Policy Manual

Frequently Used Policies

All patrons are issued a library card when they open an account with the library. All patrons must have a Bay County Library System account in “good standing” in order to exercise the privilege of checking materials out from the library. A patron’s library account is in good standing as long as their outstanding balance is less than $5, there are no outstanding fees for lost or damaged materials, and there are no overdue materials from loaning libraries outside the Valley Library Consortium, including the Michigan Electronic Library Catalog (MeLCat) system.

All patrons are encouraged to carry their library card so that it can be presented to library staff when checking out library materials. Occasionally, a patron whose library account is in good standing may forget to bring their library card into the library. In such a circumstance, library staff may allow materials to be checked out provided the patron has a valid picture ID or is able to verify information (i.e. name, address, phone number, date-of-birth) in their account. Library staff may choose, at their discretion, to deny checkout without a library card when they have reason to believe this privilege is being abused.

Patrons whose library account is in good standing may check out materials without their library card by presenting their library card information (i.e. scanned barcode or card number written down, entered into an electronic device, or memorized). For security purposes, library staff may choose, at their discretion, to require that the patron provide a valid picture ID or be able to verify information (i.e. name, address, phone number, date-of-birth) in their account before allowing checkout of materials.

Patrons whose library account is not in good standing may use the materials in the library, but are not entitled to either borrow materials or use library computers.

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Checkout of library materials requires processing through the circulation system, including the assignment of a due date. Standard checkout period and limits on items are as follows:

The total number of items that a patron may check out at any one time is 75, with no more than a combination of 25 audio-visual items (videos, DVDs, Books on CD, music CDs, and Playaways).


Item Type Limit Checkout Period
Adult Books and Magazines           75          3 weeks
Children's Books and Magazines       75 3 weeks
Audio-Visual Materials       25 3 weeks
Book Club Connection Bags        2 6 weeks
Special Collections         5 3 weeks

*Streaming Services (eBooks/eAudiobooks) vary from 5-10 items depending on vendor.


Photocopies, black & white $0.15
Photocopies, color $0.15
Printer copies, black & white $0.15
Printer copies, color $0.50 (available at Wirt and Auburn only)
Microfilm/fiche copies $0.25
Lost Materials 50% of price on catalog on books only, all other material is full price.
Collection Agency Fee $10.00


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The Bay County Library System strives to maintain a safe environment conducive to the welfare of all users of its facilities. Library staff is not responsible for providing supervision or care of children. The parent, legal guardian, or caregiver is responsible for monitoring the activities and regulating the behavior of children.


Children will not be denied access to the adult collections merely because they are juveniles. Final selection of materials is the responsibility of the parent, legal guardian, or caregiver.


All children age 9 or younger must be attended and adequately supervised by a responsible adult or adolescent of 14 years or older. Children from the age of 10 or older may use the library unattended subject to the Rules of Conduct of the Bay County Library System.


Children ages 6 - 9 may attend library sponsored programs independently, however, a parent, legal guardian, or caregiver must remain in the library throughout the program.


If children age 10 or older are not using the library for any of its intended purposes, or are violating the library’s Rules of Conduct, they will be asked to leave. If this should occur, and the children cannot return home for any reason, the library reserves the right to contact the police.


Any unattended child age 9 or younger should be reunited by staff with the parent, legal guardian, or caregiver. Staff should ensure the child is not left alone while locating the person who is responsible for the child to reunite them.


If staff is unable to locate a parent, legal guardian, or caregiver, page them using their name, if known. Staff should not announce that there is a missing child or the child’s name, for the child’s protection.


When the parent or caregiver is located, politely and discreetly remind them that it is not the responsibility of library staff to supervise or care for the child.


If the parent, legal guardian, or caregiver is not found in the building, a staff member should stay with the child in a public area while an attempt is made to make contact via telephone. Inform him or her of the library’s concern for the child’s safety, and request they pick up the child. If he or she cannot be located, staff should call 911 and report it to the police.


Children Left in the Library at Closing Time


At 20 minutes before closing time staff should do a walk around and identify children who are in need of a ride home. Staff should use their best judgment to determine if an unattended young person is capable of getting themselves home. Staff should make attempts to contact a parent, legal guardian, or caregiver who can come and give the child a ride home. If no contact is made by 10 minutes after closing time, call 911 and ask the police to come and pick up the child. Two staff members should stay in the building with the child until the police arrive.


Any time the police are called a BCLS Patron Conduct Report form should be completed, reviewed by the Managing Librarian, and forwarded to the administrative office.


