Berlin Public Library Policies

The Mission of the Berlin Public Library
The mission of the Berlin Public Library is to provide materials and services that meet the educational, cultural, and recreational needs of the community.  The Library will encourage curiosity, free inquiry, and lifelong learning.

  1. Ongoing goals of the Berlin Public Library:
    1. To assemble, preserve, and administer, in organized collections,materials in a wide range of formats that foster communication of ideas, promote and educate citizenship, and enrich personal lives.
    2. To serve the community as a center of information, including local history and genealogy materials.
    3. To provide a place where inquiring minds may encounter the original, sometimes unorthodox and critical ideas necessary in a society that depends for its survival on free competition of ideas.
    4. To provide opportunity for recreation through the use of literature, music, and other audiovisual art forms.
    5. To provide opportunity and encouragement for individuals of all ages to educate themselves continuously.
    6. We adopt the ALA Library Bill of Rights.  (Attachment 1)
    7. We adopt the ALA Freedom to Read Statement. (Attachment 2)
    8. Long-range goals will be set by the Board for a period of 5 years and will be reviewed annually.
  2. Under State Statute 43.58(4), the Berlin Library Board of Trustees is the policy-making body of the Berlin Public Library.  Where the policies of the Library Board and the City of Berlin conflict, the Board policies shall have precedence.  City of Berlin Policies shall be in effect where no Board policies exist, subject to the decisions of the Board.
  3. External Policies
    1. Hours of operation (subject to change by action of the Library Board of Trustees):
      1. Monday through Thursday       9 AM to 8 PM
      2. Friday 9 AM to 6:00 PM
      3. Saturdays
        1. Winter hours (beginning Saturday after Labor Day) 9 AM to 5 PM
        2. Summer hours (beginning Saturday before Memorial Day) 9 AM to 1 PM
        3. Holidays and Closings
          New Year’s Eve Day – close at 12 Noon
          New Year’s Day – closed
          Good Friday – close at 12 Noon
          Memorial Day – closed
          July 4th – closed
          Labor Day – closed
          Thanksgiving Eve – close at 5 PM
          Thanksgiving - closed
          Christmas Eve Day – closed
          Christmas Day – closed
        4. Adjustments to these holiday hours may be made by the Board at a meeting preceding the holiday.
    2. Eligibility for service and library cards
      1. All borrowers must be registered and must have a library card to borrow library materials.
        1. Library cards shall be issued, with proper identification showing current address. City of Berlin residents, as well as those residing in the Winnefox Library System services area are eligible for a library card.  Cards will be issued to those residing outside the area with proper identification and a permanent address.
        2. Library users having a card from another Winnefox library system library may use that card at Berlin.
      2. Children under 14 years of age must have a parent’s or legal guardian’s signature to obtain a card.  Cards must be issued and signed at the library.
      3. Library cards will be issued free of charge, but replacement of lost or damaged cards will be $1.00.
      4. Library cards will be issued for one year.  At expiration, patron record will be checked for current mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number.  All fines and charges must be settled before a new card will be renewed.
      5. All kindergarten classes in the City shall be invited to an orientation of the library and encouraged to use the services of the library.
      6. The use of the library or its services shall be limited when excessive demands of groups or individuals tend to hinder services to the general public.  Such demands may include those made by students, puzzle contestants or others.
      7. Unattended Children
        1. The Berlin Public library welcomes children (ages 12 and under) and young adults (ages 12 to 18) to use its facilities and services.
          However, library staff is not responsible for children or young adults in the library.  Responsibility for the behavior and well being of children and young adults using the library rests with the parent/legal guardian or caregiver assigned by the parent.
          If the caregiver is a minor and unable to properly supervise the child in his/her care, the library staff will attempt the contact the parents.  If unable to contact the parents, the staff may call the police for assistance in determining whether the Green Lake County Social Services Department should be contacted.  An incident report will be prepared.
        2. Self-supervised children and young adults are welcome to use the library as long as they maintain proper library behavior, including but not limited to courtesy to staff and other patrons, and compliance with library policies.
          1. If children or young adults are asked to leave the library, library staff will offer them the opportunity to use the telephone to make arrangements for transportation if they do not have transportation.
          2. Local police will be called if a child is left in the library for more than 15 minutes past closing.
      8. Cell phones may be used in the library if used quietly and discreetly.  In the event a cell phone user is disturbing other patrons, the library staff may request the user to leave the building to complete the call and then may return to the library.
      9. The use of the library and its services may be denied for due cause.  Such cause may be failure to return books or pay penalties, destruction of library property, disturbance of other patrons, or any other objectionable conduct on the library premises
      10. If any library patron fails to comply with a request to leave the library or continues to engage in inappropriate behavior on the library grounds after leaving the library building, staff will immediately call the Berlin Police for assistance.
      11. Incident Reports:  Whenever a library patron is asked to leave the   library, library staff must complete an Incident report form.  (See attachment 9 for example)  This form should include:
        1. The name(s) of the library patron(s).
        2. The circumstances surrounding the incident (e.g. what was the behavior, how often did the staff request that the behavior stop).
        3. An incident that the library patron(s) was offered the opportunity to arrange for transportation from the library and whether the offer was accepted.
      12. The library recognizes the records identifying the names of library users and circulation records to be confidential in nature.  They may not be disclosed except to persons acting within the scope of their duties in the administration of the library, or by persons authorized by the individual to inspect such records, or by order of the court of law.
        Library staff should refer any inquiries regarding such records to the Director, Library Board of Trustees President, or the City Attorney.
    3. Selection of books and materials.
      1. The library director shall be in charge of selecting library materials.
