Human Resource Policy

The Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library (CRCPL) is a County District Library governed by a Board of Trustees (hereafter referred to as the Board) which consists of seven members, three appointed by the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas for Ross County and four appointed by the Board of County Commissioners of the county, each for a term of seven years.

1.1 THE BOARD

According to Ohio Revised Code, legal responsibility for the library is vested in the Board.  The Board is the policy-forming body and its responsibilities include selection and hiring of the Executive Director; appointment of the Chief Fiscal Officer; promotion of library interests, securing of funds adequate for a progressive, expanding program; and control of library funds, property and equipment.  Subject to existing statutes and ordinances, it has power to determine the rules and regulations governing the library.

1.2 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Executive Director is employed by the Board as administrator and executive of the library system. Within the limits of policies established by the Board, or to be established, and within the legal limits, the Executive Director is responsible for the efficient functioning of the library, without interference from individual Board members, or infringement by the Board on administrative functions. The Executive Director shall report monthly to the Board and make recommendations for actions or policies, or changes in either, which the Executive Director deems necessary.

1.3 CHIEF FISCAL OFFICER

The Chief Fiscal Officer is hired or appointed by, and responsible to the Board of Trustees, according to Ohio Revised Code 3375.32.

1.4 HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER

The Human Resources Manager is hired by and reports directly to the Executive Director. The HR Manager is responsible for recruitment & on-boarding, benefits management, and administrative policy review and application.

1.5 CHAIN OF COMMAND

In the absence of the Executive Director, the Access/Enrichment Directors and Chief Fiscal Officer shall have the authority to apply discretionary judgments in interpreting Board policy with regard to special or emergency situations. The Human Resources Manager shall have the authority to apply discretionary judgments in regards to administrative policy.  In the event that the Executive Director, Chief Fiscal Officer or HR Manager are not available, the senior manager on duty, in consultation with other senior staff members, shall have discretionary authority to interpret policy and assume administrative duties for the system until such time as the Board or its officers, acting as an executive committee, shall take such action as it deems necessary or appropriate.

2.1 AT WILL

Nothing in the Human Resources policy creates, or should be interpreted to create, an employment contract for any specific length of time between CRCPL and any employee.  CRCPL is an at-will employer. This means that every employee has the right to terminate their employment at any time without cause or notice, and that CRCPL has the right to terminate the employment of any employee at any time with or without cause or notice. Unless authorized by a written agreement, signed by the president of the Board, no director, manager or other representative of CRCPL has the authority to enter into any agreement for employment for any specified period of time.

2.2 EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

CRCPL is an equal employment opportunity employer.  Selection of employees is based solely upon qualifications, training, and aptitude required for the position involved.  In recognition of the essential rights of all employees and applicants as individuals, it is Board policy to recruit, hire, and promote in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, national origin, veteran/military status, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law or which is unrelated to merit or qualification.

Affirmative steps will be taken to insure that employment and other human resource actions such as rate of compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, return from layoffs, library-supported training, recommendations for educational tuition assistance, and promotions be administered and conducted without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, national origin, veteran/military status, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. CRCPL is fully committed to comply with all statutes, executive orders and court decisions designed to insure equal treatment to all persons.

2.3 AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

CRCPL does not discriminate on the basis of a) pregnancy, childbirth or pregnancy-related medical condition, b) physical or mental disability, or c) medical condition as defined under state and federal law. CRCPL will comply with all federal and state laws concerning the employment of persons who are pregnant and/or persons with disabilities and will not discriminate against these individuals in regard to application procedures, hiring, advancement, discharge, compensation, training or other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, CRCPL will provide reasonable accommodation to employees who are qualified individuals with a disability as long as it does not cause undue hardship for the library. Employees should request accommodations from the Human Resources Manager.

2.4 HIRING

Job vacancies will usually be posted on the library’s website. Jobs can be posted internally and externally at the same time. Under certain circumstances, CRCPL reserves the right to post positions internally only and fill jobs through transfers, reorganizations, etc. without posting them on the web site. Employees must have been employed by the library for at least three months before applying for a vacant position. Applications will only be accepted for a specific position, and only when posted by the Human Resources Manager. Inactive applications will be retained according to CRCPL’s public records policy; unsolicited applications will be destroyed on receipt.

The hiring manager will prescreen the applications and select for interviews those applicants deemed most qualified. Internal candidates will be chosen based on factors such as the employee’s experience, performance assessments, and corrective action record. External candidates will be reviewed based on their experience and any materials submitted with their application. CRCPL will also consider any special requirements for the position when reviewing internal and external candidates. The hiring manager or interview team will interview applicants and select the best applicant for the job. Upon acceptance of an offer, all unsuccessful interviewed applicants will be notified of the selection.

2.5 NEPOTISM

In keeping with Ohio Ethics Commission opinions (Adv. Op. No. 80-001), a “family member” includes the following relatives, regardless of where they reside: (1) Spouse; (2) Children/Step-Children (whether dependent or not); (3) Siblings; (4) Parents/Step-Parents; (5) Grandparents; and (6) Grandchildren. It also includes any other person related by blood or by marriage (e.g. cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws, nieces, nephews) if that person resides in the same household as the public employee.

In general, family members of public employees can legally pursue public jobs. However the applicant’s family member who is already employed by the library must be recused from any and every aspect of the hiring process. If the public employee can be removed from any discussion, review, decision-making, or any other aspect of the hiring process, their family member generally can be awarded the public job.

Employees who are family members, or who marry or become related by marriage while both employees are employed by the library, are not permitted to supervise a family member. In the event one employee is currently in the supervisory chain of the other, the library will first attempt to place both family members in an appropriate job situation. If the library is unable to do so, one of the employees will be required to terminate employment. The library will have the discretion to select which employee will terminate employment based on their position, performance, years of experience, and any other relevant criteria. Former employees are not eligible for re-hire until or unless the relationship with a current employee ceases to exist. Employees may not participate in decisions regarding the hiring of family members whether as contractors or vendors.

2.6 BACKGROUND CHECKS

Based on the position being filled or held, CRCPL may conduct a detailed reference, background, credit, and/or criminal check of an applicant or employee.  All reference, background, credit, or criminal checks will be in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

New hires must successfully complete a criminal background check. CRCPL will conduct a driving record check for employment in a position where driving a library vehicle is one of the job duties.

2.7 PERFORMANCE EVALUATION AND MERIT RAISES

Employees will be considered for merit increases annually following their written performance evaluation and review meeting with their immediate supervisor(s). Merit increases are not automatic, but shall be contingent upon the performance rating and budget considerations.

To be eligible for a merit increase, employees must have reached the first anniversary date of their placement in a position or classification level. Newly-hired staff or those who were promoted to a new job classification before October 1st will receive a 90-day performance evaluation, and will be eligible for a pro-rated merit increase.  In order to establish a work history, employees hired after October 1st will wait until the next cycle to be eligible for a merit increase.

Merit increases must fall within the current pay range established annually by the Board of Trustees. Recommendations for merit increases are made by the Executive Director after review and consultation with the HR Manager and Directors. Employees who have reached the maximum end of their salary range at the time of the annual evaluation will not be eligible for merit increases.

If, after discussions, the employee and supervisor cannot agree on the evaluation and/or improvement goals, the employee should state concerns in writing for to the Executive Director. Positions reporting directly to the Executive Director have recourse to the Board of Trustees. Requests for such meetings can be made to the Board President or Personnel Committee Chair.

2.8 CORRECTIVE ACTION

All managers and supervisors are responsible for holding their staff accountable for upholding the policies, procedures and standards of the library. Managers should regularly engage in job coaching sessions with their employees to provide them with feedback on their performance. The library does (depending on the severity of the offense) retain the right to take corrective action in any manner it deems fit, up to and including immediate discharge.

Behavior which will result in corrective action includes, but is not limited to:

  • Unsatisfactory work performance
  • Violation of the library’s ethics policy (Human Resources Policy section 5.1)
  • Working on personal matters while on duty
  • Disruptive activity in the workplace
  • Excessive absenteeism and tardiness
  • Absence without notice or any unauthorized absence
  • Disregard of safety rules or practices
  • Creating or contributing to hazardous, unhealthy, unsafe, or unsanitary conditions
  • Sleeping during working hours
  • Insubordination
  • Unauthorized disclosure of confidential information
  • Violation of the library’s policies regarding use of computers, e-mail, telephone, or other electronic communications equipment
  • Smoking in unauthorized areas
  • Refusing to cooperate with a library investigation

The normal progression of corrective action, subject to modifications and dependent upon the severity of the infraction, is:

  1. Written coaching
  2. First written warning
  3. Second written warning and suspension
  4. Discharge

All corrective actions must be approved by the Executive Director or the HR Manager. Signed copies will be shared with the employee and become a permanent part of the employee’s HR file. The length of a suspension will be based on the severity of the infraction. Generally, corrective actions dating back more than one year will not be considered in the progressive corrective action of an employee, unless the employee has demonstrated a pattern of behavior. Employees are not eligible for promotion within 12 months of a corrective action.

Any documentation pertaining to an individual employee’s behavior or work performance that is placed in an employee’s permanent HR file must be initialed or signed by the employee as indication of the employee’s knowledge of the document (the employee’s signature does not necessarily imply agreement).  The employee may write a response to any material in the file; the response will be attached to the file copy of the material at the written request of the employee.

Some violations may result in immediate discharge. These include but are not limited to:

  • Discrimination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Falsifying a job application or other library document
  • Theft or attempted theft
  • Destruction of property
  • Threatening or verbally abusing a patron or employee
  • Possession of a weapon
  • Possession of alcohol or drugs
  • Reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Manufacture, distribution or dispensation of drugs
  • Failing or refusing a drug or alcohol test
  • Conviction of a drug crime or felony
  • Accepting gifts that call into question the integrity of the library
  • Unauthorized use of library assets including but not limited to: computers, telephones, or logos
  • Acts detrimental to the library
  • Job abandonment
  • Fraudulent behavior
  • Timecard falsification

Nothing in this policy limits the employee’s right or the library’s right to terminate employment at any time, with or without cause or notice.

2.9 GRIEVANCES

Grievances include the occasions when an employee feels they have been unjustly treated, and those where there is an allegation that the library has failed to provide a condition of employment formally agreed upon. Issues must be reported within 30 days of the incident or occurrence complained of.

Any employee with a grievance must:

Step 1: Discuss it fully with the immediate supervisor. A written record of this meeting will be prepared by the supervisor.

Step 2. If unresolved, the employee will put the grievance in writing and submit it to the supervisor. The supervisor will respond in writing within two weeks of receipt.

Step 3. If the issue is not resolved in Step 2, within two weeks from receipt of the supervisor’s response the employee may request a meeting with the Executive Director. At the time of request, documentation will be furnished to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will respond to the grievant in writing.

Step 4. If the grievance is not resolved at Step 3, within two weeks of the meeting with the Executive Director, the grievant may submit to the Executive Director and to the President of the Board of Trustees a written request for a hearing. The hearing will be scheduled within 30 days.

2.10 SEPARATION OF EMPLOYMENT

Upon separation of employment, employees will be paid for any unused portion of annual vacation leave pro-rated monthly on their final paycheck. If the entire leave for the year has been used, a pro-rated amount will be subtracted from the final paycheck. No other unused leave or compensatory time will be compensated except as noted in Section 2.10.2 Retirement.

2.10.1 Resignation 

Employees are requested to give at least two weeks’ notice of intent to resign, through their direct supervisor or the HR Manager. The reason for resigning and the date upon which the resignation will take effect should be included in this written notice.

2.10.2 Retirement

Retirement is defined as an employee resigning their position and being awarded Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) retirement benefits. Retiring employees will be compensated for 25% of accumulated unused sick leave at their current rate of pay on their final paycheck. Sick leave accumulation for this purpose is capped at 960 hours, and includes only sick leave accumulated while employed by CRCPL. Any other retirement benefits are determined according to OPERS.

2.10.3 Suspensions, Terminations and Dismissals

All employees of the library serve at-will, which means that the employment relationship may be terminated at any time with or without notice or cause by either the employee or the library. The Executive Director has the authority to dismiss or recommend dismissal of employees as specified by Article V of Bylaws. The Executive Director may suspend, with pay, any employee pending action by the Board of Trustees. The Executive Director also has full authority to suspend an employee with or without pay for up to three days to protect property or for corrective action reasons.

2.10.4 Abandonment

Unless an employee is on an approved leave, failure to report to work or contact the employee’s work location regarding an absence from work for three consecutive scheduled work days shall constitute job abandonment. Job abandonment shall be grounds for termination of employment, effective retroactively to the end of the employee’s last work shift prior to the unexcused absence. Extenuating circumstances will be taken under consideration.

2.10.5 Death

In the event of the death of an employee, final wages and payment of accrued vacation leave shall be made according to the established payroll deposit authorization on file.

2.10.6 Reductions in Workforce

The library strives to provide a stable work environment for its employees.  Generally, a reduction in workforce may be implemented for reasons that include but are not limited to the following:

  • A budget reduction and/or funding changes
  • Programmatic changes that result in the elimination of, or decrease in services
  • Reorganization that results in shifting of responsibilities or elimination of certain tasks
  • Business process improvements that change work to the extent that a position(s) is no longer required; or
  • Other organizational changes that may prompt an adjustment to staffing

In an effort to avoid reducing positions due to budget cuts and/or funding changes the library reserves the right to consider implementing temporary layoffs, employee furloughs, reduction of hours and/or compensation to achieve the necessary budget reduction prior to, or in lieu of lay-off.

If a reduction in workforce occurs, an effort will be made to accomplish the staff reduction through normal attrition and administrative transfers to lateral or comparable vacant positions. When a staff reduction is to take place, the Executive Director in consultation with Directors shall recommend to the Board the position title(s) in which the reduction should occur and the total number of positions to be reduced under each position title.

Staff reduction and layoffs shall be implemented based on operational needs.  Layoffs within position titles may be based on the following factors: a) position title and job status, b) length of service, and c) performance assessment.

Employees with specialized skills vital to the operation of a department may be exempted from layoff.

2.11 HUMAN RESOURCES RECORDS

Human Resources records are retained in the administrative offices, records room, and in the payroll and accounting computer system. The Executive Director, Human Resources Manager, Chief Fiscal Officer, and Deputy Fiscal Officer have access to these files for business purposes. An employee’s supervisor, with the permission of the Executive Director, Human Resources Manager, Chief Fiscal Officer, or Deputy Fiscal Officer, may have access to an employee’s documentation for business purposes.

Requests by members of the public, or non-supervisory or administrative library staff, for access to employee Human Resources records will be honored as required by law following the procedures described in CRCPL’s Public Access to Library Records Policy.  Employees affected will be informed of any request to view their HR records.  All employees have the right to inspect their own HR files.

Human Resources  files may include a variety of documents relating to employees’ employment including: forms relating to hiring, payroll, transfer, and promotion; performance evaluations and supporting documents; corrective action records; letters of reference; records of attendance at workshops and other training; emergency contact information; letters of commendation, etc.

Any individually identifiable health information covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 Privacy Rule is not subject to public records requests.

Employees may submit relevant materials for inclusion in their HR files.

3.1 TYPES OF POSITIONS AND WORK HOURS

The work week for all employees is Sunday through Saturday. A regular full-time position is one in which the employee’s regularly worked hours are 40 hours per week. A regular part-time position is one in which the employee’s regularly worked hours are at least 30 hours per week.  Overtime is ordinarily not scheduled due to budgetary and staff limitations. In an emergency, overtime work may be scheduled or approved by the Executive Director.

FLSA Exempt Employees:

Some professional, administrative, and managerial positions are exempted from overtime provisions by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Exempted positions include: Executive Director, Human Resources Manager, Chief Fiscal Officer, Directors, and employees in Band C and above who manage two or more fulltime employees. Time worked over 40 hours in any one work week by persons in these positions may be compensated by straight time off (1:1) to be taken during the following week. If compensating time needs to be carried longer than one week, permission must be granted by the Executive Director.

FLSA Non-exempt Employees:

Time worked over 40 hours in any one work week by non-exempt employees shall be compensated at a rate of time and a half off (1:1.5) to be scheduled during the following week. If compensating time needs to be carried longer than one week, permission must be granted by the Executive Director.

