The purpose of the Ritter Public Library is to provide a safe and orderly environment in which patrons can study, read, research, and attend programs or meetings. The Library’s Code of
Conduct Policy has been established to protect the rights of the public and the staff to use the Library, and its services, without disruption.
The library is vital to the Vermilion community and prides itself as the community center. Appropriate use of library materials, meeting spaces and computer lab is encouraged. Nonalcoholic
beverages in spill-proof, covered containers are permitted. However, no food or drink of any kind is permitted in the computer lab.
To encourage the enjoyment of the library facility, the library staff will firmly and courteously enforce this policy.
Inappropriate library activities include but are not limited to:
loud talking including the use of profanity or other abusive language
soliciting money or gambling
appropriate attire must be worn in the Library including shirts and shoes
use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes
committing or attempting to commit any action in violation of federal, state, or local law is prohibited including, by the way of illustration only, vandalism, theft, assault, harassment, or endangering the safety of others
theft of personal or library property
use of the Internet for unlawful purposes, as defined by federal, state and local laws
trespassing in non-public areas
drug and alcohol use and/or possession
Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated as it may interfere with the legitimate Library business of other users or staff, and may serve as grounds for removal from the Library.
The Library reserves the right to evict from Library premises and refuse further admission to any individuals, and/or groups who infringe upon the rights of Library staff or patrons in their proper use of Library facilities.
Patrons who are behaving inappropriately or disruptively will be warned that the behavior must stop. If the behavior is not immediately corrected, the person will be told to leave the premises.
For serious violations, patrons may be asked to leave immediately. Anyone who does not leave after being told to do so, will be considered a trespasser and will be treated accordingly. This may include asking the Vermilion Police Department to intervene, if necessary. Habitual abusers of library rules may be banned from the premises for a period determined by the director. A minor (anyone under 18 years of age) who creates chronic problems may be required to bring a responsible adult, who will remain with him or her in the library. Additional polices specific to
children are addressed in the Ritter Public Library youth safety policy.
The Library will post a notice, as required by the Ohio Revised Code, in a prominent location which informs the users and invitees of the Library that the Library prohibits deadly weapons or dangerous ordnance. That notice shall state:
NOTICE: Unless otherwise authorized by law, pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code, no person shall knowingly possess, have under the person’s control, convey, or attempt to convey a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance onto these premises.
Adopted by the Ritter Public Library Board of Trustees
June 11, 2019
The following is adopted as policy by the Ritter Public Library Board of Trustees in accordance with state and federal law.
All information contained in a customer record is confidential information and may only be released under the following limited circumstances by the Library Director:
- A library record or customer information pertaining to a minor child when requested, in writing, by the parent, custodian or guardian of the minor child; or
- In accordance with a properly issued subpoena, search warrant or other order of a court of competent jurisdiction; or
- To a law enforcement officer who is acting in the scope of the officer’s law enforcement duties and who is investigating a matter involving public safety in exigent circumstances which do not permit the officer to obtain a search warrant or other order of a court of competent jurisdiction; or
- The customer, other than a minor child or an incompetent adult, requests such records; or the customer, other than a minor child or an incompetent adult, executes a written, signed release for such records to specifically name other individuals or corporations or government entities; or
- The library needs to release the records for administrative purposes, including the establishment, maintenance or transfer of the library records management system; or records that document improper use of the Internet at the library, provided that patron identifying information is removed.
When library personnel are served with a subpoena, search warrant or other order from a court of competent jurisdiction, they should immediately notify the director. The director will notify the Erie County prosecutor’s office for legal assistance in these cases.
Customers may release their own library records and the records of minor children under their legal custody and control. A form is available should the need arise for a record’s release.
The library will comply with the U.S. Patriot’s Act of 2001 if a request is made under that act and after consultation with the Erie County prosecutor’s office.
For purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:
- Custodian – a person who has legal custody of a child, or a public children’s agency or private child-placing agency that has permanent, temporary or legal custody of a child. Custodian is not a foster parent.
