Approved by the Board of Trustees of the
St. Joseph Public Library on11/12/02.
ST. JOSEPH PUBLIC LIBRARY
GUIDELINES FOR PUBLIC SERVICES TO MINORS
The St. Joseph Public Library provides materials and services to an increasingly diverse constituency to meet a variety of needs: intellectual, educational, social, cultural, informational, and recreational.
In carrying out this mission, the library’s primary roles are those of popular materials library and reference library. Next in importance are the roles of children’s door to learning and formal education support center. (The eight potential roles for a public library are defined in Planning & Role Setting for Public Libraries: A Manual of Options and Procedures.)
A popular materials library features current, high-demand, high-interest materials in a variety of formats for persons of all ages. As a reference library our system aggressively provides timely, accurate, and useful information for users. In its role as a children’s door to learning, the library encourages youth to develop an interest in reading and learning through materials and services directed both to them and to their caregivers and educators. As a formal education support center, the St. Joseph Public Library assists students of all ages in meeting educational objectives established during their formal study.
In supporting the mission and the primary and secondary roles of the St. Joseph Public Library, the Board of Trustees endorses the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association.
The library holds that parents, guardians, or designated caregivers* at least 17 years of age are ultimately responsible for the oversight of the activities of minors in gaining access to library materials and services. Parents, guardians, or designated caregivers – and only parents, guardians, or designated caregivers – may restrict their minor children or those in their care – and only those minor children or those in their care – from access to certain library materials and services. Parents, guardians, or designated caregivers wishing to restrict access to library materials and services should so advise their minor children or those in their care. Accordingly, library staff will assist in the provision of materials and services which are appropriate under these circumstances. When requested by a parent or guardian, the borrower’s card of a minor may be restricted to the circulation of juvenile materials only.
A borrower’s card is available at no cost. Minors are also eligible to receive a library card. The parents or guardians of minors are responsible for making sure that materials checked out on minors’ cards are returned on time and in good condition.
* A designated caregiver of a minor in this context is an individual at least 18 years of age who has been charged by the parent or legal guardian with the care of the minor during a visit to a library facility. Examples could include a teacher, a daycare provider, or a babysitter.