Appropriate Use Policy
The Bedford Public Library is supported by the taxes of the people of Bedford County and the Commonwealth of Virginia who expect each of our facilities to be clean, comfortable, and safe places for selecting materials, reading, researching, studying, writing, and attending Library or community sponsored programs and meetings. To this end, the Library is responsible for establishing rules of conduct to protect the rights and safety of Library patrons, volunteers, and staff, as well as for preserving and protecting the Library’s materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds.
The children’s area is reserved for use by children, their parents or guardians, and adults interested in children’s literature. The young adults area is reserved for young adults; those who accompany them, and other patrons using young adult materials.
Enforcement of these rules will be conducted in a fair and reasonable manner. Library staff and/or law enforcement personnel will intervene to stop prohibited activities and/or behaviors. Failure to comply with the Library’s established rules, regulations, and policies could result in removal from the premises and expulsion from the Library for a period of one day to one year, or in arrest or prosecution. Violations could also result in the restriction and/or termination of Library privileges, including the use of Library computers and other equipment. Expulsion for more than one week may be appealed in writing to the Director.
All adults, teens, and children who come into the library.
To provide for the comfort and safety of patrons, volunteers, and staff, as well as the protection of Library property.
The following actions are examples of conduct not allowed on Library property and will result in appropriate actions (as defined above) being taken by library staff and/or law enforcement personnel:
- Engaging in any activity in violation of Federal, State, local or other applicable law, or Library policy.
- Being under the influence of alcohol/illegal drugs and selling, using, or possessing alcohol/illegal drugs.
- Verbally or physically threatening or harassing other patrons, volunteers, or staff, including stalking, staring, lurking, offensive touching, and obscene acts such as sex acts and indecent exposure.
- Soliciting or conducting surveys/petitions not authorized by the Library.
- Stealing, damaging, altering, or inappropriate use of Library property in Library facilities or on Library grounds, including computer hardware and software, printers, copiers, phones, and other equipment.
- Trespassing in nonpublic areas, being in the Library without permission of an authorized Library employee before or after Library operating hours, or camping on Library grounds.
- Fighting or challenging to fight, running, pushing, shoving, or throwing things.
- Creating disruptive noises such as loud talking, screaming, or banging on computer keyboards.
- Gambling and group activities which are disruptive to the Library environment.
- Using audible devices without headphones or with headphones set at a volume that disturbs others. Using cell phones, pagers, and other communication devices in a manner that disturbs others.
- Using restrooms for bathing or shampooing, doing laundry, or changing clothes.
- Smoking, chewing, e-cigarette use and tobacco product use.
- Entering the Library barefooted, without a shirt, with offensive body odor or personal hygiene, or being otherwise attired so as to be disruptive to the Library environment.
- Consuming food or beverages in public areas of the Library, including restrooms (except for beverages in closed containers, drinking fountain use, baby bottles, nursing or in locations where use is authorized such as Café areas, and at authorized events).
- Bringing in garbage, articles with a foul odor, or articles which, alone or in their aggregate, impede the use of the library by other users.
- Using wheeled devices in Library property or on Library grounds, except in designated areas, including skateboarding, roller-skating, bicycling, scooters, and shopping carts (exceptions i.e. wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers).
- Lying down or sleeping in the restrooms or on any floor, couch, table, or seat in the Library, and by blocking aisles, exits, or entrances by sitting or lying down in them.
- Neglecting to provide proper supervision of children. See Safe Child Policy.
- Bringing pets or animals, other than service animals necessary for disabilities, into the Library, except as authorized by the Director.
All bags and other articles are subject to inspection by security and other authorized personnel. The Library reserves the right to limit the size and number of items brought into the Library.
Revised and approved by the Bedford Public Library System Board of Trustees November 2013.
The Bedford Public Library System protects each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted,
borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
Residents of Bedford County who have obtained a library card may borrow Bedford Public Library System (BPLS) materials; e-readers are available for loan to adult BPLS
The BPLS has entered into a reciprocal agreement with the Campbell County and the Lynchburg Public Library Systems to share collections (with some minor exceptions). To facilitate the sharing process each of the systems will grant library privileges to patrons who have a card in good standing in any of the three systems.
Borrowers will abide by the policies and procedures of the library system whose facility they are using.
Materials are checked out for specific loan periods and may be returned to any library within the partnered systems. Most Library materials may be renewed for an additional
loan period if not reserved for another patron.
Materials not returned by the due date are subject to a fine charge of fifteen (15) cents per day per item and one (1) dollar per day for e-readers. The maximum fine for overdue
materials is ten (10) dollars per item and five (5) dollars per magazine. A five (5) dollar fine will be charged if an item marked “do not return in book drop” is returned in the
Items not available in the BPLS, CCPL or LPL collections may be available through interlibrary loan from another library. Applicable postage or borrower’s fees will be
charged to the patron and must be paid when the patron picks up the book. Fines for interlibrary loan items are one (1) dollar per day per item, with maximum fine of forty
Records of patrons, who owe fifty (50) dollars or more in fines and/or have received a second overdue notice, may be sent to a collection agency.
Library patrons will temporarily lose their borrowing privileges if a second notice for overdue materials has been issued or if an overdue fine or damage fee of at least thirty
(30) dollars has accumulated. If a library patron under the age of 18 temporarily loses their borrowing privileges as a result of overdue materials or accumulated fines in excess
of thirty (30) dollars, the responsible party who signed the registration card on behalf of the minor will also lose their borrowing privileges. Borrowing privileges will be restored
when materials are returned and/or fines and fees paid.
II. APPLICABILITY: All library users
III. OBJECTIVE: To provide the citizens of Bedford County with educational, recreational, and informational materials.
- Residents of Bedford County may obtain a library card by presenting identification, in any format that lists their current address. Or by other means of verifying their current address.
