Library Trustees Progress Towards Comprehensive Library Policies

Trustees of San Marino’s Crowell Public Library considered adopting a reference policy for the library at its Oct. 24 meeting.

The review and consideration of current and perspective library policies is part of an ongoing effort to develop a comprehensive collection of written guidelines by the City of San Marino.

Assistant City Manager Lucy Garcia told trustees that while the library maintains a strong practice related to each policy area, it doesn’t have most of them formally written down.

The Board of Trustees reviewed the library’s behavior standards in July and internet policy in September.

“We’re going to have a policy book when we’re finished,” said board Vice Chairperson Susan Boegh.

City Librarian Irene McDermott presented to the board a draft reference policy, which was based on the reference policy of the Jasper County Public Library in Indiana.

Trustees found the policy—complete with a definition of reference service, statement of purpose and standards—to be appropriate for Crowell Library.

“All information requests are to be handled. If information is available, it is provided to patrons without making a judgment on its moral or aesthetic worth,” read the first standard.

Boegh commented that these standards are “a nice statement of the respect that will be shown to the patrons.”

McDermott added an additional standard to the draft which read, “Harassment of reference staff will not be tolerated.”

State Library Report

Trustees received a report detailing the library’s population, circulation, staffing and salary, income and expenditures, and library services.

The report showed an increase of 18,134 items in total yearly circulation between fiscal year 2014-15 and fiscal year 2015-16, jumping from 254,565 items to 272,699 items.

Resident circulation remained unchanged at 31 percent of that total, while non-resident circulation was 69 percent.

Staffing levels also remained unchanged from year-to-year at 46 people. The library experienced 205,465 visits and hosted 20 more programs than the year prior for a total of 386 programs.

Library expenditures also increased $139,114 between 2014-15 and 2015-16.