The mission of the Warren County Library is to provide high quality, cost-effective, modern library services to all qualified residents of Warren County. Library services are planned in accordance with the identified needs of the residents and are provided equally and without discrimination to all qualified residents who adhere to the Library policies.
Goals and Objectives:
In order to fulfill its Mission Statement, the Warren County Library serves as:
1. Educational support center for students of all ages
2. Discovery and learning center for pre-school children
3. Learning center for adult independent learners
4. Center for information about the community
5. Center for scholars and researchers to undertake limited research
6. Recreational reading center of popular materials
7. Information center for community businesses
8. Comfortable quiet place to read, think, or work while using Library resources
9. Community activities center (where facilities exist)
10. General information center for community residents
Warren County Library receives funding through property taxes from the seventeen (17) townships in the county, and which is provided for in NJSA 33:40 concerning the creation and maintenance of county libraries. The seventeen (17) Townships in Warren County constitute the service area of the Library.
Excluded from the service area are the municipalities of Alpha, Belvidere, Hackettstown, Phillipsburg and Washington Borough. These municipalities support and maintain independent libraries which are not part of the county library system.
Memberships are renewed annually.
Resident Card: Persons who reside, or own property in the library service area are entitled to a free Warren County Library card. Warren County Library also contracts with the Phillipsburg Library to provide free library service to persons who reside in our service area.
Non-Resident Card: Persons who reside outside of the service area, but not limited to Alpha, Belvidere, Hackettstown, Phillipsburg and Washington Borough can purchase a Warren County Library membership. Fees for the card are consistent with the tax support provided by residents and property owners in our service area. Non-resident card purchases are non-refundable and can be purchased as three (3) month, six (6) month, or annual (12 month) memberships.
Open Borrowing Card: Persons with a valid library membership from one of the participating libraries in the reciprocal borrowing agreement "Open Borrowing," can use their library card from their local library at the Warren County Library. Warren County Library may refuse service to any person whose account has been identified as blocked or not in good standing by their home library. Warren County Library does not extend reciprocal borrowing under the "Open Borrowing" agreement to members of municipal libraries located in Warren County. (Alpha, Belvidere, Hackettstown, Phillipsburg, and Washington Borough) There is no charge for this membership. Cost of this service is paid by participating libraries and is assessed on usage of the service.
Courtesy Card: Warren County Library extends courtesy memberships to non-residents and organizations who meet the qualifications listed below.
a) Schools located in the library's service area can be issued an organization card. Application for such card must be in the form of a letter from the principal, owner, or board president on an annual basis. The card will be issued under the name of the school, however, the person signing the application will be responsible for all fines and/or replacement charges for library material borrowed on the card, regardless of who used the card.
b) Businesses or organizations with a permanent address in the library's service area can be issued a card. Application for such card must be in the form of a letter from the business owner or the executive of the organization. Proof of address, such as a current lease, is required to establish requirement. The card will be issued in the name of the business or organization; however, the person signing the application will be responsible for all fines and/or replacement charges for library material borrowed on the card, regardless of who used the card.
c) Former Warren County Library Commission members and retired library staff members.
d) Students and teachers at Warren County Community College and Warren County Techical School; or teachers at schools visited by the Warren County Bookmobile who do not reside in the library service area. Membership is for the use of the student or teacher only, and will expire at the end of the school term. Proof of employment or attendance at the school will be required.
e) Warren County Employees who do not reside in the library service area. Proof of current employment is required.
f) New Jersey State Employees working in our service area, performing work related to the operation of Warren County government. Proof of current employment is required.
Children are eligible for a library card when they are able to sign their first and last names. A parent or legal guardian who qualifies for a resident card, or has paid for a non-resident card, must accompany a minor (under 18) who is applying for a card, and accept responsibility for the return of library materials, any charges on the minor's account, and the minor's choice of library material.
Identification is required when applying for or renewing your library membership. The type of identification varies with the type of card being issued. All members must provide documents that show identity and current address. Courtesy cards require additional proof that will demonstrate qualification for a card, such as a current student card, county-issued pay stub, or lease for business space. Open Borrowing members must have a valid library card and must be in good standing with their home library.
Adopted September 26, 2013
Per Resolution 2013-11
- You may borrow up to 50 items per card. The library reserves the right to place limits on circulating materials because of high demand.
- Library materials may be returned to any Warren County Library agency regardless of where the materials are borrowed.
- Bookdrops and audio-visual drop boxes are provided at each agency for the return of all library materials. Be sure to place items in the proper drop boxes. A $1.00 fine will be charged for any video cassette or CD product left in the bookdrop.