- By applying for and accepting a BPLS library card, the patron agrees to comply with the rules of the Library and to pay applicable fines and/or fees that may be incurred for overdue penalties and damages or losses of library materials. These fines and/or fees may be paid for at any facility of the three library systems (CCPLS, LPL or BPLS).
- By applying for and accepting a library card for persons under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian accepts responsibility for the minor’s use of the library and agrees to pay fines and/or fees incurred for misuse of library materials.
- Library cards are issued for two (2) years and must be renewed. Cards may be renewed in person, over the phone or by email.
- Library cards may be denied those patrons with a past record of abuse of library privileges. Patrons may appeal this decision, in writing, to the Library Director.
- Lost library cards should be reported immediately.
- Library cards are issued for two (2) years and must be renewed.
- BPLS has a reciprocal agreement with Campbell County and Lynchburg City that their citizens with either a Campbell or Lynchburg Public Library ‘in good standing” may checkout materials (with some minor exceptions) and use public computers in each others’ facilities. They may also place holds on each other’s materials, with some exceptions. Patrons may designate any facility, at any of the three library systems (CCPLS, LPL or BPLS), as a pick up location.
- General circulating material may be checked out for 28 days and one (1) 28 day renewal.
- New Books may be checked out for 14 days and one 14 day renewal.
- E-readers, telescopes and other non-traditional items may be checked out for 14 days and one (1) 14 day renewal. Due to limited quantity, these items may be limited to one (1) per BPLS adult patron.
- DVD’s may be checked out for seven (7) days and one (1) seven (7) day renewal. Due to limited quantity, DVD formatted materials are limited to six (6) per patron.
- Current issues of periodicals do not circulate.
- Books in high demand at a specific time, such as seasonal, holiday, or those in demand for school projects, may be subject to limitations on loan period, number borrowed and renewals.
- Materials designated REFERENCE and NON-CIRCULATING may not be taken from the library.
- Materials may be renewed at any library location in person, by telephone, by email or through the library’s online catalog.
- NO HOLD designated items may not be renewed.
- Any circulating item listed in the library system catalog may be placed on hold with the exception of NO HOLD designated materials.
- ON ORDER materials may be placed on hold
- To place an item on hold by phone, the patron must have a valid library card and must verify identity by repeating address or other such method.
- The patron will be notified when the item is available for pickup.
- Patrons may place only one hold per title. Exceptions may be made for teachers requesting multiple copies for educational purposes.
- Patrons caught intentionally trying to remove library materials from the building without first checking them out will be asked to give their name, address, phone number and proof of identification. (Benefit of the doubt is given to patrons who may have mixed items with other items properly checked out and who stop immediately upon being checked.)
- The information will be entered into the patron’s record for future referral in the event a second unauthorized attempt to remove materials is made.
- If the patron refuses to comply, the police will be called, and the patron will be asked to remain in the building until they arrive.
- In the event of a second attempt to intentionally remove library materials from the building without first checking them out, the police will be called immediately and the patron will be asked to remain in the building until they arrive.
- Patrons who indicate that there is an error relating to materials charged to their card may declare the materials “claims not checked out” or “claims returned.” Library staff will make every effort to follow-up in locating the material. If the materials are not located, staff will check in as “claims not checked out” or “claims returned”. No more than one incident of a declaration of error may be current on a patron’s record. Department/Library managers will determine when an error has been resolved and whether the claim should be removed from the patron’s record.
- Patrons will be charged the price listed in the item record for materials that are lost or damaged beyond repair for library use.
Intentionally trying to remove library materials from the building is defined as concealing materials under clothing, in pockets, brief cases, purses or bags, or defacing materials in an attempt to remove them from the library.
Previous revision, 8/2013 and 1/2015 and 10/2015 and 2/2018. Revised and approved by the Bedford Public Library System Board of Trustees on August 4, 2020.
Collection Development Policy
The Bedford Public Library System is dedicated to the safety and protection of its employees and citizens. An emergency manual will be kept up to date and will provide guidance for responding to emergency situations such as fire, medical, active shooter, terrorism, bomb threats, Amber Alert, workplace violence and natural/man-made disasters, and evacuation and/or shelter in place procedures.
Library employees and members of the public who may be in library facilities during emergency situations
To minimize injury and damage during emergency or hazardous situations. To facilitate communications with emergency services agencies.
- At a minimum, each library location will have the following emergency supplies:
- an adequately stocked first aid kit
- fire extinguishers that are operational
- a battery operated radio and flashlight
- an AED
- Each library location and/or department will maintain an emergency manual containing current information relating to:
- emergency services telephone numbers (form attached)
- locally adapted procedures for specific situations, including evacuation route
- basic first aid and preparedness manual
- floor plan of building with locations marked for:
- emergency supplies
- fire extinguishers
- smoke detectors
- first aid kit
- utility shutoffs
- Each library employee will have a current emergency contact information form on file in the Director’s office.
- Each library location will establish a site for regrouping in case the building is evacuated
- During an emergency situation, the supervisor in charge of the library will be the incident commander until the authorities arrive. Upon arrival, the Fire or Police Department representative will assume full command.
Emergency Services Telephone Numbers
EMERGENCY ONLY 9-1-1 for Fire, Rescue, and Sheriff
Tips on calling for an Ambulance:
Call if a victim:
- is trapped.
- is not responding or is passed out.
- is bleeding really bad or bleeding cannot be stopped.
- has a cut or wound so bad and deep that you can see the bone or muscles.
- has a body part missing or is torn away.
- has pain below the rib cage that does not go away.
