The George F. Johnson Memorial Library exists to provide materials in varied formats, information from technological and traditional sources, and services from trained and qualified employees for library users of all ages for their recreational, educational, and lifelong learning needs. We promote policies, practices, and resources that will help people of all races, cultures, and socioeconomic statuses to have meaningful opportunities to learn and thrive and to ensure that the library is an environment where everyone is valued and respected. We vow to uphold the rights of all people of all ages under the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the guidelines of the library Bill of Rights adopted by the American Library Association Council of January 23, 1980.
- Loan period: The standard loan period is three weeks. DVDs circulate for one week. Interlibrary loans from outside the Four County Library System may circulate for longer or shorter periods of time as indicated by the owning library. Extended vacation, teacher and home-schooler loans are available up to six weeks.
- Renewal: Most items may be renewed once. Vacation/teacher/home schooler extended loans are not eligible for renewal. Items with active reserve requests may not be renewed. Items on interlibrary loan from outside the Four County Library System may be renewed only upon consent of the owning library.
- Limits: Patrons may borrow as many items as they choose, with the following exceptions: adult magazines: 15; children’s magazines: 15; audio-visual items: 5 of each type except 10 music CDs. Daily newspapers do not circulate. Reference books do not circulate.
- Reserves & interlibrary loans: A charge of 25 cents for each request, payable when the item is borrowed. Items not picked-up on time (held three days for most items; the return date if an out-of-system interlibrary loan) will still incur the 25-cent fee which will be assessed to the patron’s account. All circulating items are eligible for reserve except magazines.
- Fines: The George F. Johnson Memorial Library supports access and equity. Eliminating overdue fines for certain materials means more people in our community have greater access to the Library’s vital materials, resources, and services. Late fines, no matter how small, are a very real and significant burden for low-income individuals, disabled persons, seniors, children, and families. Fines act as an inequitable barrier to service and will not be imposed on library patrons unless specified below.
- Books … Fine-Free
- Magazines … Fine-Free
- Audiobooks … Fine-Free
- Music CDs … Fine-Free
- DVDs/DVD series … Fine-Free
- Playaways … Fine-Free
- Wi-Fi Hotspots … $5/day, maximum $15
- Museum Passes … $1/day, maximum $5
Lost items, and items damaged beyond repair, are charged the list price. A schedule of fines for partial damage is attached. The professional staff may assess smaller fines for damage when the item is deemed repairable. Items belonging to other libraries may be charged a cost higher than list price, as determined by the owning library. Fees are only charged the days that the library is open.
- Other charges:
- Copier: 20 cents per page(b&w) and 25 cents per page(color)
- Computer prints: 15 cents per page(b&w) and 25 cents per page(color)
- Microfilm prints: 25 cents per page
- Fax (sending or receiving) $1.00 per page for first five pages, 25 cents per page after. No charge for cover sheet.
- Referral to collections: $10.00
- Returned check: As stipulated by Village Clerk-Treasurer
- Confidentiality: Refer to the library’s Confidentiality Policy
- Registration: Patrons must present valid identification in order to obtain a library card. Acceptable ID includes:
- Picture ID with current address, or
Picture ID with a document listing current address (if address is not current on the ID), or
- Postmarked postcard from our library delivered to the patron and a document listing the patron’s name and current address, or
- Children under 13 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who has one of the above AND THE CHILD MUST BE ABLE TO SIGN OR WRITE THEIR FIRST AND LAST NAME.
- Only ID containing a street residence is acceptable. PO boxes will not be accepted. A verified street address must be supplied for a library card to be issued
- *Patrons who don’t reside in Broome County can obtain a library card as a non-resident. The non-resident fee is $50 and is paid annually, which covers the entire household.
- Picture ID with current address, or
- Mobile devices: Patron cards scanned into mobile devices are acceptable for circulation purposes. If you do not have your card on your person or library card on a mobile device, other acceptable forms of ID to checkout are: Driver’s License/non-drivers ID; Utility bill; Rent receipt; Auto registration; Paycheck receipt
Approved by Library Board October 8, 2009. Revised 7/21/2016.
It is the policy of the Library to select materials that assist its patrons to cope with the day-to-day problems and challenges of living in a society that is socially, politically, and economically complex; as well as materials for recreational reading and viewing. Materials will be selected with the intent of helping people enhance and enrich their lives in their own way and on their own terms. Such materials will include a variety of formats appropriate to the community.
It is understood that patrons are of all ages, interests, abilities, educational levels, and priorities. The Library therefore seeks to establish priorities in line with those demonstrated by the community so that needs may be met to a reasonable degree while staying within budgetary limitations.
Objectives of Materials Selection
- To cover the world of knowledge.
- To reflect the interests of the community.
- To satisfy reasonably the individual requirements of patrons.
- To serve as the informational hub of the community, providing for recreational, educational, cultural, and spiritual endeavors.
- To assist patrons, individually, and the community, collectively, to achieve their/its potential.
Responsibility for Materials Selection
The Library Director has overall responsibility for collection development, balancing the universe of available items with the Collection Development Policy and cost constraints. The Adult Services, Young Adult Services, and Youth Services Librarians will make suggested purchases for their respective departments. Other staff may also be assigned responsibilities in this area. Patron requests will be considered on an individual basis.
- Clarity of expression
- Clarity of organization
- Visual appeal
- Physical format suited to purpose
- Enhancement of the existing collection
- Established author reputation
- Established publisher reputation
- Public interest
- Preferably peer-reviewed
To qualify for purchase it is not necessary for an item to have all of these qualities. Professional judgment will be exercised, and every effort will be made to present a balance of multiple viewpoints on controversial topics.
Materials already present in the collection that appear to no longer meet the Selection Criteria will be removed from the collection. Special attention will be paid to materials which by their nature become obsolete quickly. Physical condition, frequency of use, and space constraints may also affect the decision to retain or discard; as may inclusion of titles in collection development tools such as current editions of Public Library Catalog and Fiction Catalog.
It is inevitable that a public institution serving a diverse people will be unable to please all of those people all of the time. Selection of materials will be made on the principle that most of the people will be well-served most of the time if the library is able to provide diverse ideas and viewpoints, in both fiction and non-fiction. The library will not knowingly violate this principle by taking the side of one group or another and permitting this to affect its selection and weeding decisions. The Library also encourages parents to take an active role in helping their children make their reading, viewing, and listening choices. Citizens complaining about an item in the Library’s collection should be invited to complete and submit a Sample Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources form (attached).
The Library Board of Trustees has endorsed both the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement. The Library’s Collection Development Policy should be viewed through the prism of these prevailing professional documents.
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library is now lending out mobile hotspots to eligible patrons for use in their own homes. Please read the following rules and guidelines before checking out one of our mobile hotspots.
- The Mobile Hotspot Loaning Program allows patrons to take home a mobile hotspot to access the internet through a free wireless connection. Patrons can use hotspots to do work, to learn, and for entertainment. All on the go.
- A patron must have an unbarred and updated George F. Johnson Memorial Library card.
- Patron’s age on card must show borrower is 18 or older.
- Only one mobile hotspot device is to be checked out on a card.
- Only one mobile hotspot device can be checked out per household.
- Before loaning a mobile hotspot a patron must sign that they agree with the George F. Johnson Library Mobile Hotspot Lending Agreement. Patron only needs to sign agreement once.
- The mobile hotspot devices have a loan period of one (1) week. Patrons can renew the hotspot for an additional week as long as there are no holds on device by another patron.