3.2 JOB CLASSIFICATIONS AND DESCRIPTIONS

Positions in the library are classified. Positions that are generally equivalent in the following respects: kind, complexity, and difficulty of duties; responsibility involved; and qualifications required, including education, technical training and experience; are grouped in the same classification.

A job description is a written statement of the essential functions of the job. These descriptions also contain information regarding the skills and abilities required in order to perform the essential functions of a job as well as information concerning reporting relationships and working conditions.

Current job descriptions, classifications and pay ranges are available from the administrative offices.

Band A           Page & Building Custodian

Band B           Clerk

Band C           Assistant & Coordinator

Band D           Manager

Band E           Director

The Board establishes compensation for the Executive Director and Chief Fiscal Officer.

3.3 PAYROLL

Each job classification corresponds to a range of pay. An employee’s compensation will fall within the pay range where their position is classified. Compensation is reviewed annually by the Board. The current wage schedule is available from the administrative offices.

3.3.1 Timekeeping

It is the responsibility of each employee to keep an accurate time card. Each employee is expected to total the hours on the time card, sign it, and submit it to their supervisor.  Time off work for which an employee is entitled to be paid (paid absences, paid holidays, or paid vacation time), will be verified by the supervisor before they sign the time card.  If employee submits an incorrect time card, corrections will be made in the following pay period.

Employees are not permitted to sign in or commence work before their scheduled starting time or to sign out or stop work after their scheduled quitting time without the prior approval of their supervisor.

3.3.2 Direct Deposit

For security, financial, and administrative reasons, employees are required to use direct deposit via electronic funds transfer (EFT). All EFT paystubs will be delivered via email to an address of the employee’s choosing. All EFT paystub emails will be password protected for the employee’s security.

4.1 INSURANCE

Employees working at least 30 hours weekly are eligible for insurance benefits.  CRCPL will pay a portion of insurance premiums at a rate determined by the Board.

Open enrollment for health and life insurance group will be held once a year.  Exceptions may be made if the employee notifies the Human Resources Manager of a change in status/qualifying event within 30 (thirty) days of its occurrence.

The employee must notify the Human Resources Manager of their divorce, separation, Medicare eligibility, or change in dependent status in writing within 30-days of the event.

Upon resignation or termination the employee and their dependents may have the right to continue health insurance coverage via COBRA. Employees will receive notification of their rights by mail and must respond within the established time frame.

4.2 FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA)

Rules and interpretations of the FMLA are constantly being revised. CRCPL follows all Federal guidelines concerning the FMLA including any changes enacted that may override current library policy. Employees are advised to become aware of their rights and protections contained therein.

4.2.1 Eligibility

Employees who have been employed for at least twelve (12) months and who have completed at least one thousand, two hundred and fifty (1,250) hours of service during the twelve (12) month period immediately preceding the commencement of leave shall be eligible for Family and Medical Leave (FML) as provided herein.

4.2.2 Amount and Usage

Eligible employees shall be entitled to a total of twelve (12) workweeks of leave during the twelve (12) month period measured forward from the date the employee’s first Family Medical Leave may be taken for the following reasons:

  • Birth of a child of the employee or placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care; and to bond with the newly-placed child.
  • Employee is needed to care for their family member due to a serious health condition. Family member is the employee’s spouse, parent, child under age 18, or child 18 years or older and incapable of self-care due to mental or physical disability or
  • Employee’s own serious health condition.
  • Family military leave for the spouse, child of any age, or parent of a Service member who is on active duty or who is called to active duty of the Armed Forces (including the National Guard or Reserves) in support of a contingency operation, in the event of a qualifying exigency.
  • Caregiver military leave for the spouse, child, parent, or next of kin of a covered Service member of the Armed Forces (including National Guard and Reserves) in order to care for the Service member who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness incurred by the Service member in line of duty on active duty. For this cause you may be eligible to take up to 26 weeks of unpaid, job-protected FMLA leave in a single 12-month period.

4.2.3 Use of Leave Time

Employees shall be required to use all accrued, sick leave, personal leave, vacation, wellness, and compensatory time for all or part of the FML twelve (12) week period prior to being granted an unpaid Family and Medical Leave.  The combined period of leave, including paid and unpaid Family and Medical Leave shall not exceed the total of twelve (12) workweeks during the twelve (12) month period measured forward from the date the employee’s Family and Medical Leave began.

4.2.4 Intermittent/Reduced Leave

Leave due to the serious health condition of the employee or the employee’s spouse, child, or parent may be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule when medically necessary.  The Employer may require an employee taking leave in this manner for planned medical treatments to transfer temporarily to an alternative position which has equivalent pay and benefits and better accommodates the recurring periods of leave.

The taking of leave intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule shall not result in a greater amount of leave to which the employee is entitled in accordance with this policy.  Intermittent or reduced leave may not exceed the total hours an employee would have worked during their regular twelve (12) week schedule.

4.2.5 Employment

Any eligible employee who takes leave hereunder shall be entitled, on return from such leave, to be restored to the position held by the employee when the leave commenced or a similar position of equivalent pay and benefits.  The Employer may require that the employee’s physician certify that the employee is able to resume work as a condition of return to employment.

4.2.6 Benefits

During any period that an eligible employee takes leave hereunder, the Employer shall maintain the employee’s group health care coverage under the conditions coverage would have been provided if the employee had continued in employment for the duration of the leave.  The employee will be responsible for continuing to pay the employee’s share of health insurance costs during the leave.  Payment for the employee’s share of health insurance premium shall be due at to the administrative office no later than the last day of the month preceding the month being paid for.  Failure to pay said amounts within thirty (30) days of the due date will result in termination of CRCPL’s obligation to pay its share of the premium for the employee’s coverage.  If the employee does not return from the leave, the employee is responsible for the total insurance premium paid by the employer.  Insurance premiums may not be recovered if the employee fails to return to work due to the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition or circumstances beyond the employee’s control.  While on unpaid FML, holidays will not be paid and vacation/sick leave will not accrue during the unpaid leave period.

4.2.7 Notification

Eligible employees requiring Family and Medical Leave shall notify the Human Resources Manager not less than thirty (30) days prior to the date such leave is to begin.  In situations where the need for such leave is not foreseeable thirty (30) days in advance, the employee shall provide as much advance notice as possible. Along with the request for leave, employees are required to provide the Employer with certification of the condition from a health care provider. Upon receipt of a Request for Family and Medical Leave, the Employer will provide the requesting employee with a written notice of the employee’s rights and obligations under the leave.

4.2.8 Approval/Denial of Leave Request

The Human Resources Manager shall notify the employee in writing as to the approval or denial of their FMLA request, and that any accrued sick leave, vacation, wellness, and compensatory time will be set off against the leave in accordance with policy 4.2.3.   The Human Resources Manager shall note the starting and ending dates of leave, reinstatement procedures, and utilization of accumulated paid leave.

Employees may be required to give periodic status reports (the first not less than thirty (30) days into FML).

Additional information about the FMLA may be found on the WHD website at www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla.

4.3 NURSING EMPLOYEES

Employees who breastfeed their child and/or who need to express milk during the working day, will work with their supervisor to determine how best to accommodate their needs while still accomplishing the performance of their job.

Supervisors may consider flexible working arrangements to allow time for employees to express milk.  Employees may use their break and lunch time to express milk. Breaks to express milk should not last longer than 20 minutes. If an employee needs to take more than two breaks during the workday to express milk, the employee will need to use uncompensated personal time.

Supervisors will work with each nursing employee to determine a private area, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion for coworkers and the public, in which they may express milk. Milk should be placed in cooler-type containers and may be stored in library refrigerators.

4.4 TYPES OF LEAVE

The leave package was developed to assist employees in creating a healthy work/life balance. Employees are responsible for managing their paid time off.

4.4.1 Vacation Leave

Vacation with pay is granted to all regular full-time and regular part-time employees who are scheduled to work at least 30 hours per week. Regular part-time employees who work fewer than 30 hours per week do not qualify for vacation with pay, but may arrange with their supervisors for unpaid leave as outlined in the Attendance Policy.

A new employee who has service credit with the State of Ohio or any political subdivision of the State (i.e., township, municipality, library, school district, health district, etc.) may use prior service credit for the purpose of computing vacation leave.  Employees must submit a service credit statement to certify eligible years of service.  Employees who have retired from a state-offered retirement plan are not entitled to have prior service counted for the purposes of computing vacation leave.

With prior approval of the Executive Director and the Chief Fiscal Officer, an employee may “borrow” against vacation expected to be earned during the current calendar year, provided such “borrowing” is not in excess of the total vacation for which the employee is eligible to earn in that calendar year.  In no case may an employee “borrow” against vacation to be earned in a succeeding calendar year.

An employee who has “borrowed” vacation time and who leaves employment with a deficit of earned vacation time will reimburse CRCPL for the difference of the value between the vacation time used and the vacation time actually earned by the employee at the date of the employee’s separation from service by deduction from the employee’s last paycheck.

Vacation leave accrues at the following rates:

4.4.2 Sick Leave

Sick leave is accrued by all regular full-time employees and regular part-time employees working at least 30 hours weekly.  Part-time employees working less than 30 hours weekly are not eligible to accrue sick leave benefits. Time off beyond the accumulated amount of leave may be taken from vacation time with permission of the Executive Director.  If no leave remains, the provisions of the Attendance Policy will apply.

A new employee may transfer accumulated sick leave credit from another Ohio public library or Ohio public agency up to the maximum accumulation permitted above. The Chief Fiscal Officer will require an official accounting of hours from the employee’s previous public employer.

Sick leave accrues at the following rates:

At the discretion of the Executive Director, absences may require relevant documentation. Sick leave may be used only in the following instances:

  • Illness or injury to the employee.
  • Illness in the immediate family requiring the presence of the employee.
  • Other FMLA qualifying events.
  • Death in the immediate family: spouse, children and stepchildren (whether dependent or not), siblings, parents, grandparents, and grandchildren; or death of a relative living in the same household; or at the discretion of the Executive Director.
  • Time used for visits to doctors and dentists, etc., may be counted as sick leave, but this practice is not encouraged and should be used only when appointments cannot be made outside working hours.

4.4.3 Personal Leave

Regular full-time employees are entitled to 24 hours of personal leave, and regular part-time employees working at least 30 hours weekly are entitled to 18 hours personal leave, in each calendar year in which they work.  Personal leave must be used in the calendar year in which it is earned, and is not eligible to be paid out upon separation of employment.

4.4.4 Wellness Leave

All employees who participate in the Wellness program, regardless of their current benefits, are eligible to receive 4 hours of paid Wellness Leave each year they participate in the program. This leave must be taken within 12 months from when it’s earned, and is not eligible to be paid out upon separation of employment.

4.4.5 Part Time Paid Leave      

At the beginning of the calendar year, part-time (employees working less than 30 hours per week) employees will be given paid leave equal to the normal total of hours scheduled per week. The leave will be credited to the employee as a lump sum at the start of each year and may be used to cover illness, vacation, or any other occurrence that may result in a loss of pay for the employee. Part time paid leave must be used in the calendar year in which it is allotted, and is not eligible to be paid out upon separation of employment.

Exceeding the limit of authorized paid and/or unpaid leave will lead to discharge.

4.4.6 Administrative Leave

Administrative leave is granted at the discretion of the administration. Any library employee is eligible for administrative leave. Administrative leave must be reported and tracked in accordance with current time-keeping procedures.

Reasons for granting Administrative Leave may include, but are not limited to the following circumstances:

  1. During an emergency: Leave with pay (and benefits when applicable) may be allowed during public emergencies that effectively prevent an employee from attendance at work or continuance of work in a normal and orderly manner. An emergency may include fire, natural disaster, pandemic illness, or other comparable occurrences as determined by the Executive Director. An emergency declaration may continue until work can be resumed in a safe manner.

When an employee is absent because of personal reasons resulting from an emergency that does not affect library operations, the employee should charge this absence to accrued leave or leave without pay.

  1. During an investigation of misconduct: An employee may be placed on administrative leave with pay (and benefits when applicable) at the discretion of the Executive Director during an investigation of allegations of misconduct or as a result of actions taken in direct violation of library policies or procedures. The staff member may be required to surrender any library keys and equipment and will be relieved of any work-related responsibilities. The employee may be prohibited from entering the workplace for any reason during the course of the investigation.
  2. Other circumstances: Employees may be granted administrative leave with pay (and benefits when applicable) for absences involving an administrative decision or a situation for which other types of leave do not apply, including conference attendance and trainings.

4.5 HOLIDAYS

CRCPL recognizes the following holidays with pay for regular full-time & regular part-time employees are:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Presidents’ Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Juneteenth
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day

Holidays with pay for regular part-time employees working at least 30 hours weekly shall be on a pro-rata basis. If an eligible employee is scheduled to work on a holiday, they will not work that day and will receive regular pay for the week. If the holiday occurs on a regular day off, they will receive time off to be taken that week on a pro-rata basis to the nearest whole hour, according to the percent of full-time which is normally worked. For example, a 30 hour a week employee would receive 6 hours off during a week when a holiday fell during their normal day off.

Holidays on days off will be taken during the same week in which the holiday fell, according to scheduling by the scheduler for that building. A holiday which falls within a vacation period will not be counted as a vacation day.

When a part-time employee is regularly scheduled to work the day of the week that a recognized holiday falls, they will receive holiday pay on a pro-rata basis up to six hours.

4.6 EMERGENCY CLOSINGS

When the Main library or a branch is closed due to an emergency (snowstorm for example), employees will be paid for the hours they were regularly scheduled to work during the time the facility was closed.  When CRCPL is open but the employee is excused because of weather, the employee may elect to take vacation time, leave without pay, or make-up time within the week scheduled at the discretion of the supervisor.

4.7 CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

4.7.1 Jury Duty

Employees are asked to provide notice of jury duty to their supervisor within a week of receiving the summons. While serving jury duty, a staff member will receive full wages for the time the staff member was scheduled to work. If dismissed from jury duty before the end of their scheduled work day, the employee should contact the manager to determine if they should report to work. The employee may keep any compensation received from the courts for their work.

4.7.2 Volunteering and Participating in Community Affairs

CRCPL employees are encouraged to participate in civic and community affairs through membership with and/or service to charitable, educational, religious, fraternal, and other organizations provided such participation does not adversely affect the employee’s job performance or work schedule and is not detrimental to CRCPL’s interests or place the employee in the position of serving conflicting interests.

Time spent on community affairs, when not undertaken at the request of CRCPL, should normally be outside the employee’s regular working hours, and therefore, will not be considered for pay purposes. However, certain activities may qualify as work time, including: volunteering in schools to benefit a library initiative, donating blood, jury duty and working election polls (see separate policies), and other events as approved by the Executive Director. Employees are expected to adhere to all applicable library policies and to represent CRCPL in a professional manner.

4.7.3 Election Poll Judges

Employees who work the election polls will receive the wages equal to the time the staff member would normally be scheduled to work on the day of the election (not to exceed 8 hours). Employees will not be paid or compensated for leave to attend training required to be a poll worker.

Service as an election judge is voluntary. Employees should notify their manager of their intention to work the polls as soon as possible. If several employees request the opportunity, the manager will make the final decision based on maintaining appropriate levels of service to the public.

If the employees are dismissed from the polls before the end of their normal work day, they should contact their manager to determine if they should report to work. Employees may keep any compensation received from the Board of Elections for their work.

4.8 MEALS AND BREAKS

CRCPL allows for an uncompensated meal time of at least 30 minutes, which is scheduled in accordance with business needs. This time should be duty free and it is advised that employees take their full meal time away from their workstations. Employees are free to leave the premises and use their meal time as they choose. Supervisors will coordinate meal times to ensure that work areas are sufficiently staffed; there may be occasions when meal times cannot be accommodated. Employees are expected to return to work promptly following their meal time.  Failure to report promptly may result in corrective action.

