- Computer, Internet Wireless Access Policy
- Internet Filtering
- Rules of Conduct - Library Behavior
- Reglas de Conducta
- Rules for the Supervision of Minors
- Reglas Para la Supervisión de Menores
- Website Linking Policy
- Collection Development Policy
- Donated Materials Policy (see below)
- Meeting Rooms
- Records Retention and Privacy
- Photo Release Policy
- Digital Video Surveillance
Ventura County Library Computer, Internet and Wireless Access policy
The Ventura County Library (VCL) strives to close the Digital Divide by making computer and Internet access available for all. This policy guides access to computers and the Internet offered through the VCL. VCL offers access to computers and the Internet at the library facilities as well as by loan in the library collections.
VCL values intellectual freedom. The Internet offers legitimate, helpful, and educational information. The Internet may contain material of a controversial nature. VCL offers patrons options for Internet access that protect individual intellectual freedom that is also compliant with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) which requires libraries to protect minors from inappropriate material.
However, the Library cannot control the Internet or its contents. VCL neither censors adult access to material nor protects adult users from information that they find offensive.
Privacy: Patrons may be required to use their library barcodes to access the public computers, library Wi-Fi, to borrow computers, or Wi-Fi hotspots for remote use. The Library does not keep records of patrons' Internet use or computing information; the library gathers statistical information only on use of public computers. Privacy screens are available for use within the Library for patron security and confidentiality.
Internet Safety: Parents and guardians of minors 17 and under are responsible for their child's use of the Internet at the library. The Library offers filtered Internet access for minors. Filtered Internet access is software that attempts to block sites that parents typically find objectionable for minors.
- No filtering software package is 100% effective. The Library cannot and does not guarantee that the filtering software will block all objectionable material
- Minors are provided filtered access to Internet computers. The library staff may request identification for age verification. Individuals without appropriate identification will be restricted to a filtered computer for access.
- Parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to monitor their minor child on any library workstation especially if child is accessing internet communication, email, or chat rooms
Ventura County Library uses web filtering products to protect its network from unwanted intrusion as well as to filter certain categories and websites for minors who use VCL computers to access the Internet. No filtering product is 100% effective.
The filtering categories include:
- Phishing and Fraud (attempts to acquire personal data by masquerading as a trustworthy source)
- Malware (viruses, Trojan horses, hacking, etc.)
Responsibilities of Computer and Wi-Fi users: Patrons 18 and older are given the option of accessing filtered or unfiltered access upon each log-in at a library computer. The library environment is a public facility and used by individuals of all ages. Disruptive behavior or failure to comply with VCL policy or library staff directions may result in loss of Internet privileges, expulsion from the library, or prosecution under local, state, or federal laws. The library is not responsible for loss or corruption of data, including theft of personal information or damage to personal electronic devices.
Computer users must also follow the posted Rules of Conduct - Library Behavior and
- be respectful of others when viewing sites that others may find objectionable
- be respectful of others by keeping volume low when using headphones so as not to disrupt fellow library users
- be protective of personal information that is sent via the Internet
- be responsible for any fines or fees associated with damaged or lost computer or Wi-Fi equipment borrowed at or from the Library.
Wireless Internet Access: Ventura County Library provides wireless Internet access at selected libraries and makes Wi-Fi hotspots available for loan to patrons 18 and older
- Wireless network instructions are provided at the Library's main desk.
- The Library's Public Wi-Fi network will be filtered for everyone, children and adults.
- Only patrons 18 and older can borrow a computer or Wi-Fi hotspot for remote use.
- Wi-Fi hotspots in the Library's collection loaned for remote use are unfiltered.
- Library staff cannot provide technical assistance.
- Wireless computer users must use their own wireless-capable devices to access the Internet at the Library or borrow a computer from the Library's collection if it is available.
- Computer users of the wireless network use the service at their own risk.
Copyright and Software License: The copyright laws of the United States (Title 17, US Code) prohibit the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, including software duplication, except as permitted by principles of fair use. The person making the copy is liable for any copyright infringement.
