Please click on a Policy below to view.
In order to help fulfill its mission to promote intellectual freedom, life-long learning and cultural and leisure activities, the Lower Merion Library System (LMLS) encourages local residents, community groups, schools and other non-profit organizations to display their original works of art in the designated exhibit spaces of its six member libraries (local library). LMLS is the agency responsible for the use of exhibit space. Each local library Head Librarian is the local LMLS representative.
Applications for the use of exhibit space may be submitted by local residents, community groups, schools and other non-profit organizations on a first come first serve basis. All exhibitors must complete and sign an application form before approval and must acknowledge the LMLS Art Exhibition Agreement prior to placing artwork in an LMLS library.
What May Be Displayed
While all artwork will be considered, exhibit space will not be provided for commercial, nor specifically religious or political purposes. The use of exhibit space is not a right but a privilege which is subject to review by LMLS and local library boards. Art displays must be appropriate for all ages and generally suitable for a public library environment. LMLS and local library boards reserve the right to reject any exhibit in full or in part. LMLS and local libraries reserve the right to impose size restrictions on all items based on display space. Selection criteria for art exhibits follow the standards set in the LMLS Collection Development Plan. LMLS endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read, and Freedom to View Statements. Challenges to exhibited material will be handled in accordance with the LMLS Procedures for Complaints about Library Resources. LMLS and local library boards assume no responsibility for ensuring that all points of view are represented in any single display. Exhibitions do not imply endorsement by Lower Merion Township, LMLS, or local library boards.
Period of Display
The duration of any exhibit will be at the discretion of the local library, and coordinated with that library’s calendar. Library sponsored or cosponsored exhibits take precedence over other exhibits at all times and LMLS and the local libraries reserve the right to, on 48 hours notice, cancel the use of display space by outside exhibitors if LMLS or the local library board determines that the display space is needed for library purposes.
Lower Merion Township, LMLS, local libraries, and their boards, officers, agents, employees and volunteers shall not be responsible or liable for bodily injury to the exhibitor or any damage, theft or other loss of value to any exhibit or artwork displayed in LMLS libraries. Exhibitors should consider obtaining their own insurance.
Installation and Removal
Unless as otherwise required by the local library, exhibitors are responsible for the hanging, placement, and removal of all items. The installation and removal of any exhibit will be at the discretion of the local library, and coordinated with that library’s calendar. Exhibitors are responsible for ensuring that artwork is ready for hanging. Local libraries provide no display materials or storage space. Exhibitors will adhere to local requirements regarding nails, thumbtacks, adhesives or tape. Exhibitors causing damage to exhibit spaces will repair the damage, or reimburse the local library as determined necessary by LMLS or the local library. LMLS, local library boards and library staff have the right to remove a display if it has not been removed by the exhibitor in a timely way. LMLS, local library boards, and library staff cannot be held responsible for exhibits or artworks that are not removed by the designated date after the exhibit.
Materials Offered for Sale
Exhibited artwork may not be labeled with prices. Exhibitors are encouraged to post a statement about their works with the display, and may provide contact information inviting inquiries. If a piece is sold during the exhibit, the exhibitor and buyer must leave the piece in the exhibit until the duration of the exhibit is complete. LMLS encourages exhibitors to make a donation to the local library providing exhibit space, but the opportunity to display is not contingent upon a donation.
LMLS or local libraries may choose to publicize exhibits, but it is the exhibitor’s responsibility to publicize art exhibits if so desired and to confirm library hours and events schedules when preparing publicity. The local library and non-library affiliated groups may schedule programs and meetings in exhibit areas regardless of the presence of an art exhibit. Publicity should note that exhibits are not available for public viewing if the area has been scheduled for other programs or meetings. All publicity is subject to the approval of the Township Public Information Director, LMLS, and the local library.
Art Exhibit Events
Exhibitors who desire to hold an event in conjunction with their exhibits must abide by the LMLS Meeting Room Policy for that event. Refreshment regulations may vary from library to library. All costs will be borne by the exhibitor.
- Lower Merion Library System recognizes its role to provide notification of information, events, and services that are of interest to the community. Lower Merion libraries maintain bulletin boards, located in the library vestibules, which serve a primary purpose of displaying such information.
