TABLE OF CONTENTS
System Structure and Responsibilities
2 Vision and Mission Statements
3 Roles for the System
4 Role of Reading Public Library
5 Comparison of District and System
6 Duties and Responsibilities of System Board
Services to Member Libraries
7 Overview of Services
8 Technology Support
9 Youth Services
10 Collection Development & Acquisitions
10 Bibliographic Services
11 Public Relations & Marketing
12 Continuing Education
13 State/County Aid Distribution
14 Statewide Card Payments (program discontinued 10/09)
15 Health Care Benefits Subsidy
16 Table of Organization
17 Envisioning Excellence Guidelines
30 Glossary of Library Terms
37 Current Funding Distribution
BERKS COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARIES
A Federated Library System
The public libraries of Berks County are committed to the
provision of consistent, high-quality service to county
residents of all ages. Library staff and trustees respond to
changing needs through state-of-the-art technologies, up-to-
date collections, centralized support services, and an exacting
standard of user satisfaction.
The mission of this federated system, Berks County Public
Libraries, is countywide development, coordination, and
promotion of public library services. The System is an
advocate for the library and information needs of all the people
of Berks County. Operating as a department of county
government and in cooperation with the Reading District
Library Center, the System provides leadership and technical
assistance for improvement of library services through
strengthening of the System’s libraries and library resources.
Simply stated, BCPL exists to help provide first-rate library service. We do
this through financial aid and support services to member libraries, and
through direct services for those persons not living in a community with a
library. By establishing cooperative relationships among the participating
libraries, we help facilitate a resource-sharing process which makes each
library stronger than it would be by itself.
ROLES FOR BERKS COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARIES
1. Formal structure within which library development is encouraged:
develop new library services
provide continuing education
consult with library trustees and staff
maximize state aid eligibility through standards achievement
2. Communication link:
librarian and trustee email lists
news of national, state, and local library trends and happenings
3. Enable cooperation to save money:
shared purchasing and bibliographic services
shared electronic network
negotiated purchasing discounts
public relations and marketing activities
summer reading coordination and promotion
4. Facilitate resource sharing:
bibliographic access [Horizon, Access PA)
5. Provide leadership:
serve as change agent
enable technology enhancements to service
perform research on library issues
advocate for libraries
apply for grants
6. Provide direct service to the public:
Children’s Bookmobile, Bookasaurus
Baby Steps to the Library packets
ROLE OF THE READING PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Reading Public Library (RPL) occupies a unique place
within Berks County and the Library System due to its
multiple roles. The three roles filled by RPL are:
1) System member library with an assigned service area
of the City of Reading;
2) District Library Center for Berks County as
designated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
3) resource library for the federated system.
As a System member library, RPL must meet the same
standards and guidelines which apply to all the other
federated members. Due to the size of its assigned service
area population (81,207), the highest level of standards
As District Library Center (DLC) for Berks County, RPL must
provide a variety of support services for public libraries in the
District. These services are defined in state regulation and
listed on the following page. RPL is compensated by the state
for its DLC role; a special category of state aid (District Center
Aid) provides this compensation. Here in Berks, some DLC
services are provided jointly with the System (e.g. interlibrary
loan); some, by local agreement are provided solely by the
System (e.g. delivery service, consulting, continuing
As the resource library for the System, RPL provides the full
spectrum of reference services as back-up to local library staff
and collections. It offers these services 65 hours per week to
all county residents as required by state regulation.
COMPARISON OF DISTRICT & SYSTEM
District Library Center Federated Library System
Designation as a DLC is made Development of a System is
by the state. a local initiative.
Purpose is to provide library Purpose is to strengthen
resources to residents and library services countywide.
local libraries of the District.
Participation by local libraries Participation by member
is mandatory in order to libraries is voluntary;
receive state aid. membership agreements
are developed locally.
Governance is by the board of Governance is prescribed in
of the designated library. the PA Code; System board
members are appointed by
Funding is provided by the Funding is dependent on
State to compensate DLC for local appropriations.
Required services to libraries Required service to members
include: interlibrary loan, includes: interlibrary loan,
delivery; consultant services, union catalog, coordination
continuing education, public of state and federal grants.*
* Some Systems provide additional services depending on
available local funding. BCPL provides a wide variety of
additional services to its members. These services are
outlined elsewhere in this manual.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
System Board and System Administrator
The System Board of Directors, appointed by the County
Commissioners, acts as the citizen control or governing body
of the System in accordance with Sections 411 and 413 of The
Library Code. The System Administrator, a county
department head reporting to the County Administrator, is
responsible for management of System programs and services.
