Policies

I. Mission Statement

To provide current materials, services and facilities necessary to fulfill the personal, educational and recreational needs of the community. The library seeks to accommodate community members of all ages in a friendly and comfortable environment. We strive to enhance the quality of life in our community, encourage lifelong learning and the love of reading.


II. Borrowing and Circulation Policy

Any Ansonia resident or property owner is entitled to have a library card and to borrow library materials subject to the requirements and restrictions set forth in the application procedure. Borrowing privileges may be suspended or lost if items are overdue or excessive fines and fees accrue.
With the exception of DVDs and CDs from the Adult Department, a library card holder under the age of 18 has the same borrowing privileges as an adult. Children aged 14-18 may obtain a library card with a school i.d., schedule or report card without the parents’ signature, provided that the above mentioned has their Ansonia address on it. A parent or responsible adult must accompany a child, under the age of 14, when s/he applies for a library card. By his/her presence, the parent or responsible adult accepts responsibility for what the child borrows, its timely return and any fines that may accrue.
In accordance with the “Connecticard” program initiated by the Connecticut State Library and entered into by the Library, any Connecticut resident with a valid card from her/his home library may borrow materials from the Ansonia Library, subject to the same regulations set for resident borrowers. Loan periods and fines for overdue materials are set by the Ansonia Library Board of Directors.

Library Cards
Adults: must provide the Library with proof of residency with address, which includes driver’s license, utility bill, Town tax statement or other document, accepted on a case by case basis. A telephone number, either home or cell is also required. The patron should be encouraged to supply an e-mail address, if available. Adult library cards have an expiration date of three years from the date of issue.
Children: those applicants under the age of 14 will be issued juvenile cards. The child must be accompanied with a parent or responsible adult in order to register for a library card. While there is no age requirement for a child to apply, s/he must be able to print and sign the library card. The parent or responsible adult must provide the same identification as required for an adult borrower’s card. Children may borrow all materials, except DVDs and CDs from the Adult Department. Child library cards have an expiration date of 3 years from date of issue.

Patron Responsibility: Patrons must inform the library when a library card has been lost or stolen. If such notification is not made, the patron will be held responsible for all items taken out on the card. The patron must also inform the library when there is a change of address. The patron must show identification with their address in order to renew an expired library card. Cost of replacing lost library cards is $1.00.

Borrowing Limits
The Director or his/her designee may impose a limit on the number of items of a certain format or on a specific subject that a patron may borrow due to heavy demand or other consideration.

III. Loan Periods, Fines, Lost and Damaged Books

Loan Periods
• Most books, including books on CD and tape and music CDs: 3 week loan period, 2 renewals permitted, unless there are holds.
• New books: 2 week loan period, 2 renewals permitted, unless there are holds.
• DVDS: 1 week loan period, no renewals.
• Periodicals: 2 week loan period, 2 renewals, unless there are holds.
• Exceptions: Summer Reading Materials or items in heavy demand.

Fines
• Fines are assessed daily for overdue items.
• Most adult and young adult materials: $.10 per day per item, $5.00 maximum per item.
• Children’s materials: $.05 per day per item, $2.00 maximum per item.
• DVDs: $1.00 per day per item, $5.00 maximum per item.

Lost Items
Items that have not been returned within three weeks of the due date are considered lost. At that point, the patron’s card is charged with the replacement cost of the item. The patron is given the option to purchase a new copy of the item in lieu of paying the replacement cost. A receipt is given to the patron upon payment or replacement. If the lost item is found within six months of payment, the amount paid, less any fines owed, will be refunded on presentation of receipt; in case of a replacement copy, the patron may keep the original item.

Damaged Items
When an item is returned damaged, the Library will determine if the patron should be held responsible for the damage, in which case, the patron will be charged for the cost of the item’s replacement. If a DVD has been lost or damaged, the patron may purchase a replacement copy. We require that the DVD be unopened and in its original packaging.

IV. Internet

As part of its mission, the Ansonia Library is committed to providing access to informational, educational, recreational and cultural resources for library users of all ages and background.

The Library’s goal in providing internet access is to enhance its existing collection in size and depth, and, as a public access agency, to give anyone who wishes to use the internet the chance to do so.

Access to the Internet is available without charge to Ansonia residents who possess a valid library card or picture identification. Access to the Internet is available to non-residents with a valid picture ID. The library has no control over the information accessed on the Internet and cannot be responsible for its content. The library cannot guarantee that the information accessed is accurate, complete, current or appropriate. Information accessed should be carefully evaluated.