While the Fair Labor Standards Act does not mandate that employees be given rest periods, employees who work more than six hours in a day may take up to two 15-minute breaks daily, which will be counted as a part of “time worked”. Employees scheduled to work up to six hours in a day may take one 15-minute break. Employees are compensated while on break. Although supervisors will coordinate rest breaks to ensure that work areas are sufficiently staffed, supervisors may not always be able to provide rest breaks for all employees. Employees should not leave library premises during rest breaks without first obtaining permission from a supervisor. Employees are considered “on call” during rest breaks should their services be needed. Employees may not use rest breaks to extend their meal time or to shorten their workday by arriving late or leaving early.

Employees under 18 years of age who work more than five consecutive hours are required by law to have at least a 30-minute lunch period; this time is unpaid.

4.9 TELECOMMUTING POLICY

Telecommuting allows employees to work at home, on the road, or in a satellite location for all or part of their workweek, temporarily or long term. Telecommuting may be appropriate for some employees and jobs but not for others. Telecommuting is not an entitlement or a system wide benefit, and it in no way changes the terms and conditions of employment.

Telecommuting can be informal, such as working from home for a short-term project or on the road during business travel, or a formal, set schedule of working away from the office as described below. Either an employee or a supervisor can suggest telecommuting as a possible work arrangement.

Any telecommuting arrangement may be discontinued at-will and any time at the request of either the telecommuter or management. Every effort will be made to provide 30 days’ notice of such change to accommodate commuting, child care and other issues that may arise from the termination of a telecommuting arrangement. There may be instances, however, when no notice is possible.

Telecommuting does not excuse employees from attending meetings, scheduled trainings, or other events at which a physical presence is required.

4.9.1 Eligibility

Individuals requesting telecommuting arrangements must have a satisfactory performance record (at the determination of the Executive Director).

Before entering into any telecommuting agreement, the employee and direct supervisor will evaluate the suitability of such an arrangement, reviewing the following areas:

  • Employee suitability. The employee and manager will assess the needs and work habits of the employee, compared to traits customarily recognized as appropriate for successful telecommuters.
  • Job responsibilities. The employee and manager will discuss the job responsibilities and determine if the job is appropriate for a telecommuting arrangement.
  • Equipment needs, workspace design considerations and scheduling issues. The employee and manager will review the physical workspace needs and the appropriate location for the telework.
  • Tax and other legal implications. The employee must determine any tax or legal implications under IRS, state and local government laws, and/or restrictions of working out of a home-based office. Responsibility for fulfilling all obligations in this area rests solely with the employee.

If the employee and manager agree, a written telecommuting agreement will be prepared and presented to the Executive Director for approval.

Evaluation of telecommuter performance will include regular interaction by phone and e-mail between the employee and immediate supervisor, and weekly face-to-face meetings to discuss work progress and problems.

An appropriate level of communication between the telecommuter and supervisor will be agreed to as part of the discussion process. The supervisor and telecommuter will communicate at a level consistent with employees working at the office or in a manner and frequency that is appropriate for the job and the individuals involved.

4.9.2 Equipment

On a case-by-case basis, CRCPL will determine, with information supplied by the employee and the supervisor, the appropriate equipment needs for each telecommuting arrangement.  Equipment supplied by the organization will be maintained by the organization. Equipment supplied by the employee, if deemed appropriate by the organization, will be maintained by the employee. The employee is responsible for damage or repairs to employee-owned equipment.  CRCPL reserves the right to make determinations as to appropriate equipment, subject to change at any time. The telecommuter must sign an inventory of all library property received and agree to take appropriate action to protect the items from damage or theft. Upon termination of employment, all company property will be returned to the company, unless other arrangements have been made.

4.9.3 Safety and Security

The employee will establish an appropriate work environment within their home for work purposes. CRCPL will not be responsible for costs associated with the setup of the employee’s home office, such as remodeling, furniture or lighting, nor for repairs or modifications to the home office space or additional incurred utility expenses.

Consistent with the organization’s expectations of information security for employees working on-site, telecommuting employees will be expected to ensure the protection of patron information accessible from their home office. Steps include the use of locked file cabinets and desks, regular password maintenance, and any other measures appropriate for the job and the environment.

Employees are expected to maintain their home workspace in a safe manner, free from safety hazards. Injuries sustained by the employee in a home office location and in conjunction with their regular work duties are normally covered by the company’s workers’ compensation policy.  Telecommuting employees are responsible for notifying the employer of such injuries as soon as possible. The employee is liable for any injuries sustained by visitors to their home worksite.

Telecommuting is not designed to be a replacement for appropriate child care. Although an individual employee’s schedule may be modified to accommodate child care needs, the focus of the arrangement must remain on job performance and meeting business demands. Prospective telecommuters are encouraged to discuss expectations of telecommuting with family members prior to entering a telecommuting arrangement.

4.9.4 Time Worked

Telecommuting employees will be required to accurately record all hours worked using time-keeping system. Hours worked in excess of those scheduled per day and per workweek require the advance approval of the telecommuter’s supervisor. Fraud or failure to comply with this requirement can result in the immediate termination of the telecommuting agreement.

4.9.5 Ad Hoc Arrangements

Temporary telecommuting arrangements may be approved by the Executive Director for circumstances such as inclement weather, special projects or business travel. These arrangements are approved on an as-needed basis only, with no expectation of ongoing continuance.

Other informal, short-term arrangements may be made for employees on family or medical leave to the extent practical for the employee and the organization and with the consent of the employee’s health care provider, if appropriate.

All informal telecommuting arrangements are made on a case-by-case basis, focusing first on the business needs of the organization.

4.10 BORROWING PRIVILEGES

Employees are expected to follow the same rules for borrowing library materials as any library patron. However, they are expected to be considerate in returning borrowed library materials on or before the due date. Employees are also charged for replacement of damaged, lost, or unreturned items, as any patron would be, including any processing or service charges.

Employees may use the request system as any other library patron does, and may not use their position to jump ahead of other patrons in line for an item. Employees may not borrow new library materials before they have been cataloged and processed.

4.11 MILEAGE AND TRAVEL

When practical, employees are to use library owned vehicles for library business. Employees who are required to drive their personal vehicles on library business may be reimbursed mileage for the round trip at a rate established by the Internal Revenue Service. A valid Ohio Driver’s license shall be required of such drivers

Any location at which an employee is regularly assigned to work is considered the employee’s home location. If an employee is regularly assigned to work at more than one location, all of those locations are considered home locations for that employee. If an employee has more than one home location, mileage will be calculated from the home location that is closest to the destination, or from their residence when beginning or ending their work day at the destination if their residence is closer than their home locations.

Employees may be reimbursed for mileage to and from their home location and another library location to which they are assigned to work unless the assigned location is closer to their residence than their home location. Employees may be reimbursed for travel between library locations during the work day, calculated between the two locations unless the assigned location is closer to their residence than their home location.

If an employee is traveling to a non-library location for their entire work day they may be reimbursed for mileage from their home location or residence to the non-library location and back, whichever is less. If an employee is traveling to a non-library location for only a portion of their work day they may be reimbursed for mileage from the location they left and/or returned to during the work day.

Employees may be reimbursed for the cost of meals, parking, and overnight accommodations when traveling on library business outside the county. A limit is set on amount of reimbursement for meals, and the current limits are available from the administrative offices. Meals that are an integral part of a workshop or conference are reimbursed at full cost however, the IRS prohibits reimbursing for meals incurred during library business that do not incorporate an overnight stay. Employees are normally responsible for making their own travel arrangements but CRCPL reserves the right to make or reimburse arrangements that reflect an economical mode of travel.

Time spent traveling to and from a library location is generally excluded from hours worked. However, any time spent traveling during the workday, as part of an employee’s principal activities, will be counted as hours worked. If an employee who normally works at a library location is sent to a non-library location for one day and returns that same day, all time spent traveling to and from that assignment is compensable work time. However, meal period and time spent traveling to and from the employee’s home to the point of departure are not counted as hours worked. If an employee is sent to a non-library location overnight, any time spent traveling that corresponds to the employee’s normal working hours is compensable time.  This includes hours traveled on days the employee normally does not work (e.g., Sunday). If an employee travels during a time that they would not normally be working, the time is not counted as hours worked. Meal time is not compensable.

  • Exception: If the employee is the driver rather than the passenger, all time spent driving is compensable, regardless of when it occurs.
  • Exception: Any time spent performing work during travel time (e.g., working on a plane) is compensable, regardless of when it occurs.

4.12 PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCES

CRCPL will pay expenses for staff and Trustees to attend library conferences, workshops, and other professional meetings as funds allow and the Executive Director approves.  These expenses may include mileage, registration fees, and meals that are an integral part of the conference or meeting.  If the meeting spans more than one day, room expense may be paid. Opportunities to attend meetings shall be rotated among employees so that as many as possible may benefit from participation.

Overtime or compensatory time for meetings, workshops, or conferences and associated travel will be allowed only if:

  • the employee is required to attend and
  • the meeting is directly related to the employee’s job and
  • the employee cannot adjust their weekly schedule to total not more than 40 hours.

4.13 CONTINUING EDUCATION

Within the limits of available resources, CRCPL will offer training to increase an employee’s skills, knowledge, and abilities directly related to work duties. Opportunities generally include, but are not limited to, workshops, and conferences sponsored by other agencies or organizations. Every employee is expected to attend at least two continuing education programs each calendar year. Requests should be submitted to the employee’s direct supervisor first. If payment, travel, or reimbursement is required, the event must be approved by the Executive Director.

4.14 TUITION REIMBURSEMENT

Employee’s education and development are beneficial to both the employee and CRCPL. Employees with at least one year of service are eligible to apply for reimbursement for job-related courses and programs of study. This reimbursement will be available only if funded by the Board of Trustees in each annual budget.

Employees who are planning to enroll in a degree program must discuss their intentions with the Executive Director before formally applying in writing. Reimbursement requests will be presented to the Board for budget consideration. Staffing priorities will determine the number of granted recipients per year.

Courses and degrees must be relevant to library work. Examples include, but are not limited to, a Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited program, technical certifications, or other courses directly related to the employee’s essential functions. Reasonable adjustments will be made to an employee’s schedule to accommodate coursework.

If budgeted and approved, employees will be reimbursed 50% of the cost of coursework up to $2000 per semester (or equivalent) when the employee submits a paid tuition receipt and proof of a grade B or better (“passing” or “satisfactory” when applicable) to the Chief Fiscal Officer within 60 days of completion. Employees enrolled in a semester of coursework will not be reimbursed for parking or travel. In some instances, expenses for books and materials may be reimbursed, but will become library property.

Employees who receive reimbursement commit to the following:

  • Presenting on some aspect of the coursework at an all-staff meeting, an annual in-service day, or a regional workshop or conference (when approved by the Executive Director).
  • Continued employment for at least twelve months after completion of latest reimbursed coursework. This commitment does not constitute a contract for continued employment. If employment is severed before twelve months, the employee may be responsible for refunding all or part of the money awarded (as determined by the Executive Director and Chief Fiscal Officer).

For more information, contact the Executive Director.

4.15 GIFTS

Library administration may choose to provide meals for library staff and trustees during gatherings such as staff meetings, trainings and staff in-service day. These meals will be kept to a minimum and library administration will do their due diligence in finding meals that are affordable in nature. Also, staff and trustees may be awarded gifts at various times in their library careers. Staff will receive a gift upon their retirement. Staff are also eligible for service awards at each 5-year milestone in their service. Long term library board members may be recognized with a gift upon their departure from the board.

4.16 PATRON PRIZES AND AWARDS

Occasionally programs and events will be offered that include prizes to encourage our patrons to participate. CRCPL may choose to purchase gifts or gift cards for these purposes.

When a gift card is purchased, it will be locked in a file in the Chief Fiscal Officer’s office until it is given to the patron. Those who are awarded gift cards as a prize will be recorded and the list will be kept with the gift card receipt as a record.

When a prize with a value that exceeds $50 is given, the winner’s name will be recorded and kept with the receipt as a record as well.

Any gifts of this type (gifts or gift cards) that are donated to the library will not be required to have a record of who was awarded the gift.

Employees and immediate family members of employees are not eligible to win prizes awarded by and paid for with library funds.

5.1 ETHICS

Library employees are public employees and as such are subject to the Ohio Ethics Law and related statutes.

Each employee will receive an electronic access to the Ohio Ethics Law for review, and will sign an Acknowledgement of Receipt of the Ohio Ethics Law.  The signed Acknowledgement will be kept in the employee’s HR file.

The “General Prohibition” section of Ohio’s Ethics Law is reproduced below. Although not a substitute for the entire text, the “General Prohibition” provides some guidance for public employees.

General Prohibitions

The Ohio Ethics Law contains provisions restricting conflicts of interest that involve nepotism, post-employment, representation, influence peddling, confidentiality, and supplemental compensation. Among other restrictions, the law provides that each public official and employee is prohibited from:

  • Authorizing, or using their position to secure authorization of a contract, for themselves, a family member, or a business associate;
  • Authorizing, or using their position to secure the authorization of, the investment of public funds in any kind of security to benefit themselves, a family member, or a business associate;
  • Receiving any benefit from a contract entered into by their public entity;
  • Hiring or securing any contract benefits for their spouse, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, or siblings, or any other relatives living with them;
  • Soliciting or accepting substantial and improper things of value, including gifts, or travel, meals, and lodging;
  • Participating in matters where something of value will result for the public official or employee, their family, business associates, or others with whom the public servant has a close tie that could impair their objectivity;
  • Disclosing or using information deemed confidential by law;
  • Representing parties, before any public agency, in a matter in which they were involved as a public servant, both during and for one year after leaving public service.

5.2 POLITICAL ACTIVITY

Employees of the Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library may not engage in partisan political activity during working hours. (ORC 124.57: OAC 123:1-46-02)

Employees of CRCPL, its department and delegate agencies may not, at any time, utilize CRCPL vehicles, equipment, supplies or facilities to influence the outcome of an election or to further the cause of a political party or candidate.

No Federal funds may be used by an employee of CRCPL on behalf of partisan politics.

Political activity by all CRCPL employees is regulated by the Federal Hatch Act as it relates to state and local public employees. Copies of the relevant sections of the Act and its interpretation by the U.S. Civil Service Commission are on file with the Ross County Commissioners’ Office and the Ross County Law Library.

Employees planning to campaign for, seek or accept appointment to public office should give prior notice of their intentions to the Executive Director. Employees engaging in political activities must do so as individuals on their own time, not as representatives of CRCPL and may make no representations otherwise.

5.3 ATTENDANCE

CRCPL depends heavily upon its employees, it is important that employees attend work as scheduled. Dependability, attendance, punctuality and a commitment to do the job right are essential at all times. To the extent permitted by law, absenteeism and tardiness lessen an employee’s chances for advancement, and may result in corrective action up to, and including, discharge of employment.

Unless required by law, regular full-time and regular part-time employees, who have exhausted all of their paid leave, may use up to 5 additional unpaid working days within the calendar year equal to the normal total hours scheduled per week.

Part-time employees may use up to 10 working days as authorized in unpaid absence from work within the calendar year equal to the normal total of hours schedule per week.

Non-medical unpaid absences should only be approved when they do not create a hardship for the library or adversely impact the work unit. Requests for unpaid leave should be made as far in advance as possible.

An employee must personally (unless incapacitated) notify their supervisor or administration if they expect to be late or absent as far in advance as possible but within one hour after the scheduled work time.

Supervisors have the right to ask the reason for tardiness/absence; if due to medical necessity the exact nature of an illness need not be divulged. An employee should attempt to provide an estimated arrival time or day of return to work.

Failure to call in, in a timely manner, may result in corrective action.  Employees who do not return to work or arrive at the time originally estimated are expected to call in again. Supervisors will track all employees’ absences to ensure that absences and tardiness are not excessive. Generally speaking, more than 10 unscheduled absences or late arrivals at work in a 12-month period is considered excessive. Corrective action, up to and including discharge, will be used to deal with excessive unscheduled absence/tardiness that is not covered under FMLA.

5.4 PERSONAL APPEARANCE

All employees are expected to be well groomed and suitably dressed for work. Cleanliness and good personal hygiene are expected of all employees as well as clothing that is neat, clean and appropriate for the duties performed. Library management reserves the right to determine whether the attire is appropriate.

