Valley Community Library Policies

Patron Behavior Policy

Everyone is welcome at the Valley Community Library and the staff looks forward to providing its patrons with great service. In return, the Library asks that patrons treat the library, its contents, the staff, and other patrons with respect. Failure to do so may result in the suspension or loss of Library privileges, expulsion, and/or legal action.

Patrons will refrain from any behavior that is illegal or disrupts or hinders the use of the library by other patrons, staff, and/or volunteers. Disruptive and prohibited behavior includes but is not limited to:

  • Physical, sexual, or verbal harassment of staff or library patrons
  • Eating or drinking at the public computers or in the Merli Room
  • Excessive noise including loud talking, loud audio equipment, and use of profanity
  • Viewing, in plain sight, materials which are inappropriate for the surroundings, including potential passersby
  • Smoking, vaping, use of controlled substances, tobacco, alcohol or other drugs
  • Leaving children unsupervised or uncontrolled
  • Sleeping
  • Petitioning, soliciting, or selling merchandise
  • Bringing skateboards, scooters, or roller blades inside the library
  • Animals other than non-disruptive, trained service animals
  • Taking photographs or videos of library users without their permission
  • Engaging in any other activities that are inconsistent with those activities normally associated with the use of public library facilities. Acceptable library use includes reading, studying, attending programs, engaging in educational play, using a computer, and using library materials.

Staff reserves the right to determine what constitutes reasonably disruptive behavior in the library. Patrons may be asked to leave the library at any time. Staff also follows a 1 strike policy. If you are asked to stop engaging in an activity/behavior once and do not comply, you will be asked to leave the library for the remainder of that day.

All patrons have the right to submit appeals to the Library Board of Trustees within 15 days of an incident.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees, December 2019

Printable Patron Behavior Policy


Unattended or Disruptive Children Policy

Valley Community Library (VCL) welcomes and encourages children to visit the Library, use its resources and services, and attend Library programs. VCL is not, however, able to provide short- or long-term child care, or be responsible for unattended children. Unattended children are children under the age of eighteen who are unaccompanied by a parent, guardian, and/or responsible caregiver.

Parents/guardians/caregivers are responsible for the safety, behavior, and supervision of children at all times in the library and on library property. VCL is a public facility and cannot regulate who enters the building nor take legal responsibility in the case of a medical emergency.

Children are expected to respect library property and adhere to the rules outlined in the VCL Patron Behavior Policy. Parents and guardians are responsible for making sure their children know the Library rules and have a contact number in case of an emergency.

Ages 8 & below
Parent/guardian/caregiver must be in the library and in sight of the child

Ages 9-17
May use library unattended, but parent/guardian/caregiver is still responsible for damage caused or injuries sustained.

Children of any age may not be left at the library for childcare or babysitting purposes.

Library staff will attempt to contact a parent or guardian in circumstances such as the following:
• An unattended child is engaging in behavior that is disruptive to other library users, staff, or the normal operations of library business
• An unattended child is involved in a situation that is potentially harmful to the health or safety of the child and/or others
• An unattended child is left alone at the library at closing time.

VCL assumes no responsibility for unattended children. In the interest of child safety, if an unattended child is in the Library at closing time and attempts to contact a parent or guardian are unsuccessful, VCL will call Blakely Borough Police to report an abandoned child.

A minimum of two Library staff will wait with unattended children until the Police arrive. Library staff may not offer transportation home. VCL is not responsible if children leave library property unattended.

VCL recognizes parents’/guardians’/caretakers’ responsibility for the behavior and well-being of their children. We respect the privacy of all our library patrons and will intervene only when a child is deemed at risk.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees, January 2020

Printable Unattended or Disruptive Children Policy


Social Media Policy for Patrons

We value your opinion and encourage constructive and open discussion. Valley Community Library expects that users will not post content that falls into the following categories and reserves the right to remove postings that are:

• Abusive, disrespectful, defamatory, or obscene
• Fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading
• In violation of any intellectual property right of another
• In violation of any law or regulation
• Commercial promotions, spam, or organized political activity
• Otherwise offensive or considered harassment

Users that repeatedly and/or habitually provide content that meets the criteria above after a warning from the Library may be blocked from posting any further information to the Library’s social media sites.

All patrons have the right to submit appeals to the Library Board of Trustees within 15 days of an incident.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees, December 2019

Social Media Policy for Patrons


Faxing Policy

Faxing is available to patrons during library business hours with the following guidelines:

• Only library staff members are permitted to use the fax machine.
• All faxes must be on a standard 8½” x 11” sheet of paper. Photocopies may be made by the patron using the copy machine at the cost of the patron.
• Each side of paper that must be faxed is considered a separate sheet and must be paid for.
• Staff members will attempt to send a fax no more than three times before asking the patron to come back later or another day if the line is busy.
• Patrons are responsible for finding out the correct delivery number of the fax.
• Confirmation pages will be printed and handed to the patron.

Faxing charges:

• $2.00 for the first page of the fax. The cover sheet is provided for free.
• $1.00 for each additional page

The library does not receive faxes for patrons at this time.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees, February 2020

Printable Faxing Policy


Facilities Policy

The Valley Community Library (VCL) welcomes the use of its Gino Merli Room and Conference Room for individuals, community groups, and organizations: whose aims are educational, cultural, and/or civic; who agree to observe the library rules; and, whose activities do not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, sexual orientation, age, or disability. Rooms are available to individuals and groups regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of their members. The Library reserves the right to revoke permission to use either room.

