Unless otherwise noted, Board of Trustee Meetings will take place on the third Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. in the Lapham Meeting Room on the Library’s Lower Level. Members of the public are welcome to attend in-person or virtually. A listing of upcoming meetings and additional information can be found here.
There are two types of memberships available:
- RESIDENTS OF PORT WASHINGTON: Residents of the Port Washington School District may fill out the application form online or at the library. The application is processed and a card mailed to the resident at his/her home address. There is no fee for this card.
- EMPLOYED IN PORT WASHINGTON: A person employed in Port Washington must enter his/her place of employment, employer’s address, and telephone number as indicated on the application form. The library verifies the employment, processes the card, and mails it to the employee’s home address. There is no fee for this card. This card must be updated yearly upon verification of employment. This card may only be used at PWPL and cannot be used for direct access borrowing at other libraries.
Library Borrowing Policies
Port Washington Public Library cardholders (resident, employed in Port Washington, paying non-resident, and summer resident) have full borrowing privileges. Cardholders from other Nassau Library System member libraries (Direct Access borrowers) may use their cards at any library in the system to borrow books and other materials (varies depending on library). Cardholders may also ask their home libraries to obtain materials from us via interloan.
Fines and Fees Schedule
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are temporarily waiving all fines for overdue items.
Please be aware that any items not returned 30 days after the due date will be billed to replace the item and your account will be locked. Once the item is returned your fine will be waived and your account will be unlocked. You may renew your checked out items up to two times online, by phone, or in-person.
No petitions may be signed in the Library or outside the building on Library property other than petitions for Library purposes. In addition, the Library building, and grounds may not be used for a public forum except as provided in the Meeting Room policy.
The Library recognizes that its circulation records and other records identifying the names of Library users with specific materials are confidential in nature. These records shall not be made available to any agency of state, federal or local government except pursuant to such process, order, or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of, and pursuant to, federal, state or local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigatory power. Upon receipt of such process, order, or subpoena, the Library’s officers will consult with their legal counsel to determine if such process, order, or subpoena is in proper form and if there is a showing of good cause for its issuance.
OFFICER AND EMPLOYEE CODE OF ETHICS AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY
The Library Board of Trustees recognizes that sound, ethical standards of conduct serve to increase the effectiveness of the Library Board of Trustees, Library staff and volunteers. Actions based on an ethical code of conduct promote public confidence and the attainment of Library goals. The Board also recognizes its obligation, under the provisions of the New York General Municipal Law, to adopt a code of ethics setting forth the standards of conduct required of all Library officers and employees.
The Library Board of Trustees is also committed to avoiding any situation in which the existence of simultaneous, conflicting interests of any Library officer or employee may call into question the integrity of the management or operation of the Library. The Board affirms its commitment to adhere scrupulously to all applicable provisions of law regarding material conflicts of interest.
GIFTS: No officer or employee shall directly or indirectly solicit, accept, or receive any money or gift having a value of $75 or more, whether in the form of cash, check, loan, credit, services, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise, or any other form, under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the money or gift was intended to influence him/her/them in the performance of his/her/their official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on his/her/their part. However, the Board welcomes and encourages the writing of letters or notes expressing gratitude or appreciation to staff members.
CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION: No officer or employee shall disclose confidential information acquired by him/her/them in the course of his/her/their official duties or use such information to further his/her/their personal interest. In addition, he/she/they shall not disclose information regarding any matters discussed in an executive session of the Board of Trustees regardless of whether or not such information is deemed confidential.
REPRESENTATION BEFORE THE BOARD: An officer or employee shall not receive or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before the Library Board of Trustees.
REPRESENTATION BEFORE THE BOARD FOR A CONTINGENT FEE: An officer or employee shall not receive or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before the Library Board, whereby the compensation is to be dependent or contingent upon any action by the Board with respect to such matter, provided that this paragraph shall not prohibit the fixing at any time of fees based upon the reasonable value of the services rendered.
DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST IN MATTERS BEFORE THE BOARD: A member of the Board of Trustees and any officer or employee of the district, whether paid or unpaid, who participates in the discussion or gives official opinion to the Board on any matter before the Board shall publicly disclose on the official record the nature and extent of any direct or indirect financial or other private interest he/ she/they has/have in such matter. The term “interest” means a pecuniary or material benefit accruing to an officer or employee.
DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS IN CONTRACTS: To the extent known, any officer or employee of the Library who has, or will have, or subsequently acquires any interest in any contract with the Library shall publicly disclose the nature and extent of such interest in writing to the Library Director as soon as he/she/they has/have knowledge of such actual or prospective interest.
INVESTMENTS IN CONFLICT WITH OFFICIAL DUTIES: No officer or employee of the Library shall invest or hold any investment directly or indirectly in any financial, business, commercial or other private transaction that creates a conflict with his/her/ or their official duties.
CERTAIN REAL PROPERTY INTERESTS PROHIBITED: No officer or employee of the Library who has an interest in any real property, either individually or as an officer or employee of a corporation or partnership, shall participate in the acquisition or plan for acquisition of said property or any property adjacent to said property by the Library. The term “participate” shall include the promotion of the site as well as the negotiation of the terms of the acquisition.
PROHIBITED CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: No Library officer or employee shall have an interest in any contract between the Library and a corporation or partnership of which he/she/they is/are an officer or employee when such Library officer or employee has the power to negotiate, prepare, authorize or approve the contract or authorize or approve payment thereunder, audit bills or claims under the contract, or appoint an officer or employee who has any of the powers or duties set forth above, and no chief fiscal officer, treasurer or his/her/their deputy or employee shall have an interest in a bank or trust company designated as a depository paying agent, registration agent or for investment of Library funds of which he/she/they is/are an officer or employee. The provisions of this action shall in no event be construed to preclude the payment of lawful compensation and necessary expenses of any Library officer or employee in one or more positions of public employment, the holding of which is not prohibited by law.
