Americans with Disabilities Act Policy
The MCPLS adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 that assures equal access to employment opportunities and access to all library facilities, activities, and programs. Every attempt will be made to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities and the library welcomes input from persons with disabilities about the ways the library can more completely serve them. Questions about ADA compliance and complaints or suggestions about accessibility of library facilities, activities, and programs should be addressed to the library director.
Exhibits and Display Case Policy
Display space is available in the library’s exhibit case for educational, artistic, and cultural materials that promote interest in the use of books, library materials, and information, or that share information about local area and cultural groups. Preference will be given to exhibits that are timely and of general interest. Displays that focus on a public issue (including elections and political issues) must include information about major aspects of differing points of view.
Displays that are solely commercial in focus are not appropriate.
Displays will generally be changed ever 2-4 months. Groups or individuals desiring to use the exhibit case should submit a request to the exhibit coordinator at least two months in advance. Generally, the same group or individual may display items one time per year.
The library director may reject any exhibit or display that does not fit with the mission of the library or that is not neat and presented attractively. Labels for exhibit items must be neat and legible.
The library will take reasonable care to ensure the safety and security of items displayed, however the library has no insurance to cover exhibit items and assumes no responsibility in the event of loss, theft, or damage. Exhibitors are encouraged to insure items of value and will be required to sign a form that releases the library from responsibility for loss, damage, or destruction. Items must be removed from the exhibit case as scheduled by the exhibit coordinator or they will be removed and stored for 30 days by library staff. After thirty days, they will be disposed of in accordance with local law. Display of items in the library does not indicate endorsement of the issues, events, or services promoted by those materials.
The MCPLS provides fax/scan service to the community. MCPLS will not be held responsible for any illegal fax/scan transactions.
International fax service is not available. COST:
- $1.00 per transaction to send or receive.
- One fax cannot be more than 25 pages.
- There is no charge to scan.
- There is a limit of five scans per patron, per day.
- One scan cannot be more than 10 pages.
Created 01/22/09 Revised 09/19/2017
Donation and Appraisal Policy
MCPLS welcomes gifts of gently-used DVDs, magazines, and books. Donated books should be less than five years old or of local significance. The library cannot accept donations of reference materials (textbooks, encyclopedias, etc.), items with writing or other markings, or items with odors, dirt, mold, etc. Any donation of more than ten (10) items must be approved by a member of the management team at least 24 hours before drop-off.
Items will be added to the collection in accordance with the selection policy of the library. Once donated, items become the property of the MCPLS, and may be given to other libraries, other non-profit agencies, sold, traded, or discarded if they are not added to the collection. Donated items will not be returned to the donor and the library will not accept any item that is not an outright gift. The library will acknowledge receipt of donated items but is unable to set fair market or appraisal values. It is recommended that the donor make a list of items donated. If items are being donated to obtain a tax benefit, it is the donor’s responsibility to establish fair market value or obtain expert assistance in establishing any value. The library also reserved the right to decide when a gift added to the collection must be withdrawn.
Monetary gifts, bequests, and memorial or honorary contributions are welcome. Funds donated will be used to purchase items in accordance with the selection policy of the library. Books, videos, and other materials purchased with bequests and memorial or honorary contributions will be sent to the family of the person being recognized. Suggestions for subject areas or other areas of interest are welcome and will be followed to the extent possible.
Acceptance of donations of equipment, real estate, stock, artifacts, works of art, collections, etc., will be determined by the library board based on their suitability to the purposes and needs of the library, law and regulations that govern the ownership of the gift, and the library’s ability to cover insurance and maintenance costs associated with the donation.
Created 06/23/09 Updated 4/21/21
Patrons and staff of the MCPLS have the right to enjoy an environment free from harassment or lewd conduct. Anyone, including patrons, who harasses staff or another patron, will be asked to leave the library and a report will be filed with the director. Repeated acts of harassment or acts that may escalate into violent or illegal actions will be report to the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, the Benton City Police Department, or the Calvert City Police Department.
Lewd acts or sexual misconduct is not appropriate in the library. Those who commit minor acts will be given one warning and then asked to leave.
Examples of minor acts are:
- Patrons, of any age, who “make out” in the library
- Vulgar or inappropriate gestures
- Repeatedly asking staff to override policies
Serious acts and acts of harassment will be reported to the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, the Benton City Police Department, or the Calvert City Police Department. All serious acts will be reported to the Director.
