Library Policies


REVISIONS: 02/12/86; 09/16/2020

The Ashtabula County District Library provides library services and materials to residents of Ashtabula County not served by other libraries in the county.

The Bookmobile is the major method of accomplishing this task.

The following criteria will be used to establish bookmobile stops:

  1. There must be a demonstrated need for library services based on demographic analysis and community need.
  2. Selection of sites will be made in order to provide services to the maximum number of people showing the greatest need for service.
  3. Stops, typically, are not scheduled within a one-half (½) mile radius of the main library or the branch library in Geneva.
  4. Length of time spent at each stop will be determined by the number of patrons and the volume of materials borrowed.
  5. A decision regarding maintaining or eliminating stops will be made after evaluation of patron count, circulation, demand for service, change in the number of users or in the number of materials borrowed, and location.
  6. A winter schedule running September through May and a summer schedule running June through August will be established. Evaluation of stops will take place during the course of the schedule and changes will be made at the end of the period.
  7. In areas where the bookmobile is the only access residents have to library services, rather than eliminating a stop, investigation should be made into changing the location, improving community awareness of the service, changing time of the stop, establishing a station or a deposit site collection as an alternative.
  8. Decisions regarding bookmobile stops will be made by the Director and Geneva Branch Manager.

Board By-Laws

REVISIONS: 4/26/96; 5/17/04;11/16/05; 2/24/06; 10/17/12; 1/15/14; 12/16; 9/19/17; 12/20/17; 4/18/18; 8/19/2020; 2/12/2022

Article 1 – Name

The name of the organization shall be “Ashtabula County District Library” (ACDL) existing by virtue of the provision of Section 3375.19 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC).

Article 2 – Mission

The Mission of the Ashtabula County District Library is Gather, Read, Discover, Transform.

Article 3 – Membership of the Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees of the Ashtabula County District Library, (hereafter referred to as “the Board”) as provided by Ohio Revised Code, shall consist of seven members, three of whom shall be appointed by the judges of the county Clerk of Common Pleas, and four of whom shall be appointed by the County Commissioners. Each member shall serve a term of seven years.

When a vacancy occurs on the Board, it shall be the practice of the Board to solicit viable candidates to fill the vacancy, keeping in mind the proper geographic, professional, and philosophical balance required of such a Board. The candidates are then presented to the appointing body for final selection. 

Article 4 – Duties

The Board shall have all the powers granted to it by the laws of the State of Ohio, and shall establish, in accordance with said law, the basic policies of the ACDL with respect to: (1) the appropriation and budgeting of funds; (2) the establishment and maintenance of libraries and library services; (3) the acquisition, improvement, maintenance, insurance, use, and disposition of properties; (4) the hiring, compensation, and responsibilities of, and the personnel practices concerning, librarians and other employees; (5) the selection, collection, lending, and disposition of books and other library material; and (6) the acceptance of gifts. The policies so determined by the Board shall remain in effect until changed or rescinded by further action of the Board and shall be administered by the ACDL staff. 

The Board shall be responsible for the hiring of the ACDL Director, and for ensuring that said Director carries out all the policies of the ACDL in an efficient manner, consistent with the laws of the State of Ohio. The Director shall maintain a file of all Board Policies for appropriate consultation and distribution as directed by the Board and required by law. The Board shall conduct yearly performance appraisals of the ACDL Director. 

The Board shall hire a Fiscal Officer and shall conduct yearly performance appraisals of said Fiscal Officer with input from the ACDL Director. The Board may also hire/appoint a Deputy Fiscal Officer who is responsible to and evaluated by the Fiscal Officer. 

The Board shall require regular reports from the ACDL Director, the Fiscal Officer and sundry other employees as needed to assure itself that the ACDL is being operated as required by law, and according to guidelines, such as long-range plans.

All powers of the Board are vested in it as a Board, and none at all in its individual members. The individual trustee has no power to act for the Board in any way, unless authorized to do so by the Board itself. 

In exercising their authority in accordance with the law, members of the Board are covered by the ACDL’s Errors and Omission Policy, including any liability resulting from either institutional or individual lawsuits.  

The ORC and the Ohio Open Meetings Act shall supersede any language herein that is inconsistent with State of Ohio codes.

The Board shall conduct a self-evaluation at least every other year.  This shall also include a review of the Board of Trustees Bylaws to recommend any amendments needed to meet the lawful and operational needs of the library Board of Trustees, inclusive of a review of the Ohio Sunshine Laws Resource Manual to ensure compliance with it.  Amendments to the bylaws may be made at other times as needed.  (See Article 9 – Amendments.)

Article 5 – Officers

Officers of the Board shall consist of President, Vice-President, and Secretary. The Nominating Committee will report their recommended slate of officers at the December Organizational meeting, with additional nominations accepted from the floor. Election of officers will immediately follow, with officers assuming their positions January 1st. Officers are elected for a one-year term commencing with the January Organizational Meeting.

Board President – It shall be the duty of the President to develop Board meeting agendas in collaboration with the Director, to preside over all Board meetings, to appoint Board Committees, to act as the official representative and spokesman for the Board as needed, to sign the Board minutes, and to sign checks as necessary.

Vice-President – It shall be the duty of the Vice-President to substitute for the President as needed in any capacity.

Secretary – It shall be the duty of the Secretary to act as substitute for the President and/or Vice-President as necessary, and to sign the Board minutes.

Article 6 – Committees

Standing Committees of the Board shall be: (1) Executive/Finance/Audit; (2) Operations/ Personnel; (3) Facilities/Planning/Development; (4) Nominating. There shall be, in addition, special committees, as the Board shall from time to time determine to be advisable. The President of the Board shall be an ex-officio member of each committee, and the chair of each committee shall be a member of the Board appointed by the President with the consent of the Board. Other members may be appointed to committees, as deemed necessary, including those who are not members of the Board.

Committee appointments will be made by the President at the regularly scheduled board meeting in January, with the exception of the Nominating Committee, which will be appointed no later than November.

Except by the express approval or action of the Board, no committee shall consist of more than two (2) members (excluding the president as an ex-officio member). A quorum for committees or sub-committees shall be two members. Without the Board’s sanction, no committee has the authority to make any decision upon any matter, business, or policy for the Board. Any report or recommendation of a committee to the Board shall be deemed advisory only, and no member, of the Board, whether or not a member of the committee, shall be bound or controlled by any action, report, or recommendation of a committee. 

Article 7 - Meetings and Notice Requirements 

All ACDL meetings are open to the public (with the exception of executive sessions and 

an audit conference conducted by the State Auditor or independent certified public accountants with officials of the public office that is the subject of the audit) and conducted in accordance with the Ohio Open Meetings Act.

Regular meetings are meetings held at prescheduled intervals. Regular ACDL Board meetings shall be held at least quarterly. Notice of regular ACDL Board meetings and the annual workshop meeting with dates, times and locations for the calendar year shall be published on the ACDL web site per Ohio Open Meeting Act requirements. The Administrative Assistant shall maintain a list of media outlets and persons who have requested advance notification of meetings. Individuals requesting in writing meeting notification by regular mail must provide a self-addressed stamped envelope, and those requesting notification by e-mail must provide an e-mail address. The date, time and place of each regular Board meeting and the Board’s annual planning workshop for the following calendar year shall be approved during a regular meeting no later than December, with meetings being offered at both the Ashtabula and Geneva library building sites at various times during the year.  Previously approved regularly scheduled meeting dates may be changed when warranted at a regular meeting by majority voice vote, provided the notices regarding changes are made as specified above.

December Organizational Meeting is the annual organizational meeting held in December of each calendar year in accordance with ORC Section 3375.32 to elect Board Officers. They will assume their positions beginning January 1st of the following year and serve for a one year term. At this same meeting, the Board shall elect and fix the compensation of a Fiscal Officer (who may be a member of the board) and who shall serve for a term of one year commencing January 1st of the following year. Except as otherwise provided in section 3.061 of the Revised Code, the Fiscal Officer, before entering upon official duties, shall execute a bond in an amount and with surety to be approved by the Board, payable to the Board, and conditioned for the faithful performance of the official duties required of the Fiscal Officer.  The December Organizational Meeting may be a part of a regular meeting.

Special meetings are any meetings other than regular meetings.  A statement of the meeting’s purpose shall specifically indicate issues to be discussed and only those specified issues shall be discussed. (Although specific agenda items may be listed, use of agenda term such as “personnel” is sufficient for notice of special meeting.) Notice of special meetings shall contain the date, time and place of the meeting and the purpose for which it is called, and shall be posted at least 24 hours in advance on the ACDL web site.

Committee or sub-committee meetings are not regularly scheduled. Members meet as needed and such meetings are primarily investigative and information-seeking in nature. No decision making is permitted by committee. Written reports of the committee’s discovery and any arrived upon recommendations shall be presented at meetings of the Board. Public announcements of committee meetings that are investigative and information-seeking in nature are not required by law, however, in the interest of transparency, every effort will be made to post dates, times and locations of such meetings on the ACDL web page.¹

Committee meetings wherein “formal deliberations concerning the public business” are to take place shall be treated as special meetings with regard to public announcements. Such meetings shall be posted at least 24 hours in advance on the ACDL web site indicating the date, time and place of the meeting, and the purpose for which it is called.  No executive session may be called during a committee meeting.

Emergency meetings are a type of special meeting that a public body convenes when a situation requires immediate official action. (Note: there is no prohibition on holding executive sessions in emergency meetings.) Rather than the 24-hours advance notice usually required, ACDL shall immediately post notice on the ACDL website and notify media outlets that have specifically requested such notice the time, place, and purpose of the emergency meeting. The purpose statement must relay the specific type of public business to be discussed.

Executive sessions are closed-door sessions convened by the ACDL Board during a regular or special meeting, after a roll call vote, and attended by only the members of the board and persons they invite.  The purpose of each executive session must be specifically stated. A meeting that includes an executive session must always begin and end in an open session. In order to begin an executive session, there must be a proper motion approved by a majority of a quorum of the public body, using a roll call vote. No vote or other decision-making on the matter(s) discussed may take place during the executive session.

The ACDL Board may hold an executive session only for a few specific purposes as allowed by the Ohio Open Meetings Act:

  • The appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion or compensation of an employee or official, or the investigation of charges or complaints against an employee, or official, unless the employee, official, licensee requests a public hearing.
  • The purchase of property for public purposes, the sale of property at competitive bidding or the sale or disposition of unneeded, obsolete or unfit-for-use property under ORC 505.10.
  • Conferences with the board’s attorney to discuss matters which are the subject of pending or imminent court action. The board’s attorney must be present during executive sessions held for this purpose.
  • Preparing for, conducting or reviewing negotiations or bargaining sessions with employees.
  • Matters required to be kept confidential by federal or state law or rules.
  • Specialized details of security arrangements.