4/26/2023 board approved


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The Bay County Library System is supported by the taxpayers of Bay County and the state of Michigan, who expect our facilities to be clean, comfortable, and safe places for selecting materials, reading, researching, studying, writing, and attending library or community sponsored programs and meetings. To that end, this policy, which includes the Rules of Conduct listed below, shall be posted in conspicuous locations in all library buildings.

Enforcement of these rules will be conducted in a fair and reasonable manner. Library staff will intervene to stop prohibited activities and behaviors. Failure to comply with the library’s established rules, regulations, and policies could result in revocation of library privileges, or removal from the premises and suspension from library buildings, bookmobiles, and library grounds for a period of one day to one year, or longer, or arrest and prosecution.

A patron who disagrees with the form of discipline administered by a library staff member may register their complaint in writing, within ten calendar days, to the Director. The library Director, or his/her designee, will investigate and respond in writing, within ten calendar days, following receipt of the complaint. If the patron disagrees with the decision of the library Director, he/she may appeal to the library Board of Trustees, who will render a final decision.


For the comfort and safety of patrons, volunteers, and library staff, and for the protection of library property, the following behaviors are prohibited in library buildings, library bookmobiles, and on library grounds:

  • Engaging in any activity in violation of federal, state, local or other applicable law, or library policy
  • Being under the influence of alcohol/drugs, and selling, using or possessing alcohol/drugs
  • Verbally or physically threatening or harassing other patrons, volunteers, or staff, including stalking, staring, video or audio recording, lurking, peeping, offensive touching, excessive displays of affection, and obscene acts such as sex acts and indecent exposure
  • Patrons may not interfere with the staff’s performance of duties in the Library or on Library property. This includes engaging in conversation or behavior that monopolizes or forces the attention of staff for an inappropriate period of time, inappropriate personal comments, sexual advances, or physical and/or verbal harassment
  • Campaigning, petitioning, soliciting, interviewing, survey taking, or selling, unless authorized by library staff
  • Stealing, damaging, vandalizing, defacing, altering, or any other inappropriate use of library property, including materials such as books, magazines, music CD’s, board approved 1-25-12 updated 9-26-18 DVD’s, and talking books, as well as computer hardware and software, printers, copiers, phones, and other equipment.
  • Trespassing in nonpublic areas, being in the library without permission of an authorized library employee before or after library operating hours, or camping on library grounds
  • Fighting or challenging to fight, running, pushing, shoving, or throwing things  Creating disruptive noises such as loud talking, screaming, or slamming or banging on objects
  • Using offensive language
  • Gambling or other group activities which are disruptive to the library environment
  • Using any audible devices including cell phones with or without headphones set at a volume that disturbs others
  • Offensive body odor due to poor personal hygiene, overpowering perfume or cologne that causes a nuisance is prohibited
  • Using restrooms for bathing or shampooing, doing laundry, or changing clothes, except for infants
  • Littering
  • Loitering
  • Electronic cigarette use, smoking, chewing, and other tobacco use
  • Barefoot, shirtless, or otherwise attired so as to be disruptive
  • Consuming food or beverages in public areas of the library (except for beverages in closed containers, drinking fountain use, baby bottles, nursing, and locations where use is authorized, such as meeting rooms, coffee shop, etc.)
  • Using wheeled devices including skateboards, roller skates, bicycles, scooters, and shopping carts (exceptions include wheelchairs, walkers, strollers, and other devices authorized by library staff)
  • Sleeping or lying down on any floor, couch, table, or seat in the library or on library property, as well as blocking aisles, exits, or entrances by sitting or lying down in them
  • Neglecting to provide proper supervision of children (see Children’s Use of the Library policy)
  • Under the ADA and Michigan law, libraries are not required to allow emotional support animals in the buildings, only service animals which are limited to dogs and in rare cases, miniature horses. Service animals must be housebroken and in complete control by their owner while in the building

All bags and other articles are subject to inspection by library staff. The library reserves the right to limit the size and number of items brought into buildings.

All materials removed from the library must be properly checked out on a valid library account.

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The Bay County Library System provides computers for public use in all of its branches. The Library makes this service available as part of its mission to provide free and open access to information of all types in a wide range of formats for patrons of all ages and backgrounds.

All users shall respect the privacy of other users, including not attempting to censor or comment on what others are viewing. All users are subject to the Library’s Rules of Conduct as well as pertinent state, federal and local laws.

Staff will not assist users in the illegal copying, downloading, or streaming of potentially copyrighted material. Staff is prohibited from entering patrons’ private or confidential information (even at patron request) such as, but not limited to: Social Security numbers, credit/debit card numbers, bank account numbers, etc.

