Face Mask Policy Patron Behavior Policy Patron / Staff Footwear Policy Patron / Staff Hygiene Policy Smoke Free Campus Unattended Children in the Library Computer Use and Internet Access Policy Delegation of Authority Right of Repeal
Included below are select parts of the Northwest Georgia Regional Library System Policy Book in regards to using library facilities. The sections are not necessarily in the order in which they are found in the Policy Book, so page numbers will be included.

Anyone may use the public library regardless of origin, age, background, or views.  Any restrictions on the use of libraries are for the purposes of ensuring the public’s free access, the safety of patrons and staff, and the protection of library resources and facilities.

– Section II. Facilities Use Policies, page 13.

Face Mask Policy

All Library Patrons/Staff/Visitors Required to Wear Masks  


CDC recommends that people wear cloth (or paper, clear plastic shields) face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.

Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings.

Cloth face coverings should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

When the library can safely reopen to the public service modifications for the above-listed clients will be curbside delivery service or other modifications as approved by the library director.

Approved June 30, 2020, NGRL


Patron Behavior Policy

The library is supported by the taxes of the people of Gordon, Murray, and Whitfield Counties, Georgia who expect each of our facilities to be clean, comfortable, and safe places for selecting materials, reading, researching, studying, writing, and attending programs and meetings. To this end, the library is responsible for establishing rules of conduct to protect the rights and safety of library patrons, volunteers, and staff, and for preserving and protecting the library’s materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds.

These rules of conduct shall apply to all buildings, interior and exterior, and all grounds controlled and operated by the Northwest Georgia Regional Library System (such buildings and grounds are hereafter referred to as the “premises”) and to all persons entering in or on the premises. In order to provide a suitable environment for the use of library facilities, the following types of behavior are not permitted in any public area of the library (including parking lot and grounds):

  1. Loud conversation or any conversation disturbing or interrupting other patrons.
  2. Seating at tables beyond the limit of chairs normally assigned to a table.
  3. Unauthorized or unscheduled group meetings or group conversation.
  4. Sitting on tables or stair steps inside the library building.
  5. Loitering or sleeping.
  6. Any games which produce loud noise or conversation.
  7. Listening to the radio or musical devices (except with earphones).
  8. Blocking or interfering with the free movement of individuals.
  9. Animals in library buildings, unless approved (e.g., seeing-eye dogs).
  10. Food or beverages, except for groups using the multi-purpose room.
  11. Use of rest rooms for meetings, loitering, solicitation for immoral purposes, or consumption of alcoholic beverages or other proscribed substances.
  12. Theft, mutilation, and defacement of library property, including books.
  13. Taking library property, including books, outside the building without authorization by library personnel through established lending procedures.
  14. Automobiles parked on library property when the driver is not using the library or attending a scheduled meeting in the building, or beyond standard library hours.
  15. Use of any illegal substance anywhere on the library premises.
  16. Verbal abuse of staff or other patrons.
  17. Misuse of staff time, including insistence on individual assistance beyond reasonable levels or at an immediate time, when other tasks are expected of the staff member(s).
  18. Verbal/physical altercations.
  19. Distribution of materials not approved by library staff.
  20. Failure to use established bicycle storage area—patrons may not lock or store bicycles along passage ways, to light or flag poles, etc.
  21. Leaving skates or skateboards in aisles, etc.—they must be stored under the patron’s seat or table.

In addition, the library does not allow unapproved solicitation, petitioning, or panhandling, distributing literature, or similar types of appeals by members of the public in the library building, on the grounds, or in the parking lot.

Persons conducting any of the above actions may, after warning by library personnel, be asked to leave the library premises. Persons who persist in disapproved conduct or who refuse to leave the library buildings and grounds when requested will be subject to appropriate legal action. Staff may call the appropriate Police or Sheriff’s Department for assistance in any circumstances in which they feel such assistance is warranted.

Effective November 1, 2012
Section II. Facilities Use Policies, page 18


Patron / Staff Footwear Policy

All library users and staff will be required to wear appropriate footwear inside the library and on the library campus at all times.

Library Policy requiring shoes is viewpoint neutral and narrowly tailored to achieve the significant governmental interest in maintaining public health and safety and library’s economic well-being by preventing tort claims brought by library patrons who were injured because they were barefoot.

