Library Policies

Family in the library.

I. Mission and Goals
II. Who May Use the Library
III. Patron Responsibilities and Conduct
IV. Services of the Library
V. Materials Selection/Collection Development Policy
VI. Circulation Policy
VII. Reference Service Policy
VIII. Programming Policy
IX. Equipment Use Policy
X. Internet Use Policy
XI. Public Notice Bulletin Board Policy

I. Mission and Goals

A. The mission of the Mary Lou Reddick Public Library is to provide quality materials and services in an atmosphere that is welcoming and respectful.

B. The general library goals of the Mary Lou Reddick Public Library shall be:

  1. To serve all residents of the state of Texas as a member of the Loan Star Libraries Program of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
  2. To acquire and make available to all residents of the above area such books, periodicals, and other services as will address their needs to
    1. become well informed
    2. locate answers to important questions
    3. cultivate the imagination and creative expression
    4. develop skills for career and vocational advancement, and
    5. enjoy leisure by means of reading and other media services.
  3. To maintain a program of service which locates information, guides reading, organizes and interprets material for people of various backgrounds, and stimulates thinking and intellectual development in individuals of any age.
  4. To strive consistently to discover new methods and improvements for better service for the library's customers.
  5. To review regularly these goals of the Mary Lou Reddick Public Library and, if necessary, revise them in the light of new developments.
II. Who May Use the Library

A. The library is open to all residents of the state of Texas. A TexShare Card is required for patrons not residing in the Lake Worth Area.

B. The use of the library may be denied for due cause. Such cause may be failure to return library materials or to pay penalties, destruction of library property, disturbance of other patrons, or any other illegal, disruptive, or objectionable conduct on library premises.

III. Patron Responsibilities and Conduct

It is a patron's responsibility to maintain necessary and proper standards of behavior in order to protect his or her individual rights and the rights and privileges of other patrons. If a patron creates a public nuisance, that patron may be restricted from the library and from the use of the library facilities. Those who are unwilling to leave or do not leave within a reasonable amount of time, after being instructed to do so by the staff, will be subject to the law.

Young children:

The Mary Lou Reddick Public Library encourages visits by young children and it is our desire to make this important visit both memorable and enjoyable for the child. Library staff is not expected to assume responsibility for the care of unsupervised children in the library. Therefore, it is library policy that all children under age six must be accompanied by a parent or designated responsible person while in the library. Also, if the young child is attending a library program, we require the parent/responsible person to remain in the library throughout the program.

IV. Services of the Library

The library provides materials and resources for the enrichment of the people of the community. The library will:

  • Select, organize, and make available necessary books and materials.
  • Provide guidance and assistance to patrons.
  • Sponsor and implement programs, exhibits, displays, book lists, etc., which would appeal to children and adults.
  • Cooperate with other community agencies and organizations.
  • Secure information beyond its own resources when requested. (Using interlibrary loan and other resource sharing methods provided through the system and state.)
  • Provide service during hours that best meet the needs of the community.
  • Regularly review library services being offered.
V. Materials Selection/Collection Development Policy

A. Objectives

The purpose of the Mary Lou Reddick Public Library is to provide individuals with books and other materials to aid in the pursuit of information and the creative use of leisure time.

Because of the volume of publishing, as well as the limitations of budget and space, the library must have a selection policy with which to meet community interests and needs.

The materials selection/collection development policy is used by the library staff in the selection of materials and also serves to acquaint the general public with the principles of selection.

The Library Bill of Rights and The Freedom to Read Statement have been endorsed by the Mary Lou Reddick Public Library Board of Trustees and are integral parts of the policy.

B. Responsibility for Selection
The ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials rests with the library director. This responsibility may be shared with other members of the library staff; however, the director has the authority to reject or select any item contrary to the recommendations of the staff.

C. Criteria for Selection

  1. The main points considered in the selection of materials are:
    1. individual merit of each item
    2. popular appeal/demand
    3. existing library holdings
    4. budget
  2. Consideration is given to requests from library patrons and books discussed on public media.

D. Interlibrary Loan
Because of limited budget and space, the library cannot provide all materials that are requested. Therefore, interlibrary loan is used to obtain from other libraries those materials that are beyond the scope of this library's collection.

The patron accepts responsibility for lost or damaged interlibrary loan items.