Created 01/22/09 Revised 03/23/10
Meeting Room Policy
Availability and Fees:
The purpose of the meeting rooms is to make them available to as many community groups as possible. Therefore, a non-library group may not monopolize the use of the meeting room.
Rules for Using the Meeting Room:
- Library sponsored programs will receive first priority. There may be times that the library will have to unexpectedly cancel a group’s meeting to allow a library function to be held.
- No fee is charged for use of the facility.
- Pass-through costs for educational materials or supplies may be allowed if pre-approved by the Director.
- No materials, equipment or furniture belonging to any organization will be stored on Library premises, and the Library will not assume responsibility for any materials or items left on the premises.
- Library sponsored events for the purpose of raising funds for the Library are allowed.
- Groups consisting mainly of persons under eighteen (18) years of age must have an adult in supervision at all times during the meeting. The contact adult may not leave the premises until all other attendees have departed even if the library itself is open.
- Light, non-alcoholic refreshments may be served by the group, but no serving materials will be provided by the Library. If the carpet or furnishings are soiled during the use of Library facilities, the organization must pay the cost of cleaning. Garbage should be disposed of as leaving.
- The room must be restored in an orderly manner after use, chairs in place, tables clean, garbage taken off, etc.
- If a meeting is canceled, the Library must be notified at once and at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled event unless unexpected hazardous weather or other emergencies occur.
- In compliance with fire code regulations, attendance for any use of the facility may not exceed the room’s capacity.
- If a question is raised as to the objectives and/or activities of any organization or group requesting use of the meeting room, the Board of Trustees shall be the final authority in granting or refusing permission for the use of the room.
- Activities likely to disturb regular Library functions. Prior approval for such possible events may be obtained.
- Individuals, organizations or groups presenting programs of which the primary purpose is the disparagement or denigration of another individual, organization, or group.
- Functions such as birthday parties, bridal or baby showers, reunions, etc.
- Functions or activities which could endanger the safety of anyone while in attendance. The library cannot be held responsible for accidents or injuries occurring during use of the facility.
- Groups conducting moneymaking activities while using the facility.
- Meetings promoting sales or services may NOT be held.
- Advertising products for sale is also prohibited.
- Nonprofit and public organizations may seek permission from the Board of Trustees to hold fundraising activities. Requests must be made at least sixty (60) days in advance. Fundraisers for political parties or candidates are not allowed.
Reserving the Meeting Room:
- The appropriate form used to reserve the meeting room must be filled out, signed, and returned to the library.
- A contact name and phone number must be provided. The contact person will be responsible for turning off meeting room and restroom lights as well as restitution for any fees.
- Advance reservations for groups are allowed, but not earlier than six (6) months prior to the event.
- Meeting rooms are intended for groups use. Individual use may be scheduled on an as- needed basis no more than one week in advance.
Created 01/22/09 Revised 10/20/21
Emergency Situation Policy
Emergency situations are covered in the Library’s Emergency Plan. The Emergency Plan will be updated by the Director and Facilities Manager on a regular basis. All staff members will be given a copy of the Emergency Plan, and annual trainings on emergency procedures will be held.
Created 01/22/09 Revised 07/21/21
Unattended Children Policy (for children of ages 12 and under)
The Marshall County Public Library System welcomes children to use its facilities and services. However, the responsibility for the care, safety and behavior of children using the library rests with the parent, guardian or caregiver. A caregiver must be at least 16 years of age. The Library is not an alternative to daycare. Unlike a daycare facility, the library is not a closed environment.
All library patrons are required to abide by Library Rules & Regulations. Failure to abide by Library Rules and Regulations may result in the exclusion of a patron from the Library and/or access to the Library and its services.
- Children under the age of 10 must have a parent or caregiver in the immediate vicinity unless they are participating in a library program.
- Parents or caregivers for those ages 5 & under who do not attend the program with the child should remain in the building.
- Parents are still responsible for the actions of their children.
- Children of ages 10 - 12 may use the Library unattended for up to three (3) hours.
- Parents are still responsible for the actions of their children. Children using inappropriate behavior will be informed of the rules. If inappropriate behavior continues, the child shall be asked to leave the Library.
- If a child under the age of 13 and is in need of supervision and no parent, guardian, or caregiver can be located in the building or otherwise contacted, library staff will notify police.
