Berkshire Athenaeum
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1. INTRODUCTION:  The Berkshire Athenaeum exists to initiate, nurture and feed a passion for knowledge and learning, and as one of its primary goals, "People of all ages will have their questions answered or have the necessary resources provided to them to discover answers for themselves." Supporting this goal, the Athenaeum offers patrons through its Technology Lending Program (TLP) a collection of technology devices that may be borrowed from the Reference Department for in-library use.

2. EQUIPMENT DESCRIPTION: Available items include a variety of laptops, tablet computers and other devices. Also available are Circulating E-Book Readers, preloaded with a variety of fiction and nonfiction titles, which are available for one-week loans and are considered in a separate, dedicated policy statement.


3.1. Visitors to the Athenaeum may borrow a TLP device for in-library use by presenting their C/W MARS library cards.

3.2.Only library cardholders whose accounts are current and in good standing may check out a device.

3.3. The cardholder is liable for the device while it is checked out to that cardholder.

3.4 The cardholder will be charged full replacement cost for any TLP device and its accessory parts (typically device cover, power cord, and/or adapter) not returned to the Reference Desk. The cardholder will be charged for a device returned in a damaged condition, which may include repairable damage requiring cleaning, reapplication of property labels, and reinstallation of software.

3.5. Borrowers who return devices late will be fined $5.00 per hour (or portion thereof).

3.6. Devices must be checked out from and returned to the Reference Desk.

3.7. Devices will be checked out with a power cord.

3.8. Devices circulate for two-hour loan periods.

3.9. Patrons are limited to one daily loan from each set of identical devices, for example, one daily loan from the lab laptops. Patrons are limited to one daily loan of each different make from a collection of devices, for example, one daily loan of each of the different makes of tablet computers.

3.10. There are no renewals on the loan of devices.

3.11. TLP Devices are available on a first come, first served basis.  There are no holds or reserves on the devices.

3.12. The Athenaeum's automated circulation system provides the borrower with two hours of time.  The countdown for the borrower starts the moment the Reference Department employee checks out the equipment. The Reference Department employee will mark the "Check Out" and "Due Back" times on the lending slip that accompanies each library device. The circulation system will begin to assess fines on an overdue device after the two hour loan period has elapsed.

3.13. Patrons wishing to save data may do so on compatible media (such as a flash drive or CD) that they provide, or they may inquire at the Reference Desk regarding the availability of media for sale.

3.14. Printing functions are not available for wireless devices at this time.

3.15. Devices newly acquired for the TLP are designated NEW in the library's catalog, have "NEW" labels affixed to the device, and must be used exclusively at one of the two long white tables in the Reference Department's one-hour computer area. Older devices may be used anywhere within the library building or on the reading terraces. As an exception, NEW devices may be taken to specified locations in the Local History Department with prior permission of the Local History Department person in charge, for local history or genealogical research purposes only.

3.16. The Internet and wireless policies of the Berkshire Athenaeum apply to both patron-owned and library-owned devices used in the library.

3.17. Persons violating the terms of library policy may have their privilege of using library computers and devices suspended or revoked.

3.18. Circulating TLP devices may be unavailable when a library computer training session is scheduled that will use the device(s).

3.19. Patrons who bring a TLP device into the Local History Department are required to sign in and sign out at that department's service desk.

3.20. Unauthorized removal of a TLP device from the library will be reported to the Pittsfield Police Department as a property theft, with full borrower identifying and contact information provided.

3.21. In addition to being charged replacement costs, patrons who remove TLP devices from the library will be subject to disciplinary measures that may include indefinite banishment from the library. Restoration of library privileges for stolen TLP devices subsequently returned or paid for will be considered on a case by case basis, taking into consideration the value, age, and popularity of the device and the amount of time it was unavailable to library patrons. 


4.1. When not in use, TLP devices are kept in the Reference Department office.

4.2. Whenever practical, Reference Department employees will plug devices in between uses to make sure the batteries are fully charged.

4.3. Patrons with accounts not in good standing will be referred to the Circulation Department for resolution.

4.4. Borrowers are to be invited to direct technical questions regarding the use of TLP devices to Reference Department personnel.

4.5. When checking in the equipment, Reference Department personnel will check to be sure the power cord has been returned with the device.

4.6. When there is evidence that a device has been used to access inappropriate sites, library staff will review the browser history of a returned TLP device to facilitate library policy enforcement.



Updated December 2013.  

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Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield's Public Library, Pittsfield, Massachusetts