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Public Service Policies

Policy

Oakville Public Library (hereinafter referred to as the Library) is committed to improving accessibility by eliminating barriers for people with disabilities in a manner that respects dignity and independence.

This policy is intended to address the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and related Standards and Regulations introduced under the legislation, ensuring that persons with disabilities are provided equal opportunities and standards of service. It includes the accessibility standards developed by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario Standards Development Committees as listed below:

  • Accessible Customer Service
  • Accessible Information and Communications
  • Accessible Built Environment
  • Employment Accessibility
  • Accessible Transportation

Scope

This policy applies to Library Board Members, employees, and volunteers, as well as agents or contractors representing or performing any function on behalf of the Library.

Procedure

This procedure addresses the accessibility requirements of Ontario Regulation 429/07 Accessibility Standards for Customer Service under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

Reasonable efforts shall be made to provide all persons with the equal opportunity to obtain, use and benefit from Library goods and services. To ensure that goods and services are provided in a manner and format that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities, the Library shall:

  1. Incorporate best practices in accessibility as part of standard business operations whenever possible
  2. Welcome the use of assistive devices, service animals and support persons unless prohibited by law or for reasons of health and safety
  3. Reinforce accessibility requirements and procedures through the training of personnel
  4. Provide notice of service disruption when required
  5. Provide access to a feedback process

Assistive Devices

The Library welcomes the use of assistive devices by individuals unless otherwise prohibited due to health, safety or privacy issues. Where possible, the Library shall make assistive devices available in the form of lifts, audio enhancements and visual enhancements.

Service Animals

The Library welcomes service animals in areas/premises that are open to the public unless otherwise prohibited by law. In the event that a service animal is excluded from the premises by law, the Library shall endeavour to make other provisions available in order to enable the person with a disability to obtain, use, or benefit from the Library's goods and services.

Support Persons

The Library welcomes support people who accompany an individual with a disability when accessing Library goods and services. The Library shall ensure that both persons are permitted to enter the premises together and the person with a disability is not prevented from having access to the support person while on the premises (O. Reg. 429/07, s 4 (4).

Training

The Library shall provide accessibility training to all staff, volunteers, agents/contractors and any other individuals who interact with the public or other third parties on behalf of the Library. Training shall be commensurate with the level of public contact and shall include:

  1. The purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the requirements of the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07
  2. How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities
  3. How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person
  4. How to use assistive devices, if applicable, which may be available at Library facilities
  5. How to help if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing the Library's goods and services.

Training shall be provided in a timely manner upon hiring and on an ongoing basis to meet staff needs and to ensure compliance with applicable legislation.

The Library shall keep records of the training provided in accordance with Ontario Regulation 429/07.

Service Disruption Notification

In the event of a planned service disruption at any Library facility, or of any Library service or system, notice shall be provided on the Library website and posted at the affected location.

Where a person with a disability uses such a facility, service or system, and has registered with the Library, the person with a disability shall receive notice (in the manner determined at the time of registration) of the service disruption. Notice may be provided by one of the following ways:

  • by telephone, or
  • by email, or
  • by mail

The notice shall include the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities, services or systems that may be available.

In the event of an unexpected disruption, notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place at the facility or service location, or posted on the Library website and/or by another method as is reasonable under the circumstances.

Feedback Process

The Library shall maintain a feedback process to enable members of the public to comment on the provision of goods and services to people with disabilities. The Library shall respond to feedback within a reasonable time frame.

References and Related Documents

  • Accessibility for Ontarians Disabilities Act, 2005
  • Accessible Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07
  • Town of Oakville Accessibility Policy
  • Town of Oakville Accessible Customer Service Procedure

Definitions

Assistive Device - is a technical aid, communication device, or medical aid modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities. An assistive device may be provided by the individual or may be provided by the Library in the form of lifts, ramps, audio and visual enhancements, etc.

Barrier - as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, means anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, an information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or a practice.

Disability - as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the Ontario Human Rights Code, is:

  1. any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,
  2. a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
  3. a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
  4. a mental disorder, or
  5. an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

Service Animal - As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07 - an animal is a service animal for a person with a disability if it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.

Support Person - As reflected in Ontario Regulation 429/07 - a support person means, in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.