The duties of the System Board include: determining the
mission and roles of the System and adopting policies to
govern its services and programs; determining the library
development efforts of the System in relation to the needs of
Berks County residents; seeking adequate funds to carry on
the System’s programs; distributing state and county funds to
the member libraries; and reporting regularly to governing
bodies and the general public.
The duties of the System Administrator include: acting as
technical advisor to the Board and to the System member
libraries; supervising the work of System staff members;
carrying out the policies of the System as adopted by the
Board; planning for the development of library services
throughout the county; preparing an annual budget for
submission to the County Commissioners; and reporting
regularly to the System Board, to government officials, and to
the general public.
SERVICES TO MEMBER LIBRARIES
Many members of System Headquarters staff are specialists in
some aspect of public library service. They are here to help
both staff and trustees find information and solve problems.
Following is a list of key staff members and the areas in which
they can help you:
Julie Rinehart, System Administrator
Recruiting, hiring, and evaluating the library director
Library law, regulations, and standards
Program development and evaluation
Continuing education opportunities
General questions about library practice
Susan Magee-Bibi, Youth Services Coordinator
Children’s program design resources
Developing and evaluating children’s collections
Organizations serving youth
Summer reading activities and planning
Jane Hoch, Collection Development Coordinator
Managing the materials budget
Developing collections for adults and teens
Vendors and discounts
Cooperative purchasing program
Jane Sullivan, Library Technology Coordinator
Purchasing computers and related equipment
Evaluating online services
Developing technology plans
Carol Burkhart, Community Relations Coordinator
Advertising in various media
Creation of publicity materials
The technology support staff, Jane Sullivan and Jeff Smilko,
are responsible for maintaining our connections to the
countywide network and to the iPrism internet filter. They
also train library staff in the use of these systems.
The countywide network consists of two parts: 1) The
integrated library system [ILS] is the shared catalog of
member library holdings, electronic resources, circulation, and
the database of registered borrowers; the ILS is currently a
product called Horizon. 2) The wide area network links all
the libraries to each other and to the internet.
Member library participation in the countywide network is
made possible through a contract between BCPL and the
Reading Public Library (RPL). Jane and Jeff provide training
for library staff on the use of the ILS and carry out a regular
program of preventive maintenance for all equipment
connected to the network.
Public libraries receiving state and federal funding are
required by law to have a policy of internet safety for minors
that includes the operation of a “technology protection
measure” (filter) on any computers with internet access. The
filtering device on our network is called iPrism. Tech support
for member libraries includes training for library staff on the
configuration and operation of iPrism.
The costs of maintaining the ILS and the internet filter for
member libraries are paid by the County, saving members
nearly $300,000 annually.
There are a number of ways in which BCPL provides support
for service to youth in member libraries. In addition to the
consulting services noted previously, Youth Services
Coordinator Susan Magee-Bibi has developed a variety of
resources for use by member library staff. These resources
include: an extensive collection of professional materials on
services to children and teens; story time kits; puppet kits;
flannel board sets; special holiday program kits; and a
comprehensive index to program ideas, stories and crafts.
Summer reading clubs and programs are a key element in
library service to children. Research tells us that children who
do not read over the summer months return to school with
diminished reading and comprehension skills. For this
reason, the Youth Services Coordinator devotes much time
and professional expertise during the year to developing a
manual, workshop, and incentive program to aid library staff
in presenting summer activities keyed to a statewide theme.
In Berks County, children who participate in summer reading
clubs and programs read an average of 44 books during the
Our summer reading efforts receive significant financial
support from the Friends of Berks County Public Libraries; the
Friends budget at least $8,000 annually for summer reading
materials and incentive prizes including the grand prize, a
System Headquarters staff also includes three Preschool
Program Specialists: Barbara Hughes, Denise Curran, and
Joy Newswanger. They are the Story Riders who travel from
library to library presenting preschool programming to
supplement member library offerings. They are experienced in
the techniques of presenting baby “lap sit” and toddler
programs. Nearly all System libraries take advantage of this
service, which is funded by Coordination Aid, a segment of our
state aid appropriation.
By combining our buying power through cooperative
purchasing, we have negotiated better discounts on materials
and enhanced vendor services such as free or low-cost
delivery. Collection Development Coordinator Jane Hoch
trains library staff in the use of Title Source III, a database of
available materials; she also tracks each library’s purchases
from order placement to delivery.
Libraries make their own selections of materials according to
local collection development plans and policies. Vendors ship
materials to System HQ to be cataloged and processed; shelf-
ready items are then delivered to each library via our daily
Camille Romig is BCPL’s Bibliographic Services Manager.