      2. The library director shall select materials that best meet the needs of the community. To build collections of merit and significance, materials must be measured by objective guidelines.
        1. All acquisitions whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the following standards. (A work does not have to fit all the standards to be considered for purchase.)
          -    Insight into human and social conditions
          -    Importance as a document of the times
          -    Relation to existing collection and other material on subject in question
          -    Suitability of subject and style for intended audience.
          -    Reputation, authority, and significance of author
          -    Recreation, cultural and artistic merit
          -    Attention of critics, reviewers, and public
          -    Demand
        2. The collection must contain materials that discuss various positions on important, complicated, or controversial questions, including unpopular or unorthodox positions.
        3. The public library does not promote particular beliefs or views.  It provides a resource where the individual can examine issues freely and make his or her own decisions.
        4. Selection of adult material will not be limited by the possibility that materials may inadvertently come into the possession of minors.  Responsibility for the reading of minors rests with their parents and legal guardians.  The library staff will, however, assist and advise children and young adults with the selection of books relating to their particular needs and age requirements.
        5. The basic policy for juvenile and young adult material selection is to purchase the best current materials, and to discard materials that no longer have value.  Items that have proven their value may be replaced.  Materials are provided for children in all stages of development.
        6. Materials are selected to satisfy a children’s natural curiosity, widen his/her interests, entertain, inform, inspire and to give the child a chance to experience vicariously, realistic situations he or she might never be exposed to during their formative years.
        7. The Berlin Public Library, in cooperation with the Berlin Historical Society, will endeavor to preserve local history materials for use by future generations.  This includes items by local authors.
      3. A patron who wishes to make a formal complaint regarding materials in the library must file a written complaint form (Attachment 4).  The library director will refer the form to the Board of Trustees who shall take action upon the complaint and inform the complainant of the disposition of the complaint.
      4. Gifts
        1. Materials donated for the library collection will be accepted on the condition that the Library Director and the Board of Trustees have the authority to make the final disposition of the materials.
        2. Gifts of money, real property, and/or stock will be accepted if conditions attached thereto are acceptable to the Board of Trustees.
        3. Personal property, art objects, portraits, antiques, and other museum objects will be accepted or rejected on the basis of artistic quality, suitability to the purpose and décor of the library, and the availability of space for their display.  The Library Director shall present an evaluation of the object to the Board of Trustees who will decide to accept or reject the gifts.
      5. Materials damaged, soiled, or no longer useful in the light of the library’s stated objectives will be removed from the library and disposed of at the Library Director’s discretion.  Method of disposal may include a sale.
      6. The library will not purchase curriculum materials solely because they are needed for formal courses of study offered by the schools.  However, the library will provide materials for self-study in keeping with our mission and goals.
    4. Circulation
      1. The Library Director shall determine the library privileges each borrower will receive and reserves the right to limit such privileges.
      2. Materials will be loaned for 21 days except:
        1. Designated reference materials – 7 days
        2. Videos and DVDs – 7 days
        3. Renewals
          1. Audio books, music CDs, pamphlets and books may be renewed once.
          2. New, or in demand materials may not be renewed.
          3. No material will be renewed if reserved for another patron except with the approval of the Director.
          4. No renewal of Interlibrary loan, reference materials, except with the approval of the Director.
        4. Fines
          1. Long overdue cases will not be considered for citations pursuant to Municipal Ordinance 46-79(b) Theft of Library Materials until 60 days after the due date.
          2. Citations for overdue cases will be issued by a designated Berlin Public Librarian who is authorized and trained by the City of Berlin.
          3. No Patron may check out material if there is a $5.00 or larger fine on his or her library card.
          4. Fine schedule
            -    Videos and DVDs -- $.50 per day with a $5.00 maximum per video or DVD.
          5. All other materials
            -    10 cents per day per item
            -    Maximum fine of hardcover and paperback books is $5.00
            -    Maximum fine on computer game software is $5.00 per item
            -    Periodicals have a $5.00 maximum fine per item
            -    After 30 days an overdue book is considered LOST and the cost of replacement and handling are charged.
        5. Lost or damaged materials and cases
          Replacement cost plus postage, handling, and processing charge of $5.00 per item.
          In demand materials (as defined by the Director) will be replaced immediately and there will be no refunds.  If other materials are returned within 30 days from the date the material is overdue, a refund may be given at the discretion of the Director, minus the $5.00 processing fee.  Patron will be asked for the receipt received at the time of their payment.  If a receipt is not available, other proof of payment will be requested.
          Materials returned damaged will be evaluated for condition by the Director.  If unsuitable for return to circulation, the replacement cost of the damaged item plus an administrative fee of $5.00 will be charged.  The damaged item will be returned to the patron at the discretion of the Director.
        6. Reserves
          1. Patrons may reserve up to 25 items owned by libraries in the Winnefox Library System.
          2. Patrons may reserve no more than 5 items owned by libraries outside of the Winnefox Library System.
        7. Magazines
          1. Current magazines are not loaned or reserved
          2. After new issues are received, magazines are loaned for 21 days.
          3. Back copies of most magazines are kept at the discretion of the Director.
        8. Videos and DVDs
          1. Videos are loaned for 7 days with a limit of 7 juvenile and 7 adult/family videos per card.  DVDs are loaned for 7 days with a limit of 5 juvenile and 5 adult/family videos per cardholder.
          2. Parents may request R-Rated videos or DVDs not be checked out to their children under 17.  A note will be placed on the minor child’s library card.
        9. Computer Software
          1. Loan period of 21 days with a limit of 2 items per cardholder.
        10. Borrowing Limitations
          1. Patrons registering for a library card for the first time may borrow up to 5 items.
