NORTH BRANFORD LIBRARY BOARD
Town of North Branford, Connecticut
Statement of Policy for the North Branford Library Department
I. GENERAL LIBRARY OBJECTIVES
The general objectives of the North Branford Library Department (“the Library”) are:
A. To provide as a community service, in organized collections, books and related educational and recreational materials.
B. To serve the community as a center of reliable information.
C. To provide a place where inquiring minds may encounter the original, sometimes unorthodox and critical ideas so necessary as correctives and stimulants in a society that depends for its survival on free competition in ideas.
D. To support educational, civic and cultural activities of groups and organizations.
E. To provide opportunity and encouragement for children, young people, men and women to educate themselves continuously.
F. To seek continually to identify community needs, to provide programs of service to meet such needs, and to cooperate with other organizations, agencies and institutions that are providing community services.
G. To provide opportunity for education and recreation through use of literature, music, films, and other art forms.
II. WHO MAY USE THE LIBRARY
A. The library may issue library cards to all residents of the community. Proof of residency, such as a driver’s license or a piece of business mail, must be provided before a card is issued. Service will not be denied or abridged because of religious, racial, social, economic, or political status. Residents of other towns where libraries participate in a state or library cooperative delivery system shall have full borrowing privileges in all library departments, provided that they are patrons in good standing both in North Branford and in the town of their residence.
B. There is no minimum age for children to apply for a library card. Approval from a parent or guardian will be required for children under the age of 14 to obtain a card. Parents or guardians must prove residency for young people under 14 years of age, in one of the following ways: 1. Accompanying the child to the library, and having their own local library card or other proof of residency as described above; 2. Sending the parent or guardian’s proof of residency with a grandparent or other family caregiver, who comes to the library with the child. Young people 14 years of age or older may provide their own proof of residency (school I.D.’s are acceptable) and acquire a library card on their own.
C. THE FOLLOWING REGULATIONS SHALL BE OBSERVED BY ALL CARD HOLDERS:
1. A card holder is responsible for all materials drawn on his card. Parents or guardians may be held responsible for all materials drawn on the cards of children who are minors.
2. Only library card holders may borrow materials. A library card, or personal identification approved by the Library Director, must be presented whenever materials are drawn.
3. Library patrons are responsible for keeping their own cards. Cards are not kept on file at the libraries. Patrons should give the library prompt notice of any loss of card or change of address. Initial cards and replacement cards shall be issued free of charge.
4. Borrowing privileges may be suspended if a borrower does not adhere to library regulations or has overdue materials charged against his card. At the Library Director’s discretion, the library may refuse to issue a card to any person who has a history of repeated delinquencies in the use of library materials, or to any parent whose minor children have such a record of delinquencies. A person’s borrowing privileges may be suspended if any of the following limits are met or exceeded:
a. $20.00 owed in fines;
b. Five overdue items;
c. $20.00 worth of overdue items for which the person has been billed.
5. A library card issued at the Atwater Memorial Library or the Edward Smith Library shall be honored in all library departments. Library cards from towns whose libraries participate in a state or library cooperative delivery system shall be honored.
D. CIRCULATION POLICY
1. The normal loan period for books or other materials in the general collection shall be twenty-one (21) days. Up to two renewals, for an additional 21 days each, are allowable. Patrons may renew materials at the library, over the phone, or online, subject to procedures and limits set by the Library Director and reviewed by the Board.
2. The Library Director may place new books, books in current demand, reference books, or any special material such as recordings and periodicals, on a shorter loan period and limit or suspend the renewal privilege.
3. The number of materials borrowed on a library card at one time is governed by the borrower’s need and the demand on the collection. The librarian on duty may limit loans from a subject area to avoid depleting materials on that subject.
4. A person may reserve a book or other item that is not immediately available. Upon the book’s availability, the patron will be notified by telephone, email, or text and the book held for seven (7) days, unless other arrangements are made at the time of notification.
E. OVERDUE POLICY
1. A fee of ten (10) cents per day will be charged on all materials not returned by the due date. This overdue fine shall not, however, exceed $5.00 (or the cost of the item if less). A grace period of two (2) days will be allowed, during which fines will not be charged. Materials three days or more overdue will be charged in full. Fines will not accrue for days that the library is closed.