- Library Record – is a record in any form, written, verbal or electronic, that is maintained by the library and contains any of the following types of non-evaluative, identifying information:
- Information the library requires an individual to provide to determine eligibility for services; or
- Information that identifies an individual as having requested or obtained specific material or materials on a specific subject; or
- Information provided by an individual to assist a staff member to answer a specific question or provide information on a specific question.
- Customer Information – is any personal, identifiable information about an individual who has used any library service or borrowed any library materials. Non-specific age or gender information is not considered customer information.
- Exigent Circumstance – those circumstances which are so urgent that a law enforcement officer must choose public safety over the rights granted by Ohio statute to an individual.
- Guardian – a person, association or corporation that is granted authority by a probate court pursuant to Chapter 2111 of the Ohio Revised Code to exercise parental rights over a child to the extent provided in the court’s order and subject to the residual parental rights of the child’s parents.
- Internet – is the international computer network of both federal and non-federal, interoperable packet switched data networks, including the graphical sub network called the World Wide Web.
- Minor Child – anyone under the age of eighteen (18) years.
- Incompetent Adult – any person who is so mentally impaired as a result of a mental or physical illness or disability or metal retardation, or as a result of chronic substance abuse, that the person is incapable of taking proper care of the person’s self or property or fails to provide for the person’s family or other persons for whom the person is charged by law to provide, and for whom the state has appointed a guardian through a county probate court.
This policy will be strictly enforced. Any questions of staff concerning the implementation of the policy should be addressed to the director.
The Ritter Public Library Board of Trustees
October 14, 2003
Openness leads to a better informed citizenry, which leads to better government and better public policy. The records maintained by the Ritter Public Library and the ability to access them are important to maintain trust between the public and Ritter Public Library.
It is the policy of the Ritter Public Library to adhere to the Public Records Act of the State of Ohio. All records of the Library that meet the definition of “public records” are public unless they are exempt from disclosure under the Ohio law and federal law, such as under the exemption in Section 149.432 that prohibits the Library from releasing any library records or from disclosing any patron information except in situations specified in that statute.
Definition of Public Records
Ritter Public Library, in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code, defines public records as: Any document – paper, electronic (including, but not limited to, email), or other format – that is created or received by, or comes under the jurisdiction of the Ritter Public Library that documents the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the office. All records of the Ritter Public Library meeting this definition are public unless they are exempt from disclosure under Ohio law or federal law.
Upon request, all public records responsive to the request, and not exempt from disclosure, will be promptly prepared and made available for inspection to any person at all reasonable times during regular business hours of the Library.
The Library will provide copies of the requested public record at within a reasonable period of time. “Prompt” and “reasonable” take into account the volume of records requested, the proximity of the location where the records are stored, the necessity for any legal review and redaction of the records requested, and other facts and circumstances of the records requested.
It is the goal of Ritter Public Library that all requests for public records should be acknowledged in writing, or if feasible, satisfied within three business days following the library’s receipt of the request.
Although no specific language is required to make a request, the requestor must at least identify the records requested with sufficient clarity to allow Ritter Public Library to identify, retrieve, and review the records. If it is not clear what records are being sought, the records custodian must contact the requestor for clarification, and will assist the requestor in revising the request by informing the requestor of the manner in which the Library keeps its records.
The requestor does not have to put a records request in writing, and does not have to provide his or her identity or the intended use of the requested public record. It is Ritter Public Library’s general policy that this information is only to be requested if the written request or disclosure of identity of the requestor or intended use of the record would benefit the requestor by enhancing the ability of the Library to identify, locate or deliver the requested public records, and if the requestor is informed that the written request or disclosure of identity of the requestor or intended use of the record is not mandatory.
In processing a request, the library does not have an obligation to create new records or perform a search or research for information in the library’s records. An electronic record is deemed to exist as long as a computer is already programmed to produce the record through the library’s standard use of sorting, filtering, or querying features.
In processing a request for inspection of a public record, an employee may be assigned to accompany the requester during inspection to make certain original records are not taken or altered.
To facilitate broader access to its public records, the Library will organize and maintain its public records in a manner that they can be made available in accordance with this policy. The Library’s records retention schedule will be made readily available to the public. The Library’s public record policy may be posted on its website.
