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Use of the Library

Article I: General Guidelines.

State law (75 ILCS 16/1-10) empowers the Board of Trustees to adopt reasonable rules and regulations to render the use of the Cook Memorial Public Library District (“The “Library” for the purpose of providing the greatest benefit to the greatest number of residents and taxpayers. The Board shall review this policy at least every two years. (75 ILCS 16/30-60)

Article II: Library Borrowing Privileges.

Section I: Residents and Property Owners/Lessees.

Residents of the District and those who own or lease property within the District who have satisfactorily completed the standard application and have presented identification will be issued library cards allowing them to borrow Library materials. They also may borrow material from libraries with which the District has reciprocal borrowing agreements and request materials through interlibrary loan. Library cards will be issued to residents age four through thirteen upon the signature of a parent or guardian. The signature of a parent or guardian acknowledges the responsibility of the signer for loss or damage of Library material loaned to the child and, further, attests to the fact that the Library is not responsible for restricting the exposure of the child to any material in the Library, except as provided for in the Electronic Information and Computer Systems Use Policy.

A child under the age of 18 with a library card may borrow any materials in the Library. However, a parent or legal guardian may restrict their child or ward who is under 18 years of age from borrowing any visual media in Cook Memorial Public Library District’s physical collection other than those in the Children’s or Family Film Collections. This restriction will be in writing on forms provided by the Library. When a child reaches the age of 18, the restriction will automatically be removed.

Library cards are valid only during the period of residency.

Section 2: Property Owners/Lessees Residing Outside of the District.

Library privileges are extended to nonresidents who, as an individual or as a partner, principal stockholder, or other joint owner, own or lease property that is taxed for library service or is a senior administrative officer of a firm, business, or other corporation owning taxable property within the District, upon presentation of the most recent tax bill upon that taxable property or a copy of the commercial lease of that taxable property.
(75 ILCS 16/30-55.60(3))

Section 3: Temporary Residents.

Temporary Residents of the District will be issued a temporary library card upon deposit of a fee at least equal to the cost paid by residents of the District, with the cost to be determined according to the formula established by the Illinois State Library (75 ILCS 16/30-55.60). Temporary resident status will be determined by providing proof of temporary residential address and a photo ID.

Section 4: Reciprocal Borrowers.

The Library offers borrowing privileges to registered patrons of any public library in Illinois or Wisconsin. The materials loaned and the conditions upon which they are loaned shall be determined by the Library Director.

Section 5: Nonresidents.

A nonresident is defined as any person residing outside of an area served by a public library in the State of Illinois. The Library Board has elected to participate in the State of Illinois’ nonresident card program. (75 ILCS 16/30-55.60) Please contact the Library for eligibility information.

Article III: Circulation Rules.

Section 1: Charges.

Library cards are issued free of charge. If a card is lost or badly damaged, a new one will be issued upon payment of a replacement charge to be determined by the Library Director. No charge shall be made for the circulation of any material owned by the Library or for any service provided by the Library to obtain material not owned by the Library. Charges imposed by agencies outside the Library may be passed along to library users on an individual basis.

Section 2: Conditions of Circulation.

The Library Director shall establish reasonable regulations governing:

  1. Which material shall or shall not be loaned.
  2. Number of materials loaned to any one patron.
  3. Loan periods necessary for the effective use of the Library’s collections.
  4. Fines necessary to encourage the prompt return of materials.
  5. Replacement or repair charges for lost or damaged materials.

Section 3: Suspension of Borrowing Privileges.

Except in extenuating circumstances, the Library Director is directed to suspend borrowing privileges when a patron has:

  1. Outstanding fines of an amount established by the Library Director
  2. Unreturned materials for which a statement has been sent
  3. Established a delinquency at another library

Patrons will be reinstated after proper settlement has been made. (75 ILCS 16/30-55.70)

Article IV: Information Services.

The Library provides high-quality information services to meet the educational, recreational, and lifelong learning needs of the community. For extensive research projects, library staff will direct patrons to likely sources of information.

Article V: Notary Services.

The Library offers free limited notary services by appointment only for basic acknowledgement and affirmation signatures to Library patrons.

Section 1: Scope.

The purpose of notarization is to prevent fraud and forgery. A notary acts as an official and unbiased witness to the identity of persons who come before the notary for a specific purpose. Notaries cannot provide legal advice or counseling regarding any documents. Notary service is not available for documents of conveyance of real estate, mortgages, other real estate loans, documents or transactions or property transfers, including but not limited to refinancing or other types of real estate loans, purchases, sales, beneficial interests in land trusts and deeds. Notary service is further not available for wills, living wills, living trusts, powers of attorney, codicils or depositions as these types of documents can require technical or legal knowledge that is beyond the scope of free service. In addition, Notaries cannot provide services for I-9 forms or serve as authorized representatives.