Parents or guardians, not the library, are responsible for Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. Parents are strongly advised to supervise their children’s Internet sessions. Internet access in the Children’s room is filtered. The Library does not screen Internet sites to protect children from controversial or inappropriate sites. Children under the age of 18 may only use an Internet workstation with their parent’s or guardian’s permission. A card granting permission must be signed by the parent or guardian. Children under the age of 8 may use the internet only under direct supervision of a parent or guardian. Children between the ages of 8 to 14 will use the computers in the Children’s Department. Individuals aged 15 to adult will use the computers in the Adult section of the library.

The staff cannot instruct, oversee, or supervise patrons using this service. Patrons using the Internet service must possess basic computer skills, including using the Windows operating system and operating a mouse. For further information, the library collection includes books about computers, programs, and using the Internet.

The library cannot guarantee access to the Internet, as it is sometimes unavailable due to technical problems, maintenance or staff use.

To help prevent viruses that are common on public computers, patrons are limited to using library software and may not load their own software into the library’s computers.

Patrons are barred from engaging in any illegal activities while using the Internet. This includes, but is not limited to, violation of copyright or software licenses, attempting to violate system security, etc. Misuse of the computer, or violation of the library’s Internet policy will result in loss of the patron’s computer privileges and may also result in loss of library privileges.

Internet users may not access pornographic materials or gambling websites. The library reserves the right to terminate users’ Internet privileges.

Patrons using the computers are financially responsible for any harm done to the computers. Adults who have approved a child’s use of the computer are responsible for any damage done by the child.

Reservations should be made to use the Internet workstation. Before using the workstation, patrons must sign in at the circulation desk listing their name, date, telephone number, and address on the sign-up sheet. Patrons must also leave their library card or some form of identification at the Circulation Desk. After 15 minutes, late arrivals will forfeit their remaining time. It is strongly advised that all users of the Internet have library cards in good standing.

After completing a session, a patron must return to the Circulation desk and inform a library staff member he/she is finished and pick up his/her card or identification.

The amount of time any one person may be on the Internet is limited to 2 nonconsecutive sixty (60) minute sessions per day. Please note, on Saturdays, patrons are limited to one hour. A maximum of two people may use a workstation at any one time.

Files may not be saved on the library’s computers, however patrons may download or copy files to a flash/USB/thumb drive or burn files onto a CD. Print outs are available for $.10 per page. Patrons must leave the Internet computer exactly as they found it.

V. Museum and Attraction Passes

The Ansonia Library offers passes for free or reduced admission to museums and other attractions around the state. Museum passes may be only borrowed by adults with library cards that do not have blocks.
• Only one pass may be checked out to a household at any given time and must be returned prior to borrowing another.
• Patrons are encouraged to make reservations for the pass.
• Passes can be picked up by 8:30 am. Patrons can use the side entrance/ramp and ring the bell.
• The Beardsley Zoo pass must be returned the same day (Monday through Thursday) as the zoo closes at 4:00 pm. Mystic passes must be returned by 9:00 am the next day.
• Patrons must leave a $10.00 deposit and their library card. If one doesn’t have a library card, a copy of their driver’s license will be held. If the pass is not returned on or before 9:00 am (Mystic/other) or the same day (Beardsley), the patron will forfeit their deposit.
• Passes available include:
o Beardsley Zoo (Valid for $5.00 admission per person for up to 6 guests).
o Wadsworth Athenaeum (Free admission for 2 adults and 2 children).
o Connecticut State Parks and Forest Pass (Waives vehicle entrance fee, allows free admission to Fort Henry, Dinosaur State Park and Gillette Castle).
o Maritime Aquarium ($2.00 off combination ticket up to 6 people).
o Old State House (Free admission for 2 adults and 2 children).
o Mystic Aquarium ($5.00 off for 4 people).
o Discovery Museum (Free admission for 4 children with 1 paid adult admission).
o Peabody Museum ($5.00 off each ticket – up to 4 admissions).