Proper attire is defined as neat, clean and business-like as well as safe; those working with the delivery, sorting and shelving materials will wear shoes that protect feet from book carts and falling items. Open-toed and open-heel footwear are not appropriate for these functions.

Employees are expected to maintain personal hygiene that is consistent with working with the public, or co-workers, in a public setting. Employees who are visibly dirty or whose personal odor is offensive to the level where one or more employees raise it as an issue with management may be asked to leave the work environment until the problem is corrected.

Examples of personal appearance that may be inappropriate include but are not limited to:

  • Appearance that is excessively revealing or noticeably unprofessional.
  • Text or images that may be considered offensive or controversial.
  • Attire that creates a hazard for the work environment.
  • Attire that does not provide sufficient protection for the work environment.
  • Appearance that is disruptive to the work environment.

5.5 SAFETY

It will be the policy of the CRCPL to take precautions to provide for the safety of all employees, patrons, and others present on library property. The Executive Director will have overall responsibility for the safety program of the Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library system. General areas of emphasis will include, but not be limited to:  in-service training; safety meetings; accident record keeping; fire prevention; emergency procedures and safety problems relevant to employees and the community. The practice of safety will be a part of educational programs.

The responsibility of the employee is to follow all safety rules, report hazards to their supervisor, and report all accidents, illness, or injuries that occur on the job as soon as is practical, but within two days, to their immediate supervisor or other manager. The responsibility of the supervisor is to follow all safety rules, act on a report of a hazard, and communicate accident reports to the Executive Director as soon as practical. CRCPL will comply with all regulations and instructions from the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation.

5.6 WEAPONS

Firearms, handguns, knives, or other weapons further defined by Ohio statute or local ordinance are prohibited on CRCPL property or vehicles.  Library property includes:

  • Owned or leased vehicles;
  • Owned or leased buildings;
  • Areas surrounding owned or leased buildings, such as sidewalks, walkways, and driveways.

During working hours or while conducting CRCPL business, employees are strictly prohibited from possessing any firearm or weapon on library property. This policy applies to all employees entering library property regardless of whether the employee is licensed to carry the weapon. An employee with a valid concealed carry permit may transport or store a firearm or ammunition in their own personal vehicle.

5.7 DRUG AND ALCOHOL-FREE WORKPLACE

It is CRCPL’s desire to provide a healthful and safe workplace that is free of illegal drugs and alcohol. To promote this goal, CRCPL maintains a Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace policy that applies to all employees. Employees are required to report to work in appropriate mental and physical condition to perform their jobs. Use of alcohol, abuse of prescription drugs or use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, whether on or off the job, can adversely affect your work performance, efficiency, and safety. In addition, the use or possession of these substances on the job constitutes a potential danger to the welfare and safety of other employees and library patrons.

Employees should report to work fit for duty and free of any adverse effects of drugs or alcohol. This policy does not prohibit employees from the lawful use and possession of prescribed medications taken as prescribed and that does not compromise workplace safety. Employees must, however, consult with their doctors about the medication’s effect on their fitness for duty and ability to work safely.

The following prohibitions are in effect at all times when an employee is at work, on library premises, operating a library vehicle, or attending a library function at which the employee performs services or functions on behalf of CRCPL.

  • No employee shall consume or use (including testing positive for substances prohibited by this policy even if the use occurred outside of work) alcohol, marijuana, illegal drugs, or medication or controlled substances used in a manner other than prescribed or as directed.
  • No employee shall possess alcohol, illegal drugs, or other un-prescribed controlled substances.
  • No employee shall work or be at work under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or medication or controlled substances used in a manner other than prescribed or as directed.
  • No employee shall sell, purchase, transfer, or traffic illegal or illicit drugs, controlled substances, prescribed medication, or drug paraphernalia.
  • Violation of any of these prohibitions will result in corrective action up to and including termination of employment.

Employee Assistance

We recognize that alcohol and drug abuse can be medical conditions, and they can be successfully treated. If you believe that substance use or abuse is a problem for you, you’re encouraged to get confidential professional help. For assistance with abuse/addiction problems employees may be referred to the Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Center, 740-775-1260.

CRCPL assumes no responsibility for drug or alcohol rehabilitation of any employee.  Employees who voluntarily seek help for such problems before becoming subject to corrective action and/or termination may be allowed to use accrued paid time off, placed on leaves of absence, and otherwise accommodated as required by law. Such employees may be required to document that they are successfully following prescribed treatment and to take and pass follow-up tests.

Types of Testing

  1. Reasonable Suspicion: Whenever CRCPL reasonably suspects any employee of using drugs or alcohol, being intoxicated, and/or being under the influence of a controlled substance while at work or on library premises, the employee will be required to submit to urine and/or blood testing, as soon as practical. A reasonable suspicion test may occur based on:
  • Observed behavior, such as direct observation of drug/alcohol use or possession and/or physical symptoms of drug and/or alcohol use;
  • A pattern of abnormal conduct or erratic behavior;
  • Arrest or conviction for a drug-related offense or identification of an employee as the focus of a criminal investigation into illegal drug possession, use, or trafficking.
  • Information provided either by reliable and credible sources or independently corroborated regarding an employee’s substance use;
  • Newly discovered evidence the employee tampered with a previous drug or alcohol test;

Reasonable suspicion testing does not require certainty. Mere hunches, however, do not justify testing.

  1. Post-Accident Testing: Whenever an accident occurs involving an employee, equipment, or property controlled by CRCPL’s employees, including, but not limited to an accident involving: (a) one or more deaths; (b) an injury requiring professional medical treatment beyond first aid and disabling an employee from performing their normal duties; and/or (c) substantial damage to property, CRCPL will require all employees involved in the accident who may have engaged in any activity that caused or tended to cause the accident, or that may have contributed to the accident, to submit to alcohol and drug testing, as soon as practical. The requirement to test will not prevent employees who are to be tested from performing duties in the aftermath of an accident or incident when their performance is needed to preserve life or property.
  2. Follow-up/Return-To-Duty Testing: CRCPL reserves the right to test employees who previously tested positive but whose employment was not terminated. CRCPL requires a negative return-to-duty test before we allow the employee to return to work. If the employee fails this test, this will result in corrective action up to and including termination of employment. Once an employee tests negative and returns to duty, management will ensure additional tests occur. Any employee with a second positive test result will be subject to corrective action up to and including termination of employment. Follow-up tests will be unannounced. They may occur at any time for a time period management considers reasonable. The intent is to deter any subsequent use that would violate policy and result in termination of employment.
  3. Random Testing: CRCPL reserves the right to conduct such other alcohol and drug testing as it chooses, including random testing.

Consent to Testing and Reporting Results

It will be a condition of employment that applicants and employees subject to testing must sign a form consenting to the testing; the release of the test results to the CRCPL’s Medical Review Officer (MRO) and of positive test results to the CRCPL; and a release to the CRCPL of liability for such testing.

The MRO will report all positive alcohol or drug tests to Human Resources and CRCPL will take immediate steps, consistent with this Alcohol and Drug Policy, to remove any such employee from active employment to protect the safety and health of that employee, other employees, and the public.

Testing Procedures

  1. Compliance with Applicable Law: It is library’s intent that the procedures used for testing for drugs and alcohol will comply with all applicable legal requirements. Should the procedure set forth below be inconsistent with any such requirements, these procedures will be modified as necessary to comply.
  2. Substances Tested For: Employees will be tested for the use of illegal substances, the abuse of prescription medications and alcohol. An employee will “tests positive” for illegal substances or prescription abuse if the test shows the presence of an amount of the substance equal to or exceeding applicable standards or prescription. The cut off level for alcohol is .04 blood alcohol content.
  3. Collection of Samples: Urine and/or blood samples for drug testing will be obtained by an independent contractor. The contractor will obtain samples and maintain the chain of custody of these samples in accordance with reasonable standards. In the case of serious physical injury, urine and/or blood samples may be taken by treating medical personnel under the supervision of the independent contractor. In case of fatality, blood and/or urine samples will be taken by the appropriate local authority such as a medical examiner or coroner.
  4. Analysis: CRCPL shall select the manner of analysis, and may at any time utilize on-site instant result urine tests. If CRCPL elects to have urine or blood samples analyzed by a laboratory, the integrity of such samples and chain of custody will be maintained by the independent contractor and will be analyzed by a United States Department of Health and Human Services certified lab or a laboratory that meets or exceeds the Department’s certification standards to process the test results, selected by either the independent contractor or CRCPL. CRCPL may rely upon the results of any such on-site urine test, or upon the report generated by such laboratory as described herein, when determining appropriate corrective action up to and including termination of employment.

Consequences of Violation of This Policy

Any employee who violates this policy will be subject to corrective action up to and including termination of employment.

An employee who refuses a drug or alcohol test required by CRCPL, or tests positive for the presence of alcohol or drugs, will be subject to corrective action up to and including termination of employment. An employee who attempts to manipulate the results of a test through adulteration, dilution of a sample, or substitution of a sample will be subject to corrective action up to and including termination. An employee who has been terminated as a result of a positive drug test may be re-employed only if the MRO determines the individual to be drug free, and the employee consents to an unannounced testing program over a time period management considers reasonable.

Any employee who violates the policy on a second occasion will be subject to corrective action up to and including termination of employment.

Condition of Employment

Compliance with CRCPL’s Alcohol and Drug Policy is one of the conditions of employment. Failure or refusal of an employee to cooperate fully, sign any required document, or submit to any inspection or test will subject that employee to corrective action up to and including termination of employment.

Reservation of Rights

CRCPL reserves the right to amend, interpret, change, modify, rescind, or depart from this policy, in whole or in part, retroactively or prospectively, with or without notice. Nothing in this policy creates or expands any legal or contractual right any employee might have.

Notification of Conviction

Employees are required to notify CRCPL of a criminal conviction for drug-related activity occurring in the workplace. The report must be made within five days of the conviction. Within thirty (30) days after CRCPL receives notice of such a conviction, the convicted individual may be subject to corrective action up to and including immediate discharge.

Arrest or conviction for a drug-related offense or identification of an employee as the focus of a criminal investigation into illegal drug possession, use, or trafficking. The employee must notify Human Resources within five (5) working days of any drug-related conviction;

Arrest or conviction for an alcohol-related offense, or identification of an employee as the focus of a criminal investigation into public intoxication, driving under the influence, vehicular assault, or vehicular homicide. The employee must notify Human Resources within five (5) working days of any alcohol-related conviction;

If you have questions about this policy, please contact the Executive Director.

5.8 ANTI-DISCRIMINATION AND ANTI-HARASSMENT

It is the policy of Chillicothe & Ross County Public Library (CRCPL) to maintain an environment free from all forms of discrimination and harassment for all employees. Behaviors of this type, whether committed by supervisors, co-workers, or members of the public, of opposite or same gender is strictly prohibited.

Definitions

Discrimination is to treat another person differently or unfairly based on protected classes such as; color, religion or creed, national origin or ancestry, sex (including gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation and gender identity), age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, genetic information or citizenship.

Discriminatory harassment is any type of physical or verbal harassing conduct that is based upon the protected classes listed above.

Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Repeated unwanted and/or offensive sexual flirtations advances, or propositions;
  • Repeated verbal abuse of a sexual nature;
  • Graphic or degrading verbal or written comments about an individual, the individual’s appearance or the individual’s sexual orientation;
  • The display of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, or the display of same through other media;
  • The implication or threat that an employee’s or applicant’s employment, assignment, compensation, advancement, career development, or other condition of employment will depend on the employee or applicant’s submission to sexual harassment in any form; and
  • Any offensive, abusive, or unwanted physical contact.

Responsibility

  1. It is the responsibility of all employees to aid the employer in maintaining a work and public environment free from discrimination and harassment. Therefore, it is the responsibility of each employee, including supervision and management, to immediately report any instances of discrimination or harassment to the proper authority (see Reporting Procedure). Any employee who observes any conduct that may constitute discrimination or harassment of any CRCPL employee or vendor, but fails to report the same, may be subject to corrective action.
  2. It is further the responsibility of each supervisor to ensure that all employees who report to the supervisor are aware of the policy against discrimination and/or harassment, that they are aware of the complaint and reporting procedures, and that they are aware of the consequences of engaging in such behavior.
  3. It is the responsibility of management to maintain an environment free from discrimination and harassment. Management shall ensure that its supervisors are sufficiently trained in recognizing all types of discrimination and harassment, the complaint and reporting procedures, the proper methods of investigating complaints of discrimination and harassment, and the corrective action procedure.
  4. Management shall also ensure that all employees are aware of this policy and will ensure that all employees receive sufficient training to maintain an environment free from discrimination and harassment. Additionally, each newly hired employee will receive training on this policy as a part of their employee orientation.

Procedure

  1. Once a complaint of discrimination or harassment has been received by management, the proper member of management will immediately investigate the matter in accordance with the investigation procedure.
  2. If, after a thorough and prompt investigation, it is determined that discrimination or harassment has occurred, the employee who has been found to have committed such acts  will immediately receive corrective action in accordance with the corrective action procedures. The complaining and/or reporting employee or patron will be informed of the results of the investigation.
  3. If, after the investigation, it is determined that no discrimination or harassment occurred or that there is insufficient evidence to determine whether or not such discrimination or harassment has occurred, the complaining employee and/or reporting employee or patron will be informed.
  4. Employees making a complaint of discrimination or harassment or who are asked to participate in an investigation shall not be retaliated against for good faith participation.

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

Any employee or patron who believes that they have been the subject of discrimination or harassment, or any employee who has witnessed an incident(s) of such, should report the matter(s) to their supervisor immediately.

Reporting Procedure

  1. Any employee who believes that they have been the subject of or witness to acts of discrimination or harassment should immediately report the alleged act(s) to their supervisor, human resources, or the Executive Director.
  2. If the immediate supervisor is the subject of the complaint, the employee should report to the next higher ranking person in the facility’s table of organization, or to a member of the CRCPL Board.
  3. Should any of the above be the subject of the complaint, the employee or patron should report the matter to the Ross County Prosecuting Attorney.
  4. The employee or patron alleging discrimination or harassment will be asked to put their complaint in writing. The employee should provide:
    • Their name;
    • The name of the subject of the complaint;
    • The act(s) complained of;
    • The date(s) of the act(s);
    • Any witnesses to the alleged acts; and
    • The remedy the employee is seeking.
  5. If the employee alleging discrimination or harassment is unwilling to make a report in writing, then the person to whom the verbal complaint was made should submit the report in writing.
  6. After the written complaint has been received, the complaint will promptly be investigated by the CRCPL Executive Director, Human Resources Manager, or other management authorities.
  7. Prompt action by the CRCPL will be taken to end the harassment immediately.

Corrective Action Procedure

When it is determined that there is cause for believing that discrimination or harassment has occurred, the following steps will be followed:

  1. The accused party will immediately be suspended with pay or temporarily transferred pending the final resolution of the complaint.
  2. A meeting will be held during which the accusation will be explained to the accused party, and the accused party will be given the opportunity to respond.
  3. Subsequent to the investigation a final determination will be made. If it is determined that a prima facie case of discrimination or harassment has been established, the accused employee will be notified. An employee found guilty of such may, depending upon the severity of their action(s), be given the option of being immediately suspended without pay until such time as the employee completes a program in discrimination and/or harassment awareness conducted by a recognized professional.  All costs for this program will be borne by the employee. Upon successful completion of the program, the employee may apply for reinstatement and will be reinstated upon presenting proof of successful completion of the program. The reinstatement will be conditional upon the employee’s good behavior. Any future act of discrimination or harassment by the employee will result in immediate termination without recourse to this option or resignation.
  4. If the employee elects resignation, the employee must sign an agreement waiving any and all claims arising from the employee’s employment, before CRCPL will accept the resignation and forego termination proceedings.
  5. Any employee that makes a false statement and/or false accusations during the investigation will be subject to appropriate corrective action in accordance with CRCPL policy.

5.9 WORKPLACE VIOLENCE

We are committed to providing a safe workplace. There is no tolerance for acts or threats of physical or verbal violence (including intimidation, harassment, or coercion) which involve or affect employees or which occur on Library’s property. Any instance of violence or intimidation must be reported immediately, either by a victim or a witness, to a supervisor. Such conduct will be met with the strongest corrective action, up to and including termination, the use of law enforcement, and the use of criminal prosecution measures.

