Statements and Policies

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Mission Statement

The Board declares that the purpose, function, and objective of the library is to provide the residents of West Baton Rouge Parish with access to books and other resources and services for education, information, and recreation. The library is dedicated to improving the quality of life of parish residents by providing free access to information in both traditional and electronic formats.

Intellectual Freedom Statement​

The selection of library materials is predicated on the individual’s right to read and his freedom from censorship by others. Some materials are controversial and any given item may offend some person.

Selections for this library will be made solely on the merits of the materials in relation to the building of the total collection and to serving the interest and needs of the citizens of this parish, and not on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval.

The West Baton Rouge Parish Library holds censorship to be a purely individual matter and declares that, while anyone is free to reject for himself books and other materials of which he does not approve, he cannot exercise this right of censorship to restrict the freedom of others.

With respect to the use of the library materials by children, the decision as to what a minor may read or view is the responsibility of his parent or guardian. The library staff and board will not assume the role of parents in the selection of materials for children. The library board does not authorize library staff members to assume the rights and responsibilities of parents or guardians in choosing what a child may read or view. Therefore, the selection of materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that material regarded by some as unsuitable for minors may inadvertently come into their possession.

All materials, whatever the format, are selected by the West Baton Rouge Parish Library in accordance with these basic principals.

Collection Development Statement

The West Baton Rouge Parish Library is dedicated to the concept of service to all residents of the parish. This encompasses individuals and groups of every age, education, philosophy, occupation, economic level, ethnic origin, and human condition. Fulfilling the educational, informational, and recreational needs of these people is the West Baton Rouge Parish Library’s broad mission. More specifically, the Library aims to help people keep up with change in all areas, educate themselves continually, become better members of their family and community, become socially and politically aware, be more capable in their occupations, develop their creative abilities, appreciate and enjoy literature and art, contribute to the overall expanse of knowledge, and stimulate their own personal and social well-being. Furthermore, the Library strives to give individuals access to a variety of opinions on matters of current interest and to encourage their freedom of expression.

Adopted by the West Baton Rouge Parish Library Board of Control July 15, 1996.

Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources

The West Baton Rouge Parish Library Board of Control has delegated the responsibility for selection and evaluation of library/educational resources to the director and professional staff of the library, and has established reconsideration procedures to address concerns about those resources.

Completion of the form below is the first step in those procedures. If you wish to request reconsideration of library resources, please return the completed form to the Circulation Manager or Library Director at the West Baton Rouge Parish Library, located at 830 North Alexander Avenue in Port Allen, Louisiana.

Reading a good book is like having a good friend. You want it to last forever.

-Mary Guarisco, Library Patron and Book Club Founding Member

Meeting Room Policy

The first priority for use of the West Baton Rouge Parish Library Meeting Room is for library sponsored meetings and activities.  Educational, cultural, civic, charitable, social, business, and professional organizations can schedule the meeting room when not needed by the library.

The following are excluded from use of the room:

  • commercial sales meetings and training sessions
  • private receptions or reunions
  • parties, dances or games of chance
  • religious services or prayer meetings
  • and groups soliciting financial support or membership

No admittance fees, taking of orders or selling are allowed. Groups or individuals requesting the meeting room more frequently than monthly must obtain permission from the library’s Director (U. S. Military personnel [with military or Veterans’ Administration identification card] are excepted and may use the room and equipment as needed pending availability).

The meeting room is available at no charge.  The meeting room is booked on a first-come, first-served basis by the Circulation Manager.  The meeting room may be booked up to one year in advance of the meeting date if available.  Application must be made in person by an adult resident (twenty-one years or older) of West Baton Rouge Parish with a valid library card, or U. S. Military personnel (with military or Veterans’ Administration identification card).  This person must assume responsibility for any damage or clean up fees assessed by the library administration.

