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The following policies and guidelines are in effect during the pandemic and temporarily replace the library's usual policies in several areas.
Temporary Circulation Policies
Newspapers are not available for in-library use or checkout since they cannot practically be quarantined for three days after use like all other library materials. Magazines are available for checkout only.
Patrons are encouraged to use self-check. You will need your library card and PIN to use the self-check stations.
Patrons should return items to the drive-up or internal book drops instead of handing them to library staff directly.
Temporary Public Service Policies
All staff and patrons over the age of two are required to wear a face covering while in the building. Those that cannot wear a face covering can be served through our telephone reference and drive-up window services.
The first hour of the day, 9-10 am Monday through Saturday, is set aside for older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions.
Children ages 15 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Food and drink are not allowed in the library.
Tables and chairs have been temporarily removed due to the difficulty of ensuring they can be properly sanitized between uses.
There is a limit of 80 patrons in the building at any one time.
Temporary Group Services Policies
Meeting room usage is on hold while the state’s ban on mass gatherings of more than 10 people remains in place.
Study rooms are can not be reserved due to the difficulty of ensuring they can be properly sanitized between uses.
In-person programs are canceled but high-quality programs are offered virtually through Zoom and our social media platforms.
Temporary Public Internet & Computer Use Policies
Computer use is by appointment only.
For the time period of May 30, 2020 until July 31, 2020, customers will be given a daily allowance of $2.50 to use for printing only.
The Westlake Porter Public Library building is CLOSED beginning at 5pm on September 15, 2020. The Library will remain closed and will reopen at 1pm on Sunday, September 20.
Browsing and computer use are suspended.
The drive-up window on the south side of the building is OPEN regular library hours.
Registered library cardholders may borrow all materials, free of charge, for periods of one week, or three weeks.
Users may have up to 75 checked out items on their library cards at one time. At the library's discretion, we may impose a limit on the number of material types eligible to circulate due to format, popularity, cost, etc.
Your library card is the preferred method for checking out items, but you can use your driver's license or other picture ID.
Fines and fees are charged when materials are not returned on time.
Golden Buckeye cardholders are exempt from most fines, except on SearchOhio and OhioLINK items. Fees for items sent to collections must be paid as well.
Replacement costs, fines, and fees (if materials are overdue) are charged when materials are lost or damaged.
Most materials may be renewed up to six (6) times. The Web catalog is available any time to renew most library materials. The new loan period begins on the date of renewal. If other patrons have requested the item, you cannot renew.
You may call the Circulation Desk (440-871-2600) to request renewals or for further information. You must call in order to request the renewal of items borrowed by interlibrary loan, through SearchOhio, or OhioLINK.
Reminders, Overdue Items, and Available Holds
You can choose to receive notifications from the library by:
* Depending on your cell phone plan, you may incur charges to receive these text messages, so check with your cell phone provider before signing up.
You must set the means of receiving notifications in person at the Circulation Desk or by filling out a Change of Address form online (you will be required to login first).
If you have selected email or text message notifications, you will receive a message 2 days before an item is due.
You will receive a notification that an item is overdue 1 day, 10 days and 21 days after the due date. When materials are 35 days overdue, a paper notification will be sent to your address.
You will receive notification by the format that you have selected when materials that you have placed on hold are available to check out.
Fines, Fees, and Lost Materials
WPPL is fine free. Borrowers will be billed for replacement of damaged or lost materials. There are fines for SearchOhio/OhioLink items in the amount of $0.50 per day overdue.
Repair costs depend upon the extent of the damage
A processing fee of $10.00 per patron is charged when an account is sent to collection.
The cost to replace lost or damage cases-- for DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, video games, etc.-- varies, ranging from $0.50 to around $11.
Notify the library when any materials are lost. Total charges for an item will include the cost of the item, fines, and fees.
Suspension of your privileges will occur if:
Materials are not returned within three weeks of the due date for most materials, one week for select materials
Fees are unpaid for lost or damaged materials
Total fines exceed $10.00
10 or more items are overdue
Your neighbors depend upon you to return, on time, the library materials you borrowed.
After-Hours Locker Policy
After-hours lockers are located on the south side of the building, east of the pickup window and drive-up book drops.
Customers may place requests for after-hours locker pickup of materials via phone, e-mail, or in person.
Customers’ library card numbers will serve as the locker combination. Lock combinations will work only on the night they are assigned.
Library staff will reset the combination daily for each locker.
Staff will place materials in the lockers prior to closing.
Materials must be picked up no later than opening time the next day. Materials left in lockers will be placed back into circulation the next morning.
