Library Workers & Policy


Our Mission Statement

It is the purpose of Southside Public Library  to serve all of the citizens of the city  by offering the services, resources and facilities to fulfill their informational, educational, and recreational reading needs and interests. This will be carried out through services offered in the library. 


Sheila Watwood


Assistant Library Manager

Lynne Walker 

Current Volunteers

Kathy Russell - Volunteer 

Evelyn Schreier- Volunteer 

Theresa Norris - Volunteer 

Melinda Smith- Volunteer 


Current City Workers

Rose Weathington - Circulation Desk

If you would like to become a Volunteer, please call the Library at 256-442-6217



The library accepts donations of Books, Books on CD, and DVD Movies.

Each donated item is given careful consideration.  Items not used are sold at Book Sales or Donated to other agencies.  No item is discarded.

Cash donations may be made to the library.  Checks should be made payable to the City of Southside, Southside Public Library.

We are currently in need of:

·       Southside Family Genealogies, Histories and Reference Genealogy books

·       Photo’s of old Southside



2008 – PRESENT

Index for Southside Public Library Service Policies

A. Service Points and Hours

B. Borrowing Privileges

C. Circulation Policies

D. Charges for Services: fines and fees

E. In-depth Reference Work

F. Material Access Policy

G. Internet Policy

H. Confidentiality of Library Records

I. Interlibrary Loan

J. Displays and Exhibits

K. Gifts

L. Emergency Procedures

M. Behavior Problems

N. Unattended Children

O. Use of Volunteers

P. Complaints

Q. Collection Development


The Freedom to Read

Freedom to View

Library Bill of Rights

Statement of Professional Ethics

Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of Materials Form

Complaint Form

Displaying of Collection or Work Form

Gift Receipt Form

Interlibrary Loan Form

Suggestion for Purchase Form

A. Service Points and Hours

The library is presently located at 2138 Highway 77 and is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 A.M. to 12 noon, and Monday through Thursday 3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.

B. Borrowing Privileges

Registration of Patrons:

1. Any person four years of age or older who is a resident of the county will be issued a library card upon   request. Adult cards are for persons 16 years of age and older, while juvenile cards are for ages 4 through 15. The expiration date for library cards is five years.

2. Persons living inside the county may show the following verification of address to receive a library card: (driver’s license, check, bill, picture ID, letter, etc.)

3. Persons living out of the county must present the same verification for a library card, while the out of county resident working in the county must provide proof of local employment.

Patron Responsibilities:

1. The patron is responsible for returning all books and media on time.

2. The patron is responsible for all damages to books and media.

Suspension of Privileges:

The following actions can result in suspension of library privileges:

Overdue library materials, accumulated fines, unpaid fees for lost materials, unpaid nonresident fee, continued abuse of library rules, falsification of eligibility requirements, and abusive, destructive, or deviant behavior.

C. Circulation Policies


1. Books are loaned for a period of 21 days (3 weeks). The exceptions are media and reserve items which are loaned for one week (7 days).

2. Patrons may check out as many as 12 books and two media items per checkout. The 12 books / 2 media items limit may be changed per the Director’s directive.

3. No more than 5 books on a given subject can be circulated per checkout.

4. Materials can be renewed via the telephone.

5. Books cannot be renewed more than 2 times. Media items and reserve books cannot be renewed.

6. Reference books and material may not circulate.

7. A patron can reserve 1 (one) item and has three days to pick the item up once they have been contacted.

8. A first time library patron can only check out two books and when those books are returned the patron may then have full rights.

D. Charges for Service: fines and fees


1. The initial library card is free, but if the patron loses the card then a replacement fee of $2.00 is charged.

2. Patrons requesting a library card who live outside Etowah County will be charged $15.00. Patrons who work in Etowah County but reside out of the county limits will be charged $5.00

3. Black and white photocopies from the copy machine or the computer printer are 25 cents per page. Color copies are 50 cents per page.


