- Public Library
Supervision of Children Policy
The Boonton Holmes Public Library encourages all children to visit the library and use its resources. The happiness and safety of children visiting the library is a serious concern. If left unattended for any length of time when no library program is being offered, children of any age may become bored, restless and disruptive.
Parents need to be aware that the library is a public facility. Each year hundreds of children are abducted from public places. Children visiting the library should be supervised, for their own safety and the consideration of other patrons.
The library does not provide daycare or afterschool care. The library is not responsible for unattended children. Parents are responsible for the supervision and behavior of their children at all times.
The following guidelines have been established to insure the safety and well-being of children visiting the library:
- Children 9 years of age or younger must be supervised by a caregiver aged 14 or over at all times and may not be left unattended in the children’s area unless they are attending a special children’s program. If the parent leaves the building, they must leave a contact phone number, in case of emergency.
- Children aged 10 – 14 years of age may be left alone in the library for reasonable periods of time. This time may vary with the child’s maturity, but is generally considered to be no more than 2 hours. Should problems arise, the library will attempt to contact a parent.
- Children aged 14 and over may be in the library alone for undetermined periods of time. Should problems arise, the library may ask the child to leave or contact a parent.
- The Library reserves the right to ask unattended children to sign in and present their library cards upon request.
- The Library reserves the right to notify the Boonton School District if students, providing they are unattended children and currently Boonton students, remain at the library during school hours.
- All children should be picked up or have arrangements to leave the library no later than 15 minutes before closing.
- If a problem should arise while children are visiting the library or if a child under 14 should remain at the library after closing, an attempt will be made to contact the parents. If the library staff is unable to reach the parents, or the child is not picked up with in 15 minutes after closing, the Boonton Police Department will be notified.
Welfare of Children
As a public agency, the library serves in the best interest of the welfare of all children. The library is required by law to notify the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) in the event of suspected abuse or neglect of any child. This includes, but is not limited to: mistreatment of a child, lack of proper supervision of a child or repeatedly leaving a child unattended at the library.
Approved by the Board of Trustees 2/27/97.
Patron Code of Conduct
The Boonton Holmes Public Library is an active center of information, cultural activities, recreation and learning. It is the policy of the library to offer a full range of library services to all residents of the community, regardless of age, sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation or economic status.
To better serve all library patrons, the Library Board of Trustees has established certain standards of acceptable behavior to maintain an atmosphere which promotes the use and enjoyment of the resources and services of the library and which protects the safety of the general public, the library staff and the equipment and materials of the library.
Any activity which interferes with the rights of other patrons to use the library, which could result in physical, emotional or mental injury to oneself or others, or could result in damage to the facilities, equipment, material or library property and grounds will be considered disruptive and unacceptable.
Conduct not acceptable in the library or on library grounds includes, but is not limited to:
- Engaging in any activity in violation of Federal, State, local or other applicable law or library policy.
- Behavior disruptive to the legitimate use of the library. This includes disorderly conduct, noise or activity, whether intentional or inadvertent, that interferes with the rights of others, physical abuse, abusive or threatening language and misuse of library equipment or furnishings.
- Any behavior that harasses or annoys others, such as staring at another person with the intent to annoy that person, following another person about the building with the intent to annoy that person, singing or talking to others or in monologues, or behaving in a manner which reasonably be expected to disturb others.
- Using audible devices without headphones or with headphones set at a volume that disturbs others. Using cell phones, pagers and other communication devices in a manner that disturbs others. Cell phone and pager audible ringers must be turned off.
- Any behavior that presents an eminent danger to the life or safety of others, including intentional non-emergency activation of alarmed exits or fire alarms.
- No person may carry any instrument which could reasonably and commonly be classified as a weapon or a dangerous instrument, or could be reasonably used as means of aggression or defense against another, into the Library or onto Library grounds, unless authorized by law to do so.
- Solicitation, gambling or panhandling, including distributing printed materials, signing petitions or conducting surveys not authorized by the library.
- Sleeping, except for young children under the supervision of the parent or caregiver.
- Neglecting to provide proper supervision of children.
- Smoking, chewing and other tobacco use in library facilities.
- Animals, insects and other living organisms may not be brought into the library, other than service animals necessary for disabilities, except as authorized by the Library Director.
- Using wheeled devices in the library or on library grounds including, but not limited to: skateboards, roller-skates, rollerblades, bicycles, scooters and shopping carts. Exceptions include wheelchairs, walkers and strollers.
- Patrons are required to wear a shirt and shoes in the library. Patrons whose bodily hygiene is offensive as to constitute a nuisance to other persons, shall be required to leave the building.
