Policies

Porter County Library Policies
Porter County Public Library System’s Policies

The policies at PCPLS are designed to help every library patron have a great experience. From checking out materials at your local branch to keeping your library records confidential, the PCPLS staff works diligently to uphold the library’s mission and objectives. The following policies are tools for our staff to maintain the condition of materials and to protect our patrons’ privacy.

Refund Policy

Returned Lost and Paid Material
Once a lost book or other material has been paid for by the patron, the money is non-refundable and if subsequently found, the patron may keep the material or donate it back to the library.

Privacy Policy

Confidentiality of Library Records

The circulation records and other records identifying the names of library users with specific materials are for the sole purposes of protecting public property and compiling statistical information. The Board of Trustees recognizes these records to be confidential in nature. Such records shall not be used either directly or indirectly to otherwise identify the types of materials used by patrons or to determine the purpose for which a patron requests information or library material.

Such records shall not be made available to any agency, group or individual 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 powers.

Upon receipt of such process, order, or subpoena, the library director will consult with 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; if the process, order, or subpoena is not in proper form or if good cause has not been shown, the director will insist that such defects be cured.

Any costs incurred, as a result of such order, in a search of patron records, shall be borne by the agency, group or individual demanding the search.

Meeting Room Policy

The Porter County Public Library System has meeting rooms available at no charge for all who wish to present programs or hold meetings, with the following provisions:

  1. Meeting/conference/group study rooms are available at all library buildings. Reserving the rooms can be done 6 months in advance through the online reservation system. If you are unable to use the online reservation system, contact the Circulation Department. The person reserving the room must have a PCPLS card in good standing, or have approval from the Branch Manager.
  2. All meetings must be open to the general public. No fee may be charged unless co-sponsored by the library. Solicitation is not allowed (eg.: sales presentations , membership recruitment, etc.).
  3. Use of a meeting room is subject to the approval of the Director or Branch Manager. The Library Board of Trustees is the sole arbiter of any questions relating to the use of a meeting room.
  4. Library-sponsored or co-sponsored programs take precedence over other programs or meetings. The library reserves the right to change or cancel reservations.
  5. Rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations must be made in advance. Same day scheduling will be done only at the discretion of the Branch Manager. Rooms may be made available for serious small group study or tutoring sessions at the discretion of the Branch Manager. Maximum attendance is limited by the size of the room available.
  6. Advance notice of 24 hours must be given to the library in the event that a scheduled meeting is canceled or postponed. Failure to notify the library will result in a warning the first time and a suspension for one year of meeting room usage privileges the second time. If a group does not show up for their scheduled meeting, after 30 minutes their reservation will be canceled.
  7. Meetings must be of a nature which would not interfere with the normal operations of the library.
  8. Only the library or a library-sponsored group may conduct a fund-raiser or purely social event in the library (eg.: birthday parties, showers, reunions, etc.). Others wishing to conduct fund-raising activities must secure permission from the Library Director or Branch Manager.
  9. The library meeting rooms are available during library hours at each facility unless otherwise approved in advance by the Library Director or Branch Manager. All meeting rooms must be vacated 15 minutes before closing. No one will be permitted to remain in the buildings after closing. No meetings can be scheduled on Sundays or holidays when the buildings are closed.
  10. Granting the use of a meeting room does not imply approval by the library of those using the room or the ideas presented. Publicity for a meeting by a non-library group in a library meeting room must not be worded or presented in a manner which would imply library sponsorship of the group’s activities.
  11. Smoking is not permitted in the library facilities. All open flames, including the use of candles, are prohibited by state fire regulations.
  12. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the meeting rooms or on library premises.
  13. The person reserving the meeting room assumes full responsibility for any damages incurred resulting from the use of the meeting room facilities. Abuse of the facilities will be sufficient cause to deny further use of a room.
  14. Those using a meeting room are responsible for set-up before and clean up after their meeting and for leaving the room in the approved configuration; this includes vacuuming, washing tables and stacking the extra chairs on the appropriate chair dollies. All marker boards are to be erased after each meeting. If crafts are done, please cover tables. Include set-up and clean-up time when scheduling a reservation.
  15. Use of the kitchen facilities must be scheduled prior to the meeting. Light refreshments only may be served in a meeting room. Extreme care must be exercised in using the facilities and disposing of all refuse. All dishes, utensils, silverware, napkins, towels and liquid soaps are to be furnished by those using a meeting room.
  16. Attendance at each meeting shall be recorded on the attendance card provided by the library. It is the responsibility of those using the room to see that this card is completed and given to library personnel.
  17. Library personnel, services, and collections may be used to supplement any meeting or program. Please give advance notice.
  18. If equipment is needed for a meeting, it must be reserved at the time of application. Instruction in the use of the equipment must be arranged in advance of the meeting. Testing equipment compatibility prior to your meeting is highly recommended.
  19. Children and teens using a meeting room must be supervised by adults. The adult supervisors will be responsible for any damage.
  20. If children are brought to adult meetings, the accompanying adult is responsible for the children’s behavior throughout the building. If children create a disturbance in the library, they will be required to stay with the adult in the meeting room.
  21. The library assumes no responsibility for damages to, or loss of property of, those using a meeting room. Personal articles found in the meeting rooms will be held at the Circulation Desk for sixty days.
  22. Generally, no one may use a meeting room more than once a week. Exceptions may be granted by the Library Director or Branch Manager.
  23. Failure to abide by any of these rules or to cooperate with library staff may result in the loss of meeting room privileges.

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