Part I. REGISTRATION GUIDELINES

Every person wishing to borrow materials from the Library must have a valid library card from Old Bridge Public Library or from a library within the LMxAC consortium. To register for an Old Bridge Public Library card, forms may be submitted in person, or downloaded from the Library’s web site and emailed or faxed.

Virtual users will be issued a temporary library card number accessible for a period of two weeks. Customers must visit the library in person to complete their registration and receive a library card.

Identification is required for all adult customers (ages seventeen and older) before a card will be issued. A photo ID and proof of residency must be presented to apply for a library card. Valid forms of ID include but are not limited to; a driver’s license, school ID card, utility bill or military ID card. Identification must include the permanent street address; a post office box is not sufficient.

Applicants who do not have proof of address may apply for a Library Card and check out a maximum of two (2) items at the time of application. The Library Card will be held at the library for a two week grace period, during which time the applicant is expected to present the proper identification required to obtain a library card.

Part II. TYPES OF LIBRARY CARDS

A. Old Bridge Public Library

An individual residing, owning property and/or a business in Old Bridge Township is eligible for a three-year library card. Proof of identity and current address are required.

An individual working or going to school in Old Bridge Township is eligible for a one-year library card. Proof of employment or enrollment in school in addition to proof of identity and current address are required.

Old Bridge Township businesses and institutions such as nursing homes, day care centers, etc., may apply for a one-year library card to be held at the library for use by staff, provided the Director or Executive in charge of the facility applies for the library card.

B. Out of Town Resident Card

Out of Town Resident Library Cards may be purchased for a fee in lieu of tax dollars paid by the residents of Old Bridge. The annual fee for an Out of Town Resident Library Card is $75.00. The annual fee provides a library card for each member of the household.

C. Replacement Cards

A replacement card can be obtained for a fee of $2.00. An individual may have only one card at a time. Customers are responsible for notifying the library immediately should their card become lost or stolen.

Part III. CONFIDENTIALITY OF CUSTOMER RECORDS

The Board of Trustees of the Old Bridge Public Library (“OBPL”) support the basic premise that every individual has the right to read what he or she wishes without fear of censure or legal consequences. It also affirms the right of every person to privacy. OBPL will protect each user’s right to confidentiality with respect to all information required for registration, information sought or received, and, materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired.

Such records will not be made available to any individual, organization or government agency, except pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:73-43.2 which provides:

Library records which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of libraries are confidential and shall not be disclosed except in the following circumstances:
a. The records are necessary for the proper operation of the library;
b. Disclosure is requested by the user; or
c. Disclosure is required pursuant to a subpoena issued by a court or court order.
L.1985, c.172, 2, eff. May 31, 1985

Exceptions to this policy are also contained within the US Patriot Act, adopted by Congress on October 26, 2001. This Act enlarges the ability of the FBI and law enforcement officers to request court orders, including search warrants and court-ordered subpoenas.

Examples of when records may be disclosed for proper operation of the Library include, but are not limited to: correspondence with a collection agency to retrieve overdue materials or fines, discussions concerning borrowing and overdue status with other libraries the patron may be using, and inter-library loan requests. Also, registration information may be used in cases of theft or vandalism, if there is a need to contact parents of school-aged patrons, or in circumstances of illegal use of OBPL’s computer resources.

Any questions or problems relating to the confidentiality of Library records that are not covered by this policy (or other policies referred to above) should be referred to the Library Director. As necessary, these questions will be discussed with the Library Board of Trustees and the Library’s attorney.

Nothing in this policy shall be construed to limit the public’s right to access under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA), N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1 et seq.

Part IV. STANDARD LOAN RULES

Overview

Customers are responsible for materials checked out on their Library Card. The Library restricts the use of a Library Card to only the person to whom the Library Card is issued. Identification may be requested to verify Library Card ownership.

Customers must have their Library Card number with them at the time they check out or renew materials either in the Library, by telephone, or electronically. The Library bar-code number and the customer’s PIN number are the means by which customers are identified in Library records. Identification may be requested to verify Library Card ownership.

Parents/Guardians

The signature of a parent or guardian on the Library Card Registration form acknowledges responsibility for library materials checked out to a child. It is the policy of the Library not to act in loco parentis in keeping with the principles of equal access to information and materials for all customers. Therefore, the Library will not restrict any customers, including children, from access to any type or class of materials nor from any information in the Library with the exception of materials cataloged as Adult Feature movies or rated “M” video games.

If a parent or guardian does not wish his child to have access to particular materials, the restrictions will need to be discussed and implemented with the child in the context of the parent-child relationship.

