General Policies

2016 Heartland Library Cooperative Policies & Procedures Approved May 18, 2016

Previous policy

Heartland Library Cooperative

Policies & Procedures


Heartland Libraries: the Heart of our Communities.

The general Library goals of the Heartland Library Cooperative shall be:

  1. To serve all Member Libraries of the Heartland Library Cooperative
  2. To provide to all Heartland patrons, materials and access to technology to enrich their lives, stimulate ideas, and strengthen their communities.
  3. To provide Courier Service to all Member Libraries in order to share requested materials
  4. To explore innovative methods of service for all Heartland patron
  5. To review regularly these goals of the Heartland Library Cooperative and update them as needed

The Heartland Library Cooperative provides materials and resources for information, entertainment, intellectual development, and enrichment of the people of the community. The Library should endeavor to:

  1. Select, organize, and make available necessary books and mate
  2. Provide guidance and assistance to patron
  3. Sponsor and implement programs, exhibits, displays, book lists, et, which would appeal to children and adults.
  4. Cooperate with other community agencies and organization
  5. Secure information beyond its own resources when requested. (Using InterLibrary loan and other resource sharing methods provided through the system and state.)
  6. Lend to other Libraries upon reques
  7. Develop and provide services to patrons with special need
  8. Maintain a balance in its services to various age group
  9. Cooperate with, but not perform the functions of, school or other institutional Libraries.
  10. Provide service during hours that best meet the needs of the community, including evening and weekend hou
  11. Regularly review Library services being offered.
  12. Use media and other public relations mechanisms to promote the full range of available Library service
Who May Use the Library

The Library will serve all residents of the community and the public Library system area. Service will not be denied or abridged based on religious, racial, social, economic, or political status, mental, emotional, or physical condition, age, or sexual orientation.

The use of the Library may be denied for due cause. Such cause may be failure to return Library materials or to pay penalties, destruction of Library property, disturbance of other patrons, or any other illegal, disruptive, or objectionable conduct on Library premises.

Patron Responsibilities and Conduct

It is a patron’s responsibility to maintain necessary and proper standards of behavior in order to protect his/her individual rights and the rights and privileges of other patrons.

If a patron creates a public nuisance, that patron may be restricted from the Library and

from the use of the Library facilities. Those who are unwilling to leave or do not leave within a reasonable amount of time, after being instructed to do so by the staff, will be subject to the law.

Young Children and Vulnerable Adults

The Heartland Library Cooperative encourages visits by young children and it is our desire to make this important visit both memorable and enjoyable for the child. Library staff is not expected to assume responsibility (in loco parentis) for the care of unsupervised children in the Library. In Libraries, as in all public places, “stranger danger” is a real concern. Library staff cannot prevent children from interacting with or leaving the Library with persons who are not appropriate caregivers. A parent, legal guardian, teacher, custodian or caregiver is responsible for monitoring the activities and managing the behaviors of children or vulnerable adults during their Library visits. Library employees have many duties and do not serve as a substitute for daycare or babysitting. The Library is not responsible for any consequences of parents, legal guardians, teachers, custodians or caregivers not fulfilling their responsibilities.

The Children’s Librarian is responsible for setting the age limits of participants in Library programs. If the young child is attending a Library program, we require the parent/responsible person to remain in the Library throughout the program.

Disruptive Patrons

Children of all ages are encouraged to use the Library for homework, recreational reading, and program attendance. The Library staff realizes that the Library will be noisier at busy times and that children by nature can cause more commotion. However, children (whether with parents or not) who are being continually disruptive will be given a warning that he/she must settle down or will be asked to leave the Library. If after a second warning the child continues to be disruptive, he/she will be asked to leave the Library. If the child needs to contact a parent, they may do so and then wait with a staff person until the parent arrives

Any behavior that infringes on the rights of other Library users or interferes with the ability of others to make full and convenient use of the Library’s resources is inappropriate and is not allowed in any Heartland Library Cooperative facility. Examples of disruptive behavior are shouting, running, fighting, continued loud talking after a

reminder to be quiet, continued disruptive cell-phone use after a reminder to be quiet, use of foul or inappropriate language, verbal harassment of other Library users or staff, vandalism, aimless roaming and moving furniture for the purpose of seating more than four people to a table. Members are requested via signage to silence their cell phones upon entry to the Library.

Procedures for Library Staff for Disruptive Patrons
  1. Keep in mind the Library’s goal of service to all and maintain a calm, fair attitude
  2. Upon observation or report of disruptive behavior, staff should remind the patron of appropriate Library behavior and explain the consequences of continuing misbehavior
  3. If misbehavior of a child continues, locate the caregiver, explain the situation and ask that the caregiver supervise the child more closely.
  4. If misbehavior continues, give a second warning
  5. After a second warning, if inappropriate behavior continues, staff may ask the patron to leave the Library until able to behave appropriately.
  6. If the patron is a child, staff may request the caregiver to remove the child from the Library.
  7. Staff will make a notation in Polaris if the patron causing the disturbance has a Library card and is known to staff. The Disruptive Patron Acknowledgement form should be used to document the even
  8. If staff is uncomfortable asking the child to leave or the child has transportation problems, staff will immediately try to contact a caregiver. If staff cannot contact a caregiver, the child may be asked to wait in an office until a caregiver can be reached or arrives to pick-up the child. Then the staff will explain the problem to the caregiver.
  1. In extreme cases, where the behavior is threatening or dangerous, where a caregiver cannot be contacted, or where inappropriate behavior continues unabated, staff may call the police department, explain the situation and request that an officer be sent to talk with the patron or take the patron into custody. Library staff should exercise their own common sense and best judgment in handling disruptive situation
  2. Library staff should exercise their own common sense and best judgment when handling disruptive situation
Volunteers and Friends

The Library encourages individuals and groups to volunteer their time and efforts in the service of the Heartland Library Cooperative. In appreciation of volunteer services, the Library acknowledges the need to organize volunteer activities and provide for appropriate recognition befitting the benefit to the Library and the communities it serves.