Proposed August 2017 NGRL.
Approved February 27, 2018 NGRL.
Section II. Facilities Use Policies, page 19


Patron / Staff Hygiene Policy

All library users and staff will be required to exhibit appropriate hygiene inside the library and on the library campus at all times.

Patrons or staff members whose bodily hygiene is offensive so as to constitute a nuisance to other persons shall be required to leave the building.  This policy ensures that one patron (or staff member) does not interfere with other patrons’ (or staff members’) use of the library and maintaining facilities in a sanitary and attractive condition.

All library users and staff will be required to practice cleanliness that prevents bodily hygiene that is offensive so as to constitute a nuisance to other persons using the public library.  Persons whose bodily hygiene is offensive so as to constitute a nuisance to others persons shall be required to leave the building.  Those persons will be readmitted when the hygiene issue is resolved.  This is not an effort to suppress expression or views of the client.

Proposed August 2017 NGRL.
Approved February 27, 2018 NGRL.
Section II. Facilities Use Policies, page 19


Smoke Free Campus

Northwest Georgia Regional Library System complies with the Georgia Smoke Free Air Act of 2005. Smoking, the use of any smoking device, and use of any tobacco product are all prohibited on Northwest Georgia Regional Library grounds and in all NGRL library buildings and vehicles. Making, carrying, or smoking any kind of lighted pipes, cigars, cigarettes, or lighted, electronic, vapor device or any other types of smoking devices are all prohibited. Any and all uses of smokeless tobacco are prohibited in or on library property. The library staff will follow this policy.

Library users will not smoke within 50-feet of library entrance areas of NGRL library buildings.

(Adopted April 28, 2015)
Section II. Facilities Use Policies, page 13


Unattended Children in the Library

Liability and staff availability concerns will not allow the library to accept responsibility for the care and safety of unattended children in the library, or of children who leave a library building or its grounds. Therefore, it is library policy that all children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a responsible adult while in the library. For their safety and the ability of all library patrons to use the library’s services and facilities, children are subject to library building rules and regulations.

The library will not be responsible for children left on the premises (including parking lot and grounds) after regular hours of operation. Parents should be aware of library hours, which are posted near the front entrance. The staff will call the appropriate Police Department or Sheriff’s Office to pick up children left at the library past closing time.

Effective November 1, 2012.
Section II. Facilities Use Policies, page 21


Computer Use and Internet Access Policy

The Northwest Georgia Regional Library System (NGRL) offers computer and internet access to patrons for educational, recreational and information needs. These resources are provided with the understanding that it is the patron’s responsibility to demonstrate judgement and an ability to follow library policy and Federal, Georgia, and Local laws and ordinances; including, but not limited to, the transmission of all pornography or harmful materials, fraud, or downloading copyrighted materials. Staff monitors computer usage in an effort to prevent illegal or inappropriate activities and takes appropriate actions if any user fails to comply with NGRL policies and procedures. Patrons who see violations may report the problem confidentially to a library staff member. Failure to follow NGRL guidelines for computer and internet usage can result in temporary or permanent suspension of computer rights or barring from the library depending upon the offense.

Liability of NGRL and Affiliate Libraries

NGRL and affiliate libraries assume responsibility only for the content of the NGRL webpage. Information found on the Internet does not carry NGRL’s endorsement. Internet sources may or may not provide accurate, complete or current information. It is the responsibility of all library patrons to take steps to authenticate information and safeguard their personal information. The library assumes no liability resulting from the exchange of personal information on a library computer or through a library network. Personal information includes usernames, passwords, credit card information, financial account information, etc.

NGRL provides public wireless “hotspots” which is an unsecure wi-fi area. Untrusted third parties may be between a user and computer communication. Another wireless user could potentially intercept any information being sent or received. Patrons are urged to take the appropriate precautions and to have up-to-date virus protection on their mobile devices, including computers, tablets, and smart phones. NGRL is not responsible for any damage caused to a user’s hardware or software due to electric surges, security issues, or consequences caused by viruses or security issues.

CIPA-Filtering and Use by Children

The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a Federal policy created to help protect minors, defined by CIPA as anyone “who has not attained the age of 17”, from accessing obscene or harmful content over the internet. In compliance with CIPA, NGRL utilizes a filtering technology as a protection measure on all computers to block or filter access to inappropriate material. Under the Supreme Court’s decision and the government’s interpretation of the statute, libraries must turn off the filter upon request by an adult (17 and older), without inquiring into the adult’s “purpose” for disabling the software. Adults requesting this must be able to provide proof they are 17 or older, such as a driver’s license or photo ID with a printed birthdate. CIPA provides that filters may only be disabled by a library administrator, supervisor, or other person authorized by the library for legitimate adult use that fits with NGRL guidelines and policy. Attempts to bypass the filter or any security software will result in suspension of library computer privileges.

