Library Policies

Behavior Policy

To protect the rights of everyone using the Vinton Public Library the following rules are hereby posted and will be enforced.

  • Treat everyone with consideration, kindness, and respect.
  • Keep your conversations so they cannot be heard outside of your immediate area.
  • Treat the library, library property, and personal property with respect.
  • Only remove from the library items you have checked out.
  • Supervise all children you bring into the library.
  • Respect the privacy of others.
  • Respect copyright.
  • Avoid material harmful to minors as children and adults share this public space.
  • Only engage in legal behavior.

Those violating these rules will be given two verbal warnings. Anyone continuing to violate these rules after being warned must leave the library for one week. A second violation will cause offender to be banned from the library for one month.

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Borrowing Eligibility

  • Any person, residing within the city limits of Vinton, may borrow materials from the Vinton Public Library upon registration.
  • Any person, residing within an unincorporated area of Benton County, may borrow materials from the Vinton Public Library upon registration.
  • Any person, presenting proof of residence in a city whose library participates in Open Access, may borrow materials from the Vinton Public Library upon registration.
  • Any person, regardless of residency, may use the materials and services of the Vinton Public Library in-house.
  • A child must be 5 years of age or more in order to register. Additionally, said child must know his name, address and telephone number.
  • Mt. Auburn residents shall be eligible to use the Vinton Public Library without constraints.
  • If a patron has fines totaling more than $10, borrowing privileges will be suspended, and computer usage denied until such time as the fine is paid.
  • If a patron has an overdue DVD, computer usage is denied.

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Bylaws of the Vinton Public Library

Library Board

According to the requirements of Chapter #115, City Code of Vinton, the Library Board of the Vinton Public Library shall consist of nine members to be appointed from time to time by the Mayor, with the approval of the City Council for the eight resident members and Benton County Board of Supervisors for the one non-resident member.

The general powers and duties of the Vinton Public Library Board are outlined in Chapter 392.5 of the Code of Iowa.

The Board shall exercise its power and duties by:

  • Employing a competent and qualified director;
  • Cooperating with the director in determining and adopting written policies governing personnel, selection of library materials, supplies and equipment, internet usage, and the general operation of the library.
  • Reporting to and cooperating with other public officials, boards, and the community as a whole to support a public relations program for the library;
  • Assisting in the preparation of and seeking adequate support for the annual budget; and
  • Developing long-range goals for the library and working toward their achievement.


The officers of the board shall consist of a president, a vice-president, a secretary and a treasurer. Their terms of office is for two years. Officers shall be elected at the annual meeting (July) and hold office until their successors are elected and installed. At the end of his/her term, the vice-president shall succeed the president.
The duties of all officers shall be such as by custom and law and the rules of this board usually devolve upon such officers in accordance with their titles.


  • Regular meetings shall be held monthly, date and hour to be determined by the board, in the boardroom or such other place as the board may determine.
  • The annual meeting will be held in July each year.
  • Special meetings may be held at any time at the call of the president, or secretary, or at the call of any two members of the board.
  • A quorum at any meeting shall consist of five members.

Order of business

  • Roll call
  • Reading and approval of minutes of previous meeting
  • Financial report and approval of expenditures
  • Correspondence and communications
  • Old business
  • New Business
  • Director's report
  • Adjournment

An agenda for the board shall be prepared by the director in cooperation with the president of the board. All meetings of the board are open to members of the public who wish to observe. Non-board members who wish to address the board should request a place on the agenda not later than 24 hours before the time established for the meeting. The request may be directed to the president, the secretary or the director. Robert's Rules of Order shall govern in the parliamentary procedure of the board.


The board may appoint such special committees as may be needed.

The director

The director shall be the executive director of the policies adopted by the board.

The duties of the director shall be:

  • To select all library materials;
  • To maintain and operate the physical plant;
  • To recruit, train, and assign members of the library staff;
  • To inform the board continually and completely regarding the finances, public services, physical plant, personnel, collection, and other developments, changes and problems of the library, and
  • To attend all meetings of the board except those at which his/her tenure or salary is to be discussed or decided.