- is vomiting, urinating or passing blood.
- is breathing weirdly or is having trouble breathing.
- seems to have hurt his/her head, neck or back.
- is jerking uncontrollably (having a seizure).
- has broken bones and cannot be moved carefully.
- acts as if he/she has had a heart attack (chest pains or pressure).
When you talk to 9-1-1 or other emergency number:
- try to stay CALM.
- describe what happened
- give the location of the emergency and phone number from where you are calling. Be sure to give your Branch Library’s address.
- follow their instructions in case they tell you what to do for the victim.
24 hour non-emergency number to reach either Town of Bedford Police Dept. or Sheriff’s office 586-7827
Fire Department (Bedford non-emergency) 586-3433
Bedford Co. Fire and Rescue (non-emergency) 587-0700
Infectious pandemic – levels of emergency chart
Staff/building safeguards in place
Level 1: Do Nothing. Normal Operations (Threat Level: Low)
- Make no changes to current operations and procedures.
Level 2: Enhance Sanitation (Threat Level: Elevated)
- Provide additional hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, soap and towels throughout library buildings
- Recommend flu shots or other immunizations for all staff
- Wipe down all horizontal surfaces and high contact items (doorknobs, phones, keyboards, coffee makers, tables) at a minimum once a day at the end of the day
- Spray soft furnishings with disinfectant spray at the end of each day – careful to avoid spraying the wooden areas
- Remove all toys, plushes & manipulatives from the children’s areas – disinfect and bag any soft toys
- Stop serving food at programs
- Check emergency supplies and prepare desk areas by removing unnecessary items that may reduce spread of contact infection
Level 3: Rigorous Sanitation and Limit Activities (Threat Level: High)
In addition to level 2 actions, add:
- Social distancing measures for all small programs and limit registration to 25 people
- Postpone or cancel large programs
- Suspend library deliveries to homes
- Cancel passive programs to reduce spread of contact infection
- Recommend curbside pick-up for at risk populations
- Monitor staff absences and enact shared leave policies for any staff who need to be quarantined (contingent on Library Board action)
Level 4: Restrict Activities (Threat Level: Emergency)
In addition to level 2 & 3 actions, add:
- Wipe/disinfect all returned materials and hold for 24 hours – require more staff time
- Suspend ILL services
- Cancel all library programs and events and close all meeting rooms, including individual study rooms
- Require curbside pick-up for all populations
Hours may be reduced for deep cleaning
Level 5: Building Closures (Threat Level: Critical)
- Reduce hours or close individual branches if staffing falls to unsafe levels
- Close library system if required by State Health Department or other health authority
- Enact emergency closing policy for all staff payrolls until further notice
**see also services to the public COOP for emergency situations and phased re-opening plan docs
**see also CDC, State and any local government recommendations for operations
Previous revision, 7/2005, 12/2015. Revised and approved by the Bedford Public Library System Board of Trustees on August 4, 2020.
Some Bedford Public Library System (BPLS) libraries have space available for exhibits or for the exhibition of artwork. That location may contact organizations, individuals or artists for displays. Likewise, interested organizations, individuals, or artists may contact the library manager where they wish an exhibition to be displayed.
BPLS reserves the right to reject any or all items presented for display. The materials of the exhibits must meet what is generally known as a “standard acceptable to the community.” Displayed items may not be acceptable if they depict extreme violence, sex, or if they are racially, religiously, ethically, or sexually biased or negative in content. Standards for display items are stricter than standards for library books and other documents because everyone, including children, sees display items. Standards are stricter than they are for a museum because art in libraries is a secondary function, not the library’s cultural responsibility.
BPLS cannot assume any responsibility for damaged or lost articles. The organization, individual, or artist responsible for the exhibit should arrange insurance coverage with an outside insurance company if so desired.
- To provide educational, cultural, informative, and attractive exhibits for public view
- To provide for effective distribution of information relevant to the library and the community
- For exhibitions of artwork, artists may be asked to submit two samples of their work, either slides or the work itself, to a selection jury.
- A committee designated by the library manager will evaluate the exhibit and give final judgment on size constraints and appropriateness for a library setting.
- Artists are permitted to post their business card and prices on the works so that interested buyers may contact them directly.
- Artists and exhibitors are required to hang/arrange their own works after consulting with the library manager as to the most appropriate method to use. Individual locations may reserve the right to arrange and/or change the arrangement of the exhibit.
- Special arrangements must be made for group shows.
- Exhibits are generally accepted for one month.
- The meeting room can be scheduled for the purpose of holding an exhibit related reception at the time the exhibit is scheduled.
The Bedford Public Library System provides fax service to the public and will attempt to fax materials in a timely fashion, depending on staff availability. The library is not responsible for the content of material that is faxed and is not responsible for non- delivery of faxes transmitted from or received by the library.
All library locations with fax equipment.
To provide a public service in keeping with the transfer of information.
- The regular fee for sending a fax is $1.00 per page and is to be collected (cash only) prior to sending the fax.
- The fee for sending an overseas fax is $ 3.00 per page and is to be collected (cash only) prior to sending the fax.
- The library will provide a cover sheet to be filled out by the patron. No charge will be made for the cover sheet if additional sheets are being faxed.
- Cover sheet will be retained and kept on file for accounting purposes.
- A transaction report will be printed and provided to the patron as verification of transmission.
- The fee for receiving a fax is fifty (50) cents per page.
- Received faxes are kept on file for pick up or for one month.
Free Handout Materials Policy
The Bedford Public Library System may distribute multiple free copies of flyers, pamphlets, brochures, and schedules. Materials for distribution in multiple copies must fall within one of the following categories: government information, local schedules of cultural events, local directory information, library promotional materials, and library-sponsored program handouts.
