Library Policy

The library board is responsible for setting policy.  The following list provides links to some of the policies.


Circulation Policy

Each library patron has the responsibility to know library policies and abide by them. Check out our Borrower’s Guide here—it’s full of useful information, including: item type limits, checkout periods, renewal information, overdue fines, and information on holds.

Library Cards

Looking for how to get a library card? We’ve got you covered here.


I. Purpose
A written materials selection policy aids library staff in selecting and acquiring a useful, well-rounded collection of books and materials to meet the needs of the community.A policy statement helps answer questions by the public regarding the presence or absence of certain materials and helps explain the basis on which materials have been selected.

II. National Statements Concerning Intellectual Freedom
The Library Board and staff believe that the right to read is an important part of the intellectual freedom that is basic to democracy, and hereby adopts these basic documents as official library policy: Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read, An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to View and Free Access to Libraries for Minors. Copies of these are appended to this document.

III. Objectives in Materials Selection
The purpose of the Cape Girardeau Public Library is to obtain, organize and make conveniently available to all the people of the community recreational, educational and informational materials, including books, periodicals, newspapers (in paper and micro form), recordings and other print and non-print materials. It is the policy of the library to maintain an up-to-date collection of standard works in all fields of knowledge, that are of permanent value, plus timely materials on current issues and items in current demand. Materials will be selected in consideration of the needs of business, the professions, government, and community organizations. Material selection will also include consideration of the needs of the homebound, the visually, physically and mentally disabled and those individuals with learning disabilities. The needs of adult beginning readers and of people for whom English is not the principal language will also be considered. Both the adult and young people’s collections will serve as supplementary sources for student use, but materials selected for students must also be useful to the general reader. Ordinarily, textbooks will not be purchased.

IV. Responsibility for Selection
The selection of materials is the responsibility of the Adult and Youth Services Coordinators and their staff. Oversight of materials selection is the responsibility of the Library Director.

V. Method of Materials Selection
Any materials selection policy must be fairly general, and staff must always exercise their knowledge and experience of all library materials and of the community served. Certain methods and principles should be followed as closely as possible.
A. Criteria: Each type of material must be considered in terms of its own merit and intended audience. All selections, both purchases and gifts, must meet some of the following criteria:
i. Appeal to the educational, informational, cultural, and recreational interests and needs of individuals in the community.
ii. Style and readability.
iii. Permanent value as source material or interpretation.
iv. Vitality and originality of thought.
v. Contemporary significance.
vi. Literary and/or artistic merit.
vii. Accuracy and objectivity.
viii. Suitability of physical form to library use.
ix. Skill, competence and purpose of the author.
x. Relations to other materials and existing areas of coverage in order to maintain a diverse collection.
xi. Technical quality in selection of non-book material.
xii. Reliability of publisher.

B. Reviews:
Reviews in professionally recognized periodicals are a primary source for material selection. Standard bibliographies, booklists by recognized authorities and the advice of competent people in specific subject areas will be used. Purchases may also be made by librarians after examining the materials.

C. Requests:
All requests or suggestions from patrons for specific titles or subject requests will be considered. Multiple copies of high demand titles will be purchased according to a pre-determined ratio. Whenever there is enough demand or interest in a title or subject, an item with unfavorable reviews may be purchased, unless the subject in question is already adequately covered by better materials.

D. Specialized Materials:
Specialized professional materials of limited community interest will not ordinarily be purchased. Referral to other library collections and interlibrary loan, primarily through Missouri libraries, will be used to supply patrons with these materials. Supplementary materials for students and information for specialists are provided in a limited number of fields, the library taking cognizance of and avoiding unnecessary duplication in subject areas which are the special prerogative of other community resources.

VI. Replacement and Maintenance:
The library keeps its collection vital and useful by retaining or replacing essential material and removing on a systematic and continuous basis those works which are worn, outdated, of little historical significance, or no longer in demand.

VII. Access
A. Processing and shelving of materials shall in no way reflect a value judgment of the materials. There will be no labeling of any item or of its records to indicate bias. All materials will be shelved in their proper order on open shelves, freely and easily accessible to the public, except for Missouri and Cape Girardeau vertical file materials. For the convenience of the patron, such collections as fiction by genre, local history and genealogy, large type and a.v. are kept in separate collections and have shelving designations.

B. The library assures free access to its holdings for all patrons who are free to select or reject for themselves any item in the collection. Individual or group prejudice about a particular item or type of material in the collection may not preclude its use by others.

