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Library Policies
Membership | Borrowing | Access to the Internet | Privacy and Confidentiality of Information | Community Space | Children's Use of the Library

Policy No. E-14
Policy Title: Membership
Category: Operational Policies: Public Services
Adopted: October 2002
Last review: April 2018

Background: Perth & District Union Public Library provides its users access to information in a variety of formats. While anyone may use the library facility and services in person, only those with membership cards may check out materials and access online resources from home. The library ensures fair conditions for library membership while protecting resources and information in a responsible manner and in accordance with the Public Libraries Act, RSO 1990 c. P44.

Policy: Perth & District Union Public Library provides free membership to residents and property owners in any of the member municipalities of the union: the Town of Perth, Drummond/North Elmsley Township, and Tay Valley Township. This includes full-time residents as well as owners of properties in the area who may not live in the district full-time. Non-residents may use the library upon payment of the fee outlined below.

In-person membership application:

Anyone applying for membership must provide proof of identity and proof of residence. A valid Ontario driver's license showing current address is sufficient for proof of both identity and residence. In other cases, applicants must show photo ID plus a document with current address. If no photo ID is available, a second document may be used to establish identity. Examples of acceptable documentation include but are not limited to:
Proof of identity
  • Driver's license
  • Health card
  • Student ID card
  • Senior ID card
  • Passport
  • Citizenship card
  • Employer-issued photo ID
Proof of residence (showing current address)
  • Lease
  • Utility bill
  • Municipal property tax bill
  • Personal letter with postmark within one month
  • Bank statement
Those under 14 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when applying for a library card. In these cases, the parent/guardian's proof of identity and residence demonstrates the child's qualification for membership. Parents/guardians are responsible for any fines, damage, or loss resulting from children's use of the library.

An individual who is unable to verify his or her address may receive a temporary card allowing access to online resources and the loan of a single item on the initial visit. Proof of residence will be required for any subsequent loans.

Online membership application:

Only residents and property owners able to receive mail in any of the member municipalities are eligible to apply for membership online.

Applicants applying for membership online must still provide proof of identity and proof of residence. Following submission of the online application, library staff will mail a temporary library card allowing access to online resources. Receipt of the library card in the mail constitutes proof of address. Applicants will need to show proof of identity the first time they check out physical materials at the library.

Membership renewal

Cards must be renewed on an annual basis, with members providing proof of current address. Change of address must be reported to the library promptly. Those who have moved out of the district or have lost their library card should contact the library to cancel their membership. Proof of current address can be provided at the library or members able to receive mail in any of the member municipalities can request a renewal PIN be mailed to their current address. The member can then renew their card over the phone by providing the renewal PIN that was mailed to them.

Other types of membership

Non-residents must provide proof of identity and a permanent address. The charge for non-resident annual members is $35 per year for adults and $15 per year for students. High school and elementary students who can prove enrolment in a school in one of the member municipalities are eligible for free membership. Enrolment may be demonstrated by possession of a current student ID card, grade report, or letter on official letterhead from the school.

Summer residents who do not own property in the member municipalities may pay $20 to obtain a card giving full membership privileges from June 1 through September 30.

Membership is not transferrable, and members may not have more than one card. The charge for replacement of a lost card is $2.

Users who do not abide by the library's policies risk having their membership suspended.

The protection and disclosure of personal information about library members is governed by policy E-16: Confidentiality and Privacy of Borrower Records.

Policy No. E-15
Policy Title: Borrowing
Category: Operational Policies: Public Services
Adopted: October 2002
Last review: November 2016

Background: Perth & District Union Public Library makes materials widely available to the community in an equitable manner in order to support the educational as well as leisure pursuits of the community. The library ensures fair conditions for borrowing while protecting resources and information in a responsible manner and in accordance with the Public Libraries Act, RSO 1990 c. P44.

Policy: Anyone with a valid membership card for Perth & District Union Public Library is eligible to borrow items for use outside the library. See policy E-14: Membership for regulations governing obtaining a valid library card.

Only members in good standing may borrow items from the library. Those with fines over $20, items long overdue, or expired membership may not borrow items. Privileges will be restored when all outstanding accounts have been settled. Users who do not abide by the library's policies risk having their borrowing privileges suspended.

While the library encourages library cardholders to use their cards for checkout, items may also be borrowed by presenting photo ID.

Membership is not transferrable. Due to privacy legislation, the library cannot check out a reserved item to anyone other than the person who placed the reservation without express permission. The library cannot provide information about items on a borrower account to anyone other than the borrower, with the exception of parents or guardians of those under 14 years of age. See policy G-9: Privacy and Confidentiality of Information for more details.

There is no limit to the number of items a borrower may check out on a single card. Certain items in the library are for in-library use only, specifically those on the reference shelf. Items may be renewed up to two times in-person, over the phone, or online so long as no one else has reserved the item. Reservations may be placed in-person, over the phone, or online, and the library will notify the borrower when the item is ready for pickup.