- New Jersey law and Warren County Library policies ensure that all of your library transactions are kept confidential. Therefore, if you want another person to pick up an item for you at the library, please remember that you must give them your library card. In this way, the library staff will know that you have authorized that person to retrieve your materials.
- Books circulate for 4 weeks and new adult fiction books for 14 days.
- Audio cassette books and books on CD circulate for 4 weeks, and 10 titles may be checked out per card.
- Music CDs circulate for 14 days and 10 titles may be checked out per card.
- CD-ROMs circulate for 4 weeks and 10 titles may be checked out per adult card.
- Magazines that circulate may be borrowed for 14 days.
- Videos and DVDs: a combination of 10 may be taken out per adult card. All juvenile, entertainment, and instructional (non-fiction) videos and DVDs circulate for 7 days. A $1.00 per day fine will be charged for each overdue video or DVD.
- Patrons will not be allowed to transfer DVDs to another library card.
- Video Games circulate for 14 days, and 10 titles may be checked out per adult card. A $1.00 per day fine will be charged for each overdue video game.
- Leapfrog Platforms and Books: Platforms circulate for 4 weeks, with no limit on the number of platforms that may be borrowed. Leapfrog books circulate for 4 weeks and 10 may be taken out per adult or juvenile card. A $1.00 per day fine will be charged for each overdue Leapfrog platform.
- Circulating materials may be placed on reserve, with the exception of a Shelf Copy DVD.
- All circulating materials, except shelf copy DVDs, may be renewed for 2 additional periods if they are not on reserve. Materials may be renewed in person, by phone, or online.
*New DVDs and adult fiction books circulate as location-specific priority versus items that will be on a first-come, first served basis. (Library Commission 6/22/10)
- Service will be stopped for any patrons who owe the library money in the amount of $20.00 or more.
- Once patrons owe money in an amount less than $20.00, they may start borrowing again provided that each time they come in to borrow, they pay at least ½ of the total they owe.
- Once patrons owe $1.00 or less, they must pay the whole amount in order to have their services restored.
- This policy will go into effect August 11, 2008.
Adopted by the Library Commission 6/24/08
Dust Jacket or Laminate Cover
Single Disc Case $3.00
Multi Disc Case $5.00
Single Disc Case $3.00
Multi Disc Case $5.00
Single Cassette $2.00
Double Cassette $4.00
Audio Cassette Cases
1-3 Cassette Capacity $6.00
4-10 Cassette Capacity $8.00
12-16 Cassette Capacity $9.00
24 Cassette Capacity $13.00
Books on CD with ring cases
Any capacity $12.00
CD Sleeve for case $1.00
Labor fee for damaged items
Maximum of $5.00
Interlibrary Loan Sleeve Removed or Lost
Patrons are charged the original purchase price for lost items. If the original purchase price is not listed in the computer system, a default price is assessed based on item type.
Damaged items should be declared lost if they cannot be repaired. Items that can be repaired should be assessed the appropriate processing replacement charges and labor fee. The labor fee will vary from no charge to $5.00 depending on the extent of damage and time required to repair the item.
Passed by the Library Commission on April 26, 2011
All information regarding a borrower's use of library materials is confidential. This includes such information as ownership of a library card, when or if the card was used, what items were borrowed or used in the library, what reference questions were asked, what reserve items were requested or any other information relating the borrower's library usage.
If a properly executed court order is presented, an authorized employee can divulge confidential library information to a law enforcement agent.
Such information is considered confidential in accordance with American Library and New Jersey State Library resolutions and N.J.S.A. 18A: 73-43.1 to 18A: 73-43.3.
To allow all patrons of the Warren County Library to use its facilities to the fullest extent during regularly scheduled hours, the Library Commission has adopted the following rules and regulations:
*Engage in activities associated with the use of a public library.
Patrons not reading, studying, or using library materials may be required to leave the building.
*Respect the rights of other patrons.
Patrons shall not harass or annoy others through noisy or boisterous activities, by staring at another person with the intent to annoy that person, by following another person around the building with the intent to annoy that person, by playing audio equipment so that others can hear it, by singing or talking loudly to others or in monologues, or by behaving in a manner which can be reasonably expected to disturb others.
PATRONS SHALL NOT:
*Consume food or beverages, smoke or use tobacco or tobacco products in the library.
*Be under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the library.
*Engage in any illegal activity while in the library building.
*Interfere with the use of the library by other patrons, or interfere with library employees' performance of their duties.
*Deface or mar library materials.
Books, magazines, newspapers, recordings or other items of the library collection, nor shall they deface, mar or in any way destroy or damage library furnishings, walls, machines, or other library property.
*Enter the building without shoes.