- No person may use the lavatory facilities other than for ordinary and usual use. Bathing and laundering clothes are specifically not permitted.
Library management has the discretion to discard personal items left unattended on library property in order to preserve a safe environment for library patrons, volunteers and staff.
All bags and other articles are subject to inspection by library staff members. The library reserves the right to limit the size and number of items brought into the library.
Violation of Patron Code of Conduct:
In the event that a patron violates any of these rules, a staff member will tell the individual that his/her behavior violates the Patron Code of Conduct, and that it must stop.
If the individual continues the behavior, a staff member will inform the patron that he/she will be asked to leave the library if the behavior does not stop immediately.
If the behavior persists, he/she will be asked to leave the library. If the patron refuses, the police will be called to remove the patron from the premises. Under no circumstances will a library employee touch the patron in any way. The staff member who deals with the patron, and any staff members who witness the interaction, will complete an incident report. If the Director is not immediately available, the Board of Trustees will be notified.
A patron may be banned from the library for a specific amount of time. This decision will be made by the Library Director. Notice of the suspension will be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the patron or, in the case of a minor child, his parents or guarding. A copy of the letter will be kept on file at the library.
Appeal of the suspension may be made, in writing, to the Board of Trustees, Boonton Holmes Public Library, 621 Main St. Boonton NJ 07005, within ten (10) days of receipt of notice of suspension. The patron, or in the case of a minor child, the parents or guardian, will be notified by the Board of the date and time of the hearing on the notice of appeal.
Multiple activities violating the patron code of conduct executed by the same offender will be considered the second or third offense, even if the action is different.
Adopted by the Board of Trustees, March 2006.
Internet Use Policy
The Trustees of the Boonton Holmes Public Library are committed to ensuring access to information through technology. Access to digital information is fundamental for supporting continuous lifelong learning. Recognizing its vital role in providing access to electronic information, the Boonton Holmes Public Library offers free public access to the Internet.
The Library upholds and affirms the right of every individual to have access to material on the Internet. The content of the Internet is not managed or governed by any entity; therefore users may encounter materials they consider offensive. The Library supports guided access to information. The Library also supports the right to privacy and confidentiality of Library users in accordance with New Jersey law. Parents and guardians are responsible for monitoring Internet access by children.
The Library Board and its employees assume no responsibility for damages of any type arising from the use of Boonton Holmes Public Library Internet workstations.
Illegal use of the Internet is prohibited. Patrons may not use the Library’s Internet access to view, print, distribute, display, send or receive images, text or graphics of obscene material or material that violates laws relating to child pornography. Library users may not disseminate, exhibit or display to minors materials that are harmful to minors.
Library users must abide by the Internet Use Rules as approved by the Library Board.
The Boonton Holmes Public Library provides Internet access for conducting research, retrieving information, exploring ideas, facilitating communication, and accessing the full array of resources available through the World Wide Web. These are fundamental to supporting continuous lifelong learning for people of all ages. Unlike the selection of library materials on library shelves, however, librarians do not select the offerings of the Internet. Because not all Internet sites are accurate and complete, and some sites may be offensive, library users are encouraged to exercise critical judgment in accessing these sites.
The Internet has raised new challenges for public libraries. Because of its graphical display format, we must through these guidelines work to balance the rights of individuals to access information and the need to provide a welcoming environment for people of all ages. The Library is committed to providing its employees and patrons with an environment that is free from all forms of harassment, including sexual harassment, and prohibiting the display of obscene material, child pornography, and material that is harmful to minors and to make every possible effort within constitutional limits to prevent minors from viewing materials that could be deemed harmful.
Internet Use Rules
The following rules and procedures govern the use of Internet workstations:
- Time Limit per person: Two half-hour sessions per day are allotted for each patron. Patrons may sign up at any available computer; if there are no available computers, patrons may join the wait list at the Circulation Desk.
- Internet Access will be available until 15 minutes before closing. Basic instructions for use will be available.
- Catalog Only Workstations: There is one workstation designated for use of the Library catalog. This workstation is not to be used for general Internet use.
- ChildrenÂ’s Workstations: The workstation in the ChildrenÂ’s Room is designated for primary use by children. Procedures at this location regulate use of this workstation by persons other than the intended audience.
- Shared Use of Workstations: No more than two persons may share the use of an Internet workstation at the same time. Study group accommodations may be made with staff.
- Information may be saved by printing or downloading to your own CD or USB key. Printouts cost $0.15 (fifteen cents) per page. The Boonton Holmes Public Library is not responsible for any information downloaded from a library computer.
