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.
Library service is rendered on a strictly impartial basis to all individuals and groups in the community. The first duty of the library staff is service to the public. Each person is entitled to the same friendly and prompt service. To assure that books and other library materials are provided to meet the needs and interest of all people in the community, the O'Fallon Public Library Board has reaffirmed its belief in the Library Bill of Rights (see Appendix for text).
This selection policy defines the standards and outlines the responsibility for materials selection for the O’Fallon Public Library. Within these guidelines, the librarians use their professional judgment to determine the materials which best meet the objectives of the Library and the needs of its patrons.
The general objectives in materials selection are to carry out the Library's goals of providing the community with a variety of significant media to meet their informational, educational, and recreational needs.
Because it is impossible for librarians to examine all items being considered for purchase, they depend on reliable selection aids. The librarians regularly depend on the reviews found in standard sources. Other selection aids, such as “Notable Book” lists chosen by the American Library Association, National Book Awards lists, Pulitzer Prize lists, and published lists of bestsellers may also be used as required.
The general criteria considered in selecting materials include:
1) significance and permanent value to the existing collection,
2) qualifications of author or producer,
3) suitability of subject and style for intended audience,
4) quality of format,
5) currency or timeliness, if applicable,
6) demand by patrons,
8) attention given to the item by reviewers and general news media,
9) availability of materials in other libraries, and
10) technical quality of non-book materials. In selection, consideration will be given to the work as a whole. No work shall be excluded because of specific passages or pieces taken out of context.
Non-fiction titles will be selected for the development of an informed citizenry, for the working citizen, for the intellectually curious, and for the purposeful reader of all ages. In evaluation of non-fiction, the scope of the work, the existing collection on the subject, the possible users, and the date of publication will be considered, as well as the author's qualifications and reputation, source material, accuracy and point of view, literary style and format. Demonstrated patron demand is an essential consideration.
Fiction titles will be selected to represent the wide range of interests of the general reading public, including classics, titles representing periods and styles of writing, current titles of a lasting nature, and those titles meeting popular demand for recreational reading. Serious works which present an honest picture of some problems or some aspects of life are included in spite of coarse language or frankness of presentation.
Items of interest concerning O'Fallon and St. Clair County history may be purchased regardless of format or literary merit.
Materials for the reference collection will be selected on the same basis as other non-fiction.
Fiction paperbacks are selected based upon demand and because some titles are available only in paperback. It may be more economical to purchase some reference materials in paperback, especially if the information contained therein is quickly superseded.
Audio-book selection will be based upon the same criteria as for the print collection. Music CDs, DVDs, and other non-print items will be purchased to satisfy recreational, cultural, and educational needs of the public.
Suggestions for materials to be purchased are always welcome from any library staff member or patron. Patrons are encouraged to make suggestions by completing an online purchase request or contacting circulation staff. All requests are given serious consideration, and the patron will be informed of the Library's decision. An attempt will be made to borrow through interlibrary loan any requested item which is out of print, or that the Library determines does not meet the criteria for purchase.
The Youth Services department of the library, which serves pre-school through eighth grade, will select materials on the same basis as that of adult materials. Young adult materials, intended for readers from ninth grade through high school, will be selected on the same basis as that of adult materials.
The responsibility for selection rests with the Director, Youth Services Librarian and Reference Librarian with the approval of the Board.
In accepting a gift of materials, the library reserves the privilege of deciding if items donated should be added to the collection. Out of the many books and other materials which citizens so generously give, a considerable proportion can be used. Some cannot because any library material, though of value in itself, may be:
1. A duplicate of an item of which the library already has a sufficient number.
2. Outdated, interesting but not of sufficient present reference or circulating value to the library.
3. In poor condition, which would not justify the expense of processing it, i.e. cataloging and preparing it for circulation.
The material will be judged by the same standards of selection as those applied to the purchase of new materials. The O’Fallon Public Library accepts gift books with the understanding that books which are useful to the library collection will be retained, and other books disposed of in whatever manner the librarian deems best. The library necessarily reserves the right to interfile gifts with other collections on the same subject so that all collections are organized and classified according to library standards for the best public service.
Regular weeding of the collection will be carried on by the staff to assure a fresh, lively collection. Date of publication, usefulness, circulation record and physical condition of the material will be considered in the weeding process. Weeded items may be placed in the Friends of the Library annual sale.
The library recognizes that many book selections are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Selections will not be made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the work in relation to building the collection and serving the interest of the readers. Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents, and no catalogued book or other item will be sequestered due to the above. Although it is occasionally necessary to restrict access to certain materials to prevent theft or mutilation, this library will not segregate materials on the basis of controversial subject matters. Responsibility for children's choices of library materials rests with their parents or legal guardians. No patron shall be denied access to any of the collection based on the age of the patron.
The O’Fallon Public Library is grateful for gifts, and its collection has been enriched by donations of materials as well as contributions. Through donors, the library has been able to acquire materials which could not have otherwise been obtained. The library staff can supply, upon request, a list of needed materials for consideration by the donor.
The library welcomes monetary contributions specifically for book purchases in memorial to or honor of named individuals. In order that the library can properly honor the generosity, a special form to record the information is used and should be completed.
Although such gifts are usually welcomed and valued, final decision on their acceptance rests with the Library Director and the Library Board of Trustees.
The library welcomes cash contributions, gifts of real property, stocks and bonds. It is our custom to expend cash gifts on materials, equipment, or a project which is acceptable to the donor. Although it is unlikely, there may be an occasion in which the restriction set by the donor makes it impossible for the library to accept the contribution. All donations are subject to the approval of the Library Director with the backing of the Library Board of Trustees.
For memorial books to the library, the library may place within the book the name of the donor, if desired.
All gifts are accepted with the understanding that it may someday be necessary that they be sold or disposed of in the best interest of the library. The library cannot commit itself to perpetually housing a donation.
The library cannot appraise the value of a donation of materials or art. It will, however, issue the donor a letter acknowledging the donation. It is the donor’s decision to determine the value of the donation or utilize an independent appraiser. While the gifts to the library as a governmental unit qualify as tax deductible, the donor will have to consider the particular circumstances of the situation for the specific effect.
No donation can be accepted unless it is given to the library without restrictions, unless the Library Board of Trustees has specifically adopted an agreement to do so. All gifts may be used, sold or disposed of in the best interest of the library. All donations are accepted only if, in the opinion of the Library Director and the Library Board of Trustees, they are in the best interest of the library.