Kent County, DE Policy Manual
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Kent County Code References
Chapter 53 — Library Advisory Committee.

§ 23-1 Circulation policy.

[Adopted 2-11-2003 (L-1B)]
A. 
Who may borrow. Any person who resides in, or owns property in Delaware, or who works in Kent County.
B. 
Loan period. Most material may be borrowed for two weeks, with renewal allowed for any item that does not have a reserve for another patron. Videotapes and other special materials may not be renewed. Certain categories of materials may have different loan periods. Some materials may be designated as noncirculating.
C. 
Overdue, lost and damaged materials.
(1) 
Two notifications are sent to patrons if materials are overdue. The first overdue notice will be sent out one month after the due date. A second notice will be sent out one month after the first notice and will include a charge for the item. Bills will also be sent for any materials which are damaged or lost by a patron. In both cases, borrowing privileges will be suspended from the date on which the bill is mailed to the date on which payment (or return of undamaged items) is received. In addition, for damaged machine-dependent materials, such as videos or cassettes, a copy of the receipt for repair of the machine, or purchase of a new machine, may be requested before loans of this type of material resume. Prices for charges will be the replacement costs, as found in Books in Print, or similar directories for nonprint materials.
(2) 
A patron who has checked out an item from the Kent County Division of Library Services (Library or Bookmobile) and has not returned that item on time will be assessed an overdue fee of $0.10 per day, per item, beyond the normal two-week (14 calendar days) loan period.[1] Items covered include: books (hard- and softcover), recorded books (includes tape and CD formats), videotapes and DVD's.
[1]
Editor's Note: The overdue fee of $0.10 was implemented 4-1-2003.
D. 
Patron registration.
(1) 
Each user of the Kent County Bookmobile will be issued his or her own card, including children. Should a parent not wish a card issued to each child, the parent may check out items on his or her card for a child. However, children may not check out items on a parent's card. The parent must be present for items to be checked out on his or her card.
(2) 
In order to check out materials, a patron registration form must be completed and signed. For children under the age of 16, a parent's signature must be obtained. In order to get a card, a patron must present proof of residence or property in Delaware, or employment in Kent County. This may take the form of a driver's license, a piece of mail addressed to the patron, a checkbook, a rent receipt, or any official document verifying eligibility. If a patron has no such verification, he or she may check out two items at that visit, and a letter of verification will be sent to the home address indicated. The next time that patron wishes to check out library materials, he or she must bring the letter of verification with him or her to finalize the registration.
(3) 
The patron registration form has a statement of responsibility for library material checked out on that card. The signature of the patron on the registration form indicates acceptance of this responsibility, and patrons will be held responsible for any material checked out on their cards. Possession of a library card will be considered expressed permission from the patron registered to the carrier of the card to check out materials, unless the patron registered for the card notifies the Kent County Division of Library Services that the card has been lost or stolen.
(4) 
There is no replacement fee for the first lost library card. Should a patron lose more than one library card, subsequent replacement cards will carry a fee of $1. This must be paid at the time the replacement card is issued.
(5) 
Patrons must bring their library cards with them to check out materials from the Mobile Library.
(6) 
Video check-out privileges are extended to all card holders.

§ 23-2 Collection development.

