Library Policies & Plans
- Non-Discrimination Statement
- Getting a Library Card and Checking out Materials
- Using the Library Facility and Technology
- Bulletin Board Use Policy
- Library Displays Policy
- Copier & Fax Machine Use Policy
- Meeting Room Policy
- Code of Conduct Policy
- Public Computer & Internet Use Policy
- MakerSpace Policy
- Tobacco Free Policy
- Safe Child Policy
- Library Closings Policy
- Library Programs Policy
- Volunteer Policy
- Building Safety Information
- Library Strategic Plan (2020-2025)
Approved by the Citizens Library Advisory Board on May 8, 2023 & Approved by the Norfolk City Council on June 5, 2023
The Norfolk Public Library does not discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, race, color, national origin, religion, or physical disability. The Library building is and shall be fully accessible to the physically disabled. Persons with a physical disability shall be provided with all necessary assistance in using Library equipment and materials.
Getting a Library Card and Checking out Materials
Library Card Registration: A Library Card provides full access to the Library's collections and services. It allows the card holder to check out Library materials, use the public computers, and access online services. Patrons borrowing items from the Library are using and taking home the assets of the citizens of Norfolk. Each person requesting a Library card must be physically present and must provide proper photo identification, proof of current residential address, and a completed and signed registration form before any item can be borrowed.
By signing the registration form, the patron is agreeing to:
Return all items borrowed on or before the due date or to pay the overdue fines assigned.
Pay the assigned value for any items checked out on the patron's Library card that become damaged or lost.
Be responsible for any items checked out on the patron's Library card and notify the Library immediately if the card has been lost.
Inform the Library of any changes in address or other contact information.
Obey all Library policies and regulations.
Requirements for Proper Identification: A State-Issued Identification Card or Driver's License is the preferred form of identification. Other forms of photo ID can be accepted when presented in combination with a proof of current residential address listed below.
Requirements for Proof of Current Residential Address: There is no local residency requirement for obtaining a Norfolk Public Library card. Anyone who works or lives in northeast Nebraska may get a Library card at no charge.
Library staff can accept the following as proof of current residential address:
address printed on a state-issued ID or Driver's License,
printed personalized checks,
a piece of mail cancelled by the Post Office within the last 30 days,
a bill that bears the registrant’s name and address received in the last 30 days,
car registration, or
an insurance card.
If the applicant receives mail at a Post Office Box, they must provide proof of their current residential address in addition to their PO Box number.
Library Cards for Children: There is no age threshold for obtaining a Library card. Each child requesting a Library card must be physically present. A child’s Library card allows access to the full Library, including access to the Library’s internet-enabled computers. Children age 15 and younger must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when getting a Library card. This parent or guardian must be able to show proper identification and proof of current residential address for themselves and sign the child's registration form in order to obtain a Library card for the child. The person signing the child's registration form is legally liable for any and all charges and fees on the child's Library card.
Minors ages 16 - 18 will be issued a Library card without a parent's signature provided they are able to present proper identification and proof of current residential address. Otherwise, a parent or guardian must accompany them and be able to show proper identification and proof of current residential address for themselves and sign the child's registration form in order to obtain a Library card for the minor.
Library Cards for College Students: College students with a temporary local college address will be issued Library cards by providing the required identification and proof of residential address listed above. If they do not have proof of their temporary local college residence, they may provide proof of their permanent home address instead. On the registration form, they should list the temporary local college address as their primary address and list the permanent home address as an alternate address.
Library Cards for those with a Temporary Local Address: The Library will issue cards to patrons staying at a temporary local address provided they are able to meet the requirements for patron registration including showing proper identification and proof of the current residential address. A letter from the director of the institution where they are staying or, for those here for short-term work assignments, a piece of mail addressed to the applicant with the short-term address will meet the requirements for proof of current residential address.
With the agreement of the staff at the Norfolk Rescue Mission, the Library will not issue Library cards to temporary residents of the Mission. Long-term residents of the Norfolk Rescue Mission's year-long program will be able to obtain a Library card by providing a photo ID and a letter on the Rescue Mission's letterhead stating they are a participant of that long-term program.
The Library Director will make the final decision if there are questions about whether a Library card may be issued under this policy.
Library Cards for Organizations: The Library can issue a group card to an organization when a qualified representative of that organization makes a formal request to the Library Director and agrees to take financial responsibility for all material checked out on the card. Library cards for organizations are subject to the same responsibilities and limitations as all other Library cards.
Digital Access Only Card Registration: A Digital Access Only Card allows patrons to use the Library's public computers and electronic resources, including ebooks, but not borrow any physical items. For this type of Library card, a completed registration form is required, but no proof of address is needed. A photo ID is requested if available, but this is not required if a photo ID is not available or if the patron is applying for a Digital Access Only Card through the library's website. A Digital Access Only Card can be converted to a regular Library Card at any time when the patron presents the required proof of address and/or photo ID.
