Elizabeth Taber Library
8 Spring Street - Marion, MA 02738
508-748-1252

Elizabeth Taber Library
8 Spring Street - Marion, MA 02738
508-748-1252

Library Use Policies

Policies

The SAILS Network

The Elizabeth Taber Library is a member of the SAILS library network, a group of over 60 libraries in southern Massachusetts linked by a common computer database, a “computerized card catalog”. Your library card gives you access to materials in any library in the network, as well as its on-line databases.

Library Card

1. Any person 5 years or older may apply for a library card by presenting a legal form of identification with address. Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to apply for a library card. When applying for a library card, please consider becoming a member of the Marion Library Association, our Friends of the Library organization.
2. Replacing a lost library card costs $3.00.

Borrowing Rules

Please have your library card with you to check out an item!

1. Books, magazines and sound recordings and CDs:

  • Check out for 2 weeks
  • Have no limit to the number which may be taken out
  • Will be automatically renewed 2 more weeks if no one else is waiting for them
  • Cost $.10 a day for each day overdue
  • If fines reach $10.00, card use is blocked at all SAILS libraries
  • May be returned to any SAILS library

2. Audio Books and DVDs:

  • All DVDs  are complimentary, no fee to rent
  • Check out for 14 days
  • Limit of 3 DVDs on a card
  • Can be renewed at no charge for 2 more weeks, in person or by phone, if there are no holds on them
  • Cost $1.00 a day for each day overdue
  • $10 max overdue fine

3. Reference

Reference materials cannot be checked out; they are for use in the library.

4.  Holds

  • You may reserve (place a “hold”) on items in the Sails network catalog and have them sent to the library most convenient for your pick up.
  • You may not place holds on reference or non-circulating materials, and some libraries’ museum passes.
  • Reserve items in any of these ways

You will need your library card and your PIN (usually the last 4 digits of your phone number) to reserve items.

Computers

OPAC

We have one computer dedicated to allowing patrons to search our  “online card catalog”. Use them to find materials owned by all or any of the libraries in the SAILS network, to place holds, and to use the SAILS and SEMLS databases.

Internet

Available in 45 minute increments by signing in with your library card or guest pass. Parents are responsible for their childrens’ use of the Internet; please supervise them. Printing costs $.25 per page or $1 for color.

Faxing

$1 per page

Scanning

$.25 cents per page

Advisory to Internet Users and Parents

Material on the internet may be inaccurate, deceptive, distasteful, or illegal. Parents should guide their children’s access to the internet, TV, movies, books and magazines.

No “filtering software” censors this Library’s computers, because the Federal Courts have found that such software interferes with constitutionally protected speech.

You have a legal right to privacy. Library staff will not interfere with anyone’s access to information, within the limits of state and/or federal law.

No one may use Library computers to receive or transmit material harmful to minors, pornographic images of children, or materials that are obscene, dangerous, harmful or unlawful.

“Hacking” with Library computers is illegal.

Criminals have frequently used the internet to set up fraud, and even kidnappings. For your own safety, never disclose personal information such as your name, address, telephone number, social security number, computer passwords, credit card account numbers, or school location to strangers whom you know only over the internet.
The Library discourages the use of e-mail, instant messaging and chat rooms on its computers.

Other

Unattended Children – Young children may not be left unattended in the Library; we do not have the staff or facilities to ensure their welfare.

Cell phones – As a courtesy to other library patrons, cell phone use must be limited to the outer lobby area.