A Library friends group is a formal association of people who unite to plan and execute, in conjunction with Library goals and the needs of the Library director, programs and events to benefit the Library. In particular, a friends group is often heavily involved in fund-raising for the Library and often oversees periodic book sales.


The purpose of the Heartland Library Cooperative is to provide all individuals in the community with carefully selected books and other materials to aid the individual in the pursuit of education, information, research, pleasure, and the creative use of leisure time.

Because of the volume of publishing, as well as the limitations of budget and space, the

Library must have a selection policy with which to meet community interests and needs.

The materials selection/collection development policy is used by the Library staff in the selection of materials and also serves to acquaint the general public with the principles of selection.

The Library Bill of Rights and The Freedom to Read Statement have been endorsed by the Heartland Library Cooperative Governing Board and are integral parts of the policy.

The materials selection/collection development policy, like all other policies, will be reviewed and/or revised as the need arises.

Responsibility for Selection

The ultimate responsibility for selection of Library materials rests with the Library director who operates within the framework of the policies determined by the Heartland Library Cooperative Governing Board and the member County Board of County Commissioners. This responsibility may be shared with other members of the Library staff; however, because the director must be available to answer to the Library board and the general public for actual selections made, the director has the authority to reject or select any item contrary to the recommendations of the staff.

Criteria for Selection

  1. The main points considered in the selection of materials are:
    1. individual merit of each item
    2. popular appeal/demand
    3. suitability of material for the clientele
    4. existing Library holdings
    5. budget

2. Reviews are a major source of information about new mate The primary sources of reviews are Library Journal, Booklist, School Library Journal, Kirkus, and the New York Times Book Review

3. The lack of a review or an unfavorable review shall not be the sole reason for rejecting a title that is in demand. Consideration is, therefore, given to requests from Library patrons and books discussed on public med Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole, not on a part taken out of context.

Acquisition Procedures

All requisitions for purchase orders for Library materials will be reviewed and signed by the Director. Purchasing procedures of each county will be followed.

InterLibrary Loan

Because of limited budget and space, the Library cannot provide all materials that are requested. Therefore, InterLibrary loan is used to obtain from other Libraries those materials that are beyond the scope of this Library’s collection. InterLibrary loans are limited to items available in the State of Florida and at the discretion of the Library’s Director.

In return for utilizing InterLibrary loan to satisfy the needs of our patrons, the Heartland Library Cooperative agrees to lend its materials to other Libraries through the same InterLibrary loan network, and to make an effort to have its current holdings listed in a tool that is accessible by other Libraries throughout the state. Patrons are limited to five InterLibrary loan requests per month.

Gifts and Donations

The Library accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that they will be added to the collection only if appropriate and needed. If they are not needed because of duplication, condition, or dated information the director can dispose of them as he/she sees fit. The same criteria of selection that are applied to purchased materials

are applied to gifts. Memorial gifts of books or money are also accepted with suitable bookplates placed in the book. Specific memorial books can be ordered for the Library by request of a patron if the request meets the criteria established by the Board. It is desirable for gifts of specific titles to be offered after consultation with the Library director. The director will make book selection if no specific book is requested. The Heartland Library Cooperative encourages and appreciates gifts and donations.

By law, the Library is not allowed to appraise the value of donated materials, though it can provide a dated acknowledgment of receipt of the items if requested by the donor.


An up-to-date, attractive and useful collection is maintained through a continual withdrawal and replacement process. Replacement of worn volumes is dependent upon current demand, usefulness, more recent acquisitions, and availability of newer editions.

Both print and non-print materials should be reviewed and evaluated at regular intervals to determine if they are to remain in the current collection. This final step in the selection process ensures the Library collection will contain materials that are factual and instructionally effective; useless materials are to be discarded. The librarian should consider space, budget, curriculum, and user needs when deciding how much and how often to weed. The librarian will decide how to best dispose of discarded materials.

Suggested Criteria for Weeding

  • Record of use- the item has not circulated for 3 years.
  • Currency- the subject matter is out of date, factually inaccurate, or no longer relevant to current times; illustrations are outmoded or perpetuate gender, racial, or cultural stereotypes.
  • Technical Quality- non-print materials with poor visuals, faded or off color visuals; faulty or inferior sound reproductions.
  • Dispensability- duplicate copies or duplicates no longer needed in the collection.
  • Physical Condition- the item is torn, soiled, or worn; pages or parts are missing.
  • Poor Purchases- materials purchased that were not quality items and/or items not appropriate.
  • Reliability- non-fiction item which contains factual information inconsistent with other sources.
  • Short-lived Topics- the item is faddish and no longer of interest.
  • Subject Areas- the information is not timely.
  • Dewey Decimal Balance- the item is unneeded to balance the collection.
  • Some information should not be discarded even though it meets one or more of the criteria listed.

Once items are designated “Withdrawn” and approved for disposal, they are processed in the following manner:

  • Delete item from the catalog (database) (Following GS15 Item 3 records retention rules)
  • Remove or mark out all Library property stamps
  • Stamp item “Discarded”
  • Remove donation plates or other identifying marks
  • Dispose of item to:
  • Friends of the Library book sale
  • Alternative organization or charity
  • Dumpster
Potential Problems or Challenges

The Heartland Library Cooperative recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Selection of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the basis of the principles stated in this policy.

Responsibility for what materials a child reads or watches rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of Library materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children.

Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and no Library material will be sequestered except to protect it from damage or theft.

