Use Of The Library


Article I. General Guidelines

The purpose of the Library is to serve the needs of its constituents for information, ideas and creative expression. State law (75 ILCS 16/1-10) empowers the Board to adopt reasonable rules and regulations to render the use of the Library of the greatest benefit to the greatest number of residents and taxpayers. The following provisions are intended to regulate the services of the Library according to these principles.

Article II. Library Privileges

Section I. Registration of Residents and Property Owners.

Residents of the District or owners of property within the District who have subscribed to the standard application and have presented identification will be issued library cards allowing them to borrow Library materials. They also may borrow material from libraries with which the District has reciprocal borrowing agreements and request materials through interlibrary loan. Library cards will be issued to residents age four through thirteen upon the signature of a parent or guardian. The signature of a parent or guardian acknowledges the responsibility of the signer for loss or damage of library material loaned to the child and, further, attests to the fact that the Library is not responsible for restricting the exposure of the child to any material in the Library, except as provided for in the Electronic Information and Computer Systems Use Policy.

A child under the age of 18 with a library card may borrow any materials in the library. However, a parent or legal guardian may restrict his or her child or ward who is under 18 years of age from borrowing any visual media in Cook Memorial Public Library District’s physical collection other than those in the Children’s or Family Film Collections. This restriction will be in writing on forms provided by the library. When a child reaches the age of 18, the restriction will automatically be removed.

Library cards are valid only during the period of residency.

Section 2. Library Privileges for Nonresident Taxpayers.

A nonresident who, as an individual or as a partner, principal stockholder, or other joint owner, owns taxable property or is a senior administrative officer of a firm, business, or other corporation owning taxable property within the District, upon presentation of the most recent tax bill upon that taxable property, is extended library privileges; provided that the privileges and use of the Library is extended to only one such nonresident for each parcel of taxable property and is required to be renewed annually. (75 ILCS 16/30-55.60(3))               

Section 3. Temporary Residents

Temporary Residents of the District will be issued a temporary library card upon deposit of an amount equal to the non-resident fee. Temporary resident status will be determined by providing proof of temporary residential address and a photo ID.

Section 4. Reciprocal Borrowing Privileges.

The Library offers borrowing privileges to registered patrons of any public library in Illinois or Wisconsin. The materials loaned and the conditions upon which they are loaned shall be determined by the Library Director.

Section 5. Borrowers’ Cards.

Borrowers’ cards are issued free of charge. If an unexpired borrower’s card is lost or badly damaged, a new one will be issued upon payment of a replacement charge to be determined by the Library Director.

Article III. Circulation Rules

Section 1. Charges

No charge shall be made for the circulation of any material owned by the Library or for any service provided by the Library to obtain material not owned by the Library. Charges imposed by agencies outside the Library may be passed along to library users on an individual basis.

Section 2. Conditions of Circulation

The Library Director shall establish reasonable regulations governing:

  • which material shall or shall not be loaned
  • number of materials loaned to any one patron
  • loan periods necessary for the effective use of the Library’s collections
  •  fines necessary to encourage the prompt return of materials
  • replacement or repair charges for lost or damaged materials

Section 3. Suspension of Borrowing Privileges

Except in extenuating circumstances, the Library Director is directed to suspend borrowing privileges when a patron has:

  • outstanding fines of an amount established by the Library Director
  • unreturned materials for which a statement has been sent
  • established a delinquency at another library

Patrons will be reinstated after proper settlement has been made. (75 ILCS 16/30-55.70)

Article IV. Reference, Information and Reader's Guidance Services

These services are available without restriction whether or not the person requesting the services is a card holder or resident. Library staff is expected to assist patrons with extensive research projects by directing them to likely sources of information but are not expected to actually do such research.

Article V. Electronic Information and Computer Use

The Library provides access to electronic information, including the Internet and other electronic media. Access to electronic information networks is primarily for use as an information resource tool. Library staff will assist patrons with the use of electronic information networks or personal computer skills as time permits.

The Cook Memorial Public Library requires that Library patrons using electronic information networks do so within guidelines set forth in the “Electronic Information Networks and Computer Systems Use Policy,” the “Rules and Procedures for Electronic Information Networks and Computer Systems” and “Statement of Acceptable Use for Electronic Information Networks.”

Remote access to electronic media is restricted to Cook Memorial Public Library District cardholders.

Article VI. Programs

A variety of programs are offered by the Cook Memorial Public Library District both at the Library and at other sites within the District as a means of fulfilling the Library's mission. Programs and activities sponsored by the Library are scheduled based upon perceived needs and interests of the community. Presenters from for-profit organizations are not allowed to promote their products or services. Charges may be imposed to cover the costs of supplies, tickets or transportation. Adult programs are normally open to residents and non-residents alike. Programs and activities may be restricted at the discretion of the Library to patrons who present a valid Cook Memorial Public Library District card.

Children 6 and younger must be accompanied and attended to at all times by a parent, guardian or other responsible person fourteen (14) years of age or older who is taking an active role in attending to the child. For children who are attending programs at which parent attendance is not required, the parent/caregiver must remain in the building and immediately join the child at the conclusion of the program. For children 7 to 9 years of age who are attending programs at which parent attendance is not required, the parent/caregiver must remain in the building.

Article VII. Teacher Services

Section 1. Cards for Teachers Teaching in District Schools

Persons teaching at schools located within the District may apply for cards valid for the academic year and renewable annually. These cards are fine-free and entitle the borrower to an extended period on curriculum-related materials subject to the overall limitations placed on the collection.

Section 2. Borrowing Privileges for Teachers Not Teaching in District Schools

Residents of the Library District who teach outside of it may request subject/genre collections to be prepared for them. Non-residents who teach outside the District will be assisted like any other patron who is visiting the Library.

