Policies

Index

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

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

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

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

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.

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Code of Conduct

Updated February 20, 2007

Library patrons are expected to use the library, including its facilities, grounds, resources, and materials in a responsible, appropriate, and courteous manner. Illegal acts or conduct in violation of federal, state, or local laws, ordinances, or regulations are prohibited. Behavior that disturbs or infringes on the rights of other library patrons, staff, or volunteers, or which damages library materials and property is not permitted. This policy applies to patrons of all ages.

Actions prohibited include, but are not limited to:

  • Engaging in disorderly conduct; drunken, dangerous or threatening behavior; fighting or challenging to fight; running; or using offensive or threatening words which disturb the good order of the library, and any other behavior that is disruptive to library use.
  • Stealing, damaging, altering, or inappropriately using library property in the library or on library grounds, including library materials, computer hardware and software, printers, copiers, phones, furniture, and other equipment.
  • Refusing to comply with requests by members of the library staff to comply with library policies.
  • Using offensive or threatening behavior and language or behaving disrespectfully toward a library employee, volunteer, or patron.
  • Blocking entryways, vestibules, book returns, restrooms, staircases, elevators, or other common areas.
  • Any forms of harassment – physical, sexual, verbal – of library patrons, staff, or volunteers. Harassment may include initiating unwanted conversations, impeding access to the building, stalking, and the like.
  • Displaying obscene or sexually explicit materials or Internet sites in violation of 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 5903. (See also Computer and Internet Use Policy)
  • Excessive noise and other disturbances such as loud conversations, laughter, cell phone use, or music which is disturbing to others, separate from an authorized library program.
  • Use of the library’s staff telephones for cases other than emergencies.
  • Soliciting, conducting surveys, and petitioning, except for library or library-related activities.
  • Possessing or consuming alcohol or illegal drugs or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Smoking or other use of tobacco.
  • Consuming food or beverages in any type container, except when sanctioned by the library.
  • Being in the library without shoes or shirt or with offensive body odor or personal hygiene.
  • Bringing animals or pets into the library, except for service animals or for library programs.
  • Intentionally damaging, destroying, or stealing any property belonging to the library, a patron, or an employee.
  • Removing library materials from the premises without authorization through established lending procedures.
  • Using cell phones in the library. Cell phone calls must be taken in the building lobby or outside. Cell phones and pagers should be turned off or set to “manner mode” when in the library.
  • Moving library furniture, beyond ordinary use, without library staff permission.
  • Leaving a child under the age of 10 unattended by a responsible person. (See also Unattended Children Policy)
  • Misuse of restrooms. Smoking, bathing, hair-washing and doing laundry are not acceptable.
  • Possessing weapons or explosives of any kind on library property, except those worn by uniformed officials.
  • Indecent exposure.
  • Gambling.
  • Using sports equipment including bicycles, skateboards, and other wheeled devices in the library, with the exception of motorized ADA devices, wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers.
  • Trespassing in non-public areas without the permission of library staff.
  • Abuse of borrowing privileges.
  • Littering.

Noncompliance

  • Failure to comply with this policy and/or the library’s established rules, regulations, and procedures will result in a warning and may also result in exclusion from the library for the day or for a specified period of time or permanently, and/or arrest.
  • Library staff and volunteers will not hesitate to call the Moon Township Police if they feel there is an imminent danger to patrons, staff, or the library facilities.
  • The following activities are serious offenses and will result in permanent expulsion from the library:
    • Theft or damage of library materials or property.
    • Communication of threats, physical violence, or sexual offenses.
  • Any person who is asked to leave the library as a result of violating these guidelines and refuses to do so shall be considered trespassing. The library staff will contact the Moon Township Police Department in all such cases.
  • Any patron whose privileges have been denied by library staff may appeal the decision to the Moon Township Public Library Board of Trustees within thirty (30) days of the decision.

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Borrowing Items

Updated September 17, 2009

Checking Out Materials

  • All borrowers must have a valid library card from Moon Township Public Library or any other Allegheny County Library Association library.
  • Borrowers who have accumulated unpaid fines of $10.00 or more will cannot borrow any items until they pay their fines.
  • Reference materials, current magazines, newspapers, and textbooks can be used in the library but cannot be borrowed.
  • To ensure that every patron has equal access to items, librarians may limit the lending period or number of renewals based on availability. This is especially true if there is high demand for an item.
  • However, a librarian may extend an item’s loan period under special circumstances such as long-term travel, illness, etc.
  • If the item is not owned by Moon Township Public Library, then loan periods can only be extended at the discretion of the item’s library.

