Adopt policies that assure services are extended to the entire community, including individuals or groups that may be reluctant or unable to use “standard” services.

Volunteers

The Library Board and staff encourage individuals and groups to volunteer their time and efforts in the service of the Austin Memorial Library. In appreciation of volunteer services, the Library acknowledges the need to organize volunteer activities and provide for appropriate recognition befitting the benefit to the library and the communities it serves.  The library will perform a background check on each person.  The background check will depend on whether the individual is approved or not for service at the library.  

Annual recognition will be given based on the number of hours of service. This will include a listing of volunteer names in a newspaper release, a certificate of appreciation, and the addition of a book to the collection in each volunteer's name. 


Personnel Policy

A. Management Policy: The City Manager and Council shall have all management rights, authorities, and responsibilities.

  1. The City Manager shall select, appoint, and when necessary for valid reasons, dismiss the director of the library.
  2. The City Manager shall establish all other positions and all wage and benefit levels for all library staff.
  3. The City Manager shall provide an effective orientation for new directors to assure that the director understands a) the policies and processes related to the daily operation of the library, b) reporting and budgetary requirements that assure accountability and compliance with the law, c) the expectations of the City Manager in regard to administrative processes and protocol, particularly as they relate to conducting effective and efficient board meetings, and d) rules and requirements for state certification and any assistance which is provided by the Library to acquire and maintain appropriate certification.
  4. The City Manager shall conduct annual appraisals of the library director's performance, at which time personal and management goals can be discussed and negotiated.

B. Administrative Policy: The person appointed, as library director shall be charged with the sole administration of the library.

  1. The director shall be responsible to the City Manager and library board members in matters pertaining to and concerning the library; be present at monthly board and council meetings and prepare and present such reports and meeting documents as requested.
  2. The director shall maintain financial records in an efficient manner; present periodic reports to the City Manage, Library board and to the City Council; prepare the draft of the annual budget to be presented to the City Manager and Library Board, and assist with presentation of the adopted request for appropriation to the city council.
  3. The director shall hold regular meetings with staff and/or volunteers for training and interpreting city and library policy.
  4. The director will be responsible for preparing annual performance assessments for library staff and volunteers.
  5. The director shall have the responsibility for collection development for all materials in the library; this includes selection, ordering, processing, weeding, and inventory of the collections according to the guidelines in the policy.
  6. The director will recommend changes in or additions to library policies as needed.
  7. The director will perform preparatory work to assist the city manager with regular library planning.

C. Meetings, Conventions, and Workshops: The director and/or staff attending continuing education opportunities to aid the library shall be allowed expenses at the discretion of the city of Cleveland according to the amount appropriated in budget for such. The director and/or staff are encouraged to attend and participate in continuing education activities.

Materials Selection/Collection Development Policy

A. Objectives:

  • The purpose of the Austin Memorial Library is to provide all individuals in the community with carefully selected books and other materials to aid the individual in the pursuit of education, information, research, pleasure, and the creative use of leisure time.
  • Because of the volume of publishing, as well as the limitations of budget and space, the library must have a selection policy with which to meet community interests and needs.
  • The materials selection/collection development policy is used by the library staff in the selection of materials and also serves to acquaint the general public with the principles of selection.
  • The Austin Memorial Library, the City of Cleveland, and the Library Board and are integral parts of the policy have endorsed the Library Bill of Rights and The Freedom to Read Statement.
  • The materials selection/collection development policy, like all other policies, will be reviewed and/or revised as the need arises.

B. Responsibility for Selection

The ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials rests with the library director who operates within the framework of the policies determined by the Austin Memorial Library Board and The City of Cleveland. This responsibility may be shared with other members of the library staff; however, because the director must be available to answer to the library board, council, and the general public for actual selections made, the director has the authority to reject or select any item contrary to the recommendations of the staff.

C. Criteria for Selection

  1. The main points considered in the selection of materials are:
    • a. Individual merit of each item
    • b. Popular appeal/demand
    • c. Suitability of material for the clientele
    • d. Existing library holdings
    • e. Budget
  2. Reviews are a major source of information about new materials. The primary source(s) of reviews is (are) The Library Journal and Publishers Weekly.
  3. The lack of a review or an unfavorable review shall not be the sole reason for rejecting a title, which is in demand. Consideration is, therefore, given to requests from library patrons and books discussed on public media. Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole, not on a part taken out of context.