Responsibilities of Users
All patrons must observe the policies, rules and procedures established by the Library, including the Internet Use. Users should bear in mind that the workstations are located in public areas shared by people of all ages and backgrounds, and are expected to show consideration for others when viewing web pages. All library users are expected to respect the privacy of all other library users.
Use of any workstation is for legal purposes only.
No person shall use a library workstation in a way that disturbs or interferes with users, employees or operations of the Library. Patrons may not:
- View, print, distribute display, send, or receive images, text or graphics of obscene materials or material that violates laws relating to child pornography.
- Disseminate, exhibit, or display to minors materials that are harmful to minors.
- Use an Internet workstation to transmit threatening or harassing material
- Engage in any activity that is deliberately offensive or creates an intimidating or hostile environment.
- Violate copyright or software licensing agreements, including the downloading of copyrighted text or music files.
- Gain unauthorized access to any computing, information, or communications devices or resources.
- Damage, alter, or degrade computer equipment, peripherals, software, or configurations.
- Install software applications.
- Use a workstation to wager or place bets.
Responsibility and Authority of Staff
Library employees are responsible for implementing the Internet Use Rules. Library employees are expected to take prompt and appropriate action to enforce the Internet Use Rules, and are authorized to terminate an Internet use session by anyone who fails to comply. Library employees may refuse to provide assistance to a patron if they believe that it may result in them viewing pornographic material on a computer display screen or in printed form, but then they must immediately request assistance from a supervisor who will take appropriate action.
Use of the Internet by Children
The Boonton Holmes Public Library respects the responsibility of all parents, guardians and caregivers to guide their own children’s use of the library, its resources and services; displaying of materials harmful to minors is prohibited. Both posted signs and the staff encourage parents, guardians, teachers, and caregivers to work with their children at these workstations.
Parents, guardians, and caregivers are responsible for their own childrenÂ’s use of the Internet. They are encouraged to discuss the use of the Internet with their children in relation to their own beliefs and boundaries, and to monitor their childrenÂ’s use of the Internet. The Library will offer tools to assist parents, guardians, and caregivers in their work with their own children. The tools include but are not limited to skilled staff, handouts and recommended websites.
Although filtering software is utilized, it is an imperfect technology. The Boonton Holmes Public Library is not able to guarantee the effectiveness of this technology and emphasizes that parents, guardians, and caregivers are responsible for their own childrenÂ’s use of the Internet as certain uses of the Internet and/or World Wide Web might be inappropriate or harmful to minor children.
Failure to Comply
Failure to comply with the Internet Use Policy will result in a request from staff to discontinue the activity. Continued violations will result in a request to leave the library facility, and may lead to revocation of library privileges, including the right to visit the buildings and grounds. Repeat offenders or persons ordered from the premises who do not comply may be subject to arrest and prosecution for trespassing.
Offenders may be subject to criminal prosecution under federal or state law, and should expect the Library to pursue such action to the fullest extent of the law. By way of illustration, but not by limitation, under New Jersey law, it is a crime of the third degree, punishable by imprisonment from 3-5 years and a fine of $15,000, to access, alter, damage or destroy a computer system or any of its parts, purposely and without authorization (N.J.S.A. 2C:20-30); it is a crime of the third degree punishable by imprisonment from 3-5 years and a fine of $15,000, to directly or indirectly disclose or cause to be disclosed data, data base, computer software or computer programs, purposely and without authorization (N.J.S.A. 2C:20-31); and, it is a disorderly persons offense, punishable by imprisonment up to 1 year and a fine of $1,000, to access a computer or any of its parts, purposely and without authorization, notwithstanding that such access does not result in the altering, damaging or destruction of any property or services (N.J.S.A. 2C:20-32). Additionally, it is a crime in the fourth degree to publicly display, post, exhibit, give away, or vocalize obscene material (N.J.S.A. 2C:34-4).
The Library must be notified about any violations of computer laws and policies, as well as actual or potential breaches of security of the computer system and networks. All users of the LibraryÂ’s computer system and networks are expected to cooperate with the Library in its operation of the computer system and networks, as well as the investigation of misuse or abuse.
The Boonton Holmes Public Library assumes no responsibility for any damage, direct or indirect, that users or anyone else may suffer through access to the Internet. All public Internet users agree to hold the Library harmless from any claims, losses, damages, and obligations related to:
- Infringement of U.S. Copyright Law governing the reproduction, distribution, adaptation, public performance, and public display of copyrighted material.
- The use and/or accuracy of information obtained from the Library’s electronic information system.
- Damage to non-library software or hardware resulting from viruses downloaded via the Library’s Internet services.