Patrons must wear shoes or other footwear. Patrons whose bodily hygiene is offensive so as to constitute a nuisance to their patrons or employees may be required to leave the building.
*Bring pets or animals into the library.
(Other than guide dogs for the visually impaired)
Each patron shall be responsible for any fines, fees, or other charges due in accordance with the library's standard schedules. Failure to pay these fines will result in the suspension of borrowing privileges.
Any materials removed from the library must be checked out on a valid library card or through other standard library procedures such as interlibrary loan.
Any patron not abiding by these or other rules and regulations of the library may be required to leave the library premises. Library employees may contact the police if deemed advisable.
Any patron who violates these rules and regulations may be denied the privilege of access to the library by the Library Commission on the recommendation of the Library Director. A patron whose privileges have been denied may have the decision reviewed by the Library Commission.
Amended per minutes from 2/16/06 meeting of the Warren County Library Commission:
"When a patron violates our current Patron Behavior Policy we warn them and if their behavior continues, we ask them to leave the premises for 24 hours. Staff will keep a list with the patron name, date, approximate time of the incident, as well as a brief description of the incident. If the patron violates the policy a second time, they are also banned for 24 hours. The third time a patron violates our policy, they will be banned from that facility for a three-month period. At the time of the first violation, the patron will be informed about the "three-strike" rule."
The Free Public Library of Warren County is concerned for the safety and well being of children left unattended in the library. We urge parents to remember that the library is a public building, and it is not in the child's best interest to be left unattended. The library has implemented the following policy for the safety of all children visiting the library:
- Children under the age of 6 years must be accompanied by an adult
caregiver (age 13 or over) at all times while in the library.
- Children 6-8 years of age must have an adult caregiver (age 13 or
over) present in the library.
- Children aged 9-12 may be left alone in the library for reasonable
periods of time, but parents are responsible for their behavior and will
be contacted if necessary. (Reasonable periods of time may vary with
child's maturity, but generally 2 hours is acceptable.)
- Children 13 and over may be in the library without an adult. Should
problems arise, the library may ask the child to leave or contact a
If problems arise while children are using the library or if they are left alone, the library staff will attempt to contact the parents. If the library staff is unable to reach the parents or guardian, other appropriate action will be taken. Parents are required to be at the library before closing to pick up children.
An unattended child is any child under the age of 9 who is in the library unaccompanied by a parent or responsible caregiver (age 13 or over), or whose parent or responsible caregiver is not present in the library, as the case may be. An unattended child shall also include any child between the ages of 9 and 12 who is left unattended for an unreasonable period of time, as the case may be.
A vulnerable child is any child who would be at risk if sent out of the library building.
Parents, not library staff, are responsible for the behavior of the children using the library.
Adopted by the WCL Commission 4/20/00.
The Warren County Library encourages the teamwork of staff and volunteers so that it can offer patrons the best service possible. Volunteers do not replace paid staff as the need arises, but do support and extend the services of the Library, as they contribute unique talents, skills, and knowledge. Volunteers provide enhanced service levels to patrons and educate others about the Library and its mission. The Warren County Library is committed to providing an array of volunteer opportunities at all levels of the library system and the best possible use of volunteer resources in order to offer quality library service from all of its agencies and programs.
The Warren County Library is in agreement with the Principles for Success as adapted by the Library Administration Division of the American Library Association. Specifically, the Library's volunteer program will include the elements of effective recruitment, selection, training, supervision, evaluation and recognition.
Volunteers will be placed, based on their qualifications and the needs of the library, without regard to sex, age, religious beliefs, and other protected categories under New Jersey and Federal Law.
While volunteers may be accepted who are under the age of eighteen years, they must have the written consent of a parent or guardian.
Volunteers will be trained and are expected to know the various laws and policies that affect their work within the Library.
The Library will assign a staff member to act as a volunteer coordinator in working with the various team leaders.
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- The number of library computers available for public use are limited and must be shared. Therefore, there will be a 1/2 hour time limit placed on their use when others are waiting.
- Usage of the library's computers will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Should a conflict in use arise between library members and non-members, priority will be given to the library member. Non-members may purchase a library card to qualify as a library member.
- While the library's public access computers may be used free of charge, there will be a 10 cents per page charge for any black and white printouts and a 25 cents per page charge for any color printouts.
- Users SHALL:
a. Provide their own formatted disks or purchase them at the desk for $1.00 each.
b. Check their floppy disks for viruses on the library's virus checker.
Users SHALL NOT:
a. Change the setup of any library computer.
b. Install their own software on the library computers.
c. Save anything on the library computers' hard drives.