Workplace violence often starts with inappropriate behavior or signs that when detected and reported may help prevent its occurrence. The following information may be helpful in detecting or anticipating workplace violence and help create a safer, healthier workplace for everyone.

Threats

  • Physical conduct such as pushing, shoving, or striking that causes harm or has the potential to harm people or property.
  • Conduct that harasses, disrupts or interferes with another individual’s performance.
  • Conduct that creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile work environment.

Risk Factors

  • Ongoing conflicts between coworkers
  • Corrective actions
  • Termination of employment
  • Domestic or family violence
  • Financial problems

Potential Warning Signs

  • Verbal, nonverbal or written threats
  • Fascination with weapons or violence
  • New or increased stress at home or work
  • Expressions of hopelessness or anxiety
  • Insubordinate behaviors
  • Dramatic change in work performance
  • Destruction of property
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Blaming others for problems

If violence occurs or there is an immediate threat of violence: Leave the area immediately if possible. If you are unable to leave the area try to lock yourself in a secure room. Then dial 911 and provide law enforcement with as much information as possible.

5.10 E-MAIL

Work e-mail is a library resource provided primarily for conducting CRCPL business. In addition to intra-library communication, it may be used to access work-related listservs or for professional correspondence. It is not appropriate to use e-mail for solicitation or advertising to staff. Library provided e-mail service is neither private nor protected; it is the property of CRCPL and its use may be monitored.

5.11 MOBILE TELEPHONE

Mobile phones may be provided to employees in certain positions as determined by the Executive Director to help increase library productivity and/or safety. Personal use of library mobile phones is strongly discouraged although administration recognizes that this is sometimes unavoidable. Employees who use mobile phones will be given a copy of the itemized monthly statement and will be required to audit the bill for personal usage. All personal phone usage (calls, text messages, etc.) must be reimbursed. Calls will be reimbursed at a rate determined by the Board of Trustees. CRCPL reserves the right to audit and review mobile telephone bills to ensure their proper usage. In order to help ensure the safety of employees while reducing the library’s liability in the event of an accident, mobile phones are not to be used by employees while driving. Mobile phones are the property of the library and all equipment must be returned upon termination of employment.

5.12 VEHICLE USE

Only staff members who have been approved by the Chief Fiscal Officer may operate any library vehicle.

Employees are prohibited from using library vehicles for any purpose other than official business. Unless related to library business, passengers are prohibited from riding in any of the library’s vehicles or in an employee’s personal vehicle while the employee is on library-related business.

The driver and any passengers must use seat belts, as already required by state law, and a driver is prohibited from using a cellular phone, including hands-free devices. This requirement pertains to both the use of library vehicles and the use of personal vehicles while on Library business.

Employees are not permitted to operate library vehicles, or personal vehicles on library business, when any physical or mental impairment may cause them to be unable to drive safely. This also includes temporary incapacities such as illness, medication or intoxication.

An employee must notify a supervisor or the Executive Director immediately in the event that the employee is cited for any driving violation that limits the employee’s driving privileges; or, involved in an accident while on library-related business using a library or personal vehicle. An employee who is cited or deemed responsible by official records for a vehicular accident, parking, speeding, or other violation while on library business will be required to pay for the ticket (violation) and may be subject to corrective action up to and including termination.

Public Service Policy

1.1 SERVICE AREA AND GOVERNANCE

The Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library (CRCPL) is organized as a county district library. Its legally defined service area is equal to the boundaries of Ross County. As a recipient of Public Library Fund monies from the State of Ohio, the library extends its services to the inhabitants of Ross County and to other residents of the State of Ohio. The library is governed by a Board of Trustees which consists of seven members, three appointed by the judges of the Court of Common Pleas for Ross County and four appointed by the Board of County Commissioners of the county, for a term of seven years. The Board’s operating policies are described in its bylaws.

1.2 PUBLIC SERVICE HOURS

Public service hours are adjusted as needed to fit the needs and usage patterns of the community.Current hours shall be posted at each building and made available via the library’s website.

The library is closed on the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Presidents’ Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Juneteenth
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day

The library also closes at 5:00 p.m. on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and on New Year’s Eve.

1.2 Emergency Closings

When circumstances prevent effective delivery of services, the Executive Director, or in their absence, members of the Emergency Response Team, may close the library or a library branch. All other closings are to be determined by the Board.

1.3 STAFF IN CHARGE

The Board has the final responsibility for establishing policies for the library. Daily operations and general supervision of the library fall to the Executive Director, the Access or Enrichment Director, the Chief Fiscal Officer, then the senior manager on duty, acting as the person in charge. A library assistant may be in charge of the Main Library or Northside Branch as long as a manager is available to be on call. Daily operations at the county branches fall to the senior clerk on duty, under the supervision of the Enrichment Director or the senior staff on duty at Main or Northside.

1.4 MEDIA RELATIONS

In order to provide the most current and consistent information about the library, the Executive Director is the official spokesperson for the library. In the event of an emergency, the Executive Director, or their designee, will be responsible for all official statements to the public and the media. Questions from the public regarding the general operations or direction of the library should be referred to the Executive Director.

1.5 MEETING ROOMS

Library meeting rooms are available to groups or organizations which have a cultural, educational, civic, social, political, religious, or professional focus; other community-oriented organizations; or, to persons volunteering as tutors as part of a non-profit program. Meeting rooms are not available to non-library groups or individuals for the promotion or sales of services or products, fundraising, conducting classes for profit, or private social functions. Meetings shall be open to the public. No admission may be charged and no items or services may be sold (excluding library program materials).

The following guidelines apply to all non-library meetings held on library premises:

Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance. In case of cancellation, the library requests notification by phone as soon as possible.

  • Meeting rooms are only available for use during normal library hours.
  • The person making the application is responsible for ensuring that no alcoholic beverages are allowed on the premises and no smoking is permitted.
  • For safety reasons the stated capacity for each room must not be exceeded.
  • Groups are responsible for arranging chairs, tables, and other equipment provided in the meeting rooms to meet their own needs. Following their use of the room, groups must return the room to its original state. Clean-up of the room by the group is required.
  • The following disclaimer will be posted in the meeting room: “The library does not advocate or endorse the policies or purposes of any group or individual using the library meeting room. The library is not liable for injury to person or property arising out of use of the meeting room by an outside group or individual.”
  • Meetings held in any meeting room must not disturb normal library operations. The Library reserves the right to stop meetings that are disruptive to normal library operations.
  • Library meeting rooms may not be used for any activities prohibited by law.

CRCPL reserves the right to reject any reservation if it is determined that the organization has abused its past privileges, including but not limited to: violation of any of the preceding policy and procedures, vandalism, theft, failure to exit the building on time, and failure to appear for a scheduled meeting. The acceptance of library policy and procedures (electronically or in person) assigns responsibility for loss or damages to the room and loss or damage to any library property or equipment used during the meeting to the person submitting the application. The library reserves the right to prohibit any person, group or organization from using the library meeting space.

NOTE: The library’s use of meeting room space takes precedence over outside reservations. Occasionally, it may be necessary to cancel or move a meeting reservation if a specific space is needed by the library. Every effort will be made to give adequate notification to the organizer and/or organization affected and to find reasonable alternate accommodations.

1.6 DISPLAY AND DISTRIBUTION OF NON-LIBRARY MATERIALS

Programs and events publicized through the library’s community information areas should be compatible with the library’s purpose of providing educational, cultural, recreational, and information services to the community. The presence of a poster, brochure, flier, or any other notice in the library does not necessarily indicate that the library either advocates or endorses the viewpoints expressed.

In keeping with its mission of promoting cultural literacy in the community, the library may exhibit artworks in public areas. Such exhibits will conform to the Materials Selection policy below. Artists may advertise their contact information for interested patrons, however in keeping with the meeting room policy above; no sales may take place on library property, and any publicity should be limited to the artwork on display. Displays must be approved by the Adult Services Manager, the Enrichment Director, or the Executive Director.

Non-library fliers for community events and/or resources must be approved by the Public Relations Manager, the Enrichment Director, or the Executive Director. Materials posted without approval will be removed. Permission shall be given based upon the limitations of display space, the timeliness of the material, and the relevance of the material to the civic, educational, informational, cultural, recreational, or vocational life of the community. Local organizations and events may be given preference. The library will not display personal advertisements, or for-profit or commercial materials. Political materials displayed in the general community information areas may provide information on ballot issues only and will be non-partisan. Partisan political materials may be placed in a designated area up to 4 weeks prior to an election.

1.7 GIFTS

The library welcomes citizens and organizations to support its services and initiatives through contributions of book or non–book materials for library collections, and contributions of appropriate gifts that will enhance the library’s physical environment. Materials and equipment given to, and accepted by, the library shall become the sole property of the library to be managed as the Executive Director or their designee deems appropriate. The library is unable to furnish appraisals of donated items, and reserves the right to refuse any donation.

The library may accept gifts of miscellaneous books or other materials with the understanding that items not added to the library’s collection will be disposed of at the discretion of the library. The library may then use any proceeds derived from such disposal for library improvement or staff development.

Patrons or organizations who wish to donate gifts of a more specific nature, such as works of art, furniture, equipment, special collections, and real property, shall be referred to the Executive Director who, in consultation with the Board, will determine whether or how to accept such gifts. If a patron or organization wishes to donate funds for specific purposes, the amount and nature of the expenditure must be approved by the board before the gift is accepted; items so purchased become the property of the library and may be disposed of accordingly.

Patrons are encouraged to direct bequests, trusts, or donations of monetary or other assets for library purposes to the library’s foundation fund. However, such gifts given to the library shall be used in accordance with this policy.

Naming and sponsorship opportunities are detailed in a separate administrative policy.

1.8 SURPLUS EQUIPMENT

The fiscal officer is authorized by the Board to dispose of library materials, furniture, or equipment that is determined to be no longer functional or useful. The Chief Fiscal Officer may sell or discard such items, or, when an item cannot be readily or practicably sold by the library, may give such items to an organization or governmental unit. That organization or governmental unit’s mission must be in line with the mission of the library, and preference is given to qualifying agencies serving residents of the library’s service area.

If an item of surplus inventory is believed by the Executive Director or Chief Fiscal Officer to have unusual, historic, or artistic value such items may be referred to the Board for determination of value; that evaluation process may require the services of a professional appraiser or outside expert opinion.

1.9 VOLUNTEERS

The library welcomes volunteers as a means to extend the library’s service, and to allow interested members of the public to become a part of the library community.

Volunteers are primarily assigned to collection maintenance tasks (i.e. shelving, pulling materials based on reports, shelf-reading, straightening shelves, etc.), and program assistance (i.e. crowd control, supervision of minors participating in the program, set-up and tear-down, craft assistance, etc.). Other tasks that do not involve unsupervised customer service may also be assigned. Volunteers will not be assigned to work that allows them access to the circulation system due to confidentiality and security issues.

All volunteers must undergo a background check. The library will pay for the background check.

Volunteers will be interviewed before the background check is done, to make sure the work is a good fit. The staff members assigned to oversight of volunteers will make the determination as to appropriate placement or non-placement of volunteers. Volunteers may be asked to commit to a minimum schedule in order to be placed into a volunteer position.

Practicum students will have a work plan designed to give them appropriate work/learning experience and will be supervised by a professional librarian, although they may work with other managers as well.

Responsibility for recruitment and oversight of volunteers will be assigned to a specific staff member; although for supervision purposes, volunteers may receive regular assignments from any manager or assistant manager.

2.1 Definitions

“Materials” includes books, magazines, newspapers, video recordings, sound recordings, microfilm, computer files, electronic databases, and all other forms of information provided by the library to the community.

“Selection” refers to the decision made either to add a given item to the collection or to retain one already in the collection.

2.2 Statement of Policy

The Board of Trustees of the Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library affirm that our freedom to read, to speak, to hear and to view is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

The library, which is supported by a tax upon the people, is bound to provide materials for all. It is therefore the duty of the library to provide books and information for all segments of the county’s population. The board believes that every person has the right of access to every shade of written opinion on every subject at varying levels of difficulty, complexity and length. It is not the place of the library to exclude any opinion merely because it is unorthodox or unpopular.

The Board also believes that all people have the right to form their own opinions after reading, hearing or viewing materials suiting them for their own purposes, without interference by persons or groups who may wish to ban or prohibit some materials.

The library will provide access to legally obtainable materials, and will not exclude access to materials even if such materials offend a library staff member or some members of the community. When an item is considered for addition or retention, that item is evaluated as a whole, not on the basis of a particular section or sections. An item will not be added to, or barred from, the collection solely because of:

  • an author’s race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, or political or social views.
  • a work’s depictions or descriptions of violence or sexual activity.
  • a work’s controversial content.
  • an author or work’s endorsement or disapproval by any individual or community group

A policy cannot replace the judgment of librarians, but will assist them in choosing from a vast array of materials available. Selection of materials is performed by various library staff members as assigned. Final responsibility for materials selection rests with the director who administers under authority of the board.

2.3 Criteria for Selection

Because its ability to purchase and store materials is limited by the size of both its budget and its buildings, the library has established criteria for the addition and retention of library materials. These criteria may be applied to all formats, and include, but are not limited to:

  • Suitability of subject and style for the intended audience
  • Present and potential relevance to community needs and interests
  • Timeliness or permanent value
  • Relation to existing collection, including the need to balance differing viewpoints of the same subject
  • Reliability, completeness and up-to-dateness of the information
  • Reputation of the author
  • Attention of critics and reviewers
  • Scarcity of information in the subject area
  • Availability of material elsewhere in the community
  • Price
  • Format
  • Demand of library users

 2.4 Collection Maintenance

In order to maintain a collection that is current and relevant to the community’s needs, library staff periodically evaluate the collection as a whole, as well as specific items within it. When deciding what items to withdraw from the collection, staff may consider the material’s condition, use, timeliness, and accuracy, among other factors. When withdrawn materials cannot be readily or practically sold by the library, it may offer withdrawn materials to the Friends of the Library or other groups or organizations whose purpose is consistent with, or furthers the library’s mission. These groups may resell these materials, or use them for other purposes consistent with the library’s mission.

 2.5 Request for Reconsideration

If an individual, group of persons or organization believes that a specific title or source should not be in the collection, they should first discuss their concerns about the material with  a manager. If following the discussion they still wish the library to reconsider the title or source, they must fill out a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Material” form. Because items are evaluated as a whole, a title will not be reconsidered unless the patron making the request has read/viewed/ heard the entire item. A reconsideration form submitted without the name of the person making the objection will not be considered. Also, if the material has been previously reconsidered, it will not be reconsidered again unless the more recent request is based on substantially different reasons than an earlier request.

The request will be referred to the Executive Director for review. The patron will be informed in writing of (1) the receipt of the request and (2) the decision. If the patron is not satisfied with the decision, they may appeal in writing to the Board. The Board will make a decision and inform the patron in writing, usually following the next regularly scheduled Board meeting.

The title under consideration will remain in the collection throughout the process to support the freedom of other patrons to read, view, or listen.

3.1 Cardholder Registration

Any person who resides in Ohio and agrees to be responsible for materials loaned to them, may obtain a card to use the collections and services of the library. Cardholders will be responsible for library materials from the time items are checked out until the time they are checked in. Cardholders will be responsible for any fees charged to their cards as a result of use of library materials. Cardholders who have overdue, lost, or damaged library materials will have their borrowing privileges suspended until the items are returned and/or charges are paid in full.

3.1.1 Issuing Library Cards

Library cards may be issued only to residents of Ohio or temporary residents who are expecting to live in Ohio for at least three months.

To receive a library card with borrowing privileges immediately, the patron must present photo ID and verification of current address. If the photo ID does not include the patron’s current address, another document with current address is required. A card with limited borrowing privileges may be issued without a photo ID or verification of address.