- Information fulfilling an educational or community-interest function is suitable for posting.
- Information that is commercial; implies endorsement of a candidate, political group, or political activity; advocates a political position; or is inflammatory is not suitable for posting in the libraries.
- Posting materials does not imply endorsement on the part of the library, its trustees or the Township.
- Limitations as to material size, format, and length of time to post may be decided by each local library to accommodate the varying size of display areas. Preference will be given to library-sponsored or library-related activities.
- All requests to post information on library bulletin boards must be submitted to and approved by the Head Librarian. Items posted without approval of the Head Librarian will be removed.
The circulation policy of the Lower Merion Library System informs library users of the terms and conditions under which materials are loaned in LMLS libraries. Library service and borrowing privileges for cardholders in good standing will be available without discrimination to individuals of every race, color, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, handicap or disability, use of guide or support animals because of the blindness, deafness or physical handicap of the user or because the user is a handler or trainer or support or guide animals, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
The Library Code Act of June 14, 1961, P.L. 324, as amended through July 4, 2004 S 4415 states that every library, established and/or maintained under the provisions of this act, shall be free to the use of all the residents and taxpayers of the municipality, subject to such reasonable rules and regulations as the board of library directors may adopt, and the board may exclude from the use of the library any such person who willfully violates such rules. The board may extend the privileges of such library to persons residing outside the limits of such municipality upon such terms and conditions as the board may prescribe.
The person whose name appears on a library card is responsible for all materials checked out to that card. Adults who sign the registration form for juveniles are responsible for materials checked out on the juvenile’s card. If a library card is lost or stolen, that fact must be reported to the library so that the lost or stolen card may be invalidated. All items checked out prior to the date the card is reported lost or stolen are still the responsibility of the library user. The library charges three dollars ($3) to replace a borrower’s lost card.
LMLS deems library users who allow third persons to use their library cards or library account information to have consented to the access of their private and confidential library use records by the recipients of their cards or account information.
All Lower Merion residents are entitled to borrowing privileges at the six Township libraries. There is no minimum age to obtain a borrower’s card. Residents under the age of 18 will be issued a card with a juvenile status after receiving his/her parent or guardian’s consent.
Patrons must complete a patron registration form after supplying identification that provides a current and permanent address within the Township . Photo identification is preferable. Acceptable forms of ID are:
- Deed or Lease
- Utility bill with Property Address
- Driver’s License/Registration
- Voter Registration Card
- Checking Account Statement with Property Address
- School ID (K-12)
- Passport plus identification showing address in Lower Merion
College students are considered Lower Merion residents as long as they live on the campus of a Lower Merion college or university, or if they live off campus within Lower Merion Township. College students must show a piece of cancelled mail addressed to them at their Lower Merion address or college dorm in addition to their photo ID if that ID shows a different home address.
Au Pairs or foreign exchange student s may register for a card if they have a photo ID and a piece of canceled mail addressed to them at their Lower Merion host family residence.
Temporary residents, those residing in Lower Merion Township for a period less than 6 months, are not issued library cards. However they will be eligible for guest passes to use the library system’s computers.
The Lower Merion Library System is a member of the Montgomery County Library and Information Network Consortium (MCLINC). If a non-resident of Lower Merion Township who is covered by a MCLINC library wishes to register with Lower Merion instead of at their home library, a temporary MCLINC card can be issued which the patron can exchange for a permanent card at their home library.
For other non-residents of Lower Merion Township who reside in Pennsylvania, the Access Pennsylvania Program, also known as the Statewide Library Card Program, entitles them to borrowing privileges at participating public libraries. The Lower Merion Library System is a fully participating member of the Access Pennsylvania Program.
Non-residents must have a current and valid library card from their home library with the blue Access Pennsylvania sticker on it before they can register at a Lower Merion library. The registration procedure is then the same as above, except that they will not receive a Lower Merion library card.
Non-residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may receive a card upon the presentation of valid identification and the payment of an $80 annual fee. You are exempt from paying the non-resident fee if you are:
- A person who owns residential or business property in Lower Merion
- A student attending a public/private Lower Merion school (K-12)
- A teacher in any public/private Lower Merion school (K-12)
These patrons may receive a card without a PA Access sticker for a period of one year.
