Policies are necessary to ensure the safety of our patrons and proper usage of library facilities so that all may enjoy their visit. For questions regarding library policy, please call the library at 217-483-2713. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. 

Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities Policy

Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities Policy

Individuals with disabilities shall be provided an opportunity to participate in all Library sponsored services, programs, or activities on an equal basis to those without disabilities and will not be subject to illegal discrimination.  Where necessary, the Chatham Area Public Library District may provide to persons with disabilities separate or different aids, benefits, or services from, but as effective as, those provided to others.

The District will provide auxiliary aids and services where necessary to afford individuals with disabilities equal opportunity to participate in or enjoy the benefits of a service, program, or activity. 

Each service, program, or activity operated in the Library shall be readily accessible to, and useable by, individuals with disabilities.

Individuals with disabilities should notify the Library Director if they have a disability which will require special assistance or services and, if so, what services are required.  This notification should occur as far as possible before the Library sponsored function, program, or meeting.


LEGAL REF.:            Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et  seq. and 12131 et seq.; 28 C.F.R. Part 35.

CROSS REF.:           5-30

ADOPTED:               MARCH 20, 2000

Bulletin Board Policy

Bulletin Board Policy

Information of general community interest may be posted on the Library's bulletin board according to the following rules:

  1. The library staff will give permission to post all notices.  Library staff will remove all notices
  2. Material posted on the Library's bulletin board must have the approval of the Library Director or designated staff.
  3. Priority will be given to notices about activities and events occurring within the Chatham Area Public Library District.
  4. Priority will be given to notices about non-profit, cultural, or educational activities and events.
  5. Permission to have material posted will be denied if the material promotes the violation of the rights of others, the material infringes on a copyright, or if the material is defamatory, obscene, vulgar, or indecent.
  6. Permission to have material posted will be denied if the material is  commercial in nature such as, but not limited to, advertisements, yard sale notices, business opportunities, and rentals.

LEGAL REF.:         75 ILCS 16/30-60

CROSS REF.:         5-40

ADOPTED:             MARCH 20, 2000

Circulation Policy

Circulation Policy

The Chatham Area Public Library District is a tax-supported public library.  This means that people residing within the boundaries of the Chatham Area Public Library District pay taxes to support the Library.  People who live within the boundaries pay no additional fee to be eligible to receive their library card.  Library cards are renewed every 3 years without additional fees, provided the library card holder continues to reside within the boundaries of the Chatham Area Public Library District and is a patron in good standing.


The Chatham Area Public Library District, in accordance with the Illinois Public Library District Act, will keep all records about patron transactions and the identity of registered Library patrons confidential. No such records or identities will be disclosed except as provided by law, and the Library District legal counsel has been consulted.

In accordance with the Library Records Confidentiality Act, a library patron’s registration and circulation records information may not disclosed to anyone other than the patron regardless of age or relationship except as provided by law.


Personal Card

  1. A person age 16 and over may obtain a library card by completing an application and providing proof of residency by showing a valid driver's license or state issued ID, current utility bills, mail, voter's registration card, property tax bill, or other documentation acceptable to the Library Director or designated staff as evidence of library district residency.
  2. A library card is valid for 3 years from the date of issue and may be renewed by presenting the card at the circulation desk with one current proof of identification.
  3. Use of a personal library card is limited to the patron whose name appears in the library card account.
  4. As a resident card holder, the borrower may physically take his or her library card to any public library in Illinois and ask to borrow materials.  Those materials are the responsibility of the individual who borrows them, and are subject to all of the fines, rules and regulations of the lending library. Often libraries limit the borrowing privileges of reciprocal borrowers, and it is important to be aware of local rules and procedures before making selections.

Children's Card

  1. A child under age 16 may be given a personal library card if the parent or legal guardian signs the card application and accepts financial responsibility for any fees or charges that the child incurs with that card.  The parent or legal guardian who can verify with approved identification that they reside at the same address is accepted as proof of residency for the child.
  2. A child who has a library card may access all available library materials, including books, movies and other materials.
  3. A child aged 12 through 15 may be given permission to use the Library's Internet-accessible computers by the parent or legal guardian during the card application process.
  4. A child has the same rights to privacy and confidentiality as any other patron.
  5. The parent or guardian who has signed the application has the right to restrict use of the library by withdrawing the child's personal library card at any time.

Family Card

  1.  One account with one library card number is issued per family.  A family is defined as all members of a household who can verify with approved identification that they reside at the same address.
  2. A family card is valid for 3 years from the date of issue.
  3. A library family card may be renewed by presenting the card at the circulation desk with one current proof of identification.
  4. A child aged 12 through 15 may be given permission to use the Library's Internet-accessible computers by the parent or legal guardian during the card application process.
  5. The parent or legal guardian who signs the application for a family card is the primary cardholder and is responsible for any fees or charges to the account.



A resident is any person who resides within the boundaries of the Chatham Area Public Library District.


Non-residents are those living outside the boundaries of a library service area. To obtain a library card, a non-resident must apply to the closest library and pay a non-resident fee.  Non-residents of the Chatham Area Public Library District are eligible to receive a Chatham Area Public Library card if they meet the above criteria.  The annual non-resident fee is established by the Chatham Area Public Library Board of Trustees based on the Illinois State Library’s property tax formula. 

Property Owners Living Outside the CAPLD Boundaries

Those who live outside of the boundaries of the Chatham Area Public Library District, but who own property within the boundaries of the Chatham Area Public Library District, may have one personal library card for use by the individual whose name appears on the tax bill without additional payment.

