STOWE FREE LIBRARY
To Welcome...To Inspire...To Enrich the Mind
The Library's policies have been written and approved by the Stowe Free Library Board of Trustees.
To Welcome … To Inspire … To Enrich the Mind.
Stowe Free Library strives to be the primary community center and a portal to knowledge, opportunity, and diverse resources.
The Trustees and Staff of the Stowe Free Library value:
Created and approved by the Stowe Free Library Board of Trustees in June 2009. Revised January 2014.
Library membership is available to Stowe residents for free and to non-residents for a fee. Both residents and non-residents receive full borrowing privilages.
Stowe Resident Membership - Requires evidence of a physical Stowe address, (driver's license, voter registration, Grand List, recent bill, etc...) as well as timeshare owners, and second homeowners are all eligible for free cards.
Non-Resident Membership - Requires personal identification and a yearly $20.00 fee per person. Children 16 and under are free with a parent or guardian present; children 16 through 18 are free with proof of identity.
Children are eligible to have their own cards once they have attended kindergarten. Parents are responsible for books checked out to any children under age 16; therefore, parents must sign the application for a child's card.
Rules of Conduct
The Stowe Free Library embraces its role as an inclusive, welcoming facility, which respects all of its patrons and visitors equally, regardless of age. Because the Library is a shared space, all users are expected to observe the same standard of behavior. The role of the Rules of Conduct is to maintain a safe and comfortable environment free of disruption or disrespectful conduct inappropriate to a library.
Specifically not permitted on the Library premise:
Any violation of this policy may result in a corresponding action appropriate to the severity of the infraction as decided by the Library Director, and may include a request to leave the premises, the involvement of the police, and/or the issuance of a No Trespassing Notice.
Written and approved by the Stowe Free Library Board of Trustees June 2010; revised and approved September 2011; revised and approved Feb. 2013. Revised and approved December 2015.
Stowe Resident Library Card
Individuals of all ages are welcome to register for a Stowe Free Library card for free if they meet the following criteria:
Non-resident Library Card
Non-residents with proof of identification may acquire a library card. A non-resident cardholder has the same privileges as a resident cardholder, including access to the library’s Inter-Library Loan service.
Individuals who live outside of Stowe or who are visiting on a temporary basis, less than 6 months, may register for a Stowe Free Library card for the price of $20 per year per adult. Children under the age of 16, of school age, and accompanied by a parent or guardian with a valid Stowe Free Library card, may register for a free library card.
A non-resident may be exempt from the $20 fee if he/she is:
The first replacement is free, but subsequent replacements are $1.00.
All borrowers must have a valid Stowe Free Library card in order to borrow library materials. Materials may not be checked out until a card has been issued. Individuals must use their own cards to borrow materials; materials may not be checked out to another individual’s card, unless prior permission is given and noted on patron’s record.
Use of the library card implies acceptance and adherence to all regulations of the Stowe Free Library. Patrons are responsible for all materials checked out on their library card.
Parents and guardians alone have the responsibility to monitor, guide, or restrict their child’s reading or library use. The Stowe Free Library strongly encourages parents and guardians to talk with their children about the materials they access at the library. Information about reserves and checkouts for patrons under age 16 will be given to parents without prior permission from the child.
In town cards require renewal every two years. All non-resident library cards expire on a yearly basis, and non-residents will be required to pay their $20 annual fee. Patrons are advised to help the library maintain valid patron records by providing current addresses and phone numbers and notifying the Library if a library card is lost or stolen. The Library will conduct periodic purges of patron records that have been inactive for 5 years or longer.
Parents/Guardians are legally responsible for debts incurred by children less than 16 years of age.
Loan periods for circulating materials are listed below. A patron may renew an item as long as another patron has not requested the item.
Inter-Library Loans may be checked out for two weeks. Renewals in general are not permitted. If a patron feels an additional amount of time is needed, he/she must contact the Stowe Free Library as soon as possible so that the Library may contact the lending library and seek additional loan time for the item.
A patron has three days to pick up a reserved item or an item that has been ordered through Interlibrary Loan. If the item has not been picked up in three days, and the patron has made no special arrangements, the item will be placed back in regular circulation or returned to the lending library.
The Library Director reserves the right to impose circulation limits or to discontinue borrowing privileges for the misuse of library materials, negligence in returning materials, or failure to make proper restitution for missing or damaged materials.