          2. Other patrons may borrow 75 total items per card.  Subject areas and current fiction may be limited at the Librarian’s discretion.  (Limits on videos and DVD are listed in 7:a, b and Computer Software listed in 8:a)
    5. Copyright Law
      1. Single copy reproductions are permitted under the Fair Use Doctrine providing the reproduction is to be used for private study, scholarship or research and without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage.  Violations of copyright are the responsibility of the patron requesting or making reproductions.
      2. The Library will display an explanation of copyright law at the place where public copies are made.
      3. Videocassettes and DVDs are for HOME use only, unless clearly marked as “Public Performance” videos.  Performances in places such as clubs, churches, schools, factories, lodges, summer camps, or other institutions are PUBLIC PERFORMANCES subject to copyright law.  It is a violation of federal law to exhibit prerecorded videos beyond the scope of the family and its social acquaintances regardless of whether or not an admission is charged.
      4. Public access software programs are copyright protected and no copying of these programs is permitted.
    6. Service Policies
      1. The library staff will guide and assist patrons in finding information desired.
      2. The library will secure information beyond the scope of its own collection through the use of Winnefox and WISCAT Interlibrary Loan procedures with consideration for staff size and time available.
      3. Library staff may assist patrons with genealogy searches at time permits.  The requesting patron shall reimburse the library for materials and time needed for such a search.
        1. The patron shall complete a genealogy request form (see   attachment 11).
        2. One simple search shall incur a prepaid fee of $5.00 submitted with the request form.  Additional searches will also be assessed at a prepaid rate of $5.00 each.
        3. If a search becomes more complex, the library staff shall consult with the patron and an additional prepaid fee will be assessed.
        4. The library assumes the responsibility for replacement or repair costs     if interloan materials are lost or damaged.  Such costs will be recovered by the library from its patrons.
        5. Patrons will be notified when interloan materials arrive at the library.
        6. The library will participate fairly in the WISCAT (statewide online catalog) program by loaning materials to requesting libraries.
          1. Materials will be loaned for a 30 day period.
          2. Seasonal or in-demand materials will be loaned at the discretion of a Librarian.
    7. Photocopy procedures
      1. Office equipment will be used by library staff only with the exception of the public photocopier and the Ellison machine.
      2. Cost will be 10 cents per 8 ½ ” by 11” page.  Legal size copies (8 ½ by 14”) shall be made on the staff copier by library staff.  Cost will be 15 cents per page.
      3. The number of copies a patron may request by made by staff at one time is 20.
      4. The library staff will determine if a copy is of acceptable quality for payment.
    8. Reconditioning CD’s Procedures
      The Berlin Public Library agrees to recondition CD’s and DVD’s for the public for the fee of $1.00 per disc.  Surface scratches only may be refinished.  Gouges or tears in the data foil that allow light to pass through are not repairable.  The Berlin Public Library assumes no responsibility for the disc or for the playability of the disc after reconditioning.
      The owner of the CD or DVD must sign a disclaimer agreeing to the above stipulations.  Payment must be made in advance.  The library agrees to have the material available for pick-up within one week.
      (See Attachment 10 for disclaimer form)
    9. Public Access Computers have been provided at no charge to promote computer literacy for all age groups.
      1. Adult word processing computer
        1. Patrons must have an up-to-date library card.  It will be used to register them at the circulation desk.
        2. Use is limited to 60 minutes if another patron is waiting to use the computer.
        3. Guest privileges are available with consent of Library personnel.
        4. Patrons must not save to the hard drive but rather, use their own disk.
        5. The printing donation of 10 cents per page is suggested.  It may be paid at the circulation desk.
        6. Cost of damage to software or hardware is the responsibility of the patron using same.
      2. Juvenile Computer Workstations
        1. Patrons must present their own up-to-date library card at the circulation desk to register for the use of a workstation.  The card must be free of fines.
        2. Patrons are limited to 30 minutes if other patrons are waiting.
        3. No more than 2 people should be at a workstation at a time.
        4. Children 8 years of age or younger must be supervised by an adult at the workstations.
        5. No reservations for use of the workstations will be made but patrons are encouraged to register at the desk so staff will know someone is waiting.
        6. Staff will provide limited assistance.  Time does not permit the teaching of work processing or CD programs.
        7. Any damage to hardware or software is the responsibility of the patron using same.
      3. Internet Workstation Use Policy
        The Berlin Public Library Board establishes this Internet policy to ensure appropriate use of Internet resources within the Library.
        Computer use has become an integral part of many library activities.  Through the Internet, the library can provide information beyond the confines of its own collection.  This allows patrons to freely access information, ideas, and commentary that would not otherwise be available.  The Library believes that it lies within the scope of its mission to provide access to the Internet to its users in order to meet their cultural, educational, informational, and recreational needs.
        While the ability to access information on the Internet provides a wealth of material that is personally, professionally, and culturally enriching to individuals, the Internet also enables access to materials that may be offensive, disturbing, illegal, inaccurate and/or incomplete.
        The Internet is an open, worldwide communications forum.  In this respect, the Library cannot control or monitor material on the Internet.  Individuals must accept responsibility for determining what is, and is not, appropriate.
        With the freedom and privilege to access computer networks comes the responsibility to use them in a responsible and ethical manner that includes, but is not limited to, the following:
        • Using resources for educational, informational and recreational purposes only, not for unauthorized, illegal and unethical purposes.
        • Respecting the privacy of others by not misrepresenting oneself as another user; by not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others; by not seeking unauthorized access to any computer system, or damaging altering software components of any network or database.
        • Further respecting the privacy of others using public access workstations at the Library by not interfering with their use.