[Adopted 2-26-1991 (L-2)]
A. 
General.
(1) 
The Kent County Division of Library Services strives to provide a well-balanced collection of general and specialized materials to meet the needs of County residents. The purpose of this section is to establish policies and principles which will guide library staff in the selection of materials of contemporary significance and/or permanent value. This section is also designed to inform library users seeking to understand the process of materials selection, maintenance, and composition of library collections.
(2) 
While a collection development policy cannot replace the judgment of librarians, it does provide a statement of goals and criteria to assist library staff in its selection choices from a vast array of available materials. With the proliferation of information sources and technology, selection and maintenance of library collections has become an increasingly complex responsibility. This section is intended to guide the Kent County Division of Library Services in its efforts to provide Kent County with library materials responsive to the information needs of citizens, by developing long-range plans, and determining realistic funding priorities.
(3) 
The Kent County Levy Court and Division staff believe that the right to read and the right to free access to the library collection for all persons are essential to the freedom of thought that is basic to democracy. Accordingly, the Levy Court has adopted the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read statement, and the Freedom to View Statement developed by the American Library Association.
B. 
Responsibility for selection. The County Librarian, operating within County policies, is responsible for the selection of books and other library materials, and for the weeding out of worn and outdated materials. The County Librarian may delegate this responsibility to designated staff, who recommend policy and establish selection and weeding out procedures.
C. 
General selection criteria.
(1) 
Objectives in selection.
(a) 
The Kent County Division of Library Services strives to provide a comprehensive, well-balanced collection of general and specialized materials to meet the needs of the County. More specifically, library materials are provided to:
[1] 
Facilitate informal education and encourage lifelong learning.
[2] 
Meet the informational and entertainment needs of County residents.
[3] 
Support the educational, civic, and cultural use of leisure time.
(b) 
It should be emphasized that the provision of materials means more than occasional availability. The collection should have a supply sufficient to make the library a dependable source for most people most of the time. In addition to books, the library also selects and provides sources of knowledge and opinion in other formats, including audiovisual materials and computerized information sources.
(2) 
Selection factors.
(a) 
Materials are chosen on a selective basis, to improve the quality and representation of the collection. Selection decisions are based on:
[1] 
Accuracy of information.
[2] 
Authoritativeness.
[3] 
Readability.
[4] 
Social significance.
[5] 
Availability of funds.
[6] 
Favorable reviews in critical library publications and other review publications.
(b) 
Other methods of evaluation may either supplement or be substituted for favorable reviews, including an examination of the book itself. Special need for and scarcity of material on a particular subject will be taken into consideration.
(c) 
Materials may be purchased because of their popularity and the great public interest they have aroused, despite the fact that they may not meet the usual standards of literary quality. Whenever possible, duplicate copies of very popular titles will be purchased. Duplication of titles within the collection is contingent upon budget as well as demand, to the extent that the collection remains well-balanced in all its goals. Because of the wide range of patrons' subject interests and reading abilities, some titles may be duplicated in the adult, the youth, and the children's collections.
(d) 
Abridged or condensed books are not purchased except when the abridgements are accepted literary works.
(e) 
Materials or human physical development and sex are carefully selected on the basis of scientific accuracy, simplicity and dignity of presentation. This consideration is especially important in selecting materials for the youth and children's collections.
(f) 
Periodic checks shall be made of library holdings against standard library bibliographies and lists, and, where necessary, recommended items acquired. This will assure the possession of important and significant works, and of proper balance within the collection.
(g) 
The requests of library patrons for particular titles are welcome. A copy of the Division's "Patron's Book Request" should be completed so that the requests can be considered for purchase during the selection process.
(3) 
Controversial works. Serious works presenting an honest aspect of some problem of life are not excluded because of coarse language or frankness. The Kent County Division of Library Services subscribes to the American Library Association (ALA) Library Bill of Rights statements.
(a) 
Books relating to countries, races, nationalities, and religious groups are carefully selected, and those which reflect any seriously discriminatory attitudes are not purchased.
(b) 
Books which are recognized as classics and are of considerable literary merit are retained, even though they may contain a word or phrase the is unacceptable by today's standards.
(c) 
The Division will provide works presenting different points of view, thus enabling citizens to make up their own minds about serious and important questions. Books will not be excluded because of the race, nationality, or political or religious views of the writer. Such a policy is in the American tradition of freedom of speech and press. Censorship of books urged or practiced by volunteer arbiters of morals or political opinions will not be accepted.