Illegal and Unacceptable Uses: Unacceptable uses include but are not limited to:
- Criminal activities that violate federal, CA or local laws including fraud and child pornography
- Sending unsolicited emails (spamming), unauthorized access to networks (hacking), or attempting to gather personal information (phishing)
- Damaging equipment belonging to VCL including computer privacy screens
- Installing and or using unapproved software on library computers
- Degrading performance or disrupting network users
Ventura County Library - COMPUTER, INTERNET, and WIRELESS ACCESS POLICY - 6/2021
Rules of Conduct
THE LIBRARY IS A PUBLIC PLACE, AND WE ASK OUR VISITORS TO RESPECT OTHERS BY ABIDING BY THESE RULES OF CONDUCT.
1. Behavior must not disrupt other people's use of the library.
2. Shoes are required for safety and health.
3. Smoking or use of tobacco products, alcohol, or illegal substances is not allowed in library buildings or attached patio areas.
4. Bicycles must be parked and locked in designated areas.
5. Rollerblades, skateboards, and roller skates may not be used in the library.
6. Only service animals specifically trained to assist a person with a disability are allowed to enter the building.
7. Large shopping carts or other wheeled conveyances are not permitted in the library. Wheelchairs and strollers are only permitted if being used for the transport of an adult or child.
8. Use of library restrooms for bathing or doing laundry is not permitted.
9. Food must be consumed outside the library or in designated areas only.
10. Soliciting on library property is not allowed.
11. If library security system is triggered, customers may be asked to open their parcels and/or handbags for inspection.
12. Harassment of staff and visitors is prohibited.
13. Personal hygiene habits must not infringe upon other people's use of the library.
14. Cell phones should be set to mute or vibrate while in the library.
15. No weapons are allowed on library property.
16. Criminal behavior of any kind is prohibited.
17. Please do not leave personal belongings unattended. The library is not responsible for loss, theft, or damage of personal property. Personal belongings may not be used to hold a table, carrel, or computer. The library reserves the right to remove unattended belongings to lost and found.
18. Customers are required to move from an accessible computer station to another computer station if a customer using a wheelchair needs to use the accessible station.
Rules for the Supervision of Minors
1. Parents, caregivers, and teachers are responsible for the behavior of children under their supervision.
2. Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by a parent or responsible caregiver 13 years old or older.
3. A responsible adult must directly accompany preschool children at all times. Library staff cannot assume responsibility for children at any time.
4. If an unattended child is in the library at closing time, police will be notified and asked to pick up the child. Library staff is not permitted to offer the child transportation home.
PERSONS WHOSE ACTIONS ARE IN VIOLATION OF THE VENTURA COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM'S BEHAVIOR GUIDELINES MAY BE BANNED FROM LIBRARY PROPERTY FOR SPECIFIC PERIODS OF TIME. These patrons (if in good standing) will still have access to the eLibrary 24/7.
Under circumstances where there is no violent, illegal, or lewd behavior or harassment of staff or visitors, a series of escalating short-term bans may be imposed in the effort to correct offending customer conduct.
- First time offenders will be warned.
- Second time offenders will be asked to leave library property for one business day.
- Third time offenders will be asked to leave library property for one week and will be barred from using any branch of the Ventura County Library System during that week.
- Fourth time offenders will be asked to leave library property for one month and will be barred from using any branch of the Ventura County Library System during that month, unless the Branch Manager recommends that the Deputy Director review the imposition of a more severe penalty, in which case the Deputy Director will determine the appropriate penalty.
Violent, illegal, or lewd behavior; harassment of staff or visitors; or failure to comply with reasonable staff direction may result in the offender being barred from all Ventura County Library branches for periods of one month or more, even if the offense is the offender’s first.
Appeal of Banning Decisions
- Persons who are banned from VCLS for periods of one month or longer may appeal the decision to the Library Director.
- If an appeal is requested, the Library Director will schedule a meeting to occur within two weeks of the request.
- The banned customer may bring witnesses or other supporting evidence of reasons that the ban should be rescinded.
- The Library Director will issue a decision within one week of the meeting. That decision will be final.
Policy and Procedure Manual, 6/15/2023.
Linking Policy for Ventura County Library Website
The primary focus of the website of Ventura County Library (VCL) is to provide online access to library resources such as the library catalog, electronic subscription databases and individual branch location pages, including programs, events and announcements.
Our website may link to external websites and information resources. These links are not intended to be comprehensive.
Links will typically be limited to sites whose content has direct relevance to VCL and its patrons. All links must be to sites with content consistent with VCL's mission and collection development policy.
VCL reserves the right to revise, reject or remove links to any website without notice.
