Use Policy


I.                   COMPUTERS

A.                INTERNET SAFETY

The Internet is a global electronic network that provides access to ideas, information and commentary. The Stevens County Library is concerned for the safety and security of patrons who access online information. The library has no control over the content of the Internet and cannot be held responsible for what the patron sees when connected to the Internet. When one uses the Internet, one “leaves the library. The safety and security of patrons accessing the Internet require those persons to be cautious, thoughtful, protective of personal information, and respectful of library policy and state and federal laws. The library does not expressly or in an implied manner warrant the quality, accuracy, veracity, completeness or authenticity of any material or information accessed through the Internet computers.  It is the responsibility of the patron to read all disclaimer statements on the Internet and those associated with this policy. The restriction of a minor’s access to the Internet beyond that required by this policy is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian.

The Stevens County Library complies with federal and state laws with a particular awareness of federal laws on the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act (NCIPA), copyright (U.S. Code, Title 17), and Kansas laws relating to obscenity (K.S.A. 21-4301; 21-4301a, and 21-4301c). The library and library patrons must comply with these laws. Furthermore, Internet patrons are not to use the equipment in any unauthorized or unlawful manner or for any illegal purpose, as described in the Kansas Criminal Code (see K.S. A. 21-3755). Library patrons must respect the legal protection provided by copyright license to software, books, articles, and other electronic files.

Specifically, as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), blocking shall be applied to visual depictions of material deemed obscene or child pornography, or to any material deemed harmful to minors. To provide the definition required by CIPA and NCIPA, the phrase “matter…inappropriate for minors….” used in the federal law is regarded as synonymous with the definition of obscenity in K.S.A. 21-4301; 21-4301a, and 21-4301c. CIPA and NCIPA are laws adopted by Congress to protect children and others as they use the Internet from a computer located in a public library or public school. The laws require an age-related limitation of information access for, in the Kansas law, “…a child under the age of 18 years” and in CIPA and NCIPA, “…an individual who has not attained the age of 17.” This limitation is applied to information that is obscene as defined in K.S.A. 21-4301; 21-4301a, and 21-4301c. In compliance with state law, the Stevens County Library will apply this limitation to patrons under the age of 18.

The Stevens County Library will comply with CIPA and NCIPA regarding the requirement to use a Technology Protection Measure (filtering). All library Internet computers will use a TPM. However, this technology is not reliable and the library cannot be held responsible for prohibited information that might be displayed or for useful information that may be blocked. Library staff members are not responsible for monitoring use of and content accessed by patrons of any age. Parents or guardians, not library staff, are responsible for the information selected or accessed by their children or wards.  Therefore, parents and guardians are advised to supervise children’s Internet use.

U.S. Code Title 17 contains the laws that protect the rights of authors to their publications and other intellectual property.


Computers are available to the public during regular library hours on a first-come, first-served basis.  Individual use of the computer stations will be limited to a period of sixty (60) minutes per day.

Minors wishing to use the library’s computer lab must have written parental permission on file.

C.                 RESERVATION EXTENsION

Computer patrons must be completely finished with the computer and the printer by the end of the reserved time.  Extensions to the 60-minute time period may be granted for educational purposes.

D.                FOOD

Food and drink must not be in the vicinity of the workstations.  Please leave all food and beverage containers at the front desk.

E.                 SAVING OF FILES

Files may be saved to an external source.

F.                 DATA LOSS

The Stevens County Library is not responsible for loss of data that may occur while using the library’s computer or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur to a patron’s computer resulting from patron use of the library’s computers.

G.                PRINT CHARGES

The charge for use of the printer is at the rate posted for copies.  There will be NO discount for any copy made by the computer printers.

H.                EQUIPMENT PROBLEMS

Any equipment problems are to be reported immediately to the library staff.  Patrons should not attempt to fix the problem themselves.

I.                   STAFF ACCESS

Internet access is provided primarily to support research.  To that end, the highest priority will be given to Library patrons and Library staff conducting research for patrons to support their research.  Library staff reserves the right to access to computers at any time.

J.                   TRAINING

Library staff cannot provide in-depth training concerning specific computer programs or Internet access.  The staff may, however, be able to offer suggestions and answer questions.  Due to library scheduling, computer-trained staff may not always be available.  Library staff will assist patrons with Internet use and computer applications as time permits.

K.                PRIVACY RIGHTS

Patrons are prohibited from invading the privacy of the computer patron.  Invasion of privacy shall include asking permission to observe, or “hovering” or lingering near the workstation in such a manner as to disturb the patron at the workstation.  No individual may use proximity to any computer in the library as a method of intimidation or to gain access to the computer.  The patron using the computer may request library staff to ask a”hovering” patron to leave the area so as not to have visual contact with the screen or keyboard of the computer in use.  Patrons who do not comply with staff requests to leave the vicinity of the computer fall into the category of “Disruptive Behavior” (see Section 10, p. 46).

