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Hamilton Public Library Policies

Materials Selection Policy

The public library is the institution in our society which attempts to provide a diversity of viewpoints on a wide range of topics of interest, including political, social and religious ones--no matter how controversial or objectionable those ideas may be to some people. Because of this, the Hamilton Public Library chooses material representing different points of view, limited only by our selection criteria, budget, and the space in our facilities.

We support the Library Bill of Rights in providing free and open access to our materials for all age groups. Children are not restricted to particular areas of the Library. Our staff does not monitor the materials that children choose. The responsibility for the reading or viewing choices of children rests entirely with parents or legal guardians.  We do not monitor or criticize the selections of our adult/juvenile patrons but do accept and provide reading recommendations.

In considering which materials to place in the Library, we will not automatically include or exclude an item based on any of the following criteria:

  • race, religion, nationality or political views of an author
  • frankness or coarseness of language
  • controversial nature of an item
  • endorsement or disapproval of an item by any individual or organization in the community

We judge each book or other type of material on the basis of its overall content or style, not by isolated or random portions.

How We Decide What to Buy for the Library

Our Library Director is responsible for selecting and purchasing all materials for each library collection.  We purchase books- both fiction and non-fiction, audio/visual materials, magazines and reference materials for the following collections:  Adult, Young Adult, Juvenile and Youth/Easy Readers.  The Director consult various sources to determine the value of the material to the collection. The following criteria are considered when selecting materials:

  • reviews from professional journals, popular magazines and newspapers
  • expressed or anticipated patron demand
  • timeliness or permanence of the material
  • quality, accuracy or authenticity of materials
  • scope and depth of our present collection or the availability of materials at other libraries in the area
  • reputation or authority of the author or publisher
  • format and price of material as well as space available to house it
  • appropriateness to the interests and skills of the intended user

No single criterion is used to justify a purchase; the Director must consider all the criteria in reaching a decision.

How We Decide to Remove Books or DVDs from the Library

·         hasn’t been checked out within a year or more

·         is in bad condition, worn out, torn or scratched

·         have multiple copies

·         outdated information

·         challenged successfully for removal

How You Can Have a Say

Suggestions and donations from people in the community are encouraged and are given serious consideration. We want to hear from you and will let you know whether or not we can buy or accept the material. All material added to our collection by suggestion or gift must meet the same criteria as ordinarily used in choosing items.

From time to time, a person may be concerned about a particular book or other material in the Library. If a person wants us to reconsider material that is in our collection, a meeting with the Library Director is required and the request for removal is documented.  The Director then takes the patron-signed request to the Library Board where members are required to read the material and hold a “majority-rule” vote.  If the material is found offensive or otherwise inappropriate, the material will be removed from the library’s collection and catalog.

The Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background or views.
  6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 18, 1948. Amended February 2, 1961, June 27, 1967, and January 23, 1980, by the ALA Council.

For more information, contact the American Library Association.


Internet Access Policy


In response to advances in technology and the community standards, the Hamilton Public Library endeavors to develop collections, resources, and services that meet the cultural, informational, recreational, and educational needs of our community. It is within this context that the Hamilton Public Library offers access to the internet.


The Hamilton Public Library does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through the internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. The internet is a worldwide community with a highly diverse user population and it is your responsibility to use this resource wisely. Public computers can be viewed by anyone. There are no barriers that separate you and your viewing from the other library users.


Internet resources accessible through the Library are provided equally to all library users. Parents or guardians, not the Library or its staff, are responsible for the internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. Approval must be provided by a parent or guardian before a child under the age of 18 will be allowed to use the internet computers. Parents are advised to supervise their children’s internet sessions and must be in attendance if a child is under 13.


To be more specific:

·         You may access materials or information that you find offensive, inappropriate or controversial. Materials that are pornographic (section 573.010 RSMo) and can be viewed by minors (“minor” as term is defined by section 573.010 RSMo) are forbidden.

·         Not all sources on the internet provide accurate, complete, or current information. You need to be a good information consumer, questioning the validity of the information you find.


You may not always be able to go to the places on the internet that you want to visit. There are many reasons, among them:

·         There are too many internet visitors and the host computer has closed or limited access from the outside world

·         The database or resource is licensed to a particular institution, in which case you would need to be affiliated with the institution in order to get access

·         The host computer has changed its address or has closed down

·         The Library’s internet connection may be periodically and temporarily inoperable due to technical difficulties


Underage checking out of DVDs

 DVDs with a rating of R will not be checked out to children under the age of 17 without parent or guardian permission given in person to library staff.  All other DVD's are available to patrons under the age of 17 for check out.


Staff Assistance

We will be glad to assist you in accessing the internet and we will provide you with reference materials to aid you in your search. Library staff cannot provide in-depth training concerning the internet computer jargon, search strategies or personal computer use. Because of library scheduling, internet trained staff may not always be available.


      Guidelines for accessing the internet at the Hamilton Public Library


1.)    How to start:

·         Patrons need to check in at the circulation desk. All contracts must be signed by both child and parent/guardian if under 18 years of age. Children 13 years of age and younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while on the internet.

·         There is a one (1) hour time limit on the use of the equipment if others are waiting.

·         Review the screen upon beginning your session and report any problems immediately.


2.)    The rules:

·         You agree to take proper care of all hardware, software, documentation and all other equipment that are the property of Hamilton Public Library. At no time will you change the software settings, Windows setup, or move or delete icons, etc.