Rules and Regulations:

  1. Applicants must read and sign the library’s Hold Harmless Clause.
  2. Parking is limited. Groups using the meeting room may use the parking spaces around the library not designated for staff use. Additional parking may be available across the street around the courthouse. Parking on the library’s lawn or vacant lot is not permitted.
  3. The booking of the meeting room does not constitute an endorsement, sponsorship, or support by the West Baton Rouge Parish Library. All publicity must clearly state that the meeting is not sponsored by the library.
  4. Library operations continue while meetings are in progress; therefore, meetings must be conducted in a quiet, orderly manner.
  5. Smoking and the use or possession of drugs or alcohol are not permitted on the library premises.
  6. Forty (40) chairs are available in the meeting room; therefore, groups are limited to forty (40) adults. Children may sit on the floor up to a limit of sixty (60) persons.
  7. Children attending meetings must have adult supervision. Children must not be left unattended in the kitchen, meeting room, or other areas of the library. There should be one (1) adult for every ten (10) children in attendance.
  8. No telephone calls, incoming or outgoing, will be handled by library staff unless they are of an emergency nature. Arrange with a staff member for using the Polycom telephone, local or toll-free calls only.
  9. Arranging tables and chairs is the responsibility of the group using the meeting room. The meeting room and kitchen should be returned to original order before the group vacates the building.  All articles brought into the meeting areas must be removed. Trash should be bagged and deposited in the trash can outside the back door. A dust mop is available in the meeting room closet for cleaning the floor.
  10. The use of the library’s kitchen must be requested in advance. The kitchen can be used for preparing coffee or tea and for serving light refreshments (sandwiches, cookies, etc.) that have been prepared in advance.  Please note that library staff also use this area for breaks and lunch.
  11. Use of audiovisual equipment may be scheduled. A fixed 57″ SmartBoard with laptop, portable SmartBoard, large-screen television, projection screen, Polycom telephone (no long distance calls) and videoconferencing capability are available in the meeting room. Please arrange for a library staff member to set up equipment and connectivity prior to use, and to store the equipment after use. DO NOT re-set or move any equipment on your own!
  12. The meeting room is available during hours that the library is open; meetings must be concluded at least fifteen (15) minutes before closing.
  13. Library staff should be notified promptly of any problems with use of the facility or equipment.
  14. Groups that fail to abide by the rules and regulations stated herein, or cause damage to the facility or equipment, will be charged for damages and/or denied use of the meeting room.

A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.

-Andrew Carnegie

Electronic Resources Access Policy

I. Mission

The mission of the West Baton Rouge Parish Library is to provide the residents of West Baton Rouge Parish with access to books and other resources for education, information, and recreation. In response to advances in technology and the changing needs of the community, the West Baton Rouge Parish Library has extended its resources to include access to electronic resources.

II. Internet Resources

Internet resources are not subject to the same selection criteria that the Library uses for other materials. Internet sites or access points change rapidly and unpredictably.

The West Baton Rouge Parish Library is only responsible for data on its web site that pertains specifically to the Library. The Library is not responsible for the availability or content of any external sites linked to its web site. The accuracy and currency of information from local community organizations, governmental agencies, and all other Internet sites are the complete responsibility of the originating agency.

The West Baton Rouge Parish Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from use of its connection to the Internet.

III. Staff Assistance with Electronic Resources

Library staff will assist patrons in accessing and using electronic resources. Although the staff cannot provide in-depth training, they will answer questions and as time allows help users locate and use electronic resources to the best of their ability.

IV. Electronic Resources and User Responsibility

Electronic resources enable the Library to provide information beyond the confines of its own collection, making available material that could not otherwise be offered. However, users should be aware that some information may be inaccurate, outdated, or controversial. Use of these resources carries with it a responsibility to evaluate the quality and validity of the information accessed. Lawful use of electronic resources is the individual’s responsibility. Library computers and resources are not to be used for any illegal activity, and all illegal activity is strictly prohibited on library equipment and computers.

Parents/guardians are responsible for the use of electronic resources by their children. In the absence of a parent/guardian, the West Baton Rouge Parish Library cannot be responsible for enforcing any restrictions which a parent/guardian may place on a minor’s use of these resources. PARENTS ARE ADVISED TO SUPERVISE THEIR CHILDREN’S INTERNET SESSIONS.

V. Filtering and Bandwidth Management

The Library is required by the Federal Communications Commission to install filters on its public computers as the default setting, in accordance with Section 54.520 (c) of the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 47, and to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act. Adults over age 17 can request an override of the filter for good cause in order to have unfiltered access for that specific website for a period of one hour. Additional time may be granted as requested.

Website filtering technology is not perfect and may occasionally block patrons from legitimate sites that should not be filtered. If you feel that this is the case for a particular website, then please make the circulation desk aware of the blocked site. If it is deemed that the site shouldn’t be in a filtered category, then the website will be permanently unblocked.

