Policies and BY-LAWS
Policies and BY-LAWS are developed and revised by committees of the board of trustees, in consultation with library staff. All policies and By-Laws are adopted by vote of the full board of trustees. Any request for reconsideration of policy will be forwarded to the President of the Board of Trustees.
To REGISTER FOR A BORROWER’S CARD, bring ID and proof of your current address with you. Registrants age 16 and older receive an adult library card and may borrow 10 DVDs, 5 musics CDs, 5 audiobook CDs, 10 eContent items, 3 new books and no maximum for other books. You can use your RCSC library card at other UHLAN libraries. If you have a borrower’s card from another UHLAN library, you can use it at the Community Library.
Registrants under age 16 receive a CHILDREN’S CARD. A parent (or guardian) must sign the child’s registration form, accepting responsibility for the child’s choice, use, and care of library materials. Children may borrow 10 DVDs, 5 musics CDs, 5 audiobook CDs, 10 eContent items, 3 new books and no maximum for other books.
MyCard gives the children of the RCS Community Library area access to books, computers and services at RCS Community Library—all on their own! No parent or guardian signature is required. MyCard holders may borrow up to 3 items at a time and access our public computers, our downloadable books and magazines, and our research databases. There are no late fees if items get returned after their due dates, but there will be replacement fees for any lost items.
MyCards are for kids and teens (under age 18) in the RCS Community Library district. MyCard is valid only at RCS Community Library. If a child already has an RCS Community Library card, they can choose to keep it, or replace it with the new MyCard.
Most books and audio books have 4-week LOAN PERIODS. New adult books, magazines, and music CDs are 2-week loans. Movies are 1-week loans.
You can RENEW LIBRARY MATERIALS twice by telephone or on-line, if no one else has reserved them. Fines/fees for overdue materials are 10¢ per day for each item. Maximum overdue fine is $5 per each late item.
You can REQUEST LIBRARY MATERIALS from home with your RCSC library card and your Personal Identification Number if you have Internet access. Your PIN number is the last 4 digits of your phone number, unless you reset it. You can also use the subscription databases from home.
Children in the Library remain the responsibility of their parents and designated caregivers. The Library is not legally responsible for the safety and welfare of children. The Library staff does not care for or directly supervise children. The Library staff’s responsibility is the safe and effective operation of the facility and its services as a public resource.
Children age 6 or under must be directly supervised by a responsible parent, guardian, caregiver, or baby-sitter age 14 or older.
Children age 6 through 8 need not be directly supervised, but their parent, caregiver, etc. must remain in the library and remains responsible for their care and behavior and for compliance with library procedures and policies.
If a child age 8 or younger is unattended, library staff will call the parent or guardian to pick up the child. If the child is not picked up within 30 minutes of such a phone call, library staff will transfer custody of the child to the Coeymans Police.
Children ages 9 and above may be unattended, but their legal guardian, even when not in the building, is responsible for their behavior and well-being. The Library should have up-to-date contact information on file for children who regularly use the library but do not have library cards. Unattended older children must have with them information that allows them to contact a parent or guardian during the time they plan to be at the library. In event of an emergency, the library staff will make every effort to contact the parent or guardian. If they are not able to do so, responsibility will be transferred to authorized medical personnel or the Coeymans Police.
Unattended at Closing Time. If a child is not picked up within 15 minutes past closing time, library staff will transfer custody of the child to the Coeymans Police. Repeated instances will result in loss of library privileges for the caregiver and the child.
Dependent adults using the Library must be directly supervised by a responsible parent, guardian or chaperone 18 years of age or older. If the dependent adult is unattended or in case of an emergency, the policies described above for transfer of legal responsibility will apply.
Disruptive Behavior: A problem patron shall be defined as any person committing anti-social acts or displaying unacceptable behavior on any Library property.
