Nesbitt Memorial Library
Columbus, Texas

Last Updated February 04, 2014
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Policy Manual

 

Table of Contents

Section 1: General
Section 2: Patrons
Section 3: Collection Development
Section 4: Circulation and Fines
Section 5: Texas Collection
Section 6: Archives
Section 7: Gifts and Loans
Section 8: Use of the Meeting Room
Section 9: Electronic Resources

 

Policy Manual

Section 1
General

 

1. Policy Manual

This is the Policy Manual of the Nesbitt Memorial Library. It is maintained by the Advisory Board of the Nesbitt Memorial Library and is furnished to the City Council of the City of Columbus, Texas, for approval.

2. Governance

The Nesbitt Memorial Library is the municipal library of the City of Columbus, Texas. It is governed by Article 1.10 of the cityís ordinances.

3. History

The library is named in honor of the family of Lee Quinn Nesbitt, who financed the construction of the building and whose estate continues to provide financial support for the library. The collection of the cityís previous municipal library, the Mansfield Memorial Library, which was named in honor of Joseph Jefferson Mansfield, who provided the land for the building and its initial collection, was absorbed into that of the Nesbitt Memorial Library.

4. Address and Telephone

The address of the Nesbitt Memorial Library is 529 Washington Street, Columbus, Texas, 78934. Its telephone and fax number is (979) 732-3392. Its e-mail address is library@columbustexas.net.

5. Hours

The library plans its hours of operation so that all its patrons can have access to its materials and services.

The library is routinely open on Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 a. m. to 6:00 p. m., and on Saturdays from 9:00 a. m. to 4:00 p. m. The library is closed on many holidays.

6. Staff

The library staff is encouraged to participate in community activities and be willing to assume responsibilities in the communityís institutions and organizations.

The staff will make every attempt to courteously, promptly, accurately, and thoroughly answer any question asked by any patron, and to assist the patrons in any reasonable endeavor, provided that no other more imperative duties compel them.

 

Section 2
Patrons

1. Library Cards

Any person who is more than six years old can become a patron of the Nesbitt Memorial Library; that is, they can obtain a library card. Persons who are less than eighteen years old may not obtain a library card unless their parent or legal guardian assumes responsibility for them.

Because the library is supported by public funds from the City of Columbus, Colorado County, and the State of Texas, persons who demonstrate that they are bona fide residents of Texas may obtain a library card at no charge. Persons who cannot demonstrate that they are bona fide residents of Texas may obtain a library card by paying a one-time only, non-refundable fee of $10.

Library cards are the property of the library. Persons who wish to discontinue their patronage should return their cards to the library.

Patrons who lose their library card must pay a fee of no less than one dollar ($1) but no more than ten dollars ($10) to replace it. The fee shall be determined by the library director and shall be contingent upon the cost of the replacement card to the library, the number of times the individual patron has lost his card, and/or other relevant factors.

2. Patron Conduct

Patrons who cause a disruption or whose behavior is unruly or otherwise inappropriate for a library may be asked to leave the building.

Patrons may not enter the archival vault, offices, or work rooms without the express permission of a member of the staff.

Patrons may not take library materials into the meeting room, bathrooms, or hallways without the express permission of a member of the staff.

Individuals who abuse or misuse library property, such as, damaging books, DVDs, CDs or equipment, or using the internet for illegal means, may be denied access to Nesbitt Memorial Library. Additional instances of abuse or misuse may be determined by the Nesbitt Memorial Library Board.

3. Patron Property

The library is not responsible in any way for any property brought into the library by any patron.

Any property left in the library by any patron without the consent of the library staff is considered abandoned property and may be disposed of in any manner at any time.

 

4. Confidentiality

The libraryís records relating to its specific patrons, including which materials they have borrowed and what fines or fees they owe, are confidential. Such records may be released only when otherwise lawful, and only (a) to the patron to whom they relate, (b) to any person authorized, in writing, to receive them by the patron to whom they relate, (c) when disclosure is necessary to the operation of the library, or (d) when compelled by a valid court order.

 

Section 3
Collection Development

1. General

The libraryís collection is to contain suitable materials to (1) provide its patrons with access to a broad range of information regarding culture and civilization, (2) serve the community as a reference agency, (3) provide popular, high-demand reading materials, and (4) introduce children to the pleasures and rewards of reading.

Materials are selected based on their quality, content, literary merit, popularity, format, and price.

Outdated, misleading, irreparably damaged, unusable, and seldom used materials are subject to being removed from the collection.

The library will attempt to keep pace with the advance of technology in regard to the storing and retrieval of information.

While responsibility for procurement and disposal of materials lies with the library director, the board of advisors will audit performance of collection development activity.

