Adult Computer Use and Internet Access Policy
Interlibrary Loan Policy
Statement of Policy for Use of Meeting Rooms
Security Camera Policy
Fines and Fees Policy


The Decatur Public Library provides access to a broad range of electronic resources including those available through the Internet. The Library makes this service available as part of its mission of connecting people to the power of knowledge.

Rulings Governing Use of Computer Resources
Use of the library’s computers requires a library card in good standing (less than $25.00 in fines) from Decatur Public Library. Visitors from outside of Decatur may be granted access to the library’s computer resources upon presentation of acceptable identification. Access is limited to adults and minors ages 13-17 with written parental permission. Children 12 and under may access the library’s adult computers only when accompanied at all times by an adult with acceptable identification.

Computer users may not:
–Make any attempt to modify or damage library computer equipment or software. Only software owned and installed by the Decatur Public Library may be used on its computers. Downloading or installing anything from the Internet or other software is not permissible.
–Use the library’s computers for any illegal activity, including violation of copyright or other rights of third parties. Users will be responsible for knowledge of all applicable federal, state, and local laws for which they may be held in violation.
–Use library computers to view or disseminate material considered inappropriate for a public environment or likely to cause a disturbance, or sexually explicit or suggestive (obscene/pornographic) images.

Violation and Enforcement
Unacceptable or inappropriate use of the library’s computer resources may result in suspension or revocation of library privileges and expulsion from the library. Includes but is not limited to not staying in the time management system and/or not following the library computer rules.

Users will be held financially responsible for any damage to library computer equipment and software.

Using computer access obtained at Decatur Public Library to perpetrate illegal acts will be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.

The Library assumes no responsibility for the quality, accuracy, or currency of any Internet resource. Patrons should recognize that, in addition to valuable and reliable information, the Internet does contain inaccurate, dated, incomplete and controversial material. Users should exercise good judgment and discretion in the use of Internet information sources.

It is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian to restrict and monitor a minor’s access to information on the Internet.

The Library disclaims any liability or responsibility arising from access to or use of information obtained through the Internet. Users are responsible for any commercial transactions made while using the Library’s Internet connection.

Patrons should have no expectation of privacy, as all Internet workstations are in view of other patrons and staff.

Every effort will be made to maintain a secure environment; however Internet transactions, communications and activities are potentially vulnerable to unauthorized access. Decatur Public Library will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by members of the public except as required by law or necessary for the proper operation for the Library.

It is the policy of the Library to provide an atmosphere conducive to the appropriate use of Library services and facilities. The rules of conduct outlined in the Library Use Guidelines apply to all computer users. Patrons shall not use Library computer resources in a way that disturbs or interferes with other patrons, employees or operations of the Library.

The Decatur Public Library staff will develop such rules and procedures as are necessary to insure the fair and reasonable use of Internet resources. The Library reserves the right to terminate an Internet session at any time.

Policy Modification
The Library reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees
April 19, 2007
REVISED Feb 2013



The Decatur Public Library provides interlibrary loan service in order to enhance and extend the resources available to its patrons.  Because the library cannot purchase or subscribe to every useful resource, interlibrary loan is an essential part of the library’s effort to meet the informational needs of the community.  The Decatur Public Library Board of Trustees supports participation in and use of regional state and nation-wide interlibrary loan networks.  The library is a member of the Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) and a partner in the Illinois Library and Information Network and a member of the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).

Decatur Public Library accepts requests from patrons for material that the library does not own. Material that cannot be found in the Online Public Access Catalog can be ordered through Interlibrary Loan.

The patron assumes full responsibility for any fees associated with the obtaining of materials and for all fees for late, damaged, or lost materials charged by the lending library.

Patrons must be in good standing and have a valid Decatur Public Library card to order materials through interlibrary loan.

Borrowing will be in accordance with US Copyright law as indicated below.

The Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.  Under certain conditions specified in the Law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproductions. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of that order would involve violation of the law.


Under this policy, it is permissible for our patrons to place a request on interlibrary loan for any format of material.

The library will not attempt to borrow the following type of material:

1. Material that is less than 1 year old.
            2. Rare or valuable material.
            3. Material that we own or that is owned in IHLS.
            4. Unique material that would be difficult or impossible to replace. 

Requests for material must be described as completely and accurately as possible following accepted bibliographic practice.  If an item cannot be verified, the statement “cannot verify” should be included along with information about the original source of the citation.

Patron requests will be made by filling out an interlibrary loan request form available at the reference desk.  The librarian taking the request will determine the validity of the request and in the case of high-demand, reference, or new materials will forward it to the Head of Adult Division.

Patrons are limited to no more than 5 requests per day and no more than 15 requests per month.

If the same item has been ordered 2 or more times within 6 months by different patrons, ; it will be referred to the selectors in Adult Division or Children’s for ordering.