She and her staff are responsible for cataloging materials
ordered by member libraries, entering holdings information
into the Horizon database, and processing materials for use
by the public. Processing is a catch-all term for the various
elements of making an item shelf-ready; it includes covering
books, affixing labels, packaging CDs and DVDs, etc. The
Bibliographic Services staff currently processes about 60,000
The delivery service is also part of the Bibliographic Services
Unit. Every library receives a delivery and pick-up five days a
week, Monday through Friday. This delivery service facilitates
resource sharing among System libraries, making it easier and
faster for patrons to get the items they need and want.
Public Relations, Marketing, and Graphic Design
Community Relations Coordinator Carol Burkhart is
responsible for promoting library services and events,
developing community awareness and publicity plans,
designing library publications, and coordinating marketing of
countywide events. In addition, she will train library staff in
the use of software suitable for local promotional efforts.
The following graphic design and marketing services are
available to member libraries:
annual report setup
bookmark and other handout design and setup
logo/original graphics development
web page design
In addition, member libraries have access to the services of the
County Print Shop (supply your own paper) and to a variety of
useful publications and equipment. A complete list may be
found on the staff and trustee intranet.
Throughout the year, BCPL provides a variety of programs
and workshops designed to keep library staff skills current, to
address emerging issues in library practice, and to aid
trustees in the successful performance of their duties. These
continuing education events are offered free of charge to
members of the Berks County library community.
Annual events include the Make & Take Workshop, which is
keyed to the summer reading theme, and the System/District
Trustee Workshop, presented jointly with Reading Public
Library. Trustee topics that have been addressed include
fundraising, long-range planning, employment law, and
marketing. BCPL also provides annual Basic Skills Training
for non-certified staff; this three-day program is designed for
library staff without formal library science education and
covers key elements of public service. A complete description
of this program is included in the System’s Envisioning
Excellence Guidelines; a copy of the Guidelines appears in the
Appendix to this manual. Trustees are welcome to participate
in Basic Skills Training and in any other workshop offered by
STATE/COUNTY AID DISTRIBUTION
Funds distributed include 100% of the State Aid received by
the System in the categories of Quality Libraries Aid,
Incentives for Excellence Aid, and Equal Distribution Grants.
[These are the state’s designations for the components of the
Aid to Public Libraries appropriation.] Also distributed is the
amount in the County Aid line of the System’s budget; the
Commissioners make the ultimate decision about the amount
of money that goes into this line item.
The State and County monies are combined into one fund
which is distributed in quarterly payments to the libraries
based on the following formula which was revised on
1) Municipal Incentive Funds are distributed to libraries
on a per capita basis according to the population of their
service area municipalities that contribute at least $1.00
per capita in monetary support to the library. This $1.00
of municipal support is matched by $1.00 of System
funds. This category of funding is designed as an
incentive for higher levels of municipal support.
Currently, there are 38 municipalities that contribute
less than $1 per capita.
2) Base Allocation One half of the remaining available
funding is divided into 23 equal shares, one share for
each member library and the RPL branches.
3) Variable Allocation The remaining funds are distributed
as follows: 35% based on share of local financial effort;
57% based on share of circulation; 8% based on share of
Libraries are penalized for failure to meet the eight Envisioning
Excellence Guidelines; $1,500 is deducted from the payment
total for each Guideline not met. If the same Guideline element
is not achieved for a second consecutive year, the penalty is
STATEWIDE CARD/ACCESS PA PAYMENTS
The Statewide Library Card is an important component of the
Commonwealth’s Access Pennsylvania program. It is the
reciprocal borrowing program through which participating
libraries agree to honor cards from other libraries; the
understanding is that service will also be provided to the
library’s own users when they travel to another community.
Participating libraries are identified by the blue and white
ACCESS PA sticker affixed to borrower cards they issue.
Until passage of the 2009-2010 state budget, libraries received
a small payment from the state for each loan made to a
borrower who resides outside the library’s local service area.
Within the System, member libraries received payment for
loans to borrowers from other member library service areas
and a slightly larger payment for loans to out-of-county
borrowers. Qualifying loans were those made directly to the
borrower at the circulation desk; “holds” and interlibrary loan
items did not qualify.
The Library Code requires that libraries honor the Statewide
Library Card as a condition of state aid eligibility; however, no
state funds are available to provide compensation for this
(this page revised 3/10)
HEALTH CARE BENEFITS SUBSIDY
1) Only full-time, certified library staff in public service
positions are eligible. Full-time is defined as 35 hours
per week or more; certified is defined as holding PA
certification as a Professional or Provisional Librarian
or as a Library Assistant. Staff without PA
certification who have completed the System’s Basic
Skills training are System Certified and qualify for this
2) Up to 50% of the cost of individual health care
coverage will be reimbursed to the library on a
quarterly basis; family coverage will not be subsidized.
