Code of Conduct

For the comfort and safety of patrons, volunteers, and staff, and the protection of Library property, the following actions are examples of conduct not allowed on Library property:

  1. Violating local, state or federal law;
  2. Smoking, use of any tobacco products including, but not limited to: cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco or use of a nicotine delivery system that produces smoke or vapor in the buildings or within 50 feet of any library entrance;
  3. Possessing weapons;
  4. Creating any loud, unreasonable and/or disturbing actions - by an individual or electronic device, including cell phones - that could interfere with the ability of others to use and enjoy library services; 
  5. Being under the influence of, selling and/or possessing alcohol or illegal drugs; 
  6. Threatening behavior toward another person, either verbally or physically; 
  7. Sleeping or putting your head, feet or legs on tables, smoking, sitting on stairs, rearranging or misusing library furnishings; 
  8. Eating. Drinking from containers without lids; 
  9. Using library facilities or equipment for other than library purposes, including loitering, solicitation, selling or distributing materials without prior written authorization; 
  10. Leaving a child under nine years old in the library unattended by a responsible person; 
  11. Leaving a child or young adult under 18 years old in the library after closing time; 
  12. Bringing animals in library buildings, except for licensed service animals; 
  13. Misusing library restrooms to bathe, shave, change clothes, loiter or any other inappropriate behavior; 
  14. Entering non-public areas of the library or using non-public library telephones, without permission; 
  15. Stealing or defacing library property, including books and other materials; 
  16. Taking library property, including books and non-print materials outside library buildings without following established loan procedures; 
  17. Using library computers inappropriately, including, but not limited to: viewing inappropriate websites as defined in SC Code 16-15-305; using the Internet for illegal purposes; displaying, sending or printing obscene materials; damaging, altering or tampering with the library's equipment or software; and manipulating or interfering with the time management and print management software; 
  18. Entering the library buildings without being fully clothed, including shoes, shirt, and pants, shorts, dress, or skirt;
  19. Entering the library buildings with offensive body odor or personal hygiene;
  20. Bringing personal items into the library that will not fit comfortably under a chair or leaving items unattended. Bags should be no larger than 18 inches long. Larger bags of any type, including bedrolls and luggage, are prohibited. Bringing in items with a foul odor that alone, or in their aggregate, could impede the safety of others; 
  21. Leaving personal items unattended and/or storing personal items in the library; 
  22. Bringing wheeled devices into the library, other than wheelchairs, walkers, strollers or wheeled book bags. Bicycles shouldn't be brought into library buildings; 
  23. Refusing to leave the library at the designated closing time; 
  24. Disregarding fire regulations;
  25. Failing to comply with the Library's established standards and guidelines; and
  26. All bags and other articles are subject to inspection by library personnel. The library reserves the right to limit the size and number of items brought into the library.

Library staff will intervene to stop prohibited activities and behaviors. Failure to comply with the library's established standards of acceptable behavior may result in removal from the building and/or restriction of library privileges. 

General Collection Development Plan

To achieve the goals outlined in the CCPL's mission statement, the Library must take a careful, systematic approach to building collections that meet the needs of all the residents of Charleston County. It is fiscally and operationally impossible to include all possible titles and formats in the libraries' collections. CCPL will make decisions as to what specific titles and formats will be added to each specific library collection.

Basic Criteria for Selection

The Charleston County Public Library acquires print, audio-visual, and electronic materials of both permanent value and current interest in all subject areas and for all age and reading levels.  The library recognizes and respects the cultural diversity of the many communities it serves, and selects materials that will meet the interests and needs of those varied communities. The following general criteria are used in adding specific materials to the library's collections, either purchased with library funds or gifts.

  1. Timeliness and/or popularity of a subject or title.
  2. Reputation of author, artist, publisher or producer.
  3. Local interest.
  4. Relationship and importance to the collection.
  5. Critical reviews and publicity.
  6. Professional review journals.
  7. Local media reviews and publicity.
  8. Regional, national & international awards.
  9. Standard bibliographies.
  10. Recognized websites and databases.
  11. Availability of materials on the subject.
  12. Provision of alternative viewpoints.
  13. Purchase price.
  14. Accessibility to materials elsewhere in the area.
  15. User suggestions and requests.
  16. Suitability of format to library purposes.

Each of these criteria may not and need not be used to evaluate each item, but are applied as general guidelines for consideration of all materials, regardless of format.

The Charleston County Public Library recognizes that materials selected for the collection may be controversial and that any given item may offend some individuals. Selections will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval but solely on the merits of the work in relation to the collection as a whole, and to serving the needs of our diverse community of library users.  The Library is committed to the principles and ideals contained in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View declarations.

Responsibility for Selection

While the ultimate responsibility for the selection of materials rest with the Library Board, it is the responsibility of the Collection Development Department, under the supervision of the Library Director and the Deputy Director, to implement this policy by delegation of authority and duties.

