Library Use Policy
The Library is a place for everyone, shared by the community, and used by many different people for widely different reasons. The goal of the Library’s Use Policy is to maintain the Library as a welcoming and safe environment for all staff and members of the community. The atmosphere of the library should be one of mutual respect for the rights of others. These guidelines ensure that all may have productive and pleasant visits to the library. We expect users to respect the comfort and safety of fellow library users and library staff. If a patron’s behavior is making others feel unsafe or uncomfortable, library staff will ask them to stop.
Violations of the behavior guidelines outlined below will result in temporary or permanent revocation of library privileges. This policy covers disturbances both inside the library and on the library grounds. All members of the library staff have the authority to take necessary steps when policy is violated, and the police may be called at any time to assist. Users are expected to comply with requests from library staff and staff reserve the right to suspend privileges or access if requests are not followed. These rules will be applied in a neutral and nondiscriminatory manner, to protect the property, users, and staff.
Customer/user conduct is unacceptable if it:
- Impedes other persons from timely use of facilities or materials.
- Excludes others from using the library for its intended purpose.
- Results in injury to oneself or others.
- Interferes with others use or enjoyment of the library facilities.
- Results or may result in damage to library materials, facilities, or equipment.
- Is illegal under the laws of the United States, The State of North Carolina, or ordinances of the Town of Southern Pines.
Policy Violations may include but are not limited to:
- Illegal activities
- Obscene language or gestures
- Inappropriate use of furniture
- Littering and trash
- Disruptive or destructive food or drink
- Yelling or disruptive conversation or noise (including loud cell phone use)
- Inappropriate displays of affection
- Bringing in animals other than service animal as defined by the American’s with Disabilities Act
- Selling or soliciting of any kind except in approved projects
- Unauthorized distribution of printed materials or posting of notices
- Possessing, consuming, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
- Use of tobacco or vaping products
- Not wearing shoes or shirt, or wearing shirts or pants unbuttoned or unzipped
- Leaving unattended children or vulnerable adults - see Safe Child Policy
- Carrying weapons of any kind
- Blocking or interference with entry or exits
- Customers leaving belongings unattended while using the library
- Not respecting the privacy, solitude, or personal space of other patrons
If a patron feels that something or someone is making their experience in the library unsafe or uncomfortable, they should let a staff member know.
Adopted 2/88, Revised 2/00, Revised 3/04, Revised 11/21
Public Service Desk Policy
- Library hours:
Monday through Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Winter Hours: (in effect outside of Daylight Savings Time)
Monday through Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
- Services are provided all hours that the Library is open.
- All permanent Southern Pines residents; individuals who own property in the Town on which the individual pays property taxes; and other individuals as described in the Town Code of Ordinances may obtain library cards free of charge. Non-residents may purchase a 12 or 6 month card by paying a fee set by formula in the Town Code of Ordinances for either a Full Access Card (for use of the full collection and services) or a Limited Access Card (for use of the juvenile collection and services.)
- Children under age 18 must have a parent or guardian present to obtain cards.
- Library cards will be requested for each library transaction requiring access to the patron account including, but not limited to check out, renewal, and computer use. Only the person to whom a card has been issued, or their parent or guardian (if under 18) or designated representative, may use that card.
- The loan period for most materials is three (3) weeks and most may be renewed once if they have not been reserved by another customer. There may be exceptions for some special collections.
- While there may be limits established on the number of high value items that may be checked out at one time, in general, there is no limit on most types of materials.
- Fines and fees are detailed in the Town’s Code of Ordinances. A fine of ten cents ($ .10) per day is charged on each overdue item. Fines are not charged for holidays or when the library is closed.
- Items may be placed on hold if they are listed in the catalog through either logging into the patron account online or by calling the Library.
- Active library cards can be replaced by the library for a fee of $1.00. Expired cards are replaced upon renewal with no fee. Please notify the library immediately of lost cards.
- Patrons shall notify the library in the event of a lost or stolen card. The patron is responsible for any and all materials charged out on their library card, with or without their knowledge. The cost of replacing lost or damaged materials will be charged to the card owner.
- Staff assist readers with advisory services, in order to fulfill requests for information about popular cultural and social trends and their desire for satisfying recreational reading experiences.
- Staff also provide technology instruction in the areas of basic computer use, eBooks and eReaders, and assistance in utilizing copying, printing, scanning, and faxing services provided by the Library.
- The library reserves the right to change its regulations without prior notice; to withdraw library privileges for consistent disregard of its policies; and to enforce its regulations as well as the accepted rules of behavior on the part of all using the library.