Reciprocal Borrower

  1. Any person holding a valid library card from a library participating in the Illinois Reciprocal Borrowing Program may borrow library materials.   
  2. If patron’s library is not a part of the SHARE regional automation consortium which includes the Chatham Area Public Library, an application must be completed, the patron’s home library must be contacted to verify that the patron is in good standing, and the information from the library card application must be entered into the SHARE patron data base.
  3. Reciprocal borrowing privileges are valid until the user’s home library card expires.
  4. All Chatham Area Public Library policies apply to reciprocal borrowers.
  5. The Chatham Area Public Library follows the ILLNET code which requires that a reciprocal borrower, whose home library is not a fully participating member of the SHARE automation system place requests for items via interlibrary loan through the home library.
  6. Use of the reciprocal card is limited to the patron whose name appears in the library card account.
  7. The Ball-Chatham School District is served by two libraries: Chatham Area Public Library District and Lincoln Library in Springfield.  Those living within the boundaries of the Ball-Chatham School District, but not in the Chatham Area Public Library District, must apply for a library card at the Lincoln Library in Springfield.


LEGAL REF.:         75ILCS 16/30-55.60, 75 ILCS 16/30-55.60, 720 ILCS5/16-0.1B

CROSS REF.:         4-90, 4-100, 4-110, 5-10

ADOPTED:             MARCH 20, 2000

AMENDED:             JUNE 21, 2004

AMENDED:           JUNE 15, 2009

AMENDED:           AUGUST 18, 2014

Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy


A public library attempts to provide an accessible setting for a variety of materials. Since no individual can buy and store all of the material one may need or want, the community pools its resources to create a public collection for the community's benefit. 

A primary goal of the Chatham Area Public Library is to develop a collection of excellence. The library strives, within the limitations of budget and space, to provide a wide range of materials which meet the diverse educational, informational, cultural and recreational needs of the community. 

Reasonable efforts will be made to build balanced collections without favor given to particular causes or viewpoints. The library supports the American Library Association's Bill of Rights (APPENDIX A), and its Freedom to Read (APPENDIX B) and Freedom to View (APPENDIX C) statements, which recognize the right of persons to free and convenient access to information and ideas. 

The parents or guardians, not the library, are responsible for supervising the use of books and materials by their children. Librarians are available to provide suggestions for patrons of all ages.

Selection & Maintenance of Materials

The Library Director is responsible for all materials, both print and electronic in the library collections. Designated Library staff members use professional judgment to choose and discard items in the library collections within the scope of assigned areas. 

A variety of factors influence the selection of library materials. These include accuracy of information, interest, authority, demand, and value to the existing collection, timeliness, significance of the subject, format and price. In selection, consideration will be given to the work as a whole.  No work shall be excluded because of specific passages or pieces taken out of context.  It is not possible to read, view, listen, and analyze every item before it is added to the library's collection. Selection of materials is accomplished in a variety of ways. Extensive use is made of reviews in professional and other journals. Recommendations by staff and residents of the community are seriously considered. 

Library Collection Gifts

The Library welcomes gifts to the collection, but accepts them with the understanding that it has the right to handle or dispose of them in the best interest of the Library. Such material may be added to the collection provided that it meets the Library’s standard of selection or cataloging.

When donated material is added to the Library's collection, the classification and display of the material is solely at the discretion of the Library Staff.  The donor may not restrict access to, nor use of donated materials.

Materials purchased with memorial funds and materials presented as memorials must meet the same criteria as purchased materials. Memorials may be acknowledged and marked with an appropriate bookplate. Material not added to the collection or withdrawn will not be returned to the donor. 

Receipts for donated materials are available upon request, but the Library will not appraise the value of the donation, suggest a value, provide an appraisal service, nor recommend professional appraisers.

Withdrawal of Materials

As materials are regularly added to the collection, ongoing maintenance is necessary to ensure the collections are maintained in good condition with relevant and up to date information. Part of maintaining the collections is performing regular weeding. Weeding is a vital process for an active collection because it ensures the collection stays current, relevant, and in good condition. Staff will perform weeding on a continual on-going basis.

Suitable withdrawn and donated materials will be donated to another library, to school districts or to the Friends of the Chatham Area Public Library District to sell.

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary loan (ILL) is the process by which a library requests materials from, or supplies materials to, another library. Through interlibrary loan, patrons may request materials from other libraries in Illinois and from other libraries that participate in the SHARE automated consortium through the Illinois Heartland Library System. The requested materials are sent to the Chatham Area Public Library, where the patron may check the items out (or use them in the library, if so stipulated by the owning library).

For those items that are outside of the SHARE automated consortium of libraries, the Chatham Area Public Library will request materials that are located within Illinois and beyond through OCLC. This OCLC Inter-Library Loan service is reserved for Chatham Area Public Library cardholders.

The Library affirms that interlibrary loan is an adjunct to, not a substitute for, the library's collection. The Library exhausts local resources first, including its own collection and those from libraries in SHARE, before requesting items from libraries out of the system.

The Chatham Area Public Library endorses the Illinet Interlibrary Loan Code, the American Library Association Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States, and complies with Copyright Law (17 U.S.C.) and its accompanying guidelines. It also follows the policy guidance from the Illinois Heartland Library System, the SHARE automated consortium and OCLC.

