Skip to main content

Guthrie CSD & King County Consolidated Library

Library Policies



             Library Objectives




            Materials Selection


                        Purpose of the Collection

                        Materials Selection Guidelines

                        Gifts and Donations


                        Materials Reconsideration


                        Borrowing Privileges

                        Circulation and Renewals

                        Fines and Fees

                        Interlibrary Loan

            Information Services


                        Photocopy Service

                        Internet Safety Policy




                        Problem Patrons



American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights

American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement

Texas Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Statement

Forms and Procedures

Policy on Lost, Damaged and Overdue Materials

Confidentiality Policy

Equipment and Computer Use Policy

Suggested for Purchase

Donations, Gifts and Memorials

Request for Materials Reconsideration

Summary of Materials Reconsideration Procedure

Patron Code of Conduct

Unattended or Disruptive Children Policy

Displays and Exhibits Policy



It is the mission of Guthrie CSD & King County Library to provide patrons with the means to gain information and knowledge in a helpful, caring atmosphere.  The Library attempts to select, preserve and make available materials in a variety of formats for the informational, educational, recreational and cultural needs in an efficient and effective manner. 


1.  To serve the community as a center of reliable information. 

2.  To provide a place where inquiring minds may encounter the original, sometimes unorthodox, and critical ideas so necessary as correctives and stimulants in a society that depends for its survival on free competition in ideas. 

3.  To support educational, civic, and cultural activities of groups and organizations. 

4.  To provide opportunity and encouragement for children, young people, men and women to educate themselves continuously. 

5.  To seek continually to identify community needs to provide programs of service to meet such needs, and to cooperate with other organizations, agencies, and institutions that can provide programs or service to meet community needs. 

6.To provide opportunity for recreation through the use of literature, films, videos/DVDs, and other art forms.


1.  Resident - The Guthrie CSD & King County Library will serve without charge all citizens of King County.   

2.  Non-Resident - The Guthrie CSD & King County Library will serve any patron who is a Texas resident. 

3.  Hours - The library will be open as many hours per day and days per week as possible.  The hours of service will be determined by the convenience to all patrons and the ability of staff to cover these periods under available funding.  The library will be closed for some of Guthrie CSD's  scheduled holidays. The exact days and times will be posted on this site, and at the library, county courthouse, post office, and the 6666 Supplyhouse physically.  Most county holidays school is still in session.  On these days, unless otherwise noted, the library will remain open.  

4.  Limitations - The use of the library may be denied for due cause.  Objectionable conduct, creating a disturbance, destruction of property, failure to abide by the rules of operation, or interference with service to others may be considered sufficient grounds to effect temporary curtailment of services at the discretion of the staff. 

5.  Interlibrary Loan – At the Library Staff’s discretion, resident patrons of the Guthrie CSD & King County Library will also have access to services of Interlibrary Loan and the West Texas Library System.



The head librarian will be selected by the Guthrie CSD Board and King County Commissioner’s Court with due regard for established professional qualifications for library background and general education.  In order to maintain its membership in the West Texas Library System, the librarian must meet the requirements for certification as a public librarian. 

The librarian will be responsible for the administration of the library staff and programs under the policies established by the Guthrie CSD Board and the King County Commissioners. 


The first duty of the library staff is to serve the public.  Every patron is entitled to prompt, efficient, friendly, courteous service. 

Staff members are encouraged to read widely in both current affairs and literature.  Outside interests and contacts of staff members are a valuable means of communication between the community and the library and will be encouraged. 

All professional staff members should keep in touch with current trends in the profession through professional reading, association membership and attendance at conferences, institutes, workshops, etc.



The use of library facilities, materials, and staff services shall be extended equally to every library patron. 

As the library is the property of the taxpayers, each library patron is expected to exercise reasonable care in his or her use of the facilities, as with any other public property, remembering his or her obligation to his fellow citizens for their use of the same facilities. 


The Guthrie CSD Board, King County Commissioners, and the librarian accept the responsibility to provide an attractive, orderly, functional atmosphere, suited to the use generally made of libraries. 

Adequate space for movement of all patrons and staff and sufficient seating will be provided for library clientele on a first come, first served basis. 


The Guthrie CSD & King County Library exists to give the fullest and most consequential service possible to the greatest number of citizens.  To achieve this objective,  the library staff will endeavor at all times to have a clear sense of purpose keyed to the spirit of the times, together with a substantial knowledge of books and a desire to be of service. 


To encourage adult book use, the librarian should maintain a continuing awareness of the current interests and needs of the adult population representing all strata of the community served.  To seek to interest the highest percentage of the adult population which does not yet use the library will be a constant goal of the library's programs. 

The number of checkouts per cardholder will be at the discretion of the library staff and patron, realizing that any damaged or lost books must be paid for before checkouts continue.  No more than 2 books of a series or author or subject and no more than 5 Accelerated Reading Books may be checked at any one time. 


The library will maintain collections of books and other material for children and young adults. 

Story time, stimulation displays, visual aids, and library instruction will be provided in an environment conducive to learning. 

In the case of unattended children, the number of checkouts is at the parents’ or Library Staff’s discretion. 


