Guidelines

The Catawba County Library System is a large organization with many moving parts. In order for us to serve you well, there are certain guidelines that help make the library a great experience for everyone.

As our community’s place to connect, explore and grow, the Catawba County Library empowers lives and builds community by bringing people, information, and ideas together.

As a community center of excellence, our goal is to fuel citizens’ passion for reading, personal growth, and learning, by creating welcoming, vibrant, comfortable, and secure library spaces. We work together as a community to make our libraries safe and comfortable places to visit and work, and we appreciate your partnership in this effort.

Safe Environments

  • Children under age 10 should always be accompanied and cared for by a parent or designated caregiver.
  • Children under 16 should be picked up before closing time.
  • We will maintain an environment free from obscene, threatening, harassing, or abusive language, behavior, gestures, or displays, including in person and on computers and mobile devices.
  • Skating and skateboarding is not allowed on library premises, including parking areas, sidewalks, and walkways approaching the library building.

Welcoming Environments

  • Libraries today are places for active collaboration and shared learning, but can still be places for quiet reflection and study as well. We’ll work hard to maintain that balance, offering more quiet spaces as needed--just ask us.
  • Help us by using headphones when listening to portable audio devices or computers, being aware of volume during conversations and cell phone use, or using our outdoor spaces.
  • Service dogs/miniature horses are welcome when assisting an individual with a disability and are under that individual’s control at all times.
  • So that everyone can enjoy library spaces, we don’t allow soliciting, selling, sleeping or loitering inside the library or on library grounds.
  • For your convenience, we offer coffee and vending machines—small pre-packaged food items and covered drinks are welcome except at computers. So that we don’t end up with a mess or unwanted critters, we ask that you use our outside library garden table for anything more than small pre-packaged items.

Library Materials and Furnishings for All to Share

  • Help us take care of our shared materials: check them out before taking them out of the building, and return or renew them on time.
  • Help us take care of our equipment and furnishings so that everyone in the community can enjoy a welcoming library experience.

It’s the law

  • We follow any local, state, or federal law and ordinances, and expect our customers to as well.
  • We are a smoke free campus. Additionally, use of alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, and tobacco products are strictly forbidden on library premises, inside and out.
  • The possession of firearms or other weapons (other than law enforcement officers), concealed or otherwise, is prohibited in the library, and all County buildings. (Catawba County Code Section 22-61(d)).

We bet you love our libraries as much as we do, and we want you to keep coming—so, thanks for helping us ensure our spaces are welcoming for all. If you feel that something or someone is making your experience here uncomfortable or unsafe, please let a staff member know. We’ll take appropriate action to ensure your comfort and safety.

Catawba County Library System collects materials in many formats to meet the diverse informational, educational, recreational, and cultural needs of our community, so that citizens may explore all points of view and issues of interest.

Materials are selected using reviewing media, suggestions from the community, and professional knowledge and resources to develop a broad and varied collection.

Evaluation criteria used to add and remove materials from the collection include: public demand; professional reviews; reputation of author or publisher; current or long-term significance; accuracy and timeliness; relationship to existing collection; price, format, condition, and availability.

A guiding principal for the library is the provision of free and open access to information resources and materials as fundamental to the democratic process and a free and informed society. The library’s role is to provide access to materials in all fields and from all points of view, and to represent the widest diversity of views, including those that may reflect controversial, unorthodox, or unpopular ideas. The library subscribes fully to the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights.

The library is committed to supporting parents and guardians in guiding children in the use of library resources through reading lists, web resources, children’s collections, and recommendations of staff. Responsibility for children’s use of library collections ultimately rests with parents, guardians, or caregivers.

We love to accept your donations of materials to the library. We can use materials in clean, good condition that others might enjoy.

After careful review by library staff and Friends, donations are either added to the library collection or sold in a book sale for the benefit of the library. Unsold items are either donated to charity or discarded.

We are not able to use textbooks or encyclopedias, nor do we find that magazines sell very well at book sales.

