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Library Policies

Alcohol Policy

The White Oak Library District seeks to make our libraries the cultural hub of their respective communities. Our mission statement challenges library staff to provide timely programming, opportunities for lifelong learning, and to fearlessly explore new opportunities. As such, the White Oak Library District Board of Trustees recognizes that from time to time it may be reasonable and beneficial to allow alcohol to be served in our libraries or on District property during fundraising events or during programs of a cultural or educational nature.    

Illinois Public Act 99-0559 States:

Alcoholic liquors may be delivered to and sold at retail in any building owned by a public library district, provided that the delivery and sale is approved by the board of trustees of that public library district and is limited to library fundraising events or programs of a cultural or educational nature. Before the board of trustees of a public library district may approve the delivery and sale of alcoholic liquors, the board of trustees of the public library district must have a written policy that has been approved by the board of trustees of the public library district governing when and under what circumstances alcoholic liquors may be delivered to and sold at retail on property owned by that public library district. The written policy must (i) provide that no alcoholic liquor may be sold, distributed, or consumed in any area of the library accessible to the general public during the event or program, (ii) prohibit the removal of alcoholic liquor from the venue during the event, and (iii) require that steps be taken to prevent the sale or distribution of alcoholic liquor to persons under the age of 21. Any public library district that has alcoholic liquor delivered to or sold at retail on property owned by the public library district shall provide dram shop liability insurance in maximum insurance coverage limits so as to save harmless the public library districts from all financial loss, damage, or harm.  

Therefore, the White Oak Library District Board of Trustees hereby establishes this policy with the following parameters set forth:  

  1. When alcohol is allowed  

    1. The serving of alcohol will only be permitted at District events or at events that are co-sponsored by the District and another entity.
    2. The serving of alcohol will not be permitted at any event unless first pre-approved by the Director, in compliance with this policy.
    3. Outside groups or individuals conducting a meeting or event at our libraries are not allowed to serve alcohol while using our meeting spaces unless the event meets the criteria set forth previously in Section I.

  2. Where alcohol is allowed

    1. Alcohol may be served at pre-approved events held within an enclosed or controlled space, such as a meeting room or conference room or throughout a District facility or its grounds so long as there is a means by which to (1) prevent access to the general public, (2) prevent alcohol from being removed from the premises by attendees, and (3) steps are taken to prevent the sale or distribution of alcohol to persons under the age of 21.  

  3. The serving of alcohol

    1. Alcohol may be served at pre-approved events by catering staff secured for such purpose by the District.
    2. Alcohol may be served at pre-approved events by any library staff member or volunteer who is of legal age and designated by the Director to do so.  

  4. Allowable event types  

    1. Approved events may include but will not be limited to fundraisers, book discussion group meetings, programs discussing alcohol within the cultural heritage of a group, or educational programming intended to broaden the understanding of a topic relating directly or indirectly to alcohol.    

  5. Liability Insurance  

    1. The Illinois Liquor Control Act of 1934 [235 ILCS 5/6-21(a)] requires the Illinois Comptroller to determine each year the liability limits for causes of action brought under the Act.  
    2. Per Illinois Public Act 99-0559, when serving alcohol the District must provide liability insurance with a coverage limit that saves harmless the District from all financial loss, damage, or harm under the maximum liability limits set forth in the Illinois Liquor Control Act of 1934.
    3. The District’s liability insurance coverage is determined annually. The Director shall ensure that said liability insurance meets the parameters set forth in this policy before approving any programs or events where alcohol is to be served.    

  6. General Rules and Restrictions

    1. All rules put forth in other District policies shall remain in effect during events where alcohol is served.  This includes but is not limited to the Meeting Room Policy, the Patron Behavior Policy, and the Personnel Policy.
    2. Purposely deceiving District staff in order to unlawfully gain access to an event where alcohol is served is a crime and will be reported to the proper authorities.  

This policy is not all-inclusive; approval of individual situations not described here will be determined by the Director.  Waiver of any prohibitions in this policy may be requested by written application directed to the Library Board of Trustees.  

Approved by the Board of Trustees on August 23, 2016 

Circulation Policy


It is the District’s policy to limit patrons to one card/account per person. The following categories describe the different types of borrowers to which a card can be issued.

  1. Resident Borrower: Any resident of White Oak Library District may have a borrower’s card by completing an application and furnishing proper identification. Proper identification shall consist of a picture i.d. verifying the person’s name. If the picture i.d. does not also display a current address that proves residency in the District, a second form of i.d. is required, such as a utility bill, voter’s card, credit card bill, bank statement, etc. Until age 18, individuals must have a parent or legal guardian furnish proof of residency. The applicant must be present when issuing card. The District will perform periodic address verification on all accounts.

  2. Non-Resident Borrower: Any Illinois resident residing in an area without public library service may purchase a non-resident library card.  This card must be purchased from the public library closest to the resident's home.  When in doubt about which library is closest, the public library serving the patron's school district shall sell the non-resident card.  Once a non-resident card has been purchased, all members of a non-resident borrower’s household are entitled to an individual borrower’s card upon completion of an application. A non-resident card is valid for one (1) year from date of issue, in accordance with Public Act 92-0166. Please note that there are no unserved areas within the State of Illinois for which White Oak Library District would be the proper organization to issue a non-resident card.

  3. Pinnacle Borrower (outside of White Oak Library District): Any person holding a valid borrower’s card from a public library that is a full member of the Pinnacle Library Cooperative may borrow materials within the same limits as resident borrowers.

  4. Reciprocal Borrower (Non-Pinnacle Illinois Borrowers): Any person holding a valid borrower’s card from a public library outside of the Pinnacle Library Cooperative which is participating in the Illinois reciprocal borrowing program may be granted reciprocal borrowing privileges upon completion of an application.

  5. Resident Institutional Borrower: A school, preschool, daycare, nursing home, service organization, or other such institution operating within the boundaries of the District may apply for an Institutional Borrower account. The main difference between this card and a ‘Resident Borrower’ card is that the party held financially responsible for activity with this card is an institution rather than an individual and therefore an expectation exists that these accounts will only be used to check out materials for Institutional purposes. All such accounts must be approved by the Director or their designee, will be reviewed annually, and are valid for a maximum of 1 year from date of issue.

  6. Non-Resident Business Borrower: A business operating within the boundaries of the District pays property taxes to the District even if the owner of the business is not a District resident. Thus the person holding title/lease to the business property may apply for a ‘Business Borrower’ account. A business borrower card is valid for 1 year from date of issue.


  1. If a patron does not present a card at the time of checkout, they may be asked to present a photo i.d. to verify their identity.

  2. Hold materials must be picked up by the patron requesting the item(s), or by a family member/caretaker presenting the requesting patron’s card, or by those who are designated to do so on the requesting patron’s account and present proper identification.