(d) 
If any title in the collection is criticized or questioned by individuals or organizations, such patrons should fill out and sign the form "Individual's Comments on Library Materials." The form may either be mailed to the Division or given to a staff member. The County Librarian shall review all such requests and may evaluate the material. A letter will be written by the County Librarian to the concerned patron explaining what action was taken, with an appropriate explanation. Patrons who are not satisfied may appeal to the Library Advisory Committee.
(4) 
Student use. General student use of the library is encouraged. However, since funds must cover the needs of a very diverse clientele, especially those without other library facilities, the Division can serve only as a supplementary source for students' reading and reference purposes. In serving as a supplementary source for student use, materials which will also be useful for the general reader will be selected. The Division of Library Services is not able to meet the demand for many multiple copies required for large class assignments. Curricular demands are considered only when they complement the library's general contribution to the community and do not attempt to substitute for the development and use of school library resources.
(5) 
Collections of other institutions. The functions and resources of nearby libraries will be considered in book selection. For example, the presence of research collections at the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, and Wesley College precludes the necessity for the purchase or preservation of books, periodicals, and other materials for the purpose of research.
(6) 
Interlibrary loan. Interlibrary loan is a special cooperative service that is provided by the Division of Library Services to obtain material or information that is not available in the library's collection. Patrons may request specific book titles, periodical articles, or information on a particular subject. This program is not intended as a substitute for developing adequate collections. Rather, it is an effort to provide specialized, technical, and out-of-print materials that are not readily available.
(7) 
Evaluation of materials. A systematic evaluation of materials is made on a regular basis. Evaluation of the materials should take into consideration acquisition needs, repair and replacement possibilities, storage, and disposal. Items will be designated for disposal based on physical wear, low demand for materials, outdated information, and added copies no longer in demand.
(8) 
Replacements. Books withdrawn because of loss, damage or wear are replaced only if they remain useful (current, important in the subject field, in demand, etc.) and if sufficient duplicate copies do not remain in the collection. Generally, no attempt is made to secure out-of-print items.
(9) 
Gifts.
(a) 
Gifts to the Division of Library Services are appreciated. Money for the purchase of materials will be accepted only with the understanding that the Division exercises the final responsibility for deciding which titles will be purchased. However, the librarian will consult with the donor to ensure, so far as possible, that the selections are mutually satisfactory.
(b) 
Gifts of materials are accepted with the understanding that they will be evaluated according to departmental needs and either assigned to the library collections, offered for sale to the public, or discarded. The Division does not appraise gifts for income tax purposes. Gifts of materials are accepted with the understanding that the library staff evaluates the materials using the same criteria utilized for purchased materials.
(c) 
All gift material will be processed and located in the appropriate collection. Gifts of money or materials cannot be accepted if the donor specifies that books are to be kept together or placed in a special collection or location. A special book plate may be placed in gift books indicating the name of the donor, the name of the person in whose honor the book is given, and the name of the library to which the book is donated. Letters of acknowledgment will be sent to donors of memorials and special gifts and, when applicable, to the family of the person in whose name the gift is given.
(d) 
Gifts of mass-market paperback books may be added to the collection of Adult Paperbacks, or maintained as trade/exchange paperback collections. Because of their great popularity, these books may be made available despite the fact that they may not meet the usual standards of literary quality used in buying materials for the library.
(10) 
Copyright.
(a) 
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United State Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request or later uses a photocopy or reproduction for purposed in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.
(b) 
The Division of Library Services will not accept any unauthorized copies or reproductions of copyrighted materials, including books and computer software, as gifts (except from the owner of the copyright) for use in the library. The Division will not copy copyrighted materials from other agencies.
(11) 
Print materials. Print materials are chosen for the information, interest, entertainment, and enlightenment of the people of the community. The emphasis is that all collections will be on current and popular treatment of subjects, with a view to maintaining a lively and active collection.
(a) 
Books.
[1] 
Nonfiction.
[a] 
The nonfiction collection is directed, first of all, to those who must use the public library as their first and primary resource. The Division of Library Services will provide the most useful and basic materials in subjects of established or realistically anticipated demand. General treatment will usually be preferred unless there is an identified need for specific treatment of a subject. In general, textbooks are added only if they provide information on subjects where there is little or no material available in any other form or when the textbook makes a significant contribution to the collection.
