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Library Policies

Santa Rosa County Library System

Library Policies

Mission Statement

Santa Rosa County Library System's mission is to be a gateway to the heritage of the past and to the promise of the future, offering opportunities for enrichment and discovery through broad resources, knowledgeable staff, courteous service, and comfortable, friendly, and safe library environments. Library policies established towards this mission include: borrowing library materials, confidentiality and privacy, copyright, collection development, donations, electronic resources, Internet use and public computers, and facilities.

1. Borrowing Library Materials

Library patrons with valid Santa Rosa County library cards:
  • May borrow materials owned by the library system and housed in each library.
  • May use one card to borrow materials at any Santa Rosa County Library.
  • May obtain a library card at any Santa Rosa County Library.
  • May designate another person to use their library card and check out library materials for them only if the library card owner has challenges that restrict personal visits to the library.
    • An Alternate Library Card User application must be completed and signed by the library card owner and returned to the Library Manager for approval.
  • Are solely responsible for materials that are checked out on their library card.
  • Parents/Guardians are responsible for library materials that are checked out by minor children.
  • Are responsible for returning items by the due date and will be charged for materials that are not returned.
  • Will be charged if items are returned with damages or with missing components.
A. Library Cards are required to:
  • Borrow library materials.
  • Reserve public computers.
    • Persons without Santa Rosa County resident library cards may be issued a guest pass for one-time computer use.
  • Access licensed electronic resources provided by the library.
B. All applicants must comply with the following:
  • Adult applicants (18 yrs. or older) must present photo ID.
  • Adult applicants must present two pieces of address verification.
    • Exception: Military must present one piece of address verification.
    • Address verification documents include a valid Florida driver license, voter registration card, utility statement, bank statement, or current mail (in the applicant’s name) received at the applicant’s address. Advertisement flyers, circulars, and other “junk mail” are not accepted as proof of residency.
  • Library cards will only be issued to the person who is filling out the application - not to other adult household members.
  • Parents/guardians may apply for their minor children provided the children are present when the application is being completed.
  • All applicants under the age of 18 must have a parent/guardian present when applying for a library card. A parent/guardian signature and verifying documentation are required.
C. Library cards will be issued at no charge to:
  • Santa Rosa County Residents
    • Two pieces of SRC residency verification are required.
  • Active Duty Military
    • Includes family members who reside at same address
    • Military ID must be presented.
    • One piece of SRC residency verification is required.
  • Pensacola Beach Residents:
    • Includes PB property owners who can verify property ownership
    • Two pieces of Pensacola Beach residency verification are required.
    • Library cards are valid for one year.
    • Library cards may be renewed annually if all accounts at the address are clear.
  • Temporary Residents:
    • Must verify intent to reside in Santa Rosa County for at least three months.
    • Must provide verification of temporary SRC residence, permanent residence, and length of stay.
    • Are issued temporary cards that are valid for six months and may be renewed once, provided all library materials have been returned and no fees are owed.
    • Who return annually and are in good standing may reactivate existing cards with verifying documentation.
  • Non-Santa Rosa County Residents (Property Owners)
    • Persons who pay property taxes in Santa Rosa county and can verify property ownership - SRC Property Appraiser website or a current property tax statement or receipt. Library cards are valid for one year only and may be reactivated (for one year) provided all accounts at the address are clear and proof of continued ownership of property in Santa Rosa County is found on the Santa Rosa county Property Appraiser's website.
  • All other Non-Santa Rosa County residents are charged an annual $50.00 fee.
D. Borrower Registration Records:
  • Library card information that is collected by the library and entered into the borrower's record includes name, primary and alternate addresses, phone numbers, and email address.
  • Minors' (under age 18) date of birth and parent/guardian name, address, and email address are entered in youth accounts.
  • Replacement library cards are issued once the patron has shown proof of current residency and paid a $3.00 replacement fee.
E. Loan Policies
  • Library patrons are categorized as Adult (18 and over), Teen (13-17), Tween (10-12), and Juvenile (9 and under).
  • A total of 15 items may be checked out at a time across all collections with the following exceptions:
    • Pensacola Beach Residents: 10 items
    • Temporary Residents: 5 items
  • A total of 10 holds are allowed at a time across all collections with the following exception:
    • Temporary Residents: 5 holds at a time
  • All library material may be renewed unless a “hold request” has been placed on the item.
  • There are no fees if items are returned within one year of checkout in good condition.
  • Replacement fees are added if items are not returned within one year of being billed, or if they are returned damaged or with missing components.
  • Juvenile borrowers may check out any materials in all youth collections as well as adult non-fiction books.
  • We do not offer eBooks for juvenile cardholders via AXIS360.  Juvenile cardholders may access eBooks via Tumblebooks.
  • Adult, Teen, and Tween patrons may check out items from all collections.
  • Loan periods for library materials vary.
  • Checkout and Hold Limits
    Material/Collection Checkouts Permitted At One Time Holds Permitted At One Time Length of Hold Loan Period Renewals(if no holds)
    New Books 5 5 7 business days 21 days 2
    eBooks 2 2 7 calendar days 14 days 1
    Audiobooks 5 Adult
    5 Youth
    5 Adult
    5 Youth
    7 business days 21 days 2
    eAudiobooks 10 n/a n/a 21 days 3
    Videos 5 Adult
    5 Youth
    5 Adult
    5 Youth
    7 business days 7 days 2
    Music CD's 5 Adult
    5 Youth
    5 Adult
    5 Youth
    7 business days 21 days 2
    Reference 0 n/a n/a n/a n/a

