Policy guidelines have been established in these areas:
A valid library card is required to borrow materials from the library's collection. The BCCLS online catalog allows you to request items from all the members of the BCCLS libraries for pickup at the River Vale Library. Late items are charged at the rate of 15 cents per item per day, beginning February 1, 2013. The maximum late fee for items is $5.00. Members of a household may have their loan privileges blocked when one member of the household is seriously delinquent. Patrons who have lost library materials or return them in a damaged condition will be charged the standard BCCLS rate for the item. For more information, check out The Power of your Library Card.
*Internet & Computer Policy:
The River Vale Free Public Library offers public computers and internet access to patrons as part of its mission to develop collections, resources, and services that meet the educational, cultural and informational needs of the community. The internet contains an enormous variety of material and opinions from varied points of view. It offers access to many valuable local, national and international sources of information. However, some information found on the Internet may be inaccurate, incomplete, dated or offensive to some individuals. The library has no control over the information accessed through the internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. As with other library materials, restriction of a child's access to the internet is the responsibility of the parent or guardian.
The internet, like all of the library's information sources, must be shared and used in a a manner which respects the rights of others. All users of the library's internet are to strictly adhere to all federal, state, and local laws. Display or transmission of sexually explicit graphics or materials, or materials that are obscene, pornographic or harmful to the well-being of others, including minors, is prohibited in the library. The library reserves the right to end an internet session, including those on patron laptops, at the discretion of the librarian on duty.
Access to the internet is on a first come, first served basis. To ensure that computer availability exists for all patrons, the library reserves the right to institute time limits of 30 minutes for computer use. To ensure that computers are available for patrons wishing to do school work of conduct research, the library reserves the right to restrict certain library computers for this purpose.
Patrons should be aware that the library's network is an unsecured network. Secure online activities cannot be guaranteed and therefore transactions, financial or otherwise, files and communications are vulnerable to unauthorized use. The library will not be responsible for any direct, indirect or consequential damages related to the patron use of the library's computers or internet service.
*Collection Development Policy:
Library Mission Statement: The River Vale Free Public Library is committed to providing services and resources to meet the informational, educational, cultural, artistic and recreational needs and interests of its residents. The library encourages people to utilize its resources and connect intellectually and socially with other members of the community. The library strives to provide services that are accessible, convenient and responsive to community needs. The library will seek to create and build upon mutually beneficial relationships with the township of River Vale, its schools, community groups and organizations to enrich the lives of our residents.
Purpose of the Collection Development Policy: The purpose of the River Vale Free Public Library's Collection Development Policy is to provide a framework for the creation and maintenance of the collection of resources that implements the library's overall mission. It also seeks to provide the public with information about the principles upon which materials purchasing decisions are made. This policy will serve as a guideline for selection and purchase, the acceptance of gifts, the ongoing management of the collection and the reconsideration of materials in the collection. This document cannot cover every situation and is not intended to replace the professional judgment of the staff librarians.
General Principles: The Library's collections include materials in a variety of formats, at many intellectual levels, to serve a wide range of ages, reading, listening and viewing skills and educational backgrounds. The collection emphasizes materials that aid in promoting early literacy, lifelong learning throughout the age spectrum, reading for pleasure, popular cultural entertainment and general
The Library fully supports the statements set forth by the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights (Appendix A), Freedom to Read (Appendix B) and Freedom to View (Appendix C) statements. Materials are not excluded, removed or suppressed because of the language used or views they present on everyday or controversial subjects. Inclusion of an item in the collection does not constitute endorsement of its content by the Library, nor does it guarantee the accuracy of the information contained therein.
Parents and legal guardians are responsible for the use of the library's collection by children. It is only the parent or legal guardian who may restrict his/her children from access to library materials or services. The selection of library materials will not be limited by the possibility that items may be viewed or checked out by minors.
As a member of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS), the Library is in the fortunate position of being able to easily access the collective resources of all the BCCLS member libraries. Sharing of materials of all types is crucial to the success of the consortium, and is a factor in making purchase decisions.
Acquisition of Materials:
Annual Materials Allocation - Budgetary constraints play a role in the acquisition and replacement of library materials. As part of the Annual Library Budget, the Library Materials Budget is divided into five main categories: Books, Newspapers, Magazines, Non-print (Audio/Visual) and Electronic Resources. These categories are further divided by areas of the collection and format. The materials budget is recommended by the Director and approved by the Library Board of Trustees as a portion of the Library’s total budget. Factors determining the allocation for each category may include: Statistics based on usage in the category, Development of the category as determined by the Director and staff, User requests in the category, Replacement projects for categories within the collection as determined by the Director and staff.
