Home Catalog My Account Getting Started
Library Policies
Mission
FCPL champions literacy, lifelong learning,
and personalized service to all patrons.

Vision
FCPL is a vital participant in the Forsyth County community,
striving to improve the quality of life for everyone.

Access to Non-Public Areas

This policy applies to those areas of the library that are intended for staff use. This includes, but is not limited to, the areas behind the public service desks, staff workrooms, staff offices, hallways, storage areas, computer equipment rooms, and break rooms.

Authorized access to the non-public areas of the library buildings is limited to current staff members, volunteers, and scheduled maintenance or service workers. Other persons with business-related reasons to be in these areas (e.g. vendors, consultants, benefits providers) will be accompanied by a staff member at all times.

Persons visiting staff members for reasons other than library business (e.g. family members, friends, and previous FCPL employees) are permitted in the non-public areas for brief periods of time. However, all personal visitors must be accompanied by a staff member at all times. Staff members will be held responsible for the actions of their guests and of anyone to whom access is allowed. Visitors will not be permitted to use staff computers or other equipment intended for staff use.

Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Director or appropriate Assistant Director.


Approved on 1/22/2002 Back to ListBack to List

Accessibility for Patrons with Disabilities

In adherence to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Forsyth County Public Library makes its services, facilities, programs, collections, and technology accessible to all, subject to the resources of the library. Patrons are permitted to bring service animals into the library buildings. Pets are not permitted.


Approved on 7/20/2009
Implemented on 8/1/2009 Back to ListBack to List

Availability of Library Services Policy

Forsyth County Public Library provides service to all residents of Forsyth County.

In addition to providing service inside its physical facilities, FCPL provides some services remotely, including access to a variety of online resources such as downloadable media and databases. FCPL’s collection is available to qualifying community members via home delivery. FCPL promotes the services of the Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services (GLASS). This service provides Georgians access to a free national library program that offers Braille and recorded materials.


Approved on 7/21/2014
Implemented on 7/22/2014 Back to ListBack to List

Budget
Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline the general procedures, responsibilities, and guidelines for management of funds of the Forsyth County Public Library.

Budget Types and Budget Periods

The Forsyth County Public Library (Library) prepares, adopts, and follows two types of budgets – Fiscal Year budgets and Capital budgets.

  1. Fiscal Year Budgets

    The fiscal year budget (or operating budget) is the annual budget used for operating the library system. The Library’s fiscal year is July 1 through June 30, and the annual budget will be adopted for the same timeframe.

    1. Budget Process

      The Director and the Financial Coordinator will develop the fiscal year budget based on experience from the current and previous fiscal years, priorities established through strategic planning and related activities, feedback from management staff for their respective areas of responsibility, and any directions received from the Library Board of Trustees (Board). Replacement plans for high cost equipment, computer equipment, and other items will be considered in the budget process. The long-term financial implications of fiscal year and capital budgets (e.g., annual maintenance fees due to a software purchase; ongoing cost of operating a new library facility) will also be considered in planning the fiscal year budget.

      The Director and the Financial Coordinator will present the proposed fiscal year budget to the Board in summary format. The presentation will include a comparison to the previous fiscal year and will clearly display sources (revenues and budgetary fund balance) and uses (expenditures and reserves). The Board shall adopt the budget prior to the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1).

      Library staff will comply with all budget procedures and timeframes established by its funding agencies. For purposes of obtaining funding from Forsyth County Government, a Calendar Year budget request will be prepared by staff and approved by the Board prior to its submission to the County.

    2. Revenues and Expenditures

      Fiscal year revenues will be budgeted according to estimated funding from Forsyth County Government, the State of Georgia, library-generated income (e.g., fines and fees), and other sources.

      In compliance with the Chart of Accounts for Georgia Public Libraries, fiscal year expenditures will be budgeted according to three broad categories: Personnel (to include all salaries and benefits), Materials (to include books, periodicals, electronic resources, and other items related to the Materials collection), and Operations (to include all other costs incurred in operating the library). The fiscal year budget shall include an amount for unforeseen operating expenditures. The amount of this contingency shall be 3% of the total budgeted expenditures.

    3. Legal Level of Budgetary Control

      Fiscal year budget categories are Personnel, Materials, and Operations. Transfers of appropriations within a category require the approval of the Director, but not the Board of Trustees. Transfers between Personnel, Materials, and Operations require the approval of the Board. Any changes that require increasing or decreasing the total revenue or total expenditures require the approval of the Board.

    4. Unencumbered and Encumbered Funds

      All unencumbered fiscal year budget appropriations will lapse at year-end. With Board approval, encumbered balances will be re-appropriated in the following fiscal year.

    5. Budgetary Control and Reporting

      A statement of fiscal year budget to actual revenues and expenditures will be prepared and presented at each regular meeting of the Board. Staff will explain areas with unusual fluctuations and other significant issues.

      The Financial Coordinator is responsible for conducting ongoing budget monitoring and analysis throughout the fiscal year. Management staff are responsible for monitoring budget lines relevant to their areas of responsibility. The Assistant Director for Materials Services will ensure that the Materials budget maintained in the integrated library system (ILS) is reconciled to the actual expenditures and budget information recorded in the financial system.

  2. Capital Budgets

    The Library uses capital budgets (or construction budgets) for specific capital projects, typically construction of a new library building or expansion of an existing library building. Capital budgets portray the total cost of construction and include multiple fiscal years.

    1. Budget Process

      The Director and the Financial Coordinator will develop capital budgets based on actual costs of previous construction projects, updated to reflect current construction costs and trends. The Board shall adopt the capital budget prior to the issuance of bids or requests for proposals related to the project.

    2. Revenues and Expenditures

      Capital budget revenues will be budgeted according to estimated or known revenues from special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST), impact fees, State of Georgia construction grants, and other sources.

      Categories for capital budgets are determined by the Chart of Accounts for Georgia Public Libraries.

    3. Legal Level of Budgetary Control

      For capital budgets, the Director’s approval is required for transfers between budget categories. Board approval is required for adjustments to capital project budgets that involve increasing or decreasing total revenue or total expenditures.

    4. Budgetary Control and Reporting

      If a construction project is in progress, a statement of budget to actual revenues and expenditures for capital projects will be provided in conjunction with each regular Board meeting.

Budgetary Basis

In accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), all budgets will be prepared using the modified accrual basis of accounting. Under the modified accrual basis of accounting, revenues are recognized when they are measurable and available. Measurable means an amount can be determined accurately. Available means the amount has been received or will be received soon enough to pay liabilities of the current period. Availability is defined as within sixty days of year end.

Expenditures are recognized when measurable, incurred, and payable from current assets. Incurred means that the goods or services have been received. Payable from current assets means resources are currently available to pay the obligation.

Balanced Budget

The Library will operate each fiscal year and each capital project with a balanced budget. Total anticipated revenues and other resources must equal total estimated expenditures. Fund balance may be used to balance revenues and expenditures, but the beginning budgetary fund balance for any given fiscal year should not exceed the amount of savings that can be reasonably expected during that fiscal year. (Refer to Fund Balance Policy for acceptable uses of the library’s fund balance.) FCPL will not obligate future resources or borrow funds to meet fiscal year budget requirements.

One-Time Revenues

One-time revenues (e.g., bequests, large donations) will not be used to fund ongoing operating expenses, unless that is the expressed intention of the donor. Instead, these resources will be used to make one-time purchases (e.g., capital items) or to increase FCPL’s fund balance. Designated gifts, if accepted, will be expended per the instructions of the donor.


Approved on 9/21/2010
Updated on 9/21/2016 Back to ListBack to List

Capital Assets
A. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide accountability and to safeguard capital assets owned by the Forsyth County Public Library (FCPL).

B. Definition of Capital Assets

Capital assets are assets that are used in operations and that have estimated useful lives extending beyond a single reporting period (i.e., one year). Examples of capital assets in a public library include vehicles, equipment, furniture, and materials collections.

C. Capitalization Threshold

Capitalization threshold is the monetary criterion used to determine whether a given asset should be reported on an entity's Balance Sheet. For purposes of financial reporting and inclusion on FCPL's list of capital assets, the capitalization threshold shall be $5,000. Therefore, items with an original cost of $5,000 or more will be considered capital assets and will be capitalized for financial reporting purposes.

D. Library's Materials Collection

In compliance with GASB 34 (Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement 34), the Library's materials collection—the aggregate of all books, CDs, DVDs and other materials with a useful life of more than one year—regardless of the original cost of individual items, will be considered a capital asset and will be capitalized for financial reporting purposes.

E. Authority and Procedures

The Director and Financial Coordinator have the authority to implement the capital assets policy and to establish and enforce procedures to 1) ensure this policy is followed in all departments, 2) provide staff with instructions related to capital assets, and 3) ensure a strong internal controls environment.

F. Valuation of Capital Assets

Capital assets will be recorded at actual cost. Normally the cost recorded is the purchase price or construction costs of the asset, but also included are any ancillary costs (reasonable and necessary costs incurred to place the asset in its intended location and intended use; e.g., shipping, professional services) that can be directly related to the asset.