Library users can associate or link their library cards with other family members as a way to share account information. Parents may link their children without the child’s signature. The library cards of all associating parties are required at time of sign-up.
All parties must be present when applying for Adult associations. Adults choosing to link library cards have consented to the access of their private and confidential library use records with all parties linked. (See: LMLS Privacy and Confidentiality Policy)
Linking library accounts allows you to:
- Check the status of linked accounts
- Pick up reserve books
- Pay fines
- Check out items on linked cards
- Carry one card
If at any time a patron wishes to dissolve an association they must fill out a “LMLS Request to Dissolve an Association” form. After the dissolution, the library will keep the paperwork on file.
II. EXPIRATION OF CARDS
Library cards expire after a period of two years. Upon expiration of a patron’s library card, Polaris issues a block at checkout for staff to update the patron’s record. MCLINC patrons with an email address in their library accounts will receive an email warning that their card is about to expire.
Updating a library card must be done in person with proper identification. Outstanding overdue materials or fines over $20.00 on the account must be settled before reactivating the card.
III. PASSWORDS/PIN NUMBERS
Library users may access their library record or account in the library at the online public access catalog computer terminals throughout the library, or online from home. Two pieces of information are required:
- the “user id” which is the barcode number on the library card, and
- a password or pin number.
Library users may review what materials they have checked out and renew the items if they choose and/or they may place a hold/ reserve on materials.
The library user must choose a 4 to 10 character password/pin number in person at the circulation desk. The staff member inputs the password/pin number on their record. The library user may request to personally input this pin/password at the circulation desk. Library users can change the password/pin number in person, with their library card, at the circulation or reference desk or they can change it online from their account. The library card barcode number and a pin/password are mandatory to use the public computer workstations.
A child under 16 must have a parent or guardian present in order to be issued a password. At age 16, children may be issued their own passwords.
IV. LOAN PERIOD
Library users are required to bring their library card or proper identification in order to have borrowing privileges.
A. Regular Loan Periods
- All videos and DVDS with 1 or 2 discs 1 week
- All DVD series of 3 or more discs 3 weeks
- All magazines 1 week
- All other Lower Merion books and materials 3 weeks
- ILL material and MCLINC titles Loan period will vary
Library materials are never due on a day on which the library is closed, but will be due on the next library business day. These loan periods apply to Lower Merion items only. Items from MCLINC libraries will follow that library’s loan period policies.
Patrons are responsible for returning all items charged to their account on time. As a courtesy, the library system generally sends out a reminder when items become overdue. MCLINC patrons with an email address in their account will also receive a reminder notice when their items are coming due.
- All Lower Merion items, except interlibrary loan materials, videos and DVDs, may be renewed twice if a reserve/hold has not been put on that item.
- Renewals can be done at any MCLINC member library circulation desk, by telephone, or through the online catalog.
- The library card barcode is necessary for any renewal. Renewing an overdue item does not absolve the library user of paying overdue fees.
- Renewals of MCLINC items will follow the renewal policies of the owning library.
Library materials may be returned to any LMLS branch, MCLINC library, or Access PA library with the exception of inter-library loans which must be returned to the lending library. Also, LMLS videos and DVDs must be returned to a LMLS branch or a MCLINC library only.
Book drops and Audio-visual drops are available at each library for returning materials after hours or on days the library is closed. The library will give fine free days for MCLINC items to compensate for the hours closed. Materials from any non-MCLINC library cannot be checked in.
VI. LIBRARY FINES
To promote the return of material and optimal sharing of the library collection, the Lower Merion Library System charges fines and fees for overdue, lost, and/or damaged library materials. Library users are responsible for returning or renewing items by the due date.
Overdue fines are as follows:
- Adult books and materials 30 cents/day/item maximum fine $10.00
- Juvenile books and materials 20 cents/day/item maximum fine $5.00
- DVDs and Videos $3.00/day/item maximum fine $10.00
Fines for MCLINC items will follow the fine policy of the owning library. No fines are charged when the libraries are closed.
Borrowing privileges will be suspended when a patron’s account reaches twenty dollars in fines or replacement costs. Borrowing privileges will be reinstated upon payment of the full amount. The status of an individual’s library card will be used only in regard to circulation of materials at the library, and does not affect the person’s use of other services at the library.