2. Upon recommendation by the Library Director and approval by the Library Board, fees higher than ten (10) cents per day or $5.00 per item may be charged and/or the grace period may be eliminated on certain materials, the late return of which will be a serious disservice or inconvenience to library patrons.
3. After loans become overdue or fees are not paid, overdue notices shall be mailed, phoned, emailed, or texted on a schedule set by the Library Director. Extremely long overdue materials (8 weeks or more) may be referred to the town’s Police Department for action.
4. Borrowers are responsible for the full replacement cost of library materials lost or accidentally damaged. The cost appraisal will be made by the Library Director and will be final. Willful damage to borrowed library materials, such as marking and removing pages, is punishable under Connecticut Statutes, Sec. 53a-115 to 53a-117.
5. A return box shall be accessible outside each library for the return of materials at any time of day. Materials will be considered returned when the box is emptied at the beginning of each working day. Use of the return box may be restricted for certain easily damaged materials at the discretion of the Library Director.
F. The use of the library or its services shall be limited when excessive demands of groups or individuals tend to curtail service to the general public. Such demands may include those made by any person or group whose demands for staff time, available materials, or space would prohibit attention and service to others.
G. The use of the library or its services may be denied for due cause. Such cause may be failure to return books or pay penalties, destruction of library property, disturbance of library patrons, or objectionable conduct on the library premises.
III. SERVICES OF THE LIBRARY
A. The library will select from the mass of available materials and organize for easy access, those books and materials that best meet the needs of the community.
B. The library staff will provide guidance and assistance for people to obtain information from printed and audio-visual resources not contained in the library.
C. The library will provide information and materials to support the General Library Objectives.
D. The library will initiate programs, arrange exhibits, provide book lists, etc. to stimulate the use of library materials.
E. The library will cooperate with other community agencies and organizations to:
1. determine and meet the educational needs of the community, and
2. help them (within the library’s capacity) with their programs through such services as special bibliographies, materials and exhibits.
F. The library accepts a responsibility for securing information beyond its own resources, when to do so does not incur unreasonable cost, by:
1. collecting information about, and listing for referral, resources of agencies, institutions, organizations, and individuals in and beyond the community, and
2. borrowing for patrons materials that are not owned by the library and which cannot be purchased or materials for which demand does not justify purchase.
G. Subject to restrictions set by the State Library or library consortia, the library will lend to other libraries materials that are requested for their patrons and that are not available in the borrowing library. Patrons of the North Branford Library have priority in the use of materials, and for this reason the Library Director may restrict items in high demand from loan to other libraries.
H. PUBLIC COMPUTERS AND INTERNET USE
In order to meet the information needs of Town citizens, the library has established public computers with access to the Internet. The full text regarding “Use of North Branford Library Computers for Internet Access” may be found in Article IX of these policies.
I. The library will endeavor to maintain a balance in its services to men, women, young people, and children. The public library will cooperate with but cannot perform the functions of school or other institutional libraries, which are designed to meet specialized needs.
J. It is the goal of the North Branford Library Department to provide services during the hours that best meet the needs of the community and through service outlets located at points of maximum convenience to the public.
K. Periodic review will be made of library services to determine whether the needs of the community indicate that the present services should be discontinued or other services should be added. The Board and the Library Director shall conduct this review.
IV. LIBRARY MATERIALS
A. The library will attempt to provide any materials that help to meet its objectives. Materials may include (among others) books, periodicals, pamphlets, newspapers, pictures, slides, films, music scores, maps, recordings, and microfilm.
B. Materials acquired will meet high standards of quality in content, accuracy, expression, and format.
C. The library will keep itself informed of other publicly available resources of books and other materials in the area to avoid unnecessary duplication.
D. The library will not attempt to furnish materials needed for formal courses of study offered by elementary and secondary schools and by institutions of higher learning. The public library has materials for self-education, but is not primarily designed to furnish reading required by academic curricula.
E. All materials except those, which are in special demand or cannot be duplicated, including rare and fragile items, will be loaned for home use under library regulations and procedures.
F. The library subscribes to the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association as amended January 23, 1980. The full text of the Library Bill of Rights is appended to these policies.
G. The library subscribes to The Freedom to Read, a joint statement by the American Library Association and the Association of American Publishers, as adopted July 12, 2000. The full text of The Freedom to Read is appended to these policies.