Loan periods are as follows:
  • Books and audiobooks: 3 weeks
  • Music CDs: 3 weeks
  • E-readers: 3 weeks
  • Video games: 1 week
  • DVDs: 1 week / 3 weeks for TV series
  • Magazines: 1 week
E-books and e-audiobooks downloaded through the library's website may have different loan periods set by the online provider. The library may be able to obtain items not in its collection from other libraries through interlibrary loan services. The loan periods and fines for these items are set by the lending library.

All items must be returned or renewed on or before the due date. Fines for adult material are 25 cents per day to a maximum of $7 per item. Fines for children's and teen material are 10 cents per day to a maximum of $2.50 per item. There are no fines on non-catalogued paperback books.

Borrowers with items overdue for extended periods of time will be contacted by the library and requested to return those items. Items more than 60 days overdue will be declared lost and the borrower charged the full replacement cost. Items otherwise reported lost or damaged beyond repair will be charged to the borrower account.

Policy No. G-02
Policy Title: Access to the Internet
Category: Operational Policies: Public Services
Adopted: April 2011
Last review: June 2016

Background: The Perth & District Union Public Library recognizes that providing access to the internet supports its mission of being a community centre for lifelong learning. Thus, the library provides access via its public computers as well as a wireless network that users may access via laptops and mobile devices .

Users of the library's computers and/or wireless network are responsible for assessing the accuracy, reliability, and legality of information they access. The library links recommended online resources to its website but is not responsible for the content of these sites or others accessed via the library's network connection. As time and knowledge permit, staff may provide limited assistance with use of the internet or assessment of information.

Users are responsible for any infringement of legislation governing access to information, including copyright and intellectual property rights and activities in violation of the Criminal Code. Use of library workstations or networks for illegal, actionable, or criminal purposes is prohibited. Users agree to respect the privacy of others accessing the internet at the library and not to access material that may reasonably be construed as obscene or offensive.

Parents or guardians are responsible for their child's use of the internet up to age 14. The library does not restrict the access of children to any information, resources, or facilities in the library. The library has not installed filtering software on its computers or network.

The library is not responsible for any liability that may occur as a result of the disclosure of financial or other personal information on the library's computers or network. Users should be aware that the public computers and wireless network are not secure and that it may be possible for third parties to obtain information regarding their activities. The library will install software on public computers to ensure they are up-to-date, free of viruses, and regularly cleared of private user data. Records regarding computer and network use may be retained by the library for a period of four weeks.

Users are responsible for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from the library's provision of internet access. Users are not permitted to alter, tamper with, or damage the library's computer or network equipment or configuration. Users are not permitted to install their own software on library devices.

By using the library's public computers and/or network connection, users agree to the terms outlined above. Users who violate this policy may have their library privileges for access to the Internet suspended. The library also reserves the right to ban users from its premises. See Policy G-12: Banning Patrons from Premises.

Policy No. G-9
Policy Title: Privacy and Confidentiality of Information
Category: Operational Policies: Public Services
Adopted: June 2011
Last review: Novembert 2016
Background: Perth & District Union Public Library recognizes that use of the library is a private matter, as governed by the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and by the principles of intellectual freedom. The library therefore makes every reasonable effort to protect personal information about its users and their use of library materials, services, and programs.

Policy: Personal information is defined in Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M56 (MFIPPA), in part, as "recorded information about an identifiable individual." In the library context, this may include, but is not limited to, contact information, information on items requested or borrowed, and information related to computer and internet use.

The purposes for which personal information is being requested will be identified to library users before such information is collected and will not be disclosed without the express consent of the user, except under the following circumstances as provided by MFIPPA:
  • to a parent or guardian of a child under the age of 14
  • to the police upon the presentation of a search warrant
  • to the police in the absence of a search warrant if approved by the CEO
The collection of personal information will be limited to that required for operation of the library and provision of services. The library will not retain personal information about library use any longer than is required for the provision of services. The library stores information in its database related to items that have been borrowed, returned late, lost, or damaged. Information related to websites visited or other computer use is not retained beyond the day of use. Computer use sign-up sheets are retained for a period of 4 weeks and then destroyed. When no longer required, all personal information collected by the library will be shredded or deleted electronically.

The library will make all reasonable efforts to protect the integrity and security of its electronic database.

An individual shall be informed of the existence, use, and disclosure of his or her personal information and shall be given access to that information upon request and proof of identity. An individual shall be able to challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information and have it amended as appropriate.

Nothing in this policy will prevent appropriate library staff from accessing user information for legitimate purposes, such as matters related to the circulation of materials and issues concerning the suspension of privileges.