Acceptable forms of proof include:

For photo ID:

  1. Driver’s license
  2. State ID
  3. Passport
  4. Work ID (electronic or print)
  5. School ID (electronic or print)
  6. Green Card/Matricula Consular
  7. Credit card with photo

For address:

  1. Personal checkbook
  2. Current year car registration
  3. U.S. mail postmarked within the past 14 days
  4. Current month’s utility bill (electronic or print)
  5. Lease or bank documents dated within the past 3 months

3.1.2 Issuing Library Cards to Minors

Parents or legal guardians are responsible for materials checked out to a minor child; therefore full-privilege cards are issued to minors following the verification of the parent or guardian’s ID and address. The parent or guardian must be present in order to issue a card to a minor child. The parent or guardian’s address must be entered as the primary address in the borrower record. The full name of the parent or guardian is added to the borrower’s record at the time the card is issued. There is no minimum age requirement to receive a library card. The parent or guardian will provide identification that satisfies all requirements for receiving an adult card and accept responsibility for the account.

Parents, caregivers, and legal guardians are solely responsible for their child’s materials selection. CRCPL staff does not decide what children are allowed to read, view, or borrow. CRCPL will not assume nor overrule the rights and responsibilities of parents and guardians. CRCPL supports the responsibility and the rights of all parents and guardians to guide their own children’s use of the library and its resources and services. Only parents and guardians have the right and the responsibility to determine their children’s—and only their children’s—access to library resources. Parents and guardians who do not want their children to have access to specific library services, materials, or facilities should so advise their own children.

If a child’s parents are divorced or separated, either parent may sign for the child’s card, although it is recommended that the parent with primary custody sign for the card. It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that the child has access to the card and to assume responsibility for items borrowed and charges incurred. A child may have only one account. The address entered for the child’s record must be the same as that of the parent obtaining the card. Overdue notices and automated calls for requests will be directed to the address and phone number provided during registration until such time as that information is updated. The library has no way of verifying a custody arrangement and holds the parent who obtains the card responsible. It is advisable to enter the address and phone number of the other parent as another contact, especially if it is the child’s principal residence. Staff will advise the signing parent to inform the other parent that the library card has been issued.

3.1.3 Special Card Types

Teachers’ cards are issued to educators and homeschoolers of children grades K-12. All materials checked out on teachers’ cards circulate for 56 days.

Homebound cards are issued by the Outreach Department to patrons who qualify for the library’s homebound services, and are maintained by the Outreach Department staff. All materials checked out on homebound cards circulate for longer periods. Outreach patrons with limited mobility are also welcome to use their library card at any library location.

Limited use cards are issued to minor children when the parent/guardian is not available to accept responsibility for the minor child’s account, and to adults who lack a valid photo ID and/or address verification. Only three items may be checked out on limited use cards at one time.  WiFi Hotspots and items from the Beyond Books collection may not be checked out on limited use cards.

Student cards are issued to students in our school/public library branches, and are maintained by the branch staff. No movies may be checked out on student cards.

Visitor cards are issued to patrons who are temporarily residing in the area, such as seasonal employment, etc.  This special profile limits users to 10 items checked out at a time.

Electronic resource cards can be obtained by registering for one the library website. They are also issued to students in Ross County schools only.  Electronic resource cards provide access to all of the library’s electronic resources.  Patrons must present their photo ID at any library location to upgrade to a full privilege card.

3.2 Lost or Stolen Library Cards

Patrons are required to report the loss or theft of library cards promptly. Staff will block a card reported lost or stolen to prevent item checkout and issue a new card as soon as possible. CRCPL may assess a fee to replace a library card.

Patrons are responsible for all items checked out on lost or stolen cards that are not immediately reported as such.

3.3 Borrowing Limits

The library wants all patrons to have access to the collections. Borrowing limits and loan periods are established in response to the current demand for the title or format and may be adjusted as interest peaks or wanes. Loan periods for digital materials are often set by third-party vendors.

Physical library materials will be loaned to registered borrowers according to the following schedule:

new books, study guides, and high demand collections – 14 days

other circulating books and audio books – 28 days

music CDs – 28 days

periodicals – 14 days

DVDs and game discs – 14 days

WiFi Hotspots – 28 days

Beyond Books items – 28 days

Patrons with full-privilege cards may borrow up to 50 items on their account. DVDs, Blu-Rays, and video games are limited to a total of 10 per cardholder at a time.  Teachers may check out up to 99 items on their account.

3.4 Requesting Material from Other Libraries

The library shares its resources and the resources of other libraries by means of library consortia, interlibrary loan, and reciprocal borrowing agreements. Library patrons may request materials from members of the library’s consortium using the public access catalog. Patrons may request print materials that are not owned by any consortium libraries through interlibrary loan. The library will normally only borrow materials from institutions that do not charge for interlibrary loan. If the requested materials are only available from an institution that charges for interlibrary loan the patron must pay the full cost of the loan.

3.5 Fines and Fees

3.5.1 Fines

In an effort to allow the greatest access to the collection regardless of the user’s financial situation, the library does not charge late fines. However, if a user has overdue items, borrowing privileges will be suspended until the items are renewed or returned. Items not returned within 42 days of being overdue will be marked as lost, and the user will be billed the cost of the items.

3.5.2 Fees

In general, fees are not charged for use of or access to information, library materials or library services, since that is what is provided by taxpayers’ dollars. However, minimal cost recovery fees may be charged for materials that become the property of the individual patron, or services that do not benefit the community as a whole. These may include photocopies, computer printouts and supplies, sending and receiving of personal faxes, and copying and mailing of articles and obituaries in response to remote reference requests.

3.6 Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Library Materials

Patrons who lose or damage items they have borrowed will be required to reimburse the library for the cost of replacement or repair.

If a patron provides a police or fire report for stolen or damaged materials, replacement fees may be waived.

Patrons will not be charged for damage resulting from normal wear and tear, but will be charged for accidental damage or malicious intent.

The replacement charge for lost or damaged library materials is the list price as cited in the library item records.

The library recognizes and respects that each question is important to the patron who asks it. Library staff will use authoritative and appropriate sources to respond to all patron questions. In some cases, staff may refer a patron to other agencies that can more completely answer a question. Library staff are limited in the services they can provide in the following areas:

  • Legal and Tax Information:  Staff provide legal definitions and specific citations from the codes, but do not interpret passages. Staff do not recommend specific attorneys, but may suggest the patron contact an attorney or the local bar association for further assistance. Staff assist patrons in locating specific tax forms and publications. Staff do not interpret tax regulations or provide tax advice.
  • Medical Information:  Staff will assist patrons in finding information about diseases, medical conditions, tests, and treatments in print and electronic resources. Staff do not interpret the information found in these medical resources. Staff do not make diagnoses, give advice, or recommend specific health care professionals.
  • Research Requests:  If the information needed to answer a question is very lengthy or must be compiled from several sources, staff will help the patron to locate appropriate materials, show him or her how to use them, and check periodically to make sure the patron is progressing well. When a research request is received remotely, staff will encourage the patron to come to the library in person if the appropriate materials are accessible in the library. An exception is genealogy and local history reference questions which are relevant to our specific genealogy and local history collection and staff expertise. Questions from anywhere in these subject areas are answered by a specific staff member as time permits. Staff may recommend electronic resources and borrowing from other libraries, and may make referrals to other libraries and organizations when those collections would better meet the patron’s needs.
  • Notary Public Service:  The Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library provides free limited Notary Public services, primarily at the Main Library, when qualified staff are available. Patrons should call ahead to schedule an appointment. The following guidelines will be followed for the provision of this service:
    • Documents to be notarized must be signed in front of the Notary.
    • Library Notaries cannot provide legal advice or assist in document preparation. The document to be notarized should be completely filled out—except for the signature line—before appearing before the library Notary. Notaries may not notarize any document with blank spaces.
    • The person signing the document must provide the Notary with at least one valid form of identification. The Notary may decline to notarize a document if the signer cannot provide satisfactory identification.
    • The Library’s free notary service is intended for simple documents that do not require specialized expertise. The library does not provide electronic Notary services.
    • Notaries are required to follow Ohio Revised Code Chapter 147.   Notaries will not provide service if a patron, document, or circumstance of the request for Notary service raises any issue of authenticity, ambiguity, doubt, or uncertainty.
    • The Notary may, at their sole discretion, decline to provide Notary service.

The library extends services to every segment of the population in its territory, and to every part of the county. In addition to the library’s physical locations, other library services are made available to those who find it difficult or impossible to reach these library buildings for reasons of distance, disability, illness, transportation, work schedule or other circumstances. The geographical area, number, and extent of patrons served by these services may be limited depending on available staff and library funding.

These alternative library outlets, provided via the library’s Outreach Department, include but are not limited to:

  • Individual service to patrons who are homebound, institutionalized, or facing a temporary or permanent disability
  • Deliveries of library materials to other organizations
  • Off-site presentation of library programs
  • Book hold pick-up lockers
  • Book deposit stations
  • Library bookmobile

5.1 Homebound Delivery

Homebound cards are issued by the Outreach Department to patrons who qualify for the library’s homebound services, and are maintained by the Outreach Department staff. All materials checked out on homebound cards circulate for 90 days. Homebound patrons with limited mobility are also welcome to use their library card at any library location. The Outreach Department reserves the right to seek medical documentation for verification of homebound status.

5.2 Institutional Services

The Outreach Department provides library materials to fill book carts and bookshelves at assisted living facilities, housing complexes, and other congregate settings throughout Ross County.

5.3 Book Lockers

Hold pick-up lockers are utilized in locations lacking a full-service library branch. Patrons may place holds in the library catalog, then select a book locker location to pick up their items. Outreach staff maintains and stocks the book locker machines as needed.

5.4 Outreach Programs

The Outreach Department hosts engagement events for all ages at assisted living facilities, housing complexes, and other locations throughout Ross County.

5.5 Library Bookmobile 

5.5.1 Operation

Mobile library services are essential to the public library and are seen as an integral part of it. When planning library services to meet community needs, mobile library service should be considered as a viable and cost-effective means to serve residents disadvantaged in terms of access to a static library. Careful planning will be given to the operating schedule so that maximum use is made of the vehicle and optimum value can be gained from the service. The number of places and duration of stops is dependent upon a number of factors.  At all times during planning and operation, there is a need to be flexible and to change itineraries as circumstances alter.

Community partners may request the bookmobile’s presence for pop-up stops or special events, however, previously scheduled engagements take precedence, and several factors will be considered before the library determines if the request can be added to the itinerary.

The overall objective of a mobile library service is to promote equity of service provision by enhancing the opportunity of access to library services.  A bookmobile provides the most flexible library service, not being restricted to any particular population center and able to respond to the needs of fluctuating populations.

The mobile library includes books, audiobooks, DVDs, CDs, magazines, and nontraditional items for all ages. Space is limited on the bookmobile, therefore materials from the library’s full collection are rotated on and off the vehicle at periodic intervals.  Material selection is handled by qualified staff and follows the library’s Collection Development and Maintenance policy.

The Bookmobile follows all CRCPL Public Service Policies, and serves patrons within the library’s established service area.

5.5.2 Weather and Geographical Considerations

Climate may impact mobile library services, but the use of awnings or pop-up tents may allow for extending the range of possible activities.  The bookmobile does not operate when weather and road conditions (including ice, snow, and flooding) are deemed too hazardous by library administration or the Outreach manager.

The bookmobile may not tolerate poor road conditions due to the weight of materials it carries, which places undue stress on the vehicle. Individual homebound deliveries to areas with poor or challenging road conditions should be carried out with a smaller, more capable library vehicle. Consideration must also be given to the length of the bookmobile, its turning circle, height of chassis above the ground, engine power and braking system in relation to surface conditions, steepness of hills, width of roads, and sharpness of corners.  Street congestion and traffic flow must also be taken into account. Low bridges must be taken into account when route planning.

All stops must have a parking area with a visible spot large enough to accommodate the bookmobile and allow safe entrance and exit from the bookmobile by patrons.

6.1 What is a library program?

A program is defined as an event sponsored or co-sponsored by CRCPL, which introduces a group attending to any of the broad range of library services or activities for children or adults, or which directly provides information to participants. A program can be a single event or a series of events that take place at the library, somewhere other than the library, or online. Programming furthers the mission, vision and values of CRCPL.

Programming is a fundamental component of library service that:

  • Introduces attendees to library resources and materials;
  • Provides learning and entertainment opportunities to meet the informational, educational and recreational needs of those attending the program;
  • Raises awareness and visibility of the library to the community;
  • Supports and responds to emerging community interests as well as established interests and demands;
  • Expands the library’s role as a cultural and community center; and/or
  • Extends outreach for underserved populations.

CRCPL uses partnerships with non-profit and civic organizations, government and commercial entities in order to reach new audiences and to create opportunities to meet the goals of programming. CRCPL staff may also be available to provide presentations or performances that support other organizations by presenting information about library resources and services on or off-site. This includes scheduled visits to schools, community events, and library tours, among others.

Library programming will align with the Library Bill of Rights (PHI-004) and Library-Initiated Programs as a Resource: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (PHI-004.1).

6.1.1 Attending library programs:

Programs will be developed with consideration for the principles of accessibility, equity and inclusiveness, and will contribute to CRCPL’s welcoming environment. Reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that programs are accessible to all who wish to attend and participate.

The library’s philosophy of open access to information and ideas extends to programming. Most programs are free and open to the public; however, some programs or classes may require a nominal materials fee. Optional items may also be available to purchase during a library program, such as books at an author event. Registration may be required for planning purposes or when space is limited.

Some programs may be developed for a particular audience, in which case attendees should be within the appropriate age group such as adults, children or teens, or may require an accompanying adult. CRCPL prioritizes customer safety in the delivery of its services, and reserves the right to set age limits or recommendations for programs. In determining appropriate age recommendations, staff will consider the relevance and suitability of the program’s topic, format and presenter. Programs designed for specific audiences will be publicized as such. All program participants must comply with the Patron Code of Conduct. 

6.1.2 Program selection and scheduling:

Library programs must have an educational, informational or cultural value to the community. Programs of a purely commercial nature or those designed for the solicitation of business will not be offered by the library. Examples of programs that would be considered of a commercial nature include, but are not limited to, presentations offered for free but with the intention of soliciting future business.

Library selection of a program does not constitute an endorsement of the content of the program or the views expressed by presenters. Decisions to provide programs will not be made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the program in serving the interests of CRCPL patrons.

Programs that support or oppose any political candidate or ballot measure will not be approved or offered by the library. However, educational programs, such as candidate forums that include invitations to all recognized candidates may be offered.

Decision criteria: Library staff uses many criteria when making decisions about program topics, speakers and accompanying resources, including:

  • Community needs and interests
  • Relation to library collections, resources, services and events
  • Connections to other community programs, exhibits or events
  • Historical or educational significance
  • Treatment of content for intended audience
  • Presenter expertise and/or public performance experience
  • Popular appeal
  • Library resources (budget, staff time, available space) to support the program

6.1.3 Partnerships and performers:

CRCPL may draw upon other community resources when developing programs and may actively partner with other community agencies, organizations, educational and cultural institutions or individuals to develop and present co-sponsored public programs.

Professional performers and presenters that reflect specialized or unique expertise may be hired for programs. Performers and presenters will not be excluded from consideration because of their origin, background or views, or because of possible controversy.

Unsolicited offers from individuals and organizations to present programs may be considered, based on library needs. Programming staff will evaluate the topic and format of the proposed program, and the presenter’s qualifications, based on the decision criteria above. 

6.1.4 Miscellaneous:

On-going assessments of the effectiveness of programs are based on attendance, audience satisfaction, and other outcomes.

The Library reserves the right to use video or photographs taken of program participants for internal use, publication, use in library promotional outlets, and evaluation purposes.

The Library Board of Directors delegates development and presentation of programs to the Executive Director and designated department staff.

7.1 Internet Access

The library provides access to the internet at all locations. The number and length of sessions patrons may use on library computers may be limited to ensure equal access to all users. A library card is not required.

7.2 Digital Presence

7.2.1 Website

The website is the library’s official presence on the internet, and it serves as a gateway to the library’s resources and as a public relations tool that promotes the library in a digital environment. The website’s primary audience is the residents of Ross County; as such, the information and resources provided will be geared toward the local community whenever possible. Data collected from site metric tools, usability studies, user suggestions, staff recommendations, and various other sources will be continuously used to improve the site.