In an effort to stimulate the interest of all community agencies and organizations in library service, the library will cooperate with such groups in providing full use of exhibits and public relations programs.  However, service to such groups shall not interfere with the service program for the general public. 


Full cooperation with other libraries of all types is encouraged to the end that every individual in the community may have access to the widest possible library resources.  Some restrictions apply—must have a valid Library Card and be a resident of Guthrie CSD & King County.  Interlibrary Loan procedures will be consistent with the guidelines set up by the West Texas Library System and the Texas State Library.  In all such loans, it will be remembered that the patron for whom the library is primarily intended will have first priority in the use of its materials.  Library patrons choosing to use Interlibrary Loan will be responsible for the return postage of $2.25 per item.  This figure may change if postal rates increase.


Complaints regarding library service should be brought to the attention of the librarian.  If the matter cannot be settled to the satisfaction of the complainant and the librarian, the complaint will be presented to the Guthrie CSD Board and King County Commissioner’s Court in writing, where it will be given full consideration. 



The Guthrie CSD & King County Library subscribe to the philosophy expressed in the Library Bill of Rights and in the Freedom to Read statement of the American Library Association and hereby incorporates those statements as part of the Guthrie CSD & King County Libraries’ book selection policy. 



The purpose of the Guthrie CSD & King County Libraries’ materials collection is to provide resources to assist individuals in their pursuit of educational objectives, intellectual and emotional growth, the enjoyment of leisure times and practical solutions to daily problems.  The library is responsible to its potential constituency to announce this purpose statement, to evaluate and alter it as the community changes and to increase the opportunity for all potential users of its resources to achieve their purposes through the library. 

The Purpose Statement assumes specific definitions for the term "Resources" and for the four categories of activity to which these resources are directed.  The term "Resource" includes:

1.  Print and non-print materials available within the library. 

2.  Electronic data base sources 

3.  Resources in other libraries or locations to which the library may achieve access through interlibrary loan or a similar resource sharing process. 

These resources respond to four categories of activity:

1.  Resources for Education

A.  Materials that supplement the formal curriculum of primary, secondary and post-secondary schools.

B.  Materials that support self-education pursued apart from a structured or formal program.

2.  Resources for Emotional and Intellectual Growth Materials that satisfy a personal need and relate to self-directed attempts at personal understanding and personal growth.  The acquisition of these materials represents a commitment to the improvement of the quality of life of the individual.

3.  Resources that Enhance the Enjoyment of Leisure Time Materials purchased as a source of pleasure and fun for the user.  These materials are not purchased as goal-oriented items, and therefore acquisitions decisions may rest more heavily upon the potential pleasure to be derived by the user than the critical appraisal of the materials.

4.  Resources that Assist in the Practical Solution of Daily Problems

A.  Materials that empower the individual to live more independently.

B.  Materials generally directed at the solution of short-term problems.

C.  Materials that help individuals save money, improve health, save time, etc.


The library acknowledges that each person has information needs that are important to that individual.  It also recognizes that it has limited financial resources to respond to these needs.  The library has a responsibility to use public funds in ways that are advantageous to the largest number of its constituents.  While the library's materials collection will not deny any need consistent with its mission, the library will nevertheless develop its collections with the recognition that it has the ability to meet certain needs more effectively and efficiently than other needs.  It is cognizant of the availability of complementary information-giving institutions in the region through Interlibrary Loans. 


The responsibility for book selection rests with the library, operating within the framework of the policies enunciated herein, and adhering to generally accepted professional practices. 


Selection is the decision to add, retain or delete material as part of the library's resource collection.  All materials, whether purchased by the library or donated to it, are evaluated in accordance with these guidelines.  Each item is evaluated on its significance as an entire work rather than upon the merit of individual parts.  Selection decisions may be made upon one or a combination of guidelines as applicable to the item in question.  Guidelines used by the Guthrie CSD & King County Library to evaluate materials to be selected for its collection include:

1.  The needs of the community.

2.  The overall balance of the collection.

3.  The spirit of service and the philosophy of the library.

4.  The availability of material from other sources.

5.  Budgetary limitations.

6.  Suitability of the format of the item for library use.

7.  Relation to existing collection and other material on the subject.

8.  Reputation or significance of the author.

9.  Reviews in professional literature or patron request.

10.  Accuracy of the item.

11.  Appearance in standard bibliographies and indexes

12.  In-print availability.

13.  Literary merit.

14.  Locally produced or authored material.

15.  Price.

16.  Suitability of reading level, interest level and treatment of subject to the age of the intended audience.

17.  Use of the material locally as assigned reading, viewing or listening. 


The Guthrie CSD & King County Library encourages the public to donate books or any other materials in formats represented in the library collection or to make monetary donations toward additions to the collection.  The library may also receive unsolicited publications from government agencies, publishers, and other organizations.  In each case, unless other arrangements are specifically made, the library reserves the right to use the gift in whatever way is most appropriate to developing the library collection.  This may include distributing portions of the gift to other facilities or using the gift to acquire other materials more appropriate to the collection.  Librarians, at their discretion, may solicit gifts in particular areas of the collection that need development or reflect the donor's interests. 