C. Children are not limited to the juvenile collection, although juvenile collections are kept together to facilitate use. Responsibility for a child’s reading must rest with the parent or guardian, not with the library.

VIII. Statement of Specific Policies In Selected Areas
A. Adult Materials
1. Fiction: The fiction collection provides books in the English language for the wide range of interests, tastes and reading levels, including classics in the field, titles representing periods of writing and those meeting popular demand for light reading. No book should be eliminated because of coarse language, violence, or frank discussion of sexual episodes when these are pertinent to the plot, characterization or social milieu of the book. While some may find this offensive, it is the library’s responsibility to protect the rights of mature readers. Books found to be pornographic, as defined by Missouri Revised Statutes 573:010, should be excluded from the collection. Fiction will be selected primarily from professional reviews. Other factors to be considered are anticipated public demand, the reputation of the author and patron requests. The exception to this is genre fiction. When reviews cannot be found, materials may be selected on the basis of author or series popularity.\

2. Religion: The library attempts to maintain a diverse collection representing all the major religions and their sacred scriptures. Authoritative material which introduces and explains the basic concepts and practices of the various religions and beliefs is also included. The library does not add materials of a strictly proselytizing nature. The collection encompasses inspirational literature and popular studies on new ideas and movements which are taking place in religion today.

3. Health and Medicine: The library generally purchases standard and popular materials in health, nutrition, hygiene, diseases and medicine that are primarily of interest to persons outside the medical profession. Authoritative, scientific and popular materials about sex are provided for the general reader at various age and reading levels. Books catering to morbid, esoteric or sensational interests do not come within the scope of this collection.

4. Law: The library purchases standard and popular materials which deal with the philosophy of law and particular types of law such as real estate, taxation, marriage and divorce for the lay reader. Laws and regulations, for the United States, Missouri, Cape Girardeau County and City are included in the collection or made available online. Similar material for other counties and states are not included in depth.

5. Politics: In addition to a balanced collection on modern American and international politics and government, the basic documents of all political systems that have influenced, and do influence, people should be available to the public. It includes the Cape Girardeau city quarterly and annual reports.

6. Genealogy: General genealogical reference tools including software and on-line resources, books of genealogical search procedures, materials of regional, state, and local value or of riverways and trails of Missouri are purchased. Individual family histories are rarely purchased unless they are of outstanding national or local importance. Gift or grant monies may be used for such purposes. The library will attempt to secure additional genealogical materials, including microfilm, through interlibrary loan whenever possible.

7. Foreign/World Languages: The library purchases informational, educational, recreational, and cultural materials in other languages in a limited number. Various formats will be included in the collection.

8. ESL: The English as a Second Language collection is targeted at foreign language speakers and students who are learning English. The collection includes dictionaries, pronunciation CD’s, citizenship and TOEFL study guides, DVD sets and English high interest/easy reading fiction and nonfiction.

9. Reference: The library purchases materials that provide facts and information in demand or of potential use by those to be served by the library; materials that do not duplicate items already held unless the new item is more timely, easier to use and/or more comprehensive; and materials that complement existing collections. Materials which can be updated must be current and the academic and/or technical level should be within the range of users and staff.

B.  Juvenile Materials
The Children’s Collection attempts to provide fiction and non-fiction materials to meet the educational, informational, cultural and recreational interests and needs of children from birth. Books of interest to students of children’s literature, parents, and people working with children are also purchased on a limited basis. These include historical perspectives, evaluations of children’s literature, information on children’s authors and illustrators, and bibliographies of materials for children. No attempt is made to supply school textbooks or substitutes for individual school library collections or areas of service. Materials will be selected for varying levels of maturity representing a wide range of points of view and a wide scope of interest. An effort should be made to purchase starred reviews (marking books of exceptional merit) in the various review sources. Materials will be subject to the same guidelines for purchase as adult materials.

C. Teen Materials
Titles of interest to persons in junior and senior high school are purchased and shelved in the Teen areas. This collection includes fiction and nonfiction. An effort should be made to purchase starred reviews (marking books of exceptional merit) in the various review sources. Materials will be subject to the same guidelines for purchase as adult materials.

D. Outreach Materials
The entire circulating collection is available for use in outreach programs such as nursing homes, homebound service and designated cooperative agencies. Materials for the visually impaired are purchased by the library and materials for the blind are provided by the Wolfner Library, Jefferson City, Missouri.

