Item Replacement Policy
Portsmouth Free Public Library patrons are responsible for returning materials on time and in good condition. Once an item has been declared "LOST", a patron is given a reasonable length of time to locate or pay for the lost material. The patron must pay all fees associated with replacement of the lost materials or return the "lost" materials and pay any overdue charge. If the material is not returned or paid for in 30 days, the patron may become ineligible to borrow or renew materials at all OSL libraries until such payment is made.
If materials are lost or damaged beyond repair, the following price guide should be used to determine the charges:
1. Lost Library Materials
For all library materials the price in the item record will be charged. This information is available in the online record of the item.
For Portsmouth Free Public Library materials only, a new and unused exact duplicate of the item (i.e., the same ISBN) may be accepted in place of payment for the lost item.
No refund is given if a patron finds the lost item for which they had paid.
2. Damaged Library Materials
The damaged materials must be brought to the Library before an assessment can be made. If the material is slightly damaged but useable, the patron will be warned and may be charged a small fee. If the material is damaged beyond repair, the patron must pay according to the guidelines established for lost materials.
Internet/Computer Use Policy
The Library provides Internet access via the OSL consortium. The consortium uses federally mandated filtering software that can only be unblocked for those over age 18.
Staff will assist computer users in best practices in Internet use when asked including:
a. use of reliable web resources
b. best practices for user safety
Unlawful activity by computer users will be reported to the appropriate authorities. Patrons who see inappropriate behavior by computer users should report it to a staff member for further action.
Rules Governing Use
Patrons cannot use the network to make unauthorized entry into other computational, informational or communication services or resources. They may not:
1. View pornography
2. Visit gambling sites
3. Distribute unsolicited advertising
4. Invade the privacy of others
5. Make any attempt to damage computer equipment or software
6. Engage in any activity that is harassing or defamatory
7. Use the Internet for any illegal activity, including violation of copyright or other rights of third parties, or in a manner inconsistent with the library's tax-exempt status or its proper operation
Violations may result in loss of access. Unlawful activities will be dealt with in an appropriate manner.
Specific Regulations Regarding Patron Use of Computer Workstations
1. Computers may be used by library patrons age 10 and over. Children younger than 10 must be supervised by an adult.
2. A maximum of 2 users per workstation is allowed.
3. Users should report any problems with the hardware or software to a Library staff member immediately.
4. Users may continue to remain at workstation for 1 hour at a time but may remain on the computer until another user signs up.
5. Workstations may be used on a drop-in basis.
6. Library staff will try to assist users if possible but their availability is limited.
7. Users are responsible for bringing in their own storage media for saving their files or may purchase storage media at the Circulation Desk or Reference Desk. In addition, headphones may be purchased at the Circulation Desk
8. Printing costs are payable at the Circulation Desk.
9. Misuse or abuse of the computer workstation will result in suspension of the user's computer access privileges.
Public Users' Security
Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding users' activities. However, the Portsmouth Free Public Library will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by members of the public except as required by law or necessary for the proper operation of the Library.
The Library reserves the right to take appropriate action to insure compliance with this policy.
Policy for Public Behavior
The Board of Trustees of the Portsmouth Free Public Library is responsible for determining the rules for public behavior in the Library. In order to maintain an atmosphere appropriate for work, study and enjoyment for all Library users and staff, the following policy on behavior in the Library and on Library property has been established. This policy will be courteously, but firmly, enforced by the Library staff.
Goals of this Policy
1. To protect the rights of individuals to use Library materials and services;
2. To protect the rights of Library employees and volunteers to conduct Library business without interference;
3. To ensure the use of the buildings, materials, and services by the greatest number of individuals;
4. To preserve those materials and facilities from harm;
5. To ensure the safety of library patrons, employees, and volunteers.
Behavior Issues of All Patrons at the Library
In the event of a behavior problem of a patron at the Library, staff members should follow a series of steps to identify, document, and resolve the issue. A "behavior problem" at the Library is any one or more of the following:
1. Any loud, rude, or vulgar talk
2. Any conversation that is disturbing to other Library patrons or employees
3. Any physical action of one person to another such as pushing, shoving or hitting
4. Any aggressive, threatening or harassing speech or action of one person to another
5. Any action of one person to another such as photographing or filming a patron or staff member without their consent
6. Any viewing on public access computers or laptops that is considered pornographic
7. Any behavior that is or could be harmful to Library property.
If a staff member observes a behavior problem or receives a Library patron's complaint about such a problem, the staff member should speak to the library user causing the problem and politely ask that the unacceptable behavior cease or the offender will be asked to leave the library. Very often this is enough to terminate the problem behavior. The staff should keep a record of such incidents.
