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Library Policies



The mission of the Eldora Public Library is to strengthen the community by providing access to information and ideas that enrich, educate and empower its residents.

1.  Goals: The Goals of the Eldora Public Library are to: 

1.1 Provide and maintain a modern library facility that delivers prompt, efficient and friendly service responsive to users’ requests for materials and services.

1.2 Promote and encourage reading among all ages with special emphasis on preschool and kindergarten and cooperate with educators to develop each student's full potential as a reader.

1.3 Support community, educational, civic and cultural activities.

[Reviewed October 28, 2014]

2.  Library Use: Library use shall be as follows:

2.1 The Library may be used by anyone, and services shall not be denied or limited because of religious, racial, social, economic or political status.

2.2 Upon request a library card will be issued to any Iowa resident.

2.3 The circulation records and video surveillance footage of the Library are confidential and will not be made available to any other entity except as required by law.

2.4 The use of the Library or its services may be denied or limited by the Board or the library staff for just cause. In addition to federal, state, and local laws the following rules are in force to maintain a welcoming library for area residents.
      a. Patrons using the library shall be engaged in normal activities associated with the use of a public library including reading, studying, or otherwise using library services.
      b. Disruptive behavior is prohibited, including, but not limited to: loud talking or making noise, running or horsing around in general, disrespectful language or gestures, and misuse of library property.
      c. Food and beverages are prohibited except for library approved programs.
      d. Library users shall dress appropriately including always wearing shirts and shoes.
      e. Cell phones are to be turned off, silenced, or set to vibrate upon entering the Library. Brief cell phone conversations are allowed in the entryway.
      f. Bringing animals into the library, except trained service animals or as authorized for library-sponsored events, is prohibited.

[Revised 3-29-2016]

3.  Library Services:
Library services shall be provided as follows:

3.1 The Director will select from the mass of available materials, and organize for easy access, those Library materials which, in the judgment of the Director, best meet the needs of the community.

3.2 The Library Staff will provide competent and courteous guidance and assistance for people seeking information.

3.3 The Library will provide information and materials to help people to:

            a.  Equip themselves for efficient activities and useful occupations and practical affairs in the world.

            b.  Increase their competence to form sound judgments on public problems, express their opinions and act accordingly.

            c.  Increase their understanding and appreciation of literature, the arts, sciences and the political and natural world.

            d.  Promote personal and social well-being and develop creative and spiritual capacities.

            e.  Enjoy recreational reading.

3.4 The Library will cooperate with other community agencies and organizations to:

             a.  Determine and meet the educational needs of the community.

             b.  Help them with their programs.

3.5 The Library accepts responsibility for securing and distributing information beyond its own resources by:
            a.  Collecting information about resources of agencies, institutions, organizations, and individuals in and beyond the community.

            b.  Obtaining information and borrowing materials which are not owned by the Library and which cannot be purchased, or materials for which the demand does not justify purchase.

3.6 The Library will lend materials which are requested by other libraries, although Patrons of this Library have a priority in the use of materials.

3.7 The Library will endeavor to maintain a balance in its services to Patrons of all ages.  The Library will cooperate with, but cannot perform the function of,  school or other institutional libraries which are designed to meet curricular needs.

3.8 Library services will be provided during the hours which best meet the needs of the community.

3.9 The Library will provide outreach programs for those unable to reach the Library.

3.10 The Library will provide distance learning opportunities for Patrons and other users through the Iowa Communications Network.

3.11 Periodic review will be made of the Library services to determine whether the needs of the community indicate that existing services should be discontinued or new services should be added.

[Reviewed October 28, 2014]

4.  Collection Development: Collection development shall be as follows:

4.1 The collection will not be limited to any subjects.

4.2 Selections will be made on the basis of examination of the needs of the community, current selection tools, bibliographies and recommendations of subject experts.

4.3 The selection shall be the responsibility of the Library Director.

4.4 The Library will acquire materials which will help meet its Goals.

4.5 Recommendations for materials by Patrons will be considered carefully and an effort made to include all worthwhile titles on subsequent orders if it appears the item will have appeal to other Patrons.

[Reviewed November 25, 2014]

5.  Interlibrary Cooperation: Interlibrary cooperation shall include the following:

5.1 The Board recognizes that no single Library can meet all demands in its community.  It is more prudent to obtain some materials through interlibrary loans than to buy them.  Libraries and different political subdivisions working together, and sharing their services and resources, can more nearly meet the full needs of their users.

5.2 The Board and the Director will be alert to opportunities of cooperation with other libraries, to strengthen the services and resources of the Library.