Every effort will be made to accommodate after-hours requests prior to closing. Staff will check on the availability of materials; and, available items will be sent to Circulation. Circulation will check out the materials to the patron and place them in the locker for pick up.
The code is set for the last seven (7) digits of the library card number. When the patron keys in the code, ending with the pound (#) sign, their specific locker will open.
The after-hours lockers room is unlocked and lit when there is material waiting for pick up.
Drive-Up Window Policy
Drive-up window transactions are limited to short term transactions i.e. picking up small loans or paying fines (except for collection agency fines). Patrons must be in a vehicle to use this window (not on foot, not on a bicycle).
Transactions involving collection agency accounts must occur inside the library at the circulation desk.
Registration for a library card, bulk loans or other complicated transactions must occur inside the library at the circulation desk.
The drive-up window will be open during library hours.
Institution/Corporate Library Card Policy
Any institution, business, or corporation may request a library card.
An application form will be mailed to the institution, business, or corporation requesting a card, with the following instructions:
The completed form must be returned to the Library.
A letter on company stationery stating who in the organization is authorized to use the card; and, that the institution/business/corporation accepts responsibility for any fines, fees or charges leveled against the card needs to accompany the application form.
Once the application form and letter are on file with the library, a library card will be mailed to the organization.
Any changes to Institution cards such as the names of authorized borrowers, address, phone numbers, etc. need to be requested in writing on the institution's letter head.
The library card will be required when materials are checked out.
Institutional loan policies are the same as for all library cardholders:
Limit to 75 items
Normal loan periods apply
Six (6) renewals, if no holds are waiting on an item
Fines must be paid for overdue materials
Fees must be paid for notices, etc.
Lost materials must be paid for
Accounts with long overdue materials will be sent to a collection agency.
Institutions/businesses/corporations may call and request specific items to be held for them at the Circulation Desk, as may other library customers.
If there are only a few items being held, they may be picked up at the Drive-up Window or placed in the After-hours Pick-up Lockers.
Public Service Policies
Library Use Policy
The Library Use Policy was established in order to promote an environment conducive to regular library activities for everyone using the library. It prohibits behaviors that are unsafe or injurious, or that would inordinately disturb others using the library. To provide an atmosphere conducive to an enjoyable library visit by all, visitors to Westlake Porter Public Library must refrain from:
Harming, accosting, harassing or otherwise abusing others;
Disrupting library use;
Leaving youth unattended;
Damaging, stealing, or otherwise misusing library property;
Engaging in unlawful activities;
Creating unsafe or unhealthy conditions;
Bringing animals into the building (except for those assisting people with disabilities).
Any individual who willfully violates or aids/abets one who willfully violates the Library Use Policy may be excluded from the library and/or have his or her library privileges revoked. Library employees have the right and responsibility to enforce these policies. A publication available at the Library's Circulation Desk explains specific inappropriate library activities from each of the above categories and what sanctions may be taken.
Cell Phone Policy
In order to provide a pleasant and peaceful environment for all customers, cell phone use may be restricted in certain areas of the library. Cell phone usage is permissible in the library unless it becomes disruptive. Patrons should turn their phones off or to vibrate before entering the library.
Children in the Library
Children under the age of 9 may not be unattended at any time or location in the library. Children and teens should not be left alone at the library at closing time. If this occurs, Westlake police will be called.
To ensure that everyone has reasonable access to our Federal Government Documents collection, Westlake Porter Public Library will provide mediated services to patrons under the age of nine who cannot come into the library with a caring adult. Assistance can be provided through phone service or via email by contacting Adult Services.
Food and Beverages in the Library
Covered beverages and small, dry snack foods may be brought into the library. Food is prohibited at all computer workstations. Carryout meals/pizzas, and sticky or messy foods (bananas, ice cream, Popsicles, etc.) are not permitted in the library. Beverage containers and food wrappers must be disposed of in wastebaskets. Partially consumed beverages should be emptied into a sink before disposal. Appropriate foods are up to the discretion of the library staff.
Quiet Room Policy
The Quiet Room in the Adult Services area was designed for those library users who prefer to do their solitary reading, studying, or thinking in very quiet surroundings. Customers are asked to make sure that their cell phones and pagers are off before entering this room and to refrain from using any equipment that makes noise within the room. Customers who interfere with the concentration of others in the room will be asked to find another place to work within the library.
Public records are any documents— electronic, email, or paper— that relate to the business or activity of the office.
Records are available Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.
Please contact Fiscal Officer Jana Nassif at 440-871-2600.