Challenged Materials

Although materials are carefully selected, there can be differences of opinion regarding suitable materials. Patrons requesting that material be withdrawn from or restricted within the collection must complete a “Statement of Concern About Library Resources” form that is available in the Library. Steps outlined in the Center for Children’s Books “What to do when a book is being challenged” will be used to assist the Library director with the challenge. The Library director’s recommendation will be placed on the agenda of the next regular meeting of the member county Library Advisory Board. If a patron does not agree with the decision of the Library Advisory Board, the challenge may be reviewed by the Board of County Commissioners of the member county.

Cataloging and ILS Database

In order to provide consistency of access to Library materials for all Library patrons, cataloging standards will be adhered to by each member Library. These standards are published in Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules and MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data. The Cooperative Coordinator will be the final authority for all cataloging decisions. The Cooperative Coordinator will be responsible for the maintenance of the integrated Library system database.

The actual purchase price for an item will be entered into the database for tracking purposes, if available. If the purchase price is not available, the publishers’ retail price may be used. If neither price is available, a default price will be used. The actual replacement cost of the item will be charged to the patron who has lost an item or damaged an item to the extent that it can no longer circulate. If a donated item has a retail cost entered on the item, that cost will be entered into the database. If there is no available cost data, the following default table will be used for determining the cost to be entered into the database.

Default Prices

List prices for books are listed in Vendor sites such as Baker & Taylor, Ingram, BWI, Brodart, or Amazon for current prices. If no current replacement cost can be found, a default price will be charged as follows:

DVD Single$18.00 CD Audiobook$60.00
Hardback Book$25.00DVD Set$60.00
Easy Board Book$8.00Easy Book$17.00
J CD Audiobook$60.00J DVD$18.00
J Hardback Book$17.00J Mass Market PBK$5.00
J Music CD$20.00J Trade PBK$10.00
Mass Market PBK$8.00Magazine$5.00
Reference$60.00 Music CD$20.00
YA CD Audiobook$60.00Trade PBK$16.00
YA Hardback Book$17.00YA DVD$18.00
YA Trade PBK$10.00YA Mass Market PBK$5.00
Video Game$48.00

Library Cards provide access to a wide variety of information and services at the Library. Library Cards remain the property of the Library. The use of the Library, Library materials and Library services may be denied for due cause. Such cause may be failure to return Library materials or to pay penalties, destruction of Library property, disturbance of other patrons, or any other illegal, disruptive, or objectionable conduct on Library premises.

All borrowers must be registered and must have a valid patron card to borrow Library materials or use the public access computers.

Residents of DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands or Okeechobee Counties (Heartland Library Cooperative member counties) are eligible for a free Library card. Proof of residency must be presented when applying for a Library card and when renewing or replacing cards. A photo ID is required in addition to the proof of residency. Proof of residency must be one of the following documents, which are current, valid, and issued in DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands or Okeechobee:

  • Florida Driver’s License;
  • Florida Identification Card;
  • County Government Employee Identification Badge;
  • School or College Identification Card;
  • Voter’s Registration Card;
  • Vehicle Registration;
  • Lease or Rental Agreement for 12-month period;
  • Current Property Tax Receipt/Bill;
  • Deed to Property;
  • Declaration of Domicile from Clerk of Courts;
  • Utility bill issued within last 3 months (must be in resident’s name);
  • Bank statement issued within last 3 months (no checks) (must be in resident’s name);
  • Paystub with date and address.
  • Postmarked first class mail with person’s name and correct, local address.

Patrons may check out 2 items after they apply for a Library card.

Library cards are available to non-resident County visitors for a fee of $10.00 for 3 months, $20.00 for 6 months or $30.00 for one year. Additional family members (living at the same address) may purchase Library cards for $5.00 each if purchased at the same time. If an additional family member purchases a Library card at a later date, that card is purchased at the full price. Borrowing privileges include visiting any of our locations and checking out circulation materials that are on the shelf, remote access to databases and computer usage and to request items from other HLC Libraries or via InterLibrary loan.

A Guest Pass for computer use, where available, may be purchased for $2.00 per hour for access. A parent or legal guardian must be present for a child under 18 to purchase a guest pass.

A 15 minute Internet Express computer is available in each Library. The primary purpose of this computer is to enable the public over 18 years of age, who are not Library members, to have short duration Internet access. Library members not in possession of their Library cards at the time, may use the Internet Express machine if they are at least 18 years of age and have no overdue items or fines on their account.

Applicants under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian, who is an HLC Library member, co-sign the card of the under 18 applicant. The parent or guardian must be present in the Library when the application for a card is made. Parents and guardians are legally responsible for any fines, fees, damaged or lost items on the child’s Library card. Patrons may also block their children from checking out certain types of materials. This blocking may take place during the registration process or at any time thereafter. The parent or guardian must appear at the Library with the proper identification to place the block or allow the child to check out previously blocked items.

All Library cards expire after 2 years. Library cards may be renewed in person or online (

All patrons, adult and juvenile, are expected to bring their Library cards with them if they intend to check out items or use the Internet. An individual who repeatedly ignores this expectation may be denied the privilege of checking out materials until they present their card at the Library. Patrons may be limited to a twice-per-year exception allowing them to check out with their license or photo I.D. Only the registered patron may use the Library card registered to them. Library cards are not to be shared or loaned to other individuals.

The internet cannot be accessed without a Library card or guest pass.

Lost or forgotten cards

If a patron loses his/her Library card, he/she should notify the Library as soon as possible and request a replacement. There is a $2.00 charge to replace a lost card. A patron may be allowed to check out items two times using their photo I.D (twice-per- year). A note will be added to their patron account record noting the date and requiring the Library card be produced the next time the patron wishes to check out items. If the patron can provide a police report in the case of a stolen card, the card will be replaced at no charge.

Homebound Patrons

In an attempt to provide services for persons who are either homebound or who reside in a health care facility, we are willing to allow a caregiver or employee in such a facility to pick up materials for a Library cardholder who cannot otherwise obtain Library materials. The homebound patron must complete and have on file with the Library the Application for Library Services for Homebound Patrons (Appendix 5) in order for the caregiver or health care facility employee to pick up materials for the patron.