Amendments to the bylaws

Amendments to these bylaws may be adopted at any regular meeting of the board, provided that notice of proposed amendments be given to all members of the board in advance of the meeting.

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Circulation of Materials

The Vinton Public Library will circulate materials for the following time periods:

One Week

  • Cake pans
  • DVDs
  • Current magazines


  • Screens
  • Non-circulating items
  • Games
  • Reference materials
  • Genealogy materials
  • Microfilm
  • Computer software

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Confidentiality of Library Records

It is the policy of the Vinton Public Library not to release information that would reveal the identity of a library patron who checked out or used certain materials or services or requested an item of information from the library. Information concerning the account of a patron will be released to that person only. 

However, the library will release information to the parent or guardian of a minor child for the purposes of recovering overdue material and settling accounts for lost, late or damaged material, and for other matters related to the recovery of material or charges incurred by minor children for which a parent or guardian may be considered liable. Information will not be provided to parents or guardians who are merely attempting to determine what library materials their minor children are using. 

It is the intent of the board of trustees of the Vinton Public Library to empower the library director or a designee, as the lawful custodian of library records, to release circulation records that are otherwise confidential, if the purpose of that release is in accordance with the provisions of this policy.

Other requests for the release of confidential patron records will be honored if submitted in writing and accompanied by an order from the court as outlined in chapter 22.7 of the Iowa Code.

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Disruptive Patrons

People of all ages are encouraged to use the library for homework, recreational reading, and program attendance. 

Children (whether with parents or not) who are being continually disruptive will be given a warning that he/she must settle down or will be asked to leave the library. If after a second warning the child continues to be disruptive, he/she will be asked to leave the library. If the child needs to contact a parent, they may do so and then wait with a staff person until the parent arrives. 

Adult patrons who are being continually disruptive will be given a warning that he/she must settle down or will be asked to leave the library. If after a second warning the patron continues to be disruptive, he/she will be asked to leave the library. If the person will not leave of his own accord, the police will be called.

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The Freedom To Read

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to avoid the subversion of politics and corruption of morals. We, as citizens devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read. 

Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy; that the ordinary citizen, by exercising critical judgement, will accept the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe.  We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression. 

These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials. 

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference. 

Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections. 

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings. 

The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights. 

We therefore affirm these propositions:

  • It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those which are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.
  • Publishers, librarians and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation contained in the books they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what books should be published or circulated.
  • It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.
  • There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.
  • It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept with any expression the prejudgment of a label characterizing it or its author as subversive or dangerous.
  • It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large.
  • It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a bad book is a good one, the answer to a "bad" idea is a "good" one.

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Interlibrary Loan Policy

The Vinton Public Library will provide interlibrary loan service to all registered borrowers. Two dollars will be charged for each title requested.

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Internet Policy II

The Internet offers unlimited global access to information. However, not all sources on the Internet provide information that is accurate, complete, current or legal. The library is unable to monitor or control the content of the materials on the Internet, which changes rapidly and unpredictably. The library and its trustees and employees shall not be liable for any damages (direct or inconsequential) from any information obtained or provided on the Internet. The Internet may contain material of a controversial nature. 

The Vinton Public Library does not limit patron access to specific content on the Internet. Parents or guardians are responsible for the Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. The library affirms the right and responsibility of a parent or guardian to determine and monitor her/his child's and only her/his child's access to Internet resources accessible through the library. Parents/guardians are advised to supervise their children's Internet sessions.

Accessing the Internet

  • The Vinton Public Library has four public access internet computers. These computers are available for use on a first come, first served basis. 
  • Internet users should check in at the Desk with staff before using any of the Internet computers. 
  • Patrons who wish to use web-based e-mail must register and maintain their own account without staff assistance. 
  • Users cannot download to the computer or to a disk, however downloading to a flashdrive is acceptable. 
  • The use of the Internet in the library must be for legal and ethical purposes. Examples of unacceptable purposes include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Violation of computer system security and/or system configuration;
    • Violation of another user's right to privacy;
    • Use of sounds that are disturbing to others;
    • Receiving or displaying text or graphics that may be construed as indecent or obscene by library staff.