Effective Date: December 1, 2009
Next Review Date: 2013

View the complete policy document here (PDF)

Policy Number:           PS-005
Policy Category:         Public Service
Approved by:    OPL Board
Accountability:    Chief Executive Officer
Approval Date:            January 28, 2021
Effective date:             January 29, 2021
Next Review Date:       2024
Supersedes: Collection Development Policy: June 27/13, Sep. 23/10, Jan. 22/09, Nov. 24/05, Dec. 12, 02. (Motion #: 13.06.56, 10.09.74, 09.01.08, 05.11.114, 02.12.146)
Access to Collections Policy: September 23/10, Jan. 22/09, Nov. 24/05, Dec. 12/02 (Motion#: 13.06.56, 09.01.08, 05.11.114, 02.12.146)
Responsibility for Selection Policy: June 27/13, Sep. 24/09, Feb. 23/06, Jan 2003 (Motion#: 13.06.53, 09.09.81, 06.02.24, 03.02.20)

Purpose

The Oakville Public Library is a community place and our goal is to deliver an excellent library experience in the most respectful manner.  Oakville Public Library encourages positive behaviour in line with the library’s vision, mission, and values as outlined in the Strategic Plan.  Library staff are committed to providing a supportive, safe and welcoming environment for all library customers, staff, and volunteers.  

Scope

This policy applies to all library customers, staff, and volunteers anywhere the library conducts business, whether on library or Town property, in other community spaces and virtually through our website, digital platforms or social media channels.  It is applied in conjunction with the Town of Oakville Customer Service Standards and Customer Conduct Policy, the Respectful Conduct Policy and RZone Procedure and other related library policies.

Policy Statement

To ensure a positive experience for our library users, library staff commit to:

  • Provide professional and quality customer service;
  • Communicate effectively and seek feedback to continually improve our service delivery; 
  • Strive to provide library materials in a timely manner and services and programs that are relevant to the community.  Offer alternatives as needed;
  • Make every effort to provide welcoming and inclusive spaces and understand individual needs;  
  • Maintain confidentiality and privacy.

As a customer of the Oakville Public Library, we ask you to:

  • Be considerate to others and behave in a manner that does not disrupt other customers or staff; 
  • Be respectful and not engage in inappropriate behaviour, such as verbal or physical assault directed at staff, other customers or volunteers;
  • Be respectful of staff time and library resources by not making excessive and persistent demands or insisting on outcomes that are not possible or appropriate;
  • Treat library resources with respect and understand that damage, misuse, theft, and vandalism of materials or equipment is not allowed;  
  • Use library resources and spaces for their intended purpose to ensure a positive experience for all;
  • Be responsible for the conduct of those in your care and do not leave a child or vulnerable person unattended; 
  • Follow all library policies and procedures as posted in print and / or online.  

Consequences of not following the Customer Code of Conduct

It is the responsibility of library employees to ensure that library policies are followed.  Employees make every effort to apply these policies in a fair, consistent, and positive way for the benefit of all.  Staff will advise customers of appropriate conduct, as required, and state consequences for not following policies should unacceptable behaviour continue.

Anyone who fails to comply with the Customer Code of Conduct Policy may have their library privileges suspended, be banned from the library for a period of time, be required to pay for losses or damages, and/or be prosecuted under the law.

References

  • Safety and Well-being of Children Policy 
  • Confidentiality of Customer Records
  • Internet Access and Acceptable Use Policy
  • Inclusion Policy
  • Accessibility Policy
  • Customer Service Standards and Customer Conduct Policy
  • Respectful Conduct Policy
  • RZone Procedure – Town of Oakville
  • Oakville Public Library Strategic Plan 


Policy Number:           PS-001
Policy Category:         Public Service
Approved by:              OPL Board    
Accountability:           CEO or designate    
Approval Date:           April 22, 2021
Effective date:            April 23, 2021
Next Review Date:     April 2024
Supersedes:               PS-001 dated November 23, 2017

Purpose

To ensure that Oakville Public Library (OPL) protects the personal information and privacy of its customers in compliance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O 1990, Chapter M.56 (MFIPPA) and Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).

Scope

This policy applies to all personal information provided by customers to OPL in writing, electronically or in-person.

Definitions

Personal information: identifiable information about an individual such as name, phone number, address, email, date of birth, financial transaction, etc. Exceptions are defined in the MFIPPA.

Spam: an electronic message sent without explicit or implied consent of the recipient.

Policy Statement

In the course of collecting personal information to conduct its business, the OPL will comply with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O 1990, Chapter M.56 (MFIPPA) and Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).

The library collects personal information under the authority of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for the purpose of conducting the library’s business which may include, but is not limited to: fines and fees, holds, overdue and renewal notices, room rentals, programs, general communication and fundraising.

