Policies

Click or tap the headers below for Polo Public Library’s policies.

Library Cards

Library cards will be issued by the Polo Public Library to persons living within Polo Public Library District, which is Buffalo Township, upon presentation of proof of residence in the district. Cards will be issued to children ages 5 through 17 residing in Polo Public Library District with the signature of a parent or legal guardian. The child must be accompanied by the parent or legal guardian with whom they reside and who meets the residency requirement.

Polo Public Library District and Polo School District have signed an Intergovernmental Agreement that provides an annual library card to all children enrolled in Polo School District, regardless of where they live in the school district.

Proof of residence showing a current address within the library district may be established with:

  • Valid driver’s license or other state issued picture ID

If address is not current the photo ID and one of the following must be provided:

  • Checkbook
  • Official piece of mail
  • Car registration
  • Current utility bill
  • Lease agreement
  • Property deed
  • Current property tax bill

Applications must be completed and signed in person and verified by a library staff member. Resident library cards are valid for three years from the date of issuance.

Non-Resident Card

Polo Public Library offers library cards for purchase by people living outside Polo Public Library District and within Polo School District. Applicants must provide a picture ID showing current address. If the address is not current one document from the above list must also be provided. Only one card per household may be issued. This non-resident card shall entitle the card-holder to all services provided by the Polo Public Library, including reciprocal borrowing. The fee shall be determined by using the general mathematical formula as provided by Illinois State Library. Polo Library Foundation will pay part of the non-resident fee for families with children under 18 living in the household. Non-resident cards for use by children under the age of 18 who are not enrolled in Polo School District will be issued at no cost. Non-resident cards are valid for one year from the date of purchase.

Non-Resident Property Owner’s Card

Persons who do not live within the Library District but who own or pay real estate tax for property located within the boundaries of the library district may obtain a library card at no charge upon producing a current itemized tax bill for that property and picture ID. An individual card for each family member may be issued. Non-resident property owner cards are valid for one year from the date of issuance.

Disabled Veteran’s Card

The non-resident fee shall not apply to veterans with a service-connected disability of at least 70% who are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence. The non-resident fee shall not apply to the unmarried surviving spouse of a verteran who has previously qualified for this exemption. The non-resident fee shall not apply to an unmarried surviving spouse of a service member killed in the line of duty. Qualifying veterans or surviving spouses must present documentation from the county where they reside that indicates their residence is exempt from paying property taxes.

Library Staff Card

A Polo Public Library card may be issued to staff members who reside outside the library district. These cards are issued for one year. The card will be cancelled when the staff member leaves the Library’s employment.

Reciprocal Card

Polo Public Library is a member of the Reaching Across Illinois Library System and participates in reciprocal borrowing as defined by the Illinois State Library. Any patron presenting a current public library card from any tax-supported Illinois public library can have their library card barcoded for reciprocal borrowing purposes. Library staff will verify the patron’s standing with their home library. All reciprocal borrowing patrons will be extended the same privilege of borrowing circulating items.

Renewal of Library Card

To renew a Polo Public Library card, a patron must fulfill the necessary requirements to obtain an original library card. All fees must be paid before a card can be renewed.

Confidentiality of Records

All records in the Polo Public Library relating to patron registration and circulation of items are considered to be confidential in nature in accordance with the Library Records Confidentiality Act (75 ILCS 70). The contents of registration and circulation records shall not be made available to anyone except authorized library staff or as required by law. Only authorized library staff may provide information about overdue and lost items to a minor’s parent or legal guardian. Notices and bills are sent by postal mail and/or e-mail. The Library will make a good faith effort to maintain confidentiality.

Responsibilities of Borrower

Cardholders are responsible for all materials borrowed on their card and must agree to abide by the lending rules and all policies and regulations of Polo Public Library. It is the responsibility of the cardholder or the parent or legal guardian of a cardholder age 17 and under to notify the Library if the card is lost or stolen. The cardholder is responsible for all items checked out on their card until such time as the card is reported lost or stolen. The parent or legal guardian of a cardholder age 17 and under is responsible for the child’s selection of items. It is the responsibility of the cardholder or the parent or legal guardian of a cardholder age 17 and under to notify the Library of any change of address, e-mail address or telephone number.