Presentation of Library Card or Photo ID: Library patrons should present their Library card in order to borrow Library materials. If the card is not present, a photo ID should be shown in order to borrow Library materials. In the event that neither the Library card or a photo ID are able to be presented, Library staff may ask for identifying information, including address, birthdate, etc. to validate a patron’s identity. Patrons are allowed to give their card to another person to borrow materials on their behalf or pick up materials being held for them, although patrons must keep in mind that they are responsible for all items checked out on their card even if they did not personally check them out. Since Library staff cannot know what permissions each Library user has, the Library staff assumes that the person in possession of the Library card has the cardholder's permission to use it. If a patron loses a Library card, he/she must notify the Library immediately to prevent its unauthorized use. For the protection of each person’s account, patrons may not pick up materials on hold for another person or check out materials on another person’s Library card unless they present that person’s Library card.
Lost Card Replacement: Patrons who have lost their Library card must purchase a replacement card. Although a photo ID may be presented or Library staff may ask for identifying information in order to check out materials, this is allowed only as a temporary convenience until a new card can be purchased. In order to obtain a replacement Library card, a patron will be required to show a photo ID and pay a $1 replacement fee.
Check Out Limits: Patrons may check out the following number of items at any one time:
Books - unlimited
Audio Books - 25
CDs - 10
DVDs – 3
Magazines - 3
Video Games – 1
WiFi HotSpots - 1
Board Games - 1
Check Out Loan Periods
Books and Audio Books may be checked out for a period of two weeks, and may be renewed two times if there are no holds on the item. Each renewal period is for two weeks
Magazines, video games, board games, DVDs and CDs may be checked out for a period of one week and cannot be renewed.
WiFi Hotspots may be checked out for a period of three weeks and cannot be renewed.
Any overdue item that has received a Final Overdue Notice may not be renewed, regardless if it has had any previous renewals or not. Once the Final Overdue Notice is sent, the item must be returned or paid for.
A patron may not check in an item and then immediately check it out again. Items must be returned to the shelf so they are available to other patrons.
Overdue Notices and Fines: Items are considered overdue one day after the due date, and fines begin to accrue at that time.
Overdue Fines are as follows:
DVDs, CDs, Board Games & Video Games: $0.25/day up to a maximum of $5
Books, Magazines, & Audio Books: $0.10/day up to a maximum of $5
Hotspots: $1/day up to a maximum of $25
Overdue items that have received a Final Overdue Notice must be returned and fines must be paid before patrons can check out any new materials or use the public computers.
Overdue Notification and Ordinance Violation Process
Patrons will be notified by the Library if they have overdue items.
First Notice Sent: The first overdue notice is sent after the item is 2 days overdue. The first notice is sent by US Postal mail, email, or text message depending on what the individual patron has requested.
Second Notice Sent: The second overdue notice is sent two weeks after the first notice when the item is 16 days overdue. The second notice is sent by US Postal mail, email, or text message depending on what the individual patron has requested.
Final Notice Sent: The final overdue notice is sent two weeks after the second notice when the item is 30 days overdue. The final notice is sent by US Postal mail, email or text message depending on what the individual patron has requested. If the final notice is sent by email or text message, a paper copy is also sent through the US Postal mail.
Ordinance Violation Process: If, following the final overdue notice, the items have still not been returned or paid for, an additional letter is mailed by US Postal mail. The letter advises the patron that arrangement for the return or payment of the items must be made within seven days or the matter will be turned over to the Norfolk City Attorney. If, within that time frame, a suitable arrangement for the return or payment of the items is not made, then the matter is turned over to the Norfolk City Attorney to be prosecuted as an Ordinance Violation pursuant to Norfolk City Code Sec. 12.5-9.
Lost & Damaged Material Charges : For items that are damaged or missing pieces, Library staff will assess the damage and assign a charge based on the cost of repairs. For items that are damaged, but still able to be circulated, the following fees will apply:
Replacing a damaged or missing insert in a DVD, Videogame, or CD - $5
Repairing minor tears on pages or liners - $0.50 per page
Cleaning spills, stains, or removing pencil or crayon - $0.50 per page
Replacing a barcode, RFID tag, or other Library label that has been removed - $2
Replacing a Board Game Box - $7
Replacing a Card Game Box - $4
Replacing a missing Board Game piece, token, or card - $0.50
Replacing a Board Game Instruction Booklet or Content List - $0.50/page
In the case of other damages that can be repaired, Library staff will assess a charge based on the estimated cost of labor and materials needed for those repairs.
For items that are damaged beyond repair, missing essential pieces, or lost, patrons are charged for the full retail price of the item at the time it was purchased, and as is listed in the item's record. Items are considered damaged beyond repair when stains, tears, or other damage cause significant disruption of the enjoyment in the material for other patrons, when liquid damage has the potential to grow mold and therefore risk mold spreading to other items in the collection, or when the material shows the presence of invasive pests and may therefore risk pests spreading to other items in the collection. Due to the cost to prepare materials for circulation, patrons cannot purchase replacement items to be substituted for the lost or damaged item. If a lost item is paid for and later found, the item cannot be returned for a refund and becomes the property of the patron.