The library is not responsible for any damage that may occur to a patron's software or storage method.
No programs of any type, including CD-ROMs circulated by the library, may be loaded into the computers.
Young children using the library's computers should be supervised by an adult.
Adopted by the Library Commission 2/27/97
Revised 3/19/98 and 4/16/98
- Warren County Library ("Library") is firmly committed to its mission to provide high quality, cost-effective, modern library service to all qualified residents of Warren County, and considers providing its patrons with access to the Internet an integral part of that mission. To this end, the Library has designated certain computers which are available to patrons for access to the Internet to meet their informational and educational needs.
- The Internet is a largely unregulated world-wide network of computers that offers access to a wealth of information from around the globe. While information found on the Internet can be personally, professionally and culturally rewarding, it can also be inaccurate, disturbing, or even illegal.
- The Library, as a matter of policy, does not electronically monitor or filter patrons' access to the Internet, and therefore cannot be responsible for the content of the material they access while in the Library.
- The Library does, however, monitor the length of time that patrons use Library computers, and will limit patrons' use of Library computers to one-half (1/2) hour when other patrons are waiting to use those computers.
- It is the responsibility of each individual patron to decide which material is appropriately accessed on the Internet while in the Library. In so doing, patrons are reminded that some uses of the Internet, such as knowingly accessing or disseminating obscene material and/or child pornography, are illegal and punishable by law. Accordingly, any unlawful use of the Internet while in the Library is violative of the Library's Patron Behavior Policy, which prohibits any patron from engaging in any illegal activity while in the Library.
- Patrons are further reminded that the display of some information and images on a computer monitor while in the Library, which is a workplace, can be violative of state and federal laws that prohibit sexually hostile work environments. Accordingly, the Library strictly prohibits any patron from knowingly accessing or displaying any sexually explicit material on any computer while in the Library.
- The Library's prohibition of access to, or display of, any sexually explicit material on any computer in the Library is also meant to protect minor and adult patrons, who may reasonably find exposure to such material offensive and disturbing. As such, this prohibition is in keeping with the Library's Patron Behavior Policy, which prohibits patrons from interfering with other patrons' use of the library.
- Although this policy will be vigorously enforced by Library employees, it does not restrict access to all material that may be harmful or inappropriate if viewed or read by minors. Accordingly, parents and guardians of minor patrons are strongly advised to not allow their children to access the Internet while in the Library without adult supervision.
- The Library reserves the right to terminate a patron's Internet session, and/or suspend his/her privilege to Internet access while in the Library for any violation of this policy, and/or the Library's Patron Behavior Policy.
- Patrons who use any Library computer are cautioned that software and information downloaded from any source, including the Internet, may be infected with computer viruses.
- The Library assumes NO responsibility for any damages arising from a patron's use of the Library's computers or from access to the Internet while in the Library.
- Library employees will facilitate patrons' access to the Internet by assisting them in connecting to the Internet, answering their basic how-to questions, and making available to them any relevant user manuals that the Library has. However, Library employees will not provide patrons with any in-depth training on the use of the Internet.
- The Library does not offer e-mail accounts to patrons.
Adopted by the Library Commission 11/17/05
The Warren County Library’s local history photograph collection serves as a supplement to the Library’s local history collection by acquiring and preserving visual materials for research, education, recreation, and exhibition.
The materials within this collection relate to people and places within Warren County or other locales of significance to Warren County.
The materials that the Library seeks to acquire include, but are not limited to:
The Librarian in charge of the collection will accept donations upon review. The Library, however, cannot perform monetary appraisals for donors. Donors must complete a deed of gift form for items donated to the Library.
The materials are assessed and classified by the Librarian in accordance with Library classification schemes.
The Librarian will determine if any materials require preservation measures. The Librarian is responsible for ensuring the collection’s materials are preserved through appropriate means, including the use of acid-free boxes, folders, tape, and other archival tools. If necessary, users may be required to wear gloves while handling materials.
The Library holds the collection’s original materials under restricted access. Patrons have open access to reproductions of the materials. Restricted materials may be viewed by requesting special permission and signing in and out in order for the Library to monitor the materials. Materials may not be removed from the library unless permission to do so is granted by the Librarian.
Patrons are permitted to make reproductions of items in our collection for personal use. Any use of the photos that violates the copyright law of the United States is prohibited. Responsibility regarding questions of copyright and invasion of privacy that may result from such use is assumed by the user. The Warren County Library assumes no responsibility in determining the copyright status of any particular image.
8. Suspension of Privileges
Violation of this policy may result in suspension of access to the collection.