D. Interlibrary Loan

Because of limited budget and space, the library cannot provide all materials that are requested. Therefore, interlibrary loan is used to obtain from other libraries those materials that are beyond the scope of this library's collection.

In return for utilizing interlibrary loan to satisfy the needs of our patrons, the Austin Memorial Library agrees to lend its materials to other libraries through the same interlibrary loan network, and to make an effort to have its current holdings listed in a tool that is accessible by other libraries throughout the state.

E. Gifts and Donations

The library accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that they will be added to the collection only if appropriate and needed. If they are not needed because of duplication, condition, or dated information the director can dispose of them as he/she sees fit. The same criteria of selection which are applied to purchase materials are applied to gifts. Memorial gifts of books or money are also accepted with suitable bookplates placed in the book. Specific memorial books can be ordered for the library on request of a patron if the request meets the criteria established by the City.  It is desirable for gifts of or for specific titles to be offered after consultation with the library director. The director will make the book selection if no specific book is requested. The Austin Memorial Library encourages and appreciates gifts and donations.

By law, the library is not allowed to appraise the value of donated materials, though it can provide an acknowledgment of receipt of the items if requested by the donor.

F. Weeding

An up-to-date, attractive and useful collection is maintained through a continual withdrawal and replacement process. Replacement of worn volumes is dependent upon current demand, usefulness, more recent acquisitions, and availability of newer editions. This ongoing process of weeding is the responsibility of the library director and is authorized by the City of Cleveland.  Withdrawn materials will be handled in a similar manner and under the same authority as donated materials.

G. Potential Problems or Challenges:

  • The Austin Memorial Library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Selection of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the basis of the principles stated in this policy.
  • Responsibility for the reading of children rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of library materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children.
  • Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and no library material will be sequestered except to protect it from damage or theft.

H. Challenged Materials

Although materials are carefully selected, there can arise differences of opinion regarding suitable materials. Patrons requesting that material be withdrawn from or restricted within the collection may complete a "Statement of Concern About Library Resources" form, which is available in the library. The inquiry will be placed on the agenda of the next regular City Council meeting.

Internet Use Policy

This policy applies to all users of the Austin Memorial Library computers or networks.  In compliance with the June, 2003 CIPA ruling (02-361) by the Supreme Court, unfiltered access to the Internet is made available to adults requesting such access on a per session basis.  Unfiltered access is not available for anyone under the age of 18.

Adults 18 or older who need unfiltered access for any lawful purpose may request it from a staff member.  Internet use in the library shall be consistent with our mission, policies and procedures, and with applicable local, state, federal, and international laws.  Websites that present material of a questionable or unethical nature exist; City of Cleveland, its officials and its employees are not responsible for material displayed on the Web.  Illegal use of the Internet, including – but not limited to – viewing obscenity or child pornography and infringement of copyright laws, is prohibited and can be grounds for loss of library privileges and/or criminal prosecution.

Purpose

The Austin Memorial Library has no control over the information accessed through the Internet, other than the content provided on the Library’s web site.  Not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information.  A good information consumer evaluates the validity of all information found.

The library affirms the right and responsibility of parents to determine and monitor their children’s use of Library materials and resources.  The Library recognizes that restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian.  The Library does not have the right or responsibility to act in loco parentis (on behalf of the parent/guardian).  However, in accordance with CIPA (Public Law 106-554), the Library does filter Internet access for both minors (persons under the age of 18) and adults to certain visual depictions that are (1) obscene (as defined in section 1460 of title 18, United States Code), or (2) child pornography (as defined in section 2256 of title 18, United States Code), or, with respect to use of computers with Internet access by minors, and (3) harmful to minors.  Furthermore, all customers must abide by §43.22 and §43.24of the Texas Penal Code, which prohibits the intentional or knowing display of such materials, while being reckless about whether a person, and especially a minor, is present who will be offended or alarmed by the display. 

The Library encourages parents to warn their children of the inherent dangers of disclosing or disseminating personal identification information such as home addresses, telephone numbers, parent’s work addresses, work telephone numbers, or the name or location of the child’s school.  Parents also need to monitor their child’s use of electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communication. 

Responsibilities of Users

Rules Governing Use

Software has been loaded on most public access computers to limit each use to 60 minutes.  This software requires the user to log on to the computer using a bar code number, from their card or a guest card supplied by the library. 

Computer users must respect the established time limit and honor any staff request to end their session.