Circulation of Items

Items from the circulating collection may be borrowed by valid cardholders in accordance with the Library’s policies and procedures. Valid cardholders include: Polo Public Library cardholders and those from other libraries having reciprocal borrowing privileges. Cardholders must present their Polo Public Library cards in order to check out items. Children aged 17 and under holding Polo Public Library cards will be allowed to check out items without a card if they can provide their name and birth date. Patrons from other libraries must present a valid library card and supporting photo identification. The card presented must be in good standing and clear of any outstanding fines, overdue materials and blocks. Items have specified loan periods and must be returned on time and in good condition. Loan periods are defined on page four of this policy.

Item Renewal

Items may be renewed as long as it has not been requested by another patron or is not designated as non-renewable by dialing 888-542-7259. The automated system will advise if an item is not renewable. Items may also be renewed in person, online via the library catalog, or by calling the Library. The schedule of loan periods and renewals is on page four of this document

Picking Up Another Cardholder’s Items

The person picking up the items must present the library card of the person for whom the hold has been placed. The Library will presume issues of confidentiality are released if one cardholder allows someone else access to their card. In addition, the cardholder will accept responsibility for all items checked out on their card while in the possession of another person.

Overdue Items

Polo Public Library is a Fine Free Library, meaning no fees are charged when items are overdue. Even though the Library is Fine Free cardholders should either return or renew items on or before the due date. Items held by a cardholder beyond the date due will be considered overdue. Polo Public Library will make a good faith effort to notify cardholders when their items become overdue. Overdue notification is a courtesy. The Library is not responsible if the notification is not received by the cardholder. When a patron claims to have returned an item which library records show to be outstanding, library staff will conduct a thorough search for the item. If the item cannot be located, it may be checked out to Claims Returned. The Library Director must authorize this action.

Lost and/or Damaged Items

An item is assumed lost at 21 days overdue. Library staff shall determine if an item is damaged beyond repair or use. Lost items and those damaged beyond repair are billed at the replacement cost of the item plus $5.00 processing fee. This processing fee shall cover the cost of time and supplies necessary to order, catalog and process the replacement item. The patron’s card and related privileges shall be blocked until payment is made in full. Items which are of considerable value, or items which have not been returned before an individual has moved out of the area, and after which at least three attempts have been made to recover said items, shall be assumed stolen. Assumed stolen items may be reported to the Polo Police Department as such.

Fees

The Polo Public Library Board of Trustees has established, in addition to the schedule for lost or damaged items, the following schedule of fines for overdue materials as well as fees for other services provided by the Polo Public Library. Overdue materials fees

  1. Damaged DVD or CD case: $1.00 per case.
  2. Lost or stolen library card: $2.00 replacement fee.
  3. Lost or damaged items: Replacement cost plus $5.00 processing fee.

Interlibrary Loan

When patrons want items that are not available within the Polo Public Library, they may search the library catalog, available at www.pololibrary.org If an item is not found in the catalog staff will assist in the request of interlibrary loan from another source. Items borrowed through interlibrary loan have a circulation period which is determined by the lending library, not Polo Public Library. We are happy to borrow items from other libraries, but patrons must respect the date by which those items must be returned to their home libraries. It is crucial that items borrowed through interlibrary loan be returned in a timely manner. Habitual failure to do so may result in individual loss of the privilege.

Length of Loan Periods

The Polo Public Library circulates items in a variety of formats including books, magazines, audio books, DVDs, and compact discs.

The following length of loan periods are applicable as indicated:

  • Books: 2 weeks long, 3 renewals
  • Audio Books: 2 weeks long, 1 renewal
  • Magazines: 1 week long, 1 renewal
  • DVDs: 1 week long, 1 renewal
  • DVDs (New): 1 week long, no renewals
  • Compact Discs: 2 weeks long, 1 renewal

Introduction

Polo Public Library District is located in rural northwestern Ogle County, Illinois. The library building is a renovated Carnegie library built in 1903. The building has been restored and serves as a cultural and social gathering place in the community. The library is open 47 hours per week and is ideally suited and positioned to engage the community.

Goals and Objectives

Polo Public Library serves a community of library users. The goal of the library is to function as a resource for all segments of our population, providing materials for them to pursue interests that will enrich their lives, allowing them to acquire information for work and learning and to develop a love for information and reading. We understand that information needs and the ways to acquire information are constantly changing, and we recognize our role in providing information in diverse formats, in helping our patrons understand and fully use the resources which we can provide. To achieve these goals, we have pinpointed specific objectives:

  • Provide a collection that is balanced, comprehensive and represents a variety of viewpoints.
  • Provide popular literature and dependable information sources which will contribute to a love of reading and learning, and serve as a resource for informed decision making.
  • Provide fiction and educational materials for school-aged children in multiple formats to encourage use of the library and complement our strong school system.
  • Continually evaluate present formats and acquire and make resources available in alternative formats to make library resources more available and useful to our patrons, including those who don’t visit the physical library.
  • Enhance the library’s collection by participating in Interlibrary Loan practices and utilizing resources such as PrairieCat, WorldShare, Axis 360, and OMNI memberships.