Adopted by the Library Commission 5/26/09
Warren County Library Meeting Room Policy
The Library is a community resource providing access to information and a facility where ideas are exchanged. To encourage this, non-profit groups are invited to use the library’s meeting rooms. There is no charge to use the meeting space provided that the meetings or programs are open to the public, are free of charge, and are not held with the intention of generating revenue. Meeting rooms are not available for social gatherings, for the benefit of private individuals, for commercial enterprises or any closed meetings.
Application for meeting space should be made 30 days in advance, and non-profits groups can reserve meeting space not more than 6 times in a calendar year. A Warren County library member over 18 years of age and in good standing must sign as the responsible party on the Group’s meeting room use application.
Groups may be required to provide documentation of non-profit status prior to any confirmation of room booking.
Meeting room use
The library reserves the right to alter the meeting room schedule according to the library’s needs. The library allows groups to reserve the meeting room on a first come basis or in the case of conflict, according to the following order of priority.
- Library programs and meetings which involve efforts of library staff, Warren County Library Commission, Friends of the Library or Library Associations and groups of which the library is a member.
- Government Meetings: Warren County, Townships in Warren County (service area) and State of New Jersey meetings and programs.
- Meetings or Programs of non-profit, educational, civic or social organizations which are open to the public and are based in our service area or comprised of members from our service area.
Groups using the meeting room assume responsibility for damage to library property and for leaving it in the condition in which it was found, including the arrangement of furnishings and the cleanup of trash. Damage to the facility and charges for cleanup will be billed to the group or individual responsible for the room.
Groups must vacate the meeting room prior to library closing unless other arrangements are made at time of booking. Groups will be billed an hourly rate when using the meeting room outside of regular library hours. Should permission be granted for after-hours use, the signee for the group must meet with the Director and review the security procedures for such use, and sign a confirmation form.
Non-alcoholic beverages and snacks can be served in the meeting room, but neither smoking nor the consumption of alcoholic beverages is permitted. Groups wishing to serve a meal must indicate this on the meeting room application. The library will not accept any delivery of food requiring payment at the time of delivery.
The library subscribes to the equitable use of its facilities regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of the individuals or groups requesting use. In allowing a group to use a meeting room, the County, Library Commission and library staff do not imply any endorsement of the group’s beliefs, policies or program. No group shall in any of its publicity suggest that the County, Library Commission or library staff sponsors or endorses the meeting, the group or any particular set of ideas.
Groups may identify the library and provide its address in their publicity for the meeting, but may not give out the library’s telephone number or invite potential attendees to contact the library. The library is not considered a sponsor and the library’s name may only be used to indicate the location of the program and not as a referral for information about the program.
Adequate adult supervision must be present at all times when groups which consist of minor age children use the room.
Groups will limit their use of library facilities to the areas of the library booked for their use.
Audiovisual and other equipment is available at the library, but arrangements for such equipment must be made when booking the room. Library staff cannot provide assistance with equipment not belonging to the library.
The library assumes no liability for theft or damage to the property brought onto library property or for injuries which occur as a result of actions of sponsors or participants in activities in meeting rooms.
Groups are responsible for ensuring all attendees comply with the “Library code of behavior” and other library policies, and will comply with the posted occupancy limits for meeting space.
Group members are responsible for making themselves aware of emergency exits and safety equipment such as fire extinguishers.
The library will be notified not less than 24 hours in advance of any cancellation of a meeting. In the case of inclement weather, or other emergency which forces the library to close, the library will use the contact information provided on the meeting room application to notify the Group that the room is not available. It is the Group’s responsibility to notify their members of any changes to the meeting schedule.
Future access to meeting space may be limited or denied for non-compliance with meeting room policies.
All applications to use the room must be approved by the Library Director or their designee; an application for use does not assure approval. Applications are available at the library and on the library website.
Adopted June 27, 2013
Per Resolution 2013-10
- Borrowers must be 18 years of age or older, with a valid Warren County Library card with no outstanding charges.
- Museum passes can only be checked out to the person who reserved the pass. Their library card must be presented at time of checkout.
- Passes may be picked up after 2 p.m. the day before the reservation, and must be returned not later than 11 a.m. the day after the reservation.
- A late fee of $15.00 per day will be charged if the museum pass is not returned on time. Museum passes that are more than 3 days overdue will be declared lost by the library. Borrowers will be charged $50.00 for a lost museum pass.
- Library passes must be returned to the issuing library only. A $15.00 fee will be charged if the pass is returned to another location.
- Families may reserve one pass per day. A second pass may be borrowed if it is available and not reserved.
- Borrowers are responsible to call the museum for hours of operation, parking or directions. Each museum determines the rules and regulations governing the use of its museum pass. The museum pass may not provide admission to all exhibits at the museum. The Library will not provide additional funds for admission beyond the issuance of the family museum pass.