        • Making only authorized copies of copyrighted or licensed software or data.
        • Not sending, receiving, or displaying graphics that may reasonably be construed as harmful to minors, as defined by Federal and State statute.
        • Not making unauthorized changes to the setup or configuration of the computer’s software or hardware.
        • No installation of software, programs, or downloading is allowed except with permission of a Librarian.  (The workstation has anti-virus software loaded but may not completely protect users or the Library from contracting a virus.)
          The Library reserves the right to monitor an individual’s use of the library’s workstation and server if inappropriate use is suspected.  Failure to follow the Internet Policy and Guidelines or inappropriate use of the workstation equipment or Internet access will result in suspension or revocation of Internet access privileges.  Suspensions may be appealed in writing to the Board of Trustees.  Decision of the Board of Trustees is final.
          U.S. Copyright law (Title 17, U.S.C.) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by principles of fair use.  Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials (including electronic mail, text, images, programs, or data) without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.  Any responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with users.  The Berlin Public Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.
      4. Children’s Use of the Internet Policy
        The Library upholds and affirms the right and responsibility of parents to determine and monitor their children’s use of all Library materials and resources, including the Internet.  Just as some of the print materials in the library’s collection are not appropriate for children, some material available on the Internet is not appropriate for them.  It is the responsibility of the parent, guardian, or caregiver to determine what is appropriate for children under their supervision.
        Use of chat rooms, e-mail, and other forms of direct electronic communications are popular, especially with children, however there are potential hazards regarding these forms of communication.  Children should not disclose personal information to anyone over the Internet without parental knowledge and permission.
        When using a chat room, it is not possible to tell anything about any other person participating in the online conversation.  Thus, parents should monitor their child’s Internet usage to insure that their use of chat and e-mail is age-appropriate.
        To help insure children’s safety, parents or guardians should review the Library’s Internet Workstation Policy.
        A parent or guardian may request that his or her minor child be denied the use of the Library’s Internet computers.  The Library will provide its best efforts to enforce the restriction requested, however we cannot guarantee absolute compliance with the restriction by the child.  The parent or guardian remains responsible for monitoring use of the Internet and other electronic resources at the Library.
      5. Internet Workstation Procedures
        • A patron must have his/her own library card in his/her possession to use the Internet.  On the first visit, the policies must be read and a disclaimer signed. (Attachment 5a).  A computer sticker will be placed on the patron’s library card.  The sticker indicates a signed disclaimer is on file.  A brief training session will be provided.  The content of which will depend upon the skill and experience of the patron.  Only the cardholder who has signed the library card may use the Internet.
        • Youth under 18 years of age will be required to have a parent or guardian sign the disclaimer also.  This must be done in person at the library.  Once the disclaimer and children’s policy (Attachment #5b) have been read and the disclaimer has been signed, a computer sticker will be placed on the patron’s library card.  The sticker indicates a signed disclaimer in on file.
        • Children under 8 must have an adult sitting with them at the workstation.
        • Use of the Internet is available on a first come, first served basis.  Time slots of 60 minutes per patron per day are standard.  If no one else is waiting to use the Internet and/or no one else is using the Internet, the session may be extended.  No Internet time extensions will be allowed between 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM.
        • Patrons may make reservations for a specific Internet time for a specific purpose by contacting Library personnel (i.e. taking an exam, preparing taxes, etc.).
        • Printing donation of 10 cents per page may be paid at the circulation desk.  Color printing is not available.
    10. Public access typewriter
      1. Patrons must provide their own paper.
      2. Patrons will use a current library card to register at the circulation desk.
      3. Only one person should be at the typing station at a time.
      4. No reservations are taken.
      5. Patrons are limited to 30 minutes if anyone is waiting to use the typewriter.
  4. Community Related Policies
    1. Federal and Wisconsin State Statutes (43.30) regarding open records will be observed by the Board of Trustees.
    2. The efforts of the Green Lake County Literacy Council will be supported by providing materials and meeting space when needed.
    3. Kay Swan Community Room
      1. The Community Room may be reserved for educational or literary purposes.  It is not intended for social gatherings.
        1. Nonprofit entities may reserve the room free of charge.  Donations for use of the Community Room help defray the library’s cost and are appreciated.
        2. For profit groups will be assessed a prepaid usage fee at a rate of $25.00 for a half day or less and $50.00 for a full day.
          Also, a refundable security deposit of $50.00 will be required for those requesting scheduled multiple uses.
      2. Any audio-visual materials brought into the library to be shown and/or heard must have “public performance’ rights in accordance with federal copyright law.
      3. The Community Room must be used during normal library hours unless approved by the Library Director.
      4. The library DOES NOT provide personnel to assist with the handling of exhibits, etc. for anyone using the Community Room.
      5. The tenant hereby must agree to protect, indemnify and save harmless the Berlin Public Library, City of Berlin, its officers and agents, against any and all damage to the library building and contents which may arise from the contracting for the use of the facilities or the performance in any way of the agreement or any part thereof for the use of the library.
      6. The tenant shall leave the Community Room in the condition in which it was found.
      7. The tenant shall be responsible and pay for any damage to the Community Room and/or its contents excepting normal wear and tear.
      8. Request for use of the Community Room will be reviewed and approved/disapproved by the Library Director.  A disclaimer must be signed by a responsible member of the group.  (Attachment #6)  Groups requesting a regular meeting schedule should contact the Director at the beginning of each year.  Requests that restrict the availability of the Community Room to other groups may be denied.  The Director has the option of deferring any questionable request to the Library Board.