Materials Selection: The ultimate responsibility for the direction, purpose and scope of collection development rests with the Library Board. The Director is in charge of the everyday implementation of the policy and delegates much of the responsibility to the staff librarians. The public is encouraged to make purchase recommendations which are reviewed by staff members assigned to the different categories within the collection. The Director and staff select materials based on a variety of criteria, including:
*Demonstrated or perceived interest, need or demand by Library users
*Contemporary significance, popular interest or permanent value
*Quality, including accuracy, timeliness, clarity and suitability of the format for public lending
*To provide support to the general curriculum of the local schools
*Requests from patrons.
*Suggestions from review sources including, but not limited to Library Journal, School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, New York Times Book Review, Horn Book, The Bulletin of the Center For Children’s Books, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and Metacritic on-line
The Library aims for a broad representation of viewpoints and looks for materials that will supplement, expand upon or support the existing collection.
Fiction: Items that are selected for the fiction collections for adults and children represent classic titles by established authors, current bestselling titles, well-reviewed titles from new authors and genre titles of interest, including local authors and titles reviewed in the New Jersey media. The collection also supports the needs of local students’ school year and summer reading assignments, as well as the many book discussion groups that operate in the area. Bestselling new fiction is ordered in multiples based on demand. Patron requests for new titles are generally honored. Review sources are consulted to aid in selection, and the holdings of other BCCLS libraries are also considered. Patron requests are evaluated against current holdings in the BCCLS system, the cost of materials and the perceived need for the title in our community.
Non-Fiction: Items selected for the non-fiction collections for adults and children comply with the BCCLS guideline that limits adding titles not owned by the consortium that are more than 5 years old. Items are chosen which support lifelong learning, self-help and education, general knowledge and student research. Newly published items of broad interest will generally be purchased. Bestselling new non-fiction is ordered in multiples based on demand. Patron requests for new titles are generally honored. Review sources are consulted to aid in selection, and the holdings of other BCCLS libraries are also considered. The collections support the general curriculum of the local schools with respect to regularly-occurring assignments and projects. The Library does not seek to purchase textbooks, but some textbooks may be added to the collection if that format represents a useful overview of a particular subject area. Patron requests are evaluated against current holdings in the BCCLS system, the cost of materials and the perceived need for the title in our community.
Audio Books: Audio book selections will be made primarily from titles available in unabridged format, according to popular demand and bestselling titles. Currently, the Library is purchasing titles in CD format only but this is an area in which technology in rapidly changing and this policy needs to be revisited as new formats become more widely available and reliable.
Downloadable Audio and eBooks: The Library participates in the BCCLS cooperative purchasing program of downloadable audio and eBooks.
Other Media: While the emphasis of acquisitions to the music and film collections are popular materials requested by library patrons, the core of the collections are classic works of lasting popular interest. The film collection contains a broad selection of domestic and foreign entertainment, informational, and instructional videos. The largest category within the music collection is popular contemporary artists followed by an extensive collection of classical music. Other subcategories include jazz, country, holiday, soundtracks, international, folk and children’s music. The video game collection contains games for use on current generation systems.
Databases: The Library participates in the BCCLS cooperative purchasing of online databases. The Library also purchases online databases for use in the library and for River Vale patrons by remote access.
Gifts and Donations: The Library gratefully accepts monetary donations to be used to purchase items for the general collection. These monies will be applied to purchases in any collection area that the Director deems warranted at the time of the donation. Donors wishing to restrict purchases to a specific collection area should discuss their desires with the Director prior to any commitment of funds, and the conditions of the gift should be agreed upon and summarized in writing before the donation occurs. Donations of used books, DVDs, CDs and audio books will be accepted only if the materials are in good to excellent condition. The Library accepts these items with the understanding that a professional staff member will decide what donated items are suitable for addition to the collection. Other donated items will be offered for sale to the public with proceeds going to the general funds of the Library. Any donated items that are in poor condition will be recycled.
Collection Assessment and Evaluation: The Library’s collections are evaluated by the professional staff on an ongoing and systematic basis. Items that are outdated, superseded, are no longer of interest or are in poor condition will be de-accessioned and sold or recycled. The collection evaluation process is based upon the general guidelines put forth in Evaluating and Weeding Collections in Small and Medium-sized Public Libraries: The CREW Method, published by the American Library Association.
Reconsideration of Library Materials: Patrons who have concerns regarding the content of any Library materials will be asked to formally present their opinions to the Library’s Board of Trustees by using the Request For Reconsideration of Library Materials Form available from any staff member or online below. The completed form will be given to the Library Director for review. The Director will respond in writing to the request within two weeks of receipt. If the person submitting the form is not satisfied with the Director’s response, he or she will be invited to discuss their concerns with the Library Board at their next regularly-scheduled monthly meeting. The Board will consider the issue and will render a final decision in the matter.