L.                 UNACCEPTABLE USE

A patron will not misuse a library computer to

  1. Access the computer using a false identification number and/or name
  2. Access or display information that is “obscene” or “harmful to minors” as defined by Kansas laws
  3. Downloading and/or installing software.
  4. Access inappropriate materials and leave them on the screen or in the printer for others.
  5. Participate in email, Participate in email, a chat room, or instant messages  that use information that is obscene as defined by Kansas law
  6. Compromise or threaten the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications
  7. Disclose, use, and/or disseminate personal information that could threaten or create a vulnerability for a minor, for any other person, or for the library

M.              CONSEQUENCES

When a member of the library staff observes a patron using the workstation in violation of library policy, the patron will be deemed to be using the workstation in an unacceptable manner, resulting in any or all of the following consequences:

1.                  First offense

Immediate termination of the computer session and suspension of computer use or other library use privileges for one month

2.                  Second offense

Denial of computer privileges for three months

3.                  Third offense

Denial of all future computer privileges

Parents or guardians of minors who violate the Policy will be notified in writing of any sanctions and the reasons for the sanctions.

Decisions regarding the consequences of violating the Internet Use Policy will be made by the Library Director or his/her appointed agent.

Illegal acts involving the Library computing resources may be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.

Revised 08.15.2011



The Stevens County Library has several areas available for exhibits and displays.  Individuals are encouraged to share their personal exhibits and displays.  Exhibits are scheduled in advance.  Contact the Director for information.


A.                PRINCIPLES

Interlibrary loan is a primary service that supports the mission of the Stevens County Library by providing enhanced access to library materials and information. The purpose of interlibrary loan is to obtain materials not available in the library and to provide material from the collection to other libraries.

The Stevens County Library affirms that interlibrary loan is an adjunct to, not a substitute for, the library’s collection. In meeting patron needs, the library will exhaust local resources first, including its own collection and those of system libraries where possible, before requesting items from other locations on interlibrary loan. Items in frequent or recurring demand will be considered for purchase.

B.                DEFINITION

Interlibrary loan is a transaction in which the Stevens County Library borrows materials directly from another library on behalf of a patron, or another library borrows materials from the Stevens County Library on behalf of its patron.

C.                 CONDITIONS OF SERVICE

The Stevens County Library endorses the principles relating to interlibrary loan included in the Kansas Public Library Standards, the ALA Interlibrary Loan Code, the U.S. Copyright Law and federal and state laws governing confidentiality of records.


1.                  USERS

This service is offered to all patrons of the Stevens County Library in good standing. The interlibrary loan borrowing privileges of delinquent patrons are suspended until any overdue materials have been returned by them AND payment of overdue and/or damage charges are made. The interlibrary loan borrowing privileges of patrons who accumulate late fees are suspended until payment is made. Failure to return interlibrary loan items on time or to pick up items ordered may result in the suspension of interlibrary loan services for the delinquent patron.


Interlibrary loan is an integral element in collection development. The interlibrary loan staff will request materials not owned by the library or missing from the library’s collection, or materials owned by the library that are in the process of being repaired and are temporarily unavailable. Materials that will not be requested include items owned by the library and temporarily in use or on reserve in the library, and electronic full-text information available to the library via the Kansas State Library and KanEd Databases, the Internet, or other means. (To support book clubs, however, the library staff may request multiple copies of a book club selection, even if the library already owns a copy.)

3.                  HOW TO SUBMIT A REQUEST

A patron may place a request at the circulation desk, via email, or over the telephone. Forms are available for placing a request. A library staff member will transfer the appropriate information to a standard interlibrary loan form. Requests for photocopies must include indication of compliance with the U.S. Copyright Law.

4.                  TURNAROUND TIME

Service will be provided as quickly as possible. Turnaround time varies depending upon the lending library and the materials requested. Patrons will be notified by telephone or by mail if the patron does not have a telephone available.

5.                  CONDITIONS OF USE

The library will strictly observe any conditions for use of loaned materials that are imposed by a lending library.

6.                  CHARGES

The library will not charge its patrons a fee for borrowing via interlibrary loan. If the lending library specifies that it requires costs for photocopies or mailing a particular requested material, patrons will be consulted about their willingness to pay before materials are borrowed.

7.                  RESPONSIBILITY

The library will endeavor to collect any charges for overdue materials, loss, or damage from the patron who received the materials. The library will be responsible for materials borrowed on behalf of its patrons, from the time the material leaves the lending library until it is returned there. The library agrees to pay for overdue charges, damage, or loss of materials borrowed on interlibrary loan.

8.                  STATISTICS

The library will maintain records of transactions in order to inform patrons of the status of their requests and will annually report activity as required to the Kansas State Library.


