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| Collection Development | Confidentiality | Tax Forms | Displays | Meeting Rooms | Patron Concerns |
| Computer Use | Youth Safety Policy | User Behavior Policy
| Eating, Drinking and Smoking | Access of Demonstrators, Solicitors and Petitioners ... | Fees | Appendix |
Collection Development Policy (Materials Selection Policy)
Revised August 11, 2003

Purpose Of The Library In Collection Development Activities

In keeping with this library's mission statement, the purpose of the Edith Abbott Memorial Library is to provide information, serve leisure needs, contribute to education, encourage the development of reading skills and habits, develop an educated workforce and society, and further democratic traditions. Although emphasis is placed on reading materials, the library provides a variety of communication formats.

The library is supported by the taxpayers of the City of Grand Island and Hall County and by voluntary contributions to the Grand Island Public Library Foundation, Inc.; and its materials are made available to residents of all ages on an equal basis. It provides a broad range of general interest materials, offering access to a variety of points of view on topics of current significance and long-term value. A balance is maintained between informational and leisure materials, popular works and those of lasting value.

In order to use tax dollars effectively, the library attempts to minimize overlap with other publicly accessible libraries and resources.


In selecting materials, the library is guided by the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and the principles outlined in the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements of the American Library Association (attached).

The library attempts to meet the needs of the total community, recognizing that some materials may be viewed as controversial by individual citizens. It is the responsibility of the individual library user to select those materials which suit his/her tastes. Supervising the use of library materials is the responsibility of the parent or guardian, not of the library staff.

Library materials are not marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents, and no materials are sequestered, except for the purpose of protecting them from injury or theft.


Final responsibility for materials selection rests with the Library Director who operates within the frame-work of policies determined by the Library Board of Trustees. The Director may delegate this authority to staff members in their various areas of responsibility. In the event of a formal request for reconsideration of materials, the ultimate decision rests with the Library Board .

Criteria For Selection

Materials must be considered in terms of their own merit and intended audience. A variety of aids are considered prior to selection, including standard review sources, bibliographies, publishers' catalogs, direct examination, and patron requests. All selections must meet at least some of the following criteria to be considered for selection:

1. Needs and interests of the library's users and anticipated users.
2. Value of the material for information, recreation, or education.
3. Contemporary significance or permanent value.
4. Accuracy.
5. Authority of author.
6. Relation of work to existing collection and balance of viewpoints expressed in the collection.
7. Price, format, and ease of use.
8. Scarcity of information in subject area.
9. Availability of material elsewhere in the community.
10. Popular demand.
11. Artistic excellence.
12. Vitality and originality of thought.


The library attempts to fulfill most of the information needs of the community, but it is not an in-depth research library. Textbooks are the province of school libraries and are included in the collection only when the best current information on a topic cannot be found elsewhere.

Duplicate copies are provided based on staff assessment of current and future needs and space and budget limitations.

Collection Maintenance

To maintain a useful and attractive collection, materials may be repaired or rebound; or removed from the library when they become badly worn or damaged, out-of-date, or unused. Final responsibility for removal of these materials, and the manner of disposition, rests with the Library Director. The Director may delegate this authority to staff members in their various areas of responsibility.

Replacements of specific items are made where the materials are of continuing interest. General collection development to replenish subject and interest areas is undertaken in accordance with the selection criteria stated in this policy.

Gifts Of Materials; Memorials and Donations

A. Gift materials are subject to the same selection principles which govern purchased materials.

The Library retains unconditional ownership of gifts, with the following exception. Donors may request that materials not added to the collection be held for them to retrieve, providing that they attach notice of such on each potential gift, along with their name and telephone number in order to be notified.

Final responsibility for use, condition of display, housing, access to, or disposition of such gifts rests with the Library Director. The Director may delegate this authority to staff members in their various areas of responsibility. Gifts not added to the library collection will be provided to the Grand Island Public Library Friends Group for their book sale.

An acknowledgment letter will be sent to the donor upon request. Appraisal of gifts for tax purposes is to be the responsibility of the donor, however.

B. Monetary gifts to the library for memorials or donations are accepted through the Grand Island Public Library Foundation. Conditional gifts require Foundation Board approval.