- Patrons will be charged a $3.00/per day late fee for every day the mobile hotspot is late.
- Patrons will be charged a $200 replacement fee for a lost or stolen mobile hotspot, plus any additional collection fees. Patrons will be charged $5 to $15 for lost chargers and USB cords. A patron may face suspension/termination from borrowing mobile hotspots in the future. The length of the suspension/termination will be at the discretion of the library director.
- Mobile hotspots will be checked for damage before and after a lending period. Any previous damage to a device will be noted by library staff. A patron may be held responsible for any new damage noticed to a device after their lending period. Damage fees can range from $15 up to the full replacement cost of $200. Damage cost is the discretion of the library director.
- Mobile hotspots must be borrowed and returned to George F. Johnson Memorial Library. They must be returned to the circulation desk and not in the book drops to limit the chance of damage. Damage fees could occur to patron’s account if mobile hotspots are returned to another library or in the book drops at the discretion of the library director.
- It is the library’s right to shut off wireless connection to any hotspot if it is late, lost, or presumed stolen.
- The George F. Johnson Memorial Library will not be held responsible for damages of any kind, including, but not limited to lost or stolen data, damage to personal devices or software, and/or misuse of the internet by any connected user to a patron’s leased mobile hotspot device.
At GFJ Library
Animals in the Library Policy
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library (“the Library”) recognizes that patrons with disabilities may have service dogs that are trained to assist or accommodate a person with a sensory, mental, or physical disability or to perform tasks for the benefit of a disabled individual. The Library recognizes legal rights under federal and state laws regarding the use of service dogs. The Library also considers the safety and health of all its patrons, the public, and Library employees to be of utmost priority.
2. Background and Definitions
2.1 Service Dog
“Service dogs” are dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Examples of such work or tasks include: guiding people who are blind; alerting people who are deaf; pulling a wheelchair; alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure; reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications; calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties.
Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks. Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under Titles II and III of the ADA.
The term “disability” means, with respect to an individual:
A. A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;
B. A record of such an impairment; or
C. Being regarded as having such an impairment.
If an individual meets any one of these three tests, he or she is considered to be an individual with a disability for purposes of coverage under the ADA.
No pets or animals other than service dogs or service dogs in training are allowed in the Library. Owners of pets may be asked to remove them from the Library.
Individuals with disabilities may bring their service dogs into all areas of the Library where members of the public are normally allowed to go. All service dogs must be under the full custody and control of their handler at all times. Also, all service dogs must be on a leash or harness at all times unless the handler is unable to leash or harness the dog because of a disability or use of a leash or harness would interfere with the dog’s safe, effective performance
of work or tasks. If the service dog cannot be leashed or harnessed, it must be otherwise under the handler’s control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means). Owners of the service dog are solely responsible for the supervision and care of the service dog. Therefore,
owners must keep the service dog directly with them at all times.
Users of service dogs are not required to show papers or to prove a disability. Service dogs are not required to be licensed or certified by a state or local government or training program, or be identified by a special harness or collar.
Employees may ask two questions:
1. Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
Owners of service dogs or service dogs in training must indicate that they are working dogs and not pets. Terms used may include assistance, service, guide, hearing, or helping dog. Employees may not ask about the owner’s disability.
A person with a disability may not be asked to remove their service dog or service dog in training from the Library unless the presence, behavior, or actions of the service dog constitute an unreasonable risk of injury or harm to property or other persons, or the dog is disruptive and the owner does not take effective action to control it. In these cases, Library employees must give the person with the disability the option to obtain Library services without having the service dog or service dog in training on the premises. Fear of allergies, annoyance on the part
of other patrons or employees, or fear of dogs are generally not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people with service dogs or service dogs in training.
4. Exceptions for Library Offerings
Pending approval by the Director or their designee, the Library may have animals in the building as part of its educational and recreational offerings.
5. Animal Endangerment
The Library does not condone leaving non-service animals outside the Library in a way that may endanger the animal or Library patrons. The Library reserves the right to contact the police regarding any unattended animals on its premises.
The Library is committed to the equitable use of the Library for all its patrons. Any patron who feels their use of the Library has been compromised due to this policy should report grievances to the Director.
7. Staff Animals
Personal pets may visit the back room (staff only area) of the Library for no longer than fifteen (15) minutes at a time.
Citations and Related References
i) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Title II, Section 35.136 (Revised September 15, 2010); Beginning on March 5, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under Titles II and III of the ADA.
Adopted by the Library Board on July 21, 2022
Code of Conduct & Disruptive Behavior
Staff and patrons of George F Johnson Memorial Library will follow a policy for disruptive behavior.
PURPOSE: To put down in writing the policy governing disruptive behavior in George F Johnson Memorial Library.
- No person shall engage in inappropriate conduct on the premises of George F Johnson Memorial Library or when participating in library programs. “Library premises” include the interior of the library’s facility, as well as the entryways, sidewalks, library parking area and lawns surrounding the building. Examples of Appropriate Behavior may be found as outlined in attachment B.
- Inappropriate conduct shall include any individual or group activity that is disruptive to other persons who are lawfully using the library premises or any behavior otherwise inconsistent with the activities normally associated with a public library. In general, behavior that violates the law, behavior that interferes with the use and enjoyment of the library by others, and behavior that interferes with library employees in the performance of their duties is prohibited.
- Library users are required to observe the Code of Conduct (attachment A) and all Code and policies governing the use of George F Johnson Memorial Library. If a person defies an order personally communicated by an authorized library employee not to enter the library or not to remain in the library for failure to comply with the library’s Code or policies, said person is subject to arrest for trespass (New York State Penal Law, Section 140.05).
Support of Staff Members’ Actions
- Library staff members who have acted on their best judgment in confronting a person will be supported by their supervisor and the library board.
- Any staff member who observes or receives complaints of inappropriate behavior may:
- Handle the problem directly with the patron. Staff should use judgment as to whether the situation requires assistance from another staff member.
- Call for police support immediately if the situation appears to be potentially violent or an emergency.
- Ask the senior staff person present to assess the situation and make a decision as to how it should be handled.
- Decide to contact the police if the offending person(s) will not conform to the Code of Conduct and the request of the staff to do so.
- In all cases, the supervising staff person who is present should be kept informed of the situation and should oversee the documentation of the situation as well as its satisfactory resolution.
INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT – MINOR VIOLATIONS
- Staff members are empowered to determine the severity of the violations that they observe. If a violation is considered “minor” – i.e. if there is no immediate threat of damage to the library’s facility, collection or furnishings, or danger to staff or patrons– the following steps will be taken:
- Serve a patron with one warning, either verbally or in writing by using the Code of Conduct (attachment A), to notify him/her that he/she is in violation of the Code of Conduct.
- If the person persists with the behavior for which he/she has been notified, he/she will be asked to leave the premises. If the person leaves as asked, he or she will be banned from the premises for the rest of the day. (A staff person may extend the ban up to a week, if the situation warrants. The person should be verbally notified at the time of his/her ejection from the library and all staff should receive written notice of the situation.)
- If the person does not comply with the request to leave the premises, the police will be called. If this step is necessary, the incident becomes a major violation and the offending person will be banned from the library for thirty (30) days per procedures below.
INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT – MAJOR VIOLATIONS
- If a staff member observes a person involved in a significantly serious violation of library Code, he or she will proceed as follows. A “significantly serious violation” of the Code of Conduct may include, but is not limited to, theft, vandalism, harassment, threats, criminal activity, or violent or dangerously reckless behavior.
