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This Employee Guide outlines employment policies for the Lincoln Lawrence Franklin Regional Library System, hereinafter referred to as the Library. This document is provided to give a general description of work rules, benefits and personnel policies of the Library and is available on the library’s web site. This document should not be construed as an employment contract or an agreement for employment for any specified period of time. The Library reserves the right to make changes to this document as conditions require.
"Employment at Will" simply refers to the traditional relationship between employer and employee, specifying that the employment relationship may be terminated by either party unilaterally at any time. Thus, this document is not an expressed or implied contract of employment, but rather an overview of working rules and benefits.
It is impossible to anticipate every situation that may occur or every policy question that may arise. The Library reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to revise, supplement, interpret, or rescind any portion of the Employee Guide as deemed appropriate.
Employees should familiarize themselves with the contents of the Employee Guide and forward any questions regarding content to the Library’s business office.
Each employee is expected to comply with the Library Employee Guide.
Mississippi public libraries are authorized to operate by statute as established by the Mississippi Legislature in the Mississippi Code 1972 Annotated Title 39, Chapter 3.
1.1 Acknowledgement Form
Each employee shall sign an acknowledgement form as worded here:
I acknowledge that I have access to a copy of the Library’s Employee Guide. I understand that it is my responsibility to comply with all policies adopted by the Library’s Administrative Board of Trustees and with all revisions adopted by the Administrative Board of Trustees. I acknowledge that employment with the library is “at will” and the Employee Guide is not a contract of employment.
A copy of this form will be maintained in the employee’s personnel file.
2. Personnel Policies
2.1 Equal Employment Opportunity
It is the Library’s policy to provide equal opportunity in employment for all individuals regardless of race, color, creed, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability or political affiliation.
2.2 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)
The Library only hires persons who are legally authorized to work in the United States. IRCA requires employers to verify the employment eligibility of all new employees. Employees must complete an I‐9 form within three (3) days of starting to work. This form is used to verify identity and authorization to work.
For more detail and updates, see U.S. Departments of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/osc.
2.3 Mississippi Employment Protection Act
Pursuant to Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated, § 71‐11‐3, the Library participates in EVerify, the federal government’s voluntary employment verification program. The Library is registered for and utilizes the Department of Homeland Security’s EVerify System by submitting social security numbers of new hires to verify their immigration status and employment eligibility. The EVerify program is used to verify new hires only after an I‐9 form has been completed. The program does not pre‐screen applicants or re‐verify the employment eligibility of current employees.
2.4 Prohibitions against Harassment
The Library is committed to a professional workplace, free from adverse working conditions and all forms of harassment. Harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability and/or age, and is strictly prohibited. Harassment includes unwelcome conduct by supervisors or coworkers that is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. Enduring the offensive conduct is never a condition of continued employment. The Library also strictly prohibits harassment of individuals in retaliation for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit concerning a discrimination claim. Retaliation is prohibited against employees who oppose employment practices that they reasonably believe is illegal discrimination. The Library's prohibition against harassment includes, but is not limited to, remarks, slurs, epithets, gestures, physical contact, threats, display or circulation of written or electronic materials, pictures or objects derogatory to any person based on the characteristics listed above. The Library strictly forbids this type of behavior. Such will not be tolerated at any level of the organization.
All employees are encouraged to report unwelcome, harassing conduct by any Library employee. Even if the conduct is not directed at the employee, anyone affected by the offensive conduct is encouraged to report the behavior. The Library expressly prohibits any unwelcome harassing conduct and will take appropriate steps to prevent and promptly correct such conduct.
The Library specifically acknowledges that sexual harassment is a form of discriminatory harassment and is strictly prohibited. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated. Immediate and appropriate action will be taken to address violations of this policy.
The victim of the alleged sexual harassment may be a man or a woman and can be the same sex as the harasser. Further, anyone affected by the offensive conduct may be considered a victim, not only the person directly subject to the offensive conduct. No employee of the Library should imply, suggest or threaten that an applicant's or employee's decision to participate in sexual conduct will have any impact on the individual's employment status, including but not limited to, assignment, compensation, promotion or other condition of employment.
Sometimes an employee has willingly participated in conduct of a sexual nature, but later wishes the conduct to stop. To claim a hostile work environment, the employee must clearly notify the alleged harasser that the conduct is no longer welcome. The sexual conduct is unwelcome if the employee does not solicit or incite the behavior and regards it as undesirable or offensive. If the sexual conduct continues, the employee should immediately report it. The Library will take immediate and appropriate steps to stop any unlawful harassment.
Sometimes sexual harassment may be found even when sexual activity or language is not at issue. If negative conduct is gender‐based, pervasive and directed at an employee because of his/her sex, it may also be considered sexual harassment and is prohibited.
2.4.1 Inappropriate conduct by members of the public
The Library uses filters to block material on the internet that is legally proscribed: child pornography, obscenity and sexually oriented materials defined by Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated, § 97‐5‐29. Employees may, however, sometimes encounter such material despite the best efforts of the Library. In such cases, Library employees should follow procedures established by the Library detailed in the Library’s Internet Access Policy.
2.4.2 Free speech v. Conduct
The Library recognizes and encourages public rights to free speech, including the right to receive information in a public library. Employees may encounter materials purchased by the Library or summoned on screen by library patrons that make the employees uncomfortable and upset. Handling and encountering such materials without judgment is part of the work requirement in public libraries. Harassing conduct, on the other hand, is not tolerated. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment. The test is whether this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
2.5 Complaint Procedures/Investigation of Complaints
Employees are encouraged to communicate directly with one another in order to assure prompt discontinuation of any behavior found to be offensive. The Library supports the rights of each employee to communicate directly with other employees in requesting that offensive conduct be discontinued. However, informal redress of complaints is not required and the complaining employee may proceed to file a formal complaint in any situation in which informal redress is not feasible or desirable.
No employee or applicant is required to endure workplace harassment. An employee who is unable to resolve the problem or who does not wish to discuss the issue with the offending party should report unwelcome harassing conduct immediately to his/her immediate supervisor or the Library Director. If the immediate supervisor is the alleged source of the harassment, the employee should skip that level of management and report the conduct to the next level supervisor or to the Library Director. The complaint will be immediately investigated and appropriate corrective action will be taken.
