Library Policies

Current Policies Approved by the Sparta Public Library Board of Trustees

on Dec. 3, 2007

 Reference Services Policies

Reference service and access to the reference collection are available to all library patrons regardless of age, residency or purpose of inquiry.

    1. Homework/School Assignments
        Homework is intended to be a learning experience for the student.  The help provided is dependent on the nature and purpose of the assignment, the difficulty of the search, and the age and sophistication of the student.  As appropriate, staff will assist students to find sources, instruct them in the use of the sources, and assist in the search.

Telephone Policies

A telephone line is provided for library business.  Personal calls should be kept at a minimum.  No personal long distance calls are allowed.

    1. Telephone Requests
        A maximum of three books; newspaper or magazine articles per phone call will be checked for availability, when the caller can provide information so that the item may be checked quickly.  When the caller cannot provide adequate information, staff will encourage the caller to come to the library to be assisted in locating the specific item desired.  Reference staff will not read lengthy lists or long passages of statistics, technical medical or legal information to the caller.  Staff will request that the caller visit the library personally to see or make copies of the information personally to ensure that accurate information is obtained.

    2. Homework/School Assignments
        In regard to homework and school assignments, if the inquiry is factual and can be answered quickly, the answer may be given by telephone.  If an extensive search is required, the student is encouraged to visit the library, where assistance will be offered.

Patron Conduct Policies

The Sparta Public Library is dedicated to providing access to knowledge and information through reading, writing, and quiet contemplation, providing patrons the right to use materials and services without being disturbed or impeded, and providing patrons and employees a secure and comfortable environment. The Illinois Public Library Act provides the Board of Library trustees with the general power to carry out the spirit and intent of the Act in establishing and maintaining the library and providing library services and specific power to “exclude from the use of the library any person who willfully violates an ordinance or regulation prescribed.”

The Board of Library Trustees of Sparta Public Library establishes its conduct ordinance as follows:

Section 1

     A patron who engages in any activity which disrupts the use of library facilities, collections, or services by patrons or materially disrupts the ability of the staff to perform its duties shall cease such activity immediately upon request by the library personnel.

Section 2

     In such instances involving minors, identification will be requested and the incident may be reported to the parent or guardian.

Section 3

If, following a request, the patron fails or refuses to comply or respond to the request in an abusive fashion, he or she will be required to leave the library premises immediately for the balance of the day. If he or she fails to leave, the police will be summoned.

Section 4

     Library will record instances in which patrons are required to leave the library in a ledger maintained by the library for that purpose. Upon 3 recorded instances in which a patron is required to leave the library premises within a thirty-day period, the Director shall bar the patron from use of library premises for a period of thirty days. After the first recorded instance in which a minor is required to leave the library, parents or guardian of said minor will be notified in writing and advised of the consequences of any further recorded instances.

Section 5

     Parents wishing to appeal such action may do so upon written request to the Board of Library Trustees.

Section 6

     In the event a patron barred from the use of the library attempts entry to the library during any such period of exclusion, the police will be summoned and informed of the prior action.

Section 7

     In the event the patron persists in abusive conduct or disruptive behavior following such a period of exclusion, the Director shall report to the Board of Library Trustees such conduct following prior exclusion and the Board will consider a long-term exclusion of that patron.

Section 8

     No food or drinks are allowed in the library. Smoking is prohibited.

Section 9

     This policy shall take effect immediately upon enactment and approval according to law and be in full force and effect thereafter. A copy shall be posted within three days of enactment at the library and the secretary shall maintain a certified copy in the official records of the library available for public inspection.

Unattended Children Policies

The Sparta Public Library staff and board trustees welcome children of all ages to use the library’s materials and services. The responsibility for the care, safety, and behavior of children lies with the parents and/or caregiver.

An unattended child is defined as a child who is 9 years of age or younger and is left unsupervised at the library.

A child who is under the age of 6 should never be left alone in the library even for a short period of time.

Children between the ages of 6 and 9 need not be in the immediate presence of a parent or caregiver, but the parent or caregiver of the child must be somewhere in the building.