H. Materials that are no longer useful in the light of stated objectives of the library shall be systematically weeded from the collection according to accepted professional practices. The Library Director shall develop plans for regular critical review of library collections for the purpose of removing materials that are out-of-date, damaged beyond economical repair, or of little value regardless of reason. Such materials shall be disposed of in one of the following ways, to be decided by the Library Director:
1. sale to patrons;
2. deposit in storage;
3. sale to second-hand book dealers;
4. donation to needy libraries;
5. discard as waste.
V. CONFIDENTIALITY OF PATRON RECORDS
A. Material offered in or through the library for public use shall be loaned to qualified borrowers as a matter private to the borrower. No information relative to a borrower’s use of library material may be provided to any third party (whether individual, governmental, or otherwise defined) except as may be required to retain possession of library property. The purpose of this policy is twofold:
1. To affirm the Board’s intent that access to information and materials in the North Branford Library Department shall be private, and free from any coercive influence; and
2. To state hereby the Board’s intent to shield the borrower from possible coercion in the use of library materials, and to protect this privacy.
B. The library will preserve the privacy of personal circulation records, (including overdue records and patron registration records) to the fullest extent permitted by law. Section 11-25(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes prohibits disclosure to all third parties, excluding the parents or guardians of minors. Library staff shall not release library records to any person other than the patron named in the record (i.e., the library card holder). Records shall be released to the parents or guardians of minor children only with the approval of the Library Director. Circulation records do not include non-identifying material such as circulation statistics, or non-identifying information on the circulation of specific materials or reference questions asked.
C. Circulation records shall not be made available to any agency of the state, federal, or local government except pursuant to such process, order, or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of, and pursuant to, federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigative power.
D. Any employee of the library who receives a request, or who is served with a subpoena, court order, or other legal process, to release or disclose any library records shall promptly notify the Library Director. If the Library Director is not available, the employee shall promptly notify the Town Manager and the Chairperson of the Library Board. The Town Manager, in consultation with the Library Board, shall act on behalf of the North Branford Library Department.
E. The Library Director, in a timely manner, shall review all requests and orders, and respond in an appropriate manner to each such request and order in accordance with this policy. The Library Director shall promptly notify the Town Manager and the Chairperson of the Library Board of any such request or court order. The Town Manager and/or Library Board shall seek the advice and legal representation of the Town Attorney during the execution of any court order.
F. Upon being served with a search warrant, the Library Director, Town Manager, or Chairperson of the Library Board shall immediately consult with and/or seek the legal representation of the Town Attorney. The Library Director, Town Manager, or Chairperson of the Library Board may also request that the Town Attorney be present during the execution of said search warrant.
G. In the absence of any of the court orders referenced above, the Library Director shall deny, in writing, all requests for the release or disclosure of library records as defined under state statute, unless the Library Director has received the named person’s written consent for such release or disclosure.
VI. COOPERATION WITH OTHER LIBRARIES
A. The Board recognizes that no single library can meet all demands in its community. Various types of libraries in different political subdivisions working together, sharing their services and resources, can meet more nearly the full needs of their users.
B. The Board and the Library Director will be alert to opportunities of cooperation with other libraries, to strengthen the services and resources of the library.
VII. PHYSICAL FACILITIES
A. To achieve the goal of good library service, the Board accepts the responsibility to see that public library building facilities are provided that will adequately meet the physical requirements of modern library service.
B. Except during special programs sponsored by the library, the staff will not be responsible for providing child care. Children under the age of eight (8) must be accompanied in the library by a parent or responsible adult. The Library Director will ensure that adequate child care is provided at all library-sponsored children’s programs by staff, parents, and/or volunteers. Child care during programs held at the library, but not sponsored by the library, will be the responsibility of the group or individual(s) sponsoring the programs.
C. Snacks are permitted at library study tables if they are small enough to be carried in a pocket, are not messy, and can be eaten quietly. Drinks are permitted if they are in closed containers. Eating and drinking are not permitted at or near library computers.