Denial and Redaction of Records
If the requester makes an ambiguous or overly broad request, the request may be denied, but the library must then provide the requester an opportunity to revise the request by informing the requester of the manner in which records are maintained and accessed by the library.
Any denial of public records requested will include an explanation, including legal authority. If portions of a record are public and portions are exempt, the exempt portions are to be redacted and the rest released. If there are redactions, each redaction will be accompanied by a supporting explanation, including legal authority. If the initial request was in writing, the explanation also will be provided in writing.
Documents in electronic mail format are records as defined by the Ohio Revised Code when their content relates to the business of the office. Email is to be treated in the same fashion as records in other formats and should follow the same retention schedules.
Public record content transmitted to or from private accounts or personal devices is subject to disclosure. All employees or representatives of the library are required to retain their e-mail records and other electronic records in accordance with applicable records retention schedules.
Copying and Mailing Costs
Those seeking public records may be charged the actual cost of making copies, not labor. The charge for paper copies is $0.25 per page. The charge for electronic files downloaded to a compact disc is $1.00 per disc which will be provided by the library.
Upon request, the Library will transmit a copy of a public record by mail or by other means of delivery transmission within a reasonable period of time after receiving the request. The requestor will be charged the actual cost of the postage and mailing supplies. The Library may require the requestor to pay in advance the cost involved in providing the copies, including postage. There is no charge for e-mailed documents.
Ritter Public Library’s records are subject to records retention schedules. The library’s current schedules are available at Ritter Public Library.
There is no charge to borrow materials from the Ritter Public Library, provided they are returned in good condition and on time.
You must present your library card to check out items. You may borrow 50 items (adult card) and 25 items (juvenile card) at a time.
|Video & DVD||7 days||No Renewals|
|New Books||14 days||No Renewals|
|Magazines||7 days||No Renewals|
|Audio Books & Music||21 days|
|A-V Equipment||2 days|
|Educational Kits||14 days|
|Fishing Equipment||14 days|
|Info/Ed DVDs||14 days|
Selected items may have a shorter or no-loan period
Ritter Public Library Meeting Rooms Policy
Ritter Public Library is committed to helping build a sense of community by offering free meeting room space to groups, organizations and local businesses when the rooms are not being used for library activities. Provision of space does not constitute an endorsement by the library trustees or staff of any group or its activities.
Programs for the public must be non-profit and consistent with the informational, educational or cultural purposes of the library. Programs must be non-solicitation in nature. Local businesses may reserve rooms. Meetings planned as commercial endeavors or that advertise products or services are not permitted. Rooms are not available to individuals for private parties such as birthdays, showers or receptions.
The adult representative of the group who signs the application agrees to assume responsibility for the group’s adherence to the rules and any damages to the facility or equipment which may occur as a result of the group’s use. Only the Friends, Endowment Fund, or Foundation may sponsor fund-raising activities in the library.
Meetings are free and open to the public. Smoking and alcohol are prohibited.
The library will allow its meeting rooms to be used for classes provided by the Vermilion Local School District, the City of Vermilion (Recreation Department, for example), and accredited area colleges and universities, or other organizations of an educational nature which have entered into a partnership with Ritter Public Library to provide classes benefiting the public. Collection of fees or other costs associated with a specific program are permitted.
The library’s meeting rooms may be used by political groups for regular meetings of an organizational nature. They may be used for public forums, debates, and candidates’ nights but not for self-promotion of any one candidate. A form certifying that all sides will be represented must be completed before an application can be approved.
The name, address or telephone number of the library may not be used as the official address or headquarters of an organization. The use of meeting rooms by a non-library group shall not be publicized in such a way as to imply sponsorship of the group’s activities by the library. Except in cases of emergency, messages cannot be conveyed to meeting room participants or attendees.
Adults must be present at any meeting where children are in attendance and assume responsibility for their actions. Children must not be left unattended in the library while their caregivers attend meetings elsewhere in the library.
The library may wish to co-sponsor with local groups in order to offer a wider variety of programs. These groups may accept small donations to cover costs. All co-sponsored activities need to be approved by library administration.