All Bedford Public Library System locations
To make information accessible in a manner appropriate to the needs of the user and within the bounds of available resources
- The availability of multiple copies of any materials depends on space limitations at any given time in each library agency.
- The decision of a designated staff member(s) will determine whether sufficient space is available and for how long a period of time the material will be distributed.
- Government information: public information materials produced by or in co-sponsorship with city, state or federal government agencies. This category includes:
- Federal, state and local tax forms/information
- Election issues information (not individual candidate campaign literature)
- Speaker’s bureaus
- Telephone directories
- Directories of specific topics or subjects
Friends of the Library Groups Policy
The Bedford Public Library System (BPLS) views the Friends of the Library organizations as an important community resource for the public libraries in increasing understanding of, and support for, the library within that community. As a volunteer organization, members are provided with an opportunity to use their time, skills, resources and contacts in a worthwhile community endeavor, while receiving recognition for their efforts, making library strengths and needs known to the public and funding authorities.
The role of the Friends is a support group, rather than a policy-making body. Friends may raise money through book sales, sponsorship of special events or other means endorsed by the library board and Library Director.
Each library location may be associated with a Friends of the Library group.
- To encourage public interest and support for the library
- To encourage gifts and memorials for the library
- To purchase special items which cannot be taken care of in the library’s budget
- To assist in public relations and community awareness of and use of the library
- To sponsor programs that support the library’s mission
- The Friends groups will have a written statement of purpose and by-laws which should be in accordance with the policies of the Bedford Public Library System Board of Trustees.
- Funds raised by the Friends should not be a substitute for adequate local funding.
- Funds raised by the Friends should be maintained in an account separate and distinct from the library’s operating accounts. This account should be administered by the Friends of the Library board, in accordance with the policies of the Bedford Public Library System Board of Trustees.
- Funds raised by the Friends in the name of the public library must be used to support programs and materials of the public library.
- Gifts made to the library by the Friends should conform to the library gift and fiscal policies, and may not be used to dictate library policy.
- Suggestions for service improvements may be directed to the local library manager, and requests for resources or assistance may be submitted to the Friends.
Gifts and Donations Policy
Subject: Gift Policies Last Updated: 4/12/05
Category: Gift Policies Supercedes/Amends: 7
The Bedford Public Library System (BPLS) and the Bedford Public Library Foundation welcome gifts and donations in support of the library system and its collections, programs, services, and facilities. Monetary gifts and donations of library materials, personal property or real property are accepted subject to policies adopted by the Library Board and the Foundation Board.
The Bedford Public Library Foundation will accept gifts of money, securities or other liquid assets. Books, audio and videotapes, etc. are received directly by the Bedford Public Library System and accepted with the understanding that they are non-returnable and may be handled or disposed of in the best interests of the library system. Personal or real property may be accepted either by the library system or the foundation,
subject to their needs and in compliance with any applicable policies.
To provide a mechanism for accepting gifts to the Library and acknowledge receipts of gifts for tax purposes
- The library will acknowledge receipts of gifts for tax purposes, but will not assess the monetary value of gifts.
- Donated materials may be added to the collection if they meet the standards set forth in the library system’s Collection Development Policy.
- If desired, appropriate donor recognition will be provided.
Inclement Weather Policy
Subject: Inclement Weather/Emergency Policy Last Updated: 3/01/11
Category: Buildings and Grounds Supersedes: 2-1
In order to fulfill its mission of public service, the Bedford Public Library System will make every reasonable effort to open its facilities to the public as scheduled, consistent with safe access for staff and the public.
During inclement weather sufficient to make travel hazardous or during emergencies, the Library Director, or in his or her absence, the administrative designee may decide to close, delay opening, or close early one or more library facilities.
- Authority to close or alter the operating schedule of an individual facility rests with the facility manager in consultation with the Library Director.
- Authority to return courier van, or any other library vehicle when it is already on the road rests with the driver.
- All library facilities, vehicles
- Full-time and part-time employees
- Inclement weather includes but is not limited to: snow, ice, flooding
- Emergencies such as natural disasters, lack of heating/cooling/plumbing
- Provide for the safe and consistent operations of the library program for the public and employees.
- Provide effective communications to staff and the public of necessary schedule changes.
- Library patrons already in the facility will be notified immediately when schedule changes are decided.
- Library staff will make every reasonable effort to notify the general public when the library schedule is changed due to inclement weather conditions/emergencies. The Libraries automated telephone answering equipment will be adjusted to indicate schedule changes.
Information Technology Policy
Subject: Information Technology Last Updated: 6/14/05
Category: Maintenance and Replacement of Facilities, Vehicles and Information Technology
Supercedes: Section 9-1
The Bedford Pubic Library System supports a wide variety of information technology hardware and software and maintains local area and wide area networks.
Information technology hardware, software, and networks in all library facilities intended to serve the operational needs of the library system and the public it serves.
To ensure that the library maintains, upgrades, updates and replaces its hardware, software and network components to ensure reliable an effective operation of its information technology systems.
- BPLS will evaluate its information technology on a continual basis and will develop a five-year plan to address changing technology needs of the system.
- The library system will hire staff and enter into hardware, software and maintenance and service contracts as necessary.
- An Information Technology Replacement Fund will be established and developed to provide for upgrades, updates and replacement of hardware, software and network components.
Lost or Damaged Materials Policy
Patrons will be required to pay for materials that are lost while checked out to them. If the patron pays for the materials and then finds and returns them in good condition,
reimbursement for lost charges may be made for a period of 90 days from the date of payment, accrued overdue or CA fines will not be reimbursed. Materials that are automatically declared lost by the library’s circulation database due to length of time overdue will be charged to the patrons account along with the accrued overdue fines. A minimal fee may be charged for mending or repairing library materials that are returned “not in library condition.”