Users may not:

  1. Circumvent filtering or blocking software, or  other security measures, to access visual depictions deemed (a) obscene, or (b) child pornography, or (c) harmful to minors, as defined in the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA ~ Public Law 106-554).
  2. Circumvent public access computer time management software or procedures.
  3. Use the workstations to gain access to the Library’s networks or computer systems or to any other network or computer system.
  4. Obstruct other people’s work by consuming large amounts of system resources or by deliberately crashing any Library computer system.
  5. Attempt to damage computer equipment or software.
  6. Attempt to alter software configurations.
  7. Attempt to cause degradation of system performance.
  8. Use any Library workstation for any illegal or criminal purpose.
  9. Violate copyright laws or software licensing agreements in their use of Library workstations.
  10. Engage in any activity that is deliberately and maliciously offensive, libelous, or slanderous.
  11. Install or download any software.
  12. Allow others to use your card.

Violation may result in loss of access.  Staff is empowered to terminate a user session if necessary.  Unlawful activities will be dealt with in a serious and appropriate manner, including notification of law enforcement authorities.

Notice to Parents/Legal Guardians

About Filtering:

  • Filters may block sites acceptable to parents
  • Filters may NOT block some sites that are UNACCEPTABLE to parents
  • Filtering CANNOT adapt to the varying ages and maturity levels of users
  • Due to the technological limitations of the software some sites may elude the filters
  • Please read our Internet Use Policy, especially in regards to CIPA

About children and the internet:

  • Librarians will NOT act in loco parentis
  • Know the user names and passwords that your children use online
  • Monitor your child’s internet usage
  • Inform your child that they should never share personal information over the internet, such as their address or telephone number
  • Inform your child that they should never agree to meet or otherwise contact someone they have met on the internet
  • Communicate with your child about the possible dangers they may encounter while online
  • Make sure your child never uploads a photograph of themselves online (nor should you!)

Wireless Use Policy

Austin Memorial Library  Wireless Policy

The Austin Memorial Library provides wireless Internet connectivity offered as a service for users with Wireless enabled laptops, tablets, or other portable devices.  All use with library services require the valid proof of ID.

This service is not to be used as a permanent connection

By choosing to use this free wireless service you agree to abide by the Library’s Acceptable Use Policy that prohibits abusive or illegal activity while using the Library’s Internet service.

It is the responsibility of the user to understand this Acceptable Use Policy and his/her obligation to refrain from viewing inappropriate websites, spamming or any illegal activities.

Use of the wireless network is at your own risk and the Austin Memorial Library is not responsible for any damage that may occur to your device while connected. 

Limitations

Wi-Fi is less secure than a wired network.  Signal strength may vary in the building.

The Library assumes no responsibility for any alterations or interference with a laptop’s configuration, operation, or data files resulting from connection to the wireless network.

Virus and security protection is the user’s responsibility. The Library assumes no responsibility for damage, theft, or loss of any kind to a user’s equipment, software, data files or other personal property brought into or used at the Library’s facilities.

The Library cannot guarantee that the service will be available at any specific time nor can the Library accept reservations for wireless access.

The connection shall not be used for illegal or time-consuming commercial purposes.

Patrons shall defend, indemnify and hold the City of Cleveland, its officers, employees, and agents harmless against all claims, actions, and judgments based upon or arising out of the patron’s use of Library wireless connections.

Reference Service Policy

The Austin Memorial Library:

  • will provide information in the form of short answers to specific questions and guidance in locating material for patrons who appear in person, call on the telephone, or request information through correspondence;
  • will assist patrons in the use of the Library and teach basic research methodology, when appropriate (this includes providing help in developing a research strategy and advice on whether a trip to the Library would be worthwhile for individuals who telephone);
  • will provide bibliographic verification of items both in the Library and not owned by the Library and will assist patrons in obtaining materials through interlibrary loan, when appropriate;
  • may refer library users to other agencies and libraries in pursuit of needed information;
  • may use not only the Library's resources in printed form, but consult appropriate digital resources as well as the regional resource library and other agencies by telephone in pursuit of "ready reference" information.

Programming Policy

A "program" is a planned interaction between the library staff and the program participants for the purpose of promoting library materials, facilities, or services, as well as offering the community an informational, entertaining, or cultural experience. 

Programming includes such activities as story times, films and activities on no-school days, summer library program for children, speakers for young adults, and book or author discussion groups for adults. 

The board, city manager, and city council in conjunction with the library director, will establish a budget and goals for programming to facilitate the effective implementation of this service. 