F. Requests and Holds
  • May be placed within the loan policies stated.
  • The requestor will be notified by e-mail, phone, or text message when the material is available to be picked up.
  • Materials held for a patron can only be checked out on the card of the patron on the hold record.
G. Return of Library Materials
  • Library materials are the property of Santa Rosa County.
  • The patron is responsible for the return of material by the due date.
  • A date due slip is provided as a courtesy.
  • Materials may be returned to any Santa Rosa County library.
H. Past Due Materials
  • Patrons will receive a courtesy notice by e-mail or phone when materials are past due.
  • Patrons will be charged for replacement cost of materials that are not returned, including the cost of the materials plus all associated steps in replacement.
I. Blocks from Library Services
  • An individual's account is blocked from checkout and public computer use when an item is 10 days past due.
  • All accounts at an address are blocked from checkout and public computer use when:
    • Anyone at that address receives a bill at 30 days past due.
    • Charges have been added to the patron's account for unreturned or damaged materials.
J. Charges for Long Overdue, Reported Lost and Damaged Library Materials
  • Patrons will receive an invoice for non-refundable replacement costs when:
    • Library materials are 30 days overdue.
    • Patrons report lost library material.
    • Library materials are returned with damages or missing components.
  • If materials are not returned or payment is not received within one year of an invoice, charges must be paid to have the account cleared and all accounts at the address unblocked.
K. Replacement Charges
  • A flat fee is charged per item. This fee includes not only the actual cost of the item but also all steps involved in de-processing and replacing the item including labor and time involved in:
    • Searching for and selecting a replacement
    • Communicating with suppliers
    • Pulling a requisition
    • Placing an order
    • Unpacking
    • Cataloging, labeling, and processing
    • Inventory and delivery


Replacement Costs
Audiobooks/Playaways $50.00
Adult/Teen/Tween Hardbacks $25.00
Adult Non-fiction $25.00
Kits $15.00
Blu-ray $15.00
Juvenile/Easy Hardbacks $10.00
Trade Paperbacks $10.00
DVD/VHS/Music $10.00
Mass Market Paperbacks $5.00
L. Payments
  • Payments are not accepted at library service desks.
  • Checks and money orders must be mailed to the address on the invoice.
  • Credit card payments will be accepted according to invoice instructions.
  • All payments are non-refundable even if library material is later returned.

2. Confidentiality and Privacy of Library Use and Records

Confidentiality is the protection of a user's personally identifiable information and includes, but is not limited to, information that is sought or received, resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted online and networked searches, reference interviews, circulation records, and other uses of library materials, facilities, or services. Patron privacy includes the right to open inquiry without interference. The library takes reasonable steps to ensure data protection of personally identifiable information.

3. Copyright Law Compliance

The Santa Rosa County Library System complies with U.S. Copyright Law, Section 107, the Fair Use Doctrine that governs the making of reproductions of copyrighted material.