Request for Reconsideration

The Chatham Area Public Library endeavors to build a collection representing varying points of view. The choice of library materials by users is an individual matter. Responsibility for the reading materials of children rests with their parents or legal guardians. While a person may reject materials for themselves and for their children, they cannot exercise censorship to restrict the use of materials by others.

A request to remove library materials creates complex legal and ethical questions for both the library and the community. Consequently, this issue is taken very seriously by the Library. To initiate a request, a Request for Reconsideration form, (APPENDIX D) which is located at each Library service desk, should be filled out completely and given to the Library Director. Upon receipt of a completed "Request for Reconsideration of Library Material" form, a committee consisting of the Library Director, a Library Staff member and a Library Trustee will be formed to evaluate the patron's concern. The committee will make a recommendation concerning the complaint to the Board of Trustees. The Board will make the final decision as to the retention, elimination, or relocation of the material and promptly notify the individual making the formal complaint of the board's decision.

Policy Revision

This policy will be reviewed by the Library Board of Trustees every two years pursuant to 75 ILCS 16/30-60, Selection and Use of Library Materials.

LEGAL REF.: 75 ILCS 16/30-60
CROSS REF.: 2-70, 4-20, 5-40, 5-70
AMENDED: JUNE 15, 2009
AMENDED: March 15, 2021


Attached is the Appendix A, B, C & D

Community Use of Meeting Rooms Policy

Community Use of Meeting Rooms Policy

The Chatham Area Public Library welcomes the public use of Library facilities for educational, civic and cultural uses consistent with the public interest when such use does not interfere with normal Library operations or Library sponsored activities. The booking of a meeting room does not imply library endorsement of the content and speakers of meetings held in the Library. Permission to use a facility is revocable and does not constitute a lease. The Library reserves the right to deny applications for use based on availability of space, availability of staff, frequency of use or as further outlined in this policy.

Advertisements or announcements implying such endorsement are not permitted. The Library will not be the phone/address contact for the event or activity.  In making such rooms available, the Library aspires to meet the principles set forth in the American Library Association (ALA) Bill of Rights. (see policy 4-10)

All meetings must be open to the public without charge. The exception is made for meetings of Library staff, Library Board of Trustees and other governmental bodies that reside within the boundaries of the Library District which may, when permitted by law, be closed to the public.


A. Meetings

Meeting rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis for meetings that are educational, cultural, educational, civic, or charitable.

Meetings may not disturb the normal operations of the library or pose a safety hazard.

Workshop fees or dues may be collected, but the public may not be denied entry to the meeting because of failure to pay. The sale, advertising, solicitation or promotion of products or services is not allowed in Library meeting rooms. This guideline is waived for all Library, Friends of the Library and Library Foundation programs of Library fundraising activities.

Presentations that are primarily commercial in nature, rather than educational, are not permitted. Individuals who wish to be featured at a Library sponsored program should contact Library staff.

Private meetings/events, including parties, showers, receptions, cannot be held at the Library. 

B. Hours

Meetings may only be scheduled during normal Library operations.  All meetings must conclude 15 minutes prior to Library closing times.

C. Fees

Fees are based on the category of the entity renting the meeting room:

  • Groups that have a majority of members that reside in the Chatham Area Public Library District will not be charged a fee.
  • Groups with a majority of its members residing outside of the Chatham Area Public Library District fees will be added. See the fee schedule for current room rates.

D. Cancellation

The Library Board of Trustees is authorized to establish reasonable regulations governing use of the meeting rooms and related fees. The Library reserves the right to decline meeting room request that do not meet the spirit of this policy. Library programming has priority, and the Library reserves the right to cancel (or re-locate within the Library) any previously scheduled meeting and will give as much notice as possible to the previously scheduled group.

The Library reserves the right to cancel any reservation due to unforeseen circumstances, including those which reasonably cause the Library Director to view the meeting as likely to materially and substantially interfere with the proper functioning of the Library or likely to create excessive noise or a significant safety hazard.

The Library must be notified as soon as possible (24 hour notice preferred) for cancellation of a reservation. Any group that abuses the meeting room Rules for Use or does not inform the library of their cancellation shall lose the right to use the meeting rooms for a period of 60 days.

E. Responsibility of Users

One member of the group must be the group’s representative and must be present throughout the scheduled meeting or event.  The group’s representative who makes an online room reservation or signs a meeting room agreement assumes legal responsibility for the group’s activity and the repair or replacement of lost or damaged Library property. This representative must sign the application and agreement and see that the group follows all of the rules and regulations described in this policy.

The Library is not responsible for accidents that may occur on library property to individuals attending programs or meetings in the Library. The Library is not responsible for any individual or group property, nor can it provide storage for property. Organizations using the meeting rooms will be held responsible for any accidents occurring as a result of the group’s activities.

At the conclusion of a meeting, the room must be returned to its original condition.


LEGAL REF.:             75ILCS 16/30-60

CROSS REF.:             5-10, 5-50, 5-60

ADOPTED:                MARCH 20, 2000

AMENDED:               MAY 18, 2009

AMENDED:               MAY 19, 2014

Gifts to the Library Policy

Gifts to the Library Policy

General Gifts

The Chatham Area Public Library District accepts gifts from any foundation or other entity or individual, provided the gift can be used in a manner compatible with the Board’s objectives and policies.  While the Board encourages unrestricted gifts, donations to fund specific projects are acceptable if the project is approved by the Board.  All gifts received become the library’s property.