Failing to comply with a reasonable staff request to cease behavior that interferes with the effective functioning of the Library and the use of the Library by others, could result in the staff member calling the police to remove the troublesome patron.
Any staff member involved in such an incident should fill out an Incident/Complaint Report Form located on all Circulation Desk computer desktops. Any library patron involved in the incident should be asked to fill out a form also if he/she is willing to do so. The forms should be given to the Library Director as soon as possible.
If the disruptive behavior reoccurs, the Library will file a complaint with the Portsmouth Police Department and request a no trespass order from the department to prevent the patron from entering the Library property for one year. The incident should be documented as above with Incident/Complaint Report Forms being filled out by all the parties involved. If the incident involves disruptive behavior of a minor, the parents/guardians of the patron should be informed of this action in a letter from the Library Director.
Parents may not leave children under the age of twelve years unattended in the Library and parents are responsible for their children's behavior while in the Library. If a child is left unattended in the Library, the staff will attempt to locate his/her parents. The Portsmouth Free Public Library assumes no responsibility for children left unattended at the Library after closing. However, for the safety of the child, the staff will not leave a child under the age of twelve alone to wait for a ride. If a parent or caregiver does not arrive within ten minutes of Library closing, at least two staff members will wait with the child and will attempt to telephone a parent or adult caregiver. If the staff is unsuccessful, or if an adult does not arrive within 30 minutes of Library closing, the police will be summoned to assist the child.
A record will be maintained of all violations of this policy.
Individuals and organizations shall be invited to provide temporary exhibits of art, crafts, collectibles or books for the Library's exhibit cases and for display in the Program Room.
The Library reserves the right to screen potential exhibits for type, suitability, quality and space requirements. The planning, scheduling and screening for exhibits is the responsibility of the Library Director.
The Library is not responsible for loss, theft or damage to exhibit materials while on the premises. Exhibitors are required to sign a release form. No tape, nails, tacks, or other adhesives may be used on the Program Room walls or on the back of the display case. Only the Walker Display System provided by the Library may be used to hang exhibits.
No direct sales of exhibit materials are allowed; no money may be collected on the premises. Selling prices may not be affixed to art or other objects on display, but exhibitors may leave a price list along with contact information for individuals interested in purchasing materials off site.
Openings may be held in the exhibit area at the discretion of the Library Director. There shall be no charge to the exhibitor or to the public for any exhibit. Refreshments may be served and exhibitors are required to clean up after the event.
Gifts to the Library
The Library Director will review all offers before accepting them. Only items that will be of value to the Library and its resources will be accepted. Items and collections that are accepted may require a Deed of Gift.
A Deed of Gift is a formal, legal, agreement that transfers ownership of, and legal rights in, the materials to be donated. Executing a deed is in the best interests of both donor and the Library. After discussion and review of the various elements of the deed, it is signed by both the donor or donor's authorized agent, and an authorized representative of the Library. The signed deed of gift establishes and governs the legal relationship between donor and Library and the legal status of the materials.
Piano Use Policy
The following rules govern the use of the electronic piano:
1. Patrons wanting to use the piano must schedule the Program Room in advance according to the Library’s meeting room policy.
2. Patrons are liable for damage caused through careless or malicious use of the piano. The cost of the damage will be determined by the Library Director.
3. The piano is not available for practice by the general public.
4. No food or drinks will be used in the vicinity of the piano. No cups, glasses etc., will be placed on the piano at any time. Lessees will be responsible for damage incurred to the piano or the bench beyond natural wear and tear.
5. The piano is not available for rehearsals, private or social functions (e.g., birthdays or weddings), religious functions, commercial enterprises, or programs promoting or publicizing for profit services such as piano lessons.