Library Use

The Demarest Free Public Library seeks to balance the desire to welcome patrons of all ages to the library for the purpose of reading, educational, and recreational activities with the need to maintain an environment that is appealing to patrons of all ages and that is conducive to study, thought, and contemplation. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to discuss acceptable library behaviors with children in their care prior to visiting the library. Disruptive behavior on the part of any patron is unacceptable. Disruptive behavior includes, but is not limited to: loud, boisterous talking or the use of profanity; utilizing computer equipment to access objectionable sites; playing or running in the building; mistreating library property; and other activities that distract others from using the library appropriately.

Any persons perceived to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be asked to leave the library. Patrons engaging in disruptive behavior will be asked to desist, and alternative behavior will be suggested. Anyone not complying with the staff member’s request will be told to leave the building for the day.

The Demarest Free Public Library provides a limited number of computers with internet access for public use.

Guidelines for Computer Use
  1. Use of a computer is limited to one hour, with a second and third hour available if no one is waiting. One computer shall be designated for half-hour sessions only, with no time extensions available. All printing must be completed within this time limit.
  2. Computers and the internet, like all of the Library’s information sources, must be shared and used in a manner which respects the rights of others and refrains from any activity that prevents others from using it.
  3. Computers should be used for educational, informational, and recreational purposes only. Computers should not be used to conduct a business or commercial enterprise or engage in commercial activity such as the distribution of advertising.
  4. Only Library-provided software may be used on the Library’s computers. Software owned or supplied by users may not be installed or used on Library computers.
  5. Users may not alter or attempt to alter, even temporarily, the setup of Library computers. All patrons are responsible for any damages that occur due to misuse. Any vandalism, destructive behavior, or illegal activities may result in police action as well as suspension of privileges. Parents are responsible for damages done by their children.
  6. Computer programs and data protected by copyright laws must not be copied without authorization.
  7. Users are asked to respect the privacy of other computer users. This includes not representing oneself as another user; not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others; not trying to gain access to someone else’s search history; and not “hovering” over others using computers.
  8. No more than two people may sit/work together at one computer.
  9. Use of the computers in the Children’s Room is reserved for children and parents or caregivers with children using the Children’s Room.
  10. Use of the computers in the Teen Room is reserved for teens.
  11. The violation of any of these guidelines may result in the suspension or permanent loss of the privilege to use Library computers.

    The Library is not responsible for any damage done to computer users’ discs, USB drives, data, hardware, or software which may occur on or through contact with Library equipment. Although the Library has installed virus protection on its computers, total protection cannot be guaranteed.

    Internet Access

    The library provides access to the internet through networked public access workstations and WiFi.

    The library upholds the right of every individual to access to constitutionally protected materials. However, the library’s support of this right does not constitute condoning illegal activity in the library or through the internet on Library computers.

    As with all Library resources, the Library affirms the right and responsibility of parents/guardians, not Library staff, to determine and monitor their minor child’s use of the internet. Parents/guardians are responsible for information selected or accessed by their children via the internet.

    Since the Library computers on which the public can access the internet are located in public areas that must be shared by Library users of all ages, backgrounds, and sensibilities, individuals are asked to consider others when accessing potentially controversial information and images. Library staff cannot consistently and effectively monitor the public’s use of the internet. Regardless, the Library reserves the right to ask individuals to discontinue the display of information or images that may be disturbing to Library patrons.

    Users who access the internet via the Demarest Library network or WiFi agree not to use internet for any illegal purpose and further agree to not damage, alter, or interfere with the functionality of library workstations, Library network, or other’s access to library services.

    Wireless Access

    The same principle governing Internet Access above pertain to Wireless Access. The only difference is that patrons connect using a wireless device. Time limits will not apply to patrons using their own devices.

    Wireless connections may be less secure than a networked connection. Virus and security protection are the user’s responsibility.

    Privacy

    Library computer workstations are a public resource in public setting. While library users have a right to privacy, the nature of the internet does not guarantee the privacy of searches conducted or information accessed. The Demarest Library makes reasonable efforts to safeguard your privacy; however, the library makes no claim or assertion that any work you do on any workstation is completely private.

    Staff Assistance

    The Library cannot guarantee that staff will be available to assist computer/internet/photocopier users at all times the Library is open. If possible, Library staff will help with basic computer problems.

    Library staff members cannot configure a patron’s laptop or personal device or help establish a wireless network connection. The library staff is not available for troubleshooting a patron’s computer or personal device.

    Appointments can be made for a one-on-one session for the purpose of learning to access the Library’s digital resources such as borrowing eBooks and accessing research databases.

The Demarest Free Public Library has a private meeting room and other spaces available, as a community service, to nonprofit organizations, local civic groups, and in approved cases, private individuals. Both individuals and/or groups are welcome to use the meeting room subject to the following conditions:

