All Library policies require Library Advisory Board approval.
- Behavior Policy
- Child Safety Policy
- CIPA Internet Safety Policy
- Circulation Policy
- Collection Development Policy
- Exhibit Policy
- Gift Policy
- Information Services Policy
- Interlibrary Loan Policy
- Maker Equipment Policy
- Public Computers and Internet Policy
- Meeting Room Policy
- Confidentiality Policy
- Volunteer Policy
Patron Behavior Policy
The Victoria Public Library offers an open and welcome environment for citizens of all ages in the provision of library services and materials. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all patrons of the Library have fair and equal access to and use of the Library facility and materials. Rules of conduct are designed to facilitate the library’s mission and to ensure an environment conducive to proper use of the library.
The following rules will be enforced in a neutral and nondiscriminatory manner. Library staff will remind patrons of the rules when necessary. The Library reserves the right to expel individuals not abiding by the rules. In extreme cases, the Library Director may bar individuals from the Library for longer periods of time.
- Library patrons and library staff shall be treated with respect and courtesy. Harassment or threatening behavior such as stalking, offensive touching, obscene or indecent acts is not allowed in the Library or on Library property. This includes the use of profane, obscene, threatening or injurious language or gestures directed at another person.
- Snack foods and covered beverages are allowed in the library. Meals or messy, noisy or strong-smelling foods are not permitted. Unattended food and/or beverages are subject to being disposed by staff. Upon approval, food and drink is allowed in the Bronte Room. Consumption of alcoholic beverages is not allowed in the Library or on Library property, except when provided by the library in conjunction with an event organized by the library.
- Use of tobacco products is not allowed in the Library or within 12 feet of any Library entrance as per city ordinance 10-30. This rule applies to smoking, vaping or otherwise using e-cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco products such as chewing tobacco and snuff.
- Library patrons can assist the Library in the provision of quality service by refraining from loud and boisterous conduct. Parents are responsible for the behavior and noise of their children and may be asked to take disruptive children out of the Library.
- The use of electronic devices, radios, televisions, etc., which produce audible sound is not allowed in the Library. For this reason the Library asks patrons to turn off or mute cell phones while in the Library.
- Soliciting, panhandling, and selling are not allowed in the Library or on Library property. The Library Advisory Board may make exceptions to this policy for programs that benefit the Library in providing materials and services.
- The Library strives to provide a clean, comfortable and inviting environment for Library patrons. The abuse, vandalism or theft of Library property, vandalism of the exterior of the Library, and vandalism of vehicles in the Library parking lots will not be tolerated, and the Victoria Police Department will be notified.
- Only service animals assisting people with disabilities will be allowed in the Library.
- The Library is concerned about the safety of both patrons and Library staff. Behaviors and actions that endanger the public and staff are not allowed in the Library, or on the Library premises. These include but are not limited to: the use of skateboards and roller skates; running, climbing on the shelving; fighting or acts of violence; or any other actions that endanger patrons and staff.
- Footwear and clothing covering top and bottom are required for all patrons.
Future Revisions 08-2022
Child Safety Policy
Victoria Public Library is committed to providing excellent service to families and children. To make the Library an enjoyable place and to encourage a love of books, reading, and learning, we offer designated children’s areas, programs, and services for children. Attaining this desired and appropriate environment for children requires the communication and cooperation of both staff and parents. Together, we can provide a fun and positive experience when visiting the Victoria Public Library.
- Parents/caregivers are responsible for their children’s behavior while in the library and for ensuring that their children obey library rules and regulations (see Patron Behavior Policy).
- The Library does not serve as a day care service and the Library staff has responsibilities that prevent them from providing appropriate supervision for children. Library staff may refer children who are left unattended in the library to appropriate authorities including the police or child welfare agencies if there are concerns about the health, well-being or safety of the child.
- Young children defined as 7 years old or less may not be left unattended in the library or at any library event. Any child, 7 years old or less must have a parent or caregiver 12 years old or older in the immediate vicinity within their line of vision. Unattended young children left in the library will be given an opportunity to make a phone call to a parent or guardian to inform them of the circumstances. If the unattended child is unwilling or unable to contact a parent or guardian, or if the parent or guardian is unwilling or unable to pick up the child, the police will be called, and the child will be placed in care of the police.
- Children ages 8 – 11 with a parent/caregiver in the building may use the Library or attend a scheduled library program unattended for an amount of time appropriate to their age and maturity. It is the parent’s responsibility to determine whether the child needs adult supervision to ensure his/her safety and to maintain appropriate behavior and responsible library use.
- Children ages 12 and up may be in the library unattended if it is appropriate to his/her maturity.
- Unattended children unable to follow library rules after being reminded of library policies will not be permitted to be in the library unattended. Children will be given the opportunity to make a phone call to a parent or guardian to inform them of the circumstances. If the unattended child is unwilling or unable to contact a parent or guardian, or if the parent or guardian is unwilling or unable to pick up the child, the police will be called, and the child will be placed in care of the police.
- At closing time or in the event of an emergency closing if an unattended child under age 12 is left at the library without transportation home, Library staff will encourage and assist the child in calling a parent to pick them up. If a child is unable to contact his/her parent, Library staff will remain no longer than 15 minutes after closing. At that time, the police will be contacted and the child will be placed in their care.