  3. Library materials shall circulate according to the following schedule:


    Books 3 weeks Yes, if no holds
    Lucky Day Books 3 weeks No
    Periodicals 3 weeks Yes, if no holds
    Audio Recordings 3 weeks Yes, if no holds
    Board Games & Puzzles 3 weeks Yes, if no holds
    eReader Devices 3 weeks Yes, if no holds
    eContent (loan period varies by format/platform) 1, 2, or 3 weeks Yes, if no holds
    Standard DVDs & Blu Rays (NEW) 1 week Yes, if no holds
    Standard DVD & Blu Rays (OLDER) 3 weeks Yes, if no holds
    TV Show DVDs & Blu Rays (ALL) 3 weeks Yes, if no holds
    Lucky Day DVDs 1 week No
    Video Games (NEW) 1 week Yes, if no holds
    Video Games (OLDER) 3 weeks Yes, if no holds

    • Loan periods for downloadable e-content shall be governed by the e-content provider.

    • Reference items and newspapers are not allowed to circulate.

    • There is no fixed limit on the amount of reading material or audio recordings a borrower may take out at one time.

    • There is no limit on DVDs & Blu Rays per account.

    • There is a limit of five (5) video games per account.

    • Renewals are permitted subject to the following guidelines:

      1. Items that have a hold on them may not be renewed.

      2. Items may be renewed only twice.

    • Circulating items may be reserved by placing a hold on them.

    • Materials borrowed via Inter-Library Loan from outside libraries and damaged, lost, or kept overdue may be subject to additional fees per the policy of the loaning library.

    Items that are overdue are not assessed fines. However, a borrower with long overdue material
    may have borrowing privileges suspended until the material is returned or replacement charges
    have been paid. Borrowers who have material overdue past sixty (60) days will be referred to a
    collection agency for appropriate action and will have their borrowing privileges suspended until
    their record is returned to good standing.


    1. Newer materials lost by a borrower shall be paid for at the full item price. Older materials lost by a borrower may be paid for at a discounted rate determined by a Branch Manager or a Circulation Supervisor.

    2. A processing charge has been factored into the price of every item.

    3. A full refund for material lost and paid for shall be made if the material is returned in acceptable condition within sixty (60) days of date of payment for the loss. Refunds will be issued via a credit put back onto the credit/debit card used to pay for the loss. If the loss was originally paid by cash or check, the refund will be paid via library check and may take up to 35 days to process.

    4. Charges shall be made for damaged items or items missing pieces, as assessed by the library.

    5. Loss or damage of materials borrowed from outside libraries will be billed per the policy of the owning library.

    6. A borrower with fees owed may have borrowing privileges suspended once the amount owed has reached $10.00.

    306. PRIVACY

    The registration and circulation records of the District are confidential information. Except pursuant to court order, no person shall publish or make any information contained in such records available to the public. The District may publish or make available to the public reasonable, statistical reports regarding library registration and book circulation where those reports are presented so that no individual is identified therein.


    The District reserves the right to amend its circulation policy at any time.

    308. – 400. RESERVED

    Collection Development Policy

    The White Oak Library District offers a collection of library materials and information resources in keeping with its mission and values. The Board of Trustees has a strong commitment to support the acquisition and maintenance of a balanced library collection. With this policy the Board also affirms its commitment to follow the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights (see Appendix A). In accordance with the recommendations of Serving Our Public: Standards for Illinois Public Libraries, the White Oak Library District will strive to allocate not less than 12% of its operating budget to acquire new materials each fiscal year.

    Collection Objectives

    The collection will be selected and maintained to enable each individual to choose materials and information according to his or her own free choice. The collection as a whole will be a diverse source of information representing as many viewpoints as possible. Some materials may be judged primarily in terms of artistic merit, scholarship, or value to humanity; others are selected to satisfy the informational, recreational, or educational interests of our District residents.

    Electronic delivery, resource sharing with other libraries, and other methods of information access are used by our libraries to meet patron needs and extend our limited resources.

    The White Oak Library District neither encourages nor discourages any particular viewpoint. Selection of materials does not mean endorsement of the contents or the views expressed in those materials. Material will not be excluded because of the race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political views, or social views of either the author or the material.


    The Board believes reading, listening, and viewing choices are individual, private matters. People are free to select or reject materials for themselves and their own minor children but are not to infringe upon the freedom of others to read or inquire.

    The White Oak Library District does not stand in place of the parent (in loco parentis). Parents and guardians have the responsibility to guide and direct the reading, listening and viewing choices of their own minor children and adolescents.

    The collection will be organized and maintained to help people find the materials they want. Materials will not be restricted, sequestered, altered, or labeled because of controversy about the author or the subject matter.

    The Board considers materials selected under this policy to be constitutionally protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Illinois State
    Constitution. If someone claims that a particular item is not constitutionally protected, the burden of proof rests with that person.

    If a court having jurisdiction over the District decides that any material in the collection is not protected by these constitutions, such material will be removed immediately. Material under court consideration will remain available until a court ruling is made.

    The ultimate responsibility for selection of materials lies with the White Oak Library District Director, who may authorize qualified staff to assist. Criteria to be considered in adding specific materials, including gifts, to the collection include, but are not limited to:

    • collection objectives
    • existing subject coverage
    • public interest
    • community relevance
    • patron requests
    • timeliness of topic
    • audience for material
    • current or historical significance of author or subject
    • support for lifelong learning
    • diversity of viewpoint
    • effective expression
    • creativity
    • imagination
    • reading, listening, or viewing enjoyment
    • popularity
    • nature of media
    • quality of production
    • durability of format

    Items selected must meet one or more of these criteria. Conversely, meeting one or more of these criteria does not automatically qualify an item for selection. The District strongly encourages patrons to suggest items, topics or authors they would like to see included in our collections. Requests may also be met through resource sharing with other libraries, electronic delivery, or other means.

    Reviews in professionally recognized periodicals are a primary source for materials selection. Standard bibliographies, book lists by recognized authorities, including best seller lists, and the advice of professionals versed in specific subject areas also will be used.

    Individual items, which in and of themselves may be controversial or offensive to some patrons or staff, may be selected if their inclusion will contribute to the range of viewpoints in the collection as a whole and if they meet one or more of the criteria listed. Electronic resources, including subscription databases and links to web sites, are
    provided through the District web site to increase the depth and breadth of our collections. Some links may be available only within a library building or only to District residents and may require a library card for access. The District is not required to establish or maintain any particular web link.

    Criteria used to select web site links shall include, but not be limited to those that:

    • are useful sources of current, consistently maintained information

    • are created by credible authors/producers

    • are well-organized and easily navigable

    • complement the District’s physical collections

    Collection Review
    The Library Board recognizes the right of individuals or groups to question materials in the collection. Such questions may be stated in writing on the Request for Materials Reconsideration form. The District administration will give serious consideration to each opinion so expressed. Material under reconsideration will remain available to patrons until a decision is made. The Director will make a final decision as to whether the material was appropriately selected and made accessible under this policy, and reply to the individual or groups in writing as soon as is practical. 

    Withdrawing Materials

    The White Oak Library District is not a library of historical record. To ensure a vital collection of continuing value to the communities we serve, except in the area of local history, materials that are not well used may be withdrawn.

    The Board recognizes that discarding materials is an important part of maintaining the library in order to keep the collections fresh and free of outdated, factually incorrect, and overly worn/damaged materials. The final decision to withdraw materials from the collections is a responsibility of the Director, who may authorize qualified staff to assist. When withdrawing and discarding materials the District shall consider the same criteria as those used for selecting materials, as well as physical condition. Materials will not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval or public controversy. Replacement of materials will be based on collection objectives.