G. Valuation of Donated Assets

Donated assets are assigned values for accounting and asset management purposes. Donated or contributed assets should be recorded at their fair market value on the date donated or acquired.

Items donated for the materials collection are handled differently than other assets. FCPL accepts donated materials that meet the selection criteria of the Materials Management Policy. The value of each donated item is determined as follows:

  • Retail price of the item as shown in the online catalog, if the item is a duplicate of an item already owned by the Library.
  • Suggested retail price, as printed on the item, if #1 does not apply.
  • Default price for the collection type and format, based on typical market value of like materials, if #1 and #2 do not apply. Default prices are set in the library catalog, as determined by the Assistant Director for Materials Services, using recent history of like materials purchased for the Library's collection.
  • An exception may be made to #3 if the item appears to be of particularly high value (e.g., full-color art book, “coffee table” book), making the default value unrealistically low. Assuming pricing as described in #1 and #2 is not available, Materials staff would assign the suggested retail price from a vendor website (e.g., Amazon.com).
H. Useful Life

Estimation of useful life for capital assets is based on the Library's past experience, industry standards, and warranty expirations. Following are useful life determinations used by the Library:

Capital AssetUseful LifeDescription
Computer Equipment3–5 yrsComputers and peripheral equipment
Furniture and Equipment5–20 yrsVisible, tangible property not reported in other categories
Cars and Trucks5–10 yrs 
Heavy/Outdoor Equipment5–10 yrs 
Library collection2–10 yrsVaries by material format and type
I. Recordkeeping Requirements

Capital assets will be affixed with a property tag and records will be maintained that include identifying information and location.

J. Asset Transfers and Dispositions

Capital Assets shall not be transferred without prior approval of the appropriate manager and Financial Coordinator. Transfers are defined as any movement of an asset by virtue of change in location, either by department, building, or room.

Capital Assets not fully depreciated shall not be destroyed or disposed of without prior approval of the Director and FCPL Board of Trustees. Disposal of fully depreciated items requires the Director's approval.

Disposed items with any remaining useful life will be transferred to Forsyth County Government for public sale or use by County staff, donated to another publicly-funded entity, or donated to a non-profit organization.

Individual items deleted from the Materials Collection shall not require prior approval. These items shall be offered at public sale by FCPL, the Friends and Advocates, or by an authorized third-party. These items may also be donated to another publicly-funded entity or to a non-profit organization.

Items with no remaining useful life will be recycled when appropriate recycling options are readily available.

In the event that a capital asset is stolen, the department head should promptly notify the Director or Financial Coordinator, who will notify the police.

K. Periodic Inventories

A physical inventory of capital assets will be conducted by the Financial Coordinator or his/her designee at least every other year, as near as practical to fiscal year-end.

L. Assets Under Construction

For assets under construction, costs will be accumulated in a Construction in Progress account and will be reported as such on financial statements. At project completion, the building or other asset becomes the property of Forsyth County Government.

M. Capital Asset Impairment

In compliance with GASB 42 (Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement 42), capital assets will be evaluated annually for impairment. A capital asset is considered impaired when its service utility has declined significantly and unexpectedly. FCPL will evaluate prominent events or changes in circumstances affecting capital assets to determine whether impairment of a capital asset has occurred.

Events or changes in circumstances that may be indicative of impairment include:

  • Evidence of physical damage
  • Enactment or approval of laws or regulations or other changes in environmental factors
  • Technological changes or evidence of obsolescence
  • Changes in the manner or duration of use of a capital asset
  • Construction stoppage

A capital asset generally should be considered impaired if both (a) the decline in service utility of the capital asset is large in magnitude and (b) the event or change in circumstance is outside the normal life cycle of the capital asset. If a library asset is determined to be impaired, an impairment loss (or gain, although unlikely)—net of any insurance recoveries—will be recorded and reported on the library's financial statements as indicated by GASB 42.

N. Non-capital Assets

An inventory list will be maintained for non-capital assets that require special attention due to value or heightened risk of theft. The Information Technology Department will maintain the inventory for all computers and peripherals. The Facilities Department will maintain the inventory for other items that cost less than the capitalization threshold but more than $500. These items will be affixed with a property tag and records will be maintained that include identifying information and location. Staff may also inventory items costing $500 or less if it is determined that the items are at heightened risk of theft.


Approved on 7/20/2010
Implemented on 8/1/2010
Updated on 1/17/2017 Back to ListBack to List

Circulation of Library Materials

Forsyth County Public Library welcomes visitors to use materials, programs and resources within the library facilities. In order to check out materials, reserve the public meeting rooms, or use the library computers, a patron must have a Forsyth County Public Library card.

Obtaining a Library Card

Forsyth County Public Library cards are issued to individuals at any age. If the applicant is under 18, the signature of a parent or guardian is required. Library card holders, and parents or guardians of cardholders under age 18, are responsible for the items checked out on their library cards. Cardholders may authorize additional users on their cards, with the understanding that the cardholders are ultimately responsible for all transactions on their cards. The cardholder should report a lost or stolen library card as soon as possible to avoid being held responsible for materials checked out by others on the card.

Patrons are responsible for notifying the library of any changes in their contact information, including address, phone number, or email address. Any card with a three year period of inactivity will be removed from the system.

In order to qualify for a free library card, an applicant must meet one of the following conditions:

  • Reside in Forsyth County
  • Own property or a business in Forsyth County
  • Be employed by Forsyth County Government
  • Be a currently enrolled student or an employee of any public or private educational institution in Forsyth County

Anyone who does not meet one of the criteria listed above may obtain a library card for an annual fee of $60.00, which allows the cardholder all of the privileges of Forsyth County resident cardholders.

Loan Limits and Loan Periods

Various factors are considered when determining the circulation period of different item classes, the number of items a patron is permitted to check out, and whether or not materials can be renewed. Format, size of the collection, demand for the materials, and budgetary constraints all impact these decisions.

Using all information at hand, the Director will establish loan limits and loan periods consistent with delivery of the best possible public service.

Fines

Fines are charged as an incentive for patrons to return materials in a timely manner. If a patron's fines and fees total $10.00 or more, the library card is blocked until the total obligation is under $10.00. In addition, if a patron owes $10.00 or more in any combination of fines, fees, or long overdue materials, the account is referred to a collection agency that specializes in libraries, and an additional processing fee is charged to the account.

The Library Board delegates the authority to set fine levels to the Director. Fines will not be charged to library staff members, current Library Board members, or former Library Board members who completed their appointed term of office.

Lost and Damaged Materials

Library patrons are responsible for returning borrowed materials in a similar condition as when borrowed. If materials checked out on a patron's card are not returned, or if they are damaged to the extent that they must be replaced, the patron is responsible for paying for the item or replacing it.

If the patron chooses to pay for the item, the library staff will inform the patron of the cost using information found in the library catalog. If the patron chooses to replace the item instead of paying for it, the item must meet the following criteria:

  • It must be the same item in the same format (such as hardback, paperback, unabridged audio book, etc).
  • It must be new.
  • If it is media (music CD, DVD, audio book, etc.), it must be in the original shrinkwrapped packaging.

If packaging or component parts from media are not returned, the borrower will be charged a replacement fee.

The replacement price for interlibrary loans will be determined by the lending library and will often include additional fees. (Refer to Collection Management – Interlibrary Loan Policy.)

Refunds will not be issued after the patron has paid for or replaced the lost or damaged item.


Approved on 1/19/2010
Implemented on 1/19/2010
Updated on 1/25/2016 Back to ListBack to List

Citizens' Requests to Address the Library Board

Citizens may address the Forsyth County Public Library Board of Trustees at a public session of a Library Board of Trustees' meeting.

A Request for Placement on Meeting Agenda form must be completed and returned to the library Director by 12:00 p.m. on the Wednesday before the scheduled meeting. Forms are available from the library headquarters by contacting the library Director.

Citizens can speak only on the topics requested on their Request for Placement on Meeting Agenda. Citizens cannot speak on topics that fall outside of the jurisdiction of the Forsyth County Public Library Board of Trustees.

Each scheduled speaker has no more than five minutes for his or her presentation. The Forsyth County Library Board of Trustees reserves the right to extend a speaker's allocated presentation time if deemed necessary.


Approved on 1/10/2000 Back to ListBack to List

Collection Development

Forsyth County Public Library maintains an attractive, up-to-date and useful collection which supports the mission and roles of the library, while providing a wide array of titles and formats on many topics. The Collection Development Policy is the guiding philosophy which provides the basis for the systematic development of the library's collection. The policy serves the following functions:

  • To clarify the relationships among the Board of Trustees, the library staff, and the community, and to establish their respective responsibilities in the selection of materials.
  • To provide guidance for the materials selection team that ensures consistency in the selection of responsive collections.
  • To provide patrons with information regarding selection and withdrawal principles.
  • To provide information on the library's commitment to developing a materials collection that reflects the needs of the community.

