Our library’s mission and policies concerning fines, social media, programming, and more.
Freedom To Read
Recently, there have been efforts, both here in Montana and nationally, to execute campaigns of censorship against certain kinds of books held by public libraries, especially those pertaining to BIPOC and LGBTQIA communities. The Missoula Public Library Board of Trustees stands firmly behind its policy that the right to read is basic to the intellectual freedom of our community. Books are amazing in so many ways, especially as a means of free communication – a cornerstone of our democracy, guaranteed by the Constitution. As long as books have existed, however, groups have made efforts to restrict access to them or even destroy them, in order to intimidate or dehumanize the groups to which they pertain. We as a board are extremely concerned at these efforts of a few to suppress the freedom of others to select for themselves what is appropriate to read. Libraries, like our community and country, are big enough to encompass a broad spectrum of people and voices. We are committed to making sure that when anyone enters our building, they are able to find materials that reflect who they are and what they believe as well as those that might challenge or illuminate. Everyone has a right to select material for themselves, but not to restrict what others may choose. The Board of Trustees will continue to stand for tolerance and respect for opposing points of view that is the bedrock of our democratic society.
The Missoula Public Library (MPL) is committed to using current social media. Social media is defined as any Web application, site, or account created and maintained by Missoula Public Library (MPL) which facilitates an environment for library staff and library users to share opinions and information about library-related subjects or issues.
Missoula Public Library managed social media tools are intended to facilitate communication and disseminate information. MPL regards online social media in the same way as its other information resources in accordance with its mission of serving the Missoula area’s needs for learning, literacy, and community connections. As with more traditional resources, the library does not act in place of or in the absence of a parent. The library is not responsible for enforcing any restrictions which a parent or guardian may place on a minor’s use of this resource. In addition to the general rules respecting use of the library, the Missoula Public Library prohibits use of its social media for any purpose which might create civil liability of the library board to any person.
Use of MPL social media is conditional on the user’s agreement to observe this policy. Comments, posts and messages are welcome on MPL social media sites. MPL reserves the right to monitor content before it is published on its web based sites and accounts, and to modify or remove any messages or postings that it deems, in its sole discretion, to be abusive, defamatory, in violation of copyright, trademark right or other intellectual property right of any third party. Examples of content that will be removed by site authors or administrators include:
- Obscene or racist content;
- Personal attacks, insults, or threatening language;
- Potentially libelous statements;
- Copyrighted or plagiarized material;
- Private, personal information published without consent including photos and images;
- Comments totally unrelated to the content of the forum;
- Hyperlinks to material that is not directly related to the discussion; or
- Commercial promotions, private business activities, or spam
By posting content, including comments to MPL social media sites, users acknowledge and agree to the following:
- By making a submission, users consent to its online display;
- User submissions to MPL social media may be republished through other formats such as the MPL newsletter or Website for promotional purposes; and
- MPL has the right to send e-mail regarding use of the social media.
Individuals who attend an MPL-sponsored event where photographs or videos were taken. MPL event attendees should be given the option to opt-out from appearing in these photos and/or videos after an announcement is made to that effect at the event; opt out signs will also be posted at the event. If an individual does not opt out from use of photos or videos, a release form should be signed by that individual for the use of the photo or video. By signing that release the individual has consented to the use of a photograph, likeness, voice, or video recording for publicity, promotional, and other library related purposes including posting on MPL social media sites. An authorized signature on the individual release removes MPL from all liability or claims arising out of or in connection with the photograph, likeness, voice, or video recording and there will be no compensation for the use of said item.
Social media sites managed by MPL sometimes contain links to content on other World Wide Web Internet sites for which MPL is not responsible. MPL is not responsible for the reliability or accuracy of user generated content or of the content on sites to which MPL social media sites may link. Users use user-generated content and other web content at their own risk.
Users are encouraged to protect their privacy when participating in online public forums. MPL is committed to protecting user’s privacy (see Missoula Public Library Statement on Privacy and Confidentiality of Library Records); however, user privacy does not extend to public forums including social media forums where a user may choose to identify him or herself as a user of MPL. By posting content in a public forum, the user acknowledges that he or she may forfeit any expectation of user privacy. A user may be required to create an account for individual platforms in order to post content to any MPL social media.
By posting content, the user agrees to indemnify MPL and its officers and employees from and against all liabilities, judgments, damages and costs (including attorney’s fees) incurred by any of them which arise out of or are related to the posted content. Forums and messaging may not be used for commercial purposes or for organized political activity. If any user does not agree to these terms, he or she should not use the service, as violation of the terms can lead to legal liability.
A library program is an event that promotes the use of library materials, facilities, or services and/or offers the community an educational, recreational, or cultural experience. All groups using library facilities must also adhere to these ground rules. Library programs are prohibited from serving as a platform for generating income for any sponsoring group or individual, except funds to support the library. Library programs must be noncommercial in nature. Although a businessperson or other professional expert may present a program, no solicitation of business is permitted, nor admission charged. The sale of products at a library program is not allowed. There are two exceptions:
- Writers, performers, and artists may sell their own works at the library following library programs in which they are featured.
- The Friends of the Library may sell items at library programs they sponsor.