Library Advisory Board Approved: 05-2019
Future Revisions: 05-2022
CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act) Internet Safety Policy
It is the policy of Victoria Public Library to:
(a) prevent user access over its computer network to, or transmission of, inappropriate material via Internet, electronic mail, or other forms of direct electronic communications;
(b) prevent unauthorized access and other unlawful online activity;
(c) prevent unauthorized online disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal identification information of minors; and
(d) comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act [Pub. L. No. 106-554 and 47 USC 254(h)].
Key terms are as defined in the Children’s Internet Protection Act (see Appendix A).
Access to Inappropriate Material
To the extent practical, technology protection measures (or “Internet filters”) shall be used to block or filter Internet, or other forms of electronic communications, access to inappropriate information.
Specifically, as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act, blocking shall be applied to visual depictions of material deemed obscene or child pornography, or to any material deemed harmful to minors.
Subject to staff supervision, technology protection measures may be disabled for adults, or, in the case of minors, minimized, only for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.
Inappropriate Network Usage
To the extent practical, steps shall be taken to promote the safety and security of users of the Victoria Public Library online computer network when using electronic mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, and other forms of direct electronic communications.
Specifically, as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act, prevention of inappropriate network usage includes: (a) unauthorized access, including so-called ‘hacking,’ and other unlawful activities; and (b) unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors.
Education, Supervision and Monitoring
While staff will educate, supervise and monitor appropriate usage of the online computer network and access to the Internet in accordance with this policy, the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act, and the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, Victoria Public Library affirms the responsibility of parents to determine the appropriateness of Internet-accessed resources, and all other library materials, for their children. Parents or legal guardians are ultimately responsible for guiding their children in their use of the Internet.
Procedures for the disabling or otherwise modifying any technology protection measures shall be the responsibility of the Library Director or designated representative(s).
This CIPA Internet Safety Policy was adopted by the Victoria Public Library Advisory Board at a public meeting, following normal public notice, on June 10, 2020.
Library Advisory Board Approved 06-2020
Future Revision 06-2023
Appendix A: CIPA Definitions of terms
Minor. The term “minor means any individual who has not attained the age of 17 years.
Technology Protection Measure. The term “technology protection measure” means a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access to visual depictions that are:
1. Obscene, as that term is defined in section 1460 of title 18, United States Code;
2. Child Pornography, as that term is defined in section 2256 of title 18, United States Code; or
3. Harmful to minors.
Harmful to Minors. The term “harmful to minors” means any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that:
1. Taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to the prurient interest in nudity, sex or excretion;
2. Depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; and
3. Taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value as to minors.
Sexual Act; Sexual Contact. The terms “sexual act” and sexual contact” have the meanings given such terms in section 2246 of title 18 United States Code.
A Victoria Public Library card allows you to borrow library materials such as books, DVDs, CDs and more. You can also use your card for free internet access at the library and to download e-books and access a wide variety of other resources from your home computer, and to check out items for in-library use.
Types of Library Cards
Adult Library Card allows you to borrow materials, use library computers and access our databases. Library cards are free to all residents of Texas. Ability to access databases and e-books may vary depending on your county of residence.
Juvenile Library Card
A family member may apply for a library card on behalf of a juvenile 17 years of age or under. A family member can be: the legal parent or guardian; step-parent; aunt; uncle or grandparents. This card can be used to borrow materials, use library computers and access our databases.
Internet Only Card
An internet only card provides access to the library’s computers. Internet only cards cannot be used to borrow materials, access online databases, request items from other libraries or checkout laptops or tablets. Your library card or internet only card will give you two (2) hours of internet access each day that the library is open.
Non Resident Card
If you do not live in the state of Texas or do not own property in Texas you can receive a non-resident card for an annual fee of $30.00 which is non-refundable. This card allows you to check out 5 items at a time and provides access to library computers.
Persons living in a temporary residence or transitional housing may have access to a facility card. This is issued to institutions serving individuals who may not otherwise qualify for a library card.
Requirements for a Library Card
Residents of Texas with property identification may obtain a library card for free. A fee of $2.00 is charged to replace a lost card.
The following will be accepted as property identification and proof of current address:
• A valid government issued photo ID with current address or
• A government issued photo ID and a printed check or utility bill with current address.
• If overdue materials are not returned after repeated attempts to notify a cardholder the account
may be turned over to the City of Victoria Municipal Court in compliance with City Code, Chapter 11,
Sections 11-2 and 11-3.
• When a library item is lost or damaged the cardholder is responsible for payment to the library for the
replacement cost of the lost or damaged item. Lost or damaged charges may include but are not
limited to: 1) the actual cost of the item, 2) a processing fee, 3) any overdue fines that may have
• When a lost item is paid for a receipt is issued. If the lost item and this receipt are returned within six
(6) months from the date that an item is put into lost status, a refund of the item cost only will be
made. Processing fees and overdue fines are non-refundable.
• All library card holders are responsible for notifying the library of changes in address or phone
Confidentiality of Library Records
The Texas Open Records Act protects the privacy of library users. The records of library materials you borrow or use cannot be disclosed to anyone except:
• As reasonably necessary for the operation of the library.
• Persons authorized, in writing, by the individual named in the records; or
• By order or subpoena of a District Court, issued on a showing of good cause.
Library materials cannot be checked out to a patron without the cardholder’s permission. Possession of another patron’s library card implies permission to use the card.