Proof of payment by the library is required. The actual
amount of the subsidy will depend on available funds
and the number of requests received. Libraries may
request subsidies for a maximum of two (2) staff
Subsidy payments will be distributed quarterly to
libraries that provide documentation of payments made for
employee benefits. Failure to comply with documentation
requirements and deadlines will result in forfeit of subsidy.
Additional information about this program may be obtained
from the System Administrator.
Table of Organization
Envisioning Excellence Guidelines
BERKS COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARIES
Guidelines for System Library Evaluation
1. STRUCTURE AND GOVERNANCE
Boards of member libraries conduct the business of library governance
in accordance with the following procedures:
a) board meetings, with the library director in attendance, are held
regularly and not less than six times a year;
b) an annual notice of the board meeting schedule is published in the
appropriate local newspaper no later than January 5;
c) copies of all board meeting minutes are sent to System
d) all forms and reports required by Commonwealth Libraries or by the
System are submitted by established deadlines;
e) the calendar year is the library's fiscal year;
f) any changes in library hours, other than seasonal (summer) changes
are reported to System HQ by December and become effective the following
g) audits or financial reviews are submitted directly to Commonwealth
Libraries by October 1 annually;
h) the board operates according to written bylaws which are reviewed
Achievement of this Guideline requires compliance with all eight elements
listed. Copies of meeting minutes must be sent to System HQ by December
31 of each year to confirm compliance with this Guideline as well as all other
board actions called for in this document.
The board and library director jointly plan and develop service,
reference, collection development, and internet policies and review them
annually; policies include the specific issues listed in Appendices A, B, and C
of this document. Circulation policies conform to standardizations adopted
by majority vote of the System membership and by signed agreements of
participation in the Horizon network. Internet policies are in keeping with
the System-wide policy which appears as Appendix H of these Guidelines.
Board members plan and develop a personnel policy for employees not
covered by contractual agreements or the personnel policies of municipal
government; this policy is reviewed annually and includes the specific items
listed in Appendix D of this document.
Libraries with 501(c)(3) status as determined by the IRS must develop
and adopt the following additional policies:
a) documents retention policy
b) whistleblower policy
c) salary policy (libraries with annual revenue of $250,000 or more only)
Samples and additional information about these required policies are
available from System HQ.
All policies shall be in writing, available to the public, and reviewed
regularly by library staff.
Achievement of this Guideline requires policy development and review in
each of the areas indicated. Reviews should be noted in meeting minutes and
copies of revisions and/or new policies, if any, sent to System HQ when
3. SYSTEM PARTICIPATION AND TRUSTEE EDUCATION
Library boards are represented by at least one trustee at a minimum of
six (6) System Board meetings annually. These trustee representatives
compose the System Advisory Committee.
Board members, at least one from each library, attend either the
annual Trustee Institute sponsored by Commonwealth Libraries or the
annual System/District Trustee Workshop.
A minimum of two (2) trustees from each library attends an annual
System-sponsored workshop on human resources-related topics.
4. PLANNING AND EVALUATION
The library has a long-range plan which includes a mission statement,
goals, and measurable objectives tailored to meet the needs of the
community; the plan is reviewed and updated annually as part of a
continuing process of evaluation.
Achievement of this Guideline requires creation of a planning document
which incorporates the elements listed. Materials and assistance in
developing long-range plans is available from System HQ. Annual reviews
should be noted in meeting minutes and copies of changes, revisions, and a
written evaluation of progress toward library goals sent to System HQ by
December 31 of the planning year.
5. PUBLIC RELATIONS
The library has an ongoing public relations program which includes all
of the following:
a) news articles, columns, or ads;
b) presentations to organizations such as service clubs, municipal
governments, and other community groups;
c) posters, flyers, brochures, and bookmarks advertising library
d) an annual report, attractively packaged, dated, and made available
to the public by March 30 of the year following (i.e. 2008 annual report
published by March 2009);
e) program(s) and/or displays associated with each theme or event in
the System's marketing calendar.
Public relations reports should be submitted quarterly on the forms provided
along with copies of promotional materials. Assistance with design and
production of promotional materials is available from System HQ.
6. STAFF DEVELOPMENT
The library director attends a minimum of fifteen (15) hours of
continuing education annually; the library board provides paid time off and
reimbursement of expenses for this training.
All library directors are trained and certified by System personnel in
the use of the Horizon ILS and other network services. This requirement
shall also app[y to any other staff who may be responsible for library
operations in the absence of the library director. Training and certification
requirements are outlined in Appendix E.
Staff who are responsible for library operations in the absence of the
library director must complete the Basic Skills Training Program provided by
the System; elements of this training are outlined in Appendix F.
