Fort Bend County Libraries' policies are currently being edited.
The mission of Fort Bend County Libraries is to provide an environment for lifelong learning and enrichment for the entire diverse community, through responsive service and access to timely and accurate resources.
Policies and Procedures for the use of meeting rooms in the Fort Bend County Libraries have been developed in accordance with its mission and are hereby established. Responsibility for implementing the policy rests with the Administrative Secretary at George Memorial Library or with the Manager in charge of a branch library. The County Librarian retains authority for enforcing this policy.
1. General Rules
- Library activities and programs are given first priority for scheduling of meeting rooms.
- All meetings must be open to the public and to the media.
- Smoking is not permitted.
- No lighted candles or open flames may be used.
- No items may be affixed to the walls (e.g., banners, posters, decorations).
- No animals will be allowed in meeting rooms unless they are an integral part of a scheduled program or are in the service of a disabled person. Such animals must be leashed or caged at all times.
- The length of time that a meeting room is reserved must include time for setting up and for returning the room to good order.
- Groups of high school age and under must be sponsored by and their meetings attended by an adult.
2. Meeting rooms may not be used by:
- Groups whose use of a meeting room would interfere with regular library functions; or
- Groups whose activities involve more than normal wear and tear on meeting rooms; or
- Groups meeting for private and/or social activities such as showers, birthday parties, weddings, and recitals; or
- Groups that have flagrantly or repeatedly violated library meeting room policies.
3. Publicity must neither state nor imply that the library is either sponsoring or endorsing a program or meeting unless such is the case; neither shall publicity state or imply that attendance is limited to group members. (Publicity must NOT give out the library's phone number as information contact.)
4. No admission fees are allowed.
5. Applications for use of meeting rooms
- Applications for meeting-room use at George Memorial Library are to be received from and returned to the Administrative Secretary. Applications for meetings at branches are to be returned to the Branch Manager. Application forms may be returned in person, by mail, or by fax. The person responsible for making a meeting-room application will be considered the official contact person for the group.
- A completed Application for Use of Meeting Room form must be received by the Administrative Secretary or Branch Manager at least one week prior to the meeting date. Rooms may be scheduled up to three months in advance. Applications will be accepted and scheduled in the order received. In order to encourage the most-equitable use of meeting rooms, only one meeting at a time may be scheduled; following a meeting a group may schedule another, if the room is available at the desired time.
6. The library reserves the right to change or cancel reservations if an emergency occurs, or if a special library program intervenes. In such case, 48 hours notice will be given. In either case, the group may be assigned to another location, or, if no other accommodation is available, the meeting room commitment will be canceled. A guest group may postpone or cancel a scheduled meeting, but must notify the Administrative Secretary or Branch Manager at least 48 hours in advance. The meeting may be rescheduled if a room is available.
7. Choice of hours
- Meeting rooms may be used, as available, during regular library duty hours (i.e., when library staff is on duty). Evening meetings must be concluded 30 minutes prior to regular library closing time, and the room must be vacated by closing time.
- Any group that fails to vacate library premises at closing may be denied future use of meeting room.
8. Room set-up
- The number in attendance at a meeting must not exceed the seating capacity of the meeting room. Open aisles must be maintained within the seating arrangements to provide clear access to exits.
- Set-up for the meeting room (tables, chairs, etc.) is the responsibility of the group reserving the room.
9. Library-owned equipment: Use of library owned equipment must be requested at the time of application. Changes in requirements can be requested no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting and are subject to availability of the equipment. At the time of the meeting, no additional equipment may be requested, nor will library staff be available to assist with equipment. An individual, to be named by the group, must be instructed in the use of library owned equipment (e.g., audiovisual equipment) prior to the meeting by the Audiovisual Services Department or by branch library staff. Groups failing to abide by library-equipment policies may be denied future use of meeting rooms.
10. Group-owned equipment
- Groups providing their own equipment or display materials are responsible for transportation to and from the meeting rooms. Library staff should not be asked to assist.
- The library is not responsible for equipment, supplies, or other materials owned by a guest group and used in the library. The library cannot supply storage for equipment and/or materials and supplies belonging to guest groups.
11. The person reserving a room will be responsible for maintenance of order. This person must:
- Be responsible for the group's compliance with library rules and protection of library property.
- Notify the building manager when the meeting room has been cleared.
- Assure that the room is left in good order.
