I Mission Statement
II Who May Use the Library
III Patron Responsibilities
IV Internet Policies
V Equipment Usage
VI Collection Development Policy
VII Public Materials
VIII Board Bylaws
IX Internal Control and Financial Accountability
X. Middletown Library Laptop Policy
I. Mission Statement
The mission of the Middletown Fall Creek Township Public Library is to maintain and improve the quality of life for all citizens of our community by providing resources that enhance and contribute to individual knowledge, enlightenment, and enjoyment in the most efficient manner possible. We especially recognize our responsibility to serve as a place for children to discover the joy of reading and the value of libraries.
The general library goals of the Middletown Fall Creek Township Public Library shall be:
To serve all residents of the community and the surrounding region.
To acquire and make available to all residents of the above area such books, periodicals, and other library 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.
To acquire the means to provide the most frequently requested material locally and upon demand.
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.
To strive consistently to discover new methods and improvements for better service for the library’s patrons.
To review regularly these goals of the Middletown Fall Creek Township Public Library and, if necessary, revise them in the light of new developments.
II Who May Use The Library
A. The library will serve all residents of the community and the public library system area. This area consists of Fall Creek Township and the Shenandoah school district. Additionally the library extends reciprocal borrowing privileges to all other Henry County libraries. 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.
B. 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.
III Patron Responsibilites
It is a patron’s responsibility to maintain necessary and proper standards of behavior in order to protect his/her individual rights and the rights and privileges of other patrons. If a patron creates a public nuisance, that patron may be restricted from the Library and from the use of the library facilities. Those who are unwilling to leave or do not leave within a reasonable amount of time, after being instructed to do so by the staff, will be subject to the law.
Behavior that interferes with library services, duties and activities is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Disorderly or disruptive conduct
- Harassing other patrons and/or staff
- Obscene, profane, or abusive language or acts
- Possession or use of alcohol or illegal drugs
- Intoxication or impairment
- Smoking, use of electronic smoking devices or tobacco in the library
- Mutilation, defacement, of theft of library property
- Nuisance or prank phone calls, which are characterized as lengthy, repetitive, and not concerning or involving the library, its buisness, services, or activities.
The Middletown Fall Creek Township Public Library encourages visits by young children and it is our desire to make this important visit both memorable and enjoyable for the child. Library staff is not expected to assume responsibility for the care of unsupervised children in the library.
Therefore, it is library policy that all children under age six must be accompanied by a parent or designated responsible person while in the library. Also, if the young child is attending a library program, we require the parent/responsible person to remain in the library throughout the program.
Children of all ages are encouraged to use the library for homework, recreational reading, and program attendance. The library staff realizes that the library will be noisier at busy times and that children by nature can cause more commotion. However, children (whether with parents or not) who are being continually disruptive will be given a warning that he/she must settle down or will be asked to leave the library. If after a second warning the child continues to be disruptive, he/she will be asked to leave the library. If the child needs to contact a parent, they may do so and then wait with a staff person until the parent arrives.
IV Internet Policies
The Middletown Fall Creek Township Public Library provides access to the Internet as a means to enhance the information and learning opportunities for the citizens of the library’s service area. The Board of Trustees has established the Internet use policy to ensure appropriate and effective use of this resource.
Access to the Internet is available to all patrons; however, this service may be restricted at any time for use not consistent with the guidelines. Parents of minor children must assume responsibility for their children’s use of the library’s Internet service. A parent or guardian may submit a no access form if his/her children are not to use library computers. All users must sign the log-in chart prior to beginning their session.
Users should be aware that the inappropriate use of electronic information resources can be a violation of local, state, and federal laws and can lead to prosecution. The user will be held responsible for his/her actions using the Internet. Users are expected to abide by the policies below which include generally accepted rules of network etiquette. Unacceptable uses of the service will result in the suspension or revocation of Internet use privileges.
The Internet is a decentralized, unmoderated global network; the Middletown Fall Creek Township Public Library has no control over the content found there.
The library cannot protect users from offensive information, and it is not responsible for the availability and accuracy of information found on the Internet.
The library cannot assure that data or files downloaded by users are virus-free. The library is not responsible for damages to equipment or data on a user’s personal computer from the use of data downloaded from the library’s Internet service.
The use of the Internet and e-mail is not guaranteed to be private. Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities will be reported to the proper authorities.
Patrons are prohibited from viewing materials that are legally obscene, contain pornography, or are harmful to minors. Failure to comply with this stipulation will result in loss of computer privileges.