Librarians maintain a log of continuing education programs attended and
submit a copy to System HQ; a form is provided for this purpose. The
requirement does not include time spent in travel to or from programs; in-
service training in such areas as computer use and ILL procedures is also not
included in the 15-hour requirement.
At least 3% of the library's materials are weeded annually;
adjustments to the 3% level may be allowed by consultation with the System
At least 30% of total materials expenditure is for children's materials.
Achievement of this Guideline is determined by performance recorded on
monthly statistical reports to the System and fiscal reports to Commonwealth
Libraries. Weeding is in accordance with the criteria outlined in CREW:
A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries (revised and edited by Jeanette
Larson); this tool is available for download at http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ld/pubs/crew.
8. CHILDREN'S SERVICES
The library offers an annual Summer Reading Club activity for
preschoolers and school-age children; club theme, rules, and incentives
comply with standards agreed upon by majority vote of the System
membership and outlined in Appendix D of this document.
The library provides a minimum of twenty-four (24) programs for
children annually; Story Rider programs are additional to this requirement.
Appendix A: Library Service Policies
Policies should address the following topics; other issues may be included as
local boards determine:
Meeting room and equipment use
Charges for services, fines, equipment, etc.
Responsibilities of borrowers
Length of loans
Number of items loaned
Lost or damaged materials
Bulletin board restrictions; displays, exhibits
Confidentiality of records**
Emergencies and security
* Must conform to Horizon policies as stated in most current manual
**Must conform to Section 428 of The Library Code
Appendix B: Reference Policy
Reference policies should contain the following elements:
Statement concerning the level of reference service provided (Core, Basic, or
Basic Plus) *
Availability of reference services
Reference services to children
* Detailed descriptions of these reference collection levels are available from
the Collection Development Coordinator
Appendix C: Collection Development Policies
A collection development policy should include:
Description of the community and clientele served
Parameters of the collection, i.e. subject areas, formats
Purpose of collection
Priorities and limitations
Cooperative collection development
Method of selection
Statement of intellectual freedom
Freedom to Read statement
Library Bill of Rights
Freedom to View statement
Procedures for reconsideration of materials
Withdrawal of materials (weeding)
Appendix D: Personnel Policies
A personnel policy should address the following:
Filling vacancies (recruitment, selection, appointment)
Conduct on duty
Resignation and dismissals
Salaries, position classification
Vacation and leave
Professional and educational leave
Maternity and paternity leave
Appendix E: Training and Certification for Network Services
Training in the use of technology and network services shall include, but not
be limited to, the following areas:
Horizon policies and procedures
Hardware and software troubleshooting
Internet literacy (software, searching, email)
Certification training will be scheduled at a time mutually convenient to
library personnel and System staff. Newly hired library directors without
prior Horizon experience must complete training within 60 days pf
employment in a System library.
Certificates will be issued to all trained personnel.
Appendix F: Basic Skills Training Program
Following is a brief outline of area included in Basic Skills Training:
Philosophy of service and service goals
Role of library staff
Vision and mission statements
Privacy and confidentiality
Customer service and satisfaction
Barriers to use
Special needs populations
Serving a diverse community
Dealing with problem patrons
Team building and staff relationships
Appendix G: Summer Reading Clubs
For purposes of Summer Reading Club activity in System libraries, the
following definitions apply:
Summer Reading Club Children read books (or have books read to them)
over the summer months for prizes. The awarding of prizes is non-
competitive; each child decides for her/himself how many books to read.
Novelty prizes are given out for every five (5) books a child reads or has read
to him/her. Children record reading activity on tickets. Because a primary
goal of summer reading is the promotion of family literacy, children of any
age may have books read to them in meeting club requirements.
Books For purposes of the Reading Club, "books" are defined as follows:
Up to 50 pages counts as 1 book read
51-100 pages, counts as 2 books read
101-150 pages, counts as 3 books read
151-200 pages, counts as 4 books read
(continue this pattern for books over 201 pages long)
Reporting Because the approach to summer reading is non-competitive,
book reports in any form may not be used as criteria for admission to
programs or as requirements for special prizes.
Summer Reading Club activities in member libraries conform to county-wide
standards in the following areas:
Starting and ending dates
Awarding of prizes
Awarding of certificates
Written rule sheets
Appendix H: Internet Policy
Following is the Policy on Internet Access for Berks County Public Libraries:
Purpose The public libraries of Berks County are committed to the
promotion of lifelong learning. As part of that commitment, the libraries will
provide public access to the diverse and unique resources available via the
Internet and the world wide web.
Children and the Internet The Children's Internet Protection Act (Pub.L
106-554) requires that libraries receiving federal funds must "have a place a
policy of Internet safety for minors that includes operation of a technology
protection measure with respect to any computers with Internet access…."