107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair Use: The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies...for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. If a user exceeds provisions of fair use, that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

4. Collection Development

The purpose of the Library Collection Development Policy is to guide the selection of library materials, which are purchased or received by gift or donation. The library will strive to acquire and provide materials to inform, educate, entertain, and enrich citizens of Santa Rosa County. The library collection should offer opportunities and encouragement to pursue lifelong education and enjoyment through books and other materials, examine all sides of issues, keep abreast of new ideas, become informed citizens, improve occupational performance, and discover and develop creative abilities. The Santa Rosa County Library System Director is responsible for selection and management of the library collection within the framework of collection guidelines based on impartial and judicious selection practices, not personal opinion, prejudice, or censorship. A reconsideration of materials request may be obtained from library administration.

5. Library Donations

  • Donations are accepted at all Santa Rosa County libraries.
  • Donated items are evaluated for acceptance under standard library system collection development guidelines.
  • Materials donated to and accepted by the library system become the exclusive property of the library system.
  • Not all materials donated to the library system will be added to the library's collection.
  • Library managers will evaluate materials to see if they meet the needs and criteria for addition to the library collection.
  • Library materials may not always be placed inside the library to which the materials were donated.
  • Donations that are not placed in the library collection will either be given to the Friends of the Library groups or used for the library system's outreach program.
  • Acceptable donations include the following items in good condition:
    • DVDs, Blu-rays, audiobooks on CD, Playaways, classic literature, fiction books, non-fiction books published within the last two years.
  • Unacceptable donations include:
    • Items in poor condition that are soiled, mildewed, moldy, water damaged; outdated non-fiction, encyclopedia sets, Readers Digest Condensed books, textbooks, computer software, VHS, cassettes, and homemade copies of any type of media.
  • A brochure that includes criteria for suitable donations is available at each library.

6. Electronic Resources, Internet Use, and Public Computers

The Santa Rosa County Library System provides free use of public computers and access to the Internet, but does not endorse content of Internet resources. Use of computer equipment or access to electronic information is not denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views or hampered because of personal limitations. The Santa Rosa County Library System provides free and equitable use of public computers for access to:
  • Library supplied electronic resources.
  • Internet resources:
    • The Internet is an uncontrolled medium with resources that may not be accurate, current, complete, or legal.
    • Each individual is required to be responsible for his/her use of Internet resources.
    • Parents are responsible for their children's access to and use of Internet resources.
  • Computer software for documents, spreadsheets, brochures, or presentation documents.
A. Compliance with Library Policies and Law
All library users must comply with library policies and with federal, state, and county laws that address privacy, copyright, obscenity, child pornography, computer hacking, unauthorized access, or damage to computers or networks.
  • Obscenity and child pornography are illegal and definitions are proscribed in federal and state law.
  • Community standards prohibit viewing or displaying materials that may be considered harmful to minors.
  • Violations will be reported to law enforcement and computer privileges may be suspended.
B. Use as Intended
  • Library patrons must use library computer equipment and software as it is installed and may not copy, delete or modify it in any way.
  • No software may be downloaded to any library computer.
C. Damages to User Data
The library is not responsible for damages, direct or indirect, arising from use of its public computer workstations for downloading data that may contain computer viruses or other harmful content.
D. Public Computer Use
  • Santa Rosa County residents with non-blocked library cards may use library public computers for two sessions each day.
  • Computer sessions are one hour in length.
  • Computer reservations are required.
  • Non-Santa Rosa County residents may obtain a “guest pass” to use a public computer for two sessions each day.
  • Library staff will assist patrons with using computer hardware and software to the best of their ability and within time constraints required to assist all patrons.