If an employee claims the Director is the source of the harassment, the employee should report the conduct to his/her immediate supervisor or to the Chairman of the Library System Administrative Board of Trustees. The Chairman will take immediate steps to investigate the complaint, independent from the Director, and prompt appropriate corrective action will be taken.
In the course of the investigation, the complainant will be requested to submit a written statement describing in detail the alleged harassment and the identity of any individuals that may have relevant information concerning the complaint. A prompt investigation, however, is not contingent on the employee submitting the written statement. In determining whether the conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment, the Library will evaluate the behavior from the objective standpoint of a "reasonable person." The Library will consider the context in which the alleged harassment took place and examine the behavior using the perspective of a reasonable person's reaction to a similar environment under similar or like circumstances. Corrective action will reflect the severity of the conduct. In all circumstances, the Complainant will be informed of the results of any investigation and the action taken.
2.6 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)—Accommodation Requirements
The Library will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. A qualified employee or applicant with a disability is an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question.
An individual with a disability is a person who:
- has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
- has a record of such an impairment; or
- is regarded as having such an impairment.
The Library will make a reasonable accommodation for the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee if it does not impose an undue hardship on the legitimate administration of the Library.
Applicants will not be asked about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability. Applicants will be asked about their ability to perform specific job functions. All requests for accommodations and steps to evaluate such requests will be documented by the Library Director.
The Library strictly prohibits retaliation against any employee or applicant exercising rights granted by the ADA. Also, any coercion, intimidation, threats, harassment or interference in the exercise of any employee or applicant's rights granted under the ADA, or of the encouragement of someone else's exercise of rights granted by the ADA, is strictly prohibited.
“Undue hardship is defined as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of factors such as an employer's size, financial resources, and the nature and structure of its operation. An employer is not required to lower quality or production standards to make an accommodation; nor is an employer obligated to provide personal use items such as glasses or hearing aids…. Employees and applicants currently engaged in the illegal use of drugs are not protected by this policy nor by the Americans with Disabilities Act.” For more detail and updates, see U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s description of disability discrimination at http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/disability.cfm.
2.7 Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA)
The Library does not discriminate on the basis of age and protects applicants and employees forty (40) years of age and older from discrimination on the basis of age in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or terms, conditions or privileges of employment. The ADEA is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) - For more detail and updates, see U.S. Department of Labor Equal Employment Opportunity’s description of age discrimination at http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/age.cfm.
2.8 Religion—Accommodation Requirements
The Library does not discriminate on the basis of religion when hiring, terminating, or setting conditions of employment. The Library treats employees and job applicants equally, without regard to religious beliefs and practices, except to the extent a religious accommodation is warranted. For example, the Library will allow employees to wear clothing and ornaments that hold religious meaning for an individual.
The Library will reasonably accommodate an employee's sincerely held religious practices unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the legitimate administration of the Library. A reasonable religious accommodation is any adjustment to the work environment that will allow the employee to practice his/her religion. An undue hardship is defined as requiring more than ordinary administrative costs, diminishing efficiency in other jobs, infringing on other employees' job rights or benefits, impairing workplace safety, or causing co‐workers to carry an undue share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work. Legally, the Library may not provide an accommodation if such conflicts with another law or regulation. Religious expression in the workplace is permitted, unless such imposes or would impose an undue hardship on the Library.
Religious harassment of any employee is prohibited and should be immediately reported to the immediate supervisor or the Library Director. If the immediate supervisor is the alleged source of the harassment, the employee should skip that level of management and report the conduct to the next level supervisor or the Library Director. The complaint will be immediately investigated and appropriate corrective action will be taken. If the Director is the alleged source of the harassment, then the employee will report the alleged harassment to the Chairman of the Library System Administrative Board of Trustees [or to his/her immediate supervisor who will then be responsible for reporting the behavior to the Chairman]. The Chairman will take immediate steps to investigate the complaint, independent from the Director and prompt appropriate corrective action will be taken. Consistent with other policies prohibiting retaliation, no employee will be retaliated against for making a claim of religious discrimination, requesting a religious accommodation, or reporting religious harassment. Retaliation against an employee for participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under Title 7 is also prohibited.
For more detail and examples see U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Compliance Manual Section 12: Religious Discrimination at http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/religion.
2.9 Prohibitions against Retaliation
The Library will not dismiss, demote, harass or otherwise "retaliate" against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in a discrimination proceeding, or otherwise opposing discrimination. The same laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, and disability, as well as wage differences between men and women performing substantially equal work, also prohibit retaliation against individuals who oppose unlawful discrimination or participate in an employment discrimination proceeding.
In addition to the protections against retaliation that are included in all of the laws enforced by EEOC, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also protects individuals from coercion, intimidation, threat, harassment, or interference in their exercise of their own rights or their encouragement of someone else's exercise of rights granted by the ADA.
For more detail and updates, see U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s description of Retaliation at http://www.eeoc.gov/types/retaliation.html.
2.10 Whistleblower Act Protection
A Library employee who reports or provides information to a state investigative body about what he/she believes, in good faith, is an improper act by the Library, is entitled to Whistleblower Protection as described in Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated, § 25‐9‐171 et seq. Employees are protected from reprisal or retaliatory action such as unwarranted letters of reprimand, demotion, reduction in pay, denial of promotion, suspension, or dismissal and denial of employment if such actions were the result of the employee's whistleblowing activities.
2.11 Drug Free Workplace Act
The Library is committed to providing a drug free workplace. The Library encourages employees and volunteers to voluntarily seek help with drug and alcohol problems. It is a violation of the Library’s drug‐free workplace policy to use or possess alcohol or unlawful controlled substances while on the job or on the employer’s premises. It is a violation to report to work under the influence of, or to have ability impaired by alcohol. Pre-employment drug testing may be required of applicants, and positive drug screens will result in an offer of employment being rescinded.
The use of controlled substances is inconsistent with the behavior expected of employees. It subjects all employees and patrons to unacceptable safety risks and undermines the library's ability to operate effectively and efficiently. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, sale or use of a controlled substance in the work place or while engaged in library business at any time is strictly prohibited.