Copies are $0.10 per page, or $1 for files on a CD-ROM.
If the records are readily available, they will be provided immediately.
If the records need to be researched or reviewed, you will receive a written response and/or the records in no more than three business days.
Bulletin Boards, Free Publications, and Outdoor Signage Policy
Westlake Porter Public Library provides space for publications and/or announcements of cultural, educational, civic or recreational events. Space will not be provided for propaganda materials of any kind. Propaganda is defined as: “information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.”
All material to be distributed or posted must be submitted to the library for approval. These materials may be left with the receptionist. Approval is at the discretion of Group Services. Although every attempt will be made to post materials in a timely manner, up to 5 days may be required to review the material, depending on staff schedules, etc.
If space is limited, priority will be given to materials from Westlake organizations. Space is not provided for political, religious or commercial purposes, including “for sale” promotions and solicitations.
Posters and flyers should be no larger than 8-½ by 11 inches. Larger items will be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
Outdoor signage on library grounds for community events, programs, etc. will be limited to those publicizing library or approved library partnership events.
Items posted without approval will be removed. Approved items will be dated and initialed, posted and removed by staff.
Displays, Art Exhibits, and Gallery Wall Policy
Gallery space is available for exhibits of artwork particularly of local and regional. Westlake Porter Public Library provides this space to feature art, as part of the library’s cultural mission. The library is a central community gathering place, and its easy public accessibility and numerous hours of operation make WPPL’s space an advantageous public venue. Having artwork in the library also enhances the library’s environment for patrons, and helps to promote both art and artists. While all artwork will be considered, this space is not provided for commercial, nor for specifically religious or political purposes. Westlake Porter Public Library makes the final decision on the content and arrangement of all Gallery Exhibits accepted.
Other selection guidelines for exhibits include:
Selection criteria for art exhibits follow the standards set in the library’s collection development policy.
The Library reserves the right to refuse artworks not conforming to WPPL’s collection development policy or gallery policy.
Patrons may request to reconsider an art piece just as they can any other material available in the library. The procedure for reconsideration is explained in the collection development policy.
In return for the opportunity to exhibit at the library, WPPL requests a commission of 20% for any artwork sold. The commission on any artwork sold will be placed into a fund to purchase a collection of artwork for the library.
WPPL assumes no liability for items installed, displayed or exhibited. The library does not insure exhibits.
Individual artists must apply in advance to exhibit their work at the WPPL. Slides, photographs or color copies of the work must be submitted with an itemized list of the artworks to be exhibited, an artist’s biography, and an artist’s statement. Artists and groups approved to exhibit their work at WPPL will be given specific scheduled dates after their work has been evaluated. Once an artist has been selected to display artwork at WPPL, exhibitors must comply with the dates/times established for setting up and taking down artwork. Assistance will be provided, but the artist or artist’s representative must be present and assist with both hanging and taking down the exhibit.
Other exhibiting logistics & policies are: Library sponsored or co-sponsored exhibits take precedence over other exhibits at all times and the library reserves the right to, without notice, cancel the use of the display areas by outside exhibitors if the Library Director or Library Board of Trustees determines that the display space is needed for library purposes.
Artwork must be ready for exhibition with two-dimensional work having proper matting, framing, and wire for hanging. Three-dimensional work should be ready for the display cases and all work must be tagged on the back with title. Any work not conforming to these standards will not be exhibited. All items must be labeled with the artist’s name, the title of work, and price or “NFS”.
The Library's hanging system allows for some flexibility in the height and location of paintings. No additional hooks, nails, or other fasteners will be attached to the walls of the Library. Additional hangers are available.
Exhibitors may book one of the Library's Meeting Rooms for a “Meet the Artist” reception.
Use of the Meeting Room will be allowed subject to the terms and conditions outlined in the Library's Meeting Room policy.
The Library cannot be held responsible for artworks that are not picked up by the designated date after exhibition.
Exhibits in the meeting room shall be available to the general public only when no other meetings are in session. No meetings shall be interrupted to set-up, remove, or to view any exhibit while a meeting is in session.
Exhibits must remain throughout the duration of the dates scheduled
The library provides no display materials or storage space.
The Library coordinates display for all exhibits and as a courtesy to exhibitors, the Library will facilitate publicity about the exhibit and may include some promotion such as press releases to local and regional newspapers, calendars, and brochures. If an artist contacts, on his/her own, any local media, the artist must inform the library.
Applications may be picked up from the Group Services office or the Reception Desk.
