Fort Bend County Libraries' policies are currently being edited.
The policy statements contained herein are approved by the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court in order to ensure that the Fort Bend County Libraries Circulation Policy and Procedures are applied consistently throughout the library system. The policy provides guidance to all library staff in implementing the circulation of library materials on behalf of the Commissioners Court. Ultimate responsibility for circulation in Fort Bend County Libraries (FBCL) lies with the County Librarian, who is responsible for operating within the policies and procedures approved by the Commissioners Court.
The mission of FBCL is to bring people, information, and ideas together to enrich lives, expand minds, and strengthen our diverse community.
In order to provide for the efficient and equitable circulation of materials, FBCL sets the following policy and procedures for patrons and staff. FBCL reserves the right to modify policies and procedures at any time.
II. CONFIDENTIALITY OF PATRON RECORDS
A. It is the policy of Fort Bend County Libraries and state law, Texas Government Code Chapter 552. Public Information, Sec. 552.124 (exception: Confidentiality of Records of Library or Library System) that all circulation records, identifying the names of library users and their transactions with FBCL, remain confidential. These records include, but are not limited to, the following: personal names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses; items in circulation, reserved, and/or previously consulted; library accounts denoting outstanding fines, fees, and items lost or damaged; computer-use records; database-searching records; interlibrary loan requests; and reference requests. All FBCL staff must protect each user’s right to privacy regarding materials used and information sought.
B. Release of account information to the cardholder in person—Library cardholders may present their library card or their valid government-issued photo ID in order to verify items checked out or fines and fees owed on the account. The library card barcode number cannot be released to patrons inquiring by telephone or email. A patron may receive their library card barcode number upon presentation of their valid government-issued photo ID in person only.
- Information about an Adult card account will be released to a person other than the cardholder, only if the person is named as an Agent on the account upon presentation of the library card or that person’s own valid government-issued photo ID. No information can be released to anyone who is not named as an Agent.
- FBCL makes a distinction between a direct, specific request for information regarding a borrower’s account (e.g., address and date of birth) and a situation in which one person checks out items using another borrower’s card or retrieves a held item for them.
- Information about a Juvenile card or account will be released to a person, other than the cardholder, who is named as a Parent/Guardian/Agent upon presentation of the library card or that person’s own valid government-issued photo ID. No information can be released to anyone who is not a named Parent/Guardian/Agent. Only the authorizing Parent(s)/Guardian(s) may add other names to the Juvenile’s account; this must be done in person and may occur at a later date.
C. Only the library cardholder may reset a password in person and must provide their valid government-issued photo ID with proof of current residence address if not shown on the ID.
D. A library cardholder requesting to reset their password by email or telephone must provide the cardholder’s name, library barcode number, and date of birth in order to have the request completed. Without this information, no further action can be taken.
E. Patrons may also change this information online at www.fortbend.lib.tx.us by accessing their account using their library barcode number and password.
F. Changing an address must be done in person at any branch library by showing a valid government-issued photo ID with proof of current residence if not shown on the ID.
G. Patrons may request that library materials be renewed when contacting FBCL by email or telephone. If unable to provide their library card number, only the renewal due date will be disclosed. No titles checked out or further information about the account will be given. Patrons without a library barcode number or their valid government-issued photo ID, appearing in person at a branch, may ask that items be renewed but will not be given any information except the new date due.
III. A BORROWER’S RESPONSIBILITY
A. By signing the library card application, an Adult or a Juvenile’s Parent(s)/Guardian(s) accept(s) full responsibility for the use and return of all library materials borrowed under the account. As a borrower, the Adult (or a Juvenile’s Parent(s)/Guardian(s) whose signature is on the application) will be charged fines and fees by Fort Bend County Libraries for any items that are turned in or renewed after their date due, damaged during their use by the cardholder, returned with missing pieces, or lost.
B. A valid library card is one that has not expired and has no more than the maximum allowed in accrued fines or fees (see attached fee schedule). Patrons with an expired library card must renew their card before checking out materials:
- To check out materials, patrons who owe more than the maximum allowed must renew their card and pay their accrued fines or fees so that the amount is below the maximum allowed.
- Patrons who owe more than the maximum allowed, or who have an expired card, may continue to use public computers in a branch. Some online services may be restricted.
C. A patron should protect their library card as they would protect a credit card in order to prevent any misuse of the library card. If a library card is lost or stolen, the library cardholder must promptly inform FBCL in person, by email, or other written communication so that unauthorized use of the card may be prevented. “Lost Library Card” forms are available online and at each branch location. The library card account will be blocked from use upon receipt of such written communication by library staff.
The Adult cardholder or a Juvenile cardholder’s Parent(s)/Guardian(s) is/are responsible for all fines and fees charged to the account up to the day that the library card is reported lost or stolen. The fee to replace a lost or stolen library card is $2.00 for a full-service card and $1.00 for an e-Card.
D. Disputed claims of fines and fees charged to the account on a stolen library card are to be supported by a police report of the theft, which must be filed within 30 days of the theft. FBCL must have a record of such a report.
E. Fort Bend County Libraries reserves the right to deny or limit borrowing privileges to anyone who repeatedly violates FBCL’s Circulation Policy and Procedures and fails to take appropriate measures for fines or fees and lost or damaged library materials.
IV. LIBRARY CARD TYPE / BORROWER TYPE
A. Full-Service Library Card
1. Adults age 18 or older
Permanent residents of Texas who meet the following requirements are eligible to receive a free full-service library card, which is valid for two years. Only one card is allowed per individual. To apply for a full-service library card, adults will fill out an application at any FBCL branch library and present their valid government-issued photo ID with proof of current residence address if not shown on the photo ID. Digital images of an ID are not accepted.
Adult patrons and the Parent(s)/Guardians of Juvenile patrons are required to provide the following information in order to obtain a full-service library card to check out library materials from a FBCL branch library. Patrons who cannot (or who refuse to) provide this information will not receive a full-service library card. Patrons who cannot (or who refuse to) provide this information for a full-service library card may prefer an e-Card.
