Library Policies and Procedures


The board of trustees is responsible for adopting written policies that govern and guide all phases of library operation. Policies are general, flexible statements governing library operations, rules and use. They are not carved in stone. Policies must be tailored to meet changing local conditions and should be derived from the library's mission statement. The following list categorizes the responsibilities of the trustees and librarian:
Trustees
Librarian
Establish goals and objectives of the library in a written long-range plan that should be revised annually.
Participates in the development of the long-range plan.


Determine and adopt written policies to govern the programs, operations,
and use of the library.
Recommends needed policies to the board of trustees.


Consider any citizen or staff complaints or suggestions in regard to adopted policies.
Administers the library in accordance with adopted policies.



Interprets policies to staff and public.

Policy Manual

The policy manual must contain the following minimum information:

  1. A statement of the goals and objectives of the library;
  2. A detailed library materials selection policy* which includes selection priorities, the Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read statement and a procedure for handling citizen complaints.
  3. Regulations for library use must include the following
    • Hours of service
    • Loan periods and fines (if any)
    • Replacement of library materials
    • Policy in regard to abuse of library privileges
    • Acceptance or rejection of gifts
    • Use of library meeting rooms
    • Exhibits by individuals or organizations
  4. Staff regulations must include the following: NOTE: most libraries are governed & funded by their city or county, and staff regulations would be the same as for that entity.
    • leave, vacation, sick leave, holidays
    • travel time and expenses to library meetings, conferences, etc.
    • other fringe benefits
    • staff responsibilities, job descriptions and salary schedules
Library employee benefits, salaries and job descriptions should be compatible with the benefits, salaries and job descriptions of other employees of the local governmental unit.
The policy manual should be revised in entirety at least once every five years and reviewed annually.

List of Suggested Library Policies

Service Policies
Collection Development
  • Scope of Collections
  • Criteria for Selection
  • Responsibility for Selection
  • Gifts and Donations
  • Evaluation, Weeding and Maintenance
  • Access to Collections
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Challenged Materials
Facilities Use
  • Hours of Operation
  • Accessibility
  • Building Security
  • Meeting Room Use
  • Exhibits and Displays
  • Bulletin Boards and Materials Distribution
  • Patron Behavior
  • Unattended Children
  • Copiers and Other Equipment Use
  • Emergencies and Disasters
Community Relations
  • Public Information and Publicity
  • Friends of the Library
  • Partnerships and Cooperative Agreements
  • Volunteers
  • Suggestions and Complaints
Materials Use and Circulation
  • Borrower Eligibility
  • Confidentiality of Patron Records
  • Loan Periods and Renewals
  • Requests for Items Unavailable
  • Holds on Items Owned
  • Requests for Purchase
  • Fines and Interlibrary loans
  • Reserved Materials
  • Overdue Fines
  • Charges for Damaged and Lost Materials
  • Reference and Special Collections
Computer Access and Use
  • Internet Safety Policy
  • Printing Charges
Services Offered
  • Free
  • Fee-based

Internal Policies
Board of Trustees Policies
  • Authority
  • Constitutions and Bylaws
  • Appointments
  • Roles and Job Descriptions
  • Meetings
  • Officers
  • Risk Management
  • Ethics
Personnel
  • Job Classifications and Descriptions
  • Salary Schedule and Benefits
  • Employee Recruitment, Selection, Appointment
  • Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action
  • Working Conditions
  • Chain of Command
  • Evaluation, Discipline and Termination
  • Separation
  • Grievances
  • Association Memberships, Workshops and Travel
Finance
  • Budget and Funding
  • Financial Reports
  • Purchasing
  • Contracts and Bidding
  • Investments
  • Audits
  • Bonding
Property
  • Insurance
  • Gifts
  • Capital Assets
  • Inventory
  • Surplus Property
Source: Tools for Trustees: The Georgia Public Library Trustee Manual by Lyn Hopper

Interlibrary Loan Policy Samples

Sample interlibrary loan policy from Northwest Regional Library


Interlibrary loan policy sections are included in the Brookings Public and Huron Public policies listed under SD Library Policies Online (below)


Non-Resident policy FAQ


SD Library Policies Online
Alexander Mitchell (Aberdeen) http://www.aberdeen.sd.us/index.aspx?nid=390
Brookings Public http://www.cityofbrookings.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/40
Freeman Public http://www.freemanlibrary.org
Hot Springs Public http://www.hotspringspubliclibrary.com/library-policy/
Huron Public http://www.huronsd.com/living-in-huron/huron-public-library/library-policies
Madison Public http://www.madisonpubliclibrarysd.com/policies
Siouxland http://siouxlandlib.org/about-us/library-policies.aspx
Sturgis Public http://www.sturgis-sd.gov/index.aspx?NID=509
Watertown http://www.watertownsd.us/index.aspx?nid=270

Policy creation, samples
The South Dakota State Library has several books about policy creation. These are available through interlibrary loan.
Policy development information Policy Development resources, ALA and Policies and procedures, WebJunction
Sample policies from Kentucky Sample Operations Policies

Disaster preparedness policies
Librarian's Disaster Planning and Community Resiliency Guidebook - from the NJ State Library
Librarian's Disaster Planning and Community Resiliency Workbook - from the NJ State Library
Collections care & disaster response planning Collections care & disaster response pdfs from Lyrasis
California Preservation Program (including disaster preparedness and response)
Kansas Cultural Heritage Emergency Resources Network

Tech planning policies
Tech planning policy http://www.techsoupforlibraries.org/blog/reviewing-library-policies-an-important-step-in-technology-planning
Tech plan how-to How to Conduct a Quick Tech Plan
Tech priorities Identifying Technology Priorities

Tech Plan Example


Public Library Ordinance Samples
State Library of Iowa http://www.statelibraryofiowa.org/ld/t-z/Trustees/trusthandbook14/appendix/sample-public-library-ordinance
Lakeside Public Library: Creating a Public Library Board http://cityoflakeside.org/Ordinance_120.pdf