Requests for specific titles or subjects are subject to the same principles which govern other purchased materials. Every attempt will be made to accommodate donors' wishes. However, final responsibility for selections of materials with such gifts, as well as condition of display, housing, access to, or eventual disposition rests with the Library Director. The Director may delegate this authority to staff members in their various areas of responsibility.

Acknowledgments will be sent to the donor and appropriate memorial or Foundation plaques attached to items when purchased.

The proceeds from memorials and small monetary gifts will be spent in a timely manner. Larger gifts may be added to the principal of the Foundation, with accumulated interest used for periodic purchases of materials or items of use to the library; or if the donor requests, for use of the entire gift for timely purchases of materials or items.

Requests For Reconsideration

Library users wishing to have specific items removed from the collection should use a Request for Reconsideration form, which may be obtained by contacting the Library Director. Upon completion of this form, and return to the Library Director, the request will be considered by the Board of Trustees.

In keeping with the Library Bill of Rights, this policy is guided by the following interpretation, which has been adopted by the American Library Association: "Challenged materials which meet the criteria for selection in the materials selection policy of the library should not be removed under any legal or extra-legal pressure." 

Supportive documents such as the Library Bill of Rights can be found in the Appendix.

Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records
Revised September 17, 2007

Nebraska State Statute 84-712.05 (10) 1 and the Grand Island Public Library protect the privacy of library users.  Confidentiality extends to all of the library's materials and services, including information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired or transmitted, and includes database search records, reference interviews, interlibrary loan records, use of library computers, and all other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities, or services.

Such records will not be made available to any agency of state, federal, or local government except in pursuant to such process, order, or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of a federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigative power.  All library staff members are to refer any request for such records to the Library Director.  Upon receipt of such process, order, or subpoena, the Library Director will inform the Library Board and will consult with the City Attorney's Office to determine if such process, order, or subpoena is in proper form and if there is a showing of good cause for issuance.

The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (USA PATRIOT Act) became law on October 26, 2001 .  Under Section 215 of the act, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and law enforcement officials may seek court orders from the Foreign Intelligence Security Act (FISA) Court for Library records for investigations relevant to national security or terrorism without the necessity of demonstrating probable cause.  The act prohibits any person or institution served with these search warrants from disclosing the existence of the warrants or the fact that records were produced as a result of the warrants.  Patrons cannot be told their records were given to law enforcement agencies or that they were the subjects of FBI investigations.

To help ensure the confidentiality of library records, patrons are advised to keep their library cards in a secure place, to bring them when visiting the library, to have them on hand when conducting library business over the phone, to report the loss of a library card immediately to the Grand Island Public Library, and to not allow others to use their cards and PIN numbers.

Any transactional data collected by the library through RFID or other technologies is subject to this policy.  The library ensures that no personal information is recorded on RFID tags or other devices which, however, may contain a variety of transactional data; that data is protected by reasonable security safeguards against interpretation by any unauthorized third party; that all relevant federal, state, and local laws as well as industry best practices and policies are followed; and that the above can be verifiable by an independent audit.

Any problems or conditions relating to the privacy of a library user's personal data as recorded by the Grand Island Public Library which are not provided for in this policy statement shall be referred to the Library Director. A decision on the problem shall be made after study of the issues and consultation with the Library Board and City Attorney's Office.

While the privacy of library users is protected by this policy, all library users are subject to the library's User Behavior Policy, which governs each user's exhibited behavior while on library grounds, and states in part that "Any behavior or activity deemed illegal by local, state or national statutes shall constitute grounds for immediate contact with the police department."

1 84-712.05. Records which may be withheld from the public; enumerated

The following records, unless publicly disclosed in an open court, open administrative proceeding, or open meeting or disclosed by a public entity pursuant to its duties, may be withheld from the public by the lawful custodian of the records:

(10) Records or portions of records kept by a publicly funded library which, when examined with or without other records, reveal the identity of any library patron using the library's materials or services.
Policy on Distribution of Tax Forms
Approved January 6, 1997

The Grand Island Public Library provides a convenient location for distribution of many tax forms and publications. This distribution service does not replace the services of the Internal Revenue Service, however. There may be times that the tax form distribution services of the library are not sufficient to meet the public's need for certain forms or publications. Information about how to request items from the Internal Revenue Service and other distribution locations, including the State Department of Revenue office, will be made available to the public. In addition, Library staff members are not authorized to issue tax advice.
Policy on Library-Initiated Displays
Approved February 3, 1992

In order to fulfill its mission of meeting the informational, recreational, and educational needs of the community, it is necessary to effectively convey those services and resources to the public by providing an inviting and attractive atmosphere in the library. Library-initiated displays are an effective and essential component of the library's mission.