Westlake Porter Public Library provides space for displays and/or exhibits of a cultural, educational, civic or recreational nature. Space is not provided for commercial, religious, or political purposes. Westlake Porter Public Library shall make the final decision on the content and arrangement of all displays/exhibits.
Westlake Porter Public Library assumes no liability for items displayed or exhibited.
Applications are taken on a first-come, first served basis through the Group Services Department. Forms may be picked up from the Reception Desk.
Exhibitors must comply with the dates/times established for setting up and taking down displays and exhibits.
Meeting Room Policies
Policy Approved: January 25, 2006
As a community service, Westlake Porter Public Library provides meeting rooms that may be used by community organizations. The library has three meeting rooms and a conference room that may be scheduled for educational, cultural, intellectual or civic activities. These rooms can accommodate individual speakers, panel groups, AV presentations, art and gardening projects, and board or committee meetings. These rooms are available during times when they are not in use for the library or library-sponsored programs and activities.
Individuals may not profit from, nor use the library’s facilities, meeting rooms, or tutoring rooms to run a business.
Meetings planned by a company or individual to promote, advertise, or lead to a sale of a product or service are not permitted.
General Reservation Rules and Policies
The meeting rooms are available on a first-come, first served basis. Reservations must be made in writing, on the Meeting Room Application, and are accepted on a school-year basis (September to August). This time frame was chosen because it coincides with the organizational and planning year for most community groups. Reservations may be made beginning June 15 for the upcoming school year, encompassing September 1 through August 31. The Application Form must be submitted each year, for specific date(s).
Alcoholic beverages, smoking, and the use of smokeless tobacco products, electronic cigarettes or vaping devices are NOT permitted in the Library.
All meetings shall be open to the general community. If there are any inquiries regarding your meeting the applicant's name and telephone number will be given as contact information.
The Library and its meeting rooms are wheelchair accessible. Any other special needs of handicapped persons should be brought to the attention of the Events Facilitator at least 48 hours in advance of a scheduled meeting so that, if possible, the request can be filled.
The library reports statistics on the use of its meeting rooms. An attendance card will be given to all groups for each meeting. At the conclusion of each meeting, please fill in the attendance number and turn it in at the Reception Desk. GROUPS MUST CHECK IN AND CHECK OUT AT THE RECEPTION DESK EACH TIME THEY MEET.
Groups should notify the library as far in advance as possible, but at least 24 hours in advance, of cancellations.
Failure to cancel sooner than 24 hours before the scheduled meeting may result in future applications being denied.
While every effort is made to honor all reservations, the library retains the right to cancel scheduled organizational meetings if the need should arise. In such an unusual case, as much notice as possible will be given.
Equipment & Setups
Groups are responsible for transporting, setting up and operating their own equipment. A cart can be provided upon request for bringing such equipment into the building. Groups may NOT store or leave their equipment at the library overnight.
The large meeting room and the medium-sized meeting room contain standard folding tables and stacking chairs that may be used by groups. Groups may choose a configuration from the Meeting Facilities list of Standard Room Set-ups and should register their request at least one week in advance of the meeting. Groups preferring a room configuration that is different from the options provided are responsible for setting the room up themselves and for returning it to normal immediately afterward.
Library audiovisual equipment is available for use during the meetings held at the Library. Groups are responsible for operating any equipment furnished and are liable for any damage to it. Groups that view videos must secure all necessary performance licenses and indemnify the library for any failure to do so. Reservations for available audiovisual equipment must be made with the Group Services Department at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting date.
Groups using library equipment must pick up remote controls from the service desk. The remote will be signed out to the group’s representative with proper identification. A replacement fee will be assessed for failure to return a remote control, and future meetings will be canceled until restitution is made.
Groups using library rooms may not charge fees. With the exception of Westlake Porter Public Library or Friends of Westlake Porter Public Library, no fundraising activities or solicitation may occur. A reasonable charge may be made to cover the cost of activity/craft materials, but is subject to library approval in advance.
The Library may choose to partner with organizations or businesses to provide fee-based services if they are deemed to be in the public interest and if they fit the mission of the library.
The Library will allow its meeting rooms to be used for classes provided by the Westlake City School District, the City of Westlake (Recreation Department or Senior Center for example), and accredited area colleges and universities, or other organizations of an educational nature which have entered into a partnership with Westlake Porter Public Library to provide classes which would benefit the public. Such groups sponsoring classes, which meet for several nights in a row or several weeks, will be assessed a fee to recuperate overhead costs.