If any material is lost or damaged beyond repair, the library user will be charged the replacement cost of the material at list price. If a library user locates a lost item within a month after payment, and there is a record of that payment, a refund will be issued. The overdue fines will be charged.
PENNSYLVANIA CONSOLIDATED STATUTES – TITLE 18
Sec. 6708. Retention of library property after notice to return.
(a) Offense defined. – A person is guilty of a summary offense if he retains, any book, pamphlet, magazine, newspaper, manuscript, map or other property belonging in, or to, or on deposit with, any library open to the public or any part thereof, for a period exceeding 30 days after such library has given written notice to return the same.
(b) Disposition of fine. – Any fine imposed under this section shall be paid over by the magistrate imposing such fine to the library instituting the prosecution, and the costs of prosecution.
(c) Form of notice. – Such notice may be given by personal service upon the borrower, or by the mailing of a registered or certified letter to the address of the borrower on file with said library. The notice shall recite this section, and shall contain a demand that the property be returned.
1972, Dec. 6, P.L. No. 334, effective June 6, 1973.
Reserves may be placed on all MCLINC items eligible for “holds.” This excludes Browsing Collections and Reference Materials. Other local restrictions may also apply.
- The fee for placing a reserve is $.50 per video and DVD and $.25 for all other items.
- A library user may reserve items in person at the library, by phone, or electronically from our public catalog computers or from a home computer.
- The barcode number from the library user’s card is mandatory for placing a reserve.
As soon as a reserved item becomes available, the library will notify the requesting cardholder. Reserved items will be held for three business days following notification. Any reserved items not picked up within this period will be given to the next requesting cardholder or, lacking further reserves, put back on the shelf. Library users may choose to be notified of reserves by e-mail.
Patrons placing reserves from home on items that are listed as available should wait until they are notified or until the status of their hold changes from active to held when they access their hold requests online.
The library card used for placing holds must be the card used for hold pick-up unless cards are associated.
If a staff member needs to telephone a patron about a held reserve only the person for whom the reserve is held will be told the title of that item.
Telephone requests for information about materials checked out to patrons (adult or child) will be responded to only if the caller has the barcode number on the library card.
Associations or linked library cards are permitted in the Lower Merion Library System. However, linking library records waives your privacy rights under PA 24 PS Section 4428 among the linked parties.
The library user has a right to know that all borrowing information will be kept confidential. The Lower Merion Library System will act in accordance with state laws to protect library user confidentiality.
Pennsylvania State Law mandates that:
“Records related to the circulation of the library materials which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of the state Library or any local library which is established or maintained under any law of the Commonwealth or the library of a university, college or educational institution chartered by the Commonwealth or the library of any public school or branch reading room, deposit station or agency operated in connection therewith, shall be confidential and shall not be made available to anyone except by court order in a criminal proceeding.”
(Section 4428. Library Circulation Records.)
Policy Effective January 1, 2012
Voted on by LMLS Board October 4, 2011
[Loan periods updated June 13, 2014]
- Ask a Librarian is available to all LMLS patrons with a valid library card.
- Ask a Librarian is intended for questions that can be answered quickly and effectively online, or with resources available in the library.
- Ask a Librarian reserves the right to decline, refer, or limit any search.
- Ask a Librarian will make every effort to respond to your question within 48 hours, excluding weekends.
Beyond the Basics
- Ask a Librarian will make every effort to protect your privacy during search procedures but cannot guarantee the security of all transmissions.
- Ask a Librarian cannot be held responsible for privacy or security issues encountered in the use of any electronic source to which you may be referred.
- Ask a Librarian can not be held responsible for the quality, accuracy, or currency of any information we supply. Even long-trusted traditional sources are not infallible.
- Ask a Librarian may refer you to legal or medical resources for information. These referrals are not to be construed as advice.
What We Don’t Do
- Ask a Librarian is not a document delivery service. If traditional Interlibrary Loan service cannot answer your document needs, you may be asked to come into the library to pursue your search.
- Ask a Librarian does not provide genealogical research.
- Ask a Librarian is not the library catalog. To search the collection and to place reserves, click here.
