Library Policies and Cards

MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of the St. Lucie County Library System is to advance knowledge, inspire lifelong learning, and strengthen our community.

  


   

OBTAINING A LIBRARY CARD (Top)
All residents of St. Lucie County are entitled to a library card free of charge. In order to obtain a library card, a resident must fill out completely a Library Card Application (PDF), present proof of residency, photo ID, and sign the application form.

A resident is defined as anyone who can show proof of living within St. Lucie County or anyone who owns property within the County and pays taxes. A resident may rent a home and live here 45 days or more and obtain a free library card. Proof of residency accepted by the Library System includes:

  • Driver's License or State ID with current home address.
  • Voter's registration with current address.
  • Tax bill for home address.
  • A State-issued license, like a fishing license or hunting license with the current home address.
  • Mail received at home address. We prefer bills, but will accept personal mail. We can accept mail forwarded from another address to a current in-county home address.
  • Printed bank checks with current home address (not the temporary checks sent to credit card holders).
  • For young adults over 14 without a driver's license, a current school ID with picture and, if possible, a report card with home address.
  • For any other situations, consult the supervisor at the Branch or Public Services Supervisor at Fort Pierce Branch.

Children between the ages of four (4) and thirteen (13) years of age must have their parent's or responsible adult's signature on the application card assuming responsibility for the books borrowed on that card. Proof of residency must be shown by the adult who signs the application.

All non-county residents must pay an annual, non-refundable fee of $15.00 to obtain a library card and must also present proof of residence in their home county. Exceptions are students registered at Indian River State College. IRSC offers reciprocal borrowing privileges to St. Lucie County residents at all campuses.

Card owners are responsible for all materials charged out on their library cards and are advised to report lost or stolen cards as promptly as possible.

 


 

LIBRARY SYSTEM INTERLIBRARY LOAN (ILL) POLICY (Top)
The Library System may attempt to borrow from other libraries books, audio-visual materials and copies of magazine or journal articles that we do not own. Allow two weeks for this service. This service is available to our registered adult patrons who will be limited to five active requests. Request forms are available at the Reference and Circulation Desks. Requests will not be processed for patrons with fines for overdues, other charges, or who are blocked for any reason. Requested items circulate for two weeks with no renewals. Overdue fines accrue at $1.00 per day.

Magazine/journal article requests must include full citation. These are provided at no additional charge within Florida. Libraries outside of Florida sometimes charge a fee and we are not alerted in advance. The State Library of Florida cannot accept a magazine/journal article request for outside referral unless the client is willing to commit to a potential maximum cost of $10.00 per article in advance.

Each interlibrary loan item is due on the date printed on the charge slip. Lateness more than once will result in permanent suspension of interlibrary loan borrowing privileges. Extreme lateness the first time will also result in permanent suspension of privileges as we must account to the lending libraries and do not wish to lose our privileges with them. National policy on interlibrary loan prohibits requesting a circulating copy of a title if our Library System owns a Reference copy.

 


 

LIBRARY SYSTEM CIRCULATION POLICIES (Top)
The circulation period for any Library-owned book, magazine, audiocassette, videocassette, CD or DVD is TWO WEEKS with four, two-week renewals, provided the item is not on reserve for another user. Patrons may place holds on items in the collection. If items are immediately available, they will be pulled from the shelf the following day, Tuesday-Saturday, and the patron will be notified by phone when they are ready at the pick-up Library specified. If an item is charged out, patrons can find their position in the holds queue by going to MY ACCOUNT in e-Library and selecting REVIEW MY ACCOUNT. 

Borrowing Limits: Only six (6) DVDs and six (6) e-books.

Overdue Fines: Fines are charged and collected to encourage prompt return of library materials so that others may have a chance to use them. With the exception of ILL items, there is a maximum fine of $2.50 per item, or the replacement charge of the item if LESS than $2.50. Fines for lost overdue library materials are computed by adding the replacement cost of the item PLUS the overdue fine.

 


 

OVERDUE FINE RATES (Top)

(Fines are not counted on days when libraries are closed)

Print materials:                       $.10 per day
Media items:                           $.25 per day
ILL items:                              $1.00 per day

 


 

LIBRARY SYSTEM INTERNET USAGE POLICY AND PROCEDURES (Top)
St. Lucie County provides access to computers and the Internet as part of the Library's mission to support access to information for its citizens. Access is made available equally to all users with a library card at no charge. The County assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from the connection to or use of the Internet because public computers are neither private nor secure.

Information on the Internet
The Internet offers access to a wealth of information that can be personally, professionally and culturally enriching. However, not all information available via the Internet is accurate, current or complete. Users are encouraged to exercise critical judgment in evaluating the validity of information accessed via the Internet.