[b] 
The Division of Library Services maintains a general collection of historical and current materials about Delaware, as well as a comprehensive collection of local history materials on Kent County. Published genealogical materials relating to the County or cities in Kent County will be collected as part of the local history of Kent County.
[2] 
Fiction. The Division of Library Services recognizes the importance of fiction as a source of enrichment and personal growth; Fiction serves as a medium for recording and molding public opinion, an instrument for developing individual attitudes, and a means of increasing awareness, understanding, perception, and sensibility.
(b) 
Newspapers and periodicals.
[1] 
Current periodicals are used for source material not found in books and are intended for reference use, for recreational reading and to balance the collection. Titles are chosen for timeliness of subject matter, accessibility of content through periodical indexes, subject need, popular demand, and recreational value. Gift subscriptions are accepted, subject to the County Librarian's approval.
[2] 
Back issues of periodicals will be retained for approximately five years or as space permits.
[3] 
Current local newspapers as well as selected state and national newspapers will be collected.
(c) 
Vertical file. The vertical file includes pamphlets, clippings, maps, brochures, pictures, and similar materials that are of a current or brief nature and that fill information gaps in the general collection. Placement in the vertical file is dependent on format, and arrangement is by subject.
(12) 
Nonprint materials. Selection of nonprint materials will follow the guidelines for collection development in general, with special consideration given to the appropriateness of the various formats available. The choice of format may be based on such factors as whether the information is particularly well-conveyed through a certain format, if the format might enhance different learning styles, or if the information is to be preserved permanently in the collection, in an enduring format.
(a) 
Microforms. Back issues of some newspapers and magazines may be collected on microform. Other types of materials may be added in microform, due to considerations of storage space or preservation needs.
(b) 
Audio recordings. A variety of audio recordings is purchased to serve the recreational and informational needs of patrons. Both music and spoken recordings are collected. Music collections are intended as browsing collections, and provide a sampling of many musical interests. Spoken recordings include condensations of books as well as instructional and informational material.
(c) 
Video. Video recordings are purchased in VHS format. Videos will be purchased to serve the recreational and informational needs of patrons of all ages. Most of the videos purchased are for home use only, and are protected by copyright. Some videotapes are purchased with public performance rights, and may be shown, free of charge, to public groups. These videotapes will be so designated and labeled.
(d) 
Computer software. Some computer software will be purchased for use by the public in the library. No software will be circulated to the public, with the exception of public domain software, and freeware or shareware. The library will not accept copies of copyrighted software and related materials (except from the owners of the copyright) as gifts. The Division of Library Services will not copy copyrighted materials from other agencies.
D. 
Types of collections. Separate collections are provided for children, young adults, and adults. Patrons are guided to materials best suited to their needs; however, no patron is restricted to any particular collection because of age. Responsibility for supervision of a child's access to library material lies with the parent rather than with the library.
(1) 
Adult. Service to adults through the provision of a carefully selected books and other materials, and assistance in their use is a basic purpose of the Division of Library Services. Materials that address the day-to-day information needs, interests, and activities of adults will be provided. All backgrounds, abilities, and levels of education will be taken into consideration as materials are selected. Attention is given to acquiring items useful in meeting the informational and recreational needs of patrons of differing tastes, pursuits, purposes, and reading skills.
(2) 
Young adult. Library service for young adults is directed to ages 12 through 18. This collection is designed to reflect the interests and needs of young adults, and to act as a bridge between children's and adult services. These may include not only materials produced specifically for this age level, but also appropriate adult and children's materials.
(3) 
Children's. In selecting books for children, the Division's objective is to make available a collection that serves patrons from infancy to age 12. Materials are provided to serve the majority of children, as well as children with special talents, problems, and interests. Criteria for material selection include literary and artistic worth, suitability of content and vocabulary to the age of the readers, and the contribution of the material to the balance of the total collections. Suitable materials written for adults or young adults may be added to the children's collection. A great emphasis is placed on providing picture books and books for beginning readers which meet library standards of literary and artistic quality. Bible stories, biographies of saints and other religious personages, and books on the customs and traditions of religious faiths are added if they meet the basic standards for children's materials in general, but books of specific religious teaching or practice are not included in the children's collection.

