O'Fallon Public Library cardholders no longer accrue fines for overdue items!
The O'Fallon Public Library is no longer charging cardholders a daily overdue fine for items returned late. Under this new policy, items can be checked out for their standard loan period and, if eligible, renewed a number of times. Library cardholders are responsible for returning or renewing items to prevent their library card from being blocked.
You will receive a notification when your library materials are ten (10) days and twenty (20) days overdue to alert you that you must return or renew them. When materials are thirty (30) days overdue the library considers the items lost and will invoice you for the cost of the items and any applicable processing fees. Your library card will be blocked at this point, preventing you from renewing or checking out items. If you return the item in good condition, the replacement fee and processing fee will be waived. These fees become non-cancellable if the items are not returned within ninety (90) days of being overdue.
For starters, it's good for our community! Our community is stronger and healthier when people have access to programs, services, and materials they need to pursue their educational, career, family, and life goals. Libraries are a place open to anyone and everyone. We hope this will encourage prior users to come back to the library and attract new users to experience our offerings.
Secondly, it’s good for our relationships. When you walk through our doors, we want to do our best to help you, not badger you about a late fee. Going fine-free makes a trip to the library more pleasant for both you and our staff.
Libraries that have adopted fine-free policies found that:
- Library card registrations increased
- Borrowing of materials increased
- More library items were returned
- Students returned to the library to use homework resources
- Staff time was redirected from fines-handling to patron-focused services
We believe in providing access to knowledge for all. Eliminating fines for overdue materials means more people in our community have greater access to the Library’s vital materials, resources, and services. Late fines, no matter how small, are a very real and significant burden for low-income individuals, children, and families. These kinds of financial barriers can discourage many people who rely on the Library, which means they can’t access books required for schoolwork, use public computers or job resources, or simply have a safe, open, welcoming space to visit.
While the Library is always carefully watching its bottom line, any loss of overdue fine revenue is tiny compared with the good this new policy will do for the community. Overdue fines account for less than 1% of the library's overall income and going fine-free will not significantly impact the budget moving forward. In addition, due to the rise in electronic materials (which do not accrue late fines) and other factors, fines are not a sustainable form of revenue for the library. Above all, it’s worth it to us to forgo potential funds from fines to remove barriers to Library use.
What happens if an item is not returned, returned damaged, or is lost?
If materials are 30 days overdue, the library will block the account and issue an invoice to the patron for the cost of the item(s). You will be unable to renew or check out any items, including digital content.
You will have 30 days to return the item or pay the replacement fee. If you return the item, the replacement cost and the processing fee will be waived. If you have lost or damaged item, you must pay the replacement cost and the processing fee.
When an item is over 90 days overdue the replacement cost becomes non-cancellable.
Can I purchase a replacement for a damaged or lost item?
No. Replacement costs and processing fees must be paid for each lost or damaged item. We do not accept replacement items in lieu of payment.
Will I be notified if an item is overdue?
Yes. You will receive notices when an item is 10 days and 20 days overdue.
The O’Fallon Public Library offers library services to all residents of, and visitors to, O’Fallon regardless of age, economic status, race, ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs or sexual orientation. Library staff are committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all library users. The user guidelines outlined below set expectations for all library users to ensure the safety, cleanliness, comfort, and accessibility of all O’Fallon Public Library spaces.
Illegal activities and behaviors that are violations of state, local and federal laws are prohibited on library property and at library events. Library users may not engage in behaviors, actions, or activities that violate any Federal, State or Local Laws as well as community ordinances and regulations. Weapons of any kind are forbidden on library property.
All library users and staff, while on library premises, have the right to enjoy a library experience that is free from threat, harassment, lewd or disruptive behavior. To ensure this, library users, while on library premises, must not:
- use, sell or be under the influence of drugs (including alcohol and marijuana)
- use tobacco products or substitutes
- wear attire inappropriate for public places
- sleep, bathe, shave and/or wash clothes on the premises
- solicit for funds or signatures, panhandle, sell goods, or gamble
- monopolize/obstruct space, seating, tables or equipment to the exclusion of others
- make unreasonable and disruptive noise, including speaking loudly, singing, snoring and listening to music at a volume noticed by others
Bags and other personal belongings may not be left unattended, and must not block access to aisles, doorways, stairways, walkways, elevators, ramps, or computers.
