Southgate Veterans Memorial Library Policies

Patron Behavior Policy

The Southgate Veterans Memorial Library seeks to create and maintain a friendly, welcoming environment for everyone. To accomplish this, the following rules for patron behavior are established by the Library Commission, to guarantee the well being of all, ensure equitable access to library services, and protect the library grounds and property.

  1. Follow all laws, library policies, and local ordinances.
  2. Respect other patrons, as well as library staff. Do not annoy, harass, or disturb others, engage in loud or disruptive conduct, or cause a public disturbance.
  3. Avoid consumption of alcoholic beverages, marijuana, or other controlled substances on library grounds. Taking medication with a valid prescription is permitted.
  4. Smoking within the library, or near library entrances, is prohibited.
  5. Solicitation and panhandling are not allowed.
  6. Pets are not allowed within the library. Service dogs or miniature horses are allowed, in compliance with Michigan law.
  7. Patrons should take steps to minimize odor, such as from poor hygiene, or powerful perfume/cologne. A patron may be asked to leave briefly to address such odor.
  8. The library is not responsible for lost or stolen property; avoid leaving your personal belongings unattended. Library staff will not keep an eye on your belongings.
  9. Phone calls must be taken outside of the library, or within the entrance lobby. They are allowed in the four study rooms, so long as volume is kept low.
  10. Use of meeting software, such as Zoom, is allowed only within the four study rooms. They are not allowed in the large quiet study room, or other areas of the library. Please be mindful of your volume when using these spaces.
  11. Damaging or vandalizing any space within the library or its grounds is prohibited.
  12. Avoid the use of derogatory, profane, obscene, or abusive language, such as slurs based on race, religion, orientation, gender, etc., as well as crude gestures, or other such communications.
  13. Sexual activity on library grounds is not permitted.
  14. Shirt and shoes are required.
  15. Children are the responsibility of their parents and/or guardians. Please see the Unattended Child Policy for further information.
  16. Avoid sleeping in the library main areas, and on the floor. Patrons are allowed to sleep in the chairs in the front reading room, along the back wall, or in study rooms, where they will not disturb others.
  17. Food is not allowed within the library. Drinks are allowed only in sealable containers.
  18. Patrons are expected to leave the library no later than the library closing time.
  19. Avoid running in the library, as well as climbing on the furniture or shelves.
  20. Carrying firearms or other weapons, unless specifically permitted by local or state law, is prohibited.
  21. Entrances and exits, including stairs and access ramps, must be kept free of any obstacle. Library staff reserves the right to move such obstacles.
  22. Patrons are not allowed in staff only areas, except with the express permission of a library staff member.
  23. All patrons must seek permission from the Director or designee before taking photos or filming at the Library, unless attending a meeting that is open to the public under the Open Meetings Act. Children may not be recorded or have their pictures taken without the express permission of a parent or guardian.

Violating these rules and responsibilities may result in a warning, or being asked to leave the library building and grounds (including the parking lots and surrounding sidewalks). Patrons asked to leave will be allowed back after a set time, depending on the severity of their offence, and if they violated library policy before. The severity of a violation will be determined by the Director or their designee.

  1. Minor violations
    1. First: Warning, or 24 hour suspension
    2. Second: 1 week
    3. Third, and all subsequent minor violations: 1 month
  2. Serious violations
    1. First: 1 month
    2. Second: 6 months
    3. Third, and all subsequent serious violations: 1 year
  3. Major violations, including but not limited to breaking the law by damaging library property, assaulting or harassing staff, or disturbing the peace, will result in no less than a 1 year suspension, and may be extended up to a permanent ban from the library and its grounds.

Suspensions may be appealed by writing to the Library Commission. Send appeals to the library, ATTN: Director.

Library Cards

A long row of books with the circulation desk in the background

Residents of Southgate may sign up for a library card, which entitles them to borrow materials from not only this library, but also all other members of The Library Network. Similarly, holders of a card from any other TLN library may check items out from Southgate.

Card holders are also able to check out materials such as eBooks and audiobooks via Overdrive, and Hoopla; access a number of databases; and use our public computers using their library cards.