We will gladly provide a letter acknowledging your donation for your tax purposes.

Catawba County Libraries inspire the joy of reading, life-long learning, cultural appreciation, creative thinking, and promote economic development and individual growth through comprehensive resources, a knowledgeable and responsive staff, innovative technologies, and welcoming facilities.

As a public gathering place organized around public service and the transfer of information and ideas, the library is a unique, neutral community space for social interaction and engagement, easily accessible, with distinct resources, and rich in content and experience. We contribute to a healthy community where people come together in ways that level social inequities and promote community engagement and social connection.

Reference Services Mission
Our reference team is here to empower you in all areas of information seeking. They are expert staff who provide access to a broad, in-depth range of authoritative information, resources and collections.

Reference staff provide information and reference assistance for all types of inquiries. If we can’t find the information you need, we can refer you to appropriate professional organizations or federal/state/municipal agencies. We provide professional and impartial reference service, without giving specific medical, legal, copyright, financial, or tax advice and without referring to individual practitioners such as physicians, attorneys, mental health professionals, or others.

The Internet allows users to connect to vast networks of information, resources, and ideas outside the library. Currently, the Internet is an unregulated medium. As such, it offers access to a wealth of material that is personally, professionally, and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages. It also enables access to some material that may be inaccurate, offensive, disturbing and/or illegal. Users must accept personal responsibility for determining the suitability and appropriateness of information obtained through the Internet.

The library addresses Internet safety issues through its Internet Acceptable Use Agreement and Parental Permission Agreement.

In an effort to ensure that the use of the Internet is consistent with the mission of the Catawba County Library System, the following rules shall apply:

  • Users must have and maintain a library card in good standing. Failure to return library materials or pay outstanding fines may result in suspension of Internet privileges. Users should have their library card with them each time they wish to use the public Internet computers at the library.
  • All users, regardless of age, will sign an Internet Acceptable Use Agreement
  • To assure parental guidance in children’s use of the Internet: Children under 18 require a parent to sign a Parental Permission Agreement.
  • Internet use will be managed in a manner consistent with the library’s Ensuring Welcoming and Safe Environments, which is posted online and in the library.
  • Failure to use the Internet stations appropriately and responsibly, as defined in the Internet Acceptable Use Agreement will result in revocation of Internet use privileges and/or library use privileges. Unacceptable use that is illegal may result in criminal prosecution as well.

We are pleased to offer our community access to the Internet both inside and outside the library. As the internet has an infinite range of information and resources beyond the library’s control, our expert staff is ready to help you find reliable information--and your access is guided by terms of use designed to encourage safety and security for our community of users:

1. Your use of any information or materials on sites you access is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable.

2. You agree that, through this portal, you will not perform any of the following:

  • Attempt to access devices or resources to which you have no explicit, legitimate rights
  • Copy, reproduce, or transmit any copyrighted files or information other than in accordance with the requirements and allowances of the copyright holder
  • Launch network attacks of any kind including port scans, DoS/DDoS, packet floods, replays or injections, session hijacking or interception, or other such activity with malicious intent
  • Transmit malicious software such as viruses, Trojan horses, and worms
  • Surreptitiously install software or make configuration changes to any device or application, by means of the installation or execution of key loggers, registry keys, or other executable or active application or script

3. You agree that you will use the access provided here responsibly and with full regard to the safety, security, and privacy of all other users, devices, and resources.

4. You agree that you will be mindful of the cultural sensitivities of others while using this portal so as not to provoke reaction or offense, and that you will not intentionally access pornographic, graphically violent, hateful, or other offensive material (as deemed by us) regardless of others' sensitivities.

5. You understand that we reserve the right to log or monitor traffic to ensure that these terms are being followed.

6. You understand that unauthorized use of resources through this portal may give rise to a claim for damages and/or be a criminal offense.

Our libraries are vibrant learning and collaborating spaces and also offer study spaces for when you need a more quiet atmosphere. Ask about the availability of study rooms at any location.