E. Periodicals and Newspapers
The library endeavors to provide the most representative periodicals on a wide range of subjects of reference value and recreational interest. Particular emphasis is given to titles included in periodical indexes. In general, all content areas are open for selection and materials will be subject to the same guidelines for purchase as adult and youth materials. The library maintains current subscriptions to major national newspapers and newspapers of local origin. The Southeast Missourian and Bulletin-Journal back files are retained on microfilm.

F. Non-Book Materials
The library staff considers that non-book materials represent an alternative format. In general, the same selection policies will apply.

1. DVDs: The library selects titles in video formats, intended for people from preschool ages through older adults. Responsibility for a child’s or teen’s video selections rest with the parent or guardian, not with the library. The library will not collect video materials which are designed for classroom use nor those readily available at video rental stores. Additionally, the library will not collect films having as their purpose advertising or solicitation of funds. Areas for collecting will include:
– Documentaries; creative interpretations of reality
– Local and regional interest; films about this area or made by film makers within this area
– Dramatizations of classic literature
– How-to’s and informational productions; in areas popular with library patrons
– Popular TV classics; performances considered for their enduring contribution to the history of television production and popularity
– Film study; films considered classics or landmarks in film making
– Foreign films; those considered classics or those which have received critical acclaim
– Sports, recreation, travel
– Entertainment films with special consideration given to those with a literary connection or that have been recognized for their exceptional merit
– Family films both for entertainment and on a wide range of non-fiction topics

2. Compact Discs (music)
The circulating collection is intended for people from pre-school age through older adults and includes selections from such areas as: alternative, classical, country, dance, easy listening, folk, holiday, jazz, new age, pop, reggae, rap, religious, rhythm and blues, rock, and soundtrack.

3. Video Games
Games are selected on the basis of currency, informational quality, and target audience. The collection maintains information in the most relative format, most appropriate for the information and the community’s needs. Gifts/donations will be evaluated on the same criteria as selection. Informed decisions are based on reviews found in professional journals, gamerankings.com and the selectors discretion.

3. Audiobooks
The circulating collection is intended for people from juvenile through older adults and includes both fiction and non-fiction titles. Materials will be subject to the same guidelines for purchase as adult materials.

4. Microforms: Microforms are purchased for two areas of the collection: The Southeast Missourian newspaper and genealogical census records.

5. Downloadable E & Audiobooks
A majority of the library’s downloadable e-books and audiobooks are available through a consortium membership. As the budget allows, additional copies and titles are purchased for use only by the library’s cardholders. Items in the collection include popular adult fiction, nonfiction, teen and a limited number of children’s titles. The aforementioned materials selection criteria apply to downloadable titles. Library users are also directed to free public domain e-books.

G. Gifts and Memorials
The library will encourage and accept gifts with the understanding that gifts of materials will be added to the collection only if they meet the same standards required of purchased materials. Gift materials not meeting those standards, those that are out-of-date, unneeded duplicates of items already owned, or those in a format unsuitable for library use, may be given to other organizations, sold, exchanged or recycled. Gift items will be integrated into the regular library collections in normal sequence, available to all library patrons, and otherwise handled as any other material belonging to the library. Upon request, gift items that are added, will be marked with an appropriate bookplate. A letter for tax purposes may be given to the donor if requested at the time the donation is made, acknowledging receipt of the gift only. Memorial gift items will be marked with an appropriate bookplate, with a letter of acknowledgment sent to the family. Whenever a gift is no longer needed, it will be disposed of in the same manner as material purchased.

H. Requests for Withdrawal or Addition of Material
When any patron objects to the presence or absence of any library materials, the complaint will be given a hearing. All complaints to staff members will be referred to a supervisor who will discuss the matter with the complainant. If the patron wishes, he will be supplied with the “Request For Reconsideration of Library Materials” form. If it is a request for withdrawal of materials, the Director, with the Materials Selection Committee, will examine the item in question, check reviews, and determine whether it conforms to the standards of the materials selection policy. If it is a request for an addition of materials, the Director, with the Materials Selection Committee, will check reviews and consider or reconsider its addition. The Director, with the Materials Selection Committee, will decide whether or not to add, withdraw or restrict the material in question and will write to the complainant giving reason for the decision. Materials subject to complaint shall not be removed pending final action. All “Requests for Reconsideration of Library Materials” forms and any action taken by the Materials Selection Committee will be shared with the Cape Girardeau Public Library Board of Trustees.