12. If refreshments are served, sack lunches and finger foods are suggested, but catered meals may be permitted if special arrangements are made when a room is reserved. Alcoholic beverages may not be served. Food is to be served only in the scheduled room, and group members must not carry food or drink throughout the building.
Original version Approved by Commissioners Court February 11, 1997
Revised version Approved by Commissioners Court March 8, 2005
ABOUT WI-FI ACCESS
Our WiFi network allows patrons to use their own wireless devices to connect to the Internet. Wireless networks have been installed at all Fort Bend County Libraries locations. If your computer is WiFi-compliant (either 802.11 b/g/n at Sienna or 802.11 a/b/g at all other FBCL locations), you can connect to the Internet wirelessly while at one of our libraries.
Is there a fee?
No. The library offers WiFi as an information service, free of charge to its patrons, so the service is limited to http/https for surfing the Web. The number of connections available at each location is also limited, so access is strictly on a first-come, first-served basis.
Is the network secure?
Our WiFi access is an open, public-access network. For your protection, you should always make sure that you are on a SSL-encrypted web page before sending or receiving confidential data, and you should keep your antivirus software up to date. In most cases, you can tell you are on a secure web page when you see the “https” on the address bar or a lock icon on the task bar.
What equipment do I need to access the network?
Your wireless device (laptop, PDA, Blackberry, etc.) must be equipped with a standard Internet browser (the library’s webpages are built on an Internet Explorer standard) and a WiFi-compliant (either 802.11 b/g/n at Sienna or 802.11 a/b/g at all other FBCL locations), wireless Ethernet card.
Note: The SSID is broadcast at each site. On newer laptops that have internal WiFi capability, the operating system will often alert the user to the presence of an available WiFi net-work when the computer is on. If it does not, you must enter the appropriate SSID: fbclib.
How do I connect to the network?
Make sure your WiFi software and card are properly installed, then turn on your computer. The SSID for Fort Bend County Libraries is fbclib, which is broadcast. Open your web browser, review our acceptable-use statement, and accept the terms and conditions. On the next page, you should see a gray background that says, “Connection Successful. You can now use all our network services over the wireless network.” Simply start surfing the Internet from the browser address bar. (If a security alert pops up at any time, just click the option to continue.)
My web browser did not display any pages... what's wrong?
Here are some things to check if you’re having problems.
- Make sure that data encryption (e.g., WEP and WPA) is DISABLED (or OFF).
- Make sure that any LAN connections are disabled.
- If you have Windows Vista or Windows 7 operating systems on your computer, make sure that your security settings are not blocking access to open WiFi connections.
- RESTART your computer.
- If you still have trouble, speak to a staff person at the Adult Reference Information Desk. Although we provide no support to personal computers, we will test to make sure the wireless service is functioning correctly.
All Fort Bend County Libraries locations have WiFi access.
Interlibrary loan (ILL) is a service that allows patrons of Fort Bend County Libraries to borrow from other public, academic, or special libraries throughout Texas and the United States, library materials that are not owned or circulated by our system. Fort Bend County Libraries also serves as a lender to other institutions in the United States.
Patrons using this service must have a valid unexpired Fort Bend County Libraries card that does not have fines or fees exceeding $5. The interlibrary-loan borrowing privileges of patrons with fines/fees over $5 will be suspended until sufficient payments are made to reduce the overdue balance to $5 or less. Failure to return interlibrary loan items on time or pick up items requested may result in the suspension of interlibrary-loan services for the patron.
Materials Available Through Interlibrary Loan
Fort Bend County Libraries will attempt to borrow print books, journal articles, musical scores, and microfilm not owned or circulated by our library system. Note however, that some libraries will not lend specific materials, and access to certain collections may be limited.
Each patron will be permitted to maintain a maximum of 10 active ILL requests on their library card. If a patron submits more than that number, the requests will be held until a sufficient number of items have been returned to reduce the items out to 10 or under. Electronic books, serials, and all formats of audio/visual materials are not available for borrowing through ILL. Materials restricted by the lending library as “For In-Library-Use Only” are not available through ILL. Because of copyright restrictions, Fort Bend County Libraries is limited to borrowing five (5) copies of articles from the current five (5) years of a periodical title during a calendar year. Beginning January 1 of the New Year, up to five (5) more requests can be ordered from the same title.
Interlibrary loan requests may be submitted at any Fort Bend County library in person, online, by telephone, or by email. Materials may take up to three (3) weeks to arrive after the request is made. Patrons will be notified by telephone, email, or text message when materials have arrived.