Public Relations Policy

A. Public relations goals of the Austin Memorial Library are:

  • to promote a good understanding of the Library's objectives and services among governing officials, civic leaders, and the general public;
  • to promote active participation in the varied services offered by the library to people of all ages.

B. The Board and the City of Cleveland recognizes that public relations involve every person who has connection with the Library. The Board urges its own members and every staff member to realize that he or she represents the library in every public contact. Good service supports good public relations.

C. The director will be expected to make presentations and to participate in community activities to promote library services. A reasonable amount of library time will be allowed for preparation and speaking. Materials to be used by press, radio, or television will be approved by the director.

D. The board will establish a publications budget to cover costs related to printing, publication, supplies, and miscellaneous needs related to the public relations effort.

Equipment Use Policy

Public Policy

Patrons of the Austin Memorial Library may check out library equipment under the following terms.

· 18 years old or older with valid Austin Memorial Library card
· Equipment will be returned to the library in the same condition as checked out
· 1 day check out period
· $1 per day late fee
· Patron will be responsible for repairs if equipment is returned damaged
· Staff will test equipment before loaning to patrons and again upon its return.

Equipment:

· Overhead projector

· Opaque projector
· Portable projector screen
· SVGA projector (used with laptops)

· Slide projector

In-Library Use Policy:

Certain equipment may be used by patrons within the library under the following conditions. Patrons use equipment at their own risk. Patrons must:

· Have a valid Austin Memorial Library card
· Use equipment in designated areas in the library
· Remain in the library
· Inform staff when finished with the equipment
· Leave the equipment in the same condition as when borrowed

Equipment

· Television
· DVD player
· Public use computers (see computer policies)

City Staff Use Policy:
 
City Staff members may borrow library equipment for use outside of the library under the following conditions.

· Use must be legitimate city business approved by department head
· Equipment will be checked out on the department’s card

Circulation Policy

A. Registration

The Austin Memorial Library is supported primarily by taxes paid by the residents of Cleveland.  Therefore, library borrowing privileges are available at no additional charge to residents of Cleveland.  Others may apply for borrowing privileges by paying the current fee established by the City of Cleveland.  City employees, children under the age of 18, those with proof of disability, or that are age 65 or older, may obtain a library card at no charge.

The library has a responsibility to protect the taxpayers’ investment in the collection of the library; therefore proper identification is required to obtain a library card.  Identification can be established through a current photo identification issued by a governmental agency.  If no valid picture identification is available, the library will be unable to issue a card.   A parent or guardian must assume responsibility for materials borrowed by a person under eighteen years of age; therefore, it is the adult’s identification that is required for registration of a minor.

In the case of a patron who is physically unable to sign his/her name the staff person will note that the application is acceptable without the signature.

Materials cannot be checked out until a library card is issued.

All library cards expire after one year. In order to renew a library card, patrons must produce identification and must clear all outstanding fines and bills.   However, new cards will not be issued. 

B. Library Cards

 There is no charge for the first card for any library user.  Patrons must have their library card or state issued identification present to use library services.

If a patron loses his/her library card, he should notify the library as soon as possible and request a replacement and pay the replacement fee established by the City of Cleveland.

All patrons, adult and juvenile, are expected to bring their library cards with them if they intend to check out items. An individual who repeatedly ignores this expectation may be denied the privilege of checking out materials until they present their card at the library.

C. Patron Responsibilities

  1.  Because the Austin Memorial Library verifies the identity of all library card applicants, the individual named on the account is responsible for all fines and fees accessed to that account.
  2. A library patron is responsible for all materials checked out on his or her card or on the cards of children for whom he/she has signed library card applications regardless of who checked the items out.
  3. All lost or stolen library cards should be reported immediately because the owner of the card is responsible for all items checked out on the card until the card is reported lost or stolen.
  4. When a patron moves, it is the responsibility of the patron to inform the Austin Memorial Library of the new address.

 D.  City of Cleveland Employee Borrowing Privileges

  1.  City of Cleveland employees are granted free borrowing privileges.
  2. Employees must wait their turn on reserve lists and may not change their priority to be higher on the list for materials. 
  3. Employee’s who leave the employ of the city will have their status changed from a free-exempt to the appropriate code according to address on file.