Reconsideration Form (8 KB)
The staff and trustees of the River Vale Free Public Library recognize the need to protect library users’ privacy regarding resources utilized in the library setting. In accordance with the American Library Association Code of Ethics (1995) Section 3:
“We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.”
The records of patron use of library resources, materials or services are confidential per the laws of the State of New Jersey:
N.J.S.A. 18A:73-43.2 CONFIDENTIALITY OF LIBRARY USER’S RECORDS
Library records which contain the names or other personal identifying details regarding the users of libraries are confidential and shall not be disclosed except in the following circumstances:
a. The records are necessary for the proper operation of the library.
b. Disclosure is requested by the user; or
c. Disclosure is required pursuant to a subpoena issued by a court or a court order.
All records concerning library users and information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted by users are confidential and will not be made available to any agency of the federal, state, county or local governments or to any other person unless a court order or search warrant requiring disclosure has been entered by a court of competent jurisdiction or persons acting within the scope of their duties in the administration of the River Vale Free Public Library.
As River Vale is a member of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS), information pertaining to our library users and materials may only be located at the cooperative’s headquarters in Hackensack, New Jersey. In addition, as a member of a cooperative, requests for information regarding materials may affect all BCCLs libraries. Along with its member libraries, BCCLS considers user privacy to be of paramount importance. For information about how BCCLS maintains user privacy and legal notices please refer to the home page of the BCCLS website under "About BCCLS - Policies & Legal Noticse" located at: http://www.bccls.org.
In providing information pursuant to a court order, the library shall follow the following procedures:
1. Any requests for information regarding a library user are to be referred to the Library Director, or designee, who will explain the library’s policy and New Jersey law.
2. If the library staff member is presented with a subpoena, he/she is to refer the presenter to the Library Director/designee, who is to contact the township’s attorney to verify its validity and advise the library of what action to take.
3. If the library staff member is presented with a search warrant from a law enforcement officer, he/she is not to interfere with their search and seizure. The staff member is to contact the Library Director, or designee, as soon as possible, that a search warrant has been served so the Director can ask the officer to allow them to consult with legal counsel and to ask that the township’s attorney be present during the search. Whether or not the law enforcement official agrees to await the arrival of counsel, the township’s attorney shall be contacted. Library staff shall not interfere with a search conducted with a search warrant. A search warrant must be specific as to the information requested. Information outside of the scope of a search warrant should not be released.
USA Patriot Act
As a public institution, the River Vale Free Public Library is legally required to comply with information requests pursuant to the USA Patriot Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, P.L. 107-56, Oct 26, 2001).
Under the USA Patriot Act, the person whose records are subject to a search warrant may not be notified that a search warrant has been served. A supervisor or the township’s attorney may be contacted without a violation of the act. Staff shall not inform anyone else of the existence of the search warrant. In either case of a subpoena or a search warrant, records shall be kept of all legal requests and all costs incurred by the Library (including additional staff time and replacement of equipment).
The USA Patriot Act permits the FBI to get a search warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to retrieve library usage records of someone who is under investigation of involvement in an ongoing terrorist or intelligence investigation. Please note that the USA Patriot Act requires a search warrant and not a subpoena. A search warrant can be executed immediately upon service.
Approved by the Library Board 11-18-2015.
The River Vale Free Public Library is committed to providing services and resources to meet the informational, educational, cultural, artistic and recreational needs and interests of its residents. The library encourages people to utilize its resources and connect intellectually and socially with other members of the community. The River Vale Free Public Library as a limited public forum has the authority to make reasonable rules that are universally applied regarding the allowed use of the library building and property. Library users shall be engaged in reading, studying, using library materials, attending library programming or utilizing library community room space for scheduled activities. In order to maintain an environment that is appealing to patrons of all ages and is conducive to library activities, the River Vale Library Board of Trustees has set standards of acceptable behavior on library premises to ensure an atmosphere that allows for the utilization of library resources, promotes the general safety of the public and protects library materials, equipment, building and grounds.
School Year Use of the Library: The library welcomes students who are engaged in activities appropriate to the library setting. During the school year the library experiences very high attendance at the close of the school day. Middle school students, in particular, are heavy users of the facility between 3:00 and 5:00pm. The library floor plan calls for a Young Adult Area for use by these students. Library patrons occupying this area will be directed to utilize other sections of the library, specifically reserved for them during this time period, due to the high volume of students. Students visiting the library after school are expected to abide by all of the directives regarding proper behavior in the library. The library reserves the right to request identification from students engaged in unacceptable behavior so that their parents, caretakers and/or the police may be contacted. Repeated instances of unacceptable behavior by students will result in the student’s suspension or revocation of library privileges. The procedure for suspension or revocation of library privileges is listed below.