 

Section 4
Circulation and Fines

1. General

The library may revoke borrowing privileges at any time.

Persons will be asked to present a library card to check out materials.

It is the patronís responsibility to ensure that no items are checked out to his or her library card, or to a library card for which they have assumed responsibility (e. g., one of their childrenís library cards), by unauthorized persons.

Persons will be held financially responsible for any and all damaged or lost items that were checked out to their library card or to a library card for which they have assumed responsibility. By virtue of Section 27-1 (a), Paragraphs (a) and (b), of the ordinances of the City of Columbus, persons who are convicted of willfully injuring or defacing any library property are subject to fines of not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than two hundred dollars ($200.00), and persons who are convicted of willfully detaining any library property are subject to fines of not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00).

Fines are assessed for items which are overdue. Days on which the library is not open are not counted as overdue days. Additional charges will be assessed to cover expenses incurred in efforts to collect fines. Persons will be held financially responsible for any and all fines for overdue items that were checked out to their library card or to a library card for which they have assumed responsibility. No member of any household which collectively has outstanding fines of five dollars ($5.00) or more will be allowed to check out any item, except at the discretion of the director.

Persons who lose their library cards should report the loss to the library so that no further materials will be checked out to them. It is the patronís responsibility to ensure that proper notice of lost cards is given to the library. Written notice is encouraged.

The library maintains a waiting list for certain high-demand items. Patrons may add their name to the waiting list for any item by notifying the library staff. Persons whose names are on the waiting list will be notified when the item is available for checkout. If they have not checked out the item within three days, it will be returned to the stacks or committed to the next person on the waiting list.

When the library is closed, patrons may return books in the book drop on the west side of the building. Suitable fines will be assessed for overdue books that are returned in the book drop. Patrons should not use the book drop to return material other than books.

 2. Interlibrary Loans

By virtue of the interlibrary loan system, patrons of the Nesbitt Memorial Library may borrow items from other libraries. Patrons who do so must pay all postage charges unless they demonstrate that they are a student engaged in a legitimate school-related research project.

For school-related projects there will be a yearly limit of $10.00 in postage paid by the library; after that, the patron is responsible for all postage charges.

Patrons may request no more than 3 items at a time through interlibrary loan.

Fines, fees, and penalties for overdue or lost items obtained through interlibrary loan are assessed in the same manner as fines, fees, and penalties for similar items checked out from the Nesbitt Memorial Libraryís circulating collection.

3. Borrowing Periods

Most books, audiobooks, and compact disks containing recorded music may be checked out for two weeks.

Certain books are designated as reference books and may not be checked out.

Certain books may be designated as special-reserve books. Such books may be checked out for one day.

Certain books may be designated as high-demand books. Such books may be checked out for two weeks.

DVDs, videocassettes, and certain magazines may be checked out for one week.

The library may refuse to check out recent issues of magazines.

Certain art reproductions may be checked out, though only by persons who are 18 years of age or older, for six weeks.

Audio and video equipment may be checked out, though only by persons who are 18 years of age or older, for one day.

Books and audiobooks may be renewed for up to two additional two-week periods. Renewals may be made by telephone.

Special-reserve books, high-demand books, DVDs, videocassettes, magazines, compact disks containing recorded music, art reproductions, and audio and video equipment may not be renewed.

4. Fines and Fees

Patrons who do not return borrowed material to the library or renew such material before or on the date it is due will be fined. Fines on borrowed materials will increase every day beyond the due date until the material is returned or until the maximum allowable fine is reached. Daily fines and maximum allowable fines will be commensurate with the monetary value of the overdue material.

Patrons who return audiobooks, compact disks, DVDs, or videocassettes in the book drop will be assessed a fine in addition to any overdue fines, and be held financially responsible for any and all damage to the returned items.

Art reproductions and audio and video equipment must be returned to the front desk during the libraryís regular operating hours. Such items may not be left on or near the book drop. Patrons who leave art reproductions or audio or video equipment on or near the book drop will be assessed a fine in addition to any overdue fines, be held financially responsible for any and all damage to the items, and be prohibited from checking out such items in the future.

The library may charge fees appropriate to recover costs associated with efforts made to have long-overdue materials returned to the library, and to recover costs associated with any processing such returned materials require.

The library director, with the advice and consent of the advisory board, sets all daily fines, maximum allowable fines, and fees, within the parameters set above.

The library director may waive any fine, in part or in full.

5. Other Limits

Patrons may not have more than ten items checked out at one time.

Certain books are designated as new books. Patrons may have no more than two new books checked out at any time.

Patrons may not have more than five books-on-tape or CDs, nor more than two videocassettes, DVDs, magazines, or art reproductions, checked out at one time.

