Muenster Public Library

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Building Policies-Facilities and Grounds

Building Policies

     
A.      Hours of Operation
    
The Bettie M. Luke Muenster Public Library is open to the public each week on

Tuesday 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


B.     Holidays

The Library observes the following holidays when the dates conflict with regular business hours:

    New Year’s Day    Closed
    Memorial Day    Closed
    July 4th     Closed
    Labor Day    Closed
    Thanksgiving Day    Closed
    Christmas Eve    Closed
    Christmas Day    Closed
    New Year’s Eve    Closed

Although the library observes Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day and Veteran’s Day, the library will remain open.

C.    Inclement weather and other closings

The Director is responsible for closing the library due to unhealthy conditions, unsafe conditions, or other emergencies.  When the decision to close is made, the Director will notify the President of The Friends of the Muenster Public Library, and all employees and volunteers affected.

During inclement weather, the time opening will depend on the storm.  If weather conditions are severe, the library will not open. The Bettie M. Luke Muenster Public Library does not necessarily follow the same closings as the area schools.

D.    Display Issues

Exhibit and display space is primarily reserved for the purpose of highlighting the Bettie M. Luke Muenster Public Library collections, services, and events. However, as an educational and cultural institution and as part of its public service, the library welcomes exhibits and displays by non-profit, non-commercial organizations which are considered to be connected with the library’s goal of serving the cultural and civic needs of the community; and individuals who wish to mount non-commercial exhibits of art works, handicrafts, or collections.   The library provides diverse information and ideas through the use of these materials in designated areas. The library reserves the right to refuse or remove any display, notice or handout which does not comply with these policies and guidelines.  Display cases, bulletin boards and areas where handouts may be placed are also needed to publicize library and library related programs, activities, services, materials, and to post required legal notices.  Priority shall be given to those needs.

Prohibited uses and practices-Library display facilities may not be used to promote or advertise a commercial product or service; to urge support of or opposition to any political candidate; or to urge support of or opposition to any religion or religious belief.  Materials urging support of or opposition to candidates for office or to issues on the ballot are prohibited.  Materials that a reasonable person would believe to be an endorsement of religious beliefs by the library are also prohibited.  No material which is obscene, defamatory, invades a particular person’s privacy, or directly incites violence may be posted or displayed. Prices may not be affixed to any material on display, although an exhibitor’s name, address and telephone number may be posted.  Material and equipment which, in the opinion of the Director, are potentially dangerous to library users, staff, or property, may not be brought into any area of the library.

Sponsorship and endorsement-Use of library space by any organization or individual for display or related activities does not constitute library sponsorship of the organization or individual or the viewpoints or activities they are promoting.  Advertisements or announcements that either directly or indirectly imply otherwise shall not be permitted. Any situation not specifically covered here will be resolved by the Director.

Appeal process:  Decisions by the Library Director to refuse or remove a display, notice or handout may be appealed.  Such an appeal must be made in writing to The Friends of the Muenster Public Library Board no more than fourteen (14) days after formal notification of the Library Director’s decision is received.  After the written appeal is received, the Board President will appoint a committee to review the material.  This committee will make its recommendation to the Board within thirty (30) days, and the Board will make a determination about the appeal.

The Bettie M. Luke Muenster Public Library endorses the American Library Association’s Exhibit Spaces and Bulletin Boards: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, adopted by the ALA Council, July 2, l991; amended June 30, 2004 (See Appendices).

1.    Bulletin boards

In its role as a center of community information the Bettie M. Luke Muenster Public Library supports the free flow of information and exchange of ideas. Approval of all bulletin board announcements rests with the Director or appointed designees.  Unapproved materials will be disposed of at the Director’s discretion.

Materials may be provided by the library or other nonprofit organizations, community groups, or government agencies. Bulletin board space is available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individual groups requesting the service provided they meet the guidelines above. Posting of materials by the library does not necessarily indicate the Library’s endorsement of the ideas, issues, or events promoted by those materials.