- The police will be called immediately.
- The patron may be banned from the library premises for a period of thirty (30) days to six (6) months at the discretion of the Library Director, depending on the nature of the offense, the extent of damage or disruption that was caused, and the history of prior violations.
A patron may be banned from the library premises under the circumstances described above.
Extended banning process
If a patron commits a serious violation and banning of thirty (30) days or more is being considered, the following procedures will be followed:
- The Library Director will review the incident as well as interview any staff members who were involved in the situation.
- The Director, or the staff person designated to act on the part of the Director in his/her absence, will provide a written decision regarding the banning within three (3) business days of the violation.
- The written decision will set forth the period during which the patron will be banned from the library and will specify the reasons for the determination. The patron may be banned for a serious violation for thirty (30) days up to (1) one year.
- The patron and all staff will be notified in writing of the reasons for and the length of banning. A copy will also be sent to the Endicott Police Department and the Library Board President.
- The patron will have the opportunity to respond to the ban within 5 days.
- The Director will review the patron’s response, with the Board of Trustees if needed, and make a final decision on next steps.
- If the patron does not respond within 5 business days, the ban automatically begins.
- The Director, along with the Board of Trustees, reserves the right to continue to enforce the ban based on the nature of the violation, whether the patron responds or not.
Any person who persists in violating the Code of Conduct – including what may be considered a minor offense – may be considered to be subject to extended banning of thirty (30) days or more as deemed appropriate by the Director. The same procedures for extended banning of thirty (30) days or more described above will be followed.
Any person who enters or remains on library premises after having been notified of a period of banning by an authorized individual will be subject to arrest and prosecution for trespassing. This may be considered to be grounds for permanent banning of the individual.
In the event that a person regains access to the library after a major violation and banning -- and then repeats that activity, he or she may be permanently banned from the library premises.
- The Library Director and Library Board will review the incident and staff statements at the next Library Board meeting.
- After discussion with the Library Board, the Director will provide a written decision regarding the permanent banning as soon as possible after the repeat offense.
- The written decision will state that the patron will be permanently banned from the library and will specify the reasons for the determination.
- The patron will have the opportunity to respond to the ban within 5 days.
- The Director will review the patron’s response, with the Board of Trustees if needed, and make a final decision on next steps.
- If the patron does not respond within 5 business days, the ban automatically begins.
- The Director, along with the Board of Trustees, reserves the right to continue to enforce the ban based on the nature of the violation, whether the patron responds or not.
- The patron and all staff will be notified in writing of the permanent ban.
- A copy will also be sent to the Endicott Police Department and the Library Board President.
George F Johnson Memorial Library
CODE OF CONDUCT
Recognizing the need to maintain an environment suitable for studying, reading, browsing and the general use of library resources, the Library Board establishes Code and procedures to assure the safety of library users, library personnel, and library materials, equipment and furnishings; and to assure that the use of the library is not obstructed by inappropriate behavior or actions. Library patrons are expected to follow all library Code and policies including this Code of Conduct. Entering the library implies agreement to abide by this Code and policies while in the library. Failure to do so may result in expulsion from the Library and/or loss of Library privileges. A person who defies an authorized library employee not to enter the library or not to remain in the library for failure to comply with the library’s Code and policies is subject to arrest for trespass (New York State Penal Law, Section 140.05) The following Code is to be observed:
- Eating or drinking is not allowed in the library.
- Use or exchange of tobacco, alcohol or illegal substances is prohibited.
- Pursuant to New York State Public Health Law Section 1399-0, smoking is prohibited in libraries.
- The ban on smoking includes no smoking of substitutes such as e-cigarettes, vapor or similar products.
- Animals are not permitted in the library, with the exception of service animals or those authorized by prior arrangement.
- Appropriate dress, including shoes and shirts must be worn in the library.
- Bicycles are not allowed in the library. Bicycles may be chained to the front porch or the side railing of the ramp. The library assumes no liability for damage or theft.
- Use of roller blades and skateboards is prohibited on library grounds.
- Selling, advertising, petitioning or soliciting for contributions is prohibited, except as authorized.
- Conduct which violates the criminal laws of the United States, the State of New York, and the County of Broome, the Town of Union or the Village of Endicott may result in suspension or revocation of the violator’s access to the library’s premises.
- Disruptive behavior is prohibited. Disruptive behavior consists of actions which are illegal, or which infringe upon the rights of others using the library and/or disturb the tranquility of the library, or the proper activities of its staff and patrons.
Disruptive behavior includes but is not limited to the following:
- Lewd behavior or sexual misconduct including exposure, offensive touching or sexual harassment of other patrons or staff.
More specific information about these types of incidents is covered under the GFJ Sexual Harassment Policy, which applies to GFJ employees as well as patrons.
- Any behavior involving an unwilling person or inappropriate or indecent behavior with a child.
- Behavior that makes it impossible for another patron to continue using the library.
- Loud or boisterous behavior including loud talking, shouting, running or fighting.
- Misuse of library property.
- Profane, obscene or offensive language directed at another person.
- Use of radios, stereos, video games, etc. - without earphones.
- Use of cell phones outside of the designated areas.
- Verbal harassment of staff or patrons.
- Interference with library operations or other patrons' use of the facilities through extremely poor personal hygiene.
- Any action which willfully annoys another person.
- Lewd behavior or sexual misconduct including exposure, offensive touching or sexual harassment of other patrons or staff.
- Illegal activity will be reported to the proper authorities immediately. A person demonstrating disruptive behavior will be instructed by library staff to discontinue the behavior. If the behavior continues, the person will be instructed to leave the library. If a person so instructed does not leave within a reasonable amount of time, the staff will contact the proper authorities. Any serious incident involving a child will be reported to the child's parent or legal guardian, who will also be informed of any action taken by the library.
- The library is not responsible for the loss or theft of personal belongings of patrons.
- A person not abiding by the Code of Conduct will receive one warning. Those continuing to disregard the Code of Conduct, after being warned, will be asked to immediately leave the building for the remainder of the day.
- Anyone asked to leave is welcome to return the next day without consequence. However, a person who has been asked to leave, who returns and continues to violate the Code of Conduct, may be barred from future library use. The amount of time will be determined by the Library Director.
Guidelines for Appropriate Behavior at the George F. Johnson Memorial Library
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library endeavors to provide an atmosphere conducive to study, reading, and the legitimate use of library materials and services.
To foster such an environment, the George F. Johnson Memorial Library encourages the following: Examples of appropriate library behavior for all ages include:
- Asking for help
- Chatting quietly
- Doing research
- Gathering information
- Doing your homework
- Participating in programs
- Checking out books, audio-visuals, & more
- Only guide and assistance pets are allowed
Examples of Inappropriate library behavior for all ages
- Damaging library material or property
- Eating or tobacco use
- Physically or verbally harassing or threatening others
- Foul language
- Behavior disrespectful to other patrons or staff
- Disrupting patrons using the library by:
- talking loudly or abusively
- socializing for long periods
- throwing things
- playing headphones loudly
- cell phone use
- persons creating a physically offensive condition, including odors will be asked to leave (NYS Penal Code, Sect 240.20)
Any behavior that disrupts the orderly use of the library or that affects the staff’s ability to provide service will result in a verbal request to cease the inappropriate behavior. If the behavior continues, the individual(s) involved will be asked to leave the library premises.