Children are welcome in the O’Fallon Public Library and we are concerned about their safety and welfare. However, parents and caregivers are responsible for monitoring the activities and regulating the behavior of their children while in the library:
- All children aged nine (9) years or younger shall be attended and adequately supervised by a responsible person at all times
- Children who exceed five (5) years of age but who are less than ten (10) years of age may be left unattended in the library during scheduled library programs
- Children using the library are subject to rules and regulations of the library concerning behavior, conduct and demeanor. Children should not be left at the library in substitution for proper babysitting or day care
- If at closing time young children are still waiting for pick up, staff may contact the O'Fallon Police Department for assistance. At least two staff members will remain with the child. No staff member shall take the child home
- The library assumes no responsibility for children left unattended on library premises
Service animals are welcome in the library. Other animals are prohibited.
Food and covered drinks are permitted in the library. Please dispose of trash properly.
Furniture may not be moved without permission from library staff. Heads, legs, and feet must be kept off tables and chairs.
Violators of this policy may be subject to exclusion from library buildings and grounds and may lose library privileges. Violations of law will be referred to local law enforcement when necessary and criminal behavior will be prosecuted under the law.
This policy applies to all library users and/or persons on library property. If violations of these rules are observed, please inform a staff member immediately.
It is the responsibility of all public service staff and facility supervisors to understand this policy fully to ensure fair and equitable application. It is the responsibility of the Library Director, with the advice of the Board of Trustees, to interpret, monitor and recommend updates to this policy. The Library Director is the final authority in regard to enforcing this policy.
Effective Date: February 10, 2020
The O’Fallon Public Library utilizes various social media applications to keep the public informed about library events and topics. This also allows O’Fallon Public Library patrons to interact with library staff and other patrons to share information and opinions about library-related subjects or issues. The library’s social media sites are maintained and monitored by designated library staff.
Comments and postings from the public are allowed but will be reviewed by library staff for content. Appropriate comments and postings must be relevant to the topic posted by library staff. Library staff reserves the right to review all comments and postings and delete inappropriate content. Inappropriate content includes (but is not limited to):
- Obscene, sexist, or racist content.
- Harassing library staff or other social media users.
- Libelous and slanderous statements.
- Plagiarizing or posting copyrighted material without permission or authority.
- Private, personal information of another person without appropriate consent or authority.
- Comments, postings, and/or hyperlinks not related to the topic of the posting.
- Commercial promotion, advertisement, or spam.
- Photos or other images that fall in any of the above categories.
O’Fallon Public Library is not responsible or liable for content posted by any subscriber or user of its social media sites.
By choosing to comment and/or utilize O’Fallon Public Library social media sites, users agree to these rules.
The purpose of this policy is to establish the scope and limitations of filming and photography within the library, at library events, and on library grounds.
Filming and photography are permitted in and around the O’Fallon Public Library facilities under the conditions described herein, only to the extent that it does not interfere with the operation, programs, activities, and mission of the Library.
Permission is not required for taking photographs or videos in public areas of the Library building for personal, noncommercial use if no tripods, lights, or other specialized equipment is used. Any person desiring to bring in professional recording equipment, including but not limited to tripods, lights, or other specialized recording equipment must follow the procedures set forth in the next section. However, there may be Library locations and/or exhibition areas where the taking of photographs or videos is restricted or prohibited (i.e., restrooms, rooms reserved for nursing, childcare areas). Taking photographs or videos of, or in, areas reserved for staff use only is also prohibited. Persons taking photographs and videos shall not:
i. compromise a patron or staff member’s right to privacy (this includes but is not limited to a prohibition on taking videos or photographs of the Patron Hold Shelf and Staff Computer Screens)
ii. harass, intimidate, or threaten a patron or staff member
iii. block library aisles, walkways, stairwells, doors or exits
The Library may permit the use of its facilities for taking commercial photographs or videos if, in the discretion of the Director, the commercial photographs or videos does not interfere with the mission of the Library and is in accordance with the rest of this policy. No commercial or media photography may occur in the Library facilities without the prior written permission and approval of the Director. Prior permission must be sought and granted at least one week in advance of any commercial photography or videos. Such approval shall contain the conditions under which the commercial or media photography/filming will take place and address the rights to ownership of the photos/films. The Library reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to deny use of recording equipment, and will determine where any permitted recording equipment is allowed in the space. The Library will not assume any liability for the damage/destruction of any equipment brought in by a person, group, or their audio/video engineers.
Taking photographs and videos outside of the Library building and/or of the library grounds does not require permission. However, the activity must not impede the ingress or egress of patrons or staff to or from the Library buildings and must not violate any person’s right to privacy.
The Library permits the taking of photographs and videos of its publicly-available collections. However, patrons are solely responsible for obtaining consent or other permission when taking photographs or videos of copyrighted materials.