LEGAL REF.:            75 ILCS 16/30-75

CROSS REF.:            4-40

ADOPTED:                MARCH 20, 2000

REVIEWED:              AUGUST 15, 2011

Lending Policy

Lending Policy

A. Lending Periods

All circulating library materials are checked out for a period of two weeks with the following exceptions:

  1. Puzzles may be checked out for two months.
  2. Certain materials in the library’s Reference Collection and Local History/Genealogy Collection do not circulate or have a limited checkout period.
  3. Current issues of magazines do not circulate.
  4. Items borrowed from other libraries will circulate according to the lending library’s circulation policy.

Children are not limited to materials in the juvenile collections.  Parents must supervise their own child’s selection of library materials.

Limits on the number of items that may be borrowed are determined by the Library Director and designated Staff.  Temporary restrictions may be necessary if there is a shortage of materials in certain areas or in order to ensure that an entire collection is not checked out at one time.

Lending policies may be waived for an individual in special circumstances with the specific permission of the Library Director or designated staff.  Vacation checkouts for extended periods of time are available only on Chatham Area Public Library materials at the discretion of the staff.

B. Renewals

  1. All circulating items owned by the Chatham Area Public Library may be renewed in person, by telephone, or by computer via the Library's website for an additional two week period unless there are requests on the title.
  2. Items owned by other libraries within the SHARE automated catalog database may be renewed if there are no outstanding requests for the item. One renewal is possible if no requests are outstanding.  The length of the loan period per checkout and renewal is set by the lending library.

C. Interlibrary Loans

  1. When resident patrons would like materials that are not available within SHARE, Chatham Area Public Library Staff may request those materials outside of SHARE.  This process is called interlibrary loan, or ILL. 
  2. When materials are borrowed via interlibrary loan, the policies governing that loan, including the circulation period, are determined by the lending library.  Patrons borrowing through interlibrary loan must respect the due dates established by the lending library so that the Chatham Area Public Library will not lose the privilege of borrowing materials for any of its patrons.  It is crucial, therefore, that materials borrowed through interlibrary loan be returned in a timely manner.  Habitual failure to do so will result in individual loss of this privilege for the patron so that we may preserve the service for others.

D. Holds

  1. Patrons may place a request for any circulating item that is available in the SHARE database either directly through their online account in the public access catalog on the Library’s website or with the help of the Library Staff.
  2. The Library Staff will attempt to notify the patron when the requested item becomes available. The information is also available through a patron’s account in the public access catalog site. The requested item will be held for seven days for the patron. After that time the item is made available for circulation or returned to the lending library.


Overdue Materials

  1. An overdue fine of $.10 per day will be charged for each adult item, up to a maximum of $3.00 per item. An overdue fine of $.05 per day will be charged for each juvenile item, young adult item, or magazine, up to a maximum of $1.00 per item. A patron is considered delinquent when the fine total reaches $5.00 and may no longer check out materials until the fine is reduced.  
  2. Fines on an overdue item shall not exceed the replacement cost of the item.
  3. Items due on a given date must be returned to the library before closing time on that date in order to avoid a fine.
  4. The Library Staff will attempt to contact the patron with overdue materials during the first five weeks that the item is overdue. Charges will appear on the patron account if the materials are not returned.

Lost and Damaged Materials

  1. If an item is lost, the borrower is liable for the replacement cost of the item. 
  2. If an item is damaged, a charge will be assessed based on the cost of repair.  If the item is damaged beyond reasonable repair, full replacement price will be charged. The fees will remain on the account until they are paid. 
  3. Fines are waived when a borrower pays the replacement cost of a lost or badly damaged item. Borrowers who pay for a damaged item within 14 days may have that item. After 14 days, the damaged item charges will remain, but the item will be discarded.
  4. The Library Director may place borrowing restrictions on a patron who habitually damages materials.
  5. A full refund, minus the amount of fines for materials lost and paid will be made if the materials are returned in good condition with the original receipt within ninety (90) days of the date of payment for the loss.
  6. Items borrowed from another library will be subject to the charges and fees set by that library for lost or damaged items.

Replacement Costs

  1. The replacement charge include the price of an item plus shipping and processing charges that are necessary in order to obtain and circulate a replacement copy of the lost or badly damaged item.
  2. If the item is no longer available, replacement costs cover the expense of obtaining materials of a similar nature.

Theft or Deliberate Damage of Library Materials

  1. The Chatham Area Public Library District Board of Library Trustees will enforce rules and regulations pertaining to the removal or retention of library materials from the Library or to the mutilation of same. The definition of “library material” as stated in Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 shall apply.
  2. Any person attempting to remove books or other materials from the Library without checking them out  will be charged up to the replacement cost of each item stolen or damaged, may have suspended library privileges according to established procedures, and/or may be prosecuted by the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office.

LEGAL REF.:         75ILCS 16/30-55.60, 75 ILCS 16/30-55.60, 720 ILCS5/16-0.1B

CROSS REF.:         4-90, 4-100, 4-110, 5-10

ADOPTED:             MARCH 20, 2000

AMENDED:             JUNE 21, 2004

AMENDED:           JUNE 15, 2009

AMENDED:           AUGUST 18, 2014

Proctor Policy

Proctor Policy

Exam Proctoring


In support of its mission to promote lifelong learning the Chatham Area Public Library District will proctor exams for students upon request and availability of personnel, facilities and technology to do so. 

Fees and Costs

There is no fee for this service for Chatham Area Public Library District residents; however, the library will not incur any costs for administering or returning exams. The student or the examining institution must provide a return envelope and sufficient postage. The library charges $1.00 per page to fax in-state, $2.00 out-of-state and 800 numbers are free.  The library also charges 15 cents per page to photocopy. All costs must be paid prior to administration of the exam.