When an item's exact cost is unable to be determined, the following amounts will be used:
hardback books $25
paperback books $7.50
compact discs $20
video games $35
reference books $40
audio books $40
Hotspot charging cord and/or plug-in $25
Board Games $15
Holds and Pickup Notices: Patrons may place a hold on any item they want to borrow. This can be done through the online catalog or by calling the library. When an item on hold is ready for the patron, a Pickup Notice will be sent. The Pickup Notice will be sent by US Postal mail, email, or text message depending on what the individual patron has requested. Patrons are given seven days from the date the Pickup Notice is sent to check out an item they have on hold. Any item not checked out within seven days will be given to the next patron on the holds list or put back into circulation if there are no other holds on the item.
Interlibrary Loan: For items that the Library does not own, patrons may request an Interlibrary Loan in which the Library borrows the requested material from another Library. Patrons must have an active library card with no outstanding fines in order to use this service. Patrons will be notified when their item arrives through whatever method they have chosen to receive library notices, either US Postal mail, email, or text. Any item not picked up within seven days of notification will be returned to the lending library. Patrons are limited to three Interlibrary Loan Requests at a time. The library reserves the right to restrict access to this service, and/or to charge a patron for return postage, if items are requested and not picked up more than three times. There is no fee for this service, but overdue charges, lost fees, and damaged fees all apply to materials borrowed through Interlibrary Loan. Damaged and Lost Charges will be determined by the owning Library.
Nebraska State Statute 84-712.05 (11) and the Norfolk Public Library protect the privacy of Library users. Information related to a person's use of the Library's materials and services (including information sought, materials used, or Internet usage) is confidential and can be disclosed only under certain circumstances. When necessary for the recovery of lost or stolen Library materials, or when illegal activity involving the Library takes place, the Library Director may authorize disclosure of information to federal, state, or municipal authorities. In all other situations, a valid subpoena or court order is required to disclose or release Library records. All Library staff members are to refer any request for such records to the Library Director. Upon receipt of such order or subpoena, the Library Director may consult with the City Attorney's Office to determine if such order or subpoena is in proper form and if there is a showing of good cause for issuance.
The Norfolk Public Library Materials Selection Policy is based on the following principles:
Materials are selected which provide for the interest, information, enlightenment, entertainment, education, development, enrichment, and/or self-improvement of all Library patrons, within budgetary constraints and availability of materials.
It is the intent of the Library to stock materials presenting diverse viewpoints on all subjects and to attempt to satisfy a wide variety of patrons with differences in tastes, interests, reading levels and purposes. Selection of materials does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content, viewpoint, implications, or presentation of the materials. Library materials will not be labeled, marked or otherwise identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents, and no cataloged item will be sequestered, except for the express purpose of protecting it from injury or theft.
The freedom to read, along with the freedom to hear and to view, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. This freedom, essential to our democracy, will be upheld in the selection and accessibility of all Library materials. In this regard, the Library upholds the principles of the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read, and Freedom to View Statements.
The Library staff does not serve in loco parentis. It is the parent(s), and only the parent(s), who may restrict their children, and only their own children, from access to Library materials. Responsibility for children's use of Library materials rests with their parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s). Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may inadvertently come into the possession of children.
The Library is not a judicial body. Laws governing obscenity, subversive materials, and other questionable matters are subject to interpretation by the courts. Consequently, no challenged material will be removed from the Library for complaints of obscenity, pornography, subversiveness, or any other category covered by law until after receipt of an independent court order. Conversely, materials previously judged unlawful will not knowingly be selected.
In accordance with the above principles, the following policies apply in regard to materials selection for the general Library collection.
General Selection Guidelines: As budgetary and shelving space constraints limit the purchase of materials, the selections made follow the aforementioned principles while attempting to maintain diversity, quality and responsiveness to patron interest patterns. As such, selections are made on the basis of any one, several, or all of the following considerations:
Diversity is pursued by attempting to meet the needs of all ages, backgrounds, and educational levels, by providing as many subject fields as possible, and by providing alternative perspectives as well as popular materials. The collection represents various opinions and viewpoints on all issues of general concern and should broadly reflect the various ethnic and social groups in the City.
Quality is pursued by applying professional discretion and standards established by the Library profession and through the use of appropriate selection aids, including book reviews, best seller lists, award lists, etc.
The Library staff responds to community interests by careful consideration of the following: patron requests for purchases, use patterns for existing materials, purchase trends of similar materials from retailers, and any other source of information indicating community interests.
Reflection of the community is pursued by specially considering materials that possess significance due to the locality of the author, illustrator, publisher, subject or setting.