1.                  USERS

This service is offered to other libraries that abide by the conditions set forth in section III of this policy.

2.                  MATERIALS AVAILABLE

The library endeavors to make available the broadest range of materials for interlibrary loan, with the following exceptions:

a)                  Materials limited by licensing agreements

b)                  Materials designated as non-circulating (reference)

c)                   Equipment, including but not limited to, folding chairs, typewriters, computers, VCRs, and projectors

d)                  The library also reserves the right to refuse to lend other materials or to ask a borrowing library to restrict use of materials lent.

3.                  FORMAT FOR REQUEST

Requests to borrow materials from the library are accepted via fax, email, telephone, or mail. Rush requests are accommodated as time and staffing permit.

4.                  TURNAROUND

The library will provide speedy turnaround on most requests, usually responding within one (1) business day.

5.                  CIRCULATION PERIOD

The circulation period for items lent on interlibrary loan will be the same as that for regular circulation. Items are due at the borrowing library on that date and will not be considered overdue at this library for one (1) week after the due date. One (1) renewal will be granted unless the material is needed by another patron of the library.

6.                  CHARGES

The library will not charge for lending materials. The library will charge the borrowing library for materials that are damaged, or lost on interlibrary loan.

Adopted 09/11/2007

IV.            MEETING ROOM

The following is a set of guidelines adopted by the Stevens County Library Board of Trustees for the use of the library’s public facilities.  Please read the guidelines carefully.  After you have read the guidelines, please sign and return this form to the Stevens County Library.  Your signature on the letter signifies that you have read, understand and accept the guidelines for facility use.


A.                AVAILABILITY

The Stevens County Library welcomes the use of its multi-purpose area and/or computer lab for activities of a civic or educational nature and for the discussion of current public questions.  The meeting room is available to nonprofit organizations regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of their members.  Duly constituted continuing political groups may use the room, but temporary committees for the advancement of an individual’s success in a political campaign shall be denied such use.  The activities and programs of Stevens County Library will have first priority on a scheduled basis for the use of library facilities.  It is understood that all meetings held will be open to the public should anyone wish to attend.  Profit-making organizations are not eligible to schedule the meeting room.  Contact the library staff to schedule meeting times.

B.                CHARGES

1.                  Four-hour Reservation

Fifty dollars ($50.00) cash, ($25.00 deposit and $25.00 charge for the use of the room) will be required prior to the use of the room or when keys are obtained.

2.                  Eight-hour Reservation

Seventy-five dollars ($75.00) cash, ($25.00 deposit and $50.00 charge for the use of the room) will be required prior to the use of the room or when keys are obtained.

3.                  Deposit reimbursement

The twenty-five dollar ($25.00) deposit will be returned to the individual or group following the completion of the meeting if the meeting has not exceeded the reserved time, the meeting room does not require excessive cleaning or repair after use and all equipment and furnishings are left in a clean and operational condition.  The check for the deposit will be issued after the first library board meeting following the scheduled meeting or event.  Damages to the facility, leaving it in poor condition, or failure to return the key within twenty-four (24) hours of the reservation will result in forfeit of the entire amount of the security deposit and billing for any additional repairs or accrued costs.

4.                  computer lab use

An additional twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for a four-hour meeting and fifty dollars ($50.00) for an eight-hour meeting will be required if the computer lab is to be used.

The Stevens County Library reserves the right to prohibit use of the facilities by those who have, in the past, damaged, created disturbances, or in any way failed to properly use or maintain the facility.  Failure to pay the use fee will also eliminate future use of the facilities by that person or organization.


1.                  Scheduling

Scheduling of the meeting room during hours when the library is not open is based upon having library staff available for evaluation.  Arrangements for late use of the room(s) must be made at least two weeks in advance.  Use of the room(s) must cease by 10:30 p.m.  It is the responsibility of a representative of the group to secure any exterior doors group members use to enter the building.  The room will not be available when the library is to be closed for an extended period (i.e. holidays.)

2.                  Setup

The organization will be responsible for setting up the room according to its own needs.  The organization using the room must restore the furniture and room to the order in which it was found.  Organizations requiring audiovisual equipment will make their own arrangements; the Stevens County Library will provide equipment if possible.  (See registration form)

3.                  admission

No admission fee may be charged, nor a collection be taken during the meeting.  No product may be sold, except in payment for materials required for educational or group discussion use.

4.                  Publicity

All publicity must carry the name of the organization sponsoring the meeting.  The Stevens County Library may not be identified as a sponsor.  Any printed materials or displays used by the organization must be approved by the Library Director.  Neither name nor address of the Stevens County Library may be used as the official address or headquarters of the organization.  No program from the Stevens County Library may be broadcast or televised without the permission of the Director.

5.                  Parking

Parking on the west side of the library is reserved for library patrons during business hours.  Violators will be asked to move offending vehicles.