• If a patron loses the pass, the patron is responsible for the actual cost value of the pass
o Beardsley Zoo – $125
o Wadsworth – $45
o State Parks and Forest Pass – $40
o Maritime Aquarium – $40
o Old State House – $40
o Mystic Aquarium – $40
o Discovery Museum – $175
o Peabody Museum – $150

VI. Collection Development

Introduction
The Ansonia Public Library’s Collection Development Policy serves as a guide for authorized personnel in the selection and withdrawal of library materials. It also serves to inform the public as to the criteria upon which library materials are selected and withdrawn. The library supports intellectual freedom and subscribes to the Library Bill of Rights and The Freedom to Read Foundation Statement.
Responsibility for Selection The responsibility for selecting materials for purchase and withdrawal is delegated by the Library Board of Trustees to the Library Director and, under her/his direction, to other staff members who are qualified for this activity by reason of training and/or experience.

Sources for Selection
Reviews in library and publishing industry periodicals are primary sources for materials selection. Reputable bibliographies, booklists by recognized authorities, and the advice of competent individuals and/or entities in specific subject areas are also used. Suggestions from library staff and the general public are considered, as well.

Criteria for Selection
Library materials are diverse in topic, format, and other characteristics. Each type of item must be considered in terms of its own merit and the audience for whom it is intended. No single set of selection criteria can be applied to all cases.
In general, the selection of books and other library materials will use the following criteria:
1. The appropriateness of the item to the needs and interests of library customers and of the community as a whole
2. The timeliness and accuracy of the information
3. The quality and or uniqueness of the item
4. The value of the item to the collection as a whole
5. Suggestions from the general public
6. Budgetary considerations

It is the Library’s goal to maintain a balanced collection composed of materials of current popular interest as well as materials that enhance the collection. Popular demand is a significant basis for selection. The Library recognizes its responsibility to provide books and other materials presenting diverse points of view on the problems and issues of our time. Textbooks will not be purchased unless such items constitute the best available source of information on a subject. It must be understood that ownership of library materials does not constitute an endorsement by the library of the ideas or viewpoints expressed within those materials.

Materials for Children and Young Adults
The primary objective of the collection is to provide books and other materials that excite and inspires a child or young adult’s desire to read. Responsibility for the use of library materials by children rests with the parent/guardian or caretaker.
The children’s collection contains materials best suited to the abilities and interests of library users from birth through grade 6. Young adult materials are chosen with special concern that they satisfy the recreational, educational, and informational needs of 7th to 12th graders and that the materials chosen cover a wide range of interests, reading skills and developmental levels.

Withdrawals
The Library shall keep its collection vital, useful and current by deselecting worn, outdated, inaccurate, or no longer in demand items. This will be done on a systematic and continuing basis. Such materials may be put up for a library book sale, given to another institution or discarded.

Gifts
The Library accepts gifts of books and other collection materials without commitment as to final disposition. It assumes unconditional ownership of all items donated and retains the right to use or dispose of them as it sees fit.
Gift items must meet the same selection criteria as purchased materials. Items in poor physical condition will be discarded. Duplicate copies of items already in the collection will be added only if needed. Gift materials will not be accepted with restrictions or conditions that necessitate special and separate housing, processing, or treatment.  The Library cannot give a dollar valuation for gifts or materials.
Items which are gifted may be given to the Ansonia Friends of the Library to use for their book sales if the Ansonia Library does not add said items to the collection.

Challenged Materials
Any challenge or complaint about the content or suitability of a library title must be referred to the director. If necessary, the director will ask the patron to complete a ‘Statement of Concern About Library Resources’ form.  The director will review any such challenge and inform the patron in writing of the Library’s decision. The Library director will report to the members of the Board of Trustees, at the next board meeting, when a ‘Statement of Concern’ form has been submitted and addressed.

VII. Patron Behavior

The Ansonia Public Library welcomes everyone to use its collections, services, and facilities. The library is a department of the City of Ansonia and, as such, is a public building open to people of all ages and abilities. The library offers opportunities for reading, study, educational and informational activities, and community information. The use of its various services is subject to the policies adopted by the Library Board of Trustees. Visitors are asked to respect the rights of other users and to cooperate with the library staff in maintaining a welcoming, safe, comfortable, and reasonably quiet environment. The library trustees are empowered to establish usage policies and rules under Connecticut State Statute Title 11, Section 11-32, and to exclude from the library any person who willfully violates these policies and rules.
In order to maintain an environment that fosters profitable library use, certain behavior shall be considered as inappropriate and unacceptable. This includes, but is not limited to, actions which:
1. Are illegal.
2. Damage library property.
3. Interfere with the staff’s ability to perform their duties.
4. Interfere with the quiet enjoyment of the library by other patrons.

