About the Library
Mission, Vision, and Values Statement
Largo Public Library will provide an innovative learning environment for all ages, collections and services relevant to our community needs, and staff who will provide courteous and responsive service.
The Library enriches lives and builds community through attentive customer service and by providing programs and services that inform and inspire.
To be the Community of Choice in Tampa Bay
City Mission Statement:
Provide Superior Services that Inspire Community Pride
City of Largo Values:
Integrity, Collaboration, Passion, Creativity
Hours and Service Standards
Monday - Wednesday 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday - Friday 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The Largo Public Library's goal is that every library patron has a pleasant and memorable experience with each library encounter - whether it's in the building, over the phone, or at an outreach event.
History of the Library
Security and Security System
The Largo Public Library is equipped with a security system to prevent library materials from being improperly removed. An electronic device is used to protect library items. Use of the library signifies tacit agreement to investigative inspection if the alarm sounds.
If a patron attempts to leave the library with material that is not checked out, Largo Public Library staff are authorized to look through a patron's handbag briefcase, notebook, backpack, etc. for library materials. If a patron refuses to allow staff to look over his/her belongings, or if a patron attempts to forcibly leave the building with library materials that are not checked out, the staff will contact the police.
Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Spray: The Community Service Aid (Security Officer) is authorized to carry OC upon completion of a training and certification class held in accordance with manufacturer's guidelines. Re-certification will be required annually. The use of OC spray will be limited to instances in which library patrons exhibit aggressive physical or aggravated physical behavior toward library employees or other patrons.
MEB (Baton): The Community Service Aide (Security Officer) is authorized to carry a MEB upon completion of a training and certification class held in accordance with manufacturer's guidelines. Re-certification will be required annually. The use of the MEB will be limited to instances in which library patrons exhibit aggressive physical or aggravated physical behavior toward library employees or other patrons.
Handcuffs: The Community Service Aide (Security Officer) is authorized to carry handcuffs upon completion of a training and certification class held in accordance with manufacturer's guidelines. Re-certification will be required annually. The use of handcuffs will be limited to instances in which library patrons exhibit aggressive physical or aggravated physical behavior toward library employees or other patrons.
There are many volunteering opportunities at Largo Public Library and with the Library's support groups.
- If you are interested in volunteering to shelve library materials, pull requested items, assist with public computers, help with programs, or to repair library materials, please complete the application.
- Note: Per Library policy, we do not accept court ordered community service applicants.
Other volunteer opportunities:
- If you would like to volunteer to support of the Friends of the Largo Library by working in the book store and helping with bi-annual book sales, please contact the Friends by calling (727)586-7392 or emailing LPLFriends@gmail.com
- If you are interested in helping with Library fundraising for the new bookmobile, please contact the Greater Largo Library Foundation by calling (727)586-7398 or visiting the GLLF website.
- If you are interested in leading genealogy classes, please contact the Pinellas Genealogy Society by visiting the PGS website.
- If you are interested in becoming an English language tutor, please apply by visiting the ELL webpage.
- Teen volunteers should apply by visiting the Teen Room webpage. ADD LINK TO TEEN PAGE
The Legislative Department, City Manager, and Communications and Marketing Manager must be notified in advance of all visits by dignitaries from various governmental agencies and jurisdictions so they may be accorded all due rights, privileges, protection, and amenities. Notification to the Legislative Department, City Manager, and the Communications and Marketing Manager must be made before any formal invitations are issued.
- posting signs by copiers which inform patrons of copyright restrictions
- enforcing multiple copy restrictions for interlibrary loans and ensuring that its own publications are in conformance with copyright laws.
Bulletin Boards, Flyers, Brochures and Other Literature
The Largo Public Library serves the information needs of the community by providing sources of information and assistance in locating information. In its role as a center for community information, the library provides public bulletin boards and space for the passive distribution of various types of free literature regarding cultural, recreational, educational and human services programs and events.
The library reserves the right to designate specific places, i.e., bulletin boards, tables, kiosks, etc., where public notices and free materials must be placed.
As space is limited, materials will be posted and/or displayed by the following priority:
- Largo Public Library announcements and publications
- Largo Public Library co-sponsored announcements and publications
- City of Largo government announcements and publications
- Pinellas County, State of Florida, federal government announcements and publications
- Civic, recreational, cultural, and educational announcements and publications (if space is limited, priority will be given to events and organizations in the immediate Largo area)
- The appearance and content of the notice must be suitable for the Library's general public service area.
- Posters, brochures, or notices for political parties or candidates or those advocating a position on a public issue are not allowed.