Section 2: Guidelines.

  1. Please DO NOT sign your documents before you come to the library. The Notary is required to see you sign your documents. The Notary will only attest to documents signed in their presence.
  2. Each person signing the document must be present for the Notary to notarize each individual signature. The Library Notary shall never notarize any signature without the maker of the signature first appearing personally before the Notary.
  3. The person who will sign the document must be sure that the document is completely filled out, leaving no blank spaces other than where the individual will sign the document. before appearing before the Notary. Library Notaries may not notarize any document with blank spaces.
  4. Documents in any other language other than English will not be notarized by the Library Notary.
  5. This policy requires that the Notary and the individual seeking notarization be able to communicate directly with each other. The Library Notary is not permitted to make use of a translator to communicate with a notary service customer.
  6. A valid ID with a signature and photo is required so that the Notary can verify the identity of the person seeking notary services. The ID must be issued by a state or federal government agency and must bear the photographic image of the individual’s face and signature. Examples of acceptable IDs are a valid (unexpired) state driver’s license or ID card, a valid (unexpired) United States military ID, or valid (unexpired) passport. Examples of unacceptable IDs are Social Security cards, a United States passport card, or student IDs that do not bear a photograph and signature. Notaries reserve the right to refuse to sign any document that they deem questionable and/or may refuse to perform notary services when the identity of the person requesting notarization has not been positively established using acceptable ID.
  7. Individuals with documents requiring witnesses, in addition to the individual’s signature and notarization, must bring the required number of people willing to serve as a witness. Library staff are unable to be witnesses and witnesses may not be solicited from patrons using the Library. In order to serve as a witness, the witness must personally know the individual whose document is being notarized and must be in possession of valid photo identification.
  8. Notaries at the Library cannot sign government I-9 forms or provide an Apostille. An Apostille is a form that certifies the authenticity of a document that is issued in one country to be used and considered valid in another.
  9. Illinois law does not authorize a Notary public to certify copies of any document. Persons requesting certified copies of documents will be referred to the official who has custody of the original document or to the office where the document has been officially filed.
  10. A notary commission is personal to the Notary Public. Library staff who serve as a Notary Public shall follow the Notary laws of the State of Illinois and must adhere to the highest standards of competence and responsibility in providing notary public services. Notaries will not provide service if the individual, document or circumstances of the request for notary service raise any issue of authenticity, ambiguity, doubt, or uncertainty for the Notary. In this event, the Library Notary may at his/her sole discretion, decline to provide notary service.
  11. The Library Notary shall correctly maintain a notary journal of all notarial acts they perform at the Library.
  12. The Library reserves the right to refuse notary service at any time.
  13. In consideration of using the free notary services of the Library, the individual using the Library notary services must sign a Hold Harmless agreement holding the Library Notary and the Cook Memorial Public Library District harmless from and against any and all claims and damages arising out of and resulting from any and all errors and omissions in the terms and conditions incorporated in the  documents executed by the individual and from and against any and all claims and damages arising out of or resulting from any dissemination, distribution and copying of communication in any form between the individual using notary services and any other person or entity by any unauthorized person or persons.

Article VI: Electronic Information and Computer Use.

The Library provides access to electronic information, including the Internet and other electronic media.

Library patrons using electronic information networks must do so within guidelines set forth in the Electronic Information Networks and Public Library Computers Use Policy and Wireless Internet Access Policy.

Remote access to electronic media is restricted to CMPLD cardholders. The Library Director shall establish reasonable regulations governing use of library equipment, including limiting usage for non-CMPLD cardholders.

Article VII: Programs and Use of Technology Equipment and Electronics.

A variety of programs are offered both at the Library and at other sites within the District as a means of fulfilling the Library’s mission. Programs and activities sponsored by the Library are scheduled based upon perceived needs and interests of the community. Presenters from for-profit organizations are not allowed to promote their products or services. Charges may be imposed to cover the costs of supplies, tickets or transportation. Authors are permitted to sell materials relating to their presentation. While most programs are open to CMPLD cardholders and non-cardholders alike, programs and activities may be limited at the discretion of the Library Director to CMPLD cardholders.