Library Advisory Board Approved 02-2018
Future Revision 2-2021
Collection Development Policy
The purpose of this policy is to:
- Inform our community of the criteria by which Victoria Public Library (VPL) makes decisions regarding selection
- Provide guidelines for VPL staff to use managing the selection, retention, maintenance, and removal of library materials.
Victoria Public Library encourages a love of reading and commitment to literacy, provides materials and services that satisfy curiosity and stimulate imagination, develops programs that encourage the expression of creativity, and utilizes technology to support collaboration.
COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT GOAL
VPL strives to provide the community with a well-balanced collection of materials in a variety of formats, reflecting a wide range of views, opinions, and interests.
COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT PHILOSOPHY
VPL selects material for its collection in a variety of formats to provide current, accurate, popular, and practical material for education, entertainment, enrichment, enlightenment, and to satisfy the curiosity of a community that is diverse in age, values, opinions, demographics and interests. Due to budget and space constraints, VPL cannot acquire all materials in all formats. VPL makes acquisition selections based on the criteria set out in this policy and will offer interlibrary loan for materials that fall outside these criteria.
DETERMINING COLLECTION NEEDS
The ultimate responsibility for material selection rests with the Library Director who delegates the responsibility for the selection of materials and development of the collection to library staff members. VPL staff members use the guidelines in this policy to make decisions regarding the selection, retention, maintenance, and removal of library materials. In addition, the library uses statistical tools such as circulation reports, patron requests, and collection grades.
Selection of library material is done with the help of:
- Professionally trained librarians and staff
- Book reviews in national and international magazines and professional journals
- Bestseller lists
- Award lists
• Suggestions from library users and surrounding community members such as teachers, business people, and organizations
• Material use measurements such as circulation counts, interlibrary loan requests, patron purchases, and waiting lists
• The priorities and goals in the current VPL Strategic Plan
The following factors may also guide library staff with collection development decisions:
• Popular interest, appeal, or demand
• Authoritativeness and accuracy
• Current events, currency of information, timeliness, historical relevance
• Relation to the collection – fills in gaps, adds variety
• Interest and relevance to our community
• Purpose or intent of an item
• Readability, viewability, usability
• Prominence, reputation, qualifications of author, director, illustrator, actor, publisher, etc.
• Extent of publicity
• Price, availability, publication date or copyright
• Variety of formats
• Patron requests for purchase are considered, but not all are purchased
• Consideration of other sources such as interlibrary loan
• Preference is given to the purchase of new titles, titles in high demand, popular series, classics and award winners
• E-book/audiobook collections focus on adult bestsellers, popular fiction, and items of interest to teens, children, and families. There will be duplication of items found in our print collections. Nonfiction items are less of a focus, but will be purchased based on popularity, patron request and reviews.
• The genealogy collection is focused on local history materials for Victoria County and its contiguous counties (Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Jackson, Lavaca, and Refugio). Primary sources or original documents (i.e. censuses, local family histories, cemetery lists, etc.) are collected for these areas.
• VPL does not purchase books with moveable parts, fill-in-the-blank workbooks, or textbooks
• VPL does not purchase self-published materials unless reviewed well in established publications or websites or some other reason that deems it necessary for the community
• VPL does not replace elementary, high school or college libraries, and therefore will not provide curriculum material. It may attain general items that could be supplemental to learning in those institutions.
VPL practices a policy of continuous collection evaluation that is guided by the needs and desires of our community. the amount of space that we have available, and the library goals and mission. Our library collection is best envisioned as a living, evolving entity that needs refreshment in order to continue flourishing. This means that our collection not only needs new and relevant items added, but from time to time older items that are damaged, outdated, or no longer relevant to the community will need to be removed. The practice of continuous evaluation, addition, and removal is essential to the maintenance of a quality collection.
Reasons for Removal
The choice to remove items from the collection can happen for a variety of reasons:
• Lost item – Refers to an item that a patron checked out but never returned. The item will be evaluated based on number of checkouts it or items similar to it have received, and then the library will make a decision as to whether or not a replacement should be acquired
• Poor condition – An item that is worn, water damaged, soiled, or falling apart
• Outdated/Inaccurate – Content determined to be out of date or inaccurate.
• Lack of interest –popularity of certain titles and topics surge and wane. The choice may be made to remove such materials to make room for materials in higher demand.
While taking into consideration the above criteria for removal VPL also uses the guidelines set out in the CREW Manual (https://www.tsl.texas.gov). These guidelines include the following criteria: physical condition, frequency of circulation and number of checkouts, currency of information and the availability of the updated material, permanent value to the collection, outdated format, unnecessary copies, and available space.
Some items may be retained regardless of condition, currency or use due to a variety of factors. These may include: items written by a local author; classic works; work unique or specific to our community; and resources not available or easily accessible through other means.
Preservation and Repair
It is the responsibility of the collection development staff to make decisions on whether materials that are lost, damaged, outdated, etc. should be repaired, replaced, or removed permanently from the collection. Decisions are based on the popularity, usage statistics, demand, budget, cost of replacement, availability to purchase, and if it is available through other means than our library.
