To provide Walton County residents, visitors and businesses with information to meet their business, educational, and personal needs.
While on library property, library patrons are expected to respect the rights and privacy of others and to respect and properly maintain library property. Patrons shall comply with requests by library staff who may intercede to prevent offensive, disruptive, illegal, or dangerous behavior. Behavior that is unacceptable in all branches of the library include, but are not limited to:
- Excessive noise, running or other boisterous and disruptive behavior
- Audible ring tones, music, or conversations from mobile devices
- Abandoning and leaving unsupervised children in the library under the age of twelve
- Child abuse in any form
- Physically or verbally assaulting, threatening, intimidating, harassing or abusing any other person
- Having open food packages or open drink containers in the library except as authorized
- Bringing in animals, except for those to assist the disabled or law enforcement, or as part of an approved library program
- Soliciting others on library premises
- Smoking in the library or within 15 feet of a library building
- Intoxication resulting from alcohol or drugs
- Mistreatment or vandalism of library facilities, materials, or equipment
- Indecent exposure
- Entering the library without wearing a shirt or shoes, or with bodily hygiene constituting a nuisance to other persons
- Washing clothes or bathing, except for washing of hands and face
- Refusing to leave at closing time
Anyone violating these Rules of Behavior may be asked to leave the library premises.
Anyone failing to leave the premises when requested to do so may be charged with criminal trespass under Florida Statutes, Chapter 810.08 (1)
Approved by the Board of County Commissioners _September 22, 2020
The Collection Development Policy outlines the philosophies that create and shape the Walton County Public Library System’s collection, the practices that maintain it over time, and the guidelines that help the collection respond to community needs while protecting the collection from societal and political pressures. The Collection Development Policy ensures that over time, Walton County Public Library System’s collection will remain on course, reflecting the needs of Walton County residents, while creating unique experiences of meaning and inspiration for the individual customer.
The Walton County Public Library System fully endorses the principles documented in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association. The library upholds the right of the individual to secure information, though the content may be controversial, unorthodox, or unacceptable to others.
Scope of Collection
The Walton County Public Library System collects materials, in a variety of popular formats, which support its function as an information source for the needs of a diverse, growing population. The collection also serves the general educational interest, recreational, and entertainment needs of the public, and reflects the racial, ethnic and cultural diversity of the community. Library staff regularly evaluate the collection to ensure its relevance. Collections focus on high interest and materials that meet the needs of the community.
Widespread interest and usage are the most powerful influence on the Library’s collection. Selections are made to provide depth and diversity of viewpoints to the existing collection in appreciation for each patron of the library system. The Library provides materials to support each individual’s journey, and does not place a value on one customer’s needs or preferences over another’s.
The Library System upholds the right of the individual to access information.
Materials for children and teenagers are intended to broaden their vision, support recreational reading, encourage and facilitate reading skills, supplement their educational needs, stimulate and widen their interest, lead to recognition and appreciation of literature, and reflect the diversity of the community and our world. The reading and viewing activity of children is ultimately the responsibility of parents or guardians, who guide and oversee their own children’s development. The Walton County Public Library System does not intrude on that relationship.
Collection development staff use their training, knowledge, and expertise along with the following general criteria to select materials for the collection:
- Relevance to interest and needs of the community
- Extent of publicity, critical review, and current or anticipated demand
- Current or historical significance of the author or subject
- Relevance to the existing collection’s strength and weaknesses
- Reputation and qualifications of the author, publisher, or producer, with preference generally given to titles vetted in the editing and publishing industry
- Suitability of format to Library circulation and use
- Date of publication
- Price, availability, and Library materials budget
Patrons may request items the Library does not own. Each request will be reviewed for inclusion in the collection using the selection criteria.
Requests for Reconsideration
The Walton County Public Library System selects materials using established criteria and full consideration of the varying age groups and backgrounds of customers. Requests for removal of items from the collection can be made by filling our Request for Reconsideration form, located at all library locations. The request will be reviewed by the Library System Manager and a written response will be given within ten (10) business days. Formal procedure will have the request escalated to the Library Advisory Board, then the Walton County Board of County Commissioners in the event the requestor deems the response unsatisfactory. The item in question will not be removed from circulation during the reconsideration process.
The Library’s collection is an ever-changing entity. As items are added, others are reviewed for their ongoing value and sometimes withdrawn from the collection. Great care is taken to retain or replace items that have enduring value to the community. Decisions are influenced by patterns of use, capacity of each location, holdings at other locations, and condition of materials as listed in the Criteria for Weeding and Withdrawal listed below.
Criteria for Weeding and Withdrawal
The following criteria are used in selecting materials for withdrawal:
- Damage or poor condition
- No longer relevant to the needs and interest of the community
- Infrequent use and lack of demand
- No longer accurate
- Available elsewhere including other libraries and online
Withdrawn items will be disposed or donated to the affiliated Friends of the Library groups.