EARLY LITERACY STATION COMPUTER USE
Approved at the Library General Staff Meeting on February 28, 2008
Description and Purpose: The Early Literacy Station (E.L.S.) is a self-contained computer system intended for toddlers through second graders. Thirty-four educational software packages address seven curricular areas, and the software is top-rated by Children’s Technology Review. A child-friendly colored keyboard and a small-sized computer mouse enhance child interest, and the E.L.S. is connected to a color printer. All six libraries of the Lower Merion Library System have an E.L.S. workstation. As a self-contained system, the E.L.S. is not connected to the Internet. This policy explains the rules governing the use of the E.L.S.
Rules of Use:
- The recommended length of an E.L.S. session is 30 minutes. Patrons are asked not to exceed 30 minutes when others are waiting. Patrons are welcome to use the E.L.S. for a longer time if no one is waiting.
- The E.L.S. is intended for preschoolers through second grade children. Older special needs children may also use the E.L.S. Use of the E.L.S. by teenagers and adults is unacceptable.
- Printing costs 50 cents per page. Please request paper and pay at the desk.
- In accordance with our Library Behavior Policy, children under seven years old must be accompanied by an adult.
- In accordance with our Library Behavior Policy, noisy, disruptive behavior, and interfering with another person’s use of the E.L.S. or library, is unacceptable.
- Library staff may limit the use of the E.L.S.
Application: This policy will be reviewed by September 2008 and/or as needed.
Lower Merion Library System Internet Use Policy
The Lower Merion Library System (LMLS) welcomes you to its Internet Gateway. LMLS has chosen to comply with the filtering provisions of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). All Library computers are filtered.
RULES OF USE:
- Internet access is available to all patrons who have a valid library card as well as a password/PIN that is registered with the Montgomery County Library and Information Consortium (MCLINC). Out of area “guests” will be given a “guest Pass” with a temporary barcode and password/PIN.
- If users feel that an Internet site has been blocked erroneously by the filtering software, they should report that to a staff member. Staff can temporarily allow access to that site and will pass the site on to the MCLINC office for review.
- When others are waiting, time limits will be enforced. If all workstations are in use, the next available computer may be reserved.
- Staff may limit the number of persons sitting at a single workstation.
- Staff may intervene in the reservation process at any time for library purposes.
- Users may download files to external devices. Users may not load their own software programs onto library workstations.
- Users may not display or print images that are inappropriate for viewing within a public setting. LMLS expressly prohibits any use of library computers for illegal activities, including hacking, or to access material that is obscene, contains or makes reference to explicit sexual materials as defined in 18 PA. C.S. 5903, contains child pornography, or is harmful to minors. Copies of 18 PA. C.S. 5903 and the CIPA may be found in the LMLS Internet Use Handbook, which is located at the Circulation and/or Reference desk at each library.
- Users must respect copyright laws and licensing agreements.
- Users must respect the privacy and privileges of others.
- Users must respect library hardware and software configurations.
- Users must act in accordance with Pennsylvania and federal law to promote the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications. Internet Safety Guidelines for Minors are posted by library workstations. LMLS also offers its brochure, Parents, Kids and the Internet, to promote Internet safety.
- Minors must not disclose personal information on library Internet workstations.
- Parents and legal guardians must assume responsibility for their children’s use of the Internet, as with other library materials. Library staff does not act in the place of a parent to determine which materials are appropriate for an individual child.
The Internet may contain information that is inaccurate, incomplete, misleading or personally objectionable. Some information accessed electronically may not meet the standards set by a library’s selection or collection development policy.
Because of the enormous amount of constantly changing information on the Internet, no filter will ever be free from error. Filtering software may erroneously block “appropriate” sites, or fail to block “inappropriate” sites. LMLS is not responsible for the limitations of filtering products.
Virus protection is active on all workstations. All files on infected personal devices will be automatically erased. LMLS cannot assume responsibility for damages resulting from viruses.
CONSEQUENCES OF MISUSE:
Any user demonstrating unacceptable use of the LMLS workstations or of the Internet via LMLS’s workstations will be asked to close the website and/or terminate the session. Noncompliance may result in revocation of library privileges and/or prosecution under applicable local, state, or federal law.
LMLS considers personally identifiable data to be protected under the Pennsylvania Confidentiality statute. Due legal process is required to access LMLS computers or any information stored therein.
QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS:
Questions or concerns about this policy may be addressed to the Director of Libraries, 75 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003.
Library meeting rooms provide opportunities for bringing together the resources of the library and the civic, cultural, educational, and recreational non‐profit resources of the community. However, the prime purpose is for library‐sponsored activities. The Board of Directors of the Lower Merion Library System has established the following policy regarding the use of public meeting rooms of its member libraries.
- Ardmore Library: 30 seats (auditorium arrangement)
- Bala Cynwyd Library: 49 seats (auditorium arrangement); Linda Bagley & Eli Dweck Conference Room: 8 seats (conference set-up only)
- Gladwyne Library: 45 seats (auditorium arrangement)
- Ludington Library: Auditorium: 120 seats (auditorium arrangement); Small Meeting Room: 7-8 seats (conference set up only)
- Penn Wynne Library: 30 seats (conference set up only)
There are no meeting room facilities at the Belmont Hills Library. The meeting room facilities at the Gladwyne and Penn Wynne libraries are not ADA accessible, but will be when renovations to those libraries are complete in 2016.
1. ELIGIBLE GROUPS: The library meeting rooms are available for use only by local non-profit community organizations of an educational, civic, or cultural nature operating for the public good. Meeting rooms are not intended for individual, private, commercial, promotional, nor purely social use. Meeting rooms are not equipped nor intended for dramatic presentations requiring stage equipment.
2. EQUAL TIME PROVISION: Operating in the public interest, the Lower Merion Library System makes its meeting rooms available for informational meetings by incumbent public officials. Prior to elections, equal time provisions will be afforded to all declared candidates. The Lower Merion Library System encourages programming which provides an opportunity for debate of all issues affecting the public good.
3. APPLICANT: Only Lower Merion Township residents or groups sponsored by a Lower Merion Township resident will be considered for authorization to use the library meeting rooms under the eligibility requirements noted herein.
4. ADMISSION: All meetings shall be open to the public. No admission fee shall be charged, nor any donations solicited by the organization except by special review by the Director of Libraries in consultation with the Executive Committee of the LMLS Board. Such exception could include paid registration to conferences or institutes, or scheduled educational courses.
5. PARKING: Consideration of parking limitations may be weighed in considering approval for meeting room use on any particular day or evening.
6. RESTRICTIONS: Use of library meeting room facilities is subject to all existing laws, fire code regulations, township ordinances and regulations, including prohibition of gambling and the use of alcoholic beverages. Smoking is strictly prohibited throughout the libraries including meeting rooms, hallways, rest rooms, and public areas.
7. REFRESHMENTS: Light refreshments are permitted upon the specific authorization of the Head
Librarian, under specified conditions. No alcohol of any kind can be served on Township property.
All liquids must be served in a cup with a lid or in a bottle with cap. Coffee may be served from a
take‐out box but no coffee pots or hot plates may be plugged in.
8. RESPONSIBILITY: Authorized users of the library meeting rooms will be held financially responsible for any damage to any portion of the facility, contents, or any equipment during such use. Groups that fail to clean up after use will be invoiced for custodial services.
Regulations for Use of Meeting Rooms
1. The Lower Merion Library System is the agency responsible for the use of the library meeting rooms. Each Head Librarian is the local representative of the library system.
2. AVAILABILITY: Rooms are available only during the library’s regular operating hours, and only at such times as they are not required for library purposes. All groups must conclude meetings by the library’s closing time.
3. APPLICATION: Written application must be made to the Head Librarian at least ten (10) days in
advance. Applications will be considered in order of receipt of written application. The
representative of the group must show the signed application to the Librarian‐in‐Charge at the time
of use. There is no charge for the use of the meeting room but donations to the library are gratefully
4. RESERVATIONS: Reservations will be accepted for no more than six (6) months in advance. At the
end of that period reservations must be renewed. The library reserves the right to rescind a
reservation if the room is required for library purposes; in such a case, every effort will be made to
give maximum notification of a cancellation to the reservation holder.
5. SET-UP: The organization is responsible for setting up the meeting room and returning it to the condition in which it was found. Library staff is not available for arranging chairs, tables, etc.