If the same patron has ordered the same item 2 or more times within 1 year at the 3rd placing of the order the reference department and the patron will be notified that the item is not available.


Patrons should be prepared to assume the following fees:

  • Any cost charged by the lending library.
  • $5.00 per item for all materials requested outside of the State of Illinois.
  • $3.00 per item for all audiovisual materials (DVDs, CDs, VHS, books-on-tape, books-on-CD, CD-ROMs, etc.)

These charges will be placed on their account prior to pickup of the item.

The patron will sign the form indicating their acceptance of the charges.

The safety of the borrowed material is the responsibility of Decatur Public Library until it is picked up by the patron.  At that time, the patron is responsible for any damage to the original item.  The patron agrees to a minimum charge of $50.00 or the actual charges from the lending institution if it is more than $50.00 for all material that is damaged or lost.

Patrons will be charged fines at the same rate as other material in the library collection for overdue items.

Patron will be charged $1.00 if paperwork checked out with the book is not returned with the item borrowed.  This charge is the responsibility of the ILL clerk.


May be requested in person or by telephone to the Interlibrary Loan Clerk.  Renewals are at the discretion of the lending library.  Patrons will be notified by phone or email of the new due date.

Only 1 renewal is allowed per item.

Items not returned to DPL can result in the patron being charged for a lost or missing item.  (see Expenses)


As part of the interlibrary loan code the Decatur Public Library will lend to other libraries all the types of material we attempt to borrow.

There is a $5.00 charge for all material loaned outside Illinois to help cover the cost of postage and processing. (Effective January 1, 2010)

All material lost or damaged will result in the borrowing library being charged the full cost of the item plus a $5.00 handling and processing fee.

OCLC lending restrictions are as follows:

$5.00 for all items outside the State of Illinois.

$.50 per page for all copies.

Restrictions:  New material less than 1 year old will not be loaned.

Not available for lending:



Approved by the Board of Directors, Feb. 28, 2013




The Decatur Public Library welcomes the use of its meeting rooms by organizations engaged in religious, charitable, scientific, literary, political, or educational activities.

Meetings must be free and open to the public. Meeting rooms are not available for private parties. There shall be no solicitation for donations or selling of products or services at the meetings.

Requests for use of a meeting room must be made no later than the Friday before the meeting, but no earlier than 6 months prior to the meeting date. Requests for use of the meeting rooms on Sundays (October through April only) must be made two weeks prior to the meeting date and a 72-hour notice is required for set-up changes. Requests should be submitted on the library meeting room application form provided by the Library. Meeting rooms can be booked tentatively by phone, email or fax, but the completed application with payment must be returned within 5 business days of the initial booking request, or the booking may be cancelled. Payment may also be made by purchase order with prior approval. After payment is received, a 50% fee will be applied to all cancellations.

With the exception of the Library Board room, meeting rooms are available from Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. (October through April only). Special arrangements must be made for using the rooms earlier or later than the times listed.  The Library Board room is available Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.

Room rentals are in four hour increments only (a minimum of 4 hours).

Elizabeth Madden Auditorium (seats 150) Rental charges are: $50 for a minimum of 4 hours and $100 for 8 hours.

A. E. Staley Jr. Manufacturing Company Conference Room (seats 25) Rental charges are: $30 for 4 hours and $60 for 8 hours.  

The Board Room (seats 15) Rental charges are: $20 for 4 hours and $40 for 8 hours.

Children’s Auditorium (seats 75) Rental charges are: $30 for 4 hours and $60 for 8 hours.

Organizations may rent Library meeting rooms as many as twelve times per calendar year.

If food or beverages are served, the organization using the room is responsible for cleanup. A $25 cleaning fee will be charged if the room is not left clean. Alcoholic beverages and smoking are prohibited in the Library.

The Library is not responsible for personal belongings left in the meeting rooms.

Free on-site parking for meeting attendees is available in the east parking area (corner of Martin Luther King Street and Prairie Street).

An organization not abiding by the regulations and policies governing the use of the meeting rooms may lose their privilege of use in the future.

Approved by the
Decatur Public Library
Board of Trustees


Policy Statement

The Decatur Public Library enriches our community by providing unlimited opportunities for information, education, inspiration and imagination.  We also strive to continue to connect our community to the power of knowledge. To complete this mission, the Library must offer a welcoming, open atmosphere and provide a quiet, comfortable and safe environment where people can use library facilities and collections for intended purposes to the maximum extent possible.
Security cameras are used where needed to provide peace of mind to library users and staff by discouraging violations of the Library’s rules and guidelines of conduct, to assist library staff in preventing the occurrence of any violations, and when necessary, to provide law enforcement assistance in prosecuting criminal activity.  The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the placement and use of video security cameras, as well as the access and retrieval of recorded video images at the Decatur Public Library.