Applying for a new card

  1. City of Soutghate residents
    1. Residents may register at the Library during regular hours, during events attended by library staff that allow for registration, or under other special circumstances with the approval of the Director.
      1. Proof of residency must be shown at the time of registration, or upon the first visit to the library if registration was completed under circumstances that make providing proof difficult at the time.
      2. Registration must be made in person; the Director may, at their discretion, waive this requirement to allow for registration at special events, or under unusual circumstances.
      3. Residents who do not already have a card number may sign up for a temporary one online, by filling out a form available through the library website (click on the Card Registration link above). This temporary number will work for 3 months, allowing access to digital services. To obtain a permanent card, the resident must follow the steps for registering in person.
      4. Residents in temporary housing situations (living in a motel, hotel, or other short term arrangement) may sign up for a library card.
        1. This card will be good only at the Southgate library and will not include interlibrary loan privileges.
        2. Privilege for these cards will be limited to the anticipated duration of the patrons stay in the temporary housing.
        3. If the patron obtains permanent housing within Southgate, their card will need to be updated, at which point they will have the same privileges as any other Southgate resident.
    2. The following are considered proof of residency:
      1. Driver’s license or Michigan ID
      2. Tax receipt
      3. Voter registration
      4. Current utility bill with name and address
      5. Lease or mortgage
      6. Other documents displaying both patron name and address, at discretion of library staff.
    3. Minors must have a parent, guardian, or other responsible adult authorize registration, sign the registration application, and provide proof of residency.
      1. Registration must be made in person; the Director may, at their discretion, waive this requirement to allow for registration at special events, or under unusual circumstances.
      2. Adult authorizing registration assumes responsibility for choice of material.
      3. Adult authorizing registration assumes responsibility for return of materials borrowed by minors.
  2. Non-residents
    1. Southgate Veterans Memorial Library honors library cards issued by The Library Network member libraries.
    2. Southgate Veterans Memorial Library will issue temporary library cards to adult residents of communities that are members of The Library Network. Temporary cards will work for one month. A permanent card must be obtained from the library that serves the patron’s city of residence.
    3. Citizens of any community outside the TLN membership may be issued a card only if they attend a school or work in the city of Southgate. In these cases, the card is good only at the Southgate Library and does not include interlibrary loan privileges.
      1. School
        1. Proof of current enrollment must be shown to register for a card. Proof includes: tuition receipt or other document provided by the school.
        2. Cards issued to non-resident school attendees expire on June 15.
      2. Work
        1. Proof of employment must be shown at the time of registration such as a business card or pay stub.
        2. Card must be renewed annually.
      3. The Southgate Veterans Memorial Library does not sell library cards to non-residents.

Card policies

Cardholders are responsible for all materials checked out on their account, and are liable for damages to library materials while in their care. If your card is lost or stolen, report it immediately so that we may prevent unauthorized use. Initial cards are free, but replacement cards cost $2.00.

Books, audiobooks, videogames, and nonfiction DVDs are checked out for a 3 week period. They can be renewed twice, though new copies may only be renewed once. Movies (Blu-Ray & DVD), music CDs, board games, and magazines are checked out for a 1 week period, and may be renewed once; new copies of movies and music CDs cannot be renewed. If an item is on hold (meaning someone has requested it), it cannot be renewed, regardless of these renewal limits. Southgate library card holders may have up to 100 items of any type borrowed at once, except for WiFi hotspots and laptops, which we limit to 1 per person. We do not charge a fee for borrowing any materials.

Materials being returned can be brought to the circulation desk. They may also be returned to the drop box, a metal hatch in the wall to the left of the library entrance. Items returned to the drop box when we are closed are backdated, and treated as if they were returned the last day we were open.

The Southgate Veterans Memorial does not charge overdue fines for its materials when they are returned late. Materials borrowed from other libraries will follow the overdue item policies of those libraries. Please click HERE for more information.

Materials that are not returned three weeks after their due date will be marked as lost, and the borrowing patron will be charged for the materials. Returning lost materials will remove this charge. Accounts that owe $25 or more in fines, and are 45 days delinquent, will be referred to a collection agency. There is a collection fee assessed for this.

Patrons will be assessed the replacement cost of materials damaged or lost. Replacement costs will be those listed in the library catalog. Patrons may provide another copy of the damaged or lost materials, in good condition, in lieu of paying the replacement cost. This must be an exact copy; a paperback cannot replace a hardcover, for instance. Matching the ISBNs is the best way to make sure the two copies are the same. Please note that other libraries may not allow replacement copies for lost or damaged items.

Patrons may reserve any circulating materials belonging to the Southgate Veterans Memorial Library, and may request materials from other libraries in The Library Network be sent to Southgate. If a desired item is not available through The Library Network, patrons may search the Michigan Electronic Catalog (MelCat), and request materials through it. Once the requested materials are available, patrons will receive an automatic notification, and will have 7 days to pick up the materials.