1. Fines for over due items are as follows: 10 cents per day per book $1.00 per day per media and / or reserve item

The maximum overdue fines are as follows: $5.00 per book $10.00 per media and / or reserve item

2. Patrons who lose or damage a book are responsible for repaying the full replacement cost.

E. In-depth Reference Work

The Southside Library will make every effort to treat every library user with the same courteous and respectful manner. But, the staff of the library does not have the capacity to engage in lengthy in-depth reference work with library users. The staff will however make every attempt to locate the basics within our reference collection and make suggestions where applicable for further information.

The library also will attempt to help telephone callers with the basic information desired. It is the policy of the library to engage in the following by phone:

1. No more than 3 title searches because of limited staff and phone lines.

2. In-depth circulation problems should be handled in person.

3. Genealogical questions should be referred to the appropriate staff member for consultation.

4. Medical, legal, consumer, school assignments questions, and book purchasing information should be handled with only spelling, brief dictionary definitions, and factual information provided. 

It is not the responsibility of the staff to handle crisscross or city directory inquiries.

The library staff will make every attempt to help the users of the building locate desired materials. The staff of the library should engage in instructing the patron in how to use the facility and its collection through the on-line public access catalog, the Internet terminal, and other local sources to locate the desired information.

F. Materials Access Policy

The attached documents at the back of the policy manual are a clear indication of the views of limiting access to the collection the Southside Library. It is not the desire of the library to limit access to any section or part of the Southside Library. The one restriction for library users is the Internet terminal; any child under the age of 12 must have a parent with them before accessing the Internet.

G. Internet Policy

Access will be granted to anyone ages 12 and up that has an up to date and trouble free library card with the Southside Library. Before accessing the Internet, the patron must read and sign the Internet sign up sheet. Anyone under the age of 12 must have a parent with them to sign up for Internet access.

It is the policy of the library to provide users with a safe Internet experience. Internet safety will be monitored and controlled by electronic filtering equipment. We cannot control all of the viewable content. It is the responsibility of the user to determine if the material being viewed is suitable for themselves and their children.

All minors will be educated in appropriate online behavior and safety before being permitted to use the Internet. And, minors will be discouraged from giving personal information about themselves or others or meeting other users who are unknown to them.

Internet access will be limited to one hour per day or if no one is waiting then the user may continue until another person desires access. Up to two people may use the Internet terminal at a time.

Cost of printing is 25 cents per page for black and white copies and 50 cents per page for color copies. If a patron wishes to save a file to a disk then a disk may be purchased for $1.00.

Priority will be given to Internet use first; if no one is waiting on the Internet then one can use other programs on the computer for 30 minutes.

Patrons wishing to listen to audio on any computer from any source must use their ear-buds, earphones, etc. and can not broadcast the acquired sound.

Staff will assist patrons with Internet use as time permits, but cannot offer personal instructions.

The following actions will not be permitted when accessing the Internet at Southside Library:

1. Harassing or insulting others via the Internet.

2. Violating copyright laws.

3. Downloading, displaying, or sending offensive messages or pictures.

4. Using obscene language, horseplay, rowdiness or other disruptive behavior.

5. Damaging computers or computer systems and software, including unauthorized access through “hacking.”

Failure to use the Internet appropriately and responsibly as defined in the above procedures will result in the loss of Internet privileges.

Wi-fi connectivity will be available for public use and all previously established Internet Policies will apply.  The director and librray board will set the hours Wi-fi will be available.  A password for accessibility will be used and can be periodically altered or removed at the director's discretion.  An outline of the Policy will be posted in the library.

Patron Wi-fi limitations include the inability to print directly from the Internet and will have no use of electricity to hook-up their equipment except during City-wide emergencies.

The library takes a "use at your own risk" stand and assumes no responsibility for theft of hardware or software equipment left unattended, or damage to hardware or software equipment caused from any source including virus attacks.