Sanctions for Disruptive Behavior: Disruptive behavior by a computer user during a computer session will end the session. Disruptive library users who are rude to staff may be asked to leave for the rest of the day. Library users who argue with staff in defiance of reasonable policy decisions may be banned for the rest of the week. An incident report should be written for the Director’s approval.
a.Those 18 and over who continue to be disruptive or threatening in their behavior may be banned from computer use and/or library use for up to three months, the length of time to be decided at the time of the offense.
b.Those under 18 who continue to be disruptive or threatening in their behavior will not be allowed in the library on their own until their parent or guardian meets with the Library Director and representatives from the Board of Trustees to make an agreement on resuming library use.
c. An egregious offense or illegal activity may result in permanent banning.
d. Decisions may be appealed to the Library Board of Trustees, whose decision is final.
1. No smoking is permitted anywhere in the Library, or within 20 feet of its entrance.
2. Patrons are not permitted to eat in the Library or drink from uncovered containers in the Library while using its materials. No food or drink is permitted at the public computers.
3. All cell phones shall be set to vibrate, rather than ring, on library premises. Brief cell phone conversations shall be carried on at a volume that maintains the confidentiality of the conversation. Extended cell phone conversations shall take place outside or in the front entryway to reduce their impact on others’ activities.
4. Reserve a community room – Two Community Rooms are available by appointment during normal library hours for non-profit meetings and activities. The large one has a maximum legal capacity of 40 people. Approximately 10 is suitable for the smaller community room near the McConnell Ave entrance. They are not available for private parties or social gatherings.
Other details are available on the following downloadable form. Please complete and return the form to the library in person, by mail or email. On receipt of the application, the Library Director will review it. The Director has full authority to grant, refuse, or revoke permission or to set conditions for use of the meeting rooms.
RCS Community Library 95 Main Street, Ravena, NY 12143-1702
Phone: (518) 756-2053
Click HERE to Download our community room request form
New adult books circulate for two weeks. Materials designated “high-demand” by the Library Director (generally those with three or more reserves) may be limited to two-week or one-week circulation.
Audio books, other adult print materials and all children’s print materials, including picture book/ CD sets, circulate for four weeks.
Magazines, audio-visual kits, and compact discs circulate for two weeks.
Videos and museum passes circulate for one week.
The due date for all circulating materials is exactly 28 days, 14 days, or 7 days from the borrowing date.
Renewals are possible only if there is no waiting list. Library materials, with the exception of new DVDs, may be renewed twice for their regular loan period.
A maximum of three new RCSC books, and two new movies may be checked out per card.
A maximum of five RCSC audio books, ten movies, and five music recordings may be checked out per card.
Mycards are an option for borrowers under the age of 16. A Mycard allows for the checkout of up to three books at a time.
Media Ratings.The Library staff will shelve movies in separate juvenile and adult sections according to their assessment of thematic content. Each item will be visibly labeled with its MPAA rating if it has one. Parents and guardians are the arbiters of what children may borrow.
Music recording circulation is unrestricted by content. Recordings are shelved by genre. Music intended for children is shelved separately from other music. Parents should be aware that some recordings are marked “Parental Advisory: Explicit Content” by artist and producer.
Reserves will be held for a maximum of 1 week after the initial notification to the patron. After the week expires, if the material is not checked out, the next patron will be notified. If there are no other reserve requests, the item will be returned to circulation or returned to the lending library.
The Library, through the resources of Upper Hudson Library System and other local libraries, will make every effort to respond to patron requests for information and materials. Use of valuable, rare, or out-of-print materials will be restricted to the library.
Complaints, from Library patrons, about service received from Library staff should be made known to the Director if received by any of the staff or the Board. The Director will provide to the complainant a form, “Citizen’s Service Complaint”. It is the Director’s responsibility to consider the complaint and respond appropriately. The Director will report such complaints to the Board at the next scheduled Board meeting.
Fines. Late fines/fees for all library materials are set at ten cents each day late (counting only the days the Library is open) with a $5.00 maximum if the items are returned.