Patrons are responsible for loss, damage or any alteration to equipment checked out on their library card. This includes but is not limited to library-owned electronics, telescopes, nature packs, or book/audio. Such loss, damage or alteration will result in damage charges and loss of some or all library privileges.
Library patrons who have lost or damaged materials.
To provide an equitable method for replacing lost and damaged materials.
- Lost library books are charged the retail price in the item’s MARC record. If there is no price listed in the MARC record, other reliable sources such as Amazon.com, or Barnes&Noble.com may be used to determine a replacement cost. If a price still cannot be determined, the following charges apply:
- Adult fiction hardcover $ 30.00
- Adult and Young Adult non-fiction hardcover $ 30.00
- Young Adult hardcover $ 30.00
- Juvenile hardcover $ 20.00
- Board book $ 6.00
- Soft-cover book $ 25.00
- Paperback book $ 10.00
- Trade paperback book $ 15.00
- Juvenile and Young Adult paperback $ 10.00
Non-book items that are lost are charged at the price listed on library records or a recognized price guide. If no price is indicated, the following charges apply:
- Audio books (CD): $ 10.00 per CD plus a charge of $2.00 to replace the case.
- Music CD (single): $15.00 plus case @ $ 2.00
- DVD: $ 26.00 plus case @ $2.00
- Audio/book kits: $ 25.00
- E-readers: $ 165.00
- cover: $ 20.00
- power cord: $ 20.00
- neoprene case: $ 15.00
- Magazines: price of current issue or $ 6.00 if current price is not available
A damage fee of $ 5.00, or up to the cost of the item, is charged if item can be mended or repaired to proper library condition.
If an item is damaged beyond repair, the library may accept a replacement copy with the same ISBN. A processing fee of $5.00 will be assessed for replacement copies.
Patrons may opt to keep automated lost item(s), once the item(s) has been paid for, unless the item(s) has been re-entered into the collection.
- Due to increases or decreases in the costs of certain items, the Library Board grants the Library Director authority to make such changes at his/her discretion.
- The Library Director may initiate such changes or the Collection Development Committee.
Approved by the Bedford Public Library System Board of Trustees August 2010; revised December 2012,
June 2017, February 2019
Lost and Found Items Policy
Items that are lost in the library or on library grounds will be kept in a designated lost and found area for a period of thirty (30) days. The Library is not responsible for personal items that may be lost or damaged in the building or on the grounds.
Items that are in good repair and considered worth saving
To provide a means to hold lost items in order to return them to their rightful owner
- Found items should be turned in to the circulation desk.
- Anyone inquiring about lost items will be asked for a description before they are given the item.
Approved by the Bedford Public Library System Board of Trustees March 2004, revised August 2019.
Meeting Rooms Policy
The Bedford Public Library System provides meeting room space for community, educational, recreational, cultural, civic and charitable groups. Meeting rooms are available on an equitable basis to local groups and organizations engaged in legal activities, regardless of the beliefs and affiliations of their members. Small group study rooms are made available, when not in use by the library, on a first come, first serve basis, to local groups, organizations, and groups of individuals working together.
In allocating the use of the meeting rooms, the Library will not discriminate on the basis of the political or religious beliefs of applicants, or on any other constitutionally prohibited basis.
The Library has a paramount need to provide a safe, peaceful and respectful environment in which patrons may use Library facilities. The Library has the authority to accept, renew, or reject requests for use of the meeting rooms. The Library reserves the right to reject a reservation request if the anticipated meeting is likely to be unreasonably disruptive to regular library functions, too large for the applicable room capacity, disorderly, dangerous to persons or property, or in any other way inconsistent with or in contravention of any of the terms and conditions of this policy. In determining whether such a likelihood exists, the Library may take into consideration the contents of the application form, the history of the group’s meeting room use in the library or elsewhere, and such other information as they may deem appropriate.
Meetings must be free of charge and open to the public, except as provided within this document. Meeting rooms shall not be used for entrepreneurial or commercial purposes, for solicitation of business, for profit or for fundraising, other than that which supports the BPLS, unless specifically permitted by the Library Director or Board. No goods or services shall be promoted, sold or exchanged upon the premises or by sample, pictures or description.
Permission to use BPLS meeting room facilities does not constitute endorsement of the organization’s beliefs by the library staff or Board, and publicity for the event should not imply BPLS sponsorship or affiliation. No group may consider the Library its permanent meeting place or use the Library as its mailing address, except the Friends of the Library. Use of the meeting rooms for library purposes shall take precedence over all other uses. The Library reserves the right to preempt any scheduled meeting.
No one will be granted permission to schedule the rooms on an ongoing basis except as provided within this document.
Local groups and organizations engaged in legal activities. An authorized representative, 18 years of age or older, must take responsibility for and be in attendance at the meeting to insure that the Library Appropriate Use policy is followed.
To provide meeting room space for community, educational, recreational, cultural, civic and charitable groups.
Applying for permission to use the meeting rooms:
- Reservations should be made through the Library’s web page by the applicant’s authorized representative or in person at any BPLS Library. The application is tentative until approved by the library manager or designated staff.
- Permission to use meeting rooms will be granted on a first-come basis; however, library-related programs and events will be given priority.
- A group may schedule the meeting room twenty-four (24) times a year, system wide. A reservation canceled within seven (7) days of the scheduled meeting date counts toward the total.
- A group may have no more than 3 meetings scheduled at any one time and may reserve meetings as much as six (6) months in advance.
- With permission of the Library Director or staff designated by the Director, the meeting rooms may be used for depositions, mediations or similar private uses.