3 Fair Labor Standards Act
In certain circumstances, when Library operations cannot be fulfilled during regular working hours by staff, employees may be required to work in excess of normal working hours. When possible, advance notification of these assignments will be provided. All overtime worked must first be authorized by the Director. The Library will comply with all requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), not to be confused with the leave provisions contained in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA.)
The Director, with the approval of the Library Administrative Board of Trustees, may designate certain executive, administrative and professional positions as exempt from the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Library Director applies the following standards in determining whether employees are designated as exempt or non‐exempt from the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act:
- Executive employeesare employees whose primary duty is management of the Library or a recognized department of the Library and who customarily and regularly direct the work of two or more other employees. These employees also are able to make suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring, firing, advancement, or change of status of other employees.
- Administrative employeesare employees whose primary duty is the performance of office or nonoperations of the Library and whose primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.
- Professional employeesare employees whose primary duty is the performance of work requiring knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course or specialized intellectual instruction; or requiring invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.
For additional information, see the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor at http://www.dol.gov/WHD/flsa/index.htm
Salaries for all staff are set by the Regional Library Board and the Director. All salaries are subject to funds available to the library in any given year. The library reserves the right to make salary adjustments at any time.
4.1 Hours of Work
The hours which an employee will normally work will be set by the administrator. A full-time work week is forty (40) hours. Staff members are required to take scheduled lunch and dinner breaks. These breaks, however, must not inconvenience library patrons. This time cannot be used to make up time missed from work. A fifteen (15) minute break is allowed for each four (4) hours continuous work per day. This time may not be accumulated and taken later, nor may an employee arrive late or leave early because a break has been missed. Break periods are intended to allow workers to relax for a few moments so a high level of efficiency may be maintained. Breaks should be deferred for the convenience of library patrons.
4.2 Pay Period
Payday is the 15th and the last normal working day of each month. When the 15th or the last working day falls on a weekend, payroll checks will be issued on the Friday before the weekend. The library does not grant advances in pay. The library also prohibits loan requests between employees.
4.3 Payroll Deductions
All employees have mandatory payroll deductions for state and federal withholding taxes. Retirement benefits are required to be withheld for all employees who work twenty (20) hours or more per week. Many employees have optional payroll deductions such as dependent health insurance.
4.4 Personnel Records
Important events in your history with the library will be recorded and kept in your personnel file. You will receive a copy of any record initiated by the library. Your personnel file is available for your inspection in the business office. Contact your supervisor to make an appointment.
5.1 Health Insurance
The Library participates in the State and School Employees' Health Insurance Plan. Library employees who work twenty (20) or more hours per week are eligible to participate. The Library pays the entire premium for “Select” coverage for all eligible active employees’ health insurance hired before January 1, 2006, as Legacy Employees. The Library pays the entire premium for “Base” coverage for all eligible active employees’ health insurance hired after the Horizon date of January 1, 2006.
5.2 Life Insurance
Life insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance is available to Library employees who work twenty (20) or more hours per week. An employee’s group term life insurance amount is equal to two times his/her annual salary, then rounded up to the next highest thousand. The minimum amount of life insurance is $30,000 and the maximum amount is $100,000. The library pays for half (50%) of the premium and the employee is responsible for paying the other half (50%).
5.3 Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
Information concerning the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is given to all new employees. COBRA is available to employees, spouses, and dependent children who participate in the Library’s health insurance plan. It provides the right to the temporary continuation of health coverage at the Library’s group rates. Under COBRA, the employee or beneficiary pays the full cost of coverage at the plan's group rates. Upon separation of employment, the necessary forms are provided to the employee with COBRA election forms describing said rights.
For more details and updates, see Department of Labor's information on COBRA at http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/cobra.htm.
5.4 Public Employees Retirement System (PERS)
Library employees are covered by the state retirement system, the Public Employees Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS). The employee's share is deducted from each regular paycheck. The Library contributes the employer's share toward the employee's retirement. Membership in PERS is mandatory if an employee works twenty (20) or more hours per week OR at least eighty (80) hours per month whose wages are subject to payroll taxes and are reported on Form W‐2. When an individual is first employed, the Library furnishes the new employee with a member information form to establish a PERS membership account. Annually, the Public Employees Retirement System of Mississippi sends the employee a fiscal year contributions statement.
Additional information concerning retirement benefits is contained in the PERS Member Handbook and other resources located at http://www.pers.stae.ms.us.
5.5 Social Security
Social Security contributions are deducted from each regular paycheck as required by law. The library contributes the employer's share. Federal Social Security provides a variety of benefits, and monthly income payments for certain dependent survivors of covered employees. Normally, you will be eligible to receive a monthly income from Social Security when you retire or in the event that you become totally or permanently disabled.
6 Professional Development and Continuing Education
The Library is committed to providing the opportunity for professional growth through a variety of skills development opportunities in both traditional and emerging library services in order to meet the needs of Library patrons and the local communities. Subject to available resources, the Library encourages all staff to make maximum use of training and development opportunities to enhance job‐related skills, and provide opportunities for advancement. Employees are required to share acquired knowledge with other Library staff after attending any skills development activity. Employees are encouraged to belong to professional organizations. The Library provides membership dues in the Mississippi Library Association for trustees and employees in positions requiring a bachelor’s degree or above. In addition, the Library provides membership dues in the Mississippi Library Association, the American Library Association and the Public Library Association for the director. Employees are encouraged to attend job‐related meetings, workshops and library events appropriate to their job duties such as the Children's BookFest, the Mississippi Library Association Annual Conference, or the Society of Mississippi Archivists Annual Conference. Attendance must have prior approval from the director. Employees are considered to be in work status while attending such meetings and may be reimbursed for reasonable registration and travel expenses at the director’s discretion. Travel expenses are based on state rates for reimbursement.
7 Performance Appraisals and Review Process
7.1 Introductory Period
All employees serve a six (6) month introductory period. Employees may be dismissed with or without cause at any time during the introductory period or at any other time. At the end of six months a performance review may be made and the employee may become a regular employee or be dismissed with notice. Employment is on an "at-will" basis. No employment contract is offered at this or any other time.
7.2 Job Descriptions
Each Library position has a written job description that focuses on the essential functions of the job. The job description includes (1) position title and general summary, (2) essential job duties or “functions,” (3) nonessential duties, (4) supervisory authority, (5) special working conditions, and (6) minimum qualifications.