 E. Loan periods

  1. Two (2) weeks for items other than equipment or Six (6) weeks for extended use.  Equipment will adhere to the Equipment Policy.
  2. Reference books do not circulate. 
  3. Interlibrary loans are due the date indicated by the lending library.
  4. Books may be renewed twice (excluding Inter Library Loans) if there is not a waiting list for the title or overdue.
  5. Additional renewals beyond the original two can be granted at the discretion of the Director.  So that other patrons may have a chance to find the item by browsing, materials will not be renewed consecutively more than four times.  Items must be returned to the shelf for 24 hours before being checked out again to the same patron.
  6. Library staff will not discharge a book then immediately check the book out again to the same patron the same day when the renewal maximum has been reached.  Materials must return to the shelf for a minimum of 24 hours before being checked out again to the same patron.
  7. Overdue materials cannot be renewed until the assessed fees have been paid.
  8. Patrons with amounts owed cannot checkout materials if owed over $5.00 or had a fine on their account for 30 days.
  9. Current issues of periodicals do not circulate.

There is no limit on the number of items a patron can borrow at one time, with one exception -- three items on a subject or five by the same author.

 F. Reserves

 Patrons either in person, online or over the phone may place reserves. Patrons will be notified by postcard, e-mail, text or by telephone when the materials are available. There is no charge to the patron for placing a reserve or for interlibrary loan services.

 G. Fines and charges

 There are fines for overdue materials. A first notice is sent three (3) days after the material is due. All notices are sent either by mail, email, or text messages depending on the preference of the patron.  If the material is not returned within a designated period, a bill will be sent for the material with the cost of replacement of the material and a service charge for processing, cataloging and postage. Patrons who have been sent an overdue notice shall be denied borrowing privileges until those overdue materials are returned or paid for if lost and/or damaged.   If items remain overdue and no prior payment arrangements have been made the materials will turned over to a collection agency in 21 days.  All items returned within a ninety (90) day period will receive a refund of the cost of the item.  The other costs associated with the lost item will not be refunded.  After the ninety (90) day period the library will replace the item paid for.

 H. Damaged materials

 If materials are judged by the library to be damaged and being unsuitable for the collection, the patron must pay the replacement cost. A notice of these charges will be sent to the borrower with the cost of replacement.  If the fee exceeds the amount determined for collections the fee will be sent over to the collection agency.

I.  Claims Returned Policy

The Austin Memorial Library extends the privilege to patrons of claiming that they have returned materials that the circulation system indicates are still checked out to them.  This policy acknowledges that staff occasionally errs in discharging books from a patron’s record.

Definitions:

Claims returned means that a patron has indicated that they have returned an item that the computerized circulation system indicates is still on their account.

Regulations:

  1. If a patron indicates, by phone or in person, that they have returned items the computerized circulation system indicates are still check out to them, the staff will search the shelves for the items.
  2. A staff person will immediately initiate a shelf search.  If the staff person finds the items in questions, the items will be discharged from the patron’s record in such a way that no fines will be incurred.  Unless the item has already been sent to the collection agency.
  3. If the staff person does not find the items in question on the shelf,   he/she will mark the items claims returned on the patron’s record. 
  4. Patrons will be notified either in person or by phone of the status of their accounts after the search.
  5. Patrons may search the shelves for the items in question, but should have a staff member with them.  If they are found, the items will be discharged from the patron’s record in a way that no fines will be incurred, unless the item has already been sent to the collection agency.
  6. Items marked claims returned remain on the patron’s record for 30 days.  If they are found, the items will be discharged from the patron’s record.
  7. Items marked claims returned remain on their account for 30 days, at the end of 30 days the materials are then assumed lost and fees will be assessed which the patron is responsible for.

J. Overdue Notices

The Austin Memorial Library sends overdue notices to patrons as a courtesy to remind them of materials kept past the due date.

Definitions:

An overdue item is an item that has not been returned to the library by the due date.

An overdue notice is mailed, emailed or texted (depending on the choice of the patron) notice listing library materials that have been retained past the due date.

Regulations:

  1. The first overdue notice will be mailed, emailed, or texted to patrons when materials checked out on the patron’s card have been kept three (3) days past the due date.
  2. The second overdue notice will be mailed, emailed, or texted to patrons when materials checked out on the patron’s card have been kept out 10 days past the due date.
  3. A bill for unreturned items will be mailed, emailed, or texted to patrons when materials checked out on the patron’s card have been kept for 17 days past the due date.  
  4. A notice for collections will be mailed out when materials checked out on the patron’s card have been kept out 30 days past the due date.