The librarian will determine whether the donation meets selection guidelines and whether it is appropriate to the collection.  While every effort will be made to fulfill the donor's wishes, the library may suggest appropriate alternative locations for the material. 

All donations accepted to be part of the collection will be cataloged and processed like purchased materials.

Individual items accepted for the collection will be marked with a gift plate identifying the donor where appropriate. 

The library does not appraise the value of gifts for tax purposes since the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers the practice to be a conflict of interest.  Library staff will provide a receipt giving the total number of items donated and the date of the donation when so requested. 

Acceptance of real estate, stock, art etc. will be determined by the Guthrie CSD Board & King County Commissioners on the basis of the gift's suitability to the library's purposes and needs. 


Systematic weeding or the removal of materials from the collection is undertaken by libraries to make the best use of shelf space, to place quality before quantity as a criteria for collection development, to provide current, accurate information by discarding out-dated materials and to establish a regular program of replacement buying.  Shelves are more appealing to library users when ragged or worn items are removed or replaced. 

The removal of obsolete, damaged, unneeded, duplicate or unused materials is as important to collection development as is the acquisition process.  Public trust demands reliable and up-to-date library materials. 

In the Guthrie CSD & King County Library, three weeding guidelines apply equally: condition, accuracy and use.  All materials will be weeded when they are in poor condition and a decision will be made on whether they should be repaired, rebound or replaced.  In addition, any materials which the librarian finds to be inaccurate, will be removed from the collection.  When a new edition of a work is purchased, older editions may be discarded as appropriate. 

The third factor to be considered when weeding is the use the material has received in the immediate past.  The decision to discard an item based on lack of use will be strongly influenced by the space available.  When lack of use indicates an item is a candidate for withdrawal, the librarian will consult the guidelines of the collection development policy (see page 5) to determine if any factors exist which indicate that the item should be retained. 

Once an item has been withdrawn, it may be handled in a number of different ways at the discretion of the librarian.


Besides the deselecting or weeding process, the Guthrie CSD & King County Library provides the public with the opportunity to request that an item be removed or withdrawn from the library's collection.  


1.  Read or view the material in question.

2.  Examine the reviews and the written opinions.

3.  Prepare a written response to the patron.

4.  If the patron is still dissatisfied, the citizen's request in writing will be presented to the Guthrie CSD Board and King County Commissioners where the material in question will be reviewed in light of the selection policy.

5.  Present the request to the Guthrie CSD Board and King County Commissioners.  The Guthrie CSD Board and King County Commissioners and Librarian will read or view the material in question and make a ruling. 




Any resident of  King County or the state of Texas is eligible to use the library and check out materials.  A library patron number issued to anyone who comes in and fills out the forms in order to check out materials.  

DEFINITION OF GOOD STANDING: Patron returns items on time and in good condition. Library account must be free of all fines and/or restrictions. 


Books and Audio books circulation period is 14 days.  Items may be renewed for another circulation period unless the item is on reserve or in special demand.

Video/DVD circulation period is 1 week.

Videos/DVDs may be renewed if not new, or reserved, by another library patron, by phone, and if under 18 years of age, must be brought into the library for renewal.  Patrons must sign an audiovisual user agreement form which states that the individual will assume full responsibility for any loss or damage to the material while in his or her possession.  Four videos/DVDs per family may be checked at one time.   


Reference materials may be used only in the library. 


Reserves are taken on most circulating materials in the library.  Upon locating a reserved item, the library will call the patron twice.  The patron is allowed five days to pick up the reserved item.


All library records are confidential regardless of patron's age.  In accordance with First Amendment guarantees, names of patrons and information about materials checked out will be protected under the laws of the State and the Nation.


Fines of 10 cents per day will be charged on all overdue books and audios.  

Overdue video/DVDs will be charged .25 for videos and .35 for DVD per day.

Interlibrary loan fees are designated for the return of the borrowed item only.

All injuries to library materials beyond reasonable wear and all losses shall be paid to the satisfaction and records of the librarian. 


Interlibrary Loan service is available through Navigator, that we can do for you. Patrons must have a library card to use the service.  Users are expected to abide by interlibrary loan policy concerning return of materials and payment for lost or overdue materials.  Patrons may be asked to pay for photocopied materials received from another library. 


Information service is provided to all members of the public. Service will not be denied or abridged because of sex, age, religious, racial, social, economic or political status. 


The library provides telephone reference service during the hours of library operation – NO phone book cross reference.  Priority attention is given to patrons who are in the building and needing assistance.  If possible, all information inquiries are handled on a first come first served basis.  If the library staff cannot provide immediate help, patrons wanting service will be contacted as soon as possible. 


The library provides a photocopy machine for the patron's convenience and to protect the library collection.  Copyright laws are to be followed by all patrons making photocopies.  The library has no responsibility for personal violations of copyright law. 


The Guthrie CSD & King County Public Library provides access to the Internet as one means of fulfilling its mission to "address the informational, educational, recreational, and cultural needs of all individuals.”All Internet resources accessible through the Library are provided equally to all users, with the understanding that it is the individual user's responsibility to demonstrate judgment, respect for others, and appropriate conduct while using the public library's resources and facility. 

