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Public Service Policy

Section 7: Technology

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 Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library utilizes various social media platforms as a limited public forum to promote library events, services, and materials and engage with its community. Patrons are encouraged to interact with the library on social media through comments, posts, and messages. Patrons who follow and/or interact with the library on social media sites agree to abide by this and all other library policies.

Social media content is maintained and monitored by library staff. The library respects and acknowledges differences in opinion and encourages users to engage respectfully with others, but the library reserves the right to disable the commenting feature on its posts or remove individual comments that violate Library policy. Inappropriate content includes, but is not limited to:  

  • Obscene, profane, vulgar, lewd, or racist content   
  • Personal attacks, insults, or threatening language, or hate speech
  • Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, status regarding public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation
  • Content inciting or intended to incite violence or other illegal activity
  • Potentially libelous statements
  • Plagiarized material, material in violation of copyrights, trademark rights, or other intellectual property rights
  • Comments or hyperlinks not directly related to Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library
  • Commercial promotion, advertisement, or spam
  • Campaigning, politicking, electioneering, or other organized political activity
  • Content which reveals private or personal information, including name, age, phone number, address, etc.
  • Photos or images which fall into any of the above categories

A user participating in the Library’s social media service consents to and agrees to comply with all Library policies. The content of the Library’s social media platforms is considered public record under Ohio’s Public Records and Open Meetings laws and is subject to disclosure per the Freedom of Information Act.

The Library reserves the right to reproduce, distribute, publish, display, edit, modify, delete, and otherwise use submissions for library-related purposes. By commenting or interacting with library social media pages, the poster is responsible and/or liable for all content and posts made by them to the Library’s social media pages.

By posting content, the user agrees to hold harmless and indemnify the library and the library’s officers and employees from and against all liabilities, judgments, damages, and costs (including attorney's fees) which result from or relate in any way to the user’s postings, opinions, or comments.

The library reserves the right to block or ban users who violate this policy at any time and without prior notice. This determination will be made by the Executive Director or a designee. Users have a right to appeal this decision to the library’s Board of Trustees. To do this, the user must submit a written explanation either by email or traditional mail as to why their content does not violate this Social Media policy. The appeal will be considered at the next regular meeting of the Board of Trustees. Should the appeal be upheld, the user will be notified, social media permissions will be reinstated, and/or the user will be permitted to repost the deleted content.

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.

7.5 Filming and Photography

Filming and photography are allowed as described below only to the extent that they do not interfere with the mission of CRCPL or delivery of library services.

Public library facilities and grounds are defined as limited public forums subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions. Sidewalks around our libraries are traditional public forums, defined as places held in trust of the public to use for free speech and other activities protected by the First Amendment.

CRCPL is within its rights to limit filming and photography on library properties or inside facilities when such restrictions serve library purposes. Foremost of these is ensuring the right of CRCPL patrons to acquire knowledge and information freely and confidentially without scrutiny, intimidation, or distraction by others.

CRCPL may film, photograph, or record library-sponsored programs or events at its discretion.

7.5.1 Permissions

Any persons filming, photographing, and/or recording on library premises have sole responsibility for gaining all necessary releases and permissions from persons who are filmed, photographed, or recorded, if applicable.  CRCPL undertakes no responsibility for obtaining these releases.

Authorizations may be required to video, photograph, and record at CRCPL facilities as described below. Failure to obtain permission is a violation of the Patron Code of Conduct.

7.5.2 Amateur Photography

Casual amateur photography, filming, or recording is permitted in library facilities for patrons and visitors wanting a remembrance of their visit, provided that other library users are not captured in any such photographs, films, or recordings without their permission, in accordance with the Supreme Court decision Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347. This held that the Fourth Amendment “protects people, not places” and what a person “seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public,” may be constitutionally protected.

The use of additional equipment such as lighting is not permitted. Photography and recording of private and “reservation only” events may only be done with the permission of the organization or individual holding the event. It is the sole responsibility of the photographer to obtain that permission.

7.5.3 News Media Photography

CRCPL has an open-door policy for news media photographers and reporters who are doing stories or projects that directly involve the library and its programs, but prefers advanced notice.

For non-Library events and meetings, news media photographers and reporters must receive authorization from the presenting group, organization, or individual and must notify the library that they have received such authorization.

7.5.4 Documentary-type Filming for Publication or Broadcast

CRCPL permits filming of its premises and activities when the use of the footage involves the Library directly, such as books, articles, library-sponsored meetings and events, videos about CRCPL or one of its facilities or services, the library’s position in the region as a tourist or learning destination, or as part of a piece used to describe our community.

Individuals or organizations with a documentary requirement must obtain authorization in advance from the Executive Director prior to commencing any documentary-related activities.

7.5.5 Commercial Photography

CRCPL does not permit commercial photography on its properties or inside of its facilities without the written permission of the Executive Director. This includes but is not limited to using library buildings, grounds, or interiors as a stage set for portraiture, model photography, or product photography, or filming used to advertise goods or services unrelated to the library for commercial sale or promotion.

7.5.6 Film Industry

CRCPL will permit the use of its facilities for filming-related projects where a library setting is applicable if the project does not interfere with the mission of the library and is in accordance with the rest of this policy, and avoids any relation to political campaigns or to partisan issues.

Such projects require the approval and coordination of the Executive Director. Filming may take place only during hours when the library is closed, and all equipment must be removed during the library’s operating hours, unless otherwise approved.

7.5.7 Photography for Groups and Non-Library Events in Meeting and Study Rooms

Groups, organizations, or individuals holding meetings or events in CRCPL's meeting and/or study rooms may arrange for news media or photography, filming, or recording during their event. Photographing, filming, or recording at meetings or events requires the permission of the group, organization, or individual hosting the meeting or event and is restricted to the space reserved by the organization, group, or individual and may not take place in other areas.

The event organizer must make an announcement at the beginning of the meeting or event that they have allowed photography, filming, and/or audio recording. Any event attendee not wanting to be photographed, filmed, and/or recorded will need to speak with the event organizer.

7.5.8 Staff Responsibility

Library staff may terminate any photo, filming, or recording session that appears to compromise public privacy, safety, or security, or violates a CRCPL policy.

CRCPL frequently engages in photographing, filming, or recording library programs and events, on- and off-site, for its own publicity and promotional purposes. Staff may document any activity on behalf of the library in such a way. When doing so, they will wear a badge identifying their employment with the library and make an announcement at the beginning of the meeting or event that they may be taking photos, filming, and/or audio recording. Members of the public must immediately notify staff member if they do not want to be photographed, filmed, and/or recorded.

CRCPL will ensure signage is posted somewhere outside or within each library facility about such possible filming, recording, or photography.