This handbook will acquaint you with policies, rules, and benefits which apply to employees at Southeast Kansas Library System (SEKLS) and employees at Iola Public Library.  It is your responsibility to read and be familiar with the contents of this handbook.

The information contained in this handbook applies to all employees of the Southeast Kansas Library System and all employees of Iola Public Library.  It is presented as a matter of information only and its contents should not be interpreted as a contract with any employee.  This handbook is not intended to and does not constitute any sort of contract of employment, either express or implied.

Southeast Kansas Library System and Iola Public Library expressly reserve the right to change any policies without prior notice, including those covered here, at any time.  You will be notified of any changes by appropriate means.  Amendments or new policies will be effective on dates determined by the governing board of your respective employer, and you may not rely on policies that have been amended or deleted.  No one other than the governing board of the Southeast Kansas Library System or the governing board of Iola Public Library has any authority to change any policy.

This employee handbook supercedes all previous personnel policies and management memos which may have been issued on subjects covered herein.  If you are uncertain about any policy or procedure, please check with the Director or Administrative Assistant.

Unless otherwise stated, the word Alibrary@ throughout this handbook applies to both the Southeast Kansas Library System and the Iola Public Library.


Employees of Southeast Kansas Library System and Iola Public Library are “employees-at-will.”  Either Southeast Kansas Library System or Iola Public Library or the employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time, either with or without cause, and also with or without notice.

No representative or employee of the library has any authority to enter into any contract or agreement with you concerning your employment except the Director or the boards.





Southeast Kansas Library System and Iola Public Library maintain a policy of nondiscrimination with employees and applicants for employment.  No aspect of employment with us will be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law.

Nothing in the previous paragraph is meant to limit or expand the library’s obligation pursuant to all state, local, and federal laws, rules and regulations in all phases or employment including, but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, benefits, transfer and dismissals.


Southeast Kansas Library System and Iola Public Library intend to hire only citizens of the United States of America or those who have valid permits to work in the United States.  All employees are required to provide proof of citizenship as requested or proof of a United States work permit before he/she can receive his/her first paycheck.



No person shall be employed in the same department or in any position supervised by a member of their immediate family, as defined below.


Immediate family, as used under Nepotism, Sick Leave, Funeral Leave, or elsewhere in this handbook, shall include spouse, children, grandchildren, grandparents, and parents, as well as comparable step-family members and in-laws.


The library is designated as a no-smoking building.  No smoking is allowed anywhere in the building and employees and visitors who wish to smoke must leave the building to do so.


Southeast Kansas Library System and Iola Public Library will not tolerate the harassment of one employee by another.  The following employment practices are a part of our non-harassment policy:

It is our policy to maintain an environment free of intimidation, insult, and harassment based upon race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, or disability.  Any such incident should be reported promptly to your supervisor, the administrative assistant, or the director for investigation and resolution.

No employee shall engage in comments, jokes, or name calling that is vulgar, offensive, or profane, or that may insult someone’s religion, race, sex, color, disability, age or national origin.  Any employee who violates this policy will be subject to discipline, up to  and including termination of employment.

This library will not tolerate sexual harassment in any form.  No supervisor or employee shall threaten or imply that an employee’s refusal to submit to sexual advances will adversely affect the employee’s employment, evaluation, pay, promotion, job assignment, or any other aspect or condition of employment.  Any employee who violates this policy will be subject to discipline, up to  and including termination of employment.

No employee, whether supervisory or non-supervisory, may sexually harass another employee.  Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to:

1.  Touching or making improper or proposition advances;

2.  Abusive, vulgar language of a sexual nature;

3.  Suggestive jokes or comments about an employee’s body or wearing apparel; and

4.  Display of sexually suggestive cartoons, pictures, or photographs.

Any employee who believes the actions or comments of another employee constitute unwelcome harassment may report the situation to the director.  In its efforts to prevent discrimination or harassment of any kind, the library will maintain an open-door policy.  All complaints will be promptly and confidentially investigated.  The complaining employee will be advised of the result of the investigation.

Any employee, supervisory or non-supervisory, found to have engaged in harassment or discrimination toward another employee will be subject to discipline, up to  and including termination of employment.