H. Confidentiality of Library Records

1. Pursuant to the Code of Alabama, 1975, Sections 41(8-9) and 41 (8-10), the Circulation and Registration Records of the Library are not available to the public. However, individuals may inspect their own circulation records and the parent of a minor child may inspect their record.

2. Those agencies identified in the Code of Alabama 1975, Section 41 (8-10) may have access upon the demonstrated need and approval by the Library Director.

3. Persons, firms, corporations or agencies other than those mentioned above shall have access only by obtaining appropriate order or subpoena from a court of competent jurisdiction, as may be authorized by law.

4. Upon receipt of a court order or subpoena, the Director shall consult with the library Board as to whether or not to refer the matter to the Attorney for the City of Southside.

5. Should any portion of this policy conflict with existing State Law, Code of Alabama 1975, Sections 41 (8-9) and 41 (8-10), then State Law shall prevail.

I. Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary loan requests should be mailed to the Southside Public Library at:

Southside Public Library

c/o City of Southside

2255 Highway 77

Southside, Alabama 35907

Attention: ILL Coordinator

The following items are not available for interlibrary loan:

1. Reference items.

2. Genealogical items.

3. Vertical file material.

4. Books on reserve

The library will attempt to copy vertical file material or genealogical material for other libraries upon request. If the item requested is unavailable then a reserve will be placed on the book for the requesting library.

Interlibrary loan request can be in the form of a written letter, phone call, fax, or e-mail. Priority will be given to educational type requests and a limit of 5 requests per patron will be observed.

Subject searches will be performed for interlibrary loan, but it will not be of an in-depth nature.

The loan period for interlibrary loan books will be three weeks. The Southside Library will pay the postage and no insurance is required. The requesting library is responsible for lost or damaged items.

As stated above, reference and genealogical material will not be loaned. The Southside Library also retains the right to deny any interlibrary loan request if the book is in use by the local patrons of the library.

Interlibrary Loan Form

Southside Public Library

c/o City of Southside

2255 Highway 77

Southside, Alabama 35907

Name of patron requesting item: _______________________________

Phone number: ____________________________________________

Address: _________________________________________________


Title or subject matter requested: ______________________________


Author: __________________________________________________

Publisher: ________________________________________________

Other pertinent information: __________________________________


Date: ____________________________________________________

J. Displays and Exhibits

1. The library welcomes non-commercial displays and other materials of general interest to the community. It is however not the policy of the library to advertise commercial endeavors unless specifically related to goals of the library.

2. All materials in the library will be given reasonable care and protection within the limits of the general operation of the library; but the library and the board do not assume responsibility for damage or loss suffered on the premises. A statement releasing the library from responsibility shall be provided.

3. Placement of exhibits must be mutually agreeable to both the librarian and the exhibitor, and should in no way interfere with normal operation of the library.

4. All permanent or semi-permanent exhibits must be approved by the Board, but temporary displays (up to two months) may be scheduled by the Director or designated staff member.

5. Exhibits or displays that are deemed to be against community standards shall not be permitted.

6. Any staff member of the library may coordinate the display.

7. The library may at the discretion of the staff sell or resell items on display if the exhibitor requests.

Southside Public Library

3680 Highway 77

Southside, Alabama 35907

I agree to accept full and complete responsibility for displaying my collection and / or work in the Southside Public Library building.

I further agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Southside Library, its management, Board and agents, and the City of Southside for any loss sustained by any person resulting from such display. I also acknowledge that the Library’s insurance does not provide fire and extended coverage or theft for any displays of any type.

I also agree to comply with all Library policies and procedures related to Library displays including the removal of same as may be requested by the Library Director.

Name: ___________________________________________________

Address: _________________________________________________


Telephone: _______________________________________________

Executed on this _____ day of ________________ in the year _______

Signature: _________________________

Witness: __________________________

K. Gifts

1. The Southside Public Library gratefully accepts cash, securities, legacies, bequeaths, gift books (that are in satisfactory condition), and other materials that can be of value to the library collection. If the material is deemed unusable by the staff, then the donated material can be used in our book sale section of the library.