CERTAIN PROHIBITED ACTIONS: No person employed by the Library shall hire, supervise, evaluate, promote, review or discipline any other employee who is a member of the same family. In the event that marriage, promotion, or reorganization results in a situation not in compliance with this policy, reassignment or transfer will be effected in accordance with the applicable provisions of any collective bargaining agreement to correct the situation.
PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT: No officer or employee of the Library shall engage in, solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept private employment or render services for private interests when such employment or service creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of his/her/their official duties.
FUTURE EMPLOYMENT: No officer or employee of the Library shall, after the termination of service or employment with the Library, appear before the Board or any panel or committee of the Board, in relation to any case, proceeding, or application in which he/she/they personally participated during the period of his/ o her/their service or employment or that was under his/her/their active consideration. This shall not bar or prevent the timely filing by a present or former Library officer or employee of any claim, account, demand or suit against the Library on his/her/their own behalf or on behalf of any member of his/her/their family arising out of any personal injury or property damage or for any lawful benefit authorized or permitted by law.
USE OF LIBRARY PROPERTY: No Library officer or employee shall use or permit the use of property, owned or leased to the Library, for anything other than official purposes or for activities not otherwise officially approved by the Library Board of Trustees.
DUTY TO DISQUALIFY: It is incumbent upon any Library officer or employee, whether paid or unpaid, to disqualify himself/herself/themself immediately whenever the appearance of a conflict of interest exists.
DUTY TO REPORT CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: In the event that any Library officer or employee knows of or perceives a direct or indirect conflict of interest, he/she/they shall report it to the Library Board of Trustees. Any resolution of such conflict by the Board shall hold the Library’s interest paramount, as well as maintain the Board’s integrity in its governing role.
DUTY TO REPORT VIOLATIONS OF THIS POLICY: Any Library officer or employee or any member of the public noting or suspecting a violation of this policy is encouraged to report the matter, either in confidence or in public, to the Library Board of Trustees.
Distribution of the Library Officer and Employee Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy
The Library Board of Trustees shall cause a copy of this Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy to be distributed to every officer and employee of the Library. Each officer and employee elected or appointed thereafter shall be furnished a copy before entering upon the duties of his/her/their office or employment. In addition, the Board shall ensure that a copy of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law shall be kept posted in each public building under the Library’s jurisdiction in a place conspicuous to the Library’s officers and employees.
In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, a Library officer or employee who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of this Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including the imposition of fines, suspension, and dismissal, in the manner provided by applicable law. (Ethics Policy Adopted December 14, 2005)
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT POLICY
The Library’s ability to function in an emergency is vital to the success of its operation. There are many types of emergencies which, if they occurred, could impact negatively on the provision of basic services. The Library recognizes that a comprehensive plan is needed to enhance its ability to operate in an emergency or disaster situation.
The development of this plan includes an identification of potential hazards that could affect Library operations and an assessment of the capabilities and mechanisms that the Library will use to recover from those hazards.
Dealing with emergencies and disasters is a complex and ongoing undertaking. Thorough implementation of preparedness measures, including effective planning, is the key to successfully applying timely and effective response mechanisms during an actual emergency. Further, provisions for short and long term recovery after the occurrence are essential in ensuring that the Library can maintain its obligation to staff, the public, and all the collections.
This Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan emphasizes the interrelationship of activities, functions, and expertise necessary to deal with emergencies. This plan contains three sections that deal separately with each part of this ongoing process.
The plan outlines the strategies and emergency management responsibilities for all Library staff. Assignments are made within the framework of the present capability and existing organizational responsibilities. The primary responsibility for responding to an emergency within the Library rests with the Library Director. In addition, the Library Director has the primary authority to direct and coordinate emergency operations within the Library. This authority may be delegated to the Assistant Director who may also serve as the Emergency Preparedness/Recovery Manager.
Chain of Command
The Director or Assistant Director will be responsible for plant-wide operations, public information and ensuring that outside aid is called if necessary. Their duties may include:
• Determining when emergencies occur, and seeing that emergency procedures are developed to address them
• Directing all emergency activities including evacuation of personnel and the public, if necessary
• Ensuring that outside emergency services such as medical aid and local fire and/or police departments are called when necessary
• Directing the shutdown of plant operations when necessary
Emergency Response Team
Members of the Emergency Response Team should be trained for potential emergencies, and physically capable of carrying out their duties. They must know how to assess damage to collections and be able to recommend procedures for response.
This plan will serve as the over-arching policy, authority and general guidelines for the Library, and will be the basic plan which all future emergency preparedness modifications will build upon and support.
(Emergency Management Plan adopted by Board of Trustees February 16, 2011)
Library material on a specific subject, offered as a donation by an organization whose interests relate to that subject, may not be accepted by the Library with a guarantee that it will be added to the collection.
A donation by an organization of money to purchase material on a specific subject may be accepted. The selection of titles will be made by professional librarians trained to evaluate material and to maintain a balanced collection on the subject.
The Board of Trustees recognize its responsibility to promulgate the purchasing policy of the Library, in order to obtain goods and services at the best possible price, in accordance with GML Section 104B.
The Board shall appoint a purchasing agent at the annual organizational meeting, who will be responsible for the implementation of all purchasing for the Library. If advantageous, purchases shall be made through New York State Contract and/or Nassau County Contracts.
Bids shall be let, as authorized by the Board, for all contracts for public works and all purchases in accordance with GML.
Purchases may be made under appropriate state and local contracts.
No employee has the authority to order supplies and equipment and charge such to the Library. The Library will not reimburse any employee for supplies and equipment which are so ordered unless approved by the purchasing agent.
The Board of Trustees will make certain that professional services are secured in a manner that protects the integrity of the process, ensures the prudent use of taxpayer dollars and provides a high-quality standard of service, in accordance with law and regulation. Professional services are defined as services requiring special skill and/or training, such as legal services, auditing services, or insurance.
