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HIGHLAND PARK LIBRARY
POLICY STATEMENTS



CHILDREN IN THE LIBRARY


The Highland Park Library encourages parents and caregivers to bring their children to and use the Library. The Library offers Story Times several times every week (see the Library’s website at www.hplibrary.info for the current schedule), and the Children’s Assistants are eager to aid in the selection of appropriate materials for all children.


Leaving children unattended in the library is not safe, and is therefore not permissible.


The staff cannot assume responsibility for children left unattended in the Library or Town Hall.


Under no circumstances will Library staff take a child out of the building or transport a child to another location, unless the responsible party cannot be located, in which case the unattended child will be placed in the care of the Highland Park Department of Public Safety.




CONFIDENTIALITY


Texas law states that any record that would identify a person who requests, obtains or uses library materials or services is confidential and is excepted from required disclosure under the TEXAS PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT.


Information that discloses the topic a library user is interested in is confidential and may not be released without a court order.




DISPLAY MATERIALS


Only materials from non-profit (501(c)(3) bi-partisan organizations are accepted for display and/or distribution.


Where and how material is displayed in the Library is at the discretion of the Librarian. Every effort is made to place the material to its advantage.


The Library has limited space available for the display and distribution of free literature. Only space designated by the Library may be used for these purposes.


First priority is always given to materials for the Library, the Town of Highland Park, and the Friends of the Highland Park Library. Only materials for the Library, the Town of Highland Park, and the Friends of the Highland Park Library are displayed at the Circulation Desk.


If appropriate space is available the Library will display posters, flyers and free literature for non-profit 501(c)(3) bi-partisan organizations that serve the residents of Highland Park. Items of a personal, political, religious or commercial nature cannot be posted or displayed.


As a service to the public the Library may provide space for free magazines, at the Librarian’s discretion. The decision to provide space for these is made based on appropriate available space and the relationship of the contents to the mission and goals of the Library and the Town of Highland Park.


The Library Director must approve all items before they are posted or displayed. Where and how the material is displayed is at the discretion of the Librarian. Items posted without approval are removed and discarded.


Items are displayed until the day after the event or for 30 days, whichever comes first. When items are removed the Library staff will discard them if the owner has not collected them.


Items 8.5” x 11” or smaller are given priority because of space limitations; it is likely that larger items cannot be displayed.


The display of an item does not imply advocacy or endorsement by the Library or the Town of Highland Park.






DISPOSING OF WITHDRAWN AND DONATED ITEMS


The Town Attorney has determined that it is legal to sell or give away for a donation items that have been withdrawn from the Library’s collection and items donated to the Library that the Library does not need or cannot place in the collection.




FEES FOR LOST LIBRARY CARDS


The Highland Park Library issues library cards at some expense to protect library patrons’ right to privacy and to ensure accuracy in checking out materials. Patrons are required to present their valid current library card to check out materials from the Highland Park Library to protect the patron from being held responsible for materials which they did not check out. The barcode on the back of the Texas Driver's License can be entered into patrons’ records as an alternative ID.


Replacing lost or stolen library cards also involves time and expense to the Library. The charges for replacing lost or stolen library cards are as follows:


$ .50 for the first replacement


$ 1.00 for the second replacement


$ 2.00 for the third replacement


$ 5.00 for the fourth replacement


$ 7.00 for the fifth replacement




FINES


Fines charged by the Highland Park Library are set by the Highland Park Town Council, and are as follows:


• Accessioned materials except movies are $.10 per day per item; maximum fine $5.00.


• Movies are $1.00 per day per item; maximum fine is the retail cost of the movie.


• Periodicals are $.10 per day per item; maximum fine is the retail cost of the periodical.





NO CHECK-OUTS WITH FINES OVER $5


Library patrons in good standing shall always be allowed to check out circulating (non-reference) materials. Patrons are considered to be in good standing when neither they nor any member of their family nor anyone for whom they are responsible has:


• outstanding fines of $5.00 or more;


• library materials (other than movies) overdue 3 (three) months or more; or


• one or more movie or Playaway View overdue 1 (one) week or more.





INTERLIBRARY LOANS


The Highland Park Library will request that materials from other libraries be sent to the Highland Park Library through the state ILL system when a patron fills out the ILL form in full and agrees to pay the current fee to help defray the costs of return postage, insurance, etc. This fee is collected when the patron checks out the item from the Highland Park Library.