VIII. MEETING ROOMS
MEETING ROOM POLICY
Revised June 19, 2019
The meeting rooms at the Atwater Memorial Library and the Edward Smith Library are available as a community service to the people of North Branford and for the use of Library-related activities and programs that are sponsored by and/or promote Library services. The North Branford Library Department provides meeting rooms for public use at the Atwater Memorial Library and the Edward Smith Library. The meeting rooms are available for reservation when not being used for Library purposes. The Library facilities can accommodate a variety of activities, ranging from small events to informal meetings. Use of the premises may be terminated at any time if the conduct of the group or any member of the group is disruptive to Library service. Use of the meeting rooms does not in any way constitute an endorsement of the group’s policies or beliefs by the Library or the Town of North Branford. The Library Board subscribes to Article VI of the Library Bill of Rights, which states, “libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.”
ROOM CAPACITY AND ACCESSIBILITY
- Capacity: 6 (Atwater Memorial Library and Edward Smith Library)
- 1 table with six chairs
- Meetings in the Seminar Room must take place during regular Library operating hours
- Accessible to people with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Seminar Room at the Atwater Library is wheelchair accessible via a wheelchair lift
- Capacity: 36 (Atwater Memorial Library) and 34 (Edward Smith Library)
- Kitchenette includes full refrigerator and sink
- Access to rest rooms during and after Library hours
- 5 folding tables with 28 chairs (Edward Smith Library
- 5 folding tables with 36 chairs (Atwater Memorial Library)
- All meetings or events must start during regular Library operating hours; meetings in the Community Room are allowed to extend past regular Library operating hours with the understanding that the building will be locked and groups cannot re-enter the Library once they exit.
- The following equipment is available in each Community Room:
- TV mounted to wall with HDMI cable connection (Atwater Memorial Library)
- Projector available with laptop on A/V cart
- White boards
- Lectern (Atwater Memorial Library)
- If a group requests to use Library equipment, the Library must be notified at least a week in advance of the meeting or event. The group using the meeting room is responsible for familiarizing themselves with Library-provided equipment, prior to the scheduled meeting or event. Library staff will not be responsible for troubleshooting equipment during a meeting or event.
- Accessible to people with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Meeting rooms of the North Branford Library Department are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis.
Priority for applications reserving the use of the meeting rooms is given in the following order:
- Library sponsored or co-sponsored meetings or programs
- Library related meetings or programs
- Library staff
- Town of North Branford Boards and/or Commissions
- Local governing bodies and administrative boards serving the North Branford community
- Educational, civic, charitable or cultural organizations and non-profit groups operating in and/or serving the North Branford community
The following uses of the Library meeting rooms are not allowed, unless prior approval has been given by the Library Director:
- Commercial or for-profit functions including the sale or promotion of products or services, or the solicitation for later sales or client contact
- The collection or solicitation of fees, dues, or donations, except at Library-sponsored events
- Social events, including, but not limited to, showers and birthday parties
- Programs or meetings likely to disrupt the use of the Library by others
- Any person using a meeting room must complete and sign a Community Room and Seminar Room application. The applicant must be willing to assume responsibility for the group as well as any fees or damages incurred during the use of a Library meeting room. Only persons 18 or older may sign the application form. A responsible adult must accompany groups of persons under the age of 18.
- All activities and programs conducted in Library buildings are subject to the general policies, rules and regulations of the North Branford Library Department as well as applicable federal, state and local laws.
- All meetings shall be open to the public. No admission fees may be charged. Money raising activities are prohibited in the Library’s meeting rooms unless all proceeds go to the Library or prior approval has been given by the Library Director.
- Groups may not publicize their activities in such a way as to imply Library sponsorship. Library personnel must have free access to the meeting rooms at all times. The Library retains the right to monitor all meetings conducted on Library premises to ensure compliance with Library policies, rules and regulations.
- Use of the meeting rooms must not interfere with the normal operation of the Library.
- No group may consider the Library its permanent meeting place or use the Library’s mailing address as its mailing address. The Library address and phone number may be publicized only as the location of the event and as a source to contact to verify event date and time.
- The Library is not responsible for security of property owned by groups using the Library nor is it responsible for theft, damage or loss of property of others.
- The library may not be used to store equipment, materials or supplies.
- Groups and individuals agree to hold harmless the Town of North Branford, and its Boards and Commissions, and its employees for any injuries arising from the use of meeting rooms.
- Minors under the age of 18 may use the meeting rooms only under direct and constant supervision of adults who assume full responsibility for activities and conditions.
