Library Policies

Library Cards and Borrowing Policies

Patrons wishing to receive a library card must complete a library card application. Borrowing privileges are extended to anyone with appropriate identification who lives, owns property, operates/owns a business, works or attends school in the parish.

Adults are required to show current picture identification (i.e., Louisiana Driver’s license or State, job, or school ID, etc.) and proof of a current local address or affiliation (i.e. utility bill, lease, pay stub, company ID, etc.) A parent/guardian must sign responsibility for minors under the age of 18.

The library card allows borrowing privileges, in-house computer/Internet use, and remote reference database access. Once a card is issued, the patron must present the card to borrow materials and to use the computers. By signing acceptance of the library card, the patron agrees to be responsible for returning all borrowed materials in a timely manner and in good condition. When long overdue materials are replaced by the library, the patron must pay a replacement cost, an overdue fine and a reprocessing fee. The initial library card is free. The replacement cost is $5.00.

A new card has restricted privileges: an adult card is allowed two books and two DVDs; a student card (16 to 18 years), ten books and two DVDs, not to include R-rated items; a child’s card (3 to 15 years), two books. A child’s card cannot borrow DVDs. The library offers “Honor Loans” which have a flexible return date.

       
Orleans and west bank Plaquemines Parish residents with appropriate identification can apply for a non-resident library card. This card allows remote access to reference databases and borrowing one book and one DVD. The probationary period excludes borrowing TV series, literary TV, and documentaries. After the probationary period, a resident adult card can borrow 10 books and 6 DVDs; a student card, 10 books and 6 DVDs; a child’s card, 10 books. All items with the exception of DVDs can be borrowed for two weeks and may be renewed once if there is no request for the item by calling the library (279-0448) or through "My Account" on the website (www.mysbpl.org) with your library barcode number and personal pin. DVDs are loaned for two weeks with no renewals. Overdue charges are 10 cents per day on all items except DVDs and audio books. Overdue charges on DVDs and audio books are $1.00 per day. The maximum fine per item is $5.00. Please note that overdue items affect lending privileges of all members of the household. Library cards are renewed periodically with an address and telephone number check. Guests/visitors are allowed computer access.

Unattended Children Policy

The library welcomes youth to use its facilities and services. In order to provide for the general welfare of all persons using the library and in order to provide for the general safety of children using the library, responsibility and accountability for the general welfare of any child rests with the parent (or adult guardian or care giver assigned by the parent) and NOT with the library's personnel. The safety of all children left alone in the library is a serious concern.

All children under 13 years of age, at all times must be attended and adequately supervised by an adult. During story times or programs, adults do not have to attend the program with the child, but must remain in the building and must return to the story area by the end of the program.

No public place, including the library, can guarantee the safety of children. Therefore, IT IS REQUIRED THAT CHILDREN UNDER 13 YEARS OF AGE BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT 18 YEARS OR OLDER.

Unattended children who appear lost or frightened will be comforted by the staff. A staff member will try to identify and locate the parents or responsible adult. If the responsible adult cannot be found within 30 minutes, law enforcement officials will be contacted. If children are left unattended at closing time, a staff member will call the parents or care giver. After fifteen minutes, the staff member will contact law enforcement personnel if staff are unable to reach the care givers by telephone. Library staff will NOT drive children home.

Disruptive Conduct Policy

When the behavior of a patron constitutes a disruption which interferes with the use of the library by other patrons or interferes with a staff member's completion of his duties, this is disruptive conduct. Some of the incidents that constitute disruptive behavior are: loud talking, fighting, throwing objects, boisterous behavior, obscene language, damaging property, etc.

The following steps will be taken:

  • Issue a verbal warning, with the statement that the person(s) will be asked to leave if the behavior in question does not cease.

  • Request that the person(s) leave the library

  • If the person refuses to leave the premises, call the police.

Some behavior is illegal and should be handled in a different manner. For the following incidents a supervisor needs to be informed immediately and the police notified: assault, criminal mischief, drunk/disorderly conduct, harassment, public lewdness, theft, and trespass.

Any person who threatens library patrons or personnel with harm, causes property damage, or whose actions cause disruption of normal library routine will have criminal charges brought against him and that person will be banned from the library.