The lending library holds the receiving library responsible for damage to or loss of the item from the time it leaves the lending library until it is received back at the lending library. As the Highland Park Library cannot accept responsibility for damage to or loss of books or other items, patrons who wish to borrow items must sign a statement that they accept responsibility for the item from the time it leaves the lending library until it is received back at the lending library.


The Highland Park Library will begin to process the ILL request when the patron signs and completes in full the statement on the back of the ILL request form.


According to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, which administers the ILL system, ILL materials cannot be renewed. Materials returned late are assessed a fine of $5.00 per day. Patrons who fail to return materials are charged the cost of the item as determined by the lending library, plus a $25.00 processing fee. Patrons who request an item through ILL and fail to pick it up are assessed a fee of $5.00 for each unclaimed title.


A patron may have up to five open requests at one time.


Patrons may read ILL policies of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission at http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ill/illtexnetmanual/index.html.




LIBRARY CARD APPLICATIONS


A library card application must be filled out in full for a library card to be issued. The Town Council has passed a Resolution stating what information is required for the Library to issue a card.


In the case of a child applying for a library card, a parent’s signature and driver’s license number are required.


When a child comes to the Library for a card and a parent is not present to sign for the child and give his/her drivers license number, the child will be asked and helped to fill out the application as best he/she can, and allowed to check out three books. The Library will ask the child to have a parent come to the Library to complete the application, or a blank application will be given to the child to take home to be completed. When the parent has fully completed the application form the child will be given his library card and full borrowing privileges.




LIMITS ON CHECK-OUTS


Patrons in good standing may check out a maximum of 30 books or other library materials after the first time they use their library card, with the exceptions of movies, some new titles, some special collections, and seasonal titles, because the collection is small and cannot always meet demand.


To ensure the most equitable distribution of the Library’s resources, it is requested that patrons limit themselves to two or three non-fiction titles on a topic, especially when there is a large demand for that topic, as when there is a class assignment on the subject or for titles concerning an approaching holiday.


Limits are:


First use of a library card: 3 adult titles, or 6 juvenile titles.


After first use: 30 items per card, including:


7 movies including only 1 new title,


4 new audiobooks


1 Bluebonnet nominee


The Library cannot renew:


movies


new adult fiction books


new audiobooks


new CDs


Playaway Views



The Library does not reserve:


movies.


Playaway Views





OVERDUE NOTICES


Overdue notices are courtesies; items are due whether or not patrons receive courtesy overdue notices. The Library cannot control the receipt of a notice, only the sending, whatever the format. Patrons assume responsibility for returning library items when they sign their library card applications and agree to obey all rules, which include returning borrowed items by the date due.


First courtesy notice is an email or phone call by ENS (Electronic Notification System), which attempts to reach the patron’s phone number 3 times in one day, after an item is fourteen days overdue. ENS leaves a message on answering systems if the phone is not answered. ENS cannot dial long distance.


Second courtesy notice is a phone call by ENS two weeks later.


Third courtesy notice is a phone call by ENS two weeks later.


Fourth courtesy notice is a phone call by ENS two weeks later, with a mailed reminder.


If a patron requests, an email will be sent in lieu of a phone call.


“Final notice” is a letter mailed when an item is approximately 60 days overdue, and a phone call by ENS.


A certified letter is mailed when an item is 90 days overdue. This letter states that a misdemeanor has been committed if the items are not returned within 14 days of the mailing of the letter.


If the item is not returned by 14 days after the mailing of this certified letter Highland Park Ordinance 981 requires that the matter be turned over to the Department of Public Safety.






RENEWALS


Library materials other than movies, Playaway Views, new adult fiction books, and new adult audiobooks, may be renewed on the Library’s website (www.hplibrary.info) or by phone if:


• there are no reserves on them, and


• neither the patron nor any member of his family nor anyone for whom he is responsible owes fines of $5.00 or more.


Library materials are overdue at the end of the day they are due.






REQUEST TO WITHDRAW


Requests to withdraw titles from the Library’s collection are given careful consideration. A patron who wishes a title be withdrawn from the collection is asked to complete a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Material” form. When complete, the request is given prompt attention, but as all titles are carefully selected for inclusion in the Library, no title will be withdrawn without careful consideration.