Compliance with Laws, Policies and Procedures
Users of any St. Lucie County Library System computer equipment must comply with Federal and State laws, Library procedures and policies, and the terms of applicable contracts, including software licenses. Examples of applicable laws and policies include the laws of libel, privacy, copyright, trademark, obscenity and child pornography, the Florida Computer Crimes Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act which prohibits "hacking" and similar activities. Users who engage in electronic communications with persons in other states or countries or on other systems or networks may also be subject to the laws of those jurisdictions and the rules and policies of those other systems and networks.

Material Harmful to Minors
St. Lucie County has installed a content filter intended to block pornographic materials that could be considered "harmful to minors" if within the view of children and teens under 18. This filter is turned on for all public computers and may unintentionally block appropriate sites and/or not block materials that users might find offensive. However, if an appropriate site has been unintentionally blocked, a written request may be submitted to Library staff to remove the block using the Request for Reconsideration of Access to a Website form. Computers used by children under the age of 14 have additional content filters to block sites related to social networking, gambling, violence, etc.  Any person 14 years of age and older will have access to the same public computers as adults unless a parent or legal guardian has submitted a written request to limit access to children's computers. Upon written request by a parent or legal guardian, children less than 14 years of age will have access to the same public computers used by adults. Use of an adult filtered computer does not relieve the patron from abiding by Library procedures or State and Federal laws, including displaying materials that could be considered "harmful to minors."

Parental Control
Parents or designated guardians who wish to limit or restrict the access of their own children should personally oversee their use of the Internet and other forms of electronic information. Parents are encouraged to discuss the use of the Internet with their children in relation to their family values and boundaries and to monitor their children's use of the Internet at the library. Minors who visit the library without a parent or guardian are responsible for their own decisions and behaviors. Please visit Internet Safety for Kids & Parents.

Violations
Violation of the laws, policy and procedures that govern the use of the Library's computers and Internet resources may result in loss of the privilege to use these resources. Any illegal activity involving the Library's computer or Internet resources will be reported and is subject to prosecution by the appropriate authorities. St. Lucie County reserves the right to terminate a computer session at any time to anyone suspected of violating Library policy and procedure, Federal, State or local laws.

The Library Manager is authorized to determine if the violation warrants suspension or termination of a user's access to Library computers. The Library Manager will provide a written notice of the suspension or termination to the patron and parent or legal guardian if under the age of 18. This decision may be appealed to the County Administrator or designee by filing a written appeal within 15 days of the notice of suspension or termination of the user's access. Upon receipt of the appeal, a time and place to hear the appeal shall be established and the patron provided 15 days notice of the hearing. The decision of the County Administrator shall be final.

Procedures
The County Administrator is authorized to establish appropriate procedures to implement this policy.

ST. LUCIE COUNTY LIBRARY PUBLIC COMPUTER USE PROCEDURES

1. All computer reservations must be made with the patron’s own Library card at the PC Reservation station.
2. Library cards are available to all verifiable residents of St. Lucie County. Non-residents may purchase a Non-resident Library card at a cost of $15 per year. Library cards entitle patrons to full access of the Internet and all other Library services.
3. If you do not have a Library card, need assistance or have any questions, please ask a staff member. Library staff are not able to provide in-depth computer assistance, but will answer questions and, as time allows, help users locate and use Internet resources.
4. Depending on the site, there are either three or four types of Internet computers: Adult, Youth and Express PCs, or Adult, Teen, Child and Express PCs. Patrons 14 and older may use Adult, Teen or Express PCs. Children 13 and under may use Youth, Teen or Child computers. Parents are referred to the Internet Usage Policy, available on the Library System’s website (library.stlucieco.gov) for securing exceptions to the age limitations.
5. All Library computers are filtered for “adult” content (i.e. harmful to minors). If a site is inappropriately blocked, a patron may request in writing to have it unblocked.
6. Reservations for Adult computers are for 45 minutes; 30 minutes for Youth, Teen and Child computers. Additional time will be awarded automatically if no one is waiting.
7. Express PCs are available for adults with or without a library card on a first come, first serve basis for 15-minute sessions only.
8. No advance reservations are taken to use the Internet.
9. No more than two people may use a computer at one time.
10. Black and white printing is available from all computers at 10 cents per page.
11. To ensure the user’s privacy, computers will reboot at the end of each session. Patrons should log off at the end of their session and pick up their printing.
12. Patrons using the Library’s computers and peripheral equipment are expected to abide by the rules of the Library, including the Internet Usage Policy and the Library System Code of Conduct. Copies of these are available on the Library System’s website: library.stlucieco.gov.