On a periodic basis as determined by the Board of Trustees, the designated staff will prepare a comprehensive written request for proposals (“RFP”), which will contain critical details of the services sought. The RFP will specify that the proposal include the structure of the relationship between the Library and the provider, including, if applicable, the terms of the retainer, the hourly fees and other associated costs.
In reviewing the RFPs, the Library will consider, at a minimum, the following factors:
1. the suitability of the individual/firm for the Library’s needs;
2. the special knowledge or expertise of the individual/firm;
3. the credentials and applicable certifications of the individual/firm;
4. the quality of the service provided by the individual/firm;
6. the staffing availability from the firm or the time available from the individual.
RFPs for auditing services will be prepared no less than every five (5) years.
The Board of Trustees permits the use of a Library credit card by the Library Director or his/her/their designee to pay for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of work-related duties for the Library. The credit card shall be in the name of the Library.
The Library shall establish a credit line not to exceed $5,000 on its credit card.
The Board shall ensure the credit card company is such that the Library preserves its right to refuse to pay any claim or portion thereof that is not expressly authorized, does not constitute a proper Library charge, or supersedes any laws, rules, regulations, or policies otherwise applicable. In addition, the Board will ensure that no claim shall be paid unless an itemized voucher approved by the employee whose action gave rise or origin to the claim, shall have been presented to the Board and shall have been audited and allowed.
The credit card may be used only for legitimate Library business expenditures. Further, any use of the credit card must be in accordance with the Library’s policy on purchasing. All “Reward” points accrued through credit card use will be used for Library purposes. (Adopted by the Board of Trustees July 6, 2011).
Users must take proper care of this credit card and take all reasonable precautions against damage, loss, or theft. Any damage, loss, or theft must be reported immediately to the Board and to the appropriate financial institution.
Failure to take proper care of the credit card or failure to report damage, loss or theft may subject the employee to financial liability and/or disciplinary action.
Purchases that are unauthorized, illegal, represent a conflict of interest, are personal in nature or violate the intent of this policy may result in credit card revocation and discipline of the employee.
Users must submit detailed documentation, including itemized receipts for commodities, services, travel and/or other actual and necessary expenses which have been incurred in connection with Library-related business for which the credit card has been used.
(Resolution to incorporate the Use of Corporate Credit Cards policy into the Library Policy Manual was approved by the Board at the November 16, 2005 meeting.)
Purchases in excess of three thousand dollars ($3,000) shall be subject to competitive quotations. These competitive quotations must be in written proposals, written quotations or verbal quotations. All quotations shall be recorded. (January 2015)
The Board of Trustees reserves the right to reject any and all quotations which it determines are not in the best interests of the Library by reason of quality and/or not adhering to the specifications as described in the request for quotations.
All awards to other than the lowest responsible offeror must be documented containing all information justifying the reason and explanation for awarding to other than the lowest responsible offeror.
Contract awards will be made to local merchants, all else being equal.
The Board of Trustees shall annually review this policy. (November 1993)
The Board of Trustees authorizes a Petty Cash Fund in an amount of $150, or as may be modified by Board resolution, to be used for miscellaneous transactions in which the use of a check is not practical. The Director shall implement procedures to regulate the use and accounting for these funds. All disbursements from petty cash shall be recorded and supported by appropriate documentation. Replenishment of the Petty Cash Fund shall be made through the regular disbursement process in which all checks are subject to review by two members of the Board. (November 2016)
1. Gifts will be accepted which are in furtherance of the Library’s purposes, subject to the terms of this policy.
2. The terms of the gift must identify: a) the subject of the gift; b) the purpose of the gift; c) the beneficiary or beneficiaries, if any; and d) all conditions or restrictions that may apply. Other than cash and negotiable instruments, the Library’s Deed of Gift form must be signed by the donor. (February 2004)
3. If the gift is in trust, the obligation to invest and reinvest the principal shall be clearly specified and the application of the income or investment proceeds shall be clearly set forth.
4. Gifts may be designated for a specific purpose for which no special fund has been established if it is within the mission of the Library.
5. The Library will make the final decision on the use, display, housing, withdrawal or other disposition of all gifts.
6. The Library does not provide materials value assessment for tax purposes.
7. All gifts accepted will be acknowledged in writing. Any gift rejected by the Board shall be returned to the donor or his/her/their estate within sixty (60) days.
8. The Board of Trustees may vote to accept or reject proposed gifts. The acceptance of gifts whose estimated value is less than two hundred dollars ($200) will not require the approval of the Board of Trustees. The Library Director and appointed staff will determine the disposition of these gifts. (March 1996)
The Library’s mission is to respond to the community’s changing requirements for education, information, culture, recreation, and personal advancement, by providing free and open access to a broad spectrum of materials, programs, and services. The Library is committed to the principles of intellectual freedom in providing freely and equally to all members of the community resources whose contents span the panorama of human thought and experience.
The Library does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through the Internet, and cannot guarantee the content, quality, or accuracy of information transmitted. Any patron who enters a fee-based service must incur any and all charges involved in the transaction.
Restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. Parents, guardians or care-givers are encouraged to actively participate with their children when using the Internet or other electronic resources, and to provide guidance for their usage.
Responsibilities of Library Staff and Users
Library staff will not monitor a user’s Internet use, except for length of use in order to ensure equal opportunity of access for everyone. The user, or parent or legal guardian of a minor, is responsible for his/her/their Internet sessions at all times. There is a time
limit for Internet use when other patrons are waiting to use the computers. Due to the limited resources available to the provision of public access to the Internet, the Library
may set limits on the use of large files of still or moving images or sound, or on downloading files in any medium.
While the Library endeavors to provide access to information of the highest quality, it does not endorse or sanction the content or point of view of any information or commentary found on the Internet. The Library specifically disclaims any warranties as to the information’s accuracy, timeliness, authoritativeness, usefulness or fitness for a particular purpose.
The Library assumes no responsibility for direct, indirect or consequential damages related to the use of information accessed through the Library’s Internet service.
