Patron Code of Conduct

Access to the Washington County Public Library will not be denied to any individual based on age, sex, education, philosophy, occupation, economic level, or ethnic origin. However; patrons who violate the rights of others or create disorder in a library may be asked to leave. The following Code of Patron Conduct will be available at each library facility in the system.
The following behaviors are NOT allowed in Washington County Public libraries:

Eating or drinking, except in designated areas
Smoking or use of any tobacco product
Consuming of alcoholic beverages, use of intoxicants or illegal drugs
Carrying a weapon into the library, unless authorized by the law.
Bringing animals into the library, except those needed to assist a patron with a disability.
Engaging in disruptive/destructive behavior
Interfering with another person’s use of the library or with the library personnel’s performance of duties.
Wearing clothing that causes a disturbance. Shoes must be worn at all times.
Interfering with patrons’ use of the library through offensive or poor personal hygiene.

A verbal warning shall be given to anyone exhibiting these prohibited behaviors. If the behavior continues, the patron will be asked to leave. If a patron fails to do so, local law officials will be contacted.
Library privileges may be limited, suspended, or revoked, without warning, for the following reasons

Damaging library property
Stealing library materials
Threatening, hostile or harassing speech or actions directed towards patrons or personnel
Engaging in other illegal behavior
Displaying objectionable material in violation of the Children’s Internet Protection Act

Washington County Public libraries encourage all children to use their facilities and services.
However, responsibility for children using the libraries rests with the parent/guardian or assigned chaperone. The library is not an authorized, licensed child care provider. Library personnel will not be responsible for unattended children. The presence of inappropriately unattended children will be reported to the proper authorities.

Library Card and Policy Information

  • A Library card may be secured by presenting a valid government-issued photo credential (for example: Florida driver’s license or identification), and documentation indicating the person’s current Washington County physical address. There is a fee to replace a lost or damaged card.
  • A parent or legal guardian must sign for a Library card if an applicant is under the age of 18, and only children appropriate materials may be placed on that card.
  • Loan period limits: books (21 days); CDs (21 days); DVDs (21 days–maximum, two per Library card).
  • Checkout items may be renewed twice, unless any materials have been requested by another patron. Renewals may be performed in person, online, or by telephone, as long as the item(s) is (are) not overdue.
  • The patron whose name appears on the Library card is responsible for any items checked out on it: report lost Library cards immediately.
  • Items designated to be placed on hold will be retained in a patron’s name for only five days.
  • New patrons are limited to checking out only two items for the first three months. After that period, they may check out seven items (with two being DVDs).
  • In-house services include: Faxes; copying; genealogy research; Internet access; meeting room reservation (fee required); free wireless; school readiness classes for toddlers; educational outreach training; e-Book instruction; adult and children’s summer reading programs; instructional classes (specific topics); free e-Books for children (TumbleBooks); free downloadable e-Books and audiobooks (Overdrive); monthly e-mail newsletter containing updates and information (Constant Contact); and special family presentations.
  • Non-residents of Washington County may pay $20 per year for a non-resident card to access library services.

Computer Use Policy

The Washington County Public Library System offers its patrons free public access to the internet. The Library is not responsible for the accuracy, or content of material found online. The Library participates in the federal erate program and is required to be compliant with the Children’s Internet Protection Act. Therefore internet computers are filtered. However, parents are encouraged to be with their children if they access the internet. Children accessing the internet without a parent or legal guardian must present their library card and must have the permission section of their registration card filled out by the parent or legal guardian.

All patrons are required to sign in at the front desk and must present a library card or photo identification before using the computers. Use of the internet will be limited to one (1) hour if someone is waiting. Computer users must agree to follow the computer use policy. Printing is available from all internet computers. The cost is $.20 cents per page for black & white copies. Library staff can assist with computer use as time allows but for in-depth training, users are encouraged to participate in computer classes offered at the library and elsewhere.

A visitor who does not have a library card may use a computer by presenting his or her photo identification. Patrons should see a staff member at the Front Desk if they need to take a test or fill out a form that requires more than an hour of computer use.

Illegal activities or activities that interfere with or disrupt the network, services, equipment or other users are prohibited. Software and other files downloaded from the internet may contain viruses or spyware that may infect other computers. Providing internet access does not constitute any endorsement of Internet resources by the Washington County Public Library System or Washington County. The WCPL or Washington County shall have no liability for any direct and/or indirect damages relating from the use of computers or information accessed on the internet from Library computers.

Any patron who feels another customer is in violation of this policy should notify a staff member immediately.

Misuse of library computers may result in loss of computer privileges, loss of library privileges and/or prosecution. Patrons who violate this policy and/or engage in misuse of the computers will be warned and then banned from using the library computers.

WCPL Public Services Policy Manual