Proctoring for Non-Chatham Area Public Library District residents is available for a charge of $20.00 per exam session, plus all applicable costs.  An exam session constitutes no more than one-half day.  Payment is due before the exam can be administered.  

Cash, money orders, and checks are acceptable forms of payment. 


Exams are administered by appointment only and applications for proctoring must be submitted at least seven days in advance.  The library does not guarantee to the student or examining institution the name of an individual proctor.  Three staff members are designated to act as proctors.  The library agrees to provide a reasonably quiet space for students to undertake the exam but students should be mindful that the library is a public building.


All students must complete an exam proctoring application which will specify the name of the institution offering the exam, contact information of the teacher or testing center administrator, and specific information regarding the requirements of the proctored exam, duration of the testing time, and use of permissible external resources. 

The library will proctor both written and online exams.  Online testing will be done via a library computer.  Students’ personal computers are not allowed.  The library will not download software onto library computers.  The library cannot guarantee that technical problems will not occur when using the library’s network or its computers.  Refunds will be made to non-residents who are unable to complete an exam because of technical problems. 

The student must make arrangements with the examining institution to have written exams sent or delivered to the Exam Proctoring Coordinator at the library.

The student will be required to present a valid picture I.D. at the time of the exam and other credentials required by the examining institution.  The student is responsible to know what is required.

Proctors will enforce any written time limits that are placed on the exam, as well as other rules set forth in the examination materials. The use of cell phones or visiting with others is prohibited during the exam. Any perceived violation of the posted rules for the exam will be reported to the examining institution.

Prior contact between the examining institution and the proctor is required so that credibility and exam requirements can be verified.

Librarians and/or library personnel cannot proctor exams that students bring in themselves.

The Library will not be responsible for any delayed exams, incompleted exams nor for any completed exams once they leave the library’s possession and have been mailed back to the examining institution.

The Library will not be responsible for exams that are interrupted by Library emergencies, power failures, or computer hardware or software failures.  The exam will be rescheduled along with notification of examining institution.

The Library reserves the right to substitute a proctor in the event of the original proctor’s absence.

Due to legal and ethical matters, the proctor will not sign a proctoring statement that attests to more than they are able to do. 

Responsibilities of the Exam Taker

  • Fill out the Application for Proctoring Service form and return it to the Circulation Desk at the Library or email it to [email protected].  The proctoring coordinator will then contact you to make an appointment to meet and to complete the necessary paperwork your examining institution requires
  • Your examining institution may have specific requirements for proctoring. Check with the proctor to make sure the Library can meet all of the requirements.
  • Call prior to your exam to make sure the exam or login information has arrived. The proctor does not contact you when the exam arrives.
  • Arrive promptly at the agreed-upon time, prepared with the items required for taking the exam. These may include picture I.D., money, pens/#2 pencils and calculator. Only items listed in the exam instructions will be allowed in the exam area. You are responsible for securing personal items before the exam begins.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to know exam deadlines.  The library will keep the exam for 6 weeks from the date of receipt and then the exam will be destroyed.


ADOPTED:                APRIL 16, 2012

Public Access to the Internet Policy

Public Access to the Internet Policy

In keeping with its mission and with the advances in information technology, the Chatham Area Public Library provides the community with access to the Internet to enhance the Library's existing collection. The Library is not responsible for damages, direct or indirect, arising from information a patron gets from the Internet. In particular, patrons should be aware that information obtained from the Internet may not be reliable or accurate and may or may not be from a reliable source, may not be current, and may be of a controversial nature.

Whenever possible, the library staff will assist patrons in making judgments about the reliability or currency of certain types of Internet information, but the ultimate responsibility for determining the worthiness of Internet information rests with the patron.

The Chatham Area Public Library is not responsible for lost or damaged personal items that are left unattended in the computer lab. All personal belongings are the responsibility of the patron.

Age Restrictions

  • Patrons age 11 and under must be accompanied and directly supervised by a responsible person 16 years of age or older when using the Internet-equipped computers.
  • Patrons who are 12 years of age and/or attending 5th grade through those who are 15 and/or attending 10th grade may be granted access to the Internet after a parent or legal guardian has given permission.
  • Patrons who are high school junior or seniors and/or are 16 years of age or older may access the Internet.


The Library does not sell, lease, or otherwise distribute or disclose patron name, email address, postal address, driver's license number, or other personal information to outside parties. Information collected in the computer lab is destroyed on a monthly basis.

  • Patrons must sign in the computer lab before using the Internet-equipped computers and sign out when they terminate their computer use. Acceptable sign-in documents include a library card, government-issued ID or school ID.
  • Internet access is available on a first-come, first-served basis. A patron will sign in for a 30 minute time period. Time may be extended during periods of light use at the discretion of the library staff. A maximum of two people are allowed at an Internet terminal. An appropriate charge for printer use will be established by the Library Director. Patrons are required to pay for all print jobs in the computer lab. Other arrangements are at the discretion of the computer lab assistant.
  • Laptops are available for in-library use when a state-issued ID is held by the computer lab assistant.