Supervising Children’s Use
The Library and its staff do not and cannot act in the place of parents in providing supervision of children as they explore the Internet and other electronic devices. Parents or legal guardians assume all responsibility for deciding which Library resources are appropriate for their own children. Parents or legal guardians should guide their children in the use of the Internet and inform them about materials they should not use. While the Library affirms the responsibilities of parents and guardians to monitor and determine their children’s access to Library materials and resources, including those available through computers, the Library has taken certain measures designed to assist in the safe and effective use of these resources by all minors.
A. To address the issue of access by minors to inappropriate material on the Internet, including material that is harmful to minors, the Library:
1. Uses filtering software on computers located in the Children’s Room.
2. Develops and maintains special web sites for children and teens;
3. Develops and provides training programs on safe and effective Internet use; and
4. Distributes relevant publications about safe Internet use.
B. To address the issue of the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communi-cations, as well as the unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors, the Library provides training programs. Minors shall adhere to the following safety guidelines:
1. Never give out identifying information such as home address, school
name, or telephone number.
2. Let parents or guardians decide whether personal information such as
age, marital status, or financial information should be revealed.
3. Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone via the computer
without parents’ or guardians’ approval.
4. Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening,
or make one uncomfortable.
Acceptable Use Rules
1. Computers shall not be used for illegal activities or to access illegal materials. Transmitting and/or receiving obscene documents and/or child pornography is a violation of law and is not permitted under any circumstances. 6/08
2. Internet computers shall not be used to communicate threats of violence or engage in communications that are harassing as defined by law.
3. Minors, whether or not accompanied by a parent or guardian, shall not use computers to access materials “harmful to minors” as currently defined by law.
4. Installation, downloading or modification of software is prohibited.
5. Users shall respect all copyright laws and licensing agreements.
6. Users shall not make any attempt to gain access to restricted computer files or networks or to damage or modify computer equipment or software.
7. Users shall respect the privacy of others and shall refrain from attempting to view or read material being used by others.
8. Users are financially responsible for any charges that they may incur from their use of the Internet.
9. Minors should NEVER disclose any personal identification information over the Internet.
10. Users shall not intentionally propagate computer viruses.
The Library’s computers are not private. Users should have no expectation of privacy as all computer workstations and printers are in view of other patrons and staff. Users engaging in financial transactions or other activities that require confidentiality do so at their own risk.
Response to Violations
The Library reserves the right to terminate an Internet session that disrupts library services or that involves user behavior that violates the Library’s policies.
Failure to comply with this policy and its procedures will result in the forfeiture of the user’s right to access these computers and where appropriate, referral to law enforcement authorities. (September 2002)
MATERIAL SELECTION POLICY
PHILOSOPHY OF LIBRARY OPERATION
We believe that humanity’s greatest asset is the ability to communicate observations, experiences, hopes, meditations, fears, joys and sorrows across all barriers of time and space through the written word and other forms of expression.
We believe the role of a public library in a free society is to hold open a window through which people may freely view the whole panorama of human thought and experience in literature, science, the arts, philosophy, religion, history and politics, and in every field in which humanity’s thoughts have been recorded.
We believe this is the role which we, as trustees of such a library, have a duty to fulfill, limited only by the physical and financial resources made available to us.
We oppose any attempt to shape our collection of library materials by any standards of literary, political, religious, artistic or social orthodoxy which we believe would impair the fulfillment of this duty.
We believe that in adhering to these views we maintain the highest traditions of library service as exemplified by the Library Bill of Rights, (Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.). Statement on Labeling (Adopted July 13, 1951. Amended June 25, 1971; July 1, 1981; June 26, 1990, by the ALA Council.), and the Freedom to Read Statement (Adopted June 25, 1953, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee, amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004.).
We delegate authority to the Library Director to act on behalf of the trustees in selecting books and other library materials in accordance with this policy.
AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF LIBRARY COLLECTIONS
The Board of Trustees hires a professional Library Director who is responsible for the selection of library materials. The Library Director may authorize other professional staff to execute this policy in developing the Library collection.
CRITERIA FOR SELECTION
Judgments of professionally trained staff members, qualified reviewers, and experts in specific subject areas provide a balance of opinion as the basis for selection. Criteria include:
• Authority and competence in presentation
• Availability of information elsewhere
• Contemporary significance
• Comprehensiveness in breadth and scope
• Historical significance
• Interest to community
• Originality/Uniqueness of subject or approach
• Permanent Value
• Popular demand
• Quality in content and format
• Recentness of data
• Recommendations from the community
• Relation to existing collection
• Reputation of authors, publishers, or producers
• Scarcity of information in subject area
WITHDRAWAL OF MATERIALS
Materials are regularly discarded from the Library’s collection. Factors considered for removal are physical condition, space limitations, circulation, usefulness, age, accuracy, uniqueness of material and availability elsewhere. Withdrawn materials in good condition may be made available for sale in the Library.
POLICY ON CONTROVERSIAL MATERIALS AND USE OF LIBRARY MATERIAL
The Library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend an individual library user. Selections will be made solely on the merits of the works in relation to building of the collection, as stated in the aforementioned criteria, and to serving the Port Washington community, not on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval. Acquisition or use of any item does not imply the Library’s endorsement of its contents.
Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents, and no item will be segregated to protect the Library user from its content.
The use of materials may be controlled to the extent required to preserve them, but no further.
Responsibility for the use of Library materials by children will rest with their parents or legal guardians.
RECONSIDERATION OF LIBRARY MATERIALS
Recognizing that there may be some requests for reconsideration of materials, the following procedures have been developed to assure that requests to add or withdraw items are handled in an attentive and consistent manner.
a. Refer the patron to the LIC of ordering the collection in question. If a discussion with the librarian does not resolve the concern, the complainant is asked to complete a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form.
b. The request form will be referred to a committee appointed by the Library Director.
c. The committee will reconsider the item in question using the Materials Selection Policy and reviews from standard collection development sources.
d. The Library Director will write to the patron regarding the committee’s recommended action. Comments of individual committee members are to be held confidential by all concerned.
e. If the patron desires further action, he/she/they may appeal in writing to the Board of Trustees of the Library. (June 1996)
FORM FOR RECONSIDERATION OF LIBRARY MATERIALS
Request to Withdraw/Add
Is your request to withdraw/add this material based upon personal exposure to it, upon reports you have heard, or both?