Prior approval by the Library Board on 11/12/2009
George F. Johnson Memorial Library Internet Safety Policy
GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY
- As part of its mission, the GFJML provides Internet access and personal computing resources to
registered borrowers. Individuals who do not meet eligibility requirements for a GFJML library card with borrowing privileges may qualify for Internet access via a guest pass if they present proper identification and meet such other requirements as may be established by GFJML administration.
- GFJML also provides wireless access, enabling individuals to use their privately owned computer equipment to access the Internet. Visitors who wish to use GFJML's wireless connectivity are not required to meet borrower eligibility criteria. Wireless access does require the acceptance of GFJML’s Wireless Network Policy.
- The GFJML does not monitor and has no control over the information on the Internet. The GFJML assumes no responsibility for any loss or damages, direct or indirect, arising from its connections to the Internet or from any other use of its personal computing resources.
- As with all library resources, patrons are advised to exercise their own critical judgment and discrimination when evaluating sites found on the Internet. Certain information may be inaccurate, misleading or offensive to some individuals.
- Unauthorized access, including so-called hacking, and any other unlawful activities by any Library users are strictly prohibited.
- To comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act and restrict access to online content that may be considered harmful to minors or offensive to adults, the GFJML employs technology protection measures (filters) on all computers with Internet access in its Children’s Room. Users must be cautioned that filters are not foolproof and due to technological limitations cannot obstruct access to all potentially harmful or offensive content. In addition, filters may block access to some legitimate or constitutionally protected material found on the Internet. By law, individuals who have attained the age of 17 have the right to unfiltered Internet access.
CHILDREN, PARENTS AND THE INTERNET
- Parents/guardians have the sole right and responsibility to decide what is appropriate for their child. The GFJML does not act in loco parentis (i.e., in the place or role of the parent). Parents/guardians are responsible for the supervision of their child's Internet activity. Children who use the Internet unsupervised may be exposed to inappropriate or disturbing information and images.
- The Library has taken measures designed to assist in the safe and effective use of the Internet, including:
- Employing technology protection measures (filters) on all computers offering Internet access in its Children’s Room.
- Developing and maintaining web sites designed for children and teens;
- Providing online and printed information about child safety and information on educational or recreational uses of the Internet.
- To address the issue of the safety and security of minors (individuals who have not attained the age of 17) when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications, the Library recommends the following safety guidelines. Minors should:
- Always ask their parents' permission before using their full name, address, telephone number, or school name anywhere on the Internet;
- Always tell their parents or another adult they trust if they see something online that is frightening or that they do not understand;
- Never respond to messages that make them feel uncomfortable or uneasy;
- Never give out a credit card number or password online without parental approval, and
- Never arrange to meet in person someone they have met online unless they discuss it with their parents and an adult accompanies them.
All patrons must abide by the Library's Rules of Conduct and are expected to use Internet and/or personal computing resources in a responsible and orderly manner. Failure to comply with the policies and regulations that govern the use of the Library's Internet access and personal computing resources may result in immediate suspension of library privileges and, where necessary, civil liability and/or criminal prosecution. The following are prohibited:
- Damaging equipment, software, or data;
- Violating system security;
- Violating any legal agreement (e.g., software licenses);
- Violating any federal, state or local law (e.g., copyright, child pornography);
- Using personal software on Library equipment, and
- Engaging in activities that may be judged as disruptive by Library staff or patrons.
User responsibilities are not limited to the above and may be subject to change.
By adopting this policy, the GFJML Board of Trustees authorizes the Administration to acquire
appropriate hardware and software to provide Internet access and other approved computer-based services and to develop rules and regulations to implement this policy.
Adopted by the Library Board: March 17, 2016
The meeting room policy of the George F. Johnson Memorial Library encourages maximum use of the library meeting rooms (the Beatrice Scott and the George F. Johnson rooms) by community organizations for educational, civic, cultural and/or business purposes under the following conditions:
- Library related activities/programs/meetings have priority scheduling of the two meeting rooms.
- Because the Library is intended for the use of all members of the public, all meetings are open to the public. This means that the meeting must be open to any interested individuals and must be free of charge. Limits may be placed on the size of the group if the room capacity is exceeded. The library also endorses Article VI of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, which states: “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.” Business groups should not be conducting business on library premises, but are welcome for more general business-oriented purposes, subject to interpretation by the Library Director. Private social events are not permitted.
- There is a $15.00 suggested donation for use of the library meeting rooms.
- The library reserves the right to limit the number of times a group may use the room during a given period of time, in order to assure a fair opportunity to all potential users. Community groups should register online and book the room using the library’s online booking system. The person placing the room request will be notified by library staff once a decision on their request has been made. Library events have priority and the library reserves the right to cancel advance reservations in favor of library programming with 30 days notice.
- Meeting times are limited to hours when the library is open to the public. All meetings must
adjourn at least 15 minutes prior to the closing of the library. The representatives of the organization that is meeting are responsible for ending the meeting on time and for leaving the meeting room in proper order. If damage occurs to any library property during an organizational meeting, the organization will be held liable for repair or replacement costs.
- Alcohol, smoking and open flames are NOT permitted in the meeting rooms and refreshments may be served only by special permission from the Library Director.
- Study Rooms may be booked using our online booking system. They will only be held 10 minutes after scheduled time of reservation, at which time they may go to the next request.
Adopted 3/08. Revised 7/21/16, 11/20/18, 1/16/20
The purpose of the George F. Johnson Memorial Library video recording policy is to ensure the safety and security of all library patrons and staff while on the library’s premises. The Library will allow recording consistent with its obligations and mission. The Library reserves the right at all times to refuse any recording that will negatively impact safety, staff and patron privacy, employee work conditions, and/or routine Library operations. To protect staff and patron privacy, employee work conditions and /or routine Library Operations, the Library has designated sensitive areas of the library in which filming is allowed only with the prior written
consent of the Library Director. The designated areas are the Children’s room, the Circulation Desk and the Staff area.
If, in the Library Director’s discretion, a patron is video recording in a manner that the Library Director deems is negatively impacting safety, staff and patron privacy, employee work conditions, and/or routine Library operations, he or she may direct the patron to stop video recording.
If a patron is directed to stop video recording by the Library Director, the patron may appeal the decision by writing to the library board. The staff member who denied the request will provide the patron with the library board president's email address. The patron's appeal request will be considered and voted upon by the Library Board of Trustees at the next scheduled board meeting. The Library Board of Trustee’s decision on appeal shall be based on a determination whether the recording negatively impacts safety, staff and patron privacy, employee work conditions, and/or routine Library operations. The Board president will notify the patron in
writing of the Board's decision within ten days.
All members of the public are allowed to tape or video record public meetings. The recording must be done in a manner which does not interfere with the meeting. The Board President may make the determination that the recording is being done in an intrusive manner, taking into consideration, but not limited to the brightness of the lights, distance from the Board, size of the equipment, the amount of noise generated by the activity, and the ability of the public to observe the meeting. If the Board President determines that the recording is interfering with the meeting, the Board President may request the individual alter their behavior to eliminate the interference. If the request is not complied with, the Board President may have the individual removed from the meeting room.
As with any other ongoing potential violation of Library policy, any individual or media outlet who, after being asked to stop engaging in recording, does not cease recording, will be instructed to leave Library property. Any person failing to comply with the library’s code or policies, is subject to arrest for trespass (New York State Penal Law, Section 140.05).