Reservations for use of rooms are on a first-come, first-served basis to qualified groups. Meeting rooms should be booked by a responsible adult (18 yrs. or older) at least 24 hours in advance. Use of meeting rooms must be approved by the library. The library reserves the right to determine which room will best accommodate each group’s needs and assign rooms accordingly. Groups are not permitted to use a room until the request has been approved. Reservations for a regular meeting by the same group will be allowed up to a year in advance with the Director’s authorization.
Needs of the library may result in cancelling or rescheduling the booking.
The library reports statistics on use of its meeting rooms. Groups must check in and out at the main desk each time they meet. At the conclusion of each meeting, complete requested information and place in holder by door.
Meeting rooms are available during regular library hours. All groups are expected to leave the library 15 minutes before closing.
Equipment & Set-Up
Room set-up is each group’s responsibility. Each room must be left in the condition in which it was found unless other instructions are given.
Library audiovisual equipment is available only upon prior reservation. An individual with experience operating electronic equipment must make arrangements in advance for training. Groups that view DVDs must secure all necessary performance licenses and indemnify the library for any failure to do so. Replacement fees will be assessed for failure to secure equipment, and future meetings may be cancelled until restitution is made.
Food and Beverage
Light refreshments may be served except in the Ritter Room. No food is permitted in the Ritter Room. The kitchenette is available for any group use, so long as it is cleaned afterward. A refrigerator and microwave are also available. Groups must bring their own supplies. Storage of equipment and /or supplies is not permitted in the library. Organizations will be responsible for and billed for any equipment or property loss or damage as well as for any cleaning required.
Groups should notify the library as far in advance as possible, but at least 24 hours in advance of cancellations. Failure to cancel sooner than 24 hours before the scheduled meeting may result in future applications being denied. While every effort is made to honor all reservations, the library retains the right to cancel scheduled meetings if the need should arise. In such an unusual case, as much notice as possible will be given.
The library is not liable for injuries, damage to personal property, or loss of property belonging to individuals or groups using meeting rooms. Whenever personal injury or loss/ damage to property occur in connection with use of meeting rooms, the incident must be reported immediately to staff and an incident report completed. In the event an incident occurs after the library is closed, a form will be provided and contact numbers listed for reporting purposes.
Amended by the Ritter Public Library Board of Trustees
June 11, 2019
The Ritter Public Library provides free Notary Public services for the benefit of the residents of our community. Notary service is normally available during the library’s regular hours of operation. Notary service is not available in the 30 minutes prior to closing. We encourage library customers to call ahead to ensure that a Notary will be available. The following guidelines will be followed for the provision of this service:
· The document to be notarized must be completely filled out, leaving no blanks other than where the customer will sign the document, before appearing before the library Notary. Library Notaries may not notarize any document with blank spaces.
· Remember that documents to be notarized must be signed in front of the Notary (do not sign them beforehand). All people signing the document(s) must be present.
· Documents in any language other than English will not be notarized.
· Notary service is not available for deeds, wills, living wills, living trusts, codicils, depositions, or mortgage or real estate closing documents.
· Certain public documents cannot be copied and notarized. Some examples of these are: birth certificates, death certificates and marriage certificates.
· The Notary must have satisfactory evidence that the person executing the document(s) is the person described in the instrument.
· The person who will sign the document must provide the Notary with at least one valid form of identification that provides a physical description of the signer. The Notary may decline to notarize a document if the signer cannot provide valid identification. Acceptable forms of identification are:
– A current passport from any country, written in a language that the Notary can read;
– A valid driver’s license from any state of the United States;
– A valid non-driver’s photo identification card from any state of the United States; or
– A United States Military identification card.
· The library will not provide witnesses and witnesses may not be solicited from library staff or customers using the library. In order to serve as a witness, the witness must personally know the person whose document is being notarized and must be in possession of valid photo identification.
· Notaries are required to follow Ohio Revised Code Chapter 147. Notaries will not provide service if a patron, document, or circumstance of the request for Notary service raise any issue of authenticity, ambiguity, doubt, or uncertainty. Under these circumstances, the library Notary may, at his or her sole discretion, decline to provide Notary service.
· Notaries cannot provide legal advice.
Staff will provide copies as soon as possible. Turnaround time depends on the amount of requests generated by this master web obituary service.