·         You may not install or use your own software programs on the Internet Access computer. Flash drives/jump drives and/or DVDs can be used on the computers but the library reserves the right to scan these disks for viruses. You are welcome to save information to a flash drive; however, the Library prohibits downloading information, including executable files, pictures and/or software without permission of the Librarian on duty. Software downloaded from the Internet may contain a virus that can infect the computers and library network.  The Hamilton Public Library is not responsible for damage to a patron's storage media or computer, or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from a patron's use of the library's computers.  Information you print may be picked up at the circulation desk at the cost of $.35 per page. We recommend that you are aware of the number of pages (print preview) before you hit the print key. You are responsible for all pages printed while you are using the computer.

·         Failure to observe any part of the above agreement may result in a suspension of your right to use the library’s computers.

·         In no event shall the Hamilton Public Library be liable for actual, incidental, or consequential damages arising from the use of any equipment or software.

·         You agree to observe all copyright laws. You agree not to duplicate any computer software or documentation.

·         No food or drink in the library

·         PLEASE use earbuds/headphones if usage requires sound

·         PLEASE silence cell phones and take all calls in the hall

·         All prints default to BLACK & WHITE – if you would like to print in color you must select COLOR before printing. If you need assistance, please ask the staff on duty.


Filming and Photography Policy


Public libraries are classified as “limited public forums,” which essentially recognizes that libraries have the ability to place “time, place, and manner” restrictions on speech and speech-related activities occurring on their property as long as the restrictions are both reasonable in nature and viewpoint neutral.


Filming and photography are allowed only to the extent that it does not interfere with the delivery of library services and is consistent with the Library's mission. All parties involved in filming and photography are expected to follow the Library’s policies.


Persons filming or photographing on library premises have sole responsibility for gaining all necessary releases and permissions from persons who are filmed or photographed. The Library undertakes no responsibility for obtaining these releases. Presence in the Library is not consent on behalf of patrons for use of their image or likeness by any third party.


Failure to obtain releases and permissions from persons being filmed or photographed will be deemed unacceptable behavior for purposes of enforcing the Library's policies.


Library staff shall terminate any photo session that violates Library policies or appears to compromise public safety, patron confidentiality, or security. Termination may occur at any time that the activities become basically incompatible with the normal activity of the Library's use, safety, and function.


News Media Filming and Photography


The Library has an open-door policy for news media photographers and reporters who are doing stories or projects that directly involve the Library and its programs, resources, and services. Advance authorization for such coverage must be obtained from the Library's Director.


The Library does not grant permission for news media to use its facilities for stories or projects that do not relate to the Library itself; The Library disallows using Library facilities as interview venues for unrelated stories and disallows access to Library patrons for opinion polls or interviews within its facilities.


Documentary-Type Filming and Photography for Publication or Broadcast


The Library permits photography and filming of its premises and activities when the use of such involves the Library directly, i.e. books, articles, or videos about the Library itself or the Library's position as a learning destination. Authorization must be obtained in advance from the Library's Director.


Research Photography


The Library permits research photography of its materials and resources within certain limitations. Researchers and journalists are responsible for obtaining their own permissions when photographing copyrighted material in the library.


Amateur Filming and Photography


Casual amateur photography and videotaping is permitted for patrons and visitors wanting a remembrance of their visit. The use of additional equipment such as lighting is not permitted. Amateur photographers have explicit responsibility for gaining all necessary releases and permissions from persons who are filmed or photographed.


Exterior Filming, Photography, or Other Recording.


Any person or entity taking video footage, taking photographs, or doing other audio or visual recording on Library grounds shall not do so in a manner that would impede the ingress or egress of any patrons, workers, or other visitors entering or exiting a Library building. Should such activity make ingress or egress impossible for any time that person shall be given verbal warning for trespassing and if such activity continues within 24 hours then written trespass notice shall be provided.


Patrons or other visitors shall not walk through, stand, congregate, or otherwise disturb outside landscaping areas for any purpose other than in emergency situations.


Hamilton Public Library

Sale of Surplus Property Policy

Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees & Effective:  


The Hamilton Public Library shall dispose of surplus property according to the following guidelines:

  1. No employee or board member may purchase any surplus item prior to it being made available to the general public.
  2. The Library Director shall be responsible for determining if an item is saleable.  The Library Director may properly dispose of non-saleable and or unusable items.  The Library Director shall report all sales or disposal of surplus items to the Library Board and reflect on the library’s listing of permanent inventory and fixtures.
  3. Property shall be made available for sale according to the following:


Per item Anticipated Value

Required Notification

Required Approval

Type of Sale

Under $250

Public notice in library

Library Director

Priced to sell

Over $250 - $999

Public notice in the main library, library web page, internet or local newspaper

Library Director

Open or closed bidding

Over $1,000

Public notice in the main library, library web page, internet or local newspaper

Library Board of Trustees

Open or closed bidding


  1. The library may, from time to time, hold mass sales of surplus items at a central location.  Public notice shall be placed in the library, or on the library’s web page, or on the internet through the library’s social media and/or in local papers as deemed appropriate.
  2. Withdrawn supplies and unneeded materials may be sold by the library and may be disposed of with the Director’s approval.
  3. This policy does not apply to sale or disposal of books and other library materials.
  4. Disposal of computers or computer related hardware or software surplus items must be approved by the Director.
  5. Revenue from the sale will be deposited into the general fund.
  6. The value of items to be sold will be established by open market comparison (such as eBay, NADA, Craigslist, etc.) of similar or like items.
  7. The Library Director will provide the Library Board of Trustees a once a year recap of all surplus items sold.