Undue duplication of materials is avoided, either in the Library itself, or with other institutions in the community. Esoteric or very technical works, and materials available elsewhere to special interest groups, are generally excluded from the collection. Materials may also be excluded if the existing collection already covers the field. The Library's Interlibrary Loan service is available to supplement our local collection as needed.
Materials with formats that do not conform or lend themselves to Library use are usually excluded.
Gifts, unsolicited donations, and citizen suggestions for purchases are all evaluated under the same policies, principles, and selection criteria as regularly purchased materials. Gifts and donated materials not added to the collection are disposed of at the discretion of the Library and in the manner chosen by the Library Director.
Specific Selection Criteria: Materials selections are made on the basis of any one, several, or all of the following specific criteria:
A positive review in at least one standard Library review journal, including, but not limited to, Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, School Library Journal, or Horn Book.
Awarding of a significant literary honor or other significant honor appropriate for the form of the work (Grammy, Pulitzer, Academy Award, etc.).
A high standard of quality in content, expression and physical attributes.
Contents that are timely, accurate, and representative of various viewpoints.
Significant reputation of the author, editor, publisher, producer or illustrator.
Contemporary significance, potential usefulness, appeal or cultural value of the title.
Reasonable cost with regard to budget restrictions.
Appearance on a Best Seller list as a reputed indicator of potential demand.
Formats collected include books, periodicals, newspapers, maps, audio and video recordings, graphic novels, video games and online databases. These formats may be collected in physical print form or in electronic form. New and/or emerging formats will be considered when appropriate. The collection does not include items that will not withstand circulation.
Responsibility for Selection: Various Library staff members, using the guidelines and principles above, select materials for the Library. Adequately trained professional staff exercise the selection authority delegated to them, but the final responsibility for selection resides with the Library Director.
Intended Audiences: In general, material selected for the Juvenile area has a target age range of birth to 12 years old and material selected for the Young Adult area is intended for ages 13 and up. However, many factors affect what material is appropriate for an individual child, including reading level, maturity and personal beliefs. The Library staff cannot act in place of the parent in selecting what material is appropriate for a particular child. Responsibility for children's use of Library materials, regardless of format, rests with their parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s).
Removing Items from the Collection: Library materials are continuously assessed for their condition, accuracy, currency, and use within the context of the total Library Collection. Items may be withdrawn from the collection for any of these reasons. This continuous evaluation of materials is necessary to maintain a collection that is useful and relevant to the Library's patrons, as well as maintaining a collection size that fits within the current area available for housing materials.
A reconsideration process is available if any patron believes that library resources are being provided or excluded in a way that does not align with the library’s policies. In this case, a Request for Reconsideration Form may be obtained from the library. This form, once completed, will be promptly reviewed by the Library Director. The Library Director will attempt to resolve the complaint directly with the patron. If the patron is not satisfied with the response provided, and/or if the Library Director decides that the situation warrants the input of the Citizen’s Library Advisory Board, either or both parties may bring the request to the attention of the Board. A customer requesting the attention of the Board may also ask for an opportunity to address the Board at one of its regularly scheduled meetings. The Board will consider each request in terms of the criteria outlined in the library’s policies, provide a written response to the patron, and work with the Library Director to take any further action warranted by the particular circumstances.
The Library accepts unrestricted gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that they will be added to the Library collection only as needed. Gifts and unsolicited donations are all evaluated under the same policies, principles, and selection criteria as regularly purchased materials. Gifts and donated materials not added to the collection are disposed of at the discretion of the Library and in the manner chosen by the Library Director.
The Library does not normally accept gifts of money, art, or other property, and donors are encouraged to have these gifts handled by the Norfolk Library Foundation, a non-profit corporation established for the primary purpose of accepting such gifts and using them for the benefit of the Library.
For anyone wishing to present the Library with books or other items as memorials or tributes to loved ones, the Library staff can assist in selecting appropriate items. Items purchased as memorials are offered for checkout to the donor before being put into regular circulation. The donor may also request a bookplate to be placed inside the item indicating the donor and occasion of the gift.
Using the Library Facility and Technology
The public bulletin boards, including the areas provided for handouts, are provided for the use of the community to share information about civic, educational, cultural, or recreational activities and resources. All items posted on the bulletin board must be approved by Library staff before posting. The Library staff will determine what may be posted according to the priorities listed above and other considerations including available space, size of the item, date of the event if applicable, and how long the item is to be posted. The final decision on the display of any item shall belong to the Library Director.
The following kinds of material may not be posted:
Political advertising. However, announcements of nonpartisan or bipartisan informational events such as candidates’ forums, debates, etc., are encouraged.
Commercial or business advertising, including sales flyers.
Lost and/or Found announcements
Community displays placed in the Library’s display cases may be provided by individuals, non-profit organizations, and community groups for the enlightenment, education, and interest of the general public. Community displays may not be placed in the lobby or other places throughout the Library. Community displays are organized and scheduled by Library staff.
