One of the duties of a library’s board of trustees is to set policy for the library system. Policies usually come about due to an issue which might need resolution. A policy is presented, discussed, edited and finally, after three readings at three consecutive meetings, is approved for implementation.
I wanted to let you know this week that the Pocahontas County Free Libraries has approved a new policy, effective immediately, concerning pets in the library.
The new policy states: “For the health, safety and comfort of staff and patrons of the Pocahontas County Free Libraries, the presence of pets in the library buildings is prohibited.
“This does not include service animals or pre-service animals, as such animals are working animals and are not considered pets, and are required by the owner for assistance with his or her disability. Any animal, including a service animal, which behaves in an uncontrolled or disruptive manner, may be removed from the library.
“Dogs on library property must be kept on a leash or harness restraint at all times per local and county ordinances. Other animals on library property must be kept on a leash or some type of restraint per library policy.
“It is the responsibility of the staff in the various buildings to inform patrons and visitors of this policy and to ensure compliance. Animals may be brought into the library as part of a scheduled program or event, provided there is sufficient oversight to provide a controlled encounter between the animal and the public.”
This new policy should give library staff some guidelines to follow concerning animals in the library, plus any member of the public that is uncomfortable around animals will know that any animal in the building will be under control and/or supervised.

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