I compliance with this provision of federal law, the public libraries has
installed a filtering mechanism on all computers to protect young users from
Parents are reminded that filtering is not foolproof. It diminishes the
likelihood that searchers will inadvertently retrieve text or images that they
may find offensive, but does not completely eliminate that possibility. Filters
may also block access to sites that users would consider both inoffensive and
useful. Parental supervision of young children searching the Internet is
Rights of Adults Adults (those 17 and older) may request unfiltered access
to the Internet for any purpose that does not violate the law or the libraries'
policies. The filter on an individual library-owned computer will be disabled
in response to such a request. Library staff may not disable the filter on
patron-owned laptops or other wireless access devices.
Right to Privacy All library users have the right to expect that their
information-seeking activities in the library are private and confidential. No
records are retained of Internet use by any identifiable minor or adult user.
1. Information available via the Internet may be protected by
copyrights or trademarks; use of such information must not violate any
copyright or trademark law.
2. Because the Internet allows access to ideas, information and
commentary from sources around the world, the libraries cannot control its
content. Therefore, individual users must accept responsibility for
determining the validity and accuracy of information located on the Internet.
The libraries are not responsible for any use made of information obtained
from Internet resources.
3. The Internet and its available resources may contain material and
ideas that are controversial and conflict with personal beliefs of users.
Parent or guardians, not library staff, are responsible for the information
selected and/or accessed by their children.
4. Viewing of certain materials in the public library may be considered
improper in time, place or manner. Libraries reserve the right to terminate
an Internet session that disrupts library services or involves user behavior
that violates library policy.
5. Patrons may not use public library internet connections for any
commercial or for-profit purpose.
6. A cost-recovery fee for print-outs may be charged.
Limitations Some libraries do not provide access to subscription services,
email or chat lines; use of such web-based services as "hotmail" may be
permitted at the discretion of the local library.
1. Users will sign an Internet use agreement; agreements for those
under 15 years of age will require parent or guardian signature.
2. Users must observe time limits and other procedural guidelines set
by individual libraries for use of the Internet terminals.
3. Users are responsible for damage to equipment beyond what occurs
with normal use; hardware and software may not be abused, modified or
Staff Assistance Library staff have received training in Internet searching
and are capable of offering basic instruction in how to navigate. However,
due to limited staff and time constraints, patrons are encouraged to take the
initiative and explore on their own.
Internet policy revised 5/17/06
GLOSSARY OF LIBRARY TERMS
ACCESS the availability of the library and its services to residents of
the area served; in a larger sense, the ability to reach sources of
information through a library and its cooperative links to other sources
ACCESS PA DATABASE Pennsylvania's union catalog including the
collections of more than 3,000 libraries of all types; more than 70 million
records with close to 17 million unique titles are included in this online
ACCESS PENNSYLVANIA a three-part program for improving the
availability of library materials and services for all Commonwealth
residents. The three components are the ACCESS PA database, the
Statewide Library Card, and the POWER Library. (See individual
ACQUISITIONS the process of obtaining books and other materials for
the library collection
ALA American Library Association professional organization founded in
1876 to promote library service and librarianship. American Libraries
is the official publication of ALA.
APPLS Association of Pennsylvania Public Library Systems Established
in 1992, this organization is made up of representatives of federated
library systems. Its purpose is to coordinate the library development
efforts of systems and to provide a communication and information-
BCLA Berks County Library Association Established in 1967 as an
association of special librarians, this organization is now made up of
librarians from all types of libraries. Its purpose is to provide programs
for professional development, communication, and resource sharing.
BCPL Berks County Public Libraries a federation of twenty autonomous
libraries providing cooperative public library services and sharing in
support services provided by the County; formerly known as Berks
County Public Library System (See also SYSYEMS)
BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD a catalog entry carrying the full description
and classification information for a given item in a library collection
BIBLIOGRAPHIC UTILITY an organization that maintains online
bibliographic databases, enabling it to offer computer-based support to
users (See also OCLC)
CALL NUMBER the notation used to identify a particular item on the
shelves; it consists of the classification number and an author
designation (which may be non-numeric). The Dewey Decimal
classification system is used most often in public libraries.
CATALOGING the process of describing an item in the collection and
assigning a classification number
CERTIFICATION issued by the PA Department of Education to
qualified persons meeting requirements set down in the Pennsylvania
Code, Title 22. Public library personnel may be certified as professional
librarian, provisional librarian, or library assistant.
COLLECTION a one-word term for the materials (books, DVDs, etc.)
which a library has on hand for its users; special collection refers to an
area of specialization such as rare books, local history, or materials on a
COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT (also COLLECTION MANAGEMENT) a
planned process of selecting, acquiring, and weeding materials to meet
the needs of the community served by the library. Cooperative collection
development refers to a group of libraries working together to meet user
needs without expensive duplication of resources.