      9. Smoking is not permitted in the library building or on its grounds.
      10. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the library building or on its grounds except for activities sponsored and approved by the Board of Trustees.
      11. Light refreshments are allowed, however, no meals are to be served.
      12. The Community Room may be used by the public for group meetings only, not merely social gatherings.
      13. Donations for use of the Community Room help defray the library’s costs and are appreciated.
    4. Exhibits and Displays
      1. The Library Director will review and approve/disapprove requests for display space.  Requests shall be handled on a first come, first served basis.  Display space will be used for educational, cultural, or recreational purposes by groups or individuals.  Exhibits of a commercial nature and those purporting political or controversial issues in a biased or inflammatory manner are prohibited. The director will have final approval of content and appearance.
      2. Any publicity materials relating to the display space must be pre-approved by the Library Director.
      3. No prices may be displayed.
      4. Exhibitors are responsible for setting up and removing exhibits/displays.  This is usually done on a monthly basis.
      5. Items displayed are the responsibility of the exhibitor.  Exhibitors must sign a Release Form. (Attachment #7)
    5. Foyer Bulletin Board
      1. Items publicizing events, activities, or meetings of a cultural, educational or civic nature and sponsored by nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations will be displayed when space allows.  The Library Director must okay an item before it is posted.
      2. Information of a controversial nature will not be allowed since the Library is unable to provide space for all viewpoints.
      3. Posted items will be removed and disposed of by library staff unless other arrangements have been made.
    6. Public Demonstrations
      City of Berlin Ordinance (Title 7, Chapter 10 or as amended or renumbered) will be observed by the Board of Trustees and Library Director.
      (Attachment #8)
    7. Canvassing or selling by members of the public is not allowed within any public space of the Berlin Public Library.
  5. Intergovernmental Policies
    1. The Berlin Public Library is a member of the Winnefox Library System, the Winnefox Automated Library Service, and the Winnefox Cooperative Technical Service.  As such, it cooperates with all member libraries and cooperating systems.
    2. The Berlin Public Library will work in cooperation with Berlin Area Schools and their librarians/media specialists.  The library cannot, however, perform the functions of a school library as pertaining to particular curriculum needs.
      1. Teachers are encouraged to use the library.
      2. Teachers may request materials to be put on reserve for their students to use in the library.
      3. Teachers may reserve time for their class, as a group, to use the library facilities.  Teachers are expected to supervise their groups.
    3. Public Relations
      1. Publicity via websites, radio, newspaper, television, websites and bulletin board displays shall be the responsibility of the Library Director.
      2. No one on the library staff shall divulge to anyone information from library records.  (This includes records about the types of materials loaned or used by a patron.)  (Wisconsin State Statute 43.30) Such requests should be referred to the Library Director.
      3. No one on the library staff shall divulge to anyone a particular person’s presence in the Library.  (Wisconsin State Statute 43.30)  Such requests should be referred to the Library Director immediately.  If the director is unavailable, the City Attorney or Board of Trustees President should be contacted.
      4. A library must respond to all requests to view or copy Public Records made by any person (except most requests from individuals who are committed or incarcerated).  The Board of Trustees has designated one or more legal custodians to respond to Public Records requests.  These custodians are the Library Director and the City Attorney.  The Board encourages them to consult with one another before releasing any records.  This must be done in a timely manner.
  6. Internal Management Policies
    1. The Board of Trustees shall operate as stipulated in the Library Board of Trustees By-Laws and Wisconsin State Statutes, both of which shall supersede these policies.
    2. Financial Policy
      1. Funding
        1. The Library is funded by city and county tax revenue plus gifts and donations.
        2. Funds for specific projects may be solicited under the direction of the Board of Trustees.
      2. Investments
        1. The Trustees shall determine the place and method of investment.
        2. The Board of Treasurer shall oversee all investments.
      3. Fiscal Controls
        1. An Annual Budget will be prepared by the Library Director and the Library Board Finance Committee and be submitted to the Board of Trustees as a whole for approval.
        2. City of Berlin vouchers prepared by the Library Director will be co-signed by 2 of the Board of Trustee Officers or in their absence, by 2 Board Members.  The Library Director will submit voucher/s to the City Clerk for payment.
        3. Trust vouchers prepared by the Library Director will be co-signed by 2 of the Board of Trustee Officers or in their absence by 2 Board Members.  The Library Director will submit voucher/s to Board Treasurer for payment.
        4. The City of Berlin audit system will be used.
    3. Property Management
      1. The Library Board of Trustees is responsible for initiating building programs or purchases necessary to provide adequate library facilities.
      2. The Library Director is responsible for overseeing the maintenance of library facilities within the building; however, because the building and grounds are the property of the City of Berlin, the City is ultimately responsible for their upkeep.
      3. The Risk Management Program is part of the City of Berlin Insurance Plan.
      4. The Disaster Plan Handbook is on file at the Library and will be reviewed annually by Trustees and Staff.
    4. Personnel Policy
      1. Employment at Will
        Unless expressly prescribed by statute or contract, your employment is “at will.”  All library employees are at will, which means they may be terminated at any time and for any reason, with or without advance notice and with or without cause.  Employees are also free to quit at any time.  Any employment relationship other than at will must be set out in writing and approved and adopted by the Library Board of Trustees.  None of the statements, policies, procedures, rules or regulations contained in the handbook constitutes a guarantee of employment, or guarantee of any other rights or benefits, or contract of employment, express or implied.
      2. Management Policy
        1. The Library Director shall be responsible for;
          1. Assigning work areas to other employees
          2. Maintaining employee compliance with personnel requirements.
          3. Evaluating employee performance at least once annually.
          4. Selecting and hiring staff to fill vacancies or newly created positions.
      3. Job Classifications