USERS MUST NOT

  • uninstall, delete or modify Library hardware or software configurations
  • attempt to circumvent data protection or security measures including filters
  • move or change the arrangement of Library computers and peripherals
  • run, install or share virus programs
  • use the network to make unauthorized entry into other information or communication services or resources
  • damage computer equipment or software
  • degrade system performance

The St. Lucie County Library System reserves the right to terminate a computer session at any time to anyone suspected of violating Library policy, Federal, State or local laws based on observation by Library staff. A warning statement may be issued if use is terminated for the first violation of Library policy. The Library Manager or designee will determine if a violation, or continued violation, of Library policy has occurred that warrants suspension or termination of a user’s access to Library computers.

 


  

LIBRARY SYSTEM CODE OF PATRON CONDUCT (Top)
The St. Lucie County Library System's mission is "to provide library service to all residents within the library system's service area, which will meet their educational, cultural, informational, inspirational, and recreational needs." The St. Lucie County Library System's Code of Patron Conduct is designed to foster this mission. Towards these ends, certain patron conduct on the premises becomes inappropriate when it interferes with these goals. Examples of inappropriate behavior include but are not limited to:

  • Abuse, vandalism, or destruction of the St. Lucie County Library System's property.
  • Bringing animals, except service animals for the persons with disabilities, into the building.
  • Bringing weapons, or facsimiles thereof, on to library property.
  • Child abuse or abandonment.
  • Eating and/or drinking in the facility.
  • Entering staff areas of the facility without being accompanied by a member of the staff.
  • Entering the rest rooms of the opposite sex.
  • Fighting, physical abuse, threatening and/or verbal abuse to patrons and/or staff.
  • Harassment of patrons or staff.
  • Inappropriate displays of public affection.
  • Intoxication or the possession of intoxicants.
  • Lewd and/or lascivious acts as defined by federal, state and local law.
  • Loitering and/or sleeping.
  • Loud, unruly, offensive and/or disruptive behavior.
  • Cell phone use by patrons in other than designated areas of the library.
  • Bicycling, roller skating and/or skateboarding on library property.
  • Running throwing, playing and/or other forms of physical activity inappropriate in a library setting.
  • Smoking and/or other tobacco use within the building.
  • Begging, soliciting, hawking, peddling and/or other forms of commercial activities.
  • Campaigning for political office.
  • Theft.
  • Using the rest rooms to bathe, wash clothes, shave, etc.
  • Violations of the St. Lucie County Library System's Internet Policy.

The Library Manager or designee will implement these rules. Unlawful activities will be reported to a local law enforcement agency. Patrons, who are behaving objectionably but not illegally, will be warned verbally by a member of the staff that their behavior is inappropriate. Those who do not correct their behavior immediately will be asked to leave the Library's property for the rest of the day. Refusal to leave when properly directed may result in a warrant of criminal trespass. Repeat offenders may lose their library privileges either permanently or for a designated period of time.

Patrons are required to wear shirts and shoes at all times while in the Library. Bathing suits are not permitted.

If a child under 10 years of age or an adult, who is incapable of caring for himself or herself, has been left unattended in the library, staff will attempt to locate that person's caregiver. If the caregiver cannot be located, or if the library is closing, law enforcement will be notified.

People who have received a notice that restricts future access to the Library may request a hearing. The request must be made in writing within 48 hours of the notice (exclusive of weekends). The Library Manager will conduct an informal hearing of the people involved in the incident. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Manager may affirm, modify, or cause the notice to be canceled. An appeal of the Manager's decision may be made to the County Administrator.

 


 

CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY (Top)
In recognizing the Library's position of special trust with members of the public, St. Lucie County desires to clarify its policy and responsibilities with regard to confidential information about patrons and patron use of Library resources that comes into the Library's possession.

To the extent allowed by law, the Library Division shall make a reasonable effort to see that information about patrons and their choices remains confidential. For people to make full and effective use of Library resources, they must feel unconstrained by the possibility that others may become aware of the books they read, the materials they use, the questions they ask, or information they are seeking. The awareness of the existence of such a possibility inhibits use of the Library, its resources and facilities.

Therefore, the St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners has adopted the following guidelines concerning the disclosure of information about Library patrons. Except in accordance with a proper judicial order, as provided in Section 257.261 Florida Statutes or pursuant to Federal law, the County will not make known the following information:

1. Patron's name (or whether an individual is or has been a registered patron).
2. Patron's address, email address and telephone number.
3. Library's circulation records which would include patron's barcode number and the materials that were checked out.
4. Library's borrower records which would include patron names, addresses, telephone numbers or other information which would potentially identify a patron.

In accordance with Section 257.261 Florida Statutes, this policy does not apply to statistical reports of registration and circulation.

All County employees and Library volunteers shall comply with this confidentiality policy unless directed to do otherwise by the County Administrator upon the recommendation of the County Attorney.

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