- Users may use the Internet for research and the acquisition of information to address their educational, vocational, cultural, and recreational needs
- Users may use the Internet for the receipt and transmission of electronic mail (e-mail) as long as they use a free e-mail service which will establish and maintain an account for them; the library is unable to manage e-mail accounts for any organizations or individuals
- Internet use is offered in one hour or sixty (60) minute sessions on a first-come, first-served basis; each user is allowed one session–if there is no patron waiting for the service at the end of a session, the user may continue, but once having had the service for 60 minutes the user must abandon use of the Internet if another patron requests use of the service
- Users will respect and uphold copyright laws and all other applicable laws and regulations; they will not use it for illegal purposes
- Users will respect the rights and privacy of others by not accessing private files
- Users agree not to incur any costs for the library through their use of the Internet service
- Users shall not create and/or distribute computer viruses over the Internet
- Users shall not deliberately or willfully cause damage to computer equipment, programs, or parameters
- Academic, employment-related activity, and application for state services will have priority over online game or recreational computer use.
V Equipment Usage
Public computers are available to patrons on a first-come, first-served basis. Instructions for operating hardware are displayed near the computer. There is no charge for use of the computer; however, in order to make the service available to as many patrons as possible, a time limit for usage may be imposed. Time may be extended if no one is waiting, the computer use is for academic purposes, or special circumstances as at the discretion of library employees. Library staff is available for general assistance in using the computer. However, staff members are not expected to train patrons in the use of application programs.
A printer is available. Printer paper will cost $ .20 per sheet and must be paid for at the conclusion of the session.
The library provides fax service at no charge for local and toll free numbers. The charge is $1 per page for long distance calls and $.50 per page to receive a fax.
A photocopy machine is available to patrons who wish to copy materials at the rate of $.20 per page.
Copy machine users are advised that there are restrictions on copyrighted materials. Any violation of copyright is the responsibility of the copy machine user.
VI Collection Development Policy
The purpose of the Middletown Fall Creek Township Public 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.
The 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 American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and The Freedom to Read Statement have been endorsed by the Middletown Fall Creek Township Public Library Board of Trustees and are integral parts of the policy.
The collection development policy, like all other policies, will be reviewed and/or revised as the need arises.
B. Responsibility for Selection
The Library Director holds ultimate responsibility for the selection of library materials due to their education, training, and experience. The director will operate within the framework of the policies determined by the Middletown Fall Creek Township Public Library Board of Trustees. This responsibility may be shared with other members of the library staff; however, because of trustee and patron accountability the Director has the authority to reject or select any item contrary to the recommendations of the staff.
C. Criteria for Selection
Selectors use several criteria when evaluating and purchasing materials, keeping in mind the Library’s budget and physical space. Materials need not meet all criteria for inclusion in the collection. Criteria includes:
- Library merit
- Popular appeal/demand
- Suitability of material for the patrons
- existing library holdings
- Cost and budget
- Reputation or qualifications of the author, creator, or publisher
- Positive professional reviews, award winners
- Availability of content through Interlibrary Loan, subscription service, or other means
- Existing need: subject or series gaps
- Balanced points of view
- Patron request
- Condition of material
Additional evaluation criteria for electronic resources include:
- Ease of use and remote access potential
- Hardware, software, networking, and storage requirements
- Licensing agreements
- Comparison of content and cost with other available formats
- Long term availability and perpetual access rights
D. Interlibrary Loan
The library cannot provide all materials that are requested. Therefore, patrons are encouraged to utilize the resources of other Evergreen Consortium member libraries, the Statewide Remote Circulation Service (SRCS), or e-resources like Libby to obtain those materials that are beyond the scope of this library’s collection.
E. Gifts and Donations
The library accepts donations 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 selection criteria of selection which are applied to purchased materials are applied to donations. The library can not accept dirty, mildewed, wet, or damaged books.
Memorial gifts of books or funds are also accepted. Specific memorial books can be ordered for the library on request of a patron if the request meets the criteria established by the Board. It is desirable for gifts of or for specific titles to be offered after consultation with the library Director. A suitable bookplate will be placed in the book.
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 Board of Trustees. Withdrawn materials will be handled in a similar manner and under the same authority as donated materials.
G. Patron Concerns
Middletown Fall Creek Township Public Library selects and purchases books and materials to support our mission “to maintain and improve the quality of life for all citizens of our community by providing resources that enhance and contribute to individual knowledge, enlightenment, and enjoyment in the most efficient manner possible.”