The discipline to be taken is wholly in the discretion of Southeast Kansas Library System and Iola Public Library.  Nothing in these guidelines should be taken in any way as a limitation on the powers of the library to decide what discipline is appropriate under given circumstances.


Any injury, however slight, occurring on the job must promptly be reported to your supervisor.  This is for your own protection under Kansas Worker’s Compensation regulations and a requirement under the Occupational Safety and Health Act Regulations.


The use, possession, sale, transfer, purchase, or being under the influence of illegal drugs or intoxicants or controlled substances by employees at any time on library premises, in library vehicles, or while on library business is prohibited.  Employees must not be on library  business or on library property or operating library vehicles or equipment while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage, marijuana, or illegally obtained drugs, narcotic, or other controlled substance.

If the library has reason to believe that an employee is in violation of this policy, the library reserves the right to test such employee(s).  Any employee who violates this policy or refuses to submit to a test will be subject to discipline, including termination.


In the event the library is closed for weather conditions, the Director will cause all employees and KIKS radio to be notified.  All employees will be paid for the hours they would have worked.  In the event the library is open and an employee can’t get to work due to weather, the employee may choose to take a day of vacation, a personal day, make the time up, or take a day of unpaid leave.


Employees working more than 3 consecutive hours are authorized one 15-minute rest break, and those working more than 6 hours in a day are authorized two 15-minute rest breaks.  Breaks are not cumulative, cannot be carried over to another day, and may not be taken during the first or last hour of work.


It is the policy of the library to encourage continuing education and professional involvement for employees.


Groups of people who are working together for any purpose require certain guidelines pertaining to their conduct and relationships.  Accordingly, our employees must be aware of their responsibilities to the library and to co-workers.

We strive to take a constructive approach to disciplinary matters to insure that actions which would interfere with operations or an employee’s job are not continued.

Violations of our standards will result in one of the following forms of corrective action:  Discharge, suspension, oral warning, or written warning.  In arriving at a decision for proper action, the following will be considered:

1.  The seriousness of the infraction;

2.  The past record of the employee;

3.  The circumstances surrounding the matter.

Although there is no way to identify every possible violation of standards of conduct, the following is a partial list of infractions which will result in corrective action:

1.  Falsifying an employment application, timesheet, or personnel or other library document or record;

2.  Missing work without notice or a valid excuse.

3.  Breach of confidentiality;

4.  Unauthorized possession of library property, carrying weapons (except as specifically authorized by law) or explosives, or violating criminal laws on library premises;

5.   Disorderly conduct which may endanger any employee or property on library premises;

6.  Engaging in acts of dishonesty, fraud, theft, or sabotage;

7.  Threatening, intimidating, coercing, using abusive language, or interfering with the performance of other employees;

8.  Insubordination or refusal to comply with instructions or failure to perform reasonable duties which are assigned;

9.  Unauthorized use of library material, time, equipment, or property;

10.  Damaging or destroying library property due to careless or willful acts;

11.  Conduct which the library feels reflects adversely on the employee or library;

12.  Performance which, in the library’s opinion, does not meet the requirements of the position;

13.  Engaging in such other practices as the library determines may be inconsistent with the ordinary and reasonable rules of conduct necessary to the welfare of the library, its employees, or patrons;

14.  Negligence in observing fire prevention and safety rules;

15.  Violation of the library’s policy on alcohol and drugs;

16.  Other circumstances for which the library believes corrective action is warranted.

This list is intended to be representative of the types of activities which may result in disciplinary action.  It is not intended to be comprehensive and does not alter the employment-at-will relationship between the employee and the library.

You may be required at any time to submit to a medical exam, at library expense and library selection of physician, to determine if you are physically and mentally fit for the job you perform or will perform.


Important events in each employee’s history with the library will be recorded and kept in the employee’s personnel file.  Regular job evaluations, change of status records, commendations, corrective action warnings, and educational attainment records are examples of records maintained.

You are responsible for notifying the administrative assistant of changes in address, telephone number, and/or family status (births, marriage, death, divorce, legal separation, etc.), as income tax status and group insurance may be affected by these changes.  This up-to-date information will enable the library to keep accurate personnel records.  This responsibility includes employees on leaves of absence.

Job evaluations are normally conducted each fall.  Copies of the evaluation are placed in the personnel file.


