Library Policies

All persons wishing to borrow materials from the library (including Interlibrary Loan) must be registered at the circulation desk and obtain a library card. Registered patrons are responsible for all material borrowed and agree to follow all library rules.

Books, compact discs, and magazines may be checked out for a period of 3 weeks, with the privilege of renewal for three weeks, unless the item is in demand.

Videos and DVDs may be checked out for one week.

Four items per person may be checked out at any time from the library. This policy applies to the Network program and magazines.

Fines for overdue materials will be $.10 per day per item up to a maximum of the cost of the book.
The fine limit for children’s books, adult hardback books, and
audiovisual materials will be the replacement cost for the item.

Persons responsible for lost or damaged books must replace or pay for replacement. For books whose cost cannot be determined, a standard fee of

$5.00 per book and $25.00 for hardcover will be charged. For juvenile books whose cost cannot be determined, the fee will range from $8.00 to $15.00, depending on the type of book lost. The determined price of all books shall be the replacement cost.

Gifts, including books, will be accepted and placed in the library, subject to the approval of the library’s Book Selection Committee and/or the Library Board of Trustees. They reserve the right to dispose of any books, and/or other gifts in any way they care to if they find them unsuitable for library use.

Patrons wishing to display personal items in the library must sign an agreement regarding the loss of and/or damage to such items. Even with board approval the library will not be responsible for damage or loss.

Use of the library by a group or individual or organization during and after regular library hours on either a short or long term basis must be approved by the library or Friends of the Library. Meeting after regular hours may be subject to a fee.

The library shall not loan or rent any furniture or chairs.

Children of a Douglas County patron and a non-resident parent will follow the guidelines for the Non-Resident Users Policy.

Any library patron who has lost privileges may be reinstated after all iltems have been returned and fines paid or replacement costs paid for lost materials. A cash fee of $25.00 must be made at time of reinstatement.

If a memorial gift is given to the library the cost of the gift is the donor’s responsibility.

There will be a $10.00 cash deposit charged in order for patrons to check out automobile repair books, such as Chilton’s, and a $5.00 cash deposit charged for patrons to check out test manuals such as those for the armed forces, civil service, GED. Upon return of these books to the library, the amount of the deposit will be returned to the patron.

There will be a charge of $1.00 per book requested through interlibrary loan, if it is coming from a library outside our consortium. For libraries within our consortium, there is no charge to borrow books.

The photo copy charges will be:
Letter size-$.25 per sheet (if brought in by patron)
$.20 per sheet (if copied from library item)
Legal size–$.30 per sheet
Ledger size–$.35 per sheet

The same fee is charged for each duplicate copy.

In addition to the previously stated policies the following behaviors and actions are prohibited on library property.

* Carrying weapons of any kind
* Using obscene language
* Loud or disruptive behavior
* Removing library materials from the premises without authorization through established lending procedures
* Not wearing shoes or appropriate clothing (safety and hygiene reasons)
* Vandalism of library property
* Eating or drinking (bringing food or beverages into the library)
* Smoking or other uses of tobacco
* Possessing or consuming alcohol or illegal drugs or being in a state of intoxication that causes a disturbance
* Distributing or posting printed materials that have not been approved by the library
* Littering
* Skateboarding or roller-skating on library property
* Bringing animals or pets into the library except guide dogs for the blind and/or hearing impaired or for medical reasons without permission
* Leaving a child under eight years of age unattended by an adult
For the safety and well-being of young children, those children eight years of age or younger must be supervised by a responsible caregiver while in the library
* Leaving a child or young adult under age 18 at the library after closing time. If any child is still outside the library 15 minutes after closing, the City police Department will be notified to pick up the child
* Any illegal acts or conduct in violation of Federal, State or local law, ordinance or regulation.



Book Selection Policy

Douglas County Public Library

Approved by the Library Board June 15, 2023



The word “Book” as it occurs in this policy is synonymous with the broader term “library materials.”  Materials selected may be in the form of books, periodicals, pamphlets, newspapers, pictures, maps, recordings, and other book and non-book forms.  The Determining Factors listed below will help decide the inclusion or exclusion of materials.



Final responsibility for book selection lies with the Librarian.  He or she will chair a Book Selection Committee consisting of members selected by the Library Board.   The committee will use such review sources as Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist magazines and Amazon as well as other sources to aid in the selection of materials for the library.