Limitations
a.    Bulletin board material may be limited by object size.
b.    Only one copy of the notice is permitted.
c.    Material cannot be placed on top of another display item and must maintain a neat and orderly appearance.
d.    Material will be removed once the event has occurred or at the end of each calendar month.  The library will not be responsible for saving notices or posters.
e.    Each piece of material must be dated, include a sponsorship line, i.e., name of organization, group, agency, or individual, and a telephone number.
f.    Materials that support or oppose any current or pending ballot measure or political candidate may not be posted. The library is not intended to be a forum for the support or opposition of political candidates or ballot measures.

2.    Exhibits

Library exhibits are provided to assist patrons in their exploration of educational, cultural, and civic activities. Exhibit spaces are available to organizations and individuals engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual, charitable and other activities of interest. The exhibits incorporate library materials whenever possible, as a means of informing users of the range of library resources and services.  The library endeavors to offer exhibits of diverse subject matter for children, adults, and families.  The library reserves the right to ensure that all use of exhibits meets the intent set forth in the Mission Statement and the American Library Association’s Exhibit Spaces:  An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (See Appendices).

Exhibit spaces are not intended for ongoing exhibits.  Scheduling will be limited to a maximum of two calendar months to ensure equitable access to the space for the entire community.  Applicants should be prepared to submit samples or slides of their work for preview.

Each exhibitor is responsible for installation and removal of the exhibit at the end of the reserved period.  Failure to remove the exhibit within twenty-four hours may result in an assessment of fees incurred by the Library for removal or storage.

Exhibitors are responsible for any damage to Library property in the mounting or removal of the exhibit.  The Library may assess charges for damage.

The exhibit will include a clearly visible sign to identify the organization or individual responsible for the exhibit, as well as title cards and labels.  A brief, typed statement should be prepared for each exhibit describing the background, philosophy, and purpose of the individual or group. 

The library does not assume liability or responsibility for materials exhibited in the Library.  Each exhibitor is responsible for insurance coverage of the exhibit.

No admission fees will be charged at any Library exhibit, except fundraising to benefit the Library.  No exhibit item may be sold on Library property.


3.     Brochures and pamphlets

The Library maintains a brochure rack for the purpose of passive distribution of library, community, or service information and materials of educational or cultural interest. Passive distribution means leaving the materials for patrons if they so choose, to review and/or take with them.  All materials for distribution must be submitted for approval by the Director.  The Library distributes free materials such as community pamphlets, flyers, calendars, newsletters, and other information for public awareness and convenience. The Library acts as a distribution point for information which city, county, state, and federal government agencies wish to disseminate. Educational, cultural, and job search information will also be distributed. Materials produced strictly for the purpose of selling merchandise, or for advertising for-profit services or personal items will not be accepted.

Because of space limitations, materials will be distributed in the following priority:
a.    Bettie M. Luke Muenster Public Library and North East Texas Library System publications
b.    City of Muenster and Cooke County and Montague County government publications
c.    State of Texas, federal government publications
d.    Civic, recreational, cultural, and educational publications

The Library reserves the right to limit or prohibit distribution of materials which represent a threat to the health or safety of patrons. The Library also reserves the right to dispose of materials which are dated, have been displayed for a reasonable period, and space is needed for other material. Materials left for distribution without authorization from the Director will be discarded.

Distribution of materials is provided on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups.  Although space is provided, no endorsement of the viewpoints expressed in these materials found in the Library is implied.

E.     Solicitation

The Library does not allow the sale of goods or service by members of the public in the library building, on the grounds, or in the parking areas.  The only merchandising activities permitted are Library sponsored sales or activities. Any similar activities by other organizations or individuals are prohibited unless specifically authorized by The Friends of the Muenster Public Library Board Members.

The public may not solicit money or donations in the library, nor place a receptacle/collection box in the Library.  Displays, notices and handouts announcing fund-raising programs and activities will be permitted, provided the requirements stipulated in this policy are met.

Individuals and/or organizations are prohibited from asking patrons to sign a letter or petition as it is not consistent with the Library’s passive distribution policy.

F.     ADA Guidelines

The Bettie M. Luke Muenster Public Library endeavors to make its services, facilities, and programs as accessible as possible to the public, including those who have disabilities. The Friends of the Muenster Public Library Board is committed to meeting the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act:  Public Law 101-336.  The ADA prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government service, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.