The Board of Trustees delegates the authority and responsibility for the selection of library materials to the library Director and under his/her direction, to the Assistant Director of Materials and to collection development staff, who are experienced in the selection of print and non-print materials. Titles are carefully considered in light of budget and space constraints, and the following selection or acceptance criteria:

  • Current and anticipated needs and interests of a continuously growing and changing community.
  • Suitability of subject, style, and format for intended audience.
  • Contribution to the diversity and scope of the existing collection.
  • Attention of the media and evaluation by critics and reviewers.
  • Receipt of, or nomination for, major awards and prizes.
  • Reputation/significance of the author, illustrator, editor, publisher, producer, or performer.
  • Price of material.
  • Clarity, readability, visual appeal, quality of production or ease of use.
  • Accuracy of information.
  • Currency of information.
  • Contemporary significance or permanent value of the material.
  • Availability of materials elsewhere in the community, or via InterLibrary Loan.

The above selection criteria are not listed in order of importance, and the number and weight of applicable criteria may vary in a professional selection decision. Selection of a given item for the library's collections should not be interpreted as an endorsement of a particular point of view.

The public library is a place where people of all ages and all points of view can find information on issues of importance and of interest to themselves. Parents and guardians are responsible for overseeing their own children's exposure to and use of materials, including online resources and the Internet.

The library provides a formal review process to enable patrons to communicate their comments concerning materials to the staff and to the Board of Trustees. The Board retains responsibility for the final decision in requests for reconsideration.

In addition to the purchase of materials, the library welcomes donated items which meet the same selection criteria. The library retains unconditional ownership, and makes the final decision on acceptance, use, and disposition of the material.

Materials are updated and titles which are worn, outdated, or no longer in demand are removed on a systematic and continuous basis. Withdrawn materials may be discarded or sold at public sale. Remainders from public sales may be donated to nonprofit organizations or county agencies. Materials which are withdrawn from the collection may not be given to individuals or businesses.


Approved on 5/17/2011 Back to ListBack to List

Community Partners
Purpose

In order to build a strong, vibrant community, Forsyth County Public Library (FCPL) will enter into partnerships with local businesses, community groups, and government agencies. These partnerships will help the library achieve its mission and strategic goals and facilitate FCPL fundraising.

Definition

For the purposes of this policy, a partnership is a cooperative, mutually beneficial arrangement entered into for the purpose of accomplishing mutually agreed upon objective(s). FCPL will only enter into partnerships determined to be in the best interest of the library. A contractual business arrangement with a vendor whereby the library agrees to pay for goods or services that the vendor provides, or vice-versa, is not a partnership.

Choosing a Partner

The Director and Management Team shall consider the following factors in choosing an organization with which to partner:

  • The program or service around which the partnership will be created
  • The nature of the organization and its product(s) or service(s)
  • The anticipated length of the partnership
  • The partner organization's history, ownership, and governance
  • The willingness of the organization to enter into an agreement and commit the required time and resources
  • The feasibility of FCPL meeting the expectations of the partner organization
Authority for Decision Making

A written Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be prepared for approval by the potential partner organization and the Library Board. The MOU will contain the purpose of the partnership, under what authority the MOU is approved, the roles and responsibilities of each partner organization, how the partnership will be assessed, and the method of termination of the partnership. Memoranda of Understanding will be approved by the Library Board and signed by the Library Director. A person vested with the authority to commit the potential partner organization to the terms of the partnership shall sign the MOU for the partner organization. For example, this may be a board chair or an executive director.

Assessment

An assessment of the usefulness of the MOU to both organizations will be made through the library representative and the governing bodies of both organizations every two years or whenever a partnership is terminated.

Termination of a Partnership

A partnership will stand until and unless the MOU is modified or amended by mutual agreement of the Library Board of Trustees and the partner agency or cancelled by either party.


Approved on 3/22/2011
Implemented on 3/23/2011 Back to ListBack to List

Confidentiality

All library records which identify patrons by name or description are strictly confidential. Such records are accessible only to appropriate library staff members, and, according to Georgia law (GEORGIA CODE 24-12-30), may only be disclosed as follows:

  • To members of the library staff in the ordinary course of business,
  • Upon written consent of the user of the library materials or the user's parents or guardians if the user is a minor or ward, or
  • Upon appropriate court order or subpoena as determined by the library Director.

This policy applies to all library records or knowledge held by library staff members, including, but not limited to, the circulation of library materials, computer database searches, interlibrary loan transactions, information requests, requests for photocopies of library materials, title reserve requests, or any in-house use of library materials.


Approved on 9/24/2013
Implemented on 10/1/2013 Back to ListBack to List

Display Policy

Library displays increase public awareness of the Library's resources and promote life-long learning through access to materials, information, and programs. Displays include but are not limited to books, posters, signs, brochures, flyers, documents, art work and objects.

Library displays are limited to either library-initiated or library-sponsored displays or displays by Forsyth County Public Library's official partners (see Community Partners policy). Bulletin boards may include materials required by law and may include information from local government, as space allows.

Final approval of displays rests with the Director.


Approved on 7/12/2011 Back to ListBack to List

Donations

Forsyth County Public Library welcomes donations that are compatible with the mission, policies, and strategic plan of the library. By donation, this policy refers to any item that is given at no cost to the library. Examples of donations include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Items for the collection. (For more information, refer to the FCPL Operations Policy Manual, "Collection Development Policy.")
  • Monetary contributions. (For more information refer to the FCPL Operations Policy Manual, "Budget Policy: One Time Revenues.")

The library retains unconditional ownership of donations and makes the final decision regarding the acceptance, use, and disposition of the donations. The following criteria will be considered when accepting donations.

  • Suitability for a library environment
  • Conflicts of interest, whether actual or perceived
  • Space constraints based on size or shape of the object (including collection donations)
  • Security or display requirements
  • Insurance stipulations over and above the current library policies
  • Special cleaning and maintenance methods

Patrons can receive a form acknowledging their nonprofit donation, such as collection materials, but the library does not set fair market or appraisal values for purposes of tax deductions.


Approved on 7/12/2011 Back to ListBack to List

Food and Drink Policy

Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the library or on library grounds. Consumption of non-alcoholic beverages is permitted in the library. Snacks such as those found in vending machines are permitted in the library. Food other than snacks is not permitted in the library except during approved scheduled meetings in the public meeting rooms. For more information on food and drink in the public meeting rooms, see "Meeting Room Use" policy.


Approved on 9/21/2010 Back to ListBack to List

Forsyth County History Collection

The Forsyth County History Collection, also referred to at FCPL as the Local History Collection, contains material on the history, description, and development of Forsyth County, Georgia. Some background histories of surrounding counties (such as Cherokee, Dawson, Hall, Fulton, Lumpkin, Gwinnett, and the former county of Milton) are included, particularly those covering localities, events, or lives of early settlers related to the initial development of the region.

Works by local authors are purchased for the collection if they meet the selection criteria listed in the Collection Development Policy. These titles are shelved in the Local History Collection only if the content of the book contributes to the social and cultural history of the region; otherwise, books or other items by local authors are shelved in the appropriate fiction or non-fiction collections.

When available, indexes to births, deaths, marriages, wills, and land records are purchased for the Local History Collection.

The library also acquires genealogical materials relating to current or former residents of Forsyth County, either through purchase or donation. Family histories are accepted for the collection if any of the ancestors or descendants had ties with Forsyth County. Genealogical materials for surrounding counties are added, if they contain family history information directly related to Forsyth County residents.

FCPL also provides access to several electronic genealogical databases, and we own an extensive collection of eBooks to aid in genealogical research.

The Forsyth County legal organ is purchased on microfilm and is available at the Cumming Library.

Local history or family histories for counties outside of the immediate Forsyth County region are not purchased or accepted for donation. Unbound books, papers, and memorabilia related to local history are not added, except when the item adds something to the picture of life in the past in Forsyth County. Examples of items that would be added to the collection are textbooks used in the very early schools, or a self-published family history of prominent county families.

Books on Forsyth County history and genealogy are all shelved together in a special location, and are marked by a “Local History” sticker. Many of these items are irreplaceable and are for use within the library only.

The library purchases basic genealogical research guides and state historical society guides to assist patrons in their search for genealogical records; these items are shelved in the adult nonfiction collection.

Adult nonfiction items related to the culture and history of the state of Georgia, and Georgia localities that are outside the scope of the Forsyth County Local History Collection, are designated as part of the library’s Georgia History Collection. These items are marked with a “Georgia History” sticker.


Approved on 3/17/2015 Back to ListBack to List

Fund Balance
Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish 1) a target level for the Library’s unassigned fund balance and 2) allowable uses of unrestricted fund balance. This policy is to ensure the Forsyth County Public Library’s (FCPL) financial stability by maintaining appropriate reserves to provide a sufficient cash flow for current financial needs and protect the Library against economic downturns, funding reductions, and emergencies.

Definitions

Fund balance refers to the net assets of governmental funds, measured by total assets minus total liabilities. Fund balance serves as a measure of the financial resources available to a government.

