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Olean Public Library Serving the community since 1871

Library Policies

Rules Governing the Use of the Library

The Olean Public Library is to be used for library purposes only. Any behavior that interferes with such use or that is not consistent with such use is not permitted. Any person not abiding by these rules and regulations of the library may be required to leave the library building and grounds and may forfeit their library privileges. Library employees will contact the Olean Police, if necessary, to ensure the safety of library patrons and staff. A patron whose privileges have been denied may have the decision reviewed by the Board of Trustees.

  • Patron identification, such as name, address and phone number may be requested.
  • Large bags, backpacks, suitcases or other containers are not permitted in the library unless the patron voluntarily agrees that these items may be searched.
  • Each patron is responsible for any fines, fees or other charges due in accordance with the library's standard schedules. Failure to pay these fines may result in the suspension of library privileges.
  • All children are subject to the Rules Governing the Use of the Library. Children age ten (10) and under must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or someone over the age of eighteen (18) who acknowledges responsibility for and supervises the child during their entire stay in the library. Children age 11 and up may use the library unsupervised, however, the library is not a good substitute for supervised day-care or after-school activities. Parents should be aware that children who violate the rules of the library may be asked to leave the premises whether they are accompanied by an adult or not.
  • The library telephone is to be used for library business only. Phone calls that are deemed to be an emergency will be made by staff.
  • Polite cell phone use is allowed in the library. Turn phones to “silent” mode and speak in a manner that will not disturb others.
  • Food and beverages are allowed in the entry area of the library only. Patrons are responsible for cleaning up after themselves.

The following behavior is not permitted because it interferes with the use of the library by others, is a health hazard, or is not consistent with the mission of the library.

  • Patrons can not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the library building or on library grounds.
  • No blocking entrances, exits or library aisles so that access to library materials and services is prevented.
  • No entering employee workspaces or office areas without authorization.
  • No loitering in the library building or on library grounds.
  • No soliciting of any kind in the library building or on library grounds.
  • No weapons of any kind are permitted in the library.
  • No displaying print or non-print materials of an offensive nature to others.
  • No singing, talking loudly or playing audio equipment so that others can hear it or behaving in a manner that can reasonably be expected to disturb others.
  • No presenting offensive and/or pervasive odors which are disturbing to others.
  • No smoking or using tobacco or tobacco products in the library building or on library grounds.
  • No pets or animals other than service animals are allowed in the library.
  • No entering the building without a shirt and shoes.
  • No using rollerblades, roller-skates, skateboards or other sports equipment in the library building or on library grounds.

The following behavior is not allowed and will result in criminal charges.

  • Engaging in any illegal activity while in the library building.
  • Loud, abusive, aggressive, threatening, violent or obscene language and/or behavior (Disorderly Conduct- NYS Penal Law Section 240.20).
  • Destroying or damaging library books, library materials, furniture or other property (Criminal Mischief- NYS Penal Law Section 145.00)
  • Using or distributing drugs (Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance- NYS Penal Law 220.03, 220.06)
  • Theft of library materials or circumventing or attempting to circumvent the library security system (Petit Larceny- NYS Penal Law Section 155.25)
  • Tampering with, altering, editing or damaging computer hardware and/or software (Computer Tampering- NYS Penal Law Section 156.20)

–Adopted May 20, 2009

Computers

The library provides Public Access Computers (PACs) for card holders and guests. Your account must be in good standing to use PACs. The library provides free wireless access for use with your own devices. Use of the library's wireless network requires that you agree to our usage policy.

Acceptable Computer Use

Any conduct that violates the Rules Governing the Use of the Library may result in loss of Library privileges and/or criminal prosecution or other legal action.

Access to the Library's computer equipment and the Internet is a privilege, not a right. Failure to comply with Library policies and procedures may result in forfeiture of the use of Library equipment, Internet access or general Library privileges.