The library will clearly state the purpose for collecting any personal information before such information is collected and will obtain consent for that use.

Obtaining a library card implies the individual’s consent to authorize the library to collect personal information for the purpose of conducting the library’s business which may include fines and fees, holds, overdue and renewal notices.

Obtaining a library card implies the individual’s consent to authorize the library to send electronic notifications regarding personal borrowing and transaction activities using their preferred method. The library will also use electronic means to promote services, programs or share information. The library will seek the individual’s consent before sending promotional electronic messages. The library will provide options to individuals to easily unsubscribe from promotional messages change their preferences at any time.

The possession of a physical library card or access to the card in digital format implies consent for the holder to pay fines or pick up materials on behalf of the card owner, but does not allow access to any library account information such as materials checked out on the card. 

Personal information shall be collected using only legal and lawful means and its collection, use and storage will be limited to that which is necessary to conduct business for the purposes identified by the library.

Use and disclosure:
Personal information shall not be shared, used or disclosed for purposes other than that for which it was collected, except with the consent of the individual, exceptions outlined in this policy or as required by law.
Library account information can be shared only with the account holder, or with the person who
has lawful custody of the individual for a person who is less than 16 years of age, or with
someone holding Power of Attorney for the specified individual.

Personal information may be shared with agencies and companies working within the scope of their duties on behalf of the library and in compliance with this policy. 

Any disclosure of personal information to law enforcement officials must be approved by the CEO. Exceptions can be made in compassionate circumstances where the manager in charge may disclose information in the case of a missing person where time is of essence.

Retention:
The library retains records of library transactions identifying specific individual’s use of the library for as long as the cardholder remains active. Inactive accounts with no outstanding balance are deleted after 2 years.

Accuracy:
Every effort will be made to maintain customer information complete and up-to-date. Customers are responsible for identifying changes in personal information such as name, address or contact information.

Personal information shall be protected from unauthorized access by safeguards that are appropriate for the sensitivity of the information collected. Customers should report immediately any lost or stolen library card to reduce the risk of potential unauthorized access to their records and protect their information.

The library will ensure that its Privacy Policy is enforced by all library staff members as well as third party organizations or agencies that have legitimate access to such information in support of conducting the library’s business.

Questions regarding the collection and use of personal information can be directed to: CEO, Oakville Public Library. The library will apply Privacy by Design principles in technology, business practices and physical design to protect customer privacy when conducting library business to provide services to the public.

References

Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O 1990, Chapter M.56
(MFIPPA)

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

Policy Number: OP-008
Policy Category: Operations
Approved by: OPL Board
Accountability: CEO or Designate
Approval Date: June 24, 2021
Effective date: June 25, 2021
Next Review Date: June 2025
Supersedes: Confidentiality of Customer Records Policy

Purpose

Oakville Public Library supports the display and distribution of information to the community by posting approved information through its channels (information boards, display spaces etc.).
The purpose of the policy is to establish the conditions governing the display and distribution of community information.


Scope

This policy applies to all material displayed through the community information channels.


Policy Statement

Oakville Public Library is an information source for customers and, as such, has designated bulletin boards and display spaces available for postings of community interest.

Acceptable displays and postings include, but are not limited to, the following types of materials:
  • Culturally important
  • Community Interest
  • Works of local artists and artisans
Displays and postings of a commercial nature will not be permitted unless they have cultural or community importance. Postings of local, community interest have priority.

Unacceptable displays and postings include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Partisan or political for individual political parties or candidates
  • Advertisements or solicitations for business
  • Promotions of a specific faith
All material submitted for display approval becomes the property of the Oakville Public Library. Oakville Public Library cannot guarantee everything will be posted or displayed and reserves the right of refusal. Oakville Public Library reserves the right to dispose of material.

All information posted through community information channels must be pre-approved by Oakville Public Library. Information Oakville will administer this policy and all submissions must be provided for approval and distribution.

The granting of display space does not imply endorsement of the posted material by the Oakville Public Library.

Policy Number:      PS-003-OPL
Policy Category:    Public Service
Approved by:         Oakville Public Library 
Accountability:      Director, Community Engagement
Approval Date: 
Effective date:        June 2018
Next Review Date:  June, 2021
Supersedes:           Displays – Section 5.10 Service Policies and Procedures

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this policy is to set the framework for public access to the internet for all library customers, including equitable access to technology containing the internet, while maintaining a welcoming and supportive environment and ensuring usage conforms to all applicable laws.