  • Adding or deleting information relevant to the operation of the computer system is prohibited. Patrons are not permitted to add messages, store files, or alter computer commands. Violators will lose their computer and Internet privileges for a period of time to be determined by the Library Director. Furthermore, if the Library's computer is damaged, the tampering will be reported to the Chatham Police Department and charges may be assessed.
  • The library staff monitors all computer usage and must be able to view a patron's computer monitor at all times.
  • All patron access to information on the Internet at the Chatham Area Public Library is governed under the Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chapter 720, Criminal Offenses, Section 5, Article 11 regarding lewd, obscene, and/or pornographic materials. Violations of this law will be reported immediately to the Chatham Police Department. This law is posted at each computer.
  • Business cell phone usage in the lab is restricted to 10 minutes. Patrons may consult with the lab assistant to make other arrangements. Social calls are not allowed.


The library staff will provide basic instruction on access to the Internet and Microsoft Office Suite. Beyond the basics of how to access the Internet and use Microsoft Office Suite, the patron is responsible for his or her own education, research projects, and other activities.



Patrons accessing the Internet via their own equipment (e.g., personal laptop computers) or via library equipment or resources are subject to applicable State and Federal laws, including copyright laws. Patrons may be liable for violating copyright laws.

Wireless Internet Access

Patrons with wireless access capabilities on their own equipment, such as laptops, tablets, telephones, etc., are welcome to use the Internet through the Library. This access option is open to patrons of all ages; parents or guardians of children under the age of 18 are responsible for supervising and guaranteeing their child's proper and safe use of the Internet. No registration or sign-up is required to use the Library's Wi-Fi.

Use of the Library's wireless access points constitutes acceptance of this Internet Access and Computer Use Policy. The Library provides no filtering or virus protection on its wireless Internet access points for patrons. The library's wireless access is not on a secure network, unless you are connected to a website that employs encryption. The Library assumes no responsibility for damage caused to patrons' equipment (hardware or software).



75 ILCS 16/30-60


4-50, 4-60, 4-70


MARCH 20,2000


MARCH 15,2004


AUGUST 15,2005


JUNE 15,2009


AUGUST 18,2014

Reference Service Policy

Reference Services Policy

The Library Staff may only guide the patron to legal, medical, investment, and tax materials of interest. The Staff is not allowed to evaluate or interpret the information provided by those materials, define the meaning of terms, offer advice, or serve as a surrogate for a professional in any of these areas.

The Library Staff strives to provide accurate information but does not assume responsibility for guaranteeing the correctness of the response.

Reference materials may not be removed from the Library except by permission of the Library Director or designated Staff.

The Library Director will provide the Board of Trustees with a monthly count of reference requests.

This policy will be reviewed at least every three years.


CROSS REF.:          1-220, 4-20, 4-100

ADOPTED:             JUNE 19, 2000

AMENDED:           JUNE 15, 2009

Rules of Conduct Policy

Rules of Conduct Policy

Rules of Conduct

The Library Director, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees, is authorized to make reasonable rules and regulations for the use of the Chatham Area Public Library.

Any user not in compliance with the following rules or who jeopardizes the health or safety of other users or acts in a manner inconsiderate of other users may be asked to leave. Should the offender not leave when ordered to do so, the police will be summoned.

Library Rules

  1. Loud, offensive, or threatening language and disruptive or offensive behavior are not permitted.
  2. Patrons will be appropriately attired, including shirts and shoes.
  3. Food is not to be consumed in the Library except in the Café, Library Meeting/Activity Rooms and at authorized events.
  4. Beverages may be consumed in the Café, Meeting/Activity Rooms and in the Library proper if they are secured with lids.  No beverages will be consumed in the computer lab, Opal Lee Chatham Local History Genealogy Room or near electronic equipment.
  5. Smoking or the use of any tobacco product is not permitted in the Library or within 15 feet of any entrance to the building or on patio.
  6. Bicycles or other vehicles may not be parked in a manner that blocks or hinders entry to the Library.
  7. Animals are not permitted in the Library, except for companion dogs for the physically disabled and for the purpose of Library programming.
  8. Parents are expected to supervise their children. The Library Staff and the Board of Trustees do not presume to act “in loco parentis.”  Therefore, they do not act as “baby-sitters” nor do they censor the Library materials that children choose.  If children are left at the Library for long periods of time unsupervised, parents/guardians will be notified.  If there is no response the Chatham Police will be notified.
  9. Restrooms may not be used as a bathing facility.
  10. Cell phone use in the Library is restricted to the Library vestibule, a study room or a meeting room not currently in use.  Cell phones should be turned to vibrate and consideration given to other patrons and Library Staff.
  11. Personal electronic equipment, including but not limited to radios, CD/Mp3 players and computers are permitted to be used only with headphones and at a volume that does not disturb others.


LEGAL REF.:        75 ILCS 16/30-55.55

                              75 ILCS 16/30-60

CROSS REF.:        4-90, 4-100

ADOPTED:            MARCH 20, 2000

AMENDED:           FEBRUARY 16, 2009

AMENDED:           MAY 18, 2009

REVIEWED:          SEPETEMBER 19, 2011

Security Cameras Policy

Security Cameras Policy

Security Cameras

Purpose of Security Cameras
The Library District has security cameras to enhance the safety and security of library patrons, guests, invitees, staff, and property. Security cameras also discourage illegal behavior and policy violations, enhance the apprehension of offenders, and provide recorded data that enhances and supports library security and operations. Security cameras provide real-time surveillance through a central monitoring facility. There is no audio recording associated with the security cameras.

Signs posted at both public entrances alert library patrons, guests, invitees, and staff to the use of security cameras to monitor and record on library property, both inside and outside of the building. Security cameras are not installed in areas where library patrons, guests, invitees, and staff have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as restrooms.

