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Library Use Policy
Circulation Policies
Internet and Wifi Use Policy
Safe Child Policy
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Library Use Policy

The Library is a place for everyone, shared by the community, and used by many different people for widely different reasons. The goal of the Library’s Use Policy is to maintain the Library as a welcoming and safe environment for all staff and members of the community. The atmosphere of the library should be one of mutual respect for the rights of others.  These guidelines ensure that all may have productive and pleasant visits to the library. We expect users to respect the comfort and safety of fellow library users and library staff. If a patron’s behavior is making others feel unsafe or uncomfortable, library staff will ask them to stop.

Violations of the behavior guidelines outlined below will result in temporary or permanent revocation of library privileges. This policy covers disturbances both inside the library and on the library grounds. All members of the library staff have the authority to take necessary steps when policy is violated, and the police may be called at any time to assist. Users are expected to comply with requests from library staff and staff reserve the right to suspend privileges or access if requests are not followed. These rules will be applied in a neutral and nondiscriminatory manner, to protect the property, users, and staff. 

Customer/user conduct is unacceptable if it:

  • Impedes other persons from timely use of facilities or materials.
  • Excludes others from using the library for its intended purpose.
  • Results in injury to oneself or others.
  • Interferes with others use or enjoyment of the library facilities.
  • Results or may result in damage to library materials, facilities, or equipment.
  • Is illegal under the laws of the United States, The State of North Carolina, or ordinances of the Town of Southern Pines. 

Policy Violations may include but are not limited to:

  • Illegal activities
  • Obscene language or gestures
  • Inappropriate use of furniture
  • Littering and trash
  • Disruptive or destructive food or drink
  • Yelling or disruptive conversation or noise (including loud cell phone use)
  • Inappropriate displays of affection
  • Sleeping
  • Bringing in animals other than service animal as defined by the American’s with Disabilities Act
  • Selling or soliciting of any kind except in approved projects
  • Unauthorized distribution of printed materials or posting of notices
  • Possessing, consuming, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Use of tobacco or vaping products
  • Not wearing shoes or shirt, or wearing shirts or pants unbuttoned or unzipped
  • Leaving unattended children or vulnerable adults - see Safe Child Policy
  • Carrying weapons of any kind
  • Blocking or interference with entry or exits
  • Customers leaving belongings unattended while using the library
  • Not respecting the privacy, solitude, or personal space of other patrons

If a patron feels that something or someone is making their experience in the library unsafe or uncomfortable, they should let a staff member know.                                                      

Adopted 2/88, Revised 2/00, Revised 3/04, Revised 11/21

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Circulation Policies

  • Library hours:

Monday through Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Sunday 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Winter Hours: (in effect outside of Daylight Savings Time)

        Monday through Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Sunday 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

  • Services are provided all hours that the Library is open.
  • All permanent Southern Pines residents; individuals who own property in the Town on which the individual pays property taxes; and other individuals as described in the Town Code of Ordinances may obtain library cards free of charge.   Non-residents may purchase a 12 or 6 month card by paying a fee set by formula in the Town Code of Ordinances for either a Full Access Card (for use of the full collection and services) or a Limited Access Card (for use of the juvenile collection and services.)
  • Children under age 18 must have a parent or guardian present to obtain cards.
  • Library cards will be requested for each library transaction requiring access to the patron account including, but not limited to check out, renewal, and computer use.  Only the person to whom a card has been issued, or their parent or guardian (if under 18) or designated representative, may use that card.
  • The loan period for most materials is three (3) weeks and most may be renewed once if they have not been reserved by another customer. There may be exceptions for some special collections.
  • While there may be limits established on the number of high value items that may be checked out at one time, in general, there is no limit on most types of materials.
  • Items may be placed on hold if they are listed in the catalog through either logging into the patron account online or by calling the Library.
  • Active library cards can be replaced by the library for a fee of $1.00. Expired cards are replaced upon renewal with no fee. Please notify the library immediately of lost cards.
  • Patrons shall notify the library in the event of a lost or stolen card. The patron is responsible for any and all materials charged out on their library card, with or without their knowledge. The cost of replacing lost or damaged materials will be charged to the card owner.
  • Staff assist readers with advisory services, in order to fulfill requests for information about popular cultural and social trends and their desire for satisfying recreational reading experiences. 
  • Staff also provide technology instruction in the areas of basic computer use, eBooks and eReaders, and assistance in utilizing copying, printing, scanning, and faxing services provided by the Library.
  • The library reserves the right to change its regulations without prior notice; to withdraw library privileges for consistent disregard of its policies; and to enforce its regulations as well as the accepted rules of behavior on the part of all using the library. 

