Terms and conditions of use of Merton Public Libraries

General

Merton Public Libraries service (hereinafter ‘the Service’) is a service owned and operated by the London Borough of Merton, the Civic Centre, Morden, Surrey, SM4 5DX (‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘the Council’ as the context requires).

1. You (‘your’ or ‘library user’ as the context requires) agree to abide with all the following Terms and Conditions under which this Service is offered, which is non-negotiable. We may suspend your access to the Service without prior written notice if you are in breach of any of these Terms and Conditions.

2. You also agree that if you are using the Service on behalf of another individual, you will make that individual aware of these Terms and Conditions and such individual(s) shall agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.

Admission to Merton libraries and Membership applications

3. Entrance to all public parts of the libraries is free and any member of the public can make use of the library.

4. All library members must possess a current membership card, which must be produced when items are borrowed from the library and shown to a member of staff if requested. Library users are responsible for the use of their cards and should not allow others to use it.

5. Applications for a membership card will be regarded as acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.

6. Applicants for a membership card are required to provide evidence of identification such as a bank card, National Insurance card, utility bill or driving license.

7. A parent or guardian must counter-sign the membership card for new members that are under the age of 16.

8. Membership cards are NOT transferable, and Merton library service must be notified of the loss of a membership card as soon as possible.

9. Library users will be held responsible for any item borrowed or the use of any equipment using their card unless that card has been reported to the library service as lost or stolen. There will be a charge made for lost membership cards, at the rate currently set by Merton Council.

Conduct within a Merton library

10. Any furniture, fittings or equipment in a Merton library must not be misused or their arrangement altered. Authorisation is required for the removal of any council property from the building.

11. Any damage or defacement of library materials is strictly prohibited. Library users are asked to report any instances of such defacement to library staff.

12. Excessive noise, disturbance or unseemly behaviour is prohibited, including abusive or threatening behaviour to library staff or to other library users. Staff and other library users are entitled to work in or use the library without fear of verbal or physical abuse. Merton Council will support its staff by taking legal action against any individual who does not respect this right.

13. Library users are asked to treat others with consideration, in particular those with a disability.

14. Only soft drinks and foods that do not cause a disturbance to other users of the library are permitted.

15. Smoking is not permitted in the library building or outside, near external doorways.

16. Disruptive mobile phone use is prohibited. Library users are asked to switch their mobile phones off or set them to silent mode in the library. Any calls should be made or taken, away from the quiet areas within the library.

17. No material other than official notices from Merton Council may be distributed within the library, without the permission of library staff.

18. Accessing our network or computer systems in a bid to copy, store, modify or transmit any material without ownership of that material or material that contains viruses, malware, spyware, worms, trojan horses or any other computer code intended to destroy or limit the functionality of any computer system is not permitted.

19. The creating, accessing, copying, storing, transmitting or publishing of any material that is obscene, racist, defamatory or illegal, causes harassment or gross offence is not permitted. Anyone found abusing the Service will be prohibited from future use.

20. A parent or guardian must supervise any child under the age of 8, and monitor their use of public access computers. Parents and/or guardians are required to take responsibility for the materials used and borrowed by members under the age of 16.

21. Parents/carers remain responsible for the children in their care while in the library.

22. Library staff will not take responsibility for children of any age left unattended in the library. Staff may contact Children’s Social Care if a child under eight is left alone or if there are concerns over a child’s wellbeing.

23. Library users should not attempt to reserve study places by leaving personal belongings at desks when they have left the building. Library staff may clear away belongings to allow others to use study places. Note that any unattended belongings are left at the owner’s risk.

24. Library users may be asked to present their bag for inspection by library staff, as well as any books or folders they are carrying.

25. Due to COVID-19, we ask that everyone coming to our library buildings bring their membership card with them as staff may be required to make a note of visitors for Track and Trace purposes. If you are not a member, your name and contact details may be requested by staff each time you visit; although you are not obliged to provide these details, it will help us greatly

All visitors to Merton Libraries are asked to adhere to Health & Safety guidance to reduce the risk of the virus spreading and to protect others who may be more vulnerable. We therefore ask that you maintain the specified social distancing measures, follow the information and policies provided on notices and banners within our library branches, and help us to keep the rate of infection down by using hand sanitiser and following any other instructions as far as possible. The council will not tolerate any behaviour that wilfully contravenes our health and safety guidance, and anyone who refuses to adhere to social distancing measures and/or deliberately exposes staff, volunteers or visitors to risk will be asked to leave the premises.

Loan facilities and terms of borrowing and use of books, audiovisual items and People’s Network computers

26. Library staff can refuse the lending and use of books and/or audiovisual items or equipment, or deny the use of the reference sections and reading areas to any library user who does not comply with these Terms and Conditions.