Loan periods
  1. All Library materials circulate for 2 week Limit 20 items:
    1. 5 audiobooks
    2. 5 CDs
    3. 2 DVDs (Glades and Okeechobee circulate 5 DVDs)
    4. 1 DVD set (sets hold 3+ DVDs)
    5. 5 magazines
    6. 1 videogame
    7. 2 Pink Cart books

** Some material limits may differ by Library.

  1. Generally, reference books do not circulate. Upon request, some reference materials may be checked out overnight.
  2.  InterLibrary loans (ILLs) are books requested from Libraries outside of the Heartland Library Cooperative. ILLS are due in two weeks and are limited to 5 requests per month, per patron. Renewals must be arranged with the ILL staff prior to the due date of the mate Not all ILL lending Libraries allow their materials to be renewed.
  3. Library material may be renewed twice if there is not a waiting list for the tit
  4. Current issues of periodicals do not circulate; back issues of periodicals     may be checked out for two week

Patrons who wish to check out video games rated M for Mature must be at least 17 years old, or have their parent’s permission. This permission must be given in person and a note and block will be added to the child’s circulation record giving permission to circulation staff to check out the game to the child.


Reserves may be placed by patrons either in person, over the phone or the internet at the Library’s web site. Patrons will be notified via the listed contact information in their record when the materials become available. There is no charge to the patron for placing a reserve or for InterLibrary loan services.

Fines and charges

Since Library materials are purchased with tax dollars, the Governing Board of the Heartland Library Cooperative feels a responsibility to ensure their availability to all patrons. To achieve this goal, the Board has established a system of overdue notices and fines. The purpose of overdue notices is to secure the return of Library property for continued use. The purpose of fines is to provide partial reimbursement to the Library for materials, staff time, and postage used in sending out overdue notices.

Fines on overdue materials are charged for each day the Library is open.

MaterialOverdue FineMaximum Fine
Book$0.25/day$50.00 or cost
Pink Cart Book$1.00/day$50.00 or cost
DVD$1.00/day$50.00 or cost
DVD Set$1.00/day$50.00 or cost
Audiobook$1.00/day$50.00 or cost
Music CD$0.25/day$50.00 or cost
Magazine$0.25/day$50.00 or cost
Video Game$1.00/day$50.00 or cost
Overdue Materials

Borrowers are responsible for returning materials by the due date. Patrons are restricted from borrowing any Library materials or using the public computers if their materials are overdue or if they have charges on their account. Fines are charged for each day the Library is open.

The Library offers its patrons several ways to manage accounts so that materials do not become overdue.

  1. Patrons may renew Library materials in person, online or by phone unless the item is on hold for someone else.
  2. Patrons can access the CHECK YOUR ACCOUNT feature on the Library Website at to renew items 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Lost or Damaged Materials

Each person is responsible for lost or damaged materials checked out on his/her card. When an item is lost or damaged beyond repair, the patron will be asked to pay the Library’s cost of replacing it plus a $5.00 non-refundable processing fee.

Refunds for returned materials will only be given if the member county’s financial policies allow them. Refunds are made when lost materials that have been paid for are returned to the Library in good condition within six months of the due date.

All materials are carefully checked for damage and missing parts when returned with special attention to audiobooks, music CDs, DVDs, videos, videogames.

Charges that will be applied to patron’s Library card if checked out items are returned damaged or if items are missing. All damages are assessed on a case by case basis.

Item                                                                              Charge (per item)

Barcode label   $2.00
CD/DVD case $5.00
CD or Disc accompanying item$6.00
Processing fee   $5.00
Lost/Damaged Book   Replacement cost
**At librarian’s discretion

 Internet Statement

In response to the advances in technology and changing needs of the citizens of the member counties, the Heartland Library Cooperative strives to meet the informational, recreational, and educational needs of the community. This is achieved by developing resources, collections, and services, which include access to the Internet. However, the Heartland Library Cooperative cannot monitor, and has no control over, the information accessed through the Internet. The Library cannot be held responsible for its content, or the absolute accuracy of the information accessed via the Internet. Therefore, users of the Internet access information at their own discretion and risk.

The Library has adopted the Heartland Library Cooperative Policy on Public Use of the Internet. (Appendix 4.)


As specified in Florida Statutes 257.261 all registration and circulation records of every public Library, except statistical reports of registration and circulation, are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and from s. 24(a) of Article 1 of the State Constitution. The Heartland Library Cooperative adheres strictly to all sections of this Statute regarding the protection of the confidentiality of its users.

Equipment Use Policy

Computers are available, to patrons who have a Library card issued by the Library, on a first-come, first-served basis. The Libraries utilize a PC reservation system to manage the public PCs. This system allows patrons to reserve a PC for use within a certain time period. Patrons must be in good standing with the Library to be able to use the public access computers. Instructions for operating hardware are displayed near the computer. The time limit is 60 minutes per session. Library staff is available for general assistance

in using the computer. Staff is not expected to train patrons in the use of application programs. Tutorial manuals will be provided when available.

The Libraries now allow for personal computer equipment to access the internet via a wireless network throughout the entire building which is incorporated by reference herein.