Library Behavior Policy

Patron Behavior Policy

The Elizabeth Taber Library encourages people of all ages to visit the library. Those using the library and its resources have the right to expect a safe, comfortable environment that supports appropriate library services. Use of the Library requires respect for others who are also enjoying the library facilities and services. Certain activities are inconsistent with the mission of the Library and will not be tolerated. Among these are the following:

  • Disruptive behavior, such as but not limited to: running, playing audio equipment so that others can hear; threatening or harassing behavior; public intoxication; talking loudly; or engaging in any other behavior which would hinder the Library from carrying out its mission
  • Harassment of patrons or staff including using threatening language, inappropriate behavior, or attention, or intimidating language or behavior.
  • Stealing or vandalizing any property of the Library, Library Staff, or Library Patrons
  • Soliciting of any kind including seeking or collecting signatures for a petition, unless permission has been granted by the Library Director and/or Board of Trustees
  • Smoking or the use of other tobacco products in the Library or on the premises
  • Possession or the use of alcohol or illegal drugsPossession of weapons including but not limited to: knives, guns, clubs, and blades
  • Misuse of restroom (e.g. using them as a laundry or washing facility)
  • Bringing animals into the Library, except service animals, or with permission from the Library Director and/or Board of Trustees
  • Sleeping
  • Recording patrons without their consent
  • Attempting to record or obtain patron records or personal information of patrons or staff without permission including requesting check-out records, contact information, etc.
  • Monopolizing staff time, singling out staff members, or requesting services beyond library appropriate service offerings
  • Entering staff only areas without permission

In addition:

Shoes and shirts must be worn in the library

Cell phone use: cell phones should be set to silent or vibrate mode; keep conversations short and speak softly; conduct long conversations outside.

Parents are responsible for ensuring the safety and appropriate behavior of their children. The library has an established policy on unattended children in the library. If a child is disruptive when a parent is present, the library staff will make every effort to speak to the parent so that they can handle the situation. If the parent is not readily available, the staff may need to approach the disruptive child so that the behavior can stop.

We set these guidelines so that all who use our facility may feel their library visit is pleasant and safe.


Collection Development Policy

Elizabeth Taber Library’s Collection Development Policy

 

Mission Statement

The Elizabeth Taber library is committed to the mission of providing a welcoming space for education, entertainment, and exploration for all.

The Collection Development Policy outlines the practices that create and shape Elizabeth Taber Library’s collections as well as maintains them over time.

Support for Intellectual Freedom

The library provides an impartial environment in which individuals and their interests are brought together with the universe of ideas and information spanning the spectrum of knowledge and opinions. The library board affirms the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to View, and Freedom to Read policy statements in support of acquiring and managing collections.

Objective

The library’s materials collection is developed and managed to meet the majority of the cultural, informational, educational, and recreational needs of the library’s service area. The library builds and maintains a patron-oriented collection by anticipating and responding to needs and expectations.

Collection decisions are made in conjunction with the strategic initiatives, especially the following:

  • Positioning the library as the preferred partner for lifelong learning
  • Embracing diversity
  • Developing library services that incorporate both physical and virtual collections
  • Committing to excellence in service to improve effectiveness and remove barriers to access

 

Responsibility for Election of Materials:

Staff contributes to the development of patron-oriented collections by:

  • Engaging in open, continuous two-way communication with library patrons and recognizing that individuals have different ways of expressing their needs based on age, language, economic status, culture, or other characteristics
  • Interacting with patrons with understanding, respect, and responsiveness
  • Handling all requests equitably
  • Working in partnership with one another to understand and respond to community needs
  • Understanding and responding to rapidly changing demographics, as well as societal and technological changes
  • Recognizing that materials of varying complexities and formats are necessary to satisfy diverse needs of library users
  • Balancing individual needs and broader community needs in determining the best allocation of collection budget for acquiring or providing access to materials and information
  • Seeking continuous improvement through ongoing measurement
  • Reviewing the collection on a regular basis to identify areas of community interest that may need to be strengthened

Library Selection Criteria

Libraries are diverse and represent a broad demographic. With a patron base that can include infants to the elderly, selection criteria should take into account the various interests and needs of the patrons the library serves. Criteria for selection of materials should also depend on the goals and mission of that particular library/system. In general, libraries provide collections containing a wide variety of material formats, including print, audio-visual, and electronic. In selecting materials and developing collections for adults, as well as for children and teens, library staff includes materials that represent the broad range of human experience, reflecting the ethnic, religious, racial, and socio-economic diversity not only of the region it serves but also the larger global perspective. Library collections will provide a broad range of opinion on current issues.