The Library may take photos, videos, and audio recordings at the Library and during Library events to use in its publicity materials and on its website and social media sites. The Library reserves the right to document its services and the public’s use of the Library building and grounds (including on any library website or social media site). To ensure the privacy of all individuals, including children, images will not be identified using full names or personal identifying information without written approval from the photographed subject, parent, or legal guardian. Any individual that does not wish the Library to use a photograph or video of them or their child should inform a Library staff member prior to or while such photographs or videos are being taken.
Persons involved in taking photographs or videos are solely liable for any injuries to persons or property that result from their activities on Library property. They also have sole responsibility for obtaining all necessary releases and permissions required by law from persons who can be identified in any photograph or video or for copyrighted materials. The Library undertakes no responsibility for obtaining these releases or permissions.
Pursuant to Section 120/2.05 of the Illinois Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120/1 et seq.), any person may record the proceedings of the Library Board and other meetings required by the Act to be open to the public. The recordings may be made by tape, film or other means and shall not disrupt the meeting or create a safety hazard.
The Library reserves the right to ask any individual or group violating this policy to cease the taking of photographs, videos, or recording sessions.
The Library uses security cameras, both within and outside the facility, to enhance the physical security of the Library, its property, staff, and users. Video recordings are retained in accordance with the Local Records Act. Video recordings may be subject to release if permitted by Illinois law, subject to any confidentiality protections.
If you have questions, concerns or complaints regarding the Library’s handling of your privacy and confidentiality rights, please contact the Director.
The purpose of this policy is to offer a free library card to any employee of the City of O’Fallon who would otherwise qualify for a non-resident card and who does not already have a card with another public library within the state.
A non-resident is defined as "an individual residing in Illinois whose principal residence is not within the public library service area" [23 Ill. Adm. Code 3050.10].
Non-resident cards are good for one year from the time of issuance. Additional cards may be issued to other persons residing at the address of the employee. All normal residency and identification requirements for card creation apply, in addition to proof of employment by the City of O’Fallon.
The O’Fallon Public Library is pleased to offer individuals, groups, or organizations the opportunity to display their artwork/exhibits. This policy is intended to encourage equitable access to artists in the O’Fallon area.
Goals of the Exhibits
- To support community education, cultural and artistic activities
- To encourage individuals to contribute to the appreciation of the arts
- To broaden horizons by presenting a wide range of art, collections or displays
- To nourish intellectual, aesthetic and creative growth
- To reach non-traditional library patrons
All potential exhibitors must complete a display application to be submitted to the Art Review Committee. Decisions of the Art Review Committee are final.
Exhibits are scheduled for at least one month by the Library Director after review and approval by the Art Review Committee. Individuals using the Library’s exhibit spaces may not install their works prior to the dates on which their space reservations begin. Previously selected artists may apply again, although only one application from any artists will be considered at any given time.
Exhibitors should recognize that the Library is a public building used by a large number of people. Neither the City of O’Fallon nor the O’Fallon Public Library will be responsible for any damage or loss that may occur during setup and removal or during the time the exhibit is displayed.
Each artist is responsible for hanging his/her own work and taking down the same when the exhibit has ended. The artist must schedule the installation and removal date and time with the Library Director. Artists who fail to remove items on or before the specified date will not be allowed exhibit space in the future. Costs incurred by the O’Fallon Public Library for dismantling and/or storage of exhibits will be borne by the artist/exhibitor.
Exhibits must conform to the space restrictions of the exhibit areas provided.
The O’Fallon Public Library does not allow solicitation or selling of items in the library. Art may be purchased directly from the artist but only outside the library. The artist’s name and contact information may be made available. No price tags may be affixed to the works exhibited or pricing lists distributed in the library. Brief information about the work may be displayed alongside the work. Such information should be typed and be no larger than 3 inches by 5 inches.
The Library Board of Trustees may amend this policy whenever it deems appropriate and in response to changing conditions.
All exhibits, whether generated by the public or the library staff will be considered in terms of the criteria listed below. Responsibility for the selection of exhibits resides with the Art Review Committee consisting of the Library Director and at least two other appointed individuals. The library does not accept responsibility for ensuring that all points of view are represented in any single display. In presenting exhibits, the library does not imply endorsement of the beliefs or viewpoints of the subject matter. The library endeavors to present a broad spectrum of opinions and a variety of viewpoints. The following categories will be considered when approving exhibits:
- Artist’s original work
- Suitability of subject matter for the full range of library visitors, including children
- Quality of the presentation
- Local, regional, or historical or interest
- Appropriateness to special events, anniversaries, holidays, etc.