Loan Period and Renewals
The loan period and any renewals are set by the lending library and will vary by institution. To request a renewal, patrons must call Interlibrary Loan at 281-633-4721 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charges and Fees
There is no charge for requesting an ILL at Fort Bend County Libraries. However, some lending libraries may have additional charges for borrowing or photocopying materials, and that cost is the responsibility of the patron. Patrons may choose not to pay the additional charges, but must say so when making the ILL request; under this circumstance, FBCL may not be able to fill the request. Patrons will be charged $1.00 per day for overdue items and are responsible for all costs for lost or damaged materials.
As a Lender
Fort Bend County Libraries, as a lender to other institutions, will not lend any non-circulating materials or any audio/visual materials, nor will it lend popular, high-demand materials that have been published or purchased in the last six (6) months.
It is the goal of Fort Bend County Libraries (FBCL) for all patrons to expect and receive quality library service from a friendly and helpful staff. Every patron of FBCL should receive service in an atmosphere that is safe and with minimal disturbances from other patrons. In return, the staff of FBCL should be able to provide services without fear of abuse or threatening behavior from patrons.
The purpose of this policy is to provide the highest level of service and safety to library patrons, to provide a pleasant and safe environment for FBCL staff, and to protect library materials and property. This policy applies to all FBCL buildings, interior and exterior; to all grounds controlled and operated by FBCL; and to all persons of any age entering into or onto FBCL premises.
FBCL has adopted the following rules for patron rules of conduct. FBCL staff are authorized to enforce these rules and may ask a patron to leave FBCL premises for failing to comply with them. Non-compliance with these rules may lead to a request for assistance from the local police department, to legal action, or to criminal prosecution.
The following actions by any FBCL patron are not permitted:
- The violation of any federal, state, or local laws;
- Displaying or concealing guns, stun guns, tasers, knives, explosive devices, dangerous substances or materials, or other weapons;
- Any threats of violence (whether an imminent threat or a threat of future violence) and/or any action endangering library staff, patrons or others; any actions that may appear to be a danger to life or to the safety of one’s self or others, including any acts of violence or the threat or attempt to commit such crimes;
- Physical or verbal harassment, or harassment of any other kind, of patrons or staff, or other harassing behaviors such as, but not limited to, spitting, staring at or following another person, or using offensive, vulgar or abusive language or gestures. Harassment many also include any deliberate and/or repeated behavior that makes another person uncomfortable;
- Failing to wear shirts and shoes or other footwear; poor personal hygiene; bathing, washing hair, shaving, or washing clothes in library restrooms;
- Smoking and the use of tobacco products in the library or within 25 feet of public entrances;
- Eating or drinking on FBCL premises, except as part of a pre-approved program or reception;
- Disorderly conduct or disruptive behavior that interferes with the normal operation of the library or that disturbs patrons or staff, including but not limited to the following: running, horseplay, throwing books or other items, climbing on furniture or shelving, moving furniture, dialing 911, or pulling fire alarms when no emergency exists;
- Possession of alcohol, illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, or appearing to be intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs;
- Exhibitionism (indecent exposure), voyeurism (peeping), and crimes of obscenity, sexual activity, or excessive displays of affection, including any physical contact deemed inappropriate for a public setting;
- Theft and vandalism, including graffiti; FBCL reserves the right to inspect all bags, purses, briefcases, backpacks, etc., when there is a reasonable suspicion that they might contain library material that has not been properly checked out;
- Littering, loitering, selling, soliciting, panhandling, exchanging funds or fees (cash, checks, etc.) for services or products, proselytizing, or gambling;
- Loud talking, the creation of other loud noises, loud or disruptive conversations, cellular telephone use, the audible use of music or other electronic devices, constant and incessant crying, laughing or temper tantrums, and yelling or screaming;
- Refusing to comply with a request of FBCL staff;
- Entering non-public work areas or public areas that have been temporarily restricted, using library business telephones without permission, or remaining in the library after closing time;
- Refusing to return to the circulation desk when the library security gates sound an alarm;
- Bringing in shopping or other carts, bedrolls, blankets, excessively large bags or items; placing personal belongings so that they interfere with the free passage of library patrons or staff, or leaving personal belongings in the library. FBCL is not responsible for personal belongings left unattended in the library;
- Operating roller skates, in-line skates, heelys, skateboards, scooters, or other similar devices in buildings or on walkways; bringing bicycles into the library, or parking bicycles in a manner that interferes with the free passage of others;
- Polling, campaigning, or petitioning, except during elections when voting takes place at the library, and only then with prior approval by the Library Director;
- Conducting surveys, interviewing, photographing or filming on library premises without prior permission from the Library Director or the Public Information Officer;
- Bringing animals into the library, except animals trained to assist individuals with disabilities and animals allowed at a library-approved event or program;
- Sitting on tables, rocking or tilting back in chairs, or putting feet on tables or chairs;
- Sleeping, snoring, sprawling on furniture or floors as a result of sleeping;
- Violating FBCL’s Public Internet Access Policy or other library regulations.