Internet computers will not be used by anyone, including minors, for illegal activity, to access illegal materials, or to access materials that by local community standards would be inappropriate.  Library employees are authorized to take prompt and appropriate actions to enforce the Rules of Conduct, and / or to prohibit use by individuals who fail to comply with the Internet Safety Policy as stated or implied herein.  Parents are responsible for their minor children's use of the Library's resources and facilities.  

The Guthrie CSD & King County Library has installed a filtering software product on all internet access computers.  The installation of such a product is the library's means to comply with specific federal legislation.  The Guthrie CSD & King County Library uses federal funds in a manner identified in Title XVII: The Children's Internet Protection Act requiring compliance with regulations specified in that legislation.  Compliance includes the installation and enforcement of a technology protection measure to prohibit access by ANY user to graphic depictions of illegal materials as defined by US Code Title 18.  The legislation also includes specific language prohibiting access by minors to materials considered "Harmful to minors".  The filtering software product, which is not under the control of the library, may restrict access to sites that could be deemed objectionable, but may also restrict access to sites that legitimate research value.  No filtering system is completely effective or efficient.  Users are warned that objectionable and / or illegal materials may still be accessible through filtering software.  Users are reminded that they are responsible for acting in accordance with "The Rules of Conduct".  Disabling the technology protection measure for adult users for the purpose of bona fide research is acceptable with permission of the staff.  The determination of "Harmful to minors" and bona fide research is the responsibility of the Library Administration.


The King County Public Library portion of the library cannot control the content of resources available on the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. The Internet offers open access to information, ideas, and commentary from around the world in an unregulated medium.  As such, it offers access to a wealth of material that is personally, professionally, and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages, but also enables access to materials that some may find offensive, disturbing and / or illegal, inaccurate or incomplete.  The availability of information does not constitute endorsement of the content by the Guthrie CSD & King County Library.  The Internet, as an information resource, enables the library to provide information beyond the confines of its own collection.  Library users use it at their own risk.  Use of Internet resources carries with it a responsibility to evaluate the quality of the information accessed.  Access, use, or dissemination of information via the Internet in the library is the responsibility of the user.  In the case of minors, it is a joint responsibility of the user and the parent or guardian.  (Since this is a shared school library as well, rules and regulations are different for students.  Librarians will act on behalf of parents and teachers in accordance with the Appropriated Usage guidelines setup and established by Guthrie CSD.)  However, for after school usage, Librarians cannot act in the place of parents in providing constant care and supervision of children as they explore the Internet.  The responsibility for what minors read or view on the Internet rests with parents or guardians.   


The Guthrie CSD & King County Library seeks to protect the First Amendment rights of its users and their individual right to privacy.  However, Internet users must be sensitive to the fact that workstations in public areas and, therefore, images on the screen are subject to view by a wide audience.  Users are urged to respect the sensibilities of others when accessing information that may reasonably be offensive to someone else.  However, absolute privacy for individuals using electronic resources in the library cannot be guaranteed.  There exists a possibility of inadvertent viewing by others, either by watching the user's screen, or because a user might leave the screen unattended.  The "Rules of Conduct" applies to the behavior of individuals using electronic equipment and resources.  Failure to follow this policy could result in the loss of computer privileges.   

Users are cautioned that the Internet is not a secure environment.  Personal information included in all transactions, files and communications may be subject to unauthorized access by third parties.   

The Guthrie CSD & King County Library respects the confidentiality of those using its electronic resources and will release records only as required by law or for the library's operations.   


1.  Internet access computers may be used to access a variety of electronic communications resources including email and chat rooms.  Although the library does not provide email accounts to users, Internet access computers may be used to access free email accounts available from a variety of sources.  Users, including minors, are warned that other individuals may obtain unauthorized access to personal information and / or may misrepresent themselves.  Users, including minors, are advised not to share personal identification information to unknown or otherwise unverified sources via electronic communication. 

2.  Internet access computers may be used to access games.   

3.  The Library's Internet access computers may not be used by ANY user to access inappropriate or illegal materials, including but not limited to materials of an obscene nature or child pornography.  In addition, minors are prohibited from accessing materials considered to be "Harmful to minors".   

4.  The Library’s Internet access computers may be used to access information, except as otherwise specified as unacceptable, from a variety of sources such as educational or commercial.  The user is the selector of the material accessed and is therefore the responsible party.  The user is responsible for complying with all restrictions governing access to specific sites.  Any fees are the responsibility of the user, not the library.  In the case of minors, fees are the fiscal responsibility of the parent or guardian.  In no event shall the Guthrie CSD & King County Library have any liability for lost profits or for any direct or indirect special, punitive, or consequential damages, or any liability to a third party. 


1.  Internet computers will not be used for illegal activity, to access illegal materials, or to access materials that by local community standards would be objectionable.  Illegal materials include, but are not limited to, obscenity and child pornography as defined in US Code Title 18 and State Penal Code Chapters 42 and 43.  Access by minors to materials deemed "Harmful to minors" is prohibited.  Library Administration reserves the right to determine, based on community standards, materials considered to be "Harmful to minors".   