Each executive session discussion must be limited to the purpose or purposes stated although an executive session may be called for the purpose of discussing several topics provided that the motion lists the purposes for each. Executive session may be ended without a motion or vote by declaring an end to the executive session.

Board Meeting Practices

Procedures for posting public announcements of Board meetings:

a. The date, time, place, and location of all regular Board meetings and annual Board workshop as voted upon by the Board shall be posted on the ACDL web site.

b. Any Board member wishing to call a Special or Emergency meeting or a committee meeting wherein “formal deliberations concerning the public business” are to take place shall communicate the following information to the to ACDL Director (or designee) and the Fiscal Officer at least 24 hours in advance:

  • the time, place, and location of the meeting
  • specific topic(s) to be discuss
  • directions for where and when the public announcement is to be posted

c. Any Board member, who would like to post an announcement for a committee meeting that is investigative or information seeking in nature, shall communicate the time, place, and location of the meeting along with the proposed topic(s) to be discussed to ACDL Director (or designee) and the Fiscal Officer for posting on the ACDL webpage.

Quorum – the quorum necessary to conduct the business of the Board shall be four members.

Voting Procedures - Following a motion, second and further discussion, a majority voice vote may be taken to approve or disapprove all motions with the following two exceptions: (1) A roll call vote must be taken on all expenditures. (2) A roll call vote must be taken to enter executive session.

Board members shall receive a packet of materials (digital or hard copies) in advance of a regular board meeting. The packet shall include the agenda, administrative and financial reports, pending resolutions, and backup materials.

The Order of Business (Agenda) for all meetings shall be as follows:

  1. Call to Order
  2. Public Comments/Announcements/Communications
  3. Official Announcements/Communications/Oaths of Office
  4. Consent Agenda – includes approving minutes of the previous meeting.
    • Committee reports, Administrative report, and Treasurer’s report
  5. Old Business
  6. New Business
  7. Items Too Late for Agenda
  8. Motion to Adjourn

The public may address the Board at a meeting during the time allotted for Public Comments/ Announcements/Communications. Each person wishing to address the Board shall be given three minutes to comment and must provide his/her name and address for inclusion in the official record of the Board. The minutes of the Board will reflect the comments made by members of the public. A person who becomes disruptive during a meeting waives his or her right to attend meetings, and the Board may remove that person from the meeting.

The public may record via audio or video devices all public meetings providing the use of recording equipment will be silent, unobtrusive, self-contained, and self-powered to limit interference with the ability of others to hear, see, and participate in the meeting.

Anonymous calls or letters shall not receive Board attention, discussion or response and shall not result in directives to the Director or any actions against board employees. Allegations of criminal wrongdoing, abuse or other egregious acts that may result in serious harm to patrons or staff may be considered.

Full and accurate minutes of all public meetings shall be maintained. Those minutes are not required to be a verbatim transcript of the proceedings, but they must include enough facts and information to permit the public to understand and appreciate the rationale behind the board’s decisions. Because executive sessions are not open to the public, the meeting minutes need to reflect only the general subject matter of the executive session via the motion to convene the session for a permissible purpose or purposes. Details of members’ pre-vote discussion following an executive session may prove helpful.² Minutes shall not be kept of executive session meetings or audit conferences conducted by the State Auditor or independent certified public accountants with officials of the public office that is the subject of the audit. Copies of the board proceedings are available when requested in accordance with the public records policy adopted by the Board as stipulated by the Ohio Public Records Act.

Article 8 – Parliamentary Authority

Meetings of the Board shall follow parliamentary procedures as outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order, when not inconsistent with these bylaws or with the Ohio Revised Code.

Article 9 – Amendments

These bylaws supersede all previous bylaws adopted by this organization. They may be altered or amended, within the limitations imposed by law, by a majority vote of the Board members present.

  • January 2014 – Article 6 - Standing Committees were amended to combine Building with Planning/Development and the responsibilities of Finance added to the Executive/Audit Committee and Personnel to the Operations committee.
  • December 2016 – Article 2 - Correct the ACDL Mission to conform the new Mission Statement. Article 7 – Change the Organizational Meeting for the election of Officers from January to December, with officers assuming their duties January 1st. Move the appointment of committee members in January from Article 7 to Article 6.
  • September 2017 – Article 7 – Meetings – add paragraph about anonymous calls or letters.
  • December 2017 – Article 5 – Officers – amendment to Officers to serve two year terms for better continuity.
  • April 2018 – Article 5 – Officers – amendment to Officers to serve a one-year term commencing with the January Organizational Meeting.
  • August 2020 –Article 7 – Meetings and Notice Requirements – add language to conform to requirements of the Ohio Open Meetings Act.
  • January 2021 – Article 4 – Duties – add requirement for a bylaws review every two years and update time frames for Board actions as appropriate. Article 7 – Meetings and Notice Requirements – update meeting posting procedures. Add requirements on taking minutes.

¹In evaluating whether particular gatherings of public officials constituted “meetings,” several courts of appeals have opined that the Open Meetings Act “is intended to apply to those situations where there has been actual formal action taken; to wit, formal deliberations concerning the public business.” Under this analysis, those courts have determined that gatherings strictly of an investigative and information-seeking nature that do not involve actual discussion or deliberation of public business are not “meetings” for purposes of the Open Meetings Act.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost Ohio Sunshine Resource Manual Page.

²At least one court has found that the lack of pre-vote comments reflected by the minutes supported the trial court’s conclusion that the public body’s discussion of the pros and cons of the matter at issue must have improperly occurred during executive session

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost Ohio Sunshine Resource Manual.

Code of Conduct

REVISIONS: 1/27/99; 4/19/04; 6/15/11; 6/15/16; 3/12/23

Out of concern for the safety and well-being of its patrons and staff, and in an effort to enhance its ability to provide high-quality service to all, the Ashtabula County District Library Board of Trustees has established a Patron Code of Conduct policy. The following policy establishes guidelines and expectations regarding standards of conduct among the patrons of the Ashtabula County District Library while in the library and immediate premises, in order to ensure the highest standard of health and safety for all who use the library, and to provide for the most efficient and effective operation of the library.

The library reserves the right to cause the removal from the library or library grounds, and to refuse further admission to those individuals who violate the Patron Code of Conduct and Library Security Policy. Library property includes all library-owned or leased buildings and surrounding areas such as sidewalks, walkways, parking lots, and driveways.

The following behaviors are prohibited on library property (included but not limited to):

PS 8.1.1 Behaviors Prohibited by Law

  • Unwelcome conduct and/or unwelcome comments of a romantic or sexual nature, including but not limited to references to a person’s body or physical appearance, as well as requests for dates or personal information.
  • Engaging in or soliciting any sexual act.
  • Indecent exposure.
  • Use of the internet for unlawful purposes as defined by federal, state, and local laws.
  • Failure to comply with applicable health and safety regulations as mandated or recommended by federal, state, or local health officials.
  • Defacing, intentionally damaging, or destroying any property belonging to ACDL, another patron, or staff.
  • Possessing weapons or replicas of firearms, dangerous ordnance explosive devices (including fireworks) or other items that a reasonable person would consider to be dangerous to themselves or others in a public library environment.
  • Brandishing or using knives in an unsafe manner that could reasonably result in personal injury or property damage.
  • Trespassing, including entry into non-public/staff-only areas of the library and/or refusing to leave library property when asked.
  • Theft of personal or library property. Library patrons must keep personal belongings with them at all times as the library is not responsible for theft of personal belongings.
  • Threatening harm to persons or property.
  • Inducing panic. Making false 911 or emergency calls.
  • Possession, use, or being under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance.
  • Harassing patrons or staff. Acts, statements, jibes, jokes, images, or epithets which may reasonably create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. This includes harassment through the internet or other computer sources.
  • Public urination.
  • Fighting, physical abuse, or assault.
  • Gambling, panhandling or soliciting money, goods, or service.

Infractions of the law may result in a patron’s expulsion from the Library, criminal prosecution, or other legal action, as appropriate.

PS 8.1.2 Use of Library Premises

  • Smoking, chewing tobacco, or using electronic cigarettes (vaping) or similar devices.
  • Sleeping.
  • Unreasonable noise including: singing, boisterous conversation and/or audible use of cell phones or other personal electronic devices that interfere with another’s library experience.
  • Profane, obscene, or abusive language.
  • Monopolizing/obstructing space, seating, tables, or equipment to the exclusion of others, including restrooms.
  • Disabling, circumventing, or breaching library software on public computers.
  • Running, pushing, rough play or other disruptive physical activity.
  • Bathing, shaving, or washing clothes on the premises.
  • Bringing animals other than service animals into the library. A service animal must stay with its owner while in the library. Service animals that are disruptive may be removed from the building at the staff’s discretion.
  • Eating or drinking at public computers.
  • Consuming beverages from containers without lids.
  • The use of skates and/or skateboards on library grounds including parking lots and sidewalks.
  • Movement within the library by skateboard, scooter, roller blades, shoes with wheels, roller skates, or other similar devices. The only wheeled devices permitted within the library are wheel chairs or other assistive devises for the disabled and/or baby strollers/carriages or similar devices being used for the actual transport of a person.
  • Buying or selling, solicitation or distribution of materials within the library at any time for any purpose without prior permission of administration. Petitioners, survey takers, and interviewers are permitted outside the building on library grounds provided that access to the library is not impeded and patrons are not pressured to engage.
  • Moving furniture or equipment without library authorization.

PS 8.1.3 Personal Space & Belongings; Appropriate Attire

  • Photographing, filming, or recording video or audio that invades the privacy of persons in the Library or disrupts or interferes with the operations or functions of the Library.
  • Improper dress, including shoes, tops, and bottoms, while in the library.
  • Disregard for bodily hygiene, or any scent so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to others.
  • Bringing into the Library more than three (3) in total bags, backpacks, boxes, carts, wheeled conveyances or other items which singly exceed 32” by 18” by 15” (excluding handles).
  • Storing personal belongings on Library property or leaving personal belongings unattended or under the care of another patron who is not a family member.
  • Insufficient supervision of children. Leaving a child under seven (7) years of age (six or under) unattended. If a young child is attending a library program, a parent/responsible person must remain in the library throughout the program.
    The Library cannot accept responsibility for the safety and supervision of minor children.
    • The Library encourages parents, guardians, and caregivers to use the Library with their children. If a parent/responsible person cannot be located within one-half (1/2) hour of the initial determination that a child is lost or unattended, or if the library is closing, staff will contact a police officer for assistance.
    • Under no circumstance will a patron under the age of fifteen (15) years be left alone in the library or on library property upon closing. If a young patron is waiting for a ride, the on-call supervisor and one other staff person will wait until the patron is deemed safe. If, after fifteen (15) minutes, the patron is still waiting, police may be contacted to handle the matter.