§ 23-3 Staffing requirements for mobile library.

[Adopted 2-12-1991 (L-3)]
A. 
In the interest of efficiency of operation and security of personnel, the Kent County Levy Court has determined that the Mobile Library may be staffed by one paid bookmobile technician during daylight hours of operation. The Mobile Library should, whenever possible, have two persons on board during hours of darkness. This Policy is based on the following considerations:
(1) 
Mobile library stops are located within towns, rather than in isolated rural areas.
(2) 
Volunteers may be used to provide the second person on board the Mobile Library during night hours, to work with one paid departmental employee.
(3) 
The time when two people are needed will vary with the hours of darkness, so the schedule will change with the seasons.
B. 
If a scheduled volunteer does not come to the Mobile Library, an effort will be made to locate a substitute. A cellular telephone will be on board the Mobile Library, and substitute volunteer lists will be available. However, if it is not possible to locate a substitute, the Mobile Library will remain open for the completion of its normal shift. This situation would occur only occasionally, and in the interest of providing Kent County residents with reliable and consistent service, the Mobile Library may be operated by a single employee in this situation.
C. 
Local police will be notified of the Mobile Library's schedule, and requested to drive by during the Mobile Library's normal hours of operation.

§ 23-4 Interlibrary loan plan.

[Adopted 11-24-1992 (L-4)]
A. 
New patrons wanting an interlibrary loan must be able to verify their address. If no identification including an address is available, a bill or correspondence sent to their address is sufficient. If neither of these is available the interlibrary loan form and library card will be mailed to the patron as verification.
B. 
Patrons must be in good standing (i.e., no overdue, lost or damaged books) to request interlibrary loans. This information will be obtained from the Library Services Division records or, for new patrons, by contacting other library systems to which they belong.
C. 
Interlibrary loan materials must be returned to the Kent County Division of Library Services or the Mobile Library.
D. 
Patrons must come to the Library Services Division, or the Mobile Library, to pick up an interlibrary loan walk-in form each time they wish to request a walk-in interlibrary loan.
E. 
Only three books may be borrowed per patron, per walk-in visit to the Dover Public Library.
F. 
Only books and those videos owned by the County may be borrowed from Dover Public Library.

§ 23-5 Bookmobile schedule adjustments.

[Adopted 9-24-1993 (L-5)]
A. 
The Bookmobile schedule will be reevaluated every six months, during the months of August and February. Any changes in the Bookmobile service schedule will be based on patron usage statistics kept by the Library Services Division.
B. 
Schedule changes will be proposed by the Library Services Division. They will be presented, along with the statistics on which the changes are based, to the Library Advisory Committee as a part of the August and February meetings. If the changes are approved by the Library Advisory Committee they will be advertised for the rest of the month and become effective the first day of the following month.

§ 23-6 Internet acceptable use policy.

