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Library Policies


Statement of Objectives

I. The Ascension Parish Library was established for the purpose of making available to all citizens of the parish books and other library materials for education, information and recreation. The Library strives to maintain a program of service to locate information, guide reading, and promote the most effective use of these materials. (Adopted by the Board Jan 15, 1964)

II. The aim of the Ascension Parish Library is service to all people. This encompasses individuals and groups of every age, education, philosophy, occupation, economic level, ethnic origin, and human condition.

Fulfilling the educational, informational, and recreational needs of these people is the broad purpose of the Ascension Parish Library.

More specifically the Library helps people to adapt to change in all areas, to educate themselves continually, to become better members of their family and community, to become socially and politically aware, to be more capable in their occupations, to develop their creative abilities and spiritual capacities, to appreciate and enjoy literature and art, to contribute to the overall expanse of knowledge, and to stimulate their own personal and social well-being. (Adopted by the Board July 11, 1973)

Electronic Resource Access Policy


Electronic Access Mission

"Freedom of expression is an inalienable human right and the foundation for self-government. Freedom of expression encompasses the freedom of speech and the corollary right to receive information. These rights extend to children as well as adults.”

"Libraries exist to facilitate these rights by providing access to, identifying, retrieving, organizing, and preserving recorded expression regardless of the formats or technologies in which that expression is recorded."

American Library Association Statement on Electronic Information, Services and Networks

The mission of the Ascension Parish Library is to provide patrons with the best and most current information resources possible, including electronic information resources. Electronic resources currently accessible through the library include the Internet, research databases, online catalogs, and other products available to meet your information needs.


Electronic Resources and Users' Responsibility
These resources contain a wealth of valuable information. However, users should be aware that some information may be inaccurate, outdated, or offensive. Use of these resources carries with it a responsibility to evaluate the quality of the information accessed. Parents, not the library, are responsible for the use of these resources by their children.


Acceptable Uses (Examples)
Library users are encouraged to use the electronic resources for the following purposes:

  • Research and educational information
  • Unstructured navigation ("surfing") of the Internet to locate sites of interest and to improve usage skills
  • Printing from full text databases
  • Downloading of public domain software to an external storage device


Prohibited Uses

Library users and staff may not use the electronic resources in the following situations:

  • Illegal, unauthorized, unethical, or commercial purposes.
  • Manipulation of internal hardware and/or software.
  • Transmission or downloading of any material in violation of state or federal laws including the following:
  • Sending, receiving, or displaying text or graphics, which may reasonably be construed as obscene.
  • Copying or downloading of any material in violation of copyright law (Downloading of software and files not in the public domain is a violation of copyright law and is expressly prohibited.)

Lawful use of electronic resources is the individual's responsibility.

The library is not responsible for damage to users' storage devices or computers, or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from use of the library's computers or electronic resources.

Electronic resource use is a privilege and should be treated as such by all users of the system. Library staff have the right to determine the appropriateness of electronic resource use and can at any time require a patron to leave the electronic resource. Prohibited uses will result in loss of electronic resource privileges. In accordance with the library's general policy, appeals of such loss should be addressed in writing to the library director. Perpetrators of malicious damage to the system will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.


Limitations

Age: Because of high costs and the delicate nature of complex and mechanical equipment, children under the age of fourteen years will be required to have a parent or adult guardian present when using the electronic resource.

Time: Because of the limited number of electronic resources, time limits may be imposed when demand is high. The limit during peak periods will be sixty (60) minutes.


Costs
There is no charge for use of the electronic resource and to access the information therein. However, patrons shall assume printing costs.  Patrons should verify printing costs before printing. CD’s or other storage devices for downloading may be purchased from the library.  


General Information
Patrons are required to signup before using computers. Library users are required to have a valid adult library card. Juveniles must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian (18 years old) with a valid library card.  Visitors will be required to present some form of legal identification (i.e.: driver’s license, passport, social security) in order to use the computers.  Because of the possibility of virus contamination, all external storage devices must be scanned by library staff for viruses prior to use.

As a result of the Children’s Internet Protection Act, Ascension Parish Library has filtering software on all computers in the library system.  It is important to note that it is technically impossible to prevent access to all objectionable resources. Filtering software also occasionally blocks acceptable sites; therefore requests for unblocking sites should be made to the Systems Librarian. Library rules and regulations apply at all times.


Notice Concerning Copyright Restrictions
The Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified by 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 for, or later uses a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

This library reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfilling the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Downloading of software or files not in the public domain is a violation of copyright law and expressly prohibited.


Adopted by the Board, November 5, 1997
Revised by the Board, April 29, 2015

Selection of Materials

The following book selection policy was approved and adopted on July 11, 1973 by the Ascension Parish Library Board which assumes full responsibility for all legal action which may result from the implementation of any policies stated herein. 

Responsibility for Materials Selection
The Ascension Parish Library Board adopts as part of its policy the following paragraphs from the library bill of rights:

  1. As a responsibility of library service, books and other materials should be chosen for values of interest, information and enlightenment of all people of the community. In no case should library materials be excluded because of race or nationality or the social, political, or religious view of the authors.
  2. Libraries should provide books and other materials presenting all points of view concerning the problems and issues of our times: no library materials should be proscribed or removed from libraries because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

American Library Association. "Library Bill of Rights." (Adopted June 18, 1948; amended February 2, 1961 and June 27, 1967 by the ALA Council)


Final responsibility for selection of books and library materials is and shall be vested in the Library Director. However, the librarian may delegate to such members of the staff as are qualified by reason of training, the authority to interpret and apply the policy in making day-to-day selections. Unusual problems will be referred to the Library Director for resolution. Any books and library materials so selected shall be held to be selected by the Board.

Censorship

The selection of library books and materials is predicated on the library patron's right to read, and similarly, his freedom from censorship by others. Many books are controversial and any given item may offend some persons. Selections for the Library will not, however, be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the material in relation to the building of the collection and to serving the interest of the readers. This Library holds censorship to be a purely individual matter and declares that -- while anyone is free to reject for himself books and other materials of which he does not approve -- he cannot exercise this right of censorship to restrict the freedom of others.

With respect to the use of library materials by children, the decision as to what a minor may read is the responsibility of his parent or guardian. Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that books may inadvertently come into the possession of minors.

Gifts & Donations

Only unconditional gifts, donations, and contributions may be accepted by the Library on behalf of the Library Board of Control. Collections of books will not be accepted with restrictions which necessitate special housing or which prevent integration of the gift into the general library collection. Because of the difficulties experienced by the Library with previous donations, only strictly unconditional gifts are to be accepted henceforth.

The same standards of selection will govern the acceptance of gifts as govern purchase by the library. If material is useful but not needed, it may be disposed of at the discretion of the Library Director.

The donor must sign an unconditional donation form each time an unconditional donation is made to the Library.