RESERVES, CALLING FOR


The Library’s ENS (electronic notification system) calls patrons’ local phone numbers (it cannot dial long distance) when a title placed on Reserve is returned to the Library and becomes available to be checked out. The message does not include the title(s) because of a state law protecting patrons’ confidentiality. The message says that the title will be held through tomorrow’s date. If the library user is not reached until after 3:30 p.m. the item will be held for the next two days.


When an item is not picked up by a patron, the item is pulled and the form filed for future reference. The item is then available for the next patron on the reserve list, or if there are no more reserves, the item is re-shelved.




RESIDENT CARD ELIGIBILITY


It is the Library’s privilege and responsibility to provide a library card to all residents of the Town of Highland Park.


A resident is one who resides in the Town of Highland Park. Owning property in Highland Park does not make one a resident - one must reside in Highland to be a legal resident. Those who rent a home in Highland Park are residents. Those who own a home in Highland Park and reside elsewhere are non-residents and not eligible for a resident library card.


Library staff must verify the address of new resident patrons before releasing a library card.


For those who pay their own water bill, this verification is done by checking the files of the Highland Park Utility Department.


For those who do not pay their own water bill, this verification is done by asking the patron to show a current utility bill (phone, gas, or electric), insurance bill, signed lease or rental contract, credit card bill, auto insurance card or similar proof that he/she lives at the address on the application. A driver’s license is not sufficient proof of residence because no proof of address is required by the State of Texas when it issues driver’s licenses.


A resident who cannot travel to the Library himself/herself may allow another person (for instance, a relative, neighbor, employee, nanny, nurse, friend, etc.) to take his/her card to the Library in order to check out materials for the use of the resident whose name is on the card, so that the resident is not deprived of the use of the Library. But a resident may not give his/her card to another person (even as a temporary loan) for the other person’s use – just as a driver’s license cannot be transferred or shared.


A resident may not check out materials on his/her card for the use of someone else in order to avoid or bypass the Town Council’s Resolution or the Library’s rules – cards are issued to an individual for the use of that resident.


The Highland Park Town Council passed a Resolution stating that non-residents must pay a fee to check out materials from the Library.


Non-Resident card fees are:


• $200 per year per family which includes all materials and no total limit except those that apply to residents (such as a maximum number of movies at a time)


• $25 for a 5-punch card which includes all materials and a total limit of 5 items


EMPLOYEES OF RESIDENTS


Someone who is a resident of the Town of Highland Park because he/she is a live-in employee of a resident (a butler, nanny, live-in babysitter, nurse, etc.) may have a resident library card, if the resident-employer signs the application accepting responsibility for all fines and fees accumulated by the card-holder. Library cards may not be transferred or shared, just as a driver’s license cannot be transferred or shared.


Someone who is an employee of a resident, but is not a resident of the town of Highland Park must apply for a Non-Resident library card and pay the Non-Resident fee.





SCHOOL ASSIGNMENTS


Because school assignments are made to teach students how and where to find information, as well as to teach them the answers, it is the policy of the Highland Park Library to show students how to use the Library’s resources, rather than to find the answers to school assignments.


Because this Library, as almost all public libraries, is not staffed to do research for patrons, it is our policy to help all patrons learn how to use the Library’s resources, rather than to merely find the answers to questions. This also furthers the Library’s goal of educating everyone so that next time they will not have to wait for help but can do the research themselves.




WEB SITE LINK POLICY


The website of the Highland Park Library is not intended to be a platform for a full or partial public forum. Links requested to be placed on the Library’s website are not automatically added upon request; they must be submitted in writing with the full URL and an explanation of the site’s purpose and relevance to the Highland Park Library community. This request will be reviewed and approved/disapproved by the Librarian. Appeals will be reviewed and approved/disapproved by the Town Administrator and the Administrative Committee of the Town Council.


Only links to other appropriate, relevant, governmental or Highland Park community websites that provide legal, non-commercial, neutral viewpoint, and/or public service information may be considered for linking to the Highland Park Library website.


The Library makes every effort to find the most useful and up-to-date sources; does not guarantee that all possible relevant Web sites on the topic are included; is not responsible for information beyond the Library's site and cannot guarantee the accuracy of all information on linked sites; and does not endorse any product described or advertised by the linked site.

 

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