The library provides an impartial environment in which individuals and their interests are brought together with the universe of ideas and information spanning the spectrum of knowledge and opinions. Although materials are carefully selected, there can arise differences of opinion regarding suitable materials. Not all materials in the collection will be suitable for all patrons and may reflect controversial, unorthodox, or even unpopular ideas. We affirm that the responsibility for the reading choices of minors 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 minors, nor does the library use any system of coding, rating, or labeling to identify or segregate materials for the purpose of censorship.
Patrons who have concerns about specific materials are encouraged to discuss these concerns with the library Director.
H. Material Reconsideration Process
The library accepts requests from Middletown Fall Creek Township Public Library cardholders to review, relocate, or remove any library materials.
- Concerns about materials begin with a conversation with the library Director to gain understanding and clarification. Please visit the library to start this conversation.
- Following the initial conversation, Middletown Fall Creek Township Public Library cardholders requesting that material be relocated, withdrawn from or restricted within the collection may complete a “Request for Reconsideration of Material” form which is available in the library.
- Patrons may submit a completed form to library staff that is forwarded to the Director.
- The patron submitting the completed form will receive confirmation of receipt in a week and will be notified of the Library’s decision within 60 days.
- Materials retain their status in the collection for the duration of the review period.
- The review committee shall consist of the Director, Library staff and Board members.
- The members of the committee will read the challenged material in its entirety, gather information, and consider supporting documentation. Supporting documentation may include: *Middletown Fall Creek Public Library selection criteria *Material’s reviews and awards/nominations *Data and trends related to the material’s circulation *Any materials presented by the patron in support of reconsideration
- After reviewing the challenged material and the supporting documentation, the committee shall engage in discussion and vote to retain, relocate, or remove the material.
- The Director shall share the decision with the originator of the request and the Board of Trustees. The decision shall outline specific selection criteria supporting the action taken.
- The decision of the Reconsideration Committee is final, and the material cannot be rechallenged for a period of five years from the decision date.
VII Public Materials
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.
VIII Board Bylaws
Article I Name and Authority
Section 1.1 Name.
The name of this board is the Board of Trustees of the Middletown Fall Creek Township Public Library, hereinafter referred to as “the board” and “the library”.
Section 1.2 Authority
The board exists and operates by virtue of the Indiana Public Library Law of 1947 and assumes its powers and responsibilities under Indiana Code (“I.C.”) 36-12
Article II Membership
Section 2.1 Status
The application, appointment, term, and removal of members of the board is in accordance with Indiana statute. Board appointees must reside in the library taxing district and must have resided in the district for at least two (2) years before being appointed to the board.
The board shall consist of seven (7) members appointed by the following authorities:
three (3) by the Shenandoah School Board
one (1) by the Henry County Board of Commissioners
one (1) by the Henry County Council
one (1) by the Middletown Township Trustee
one (1) by the Middletown Township Board
Section 2.2 Compensation
Members of the board serve without compensation in accordance with law and, with the exception of the treasurer, may not be a paid employee of the library
Section 2.3 Term.
The term of a member is four (4) years. However, a member may continue to serve until his successor is qualified as provided by law. Members of the board may not serve more than four consecutive terms of four years each for a total of sixteen (16) years. If a member is replaced mid-term, the new member shall fill out the rest of the term for that appointment. That partial term shall be counted as the first of the four allowed terms.
Article III Meetings
Section 3.1 Regular Meetings
Regular meetings of the board are held monthly at the library. Meetings shall be publicized at least one week prior to the meeting.
Section 3.2 Open Meetings
All meetings of the board, except executive sessions, are subject to the Indiana Open Door Law (I.C. 5-14-1.5) and are open to the public.
- The Board of Trustees shall provide a period for questions and public comment regarding agenda items at every regular meeting open to the public.
- Participants must be recognized by the Boards President (or presiding officer) and will be requested to preface their comments with an announcement of their name, address and group affiliation, when appropriate.
- Each statement made by a participant shall be limited to three minutes.
- Board President (or presiding officer) may:
- Interrupt, warn or terminate a person’s statement when a statement is too lengthy, personally directed, abusive, obscene or irrelevant;
- Request any individual to leave the meeting when the person does not observe reasonable decorum;
- Request the assistance of law enforcement officers in the removal of a disorderly person when that person’s conduct interferes with the orderly progress of the meeting;
- Call for a recess or an adjournment to another time when the lack of public decorum so interferes with the orderly conduct of the meeting as to warrant such action;
- Waive these rules with the approval of the remaining Board members when necessary for the protection of privacy or the administration of the Board’s business.