Authority and Responsibility

The authority and responsibility for the selection of library materials are delegated to the Library Director and, under his or her direction, to additional staff members who are qualified for this activity. No employee may be disciplined or dismissed for the selection of library materials when the selection is made in good faith and in accordance with the written policy required to be established pursuant to Illinois Library Law. Suggestions from patrons are welcome and will be considered using the same criteria as all other selections. This policy will be reviewed by Director and Board of Trustees at least biennially.

Criteria used in selecting materials for collection:

The general criteria considered in selecting materials include: 1) significance and permanent value to the existing collection, 2) qualifications of author or producer, 3) suitability of subject and style for intended audience, 4) quality of format, 5) currency or timeliness, if applicable, 6) demand by patrons, 7) price, 8) attention given to the item by reviewers and general news media, 9) availability of materials in other libraries, and 10) technical quality of non-book materials. In selection, consideration will be given to the work as a whole. No work shall be excluded because of specific passages or pieces taken out of context.

Review Sources Used In Selection:

The following resources shall be consulted in selection of print and non-print materials but selection is not limited to their listings.

  • Online resources such as Library Journal and Goodreads
  • Bookpage
  • Publishers’ catalogs
  • Monthly product announcements from vendors such as Baker & Taylor
  • USA Today Top 150 Bestsellers
  • NY Times Bestseller list
  • Award Winning titles
  • Reading lists such as Scholastic Reading Counts
  • Requests submitted by library patrons

Intellectual Freedom

The library’s collection management policy supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement.

Procedures for Handling Complaints:

Reconsideration of library material

The library’s collection is meant to reflect differing points of view. The library seeks to maintain a collection that is current and relevant yet remain within the funds allocated for collection development. The library welcomes patrons’ opinions of what is or is not included in the collection. The library will not pull material from its collection on the basis of a personal opinion from any one patron or a group of patrons. The library might restrict access to certain material based on potential for theft or damage.

Patrons who request reconsideration of library material will be asked to put their request in writing by completing, signing and returning the library’s form: Request for Reconsideration (appended to this policy). Upon receipt of the completed form the Director will confer with staff regarding the selection criteria for the material. The Director will consider the information provided by staff and respond to the request in writing at the earliest possible time. The Director will inform the Board of Trustees of all Requests for Reconsideration and the outcome of such requests.

If the requestor is not satisfied with the result of the reconsideration he/she shall submit a written request to the President for a meeting with the Board. After reviewing the information provided by library staff and hearing the request the Board will decide whether the request has been handled in accordance with the policies and procedures of the library. Based on the information presented the Board may decide to uphold or override the Director’s decision.

Gift Materials

The library will accept materials given to add to its collection based on the decision of the library staff and the library’s goals and objectives. Monetary gifts given as a memorial are accepted, a bookplate will be affixed to the material purchased. Donated books and other materials may be added to the library’s collection at the discretion of the Director, who has the final decision as to whether the donated material is to be added to its collection. No monetary value will be assessed to the donated material but a receipt will be given for tax purposes. If the donated material is a duplicate or does not meet the library’s goals and objectives it will either be freely offered to the public or added to the ongoing book sale.

Guidelines for Collection Maintenance

The Library will evaluate the current collection’s strengths and weaknesses by keeping current on the community’s demands and trends. Utilizing reports, demographics, statistics and patron surveys selection staff will identify which collections to develop and de-select. Selection staff will direct appropriate funds to further develop these identified areas of the collection. De-selection will be guided by the CREW (Continuous Review, Evaluation and Weeding) method of collection management. Staff will perform an annual inventory paying special attention of usage, condition and relevancy.

This policy will be reviewed by the director and library trustees every two years. (75 ILCS 5/4-7.2)

Adopted: 2009
Reviewed & revised: 3/12/2013
Reviewed & revised: 4/12/2016
Reviewed: 2/13/2018
Reviewed & revised 3/10/2020
Reviewed & revised 3/08/2022

The Polo Public Library’s Policy for Access to Electronic Information Networks is part of the library’s overall policy structure.