Researchers may visit the Ritter Public Library in person and obtain copies of the obituaries for $0.20 per page when they do their own searching.
Adopted by the Ritter Public Library Board of Trustees
June 8, 2004
The Ritter Public Library makes services and a variety of materials in various formats available to all persons on an equal basis.
The library promotes the use of new technologies throughout the library when doing so supports the library’s mission, provides greater opportunities for the public to access information and entertainment material, and is cost-effective.
To provide for equitable availability and circulation of materials, the library has established the following policies regarding borrowing eligibility, length of loan for various materials, limits on the number of items that can be borrowed, renewals, reserves, interlibrary loans, overdue and lost-materials charges and damage and replacement assessments.
The library uses the automated circulation component of the Cleveland Public Library (Clevnet) to maintain, monitor and report circulation statistics, generate overdue notices and final bills, and provide a series of ongoing lists for purposes of replacing lost titles.
Borrower cards are issued free of charge to individuals who are Ohio residents or who pay property taxes. Companies, agencies and organizations, which are located in Ohio, are also eligible cardholders. To receive a card, you must apply in person and present proof of current address, such as a driver’s license or utility bill. The cardholder (individual or corporation), or parent or guardian for those under 18, is responsible for all use of the card. Lost or stolen cards should be reported to the library as soon as possible. There will be a charge for replacement of lost cards.
Borrowers are expected to bring their card with them any time they wish to borrow materials and present their card to use equipment (including computers) and software in the building. If a cardholder does not have their card with them, materials may be checked out using a photo ID.
There is no charge to borrow materials from the Ritter Public Library, provided they are returned in good condition and on time. You are expected to show your library card to check out items or if you do not have your card with you, a photo ID will be accepted. You may borrow: 50 items (adult card) and 25 items (juvenile card) at a time.
Damage and Replacement Charges
Borrowers are responsible for all materials checked out, and are liable for any damages beyond normal wear and tear, which may occur to library materials. Fees assessed for damaged materials may include minor repair to the item or packaging, rebinding of books or actual item replacement if extent of the damage is such that the item cannot be repaired. The head of circulation evaluates damaged materials, determines appropriate repair or replacement and notifies the borrower. All damage charges are attached to the borrower’s record until paid.
Reserves and Interlibrary Loans
Reserves may be placed on books, books on tape, and CDs. Customers may request a total of ten items on reserve at one time. An item not available through Clevnet may be borrowed through interlibrary loan. There may be charges involved, which the customer will pay for at the time the material is checked out at the library.
The Ritter Public Library Board of Trustees
March 14, 2000
The mission of the Ritter Public Library is to develop, provide, and publicize a variety of informational, recreational and educational materials and services that support the needs of the entire community of Vermilion.
Use of the Internet is part of the library’s mission to deliver these materials and services to the public. All Internet and wireless Internet resources accessible through the library are provided equally to all library customers. The library may establish time limits, queues or other forms of network management in order to provide quality service and to ensure the limited number of access points that will be available to as many customers as possible.
The Internet is a worldwide, unregulated electronic medium; neither library staff nor trustees can control or be held responsible for the content and accuracy of information accessed, including electronic mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, peer-to-peer or social networks, or future forms of electronic communication. Users may be subjected to materials that are unreliable, personally offensive or illegal under Unites States law, and each individual user must take responsibility for his or her own activities on the Internet and for the activities of his or her children.
Individuals who violate this policy or its corresponding procedure will be denied access to the Internet. Reinstatement of use is at the discretion of the director and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Library cardholders from Ritter Public Library or a Clevnet member library are eligible to access the library’s public workstations. A minor child’s card may not be used by an adult parent or guardian to access the Internet. Any Ohio resident may apply for a library card free of charge. Out-of-state visitors must obtain a temporary guest pass from the customer service desk. Minors under the age of 18 must have the form signed by a parent or guardian in the presence of library staff.
Safety and Security of Minors
As with other library materials, parents of minor children must assume responsibility for their children’s usage of the library’s workstations and the Internet. Parents and legal guardians should educate minors to follow basic Internet safety guidelines:
- Never give out personal information such as name or address.