- Local businesses, in their role as corporate citizens, may be permitted to use the meeting rooms for employee training purposes or other employee informational sessions.
- Meeting rooms may be used for political forums, but not for political campaigning purposes, such as press conferences.
- Meeting rooms are not intended to be used for private social gatherings, parties, weddings, dances, or for regular church services for any one organization.
- The Library Director will have final approval of applications, and will make all policy decisions and interpretations.
- Any false, misleading or incomplete statement in the application process shall be grounds to deny the use of the room by the applying group.
Room use guidelines:
- The library reserves the right to have a library representative attend any meeting held in its facilities (excepting lawful executive sessions of governmental bodies) to ensure no unlawful activities or activities contrary to this policy are occurring on library premises. The library representative may enter the meeting at any time.
- Groups using the meeting rooms or small group rooms must make provisions to guard against public disturbances, unsafe practices, or excessive noise. The authorized representative is responsible for supervision of all children.
- The BPLS, its Board of Trustees and Library employees assume no responsibility for the loss, theft, or damage of any property of any group, individual or organization using the facilities.
- The group’s authorized representative will be held liable for any damage and the condition of the room after its use. The authorized representative and/or the organization s/he represents agrees to pay for damages, special clean-up and any other damages to the Library property and materials resulting from the meeting.
- Local groups, organizations or individuals may not schedule meeting rooms or small group study rooms to provide fee based services since these facilities are provided as a free service to the community.
- Objects left in the room will be discarded. Meeting rooms shall be left in good order and in the original set-up; chairs and tables put away, dishes washed and floors swept. Failure to do so may result in denial of future use.
- Applicants may not tape or tack anything to the walls or doors without permission.
- All Library buildings are tobacco and vapor free facilities.
- No alcoholic beverages may be distributed or consumed.
- Meeting rooms are to be vacated by 10:00 p.m.
- Small group rooms are to be vacated ten (10) minutes before the library closes.
- Big Island Library meeting room may only be scheduled when the Big Island Library is open to the public or at the discretion of the Library manager.
- Attendance in all meeting rooms is limited by fire code.
- There are no fees charged for use of the meeting rooms; donations are accepted.
- Library staff cannot be responsible for taking registration fees, selling tickets, providing information about, or answering questions about non-library sponsored events.
- Library staff will provide the name and number of the group’s contact person to persons having questions relating to the meeting.
- The Library may provide some equipment in the rooms, such as projectors, or white boards. It is the responsibility of groups to arrange for other equipment needs not provided by the Library.
- No materials may be stored in advance by groups using the meeting rooms without prior approval.
- In those meeting rooms which are set up for meetings to continue after normal business hours, arrangements for security and closing must be made with the library manager.
Previous revision, May 2009. Revised and approved by the Bedford Public Library System Board of Trustees April 2016.
The Bedford Public Library System does not permit petitions or petition signing in its facilities. Petitions or petition signing are permitted on library grounds, provided such
activity does not interfere with pedestrian access to the building or vehicular access to the grounds.
All Bedford Public Library System locations
To provide for a quiet atmosphere conducive to study
To support the library’s position of presenting all perspectives of an issue
Petitioning activity must be conducted in a reasonable location, as determined by the library manager.
Public Bulletin Board Policy
The Bedford Public Library System may accept unsolicited posters and dated announcements for display on public service bulletin boards from nonprofit organizations
engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual or charitable activities, including information produced or co-sponsored by town, county, state and federal government agencies.
All Bedford Public Library System locations
To provide information to the public on current events.
- Library-sponsored and library-related events, or events promoting library service will be given precedence.
- Events taking place in or information concerning Bedford County will be given precedence.
- Materials will be posted on a first come, first displayed basis with the following guidelines:
- Materials that fall under #1 and #2 will always be given first consideration.
- Materials advertising events more than thirty (30) days in advance will not be accepted.
- Location of materials at the central library will be determined by the Adult Services staff and at the branches by the branch staff.
- Because of space limitations, large amounts or large-sized materials cannot be accepted for posting.
- Information on elections and election issues and events will be accepted only if all sides have an opportunity to be represented or the event is nonpartisan in nature.
- When there is a heavy demand for available space, information may be removed from the boards after one or two weeks even if the event has not taken place.
- If questions arise about the appropriateness of materials, they will be held for review and approval by the central library manager or county library manager.
Policy on Public Comments at Library Board Meetings
Citizens may request permission to address the Library Board during the “Public Comment” portion of the Board’s regular meetings, which are held typically on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm. at the Bedford Central Library in the Bedford Room.
Citizens of Bedford County
To provide a method for the public to request information or address questions that have not been resolved through contacting a board member or the appropriate staff person.
- Changes in the date, time or place of the Library Board meeting will be posted in advance.
- Requests to appear before the board should be directed to the Library Director and must be received by 5:00 p.m. on the Friday preceding the board meeting.
- A description of what the topic will be and the speaker’s full name and address are required in order to schedule time at the meeting.
- Speakers are limited to speaking on the same topic not more than two times in 12 months.
- Speakers will be subject to such time limitations as the Chairman at his or her discretion may impose.
- Speakers should direct questions to the Chairman, who may, at his or her discretion, solicit a response from the appropriate person.
- Speakers must stay on the topic identified when requesting to speak; failure to stay on the topic will result in forfeiture of the remaining time that had been allotted to the speaker.
Public Internet Use Policy
The Bedford Public Library System (BPLS) offers Internet access as an essential tool in providing adults and children of Bedford County with information and resources that
support lifelong learning and lifelong enjoyment. The BPLS offers Internet access as broadly and as completely as possible to include the widest possible diversity, views and
expressions, and to insure access to all avenues of ideas to as many library users as possible.