  • Cameras are installed at library locations on an as needed basis.
  • Signage will be posted at Library entrances informing the public that security cameras are in use
  • Security cameras may be placed in both indoor and outdoor areas where security staff and designated Library staff can randomly monitor activity.
  • Access to the archived footage in pursuit of documented incidents of criminal activity or violation of the Library’s rules of conduct is restricted to designated staff:  Board of Trustee members, the City Librarian, Assistant City Librarian, Librarians in Charge (LIC), Security Staff, Systems Manager or Designated appointee
  • Access is also allowed by law enforcement officials upon request or when pursuant to a subpoena, court order, or when otherwise required by law.
  • Designated staff as described above may have access to real-time monitors.
  • Video records will be maintained for approximately 30 days with the exception of appropriate still shots or selected portions of the recorded data relating to specific incidents. These shall be retained for one year after the incident, provided no criminal activity or policy violation has occurred.
  • In situations involving banned-and-barred patrons, stored still images may be shared with staff system-wide.  Shared images may remain posted in restricted staff areas for the duration of the banning period.  After the banning period ends, these images may be archived for a limited period of time.
  • Questions from the public may be directed to the City Librarian, Assistant Library Director, or Designated appointee.


  • Digital video security cameras may be placed in both indoor and outdoor areas where security staff and designated Library staff can periodically monitor activity.
  • Because security cameras are not constantly monitored, staff and public should take appropriate precautions for their safety and for the security of personal property.  Neither the Decatur Public Library nor the City of Decatur is responsible for loss of property or personal injury.
  • Cameras may be installed in public spaces where individuals lack a reasonable expectation of privacy.  Examples include common areas of the library such as entrances, book stacks, public seating areas, hallways, stairways, delivery areas and parking lots.
  • Cameras may be installed in areas that could assist Law Enforcement in documenting traffic accidents or other incidents unrelated to the Library that take place on the public streets and surrounding properties within camera view.  Examples include cameras on the exterior of a library building that not only document activity on Library property but also the sidewalk, public streets, and surrounding properties.
  • Cameras will not be installed in areas of the Library where individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as in restrooms.
  • Cameras will not be installed for the purpose of monitoring staff performance.
  • Images will typically be stored for an average period of approximately 30 days with the exception of appropriate still shots or selected portions of the recorded data relating to specific incidents. These shall be retained for one year after the incident. As new images are recorded, the oldest images will be automatically deleted.
  • Staff and patron safety is the first priority in any threatening situation.   The protection of library property is of secondary importance.
  • Installation and placement of cameras will be under the management and direct supervision of the City Librarian

A copy of this policy may be shared with members of the public upon request.  The policy is also posted on the Decatur Public Library’s official website.

Approved by the Board of Trustees on November 21, 2013



Policy Statement:

Decatur Public Library (DPL) strives to maximize access to all library materials. DPL and its customers share a responsibility for the collection and as such, the library expects its customers to return borrowed materials on time and to treat them with care. To help ensure that materials are available for all, DPL charges fees for overdue, damaged and lost materials.

  1. DPL charges fees to all customers who return library material after the due date.
  2. DPL charges fees to all customers who damage or lose library material.
  3. DPL will notify all customers when they accrue a fee.  Customers may chose the method of notification
  4. Customers are required to provide DPL with accurate contact information when completing a library card application and to promptly update that information when necessary.
  5. DPL may use a second-party collection agency for those customers who do not promptly pay their fees.
  6. DPL does not refund fees paid for lost items.
  7. DPL will display the current fee schedule at the DPL and on its website.  The fee schedule is subject to change at the discretion of DPL.

Restriction on Library Privileges:

DPL will restrict the library privileges of customers who owe fees greater than the “fee threshold.”  The current threshold amount of $10 listed on the fee schedule.  The threshold is subject to change at the discretion of DPL.

Waiving Fees:

At its discretion, DPL may waive some fees for customers who have experienced extreme hardship such as long-term hospitalization, imprisonment, eviction, fire or theft.  It is the customer’s responsibility to provide valid supporting documentation verifying the hardship.


Fines accrue per item, per calendar day, except for days when the Decatur Public Library (DPL) is closed.

  • Replacement Card Fee $3
  • Returned Check Fee: $10
  • Collection Agency Fee: $10
  • Current Fines Threshold: $10

DPL suspends borrowing privileges when your fines or fees exceed the threshold of $10. You can restore your borrowing privileges once your account falls below the threshold.

Borrowers with unpaid balances of $25 or more for longer than 30 days may be contacted by a collection agency.  A collection fee is placed on accounts that reach this threshold.

Billed Items

Unreturned material is eventually “billed” to your account. You cannot place holds, renew material or check out new material until you resolve this.

You can return or pay for the billed material. If you return billed material, the amount you owe will reflect this and you will be assessed overdue fines instead.

Lost and Damaged Material

Customers who have lost or damaged library material will be charged the full amount of the library material.

Approved by the Board of Trustees on 11-21-2013