USE/CARE OF THE ROOMS
Groups using the meeting rooms are responsible for:
- Restoring the meeting room, including tables and chairs, to the original condition in which it was found. Failure to leave the facilities in the same condition as when the group arrived will result in the loss of the privilege to reserve the meeting rooms. Any individual, group, or organization using the meeting rooms shall be held responsible for willful or accidental damage to the Library building, grounds, collections or equipment caused by the group or organization, its members or those attending its program during the assigned time of use. Such damage shall be reported promptly to the Library Director, who will supervise cleaning or repairs and assess the cost to the user.
- Ensuring all doors are closed and secured upon exiting the Library.
- Setting up chairs, tables, equipment, etc.
- Food and refreshments are permitted in the meeting rooms. Groups must supply their own coffee, condiments and paper products. All beverages need to be covered, and prior to leaving the meeting room, all food and beverages must be disposed of in the receptacles provided. All garbage shall be removed from the facilities immediately after the event.
- No material, including signs, posters, or decorations, may be affixed to the wall surfaces, doors, or ceiling by any means whatsoever.
- Smoking, vaping and alcoholic beverages are not permitted.
- Groups must adhere to posted fire codes regarding the number of persons allowed in the meeting rooms.
- Use of candles, incense or other open flames is prohibited. Use of hazardous materials is prohibited.
- All entrances, exits and pathways in the meeting rooms must remain clear at all times.
Reservations may be made in person or by phone, calling 203-315-6020 for the Atwater Memorial Library and 203-484-0469 for the Edward Smith Library.
- Meeting rooms may be requested up to three months in advance of the use date.
- Organizations may not, in advance, excessively book a meeting room. The Library shall limit a group to three bookings in place at one time.
- Meetings may last for up to three hours, or longer with the approval of a Librarian or Library Director.
- Meeting room applications are available online at www.nbranfordlibraries.org or in-person at the Atwater Memorial Library and the Edward Smith Library. Completed and signed applications must be submitted prior to using the meeting room.
- The Library reserves the right to revoke permission to use the meeting rooms if any individual or organization does not comply with these regulations.
- Cancellations must be made prior to the scheduled meeting. Failure to do so may forfeit the right of the group to reserve the meeting rooms in the future.
- When it is necessary for a group or organization to cancel a reservation, the Library where the meeting is taking place should be notified immediately.
- The North Branford Library Department reserves the right to cancel any reservation due to unforeseen circumstances, adverse weather conditions or other emergency reasons.
TYPE OF ORGANIZATION
Local tax-supported civic and
Non-profit groups and organizations
Commercial use by businesses,
IX. ANIMALS IN THE LIBRARY
ANIMALS IN THE LIBRARY POLICY
Adopted October 9, 2019
The North Branford Library Department recognizes that service animals are dogs, and in some cases, miniature horses, which are specifically trained to assist or accommodate a person with a sensory, mental, or physical disability, or to perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. The North Branford Library Department recognizes the legal rights afforded under applicable federal and state laws regarding the use of service animals while also being considerate of the safety and well-being of all patrons and the Library staff.
It is the policy of the North Branford Library Department to prohibit all animals from entering Library facilities, excepting service animals, service animal trainees and animals featured in programs sponsored by the Library Department. Persons bringing in animals other than service animals will be asked to remove them.
Under the ADA, a service animal is any dog or miniature horse individually trained to benefit a person with a disability by assisting with the physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Emotional support animals or comfort animals are not service animals under the ADA and are prohibited by the Library Department from all facilities.
When it is not obvious what service a service animal provides, anyone bringing a service dog or miniature horse into a Library facility may be asked the following questions:
- Is this animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task is this animal trained to provide?
Individuals with service animals may bring those animals into all areas of the Library where members of the public are normally allowed to go, unless the physical size of the animal precludes access. Owners/handlers must keep service animals with them and under their custody and control at all times. If a service animal cannot be leashed or harnessed, due to disability or interference with the performance of task(s), it must be otherwise clearly under the handler’s control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means). Owners of service animals are solely responsible for the supervision, behavior and care of the service animal while on Library property.