Policy No. E-02
Policy Title: Community Space
Category: Operational Policies: Facilities
Adopted: October 2002
Last review: April 2018

Background: Perth & District Union Public Library provides space suitable for meetings and events by groups outside the library. Provision of this space furthers the library's mission to support the educational and leisure activities of the community.

Policy: The library has first priority for use of its two meeting/programming spaces. When not otherwise in use, the library opens these spaces for use by outside groups:
  • Marguerite Frizell Room on the second floor of the library, with space for large or small groups
  • Common Room on the first floor of the library, with space for small groups
Access to both spaces is available only during hours when the library is open to the public.

The Frizell Room may be rented for a minimum fee of $40 for up to three hours of access, plus $10 for each additional hour or portion thereof. A maximum of 80 people may be in the room at one time, depending on setup.

The Common Room is a quiet study and research area open to the public. It may be rented for a fee of $20 for a block of up to two hours. A maximum of 20 people may be in the room at one time.

The library provides tables and chairs for use in both rooms but cannot guarantee the room will be set up in advance. Renters may request to use the library’s projector for presentations. Electrical outlets and wireless internet are available.

Renters must reserve and pay for use of the room in advance. Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Rental fees may be refunded if the reservation is cancelled at least 72 hours in advance.

The library reserves the right to refuse a rental or reservation request and to cancel any reservation. In the case of a cancellation of a reservation by the library, any fees paid will be refunded.

In particular, the library will refuse any rental or reservation request that would contravene the Criminal Code of Canada, R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46 (including hate propaganda laws) or the Ontario Human Rights Code, RSO 1990, C. H.19.

The library is committed to intellectual freedom and freedom of access for all members of our community. The library does not necessarily endorse or recommend the positions, views, programs or policies of those using library meeting rooms, and does not necessarily support statements made during meetings in library meeting rooms.

Renters must leave the room in the same condition as it was found (garbage removed, chairs returned to their original positions and straightened, etc.) No renter may store any materials in the room between bookings. Exit doors must be kept free from obstruction. Smoking and the consumption of alcoholic beverages in the library are prohibited.

The library is not responsible for personal injury or damage or for the theft or loss of clothing or equipment of anyone using the library’s meeting space. The renter is responsible for the conduct and supervision of all persons admitted to the room and must see that all regulations are strictly adhered to. The renter is responsible for the payment of all costs incurred as a result of damage to any library property.

Renters of the Marguerite Frizell or Common Room may be required to produce proof of general liability insurance in the amount of $2,000,000 per occurrence, including full participant coverage and naming Perth & District Union Public Library and the Town of Perth as additional insured. This coverage is for the protection of the facility renter, Perth & District Union Public Library, the Town of Perth, and all those participating in the use of the facility during the rental.

See also:
  • 2.A-3: Statement of values

Policy No. G-10
Policy Title: Children's Use of the Library
Category: Operational Policies: Public Services
Adopted: September 2011
Last review: November 2016

Background: Perth & District Union Public Library endeavours to serve all populations with respect. Certain additional guidelines govern the use of the library by children under 14. These guidelines are designed to balance the needs of other users with the rights of children. The library subscribes to the principles stated in the Ontario Library Association's Children's Rights in the Public Library, 1998 (Appendix E).


1 Children’s Use of Library Materials

For the purposes of library use, children are considered to be those under 14 years of age. Parents/guardians of children under 14 are responsible for items taken out on their child’s account, including any fines or fees incurred. Responsibility for children’s use of library materials, including computers and internet access, rests solely with their parents/guardians. It is not the library’s responsibility to restrict children’s access to any of its materials, services, or facilities, and the library will not do so. There are no restrictions on the types of material children may check out on their cards.

After a library user has turned 14, the library will not provide information about that child’s account to a parent or guardian. After that age, the child will also bear full responsibility for fees or fines incurred on the account.

2 Children’s Use of Library Space

While on library property, children are the responsibility of their parents, guardians, or caregivers. Children 5 and under must remain in the company of a caregiver of at least 14 years of age. Caregivers of children ages 6-10 must remain in the building while children are on site and are responsible for the behaviour of children in their care. Staff members do not and cannot provide child care services and do not assume responsibility for children on library property.

Disruptive, rude, threatening, or abusive behaviour may result in staff asking the child to leave or having the child banned for a period of time. Parents or caregivers who fail to supervise children properly may also have their library privileges restricted or suspended. See Policy 2.G-11: Patron Code of Conduct.

In accordance with the Ontario Child and Family Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.C.11, library staff members have a legal duty to report children who are inadequately supervised. Ontario Provincial Police and/or Family and Children’s Services of Lanark, Leeds & Grenville may be called in to deal with such situations.

Life is like a library owned by an author. In it are a few books which he wrote himself, but most of them were written for him.
~ Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969)

Perth & District Union Public Library
30 Herriott Street | Perth ON  K7H 1T2
Telephone: (613) 267-1224

Email: info@perthunionlibrary.ca

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