The appearance of a link on the Library's website does not constitute an endorsement by VCL of the site's content, viewpoints expressed, sponsoring organization, products or services.
Linking to Ventura County Library
VCL encourages organizations and individuals to link to the Library's website at www.vencolibrary.org. Copyright law applies.
Collection Development Policy
COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT RESPONSIBILITY & COMMUNITY PROFILE
Ventura County is an area of rich cultural tradition. Our community is proud of its many arts, civic, philanthropic, educational, sports, and recreational opportunities and institutions. Knowledge of our community is essential in making decisions about the Library's collection. Our collection reflects the diverse, dynamic community we serve through our library branches. As our community changes, the Library continues to reassess and change its collections to reflect those community needs.
Ultimate responsibility for collection development rests with the Ventura County Library Director, who administers under the authority of the County Board of Supervisors. The Ventura County Library Director, in turn, delegates the authority for selection to designated professional staff who make individual selection decisions.
PURPOSE OF THE COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICY
This policy serves three purposes:
- It acts as a blueprint for our collection, guiding staff in decision-making regarding the selection, management, and preservation of the collection.
- It informs the public of the principles guiding our collection development.
- It states the Library's commitment to intellectual freedom and to providing information expressing a variety of viewpoints.
SELECTION AND EVALUATION CRITERIA
Library staff utilize professional judgment and expertise in making collection development decisions, including decisions about choosing titles, identifying quantities for purchase, and selecting locations for materials. Anticipated demand, community interests, strengths and weaknesses of the existing collections, system-wide availability, physical space limitations, acquisitions procedures, and available funds are all factors taken into consideration. Materials are acquired in multiple formats and languages when appropriate, including print, audiovisual, and digital resources. Selection priority is given to those materials in formats having the broadest appeal.
Library staff use their training, subject knowledge, and the selection criteria below to identify collection goals and priorities for their assigned libraries and collections. The following criteria are used to evaluate and select items for the collection. An item need not meet all of these criteria to be selected. Certain materials are selected to address local community needs; branch materials, therefore, are not necessarily duplicated in all collections. Materials are acquired with varying levels of literacy. We value and support all readers at whatever their reading ability.
- Accuracy of the information
- Comprehensiveness and relation to the existing collection
- Enduring significance or interest
- Representation of diverse points of view
- Cost in relation to use and/or enhancement to the collection
- Critical reviews
- Current and anticipated appeal
- Local interest
- Historical significance
Additional format criteria are considered when selecting digital content, including: accessibility; ease of use; equipment, training, and technology requirements; license agreement requirements and vendor support; and uniqueness of content.
Sources for selection decisions encompass, but are not limited to, published reviews from standard review sources, publisher/vendor catalogs, and professional and trade bibliographies. The Library strongly encourages customer input. All customer requests and recommendations are subject to the selection criteria outlined above.
The Library accepts gifts of materials for the collection using the same selection criteria that are applied to purchased materials. The Library retains unconditional ownership of gifts. Decisions regarding the final disposition of gifts are the responsibility of staff at individual libraries, using the following guidelines:
- Not all gifts are added to the collection. Gift materials not added to the collection are not returned to the donor.
- Unused gifts may be given to the local Friends group for public sale or further disposal as those groups deem suitable, or they may be disposed of through other means determined by the Library.
- The Library does not place a value on gifts, nor provide appraisals for income tax or any other purpose.
Monetary gifts for purchase of materials are accepted. Items purchased with donated funds will be consistent with collection development criteria.
Collection Evaluation & Maintenance
Once materials have been added to the Library's collection, they are managed through an assessment and evaluation process to ensure that ongoing collection priorities are met; that collections remain up to date, balanced, and attractive; and that space limitations are minimized. This process identifies items for replacement, retention, or de-selection. Library staff utilize professional judgment and expertise in deciding which materials to retain, replace, repair, or de-select. De-selection (removing items from the collection) is an integral part of collection development. The Library retains those materials that continue to have enduring or permanent significance to its mission and overall collection goals.