Anytime a service animal is behaving in a manner incompatible with the essential purposes of the Library, staff will direct that the service animal be brought into conformity, be relocated, or leave the Library. Incompatible behavior includes barking, growling or other noise, urinating/defecating on the floor, occupying areas other than the floor, leaving the side of the owner, biting or threatening actions, or damaging Library property.
GIFT ACCEPTANCE POLICY
Adopted December 11, 2019
The purpose of the Gift Acceptance Policy is to give guidance and counsel to those individuals within the North Branford Library Department (“the Library”) concerning the planning, promotion, solicitation, receipt, acceptance, management, reporting, use, and disposition of private sector gifts.
The policy must be viewed as flexible and realistic in order to accommodate unpredictable situations as well as donor expectations, as long as such situations and expectations are consistent with the Library’s mission and policies. Flexibility must be maintained since some gift situations will be complex and proper decisions can be made only after careful consideration of all related factors. This policy may, therefore, require that the merits of a particular gift be considered by the appropriate staff and/or committee of the Library Board (“the Board”) along with legal counsel, if necessary.
All fundraising activities and their day-to-day implementation, are designated and managed by the appropriate staff, are supervised by the Library Director and are subject to the approval of the Board.
The Board, through the Library Director, is responsible for the Gift Acceptance Policy. The policy and authorization shall be reviewed on an annual basis or as circumstances warrant.
Any exceptions to the Gift Acceptance Policy may be made only in exceptional circumstances, on an individual basis, and shall require the approval of the Board.
The Gift Acceptance Policy may be amended by the Board as deemed appropriate.
- Receipt of Gifts
It is the responsibility of the Board to determine that gifts are evidence of philanthropic intent and that the donor’s philanthropy is in accord with the stated mission and goals of the Library.
Unrestricted, outright gifts of cash, check, credit card, and online and publicly traded securities, do not require Board approval. Such routine gifts are accepted and administered by the Library Director. Unrestricted gifts above $10,000 are directed to wherever is approved by the Board.
The Library accepts gifts designated in memory of or in honor of a loved one. If a donor wishes to designate the funds for something specific, donors must communicate with the Library beforehand to ensure that such designation is consistent with the Library’s mission and strategic plan and is acceptable to the Library Board.
Publicly traded securities will be counted at the average of the high and low market value on postmark date, if mailed, or the date and time of transfer if electronically transferred to the Town’s broker. All securities may be held or sold immediately upon receipt into an account by the Finance Department for the benefit of the Library.
Noncash gifts will be accepted only when it is reasonably expected they can be converted into cash within a reasonable period of time or when the Library can utilize the property in its operations and the gift is consistent with its mission and goals. Generally, nine months shall be considered reasonable for conversion to cash. All noncash gifts to the Library will be sold at the discretion of the Board whose express policy will be to convert the property to cash at the earliest opportunity, keeping in mind current market conditions and the potential use of the property in the accomplishment of the mission of the Library.
Property encumbered by a mortgage or other indebtedness cannot normally be accepted as a gift unless the donor agrees to assume all carrying costs until the property is liquidated. Exceptions to this policy can be made when the value of the property exceeds the anticipated exposure, or will produce income, or will be used by the Library in its programs.
Associated expenses of a noncash gift made to the Library are to be borne by the donor.
Gifts of Property
Any gifts of property valued at $5,000 or more must be approved by the Board.
Donors of property gifts of over $5,000, except for gifts of publicly traded stock, must obtain an appraisal by an independent third-party appraiser in accordance with current tax law requirements. Donors are responsible for obtaining their own appraisals for tax purposes of real property or tangible or intangible personal property being given to the Library and or any fees or other expenses related to such appraisals.
The Library retains the right, at its own expense, to obtain its own qualified appraisals of real property or tangible or intangible personal property being offered as a gift.
The Library will acknowledge receipt of gifts of tangible personal or real property in accordance with the federal tax law and will sign any IRS form or other documents necessary for the donor to obtain a tax deduction for such gifts, so long as such acknowledgment does not entail valuing the gift.
Gifts of art, furniture, books, stamps, coins, and other collections must have values assessed by properly accredited independent appraisers retained by potential donors for appropriate gift tax credit. The Library shall acknowledge receipt of such properties but must not verify values.