COMMONWEALTH LIBRARIES The Office of Commonwealth Libraries
is part of the PA Department of Education; it is made up of two bureaus,
the Bureau of Library Development and the Bureau of State Library.
Library Development provides advisory services and administers grants
and subsidy programs. The State Library houses the state's actual
library collections and provides information services for the public and
for state government.
DEPOSIT COLLECTION a small collection of materials placed by a
library in a community location such as a nursing home, school, or
workplace. BCPL has deposit collections at Berks Heim, the County
Prison, the Youth Center, and a number of facilities serving seniors.
DEPOSITORY LIBRARY a library designated to receive all or part of the
publications of federal, state, or local governments. Reading Public
Library is a federal documents depository and receives 20% of the
DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM a method of classifying library materials
based on the use of decimals and developed by Melvil Dewey
DISTRICT ADVISORY COUNCIL an advisory group in a given library
district, representative of local libraries and geographic areas, which
advises the District Library Center on the provision of district resources
DISTRICT CONSULTANT Each District Library Center must provide
consultant staff that is responsible for sharing professional library
knowledge with local librarians and others by means of counseling and
continuing education on all aspects of library service. Collection
development, technology, administration, finance, training for library
personnel and trustees, implementation of cooperative programs, and
public relations are some of the areas in which the Consultant may
provide assistance. Currently, the BCPL Administrator serves as
consultant for the Reading District.
DISTRICT LIBRARY CENTER one of twenty-nine public libraries in the
Commonwealth which receives state funding for the purpose of making
resources and services available without charge to the libraries and
residents of a given district. The Reading Public Library serves as the
District Library Center (DLC) for Berks County.
ENVISIONING EXCELLENCE GUIDELINES performance criteria for
BCPL member libraries determined by the Board of Directors. The
Guidelines address the areas of library governance, administration,
public relations, staff development, collections, and children's services.
Achievement of the Guidelines ensures that a System member library
retains its eligibility for a full share of county funds.
FEDERATED SYSTEM (see SYSTEMS)
FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY a volunteer organization whose objective
is to create public support for libraries. The Friends of Berks County
Public Libraries fill this role for all the libraries in the county; individual
libraries may also have their own local Friends.
GOVERNOR'S ADVISORY COUNCIL Pennsylvania library law refers to
this body as the Advisory Council on Library Development. It consists of
twelve citizens, appointed by the Governor, to advise the Governor and
the Commissioner for Libraries with respect to general policies and
operations of the State Library and the Commonwealth's library
programs. This body also oversees the use of state funds for libraries
and approves all library district designations.
HOLDINGS a term used to describe a library's total collection
HORIZON the integrated library system (ILS) product currently used by
the countywide network. (See also ILS)
IDS Interlibrary Delivery Service the non-profit delivery service in PA
designed to facilitate the transmittal of interlibrary loan and other library
materials among its members. The actual deliveries are made by United
Parcel Service (UPS) under a billing agreement with IDS.
ILL Interlibrary Loan a system of interlibrary cooperation which allows
libraries to put their users in touch with material they need no matter
where it is in the many kinds of libraries in the state and the nation
ILS Integrated Library System Also known as a library management
system, an ILS is a system used by libraries to track items owned, orders
placed, bills paid, and patrons who have registered and/or borrowed.
Each patron and item has a unique identifier that allows the ILS to track
its activity. ILS systems offer web-based portals where library users can
log in to view their account, renew their books, and be authenticated to
use online databases.
INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM the right of individuals to exercise their
freedom of inquiry, exclusive of invasion of privacy, supported by the
American Library Association, the Pennsylvania Library Association, and
individual libraries through their commitment to the Library Bill of Rights
and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements adopted by
LIBRARY CODE Pennsylvania laws governing public libraries, cited as
The Library Code, Act of June 14, 1961, P.L. 324, as amended through
July 7, 2006. These laws set up a system of local libraries, library
systems, district centers, and regional resource centers; they provide
state money to support this system and to stimulate local funding of
public libraries. The Library Code defines what a public library is and
how it is governed, including the responsibilities of the library board.
The regulations that implement The Library Code are contained in Title
22 of the Pennsylvania Code. These regulations, which have the force of
law, contain various standards for public libraries.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS serves as the library of the United States
Congress and, due to its vast resources, has assumed the role of a
national library; also establishes the national cataloging standards
LOCAL EFFORT that portion of a library's financial support which is
derived from the municipalities in its service area and other local
sources. In order to qualify for state aid, that portion of a library or
library system's operating expenditure which is derived from local effort
must be equal to or greater than $5 per capita.