Food & Beverages
Light refreshments may be served. A coffee maker is available in each meeting room for coffee or hot water. The kitchenette and staging room are available for any group to use, so long as they are cleaned afterward. The staging area may be used for deliveries of prepared food or box lunches, etc. A refrigerator and microwave are also available in this area. Groups must bring their own supplies, coffee, cups, and any other materials they will need.
The meeting rooms, restrooms, and kitchenette must be left in neat and clean order. Organizations will be responsible for and billed for any equipment or property loss or damage as well as for any cleaning required.
The meeting rooms are available during regular library hours free of charge to qualifying groups. On Monday through Thursday only, groups whose meetings begin while the library is open may continue to meet a maximum of two hours beyond the library’s closing time, provided the time is scheduled and the required fee is paid at least one month in advance of the meeting. This non-refundable fee is $50.00 per hour (not prorated). In such instances, all attendees at the meeting must vacate the building no later than 11:00 pm. Normally, the library’s doors are locked and the security system set promptly at 9:00 pm. Groups, that have not registered and paid in advance to remain after hours, must completely vacate the meeting rooms by 8:45 pm, so that the meeting room wing can be secured.
The use of a meeting room by a non-library group shall NOT be publicized in such a way as to imply Library sponsorship of the group’s activity unless the activity is truly and formally being co-sponsored by the Library.
The name, address or telephone number of the library may NOT be used as the contact address or headquarters of an organization. A contact name and telephone number must be given in any publicity for meetings or programs held at the library.
An adult leader must be present at all times and responsible for the supervision of any group of minors (under the age of 18) using the meeting rooms.
Because the demand for use of the rooms is so heavy, the maximum number of times any one group may reserve the use of meeting rooms is 12 times per year. However, if rooms are available, additional times may be reserved, but requests may be made only 7 days in advance of the date desired. Meeting rooms are NOT available for receptions or private parties.
The Library’s meeting rooms may be used by political groups for regular meetings of an organizational nature. They may be used for public forums, debates, and candidates’ nights but not for self-promotion of any one candidate. A form certifying that all sides will be represented must be completed before an application can be approved.
Space is available in the Library’s study rooms for individualized tutoring or study. (See Study Rooms Policy)
Failure to abide by these Meeting Room Policies is justification for denying the group further use of meeting rooms.
The Library is not liable for injuries to people, damage to their property, or loss of property belonging to individuals or groups using the meeting rooms.
All organizations must comply with fire and access codes that regulate the use of the Library. Maximum capacity regulations MUST be observed, adequate aisle space must be provided and doors MUST NOT be blocked.
The individual filing the Meeting Room Application must agree to assume full responsibility for any damages to the facility or equipment, which may occur as a result of the group’s use.
Please direct any further questions about Westlake Porter Public Library’s meeting rooms to the Group Services Department.
Piano Use Policy
Westlake Porter Public Library has two pianos, which may be used by music teachers and organizations for scheduled public performances and one practice session per performance, in conjunction with the use of the meeting room. The use of the pianos is at the discretion of the library. The grand piano will not be moved out of the Porter Room.
The library will allow piano recitals to be held at the library under the following conditions:
The meeting room will be booked following all general meeting room policies including that the recital is open to the public at no cost, and may not conflict with library sponsored use of the room.
All recitals must vacate the room one hour before the library closes.
No more than two (2) bookings per calendar year by any teacher or organization.
Any additional equipment, other than the pianos, will be provided by the teacher or organization.
Technology Training Lab Policies
Westlake Porter Public Library has one computer training lab that may be scheduled for groups to provide training or needing computer resources as part of their meeting. This room is only available during times when it is not in use for library or library-sponsored computer training and activities. At the discretion of the Library, staff may be present to monitor the room or equipment during any session.
All general meeting room reservation policies apply to this room. For-profit organizations may use the room for training purposes for a fee of $50 per hour or part thereof (not prorated). Individuals or businesses may not profit from, nor use the library’s facilities, meeting rooms, or study rooms to run a business. The library will not install an individual’s or a group’s personal software on library computers.
Because this room has specialized equipment in it, there are additional guidelines that apply to the usage of this room:
No food or beverages are allowed in the Computer Training Lab.
The latest scheduled ending time for the computer training room is 15 minutes before the library closes.
Training and orientation to the equipment in the Computer Training Lab are available prior to a scheduled meeting upon request.
Because WPPL training courses take priority, the Computer Training Lab may not be booked more than 2 months in advance.
Scouting Computer Badge Policy
Westlake scouting groups from first grade through high school may work with Library Staff to obtain a computer badge. The Scout Leader will contact the Youth Services Manager to arrange for staff and lab time:
Lab times will be scheduled by library staff during normal library hours of operation, with respect to troop meeting times.