Code of Conduct Violations

REVISIONS: 1/27/99; 4/19/04; 6/15/11; 6/15/16; 3/12/23

PS 8.2.1 Eviction and Suspension of Library Privileges

A patron who has violated the Library Code of Conduct Policy may be evicted from the library and refused further admission to the library for a set time. The library recognizes the right of the patron to contest the eviction and present his or her side of the story. The patron may request to speak to the director or his/her designee in order to hear the reason for eviction and to present any counter-arguments. If possible, such a discussion may take place prior to the patron’s eviction or denial of service. However, the Library reserves the right to take immediate action if necessary to answer an ongoing threat to the operation of the library or a continuing danger to the health or safety of patrons or staff; in these circumstances, the patron may schedule a discussion at a later date.

The director or his/her designee may, when possible, send written confirmation stating the period during which the patron may not enter library property. This letter may also include the reasons for the patron barring and any conditions under which the patron will be re-admitted to the library. Notices regarding the barring of a minor patron from the library will be sent to the minor patron, parent and/or legal guardian.

PS 8.2.2 Reinstatement of Library Privileges

A patron who has been evicted from the library and permanently refused admission may request reinstatement of his/her library privileges. Requests must be submitted in writing to the director and should include a statement demonstrating that the patron understands why the conduct that resulted in the loss of privileges is unacceptable in the library or on library grounds, and a statement from the patron that he/she understands and will abide by the library Patron Code of Conduct.

The director will make all decisions concerning reinstatement of privileges in all cases. Decisions of the director may be appealed to the board.

PS 8.2.3 Video Surveillance and Recording

The purpose of video surveillance is to deter crime and to aid in protecting the safety of individuals and the property of the library. Video surveillance of areas for security purposes is conducted in a manner consistent with other existing library policies and is limited to uses that do not violate the reasonable expectation of privacy. Surveillance cameras are not monitored 24/7 and will not automatically summon help in an emergency.

The director will review all requests to release recordings obtained through video surveillance. Video recordings and/or photos obtained through video surveillance will be released in accordance with applicable laws.

Collection Development

REVISIONS: 02/12/86; 10/21/2020

Purpose of the Materials Selection Policy:

The Collection Development Policy is one of the Library’s fundamental policy documents. It outlines the philosophies that create and shape the Ashtabula County District Library’s unique collection, the practices that maintain it, and the guidelines that help the collection respond to community needs while protecting the collection from societal and political pressures. The Collection Development Policy ensures that over time, the Ashtabula County District Library’s collection will remain on course, reflecting the needs of communities within our service area, while creating unique experiences of meaning and inspiration for the individual patron.

Philosophy and Scope of the Collection:

The Ashtabula County District Library collects materials in a variety of popular formats which serve the general educational interest, recreational, and entertainment needs of its communities, and reflects the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of its communities. The primary objective of the public library is to serve as a communications center for the total community. By providing access to a wide variety of facts, opinions, and ideas, the public library helps to create a well-informed and enlightened populace.

The Ashtabula Public Library serves as the administrative headquarters for the Ashtabula County District Library system. The Ashtabula Library houses the core collection, and offers the most comprehensive array of both circulating and non-circulating materials. It serves as the central library for those living in the city of Ashtabula and within the broader Ashtabula County District Library service area. This library includes the Edith R. Morrison & Mary W. Morrison Genealogy and Archive Room which is home to the Ashtabula County Genealogical Society, and houses an in-depth genealogical research collection and local history archive. This library is the only library in Ashtabula County to provide Funding Information Network access to Candid (formerly Foundation Center), an extensive database where patrons can research grants and funder data for help in fundraising endeavors.

The Geneva Public Library collections are designed primarily to serve users in the city of Geneva and its surrounding communities. The Geneva Library collections contain chiefly diverse and current general interest materials on a wide variety of subjects for all ages. It also houses the Platt R. Spencer Memorial Archive Collection, the Archie Bell Collection, the Edith M. Thomas Collection, and the Leander Lyon Rare Book Collection.

The Library’s digital collection is fully accessible via the Ashtabula County District Library’s website. The library website connects users to statewide library resources such as the Ohio Digital Library and the Ohio Web Library, as well as to numerous local online resources available for education, entertainment, and research.

In accordance with the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, materials on controversial subjects or issues, even if presented in an extreme or sensational manner, may be acquired for our collections.

Specific Principles for Selection:

Budgetary and space constraints limit all libraries’ ability to purchase material for their collections. Therefore, qualitative selection standards have been developed to aid in material selection. Librarians evaluate material on the basis of these standards and recommendations from acceptable professional and commercial reviews. Popularity and community demand are among the major criteria for selecting material.

All staff, as well as the general public are encouraged to recommend materials for consideration. Request for Purchase of Library Material forms are available online and at all public service desks.

The ultimate responsibility for material selection rests with the Library Director, who operates within the framework of policies adopted by the Board of Trustees.

The following principles will be used when selecting items to be added to the collection.

  1. Contemporary significance or permanent value
  2. Accuracy of content
  3. Reputation and authority of author, producer, illustrator, or requester
  4. Relation to / duplication of material already in the collection
  5. Value proportionate to cost and/or need
  6. Popular appeal / Community demand
  7. Literary merit
  8. Materials readily available elsewhere
  9. Balance of viewpoints
  10. Suitability of format to library purposes
  11. Quality of technical production
  12. Selection of local and Ohio authors will be given special consideration

Collection Maintenance:

Library materials are continuously assessed for their condition, accuracy, currency, and performance within the context of the total Library collection, as well as for their continuing relevance to library users. The withdrawal of materials is a formal process conducted by knowledgeable staff as a necessary method to maintain collection vitality, size, and scope. Withdrawn materials holding potential resale value are typically donated to the Friends of the Library or other local non-profit resale agencies.


The Ashtabula County District Library accepts donations of books and other materials. Gifts are accepted with the understanding that they become the property of the Library and can be retained or disposed of at the discretion of the library. All gift materials will be judged by the same criteria used in the selection policy. The Library can provide a receipt for tax purposes stating the number and type of items donated but cannot assign a monetary value to them.

Request for Reconsideration:

The Ashtabula County District Library selects materials using established criteria and full consideration of the varying age groups and diverse backgrounds of patrons. Library patrons requesting reconsideration and removal of an item in the collection may submit a Request for Reconsideration of Library Material form, which is available online and at all public service desks.  Forms will be accepted from adult cardholders who are residents of the Library’s legal service area and who have read, viewed, or listened to the material in its entirety.

The request will be referred to the Director who, in consultation with professional librarians, will make a decision regarding the item’s disposition. The Director’s decision may be appealed in writing to the Library Board of Trustees, whose decision is final and binding. Material will remain in circulation during the reconsideration process.

Future requests for reevaluating the same item will be addressed only if the grounds for reconsideration are substantially different from previous requests.


  1. Request for Purchase of Library Material form
  2. Request for Reconsideration of Library Material form
  3. Library Bill of Rights
  4. Freedom to Read Statement
  5. Freedom to View Statement
  6. The Universal Right to Free Expression
  7. Free Access to Libraries for Minors

Computer Use

REVISIONS:   05/17/2020; 10/21/2020

Providing free access to public computers with a wide variety of electronic sources is an integral part of the Ashtabula County District Library’s mission to offer high quality information resources that meet the needs of our patrons.

Access to Internet Resources

The Ashtabula County District Library is committed to providing access to informational, educational, recreational and cultural resources for library users of all ages and backgrounds. The Library's computer system provides the opportunity to integrate electronic resources from information networks around the world with the Library's other resources. The Library strives to balance the rights of users to access information resources with the rights of users to work in a public environment free from sounds and images which are determined by library staff to unduly contribute to a disruptive environment for library users and library staff.

The Library's goal in providing Internet access is to enhance its existing collection in size and depth and, as a public access agency, to give anyone who wishes to use the Internet the opportunity to do so.

Internet filtering

The Internet offers access to a wealth of material that is personally, professionally and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages. However, it also enables access to some material that may be offensive, disturbing, illegal, inaccurate or incomplete. Users are responsible for evaluating for themselves the validity and appropriateness of information accessed via the Internet.

As required by the Children's Internet Protection Act ("CIPA"), in order to remain eligible for certain federal funding, the Library has implemented software filtering on all of its Internet-accessible computer terminals. The software installed on Internet-accessible computers at the Library protects against access to visual depictions of obscenity, child pornography, and, in the case of persons under the age of 17 years, materials that are "harmful to minors." Users should be aware, however, that all currently available filtering software results in a degree of both "underblocking" (i.e., permitting access to certain material that falls within the foregoing categories) and "overblocking" (i.e., denying access to certain constitutionally protected material that does not fall within the foregoing categories). The Library cannot and does not guarantee that the filtering software will block all obscenity, child pornography, or materials that are harmful to minors. Nor can the Library guarantee that the filtering software will not restrict access to sites that may have legitimate research or other value. In order to help address the overblocking problem and to enhance users' access to constitutionally protected speech and information, the Library requests that all users, both adults and minors, contact a staff member to request unblocking of an incorrectly blocked site.

In addition, any user who is 17 years of age or older may disable the filtering software in order to obtain unfiltered Internet access for bona fide research or other lawful purpose by following the instructions provided on the computer screen or such instructions as the Library shall otherwise provide from time to time.

Children’s Computers

The children's areas throughout the Ashtabula County District Library system are designed to be welcoming for children. These areas include a limited number of computers, many of which offer resources especially for children. To best serve children, all computers in designated children's areas are for the use of children age 13 and younger and for adult caregivers accompanying or assisting children. Children's Internet computers open to a special children's interface and allow only filtered use of the Internet. Parents and children should read from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. ConnectSafely offers useful safety tips and advice for parents and teens. Whenever possible, supervise your child's online activity.