6.                  Unacceptable activities

a)                  There shall be no smoking on the premises.

b)                  No alcoholic beverages may be served at any time.

c)                   Noise and volume of audio presentation must be kept at a moderate level.

7.                  Youth organizations

Youth organizations using the multi-purpose area must have an adult supervisor (over 21) in attendance at all times to accept the responsibility for the conduct of the group using the facility and the care of the facility and/or equipment.

8.                  responsibility

Each group using the library meeting facility must assume full responsibility for injury.  The library provides no insurance to cover medical and dental expenses, hospitalization and disability of individuals using the facility.  The library assumes no responsibility for lost or stolen articles or damage that may arise through use of the facility.

9.                  discrimination

Each group using the facility shall be responsible for providing any qualified interpreters or auxiliary aids requested by a disabled individual.  Publicity by the group about the meeting should indicate that the group would arrange for assistance if a request were made in advance of the meeting.  No group or organization using the multi-purpose area will discriminate based on race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, or handicapped status in the provision of service.

10.              key

The person signing the contract will be responsible for returning the key within 24 hours of the end of the meeting or deposit will be forfeited and additional charges will be assessed.  The key can be returned immediately after the meeting in the book drop at the front of the building.

11.              Cancellations

If a meeting is cancelled, the Director should be notified as soon as possible.

12.              Exceptions

Exceptions to these policies are possible only by permission of the Stevens County Library Board of Trustees.

D.                CLEANUP

1.            Wipe chairs and tables; put chairs and tables away after use.

2.            Clean kitchen facilities

3.            Vacuum carpet

4.            Check and straighten restrooms

5.            Remove trash

6.            Secure windows and exterior doors

V.                PROGRAMMING

Programming is an integral part of the service provided by the Stevens County Library and is instrumental to the achievement of the library’s mission.   The library upholds the principle of intellectual freedom and supports the rights of individuals to read, speak, view and exchange differing points of view on any subject. To accomplish this, the library may present controversial programs in order to ensure public access to all sides of an issue. Programs are developed to respond to emerging community interests as well as to sustain demonstrated interests and demand.

Programs complement other library services by providing an opportunity to highlight collections, promote services and share knowledge and expertise. They are a strong mechanism for outreach and promotion which allow the library to forge partnerships with a wide variety of groups and individuals and attract both regular and new users of all ages and backgrounds. Programs raise the library’s profile in the community and have a positive impact on library use.


Library programs benefit the community by:

  1. Being responsive to current interests
  2. Serving as a forum for idea sharing, information gathering and education
  3. Promoting cultural awareness
  4. Developing information literacy
  5. Offering training and assistance with new technologies
  6. Fostering a love of reading and learning
  7. Providing early literacy experiences to young children
  8. Providing a safe, welcoming environment for meeting with others
  9. Community awareness / development


Programs are developed in accordance with the Stevens County Library Programming Policy which sets out the following framework.  Programs offered will:

  1. be clearly linked to service priorities, marketing objectives and will follow program policy
  2. consistently draw benchmarked numbers of target audiences
  3. offer a balance between large scale and smaller group program formats
  4. will usually focus on one or several of the following areas:

a)                  Literature

b)                  Social awareness

c)                   Health and well-being

d)                  Information technology

e)                  Literacy

f)                   High interest topics related to library collection

To determine community needs and interests, the library regularly evaluates community response to and suggestions for its programs. It also periodically reviews community profiles and uses various mechanisms to get community input to assist in setting programming priorities and plans.


The following criteria are considered when selecting programs, although a program need not meet all criteria to be acceptable:

  1. Provides opportunity to widen horizons, stimulate imagination and reflection, and enlarge experiences
  2. Meets the needs and interests of the community
  3. Meets popular demand, both existing and anticipated
  4. Presents many sides of controversial issues, where possible
  5. Balances special group interests with general demand
  6. Does not promote a specific commercial enterprise
  7. Does not conflict or compete with programming provided by local and area agencies
  8. Represents challenging, though extreme or minority, points of view in order to provide insight into human and social conditions
  9. Relates to a library collection
  10. Within operational and budgetary limitations

D.                PROGRAM DELIVERY

Programs will be presented by either staff trained in the programming topic or by experts from the community including:

  1. Authors
  2. Performers
  3. Staff experts from a community partnership
  4. Volunteer presenters with recognized credentials relating to the programming topic

All programs are designed with measurable outcomes and are evaluated regularly based on these outcomes.


Patrons are encouraged to suggest topics for future programming. These suggestions will be considered in light of the programming criteria and library resources. Not all suggestions will be used.

Program Suggestion Forms are available at the Stevens County Library or on the library website. Completed forms may be mailed or left at the library’s circulation desk.

F.                 REMUNERATION

Program providers will be selected with budgetary limitations in mind.  Professional program presenters will be paid according to fees in terms of performance cost, mileage, and hotel and meal charges.