    Whenever possible and advisable, the District will attempt to give discarded materials to other area libraries first. Remaining discards in good condition will be donated to the Friends of the Library. As a last resort, unwanted discards will be recycled.

    Approved by the Board of Trustees on February 27, 2024

    Appendix A

    American Library Association Library Bill of Rights

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

    I.    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.

    II.    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.

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

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

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

    VI.    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.

    VII.    All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.

    Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948;
    February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019.

    Finance Policy

    Receipts and Disbursements

    • All monies shall be deposited promptly upon receipt.
    • All District disbursements shall be made by means of checks drawn upon the District accounts.
    • Check(s) shall be signed by any one (1) of the following officials:
      • Board President
      • Board Vice President
      • Board Treasurer
      • Board Secretary


    • District funds in excess of current requirements shall be invested in interest bearing accounts or instruments whenever possible.
    • The following types of investments are permitted:
      • Savings Account
      • Certificate of Deposit
      • Money Market Accounts


    • The District shall reimburse members of the Board of Trustees for the expenses incurred in conducting official business on behalf of the District as determined and approved by the Board President.
    • The District shall reimburse any staff member for expenses incurred while on official library business as determined and approved by the Director.
    • All Trustees are encouraged to attend district-related meetings and workshops, with the District paying reasonable expenses.
    • The District shall pay for personal memberships to ALA and ILA for the Director, as well as ILA memberships for the Trustees. Other professional staff may choose a membership in ILA or ALA with the Director’s approval.

    Non Resident Fees

    • The non-resident fee shall be an amount not less than the amount of library tax paid by the average homeowner in the District. This fee shall be reviewed annually by the Board of Trustees.
    • The non-resident fee shall be effective for one year from date of purchase. Payment of the non-resident fee entitles all members of the payee’s household to individual library cards and full library privileges.


    • The Board of Trustees encourages gifts to the District by community groups and organizations as well as by individuals.
    • Gifts to the District are to be accepted by the Director on behalf of the Board of Trustees. Gifts shall be reported to the Board of Trustees.
    • Memorial gifts are particularly appropriate as a means of lasting tribute. The District shall place an appropriate marker on memorial gifts denoting whom the gift is in memory of and the donor. Memorial gifts donated will be held, transferred or sold in accordance with state law.
    • All gifts accepted shall become the property of the District and may be utilized as permitted under applicable state law. All gifts whether they be goods or services, shall be appropriately acknowledged by the District.


    • The Treasurer shall be bonded and/or insured in accordance with State Law.

    Approved by the Board of Trustees on January 28, 2014

    Internet and Electronic Resources Policy

    General Terms
    The Internet is a global collection of computer networks that connects thousands of computers all over the world. Use of the White Oak Library District's Internet computers will provide patrons with access to the vast amount of information available through these connections. It is important to note that the District has no control over these resources nor can the District have complete knowledge of what is on the Internet. Information on the Internet may be reliable and current or it can be erroneous, out-of-date, illegal, offensive, or controversial. As with all other District resources, it is the responsibility of the user to select or reject online information and exercise good judgment in their use of the Internet.

    Although the District uses electronic means to limit access to illegal material, it is also incumbent on each user to avoid using District resources to engage in illegal activity. Illegal or prohibited acts shall include but are not limited to: unauthorized copyright use such as unauthorized downloading of copyrighted content; viewing obscene and/or illegal content; falsification of documents; violating software licenses; damaging or attempting to damage District equipment, software, or software configurations; compromising system security; negatively impacting network performance; libel or slander; misrepresentation; solicitation; harassment or cyber-bullying.

    Wi-Fi and Personal Electronic Devices
    The White Oak Library District provides public access wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) service to serve the needs of our communities. Though the District strives to provide fast and effective Wi-Fi service for all library patrons, in times of need the bandwidth utilized by our Wi-Fi may become subordinate to other needs of the Library. Once a patron connects a personal electronic device to the Wi-Fi network, all other directives within this policy will apply as though the connection were being achieved using a District-owned computer.

    Use of sound-muffling headphones or muted sound on laptops, tablets, or other personal electronic device is required to avoid disturbing the staff or other patrons. Though there are many electrical outlets available for patron use, access to aisles, exits, library materials, exhibit cases or other resources must be left unobstructed at all times. Patrons shall not leave personal equipment unattended. The library is not responsible for equipment that is lost or stolen. The District assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from use of its computer network or from its connection to other Internet services. The District reserves the right to end a Wi-Fi session at any time.

    In general, the District will treat information stored on computers as confidential. Requests for disclosure of information will be honored only when approved by the appropriate library administrator, when authorized by the owners of the information, or when required by local, state, or federal law. Users should note that, in general, the Internet is a very insecure form of communication, and should take precautions when disclosing personal information. The District cannot accept responsibility for any information stored on or transmitted using its network.

    Children and the Internet
    As a public library district, we provide children’s access to computers as part of our commitment to meeting the informational, educational, and recreational needs of our communities. As with all Internet access, our children’s Internet stations provide users with access to vast amounts of information that may be reliable and current or it can be erroneous, out-of-date, or controversial. It is important to note that the children’s Internet stations are solely for the use of children up to 12 years in age. Neither teenagers nor adults are allowed to use the children’s Internet workstations. Exceptions to this rule may be made at the staff’s discretion for situations including but not limited to: mentoring or tutoring, or situations where a parent needs to use a computer while supervising a child aged 12 years or less who is engaged in the Children’s Department. It is the responsibility of a child’s parent or legal guardian to select or reject online information for their child’s use.

    The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), passed by Congress in 2000 and upheld by the Supreme Court in 2003, requires libraries receiving certain types of federal funding to equip Internet-access computers with a technology protection measure that blocks or filters visual depictions that are obscene, contain child pornography or are harmful to minors.

    White Oak Library District uses router-level keyword throttling to prevent access to obscenity, child pornography and materials harmful to minors. Though the District makes every effort to effectively insure a safe and productive electronic environment for children, our safeguards are reliant upon properly functioning computer software and hardware devices, and thus the District makes no guarantee specific or implied about the effectiveness of these electronic measures.

    As with other library materials, parents and legal guardians who are concerned about their child’s use of the Internet should provide guidance to their own children and should monitor their use of this resource. Only parents or legal guardians have the right to define what material or information is consistent with their personal and family beliefs, and only they can apply those values for themselves and their children in the Library. The library does not act as the parent.

    The Library Director, as the executor of the policy for the Board of Trustees, has discretion in determining what use is in the best interest of the library and is authorized to act accordingly, including limiting the use of the computers or electronic resources by individuals whose activities interfere with Library operations or adversely affect public usage of our resources and services. The District reserves the right to amend its policies at any time.

    Electronic Resources User Privileges

    Users of the District’s electronic resources have the privilege to:

    1. Use the electronic resources in a private manner to the extent possible in a public setting.

    2. Access public resources not directly controlled or sanctioned by the District.

    3. Use the District’s electronic resources in a manner equal to that of other patrons.

    Electronic Resources User Responsibilities

    Users of the District’s electronic resources have the responsibility to:

    1. Have basic knowledge regarding the operation of personal computers.

    2. Adhere to time limits imposed for the fair and equitable use of electronic resources.

    3. Treat staff and fellow patrons with respect.

    4. Treat District computer equipment with respect and care.

    5. Use the District’s electronic resources only for legal purposes.

    6. Use the District’s electronic resources in ways that do not interfere with others’ use of the resources, and any outside resources to which they are networked.