No fee will be charged.
The troop leader and one other adult must remain in the room at all times.
No food, snacks or beverages are permitted in the lab.
The troop leader will provide staff with the badge requirements at least 2 weeks in advance of the scheduled lab time.
Study Rooms Policy
In addition to the larger meeting rooms, Westlake Porter Public Library has a small group study room that holds 4-6 people and five study rooms that hold 1-2 people. Study rooms are available during times when they are not in use for the library or library-sponsored programs and activities. Study rooms are available during the hours the library is open, until fifteen (15) minutes before closing.
All general meeting room reservation policies apply to these rooms.
Study rooms may be scheduled for tutoring, proctoring of exams, and business/educational purposes. Customers may book the rooms in-person at any staff desk or may book the rooms up to a week in advance in person, by phone or email, for up to two (2) scheduled hours per use, daily. Students under 18 receive priority for the study room in Youth Services.
Fees may not be charged by customers using the study rooms, and use of the study rooms by paid tutors/trainers for profit is prohibited.
Any videos viewed in these rooms by more than 3 people must have PUBLIC PERFORMANCE RIGHTS. Customers are responsible for operating equipment and liable for damage.
Excessive no-shows or cancellations by individuals will result in loss of privileges. Bookings will be held for 15 minutes unless the user has notified the library that he/she will be late.
Individuals who wish to use the rooms to study are permitted to do so, on a first-come, first served basis. They must sign-in at the Public Service Desk in that area. They may only use the room if it is not reserved for other purposes. There is a maximum guarantee use time of two (2) hours per day; additional time may be requested if there is no one waiting to use the room.
Public Internet & Computer Use Policy
Approved: February 20, 2008
Integral to public library service is the provision of diverse information in multiple formats to meet the information needs of the entire community. Every public library endeavors to develop collections, resources and services to meet such needs. That goal is emphasized in the mission of Westlake Porter Public Library: Through diverse resources and services and easy access to "educate, empower, engage, enlighten, and excite the public." It is within this context that Westlake Porter Public Library offers free access to the Internet via the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN). OPLIN services are provided and funded by the State of Ohio.
Providing access to the Internet and other electronic resources enhances the library's collection through the Internet's immediate access to a variety of up-to-date information.
The same standards of intellectual freedom, privacy, and confidentiality endorsed by the library for traditional resources and services will also be applied to electronic media, including usage of the Internet. The library is mindful of its commitment to the principles of freedom of access but sensitive to the fact that the library's computers are in a public location subject to view by a wide audience. Staff members reserve the right to prohibit material that, in their judgment, is inappropriate for viewing in a public area, particularly as it relates to Ohio's "harmful to minors" law.
Finally, the library cannot be held responsible for the technical reliability of the OPLIN or the Internet, or any loss or inconvenience users may suffer as a result of a system disruption. Although the library makes every effort to maintain reliable equipment and procedures, some "down time" is unavoidable and can occur at any time. Specific sites on the World Wide Web may be unavailable because that system may, for example, have failed, is too "busy," may have "moved," may only be available to certain institutions or members, or may no longer exist.
The library has a policy of open access. The user need not have a library card. Usage is not restricted by age (supervision is the parent's responsibility), is not prioritized by information need (everyone's information need is important to him or her), and is not restricted by residency.
Our Youth Services web page features links to websites of special interest to children. Informational programs for parents on this topic are scheduled, as needed. Information about the library's policy is on the registration form for children's borrower's cards.
The number of individuals using a single computer workstation is limited by the discretion of staff. The size of the group may not encroach on neighboring workstations. Group work can be a valuable learning and sharing experience. However, if the group creates a disturbance to others' effective use of the library, they will be asked to correct their behaviors, disband, and/or to leave the building. Large groups interested in reserving computers for teaching purposes are encouraged to ask at the Group Services Desk about reserving the Computer Training Lab.
To ensure equal access to the library's computer resources our automated computer scheduling system may impose a maximum daily time or login limit.
There are electrical outlets in the Study Rooms, on the curved wall near the Large Print and nonfiction stacks, and in other public areas of the building. Customers using their own laptop computers may use these outlets, provided that no cord is left lying across carpeting. Outlets in columns cannot be safely used for this purpose.
The library has installed data jacks and phone jacks so that customers with laptop computers can access the Internet. To use a data jack (orange and labeled D) a customer must have an installed network interface card on his computer and a category 5 patch cord. Customers who prefer to use a phone jack hook up need a phone cord. Both category 5 patch cords and phone cords are available at the Reference Desk. A form of ID is required to borrow the cords and is kept at the Reference desk while cords are being used.