27. In order to borrow items or use the computer equipment library users must have a membership card, which must be produced whenever an item is borrowed. No item may be removed from the library unless it has been checked-out.

28. Library users must present their library card each time they borrow an item or use one of the People’s Network computers. If a customer forgets their library card on a first occasion a member of staff will look up their borrower details for them. After this customers are expected to either present their library card each time or pay for a replacement card. Failure to present a valid library card can lead to customers not being able to borrow an item or use one of the People’s Network computers.

29. Library users are responsible for all items borrowed using their membership cards.

30. Library users are required to keep all borrowed items clean and to provide adequate protection for them. They must not lend the items to a third party, turn down the leaves of books, nor mark, deface or damage books or audiovisual items. Audiovisual materials must be maintained in a good condition.

31. Library users may have a maximum of 25 items on loan at any one time. Books must be returned within the official period of loan as promoted in library publicity, but provided the book is not required by another reader, the period of loan can be extended for a further period. This can be done up to ten times without the book(s) being brought into the library.

32. Renewals can be made in person, by writing, phone, email, or on- line and must give the membership card number or the barcode of the library material. The renewal of items reserved by others is not permitted.

33. The full rental cost will be charged at the time of borrowing audiovisual items. These items must be returned by the due date stated at the time of loan otherwise a further rental period will be charged as well as the fine.

34. Merton Council only accepts responsibility if audiovisual material does not play on the library’s test equipment. The council do not accept responsibility if it does not play on the borrower’s own equipment.

35. Library users retaining an item beyond the permitted time must pay the appropriate fine currently set by the Merton Council. Details are available from any Merton library or on our website.

36. Provided a valid e-mail address is supplied customers will receive notification before and after their items go overdue. If a user has an item overdue they will not be permitted to borrow further items.

37. Our overdue reminder service is supplied when available. In the unlikely event that our reminder service is unavailable customers remain responsible for ensuring that all items are returned by the date notified at the point of lending.

38. Library users are entitled to book People’s Network computers for up to one hour per day. Library users can request an extension in time for the use of a computer provided that it hasn’t been booked by another user. Applications for extending computer usage can only be done at the computer you are using via the notification option on the PC or via a staff member. Applications to extend a session are not permitted via the People’s Network online booking system.

39. Items may be returned to any Merton library or other participating boroughs in the The Libraries Consortium (TLC).

40. If any item is lost or stolen the cardholder will be required to pay the cost of its replacement plus a 10% administrative charge. If an item is found to be defaced or damaged the cardholder may be required to pay the cost of the replacement or a sum towards it as defined in the charging procedures. Items found to be damaged when presented for checkout must be brought to the attention of library staff, otherwise the cardholder may be held responsible for the damage.

41. Merton Libraries is a member of the The Libraries Consortium (TLC), a consortium of London library authorities who share stock and resources and standardised borrowing practices. Customers only require 1 library card which can be used seamlessly in any of the member authorities. Please note that any fines incurred on your card are owed to the relevant London borough and not the TLC and that the library membership form used in all libraries of TLC members, specifies that personal data is held on a common database and that it may be accessed by library staff in any authority.

42. No books, maps, manuscripts or other reference articles may be removed from the Reference section.

43. No newspaper or periodicals or supplements/inserts are to leave the library, (unless they are clearly designated as being for loan), they must not be written on or any articles torn out. No newspaper or periodicals or supplements/inserts shall be retained for more than ten minutes after another reader has made an application for it to the library staff.

44. Children are encouraged to have their own cards but may not borrow audiovisual materials on their membership cards. Adults may use their cards to borrow on behalf of a child but adult fines will be applied in the case of any overdue books.

45. Parents must confirm their consent to library staff if their child wishes to use the Internet. Consent is usually obtained when the child joins the library service.

Copyright

46. Copyright law must be observed in copying any library material, or any other material in the Library, whether by photocopying or any other means.

Use of information technology services within the library

47. The use of information technology facilities within the library is governed by the Computer Misuse Act 1990, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Digital Economy Act 2010.

Non-compliance

48. Failure to observe any of the foregoing provisions may, in the first instance be dealt with by a member of library staff or authorised representative, who may take such action as is reasonable in the circumstances including temporarily suspending your use of services.

49. Should your breach of these terms and conditions be deemed significant enough you will be notified of your suspension from library services in writing. We will specify the duration of your suspension and the reasons for it. At the end of your suspension you will be required to meet with the Head of Library and Heritage Service or authorised representative to agree an Acceptable Usage Policy prior to using services again.

50. Suspended Library users have a right of appeal against the decision of the library staff or authorised representative to the Head of Library and Heritage Services. Appeals should be made in writing to the Head of Library and Heritage Services. The decision of the appeal will be final and will not be subject to the London Borough of Merton’s complaints procedure.