  1. Child under the age of 6A small child who is left unattended will be taken to the library’s information desk while the child’s parent/caregiver is located. Once the responsible parent/caregiver is located, the library’s policy will be explained. If a responsible parent/caregiver is not located, then the staff will contact the police.
  2. Child age 6-9:  Parents/caregiver will be notified by staff via phone that it is unacceptable to leave a child unattended in the library and the policy will be explained. If the child continues to be left at the library unattended, the staff member will notify the police.
  3. If a child 9 years old or younger is left unattended and the responsible parent/caregiver cannot be located within a 15 minute search by library staff, the police will be called. Under no circumstances, will staff transport children.
  4. After Hours: Unattended children should be asked 15 minutes before closing if they have a ride. If a parent/caregiver can not be located, then the police will be called. Two staff members will stay with the child until the parent/caregiver or the police arrive. For each incident that a child is left unattended and the police are notified, a registered letter will be sent home to parents stressing the library’s concern for the safety of the child and the importance of prearranging rides.
  5. An incident report will be completed and kept on file for each instance a child is left unattended.

Cell Phone Usage Policies

In order not to disturb fellow library users and to protect users’ confidentiality, the Sparta Public Library staff and board of trustees ask that cell phones and beepers be turned off or put in silent mode when using the library.  If you need to use your cell phone, we ask that you move to the library’s outer foyer. 

Texting is allowed within the library as long as the user’s phone is not disruptive to others.

Habitual abuse of the cell phone policy will result in termination of library privileges including checking out of items, interlibrary library loan privileges, and computer use being suspended for an amount of time determined by the library’s director and board of trustees.

Disabled Patron Policies

All reasonable efforts will be made to see that library service is available to any disabled patron.

Programs & Services Policies

1. Story Hour 

        Story Hour is provided by the library for children 5 & under. The Story Hour program runs from September through May.  The Head Librarian is responsible for the type of program presented.  Volunteers and Staff may assist as needed.

    2. Summer Reading Program
        The summer reading program is provided by the staff for children in preschool (3 years of age) through the 8th grade.  The format of the program is based on Illinois Library Association materials.  Incentives and special programs are provided within budget constraints.

    3. Facsimile Service
        Facsimile Service is available to the public.  The cost is $2.00 per page.

    4. Computer and On-line Access Policy

As part of its mission to provide current technology and electronic information resources, the staff and library board have worked together to develop the following policies and procedures to help insure quality computer/Internet service to the patrons of the Sparta Public Library.


  • Computers are available on a first-come, first-serve basis for a total of 60 minutes one time per day. However, computers may be reserved for a specific time for research/training/homework purposes. If an appointment cannot be kept, the library staff must be notified immediately. If appointments are habitually cancelled by patron, the director and staff reserve the right to suspend making appointments for said patron.
  • In order to maximize the availability of computers to all patrons, computer usage is limited to one time per day per user.
  • Resident & Non-Resident Users:  To access the Internet or other software applications, users must enter their Sparta Public Library card number and PIN number.
  • Reciprocal Borrowers:  For those users that are reciprocal borrowers (valid library users form other Illinois libraries), may use computers by presenting their home library card. As long as reciprocal borrowers are in good standing with their home library and the Sparta Public Library, they may obtain a guest pass to use the Internet or other on-line resources. Guest passes limit users to 60 minutes per day. No prorated allowances are made for using less than 60 minutes.
  • One-time Visitor Passes:  Users, who do not possess a Sparta Library Card or a library card from another Illinois library, may be issued a one-time guest pass. Visiting users will be required to sign-in at the informartion desk. Guest passes limit users to 60 minutes per day. No prorated allowances are made for using less than 60 minutes.
  • Net 10 Cards:  For individuals who may be visiting Sparta for a short-term period, the library does allow individuals to purchase time to access the computer/Internet. Individuals may purchase a “NET 10” card for $10. This allows the individual to use the library’s computers on 10 different occasions in accordance with the above listed policies.
  • Internet Express:  Visiting patrons and patrons who have already utilized their 60 minute time limit are encouraged to use the library’s Internet Express computer. Patrons ages 17 and above are welcome to use the Internet Express for 10 minutes to check e-mail and surf the Internet briefly. This terminal is first come, first serve. Please be courteous if someone is waiting.Printing is not allowed on the Internet Express terminal.
  • Since the library is dedicated to lifelong learning, users may be able to use computers and Internet services for longer than one hour per day, depending on availability and if the patron is using the computer for homework, job force training, or searching for a job. In order to reserve a computer, patrons must make arrangements with staff prior to sitting down at the computer.Extended computer use is up to the discretion of the library director and staff.
  • Any library patron with overdue fines in excess of $2.00 will lose his/her computer/Internet privileges.
  • No more than two people may work at one computer at the same time. No lounging, looking on, or socializing will be permitted around the computers.
  • Filtering:  A filter has been installed on all public access terminals. This gives the library the flexibility to select Internet content using the same criteria applied as collection development guidelines for other materials. A filtering device does not replace a parents’/guardians’ responsibility to supervise what is appropriate content for minors to access over the internet. The library is not held accountable for information viewed or downloads from the Internet. A filter is not always effective in blocking access to materials in violation of the library’s Internet policy. If an individual is 18 or older, the filter may be disabled.
  • The library staff may assist the patron in how to start the Internet browser, and other basic functions of our particular Internet system. The computer stations are intended for patrons with prior knowledge and some experience using the Internet.
  • Computers are NOT to be TURNED OFF or RE-BOOTED by patrons. Library staff must be notified immediately if there are any problems.
  • NO information can be saved on the library’s hard drive. In the event information is saved on the hard drive, it will be erased by the librarian. Users may download or save to their own thumb drive; thumb drives can be purchased at the information desk for $5.00.
  • Printing Cost:  Patrons are allowed to print documents. Black and white printouts are 30 cents per page. Color printouts are 50 cents per page. Patrons must prepay before printing.
  • In order to avoid technical difficulties and tampering with equipment, patrons can NOT bring their own printing supplies in to be used with the library’s printers. The library does sell resume paper and business card cardstock. The cost is 25 cents per page.
  • Due to the network security loaded on each computer, patrons are unable to load any software or listen to music CD’s.
  • Internet Use by Children:  All students who are age 16 and under are required to have a signed parental permission slip on file with the library. Parents must sign the form in person and provide photo identification for verification purposes.
  • Any student age 17 or under found accessing pornographic material will lose his/her Internet privileges for a minimum of 6 months.
  • The library does not censor or endorse the viewpoints found within information accessed through the Internet. Information on the Internet changes constantly and Internet users must be aware that not all of the information found on the Internet is current, accurate or comprehensive.