Book displays are provided by Library staff and/or trained volunteers in order to highlight portions of the Library’s collection. Books selected for display should follow the same criteria as laid out in the Materials Selection Policy regarding quality, diversity, and community interest.
No displays may be used to promote singular viewpoints, opinions, or political stances or to promote a business.
The fax machine and copy machine are provided for public use. The Library contracts with businesses to provide these machines for the public, and the prices for their services are set by those businesses. As with other Library resources, Library staff will assist patrons needing help, but cannot perform the fax or copy service for them.
The Library welcomes public use of its meeting rooms in line with the Library's mission to engage the community through learning opportunities, connection to resources and technology, and cultural enrichment. Meeting and Study Rooms are available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. Allowing the use of these spaces by the public does not constitute or imply that the Library or City of Norfolk is in agreement with or approves of the content or viewpoint of the group, individual, or presentation.
Description of Rooms
Meeting Room A – The largest of the meeting rooms, this room can seat up to 75 people auditorium style or 36 people classroom style. The room is equipped with a laser projector, screen, Blu-Ray player, microphone, sound system, and Wi-Fi. This room has a kitchenette that includes a refrigerator, microwave, and warming oven. No utensils, paper goods, or dishes are provided.
Meeting Room B – The smallest of the meeting rooms, this room can seat up to 15 people auditorium style or 12 people around a conference table. This room has a TV for sharing presentations and Wi-Fi.
Meeting Room C – This meeting room can seat up to 60 people auditorium style or 30 people classroom style. The room is equipped with a laser projector, screen, Blu-Ray player, microphone, sound system, and Wi-Fi.
Meeting Rooms A, B, and C can be combined to form one large space, with a total seating capacity of 200 people auditorium style or 72 people classroom style.
Study Rooms 1, 2, and 3 – These small study rooms seat 6-8 people around a conference table and are equipped with a TV for sharing presentations and Wi-Fi.
Study Room 4 - This small study room seats 4 people around a table and is equipped with Wi-Fi.
Who May Use the Meeting and Study Rooms:
Meeting Rooms: Meeting Rooms are available to the following groups and organizations:
Non-profits organizations, civic groups, and service clubs;
Educational, recreational, or hobby groups from the community (i.e. homeschooling groups, book clubs, writing groups, etc.);
For-profit businesses may use a room if it is needed for continuing education or training purposes for their current employees. No other use by a for-profit business is allowed.
The reservation must be made on behalf of the organization by a member of the organization who is at least 16 years old. Meeting Rooms may be used for meetings, programs or events that are private or open to the public.
Study Rooms: Study Rooms are available to the groups and organizations listed above as well as individuals and study groups.
Prohibited Uses of the Meeting and Study Rooms
The following activities are prohibited in the Library’s Meeting and Study Rooms:
Using the rooms for commercial purposes, including but not limited to, the sale of goods or services and meeting with existing or potential business clients, and non-governmental attorney depositions. It is allowable to have sales that are part of a Library-sponsored program, like an author selling their books during an author visit, with permission from the Library Director;
Programs promoted as educational in nature, but that seek to sell a particular product or recruit attendees to sell products for a direct sales company;
Admission fees, unless pre-approved by the Library Director;
Political campaigning, defined as advocating for or against a political candidate actively running for office. It is allowable to have multi-party debates, forums with all candidates invited, or similar events with permission from the Library Director;
Private parties of a strictly social nature. (i.e. baby showers, birthday parties, etc.)
Library staff will make reservations using these guidelines. Where there is a question involving proper use of the meeting rooms, the decision will be made by the Library Director.
Terms and Conditions for Using the Meeting and Study Rooms
A reservation must be made in order to use Meeting Rooms A, B, or C. The reservation must include the person’s name, phone number, purpose of the meeting, and the name of the organization.
Study Rooms 1-4 may be reserved in advance. The reservation must include the person’s name, phone number or email, and purpose for using the study room. If no reservations are made, the rooms are open on a first-come, first-served basis to patrons using the Library.
Groups or individuals may have 3 total active reservations at a time and may make reservations up to 6 months in advance.
Any publicity for an activity in one of the meeting rooms that is not sponsored by the Library must clearly indicate the sponsoring organization and must not in any way imply sponsorship of the activity by either the Library or City of Norfolk.
Persons using the meeting rooms are responsible for all set up of tables and chairs. Study rooms do not require or allow different room configurations.
Permission must be obtained from Library staff before anything may be adhered to a wall, furnishing, or piece of equipment, or before bringing in any additional furnishings or equipment.
Food and non-alcoholic drinks are permitted. If the kitchenette in Meeting Room A is needed for food preparation, then the reservation must be made for that room. Please see the room descriptions for more information on what is included in the kitchenette.
The meeting and study rooms must be left clean and neat following use, including cleaning up after any food or beverages. If not, a custodial fee for the cost of the clean-up, and not less than $25, will be charged. Repeated offenses will result in being denied future use of the facility.