Acceptable use of the Olean Public Library's electronic resources–whether networked or wireless–includes, but is not limited to, the following;

  • Users shall not use the Library's electronic resources for illegal or criminal use.
  • Users shall not harass libel, slander or maliciously offend others.
  • Users must respect the legal protection provided by copyright and license to programs and data.
  • Users shall be responsible for any damage they cause to Library equipment.
  • Users shall not develop or use programs that infiltrate damage or alter the software components of a local or remote computer or computing system.
  • Users cannot install software on any Library computer.
  • Any attempt to circumvent security or computer management software will result in loss of computer privileges.
  • Users shall not intentionally seek information on or use computer accounts, access codes, data files, or network identification numbers assigned to others.
  • Use of computers in the Library to view, display or disseminate pornography or material that is obscene or harmful to minors is prohibited.
  • We reserve the right to limit the number of people at each computer station.
  • Users must respect the privacy of others.
  • To maintain an area computer users are comfortable working in all patrons are required to behave in a manner that preserves the relative security and privacy of all. While waiting for a computer to become available patrons should wait outside the computer area. Loitering in the area of the computers is not respectful of the privacy of others and patrons will be asked to remove themselves from the area. Remain an appropriate distance behind computer users, respect the one person per computer rule, do not observe other's work, and keep the area cell phone and conversation free.
  • Public Access Computers (PACs) maintained by the Library are configured to remove all locally-saved user information at the end of each session.
  • The Library cannot guarantee the privacy or security of information transmitted via Library computers. We urge all Internet users to be very cautious in using Library computers to transmit important personal information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, etc. The Library assumes no responsibility for any financial or other losses which may result from the use of Library computers.
  • Most legitimate sites have written policies regarding privacy and use of submitted information. It is your responsibility to read and understand these policies.
  • The Library reserves the right to terminate a computer session that disrupts Library services or that involves user behavior that violates the Library's policies.
  • The Library does not allow access to its network ethernet ports. All user equipment brought to the Library can only be connected to the wireless network.
  • The Olean Public Library offers free wireless Internet access. Wireless Internet may not always be reliable or available due to circumstances beyond our control. The Library's wireless network is unfiltered. By choosing to use this free service, you agree to abide by the Library's Wireless Access Policy.

–Adopted January 16, 2013

Computer Access
  • Use of the Library's Public Access Computers (PACs) requires a valid Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System card in good standing.
  • Guest passes are available only for those visiting from outside the Library service area. Guests must show identification with name and current address at the Information Desk.
  • Children under the age of 10 using a computer in the adult computer center must be continually supervised by a parent or responsible adult 18 years of age or older.
  • Computers located in the children's area are for use only by children 13 years of age or younger.
  • A computer designated as an Express Terminal has a 15-minute time limit.
  • One computer is designated for scanning purposes.
  • Computers with assistive technologies are available for people with disabilities.
  • All computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • To ensure that everyone has equitable access to Library computers, the Library uses a sign up system to facilitate management of Library computers.
  • Use your Library card number and PIN to reserve a computer at the sign-up station. Using someone else's card may result in loss of computer privileges.
  • Once you have been assigned a computer, you have 5 minutes to sign in before forfeiting your reservation.
  • Computer use is limited to a maximum of two 60 minute sessions per day. The system will automatically log a patron out after 60 minutes. Sessions do not need to be used concurrently.
  • An on screen notice will signal the end of your session. You must save your data before your session ends. Data will not be saved on the computer and the Library has no way of recovering it.
  • The Library is not responsible for damage to personal property or loss of personal data from use of Library equipment or software.
  • Printing is available to patrons using computers in the Library. Patrons must pay for every printed page they send to the printer including each side of a double sided document and any printing done to paper supplied by the patron.
  • While Library staff will assist in accessing software provided for public use, we cannot provide in-depth personal instruction in the use of the Internet or personal devices. The Library provides free classes and one on one tutoring for those in need of such help. Please visit the Information Desk for details.

–Adopted January 16, 2012

Guest Pass
  • Computer guest passes are only available for patrons who live outside the Chautauqua Cattaraugus Library System (CCLS) service area. Patrons who live in the CCLS service area must apply for a library card. Patrons whose library accounts are blocked or already have a card with a CCLS automated library are not eligible for a guest pass. All library cards issued by CCLS automated libraries will work with the computer sign up system.
  • Patrons must show identification with their name and current address to obtain a computer guest pass. If the patron has just moved to the area and doesn't have proof of current address yet, they may receive a guest pass for not more than 5 days before they must have their own library card.

–Adopted February 27 2013

Wireless Access

Patrons using wireless access provide by the Olean Public Library are subject to the Olean Public Library Public Access Computer Use Policy and the Rules Governing the Use of the Library.