Scope

This policy applies to staff and members of the public that use Oakville Public Library’s (OPL) internet services (wired and wireless networks), digital devices and technology.


Policy Statement

The internet enables OPL customers to connect to ideas and information from around the world while offering access to many valuable local, national and international resources. OPL provides internet access (wired and wireless) in all branches through library-supplied public access desktop computers, tablets, and digital devices. In conjunction with the Town of Oakville, OPL provides free access to its “Public Wireless” network following the user’s acceptance of the Town of Oakville’s Public Access Terms and Conditions. By agreeing with these terms, OPL is able to provide secure and equitable access to this technological resources.

Internet users are further subject to all of the applicable federal, provincial and municipal legislation and by-laws that regulate internet use, including provisions of the Criminal Code regarding obscenity, child pornography, sedition and the incitement of hate. Library computers cannot be used for illegal, unethical or criminal purposes or for access to unauthorized areas. The library assumes no responsibility for infringement of copyright and other intellectual property rights. The library will block sites that are in violation of the above laws and does not take responsibility if the customer is using personal network/data within any of our properties.  

OPL offers an array of filtered access but assumes no responsibility for the effectiveness of any installed commercial filter nor any liability in the event the filter is not 100% effective. Filtering on selected computers is intended to block sexually explicit, or hate, material. Public awareness and parental guidance remain key to making the best possible use of internet resources. Parents/adults are responsible for any child in their care and their use of digital devices and services, including the use of the Creation Zone equipment, the internet, and wireless access through personal or library-provided devices. Parents/adults are responsible for any damage or loss that may result from a child’s use of technological resources, including access privileges to materials or online content they deem appropriate. OPL cannot and does not act in place of, or absence of, a parent or legal guardian and is not responsible for enforcing restrictions which a parent or guardian may place upon a minor's use of this technology. On its website, www.opl.ca, OPL includes links to websites that provide guidance on internet safety.

Users must not install, modify, delete or download software onto library computers or alter or misuse the hardware in any way. The library will not be held liable for the security of users' equipment or software, privacy of online transactions, service interruptions, or for any direct or indirect claims for damages arising from access to internet services. The library cannot guarantee access to any or all software, programs or resources. Digital devices, services, and work tables are located in public areas and are shared by library customers of all ages, backgrounds, and sensibilities. Users are asked to consider other library customers when accessing or using public or personal resources within the library, and to refrain from displaying or creating content that may offend others. By using the library's services, the customer agrees to abide by existing policies, guidelines, terms and conditions.

Staff will respond to complaints or observed incidents of misuse by any customer. The library will invoke consequences for failure to observe and comply with the Internet Access and Acceptable Use Policy. Complaints about illegal content will be passed on to the police. 


Definitions

Digital Devices — Electronic devices provided by the Library for use by the library customers, such as laptops, computers, tablets, printers, projectors, Creation Zone equipment, coding robots, self-checks, sorters, OPL Express, et cetera.

Digital Services — Electronic services provided by the Library such as high-speed internet, wireless access, printing, 3D printing, computer training, et cetera.

Filter — Software designed to control access to access to information on the internet.

Intellectual Freedom — Refer to the Library Board's policy dated June 28, 2012 

Internet — The internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks carrying an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the World Wide Web and the infrastructure to support email.

Wireless — Technology that allows an electronic device to exchange data wirelessly using radio waves over a computer network.

Policy Number:          PS-002
Policy Category:        Board Manual, Public Service Manual (Sect. 5.22)
Approved by:    OPL Board 
Accountability:    Director, Innovation and Integration 
Approval Date:           June 4, 2020
Effective date:            June 5, 2020
Next Review Date:      June 2023
Supersedes:               November 28/13, Sept. 25/08, Sept. 23/04, Nov. 27/03, Oct. 29/98        (Motion #: 13.11.111, 08.09.82, 04.09.236, 03.11.131, 98.64)    

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to guide the development and delivery of inclusive, community-based, high quality programming; to support Oakville Public Library’s (OPL) mission, vision and values; and to preserve the library’s commitment to providing universal access to lifelong learning opportunities.    

The policy provides an overview of programming at OPL and what the public should expect when participating in programs. The policy also ensures that partnering organizations and external facilitators understand the library’s objectives and abide by its expectations. Furthermore, this policy provides the framework to guide library staff in the development and delivery of programming. 