Staff Access to Digital Images
Real-time surveillance and recorded data are only accessible in staff areas. The Library District Director is the only member of staff authorized to view data outside of the Library in order to determine if a course of action, such as contacting law enforcement, is needed. Only the Library District Director and Department Heads are authorized to release recorded archival data to law enforcement in compliance with this policy, and they may direct IT staff to access and isolate real-time or recorded data related to a specific incident, or may direct other staff to view real-time or recorded data in order to ascertain security concerns. Authorized staff must notify the Library District Director whenever recorded data is accessed.

Collection of Digital Images
Video footage is collected for Library District purposes. The Library District is under no legal obligation to collect video footage. Only the Library District Director and Department Heads may turn off the security cameras for maintenance, or to ensure patron, guest, invitee, or staff privacy.

Acceptable Use and Patron Privacy

Activity on Library District property

Authorized staff may use real-time surveillance, a still shot, or selected portions of recorded data to assess the security risk of a specific individual, to investigate a suspected or actual crime on Library District property, to request law enforcement assistance, to validate serious or repeated Library District policy violations, to alert staff to the presence of banned or repeatedly disruptive individuals, or to address any internal security or operational concern. In the discharge of those duties, the Library District Director and Department Heads may compare the recorded digital image with identification data available on the Library District’s patron databases.

Requests from law enforcement and Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)

The Library District Director and Department Heads may use real-time surveillance or recorded data to cooperate with DCFS, or with law enforcement, concerning investigations of criminal activity, missing persons, or runaways. Video data may be provided to law enforcement or DCFS only with the knowledge and authorization of the
Library District Director, unless unavailable, in which event a Department Head may provide authorization.

In all other respects, recorded data will be accorded the same level of confidentiality and protection provided to library patrons, guest, invitees, and staff by Illinois State law, the Chatham Area Public Library District’s policies, and the American Library Association’s policies on confidentiality and privacy, with footage released only in accordance with, and as required by, this Policy or law.


LEGAL REF: 720 ILCS 5/16-3, 75 ILCS 70/1 et.seq.
ADOPTED: JULY 16, 2018

Social Media Policy

Social Media Policy

Social Media Policy

The Chatham Area Public Library District (Library) maintains various social media applications and services to engage with the community it serves and to facilitate an online platform of communication between library staff and library patrons about library-related issues. The Library’s social media applications and services are not intended to be traditional public forums for the general exchange of ideas and viewpoints, but a limited public forum for discussing Library programs, events, and materials.

By posting any comments, posts or other materials on the Library’s social media pages, patrons give the Library permission to reproduce, distribute, publish, display, edit, modify, delete and otherwise use your submissions for any library-related purpose in any form on any media.

The Library does not collect, maintain or otherwise use the personal information stored on any third party site in any way other than to communicate with patrons on that site, unless granted permission by patrons for Library contact outside the site.

The Library recognizes and respects differences in opinion. Posted comments are the opinion of the author only and publication of a comment does not imply endorsement or agreement by the Library. All comments, posts, and messages are subject to review and the Library reserves the right, but is not required, to remove any comment, post, or message that it deems, in its sole discretion, to be:

  • Obscene, homophobic, sexist, hateful or racist content
  • Specific and imminent threats
  • Personal attacks, insults, or threatening language
  • Potentially libelous statements
  • Private and personal information published without consent
  • Comments unrelated to the content of the discussion
  • Hyperlinks to material that is not directly related to the discussion
  • Commercial promotions or spam
  • Organized political activity
  • Violations of copyright, trademark right or other intellectual property right of any third party

By using the Library’s social media applications and services, Patrons agree to abide by this policy and all other rules and policies of the Library. Abuse or violations of this this policy may result in the responsible poster being barred from posting any subsequent messages to the Library’s social media sites. The Library, its Board of Trustees, employees, agents, and official assume no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from participation in Library-sponsored social media. Patrons are personally responsible for their commentary. Patrons should be aware that they may be held personally liable for commentary that is defamatory, obscene, proprietary, or libelous by any offended party. In addition, patrons agree to indemnify the Library and its Board of Trustees and employees, from and against all liabilities, judgments, damages, and costs (including attorney’s fees) incurred by any of them which arise out of or are related to posted content. is not responsible or liable for content posted by any person in any forum.

Disclaimer: Content posted on Library social media sites that relate to the Library’s business may be public records and subject to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the State of Illinois record retention laws. The Library is not responsible or liable for the content of postings by third parties on any Library sponsored social media site. Third party postings do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Library, its employees, or its Board of Trustees. Third party websites have their own privacy policies, of which patrons should be aware.


LEGAL REF:           (5 ILCS 140/) Freedom of Information Act, (50 ILCS 205/) Local Records Act

CROSS REF.:         3-20, 4-100, 5-10

APPROVED:           OCTOBER 24, 2011

AMENDED:            APRIL 19, 2021


Solicitation Policy

Solicitation Policy

The solicitation of Library staff members or Library patrons by individuals or organizations is not permitted on Library Property unless approved by the Library Director or designated staff.

CROSS REF.:         5-30

ADOPTED:             MARCH 20, 2000

Study Rooms Policy

Study Rooms Policy

Study Rooms


The study rooms are designed to provide a quiet area of study for individual or small groups. The fundamental purpose of these study rooms is to provide a suitable environment for research, study and reading.

The rooms are not for larger group pursuits, including social activities, sales or club and business meetings or other for-profit entities or organizations.