Reasonable preservation measures are taken to prolong the life of materials purchased for the library such as adding protective covers to books, adding security devices to deter theft, reinforcing loose bindings of books, or getting a book rebound entirely so that it receives a new cover, or even just periodically cleaning the item. It is important to note that VPL’s circulating collection is not archival. It is reviewed and revised continuously to meet contemporary needs. No extraordinary effort is made to retain or preserve last copies of out of print titles as the facility and budget do not accommodate this possibility. However, long term preservation measures are considered on a case by case basis for items that are pertinent to the locale for historical or genealogical purposes.
In order to increase access to materials and information, VPL participates in resource sharing through interlibrary loan. This service allows our users in good standing to request items from other libraries as well as allowing other libraries to request items from us
SUGGESTIONS ABOUT COLLECTIONS
VPL values input from the community on material selection. VPL considers user suggestions, but does not guarantee that materials will be automatically added or removed from VPL collections based upon suggestions. Comment boxes are available in the library, suggestions can be emailed through the VPL website or any staff member can accept suggestions and comments at our service desks.
Request for Re-Evaluation
VPL staff applies the selection criteria described in this policy to provide library materials that reflect a diversity of viewpoints. It is the goal of the library to provide information on many topics, levels, and opinions.
VPL fully endorses patrons’ freedom of choice in selection and access to materials. The library upholds the right of the individual to access information, even though its contents may be controversial, unorthodox, or unconventional.
Inclusion of controversial, unorthodox, or unconventional material in the collection does not imply endorsement or agreement by VPL, but makes available additional viewpoints to the individual so they may form their own opinion.
VPL also fully endorses and upholds the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights
and Freedom to Read Statement (http://www.ala.org).
Citizens wanting the library to reconsider the selection of library materials should complete the Citizen’s Request for Re-Evaluation of Library Materials form available at the library. Library staff will evaluate the material using published reviews and the criteria contained in this policy, and provide a recommendation to the Library Director. After review by the Library Director a final decision will be provided to the citizen. If there are other concerns with this decision, then a written appeal may be made to the Library Advisory Board.
VPL welcomes material donations to the library. When doing so, the library asks the patron to fill out a form with the understanding that the items are subject to the same selection, evaluation, and disposal criteria as material acquired with library funds. Acceptance of a donation does not imply inclusion in the collection. The library retains unconditional ownership of the donation and makes the final decision of use of said donation. Donations could be added to the collection, given to the Friends of the Library for inclusion in book sales, or some other form of disposal.
The library cannot determine the value of donations, however upon request, a receipt can be provided stating the number and format of items that were donated.
The library welcomes monetary donations which may be designated as memorials. Donors may suggest subjects and/or titles to be purchased; however, VPL reserves the right of final decision. Monetary donations of $500 or more will designate the donor to a Benefactor status with Friends of the Victoria Public Library which includes adding their name to the Library’s Benefactors’ Plaque. (See Gift Policy)
Approved by Library Advisory Board: 11-2019
Future Revision: 11-2022
The mission of Victoria Public Library is to encourage a love of reading and commitment to literacy, provide materials and services that satisfy curiosity and stimulate imagination, develop programs that encourage the expression of creativity, and utilize technology to support collaboration. Victoria Public Library provides exhibit and display space as an additional means to accomplish its mission, and welcomes exhibits and display materials of cultural, educational and informational interest to the community. The purpose of this policy is to establish standards to ensure fair and consistent use of these spaces in a manner consistent with the Library’s mission.
The responsibility for approval of exhibits and displays rests with the Library Director or appointed designee of the Library Director. Decisions will be made based on factors such as adherence to guidelines, availability of space, relationship of material to the mission of the Library, display frequency, timeliness, size and quantity. Priority is given to Library exhibits and displays. Disputes regarding Library exhibits or displays should be directed to the Library Director.
A. All Public Forum Areas
- Victoria Public Library makes available to the community a browsing rack for handouts, three display cabinets, an exhibit wall, and a bulletin board in the lobby. The purpose of these areas is to increase public awareness of Library services and to showcase informational or artistic content created by the local community. When space is limited, preference is given to Victoria organizations.
- Displays, exhibits, handouts, and materials posted on bulletin boards are covered by the intellectual freedom policies of the Library. The Library and City of Victoria do not necessarily endorse the content of materials displayed. A disclaimer stating this will be placed in these areas.
- Political campaign materials are not accepted for display or distribution.
- Commercial advertisements selling products, merchandise, or services are not accepted for display or distribution.
- All handouts or materials for public forum areas must be evaluated for compliance with these guidelines and approved by the Library Director or designee. Unauthorized material may be discarded.
- The Library reserves the right to establish and amend further policies for public forum areas.
B. Browsing Rack Guidelines
- The Library reserves the right to limit quantities of materials accepted for handout. Items may be refused because of their size if at the time there is not sufficient available space.
- Materials that have been on the browsing rack more than four weeks may be removed and discarded to make room for newly submitted materials.
C. Bulletin Board Guidelines
- Notices of programs and activities designed as educational and cultural activities of interest to the general public will be given preference.
- Items on the public bulletin boards are generally not displayed for more than four weeks. The Library may remove and dispose of any materials that have been on display more than four weeks or which are no longer timely.
D. Display and Exhibit Guidelines
- Exhibits must be scheduled through the Information Desk and a Liability Release Form must be signed and returned.
- Exhibitors may be asked to supply samples, listing, or photos of items to be displayed in order to receive final approval.
- Library sponsored exhibits receive first priority.