Overall responsibility for the site resides with the Access Director, working with other library staff in an inclusive, consultative, collaborative manner to create content and resolve technical issues.

The website provides access to the resources offered through the library’s purchases and consortia memberships. The website may also provide links to other sites that may be useful to our community members. When possible, the links will be to non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies. Links to business or financial partners, commercial websites, or other informational sites will only be included when library management has determined the information provided within those sites is free, sufficiently accurate and authoritative, and not available through a comparable non-profit, educational, or government agency site.

Links placed on the website must meet the following criteria:

  • Links direct to the originating institution, not to a third party
  • Linked sites should contain up-to-date information, creation/revision dates, and contact information.
  • If the source of the information cannot be readily determined, the content manager will verify the accuracy of the content before providing it as a link from the website.
  • When linked sites deal with controversial topics, sites with differing points of view should be provided whenever possible.

7.2.2 Social Media

The library uses social media to communicate and interact with the community. The library reserves the right to monitor content before it is posted on all of its social media websites and accounts, and to modify or remove any messages or postings that it deems, in its sole discretion, to be abusive, defamatory, in violation of copyright, trademark right or other intellectual property right of any third party, or otherwise inappropriate for the service. The library also reserves the right to edit or modify any submissions in response to requests for feedback or other commentary. However the library is not obligated to take any such actions, and will not be responsible or liable for content posted by any subscriber in any forum, message board, or other area within the service.

7.3 Equipment for Public Use within the Library

When available, the library provides devices (laptops, tablet computers, etc.) for patron use within the library.

7.3.1 Eligibility

7.3.2 Usage Limits and Fees

  • The number of sessions per day may be limited due to demand.
  • Once a device is checked out to a patron, it becomes the responsibility of that patron.
  • Devices that are taken out of the building for any reason will be considered stolen and reported to the police.
  • If any technical problems are encountered, staff should be notified immediately. Patrons should not attempt repairs, adjustments, or alterations of any kind.
  • Devices stop circulating 30 minutes before closing regardless of the length of the final session.
  • The patron is responsible for the full replacement cost if the device or any of its parts are lost, stolen, damaged, or otherwise not returned.
  • Unreturned devices will be considered stolen and will be reported to the police.

7.3.3 Responsibilities

  • Borrowers are not to leave the device unattended.
  • Borrowers are not to place food and beverages near the device.
  • Borrowers are not to load personal software or programs or make any changes to the operating system or system files under any circumstances.
  • Borrowers must use their own headphones.
  • The library is not responsible for any files left on any device or for loss or damage to user files during the loan period.
  • The library is not responsible for any viruses, malware, spyware, adware, or any other harmful software that may be transferred to or from user files.
  • For privacy issues, all user files will be removed from the device after each use.
  • Failure to comply with any of these rules and guidelines will result in the loss of the privilege of borrowing portable devices.

7.4 Printing and Related Services

The library provides self-service equipment for making copies, printing from library computers, and fax services. Fees vary. The library assumes no responsibility for the quality of prints or photocopies. The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material; patrons using library equipment are liable for any infringement.

8.1 Code of Conduct

This policy establishes guidelines and expectations regarding standards of conduct among the patrons of the Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library while in the library and its immediate premises, in order to ensure the highest standard of health and safety for all who use the library, and to provide for the most efficient and effective operation of the library.

The following behaviors are prohibited on library property:

  • Any behavior that is prohibited by law, including but not limited to:
    • Sexual misconduct or harassment (e.g. unwanted physical contact, leering, sexual innuendoes, sexual propositions, acts of physical aggression)
    • Tobacco use on library premises
    • Using the internet for unlawful purposes (e.g. child pornography)
    • Theft or vandalism of library property or items belonging to staff and/or other library users
    • Unapproved entry in non-public areas of the library (e.g. trespassing)
    • Being under the influence, possessing alcohol or drugs, selling or using drugs or alcoholic beverages
    • Unlawful possession of weapons
  • Any activity that unreasonably interferes with others’ use and enjoyment of the library, including but not limited to:
    • Harassing, threatening or intimidating patrons or staff
    • Loud or disruptive behavior which disturbs library activities
    • Recording video or audio of library patrons without prior administrative permission
    • Disregard for bodily hygiene, or any scent so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to others
    • Improper dress, including shoes, tops, and bottoms, while in library
    • Monopolizing/obstructing space or interfering with the free passage of staff or patrons in or on library premises
    • Solicitation or other commercial activities inside the library or on library grounds
    • Use of electronic devices in a manner that is disruptive to others (e.g. mobile phones)
    • Bringing animals other than service animals into the library
    • Sleeping, bathing, shaving, or washing clothes on the premises
    • Insufficient supervision of children
  • Using library materials, equipment, fixtures, furniture, buildings, or grounds in any manner that:
    • Is inconsistent with normal library uses
    • Can damage library property or the property of others
    • Is likely to cause personal injury to one’s self or others
    • May cause damage or excessive or unreasonable wear
  • Disobeying the direction of a library staff member and/or remaining on library property when requested to leave.

Behavior that is prohibited by law or the CRCPL Patron Code of Conduct may result in the following consequences:

  • Request to change the behavior or leave the library
  • Suspension of library privileges
  • Intervention by law enforcement

CRCPL gratefully acknowledges the Public Library Association and the San Diego County Library for articulating this framework for the Patron Code of Conduct. 

8.2 Eviction

Patrons who fail to abide by the library’s policies are subject to having their library privileges suspended and/or being evicted from all premises of the library. Under normal circumstances, evictions and suspensions should be decided upon and imposed by the manager on duty.

However, in the absence or unavailability of a manager and if circumstances require prompt action, all staff are authorized to evict a patron from the premises for the remainder of the day following a code of conduct violation. In the event a non-management staff member issues an eviction, the staff member is required to review the eviction with his or her supervisor or other manager to determine whether the eviction should be extended beyond one day. The seriousness of the action and repeated misbehavior of a patron may indicate that a longer eviction than that indicated below is appropriate. The director is authorized to modify the terms of or to extend an eviction.

8.2.1 Procedure

  • All staff members are required to inform patrons immediately when improper conduct is observed or reported. Patrons should be given a chance to respond before any action is taken against them.
  • If, after giving the patron a chance to respond, the staff member still believes that the patron has engaged in improper conduct, the staff member should warn the patron that if the improper conduct continues he/she will be asked to leave for the day, and then give the patron the opportunity to correct his/her behavior.
  • Patrons who continue to engage in improper behavior after being warned will be asked to leave the library for a period of time as listed below. Under certain circumstances, a patron determined to have engaged in improper conduct will not be given the opportunity to correct their behavior and will be asked to leave immediately, following the guidelines below.
  • Patrons who have engaged in conduct that would normally result in eviction of a day or less will be verbally informed of the eviction and be given an opportunity to respond verbally.
  • Patrons who have engaged in conduct that would normally result in eviction for more than a day will be given written notice of the eviction, either in person or by U.S. mail, and the opportunity to respond in writing to the allegation.
  • If the patron is a minor, his/her parents/guardians should be informed of the allegation and be given the opportunity to respond, if possible.
  • At the discretion of library management, a minor child can be informed not to return to the library until the child’s parent or guardian contacts the director or a manager.
  • Whenever possible, warnings and evictions issued to patrons should be witnessed by another staff member.
  • Staff members should attempt to identify the patron being warned and evicted by name.
  • If additional information can be obtained, such as address, telephone number, and borrower card number, staff members should record this as well.

8.2.2 Eviction Guidelines

INFRACTIONS:

  • Improper dress, including bare feet and no shirt.
  • Offensive body odor, which constitutes a nuisance to other patrons or staff.

ACTION:

Warning and may be asked to leave the premises to correct the problem.

INFRACTIONS:

  • Distributing or posting unauthorized printed materials.
  • Bringing animals (other than service animals) into the library.
  • Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that one is unable to exercise care for one’s own safety or the safety of others.

ACTION:

1st violation––Warning and may be asked to leave the premises to correct the problem.

2nd violation––7 day eviction.

3rd violation––1 month eviction.

INFRACTIONS:

  • Abuse or improper use of library facilities and equipment.
  • Smoking inside buildings.
  • Unreasonable noise to include: loud talking, singing, boisterous activity, persistent and/or loud sounds from electronic devices.
  • Monopolizing/obstructing space, seating, tables or equipment to the exclusion of others.
  • Profane, obscene or abusive language, including racial or ethnic epithets.
  • Gambling, panhandling, soliciting money, any activity for personal profit.
  • Engaging in any act which disrupts or prevents the normal and intended use of the library by any other patrons or staff.

ACTION:

1st violation–– Warning and may be asked to leave the premises for the remainder of the day.

2nd violation––7 day eviction.

3rd violation––1 month eviction.

INFRACTIONS:

  • Intentionally destroying, vandalizing, or damaging library property, including defacing materials.
  • Intentionally destroying, vandalizing, or damaging other patron’s property while on library premises.
  • Trespassing, violating an eviction, or entering upon library property when banned.
  • Theft or attempted theft of personal or library property.

ACTION:

1st violation––4 month eviction.

2nd violation––1 year eviction

INFRACTIONS:

  • Inducing panic or placing false emergency calls to public safety agencies while on library premises.
  • Harassing patrons or staff verbally or physically, including acts of harassing behavior committed via electronic or written communication while on library premises.
  • Possession, selling, or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs on library premises.

ACTION:

Asked to leave the premises immediately. Eviction period up to one year determined after review by management.

INFRACTIONS:

  • Engaging in or soliciting any sexual act, including indecent exposure.
  • Fighting, challenging someone to a fight, physically abusing or assaulting anyone on library premises.

ACTION:

Immediate 1 year eviction.

8.2.3 Rights of Redress

Any patron evicted from library premises has the right to appeal that eviction. Patrons who have engaged in conduct that poses a risk to the safety of other patrons or staff may not be permitted on the premises while an initial determination of their case is made. In such cases, the library will act as quickly as possible in ruling on the patron’s case. Patrons who have engaged in other conduct may be asked to leave the premises for the remainder of the day but will be allowed back on the premises while an initial determination of their case is made.

If the individual disagrees with the eviction:

  1. The patron should contact the Enrichment Director or Executive Director within 48 hours of receiving his/her eviction to initiate an appeal. The patron should explain the reasons for the appeal and include any additional information that he/she wants considered during review.
  2. The appeal and any additional supporting information will be considered. The patron will be advised of the decision on the eviction terms within seven business days.
  3. Upon receipt of the decision, the patron has the right to further appeal the eviction to the Board of Trustees. The Executive Director must be notified of the intent to appeal at least one week before the Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting, with reasons for the appeal, and include any additional information that the patron wants considered.

8.3 Solicitation

Patrons should be free to use the library without interruption from outside petitioners, survey takers, interviewers or solicitors. Members of the public may not engage in solicitation or distribution of materials on library property at any time for any purpose. Petitioners, survey takers and interviewers are permitted outside the building on library grounds provided that access to the library is not impeded and patrons are not pressured to sign. In the event any petitioner fails to follow the above instructions, they will be asked to leave the premises for creating a disturbance as outlined in the code of conduct and eviction policies above. Library-related questionnaires sponsored or co-sponsored by the library are allowed inside the libraries.

8.4 Tobacco Free

Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library (CRCPL) is dedicated to maintaining a safe and healthy public environment, improving indoor and outdoor air quality, and promoting the comfort of library staff and patrons. Research shows that tobacco use, including smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke and electronic-cigarette vapors constitutes a significant health hazard. In addition to causing direct health concerns, tobacco contributes to institutional costs, including fire damage, cleaning and maintenance costs, and costs associated with employee absenteeism, health care, and medical insurance.

Given these concerns, and in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3794.05, all buildings, grounds, and vehicles of CRCPL are smoke and tobacco free. Tobacco use and smoking in all forms, including the use of electronic cigarettes and smoke-free oral tobacco products, is not permitted in any facility, vehicle, or on property owned by CRCPL.

Tobacco use is permitted within personal vehicles as long as the vehicle is parked 25 feet from any facility entrance and/or 25 feet from any ventilation intake, and the smoke and tobacco products are completely contained within the vehicle.

Any person who uses tobacco products in library buildings or on library grounds in violation of the policy is subject to the provisions of applicable laws and/or library disciplinary action. Non-compliance with the tobacco-free policy, as with non-compliance with the other rules of the library, should be brought to the attention of library management.

Ensuring compliance with the smoke and tobacco-free library policy is the responsibility of the entire library community. The success of this policy depends on the thoughtfulness, consideration, and cooperation of users and non-users. It is the responsibility of all members of the community to comply with this policy. Any individual may voice objections to tobacco use on library property without fear of retaliation.

8.4 Unattended Minors

The library wishes to provide a safe environment for visitors of all ages; however, library facilities are open to the public, which can present risks to children. Parents, caregivers, and group leaders need to be aware that staff cannot be responsible for the safety and security of unattended children. “Unattended” is understood to mean that:

  • A child is out of view of the parent or caregiver and/or not actively engaged with the parent or caregiver.
  • A child is alone at the library without appropriate supervision.
  • A child is dropped off at the library without appropriate supervision.

Children under the age of 7 must be accompanied at all times by a parent or caregiver. Parents and caregivers must exercise their own judgment regarding whether to leave their children over the age of 7 unattended in the library. The library cannot monitor children who enter and leave the library. Children who are disruptive may be asked to leave the library. Parents and caregivers should only leave unattended children at the library if they are capable of coming and going by themselves.

Children who become disruptive, a security or safety issue, or endanger themselves or others anywhere on library property will be asked to correct their behavior. If the behavior continues, the child will be asked to leave the library as indicated by the eviction policy above.

Parents and caregivers are responsible for arranging transportation to and from the library for unattended children. Transportation for these children should arrive prior to the closing time. If a child’s transportation has not arrived before closing time, the Library may call the police if the child expresses concern or if the Library staff member believes there is reason for concern.

If a child has been left at the library at closing time, staff will attempt to contact the parent or caregiver. At least two staff members shall remain with the child. If the parent or caregiver cannot be reached within 15 minutes of closing the police will be called. If the police pick up a child after closing time, staff should place a note on the library’s main doors indicating that the police have been called to assist with an unattended child. The note should not mention the name of the child but should include date, time and the child’s age and sex. Under no circumstances will staff take the child away from the library.

8.5 Video Surveillance

In order to deter crime and to aid in protecting the safety of individuals and the property of the library, the library uses video surveillance equipment. Video surveillance is limited to areas that do not violate the reasonable expectation of privacy; such as areas of public usage, staff work areas, parking lots, and grounds. Targeted video surveillance is prohibited if such observation is based on the characteristics and classifications that would be considered discriminatory under law (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, etc.).

The Executive Director, management, technical support staff, and authorized contractors are the only persons authorized to access the video surveillance system.

The Executive Director will review all requests received by the library to release recordings obtained through video surveillance. Video recordings and photos obtained through video surveillance will be released in accordance with applicable laws. Under exigent circumstances or in response to a search warrant or court order, recordings and photographs may be released to the police. Exigent circumstance is defined as an emergency situation requiring swift action to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property, or to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect, or destruction of evidence. No release of video recordings or images will occur without prior authorization by the director or his/her designee.

Requests for recordings and photographs which show identifiable persons, identifiable library materials in the possession of a patron, or identifiable requests or other readable communication from a patron to a library employee shall be evaluated prior to any release outside the library, under the library’s Confidentiality and Public Access to Library Records policies.

Recorded video will be saved no longer than 30 days and will then be automatically erased, unless retained as part of a criminal investigation or court proceedings (criminal or civil), or other bona fide use as approved by the director.

Video footage or images retained as part of a criminal investigation or court proceedings will be stored in a secure location by the Information Technology Manager.

9.1 Public Records

Access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a right of every person in this state. Records of the Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library that are not exempt from disclosure under the law are available for inspection and copying in accordance with the Ohio Public Records Act. Requests for records may be made during regular business hours to:

Chillicothe & Ross County Public Library

Records Officer

140 S Paint St, Chillicothe, OH 45601

(740) 702-4145

Patrons may view requested public records at all reasonable times during the regular business hours of the library. Requested records will be made available promptly for review at the library. Requested copies of records will be provided within a reasonable period of time. “Prompt” and “reasonable” take into account the volume of records requested, the proximity of the location where the records are stored, and the necessity for any legal review of the records requested.