 K. Confidentiality

 All Austin Memorial Library records and other records identifying the names of library users and their transactions with the library remain confidential.  These records include, but are not limited to, the following: personal names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses; items in circulation, reserved and/or previously consulted; library accounts denoting outstanding fines, fees, and items lost; computer-use records, database-searching records, interlibrary-loan requests, and reference requests.  Library staff and volunteers must protect each user’s right to privacy regarding materials used and information sought.

Records of the Austin Memorial Libraries are confidential and are exempt from required disclosure under the Texas Open Records Act (VCTA Government Code Se. 552.124).  To release such information in any manner not in accordance with the Open Records Act is a misdemeanor and is punishable by either or both a fine up to $1,000 and confinement in the County Jail for up to six (6) months.  (VCTA Government Code Section 552.352 (b)).

The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act ( USA Patriot Act) became law on October 26, 2001. Under provisions of the act, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and law-enforcement officials may seek court orders for access to library records for investigations relevant to national security or terrorism. Libraries or library staff served with search warrants may not disclose, under penalty of law, the existence of such warrants or the fact that records were disclosed as a result of the warrants. Patrons cannot be told that their records were given to law-enforcement agencies or that said patrons were the subjects of FBI investigations.

Library records may be disclosed if the library determines that disclosure is reasonably necessary for the operation of the library and the records are not confidential under any state or federal law; if the records are released to the person or their authorized agent (as indicated by a signature on a person's library-card application or by the name of a guardian designated on the cardholder’s library record); if the Texas Attorney General has determined that the information should be released; or if the records are released to a law-enforcement agency or prosecutor under a court order, warrant, or subpoena according to library procedures.

Interlibrary Loan

The Austin Memorial Library participates in the national interlibrary loan program that permits the library to borrow materials for its patrons from other libraries.  This interlibrary loan service is available to all patrons whose record is clear of fines and overdue items.  Books and photocopies of articles from periodicals not owned by Austin Memorial Library, or that are otherwise unavailable, may be requested for loan through interlibrary loan.  Recordings, microfilm, and genealogy materials may be requested but are often difficult to obtain.  Items owned by the library, but checked out to another patron, may not be borrowed through interlibrary loan unless the item requested in more than two months overdue.

The Austin Memorial Library does not charge for interlibrary loan service; however the patron is responsible for charges or fines imposed by the lending library.  Every attempt will be made to borrow items from libraries that do not charge fees for loaning materials.  If a patron does not wish to borrow an item if charges are imposed (such as insurance fees, lending fees, photocopying charges), this must be stipulated when the request is made.  Fines for overdue materials and processing costs for lost items will vary with the lending library and are the reasonability of the patron.

The library restricts the number of items requested by an individual patron or meter the number of items referred through interlibrary loan when necessary to ensure fair, equitable, and timely service within the constraints of budget and staffing.  This action will only be taken in consultation with the patron and alternative sources for service will be suggested.  Request that staff determines may violate copyright laws will not be accepted.  Photocopies received through interlibrary loan will be stamped with a notice of copyright.


Displays and exhibits policy

As an educational and cultural institution, the Austin Memorial Library welcomes exhibits and displays of interest, information and enlightenment to the community. Displays of handiwork, historical material, nature study, or any other material deemed of general interest may be exhibited. The director shall accept or reject material offered for display based on its suitability and availability.

The Library assumes no responsibility for the preservation or protection, and no liability for possible damage or theft of any item displayed or exhibited. All items placed in the Library are there at the owner's risk.

Areas available to the public for displays and exhibits are the glass exhibit case and the general bulletin board. A release must be signed by the exhibitor before any artifact can be placed in the library. An example of the release follows:

Austin Memorial Library Display and Exhibit Release 

I, the undersigned, hereby lend the following works of art or other material to the Austin Memorial Library for exhibit purposes only. In consideration of the privilege of exhibiting them in the Library, I hereby release said Library from responsibility for loss, damage, or destruction while they are in the possession of the Library. 

Exhibition to be held in the __________________________________

During ___________________________________________________

Description of materials loaned _______________________________

Signature __________________________________Date ________________

Address __________________________________Telephone _____________ 


Public Notice Bulletin Board Policy

Bulletin board materials may be submitted for posting by nonprofit organizations for civic, educational, or cultural purposes. Such organizations may submit literature publicizing a specific event. Limited space generally allows only short-term notices. The director must approve all postings and may prohibit postings which do not meet library standards. Library staff will place and remove postings promptly. 

Each item posted must be dated and signed. A request for return of items, along with name and telephone number of person to be contacted, should be printed on the back of each article. Unless such arrangements are specified, items must be picked up the day following the date of the publicized event if the owners want them returned. Otherwise, the library will not be responsible for returning materials. 