  • The library's wireless network is open and non-secure.
  • The Olean Public Library is not responsible for any damage to personal equipment, software or data that may occur as a result of using the library's wireless network. It is highly recommended that you use anti-virus and firewall software and updated patches when accessing any wireless network.
  • Response speed, bandwidth, the ability to connect to the wireless Internet network, and continuity of connection are not guaranteed. Wireless users may experience loss of signal from time to time and the library cannot take responsibility for loss of data. Frequent backup of important files is recommended.
  • You must have your own wireless device with Wi-Fi capability. Patrons may not connect their own equipment to the library's computer network or to library computers by means of a wire or cable.
  • You are responsible for knowing how to configure your own equipment and how to access wireless networks through your device's operating system. Library staff cannot configure, diagnose or modify a library patron's equipment. Staff can not provide technical support of any kind.
  • The library cannot guarantee the security of equipment owned by library patrons and is not responsible for the theft or damage of personal laptop computers and other devices. NEVER LEAVE YOUR EQUIPMENT UNATTENDED.
  • Patrons may connect their wireless devices to any available electrical power outlet, provided the cords do not create a hazard. Patrons may not unplug library equipment, move furniture, or block exits or aisles.
  • Headphones must be used in the library when using devices with sound; headphones are not provided by the library.

The Olean Public Library reserves the right to prohibit anyone from accessing the wireless network if that person is violating any of the policies or guidelines of the Olean Public Library.

–Adopted January 20, 2010

Collection Development

This policy may be revised by the Library Board as times and circumstances require.

Selection of Materials
  • Materials selected for the collection are intended to offer a wide range of subjects, a choice of formats and treatments, and a varying level of complexity so that most individual library needs can be met and service given to individuals of all ages. Selection of materials for adult, young adult and juvenile materials is done from published reviews, annual lists of recommended titles, subject bibliographies, customer requests, publishers' catalogs and the considered judgment of the staff.
  • In selecting materials, the contribution they make to the education of the reader, their aesthetic or inspirational value, potential demand, usability, price, and needs of the community are considered. Many works important in our culture contain isolated elements to which some individuals may object. Our selection is guided by the value or impact of the entire work transcending the specific words, phrases, or incidents of which it is made.
  • Selection decisions are not influenced by the possibility that material may be accessible to use by children. The responsibility for the reading, listening and viewing of library materials by children rests with their parents, legal guardians or caregivers. Selection of any material for the Library's collection does not constitute an endorsement of its contents.
  • All materials will be kept on open shelves except items that are in poor physical condition, are extremely rare or expensive, are subject to mutilation or are duplicates.
Maintaining the Collections
  • Selection is only one aspect of collection development. Rigorous attention must be given to assessing the need for adding, replacing, repairing and discarding materials in every collection. Librarians are expected to use good judgment to remove from the collection whatever no longer serves a need, damaged and out-of-date items, materials for which there has been no use in a given period of time, and those lost by users. Replacement or substitution of these materials reintroduces the selection process.
Gifts and Donations
  • The Olean Public Library is appreciative of materials offered as gifts, but it reserves the right to evaluate, keep, transfer to another library, sell or discard these materials. Materials that are duplicates of what is in the library's collection or that are not in keeping with the foregoing statements in selection of materials, may be refused or discarded. The Library can not appraise gifts for their value for tax purposes or other purposes. In the case of memorial gifts, the library staff will assist the donor in selecting material suitable as a gift and a memorial.
Reconsideration of Library Materials
  • Questions concerning the selection of library materials will be directed to the Library Director. A formal complaint may be made by filling out a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form available at the Information Desk.
  • The Olean Public Library feels strongly that intellectual freedom, the freedom to view, the freedom to read and reach decisions independent of coercion or censorship of any kind is extremely important and the basic privilege of all the library's patrons. Censorship or parochial thinking is not appropriate to an institution dedicated to preserving free expression of ideas and the search for the truth.

Meeting Rooms

Groups and individuals using the Olean Public Library's meeting rooms must submit the Room Use Agreement form annually. Submit the form by mail, fax, or in person to the Circulation Desk.

Submitting the Room Use Agreement form and/or use of a room constitutes acceptance of the Meeting Room Setup Procedures and Meeting Room Policy outlined below.