Reserving Materials

  • There are 3 ways to put your name on the waiting list for an item.
    1. Speak to a staff member at the circulation desk
    2. Call the library at 412-269-0334
    3. Place a hold online
  • There is no charge for reserving materials unless the owning library requires a fee.
  • When materials you have reserved are ready for pickup, you will be notified automatically via the email address or phone number on your patron record. If you need to update your personal information or sign up for email notification, please speak to a staff member or use My Account.
  • If no eiNetwork library owns the item you want and the item is not a current year fiction or audiovisual title, you may be able to borrow the item from a library outside the network via interlibrary loan. To do this, use methods 1 or 2 above or fill out an Interlibrary Loan Request Form.

Renewing Materials

  • Any circulating item may be renewed 2 consecutive times per household unless the item is part of the “Orange Dot” Bestseller Collection or the item has been reserved by another patron.
  • Materials borrowed via interlibrary loan must be renewed by the Interlibrary Loan Department at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and are subject to their regulations and the policies of the owning libraries.
  • You can renew materials on or before the day they are due using one of the following methods:
    1. Bring the materials to the library circulation desk
    2. Use the Automated Telephone Renewal Service
    3. Use My Account (Note: If your card has expired, you owe $10.00 or more in fines, or your items are overdue or have been reserved by other patrons, you will not be able to renew your items using My Account)

Returning Materials

  • Materials owned by Moon Township Public Library and other eiNetwork libraries may be returned to any eiNetwork library regardless of where they were originally checked out.
  • If you are not sure when your materials are due, please contact Moon Township Public Library at 412-269-0334 or use My Account to check the status of your items.
  • Materials that are placed in the book drops after the library closes will be checked in on the next day that the library is open. No overdue fines will be charged for the day the materials were returned or for any intervening days that the library is closed prior to check in.

Fines and Fees

  • For information about library fines, please see our table of Loan Periods, Lending Limits, and Late Fees.
  • Overdue fines begin accruing the day after an item is due and fines are only charged for days that the library is open. The fine for each item accrues to the cost of the item, with the maximum fine being $10.00 or the cost of the item, whichever figure is lower.
  • Overdue fines for items borrowed from libraries outside the network via interlibrary loan are subject to the policies of the owning libraries.
  • Fines may be paid at the circulation desk using cash or a check. If your fines exceed $2.00, you may use Visa, MasterCard, or Discover Card to pay your fines online at My Account.

Lost and Damaged Materials

  • The charge for a damaged Moon Township Public Library item varies according to its original cost, the cost to repair the item, and other factors. Assessment is determined by the supervising librarian.
  • The charge for a lost or damaged Moon Township Public Library barcode is $2.00.
  • If you lose an item that belongs to Moon Township Public Library, please report the loss to the library and you will be charged the cost of the item plus a $5.00 processing fee. If you find the item within 30 days of payment, you may return the item to the library for a full refund.
  • You have the option to purchase a replacement as long as it is an exact duplicate of the lost item, but there is still a $5.00 processing fee.
  • Charges for lost or damaged items borrowed from other eiNetwork libraries or from libraries outside the network via interlibrary loan are subject to the policies of the owning libraries.