Collections contain popular works, classic works that have withstood the test of time, and other materials of general interest. Works are not excluded or included in the collection based solely on subject matter or on political, religious, or ideological grounds. In building collections, library staff is guided by the principle of selection, rather than censorship. Furthermore, the selection of a given item for a library’s collections should not be interpreted as an endorsement of a particular viewpoint.

To build a collection of merit, materials are evaluated according to one or more of the following standards. An item need not meet all of these criteria in order to be acceptable.

General Criteria:

  • Present and potential relevance to community needs
  • Suitability of physical form for library use
  • Suitability of subject and style for intended audience
  • Cost
  • Importance as a document of the times
  • Relation to the existing collection and to other materials on the subject
  • Attention by critics and reviewers
  • Potential user appeal
  • Requests by library patrons

Content Criteria:

  • Authority
  • Comprehensiveness and depth of treatment
  • Skill, competence, and purpose of the author
  • Reputation and significance of the author
  • Objectivity
  • Consideration of the work as a whole
  • Clarity
  • Currency
  • Technical quality
  • Representation of diverse points of view
  • Representation of important movements, genres, or trends
  • Vitality and originality
  • Artistic presentation and/or experimentation
  • Sustained interest
  • Relevance and use of the information
  • Effective characterization
  • Authenticity of history or social setting

 

Library Acquisitions Procedures

  • The library director has responsibility for the overall selection and maintenance of all materials and formats within the collection of the library. This responsibility is delegated to individuals as a result of their education, training, experience, and job classification.
  • All materials and formats are selected or approved for the library’s collection by staff members who are qualified to do so by reason of education, training, experience, knowledge of subject area, and job classification.
  • Approved materials can be selected for the various collections within the library by the director or staff members who are qualified to do so by reason of education, training, experience, or job classification.

 

Library Special Collections

Special collections vary depending upon the geographic location, mission, size, and service area of a library. The library may maintain and enhance a number of special collections, donated or purchased over time, which are of significant value such as the materials circulated through the collection of non-traditional circulating materials also known as the Library of Things.  This collection circulates a variety of non-book materials including but not limited to games, tools, hobby sets, electronic devices, toys sets, art and craft materials, musical instruments, and any other materials deemed of interest to patrons. 

The library may maintain a local history collection based upon important figures or events related to their location or service area. Priorities and scope for special collections can be outlined in a special collections policy drafted by the institution.

Other items to consider are whether the library serves as a depository of the Federal Depository Library Program or as a resource collection for its state/district/commonwealth. The library could also serve as a repository for its local city/municipality publications. The special collections policy could provide guidance as to how to maintain these items.

It is the responsibility of all libraries to serve every member of their designated communities. It is not the responsibility of a library to promote one point of view over another. This requires that libraries collect material that represents majority beliefs as well as minority beliefs. The American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement provide ethical guidance to librarians on these issues. In providing access to a diversity of materials, some material may be offensive and/or controversial to some patrons. Libraries cannot reject and remove a resource because an individual or a group has found the material objectionable. Libraries must provide access to material that may be controversial to some patrons, while also providing a process by which individuals or groups may formally request reconsideration of material they find offensive or inaccurate.

Selecting Materials on Controversial Topics

Materials that cover controversial topics are included in a collection when they meet the selection criteria set forward by the library. Selecting materials is a key function that libraries use to fulfill their mission in the community. By representing multiple points of view within the collection, libraries will inevitably contain materials that are offensive to some members of the community.