Disasters Policy

Fire

Do not panic, but do not under-estimate the potential danger to customers or staff represented by a fire. At the first indication of smoke or flame, investigate the situation to determine location and extent of the fire. If the fire can obviously be contained and extinguished quickly and safely by staff, proceed to do so. However, if there is any doubt about whether the fire can be controlled, immediately call 911 or the fire department and then clear the building. 

The time to think about fires is before they happen. Familiarize yourself with the type, location, and application of the fire extinguisher(s) in the building. Orient all staff and volunteers to this information. 

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 patron 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/Police (911 if available) should be called immediately in the event of any serious problem. 

No medication, including aspirin, should ever be dispensed to the public. 

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 where the location from which the call is originating. 

Listen closely to the voice (male, female), voice quality (calm, excited), accents and speech impediments. 

Immediately after the caller hangs up, call the police. Clear the building. The police will handle the actual bomb search. 

Snow/Ice storms

The Library will follow the recommendation and actions of the city between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. 


Unattended Children

The staff of Austin Memorial Library welcomes patron/customers of all ages to visit/use the library and its resources.  We are concerned about the safety of all library users, especially children.  The library is not equipped, nor is it the library’s role to provide long-term or short-term daycare for children of any age.  Library staff cannot supervise children or acts as substitute babysitters.

  • Children ages 12 and younger may not be left unattended in the library.  Parents/responsible persons (age 18 and older) are accountable for their children’s behavior in the library.
  • If a child is unattended, a member of the staff will walk him/her around the library to locate the responsible person/parent.  The policy on unattended children will be explained at that time and a copy will be given to the responsible person/adult.
  • If a child is unattended and staff members cannot find the responsible person, these procedures will be followed by the library staff:
  • Telephone call to parent/legal guardian
  • If successful, will insist that he/she picks up the child immediately and the written policy will be given to him/her along with a one-time verbal warning.  If the child is left unattended a second time, the police will be called immediately.
  • If a parent/responsible person cannot be reached, the library staff will call the police to come pick up the child/children.
  • Under no circumstances will the staff take the child out of the library.

Unacceptable behaviors such as running, jumping on the furniture, throwing furniture/library property, loud voices, defacing library property or any other behavior that infringes on the rights of other library users are not permitted.  The following procedures will take place if unacceptable behaviors occur within the library premises:

  • Verbal warning that behavior is unacceptable.
  • If behavior continues, a parent/legal guardian will be informed either in person or by telephone call.  At this time, the parent/legal guardian will be told of the library’s policy.
  • If the disruptive behavior persists, request that the youth leave the library premises.  If the youth is under age 12 and a parent/legal guardian is either not on the premises or cannot be reached, the police will be notified.  The child will stay at the library until the police arrive. 

Suspension of Privileges for Health and Safety Reason

It is the responsibility of the Austin Memorial Library to maintain a healthy and clean environment for all Library users and to protect the City’s investment in Library collections, equipment and property.  In order to fulfill this responsibility, the Library may restrict a user’s ability to borrow materials and/or to visit Library facilities when such use may jeopardize the health and cleanliness of Library facilities, collections and users.

Examples of situations where borrowing of materials may be suspended include, but are not limited to:

  • Evidence that items on loan to a customer may have been returned with insects that are known to be damaging to library materials, or that can result in pest infestations in library facilities, e.g. roaches, silverfish and some types of beetles

Examples of situations where access to Library facilities may be suspended include, but not limited to:

  • Customers or customer possessions with fleas, lice, or bed bugs
  • Customers with clothing that is stained with urine or feces

Should it become necessary to suspend Library privileges of a customer in order to protect Library collections, facilities or other users, notification of the suspension will be made by the Director of the Library.

Any customer that has privileges suspended under the terms of this policy may request a re-evaluation of the suspension under the terms of the reinstatement of Library privileges policy.

Reinstatement of Library Privileges

Customers who have been banned from the Library may request a re-evaluation of the banning and reinstatement of their library privileges. 

Code of Conduct Related Bannings

Requests for reinstatement of privileges lost due to behavior in conflict with the Customer Code of Conduct must be submitted in writing to the Library Director.  Requests should include a statement demonstrating an understanding of why the behavior that resulted in the loss of privileges is unacceptable in Library facilities and an affirmation that the customer is aware of and understands the expectations for appropriate behavior within the Library.