FBCL does not act in loco parentis (in the place of a parent). A responsible adult or caregiver should accompany all children on FBCL premises. While in Fort Bend County Libraries buildings, parents and caregivers are responsible for monitoring and regulating the behavior of their children in accordance with these rules. This includes a child left at a computer, in a program, or in a department while the parent or other responsible party is in another part of the building. Disruptive children are subject to the rules listed in this policy, and may also be asked to leave the premises for any violations. (See also Unattended Children Policy.)
FBCL staff may restrict adult use of children’s or young adult areas within the library.
Any person violating these rules will be given a warning, in most cases. If violating actions continue, the patron will be asked to leave the FBCL premises. FBCL staff may, at their sole discretion and without warning, expel any patron whose violation of this policy results in situations that create a threatening atmosphere or an emergency.
The library privileges of frequent offenders of these rules may be suspended for a period of time to be determined by the Department Manager. Any patron who has been asked to leave the premises for violating this policy and who refuses to do so, or anyone whose library privileges have been suspended but who returns to the library before the suspension has expired, shall be considered to be trespassing. FBCL staff will contact the local authorities in all such cases.
Approved by Commisssioners Court February 26, 2008
The library is a public building, and as in all public places, it is not safe for young children to be left alone. Although children and adults are equally welcome at Fort Bend County Libraries (FBCL), responsibility for the safety, well-being and behavior of children while on the premises of the library rests with the parent, guardian or caregiver, and not with the library staff. Neither the library nor library staff assumes the role of a parent, known as in loco parentis, nor do they assume the role of a daycare or childcare provider.
Many materials, programs and services are offered to make the library enjoyable for children and to help them develop a love of books, reading and libraries. However, when children are left unattended at the library, any number of problems may arise. Young children may become frightened, tired, bored or disruptive. Children who are left unattended in the building may encounter potential hazards such as stairs, electrical outlets, or automatic doors, to name a few. If an unattended child has a medical emergency, the library staff cannot take legal responsibility, other than to call 911.
There may be times when the library must close due to an emergency such as a storm or power outage. In such instances, library staff will be on the alert for any child in need of assistance and will make every effort to contact a responsible adult. However, staff members are prohibited from transporting children in their vehicles. Additionally, “Stranger Danger” is a serious concern in any public setting, including the library. Library staff have no way of knowing if a child is interacting with or leaving the building with a stranger.
It is the intention of this policy to enlist the cooperation of parents and other adults responsible for children, to ensure that Fort Bend County Libraries provides a safe and pleasant experience for all who use it. To that end, Fort Bend County Libraries has adopted the following policy:
- Library staff members are not responsible for the care or supervision of children at any time.
- Children under age 12 may not be left alone or unattended in the library at any time.
- A parent, guardian or caregiver aged 14 or older must accompany a child under the age of 12 at all times, while in the library.
- The parent, guardian or caregiver is responsible for the behavior and supervision of any child under age 12 in their care while at the library and, therefore, must be in the immediate vicinity of and in visual contact with the child during the length of the library visit.
- An exception to this policy may be allowed when children attend a library program without a parent/caregiver in the room. In this situation, parents, guardians and caregivers are expected to remain in the library building and immediately reunite with the child when the child leaves the program.
- Children 12 years old and older may use the library without being accompanied by an adult. Parents, however, are still responsible for the actions and safety of their children under the age of 18. Parents who wish to limit or restrict the reading, viewing, or listening of their own children must personally oversee their children’s selections.
- All children are subject to the rules listed in the Rules of Conduct Policy. The failure of any patron, including children, to comply with FBCL policies will result in their removal from the library.