Library patrons may use many of FBCL’s resources without a card while in a library branch.
a. The following information is required on the application:
i. Legal name shown on the valid government-issued photo ID
ii. Current residence address with printed proof of address, if not shown on the ID
iii. A PO Box or a Postal Mail Box from a commercial vendor cannot be used as the only form of address, but may be shown in addition to the current residence address
iv. Telephone or cell-phone number and the name of the service provider
v. Email address if available
vi. Choice of library notification
viii. Date of birth
b. Acceptable valid (not digital) forms of photo ID with an expiration date:
i. Texas or another state’s driver license
ii. Texas ID card
iv. U.S. Military ID
v. International Driver License
vi. Resident Alien Card (Green Card)
c. Acceptable printed proof of current residence address, if not shown on the valid government-issued photo ID, must show the applicant’s name and may be:
i. Imprinted bank check, deposit slip, or bank statement
ii. Utility deposit receipt or current utility bill
iii. A valid Texas Voter Registration card, Texas Vehicle registration, Texas Proof of Automobile Insurance Card
iv. Rental/Lease Agreement, Home Purchase documents
v. Official mail sent to the address on the application and postmarked within the last 30 days
vi. Peace Officer’s official address (Texas Statutes, Texas Transportation Code. Sec. 521.1211)
vii. Driver License for Peace Officers and Prosecutors
2. Juveniles age 17 and younger
Permanent residents of Texas are eligible to apply for a free library card. This includes juveniles age 17 and younger. The child must be present in the library at the time of application and must also be accompanied by their Parent(s)/Guardian(s) in order to receive a Juvenile library card, which is valid for two (2) years. Parents/Guardians may obtain library cards for their child/children if each child is present.
The Parent(s)/Guardian(s) must fill out and sign the application and provide their valid government-issued photo ID with proof of current residence address if not shown on the ID. Acceptable forms of ID and proof of current residence address are the same as those listed for ADULTS AGE 18 OR OLDER (Section IV, Part A). Digital images are not accepted. Electronic devices may not be checked out using a Juvenile card.
By signing the Juvenile Library Card Application, Parents/Guardians -- and only Parents/Guardians -- acknowledge their responsibility for monitoring the child’s use of FBCL resources. This includes use of the internet and other library materials in any branch library, as well as any materials that the child chooses to check out on their library card. FBCL does not act In Loco Parentis (in the place of the parents). Parents/Guardians are financially responsible for all fines and fees incurred on the child’s card.
On the application, the Parent(s)/Guardian(s) may list other adult(s) who may also have access to information about this account. If another Parent/Guardian/Agent is not named on the account at the time of application, no information about the child’s account can be released to any other person until the authorizing Parent(s)/Guardian(s) applicant(s) on the library account adds more names and shows their valid government-issued photo ID with proof of current residence address if not shown on the ID.
A named Parent/Guardian/Agent may then have access to information concerning the child’s library card by showing their own valid government-issued photo ID.
This card is available for patrons who do not want a full-service card, but want to use library public computers, copiers, or online resources to read eBooks and/or eMagazines, or access information databases. Photo ID is not required, but is recommended to be shown; an email address allows notification of the card’s expiration. An e-Card expires after two (2) years. It may not be used to check out physical materials from the library. Adults and Juveniles may apply for an e-Card if they do not already have an existing full-service library card account. A patron may not have more than one individual library card account. Out-of-state residents do not have to pay an out-of-state fee to apply for an e-Card.
Patrons who do not have their e-Card number can retrieve it by providing their name, address, and birthdate to verify information and receive their e-Card number and reset their password on the account.
C. Applicants residing in group homes (including Juvenile Foster Homes)
Applicants who reside in a group home may obtain a temporary Fort Bend County library card. Juvenile and some adult group home applicants, who are not living independently, must be accompanied by an authorized representative of the group home. A letter on organization letterhead, stating that the individual is a resident of the group home, must be provided to FBCL by an authorized representative of the group home or by the adult applicant if they are living independently. Foster child applicants must be accompanied by their Foster Parent(s)/Guardian(s) who may indicate this status without providing a letter.
Library cards given to residents of group homes are valid for one (1) month, and the borrowing privileges are limited to a total of three (3) items checked out at any time. In order to renew the library card, proof of residence must again be verified by a representative of the facility or foster home or by a letter from the group home.
The group home or Foster Parent(s)/Guardian(s) is/are responsible for all items checked out and for all fines/fees on the library card. Electronic devices may not be checked out using this card.
D. Applicants residing in shelters
Applicants who reside in a shelter may obtain a temporary Fort Bend County library card. The individual is to bring a letter on the shelter’s letterhead stating they are a resident of that shelter. These library cards are valid for one (1) month. Borrowing privileges are limited to a total of three items checked out at any time. In order to renew the library card, proof of residence at the facility must be verified. The cardholder must bring in a letter from the shelter stating that they still reside in the shelter. The individual is responsible for all items checked out and for all fines/fees on the library card. Electronic devices may not be checked out using this card.
E. Individuals who are homebound
Homebound applicants may obtain a Fort Bend County library card by contacting a branch via telephone, through an email request, or by sending a family member or Agent in person to receive a paper application to fill out and return. The application will allow the applicant to designate an authorized Agent to check out library materials on their behalf. The authorized Agent then returns the completed application to the library in person and presents the applicant’s own valid government-issued photo ID with proof of the applicant’s address if not shown on the ID and their (the Agent’s) own government-issued photo ID. The issued library card is valid for two (2) years and has some of the same borrowing privileges and responsibilities as a full-service card. To renew the card, the authorized agent must come in and repeat this process. The authorized agent must present the applicant’s card or their own government-issued photo ID each time that items are checked out. The applicant may change or add additional authorized agent(s) at any time by notifying FBCL in writing of this change. The homebound patron is responsible for the return of borrowed library materials and for any fines or fees that may occur. Electronic devices may not be checked out using this card.
F. Cards for corporations, businesses, outreach sites, and other organizations in Fort Bend County
The library card will be issued in the name of the corporation, business, outreach site, or organization. One employee will be designated to use the library card. The designated employee may be changed at any time, upon presentation of a new letter from the corporation, business, outreach site, or organization. The corporation, business, outreach site, or organization is responsible for all items borrowed and for any charges for overdue items and missing, damaged, or lost library materials. The designated employee must apply in person and must have a letter from its administrative offices on letterhead, stating that they are the borrower for that library card. The designated employee must also show their valid government-issued photo ID when the library card is issued and again at renewal. Only one (1) Fort Bend County Libraries card will be issued. The library card must be renewed annually by following the above process again.
G. Applicants who reside out-of-state
Out-of-state residents may obtain a temporary full-service Fort Bend County library card for six (6) months upon paying a fee (see attached fee schedule). Application must be made in person by providing a valid government-issued photo ID and printed proof of a current residence. Non-resident library cardholders are subject to the same responsibilities and some of the same privileges as residents of Texas. Electronic devices may not be checked out using this card.