Visitors are asked to review the library’s Patron Code of Conduct, which is a supplement to this policy, for more specific information. A copy of this code will be provided upon request.  If a patron engages in inappropriate and unacceptable behavior, the staff will ask him/her to stop. If the behavior continues, he/she will be asked to leave. If the patron refuses to leave, the Police Department will be called. If a minor child engages in inappropriate and unacceptable behavior, the staff will ask him/her to stop. If the behavior continues, he/she will be asked to leave. If the minor child refuses to leave, the staff will contact the parent or guardian and request that the child be removed. If no parent or guardian can be reached, the Police Department may be called. The Library Director may request that the minor child not return to the library unless accompanied by an adult.
The staff has the right to call the Police Department at once if a patron’s behavior appears to be an immediate threat to the safety of the public, the staff, or the facilities.  Serious and/or repeated problem behavior by a patron may constitute just cause for possible suspension or termination of library privileges.

VIII. Code of Conduct

As a taxpayer-supported institution, the Ansonia Public Library is responsible for establishing rules of conduct to protect the rights and safety of all Library patrons, volunteers and staff, and for preserving and protecting the Library’s materials, equipment, facilities and grounds.
These policies are drafted in accordance with Connecticut General Statues, Title 11, Chapter 190, Sec. 11-32.
To this end, the Library has developed a Code of Conduct defining unacceptable behavior, and suggesting conduct that is appropriate in the Library. Violations of this Code will result in increasing levels of action, ranging from asking the patron to leave the Library for the remainder of the day, to permanent loss of Library privileges, to legal prosecution. The level of action shall be determined on a case-by-case basis and shall be within the sole discretion of the Library Director or his/her designee.

Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to, the following
• Loud, disruptive conversations including shouting are not permitted.
• Throwing, running or climbing in the Library or on the Library grounds is not permitted.
• Use of profane and/or abusive language is not permitted.
• No more than two persons to a computer or one person to a chair.
• Indiscriminate pulling of materials from shelves in a manner that disrupts the orderly and proper arrangement of Library materials is not permitted.
• Radios and other sound producing devices may not be used in the Library unless they are used with headphones and the sounds are not audible to others.
• Cell phones are permitted only in designated areas. Conversations must be quiet enough so that other patrons are not disturbed. Those carrying out loud or disruptive cell phone conversations will be asked to leave.
• Solicitation, vending and distribution of petitions or surveys are not permitted in the Library.
• Animals are not allowed inside the Library. Service animals are permitted.
• Food and drink is not permitted in the Library.
• Only staff and authorized individuals are allowed in staff areas.
• Skateboarding and rollerblading are not permitted anywhere on Library property.
• Smoking is not permitted in the building.
• There shall be no loitering on Library grounds.
• Viewing and/or displaying information or images that are obscene, pornographic or harmful to minors (consistent with state laws and/or local standards) via the Library’s public access computers or through any other methods is not permitted.
• Library staff cannot be expected to assume responsibility for the care of unsupervised children. Parents or legal guardians are responsible for the behavior of their children.
• Children twelve (12) years of age and younger must be accompanied by and at all times be under the supervision of a parent or other responsible caregiver. The Library staff and this policy recognize that the children’s area of the Library may be louder and have more commotion than the adult areas of the Library. However if a child is disruptive and cannot be quieted or calmed, the parent or caregiver may be asked to remove the child from the Library.
• All patrons must leave the premises at closing, unless they are participating in a prescheduled program or meeting.
• Harassment of others, either verbally or by physical actions is not permitted. This includes any actions that other patrons or staff members perceive to be threatening.
• Anyone involved in the theft, defacement or mutilation of Library materials or property will be subject to arrest and prosecution.
• Use of alcohol and narcotics is not permitted. Patrons under the influence of either alcohol or narcotics will not be allowed on the Library premises.
• Carrying weapons of any kind is not permitted. This does not apply to law enforcement officers

These policies are drafted in accordance with Connecticut General Statues, Title 11, Chapter 190, Sec. 11-32.