Priority of Service:

Definition of Assistance/Service Area:

  1. Our customers include residents of Southern Pines (whether or not they are cardholders), non-resident cardholders, and anyone who comes to the library in person, on the phone, by fax or by email or who uses the library’s online resources. 
  2. First priority will go to library users who come into the library, followed by telephone reference, and then email and fax requests.

Notice of Copyright Restriction

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17 U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The person using library equipment is liable for any infringement.

Notice of Photography

Staff may photograph or record SPPL events and programs to share them with the community or promote SPPL Library programs and services on various types of media. Patrons should inform a staff member at SPPL if they are uncomfortable having a picture that features them used in Library news and promotions.  

In serving library customers, staff will adhere to American Library Association’s Code of Ethics. The front desk is staffed by professional librarians and by trained library assistants and associates committed to providing the best service possible through the resources available.

Revised 11/08, Revised 1/13, Revised 4/14, Revised 12/17, Revised 10/19, Revised 12/20, Revised 11/21

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Internet and Wifi Use Policy

The Southern Pines Public Library is dedicated to opening avenues of discovery to residents of Southern Pines. To meet this mission, the Library provides free access to the Internet for the open access to ideas and information. 

A valid library card is required to access a Library Internet computer or mobile device. Internet access is also available without a library card at a pay-for-use Kiosk computer or through wireless access for users with their own internet-accessible device. Individual users must accept personal responsibility for determining the accuracy and authenticity of electronic information.

All public workstations, Wifi, and mobile devices are equipped with filtering technology compliant with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). These measures protect against access to visual depictions that are (I) obscene; (II) child pornography; or (III) harmful to minors, and they are enforced during any use of such computers. The Library cannot guarantee that such material will always be blocked. 

The Library also provides free WiFi on an open, unsecured network. We are not responsible for any content accessed via our computers or WiFi. Patrons are not to use library computers or WiFi for any illegal activity, including:

    • Intentionally displaying, sending, or receiving inappropriate materials in either text or graphic format that may be reasonably construed as obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors (G.S. 14-190.1). 
    • Propagating malicious software. 
    • Unauthorized copying of copyrighted material. 
    • Attempting to access unauthorized files or systems.
    • Harassing, insulting or attacking others.

Computer and WiFi users must abide by our expectations of behavior. By registering to use the Internet, patrons agree to the SPPL Internet and Wifi Use Policy and to abide by the Library’s Use Policy. The Library reserves the right to place a time limit on computer use, to require users to have and/or display their library card during internet use, and to charge for print outs. Patrons are responsible for providing the means of saving their own data as data cannot be saved to the Library’s electronic devices.

Parents/legal guardians are responsible for deciding which of the library’s electronic resources are appropriate for their own children under age 18. As with other materials, restriction of a child’s access to the internet is the responsibility of the parent/legal guardian. 

Revised 12/2014, Revised 11/2021

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Safe Child and Vulnerable Individual Policy

Southern Pines Public Library is dedicated to providing a friendly, fun, and safe environment for library customers of all ages. While welcoming children and vulnerable individuals*, staff cannot assume responsibility for their care and safety in the library.  Children or vulnerable individuals* left unattended may be injured, become ill, become frightened or anxious, wander away, or leave with a stranger. In accordance with the Library Use Policy, parents and responsible caregivers are expected to provide supervision in the library. Adult use of the children’s area is limited to use by parents and caregivers acting on behalf of children.

The library’s Use Policy applies to all patrons, regardless of age. Caregivers (someone at least 16 years of age who acknowledges responsibility for the individual or child) should have information to contact a parent or guardian if needed.

Children under the age of 6 must have a parent or caregiver with them in close proximity-close enough for quiet conversation- at all times.

Children ages 6 – 10 and vulnerable individuals must have an accessible parent or caregiver present in the library during their entire stay.