Due Dates

Materials borrowed from the Library are subject to a due date and the customer is expected to respect that date. A late fine will be imposed if materials are returned after the due date.

Types of Materials

Reference Materials: Reference Materials are materials which are in such high demand or of such high value that they may not be borrowed from the Library.

Circulating Materials: The following types of materials may be borrowed from the library per the listed loan period, renewal parameters, and fine structure.

Most Library materials may be renewed per the chart below. Some materials, depending on the format, size of the collection or other variables may not be eligible for renewal.

Customers in good standing may renew items in person in the Library, by telephone or electronically.

Items with customer holds/requests may not be renewed.

 

Materials are available to be renewed per the chart below, provided there are no holds/requests for them.

Type of Material

Loan Period

Renewals

Late Fee / Day

Max Fine

Audio Books

14 days 2 $0.10 $5.00

Books*

21 days 2 $0.10 $5.00

Inter-Library Loan Materials

14 days** 0 $0.10 $5.00

Launchpads*****

Please see special instructions

Magazines***

21 days 2 $0.10 $5.00

Movies – Feature ($1 to borrow)

7 days 0 $1.00 $10.00

Movies – Instructional

14 days 2 $1.00 $10.00

Museum Passes****

Please see special instructions

Music CDs

14 days 2 $0.10 $5.00

New Books*

14 days 2 $0.20 $5.00

Nooks*****

Please see special instructions

Software

21 days 2 $1.00 $10.00

Video Games ($1 to borrow)

7 days 0 $1.00 $10.00

* A New Book is one which has been placed in the Library’s collection within the past six (6) months or deemed to have significant demand.
** Inter-library loan materials loan periods may vary, according to lending library.
***Current issues of periodicals or magazines are considered Reference Materials and may not be checked out. Once a periodical or magazine is no longer current, it may be checked out.
****Museum passes are subject to availability. Please check with library for current offers, rules, and restrictions on our Museum Pass Program.
***** Nooks and Launchpads are available per our Book a Nook and Launchpad programs. Please check for the most up-to-date borrowing guidelines.

Part V. Books By Mail Program

The Library’s Books By Mail program is designed to provide books to those Old Bridge cardholders who have a permanent or temporary disability which prevents them from coming to the Library to obtain materials. An application signed by a physician, nurse, social worker, or nursing facility director must be returned to the Library which verifies the disability and the fact that the cardholder is not able to travel to the Library.

The Library will pay for postage to send up to three books to and from patrons. If funding changes, postage may be partially borne by the recipient. Materials are sent in reuseable bags with postage paid cards. Each bag will be sent with a form which will allow the patron to select specific books or indicate reading interests for the next delivery. Material may also be returned in person, along with the reusable bag.

Only books owned by the Old Bridge Public Library may be mailed to Books By Mail recipients. These books have four-week loan periods which include the time spent traveling back and forth from the Library. Books which are categorized as “new” may not be sent due to high demand. All non-book formats of material are excluded from this program.

Part VI. HOLDS AND INTER-LIBRARY LOAN REQUESTS

Materials which are not considered Reference Materials may be placed on hold. Customers may request materials from libraries within the LMxAC consortium via in person, telephone, or electronically. Some items held within the LMxAC consortium may not be available, per individual library lending policies.

Materials which are not available in the LMxAC consortium may be requested through our Inter-Library Loan service.

Materials which are obtained through the Inter-Library Loan process will have loan periods defined by the loaning library. Some of these materials may not be eligible for renewals.

The Library will not honor Inter-Library Loan requests for non-Old Bridge Library Card holders.

Part VII. FINES AND BILLS

Materials are loaned by the Library with the understanding that the borrower will return them in the same condition and by the due date established by the Library. In circumstances where fines and/or fees are owed for a substantial period of time without successful resolution, a patron’s account may be placed with a collection agency in order to secure payment.

Outside Book/Material Returns

Materials may be returned to the Library during library hours, or customers may use our outside material returns. When dropping off materials to the outside return receptacles, customers should take care to make sure the materials are safely placed into the receptacle. Customers should not leave materials outside the library in any kind of container other than the official library material return. Customers are encouraged to call the library during the next open hours of operation should they find the return receptacle unable to be used.

Overdue Materials

If materials are returned or renewed later than the due date, overdue fines will be charged to the customer, per the chart listed on page below.

Customers will be notified of overdue items and outstanding bills by mail, telephone, or email.