Gifts and Donation of Materials
The Walton County Public Library System accepts donations of books and other materials. The Library retains the authority to accept or reject gifts. Library staff and/or representatives of the Friends of the Library groups make all decision as to the use, housing, and final location of donations and gifts. The Library does not evaluate or appraise materials for tax purposes. The Library will not accept conditional gifts and donations as the items will be subject to weeding and withdrawal.
Approved by Walton County BCC: 10/26/2021
Walton County residents can obtain a library card by showing proof of their current address. Patrons must provide proof of their permanent address on an annual basis. Students currently enrolled at Northwest Florida State College or the Walton County School District, active duty military members and their immediate family, Walton County property owners, and City of DeFuniak Springs, City of Freeport, City of Paxton, and Walton County employees do not have to be residents of Walton County to obtain a free library card and must provide proof of enrollment or employment on an annual basis.
All other non-residents will be charged a $35.00 annual fee for a library card. Seasonal visitors may purchase a temporary six-month card for $25.00. Household family members of a non-resident cardholder may obtain an additional card for $5.00 annually, not to exceed the expiration date of the primary non-resident cardholder. Non- residents holding a “lifetime” card that was in issuance between 1985 and 2008 may continue to use that card without further payment.
Patrons with a valid Walton County Public Library System library card in good standing may borrow items from the Walton County Public Library System. Patrons may check out a maximum of ten (10) items.
Patrons may have a maximum of (3) NEW materials with a limited checkout period of two (2) weeks with no renewals. NEW material will be marked with a NEW sticker on the spine.
Books, Audio Books, and Music
Books, audio books, and music are loaned for a period of two (2) weeks.
Patrons may have a maximum of three (3) DVDs at a time for a period of two (2) weeks.
Patrons may have a maximum of five (5) Interlibrary Loan items checked out. The loan period is determined by the lending library. All fees charged to Walton County Public Library System by the lending library for late, lost, or damaged Interlibrary Loan items will be charged to the patron.
Hotspots, Chromebooks, Tablets, Kits, and Equipment
Hotspots, Chromebooks, tablets, kits, and other equipment are loaned for a period of two (2) weeks.
Normally, reference materials must be used in the library and cannot be checked out. In special cases the Branch Librarian may permit reference materials to be loaned out for no more than three (3) business days.
Books, audio books, music, DVDs, hotspots, Chromebooks, tablets, kits, and equipment and may be renewed one (1) time only for an additional two weeks. Items that have pending holds are not renewable. Renewals for Interlibrary Loans are at the discretion of the lending library and may be requested by library staff.
Patrons with overdue materials may check out additional items, however unreturned items will be charged to the account as lost or missing after fourteen (14) days. Once an item is considered lost, no more items can be checked out or renewed until the overdue items are returned or until restitution is made. The replacement cost for lost items is the price listed in the computerized circulation system for the item in question.
No fines will be charged for books, audiobooks, music, tablets, kits, and DVDs. Hotspots, Chromebooks, and equipment will incur a late fee of $2.00 per day with a maximum fine of $25.00. Interlibrary loan fines will be determined by the lending library.
Reserved items are held for three (3) full business days after the patron has been notified, or after multiple attempts to notify the patron are unsuccessful.
Lost or Damaged Materials
Any materials that are lost or deemed damaged by library staff will incur a replacement cost added to the patron’s library account. The replacement cost for lost items is the price listed in the computerized circulation system for the item in question. In the event that the lost or damaged item is not the complete material, the exact price to replace the item will be charged. Replacement items will not be accepted in lieu of payment.
Approved by Walton County BCC: 10/26/2021
Walton County Public Library System materials can be checked out at no charge with a valid library card. We do not charge overdue fines for non-equipment items returned past their due date. Cardholders will receive an invoice for the full cost of any item that is not returned within 14 days of its due date. Cardholders will also be charged for materials that are lost, damaged, or returned incomplete.
In order to keep a library card in good standing, accounts must have a balance of less than $25 and no charges for replacement items. If an account has a balance of more than $25 or a charge for a replacement item, the cardholder will temporarily lose borrowing privileges until the materials are returned and/or the fines/fees are paid.
|Non-resident card – 6 months||$25.00|
|Non-resident – 12 months||$35.00|
|Additional non-resident family card||$5|
Lost, damaged, or unreturned items
initial purchase price of item
|Late equipment fees||$2.00/day|
(Chromebooks, hotspots, telescopes, microscopes, projectors, other equipment)
Black and white printing and copying $0.10/page
Color printing and copying $1.00/page, $0.50/half page
Faxing $1.00 first page, $0.50 each additional page
Incoming faxes $0.10/page
Notary services $0
Meeting Room usage fee $25
Approved by Walton County BCC: 10/26/2021
The Walton County Public Library System maintains a meeting room for library-sponsored programs that support the Library’s mission. Walton County Administration may approve the use of a county facility by civic, religious, or other organizations for a fee in connection with temporary, short-term, or non-regular activities by these groups. In general, the policy prohibits use of county facilities or equipment for gambling or other illegal activity, commercial or personal gain, programs in violation of state statutes, events involving the serving of alcohol, or fundraising and rallies by political groups. Nonprofit political forums including all parties with the intent of informing of educating the community are allowed. Board of County Commissioners approval is required for repetitious use for a period of more than three (3) months. Any use of the Library’s meeting rooms shall be in compliance with the Walton County Board of County Commissioner’s Use of Facilities Policy.