    7. Refrain from the public display of inappropriate material (as defined by library staff to be something that may cause a disturbance or impede another person’s use of District resources).

    Approved by the Board of Trustees on August 23, 2022

    Meeting Room Policy

    White Oak Library District Meeting Rooms are available to all community groups and organizations whose objectives are cultural, educational or civic in character. Use of District meeting rooms does not necessarily constitute sponsorship or endorsement by the White Oak Library District or Board of the user or the user’s beliefs. The District will not discriminate in making its premises available for use on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, political affiliation or physical limitation.

    I. Priorities

    Priority will be given as follows: (1) District sponsored programs, (2) Friends of the White Oak Library District, (3) White Oak Library District Foundation, (4) District related programs, (5) White Oak Library District-based groups and organizations, (6) all others.

    II. Meeting Room Access

    A. Meeting Rooms are available only during hours that the library is open for general use.
    B. Groups using the meeting rooms must end programs at least 15 minutes prior to the library’s closing time.
    C. Non-library sponsored meetings must be open to the public at large and may not be restricted to the membership of the sponsoring organization. This means that any member of the public that sees a meeting taking place may enter and participate.
    D. Groups may not charge admission, require fees or request donations for attendance or participation. Exceptions will be made for special events or programs sponsored by the District, the Friends of the Library and the White Oak Library District Foundation.
    E. Organizations must comply with applicable Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements when using District meeting room facilities, and are responsible for providing (and if necessary paying for) qualified interpreters or auxiliary aids, upon request, to individuals who require certain accommodations that would enable them to observe and/or participate in the meeting. Any person who will require such an accommodation is requested to notify both the organization and the District administrative office during regular business hours at least seven business days prior to the event.

    III. General Rules and Restrictions

    A. Smoking is not permitted.
    B. Food or uncovered beverages are not allowed. Exceptions will be made for special events or programs sponsored by the District, the Friends of the Library and the White Oak Library District Foundation.
    C. The applicant must be present at all times during the stated reservation period.
    D. The District is not responsible for equipment, supplies, materials or personal possessions owned by those sponsoring or attending a meeting or activity.
    E. Rooms must be left in the condition they were found. The organization or person reserving the meeting room is responsible for any and all damages. Meeting room applications must contain necessary credit card information in the event that billing occurs for cleanup or restoration of the meeting space.
    F. The applicant is solely responsible for the behavior, well-being and safety of any and all of their meeting participants.
    G. Adequate adult supervision of minors is required at all times. One adult per 12 minors is required.
    H. Activities and materials must be contained within the room.
    I. Groups using the facilities must conform to all fire and safety regulations, including maintaining open aisle space and abiding by occupancy limits.
    J. District staff will not be made available to change the room arrangement or to provide support services such as carrying equipment or materials into or around library facilities, operating audio-visual equipment, making photocopies, accepting phone calls or taking messages for the sponsoring organization or its participants.
    K. Any telephones located in the meeting rooms are for District staff and emergency use only. Groups and organizations cannot make or accept phone calls in library meeting rooms with District-owned equipment.
    L. For the safety of all in attendance, the applicant is required to read a statement at the opening of each meeting that identifies the available emergency exit routes and cautions against using the elevator during emergency situations. A copy of the statement and an evacuation map are provided with each reservation

    IV. Prohibited Uses and Activities

    Library meeting rooms cannot be used for the following purposes:

    A. The sale, promotion, endorsement or advertisement, whether directly or indirectly, of a commercial product or service. This includes organizations or businesses that intend to generate future revenue based upon ‘free’ educational programs promoting products or services offered by the sponsoring party.
    B. Learning institutions, instructors or tutors conducting classes or study sessions that involve a fee for participation and groups or individuals promoting future courses or services entailing fees.
    C. Employee recruitment, training or staff meetings.
    D. Gambling activities.
    E. Strictly social functions; defined as an event intended for entertainment through companionship with friends and associates, including, but not limited to, weddings, anniversaries, showers, card parties, birthday parties and social club events.
    F. Benefits for private individuals, organizations and charities.
    G. Legal depositions, proceedings or meetings pertaining to a lawsuit or civil action.
    H. Activities that advocate the election or defeat of a candidate for public office or which advocate affirmative or negative votes concerning any political proposition.

    V. Application Process and Reservations

    A. All those who wish to use the meeting rooms must complete the standard application form which will be attached to the policy statement.
    B. The Director will have complete administrative responsibility for approval of applications and scheduling of reservations.
    1) Meetings should be scheduled as far in advance as possible, however, the District reserves the right to restrict the sign-up calendar until District programs and events have been recorded for the relevant period of time.
    C. Bookings for the period of January 1 through April 30 will be accepted beginning, and no sooner than December 1. Bookings for the period of May 1 through August 31 will be accepted beginning, and no sooner than, April 1. Bookings for the period of September 1 through December 31 will be accepted beginning, and
    no sooner than, August 1.
    D. The Library requires a minimum of two weeks to process an application.
    E. Applications are approved on a first-come, first-served basis within 14 business days of receipt of the completed application.
    F. The applicant must be a member, officer or agent of the sponsoring organization.
    G. Non-residents and organizations not based in White Oak Library District cannot list the address of another party in order to benefit from White Oak Library District residential status.
    H. The District reserves the right to change meeting locations according to its own convenience without prior notice.
    I. The District also reserves the right to determine if a particular request for meeting room use constitutes a monopolization that unfairly restricts use by other organizations. Exceptions may be based upon special circumstances and upon availability of the room.
    J. Applicants must provide two unique contact names and phone numbers that the District can give out to the public for questions and referrals to your organization.
    K. Authorization to use the meeting rooms is not transferable to another organization.
    L. Please notify the District administrative office immediately if a meeting is canceled.
    M. In the event of an emergency closing of the District, all reservations are automatically canceled and any fees paid will be refunded. District staff will attempt to inform the contact person of the closing. Applicants may also check the District website ( or call the relevant library branch to receive announcements regarding an unexpected closing.

    VI. Meeting Room Fees

    A. Use of the community meeting rooms is free of charge for White Oak Library District residents and White Oak Library District-based groups and organizations.
    B. The District will charge non-residents and organizations not based within the White Oak Library District a non-refundable fee for each date that the meeting rooms are booked. The person(s) signing the application is responsible for payment.
    C. Payment of the non-refundable fee is required for confirmation of the reservation. Checks or money orders should be made payable to: White Oak Library District.
    D. The District welcomes and appreciates monetary donations for the use of the meeting rooms.
    E. Fees are non-negotiable.

    VII. Publicity

    A. Individuals and organizations reserving use of District meeting room facilities are responsible for their own publicity.
    B. All advertisements, announcements, press releases, flyers, etc. relating to nonDistrict sponsored meetings must clearly state that the meeting is not sponsored by the White Oak Library District. Copies of the aforementioned material must be sent to the District administrative office for approval at least seven days prior to the meeting.
    C. The location of the relevant library branch should be publicized, but the District’s telephone number may not be used for any purpose.
    D. The District is not to be included as a source for further information about the meeting.
    E. The District will not handle attendee registration.
    F. All promotional materials to be posted or distributed at District facilities must be submitted to the District administrative office for approval.