  • The Library Meeting Room/Art Gallery and Conference Room is available to non-profit organizations engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual, recreational or charitable activities on a first come, first served basis. The Story Hour Room may be used only with the permission of the Director.
  • Groups using the room may not charge an attendance fee, and the public is free to attend. All groups must have adult supervision at all times.
  • Profit-making companies and individuals who wish to use the rooms to educate the public will not be exempted from the non-profit requirement.
  • Organizations may book the meeting rooms up to six months in advance. Except for Library and Library related programs groups may not use the meeting rooms more than once each month; limited series of weekly or daily meetings may be scheduled at the discretion of the Director. Library-sponsored activities take priority in the use of the room and the Library reserves the right to reschedule or cancel meetings.
  • Maximum permitted occupancy will not be exceeded. The Art Gallery legally can hold no more than 48 persons. The Conference Room can accommodate 10 at the table and a few more on the periphery. The Story Hour Room can hold 23 persons.
  • Groups booking rooms will need to assume responsibility for setting up chairs, tables and equipment and for returning things to their appropriate place. Light refreshments may be served with the permission of the Director. The Group is responsible for clean up and removal of all trash and debris from the building. Organizations holding meetings assume responsibility for any damage to the room or its contents. The Library assumes no responsibility for loss, damage, or liability that may arise through use of the facility.
  • The meeting room may be used during library hours until 15 minutes before closing time. Access to the building before the Library is open will not be permitted. Groups wishing to stay beyond closing time must receive permission from the Director and will be assessed $30 an hour.
  • Meetings that in anyway interfere with the operation of the Library or which threaten the safety of library staff or patrons or property will not be permitted. Meetings may not violate the “Rules Governing the Use of the Library.” Violation of these regulations may result in denial of permission to use Library facilities in the future.
  • Solicitation for non-profit community organizations fund-raising projects will not be allowed upon the library premises, but such display and space for fund-reporting activities and passive library-user-initiated sales may be authorized at the Director's discretion. (11/17/76- Board of Trustees Meeting)
  • The Organization is responsible for event or program advertising and publicity. The Group or organization using the Library Meeting Rooms may not imply that the event or program is sponsored, co-sponsored, hosted or endorsed by the Library in any advertising or publicity.
  • The Olean Public Library does not advocate or endorse the viewpoints of meetings or meeting room users.

–Adopted September 15, 2004

Confidentiality of Library Records

Library records, which contain names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of public, free association, school, college and university libraries and library systems of this state, including but not limited to records related to the circulation of library materials, computer database searches, interlibrary loan transactions, reference queries, requests for photocopies of library materials, title reserve requests, or the use of audiovisual materials, films or records, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except that such records may be disclosed to the extent necessary for the proper operation of such Library and shall be disclosed upon request or consent of the user or pursuant to subpoena, court order or where otherwise required by statute.

New York State, CPLR Rule 4509, as amended in 1988

–Adopted September 21, 1994

Video Surveillance

  • The Olean Public Library strives to maintain a safe and secure environment for its staff and patrons. The use of surveillance cameras helps to protect the library's property against theft or vandalism and can assist in identifying intruders and persons breaking the law or violating the library's Rules of Conduct.
  • In recognition of this objective, all entrance and exits and selected public areas of the library premises are equipped with video cameras that are recording at all times. For the safety of the library patron signage is posted at the library entrance stating that the library has video surveillance cameras.
  • The library's video security system shall be used only for the protection and safety of patrons, employees, assets and property. No audio will be recorded. Reasonable efforts shall be made to safeguard the privacy of patrons and employees. Video cameras shall not be positioned in areas where there is a reasonable expectation of personal privacy such as restrooms and employee break areas. Surveillance cameras are not positioned to identify a person's reading, viewing or listening activities in the library.
  • With the exception of records retained for criminal, safety, or security investigations or evidentiary purposes, the Library will not maintain a copy of recordings for longer than the recording system's cycle of 30 days. Video recordings and photos obtained through the video monitoring system will be released as necessary and in accordance with applicable laws, such as in response to search warrants, court orders, requests by the police for an active investigation, or to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect or destruction of evidence.
  • Both the recorders and recorded data are housed in a limited access area. The Library Director and Assistant Director may have remote access via the library's LAN to live feeds in order to monitor activity at the library when necessary.
  • Recorded information from security cameras may be retained for one month, unless an incident occurs that requires holding the tape longer. In the event of a reported or observed incident, the recorded information may be used to assist in the investigation of the incident. The library will maintain control of and responsibility for the video security surveillance equipment at all times.
  • With the exception of requests by law enforcement agencies, all formal requests for video records should be directed to the Olean Public Library Director or Assistant Director.

