Use of Library Materials and Services
Reviewed and Approved by the Kingston Library Board on December 17, 2009
Registration of Patrons
The Kingston Library is a member of the Mid-Hudson Library System, which serves the public libraries of Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Putnam and Ulster counties. The library issues library cards, renewable after three years that may be used in any library within the Mid-Hudson Library System.
The Kingston Library will register and issue a library card to applicants of age 18 or older who are residents of the City of Kingston. Proof of city residency must be presented at the time of application. Acceptable proofs of residency include a driver's license or other picture ID granted by a governmental agency. When such ID is not available, library staff may accept other forms of ID including utility bills or official correspondence mailed to the applicant's City of Kingston address.
Children and Young Adults
The Kingston Library will issue a library card to applicants under the age of 18 who reside in the City of Kingston and are able to understand procedures for using the library. A parent or legal guardian must take responsibility for use of a child's card by countersigning the application.
There is no fee for the initial card issued to a city resident. There is a $1.00 charge to replace a lost card.
Exceptions for Ramapo Catskill Library System Cardholders
Because the Ulster County Legislature supplies funding for every public library in the county, The Kingston Library will issue a Kingston Library card to any applicant possessing a current library card from the four Ulster County libraries in the Ramapo Catskill Library System, the Cragsmoor, Ellenville, Gardiner and Wallkill libraries. Such applicants must complete an application for a Kingston Library card and present their home library card. There is no fee for an initial card, but there is a $1.00 charge to replace a lost card.
Mid-Hudson Library System has made cards available to its member libraries to issue to patrons who are not yet registered at their home library, but wish to use another library in the system before they do so. The Kingston Library will register such patrons and issue them Mid-Hudson Temporary Cards good for three months. Such patrons are advised to return to their home library within the three-month period to secure their permanent card.
Camps may establish loan privileges by placing a $200 deposit with the library, which will be returned when the camp requests to discontinue such loan privileges. Any losses or fines owed will be deducted from the deposit.
Individuals who do not reside in the Mid-Hudson Library System area or in the section of Ulster County served by libraries of the Ramapo-Catskill Library System may establish loan privileges upon presentation of acceptable proof of identity and payment of a $25.00 fee for 6 months of library privileges. The $25.00 fee is non-refundable and may not be used to pay for any losses or fines accrued by the card holder. The same privileges and rules of use that apply to resident card holders also apply to non-resident card holders.
Suspension of Library Privileges
The use of the library is a privilege. If a person consistently ignores rules for the use of the library, borrowing privileges will be suspended or revoked at the discretion of the library director, subject to review by the board of trustees upon filing a review request.
- Library Cards
Loans, Fines, Loss and Damage
Library Card Requirement
Library users must present a valid library card or picture ID with current address to check out materials.
- All books, audios (books and CDs), CD-ROMs, with the exception of reference books, current issues of magazines, and items waiting for another patron, can be checked out for three weeks. There is no limit to the number of renewals, except when another patron has requested the item.
- Videos, DVDs and magazines can be checked out for one week and cannot be renewed.
The library charges late fines for overdue materials. For all items checked out past their due date a late fine of $0.20 per day is charged, with a maximum of $6.00. There is a grace period of two days. Patrons with overdue materials will receive a printed reminder listing overdue items. Items will be considered lost after 30 days and a bill for replacement will be issued. At that point, the Library staff may at their discretion place a stop on the person’s borrowing privileges. Reinstatement can only be accomplished by the return of the materials or payment of the bill.
Patrons who lose materials are required to pay the cost of replacement of those materials and a $10 processing charge.
Patrons returning a damaged item may be charged up to the full replacement cost of the item and a $10 processing charge. Anyone found mutilating library materials or misusing library equipment will automatically have their borrowing privileges suspended for six months.
- Library Card Requirement
Confidentiality of Library Patron Records
In compliance with New York State Civil Practice Law and Rules 4509, the records of library cardholders are confidential. Library records include but are not limited to patron registration records, circulation records, attendance records for library sponsored programs, records of computer use or reference services, or any other data linking a particular patron to specific library services or material.
Patrons have control over their library cards. Presentation of a valid library card will allow the patron whose name appears on the card (or the parent/legal guardian in the case of a minor child) access to information about the current circulation record of that patron. A person presenting the library card of a friend or family member may check out items on that card with authorization from the cardholder. However, no information from that library record may be given by library staff to a third party.
No information from library records will be released to any person, agency, or organization, except in response to a valid court order or subpoena, properly presented to the library director or the director's representatives.
Nothing in this policy shall prevent library staff from using library records in the administration of their regular duties. When no longer needed for administrative purposes, records will be expunged.
The goal of the reference staff at The Kingston Library is to provide information and materials in response to requests from library users in an efficient, courteous and timely manner. Reference requests may be made in person, by phone, fax, mail or e-mail. Questions are generally answered in the order received, with priority given to requests made in person.
Reference services include answers to specific questions, bibliographic information verification, and instruction in the use of the library and its materials, and assistance in locating materials.
Where extensive research is involved the reference staff guides the library patron in the research process by suggesting appropriate materials and directing the patron to them. Examination of the materials, and interpretation and analysis of the information and data they contain is best performed by the person requesting the information. When information that would require time-consuming research (e.g. genealogical research requiring more than one hour of staff time) is requested by phone, fax, mail or e-mail, the reference staff may suggest a personal visit to the library or refer the person to other agencies or individuals providing such services.
The reference staff exercises caution when responding to requests for medical, legal or consumer information. Staff will provide definitions, quote information verbatim or lead those requesting such information to appropriate sources. Staff will not interpret such information nor will they offer opinions or give advice on such matters.
