The purpose of the library is to provide free, open and equitable access to information, and to facilitate appropriate use of library resources for all members of the community. All persons should expect to receive library service in an atmosphere that is calm, quiet and safe.
In order to ensure safety and security and provide a suitable environment for library use, visitors and patrons are required to follow these conduct guidelines, which have been approved by the Library Board of Trustees. O.C.G.A. § 20 – 5‑43(4).
Conduct expectations for library visitors:
Guidelines for personal items:
Responsibilities for caregivers, parents and guardians:
Prohibited forms of conduct:
Other items, activities and behaviors that are not permitted:
Visitors who violate this Code of Conduct will be asked to modify their behavior and may be subject to suspension of library privileges. Illegal activity will be subject to prosecution.
Approved: DeKalb County Public Library Board of Trustees – May 8, 2023
The Main Library and selected branches have as part of reference collections various city, county, criss-cross and telephone directories. Patrons are free to use these directories in libraries. Because of demands on personnel and limited phone lines, telephone inquiries for directory information will be restricted to bonafide emergencies — such as requests from hospital or ambulance services.
Written requests for directory information should be directed to the Reference Department of the Decatur Library and will be answered as time permits.
Approved: DeKalb County Public Library — February 1985
Fees may be assessed for special services that require additional costs to the library. Reimbursement for these services will be determined by the Library Director on the cost to provide the service.
Approved: DeKalb County Public Library Board of Trustees — January 18, 1989
Amended: June 5, 1989
Amended: March 7, 2022 (proposed)
It is the policy of the DeKalb County Public Library to provide access to printed information not owned by the Library through Interlibrary Loan service. An equally important aspect of this policy is the commitment to provide printed information to other libraries around the country when it is requested. This borrowing/lending relationship is a reciprocal one which benefits every participating institution.
The DeKalb County Public Library supports the National Interlibrary Loan Code of the American Library Association. In accordance with state regulations the Library will provide ILL Services to patrons at cost. Because of the limited size of the collection, Audio Visual materials of the DeKalb County Public Library are not available for loan through this service.
While acknowledging the fact that no single library or library system can acquire material which meets all the demands of its citizens, it is also acknowledged that an effective Interlibrary Loan service adds significantly to the level of information sources any one institution can provide. As patron satisfaction and awareness of the Interlibrary Loan service grows, so does the reputation of the Library.
The Library Director is instructed to implement this policy with procedures as required and to assess fees to cover costs.
Approved: DeKalb County Public Library Board of Trustees — October 3, 1988
The DeKalb County Public Library offers Internet access to more effectively meet the educational, information, and recreational needs of Library patrons. Use of the Internet for illegal purposes is expressly forbidden, in accordance with applicable legal statutes. The Library assumes responsibility only for the content of its own homepage and for accompanying Web pages.
Internet resources available through the Library are provided to all patrons, with the understanding that it is the individual patron’s responsibility to demonstrate judgment, respect for others, and appropriate conduct while using Library resources and facilities. Internet use is managed in a manner consistent with the Conduct in Libraries Policy posted in each Library facility. Complete guidelines concerning Internet use are available. These include time limits for daily use, so as to allow equitable use of this resource by all patrons.
While using the Internet at the Library, patrons may not display or print images unsuitable for a general audience. This includes, but is not limited to, material that is obscene as defined under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. 16−12−80), child pornography as defined under federal or state law (18 U.S.C. 2256;O.C.G.A. 16−12−100), and material that is “harmful to minors” as defined under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. 16−12−102). In compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act [Pub. L. No. 106 – 554 and 47 USC 254(h)], the Library employs a technology protection measure (filtering software) on all computers to block or filter access to inappropriate information. Subject to staff supervision, this technology protection measure may be disabled upon request only for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.
Patrons access the Internet at their own discretion. Although many valuable sources of information are available via the Internet, the Library can neither verify the accuracy nor control the content of material found. Although the Library uses a technology protection measure, patrons may find that some websites contain material they consider offensive, or inappropriate for children. While the Library makes every effort to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the Library does not warrant the effectiveness of the filtering software used. Parents and/or guardians are strongly encouraged to monitor their minor children’s use of electronic resources, including electronic mail, and to establish guidelines consistent with personal and individual family values and boundaries.