Research Request

  • The Reference staff will do limited genealogical research for patrons who are unable to visit the library in person by searching the Olean newspapers on microfilm for obituaries. There is no limit to the number of names you may submit to us. We prefer to have an exact date of death; however, month and year are acceptable. We will search the census records on microfilm that the library owns if an exact page number can be given.
  • As our staff time is limited, the library will charge $15.00 for the first hour of research; $9.00 for each hour thereafter. This fee includes photocopying and postage. The minimum fee for any genealogy research will be $15.00.
  • Patrons making genealogy requests must provide the library with a list of requested names (as full as possible) and death dates, a check or money order for the minimum fee ($15.00), a return mailing address and an upwards limit of how much they are willing to spend if the research requested takes more than one hour. Research results will not be made available until payment is made in full.
  • No refunds will be issued should we not be able to locate the information requested. While we cannot guarantee that we can answer your specific question, our search will be thorough, and we will do our best to help you. If you wish us to begin a search for you, please send a check or money order payable to the Olean Public Library.
  • Because we have many other similar research requests, we ask for your patience if our response is not as timely as you would wish. You may e-mail research requests to genealogy@oleanlibrary.org, or print out the RESEARCH REQUEST FORM and mail it with your check or money order to the following address:
     OLEAN PUBLIC LIBRARY
     ATTN REFERENCE
     134 N 2ND ST
     OLEAN NY 14760-2583

–Adopted April 21, 2004

Posting on Public Bulletin Boards

  • Items for posting may promote non-profit civic, cultural, educational, recreational and charitable organizations and events. Items for posting may not be for personal or commercial advertisements.
  • Items for posting must be approved by Information Desk Personnel or Library Director. Library personnel will date items with a removal date and post them on the bulletin boards designated for public use. Items posted without permission will be removed and discarded.
  • Items may be posted for three (3) months or as long as valid depending on available space. Library personnel will remove and discard outdated materials. Items may be repositioned and older materials removed as space is needed for new items. Library personnel can not return posters or flyers that have been displayed.
  • Posting or distribution of materials by the Library does not indicate endorsement of issues, events, or services promoted by those materials.
  • Library sponsored activities may be posted in other locations.

—Adopted January 21, 2004, revised December 2003

Literature Distribution

  • Literature for distribution may promote non-profit civic, cultural, educational, recreational and charitable organizations and events.
  • Literature may not be for personal or commercial advertisements.
  • Distribution of literature and materials by the library does not indicate endorsement of issues, events, or services promoted by those materials.
  • Literature for distribution must be approved by Information Desk Personnel or Library Director. Library personnel will place items in area designated for free literature distribution.
  • Items left without permission will be removed and discarded. No materials are to be left on the floor.
  • The Library can not accept display racks that accompany materials.
  • Literature may be distributed for as long as valid or as space limitations occur. If space becomes limited preference will be given to events of a timely nature. Up to 100 items, or as space allows, may be distributed during any calendar month. The library can not return any undistributed materials.
  • Literature promoting library services, programs, and library sponsored events may be distributed in other locations throughout the library.
  • Literature related to political campaigns may be distributed thirty days before the election.

—Adopted March 16, 2004

Surveys and Petitions

  • A group or individual wishing to conduct a survey or petition in the Library must first receive permission from the Information Desk Personnel or the Library Director. Surveys and petitions will be initialed and dated by authorizing Library personnel.
  • Questions may not violate any of the Rules Governing the Use of the Library.
  • Surveys and petitions must clearly state the name, contact address or telephone number of the group or individual collecting the data.
  • Surveys and petitions may be placed for a maximum of thirty days. Extension may be granted at the discretion of the Library Director.
  • Surveys and petitions must be picked up from the Information Desk within five days after last day of data collection.
  • Surveys and petitions will be placed on the top of video shelving or other convenient location as space allows.
  • Surveys and petitions will not be placed in multiple locations in the Library.
  • Agreement by the Library to allow a survey or a petition does not constitute an endorsement of its content.

—Adopted September 19, 2001

Book Donation

The Olean Public Library gratefully accepts used books if they can be added to the collection or they can be sold at the Friends of the Library used book sale.

Popular materials such as mysteries, romances, westerns, science fiction and current non-fiction—for adults or children—sell well.

Items we cannot accept include, but are not limited to:

  • Books that are old, musty, dirty, moldy or smelly or that have yellow, brittle, torn, scribbled, or missing pages
  • Textbooks
  • Non-fiction books older than 10 years
  • Encyclopedias
  • Incomplete sets
  • Magazines
  • Reader's Digest Condensed Books
  • VHS tapes, Cassette tapes or Vinyl records

To donate used items, please bring them to the Information Desk for inspection. You may request a receipt for tax purposes.

—Adopted July 1994, updated April 2013

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