  1. Availibility
    1. Spaces are available for use by the public whenever this does not conflict with Library use. The Demarest Free Public Library has the right to cancel a scheduled meeting for a library-sponsored program. Priority will be given to Demarest-based groups. Groups larger than fifteen (15) cannot be accommodated.
    2. Spaces may not be booked while the library is closed, e.g., holidays, weather-related closings, outside of regular library operating hours, etc. Meetings may be held only in the agreed upon area.
    3. Reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis, but not more than one month and not less than one day in advance. An application form must be filled out and approved. Recurring reservations may be accepted for a period of up to three months at the Library’s discretion.
  2. Eligibility
    1. The meeting room shall be used only for non-commercial, tax-exempt, non-religious, cultural, civic, professional, educational, or government purposes.
    2. The meeting room may not be used for profit-making purposes, and no admission fees may be charged to any activity or program. The Trustees may attend or send a designated representative to attend any meeting held on the Library’s premises.
    3. Individuals may reserve the Library’s meeting room for private meetings, such as college interviews, at the Library’s discretion. Spaces may not be reserved for private study or tutoring.
  3. General Rules and Regulations
    1. The organization or individual using the meeting room is responsible for leaving it in a clean and orderly condition. Users are also responsible for setting up tables, chairs, and any specialized equipment, and for restoring the original arrangement upon conclusion of the meeting.
    2. The Library cannot provide technical assistance for equipment brought in, nor can the Library be held responsible for any damages to equipment.
    3. Meetings must end at least fifteen (15) minutes prior to the closing of the Library and the meeting space must be cleaned and restored to its original arrangement by the Library’s closing.
    4. Any group of minors wishing to reserve a meeting room must be supervised by an adult over 21 years of age. The adult must reserve the room and be responsible for the group.
    5. Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the library.
    6. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted anywhere in the library. Light refreshments, e.g., coffee, tea, cookies, may be served. The sponsoring organization must provide all supplies and clean up.
    7. Groups/individuals may not store materials at the library.
    8. Materials shall not be affixed to structural surfaces.
    9. Amplification devices may not be used.
    10. The Library assumes no liability for injury to a person or damage to property of the organization or its members. Groups/individuals assume responsibility for any damage to the meeting room or its furnishings. Formal organizations reserving/using the meeting room must sign a Hold Harmless Agreement. Both formal organizations and individuals must sign a form declaring their responsibility for the room/space and its furnishings.
    11. The Demarest Free Public Library may not be identified as a sponsor of any organization’s function or belief. The Library’s name and address may not be used as a designated headquarters of any organization, other than the Friends of the Library. Permission to meet at the Library does not in any way constitute endorsement of the organization’s policies or beliefs.
  4. Applications and Responsibilities
    1. In order to reserve a space, an individual or representative of a group must submit an application at least one day before the meeting. A separate form must be filled out for each request. The applicant/representative must sign and submit an application form declaring their responsibility for the room/space before the meeting commences.
    2. All organizations must sign a Hold Harmless Agreement before the starting their meeting. Recurring groups may submit a Hold Harmless Agreement at the initial booking that will be good for one (1) calendar year.
    3. A copy of this policy will be given to the group representative.
    4. Groups/individuals who have booked a space must notify the library as soon as possible in advance of the meeting date if they decide not to use the space.

Failure to comply with any of the above rules and regulations will result in immediate loss of meeting room privileges.

Individuals or organizations wishing to apply for use of a meeting room may fill out a paper application at the Library’s upstairs circulation desk; download, fill out a paper application, and submit it by email to demacirc@bccls.org; or apply online.

Adopted by the Demarest Library Board of Trustees March 21, 2022.

Individuals and groups may not use space in the Demarest Free Public Library to provide clients with services for a fee, including tutoring.

Use of the Library’s space is permitted for those who tutor without charging, such as Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA), English as a Second Language (ESL) tutors, etc., but they must register with the Library Director or the Youth Services Librarian. Tutoring is to take place in public areas if space is available.

Children being tutored in the Library are the responsibility of the tutor while on Library property until they are released to a parent or guardian.

Registered non-profit tutors must notify the Library staff upon arrival. Staff will ask anyone else who is observed tutoring a client to cease the activity immediately or to leave the building as such activity is disruptive to other Library patrons. Continued infractions may result in the tutor and/or the client being denied access to the Library facility.

The Demarest Free Public Library is an institution that welcomes children of all ages to use its facilities, services, and resources. However, the Library is not intended to be a daycare, after-school care facility, or a babysitting service, nor is it responsible for the care of unattended children. Parents and caregivers are solely responsible for the safety and supervision of their children while in the Library and on Library grounds. Out of concern for the safety of all children the Library has established the following policies regarding children in the Library:

Children, like all library patrons, are expected to behave appropriately and in accordance with Library Code of Conduct.

Children of all ages should carry with them the phone number of a parent or caregiver who can be contacted in case of emergency.

Parents and caregivers should be familiar with Library hours and make appropriate arrangements to meet or transport their children home, ideally 15 minutes before the Library closes.

An unattended child is a child of any age who is unaccompanied by a parent or caregiver. Children who are unable or unwilling to care for themselves may not be left alone in the library and must have adequate supervision from a parent/caregiver.

Children aged eight (8) and younger may not be left unattended in the Library or on Library grounds. They must be under the direct supervision of a parent or caregiver at all times, unless they are in a specific program that does not require the presence of an adult; however, the parent or caregiver must remain in the Library while the child is attending the program.

Children aged nine (9) and ten (10) may be left unattended in the Library, but a parent/caregiver must be present in the Library throughout their visit.

Children aged 11 and older may visit the Library independently. However, the parent or caregiver must make arrangements to meet or transport their children home from the Library before closing time.

If a child aged 10 or younger is found unattended at the Library, Library staff will attempt to contact the child’s parent or caregiver to pick up the child. If a parent/caregiver is not available Library staff will contact the Demarest Police to pick up the child.

If a child is found unattended prior to closing time Library staff will ask the child to contact someone to pick them up. In the event a child is not picked up when the Library closes, the Demarest Police will be called to keep the child until the parent or caregiver can be reached. Library staff are not permitted to escort children home.

Adopted by the Demarest Library Board of Trustees April 25, 2022.