Most resources available via the Internet and other electronic information networks are “global” resources rather than “local” resources. The library does not and cannot control the information content available through global resources such as information obtained from outside sources via the Internet. Internet resources enhance and supplement resources that are available locally within a library. Library customers must be aware that this library does not exercise control over information obtained via the Internet and must keep in mind the following points when evaluating information obtained via the Internet:

  1. Information obtained via the Internet may or may not be reliable and may or may not be obtained from a reliable source.
  2. Information obtained via the Internet may or may not be accurate.
  3. Information obtained via the Internet may or may not be current and up to date.
  4. Links to information on the Internet may not always be valid, and particular information sites on the Internet may sometimes be unavailable, and this unavailability often occurs unpredictably.
  5. Certain information obtained via the Internet may be considered controversial by some library customers.

The Polo Public Library urges library customers to be informed consumers and carefully evaluate information obtained via the Internet. Library staff may be available to assist customers in making judgments about the reliability or currency of certain types of Internet information sources, but are unable to provide definitive analysis of particular sources due to the extremely large variety and volume of information available via the Internet.

  • The library is not responsible for damages, indirect or direct, arising from a library customer’s use of Internet information resources.
  • Library customers have the right to confidentiality and privacy in the use of electronic information networks to the extent possible given certain constraints, such as proximity of other customers and staff in public access settings.
  • Library customers have the right to equitable access to electronic information networks.
  • Library customers have the right to access and read all library service policies and discuss questions with appropriate library staff.

The Polo Public Library’s staff may provide assistance to customers in the use of electronic information networks as time and staff knowledge permits. Formal instruction in particular aspects of electronic information network use may be available.

The Polo Public Library requires that library customers using electronic information networks such as the Internet do so within the guidelines of acceptable use. The following activities are unacceptable:

  1. Use of electronic information networks for any purpose which results in the harassment of other users.
  2. Destruction of, damage to, or unauthorized alteration of the library’s computer equipment software or network security procedures.
  3. Use of electronic information networks in any way which violates a Federal or State law.
  4. Use of electronic information networks in any way which violates licensing and payment agreements between Polo Public Library District and network/database providers.
  5. Unauthorized duplication of copy-protected software or violation of software license agreements.
  6. Violation of system security.
  7. Behaving in a manner that is disruptive to other users, including but not limited to overuse of computer equipment which serves to deny access to other users.

The library has developed certain procedures to assist staff and customers in the use of electronic information resources. These procedures include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:

  1. Time limits for access to allow use of resources by the maximum number of library patrons.
  2. Cost recovery for printouts using the library’s computer equipment.
  3. Priority usage for accessing the library’s online catalog.
  4. Specific instructions for downloading including compliance with virus protection measures.
  5. Restrictions on the use of personal software on library computer equipment.
  6. A registration and use agreement form which must be completed prior to usage.

The Polo Public Library supports the right of all library users to access information and will not deny access to electronic information networks based solely on age.

This library recognizes that the electronic information networks such as the Internet may contain material that is inappropriate for children. Parents are expected to monitor and supervise their children’s use of the Internet. Library staff is unable to monitor children’s use. Parents are encouraged to discuss with their children issues of appropriate use and electronic information network safety.

Violation of any aspect of this policy may result in the loss of library privileges. Final decisions regarding use of library computers are the discretion of the director or the director’s designee.

The Polo Public Library has a meeting room with seating for up to 48 people. The primary purpose of this meeting room is in support of library functions, meetings, and programs. The meeting room may, on occasion, be made available for use by members of the public. Organizations not affiliated with the Polo Public Library may use the meeting room only when all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The organization conducting the meeting is not doing so for the immediate or ultimate gain of a for-profit business or agency.
  2. The meeting takes place during regular library hours.
  3. The meeting cannot be expected to disrupt the ability of the library to conduct its business in a normal and orderly manner.
  4. The meeting is open to the public.
  5. The reservation for the meeting room is made by a resident of the library’s district.
  6. The organization conducting the meeting assumes all responsibility for clean up; will be responsible for reasonable care of the room and any library equipment used, and will be held responsible for any damage and the general condition of the room following use.
  7. The applicant agrees to pay for all damages done to the library premises as a result of the meeting.

Download a meeting room application.

If a patron is creating a disturbance or causing problems in the Polo Public Library, the library staff has the authority or right to tell that patron to leave the library. If that patron refuses to comply and continues to cause problems, the police can then be contacted to escort that patron from the Polo Public Library.

Depending on the severity of the behavior the patron may be barred from the library premises for a length of time to be determined at the Director’s discretion.