- General Conditions of Use
- Using the Meeting Room
- Library-sponsored programs and County-sponsored meetings and programs will be given higher priority in scheduling the use of the meeting room.
- The Library’s meeting room may be used by educational institutions for programs whichcomply with the meeting room guidelines at no charge.
- The Library’s meeting room may be used by individual, civic, religious, or other organizations for private use at a rate of $25 for up to four (4) hours and $50 for more than four (4) hours per day.
- Uses of the meeting room shall not interfere with the operation of the Library, such as those uses that produce excessive noise, a significant safety hazard, or a significant security and/or safety risk, will not be permitted.
- Hours Available
- The Library’s meeting room is generally available for use during the Library’s regularly scheduled hours of operation. Special arrangements may be made for certain programs or groups to use the meeting room when the library is closed.
- Using the Meeting Room
- Before an organization schedules use of the Library’s meeting room, a representative of that organization will pay the fees and complete an application form, which will be kept on file at the Library. (see attached application form)
- Reservations must be made at least twenty-four (24) hours before the requested meeting date.
- Reservations will not be accepted more than three (3) months before the requested meeting date.
- Organizations will be asked to notify the Library of cancelled meetings at least twenty-four(24) hours before the scheduled meeting.
- Walton County Board of County Commissioners’ approval, upon County Administrationrecommendations, shall be required for repetitious use.
- Rules and Regulations
- If available, audiovisual or other equipment owned by the Library may be used by groups using the meeting room.
- Library furniture and equipment may not be loaned for use outside of the library.
- Food Service
- Prior arrangements must be made with library staff to use the kitchen facilities.
- Light refreshments (e.g., water/tea/coffee, cookie, muffins, etc.) may be served with the understanding that users of the meeting room are responsible for providing their own equipment and supplies, including bottles water for preparing coffee or tea. Users of the meeting room are also responsible for cleaning the kitchen after use and removing garbage and trash from the building and grounds. Failure to comply will disqualify users of the meeting room from using the facility in the future.
- Refreshments may not be taken from the meeting room to other areas of the Library.
- Setup and Cleanup
- Preparations before a meeting and cleanup after a meeting must be done within the time period for which the room is reserved.
- Users of the meeting room must leave the room in the same condition in was found. If it is necessary for Library staff or custodial staff to clean up following a meeting, the organization reserving the room will be charged a cleanup fee based on the amount of staff time required to clean the room.
- Prohibited uses of Facility – Property, facilities, and equipment shall not be used for the following purposes:
- Programs involving any form of gambling or other illegal activity;
- Use for commercial or personal gain, unless specifically approved in advance by the Board;
- Programs in violation of Florida Statutes;
- Events where alcohol is served or consumed;
- Fundraising activities and rallies by political groups (Nonprofit political forums which include all parties and are intended to inform or educate the community are allowable.)
- Miscellaneous Rules
- All attendees of meetings must adhere to the Library’s Behavior Policy
- The number of attendees must not exceed to posted room capacity.
- Smoking is not allowed in the Library.
- Hazardous materials (e.g., paints, solvents, explosives, etc.) are prohibited.
- Organizations may not use the Library for their address.
- Organizations may not store their property at the Library.
- Publicity for a meeting or program must not imply endorsement or sponsorship by the County or the Library. Organizations will supply the Library with a copy of publicity (or proposed wording of publicity) at the time of application.
- Organizations using the meeting room must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and are responsible for providing reasonable accommodations as requested.
- Displays may not be affixed directly to the walls or the meeting room without prior consent. Library fixtures may not be removed from the room.
- The Library is not responsible for equipment or materials owned by a community group and used in the library. Such equipment may not be stored at the library.
- The Library reserves the right to limit or prohibit at any time the use of the meeting room spaces which represent a threat to the health or safety of library users, or the orderly use of the library.
- Use of the meeting room does not imply Walton County or Library endorsement of the viewpoints expressed by the participants in the programs.
- Damages and Liability
- Any individual, group, or organization using the meeting room shall be held responsible for and shall reimburse the County for any and all willful or accidental damage to the Library building, grounds, collections, or equipment caused by the group or organization, its member, or those attending its program.
- Any individual, group, or organization holding a meeting in the Library must fully release and discharge Walton County and its employees or representatives from any and all claims from injuries, including death, damages or loss, which may arise or which may be alleged to have arisen out of, or in connection with the meeting.
- Failure to abide by the Library’s meeting room policy and rules of conduct may result in the cancellation or refusal of future reservations.