The five categories of fund balance, as established by Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 54, are as follows:

  • Nonspendable fund balance refers to amounts that cannot be spent because they are not in spendable form (e.g., principle portion of permanent fund, inventory).
  • Restricted fund balance refers to amounts not available for expenditure due to external restrictions, including grant restrictions, laws, or regulations.
  • Committed fund balance refers to amounts that are designated for specific purposes by formal action of the Library Board. (The Library Board may reverse this action if it is later determined the funds are needed for another purpose.)
  • Assigned fund balance refers to amounts management (i.e., Library Director) intends to use for specific purposes.
  • Unassigned fund balance refers to the difference between total fund balance and the sum of the four previous categories.

Unrestricted fund balance refers to the total amount of committed, assigned, and unassigned fund balances.

Level of Unassigned Fund Balance

It is the policy of the Forsyth County Public Library to maintain unassigned fund balance of ten to fifteen percent of regular general fund operating revenues. If unassigned fund balance falls below the ten percent threshold, the Library Board, Director, and finance staff will take steps to reverse existing committals or reduce expenditures until savings adequate to reach the ten percent standard are realized.

The Library Board recognizes that economic conditions or emergencies may warrant fund balance use that will result in unassigned fund balance falling below ten percent of regular general fund operating revenues. Authorization for such use requires a supermajority (e.g., 4-1; 4–0; 3–0 vote) of Board members’ present for the vote.

Use of Fund Balance

Library Board authorization (simple majority) is required for the use of fund balance. Fund balance may be used for the following purposes:

  • Budgetary fund balance, which is the use of fund balance to balance the fiscal year budget when budgeted expenditures exceed budgeted revenues. The beginning budgetary fund balance for any given fiscal year should not exceed the amount of savings (primarily from staff vacancies) that can be reasonably expected during that fiscal year. The Board may authorize increases in budgetary fund balance during the fiscal year for other uses of fund balance listed below. Conversely, budgetary fund balance may decrease if unbudgeted revenues are received.
  • Encumbrances from the previous fiscal year.
  • Minor reductions in revenues occurring after the original fiscal year budget is adopted. (Significant reductions in revenues should require corresponding reductions in expenditures.)
  • Replacement of equipment, primarily capital equipment.
  • Purchases related to one-time projects or non-recurring expenditures (e.g., renovations, technology).
  • Loans to other funds (e.g., for capital expenses that will be reimbursed by a funding agency).

At the end of the fiscal year, any decrease in fund balance should not exceed the total of the authorized, one-time uses of fund balance. Generally, fund balance should not be reduced by regular operating expenses. If regular expenses do exceed revenues, a more conservative approach to budgetary fund balance should be used in the following fiscal year.

Reporting and Monitoring

Library staff shall present the Library Board with a report on the fund balance in conjunction with the annual budget recommendation and in conjunction with the annual financial audit. In addition, library staff will show the impact of budget adjustments on the budgetary fund balance prior to requesting authorization for each adjustment. Furthermore, at regular Board meetings, library staff will present a financial statement that shows fluctuations in fund balance during the fiscal year.


Approved on 5/17/2011
Updated on 7/18/2016 Back to ListBack to List

Information Security Policy
Purpose

The purpose of this policy is listed below.

  • Provide accountability and authority related to information security at the Forsyth County Public Library (FCPL)
  • Establish FCPL's information security management framework
  • Safeguard the usability, reliability, integrity, confidentiality, and security of FCPL's information technology infrastructure, resources, and computer systems and the information and data accessed, stored, and transmitted therein
Scope

This policy shall govern all access to and uses of FCPL's information technology infrastructure, resources, and computer systems and the information and data accessed, stored, and transmitted therein. This policy also governs the use of data or information produced or stored by or for FCPL. This policy is supported by related policies, practice statements, standards, guidelines, procedures, and documentation where necessary.

Authority and Procedures

The Assistant Director for Information Technology or a designee has the authority to implement the information security policy and to establish and enforce information technology practice statements, standards, guidelines, and procedures to accomplish the following:

  • Ensure this policy is followed in all departments
  • Provide staff with instructions related to information security
  • Ensure a strong internal controls environment in support of information security

While FCPL always strives to align its practices with both legal requirements and auditing and industry standards, practices must balance these standards with logistical and budgetary concerns. FCPL specifically strives to align its information security practices with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, applicable laws and regulations, applicable governmental accounting standards, and best information security practices promoted by the Georgia Public Library Service, national library professional organizations, and the University System of Georgia.

At a minimum, information technology practice statements, standards, guidelines, or procedures created in support of the information security policy shall cover the following areas:

  • Requirements to build and maintain a secure network
  • The protection of cardholder data
  • Vulnerability management
  • Access control measures
  • Network monitoring and testing
  • Information security awareness and responsibilities of employees and contractors

The Assistant Director for Information Technology or a designee shall maintain an Information Security section on the staff website for the purpose of organizing and distributing to all FCPL staff the information technology practice statements, standards, guidelines, and any procedures that apply to all staff. Supporting documentation and procedures for use only by specific staff or departments shall be appropriately secured elsewhere. Managers in each department are responsible for ensuring that department-specific information technology-related procedures are properly documented and that staff under their supervision have access to and instruction in department-specific procedures required to support FCPL's information security policy.

The information security policy and its supporting documents shall be reviewed by the Assistant Director for Information Technology or one or more designees at least annually or following substantial changes to the information technology infrastructure and updated as needed to address new needs, emerging threats, and security trends.

A security awareness program shall be developed and implemented to make all employees aware of the importance of information security. Employees shall be required to periodically acknowledge that they have reviewed and understand FCPL's information security policy and its supporting documents.

In the absence of a published FCPL information technology practice statement, standard, or procedure that addresses a specific situation related to information security, the Assistant Director for Information Technology shall be consulted. The Assistant Director for Information Technology will consult the Forsyth County Public Library Operations Policy Manual; the Forsyth County Public Library Personnel Policy Manual; Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard; applicable laws and regulations; applicable governmental accounting standards; best information security practices promoted by the Georgia Public Library Service, national library professional organizations, and the University System of Georgia; other members of the FCPL management team; and the FCPL Board of Trustees as appropriate for guidance in determining the best course of action.

In the event that it is not possible to adhere to a published Forsyth County Public Library practice statement or standard, a written justification for non-compliance must be prepared by the non-compliant party, acknowledged by the Assistant Director for Information Technology and approved by the Library Director. Any compensating controls designed to offset the effects of non-compliance shall also be documented. Documentation of such justification for non-compliance and compensating controls shall be retained for reference during future information security audits.

Definitions

Compensating controls are procedures, settings, or other measures that are put into place to help minimize the risks associated with failing to implement a requirement stated in the Information Security Policy and its supporting documents. Compensating controls should be used when FCPL cannot meet a requirement explicitly as stated in a practice statement or standard, due to legitimate technical or documented business constraints.

Guidelines provide staff and contractors with suggested best practices to be followed where possible.

Information security means protecting data; information; computers and related electronic, storage, or communication devices; and information infrastructure from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction.

Information technology infrastructure is the physical hardware and software used to interconnect computers and related electronic, storage, and communication devices with users. Infrastructure includes the transmission media, including telephone lines, cable television lines, and satellites and antennas, and also the routers, aggregators, repeaters, and other devices that control transmission paths. Infrastructure also includes the software used to send, receive, and manage the signals that are transmitted. In short, the information technology infrastructure includes everything that supports the flow and processing of information.

Practice statements describe FCPL's information security practices and outline expectations of staff or contractors at a broad level.

Procedures document steps to be followed in order to carry out job-related tasks in a manner that complies with information technology practice statements and standards.

Standards provide benchmarks for use in information technology-related decision-making. Standards outline the ideal set of characteristics that should exist in an information technology-related product, service, practice, procedure, or other entity in order to best ensure FCPL's ability to create and maintain an information technology infrastructure, resources, and computer systems that maximize usability, reliability, data integrity, confidentiality, and security while supporting legal, auditing, and industry standards compliance.

Enforcement

Any employee or contractor found to have violated the requirements of the Information Security Policy as outlined in supporting practice statements, standards, guidelines, and procedures may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or contract.


Approved on 9/21/2010
Implemented on 10/1/2010 Back to ListBack to List

Interlibrary Loan Policy

ILL (Interlibrary Loan) is a service of the Forsyth County Public Library in which materials not owned by the library may be borrowed from other library systems in the continental United States. FCPL's Interlibrary Loan relationship with other libraries is dependent on their willingness to lend materials to us, and the lending library (the library FCPL borrows from) controls the loan conditions, including the time period of the loan. Lending libraries may require that some materials be designated as in-library use only. Certain restrictions apply on the types of materials that can be obtained.

All costs associated with Interlibrary Loan are paid by FCPL, except if the lending library requires additional charges (surcharges). If so, the FCPL patron will be contacted and given the choice to pay the charges or cancel the ILL request.

Patrons must be in good standing at the time of the ILL request (owing less than $10.00 in fines and fees).

FCPL patrons will be assessed overdue fees for late ILL items. If an ILL item is 21 days overdue, FCPL contacts the lending library to obtain the total replacement cost, including additional fees, which is then applied to the FCPL patron's account.