Final responsibility for library-initiated displays rests with the Library Director who operates within the frame-work of policies determined by the Library Board of Trustees. The Director may delegate this authority to staff members in their various areas of responsibility.

Categories of library-initiated displays may include, but are not limited, to the following:

1. Current topics.
2. Items of community interest.
3. Promotions of literacy and the freedom to read.
4. Promotion of library activities, services and resources.
5. Seasonal displays.

It is the intention of library-initiated displays to inform, educate and entertain library patrons, not to indicate the Library's approval or disapproval of the ideas expressed in these displays. The library attempts to meet the needs of the total community through these displays, recognizing that some displayed materials may be viewed as controversial by individual citizens. It is the responsibility of the individual library user to make use of displays and materials in these displays which suit his/her tastes.
Meeting Room Policy
Revised August 16,2006

As part of its service to the community, the Grand Island Public Library provides meeting room spaces for use by cultural groups and neighborhood and civic organizations.  Meeting room space is made available by the library  "on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use." (Article 6, Library Bill of Rights).  Meetings must be for purposes consistent with the objectives and goals of the Library.  These include meeting community information needs, individual enrichment, and the support of the educational, cultural, civic and recreational activities of the community.  Use of library space may be subject to the approval of the Director.

The Library Board encourages the widest possible use of library meeting rooms by nonprofit community groups and government agencies as long as this use does not interfere with the normal functions of the library.

Meetings must be free and open to the general public at all times.

The following uses of meeting rooms are not permitted:

  • Programs involving the sale, advertising, promotion of commercial products or services, or programs sponsored by a business firm, regardless of purpose, except for Library sponsored events (subject to Library Board approval)
  • Political campaign purposes other than debates with all candidates having the opportunity to participate
  • Private social events
  • Worship services held as part of a faith's regular religious regimen and bearing no relationship to a specific civic purpose.

No admission fee, registration fee, donation or monetary solicitation may be sought from meeting attendees, with the following exceptions (subject to Library Board approval):

  • Library sponsored events.
  • Non-profit educational institutions.

To schedule a meeting room, a group representative should fill out a meeting room application form.  It will be kept on file, and later reservations may be made by phone.  Meeting rooms may be booked one month in advance. Multiple bookings are not allowed, with the following exceptions:

  • Library sponsored events.
  • Federal, state and local government agencies.

Meetings rooms are scheduled on a first come, first serve basis.  Additional furniture and AV equipment is available upon advance request.  Library programs will receive first consideration in scheduling events.

Meetings must be held during regular library hours and must end on time so the room can be cleared or prepared for other meetings. The meeting rooms must be vacated at least 10 minutes before closing time.

Library staff should be notified in advance of cancellations.

Groups who use the library rooms may serve light refreshments when their plan to do so has been pre-approved by the library. (Note: alcoholic beverages are prohibited)

The group is responsible for leaving the room in the condition in which it was found.

Users agree to abide by all regulations of the library relating to the use of the facilities and accept responsibility for all damages caused to the building and/or equipment beyond normal wear.

Permission to use a Library meeting room does not imply Library endorsement of the aims, policies, or activities of any group or organization.

Patron Concerns
Approved August 11, 2003

Patrons are vital partners in the provision of excellent library services. Patrons should have the opportunity to offer suggestions or express concerns about services, procedures, and policies in a manner that will ensure that these concerns can be fully and effectively addressed by the library staff and/or board.

Procedures should be implemented to allow patrons the ability to provide unsolicited suggestions or concerns.

In addition, library staff members will, from time to time, explain services, procedures and policies to inquiring patrons. Patrons having suggestions or concerns about these procedures and policies will be asked by staff members to register their comments in accordance with adopted procedures.

All suggestions or concerns will be delivered by library staff members to the director, and as appropriate from the director to the Library Board .

To ensure the effective operations of the library, patrons may express their suggestions and concerns in the above manner, but will not be allowed to exhibit disruptive or abusive behavior to staff members or the public, or be destructive of library property.

Patrons exhibiting such behavior will be informed that their concerns will be addressed only through adopted procedures.