Section 3. Library Privileges for Homeschooling Families

Homeschooling parents residing in the Cook Memorial Public Library District may apply for a homeschooling family card that grants all the privileges given to public and private school teachers. Cards must be renewed annually. They are fine-free and entitle the borrower to an extended loan period on curriculum-related materials subject to the overall limitations placed on the collection.

Section 4. Student Reserves

Teachers teaching within the District may request that material be placed on reserve for their students. The library staff shall determine the nature and extent of compliance with such requests.

Article VIII. Tours of the Library

Tours of the Library may be available to any group, all or part of which is composed of Library constituents. School tours will be conducted only for schools within the Library District. Tours must be scheduled. The presence of these groups shall not diminish the usefulness of the Library to other patrons.

Article IX. Displays            

Flyers and pamphlets from non-profit organizations and unincorporated associations will be displayed in the pamphlet rack as space permits. Flyers and pamphlets from for-profit organizations may also be displayed if they contain a preponderance of educational or informational material.

Notices for upcoming educational/cultural events may be submitted for posting on a community bulletin board if bulletin board space is available for that purpose. Priority is given to local events and the length of time an item is posted may be restricted due to space limitations. Postings are limited to this community bulletin board only.

No display, flyer, pamphlet, poster or notice will be displayed in the Library or on Library property without permission. Please submit requests to Administration.

Questions regarding the administration of this policy should be directed to the Library Director. The Policy Review Committee may hear complaints regarding the content or administration of this policy.

Article X. Solicitations, Petitioning and Leafleting

Not-for-profit groups may solicit donations or sell products outside the library building on library property provided the appropriate requirements of the applicable Village have been met, library operations are not disrupted and permission is granted by the Library Director.

Leaflets may be distributed and petitions circulated outside the Library.

Permission to engage in any of these activities may be withdrawn if, in the opinion of the library staff on duty, access to the building is restricted or patrons are being accosted or harassed.  

Article XI. Patron Behavior

Library patrons are expected to act with consideration for other people using the Library and for staff who are giving service. Conduct within the Library or on library grounds that hinders patrons from using the Library or library materials is considered obstructive. Conduct that results or may result in harming people or property, or that interferes with staff providing service or performing their duties is considered disruptive. Without limitation, examples of disruptive behavior include:

  1. Disruptive noise or conduct.
  2. Loitering in washrooms and lobbies.
  3. Failure to observe posted notices.
  4. Smoking within the library building or within 25 feet of the entrance of any library building.
  5. Eating.
  6. Drinking, except from spill-proof containers.
  7. Improper parking.
  8. Intimidation, unwelcome remarks to other patrons or staff.
  9. Willful disregard of circulation or other service rules, or failure to observe a reasonable verbal instruction from a member of the staff.
  10. Bathing, extended sleeping.
  11. Theft or vandalism of library property or the property of other patrons.
  12. Consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  13. Failure to wear shirt/top and shoes.

Parents, guardians and caregivers should be aware that the library is a public building open to all individuals. Parents or guardians, not the Library or its staff, are responsible for their children. Children under ten (10) years of age must be accompanied and attended to at all times by a parent, guardian or other responsible person fourteen (14) years of age or older who is taking an active role in attending to the child except as provided for in the Safe Child Policy. Staff is authorized to call police ten minutes after closing if unattended children fourteen (14) years of age and under are not picked up after the Library has closed.

Acts of vandalism, theft, substance abuse or other more serious offenses will be reported to the police.

Any staff member witnessing willfully disruptive behavior or responding to a complaint from another patron of such behavior is empowered to eject the patron or group of patrons causing the disruption for the rest of the day. Children fourteen (14) years of age and under will be detained until a parent or responsible adult can be found to collect them.

Any department head is authorized to suspend a part or all library service to a willfully disruptive patron or ban him/her from the premises for a period not to exceed six months. The Library Director is authorized to suspend service or ban a patron for up to one year. Restrictions for longer periods must be approved by the Board. Notices of suspension may be given verbally but will be accompanied by a written notice to the person, parent or responsible adult that describes the offending behavior. The Department Head or Library Director will meet with the patron to discuss the facts and circumstances prior to suspending Library privileges.

(75 ILCS 16/30-55.55)

Patrons who refuse to provide identification or to leave the Library when requested to leave by a staff member, or who return to the Library when they are banned from the premises, will be reported to the police and may be prosecuted for trespassing.

Any patron banned from the premises may file a written request for reinstatement to the Library Board within one week after having been banned. The Board will review the request in a timely manner and render a decision. The decision of the Library Board is final.

Article XII. Weapons, Hazardous Materials and Dangerous Behavior

Weapons, as defined under applicable federal, state and local statutes and ordinances, are prohibited in all Library District facilities and grounds. Staff members will contact emergency authorities immediately if they suspect that a weapon may be present, even if the person may be authorized to carry a weapon. Nothing in this policy should be construed to prohibit, abridge, or in any way hinder the religious freedom of any person or group.

Hazardous materials and substances are prohibited in all Library District facilities and grounds. Staff will contact emergency authorities immediately if they suspect that hazardous materials may be present.

Dangerous behavior is prohibited in all Library District facilities and grounds. Such behavior includes any behavior that appears to threaten the safety of persons or property.



Adopted:  4/3/95

Revised:   1/20/98

Revised:   7/18/00

Revised:   3/20/01

Revised: 12/16/03

Revised:   8/22/05

Revised:   2/19/08

Revised:   6/01/10

Revised:   8/17/10

Revised:   1/15/13

Revised: 12/17/13

Revised: 07/15/14