The library staff supervises use of the library's public computer resources. Staff will assist with use of these resources as time allows. The library staff is not responsible for providing in-depth instruction in the use of electronic resources (e.g. the Internet) or software programs (e.g. word-processing programs).
All requests for reference information are confidential. Members of the reference staff may consult with each other or with staff at other libraries or agencies when necessary to secure information for those who request it. Reference queries are tallied for statistical purposes only.
Photocopying and Faxing
The Kingston Library provides a photocopier for public use. The photocopier is available for use on a self-service basis at the cost of $0.20 per copy. Those using the photocopier must adhere to the U. S. Copyright Law when copying materials subject to copyright. A copyright notice is posted above the photocopier. The library attempts to maintain the equipment provided in good working order at all times. However, the photocopier is provided for convenience only in the use of library materials. The library will reimburse only for the first copier malfunction.
The library provides a fax service primarily for staff use for the purpose of improved reference responses and interlibrary loan functions. Fax service is available to members of the public though frequent use is discouraged. Staff practice is to refer patrons to local businesses providing fax service as an alternative to using the library service. When the public is using the library's fax service, however, the following procedures are in effect: Fax messages may only be left for transmittal or picked up during the library's normal operating hours. The library reserves the right to transmit messages at an off peak time, unless the request is marked "urgent" for immediate transmittal. The library staff will handle all transmissions. The public is not permitted to operate the fax machine. The cost for sending and receiving fax messages is $1.00 per page (not including the cover page).
Public use of Computers and Access to the Internet
The library provides computers for public use in accord with its mission as defined in Exhibit F of these policies. In furtherance of this goal, the library also limits certain of its terminals to use of library-purchased software, CD-ROMs, and databases and to reference, research, and homework-related Internet searching.
Those wishing to use a computer, other than the public access catalog terminals, are required to sign in prior to each computer session. A valid library card is required to use public access computers at Kingston Library. Any resident living within the Mid-Hudson Library System is eligible to receive a library card. Library cards are non-transferable, meaning that only the registered card-holder may use the card to access the computers. Using another person’s library card may result in the temporary suspension of computer privileges. Patrons may be asked to show their library card to staff members if the patron requires assistance on the computers or if the patron is not following library policy regarding acceptable computer use. Patrons who live outside of the Mid-Hudson Library System and use the Kingston Library regularly may apply for a non-resident library card. Guest passes for daily computer access may be given to visitors over the age of 18 who do not have a library card or who reside outside of the Mid-Hudson Library System. Identification may be required to receive a guest pass. Computer use is for a one-hour block in the adult area of the library and on-half hour of time in the children’s room as established by the Smart Access Management Internet management software running on all public computers. More time may be allowed if no one is waiting to use a computer.
Visitors from outside the Mid-Hudson Library System may present alternate ID. Blocks of time for computer use are checked out on the person's library card or on a library-maintained card in the case of visitors showing alternate ID. Computers may be used in one-hour blocks. More time may be allowed in the children's library if no one is waiting.
Printing is available at a pre-paid charge of $0.20 per page. Students are allowed the printing of five pages for use in homework assignments without charge in the Children’s library.
Those using the Internet in the library are required to read and agree to the Kingston Library Internet Acceptable Use Agreement which appears on the public access computer screens upon sign-in. Violations of the agreement shall result in a loss of Internet access as well as appropriate legal action. The number of times that a patron violates the Internet Acceptable Use Agreement [Exhibit C] will correspond to the amount of loss to that patron’s Internet access, as follows:
- For the first offense, the patron will lose Internet access for the day that the offense is committed.
- For the second offense, the patron will lose Internet access for the day that the offense is committed and for one week thereafter.
- For the third offense, the patron will permanently lose Internet access in the Library.
To assure parental guidance in children's use of the Internet, children up to age eight require a signed parental permission agreement [Exhibit C] and adult supervision. Children age eight through 17 require a signed parental permission agreement [Exhibit C]. By signing this agreement the parent or legal guardian assumes all responsibility for the use of the Internet by his or her child and agrees to hold the library harmless from any and all liability that may occur from the use.
Wireless Internet Access
Free wireless internet access is available at Kingston Library. You do not need a plug or a phone jack. Just turn on your notebook/laptop computer or other wireless device and start working.
You will need a notebook/laptop computer or other wireless device with 802.11b or 802.11g wireless networking.
If you are not sure if your device has this functionality, please check with the manufacturer or supplier of your equipment. If your device does not include wireless networking, you may be able to purchase a variety of external notebook/laptop pc cards and USB devices. The manufacturer or supplier of your equipment, or local technology merchants can help you find the right product for your notebook/laptop computer or other device. Library staff is unable to provide technical assistance with your personal equipment.
We have tried to make wireless access as available as possible in our library, but you may encounter some "dead" spots in the library where wireless reception may be limited. If you have trouble accessing the internet or staying online please move to a different location within the library.
The wireless internet access we offer is unfiltered. By choosing to use this free service, you agree to abide by the library’s Internet Acceptable Use Policy. This policy states the limitations of internet access, your responsibilities for using that access, and provides examples of acceptable and unacceptable uses. The library supports the free flow of information and ideas over the internet. Your access to the service is conditioned on legal and appropriate use of the service. Your use of the service and any activities conducted online through it shall not violate any applicable law or regulation or the rights of the Kingston Library, or any third party.
The library’s wireless network is not secure. Information sent to and from your notebook/laptop computer or other wireless device may be captured by anyone else with a wireless device and the appropriate software.
Library staff is not able to provide technical assistance and no guarantee can be made that you will be able to make a wireless connection.
The library assumes no responsibility for the safety of equipment or for notebook/laptop computer or other wireless device configurations, security, or data files resulting from connection to the library’s wireless access.