- Never arrange to meet someone face-to-face via electronic networks.
- Never respond to threatening or suggestive messages.
- Remember that people online may not be who they say they are.
- To prevent loss of data, always store needed information on removable devices.
- Use of any information obtained via the Internet is at your own risk.
Children eight years old and younger must have an adult seated with them while using library workstations. The parent or guardian will also be notified when any minor loses his or her privileges.
Library staff is happy to assist users in accessing the Internet; each user is nevertheless responsible for his or her own session. Staff cannot provide in-depth personal training in the use of the Internet or of personal computers. Library staff will attempt to assist with technical issues stemming from the library’s computers or network, but cannot be held responsible for problems with outside sites or services.
Users may print information from the library’s workstations and the Internet. Black-and-white copies are $0.20, and color copies are $0.25 per page and may be picked up at the customer service desk.
The Internet may not be used for any purposes which conflict with the mission of the library or for illegal, unethical or inappropriate purposes. This responsibility also applies to the users of equipment connecting to the library’s wireless Internet. These responsibilities include:
- Respecting the privacy, security and sensibilities of other users.
- Respecting the legal protection provided by copyright and license to programs and data.
- Respecting the integrity of the library’s computer systems and network.
- Please protect your personal data and privacy. Users should download and save files to their own removable storage devices, or may purchase one from the library for a nominal fee.
Unacceptable uses include:
- Damaging, destroying or deleting equipment, software or data belonging to the library. This includes attempts to bypass network security functions, obtain passwords or alter the configuration of library computers in any way.
- Unauthorized copying of copyrighted or licensed material.
- Harassing others.
- Using the Internet for any illegal activity.
- Wasting finite resources (including printing without paying).
- Using library computers to store personal files and data.
Warnings and Restrictions
Staff reserves the right to monitor any Internet activity for improper use. It is strictly prohibited to use the Internet for illegal or criminal purposes. Any unauthorized access will result in immediate suspension of Internet access. Users agree to comply with federal, state and local laws including those related to obscenity, pornography and delivery to minors material deemed harmful to them. Users understand that Internet sites may contain both written and pictorial information offensive to themselves and others.
Ritter Public Library welcomes and encourages children to use our facilities and services. However, our staff cannot assume the role of a parent in their protection and supervision. That
responsibility remains with the appropriate parent, guardian or caregiver and will not be assumed by the library, its agents or staff.
Unattended Children under age 8
Children under the age of 8 years must be with an adult (18+) caregiver at all times, in all areas of the library. During storytimes or other programs, adults who do not attend the program with the child must stay in the children’s area until the end of the program, or until reunited with their child.
Unattended children ages 8-12
Children ages 8-12 are permitted to be in the library without the immediate presence of an adult caregiver. However, the adult remains solely responsible for the child; staff cannot take on the role of a parent in regards to protection and supervision.
Over age 12
Children over the age of 12 are considered capable of arranging their own transportation and are required to honor the library’s hours of business. Staff will not assume responsibility for
unattended youth while they either wait outside for transportation or if they leave the property.
Procedure for staff in cases where youth 12 and under are left unattended
If a child under the age of 8 is found unattended, library staff will attempt to locate/contact the adult first. If unsuccessful, the Vermilion Police Department will be notified for
If a child ages 8-12 is unattended at closing, they will be permitted to call using library phones to arrange for pickup. If the parent, guardian, or caregiver does not arrive within 10
minutes to pick up the child, the Vermilion Police Department will be notified.
If the library closes, and the child has been turned over to the Vermilion Police Department, staff will post a notice on the Liberty Ave. entrance, which states the address
and phone number of the Vermilion Police Department.
During regular business hours, if library staff determines that a child is not behaving properly or violating our Code of Conduct, staff will request an adult caregiver to remove the child from the premises. If the parent, guardian, or caregiver cannot be located within a reasonable time, the Vermilion Police Department will be notified. The library reserves the right to deny access to library services to any child who violates library rules.
Staff will complete an incident report in cases where a child is left unattended and Vermilion Police Department is notified. Staff will also complete an incident report when a youth violates
library policies to the extent where removal of the youth is required.