Library programs are planned for the interest and enlightenment of Missoula County citizens and surrounding communities, and Missoula Public Library (MPL) strives to offer a variety of programs for all ages that support our mission. Selection of library program topics, speakers, presentations, and resource materials are made by library staff based on the interests and needs of library users and the community. Library sponsorship of a program does not constitute an endorsement of the content of the program or the views expressed by participants. Program topics, speakers, and resources are not excluded from programs because of possible controversy. Library staff use the following criteria in making decisions about program topics, speakers, and accompanying resources:
- Relevance to community interests and issues
- Treatment of content for intended audience
- Presentation quality
- Presenter background/qualifications in content area
- Historical or educational significance
- Connection to other community programs, exhibitions or events
- Relation to library collections, resources, exhibits and programs
- Availability of program space
Attendance at library programs is always free and open to the public and shall not be restricted because of racial, religious, socioeconomic or political status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. To participate in library programs attendees are expected to adhere to our Patron Behavior policy. Individuals who attend an MPL sponsored event where photographs or videos are taken have the option to opt-out from appearing in these photos and/or videos. Individuals desiring to opt-out are required to inform MPL staff. For more detail please review our Photos/Videos policy.
Programs may be planned and presented by library staff or by individuals or groups with the library acting as sponsor. Programs may be offered in library meeting rooms as space permits or at other locations designated by the library. Members of the public who want MPL to sponsor their program must submit a request to the Programming Committee several months in advance of the proposed program date in accordance with the below Scheduling Timeline; doing so does not guarantee library sponsorship. Organizations or individuals partnering with the library for programs must coordinate marketing efforts with the library’s Public Relations Specialist.
Program Proposal Deadline
December – January – February
March – April – May
June – July – August
September – October – November
The Library Board shall have the authority to deny a meeting if it is deemed inappropriate to the mission of MPL by the Library Director. Upon adequate notice and for adequate reasons, the Library reserves the right to revoke permission to use any meeting room. Library and Partners-oriented activities shall have first priority to use the meeting rooms. Meetings and exhibits do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Library Board or staff.
1. PUBLIC MEETINGS. All meetings taking place during the Library’s public hours are considered public meetings and open to public participation. You may schedule a meeting up to 90 days in advance (30 days for study rooms). A group is limited to reserving Library meeting space to one evening per month.
2. FREE MEETINGS. Meeting space use is provided at no cost to community members. Groups may not charge admission or registration fees for any meeting. (Donations may be accepted.)
3. Using the space:
FURNITURE. A group is welcome to reconfigure chairs and tables according to its need. Furniture must be returned to its original configuration before the group leaves. Specific chair/table configurations can be requested in advance.
TECHNOLOGY. Assistance with AV equipment and peripherals is available upon request. All systems (including shades and screens) must be reset or shut down before checking out of the meeting space.
CHECKING IN AND OUT. Spaces must be left in as neat and orderly a condition as they are found. All entry points to a meeting space must be closed completely and locked shut when exiting. You must check in and out with library staff at the beginning and end of a reservation.
4. LIABILITY. Organizations holding meetings assume responsibility for any damage to the spaces or contents.
5. CLOSING TIME. Groups must end meetings 15 minutes prior to Library closing. After hour reservations are only permissible with pre-approval by the Library Director.
6. RESERVATION TIMES. Meeting space use is only for the time reserved. Users must exit a meeting space at the end of their reservation.
7. ACCESSIBILITY. Meeting spaces are handicapped accessible. It is a responsibility of the group holding a meeting to provide ADA compliant programs.
8. PARKING. MEETING SPACE USE DOES NOT INCLUDE FREE UNLIMITED PARKING PRIVILEGES. Anyone parking in the Library’s lot in excess of two (2) hours is subject to being ticketed.
9. RESTRICTED USE. Group activities involving more than normal wear and tear will not be permitted.
10. LOST OR STORED ITEMS. Equipment, supplies, materials, or other items owned or brought into the building by a group are not the responsibility of the Library, nor can they be stored in the library.
11. FOOD. Food is only permitted in designated areas on the first floor; however, catered food is allowed in meeting spaces. Trapper Peak Coffee Shop on the first floor of the Library has the right of first refusal for all catered events and must be consulted for availability before any other catering service is contacted: email@example.com. Catered food preparation is limited to designated food preparation areas only.
We only accept:
- Items in good condition
- An easily carried stack or bag of books can be donated at The Store on Level One of the library. We need at least 24 hours notice if you wish to donate more than two boxes of books. Please call 721-2665 to make an appointment.
We cannot accept:
- Textbooks or Magazines
- Books with cracked or broken spines
- Readers’ Digest condensed books
- Computer/medical manuals
- VHS/Cassette Tapes
- Dirty/Damaged/Musty/Moldy items (even the smallest bit of mold can spread to other books
& may cause health problems)
Donated materials added to our collection must meet the same guidelines as materials we purchase.
We will consider adding items that are up-to-date, not unnecessary duplications, and appropriate to our current collection.
Items not added to the Library shelves will be given to The Friends of the Missoula Public Library book sale.
The volume of donations we receive prevents us from returning any donated items once they are gifted.
We can provide you with a receipt, but will not assign a monetary value to gifts; please have your tax-preparer assist with that task.