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Several new library policies adopted

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Controversial material and age restrictions are among the topics of new and newly revised policies at Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library.

Revamped lending rules and new policies on child supervision, test proctoring and removal of materials were approved unanimously at Tuesday’s board of trustees meeting.

The library has a form to be filled out if a patron wishes to have material taken out of circulation. However, it had never been an official policy until Tuesday’s meeting.

Library Director Barbara J. Wheeler said only a few people have requested materials be removed from the library. She said no forms have been filled out yet, however.

“We had a question the other day about a book, and it didn’t come to anything, but it made us stop and think,” she said after the meeting.

The policy states that the request will be reviewed by the library director and several staff members. A response will be given in writing.

If the patron disagrees with the response, he or she can file an appeal with the board of trustees. The board’s decision is final, according to the policy.

The trustees also approved revision of the child behavior and supervision policy, saying a “responsible and mature” 11-year-old is old enough to be unaccompanied by an adult in the building.

A clarification about adults in the children’s room also was added to the policy.

“Library patrons without a child should not use the children’s room for reading or studying,” the policy states. “Patrons who are not actively seeking children’s materials and linger in the children’s room without a child will be asked to leave. This is for the safety of all children.”

Mrs. Wheeler said she does not feel there is intent of malice with adults who use the children’s room to read or do work.

“It’s just that they don’t know that they have the entire library to go through,” she said. “People don’t know we have all this space. The policy is in place in case they try to challenge it.”

Adult multimedia kits — the exercise kits that have been available for loan — have been taken out of circulation.

“A number of them got stolen, so we discontinued the rest,” Mrs. Wheeler said in an email.

Additionally, new adult and young adult books and music CDs can be renewed only once. DVDs may not be renewed.

Additionally, if library fines reach $2 or five or more items are overdue, a patron’s borrowing privileges will be suspended and computer access denied.

Other than the Melvil Dewey Library at Jefferson Community College, the city library is the only place a distance learning student can have final exams proctored. Mrs. Wheeler said the library proctored 62 exams last year and 32 this year.

If the library is asked to proctor a test, 24 to 48 hours are needed to cancel or reschedule the exam. If more than three pages have to be faxed, the student will be charged. Additionally, if the student is more than 10 minutes late, the library staff member has the right to reschedule the exam.

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