The work week is defined as Monday through Sunday for Iola Public Library employees, and Saturday through Friday for SEKLS employees.

Except as required to help with desk duty or telephone answering duty, employees may set their own work schedules, subject to the approval of the department head where appropriate, as long as the assigned number of hours for the week is met.

Employees are required to maintain an accurate time sheet noting hours worked, vacation and other leave, and compensatory time earned and taken.

Pay periods for Iola Public Library employees shall be every two weeks, with pay days on Fridays, as set by the City of Iola.

SEKLS employees are paid on the 15th and the last day of each month.  If the last working day falls on a weekend or holiday, employees will be paid on the preceding work day.


This section applies to employees who are not exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Non-exempt employees scheduled to work less than 40 hours per week may work more than their allotted number of hours in any given week (up to but not exceeding 40 hours in a week, unless approved by the Director.)

No non-exempt employee shall exceed 40 hours worked in a week without advance approval from the Director.  Such approval ordinarily will not be given.

Non-exempt employees paid according to a monthly or annual rate who work more than 40 hours during a work week shall receive compensatory time off at the rate of 1.5 hours for every hour worked in excess of 40 hours, rather than receiving cash overtime pay.  However, no more than 240 hours of compensatory time (representing not more than 160 hours of overtime worked) may accrue; therefore, any overtime hours in excess of 160 hours shall result in payments of 1.5 hours pay for each hour of overtime.  Compensatory time received may be preserved, used or cashed out by the employee consistent with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Non-exempt hourly employees shall receive 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for each hour worked in excess of 40 hours in a work week.



Employees whose usual work schedule is for less than 20 hours per week and clerk-shelvers receive only those benefits mandated by law or regulation: Social Security, workers’ compensation, etc.  Such employees are not entitled to holiday pay, vacation, sick leave, and other benefits.

Other employees receive benefits as outlined in this handbook.


Regular paid holidays are:

New Year’s Day
Memorial Day
Fourth of July
Labor Day

One additional holiday is chosen by vote of the staff each year.  Options are Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day, Columbus Day, or Veterans’ Day.  Employees also receive their birthdays off.

The library will be closed the Saturdays preceding Memorial Day and Labor Day.    On Thanksgiving, the library will close at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening and reopen on Saturday at 9:00 a.m.  The library will close at noon on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Employees will be paid for the number of hours normally worked on the day on which the holiday occurs.   If a holiday falls on a weekend, employees will receive a floating holiday which may be used at the discretion of the individual at any time during the quarter in which the holiday falls or in following quarters until the end of the year.  No floating holiday is given for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve if they fall on the weekend.


Employees with less than 5 years’ experience receive two weeks of paid vacation annually.  New employees are entitled to take half of their first year’s vacation at the end of six months, the other week at the end of nine months.  After 5 years employment, one day per year is added up to a limit of three weeks of paid vacation.  Employees with 20 years of service receive 4 weeks of paid vacation annually.  Employees with a master’s degree in library or information science (MLS)  may receive credit for their years of professional experience.

One day per quarter is allowed for personal business.   Personal days cannot be carried over to the next quarter.

As a matter of courtesy, vacations should be scheduled at least a month in advance if you know when you will be taking time off.   Iola Public Library employees should schedule vacation time with the Public Services Librarian.  SEKLS employees in the Technical Services, Technology Serivces, or Resource Sharing departments should schedule vacation with their department head. Preferred vacation dates may be declined by the library if other employees in these departments have already scheduled vacation for the same dates.   All remaining employees may schedule their vacation by  recording it on the calendar.


Sick leave must be earned before it can be taken (i.e. a month of employment must have elapsed before a day of sick leave can be claimed).  Each eligible employee shall be credited one hour sick leave for each 20 hours worked up to a maximum of 12 days per year.  Sick leave may accrue to 125 working days.

An employee who has exhausted either sick leave or vacation may be granted, upon the approval of the Director,  a leave of absence without pay. (See Leave of Absence.)

Sick leave is granted for personal illness, bodily injury, or to keep doctor or dental appointments.  Sick leave may also be used for illness in an employee’s immediate family.

Sick leave is not to be considered as vacation pay.