- Exhibits shall be shown on a space available basis.
- Commercial exhibits are not accepted, and no exhibit may advertise materials for sale. Price information may not be displayed.
- Displays may be exhibited for no longer than four weeks unless a longer display period is approved by the Director.
- It is the responsibility of Exhibitor to set up and remove their display.
- No exhibit shall interfere with the operation of the Library or pose a physical hazard to Library patrons or staff.
E. Solicitation, Petitioning, or Distribution of Literature
- Personal distribution of literature and/or solicitation of library patrons and staff anywhere on library property without explicit, written permission from the Library Director or designee is prohibited.
Future Revisions 02-2023
Victoria Public Library acknowledges the importance of gifts and donations from individuals, foundations, corporations and community groups in enhancing our collections, programs, and services. This support ensures that Victoria Public Library continues to serve our community’s needs with excellence.
- The Victoria Public Library accepts gifts and donations with the understanding that they are subject to the same selection, evaluation and disposal criteria as material acquired through purchase. Once accepted, donations and gifts become the exclusive property of the library and are subject to all library rules, regulations and procedures.
- The library cannot guarantee that any gift will be part of the collection permanently and reserves the right to dispose of gifts as it deems appropriate.
- Acceptance of gifted materials does not imply that the materials will be added to the collection.
- Monetary gifts to the library are welcome and may be designated as memorials. The library encourages unrestricted monetary gifts as these allow the greatest flexibility in meeting the library’s needs.
- Donors may suggest subjects or titles to be acquired with their donation, but the library reserves the right of final decision.
- Monetary donations greater than $500 entitles the donor to Benefactor status with the Friends of Victoria Public Library. This includes a lifetime membership in Friends and the addition of the donor’s name to the library’s Benefactors’ plaque.
- If requested, the library will provide written acknowledgement of a gift or a monetary donation.
- Donations are tax deductible; however, federal tax regulations prevent library staff from placing a value on donated materials. It is the donor’s responsibility to establish fair market value or obtain expert assistance in establishing any value.
Library Advisory Board Approved 08-2018
Future Revisions 08-2022
Information Services Policy
The Victoria Public Library (VPL) provides information and reference services to assist its patrons in reaching educational, recreational, and professional goals. The purpose of this policy is to establish a uniform standard for the information and reference services provided to library patrons.
Information and reference services are available to all persons served by the library without discrimination. The request of each patron is taken seriously and treated with confidentiality. Service to the public at the Information Desk receives priority over any other duties.
In-person requests for service receive priority over telephone requests, followed by requests received by email, other electronic communication, and mail.
If several people are waiting for assistance, requests that are brief may be given priority over lengthy or complex questions. Information and reference service may also be limited according to the number of staff available to help and the level of staff technical expertise needed.
The amount of time devoted to a complex request is at the discretion of Information Desk staff. Library patrons requiring lengthy or involved research assistance should be given guidance on available resources and basic instruction on research methods.
Requests by Telephone
Telephone reference service is available for questions that require quick, factual answers. Telephone requests requiring lengthy research will be handled based on staff availability. Library patrons will be encouraged to come to the library to receive assistance with their research. During particularly busy times, it may be necessary to return the patron’s call. Library staff does not page or look for patrons in the building except in emergency situations. Staff may inquire into the nature of the emergency, if necessary.
Requests by Email, Other Electronic Communication, or Mail
Request by email, other electronic communication, or mail should be requests that require quick, factual answers and informational questions that do not require extensive reading or interpretation on the part of staff members. Email requests must include an email address for a reply.
Medical, Legal, and Tax Questions
Factual information, definitions, or citations from cited sources will be provided, but staff will not interpret or offer an opinion in legal, medical, or tax matters.
Student requests for assistance with school assignments will be given the same consideration as any other request. Staff will provide guidance to students to find appropriate resources and instruction on the use of those resources.
Staff will help patrons locate consumer product information and sources for objective consumer evaluations. The staff does not offer personal opinions, recommend items, brands, or interpret evaluation results.
Staff will refer patrons to appropriate reference sources. Staff members will never give personal appraisals regarding the value of a patron’s possession.
Staff will provide general assistance in genealogical research, guidance in locating items in the collection, and help in obtaining resources through interlibrary loan. Staff members should not conduct genealogical research for patrons.
Staff will refer patrons to sources with the appropriate formula or tables for performing their own calculations but will not perform the actual calculation.
Voting and Elections
Election issues will be answered as any other reference question. Staff may provide related information, such as printed brochures, newspaper clippings, position statements, etc., for important local, state, and national election issues. Staff will not summarize, interpret, or offer opinions regarding political issues.
Stock quote questions are treated as any other reference question. In order to avoid any misinformation over the telephone, patrons are encouraged to come to the library in person for stock quote information. Staff may provide patrons with appropriate Internet addresses for searching current or historical stock quotes.
Obituaries and Newspaper Reference
Staff will search for an obituary in the Victoria Advocate for patrons not able to visit the library in person if a date of death is provided. Staff will utilize the online search tool in the digitized version of the Victoria Advocate and/or microfilm and may refer customers to these resources in lieu of staff performing the search. Staff will not conduct extensive research if the date does not produce an obituary for the named person.