    VIII. Non-compliance

    The White Oak Library District will discontinue use of the meeting rooms by any group that does not abide by the meeting room policy or which disrupts library operations.

    This policy is not all-inclusive; approval of individual meeting situations not described here will be determined by the Director. Waiver of any prohibitions in this policy may be requested by written application directed to the Library Board of Trustees.

    Approved by the Board of Trustees on June 26, 2012

    Patron Behavior Policy

    In order to maintain a pleasant and safe environment for patrons, the Library shall enforce the patron behavior policy set forth below. Failure to comply with the Library’s patron behavior policies may result in removal from the premises and exclusion from all White Oak Library District property for a period from one day to one year, or arrest and prosecution depending upon the nature of the misconduct.

    Violations may also result in restriction or termination of Library privileges, including use of computers and other Library resources. Before a patron is excluded for misconduct, he or she shall be given an opportunity to discuss the basis for exclusion with the Library Director or the Director’s designee. A patron who is excluded for a period of more than one day may request in writing that the Library Board of Trustees review the decision at the next regularly scheduled monthly Board meeting.

    Library Patrons Shall:

    • Engage in activities associated with the use of a public library.
    • Ensure that children under the age of eight (8) who visit the Library are accompanied at all times by an adult sixteen (16) years of age or older. Any unattended children under the age of eight (8) shall fall under the scope of the District’s “Unattended Child Policy”.
    • Respect the rights of other patrons and staff members.
    • Be respectful of others when using cell phones.  Protracted phone conversations not related to essential work being done in the library should be conducted outside the building.  When not in use, cell phones and other electronic devices should be on silent, vibrate, or off mode, so as to not disturb other patrons.
    • Park bicycles only in the designated bicycle rack during their Library visit.
    • Wear shoes/footwear and clothing that provides appropriate body coverage at all times. Report violations of these rules promptly to a staff member.
    • Comply promptly and courteously with all requests by any Library staff member.
    • In times of pandemic, quarantine, or other health related crisis, patrons must abide by all rules and special instructions set forth by library administration. This may include but is not limited to self-providing and properly wearing masks/face coverings, maintaining library recommended social distancing, washing hands often, and generally being mindful of their own health and the health of others in the library.

    Library Patrons Shall Not:

    • Engage in any illegal activity while in the Library building.
    • Participate in disruptive or offensive behavior such as swearing, use other abusive or threatening language, throw things, run, jump, fight, harass other patrons, or otherwise interfere with other patrons’ use and enjoyment of the Library.
    • Annoy or otherwise harass others through noisy or boisterous activities, such as staring at another person with the intent to annoy that person, playing audio equipment so that others can hear it, singing or talking loudly to others or in monologues, or behaving in a manner which can be reasonably expected to disturb others.
    • Solicit for any cause without written permission from the Library Director.
    • Smoke or otherwise use tobacco products inside Library facilities, or at less than the minimum distance from outside entrances as prescribed by law.
    • Loiter and/or impede access to the Library or any part of the Library property.
    • Bring pets or other animals into the Library, other than service animals needed by people with disabilities or animals permitted by the Library Director for special programming purposes.
    • Use roller skates, roller blades, skateboards or jump ropes on Library property including the Library building, walkways, entryways, parking or landscaped areas.
    • Eat or drink or otherwise consume messy or odiferous foods inside the library.
    • Be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
    • Be in the Library with bodily hygiene so inadequate as to create a nuisance. Patrons whose bodily hygiene is so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to other patrons will be required to leave the Library.
    • Use restrooms to shave, bathe, or launder clothes.
    • Leave personal belongings unattended. Unattended items are subject to immediate confiscation.
    • Move library furnishings, sit on tables, or place feet on furniture.
    • Deface or damage Library resources or property, or remove them from the Library without permission. The term “Library resources” includes books, magazines, newspapers, audio or video recordings or other items in the Library collection. The term “Library property” includes copy machines, computer hardware/software, security equipment, and furnishings.
    • Interfere with Library employees’ performance of their duties.
    • Interfere with use of the Library by other patrons.
    • Leave minor children at the Library after closing time. Any minor children left at the Library after closing time will become the responsibility of the relevant Police Department after notification by Library staff.
    • Sleep in the Library.
    • Bring guns or other weapons into the library or onto District property per State law (except on the person of law enforcement officials).

     Please Also Note:

    • Parents/guardians are responsible for their minor children’s behavior while children are in the library or on any District property.

    Approved by the Board of Trustees on August 23, 2022

    Photography and Filming Policy

    The White Oak Library District (“District”) may accommodate requests for photography or filming provided such photography or filming does not interfere with ordinary District operations or patrons’ rights to privacy.  For purposes of this policy, photography or filming refers to all current and future static, still, or video imaging.  The Board of Trustees may modify, amend or supplement this policy as it deems necessary and appropriate.

    Public Photography and Filming

    • Photography or videography is permitted if it is for general library promotion by the District or media, student projects, first amendment audits, and/or strictly for personal use so long these actions do not violate any other District policies.
    • The use of additional equipment, such as tripods or lighting is not permitted because of safety, liability and other issues, unless previously approved by the library Director.
    • In order to provide all District users with the safest and most pleasant library experience, no commercial photography or filming may occur in District facilities without the prior permission and approval of the library Director, or their designee.  If the photography or filming requires a significant amount of time and/or equipment setup, the library Director should be contacted at least 3 business days prior to photographing or filming so proper accommodations can be made.
    • Under no circumstances may the public or members of the media take photographs, videotape, or live stream without the express permission of any other patrons who would be prominently included within the composition.
    • Photographers / videographers must avoid capturing an identifiable likeness of individuals or their computer screens, books, documents, or other materials, and registration and circulation records, without their consent.
    • If any person to be photographed or videotaped is under 18 years of age, permission must be obtained by the photographer or videographer from a parent or adult guardian on behalf of said minor child.
    • Individuals who photograph or film inside the library must honor requests from any patrons who do not want to be included in photos or film.
    • All photography and recording must be carried out so as not to disturb library users and not block aisles, walkways, stairwells, doors, or exits.
    • Photography and filming is not allowed in non-public areas (such as restrooms or staff only areas) unless consent is given by the library Director to do so.
    • In all instances, the District reserves the right to cease photography or filming if it results in disruption of the ordinary library environment or operations.  The library Director and/or their designee is authorized to act accordingly, including limiting photography or filming by individuals whose activities interfere with the normal library environment or operations, adversely affect public safety, or cause public disturbances.
    • The District accepts no liability for the use of photos or video resulting from this activity. 

