Library Rules and Its Components: The library rules lay down the privileges and duties of the library members so that they may know their limits precisely and there may not be any confusion. These rules and regulations serve as a guideline to deal with the public. In the absence of such rules it may be difficult for the library to meet the demands of its users. Freedom without any limits cannot be called freedom because a person who claims freedom to himself to do any act which is injurious to the freedom of another person will deny the other person his freedom. So the diction “right” implies “duties” and “vigilance is the price of freedom” should be the guiding factors. The components of the library rules may be as follows:
a) About the Library: A brief description about the library, its history, aims and objectives.
b) Library Hours, Holidays: A library shall be kept open on all days from 9 am to 9 pm except on national holidays unless decided otherwise by the library committee. The issue counter shall be closed one hour before the closing of the library.
c) Library Collection: The reference collection, rare books, thesis, periodicals may not be issued out.
d) Library Services / Facilities: Circulation, reservation, reprography, inter library loan, bibliographical services can be considered as a must in every kind of library.
e) Membership Eligibility: To get enrolled as a member of a library a person shall fill and sign the enrollment form. The category of members may be administrative staff of the parent institution, teachers, research scholars, students, and others.
f) Admission to the Library: Only regular members of the library should have the admission privileges. However, non-members shall be admitted only by special permit to be issued by the librarian or his deputy during his absence. Membership identity card shall be shown at the counter when requested. Every member shall enter his name and membership number in the gate register.
g) Property Counter: Sticks, umbrellas, boxes, personal books and such other items should be left at the property counter.
h) Membership Privileges: Each category of member shall be given as many reader’s tickets as many volumes of books he/she is entitled to borrow at one time. The category can be as follows
Administrative Staff – 5 volumes
Teacher – 20 volumes
Research Scholar – 15 volumes
Honors Student – 10 volumes
Students – 5 volumes
The borrowers must satisfy themselves about the physical condition of the books before borrowing. They shall be held responsible for any damage or mutilation noticed at the time of returning. In the membership privileges itself the condition of loan, period of loan, overdue charge, condition of renewal should also be listed out. A member who loses a ticket shall make a written report to the Librarian. He shall be responsible for the misuse of the reader’s tickets. Duplicate ticket shall be issued after a lapse of two weeks from the date of such a notice and on payment of Rs. 100. He/she shall also be required to sign an indemnity bond.
A member, who infringes rules, shall be liable to forfeit his privilege of admission to and borrowing of books from the library.
i) Do’s and don’ts: Library rules include those regarding the prevention of misuse of library resources, maintenance of silence, prohibiting spitting and smoking, switching of the mobile phone or keeping it in vibration mode, and so on. The rules also insist that no person shall damage or disfigure books or other property of the library. A member shall have to replace such books or other properties those are damaged or must make payment for the value thereof.
j) Others: The rules also include the scope for their modification. The cases of misbehavior or discourtesy by the staff or unwillingness to provide service shall be reported to the librarian or his deputy during his absence.
The rules to be framed by a library should be worded in such a way that an average user can understand them. The main rules should be printed on the library tickets, book label, pocket and the back cover of the book.