Policy & Procedures



1. Personnel Policy

  • Vacation Policy Holiday Policy
  • Sick Leave
  • Leave of Absence: Leaves of absence with pay/ without pay
  • Health Insurance Policy


Requests for leave should be submitted in writing well in advance of the time when the leave is to begin. Written requests should indicate both a beginning and ending date for the leave.

In some instances it may be necessary to deny requests for leaves of absence. Leaves are a privilege and can be granted only if the best interests of the library can be maintained.



Library Career Path/ladder and salary schedule have been approved by the Department of Public Service in 2000. However, it has only begun to take effect in 2003. The plan is subject to regular revision so that it will remain equitable for all public servants.


– Work Schedule Policy: Major changes requests for changes in the work schedule of other staff or volunteers shall be made in writing to National Library and Information Services.


– Meetings, Conventions, and Workshops: Staff attending continuing education opportunities to aid the library shall be allowed expenses at the discretion of Ministry of Education according to the amount appropriated in budget for such. Staff members are encouraged to attend and participate in continuing education activities.


– Disciplinary Policy: An employee of the Public Library may be dismissed for any action or behavior that causes the Library’s image or operation to be diminished. This includes but is not limited to: incompetence, misconduct, inattention to assigned duties, or unapproved absences from work.

Normally termination would be a final step which would follow:

1 a substandard performance appraisal, 2. verbal and/or written warnings,

3 suspension, and/or

4. extended probation.


– Jury Duty: In the event a library employee is called for jury duty, the library will release the worker. There is usually a register at the court to sign as a record of attendance.

It is important that complete and clear records be maintained of all disciplinary processes for the protection of the employee and the library service.


The Library wants each employee to be successful in his/her job and will work with employees to eliminate deficiencies through quarterly performance appraisal sessions and mentoring programmes.


While notice of intent to terminate can be expected, the Public Service reserves the right to dismiss an employee without notice in cases involving theft, drug or alcohol abuse, criminal activity.


– Resignation and Retirement Policy: A library employee wishing to resign or retire from employment must notify the Ministry of Education through the proper channels or the library board as soon as practicable. The library requests a minimum notice of two weeks. A notice of at least one month is preferred.


The employee must submit a formal, written resignation statement giving the exact date that employment is to be terminated. Between the time of notice and the time when employment ends a final performance appraisal will be conducted.

If the employee is entitled to benefits (such as earned, unused vacation) the Human Resources Section of the Ministry would notify the employee.


– Drug-Free Workplace Policy: In compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace he unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited while performing work for the________________ Public Library, whether that work is carried out in the workplace building or not. All employees shall abide, as a condition of employment, by the terms of this notice and shall notify the library administrator within five (5) days of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace.


1. Sexual Harassment Policy: Harassment on the basis of sex is a violation of Sexual harassment, either verbal or physical, is an unlawful employment practice and will not be tolerated by the ______________Public Library.


The Public Library accepts and adheres to all definitions and procedures outlined in the law as regards sexual harassment. Any

employee who engages in sexual harassment will subject themselves to disciplinary action up to and including discharge.


2. Who May Use the Library

The library will serve all residents of the community and the public library system area. Service will not be denied or abridged because of religious, racial, social, economic, or political status; or because of mental, emotional, or physical condition; age; or sexual orientation.


The use of the library may be denied for due cause. Such cause may be failure to return library materials or to pay penalties, destruction of library property, disturbance of other patrons, or any other illegal, disruptive, or objectionable conduct on library premises.


3. Patron Responsibilities and Conduct

It is a patron’s responsibility to maintain necessary and proper standards of behavior in order to protect his/her individual rights and the rights and privileges of other patrons. If a patron creates a public nuisance, that patron may be restricted from the Library and from the use of the library facilities. Those who are unwilling to leave or do not leave within a reasonable amount of time, after being instructed to do so by the staff, will be subject to the law.