As with other equipment in the library, library staff may reserve certain times in order to provide library tours or to conduct classes for staff, public, or other organizations.
There are other computer workstations currently limited to a guaranteed 60 minutes of usage by any one individual at a time. Patrons may extend their session by 60 minutes in 15-minute increments as long as there is no one waiting or the station has not been reserved by another patron. There is no limit on the number of sessions allowed.
In the Youth Services area, computer workstations are limited to a guaranteed 60 minutes. Children under the age of 14 and adults accompanying small children are encouraged to use these stations. Adults without children accompanying them should use the workstations in the adult areas of the building.
Scheduling for these stations is done only in the library and only for the current day. Users needing instruction on software programs should sign up for one of the library's training sessions.
Unacceptable and Illegal Use of Computers
The library's computers are for educational and informational purposes, not unauthorized, illegal, or unethical purposes. A user may not send, receive, or display text or graphics that may reasonably be construed as obscene.
Consideration for the integrity of the library's and other automated systems is paramount: Malicious use, which is determined at the library's discretion, is totally unacceptable. Use of the computer systems in a manner that precludes or significantly hampers use by others is not allowed. This includes purposefully violating library procedures concerning time limits, providing fraudulent computer user registration information, or using someone else's card, etc. It also includes physical abuse of library equipment. In the case of misuse or physical abuse of PCs by children, it is the responsibility of parents to monitor their child's use of the equipment and to make restitution for any damage.
It is not acceptable to use library Internet access or other library software or hardware for any purposes which violate U.S. or Ohio law; to transmit or receive any obscene or illegal materials as defined in the Ohio Revised Code; to disseminate matter harmful to juveniles (O.R.C. 2907.31); to display matter harmful to juveniles (O.R.C. 2907.311); or to interfere with or disrupt network users, services or equipment.
Users who intentionally execute or transmit programs that: 1) harass others, or 2) infiltrate a computer or computing system, or 3) gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to others, or 4) damage or alter (or attempt to damage or alter) the software components of this library's or any other computing systems, or 5) represent themselves as another person, will not only forfeit Westlake Porter Public Library usage rights, but will also be prosecuted, as legally appropriate.
The Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) prohibits commercial use of any type or kind of its systems and OPLIN-provided Internet connections.
The library has a policy of open access. Frequent computer users must have an updated library card. A frequent user is defined as one who uses any computer more than once a month. Juveniles under age 18 without library cards may apply for a registered computer user card. A computer user card provides computer access to those without library cards.
Visitor cards will be issued with valid photo identification to non-Ohio residents and other infrequent users without library cards. Minors without photo identification will be issued visitor cards at the discretion of library staff. Usage is not restricted by age (supervision is a parent's responsibility), is not prioritized by information need (everyone's information need is important), and is not restricted by residency.
Users signing up for the last block of time for the day on any machines need to be aware that the computers shut down promptly at closing time. Users should plan ahead for any time-consuming printing or downloading by completing any lengthy projects 15 minutes in advance of closing. Users will not be permitted to remain past closing time: Staff must have adequate time to shut down the systems and secure the building.
Internet Content: Filtering, E-mail, Downloading, Printing
Accuracy of Information
The Internet offers global access to information. However, not all sources on the Internet provide information that is accurate, complete, current, or legal. Westlake Porter Public Library is not able to monitor or control and cannot be held responsible for the content of materials on the Internet (which change rapidly and unpredictably). However, Westlake Porter Public Library does provide guidance and recommended sites through links on our Web site, through public programs on locating and evaluating Internet sites, and through printed information for concerned parents.
Some resources and destinations definitely contain material that some patrons will find offensive, as well as sites that are inappropriate for children. Westlake Porter Public Library does not filter Internet access at the library, however, because doing so would block access to legitimate sites and needed information. Nor would the library be able to filter according to the individual preferences or sensibilities of the diverse public it serves.
The library makes available current brochures featuring children's websites, and Internet safety tips. WPPL's Youth Services web page features links to websites of special interest to children. Informational programs for parents on this topic are scheduled, as needed. Information about the library's policy is on the registration form for children's borrower's cards.
One computer workstation with "filtered" access to the Internet is made available in the Youth Services area in an effort to provide an alternative for parents who are concerned about their children's use of that resource. Caregivers are cautioned, however, that the filtering system employed may not block access to all materials unsuitable for minors. (To date, no commercially available filtering system has been proven to be 100% effective.) Further, the filter may prevent access to Web sites that provide useful information. The filtering system is not under the direct control of the library, and sites blocked or not blocked represent the judgment and proficiency of a third-party vendor.