    5. Photocopy Machine
        The Sparta Public Library will provide photocopy services within copyright guidelines for library patrons and the general public.  The cost per copy will be 50 cents per single-sided copy and $1.00 per double-sided copy.
        The employee working at the desk will be responsible for making copies.  If the library is extremely busy, and the photocopy request is time consuming, the patron may be asked to make arrangements to pick up the photocopied materials at a later date.

       6. Patron Complaints

        All complaints regarding the presence or absence of any library material will be referred to the Head Librarian who will discuss the matter with the complainant.  If not satisfied, the patron is requested to state his/her objections in writing on a form which will be provided by the library.  After the form is filled out and returned to the librarian, the complaint and the materials in question will be brought before the Library Board at its next regular meeting for consideration.  A reply will be made to the patron within thirty days of the meeting.  Material objected to will remain in the active collection unless otherwise decided by the Library Board.

        7. Other Complaints

            All other complaints can be referred to the Head Librarian who will discuss the matter with the person making the complaint and will take the action she feels is appropriate; If the action taken is not satisfactory to the complainant, the issue will be turned over to the Library Board.

Sparta Public Library Internet Safety Policy


It is the policy of the Sparta 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.

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 Sparta Public Library’s 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

It shall be the responsibility of all members of the Sparta Public Library staff to 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.

Procedures for the disabling or otherwise modifying any technology protection measures shall be the responsibility of the Director or designated representatives.


This Internet Safety Policy was adopted by the Board of the Sparta Public Library at a public meeting, following normal public notice, on October 3, 2016.

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 a 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.

Circulation Policies

Library Cards

Effective September 25, 2007, the Sparta Public Library began circulating as members of the Shawnee Library System, now known as the Illinois Heartland Library System’s SHARE automation system.  All library users are required to obtain a library card.  The library card entitles library users in good standing to all services offered by the library including check-out items from the library’s collection and use of the library’s computers.  Additionally, the library card provides users with security in protecting their circulation records.

1.     Resident Card

Residents within the corporate city limits of Sparta and non-residents who pay taxes on property located within the corporate city limits are eligible to receive library services and obtain a library card without any additional fee.  Application for a library card requires proof of identification and proof of residency.  Examples of identification and proof of residency include:  Driver Licenses, Illinois Identification Card, piece of mail listing the user’s street address, and/or tax bill.  A local reference is required and a copy of proof of identification will be attached to application card. This adult assumes full responsibility for the return or payment of lost or damaged books or other library materials.  For their security, patrons must have a library card to withdraw materials from the library.  This card is not transferable, and patrons are responsible for all loans charged to the card.