Failure to desist will result in a warning to patrons that they will be denied service and will have to leave the library if their behavior persists.

Further disruption or abuse will result in actual denial of service and rejection from the library.

If this subsequent action fails, library staff will have the authority to contact the police department for resolution of the conflict.

Public Access Computers/Electronic Databases and the Internet Acceptable Use Policy
Revised May 8, 2006

Throughout its history, the Grand Island Public Library has made information available in a variety of formats. Integrating electronic resources with the library's many other resources allows access to ideas, information and commentary not readily available in print form. The provision of public access computers as well as electronic databases and access to the Internet are all in keeping with this library's mission, to meet the informational, recreational, and educational needs of the community.

CIPA Compliance

All users of electronic information resources are expected to use these resources in a responsible manner consistent with the above stated mission and with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) through compliance by a federally-determined July 1, 2004 deadline as follows:

a.                   Technology Protection Measures

The Library has installed filtering software on all library computers with Internet access, and will enforce the operation of same during any use of those computers, to prevent minors from accessing visual depictions that are (1) obscene, (2) child pornography or (3) harmful to minors.

The term "harmful to minors" is defined by the Communications Act of 1934 (47 USC Section 254 [h][7], as meaning any picture, image, or 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 contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals;
  • taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors.

Filtering software is not foolproof.  It diminishes the likelihood that searchers will inadvertently retrieve text or images that they may find offensive, but does not eliminate that possibility.  Filters often block access to sites that users would consider both inoffensive and useful.

If you do not find what you need, please do not hesitate to ask a librarian for help.  Technology protection measures may be disabled by a library staff member, as necessary, for bona fide research or other lawful purposes by people aged 17 and older.

b.                   Internet Safety/Unacceptable Uses of Computers

Among the uses that are considered unacceptable and which constitute a violation of this policy are the following:

  1. Uses that violate the law or encourage others to violate the law.  Transmitting of offensive or harassing messages; offering for sale or use any substance the possession or use of which is prohibited by law; viewing, transmitting or downloading pornographic materials or materials that encourage others to violate the law; downloading or transmitting confidential, trade secret information, or copyrighted materials.  Even if materials on the networks are not marked with the copyright symbol, users should assume that all materials are protected unless there is explicit permission on the materials to use them.
  2. Uses that cause harm to others or damage to their property.  Engaging in defamation (harming another's reputation by lies); uploading a worm, virus, "trojan horse", "time bomb" or other harmful form of programming or vandalism; participating in "hacking" activities or any form of unauthorized access to other computers, networks, or information systems.
  3. Uses that jeopardize the security of access of the computer network or other networks on the Internet.  Disclosing or sharing the user's password with others; impersonating another user; using one's own software programs on the Library's computers; altering the Library's computer settings; damaging or modifying computer equipment or software.
  4. Uses that compromise the safety and security of minors when using e-mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications:  Minors under age 17:  Giving others private information about one's self or others, including credit card numbers and social security numbers; arranging a face-to-face meeting with someone one has "met" on the computer network or Internet without a parent's permission.
  5. Uses that Violate Confidentiality of Information in accordance with this Library's Policy of Confidentiality of Library Records.


Library staff will not monitor a user's Internet use, except for length of use in order to ensure equal opportunity of access for everyone.  The user, or the parent of a minor, is responsible for his or her Internet session at all times.

The Library reserves the right to terminate an Internet session that disrupts Library services or that involves user behavior that violates the Library's policies.

As with all Library resources, the Library affirms the right and responsibility of parents/guardians, NOT Library staff, to determine and monitor their minor child's use of the Internet.  (Minors are defined in this policy as children and young people under the age of 17 years).  Parents are responsible for their minor children's use of the Library's resources and facilities.  Parents who believe that their children cannot responsible use the Library's Internet access are requested to monitor their children's Internet use.

While the Library endeavors to provide access to information of the highest quality, the Library specifically disclaims any warrant as to the information's accuracy, timeliness, authoritativeness, usefulness or fitness for a particular purpose.

The Library will have no liability for direct, indirect or consequential damages related to the use of information accessed through the Library's Internet service.

The Library, having installed and enforced the operation of filtering software in compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act, will have no liability for damages related to the operation of, or failure of, the filtering software, or for its circumvention by users.