    District Photography and Filming

    The staff of the White Oak Library District regularly takes photographs or videos of patrons and staff at District programs, workshops, classes, and in other library spaces. Many of these photos/videos will be used in print and electronic marketing materials.  Others will be posted on the District’s website and on the District’s various social media accounts. Attendance at District programs, events, or library controlled spaces constitutes consent to be photographed or filmed for use in print and/or electronic publicity of the District.  Photos, images and videos submitted by users for galleries or contests may also be used by the District for promotional purposes.  To ensure the privacy of individuals and children, images will not be identified using full name without written approval from the parent or guardian.  If a patron does not want the District to use a photo or video of them or of their child, they must inform the library staff member who is coordinating the event.  This policy extends to photographing and filming by District staff at Friends of the Library events, Library Foundation events, and at any of the District’s outreach efforts in the community, including at public events.

    Failure to Comply

    Those not following this policy may be asked to put away their equipment or leave the library.

    Damages and Liability

    Any individual or group visiting the library shall be held responsible for willful or accidental damage to any District building, grounds, collections, or furniture caused by the individual or group.

    Appeal and Review

    The Board of Trustees of the White Oak Library District will review the Photography and Filming Policy and other regulations periodically, and reserves the right to amend them at any time. The Board authorizes the library Director to waive regulations under appropriate circumstances. The library Director is the chief person empowered to make decisions regarding photography and filming within District facilities. Any appeals for changes to, or exceptions to, any portion of the Photography and Filming Policy will be considered. An individual wishing to file an appeal shall submit it to the library Director in writing. The library Director will respond in writing via mail or email.

    Open Meetings Act Exception

    Notwithstanding any other section of this policy to the contrary, any person may record the proceedings at any District meeting which is required to be open under the Illinois Open Meetings Act.  Said recording may be done via tape, film, or other means provided, however:

    • Recording shall not interfere with the overall decorum and proceedings of the meeting (i.e., the machine and/or operator must be quiet and unobtrusive);
    • The machine and/or operator shall not interfere with the auditory rights of the other citizens;
    • The District will make reasonable accommodations for those wishing to record the meeting and request they stay in the area designated for the public.
    • No recording or filming will be allowed as set forth under 735 ILCS 5/8-701. That statute provides that “no witness shall be compelled to testify in any proceeding conducted by a court, commission, administrative agency or other tribunal in this State if any portion of his or her testimony is to be broadcast or televised or if motion pictures are to be taken of him or her while he or she is testifying.”  In this regard, Section 2.05 of the Open Meetings Act provides that, “[i]f a witness at any meeting required to be open by this Act which is conducted by a commission, administrative agency, or other tribunal refuses to testify on the grounds that he may not be compelled to testify if any portion of his testimony is to be broadcast or televised or if motion pictures are to be taken of him while he is testifying, refuses to testify, the authority holding the meetings shall prohibit such recording during the testimony of the witness.” (5 ILCS 120/2.05)

    Approved by the Board of Trustees on August 23, 2022

    Public Comment Policy

    The White Oak Library District Board of Trustees welcomes public participation and will hear any
    interested individual pursuant to the guidelines outlined in this policy.  At each regular monthly
    meeting, a period of time not to exceed 30 minutes will be devoted to Library related concerns
    presented by the public.  An individual may address the Library Board only during this portion of the
    regular monthly meeting.  Before appearing before the Board, the members of the public are urged to
    seek solutions to their concerns through administrative channels. 

    The following rules shall govern speakers who address the Board:

    • Members of the public wishing to speak are asked to call the Library Director before 4:30
      p.m. on the day of the meeting and provide their name and the topic on which they wish to speak.  If applicable, the individual will provide the organization or association with which they are affiliated.
    • All public comments must be given in person. No telephone, video conferencing or other
      electronic means will be accommodated.
    • Members of the public will not be allowed to discuss individual personnel issues or
      confidential patron matters, and the speakers’ concerns or comments should be limited to
      Library policies or operations.
    • No public comments shall be heard on behalf of or opposed to a candidate for public office or on any matter that may be subject to discussion by the Board of Library Trustees in closed/executive session in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.
    • Speakers must sign in at the beginning of the meeting and identify themselves by full name and are requested to provide their current address, including city.
    • District residents will be given priority to speak.
    • Speakers must identify themselves and their topic before speaking.
    • The Board may deny public comment by speaker(s) who have voiced the same concerns
      publicly at previous meetings.
    • Speakers may provide written copies of their concern to the Board.
    • Groups are asked to designate a single spokesperson.
    • The time allowed for each person to speak will be five (5) minutes.  Speakers are asked to strictly adhere to time allocated.
    • Any person may record the proceedings at meetings required to be open by tape, film, or
      other means, provided, however,
      1. taping shall not interfere with the overall decorum and proceedings of the meeting (i.e., the machine and/or operator must be quiet and unobtrusive);
      2. the machine and/or operator shall not interfere with the auditory rights of the other citizens;
      3. no electricity of the Library shall be used; and 
      4. no taping or filming will be allowed as set forth under 735 ILCS 5/8-701.  That statute provides that “no witness shall be compelled to testify in any proceeding conducted by a court, commission, administrative agency or other tribunal in this State if any portion of his or her testimony is to be broadcast or televised or if motion pictures are to be taken of him or her while he or she is testifying.”  In this regard, Section 2.05 of the Open Meetings Act provides that, “[i]f a witness at any meeting required to be open by this Act
        which is conducted by a commission, administrative agency or other tribunal refuses to testify on the grounds that he may not be compelled to testify if any portion of his testimony is to be broadcast or televised or if motion pictures are to be taken of him while he is testifying, refuses to testify, the authority holding the meetings shall prohibit such recording during the testimony of the witness. (5 ILCS 120/2.05)
    • The Library will make reasonable accommodations for those wishing to record the meeting and request they stay in the area designated for the public.
    • Board members may, but will generally not, respond to comments from speakers.  The Board President or other presiding officer may respond as appropriate and, for example, direct speakers to the appropriate staff member for assistance.  Issues requiring possible action by the Board may be added to a future agenda.  Issues that can be addressed by the administration will be duly noted.
    • Abusive, profane, harassing and/or repetitive comments and language and/or personal attacks will not be permitted and shall promptly be ruled out of order by the President or other presiding officer.
    • Individuals addressing the Board must at all times adhere to the Library policies and other rules as may be necessary for the efficient and orderly conduct of the meeting.
    • The thirty-minute time limit and/or five minute maximum per speaker may be extended upon a majority vote of the Board.

    The Board vests in the Board President or presiding officer the authority to terminate the remarks of speakers who fail to adhere to the above rules. 

    All public comment shall be addressed to the Board as a whole and no comments shall be addressed to individual members of the Board, Library staff or other members of the public.

    There shall be no debate on any matters raised during public comment. The Board may, however, refer any matter of public comment to the Library Director, Library staff, or an appropriate agency for review, or may place the matter on a subsequent agenda for discussion. 

    No final action will be taken on any public comment or concern which requires a resolution, or written contract, or which has the effect of approving any expenditure of funds unless a majority of the Library Trustees in attendance determines the matter requires immediate action.  The Board may, however, direct that any matter raised on these subjects be set for a future agenda, including the preparation of resolutions or other documents for consideration at such time.

    Approved by the Board of Trustees on December 15, 2015

    Records Confidentiality and Disclosure Policy and Procedures

    A.    CODE OF ETHICS (Policy 2.006)

    The White Oak Library District endorses the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics and abides by its principles in providing service to the general public and administering the Library.

    American Library Association Code of Ethics, Adopted by ALA Council, June 28, 1995:

    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.