- Children at least 13 years of age may be unattended as long as they abide by Library Rules and Regulations.
Children who are left to wait outside the building for a ride after the library has closed are placed in a vulnerable position. If a child under the age of 13, or with an obvious impairment, has not been picked up by closing time, employees will attempt to contact the parents or caregivers and two employees will wait with the child. If the child has not been picked up after 15 minutes, the police or sheriff department will be summoned to assist the child. Under no circumstances will a library employee provide a child a ride home.
Created 01/22/09 Revised 02/21/17
MCPL does not have the ability to host long-term volunteers; however, the Library will work with individuals who need a limited number of volunteer hours for a service organization or government program. Persons seeking to volunteer should contact the Branch Manager of the location in which they wish to volunteer.
In order to protect patron privacy, volunteers will not be allowed within the staff areas of the Library. Typical tasks for volunteers will include straightening shelves, cleaning materials, and assisting with staff-led programs.
MCPL does not use volunteers as presenters at story times. Marshall County Public Library Youth Services Staff are trained in the use of research-based practices for supporting early literacy and the development of the whole child. As such, story times meet the early literacy needs of children and educate caregivers in ways to foster literacy development.
Created 01/22/09 Revised 12/21/22
Unscheduled Closing Policy
There may be times when the Library must close without prior planning for public and staff safety reasons. In keeping with the mission of the Library, unscheduled closings will be kept to a minimum.
The Director will decide whether to close the library for inclement weather, public health events, or other emergency situations using the available following information:
- Marshall County Board of Education Transportation Department school closing information
- Weather forecasts
- Circumstances affecting public health and safety in the Library building and its vicinity
- Announcements from local, state, or federal government
There may be some instances when an individual branch may have to close due to a power outage, lack of water, or other circumstance. If a branch loses a utility, the Branch Manager or senior-most staff member should place a call to that utility to see if they have an estimate for when it will be restored. If the time frame is more than one hour, staff may be sent home with the provision that they must be able to return to work within 30 minutes of being informed that the utility has been restored. The determination as to whether or not to send staff home will be made by the Director.
Library staff will be paid for scheduled work time if the library is closed due to an unscheduled event. In some instances, library staff members may be given work from home assignments when library buildings are closed to the public.
Library closings will be communicated to staff members via text message. Announcements to the public will go out via various media outlets.
Weapons in the Library
In accordance with KRS 237.115, the Marshall County Public Library cannot prohibit adult users from carrying concealed or unconcealed deadly weapons onto the premises. However, the Marshall County Public Library does request that users not bring deadly weapons onto library property unless doing so for professional purposes, such as the carrying of deadly weapons by law enforcement personnel.
Per KRS 527.100, the Marshall County Public Library prohibits juvenile users (those under the age of 18) from carrying handguns, except in the circumstances prescribed by KRS. 527.100.
Service Animal Policy
WHAT IS A SERVICE ANIMAL?
The library recognizes that service animals assist people with disabilities to deal with the effects of their disabilities. Under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) animals are defined only as dogs (and miniature horses in some situations). Service animals may be any breed, size or weight. Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars or harnesses. Service animals are not required to have special licenses, to be certified, or to have any visible identification.
NOTE: In some situations, a person with a disability may require more than one service animal, where each animal provides a different type of assistance. For example, an individual may need both a hearing dog and a seizure alert dog.
WHAT DO SERVICE ANIMALS DO?
The library recognizes that service animals perform various tasks and provide services for people with disabilities, who can train their own service animals.
Here are some examples:
- Guide – serves as a travel aide for a person who is legally blind.
- Hearing or signal – alerts a person with hearing loss or deafness when a sound occurs, such as an alarm or a knock on the door.
- Mobility assistance – helps a person who has a mobility or health disability. They may carry, fetch, open doors, ring doorbells, activate elevator buttons, pull a wheelchair, steady a person while walking, help someone get up after a fall, etc.
- Seizure response – warns a person of an impending seizure, or provides aid during a seizure, such as going for help or standing guard over the person.
- Therapeutic assistance – aids people with cognitive or psychological disabilities, allowing them to live more independently. These animals may bring an emergency phone during a crisis, call 911 or the suicide hotline, turn on the lights in a dark room, bring medications, bark for help in an emergency, assist a person with panic disorder in coping with crowds, etc.
- Psychiatric and neurological assistance - The use of service dogs for psychiatric and neurological disabilities is explicitly protected under the ADA.