5.3 The Board reserves the right to limit the quantity of materials obtained for any one Patron.

[Reviewed November 25, 2014]

6.  Censorship And Freedom To Read: The Library will avoid censorship in the collection and distribution of materials and uphold the Freedom To Read as follows:

6.1 The Library subscribes to the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association which affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas and that the following basic policy should guide their services:

            a.  Books and other Library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the Library serves.

            b.  Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues.

            c.  Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

            d.  Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting the abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

6.2 The library will continually uphold the freedom to read as expressed in the following propositions in The Freedom To Read statement adopted by the American Library Association and the Association of American Publishers:

            a.  It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.

            b.  Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available.  It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.

            c.  It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

            d.  There's no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

            e.  It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept with any expression the prejudgment of a label characterizing it or its author subversive or dangerous.

            f.  It is a responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's Freedom To Read, to contest encroachment upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at-large.

            g.  It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the Freedom To Read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression.  By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a "bad" book is a good one, the answer to a "bad" idea is a good one.

[Reviewed November 25, 2014]


7.  Review Of Questioned  Materials: The selection of materials, if questioned, shall be reviewed in the following manner:

7.1 Serious questions of the materials by any person or group in an effort to eliminate certain items must be submitted in writing to the Director using the Reconsideration Form in 7.7.

7.2 The Director shall reply verbally or in writing to the persons or group, within 10 days, quoting or referring to our Policy.

7.3 Persistent or repeated objections to Library materials from any person or group shall be referred to the Library Trustees.

7.4 The Board and Director shall review the item.

7.5 A conference will be held with the complainant, the Board and the Director.

7.6 The decision concerning further use of the item will be made by the Board and Director by motion and majority vote of the members present.

7.7 A citizen's request for reconsideration of a book or other Library materials,  shall be submitted on the Citizen’s Request For Reconsideration Of And Item form attached to these Policies as Exhibit 1.

[Reviewed November 25, 2014]

8.  Weeding: The Library conducts regular and systematic surveys of its collection in order to weed out those materials which are obsolete, poorly presented, or too badly worn to be of further use.  Materials will be weeded by the Director using the CREW Method as approved by the American Library Association.

[Reviewed November 25, 2014]

9.  Patron Loans: Library materials shall be loaned to Patrons as follows:

9.1 Library materials available for loan, except for video materials, shall be loaned for two weeks.  Interlibrary loans shall be loaned for the time fixed by the lending Library.

9.2 Library materials available for loan, except for video materials,  may be renewed once for the same time as the original loan unless there is a Reserve on the item.  Subsequent renewals may be made at the discretion of library staff unless there is a Reserve on the item.

9.3  Video materials shall be loaned for 1 week with no renewal [Revised November 28, 2017].  Video materials may be reserved on the same terms as other items.  Videos must be returned in person to library staff.

9.4 As soon as Library materials are available for circulation in the Library, Patrons can request a Reserve be placed on any item.  Patrons will be put on the Reserve list for the item in the order in which their Reserve request is made.  Patrons will be notified when the item is available for them.  If the item is not picked up within two days after notification, the item will be made available for loan to other Patrons.

[Reviewed November 25, 2014]

10. Overdues-Fines, Charges & Suspension of Borrowing Privileges: Overdues-fines, charges and suspension of borrowing privileges shall be as follows:

10.1 Patrons shall be charged a fine of 50 cents per day for videos and 10 cents per day for each other overdue item, except teachers and home schoolers shall not be charged a fine on overdue items being used for teaching.  The maximum fine is $5.00 per item. [Amended 1-27-12]

10.2 Patrons shall be charged the cost of each item which is more than 30 days overdue.

10.3 Patrons will be notified of their overdues either by telephone or in writing.

10.4 When an item is overdue and there is an unpaid fine or charge, the Patrons Library borrowing and computer privileges shall be suspended until all fines or charges are paid and all borrowed items returned to the Library, except for any item for which a charge has been paid.  [Amended 4-21-04]

10.5 In case of hardship or other good reason,  at the discretion of the Library Director or anyone to whom the Director has delegated such authority, any fine or charge may compromised or waived.

[Reviewed November 25, 2014]

10. Overdues-Fines, Charges & Suspension of Borrowing Privileges: Overdues-fines, charges and suspension of borrowing privileges shall be as follows:

10.1 Patrons shall be charged a fine of 50 cents per day for videos and 10 cents per day for each other overdue item, except teachers and home schoolers shall not be charged a fine on overdue items being used for teaching.  The maximum fine is $5.00 per item. [Amended 1-27-12]

10.2 Patrons shall be charged the cost of each item which is more than 30 days overdue.

10.3 Patrons will be notified of their overdues either by telephone or in writing.

10.4 When an item is overdue and there is an unpaid fine or charge, the Patrons Library borrowing and computer privileges shall be suspended until all fines or charges are paid and all borrowed items returned to the Library, except for any item for which a charge has been paid.  [Amended 4-21-04]

10.5 In case of hardship or other good reason,  at the discretion of the Library Director or anyone to whom the Director has delegated such authority, any fine or charge may compromised or waived.