The librarian reserves the right by the Board of Trustees’ directives to refuse or suspend service to any person who does not comply with library policy, who has unpaid fines over $2.00, or for other known misuses of library privileges.  There are no extensions to the expiration date of a library card.

2.     New Patrons

New patrons must complete an application form and show proper proof of both identification and residency. Examples of identification and proof of residency include:  Driver Licenses, Illinois Identification Card, piece of mail listing the user’s street address, and/or tax bill.  A local reference is required and a copy of proof of identification will be attached to application card. This adult assumes full responsibility for the return or payment of lost or damaged books or other library materials.  For their security, patrons must have a library card to withdraw materials from the library.  This card is not transferable, and patrons are responsible for all loans charged to the card.

The librarian reserves the right by the Board of Trustees’ directives to refuse or suspend service to any person who does not comply with library policy, who has unpaid fines over $2.00, or for other known misuses of library privileges.  There are no extensions to the expiration date of a library card.

New patrons may check-out only 2 items for the first three months.  New patrons are ineligible for interlibrary loan service, but in some rare cases, items may be ordered and viewed in the library.  New patrons, who have demonstrated that they are responsible and return items in a timely manner without fines, may have their account reviewed by the library’s director.  The director may increase the number of items available for check-out.

3.     Children’s Library Cards

Children under the age of 18 must have parents or legal guardian sign library application card, in person, at the library’s information desk.  Additionally, parents wanting their children to have internet access must sign an Internet Access Application in person, at the information desk.  The parent and child assume full responsibility for the return or payment of lost or damaged books or other library materials.  For their security, patrons must have a library card to withdraw materials from the library.  This card is not transferable, and patrons are responsible for all loans charged to the card.

The librarian reserves the right by the Board of Trustees’ directives to refuse or suspend service to any person who does not comply with library policy, who has unpaid fines over $2.00, or for other known misuses of library privileges.  There are no extensions to the expiration date of a library card.

4.     Non-Resident Cards

Persons outside the corporate city limits of Sparta may obtain library privileges by paying an annual non-resident fee of $63 per family.  Application for a library card requires proof of identification and proof of residency.  Children between the ages of 10-16 may obtain a card, but the parent or guardian needs to sign the application in person. Examples of identification and proof of residency include:  Driver Licenses, Illinois Identification Card, piece of mail listing the user’s street address, and/or tax bill.  A local reference is required and a copy of proof of identification will be attached to application card. This adult assumes full responsibility for the return or payment of lost or damaged books or other library materials.  For their security, patrons must have a library card to withdraw materials from the library.  This card is not transferable, and patrons are responsible for all loans charged to the card.

The librarian reserves the right by the Board of Trustees’ directives to refuse or suspend service to any person who does not comply with library policy, who has unpaid fines over $2.00, or for other known misuses of library privileges.  There are no extensions to the expiration date of a library card.

 5.     Reciprocal Borrower’s Card

The Sparta Public Library will honor borrowing privileges of patrons from other cities and library districts who are members of the Illinois Heartland Library System.  Reciprocal patrons must bring a card from their home library that includes the patron’s name, library number, and expiration date.  The library staff reserves the right to call non-SILNET libraries within the Illinois Heartland Library System to see if the patron is in good standing with their home library.  Once the reciprocal patron brings in their home library card and is determine to be in good standing, then the library staff will place a barcode on the back of their library card in order to check out items from the collection.  Reciprocal borrowers may check out up to 5 items.  Additionally, reciprocal borrowers may use the library computers by obtaining a visitor pass from the library’s information desk.  Reciprocal borrowers may not receive interlibrary loan privileges. Reciprocal borrowers will assume full responsibility for the return or payment of lost or damaged books or other library materials.  For their security, patrons must have a library card to withdraw materials from the library.  This card is not transferable, and patrons are responsible for all loans charged to the card.

The librarian reserves the right by the Board of Trustees’ directives to refuse or suspend service to any person who does not comply with library policy, who has unpaid fines over $2.00, or for other known misuses of library privileges.  There are no extensions to the expiration date of a library card.

6.     Replacement Fees for Lost/Stolen Library Cards

 A replacement fee of $5.00 will be charged for any lost/stolen library cards.  In the case of stolen library cards, this fee may be waived if a police report is presented to the library director for review.  In the event of a lost or stolen card, the library user is responsible for notifying the library immediately.  Until the library is notified of a lost or stolen card, a library card is valid and its owner is responsible for all use of the card and for any lost or overdue materials and fees incurred.  In order to obtain a replacement library card, the library user needs to produce valid identification.