Items checked out on Mycard are exempt from late fees. Mycard borrowers are responsible for lost or destroyed items.
Suspension of Borrowing Privileges. Library borrowing privileges are suspended when fines are $5.00 or more.
After 30 days, unreturned materials will be considered lost, and the patron will be billed for the replacement cost.
Claims Returned. If the patron claims that the materials have been returned, Library staff will conduct a search. If the material in question belongs to another library, that library’s policy shall take precedence. If a patron is confident the item has been returned, the Library may elect to mark the item “claimed returned” and the item will be removed from the borrower’s account. This option will only be exercised once on behalf of a patron.
Damaged, Lost, or Destroyed Materials
The fine for damaged but recoverable library materials is up to $5 each. The fine for materials that are lost or need to be replaced is the replacement cost. In cases where it is impossible to determine if the current patron damaged the materials, the charge is set aside. If the full replacement cost is paid by a patron for lost materials and the material is later found and returned, the difference between the replacement cost and the maximum late fine ($5.00) is refunded to the patron.
Board approved 8/14/17
The library has two meeting rooms, which are available to nonprofit community organizations during library hours if it is not in use for library programming. The room’s maximum occupancy is 35 people. While the room is accessible to the physically disabled, there are no assistive devices available.
The Library’s meeting rooms are available at no cost to community groups at the Director’s discretion. Feasibility factors such as the space/time requirements and the group size will be taken into consideration. Groups using the Library will be responsible for its return to normal operating condition. Non-resident users will meet the same requirements as residents.
The meeting rooms are available to the community served by the Library, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of those requesting use. The conditions and restrictions on the room’s use are there to ensure equitable access, and to minimize disruption of regular library activities. Use of the room does not mean Library endorsement of the group’s policies or beliefs.
The room is available by reservation on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reservations can be made three months to one week in advance. A representative of the group must fill out an application form for each date with the name of the group and the name, address, and phone number of a contact person who is at least 18 years old. Use of the meeting rooms shall not be publicized in such a way as to imply library sponsorship or endorsement of the group’s policies or beliefs. Neither the name nor the address of the library may be used as the group’s address.
Priority is given in the following order:
- Library activities
- Library co-sponsored programs.
- Public community-based programs
- Other public programs
The space is intended for specific events, but may be used for regularly scheduled, on-going meetings on a space-available basis. It is not available for private parties or social gatherings. If the room is empty, small groups may request immediate use for study or tutoring, at the librarian’s discretion. An application form must be signed and approved before any use.
No meeting open to the general public may require attendees to sign in, nor may they be charged an admission or membership fee to attend. Groups may not use the room to advertise, sell, or solicit the sale of goods or services.
The Library assumes no liability for injuries or damage to personal property that occur as a result of use of the meeting rooms. Users are responsible for discipline and personal conduct of members of their groups. They also assume responsibility for any damage to Library property resulting from their use of Library facilities.
Meetings of groups whose members are under age 18 must be supervised and attended by an adult. Children accompanying an adult to a meeting must remain with the adult. They may not be left unattended in the library.
There are no presentation materials or equipment. No signs, posters, displays or decorations may be put up without prior permission. The library cannot store materials for the group before or after its reserved time.
Smoking and alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Light refreshments are allowed, but there are no kitchen facilities. Users are responsible for leaving the room in the condition they found it.
Cancellation of scheduled meetings should be done as soon as possible. It is the group’s responsibility to notify the public of a change of date or time, or cancellation. Failure to cancel a reservation will result in loss of meeting room privileges for 6 months.
The Library Director is responsible for the administration of the Meeting Room policies. The Director has full authority to grant, refuse, or revoke permission or to set conditions for use of the meeting rooms. Appeals can be made to the Library Board of Directors.