Persons using the meeting or study rooms are responsible for any damage to the facility and its furniture, equipment, and other contents.
The Library and The City of Norfolk assume no responsibility for property or personal belongings of any kind brought into the Library building by any person or group making use of the Library’s facilities or attending any function at the Library.
Storage of any equipment or furniture not belonging to the Library is not permitted, except for official Madison County voting equipment left overnight.
Use of the Community Meeting Rooms outside of regular operating hours requires permission from the Library Director. A Library staff member or a City of Norfolk staff member of division head or higher level must be present during any off hours use of the meeting rooms. Use of the study rooms outside of regular operating hours is not permitted. Unless needed for Library or City of Norfolk purposes, no meeting room reservations may be made on Sundays due to the limited hours and staffing.
The Library Director or the Director’s authorized representative may deny use of the facility, including stopping an activity in progress, to anyone violating these rules or behaving in a way that violates the Library’s Code of Conduct Policy.
Anyone using the Library facility and grounds should at all times be respectful of the people and property around them. In an effort to provide all customers with a facility that is safe, pleasant, and conducive to Library use, the following guidelines must be observed:
A shirt and shoes must be worn at all times while in the Library.
Food and drink can be enjoyed in the cafe, courtyard, meeting rooms, and study rooms. Only covered beverages are allowed in the rest of the Library.
Any activities illegal under federal, state, or local laws are also illegal in the Library, specifically including:
theft or mutilation of City property;
possession of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia;
consumption of alcohol on public property;
disturbing the peace; and
The Library specifically prohibits:
Use of tobacco and vaping products in the Library,
Use of Library telephones for anything other than urgent calls or for children needing to call parents,
Carrying weapons of any kind,
The presence of animals that are not specifically registered service animals,
The misuse of restrooms, such as for laundering clothes and bathing,
Leaving children unattended,
Abusive language or behavior,
Engaging in disruptive conduct which interferes with other patrons using the Library, and
Sleeping in the Library.
First Offense: A person behaving inappropriately will, unless the offense is severe, be given one verbal warning.
Second Offense: If the person continues to disregard the Library's rules after a warning, he or she will be asked to leave the Library for the remainder of the day.
Third Offense: If, after returning to the Library, the person disregards the Library's rules again, he or she will be banned from the Library for a period of thirty days.
Fourth and Repeated Offenses: Patrons that continue to disregard the Library's rules will be banned from the Library for six months.
Patrons banned from the Library must promptly leave the building or the police will be notified to remove the person and issue a No Trespassing Warrant.
Severe violations of this policy will not require a warning and will result in the person being required to leave the Library immediately. In any case where a violation involves possible criminal behavior (destruction of property, assault, etc.), the police will be notified immediately.
Repeat offenders may be brought before the City Attorney for possible prosecution. Permanent exclusion from the Library will happen only after a person has been allowed due process.
Access to the internet has become a necessary information and communication portal. Serving as a free, reliable place for connecting to the internet has become integral to the Library's mission of providing access to information. The internet is a largely unregulated medium. The Library does not select the resources available on the internet in the way that it selects material for its Library collection and so cannot verify the validity of information found online. Patrons are encouraged to be smart information consumers when evaluating information provided on a website.
The Library recommends that patrons safeguard their privacy by not entering personal information into sites that are untrustworthy, by reading closely any disclosures or agreements required by websites, and by never divulging credit card numbers, social security numbers, addresses, or phone numbers to unknown persons met online.
Rules for Use
Patrons should use their Library card to access the public computers. If a patron does not have their Library card present, Library staff may look up their account using their photo ID. In the event that neither the Library card or a photo ID are able to be presented, Library staff may ask for identifying information, including address, birthdate, etc. to validate a patron’s identity. Library accounts must be free from overdue materials and any fees in order to use the computers. Please see the Library Card policy for the types of Library cards available and the requirements for each.
Patrons may have up to 120 minutes per day on the public computers.
There is no fee to use the public computers. Printing charges are ten cents per page for Black & White prints and fifty cents per page for Color prints.
As with other resources in the Library, Library staff can assist patrons in using the computer when needed, but cannot fill out forms or type in personal information for patrons.
Using the Library's public computers to violate any Federal Laws, State Statutes, or City Ordinances is prohibited, including those regarding obscenity, child pornography, and delivery of harmful content to minors.
Due to the public setting of the computers and the presence of children in the Library, viewing of certain materials is prohibited. Under Nebraska State Statute (NRS 28-808), it is illegal to distribute or exhibit material that is harmful to minors, or to be reckless about whether a minor is present who will be offended or alarmed by the display of harmful material. Harmful material includes any communication consisting of nudity, sex, or excretion that (i) appeals to the prurient interest of minors, (ii) is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with respect to what is suitable material for minors, and (iii) lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors. (See https://www.justice.gov/criminal-ceos/citizens-guide-us-federal-law-obscenity for detailed information.)