We have implemented prioritization of certain network traffic protocols, while prohibiting others. As a result, patrons browsing web sites and checking email will assume priority over those patrons viewing streaming video or playing games. Peer-to-peer network file sharing protocols such as those used by Gnutella, iMesh, Napster and Bittorrent have been disallowed because of the prevalence of distribution of pirated and copyrighted materials.

VI. General Rules

Electronic resources are for use by all. Patrons should and will have equal access to electronic information. However, because of the high costs and complex nature of electronic equipment, users must adhere to the following general rules:

A. Adult cardholders (14 years or older) of electronic resources are required to read the Electronic Resources Access Policy. Signing onto a computer workstation indicates that a patron has read and accepted the Electronic Resources Access Policy.
B. Juvenile cardholders (under 14 years) will be required to have parental/guardian permission to access the Internet. Parents/guardians will be required to read the Electronic Resources Access Policy and sign a parental permission slip.
C. Use of the workstation is on a first-come, first-serve basis. All workstations will have a time limit of 60 minutes. Additional time may be requested but access will be denied if use is high.
D. Workstation use, including printing, must be finished fifteen (15) minutes prior to closing.
E. There is no charge for workstation use. However, patrons shall assume printing costs at the rate of fifteen (15) cents per page for black and white and fifty (50) cents per page for color printouts. Only paper supplied by the library can be used in the printer.
F. Files cannot be saved to the computer’s hard drive. However, patrons are allowed to save files to personal flash drives. USB thumb drives may be purchased at the circulation desk for $5 each. WARNING: Files downloaded from the Internet may contain a virus. The West Baton Rouge Parish Library is not responsible for any damages, direct or indirect, or for any liability that may arise from saving or downloading files to a flash drive. The library is not responsible for damage to patron’s flash drives, compact discs, or DVDs used in the library’s computers.
VII. Wireless Internet Access

Free wireless Internet access is available at the West Baton Rouge Parish Library. Patrons choosing to use this service agree to abide by the West Baton Rouge Parish Library’s Electronic Resources Access Policy. The policy states user responsibilities for accessing the system and provides examples of acceptable and unacceptable uses.

Library staff may not able to provide technical assistance and no guarantee can be made that you will be able to make a wireless connection. The library assumes no responsibility for the connection to the Library’s wireless access.

Wireless Limitations and Risks: Our open, unsecured, and unencrypted wireless network connection, advertised as “FREE LIBRARY WiFi”, is inherently unsecure. Any information that traverses it is capable of being easily captured by any nearby user with the appropriate software. It is strongly advised that patrons only use the wireless connection for simple web browsing and to avoid entering private information such as usernames or passwords when utilizing this service. It is important that patrons consider using some sort of firewall on their laptop/electronic device, as this will afford some protection against malicious attacks, but it is important to note that it will not provide for any security as it relates to network traffic.

If available, library staff may provide users assistance when attempting to connect to our wireless network, however there is no guarantee that the connection will be compatible with all devices.

Please be aware that no printing services are available for those patrons using the wireless connection.

VIII. Workstation Use

Use of the workstation is a privilege. The library will make every effort to provide access to its workstations, but during times of high demand educational research and word processing will always take priority over casual browsing and recreational use. Library staff has the right to determine the appropriateness of workstation use and can at any time require a patron to leave the workstation. Unacceptable uses will result in loss of workstation privileges. In accordance with the Library’s general policy, appeals of such loss should be addressed in writing to the Library Director. Perpetrators of malicious damage to the system will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

A. Acceptable Uses – Patrons are encouraged to use the workstation for the following purposes:

  1. Research and educational information
  2. Word-processing
  3. “Surfing,” which is general unstructured navigation of the Internet to locate sites of interest and to hone usage skills
  4. Searching and/or printing from full text databases
  5. Sending and receiving email accessed through accounts established with independent vendors. (The library cannot act as a vendor and will not provide email accounts for patrons.)

B. Unacceptable Uses – Patrons and staff may not use the workstation for the following purposes:

    1. Illegal, unauthorized, unethical, or commercial purposes
    2. Manipulation of internal hardware and/or software including uploading of any software
    3. Transmission or downloading of any material in violation of local, state, or federal laws including the following:
(a) Sending, receiving, or displaying text or graphics which may reasonably be construed as obscene (La. R.S. 14:106 and Computer Decency Act)
(b) Copying or downloading of any material in violation of copyright law. (Downloading of software and files not in the public domain is a violation of copyright law and is expressly prohibited) (Title 17 U.S. Code)
  1. Cyber Bullying – The transmission of any electronic textual, visual, written, or oral communication with the malicious and willful intent to coerce, abuse, torment, or intimidate a person under the age of eighteen is strictly prohibited. The Library reserves the right to prohibit violators from future access to online services.
IX. Revision of Policy

Electronic information and technology are emerging, expanding and changing constantly. The West Baton Rouge Parish Library Board will consider policy changes as guidelines become available.