Staff monitors use of Internet computers in an effort to prevent illegal or inappropriate activities, and takes appropriate actions if any user fails to comply with Library policies and procedures. To the extent practical, steps shall be taken to promote the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, and other forms of direct electronic communications. Specifically, as required by the Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act, prevention of inappropriate network usage includes: (a) unauthorized access, including so-called ‘hacking’, and other unlawful activities, and (b) unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors. Failure to follow the Library’s guidelines for Internet use will result in suspension or revocation of a patron’s right to use the Library and could result in criminal prosecution.
Library staff provides assistance to patrons using the Internet, within the limitations of available resources, and uses the Internet as appropriate to assist in answering reference questions. Further training and instruction by Library staff is offered periodically, as schedules permit, and the Library maintains a list of recommended links that may be useful to patrons. The Library also offers books, videos, and other materials that may assist patrons in enhancing their knowledge of Internet skills and resources.
Approved: DeKalb County Public Library Board of Trustees — July 8, 2003
DeKalb County Public Library provides meeting space for library-sponsored or co-sponsored programs. The meeting space may also be used by individuals or non-profit organizations for the purpose of non-profit activities supporting the Library’s mission; however, the Library’s meeting space is intended for use primarily by the Library, DeKalb County government, and city governments which provide continuing financial support to the Library. Priority for use will be given to Library-related programs.
Requests for use of the meeting rooms will be considered on a space-available basis. Meeting spaces are not available for purely social purposes, or for the benefit or self-promotion of individuals or commercial concerns. Permission to use a meeting space does not constitute endorsement of a group’s policies or beliefs by the Library. The Library reserves the right to revoke permission for the use of any meeting space.
Organizations using the meeting space must observe the following regulations:
Approved: DeKalb County Public Library Board of Trustees — September 25, 1995.
Reaffirmed: July 9, 2002. Amended: October 25, 2005
The Public Library serves patrons of all ages and should not be expected to fulfill every need of a given course of study, such as special curriculum assignments of students. Each patron is served as an individual and school classroom and curriculum research demands of an entire classroom, school, or particular course of study must be supplied primarily by the school library.
Approved: DeKalb County Library Board of Trustees — March 4, 1985
It is the policy of the DeKalb County Public Library to provide materials and services which meet the educational and recreational needs of all residents of DeKalb County. Library services do not include accepting responsibility for the care and safety of unattended children in the library. Parents or guardians are responsible for the conduct and safety of children under their care.
As a caring, community-minded organization, the library is concerned about the safety and well-being of people of all ages who use the library. In order to insure a safe, secure and suitable environment for library use, the Library Board of Trustees instructs the library director to implement this policy with procedures that delineate the library’s responsibility regarding unattended children.
Approved — DeKalb County Public Library Board of Trustees, November 4, 1996
In accordance with the Unattended Children in the Library Policy and information from the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, the Library expects parents, caregivers, teens and children to follow these guidelines:
Children 8 and under
Children age 9 through 12
Children age 13 through 17
DeKalb County Public Library (DCPL) believes social media is an important tool to promote the Library’s collections and programs, share knowledge, and enhance communication with patrons. The Library uses its social media channels to inform, educate, and engage our community.
For the purposes of this policy, social media refers to any free and/or commercial platform, application, or service, not including the Library’s website, ILS or other paid resources. Examples include but are not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and TikTok.
Staff management of social media
Social media channels are monitored and managed by Library staff. They are responsible for both managing content and implementing the social media policy. Staff members will endeavor to provide the same level of customer service and resolution of any problems as they would in a branch setting.
Patron engagement with library social media
The Library encourages patrons to interact with the Library and each other through comments, posts, and messages in a respectful manner. The Library recognizes and respects differences of opinion. The Library reserves the right to edit, delete and block posts if they are deemed inappropriate due to any of the following:
The Library is not responsible for the content posted by patrons and followers on its social media platforms. The Library may not have the resources to review and respond to every comment or post.
DeKalb County Public Library Board of Trustees
May 9, 2022