Patrons may not damage or alter any of the computer equipment, software, or systems, and will be held responsible for any damage, including the cost of repair or replacement of any damaged computer hardware or software.
Use of the Library's computers is also governed by the Library's Code of Conduct policy, which prohibits:
Playing audio equipment loud enough to disturb other patrons,
Abusive language or behavior, and
Engaging in disruptive conduct which interferes with other patrons using the Library.
These non-acceptable uses apply to any internet or computer use within the Library or on Library property, whether using the public computers, the public wireless internet, or a personal device. These non-acceptable uses also apply to any access to the internet obtained through a Library-provided device regardless of location.
The Library reserves the right to end an Internet session at any time if it is violating any of the above rules or if the patron is violating any terms of the Code of Conduct Policy. Consequences for violating any of these policies will follow the outline provided in the Code of Conduct Policy.
Internet Filtering: The Library utilizes a content filter in order to limit patrons' exposure to obscene and illegal material. However, no internet filter is perfect at blocking all inappropriate sites, and sometimes sites that are appropriate are inadvertently blocked. If a patron believes a site is incorrectly blocked or incorrectly allowed, they may submit a request to have it blocked or unblocked to the Library Director.
Computer Use by Children: The Library provides computers for children with and without internet access. A Library card is not needed to use the computers without internet access. To use the Children’s computers with internet access, children should use their Library cards to log on. If a child does not have their Library card present, Library staff may look up their account by asking for identifying information, including address, birthdate, etc. to validate the child’s identity. If a child does not have a Library card, a parent or caregiver over the age of 16 may request a Guest Pass for the child. Up to 120 minutes per day may be used with a Guest Pass. With the understanding that children may not have the resources needed to get a Library card or their parent/guardian may choose not to get them a Library card, these Children’s Guest Passes do not have a limit on the number of days they may be requested. A parent or guardian must accompany any child under the age of 8 when using a public computer. The Library staff does not serve in loco parentis (in place of a parent). It is the parent or guardian's responsibility to monitor and select what minors read or view on the Internet. The Library strongly recommends that parents discuss internet safety with their children, including:
Instructing children to always ask permission before using their full name, address, telephone number, or school name anywhere on the internet.
Instructing children to never arrange to meet in person someone they've met online, unless they have permission and an approved adult accompanies them.
Teaching children to be good information consumers and consider the source, date, and accuracy of online information.
Hotspots and the Emergency Connectivity Fund: The Library has received funding from the federal Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) to purchase WiFi hotspots and their connection fees from July 2022- June 2023. During this time, any ECF supported equipment and services can only be provided to patrons who declare that they do not have access to the equipment or services sufficient to access the internet.
The MakerSpace is provided as a community resource to allow people to engage with technology, improve their digital skills, and be creative.
Rules for Use
- Patrons must have an active Library Card in order to use any of the MakerSpace equipment. Exceptions may be granted for programs led by library staff, at the discretion of the Library Director or his/her assignee.
- Patrons must sign a Library MakerSpace Use and Release Agreement before using any MakerSpace equipment.
- Patrons must complete the required training for any piece of equipment before using or reserving the equipment. Training requirements are unique to each piece of equipment and can be found on the library’s website.
- Patrons must be 18 years old to use the equipment without supervision. Patrons age 12-17 may use the equipment after completing the training requirements but must be supervised at all times by an adult who has also completed the training. Patrons age 6-12 may accompany a trained adult in order to participate in an educational or creative activity involving the equipment, but cannot use the equipment themselves. Patrons under the age of 6 are not allowed in the MakerSpace area. Exceptions may be granted for programs led by library staff, at the discretion of the Library Director or his/her assignee.
- Patrons must have a reservation in order to use a piece of equipment.
- Reservations may be for a maximum of 3 hours at a time. Extensions on reservation times will be allowed if there are no other scheduled reservations at that time.
- Up to three active reservations may be held at any one time.
- Reservations should be made online using the library’s equipment scheduling software.
- Patrons must check in at the Service Desk when they arrive for their reservation.
Safety and Responsibility
- Patrons using the MakerSpace agree to use the equipment in a safe way, and only after receiving the required training.
- Patrons must report accidents and/or equipment damage immediately. Patrons will immediately discontinue use of any equipment that becomes unsafe or in a state of disrepair.
- Following use, all equipment should be in the same condition as it was when the patron began using it. Normal wear and tear is expected. However, patrons agree to pay for the loss of or damage to any items that are lost or damaged due to misuse of the equipment. The cost for the loss or damage will be based on actual costs for repair or replacement, including any parts and labor.
- Patrons acknowledge the inherent risks in the use of the MakerSpace equipment and that their voluntary participation in using such equipment may result in injury or damage to themselves or their personal property. Patrons fully assume these risks and release the Norfolk Public Library and the City of Norfolk from any liability.
