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December 15, 2017
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Library Board Policies - Operational Policies

Hours of Operation:

The hours of operation shall be determined by the Board in accordance with their service objectives and subject to their financial resources.

The Board shall provide notice of changes in operation 30 days prior to the change becoming effective.

In the event of severe storms, electrical service failure or other physical problems that make the facilities unusable, the Director of Library Services or designate shall have the power to close the facility for the duration of the problem.  During a temporary closure, every effort will be made to inform the public and staff.  The Director of Library Services will also advise the Board Chair as well as the Mayor and Town’s Chief Administrative Officer.

Membership:

Membership in the Halton Hills Public Library is free to anyone who is:

  • a permanent resident of the municipality or
  • works for a firm/organization located in the municipality or
  • studies in an educational institution located in the municipality or
  • a non-resident but pays taxes (household or business) within the municipality.

This is a lifetime membership, assuming active use of the library and compliance with Library Board policies.

Eligibility:

Eligibility for membership is extended on a reciprocal basis to the members of other public libraries in the Regions of Halton and the County of Wellington.  Members of other libraries in these regions, by presenting their card from their home library as proof of eligibility, may register in Halton Hills with no charge.

Persons lacking an objective form of identification which includes a birth date and who appear to be under the age of 15 shall have a parent/guardian acknowledge acceptance of responsibility for any material borrowed.

Persons registering for membership shall supply identification which verifies their eligibility for membership.

Non-residents of Halton Hills who are not eligible for membership under any of the other provisions or reciprocal agreements may obtain a card upon payment of a yearly fee as outlined under the Charges and Fines Appendix #2.

The privilege of membership may be withdrawn from any person who willfully or negligently contravenes the rules of the library or who damages library material or property or who refuses to return or pay for lost or damaged material borrowed on his/her card.

Access and Lending Policies:

In accordance with the Public Libraries Act, no charge shall be made for access to this library's collection or for borrowing any of the material specified in the regulation.

The Director of Library Services or designate may make such rules and regulations governing the circulation and use of library material as may be required.  The loan periods and terms of circulation for various materials are set out in Appendix #1.

Patrons must present their membership card to borrow, renew material or pick up their reserved material.

Overdues and Recovery of Material:

Public library services are based on the principle that library patrons assume certain responsibilities when using a community resource.  One of these responsibilities is to return borrowed material by the specified due date so that material is available to others.  The non-receipt of notices or the fact that the library may not be open at any given time shall not absolve the borrower of his/her responsibility.

To encourage the prompt return of material and ensure fair use of its services, the Halton Hills Public Library has established overdue fine rates.  All borrowers shall be subject to fines but supervisory staff may exercise discretion in the application (e.g., waiving due to infirmity, bereavement or other exceptional circumstances).  Fine rates are reviewed annually to ensure that they are reasonable and do not deter use.  Patrons may examine their own record at any time to determine what material and/or fines they have outstanding.

The library has established a process for the handling of overdue material.  This process is as follows:

  • Two days prior to the due date of items, any patron who has provided the library with an e-mail address and provided consent to receive this service will be sent a notification that his/her items are coming due.
  • At 3 days overdue, the patron is advised via an automated telephone call or by e-mail (if he/she has provided the library with an e-mail address and consent) to return the material.
  • At four weeks overdue, the patron is advised via an automated telephone call or by e-mail (if he/she has provided the library with an e-mail address and consent) to return the material.
  • At eight weeks overdue, the patron is advised via an automated telephone call or by e-mail (if he/she has provided the library with an e-mail address and consent) to return the material.
  • At twelve weeks overdue, the patron is advised a final time via an automated telephone call or by e-mail (if he/she has provided the library with an e-mail address and consent) to return the material.
  • At 6 months overdue, the material is considered “lost”, and the system automatically adds a replacement cost to the patron’s record.  Staff will advise the patron of this replacement cost by mailing out a notice detailing the charges.   Patrons may also receive an e-mail regarding the charges if they have provided the library with an e-mail address and chosen to receive notices by e-mail.
  • At 8 months overdue, if the patron has not paid the replacement cost, the Circulation Supervisor will notify the patron in writing that failure to pay his/her account within one month’s time may result in referral to a collection agency.  If the material is returned, the replacement cost is waived, although the patron will be required to pay the fines owing.
  • At 9 months overdue, patrons with unresolved accounts may be referred to a collection agency. An attempt will be made to recover costs associated with the overdues retrieval from the patron.
  • In exceptional circumstances the Board reserves the right to undertake legal proceedings, if warranted.

At any point during the above process, patrons may state that they have returned the material.  These patrons must complete a “claims returned form”.  Once material is assigned a “claimed returned” status, staff will check the shelves for six months.  If the material is found, it is checked in and fines are waived.  If material is not found at the end of six months, a replacement cost is added to the patron’s record.

Supervisory staff has the discretion to override or waive “blocks” according to established procedures.  Patrons may appeal staff decisions to the Director of Library Services.  Patrons may then appeal the Director’s decision to the Library Board.

The library will inform patrons about the fines and the handling of overdue material through publicity.   The message conveyed to the public should not be a punitive one.  The overriding goal is to protect the collection so that there is sufficient material for all patrons to enjoy.

Revised/Approved:   February 11, 2015