Since software and information downloaded from any sources, including the Internet, may contain computer viruses, users are advised to utilize virus checking software on their home computers.  The Library is not responsible for damage to users' disks or computers or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from use of the Library's computers.

Operational decisions pertaining to placing Technology Protection Measures (filters) on all Internet access computers with the required safety considerations will be made by the Library Director under this policy, and as changes are made their procedures will be made available to the public.

Failure to comply with this policy and its aspects will be addressed through this Library's User Behavior Policy.

Youth Safety Policy (formerly Unattended Children Policy)
Revised September  17, 2007

The Library welcomes children (generally through sixth grade) and youth (generally through high school) and has provided individual rooms primarily intended for their use along with their parents, caregivers, teachers and childcare providers.   While no public place, including the Library, can guarantee the safety of children and youth, for their safety and welfare the following measures are enacted.

Unattended Children

Parents and caregivers are responsible for monitoring the activities and regulating the behavior of their children while the children are in the library.

         All children 7 years and under shall be adequately supervised by a responsible parent or caregiver at all times for the sake of their own well being.

         Children may be left unattended during scheduled library programs and the responsible person may choose to leave the building, but he/she should plan to be at the library when the program is scheduled to conclude.  However, persons responsible for children who have special needs related to physical or mental ability, disruptive behavior, emotional problems, lack of adequate attention span, incomplete social skills, etc., shall remain with their children at all times. Children 8 years and older may use the library unattended, subject to the rules and regulations of this library.

If a child is left unattended, the following procedure will be enacted:

         Staff will notify a supervisor and will stay with the child as they try to locate the responsible person by searching nearby area or paging on library intercom.  If no name is known, page using the child's name or physical appearance.

         When such person is located, explain the library policy in regard to children, give them a handout, etc.

         If the responsible person is not located within a half-hour, or if the library is closing within a half-hour, the police will be notified and asked to pick up the child.  Staff will remain with the child in the building until parent or police arrives.

If a child is reported missing, the Library follows Code Adam procedures.  Parents reunited with children may be asked to show identification.

Adult Use of Children's and Teen Rooms

All library collections are accessible to all patrons at all times. For the safety and welfare of children and youth  - and in keeping with the primary intended use of children's and teen rooms for their benefit and the benefit of parents, caregivers, teachers and childcare providers - seating areas and public access Internet workstations within these rooms are reserved for their intended users.   General seating and public access computer workstations are available elsewhere in the library for patrons not involved in the intended use of these children's and teen rooms.

User Behavior Policy
Revised January 19, 2009

Publicly supported libraries are recognized as limited public forums for access to information and ideas. Consistent with its mission statement, the Edith Abbott Memorial Library exists to serve the informational, recreational, and educational needs of the community. As such, the public's right to full use of the library is generally unrestricted.

In an institution devoted to the joy of knowledge and discovery, it is normal and appropriate for the public to enjoy their use of the library. However, activities and behaviors that are detrimental to the public's legitimate use and enjoyment of the library, and to the efficient operations of the library for the benefit of its patrons, are not permitted on library grounds.

The library will follow a progressive policy with patrons exhibiting behaviors that are disruptive or abusive to the public and/or to staff members.

1) The patron will be asked to stop exhibiting the behavior, or be subject to ejection from the library. If the behavior is directed toward a staff member due to a matter of library policy or procedure, the patron will be instructed to fill out a Patron Concern form.

2) Further disruption or abuse will result in actual denial of service and ejection from the library.

3) If this subsequent action fails, library staff will have the authority to contact the police department for resolution of the conflict.

4) Any behavior or activity deemed illegal by local, state or national statutes shall constitute grounds for immediate contact with the police department.

In cases involving ejection from the library by the police department, or repeated ejections by staff members, the Library Director or a designated supervisor is authorized to immediately bar that person's access to Library property, and a written stay-away notice shall be delivered to that person by personal service or by mail addressed to that person’s last known address.   Failure to abide by this notice shall constitute trespass.

The barred person has the right to request reinstatement by the Library Board.  Upon receiving a request for reinstatement at a regular meeting, the board shall establish a date for a hearing on the matter.   Notice of such hearing shall be delivered to that person by personal service or by United States Mail. The hearing shall be conducted informally. The barred person and Library Director shall present oral or written statements or reasons supporting or opposing the request for reinstatement. Statements by each participant shall be limited to a total time of ten minutes or less. Upon conclusion of the hearing the Library Board may reverse, modify, impose temporary restrictions, or affirm the original decision. Notice of the determination of the Library Board shall be given to the barred person, either personally or by United States Mail.