- Space is available for local candidates' brochures during election campaigns.
- Posters and brochures advertising events or services for which a fee is charged are not allowed.
Non-approved materials found on the bulletin boards or distribution areas will be removed and discarded. Dated material will be removed and discarded as soon as possible after the event. Undated material will be removed and discarded after a minimum of two weeks or when the space is needed for other materials. The Library reserves the right to dispose of materials that are posted if they are outdated or if necessitated by space constraints.
The Library assumes no responsibility for lost or damaged materials and cannot return materials.
The display or distribution of free materials does not signify endorsement of any cause or activity by the Largo Public Library or the City of Largo.
Library Grounds Policy
The Largo Public Library (the Library) is designated as a limited public forum. As a limited public forum, the Library seeks to promote free speech while maintaining a safe and enjoyable experience for all patrons. Any individual or group wishing to use the area immediately outside of the Library, excluding the sidewalks and walkways as shown in the figure below (Library Grounds), to exercise their right of free speech must do so in accordance with the Library Code of Conduct and under the following conditions:
- Persons using the Library Grounds for free speech activity must stay at least 22.5 feet away from the Library Tower Entrance, and may not block walking paths or stand in the way of people approaching or exiting the Library. No person can use any part of the parking lot or drive aisles for free speech activity.
Persons using the Library Grounds may not harass any individual on the Library Grounds in any way. ”Harass” is defined as to create an unpleasant or hostile situation, especially by uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct, including touching or following.
Persons using the Library Grounds may bring one table up to six feet long and two folding chairs. These items may be placed on the Library Grounds in one of the set-up areas designated in the figure below.
Persons using the Library Grounds may not set up tents, or umbrellas. Signs and posters cannot be affixed to Library property. Any signs presented by persons using the Library Grounds must be no larger than 11” x 17” in size. Non-personal sound amplification equipment, such as microphones, megaphones, public address systems, and speakers, may not be used on the Library Grounds.
Any person using the Library Grounds who brings items including but not limited to tables, chairs, equipment, and signage, to the Library Grounds shall remove all such items from the Library Grounds upon their departure.
Persons using the Library Grounds shall only do so during the hours when the Library is open to the public.
The City of Largo and the Largo Public Library does not endorse the opinions, activities, or solicitations of any person using the Library Grounds. If any person using the Library Grounds represents that the City or the Library endorses their opinions, activities, or solicitations, such person may be subject to immediate removal from the Library Grounds.
Failure to comply with the Library Code of Conduct and the terms of this Policy will result in immediate dismissal from the Library Grounds and/or notification of the Largo Police Department.
In the event a person using the Library Grounds is dismissed from the Library Grounds as a result of their failure to comply with the Library Code of Conduct or this Policy, such person may seek an appeal within 14 calendar days of their dismissal by submitting a written complaint to the City of Largo at 201 Highland Avenue, Largo, Florida 33770. The City shall have 14 calendar days to respond to the complaint.
Largo Public Library is a Safe Place location.
- Safe Place is a nationally recognized program coordinated locally by Family Resources, Inc.
- Whether a young person has run away from home, is at risk of abuse or neglect, or is in need of respite from out-of-control family relationships, assistance can be requested at any of over 300 Safe Place sites in both Pinellas and Manatee Counties.
- Youth, ages 10-17, presenting themselves at a Safe Place location requesting assistance will be provided a counselor contact and if needed transportation to a shelter.
Patron Code of Conduct
|To ensure that all users of the Largo Public Library may safely and freely use the library, there are
expectations that patrons will behave in a manner that does not interfere with the mission of the library,
the rights of others, damage the library building or property, or cause injury to others. Library patrons
unwilling to modify unacceptable behavior (as outlined below) will be asked to leave the premises. Police
will be called when conduct is illegal, when a threat is posed to the library or individuals, or when an
individual refuses to follow library policies or refuses to leave the library when requested to do so.
No list is exhaustive; any conduct which disrupts the library is prohibited. Conduct which may lead to
denial of library privileges includes, but is not limited, to:
* Viewing pornographic material
* Public intoxication
* Damaging library property
* Carrying weapons into the library without a concealed weapons permit
* Any illegal activity
* Abandonment or leaving children under the age of 7 unattended
* Threatening or harassing library patrons or staff members
* Smoking or the use of other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes
* Running or other boisterous behavior
* Loud talking, singing, whistling, etc.
* Use of offensive or abusive language or behavior
* Playing audio equipment so that others may hear it
* Selling or soliciting
* Bringing animals into the building (with the exception of service animals)
* Use of restrooms as laundries, showers, etc.