Since all Internet sites are potentially accessible and the Internet is an unregulated medium connecting people and information sources from around the world, not all
sources on the Internet provide information that is current, accurate, unobjectionable or complete. The BPLS is unable to control the content of materials on the Internet. Users
of the Internet should exercise caution and critical judgment in evaluating the content they find on the Internet.
Filtered and unfiltered forms of Internet access are provided for library computers. Filtered access attempts to screen out content deemed obscene or harmful to minors. It is
by no means foolproof and may inadvertently allow content intended to be blocked or block unobjectionable content. An adult decides which form of access to use. The parent
or legal guardian of a minor will decide if the minor may access the Internet and (a)whether access is to be filtered (b) unfiltered. Wireless network provides only filtered access.
There may be times when the user may not be able to access a given site on the Internet due to circumstance beyond the control of the Library System. The BPLS reserves the
right to terminate any Internet search session. Users who fail to follow the policies and procedures may indefinitely lose their access privileges, particularly in the case of repeat
offenders. Illegal or disruptive behaviors can result in immediate termination of access and may necessarily involve intervention by law enforcement authorities.
Library staff will be glad to assist our library users with using the Internet. In the event library staff is not familiar with specific programs or capabilities, the library user will be
responsible for learning the needed skills.
All library patrons who access information through the Library System’s Internet service
To provide a connection to information and ideas available on the Internet and to establish the expectation that all Internet users will utilize the Library’s Internet service in
a responsible and legal manner, consistent with the educational, information, and recreational purposes for which it is provided.
- The Library Internet may be used for educational, informational, or recreational purposes only.
- Adult library users will select for themselves whether to use filtered or unfiltered access to the Internet. Library staff will verbally explain filtered vs. unfiltered access during the card application process and will set the patron’s card up in accordance with the patron’s choice.
- A minor’s parent or legal guardian will determine if the minor may access the Internet and (a) whether access is to be filtered (b) unfiltered. By registering a minor for a library card, the parent or legal guardian indicates they understand filtered vs. unfiltered access, agree that the minor may use the Library’s Internet Access Service, that the minor will abide by it and future versions of the policy as a condition of the minor using the library’s Internet Access.
- Minors must present their library cards at the time of use.
- The BPLS Public Internet Policy displays and is agreed to each time a user signs onto a public computer. Patrons are responsible for reading the Policy and agreeing to abide by it.
- BPLS reserves the right to deny access to a minor when he/she is found to be inappropriately using the Internet, even if there is a parental permission form on file.
- Library patrons from outside the area who would not reasonably have a BPLS library card may use the Library Internet service a maximum of 5 times by request at the public service desk and by presenting personal (photo) identification.
- Juveniles from outside the area who wish to use the Internet must be accompanied by parent, guardian or adult BPLS patron to whom they have been entrusted by their parent or guardian.
- Time on Library computers may be limited to specified periods when others are waiting.
- Use of the Library’s Internet computers is checked out in the same manner as other library materials. Internet computer users must have a library card and be in good standing in order to access the service.
- Data downloaded from the Internet may contain computer viruses. Every wireless user is responsible for maintaining virus-checking software on his or her own computer.
- The BPLS is not responsible for damage to any user’s equipment or computer, or any loss of data, damage, or liability that may occur from the use of the Library’s computers or wireless connection.
- Library patrons should respect the privacy of others using Library System computers by not interfering with their use.
- Sending, receiving, viewing, downloading, or displaying materials and graphics that may reasonably be construed as obscene is not allowed. Anyone viewing graphics that would be visually offensive to most BPLS library patrons will be asked to leave the site and/or the building and may result in loss of public computer privileges.
- The access and display of obscene graphics and child pornography is illegal (Code of Virginia, 18.2-372, 18.2-374.1) and will be reported to law enforcement authorities.
- Installing personal software on Library-owned computers is not allowed.
- Making changes to the setup or configuration of Library-owned software or hardware including the adjustment or alteration of PC operations systems is not allowed.
- Material may be printed at the cost of ten (10) cents per page, fifty (50) cents for color copies.
- Information found on the Internet may be downloaded to storage devices. The BPLS is not responsible for damages that may result from files downloaded from the Internet. If the download is unsuccessful, the library user is responsible for learning the necessary skills. Library staff will not assist with downloads which might violate copyright laws.
- BPLS staff will assist patrons with computer tasks as time and other duties allow.
- The Library System does not provide
- uploading of files onto library equipment
- file transfer protocol
- internet gaming on patron owned computers
- support for chat capabilities
- e-mail accounts
- Web based e-mail accounts through a commercial provider or educational institution may be accessed. The Bedford Public Library System is not responsible for lost or accessed e-mail.
Previous revision, 6/11 and 10/13. Revised and approved by the Bedford Public Library System Board of
Trustees on October 6, 2015.
Safe Child Policy
The Bedford Public Library provides an array of services to children. The library offers story hours, internet access, tours, homework help, and advice on books to read, along with other educational and entertaining programs. Library children’s rooms are reserved for children, their parents, guardians, teachers, and caregivers, and people researching children’s literature.
The library encourages frequent visits by children and their families. However, library staff cannot provide child care or assume responsibility for children’s safety. Parents, guardians, teachers and/or caregivers, not library staff, are responsible for the behavior and safety of children visiting the library. Staff cannot be placed in the position of supervising unattended children. Parents, guardians, teachers and/or caregivers may not leave children alone or in the care of other children who are unable or unwilling to provide adequate care. Supervising adults must be close at hand.
The Library is not responsible for any consequences of parents forfeiting their responsibilities.
The Bedford Public Library provides an array of services to children from preschool age through 12 years old. An unattended child is a child of any age who is apparently unaccompanied by a responsible adult.