View the complete Program Development and Delivery Policy (PDF)


Policy Number:           PS-006
Policy Category:         Public Service
Approved by:    OPL Board
Accountability:    CEO or Designate
Approval Date:            January 28, 2021
Effective date:             January 29, 2021
Next Review Date:       January 2024
Supersedes:  

Purpose

Oakville Public Library (OPL) is committed to providing a welcoming and safe environment for customers of all ages to enjoy the library’s programs, collections, services and spaces. Library staff work to engage children, families and teens in positive ways, and provide support while in library spaces and while attending library events or programs both in-person and virtually.  All customers are expected to abide by the library’s Customer Code of Conduct.

The OPL endorses the Ontario Library Association’s position statements on Children’s Rights in the Library (1998) and Teens’ Rights (June 2010).

This policy provides clarity regarding parent / guardian responsibilities and OPL’s responsibility for the safety of children in library spaces and while attending library events or programs both in-person and virtually. 

View the complete policy here (PDF)


Policy Number:           PS-007
Policy Category:         Public Service
Approved by:              OPL Board    
Accountability:           CEO or Designate    
Approval Date:            April 22, 2021
Effective date:             April 23, 2021
Next Review Date:      April 2023
Supersedes: 

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to facilitate and maximize access to collections, services and programs for all customers in a fair and consistent manner and to ensure stewardship of assets.


Scope

The policy applies to all users of Oakville Public Library. It covers the criteria used to determine eligibility for a library card, the types of memberships available, membership privileges and terms of use associated with the use of a card.


Policy

A library card is not required to enter the library or use most resources within the library.  A library card is required to access many library services including, but not limited to, borrowing materials, using digital collections and resources. 

Eligibility and types of library cards:
  • Full privileges cards:
  • A library card is free for individuals who are residents of Oakville, work in Oakville, pay taxes to the Town of Oakville or are students attending an educational institution in Oakville. The identification required to register for a library card is outlined in the Acceptable Forms of Identification Chart.  The Library will not copy and retain any of the identification presented.
  • A child up to and including the age of 12 can obtain a card with a parent’s / legal guardian’s consent and proof of identity. 
  • Teen cards are issued to individuals ages 13 to 17 with some limitations such as Wi-Fi hotspots and A/V materials rated 18+.

Limited privileges cards

Individuals that have limited identification can obtain an Easy Access card with limited borrowing privileges for physical materials but full access to digital collections.


Reciprocal membership cards

Members of Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills Libraries who present a valid library card from their home library with acceptable identification may register, at no charge, as Halton reciprocal members for a card with restricted privileges. Examples of restrictions are digital collections, Wi-Fi hotspots and interlibrary loans.


Non-resident membership cards

Non-residents can purchase a full privileges annual library membership. Those who qualify for a reciprocal membership card, but want to have access to OPL’s digital collections may wish to pay the annual fee for the non-resident card.

Signing the library card implies the card holder’s acceptance of and adherence to the rules and regulations of the Oakville Public Library.

Library card holders are responsible for the materials they have borrowed, for promptly reporting the loss or theft of the library card and for reporting changes in their contact information to the library. Returning items on time enables others to enjoy the library’s collection. Fines may be charged for lost or damaged materials or other reason as outlined in the Loans, Limits and Fees Chart.

Library cards are subject to renewal based on type of membership. 

A library membership can be suspended for customers who have fines and/or overdue materials over the limit threshold or who have failed to follow the rules and regulations of the library. 


Policy Number:           PS-004
Policy Category:         Public Service
Approved by:    OPL Board
Accountability:    CEO or Designate
Approval Date:            October 22, 2020
Effective date:             October 23, 2020
Next Review Date: 
Supersedes:               Library Cards Policy approved May 29, 2014

Policy

Purpose and Scope

The intent of this policy is to allow customers to use library services unfettered by unauthorized, external interference.

Policy

To allow customers to use library facilities, programs and services unfettered by unauthorized, external interference, solicitation by the public is not permitted on library premises or on property under the control of library staff. Solicitation by the Oakville Public Library or Town of Oakville-sponsored solicitation is permitted.

Definition

Solicitation includes such activities as selling or distributing goods or services, seeking contributions or pledges, collecting ideas or opinions, distributing political information, proselytizing on religious beliefs.
 

Effective Date: May 29, 2014
Motion #: 14.05.55
Next Review Date: 2018
Supersedes Policy Dated: January 22, 2009, Feb. 24/05, March 28, 2002, November 2001
Motion #: 09.01.07,05.02.25, 02.03.33
Filed in: Board Manual, Public Services Manual (Sect. 4.22), added to Website