RCSCL provides access to the Internet in keeping with its mission to be a forum for information and ideas for all members of the community. Access to the Internet is unfiltered. Be careful about giving identifying information online, in electronic mail, chat rooms, or any other interactive use. If you are concerned about your child’s use of the Internet, please accompany your child during Internet work sessions. The best protection for your child is your presence.
1. Before your first Internet use at RCS Community Library,
a. You must read and sign this agreement that you will follow the Library’s Computer and Internet Use Policy.
b. A parent/ legal guardian must review the Policy with a user under the age of 18 years in the library and sign authorization for Internet use by the minor.
c. An Internet sticker will be put on your library card.
2. Before using the computer, you must SIGN IN, using your first name, on the waiting list at the front desk. You must show your ID if asked. The Library staff manages demand through the waiting list and assigns patrons to open computers on a first-come, first-served basis. The Library does not reserve computer time in advance. You cannot give a turn or remaining time to another patron.
3. Each sign-in provides at least a 30-minute session. There is a daily individual limit of two hours. No more than two people should be at one computer. They must be seated. No food or uncovered drinks may be at the computers.
4. Personal work may NOT be saved onto the hard drive. You can save it on a 3.5” diskette formatted for PC compatibility or a portable USB flash drive, or you can mail it as an attachment to an email address. Work that has been saved onto the computer’s hard drive is deleted whenever the computer is restarted.
5. Nothing may be copied or downloaded to the library computer’s hard drive.
6. Each page printed from the computer, including web site pages, full text of magazine articles, and encyclopedia pages, charts, and maps, costs 15 cents. As with all formats, you must respect copyright laws and licensing agreements.
7. Library staff will provide basic instruction to help users with Internet access. Staff will not be available for continual support during on-line sessions. Internet training sessions will be scheduled on a regular basis.
8. The location of the computers and frequent need for staff support reduce the possibility for privacy.
9. All work, including printing, must be finished ten minutes before the library closes.
10. The Library Staff monitors computer use only with regard to equality of access. The Library does not take responsibility for any individual’s use of the computers or the Internet. The Library cannot guarantee the accuracy, truthfulness, or age-appropriateness of information on the Internet.
11. Disruptive behavior at the computers includes hate speech, child pornography, obscenity, hacking, and other illegal activities, as well as any other activity interfering with the legitimate library business of others. That includes Internet viewing which the Library staff judges to be disruptive or seriously disturbing to other people in the library.
Disruptive behavior by a computer user will end the session.
Computer users who are rude to staff may be asked to leave the library for the rest of the day.
Computer users who continue their disruptive behavior, or argue with staff in defiance of reasonable policy decisions,may not return to the library for the rest of the week.
If necessary, the Library staff will call upon police officers to intervene and handle illegal, abusive, or threatening behavior.
12. Serious violations of the Library’s policy may result in the violator being banned from computer use and/or library use for up to three months. Decisions may be appealed to the Library Board of Trustees, whose decision is final.Disciplinary procedures are outlined in Section 2E of the Library’s Operating Policies.
The type and quality of books and other library materials to be added to the library collection is left to the discretion of the Director.
Disposal of Materials. The Library Director has the option of disposing of library materials, upon consultation with and approval of the Board, above and beyond the regular weeding of the collection.
Materials Selection. The Library shall assemble, preserve, and make easily and freely available to all its users printed and other materials that help meet the General Library Objectives.
Responsibility for Selection. Responsibility for materials selection lies with the Library Director, who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Board of Trustees.
1. Materials acquired will be considered as to content, expression, and format. Overall value to the collection and to the community will be taken into consideration.
2. User demand for popular materials will not be ignored.
3. The library will keep itself informed of other publicly available resources of books and other materials in the area to avoid unnecessary duplication.
4. The library will not attempt to furnish textbooks used in schools in the area. However, textbooks are not excluded solely because they are textbooks.
5. The library cannot include in its permanent collection every book desired by its patrons. Inter-library loans should be utilized to meet requests for specialized materials. Requests by patrons for specific materials will not always result in purchase of the materials by the library.