Reconsideration of Materials

Library users occasionally object to titles that have been selected for the collection. Persons seeking the reconsideration of any library material are asked to complete a reconsideration form. The library, upon receipt of this form, reviews the item for inclusion in the collection in light of the library's overall objectives, the Collection Development Policy, the basic selection criteria as stated, and the Library Bill of Rights.

Gifts

The Library accepts donations of books, magazines, and audio-visual materials. The Library reserves the right to make final disposition of all gifts. Before being added to the collection, all gift materials must meet the same criteria as materials purchased with public funds. Gifts may be added to the library collection or rejected at the discretion of the library. Rejected gifts may be sent to the Friends of the Charleston County Library for public sale, may be discarded, or may be disposed of in some other way. Gifts are not returned to the donor.

Posting and Distribution of Non-Library Materials

Recognizing its role as a source for community information, Charleston County Public Library provides space at its branches for the posting and distribution of printed materials informing the public about events, services or resources that are civic, cultural, educational or recreational in nature. Branch libraries have a bulletin board for the posting of fliers; some branches also provide racks or table space where brochures or other literature may be left for patrons to take. 

To be eligible for posting or distribution, the materials must be produced and represent activities by local nonprofit organizations, arts affiliates, educational institutions or government agencies. Authorized materials should provide timely information and will be displayed if space is available. The library reserves the right to refuse any material based on size, weight, format, content, volume or timeliness. 

The library will not post or distribute advertisements or commercial notices from businesses or individuals. Bulletin boards and display space are not intended as a forum for the expression of the views of individuals or groups; therefore, the library will not display literature for political parties or candidates, petitions or other materials advocating a position on a public or social issue or materials supporting or opposing a particular religious conviction. 

Postings should be given to the library staff. Unauthorized materials will be discarded. Acceptance for posting or distribution does not imply endorsement by the library.

Unattended Children

The safety and well-being of children left unattended in a public building is of serious concern. Children left alone may become frightened, anxious, or bored. Older children cannot be expected to care for a younger child who is frightened, tired or ill. Library staff have many public duties and cannot serve as caregivers.

We ask your cooperation in the following areas as we strive to make the library a welcoming and accessible place for your child.

  1. Children five years old and younger must always be accompanied by a parent or responsible caregiver 16 years old or older.
  2. Children six to eight years old must have a parent or responsible caregiver 16 years old or older in the building at all times.
  3. Children nine years old and older are responsible for their own behavior in the library and must follow library rules and regulations. Any child nine or older who is left unattended must have a means of contacting his/her parent or guardian.
  4. The library staff will attempt to contact parents of children whose safety is in doubt. If parents are unavailable, the library staff and/or the security guard will contact the police department to provide custody.
  5. If any child under 18 has not been picked up at closing, the Library will contact the police to provide custody.
Internet Use

Essential to the mission of the Charleston County Library is ensuring that the people of Charleston have the right and means to free and open access to ideas and information which are fundamental to a democracy. The Library will protect intellectual freedom, promote literacy, encourage lifelong learning, and provide library materials and information services.

The Internet, as an information resource, enables the library to provide information beyond the confines of its own collection. It allows access to ideas, information, and commentary from around the globe. Currently, however, it is an unregulated medium. As such, it offers access to a wealth of material that is personally, professionally, and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages, but it also enables access to some material that may be offensive, disturbing, and/or illegal.

Library staff will identify specific starting points for searches on the library’s home page and the library’s kids’ page, which are appropriate to the Library’s mission and service roles. Still, individual users must accept personal responsibility for determining the suitability and appropriateness of information obtained through the Internet.
Because the Library is not a commercial Internet service provider, e-mail service will not be made available to the public.

The Library upholds and affirms the right of each individual to have access to a wide variety of materials. The Library also affirms the right and responsibility of parents to determine and monitor their children’s use of library materials and resources. In affirmation of these rights, the Library has established rules for Internet use.

Rules for Internet Use in the Library

In an effort to ensure that the use of the Internet is consistent with the mission of the Charleston County Library the following regulations shall apply:

Prospective users will sign an Internet Acceptable Use Agreement. To assure parental guidance in children’s use of the Internet: Children age seven and under require a signed Parental Permission Agreement and adult supervision; Children age eight through seventeen require a signed Parental Permission Agreement; Individuals age eighteen and older are required to sign an Acceptable Use Agreement.

The library reserves the right to require all prospective users to attend an orientation session as a condition for access to the library Internet stations. Orientation will include training in the use of software and hardware, and guidelines for the responsible care of library equipment.

Internet use will be managed in a manner consistent with the library’s Code of Conduct, which has been adopted by the Board of Trustees and is posted in the library. All Library Internet Stations use web filtering technology. Adults may request that the web filter be turned off for bona fide research. All minors will have only web filtered access. Failure to use the Internet stations appropriately and responsibly as defined in the Acceptable Use Agreement will result in revocation of Internet privileges and/or library use privileges. Anyone who instructs or demonstrates to another person how to bypass web-filtering technology will have Internet privileges and/or library use privileges revoked. 