7.3 Appraisal and Review
All employees must meet established performance standards. A performance appraisal and review process takes place at least once a year. The purpose of the appraisal is to improve the quality and quantity of services, develop employee skills, motivate better performance, and increase communication between management and staff members. Informal evaluation of staff takes place throughout the year and will be referenced in the formal Performance Appraisal and Review. The Performance Appraisal and Review Process may be used to identify employees for training and retention or separation on the basis of performance and/or conduct. At the beginning of the appraisal period, the employee is given the job description for his/her position and specific performance standards for those duties and is informed of any changes in duties and performance standards during the appraisal period. Performance appraisals are administered in a fair and consistent manner with the employee's job performance for the entire appraisal period considered and reviewed. Employees are informed during the Performance Appraisal and Review session of areas of deficient work performance and needed improvement. Employees are required to cooperate with the Performance Appraisal and Review Process. During the appraisal/review session, the supervisor will document the appraisal and both parties will sign an acknowledgment that the employee’s duties and performance were discussed.
8 Ethics and Conflicts of Interest
8.1 Code of Ethics
The Library endorses the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association.
Code of Ethics of the American Library Association
As members of the American Library Association, we recognize the importance of codifying and making known to the profession and to the general public the ethical principles that guide the work of librarians, other professionals providing information services, library trustees and library staffs.
Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict. The American Library Association Code of Ethics states the values to which we are committed, and embodies the ethical responsibilities of the profession in this changing information environment.
We significantly influence or control the selection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information. In a political system grounded in an informed citizenry, we are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information. We have a special obligation to ensure the free flow of information and ideas to present and future generations.
The principles of this Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations.
- We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.
- We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
- We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
- We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.
- We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.
- We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
- We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.
- We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.
The ALA Code of Ethics is located at http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/statementspols/codeofethics/codeethics.cfm.
8.2 Removal of Library materials
It is against Library policy and is a serious offense for library employees to remove library materials for any reason including patron complaint or staff sensitivity. Challenges to library materials must be handled by the Library Director and the Administrative Board of Trustees according to the Library’s collection development policy. All such decisions must be made in accordance with Article 3, Section 13 of the Constitution of the State of Mississippi and with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
8.3 Disclosure of Patron Records
Section 39‐3‐365 et seq. of the Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated forbids divulging patron records to anyone, including law enforcement, unless the Library has the express written permission of the respective Library user or a court order has been issued specifying the release of the records. Patron records are defined as records that contain information relating to the identity of the Library user, relative to the user's use of books or other materials at the Library. Aggregate statistics shown from registration and circulation records, with all personal identification removed, may be released or used by the library for research, planning and reporting purposes. The law does not prohibit disclosure for the purpose of collecting overdue books, documents, films or other items that belong to the Library. If law enforcement requests patron records, employees must direct the requests to the Library Director or Designee.
8.4 Conflicts of Interest and Integrity
Library employees are expected and required to:
- maintain the highest standards of honesty, integrity, impartiality and conduct;
- avoid any misconduct and/or conflicts of interest;
- be impartial in all decision making and not give unjustified preferences to other staff or patrons.
- avoid using, or appearing to use, their position for personal gain (other than the remuneration received pursuant to employment) or for family members’ personal gain;
No act shall be committed by an employee that could result in the questioning of the Library’s integrity. Library employees are required to comply with all state ethics laws regarding conflicts‐of‐interest, Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated, § 25‐4‐101 et seq. Associations, dealings, relationships or interests that could affect, or reasonably appear to affect, an employee’s objectivity in performing his/her job or in making decisions required of his/her position must be avoided. Any potential conflict of interest or situation that could be reasonably viewed as a conflict of interest must be immediately reported to the immediate supervisor. A Library employee cannot serve in elected or appointed positions that have decision making authority over the Library. A current Library employee must immediately resign if he/she accepts an elected or appointed position that has decision making authority over the Library. The Library recognizes the potential conflicts of interest associated with employment of relatives, friends, or co‐workers in a dating relationship. Potential claims of favoritism, partiality and conflict‐of‐interest are detrimental to the efficient operation of the Library and a violation of Library policy. The immediate supervisor will take prompt action to address any actual, potential or reasonably perceived conflicts of interest that arise involving employees. Employees are not to engage in any activity in either a private or official capacity where a conflict of interest may reasonably exist. Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. In addition to complying with all state laws governing conflicts of interest, employees are also required to comply with all state laws regarding nepotism.
For more detail and updates, see Mississippi Ethics Commission - http://www.ethics.state.ms.us/ethics/ethics.nsf/.
Nepotism is prohibited by Mississippi state law, Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated, § 25‐1‐53. It is unlawful for any public official or trustee to appoint or employ any person who is paid with public funds, if that person is related to the public official or trustee by blood or marriage within the third degree as computed by civil law. Nepotism does not apply to any employee who has been with the library or library system prior to the time his/her kinsman, within the third degree, becomes director of the public library system or a member of either an Administrative Board of Trustees or an Advisory Board of Trustees. In Mississippi, the Guide to Civil Law Degrees of Kinship is as follows:
9 Public Records
Library employees should be aware that Mississippi law provides for public records to be available for inspection by any person, subject to certain exceptions. Employees routinely create records, such as incident reports, emails, voicemails that may be subject to inspection according to the Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated,§ 25‐61‐1 et seq.
10 Disciplinary Process
The highest type of discipline is that which originates within the individual employee. Each of us has the responsibility to our fellow workers to conduct ourselves according to certain rules of good behavior and conduct. Self-discipline in the employee group is the library goal; however, for those occasional instances where self discipline and mutual cooperation do not prevail, supervisors will take corrective action.
10.1 Disciplinary Action
The Library is committed to ensuring fair treatment of all employees. Disciplinary action shall be applied in steps of increasing severity whenever practical in order to stimulate a change in conduct or performance. The Library adheres to fair and objective procedures and criteria for disciplinary action and is committed to progressive disciplinary action before an employee is dismissed, whenever practical. Examples of possible progressive disciplinary action prior to dismissal of an employee include a suspension without pay and/or a demotion to a position with less responsibility and/or salary. The Library distinguishes between less serious and more serious actions of misconduct and institutes disciplinary action accordingly. The primary purpose of any disciplinary action is to correct and prevent problems in a timely manner and prepare the offending employee for satisfactory service in the future. Corrective Action Meetings to address unacceptable conduct are conducted by the immediate supervisor in a timely manner. The immediate supervisor discusses the specific issues with the employee and direction is given by the immediate supervisor to the employee concerning the unacceptable conduct. The immediate supervisor also informs the employee of the potential consequences of any future unacceptable conduct. The issues discussed in the Corrective Action Meeting are documented by the immediate supervisor and the employee is required to sign the memorandum acknowledging that the meeting took place and the issues were discussed.