The Stowe Free Library will attempt to contact patrons regarding overdue materials. Library staff will offer to renew items for patrons when checking out new materials, but it is the patron’s responsibility to make sure that items are renewed.
At any time, a patron may renew his/her overdue item as long as another patron is not waiting for the item and the item has not been renewed more than twice. Items that have gone into suspension will be considered to have reached the renewal limit.
The library has no overdue fines.
Replacement Costs for Lost or Damaged Items
Patrons are responsible for replacement costs of lost or damaged items. (VSA 22, section 111) If a reasonable replacement cost cannot be determined through the library’s catalog system, the library director will determine the cost. A patron may not borrow any further items until the bill for the lost or damaged material has been paid.
All circulation records of the Stowe Free Library will be kept confidential. This includes records identifying names of users with specific materials and all registration files identifying names, addresses, and telephone numbers.
Any information regarding patron use, including the identity of an individual who borrows or uses any materials, resources, or services of the Library, may not be disclosed, with the following exceptions (VSA 22, Section 172):
Revised and approved November 2013; revised January 2015.
The Community Meeting Room of the Stowe Free Library is an important component of the Library’s services. It is available to any community group regardless of that group’s political, religious, or social views, subject to the following:
The signing of this policy constitutes an agreement by the undersigned to adhere to the rules of the Community Meeting Room Policy and to ensure that no member of the group violates the rules set forth. Please retain the attached page, listing the guidelines for use of the Community Meeting Room, for your records.
Download our meeting room request form; complete and return to the circulation desk or ask to speak with the director to complete the reservation process.
Approved by the Stowe Free Library Board of Trustees in Sept. 2007; Revised and approved May 2012 and May 2016.
As the Stowe Free Library is a community space and is often a refuge from inclement weather, the Library will remain open, as long it is safe to do so. While the Library is open, programming will occur as scheduled barring the unforeseen occurrence of a cancellation by a presenter.
When inclement weather occurs, the Library will close if:
Library procedures for closing should include:
In the event of a Library closure, the Staff of the Stowe Free Library will follow the procedures for compensation set out in the Town of Stowe Personnel Policy.
Approved by the Stowe Free Library Board of Trustees in February 2009; revised and approved December 2015, revised and approved December 2017.
The Interlibrary loan program is supported in part by the Institute of Museum & Library Services, a federal agency, through the Library Servcies & Technology Act as administered by the Vermont Department of Libraries. Items that are not in the library catalog may be eligible to request.
Media Formats Eligible for Request
Media Formats Ineligible for Request
We will notify you if the item is not availiable within the Vermont Library system. If an item is avaiable, we will contact you when the library has received it. The standard amount of time that a request takes is 7-10 days to arrive to our library.
Interlibrary Loan Limits
Items are usually loaned out for 2 weeks and renewals can be requested but that is at the lending library's discretion.
The Board of the Stowe Free Library recognizes the diverse nature of the greater Stowe community and the varied backgrounds and needs of its citizens. Books and other library materials, exhibits, and programs of the Stowe Free Library shall be selected based on the interests and needs of the people in the community.
The Stowe Free Library subscribes to the principles of intellectual freedom as stated in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement. (See Appendices.) Included in these statements is the commitment to honor the rights of an individual to use the library regardless of age, race, religion, national origin, or social or political views. Accordingly, the Stowe Free Library provides equal service to all users. All registered patrons are equally free to use and borrow from the entire library collection.
Criteria for Selection of Library Materials
Library Materials include books, audio-visual materials, and periodicals. Materials are chosen for the collection on the basis of:
Children's materials will account for at least one quarter of the annual collection development budget. Children's material will be selected under the same criteria as the adult collection.
Vermont and Stowe Local History Materials
The library acknowledges its responsibility to preserve local material of historical, genealogical, or literary nature. Books by local authors and other materials of local interest will be given special consideration. Permission from the director is required for use of the books in the locked glass cases in the periodical room. These items may not be circulated or loaned. The library will keep one print copy of all issues of the Stowe Reporter and the Stowe Guide. The library will keep in its collection copies of the annual reports for the Town of Stowe.
The library may receive materials or funds as gift donations. Gifts are subject to the same selection criteria as purchased materials.
The library accepts these gifts on the condition that their use is at the complete discretion of the Director. Stipulations as to the type, condition, or timing of materials accepted may be made by the Director and the Board of Trustees, and any conditional gifts, such as the acceptance of a gift of a large specialized collection, must be approved by the Board of Trustees and accompanied by a Collection Development policy for that collection.