Time and other limits

To access the Internet a patron must use their own library card number. A visitor who does not have a library card may receive an Internet guest pass. You must provide your birthdate for the guest pass registration. Visitors age 12 and younger will receive a guest pass for filtered access only. A library cardholder may not receive a guest pass, and no visitor may receive more than one guest pass per day.

In the normal course of Library operations, each person can access up to four one-hour sessions per day on library public computers. Each hour will automatically extend unless there is someone else waiting in the queue. Patrons must use their own library card number or guest pass number to sign up for a computer and log in. The Director may modify these terms on a provisional basis to respond to an emergency of short-term need.

The library's computers are set up for use by a single individual. A maximum of two persons may sit/work together at any one computer, except in special cases, such as when a parent/guardian is with children.


The Library takes a variety of measures to protect your privacy when you use library computers. See the Statement on privacy and confidentiality of library records.

The Library's computers are in a public area. Others may be involuntarily exposed to what you are viewing. The Library asks that you remain sensitive to the fact that you are working in a public environment shared by people of all ages.


Illegal activities or activities that interfere with or disrupt the network, users, services or equipment are prohibited and not protected by the library's privacy policy. The Library does not routinely monitor public computers, but reserves the right to do so when a violation of this policy or illegal activity is suspected. Staff is authorized to take immediate action to protect the security of computers and the network and to enforce this policy. This includes confiscating any removable media, requiring a user to leave a computer or the premises, and contacting law enforcement authorities.

You are solely responsible for complying with applicable copyright law, licensing agreements and the policies of individual websites that you view.

Notice: Warning of Copyright Restrictions

As a patron, your ability to post or link to copyrighted material is governed by United States copyright law. The library reserves the right to delete or disable any post or link that, in the judgment of library staff, violates copyright law. In accordance with 17 USC S 512 (i)(1)(A), the library may terminate a patron’s access to the system or network for disrespect of the intellectual property rights of others, or for repeat infringements of copyright. The library has adopted this policy and will make all reasonable effort to enforce it in appropriate circumstances.

Software and other files downloaded from the Internet may contain viruses or spyware that may infect other computers.

Rules governing use of library computer

“Computer use” shall include using library computers for any purpose, including without limitation, word processing purposes, or for Internet and electronic mail use. Failure to comply with the following rules may result in loss of computer privileges, loss of library privileges and prosecution. At each log-in, library computer users must complete a click-through agreement acknowledging these rules and must agree to follow the rules. Use of Library computers is subject to the Library’s Patron Code of Conduct Policy.

  1. The Library employs reservation software to maximize the number of patrons who are able to access the Library’s public computers. The Library reserves the right to limit the amount of time an individual user can devote to a single computer session. The last computer session of the day ends 15 minutes before the Library closes.
  2. Do not use another's identification, bar code, or password, with or without permission, to sign up or log on to a computer.
  3. Promptly give up the computer when requested by staff.
  4. Patrons must not attempt to disable or circumvent the Library’s reservation software.
  5. Only two persons may share a single workstation. Staff, in their discretion, may approve or disapprove requests for study group accommodations.
  6. Persons using the computers, and accompanied by children six and under, may not leave the children unattended.
  7. You may download files using supported media. The library is not responsible for damage to your media or for corruption of your data, including damage caused by mechanical malfunction or corruption caused by virus or spyware infection while using library computers.
  8. In the interest of the security and safety of the Library’s computers and network, installation of software on library workstations by patrons is prohibited. In the event a patron has a need not satisfied by the preinstalled software, they should communicate with the staff and reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate the need without compromising the library’s computer network of hardware. Do not attempt to run or execute programs or applications from personal storage media. The Library welcomes suggestions and will consider requests to install software, keeping in mind technical, financial, licensing, and support requirements.
  9. Whether or not they are in use, children's computers in all locations are for the exclusive use of children and their accompanying caregivers.
  10. Use headphones when listening to audio content, and keep volume low so you do not disturb others.
  11. Patrons may not use library computers for any activity that is patently offensive, intrusive, disruptive, harassing, or creates an intimidating or hostile environment to staff and/or to other patrons.
  12. There is a charge for printing from the Library’s computers. Printing costs are listed in the Photocopiers and Printers section of the Library’s Public Services Policy. Printing must be completed and collected 15 minutes before the Library closes.

Computer and Internet Use

The Library's public computers allow users to search a variety of electronic resources. Public computers offer the most popular Internet browser plug-ins for searching the Internet, displaying files, and viewing multimedia content. Public computers also provide minimum access to word processing, spreadsheets, and basic image manipulation capabilities. Individuals should contact the Library in advance to determine if the Library has workstations that will support the file types, browser plug-ins, or Internet technologies with which they might be interested in working.

  1. Staff are unable to recover data once a computer session ends. To save a document, the patron must copy it to his/her personal media or online data storage during the computer session. The Library is not responsible for time or data lost due to computer failure or failure to save data during a computer session.
  2. The Library is not responsible for any loss or liability that may occur as a result of the disclosure of financial or other personal information over the Library’s public computer services, including Internet and electronic mail use. Users should be aware that use of public computers is not a private or secure medium, and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding user’s activities. Users should also be aware that Library staff may monitor use of the computers for the limited purpose of ensuring compliance with this Policy, and hereby consent to such monitoring.
  3. Patrons may not utilize the Library’s computers in violation of any local, state, or federal ordinances, regulations, or laws, including copyright laws. Users are prohibited from disclosing confidential information, harming ACDL networks or other networks on the internet or other user accounts, invasions of privacy, engaging in spamming, unsolicited advertising, network reconnaissance, or denial of service attacks. Users engaged in illegal activities involving library computers may be subject to
  4. Users may be liable for alterations or damage they cause to library hardware or software, including knowingly uploading or installing worms, viruses, or Trojan horses, or transmitting viruses that affect other users’ accounts or the Library’s systems. Patrons should report any computer problems to Library staff and must not attempt maintenance on Library computers, including unplugging, disconnecting, powering on, powering off, and/or detaching and PC hardware or
  5. Users must not make any attempt to access or modify passwords or data belonging to others, or seek unauthorized access to the Library’s or any other computer system. Users are prohibited from using remote administration tools or root kits, for purposes other than to access a user’s own personal
  6. Whether or not they are in use, the Library reserves the right to designate computers for the exclusive use of children aged 17 and under and their accompanying caregivers.
  7. By using a library computer, the user agrees to conform to all regulations contained in this Policy. All users of library computers agree to indemnify and hold the Library harmless for any claims, losses, damages, obligations, or liabilities arising out of the use of the Library’s computers. The Library reserves the right to terminate a computer session and/or suspend library privileges of anyone who violates the Library’s computer use policies without

Internet Use

  1. In keeping with the Ashtabula County District Library’s objective to make accessible the broadest range of information in a variety of formats, the Library provides public access to the Internet. The Internet enables the Library to provide information beyond the confines of its own collection. However, the Library cannot control and is not responsible for the content of information obtained through the Internet, and does not warrant that information accessed through the Internet is accurate, reliable, legal or complete.
  2. Parents, guardians and caregivers are encouraged to work with their children to develop acceptable rules of Internet use. It is their responsibility to set family standards and guidelines and to decide which library resources and Internet websites or resources are appropriate for their children. Library staff are available to assist parents and their children with using the Internet and to help identify appropriate Internet sites. However, Library staff are not responsible for monitoring information accessed by children from the Internet, and the Library will not act in loco parentis nor assume the functions of a parent’s or legal guardian’s authority with regard to the behavior of their children in the Library.
  3. Patrons may not send, receive, print, disseminate, or display text or graphics which may be construed as obscene or “harmful to juveniles” under Chapter 2907 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Wireless Internet Access and the Use of Personal Devices

  1. The Library provides wireless access to the internet for public and staff use. While the Library makes every reasonable effort to ensure this service is available without downtime and as broadly within its buildings as possible, the Library cannot guarantee its availability.
  2. The Library staff will make reasonable efforts to provide general assistance connecting to the network but cannot troubleshoot problems related to a specific device or assist in making changes to devices network setting and/or hardware configuration. The Library cannot guarantee a patron’s device will be compatible with our network.
  3. Patrons may encounter areas within Library facilities with limited or no connectivity. In addition, malfunctions and circumstances outside the Library’s control may reduce or eliminate connectivity at times. The Library makes no guarantee of service availability, or that a given transaction will complete.
  4. The wireless access connection is unsecured. The Library cannot make any guarantee of privacy or security for transmitted information.
  5. Wireless printing is available through the Library’s webpage. The Library’s typical printing fees apply to this service.

Educator Collection

REVISIONS: 10/03; 09/16/2020

An Educator Collection is a thematic collection of age-appropriate books and materials based on a chosen subject(s). This service requires an Educators Library Card.  This special library card allows educators to borrow materials for four weeks (28 days) for classroom use. It is recommended that an Educator Collection Request form be submitted at least one week prior to pick-up of materials.

Educators Library Cards require the same identity and current address verification as Adult Cards. Financial responsibility for lost or damaged items remains with the card holder.

An Educator Collection allows the patron to borrow materials as set by the following guidelines:

  • Materials included are to be made available solely for educational purposes;
  • Materials circulate for 28 days and may be renewed one time for an additional 28 days;
  • Requests may be submitted online;
  • Print request forms are available at all service desks;
  • The Educators Library Card-holder is responsible for all materials checked out to that card. Lost, damaged, and long-overdue materials will be charged according to the library’s regular schedule;
  • Arrangements can be made for delivery through our Outreach Services Department;
  • A teacher may choose to visit the library and select materials themselves;
  • Some items may not be available for the 28-day loan, such as current English Festival or Science Fair titles;
  • New fiction releases purchased within the last three (3) months may not circulate in a teacher collection.

The Library is happy to supply monthly thematic and age/reading-level appropriate collections upon request.

Express Delivery

REVISIONS: 09/16/2020

The Ashtabula County District Library serves a diverse population with unique individual needs and varying levels of ready access to library materials. Express Home Delivery is designed to further the library’s mission by delivering physical library items to patrons’ homes, at their request.


Individuals in good standing holding valid library cards issued by the Ashtabula County District Library and its branches are eligible for Express Home Delivery Services from the Ashtabula County District Library. The eligible delivery area correlates closely with the Library’s service district boundaries located in Ashtabula County as defined by the State Library of Ohio.