Technical Assistance with Devices and Electronic Library Resources
Staff will provide basic orientation to computer equipment and electronic resources available on the Library’s computers. Assistance with patron-owned devices will be limited to quick, factual answers. The amount of time devoted to a more complex request is at the discretion of the reference staff. Library patrons requiring lengthy or involved assistance should be given guidance on available resources and basic instruction on using their devices or library resources. Interactions requiring more complex assistance will be referred to the regularly scheduled technical help sessions or scheduled directly with library staff.
Patrons will be referred to more appropriate sources when it becomes clear that the request cannot be properly answered given the limitations of the library’s resources. Information Desk staff should refer to other agencies only when they are reasonably certain the answer can be found there. A referral to interlibrary loan is part of the library’s service.
Future Revisions 08-2022
Interlibrary Loan Policy
One of Victoria Public Library’s (VPL) goals is to provide a wide variety of library materials in various formats. Interlibrary loan (ILL) is the process by which a library requests material from (or supplies to) another library. ILL expands the range of materials available to VPL’s users without needlessly duplicating the resources of other libraries.
VPL respects and protects the privacy of all patrons requesting items through ILL. VPL staff will only relay information concerning requested items to the requesting patron (unless permission is given by that patron or it involves a parent/guardian checking on their child’s request).
Residents of Victoria, Goliad, DeWitt, Lavaca, Calhoun, Jackson, Refugio counties are allowed to use this service. Patrons residing in other Texas Counties, have an Out of State library card, or an Internet Only card do not have access to the Interlibrary Loan service and must contact their home library.
ILL Requests for VPL Patrons
Victoria Public Library is committed to ensuring patrons have access to the materials that they want and that this process shall be as easy as possible for them. Restrictions shall only be imposed as necessary and efforts will be made to seek new and better ways to improve access.
- ILL requests will not be made for items that are on order or owned by VPL unless the item is determined to be missing, in repair, or special circumstances require multiple copies.
- ILL requests must comply with U.S. Copyright Law.
- VPL patrons may request a variety of formats through ILL including:
- Music CDs
- Magazine/Journal Articles
- Video games
Loaning to other Libraries
Victoria Public Library does not lend the following formats to other libraries:
- New Materials (any recently published/released item that has been in our collection for less than 6 months)
- Non-circulating collections (Reference, Local History and Genealogy)
- Magazines/Newspapers (we will provide photocopies of articles within copyright limits)
Victoria Public Library does not loan to the following libraries:
- International Libraries
- Correctional Facilities
- Libraries not in good standing (excessive overdue, lost, and/or damaged items)
Victoria Public Library does not charge for ILL services, except for the following:
- Lost/Damaged Items (we do not charge processing fees for TexShare libraries)
- Photocopies over 50 pages at 10 cents per page.
- VPL may charge overdue fines for ILLs, consistent with VPL’s Circulation Policy for overdue fines.
- Patrons are not allowed to request further ILLs if their card is blocked.
- VPL may suspend lending privileges to VPL users and/or other libraries for one year if items are consistently returned late.
- Victoria Public Library currently loans items to other libraries for 6 weeks (no renewals).
- Borrowing loan periods from other libraries are for 4 weeks (no renewals).
- There is a limit of 10 ILL items at one time per library card.
- Per TexShare Interlibrary Loan and ALA’s Interlibrary Loan Code agreements, the requesting library is responsible for material from the time it leaves the supplying library until it is returned. If damage or loss occurs, the requesting library is responsible.
- Invoices for lost/damaged materials are sent to the borrowing library within 3 months. If payment is not received within 6 months of receiving notice, lending privileges will be suspended until payment is received.
- Victoria Public Library may suspend patron’s ILL privileges for one year if the patron consistently fails to return items or if items are returned damaged or late.
- VPL reserves the right to recall items and honors the right of other libraries to do so.
- Victoria Public Library abides by TexShare’s Interlibrary Loan Protocol and ALA’s Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States (see attachments).
- ILL request forms and correspondence will be kept for the current fiscal year (unless the item is still pending). Previous years will be shredded.
Library Advisory Board Approved: 11-2018
Future Revisions: 11-2021
Maker Equipment Policy
Victoria Public Library (“the library”) strives to give residents the opportunity to learn new skills and opportunities to share hobbies and interests by providing technology and work spaces to support these endeavors. One way the library does this is by providing maker equipment for residents to use.
Maker equipment refers to any library equipment used to create intellectual or physical materials. Maker equipment includes, but is not limited to, 3D printers, audio and video capture and editing tools, robotics kits and coding kits. It may also include traditional art and craft tools and kits. The library’s maker equipment may be used in a defined space where residents work collaboratively, alone and/or with library staff. This space may be referred to as the library maker space and residents who use the maker equipment may be referred to as makers.
Maker equipment may be used during library programs or by appointment if library procedure allows. Library programs have priority over appointments. Appointments are scheduled subject to the availability of trained library staff and maker equipment. Makers must adhere to library procedures on use of maker equipment. There is no fee to use maker equipment, however, a fee may be charged for supplies used by the equipment.