Young children:

The Public Library encourages visits by young children and it is our desire to make this important visit both memorable and enjoyable for all children. Library staff is not expected to assume responsibility for the care of unsupervised children in the library.


Therefore, it is library policy that all children under age six must be accompanied by a parent or designated responsible person while in the library. Also, if the young child is attending a library program, we require the parent/responsible person to remain in the library throughout the program.


Disruptive children:

Children of all ages are encouraged to use the library for homework, recreational reading, and program attendance. The library staff realizes that the library will be noisier at busy times and that children have a short concentration span. However, children (whether with parents or not) who are being continually disruptive will be given a warning that he/she must settle down or will be asked to leave the library. If after a second warning the child continues to be disruptive, he/she will be asked to leave the library. If the child needs to contact a parent, they may do so and then wait with a staff person until the parent arrives.


4. Services of the Library

The library provides materials and resources for information, entertainment, intellectual development, and enrichment of the people of the community. The library should strive to:

  1. Select, organize, and make available necessary books and materials.
  2. Provide guidance and assistance to patrons.
  3. Sponsor and implement programs, exhibits, displays, book lists, etc., which would appeal to children and adults.
  4. Cooperate with other community agencies and organizations.
  5. Secure information beyond its own resources when requested. (Using interlibrary loan and other resource sharing methods provided through the system and state.)
  6. Lend to other libraries upon request.
  7. Develop and provide services to patrons with special needs.
  8. Maintain a balance in its services to various age groups.
  9. Cooperate with, but not perform the functions of, school or other institutional libraries.
  10. Provide service during hours which best meet the needs of the community, including evening and weekend hours.

11. Regularly review library services being offered.

12. Use media and other public relations mechanisms with the permission of the Ministry of Education through the National Library and Information Services Central Administration Office to promote the full range of available library services.


5. Responsibilities and Authorities of the Library Board

Presently, all of are older libraries New Providence, in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas are under individual library boards. We envision in the near future that a Central Board would be established to facilitate all libraries.


The Public Library encourages each library trustee to take advantage of training opportunities for trustees offered by the public library system or statewide agencies and organizations. Likewise, the Library encourages trustees to be active in the state library organization and its efforts to inform all library stake holders and the powers that be of the benefits and needs of public libraries.


6. Volunteers and Friends

The Library Administration encourages individuals and groups to volunteer their time and efforts in the service of the______________ Public Library. In appreciation of
volunteer services, the Library acknowledges the need to organize volunteer activities and provide for appropriate recognition respecting the benefit to the library and the communities it serves. Recognition will be given based on the number of hours of service. This will include a listing of volunteer names in a newspaper release (with permission), a certificate of appreciation, and the addition of a book to the collection in each volunteer’s name.


A library friends group is a formal association of people who unite to plan and execute, in conjunction with library goals and the needs of the library, programs and events to benefit the library. In particular, a friends group is often heavily involved in fund-raising for the library and often oversees periodic book sales. Friends groups always serve at the pleasure of the library board or the Ministry of Education which is the only body with legal authority to set policy for the development of the library.


7. Materials Selection/Collection Development Policy


A. Objectives

The purpose of the Public Library is to provide all individuals in the community with carefully selected books and other materials to aid the individual in the pursuit of education, information, research, pleasure, and the creative use of leisure time.

Because of the volume of publishing, as well as the limitations of budget and space, the library must have a selection policy with which to meet community interests and needs.

The materials selection/collection development policy is used by the library staff in the selection of materials and also serves to acquaint the general public with the principles of selection.

The materials selection/collection development policy, like all other policies, will be reviewed and/or revised as the need arises.


B. Responsibility for Selection

The ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials rests with National Library and Information Services Head of Department who operates within the framework of budget allocations of the Ministry of Education. This responsibility may be shared with other members of the library staff; however, because the Head of Department must be available to answer to the Ministry of Education made, he /she has the authority to reject or select any item contrary to the recommendations of the staff.