FCPL patrons will be charged for lost or damaged materials, and these charges are assessed according to the lending library's policies and rules. Many lending libraries charge additional fees which can add significantly to the total replacement cost.

Fees for lost or damaged ILL materials contribute to the total amount of fines and fees on an FCPL patron's account, which may result in a patron's account being referred to a collection agency that specializes in libraries and an additional processing fee charged to the account.

Refunds will not be issued after the patron has paid the replacement cost.


Approved on 7/20/2009
Implemented on 8/1/2009 Back to ListBack to List

Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy

Forsyth County Public Library supports patrons' informational, educational, and recreational interests by providing materials in a wide range of formats including free basic access to information via the Internet. The library provides the opportunity to use the Internet from the library's public access computers.

Because not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information, patrons are advised to use information from the Internet at their own risk. The library does not warrant or guarantee the reliability or truthfulness of information obtained from the Internet. The library shall have no liability for direct, indirect, or consequential damages related to use of information accessed or transmitted via the Internet.

In accordance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), all library computers are equipped with software that is designed to block access to sites that contain visual depictions and/or information which may reasonably be construed as being obscene, child pornography, or materials "harmful to minors" as currently defined by law. Despite these provisions, patrons may still encounter sites they find personally offensive. For this reason, patrons must assume responsibility for their own use of the Internet. Parents who are concerned about the contents of the Internet are strongly advised to closely supervise their children's use of this service and assist them in selecting sites that are consistent with personal and family values and appropriate for the age and understanding of their children.

In accordance with CIPA, the library will provide access to the unfiltered Internet without significant delay for bona fide research or other lawful purposes at the request of patrons who are 18 years of age or older.

Acceptable Use
  • Users may not access or view illegal material for any purpose at any time. Suspected illegal activity will be reported to law enforcement. The following material is illegal, as defined by federal and/or state law:
    • Obscene material, defined by state law in OCGA 16-12-80.
    • Child pornography, defined by federal law in 18 USC Section 2256 and by state law in OCGA 16-12-100.
  • In addition, CIPA requires that material deemed harmful to minors not be allowed. The term "harmful to minors" is defined by CIPA as any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that:
    • taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion;
    • depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; and
    • taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors.
  • In addition to material that is unacceptable according to CIPA or other federal or state laws, and in order to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all ages, Forsyth County Public Library does not allow the display of any pornographic image.
  • Installation or modification of software is prohibited. Users shall not make any attempt to gain access to restricted computer files or networks or to damage or modify computer equipment or software.
  • Users shall respect all copyright laws and licensing agreements.
  • Users shall respect the privacy of other users and shall refrain from attempting to view or read material being used by others.
  • Users are financially responsible for any charges that they may incur from their use of the Internet.
  • Prompt payment of printing and other authorized fees incurred while using library computers is required.
  • Staff may establish the length and the number of Internet access sessions available per day, per user.
  • If any Acceptable Use rules are violated, library staff will take one or more of the following steps, as appropriate to the situation:
    • Terminate the user's Internet session.
    • Restrict library computer and/or library privileges for a specific amount of time, to be determined by the severity of the infraction and any history of previous infractions. Temporary or permanent denial of Internet privileges at any library facility will be effective at all library facilities.
    • Call law enforcement.
Internet Safety
  • Minors should never disclose any personal identification information over the Internet.
  • Parents and/or guardians are responsible for monitoring the use of email and other forms of direct electronic communications by their minor children.
  • Wireless/wired computer signals can be intercepted. Use of the Internet in the public library, either through wireless/wired access or through library computers, is neither private nor secure. Users should be aware that personal information transmitted via the Internet is not secure and could be viewed by other users.
  • The Library is not responsible for any personal information that is compromised, or for any damage caused to personal hardware or software due to electrical surges, security issues, or consequences caused by viruses or hacking.
Wireless/Wired Internet Use

Forsyth County Public Library provides free filtered wireless/wired Internet access for library visitors to use with their own personal devices.

The following additional guidelines apply to users of the wireless/wired service in the library.

  • All wireless/wired access users are individually responsible for maintaining up-to-date virus protection on personal laptop computers or wireless/wired devices.
  • Personal wireless/wired network use is "as is" and "as available." Random loss of signal is not preventable. The Library is not responsible for loss of personal data or damage to personal equipment due to loss of wireless/wired signal.
  • The library is not responsible for theft of or damage to personal equipment brought into the library.
  • Users are responsible for configuring their own equipment. The library does not provide technical support for establishing or maintaining a connection nor equipment configurations. The library is not responsible for any changes made to an individual computer's settings and does not guarantee that a user's hardware will work with the library's wireless/wired connection.

Approved on 7/25/2012 Back to ListBack to List

Library Affiliates Policy

FCPL provides library users the option to purchase materials through the library catalog using an Amazon.com link in the catalog called "Buy Your Own" or through the eLibrary portal site using an OverDrive link in the catalog called "Buy It Now". These links that connect to online vendors have been approved by the Library Director or by the FCPL eLibrary vendor OverDrive.

The library offers this feature as a service to FCPL patrons, not as an endorsement of a website or of the contents of a website. FCPL will receive a portion of the sales.

A vendor may apply for consideration at any time through the "Ask a Librarian" link on the library webpage. The following criteria are used to determine the vendor who offers the best benefit to the library:

  • Is the selling of materials, such as those held in the library, the primary part of the business of the vendor?
  • How long has the vendor been in business selling these materials?
  • Do the vendor’s offerings meet current or anticipated needs of the community, such as a Forsyth Reads Together selection or titles from a school summer reading list?
  • Will the software interface be easy to administer by the library's IT department?
  • Will the software interface work well with the library’s Integrated Library System (ILS)?
  • Is the price offered to the consumer discounted?
  • Is the website's search engine robust, and the purchasing process easy to use by patrons?
  • Can patrons use a credit card or PayPal online?
  • Is the site suitable for the library's family audiences?
  • Will the partnership between the vendor and the library benefit the library? If there is a financial benefit or cost, how much is it?
  • Does the vendor have a good business and online reputation?

Approved on 5/17/2010
Implemented on 6/1/2010 Back to ListBack to List

Management Estimates Policy

In order to prepare financial statements in conformity with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in the United States of America, library management staff will make estimates and assumptions based on historical experience or other reasonable rationales. These estimates and assumptions affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from these estimates.

The allowance for doubtful accounts is an example of a management estimate. The library’s accounts receivable consists of fines and fees owed by library patrons. In conformity with GAAP, the library will record a reasonable estimate of the amounts that will not be collected. At the end of each fiscal year, library management will make this estimate based on historical collection data. Reports from the integrated library system (ILS) will be used to determine the probability of collecting balances in a range of aging categories.

The Assistant Director for Support Services is responsible for establishing procedures for making estimates and ensuring that methodologies are consistently applied and properly disclosed. For information on estimating useful life and the value of donated assets, see the Capital Assets Policy.


Approved on 9/21/2010 Back to ListBack to List

Meeting Room and Study Room Use Policy

In determining meeting room or study room use, the library does not discriminate against persons or groups on the basis of sex, color, race, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, or disability. The Library Board of Trustees delegates the authority to set conditions for room use to the Director. Groups must comply with all library policies and procedures.

The public library serves a neutral position in the community, providing materials and resources for patrons’ edification and enjoyment. As such, patrons are entitled to utilize the resources and facilities of the public library without intrusion of active or passive solicitation of any kind. Solicitation, other than to support the library's programs and resources, is contrary to the nature and intent of the library and interrupts the use of the library by patrons seeking an appropriate atmosphere for reading, self-education and research. No fees may be charged for admission or services nor donations solicited.

Meeting Rooms

The primary purpose of the meeting rooms is to provide appropriate space for library meetings and programs to support and promote the library's mission. However, when the rooms are not being used for library programs or activities, community groups and organizations may request the use of the rooms. Any group's use of the meeting rooms does not constitute the library's endorsement of that group's credentials, policies, or beliefs.