    I.    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.

    II.    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.

    IV.    We recognize and respect intellectual property rights.

    V.    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.

    VI.    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.


    As a public library, the White Oak Library District is a government institution bound by the United States Constitution.  The District’s confidentiality policies aim to uphold the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly and association, and the constitutional right to privacy, protecting library patrons from government intrusion or dissemination of personal information in which they have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

    The District recognizes its responsibility to protect its patrons’ intellectual freedoms by maintaining the confidentiality of all records and information concerning each patron and his or her use of library materials, facilities and services. The Illinois Library Records Confidentiality Act confirms this duty with respect to District registration and circulation records.

    All patron-identifiable information is strictly confidential.  This includes all records, files, computers and electronic media that might contain such information.

    Patron-identifiable information refers to a wide range of information kept by the Library, but most importantly includes any information that links a patron to use of particular Library materials or services, or the patron’s choices, taste, interest, or research. More broadly, patron-identifiable information is any information which:

    (a)    Refers to a patron by any identifiable characteristic (e.g., by name, address, telephone or other contact numbers, email address, identifying numbers such as patron number, license number or social security number, or by employment information); or

    (b)    Provides, or could be used to determine, any information about a patron’s library use. This means all types of registration and circulation records and anything that contains registration and circulation records, including computers, computer components, disks and other electronic storage media, email, temporary internet files stored in a computer, computer sign-up sheets or other facility-use logs, inter-library loan requests and records, patron requests to reserve, recall or obtain certain materials, reference librarian notes pertaining to patron requests or assistance, and correspondence with patrons; even records which do not include a patron’s name, but refer to some other identifiable characteristic, such as the patron’s library card number, are patron-identifiable.

    Patron-identifiable information does not include statistical records relating to use of the library or its materials and services that cannot be used to identify particular patrons or information concerning behavioral issues.

    Any staff member, who is unsure whether certain information is patron-identifiable, or whether a certain record or thing could contain patron-identifiable information, should contact the Director or Designated Staff Member.
    Confidentiality of patron-identifiable information is protected by the following policies:

    1.    Staff Members.

    Staff will under no circumstances disclose any patron-identifiable information about any patron to the public, the press, or to any government agency, or even to the patron’s own family members.  Staff should not permit anyone access to, or a view of, any non-public computers, files, or records which might contain patron-identifiable information.  Staff may disclose patron- identifiable information only under the following circumstances:

    (1)    A patron may have access to any records the District holds about him or her, if the patron presents his or her library card.

    (2)    If the patron is a minor, the minor’s parent or legal guardian may have access to any records the District holds about the minor, if the minor’s library card is presented.

    (3)    A caller who provides the name and correlating library card number of a library patron can receive only the following information:

    • The number of items on loan;

    • The title or subject of a requested item when it becomes available for pick-up; and

    • Outstanding charges on the record.

    (4)    To provide the following information to law enforcement officers:

    (a)    the name and description, if personally known to the staff member, of any person who has committed, is committing, or threatens to commit a crime affecting District staff or members of the Board of Library Trustees, patrons or users, or District property; and

    (b)    to the extent the staff member is a witness to such a crime, any other information relevant to the crime that is personally known by the staff member.

    The Director should be contacted immediately if a staff member:

    • Is approached with or learns of any subpoena, court order, warrant or other legal process directed to the District or relating to District property;
    • Learns that certain patron-identifiable information may pertain to a crime (e.g., finding child pornography on a computer); or
    • Believes any patron-identifiable information has been improperly disclosed or may be at risk of being improperly disclosed; or
    • Has any questions about the confidentiality policy.

    2.    The Director or Designated Staff Member
    Only the Director or Designated Staff Member(s) are authorized to disclose any patron- identifiable information under circumstances other than those listed above.
    The District will generally refuse to disclose any patron-identifiable information unless required to do so by a subpoena, court order, warrant or other process appropriate under the circumstances which is properly issued and authorized by federal, state or local law relating to civil, criminal or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigatory power.  Any costs incurred by the District due to compliance with any such subpoena, court order, warrant or other process will be charged to the agency seeking it.

    There are several limited exceptions which permit or even require the District to voluntarily disclose certain electronic communications under the Federal Electronic Communication Privacy Act.

    This law permits the District in certain circumstances to disclose the contents of certain electronic communications, such as email, temporary Internet files, and other content transmitted, received, viewed, downloaded or printed on a library computer. The Director or Designated Staff Member(s) may divulge the contents of an electronic communication:

    (1)    To an addressee or intended recipient of the communication;

    (2)    In any way consistent with the consent of the originator or an addressee or intended recipient of the communication; or

    (3)    To a law enforcement agency:
    i.    if the contents were inadvertently obtained by the District and appear to pertain to the commission of a crime; or
    ii.    if the District reasonably believes that an emergency involving immediate danger of death or serious physical injury to any person requires disclosure of the information without delay.

    Federal law requires the District to report possible violations of child pornography laws to the Cyber Tip Line at National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (

    Reports received by the Cyber Tip Line are forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. The District’s attorney(s) may be consulted if there is any doubt whether certain material is child pornography or whether a certain act is a violation of child pornography laws. The District is protected from liability for good faith disclosure to the Cyber Tip Line.

    If law enforcement asks the District to retain certain electronic communications in storage (such as on a computer hard drive, disk or other storage medium), it must preserve such communications for at least 90 days following the request, and for an additional 90 days if the request is renewed.  However, the District will require the appropriate legal process before providing access to the preserved communications.
    D.    RECORD KEEPING POLICY (Policy 4.003)

    1.    Introduction

    Privacy of personal information is an increasing concern of many Americans.  Personal information about individuals has become a commodity, bought and sold by marketing concerns, as well as a tool of criminals who steal the identities of unwitting victims. Courts have found that certain law enforcement agencies have abused their powers to obtain personal information beyond their authority.

    In an effort to minimize unreasonable intrusions and investigation of library patrons, and in light of the District’s interest in preserving intellectual freedom and preventing self-censorship by patrons who fear that their interests may be misinterpreted or exploited, the District has adopted the following policy to reduce patron-identifiable information which may be obtained improperly and misused.

    2.    Record Keeping

    (a)    The District maintains records in compliance with the laws of the State of Illinois.

    (b)    The District will make all practicable efforts to retain records containing patron- identifiable information only to the extent necessary to preserve library or public property or to fulfill another core District function.

    (c)    To the extent that such records are necessary, the District will strive to make them non-patron-identifiable or minimally patron-identifiable.

    (d)    All patron identifiable information, holdings, holds placed, and other records are contained in the shared library catalog/database.

    3.    Staff Responsibilities

    (a)    All staff members should review their own and their department’s record keeping procedures to make them conform faithfully to this policy.

    (b)    Any staff member who has any questions about this record keeping policy, or believes any patron-identifiable information or record can be made to conform more faithfully to this policy, should contact the Director.

    Appendix A

    Patriot Act

    USA Patriot ACT ("Patriot Act") passed by Congress in October, 2001 provides Federal law enforcement agencies additional investigation tools for cases involving foreign intelligence and terrorism.  The Patriot Act, which amends multiple Federal Statutes, is focused on the ability of Law Enforcement Officials to access records during an investigation.