All donations become the property of the Stowe Free Library, to be used at its discretion.
Weeding of Library Material
The deliberate, measured, regular evaluation of library materials in relation to the collection, as a whole and the community at large is part of the library's normal procedure.
The same criteria used in selecting materials apply to the systematic removal or replacement of outdated, inaccurate, no longer useful, seldom used, or worn items. Each withdrawal or replacement is judged by standard library tools to determine its retention value as a "classic," as part of the overall collection, or its current usefulness.
The authority for the final withdrawal of materials rests with the Library Director and the Children's Librarian.
Materials no longer useful to the library may be given to other libraries, sold for the benefit of the library, or discarded.
Freedom and rights
The Stowe Free Library adheres to the tenets as set forth in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement adopted by the American Library Association. (See attached appendices.)
All patrons have free and open access to all library materials. It is deemed the responsibility of parents to determine what their children, and only their children, may read, view, listen to, or access electronically. Materials should not be removed from the collection because of concerns of groups or individuals expressing disapproval.
The Stowe Free Library maintains the confidentiality of its circulation records.
Challenges of Library Materials
In the event of a challenge, the procedure will be:
Reviewed and approved by the Stowe Free Library Board of Trustees in January 2009. Revised March 2015.
The Stowe Free Library offers museum passes for borrowers. The passes give the passholder free or reduced admission to a variety of museums and parks. The passes are sponsored by the Friends of the Stowe Free Library.
The Board of Trustees reserves the right to amend this policy, and to rule on situations not specifically covered herein. The Board of Trustees and the Library Director shall review this policy as deemed necessary.
Approved by the Library Board of Trustees in 2011.
The Library uses photographs of patrons in its publications, display spaces, and web site to promote the value, and use of library products and services. Taking photographs of patrons is encouraged and puts the Library at no legal liability. The following guidelines however, should be followed. For the purpose of this policy, “photos” or “photographs” applies to any image of a patron, whether moving or still.
Photographing Groups of Adults/Children Using the Library
No permission is needed to take photos of crowds using the Library or attending programs.
If photographing one adult or a small group (3 or less), ask first if they mind having their picture taken. No written consent is needed. Verbal consent is solicited as a goodwill gesture, but it is not legally required. Let the adult know that the photo may be used in future Library publications, on the Library website or in the local newspapers.
Photographing Children Under Age 16
If photographing one child or an identifiable group of children get verbal consent prior to taking the photo. Written parental consent is required if the photo is to be used in Library display space, Library publications, on the Library website or in the local newspapers, and written consent is required before a child’s name can be identified. A copy of the consent form is attached to this policy statement.
Photo notification and opt out options:
We will include the following phrase on library program guides, announcements, newsletter, tickets for special programs and on the website:
"SMILE! Your attendance at programs sponsored by the Stowe Free Library may be digitally recorded through photographs or video recordings. These images may be posted on our website, in our newsletter, by local newspapers or ultimately on the World Wide Web. If you do not wish your image to be published, please notify a member of the Library staff before or immediately after the program. No individual identification will be used unless the library has a signed parental consent photo release form for those under age 16."
If you have been requested to fill out a photo release form, please fill out this form and return it to the library.
Created and approved by the Stowe Free Library Board of Trustees in May 2009.
The Stowe Free Library sees over 140,000 people a year walk through its doors, each of whom has his/her own information needs. It is only with the help of our volunteers that the staff of the Stowe Free Library can provide the highest quality customer service to its patrons. Volunteers enable the library to accomplish far more than would be otherwise possible. A volunteer is anyone who, without compensation or expectation of compensation beyond reimbursement for legitimate library-approved expenses, performs a task at the direction of and on behalf of the library.
The volunteer will be asked:
Volunteers at the Stowe Free Library may choose from a variety of tasks and time commitments. Specific tasks and various time commitments are described in the SFL Volunteer Handbook. Volunteers will receive on-the-job training to provide them with the information and skills necessary to perform their volunteer assignments. The timing and methods for receiving such training should be applicable to the complexity and demands of the assignment.
The library accepts the service of volunteers with the understanding that such service is at the sole discretion of the library. The library and/or the volunteer may at any time choose to discontinue the volunteer services. Notice of such a decision should be communicated as soon as possible to the volunteer and/or the librarian who oversees the volunteers.