6. Selection of materials for which there will be little or no demand should be avoided, however, demand is not the sole criteria for selection. The library has a responsibility to provide materials that interest, inform, enlighten, and challenge all the people of the community. Items should neither be excluded nor included because of race, gender, nationality, or political or religious views of the writer or of the method of expression of the writer.
7. No materials shall be excluded by taking single passages out of context and basing exclusion of that material on such passages. Materials must be considered in their entirety.
8. Sectarian propaganda material (either religious, political, or social) should not be routinely purchased or accepted as gifts. However, such materials are not automatically excluded if their acquisition is deemed to further the General Library Objectives.
In addition to the general policies in the previous section, the following factors should be considered when examining a particular title for possible acquisition.
1. Relation to the existing collection.
2. Permanent value.
3. Sources of recommendation.
4. Literary merit.
5. Background of author.
6. Current usefulness.
7. Interest and needs of the community.
8. Availability of materials elsewhere in the area.
9. Suitability of the format of the materials for library purposes.
Acceptance of Gifts and Memorials
The Library will accept gifts and memorials with the understanding that the Director and/or the Board of Trustees has a free hand in their disposition. No gift may be accepted with conditions or an unclear title.
The Library, as represented by the Director or the Board of Trustees, is under no obligation to accept any gift or donation. It is recommended that gifts or donations whose value to the Library or to the community serviced by the Library is judged to be less than the cost or effort involved in utilizing them be rejected. Note that all offers of assistance, whether accepted or not, should be dealt with graciously.
The Library is not a museum and should rarely accept objects other than printed material.
No receipts stating monetary values of gifts will be issued. However, a list of the donated items will be provided on request.
Reconsideration of Material
Complaints about the content of any Library materials should be made known to the Director if received by any of the staff. The Director will provide to the complainant a form “Citizen’s Request For Reconsideration of Material.” The Director will report such requests to the Board at the next scheduled Board meeting. It is the Board’s responsibility to consider the request and respond appropriately.
Libraries must protect each user’s right to privacy with respect to information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired. Specifically,
1. The circulation records and other records identifying the names of Library users are confidential.
2. Such records shall not be made available to any agency of federal, state, or local government except pursuant to such process, order, or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of, and pursuant to, federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigative power.
3. Upon receipt of such process, order, or subpoena, the Library’s officers will consult with their legal counsel to determine if such process, order, or subpoena is in proper form and if there is a showing of good cause for its issuance; if the process, order, or subpoena is not in proper form or if good cause has not been shown, they will insist that such defects be cured. The proper showing of good cause must be made in a court of competent jurisdiction.
B. Library Bill of Rights
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community
the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the
origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal dis-approval.
3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
Complaints, from Library patrons, about service received from Library staff should be made known to the Director if received by any of the staff or the Board. The Director will provide to the complaintant a form, “Citizen’s Service Complaint”. It is the Director’s responsibility to consider the complaint and respond appropriately. The Director will report such complaints to the Board at the next scheduled Board meeting.
Article I – Name
This organization is and shall be known as the RCS Community Library existing by virtue of the provisions in the Absolute Charter Number 21,704 granted by the Regents of the University of the State of New York on September 23, 1994, and exercising the powers and authority and assuming the responsibilities delegated to it under the said charter.
Article II – Management
1. The business and affairs of the RCS Community Library shall be managed and conducted by a Board of Trustees that shall be seven in number, elected by the voters residing in the Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, for a term offivethree years. At least one Trustee shall be elected each year.
2. The term of members of the Board of Trustees shall end on June 30th of the fifththird year following election unless the Trustee shall have resigned or otherwise terminated membership on the Board. Tenure of members of the Board shall be limited to twothree consecutive terms of five three years each.