Out-of-state residents do not have to pay an out-of-state fee to apply for an e-Card.
H. TEXSHARE CARDS
FBCL is a participant in a cooperative program, TexShare, instituted by the State of Texas to improve library service to Texas residents. Fort Bend County Libraries issues TexShare cards only to residents of Fort Bend County who are 18 years or older. The TexShare cards allow residents to use all academic and public libraries in Texas that are participants in the TexShare program. Each participating library has their own rules for users of the card.
1. FBCL cardholders who live in Fort Bend County
To obtain a TexShare card, a Fort Bend County resident must be a FBCL registered cardholder for six (6) months, in good standing, without overdue items, fines, or fees over the allowed limit, and without items in Claims Returned status. The patron must present their valid government-issued photo ID with proof of current residence address, if not shown on the ID.
2. FBCL cardholders who do NOT live in Fort Bend County
FBCL cardholders who do not reside in Fort Bend County must obtain a TexShare card from the library located in the county or city in which they reside.
3. TexShare cardholders with permanent Texas residence
As a participating member in the TexShare program, FBCL will issue a Fort Bend County library card to an individual who presents a valid TexShare card that was issued from another participating Texas library. If the person presenting the TexShare card is a Texas resident, they will be asked to present their valid government-issued photo ID with proof of current residence, if not shown on the ID. They will be issued a full-service Fort Bend County library card.
4. TexShare cardholders without permanent Texas residence
If the person presenting the TexShare card is not a Texas resident—for example, is a college student from another state—they will be issued a Fort Bend County library card that is valid for one (1) year and is limited to ten (10) items checked out at any time. The individual must present a valid government-issued photo ID with proof of current residence, if not shown on the ID, before receiving a FBCL full-service card; there is no out-of-state charge for a FBCL full-service card for TexShare cardholders meeting these criteria.
V. RENEWAL AND/OR REPLACEMENT OF LIBRARY CARDS
A. Renewal of library cards
The standard registration period for library cards is two (2) years, but the period may vary according to the card type or borrower type. Renewals must be made in person by presenting a valid government-issued photo ID with printed proof of current residence if not shown on the ID. Juvenile library cards may be renewed by the child’s Parent(s)/Guardian(s) upon presentation of a valid government-issued photo ID with printed proof of current residence if not shown on the ID.
B. Replacement of lost or stolen library cards
Lost or stolen library cards must be reported as described in Section III, Part C.
VI. UPDATING LIBRARY CARD INFORMATION
A. Change of status at age 18
Patrons updating a library card upon turning 18, or at the next renewal of their library card, may be issued a new card, even if fines/fees have accrued on the previous card while the cardholder was a Juvenile library cardholder. The issuance of a new card allows the 18-year-old to have a clear history on their new library account. A valid government-issued photo ID, with printed proof of current residence address if not shown on the ID, must be presented to obtain the new card. The fines/fees due on the original card remain the responsibility of the Parent(s)/Guardian(s) who is/are listed on that Juvenile patron record. If an 18-year-old wants to pay the fines/fees accrued on the earlier account, they may do so, although it is not required.
B. Name changes
If a patron changes their name, they must update their patron record. An adult must bring in a valid government-issued photo ID (which may reflect the name change) with proof of current residence address, if not shown on the ID. If the new name does not appear on the ID, then a document that shows their new name, such as a bank statement, a utility bill, or other proof of the name change, must be provided. For children under the age of 18, the Parent(s/Guardian(s) listed on the account must update the account in person and present their valid government-issued photo ID with proof of current residence address. Upon the Parent(s)/Guardian(s) declaration that the child’s name has been changed, library staff will update the child’s library record.
C. Change of address
To make an address change on their library record, a patron must be present in the library and have a valid government-issued photo ID with proof of current residence address, if not shown on the ID. If the adult(s) is/are listed as Parent(s)/Guardian(s)on any other accounts, they may make changes on their child’s/children’s library records at the same time.
D. Change of telephone number or email address
To update a telephone/cell-phone number or email address in person, a patron may come to the library and present their library card and a valid government-issued photo ID with proof of current residence address, if not shown on the photo ID. To update by email or telephone, a patron must provide the correct name, library card barcode number, and date of birth on the library account.
Patrons may also update their telephone/cell-phone number or email address themselves online by accessing the Login/My Account tab at www.fortbend.lib.tx.us.
VII. BORROWING LIBRARY MATERIALS
A. How to check out library materials
With a FBCL full-service library card, or a valid government-issued photo ID with proof of current residence (if not shown on the ID), library materials may be checked out. Only Fort Bend County residents, age 18 and older, who have a FBCL full-service card may check out electronic devices; electronic devices must be checked out at a Circulation Desk.
Patrons may use their FBCL full-service library card at a self-check machine in many branch locations. Without a FBCL full-service library card, a patron must check out at a Circulation Desk.
Patrons may give their FBCL full-service library card to another family member or another designated individual who may check out items for them, but the cardholder remains responsible for all items checked out on the library card unless it is reported stolen or lost as described in Section III, Part C.
B. Number of items that may be borrowed
A limit of 50 items may be checked out on one card at any time in order to provide fair and equitable access to library materials for all Fort Bend County Libraries patrons.
Most library materials may be checked out for three (3) weeks (21 days) and may be renewed once for three (3) more weeks, if the item is not requested by another patron.
C. Items with different loan limits and/or loan periods
- Juvenile Story Kits and Toy Kits are limited to three (3) of each per library card and may be borrowed for three (3) weeks (21 days). They may be renewed for another three (3) weeks if the item is not requested by another patron.
- Electronic Devices (Launchpads and Mobile Hotspots)
These devices are a limited resource available to be checked out only by Adult cardholders over the age of 18 who are residents of Fort Bend County. The borrower must present their own FBCL library card without fines or fees owed and no unresolved Claims Returned items on their account. A valid Texas Driver License with proof of current residence, if not shown on the ID, must also be presented. Loan periods for these items are for seven (7) days, and no renewals are allowed. Overdue fines accrue at the rate of $5.00 per day up to a maximum of $25.00. Hold requests for these devices are not permitted. Each device must be returned in person to the library from which the device was borrowed, either to Circulation Desk staff or in a book drop. Devices returned by mail or delivery service, or to the wrong branch, will have fees of $5.00 added to the borrower’s account.
- Laptops are available to check out for in-house use in a few branch libraries. Check our website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us) for further information.
- Interlibrary Loans must be picked up from and returned at a Circulation Desk.