Limitations: Rooms are not available for social gatherings (such as parties or entertainment), fundraising efforts, sectarian religious services, commercial endeavors, partisan political purposes or platforms, or when, in the judgment of the VCL Director or Board of Trustees, the use poses a threat to the life, safety, or property of any individual. No admission may be charged, nor a donation sought. Meetings may not be scheduled on a monthly or weekly basis unless given permission by the Library Director.

Reservations: To reserve either room, a Facilities Use Request form must be submitted and approved by a Library staff member at least one week prior to the meeting date. No request may be submitted more than three months prior to the meeting date. Reservations for a meeting room are on a first-come, first-served basis. Library-related events and usage needs take precedence for all room bookings. The Library does not discriminate with regard to race, religion, sex, or political belief in making meeting space available to any group. Library-sponsored and Library-related meetings have priority and the Library reserves the right to preempt any scheduled meeting. The Library will make every effort to give advance notices of such preemption.

Hours and Emergency Closings: Rooms are available for use during Library business hours and meetings must be concluded 15 minutes before closing time. In the event that the Library closes due to an emergency or inclement weather, use of either room is automatically canceled. During adverse weather conditions, group representatives should call the Library or go to the VCL website at lclshome.org/valley for more information.

Maximum Capacity: The Gino Merli Room may be utilized by no more than 35 people at one time and the Conference Room may be utilized by no more than 12 people at one time. The Library is permitted to allow more than the maximum capacities listed with the approval of the Library Director.

Food and Drink: Food and drink is allowed in the Conference room only. Those who book the Gino Merli Room may not have food or drink inside the room, but can serve it outside of the room in the Young Adult Area. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted. Smoking is not permitted in any part of the Library.

Cancellations: The contact person is the only person authorized to make changes to room reservations, including cancellations. Cancellations may not be rescinded. Groups that fail to give cancellation notices will have their reservation rights suspended. VCL reserves the right to postpone or cancel any scheduled meetings. The Library will make every reasonable effort to contact the group and reschedule the reservation.

Publicity Notices: Publicity notices promoting a meeting or event being sponsored by an outside group or organization must include the following disclaimer: “The Valley Community Library does not advocate or endorse the viewpoints of meetings or meeting room users.” Publicity notices or fliers promoting a meeting must be shown to a Library staff member for approval (with initials) prior to distribution.

The Library shall assume no liability for items left in the building either before, during, or after a meeting. The organization or individual holding the meeting assumes responsibility for any damage done to the room, its contents, the building and grounds, or any personal injuries sustained by attendees. The group or organization is required to sign a statement agreeing to these conditions. Use of a meeting room by any group or organization does not constitute an endorsement by the Library of the policies, beliefs, and/or purposes of any group.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees, September 2020

Printable Facilities Policy

Printable Facilities or Premise Use Request


Lost & Found Policy

Valley Community Library (VCL) is not responsible for any personal items that Library patrons lose or leave behind. Patrons are responsible for their own property and are expected to properly monitor their belongings.

Lost Items

  • All items will be held at the Library’s Lost and Found, located behind the front desk and will be kept for 60 days.
  • Upon receipt, staff will attach a note on the item with the date it was turned in.
  • If owner identification can be easily located on the item that’s turned in, Library staff will attempt to notify the owner via the email or phone number on-file in our system.
  • The Library may access a device in an attempt to identify its owner.

Disposal of Lost Items

  • Hazardous and perishable items such as food, personal care, baby bottles, or plastic water bottles will be disposed of immediately.
  • Dirty clothing and other unsanitary items will be discarded immediately.
  • After 60 days, all other items become Library property and will be handled by staff on a case-by-case basis.

Claiming a Lost Item

  • Patrons may inquire about a lost item at the Library’s front desk and must reasonably identify it to staff and indicate when it was lost.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees, September 2020

Printable Lost & Found Policy


Materials Donation Policy

The Valley Community Library (VCL) welcomes donations of books, DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, and audiobooks that meet the needs of the Library, either to add to the existing collection, or to be sold at Library book sales. VCL cannot accept all materials and some items may be turned away.

Guidelines

  • Contact VCL via phone, email, social media, or in person to see whether the Library is currently accepting donations.
  • All items must be in good or excellent condition.*
    • *If the items have been stored in a basement, attic, or garage, they are most likely unacceptable.
  • Items must be donated during library hours and not placed in the book drop or left outside.
  • VCL does NOT accept the following:
    • Nonfiction books over 10 years old
    • Encyclopedias or Dictionaries
    • Readers Digest Condensed books
    • VHS and cassette tapes
    • Textbooks
    • Magazines
    • Items that are musty, have notes written in them, are water-damaged, dirty, moldy, highlighted, with loose or missing pages, or with detached or missing covers.
  • Large donations (more than 2 boxes) cannot be accepted without library staff approval beforehand. Donated items are evaluated with care and there is limited room while they are being processed.

Tax-Exemption Receipts

  • VCL is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. Receipts may be requested, but the Library cannot legally provide a value for donated items.

Other Resources

  • To dispose of items VCL cannot accept, contact The Lackawanna County Office of Environmental Sustainability at 570-963-2017 or their website: http://www.lackawannacounty.org/portal/recycling/index.html
  • Charitable organizations such as The Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries may accept donated materials depending on their policies.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees, September 2020

Printable Materials Donation Policy

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