  • Meeting rooms may be used for non-commercial meetings or programs. For the purpose of this policy, "commercial" means the exchange, buying, selling or promotion of goods or services with the intent of financial gain. Meeting rooms are not to be used by profit-making ventures or by representatives of profit-making companies or organizations.
  • Meeting rooms will be available for public use at times posted in the branches and on the Meeting Room Use form. Scheduled events may be pre-empted in the event of a special election, as the meeting rooms may be designated polling sites in the county. Library staff will give reasonable notice if it is necessary to cancel or change a reservation.
  • Meeting room hours and reservation procedures are based on the schedule of hours that the library is open and may be limited, when necessary, to ensure equitable access to the facilities for the entire community.
  • Meetings, including setup, must be held during posted hours for meeting room use. Meetings must end 30 minutes before the library's posted closing time.
  • Meeting rooms must be reserved in advance on a first-come, first-served basis. An adult who is an FCPL cardholder must serve as the group contact.
  • The cardholder responsible for the reservation must check in at the Ask Us Desk and present a valid FCPL card prior to using the room.
  • The group contact will be required to sign a Meeting Room Use contract and will be responsible for the organization's activities, including costs to repair damage incurred during use by the group.
  • Youth organizations must have one adult present at all times for every 10 children present.
  • Meetings, programs, or activities must not interfere with or be disruptive to regular library operations (e.g., noise, overcrowding, or parking). (Refer to the Patron Behavior Policy).
  • The library reserves the right to immediately terminate the meeting, program, or activity and to refuse future reservations in the event that the group does not follow all rules included in this policy and in the Meeting Room Use form.
  • All groups must enter and exit through the main entrance of the library except in emergencies.
  • Storage of supplies or equipment belonging to meeting room users is not permitted.
  • Nothing may be attached to walls, ceilings, doors, or furniture of any of the rooms.
  • No signs or posters promoting a meeting or program may be placed anywhere in the library or on the grounds of the library.
  • Furniture may not be moved in or out of the meeting room.
  • Forsyth County Public Library is a tobacco-free facility.
  • No alcoholic beverages are allowed.
  • Groups are prohibited from making statements in their advertising or meeting announcements that suggest the library's sponsorship or endorsement. Neither the name nor the address of the library buildings may be used as the official address of the headquarters of an organization.
  • Meeting room reservations are not transferable from one group to another.
  • Attendance must not exceed posted capacity of the rooms.
  • Light refreshments such as coffee, tea, juice, soft drinks, pastries, or fruit are permitted. Other food products must be approved in advance.
  • The library staff reserves the right to enter the meeting rooms at any time.
Study Rooms

FCPL also makes available study rooms for use by small groups or individuals. FCPL is happy to provide these spaces to the public and all are welcome to use them in accordance to the following rules.

  • Rooms are available only during open library hours, and close 15 minutes before the library closes.
  • Patrons may reserve a study room up to three days in advance by using the library website or by speaking with a library staff member in person or by phone.
  • Rooms may be used for up to two hours at a time. If no one is waiting and no other reservations have been made, patrons may extend their time at the Ask Us Desk.
  • Reservations that have not been kept or rooms that have been vacated for 15 minutes will be released to others who are waiting.
  • The library cannot be responsible for items left unattended in a study room.
  • The rooms and their furnishings must be left in their original condition. The user will be liable for replacement or repair of library property damaged due to misuse.
  • Rooms may be reserved by valid Forsyth County Public Library cardholders only.
  • The cardholder responsible for the reservation must check in at the Ask Us Desk and present a valid FCPL card prior to using the room.
  • The cardholder who reserves the room must be present in the study room during the reservation period.
  • Rooms will be monitored; library staff has the authority to expel individuals violating these rules and/or the Patron Behavior Policy.
  • When the room is vacated, the responsible person must check out with the librarian on duty at the Ask Us Desk.
  • The library reserves the right to remove unattended belongings.
  • No furniture may be moved in or out of the rooms.
  • The Library reserves the right to limit future study room use if these rules are not followed.

Approved on 11/17/2014
Implemented on 12/1/2014 Back to ListBack to List

Naming of Branches

As future branches are added, they will be named for the geographical area in which they are located, or which they serve. Parts of the county with a mailing address that does not reflect the service area, or that are known by a name which is not used by the post office, pose a unique problem. In those cases, the Library Board may name the branch for a historical site, geographical feature or the commonly used name.

The Library Board can, by Board action, honor organizations or individuals who have contributed financially to the library or have had contributions donated in their name, with plaques displayed in the building.

Rooms or areas of the library can also be named after individuals or organizations by Board action. This is usually done when a financial contribution is significant and results in an endowment or funding of a major portion of an addition or new building.


Approved on 7/1/1996 Back to ListBack to List

Operating Hours and Closings

Hours of operation and holiday closings for all branches of the Forsyth County Public Library are established by the Library Board of Trustees. Additional closings specified only by the authority of the Director or staff designated by the Director include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A facility may be closed when the temperature of the facility falls below 66 degrees or exceeds 84 degrees.
  • A facility may be closed due to inclement weather.
  • A facility may be closed for staff training or required computer or facility maintenance.
  • A facility may be closed for the loss of electrical power or essential utilities.
  • A facility may be closed for safety or security concerns.

Approved on 7/20/2009
Implemented on 8/1/2009 Back to ListBack to List

Patron Bad Debt Write-off

In order to accurately represent accounts receivable on its financial statements, the Forsyth County Public Library will write off any patron debts that have not been collected in a rolling three-year cycle despite established collection efforts. On an annual basis, library staff will identify the debts eligible for deletion. Debt being written off will meet all of the following criteria: 1) incurred prior to the previous three calendar years, 2) incurred on an account that has been inactive for the previous three calendar years, and 3) incurred on an account that has had no new debt assigned (e.g., fines, replacement value of unreturned materials, collection fees) in the previous three calendar years. To be considered inactive, an account must have no documented circulation activity and no documented use of electronic resources for the specified timeframe. Staff will present the recommended write-off amount to the Library Board for approval prior to deleting debt records. Staff will implement the write-offs prior to the end of each fiscal year and maintain appropriate accounting records.


Approved on 5/17/2010
Implemented on 5/17/2010 Back to ListBack to List

Patron Behavior

Forsyth County Public Library welcomes everyone to use the library.

To ensure the safety and comfort of the library's users, patrons are expected to be respectful and courteous to library staff and other patrons.

When the behavior of a patron constitutes a disruption which interferes with the use of the library, library staff will take one or more of the following steps, as appropriate to the situation:

  • Issue a verbal warning
  • Ask the patron to leave the library for the remainder of the day
  • Restrict library privileges for a specific amount of time, to be determined by the severity of the infraction and any history of previous disruptive behavior
  • Bar a juvenile (any patron under 18) from the library unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian
  • Call law enforcement

Parents or legal guardians are responsible for the behavior of their children. A staff member may intervene with a child in order to prevent injury or property damage.

Disruptive behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Willful damage, misuse, or mistreatment of library property or facilities
  • Abusive or obscene language toward staff or other patrons
  • A level of noise by individuals that is disruptive to other patrons or library services
  • Running, climbing, or fighting
  • Using any tobacco or vaping product, including smokeless tobacco, inside library buildings or within 50 feet of library entrances
  • Consuming food (other than snacks, such as those found in vending machines) in public areas of library buildings, except for library-approved programs or meetings
  • Bringing animals, other than service animals or animals used by presenters of library programs, into library buildings
  • Public displays of affection that are disruptive to patrons or library services
  • Not wearing shirt or shoes, with the exception of infants
  • Prolonged sleeping
  • Using public restrooms for bathing or laundering clothes
  • Picketing, petitioning, or soliciting inside library buildings
  • Using library parking lots for recreational purposes such as skateboarding or using other wheeled devices
  • Using library parking lots to park or leave vehicles when not using the library
  • Any act or conduct in violation of Federal, State, or local law, ordinance, or regulation
  • Any act or conduct in violation of other Forsyth County Public Library policies

Approved on 3/16/2009
Updated on 9/18/2017
Implemented on 9/25/2017 Back to ListBack to List

Purchasing Policy
A. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that library funds are spent with the highest level of fiduciary responsibility to funding organizations and the citizens they represent.

B. Applicability

This policy will govern all acquisitions of the Forsyth County Public Library (FCPL) except for those items specifically exempted.

C. Ethics

Employees governed by this Purchasing Policy must also abide by library guidelines relating to business ethics and professional conduct, as outlined in the library's Personnel Policy Manual.

D. Authority for Purchasing

The Assistant Director for Support Services is the authorized purchasing agent for FCPL. This responsibility may be delegated to positions within the Support Services department. In addition, the Director and the following positions are authorized to make designated purchases:

  • Assistant Director for Information Technology or his/her designee may have authority to purchase technology equipment and negotiate contracts necessary to maintain the computer infrastructure of the library.
  • Assistant Director for Materials Services or his/her designee may have authority to purchase library materials and negotiate contracts for materials-related services and leased library resources.
  • Assistant Director for Planning and Facilities or his/her designee may have authority for contracts and purchases related to construction, building maintenance, and FFE (furniture, fixtures, and equipment), as well as securing training registrations and travel reservations.
  • Assistant Director for Public Services or his/her designee may have authority to purchase branch items and programming supplies and services.

All positions with authorized purchasing authority must adhere to the purchasing policy and maintain documentation that the policy was followed. Failure to follow the policy may result in revocation of purchasing authority and disciplinary action.

The Assistant Director for Support Services or his/her designee is authorized to periodically verify purchases have been conducted within the limits of the policy.

E. Budgeted Expenditures

It is the responsibility of authorized purchasers to ensure all purchases are consistent with and support the current approved budget prior to committing funds. Unbudgeted purchases shall not be made until a source of funds has been identified by the Assistant Director for Support Services and approved by the Director or Library Board, depending on the legal level of budgetary control required by the Budget Policy.

F. Purchasing Procedures

The Assistant Director for Support Services is authorized to establish and enforce procedures to 1) ensure this policy is followed in all purchasing categories and departments, 2) provide staff with instructions for carrying out purchasing tasks, and 3) ensure a strong internal controls environment.