Eating, Drinking, and Smoking in the Library
Revised July 21, 2008

Eating and drinking within the public areas of the Edith Abbott Memorial Library is allowed only in designated areas and under specified conditions:  

  • Lobby Area
  • Meeting and study rooms (as pre-approved by a supervisor)
  • Library programs and receptions
  • Spill-proof containers of water are allowed throughout all public areas of the library

The consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited within all areas of the library. 

Smoking within all areas of the library is prohibited.

Access of Demonstrators, Solicitors, and Petitioners to Walkways and Entrances of the Grand Island Public Libraries
Approved May 21, 2007

PURPOSE:  This policy is intended to express the time, place, and manner in which people may use the exterior areas of Grand Island Public Library property to exercise their First Amendment constitutional rights.  The Grand Island Public Library seeks to serve its function as a place of education, information, and quiet reflection within the community while also functioning as a workplace for library employees.  This policy recognizes the need to provide persons with an environment in which they may carry out their duties in this workplace while at the same time allowing for the free expression of views within the community.

This policy covers only the exterior hard surfaces areas of library property including the walkways connecting the library buildings with the sidewalks adjacent to the public streets.  This policy does not apply to the public sidewalks adjacent to the public streets.  Separate policies regulating the time/place/manner of activity may apply, as may separate policies governing interior spaces or offices, parking areas, and grassed areas. 

POLICY:  Leafleting, political campaigning, exhibition of signs, petition signature gathering, political or charitable fund raising, and other expressive activity is permitted on the exterior areas of library property, including the connecting walkways, to the extent otherwise permitted by law.  Such activity will not be permitted (a) on the building's exterior steps and entranceway; (b) in any way that obstructs or otherwise interferes with access to the building, which typically includes an area five feet laterally from the sides of the entrances and exits and ten feet in front of the entrances and exits; (c) within the vestibules to the buildings: (d) on handicap accessible ramps; (e) on vehicle parking surfaces; (f) outside of the hours the building is open to conduct business; or (g) any place that obstructs or interferes with driveways to the buildings and their parking areas.  Any activity that damages public property is prohibited. 

IMPLEMENTATION:  Library security personnel and library administration shall have responsibility for enforcing this policy.  The Policy Department will be responsible for enforcement of criminal laws.



Revised 9/22/2008

In an effort to ensure all patrons more access to library materials, the Grand Island Public Library Board has issued the following changes.

Overdue fees (for all materials)

  • 25 cents per item, per day (for adult cardholders)
  • 10 cents per item, per day (for juvenile cardholders)

Grace Period: If materials are returned within seven (7) days of their date due, overdue fees are waived.  Fines are assessed from their original due date if items are not returned within the grace period.

Checkout privileges are suspended on individual patron accounts when charges reach $20.00. Other library functions where a library card is required will also be suspended until unpaid charges fall below $20.00. Inquire at Service Desks.

Materials not returned on time are costly in terms of:

  • Staff time and supplies to get them back.
  • Diverting staff time and supplies from serving patrons in more beneficial ways.
  • Patrons unable to determine when materials will be available for check-out.
 Overdue charges have two main purposes:
  • To defray the costs of getting overdue materials back.
  • To encourage the prompt return of these materials so there are no overdue charges.

If you have any questions concerning these changes please feel free to contact the library staff (385-5333).  


All materials can now be renewed once unless reserved by another patron. Items can be renewed at the Circulation Desk, by telephone (385-5333), by yourself at a library Public Access Catalog terminal, online at www.gilibrary.com  or using one of our 24/7 services: online from your home or office or our TeleCirc phone number 385-5348.