Criteria for Selection

1. The main points considered in the selection of materials are:

a. individual merit of each item

b. popular appeal/demand

c. suitability of material for the clientele

d. existing library holdings

e. budget

2.Reviews are a major source of information about new materials. The primary source(s)   

    of reviews is (are)_______________________________________________________.

3. The lack of a review or an unfavorable review shall not be the sole reason for rejecting a title which is in demand. Consideration is, therefore, given to requests from library patrons and books discussed on public media. Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole, not on a part taken out of context.


Interlibrary Loan

Because of limited budget and space, the library cannot provide all materials that are requested. Therefore, interlibrary loan is used to obtain From other libraries those materials that are beyond the scope of this library’s collection.


In return for utilizing interlibrary loan to satisfy the needs of our patrons, the Public Library agrees to lend its materials to other libraries through the same interlibrary loan network, and to make an effort to have its current holdings listed in a tool that is accessible by other libraries throughout the country.


Gifts and Donations

The library accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that they will be added to the collection only if appropriate and needed. If they are not needed because of duplication, condition, or dated information the director can dispose of them as he/she sees fit. The same criteria of selection which are applied to purchased materials are applied to gifts. Memorial gifts of books or money are also accepted with suitable bookplates placed in the book. Specific memorial books can be ordered for the library on request of a patron if the request meets the criteria established by the Ministry of Education. It is desirable for gifts of or for specific titles to be offered after consultation with the head of the department. Book selection will be made by the head of department if no specific book is requested. The______________ Public Library encourages and appreciates gifts and donations.


The library will provide an acknowledgment of receipt of the items if requested by the donor.



An up-to-date, attractive and useful collection is maintained through a continual withdrawal and replacement process. Replacement of worn volumes is dependent upon current demand, usefulness, more recent acquisitions, and availability of newer editions. This ongoing process of weeding is done by a designated library staff. Withdrawn materials will be handled in a similar manner and under the same authority as donated materials.


Potential Problems or Challenges

The_________________Public Library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Selection of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the basis of the principles stated in this policy.


Challenged Materials

Although materials are carefully selected, there can arise differences of opinion regarding suitable materials. Patrons requesting that material be withdrawn from or restricted within the collection may complete a “Statement of Concern About Library Resources” form which is available in the library. The inquiry will be placed on the agenda of the next regular meeting of the head of department and supervisors.


8. Circulation Policy


A. Registration

All borrowers must be registered and must have a valid local or system patron card to borrow library materials.

Patrons must fill out an application form to register for a new library card. The following statement will be printed on the registration form for the patron’s information and acceptance:


I agree to be responsible for all items borrowed with the library card issued in the above name, including items borrowed with it by others with or without my consent unless I have previously reported the loss of my card.

l promise to comply with all library rules and policies both present and future, and to give prompt notice of change of address or loss of library card.




Identification is required. A driver’s license or student ID is preferred, however, any other official ID.


Applicants under years of age must have a parent or guardian give their consent on the application form before a new card can be issued. This parental signature is not required for children who are renewing cards.


Materials cannot be checked out until a library card is issued.


All library cards expire after_____years. In order to renew a library card, patrons must produce identification and must clear all outstanding fines and bills.


B. Lost or forgotten cards

If a patron loses his/her library card, he should notify the library as soon as possible and request a replacement.


All patrons, adult and children, are expected to bring their library cards with them if they intend to check out items. An individual who repeatedly ignores this expectation may be denied the privilege of checking out materials until they present their card at the library.


Loan periods

  1. 1.2 weeks for books.
  2. 2.Generally, reference books do not circulate.
  3. 3.Interlibrary loans are due the date indicated by the lending library.
  4. 4.Books may be renewed once if there is not a waiting list for the title.
  5. 5.Current issues of periodicals do not circulate.
  6. 6.Non-current periodicals may be checked out for one week and may not be renewed.
  7. 7.One week for cassettes, audio-books, and compact discs.
  8. 8.3 days for videocassettes.
  9. 9.Audio Visual materials are nonrenewable.