- Personnel and personal patron issues will not be addressed during open sessions.
- Members of the public wishing to be placed on the Library Board meting agenda for the purpose of making a presentation or addressing non-agenda items must submit a request to the Library Director prior to the meeting. Requests submitted after the meetings call to order will be held over until the next regularly scheduled open session.
- Tape or video recordings are permitted, providing the person operating the recorder has contacted the Library Director prior to the meeting to review possible placement of the equipment and agrees to abide by the following conditions:
- No obstructions are created between the Board and the audience.
- No interviews are conducted during the Board meeting.
- No commentary is made that would distract either the Board members or members of the audience.
Section 3.3 Quorum
Four members of the board constitute a quorum at each board meeting. When a quorum is present at any meeting, the vote of a plurality of the members present shall decide any question brought before such meeting.
Article IV Officers
Section 4.1 Officers
Officers of the board are president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer.
Section 4.2 Election of officers
The officers shall be chosen annually at the regular January meeting. Each officer shall hold office until his or her successor shall be duly chosen and qualified. Vacancies in office shall be filled at the next regular meeting of the board after the vacancy occurs.
Section 4.3 Duties of President
The president presides at all board meetings.
Section 4.4 Duties of the Vice-President
The vice-president presides over meetings in the absence of the president and shall become president should a vacancy occur in the office between elections.
Sections 4.5 Duties of Secretary.
The secretary is responsible for ensuring that accurate minutes are recorded at each board meeting and filed in a timely fashion with the permanent records of the library.
Sections 4.6 Duties of the Treasurer
The treasurer oversees the financial activities of the library to ensure that adequate financial records are kept and that accurate and timely financial reports are delivered to the board. Only the treasurer’s signature is authorized on library checks.
Article V Responsibilities
Section 5.1 Duties of the Board
The board shall:
a. govern and set written policy for the library.
b. employ a competent and qualified library Director to carry out its policies.
c. plan for the future of the library to meet the needs of the community.
d. monitor and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the library.
e. act as an advocate for the library in the community.
f. monitor financial affairs of the library by discussing and approving the proposed annual budget, studying monthly financial reports, and approving all claims lawfully incurred on behalf of the library.
g. set salaries and job descriptions for staff members.
Aritcle VI Director
Section 6.1. Certification
The Director of the Middletown Fall Creek Township Public Library shall possess an Indiana Library Certification IV or above.
Section 6.2. Duties
The director shall:
a. be responsible for the administration and management of the library.
b. implement all policies adopted by the board with responsibility for supervising personnel and recommending such policies and procedures that will promote and improve library services.
c. attend all board meetings and prepare an agenda and monthly circulation and financial reports.
d. prepare an annual budget for the board’s approval.
e. be knowledgeable about library laws.
f. participate in continuing professional education opportunities.
Article VII Nepotism and Conflict of Interest
a. No person employed in any capacity under the Board’s jurisdiction shall have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in any business, employment transaction, or professional activity, or incur any obligation of any nature, which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his/her duties or employment in the public interest.
b. No two persons of the same family may hold positions under the Board’s jurisdiction in which one of them is directly or indirectly responsible for recommendations or decisions involving the other in such matters as initial appointment, retention, promotion, salary, leave of absence, or any other job-related function of a supervisory nature except in what are deemed exceptional circumstances by the Board.
Employment of Relatives of Significant Others
The Library will not employ individuals who are related to, or otherwise involved in a close personal relationship with, current Library trustees or employees who have an supervisory responsibilities.
However, an exception may occur in the following situations:
1. Emergency situation where an employee leaves without advance notice and staff is required immediately
2. There are no appropriate candidates after 10 days of posting and the position must be filled immediately
Article VIII Amendments and Review
These by-laws are subject to biennial review and may be amended at any regular meetings of the library board of trustees with a quorum present, by majority vote of the members present.
Reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees January 9, 2023
IX. Internal Control and Financial Accountability Policy
The Director will provide each month to each Board Member and review at the Board Meetings:
- A balance sheet
- A profit and loss statement with figures for the current year to date
- A list of all transactions
- The most current credit card statement
- A comparison of total expenditures for the year in each category with the budget for that category
The Director will review and approve all bills and timesheets and compute payroll using the PayWindow software program.
The Director will make deposits but this may be delegated to a Board member or employee to ensure that regular deposits are made. All checks received at the library will be endorsed “for deposit only” to the library’s account. Deposits will be made weekly at a minimum.
