Category Archives: Policies and Procedures

Patron confidentiality

Since Vermont Statutes require written permission from a patron in order to release information about their library usage, Kimball Public Library offers patrons the opportunity to fill out and sign a release form indicating who can have access to their patron record. Staff keep the forms on file, and add a note to their digital record so it’s easy for staff to see who has approved whom. When cards expire, staff check to see whether the patron has already had the spiel; cards are routinely set to expire on patrons’ 16th birthdays.

Here’s the template to create four forms: Release patron info Kimball PL.


How can I get my tax forms?

Vermont libraries have been discussing practical ways to supply federal and state tax forms now that libraries don’t get boxes of free forms. Here’s the Arvin A. Brown list of links for Vermont tax forms. Member choice: download and print, email for forms, or phone number to call. VT Income Tax Form

Most Vermont libraries appear to be printing the forms without charge, although assessing routine copy or printer fees for instructions. A few libraries have adopted the practical idea of keeping one copy of the most basic forms in a folder at the desk– like the IRS master notebook people would take to the copy machine.

Be Prepared

The first thing is have an emergency plan. The second is to make sure it’s available when you need it. Bob Joly at the St Johnsbury Athenaeum carries his in his wallet.

The outline for the plan Bob uses comes from the State Archivists’ website. Here’s a brief description of the plan’s purpose from the Council of State Archivists site, below. CoSA also sells tyvek pockets to keep the plan dry.

The Pocket Response Plan (PReP) is intended to be customized for each institution and individual staff member. It is printed on both sides of a legal-size sheet of paper, then trimmed and folded to credit card size and stored in a Tyvek™ envelope that fits easily into a wallet.

On one side is an Emergency Communication Directory, with contact information for staff, first responders, emergency services, utilities, vendors and suppliers, disaster teams, and other essential individuals and agencies.

The other side contains an Emergency Response Checklist: an organized list of those actions that each individual should take in the first 24 to 72 hours following a disaster.

Bob adapted the back page to include a small incident report, where staff can jot things down during an emergency. He uploaded the Athenaeum plan to Google docs, so all staff have access and the entire plan is online. Bob notes that the plan is meant to be printed on legal size paper and then trimmed and folded to fit into the tyvek pocket.

New Employee Orientation Packet

Whiting LibraryDirector Sharon Tanzer at the Whiting Library realized she needed to orient new employees with a lot of information– staff and trustee names, job descriptions, policies, holidays and work expectations. She pulled everything together in a handbook, below. Check out the table of contents for the short version.

Advice for Loaning E-Book Readers

hand holding kindleE-Book Readers are increasing in popularity at libraries.  Here is some advice and policies from libraries in Vermont and New Hampshire. Warning: this information may be outdated as soon as it is published.

“1. Remember you CANNOT download ebooks to a Kindle.
2. I have bought a Nook to show people and they may try it out in the library, but unless you have a large budget, I don’t think lending this piece of equipment is wise.  You really can’t limit who you lend it to.  Remember: If you can’t afford to give it, you can’t afford to lend it.” -Gail from Dorset Public Library

The Howe Library in Hanover, NH has been loaning e-readers for a couple of years, and here is their feedback:
“We don’t have a written policy per se, but patrons who check out our Kindles must be at least 18 years old.  Kindles circulate for two weeks and do not renew.  They come pre-loaded with a variety of books (you can see the list here), and patrons are not allowed to download additional content.  While checking out a Kindle, we have the patron sign a form that indicates acceptance of the conditions and states that they will not leave the Kindle unattended in a public place and will be responsible for the entire replacement cost of the Kindle ($360) plus a packaging fee ($40) and a processing fee ($15) should the device be damaged or lost.”

The St. Johnsbury Athenaeum also requires patrons to sign a form before they are allowed to check out a Kindle:

The Barnet Public Library also has a form which outlines the responsibilities of both the patron and librarian and must be signed by both:

Kindle Contract

We previously posted about how libraries are now lending expensive equipment (such as Kindles, MP3 players, Flip cameras, etc.).  Here is a Kindle Contract that Barton Public Library has patrons sign before they can check out a Kindle.

Website List for Swine Flu

Karen LaRue of the Townshend Public Library offers this list of websites suggested by Vermont libraries for information on swine flu issues.