- Borrowers are advised to have a back-up plan in case the museum is unexpectedly closed, or if a museum pass is not returned in time. The Library assumes no responsibility of any kind arising out of the reservation or use of museum passes or any parking accommodations.
Warren County Library strives to take reasonable precautions to assure a safe and secure environment for its patrons and staff. Since library staff is unable to provide direct supervision over all areas within the library and library grounds, video security cameras may be placed at selected locations in order to observe and record visible activities of persons within the library and library grounds in lieu of direct supervision.
Observation of activity, whether in real time or from digitally records storage, shall be limited to activities that are specific to library operations, may affect the safety and security of library patrons and staff, and provide protection for library assets or property. Real-time monitors may be set up in public areas at the discretion of the Library Director.
Privacy and Confidentiality
Camera placement shall be determined by the Library Director or his/her designee. Cameras shall not be placed in areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as restrooms.
To the extent that any recorded images include identifiable persons requesting information or checking out an item, such record shall be treated as confidential as provided in NJSA 18A:73-43.2. Only designated library staff may view real time images or screen recorded images for potential breach of confidentiality. Any inadvertent views of protected information shall be held in confidence by the library staff under the library's confidentiality policy.
Signage shall be conspicuously displayed within the library advising of the recording of video images. Conversations or other audible communication shall not be monitored or recorded by the security cameras.
Cameras will record activities in real time and images will be saved to the camera server's hard drive. The capacity of the storage system will determine the length of time the images are stored. Current software deletes images automatically as the capacity of the hard drive is reached.
Cameras will not be monitored continuously by library staff. Authorization to view stored images may be granted by the Library Director or his/her designee(s).
Authority to Access Data
The Library Director holds the authority to designate library staff members who may access video in real time or in recorded formats. Generally, authority may be delegated to the assistant director and/or the network administrator.
Circumstances under which designated staff may access images in real time include, but are not limited to, observation of areas beyond view from designated work stations for assurance of safety and security. Access to real time or recorded imagery is also authorized to designated staff upon report of suspicious behavior, including policy violations, criminal activity, destruction or theft of library property or assets, or other activity that may be disruptive to library operations.
Library use of images
Video records and still photographs may be used to identify person(s) responsible for library policy violations, criminal activity on library property, or actions considered disruptive to normal library operations or harmful to the provision of library services.
Video records may be shared with authorized library staff when appropriate, or upon approval of the Director, other Library staff to identify those suspended from library property and to maintain a safe, secure, and policy-compliant environment.
Video records may be used to assist law enforcement agencies in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. All requests for the viewing of real time or recorded imagery by law enforcement officials must be presented to the Library Director. If the Library Director is unavailable, such requests shall be presented to the administrative or supervisory staff designated by the Library Director to hold such authority. Law enforcement may view recorded images unless such images include records protected by NJSA 18A:73-43.2, in which case such records would be released only pursuant to a valid court order.
All requests for public disclosure of recorded images shall be presented to the Library Director, the administrative staff member designated to act in his/her stead, or the Warren County Public Information Office. Guidelines for public disclosure of video imagery shall follow the procedures established by Warren County in accordance with N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. The Warren County Public Information Office is the official agency for public requests for information, and will be responsible for the release of this information.
Unauthorized Access and/or Disclosure
A breach of this Policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Any library employee who becomes aware of any unauthorized disclosure of a video record and/or a potential privacy breach has a responsibility to ensure that the Director is immediately informed of the breach.
Adopted by the Warren County Library Commission on 8/7/14
Protecting Library user privacy and keeping confidential information that identifies individuals, or associates individuals with their use of library books, materials, equipment, programs, facilities and/or staff assistance is an integral principle of the Library. Protecting user privacy is a core component of library ethics and Warren County Library follows the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association.
The purpose of this policy is to explain the privacy and confidentiality rights of all users of the Warren County Library, the steps the Library takes to respect and protect users' privacy when using Library resources, and how the Library manages personally identifiable information that it may collect from users.
The Library strives to protect its patrons' confidentiality in relation to items used in the Library or checked out, and to information sought through Library systems or the Library's reference services, in accordance with New Jersey state law, (N.J.S.A. 18A:73-43.2. Confidentiality of library users' records), registration and circulation records are confidential, and disclosure of these records is limited to the patron and to Library staff in the performance of their duties. Minors who have a Library membership are protected under this law, and Library staff cannot release circulation records to guardians or parents. All other disclosure of these records is permitted only pursuant to a subpoena issued by a court, or a court order. Users have a right to view their own patron record and record of items currently checked out or requested. They can update contact phone numbers and email addresses by signing into their member account online.