Reserving/Scheduling a delivery:

  1. Place a Hold on requested items: choose Home Delivery as the pickup location in the online library catalog or contact staff at the Ashtabula or Geneva Public Libraries for assistance.
  2. Library staff will locate items, check items out to patron’s account, and prepare items for delivery.
  3. When items are ready, staff member will contact patron to confirm physical and email addresses. At this confirmation, the patron accepts full responsibility for all library items being checked out to them at that time. Patron will be informed of the day and window of time in which the physical library items will be delivered.
  4. The Library van will be used to deliver items to the patron’s confirmed address. Items will be left at the patron’s door (inside a plastic drawstring bag). As a courtesy, the staff member will ring the doorbell before returning to the library van. The librarian will not wait to meet the patron.

Returning delivered items:

Patron is responsible for returning all borrowed items and delivery bags on or before established due date to an Ashtabula County District Library building or book drop. Borrowed items may be renewed up to four (4) times (if no other patron Holds) and there are no fines on materials returned late (up to 30 days).

Patron Code of Conduct:

All Express Home Delivery patrons are expected to follow all applicable Ashtabula County District Library Code of Conduct guidelines and principles.

Fax Service

REVISIONS: 11/85; 11/95; 7/18/01; 4/25/07; 5/18/16; 10/21/2020

Fax services are available at both the Ashtabula and Geneva Libraries during regular library hours. Faxes sent are self-serve by the patron via the fax machine located at patron services. Outgoing fax transmissions are sent free of charge Incoming fax transmissions are printed at rates listed in the Photocopiers and Printers section of the Library’s Public Services Policy. Faxes can be received 24 hours a day but must be picked up during regular library hours.*  Neither international fax service nor fax delivery/pickup service are available.

*Faxes received will be housed in an email account until retrieved by staff during regular library hours. Faxes received but not picked up will be deleted after thirty (30) days.

DISCLAIMER: ACDL is not responsible for any losses incurred through the use of this fax service.

Grounds Use

REVISIONS: 7/16/14; 7/18/16

Use of the Ashtabula County District Library's (ACDL) grounds (4335 Park Avenue, Ashtabula and 860 Sherman Street, Geneva) is permitted provided such use does not interfere with normal activities of the Library and the dates requested for the use of the grounds is open.

Approval of the use of the grounds does not constitute or imply library endorsement of any group or individual, their mission, or their positions. Groups using the library's grounds may not advertise the event in such a way as to imply endorsement.

The Library Board of Trustees is authorized to refuse any request or cancel any activity if the activity does not conform to the use, intent, or restrictions outlined in the policy.

All groups or organizations using the library's grounds shall read the library's grounds policy and execute and fill out the Library's "Request for the Use of the Library Grounds" form and complete a "Waiver of Liability". Each group or organization shall agree to hold the ACDL Board of Trustees and its library staff and library volunteers harmless from and to indemnify them against all costs, damages, losses, claims, and expenses incurred, directly or indirectly, as a result of such group's use of the Library grounds. Such costs, damages, losses, claims, and expenses shall include, without limitation, any damages to the library grounds; the costs of employee overtime, if occasioned by the use of the library grounds; the cost of police protection, if deemed necessary by the Library Board of Trustees; and any claim asserted by any third person against the Board of Trustees and staff on account of any alleged injury causally related to the use of the library grounds, together with defense costs including reasonable attorneys' fees.

The "Waiver of Liability" form shall also constitute a release by the group or organization and each and all of its members of any claim against the Library Board of Trustees and its library staff for any injury to persons or damage to property suffered by such group or any of its members during or as a result of the use of the Library grounds, except insofar as such injury or damage is directly and solely caused by intentional misconduct of any person belonging to or acting on behalf of the Library Board of Trustees and its library staff.

The Ashtabula County District Library Board of Trustees reserves the right to require any applicant/group to supply a certificate of insurance, from an insurer licensed to do business in Ohio, in such amount and in such form as the Library Board of Trustees may reasonably deem appropriate, such amount not to exceed $300,000.00 naming the Library Board of Trustees as an additional insured, and covering damage to the library building, grounds and collection and injury to persons occasioned by the meeting. Such certificate shall evidence that the insurance it represents is not cancelable except on at least ten (10) days written notice to the Library Board of Trustees. In the event of such cancellation, the library grounds reservation shall be canceled unless the group or organization forthwith substitutes a new insurance certificate meeting the aforesaid requirements.

A bonafide community event must obtain permission from the Library Board of Trustees to use the grounds. Use of the library grounds before or after library hours must be requested 30 days before the event or use. A fee of $25 per half hour will be charged.

All users of the grounds should pay close attention to personal property and valuables. The Library is not responsible for theft of or damage to personal property.

Groups and organizations will be responsible for leaving the grounds in such a condition that another group could use them immediately afterwards.

All use of library grounds, including parking areas and lawn, are for the use of library patrons and library-sponsored events.

For events that require significant use of the parking lot, a representative of the group making the request must also meet with the Library Director. Areas that will be discussed will include fencing, liability, insurance coverage, and any other concerns of the Library.

None of the library's grounds may be used for commercial or business activity .for the sole purpose of making a profit for a private benefit of any of the group's members.

No fundraising on library grounds, except by the Library.

No admission may be charged, nor items sold, except by the library or library-sponsored event.

No animals, except for service animals, are permitted on the grounds, unless it is a library-sponsored event.

Group members agree to abide by the ACDL Code of Conduct. Use of food and drink may be restricted by rules of the library.

Use of any library equipment, chairs, tables, restrooms, etc. is not permitted.

When children are in attendance at programs on library grounds they must be under the control of their parents or guardians and are not permitted to roam freely on the grounds.

The use of the Gazebo at the Geneva Public Library will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

No use of staples, tacks, pushpins or nails to hang/display items inside or outside of the gazebo or on/in the library buildings/grounds are permitted.

Donations either financial or "in kind services" are gratefully accepted.

Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Library Director.

Homebound Delivery

REVISIONS: 09/16/2020

The Ashtabula County District Library offers Books To Your Door Homebound Services to those patrons residing in the Library’s service district who are temporarily or permanently homebound. Homebound services are available to all age groups from children to senior citizens. Homebound patrons are those who are unable to visit an ACDL branch due to illness, disability, or caregiver responsibilities.


Individuals who are temporarily or permanently homebound and in good standing, holding valid library cards issued by the Ashtabula County District Library and its branches, are eligible for Books To Your Door Homebound Services from the Ashtabula County District Library.


  • Patrons who receive materials through the Books To Your Door service may borrow any circulating items, including books, magazines, music CDs and DVDs.
  • Patrons complete an initial survey to determine likes/dislikes and materials selections are determined based upon those preferences.
  • Materials may also be requested by the patron by accessing the library’s online catalog, or by contacting Homebound staff. Library staff may search outside of our system in an attempt to locate requested materials.
  • Popular items may not be immediately available, but a hold will be placed on those items for a future delivery.
  • All materials borrowed through the Books To Your Door service are on loan for four (4) weeks.
  • An item may be renewed only if there are no holds by other patrons.
  • Materials are delivered to and picked up from each participant's home at least every four (4) weeks by library staff or qualified volunteers. Materials are not to be returned by any other means unless arrangements have been made in advance with Homebound staff.
  • Homebound patrons are responsible for any materials that may be lost or damaged while in their possession. Borrowers’ accounts will be charged for any lost or damaged items. Fees charged to a borrower’s account must be paid before continuation of service.

Library Foundation

REVISIONS: 09/16/2020

The exclusive purpose of The Ashtabula County District Library Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, is to promote the development and improve the service capabilities of the Ashtabula County District Library system by providing financial resources for programs, services, and capital improvement projects beyond the public resources available to the Ashtabula County District Library system. In implementing that purpose the Corporation shall solicit, stimulate, and encourage the gift of funds, endowments, and bequests to the Corporation and to conduct such other fund-raising activities as may be appropriate.


  • Raise awareness and funds for the Foundation and for Library projects.
  • Encourage public interest in the value of the Ashtabula County District Library.
  • Advocate for the Library and its programs.
  • Develop an ongoing funding plan to enhance Library services.

The Library Director and Fiscal Officer serve as non-voting members of the Library Foundation Board. A member of the Ashtabula County District Library Board of Trustees is appointed annually as the official library liaison to the Library Foundation. This Trustee liaison also maintains a non-voting status.

Library Friends

REVISIONS: 09/26/17; 09/16/2020

Complete advance information regarding all Friends of the Library projects shall be provided to the Library Director and the Board of Library Trustees of the Ashtabula County District Library. The Board of Trustees acknowledges that it does not supervise the activities of the Friends of the Library, but the Board reserves the right not to participate in any Friends projects in which the Board does not believe the best interest of the library is being served.

The Board of Library Trustees of the Ashtabula County District Library looks upon the establishment of the Friends of the Ashtabula County District Library as a worthwhile community endeavor which will benefit the library.

The Board of Library Trustees acknowledges that the Friends of the Library is an organization separate and apart from the Ashtabula County District Library and that the Friends of the Library has its own Board and its own goals and purposes.

Friends of the Ashtabula County District Library is distinct and separate from the library, and neither the Friends of the Library as an organization nor any member or participant thereof may assume any liability or take or authorize any act on behalf of the Ashtabula County District Library.

Because Friends of the Ashtabula County District Library is an organization comprised solely of volunteers distinct and separate from library personnel, no library personnel shall perform any duty or take any act on behalf of the Friends of the Library, except library staff members may act in an advisory capacity for Friends activities.

Operating expenses of the Ashtabula County District Library are provided through allocation of tax monies which are audited by an independent auditor. Friends funds and Library funds shall not be commingled or integrated, except that gifts from Friends may be accepted by the library; whereupon, said gifts shall become solely the funds of the library but shall be expended for the specific purpose for which the gift or donation has been made by the Friends. In the event the Ashtabula County District Library becomes the custodian of any Friends funds, those funds shall be kept as separate “funds” for audit and bookkeeping purposes.

Complete advance information regarding all Friends of the Ashtabula County District Library public relations programs on behalf of the Ashtabula County District Library shall be provided to the Library Director and the Board of Library Trustees of the Ashtabula County District Library. The Board of Library Trustees acknowledges that it does not supervise the public relation programs of the Friends of the Library, but the Board reserves the right not to participate in any public relations project or program in which the Board does not believe the best interest of the Library is being served. Public relations programs adopted by Friends shall not be part of the budget of or funded by the Ashtabula County District Library.

Meeting Rooms

REVISIONS: 6/17/92; 5/15/96; 12/16/09; 6/17/15; 7/5/16; 08/21/19


The Ashtabula County District Library maintains meeting room facilities in the main library and the library branch. Meeting rooms are intended to further the library's mission by facilitating the exchange of diverse information and ideas.