2.  Downloading information is acceptable on a removable download driver. 

3.  Users will respect copyright laws and licensing agreements.  Materials obtained or copied on the Internet may be subject to laws that govern making reproductions of copyrighted works.  A work protected by copyright may not be copied without permission of the copyright owner unless the proposed use falls within the definition of "Fair Use".  Customers are responsible for compliance with all international, national and state laws governing copyrighted materials. 

4.  Users will not make any attempt to misuse the computer.  Misuse includes, but is not limited to, using the computer for illegal activities, hacking into the library computer system or any other computer system, damaging or attempting to damage computer equipment or software, interfering with systems operations, integrity or security, gaining unauthorized access to another person's files, sending harassing messages to other computer users, altering or attempting to alter the library's computer settings, and violating copyright laws and software licensing agreements.  Misuse of the computer may result in the loss of computer privileges and possible prosecution.  Damages resulting from the misuse are the responsibility of the user or, in the case of minors, the parent or guardian. This could lead to PERMANENT LOSS of Internet privileges at the Libraries.   



7.  Independent use of the computers will be granted to patrons aged 6 years and above with a waiver card on file signed by a parent or guardian.  A parent must accompany and SIT DIRECTLY BESIDE children below the age of 6 years.  Children 6 years through 6th grade must have a PARENT SIT DIRECTLY BESIDE THEM if using the Internet.  Patrons 7th grade and above may use the Internet with a signed waiver card on file.  Parent’s signature on card is required for ages 17 and below. 

8.  Use of computers is on a first come first served basis.  Library personnel must check all patrons at the circulation desk before computer use begins.  Once usage has begun, patrons MAY NOT SWITCH COMPUTERS unless library personnel gives approval. 

9.  Internet equipment must be used as installed. Users may not delete, add to or modify the installed hardware or software. 

10.  When all computers are full, if a patron has been on a computer 1 hour and another patron is waiting, that patron must relinquish their computer.

11.  Users may print information from the Internet unless protected by copyright.  

12.  Staff cannot provide individual in-depth training concerning personal computer or Internet use.  Staff may be able to offer suggestions or answer basic questions. 

13Users will respect the privacy of other library users, and will refrain from attempting to view or read material being used by others.  Users are prohibited from the unauthorized disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal information of others.  Users are prohibited from misrepresenting themselves to others. USERS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO DISPLAY ANY VISUAL IMAGES CONTAINING NUDITY, OBSCENITY OR GRAPHIC VIOLENCE.  One warning will be given regarding this rule; a second violation will result in PERMANENT LOSS of Internet privileges at the Libraries.



When library employees believe that the user has failed to comply with the Internet Safety Policy and / or the Rules of Conduct, they are authorized to terminate any user's access session .  Users are advised that due process will be used to handle violations of an illegal nature, including criminal prosecution, if necessary.  

For libraries with branches:

Temporary or permanent denial of Internet privileges at Guthrie CSD & King County Library is effective at all times.



In the event of a fire, library staff will notify the patrons, call 911 and assist in evacuating the building. 


In the event of an ill/injured patron, library staff will respond positively with any reasonable help.  If the ill/injured person is unable to make calls, the library staff will assist in notifying a relative or call an ambulance if necessary. 


All library patrons are expected to conform to the rules listed below.  Persons violating these rules may be instructed by a person in authority to leave the building.  Failure to leave as instructed constitutes trespassing. 

1.  Disorderly conduct is prohibited.

2.  Physical abuse, assault on another person, or the use of abusive, insulting or threatening language to a person in the building shall be cause for removal of the offending party or parties.

3.  Persons intoxicated from alcohol or other drugs will be advised to leave the premises.

4.  Improper acts, which are subjected to prosecution under criminal or civil codes of law, are prohibited.

5.  No food or drink may be consumed in the library (except with prior approval of the Library Director.

6.  No smoking .

7.  Guide dogs for the physically disabled are admitted but other animals or pets are to remain outside the building.

8.  Children younger than 5  years of age must be accompanied by an adult at all times.  An effort will be made to contact the parents of unattended children.  Children who are causing a disturbance will be dealt with as the need arises.  Children remaining on the premises after closing time will be reported to the King County Police. 

Anyone known to have violated any of the above rules or anyone known to have habitually violated the law may be excluded from the library as a matter of administrative policy.  The King County Police  will be contacted in severe instances. 


If dangerous weather is imminent, the Person-in-Charge will notify patrons and staff of weather conditions and invite them to take shelter in the cellar of the Guthrie CSD as the best shelter available.   

These policies will be reviewed periodically as the need arises.

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services. 

I.  Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation. 

II.  Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. 

III.  Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.  

IV.  Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas. 

V.  A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI.  Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable bases, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. 

Adopted June 18, 1948.

Amended February 2, 1961, and January 23, 1980,

inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996,

by the ALA Council.


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 the 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 judgment, will accept the good and reject the bad. The censors, public and private, assume that they should determine what is good and what is bad for their fellow citizens.  

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 need the help of censors to assist them in this task. 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.  

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:  

1.  It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.  

Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested.  Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.  

2.  Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation 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 should be published or circulated.  

Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.  

3.  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.  

No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.  

4.  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.  

To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.  

5.  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.  

The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for the citizen.  It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.  

6.  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 inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive.  

7.  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.  

The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader’s purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all citizens the fullest of their support.  

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.  