Local and area presenters that provide programs at no cost to the library will be paid an honorarium of $50.00 and mileage fees.

Adopted 10/8/2007



The library participates in and allows access to social media services.  Access to information stored on any third-party site is used to communicate with users on that site.  Patrons may remove themselves at any time from the library’s “friends” or “fan” lists, or request that the library remove them.

Comments, posts and messages are welcome on the Stevens County library social networking sites.  All interactions will be regularly monitored for content and relevance.  All postings which contain any of the following will be removed and the poster barred from posting subsequent messages:

  1. Obscene or racist content
  2. Personal attacks, insults or threatening language
  3. Potentially libelous statements
  4. Plagiarized or copy-written material
  5. Private, personal information published without consent
  6. Comments totally unrelated to the content of the forum
  7. Hyperlinks to material not directly related to the discussion
  8. Commercial promotions or span
  9. Organized political activity
  10. Photos or other images that fall in any of the above categories

In addition, the Stevens County Library reserves the right to edit or modify any postings or comments for space or content, while retaining the intent of the original post.  The library shall also be granted the right to reproduce comments, posts and messages in other public venues.  Identifying information, other than first name, will be removed.

The role and utility of social networking sites will be evaluated periodically by library staff, and may be terminated at any time and without notice to subscribers.


The library has a Video Relay Service (VRS) that is available for patron outgoing calls, either through the Video Relay Service or Point to Point.  The connection for the service is located in the west meeting room.  Because the service is provided by Sorenson Communications, Inc. free of charge, no fees will be charged for sending video relay calls.  The following rules apply to the Video Relay Service.

  1. Calls will be scheduled in advance.  Anyone wishing to use the VRS must reserve a time during regular library hours on a first-come, first-served basis.  Reserving a time for the call is dependent upon meeting room schedules.  Individual use of the VRS will be limited to a period of sixty (60) minutes per day.  Extensions to the time limit may be granted if the extension request is made in advance.  Those using the VRS must present their library card or picture ID at the time of the call.  No minor may use the VRS without an adult in attendance.
  2. Library staff will facilitate the call for the patron.  However, library staff cannot provide in-depth training concerning the use of the VRS.  The staff may be able to offer suggestions and answer questions.  Due to library scheduling, scheduling a VRS communication may not be possible as trained staff may not always be available.
  3. No phone numbers will be saved to the system contact list.  The call history will be deleted on a regular basis, normally after each use of the system.
  4. Although every attempt will be made to assure privacy during a VRS communication, library staff cannot guarantee privacy during the call.

The patron will receive a copy of and will agree to abide by the VP-200 Sorenson VRS Service and Products Agreement concerning use of the product.

Adopted 4/14/2008



This organization shall be called “The Board of Trustees of the Stevens County Library,” existing by virtue of the provisions of K.S.A.12-1222, with powers and duties as provided in K.S.A. 12-1215 and K.S.A. 12-1225 of the laws of the State of Kansas.


The mission of the Stevens County Library is to provide resources and services necessary to meet the evolving educational, recreational, technological, and informational needs and interests of the community.


Section I.  Members

In accordance with Kansas Law, the Library Board of Trustees of the Stevens County Library shall consist of five members appointed by the Stevens County Board of Commissioners (K.S.A.12-1222).  In addition to the appointed members, the Chairman of the County Commissioners shall be an ex-officio member of the board which means that by virtue of the office or position, the Commissioner is a member. Attorney General Opinion 79-94 states that the mayor may vote even though an ex-officio member. Ex-officio refers to one who is a member by virtue of title to a certain office and has the same rights, privileges, powers and duties as members duly appointed.  Board of Trustees members must be residents of Stevens County.  Board of Trustees members do not receive compensation for their service as such, but shall be allowed their actual and necessary expenses in attending meetings and in carrying out their duties as members.  Vacancies as occasioned by resignation or otherwise shall be filled by appointment for the unexpired term.  The Board of Trustees shall communicate to the County Commission details of a vacancy along with its recommendation for a successor.

Section II.  terms

Terms expire April 30 with new appointees taking office May 1 or the regular May meeting which is the Annual Meeting.  Original appointments are for staggered four-year terms as specified by Kansas Law.  After two consecutive terms, a person is not eligible for reappointment until one year has elapsed.

Section III.  officers

The officers of this Board of Trustees shall consist of a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, a Secretary and a Treasurer.  Additionally, a Representative may be appointed to serve on the Executive Board of the Southwest Kansas Library System, Dodge City, Kansas, whose duties shall be those usually pertaining to these offices.  If no Representative is appointed from the Board, the Library Director may serve as the System Representative.