Violations of the Internet Policy will result in loss of computer privileges for one month. A second violation of the Internet Policy will result in permanent loss of Internet privileges. Illegal acts involving library computers may also be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.

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Each page will cost $.20 and $.40 for a double sided copy. Color printing is $.25 per page and $.50 for a double sided colored copy. We suggest that you "print preview" prior to printing from the Internet to avoid unwanted pages. The printed pages will be near the desk, payment is due at this time.

Staff Assistance

Internet users are expected to be knowledgeable in basic computer operations. If time permits, library staff may assist users in getting started on the Internet and offer suggestions for effective searching.


Internet computers may be unavailable due to library use or unforeseen problems.

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Material Selection Policy

General Principles for Selection

Materials for the library collection are chosen to serve the informational, educational, and recreational needs of the community. The primary goal of selection is to provide the best possible collection with the financial resources available. The library strives to present materials representing all sides of an issue in a neutral, unbiased manner. The existence of a particular viewpoint in the collection is an expression of the library's policy of intellectual freedom, not an endorsement of that particular view. Personal behavior of the creator of any material shall have no hearing on the selection of the material. There shall be no limitation in library services because of age, race, color, religion, or national origin, or physical limitations. 

The Vinton Public Library endorses the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association, both of which are included in this manual and intended to be part of this policy statement.

Responsibility for Collection Development

The library director is responsible for selecting materials which conform to approved Collection Development Policies. Library staff may be involved in the selection process under the director's supervision. Other interested persons are encouraged to make suggestions and recommendations.

Selection Guidelines

Adult and young adult books shall be selected according to a variety of criteria in addition to demand or need. The library does not add abridged versions of books to the collection. As a general rule the library will acquire only works of interest to the layperson. The library does not support educational curricula through the purchase of textbooks. However, textbooks may be added to the collection if they provide the best or only sources of information on a subject or if they complement an existing area with another perspective. Price, accuracy and timeliness are other factors influencing selection. The library does not commonly purchase out-of-print or used material for the collection. No attempt is made to purchase all the works by a certain author. 

Children's books and other materials expressly purchased for children shall be selected to meet the informational and recreational needs of persons below seventh grade. The criteria of patron demand and need shall also be considered in acquiring children's materials. 

Periodical subscriptions shall reflect the informational and recreational needs of the patrons. Periodical titles shall be reviewed annually to insure maximum usefulness to the public. 

Newspaper subscriptions shall reflect local, regional and state interests . The local newspapers are retained in either hard form or microfilmed for future generations. Other newspapers are disposed of monthly. 

Sound recordings shall consist primarily of the spoken word. Budget constraints do not allow the maintenance of a popular music collection. 

Video recordings shall be purchased primarily with children in mind. Video recordings shall be included in the collection with a rating no higher than PG-13 unless the intrinsic value of the film far outweighs the higher rating. 

Other non-print materials, such as puppets, puzzles, toys will be provided to be used in the confines of the library. 

"Weeding" of the collection is an ongoing process directly related to collection development. Materials that are worn, damaged, outdated, duplicated or no longer used may be removed from the collection. Other factors taken into consideration are frequency of use, community interest, and availability of other material on the subject.

Microfilm Reader-Printer and Microfilm Usage Policy

The microfilm reader-printer may not be used by persons under 16 years of age, unless accompanied by an adult. Microfilm copies are $.25 each. The microfilm collection shall have in-house usage only.

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Open Access

The Vinton Public Library will sign a letter of agreement with the State Library of Iowa to participate in the Open Access Program.

Open Access will be provided to all persons who live outside the Vinton Public Library's service area who can provide proof of residence within the service area of their local participating library. 

Funds generated from this program will be used to offset the costs of providing interlibrary loan service. The remainder will be used to offset the costs of providing service to the city of Mt. Auburn.

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Overdue Materials

The Vinton Public Library will not charge fines for overdue materials except for overdue DVDs.