Adopted June 25, 1953; revised January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991, July 12, 2000, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.




The Texas Library Association holds that the freedom to read is a corollary of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of the press. Freedom of choice in selecting materials is a necessary safeguard to the freedom to read, and shall be protected against extra-legal, irresponsible attempts by self-appointed censors to abridge it.  The Association believes that citizens shall have the right of free inquiry and the equally important right of forming their own opinions, and that it is of the utmost importance to the continued existence of democracy that freedom of the press in all forms of public communication be defended and preserved. The Texas Library Association subscribes in full to the principles set forth in the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS of the American Library Association, Freedom to Read Statement, and interpretative statements adopted thereto.  


1.  LEGISLATION. The Texas Library Association is concerned with legislation at the federal, state, local and school district level which tends to strengthen the position of libraries and other media of communication as instruments of knowledge and culture in a free society. The Association is also concerned with monitoring proposed legislation at the federal, state, local and school district level which might restrict, prejudice or otherwise interfere with the selection, acquisition, or other professional activities of libraries, as expressed in the American Library Association's LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS and the Freedom to Read Statement.  

The Intellectual Freedom Committee works with the Legislative Committee to watch proposed legislation, at the various levels, which would restrict or interfere with the selection, acquisition, or other professional activities of libraries.  

2.  INTERFERENCE. The Association is concerned with the proposed or actual restrictions imposed by individuals, voluntary committees, or administrative authority on library materials or on the selection judgment, or on the procedures or practices of librarians.  

The Intellectual Freedom Committee attempts to eliminate restrictions which are imposed on the use or selection of library materials or selection judgment or on the procedures or practices of librarians; receives requests for advice and assistance where freedom has been threatened or curtailed; and recommends action to the Executive Board where it appears necessary.  

3.  MATERIALS SELECTION POLICY. The Texas Library Association believes that every library, in order to strengthen its own selection process, and to provide an objective basis for evaluation of that process, should develop a written official statement of policy for the selection of library materials.  

The Intellectual Freedom Committee encourages all libraries to develop a written statement of policy for the selection of library materials which includes an endorsement of the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS.  

4.  EDUCATION. The Texas Library Association is concerned with the continuing education of librarians and the general public in understanding and implementing the philosophy inherent in the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS and the ALA Freedom to Read Statement.  

The Intellectual Freedom Committee supports an active education program for librarians, trustees, and the general public.  

5.  LIAISON WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS. The Texas Library Association, in order to encourage a united front in defending the rights to read, shall cooperate with other organizations concerned with intellectual freedom. 

The Intellectual Freedom Committee advises on TLA positions and cooperates with other organizations.  

Adopted September 15, 1972 by the TLA Council

Reaffirmed April 7, 1995 by the TLA Council

Policy on Lost, Damaged, and Overdue Materials 

The  Library  is invested under the Public Library Act to provide, by ordinance, fines and penalties for injury to any book or other library material, or to any real or personal property belonging to or in the custody of the library, and for failure to return any book or other material or personal property belonging to or in the custody of the library and to exclude from the use of the library any person who willfully violates the rules prescribed by the Ward County Commissioners.  The purpose of this policy is to prevent, discourage, and prohibit the injury to any book or library material or property, real or personal, and the failure to return any book or library material or property to the library.  Therefore, the policy of the Guthrie CSD & King County Library is as follows: 

Section 1.  Any person who shall fail to return in undamaged condition any book or library material belonging to or originally borrowed from the custody of the library shall be assessed fines as herein provided:

            A. Student (i.e. where a student borrower card is used)

                        (a) Books, periodicals, paperbacks, records, and  audios - 10 cents per day, with a maximum fine of the cost of the item.                        

            B. Lost materials

                        (a) Lost items - replacement cost.

                        (b) Lost periodicals - replacement cost only.              

            D. Damaged materials

                        (a) If items are returned in damaged condition that makes them unusable, replacement cost.

 Section 2.  As to lost materials, if items are found and returned that have been paid for, what has been paid will be refunded.

Section 3.  In addition to the foregoing, in the event that any person’s failure to return any book or library material, in an undamaged condition, is determined to be willful, the Director of the Library shall report such violation to the Guthrie CSD and/or the King County Attorney for prosecution pursuant to the applicable terms of the Texas Criminal Code and shall exclude such person from further use of the Library or any privileges attendant thereto until full restitution to the Library has been made.  For purposes of this section, “willful” is to mean “without good cause.” 

Section 4.  All fines and penalties for the commission of injury upon the library, its grounds, or the property thereof shall be paid into the general fund of Guthrie CSD & King County.

Confidentiality Policy

The Guthrie CSD & King County Library abides by the Texas Open Records Act (Vernon's Annotated Civil Statutes, article 6252-17a) which states that the records of patron transactions and the identity of registered library patrons is confidential material. The Guthrie CSD & King County Library does not make available the records of patron transactions to any party except in compliance with the law.  The Guthrie CSD & King County Library does not make available lists of registered patrons except in compliance with the law. 

Procedures for Handling Patron Confidentiality

Patron Requests:

A patron must identify themselves, either in person or on the telephone, before any information will be given concerning:

A.        Items charged out

B.        Items overdue

C.        Fine information

D.        Hold information (either items on hold or those awaiting collection) 

When speaking to a family member and not to the patron, information about the material should be restricted to information that does not reveal the content.