This Library Materials Selection Policy is approved as the official policy of the Cape Girardeau Public Library by the Board of Trustees this 25th day of April, 2013. Revised February 3rd, 2022.


No person who has been issued a concealed carry endorsement by the Missouri director of revenue under Section 571.094 RSMo or who has been issued a valid permit or endorsement to carry concealed firearms issued by another state or political subdivision of another state, shall, by authority of that endorsement or permit, be allowed to carry a concealed firearm or to openly carry a firearm in any building or portion of a building owned, leased or controlled by the Library District.

Copies of this policy or signs shall be posted at each entrance of a building entirely owned, leased or controlled by the Library District stating that carrying of firearms is prohibited. Where the Library District owns, leases or controls only a portion of a building, signs shall be posted at each entrance to that portion of the building stating that carrying of firearms is prohibited.

Any person violating this section may be denied entrance to the building or ordered to leave the building. Any Library District employee violating this section may be disciplined. No other penalty shall be imposed for a violation of this section.

No person who has been issued a certificate of qualification which allows the person to carry a concealed firearm before the director of revenue begins issuing concealed carry endorsements in July, 2004, shall, by authority of that certificate, be allowed to carry a concealed firearm or to openly carry a firearm in any building or portion of a building owned, leased or controlled by the Library District.

No employee shall be allowed to carry a firearm in any vehicle owned by the Library District without the specific authorization from the Director.

APPROVED by the Board of Trustees of the Cape Girardeau Public Library this 25th day of March, 2004.


The Cape Girardeau Public library upholds the presentation of petitions as a fundamental right of political expression. However, aggressive solicitation toward patrons by petitioners, campaign workers or volunteers is prohibited. Petitioning, solicitation and campaigning activities must not interfere with patrons’ ability to enter or leave the library or library parking lots.

Solicitations of signatures or initiative petitions are allowed outside of the Cape Girardeau Public library under the following terms and conditions:
(1) Solicitations of signatures may only take place during the library’s regular business hours.
(2) Solicitations of signatures must take place at least 25 feet from the main entrance doors to the building and out of the main traffic lane. Petitioners are not guaranteed the use of an area protected from sun, heat, or inclement weather.
(3) Solicitations of signatures may not impede the normal business operations of the library, may not obstruct foot or vehicular traffic on library property, and may not block entry to the library building. Library patrons may choose to stop or not stop, and may not be harassed, threatened or detained by persons seeking to solicit signatures.
(4) Signs promoting petitions may not be placed on library property and petitioners must in no way affiliate themselves with the Library, either through written publicity, signage, or verbal statements.
(5) Persons wishing to solicit signatures for initiative petitions on library property shall (a) notify the library of their intent, (b) check in at the user services desk, (c) fill out an information sheet and (d) sign a release from liability before they begin their solicitation of signatures. Each person involved in the solicitation must fill out the information sheet and sign the release from liability.

Persons who violate these regulations will be asked to leave library property. If such persons refuse to leave library property, the staff member in charge of the building is authorized to call the local police department, to make a formal complaint, and to request the persons be charged with trespass. Use of library property by petitioners does not indicate the Library’s opposition or endorsement of the issue that is the subject of the petition, and the Library will not assist the petitioners in the solicitation of signatures. Solicitations, in the form of requests for donations (including receptacles for donations) and requests for monetary or other personal assistance are not allowed on library property. Commercial solicitations are not allowed on library property.

APPROVED by the Board of Trustees of the Cape Girardeau Public Library this 23rd day of August, 2012.

Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, library administration will determine if and when to close the library.

Unattended Children

Unattended Children During and After Library Operating Hours

For the purpose of this policy, children shall be defined as library patrons under the age of sixteen.

The library is a public building available for use by everyone. Because it is a place where children gather, it may attract people whose interest in children is not entirely wholesome. The safety and security of children left on their own without supervision is of serious concern to the Cape Girardeau Public Library Board of Trustees, administration, and staff. For the protection and well-being of children who visit the library, the following policy has been established:

The responsibility to supervise a child using the library rests at all times with that child’s parent or legal guardian. CGPL staff has other necessary duties that prevent them from providing that level of individual supervision for children using the library. CGPL staff also lacks legal standing to provide such supervision since they may not act in loco parentis. When children attend activity programs sponsored by the library they are supervised by CGPL staff only during the scheduled time of the program and only in the room or area where the program is presented. Because the supervision library staff can provide is limited, we strongly recommend that children of all ages should be accompanied to the library by their parent or legal guardian or a caregiver designated by the parent or legal guardian. For their own safety and security, children 6 years old and younger must be continually attended by a parent or legal guardian, or a caregiver (over the age of 16) designated by the parent or legal guardian, at all times while in the library. A parent or legal guardian or caregiver (over the age of 16) must accompany children between the ages of 7 and 11 but does not need to continually attend them so long as the parent or legal guardian or designated caregiver is present and available in the building.