Responsible Data Practices
The Library is committed to responsible data practices. This means that no user data is retained that is not essential to the functioning of a Library service; that information is available only to those Library staff who must use it in the course of their duties; and that data is kept secure while in the Library's possession and discarded when it is no longer necessary.
Data utilized in Library Service
Library Card and Circulation Information
Library cards are issued after a member fills out an online form, or presents documents providing information to the Library staff. Any paper or form used to collect personal information during the registration process is destroyed once the data has been entered into the Library's computer system.
Library borrower records list items currently checked out to a member. The last three borrowers of a specific item are listed on the item record and information can be accessed only by designated staff if a
returned item is discovered to be damaged. Interlibrary loan records are maintained for up to one month in the State Library's circulation system JerseyCat.
Records of fines owed on items are kept until paid, and the data is then stored for three years after payment is made. (NJ Records Retention and Disposition Schedule-County Public Library C6000000- 003) Borrowers may be sent to collection services for unpaid fees and fines. The Library provides the collection service with borrower information and the total dollars in fines and fees owed to the Library. The Library maintains confidentiality with respect to items borrowed and does not transmit this information to the collection service.
The Library card is the user's access to Library services. Lost or misplaced cards must be reported to the Library as soon as possible. Cards can be misused by others and, therefore, they should be kept secure by the Library user.
Member Contact Information
Contact information provided to the Library may be used to reach Library Members by mail or email for Library-related promotions, such as special events or fundraising. Friends of the Library may be provided mailing lists as the agents of the Library fundraising efforts.
Library Newsletters & Publications
Warren County generates promotional materials and newsletters in electronic format using services from outside vendors to create and distribute these materials. Vendors who provide this service maintain separate mailing lists for our Library and do not distribute these lists to other agencies. Warren County Library members, and members of the Phillipsburg Library who are provided membership through the Library Federation Agreement between Warren County and the Town of Phillipsburg, and who provide email addresses to either the Warren County or Phillipsburg Library, are enrolled by the Warren County Library to receive these promotional materials. Members who do not wish to receive these materials by email may opt out by following the instructions included with the electronic mailing, or by contacting the Library. Privacy statements for outside vendors are posted on their respective websites.
Computer and Internet Use
Library members may reserve time on Library computers by logging on at the Computer Time and Print Management terminal and entering their Library card number and four-digit PIN. The reservation data for each day is routinely deleted. Library computers are configured to prohibit the permanent saving of files to the hard drive, and to keep the amount of cached data and browsing history stored by Web browsers to the minimum required by each program. Additionally, while using public Internet computers, users may opt to clear their browsing history, cache and other personally identifying information at any time during their session. Otherwise, that data is deleted from the computer upon a computer reboot. Users are strongly encouraged to log out of all computer programs they utilize at the Library before leaving the computer station so that others do not have access to their personal information. As an additional measure, the Library has implemented an automated system which routinely removes temporarily stored information on Library computers. However, users should not rely on this measure alone to remove or safeguard their session data.
The Library's wireless network is not secure. Open wireless connections can be captured by others with a wireless device and specific software. The Library will not be responsible for any personal information that is compromised, or for any damage caused to a user's hardware or software due to electric surges, security issues or consequences caused by viruses or hacking.
Users must take responsibility for removing any storage media or other devices that they have attached to a Library computer they are using. The Library cannot reveal the identities of subsequent users for any reason.
Documents that are sent to a print release station can only be accessed with the identification used when initially logging into a pubic computer (library card/pin or guest pass/pin) and by Library staff. All documents stored at the print release station are automatically deleted at the end of the day. Library members can delete their stored documents from the print release station prior to the end of the day, or can request that the staff delete the files.
The Library does not monitor internet use. Parents/Guardians are responsible for monitoring their children's use of public computers and the Internet.
Network equipment is configured to log the minimum level of data necessary to ensure proper equipment operation. Log data is not analyzed except to diagnose network performance problems, errors or malfunctions. Aggregate data on computer usage (number of users and sessions) is kept for statistical purposes.
Meetings, Groups and Events
Reservation of a meeting room requires contact information of representatives of the group holding the meeting. This information is not considered confidential and is stored according to the records management requirements. Members of the public who attend Library-sponsored meetings or group activities organized by the Library may provide contact information for notification of future events. Doing so is voluntary, and at any time the user may ask to be removed from any such list.
Attendance sheets for Library programs reside online in third-party software. Attendance information is retained for Library statistical purposes. Program attendee contact information will be deleted within the limits of the software being used.