Users may not:
Receive or display graphics, sounds, or messages which may reasonably be construed as obscene as defined by law.
Gain unauthorized access to any network or computer system.
Consume gratuitously large amounts of system resources or deliberately crash any Library computer system.
Make any attempt to damage or alter computer equipment or software.

The Bay County Library System is not responsible for any damage, loss of data or liability that may occur through use of the Library’s computers.

Computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to allow all patrons an opportunity to use the equipment, generally a time limit of one-hour per session is enforced when others are waiting to use a computer. Under special circumstances, the Library reserves the right to either reduce or extend the one-hour time limit. The Bay County Library System reserves the right to terminate an Internet session at any time.

The Bay County Library System utilizes computer management software for access and time monitoring. A valid Bay County Library System library card may be used to log onto computers. Persons who do not own a library card may access the computers by requesting a “guest pass.” Library staff may require persons who request multiple guest passes to obtain a valid library card.

Refusal to comply with these rules may result in loss of library privileges or other disciplinary action, including being asked to leave the library and/or summoning of law enforcement authorities.

Access by Minors
The Library affirms the right and responsibility of parents and legal guardians to determine and monitor their own children’s use of library materials and resources, including their children’s use of Library computers to access the Internet.

Filtering software will block many specific sites that may be offensive to some users, but may not block all materials that may be offensive to all users. Each computer in the children’s area of each branch of the Bay County Library System is filtered. Most computers in the adult areas are also filtered. Patrons who require use of an unfiltered computer should notify Library staff for assignment to a computer with unfiltered Internet access.

In accordance with Michigan Public Act 212, patrons may be required to show picture ID, with date-of-birth information. Minors under the age of 18 will use filtered computers unless under the direct supervision of their parent or legal guardian.

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Bay County Library System Meeting Room Policy

The Bay County Library System encourages the use of its meeting rooms by making them available to
as many different groups, organizations, governmental units, and businesses as possible on an equitable
basis. Excluded uses of the room are for purely social events, meetings for the benefit of private
individuals, business development, or commercial concerns. Permission to use the room does not imply
Library endorsement of any policies or activities of any group using the room. The Library reserves the
right to revoke permission previously granted. Library programs have the highest priority in scheduling
after which priority is based on a first-come, first-served basis. The Library has the right to pre-empt any
reservation if it conflicts with the Library's need for the meeting room. Library staff may assign groups
to the room that best fits the size and needs of the group. All events held in the Library meeting rooms
are open to the public and free of charge.

Each branch has one meeting room available for use during regular public hours of operation. Each
branch maintains its own meeting room schedule.

Groups may book the room up to 3 months in advance, up to 2 meetings per month, and up to 4 hours
per meeting depending on library planning needs as determined by the Managing Librarian. At the
discretion of the Managing Librarian, exceptions to the scheduling guidelines may by granted. If a group
needs to cancel, they should do so 48 hours before their meeting. Serial no-shows may forfeit future use
of the room.

The person reserving the room must meet the following criteria:
-a BCLS cardholder in good standing at least 18 years of age
-an authorized representative of the group holding the meeting
-in attendance at the requested meeting
-accountable for both restoring room to setup conditions and any damages to the room or


Reservations should be submitted at least 24 hours before the group wishes to use the room.


Rules and Restrictions
1. All individuals using the Library, including the meeting room, are subject to the Library's Rules
of Conduct.
2. Groups may collect dues from members, but may not require payment or solicit donations.
3. Groups will not distribute their literature outside of the meeting room.
4. Groups must adhere to the room capacity as posted.
5. The group is responsible for the security, safety, and behavior of those attending the meeting.
Children must be supervised by group members.
6. The room must be vacated at least 15 minutes prior to closing. Groups should let staff know
when they leave the room.
7. Light food and beverages may be served by the group in the meeting room. No alcoholic
beverages are permitted.
8. No open flame of any sort is allowed.


Auburn Area Branch Library – Community Meeting Room

235 W. Midland Road, Auburn, MI 48611
Phone: (989) 662-2381 x400
Days & Hours available for use: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday – 10 am to 7:45 pm
Friday & Saturday – 9 am to 4:45 pm
Capacity: 120 people (without chairs or tables)
 57 people (chairs only); 57 people (chairs & tables)

Furniture & Equipment: 57 stacking chairs, 8 folding tables, 1 projector w/ DVD player, 1 pull-down wall screen, 1 traveling white board, 1 30-cup coffee maker, 1 free standing lectern, 1 media cart, 1 laptop, 1 microphone