Internet Usage Policy

Rules governing use of library computers

Failure to comply with the following rules may result in loss of computer privileges, loss of library privileges and prosecution.

At each log-in, library computer users must complete a click-through agreement acknowledging these rules and must agree to follow the rules.

1. Sign up for an Internet computer before using it; log on using your own library card or guest pass number and promptly give up the computer when your time has elapsed.
2. Promptly give up the computer when requested by staff.
3. You may download files using supported media. The library is not responsible for damage to your media or for corruption of your data, including damage caused by mechanical malfunction or corruption caused by virus or spyware infection while using library computers. Do not attempt to run or execute programs or applications from personal storage media.
4. There is a charge for printing from public computers, except when printing your patron record or Event Finder search results. The charge is posted. You must pay before printing.
5. Privacy screens are available for Internet computers. However, effectiveness of privacy screens is limited. Respect other's privacy by not attempting to observe or comment on what others are viewing. Remain sensitive to the fact that you are working in a public environment shared by people of all ages. Some locations require use of privacy screens by all users. In other locations, privacy screen use may be required at the discretion of the Person in Charge. Use a privacy screen if you are asked to do so.
6. Stop viewing any site that creates a hostile environment for other library users and staff if a staff member asks you to stop, and do not view similar sites when others are present.
7. Use headphones when listening to audio content, and keep volume low so you do not disturb others.
8. As a courtesy to others, log off completely when you are finished with your session. This also protects the privacy of your search. To do this, press the Ctrl-Alt-Del keys, select Log Off, then Log Off again.
9. Do not gather around computers when doing so may obstruct others or create noise that distracts others.
10. Whether or not they are in use, children's computers in all locations are for the exclusive use of children and their accompanying caregivers.
11. Do not use another's identification, bar code or pin number, with or without permission, to sign up or log on to a computer.
12. Do not misuse computer equipment or software.

Misuse includes but is not limited to:

* Viewing material that violates federal, state or local laws or regulations, including those regarding accessing, viewing, printing and distributing obscenity or child pornography
* Hacking into the library computer system or any other computer system
* Mishandling, damaging or attempting to damage computer equipment or software; tampering with computer settings
* Interfering with system operations, integrity or security
* Attempting to gain or gaining access to another person's files or authorization code
* Displaying or printing materials that violate Multnomah County's policy on sexual harassment.
* Engaging in any activity that is deliberately offensive or creates an intimidating or hostile environment
* Telnetting to outside locations on a Library Resource Computer
* Violating copyright laws and software licensing agreements or the policies of the individual websites that you view
* Failing to pay for printing
* Refusing or ignoring a staff person's request to give up a computer
* Failing to sign up for an Internet computer; failing to log in using your own library card number or guest card number
* Failing to comply with time limits
* Any other violation of the Acceptable Use of the Internet and Library Public Computers statement

Wirelesss Internet Usage Policy

  1. Wireless access is provided to the public as a service free of charge on an “as is” basis with no guarantee or warranty.

  2. Printing is not available via the wireless connection.

  3. Users of our wireless must agree to abide by our St. Bernard Parish Public Library Internet Use Policy prohibiting sending, receiving, or displaying obscene or pornographic material.

  4. It is the user’s sole responsibility to protect his/her information from all risks associated with using the Internet, including any damage, loss, or theft that may occur as a result of the use of the library’s wireless access.

  5. As with most public wireless "hot spots," the library's wireless connection is not secure. There can be untrusted parties between you and anybody with whom you communicate, and any information being transmitted could potentially be intercepted by another wireless user. Cautious and informed wireless users should choose not to transmit personal information (credit card numbers, passwords and any other sensitive information) while using any wireless "hot spot." Please take appropriate precautions when using this service.

  6. Library staff can provide general information connecting your device to the wireless network, but cannot troubleshoot problems related to your wireless device or assist in making changes to your device's network settings and/or hardware configuration nor install wireless cards. The Library cannot guarantee that your device will work with the Library's wireless access points.

  7. 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.

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

  9. Virus and security protection is the user’s responsibility.

  10. The library assumes no responsibility for the safety of equipment; users must keep their equipment with them at all times and may only use electrical outlets in the library as long as they do not create a safety hazard or interfere with other's use of the library.