The Board of Trustees has the responsibility of making and directing the policy of the Stevens County Library, in accordance at all times with the statutes of the State of Kansas.  Its responsibilities include promotion of library interests, securing of adequate funds to carry on the work satisfactorily, and the administration and control of library funds, property, and equipment.


Section I.  Regular Meetings.

The regular meeting shall be held monthly on the second Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m., unless otherwise ordered by the Board of Trustees Chairman.  Unless waived, written notice of each regular meeting shall be mailed to each member of the Board of Trustees not less than three (3) days prior to such meeting date.  If unable to attend, members should notify the Chairman or the Library Director.  Revised 09/11/2007

Section II.  Special Meetings.

Special meetings shall be called at any time by the Chairman or at the written request of a majority of the members.  Written notice stating time and place of any special meeting and the purpose for which called shall, unless waived, be given each member of the Board of Trustees at least two (2) days in advance of such meeting, and no business other than that stated in the notice shall be transcribed at such meeting.

Section III.  Annual Meeting.

The annual meeting shall be the regularly scheduled meeting in May.  At this time the new Board of Trustees Members shall be seated and the election of officers shall take place.

Section IV.  meetings

Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the proceedings of the Board of Trustees, with the exception of the order of business, which shall be as follows:

  1. Call to Order
  2. Introductions
  3. Agenda Approval
  4. Minutes
  5. Correspondence
  6. Financial Report, Check Summary, Receipts and Disbursements
  7. Reports
  8. Unfinished Business
  9. New Business
  10. Executive Session
  11. Adjournment

Section V.    KOMA

All Stevens County Library Board of Trustees meetings are subject to the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA), K.S.A. 75-4317 et seq.


Section I.  quorum

Three (3) members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Section II.  temporary officers

In the absence of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the members present shall elect a temporary Chairman.

Section III.  absences

Board members should attend all board meetings. Any board member who is absent from three consecutive board meetings or misses more than six meetings in a calendar year shall forfeit his/her appointment and a new board member will be appointed according to the procedure outlined in “Terms and Appointments for Board Members.”  Board members who will be absent from a meeting should notify the Chair or Library Director prior to the meeting.


These by-laws may be repealed, amended, or revised at any regular meeting of the Board of Trustees by a quorum, providing, however, that such proposed repeal, amendment or revision shall first be submitted in writing at a regular meeting of the Stevens County Library Board of Trustees and sent to those members not present.  Such proposal shall not be acted upon prior to a subsequent regular meeting of the Stevens County Library Board of Trustees and notice of intended repeal, amendment or revision shall be included in the notice of such meeting.


Section I.  selection

The Board of Trustees shall select a Library Director who shall be the administrative officer under the direction and review of the Board of Trustees.  The Library Director shall be responsible for the employment and direction of the staff in accordance with the personnel policy in the library’s policy manual as adopted by the Board of Trustees for the efficiency of the library’s service to the public, for the operation of the library under the financial conditions set forth in the annual budget, and for such responsibilities as are delegated to the library director by the Board of Trustees.  The Library Director shall attend all regular and special Board of Trustees Meetings.

1.                  Section II.  purchasing

The Library Director is authorized routine articles and supplies.  Each capital purchase costing more than five hundred dollars shall have Board of Trustees approval.

Rev. 07/14/2008


All public library Board of Trustees meetings are subject to the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA), K.S.A. 75-4317 et seq.  That statute defines a meeting subject to the act as a prearranged gathering by a majority of a quorum for the purpose of discussing business or the affairs of the body

Chance meetings are not subject to KOMA.  However, informal discussions after or during recesses of a public meeting, telephone calls, email correspondence, “work sessions” or meetings even though not officially “called” or announced by the Board of Trustees may be in violation of the open meetings act.

A quorum means one more than half the number of members.  For example, a quorum of a seven-member Library Board of Trustees is four and a majority of a quorum is three; a quorum of a five-member Board of Trustees is three and a majority is two.  Joint meetings between representatives of different bodies are subject to the open meetings act if a majority of a quorum of any one body is present.  Attorney General Opinion 95-112 amplifies the issue of a quorum:  “The membership of each body should be considered when determining if a majority of a quorum is present at a given discussion on the business of that body.”

Binding action is not necessary to discuss business.  Meeting includes all gatherings at all stages of the decision-making process.  Retreats and meetings held in private clubs are usually prohibited, especially if the site makes it impossible to attend without cost to the public.  Members attending a conference where items of general interest are discussed are not in violation of the open meetings act.