IX. Unattended Child Policy

Library Service to children, parents and adults working with children is an important part of the Library’s mission.
It is not the Library’s function or purpose to provide supervision or care for children while parents or other supervising adults are outside the Children’s Library and/or the Library proper. Parents should be aware that the library is a public building open to all individuals. The following policy has been designed to communicate the Library concern for the safety and welfare of the children it serves.
1. Parents and guardians are, at all times, responsible for the conduct and safety of their children on Library premises. They must provide appropriate supervision based on ages, abilities and the levels of responsibility of their children.
a. Children age twelve (12) and under should not be left unattended in the Children’s Library at any time. If the adult in charge of a child aged twelve (12) and younger wishes to go to another area of the library for materials (or to check out materials) the child should accompany the adult.
b. Children, like all library users are required to respect Library property, and act in a manner appropriate to the use and function of the Library. Parents or guardians of children who are not using the Library appropriately, or who require excessive staff attention or supervision, may be asked to monitor their children more closely.
At closing time, during power failures, or other emergencies, departure from the building is necessary. Children left alone in the Library, or on Library grounds could be vulnerable. Every effort will be made to contact parents prior to closing. Two staff members will remain with the child left unattended at closing time. If the child is not picked up after 10 minutes, the police will be called. Staff members will wait with the child until police arrive. Under no circumstances will a staff member offer to drive the child home.
2. In accordance with Connecticut State Law, “Any parent, guardian or person having custody or control, or providing supervision, of any child under the age of twelve (12) years knowingly leaves such child unsupervised in a place of public accommodation…that presents substantial risk to the child’s health or safety,” may be guilty of a misdemeanor. (PUBLIC ACT NO. 97-298)

X. Jean Whalen Community Room Policy and Regulations

The Ansonia Library, in response to the special needs of community residents meeting in groups, has provided a program area in the library for public use on a requested basis.  Use of the Community Room is under the general supervision of the Library Board of Directors and the direct supervision of the Library Director.  The Community Room is available for non-commercial/non-profit meetings, and may be used by responsible groups or organizations devoted to educational, cultural, or civic activities of general interest to the community. Library sponsored or related activities will have priority over other requests. Juvenile and teen-age groups may use the room only when responsible adult supervision is provided.
Request Form for use of the meeting room should be made at least two (2) weeks in advance of the scheduled meeting.

GENERAL RULES AND CONDITIONS
• The authorized representative is responsible for leaving the room in order.
• The authorized representative assumes all liability for damage to or loss of library property incurred while on the premises.
• The library is not responsible for injuries to participants attending the meeting.
• Smoking is prohibited.
• Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
• Use must be held during regular business hours and must end on time so the room may be cleared or prepared for other meetings. Use must end 15 minutes before library closing time.
• Misuse of the facilities will mean permanent revocation of the group’s privileges in the library.
• A $25.00 deposit for use of the room may be required at the discretion of the Library Board.
• Take any garbage and/or paper goods with you at the end of your program.

Special Note:
Library needs will take precedence over public use of the Community Room, as library programming is an important aspect of the Library’s service to the community. The Library Director has the final authority on considering what groups may use the meeting room. The Board of Directors reserves the right to cancel reservations and the groups will be notified of such cancellations. Appeals may be made in writing to the Board of Directors for reconsideration by the Board and Library Director.

The fact that a group is permitted to meet in the library’s meeting room in no way constitutes an endorsement of the group’s objectives or beliefs by the Library employees or the Board of Directors.

XI. Tutoring Policy and Guidelines

The Ansonia Public Library is dedicated to being an alternative, extension, and continuing education site of educational organizations within its service area. This tutoring policy applies to the tutoring of all students.
Tutoring is an activity that relates to the library’s role as an educational support center. However, the Ansonia Library’s space is limited and therefore tutoring rules and regulations must be established.
Space for sanctioned tutoring activities is subject to availability. The following guidelines are to be observed.
1. Tutors will contact the library to determine if space is available for tutoring activities.
2. Tutoring will only be available in specific locations in the library: Reference Room, Periodical Room, Jean Whalen Community Room, Children’s Room, Historical Room, and Gallery Section of the library.
3. Only two tutors at a time will be allowed in any given location. Advanced reservations for space will not be allowed.
4. There will be no eating, drinking or cell phone use in the Library.
5. Children under 18 years of age who are tutored in the library are the responsibility of the tutor while on library property.
6. Noise should be held to a reasonable level.
7. The library does not serve as an intermediary between students and tutors.
8. Those who are being tutored in the Ansonia Library are encouraged to have a valid library card.