  11. In using this free Internet access, the user agrees and hereby releases, indemnifies, and holds harmless, the St. Bernard Parish Public Library and its employees from any damage to his/her own equipment that may result from the use of this wireless access.

  12. Wireless access is available 24 hours a day; 7 days a week.

  13. Any attempt to circumvent library procedures, or any unauthorized attempt to access or manipulate library equipment will result in permanent disconnection from the library’s wireless network.

  14. The library filters all Internet access. This filter blocks those sites that violate the Federal Children's Internet Protection Act and/or the St. Bernard Parish Public Library Internet Use Policy. Filter removal requests will not be honored on laptop computers.

Sex Offender Policy

In accordance with its by-laws, the Library Governing Board of St. Bernard Parish Library has adopted on this 17th day of September, 2012 the following policy for the purpose of:

  1. Compliance with the statutory mandates set forth in La. R.S. 14:91.2
  2. Protecting children from contact with persons who have been convicted of sex offenses where the victim was under 13 years of age.
Regulation:

Effective January 1, 2013, persons who have been convicted of sex offenses where the victim was under the age of 13 (referred to as “sex offenders” for purposes of this policy are restricted in their access to public library property, as follows:

    1. Children’s Areas – No sex offender shall be physically present in any area of the library designated as a “children’s area” or “young readers’ area”
    2. Peak Children’s Hours – No sex offender shall be physically present on public library property during peak hours of children’s use of the library.
      1. During the school year, peak hours are defined as 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm Monday through Thursday, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm Friday and 10:00am to 1:00 pm on Saturday.
      2. During the summer, peak hours are defined as 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm Monday through Thursday and 1:00 pm through 4:30 pm on Fridays.
      3. Peak hours of children’s use also include hours during which children’s programs are scheduled. A schedule will be posted on-line and at the entrance of the library branch.
    3. Loitering within 1,000 feet – No sex offender shall loiter within 1,000 feet of public library property.
    4. Employment - No sex offender shall apply for, work for, or otherwise provide services to a library branch as an employee, contractor, sub-contractor, or volunteer.

  1. Exceptions to these restrictions are:
    1. Police station/courthouse/polling station – There shall be no violation of this regulation if the sex offender is reporting to a police station, courthouse, or polling station that is within the restricted area.
    2. With special permission – There shall be no violation of this regulation if the sex offender has requested and has been granted written permission to be physically present on public library property from the library branch director or his designee, and the sex offender complies with any special restrictions contained within the permission.

  2. The Library Director shall be responsible for developing and implementing administrative and management procedures in furtherance of the policies stated herein. Recommended procedures include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. Background checks – Implement procedures to provide that library employees, contractors, sub-contractors, and volunteers who will interact with children or will be required to work in the restricted areas may be subject to criminal background checks.
    2. Configuration – To the extent possible, each library branch shall be arranged in a manner to ensure that areas devoted to children and young readers may be easily supervised by library staff, and such areas are segregated from other library resources and facilities.
    3. Notice – Implement procedures to ensure adequate public notice of each library branch’s times and dates of peak children’s hours and children’s programming. Adequate notice may include posting such information in a prominent location near the library’s entrance and on the library’s website.
    4. Surrogate – Implement procedures to allow sex offenders to authorize a surrogate to check out library materials using the sex offender’s library card.
    5. Enforcement – Implement procedures to update policies, where necessary, and enforce policies regarding unattended children.

  3. The Library Director and members of the public are invited to make recommendations to the Library Board to improve this regulation or suggest legislative changes that will allow public libraries to more effectively achieve the public purposes set forth herein. Those recommendations, along with any supporting documentation, should be submitted annually to the Library Board by or before October 1.


Authority Note

Act 693 of the 2012 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature amended and re-enacted R.S. 14.91.2. The effective date of the Act is January 1, 2013.

The Sex Offender Policy was adopted at a Public Hearing on the policy at the regular meeting of the St. Bernard Parish Library Board of Control on September 17, 2012.

In favor: Patrice Cusimano, president; Rebecca Livaudais, vice-president; Lynne Dier, treasurer; Judy Hoffmeister; Anne Rando

Against: Gregory Rome

Absent: Carl Gaines, Jr.