  • Personal work may not be saved to computer hard drives.
  • Personal storage media may be used to access and store documents on most computers in compliance with U.S. Copyright Law and within constraints of current technology.
  • The library cannot provide extra system features, software, or electrical outlets.
  • Printing is available for the posted fee and must comply with U.S. Copyright Law.
  • The library is not responsible for any unsaved work, damage, or loss of data.
  • Library policies regarding expected behavior, public computer use, and Internet use must be followed when using library computers.
  • Space constraints will not accommodate the use of a public computer by more than two patrons at a time.
E. Wireless Network Access
  • The library system provides wireless access for personal device use at each library location.
  • The library system makes no guarantee that access can be gained by every personal laptop computer.
  • The library cannot guarantee availability of electrical outlets for every laptop user.
  • The library is not responsible for any damage to personal computer components, hardware, or software that may be caused when used or left in the library.
F. Internet Safety Policy
It is the policy of the Santa Rosa County Library System to: (a) prevent user access over its computer network to, or transmission of, inappropriate material via the Internet, electronic mail, or other forms of direct electronic communications; (b) prevent unauthorized access and other unlawful online activity; (c) prevent unauthorized online disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal identification information of minors; and (d) comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act [Pub. L. No. 106-554 and 47 USC 254(h)].
Key terms are as defined in the Children's Internet Protection Act.*
Access to Inappropriate Material
To the extent practical, technology protection measures (or "Internet filters") shall be used to block or filter Internet, or other forms of electronic communications, and access to inappropriate information.
Specifically, as required by the Children's Internet Protection Act, blocking shall be applied to visual depictions of material deemed obscene, child pornography, or to any material deemed harmful to minors.
Subject to staff supervision, technology protection measures may be disabled for adults or, in the case of minors, minimized only for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.
Inappropriate Network Usage
To the extent practical, steps shall be taken to promote the safety and security of users of the SRCLS online computer network when using electronic mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, and other forms of direct electronic communications.
Specifically, as required by the Children's Internet Protection Act, prevention of inappropriate network usage includes: (a) unauthorized access, including so-called 'hacking,' and other unlawful activities; and (b) unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of a minor's personal identification information.
Supervision, Monitoring, and Education
As with all library resources, SRCLS affirms the right and responsibility of parents/legal guardians (not SRCLS staff) to educate, supervise, and monitor appropriate usage of the online computer network and access to the Internet by their minor children.
Procedures for the disabling or otherwise modifying any technology protection measures shall be the responsibility of the Library Director or designated representative(s).
The SRCLS will maintain an Internet Safety Program designed to promote the SRCLS commitment to:
  1. The standards and acceptable use of Internet services as set forth in the SRCLS Internet Safety Policy;
  2. Child safety with regard to:
    1. safety on the Internet;
    2. appropriate behavior while on online, on social networking websites, and in chat rooms
    3. cyberbullying awareness and response.
  3. Compliance with the E-rate requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act ("CIPA").
  4. The SRCLS Internet Safety Program will include:
    1. informing the public about good Internet safety practices by providing posters, bookmarks, and flyers with Internet Safety guidance.
    2. connecting kids and parents/caregivers with good Internet safety practices by providing links to Internet safety resources from the library's website.
    3. placing NetSmartz or similar training software on library public access computers and encouraging its use.
    4. providing periodic Internet safety workshops or presentations by local law enforcement or other informed individuals for parents, caregivers, children, and teens or providing links to comparable safety workshops or presentations.
    5. training staff to inform the public about Internet safety and assist kids with NetSmartz or similar software.
    6. partnering with schools, law enforcement, and the business community to promote Internet Safety.