  1. Persons utilizing the wireless connection agree to comply with all provisions of the current Heartland Library Cooperative Policy on Public Use of the Internet which is incorporated by reference herei
  2. The Library’s wireless connection is filtered. Use of the wireless connection is done at the patron’s own risk. By using this connection, patrons acknowledge that security errors and hacking are an inherent risk associated with any wireless service. For that reason, patrons expressly agree that they knowingly assume such risk, and further agree to hold the Library harmless from any claim or loss arising out of, or related to, any such instance of hacking or other unauthorized use or access into the patron’s compute
  3. The Library accepts no responsibility for any software downloaded and/orinstalled, email opened, or sites accessed while patrons are on the wireless internet connection. Any damage done to the patron’s equipment or self from viruses, identity theft, spyware, plug-ins or other Internet-borne programs is the sole responsibility of the patron and the patron indemnifies and holds harmless the Library from any such damage.
  4. The Library accepts no responsibility regarding the ability of patron owned equipment to connect to the wireless network. Library staff will not change settings on patron equipm

Print management software is utilized at each Library to recover the costs for printing from the public computers. Black and white printouts are $ .25 per page; color, $1.00 per page (if available in the Library). There is no printing available on the wireless connection.

Photocopy machines are available to patrons who wish to copy materials at the rate of

$.25 per page. Color copiers and printers may be available in some Libraries. The cost for printing/copying in color is $1.00 per page.

Copy machine users are advised that there are restrictions on copyrighted materials. Any violation of copyright is the responsibility of the copy machine user.

Meeting Room Policy

The room is available to individuals or organized groups in the Library service area. The Library Board may make exceptions if the Board deems extenuating circumstances are involved.

The fact that a group is permitted to meet at the Library does not in any way constitute an endorsement of the group’s policies or beliefs by the Library staff or Board.

It is understood that Library programming will have first priority in room use.

Groups requesting use of the Library meeting room must confirm with the individual Library how many seats are available in the meeting room.

Refreshments may be served, if allowed by the individual Library, and shall be provided by the group. The people using the room shall leave it in neat, clean, orderly condition; if not, the group/individual will be given notice that continued offense will result in denied access to the meeting room. The group may be charged for repair and/or cleanup of the room if damage occurs during the meeting.

The Library is not responsible for any equipment, supplies, materials, clothing, or other items brought to the Library by any group or individual attending a meeting. The Library cannot provide pencils, paper, pens or other materials for non-Library sponsored meetings. The Library Board and staff do not assume any liability for groups or individuals attending a meeting in the Library.

Displays and Exhibits Policy

As an educational and cultural institution, the Library welcomes exhibits and displays of interest, information and enlightenment to the community. Displays of handiwork, historical material, nature study, or any other material deemed of general interest may be exhibited. The director shall accept or reject material offered for display based on its suitability and availability. Individuals wishing to display must contact the individual Library to make arrangements since each Library will have different space available for displays.

The Library assumes no responsibility for the preservation or protection, and no liability for possible damage or theft of any item displayed or exhibited. All items placed in the Library are there at the owner’s risk.

Public Notice Bulletin Board Policy

Bulletin board materials may be submitted for posting by nonprofit organizations for civic, educational, or cultural purposes. Such organizations may submit literature publicizing a specific event. Limited space generally allows only short-term notices. The director must approve all postings and may prohibit postings that do not meet Library standards. Library staff will place and remove postings promptly.

A request for return of items, along with name and telephone number of person to be contacted, should be printed on the back of each article. Unless such arrangements are specified, items must be picked up the day following the date of the publicized event if the owners want them returned. Otherwise, the Library will not be responsible for returning materials.

Security Check

The Library reserves the right to ask to inspect personal belongings such as bags, backpacks, attaché cases, purses, coats and other containers of every person entering and leaving the Library. The Library may request that such items be left at the Circulation desk for the duration of the patron’s visit to the Library. If the patron refuses to allow inspection, he/she will not be allowed to bring those un-inspected personal belongings into the Library. Bringing any such personal belongings into the Library constitutes the patron’s consent to inspection of those personal belongings before he/she leaves the Library, and law enforcement agencies will immediately be called if the patron refuses to allow inspection of his/her personal belongings when leaving the Library.

Appendix 1.


City                                                  State              ZIP              

Resource on which you are commenting:

          Book          Audio-visual Resource
          Magazine          Content of Library Program
          Newspaper          Other


Author/Publisher or Producer/Date:                                         

  1. What brought this resource to your attention?
  2. To what do you object? Please be as specific as possib
  3. Have you read or listened or viewed the entire content? If not, what parts?
  4. What do you feel the effect of the material might be?
  5. For what age group would you recommend this material?
  6. In its place, what material of equal or better quality would you recommend?
  7. What do you want the Library to do with this material?
Appendix 2.


I   _____________________________________   , parent or guardian of      _______________________________________    , age ________   , hereby grant permission for the Heartland Library Cooperative to take photographs of this child for use in promotional activities related to Library programs. Photographs may appear in newspapers, magazines, on television, on the Library’s Internet web page, or may be used in displays in the Library or in other local promotions, as the Library deems appropriate. The Heartland Library Cooperative hereby warrants that it will not sell or make any use other than as specified herein of any photographic likeness of the individual for whom this release is given without first obtaining the additional written consent of the parent or guardian for such purpose or purposes. I understand and agree that I will receive no compensation for the use of any photographic likeness of the individual by the Library.



Name (printed) of Parent or Guardian:

Appendix 3.


General Guidelines

  1. Participation by Libraries in the reciprocal borrowing program is voluntary.
  2. The reciprocal borrowing agreement is automatically renewed each October 1st, unless a participating Library notifies the other participants 60 days prio
  3. Materials available for reciprocal borrowing will be at the discretion of the individual lending It is hoped that most circulating items will be included.
  4. Borrowers will be subject to the rules of the lending Library.
  5. Registered borrowers from any participating Library are registered borrowers of all Libraries in that system
  6. Borrowers will need to register separately at each Library management system

When the borrower uses another Library for the first time, the same barcode can be entered into the host database. If your system cannot accept the standard barcode, then affix one of your barcodes to the back of the card. The reciprocal borrowing sticker should be placed on the Library card.