Children ages 12 and older who are left on their own at the library should have with them a phone number where a parent or legal guardian or designated caregiver may be reached as needed. Parents and legal guardians or designated caregivers must understand that they are still responsible for the behavior of their children while the children are using the library. Children who misbehave, refuse to follow directions of library staff, disrupt the orderly conduct of the library, interfere with staff carrying out their duties, or prevent other patrons from using the library may not remain in the library. Library staff will notify their parent or legal guardian or designated caregiver to remove the children from library premises. If children refuse to give library staff a phone number where the parent or legal guardian or designated caregiver can be reached, or if the parent or legal guardian or designated caregiver cannot be reached, or when reached, is unable or unwilling to remove the children from the library in a timely manner, library staff may require the children to remain seated under the direct supervision of a library staff member until the parent or legal guardian or caregiver arrives. The library staff may at that time give the parent or legal guardian or caregiver written notice that the children have been suspended from using the library for a period of time appropriate to the disruption caused.

If the parent or legal guardian or designated caregiver is unable or unwilling to remove the children from the library in a timely manner, and the children continue to disrupt the orderly conduct of the library, the library staff may invoke the provisions of this policy that apply to unattended children after library operating hours (see below).

Unattended Children After Library Operating Hours

The Cape Girardeau Public Library’s Board of Trustees believes that the fundamental responsibility for children’s physical well being remains with the parent or legal guardian of that child. This policy is enacted because of numerous incidents involving children left at the library after the announced closing time. Parents, legal guardians, and caregivers designated by parents and legal guardians should be familiar with the library’s hours of operation and should not leave children on their own and unsupervised before the library opens or after it closes. Also, parents, legal guardians, and caregivers should be aware that the library may be closed or close early due to scheduled holidays or unscheduled occurrences such as severe weather or other emergencies. Prior arrangements and contingency plans for IMMEDIATE pick-up in such instances should be discussed with children in advance.

The Cape Girardeau Public Library can assume no responsibility for children on library property who are not physically within the library building at closing time, nor can the library assume responsibility for children on library property outside the building before the library’s opening time. If children are in the building at the time of closing and have no means of transportation, the library staff will obtain their names and addresses, their phone numbers, and the names of their parents or legal guardians or caregivers designated by the parents or legal guardians. Library staff will telephone the parents or guardians or caregivers and request immediate pick-up of the children. Library staff will follow up with letters to the parents or guardians explaining closing hours, library responsibility for the children’s safety, and other specifics delineated in this policy. Two staff members should stay with the children until the situation is resolved.

If the children are not picked up within twenty (20) minutes after the parent, guardian, or designated caregiver has been contacted, the library staff will contact the police department and request that the police take custody of the children. Library staff will leave a note prominently displayed on the exterior door to inform the parent or guardian or designated caregiver that the children have been turned over to the custody of the police.

Computer, Internet Access & Safety

The Cape Girardeau Public Library provides access to internet-enabled computers as well as wireless internet as part of its commitment to meeting the informational needs of the community. The Library has no control over the information accessed through the internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. The internet is a worldwide community with a highly diverse user population and it is the public’s responsibility to use this resource wisely.

Library internet users must respect the rights of others and take care with use of the equipment. Computer and internet settings may not be changed. Computers and the wireless internet may not be used for any fraudulent or unlawful purpose, including any activities prohibited under any applicable federal, Missouri, or local laws. Violation of current Missouri law (Missouri Revised Statutes 573.010 and 573.060) in regards to accessing and displaying pornography and/or obscene materials will result in suspension of computer privileges. All computer and wireless users must abide by the Library’s internet service providers’ use agreements.

The Library filters access to pornographic and sexually explicit websites from all computers as required by Missouri Revised Statute 182.827. The Library fully complies with the Child Internet Protection Act Pub. L. No. 106-554. Filtering software is not guaranteed to protect a child from access to information that a parent/guardian finds inappropriate.