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Computer and Internet Use

Updated August 21, 2007

General Guidelines

  1. Fees
    • Use of the computers is free to all patrons.
    • Charge for printing is $.10 per page for black and white; 50¢ per page for color. The printing fee is still charged even if a patron provides their own paper, as this helps to cover maintenance and toner costs associated with operating printers.
  2. Sign-up and Limits
    • Computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
    • A valid library card is necessary to use the computers. For individuals who are visiting the area and need a computer for one-time only use, guest passes are available at the circulation desk.
    • Computer use may be limited to 1 hour a day per person, based upon demand.
    • Cardholders with fines exceeding $10.00 will not be granted computer access.
  3. Patron assistance
    • Circulation desk staff are not available for assistance with computers other than for logging on and minor problem solving. Please ask the librarian on duty for assistance.
    • One-on-one classes on basic use of the computers are available. Please speak to a librarian for more information and to register for a class.
  4. Supplies
    • 1GB USB flash drives ($10.00) and CD-RWs ($1.00) are available for purchase at the circulation desk.
  5. Security
    • A security system has been installed on all of the library’s computers, along with passwords. Deletion of passwords or other alteration of normal settings will cause the user to be unable to continue program use. Patrons found altering settings will be prevented from using the library’s computers.
    • Patrons are unable to load (or download) programs onto the library’s computer hard drives
    • Patrons may not copy programs from the computer. This is stealing and a violation of copyright law.
  6. Children’s Computers
    • Computers in the children’s area are limited to use by children and their parents or legal guardians. All children under the age of 18 will be directed to use the computers in this area unless they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who will take responsibility for materials viewed in the adult computer section.
  7. Disclaimer
    • Moon Township Public Library is not responsible for damage to users’ disks or for any loss of data, damage, or liability that may occur from use of the library’s computers.
    • Administration does not expect staff to police patrons on their use of information resources. This policy does not supersede or eliminate the parental responsibility with regard to monitoring children’s computer/Internet use.

Access to Internet Resources

Moon Township Public Library provides free public access to the Internet, a medium that offers a wealth of educational, recreational, and cultural information for library users. Because the Internet is a vast, unregulated medium, the library cannot control and is not responsible for the content or accuracy of information accessed via the Internet, including information contained in email, chat rooms, and other forms of electronic communications. This policy represents the library’s best judgment about the most effective way to offer patrons access to this valuable, but controversial resource.

  1. Moon Township Public Library accepts and complies with the Electronic Information Network’s (eiNetwork) Policy Statement on Internet and Computer Use.
  2. The library provides access to Internet resources equally to all library users and upholds and affirms the right of each individual to have access to constitutionally protected material.
  3. In part because the Internet is unregulated, the library does not monitor, and cannot control, information that may be accessed by patrons, including minors, through the Internet. The library considers it important to let Internet users know that filters are unreliable. Information accessed through the Internet may contain material that is incorrect, inauthentic, unreliable, illegal, obscene, or sexually explicit and may fit the legal definition recorded by the Pennsylvania Obscenity Statue as being “harmful to minors.”
    • “Harmful to minors” involves material or performances that involve explicit sexual materials that depict nudity, sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse and appeal predominantly to prurient, shameful or morbid interest of minors, is offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community, and taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political, educational or scientific value for minors (Pennsylvania Obscenity Statue – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 5903).
    • Patrons viewing such materials will be told that they must comply with the law. Repeat offenders will be banned from using the library’s computers.
  4. Children’s access to the Internet, like other library materials, is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian, and not the library or its staff.
  5. Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding users’ activities on the Internet. Moon Township Public Library, however, will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by members of the public except as required by law or for the proper operation of the library.
  6. Moon Township Public Library has selected Internet sites to link to its home page in accordance with its Collection Development Policy. Beyond this, the library does not assume responsibility for any content found on the Internet outside of the library’s home page, for changes in the content of the sources to which the library’s home page links, or for the content of sources accessed by the user through secondary links.
    • The fact that the library has provided a link to an external site does not constitute an endorsement, authorization, sponsorship or affiliation by the library to the site, its owners, or any products or services mentioned on the site.
  7. The use of the library’s computers for game playing, email, and chat is viewed as low-priority use. The library reserves the right to limit these activities on its computers.
  8. The library assumes no responsibility for damages, direct or indirect, arising from the use of information accessed through the library’s Internet service.
  9. Wireless Internet Access
    • Moon Township Public Library provides free wireless access to the Internet for patrons wishing to use personal laptops in the library.
    • All patrons using wireless access in the library are bound to comply with the rules as outlined in this policy.
    • Moon Township Public Library is not responsible for any changes made to settings as a result of attempting to connect to the wireless network. It is expected that the user/owner of the laptop is capable of configuring the network settings on their own computer. The library staff is not trained to configure laptops to utilize the network and cannot provide assistance with this task.