D. Checking out items
FBCL staff at a Circulation Desk will examine each library item for inclusion of all pieces and for any damage before it is checked out. If an item is excessively worn or in any way damaged, it will not be checked out.
Patrons are also responsible for inspection of all materials at checkout from a Circulation Desk or self-check machine before leaving the library and for notifying staff of the item’s condition.
FBCL believes that patrons have the right to expect materials that are – within reason – clean and in good condition. Staff and patrons must help ensure this standard.
E. Date-due information
Library patrons have multiple options to check date-due information on their account. Patrons are responsible for monitoring their accounts and may do so online at www.fortbend.lib.tx.us to review dates due and renew the items when possible. Patrons should retain their check-out receipts. Patrons should not wait to renew on the date due of their item(s) in the event that an item cannot be renewed.
Choices for monitoring the date-due information in a library account, using your library card barcode and password, include:
- In-person at a Circulation Desk at any branch;
- At a branch self-check machine;
- Via the automated Telephone Renewal service at 281-341-2686;
- By calling George Memorial Library at 281-342-4455 or your local branch library during library business hours. Without the library card barcode number, access to account information is very limited in order to ensure the confidentiality of patron records.
VIII. RETURNING BORROWED MATERIALS
A. How to return borrowed items
Patrons may return some items – but not all – through outdoor book drops accessible 24 hours a day and indoor book drops accessible during library business hours at all FBCL branch locations. During business hours, FBCL staff at each branch’s Circulation Desk will also accept a patron’s returned items. Patrons may ask for and receive a check-in receipt with a list of the items cleared from their account on this visit.
Electronic devices (Launchpad and Mobile Hotspot) may be returned to Circulation Desk staff or a book drop at the branch from which the device was borrowed. Electronic devices returned to another branch will have a fine charged to the last borrower’s account.
Interlibrary Loan materials must be returned to Circulation Desk staff at any branch; they may NOT be returned in a book drop.
All items returned to the library are checked for all pieces and damage before the item(s) is/are cleared completely from the last borrower’s library account. FBCL Circulation Desk staff will contact the last borrower if the item(s) is/are damaged beyond normal use or if there are missing pieces.
B. Fines and fees
Fines are defined as charges for overdue materials. Fees are defined as charges for lost/damaged materials or for missing pieces. As a courtesy, FBCL will notify a cardholder of overdue item(s) on their account. Patrons who share their email or text-message contact information with FBCL will receive a reminder notice three (3) days before the item(s) is/are due. Library notification systems will attempt to contact the cardholder through an automated phone service, by email, or by text message. If the item(s) is/are not returned within the designated borrowing period, applicable fines will be assessed to the cardholder’s account. Fines are also assessed if an item is renewed after its due date.
Failure of the cardholder to receive any phone calls, email notices, text messages, or library mailers for any reason does not eliminate the library cardholder’s responsibility for all fines and fees accrued to their account. Phone service, emails, and text-service providers are outside the control of FBCL. Therefore, FBCL does not guarantee the delivery of phone messages, emails, or text notifications. Library patrons are responsible for checking their account to ensure that library materials are returned by their due date.
C. Lost or damaged materials
The Adult library cardholder is responsible for all fines and fees on their library card account. A Juvenile library cardholder’s Parent(s)/Guardian(s) is/are responsible for all fines and fees on their child’s library card account.
Charges for overdue items accrue at a set rate per day per item (see attached fee schedule.) Library materials that are lost or damaged are the responsibility of the cardholder. A fee for the replacement cost of the item and a processing fee will be assessed (see attached fee schedule).
FBCL may accept replacement items in lieu of payment for lost or damaged print materials with prior approval of a Collection Development Coordinator. Items must meet strict criteria and will not be accepted without prior approval. A processing fee will still be assessed even if the item is replaced (see attached fee schedule).
Borrowing privileges are suspended until the lost/damaged matter is resolved and the library record is clear.
Overdue fines are not charged when a patron pays for a lost item; however, overdue fines are charged if the lost item is found before the lost fee is paid or if found and returned before one (1) year from the date of being set to lost. (see the attached fee schedule for the maximum overdue fine).
Fees for items with missing pieces will be waived upon return of the pieces within one (1) year. If not returned in this time, the replacement cost of the item will remain on the account.
D. Who may pay
Anyone, including the cardholder, can settle unpaid fines or fees on a library card account. For reasons of patron confidentiality, details about fines or fees will not be given (except for the amount due) unless the payer is named as a Parent/Guardian/Agent on the cardholder’s account; the payer will not be issued a receipt for payment.
The Adult library cardholder, or a named Agent on the account, receives information and receipt for payment.
The Juvenile library cardholder, or a named Parent/Guardian on a Juvenile account, receives information and receipt for payment.
E. Refunds and credits
Lost or damaged library materials are the responsibility of the last patron who checked them out. That patron is responsible for the full cost of the item and for a processing fee (see attached fee schedule).
FBCL does not accept the return of lost items, paid or unpaid, more than one (1) year beyond their lost date.
Refunds (for the full cost of the item, but not the processing fee) may be issued up to six (6) months from the “Date of Payment” for Lost and Paid for items. The lost item must be returned in good condition with the library-issued FBCL Official Receipt. A refund can only be issued with an FBCL Official Receipt, or if a record of payment in full is in the patron’s account in the Library Transaction Summary database.
Exception: Payment fees for lost electronic devices, missing audio-visual items, CDs, or juvenile kit parts are non-refundable.
F. Claims Returned items
“Claims Returned” is a process by which a patron may attempt to resolve a claim that overdue items have been returned to the library. Items that were set to “Lost” over one (1) year from the original date due may not be placed into “Claims Returned.”
A patron may request to have one (1) or more items (up to nine (9) items maximum) placed into “Claims Returned” at one (1) time. In order to prevent patrons from repeatedly placing items into “Claims Returned,” additional library materials may not be placed into “Claims Returned” until the item(s) in the first “Claims Returned” have been resolved.
Once an item is changed to “Claims Returned,” every branch location will search for the item on a monthly basis for six (6) months. The patron will also be asked to continue to search for the item. If the “Claims Returned” item is found by library staff, it will be checked in and the patron’s account will be cleared without fines or fees owed.
If the “Claims Returned” item is found and returned by the patron, overdue fines will be assessed to the library card account, not to exceed the maximum overdue fine (see attached fee schedule).
If six (6) months pass and the item is still in “Claims Returned,” it will be declared “Lost” and applicable charges will be assessed with the patron being responsible for the assessed charges.