2. Any gift materials will become the property of the Southside Public Library and will fall under our selection policy. Disposition of gift Materials not meeting the criteria shall be at the discretion of the Director.

3. The staff of the library will determine in accordance with established priorities if any donated items are not deemed appropriate for the collection or the book sale area.

4. The library will issue a receipt for donated gifts if requested, but the library is not permitted to determine a dollar value of donated materials.

5. The library is also very grateful for books and materials in honor or memory of an individual. The library is able to acknowledge the gift inside the book on a bookplate. The Library Director will make every attempt to notify the appropriate parties of the donation.

Gift Receipt

Southside Public Library

2138 Highway 77

Southside, Alabama 35907

Received from: __________________________________ Date: ________

Address: _____________________________________________________


Received by: __________________________________________________

Donor’s signature: ______________________________________________

The library welcomes gifts but accepts them with the understanding that they are evaluated according to the same selection policy that governs the acquisition of purchased materials. The acceptance of a gift by the library does not mean that the library will automatically add the gift to the collection. Book sales and interlibrary exchanges are examples of other ways in which gifts may be used beneficially.

Anyone desiring that gift materials be returned if they cannot be added to the collection should make this stipulation at the time of donation.

Gifts to the library are deductible for tax purposes, but the library cannot be responsible for assessing the monetary value of these gifts.

Hardback books # __________ Equipment: __________

Paperbacks: # _____________ Computers: __________

Magazines: # ______________ Furniture: ___________

Audio / Visual: #____________ Other: ______________

L. Emergency Procedures

It is the desire of the library that its staff and patrons should be safe at all times while inside the facility of the Southside Public Library. But, at various times emergency situations may occur that necessitates the closing and / or evacuation of the building.


In case of a fire the staff should assist all patrons to the nearest exit.

Weather related:

In the case of snow, ice, or other severe acts of nature the Director will notify the Chairman of the Library board first, and if not available, will contact the Vice Chairman to determine if the library should be closed.During a tornado warning all persons inside the building must go to the nearest designated shelter.

Power Outage:

If the building is without power for more than 2 hours then the Director will make the decision to close the library.

Terrorist act, Chemical Hazard, and Criminal Behavior:

In the case of a terrorist act or criminal behavior, the appropriate law enforcement agencies will be contacted to carry out the needed action. In the case of a chemical hazard, the appropriate agency will be contacted to initiate the needed action. In the event of any of the foregoing, the Library Director shall use the best judgment possible as to whether or not to vacate the premises.

A list of emergency numbers will be displayed near the telephone for staff, and the staff will be made to read and understand the above policy in case of an emergency situation.

Emergency Numbers

Alabama Poison Center: 1-800-292-6678

Alabama State Troopers: 256-546-6385

Ambulance: *Emergency: 911

Other: 256-442-1611 or 256-547-6911

Emergency Management Agency: 256-549-4575

(Nights: 256-549-4500)

Fire Department: *Emergency: 911

(Non –emergency: 256-442-2255


GTE: 1-800-292-6678

Hospital: Gadsden Regional: 256-494-4000

Riverview Regional: 256-543-5200

National Response Center: 1-800-424-8802

Police Department: *Emergency: 911

(Non-emergency: 256-442-2256)

M. Problem Behavior

Problem behavior is any behavior which either consciously or unconsciously violates or restricts the rights of others to use the library.

Handling Problem Patrons:

Staff members should deal with problem patrons in the same manner that they would like to be approached (with courtesy, tact, calmness, and most of all common sense). There is no simple solution for problem patrons. Because of the uniqueness of each situation, common sense should play a large part in any encounter with a problem patron. The case, handling patrons should be a team effort by calling on other staff members.

General Enforcement Procedures:

A staff member who observes someone causing a disturbance should:

1. Approach the individual in question and explain the regulation being violated.

2. If necessary, hand out a copy of the regulation being violated.

3. If the situation continues and the staff member judges the situation too serious to handle alone, call for back up from a co-worker.