Customers will be sent notices per the following schedule:

Notices for Print Materials:

1st notice is sent when the item is 14 days overdue.
2nd notice is sent when the item is 28 days overdue.

Lost notice is sent when the item is 42 days overdue.

Notices for Non-Print Materials:

1st notice is sent when the item is 7 days overdue.
2nd notice is sent when the item is 14 days overdue.
Lost notice is sent when the item is 28 days overdue.

Materials Marked as “Claims Returned”

Customers who have materials listed as Overdue may claim the item has been returned to the Library. Items such as these are processed as “Claims Returned” in our automated system. The Library will mark the material under the “Claims Returned” status, and the replacement cost of the item is temporarily removed from the customer’s financial responsibility.

If the customer finds and returns the item, the customer is charged the appropriate overdue fee.

Once per month a report will be generated of all materials with a “Claims Returned” status, and library staff will search the shelves for those materials. A notation will be made in the customer’s record, indicating the item was searched for in the library. The item will be searched for three months in a row. If the item is found, the overdue fines will be cancelled. If the item is not found after three months, then the item will be designated as “Lost” and a bill will be generated for the item.

Customers are allowed a maximum of two (2) “claims returns” per patron per 12-month period. The customer is responsible for subsequent lost items on his/her card.Lost or Damaged Materials

Lost or damaged Inter-Library Loan Items: Any replacement and/or processing fees charged by the lending library will be passed along to the customer who has borrowed the item.

Print Materials overdue for 42 days and Non-Print Materials overdue for 28 days will be considered Lost and the customer will be responsible for paying the replacement cost of the item.

Materials damaged to the extent that the item must be removed from the Library’s collection will be charged to the customer.

The Library will allow replacement in-kind in lieu of payment for lost or damaged materials however; this request must be made to the Library Director or a Department Head. A $2.00 processing fee will be charged at the time of the in-kind replacement.

Part VIII. SUSPENSION OF PRIVILEGES

The Library will suspend a customer’s borrowing privileges if the customer has accrued a total of $10.00 worth of outstanding fines on his/her library record. A customer’s record will be cleared and borrowing privileges reinstated upon full payment of all outstanding fines.

A customer’s borrowing privileges will also be suspended after he/she has received a bill for the non-return of one item borrowed from the Library. A customer’s record will be cleared and his privileges reinstated upon return of the item and payment of overdue fines and/or upon payment of the replacement cost of the item, including the associated service charge. Customers are encouraged to return items rather than pay for them.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees: [date]

APPENDIX I

LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council;
amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

APPENDIX II

An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

(formerly titled “Free Access to Libraries for Minors”)

Library policies and procedures that effectively deny minors equal and equitable access to all library resources and services available to other users violate the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights. The American Library Association opposes all attempts to restrict access to library services, materials, and facilities based on the age of library users.

Article V of the Library Bill of Rights states, “A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.” The “right to use a library” includes free access to, and unrestricted use of, all the services, materials, and facilities the library has to offer. Every restriction on access to, and use of, library resources, based solely on the chronological age, educational level, literacy skills, or legal emancipation of users violates Article V.

Libraries are charged with the mission of providing services and developing resources to meet the diverse information needs and interests of the communities they serve. Services, materials, and facilities that fulfill the needs and interests of library users at different stages in their personal development are a necessary part of library resources. The needs and interests of each library user, and resources appropriate to meet those needs and interests, must be determined on an individual basis. Librarians cannot predict what resources will best fulfill the needs and interests of any individual user based on a single criterion such as chronological age, educational level, literacy skills, or legal emancipation. Equitable access to all library resources and services shall not be abridged through restrictive scheduling or use policies.

Libraries should not limit the selection and development of library resources simply because minors will have access to them. Institutional self-censorship diminishes the credibility of the library in the community and restricts access for all library users.

Children and young adults unquestionably possess First Amendment rights, including the right to receive information through the library in print, sound, images, data, games, software, and other formats.1 Constitutionally protected speech cannot be suppressed solely to protect children or young adults from ideas or images a legislative body believes to be unsuitable for them.2 Librarians and library governing bodies should not resort to age restrictions in an effort to avoid actual or anticipated objections because only a court of law can determine whether or not content is constitutionally protected.

The mission, goals, and objectives of libraries cannot authorize librarians or library governing bodies to assume, abrogate, or overrule the rights and responsibilities of parents and guardians. As “Libraries: An American Value” states, “We affirm the responsibility and the right of all parents and guardians to guide their own children’s use of the library and its resources and services.” Librarians and library governing bodies cannot assume the role of parents or the functions of parental authority in the private relationship between parent and child. Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that only parents and guardians have the right and the responsibility to determine their children’s—and only their children’s—access to library resources. Parents and guardians who do not want their children to have access to specific library services, materials, or facilities should so advise their children.