IX. HOLDS ON LIBRARY MATERIALS
Patrons may request that an item(s) be placed on hold to be picked up at the branch of their choice. Patrons may have no more than 10 holds on materials in the library system at any one (1) time in order to ensure equitable distribution of high-demand materials. Library materials that are on hold in a branch may be retrieved and checked out by the patron who placed the hold, by a Parent/Guardian/Agent, or a Holds Pick-up person who is/are named on the cardholder’s account.
X. INTERLIBRARY LOANS
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 FBCL. FBCL also serves as a lender to other institutions in the United States.
Patrons using this service must have a valid, unexpired FBCL card that does not have fines or fees exceeding $5.00. The interlibrary loan borrowing privileges of patrons with fines/fees exceeding $5.00 will be suspended until sufficient payments are made to reduce the balance to $5.00 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.
B. Material Available Through Interlibrary Loan
FBCL will attempt to borrow print books, journal articles, musical scores, and microfilm not owned or circulated by FBCL. Note however, that some libraries will not lend specific materials, and access to certain collections may be limited. Non-circulating reference materials will not be requested.
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 less. Electronic books, serials, and all formats of audiovisual 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, FBCL 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 periodical title.
D. Submitting Requests
Interlibrary loan requests may be submitted at any Fort Bend County library in person, online, by telephone, or by email. Materials may take three (3) weeks or more to arrive after the request is made. Patrons will be notified by telephone, email, or text message when materials have arrived.
E. 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 FBCL Interlibrary Loan Department at (281) 633-4719 or email to ILLsystem@fortbend.lib.tx.us.
F. Charges and Fees
There is no charge for requesting an ILL at FBCL. 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 up to a maximum of $5.00 per item. Patrons are responsible for all costs for lost or damaged ILL materials.
ILL items must be checked out from a Circulation Desk and must be returned to a Circulation Desk.
G. As a Lender
Fort Bend County Libraries, as a lender to other institutions, will not lend any non-circulating materials or any audiovisual materials, nor will it lend popular, high-demand materials that have been published or purchased in the last six (6) months.
Approved by Fort Bend County Commissioners Court November 7, 2006
Revised version approved by Fort Bend County Commissioners Court January 24, 2023
Download Printable Policy Here
FORT BEND COUNTY LIBRARIES FEE SCHEDULE 2022-2023
Overdue fees for Books, CDs, DVDs, Books on CD
$ 0.10 per day per item up to
Overdue fees for Launchpads, Mobile Hotspots, Nooks
$5.00 per day per item up to a maximum of $25.00
Accrued fee limit in order to check out items
Library card replacement
Damaged or Lost item
Replacement cost of item + processing fee
Out of state resident library card
Insufficient funds/return check fee
Book on CD replacement disc
Damaged/lost item barcode
DVD or Music CD Case
Book on CD case
Jacket cover (DVD, Music CD, Book on CD
$3.00 (includes barcode)
Back jacket cover for above
Story kit puppets
Story kit book
Black mesh story kit bag
Toy kit puzzle
Replacement cost + $5.00 processing fee
Blue mesh toy kit bag
Juvenile sound kit CD
Juvenile sound kit book
Replacement cost of item + $5.00 processing fee
Juvenile sound kit plastic bag
Copying & Computer printing
$0.10 per page
Color copying & Computer printing
$1.00 per page
3D Printing additional filament over 5 grams
$0.20 per gram
$1.00 per signature
After hours meeting room use
$70.00 per hour//$150.00 deposit fee
Meeting Room at The Pointe, Missouri City Branch
$50.00 per hour/$125.00 deposit fee
The policy statements contained herein are established by the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court in order to provide the public a wide range of thoughts, ideas, information, and expressions of the creative imagination. Responsibility for the selection of library materials in Fort Bend County Libraries lies with the Library Director, who is responsible for operating within the policies established by the Commissioners Court.
2. MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of Fort Bend County Libraries (FBCL) is to bring people, information, and ideas together to enrich lives, expand minds, and strengthen our diverse community.
3. SELECTING MATERIALS FOR THE COLLECTION
Library materials and services are selected, organized, and made accessible in order to meet the library needs of the community. Patron interest, both expressed and anticipated, are important factors for the materials and formats that are selected. Materials are also selected to ensure that the collection as a whole contains materials on many different topics, that there is a choice of materials or formats on the subject, and that multiple viewpoints are expressed.
Collection Development staff use a set of criteria to guide selection decision.
General criteria for selection:
- Recommendations of reviews from professional journals or publications of national repute
- Literary, artistic, historical, scientific, or intellectual merit
- Community needs, interests, and demands
- Patron requests gathered through the public website, emails, phone calls, or in-person visits
- Subject and style is suitable for intended audience
- Relation to the existing collection
- Present and potential relevance to community needs
- Format options
- Physical design is suitable for library use
- Importance of the item as an artifact
- Historical significance
- Price of material
- Relevance to current trends and events
- Potential appeal
- Relation to other resources in the community
Content criteria for selection:
- Competence, reputation, and qualifications of author or publisher
- Consideration of the work as a whole
- Currency of information
- Objectivity and clarity
- Technical quality
- Represents a diverse point of view
- Representative of movements, subjects, genres, or trends of lasting patron interest
- Artistic presentation and/or experimentation
- Sustained interest or demand
- Usefulness of the information
- Relevance to local history collections
- Provides unique contribution to a field of study
Additional considerations for electronic formats:
- Ease of use
- Available to multiple, concurrent users
- Access to materials in other formats
- Remote access
- Technical and support requirements
- Vendor data privacy practices
Patrons also play a key role in the development of the Library’s collection. They make suggestions and provide feedback via the Library’s website or directly to staff.
Parents are responsible for guiding their children’s use of library resources since, as the legal guardians, they decide what is appropriate for their children.
The Adult collection is comprised of current high-interest materials in a wide range of popular formats: fiction books, nonfiction books, downloadable formats, magazines, newspapers and electronic databases, audiobooks, literacy materials, large-print books, paperback books, and books in several World Languages.
The Literacy and English as a Second Language collection (LESL) supplements learning related to adult education, literacy, and English-as-a-Second-Language tutoring or classes.
World Language collections support populations in which a significant number of individuals have difficulty speaking or reading English. The Library also purchases dictionaries and grammar instruction in languages where the readership is not large. Collection management of non-English-language collections is reliant upon availability, appropriateness of format, cost-effectiveness, and production quality.