Library cards are not transferable. Sharing of library cards will be grounds for revocation of Internet access privileges and may result in loss of other library privileges.

Public Computers

The picture book section

General computer use information

Everyone may use our public computers. Card holders may sign up at an available computer by entering their card number and PIN. PINs can be changed online, or by request. If you do not know yours, library staff can help you find out what it is, or give you a new one. Computer use is unlimited per day, but patrons may need to give up their computer if others are waiting for a turn.

Patrons without library cards may use the computers by first requesting a guest pass from the service desk. These passes only work on the day that they are issued.

Adults may make use of any public computer, though they are expected to use those in the adult computer lab when possible. The exception to this is if they are accompanied by a child, in which case they are welcome to use the children’s computers, regardless of adult computer availability. Children must use the children's computers. Children can only use the computers if they A) have a library card AND a signed computer contract, or B) a responsible adult, such as a parent, grandparent, or sibling, is present and gives permission.


To print, library cards or guest passes must first be charged with print funds; this is done at the circulation desk. It costs $0.10/ page to print in black and white, $0.25/page for printing in color. Patrons are responsible for all the prints they authorize, even if they are not satisfied with the result.

Print jobs in the adult computer lab must be released from the print station in the back of the computer lab, which has instructions posted on it. When printing from a children’s computer, the print release station is on a nearby desk with the two catalog computers. Black and white copies will print in the staff workroom; inform the circulation desk that you have printed, and they will get the copies for you. Color prints go to the copy machine. For help with printing, please see a staff member.

Documents to print can also be sent to, and handled by library staff, with no need to log on to one of our public computers. When you are ready, library staff at the front desk will print the documents for you, and take payment at the same time. Costs remain the same as all other printing.

Please note that guest passes only work on the day they are issued. If you have any print funds remaining on one, ask staff at the front desk to reimburse it; staff will not be able to verify the amount remaining in the future, and will deny the request.

Official Internet Use Policy

A globe surrounded by circular lines, symbolizing the internet

The internet and its available resources contain a wide variety of materials and opinions from varied points of view. Provision of access does not mean or imply endorsement or sanction by the Library of any of the information, images or commentary found on the internet.

It is not possible to use the same selection criteria on internet sources as that used for other materials. In offering the internet connection, library staff cannot control access points, which often change rapidly and unpredictably.

Users are responsible for the access points they reach. The internet is a global entity with a highly diverse user population and library patrons use it at their own risk.

The Southgate Veterans Memorial Library assumes no responsibility for any damage, direct or indirect, loss of data, or loss of privacy arising from use of its World Wide Web server or from its connection to other internet services.

Use by Minors/Filtering

To keep the library in accordance with Federal and State law (the Children's Internet Protection Act, 47 US C §254 and 20 USC §101, and Section 6 of the Michigan Library Privacy Act, 1982 PA 455, MCL 397.606) All publicly available computers have filtered internet connections.

Parents or legal guardians are responsible for their minor child’s reading, listening, and viewing of Library material, including the Internet. A minor shall not use an adult's Library card for access to the Internet unless the minor is physically accompanied by a parent or guardian at the computer terminal at all times. This policy prohibits the display of inappropriate material.

To address the issue of the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications, as well as unauthorized disclosure of, use, and dissemination of personal identification regarding minors, the Library urges minors to follow the safety guidelines below:

To address the issue of unauthorized access, including so-called "hacking" and other unlawful activities by minors, or others, online:

"Library computers are not to be used for any illegal activity".

Unacceptable Use

Failure to observe and comply with these rules may result in loss of Internet use privileges, and possibly other library privileges as well.

Meeting Rooms

Interior shot of the large study room

Public Use Of Library Meeting Rooms

Click here for the full meeting room policy.

Meeting rooms in the Southgate Veterans Memorial Library provide an opportunity for bringing together the resources of the Library and the activities of the community for educational, cultural, civic, intellectual, and charitable purposes. The Library values the pursuit of individual and community goals by ensuring the open exchange of diverse materials and ideas. Public use of library rooms is subject to availability and compliance with the terms of this policy. When the meeting rooms are not being used by the library, other City of Southgate departments, or library-sponsored or co-sponsored events, the space will be made available to the public on equal terms regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Meeting rooms are to be used for general information, educational, cultural and civic needs, including activities such as discussion groups, panels, forums, lectures, conferences, seminars, and meetings. The library meeting rooms are intended to host organized meetings and are not available for social or party-type gatherings, such as birthdays, weddings, funerals, games, reunions, etc.