[Adopted 4-14-1998 (L-6)]
A. 
The Levy Court hereby adopts the Delaware Division of Libraries policy regarding the use of the Internet, as detailed below. The policy provides a mission statement, description of Internet service, access, user responsibilities, system security, and policy enforcement. Neither DELIS nor the Levy Court controls the information on the Internet, nor can the agencies provide barriers to sites on the Internet. Not all Internet sites provide accurate, complete, current, or appropriate information. Some sites accessible via the Internet may contain material that is inappropriate for children. Parents or legal guardians should supervise their child's use of the Internet. Parents or legal guardians have the right to request at their local public library that their own child's personal library barcode not grant access to the DELIS.
B. 
DPLIS acceptable use policy. The Delaware Division of Libraries provides Internet access to Delaware public library systems through the Delaware Public Library Internet Service (DPLIS). Delaware public library systems provide direct public access to the DPLIS. Following is the DPLIS mission statement, a description of DPLIS services, user responsibilities, system security, and policy enforcement.
(1) 
Mission statement. The Delaware Public Library Internet Service (DPLIS) will provide Internet access to Delaware public library systems to assist library users in meeting their informational and educational needs. The DPLIS will support a basic level of information equity for all Delawareans. The DPLIS will share information resources across local, state, and global networks, and will be accessible statewide to registered public library users from library, school, office, and home computers.
(2) 
Description of internet service.
(a) 
Service provider. The DPLIS provides Internet access through a contractual agreement between the Delaware Department of State and the Delaware Technical and Community College.
(b) 
Service partners. The DPLIS is available to registered public library users through agreements between the Delaware Division of Libraries and Delaware public library systems. Delaware public library systems may determine local use policies and services, consistent with this Policy, based on their mission, resources available, and the needs of the entire community they serve.
(c) 
DPLIS provides:
[1] 
Web pages (i.e., health, business, government, library reference resources).
[2] 
User verification and authentication.
[3] 
Access to Internet search software.
[4] 
Worldwide Web, Telnet, and FTP services.
(d) 
DPLIS does not provide:
[1] 
Electronic mail accounts.
[2] 
Direct links on DPLIS Web pages to news groups and news servers.
[3] 
Direct links on DPLIS Web pages to illegal, inappropriate, or obscene materials.
[4] 
Content screening software.
(3) 
Access. Access to the DPLIS is available through registration at a Delaware public library. DPLIS provides Delaware public library systems with Internet access. DPLIS does not control the information on the Internet, nor can it provide barriers to sites on the Internet. Not all Internet sites provide accurate, complete, current, or appropriate information. Users need to be wise information consumers, evaluating the information found. Some sites accessible via the Internet may contain material that is inappropriate for children. Parents or legal guardians should supervise their child's use of the Internet. Parents or legal guardians have the right to request at their local public library that their own child's personal library barcode not grant access to the DPLIS. A child shall be defined as any person under legal age.
(4) 
Statistics. In order to collect statistics on the use of the DPLIS, the DPLIS administration reserves the right to use anonymous activity recording. No identification of users will be associated within the statistical reporting process.
(5) 
User responsibilities.
(a) 
All users must conduct themselves in a responsible and legal manner while using the DPLIS.
(b) 
Any use of the DPLIS for illegal, inappropriate, or obscene purposes or in support of such activities, is prohibited. Illegal activities shall be defined as a violation of local, state, and/or federal laws. Inappropriate use shall be defined as a violation of the intended use of the DPLIS. Obscene activities shall be defined as a violation of generally accepted community standards.
(c) 
A user may not allow other persons to access DPLIS by using his or her personal library barcode. A user is responsible for all activities conducted on DPLIS during sessions authorized by his or her personal library barcode.
(d) 
Users must respect all copyright, licensing agreements and other contracts.
(6) 
System security. Any user of the DPLIS who, without authorization, accesses, uses, destroys, alters, dismantles or disfigures any data, information technologies, properties, or facilities is in violation of this Policy. The DPLIS administration reserves the right to monitor and/or record activities as needed to maintain the security and usability of the DPLIS and the systems to which it is connected.
(7) 
Policy enforcement.
(a) 
Persons violating, or suspected of violating, this Policy are subject to the monitoring and/or recording of their sessions. All monitored or recorded activities and sessions are considered confidential to the user and DPLIS administration, except as evidence in a legal proceeding.
(b) 
Any violation of this Policy will result in disciplinary actions, which may include suspension or removal of DPLIS privileges and/or legal action.