Library Policies

Circulation Policy

The Plum Lake Public Library is organized to provide free and equitable access to a wide variety of books and other library resources for all ages. Items may be checked out under the following conditions:

  1. Up-to-date registration information is available in the Merlin system.
  2. Patron holds a valid Merlin card.
  3. Books, Audio tapes, CDs may be taken out for a period of three weeks. New books and magazines are loaned for a period of two weeks. Videos, DVDs, Kids-Time Kits, Toy kits, puzzles and circulating reference materials are loaned for a period of 1 week.
  4. Children are limited to 5 items each. Adults are limited to 10 items each. Exceptions must be approved by the librarian in charge.
    Materials may be renewed by phone or in person on or before the due date. Up to 2 renewals are permitted as long as the item is not on hold for someone else.
  5. A fine of 10c per item for each day that the library is open will be charged for overdue library materials, with the exception of videos and DVDs which will be charged 25c per library day.
  6. When material(s) have been overdue for 2 weeks, the first notice will be made to the patron, either by phone or mail. After 3 weeks, the second notice will be made. After 6 weeks, a statement will be sent informing the patron of the cost of the material and library privileges will be suspended until such time as the materials are returned and fines paid. If necessary further legal action will be taken to retrieve library materials.
  7. Lost or badly damaged material must be paid for at current replacement costs plus $1.00 for processing.
  8. Overdue or lost items from Interlibrary Loan will be handled in the same manner as regular library materials.
  9. Parents are responsible for their children’s obligations. Children are not responsible for their parent’s obligations.
  10. When a legal holiday falls on a day that the library is regularly open, the loan period will be extended until the next library day.

Accepted by the Plum Lake Public Library Board on the 15th day of March, 2006.

Policy on Public Use of the Internet & Acceptable Internet Standards

To fulfill its mission of providing quality materials and services that fulfill the educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs of the entire community, the Plum Lake Public Library provides access to Internet resources. The Internet offers access to many valuable local, national and international sources of information. However, some information found on the Internet may be inaccurate, incomplete, dated, or offensive to some individuals. A good information consumer must evaluate the validity and appropriateness of information found.

Choosing and Evaluating Sources

The Internet is a series of communication linkages leading to a highly diverse array of information content. Library patrons use it at their own risk. In choosing sources to link to from its home pages, the Library follows its materials selection guidelines. Beyond this, the Library is not responsible for the content of the Internet, changes in content of the sources to which the Library home pages link, or for the content of sources accessed through secondary links. In an effort to assist its users, the Library will be creating Web sites for the general population, for teens and for children to help guide them to sources that are accurate, complete and current and that provide them with a wealth of information on the local, national and global level.

Access by Minors

Parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding which library resources are appropriate for their own children. Parents or legal guardians should guide their children in use of the Internet and inform them about materials they should not use. Parents or legal guardians of minor children and children are encouraged to read Child Safety on the Information Highway and My Rules for Online Safety.

While the Library affirms and acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of parents and guardians to monitor and determine their children’s access to Library materials and resources, including those available through the Internet, the Library has taken certain measures designed to assist in the safe and effective use of these resources by all minors.

a. To address the issue of access by minors to inappropriate material on the Internet, including material that is harmful to minors, the Library is planning to:

  • Develop and maintain special web sites for children and teens; 
  • Encourage staff to guide minors away from materials that may be inappropriate. 

b. To address the issue of unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking,” and other unlawful activities by minors online, minors and all other Library users are hereby advised that use of the Library’s computers for hacking or any other unlawful activity is strictly prohibited.

Public Users’ Security

Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding users’ activities. However, The Plum Lake Public Library will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by members of the public except as required by law or necessary for the proper operation of the Library. 

Note: Software exists on library workstations that erases users’ activities when the workstation is restarted.


The Library reserves the right to take appropriate action to insure compliance with this policy.

Guidelines on Access to Information

The Plum Lake Public Library is guided by the following American Library Association statements on access to information: 

  • The Library Bill of Rights 
  • Freedom to Read Statement 
  • Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights: Free Access to Libraries for Minors and Access to Electronic Information Services and Resources

In general, the Library is guided by a commitment to access to information policies that provide appropriate protections to its patrons while being consistent with the Library’s longstanding commitment to the principles of free expression as set forth in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Acceptable Use Standards for Internet and Library Computers

All electronic traffic originating from the Plum Lake Public Library Internet Connection shall be in accordance with these Acceptable Use Standards. Failure to abide by these standards may result in the loss of Internet, computer, and Library privileges.

Acceptable Use

Use of the Library’s computers shall be guided by the following principles:
1. Respect for the privacy of others. 
2. Attention to the legal protection provided by copyright and license to programs and data. 
3. Consideration for the security and functioning of computers, computer networks, and systems. 
4. Library staff may limit PC access time if other library patrons are waiting for access to PCs. 
5. Library staff may extend PC access time to accommodate specific needs.

Violations may result in loss of access. Unlawful activities will be dealt with in an appropriate manner. The Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility arising from access to or use of information obtained through its electronic information systems, or any consequences thereof.

Policy Subject to Revision.


This Internet Policy was developed from several existing policies in place at public libraries in the United States. The Plum Lake Public Library thanks the Northern Waters Library Service, the New York Public Library and the Marion County Library for their pioneering efforts in preparing Internet Policies.