        1. The Library Director shall determine placement of all staff members at a position level as listed in Position Classifications for Wisconsin Public Libraries and on the City of Berlin Salary Schedule when appropriate.
        2. Placement and changes in position levels are to be confirmed by the Board of Trustees.
        3. Staff members will be afforded opportunities for professional growth through in-service programs, workshops, conferences, distant education sessions, and other classes as the budget allows.
      4. Grievance Procedure is outlined in the City of Berlin Employee Handbook) (September 2004 or as updated).
      5. Time Off
        1. Sick Leave as outlined in the City of Berlin Employee Handbook. (September 2004 or as updated).
          1. One day for every working month with accumulation to a maximum of 130 days allowable with full pay.
          2. Sick leave with pay shall be granted when an employee is required to be absent from work because of illness of the employee, serious illness of his/her immediate family requiring his/her care and attention, or validated reasonable medical or dental care that cannot be scheduled during non-working hours.
          3. Physician’s certificate may be required for an absence of more than three days.
        2. Personal Leave
          1. Three days personal leave will be granted per year, not to accumulate.
        3. Leave of absence as outlined in the City of Berlin Employee Handbook. (September 2004 or as updated).
        4. Maternity leave as outlined in the City of Berlin Employee Handbook. (September 2004 or as updated).
        5. Family and medical leave as outlined in the City of Berlin Employee Handbook. (September 2004 or as updated).
        6. Funeral leave as outlined in the City of Berlin Employee Handbook. (September 2004 or as updated).
        7. Military leave as outlined in the City of Berlin Employee Handbook. (September 2004 or as updated).
      6. Staff salaries are subject to annual review by the Library Director.  The Library Director’s salary is subject to annual review by the Board of Trustees.
      7. Employee Benefits as outlined in the City of Berlin Employee Handbook. (September 2004 or as updated).
      8. Jury Duty as outlined in the City of Berlin Employee Handbook. (September 2004 or as updated).
      9. Vacations as outlined in the City of Berlin Employee Handbook. (September 2004 or as updated).
        1. Vacation days may be saved from one year to the next, but vacations must be scheduled with the Library Director so as not to cause staff shortages.
        2. Library Director
          1. Shall be entitled to vacation credit only after 1 year of continuous employment
          2. 2 weeks after 1 year
          3. 3 weeks after 3 years
          4. 4 weeks after 11 years.
        3. Library Staff
          1. Shall be entitled to vacation credit only after 1 year of continuous employment
          2. 1 week after 1 year
          3. 2 weeks after 2 years
          4. 3 weeks after 7 years
          5. 4 weeks after 16 years
      10. Compensation for part-time employees
        1. Employees working less than one thousand and forty-four (1044) hours per year shall be considered “part-time” employees.
        2. Employees working more than six hundred (600) hours in 12 consecutive months shall be eligible for Wisconsin State Retirement Trust Fund benefits.
        3. All part-time employees of the library shall receive such salaries as may be established annually by the Library Board of Trustees.
        4. Payday as listed in the Pay Schedule of the Berlin Employee Handbook. (September 2004 or as updated).
      11. Performance reviews for part-time employees
        1. At the end of six months of employment, new employees will have a performance review conducted by the Library Director.
        2. Thereafter, performance reviews will be conducted on an annual basis by the Library Director.
        3. Part-time employees will be eligible for a wage increase at the time the City of Berlin awards it Annual Wage Increase.
      12. Use of Library Staff as Consultants
        1. The staff of the Berlin Public Library is encouraged to assist and advise other libraries, other City of Berlin departments, Berlin Public Library staff and board members seeing to solve administrative or organizational problems in their respective areas.
        2. Such assistance or consulting when requested on an ad hoc and unplanned basis is not subject to any specific restrictions.
        3. However, “planned” consulting or advising activities, workshop preparation and presentations, or class preparation and presentations for staff or Board members of another library or library agency for longer than 1 hour during normal working hours becomes “extended use” of Library staff.
        4. Such “extended use” of Library staff during their normal working hours shall be subject to approval by the Library Director.
        5. The fee for such “extended use” during an employee’s regular working hours shall be the employee’s hourly rate plus the cost of fringe benefits after the first hour.
        6. All fees for such “extended use” shall be paid to the Berlin Public Library.
      13. Courses of study, conventions, and meetings.
        1. Money may be budgeted annually for courses of study for the Library Director and staff.
        2. Money may be budgeted annually for payments of fees, tuition, mileage, and meals for the director and staff to attend professional meetings, workshops, conferences, and conventions. Pre-approval of the Library Director is required with reimbursement following City policy.
      14. Professional memberships.
        1. Membership in the Wisconsin Library Association is paid for half to full-time employees and the Board of Trustee President.
        2. Membership in the American Library Association is paid for the Library Director.
      15. The librarians will follow the record retention schedule for Wisconsin Public Libraries and Public Library systems adopted by the Wisconsin Public Records Board on February 27, 2006.  (Record Retention Schedule can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Public Institution website <>)
      16. The Librarian’s Code of Ethics (Attachment 3), as adopted by the American Library Association and endorsed by the Berlin Board of Trustees:
        1. Librarians must provide the highest level of service through appropriate and usefully organized collections, fair and equitable circulation and service policies, and skillful, accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests for assistance.
        2. Librarians must protect each user’s right to privacy with respect to information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired.
        3. Librarians must resist all efforts by groups or individuals to censor library materials.
        4. Librarians must adhere to the principles of due process and equality of opportunity in peer relationships and personnel actions.
        5. Librarians must distinguish clearly in their actions and statement between their personal philosophies and attitudes and those of an institution or professional body.
        6. Librarians must avoid situations in which personal interests might be served or financial benefits gained at the expense of library users, colleagues, or the employing institution.