The Young Adult collection is comprised of popular materials for students in grades nine through 12. The collection is mostly fiction, and it is available in print and downloadable formats.
The Middle Grades collections are separately identified to provide a transition from the Youth to the Young Adult and Adult collections. They generally serve -- but are not limited to – youth in grades six through eight. At FBCL, the emphasis of the Middle Grades collection is on popular browsing materials, on fiction written specifically for adolescents or with adolescent characters, and on nonfiction uniquely of interest to this age group.
Materials for Youth collections are selected by qualified, experienced youth-services librarians who are knowledgeable about youth materials and who interact regularly with youth and their caregivers by assisting them in locating requested information, through fiction and nonfiction resources. Materials in a variety of print and non-print formats are selected for all levels of a youth’s understanding and reading ability, with special attention given to stages of emotional, intellectual, and developmental needs. Digital sources, such as online and downloadable books for Youth and Middle Grade collections, must also meet the same criteria as other formats. Educational manipulatives are an integral part of Youth collections. The selection criteria stated throughout the policy also applies to educational manipulatives with an emphasis on safety, appropriateness for targeted age-levels, and suitability for circulation.
5. DIGITAL RESOURCES
Fort Bend County Libraries maintains a website that contains information about the library, provides access to the library's catalog, and links patrons to a wide variety of resources available on the Internet and in specific databases purchased by the library. New digital resources that are under consideration for inclusion to the library website are reviewed by a panel of librarians.
6. GENEALOGY AND LOCAL HISTORY
The Genealogy and Local History Department collects materials for genealogical research and maintains a collection of historical and descriptive materials about Fort Bend County and the people and events associated with the county. Materials from adjacent counties, the state, and the southeastern United States are also collected. All materials in the collection are non-circulating.
Materials are purchased, or accepted as donations, on the basis of interest, importance to local history and research potential. Included in the collection are: censuses; photographs; surname histories; heraldry; school, courthouse, church, genealogical, and cemetery records; immigrant and land-grant lists; as well as electronic sources, books, and periodicals. Materials donated to the department will remain the property of the department or be disposed of in an appropriate manner.
Archives of the Regional Historical Resource Depository (RHRD) are held by the Genealogy department for Fort Bend County and for five adjacent counties. RHRD is administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. These non-current city, county, and other local-government records of historical value are available for public research. State policies govern the use, handling, and preservation of the RHRD collection.
7. ADAPTIVE MATERIALS
Adaptive Materials, provided to accommodate persons with special visual or hearing needs, are also part of the collections. They include large-print books, books in Braille for youth, audio-books on CD, and DVDs. Magnifying and color-enhancing equipment, as well as Kurzweil software that can scan and read printed words, are available to assist the visually-impaired in accessing printed information.
8. LAW LIBRARY
The Fort Bend County Willie Melton Law Library is administered by FBCL. The Law Library maintains a reference (non-circulating) collection of legal materials and electronic resources selected primarily for attorneys and the general public. These legal references are available for all Fort Bend County residents to use in the Law Library. The Law Librarian, under the direction of the Library Director, decides which items are added to the collection. Filing fees from cases filed in the county courts fund the Law Library.
Each of the FBCL libraries provides a self-help collection of legal resources for in-library use and resources that can be borrowed with a FBCL library card. The materials are selected by the Adult Collection Development Coordinator, with the assistance of the Law Librarian.
9. COLLECTION MAINTENANCE
Physical materials are distributed and maintained in libraries and community-partnership locations throughout Fort Bend County. Electronic formats are maintained on the Library’s website or other third-party vendor servers.
The collection is reviewed and evaluated on an ongoing basis in order to maintain its usefulness, currency, and relevance. Items may be kept, redistributed, repurchased, de-selected, re-catalogued, or preserved for long-term retention.
Staff rely on a set of criteria to guide their decisions to de-select items from the collection:
- Format or physical condition is no longer suitable for library use
- Content is available in multiple formats
- Obsolescence -- information that is no longer timely, accurate, or relevant
- Insufficient use or lack of patron demand
- Little or no relevance to current trends and events
- No long-term or historical significance
- Space limitations
- Sufficient number of copies in the collection
- Easy availability in other collections locally or nationally
Not all criteria are applied to each de-selection decision.
10. GIFTS, MEMORIALS, AND DONATIONS
Fort Bend County Libraries accepts donations that support and further the mission, goals, and objectives of the Library. Donations may be in the form of money or actual materials.
Monetary gifts may be donated in memory of or in honor of a person, or in the name of an organization. Selection of items purchased with such gifts is made by the library staff members, with consideration given to the donor’s preferences and FBCL’s Collection Management Policy.
Donated materials become the property of the Library upon receipt and will not be returned. The items are considered for addition to the collection in accordance with the selection and evaluative criteria described in the section labeled “Selecting Materials for the Collection.” Books and other donated materials that are not added to the collection may be sold by the Friends organizations of Fort Bend County Libraries or disposed of by the organizations. The proceeds from sales are used to purchase library materials and to support library programs and services.
Instead of sending or leaving actual materials, donors are encouraged to provide the title, the author’s name, and the ISBN number for any item that they wish to donate to the library. The items are considered according to the criteria in the section labeled “Selecting Materials for the Collection.” A Collection Development Coordinator notifies the donor of the selection decision and if actual copies will be accepted for addition to the collection.
11. RESOURCE SHARING
a. Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides support for the interlibrary borrowing and lending of library materials. Users of FBCL can borrow library materials from many other libraries in Texas and the nation. In some instances of requests for rare materials, Fort Bend County Libraries has the discretion to limit use to the George Memorial Library’s Genealogy and Local History Department.
b. Resource Sharing between Library Branches
Fort Bend County Libraries is an integrated library system. Most library materials that are available at one library location are also available to users at other libraries in the system through deliveries that are made between library branches. Fort Bend County Libraries’ system delivery allows for the purchase of an appropriate number of copies for the system and, in some instances, eliminates the necessity to purchase a copy of a work for each library location.
All libraries have similar basic collections; however, each library also reflects the interests and needs of the residents in the community, the availability of space in the building, and funding available for purchasing materials.
12. COLLECTION REVIEW
Fort Bend County is a diverse community in which many of the world’s religions, ethnic groups, cultures, and ideologies are represented; therefore, a great diversity exists in patrons’ choices of library materials. Inclusion of any materials in the collection does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content, viewpoint, implications, or presentation of the materials.