To avoid conflicts of interest, the unauthorized practice of law, the rendering of investment advice, or the dissemination of income or estate advice, all donors of noncash gifts must acknowledge that the Library is not acting as a professional advisor, rendering opinions on the gift. All information concerning gift planning from the Library is to be for illustrative purposes only and is not to be relied upon in individual circumstances. The Library may require a letter of understanding from a donor of a property gift, along with proof of outside advice being rendered, before such a gift will be accepted.
All gifts of life insurance must comply with applicable state insurance regulations, including insurable interest clauses.
Bequests and Planned Gifts
The Library accepts gifts from annuities, charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts but does not serve as an administrator or guarantor for such gifts.
All receipts above $10,000 from unrestricted bequests, annuities, charitable remainder trusts, or charitable lead trusts shall become a part of a Library gift fund upon approval of the Town’s Finance Department.
The Library shall encourage donors to seek their own counsel in matters relating to their bequests, life income gifts, tax planning, and estate planning.
- Unacceptable Gifts
The Library reserves the right to refuse any gift that is not consistent with its mission and goals. In addition to and without limiting the generality of, the following gifts will not be accepted by the Library:
- Gifts that violate any federal, state, or local statute or ordinance
- Gifts that contain unreasonable conditions (e.g., a lien or other encumbrance) or gifts of partial interest and property
- Gifts that are financially unsound
- Gifts that could expose the Library to liability
- Gifts for the Library collection that do not meet the same standards and selection criteria as purchased materials outlined in the Library Materials policy. The Library Director has the authority to make all necessary decisions as to the retention, location and other considerations related to the use and disposition of any gift.
The Board shall assure itself that all philanthropic promotions and solicitation are ethical and that no board members or Library personnel benefit personally by way of commissions or other devices related to gifts received.
Conflicts of Interest
The Board will assure itself that Library personnel are circumspect in all dealings with donors in order to avoid even the appearance of any act of self-dealing. Those individuals who normally engage in the solicitation of gifts on behalf of the Library shall not personally benefit by way of commission, contract fees, salary, or other benefits from any donor in the performance of their duties on behalf of the Library. (The definition of individuals includes each of the categories of employees of the Library, including its Board members, as well as members of their immediate family. Individuals are further defined to include associations, partnerships, corporations, or other enterprises in which a member of the staff holds a principal ownership interest.)
Commissions for Gifts
The Library will not pay commissions or finder’s fees as consideration for directing a gift to the Library. This includes and is not limited to work with fundraising consultants, financial advisors and real estate agents.
- Professional Counsel
On occasion the Board may use the services of the Town’s legal counsel to review legal documents, contracts, and other donor agreements. All agreements shall follow the formats of the specimen agreements to be approved by legal counsel unless counsel has agreed in writing to a change for a specific agreement.
Prospective donors shall be responsible for their own legal, accounting, appraisal, transportation, and other fees related to the Library.
The Library will be responsible for good stewardship toward its donors by following these guidelines:
- Upon acceptance of any gift, the Library will endeavor to uphold all donor intentions expressed in writing at the time of the donation.
- All gifts will be acknowledged within the required, or otherwise reasonable, period of time.
- All gift acknowledgment letters/receipts will be prepared by the Library Director or designee.
- Files, records and mailing lists regarding all donors and donor prospects are maintained and controlled by the Library. Maximum use will be made of information and contacts that members of the Board, various volunteer groups, or the staff have with potential donors. Written reports of interviews and solicitations will be maintained in the donor prospect file and/or computer.
- This information is confidential and is strictly for the use of the Library Board and staff. Use of this information shall be restricted to organization purposes only. Donor has the right to review his or her donor fund file(s).
- Gifts to the Library and accompanying correspondence will be considered confidential information, with the exception of the publication of donor recognition activities. All donor requests for confidentiality will be honored.
- Names of donors will not be provided by the Library to other organizations, nor will any lists be sold or given to other organizations.
- Conformity to Federal and State Regulations
Adherence to the Law
The Library Board will assure itself that fundraising activities comply with local, state and federal laws.
Required Reporting of Gifts to the Internal Revenue Service
Should the Library sell, exchange, or otherwise dispose of any gift (other than checks, cash, or publicly traded stocks or bonds), within two years after the date of the gift, the Library will furnish the Internal Revenue Service and the donor with a completed Form 8282 (Donee Information Return).