Have you read/listened to/seen the entire work?
Have you read any reviews of this work?
What specific objections do you have concerning this work?
What action would you like the Library staff to take in this matter?
Name of person making request:
Is this request on behalf of a group or organization?
If so, please name:
The Library routinely responds to patrons’ requests to add materials. However, if a patron requests material that had originally been considered and rejected for purchase, or if a patron challenges the Library’s decision not to purchase a specific item, this would fall into the RECONSIDERATION OF LIBRARY MATERIALS category. (June 1996)
1.1 STATEMENT OF POLICY
The Library maintains meeting rooms to bring together the resources of the Library and the interests and activities of the community. The meeting room is used primarily for programs sponsored or co-sponsored by the Library. At times, when not needed for the Library’s own programs, the meeting room will be made available for meetings and programs sponsored by others.
As an institution of education for democratic living, the Library should welcome the use of its meeting rooms for socially useful and cultural activities and discussion of current public questions. Such meeting places should be available on equal terms to all groups in the community regardless of the beliefs and affiliations of their members, provided that the meetings be open to the public.
Library Bill of Rights
Permitting an organization or individual use of a meeting room does not imply the Library’s endorsement of that organization or individual, its aims, policies or program presented. The Library assumes no obligation to present an alternative program at the behest of a member of the community.
Use of the meeting room is granted in accordance with the provisions of the Education Law of the State of New York and in accordance with this policy. Applications are required for meetings and programs. Priority will be given to individuals or organizations residing or located in the Port Washington School District.
Use of a meeting room may be denied where there is a likelihood of physical hazard to participants, audiences, or others including patrons and staff, or a misuse of premises or equipment. Past misuse of Library property is grounds for denial of applications for future use.
The Board of Trustees of the Library reserves the right to review all applications.
1.2 PROHIBITED USES
The meeting room may not be used:
a. for meetings at which an admission is charged;
b. for meetings which are not open to the general public;
c. for meetings sponsored by political organizations;
d. by an individual or organization for personal profit, aggrandizement, or advertisement; or
e. for any meeting which is commercial in purpose or at which goods or services are advertised or sold unless there is a valid Library purpose.
1.3 PROGRAM FUNDING
The Library Director is authorized to direct specific staff, members and advisory councils to plan and implement performances, exhibitions and programs for community, educational, cultural, and recreational purposes. The Library sponsors and funds such programs of its own devising.
The Library will not fund programs it does not originate. In some cases, the Library may choose to co-sponsor programs that it helps to plan with outside organizations. Organizations outside the Library, which meet the criteria outlined in this policy, may also use Library facilities to present programs. The outside organizations must sponsor, provide any needed funding, and oversee the presentation of their programs. The Library may assist those organizations by providing fee-based technical assistance, when needed, and custodial support.
1.4 CONDITIONS FOR ROOM USE
a. Application forms for use of the meeting room must be filled out completely, signed by the applicant and submitted to the Library administrator at least two weeks in advance of the requested date. Cancellations less than two (2) business days prior to the requested date may incur associated fees. (Approved 2-12-2020)
b. The applicant must agree to include in all information provided to the public by news releases, posters, written programs, etc., a statement as follows: “The Port Washington Public Library provides an opportunity for individuals or groups to use its meeting room for public meetings. This does not imply any endorsement on the part of the Library of the programs so presented.”
c. The applicant must leave the meeting rooms, and kitchen, if used, in the same condition in which they were found.
d. The applicant must assume full financial responsibility for any misuse of the premises and equipment.
e. Applications for meetings by young people, through eighteen (18) years of age, must be sponsored and signed by an adult who will assume responsibility. At least one adult must be in attendance when the meeting room is being used by such groups.
f. Smoking/vaping of any kind is prohibited anywhere on Library property, including, but not limited to, the area of Library property between the front door of the Library and the public sidewalks and roadway.
g. Refreshments may be served at program meetings at the discretion of the Library Administrator and kitchen facilities are available for this purpose. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
h. No food or other merchandise may be sold by outside groups.
i. A Library technician for the projection, sound and special lighting equipment is required when any of this equipment is used in conjunction with a program. Equipment must be operated by Library personnel. (Fees are listed on meeting room application.)
j. Local fire regulations limit occupancy of the Thomas Lapham meeting room to one hundred fifty-four (154) and occupancy of the Hagedorn room to forty-five (45). It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure strict enforcement of this regulation.
k. After Library closing hours, meeting groups are restricted to the general area of the meeting room on the lower level of the Library and the upper entrance lobby.
Meetings may be scheduled during hours when the Library is open to the public.
The Library Director may approve meetings that extend beyond the Library’s closing time. Fees for after-hour use are listed on the “Application-for-Use-of Library Facilities”.
If it is available, community groups may use a meeting room for up to three (3) months of periodic meetings. Continuation of regularly scheduled meetings will be granted at the discretion of the Library Director. Community groups may not reserve a meeting room prior to three (3) months before the date of the program.
When the Library is closed, on special request a meeting room may be made available for use. Permission for such special use will be granted only on the condition that the Library receives full compensation for all costs incurred as the result of such use.
The “Application for Use of Library Facilities” contains a fee schedule.
(Adopted by the Board of Trustees on March 17, 1970. Amended July 19, 1973; April 30, 1979; November 17, 1980; November 20, 1985; June 16, 1993; September 20, 1995 and September 20, 2006.)