Provision of library meeting rooms for public use does not constitute endorsement by Southgate Veterans Memorial Library or by its staff, of the groups or individuals using the meeting room or their beliefs. Public meetings and events held in the library are not sponsored by Southgate Veterans Memorial Library, unless agreement to such sponsorship, or co-sponsorship, has been provided in writing by the Director or their designee prior to scheduling of the meeting room. Unless sponsored or co-sponsored by the library publicity for public events in library facilities must not imply sponsorship by, or affiliation with, the library and must contain the statement, “This program is neither sponsored, co-sponsored nor endorsed by Southgate Veterans Memorial Library.” A sample of the literature must be received prior to distribution for approval by the Director or their designee.

This policy does not apply to meetings or use of the meeting rooms by the Southgate Veterans Memorial Library or programs sponsored or co-sponsored by the library.

Meeting Room Calendar

The full schedule for events in the meeting room can be found here.

Study Rooms - Individual and Small Group Study

Southgate Veterans Memorial Library offers small rooms for quiet individual, or small group, study. When not reserved, they will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for a maximum of 4 hours of use per day. Rooms A, B, and C have a 1-4 person capacity. Room D may be used by up to 6 persons.

  1. Rooms may be reserved for a maximum of 6 weeks, renewable at the librarian's discretion, depending upon demand.
  2. Reservations must be made at least 1 full day in advance.
  3. For-profit group use of the study rooms requires a fee of $10 per 4-hour use.
  4. Study rooms may not be used for social purposes, and users must not disrupt library patrons or violate any other library policies.
  5. The Library reserves the right to make occasional use of the study rooms for library events.

Donation Policy

  1. The library accepts books (hardcover and paperback), DVDs, Blu-Ray, video games, music CDs, and audiobooks on CD as donations. Other materials may be accepted at the discretion of staff.
  2. The library accepts textbooks printed within the last 5 years, but they will not be added to the collection, or placed in the book sale. If they are not desired by Better World Books (an organization the library partners with), they will be discarded.
  3. The library will accept games, puzzles, tools, cookware, toys, and other miscellaneous items on a case by case basis. The Director will make the final decision on such items, dependent on their opinion regarding if it would make a good addition to the collection. Please notify the Director of your donation ahead of time by calling the library.
  4. Acceptance of donations, in whole or part, may be denied for a time. This will allow staff to finish handling previous donations, and to prevent acceptance of items that are not currently desired (for example, puzzle donations may be denied if we have enough already available).
  5. The library does not accept Reader’s Digest condensed volumes, audio cassettes, VHS tapes, vinyl records, magazines, or encyclopedias.
  6. Donations must be in good condition. Anything that is damaged, written on, musty, odorous, dirty, mildewed, or otherwise in poor condition is not accepted. Library staff will deny the donation of unacceptable items, and are empowered to determine when a donation should be refused.
  7. Non-fiction titles should have been printed within the last 10 years, while fiction titles should have been printed within the last 15 years. An exception is made for popular works and authors, as well as titles of lasting value (cookbooks, biographies, classical literature, etc.)
  8. Donations must be made inside, in person, during our hours of operation. They should not be left outside the library when it is closed, or placed in the drop box.
  9. Donations should be made in boxes or bags that can be left at the library; staff are not expected to unload donations so the donor may have the containers back.
  10. When donating more than 2 boxes or bags of items, please call ahead. If the library receives too many donations at once, we will be unable to take more until we have time to work through what we have already received.
  11. Donated items may be added to the collection, placed in the book sale, sent to Better World Books, or discarded. The final disposition of donated items is at the discretion of library staff, we make no guarantees and agree to no provisions when accepting donations.
  12. A receipt for donated items is available on request. We will record the number of hardcover, softcover, and other items. Please have an accurate count of these items ready ahead of time; staff will count small donations, but more than a single box or bag is the responsibility of the donor to tally. The library does not provide appraisal of donations, that is also up to the donor.

Click here for a full copy of the current Policy and Procedure Manual for the Southgate Veterans Memorial Library.

Contact Info - Phone: 734-258-3002 - Address: 14680 Dix-Toledo Rd. Southgate, MI 48195

Hours - Mon-Thurs: 10am-9PM - Sat: 10am-5pm