Pinconning Branch Library – Community Meeting Room

218 Kaiser Street, Pinconning, MI 48650
Phone: (989) 879-3283 x500
Days & Hours available for use: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday – 10 am to 7:45 pm
Friday & Saturday – 9 am to 4:45 pm
Capacity: 66 people (without chairs or tables)
 54 people (chairs only) 30 people (chairs & tables)

Furniture & Equipment: 54 stacking chairs, 9 folding tables, 1 media cart, 1 projector w/DVD player, 1 – 4’ x 8’ white board/dry erase board, 1 pull down wall screen, 1 microphone


Sage Branch Library – Community Meeting Room

100 E. Midland Street, Bay City, MI 48706
Phone: (989) 892-8555 x300
Days & Hours available for use: Monday & Tuesday – 9 am to 4:45 pm
Wednesday & Thursday – 12 noon to 7:45 pm
Friday – 9 am to 4:45 pm
Capacity: 49 people (without chairs or tables)
 30 people (chairs only) 20 people (chairs & tables)

Furniture & Equipment: 30 stacking chairs, 6 folding tables, 1 DVD player, 1 media cart, 1 pull-down screen, 1 projector for laptop or DVD player, 1 traveling white board


Wirt Public Library – Community Meeting Room

500 Center Avenue, Bay City, MI 48708
Phone: (989) 893-9566 x2100
Days & Hours available for use: Monday thru Thursday – 10 am to 7:45 pm
Friday & Saturday – 9 am to 4:45 pm
Capacity: 180 people (without chairs or tables)
 120 people (chairs only) 76 people (chairs & tables)

Furniture & Equipment: 1 half-kitchen (refrigerator & sink, no stove), 120 stacking chairs, 30 folding tables, 1 DVD player, 1 ceiling projector, 1 free standing lectern, 1 laptop, 1 travelling white board, 1 pull-down screen, 1 microphone, 1 lapel microphone


Wirt Public Library - Second Floor Community Meeting Room

500 Center Avenue, Bay City, MI 48708
Phone: (989) 893-9566 x2100
Days & Hours available for use: Monday thru Thursday – 10 am to 7:45 pm
Friday & Saturday – 9 am to 4:45 pm
Capacity: 20 people *
Tables, chairs and AV equipment subject to change.

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Download Meeting Room Application PDF

Library study rooms are intended to provide a space for individuals or small groups to conduct quiet, semi-private activities such as reading, studying or small meetings that are not open to the public.

All users of study rooms are expected to adhere to the library’s Rules of Conduct Policy.

Study rooms may be reserved up to 30 days in advance by completing a Study Room Reservation Form and returning it to library staff. If not in use, individuals or groups may sign up to use a study room at the appropriate service desk. The person signing the Study Room Reservation Form is responsible for the conduct of persons inside the room during use as well as the condition of the room upon departure.

The maximum number of persons allowed in a study room at any time is 6. On occasion, library staff may make an exception for up to 8 in the large study room in the Alice & Jack Wirt Public Library.

Study rooms may be booked for a maximum 4-hour block of time per day. Use is limited to 4 hours when others are waiting to use the room. Otherwise, time of use is unlimited unless an individual or group signs up to use the room, in which case the users will have 5 minutes to exit the room. The library reserves the right to limit the number of times per week an individual or group may use a study room.

Study rooms are available until 15 minutes before the library closes for the day. If an individual or group is 15 minutes late for a reserved time and others are waiting to use the study room, the reservation may be forfeited.

Study rooms will be locked when not in use.

Study room lights will be on at all times while the room is in use.

Users of study rooms are responsible for leaving the rooms in a neat and orderly condition. Failure to do so may result in the denial of future requests to use a study room.

The library is not responsible for any personal belongings left unattended.

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The Bay County Library System recognizes and appreciates citizen participation. The Library provides volunteer opportunities to residents of the service area and will provide training and supervision to each person chosen as a Library volunteer. Volunteers are identified as persons who regularly perform duties or tasks for the Library without wages or benefits.

  1. Volunteers must complete a volunteer application form and be age 14 or older. Volunteers under age 18 must have written permission from their parent or legal guardian to volunteer for the Library. Students not yet graduated from high school must provide a completed State of Michigan work permit from their school district.
  2. Volunteers will be accepted as needs arise. Submission of the volunteer application does not guarantee acceptance as a volunteer.
  3. Volunteers will not take the place of paid staff. Volunteers will be expected to set, and adhere to, a schedule with the supervisor where they are assigned.
  4. Volunteers are recognized by the Bay County Library System and shall be guided by the same work and behavior code as employees. Volunteers will wear an identification badge when volunteering at the Library.
  5. Volunteer applicants will sign a liability waiver and be subjected to a background check.


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Download Volunteer Application PDF

Complete Policy List