An employee who 1) has been employed at least 3 years, and 2)  leaves employment with at least 20 days of accumulated sick leave,  will be compensated for 25% of the unused sick leave at that individual’s current hourly rate of pay.   Whenever an employee has reached the maximum sick leave accumulation, 12 days of sick leave will be paid at 25% of the employee’s current rate of pay, with the individual’s sick leave accumulation reduced by 12 days.

An employee with a serious, chronic, or long-term illness whose sick leave and other leave has been exhausted may apply for additional sick leave from a sick leave pool.  The director (or, for a request from  the director, the board) will determine whether the request should be approved.  Upon approval of the request, employees with at least 20 days of accumulated sick leave may contribute up to 10 days of their sick leave to the pool.  The names of sick leave pool contributors and the amounts they contribute shall be confidential.


Funeral Leave – Employees suffering a death in the immediate family as defined previously, as well as of the employee’s brother or sister, may take up to three leave days with pay.  One day is given for other family members.  For spouses, children, or family members for whom the employee is either the caregiver or next of kin, five days are given. At the Director’s discretion, employees may also attend without loss of pay funerals for fellow employees, former employees, or immediate family of employees.

Jury Duty – Employees shall be granted leave with pay when required to be absent to serve as a court witness and/or on jury duty.  Any employee on a jury panel or serving as a court witness shall return to work for the balance of the day when excused by the court from further attendance. If the employee receives compensation from the court, said compensation shall be given to the library.  Alternatively, the employee may take vacation or personal leave and retain their court compensation

Parental Leave  – An employee who is pregnant shall, upon the employee’s request, be granted Parental Leave.  Upon birth or adoption of a child, both mothers and fathers may request Parental Leave.  Parental leave is without pay, except that the employee may elect to utilize any accrued sick leave or vacation.  All benefits, including health insurance, will be continued during Parental Leave.

Parental Leave may be taken for up to 12 weeks following birth or adoption.  The leave may be extended beyond this period with permission from the Director.  Upon return to work, the employee shall have the same status and rights as prior to taking leave.

This policy shall be interpreted to treat employees on parental leave no less favorably (concerning commencement and duration of leave, extensions, reinstatement, benefits and privileges, etc.) as employees on leave for sickness or temporary disability.

Military Leave – Employees called to military service in the Army Reserve or National Guard will receive up to 30 days leave with pay.


An employee who has exhausted both sick leave and vacation leave may be granted a leave of absence without pay for up to 3 months upon approval by the Director.   Health insurance, if any, will continue to be provided as usual during this period.


Iola Public Library employees who regularly work 30 hours weekly or more are eligible for health insurance benefits.  They participate in the City of Iola health insurance plan under the terms determined by the City.

SEKLS employees regularly working 30 hours per week or more, or at least nine months each year at 40 hours per week, are eligible for health insurance benefits.   They participate in the SEKLS health insurance plan. Full-time employees jointly employed by the Southeast Kansas Library System and Iola Public Library also are eligible for health insurance benefits.

In addition to continued coverage at the employee’s expense which may be available as required by law, SEKLS will make continued coverage at the employee’s expense available to retired employees with at least five years’ experience. There may be an additional administrative fee required by the health insurance carrier.  For employees retiring after January 1, 2020, eligibility for continued coverage ends upon becoming eligible for Medicare.


The library contributes an amount equal to that which you pay into the federal Social Security program.  This provides for benefits under the Social Security Act, such as retirement, disability and death benefits.


The cost of workers’ compensation insurance is paid entirely by the library.  If you are injured on the job, you must report immediately to the Administrative Assistant, both for treatment and to protect the benefits which may be paid under workers’ compensation insurance.  Report all accidents and injuries no matter how small.  Should you fail to notify the library of an on-the-job accident and you later suffer complications from the accident, you may lose your benefits.


Employees whose regular work schedule exceeds 1000 hours annually participate in KPERS.  Employee and employer contributions, benefits, policies, and procedures are determined by KPERS.


The library may offer certain optional plans in which employees may participate at their own expense.  Payroll deduction is offered for these plans.    Iola Public Library  offers those plans available to city employees.  SEKLS currently offers catastrophic illness insurance, KPERS optional group life insurance, and a 457(b) retirement savings plan.

Revised by the library board 11-1-18; last reviewed 4-5-21