Length of Loan/Renewal

(Videocasettes, DVD's, & CD's LIMIT of 5 per patron card)

Magazines, videos, DVDs, vertical file materials, circulating encyclopedias and seasonal material

Check out 1 week 
Renewal 1 week

New adult fiction and non-fiction 

Check out 2 weeks 
Renewal 1 week

Adult books, juvenile books, young adult books, paperbacks, tapes, CDs, and kits 

Check out 3 weeks 
Renewal 2 weeks

Other Fees

  • Interlibrary Loans: $2.00 (plus postage) per item
  • Copies and Print-Outs:
    • Mono, 8.5"x11" or 8.5"x14" - $.10/page
    • Mono, 11"x17" - $.20/page
    • Color, 8.5"x11" - $.70/page
    • Color, 8.5"x14" - $1.00/page
    • Color, 11"x17" - $1.50/page
    • Microfilm Reader-Printer, $.40/page
  • Computer Disks - $1.00 each
  • Replacement Fee for Lost Card: $1.00/card
  • Fee for Damaged/Lost Materials: Varies; up to replacement cost of items
  • FAX Services:
    • Outgoing - 1st page $3.00, add'l pages $1.25 ea.
    • Incoming - 1st page $2.00, add'l pages $1.00 ea.
There is no nonresident card fee, and the Grand Island Public Library participates in the state NebrasKARD program.
| Library Bill of Rights | The Freedom to Read | The Freedom to View |

Library Bill of Rights

(Adopted June 18, 1949 . Amended February 2, 1961 , June 17, 1967 , and January 23, 1980 , by the ALA Council)

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

5. A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

The Freedom to Read

(Endorsed by the Council of the American Library Association, on June 25, 1953 )

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove books from sale, to censor textbooks, to label "controversial" books, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or author, and purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as citizens devoted to the use of books and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating them, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

We are deeply concerned about these attempts at suppression. Most such attempts rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of  democracy: that the ordinary citizen, by exercising his critical judgment, will accept the good and reject the bad. The censors, public and private, assume that they should determine what is good and what is bad for their fellow- citizens.

We trust Americans to recognize propaganda, and to reject obscenity. We do not believe they need the help of censors to assist them in this task. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

We are aware, of course, that books are not alone in being subjected to efforts at suppression. We are aware that these efforts are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, films, radio, television. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of uneasy change and pervading fear. Especially when so many of our apprehensions are directed against an ideology, the expression of a dissident idea becomes a thing feared in itself, and we tend to move against it as against a hostile deed, with suppression.

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

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

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures towards conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read by making it possible for the reader to choose freely from a variety of offerings.

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

We therefore affirm these propositions:

1. It is the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those which are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.

Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until his idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept which challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea a birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.

2. Publishers and librarians do not need to endorse every idea or presentation contained in the books they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as the sole standard for determining what books should be published or circulated.

Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one man can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.

3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to determine the acceptability of a book solely on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

A book should be judged as a book. No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views of private lives of its creators. No society of free men can flourish which draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.

4. The present laws dealing with obscenity should be vigorously enforced. Beyond that, there is no place in our society for extralegal efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

To some, much of modern literature is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent serious artists from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters taste differs, and taste cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised which will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others. We deplore the catering to the immature, the retarded, or the maladjusted taste. But those concerned with freedom have the responsibility of seeing to it that each individual book or publication, whatever its contents, price or method of distribution, is dealt with in accordance with due process of law.

5. It is not the public interest to force a reader to accept with any book the prejudgment of a label characterizing the book or author as subversive or dangerous.

The idea of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for the citizen. It presupposes that each individual must be directed in making up his mind about the ideas he examines. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.

6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large.

It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society each individual is free to determine for himself what he wishes to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive.

7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, bookmen can demonstrate that the answer to a bad book is a good one, the answer to a bad idea is a good one.

The freedom to read is of little consequence when expended on the trivial; it is frustrated when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for his purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of their freedom and integrity, and the enlargement of their service to society, require of all bookmen the utmost of their faculties, and deserve of all citizens the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of books. We do so because we believe that they are good, possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

Freedom to View

(Endorsed by the ALA Council in June 1979 and January 1990)

The FREEDOM TO VIEW, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States . In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression. Therefore these principles are affirmed:

1. To provide the broadest possible access to film, video, and other audio-visual materials because they are a means for the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.

2. To protect the confidentiality of all individuals and institutions using film, video, and other audio-visual materials.

3. To provide film, video, and other audio-visual materials which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.

4. To provide a diversity of viewpoints without the constraint of labeling or prejudging film, video and other audio-visual materials on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or filmmaker or on the basis of controversial content.

5. To contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public's freedom to view.    
5.         To contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public's freedom to view.

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