Along with the same criteria used to select new materials, general criteria for retaining, replacing, repairing, or de-selecting include but are not limited to:
- Availability of item in alternative formats
- Historical significance, interest, or value
- Physical condition
- Space considerations
- Superseded, inaccurate, or out-of-date content
Focus on Local History
Ventura County Library provides the connection to Ventura County's past by providing access to local history materials. These collections are useful to a wide variety of library customers, from genealogists and family historians, to customers researching the history of their home, and local students searching for class project resources. The Ventura County Library local history collections preserve the collective memory of the county's community. Access to these collections is crucial to meeting the lifelong learning needs of the county library's customers to connect with their past and inform their future. On a regular and recurring basis, staff at county libraries that have local history collections along with appropriate staff in technical services, and community partners will actively collect items of historical significance, ensure that they are cataloged, organized, preserved and made accessible to the library's customers. Materials should be accessible either physically, digitally, or both.
The Library is committed to the principle that the constitutionally protected freedoms of speech and press are enjoyed by all. To this end, the Library strives to offer a collection that represents the needs of our diverse community. Inclusion of an item in the collection does not mean that the Library endorses any theory or statement contained in those materials and resources.
While every customer may not agree with the viewpoints offered in some Library material, the Library has a responsibility to provide a balanced collection with access to material reflecting diverse ideas through which any side of a question, cause, or movement may be explored, provided that the material meets the outlined selection criteria. The balanced nature of the collection is reflected in the diversity of materials, not in an equality of numbers. Customers are free to choose what they like from the collection, to reject what they do not like, but not to restrict the freedom of others to choose.
The Library is committed to free and open access to its collections and to connecting people with the world of ideas, information, and materials they wish to explore in a friendly, nonjudgmental manner. In this the Library is guided by the American Library Association's (ALA) Library Bill of Rights.
Reconsideration of Library Materials
The Library welcomes expressions of opinion from customers concerning materials selected or not selected for the collection. If a customer questions the content, tone, or placement of an item in the collection, he/she should first address the concern with a Library staff member. Customers who wish to continue their request for reconsideration of library material may submit the Request for Reconsideration form.
The Collection Development Committee will evaluate all requests to add or remove material from the collection within the context of the Collection Development Policy. During this process, the material in question will remain accessible to Library customers. After a decision is reached, the committee will respond by letter to the customer.
Donated Materials Policy
The Ventura County Library appreciates your donation of books and other library materials. If a donation is to be considered for addition to the library collection, it must be given to a staff member, who will issue a receipt for the donation. Materials considered for the collection must have been published or released within the last two years, must be in excellent condition, and must be judged by staff to have value for the library collection.
Materials not added to the library collection may be given to Friends of the Library groups, which support library operations through book sales and other events. In this way, every donation helps your local library.
Thank you for thinking of Ventura County Library!
Each branch with meeting room(s) has its own set of rules. Start at the main Meeting Room page to find a specific location's meeting room policies (rules).
Your Right to Privacy
Ventura County Library Services (the “Library”) is committed to protecting your privacy by keeping personally identifiable information confidential. Our commitment to your privacy has deep roots in the law and in the ethics and practices of librarianship. The Library holds true to the values of the American Library Association affirming that, “Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association.” As such, we “protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted.”
Government Code sections 7927.105 and 7927.100, subdivision (j), protect your library records from disclosure if a member of the public or the media requests them. Library records include any written or electronic record used to identify a customer. This includes, but is not limited to, your borrowing history, name, address, telephone number, or email address. Although the Library does everything we can in order to protect your privacy, there are times when we may be required by law to provide this information. Library records may be subject to disclosure to law enforcement officials under provisions of state and federal law.
Photo Release Policy
- The mission of Ventura County Library Services (the “Library”) is to provide superior public service and support so that all residents have the opportunity to improve their quality of life while enjoying the benefits of a safe, healthy, and vibrant community. In support of documenting and sharing this superior public service it is the Library’s policy that Library employees maintain a set of standards and procedures that document library happenings through photo and video documentation. The purpose of this policy is to communicate to all employees the preferred process for taking photos and videos of Library events and ensure a respectful balance with customer privacy.
- Photo Release Notices informing the public that photo or video content will recorded may be posted in the Branch in English and Spanish.
Please review the Photo Release Policy document for the full details and links to additional information.
Digital Video Surveillance
Ventura County Library Services (the “Library”) employs video security cameras in an effort to help maintain the security of the facility for Library customers and staff. Signs are posted at Library entrances informing the public security cameras are in use.
The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the placement and use of security cameras, as well as the access and retrieval of recorded digital video images at the Library.
Please review the Digital Video Surveillance document for the full details and links to additional information.