  1. Overdue fines may be collected at the Library where materials are returned, based on their fine rate. All fines are kept by the Library collecting the
  2. Fees for lost and damaged materials will be collected and kept by the owning Library. Damaged material will be returned to the owning Library, which will assess any fines or fee
  3. Individual Libraries are responsible for insuring that their staffs are aware of, and adhere to, statutory requirements concerning confidentiality of public Library users’ registration and circulation records as required by Florida Statute 257.261.
TBLC Responsibilities
  1. Coordinate the administration and evaluation of the program and the collection of statistic
  2. Convene an ongoing advisory committee for the pro
  3. Solicit and consider suggestions for improvement of the pro The reciprocal borrowing advisory committee will review policies and procedures on an annual basis to maintain the best possible service.
  4. Maintain a file of letters of agreement to participate in the pro
  5. Promote the program throughout the service are
  6. Provide encouragement, support and training to Libraries new to reciprocal borrowin
Library Responsibilities
  1. Identify the Library as a participant in the program.
  2. Distribute stickers provided by TBLC to requesting borrowe
  3. Honor cards from participating
  4. Inform borrowers about local rules of service.
  5. Keep and provide monthly statistics about card registration and use and forward to TBLC for compilation.
  6. Verify the current address of the card holder
  7. Return materials to owning Attach routing slip, noting date & location returned and whether a fine was paid.
  8. Publicize and promote program at local leve
  9. Participating Libraries will adopt policies and procedures that insure confidentiality and privacy of patrons are maintained.
Borrower Responsibilities
  1. Present your Library card to a reciprocal borrowing Library to register for Library privileges in that Library syste
  2. Be in good standing at your local Library.
  3. Be informed and abide by the rules and policies of the participating Libraries you use.
  4. Assume responsibility for all materials borrowed on your cards, including payment for lost/damaged materials, overdue fines or other fees.
  5. Return materials to any participating Library in a timely manner according to the rules of the lending Library.

Argosy University Sarasota Academic

Art Institute/Argosy University Hillsborough Academic

Auburndale Public Library Polk Public

Bruton Memorial Library Hillsborough Public

Citrus County Library System Citrus Public

Everest University / Lakeland Campus Library

Everest University / Brandon Campus Library

Polk Academic

Hillsborough Academic

Everest University / Largo Campus Library Pinellas Academic

Everest University / Lakeland Campus Library

Polk Academic

Everest University / Tampa Campus Library Hillsborough Academic

Heartland Library Cooperative Highlands Public

DeSoto County Library DeSoto Public

Glades Glades Public

Hardee County Public Library Hardee Public

Highlands County Library System Highlands Public

Okeechobee County Public Library Okeechobee Public

Hernando County Public Library System Hernando Public

Manatee County Public Library Manatee Public

New Port Richey Public Library Pasco Public

Pasco County Library System Pasco Public

Pinellas Public Library Cooperative

Clearwater Public Library System Pinellas Public

Dunedin Public Library Pinellas Public

East Lake Community Library Pinellas Public

Gulf Beaches Public Library Pinellas Public

Gulfport Public Library Pinellas Public

Largo Public Library Pinellas Public

Oldsmar Public Library Pinellas Public

Palm Harbor Public Library Pinellas Public

Pinellas Park Public Library Pinellas Public

Palm Harbor Library Pinellas Public

Safety Harbor Public Library Pinellas Public

Seminole Community Library Pinellas Public

St. Pete Beach Public Library Pinellas Public

St. Petersburg Public Library System Pinellas Public

Tarpon Springs Public Library Pinellas Public

Polk County Library Cooperative Polk Public

Auburndale Public Library Polk Pubic

Bartow Public Library Polk Public

Dr. C.C. Pearce Municipal Library Polk Public

Dundee Public Library Polk Public

Eagle Lake Public Library Polk Public

Fort Meade Public Library Polk Public

Haines City Public Library Polk Public

Lake Alfred Public Library Polk Public

Lake Wales Public Library Polk Public

Lakeland Public Library Polk Public

Latt Maxcy Memorial Library Polk Public

Polk City Community Library Polk Public

Winter Haven Library Polk Public

Sarasota County Library System Sarasota Public

South University Hillsborough Academic

St. Petersburg College Pinellas Academic

State College of Florida – Manatee-Sarasota Manatee Academic

Sumter County Library System Sumter Public

Trinity College Pasco Academic


Ave Maria University

Charlotte County Library System

Collier County Public Library

DeSoto County Library

Florida SouthWestern State College

Florida Gulf Coast University Library

Fort Myers Beach Public Library

Glades County Public Libary

Hardee County Public Library

Hendry County Library Cooperative

Highlands County Library System

Keiser University Library

Lee County Library System

Okeechobee County Public Library

Rasmussen College Library

Sanibel Public Library

Southern Technical College

St. Johns County Public Library System

 Appendix 4


First-time users are required to read this Internet Policy before proceeding. This will be encouraged when a new Library card is issued.

The Internet is a resource to be utilized in the fulfillment of the Heartland Library Cooperative (“HLC”) Mission Statement. Internet access is intended as an information resource. As an information resource, the Internet enables the Libraries to provide information beyond the confines of their own collections.

Computer workstations are located within each Library. Internet use is limited to sessions with a maximum of 60 minutes. Total Internet use is limited to 120 minutes per day per person.

Wireless Internet Access is offered within each Library.

Internet users should have no expectation of privacy, should be considerate of other Library users, and refrain from displaying materials that might reasonably be considered objectionable.

HLC receives E-rate and/or LSTA funding. As a result, HLC is required by federal law, specifically the Children’s Internet Protection Act (“CIPA”), to block Internet access to visual depictions that are obscene, illegal, contain child pornography, or are harmful to minors. The HLC Board has chosen to block adult sites in order to fulfill federal requirements.

Additionally, the HLC Board has authorized staff to block sites in the category of Streaming Media when needed in order to better manage the flow of traffic within the HLC local and wide area networks.