4. If an individual does not stop the behavior or refuses to leave the building, the staff should call the police immediately.

N. Unattended Children

The library encourages children of all ages to visit the library with their parents to take advantage of the resources available for them to meet their informational, recreational, and educational needs. It is the responsibility of parents to insure the appropriate behavior of their children in the library.

Library staff is not responsible for the supervision of children left unattended by their parents. Disruptive children will be required to leave after receiving one warning.

Under no circumstances will library staff transport or take a child away from the library building.

O. Use of Volunteers

Volunteers can provide invaluable support to a library and its staff when each role is clearly understood.

Volunteers must be a minimum of 14 years of age and below the age of 18 must provide parental consent.

All volunteers must work a minimum of two consecutive hours each time. These hours must be on a regular schedule frequency and convenient to both parties.

Applicants must be screened to insure the smooth operation of the library. When possible, a volunteer’s preferences for the type of work to be performed and hours of the day and day of week should be honored.

A review of the volunteer’s work and mutual satisfaction with the assigned tasks should be conducted periodically.

P. Complaints

The Southside Public Library welcomes all suggestions with regard to library services and operations. The library also has an open door policy in regard to complaints regarding services, operations, staff, board and / or other library problems.

A form will be provided for the patron who has a complaint regarding the library. The following requirements must be met before the complaint is considered.

1. Patron must be a registered borrower of the library.

2. Patron must file a completed complaint form and supply his or her full name. Anonymous complaints will not be considered.

Once the completed complaint form is received, the Director will review the form and will contact the patron to satisfy their request. If the patron is not satisfied with the action, they may request the Library Board to review their complaint. A member of the Library Board will then notify the patron of the final decision.

Complaint Form

Date: __________

Name: ______________________________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________________


Library card number: __________________________________________

Detailed explanation of complaint:







Signature ofComplainant: ____________________________

Received by: ____________________________

Date: __________________________________

Q. Collection Development

Purpose and Goals:

The overall purpose of the library is to serve all of its citizens by offering the services, resources, and facilities to fulfill their informational, educational, literary, and recreational needs and interest. The term citizens encompasses individuals and groups of every age, education, philosophy, occupation, economic level, ethnic origin, and human condition.

The Library, a free public library for all citizens, shall strive toward the following goals:

1. To assemble, preserve, and administer books with related educational, informative, literary, and recreational material within the framework of its budget in order to promote an enlightened citizenship and enrich personal lives.

2. To serve the community a center of reliable information.

3. To accumulate the best literature, fiction, thought, children’s books, etc., for use and benefit of the public.

4. To initiate activities which will encourage the most effective use of these selected materials.

5. To cooperate with educational, civic and cultural groups and organizations whose aims are compatible with those of the library.

6. To provide opportunity and encouragement for children, young people, men, and women to educate themselves continuously.

7. To facilitate universal life long education for the general reader.

Purpose of the Material Selection Policy:

The material selection policy shall serve the following purposes:

1. To further the stated goals, objectives, and function of the library.

2. To guide librarians in the selection of materials.

3. To inform the public about selection principles.

The policy will be reviewed by the staff to ensure that it remains current and useful.

Responsibility and Authority:

Final responsibility and authority for materials selection rests with the Director, who operates within a framework of policies adopted by the Library Board. The staff of the library will be active in materials selection using their knowledge of the collection, the needs of the community, and their critical judgment of materials available.

Criteria for Selection of Materials:

In general, the basic principles listed below will guide the selection of materials.

