General Policies

Mission Statement

The mission of the Belgrade Community Library is to empower a community of lifelong learners.

Policy Statement

The Belgrade Community Library Board's policies governing Library operations have been compiled in this manual for the use of board members, staff, and patrons. The manual is intended to ensure consistency in service throughout the library, to inform the public about the principles on which decisions are made, and to provide a base for the growth of new policies and plans for the library.

Library Trustees act as representatives of the community: setting policies and approving services for the institution. Based on these policies, the library staff then develops procedures.


Belgrade Community Library subscribes to all provisions, responsibilities, and remedies inherent in applicable Montana Code Annotated 22-1-1101 to 22-1-1111.

Court-ordered warrants or subpoenas requesting disclosure of confidential library information will be referred to the library director. The Director will submit these to the Belgrade City Attorney's office for approval prior to dispersal of information. In the Director's absence, staff will contact the City Manager and/or the City Attorney. The Chair of the Board of Trustees will also be contacted.

The USA Patriot act allows the FBI to seek the library records of any patron suspected of terrorist activities without first obtaining a search warrant or showing probable cause. However, the wording explicitly allows the recipient of the order to consult with an attorney and to obtain legal advice or assistance "with respect to the production of things in response to the order." A copy of the Montana State Library's section on the USA Patriot Act is attached.

Patrons may view their library record at any public access computer, or by using the library's online system via the Internet.

Library Service Priorities

  • Information Literacy - The staff of this library will strive to help patrons learn to find, evaluate, and use information effectively to answer all types of questions with print and non-print references.
  • General Information - The collection of the Belgrade Community Library will meet the need for patron information and answers to questions on a broad array of topics related to work, school, and personal life using print and non-print materials.
  • Lifelong Learning - Programming, staffing, and collection development will provide patrons options for self-directed personal growth and development opportunities including understanding and use of new technologies.
  • Current Topics and Titles - Close adherence to the collection development policy will make it possible for patrons to fulfill their desires to learn about popular cultural and social trends and will provide recreational experiences for community residents.

We are a "customer-friendly" organization. Every employee equates her or his job with meeting library users' needs and exceeding their expectations. A climate of excellence in customer service permeates the atmosphere of the Library. We offer personalized service to meet the unique requirements of each customer.

Belgrade Community Library is a place for staff to grow and learn; an atmosphere of cooperation, respect, and flexibility exists to enhance the staff's ability to service library patrons.

We promote intellectual freedom, the individual's right to read, open access to our collections, a free exchange of ideas and we protect the confidentiality of each customer's reading and information needs.

We encourage a lifelong interest in reading and learning in the young people of our community through innovative services and programming. We share our joy in books, reading, and learning with children of all ages.

We develop collections based within the reality of our budget, which represent a variety of interests and diverse viewpoints to meet the educational, recreational, and informational needs of the community.

We provide an environment where individuals can pursue independent learning throughout life.

The Library provides physical surroundings which are aesthetically pleasing and accessible to all.

We strive to build enthusiastic support and funding to provide progressive library services.

We cooperate and collaborate with other entities to the extent that these efforts forward the mission and goals of Belgrade Community Library.

The Library plays a central role in the preservation, utilization, and dissemination of knowledge. Free access to library resources is provided to all residents of the community regardless of age, race, religion, disability, national origin or social or political views.

Code of Ethics

The Belgrade Community Library endorses the American Library Association Code of Ethics in our General Policies Document; and expects that all staff will strive to maintain the highest levels of personal and professional integrity. Additionally, the Trustees of Belgrade Community Library will follow the Code of Ethics established by the American Library Trustees Association (ALTA) in carrying out the duties and responsibilities of their office.

Staff will receive training and opportunities to discuss case studies in areas of librarianship that might present ethical dilemmas. Staff is encouraged to discuss any concerns about their own handling of potential problems with the Library Director before or after a situation has occurred.

Hours of Operation

The Belgrade Community Library will be open a minimum of 40 hours each week (excluding holiday weeks). The Library Director, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, will determine days and daily hours of operation.

The Library will close on holidays established by the Board of Trustees and at other times deemed necessary by the Library Director with the approval of the Board of Trustees. Except in cases of emergencies, notice of closings will be posted in the Library one or two weeks in advance and will be reported to the local news media. In case of emergency and/or when deemed necessary by the Director with the approval of the Board of Trustees and the City Manager, the Library may be closed. The Board may make recommendations concerning special openings/closing of the Library.

Public hours are to be established annually at the December meeting, or as circumstances require, by the Library Board. Legal holidays, as set forth in 1-1-216 M.C.A., shall be observed.

Regularly scheduled hours of operation will be established to best meet the needs of Library users and will be evaluated by survey and/or public input on a regular basis.

Cooperation with Other Libraries & Agencies

It is the plan of the Library to continue cooperation with other libraries, information services, networks and systems - local, state, regional, national and international. Reciprocal service agreements among area libraries will be encouraged and developed. The Library will work with educational institutions and community agencies in order to provide better service to county residents.

Security Procedures

The Director shall be responsible for the management and security of the building and shall recommend appropriate public policy for the Board's approval. The Director will participate in the City of Belgrade Safety Committee consisting of Department Heads/City Employees who will recommend and help implement appropriate policies.

Related American Library Association (ALA) Documents:

  • Library Bill of Rights
  • Code of Ethics

Attachments to Policy:

  • Montana (MT) Code Annotated Title 22, Chapter 1, Part 11 Library Records Confidentiality Act
  • Federal Laws for Libraries from MT State Library Trustee Manual

Approved by the Board of Trustees: October 27, 2020
Reviewed by Library Staff: September 2020