[Reviewed November 25, 2014]

11.  Safe Child Policy

11.1  Parents, guardians, teachers and caregivers, not library staff, are responsible for the safety of children visiting the library. Staff cannot be placed in the position of supervising unattended children.

11.2  “Stranger danger” is a concern in our society. In Iowa (see Iowa Code 726.6) it is illegal if a parent “Abandons the child or minor to fend for the child or minor’s self, knowing that the child or minor is unable to do so.” The library shares this concern for the welfare of children and if library staff notices an unattended child they think is not able to fend for him/herself staff will contact police.

11.3  Iowa Code 692A.113 prohibits registered sex offenders from being on library property without written permission from the library director. Also, local procedure first requires library board approval on a case by case basis to allow registered sex offenders in the library.

11.4  Library staff and volunteers regularly helping with children's programs will have a State of Iowa criminal history check.

[Reviewed December 30, 2014]

12.  Computer Use And Internet Access:

12.1 The Eldora Public Library provides Internet access to help users pursue lifelong learning and find information.  Internet users are reminded that the Eldora Public Library does not have control of Internet information and some information may be inaccurate, outdated or personally offensive.

In accord with CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act) guidelines the Internet computers are equipped with filters to help protect minors from: (a) obscene pictures, (b) child pornography, or (c) other material harmful to minors. Upon the request of an adult user the filter will be disabled.

Internet use outside the scope of the library's mission is prohibited. Prohibited use includes non educational gaming, accessing pornographic material, or illegal activity which includes in part the illegal posting, transmission, or sharing of copyrighted material.

To access the Internet users must have a borrower's card issued from the Library and agree to follow the library's policies and procedures. Patrons under 18 years of age must also have signed permission from a parent or guardian. Non-residents may have access to the Internet on the same terms and conditions as resident patrons.

12.2 The following procedures are to assure fair access and availability of computers to all Patrons:

a. Internet users must sign an agreement to follow Internet use policies and procedures. To sign permission for children to use the Internet parents and guardians must come to the library in person.

b.  Use of computers may be reserved, otherwise is on a first-come, first-served basis.  Users must check in at the Circulation Desk before using the computer.  When others are waiting, computer use will be limited to 30 minutes.

c. No more than one person is to be at one computer without permission from the Library Staff.

d.  Users of the Library's computers are expected to respect the privacy of other users.

e.  Computer users will notify the staff immediately if any technical problems occur.

[Reviewed December 30, 2014]

22.  E-Reader Policy


To make e-books accessible to library users the library has e-readers available for checkout.


Library users that want to check out an e-reader need to be at least 18 years old; have an Eldora Public Library card in good standing for the past 3 months; have a state ID card or driver's license, and complete the E-Reader Use Agreement.

[Reviewed December 30, 2014]



E-Reader Use Agreement


I agree to schedule an orientation (about 5 or 10 minutes) with library staff on how to use the e-reader before checking it out. Staff initial here upon completion. ____________


I will not expose the e-reader to moisture, food, anything that would scratch the surface, extreme heat or cold, or anything else that could damage it.


I understand that I am not to activate the wifi access.


I agree to return the e-reader and accessories in person to library staff by the date due. I further agree to wait while staff inspects the reader in my presence to check for damage.


I understand that fines on an overdue e-reader are $.50 per day, and in accord with Iowa Code 714.5 (posted in the library) criminal actions may be taken if the e-reader is not returned within a month after the due date.


I agree to pay for the replacement of any lost (assumed lost after a month past the due date) or damaged items. (For example, the Kindle Touch e-reader costs $99.99 and its charger adapter $14.99 as of 3-14-12.)


IA Drivers License # (State ID OK if No Driver's License) ____________________________

Printed Name _____________________________________________


Signature ________________________________ Date __________________



What You Will Learn at Your Orientation


You will learn to turn on and off the e-reader, find your e-book, turn pages, move from chapter to chapter, change the font settings, use the text to speech feature, and look up the dictionary definition of words. You will be instructed to keep the wifi turned off and learn how to recharge the e-reader if necessary. You will learn that you can't access the NEIBORS service with a library e-reader as the e-reader is registered with the library and cannot be used to download items to your account.