Materials should possess qualities of:

1. Contemporary significance or permanent values.

2. Accuracy and objectivity of approach.

3. Authority of the author in the field.

4. Clear presentation and readability.

5. Social significance.

Works of imagination should possess qualities of:

1. Representation of important movements, genres, trends of national culture.

2. Vitality and originality.

3. Artistic integrity.

4. Authenticity of historical or social setting.

5. Sustained interest.

Specifically, materials considered for inclusion in the Library’s collection must meet one or more of the following standards:

1. Importance of subject matter collection.

2. Serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

3. Permanence.

4. Timely value.

5. Purpose of intent of the material.

6. Accuracy of content.

7. Authenticity of content.

8. Historical value.

9. Readability.

10. Scarcity of material on subject.

11. Reputation and significance of author, illustrator, editor, artist, performer, etc.

12. Popularity.

13. Local interest.

14. Reputation and professional standing of publisher.

15. Price.

16. Format.

17. Availability of material.

In addition to the above standards, periodicals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

1. Indexed in “Reader’s Guide of Periodical Literature.”

2 Frequency of use.

3. Interest as indicated by patron request.

4. Reputation and quality of publication.

5. New titles on subjects of current interest.

6. Indexed in other indexes.

Videos and audios will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

1. Popularity.

2. Availability.

3. Price.

4. Usability.

5. Merit.

6. Lasting appeal.

7. Quality of content.

8. Rating.

Educational videos will be evaluated according to the same standards as other library materials.

The presence of materials in the library must not be construed as a personal endorsement of their contents by any member of the staff, Library Board, or city council. The library has a responsibility to collect materials expressing a variety of views and opinions, many of which the persons responsible for maintaining the library may find personally unacceptable.

The library subscribes to the principles of the American Library Association’s “Library Bill of Rights,” “Freedom to Read,” and “Freedom to View” the documents are attached at the end of the manual.

The library recognizes that many materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Responsibility for what children read rests with their parents and legal guardians. Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that books may inadvertently come into the possession of children. Selections will be made on the merits of the work in relation to the building of the collection and the interest of the community.

Use of Selection Aids:

Ideally every book added to the library should be read before purchase by a Librarian with trained judgment, knowledge of the library’s present resources, and an acquaintance with the requirement of local readers. Where circumstances make such reading impossible or unnecessary, the staff makes skilled use of selection aids, such as basic general lists, current general lists, specials bibliographies for reference books and particular subject materials, and book reviewing journals.

Patron Requests:

The library welcomes patron requests in the collection and will seriously consider all requests that specific materials be acquired. The library is under no obligation to fill any particular request if not deemed suitable to the collection.

A patron who has a suggestion for a specific item to be purchased should fill out a “Suggestion for Purchase” form. A sample form is included.

Suggestion for Purchase Form

I suggest the library purchase the following item:

Title: ______________________________________________________

Author: ____________________________________________________

Publisher: __________________________________________________

Year Published: ________

Where did you hear about this title? ______________________________


If you would like to be notified upon purchase, please give your name and phone number or address on back of the form.

All suggestions will be considered. Thank you.

Types of Materials Available:

The following types of materials will be selected according to the aforementioned "Criteria for Selection":

1. Books

2. Audios

3. Videos

4. Periodicals


Gifts to the library in the form of materials, money, or memorials are welcome. However, gifts will be treated in the same way as all other materials.

This means:

1. All gifts are subject to the previously stated ACriteria of Selection@.

2. Gifts may or may not be added to the Library=s collection at the discretion of the staff.

3. Gifts will be handled while in the collection in exactly the same way as materials purchased with public funds.

4. When gift materials are deemed no longer useful, the library will discard them on the same basis that it discards other materials.

The library reserves the right to decide the conditions of display, housing, and access to the materials. No estimate of value or record of donated items will be furnished.

A gift form will be used when the library staff accepts materials upon the request of the donor.

Maintenance of the Collection:

The collection will be periodically examined for the purpose of weeding, binding, or repair of materials to maintain a balanced, timely, and attractive book stock. Reasons for withdrawal of materials are:

1. Poor physical condition

2. Outdated and inaccurate

3. Lack of reader interest as evidenced by lack of use

4. Duplicates not justified by demand

5. Items that do not meet the current selection criteria