Librarians and library governing bodies have a public and professional obligation to ensure that all members of the community they serve have free, equal, and equitable access to the entire range of library resources regardless of content, approach, or format. This principle of library service applies equally to all users, minors as well as adults. Lack of access to information can be harmful to minors. Librarians and library governing bodies must uphold this principle in order to provide adequate and effective service to minors.

Note

1. See Brown v. Entertainment Merchant’s Association, et al. 564 U.S. ____ (slip opinion 08-1448, 2011): a) Video games qualify for First Amendment protection. Like protected books, plays, and movies, they communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium.. And ‘the basic principles of freedom of speech . . . do not vary’ with a new and different communication medium.”

2. See Erznoznik v. City of Jacksonville, 422 U.S. 205 (1975): “Speech that is neither obscene as to youths nor subject to some other legitimate proscription cannot be suppressed solely to protect the young from ideas or images that a legislative body thinks unsuitable for them. In most circumstances, the values protected by the First Amendment are no less applicable when government seeks to control the flow of information to minors.” See also Tinker v. Des Moines School Dist., 393 U.S.503 (1969); West Virginia Bd. of Ed. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943); AAMA v. Kendrick, 244 F.3d 572 (7th Cir. 2001).

Adopted June 30, 1972, by the ALA Council;
amended July 1, 1981; July 3, 1991; June 30, 2004; July 2, 2008 under previous name “Free Access to Libraries for Minors”; and July 1, 2014.

Appendix III

Old Bridge Public Library Patron Confidentiality Policy

The Board of Trustees of the Old Bridge Public Library (“OBPL”) support the basic premise that every individual has the right to read what he or she wishes without fear of censure or legal consequences. It also affirms the right of every person to privacy. OBPL will protect each user’s right to confidentiality with respect to all information required for registration, information sought or received, and, materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired.

Such records will not be made available to any individual, organization or government agency, except pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:73-43.2 which provides:

Library records which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of libraries are confidential and shall not be disclosed except in the following circumstances:

  1. The records are necessary for the proper operation of the library;
  2. Disclosure is requested by the user; or
  3. Disclosure is required pursuant to a subpoena issued by a court or court order.

L.1985, c.172,2, eff. May 31, 1985

Exceptions to this policy are also contained within the US Patriot Act, adopted by Congress on October 26, 2001. This Act enlarges the ability of the FBI and law enforcement officers to request court orders, including search warrants and court-ordered subpoenas.

Examples of when records may be disclosed for proper operation of the Library include, but are not limited to: correspondence with a collection agency to retrieve overdue materials or fines, discussions concerning borrowing and overdue status with other libraries the patron may be using, and inter-library loan requests. Also, registration information may be used in cases of theft or vandalism, if there is a need to contact parents of school-aged patrons, or in circumstances of illegal use of OBPL’s computer resources.

Any questions or problems relating to the confidentiality of Library records that are not covered by this policy (or other policies referred to above) should be referred to the Library Director. As necessary, these questions will be discussed with the Library Board of Trustees and the Library’s attorney.

Nothing in this policy shall be construed to limit the public’s right to access under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA), N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1 et seq.

Procedure for Responding to Requests for Confidential Information

If the staff is approached by a person making a request for confidential records (registration or usage records, computer or reference use, etc.), the following steps will be taken:

  1. The staff member receiving the request will immediately refer the person making that request to the Library Director. If the Library Director is not available, the staff member will locate a senior staff member (department head or librarian). At the same time, the staff member will notify the Library Director by telephone, if possible.
  2. The Library Director or senior staff member (as outlined above) will verify and record the identity of the person asking for the confidential materials. Then, the Library Director or senior staff member will explain the Confidentiality Policy and make a copy available.
  3. If the Library Director or senior staff member receives a subpoena, search warrant or other court order, the library’s attorney will be notified to determine if the request is properly prepared in accordance with local, State or Federal regulations.
  4. If the court order, subpoena, or warrant is not in proper form, the Library Director must insist that any problems be rectified before any records can be released.
  5. Any threats or unauthorized demands (those not properly supported by the necessary legal forms) concerning confidential information will be reported to the Library Director. Such threats or demands will be reported to the library’s attorney and President of the Library Board.
  6. Any problems or questions relating to this policy, that are not addressed above will be referred to the Library Director.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees: August 10, 2016