Service Policy

Service Policy

I. Customer Service Values

Service to library customers is based on the values of the organization rather than merely on rules and procedures.  Service policies are based on the mission of the Library and these values:

Empowerment:   Staff members are encouraged to make decisions that will result in success for library customers.  This means that anyone, not just a supervisor, can make an exception to policy or procedure if it provides quality customer service and is consistent with our organizational values.  Customers like to have their problems solved by the first staff person with whom they deal.  Staff members should feel confident and comfortable in solving individual problems.  On the other hand, there are times when it helps to ask the advice of a colleague or supervisor, and such a team approach to problem solving is encouraged.  Difficult or ongoing problems should be brought to the attention of the Library Director.

Consistently Apply Values:   With staff members making decisions there is concern about consistency.  In a values-based service, it is important to consistently apply the values of fairness, respect and quality.  Through the procedural details of how a situation is handled might vary, library customers should feel that staff members consistently listen carefully and try to meet their individual needs.  The needs of the individual should be balanced with the overall needs of library customers throughout the community.

People-Oriented Service:   The focus is on the customer.  Library users have human concerns that go beyond their need for access to information or reading materials.  Users want to feel welcome and need to know that staff members care about their needs and concerns.

Making Sense to Our Customers and Ourselves:    Library policies must make sense to library customers.  Staff members should be able to explain library policies with the confidence that the policies are just and reasonable.  The reasons behind a policy should be easily understood by public and staff.

No Hassles:   Whenever possible staff members should remove barriers to successful library use.  This is true of library policies and procedures and should be equally true of individual customer transactions with the library.

Flexibility and Accommodation:   Flexibility means that staff members should change their service style and approach based on the customer’s needs, personality and disposition.  The library cannot create a policy and procedure to cover every possible course of action in any given situation.  Though standard procedures may call for one course of action, a particular situation may call for a creative non-standard solution.

Learning and Growing:   Staff members are capable of learning and growing and will make mistakes as these concepts are applied.  This is accepted as part of the process of growth.

II. Library Service Hours

Library hours are:

9 am – 6 pm Monday through Friday

9 am – 1 pm Saturday

Closed Sunday

April – October

Tuesdays 9:00 am – 8:00 pm

The library will close to observe the following holidays:

New Year’s Day – January 1

Memorial Day – Last Monday in May

Independence Day – July 4

Labor Day – First Monday in September

Thanksgiving Day – Fourth Thursday in November

Christmas Eve Day – December 24

Christmas Day – December 25

Other days may be designated as holidays at the discretion of the Trustees.

III. Lending

The Silver Lake Library is a member of NExpress, a joint service of the Northeast Kansas Library system and other member libraries.  Anyone may borrow from the library freely and without charge. 

Borrowers will be issued a library card after providing name, phone number and proof of current address.  Children under 17 years of age must have a parent or guardian sign the application card.

Customers are encouraged to borrow materials that meet their needs.  Limitations are placed on selected media formats.  Non-circulating items in the library include materials marked Reference.

Customers may reserve materials that are unavailable at the time of the request.  Customers will be notified by telephone, email or mail when materials are available.  Materials must be picked up within one week of notification unless other arrangements are approved.

Materials that are not available locally through NExpress may be borrowed from other libraries upon request by customers with current library cards.  Any fees imposed by the lending library will be the responsibility of the customer borrowing the material.

An outside Book Drop is available to customers.  Charges are not assessed for overdue items.  Lost or damaged materials are the responsibility of the borrower.  The library will assess replacement costs and the borrower will be restricted until those costs are paid.  The library upholds KSA 21-3702 that states:

Failure to return library materials within thirty (30) days following the overdue notice will constitute intent to deprive the library of public property and constitute grounds for prosecution for misdemeanor theft.

The library director shall determine when the customer will be notified of KSA 21-3702.  Initiation of prosecution is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees.

IV. Electronic Information Access

In keeping with the mission of the Library to be a source of information, education, and recreation services for customers of all ages, the Library has computers available for public use.  The computers have Microsoft Office software and high-speed Internet connection.  Wireless connectivity is also available for customers who have their own laptop computers or other mobile devices.

Users must comply with the United States Copyright law, United States and Kansas Obscenity statutes, and all other applicable laws.  The Library uses technology protection measures to filter content in accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act.  The Library will ask the filtering service to unblock erroneously blocked web sites upon any request by a minor.  The Library will disable the entire filter upon any request by users 17 or over, for any lawful purpose.

V. Library as a Meeting Place

The community may make use of the library as a meeting place for activities of a civic, cultural or educational nature and for the discussion of current public questions.  Arrangements must be made with the Library Director for use of the library.  Library programs are given preference in scheduling the use of the Library. 

VI. Exhibits, Displays, and Bulletin Board Use

Exhibits and displays in the Library will be determined by the Library staff.  Bulletin board space is available for the convenience of library customers.  Library staff will monitor postings in order to keep information appropriate and updated.

VII. Confidentiality of Library Records

In order to maintain trust with members of the public, the Library will make every reasonable and responsible effort to assure that information about the patron and the individual patron’s information choices, remain confidential. Parents and guardians of children age 17 and under, having signed an agreement to be responsible for materials and fines on the account of their child, may have access to a list of checkouts and fines. The Silver Lake Public Library Board of Trustees and library staff has adopted the following guidelines concerning the disclosure of information about library patrons:

No information regarding or including a patron’s name (or whether an individual is a registered borrower or has been a patron), address, telephone number, email, birthdate, circulation records, requests for interlibrary loan or reference service, the frequency or content of a patron’s visits to the library, sign-up information for library programs or any other information supplied to the library, or gathered by it shall be given, made available or disclosed to any individual, corporation, institution or government agency without a valid process, order or subpoena.

VIII. Customer Code of Conduct

The Silver Lake Library strives to provide the highest level of service to all library users.  The Customer Code of Conduct is set in place to protect the right of library customers to enjoy a safe environment, conducive to the use of library materials and services.  Failure to comply with the Customer Code of Conduct may result in expulsion from the library and/or library privileges being withheld.

  • No person shall engage in conduct that violates the law.  The library will uphold all federal and state laws and local ordinances in regard to public behavior.
  • Customers shall respect the rights of other customers and staff and not engage in behavior so as to unreasonably disrupt another customer’s use or an employee’s use of the library or disrupt the operation of the library.
  • Customers are required to take personal responsibility for their welfare, the welfare of their children and personal property, and to comply with library policies for use and conduct.
  • Children seven years old or less may not be left unattended in the library.
  • Firearms are not allowed in the Library or on the Library grounds:  Kansas Statute 75-7c10.  Possession of any weapon on library premises is not permitted; local law enforcement will be called immediately.

IX. Library Bill of Rights

The library adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom as expressed in the Library Bill of Rights formulated by the American Library Association and adopted by the Library Board and is included as part of this service policy.

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.
  7. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.

Adopted June 19, 1939.

Amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; and January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019.

Inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996, by the ALA Council.