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library (GFJ) provides free broadband wireless Internet access twenty four hours a day, seven days a week to individuals with laptop computers. Users are expected to use the wireless network in a legal and responsible manner. Violation of federal, New York State or local laws, including but not limited to the transmission of pornography or harmful material, fraud, hacking, spamming, and illegal downloading of copyrighted material is prohibited.
Wireless access at GFJ is not filtered. However, by choosing to use this free wireless service you agree to abide by the GFJ Library Internet Policy.
As the library is a public space, users are prohibited from using the network to access sexually graphic material as outlined in the GFJ Library Internet Policy. Sexually graphic material is subject to the interpretation of the library staff. Violators will be asked to cease and persistence will result in denial of network access.
As with most public wireless networks, the connection is not secure. Any information being sent or received could be intercepted. Wireless users should not transmit their credit card numbers, passwords or other sensitive personal information while using the GFJ wireless network.
Wireless users should have updated virus protection installed on their computer. GFJ will not be responsible for any information that is compromised, or for any damage caused to an individual’s hardware or software due to electric surges, security issues, viruses, hacking, spamming, or other causes. GFJ assumes no responsibility for the safety of equipment or for computer or other wireless device configurations, security, or data file resulting from connection to the GFJ wireless network.
Library staff cannot assist in making changes to user’s network settings or perform any troubleshooting on the user’s own computer. Please refer to your owner’s manual or technical support provided by the manufacturer. Since computer equipment is subject to repair and “downtime” the Library does not guarantee that the network will always be available. The Library also reserves the right to curtail or discontinue wireless service at any time.
The wireless network is widely available throughout the main floor and on the exterior grounds of the library; however you may encounter some “dead” spots where reception may be compromised. If you have trouble accessing the network or staying online please try moving to another location. The library has a limited number of publicly accessible electrical outlets (some with surge protectors) available for use. Please see staff at the Information Desk for assistance in locating them. The library printers are not available via the wireless network.
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library has adopted this Pandemic Response Plan in compliance with New York State Labor Law §27-C to implement operation plans in the event of certain declared public health emergencies including, but not limited to, novel coronavirus (COVID-19) or other communicable disease or pandemic illness.
The primary goals of George F. Johnson Memorial Library's Pandemic Response Plan are to establish:
- The roles and responsibilities during all phases of a public health emergency
- Preparedness activities and response protocols
- Coordination and decision making for the continuation of operations
The Pandemic Response Plan is designed to ensure precautionary, response, and recovery measures to a public health emergency involving a communicable disease threatening to impact or immediately impacting the library's staff, trustees, volunteers, and/or community members.
The Library Director, as authorized by the Board of Trustees, administers the Pandemic Response Plan. This includes activating the plan, establishing an internal communications network, and coordinating all response and recovery activities. If the Library Director is unable or unavailable to administer the plan for any reason, administrative authority shall be passed to the Head of the Adult Services Department.
The following terms are hereby defined for the purposes of this policy:
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Equipment worn to minimize exposure to a communicable disease or pandemic illness as mandated by local, state, or federal law and/or any Executive Orders related to the public health emergency or mandates issued by federal agencies, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- Employee: Any person employed by the George F. Johnson Memorial Library, regardless of job classification or title.
- Contractor: Any individual performing paid services for the library, but not a George F. Johnson Memorial Library employee.
- Essential: Designation made to an employee whose duties require them to be physically present at the George F. Johnson Memorial Library to perform their job OR tasks that are vital or necessary to the library's safety or operational needs.
- Non-Essential: Designation made to an employee whose duties do not require them to be physically present at the George F. Johnson Memorial Library, OR tasks that are not vital or necessary to the library's safety or operational needs.
- Communicable Disease: Illness caused by an infectious agent that occurs through the direct or indirect transmission of the infectious agent or its byproducts or via inanimate environment or object to a susceptible person or persons.
- Retaliatory Action: The discharge, suspension, demotion, penalization, discrimination, or other adverse employment action taken against any employee.
ESSENTIAL EMPLOYEES OR DUTIES
In the event of a state-ordered reduction of in-person workforce, the Library Director shall be designated as an Essential Employee and is permitted to be physically present at the George F. Johnson Memorial Library to perform tasks essential to their job or the operations of the library including, but not limited to, maintenance to the facilities that could otherwise threaten or pose a risk to the library’s facilities if not performed; bookkeeping such as accounts payable, accounts receiving, and processing payroll; and/or accepting, sorting, and opening postal mail or packages.
These essential tasks may be delegated to a specific employee or contractor at the Library Director's discretion. This employee or contractor is permitted to be physically present at the George F. Johnson Memorial Library to perform only the designated essential tasks as assigned.
TELECOMMUTE/WORK FROM HOME
In the event of a state-ordered reduction of in-person workforce, George F. Johnson Memorial Library’s employees will be required to work from home.
All employees whose duties and routine tasks require the use of a computer and/or internet access, will be provided library-issued equipment necessary to perform those duties and tasks as needed.
The Library Director will provide instructions for downloading/installing software for employees to perform their duties remotely.
The Library Director will coordinate the schedule for employees and contractors reporting to the library in-person to perform essential tasks so that the George F. Johnson Memorial Library remains in compliance with the state-ordered reduction of the in-person workforce. No employee or contractor is permitted to report to the George F. Johnson Memorial Library without the Library Director's authorization.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library will provide PPE as required by local, state or federal laws or Executive Orders. As per OSHA guidelines, employees are not financially responsible for mandated PPE. Employees may provide their own PPE if they desire. Employee’s PPE must comply with all local, state, or federal laws or Executive Orders and CDC and OSHA regulations.
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library will arrange for any necessary training for mandated PPE, including proper use and disposal.
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library will keep a supply of PPE in storage in the event a public health emergency is immediately declared. All employees will be aware of the storage location of PPE. The Library Director will monitor PPE supply levels and replenish the supply as needed in accordance with the library’s Procurement Policy.
Failure to comply with PPE mandates may result in disciplinary action.
EXPOSURE TO COMMUNICABLE DISEASE
If required by local, state or federal laws or Executive Orders, mandatory, continuous health screening practices will be implemented for all employees.
In the event an employee is exposed to a known case of the communicable disease that is the subject of the public health emergency, exhibits symptoms of such disease, or tests positive for such disease, the following procedures will be immediately implemented:
- The employee must not report to the library or they must leave the premises immediately, if already and notify the Library Director.
- The Library Director will notify both local and state health departments and will follow guidance specific to workplaces with a suspected or positive case.
- The Library Director and the employee will determine which other staff members were in close contact and possibly exposed to the communicable disease.
- The Library Director and the employee will determine which areas of the library are now considered “contaminated” and need to be immediately closed.
CLEANING CONTAMINATED AREAS
The library will immediately close off contaminated area(s). The area(s) will be quarantined for a length of time determined by local or state health departments.
After the determined length of time, the are(s) used by the employee will be cleaned, vacuumed, and disinfected including work spaces, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like computers, tablets, keyboards, and other office supplies. The area(s) will be cleaned by library staff using CDC-recommended cleaning solutions and wearing appropriate PPE.
Once the area(s) has (have) been appropriately disinfected, it (they) can be opened for use. The library will continue routine cleaning and disinfecting and logging these activities as recommended.
The Library Director will adhere to local and state guidance regarding Contact Tracing, which may include reporting or contacting other employees, contractors, visitors, and patrons who voluntarily supplied their information for the purpose of Contact Tracing who may have been in close contact with the employee suspected or confirmed to have the communicable disease. The Library Director will keep the health status of employees confidential.