In accordance with City Code Section 14-233, patrons are prohibited from using any tobacco products in the Library or within 20 feet of the entry to the Library, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, electronic cigarettes, vapor products, oral tobacco, and nasal tobacco. It also includes any product intended to imitate tobacco products or deliver nicotine. Tobacco does not include any device or substance approved for cessation of tobacco use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Violation of this subsection shall constitute an offense, and upon conviction, shall be subject to the general penalty section found at section 1-16 of the City Code. Patrons using tobacco products on the Library's property must do so outside, at least 20 feet from the entrance of the building.
For a variety of health and safety reasons, young children cannot use the Library without a caregiver's supervision. In an effort to protect children and to provide all customers with a facility that is safe, pleasant, and conducive to Library use, the following guidelines must be observed:
Children ages 7 and under must stay within a line of sight of their caregiver.
Children ages 8-9 may use the building without direct supervision, provided that a caregiver is in the Library building and they are able to follow the Code of Conduct Policy.
Children age 10 and older may use the Library independently provided they are able to follow the Code of Conduct Policy.
A caregiver for children under age 10 must be at least 16 years old. The caregiver is responsible for the behavior and supervision of children in their care while at the Library.
The Library reserves the right to contact parents, guardians, or proper authorities if minors are left unattended, require supervision, or are unable to adhere to the Patron Behavior Policy.
Caregivers should be aware of Library opening and closing times and make suitable arrangements to meet and transport children. In the event that a minor age 9 or younger is left after the Library has closed, and no one can be contacted to provide transportation, the staff will call the Norfolk Police Department for assistance. Staff will not transport children home or to any other destination under any circumstances.
The Library observes the following holidays in line with the City of Norfolk’s policy:
New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving
When these holidays fall on a Sunday, the Library will close on the Sunday of the holiday as well as the following Monday.
In addition, the Library is closed on the following days:
Sunday before Memorial Day
Sunday before Labor Day
The Library will make every effort to be open to the public as scheduled, with consideration given to the safety of the public and staff. The decision to close the Library due to inclement weather is made by the City of Norfolk administration. Any time the Library must close during regularly scheduled hours, due to inclement weather or other emergencies, every effort will be made to inform the public of the change. Whenever possible, communication will be made via the local media closings lists, the Library website, and social media.
Library programs are offered to the public in order to promote lifelong learning, access to resources, and community engagement. Library programs are an integral part of Library service. When making decisions about program topics, speakers, and accompanying resources, the following criteria are considered:
Community needs and interest
Quality of the program/presentation
Qualifications of the presenter in the field related to the presentation
Historical or educational significance
Library programs are generally free and open to the public. Some programs, in order for them to be successful, may have a restriction on the number of attendees or a limitation on the ages of attendees. The Library’s priority is to keep programs free of barriers to participation, including that of cost. However, on rare occasions, certain programs may require an entry fee.
Library sponsorship of a program indicates that the program met with the criteria above and also fits with the Library’s strategic plan. It does not constitute an endorsement of the content of the program or the views expressed by presenters or participants. Library programs are not used for commercial, religious, or partisan purposes or for the solicitation of business.
Anyone wishing to volunteer at the Norfolk Public Library must complete a Library Volunteer Application and Waiver of Liability form. For certain volunteer jobs, a background check may also be required. If a background check is required, it will be noted on the volunteer job description.
Volunteers must be at least 14 years old. Volunteers under age 19 must have a parent or guardian signature on the Library Volunteer Application and Waiver of Liability Form.
Volunteers must be able to follow verbal and/or written instructions, have the skills commensurate with the assigned job duties, be willing to abide by Library rules, commit to a regular schedule, and be willing to perform all work as assigned by the volunteer’s supervisor.
Volunteers are selected based on their qualifications in relation to the volunteer job sought, the availability of open volunteer positions, and on their ability to commit to the needed hours of the desired position. If there are no open or appropriate positions available for an applicant, the application form will be kept on file for a period of one year. Applicants will be notified if a position opens up that matches their interests and qualifications.
All volunteer positions are for a term of no longer than one year. Following the completion of the year, the volunteer may potentially renew their term. Renewal of a term depends on several factors, including any changing needs of the Library, requests from other qualified individuals who would like to serve a term, and the success of the relationship between the current volunteer and the Library. The Library reserves the right to dismiss the services of any volunteer.
Individual work schedules and specific time commitments will be mutually arranged in advance the by the volunteer, volunteer coordinator, and/or the volunteer’s supervisor.
Volunteers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of all Library information and Library patron records, especially regarding any person’s use of the Library and Library materials. Failure to maintain confidentiality will result in immediate dismissal.
Volunteers are recognized by the public as representatives of the Library and should conduct themselves appropriately, including, but not limited to, adhering to a business casual dress code and reflecting a positive customer service attitude towards all Library patrons. Volunteers must wear a badge that identifies them as a volunteer while they are volunteering. Volunteers must abide by all Library policies.
Please see the Building Safety Map for pertinent safety information and contact the Library Director with any questions.