Reserves may be placed by patrons either in person or over the phone. Patrons will be notified by telephone or e-mail when the materials are available. There is no charge to the patron for placing a reserve or for interlibrary loan services.


Fines and charges

The fine for overdue books is cents each. A first notice is sent after the material is due. If the material is not returned within a designated period, a bill will be sent for the material with the cost of replacement of the material and a service charge for processing, cataloging and postage. Patrons who have been sent an overdue notice shall be denied borrowing privileges until those overdue materials are returned or paid for if lost and/or damaged.


Damaged materials

If materials are damaged so as to be judged by the library as being unsuitable for the collection, the patron must pay the replacement cost. A notice of these charges will be sent to the borrower; a sample of the notice follows:




At the time a library patron borrows materials from the public library collection, the patron assumes the responsibility for the care and timely return of the materials. Recently materials checked out on your library card were returned to the library damaged beyond the point of being usable in the Library’s collection. The titles and costs of these materials are listed below:



Your assistance in clearing this matter promptly will be appreciated and will be necessary in order to retain your borrowing privileges. Thank you in advance for your prompt response to this matter.





9. Reference Service Policy

The______________________Public Library:

  • will provide information in the form of short answers to specific questions and guidance in locating material for patrons who appear in person, call on the telephone, or request information through correspondence;
  • will assist patrons in the use of the Library and teach basic research methodology, when appropriate (this includes providing help in developing a research strategy and advice on whether a trip to the Library would be worthwhile for individuals who telephone);
  • will provide bibliographic verification of items both in the Library and not owned by the Library and will assist patrons in obtaining materials through interlibrary loan, when appropriate;
  • may refer library users to other agencies and libraries in pursuit of needed information;
  • may use not only the Library’s resources in printed form, but consult appropriate digital resources as well as the regional resource library and other agencies by telephone in pursuit of “ready reference” information.


Programming Policy


A “program” is a planned interaction between the library staff and the program participants for the purpose of promoting library materials, facilities, or services, as well as offering the community an informational, entertaining, or cultural experience.


Programming includes such activities as storytimes, films and activities, summer library program for children, speakers for young adults, and book or author discussion groups for adults.


Public Relations Policy

A. Public relations goals of the____________________________Public Library are:

  • to promote a good understanding of the Library’s objectives and services among governing officials, civic leaders, and the general public;

       •   to promote active participation in the varied services offered by the library to people of all ages.

B. The Ministry of Education recognizes that public relations involves every person who has connection with the Library. It urges staff member to realize that he or she represents the library in every public contact. Good service supports good public relations.

C. Information to be used or solicited by press, radio, or television must be approved by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education.


10. Equipment Use Policy


A microcomputer is available to patrons on a first-come, first-served basis. Instructions for operating hardware are displayed near the computer. There is a charge of for use of the microcomputer. To make the service available to as many patrons as possible, a time limit for usage has been imposed. That time limit is     ______minutes. Library staff is available for general assistance in using the computer. However, staff are not expected to train patrons in the use of application programs.


A printer is available. Printer paper will cost $  .   per sheet and must be paid for at the conclusion of the session.


A photocopy machine is available to patrons who wish to copy materials at the rate of $0.25per page (black) ) and $0.50 per page (colour).


11. Internet Use Policy


The _________________Public Library is providing access to the Internet as a means to enhance the information and learning opportunities for the citizens of the library’s service area. The purpose of the Internet use policy is to ensure appropriate and effective use of this resource.


Access to the Internet is available to all patrons; however, this service may be restricted at any time for use not consistent with the guidelines. Parents of minor children must assume responsibility for their children’s use of the library’s Internet service; prior to being granted access to the Internet, anyone under 18 years of age, along with a parent or guardian, must sign the Internet Use Agreement. All users must sign the log-in chart prior to beginning their session.