Adults age 18 years and over may request that filtering be disabled for bona fide research purposes. Library staff will filter, monitor, and/or restrict internet use to protect the integrity of the network.

Cape Girardeau Public Library has established Computer Use Guidelines that govern the amount of time an individual may use the computer, printing procedures, technology support available from library staff, as well as other technology related rules. Users agree to and must abide by these Guidelines. Access to public computers may be revoked for failure to abide by the rules listed in this policy as well as those specified in the Computer Use Guidelines.

Community Bulletin Boards

Items that publicize community organizations and local events further the role of the library as the central source for civic, cultural, educational, and recreational information. The community bulletin board in the lobby may be used by community organizations, civic clubs, cultural, religious and educational groups to advertise events and for the library and city to advertise job openings. It may not be used for commercial or political advertising or for personal profit ( i.e. for sale items, positions wanted). All information must be approved for posting by one of the librarians before posting. Public information will be left posted for a three week period. Items may be left posted for longer than three weeks if space permits. If space becomes limited, preference will be given to items of a timely nature and to organizations or groups that have not recently distributed items.

Preference will be given to posters or signs no larger than 12 inches by 12 inches. Larger signs will be posted if space permits. The Library does not accept responsibility for the return of public information items. Display of items by the Library does not indicate endorsement of the issues, events, or services promoted by those materials. Items left or posted without approval will be removed and discarded.

Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct and Appropriate Use of the Library

The library’s mission is to provide an enriching environment where life-long habits of learning, self-improvement and self-expression are encouraged. The Missouri Revised Statutes [RsMo.] §182.230 (2000) provide that every library and reading room: …shall be forever free to the use of the inhabitants of the city where located, always subject to such reasonable rules and regulations as the library board may adopt in order to render the use of the library and reading room of the greatest benefit to the greatest number. The board may exclude from the use of the library and reading room any and all persons who willfully violate such rules.

The following statutes, codes and rules governing use of the Cape Girardeau Public Library (CGPL) are for the purpose of assuring a reasonably safe environment for staff and patrons, protecting the public’s access to library service and materials, and protecting library resources and facilities.Children are encouraged to use the library, its resources and facilities. The safety and responsibility for the well being of children using the library, however, lies solely with their parent/guardian or assigned chaperon, and not with library personnel.

Violation of any federal or state statutes or local ordinances while on the premises of the Cape Girardeau Public Library will be regarded as a violation of CGPL rules as well.

It is the policy of the Cape Girardeau Public Library:
1. To prohibit conduct that disrupts or interferes with the normal operation of the library or disturbs library patrons and staff, including but not limited to, use of abusive or threatening language or gestures, unreasonable noise, or loud/or boisterous behavior or talking.
2. To prohibit using library materials, equipment, furniture, fixtures or buildings in a manner inconsistent with the customary use thereof, or in a destructive, abusive or potentially damaging manner, or in a manner likely to cause personal injury to the self or others.
3. To require cardholders to use their own personal CGPL card when using or reserving library computers.
4. To prohibit the access of non staff to non public areas, unless accompanied by a staff member.
5. To prohibit the consumption of food and alcoholic beverages except as authorized by the library for specified occasions, or in specified areas of the library. Nonalcoholic beverages are allowed in non-breakable lidded containers in specified areas of the library.
6. To ban animals from the library except for assist animals and as authorized for special events by CGPL.
7. To prohibit all campaigning, petitioning, canvassing, interviewing, survey taking, distribution of materials, photography or video taping, soliciting or sales in library buildings and on library property without written permission from library administration.
8. To require that patrons of all ages wear shirts and shoes at all times in the library, except babies being carried or in strollers and not walking or crawling on floors.
9. To prohibit bathing, doing laundry or other inappropriate behavior in CGPL facilities.
10. To require patrons whose bodily hygiene is offensive so as to constitute a nuisance to other patrons to leave the building.
11. To prohibit interfering with the free passage of library patrons or staff in or on library premises, including, but not limited to, blocking entrances, exits, stairways, aisles, and sidewalks, or placing objects such as bicycles, skateboards, backpacks or other items in areas that will interfere with free passage.
12. To prohibit placing personal belongings on or against library buildings, equipment, furniture or fixtures in a manner that will interfere with patron access.
13. To prohibit patrons from bringing in articles that are too large to fit underneath or behind one library chair so as to block aisles or otherwise interfere with patron access. Patrons may not use wheeled devices in library property, including skateboards, roller skates, rollerblades, scooters and shopping carts, except for wheelchairs, walkers and strollers.
14. To prohibit littering on all CGPL properties.
15. To prohibit begging or soliciting.
Violators of paragraphs #1 – 15 are subject to withholding of CGPL privileges as follows:
First Offense: Patron will be removed from CGPL and prohibited from returning for the remainder of the day.
Second Offense: Patron will be removed from CGPL and CGPL privileges will be revoked for one week.
Repeat Offenses: CGPL privileges will be revoked for six months.
CGPL privileges may be rescinded for one day or one week by the library director, or adult or youth services coordinators, for offenses numbers 1 through 15 for periods specified. Patrons will be notified verbally, and in the case of minors, parent or guardian will also be notified verbally. The police will be notified of the presence of patrons whose privileges have been revoked, as their presence shall be considered trespassing. Patrons will be notified of library privileges revoked for six months by written correspondence via certified mail to the patron’s last known address.