No one under twelve years of age may access an internet capable PC without (1) a parent or guardian being in the library and (2) authorizing that child to use the computer at the start of the session. Parents or guardians, not the libraries or their staff, are responsible for the Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. Children are allowed to be present at a workstation after his or her parent requests disabling of the filter. However, should the parent allow his or her child to use the unfiltered computer, the parent is required to remain at the workstation during his or her child’s session. While allowing the child to “use” the unfiltered computer even in the presence of a parent does not literally comply with the statutory mandate, should a complaint arise, it is the parent, not the library staff, who bears the responsibility.

While using the internet at the library, patrons may not display, print, or save images which are unsuitable for general audiences as computer screens and printers are not private and can be viewed by the general public. Images covered by this policy include, but are not limited to, obscene material as defined by O.C.G.A. 16-12-102, O.C.G.A. 16-12-80 and O.C.G.A. 20-5-5 including images containing nudity or explicit sexual acts, and material that is “harmful to minors”, obscene material defined as child pornography by federal or state law (18 U.S.C. 2256; O.C.G.A. 16-12-100) and explicit violence.

Restrictions on Use

Patrons agree to not use the computer and internet services to:

  1. Transmit any material that is unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, obscene, libelous, invasion of another’s privacy, racially, ethically or otherwise objectionable;
  2. Harm, or attempt to harm, minors in any way;
  3. Impersonate any person or entity or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent their affiliation with a person or entity; forge headers or otherwise manipulate identifiers in order to disguise the origin of any material transmitted through the Service;
  4. Transmit any material that the patron does not have a right to make available any law;
  5. Transmit any material that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, or other proprietary rights of any party;
  6. Transmit any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, “junk mail”, “spam”, “chain letters”, “pyramid schemes” or any other form of solicitation;
  7. Transmit any material that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files, or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment; or
  8. Use the computer or internet service for excessively high volume data transfers, such as those which, in view of NGRL, risk consuming bandwidth to the detriment of other service users.

Library Resources and Staff

Library staff will answer basic questions about computer use and jargon, but they cannot provide in-depth training on how to use the computer or Internet. Staff and staff time are limited and staff may not be able to assist a patron for an extended period of time. The NGRL website offers links to recommended websites and offers classes, books and videos that may assist patrons with their computer knowledge. Staff cannot advise patrons on how to complete tax, financial, medical, or other private records due to liability issues.

Library staff will provide general information on the settings necessary to access the Internet via the wi-fi connections, but are not responsible for any changes a user makes to the computer’s settings and cannot guarantee the hardware will work with the library’s wireless connections. If a user has problems accessing the Internet over these connections, staff will verify the library’s connection are up and running, but they cannot assist in making changes to the user’s network settings or perform any troubleshooting on the user’s own computer.

Patrons may not save documents on the library computers, but are allowed to use removable storage devices, such as USB drives. Patrons may purchase storage devices from a library staff member when items are available. The library is not responsible for damage to a patron’s data storage media or computer, or for any loss or corruption of data.

The library cannot guarantee that individual computers or computer resources such as the Internet or printers will always be available. The library does not guarantee that individual applications or Internet web-sites will be accessible or will work with the computers provided. The library reserves the right to perform maintenance, or conduct staff or patron training on the computers at any time.

No more than two individuals may use a single PC at any given time.

(Adopted April 28, 2015)
Section I. Public Service Policies, pages 9-10


Delegation of Authority

The library board formally delegates to library management the authority to enforce the Rules of Conduct, including the withdrawal of permission to remain on library premises and the issuance of exclusion orders. The library director is authorized to develop procedures for the implementation of this policy. The library board formally delegates to library management the authority to enforce the Rules of Conduct.

Effective November 1, 2012.
Section II. Facilities Use Policies, page 19


Right of Repeal

A library patron has the right to appeal any action taken by the library system in the enforcement of this policy. Appeals must be in writing to the Library Board of Trustees and received within thirty (30) days. The decision of the library board in respect to the appeal will be final.

Effective November 1, 2012.
Section II. Facilities Use Policies, page 19

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