Library Policies

Official Waco-McLennan County Library Policies:

Meeting Rooms - Policy

Meeting Rooms - Chart (what rooms are available/seating capacity)

Meeting Rooms Guidelines for Use

Meeting Room Request Form

Interlibrary Loans

Internet Policy

Bulletin Board & Handouts

Patron Responsibility and Conduct

Unattended Children

Overdue Policy

City Ordinance on Overdue Materials

Sec. 22-147. Overdue materials.

(a) Any person who has outstanding Waco-McLennan County System fines or overdue materials may be disallowed from further borrowing until the fines have been paid or overdue materials returned.

(b) A schedule of fines for failure to return materials which have been borrowed from the library shall be approved by the city council by minute entry or as a part of the annual budget. A copy of the library fines schedule shall be on file with the city secretary and at each library location.

(c) It shall be unlawful for any person who has borrowed library material or who, as a parent or guardian, has agreed to be responsible for library material borrowed by another person, to retain such library materials after the expiration of ten days after receiving written notice demanding the return of such library material. Notice shall be given by certified mail, return receipt requested and/or by regular mail to the address shown on the person's application to borrow Library materials or to the person's last known address if such address is different from the address shown on such application. A notice sent by regular mail to the person's address as set forth above shall be deemed to have been received by the person upon the third regular postal delivery day after its deposit in the U.S. mail.

(d) In any prosecution charging a violation of subsection (c) above, proof that library materials were borrowed on the library card of a person shall constitute in evidence a prima facie presumption that such person was the person who borrowed the library materials.

(e) Any person committing an unlawful act as set forth insubsection (c) shall upon conviction be subject to a fine up to, but not to exceed, $200.00 for each offense. (Ord. No. 1992-45, Section 1(20-3), 11-24-92)

Internet Use Policy

To fulfill its mission, the Waco-McLennan County Library provides access to a broad range of informational sources, including those available through the Internet.

The Internet is a nonstandardized global system of linked networks that facilitate data transfer and communication services, such as remote login, file transfer, electronic mail, chat lines, and the World Wide Web. As an informational resource, the Internet enables the library to provide information far beyond the limitations of its own collection. It is, however, an unregulated medium, and not all sources on the Internet will provide accurate, complete, or current information. Since the library cannot control or monitor the vast amount of material accessible from computers and networks via the Internet, the individual user must accept responsibility for determining and evaluating the content.

Staff Assistance

The Library has prepared a World Wide Web home page to assist users in accessing materials on the Internet. Because the Internet is unregulated, the Library and the City of Waco cannot assure complete confidentiality of personal information entered on the network.

While users are encouraged to access the web, more traditional information sources may be faster and more accurate. Library staff will assist users in locating these materials also.

Library staff is glad to assist users in accessing the Internet with the understanding that each user is nevertheless responsible for his or her own search and for what appears on the screen as a result of that search.

Children and the Internet

While the Internet holds great opportunities for educational exploration, parents and legal guardians should be aware that it is an unregulated medium. Some of the material found on the Internet may not be considered suitable for children. This includes social media and email, among other interactive communications.
As with the Library’s materials collection, it is the right and responsibility of the parent or legal guardian to guide their children in the selection of Internet resources that are compatible with the values and the beliefs of their family. The library staff does not act in loco parentis (in the place of a parent) and does not regulate the content of Internet sources accessed by any patron, regardless of age.

Use Guidelines

The Library Director is given the authority to establish procedures for the use of computers and Internet resources. These procedures will ensure equitable access to computers and Internet resources and will include penalties for the violation of the Library’s Internet policy or procedures.

Prohibited Activities

The following activities are prohibited when using the Library’s computers and Internet resources. Violation of any of these may lead to the suspension from using the library’s computers and Internet resources.

• Any activity covered by the Texas Computer Crime Statute V.T.C.A. § Penal
Code 33 et seq
• To modify or gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to others
• To disclose, use, or disseminate personal identification information
• To seek unauthorized access to any computer system
• Harassment of others
• To libel or slander other users
• To destroy or damage equipment, software, or data belonging to the library or
other users
• To disrupt or monitor any electronic communication
• Violation of United States Copyright statutes
• Misuse or abuse directed toward library staff, patrons, materials, or equipment
• To set up and conduct a business from library computers
• Impeding system use through the monopolization or unreasonable consumption
of system resources or any attempt to delay or halt system operations

The Library reserves the right to terminate an Internet session at any time based on the guidelines in the Patron Behavior Policy.

While library staff does not regulate what the public views on the Internet, the following state and federal laws will be enforced:

§43.22 of the Texas Penal Code prohibits the intentional or knowing display of an obscene photograph, drawing, or visual representation, while being reckless about whether a person is present who will be offended or alarmed by the display.

§43.24 of the Texas Penal Code prohibits the display of harmful material, defined in the law similarly to indecent material under federal law, if the displayer is reckless about whether a minor is present who will be offended or alarmed by the display.

Abiding with the Child Internet Protection Act, P.L. 106-554 and United States Supreme Court decision No. 02-281, Internet computers are filtered to, “…block access to obscene and pornographic images and prevent minors from accessing materials harmful to them.” Further adults may request that Library staff disable the filtering software so they may conduct “bona fide research”.

Approved by the Waco-McLennan County Library Advisory Commission September 24, 2003