The library is not liable for personal injuries incurred while using maker equipment. The library is not responsible for damage, loss or theft of personal tools, equipment, or projects, nor is the library responsible if a project fails to print or render properly or does not function as anticipated. The library reserves the right to halt, delete and/or refuse the creation of material with library maker equipment that it believes:
- Prohibited by local, state or federal law
- Unsafe, harmful, dangerous, poses a threat to the well-being of others or the library environment
- Violates intellectual property rights
- Violates other library policies and/or procedures
- Incompatible with maker equipment
Library Advisory Board Approved: 06-2020
Future Revisions: 06-2023
Public Computer and Internet Use
The Victoria Public Library (VPL) offers public access to the Internet as a source of information and for educational and recreational purposes via designated public access computers and a wireless (Wi-Fi) network. Public access computers provide access to the Internet, databases licensed by VPL, and software programs licensed by the library that enable users to reach educational, recreational and professional goals.
- Internet Access
- A valid VPL card or Internet card is required to access the Internet using VPL public access computers.
- VPL reserves the right to set the amount of time and number of Internet sessions a user may have per day.
- VPL provides access to the Internet via a wireless network (Wi-Fi) for use with personal laptops and mobile devices.
- VPL’s network and equipment may not be used for illegal activity, to access illegal or obscene materials, or to display material that violates the provisions of sections 43.21, 43.22 and 43.24 of the Texas Penal Code which make display of obscene materials a criminal offense.
- All users are expected to use VPL’s Wi-Fi in a legal and responsible manner consistent with the educational, informational and recreational purposes for which it is provided.
- VPL’s policies and computer network systems comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Internet access on VPL computers and networks, including its Wi-fi network, is filtered. To address the special concerns raised by access to the Internet by minors, VPL has established a separate policy, the CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act) Internet Safety Policy.
- On personal laptops and devices, anti-virus, security, and privacy protection are the responsibility of the user.
- Users are responsible for having the proper hardware, software and network settings on their wireless device to connect to VPL Wi-Fi.
- VPL is not responsible for any theft, damage or misuse of personal laptops or mobile devices while in use in the library.
- VPL offers 2 filtering options to library cardholders for Internet access: maximum and minimum.
- For users under age 18, the parent or guardian responsible for the library card account chooses the filtering level.
- A user under the age of 18 may request an Internet-only card with maximum filtration.
- By default, all VPL public access computers are set to minimum filtration. Filtering may be enhanced by using a library card with maximum filtration. Filtering may be disabled for adults only for bona fide research or other lawful purpose.
- Filtered Internet access may not block all material that users might find offensive.
3. Public Access Computers
- Public access computers and scanner are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- VPL reserves the right to set the amount of time and number public access computer/scanner sessions a user may have per day.
- Use of the scanner is subject to U.S. Copyright law and users are responsible for using scanner in accordance with these laws.
- A user whose library card has expired or who has overdue fines and/or lost materials may not be eligible to use a public access computer or scanner.
- VPL will not release information on the use of specific resources by users except as required by law.
- VPL does not allow the storage of data, files, software or personal settings on library provided equipment. Public access computers and scanner do not allow the user to save documents or personal files or to install programs.
- VPL is not responsible for the privacy practices or security of any web sites accessed by users.
- VPL accepts no liability for any loss of privacy or data that users may experience, or any damage or harm arising from such loss.
- Users are prohibited from attempting to gain unauthorized access to restricted files or networks, or to damage or modify library-owned computer equipment or software.
- Printing is available from the VPL public access computers and scanner for a small fee. Users must have a valid VPL card or Internet card to print from the VPL public access computers and scanner.
- Printing is available from personal laptops and devices using the VPL Wi-Fi network for a small fee. Users must have a valid VPL card or Internet card to print from the Wi-Fi network.
- Printing is also available from mobile devices for a small fee. Users must have a valid VPL card or Internet card to print from mobile devices.
- Use of the printers is subject to U.S. Copyright law and users are responsible for using printed materials in accordance with these laws.
- Users violating these guidelines will be advised of the Library’s policy for ethical use and asked to comply. Users who violate these guidelines after previous warnings will be restricted from using the Library’s network and equipment. The Library reserves the right to prohibit violators from future access or use of the network and equipment. Illegal acts may subject violators to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities without warning.
- Users borrowing VPL laptops or tablets for in-library use must comply with the VPL Laptop and Tablet In-Library Checkout Agreement.
Library Advisory Board Approved 06-2020
Future Revision 06-2023
Meeting Room Policy
The Bronte Room and Computer Lab in the Victoria Public Library are available free to all non-profit groups engaged in education or cultural activities.
The Story Time Room may be available for small group study when not in use by the library.
All activities held in these rooms must be free and open to the public.
No admission fee or donation may be required or solicited from those attending meetings in the Library. The sale of an author’s book during a book signing event is allowed. Library sponsored events for the purpose of raising funds for the Library are allowed.
Library sponsored programs and training receive first priority and city or Library needs may preempt any scheduled event. If changes or cancellations are necessary, the Library will provide as much notice as possible.
Meetings will not be scheduled before or after Library hours. No member of the organization may enter the Library before it officially opens, and all participants must leave by the time the Library closes. Groups needing setup time for their meeting should allow for it in their reservation.
Meeting rooms are not available for private parties such as birthday parties, showers, or family reunions.
Use of the meeting rooms does not constitute endorsement, by the Library or City of Victoria, of the points of view expressed by the group.
The organization reserving the room is responsible for setting up for their meeting and returning the room to its original arrangement.
The individual or group that makes the reservation will be responsible for any damage to the room, carpet, equipment or furniture.