Patrons may not have more than one piece of audio or video equipment checked out at one time.

 6. Special Rules

Neither DVDs or videocassettes may be duplicated or broadcast in whole or in part. DVDs and videocassettes are intended for private home use only; they are not for public exhibition.

The library is not responsible for damage to CD, DVD or videocassette players that might result from the use of any CD, DVD, or videocassette.

The library does not provide technical assistance or support for audio or video equipment.

The library is not responsible for any damage that might result from the use of its audio or video equipment.

No individual may check out audio or video equipment more than twice per month.

 

Section 5
Texas Collection

1. General

In keeping with the wishes of Lee Quinn Nesbitt, the libraryís donor and benefactor, the library places a strong emphasis on the history, genealogy, literature, and culture of Texas and local residents.

2. History

The Texas Collection includes books and other printed material collected by Lee Quinn Nesbitt and by the Colorado County Historical Commission. It was greatly augmented with funds provided by the estate of Catherine Dumraese, a Colorado County resident who died in 1981, and by donations of books from the Shropshire-Upton Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy.

3. Texas Room

Much of the libraryís Texas Collection is incorporated into the circulating section of the library; much is classified as reference material and stored in the Texas Room.

Some extremely rare or poor condition books are stored in the archival vault, and are accessible only by request and only under the direct supervision of library staff.

 

Section 6
Archives

1. Purpose

The Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library exists to collect, preserve, and make available for research, original source materials that are historically significant to Columbus, Colorado County, and the surrounding area.

2. History

In the 1970s, the Colorado County Historical Commission established the Colorado County Archives, which was housed at the courthouse for most of its existence. In 1986, the facility was discontinued and the collection moved from the courthouse, with part of it being deposited in the Eula and David Wintermann Library in Eagle Lake and part of it in the Nesbitt Memorial Library. Since being established in 1986, the Archives of the Nesbitt Library has incorporated the genealogy and local history papers compiled by Lee Quinn Nesbitt and numerous documents and photographs from other Colorado County families. In 1997, the Wintermann Library agreed to transfer the part of the collection of the Colorado County Archives that had been deposited there to the Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library. However, no agreement was reached over the final terms, and the transfer was never made.

3. Collection

The archives consists of documents, photographs, newspapers, various printed materials (including telephone books and school annuals), maps, audio tapes, and video tapes. The archives does not include artifacts, furniture, clothing, or other items commonly considered to be museum pieces.

The decision to accept material and assimilate it into the archives rests with the archivist. In some cases, an expert in the field of archival acquisition who is not an employee of the library may be asked to make evaluations.

Though xerographic copies of documents may be accepted, so that authenticity may be better verified, the archives greatly prefers to accept only original documents.

Photographs may be accepted on loan so that copies of them may be made.

All materials accepted by the Library become property of the City of Columbus, governed by rules and regulations of the Nesbitt Memorial Library, the Library Advisory Board and, ultimately, the City Council of the City of Columbus.

Material which is initially accepted may, upon further examination, be rejected by the archivist. All such material will be returned to the donor, or, with the donorís consent, transferred to an appropriate depository elsewhere or otherwise disposed of.

4. Access

The material in the archives is available for use only by request and only under the direct supervision of library staff.

Upon request the library will arrange to have copies made of photographs owned by the archives. The cost of such copies will be borne by the applicant.

Staff members will duplicate manuscript material at the userís expense. The library may refuse to duplicate some manuscript materials.

Audio and video tapes will not be duplicated.

 

Section 7
Gifts and Loans

1. General

The library will accept any gift which has relevance and value to the library.

The library is not responsible for appraising or securing appraisals of any gift.

Gifts which might reasonably be said to have a value of $50 or more will be acknowledged by letter.

2. Money

The public is encouraged to donate money either directly to the library or to the non-profit foundation which exists to support the library, the Nesbitt Memorial Library Foundation, Inc.

The receipt of money donated in memory of a recently deceased person (known as memorials) will be acknowledged to the family of the deceased person.

3. Books

Books which are donated to the library may be assimilated into the collection or offered for sale to the public. The library director should make every attempt to inform the donor which potential course of action is most likely for their particular donation.

4. Objects and Artifacts

The library may accept the donation of objects or artifacts which are decorative, historical, or otherwise valuable or pertinent. Such objects or artifacts may be declared surplus property and disposed of in any manner at any time.

The library may accept objects or artifacts on loan. Such loans may be open-ended or finite. Objects or artifacts which are left at the library more than sixty days after the owner of the objects or artifacts has been legally notified that they are to be removed are considered abandoned property and may be disposed of in any manner.

5. Archival Material

Archival material will be accepted under the policies delineated in Section 6 and Section 7, Part 1 of this manual.