The Library provides a variety of technology equipment and electronics to help support patrons’ educational, professional, and personal goals and endeavors. The Library Director shall establish reasonable regulations governing use of this equipment and electronics, including limited usage for non-CMPLD cardholders.

Policies related to children’s programs and attendance are covered in the Safe Child Policy.

Article VIII: Use of 3D Printers.

The Library provides access to 3D printers to make three-dimensional objects using a design that is uploaded from a digital computer file.  The Library’s 3D printers may only be used for lawful purposes and may not be used to create weapons or material that is:

  1. Prohibited by local, state or federal law.
  2. Unsafe, harmful, dangerous or poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others.
  3. Obscene or otherwise inappropriate for the Library environment.
  4. In violation of another’s intellectual property rights.

The Library Director shall establish reasonable regulations governing use of this equipment.

Article IX: Teacher Services.

Section 1: Cards for Teachers Teaching in District Schools.

Library cards may be issued to persons teaching at schools located within the District as part of an agreement between the schools and the Library. These cards are fine-free and entitle the borrower to an extended period on curriculum-related materials subject to the overall limitations placed on the collection.

Section 2: Borrowing Privileges for Teachers Not Teaching in District Schools.

Residents of the Library District who teach outside of it may request subject/genre collections to be prepared for them. Teachers who live and teach outside the District will be assisted like any other patron who is visiting the Library.

Section 3: Library Privileges for Homeschooling Families.

Homeschooling parents residing in the District may apply for a homeschooling family card that grants all the privileges given to public and private school teachers. Cards must be renewed annually. They are fine-free and entitle the borrower to an extended loan period on curriculum-related materials subject to the overall limitations placed on the collection.

Section 4: Student Reserves.

Teachers teaching within the District may request that material be placed on reserve for their students. The Library staff shall determine the nature and extent of compliance with such requests.

Article X: Tours of the Library.

Tours of the Library may be requested by any group, all or part of which is composed of Library constituents. School tours will be conducted only for schools within the Library District. Tours must be scheduled. The presence of these groups shall not diminish the usefulness of the Library to other patrons.

Article XI: Posting of Flyers.

Flyers from non-commercial and civic organizations may be posted on designated bulletin boards or pamphlet racks as space permits and permission is received by the Library Director or designee. Priority is given to local programs and events. Postings not pertaining to a specific date may be displayed and removed as space allows. The posting of political flyers will not be allowed.

Questions regarding the administration of this policy should be directed to the Library Director. The Policy Review Committee may hear complaints regarding the content or administration of this policy.

Article XII: Solicitations, Petitioning and Leafleting.

Not-for-profit groups may request to solicit donations or sell products outside the library building on library property provided the appropriate requirements of the applicable Village have been met, library operations are not disrupted and permission is granted by the Library Director or designee.

The Library recognizes petitioning and distributing noncommercial leaflets by individuals and groups as a fundamental right protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. Persons may request signatures on a petition or distribute noncommercial leaflets on Library property solely outside the building no less than 15 feet from a public entrance provided Library operations are not disrupted. Advance notice or permission from the Library Director is not required.

All persons soliciting donations, petitioning, or distributing noncommercial leaflets are subject to Patron Behavior provisions of the Use of the Library Policy.

Article XIII: Patron Behavior.

Library patrons are expected to act with consideration for other people using the Library and for staff who are giving service. Conduct within the Library or on library grounds that hinders patrons from using the Library or library materials is considered obstructive. Conduct that results or may result in harming people or property, or that interferes with staff providing service or performing their duties is considered disruptive. Without limitation, examples of disruptive behavior include:

  1. Disruptive noise or conduct.
  2. Loitering in washrooms and lobbies.
  3. Failure to observe posted notices.
  4. Use of cell phones that is disturbing to others.
  5. Smoking or vaping within any buildings, on the grounds or in the Bookmobile.
  6. Eating, except in designated areas.
  7. Drinking, except from spill-proof containers.
  8. Improper parking.
  9. Intimidation or unwelcome remarks to other patrons or staff.
  10. Willful disregard of circulation or other service rules, or failure to observe a reasonable verbal instruction from a member of the staff.
  11. Bathing or extended sleeping.
  12. Theft or vandalism of library property or the property of other patrons.
  13. Consumption of alcoholic liquors except as permitted by the Alcoholic Liquors Sales and/or Delivery Policy.
  14. Failure to wear shirt/top and shoes.
  15. Public Intoxication.
  16. Use of skateboards, scooters, roller blades, roller skates or the like.
  17. Possession of animals, except those as permitted by the ADA Policy.