 7.     Schedule of Loan Periods

Normal loan of materials owned by the Sparta Public Library are for a period of two weeks.  Materials borrowed from other libraries have various loan periods and some may have charges attached.

Circulation Regulations

1.     Overdues

A fine of 20 cents per day per item is charged for materials returned after the date due, with Sundays, holidays, and anytime the library is closed excluded.  Patrons who have fines in excess of $2.00 will be unable to check out any more items or use the library’s computers until they are returned and fines are paid in full.

2.     Reserve/Hold Items

Resident and Non-Resident patrons may place their own holds/reserves on items from our library or other libraries within the Illinois Heartland Library System using their home/office computers and visiting the library’s online catalog at Books and other materials may also be obtained by resident and non-resident users by requesting materials in person or by phone.

Replacement Prices of Library Materials

Fines are charged at 20 cents per day up to the price of the item.  Thereafter, the price of the book plus $5.00 are levied on all lost or long overdue books.  A patron cannot expect reimbursement of monies if a lost book is found, since the library has been without the use of the book and the employees’ time and notification expense must be met.

Interlibrary Loan Policies

Illinois Heartland Library System and OCLC Members

The Sparta Public Library is committed to participating in interlibrary loan, both as a lender and borrower.  Interlibrary loan does not relieve a local library of the responsibility to develop its own collections, but rather serves as a means of overcoming the information limits inherent in a given collection.

Interlibrary loan service is available to both Resident and Non-Resident library users.  Reciprocal users must return to their home libraries to receive interlibrary loan service.

The library staff will make every attempt to obtain materials thru the Illinois Heartland Library System’s SHARE automation system, I-Share, and OCLC.  SHARE, I-Share, and OCLC provide users the ability to obtain materials regionally, statewide, and worldwide. 

Due dates may be set by the lending library.  Materials are the responsibility of the patron until the item is return in proper condition to the Sparta Public Library.  Patrons will be charged for lost or damaged items.  These fees will be set by the lending library. 

New patrons are ineligible to receive interlibrary loan service for 6 months; however, in certain situations, items may be ordered and viewed in-house by new patrons.

Meeting Room Policies & Regulations

The meeting room of the Sparta Public Library has been provided so that the library can promote its programs of service to the community.  Civic, cultural, and educational organizations may have access to library resources.  The fact that a group is permitted to meet at the public library does not constitute an endorsement of the group’s policies or beliefs.
    The librarian or a designee authorizes use of the meeting room and maintains a schedule.  In the event a question is raised as to the objectives and activities of any group or organization requesting use of the meeting room, the Sparta Library Board of Trustees has the final authority in granting or refusing permission for use of the room.
    The following regulations apply to the use of the library meeting room.  Any departure thereon may be made only by the written authorization of the Head Librarian.

I. Availability

        1. Library programs and library related programs and meetings have priority in the use of the meeting room at all times.
        2. The meeting room is available for use by organizations, but not for social gatherings, religious worship, money-raising, political or commercial purposes.
        3. Non-partisan organizations which do not endorse individual parties or candidates may be allowed to conduct meetings in the library at which current election issues will be discussed by the candidates for public office, provided that all candidates for the same office shall be invited.
        4. Meetings which may disturb regular library functions shall not be scheduled.
        5. Group activities involving more than normal wear and tear on the meeting room will not be permitted, i.e. classes in handicraft projects involving paint or other materials which may cause damage.
        6. The library is not responsible for the arrangement of the room for meetings.
        7. Before or after hours meetings will be scheduled only if staff is available.
        8. Maximum capacity limited to 50.

 II Scheduling

        1. Reservations for using the meeting room are made by contacting a librarian and must include the name of the organization, time period desired, name and number of persons responsible, and the purpose or function of the meeting.
        2. All fees must be paid at the time of registration.  Registration fees will be refunded if staff is unavailable for after-hour meetings.
        3. Application to use the room shall be made at least one week in advance, but not more than four weeks in advance.  Monopolization of the room by organizations will not be allowed.  Regular meetings will not be scheduled.
        4. The meeting room may be scheduled for meetings during regular library hours.

III. Use of Kitchen Facilities

        1. Organizations may use kitchen facilities to prepare light refreshments.  No red punch will be allowed.
        2. Organizations are responsible for all kitchen cleaning.
        3. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted.
        4. Smoking is not permitted.
        5. Organizations are required to leave the room clean and orderly.
        6. No dishes or utensils will be provided by the library.
        7. No electrical appliances may be left unattended.