2.0 SMALL STUDY ROOMS
Use of study rooms in the Library for group projects, small meetings, non-profit tutoring, or study sessions will be granted on a first come, first served basis, or can be reserved in person or by phone for periods of up to two hours. When requesting a study room, the applicant must be eighteen (18) years or older, or accompanied by an adult. Library study rooms are not available for commercial purposes including, but not limited to, private tutoring for a fee or other prohibited uses as stipulated in Meeting Room Policy 1.0 in the Policy Manual.
Mission Statement: The Port Washington Public Library is a center for community engagement, knowledge, and personal enrichment.
As per the American Library Association Code of Ethics, the Nassau Library System (NLS) works to “protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted”.
This policy documents NLS’s commitment to protecting the privacy of the records of all of the users of its ILS (Integrated Library System) and Associated Services, and describes its efforts to guarantee this privacy in partnership with its independent and autonomous member libraries.
“NLS ILS and Associated Services” refers to a specific suite of software and tools that assist its participating member libraries to more efficiently circulate and exchange library materials, manage patron records, collect and report circulation and other statistics, and send notices to library cardholders. This suite of software and tools also facilitates user authentication for third-party services and technical support.
2. Relevant Law
New York State Law§4509 provides that library records, which contain names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of public, free association, school, college and university libraries and library systems of this state, including but not limited to records related to the circulation of library materials, computer database searches, interlibrary loan transactions, reference queries, requests for photocopies of library materials, title reserve requests, or the use of audio-visual materials, films or records, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except that such records may be disclosed to the extent necessary for the proper operation of such library and shall be disclosed upon request or consent of the user or pursuant to subpoena, court order or where otherwise required by statute.
NLS and its member libraries must also comply with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 50 U.S.C. 1861, as amended by the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56), which states that personal information is to be released pursuant to a court order that has been received by NLS and reviewed for legitimacy by NLS legal counsel. If such an instance occurs, NLS and the user’s home library will be obligated to release the information and not apprise such individual(s) that such a request has been received or that such information has been disclosed.
3. What Information about Users of our ILS does NLS Collect?
NLS collects information that is obtained by our member libraries and entered directly into our online catalog from automatically-collected network logs and through cookies. NLS typically keeps information only for so long as it is needed for the proper operation of the ILS and associated services, and in order to better deliver library services to ILS users. NLS may retain some information in backup storage systems, hard copy form, or as required by law.
These are examples of content that may be collected or provided to NLS by member libraries:
- Personal Information: any information that can personally identify individual ILS users, such as a user’s name, physical address, email address, phone number, Library barcode, payment information, and other similar information.
- Library Record: contains information related to an individual’s personal use of circulating and non-circulating library materials, including those returned late or damaged.
The following are examples of content that may be collected by network logs or through cookies:
- An ILS user’s Internet Protocol (IP) address
- The kind of web browser or electronic device an ILS user is using
- The date and time of each use of the ILS use
- The website that an ILS user visited immediately before accessing our website or online catalog
- Pages that an ILS user views on our website
ILS users should be aware that information collected about them via any of the above means may be de-identified and aggregated with information collected about other users. This aggregated information is analyzed and cannot be used to reasonably identify individuals. This information helps NLS to administer services, analyze usage, provide security and identify new users of NLS-ILS library services. In addition, it helps NLS to improve users’ experience.
4. How does NLS use the information collected?
It is the policy of NLS to keep the personal information of ILS users only when necessary for the effective operation of library, ILS, and associated services and to better deliver these services to ILS users.
The email addresses of ILS users who provide them to their home library are maintained in the ILS for the express limited purpose of NLS member libraries’ and/or NLS’ legitimate communication with individual borrowers about library business. Borrowers may at any time remove, or request removal, of email addresses in their patron records.
As a convenience, the ILS offers features including, but not limited to, borrower reading history lists, and lists of materials of interest to an individual borrower. Use of such features is entirely voluntary and may be initiated or terminated at any time by a borrower. Unless required by subpoena, court order, or otherwise required by statue, no staff member can access the past borrowing history of any items returned on time and in good condition. Staff may view items currently on a patron’s record, or any items that have been lost, returned late, or returned damaged.
Personal information stored in a user’s library record is removed when that user’s patron record is deleted. When such a record is removed, all personally identifying data associated with that individual is purged. NLS works with its member libraries to encourage the timely identification and removal of the patron records of individuals who are no longer actively using library services.
5. Third Parties
NLS uses third-party library service providers and technologies to help deliver some services to library users. If and when a library user chooses to use such services, NLS may share users’ information with these third parties, but only as necessary for them to effectively provide their services to NLS.
6. Policy Review
This policy shall be reviewed by the NLS Board of Trustees yearly or sooner if conditions warrant, and may be amended, as necessary.
Adopted by the NLS Board of Trustee: August 27, 2018
Last Reviewed by the NLS Board of Trustees: August 27, 2018
Staff receiving requests or inquiries from photographers, reporters or others pertaining to material about the Library for publication must refer the person to the Community Relations Office or to the Director. No one may take photographs of patrons without their consent. (November 16, 2016)
The Library does not collect, maintain, or otherwise use the personal information stored on any third-party site in any way other than to communicate with users on that site, unless permission is granted by users. Comments and postings from the public, on the Library’s social media platforms, are allowed but will be reviewed by Library staff for content appropriateness. Library staff reserves the right to review all comments and postings and delete comments that are inconsistent with the content created by the Library staff. Staff may block a person or entity who posts inconsistent comments or other material from posting any further information.
Comments or postings that fall within any of the following categories will be deleted by Library staff and/or lead to a warning and then a ban on posting by an individual who runs afoul of these guidelines:
a. Obscene, sexist, homophobic, racist, or otherwise bigoted content.
b. Harassing or threatening comments or postings against Library staff, Library property, or other social media users.
c. Harassing or threatening comments or postings that include profane or obscene statements or images, threatening physical harm toward another person, and engaging in behavior with the intent of harassing another person.
d. Libelous statements.
e. Plagiarizing or posting copyrighted material without permission or authority from the copyright holder.
f. Private, personal information of another person without appropriate consent or authority.
g. Comments, postings, and/or hyperlinks not related to the content created by the Library staff.
h. Advertisement and solicitations not expressly permitted by the Library.
i. Photos, videos or other images that fall in any of the above categories.