Adopted as revised on

July 2009

Berlin Public Library – Attachment #1

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 18, 1948.
Amended February 2, 1961, and January 23, 1980,
inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996,
by the ALA Council.

(Printed from the ALA website 10/04)

Berlin Public Library – Attachment #2

The Freedom to Read Statement
The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.
Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.
These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.
Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.
Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.
We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.
The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.
We therefore affirm these propositions:

  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.
    Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.
  2. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.
    Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.
  3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.
    No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.
  4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.
    To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.
  5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.
    The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.
  6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.
    It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.
  7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a "bad" book is a good one, the answer to a "bad" idea is a good one.

The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader's purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.
We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.
This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.
Adopted June 25, 1953; revised January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991, July 12, 2000, June 30, 2004, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.
A Joint Statement by:
American Library Association
Association of American Publishers

(Printed from the ALA website 10/04)

Berlin Public Library – Attachment # 3
Code of Ethics of the American Library Association
As members of the American Library Association, we recognize the importance of codifying and making known to the profession and to the general public the ethical principles that guide the work of librarians, other professionals providing information services, library trustees and library staffs.
Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict. The American Library Association Code of Ethics states the values to which we are committed, and embodies the ethical responsibilities of the profession in this changing information environment.
We significantly influence or control the selection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information. In a political system grounded in an informed citizenry, we are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information. We have a special obligation to ensure the free flow of information and ideas to present and future generations.
The principles of this Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations.