Adopted July 8, 2008
Revised January 11, 2011

The Library reserves the right to photograph and digitally record participants of Library programs and events. Those images may be published in publicity materials such as newspaper articles, the Library’s website, social media pages, and/or additional uses the Library deems necessary. The Library does not tag photos on social media and does not identify children in photographs. Please notify Library staff if you do not wish your image to be published.

Approved April 14, 2015

The library has a significant interest in maintaining the safety and security of its patrons, staff, and property. Security cameras are in use to discourage illegal behavior and violations of library policies and provide recorded footage to assist law enforcement in prosecuting criminal activity and staff in enforcing library policies. The purpose of this policy is to govern the location of security cameras, identify who may access live and recorded camera footage and for what purpose, provide guidelines for the retention of recorded footage, and protect individual privacy. Individuals on library property consent to the recording of security camera footage pursuant to the terms and conditions of this Policy.

Location of Security Cameras

Security cameras are positioned in locations determined by the Library Director to best accomplish the purposes of this policy and may include interior and exterior locations. Cameras will not record images in any locations where an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy (i.e. restrooms, rooms reserved for nursing, etc.). At the discretion of the Library Director, the library may also post signage informing library users of the existence of the security camera system.

Viewing

The Library Director will have access at all times to live and recorded security camera footage and may designate in writing one or more staff members to also have access to live and/or recorded footage subject to any restrictions the Director may impose. The general public will not be allowed to view live security camera footage but may request copies of recorded footage pursuant to Paragraph IV. Law enforcement officials will be allowed to view live or recorded footage pursuant to a subpoena, court order, or as required by law such as situations involving imminent danger to public health and safety. The library does not routinely monitor live or recorded footage.

Use

The Library Director may use live and recorded footage solely for the purposes of enforcing and administering library policies. Other staff members with authority to view live and/or recorded footage may do so subject to restrictions imposed by the Library Director.

Freedom of Information Act

Recorded footage is a public record subject to the Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140/1, et seq., “FOIA”), and may be released subject to any applicable exemptions. All requests received by the library for inspection or copying of recorded footage should be forwarded to the library’s FOIA Officer for review and response.

Records Retention

Recorded footage is a public record subject to the Local Records Act (50 ILCS 205/1, et seq. “LRA”) and will be retained pursuant to the library’s approved records retention schedule and may be disposed of only upon the written approval of the appropriate official.

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.
  • Special collars, harnesses, vests, license or certification are not required by the ADA.
  • Service animals will be permitted in any public area of the Library only. In order to comply with the ADA and Illinois Law (775 ILCS30) it is the policy of the Library that service animals assisting individuals with disabilities are permitted, except where the presence or behavior of the animal may compromise the health or safety of the animal or others.
  • The care or supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of his or her owner. The Library will not provide care or food or a special location for the animal. The Library retains the right to ask the owner to remove the animal if:
    1. The animal is out of control and no action is taken to control it or
    2. the animal is not housebroken or
    3. the animal poses a danger to others in the building or grounds.
  • No staff, board member or volunteer will discriminate against patrons or visitors with service animals or require information on any disability. Staff may only ask the following questions:
    1. If the animal is required because of a disability and
    2. what work or task the animal has been trained to perform.

Parents are responsible for the behavior of their children while they are in the Polo Public Library. The Polo Public Library District staff is committed to help children with activities related to the Library. However, Library staff cannot, nor is it their responsibility to serve as baby-sitters, teachers, or disciplinarians. Violations of this policy are grounds for suspension of library privileges. Whenever advisable, the Polo Public Library will notify the parent of incidents involving an unattended child.

Children under the age of eight must be accompanied and directly supervised at all times by a parent or other responsible caregiver. When the safety of an unattended child is in doubt, or the parent or responsible caregiver cannot be located, or if the Polo Public Library is closing, Polo Public Library staff is authorized to call the police and stay with the child until the police arrive.

From time to time, the Polo Public Library District schedules or provides programs which are designed and suitable for attendance by children without parental supervision. Such program announcements will so indicate, and if no indication is included, then supervision is required. When so indicated, if the parent or caregiver intends to be absent, they must leave word at the circulation desk as to their whereabouts and, if possible, a phone number where they or a responsible adult can be contacted.

Children over the age of eight may use the Polo Public Library unattended by an adult, subject to other Polo Public Library rules and policies concerning behavior, conduct, and demeanor.

Adopted July 8, 2008

After Hours

In the event a young person is still at the Polo Public Library 15 minutes after the library closes to the public, the police will be called to pick up the young person. Attempts will be made during that 15 minutes to reach parents, but in no instance will staff take young people home.

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