Inappropriate use, as determined by the Library staff, will result in immediate cessation of the Internet users’ access and/or disciplinary action as required. Inappropriate use includes, but is not limited to:

  • Accessing, transmitting, uploading, downloading, or distributing pornographic, obscene, or sexually explicit material. See Florida Statutes 847.011(1)(a) and847.0133 (1).
  • Violating copyright or otherwise using intellectual property of another individual or organization without permission.
  • Harassment of other users; disruption or unauthorized monitoring of other Internet users’ electronic access or attempting to gain access to an unauthorized resource.
  • Damaging or destroying equipment, software, or data belonging to HLC or individual Libraries or persons including adding, altering, or deleting files present on workstations. See Florida Statute 815.05 & 815.06.
  • Violating any local, state, or federal statute.

Access by Minors

Parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding which Library resources are appropriate for their own children. Parents or legal guardians should guide their children in use of the Internet and inform them about materials they should not use. While HLC affirms and acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of parents and guardians to monitor and determine their children’s access to Library materials and resources, including those available through the Internet, HLC has taken certain measures designed to assist in the safe and effective use of these resources by all minors.

Parents or legal guardians are advised to supervise their children’s Internet sessions. Parents or legal guardians are encouraged to read “Child Safety on the Information Highway” available and to make use of the resources offered by NetSmartz at

HLC urges minors to also keep in mind the following safety guidelines:

  • Never give out identifying information such as home address, school name, or telephone number.
  • Let parents or guardians decide whether personal information such as age, marital status, or financial information should be revealed.
  • Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone via the computer without parents’ or guardians’ approval.
  • Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening, or make one uncomfortable.
  • Have parents or guardians report an incident to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 if one becomes aware of the transmission of child pornography.
  • Remember that people online may not be who they say they are.
  • Remember that everything one reads may not be true.

Internet Disclaimer

In offering Internet access, HLC cannot guarantee that information found through the Internet is accurate, authoritative, or factual. Nor can HLC control access points that often change rapidly or unpredictably. HLC uses a commercial Internet filter to block Internet access to visual depictions that are obscene, illegal, contain child pornography, or are harmful to minors.

In consideration of HLC providing access to the Internet, Internet users and the parents and legal guardians of Minor Internet users agree to hold HLC harmless and agree to indemnify the Library from any and all liability arising out of the use of the Internet and/or Library workstations. HLC is not responsible for loss of any data due to service interruptions. HLC is not responsible for any commercial transactions that an Internet user participates in while accessing the Internet.

Appendix 5

Application for Library Services for Homebound Patrons

In an attempt to provide services for persons who are either homebound or who reside in a healthcare facility; Heartland Library Cooperative is willing to allow a caregiver or employee in such a facility to check out materials & pay fines for said patron using the patrons Library card. If you have had a Library card in the past and have lost it, there will be a $2.00 replacement fee. You (the patron) will be responsible for any late fees or charges for damaged or lost items. The person(s) you have chosen to pick up materials for you will need to bring this form in completed and signed by you (the patron). They will also need your photo ID (or copy of) and proof of your current residence if different than the ID card. The person you have chosen to check out for you will also need a valid photo ID to identify himself or herself as the said person. This application will be kept at the Heartland Library Cooperative home Library as a permanent record. If you no longer want this person to check out materials for you, you will need to notify your Heartland Library Cooperative home Library. You will need your Library card number if you need to change the authorized person to someone else; and you will need to complete and sign a new application.

Patron’s full name (printed)                                                                                                     

Patron’s signature                                                                                                                  

Current address (home or facility)                                                                                         

Telephone number(s)                                                                                                           

Date of birth                        Driver’s license or Florida ID #                                                    

——————————————————————————————————————— I hereby authorize                                                                             to use my Library card to check out Library materials and pay fines for my use ONLY. I am unable to visit the Library in person due to my being homebound or a resident in a health care facility.

Caregiver’s full name (printed)                                                                                              

Caregiver’s signature                                                                                                           

Caregiver’s home address                                                                                                   

Caregiver’s telephone number(s)                                                                                           

Caregiver’s driver’s license or Florida ID #                                                                               

I,                                                     , being the caregiver or employee at the health care facility where the patron resides; promise in good faith to abide by all the policies of the Heartland Library Cooperative. I will be using the patron’s Library card to check out materials for the patron and return them back to the Library. If any materials are late, damaged or lost I will do my best to make sure the patron is aware and pays for all charges that are due.

In the event of any circumstances that you need to contact the Heartland Library Cooperative please call your home Library whose number may be found on your Library card.

Appendix 6


The Governing Board of the Heartland Library Cooperative adopts the following provisions governing per diem and travel for all travel, class A, B or C, on behalf of the Cooperative. These provisions are described in Florida Statutes 112.061 (3) (a).


A public employee or authorized person uses the travel reimbursement process to

obtain reimbursement for authorized and allowable out-of-pocket expenses while on Cooperative business. Allowable expenses include transportation, meals, lodging, and other costs incidental to traveling such as taxi fares, parking fees, and tolls.

Travel status is classified as Class A, Class B, and Class C:

  • Class A travel is defined as continuous travel of 24 hours or more away from the traveler’s official headquarters. Travel time is based on a calendar day—from midnight to midnight.
  • Class B travel is defined as continuous travel of less than 24 hours that requires an overnight absence from the traveler’s official headquarters. Travel time is calculated on the travel period consisting of 6-hour cycles beginning with departure time.
  • Class C travel is defined as travel for short or day trips where the traveler is not away from official headquarters overnight. Class C meal expense allowances are a fringe benefit and are considered taxable income by the IRS, subject to federal income tax withholding and Social Security taxes.

All travel must be authorized and approved by the head of the Cooperative Coordinator. The Cooperative Coordinator shall not authorize or approve such a request unless it is accompanied by a signed statement by the traveler’s supervisor stating that such travel is on the official business of the Cooperative and also stating the purpose of such travel.

