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Library Use Policies
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Mission Statement and Goals
Provide all Bexar County residents technology access to enhance education and literacy, promote reading as recreation, and equip all members of our community with necessary tools to thrive as citizens of the digital age.
Registering for a Library Card
BiblioTech offers an array of valuable resources and electronic devices for its members free of charge. Registration can be completed online or at any of our branch locations. To qualify for a BiblioTech membership card you must be either:
- A resident of Bexar County
- A non-resident payer of property taxes of Bexar County or their dependents
- An employee of Bexar County
Each eligible BiblioTech user shall provide the library with his/her full name, current address and date of birth, as well as either an email address or cell phone number with cell phone carrier. Additional information may be requested to verify the identity of the user and allow for communication between the user and the library. Access to the BiblioTech online collection and resources is granted upon submission of the online registration form. To check out a device at a BiblioTech location, the user will need to provide proof of current address (e.g. government issued ID, driver's license, apartment lease, phone bill, utility bill, passport) to BiblioTech personnel. Your BiblioTech library card number is exclusively for use at the BiblioTech digital library, to access your patron account online or when using resources provided by BiblioTech. This card will remain valid for 5 years, at which time the account will need to be renewed through confirmation of user information. The signature of a parent/guardian is required if the applicant is under 16 years of age, and the parent/guardian will be asked to sign the user agreement associated with the child’s account. Adult members and parents/guardians will be held responsible for the child’s fines, overdue items, or the damage of items owned by the BiblioTech. Each BiblioTech user shall be responsible for all use of his/her card. If the card is lost or stolen, please report the lost/stolen card to a BiblioTech Employee immediately. The user is responsible for all charges against it until the loss is reported. A new card and card number will be issued on-site at the BiblioTech upon request.
Devices Available for Checkout
- Adult eReaders
- Children's eReaders
- Wireless Hotspots
- Tablets for the visually impaired
Devices Available for In-Library Use
Devices that are available for checkout and in-library use can be found at the information desk. More information about these devices can be found online. Devices can be checked-in/returned to library staff at the information desk. Users may be asked to wait while the device is checked to ensure all equipment is intact and in good working condition. Children under the age of 16 must have a parent/guardian check-out the device for them, and the adult must be present during use.
Borrowing Library Materials
Adult eReaders – 14 Day checkout
Children's eReaders with 100 preloaded books – 14 day checkout
Wireless Hotspots – 14 Day checkout
Apple iPad – 1 hour in-house checkout
Apple MacBook Pro – 1 hour in-house checkout
- Patrons over the age of 18 may checkout 2 devices at a time (2 eReaders or 1 eReader and 1 Hotspot).
- Patrons ages 16-18 may checkout 1 device at a time.
- eReaders may be renewed once, in person, if there is not a waiting list for the item.
- Wireless Hotspots cannot be renewed and patrons must wait two weeks between wireless hotspot checkouts when there is a holds list. This includes Wireless Hotspots and Wireless Hotspot Tablets.
- Patrons 16 & up may checkout 1 in-house device (laptops or iPad) at a time.
- eReaders may be renewed once, in person, if there is not a waiting list for the item.
- eReaders must be renewed on-site to ensure that the battery is charged and the device is in good working order.
- The Children's eReaders are preloaded with colorful picture books. Users will not be able to download additional library books or other material to these devices.
- Patrons 16 & up may checkout 1 in-house device at a time.
Wait List/Reserving Items
When all copies of a book are checked-out, users will have the option to be added to the Wait List for that particular book. Users may also ask at the information desk to be added to a Wait List for the Adult and Children's eReaders, should all of these devices be checked out.
- 5 additional books per user may be placed on a Wait List. When these items become available, notifications will be sent via the preferred method of communication as indicated by the user.
- Once the user has received notification that an item on their Wait List is available, the user will have 3 days to checkout the item.
Users are encouraged to return/check-in materials when they are finished with them, even if they are not yet due, so that other users can have access to these materials.
By suggesting a book in cloudLibrary, the user communicates an interest in adding this item to the library collection. If the item is subsequently purchased, the patron will receive a notification based on preferences and will have 3 days to checkout the item.
Returning Library Materials
All devices, including Adult eReaders, Children's eReaders, and equipment used within the library, must be returned to the BiblioTech information desk by the day and time that they are due.
Internet & Computer Use
- A grace period of 6 days is allowed for Adult and Children's eReaders before late fines will accrue.
- All ebooks will automatically be removed from the eReaders on the due date.
- In-library use devices should be returned before the date and hour that they are due. Late fines will begin to accrue immediately.
BiblioTech provides access to the Internet as a means to enhance the information and learning opportunities for the citizens of Bexar County. BiblioTech has established this policy to ensure appropriate and effective use of the BiblioTech resources. Internet access is available to all patrons; however, this service may be restricted at any time for use not consistent with BiblioTech guidelines. Parents of minor children assume responsibility for their children's use of the library's Internet service. Upon log-in, users will be asked to read and accept the computer use policy. Prior to accessing the Internet (either via a wireless connection or through BiblioTech computers), users will be asked to read and accept the Internet use policy. Access to either the public computers or the Internet will be denied unless the rules and regulations stated in the policies are accepted.
All users must sign-in electronically before using a public computer. This will either place the user on a waiting list or allow them to begin their computer session. Some computers may not be available for public use if otherwise reserved for use by a BiblioTech class.
Internet access is available to non-members through one of two ways:
- Wireless internet access is available to those that have their own electronic devices, or those who have checked out a BiblioTech in-house device.
- Guest access is available on the public desktops. Guests can receive login information at the information desk.