Parents, guardians and caregivers should be aware that the library is a public building open to all individuals. Parents or guardians, not the Library or its staff, are responsible for their children. Detailed rules regulating the use of the Library by minors are addressed in the Safe Child Policy.

Acts of vandalism, theft, substance abuse or other more serious offenses will be reported to the police.

Any staff member witnessing or becoming aware of willfully disruptive behavior is empowered to dismiss the patron or group of patrons causing the disruption for the rest of the day after consulting with a manager, supervisor or person-in-charge. If a child 14 years or younger is unable to leave the Library independently, staff will allow them to remain in the library under staff supervision until a parent or responsible adult can be notified (See Safe Child Policy).

After consultation with the Library Director, any Senior Manager is authorized to suspend a part or all library privileges to a willfully disruptive patron or ban him/her from the premises for a period not to exceed six months. The Library Director is authorized to suspend service or ban a patron for up to one year. Restrictions for longer periods must be approved by the Board. Notices of suspension may be given verbally but will be accompanied by a written notice to the person, parent or responsible adult that describes the offending behavior. A Senior Manager or the Library Director will meet with the patron to discuss the facts and circumstances prior to suspending Library privileges. (75 ILCS 16/30-55.55) Patrons who refuse to provide identification or to leave the Library when requested to leave by a staff member, or who return to the Library when they are banned from the premises, will be reported to the police and may be prosecuted for trespassing.

Any patron banned from the premises may file a written request for reinstatement to the Library Board within one week after having been banned. The Board will review the request in a timely manner and render a decision. The decision of the Library Board is final.

Article XIV: Weapons, Hazardous Materials and Dangerous Behavior.

Weapons, as defined under applicable federal, state and local statutes and ordinances, are prohibited in all Library District facilities and grounds. Staff members will contact emergency authorities immediately if they suspect that a weapon may be present, even if the person may be authorized to carry a weapon. Nothing in this policy should be construed to prohibit, abridge, or in any way hinder the religious freedom of any person or group.

Hazardous materials and substances are prohibited in all Library District facilities and grounds. Staff will contact emergency authorities immediately if they suspect that hazardous materials may be present.

Dangerous behavior is prohibited in all Library District facilities and grounds. Such behavior includes any behavior that appears to threaten the safety of persons or property.

Article XV: Photography and Video

  1. Permission is not required for taking photographs or videos in public areas of Library buildings for personal, noncommercial use. Taking photographs or videos of, or in, areas reserved for staff use only is prohibited. Photography in bathrooms, designated nursing areas or changing areas is also prohibited. Request to use tripods, lights, or other specialized equipment must be made at least one business day in advance. Persons taking photographs and videos shall not (i) compromise a patron or staff member’s right to privacy, (ii) harass, intimidate, or threaten a patron or staff member, or (iii) block Library aisles, walkways, stairwells, doors, or exits.
  2. Taking photographs and videos outside of Library buildings and/or of Library grounds does not require permission. Activity may not impede the ingress or egress of patrons or staff to and from the building.
  3. The Library may permit use of its facilities for the taking of commercial photographs or videos if the project does not interfere with the mission of the Library and is in accordance with the rest of this policy. Prior permission must be sought at least one week in advance. The Library may charge a fee to offset costs incurred to provide access to the facility.
  4. Meetings of the Library Board open to the public may be recorded by tape, film or other means and shall not disrupt the meeting or create a safety hazard (5 ILCS 120/1 et seq.).
  5. Persons involved in taking photographs or videos are solely liable for any injuries to persons or property that result from their activities on library property. They also have sole responsibility for obtaining all necessary releases and permissions required by applicable law, including but not limited to the Right of Publicity Act, 765 ILCS 1075/1 et seq., from persons who can be identified in any photograph or video or for copyrighted materials. The Library undertakes no responsibility for obtaining these releases or permissions.
  6. The Library reserves the right to ask any individual or group violating this Policy to cease the taking of photographs or videos.

Adopted: 04/03/95
Revised: 01/20/98
Revised: 07/18/00
Revised: 03/20/01
Revised: 12/16/03
Revised: 08/22/05
Revised: 02/19/08
Revised: 06/01/10
Revised: 08/17/10
Revised: 01/15/13
Revised: 12/17/13
Revised: 07/15/14
Revised: 06/21/16
Revised: 11/15/16
Revised: 04/18/17
Revised: 10/16/18
Revised: 12/17/19
Revised: 01/19/21
Revised: 10/19/21
Revised: 3/15/22

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