As in all public places, “stranger danger” is a real concern. While library staff cannot prevent children from interacting with or leaving with persons who are not the appropriate chaperone, staff will take appropriate action, if deemed necessary.
Children are expected to behave in a manner conducive to maintaining an appropriate atmosphere in the building for all patrons. (Please refer to the Appropriate Library Use Policy.) Children must know how to reach an adult in case of an emergency, and both children and adults are responsible for knowing library hours.
If an unattended child acts in a manner not in compliance with the Appropriate Library Use Policy:
- Appropriate behavior will be suggested to the child.
- The parent or caregiver will be notified of the library’s policy concerning unattended children.
- A parent or caregiver will be contacted by phone if he/she is not in the library.
- If the parent or caregiver cannot be reached and has not come after 15 minutes, local law enforcement will be notified.
If unattended children are in the library at closing:
- 15 minutes before closing, the child will be asked to call a responsible person.
- Two staff members will remain with the child after the library closes. If, after being notified, a parent or caregiver does not arrive within 15 minutes, local law enforcement
will be called.
- If the parent or caregiver cannot be reached and has not come after 15 minutes, local law enforcement will be notified.
- Under NO circumstances will staff transport a minor.
- An incident report will be filed by staff.
If a parent or caregiver reports they have lost a child in the library, staff should:
- Notify all departments of the situation.
- Get a description of the child, including clothing and shoes worn.
- Conduct a coordinated search.
- In consultation with parent or caregiver, notify local law enforcement.
Previous revision, November 2013. Revised and approved by the Bedford Public Library System Board of Trustees
on January 2015.
Security Camera Policy
The Bedford Public Library is supported by the taxes of the people of Bedford County and the Commonwealth of Virginia who expect each of our facilities to be clean, comfortable, and safe places for selecting materials, reading, researching, studying, writing, and attending Library or community sponsored programs and meetings. To this end, selected areas of the library premises are equipped with video cameras. Security cameras are used to enhance the safety and security of library users and staff by discouraging violations of the Library’s Appropriate Use Policy, to assist library staff in preventing the occurrence of any violations in library policies, and when necessary, to provide law enforcement assistance in prosecuting criminal activity.
All adults, teens, and children who come into the library or visit the library grounds.
The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the placement and use of video security cameras, as well as, the access and retrieval of recorded video images originating from any facility of the Bedford Public Library System.
Security camera purpose and placement guidelines
- Video recording cameras will be used in public spaces of library locations to discourage violations of the Library’s policies and criminal activity.
- Cameras may be installed in outdoor and indoor places where individuals lack a reasonable expectation of privacy. Examples include public common areas of the library such as parking lots, entrances, seating areas, service desks and areas prone to theft or misconduct or areas where money is stored or handled.
- Cameras will not be installed in areas of the Library where individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as restrooms or private offices.
- Signs will be posted at all entrances informing the public and staff that security cameras are in use.
- Because cameras will not be continuously monitored, the public and staff should take appropriate precautions for their safety and for the security of their personal property. The BPLS is not responsible for loss of property or personal injury.
- Recorded data is confidential and secured in a controlled area. Video recordings will typically be stored for up to 30 days, with the exception of records retained for criminal, safety, or security investigations. As new images are recorded, the oldest images will be automatically deleted.
- Cameras are not installed nor will they be used for the purpose of routine staff performance evaluations.
Use/Disclosure of video records
- Access to the archived footage and real-time images in pursuit of documented incidents of injury, criminal activity or violation of library policy is restricted to designated staff.
- The frequency of viewing and the amount of video viewed will be limited to the minimum needed to give assurance that the system is working or to ascertain if footage is available relative to a specific incident.
- The director or director’s designee may use a still shot or portions of the recorded data to request law enforcement review for assessing a security risk or investigating a crime. For investigations initiated by law enforcement agencies, recorded data will be made available to law enforcement upon presentation of a valid court document. Only the director or director’s designee will be authorized to release images to law enforcement.
- Video records and still shots may be used by authorized individuals to identify those responsible for library policy violations, criminal activity on library property or actions considered disruptive to normal library operations as delineated in the Appropriate Use Policy.
- Confidentiality and privacy issues prohibit the general public from viewing security camera footage. If the Library receives a request from the general public to inspect security camera footage pursuant to an alleged crime, they will be advised to file a police complaint.
Revised and approved by the Bedford Public Library System Board of Trustees 7/7/2015.
Telephone Calls to Library Patrons
The Bedford Public Library System will not accept incoming telephone calls for library patrons or confirm their presence in the library.
Library patrons are expected to be courteous in the use of cell phones in the library.
All library patrons, adults and children
To protect our patrons right to privacy and for their safety and security, personal information will not be made available over the telephone.
To provide an environment that is comfortable but conducive to study, patrons are asked to minimize noise from cell phones and pagers.
If a caller asks for verification or to speak to someone in the library, staff will:
- Ask for a number where the caller can be reached, along with the name and description of the person they are seeking;
- Tell the caller that you cannot be sure of locating the person but if the person is located, you will deliver the message;
- Attempt to locate the person and deliver the message if workflow allows; or
- Keep the information at the desk in case the person comes to the desk.
Use of cell phones in the library
- Library patrons are expected to use a quiet voice in brief cell phone conversations, if the conversation is disturbing others, the library patron should be asked continue the conversation outside the library.
- If a cell phone ringing or pager is distracting or disturbing others, the library patron should be asked to use the silent signal function or turn the audible signal to the lowest volume.
Staff, volunteers, official visitors or speakers may receive phone calls. In the event of an emergency, staff may take additional steps to locate a library patron for a phone call.
Last Updated: 1/13/04