The Objectives of the Douglas County Public Library and the principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association (appended) shall serve as the broad basis for materials selection.  While the library will always be guided by a sense of responsibility to both present and future in adding materials, particular attention will be paid to providing balanced basic collections of nonfiction, fiction, and reference materials which are necessary in any public library, yet which reflect the special needs of this community.  Materials in current demand which are not available at the Douglas County Public Library may be borrowed for patrons through the Missouri Evergreen consortium.

The basis of selection will be positive, not negative.  Selections will not be made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the work in relation to the building of the collection and to serving the interest of reads. 

The library does not promote beliefs or views.  It does provide, either from its own or borrowed resources, materials which the individual can examine and use to make his or her own decisions.

 All materials except for those which are in special demand and cannot be duplicated, including rare and fragile items, will be lent for home use under library regulations and procedures.  No cataloged item will be sequestered, except for the purpose of protecting it from injury or theft.




It is the responsibility of the parent to monitor their children’s checkouts and disallow a minor from having a library card if a parent is not willing to sign off on a statement of responsibility.  Minors are considered 17 and younger.  Library staff does not supervise children.  Library personnel do not know what parents consider appropriate for their child and cannot be responsible for their selections. Responsibility for a child’s reading must rest with the parent or guardian, not with the library.

The library collections for patrons under age 18 are split into the “E” collections, which are intended for ages birth through 3rd grade.  The “J” or Juvenile section is intended for patrons in 4th grade through 6th grade.  The “YA” or young adult collection is intended for patrons 7th grade and above.  There may be some variation in the age appropriateness of each collection.  In general, decisions to place particular items in the collections are done by the standard of the average person, applying contemporary community standards nationwide and/or the publisher’s suggested age range if available.  Patrons are not limited by their age recommendations.  Responsibility for a minor’s reading must rest with the parent or guardian, not with the library.

Materials selected for the Adult and Young Adult collection are intended for mature readers.  Checkouts to minors from these collections are allowed with the signed parental permissions on a minor’s library card form.  Minors will be allowed checkouts from each library collection that has been approved with signed parental permission.  Separate collections are available for children and young people, but it is not the responsibility of the Library, its Board of Trustees, staff, or volunteers to determine which collection they should use or what item in the approved collections is suitable for an individual.



  1. The community

2 . The individual merit of each book

  1. The library: its existing collection, budget, and services
  2. The knowledge, experience, and common sense of the Selectors



These include (A) the people of the entire county and (B) other institutions where library books are available for public use.

  1. The People

      The importance of the people who make up the community is reflected in the Library Objectives statement as well as in the Book Selection Policy.  The population includes a number of groups and individuals whose varied needs and interests and wide latitude in reading levels must be provided for.  There must be books for the reader’s serious study and books which will satisfy his personal needs for recreation and leisure.  The needs of the inarticulate person and the library nonuser are to be sought out and the demands of the unduly aggressive are to be balanced.


     It is also a community where special interest in its past is evident, and the library actively seeks to acquire materials concerning state and local history, as well as genealogical materials for the use of its patrons.  However, the library is not under any obligation to add to its collections everything about Missouri or to itself conduct genealogical searches. 

  1. Other Libraries

     The library will cooperate with, but cannot perform the functions of school or other institutional libraries which are designed to meet curricular needs.  The library will acquire materials for self-study, but it is not primarily designed to furnish reading required for academic study.  Though public and school libraries have different functions, resulting in varied collections, some duplication of items may be necessary in order to provide all persons in the community access to these resources at the times when they are needed.


  2. Factual Materials

     Each book or other item under selection will be considered as a whole and not judged by any one of its parts.  The selector must judge impartially and evaluate critically:

  1. The degree of accomplishment of purpose
  2. The authority and competence of the author
  3. Comprehensiveness in breadth and scope
  4. Sincerity and fundamental objectivity
  5. Clarity and accuracy of presentation
  6. Potential usefulness
  7. Relation to existing collection
  8. Importance as a record of the times
  9. Relative importance in comparison with other books on the subject
  10. Books for Leisure

     The library assumes as one of its major responsibilities the provision of suitable reading materials for its users’ leisure time.  Recreational reading may be either fact or fiction, poetry or drama.  The range may be from the simple and ephemeral to the scholarly.  The library must take all these aspects into consideration and select for all interests, judging the books as competently as possible on the following qualities:

  1. Vitality
  2. Artistic expression
  3. Originality and imagination
  4. Honesty and integrity
  5. Sustained interest
  6. Sympathy and conviction
  7. Consistency in characterization



      The internal factors influencing selection of books are: budget, space, and the content of the present collection.  The books selected must come within the budgetary allowance and there must be sufficient space available to house them properly.