The primary purpose of meeting rooms is to promote library services through programs, meetings and other library activities presented by library staff, the Friends of the Library or other organizations affiliated with the library. When a meeting room is not being used for a library activity, the space will be available to the public for governmental, non-profit, civic, cultural or educational programs or meetings. Access will be provided on equal terms, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting use. The library does not advocate or endorse the viewpoints of any group or individual. Trade or professional associations are interpreted to be educational groups. Artistic performances by individuals will be permitted only when co-sponsored by the Library.

General Provisions:


  1. The Ashtabula County District Library system provides meeting rooms for library sponsored and co-sponsored programs and for use by non-profit groups for non- commercial, cultural, informational, educational, intellectual, and civic
  2. Meeting room programs must not interfere with library operations, including
  3. Use of meeting rooms for tutorial sessions where no fees are charged is considered educational in nature and will be scheduled according to room
  4. Individual use of a meeting room is permitted when the room is not scheduled for another Rooms may be reserved for individual use for up to a two-hour block of time.
  5. Meeting room availability will be based on the following priorities ranked highest to lowest:
    1. Library sponsored programs
    2. Library co-sponsored programs
    3. Government meetings and programs
    4. Programs of educational, cultural, or civic nature prepared for the general public
    5. Classes, workshops, and seminars given by non-profit, educational instructions
    6. Business/organizational meetings of community organizations
    7. Individual use

Rooms Available

  1. Ashtabula Main Library Meeting Rooms
    1. 4335 Park Avenue, Ashtabula, OH 44004
      1. Room A Occupancy – 56 Room B Occupancy – 56 Total Combined Occupancy – 120
      2. Handicap access – yes
      3. Contact Public Services Department
    2. Private Study Rooms (2 Rooms Available)
      1. 4335 Park Avenue, Ashtabula, OH 44004
      2. Occupancy – 2 to 6
      3. Handicap access – yes
      4. Contact Public Services
  2. Geneva Public Library Branch Meeting Room
    1. 860 Sherman Street, Geneva, OH 44041
    2. Occupancy - 80 (may be divided into a smaller room)
    3. Handicap access - yes
    4. Contact Branch Coordinator


  1. All inquiries regarding use of Ashtabula Main Library meeting room must be made at the Public Services
  2. All inquiries regarding use of Geneva Public Library Branch meeting room must be made through the Branch Coordinator.
  3. Rooms may be reserved in person or by telephone at the Ashtabula Library during hours of operation and at the Geneva Public Library Branch during hours of
  4. Reservations are preferred at least ten (10) days before the requested
  5. Meeting room space is intended for specific events rather than for regularly scheduled, ongoing However, use of a space with a frequency of once per month or greater may be considered at the Library’s discretion, and is subject to meeting room space availability and the immediate and future scheduling needs of the Library.
  6. Cancellation notice must be given at least 48 hours in advance. Failure to give notice may jeopardize future
  7. A copy of the Meeting Room Policy and Agreement for Use of Meeting Room must be reviewed and a signed copy of the Agreement returned prior to first use of the meeting The reservation is not completed until the form has been submitted and approved. The individual signing the agreement must be an adult (18 yrs.) and is responsible for the orderly conduct of the group. Children under the age of 6, accompanying adult users of a meeting room or study room, shall not be left unattended in the library. Minors are not permitted to use meeting rooms without adult supervision.
  8. Meeting rooms may not be reserved more than ten (10) weeks in advance of a specific date except in the case of programs sponsored or co-sponsored by the
  9. All meetings not sponsored by the library must conclude fifteen (15) minutes prior to closing unless prior arrangements with the library have been made. A library supervisor may terminate a meeting in progress for exceeding time limits, for violating this or any other library policy or in the case of an emergency.
  10. As the health and safety of Library patrons and the community as a whole is paramount to the Ashtabula County District Library, the Library reserves the right to cancel any program that is deemed to present a threat to local community health and/or safety. The Library may consult with community leaders and/or local safety forces as an occasion arises.
  11. All scheduled events/meetings must be free and open to the general public regardless of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, or physical disabilities. Groups holding meetings must provide at their own expense an interpreter for the hearing impaired if one is no service fee is charged for equipment used in conjunction with programs sponsored or co-sponsored by the library.

Use of Equipment

  1. No service fee is charged for equipment used in conjunction with programs sponsored or co-sponsored by the library.
  2. The group assumes full responsibility for proper use of equipment.
  3. Electronic equipment availability varies.

Fees/Admission Charge

  1. The rooms are available on a non-fee basis during regular library hours. If the rooms are used before the library opens or after the library closes, a fee of $25.00 per half hour will be charged.
  2. No admission fees may be charged nor money collected nor other money raising activities conducted.
  3. Fees for non-credit adult education courses conducted by established educational institutions are permissible.
  4. Groups or individuals will be charged for any damage to rooms and furniture beyond normal wear and tear.

Governing Rules

  1. Room set-up is each group's The room must be left in the condition in which it was found. The Library is not responsible for security, storage, damage, or loss of property owned by groups using the Library.
  2. Groups reserving a meeting room in advance must consist of at least 5 individuals. Maximum attendance is determined by the local fire code as well as space and parking Groups of three or more may not reserve meeting rooms in advance but are permitted to use meeting room facilities on a first come first serve basis upon availability. All those reserving or using a meeting room must fill out a written application.
  3. The keys for the meeting room will be the responsibility of the individual reserving the meeting room. The keys and reservation slip should be returned to the circulation desk immediately following the event/meeting.
  4. No smoking or alcoholic beverages allowed.
  5. Light snacks, coffee, tea, or soft drinks may be served but the organization is to furnish its own table service and must clean up immediately after the event/meeting. The kitchenette/kitchen is not available for food preparation. It is a service facility only. The food, beverage and coffee supplies and other library items stored in the kitchenette/kitchen cupboards and/or refrigerator are not intended for public The Library does not provide table covering, dish towels, dishcloths or disposable paper products.
  6. An attendance count for each meeting must be submitted at the Public Services desk.
  7. Rowdiness or irresponsible behavior shall be cause for immediate eviction from the room with loss of any further use of the room.
  8. Groups may not use the name or address of the Ashtabula County District Library or Geneva Public Library Branch as the official address or headquarters of the organization. All announcements, flyers, press releases, or other promotions should clearly state the sponsoring group's needs and refer to the Library only as location of the meeting. No individual or group may state or imply Library endorsement or sponsorship of events in the library meeting rooms without written approval from the Library Director.
  9. No products or services may be advertised, solicited or sold in library meeting rooms or on library property. Only the Library or Friends of the Library may sponsor fund-raising activities in library meeting rooms or on library property.
  10. Non-library groups are not permitted to engage in fundraising activities, solicit donations or charge fees or admission to programs held on library premises. Club dues and other shared costs within an organization are not considered With library approval educational entities may charge nominal tuition costs.
  11. Announcements for meetings held in the Library may not be displayed in such a manner as to suggest Library sponsorship or that the Library itself should be contacted to provide information on the contents, agenda, etc. of the meeting. Materials may be posted or distributed within the ACDL Posting Policy.
  12. No group may transfer use of the rooms.
  13. The library reserves the right to withdraw permission for meeting room use when conditions described in this policy warrant such action. Meetings must be conducted so as not to disturb others using the library. Groups which disturb library activities or library users will be denied future use of meeting rooms.
  14. Storage of equipment and/or supplies is not permitted in the library.
  15. Except in cases of emergency, messages cannot be conveyed to meeting room participants or attendees.

Use of Study Rooms

  1. Generally, use of these rooms will be covered by the Library “Code of Conduct” policy and the “Meeting Rooms”
  2. No more than 6 people can meet in a room.
  3. Reservations can be made for a two-hour block of time. However, actual use can be extended beyond this two-hour period as long as no other person or group requests use of the room.
  4. Any individual or group—of no more than 6 people—can walk in and use a room without making a reservation, or registering at the Public Services Desk.
  5. If subsequently, another individual makes known their wish to use a room, a decision will be made as to when the first group must terminate their use to permit the next person to use the facility.


The library reserves the right to discontinue use of the room by any group or individual who disturbs operation and/or proceedings of the library, or in any manner abuses the privilege. The Library reserves the right to determine use of the rooms and to cancel or reschedule all arrangements, at its discretion, with or without cause or reason, and without liability.

Contributions to help defray the Library's expenses which help us offer these facilities would certainly be accepted.


REVISIONS: 04/15/15; 09/16/2020

A “Notary Public” is a public officer whose duty it is to attest to the genuineness of any deeds or writings in order to render them available as evidence of the facts they contain.

A notary public's term of office in Ohio is for five (5) years.

The library has a notary on staff at the Ashtabula Library and the Geneva Library. The Library does not charge a fee to notarize documents. Patrons should call ahead to make sure the notary is available at that library, and to confirm that they and their documents can meet the library's requirements for notary service.

Required for notary service:

  • Photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport
  • Form of ID with current address such as driver’s license, utility bill, etc.
  • (Completed) Original document(s) to be notarized.(Do not complete vehicle title transfers in advance.)
  • Original signer(s) must be present and sign in the presence of the notary

The notary public will complete an official register (Journal of Notarial Acts) for each transaction and keep in a safe and secure manner for the term of commission.  This Journal is the property of the individual notary only and will be kept/maintained until certification expires and not renewed or upon death, at which time all the journals will be transferred to the Secretary of State.  Employers may photocopy the logs related to employment, but not possess them.

The Journal of Notarial Acts will include:

  • Date
  • Signer’s Printed Name
  • Signer’s Current Address
  • Proof of verification ID (document[s] used to ID signer)
  • Document title notarized
  • Was oath or affirmation given, and which one
  • Signer’s signature
  • Notary's name, position and library location

The Library will:

  • Provide Errors & Omission Insurance
  • Pay for background check, initial and renewal, with successful notification of background check
  • Pay fee for class (new or renewal)
  • Purchase initial and renewal Notary Stamp and/or Seal, with successful completion of requirements

The notary cannot explain document content, provide advice or assist in document completion.

Note: A notary reserves the right to decline his/her services.

Documents the library notary will not notarize:

  • Legal documents (such as Wills, Trusts, Advanced directives, Executorships, Custody and guardianship agreements, detailed Power of Attorney, Court documents, Loan signing documents)
  • Power of Attorney (POA) for a car title (refer to local title bureau)
  • Car title that is unusual or has already been signed by the Seller who is not present, or a title with erasures, cross outs and/or white out
  • I-9 Certifications (not considered a notarial act)
  • Medallion notary services (banks only)
  • Financial transactions
  • Copies of vital records such as birth, marriage or death certificates. The notary can notarize an Affidavit from the principal stating the record is a true and accurate copy of the real one.
  • Documents when the notary is named as a party to the underlying transaction, has a financial or beneficial interest in the transaction, is a signatory to a document, or is the document’s originator.