Users should be aware that the inappropriate use of electronic information resources can be a violation of Bahamian laws on computers and electronic information and can lead to prosecution. The user will be held responsible for his/her actions using the Internet.


Users are expected to abide by the policies below which include generally accepted rules of network etiquette. Unacceptable uses of the service will result in the suspension or revocation of Internet use privileges.



The Internet is a decentralized, global network: the___________________ Public Library has no control over the content found there. The library is not responsible for the availability and accuracy of information found on the Internet.  The library security staff would be vigilant of all users of the Internet.


The library cannot assure that data or files downloaded by users are virus-free. The library is not responsible for damages to equipment or data on a user’s personal computer from the use of data downloaded from the library’s Internet service.


The use of the Internet and e-mail is not guaranteed to be private. Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities will be reported to the proper authorities.




  • Users may use the Internet for research and the acquisition of information to address their educational, vocational, cultural, and recreational needs
  • Users may use the Internet for the receipt and transmission of electronic mail (e-mail) as long as they use a free e-mail service which will establish and maintain an account for them; the library is unable to manage e-mail accounts for any organizations or individuals
  • Internet use is offered in thirty (30) minute sessions on a first-come, first-served basis; each user is allowed one session–if there is no patron waiting for the service at the end of a session, the user can have another session, but once having had the service for 30 minutes the user must abandon use of the Internet if another patron requests use of the service
  • Users will respect and uphold copyright laws and all other applicable laws and regulations; they will not use it for illegal purposes
  • Users will respect the rights and privacy of others by not accessing private files
  • Users agree not to incur any costs for the library through their use of the Internet service
  • Users shall not create and/or distribute computer viruses over the Internet
  • Users shall not deliberately or willfully cause damage to computer equipment, programs, or parameters


12. Meeting Room Policy

 The fact that a group is permitted to meet at the Library does not in any way constitute an endorsement of the group’s policies or beliefs by the Library Supervisor or staff.

 The room may be reserved no more than ninety days in advance.

 It is understood that library programming will have first priority in room use. Should there be a chargelor no charge for use of the meeting room?

No admission may be charged by the group.

 Refreshments may be served and shall be provided by the group. No smoking is allowed.

The people using the room shall leave it in neat, clean, orderly condition; if not, the group/individual will be given notice that continued offense will result in denied access to the meeting room.

 The Library is not responsible for any equipment, supplies, materials, clothing, or other items brought to the Library by any group or individual attending a meeting.

The Library staff does not assume any liability for groups or individuals attending a meeting in the Library


13. Displays and Exhibits Policy

As an educational and cultural institution, the______________ Public Library welcomes exhibits and displays of interest, information and enlightenment to the community. Displays of handiwork, historical material, nature study, or any other material deemed of general interest may be exhibited. The Head of Department shall accept or reject material offered for display based on its suitability and availability.

 The Library assumes no responsibility for the preservation or protection, and no liability for possible damage or theft of any item displayed or exhibited. All items placed in the Library are there at the owner’s risk.

 Areas available to the public for displays and exhibits are the glass exhibit case if available, the meeting room, and the general bulletin board. A release must be signed by the exhibitor before any artifact can be placed in the library. An example of the release follows:

______________________________ Public Library Display and Exhibit Release


I , the undersigned, hereby lend the following works of art or other material to the
__________________Public Library for exhibit purposes only. In consideration of the
privilege of exhibiting them in the Library, I hereby release said Library from responsibility for loss, damage, or destruction while they are in the possession of the Library.

Exhibition to be held in the ____________________________________________________

During _________________________________________________________________

Description of materials loaned________________________________________________        

Signature_____________________________           Date___________________________         



14. Public Notice Bulletin Board Policy

Bulletin board materials may be submitted for posting by nonprofit organizations for civic, educational, or cultural purposes. Such organizations may submit literature publicizing a specific event. Limited space generally allows only short-term notices. The Supervisor must approve all postings and may prohibit postings which do not meet library standards. Library staff will place and remove postings promptly.