IV. Responsibility for Equipment and Facility

        The library is not responsible for any equipment, supplies, materials, clothing, or other items brought to the library or transported to library property by any group or individual attending the meeting.
        1. No signs, displays, or exhibits may be attached to the wall in any manner.
        2. Organizations shall accept responsibility for the repair or replacement of damaged or missing equipment, or for damage to the building’s interior.
        3. No material, equipment, or furniture belonging to groups or organizations may be stored on library premises.  The library will not assume responsibility for any items left on the premises.

 V. Liability

    The Sparta Public Library Board and staff do not assume any liability on groups or individuals attending a meeting in the library.

VI. Duties of Scheduled Groups

    The scheduled group is responsible for setting up chairs, tables, furniture, and/or library or non-library equipment prior to the meeting and for returning all library property to the designated location upon termination of the meeting.  The room must be left in a clean and orderly condition.  Future use will be denied if this is not observed.  The person signing the application for permission to hold a meeting in the library will be billed for any necessary repairs in the event of damage to library property.


        1. There will be a $20 charge for using the meeting room during regular library hours, IF REFRESHMENTS ARE SERVED.  $5.00 will be refunded if the room is left in good order.
        2. The charge for the room before or after regular library hours will be $50, of which $5.00 will be refunded if the room is left in good order.  This fee includes three (3) hours of meeting time at $10.00 per hour or portion thereof.  Any unused meeting hours will be refunded at the rate of $10.00 per hour.  Meetings must be concluded by 10:00 p.m.
        3. No fee for meetings scheduled during regular library hours with NO REFRESHMENTS SERVED.


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It is part of the Sparta Public Library’s function to provide access to intellectual and cultural resources to the community. Thus, the Sparta Public Library welcomes the opportunity to allow community groups, organizations or individuals to use various display areas of the library. Space is provided for display of an educational, cultural, civic, or recreational nature rather than for commercial or political purposes.

Exhibits in the library are seen by anyone who walks into the library—both children and adults who may have various degrees of sophistication. The materials of the exhibits must, therefore, meet what is generally known as a standard “acceptable to the community.”

Application for exhibits must be made through the Head Librarian’s office and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The Board of Trustees shall have the final decision on the content and arrangement of all exhibits. Every item must meet the Board of Trustees’ standard of value and quality and the Board of Trustees reserve the right to reject any part of an exhibit or to change the manner of display.

All publicity material relating to exhibits shall be submitted for approval by the Board of Trustees.

It is the responsibility of the exhibitor to set up and remove the exhibits. Exhibits will normally be scheduled for a period of no longer than one calendar month. Exceptions must be approved by the Head Librarian.

The library does not carry insurance on, and is not responsible for any items loaned by the exhibitor. The library will not provide storage for the property of organizations or individuals displaying in the library. All exhibitors are required to sign a form which releases the library from any responsibility for exhibited items.

Display of Informational Bulletins, Brochures and Posters

The Sparta Public Library encourages the display of informational bulletins, brochures and posters regarding area educational, cultural and civic events of interest to the community.


Such bulletins, brochures and posters to be displayed must meet the following guidelines:

  1. Items to be displayed should be of reasonable size, preferably no larger than 12” x 18”.
  2. Handwritten or drawn posters or art work must meet acceptable standards as determined by the library, i.e. correct spelling, neatness, etc.
  3. Religious events sponsored by denominational groups will not be displayed except in special circumstances as determined by the library board.
  4. Informational, nonpartisan political events will be publicized.
  5. Information regarding money-making events sponsored by any profit-making organization will not be displayed.
  6. Information regarding contests or solicitations of any kind will not be displayed unless sponsored by an area library.

Activities having no specific date may be displayed for a reasonable length of time as determined by the library according to available space.

Return of Items Displayed

Unless other arrangements are made, items must be picked up the day following the date of the publicized event if the owners want them returned. Otherwise, the library will not be responsible for returning materials. All items needing to be returned should have the name and telephone number of the person to be contacted written on the back.


I, the undersigned, hereby provide the following works of art or other material to the Sparta Public Library for exhibit purposes only. In consideration of the privilege of exhibiting them in the library, I hereby release said library from responsibility for loss, damage, or destruction while they are in the possession of the library.