FBCL recognizes an individual’s rights to express their opinion concerning materials in the Library’s collection.
- Fort Bend County residents may express their concerns to library staff about any materials. Upon request, library staff will provide a copy of the Collection Management policy to the patron and provide assistance in locating materials of interest to the patron.
- Fort Bend County residents who have further questions about any materials may state their opinion in writing on a comment card provided by the library. The comment card is sent to the appropriate Collection Development coordinator. The coordinator contacts the patron to discuss their concerns.
- If a Fort Bend County resident wishes to continue their inquiry about a specific item, they must submit a completed “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form to Fort Bend County Libraries.
13. RECONSIDERATION OF LIBRARY MATERIALS
Anonymous inquiries or objections will not be considered. The Fort Bend County resident must be willing to provide their name and contact information and complete the “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form (See Appendix A). A review committee of five qualified librarians, appointed by a Collection Development Coordinator, will evaluate the item(s) in relation to the Library’s mission and selection criteria. Since the entire work must be considered in this process, all parties -- including the individual requesting the reconsideration -- must read and review the entire work. During the evaluation period, the material in question remains available to the public.
- The Collection Development Coordinator provides a formal response to the request for reconsideration that states the committee's recommendation regarding the item under review and provides information for contacting the Library Director if further action is required. The Coordinator provides a response to the individual within one (1) month from the submittal of the reconsideration form.
- If the individual is not satisfied with the committee's recommendation, they may request further review of the item(s) in question. The Library Director asks the Library Advisory Board, appointed representatives of the different county precincts, to form a five-person committee of members to review the item(s) in question. The Library Advisory Board Committee reviews the item and makes a recommendation regarding the disposition of the item(s) in question. The Library Advisory Board Committee returns a response to the complainant within three weeks from the date the complaint is given to them for review.
- If the individual is not satisfied with the Library Advisory Board Committee's recommendation, the matter proceeds to Commissioner's Court for final disposition. All of the background information and copies of the item(s) in question are given to each member of the Court. The Court renders the final decision in the matter; its directives are carried out by the Library Director.
Approved by Fort Bend County Commissioners Court November 9, 2004
Revised version approved by Fort Bend County Commissioners Court May 10, 2022
The mission of Fort Bend County Libraries is to bring people, information and ideas together to enrich lives, expand minds, and strengthen our diverse community.
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
Download Printable Policy Here
Procedures for the use of the 3rd-floor event area (The Pointe) at the Missouri City Branch Library are herein established in order to ensure maximum and equitable use of the county’s facility. This application and all procedures herein, provide guidance to the library staff in implementing the rental and use of The Pointe. Elected officials and Department Heads of Fort Bend County using The Pointe for County business will be exempt from rental fees, but must pay for security and follow procedures. Responsibility for accepting applications for The Pointe lies with the Missouri City Branch Library (281-238-2100). The County Librarian retains authority for applying this procedure and reserves the right to change or adjust as needed.
All individuals using The Pointe must follow Fort Bend County Libraries’ Rules of Conduct Policy at all times while on library premises.
EVENT SPACE RESTRICTIONS
No “coming-of-age” parties permitted.
No sales of products and/or services.
No animals allowed, with the exception of Service Animals.
No one under the age of 18 is allowed on the balcony unless accompanied by an adult.
No noise or ambient sound permitted during hours the library is open to the public.
No smoking of any kind, including vaping.
No gambling allowed.
No weapons allowed.
RESERVATIONS, APPLICATIONS, AND RENTAL FEES
- Applicants must be 21 years of age or older.
- Library reservations will occur on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Rental must occur between the hours of 8 am to closing OR after hours from closing to 12 am (midnight). Rental may not overlap between the library’s open hours and after hours. No exceptions.
- The room can only be rented by one party per day to allow time for room inspection and cleaning between rentals. This ensures your party will not be held accountable for problems from a previous rental.
- Rental must include time for set-up, break-down, emptying trash, and returning the room to original status. During library’s open hours, rental use must be concluded 30 minutes prior to regular library closing time, and the room must be vacated by closing time. Applicants and/or the designated representative are responsible for set-up and break-down; library staff are not available to assist.
- Payment for use of The Pointe shall be made by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, or Discover card ONLY), personal check, or cash at the time an application is accepted by the library, at least 30 days in advance of using the room. No partial payments shall be accepted; applicants must pay for an entire interval of use prior to using the room. No money orders or cashier’s checks. No exceptions.
- Applicants shall familiarize themselves with the facility before applying. Fort Bend
- County provides only the tables and chairs that are listed on page three (3). At no time shall a reserving party sublease or assign its reservation to another group or organization, nor shall use of the library be for any purpose other than what was stated on the application.
- Applicants renting The Pointe are limited to the hours specified on the application. No exceptions.
- Application forms may be obtained online on the library’s website at www.fortbend.lib.tx.us
- Completed applications must be brought in person to the Missouri City Branch Library, between the hours of 12 noon – closing, Monday - Friday, by the person signing the application, or another person designated to handle all transactions involving the application and use of The Pointe.
- Applicants must submit, on their application, at least two other representatives (with names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses) with the authority to inquire about or change reservations on behalf of the applicant. Representatives are responsible for understanding the contents of this agreement.
- Renters will be charged a deposit of $125.00 and a $50.00 per-hour fee (see Application Form) by Fort Bend County Libraries, for a minimum of two (2) hours of use. Parts of an hour will be charged as one hour.
- A peace officer is required if The Pointe is rented during after hours. Renters will hire and pay a peace officer for a minimum of two (2) hours of work and for the entire period the room is in use after hours. All peace officer arrangements must be made with the Fort Bend County Pct. 2 Constable’s Office, at 281-403-8022. Officers will be provided by the Fort Bend County Pct. 2 Constable’s Office at their current contract rate, and the fee must be paid in full to the officer at the time of the event. The officer on duty will be given the keys to the building by the library staff and will be in charge of opening and closing the library at the requested time and for providing law enforcement during the rental period.
- Applicants using The Pointe shall comply with all County ordinances and Federal and State laws. As in accordance with County fire codes, all exits and doorways must remain clear and unlocked during functions, and access to all hallways and fire extinguishers shall remain clear. All marked fire lanes will be kept open at all times. Applicants agree to abide by the designated room capacity of 60 occupants.
- The applicant, or her/his designated representative, is required to be present in The Pointe and available to County personnel during the entire course of the event for which the applicant made a reservation.
