The Kilbourn Public Library Board of Trustees voted to approve an updated policy manual, but also voted to strike out a sentence referring to the city’s personnel policy because it hasn’t been available for library board members to review.
A draft of the policy manual stated in the introduction, “Under the provisions of Chapter 43 of the Wisconsin State Statutes, specifically section 43.52(1), the Kilbourn Public Library Board of Trustees may enact regulations that serve to ensure the safety of all library staff and patrons, protect the usefulness of the materials collection and maintain order in the library.”
The statement removed by the library board stated, “This policy manual does not override any policy covered by the city of Wisconsin Dells Employee Handbook.”
Library board member Bill Pettit said he couldn’t approve the language without having seen the city’s employee rules and other board members wanted to know what the village of Lake Delton was doing concerning employees since the library is jointly operated by the two municipalities.
The manual states that it can be amended every three years or as needed.
The board also discussed the library’s technology plan, which is part of the policy manual, and library Director Cathy Borck answered a question from board member Mike Freel, who wanted to know if the library restricted patrons from going to an al Qaeda web site, for example, to look up bomb-making information. Al Qaeda is a terrorist group that the United States believes was led by Osama bin Laden when he was alive.
Borck said the library can’t have Internet filters as a requirement for getting grants.
But librarians do monitor the use of library computers and if people are looking at an inappropriate site, people are warned and can be barred from using the computers for a month.
In an interview the next day, Borck said a librarian would question someone if they saw a patron looking at bomb-making information on a library computer and sometimes patrons can get onto some questionable sites accidentally.
Library patrons might view and could be kicked off a library computer for viewing something pornographic, something extremely violent or something promoting violence, Borck said.
If someone at the library was kicked off a computer for viewing something, Borck said they can write an appeal letter to the library director and it would go to the library board for consideration.
During the meeting, Borck said computers in the children’s area don’t have access to the full Internet, and children who don’t have a library card can’t use computers because the library card application has a section where parents give permission for children to use the Internet.
The policy manual states that what patrons look for in the library will remain confidential, although librarians may know what people are looking for in the process of helping them locate information or the library may have records on which materials are taken on or off the library grounds “for the sole purpose of protecting public property.”