            1.  A videocassette borrowed is overdue and should be returned.

            2.  A book that had been reserved is now in and can be picked up.

If a person other than the patron requests information, staff will state that they are only permitted to discuss specific information with the patron. 

Patron Personal Information:

Address, phone numbers, or any other personal information from a patron's record may not be given out unless legally directed. 


See Internet Safety/Rules of Conduct previously contained in this document. 





IDENTIFICATION________________CARD #_________

My child is in 6th grade or below and with an adult family member seated beside him/her has Permission to use the Internet.


My child is in 7th grade or above and has permission to use the Internet.


I am 18 years of age or older and accept all responsibility for my Internet usage at Ward County Library.

I have read and will abide by the Library’s established Internet Policies.


Suggested for Purchase 

The library welcomes patron interest in the collection and will seriously consider all requests that specific materials be acquired.  The library is under no obligation to fill any particular request if it is not deemed suitable to the collection based on our Collection Development Policy. 

I suggest the library purchase the following item: 



Publisher______________________     Year___________ 


*Where did you hear about this title?___________________ 

Your Name _____________________________________ 

*Library Card Number____________________________ 

Starred items (*) must be completed for consideration of any material.   Thank you.


Please let me know the status of my request by: 

Telephone___           Phone number ___________________ 

Postcard____           Mailing address____________________ 

I will check back_____            I do not need a follow up_____

Donations, Gifts and Memorials

The library is grateful for gifts and its collection has been enriched by donations of materials as well as by contributions.  In accepting a gift of materials, the library reserves the privilege of deciding whether items donated should be added to the collection.  Out of the many books and other materials which citizens so generously give, a considerable proportion can be sed.  Some materials cannot be used because any library material, though of value in itself, may be: (1) a duplicate of an item of which the library already has a sufficient number; (2) outdated--interesting but not of sufficient present reference or circulating value to the library; and/or (3) in poor condition--which would not justify the expense of processing it, i.e. cataloging and preparing it for circulation.  The material will be judged by the same standards of selection as those applied to the purchase of new materials.  The Ward County Libraries accept gift materials with the understanding that gifts that are useful to the library collection will be retained and others disposed of in whatever manner the librarian deems best.  The Library necessarily reserves the right to interfile gifts with other collections on the same subject, so that all collections are organized and classified according to library standards for the best public service. 


In Memory of _________________________________ 



Amount Given___________Date__________ 

Given to Friends_________________________________ 

Library for Book_________________________________

Notify Family___________________________________ 





b/c #_________________________Call #____________

Cost of  book_________________Date filled____________ 


Please make checks payable to the Friends of the Library 

Please return this form to: Library Director, Ward County Library

Gift Agreement Form

Donor                                                                                                             Date                             


 (Street)                                            (City)               (State)                       (Zip)

Description of material donated:

Information concerning the material or donor which would be helpful in organizing and cataloging this material:                                                                                                                                          

This Gift Agreement transfers legal title of the gift to the _______________ Library.

                          Unrestricted gift                                             Restrictions (please specify)

I have read the gift policy provisions of the __________________ Library and agree that they are acceptable.

Donor signature:                                                                               Date                           

Accepted for the Library by:                                                                         Date                                                                                 Library director signature

Materials Reconsideration Procedures  

1. If patrons wish to file a complaint about library materials, Form I, Complaint About Library Materials, should be completed. This form stays on file with the Department Head. The Department Head will examine the material, as well as critical reviews of the material. Repeated complaints about specific works or materials in general will generate a reconsideration of a specific work and/or selection policies. 

2. If patrons wish to have materials reconsidered (as opposed to filing a complaint without definite action), they may fill out Form II, Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials. 

3. When Form II is completely filled out and returned to the library, the appropriate Department Head will review the complaint and the material to determine whether the item should remain or be removed from the collection. The Director should be informed of the complaint and of the decision.

4. The Department Head will write a letter to the patron who initiated the complaint, outlining the above procedures and announcing the disposition of the material in question. The letter may also include a statement inviting the patron to the library to discuss the matter with the Department Head and Library Director. 

5. After an interview with the Department Head and Library Director, a patron desiring further action can make a request in writing for a hearing before the King County Commissioners,  who have final authority. 

Form I—Complaint About Library Material 

    Material: ________________________

    Date: ______________________________ 

    Name: _____________________________________

    Address: ______________________________________


     Telephone: _______________________________ 

    Complaint Represents: _____ Individual ____ Organization 

    Reason for Complaint: ______________             

    Signature: ______________________________

    Took Form II: _________Yes _________ No  

    Date Form II Returned: __________________________

Form II—Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials 

    Author: ____________________________________  

    Title: ________________________________________

     Publisher or Distributor: _______________________ 

    Request Initiated by: _____________________________

    Address: __________________  Telephone: __________ 

    City: __________________________ Zip code: ________

    Request represents:

                  _______ Individual  

                  _______ Organization, list name_______________

                   _______ Other, list name __________________

  Have you read or viewed the entire work? _______________

 If not, what parts? _____________________________ 

 To what in the material do you object? (Please be specific; cite pages or sections.)  