Exhibition to be held in the _________________________________________________

Exhibition Dates: _________________________________________________________

Description of Materials Loaned:

Signature________________________________________          Date: ______________

Permanent Address_________________________________         Phone: ____________


Memorial books are selected by the Head Librarian based on suitability and needs of the community. Monetary gifts may be given for memorial books which are selected by the Head Librarian. A patron may donate a suitable book of his/her choosing with non-fiction books preferred for the memorial. All memorial books are labeled with a bookplate. The honoree’s family is notified of the gift, and a letter of thanks is written to the donor. Monetary gifts are accepted and placed in the library memorial fund account. If not specified for a memorial book, other purchases may be made with board approval.



I/We ______________________________________am/are making a donation to the Sparta Public Library of the following:

I/We value this donation at $______________ (donor assigns amount).

I/We understand that the property donated becomes the property of the Sparta Public Library to be used in any manner designated by the librarian and the board for the library’s benefit. I relinquish all rights and control over this property. Any special agreement for the use and/or disposition of the donated property has been set forth in a separate document (attached to this form) and has been agreed to by me/us and by the board of the Sparta Public Library.

Signature____________________________________________Date _____________

(For the Library) Date____________________________________________________

Our policy is to retire books periodically. If you have any special requests for retirements of this book/these books, please indicate your wishes in this space.


Volunteer workers are unpaid staff. They give of their time and energy to assist the library in programming or to provide specific services. Volunteers often bring to an organization a different perspective and a fresh approach.

The direct service gained by the library through a volunteer program is an important consideration. But, the library will also receive other benefits. First, community support and utilization, plus public relations are enhanced by direct volunteer involvement with library activities. Secondly, work experience is a major source of potential recruitment into the profession. Many people who begin work on volunteer projects continue their education and training for careers in the same field.

Some basic principles that are essential for the success of the Volunteer Program at the Sparta Public Library include:

  1. Prior planning and approval of the program by staff and the Board of Trustees.
  2. The same principals of management that pertain to paid staff such as planning, training, evaluation, and development also apply to volunteers.
  3. Planning for the use of volunteers includes clarification of their status with regard to compensation for work-related injuries, insurance coverage when operating a library vehicle, and related benefits.
  4. Volunteers may have work-related expenses that are paid for or reimbursed by the library. The library’s policies and procedures regarding such expenses should be explained to the volunteer before he or she begins library service.
  5. Volunteers should not supplant or displace established staff positions.
  6. Recognition and appreciation of volunteers is important. Since volunteers receive no salary, other forms of appreciation are essential.
  7. Volunteers should be assigned to meaningful work that utilizes their interest and talents.
  8. Volunteer assignments are for specific time periods to enable the library and the volunteer to review, evaluate and reassign duties.
  9. There should be a staff coordinator of volunteers.
  10. Continued orientation and training is essential for volunteers to keep them informed about procedures and policies.
  11. The library staff should be trained to use the volunteers and should share responsibility for the success of the volunteer program.
  12. Written, detailed task descriptions for volunteers are necessary.



  1. Preparation of picture files
  2. Presenting film programs
  3. Taking pictures or slides
  4. Making deliveries to homebound borrowers
  5. Storytelling to children
  6. Teaching literacy classes
  7. Reading discussion groups inside and outside the library
  8. Mending library materials
  9. Making publicity materials for the library
  10. Planning displays for the library
  11. Inspecting and cleaning records and audio-visual materials
  12. Assisting at the circulation desk
  13. Working with outreach programs


Materials purchased and donated to the Sparta Public Library must comply with the following guidelines:

  1. Materials must be spread over the current interests of all the patrons.
  2. The subject matter of a specific title must fit within the existing collection.
  3. Factual information must be accurately presented.
  4. Materials should be timely.
  5. Some materials are judged essential because of the lack of good resources on the subject.
  6. The publisher of the material should be of local, regional or national reputation.
  7. Most of the collection should conform to average standards of readability.



In maintaining an active, accurate collection, systematic withdrawal of lost, damaged, worn, or outdated material which is no longer useful is expected.

  1. No book, with the exception of fiction and literature, should be on the shelf if it is more than 15 years old.
  1. Popular fiction is usually dated and no longer of interest if it is more than 25 years old, except for books in continuing series.
  1. Worn, unattractive books should be replaced with a good hardbound or rebound paper edition.
  1. Books with very fine print or yellowed paper will be discarded.
  1. Dated material no longer relevant should be discarded.
  1. Textbooks unsuitable for reference use will not be added to the collection.
  1. No more than three copies of a title will be accessioned at one time and shown in the shelf list as part of the collection.
  1. Reference books more than 15 years old should be discarded unless there is no new edition.
  1. Special attention will be given in the retirement and/or disposal of memorial books.