6. USE: The library reserves the right to limit the use of the meeting rooms to those activities which will in no way interfere with normal library operations and use, including parking. A responsible adult must be present at all times.
7. MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY: All fire regulations regarding maximum occupancy must be observed.
Maximum occupancies when arranged auditorium style are: Ardmore: 30; Bala Cynwyd: 49;
Gladwyne: 45; Ludington: 120; Penn Wynne: 30 (conference style only).
8. PUBLICITY: The organization’s publicity shall in no way imply that the library is sponsoring the group’s meeting nor endorsing its aims unless permission to do so is specifically granted by the Head Librarian on the application form.
9. CANCELLATIONS: The library shall be notified in the event of a cancellation.
Adopted, Board of Directors November 7, 1991
Amended, Board of Directors October 6, 2015
I. Introduction: Your Right to Privacy
Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association. The courts have upheld the right to privacy based on the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. Privacy has deep roots not only in law, but also in the ethics and practice of librarianship. In a library, the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one’s interest examined or scrutinized by others. Confidentiality exists when a library is in possession of personally identifiable information about users and keeps that information private on their behalf.
II. Lower Merion Library System Commitment to Confidentiality
The Lower Merion Library System (LMLS) recognizes your right to privacy regarding the questions you ask and the materials you borrow.This notice explains your privacy and confidentiality rights, the steps LMLS takes to respect and protect your privacy when you use library resources, and how LMLS deals with personally identifiable information collected from users. LMLS makes this notice easy to find on its home page and posts copies in each library.
III. Confidentiality of library records
Pennsylvania State Law mandates that “records related to the circulation of library materials which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of the State Library or any local library which is established or maintained under any law of the Commonwealth or the library of any university, college, or educational institution chartered by the Commonwealth or the library of any public school or branch reading room, deposit station or agency operated in connection therewith, shall be confidential and shall not be made available to anyone except by a court order in a criminal proceeding.” (PA 24 P.S. Section 4428)
IV. Information LMLS Collects
The Lower Merion Library System collects the following information for library card registration: name, address(es), phone number(s), date of birth, driver license number, gender, email, and assigned barcode. The library also retains records listing all materials currently checked out, overdue materials until returned, fines paid and waived, current interlibrary loan, intersystem reserve requests, and electronic reference requests. When a borrower returns an item, the patron barcode number is retained on that item until it is checked out again and returned. LMLS may also collect this information from donors and other library supporters.
LMLS does not ask library visitors to identify themselves or reveal any personal information unless they are borrowing books, requesting special services, registering for programs or classes, or making use of the LMLS public workstation computers.
Some of the databases LMLS offers require the barcode number of the user’s library card for verification purposes. Database vendors do not have access to patron records. These sites may have different privacy policies.
V. How LMLS Protects Your Information
Patron library use records are private and confidential under Pennsylvania law. LMLS will not collect or retain your private and personally identifiable information without your consent. Further, if you consent to give us your personally identifiable information, LMLS will keep it confidential and will not sell or license personal information to any third party without your consent, unless we are compelled to do so under the law or to comply with a court order. Only those authorized by LMLS have access to personally identifying information for the purpose of performing library work.
To ensure the privacy and confidentiality of individual library use records, patrons are advised to not allow others to use their library cards or library account information. LMLS deems patrons who allow third persons to use their library cards or library account information to have consented to the access of their private and confidential library use records by the recipients of their library cards or account information. Adults choosing to link their library accounts through Associations have likewise consented to the sharing of account information.
For library administrative purposes, information may be shared with certain individuals or corporations outside the library, such as automation vendors in the normal course of database creation and management or agencies utilized in the collection of overdue materials and outstanding fees.
LMLS never uses or shares the personally identifiable information provided to us online in ways unrelated to the ones described above without also providing you an opportunity to prohibit such unrelated uses, unless we are compelled to do so under the law or to comply with a court order.
- Patron information will not appear on any circulation records available to the public.
- Notice of overdue, lost, or reserved materials will be mailed in a sealed envelope.
- When notifying patrons of the availability of reserved or requested materials, titles will be given only to the person making the request.
- Requests for information about materials associated with patron accounts (adult or child) can only be responded to if the patron provides the barcode number on the library card, or if patrons’ accounts are associated.