10.2 Removal of Staff
The Library Director is responsible for the orderly and efficient administration of the Library and may employ staff with the approval of the Board of Trustees as described in § 39‐3‐17 (3) of the Mississippi Code 1972, Annotated. The Director also has the authority to remove staff. Unacceptable conduct, poor performance, reorganization plans, budget restrictions and/or other reason or no reason may be considered as cause to terminate the employment of an employee. In the event a determination is made by the Director to remove an employee for cause, written notice of such decision will be given to the employee. When practical, the notice will be hand delivered to the employee, otherwise the notice will be sent certified mail to his/her address on file.
10.3 Notice to Employee/Opportunity for Hearing
An employee is entitled to a written notice of the termination and a summary of the factual basis for the decision. In accordance with § 39‐3‐17 (3) of the Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated, the notice will also inform the terminated employee that he/she may request a hearing before the Administrative Library Board of Trustees to present matters relevant to the termination decision, including any reasons alleged by the employee to be the reason for the action.
The terminated employee has at least five working days from delivery of the termination notice to request a hearing via written notification to the Director. The Director will inform the Chairman of the Administrative Board of Trustees of the request. The Administrative Library Board of Trustees will send a notice of hearing to the terminated employee informing him/her of the date, time and location of the hearing.
Prior to the requested hearing, all relevant documentation concerning the termination decision will be provided to the Administrative Board of Trustees. The Director will meet with the Board in executive session to review the documentation and answer questions.
The requested hearing will be held at least five (5) working days after written notice of hearing date. The Library Administrative Board of Trustees will hold the requested hearing with the employee. The hearing will be fair and impartial and the terminated employee may be represented by counsel at his/her own expense. The Library Director and attorney for the Board shall also be present at the hearing. The hearing shall be informal and administrative in nature. Attorneys will not be permitted to cross examine witnesses and their participation may be limited by the Chairman, in harmony with the informal and administrative nature of the hearing.
The terminated employee and/or the employee’s attorney will be permitted to present matters relevant to the termination decision, including any reasons alleged by the employee to be the reason for the action. The Board shall take the matter under advisement at the end of the meeting and will notify all parties in writing of the decision within ten (10) working days. The decision of the Administrative Board of Trustees is final.
If the terminated employee does not request a hearing before the Administrative Library Board of Trustees, the decision of the Director is final.
The Library observes the ten (10) legal holidays set forth in § 3‐3‐7 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated and any additional holidays proclaimed by the Governor. The following have been designated as official state holidays:
New Year’s Day
3rd Monday of January
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday
3rd Monday of February
Last Monday of April
Confederate Memorial Day
Last Monday of May
National Memorial Day
1st Monday of September
A day fixed by proclamation by the Governor of Mississippi as a day of Thanksgiving, to correspond to the date proclaimed by the President of the U.S.
If any holiday above falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday is the legal holiday instead.
Public library systems have a number of options in the establishment of holiday policy. Public library systems do not have to observe all state holidays, but they cannot authorize more paid holidays than those authorized by the Mississippi Code 1972, Annotated § 3‐3‐7, unless additional days are proclaimed by the Governor as official state holidays. Under Its own authority, the Library Board may set library hours as described in the Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated § 39‐3‐17. The Administrative Board of Trustees may elect to close the library on additional days, such as the day after Christmas, without employee compensation. In such cases, the employees may choose to make up the hours missed, claim personal leave time, or take leave without pay.
12 Leave Policies
All absence from work must be authorized by the administrator. Absence from work without permission is cause for dismissal.
12.1 Personal Leave
Personal leave with pay is available for library employees to provide opportunities for relaxation, vacations, and personal business. Employees are encouraged to use personal leave for these pursuits. All requests for personal leave must be approved in advance by the immediate supervisor. Leave can only be requested after it has been earned. All requests for personal leave are approved at the discretion of the immediate supervisor, based on the operational needs and staffing requirements of the Library. Library employees accrue personal leave at a scheduled rate based on the number of regularly scheduled work hours per week.
Clerical full time employees and regular part-time employees who work at least twenty (20) hours per week earn one (1) day of annual leave per month worked. Professional staff earn one and one half (1 1/2) day of annual leave per month worked. A day is defined as the number of hours worked per week divided by five (5). Professional Staff is defined as any position requiring a B.S. or higher degree. Benefits for part-time employees who work less than twenty (20) hours per week will be handled at the discretion of the Director. For employees who have completed two (2) years of successful employment, all leave for the year is available at the first of the year.
Annual leave must be approved in advance by the library administrator except in the case of an emergency. Library needs will take precedence over the employee's convenience.
Annual leave may be taken in no less than one-half (1/2) hour increments. Annual leave may be used for personal or emergency purposes when the library can spare the employee.
Annual leave must be taken when sick leave is exhausted. When all paid leave is exhausted, leave without pay may be granted at the discretion of the director.
Leave without pay must be authorized by the library director.
All unused annual leave may be credited towards retirement by the Mississippi Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). Since no limitation is stated, annual leave continues to build indefinitely.
New employees must complete six (6) months employment with the library before taking annual leave. Employees who leave the library for any reason before six (6) months are completed may not take annual leave and may not be paid for any annual leave. Following six (6) months of successful service to the library, new employees are entitled to six (6) days leave (nine (9) days leave for professional employees) to be taken at the employer's discretion. New employees then begin to earn annual leave as described above.
Employees who leave the library's employ with proper notice following at least twelve (12) months of successful employment will receive accrued annual leave earned before the date of termination.
Employees who are terminated following at least twelve (12) months of successful employment will receive accrued annual leave earned before the date of termination.
Annual leave must be recorded on "Request for Leave" forms supplied by the supervisor. Scheduled annual leave is not considered official until signed and dated by the supervisor.