Dogs whose sole function is “the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship” are not considered service dogs under the ADA.
RULES FOR SERVICE ANIMALS
- will not place limitations on the size, weight, and breed of service animals.
- will require service animals to meet reasonable behavior rules.
- will require service animals to be vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), organizations that serve the public, like the Public Library, must allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals into all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go.
The ADA provides greater protection for individuals with disabilities and so it takes priority over local and state laws and regulations.
Library employees may only ask:
- Is your animal a service or assistance animal required because of a disability?
- What tasks the animal has your animal been trained to perform?
- Do you have proof of vaccination for the service animal? A copy is required.
Staff will fill out a verification form when service animals are verified with the date and answers to the above questions.
Based upon the answers to these questions library staff will make a determination as to the status of the animal as a pet or legitimate service animal.
Employees cannot require documentation such as special ID cards or proof of certification for the animal or ask about the specific nature of a person's disability, e.g. "Are you blind?" or "Are you under a physician's care for this?"
People with disabilities who use service animals will not be isolated from other patrons or employees or treated less favorably than other patrons or employees.
ANIMAL CARE AND SUPERVISION
The patron has the responsibility to care for and supervise the service animal. The patron should retain full control of the animal at all times. This generally means that while the animal is in the library, it must be on leash, in a carrier, or otherwise in the direct control of its owner.
When around other people or animals, the service animal should be well behaved (no jumping, snarling, nipping, excessive barking). The patron is responsible for the safe removal of animal waste products.
REMOVAL OF A SERVICE ANIMAL
If a service animal is unruly, disruptive (aggressively jumping, nipping, etc.) or not house trained, library staff may ask the patron remove the animal. If the animal’s inappropriate behavior happens repeatedly, the librarian may request that the patron not bring the animal into common areas of the library until steps have been taken to mitigate the behavior (such as refresher training), or may require that the animal be removed from the library altogether.
WHAT ABOUT OTHERS WHO ARE AFRAID OF OR ALLERGIC TO ANIMALS?
A fear of or minor allergy to dogs or other animals is not a disability, so the library does not need to “accommodate” in those situations. In rare cases, a person’s allergy may be so severe that animal contact may cause respiratory distress. In those situations, the allergic person may also request an accommodation, such as keeping the animal and the allergic person separate, as much as is possible.
SENSITIVITY AND AWARENESS
Management will ensure that staff is properly trained about service animal policies, including the following rules:
- Allow a service animal to accompany the patron at all times and everywhere in the library except where animals are prohibited for safety reasons.
- Do not separate or attempt to separate a resident from the service animal.
- Do not pet or talk to a service animal when it is working – this distracts the animal from its tasks.
- Do not feed a service animal, which may have specific dietary requirements. Unusual food or food at an unexpected time may cause the animal to become ill.
- Do not deliberately startle a service animal or make noises at the animal (barking, whistling, etc.).
- Be aware that many people with disabilities do not care to share personal details.
If other patrons complain that they are not allowed pets and want to know why an exception was made, staff should state that the library complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Any complaints should be forwarded to the director.
SERVICE ANIMAL POLICY FORM
Limited English Proficiency Policy
It is the goal of the Marshall County Public Library to be equitable in its extension of services to all patrons. For that reason, the library will take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to patrons with limited English proficiency.
According to the 2010 census, 1.5%, or approximately 470 persons in Marshall County speak a language other than English at home. Interactions with persons who have limited English proficiency account for less than 1% of all library transactions. Due to population size and the nature of library services, there are no vital document translations required.
In order to identify the language needed, each branch will keep a language chart as provided at www.lep.gov at each circulation desk.
In order to assist patrons with limited English proficiency, the library will identify staff with some knowledge of a second language. Staff will be encouraged to assist limited English proficiency patrons in whatever ways possible, including using Google Translate to assist their efforts. If staff are unsuccessful in being able to communicate with the patron, an online interpreter service (such as virtualinterpreter.org) will be used. Only reputable interpreter services who can guarantee patron privacy will be used.
To help make library services more accessible for our patrons, staff will be encouraged to attend webinars and take video courses on working with people with limited English proficiency, including lessons specifically designed for library staff working with hard of hearing and deaf patrons.
For patrons requesting an interpreter service at a library program, all efforts will be made to contract a local, in-person interpreter. Should a local interpreter not be available, a virtual interpreter service will be used.