Policy and Guidelines

Purpose: The Pottstown Public Library provides access to the Internet as one means of fulfilling our purpose of providing diverse and easily accessible materials, encouraging the free flow of ideas, and educating, informing, and enriching all residents of our service area. 

The Internet is a global entity with a highly diverse user population and library patrons use it at their own risk.  Not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete or current information.  Users are responsible for determining the validity and reliability of the information located.  The Pottstown Public Library cannot be held responsible for the Internet’s content or for any misuse of copyright or any other violation, nor is it responsible for any liability or expense you may incur during use.

Filtering: In compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) (pub.L. 106-554), all library computers will have filtered Internet access as of July 2004.  This act requires a library that receives federal funds must “have in place a policy of Internet safety for minors that include the operation of a technology protection measure with respect to any computer with Internet access”. 

Children and the Internet:  As with other library materials, restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent/legal guardian.  Only a parent/legal guardian may restrict their children, and only their children, from access to Internet resources available through the library.  The parent/legal guardian, not the library, is responsible for monitoring their children’s Internet use.  Internet filtering software is not foolproof and does not take the place of parental supervision.

Rights of Adults:  Adults (age 17 or older) may request the filtering software be disabled during use, if so desired as long as the policies of the Pottstown Regional Public Library are not violated.

  1. The Internet computers will not be used for any illegal or criminal activity or to access pornography.  Keep in mind that it is a felony offense in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania “To display or cause to display any explicit sexual material…on any… viewing screen in such manner that the display is visible…in any establishment where minors, as part of the general public, may be exposed to view all or any part of such materials.”  (18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 5903)
  2. Users who attempt to tamper, modify, or vandalize the software or hardware configurations on library computers will lose computer privileges at the Pottstown Regional Public Library.
  3. All Internet users must log on to the computers using their library card number.  Those persons who are not eligible to apply for a library card at this library will be permitted access using a guest pass.
  4. Internet use and reservations are on a first-come, first-serve basis and are limited to sessions one half hour in length with a limit of 120 minutes use per day.  Staff reserves the right to grant extended use in special circumstances that may require an uninterrupted session or longer period of use.  Sessions may be reserved in advance within the same day.  The library reserves the right to ask anyone to leave when deemed necessary by library employees.  Computers will be shut down fifteen minutes prior to closing the library.
  5. Users will be charged $.15 per page (B&W) and $.50 per page (color) for printouts.  Printing is through a vending device and fees must be paid before pages will print.
  6. A maximum of two people are allowed at any one workstation at one time. 
  7. Computer users are not able to save documents/files using the USB port on public computers.
  8. Failure to comply with the above rules may result in denial of Internet Use privileges.

 

Revised 8/1/2020

 Pottstown Regional Public Library Mask Wearing Policy

Reporting on evidence for effectiveness of cloth face coverings, the Centers for Disease control states that “cloth face coverings are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control. This recommendation is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows cloth face coverings reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of cloth face coverings is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain.”

In Pennsylvania, the wearing of facemasks or other nose/mouth covering in indoor spaces, such as a Library facility, is mandatory.  See Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency to Ensure the Safety and Health of Employees and the Public (“Require all customers to wear masks while on the premises.”)  The wearing of masks is also recommended by the Pottstown Regional Public Library Board of Directors.

The Office of Commonwealth Libraries authorizes the Board of the Pottstown Regional Public Library to develop a policy for handling library reopening safety and mask wearing.  The Board has determined the following requirements:

  1. If you have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus within 14 days, been exposed to it, or have symptoms, please make use of our online services from your home.
  2. All persons entering the Library must wear a face covering and maintain social distancing (a minimum six-foot distance from all other persons). Face coverings must comply with guidelines from the state Department of Health and must be properly worn at all times.
  3. Children under the age of two are exempt from wearing a face covering, but must be closely monitored at all times by their parent or guardian.
  4. A disposable face mask will be provided free of charge to individuals who do not have a face mask.
  5. Reasonable accommodations such as contactless delivery and online resources are available to those who are medically prevented from or decline to wear a face covering. Entrance into the library without a face covering is not a valid accommodation.
  6. Those refusing to properly wear a face covering, or to maintain six-foot distance will be required to leave the Library. If a person refuses to leave the Library for not following this policy, police may be contacted.  This could result in a ban from the Library for a specified period of time.
  7. Patrons who exhibit adversarial behavior that is argumentative with staff or other patrons will be subject to the general Patron Responsibilities policy. Patrons will be asked to leave until they comply with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requirements, and guidelines in place to protect other community members and staff.
  8. This policy shall be enforced until the Pennsylvania Department of Health or other authorities determines that it is no longer required.

 

Approved by the Pottstown Regional Public Library Board of Directors July 17, 2020.

 

The underlying principle of this policy is to facilitate the achievement of the goal of treating the library, staff, volunteers and patrons with respect.

Patrons shall:

  • Engage in activities associated with the appropriate and intended use of a public library and its facilities. Patrons not reading, studying, using library materials, or attending in library programs may be asked to leave the building. Loitering is not permitted.
  • Respect the rights of other patrons and staff members. Patrons shall not harass or annoy others through noisy or boisterous activities, by staring at another person with the intent to annoy that person, by following another person about the building with the intent to annoy that person, by playing audio equipment so that others can hear it, by singing or talking loudly to others or in monologues, or by behaving in a manner which can be reasonably expected to disturb others.
  • Use the restrooms one person at a time, with the exception of a person attending a young child or an infirm or disabled person. Misuse for any purpose not intended for the restroom is prohibited.

Patrons shall not:

  • Consume food or beverages brought into the library, smoke or use tobacco products, except in permitted, designated areas.
  • Be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Engage in any illegal activity while in the library.
  • Interfere with the use of the library by other patrons or interfere with library employees’ performance of their duties.
  • Deface or mar library materials-this includes books, magazines, newspapers, recordings, or other items of the library collection. Nor shall they deface, mar, or in any way destroy or damage library furnishings, walls, machines, or other library property.
  • Enter the building without a shirt or shoes. Patrons must wear a covering of their upper bodies and shoes or other footwear. Patrons whose body hygiene is offensive so as to constitute a nuisance to other patrons may be asked to leave the building.
  • Bring pets or animals into the library other than service dogs or ADA specified animals.
  • Leave personal possessions unattended on library property. All bags and other carry-all articles are subject to inspection. The library reserves the right to limit the size and/or the amount of items brought into the library.
  • Sleep in the library. Lying down on floors, couches, tables or seats; resting head, feet or legs on furniture, is prohibited.
  • Use a cell phone, pager, or other mobile communication devices in a way that disturbs other patrons.

Any patron not abiding by these or other rules and regulations of the library may be asked by any staff member to leave the library building and grounds for the remainder of the day. Serious or continued violations may result in a suspension of privileges for up to thirty (30) days by the Executive Director of the library or librarian-in-charge. To enforce this policy, library employees or other library staff may contact the Pottstown Police Department, if deemed advisable and/or in pursuant of the Code of Ordinances of the Borough of Pottstown, Chapter 6, Conduct, Part 5, and its subsequent revisions, or may contact any other law enforcement agency or agencies, as deemed appropriate or required by law.

Any patron who violates these or other rules and regulations, may, on the recommendation of the Executive Director of the library be denied the privilege of access to the library for a period longer than thirty (30) days.

A patron whose privileges have been denied may request, in writing, that that the decision be reviewed by the Board of Directors at the next monthly Board meeting.


Revised 8/21/2020