Holidays falling in a vacation period are not counted as annual leave.
Employees may be allowed to "make-up" time at the discretion of the director only after all annual leave has been exhausted.
12.2 Medical Leave
Medical (sick) leave with pay is available for library employees to be used for the illness or injury of the employee or a member of the employee's immediate family. Immediate family is defined by the Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated, § 25‐3‐95 as: spouse, parent, stepparent, sibling, child, step‐child, grandchild, grandparent, son‐in‐law, daughter‐in‐law, mother‐in‐law, father‐in‐law, brother‐in‐law or sister‐in‐law. Child means a biological, adopted or foster child, or a child for whom the individual stands or stood in loco parentis.
Library employees accrue medical leave at a scheduled rate based on length of service with the Library and number of regularly scheduled work hours per week. If an illness or injury causes an employee to exhaust all accumulated medical leave, the employee may use accumulated personal leave. Medical leave should not be confused with rights granted under the Family and Medical Leave Act as described in this Guide in section 12.5 Family and Medical Leave Act.
Full time employees and part-time employees who work at least twenty (20) hours per week earn sick leave at the rate of one-half (1/2) day per month. A day is defined as the number of hours worked per week divided by five (5).
Employees begin to earn sick leave upon the completion of their first work day, and time may be used after the completion of one month's service. Sick leave must be used for actual sickness of the employee and/or for medical, dental or optical examination and/or treatment of the employee or immediate family as described above.
Sick leave will not be granted for one working day immediately before and/or one working day immediately after a holiday without a doctor's certificate or emergency approval by the administrator.
When all sick leave is exhausted, annual leave will be used. If all annual leave is used, leave without pay may be granted at the director’s discretion.
Sick leave may be accumulated up to eighteen (18) days. No reimbursement will be given for unused sick leave to any employee leaving the library for any reason. Available unused sick leave (up to 18 days) may be credited to the Mississippi Public Employees Retirement System.
The library must be notified immediately when emergency sick leave is being taken.
12.3 Workers’ Compensation
All Library employees are covered by the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Law, Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated § 71‐3‐1 et seq. which provides certain benefits in the event an employee suffers a work‐related injury or illness. In case of a work‐related fatality, the law guarantees payment of benefits to the spouse and dependents of the deceased.
Workers’ Compensation benefits are provided at no cost to the employee or dependents. For injury/illness, benefits may include payment of all reasonable and necessary medical expenses as well as partial compensation for wages lost due to the injury or illness. In certain cases, vocational rehabilitation may also be available.
Wage‐loss benefits for injury /illness are not paid for the first five (5) days of disability unless the disability extends fourteen (14) or more days. These benefits are payable at the rate of two‐thirds of the employee's average weekly wage. These benefits may also be subject to a weekly maximum set by law.
Workers’ Compensation claims are time‐sensitive. Employees must report claims within thirty (30) days after the occurrence, subject to statutory exceptions as outlined in the Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated § 71‐3‐35. Any injury/illness that happens on the job should be reported immediately to the employee’s immediate supervisor to ensure appropriate medical treatment is provided and any wage loss benefits due the employee are paid without unnecessary delay.
12.4 Military Leave
The Uniformed Services Employment and Re‐employment Act of 1994 (USERRA, 38 U.S.C. Sec. 4301‐4335), grants re‐employment rights, within certain time limits, to soldiers who leave employment to perform military duty and who satisfactorily perform that duty. The right to re‐employment is not contingent on whether the orders were voluntary or involuntary. Re‐employment rights will be granted to employees who:
- provide the Library with advance written or verbal notice of the military service;
- do not have more than five (5) years of cumulative service in the uniformed services while employed by the Library;
- return to work or apply for reemployment in a timely manner after conclusion of service; and
- have not been separated from service with a disqualifying discharge or under other than honorable conditions.
Pursuant to Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated § 33‐1‐21, employees are entitled to fifteen (15) days of paid leave when ordered to military duty, whether the orders were voluntary or involuntary. An employee requesting leave, pursuant to voluntary or involuntary orders, beyond the fifteen (15) days allowed by law is entitled to a leave‐of absence which can be charged against his/her accrued personal or compensatory leave.
If the employee does not have sufficient leave to cover the absence, the leave may be without pay. The employee is entitled to leave‐of‐absence from his/her respective duties without loss of time, annual leave or efficiency (performance) rating until relieved from duty.
For updates and additional details, see The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) on U.S. Dept. of Labor’s website at http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp‐userra.htm.
12.5 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Employees who have worked for the Library for at least one (1) year and for one thousand two hundred and fifty (1,250) hours over the previous twelve (12) months are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
In compliance with FMLA, eligible Library employees are entitled to up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid, job‐protected‐leave for the following reasons:
A. incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child birth;
B. to care for the employee's child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care;
C. to care for the employee's spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition; or
D. serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee's job.
A "serious health condition" is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a heath care provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the functions of the employee's job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities.
According to FMLA guidelines, "Continuing treatment" is a period of incapacity of more than three (3) consecutive calendar days combined with at least two (2) visits to a health care provider. The two (2) visits to a health care provider must occur within thirty (30) days of the beginning of the period of incapacity and the first visit to the health care provider must take place within seven (7) days of the first day of incapacity.
A serious health condition includes more than three (3) consecutive full calendar days of incapacity plus a regimen of continuing treatment and the first visit to a health care provider must take place within seven (7) days of the first day of incapacity.
Incapacity may also be due to pregnancy or a chronic condition requiring periodic visits for treatment by a health care provider. A chronic condition requires at least two (2) visits to a health care provider per year.
During all FMLA leave, the employee's group health coverage will be maintained. Upon return from FMLA leave, the employee will return to the original or equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits and other employment terms. Use of FMLA will not result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an employee's leave. Time spent performing assigned "light duty" work does not count against an employee's FMLA leave entitlement.
Employees must provide thirty (30) days advance notice of the need to take FMLA leave when the need is foreseeable. When thirty (30) days notice is not possible, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable. The notice must be consistent with the usual and customary Library procedures for reporting an absence unless there are unusual circumstances.