Children age of 11 and older can be unaccompanied by a parent or caregiver if the child is able to contact a parent or guardian if needed, to follow rules for personal safety, and to abide by the library’s Behavior Guidelines.

If a child or vulnerable adult is left unattended, the library will try to contact the parent or caregiver. In event that the parent or caregiver cannot be contacted, staff will contact the Southern Pines Police Department. In the event of an emergency, staff will contact 911. 

*“Vulnerable individual” is defined as a dependent individual with a cognitive or physical impairment who is unable to protect themselves from abuse or exploitation, unable to comprehend and comply with library policies, and who cannot provide for their own care or manage their own behavior without assistance

Adopted 10/04, Revised 11/21

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Collection Development and Management Policy

Library Mission Statement

We, the Southern Pines Public Library, are dedicated to opening avenues of discovery. Working with and for our community, we add value to the lives of all generations through dynamic programming, services, and resources found within the Library's physical and digital spaces.

Collection Development Objectives

To fulfill this mission, the Southern Pines Public Library maintains a collection of carefully selected books and other digital and physical materials to aid residents of the Town in the pursuit of education, information, research, and pleasure. This collection strives to represent and reflect the variety of attitudes, tastes, habits, interests, and informational needs of the residents of the Town. Because of the volume of publishing, as well as the limitations of budget and space, the Library has a collection development policy with which to meet community interests and needs.

The collection development policy is used by the library staff in the selection and de-selection of materials and also serves to acquaint the general public with the principles of collection development.  The Library Bill of Rights and The Freedom to Read Statement have been endorsed by the Southern Pines Public Library and are integral parts of the policy.

Responsibility for Collection Development

Qualified members of the library staff Collection Development Team, under the supervision of the Library Director and Librarian II Acquisitions, perform the actual reviewing, evaluating, and selecting and de-selecting of resources to add to the library collection. They act within and according to the principles established by this policy.

General Principles of Resource Selection

These principles apply to all resources and materials acquired by the library regardless of the format or method of acquisition, whether by purchase, gifts, or other means. In each of these principles, consideration of literary value in all respects and aspects is a criterion for selection or rejection.

1. Selection is based upon information gathered from standard review sources and/or with consideration for the extent of publicity, critical review and current or anticipated demand of the item.

2. Selection is based upon the merits of a work in relation to the needs, desires, and interests of the community.

3. Selection of nonfiction resources is based upon verification that the information presented is of an authoritative, documented, and accurate source.

4. Selection is based upon the existing collection and a new work's worth in relation to the existing collection.

5. Selection is based upon the known and anticipated needs and desires of patrons and potential patrons.

6. Selection is based upon specific requests by patrons for purchase of recently published materials, in consideration with other criteria.

7. Selection is based upon the existence of opposing views of controversial topics, the library's ownership of such works, and its need for additional works.

8. Selection is based upon the cost of materials relative to the needs of the existing collection, budget consideration, and patron needs.

9. Materials containing emphasis on sex, explicit description of sexual acts, or profanity shall not be acquired nor rejected on these bases alone. As stated above, consideration of literary value in all respects and aspects remains a criterion for selection or rejection.

10. A work's appearance on lists of best-selling materials is not criterion for automatic selection, although such popularity is given consideration relative to the work's value.

While applying the principles above to title selection, staff use these additional guidelines in choosing the best format:

  • DVD

The Library considers for purchase DVDs which are of educational value or include literature adaptations.

  • Compact Discs

The library collects recorded books in this format. Selection is based on General Principles of Resource Selection.

  • Electronic Resources

Consideration is given to resources that will enhance the ability of card holders to have access to information at a time and place of greatest convenience to them. Items which are in high demand and routinely disappear from the library’s collection in print format are given priority for purchase in electronic format.

These resources can include informational databases, access to and download of e-books, e-audiobooks, e-videos, and recommended links and websites of particular merit.

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary loan services are available to card holders to obtain from other libraries those materials that are beyond the scope of the local collection.

Gifts and Donations

Materials donated at the Library are given to the Friends of Southern Pines Public Library, which accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that they will be added to the Library’s collection only if they meet the selection principles stated above. Most materials donated to the Friends go toward the replenishment of Little Free Libraries. The Library does not appraise the value of donated materials, though it can provide an acknowledgment of receipt of the items if requested by the donor.