For these reasons, unfiltered access is offered on the balance of the library's Internet access computers. This policy does not require children to use "filtered" access; parents and caregivers must determine for their own children how each may use any library resource. Parents and guardians of children under 18, not library staff, are responsible for their children's use of the Internet, including any information selected and/or accessed by them, as with any other usage of equipment and services of the library. The library recommends and encourages parents and children to use the Internet and other library resources together. For the child's safety and best interests, those under the age of nine may not be left unattended anywhere in the library.
Neither the library nor OPLIN provides email accounts. Customers may access their own web-based email accounts from library terminals, however.
Internet users may download information from the Internet to their own portable devices or have it sent to their own email accounts. Users should not expect library staff, however, to do this for them or to know the specifics of how individual, particular Web sites or email Web sites work. Under no circumstances may a user download or save anything to the hard drive of any library PC or to a network drive.
Customers may print from computer workstations or the wireless network provided by the library. Customers are given a daily allowance of $1.00 to use for printing only. The cost is $0.10 per page (black toner only). The cost is $0.15 per page for color. The library uses an automated print management system. Any unused daily allowance does not carry over. Staff cannot refund any unused amounts deposited on the automated print management system.
The library cannot guarantee the privacy or confidentiality of information or files that are entered into or accessed via its public Internet-connected computers. While security is our goal, electronic communications can be intercepted and can become public. The sending of any information, including name, address, and credit card numbers, is at the sole risk of the user.
On October 26, 2001, Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act. Under the provisions of this act, if a search warrant pertaining to patron records is issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (USA PATRIOT Act amendment), library staff must comply by providing requested information. Furthermore, a search warrant under FISA contains a "gag" order that prohibits a person or institution served with this warrant to disclose that the warrant has been served or that records have been produced pursuant to the warrant.
Private information saved to any storage device, or printed out to paper copies, and left behind after a computer session, or printouts discarded to public waste cans may be seen or confiscated by third parties. The physical security of these media is the responsibility of the individual computer user.
Wireless Internet Access
The library has installed data jacks so that users with laptop computers may enjoy high-speed Internet access through the library's network, free-of-charge.
Phone jacks are also available for users who prefer to use modem hookups and access the Internet through their own Internet Service Provider. The phone connections are set up to permit only local and toll-free calls.
Even though users are operating their own equipment, the Internet access itself is provided to the library through OPLIN, and users are subject to the rules and regulations of OPLIN, Westlake Porter Public Library, and all applicable local, state, and federal laws. Use of network access for any illegal purpose is strictly prohibited, and violators may be prosecuted. Laptop users must follow the guidelines set up for users of the library's Internet stations, as explained in this policy.
All laptop users are reminded that they have chosen to use their equipment in a public building. Westlake Porter Public Library is not responsible for the safekeeping of equipment left unattended, and the library does not provide any anti-virus protection, content filtering, and only minimal firewall shielding via its public connections. OPLIN and this library are not responsible for any loss or inconvenience suffered by the user due to his own actions or the actions of others while he is connected to the library's network. Library staff may not provide technical support or repair service for personally owned computers and/or software.
Printing, both black and white and color, from a wireless laptop or notebook, is available through the library's print management system.
Software, Viruses, Copyright, and More
To help assure the security and reliability of the library's systems, patrons may not use their own software or install any programs on any of the library's computers, including circulating software from the library's collection.
The library assumes no responsibility for viruses that may be received by patrons causing their own documents, software, or hardware to be infected or damaged. Virus scanning of personal disks is not permitted as it exposes the library's systems to undue risk.
Individual users are responsible for monitoring and adhering to copyright laws and their own usage of information or publications.
Food and Beverages
Food is prohibited at all computer workstations. See also Food and Beverage Policy.
Providing instruction in using and evaluating informational resources is part of the library's role. However, staff can only devote a reasonable amount of time to assisting individual users with the Internet. Members of the public service staff handle many information requests and cannot devote extensive time to each new user. Users unfamiliar with computer use, the Internet, or any browser software, should sign up for one of the library's hands-on computer training sessions.
Westlake Porter Public Library's Board of Trustees is empowered, through the Ohio Revised Code, Article 3375.4Q, to make and publish rules for the proper operation and management of Porter Public Library. The Board of Trustees may, from time to time, unilaterally, at its discretion, amend, supplement, modify, or eliminate one or more aspects of this or any other library policy.