The code of conduct, public computer use policies and internet policies apply to all users. Users should be aware that inappropriate use of electronic information resources can be a violation of local, state, and federal laws and can lead to prosecution. To learn more about copyright and copyright law violations, visit the American Library Association webpage on copyright laws, http://www.ala.org/advocacy/copyright as well as ALA's resource page on useful tools for understanding copyright, http://www.ala.org/advocacy/copyright-tools.
The user will be held responsible for his/her actions using the Internet. Users are expected to abide by the BiblioTech Internet & Computer Use Policy which includes generally accepted rules of network etiquette. The BiblioTech internet has a web filtering system to block access to sites that may be deemed inappropriate in a public location. Unacceptable uses of the service will result in:
- Verbal warning with written note added to user record
- Temporary suspension of internet and public computer/on-site electronic device privileges
- Permanent suspension of internet and public computer/on-site electronic device privileges
The complete Internet & Computer Use Policy is available online or at the library circulation desk upon request.
Time Limit for Desktop, Tablet, and Laptop Use
All devices that are available for in-library use, including desktops, tablets, and laptops, are available to library card users for 60 minutes per session and two sessions per day. At the end of the initial 60 minute session, users may be placed on an electronic wait list. If there are no other users on the wait list, users will be allowed access for another 60 minutes. At the discretion of the manager-on-duty, patrons may be granted more time in a given day.
Fines & Charges
As stated in the Lending section of this policy, electronic devices may be checked out for 14 days. The user is allowed a grace period to return the item, after which the item will be overdue. A maximum fine of $14 will be charged.
A reminder to return devices will go out the day before the device is due, based on the preferred method of communication as selected by the user.
Overdue notices will be sent out detailing overdue items via the preferred method of communication as selected by the user after the item is 5 days, 15 days and 30 days overdue. These notices will remind the user that the item is overdue and, after the first notices, alerts patrons that they have a fine. After the item is 6 days overdue, a fine of $14 will be added to the patron account and the patron will not be able to checkout any additional items. After the item is 60 days overdue, a Bill notice for the full replacement cost of the item will be sent out and the item will be marked “Lost.” Users may contact BiblioTech to arrange a payment plan, if necessary. If the item is returned in good working order, the replacement cost will be reversed and fines may be waived at the discretion of the manager-on-duty, based on the circumstances.
Damages & Liability
The user agrees to assume any and all legal liability for the cost of repair or replacement in the event of loss due to theft, damage, negligence or misuse. BiblioTech does not assume responsibility for lost files. Any laptop or equipment malfunctions should be reported immediately to library staff. The library cannot assure that data or files downloaded by users are virus-free. The library is not responsible for damages to equipment or data on a user's personal computer from the use of data downloaded from the library's Internet service. The use of the Internet and email is not guaranteed to be private. Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities will be reported to the proper authorities. By registering for a library card, the user must agree to the terms of this policy.
User Code of Conduct
It is the responsibility of the user to maintain necessary and proper standards of behavior in order to protect his/her individual rights and the rights and privileges of other BiblioTech users. Disruptive behavior, or that which interferes with the experience of the other BiblioTech users (e.g. excessive noise, harassment) will not be tolerated. The user will be contacted by BiblioTech staff concerning this behavior. If the disruptive behavior continues the user may be temporarily restricted from the BiblioTech and from the use of the library services and materials.
Users under the age of 10
BiblioTech encourages visits by young children and it is our desire to make this important visit enjoyable for the child. BiblioTech staff members are not expected to assume responsibility for the care of unsupervised children in the library; therefore, it is library policy that all children under age 10 must be accompanied by a parent or designated responsible adult while in the building. If the young child is attending a library program, we require the parent/responsible adult to remain in the library throughout the program.
Users between the ages of 10-16
Users between the ages of 10-16 are not required to be accompanied by a parent/guardian, but the signature of the parent/guardian is still required during the membership registration process in order for the user to receive a library card and have access to library services and materials. We ask that parents/guardians also include a phone number that the BiblioTech may use to contact the parent in the case of an emergency or policy violation. Children of all ages are encouraged to use the library for homework, recreational reading, and program attendance. The library staff welcomes the enthusiasm children bring to the library environment and recognizes that children occasionally need to be reminded of appropriate noise levels and behavior. Children (whether or not accompanied by an adult) who are being continually disruptive will be given a warning that he/she must settle down or will be asked to leave the library. If after a second warning the child continues to be disruptive, he/she will be asked to leave the library. If the child needs to contact a parent, they may do so and wait with a staff person until the parent arrives.
Each BiblioTech branch has study rooms which are available for use by the public and are intended for use by groups of 2 to 8 people. Rooms may be reserved for up to 2 hours per day. Reservations will be held for up to 15 minutes past the start of the reservation, at which point the room will become available for reservation by other BiblioTech users. The study rooms can be reserved online or at the information desk in each branch.
The Community Rooms at BiblioTech South and East are offered as a resource to the local community. Respectful use of the space shall be available to programs and/or groups whose activities support the mission of the BiblioTech Library as determined by BiblioTech Administration. Groups must submit an online request prior to room use. First priority is given to library activities and library related use. When the meeting space is available, activities for area neighborhood groups are given first consideration. Further use of the meeting room is determined on a first come, first served basis. Full community room policies, as well as the application to reserve the room, are available online.
Food & Drink
Eating and drinking is only allowed in the BiblioTech café and lounge areas. Lids are required for containers holding liquids.
Volunteering at BiblioTech
We encourage individuals and groups to volunteer their time in assisting with BiblioTech programs, such as technology classes and community outreach projects. Please see library staff if you or your group is interested in volunteering.