Gift Policy

The Board acknowledges its obligation to encourage gifts to the Library. Gifts shall be welcomed without restrictions or limitation upon the Library’s right of ultimate disposition, excepting only the condition that, should the donor so request, notice of intent to dispose of a bequest shall be given the donor who shall be entitled to the return of the donated item in preference to other disposition.

Harassment Policy

The Library is committed to providing a workplace that is free from discrimination or any unlawful harassment. In keeping with this commitment, the Library will not tolerate harassment by library employees or of library employees by anyone, including any, manager, co-worker, contractor, vendor, member of the public, or another third party. Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based upon a person’s protected status, such as sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, race, ancestry, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, citizenship status, or other protected group status. The library will not tolerate harassing conduct that affects tangible job benefits, that interferes unreasonably with an individual’s work performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is one form of unlawful harassment. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical, verbal, or visual conduct based on sex constitute sexual harassment when (1) submission to the conduct is an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment, (2) submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for an employment decision, or (3) the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. Sexual harassment may include explicit sexual propositions, sexual innuendo, suggestive comments, sexually oriented “kidding” or “teasing,” “practical jokes,” jokes about gender-specific traits, foul or obscene language or gestures, display of foul or obscene printed or visual material, and physical contact such as patting, pinching, or intentional brushing against another’s body.

Examples of Harassment:

Each must exercise his or her good judgment to avoid engaging in conduct that may be perceived by others as harassment. Forms of unlawful harassment include, but are not limited to:

·         Verbal: repeated sexual innuendoes, racial or sexual epithets, derogatory slurs, off-color jokes, propositions, threats or suggestive or insulting sounds;

·         Visual/Non-verbal: derogatory posters, cartoons, drawings or emails; suggestive objects or pictures; graphic commentaries; leering; or obscene gestures;

·         Physical: unwanted physical contact including touching, interference with an individual’s normal work movement or assault; and

·         Other: making or threatening reprisals as a result of a negative response to harassment.

·         Physically harming others.

·         Verbally abusing others.

·         Using intimidation tactics and making threats.

·         Sabotaging another’s work.

·         Stalking others.

·         Making malicious, false and harmful statements about others.

·         Publicly disclosing another’s private information.

Any employee who believes he/she is being subjected to unlawful harassment or discrimination, or who becomes aware of such conduct being directed at someone else, should promptly notify the Library Director. The Library encourages employees to use this harassment reporting policy without worrying about whether the conduct involved would be considered harassment in a legal sense. If it might be harassment, report it. Reporting applies to harassment or discrimination caused by anyone with whom an employee comes into contact as part of an employee’s job, including co-workers, contractors, vendors, suppliers, members of the public, or any other third party.

All complaints will be investigated thoroughly and promptly. To the extent possible, complaints will be handled confidentially. Refusal to cooperate in an investigation will be grounds for discipline up to and including termination.

The Library prohibits retaliation or adverse action against employees because of their good faith report of harassment or participation in the investigation of alleged harassment.

If the investigation shows the accused individual engaged in harassment, appropriate action will be taken, as in the case of any other serious misconduct. Such actions may include warnings, verbal and written reprimands, suspension or termination.

All Library employees must attend at least one hour of mandatory sexual harassment training each year.

Sex Offender Policy

Louisiana R.S. 14.91.2 requires public libraries to enact a policy which regulates the presence of convicted sex offenders in public libraries effective January 1, 2013.