Upon receipt of a request for public records, the library will acknowledge the request and provide the patron with an estimate of when to expect a response, an estimated cost (if copies have been requested), and the items that may be exempt from disclosure. If at any time prior to completing the response, it becomes apparent that the response will take longer than initially estimated (because of the volume of records requested, the proximity of location where the records are stored; or the complexity of the legal review) the library will inform the patron of this change.

Patrons are not required to:

  • Disclose their identity to the library when requesting records (a request number will be used to track communications and the response to the request).
  • Provide a written request.
  • Provide a reason why the records are requested.

If any portion of the request for records must be denied because the records are exempt from disclosure under the law, the patron will be informed which records are not public by clearly marking the portion “redacted,” or will be given an explanation which portions of the record(s) have been redacted. In addition, the library will provide the legal authority for the redaction. If the library denies any request because it is overbroad, ambiguous, or does not reasonably identify our records, the patron will be provided with information about how the records are maintained so that the request for the records may be revised.

A fee for copies of public records may be charged which covers the direct costs of duplication incurred by the library, following library policy for printing and photocopying as indicated above. In addition, actual cost of postage or other delivery may be charged. Payment of these fees is required prior to processing the request.

9.2 Confidentiality

Patron records that identify any personal information concerning individual patrons are not open to the public, according to state law, ORC 149.432. Library records or patron information will be released only in the following circumstances:

  • Parents, guardians and custodians will have access to their minor children’s records.
  • In accordance with a subpoena, search warrant or other court order to a law enforcement officer who is investigating a matter involving public safety in exigent circumstances.
  • With the consent of the individual who is the subject of the records or information.
  • For library administrative purposes.

For practical purposes, possession of the library card or library card number is deemed to be evidence of legitimate access to a minor’s records in the case of a parent, guardian or custodian; or to identify the patron over the telephone requesting information on his or her own records; or that an adult has given permission to another person to pick up his or her materials or otherwise have access to his or her records. Possession of library card or library card number is also required to access the record using the library computer database. The library will immediately cancel the card when notified that it has been lost or misused.

Patron records that are requested to be released in accordance with a subpoena, search warrant, or court order will be released only by the director or fiscal officer.

In exigent circumstances involving public safety, if the Executive Director or Chief Fiscal Officer is not available patron records may be released by the manager on duty.

Administrative Policy

All purchases of the library must be approved by the Director (or his/her designee) and the Fiscal Officer (and his/her designee), except in situations (as described later in this policy) where Board approval is necessary before making the purchase.

All expenditures of library funds require a purchase order. A purchase order represents the library’s agreement to pay funds for goods or services described in the purchase order. When accepted by a vendor, and in the absence of other controlling terms, it constitutes the agreement between the library and vendor with respect to the state goods and services. Purchase orders are signed by the Fiscal Officer or Deputy Fiscal Officer, who certifies that the expense is legal, that funds have been previously appropriated by the Board of Trustees, and that monies are available or in the process of being collected prior to signing.

Library staff are expected to use reasonable diligence in finding the best prices for all goods and services obtained for the library.

Contractors for professional services used by the library must provide evidence of creditworthiness, proof of bonds or insurance, and comply with other reasonable requests of trustworthiness.

1.1 BOARD APPROVAL

Except in cases of urgent necessity, prior approval from the Board of Trustees is needed for:

  1. Salaries and Benefits:
    • a.  Salaries and benefits for Executive Director, the Fiscal Officer, and the Deputy Fiscal Officer.
    • b.  All changes to the Salary Schedule and to staff benefit plans.
  1. Purchased and Contracted Services:
    • a.  Advertising for bids and letting contracts for repairs that are required to be formally bid under Ohio law.
    • b.  Building and equipment maintenance and custodial service agreements/contracts where the total cost of the projects is expected to exceed $10,000.
    • c.  Information systems/technology hardware/software maintenance agreements where the total cost of the contract is expected to exceed $25,000.
    • d.  Insurance policies where the total premium for the covered period is expected to exceed $5,000.
    • e.  Building lease/rental agreements where the total cost for the covered period is expected to exceed $5,000.
    • f.  Contracts for Professional Services (i.e. contracts with architects, engineers, accountants, auditors, management consultants, attorneys, surveyors, etc.) where the specific contract is expected to exceed $5,000.
  1. Library Materials and Information:
    • a.  Library materials contracts where the total cost of the contract is expected to exceed $25,000.
  1. Capital Outlay and Purchases:
    • a.  Advertising for bids and letting contracts for land improvements, building improvements and construction of new library buildings as required under the bidding laws for Ohio libraries.
    • b.  The purchase of land, buildings, and easements.
    • c.  The purchase of furniture and equipment that has been formally bid as a part of a capital project.
    • d.  The purchase of furniture and equipment from a specific vendor when that vendor is to receive a purchase order in excess of $5,000.
    • e.  The purchase of all motor vehicles requires prior board approval.
  1. Debt Service:
    • a.  Capital lease or lease-purchase agreements in which the total cost is expected to be greater than $5,000.
    • b.  Professional service contracts for purposes of assisting in debt financing when the total contract price is expected to exceed $5,000.
  1. Other Expenditures:
    • a.  Organizational memberships and all contract or memberships in cooperative-type projects when the total cost for the covered period is expected to exceed $15,000.
    • b.  Payment of all judgements and findings against the library.

In all instances, two or more purchase orders may not be combined to avoid spending limits. Projects may not be piecemeal in nature to avoid spending limits. Library staff encouraged to consult the Board in situations where there is any question about the spending limits requiring Board approval.

It shall be fully understood that the administration shall have the authority to make all necessary purchases for the library, without first obtaining Board approval if the money has been appropriated and the purchase is authorized within this policy. If it is found that this policy is in conflict with any federal, state or local law, the law shall take precedence. This policy is meant to be general in nature, and in situations where purchases or expenditures are covered by more specific Board policy, the more detailed and specific policy shall take precedence.

The Board may disclaim responsibility and liability for any expenditure, credit card purchase, or contractual agreement in its name by an unauthorized person or any person acting outside this policy. The expense of such disclamation will become the personal liability of the individual who acted improperly.

1.2 QUOTATIONS FOR PRICES

For those purchases not falling under the requirements of sections 3375.41 (bidding) and 153.65-153.1 (professional design services) of the Ohio Revised Code, quotations for prices are required for the purchase of any good or service over $5,000 in total. Contracts with one vendor for a similar good or service cannot be split in order to override this requirement. Price quotations from multiple vendors are preferred. However, if it is determined by the Director that there is only one vendor that specializes in this type of good or service, a quotation from only one vendor will be acceptable. Final selection of quotations for goods and services will be those that are in the best interest of and/or represent the best value of the library.

1.3 CREDIT CARDS

  1.  This policy applies to all (i) payment cards, checks or other payment instruments associated with a credit account issued by a financial institution or a retailer, and (ii) payment cards related to the receipt of grant funds. All such cards and instruments are referred to herein as “credit cards”.
  2. This policy does not apply to procurement cards (P-cards), or to gas cards or other payment cards that are capable of use only for the purchase of certain limited types of goods.
  3. For purposes of the policy, the Deputy Fiscal Officer may perform the functions of the Fiscal Officer in the absence of the Fiscal Officer.
  4. The Library will not obtain or maintain any debit cards.
  5. Credit cards will be established in the name of the Chillicothe & Ross County Public Library with a maximum credit limit not to exceed $5,000.
  6. The Fiscal Officer will work with the appropriate financial institutions that issue credit cards to determine the best type of credit card accounts for the Library, and also to determine which store credit card accounts the Library will utilize.
    • a.  The Fiscal Officer is responsible for working with the issuing financial institution to determine the dates when credit cards expire and the re-issuance of replacement cards.
    • b.  The Fiscal Officer is responsible for determining, when necessary, the need to cancel a credit card account and any adjustment to credit limits on the credit cards.
    • c.  The Fiscal Officer is responsible for notifying the issuing financial institution of a lost or stolen card. Library personnel using a credit card must notify the Fiscal Officer when they become aware that a card is lost or stolen.
  7. Credit cards will be kept in the office of the Fiscal Officer and may be signed out to authorized Library personnel from time to time as necessary. The credit card should be promptly returned to the office of the Fiscal Officer once the purchases for which it was checked out have been made.
  8. Credit cards may be signed out only to the following Library personnel:
    • a.  Director
    • b.  Fiscal Officer
    • c.  Deputy Fiscal Officer
    • d.  Assistant Directors
    • e.  Managers
    • f.  Assistants
  9. A credit card may not be used by anyone other than the individual to whom it is signed out.
  10. Prior to initial receipt of a credit card, each individual must agree to and sign the Credit Card Responsibility and Use Procedures.
  11. The Board authorizes the use of Library credit cards for use in connection with Board- approved or Library-related activities and for only those types of expenses that are for the benefit of the Library that serve a valid and proper public purpose shall be paid for by credit card. Credit cards will be used primarily for travel expenses to conferences and/or workshops and pre-payment of materials when required by a vendor. In any event, credit cards may be used only for expenditures that are within the applicable budget and departmental guidelines.
  12. For each purchase made using a credit card, an itemized receipt indicating the amount paid, the vendor, and the goods/services purchased must be submitted to the Fiscal Officer promptly following the purchase.
  13. Use of a credit card for personal expenditures, for expenditures in excess of the applicable credit limit, or otherwise in violation of this policy constitutes a misuse of the credit card. Any Library personnel engaging in misuse of a credit card will be responsible to reimburse the Library for any unauthorized expenditures and may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
  14. If a credit card is lost or stolen, or if any Library personnel become aware of unauthorized or fraudulent use of any of the Library’s credit card accounts, the same must be reported immediately to the Fiscal Officer.
  15. All monthly credit card statements and other correspondence associated with the credit card accounts will be sent to the Chillicothe & Ross County Public Library. Payment of the monthly statements must be made in a timely fashion so that finance charges and late payment fees are not incurred.
  16. On an annual basis, the Fiscal Officer will submit a report to the Library Board of Trustees regarding all credit card rewards received by the Library. (Updated 5/11/22)

Statement

Libraries enrich lives, provide information for work and daily living, and foster informed communities which are essential to a democratic society. In recognition of this important function, communities support the library through public funding. The library’s first priority is to ensure the continuation and growth of this primary relationship—public funding for the public good.

Publicly funded libraries can and do explore other sources of funding, such as grants, gifts, donations, partnerships and sponsorships, to ensure that they provide the best possible services to their communities. Sponsorships are one source of additional support that allows libraries to enhance the level, extend the range, or improve the quality of library services.

To ensure that the partnerships enhance the library’s image and add value to library services, CRCPL will enter into sponsorship agreements that outline the conditions and the benefits of the sponsorship arrangement.

Guidelines

The library has the responsibility to:

  1. Protect the principle of intellectual freedom and not permit sponsors to influence the selection of collections, or staff advice and recommendations about library materials.
  2. Demonstrate that sponsors further the library’s mission, goals, objectives and priorities, but do not drive the library’s agenda or priorities.
  3. Safeguard equity of access to library services and not allow sponsorship agreements to give unfair advantage to, or cause discrimination against, sectors of the community.
  4. Avoid endorsement of products or services.
  5. Ensure the confidentiality of user records by not selling or providing access to library records to sponsors or any parties.
  6. Be sensitive to the local political and social climate and select partners who will enhance the library’s image in the community.
  7. Retain the right to refuse sponsorships or gifts.

The library will:

  1. Recognize that taxpayers are the main supporters of the library and acknowledge them as such.
  2. Know that corporations receive direct benefit for donations through tax receipts.
  3. Assure that recognition of sponsors is commensurate with gifts bestowed.
  4. Protect the library’s logo from use by corporate sponsors.
  5. Maintains refusal rights pertaining to the use of corporate logos on library publications, signage or buildings.
  6. Acknowledge gifts and sponsorships equitably by establishing agreements regarding:
    • library board approval for gifts
    • public acknowledgement of gifts, such as press release or ceremonies
    • thanks on written materials, such as annual reports
    • naming of spaces, including:
      • the encouragement of the use of personal over corporate names
      • that plaques or signs be visible, but not focal points of the spaces
      • a written agreement between the library and sponsor that includes size and content specifications for any sign
      • that expectations regarding ongoing acknowledgment be explicit and public in the agreement between the sponsor and the library
      • that sponsor names not be required on ongoing library publicity, such as the webpage or brochures
      • retain the right to cancel the agreement if either entity changes name or ownership
  7. Retain the right to terminate the agreement if any terms are violated.

PURPOSE OF PLAN:

  • Prevent and reduce loss of life. Protect staff and patrons from pandemic disease and other critical accidents and disasters.
  • Cooperate and coordinate with federal, state and local health agencies.
  • Protect essential library services, facilities, equipment, materials, and records.
  • Minimize damage to and loss of property.
  • Ensure complete return to full library operation as quickly as possible.

PREPAREDNESS PLANNING TEAM: Director, Team Leaders, Fiscal Officer, and other staff deemed necessary

The Preparedness Planning Team will make decisions during an emergency regarding health protection supplies, communication about the situation with staff and public, curtailment of services and/or closing of libraries, and staffing assignments during the emergency. The team will work closely with the Board of Trustees on policy decisions.

PLAN IMPLEMENTATION TOPICS:

  • Hygiene
  • Staffing and Services
  • Communication
  • Recovery

HYGIENE:

  1. A list of good hygiene practices will be posted on all staff bulletin boards.
  2. Hand sanitizers and tissues will be provided at all public service desks, at public computer reservation stations and all staff work areas.
  3. Hand washing awareness signs will be posted in all restrooms.
  4. Staff will be provided with disinfecting wipes and disposable gloves to assist in keeping work areas sanitized. Priorities include door handles, hand rails, telephones, and keyboards.
  5. Disposable gloves will be provided for employees to use when needed when interacting with patrons or handling materials.
  6. Staff is encouraged to use good personal infection measures (cover one’s mouth and nose when coughing/sneezing, wash hands often, avoid touching one’s eyes, nose or mouth, etc.)

STAFFING AND SERVICES:

During an emergency every effort will be made to maintain library services. Due dates, renewals, and overdue policies may be relaxed during this time.

The Planning Team will authorize any needed service changes in consultation with the Board of Trustees, the Ross County Health District, Sheriff’s Office, Chillicothe City Police, or other first responders.

Public meeting room use, public programs, and public use of library equipment may be curtailed or eliminated.

Staff may be re-assigned to a work area in a different area than usual, depending upon available personnel.

All staff will be asked to make sure their emergency contact information is up to date.

Staff that are ill will be encouraged to stay home at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (less than 100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C) or free of signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.

The library recognizes that employee absences during a pandemic might be due to personal illness, family illness, community containment measures and quarantines, school closures, and public transportation closures. An employee will use accumulated sick leave or vacation or unpaid leave for such an absence.

Other arrangements will follow applicable personnel policies concerning leave and leave without pay.

The Planning Team will determine any changes in library hours or library closings due to the number of employees off work or public health/emergency official’s directives. Staff may be instructed to stay home.

Essential employees required to be on site in the event of an extended closure will be identified by the Planning Team and training will be provided in necessary tasks.

COMMUNICATION:

Information from authorities and referral information about the emergency will be widely disseminated via print and online resources. This will include awareness of the issue and proactive, preventative measures (if any) to take.

The Planning Team will alert staff to critical news affecting library services. Up-to-date information will also be provided as it becomes available via email, Intranet, and other means of direct communication.

Changes in service and library hours will be publicized in print and online resources.

RECOVERY:

Full library services will be restored as conditions permit. Public programs and meeting room use will resume when allowed by the relevant authorities.

If libraries have been closed for the pandemic, infrastructure will be evaluated and cleaning may be necessitated before re-opening.

Staffing needs will be evaluated and a return to full staffing will be instituted as soon as possible, depending on staff health and building conditions.

(Approved March 11, 2020)