AIRFARE: The traveler will be reimbursed for the cost of round-trip, coach class airfare. Purchase of a non-refundable ticket is required. The original ticket receipt must be submitted with the Heartland Library Cooperative Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.

If traveling by plane, the Cooperative allows travel time prior to departure time and after arrival time as the time that may be listed on your travel voucher. This allows additional time for travel to and from the airport, baggage check, security, etc.

CAR RENTAL:  A compact car must be used (Class B). If you would like to rent a larger Car, you are required to pay the difference. Receipts for gas must be submitted with the Heartland Library Cooperative Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.

HOTEL: Hotel rooms can only be reimbursed for the single occupancy rate and taxes. If room rate is over $125 per night, justification must be provided. The original hotel receipt must be submitted with the Heartland Library Cooperative Voucher for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses. Travelers will not be reimbursed for personal charges such as alcohol, movies, room service, etc. The traveler will be reimbursed actual hotel expenditures and maximum meal allowance pursuant to the current resolution adopted by the Host County, Highlands County. Additional travel expenses incurred (e.g. rental car, mileage, etc.) may be reimbursed with all applicable receipts attached.


Breakfast – $6.00: When travel begins before 6:00 A.M. and extends beyond 8:00 A.M.

Lunch –     $12.00: When travel begins before noon and extends beyond 2 P.M.

Dinner –    $20.00: When travel begins before 6:00 P.M. and extends beyond 8:00 P.M.

MILEAGE: Ground Transportation: Travel by personal vehicle will be reimbursed at the current State and IRS approved rate per mile. Rental cars will be reimbursed if the cost is no greater than travel by personal vehicle.

The Heartland Library Cooperative will reimburse for tolls, parking, portage ($1 per bag, up to $5 per occasion), taxi, business calls, or other travel related expenses. Please list each one separately and provide receipts for each. The Heartland Library Cooperative credit card may be used to purchase airline tickets, reserve or pay for hotel rooms, reserve or pay for car rental. The Heartland Library Cooperative credit card should not be used to pay for meals, tolls, parking, portage, or similar expenses. Every opportunity should be taken to utilize the Heartland Library Cooperative tax exemption certificate to avoid paying taxes.


Appendix 7



In order to perform services to the residents of the Heartland Library Cooperative Counties, it is necessary for the employees of the Heartland Library Cooperative, including Contract Employees, to utilize the Cooperative owned vehicles. All aspects of the Cooperative require continuous and careful review to insure that the public of the five Counties in the Cooperative receive the best service for the minimum cost. With this in mind, vehicle usage by employees shall be limited to the following policies and criteria.


The Cooperative owned vehicles are to be considered as a tool. The Cooperative owns

vehicles for the specific purpose of supplying a needed service to the residents of the Heartland Library Cooperative counties. Employees are to understand that these services are to be supplied at the least expense possible, considering all factors.

HOW VEHICLES ARE TO BE OPERATED DURING WORKING HOURS. Cooperative vehicles, like any other tool, should only be operated by authorized and qualified individuals. Cooperative vehicles shall not be operated by anyone who is not

an employee of the Heartland Library Cooperative, a Contract Employee, or a member County. It is the responsibility of the Cooperative Coordinator to see that every vehicle assigned to the Cooperative is operated only by people who have a current valid driver’s license and have been thoroughly checked out on the vehicles that may need to be operated.

The operation of every vehicle shall be in full accordance with all Board safety policies and all state and local ordinances. Violation of any of these may be considered neglect of job duties and will be dealt with according to the Board’s disciplinary policies.

The operator of any Cooperative vehicle shall, at all times, keep in mind that the manner in which the vehicle is operated is a direction reflection on the Cooperative and the Board itself. Courteous and safe vehicle operation shall be required of all operators. While operating Cooperative vehicles the needs of the Cooperative shall always be the determining factor if questions arise about the vehicles unless for a direct and obviously job-related task. Under no circumstances shall family or other unauthorized individuals be transported in Cooperative vehicles.

The operator of every vehicle is responsible to see that the vehicle is safe to drive and in good repair. The intentional operation of a known unsafe vehicle is an endangerment of Cooperative equipment, the safety of both the employee, and the general public. This type of behavior on the part of the employee could be the cause of an accident that would be considered the employee’s fault, and would be handled accordingly.

HOW VEHICLES ARE TO BE OPERATED OTHER THAN WORKING HOURS. When a Cooperative vehicle is used to perform a necessary task during non-scheduled hours, the employee must exercise discretion. All employees would be well advised to be aware of circumstances that could put themselves, and the Cooperative, in an embarrassing situation. Employees who have a vehicle assigned to them may use the vehicle to go to lunch, but again discretion on the part of the employee must be exercised. If a meeting is to be attended by an employee, the vehicle should be driven straight to and from the meeting. While it is not strictly prohibited to stop to and from work on a personal errand, the exercise of discretion is imperative. Once the vehicle is home, it is not to leave for any reason until the next day’s work-related activity.

If employees who are not normally assigned a vehicle wish to use one, they must get permission from the Cooperative Coordinator.

Appendix 8

Disruptive Patron Acknowledgement

I,                                                                                                  acknowledge the receipt of the Heartland Library Cooperative Policies & Procedures concerning Patron Responsibilities and Conduct, Young Children and vulnerable Adults and Disruptive Patrons.

I understand that the Library, being a member of the Heartland Library Cooperative, adheres to the policies and procedures adopted by the Cooperative.

I understand that I have been warned that conduct of either myself, or the children or vulnerable adults that are with me, is considered disruptive. I understand that this form is only given on the second (2nd) warning and another warning will cause me to be restricted from the Library and from the use of the Library facilities.

I understand that I am to leave after being instructed to do so by the staff.