The Director will record all transactions, prepare deposits, and enter checks into the SBOA-approved AVC accounting software program.
Library staff will collect cash at the Middletown/Fall Creek Township Library from library charges such as replacement fees, printing, copying and faxing fees. The person who receives the funds immediately records these receipts on form available at the circulation desk. These funds will be secured in a cash register during hours of operation. Checks and cash will be secured in the Director’s locked office during non-operating hours pending deposit.
Cash receipts will be recorded using AVC software. Cash receipts are reconciled monthly by the Director and reviewed by the Treasurer or other designated board member.
Each Board member will review the list of transactions on a monthly basis. The Board will vote on all transactions at the monthly board meeting by approving or amending the financial report.
Cash Change in the amount of $50 will remain in the circulation desk cash register and a Petty Cash fund of $100 in small bills will be reserved in the Director’s office for cash disbursements. All cash disbursements are made only from Petty Cash. All disbursements will be recorded promptly and allocated to appropriate budget categories. The Director is responsible for and must approve all cash disbursements from Petty Cash. The Director authorizes and records expenditures. The Petty Cash account will be reconciled monthly.
The Treasurer and the Board will review all transactions, including cash transactions on a monthly basis. The Director will reconcile the checking account with the bank statement for review by the Treasurer or other designated board member.
The Library maintains it financial records in the AVC software program. Financial records will be kept for 7 years unless required to be kept for a longer time. Audit Reports, Year End Financial Statements and tax records will be retained permanently. The Director will file appropriate reports using Gateway and the State Library’s online contractor. All financial work shall be maintained onsite subject to best practices.
The Board will approve all contracts to which the organization is a party at a regular or special meeting of the board. Competitive bids will be secured when required. Library records will be fully audited by a representative of the SBOA.
X. Middletown Library Laptop Policy
Limits and Availability
- Library laptops are for use within the library building only. Laptops taken outside the building will be considered stolen and the police will be notified.
- An eligible patron may borrow only one laptop at a time.
- Laptop computers are available on a first come, first served basis. They may not be reserved in advance.
- Patrons may not alter, delete, copy, or tamper with any software loaded on the laptop or otherwise change its existing configuration. Patrons may not install software on the laptops.
- The Library is not responsible for damage to an external device (i.e. a flash drive or other external device) or for the loss of data that may occur while the laptop is in use.
- Patrons must be in good standing (no fines or lost materials) to borrow a laptop.
- Laptops are not checked out the last 30 minutes the library is open.
- Printing is available from laptops. The charge is twenty cents per page for black and white and $1.00 per page for color. Patrons are urged to save their work on their own external memory device. All documents are automatically deleted when the laptop is turned off.
- Audio and video files must be played with headphones.
- Patrons 18 and older must surrender their library card and current photo ID at checkout. Failure to do so will result in a denial of laptop checkout privileges. No exceptions.
- Patrons must sign our Library Laptop Checkout Policy agreement.
- Patrons may not checkout a laptop then loan it to another user. Patrons caught engaging in this activity will have their laptop privileges suspended for one month.
- At the time of checkout, a staff member will inspect the laptop to make sure it is intact and running properly. The borrower will then initial the check list in front of the staff member.
- The staff member will then check out the laptop to the patron.
The checkout period is 4 hours and may be renewed once for an additional 2 hours.
- When returning the laptop, the borrower must allow at least 5 minutes for a staff member to check the equipment.
- The staff member will verify that all parts are present and the computer and all accessories are in good working order.
- The borrower will sign and date the checklist to complete the transaction.
Charges and Liability
- A patron’s privilege to check out a laptop may be suspended for one month if the patron fails to return the laptop at the time due or leaves before check-in procedure is complete.
- Laptops that are late may be considered stolen and the police notified.
- Laptops are equipped with tracking software for theft detection.
- Under no circumstances should a borrower leave a laptop unattended. Leaving a laptop unattended will result in the loss of laptop checkout privileges. The Library will not be responsible for theft of an unattended laptop even it is used within the Library building.
- Charges for lost and damaged equipment are as follows:
- Laptop: $1,200.00
- Cracked screen: $200.00
- Lost Headphones: $10.00
- Lost Power Cord: $10.00
- Lost Mouse: $5.00
- Overdue Laptop: $5.00 per hour
Reviewed and Adopted: March 2018
Updated and Revised: December 13, 2021, January 9, 2023, February 20, 2023