Attorney General Opinion 95-112 states: “Notice of meetings of bodies subject to KOMA should be provided to the requestors of such notice.”  Meetings must be published in advance.  Persons or groups who want special notification must request that notice be made.  That request expires at the end of each fiscal year and must be reviewed, but the Board of Trustees must first notify the party or parties of its expiration before terminating notices.  An oral request is valid.  Residency of the requestor is not a factor.  Notice can be written or oral, but publications in the newspaper is not sufficient to fulfill notification requirements.  Attorney General Opinion 96-14 adds: “K.S.A. 75-4318 requires that actual notice of regular and special meetings subject to the Kansas Open Meetings Act” be individually provided to those persons requesting such notice.  If there is not intent to subvert the KOMA, a meeting subject to that act may be adjourned, recessed or continued to another date, time or place.  The notice requirements and intent of the KOMA are violated by giving notice that a meeting will begin on one day and then subsequently continuing that meeting to another day without making a good faith attempt to provide notice of the new date, time and place to those requesting notice.


There is no requirement for an agenda at an open meeting, but if one is made it must be made available to the public.  The public has a right to be present at a public meeting, but there is no right to be placed on the agenda or to speak unless the person or persons are on the agenda.  Binding action by secret ballot is not allowed.  Subject to reasonable rules, cameras and recording devices must not be allowed at open meetings.  The open meeting must be accessible to the public, but a telephone conference call is allowed if the requirements are met.


An open meeting must be held before the Board of Trustees can recess into executive session.  There must be a formal motion to go into executive session, stating the justification for the closure, the subject of discussion, and the time and place the open meeting will resume.  The motion must be seconded and carried and recorded in the minutes.  Only the announced subject of discussion may be discussed in executive session.

Failure to meet the requirements of KOMA may result in voiding of any actions taken; an injunction brought by any person, the attorney general or county or district attorney; and recall or ouster from office.


  1. The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  5. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  6. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of his origin, age, background or views.
  7. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Last modified 09/10/98


The freedom to read is essential to our democracy.  It is under attack.  Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove books from sale, to censor our textbooks, to label “Controversial” books, to distribute lists of “Objectionable” books or authors, and to purge libraries.  These actions apparently arise 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 the use of books and as librarians and publishers responsible for dissemination of them, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

We are deeply concerned about these attempts at suppression.  Most such attempts rest on a denial of the fundamental promise of democracy; that the ordinary citizen, by exercising his 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 do trust Americans to recognize propaganda and to reject obscenity.  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.

We are aware, of course, that books are not alone in being subjected to efforts at suppression.  We are aware that these efforts are related to a larger pattern of pressure being brought against education, the press, films, radio and television.  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 uneasy change and prevailing fear.  Especially when so many of our apprehensions are directed against an ideology, the expression of a dissident idea becomes a thing feared in itself, and we tend to move against it as against a hostile deed, with suppression.

And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such time of social tension.  Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain.  Freedom keeps open the path of mobile and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice.  Every silencing of a hearsay or every enforcement of an orthodoxy diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with stress.

Now as always in our history, books are among our greatest instruments of freedom.  They are almost the only means for making generally available ideas of manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience.  They are the natural medium for the new ideas and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth.  They are essential to the extended discussion which serious thought requires and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collection.

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 publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the reader to choose freely from a variety of offerings.

The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution.  Those with faith in free men will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.

We therefore affirm these propositions:


Creative thought, by definition is new, and what is new is different.  The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until his idea is refined and tested.  Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept which 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.


Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of 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 man can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.


A book should be judged as a book.  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 men can flourish which draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.


To some, much of modern literature is shocking.  But is not much of life itself shocking?  We cut off literature at the source if we prevent serious artists from dealing with the stuff of life.  Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experience 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 taste differs, and taste cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised which will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.  We deplore the catering to the immature, the retarded or the maladjusted taste.  But those concerned with freedom have the responsibility of seeing to it that each individual book or publication, whatever its contents, price or method of distribution, is dealt with in accordance with due process of law.


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 each individual is free to determine for himself what he wishes 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 policies or morality upon other members of a democratic society.  Freedom is not freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive.


The freedom to read is of little consequence when expended on the trivial; it is frustrated when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for his 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 their freedom and integrity, and the enlargement of their service to society require of all bookmen the utmost of their faculties and deserve 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 books.  We do so because we believe they are good, 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.


The heritage of free men is ours.

In the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution, the founders of our nation proclaimed certain fundamental freedoms to be essential to our form of government.  Primarily among these is the freedom of expression, specifically the right to publish diverse opinions and the right to unrestricted access to those opinions.  As citizens committed to the full and free use of all communications media and as professional persons responsible for making the content of those media accessible to all without prejudice, we wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of freedom of expression.

Through continuing judicial interpretations of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, full freedom of expression has been guaranteed.  Every American who aspires to the success of our experiment in democracy “who has faith in the political and social integrity of free men” must stand firm on those Constitutional guarantees of essential rights.  Such Americans can be expected to fulfill the responsibilities implicit in those rights.

  1. We will make available to everyone who needs or desires them the widest possible diversity of views and modes of expression, including those which are strange, unorthodox, or unpopular.