The library does not provide online notarization.

A notary cannot refuse to assist a disabled individual seeking services. For signers who cannot speak English, use of a translator is permissible, but not recommended. However, notary may use a translator app or professional translator.  The notary must be able to communicate directly with the signer.

Patron Confidentiality

REVISIONS: 1/19/83; 11/18/98; 1/17/01; 5/19/21

The Ashtabula County District Library supports its patrons’ rights to privacy and protects the confidentiality of patron information and library records in accordance with Ohio law as specified in Ohio Revised Code Section 149.432. The library shall not release any library records that identify any individual patron or disclose any patron information except in situations specified in that statute.

Patron information is defined as personally identifiable information about an individual who has used any library service or borrowed any library materials.  A library record is defined as a record in any format that is maintained by the library and that contains any of the following types of information:

  • Information that the Library requires that an individual provide in order to be eligible to use library services or borrow materials;
  • Information that identifies an individual as having requested or obtained specific materials or materials on a specific subject;
  • Information that is provided by an individual to assist the library staff member to answer a specific question or provide information on a specific subject.

Information that does not identify any individual and that is retained for the purpose of studying or evaluating the use of a library and its materials and services is not considered confidential and is not subject to this policy.

In accordance with Ohio law, the Ashtabula County District Library does not release any library record or disclose any patron information except as follows:

  • In the case of the records of a minor child when requested by that minor child’s parent, guardian or custodian;
  • Parents must verify their role with regards to the minor with the production of personal identification such as a driver’s license or birth certificate.
  • Guardians and custodians must verify their role with regards to the minor with the production of personal identification such as a driver’s license and court order that verifies their role as a guardian or custodian.
  • Pursuant to a subpoena, search warrant or other court order, or upon request by a law enforcement officer who is investigating a matter involving public safety in exigent circumstances;
  • Should a subpoena, search warrant, or other court order be issued, the Library shall immediately refer the court order to the Library’s legal counsel for review.
  • Requests by a law enforcement officer for a release of records under Ohio Revised Code Section 149.432(B)(2)(b) may be referred to legal counsel for review so the Library may receive guidance regarding what constitutes a matter involving public safety in exigent circumstances.
  • At the written request or with the written consent of the individual who is the subject of the record or information;
  • Patrons under the age of 18 may give permission to others to view their records only with the signature or consent of a parent, guardian or custodian.
  • For library administrative purposes as defined by Ohio Revised Code Section 149.432, including establishment or maintenance of a system to manage the library records or to assist in the transfer of library records from one records management system to another, compilation of statistical data on library use, and collection of fines and penalties.

Additionally, the library may release records that document improper use of the internet at the library so long as any patron information is removed from those records. As used in this context, patron information does not include information about the age or gender of an individual. All requests for such documents or information will be subjected to review by the Library’s legal counsel.

Prints and Copies

REVISIONS: 05/09/90; 07/18/01; 05/18/16; 10/2020

Copy/print machines are available for use at both the Ashtabula and Geneva Libraries. There is a fee of 10¢ per page for 8 ½” x 11” (letter), for 8 ½” x 14” (legal) and for 11” x 17” (ledger) for black & white or color copies/prints. Copies/prints may be made on both sides of a sheet of paper; however, a fee for each side of print is charged.

Wireless printing is available through the Library’s webpage. Typical printing fees apply.

Copy machine users are advised that there are restrictions on copyrighted materials which permit, in general, no more than one copy of a page for personal use. Violations of copyright are the responsibility of the copy machine user.

The library is not responsible for the quality of copies and will refund money only in the event of severe malfunction of the machine.

A flash drive/memory stick can be purchased at library's cost if the patron wishes to save copies to portable media.

Copyright Restrictions

The copyright laws of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) govern the reproduction, distribution, adaptation, public performance, and public display of protected materials.

Under certain conditions, public libraries are authorized to lend, lease, or rent copies of computer programs and videotapes to patrons for nonprofit purposes. Any person who makes an unauthorized copy of adaptation of a computer program or videotape, or redistributes the loaned copy, or publicly performs or displays the computer program or videotape, except as permitted by Title 17 of the United States Code, may be liable for copyright infringement.

This institution reserves the right to refuse to fulfill a loan request if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the request would likely lead to violation of the copyright law.


REVISIONS: 09/16/2020


Ashtabula County District Library offers exam proctoring as a support service to foster lifelong learning in the community. The Library will offer proctoring services at the Ashtabula location based on the availability of personnel, facilities, and technology to do so.


All full-time MLS/MLIS-holding librarians are able to proctor exams as allowed by their work schedules. Tests must be scheduled with the proctor a minimum of three (3) days in advance. Tests will be scheduled during the proctor’s regular work hours and must be completed at least 15 minutes before the library closes. The Library will only proctor exams from institutions whose testing requirements are in accordance with this policy.


While the Library does not charge a fee for this service, all expenses associated with the proctored test including printing, copying, packaging, and/or postage, are the full responsibility of the student/test-taker.


  • Prior contact between the testing institution and the proctor is required so that credibility and testing requirements can be verified;
  • The student will be required to present a valid photo I.D. at the time of the exam;
  • Proctors will not monitor a student continuously during an exam, but may check on the student periodically;
  • Librarians will not sign proctoring verification that attests to more than that staff member has been able to provide;
  • Proctors will enforce time limits placed on the exam as well as other rules set forth within the examination materials. Any perceived violation of the posted rules for the exam will be reported to the educational institution;
  • Tests offered in a computer format must be compatible with the hardware and software available on the Library workstations. The Library is not responsible for interruptions in computer service during online exams;
  • The Library is not responsible for any delayed tests, nor for any completed tests once they leave the possession of the Library. Librarians will not inquire about overdue or missing tests;
  • Test-takers must be present at the Library at their scheduled testing time. Test-takers who arrive more than 15 minutes beyond their scheduled time forfeit their proctoring appointment and must reschedule;
  • The Library reserves the right to substitute a proctor in the event of the original proctor’s absence;
  • If it is determined that the proctoring request is unreasonable or its demands are too burdensome to administer, the Library reserves the right to deny this service;
  • Test-takers who repeatedly abuse or violate proctoring regulations will have their proctoring privileges revoked throughout the Library System.

Ashtabula County District Library Exam Proctoring Agreement

Be sure to make a copy of this form to retain for your records.

  • Please read, sign, and provide pertinent information to the section below and return it to the Information Services Desk at the Ashtabula Library. A librarian (proctor) will contact you to set a date for your exam and/or set additional dates to complete any necessary paperwork your school may require.
  • Confirm with the proctor that the Library can meet all requirements instituted by your school.
  • It is the test taker’s responsibility to confirm that anything necessary for the test (the test itself, logins, documentation, etc.) have been received by the proctor prior to the exam appointment and should seek this confirmation early enough allow sufficient time to correct issues.
  • Prepare to pay for any printing, copying, packaging, and/or postage needed in the exam proctoring process.
  • Arrive promptly at the scheduled time prepared with all items needed to complete the exam, including pens/pencils, calculator, photo I.D., etc. Only items listed in the instructions will be allowed in the testing area. Be sure to securing all personal items before the testing begins.
  • Exams not taken by the date on which they were to be completed are either discarded or returned.

I understand and agree to the Proctoring Agreement as outlined above.


Date: _____________

Complete the following (please print):

Name: _______________________________________

Address: _____________________________________

Phone Number: ________________________________

Email Address: ________________________________

Educational Institution: ________________________

Address: ______________________________________

Contact: ______________________________________

Email: __________________________________

Phone: __________________________________

Exam date and time: _____________________________

(Library use only)

Librarian to administer exam: ______________________________

Librarian email: __________________________________________

Alternate Librarian: _______________________________________

Public Records

REVISIONS: 5/19/89; 7/21/99; 10/17/07; 5/19/21

Access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business is a right of every person in this state. Records of the Ashtabula County District Library that are not exempt from disclosure under the law are available for inspection and copying in accordance with the Ohio Public Records Act, including but not limited to, Ohio Revised Code Sections 149.43 and 149.432. This policy establishes guidelines by which the Library, in accordance with state and applicable laws, will follow in respect to requests for its public records.

General definition

In accordance with the Ohio Revised Code and applicable judicial decisions, records are defined as any item that (1) contains information stored on a fixed medium (such as paper, electronic (including but not limited to, business e-mail), and/or other formats); (2) is created or received by, or comes under the jurisdiction of the Ashtabula County District Library; and (3) documents the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities of the office.

A “public record” is a “record” that is being kept by the Library at the time a public records request is made, subject to applicable exemptions from disclosure under Ohio or federal law. All public records must be organized and maintained in such a way that they can be made available for inspection and copying.

Documents which are not made public include, but are not limited to:Library registration, circulation, and other usage records of another person.

Records availability

As required by Ohio law, public records are to be made available for inspection promptly and copying at all reasonable times during regular business hours, exceptions only as provided for in the law such as published holidays. Copies of public records must be made available within a reasonable period of time. “Prompt” and “reasonable” take into account the volume of records requested; the proximity of the location where the records are stored; and the necessity for any legal review of the records requested.

Record requests

Each request for public records should be evaluated as to an estimated length of time required to gather the records using the following guidelines:

  • Although no specific language is required to make a request, the requester must at least identify the records requested with sufficient clarity to allow the public office to identify, retrieve, and review the records.
  • The requester does not have to put a records request in writing, and does not have to provide his or her identity or the intended use of the requested public record. It is therefore the Library’s general policy that such information is not to be requested when a records request is made. However, there are specific instances when the law does permit the Library to ask for a written request, the requester’s identity, and/or the intended use of the information requested; these are: (1) if a written request of disclosure of identity or intended use would benefit the requester by enhancing the Library’s ability to identify, locate, or deliver the public records that have been requested; and (2) the requester is fully informed that a written request is not required by law and that the requester is not compelled by law to reveal their identity or intended use of the requested document(s).

Oral requests may be left at the following number: 440-990-2323

Online requests may be made via the Library’s web page at Contact Us, Send us a Comment, or via email at

Written requests may be made on the Library’s Public Record Request form or by self-drafted inquiry. Requests must include a telephone number, email address, or other method to contact the requestor to clarify a request and/or advise when records are ready.