     The policy cannot replace the knowledge, experience, and common sense of the selector(s), but it is their duty to keep the stated objectives in mind when choosing materials for the library.


CHILDREN’S BOOKS (Preschool through age 17)

Principles guiding the selection of materials as stated in the previous sections of the selection policy are applicable to the selection of children’s books.  However, it is to be kept in mind that guidance is implicit in the selection of materials for children and young people.  Appropriateness of content and vocabulary for the intended age group, and need for the subject are two additional criteria.



Systematic removal from the collection material which is no longer useful in the light of stated objectives is essential to maintaining the purposes and quality of resources.  It is a process requiring the same degree of attention as initial selection and deserves careful study.  Worn books should be replaced or refurbished if they still serve a need.  Duplicates of titles no longer in demand, superseded editions (in many instances), and books which have become obsolete in content, style or theme should be eliminated if the library is to have a vital, useful collection.



GIFT POLICY, Including Memorial Books



     Books and other materials will be accepted on the condition that the Librarian has the authority to make whatever disposition he or she deems advisable.  In considering these materials, the librarian will apply the same criteria used in the selection of new materials.  The library will not accept for deposit materials which are not outright gifts.

     Since the library’s means of disposing of gift books not added to the collection are limited, it is requested that the librarian be notified before delivery of more than 10 books to the library. 



     Memorial gifts are most welcome and should be actively sought.  At times a book is purchased by the donor and brought to the library before contacting the librarian.  Such gifts are always accepted.  To be encouraged, however, is a consultation of the two beforehand, to see that the Memorial book does not duplicate a title already in the collection (unless needed) and for the librarian to suggest, if possible, several titles that would enhance the collection, from which the donor may choose.

     Memorial books will bear the inscription of the donor inside the front cover.  Information from the inscription will be recorded in a “Book of Memories” album housed in the library.  The book will be shelved according to its proper classification within the general Fiction or Nonfiction collections.





Approved by Library Board June 15, 2023


     A singular obligation of the public library is to reflect within its collection differing points of view on controversial or debatable subjects.  The Douglas County Public Library does not declare particular beliefs or views, nor does the selection of an item express or imply an endorsement of the author’s viewpoint.  Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents.

     Comments from members of the community about the collection or individual items in the collection frequently provide librarians with useful information about interests or needs that may not be adequately met by the collection.  The library welcomes expression of opinion by patrons, but will be governed by the Douglas County Public Library Book Selection Policy in making additions to or deleting items from the collection.

     Only members of the Douglas County Public Library may challenge the library’s collection, and only those members who reside within Douglas County.  No challenge may be made on behalf of groups.  Patrons who request the reconsideration of library materials will be asked to put their request in writing by completing in full and signing the form (next page) entitled “Request for Reconsideration of Library Material.”  Challenges must be limited to one item per challenge form.  No lists of books may be submitted on one form.

     Upon receipt of a formal, written request, the Head Librarian will appoint an ad hoc committee for the subject area of the item in question.  The committee will make a written recommendation to the Head Librarian who will then make a decision regarding the disposition of the material.  The Head Librarian will communicate this decision and the reasons for it, in writing, to the person who initiated the request for reconsideration at the earliest possible date.  The Head Librarian will inform the Board of Trustees of all requests for reconsideration of library materials and their disposition.

     In the event that the person who initiated the request is not satisfied with the decision of the Head Librarian, he/she may appeal for a hearing before the Library Board of Trustees by making a written request to the President of the Board.  The Library Board of Trustees reserves the right the limit the length of presentation and number of speakers at the hearing.  The Board will determine whether the request for reconsideration has been handled in accordance with stated policies and procedures of the Douglas County Public Library.  On the basis of this determination, the Board may vote to uphold or override the decision of the Head Librarian.

     If a challenge specifically targets children’s materials, presentations, events, or displays only the parent or legal guardian of a minor child within the library district may file a reconsideration request if either parent or guardian of the minor child has a library card.  Results of a challenge will be posted on the library’s website.