Factors to be considered during the revaluation of the reinstatement request include the details of the incident that led to the banning, the length of time since the banning, the status of the customer’s Library account, completion of any requirements imposed by the Court as a result of the incident that resulted in the banning and any other information that would attest to the fact that remediation of the behavior that led to the banning has been achieved.

Health and Safety Service Suspensions

Customers who have had Library privileges suspended under XX. Suspension of Privileges for Health and Safety Reasons may request reinstatement upon the ability to demonstrate that the situation that resulted in loss of privileges has been resolved.

For reinstatement requests relating to suspensions due to pest infestations, decisions will be made based upon evidence showing that the address in question has been inspected with no sign of infestation or that the residence has been treated.  Confirming information may include copies of receipts for treatment, a letter from a licensed pest control company or a written statement from the owner or property manager of a multi-family rental residence.  In some circumstance, proof of a change of residential address may also be accepted.

Decision and Appeal Authority

The Library Director will make decisions about reinstatement of privileges in all cases except those based upon threats or physical harm to another person or possession of a weapon within a Library facility.  Decisions of the Director may be appealed to the City Manager.  Decisions to reinstate privileges of customers banned for possession of a weapon prohibited by state law within a Library facility or because of threats or physical harm to another person will be made by the City Council. 

Approved by the City Council February 19, 2019

Right of Appeal

The Austin Memorial Library recognizes that there may be times when customers disagree with Library decisions, actions or policies.  Customers may question actions of the Library in a variety of manners including speaking with staff, use of customer comment forms available from service desks, email, and letters.

Customer service and operational problems not resolved to a customer’s satisfaction may be appealed to the Library Director and, if still unresolved, then to the City Manager.

Problems relating to the Library policies may be appealed to the Library Director, and if still unresolved, then to the City Manager.  The City Council may exercise its discretionary right to review all decisions of the Library Director or may allow those decisions to stand.

Responsibilities and Authorities of the Library Board

The Austin Memorial Library encourages each library board member to be active in the local, state, and national library organization.  The library will encourage the board to take an active role in its efforts to inform the City Manager and Council of the benefits and needs of public libraries. 

Examines preliminary budget developed by the director based on needs of the library; makes revisions as needed; and officially adopts the budget and presents it to mayor/city council.

Recommend library policies for approval to the City Manager and Council.

Is thoroughly knowledgeable of the library’s ordinances/policies and is familiar with local, state, and federal laws affecting library.

Advocates for library through contacts with general public, civic organizations and public officials.

Recommends qualifications and candidates for board to mayor/city council.  Notifies appropriate authorities of board vacancies.

Attends city council meetings regularly in order to keep council informed on library activities.

Adopt mission statement.  Employ mission as basis for setting priorities and plans.

Interpret mission to community and to community officials.

Adhere to open public meeting legal requirements as well as board bylaws and code of ethics.  Establish library policy and directions that are substantiated in board minutes.

Adopt policies that assure services are extended to the entire community, including individuals or groups that may be reluctant or unable to use “standard” services.

Unattended teens and adults with different abilities

The staff of Austin Memorial Library welcomes patron/customers of all ages to visit/use the library and its resources.  We are concerned about the safety of all library users.  The library is not equipped, nor is it the library’s role to provide long-term or short-term daycare for any person.   The library will not provide transportation for any patron.  The city does have a bus service that does make a stop at the library.  Teens and adults with different abilities will not be locked outside of the library after hours.  If the patron has been left at the library and the teen or the person with special needs has been in contact with their parent or guardian the police department will be called.  We will not lock the person outside of the building.  After law enforcement has arrived and or parent or guardian the person will be sheltered inside the building. 


Unacceptable behaviors such as running, jumping on the furniture, throwing furniture/library property, loud voices, defacing library property or any other behavior that infringes on the rights of other library users are not permitted.  The following procedures will take place if unacceptable behaviors occur within the library premises:

  • Verbal warning that behavior is unacceptable.

  • If behavior continues, a parent/legal guardian will be informed either in person or by telephone call.  At this time, the parent/legal guardian will be told of the library’s policy.

  • If the disruptive behavior persists, request that the youth leave the library premises.  If the youth is under age 12 and a parent/legal guardian is either not on the premises or cannot be reached, the police will be notified.  The child will stay at the library until the police arrive. 

Library is closed due to potential of inclement weather

Due to Hurricane Beryl the city has closed all city departments Monday July 8th 2024. All items due will be renewed.