This Internet Safety Policy was adopted by the Board of Santa Rosa County Library System at a public meeting, following normal public notice, on June 28, 2012.

* Some key terms defined in the Children’s Internet Protection Act.*

MINOR. The term "minor" means any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years.
TECHNOLOGY PROTECTION MEASURE. The term "technology protection measure" means a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access to visual depictions that are:

  1. OBSCENE, as that term is defined in section 1460 of title 18, United States Code;
  2. CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, as that term is defined in section 2256 of title 18, United States Code; or
  3. Harmful to minors.
HARMFUL TO MINORS. The term "harmful to minors" means any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that:
  1. Taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion;
  2. Depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act* or sexual contact,* actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; and
  3. Taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors.
SEXUAL ACT; SEXUAL CONTACT. The terms "sexual act" and "sexual contact" have the meanings given such terms in section 2246 of title 18, United States Code.

7. Facilities

A. Library Facilities
  • The library system is not responsible for personal belongings brought into or left in the library or on library property.
  • The library is not obligated to provide electrical connections or other resources for personal devices.
  • Library workrooms, storage areas, and other non-public areas are restricted from public access.
B. Animals on Library Property
Animals are not allowed inside county library buildings with the following exceptions:
  • Service Animals: In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), persons with a disability are allowed to bring their service animals into the library and must care for and supervise them.
    • Service animals are defined as dogs only.
    • In accordance with ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered unless the disability prevents use of these devices.
    • If a service animal is aggressive or unruly with library visitors or staff, the owner will be asked to remove the animal from the building.
  • Library Sponsored Programs: Animals used in conjunction with library-sponsored educational programs for the public are permitted in the library building for the duration of the program and must be accompanied by the owner at all times.
  • Animals left unattended outside or in automobiles for unreasonable periods of time will be reported to law enforcement.
C. Behavior Expected from Library Visitors
Library visitors are expected to show respect for other visitors and library staff and should not engage in behavior that may materially interfere with the public's right of access to library facilities, the safety of users and staff, and the protection of library resources and facilities. Library visitors are expected to:
  • Abide by policies that govern all Florida and Santa Rosa county public buildings including:
    • Abstain from engaging in excessively loud talking or noise.
    • Keep noise levels reasonable while using devices such as computers, iPods, cell phones, and audio players.
  • Avoid boisterous conduct or other disturbing behavior.
    • No animals except service animals inside or within 20 feet of library facilities.
    • No destruction of library property or library materials.
    • No gambling.
    • No indecent exposure or sexual activity.
    • No soliciting, petitioning, or campaigning.
    • No smoking of any kind (including electronic or e-cigarettes).
    • No use of any tobacco products.
    • No alcoholic beverages.
    • No weapons unless authorized by law (such as law enforcement officials).
  • Refrain from violating public safety or local/state/federal laws or engaging in criminal behavior.
  • Use library facilities, equipment, furnishings, parking areas, sidewalks, and lawns respectfully, safely, and for their intended purposes-not for recreational activities.
  • Follow library policies and procedures: A copy of the library Code of Conduct is posted inside each library.
    • Library visitors who engage in activities that interfere with the rights of others or who violate library policy will be dealt with by library management in a timely, direct, and open manner in an effort to constructively resolve issues.
    • If issue cannot be resolved, law enforcement officials will be contacted.
D. Children's Behavior and Safety in the Library
  • Parents, and only parents, are responsible for their children's access and use of library materials in all formats - print, audio, visual, and access through computer network.
  • Parents should ensure appropriate behavior of their children while in the library and on library grounds.
  • Children must not be allowed to disrupt or disturb other library visitors and must not abuse library materials, equipment, or furniture.
  • Children should not be left unattended in the library since their safety is at risk.
    • Library staff are not responsible for unattended children and cannot monitor them.
    • Unaccompanied children under 10 years old may be placed in the care of law enforcement officials.
    • Children of all ages who are left at the library after closing will be placed in the care of law enforcement officials.
E. Meeting Room Use
  • Library meeting room space is provided on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of the organization requesting use.
  • Library and county use of meeting rooms have priority and schedules could be preempted for such use.
  • An application is required and will be approved or denied by library and county administration - any disputes that arise will be settled by the Santa Rosa County Administrator.
  • Purpose must be non-commercial for educational, cultural, intellectual, civic, government, or charitable use.
  • Purpose may not be for personal, recreational use such as family gatherings, birthday parties, wedding/baby showers, and similar use.
  • Meeting room users may not charge admission fees, but may charge for materials necessary for program participation.
  • Approval of meeting room use does not constitute endorsement on the quality or merit of meetings held or on the policies or beliefs of the organization using the facility.
  • Meeting room applications are available at each library and on the library website.
  • Meeting room applications should be returned to the library manager.
  • All meeting room users must comply with the library's meeting room policies.
  • Click here for meeting room application.
F. Exhibit Spaces, Bulletin Boards, and Literature
  • Santa Rosa County Library System will provide exhibit areas, bulletin board space, and literature distribution space to community organizations engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual, civic, government, charitable, or non-commercial activities. Materials cannot be excluded because of the origin background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  • Space is provided based on availability at each library. The library manager or delegated staff will determine whether the library has adequate space for materials and will determine the placement of materials. If a dispute arises regarding suitability of materials for placement in the library, the dispute will be settled by the Santa Rosa County Library System Administration. Any sales for any materials on display must be conducted between the seller and the customer away from library property.
  • Materials may remain no longer than one month without permission. If the delegate placing the material does not remove it when time has expired, library staff will remove it. The library is not responsible for loss or damage.
  • Notices will be placed near the exhibit space stating that use of library space does not constitute endorsement of exhibitors or exhibits by the library.
G. Petitioning and Solicitation on Library Property
  • Non-library activities, petitions, or solicitation of any kind is not permitted inside library buildings.
    • Petitioners may set up outside library buildings away from entrances and traffic but may not impede the flow of vehicular or foot traffic.
    • The petitioner is responsible for his/her furniture, supplies, equipment, etc.
    • Set up may not begin before the library opens and clean-up must be completed by the time the library closes.
    • Library employees will not assist the party conducting the petition.
  • Personal, organizational, or business solicitation of any type is not allowed on library property.
  • Raffle activities are not allowed on library property.