G. Disclaimer of Responsibility for Improper Purchasing

The Library Board may disclaim responsibility and liability for any expenditure or agreement for expenditure arising from a procurement made in its name by an unauthorized person or any person acting outside this Policy or the authorization or delegation as provided in this Policy. The expense of any such disclaimed transaction will become the personal liability of the individual who acted improperly.

H. Exemptions

The following supplies and services are exempt from this policy:

  • Library materials in all formats including books, periodicals, media, and electronic resources;
  • Real property, real estate brokerage and appraising, abstract of titles for real property, title insurance for real property and other related costs of acquisition of real property;
  • Purchases between governments and/or nonprofit organizations;
  • Dues, memberships, and subscriptions;
  • Utilities including but not limited to electricity, water, sanitation, and communications;
  • Professional services not exceeding $5,000, including but not limited to medical, legal, architectural and interior design, financial, and engineering;
  • Training, travel, lodging, or meal expenses (see Travel Regulations);
  • Legal or employment advertisements;
  • Any item on county, state, or federal contract; and
  • Artwork for public places.
I. Methods of Source Selection

The following thresholds will be used in determining source selection method:

  • Purchases greater than $0 but not greater than $2,500 – authorized staff members may acquire goods or services using their best judgment as to source and number of quotes.
  • Purchases greater than $2,500 but not greater than $5,000 – authorized staff members will obtain at least two verbal quotes.
  • Purchases greater than $5,000 but not greater than $20,000 – authorized staff members will obtain at least three written quotes.
  • Purchases greater than $20,000 – Assistant Director for Support Services or their designee shall obtain goods and/or services through sealed, written bids or proposals. The Assistant Director for Support Services is authorized to negotiate the final purchase price with the most responsive and responsible vendor. Final award of purchase shall be made by Library Board.

Exceptions: Any goods or services available for purchase under county, state or federal contract will not require the above source selection criteria. However, the Library Director will approve all vehicle purchases regardless of source.

The above thresholds indicate minimum requirements. Best practices dictate that multiple quotations be obtained at all price levels unless obtaining multiple quotations would be impractical or inefficient due to a lack of vendors or an excessive amount of staff time. Circumventing a threshold by splitting an order into two or more orders is prohibited by this policy.

The requirements for each threshold should be adhered to if at all possible. In the event the required number of responses is not received, steps taken to follow the policy will be documented. In this case, the Assistant Director for Support Services has authority to award the purchase to the most responsive and responsible vendor.

Should additional goods or services be required within six (6) months of an original purchase (or performance of service) made in compliance with this policy, these additional goods or services may be obtained from the same vendor provided original prices and terms are still offered.

J. Contract Approvals

Library Board approval is required for all contracts exceeding $20,000. The Director will determine which contracts will be reviewed and approved as to form by an attorney prior to execution on behalf of the library. This determination will be based on contract amount, product or service complexity, length of time since prior legal review, and operational efficiency. A contract shall conform to State and Federal law and to FCPL policies. They shall otherwise contain such provisions as are reasonably necessary to protect the interests of the library. Contracts may be signed by the Director. Contracts will be awarded in one-year increments, typically with options for renewal for two additional one-year increments.

K. Contract Renewals

Contracts awarded can be renewed for a maximum of two additional years barring poor contract performance, significant changes in the contract requirements, or proposed increases that exceed the annual consumer price index (CPI). If any of these situations occur, a new vendor will be selected using criteria included in Section I. Library Board approval is required to extend the contract term described in the request for bid or proposal.

Any multi-year contract must include an option to terminate the contract without penalty if funds are not available for appropriation.

L. Sole Source

A sole source purchase exists when only one source is able to fill requirements for the intended use. Standardization or compatibility with existing equipment for repair purposes may require a sole source purchase, depending on the intended use. Preference for a particular brand does not constitute a valid reason for sole source.

M. Emergency Purchases

Emergency purchases may be made under the following conditions:

  • When there is a threat to the health, welfare, or safety of patrons or employees;
  • When there is a threat to the soundness and integrity of private property;
  • When there is a threat to the delivery of essential services; and
  • When there is a threat of significant disruption to office procedures and normal operations that is not the result of poor planning.

For those purchases where the cost is less than $10,000 and the purchase does not follow standard purchasing procedures of obtaining competitive quotations (i.e., sole source and emergency purchases as described in L and M above), written justification from the head of the requesting department and approval by the Assistant Director for Support Services and the Director is required prior to purchase.

For those purchases where the cost is $10,000 or more and the purchase does not follow standard purchasing procedures of obtaining competitive quotations (i.e., sole source and emergency purchases as described in L and M above), written justification from the head of the requesting department and approval by the Director and the Chair of the Library Board is required prior to purchase.

N. Fiscal Year End

In order to enable the timely and efficient closing of the fiscal year, purchasing activities are suspended near the end of the fiscal year. Purchases made in June require approval by the Assistant Director for Support Services or his/her designee.

O. Grants

All purchases made under a specific grant (e.g., state, federal, private) shall be in compliance with requirements of that grant and/or funding agency, as detailed in grant awards and other agreements. If in conflict with this policy, official grant documents or funding agreements will prevail.

P. Construction Projects

All construction projects will follow Forsyth County Government's procurement policies and procedures and will be coordinated with the Forsyth County Procurement Department. Approval by the County Manager and/or Board of Commissioners may be required by Forsyth County Government's policies and procedures.

Exceptions: The library has the authority to purchase construction-related items or services (e.g., furniture) under state or federal contract without prior approval from Forsyth County Government, assuming purchases are in compliance with the established construction budget.

Q. Local Business Initiative

In considering bid responses and quotes, FCPL will follow Forsyth County Government’s Local Business Initiative, if in effect at the time of the bid award. This initiative gives preference to local suppliers in an effort to support the local economy.


Approved on 7/25/2012 Back to ListBack to List

Quiet Rooms

While providing a welcoming environment for all, the library recognizes that patrons have differing expectations for an acceptable level of noise in a public setting. Therefore, a separate Quiet Room is available at each branch to provide patrons a more tranquil alternative to the main areas. In Quiet Rooms, patrons are asked to refrain from all conversations and to silence all cell phones, pagers, and electronic devices.


Approved on 5/18/2009
Implemented on 6/1/2009 Back to ListBack to List

Returned Checks

Payments made by check to the Forsyth County Public Library that are not honored by the bank will incur a returned check fee of $25. This fee will be added to the patron's library card account when the Library receives notification of non-sufficient funds (NSF) from a bank. The patron's borrowing privileges will be suspended until the total amount owed to the Library (including other fines and fees) is less than $10.00. Payments for returned check fees must be in the form of cash, credit card, cashier's check, certified check or money order. Personal checks will not be accepted as payment if a patron's check has been returned for insufficient funds in the past.


Approved on 1/19/2010
Implemented on 2/1/2010 Back to ListBack to List

Security Camera Policy

Forsyth County Public Library (FCPL) may use security cameras to monitor library buildings, parking lots, entrances, hallways, public areas, staff work areas, or other common areas on FCPL property. Security camera records will be used primarily to enhance patron and staff safety, discourage theft or other criminal activities, investigate incidents, or for other purposes as necessary.

Although this policy is governed by any and all applicable local, state and federal laws, rules and regulations, there are several state statutes that directly pertain to this policy.

  • As a public agency, FCPL is subject to the Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70 et seq.), under which records created by FCPL (including video records) are considered public record and may be subject to inspection.
  • FCPL is subject to the Georgia Records Act (O.C.G.A. § 50-18-90 et seq.) which applies to local government and its agencies, boards, etc., and requires an approved records retention policy. Forsyth County has adopted the Georgia “Local Government Retention Schedule” (see County Code, Sec. 2-1) which requires security or surveillance video to be retained for a minimum of 180 days, barring any incident that may occur during that period to warrant a longer retention period based on the circumstances.
  • FCPL is subject to Georgia law governing certain confidential information related to library patrons (see O.C.G.A. § 24-12-30). Library records which identify the user of library materials shall not be public records and shall not be disclosed to the public except upon a court order or subpoena.

Recognizing the importance of the confidentiality of patrons’ use of the library, FCPL’s security cameras shall be positioned in a manner to avoid or minimize the possibility of identifying a patron’s reading, viewing, or listening activities. Cameras shall not be used in areas where patrons or staff have a reasonable expectation of privacy (e.g., restrooms).

Access to both real-time and recorded video records shall be limited to designated FCPL staff. Video recordings may be digitally stored on computer servers with the appropriate level of security. Footage will be retained for 180 days, after which time such video records may be destroyed, unless there is a compelling reason to retain (such as to document possible criminal activity or policy violations).

Any request to review video records must be referred to an FCPL supervisor or manager. Because of the challenges involved in protecting confidential patron information, when presented with a request to view video records, access to such records must be limited and each request shall be handled on a case-by-case basis, balancing the importance of both transparency and confidentiality.

Security cameras are not constantly monitored, and patrons and staff should take appropriate precautions for their own safety and the security of their personal property.