Employees are required to provide sufficient information for an FMLA eligibility determination to be made. This information will also be used to determine the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. Employees must complete and return, within fifteen (15) days of the first day of leave, one of the following U.S. Department of Labor (USDL) certification forms:
A. Serious health condition – USDL Form WH‐380‐E
B. Care for a covered family member – USDL Form WH‐380‐F;
C. Qualifying exigency for military family leave – USDL Form WH‐384;
D. Serious injury/illness of covered service member for military family leave – USDL Form‐385.
If information provided by the employee or the healthcare provider on the certification form is incomplete or insufficient, the employee will be notified, in writing, as to what information is lacking and given seven (7) calendar days to cure the deficiency. Employees may be required to provide a new medical certification each leave year for medical conditions that last longer than one year. Recertification may also be required every six (6) months for an ongoing condition resulting in recurring absences.
Eligible employees requesting leave will be informed as to whether said condition/exigency qualifies for FMLA leave. A FMLA‐qualifying employee:
- may use FMLA leave intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule when medically necessary or for qualifying exigencies.
- using FMLA leave intermittently must make reasonable efforts to schedule leave for planned medical treatment so as not to unduly disrupt Library operations.
- must also inform his/her supervisor if leave being requested is for a condition/situation for which FMLA leave was previously taken or certified.
The Library applies FMLA leave consecutive to accrued paid leave. Consecutive use means employees are allowed twelve weeks (60 working days) of FMLA leave prior to use of accrued personal/medical leave.
No Library employee may interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under the Family and Medical Leave Act. No Library employee may discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by the FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under or relating to the FMLA.
Military Entitlement. An eligible employee is entitled to up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave because of any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, son, daughter, or parent of the employee is a member of any Armed Forces and/or a reserve component of the Armed Forces on covered active duty. Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post‐deployment reintegration briefings.
An eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered service member who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of duty any time during the five years preceding the treatment is entitled to up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12 month period to care for the service member. The twenty‐six (26) week entitlement applies to additional family members (i.e., next of kin) not previously covered for qualifying reasons. This entitlement is not in addition to the twelve (12) week FMLA entitlement for qualifying exigencies.
12.6 Sabbatical Leave
In accordance with the §39‐3‐20 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated, professional Library staff members are eligible for sabbatical leave for professional improvement, for up to one (1) year immediately following any six (6) or more consecutive years of active service. Absence on sick leave does not affect staff eligibility. Sabbatical leave for professional staff members must have the approval of the Administrative Library Board of Trustees.
Applications for sabbatical leave may be made to the administrative board of trustees, with the approval of the Director. Any person who is granted a sabbatical leave and who fails to comply with the provisions of such leave may have his/her leave terminated by the administrative board of trustees. Employees on sabbatical leave are not denied any regular increment of increase in salary because of absence on sabbatical leave.
A person on sabbatical leave shall enjoy all the rights and privileges pertaining to his/her employment, such as health insurance and credit for active service for the purpose of retirement and contributions to the retirement fund consistent with regulations of the Mississippi Public Employees Retirement System. Leave will not be granted unless there is a contract providing for continued service in the Library, after expiration of the leave.
Each person granted sabbatical leave may receive and be paid compensation up to the rate of fifty percent (50%) of such person's annual salary. Compensation payable to persons on sabbatical leave will be paid at the same time and in the same manner salaries of the other employees of the Library are paid.
12.7 Funeral Leave
Leave with pay may be granted at the discretion of the administrator for one-half (1/2) to three (3) days upon the death of a member of an employee's immediate family related in the first (1st) or second (2nd) degree.
Each case must be individually approved by the administrator. If funeral leave is not granted, annual leave may be used if the library's services will not be adversely affected.
12.8 Jury Duty
Leave with pay is granted to full-time employees for jury duty. The administrator must be informed immediately when a summons is received. If the employee is excused from jury duty, he must report to work.
12.9 Leave without Pay
Leave without pay may be granted upon the recommendation of the administrator when
1. An employee is ill and has no sick or annual leave left.
2. An employee is engaged in educational activities which the library cannot support financially, or
3. Personal situations areise which are not covered under the program of benefits.
12.10 Inclement Weather
The library may be closed for part or all of a day if, in the judgment of the director, travel to the library by staff and patrons would be unnecessarily dangerous due to weather conditions. Staff members will be paid for the day, however, they must be available to report to work immediately should conditions improve.
13 Retirement/Separation of Employment
Certain employees, as specified below, become a member of the Mississippi Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) as a condition of employment. Retirement System participation and coverage is provided to employees in positions that require compensated work for at least twenty (20) hours per week OR at least eighty (80) hours per month. Participation is offered to employees whose wages are subject to payroll taxes and are reported on Form W‐2. When an individual is first employed, the Library furnishes the new employee with a member information form to establish a PERS membership account. Annually, the Public Employees Retirement System of Mississippi sends the employee a fiscal year contributions statement.
All accumulated annual leave time may be rolled certified into the employee’s PERS account. Accumulated medical leave up to 18 days may be certified into the employee’s PERS account.
Additional information concerning retirement benefits is contained in the PERS Member Handbook. Information may also be obtained by calling PERS at 1‐800‐444‐7377 or (601) 359‐3589 or by visiting Public Employees Retirement System of Mississippi at www.pers.state.ms.us.
Resignations should be submitted in writing to the Director. A minimum of two (2) weeks notice is required for all positions.
No employment contract exists between any staff member and the Library. Employment by the Library does not imply that any employment contract is being offered. Any staff member may be terminated at any time without liability on the part of the library, the library staff or Board of Trustees.
The Director may discharge any employee for just cause or no proper cause. The following examples include but are not limited to sufficient cause for dismissal:
· Repeated tardiness
· Generally unsatisfactory work
· Unsatisfactory attitude toward job, co-workers and superiors
· Inability or refusal to perform required tasks
· Poor health indicated by excessive use of sick leave
· Abuse of sick leave privileges
· Lack of care of library property
· Continued unacceptable performance
· Overstepping job authority
· Drug abuse
· Other unacceptable behavior
- No cause
14 Employment References
It is the Library’s policy to disclose, in response to a prospective employer’s request for an employment reference, only the following information about current or former employees: The dates of employment, description of the duties performed, and salary information. All requests for employment references shall be forwarded to the Director. The director is the only person authorized to respond to the request. Responses to employment reference requests will only be given to the appropriate person asking for the information and only after the Director has verified the identity of the requestor. Prior to responding to the request, the Director shall also verify that the former or current employee is aware of and does not object to the Director responding to the reference request.