3. Vacancies which occur for reasons other than expiration of term shall be filled by appointment by the Board. At the next annual election, the position shall be filled for the balance of the fivethree-year term. Any Trustee who shall fail to attend three consecutive regular meetings of the Board shall be deemed to have resigned as a Trustee except if such absences have been for good cause. Action to fill the vacancy shall be taken at the next meeting of the Board, or as soon thereafter as possible.
Article III – Officers
1. The officers of the Board of Trustees shall be elected at the first regular meeting of each fiscal year, and they shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.
2. Officers shall serve a term commencing from the date of the meeting at which they are elected until their successors are duly elected at the first regular meeting of the next fiscal year.
3. Tenure of President of the Board shall be limited to four consecutive terms of one year each. A Trustee who has served four consecutive terms as President may again serve in that office after the lapse of two full years.
4. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board, authorize calls for any special meetings, appoint committees, execute documents authorized by the Board, serve as ex-officio voting member of all committees, and generally perform all duties associated with that office.
5. The Vice President, in the event of the absence or disability of the President, or of a vacancy in that office, shall assume and perform the duties and functions of the President.
6. The Secretary shall see that a true and accurate record of all meetings of the Board are kept, and shall perform such other duties as are generally associated with that office. An Assistant Secretary may be selected by the Board to act for the Secretary when the Secretary is unavailable
7. The Treasurer is in charge of all monies received by the Library District, and shall perform such other duties as are generally associated with that office.
Article IV – Meetings
1. The regular meeting of the Board shall be held each month, usually on the second Tuesday Monday of the month. Written notice therefore shall be sent to all Trustees by the Secretary at least one week prior to such regular meetings, and a public notice shall be posted on the Library Bulletin Board.
2. Special meetings may be called by the President, or at the request of at least three Trustees, for the transaction of business as stated in the call for the special meeting.
3. A quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting shall consist of a majority of the entire Board. In the absence of a quorum, the Trustees present shall adjourn the meeting to a date determined, and written notice thereof shall be sent to all Trustees. In special circumstances a telephone poll may be made of the Trustees to enact items of business requiring immediate action. Such actions must be confirmed at the next regular meeting.
4. Executive session shall be held when necessary. Executive sessions are not open to the public and shall be confined to discussion of matters concerning litigation, negotiation and/or personnel, as allowed by open meeting laws.
5. The order of business for regular meetings shall include, but not be limited to, the following items:
Roll call of members
Discussion with visitors – public or employees
Disposition of minutes of the previous meeting
Action upon bills/information received
Action upon bills/information received
Announcements and adjournment
6. The Director, or the Director’s designee, shall attend all meetings, may participate in the discussion and offer professional advice, but may not vote on any question.
Article V – Committees
1. The President shall appoint such committees as the business of the Board may require from time to time. These committees shall consist of one or more members and shall be considered to be discharged upon completion of the term of office of the President.
2. All committees shall make a progress report to the Board at each of the Board’s regular meetings. No committee shall have other than advisory powers unless the Board has delegated specific power to act upon its behalf pending a subsequent meeting of the Board for confirmation.
Article VI – Director
1. The Board shall appoint a qualified Library Director, who shall be the executive and administrative officer of the Library on behalf of the Board and under its review and direction. The Board has the authority to dismiss a Library Director.
2. The Director shall specify in writing the duties of the Library employees and recommend to the Board the appointment or dismissal of the Library employees. No appointments, promotions or dismissal of Library employees shall be made without this recommendation.
3. The Director shall have the interim authority to appoint part-time, temporary or full-time employees, provided such appointments are reported and approved at the next regular Board meeting.
4. The Director shall be responsible for the proper direction and supervision of the staff, for the care and maintenance of library property, for an adequate and proper selection of library materials in keeping with the stated policy of the Board, for the efficiency of service to the public and for operation within the budget appropriation.
Article VII – Amendments
1. The Board may amend these By-Laws by a majority vote of all members provided written notice of the amendment has been sent or delivered to each member of the Board thirty (30) days prior to the meeting.