Online Privacy

The protection of your privacy when visiting this web site is important to the Charleston County Public LIbrary (CCPL). This policy explains the way information is collected and used during your visit to our site.

Information Collected on Our Site

When you visit the Library's web site, we collect and store only information to measure the number of visitors to different areas of our sites to assist us in making our sites more useful to you. This information includes:

  • The address (IP) of your computer or internet provider
  • The date and time you accessed our site
  • The Internet address of the web site that referred you to our site.

Some pages on our site let you make requests for information, sign up for programs and make comments. The types of personal information that may be requested and collected at these pages include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • E-mail address
  • Phone number
  • Library card number (used when accessing your account, databases from home, or requesting materials)
  • Name of branch most often used (used for Summer Reading program registration only)
How This Information Is Used

CCPL will not sell, lease or distribute or disclose your e-mail address, postal address, phone number, borrower records or other personal information for non-library purposes to outside parties unless required by law.

We will never disclose a child's personal information as name, address, etc. without written approval from a parent or legal guardian. In accordance with Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), we will only display on our pages a child's first name, last initial, location and/or age on our sites to announce contest winners and display user submitted comments.

Data Security at CCPL

CCPL web pages have been secured and safeguarded through electronic and managerial procedures. Our pages are protected using Centurion Guard software, which secures any information input to our pages.

Please use caution when inputting personal information on pages outside of the Library's web site, as we are not responsible for information disclosed on those pages.

If you have any concerns about how your information is used, please send comments through the  Contact Us page.

Links Off the CCPL Website

The Charleston County Public Library Website offers recommendations of electronic links to subject-focused sites selected by trained professional staff. The Library uses the guidelines found in its Collection Development policy in linking to sites outside its copyright pages.

When visiting sites outside the Library's pages, please note that we have not participated in the development of these other sites and do not exert any editorial or other control over these sites.  Any link from the Library’s Website to another Website is not an endorsement from the Library.  The Library does not warrant that its Website, the server that makes it available, or any links from its site to other Websites are free from viruses or other harmful components.

Naming Libraries

1. The name of a new library location or the renaming of an existing library will carry a name that reflects the geographical area in which it is located or which it serves, in order to be understood by patrons. For example, "The Mount Pleasant Library." 

Exterior signs will identify each library as such; i.e., "The Mount Pleasant Library," and it will be further identified as a branch of "Charleston County Public Library."

2. This guideline notwithstanding, should a donor contribute a significant amount toward the cost of constructing a new library or securing land for the library, or if an individual has been deemed by the Board to have made significant contributions to the Charleston County Public Library System, the Library's Board of Trustees may recommend to the Charleston County Council that the name of the donor/contributors be added to the location of the library, for example. "The John Smith Mount Pleasant Library."

3. Additions or rooms may be named after a donor in circumstances in which the donor paid for a substantial portion of or the entire cost of the addition or the room (including construction or renovation costs), or if an individual has been deemed by the Board to have made significant contributions to the Charleston County Public Library System.

4. Offers of furnishings, equipment, programs or other services will be reviewed by the Library's Board of Trustees or its designated committee and acceptance will be based on consistency with service and facilities plans, the adopted gift policy and other relevant policies and procedures.

Gift, Solicitation and Acceptance Policy

PURPOSE: To define what the Library will accept as gifts, who is authorized to accept gifts and how those gifts are accepted and to help donors determine how to present gifts for acceptance.

1. Works of Art
Donations to help acquire works of art or donations of art may be accepted based on the recommendation of the Library's Board of Trustees.

2. Library Materials
Books and other library materials may be accepted by library staff per the Policy on Collection Development.

3. Other
Gifts with a value under $500, to include gifts of cash, may be accepted by library branch and division managers. Such gifts may include supplies, funds for programming and labor. Any gifts which have a maintenance impact -- e.g., landscaping and equipment -- must be forwarded to the Library Director for approval by the appropriate department.

Gifts with a value between $500 and $2,500 may be accepted by the Library Director, with a recommendation from the appropriate library branch/division manager. Gifts with a maintenance impact will be forwarded to the appropriate department for approval.

Gifts with a value of $2,500 or more will be accepted by the Library Board of Trustees, upon the recommendation of the Library Director.

All gifts will be evaluated for appropriateness in light of the library's Strategic Plan and other existing policies. The Library's Board of Trustees and staff are under no obligation to accept gifts, items or funds and reserve the right to refuse any gift. All gifts that are accepted become the sole property of The Charleston County Public Library.

This policy does not apply to in-kind or monetary donations initiated by the library when securing partners or sponsors for library programming and events.

4. Gifts will be reported to the Board as part of quarterly financial reports at the Board of Trustees meetings by the Finance Director.