CIPA Compliance

  1. Moon Township Public Library complies with the requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).
    • The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a federal law that requires all computers in a public library to be filtered if that library accepts any federal funds for Internet access or computers used for Internet access (Supreme Court Decision: United States v. American Library Association, Inc., No. 02-361 (June 23, 2003)).
  2. All computers in Moon Township Public Library are filtered with software provided by the eiNetwork. The eiNetwork has a filtering software policy. It is important to be aware that filters are unreliable, at times blocking sites of legitimate informational or educational value, or allowing access to sites that are illegal, obscene, or sexually explicit within the meaning of 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 5903.
  3. Parents or legal guardians, and not library staff, are responsible for monitoring their children’s use of the Internet. The library strongly encourages parents or legal guardians to supervise their children’s Internet use and to provide them with guidelines about acceptable use.
  4. Under CIPA, library staff should disable a filter for adults (17 years of age or older) when requested.
  5. Under CIPA, library staff may disable a filter for a minor (age 16 years or younger) in the event that a filter erroneously blocks access to an Internet site with legitimate informational value.
  6. Moon Township Public Library is not responsible for any patron’s unauthorized use of a computer with a disabled filter.
  7. Any patron who wishes to file a complaint about the filtering software on the library’s computers may do so within thirty (30) days of use to:
    • The Library Director and/or the Library Board President
    • The Director of the eiNetwork
    • The Federal Communications Commission

Compliance with Library Policy and Guidelines

  1. Computer workstations cannot be used for any fraudulent or unlawful purpose, including any activities prohibited under any applicable federal, Pennsylvania, or local laws, including activities in violation of 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 5903. Any illegal activity involving the library’s computer/Internet resources or equipment will be subject to prosecution by the appropriate authorities.
  2. Violations of the policies and regulations that govern use of the library’s computer resources may result in suspension or loss of the privilege to use these resources.
  3. Moon Township Public Library reserves the right to take appropriate action to ensure compliance with this policy.
  4. In the application and interpretation of this policy, Moon Township Public Library will use as reference The American Library Association’s Code of Ethics, Freedom to Read Statement, Library Bill of Rights, and interpretations as they apply to electronic resources.

Review and Revision

  1. This policy is subject to periodic review by the Library Board of Trustees

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Confidentiality

Confidentiality Policy

Updated August 21, 2007

  1. The Board of Trustees and the administration of Moon Township Public Library specifically recognize that library records and patron information are confidential in accordance with Pennsylvania law: 24 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 4428.
  2. The Board of Trustees supports the concept of intellectual freedom and the right of each citizen, regardless of age, to free access to information without fear of intimidation or recrimination.
  3. Further, the Board of Trustees supports the American Library Association’s Library Code of Ethics, Section III:
    • “We protect each Library user’s right to privacy and confidentially with respect to information sought or received and materials consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted.”
  4. In all instances and regardless of circumstances, Moon Township Public Library safeguards access to patron library records and restricts access to that information to only the patron who owns the library card and provides that card or to the parent/legal guardian of a minor child with the stipulations and exceptions specified below in section 7.
  5. No patron records will be made available to federal, state or local law enforcement agencies except by a court order as required by law.
    • 5.1. Court orders from law enforcement officers will be referred to the library director who will seek legal council. Other library employees will not provide any patron records to law enforcement agencies under any circumstances.
    • 5.2. The library will take appropriate action as is necessary to determine that any court order or process issued by any court or pursuant to any court rule or any agency of government requires that such records be made available.
  6. The library advises all employees, volunteers, and patrons that all library records that contain names and other personal details regarding the users of the library are confidential.
    • When library employees or volunteers speak either in person or on the telephone to anybody other than the patron, or to a person who cannot produce their library card number and provide other identification, information regarding:
      • Items checked out
      • Items over
      • Fines
      • Holds on items
    • will be restricted to information that does not reveal the content, such as number of items checked out or figures owed for fines. Addresses, phone numbers, or any other personal information from patron records will not be given out under the above circumstances.
  7. A child’s library record has the same confidentiality protection under library policy as that of any other library patron with the following exceptions:
    • 7.1. Parents/legal guardians are permitted access to the records of their minor children through the age of seventeen (17). The parent/legal guardian must be accompanied by the child, provide the child’s library card, and/or provide other acceptable identification. In the case of telephone inquiries, verification of the child’s address, telephone number, and date of birth are required.
    • 7.2. Parents/legal guardians who have signed their minor child’s applications have assumed financial responsibility for materials checked out to their children’s cards; therefore, parents/legal guardians will be provided specific information about their minor children’s library records when materials are overdue or lost.
  8. No patron may use this policy to steal library materials. In accordance with Library Act 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec 3929.1:
    • In the event of theft, the library will release to the appropriate law enforcement officers the relevant patron records, including the name and address of the person committing the theft and a list of materials stolen with the replacement costs.
  9. All patrons are required to read and sign the patron agreement that is printed on all library card registration forms.

