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South Dakota State Library Services

A list of services provided by the South Dakota State Library.

Library Policies and Procedures

The board of trustees is responsible for adopting written policies that govern and guide all phases of library operation. Policies are general, flexible statements governing library operations, rules and use. Policies must be tailored to meet changing local conditions and should be derived from the library's mission statement. The following list categorizes the responsibilities of the trustees and librarian:


  1. Establish goals and objectives of the library in a written long-range (strategic) plan that should be reviewed annually.
  2. Determine and adopt written policies to govern the programs, operations, and use of the library.
  3. Consider any citizen or staff complaints or suggestions in regard to adopted policies.


  1.  Participates in the development of the long-range (strategic) plan.
  2.  Recommends needed policies to the board of trustees.
  3.  Administers the library in accordance with adopted policies.
  4.  Interprets policies to staff and public. 

The policy manual must contain the following minimum information:

1. A statement of the goals and objectives of the library;
2. A detailed library materials selection policy* which includes selection priorities, the Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read statement and a procedure for handling citizen complaints.
3. Regulations for library use must include the following:

◦Hours of service
◦Loan periods and fines (if any)
◦Replacement of library materials
◦Policy in regard to abuse of library privileges
◦Acceptance or rejection of gifts
◦Use of library meeting rooms
◦Exhibits by individuals or organizations

4. Staff regulations must include the following: NOTE: most libraries are governed & funded by their city or county, and staff regulations would be the same as for that entity.

◦leave, vacation, sick leave, holidays
◦travel time and expenses to library meetings, conferences, etc.
◦other fringe benefits
◦staff responsibilities, job descriptions and salary schedules

Library employee benefits, salaries and job descriptions should be compatible with the benefits, salaries and job descriptions of other employees of the local governmental unit.
The policy manual should be reviewed annually and revised accordingly. Larger libraries with many policies may want to consider reviewing 2-3 policies at each board meeting. 

Service Policies

Collection Development
•Scope of Collections
•Criteria for Selection
•Responsibility for Selection
•Gifts and Donations
•Evaluation, Weeding and Maintenance
•Access to Collections
•Intellectual Freedom
•Challenged Materials (Reconsideration)

Facilities Use
•Hours of Operation
•Building Security
•Meeting Room Use
•Exhibits and Displays
•Bulletin Boards and Materials Distribution
•Patron Behavior/Library Code of Conduct
•Unattended Children
•Copiers and Other Equipment Use
•Emergencies and Disasters

Community Relations
•Public Information and Publicity
•Friends of the Library
•Partnerships and Cooperative Agreements
•Suggestions and Complaints

Social Media - including public comments


 Materials Use and Circulation
•Borrower Eligibility
•Confidentiality of Patron Records
•Loan Periods and Renewals
•Requests for Items Unavailable
•Holds on Items Owned
•Requests for Purchase
•Fines and Interlibrary loans
•Reserved Materials
•Overdue Fines
•Charges for Damaged and Lost Materials
•Reference and Special Collections
Computer Access and Use
•Internet Safety Policy
•Printing Charges
 Services Offered

Internal Policies

Board of Trustees Policies
•Constitutions and Bylaws
•Roles and Job Descriptions
•Risk Management
•Job Classifications and Descriptions
•Salary Schedule and Benefits
•Employee Recruitment, Selection, Appointment
•Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action
•Working Conditions
•Chain of Command
•Evaluation, Discipline and Termination
•Association Memberships, Workshops and Travel
•Budget and Funding
•Financial Reports
•Contracts and Bidding
•Capital Assets
•Surplus Property

Source: Tools for Trustees: The Georgia Public Library Trustee Manual by Lyn Hopper 

Other Policies to Consider

Remote work 

Emergency Closing or State of Emergency policy - to allow changes to standing policies as needed in the event the board declares a State of Emergency - useful during a pandemic and/or other situations. 

CIPA - if this is something your library has to comply with

Service Animals


SD Library Policies Online
K.O. Lee (Aberdeen)
Brookings Public
Freeman Public
Hot Springs Public
Madison Public
Sturgis Public
Vermillion Public Library 

Policy creation, samples
The South Dakota State Library has several books about policy creation. These are available through interlibrary loan. Search the library catalog at

From the American Library Association
Policy Development
Library's Legal Answers for Meeting Rooms and Displays
Material Reconsideration Form Samples 

Disaster preparedness policies
South Dakota Emergency Services 
Librarian's Disaster Planning and Community Resiliency Guidebook - from the NJ State Library 

Tech planning policies
Tech planning information

Artificial Intelligence
AI in the Library
IFLA Statement on Libraries and Artificial Intelligence
Article: “AI Policies Across the Globe: Implications and Recommendations For Libraries”

CIPA compliant Internet Safety Policy - If your library is required to use some form of filtering for your computers due to CIPA, you need to have an Internet Safely Policy. Here is a template