Public Service Policy
Public Service Policy
The goal of the Belmont Public Library is to provide excellent library service for all its patrons. The quality of the facility and the collection is enhanced by accurate, efficient, and friendly service. This Public Service Policy is the foundation for all staff interaction with the public and the basis for all other Library policies.
The principles of the Public Service Policy include
- All patrons shall receive the same excellent quality of service without discrimination
- All patrons shall be treated with respect, welcomed when they enter and assured as they leave that they have been well served.
- Staff will provide alternatives if a patron’s request for materials cannot be met. Alternatives would include interlibrary loan request (ILL) or a network transfer. (See attached procedures.)
- All staff members shall know Library policies, thus able to explain each policy and its rationale.
- Each staff member shall be cognizant of the importance of demeanor, or the manner of looking, speaking, and acting, aware that non-verbal demeanor conveys an attitude by expression and posture as much of tone of voice and vocabulary affect a verbal interaction. It is imperative that each staff-patron interaction be a positive one. This holds true for those exchanges when the message conveyed does not meet the patron’s wishes.
- Each staff member shall always act in an ethical manner. To that end:
- All interactions and transactions will be considered confidential, to be discussed only in a professional context. This includes, but is not limited to registration information, materials’ selection, loan transaction records, and reference questions.
- All transactions will be in accordance with the policies and procedures/guidelines of the Minuteman Library Network and the Belmont Public Library. See attached ALA Code of Ethics.
- Staff members will not accept personal gifts from Library patrons or groups.
- Staff members will not offer a personal opinion or advice in answer to a reference question but will follow established library practices
- Each staff member is the representative of the Belmont Public Library to each patron or group, upholding the Library’s tradition of courteous, excellent, and efficient service to the entire community. The impression a staff member makes on each patron profoundly affects the Library’s image as well as on-going support for the library.
AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION CODE OF ETHICS
As members of the American Library Association, we recognize the importance of codifying and making known to the profession and to the general public the ethical principles that guide the work of librarians, other professionals providing information services, library trustees and library staffs.
Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict. The American Library Association Code of Ethics states the values to which we are committed, and embodies the ethical responsibilities of the profession in this changing information environment.
We significantly influence or control the selection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information. In a political system grounded in an informed citizenry we are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information. We have a special obligation to ensure the free flow of information and ideas to present and future generations.
The principles of this Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations.
- We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.
- We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
III. We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
- We recognize and respect intellectual property rights.
- We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.
- We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
VII. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.
VIII. We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.
Adopted by the ALA Council June 28, 1995