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library will adhere to all local, state, or federal laws or Executive Orders regarding sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specific reasons related to a communicable disease.
RETURNING TO WORK
If an employee is exposed to a communicable disease or exhibits symptoms of having a communicable disease, they must follow all local and state health department directives which may include being tested for that communicable disease and/or quarantining for a specified amount of time at home.
If an employee has a suspected or confirmed case they must not report back to work until they have me all of the following criteria in consultation with a healthcare provider an in accordance with local, state, and/or federal criteria specific to the communicable disease.
All other employees will be provided instructions for returning to work dependent on the determination of risk of exposure by the local or state health department during Contact Tracing.
Reporting to work following a known-exposure to the communicable disease, having symptoms consistent with the communicable disease, or reporting to work following a positive test without being medically cleared to return to work as defined above will be considered a violation of library policy and may result in disciplinary action.
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library will not take any retaliatory action for employees not reporting to work due to a suspected or confirmed case of the communicable disease. Employees must follow established protocols for reporting an absence.
CONTINUATION OF OPERATIONS
In the event of a declared public health emergency involving a communicable disease, the Library Director will address operations according to the following outline. Some circumstances will require deviation from this sequence in order to best serve the safety and health of the library staff and community.
- Asses the emergency declaration as it relates to the library’s facilities, materials, staff, or community.
- Notify the appropriate persons including employees and the Board of Trustees.
- Determine the next steps, with the information available, regarding:
- Services or service points
- Hours of operation
- Draft a press release or statement to the public.
- Document in detail the sequence or timeline of events before, during, and after the declared public health emergency.
- Prepare for recovery.
Once approved by the Board of Trustees, this Pandemic Response Plan will be published in a clear and conspicuous location at the George F. Johnson Memorial Library and on the library’s website. A copy will be provided to all employees.
ONGOING USE EVALUATION
This Pandemic Response Plan is required by law with the health and safety of the library’s employees and community as the top priority.
The Pandemic Response Plan will be evaluated annually by the Library Director and Library Board of Trustees, and updated as needed.
Questions or concerns regarding this plan should be directed to the Library Director.
Adopted by the George F. Johnson Memorial Library Board of Trustees March 18, 2021
1. PLANNING SUMMARY
During the Fall of 2019, the George F. Johnson Memorial Library Board of Trustees attended a board retreat. During the retreat, the Board participated in a Strategic Plan brainstorming workshop, which was facilitated by the Four County Library System. The brainstorming workshop provided valuable feedback from the Board regarding the direction they felt the library should take over the next few years. Their input from the retreat was used as the primary resource for crafting this plan’s strategic goals. The South Central Regional Library Council also conducted three focus groups to gauge the community’s thoughts on the current state of the library and potential future challenges the library may encounter. The community’s feedback was also used as a resource in crafting the strategic plan goals for this document.
2. MISSION STATEMENT
To provide materials in varied formats, information from technological and traditional sources, and services from trained and qualified employees for library users of all ages for their recreations, educational and lifelong learning needs. As we work to accomplish this mission, we vow to strive to uphold the rights of all people of all ages under the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights and the guidelines of the Library Bill of Rights adopted by the American Library Association Council of January 23, 1980.
3.1 Improve the Accessibility & Functionality of Library Spaces: Main Floor Meeting Room
Purpose: To expand the library’s meeting room capacity. It will allow for an improved meeting room experience for library patrons because they will have access to the library’s restroom facilities, which are located on the main floor. The proposed meeting room will also be larger than either of the two smaller meeting rooms that are located downstairs.
Action Plan: Repurpose library space for the meeting room. This includes adding doors, whiteboard, and technology to current library space.
Measurement: Meeting room space will be created and offered for use to the public.
3.2 Improve the Accessibility & Functionality of Library Spaces: ADA Compliant Circulation Desk
Purpose: A new circulation desk that is handicap accessible and would allow every George F. Johnson Memorial Library patron to be able to utilize the library with dignity.
Action Plan: Survey staff needs for desk specifications. Get quotes for a new desk that will be ADA compliant and meet circulation staff needs.
Measurement: The new ADA compliant circulation desk will be installed. The desk will be able to serve all patrons, and staff will have a workstation that is adequate to solve 21st-century library issues.
3.3 Funding Future Capital Improvements: Parking Lot
Purpose: Improve the current lot, so it is safe and handicap accessible.
Action Plan: Renovate the parking lot by using construction grant funds, GFJ Library capital improvement funds, and Village Funds.
Measurement: Parking lot installed, adequate drainage, and safety issues addressed. Handicap accessible ramp will be installed. New signage will be created and posted.
3.4 Funding Future Capital Improvements: Library Roof
Purpose: To provide patrons with a safe and accessible library.
Action Plan: Construction grant and library funds will be used to pay for a new roof. Estimates for the roof renovation will be procured. An infrared test will be conducted to assess the full extent of the roof’s damage.
Measurement: New roof Installed, all leaking and safety issues addressed, which will include the trimming and removal of trees that overhang the roof where necessary.
Sexual Harassment Policy
George F. Johnson Memorial Library is committed to maintaining a workplace free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a form of workplace discrimination. All employees are required to work in a manner that prevents sexual harassment in the workplace. This Policy is one component of George F Johnson Memorial Library’s commitment to a discrimination-free work environment. Sexual harassment is against the law and all employees have a legal right to a workplace free from sexual harassment and employees are urged to report sexual harassment by filing a complaint internally with George F. Johnson Memorial Library. Employees can also file a complaint with a government agency or in court under federal, state or local antidiscrimination laws.
- George F Johnson Memorial Library’s policy applies to all employees, applicants for employment, interns, whether paid or unpaid, contractors and persons conducting business, regardless of immigration status, with George F. Johnson Memorial Library. In the remainder of this document, the term “employees” refers to this collective group.
- Sexual harassment will not be tolerated. Any employee or individual covered by this policy who engages in sexual harassment or retaliation will be subject to remedial and/or disciplinary action (e.g., counseling, suspension, termination).
- Retaliation Prohibition: No person covered by this Policy shall be subject to adverse action because the employee reports an incident of sexual harassment, provides information, or otherwise assists in any investigation of a sexual harassment complaint. George F. Johnson Memorial Library will not tolerate such retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, reports or provides information about suspected sexual harassment. Any employee of George F. Johnson Memorial Library who retaliates against anyone involved in a sexual harassment investigation will be subjected to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. All employees, paid or unpaid interns, or non-employees working in the workplace who believe they have been subject to such retaliation should inform a supervisor, board member, or library director. All employees, paid or unpaid interns or non-employees who believe they have been a target of such retaliation may also seek relief in other available forums, as explained below in the section on Legal Protections.
- Sexual harassment is offensive, is a violation of our policies, is unlawful, and may subject George F. Johnson Memorial Library to liability for harm to targets of sexual harassment. Harassers may also be individually subject to liability. Employees of every level who engage in sexual harassment, including managers and supervisors who engage in sexual harassment or who allow such behavior to continue, will be penalized for such misconduct.
- George F. Johnson Memorial Library will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation that ensures due process for all parties, whenever management receives a complaint about sexual harassment, or otherwise knows of possible sexual harassment occurring. George F. Johnson Memorial Library will keep the investigation confidential to the extent possible. Effective corrective action will be taken whenever sexual harassment is found to have occurred. All employees, including managers and supervisors, are required to cooperate with any internal investigation of sexual harassment.