Creative thought is, by its nature, new.  New ideas are always different and, to some people, distressing and even threatening.  The creator of every new idea is likely to be regarded as unconventional” occasionally heretical” until his idea is first examined, then refined, then tested in its political, social, or moral applications.  The characteristic ability of our governmental system to adapt to necessary change is vastly strengthened by the option of the people to choose freely from among conflicting opinions.  To stifle nonconformist ideas at their inception would be to end the democratic process.  Only through continuous weighing and selection from among views can free individuals obtain the strength needed for intelligent, constructive decisions and actions.  In short, we need to understand not only what we believe, but why we believe as we do.

  1. We need not endorse every idea contained in the materials we produce and make available.

We serve the educational process by disseminating the knowledge and wisdom required for the growth of the mind and the expansion of learning.  For us to employ our own political, moral, or esthetic views as standards for determining what materials are published or circulated conflicts with the public interest.  We cannot foster true education by imposing on others the structure and content of our own opinions.  We must preserve and enhance the people’s right to a broader range of ideas than those held by any librarian or publisher or church or government.  We hold that it is wrong to limit any person to those ideas and that information another believes to be true, good, and proper.

  1. We regard as irrelevant to the acceptance and distribution of any creative work the personal history or political affiliations of the author or others responsible for it or its publication.

A work of art must be judged solely on its own merits.  Creativity cannot flourish if its appraisal and acceptance by the community is influenced by the political views or private lives of the artists or the creators.  A society that allows blacklists to be compiled and used to silence writers and artists cannot exist in a free society.

  1. With every available legal means, we will challenge laws or governmental action restricting or prohibiting the publication of certain materials or limiting free access to such materials.

Our society has no place for legislative efforts to coerce the taste of its members, to restrict adults to reading matter deemed suitable only for children, or to inhibit the efforts of creative persons in their attempts to achieve artistic perfection.  When we prevent serious artists from dealing with truth as they see it, we stifle creative endeavor at its source.  Those who direct and control the intellectual development of our children’s parents, teachers, religious leaders, scientists, philosophers, statesmen “must assume the responsibility for preparing young people to cope with life as it is and to face the diversity of experience to which they will be exposed as they mature.  This is an affirmative responsibility that cannot be discharged easily, certainly not with the added burden of curtailing one’s access to art, literature, and opinion.  Tastes differ.  Taste, like morality, cannot be controlled by government, for governmental action, devised to suit the demands of one group, thereby limits the freedom of all others.

  1. We oppose labeling any work of literature or art, or any persons responsible for its creation, as subversive, dangerous, or otherwise undesirable.

Labeling attempts to predispose users of the various media of communication, and to ultimately close off a path to knowledge.  Labeling rests on the assumption that persons exist who have special wisdom, and who, therefore, can be permitted to determine what will have good and bad effects on other people.  But freedom of expression rests on the premise of ideas vying in the open marketplace for acceptance, change, or rejection by individuals.  Free men choose this path.

  1. We, as guardians of intellectual freedom, oppose and will resist every encroachment upon that freedom by individuals or groups, private or official.

It is inevitable in the give-and-take of the democratic process that the political, moral, and esthetic preferences of a person or group will conflict occasionally with those of others.  A fundamental premise of our free society is that each citizen is privileged to decide those opinions to which he will adhere or which he will recommend to the members of a privately organized group or association.  But no private group may usurp the law and impose its own political or moral concepts upon the general public.  Freedom cannot be accorded only to selected groups for it is then transmuted into privilege and unwarranted license.

  1. Both as citizens and professionals, we will strive by all legitimate means open to us to be relieved of the threat of personal, economic, and legal reprisals resulting from our support and defense of the principles of intellectual freedom.

Those who refuse to compromise their ideals in support of intellectual freedom have often suffered dismissals from employment, forced resignations, boycotts of products and establishments, and other invidious forms of punishment.  We perceive the admirable, often lonely, refusal to succumb to threats of punitive action as the highest form of true professionalism:  dedication to the cause of intellectual freedom and the preservation of vital human and civil liberties.

In our various capacities, we will actively resist incursions against the full exercise of our professional responsibility for creating and maintaining an intellectual environment that fosters unrestrained creative endeavor and true freedom of choice and access for all members of the community.

We state these propositions with conviction, not as easy generalizations.  We advance a noble claim for the value of ideas, freely expressed, as embodied in books and other kinds of communications.  We do this in our belief that a free intellectual climate fosters creative endeavors of enormous variety, beauty, and usefulness, and thus worthy of support and preservation.  We recognize that application of these propositions may encourage the dissemination of ideas and forms of expression that will be frightening or abhorrent to some.  We believe that what people read, view, and hear is a critically important issue.  We recognize, too, that ideas can be dangerous.  It may be, however, that they are effectually dangerous only when opposing ideas are suppressed.  Freedom, in its many facets, is a precarious course.  We espouse it heartily.