13.  Use of Meeting Room and ICN Room: The use of the Meeting and ICN Room shall be governed by the following rules:

13.1 Attendance at meetings is to be limited to 70 persons, the legal occupancy.

13.2 Application for permission to use the Meeting Room shall be made to the Library Director or designated Staff members by filling out a reservation form.  The room shall be left as before use and the person or group signing the reservation shall be held responsible for the problems or costs resulting  from the specified use.

13.3 Reservations for use of the Meeting Room must include the name of the group organization, time desired, number of persons expected, and name and telephone number of person responsible.

13.4 Smoking is not permitted in the room, and no alcohol or controlled substance may be consumed on the premises.

13.5 Only light refreshments and beverages will be allowed in the Meeting Room.

13.6 Use of materials on walls, or decorations, are prohibited without specific approval of the Library Director or designated Staff member.

13.7 A fee of $25.00 will be charged on for-profit activities.  There will be no charge for nonprofit use of the Meeting Room, but voluntary contributions for its use will be accepted.

13.8 The fact that a group meets in the Library does not constitute an endorsement of the group's policies or beliefs.

13.9 Two adult sponsors must supervise children's groups.

13.10 Groups are responsible for their own set up and take down.

13.11 Any individual or representative of a group requesting reservation of the Meeting Room must complete an application form.

13.12 Groups accept responsibility for the repair or replacement of damaged or missing facilities or equipment.

13.13 The person signing the application form shall be responsible for picking up the key to the Meeting Room at the Library during Library hours.  This person shall be responsible for locking the door when the meeting is over and for returning the key in the night depository when leaving the Library.

13.14 Regularly scheduled meetings are not permitted without specific approval of the Library Director or designated Staff member.

13.15 Library-related programs have priority in the use of the facilities.

13.16 The Library Director is authorized to deny permission to use the Library Meeting Room to any group or individual that is disorderly or that violates these rules.

[reviewed 12-30-14]

14.  Display Space: The purpose of the Library's display facilities is to increase public awareness of the Library's resources and to fulfill its mission to promote intellectual freedom, life-long learning and the enhancement of cultural and leisure activities.  Exhibits using the facilities shall further one or more of these purposes:

To call attention to a theme related to Library services, collections or programs.

To highlight current issues, events or other subjects of public interest.

To display high-quality original art, crafts, photographs or writings created by local (Iowa) artists or contained in traveling exhibits.

To explain the activities of, or issues of interest to local organizations, and agencies engaged in educational, recreational, cultural, intellectual or charitable activities.

To display interesting collections or hobbies of local residents.

14.1 The Library assumes no responsibility for loss, damage or destruction of items left for display.  All displays must meet existing state and federal laws on obscenity, libel, defamation of character and invasion of privacy.

14.2 The Library does not accept responsibility for ensuring that all points of view are represented in any single display.  Granting of permission to display materials does not imply Library endorsement of content, nor will the Library accept responsibility for the accuracy of the statements made in such materials.

14.3 The Library reserves the right to refuse display space to exhibits which, in it’s opinion, do not further the display policy purpose.  (See above)

14.4 Library-produced or solicited displays have priority over displays proposed by non-Library groups or individuals.

14.5 Displays of original art must be accepted for display by the Library Staff or Library Board.

14.6 The Library may designate spaces for particular types of displays to make the best use of display units and/or to make accessible to the intended audience.

14.7 All displays must adhere to established guidelines for mounting (installation).

14.8 This Policy shall be administered by the Library Director, or his/her designee, who is authorized to adopt rules to implement it.

14.9 Displays at the Library must meet one of the following criteria:

            a.  Highlight current issues, events or other subjects of public interest.

            b.  Display high-quality original art, crafts, photographs or writings created by Iowa artists or contained in traveling exhibits.

            c.  Explain the activities of, or interest to, local organizations and agencies engaged in educational, recreational, cultural, intellectual, or charitable activities.

14.10 Reservations may be made at the Circulation Desk.  A single group or individual is limited to one display in a 12 month period.

14.11 In the Meeting Room area, art may be displayed on special hangers available at the Library.  No tape, nails or pins may be used on the walls.

14.12 The two-sided glass case may be used by the general public with the approval of the Library Staff or a Library Board member.

14.13 The bulletin board in the Library entry may used by contacting the Library Staff and following the guidelines set forth in this Policy.

[reviewed 12-31-14]

21.  Personnel Manual: The Personnel Manual of the City of Eldora shall apply to all Library employees, except as modified by action of the Library Board of Trustees.  A copy of the City of Eldora Personnel Manual is attached to these Policies as Exhibit 9, Eldora Personnel Policy Manual.

[Reviewed January 27, 2015, policy not the manual]