- In the event library staff becomes aware of any child under age 12 left unattended while on library premises, staff will attempt to contact the parent, guardian or caregiver. If contact cannot be made, library staff may report the situation to the police and/or the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Approved by Commisssioners Court February 26, 2008
The mission of Fort Bend County Libraries is to provide an environment for lifelong learning and enrichment for the entire, diverse community through responsive service and access to timely and accurate resources.
Fort Bend County Libraries is a public forum, where ideas and information are freely communicated, where a broad spectrum of opinion and a variety of viewpoints is presented in displays and exhibits. The existence of a particular viewpoint in a display, leaflet, or exhibit is an expression of the library's policy of intellectual freedom, not an endorsement of the particular point of view. Partisan politics and matters applying to only one faith, sect, or political viewpoint are strictly avoided in displays, exhibits, and flyers.
The responsibility for approval of exhibits, displays, and postings rests with the Library Director or appointed designee(s). In most instances, such designees will be the Public Information Officer, Department Manager at George Memorial Library, or Branch Manager at library branches.
Decisions will be based on availability of space, relationship of the material to the mission of the library, size and/or quantity. Priority is given to the library, followed by not-for-profit groups. Profit-making organizations may display materials only for the following: (1) community-service events such as fingerprinting of children; (2) events which are in support of not-for-profit organizations.
The Libraries will not act as agent for the sale of any displayed items.
Merchandising activities are permitted to library Friends groups and Staff Association.
- The designated staff member must have approved all materials posted.
- Only library-related or Friends-related items will be displayed on specified bulletin boards near circulation desks at George Memorial Library and some branches.
- Notices of meetings, not-for-profit sales, and cultural activities may be posted on other bulletin boards, space permitting, with the following exceptions:
- political materials promoting the candidacy of a particular person or persons or a particular political issue;
- materials of profit-making groups or individuals advertising products or services for sale (except for posters used to promote the use of libraries and/or library materials).
- Posters and notices should not be submitted more than 30 days before an event; they will be removed after the event. Notices for ongoing events will be displayed for no longer than 90 days.
- Items no larger than 8 1/2 " x 14" are preferred. Larger notices will be accepted on a space-available basis.
Fort Bend County Libraries offers test proctoring to the public at no charge, by appointment only. While staff may proctor several tests for an individual during the year, each test must be scheduled individually. Library staff may not be able to meet all requests for proctoring dates and times, and no guarantee or promise is either given or implied. Fort Bend County Libraries reserves the right to deny any request that does not meet the requirements stated in this policy or that interferes with the day-to-day operations of the library. Tests not taken by the expiration date will be returned to the institution if a postage paid envelope is provided; otherwise, they will be shredded. Any extension for taking the test after the expiration date must be granted by the institution, not by the library. Library staff must receive official notification that an extension has been granted.
The library will proctor written, electronic, open-book or closed-book tests. It is the student’s responsibility to assure that tests are delivered to the library. Students must call at least one week in advance to schedule the date and time of the test, and must allow sufficient time for the test to be mailed back to the institution before the deadline. Students are responsible for supplying all materials necessary to complete the test, including pens and pencils, and they are responsible for any charges or fees incidental to completing the test. These materials/fees may include, but are not limited to, postage, envelopes, sending or receiving facsimiles, and/or printing costs. All tests must be completed 30 minutes before the library closes. The library staff will not extend library hours for a student who has not completed testing. The use of cell phones or visiting with other patrons while a test is being proctored will not be permitted. Young children may not be left unattended in the library while a student completes a test. Library staff will not assume responsibility for young students who are having a test proctored. A picture ID must be presented prior to taking all tests. Some institutions may require a photocopy of the ID.
Students will have a 15-minute grace period after a scheduled appointment, to arrive at the library and take the test. After that grace period, study rooms and computers will be released to other patrons. Individuals who repeatedly miss appointments for testing may lose their use of the library’s proctoring service. Unless requested and agreed to in advance, the librarian who proctors the test will be the librarian on duty—not necessarily the librarian who scheduled the appointment. Proctors will not monitor a student continuously during a test, but will check periodically to assure requirements are met.
Library staff will not copy tests for students, nor will the staff grade or review tests. All proctored tests in electronic format must be taken on the library’s computers. Staff will not proctor an exam taken on a personal laptop. Fort Bend County Libraries will not allow the installation of any software that may be needed to complete tests on a library computer. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that test-taking requirements can be met on the library’s computers as the computers are currently configured. The library will not be responsible for completed tests after they are mailed or otherwise submitted back to the institution.