In accordance with Act 693 of the 2012 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature amended and re-enacted R.S. 14.91.2, effective January 1, 2013, the West Baton Rouge Parish Library Board of Control has adopted on this 2nd day of October, 2012, the following policy for the purpose of:

  1. Compliance with the statutory mandates set forth in Louisiana R.S. 14:91.2
  2. Protecting children from contact with persons who have been convicted of sex offenses where the victim was under 13 years of age

Effective January 1, 2013, persons who have been convicted of sex offenses where the victim was under the age of 13 (referred to as “sex offenders” for purposes of this policy) are restricted in their access to West Baton Rouge Parish Library property, as follows:

a. Children’s Areas – No sex offender shall be physically present in the children’s/teens’ (north) side of the library, or at programs for children or teens in the library conference room, including the use of computers on the children’s/teens’ (north) side of the library.
b. Loitering within 1,000 feet – No sex offender shall loiter within 1,000 feet of immovable public library property, including the gazebo.
c. Employment – no sex offender shall apply for, work for, or otherwise provide services to the West Baton Rouge Parish Library as an employee, contractor, sub-contractor, or volunteer within the afore-stated areas of the library.
I. Exceptions to these restrictions are: Police station/courthouse/polling station – There shall be no violation of this policy if the sex offender is reporting to a police station, courthouse, or polling station that is within the restricted area.

II. The Library Director shall be responsible for developing and implementing administrative and management procedures in furtherance of the policies stated herein. Recommended procedures include, but are not limited to, the following:

a. Background checks – Implement procedures to provide that library employees, contractors, sub-contractors, and volunteers who will interact with children or will be required to work in the restricted areas may be subject to criminal background checks.
b. Configuration – To the extent possible, each library branch shall be arranged in a manner to ensure that areas devoted to children and young readers may be easily supervised by library staff, and such areas are segregated from other library resources and facilities.
c. Notice – implement procedures to ensure adequate public notice of this policy, posting such information in a prominent location near the library’s entrance and on the library’s website.
d. Enforcement – Implement procedures to update policies, where necessary, and enforce policies regarding unattended children.
III. The Library Director and members of the public are invited to make recommendations to the Library Board to improve this regulation or suggest legislative changes that will allow public libraries to more effectively achieve the public purposes set forth herein. Those recommendations, along with any supporting documentation, should be submitted in writing to the West Baton Rouge Parish Library Director by or before the last day of March, June, September, or December for consideration by the Library Board of Control.

Approved by the West Baton Rouge Parish Library Board of Control, October 2, 2013.

Rules of Behavior for Patrons​

The West Baton Rouge Parish Library is open to all who wish to use library resources or attend programs. Any behavior that disrupts the orderly use of the library or that affects the staff’s ability to provide service is strictly prohibited. No one has the right to interfere with anyone else’s right to use the library.

  1. Children under the age of 13 (thirteen) may not be left at the library without responsible adult supervision. Staff members are not allowed to assume responsibility for any child in the absence of a parent or assigned chaperon, even for a short period of time.
  2. Sex offenders who have been convicted of a crime against a victim under the age of 13 are not permitted to be in the children’s/teens’ (North) side of the library, including using the computers on that side of the library. They may not be in the conference room during programs for children or teens.
  3. Guns, knives, and other weapons are not permitted on library premises, police and security guards excepted.
  4. Eating and drinking are not permitted in the library unless part of a planned reception or for conference room use.
  5. Smoking and the use of tobacco products are not permitted in the library.
  6. Alcohol and illegal drugs are not allowed in the library and persons appearing to be intoxicated or on drugs will be required to leave.
  7. Loud, abusive, or vulgar language that is disturbing to patrons or staff will not be tolerated.
  8. Physical, verbal, and sexual harassment of library patrons or staff will not be tolerated.
  9. Thievery, vandalism, and fighting are prohibited.
  10. Soliciting, begging, games of chance, and proselytizing are prohibited.
  11. Exhibitionism (indecent exposure) and voyeurism (peeping) are prohibited.
  12. Seating
    • Seating at study carrels is limited to one person.
    • Seating at tables is limited to four people.
    • Seating at a computer workstation is limited to one person with the exception of a parent with a child or with special permission from the Circulation desk.
  13. Radios or tape, cassette, and CD players, etc. cannot be played in the library.
  14. Mobile phones should be in “silent” mode and conversations held quietly or taken outside the library.

Violation of these rules may result in eviction from the library and suspension of library privileges. The Police and/or Child Protection Services may be notified.

Adopted by the West Baton Rouge Parish Library Board of Control on April 26, 1999.
Reviewed April 22, 2003.
Revised July 15, 2008.
Revised October 2, 2012.

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830 North Alexander Ave.
Port Allen, LA 70767

(225) 342-7920

Library Hours

Monday8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Tuesday8:30 am - 8:00 pm
Wednesday8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Thursday8:30 am - 8:00 pm
Friday8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday9:00 am - 1:00 pm