 

Section 8
Use of the Meeting Room

1. General Guidelines

The use of the meeting room is a privilege and not a right. Accordingly, the library reserves the right to deny the use of the room to any group that does not abide by the policy. The Library Director has sole discretion to deny use of the meeting room to any group that is disorderly in any way.

Usage of the room does not constitute endorsement by the Library or City of Columbus of any groupís policies, beliefs or affiliations and no advertisement or announcement implying such endorsement will be permitted.  Groups meeting at the library may not use the library as a mailing address and no publicity may carry the libraryís telephone number.

The libraryís meeting room is available to groups or individuals whose purposes are compatible with the libraryís mission, i.e., they are informational, educational, cultural, or charitable in nature.

Priority for meeting room use will be assigned in the following manner:

1.     Library or City of Columbus sponsored programs and meetings

2.     Library related meetings or programs

3.     Educational, cultural, community and civic group programs

 

 2. Restrictions

All meetings must be open to the public and to the media.

The meeting room is not available for social events or private parties such as wedding receptions, showers, and birthday parties, religious activities (religious study groups excepted), or any entity which advocates, promotes, or discusses any illegal activity.

Entities which are incompatible with a library setting, i.e., which make a considerable amount of noise or otherwise create a disturbance, may not use the meeting room during operating hours.

The Library Director may refuse to schedule any meeting that is expected to last more than one day.

Nothing may be affixed to a wall in the meeting room.

Though refreshments may be served in the meeting room, neither smoking nor alcoholic beverages are allowed in the meeting or anywhere in the library.

The rear and outdoor exits must be kept unlocked and open aisles maintained throughout any meeting.

 

3. Fees

Entities engaged in for-profit endeavors, or which charge a fee to any person in attendance, must pay a fee of $20 and $10 for each additional hour. All other entities must pay a flat fee of $20.  All fees are payable in advance. The Library Director may waive the fee in some cases.

 

4. Reservations

Entities may reserve the meeting room either in person, by telephone, or by mail and must be reserved for a minimum of two hours. The individual signing the application must be at least 18 years of age and he or she MUST be present during the entire meeting.  This person will be the designated representative for the group.

Any inquiries received at the library concerning the meeting will be directed to the designated representative.

To reserve the meeting room, the library must be provided with (1) the name of the entity, (2) the name, address, and telephone number of an individual who assumes responsibility for the entity (this person must sign the application),  (3) the total number of persons expected to attend the meeting or event, and (4) the purpose of the event.

 

5. Access

The meeting room may be used on any day between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Entities which intend to use the meeting room at a time when the library is closed must secure a key to the room during regular library hours on the last day the library is open before the scheduled meeting.

 

6. Userís Responsibilities and Duties

Groups using the meeting room must bring their own supplies and equipment not provided by the library.

The library is not responsible for the physical arrangement of the meeting room.  No library personnel are available to assist with rearrangement of tables and seating, carrying supplies to and from the meeting room, etc. Each user must count on its own personnel for the performance of any of these tasks. The library will not store items belonging to users. The library is not responsible for lost articles or items left following a meeting.

Users of the meeting room are responsible for their own set-up and general clean up. The room should be left neat and clean and ready for the next scheduled meeting.  All food and trash, etc. must be removed at the conclusion of a meeting.

Users will be held responsible for reimbursing the library for any damage that may occur to the library building or equipment. If proper care is not taken, the group will be denied any further use of the room.  The individual signing the Application for Use of the Meeting Room is designated as the person responsible for the condition of the room.

At the conclusion of a meeting, the designated representative should make sure all small electrical appliances and equipment are unplugged. Turn off the lights in the restrooms, corridor and meeting room. After the meeting, the outside entrance to the meeting room must be locked and the key to the door deposited in the book drop near the entrance.

 

7-Remedy

Entities which violate any meeting room policy stated herein will be denied future use of the meeting room.

 

Section 9
Electronic Resources

1. Public Access Computers

So that all patrons may have the opportunity to use the libraryís public access computers, the library may impose limits on the amount of time that any patron may use any computer.

2. Internet

The library provides its patrons with full and uncensored access to the Internet.

To minimize the possibility that patrons will accidentally be exposed to material which they might consider objectionable, the library will make every effort to locate Internet access terminals in places which prevent persons in routine traffic areas from seeing their screens.

Patrons who are under the age of 18 may access the Internet only (1) if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian or (2) if their parent or guardian has presented to the library, for its permanent records, a signed and dated Internet access permission statement which has not subsequently been revoked.

Parents or guardians who wish to revoke a previously given Internet access permission statement must come to the library, request the statement, and physically remove it from the premises.