Rental of The Pointe applies only to the 3rd floor space. Use of the 1st or 2nd floor areas is strictly prohibited. You are not permitted to move or utilize furniture or equipment on the 1st or 2nd floors.
No outside furniture may be brought on library property. Linens are the responsibility of the renter. The library provides the following furniture in The Pointe:
Round tables 60” round (10)
Café tables 31” round/43” high (8)
Rectangular tables 72”X30” (04)
Flatbed dolly (1)
In the event of an emergency or extreme situation beyond the control of the County, a confirmed reservation may have to be cancelled. All groups should be aware of this possibility. If a reservation is cancelled, it may be rescheduled or monies will be refunded.
In the event that a group or organization using a room wishes to cancel their reservation, the library must be notified in writing at least 30 days in advance in order to give others an opportunity to use The Pointe. If a reservation is cancelled, monies will be refunded according to Fort Bend County policy and procedures. Applicants should be aware that the
refund process may not be immediate.
All decorations must be approved by Library Administration in advance. Prohibited items include: glitter, bird seed, rice, confetti, staples, tape, tacks, nails, or any other materials used to attach items to the walls, ceiling, floor, furniture, or include open flames, candles, sparklers, etc. Decorations must not damage walls, ceiling, flooring, furniture, or equipment.
Publicity generated by the applicant using The Pointe must neither state nor imply that the library is either sponsoring or endorsing a program or meeting. Publicity must not give out the library's phone number as an information contact.
Photography is allowed at events inside The Pointe.
No signage advertising the event may be placed on library property and may only be placed inside the library in The Pointe during the event.
Home cooked meals or catering are allowed. Chafing dishes and fuel may be used and must be monitored at all times. Fuel must rest on a shelf designed for this purpose.
No items, food, or equipment may be stored on-site or brought into the building before the time listed on the application. Items for events cannot be stored before or after the rental period.
Renters using the building while it is open must be mindful of library patrons and limit the noise and disruptive activity.
Fort Bend County will not be responsible for any equipment or personal property that is not the property of the county.
Limited audio-visual equipment is available and will require the applicant to come into the location for training at least one week prior to scheduled rental. Staff will not be available to assist before, during, or after scheduled rentals.
ENTRY AND EXIT
During hours that library staff are in the building, access to The Pointe is available through the main public entrance of the library ONLY. There is no access through the first-floor entrance on the east side of the building; an alarm will sound if this door is opened.
During after-hours, when library staff are not in the building, access to The Pointe will be available through the first-floor entrance on the east side of the building ONLY. This is where the peace officer the applicant has hired will be stationed. Attendees will not have access to any other area of the building and will not be able to enter through the main public entrance.
Facilities must be clean, free of trash, and returned to original status before vacating the premises. No items may be left on premises. All trash must be properly bagged and removed from the building. Trash may be placed in the library dumpster. Trash bags will be provided.
Applicant will be charged for any damage to library property and any cleaning required to return property to original status.
Fees for damages and/or cleaning will be evaluated and assessed after the event is completed.
If the library staff is called out to respond to an emergency that is not the fault or responsibility of the County (including the pulling of fire alarms in a non-emergency situation), the applicant will be billed for any charges incurred by the library. In case of building emergencies during the
use of The Pointe, including, but not limited to, plumbing problems, power failure, or air-conditioning problems, the Peace Officer on duty shall call the Library Maintenance staff on-call. This information will be provided to the Peace Officer when they arrive to pick-up the key from the Missouri City Library staff. In case of security-related emergencies, contact the Peace Officer on duty or call 911.
Download Printable Procedure Here
The mission of Fort Bend County Libraries (FBCL) is to bring people, information, and ideas together to enrich lives, expand minds, and strengthen our diverse community. Within this context, FBCL offers free access to the Internet. Public use of the Internet in the library provides both expanded access to global resources and an opportunity to become familiar with state-of-the-art information technology.
Internet use in the library shall be consistent with our mission, policies and procedures, and with applicable local, state, federal, and international laws. Websites that present material of a questionable or unethical nature exist; Fort Bend County, its officials and its employees are not responsible for material displayed on the Web. Illegal use of the Internet, including – but not limited to – viewing obscenity or child pornography and infringement of copyright laws, is prohibited and can be grounds for loss of library privileges and/or criminal prosecution. The Internet offers a wealth of information that is enriching to individuals of all ages. Because it is an unregulated medium that changes rapidly and unpredictably, information may not always be accurate, complete, or current. Library users must accept responsibility for determining the validity and suitability of content.
The library’s WiFi access is an open, public-access network. For protection, patrons should always make sure that they are on SSL-encrypted web pages before sending or receiving confidential data, and should keep their antivirus software up to date. Fort Bend County, its officials, and its employees are not responsible for Internet-borne viruses or other dangerous software patrons may have downloaded to their personal wireless devices.
FBCL does not guarantee patrons a connection, nor upload or download speeds to the Internet. Connection availability as well as the speed of the connection is based on the number of devices already connected to the wireless access point (WAP) and current data traffic loads.
FBCL staff cannot provide assistance with patrons’ wireless devices.
To gain access to the Internet, patrons must accept the terms and conditions of this WiFi and Internet Use Policy statement.
7 Jan 2020
Download Printable Policy Here
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 281-633-4719 or email ILLsystem@fortbend.lib.tx.us.
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.
Download Printable Policy Here
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 may 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 of any kind (including E-Cigarettes) and the use of tobacco products in the library or within 25 feet of public entrances;
- Eating or drinking on FBCL premises, except covered drinks and vending machine type snacks, or 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, cellular telephone use, the audible use of music or other electronic devices, constant and incessant crying;
- 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;
- Operating skates, 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, putting feet on tables or chairs, or moving furniture;
- Sleeping in the library;
- Violating FBCL’s Public Internet Access Policy or other library regulations.
FBCL does not act in loco parentis (in the place of a parent). 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. 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. 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, shall be considered to be trespassing. FBCL staff will contact the local authorities in all such cases.
Approved by Commissioners Court
May 24, 2016
Download Printable Policy Here
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.
May 24, 2016
Download Printable Policy Here
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 or disposed of per the institutions’ requirements. 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, ensure that the access code is delivered in a timely manner, and must allow sufficient time for the test to be returned to the institution before the deadline. Students are responsible for supplying all materials necessary to complete the test and they are responsible for any charges or fees incidental to completing the test. These materials/fees may include, but are not limited to 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 and the accompanying adult must remain in the library. 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 may be taken on the library’s computers or the individual’s laptop with prior authorization from the institution. 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 submitted back to the institution.