 What good or valuable features do you find in the material?   

What do you feel might be the result of reading or viewing this material?   

Have you read any reviews of this material?     If yes, specify: _______________________________________________

     Do you think this material would be more appropriate for a different age group?

    Please explain:    ____________________________________________________

 What would you like the library to do about this material? _    __________________________________________________________

 Can you recommend other material that would convey as valuable a picture and /or perspective of the subject treated? __________ If yes, please specify:     _____________________________________________________

     Date: _________________ Signature: ___________________________


To insure that all patrons may have considerate use of the Ward County Libraries, appropriate behavior is expected.  Violation of any of the following rules will result in a warning and/or expulsion from the property.  Whenever necessary, police will be contacted.  The Director and supervisory staff have authority to carry out all powers of this policy.

1. No loud talking or boisterous behavior (running, excessive seat changing, etc.).

2. No food or drink may be consumed in the library (except with prior approval of the Library Director.

3. No smoking.

4. No destruction or mutilation of library property.

5. No parking bicycles or other vehicles in a manner that blocks or hinders entry to the library.

6. No conduct which is disruptive to the operation of the library or threatening to patrons, staff, or library property.

7. Cell phones must be turned to silent ring or vibrate when entering the Library.  If you need to make or receive a call,  please use your phone in the entryway to the building.

Unattended and Disruptive Children Policy 

Parents are responsible for the behavior of their children while they are in the Library.  The Guthrie CSD & King County Library and staff are committed to helping children with activities related to the Library.  However, Library staff cannot, nor is it their responsibility to serve as baby-sitters, teachers, or disciplinarians.  Violations of this policy are grounds for suspension of library privileges.  Whenever advisable, the Library will notify the parent of incidents involving an unattended or disruptive child. [Form follows.] 

Children under the age of 6 years old must be accompanied and directly supervised at all times by a parent or guardian.  When the safety of an unattended child is in doubt, or the parent or guardian cannot be located, or if the Library is closing, library staff is authorized to call the police and stay with the child until the police arrive.  Attempts will be made to reach parents, but in no instance will staff take young people home.

From time to time, the Guthrie CSD & King County Library schedules or provides programs that are designed and suitable for attendance by children without parental supervision.  Such program announcements will so indicate, and if no indication is included, then supervision is required.  When so indicated, if the parent or caregiver intends to be absent, they must leave word at the circulation desk as to their whereabouts and a phone number where they or a responsible adult can be contacted. 

Children over the age of 6 years old may use the Library unattended by an adult, subject to other Library rules and policies concerning behavior, conduct, and demeanor. 

Disruptive behavior is any behavior on library premises that infringes on the rights of others using the library as referenced in the Patron Code of Conduct.  In order to assure an environment conducive to reading and viewing and to promote an atmosphere in which lifelong learning and personal development can occur, disruptive children will not be allowed to interfere with library service to others.  Library staff will approach disruptive children in the following manner:

            Give a verbal warning to the child indicating that such behavior is disruptive to other library users and is un-acceptable. 

            If the disruptive behavior continues, approach the parent or guardian with the same warning.  If the child is unattended, give the child a second warning. 

            If the disruptive behavior still continues, request the parent or guardian to escort the child from the library premises.  If the child is unattended, staff should use discretion in asking the child to leave taking into consideration the child's safety. 

            If the child's disruptive behavior continues and he or she refuses to leave the library premises, library staff will call the police dispatcher.   

Library staff will document any incidents involving unattended or disruptive children and inform their supervisor.  In all instances, the staff member in charge must be informed before appropriate action is taken.


Dear                                       , 

            The ______ Library has recently experienced an incident involving your child,                   , where they were:

_____ on Library grounds unattended by you or a responsible caregiver.

_____ behaving in a manner disruptive to library services.   

A copy of the Library’s policy on Unattended or Disruptive Children is enclosed here for your attention.  We ask that you review this policy and make every effort to follow it.  We do not wish to suspend Library privileges for you or your family, but the safety of children as well as the proper operation of the Library is our first responsibility.  If you have any questions regarding this policy or its enforcement, please contact the undersigned. 

Very Truly Yours, 


Library Director


TheGuthrie CSD & King County Library maintains bulletin boards and display cases for the exclusive purpose of promoting the services and programs of the Library.  Although patrons are invited to make suggestions for themes or displays, the responsibility for design and placement of all displays rests with the staff of the Library. 

 Posting of notices does not imply endorsement by the Guthrie CSD & King County Library. 

The Guthrie CSD & King County Library reserves the right to make the final decision as to whether or not a given piece is to be displayed. 


Occasionally, exhibits from sources within the community may be allowed in the Library.  All exhibits considered for space within the Library must support the mission of the Library and not cause disruption of the regular flow of Library work and service.  Such exhibits will remain in place as agreed upon by the displayer and Library Director, with set up and removal being the responsibility of the exhibitor.  The Library assumes no liability for damage or loss relating to any exhibit set-ups for public viewing in the Library and will take no extraordinary measures to insure its safety.

Policies and Forms

Adopted by Guthrie CSD Board & King County Commissioners’ Court