E. Gifts and Donations
The library accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that they will be added to the collection only if appropriate and needed. If they are not needed because of duplication, condition, or dated information the director can dispose of them as he or she sees fit. The same criteria of selection which are applied to purchased materials are applied to gifts. Memorial gifts of books or money are also accepted with suitable bookplates placed in the book. It is desirable for gifts to be offered after consultation with the library director. The Mary Lou Reddick Public Library encourages and appreciates gifts and donations.

By law, the library is not allowed to appraise the value of donated materials, though it can provide an acknowledgment of receipt of the items if requested by the donor.

F. Weeding
An up-to-date, attractive and useful collection is maintained through a continual withdrawal and replacement process. Replacement of worn volumes is dependent upon current demand, usefulness, more recent acquisitions, and availability of newer editions. This ongoing process of weeding is the responsibility of the library director. Withdrawn materials will be handled in a similar manner and under the same authority as donated materials.

G. Potential Problems or Challenges
The Mary Lou Reddick Public Library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Selection of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the basis of the principles stated in this policy.

Responsibility for the reading of children rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of library materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children.

Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and no library material will be sequestered except to protect it from damage or theft.

H. Challenged Materials
Sample Form: Statement of Concern About Library Resources

Mary Lou Reddick Public Library






Author/Publisher or Producer/Date:___________________

On a separate sheet of paper, please answer all of the following questions:

What brought this resource to your attention? 

To what do you object? Please be as specific as possible.

Have you read or listened or viewed the entire content? If not, what parts?

What do you feel the effect of the material might be?

For what age group would you recommend this material?

In its place, what material of equal or better quality would you recommend?

What do you want the library to do with this material?

Do you have any additional comments?

VI. Circulation Policy

A. Registration
All borrowers must be registered and must have a valid patron card to borrow library materials.

Patrons must fill out an application form to register for a new library card. When patrons register for a new library card they agree to the following statement by signing the application:

I am responsible for all items borrowed with the library card issued in my name, including items borrowed with it by others with or without my consent unless I have previously reported the loss of my card. I promise to comply with all library rules and policies both present and future, and to give prompt notice of change of address or loss of library card.

Current identification showing the applicant resides at an address within the Lake Worth area is required. A driver's license or student ID is preferred, however, any other official ID, or recent non-personal piece of mail will be acceptable.

Applicants between the ages of 5 and 17 must have a parent or guardian give their consent on the application form before a new card can be issued. This parental signature is not required for children who are replacing a lost card.

Materials cannot be checked out until a library card is issued.  Patrons are limited to two books on the first check out. DVDs may not be checked out until the second visit.

B. Lost or forgotten cards
If a patron loses his or her library card, the library should be notified as soon as possible and a replacement requested. There is a $2.00 charge for the replacement card.

All patrons, adult, and juvenile, are expected to bring their library cards with them if they intend to check out items. An individual who repeatedly ignores this expectation may be denied the privilege of checking out materials until they present their card at the library.

C. Loan periods

3 weeks for books and audiobooks.

1 week for DVDs.

Current magazine issues do not circulate.

Books may be renewed once if there is not a waiting list for the title. Renewal requests are accepted in-person, online, and by phone.

Interlibrary loans are due the date indicated by the lending library and are not generally available for renewal.

A patron can borrow 15 books and/or audiobooks and 5 DVDs, and 3 eBooks may be downloaded at one time. 

D. Reserves
Reserves may be placed by patrons either in person or by phone. Patrons will be notified by telephone or email when the materials become available. There is no charge to the patron for placing a reserve. Once the reserved item is available, patrons have 5 business days to pick up the reserved item.

E. Fines and charges
Overdue charges for books, audiobooks, and magazines are $0.10 cents per business day. Overdue charges for DVDs are $1.00 per business day. Patrons with overdue materials shall be denied borrowing privileges until those overdue materials are returned or paid for if lost and/or damaged.

F. Thresholds and Borrowing Restrictions

Patrons with more than $15 in overall fines, or with materials more than 30 days overdue will be denied checkout privileges until the items in question are returned and fines are paid.

Parents or guardians are financially responsible for any fines accrued on cards for which they have co-signed and their personal card may also be barred from library privileges.

G. Damaged materials
If materials are damaged so as to be judged by the library as being unsuitable for the collection, the patron must pay the replacement cost plus $2.00 for processing. Once paid for the patron may keep the damaged item.