Statement on the PATRIOT Act, National Security, & Patron Privacy

From the American Library Association’s Privacy Issues & Legislation and PATRIOT Act statements.

The “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism” Act, or USA PATRIOT Act, was introduced less than a week after September 11, 2001, and was signed into law on October 26, 2001.

The bill broadly expanded law enforcement’s surveillance and investigative powers and amended more than 15 different statutes, including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA), the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Among other things, the USA PATRIOT Act’s intent was to update wiretap and surveillance laws for the Internet age, addressing real-time communications and stored communications (e-mail, voicemail), and to give law enforcement greater authority to conduct searches of property.

President Bush signed the USA PATRIOT Act reauthorization legislation, which differs somewhat from the original legislation into law on March 9, 2006. A sunset of December 31, 2009, was established for Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, commonly referred to as the “library provision.”

The ALA believes certain sections of the USA PATRIOT Act endanger constitutional rights and privacy rights of library users. Libraries cooperate with law enforcement when presented with a lawful court order to obtain specific information about specific patrons; however, the library profession is concerned some provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act go beyond the traditional methods of seeking information from libraries.

Protecting patron privacy and the confidentiality of library records are deep and longstanding principles of librarianship that guide the ALA’s legislative and policy activities on privacy and surveillance issues. The freedom to read is an inherently important part of our First Amendment rights and civil liberties.

The ALA, together with its many coalition partners, will continue to fight to require a judicial warrant, based on probable cause, for the issuance of “national security letters” requiring the disclosure to authorities of any person’s private information, (including particularly library borrowing and internet usage records) and for the imposition of any associated “gag” orders.

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Unattended Children & Mandatory Reporting

Updated February 20, 2007
Moon Township Public Library is dedicated to providing a welcoming and safe environment for all ages. However, as a facility open to the public, anyone may enter and use the facilities. Moon Township Public Library has adopted the following unattended children policy:

  1. Parents or legal guardians, not library staff, are responsible for the behavior and supervision of their children (under the age of 18) while using Moon Township Public Library, regardless of whether they are accompanying their children or not.
  2. The library staff is not responsible for any unattended minor child(ren).
  3. The library staff is not responsible for preventing a child(ren) from leaving the building.
  4. Children attending Library programs are, for the duration of the program only, considered to be supervised by library staff and thus are not unattended.
  5. The accompanying adult is responsible for children up to age 10 while in the library and may not leave the child(ren) unattended in the library.
  6. Children over the age of 10 should not be left unaccompanied in the library for prolonged periods of time or on a repetitive daily or weekly basis.
  7. The library staff will deal with a child(ren) left at closing by calling the police if the parent or legal guardian cannot be contacted. Two staff members will remain with the child until the police arrive. This includes children below the age of thirteen (13) or those who are older but appear to need staff help. Under no circumstance will a staff member take a child off of library premises.

Our librarians are considered Mandated Reporters and are required to report suspected child abuse if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect.

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Emergency Closures

Updated March 20, 2007

In the event that Moon Township closes all of its municipal facilities, the library will automatically be closed and rely on the Township to perform necessary notifications.

Circumstances which could precipitate closure include failure of heating/cooling equipment during periods of extreme weather, heavy snowfall, unsafe road conditions, lack of electrical power, lack of computers available at the circulation desk for an extended period of time, or any situation creating an unsafe environment.

After the decision is made to close, the director or other staff will contact the following:

  • Moon Township Municipal Office
  • Moon Cable Access (Channel 14)
  • WPXI (Channel 11)
  • Staff members scheduled to work

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