In processing the request, the Library does not have an obligation to create new records or perform a search, or research for information in the Library’s records. An electronic record is deemed to exist so long as a computer is already programmed to produce the record through the Library’s standard use of sorting, filtering, or querying features.

In processing a request for inspection of a public record, a Library employee may accompany the requester during inspection to make certain original records are not taken or altered.

A copy of the most recent edition of the Ohio’s Sunshine Laws Manual is available via the Attorney General’s website ( for the purpose of keeping employees of the Library and the public educated as to the Library’s obligations under Ohio’s Public Records Act, Ohio’s Open Meetings Act, records retention laws, and Personal Information Systems Act.

It is the goal of the Library that all requests for public records should be acknowledged in writing or, if feasible, satisfied within three business days following the office’s receipt of the request.

Electronic Records

Records in the form of email, text messaging, and instant messaging, including those sent and received via a hand-held communications device, are to be treated in the same fashion as records in other formats, such as paper or audiotape.

While private accounts and personal devices may not be public records, any public record content transmitted to or from private accounts or personal devices is subject to disclosure. All employees or representatives of the Library are required to retain their email records and other electronic records in accordance with applicable records retention schedules.

Denial of records request

If the requester makes an ambiguous or overly broad request or has difficulty in making a request such that the Library cannot reasonably identify what public records are being requested, the request may be denied, but the Library must then provide the requester an opportunity to revise the request by informing the requester of the manner in which records are maintained and accessed by the Library.

If the Library withholds, redacts, or otherwise denies requested records, it must provide an explanation, including legal authority, for the denial(s). If the initial request was made in writing, the explanation must also be in writing. If portions of a record are public and portions are exempt, the exempt portions may be redacted and the rest must be released. When making public records available for public inspection or copying, the Library shall notify the requester of any redaction or make the redaction plainly visible.

Costs for Public Records

Those seeking public records will be charged only the actual cost of making copies, not labor.

Paper copies shall be made at the Library’s current cost per page.

A requester may be required to pay in advance for the actual costs involved in providing the copy. The requester may choose whether to have the record duplicated upon paper, upon the same medium on which the public record is kept, or upon any other medium on which the Library determines that the record can reasonably be duplicated as an integral part of the Library’s normal operations.

If a requester asks that documents be delivered to them, he or she may be charged the actual cost of the postage and mailing supplies or other actual costs of delivery. There is no charge for emailed documents.

Note: When the cost of collecting the charge exceeds the cost of copying the record, the Library may choose not to charge for a request, without waiving the policy.

Managing Records

The Ashtabula County District Library’s records are subject to records retention schedules. The Library’s current schedules are available in the Administrative Offices located on the second floor of the Ashtabula Public Library, a location readily available to the public as required by Ohio Revised Code Section 149.43(B)(2).

All public records request shall be directed to either the Library’s Director or Fiscal Officer, who will coordinate the Library’s response. All other library staff are prohibited from responding to a public records request.

School Visits

REVISIONS: 09/16/2020

Library staff are happy to work with local educators to enrich children’s learning. The library offers programs and teacher support services to Ashtabula Area City Schools, Atech, Buckeye Local Schools, Geneva Area City Schools, Grand River Academy, St. John School, and numerous area Head Start and preschool programs. Other Ashtabula County schools may receive services as time and staffing permit.

It is recommended that a Classroom Visit Request form and/or Library Field Trips and Tours Request be submitted at least two weeks prior to the visit date. Requests for Bookmobile visits may be made by contacting the Bookmobile/Homebound Outreach Coordinator at the Geneva Public Library. Visits are subject to change based upon scheduling and staff needs at the library.

Services may include:

  • Bookmobile visits
  • Classroom visits
  • Story time
  • Book talk
  • Instruction in library services
  • Team-teaching research resources/strategies
  • Assistance in lesson planning/assignments to include library print and e-resources
  • Educator Collections
  • Library Field Trips and Tours
  • Homebound Services

Service Animals

REVISIONS: 5/19/21

The Ashtabula County District Library welcomes patrons who use service animals as determined by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). A service animal (dog or miniature horse only) is an animal that has been individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. The work or task must be directly related to that person’s disability.

Animals that are considered pets, comfort, or emotional support animals are not service animals as defined by the ADA and are not permitted in Library buildings at this time. (Exceptions may be made for animals in the building as part of Library educational and recreational programming, pending approval by the Director or his/her designee.)

Service Animals at the Library

A service animal must be under the control of its handler at all times. Service animals must be harnessed, leashed or tethered unless the individual’s disability prevents using these devices or these devices interfere with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of tasks. The animal may leave the owner’s side only to perform a designated task.

A miniature horse may be no more than 34 inches tall when measured at its shoulder and may weigh no more than 100 pounds.

A service animal that is not behaving properly in the Library will be required to leave the Library for a 24-hour period. Specific behaviors for which an animal will be required to leave include:

  • The animal is barking (not as part of a designated task) or growling;
  • The animal is displaying aggressive behavior toward other customers or service animals;
  • The animal is displaying disruptive behavior such as running or jumping toward other people or animals, or being destructive of Library property;
  • The animal is not housebroken;
  • The animal is not otherwise under control of the patron/owner.

In these circumstances, every reasonable effort will be made to service a patron whose service animal is temporarily restricted from entering Library buildings.

Service Animals In-Training will be permitted in the Library as long as the trainer and animal demonstrate appropriate service animal behavior.

Patrons with service animals or service animals in-training will not be refused access to Library facilities because of staff or customer allergies or discomfort with, or fear of, dogs or miniature horses.

Americans With Disabilities Act: service animals,

Social Software

6/17/09; 10/21/2020


Social software is defined as any web application, site or account created and maintained by the Ashtabula County District Library (ACDL) which permits users to share opinions and information about library related subjects or issues. Social software includes but is not limited to such formats as blogs, listservs, websites, social network pages or posts, community reviews, and patron ratings of library materials.


The Ashtabula County District Library has implemented the use of social software tools to provide a limited (or designated) public forum for facilitating the sharing of ideas, opinions, and information about library-related subjects and issues. Postings and comments are moderated by library staff and the Library reserves the right to remove comments at its discretion. Violation of the Social Software Policy may result in warnings or exclusions according to the Patron Code of Conduct Rules.

General Provisions:

No expectation of privacy should be assumed while posting on Library sponsored social software sites.  By posting on the Library’s social media sites, you give the Library permission to use your name and the content of any posting you make without compensation to you or liability on the part of the Library. This permission ends when you delete your posting.


The Library is not responsible or liable for the content of postings by third parties on any Library sponsored social software site, and such postings do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Ashtabula County District Library, its employees, or its Board of Trustees.

Rules for Posting or Commenting:

Postings containing but not limited to the following are not permitted:

  • Obscene content;
  • Graphic or gratuitous violence;
  • Specific or imminent threats;
  • Discriminatory comments or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, age, sexual orientation/presentation, creed, or ancestry;
  • Personal attacks, insults, or sexual compliments, innuendos, suggestions, or jokes;
  • Potentially libelous or defamatory statements;
  • Privileged, propriety, or confidential information about any person, business, or entity, including but not limited to staff, patrons, vendors, the Library, or Library partners;
  • Copyright violations;
  • Comments totally unrelated to the content of the forum;
  • Hyperlinks to material not directly related to the discussion;
  • Commercial promotions, advertising, or spam;
  • Political activity.

The Library reserves the right to ban or block users who have posted in violation of this policy on more than one occasion.


REVISIONS: 1/27/99; 1/10/90; 4/28/18

The Ashtabula County District Library System Board of Trustees encourages individuals or groups to volunteer their time and efforts in the service of the Ashtabula County District Library.

The library's volunteer program is designed to expand and enhance public service to the community. Volunteers generally provide support services to paid staff and/or work on special projects. The many benefits to volunteering include: credit toward educational community service requirements, work that can be counted as experience on resumes and job applications, opportunity to meet new people and expand networking, or simply a way to serve our community. Volunteers learn more about the library and its place in the community and observe first-hand the way the library serves the community's needs.

Due to Ohio Ethics Laws concerning patron confidentiality, library volunteers may not assist staff with tasks that involve confidential patron information such as checking books in or out, calling patrons, or handling patron records. Volunteers must also respect the privacy of patrons-which means not discussing patrons or their library activities with anyone other than library staff.

Potential volunteers must complete a Volunteer Application, review the Guidelines for Volunteering, and attend a general library system orientation. If a volunteer offer is made and accepted, volunteers will be required to submit to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) background checks. The Library will bear the cost of an initial check. Pending the outcome of results, the volunteer's information will be shared with a supervisor who will assign tasks, establish a schedule, and train and supervise the volunteer.

All volunteer applications indicating a criminal history (misdemeanor, felony, deferment) will be reviewed by the Director. Applicants with a criminal history will only be accepted if the Library Director determines that the placement of that applicant will not jeopardize the safety of ACDL patrons and staff, or the integrity of the ACDL collections.

An applicant with a criminal history including sex or child abuse convictions or deferments will automatically be denied volunteer placement.

A volunteer or applicant under investigation for or charged with child or sex abuse or criminal acts will be suspended or disqualified from volunteering until the issue is resolved.

Volunteers may be asked to submit to additional background checks at any time throughout the volunteer assignment.

The background check process will not be required for service organizations that volunteer as a group and are supervised by an organization's staff person or representative, and/or for which the volunteer activity is a single event.

Submitting a volunteer application does not guarantee placement or engagement as a library volunteer. If there are no suitable volunteer opportunities, application forms will be kept on file for one year. Applicants will be called if a project is identified which matches their interests or qualifications. Once accepted as a volunteer, an assignment can end at any time at the discretion of the Director.

Teens 13-17 may volunteer with written permission from a parent or legal guardian. Permission forms are available at any public service desk at either the Ashtabula Public Library or the Geneva Public Library.

Where possible, in appropriate circumstances, and at the sole discretion of the library, the library may choose to assist the local courts and other social service agencies by providing community service and/or library work experience for individuals. Community Service volunteers must make arrangements in advance with our Volunteer Coordinator.

Volunteers are expected to:

  • be positive, patient, and polite;
  • schedule their time in advance with their library supervisor;
  • follow the library's Code of Conduct, posted on our website;
  • maintain appropriate personal appearance at all times;
  • keep personal phone calls and visits to a minimum;
  • record the hours worked as a volunteer as directed;
  • respect the confidentiality of our library
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