- All employees are encouraged to report any harassment or behaviors that violate this policy. George F. Johnson Memorial Library will provide all employees a complaint form for employees to report harassment and file complaints.
- Managers and supervisors are required to report any complaint that they receive, or any harassment that they observe or become aware of, to the library director.
- This policy applies to all employees, paid or unpaid interns, and non-employees and all must follow and uphold this policy. This policy must be provided to all employees and should be posted prominently in all work locations to the extent practicable (for example, in a main office, not an offsite work location) and be provided to employees upon hiring.
What Is “Sexual Harassment”?
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is unlawful under federal, state, and (where applicable) local law. Sexual harassment includes harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, gender identity and the status of being transgender.
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct which is either of a sexual nature, or which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex when:
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, even if the reporting individual is not the intended target of the sexual harassment;
- Such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an individual’s employment.
A sexually harassing hostile work environment includes, but is not limited to, words, signs, jokes, pranks, intimidation or physical violence which are of a sexual nature, or which are directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex. Sexual harassment also consists of any unwanted verbal or physical advances, sexually explicit derogatory statements or sexually discriminatory remarks made by someone which are offensive or objectionable to the recipient, which cause the recipient discomfort or humiliation, which interfere with the recipient’s job performance.
Sexual harassment also occurs when a person in authority tries to trade job benefits for sexual favors. This can include hiring, promotion, continued employment or any other terms, conditions or privileges of employment. This is also called “quid pro quo” harassment.
Any employee who feels harassed should report so that any violation of this policy can be corrected promptly. Any harassing conduct, even a single incident, can be addressed under this policy.
Examples of sexual harassment
The following describes some of the types of acts that may be unlawful sexual harassment and that are strictly prohibited:
- Physical acts of a sexual nature, such as:
- Touching, pinching, patting, kissing, hugging, grabbing, brushing against another employee’s body or poking another employee’s body;
- Rape, sexual battery, molestation or attempts to commit these assaults.
- Unwanted sexual advances or propositions, such as:
- Requests for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning the target’s job performance evaluation, a promotion or other job benefits or detriments;
- Subtle or obvious pressure for unwelcome sexual activities.
- Sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks or jokes, or comments about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience, which create a hostile work environment.
- Sex stereotyping occurs when conduct or personality traits are considered inappropriate simply because they may not conform to other people's ideas or perceptions about how individuals of a particular sex should act or look.
- Sexual or discriminatory displays or publications anywhere in the workplace, such as:
- Displaying pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional material, reading materials or other materials that are sexually demeaning or pornographic. This includes such sexual displays on workplace computers or cell phones and sharing such displays while in the workplace.
- Hostile actions taken against an individual because of that individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and the status of being transgender, such as:
- Interfering with, destroying or damaging a person’s workstation, tools or equipment, or otherwise interfering with the individual’s ability to perform the job;
- Sabotaging an individual’s work;
- Bullying, yelling, name-calling.
Who can be a target of sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment can occur between any individuals, regardless of their sex or gender. New York Law protects employees, paid or unpaid interns, and non-employees, including independent contractors, and those employed by companies contracting to provide services in the workplace. Harassers can be a superior, a subordinate, a coworker or anyone in the workplace including an independent contractor, contract worker, vendor, client, customer or visitor.
Where can sexual harassment occur?
Unlawful sexual harassment is not limited to the physical workplace itself. It can occur while employees are traveling for business or at employer sponsored events or parties. Calls, texts, emails, and social media usage by employees can constitute unlawful workplace harassment, even if they occur away from the workplace premises, on personal devices or during non-work hours.
Unlawful retaliation can be any action that could discourage a worker from coming forward to make or support a sexual harassment claim. Adverse action need not be job-related or occur in the workplace to constitute unlawful retaliation (e.g., threats of physical violence outside of work hours).
Such retaliation is unlawful under federal, state, and (where applicable) local law. The New York State Human Rights Law protects any individual who has engaged in “protected activity.” Protected activity occurs when a person has:
- made a complaint of sexual harassment, either internally or with any anti-discrimination agency;
- testified or assisted in a proceeding involving sexual harassment under the Human Rights Law or other anti-discrimination law;
- opposed sexual harassment by making a verbal or informal complaint to management, or by simply informing a supervisor or manager of harassment;
- reported that another employee has been sexually harassed; or
- encouraged a fellow employee to report harassment.
Even if the alleged harassment does not turn out to rise to the level of a violation of law, the individual is protected from retaliation if the person had a good faith belief that the practices were unlawful. However, the retaliation provision is not intended to protect persons making intentionally false charges of harassment.
Reporting Sexual Harassment
Preventing sexual harassment is everyone’s responsibility. George F. Johnson Memorial Library cannot prevent or remedy sexual harassment unless it knows about it. Any employee, paid or unpaid intern or non-employee who has been subjected to behavior that may constitute sexual harassment is encouraged to report such behavior to a supervisor, board member, or library director. Anyone who witnesses or becomes aware of potential instances of sexual harassment should report such behavior to a supervisor, board member, or the library director.
Reports of sexual harassment may be made verbally or in writing. A form for submission of a written complaint is attached to this Policy, and all employees are encouraged to use this complaint form. Employees who are reporting sexual harassment on behalf of other employees should use the complaint form and note that it is on another employee’s behalf.
Employees, paid or unpaid interns or non-employees who believe they have been a target of sexual harassment may also seek assistance in other available forums, as explained below in the section on Legal Protections.
All supervisors and managers who receive a complaint or information about suspected sexual harassment, observe what may be sexually harassing behavior or for any reason suspect that sexual harassment is occurring, are required to report such suspected sexual harassment to the library director.
In addition to being subject to discipline if they engaged in sexually harassing conduct themselves, supervisors and managers will be subject to discipline for failing to report suspected sexual harassment or otherwise knowingly allowing sexual harassment to continue.
Supervisors and managers will also be subject to discipline for engaging in any retaliation.
Complaint and Investigation of Sexual Harassment
All complaints or information about sexual harassment will be investigated, whether that information was reported in verbal or written form. Investigations will be conducted in a timely manner, and will be confidential to the extent possible.
An investigation of any complaint, information or knowledge of suspected sexual harassment will be prompt and thorough, commenced immediately and completed as soon as possible. The investigation will be kept confidential to the extent possible. All persons involved, including complainants, witnesses and alleged harassers will be accorded due process, as outlined below, to protect their rights to a fair and impartial investigation.
Any employee may be required to cooperate as needed in an investigation of suspected sexual harassment. George F. Johnson Memorial Library will not tolerate retaliation against employees who file complaints, support another’s complaint or participate in an investigation regarding a violation of this policy.
While the process may vary from case to case, investigations should be done in accordance with the following steps:
- Upon receipt of complaint, the library director will conduct an immediate review of the allegations, and take any interim actions (e.g., instructing the respondent to refrain from communications with the complainant), as appropriate. If complaint is verbal, encourage the individual to complete the “Complaint Form” in writing. If he or she refuses, prepare a Complaint Form based on the verbal reporting. If the complaint is against the library director, then the review of the allegations will be conducted solely by the George F. Johnson Memorial Library Board of Trustees.
- If documents, emails or phone records are relevant to the investigation, take steps to obtain and preserve them.
- Request and review all relevant documents, including all electronic communications.