Organizations or groups wanting to use Library equipment in the meeting rooms must request permission for it use when applying for the room. A list of available equipment is included with the meeting room reservation form. Library staff may not be available for assistance with equipment the day of the meeting.
Refreshments may be served in the Bronte Room, but must be catered or brought in by the group along with all supplies and service pieces.
The Computer Lab furniture cannot be rearranged. No software may be installed on Computer Lab equipment. No magnets are allowed in the Computer Lab. No refreshments are allowed in the Computer Lab.
Meetings of individual under the age of 18 years must have an adult sponsor present.
Smoking products and use of tobacco are not permitted in the Library. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on Library property, except when provided by the library in conjunction with an event organized by the library.
Requests for use of the Bronte Room, Computer Lab or Story Time Room must be made in person or by fax/email by completing a Meeting Room Reservation Form. This form must be submitted to the Library Administrative Office one week in advance of the date requested and receive approval from the Library Director.
Advanced reservations may be made, but not earlier than 12 months prior to the event and only in the current calendar year.
Reservations by the same group may not be made more than 6 times in a calendar year. Library related events are exempt from this restriction.
The calendar opens on December 1 for scheduling in the next calendar year.
The Library Director and/or librarian in charge in responsible for the implementation and enforcement of this policy.
Any exception to the above state policy will be made only with the written permission of the Library Advisory Board.
Library Advisory Board Approved: 08-2019
Future Revisions: 08-2022
Library Confidentiality Policy
The freedom to read encourages responsible citizenship and open debate in the marketplace of ideas. The beneficial objectives of a free democratic society will be promoted if citizens have, and are assured that they have, the freedom to read and the opportunity to consider all types of information.
The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States protects free speech and free press. The constitution of the State of Texas provides that “no law shall ever be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press.” A corollary of those constitutional guarantees is the corresponding freedom to read what is written, hear what is spoken, and view other forms of expression without fear of intrusion, intimidation or reprisal. The guarantee of privacy for library users will help ensure this freedom.
Victoria Pubic Library (VPL) is a central resource where information and differing points of view are available. Library users are free to use the library and its materials and services without government, community or individual interference.
The VPL Confidentiality Policy is written pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act, Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code. The Texas Public Information Act makes confidential a record that would identify a person who uses library services or materials. VPL records that identify or serve to identify a person who requests, obtains or uses library materials or services are confidential and are excepted from required disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act.
VPL subscribes to the philosophies expressed in the American Library Association Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records and the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association and hereby incorporates them as a part of this policy.
Library records may generally be disclosed if:
1. The library determines that disclosure is reasonably necessary to the operation of the library and the records are not confidential under state or federal law.
2. The records are released to the responsible party for the library card account or to a person who has written permission from the responsible party.
3. The records are required under a valid court order or subpoena under the provisions of the Texas Public Information Act.
4. The records are required under a valid search warrant under the provisions of the U.S.A. Patriot Act or otherwise.
Privacy of the Borrower Record
VPL considers cardholder control of the library card to be the most effective privacy protection. How an individual cardholder or the responsible party for that cardholder chooses to use and share the card affects the degree of privacy that the library can provide for the library card account.
To support this choice, VPL will provide access to information associated with a valid library card account under the following circumstances:
- Presentation of the library card or, if by telephone, the library card number and the Personal Identification Number (PIN) permits access to information about the library card account.
- Presentation of the identification necessary to obtain the library card will permit full access to the library card account of the person named on the identification.
The library protects the privacy rights of the cardholder by allowing the responsible party to designate who has access to information about the library card account. This access includes retrieving and checking out items such as holds and interlibrary loans and the authority to perform transactions associated with materials, fines and fees and the library card account.
Privacy and the Recovery of Overdue Materials
The recovery of overdue materials may require a description of those materials. The library will provide information about subjects and/or titles loaned to the cardholder, the responsible party for the cardholder or to the person authorized on the library card application.
Library Advisory Board Approved: 05/2018
Future Revisions: 05/2021
Victoria Public Library is committed to providing excellent service. Using community volunteers allows the library to augment and enhance community engagement in the delivery of library services in Victoria.
Statement of Purpose:
Victoria Public Library shall use volunteers to:
- Supplement the efforts of paid library staff in meeting demands for quality public service and not replace the work done by paid library staff.
- Serve as a method for encouraging citizens to become familiar with their library and the services being offered.
- Staff or support fundraising activities sponsored by the Friends of Victoria Public Library.
- Anyone 12 years old or above may be considered for volunteer positions.
- Anyone interested in volunteering at Victoria Public Library must fill out a volunteer application form and submit it to the Administrative Office.
- Applications will be reviewed for possible matches with available volunteer opportunities, and the applicant may be asked to meet with a department supervisor who needs a volunteer.
- The library requires that the volunteer provide references or agree to a background check or both.
- If the department supervisor decides to accept an applicant for a volunteer position then that department supervisor will be the contact for all training, scheduling and questions about the position.
- Volunteers must comply with the same rules of conduct, ethical standards and confidentiality requirements that govern paid library staff.
- Nothing in this policy shall be deemed to create a contract between the volunteer and the Victoria Public Library or City of Victoria. Both the volunteer and the Victoria Public Library have the right to terminate the volunteer’s association with the Library at any time, for any reason, with or without cause.
Approved by Library Advisory Board: 11-2017
Future revision: 11-2020