15. Disasters Policy



Do not panic, but do not under-estimate the potential danger to customers or staff represented by a fire. At the first indication of smoke or flame, investigate the situation to determine location and extent of the fire. If the fire can obviously be contained and extinguished quickly and safely by staff, proceed to do so. However, if there is any doubt about whether the fire can be controlled, immediately call 911 or the fire department and then clear the building.


The time to think about fires is before they happen. Familiarize yourself with the type, location, and application of the fire extinguisher(s) in the building. Orient all staff and volunteers to this information. If you share a building with another agency and it occasionally initiates fire drills, library staff should respect those training exercises and respond as they would in the case of a real fire.


Health emergencies

Staff members should exercise caution when administering first aid of even a minor nature because of the safety of the injured individual and the potential liability of the staff member. Without specialized training it is not advisable for staff to undertake more than keeping the sick or injured patron comfortable and protected from needless disturbance until medical help can be obtained. Since each case is unique, staff members should use their own discretion to do what is prudent and reasonable.


The Police (919) should be called immediately in the event of any serious problem.

No medication, including aspirin, should ever be dispensed to the public.


Bomb threats

Keep the caller on the line as long as possible. Ask the caller to repeat the message and try to write down every word spoken by the person.


If the caller does not indicate the location of the bomb or the time of possible detonation, ASK FOR THIS INFORMATION.

 Pay particular attention to peculiar background noises such as motors running, background music and any other sounds which may indicate where the location from which the call is originating.

 Listen closely to the voice (male, female), voice quality (calm, excited), accents and speech impediments.

 Immediately after the caller hangs up, call the police. Clear the building. The police will handle the actual bomb search.



The Library will follow the recommendation and actions of the city or directives of the Ministry of Education as broadcast of watch and warnings are made available via radio or television.


16. Revision of Library Policies


The preceding statements of  Public Library’s policies shall be subject to review and needed revision at least every five years by the National Library and Information Services Central Office. Individual policies will be reviewed or added as needed.




National Library and Information Services 20 February 2004


Form: Statement of Concern About Library Resources


__________________________ Public Library STATEMENT OF CONCERN ABOUT LIBRARY RESOURCES


Name_______________________________   Date__________________________________


As the parent or guardian of this individual, I accept full responsibility for my child’s use of the            Public Library’s Internet service and agree to oversee my child’s use of this service. I have read the attached Internet Use Policy, and I understand that the library’s access to the Internet is intended and designed for educational and informational purposes. I will not hold the library responsible for materials or information acquired by my child through the use of the library’s Internet service. I hereby give permission for my child to use the library’s network for Internet access and certify that the information contained on this form is correct.


Parent’s/Guardian’s Name:_______________________________________________


Parent’s/Guardian’s Signature:___________________________________________ 




Address______________________________ Phone _________________________________


City____________________________________ Island __________________________


Resource on which you are commenting:


            __________Book        ________Audio-visual Resource


            __________Magazine            ________Content of Library Program






Author/Publisher or Producer/Date:___________________________________________________


What brought this resource to your attention?

To what do you object? Please be as specific as possible.

Have you read or listened or viewed the entire content? If not, what parts?

What do you feel the effect of the material might be?

For what age group would you recommend this material?

In its place, what material of equal or better quality would you recommend?

What do you want the library to do with this material?


Additional comments.


Form: Internet Use Agreement _____________ Public Library



I understand and will abide by the __________________ Public Library’s Internet Use Policy. I further understand that any violation of the regulations is unethical and may constitute a criminal offense. Should I commit any violation, my access privileges will be revoked and appropriate legal action may be taken.


User’s Name:__________________________________________________


User’s Signature: __________________________________________________