Behavioral Guidelines: Examples of unacceptable behavior include but are not limited to:
1. Eating or drinking, except for a special event in a designated area as authorized by the Director;
2. Playing audio equipment so that others can hear it;
3. Talking loudly, making noise, running, pushing, throwing objects or engaging in any type of conduct which may disturb and/or interfere with the use of the library by other persons;
4. Any activity involving balls, scooters, inline skates, skateboards, etc. on any library property, inside or outside the building;
5. Leaving a child under the age of ten unattended in the library;
6. Requesting staff to protect or monitor children, adults needing care, or personal belongings;
7. Using cell phones in a manner that is disruptive to other patrons;
8. Using abusive language, gestures or threats towards staff or patrons;
9. Disregarding posted internet rules regarding the display of information which may be considered improper in a library or public setting;
10. Filming or photographing patrons within the library without the permission of the Library Director and patrons;
11. Intentionally disrupting library staff or patrons by staring at another person with the intent to inhibit that person from utilizing the library appropriately or following another person about the building with the intent to irritate that person.
12. Any activity that is deemed unacceptable by the Library Director's reasonable discretion.
Procedure for suspension/revocation of library privileges: Library patrons engaged in unacceptable behavior may be subject to immediate loss of library privileges and possible legal proceedings, which may include police intervention and arrest. Except as set forth below, such patrons will be asked to leave the library and may not loiter in the vestibules, or anywhere on library property. Unattended children who have become disruptive will be directed by library staff to sit in front of the library, weather permitting, until a parent or caregiver arrives to meet with the Library Director regarding their behavior. During inclement weather the child will be restricted to an alternate location within the library. Repeat offenders will be subject to suspension or revocation of library privileges. Such actions will be conveyed by the Library Director through a written notice, to be delivered in person within the library and/or sent by certified mail to the patron’s last recorded address.
Patrons who wish to appeal their loss of privileges may submit a written letter of appeal to the Library Director within ten days of the Director’s notice. Written appeals will be forwarded to the Library Board for review. Decisions of the Library Board are final.
Unattended Children: It is not the library's intention to seek out unattended children (i), but rather to have a response prepared when a problem presents itself. For the protection and well-being of children who visit the library the following policy has been established.
1. Children under the age of ten may not be left unattended in the building. During story times or other library programs, the parent or caregiver who does not attend the program with the child must remain in the building and must be visible when their child returns from the program. Community groups who utilize the library's Community Room for scheduled meetings/programs are the responsible caregivers for the children participating in the activity.
2. Staff will immediately try to locate the parent or caregiver of any child under the age of ten left alone in the building. Township Police may be notified when parents or caregivers of unattended children cannot be contacted or located within a reasonable amount of time (15 minutes or less).
3. Children, age ten and over, are welcome to use the library unattended but should not be left alone for extended periods of time. They will be expected to act in accordance with all of the directives regarding proper behavior in the library (see Patron Behavior Policy). The library is not a child care center and can not legally function as such (NJSA 30:5B-1-15)(ii) . It is the responsibility of the parent or caregiver to be accessible, at any time, to pick up the child who has become anxious or disruptive in the library. If a parent can not be located the police will be notified as that child will be considered to be abandoned (NJSA 9:6-8.21)(iii).
4. One half hour before closing time, staff will approach all youth who are in the building to ascertain that they are aware of the library's closing time and that they have transportation home. Those needing rides may use library telephones to call home.
5. Two staff members will wait with any child who has not been picked up by closing time. If, after 15 minutes, the child is still left unattended, the Township Police will be called to assist.
(i) - An UNATTENDED CHILD is defined as any child under the age of 18 using the public library and facilities unaccompanied by a parent or caregiver.
(ii) - NJSA 30:5B-1-15 prohibits the library from functioning as a childcare center unless licensed by the State of New Jersey.
(iii) - NJSA 9:6-8.21 prohibits parents from endangering the welfare of children
The library supplies and maintains an internet connection, wireless-G and N routers with access points through The Power to Learn Internet service of Cablevision. This connection is for the convenience of our patrons who wish to use their personal computers for library research and other legitimate Internet activities. Please note that this is an unsecured network with no firewall in place. As such, all transactions are vulnerable to “lurking”, viruses and other internet hazards.
Any illegal use of this network is forbidden. Illegal use would include, but is not limited to transmission of illegal materials, abuse of copy written materials, spamming, pinging, software piracy, obscene speech or materials, child pornography or other illegal actions. Anyone discovered using this network for illegal purposes will be required to leave the premises immediately and may be subject to criminal or civil liability.
The Library cannot provide technical assistance with accessing this service and will not be held liable for any damage to personal equipment that occurs while using this connection. Use is strictly at your own risk.