Additional study space is available within the Library.


There are 4 study rooms located on the West side of the building.


The small study rooms have been provided for use by the general public and may be reserved.

  • Reservations may be made up to one week in advance.
  • For those without reservations, study rooms are available on a first come, first served basis. Walk-in users will be asked to vacate the room for users with a reservation.
  • Time slots are two hours in length. Extended usage times may be given if room is available.  A limit of three hours per day will be enforced should other users request the use of a room. Limits are set in order to accommodate fair and equitable access to these spaces.
  • Those reserving a study room are asked to check in with the designated location upon arrival. Reserved rooms will be held for 10 minutes past the time reserved, and then will be made available to the next applicant.
  • Study rooms are not available outside of the Library’s service hours.
  • Study rooms must be vacated 15 minutes prior to the scheduled closing of the library regardless of when the patron began using the room.

Guidelines for Use

  • Food is prohibited in the study rooms.Covered drinks are allowed.
  • A room may be reassigned if it is left unattended for more than fifteen (15) minutes. The Library assumes no responsibility for unattended personal belongings.
  • Groups may not rearrange Library furniture. Signs and decorations may not be taped or stapled to walls, doors or glass windows. Rooms must be left in clean condition. All individuals in the room are responsible for the behavior of others using the room during their session.
  • Activities in a study room should not materially or substantially interfere with the proper functions of the Library. Prohibited activities include: causing excessive noise, creating safety hazards or security risks, and creating other disturbances that violate the Library's Code of Conduct Policy. Those violating the Code of Conduct Policy will be required to leave the room and may forfeit future use of the study rooms.


LEGAL REF.:          75ILCS 16/30-60

CROSS REF.:         5-10, 5-50, 5-60

ADOPTED:             JANUARY 17, 2011

AMENDED:            APRIL 19, 2021

Unattended Children / Dependent Adult Policy

Unattended Child / Dependent Adult Policy

The Chatham Area Public Library District welcomes children and families in using its facilities. The purpose of this policy is to encourage parents, legal guardians and caregivers to exercise reasonably responsible care, supervision, and control over their minor children in order to prevent victimization and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of children and also to make the library a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone.

An “unattended child” is a child under 18 who is unaccompanied by a parent, guardian caregiver. Children who are unable or unwilling to act appropriately or care for themselves may not be left alone in the library or on library grounds at any time and must have adequate supervision from a parent, legal guardian or caregiver.

Adults who cannot care for themselves independently without the constant attention of a parent, legal guardian or caregiver may not be left alone in the library or on library grounds at any time and must have adequate supervision from a parent, legal guardian or caregiver at all times.


The library acknowledges that the maturity of children at different ages varies. These guidelines are subject to the discretion of library staff who may apply them to children other than the ages stated below, if they deem it necessary.

  1. Children through the age of five (5) years must have a parent, legal guardian or responsible caregiver in the immediate vicinity (within sight or conversation distance) and remain in visual contact with the children unless the children are participating in a library-sponsored program. 
  2. Children ages six to seven (6-7) years must have a parent, legal guardian or responsible caregiver in the same service area unless the children are participating in a library sponsored-program.
  3. Children ages eight to eleven (8-11) years should have a parent, legal guardian or responsible caregiver in the building unless the children are participating in a library-sponsored program.
  4. When a child participates in a library-sponsored program, the parent, legal guardian or responsible caregiver must sign the child into the program. Parents, legal guardians and responsible caregivers of children age eight (8) and younger are required to remain in the Library for the duration of the program. Children must be picked up promptly at the end of the program.
  5. Children twelve (12) and over may use the library unattended for a period of time appropriate to their age and maturity. If a child in this age group is not able to leave the library without an adult, he/she should not be in the library alone. The library reserves the right to contact parents or proper authorities if a child is left alone in the library and presents behavior that is unacceptable.
  6. All children should carry with them the phone number of a parent, legal guardian or responsible caregiver who is to be contacted in case of emergency.
  7. Parents or legal guardians are accountable for their children's behavior while on library property. In the event that a behavior situation arises by a child left unsupervised while a parent or legal guardian uses the library (including in the computer lab), the library staff reserves the right to intervene in the situation directly to address the behavior themselves or indirectly by alerting the child’s parent or legal guardian to the behavior. If the child is or continues to be disruptive, and the parent or legal guardian does not respond, both the child and the parent or legal guardian may be asked to leave library grounds. A child who is accompanied by an adult (other than a parent or legal guardian) or by a sibling who does not comply with a staff request to discontinue inappropriate behavior and who refuses to leave the library grounds shall be referred to the Chatham Police Department for removal. Some behaviors and instances that may be cause for staff intervention include but are not limited to:
    1. Fighting/bullying
    2. Vandalism
    3. Rough play
    4. Excessive noise
    5. Running
    6. Misuse and/or disordering of library materials
    7. Inappropriate language or subject matter

Library staff is allowed to use their best judgment if they witness a child being improperly supervised and putting themselves or anyone else in an unsafe situation.

  1. If staff has reason to suspect that a child has been left at closing time, staff will ask if the child is waiting to be picked up, determine the child’s name and may call the child’s parent or legal guardian. If, after a reasonable time, there has been no response to calls and the child still has not been picked up, the Chatham Police Department will be called to handle the situation and ensure the safety and well-being of the child.
  2. In the event of serious or willful policy violations, the Chatham Police Department will be notified immediately.


ADOPTED:             APRIL 16, 2012