Withdrawal and Replacement Policy

While selecting items for the library requires much thought and consideration, selection is only one aspect of collection development. Withdrawing items from the collection is an ongoing part of management of the collection. Along with making sure the collection is well-rounded, useful and relevant, this process assures currency of the items, adequate space for newer and more popular materials, and a more attractive, more heavily used collection.

The Library attempts to maintain copies of classic, standard, popular and important works, however, it does not automatically replace all materials withdrawn due to loss or damage. Staff consider the following factors in making a decision on if an item will be replaced: availability of a replacement copy; does the library have the item in another usable format; are patrons interested in the item; is there a newer edition or better material on the subject; does the item have significant historic or local value; is the item readily available through another channel; does the library already own sufficient copies; what is the coverage of the particular subject do in the collection; and the cost of replacement.

Staff will conduct routine withdrawal of lost, damaged, worn, unused, or outdated materials which are no longer needed in maintaining an active collection. Except for this, materials may be removed from circulation only by the established Review process.


All materials are placed in the Library according to their use and purpose. No attempt is made to shelve or otherwise accommodate materials for the purpose of restricting their use. While library personnel may aid patrons in locating materials based on their reading levels, library personnel do not accept responsibility for the guidance of readers in the choice of subject matter or actual materials. For minors, such guidance is the sole responsibility of parents or guardians. It shall not be considered an implicit, explicit, or assumed responsibility of the library to exercise any form of age-based censorship or other determination of suitability of reading materials. The library does not accept responsibility for the content of materials in the area of vocabulary or treatment of sexual, religious, or other controversial subjects. In the event a customer wishes a book or other material to be removed from the library shelves, that person should follow the procedure outlined below:


1. The complainant will be referred to the Library Director who will discuss the concerns with the complainant.

2. Should the complainant wish to pursue a challenge, the complainant must complete a written Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources form provided by the Library.

3. The form will be presented to the Library Director or to any staff member for forwarding to the Director. The complaint, the completed form, or matters pertaining to the complaint, should not be discussed by the complainant with other members of the Library staff.

4. The Director will present the completed form to the Library Advisory Board, which will then appoint an ad hoc Review Committee to review the complaint in depth.

5. The ad hoc Review Committee consists of three members of the Library Advisory Board, two members of the community appointed by the Board, and the Director of the Library.

6. The Review Committee will examine the material in question in relation to the library's established policies of selection. Its decision regarding the complaint and any recommended action to be taken will be submitted to the Library Advisory Board.

7. The final decision rests with the Library Advisory Board. That decision will be submitted in writing to the complainant within thirty days after the decision is reached.

Adopted 3/88

Revised 5/97

Revised 5/03

Revised 12/12

Revised 12/20

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Payment For Lost and Damaged Items

When a patron checks out books or other physical materials from the library, a due date is issued.  Depending upon the material type, the item(s) may be renewed and the due date, unless another patron has requested a hold on it.

Patrons must return all materials to SPPL by the due date. If materials are not returned by this time, the patron’s card will be temporarily blocked from checking out additional materials from SPPL. The card will be reinstated when the material(s) are returned and checked back in by library staff or unreturned materials paid for by the patron.

When a material has not been returned after 90 days of the due date, or if the patron notifies the library that the material is lost or damaged, library staff will initiate the process of replacing it. At that time, a replacement fee will be charged to the patron’s account, which equals the cost of the material(s) plus a $5 processing fee per item. The patron’s card will remain blocked until these charges are paid in full.

SPPL’s policy is that when the replacement fee is added to the patron’s account, staff removes the item from the catalog and initiates the process of replacing it, if possible. At that point, the material becomes the property of the patron. If the patron later finds the material, he/she may keep it, donate it, or discard it since it is no longer the property of the Town of Southern Pines. Due to the nature of this process and transferring ownership of the material, SPPL does not reverse or issue refunds for replacement fees.

If a patron wishes to appeal the status of his/her card or an account charge initiated by staff, he/she must contact the Library Director. The Director may reinstate a blocked card or credit a patron’s account if extenuating circumstances warrant such action. Refunds are generally only authorized in a situation where a staff member has made an error in charging a patron’s account.


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