Approved on 9/18/2017
Implemented on 9/25/2017 Back to ListBack to List

Smoking

Forsyth County Public Library complies with the Georgia Smokefree Air Act of 2005 and Forsyth County ordinances and policies related to smoking in county buildings.

All library buildings and library vehicles are designated as smoke-free and tobacco-free areas. In addition, the use or inhalation of e-cigarettes or electronic cigarettes (“vaping”) is prohibited in library buildings and library vehicles. Smoking, tobacco use, and vaping are prohibited within 50 feet of any library entrance or exit, on loading docks, in courtyards, or in any of the demonstration gardens on library grounds.

This policy applies to the use of any tobacco or vaping product, including smokeless tobacco, and applies to both employees and visitors of the library.


Approved on 9/21/2009
Implemented on 10/1/2009
Updated on 7/21/2014 Back to ListBack to List

Social Media Policy
Purpose for Participation in Social Media

Forsyth County Public Library (FCPL) recognizes that patrons use social media platforms and services to connect and share with others and to discover local businesses and organizations. By participating in social media where appropriate and practical, FCPL seeks to promote its websites, resources, programs, and services, to share information about Library services with patrons, and to provide an informal online space for patrons and library staff to communicate with each other.

Selecting Social Media Networks

Library staff will evaluate social networks and services as they emerge or disband and make recommendations to the Library Director on the Library’s participation according to the following criteria:

  • The social network and the formats for presenting content (e.g., text, photos, videos, sound recordings) are appropriate and relevant to patrons.
  • The Library has sufficient resources (e.g., staff, training, equipment, access, subject material) to participate in a meaningful way.
  • Participation in the social network advances the positive image of the Library as perceived by stakeholders (e.g., patrons, staff, the Library Board of Trustees, the Board of Commissioners, taxpayers).
  • Participation in one social network would not unnecessarily duplicate content or participation in a social network already in use.
  • Participation in a current social network could be discontinued as circumstances change (such as to accommodate resource allocation to a different social network or to another project entirely, in response to changes in formats for presenting content given as options by the network, or in response to patron or network user feedback).
Library staff will make recommendations to the Library Director regarding participating in or discontinuing participation in a given social network. The Library Director will make the final decision regarding the Library’s participation in social media.

Managing Social Media Networks

Social media accounts may be created only by designated Library staff, and these individuals will also be responsible for managing the Library’s participation in social media. The names of pages, profiles, or accounts should clearly represent the Library, including the official logo, web address, and contact information.

Content Creation and Moderation

Only designated Library staff trained in appropriate use of social media on the Library’s behalf may access the Library’s social media accounts and publish content on behalf of the Library. Such employees are bound by relevant policies in the Library’s Personnel Policy Manual, as well as other established Library procedures for communicating with patrons, the news media, and the general public. Staff will follow management directives, industry best practices, and conventions of the social networks themselves to determine the type and frequency of content to be published.

Employees participating in social media on behalf of the Library will also be responsible for moderating comments. Questions or comments from the public should be responded to in an appropriate and timely manner by staff.

Library staff may “tag” or mention other organizations (such as the Library’s community partners, local government and nonprofit organizations, other libraries, and professional organizations) as appropriate.

Public Use of the Library’s Social Media Sites

The Library expects users to be mindful that social media sites are accessible to the public and to be courteous and civil toward one another.

The Library is a public place, and all Library programs take place in public venues. Photographs or video may be taken during Library programs. These photographs and video may be posted on the Library’s social media sites.

Users should have no expectation of privacy in postings on Library sponsored social media sites. Every comment or posting made on Library social media sites is a public record and may be disseminated, reproduced, or copied without any further action and without notice. By posting on Library social media sites, users are agreeing that they have no expectation of privacy in any submissions.

The Library reserves the right to remove postings (in whole or in part) which it considers to be inappropriate, including comments or posts containing: abusive, vulgar, offensive, threatening, harassing, or discriminatory language; personal attacks of any kind; potentially libelous or defamatory comments; confidential information; copyright violations; commercial promotions or spam; or off-topic content. The Library also reserves the right to ban, block, or revoke posting privileges of commenters or posters who repeatedly post comments that violate this policy.

Public users should keep in mind that the Library’s social media sites are internet pages on third party social media sites which own and operate the sites, and which maintain their own policies and standards on what may or may not be posted and the actions they may take concerning violation of their standards.

The Library is not responsible for, and neither endorses nor opposes, comments placed on the site by visitors to the site. Commenters/posters are personally responsible for their own comments, usernames, and/or any information placed on the page.


Approved on 5/15/2017
Implemented on 5/16/2017 Back to ListBack to List

Solicitations For Charity or Support

Citizens are entitled to visit the public library without the intrusion of personal or passive solicitation, which may imply an obligation to contribute.

Solicitation activities are prohibited in public areas of the library buildings and property, including, but not limited to, sales of goods or placement of receptacles for the collection of goods or money. The solicitation of names or personal information of those attending meeting room functions is also prohibited.

Because libraries serve as voter registration sites, soliciting for votes on behalf of or against political candidates or issues is also prohibited.


Approved on 8/1/2002
Implemented on 10/1/2002 Back to ListBack to List

Staff-facilitated Tours

Classes or groups in Forsyth County are welcome to request a staff-facilitated introduction to the library. Tours are dependent on staff availability and must be scheduled and confirmed with library staff at least two weeks in advance. Tours are offered to a class or group once per year. Classes and groups are welcome at any time to use the library on their own. All groups must have at least one adult accompanying every ten children. Total group size should not exceed thirty.


Approved on 9/21/2009
Implemented on 10/1/2009 Back to ListBack to List

Unattended Children

Forsyth County Public Library welcomes visitors of all ages to use its materials, programs and resources. However, caregivers must be mindful of the fact that the library is an open, public building. The well-being and safety of young children left alone raises serious concerns. Caregivers are responsible for the safety, behavior, and supervision of children at all times in the library and on library property. Library staff cannot assume responsibility for any child, even for a very short period of time.

Children under 11 years old may not be left alone in the library. Parents, guardians, or caregivers must remain within sight or sound range of their children at all times to ensure safety and appropriate behavior. Caregivers must be 13 or older, able to effectively supervise young children, and must be willing and able to provide contact information for a parent or guardian upon request.

Children ages 7 and under may not be left alone in library-sponsored programs, unless otherwise stated by library staff. Children ages 8 and older may be left alone in library-sponsored programs. Caregivers must remain in the library at all times during the programs and must be available to meet children in the program room at the conclusion of the programs. Library staff may use their judgment to determine if an unaccompanied child of any age needs the assistance of a caregiver during a program.

If library staff deems a child of any age to be in need of supervision and no parent or guardian can be located or contacted, law enforcement will be called.

Public announcements are made throughout the last open hour of each business day to remind all patrons to arrange for their rides home prior to the library's closing. If a child under 13 is left unattended after the library closes, staff will attempt to contact a parent or guardian, and if unable to do so, they will call law enforcement in accordance with library procedures. The library will make no determination as to the suitability or authority of anyone arriving or being contacted to transport a minor from library grounds or for minors leaving library grounds. Library staff members are not permitted to transport any minor to another location.


Approved on 11/17/2014
Implemented on 12/1/2014 Back to ListBack to List

Volunteer Program

The Forsyth County Public Library (FCPL) recognizes and appreciates the valuable contribution that volunteers make as they assist library staff in serving the Forsyth County community. The Volunteer Program is intended to supplement the efforts of paid library staff, and not to replace staff. Services provided by volunteers aid the library in making the best use of its fiscal resources.

Definition – A volunteer is a person who contributes his/her time, energy, and talents and performs tasks or services of his/her own free will, without expectation or receipt of wages, benefits, or compensation of any kind. Volunteers are not eligible to receive workers compensation benefits for any injuries sustained while functioning as a volunteer. Nothing in this policy shall be deemed to create a contract between the volunteer and FCPL, and both the volunteer and FCPL have the right to end the volunteer's association with the library at any time, for any reason, with or without cause.

Program Administration – The Support Services Department is responsible for administering FCPL's Volunteer Program and implementing procedures for recruitment, screening, selection, training, evaluation, retention, and release of volunteers. Applicants for volunteer assignments are selected based on their qualifications in relation to the library's operational needs and on their ability to commit to a consistent schedule of volunteer hours. Volunteers may be assigned to help with short-term projects, events, or seasonal activities. Volunteers may also be assigned to assist library staff on a regular, ongoing basis. All library volunteers are required to pass a background check. The library maintains the right to deny a volunteer position to anyone it feels is unsuitable for any reason. The library does not offer court-ordered community service hours.

Expectations – Because volunteers are viewed by the public as representatives of the library, they are expected to uphold the library's mission, to reflect positive customer service attitudes to patrons, and to help maintain the library's image in the community. Volunteers are expected to conform to all library policies and rules, including those pertaining to patron privacy and confidentiality.

Consideration for Employment – If a paid library position should become open, current volunteers may apply and be considered under the same conditions as current FCPL staff members.


Approved on 5/17/2011 Back to ListBack to List
Ask a Librarian