  1. We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.
  2. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
  3. We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
  4. We recognize and respect intellectual property rights.
  5. We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.
  6. We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
  7. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.
  8. We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.

Adopted by the ALA Council
June 28, 1995
(Printed from the ALA website 10/04)

Berlin Public Library – Attachment #4

Citizen Challenge to Specific Library Materials

Title __________________________________________
Author ________________________________________
Publisher ______________________________________

Is this item a      _____ Hardcover Book    _____Paperback Book    _____Video/DVD
        _____Audio/CD book    _____CD         
Challenge initiated by _______________________________________________________

Address ______________________________________________ Phone ______________

Citizen represents     _____ Himself or Herself
            _____ Organization    Name _________________________
            _____ Other group    Name _________________________

1.    To what in the material do you object?  Please be specific as to page number, etc.

2.    What do you feel might be the result of reading, viewing or listening to this material?

3.    For what age group would you recommend this material?

4.    Is there anything positive about the material?  If so, what?

5.    Did you read, view, or listen to the entire material?  If not, what parts did you read, view or listen to?

6.    Are you aware of the judgment of this book by literary critics?

7.    What do you believe is the theme of this material?

8.    What would you like your library to do about this material?

_____ do not lend it to my child
_____ withdraw it from the library
_____ re-evaluation by library staff
_____ other?  Please specify _______________________________________________

9.  What material would you recommend that would convey a valuable picture and perspective of the subject treated?

10.     General Comments?

Date ________________    Signature ___________________________________________________

            Print Name __________________________________________________

Berlin Public Library – Attachment #6

Kay Swan Community Room Disclaimer

I, the undersigned, hereby acknowledge I have read the Berlin Public Library Kay Swan Community Meeting Room policies and agree to abide by the same.

I agree to use the Kay Swan Community Meeting Room at the Berlin Public Library for nonprofit purposes only.

I understand I am responsible for:

  • setting up and removing meeting related materials and restoring the room to the order in which it was found
  • any loss, damage, or destruction of library property that occurs during or as a result of my meeting
  • clearing any publicity materials with the Library Director

I release Berlin Public Library from responsibility for loss, damage or destruction while I am using the Kay Swan Community Room in the library.

Description of organization/group:

Dates of meeting:  ___________________________

Times of meeting:  From _______ AM or PM   To _______ AM or PM

Signature _______________________________________________________________

Print Name _____________________________________________________________

Address ________________________________________________________________

Phone _______________________  Today’s date _______________________________

Berlin Public Library – Attachment #7

Display/Exhibit Release

I, the undersigned, hereby lend the following objects to the Berlin Public Library for temporary exhibit purposes only.

I understand I am responsible for:

  • setting up and removing the display
  • any loss, damage, or destruction of the objects while on exhibit
  • clearing any publicity materials with the Library Director

Description of objects loaned

Dates of exhibit   From______________________  To ___________________________

Signature _______________________________________________________________

Print Name _____________________________________________________________

Address ________________________________________________________________

Phone _______________________  Today’s date _______________________________

Berlin Public Library – Attachment #8


*Cross references: Streets, sidewalks and other public places, ch. 58.


Sec. 18-331. Purpose.
The city recognizes that city streets and highways are primarily for the use of vehicular travel. It further recognizes a need to use such public streets and highways for processions, parades, runs, walks, bicycle races, marathons, etc., which do not substantially interfere with the public's right to travel on such streets and highways. This article is intended to regulate and control nonvehicular use of the streets and highways of the city, and to protect the general welfare and safety of the persons using such streets and highways. The authority to regulate such use is contained in Wis. Stats. § 349.185, and related sections thereto.
(Code 1989, § 7-10-1(a))

Berlin Public Library - Attachment 11 
     Genealogy/Obituary request form for Berlin Public Library

Send completed form & payment to:     Berlin Public Library
                                                                121 W Park Ave
                                                                Berlin WI  54923
1)  Payment must be enclosed
      - Please make check payable to the Berlin Public Library.
- Discount price for Winnefox Library System Residents
  (Winnebago, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette and Waushara, WI counties.)     
   Please enclose 25 cents (cost of microfilm copy in library) for each item requested
   plus 50 cents postage per batch of up to six items.
- Residents outside the Winnefox Library System
   Please enclose $5.00 for each item requested
      (ex: one obituary and one funeral notice would be $10.00)

2)  Please limit your number of requests to six at one time.

3)  Requests will be filled as time and volunteer availability permits.

Please direct questions to (920) 361-5420 or

     Send information to:

Name:      ___________________________________________________

Address:  ___________________________________________________

City:        ___________________________________________________

State:        _______     Zipcode:  _______    Phone __________________

Email: (if you want requests e-mailed) ____________________________

Number of requests:  _________     Amount Enclosed:  ______________

     Request for:  ______Obituary        _____ Other (please specify) _______________________

Name of deceased ____________________________________________________________

Date of Death _______________________________________________________________

Newspaper, date & page_______________________________________________________

Other helpful information ______________________________________________________



*******  Please enclose separate forms for each request.    *******