IX. USE OF NORTH BRANFORD LIBRARY COMPUTERS FOR INTERNET ACCESS
In order to meet the information needs of Town citizens, the North Branford Library Department has established public computers with access to the Internet. The Internet is an electronic information network connecting computer resources throughout the world. The library is unable to monitor or control the content of material through this medium. While much of the information on the Internet is of very high quality, some material may not be accurate, authoritative, appropriate, or timely.
As a recipient of federal telecommunications funds, the library will comply with the requirements of CIPA, the Children’s Internet Protection Act. However, parents or guardians of children under 18 are responsible for their children’s use of the Internet. The library shall not be responsible for supervising, monitoring, or controlling use of the Internet.
Not all sources on the Internet provide information that is accurate, complete, current, or legal. The North Branford Library staff is unable to monitor or control the content of the materials on the Internet, which change rapidly and unpredictably. Therefore, the Library (the Department, its Board, and its staff) makes the following disclaimers concerning each patron’s use of the Internet:
- The Library and the Town make no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the service it is providing.
- The Library and the Town expressly disclaim liability and shall not be held liable for any material obtained through the Library’s web site or its Internet access or the use of such material even if the material is unlawful, incomplete, incorrect, or harmful in any way. Use of information obtained from these resources is made at the user’s risk, and the Library and the Town of North Branford shall not have any liability for the accuracy or quality of the information obtained through these resources.
- The Library does not endorse the content of any material obtained from the Internet.
- The Library and the Town shall not be liable for, and each assumes the risk of, damages suffered by reason of errors or omissions of the user, of any patron, or of any Library staff member. Such damage may include, but is not limited to, loss of data resulting from delay, non-delivery, mis-delivery, or service interruption
The Library does not guarantee successful connections to the Internet.
The Library recognizes patrons’ rights of privacy and confidentiality; however, Internet security is technically difficult to achieve, and electronic communications and files could become public. The Library and the Town shall not be responsible for, and each user assumes the risk of, loss or damage resulting to a user from such breach of privacy or confidentiality.
Acceptable Use Regulations
The electronic information resources of the North Branford Library Department shall be used only in accordance with these regulations:
- No commercial or illegal use is permitted.
- No pornographic material shall be accessed.
- All users and, as appropriate, their parents or guardians, shall evaluate the resources available on the Internet and shall access the Internet at their own risk.
- Users shall not attempt to violate the computer system’s security nor attempt to access the hard drive or other files, networks, or computer systems of the Library, other than programs that are specifically permitted on the patron screen set up for the user.
- In order to prevent computer viruses, which are common on public computers, users shall not install or download non-Library software programs on Library computers.
- Users shall not store any data on the Library’s computers, other than as permitted on the patron screen set up for the User.
- The Library is not responsible for the integrity, preservation, or privacy of any data stored on a Library-owned device, when such storage is permitted by the Library.
- Users shall not knowingly destroy, degrade, or disrupt electronic information, software, or equipment. That activity may be considered a crime and includes, for example, tampering with computer hardware and software, vandalizing or modifying data without permission, invoking computer viruses, attempting to gain access to restricted or unauthorized networks or network services, or violating copyright laws or software license agreements.
Minors and the Use of the Internet
Parents and guardians of children under 18 are responsible for their children’s use of the Internet. Parents and guardians are strongly advised to supervise their children’s Internet sessions. Children under the age of eight should be accompanied at all times by a parent or responsible adult. CIPA compliance does not guarantee that a computer user will not come into contact with objectionable material.
Training and Education
The availability of Library staff to help users with computer and Internet use is limited. There may not always be a staff member on duty with the ability to solve computer problems. Users are expected to have a basic working knowledge of computer operations and Internet methods, including the ability to use a mouse.
Interruption of Service and Maintenance
The Library staff may interrupt a patron’s Internet use if access is required for library business purposes, periodic maintenance, technical difficulties, or staff use.
Penalties for Violations
The use of Library information resources is a privilege, not a right.
Any user of electronic information resources who is found to have violated any provision of these regulations shall be subject to having his or her computer and Library access privileges suspended or revoked.
All users shall be required to compensate the Town of North Branford, the Library, and others for any and all damage caused by their violation of these regulations.
The Library reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to amend these Regulations and to modify and suspend Internet use privileges.