- Interview all parties involved, including any relevant witnesses;
- Create a written documentation of the investigation (such as a letter, memo or email), which contains the following:
- A list of all documents reviewed, along with a detailed summary of relevant documents;
- A list of names of those interviewed, along with a detailed summary of their statements;
- A timeline of events;
- A summary of prior relevant incidents, reported or unreported; and
- The basis for the decision and final resolution of the complaint, together with any corrective action(s).
- Keep the written documentation and associated documents in a secure and confidential location.
- Promptly notify the individual who reported and the individual(s) about whom the complaint was made of the final determination and implement any corrective actions identified in the written document.
- Inform the individual who reported of the right to file a complaint or charge externally as outlined in the next section.
Legal Protections And External Remedies
Sexual harassment is not only prohibited by George F. Johnson Memorial Library but is also prohibited by state, federal, and, where applicable, local law.
Aside from the internal process at George F. Johnson Memorial Library, employees may also choose to pursue legal remedies with the following governmental entities. While a private attorney is not required to file a complaint with a governmental agency, you may seek the legal advice of an attorney.
In addition to those outlined below, employees in certain industries may have additional legal protections.
State Human Rights Law (HRL)
The Human Rights Law (HRL), codified as N.Y. Executive Law, art. 15, § 290 et seq., applies to all employers in New York State with regard to sexual harassment, and protects employees, paid or unpaid interns and non-employees, regardless of immigration status. A complaint alleging violation of the Human Rights Law may be filed either with the Division of Human Rights (DHR) or in New York State Supreme Court.
Complaints with DHR may be filed any time within one year of the harassment. If an individual did not file at DHR, they can sue directly in state court under the HRL, within three years of the alleged sexual harassment. An individual may not file with DHR if they have already filed a HRL complaint in state court.
Complaining internally to George F. Johnson Memorial Library does not extend your time to file with DHR or in court. The one year or three years is counted from date of the most recent incident of harassment.
You do not need an attorney to file a complaint with DHR, and there is no cost to file with DHR.
DHR will investigate your complaint and determine whether there is probable cause to believe that sexual harassment has occurred. Probable cause cases are forwarded to a public hearing before an administrative law judge. If sexual harassment is found after a hearing, DHR has the power to award relief, which varies but may include requiring your employer to take action to stop the harassment, or redress the damage caused, including paying of monetary damages, attorney’s fees and civil fines.
DHR’s main office contact information is: NYS Division of Human Rights, One Fordham Plaza, Fourth Floor, Bronx, New York 10458. You may call (718) 741-8400 or visit: www.dhr.ny.gov.
Contact DHR at (888) 392-3644 or visit dhr.ny.gov/complaint for more information about filing a complaint. The website has a complaint form that can be downloaded, filled out, notarized and mailed to DHR. The website also contains contact information for DHR’s regional offices across New York State.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act (codified as 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.). An individual can file a complaint with the EEOC anytime within 300 days from the harassment. There is no cost to file a complaint with the EEOC. The EEOC will investigate the complaint, and determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that discrimination has occurred, at which point the EEOC will issue a Right to Sue letter permitting the individual to file a complaint in federal court.
The EEOC does not hold hearings or award relief, but may take other action including pursuing cases in federal court on behalf of complaining parties. Federal courts may award remedies if discrimination is found to have occurred. In general, private employers must have at least 15 employees to come within the jurisdiction of the EEOC.
An employee alleging discrimination at work can file a “Charge of Discrimination.” The EEOC has district, area, and field offices where complaints can be filed. Contact the EEOC by calling 1-800-669-4000 (TTY: 1-800-669-6820), visiting their website at www.eeoc.gov or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If an individual filed an administrative complaint with DHR, DHR will file the complaint with the EEOC to preserve the right to proceed in federal court.
Many localities enforce laws protecting individuals from sexual harassment and discrimination. An individual should contact the county, city or town in which they live to find out if such a law exists. For example, employees who work in New York City may file complaints of sexual harassment with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Contact their main office at Law Enforcement Bureau of the NYC Commission on Human Rights, 40 Rector Street, 10th Floor, New York, New York; call 311 or (212) 306-7450; or visit www.nyc.gov/html/cchr/html/home/home.shtml.
Contact the Local Police Department
If the harassment involves unwanted physical touching, coerced physical confinement or coerced sex acts, the conduct may constitute a crime. Contact the local police department.
 While this policy specifically addresses sexual harassment, harassment because of and discrimination against persons of all protected classes is prohibited. In New York State, such classes include age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, marital status, domestic violence victim status, gender identity and criminal history.
 A non-employee is someone who is (or is employed by) a contractor, subcontractor, vendor, consultant, or anyone providing services in the workplace. Protected non-employees include persons commonly referred to as independent contractors, “gig” workers and temporary workers. Also included are persons providing equipment repair, cleaning services or any other services provided pursuant to a contract with the employer.
Social Media Policy and Procedures
To establish rules, procedures and best practices for the use of social media for the George F. Johnson Memorial Library and to ensure the effective promotion of library resources and events to public. Social media refers to sites such as Facebook, Flickr, blogs, etc. and all such accounts will always contain the library logo and/or picture that clearly represents the library.
- The Library Director will be the managing authority and all social media accounts are created only with permission from him/her;
- All content is subject to editing or deleting according to the guidelines below by the library director and social media administrators. They may also remove any tags or links to other accounts at their discretion;
- All social media sites and content shall be monitored and updated as time allows by appointed library administrators. Daily monitoring of sites is expected to preserve the professionalism and integrity of posts.
When posting material and comments on the George F. Johnson Memorial Library social media accounts, staff will:
- Not represent any posting or statement as official policy unless it has been approved by the Library Director;
- Observe and abide by all copyrights, trademarks and service marks;
- Not make statements about patrons in any post;
- Not conduct personal business or activities on library social media accounts;
- Not post any content or pictures of library events on their personal social media accounts. Sharing previously published library posts is acceptable;
- Give information and/or photos about or from a library program to an account administrator for posting;
- Try to include a picture or graphic to highlight posted information;
- Not make any official public comments on personal social media accounts that reference any library events or policies;
- respect patron and co-worker privacy and refrain from posting identifiable information or comments regarding patrons or co-workers;
- Not spend an inordinate amount of time on personal or professional social media. This will be monitored by the Library Director.
Appropriate content for staff to post:
- Notices of upcoming meetings, programs or events;
- Highlights from past library programs;
- Information about library services, trends or technologies;
- Previously approved press releases directly concerning the GFJM Library;
- Changes in library policies or/and procedures;
- Notice of library closings, program cancellations or service interruptions;
- information about the Friends of the GFJM Library and their events;
- Training and educational opportunities for the public;
- Discussion of books, book reviews.
Postings that will not be permitted:
The following examples of postings and comments not permitted include, but are not limited to:
- Those containing obscene matter, cursing or of a sexual nature. Postings must be appropriate for audiences of all ages to read or see as library patrons vary greatly in age;
- Disparaging, harassing, abusive, profane, violent, threatening or hateful offensive postings;
- Postings which contain confidential information about any person, business or entity;
- Postings which violate or potentially violate local, state or federal laws;
- Postings which discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, age, sexual orientation, creed or ancestry;
- Postings which are sexually harassing including epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, rumors, innuendos, suggestions or jokes;
- Postings will not include contact information for people, businesses or agencies other than the library and shall not be linked to any other account unless pre-approved by the Library Director.