    Under the Patriot Act increased visits to Public Libraries by Law Enforcement Officials have been reported.  Concerns have been expressed about how to comply with the Patriot Act and still maintain confidentiality of library records. This Memorandum is provided to assist in your development of a policy pertaining to requests for library records under the Patriot Act.
    Appendix B


    The Patriot Act as a federal law, and any other Federal legal request for information supercedes the state Illinois Library Confidentiality Act which states:

    The registration and circulation records of a library are confidential information. Except pursuant to a court order, no person shall publish or make any information contained in such records available to the public [75 ILCS 70/I (a)}.

    Because the legal request for information under the Patriot Act (and any other federal search warrant or subpoena) are FEDERAL requests they supercede any state or local law (including the Library Records Confidentiality Act). A Court Order or Search Warrant is necessary under either Act for access to or release of records. Please note that the Patriot Act requires confidentiality about the issuance of a Search Warrant/Court Order and its execution.  The fact that library personnel are served with a Search Warrant/Court Order should not be disclosed to anyone, especially the patron whose records are the subject of the Search Warrant/Court Order.

    Appendix C


    There are differences between a Search Warrant and a Subpoena. The time frame for compliance is a key difference.  Libraries may have had experience responding to Subpoenas seeking information unrelated to registration or circulation records (e.g., Subpoena for garnishment of an employee's wages).  Few libraries have been the subject of a Search Warrant. With a Subpoena (with the exception of a FEDERAL subpoena or a FEDERAL request for information under the Patriot Act), a library has time to comply. With a Search Warrant, compliance can be immediate.

    Subpoena: A Subpoena is a document that requires someone to give testimony and/or produce documents pertinent to a pending case.  Typically, a Subpoena is issues by one of the parties in the case. A Subpoena specifies an appearance in Court or production of documents at a designated time and location.  As an example, a Subpoena may be issued to someone who witnessed a traffic accident requiring the witness to appear in Court to testify.

    The time period between the date a Subpoena is served and the date of compliance affords time to discuss with the Library's Attorney procedures for Subpoena compliance. The scope of the Subpoena, especially a Subpoena for production of records/documents, can be assessed.  A Court Order can be obtained, if necessary, to protect both the Library and a patron as to issues of confidentiality.

    Federal Subpoena or Federal Request for Information under the Patriot Act: While in many way similar to a state or local subpoena, the Federal legal requests often require immediate compliance.

    Search Warrant:  A Search Warrant is a Court Order issued by a Judge or Magistrate directed to a Law Enforcement Officer (e.g., FBI, Police) Authorizing the search and seizure of property described in the Search Warrant. Unlike a Subpoena, a Search Warrant may be "executed" immediately and may not allow time to evaluate the legality of the Search Warrant's issuance or assess the scope of the Search Warrant.  The Officer may begin to search and seize evidence as soon as the Search Warrant is executed, i.e., when the Search Warrant is personally delivered to District Staff.

    Registered Sex Offender Policy

    The Board of Trustees, Administration, and Staff of the White Oak Library District acknowledge that registered sex offenders live within the communities that we serve.

    Public libraries are recognized as a community gathering place and a primary point for information of all kinds to be disseminated to the public.  The White Oak Library District acknowledges that the right to some level of access to a public library is constitutionally protected under the First Amendment right to receive information.  To that end, all individuals are welcome in our libraries, provided that in so doing they do not violate the law or any library policies/procedures.

    Like many other states, the State of Illinois enacted the “Sex Offender Registration Act” (730 ILCS 150/1, et seq.) which requires all persons adjudicated sexually dangerous who are later released, or found to be no longer sexually dangerous and discharged, to register with proper local law enforcement authorities so that their whereabouts are known by these authorities. The “Sex Offender Registration Act” also prohibits child sex offenders from residing within 500 feet of a school, park, playground or other facility providing services exclusively to persons under the age of 18.  As public libraries do not provide services exclusively to persons under the age of 18, registered sex offenders in Illinois can live within 500 feet of a public library.

    Areas of Access Within White Oak Library District Facilities

    Whenever a registered sex offender wishes to enter a White Oak Library District facility, they need to be aware of the following limitations with regard to where they can go and what they can take part in while on library property.

    Registered sex offenders may not:

    • Loiter or linger outdoors on library property.
    • Loiter or linger in stairways or elevators or any other common areas of the library.
    • Be present in any areas of a library facility that are primarily for the use of minors, including but not limited to the Children’s Department as a whole, any story time room or room being used for children’s programming, restrooms constructed near the Children’s Department and primarily intended for use by children, and the Teen Room.
    • Attend library programming whose audience can be reasonably expected to contain minors.

    Registered sex offenders may:

    • Visit library collection areas intended for adults.
    • Use a public computer – however, registered sex offenders will not be allowed to utilize the Internet stations located in the adult areas of our libraries as these same computers are also intended for use by teen-aged minors. Rather, registered sex offenders will be allowed to use the 15 minute convenience workstation that the district maintains near the entrance of each facility, as availability permits.
    • Request and receive quality adult reference service, place holds on library materials, check out materials with a library card in good standing, and otherwise receive access to library information.
    • Attend library programming intended exclusively for adults.
    • If they are the parent or legal guardian of a minor child (with proper paperwork documenting this), a registered sex offender may accompany that child into areas of a library facility that are primarily for the use of minors, into programs intended for minors, etc. so long as abuse is not suspected and the minor remains with the registered sex offender the entire time. 

    Expectations Of White Oak Library District Staff

    With regard to staff knowledge of use of public library facilities by registered sex offenders, staff are not expected to regularly review the registered sex offender database. However, library staff may know that an individual is a registered sex offender because the individual has self-identified, law enforcement has provided identification or staff may have independent personal knowledge.  In such cases, the librarian in charge should be notified and should advise the sex offender of the Registered Sex Offender Policy.

    If another patron advises staff that a registered sex offender is on the premises, the patron will be allowed to point out the individual and, if possible, provide the name of the alleged sex offender.  The librarian in charge will then be notified and review the sex offender database to confirm whether the individual is a registered sex offender.  If the individual is a registered sex offender, the librarian in charge will advise the sex offender of the Registered Sex Offender Policy.  If the name of the purported sex offender cannot be obtained or the fact that the individual is a registered sex offender cannot be confirmed, the individual will not be approached and the governance of the Registered Sex Offender Policy will suffice.

    Approved by the Board of Trustees, February 26, 2013

    Unattended Child Policy

    The White Oak Library District is not responsible for unattended children in the library or on library premises. While the Library encourages children of all ages to use the Library, it does not provide childcare nor assume any parental responsibilities for children while they are in the Library. Therefore, the Library does not act in loco parentis. Parents, guardians, and caregivers are solely responsible for monitoring their children's safety, activities, and behavior while visiting the Library. 

    The Library staff will not take responsibility for the care of any age child; however, children aged 8 and older may use library facilities without the direct supervision of a parent or guardian so long as they behave in accordance with all library policies. Conversely, leaving a child less than eight years of age, unattended in the Library is a violation of this policy, and said child may be deemed to be at risk. In such situations, Library staff may contact local law enforcement and/or child protective authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of the child.

    Approved by the Board of Trustees, April 24, 2007