While volunteers shall not be utilized to displace any paid employees from their positions, it is important that volunteers be thoroughly trained in their designated duties at the library and be allowed to serve in any reasonable capacity, as the Director sees fit.
Written and approved by the Stowe Free Library Board of Trustees in June 2010; revised May 2013.
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
I. 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.
II. 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 disapproval.
III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
VI. 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.
Adopted June 19, 1939. Amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; and January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996, by the ALA Council.
American Library Association
A key to children’s reading success is making their reading experience entertaining, relaxing and enjoyable. Allowing children to choose their own reading materials while at the same time assisting them in finding books that pique their interest is the role of the children’s librarian. Evaluating the content of each book in order to assess its appropriateness for a particular child is the role of the parent. Bearing that in mind, there are different areas in the Stowe Free Library Children’s and Young Adult Room.
Librarians are happy to assist children, young adults, teachers and parents who may need help navigating the childrens and young adult area. Please do not hesitate to ask.
The Staff and Board of Trustees of the Stowe Free Library encourage the use of the library by children who come to study, read, do homework and attend programs. Due to the increase in the number of children who are using the library without accompanying adults, we would like to communicate our concerns. We urge that parents review these materials and discuss them with their children.
Our new library policy regarding the use of the library by unattended children reflects our concern for the welfare of all children.
Rules of Conduct
These rules apply to all patrons of the library regardless of age.
The Stowe Free Library welcomes children of all ages. The Board of Directors and the staff want the library to be a safe and secure place for all patrons, especially children. Our Child Safety Policy speaks to this concern.
Parents and caregivers, not library staff, are responsible for the actions and safety of children visiting the library.
Approved by the Stowe Free Library Board of Trustees in September 2007; revised and approved September 2011. Ratified October 2015.
As part of its ongoing mission, the Stowe Free Library seeks to serve as a center for information, learning, culture, and recreation for all members of the greater Stowe community. The Library Board of Trustees and staff support the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and all of its interpretations, including Access to Electronic Information, Services, and Networks. The Library supports access to information on subjects that serve the needs or interests of each user.
Regarding children’s use of the Internet, it must be noted that all patrons of the Stowe Free Library, regardless of age, have equal access to the materials, information, and technology provided by the library. The Library assumes no responsibility for the use of the Internet by children and young adults under the age of 18. It is the responsibility of parents and/or legal guardians to determine what their children may read, use or access on the Internet.
Users of the Library’s Internet connection agree to obey all applicable federal, state, and local laws including, but not limited to, copyright, licensing, and content restrictions. The Library reserves the right to terminate the user’s computer privileges for abuse of these conditions or for unauthorized use of the Library’s Internet connection.
BASIC RULES FOR COMPUTER USE
Users who do not observe these rules may have their library privileges revoked. Appeals may be made to the Library Director who may refer the appeal to the Board of Trustees.
Approved by the Library Board of Trustees in March 2009, February 2012. Revised and approved January 2013; revised and approved Dec. 2014.
The Stowe Free Library provides wireless access to the library’s Internet service for properly equipped and configured laptops and hand held devices. When patrons use the Library's Internet service they are accepting the Library's Acceptable Use Policy. Patrons are asked to take the time to read the policy before accessing the network; copies of these policies are available at the front desk.
Accessing the wireless signal
The wireless signal may be accessed throughout the Library, although the signal may be weaker (and therefore the connection not as fast) out on the front porch and towards the back of the Library.
How safe is Wi-Fi?
Using Wi-Fi poses the same risks to personal information that a wired network poses, but with the added vulnerability of having the network more open and less secure. This is the nature of Wi-Fi – the network is easily accessible to many people. Cautious Wi-Fi users may choose not to transmit their credit card information and passwords while using any Wi-Fi "hotspot", including the Library's. The Library cannot assure the safety of the user’s data when the library’s wired or wireless Internet is being accessed.
Wireless Technical Information
Wireless hardware and software varies as to the operating systems on laptops or personal devices, so the same instructions may not work for everyone. In many cases, clicking on the browser is all that is required. Most wireless software has an indicator that tells when a signal is being received. Make sure that both the link quality and the signal strength are "good." If not, move about the room to a location that has a stronger signal.
The Library shall not be responsible for any loss of data or damage to personal equipment.
Reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees in March 2008; revised and approved May 2012; revised and approved January 2013.
Printing, including wireless, and copying services are available. The cost is $.10/page letter or $.20/page legal.