In accordance with Missouri Revised Statutes, Cape Girardeau City Ordinances and CGPL Code of Patron Behavior, no person on library premises shall:
16. Be intoxicated.
17. Carry beverage bottles holding alcoholic beverages or consume alcoholic beverages at unauthorized times and places.
18. Summon or cause a false report to be made to the police, fire department or any other official agency.
19. Persist in disturbing the public peace by loud or aggressive conduct.
20. Solicit or accost any person for the purpose of inducing him or her to participate in an act of prostitution.
21. Harass any other person or cause alarm to another person or persons on the premises.
22. Promote or conduct gambling activity on CGPL premises.
Persons who violate paragraphs #16 – 22 are subject to withholding of CGPL privileges:
First Offense: CGPL privileges will be revoked for one month.
Second Offense: CGPL privileges will be revoked for six months.
Repeat Offenses: CGPL privileges will be revoked for one year.
Patrons will be notified of revoked privileges by written correspondence via certified mail to their last known address.
Persons in apparent violation of federal, state or local law will be reported to the police by library staff. Legal action may be taken by the library through the filing of a criminal complaint.
In addition, on CGPL premises, no person shall:
23. Commit an assault or battery upon any person.
24. Engage in fighting.
25. Steal or take property not his/her own.
26. Deface, destroy, damage or remove any property if not authorized by CGPL.
27. Engage in any indecent or obscene conduct or make any indecent exposure of his/her body.
28. Use, give away or sell any controlled substance.
29. Possess a weapon unless authorized by state law.
30. Smoke (in areas other than designated) or carry ignited material.
31. Remain in the building after regular closing hours, except by invitation of CGPL.
32. Break federal or state statutes or local ordinances that cause disruption of library operations.
Violation of statutes, ordinances and rules as listed in paragraphs # 23 – 32 are subject to withholding of CGPL privileges as follows:
First Offense: CGPL privileges will be revoked for one year.
Second Offense: CGPL privileges will be revoked for three years.

Patrons will be notified of revoked privileges by written correspondence via certified mail to their last known address.
If a patron has library privileges revoked or rescinded, staff shall document the incident on an incident report form.

APPROVED by the Board of Trustees of the Cape Girardeau Public Library this 26th day of June, 2008.

Displaying Artwork

The two large glass display cases in the lobby of the library are available for library or community use. Displays from individuals, groups, or organizations are welcome. The use of the display cases must be scheduled through library staff. Please contact the Information desk (334-5279) for more information. The walls of the Hirsch Community Room are available for art exhibits. Displays from individuals, groups, or organizations are welcome. Exhibits must be scheduled in advance. Please contact the Adult Services Coordinator (334-5279) for more information. If you’re looking for an application to display your art, click here.

Visitors to the library for the purpose of viewing the exhibits displayed in the Hirsch community room please call the library beforehand for times when the room does not have meetings scheduled.

Social Media

“Social media” is any web application, site, or account created and/or maintained by the Library that facilitates the sharing of information with other users, but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.

The Cape Girardeau Public Library (“Library”) uses social media to further the Library’s mission to be the community’s first choice for information gathering experiences through social interaction, programming, technology and the written word for all ages.