- Relation to other events or exhibits in the community
- Representation of an influential movement, genre, trend, or national culture
- Space requirements and ease of installation
Some examples of items that may be exhibited include two-dimensional pieces and small three-dimensional works of art. Large scale pieces are not suitable for library spaces and may present operational challenges.
In order to provide a safe, healthy and welcoming environment to all patrons, we ask that you please respect the safety of staff and other patrons and refrain from entering the library when you are sick or have the following symptoms: fever within the last 24 hours, cough, vomiting, diarrhea and/or sneezing.
Please feel free to engage with online services and resources but if you must visit the library while experiencing these symptoms, please wear a mask to help prevent the spread of illness.
Patrons exhibiting symptoms of illness or health risk to others may be asked to wear a mask or leave the premises.
Parents of sick children are asked to keep their children at home. If a child becomes ill at the library, the parents will be notified and asked to take their child home.
The O’Fallon Public Library (“the Library”) recognizes that patrons with disabilities may have service dogs that are trained to assist or accommodate a person with a sensory, mental, or physical disability or to perform tasks for the benefit of a disabled individual. The Library recognizes legal rights under federal and state laws regarding use of service dogs. The Library also considers the safety and health of all its patrons, the public, and Library employees to be of utmost priority.
“Service dogs” are dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Examples of such work or tasks include: guiding people who are blind; alerting people who are deaf; pulling a wheelchair; alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure; reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications; calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack; or performing other duties.
Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks. Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under Titles II and III of the ADA.
The term “disability” means, with respect to an individual:
1. A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;
2. A record of such an impairment; or
3. Being regarded as having such an impairment.
If an individual meets any one of these three tests, he or she is considered to be an individual with a disability for purposes of coverage under the ADA.
No pets or animals other than service dogs or service dogs in training are allowed in the Library. Owners of pets may be asked to remove them from the Library.
Individuals with disabilities may bring their service dogs into all areas of the Library where members of the public are normally allowed to go. All service dogs must be under the full custody and control of their handler at all times. Also, all service dogs must be on a leash or harness at all times unless the handler is unable to leash or harness the dog because of a disability or use of a leash or harness would interfere with the dog’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks. If the service dog cannot be leashed or harnessed, it must be otherwise under the handler’s control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means). Owners of the service dog are solely responsible for the supervision and care of the service dog. Therefore, owners must keep the service dog directly with them at all times.
Users of service dogs are not required to show papers or to prove a disability. Service dogs are not required to be licensed or certified by a state or local government or training program, or be identified by a special harness or collar.
Employees may ask two questions:
1. Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?, and
2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
Owners of service dogs or service dogs in training must indicate that they are working dogs and not pets. Terms used may include assistance, service, guide, hearing, or helping dog. Employees may not ask about the owner’s disability.
A person with a disability may not be asked to remove their service dog or service dog in training from the Library unless the presence, behavior, or actions of the service dog constitute an unreasonable risk of injury or harm to property or other persons, or the dog is disruptive and the owner does not take effective action to control it. In these cases, Library employees must give the person with the disability the option to obtain Library services without having the service dog or service dog in training on the premises. Fear of allergies, annoyance on the part of other patrons or employees, or fear of dogs are generally not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people with service dogs or service dogs in training.
Pending approval by the Director or their designee, the Library may have animals in the building as part of its educational and recreational offerings.
The Library does not condone leaving non-service animals outside the Library in a way that may endanger the animal or Library patrons. The Library reserves the right to contact the police regarding any unattended animals on its premises.
The Library is committed to the equitable use of the Library for all its patrons. Any patron who feels their use of the Library has been compromised due to this policy should report grievances to the Director or their designee.
i) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Title II, Section 35.136 (Revised September 15, 2010); Beginning on March 5, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under Titles II and III of the ADA.
The O'Fallon Public Library seeks to provide the community with a collection that satisfies its educational, informational and recreational needs through the acquisition and organization of print, audio-visual and electronic resources.
The Library strives to have an equitable, diverse, accessible, and inclusive collection featuring a wide array of people and cultures to authentically reflect a variety of ideas, information, stories and experiences.
The Library Board of Trustees has delegated authority and responsibility for the selection of library resources to the Library Director and, under supervision, to the professional librarian staff who are qualified by education, training and experience. The Library Board endorses the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement adopted by the American Library Association, copies of which are attached to this policy.
In considering resources for selection, librarians consult professional and peer reviews as well as other credible, evaluative sources. Some resources may be judged primarily on artistic merit, while others are considered because of scholarship, historic value or ability to satisfy the needs of the community. Resources are judged as a whole rather than on isolated passages.