VII. Reference Service Policy

The Mary Lou Reddick Public Library:

  • will provide information in the form of short answers to specific questions and guidance in locating material for patrons who appear in person or call on the telephone;
  • will assist patrons in the use of the library and teach basic computer skills, when appropriate;
  • may use not only the library's resources in printed form, but consult appropriate digital resources as well as other agencies by telephone in pursuit of "ready reference" information.
VIII. Programming Policy

A "program" is a planned interaction between the library staff and the program participants for the purpose of promoting library materials, facilities, or services, as well as offering the community an informational, entertaining, or cultural experience.

Programming includes such activities as storytimes, films, summer reading program for children, hired performers for children and young adults, and book or author discussion groups for adults.

A budget and goals for programming to facilitate the effective implementation of this service will be set by the library director with input from the library staff and community.

IX. Equipment Use Policy

Computers are available to patrons on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no charge for use of the computers. In order to make the service available to as many patrons as possible, a time limit for usage may be imposed. Library staff is available for general assistance in using the computer.

A printer is available. Printer paper will cost $0.15 per sheet. Patrons are expected to pay for every sheet printed from their session. This includes sheets printed in error.

A photocopy machine is available to patrons who wish to copy materials at the rate of $0.15 per page. Copy machine users are advised that there are restrictions on copyrighted materials. Any violation of copyright is the responsibility of the copy machine user.

A fax machine is available to patrons at the rate of $0.15 per page. Faxing is available to patrons only to local or toll-free numbers.

X. Internet Use Policy

The Mary Lou Reddick Public Library is providing access to the Internet as a means to enhance the information and learning opportunities for the citizens of the library's service area.

Access to the Internet is available to all patrons; however, this service may be restricted at any time for use not consistent with the guidelines. Parents of minor children must assume responsibility for their children's use of the library's Internet service; prior to being granted access to the Internet, anyone under 18 years of age, along with a parent or guardian, must accept the on-screen Internet Use Agreement. Children under the age of 13 are not permitted Internet access unless a parent or guardian is present with them. Patrons use library computers at their own risk.


Users should be aware that the inappropriate use of electronic information resources can be a violation of local, state, and federal laws and can lead to prosecution. The user will be held responsible for his or her actions using the Internet. Users are expected to abide by the policies below, which include generally accepted rules of network etiquette. Unacceptable uses of the service will result in the suspension or revocation of Internet use privileges. Public computers in the libraries shut down fifteen minutes before closing. Patrons may be limited to two-hours of maximum use per day.


The Internet is an unmoderated global network; the Mary Lou Reddick Public Library has no control over the content found there. The library will not censor access to material nor protect users from offensive information, and it is not responsible for the availability and accuracy of information found on the Internet.

Wi-Fi is available. No special encryption settings, user names, or passwords are required. You cannot access the library's printers from your wireless device. Use at your own risk. The library is not responsible for the privacy of information you transfer over our network. Library staff is not able to provide technical assistance. You are responsible for your own equipment.

The use of the Internet and e-mail is not guaranteed to be private. Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities will be reported to the proper authorities. Users are cautioned that the Internet is not always secure and that the privacy of credit card transactions and other communications is not assured. Use at your own risk.


  • Computer guest passes are available for non-members. Please ask at the Circulation Desk.
  • Public computers shut down 15 minutes before closing.
  • You may be limited to a maximum of two hours of computer use per day.
  • Users must relinquish computers if a staff member asks them to do so.
  • Customers may not reconfigure the workstations, load new software, or run their own software.
  • Users will respect and uphold copyright laws and all other applicable laws and regulations; they will not use it for illegal purposes.
  • Customers use library computers at their own risk.
  • Users agree not to incur any costs for the library through their use of the Internet service.
  • Users shall not create and/or distribute computer viruses over the Internet.
  • Users shall not deliberately or willfully cause damage to computer equipment, programs, or parameters.
  • Computers in children's area are reserved for children up to age 13.
XI. Public Notice Bulletin Board Policy

Bulletin board materials may be submitted for posting by nonprofit organizations for civic, educational, or cultural purposes. Such organizations may submit literature publicizing a specific event. Limited space generally allows only short-term notices. The director must approve all postings and may prohibit postings which do not meet library standards. Library staff will place and remove postings promptly.