The Library recommends against posting personal information to our social media platforms and is not responsible for personal information patrons post about themselves. Any personal information, photos or other media posted about persons under the age of 18 will be removed from our social media platforms. An exception is made for photos of Library events posted by Library staff where parental permission was given. Any social media user who has been banned or had a message/content deleted may appeal this decision, in writing or email, to the Library Director. The Library Director may affirm or reverse staff’s decision within thirty (30) days of receiving the written appeal. A staff member will be designated to monitor and maintain all Library social media for content, structure, and updates.
1. Financial sponsorship is encouraged in support of programs, events, projects and activities conducted by the Library or by Library-affiliated groups in conjunction with the Library.
2. All applications to participate as a sponsor will be reviewed by the Board of Trustees of the Library. The Board may, in its sole discretion, choose to accept or reject an offer of sponsorship from individual persons, businesses, corporations or organizations who wish to sponsor particular Library programs, events, projects or activities.
3. All sponsorship donations will be made to the Library Foundation. Minimum donation categories will be established by the Library’s Board of Trustees.
4. The Library will endeavor to acknowledge sponsors by causing a statement of acknowledgement to be published in Library program directories or schedules, email announcements, other Library publications and communications, and/or on the Library’s internet website. Such acknowledgements shall be limited to identification of the sponsor by name; the sponsor’s company logo (if applicable); and reference to the particular program, event, project or activity sponsored by the donor. The Board delegates authority to the Library Director to determine the appropriate form, place and manner of acknowledgement of Board-approved sponsors, in accordance with this policy.
5. If a Library Trustee is also an officer, director, employee or shareholder of a private for-profit or not-for-profit business, corporation or organization that offers a sponsorship donation to the Board for acceptance on the Library’s behalf, or if a Library Trustee is the actual donor, or one of a group of donors offering to sponsor a Library program, event, project or activity, the Trustee shall disclose to the Library Board the Trustee’s affiliation with, or as, the person or entity offering the sponsorship donation to the Library, prior to any Board discussions or decisions relating to the Library’s acceptance of the proffered sponsorship donation.
7. The Board of Trustees reserves the right to exempt any organizations from this policy in its sole discretion. (June 16, 2010).
The Library welcomes all patrons to use and enjoy to the fullest the facilities of the Library. Accordingly, the Board of Trustees has adopted the following regulations:
A. Any behavior contrary to law is prohibited.
B. Illegal drugs and weapons are prohibited from the Library building and grounds.
C. Damage or destruction of Library property or the property of other patrons is prohibited. Mutilating, defacing or otherwise damaging Library materials by underlining, highlighting, removing pages or portions of pages, removing book bindings or electronic anti-theft devices is prohibited.
D. Patrons must be engaged in activities associated with the use of a public library. Patrons not reading, writing, studying, researching, using Library materials, attending programs, or engaging in quiet contemplation associated with these activities will be asked to leave the building.
E. Patrons must respect the rights of other patrons to use the Library for its proper purposes. Patrons must not behave in a manner that disrupts other patrons’ lawful use of the Library. The Library also prohibits patron behavior that interferes with staff members’ performance of their duties.
F. Unnecessary noise, including loud talking, cell phone usage, and the playing of audio or video equipment, is prohibited.
G. Staring at, or following, a patron or staff member in a manner that reasonably can be expected to disturb him/her/them is prohibited.
H. Children under the age of ten (10) are not allowed in the Library without adult supervision. Proper adult supervision means that the child is within eyesight of his/her/their parent or caregiver.
I. The children’s area is intended for use by children and their parents and caregivers. Library staff will ask adults not requiring immediate access to children’s materials to relocate to another area of the Library.
J. Patrons will be required to leave the building if their upper or lower bodies are unclothed. Shoes must be worn at all times.
K. Patrons whose bodily hygiene is so offensive as to constitute a nuisance will be asked to leave the Library.
L. No bathing, shaving, or washing clothes or other misuse of Library restrooms or water fountains is permitted.
M. Food and beverages are prohibited except in designated areas and/or when served with prior approval of the Library. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted except during Library-sponsored events.
N. There is no smoking/vaping on Library property.
O. Use of furniture, floors, or stairways in a manner that hinders access by other patrons, is unsafe, or could damage Library property is forbidden.
P. Running, skateboarding, rollerblading, and other forms of boisterous behavior on Library property are prohibited.
Q. No soliciting, petitioning, or distributing materials in the building or on Library grounds without prior Library permission is permitted.
R. Pets may not be brought into the Library with the exception of service animals as defined by applicable law. (September 18, 2019)
S. Patrons may not enter unauthorized areas of the Library or remain in the Library after closing or during emergency evacuations or drills.
T. Library staff may inspect briefcases, handbags and other personal belongings or packages to assure compliance with Library policies.
The above rules are not intended to be a complete list of violations but are intended for guidance only. The Library Board, the Library Director and Library staff reserve the right to take appropriate actions against any other behavior which can reasonably be deemed to be offensive or disturbing to Library patrons.
The primary responsibility for insuring compliance with these regulations rests with the guards employed by the Library. The guards, and other staff members, are authorized to expel persons who, advised of the regulations above, fail to comply with them.
Misconduct or misuse of Library property on the part of juveniles will be reported to their parents. The Library will seek restitution for damage to Library property or materials from those responsible. Breaches of conduct and misuse of Library property are grounds for denial or revocation of Library privileges. Any patron whose privileges have been denied or revoked shall have a right to appeal to the Board of Trustees of the Library, or to a Hearing Officer designated by the Board of Trustees. The findings and recommendations of the Hearing Officer shall be referred to the Board of Trustees for review and decision. The appeal must be filed within ten (10) days of the date that the patron is notified that the patron’s privileges have been denied or revoked. The decision of the Board shall be final and conclusive.
The Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers of the Library are expected to fulfill the public’s trust and to conduct themselves responsibly in accordance with Library policies and all applicable laws and regulations.
The purpose of this policy is to encourage Library trustees, staff and volunteers to report instances of suspected illegal or improper conduct such as theft, fraud, and mismanagement of Library resources, and violations of Library policies and regulations.
This policy also informs Library trustees, staff and volunteers of the protections afforded them under whistleblower laws. These laws prohibit employers from retaliating against a trustee, employee or volunteer who discloses to the Library information concerning such illegal or wrongful conduct or improper actions, which the person reasonably believes to be true and reasonably believes constitutes an improper action by a trustee, employee or volunteer.
For purposes of this policy, the term “wrongful conduct” shall be defined to include:
• Illegal conduct, including theft of money, property, or resources;
• Misuse of authority for personal gain or other non-Library purpose;
• Violations of applicable federal and state laws and regulations; and/or serious violations of Library policies and/or procedures.
The Library encourages its trustees, staff and volunteers to report known or suspected illegal or wrongful conduct and improper actions as detailed in this policy.
Trustees, staff and volunteers who have knowledge of illegal or wrongful conduct or improper actions by an employee or volunteer or have reasonable cause to believe that such conduct or actions have occurred should report it to the Library Director. If the Director is the person suspected of such conduct or actions, it should be reported to the President of the Board of Trustees.
Trustees, staff and volunteers who have knowledge of illegal or wrongful conduct or improper actions by a trustee or officer or have reasonable cause to believe that such conduct or actions have occurred should report it to the President of the Board. If the Board President is the person suspected of such conduct or actions, it should be reported to the other officers of the Board.
Upon receiving a report of alleged illegal or wrongful conduct or improper actions, the Library Director, Board President or the trustees who serve on the Board’s Executive Committee shall take immediate steps to conduct an investigation with or without designees.
The person or persons conducting the investigation shall maintain a written record of the allegations and the investigation and provide the Board of Trustees with a confidential report.
Except as otherwise provided in state and/or federal law, the person or persons conducting the investigation, or their designees, shall use reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality of the person reporting the alleged conduct or actions, provided that doing so will not interfere with the investigation of the specific allegations and circumstances.
No trustee, employee or volunteer of the Library who in good faith reports any actions or suspected actions taken by Library trustees, employees or volunteers that are illegal, fraudulent or in violation of any substantial Library policy shall suffer intimidation, harassment, discrimination or other retaliation. Additionally, employees who make a good faith report shall not suffer any adverse employment consequences.
ACTING IN GOOD FAITH
Persons reporting suspected or alleged illegal or wrongful conduct or improper actions should be acting in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing their suspicions or allegations to be true. Any allegations that cannot be substantiated and can be reasonably determined to have been made maliciously or knowingly falsely will be considered serious misconduct subjecting the reporting person or persons to consequences for their action, including appropriate discipline in the case of staff.
ALLEGATIONS OF AND COMPLAINTS ABOUT REPRISAL
An employee who has been subject to an adverse employment action based on his/her/their prior disclosure of alleged or actual wrongful conduct may contest the action by filing a written complaint of reprisal with the Library Director. If the allegations involved actions of the Library Director, an employee may contest the action by filing a written complaint of reprisal with the President of the Board.
Any such complaints will be reviewed expeditiously to determine:
• whether the complainant made a disclosure of alleged wrongful conduct before an adverse employment action was taken;
• whether the responding party could reasonably have been construed to have had knowledge of the disclosure and the identity of the disclosing employee;
• whether the complainant has in fact suffered an adverse employment action after having made the disclosure; and
• whether the complainant alleges that adverse employment action occurred as a result of the disclosure.
If the Library Director, Board President, or a designee determines that all of the above elements are present, a review officer or panel shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees to investigate the claim and make recommendations to the Board. At the time of appointment, the complainant and the responding party shall be informed in writing of:
• the intent to proceed with an investigation;
• the specific allegations to be investigated;
• the appointment of the review officer or panel; and
• the opportunity of each party to support, or respond in writing, to the allegation.
Once the review officer or panel has conducted a review and considers the investigation to be complete, the officer or panel will notify the Board of Trustees (and, if applicable, the designee) of its completion. From the date of that notice, the review officer or panel has thirty (30) days to report his/her/their findings and make any recommendations he/she/they deem(s) appropriate to the Board of Trustees. The Board shall issue a letter of findings to both the complainant and the responding party.
Trustees, staff or volunteers asserting that they have suffered intimidation, harassment, discrimination or other retaliation in response to good faith reporting of any actions or suspected actions taken by Library trustees, officers, employees or volunteers that are illegal, fraudulent or in violation of any substantial Library policy, shall submit such complaint, in writing, to the Board of Trustees, and the Board of Trustees, or its designee, shall investigate such complaint and shall, absent a compelling circumstance, issue a determination and implement remedial measures, if any, within sixty (60) days.
LEGITIMATE EMPLOYMENT DECISIONS AND ACTIONS
Nothing in this policy is intended to interfere with legitimate employment decisions. Moreover, the protections afforded under this policy and whistleblower laws are not applicable under circumstances where the Library had or has independent grounds for disciplinary actions and proceedings against an employee.
REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES
The Board of Trustees or their designee may establish procedures necessary to implement this policy.
DISSEMINATION OF THIS POLICY
This policy and any accompanying procedures shall be published, posted on the Library’s official bulletin board in the Administration wing, and distributed to all trustees, staff and volunteers.
ANNUAL REVIEW OF THIS POLICY
The Board of Trustees and the Library Director will annually review this policy and any related procedures to determine if modifications are necessary or appropriate. [Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Port Washington Public Library February 25, 2015].