_____________Book              _______________Periodical  




Publisher or Producer__________________________________________________

Request Initiated By___________________________________________________



Do You Represent:


An Organization_______________________________________________________

Other Group__________________________________________________________

  1. To which portions of the work do you object? Be specific and cite pages or scenes. (Please use back of this form for comments)
  1. Did you read or view the entire work? ________Yes    _________No
  1. What do you feel might be the result of reading or viewing this work?
  1. Are you aware of the literary critics’ judgment of this work? _____Yes  _____No
  1. For what age group would you recommend this work? ______________________
  1. What would you like your library to do about this work? ____________________
  1. What do you believe is the purpose of this work? __________________________
  1. What other materials, serving the same purpose, would you recommend as a replacement? ______________________________________________________

Signature of Complainant____________________________________Date___________



            The Head Librarian has the initial responsibility for organizing the library’s response to an emergency. In the absence of the Head Librarian, responsibility lies with the other librarians on duty in the order established by the Head Librarian. Each staff member should be acquainted with emergency procedures and should know how to begin coping without having to refer to the procedures manual.

See Disaster Plan adopted by the Library Board of Trustees in October 2007



Section I. No employee shall be dismissed or otherwise disciplined except for just cause.

Section II. Immediate Dismissal of Employee. An employee shall be subject to immediate dismissal or otherwise disciplined without notice or warning if the cause of such dismissal or discipline is:

  1. Dishonesty
  1. Possession or use of any controlled substance or alcohol while on duty or on city property without authorization.
  1. Conviction of a felony.

Section III. Progressive Discipline Prior to Suspension or Dismissal. In all other disciplinary actions, including but not limited to, failure to report to work on time without reasonable cause, sleeping on the job, disrespect of an immediate supervisor without provocation, insubordination, and refusal to accept work assignments, including Saturdays, the Employer agrees to use a system of progressive discipline.

  1. First Offense – Oral warning to be documented in employee’s file.
  2. Second Offense – Written warning to be placed in employee’s file.
  3. Third Offense – Disciplinary lay-off (without pay).
  4. Fourth Offense – Discharge

Any evidence of progressive discipline may be removed from an employee’s personal file at any time as determined by the employee’s supervisor, but shall remain in the employee’s file for no longer than the time periods outlined herein, to wit:

            Oral warning – 6 months

            Written warning – 1 year

            Disciplinary lay-off – 2 years

Employees shall be required to give one (1) hour notice prior to starting time to his/her immediate supervisor if he/she cannot report to work. Failure to report to work without one (1) hour prior notice may result in the institution of progressive discipline.

Section IV. Grievance Procedure. Employee shall have the right to appeal his/her case to the Board of Trustees.

Section V.  New Employee:  All employees hired after Jan. 1, 2005 will be on a three month probation period.  A form will be signed by both the library director and the employee stating this fact.  During this three month period, training and regular reviews will be given with feedback to the new employee.  At the end of the three month period, the library director and the employee will meet and a formal review will be made.  A final recommendation will be made by the director and reported to the library board during its regular meetings. 


 The Sparta Public Library offers free wireless Internet access to patrons using their laptop computers or other mobile devices.  The following conditions must be accepted before users may access the Internet:

  • All applicable library rules, regulations and policies apply, including but not limited to, Public Internet Use rules and the Public Internet Access Policy.
  • The library does not filter the content of wireless Internet access. Parents or legal guardians who want their children to have filtered access should direct their children to one of the library’s public access computers or purchase filtering software for their computer.
  • Any student age 17 and under found accessing pornographic material will lose his/her Internet privileges for a minimum of 6 months.
  • Wireless users should not transmit credit card information, passwords or any other sensitive personal information over the library’s wireless network as the library’s wireless network is not secure. Anti-virus and security protection are the responsibility of the patron.
  • The library is not responsible for any loss of data, or for theft or damage to personal equipment or software.
  • Printing is not available over the wireless network. Patrons may print from a library-owned computer, and applicable printing fees will be charged.
  • Library staff cannot provide technical assistance to patrons using the library’s wireless network.
  • There is no guarantee that a wireless connection can be made or maintained.
  • The library reserves the right to terminate a wireless Internet session at any time.

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