15 Employee Use of Computers and internet Policy
It is important that each person employed by the Library, whether full‐time, part‐time, temporary, contractor or subcontractor, understands and acknowledges the Computer and Internet Policy that governs the use of all computers, computer‐based communications networks, and all related equipment.
The electronic communications and facility of the Library are government property and by using these facilities, the user acknowledges consent to abide by these policies.
No communications or uses of the information systems resources are to be considered private or confidential and use of such systems may be monitored at any time. The Library prohibits the use of these technology resources in any manner which is disruptive, offensive, harmful to morale, unethical or illegal under state and/or federal laws. It is the responsibility of each employee and volunteer to use these resources in a responsible, courteous manner following accepted standards of behavior and etiquette.
All e‐mail, instant messaging or other communication composed, transmitted, or received via the Library's computers is considered to be part of the official records of the Library. As such, the information may be subject to disclosure to public records requests or law enforcement agencies should circumstances arise that require such action.
Any employee or volunteer found violating this policy may be restricted from, or denied, use of the information technology resources of the Library. If an employee or volunteer is found committing unlawful activities, the appropriate law enforcement agency/agencies will be notified.
16 Employee Dress and Speech
16.1 Employee Dress
The appearance of Library employees and volunteers reflects directly on how the Library is perceived by the public. Neatness and especially cleanliness are absolutely essential. The library is an important cultural institution whose employees should set the standards for the community. The following serve as guidelines:
- Slacks and shirts are appropriate for men and women. Dresses, skirts and blouses, or pant suits are appropriate for women.
- Blue jeans and T‐shirts are to be avoided for daily wear except where the nature of the job routinely involves dirt and grime.
- Casual days may be designated by the Director. Blue jeans and T‐shirts are acceptable. Clothing must not advertise alcohol, illegal acts or substances, or have any sexual content or innuendo.
- Shoes should be appropriate to the task at hand. Rubber flip‐flops are not permitted.
- The following are not permitted: provocative, revealing or abbreviated clothing; athletic clothing (sweats, warm‐up suits); tank tops; excessive amounts of perfume or cologne.
16.2 Statements to the Media
At all times media communications should be rooted in honesty, openness and accuracy of information. Employees should be knowledgeable on the media topics addressed and should refer inquiries upward whenever appropriate. Under no circumstances should confidential information be disclosed.
This policy in no way conflict with the Whistleblower Protection Act with regard to statements to investigatory bodies. The Whistleblower Protection Act does not apply to media statements.
16.3 Posting to Library Blogs, Podcasts, Social Networks, Twitter, etc.
Official library blogs, podcasts, photo sites, social network profiles, twitter feeds, etc. are an increasingly effective means of communication with library users and the larger community. Library staff designated to post on behalf of the Library must adhere to the following guidelines:
- Use a professional voice. Use standard English spelling and grammar. Avoid use of slang language and abbreviations such as 4now ("for now").
- Always verify facts before posting.
- Minimize personal opinions unless specifically authorized by the Library Director.
- Consider your postings carefully and discuss any information you may be uncertain about with the director.
- Always use common sense in posting to a public forum. Remember that anything you post will be available for everyone to read essentially forever.
The Library does not interfere with personal expression done outside the Library setting. However, if employees comment on any aspect of the Library or library services or policies in their own personal blogs, they must clearly identify themselves as Library employees and include a disclaimer that the views expressed are their own and not those of the Library.
16.4 Community Activities
Staff members are encouraged to participate in activities within the community which will help promote the library and its services. Arrangements should be made with the director for staff members who are invited to present speeches, performances, etc. for groups.
Employees are encouraged to take an active part in community and civic activities where such activities do not interfere with the performance of work responsibilities or present a possibility of conflict of interest. We should each do our part to make our community a more desirable place to live. Employees who assume civic responsibilities within their community develop the qualities of leadership which will contribute to their development. Staff members should always look for opportunities to provide good publicity for the library.
Smoking and all use of tobacco products is prohibited on all library property. In addition to the health hazard and discomfort to others, smoke damages library books and equipment (especially electronic equipment) causing premature disintegration, discoloration and other damage to materials.
18 Library Property
The library has invested thousands of dollars in the equipment which is necessary to conduct library business. Cooperation in the care and use of this equipment is necessary to maintain it in safe operating condition. If any equipment is defective or not in safe working order, please notify your supervisor. Care should be exercised at all times because gross employee negligence, causing damage to library property or equipment may result in the employee being held financially liable for the damage.
The library's vehicle is for business use and is to be driven only by authorized employees. Employee drivers must have with them at all times a valid Mississippi driver's license and are expected to practice safe and courteous driving habits. Any accident must be reported to your supervisor immediately. Failure to use library property and vehicles properly can result in dismissal.
19 Library Service for Patrons
Library users are the reason the library exists and employs staff members. We want our patrons to have an enjoyable experience so that they "feel good" using the library. We want to instill confidence in patrons that in all of our actions we are competent, fair and of the highest integrity.
Unsatisfactory attitude towards the job, co-workers, superiors or the library itself are grounds for dismissal. All staff members are expected to exhibit courtesy and respect to all co-workers and library patrons. Personal problems must not be allowed to affect the work environment. Our primary consideration at all times is the prompt and courteous provision of library service to all. It is essential that all library staff work together toward this goal.
Respect for the highest ethical standards is more important than any short-term gain the library or the employee may receive. All employees should act as leaders and set an example among their business, personal and professional acquaintances by their conduct.
Staff members are expected to demonstrate loyalty to the library. Negative remarks to co-workers or others about the library or library staff are always inappropriate. Small disloyalties in conversations or deeds can seriously affect the delivery of quality library service. You are expected to discourage the practice of starting or spreading rumors and to refrain from being a party to such actions.
We want our patrons to regard their library experience as enjoyable because of the sense of organization, comfort of the environment, and character of service provided. All staff members will conduct themselves in a friendly, knowledgeable way and present an appearance that supports the character of the library and its services.
Everything we do gives a signal to patrons as to who we are, what we believe in and what we want to be.