A fee of $1.00 (one dollar) per day will be charged until the DVD is returned, with a maximum fine of $20 (twenty dollars). 

If a patron's account indicates a fine of $10 (10 dollars) or more, no additional materials may be checked out and computer usage will be denied until the fine is paid. 

If a lost DVD is paid for and subsequently returned to the library, a refund of the difference between what would have been the fine and the actual payment will be made. The fine will continue until the patron returns the heretofore lost DVD.

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To meet the needs of individuals and institutions of higher learning, the Vinton Public Library will cooperate with area residents to support their lifelong learning goals by offering proctoring services. 

Responsibilities of the Student

  • The student will ask the director to administer the exam. 
  • The student will arrange for the exam and instructions to be sent to the library, at least one week before the taking of the exam. 
  • The student is responsible for informing the director as to when the test will be taken. 
  • The student is responsible for return postage and envelope for any exam which does not include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. 
  • The finished exam will be handled with other Library mail. 

Responsibilities of the Library

  • The proctor will observe the student while performing other tasks. Proctoring at the library will include issuing the exam, being aware the student is taking the exam, periodically observing the student, signing the proctor form, and mailing the completed exam. If constant, uninterrupted observation is required. the library staff cannot proctor the exam. 
  • No changes to public computer settings may be made or special software installed. 
  • The library cannot provide proctoring for groups of students. 
  • The library is not responsible if the web site or email is not working. 
  • The library is not responsible for completed exams that are lost in the mail. 
  • The library will not keep copies of completed exams.

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Requests For Reconsideration

  • An individual or group wishing to question the presence of an item in the collection should fill out a Request for Reconsideration form available from any member of the library staff.
  • When the form is completed and presented to the director, the material will be re-examined by the director. If the form is not completed, no re-examination or reconsideration will take place. 
  • When the director makes a decision regarding the material, the board and the patron will be notified as to the decision and the reasons for it. 
  • If the patron wishes to contest the decision, he may present the complaint to the Library Board of Trustees for final review, either by letter or by making prior arrangements to be on the agenda of a board meeting. 
  • The board will consider the complaint and the director's decision and make the final judgment.

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Sales in the Library

Nothing may be sold in the Vinton Public Library that does not directly benefit the library.

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Sex Offenders

In accordance with Chapter 692A of Subtitle 1 of Title 16 of the Code of Iowa, the Board of Trustees prohibits the presence of sex offenders convicted of offenses against minors in the library or loitering within 300 feet of the property. 

The Library Director acts as "library administrator" for purposes of Iowa Chapter 692A. The Library Director will not give the written permission required by Iowa Code Section 692A.113(f) for registered sex offenders convicted of sex offenses against minors to bepresent on library property. Issuance of a library card to a registered sex offender convicted of sex offenses against minors does not constitute written permission from the library administrator for that offender to be present on library property. Individuals may appeal this decision, as it relates to them, to the Library Board of Trustees. 

Registered sex offenders against minors may be entitled to library service. It is the responsibility of the patron to arrange for a courier to select, check out, and return materials to the library, after providing the library with the name of the courier. 

Persons barred from library property under the law will not be served by the library's homebound delivery service. 

Violations of this policy will be immediately reported to law enforcement.

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Sexual Harassment Policy

The Vinton Public Library will not tolerate sexual harassment of any type in the work place. It is the policy to maintain clear and confidential avenues to report such behavior, and for resolution of complaints. Measures will be taken to assure that there is no retaliation for filing such reports. 

Behavior considered sexual harassment shall include "quid pro quo" and sexually hostile work environment. 

Victims and witnesses are encouraged to report harassment before it becomes severe and pervasive. 

In the event that an employee experiences unwanted sexual harassment, this behavior should be reported immediately to the library director, or the president of the Library Board of Trustees. 

Complaints will be investigated. Confidentiality of charges will be maintained to the extent possible. 

In the event an employee has been found to be in violation of this policy, that employee will be subject to severe disciplinary action that may include suspension or dismissal. Failure of the library director to take prompt appropriate action will also be deemed a serious offense, and that person shall be subject to the same severe disciplinary action.

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