Priority of Service:
Definition of Assistance/Service Area:
- Our customers include residents of Southern Pines (whether or not they are cardholders), non-resident cardholders, and anyone who comes to the library in person, on the phone, by fax or by email or who uses the library’s online resources.
- First priority will go to library users who come into the library, followed by telephone reference, and then email and fax requests.
Notice of Copyright Restriction
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17 U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The person using library equipment is liable for any infringement.
Notice of Photography
Staff may photograph or record SPPL events and programs to share them with the community or promote SPPL Library programs and services on various types of media. Patrons should inform a staff member at SPPL if they are uncomfortable having a picture that features them used in Library news and promotions.
In serving library customers, staff will adhere to American Library Association’s Code of Ethics. The front desk is staffed by professional librarians and by trained library assistants and associates committed to providing the best service possible through the resources available.
Revised 11/08, Revised 1/13, Revised 4/14, Revised 12/17, Revised 10/19, Revised 12/20, Revised 11/21
Internet and Wifi Use Policy
The Southern Pines Public Library is dedicated to opening avenues of discovery to residents of Southern Pines. To meet this mission, the Library provides free access to the Internet for the open access to ideas and information.
A valid library card is required to access a Library Internet computer or mobile device. Internet access is also available without a library card at a pay-for-use Kiosk computer or through wireless access for users with their own internet-accessible device. Individual users must accept personal responsibility for determining the accuracy and authenticity of electronic information.
All public workstations, Wifi, and mobile devices are equipped with filtering technology compliant with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). These measures protect against access to visual depictions that are (I) obscene; (II) child pornography; or (III) harmful to minors, and they are enforced during any use of such computers. The Library cannot guarantee that such material will always be blocked.
The Library also provides free WiFi on an open, unsecured network. We are not responsible for any content accessed via our computers or WiFi. Patrons are not to use library computers or WiFi for any illegal activity, including:
- Intentionally displaying, sending, or receiving inappropriate materials in either text or graphic format that may be reasonably construed as obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors (G.S. 14-190.1).
- Propagating malicious software.
- Unauthorized copying of copyrighted material.
- Attempting to access unauthorized files or systems.
- Harassing, insulting or attacking others.
Computer and WiFi users must abide by our expectations of behavior. By registering to use the Internet, patrons agree to the SPPL Internet and Wifi Use Policy and to abide by the Library’s Use Policy. The Library reserves the right to place a time limit on computer use, to require users to have and/or display their library card during internet use, and to charge for print outs. Patrons are responsible for providing the means of saving their own data as data cannot be saved to the Library’s electronic devices.
Parents/legal guardians are responsible for deciding which of the library’s electronic resources are appropriate for their own children under age 18. As with other materials, restriction of a child’s access to the internet is the responsibility of the parent/legal guardian.
Revised 12/2014, Revised 11/2021
Safe Child and Vulnerable Individual Policy
Southern Pines Public Library is dedicated to providing a friendly, fun, and safe environment for library customers of all ages. While welcoming children and vulnerable individuals*, staff cannot assume responsibility for their care and safety in the library. Children or vulnerable individuals* left unattended may be injured, become ill, become frightened or anxious, wander away, or leave with a stranger. In accordance with the Library Use Policy, parents and responsible caregivers are expected to provide supervision in the library. Adult use of the children’s area is limited to use by parents and caregivers acting on behalf of children.
The library’s Use Policy applies to all patrons, regardless of age. Caregivers (someone at least 16 years of age who acknowledges responsibility for the individual or child) should have information to contact a parent or guardian if needed.
Children under the age of 6 must have a parent or caregiver with them in close proximity-close enough for quiet conversation- at all times.
Children ages 6 – 10 and vulnerable individuals must have an accessible parent or caregiver present in the library during their entire stay.
Children age of 11 and older can be unaccompanied by a parent or caregiver if the child is able to contact a parent or guardian if needed, to follow rules for personal safety, and to abide by the library’s Behavior Guidelines.
If a child or vulnerable adult is left unattended, the library will try to contact the parent or caregiver. In event that the parent or caregiver cannot be contacted, staff will contact the Southern Pines Police Department. In the event of an emergency, staff will contact 911.
*“Vulnerable individual” is defined as a dependent individual with a cognitive or physical impairment who is unable to protect themselves from abuse or exploitation, unable to comprehend and comply with library policies, and who cannot provide for their own care or manage their own behavior without assistance
Adopted 10/04, Revised 11/21