Posting and Restrictions:

Social media accounts are maintained by the Cape Girardeau Public Library. The accounts will be monitored by the Library Director and/or designated staff. The Library reserves the right to remove comments that violate our rules, are unlawful, or are off topic without notice. Posts containing any of the following may be removed from the Library’s social media accounts:

1. Material that violates copyright
2. Irrelevant comments
3. Commercial promotions, advertisements, political campaigning, or spam content
4. Posts that contain inappropriate, sexually explicit, obscene, hateful, racist or sexist comments
5. Content that contains personal attacks, libel, slander, threatening or harassing language, defamation, or is otherwise objectionable
6. Private and/or personally identifying information (i.e. age, phone number, address, etc.)
7. Photos, images, or links which fall into any of the above categories

Users are responsible and liable for the content they post to social media. The Library is not responsible for patron-generated comments or content posted by non-Library staff that appears on social media accounts. Views expressed on social media are not necessarily endorsed by the Library nor do they represent the Library’s views or policies. Content that contains threats or illegal content will be documented and reported to law enforcement. Users who violate these restrictions may be blocked from future commenting.

When appropriate, the Library may choose to link its social media account with other organizations. The Library may affiliate with other organizations whose profiles provide information that may be of interest to patrons or with whom the Library has partnered for various programs or events. Affiliating with these organizations does not imply endorsement of the views or opinions expressed on their profiles, nor is the list of affiliated organizations intended to be exhaustive. Any link to an external website or non-Library social media profile is not a sponsorship, authorization, affiliation, or endorsement of that website or profile. The Library is not responsible for content posted on external websites or non-Library social media profiles.

Reporting Concerns:

Users may report concerns about social media posts or violations of the Library’s Social Media Policy by contacting the Library Director.

Employee Use of Social Media:

Employees should be mindful of posting any information that relates to their job duties on social media. Employees should use their best judgment when posting to social media. The Library does not monitor personal social media accounts of staff, but will, when made aware, address posts that violate established Library policies. A post that violates privacy, confidentiality, or legal guidelines will be met with appropriate disciplinary action. Comments made as employees of the Library should be respectful, informative, accurate, and professional in nature.

Public Comment at Board Meetings

The public is invited to attend all meetings of the Cape Girardeau Public Library Board except those designated as an executive (closed) session.

Members of the public are welcome to address comments to the Board as set forth below:

  1. Public comment is allowed at regular meetings of the Board of Trustees unless otherwise noted on the agenda.- A “Public Comments” section will be included on the agenda and is an opportunity for the members of the public to speak.
    – All comments must be relevant to the operation of the Cape Girardeau Public Library.
    – The Board may schedule a special listening session(s) designated for community input if a large number of requests to address the Board are received.
  2. Each person desiring to be heard shall complete the sign in sheet at the meeting. The form shall include the speaker’s name, home address, telephone number, and subject matter of their comment. The Board President may use the sign-in sheet to manage the public comment time at the meeting.- Priority of comments is given to:
    1. Library Cardholders
    2. Residents of the Library District
    3. Residents of the City of Cape Girardeau
    4. All other individuals wishing to address the Board.
      – At no time will the Board hear personnel comments during the public comments portion of a business meeting because personnel matters are generally confidential. Please contact the Board via email or otherwise in writing regarding personnel comments.
  3. Each person may speak up to three (3) minutes.- The goal of this public comment time is not to exclude voices but to ensure an orderly meeting that respects the time of the volunteer Board members.
    – The Board President will start the timer when the speaker begins and the speaker should conclude their remarks in the allotted amount of time.
    – The total time devoted to public comment shall not exceed 15 minutes.
    – At the discretion of the Chair, and if time allows, a speaker may be granted additional time to finish a presentation. If a large number of people are present to comment on the same topic, the Board President may ask or require them to select a spokesperson for the group. In addition, the Board may adjust the total time for comment and/or may reduce the time allotted for each speaker.
    – Each speaker may only speak once per meeting and may not yield or credit their time to another speaker.
  4. Speakers are asked to be courteous in their presentation. Persons displaying disruptive behavior will be asked to leave or be removed from the meeting.
  5. The Board of Trustees does not generally respond to public comments during the course of the meeting. The public comments portion of the meeting is intended as an opportunity for the public to make the Board members aware of public concerns and issues but is not intended for the Board to conduct a dialogue or debate with the public.

These rules may be suspended by motion and majority vote of the Board.

Approved by the Board of Trustees of the Cape Girardeau Public Library on December 2nd, 2021.

Cape Girardeau Public Library

Our mission is to be the community's first choice for information gathering experiences through social interaction, programming, technology and the written word for all ages. Come visit us today and follow us on Facebook to stay in the know.

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