The Library offers parking spaces, sidewalk access, restroom facilities, and an employee sink for those who have disabilities.

G.    Use of the Library’s Meeting Room

1.  AVAILABILITY

The Muenster Public Library’s Meeting room is available to non-profit organized groups.

Groups may not use the room for meetings more than once every 30 days without prior approval from the Director, except for Library related meetings, or meetings of City Boards or Committees.

The Meeting Room is available during regular Library hours or by special arrangement with the Director.  Hours of scheduling shall include that total time involved in the meeting, from the time the organization required the room for assembling or other purposes to the time the room is vacated.

2. APPLICATIONS

Request for the use of the Meeting Room shall be made not more than ninety (90) days in advance.  The application form shall be filled out and signed by an official representative of the group.

Application may be rejected and previously granted permission may be withdrawn at the discretion of the Muenster Public Library Board or the Library Director for violation of the Meeting Room rules or conduct inconsistent with its policies.

3. RULES FOR USE

The size of the groups using the room shall not exceed more than 28 people.

The room shall be left in a neat, clean, and orderly condition.  If not, the group will be given notice that continued offense will result in its being denied access to the Meeting Room.

Smoking is prohibited in the Meeting Room.

The preparation or serving of meals or snacks must be approved by the Library Director.

No portable heating or cooling devices are allowed in the Meeting Room.

Any use of electrical outlets in the Library must be pre-approved by the Director.

Keys to the Meeting Room may be obtained from the Library Director, and must be returned immediately after use.  The Meeting Room will remain locked except when in use.

At the Director’s discretion, a reservation fee of $15.00 may be required at the time permission for the use of the room is granted.  This deposit will be returned to the applicant, dependent upon the condition and cleanliness of the room after its use.  The person reserving the room is responsible for the condition of the room and its contents.

Teachers may reserve the Meeting Room free of charge to facilitate working with a class engaged in a special research project.

4.  REFRESHMENTS

Only light refreshments may be served in connection with a meeting, but in no event shall alcoholic beverages of any nature be served or permitted in the Meeting Room.  The room must be left clean, including any kitchen equipment used.  The user is responsible for all table and chair arrangements.

5.  LIABILITY

Granting permission for the use of the Meeting Room does not imply the endorsement of the Muenster Public Library Director or Staff.  The Library cannot be responsible for loss or damage to exhibits or personal property left in the Meeting Room.  Neither the Library Board nor the City of Muenster will be responsible for any accident or injury incurred during the use of the Meeting Room.

H.    Emergencies and Disasters

In the event of an emergency or disaster, the primary concern is for the safety of patrons and staff.  The following procedures will be observed:

1.  Accident
In the event of an accident involving a patron or a staff member, determine if it is serious enough to require the assistance of professional medical care.  If so, call 911. The Director is to be notified immediately of all accidents.

An accident report is to be completed for each accident that occurs on library premises.   The date, time, place, nature and circumstances are to be included.  Whenever possible, photographs should be attached to the accident report.

2.  Bomb threat, fire, and toxic fumes
Evacuate the building (procedure below), call 911, and notify the Director.

3.  Evacuation procedure:
a.    Announce the evacuation verbally. Ask everyone in the building to remain calm and walk to the nearest exit.
b.    Notify emergency assistance by calling 911 or other appropriate emergency number.
c.    If possible, check the restrooms and other areas for patrons/staff.
d.    Move the crowd away from the building.
e.    Be prepared to direct emergency assistance to the exact location of the emergency.

4. Death or severe medical problem:
Do not presume that a death has occurred.  Summon an ambulance and notify the Director.

5.  Drug and psychiatric emergencies
Don’t argue with anyone who appears to be experiencing a drug or psychiatric crisis. Call 911.

6. Fire
Evacuate the building, then call 911. 

7. Severe weather
In case of severe weather, all patrons and staff members will be sent home, and the library closed if time allows. In case of unexpected severe weather, such as a tornado, all patrons and staff members should seek shelter in the Women’s bathroom.