- In accordance with the LMLS Internet Use Policy, due legal process is required to access LMLS computers or any information stored therein.
VI. Legal Compliance
LMLS authorizes only the Library Director to receive or comply with requests from law enforcement officers. LMLS will not make library records available to any agency of state, federal, or local government unless a subpoena, warrant, court order or other investigatory document is issued by a court of competent jurisdiction that shows good cause and is in proper form. LMLS will not respond to verbal requests.
As a public institution, LMLS is legally obligated to comply with the information request requirements of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, commonly known as the USA Patriot Act, enacted on October 26, 2001 . Should library records be requested under the USA Patriot Act, the law states that library staff shall not inform the person about whom the information is requested, nor speak to co-workers, the media or other government officials about the inquiry.
Library users who have questions, concerns or complaints about the library’s handling of their privacy and confidentiality rights should file written comments with the Director of Libraries. LMLS will respond in a timely manner and may conduct a privacy investigation or review of policy and procedures.
Approved December 7, 2004
Social Media Policy for the Public
The Lower Merion Library System recognizes the importance of social media. We believe social media applications including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and blogs can contribute greatly to the library system’s ability to provide information about news and programming in our libraries. By taking full advantage of these applications we affirm the system’s mission to support the informational, educational, recreational and cultural needs of groups and individuals in our community.
Social media is defined as any web based application or site that allows users to engage in a free exchange of information and ideas. The Lower Merion Library System seeks to use these applications to promote programs, ideas and conversations that enhance the experience of all library users.
In accordance with this, please note the following general rules and provisos:
- While the Lower Merion Library System encourages opinion and discussion, we will regularly review comments for content and relevancy. The system reserves the right at its discretion to delete any comments made on any library-sponsored social media application that are abusive, violate copyright law, commercial promotion or spam, defamatory, offensive, profane, threatening, false, or libelous as to the library system or any individual or entity.
- Many applications allow users to become a “fan” or “like,” or otherwise associate their own virtual profile with that of the library’s profile on these sites. As with more traditional library resources the library system takes no responsibility for enforcing any restrictions which a parent or guardian may place on the use of these applications.
- The Lower Merion Library System reserves the right to reproduce comments, posts, and messages in other venues. For example, if a user posts a positive book review, we may quote from or reproduce the review on the library website, or in a newspaper or newsletter. We will not use identifying information, unless the user grants permission.
- Library staff will regularly evaluate all LMLS social media applications for utility and quality. Any application may be terminated at any time without prior notice.
- Participating in any Lower Merion Library System social media application implies agreement with our Internet Use Policy.
- Residents’ postings on any social media site affiliated with LMLS and the Township do not serve as formal requests for service from the LMLS or the Township. Any citizen needing a response from the Township should call, email or visit the appropriate department.
- Comments by the public on LMLS’ or the Township’s sites do not reflect in any way the opinions and position of the Lower Merion Township government, or its officers, elected officials, staff and/or employees.
- While the Facebook page is available 24/7, LMLS and the Township will generally only monitor comments and postings during regular business hours.
Facebook’s “profanity filter” will always be set to “strong” for the Lower Merion page, but this filter does not limit the discretion of the moderator to delete remarks that are deemed offensive. LMLS and the Township reserve the right to ban users for any violation of the above terms.
- Violations of this policy may be referred to the proper legal authorities.
The safety and well-being of children left unattended in the library is of serious concern. Young children left alone while parents run errands, or even visit another part of the library, often become frightened or anxious. Our staff is happy to serve children of all ages, but they cannot supervise small children adequately while carrying out their work responsibilities. This policy seeks to address these concerns in a responsible manner. It is not our intention to seek out unattended children, but rather to have a reasoned response prepared as problems present themselves. The word “parent” as used in this policy will stand for the child’s parent, other mature relatives, family friend or neighbor, baby-sitter, or other caregiver accompanying the child.
Children under the age of seven must be attended by a parent or responsible care provider while in the library. If a child is participating in a supervised program, the parent or caregiver should remain in the building. If staff cannot locate a child’s parent or caregiver in the library or by phone within a reasonable amount of time, or before the library is scheduled to close, staff is authorized to notify the Lower Merion Township Police Department and ask for assistance.