LONG-RANGE PLAN a written plan which focuses on needs, goals, and
strategies in a multi-year increment, usually three to five years. It
includes specific objectives, an action plan, and criteria for evaluating
achievements and performance.
MARC RECORD MAchine Readable Cataloging record the
international standard for the storage and exchange of bibliographic data
in computerized form
MLS Master of Library Science degree (may also be MLIS, Master of
Library and Information Science); the minimum requirement for
NATIONAL LIBRARY SERVICE FOR THE BLIND AND PHYSICALLY
HANDICAPPED a division of the Library of Congress that offers free
Braille and recorded books and magazines to blind and handicapped
readers through a network of cooperating libraries. The Free Library of
Philadelphia serves as our regional Library for the Blind and Physically
OCLC a not-for-profit library service and research organization located
in Dublin, Ohio; among other services, it provides the bibliographic
database for cataloging and interlibrary loan
OUTPUT MEASURES a set of measurements of library performance
designed to assess the quantity and quality of actual library service use
(output). The measures include, but are not limited to, turnover rates,
materials per capita, reference fill rates, and program attendance.
OUTREACH activities and programs provided by a library to people who
are unable to use the library directly due to physical, geographical, or
PCBL Pennsylvania Citizens for Better Libraries the statewide
organization of Friends and advocates for libraries
PaLA Pennsylvania Library Association organization whose purpose is
to enhance the professionalism of librarians and improve the
performance of libraries across the Commonwealth through educational
programs, publications, networking, and advocacy. Advocacy efforts
include lobbying activities. The PaLA acronym was adopted in 1995 to
distinguish the state organization from PLA, the Public Library
Association, a division of ALA.
POWER Library a component of the ACCESS PENNSYLVANIA program
whereby public library card-holders and school libraries across the state
may access without cost a variety of online databases including
EbscoHost (full-text periodicals), the AP Photo Archive, Funk & Wagnall's
New World Encyclopedia, and SIRS (an information resource for young
PROCESSING a term for preparing books and other materials to be
made available to library users. Some materials are ordered pre-
processed or shelf-ready. Processing may include cataloging, bar-coding,
labeling, and adding protective covers.
RECIPROCAL BORROWING an agreement through which the patrons
of one library may directly borrow materials from another participating
REGIONAL RESOURCE CENTER LIBRARIES four libraries designated
to serve as back-up reference and interlibrary loan resources for the
District Centers; they are The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Free
Library of Philadelphia, the Pattee Library at Penn State University, and
the State Library in Harrisburg
RESOURCE SHARING a cooperative arrangement to make available the
resources of a library for use by the patrons of another library, usually
through interlibrary loan or reciprocal borrowing
SELECTION the process of deciding what to buy for the library
collection; usually based on a policy adopted by the library board, the
goals and objectives of the library, use of selection guides such as
professional journals, funds available, and skill of library staff in
assessing local needs
SERIALS publications that are issued in sequence such as magazines,
journals, and newsletters; so-called because these publications carry
serial numbers indicating volume and issue
SHELF READING physically checking the shelves to make certain
that books are in the proper location
STATE AID state subsidy for public libraries that is an appropriation in
the Commonwealth's budget The purpose of state aid, as defined in
The Library Code, is "to encourage and enable the improvement of library
service." Eligibility for state aid is based on compliance with standards
set out in The Library Code and Title 22 of the Pennsylvania Code.
STATEWIDE LIBRARY CARD This component of ACCESS PA is the
reciprocal borrowing program through which participating libraries agree
to honor cards from other libraries; the understanding is that service will
also be provided to the library's own users when they travel to another
community. Participating libraries are identified by the blue and white
ACCESS PA sticker affixed to the borrower cards they issue. Libraries
receive a small payment from the state for each loan made to borrowers
outside the local service area.
SYSTEMS In Pennsylvania, library systems are defined as
organizations of two or more independent libraries which have
voluntarily agreed to participate and have delegated some policy-making
functions to a system board of directors. In Berks County, twenty
independent libraries have joined together to form Berks County Public
Libraries, a federated system governed by a seven-member board of
directors appointed by the County Commissioners.
TRUSTEES Library boards, made up of individuals known as trustees,
are legal entities defined in The Library Code. Board members hold a
public trust to administer the affairs of the library in the best interest of
the public. This trust means not only spending public funds judiciously,
but also securing adequate funds for library services and programs.
Trustees establish policies for the operation and governance of the
UNION LIST a listing of items from the holdings of a number of
libraries which combine their lists in order to locate materials quickly
WEEDING the process of removing from library collections those
materials that are outdated, in poor physical condition, or no longer used
by the library's patrons; an integral part of collection management
Current Funding Distribution