* Not wearing shoes or shirts
* Sleeping or loitering
* Skateboarding, roller skating, or other similar activity
* Eating or bringing food into the library (beverages may be brought into the library only in
containers with appropriate lids)
* Use of cell phones in quiet reading rooms and library programs
* Having offensive bodily hygiene which disturbs others
Library staff is not responsible for unattended children.
Cell phones use is permitted, but must be at or below normal conversational noise levels.
Breastfeeding in a public area is protected by the Florida Statutes.
In accordance with the Florida Statutes (984.13), local law enforcement authorities (Largo Police, school resource officers) will be notified when school-aged children are continuously present (without permission from their parents or guardians) in the library during school hours.
The library reserves the right to require anyone violating the Library Code of Conduct to leave the library. Serious or repeated misconduct may lead to suspension of library privileges, legal action or criminal prosecution.
- Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.
- The task(s) performed must be directly related to the person’s disability.
- Please note that according to the ADA, emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals do not fall within this definition.
- Additional guidance was provided in the Florida Statutes (section 413.08; effective July 1, 2015), in line with the federal definition of an individual with a disability, to encompass those who are deaf, blind, have a physical disability, or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.
- A “major life activity” as defined by the statute is a “function such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.”
- A “physical or mental impairment” is defined to include a physiological disorder or condition, disfigurement, or anatomical loss, or a mental or psychological disorder that meets one of the diagnostic categories specified in the most recent Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
- The law also now requires that the service animal be under the control of its handler, housebroken, and must be harnessed, leashed, or otherwise tethered unless the individual is unable to do so due to their disability, or such tethering would interfere with the service animal’s performance of its work or tasks. If not tethered for this reason, the service animal must be under control of the handler by voice, signal, or other effective means.
- Under control also means that a service animal should not be allowed to bark repeatedly in a lecture hall, theater, library, or other quiet place.
Largo Public Library Bill of Rights
- Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
- Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
- Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
- Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
- A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
- Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
The library will protect the quality of the City of Largo's intellectual, cultural, and informational environment by supporting the Library Bill of Rights, and Freedom to Reading Statement, as adopted by the American Library Association.
Freedom to Read Statement
Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.
These efforts, at suppression, are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.
Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.
Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.
We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend.
We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.
The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.
We therefore affirm these propositions:
- It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority. Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.
- Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated. Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.
- It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author. No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.
- There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression. To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.
- It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous. The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.
- It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information. It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.
- It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a "bad" book is a good one, the answer to a "bad" idea is a good one. The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader's purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.
Adopted June 25, 1953, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 165, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004.
Freedom to View Statement
The freedom to view, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression. Therefore these principles are affirmed:
- To provide the broadest possible access to film, video, and other audiovisual materials because they are a means for the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.
- To protect the confidentiality of all individuals and institutions using film, video, and other audiovisual materials.
- To provide film, video, and other audiovisual materials which represent a diversity of views and expression.Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.
- To provide a diversity of viewpoints without the constraint of labeling or prejudging film, video, and other audiovisual materials on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or filmmaker or on the basis of controversial content.
- To contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public's freedom to view.
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) Statement
Largo Public Library puts the concerns of EDI into every aspect of programming, collection development, staffing, displays, technology, marketing, and all other methods of library work. Largo Public Library recognizes the need to work continuously to make sure that every patron we serve is represented at every level of our community. We encourage the community to let us know how we can better serve you and make the library a place for everyone.
The Largo Public Library defines Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion using the definitions set forth by the American Library Association. They are as follows:
Equity is not the same as formal equality. Formal equality implies sameness. Equity, on the other hand, assumes difference and takes difference into account to ensure a fair process and, ultimately, a fair (or equitable) outcome. Equity recognizes that some groups were (and are) disadvantaged in accessing educational and employment opportunities and are, therefore, underrepresented or marginalized in many organizations and institutions. The effects of that exclusion often linger systemically within organizational policies, practices, and procedures. Equity, therefore, means increasing diversity by ameliorating conditions of disadvantaged groups.
Diversity can be defined as the sum of the ways that people are both alike and different. Visible diversity is generally those attributes or characteristics that are external. However, diversity goes beyond the external to internal characteristics that we choose to define as ‘invisible’ diversity. Invisible diversity includes those characteristics and attributes that are not readily seen. When we recognize, value, and embrace diversity, we are recognizing, valuing, and embracing the uniqueness of each individual.
Inclusion means an environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully; are valued for their distinctive skills, experiences, and perspectives; have equal access to resources and opportunities; and can contribute fully to the organization’s success.
ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services Glossary Terms