To build a collection of enduring merit, resources must be measured by numerous and objective criteria. All acquisitions, purchased or donated, are subject to the standards listed below. An individual resource need not meet all of the criteria for acceptance.
Relevance, present and potential, to community needs. The library makes a conscious effort to obtain resources pertaining to local matters – civic, cultural, artistic, educational, recreational and historic
Reputation, authority and significance of the author, artist or publisher. No item will be excluded because of the race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, political or doctrinal beliefs or personal history of an author, artist or publisher
The Library seeks content created by and representative of marginalized and underrepresented groups and strives to provided resources in formats that meet the needs of users with disabilities
Topicality or importance of the resource as a document or recording of the times
Attention of critics, reviewers and the public
Relation to the existing collection and other resources on the subject including resources of varying viewpoints
Insight into human and social conditions and relevance to the experiences and contributions of diverse populations
Accuracy and authenticity of scientific or historical fact
Suitability of physical format for library use
Price as a reasonable value for anticipated use
The Library does not acquire highly specialized or technical resources which can be obtained through nearby institutions, interlibrary loan or accessed electronically. Nor does it acquire special interest publications in fields including, but not limited to, law, engineering, education, and medicine.
Certain resources are controversial and may offend some library users. Selections are not made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the works in relation to the goals of building and enhancing a collection that serves the diverse interests of the community. While everyone is free to reject titles of which they do not approve for themselves and their children, they cannot restrict the freedom of others to choose what to read, hear, or view.
The public library does not advocate for the ideas found in its collection; rather, the public library provides a safe haven for those ideas. The selection of any item or resource does not constitute an endorsement of its contents by the library.
Library resources are not marked or identified by the library to imply or show approval or disapproval of the contents. All resources are kept on open shelves except those that are irreplaceable, duplicate copies, or subject to vandalism or theft.
The Library provides resources for children and teens in collections that are clearly labeled and separate from the adult collection.
Selection of resources for the library’s collections will not be inhibited by the possibility that some resources may inadvertently come into the possession of children. Responsibility for the reading, listening and viewing of Library resources for children rest solely with their parents or guardians.
The library’s collection does not take the place of elementary, middle school, high school or college libraries. It is the responsibility of the public and private schools to supply curriculum resources. The library works cooperatively with schools to supplement and enhance their collections.
Continual evaluation of library holdings is an essential part of collection development. To ensure a vital collection of continued value to the community, resources that are judged by the professional staff to have outlived their usefulness are withdrawn. Decisions for removal are based on diminished circulation, physical condition, usefulness and accuracy.
Once a resource has been accepted under the Resource Selection Policy, it will not be removed at the request of those who disagree with its inclusion unless it can be shown that retention of the resource would be in violation of that Policy.
The Library supports its mission of connecting people with the world of ideas and information by developing and presenting programs that provide additional opportunities for information, learning, and entertainment. Programming is an integral component of library service that:
- Expands the Library’s role as a community resource
- Introduces customers and non-users to Library resources
- Provides entertainment
- Provides opportunities for lifelong learning
- Expands the visibility of the library
Ultimate responsibility for programming at the Library rests with the Director, who administers under the authority of the Board of Trustees. The Director, in turn, delegates the authority for program management to the Youth Services Manager, Adult Services Lead, or their designees.
The Library’s staff use the following criteria in making decisions about program topics, speakers, and accompanying resources:
- Community needs and interests
- Availability of program space
- Treatment of content for intended audience
- Presentation quality
- Presenter background/qualifications in content area
- Relevance to community interests and issues
- Historical or educational significance
- Connection to other community programs, exhibitions or events
- Relation to Library collections, resources, exhibits and programs
In addition, the Library draws upon other community resources in developing programs and actively partners with other community agencies, organizations, educational and cultural institutions, or individuals to develop and present co-sponsored public programs. Professional performers and presenters that reflect specialized or unique expertise may be hired for Library programs; performers and presenters will not be excluded from consideration because of their origin, background, or views, or because of possible controversy. Library staff who present programs do so as part of their regular job and are not hired as outside contractors for programming.
Library sponsorship of a program does not constitute an endorsement of the content of the program or the views expressed by participants, and program topics, speakers and resources are not excluded from programs because of possible controversy.
Programs are not used for commercial, religious, or partisan purposes or the solicitation of business.
All Library programs are open to the public. A fee may be charged for certain types of Library programs. The Library’s philosophy of open access to information and ideas extends to Library programming, and the library does not knowingly discriminate through its programming.
Registration may be required for planning purposes or when space is limited. Programs may be held on or off site.