If a reference question cannot be answered immediately, it may be necessary for the reference librarian to telephone or email the requester at a later time. The contact information provided by the patron is retained only as long as is necessary to reply to the request, after which it is destroyed.
Online Subscription Resource Access
In addition to all the resources a user may choose to access on the Internet, the Library also subscribes to, and provides the public with, access to online resources and services that are managed by third parties, such as article databases, online newspapers, and reference works.
When Library patrons are asked to identify themselves using their Library card number to access these subscription resources, the card number is checked against the Library database to verify that the user is a legitimate member of the Warren County Library. The online service receives the information that the user is authenticated but is not provided with the user's Library card number or with any other information identifying the user.
The Integrated Library System provides services that allow users to store personal reading lists on their membership account. These services will be provided on an "opt-in" basis and will be under the control of the user in terms of initiating the service, modifying the data stored, or opting out and deleting any stored data if the service is no longer desired. Data stored on the Integrated Library System is treated as confidential and under the scope of NJ.S.A. 18A:73-43.2. Confidentiality of library users' records.
Additionally, the Library may establish a presence on third party Web sites or "social networking" sites in order to communicate in more direct ways with users of those sites. Many "social networking" sites allow users of those sites to become a "friend," "fan" or otherwise associate their own "profiles" or virtual presences with the Library's profile on these sites. The Library does not collect, maintain or otherwise use the personal information stored on these sites in any way other than to communicate with users on that specific site, using the communication methods available on that site. Users may remove themselves at any time from the Library's "friends" or "fan" lists, or request that the Library's technical contact remove them.
Library Web Site Statistics
The Warren County Library uses web server log analysis tools to create periodic summary reports of our Web sites' usage. These statistics are counted as "virtual visits" to the Library.
The statistics collected provide summaries such as: general access (number of hits received), resources accessed (the most and least popular pages), visitors and demographics (IP addresses and domains), activity statistics (most/least active days), technical statistics (client errors), referrers and keywords (search engines and sites that point to our site), and browsers and platforms. The statistics collected are used to improve the Library's Web services, to help us understand how people are using our services and to continually improve the value of the materials available. The Library does not use this data to identify individual users.
Online Fine Payment System
The Library offers users the ability to pay their fines via an online form on the Library's Integrated Library System (ILS). During the fine payment process the user enters her/his name, address, email address, credit card number, expiration-date and card security number into the online form. The data in this form is encrypted before being sent to a PCI compliant processing vendor which conducts the financial transaction. Credit card data is not retained by the Library. Library records concerning member borrowing and fine history are confidential and therefore not transmitted to the processing vendor. Fines and fees paid by Library members through the online fine payment system are automatically posted on the member account by the Library Integrated Library System (ILS) upon completion of the transaction.
RFID tags are affixed to Library materials and used to automate check-out and check-in of materials and for general inventory control. The only information stored on the RFID tag is the item's inventory number, the same as a barcode. The inventory number cannot be associated with the item through the public interface of the Library database. Library cards do not have RFID tags in them.
Video Monitoring Equipment in the Library
The Library may utilize video cameras and video recording equipment on Library property as a tool to address specific security related problems and as a deterrent to criminal activity. Library security cameras are limited to locations and uses that do not violate the reasonable expectation of privacy. Areas with video monitoring may include those of public usage, including the grounds, parking lots, entrances and interior hallways. Additional information regarding video monitoring may be found in the Library's "Security Camera Policy."
18A:73-43.2. Confidentiality of library users' records
Library records which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of libraries are confidential and shall not be disclosed except in the following circumstances:
a. The records are necessary for the proper operation of the library;
b. Disclosure is requested by the user; or
c. Disclosure is required pursuant to a subpoena issued by a court or court order.
L1985, c. 172, § 2.
Code of Ethics of the American Library Association
As members of the American Library Association, we recognize the importance of codifying and making known to the profession and to the general public the ethical principles that guide the work of librarians, other professionals providing information services, library trustees and library staffs.
Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict. The American Library Association Code of Ethics states the values to which we are committed, and embodies the ethical responsibilities of the profession in this changing information environment.
We significantly influence or control the selection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information. In a political system grounded in an informed citizenry, we are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information. We have a special obligation to ensure the free flow of information and ideas to present and future generations.
The principles of this Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations.
I. We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.
II. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
III. We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
IV. We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.
V. We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.
VI. We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
VII. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.
VIII. We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of coworkers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.
Adopted at the 1939 Midwinter Meeting by the ALA Council; amended June 30,
1981; June 28, 1995; and January 22, 2008.
Adopted by the Warren County Library Commission on 8/7/14