A balanced collection attempts to represent all sides of controversial issues as far as availability of materials, space, and budget allow. Selection is based upon criteria stated in this policy. The race, religion, nationality, or political views of an author or creator; offensive language; depictions or descriptions of violence or sexually explicit activity; controversial content of an item; or endorsement or disapproval by an individual or group in the community does not cause an item automatically to be included or excluded from the library’s collection.

All libraries contain materials that some patrons may find objectionable. Libraries may omit from the collection materials that some patrons feel are important. In either case, the library has procedures that patrons may use in requesting the reconsideration of materials.

Library Gifts and Donations

Accepting gifts and donations is an important way for the library to benefit from the generosity of the community it serves. Gifts and donations of materials are reviewed using the same criteria as purchases. The library reserves the right to dispose of any gifts that are given to the library. The library will determine how to best incorporate such materials into the existing collections. Materials not added to library collections may be used for programs or given to other local organizations such as schools, senior centers, or other organizations.

Gifts received by the library that are not added to the library’s collection shall be forwarded to the appropriate group for their disposition at a future sale. The proceeds from this sale shall accrue directly to the benefit of the library, in a fashion consistent with accepted library policies and services as determined by the Board of Trustees. Any items unsold by the library may then be donated to another organization or discarded.

Funds may be given for the purpose of acquiring materials recommended by library staff as prescribed in this policy, or for purchase of specific items suggested by the donor. When the library receives a cash gift for the purchase of materials, the library staff must make the selection with the general selection principles set forth in this policy.

All libraries contain materials that some patrons may find objectionable. Libraries may omit from the collection materials that some patrons feel are important. In either case, the library has procedures that patrons may use in requesting the reconsideration of materials.

Collection Maintenance and Weeding

Regardless of the type of institution, collection maintenance and weeding are important components of a library’s collection management system and are often related to the goals and mission of the organization. Regardless of format, an optimal library collection is one that is reviewed on a consistent basis for accuracy, currency, usage, diversity, and subject area gaps. When evaluating print or another tangible medium, collection maintenance usually involves the continual care of the materials, including accurate and efficient shelving (and re-shelving), shelf-reading, shifting, and cleaning. With digital materials, collection maintenance includes consideration of continued sufficient coverage of databases or other electronic reference sources, checking for dead or broken links and evaluating these links for accuracy, currency, and relevancy.

Weeding or the deselection of material is critical to collection maintenance and involves the removal of resources from the collection. All materials are considered for weeding based on accuracy, currency, and relevancy. Space limitations, edition, format, physical condition, and number of copies are considered when evaluating physical materials. While weeding is essential to the collection development process, it should not be used as a deselection tool for controversial materials (see the Library Bill of Rights).

The library continually withdraws items from the collection, basing its decisions on a number of factors, including publishing date, frequency of circulation, condition, community interest, and availability of newer or more valid materials. Items may be preserved for reasons related to their relevancy to the community, including but not limited to local history materials. Fiction that was once popular but no longer in demand and non-fiction books that are no longer useful may be withdrawn from the collection.

Withdrawn books that have not been removed due to deteriorating physical conditions are donated to be included in book sales. The proceeds from such sales are used for the benefit of the library. Books that are not sold will be disposed of at the discretion of the library.

Policy Revision

No policy remains valid forever. Internal or external changes may impact a library policy and result in the need for policy revision. All library policies, including the selection policy, should be reviewed for necessary revisions on a regular schedule.

No revision should be undertaken while a formal challenge to a library resource is occurring. It is important to follow the current governing board-approved policy and process to maintain good faith with the community, complainants, and supporters. Revisions should occur after the final decision on the questioned material has been made. When a challenge has been resolved, those involved should reflect on the reconsideration experience and use new knowledge to revamp the current policy.

The process for including new material formats (e.g. online databases, ebooks, streaming media, games, apps) should be ongoing. Factors to consider in this decision include current demand, trends or growth in demand, and strengths and weaknesses of the format. Accessibility to patrons with special needs should also be considered when purchasing materials. Evaluating new material formats based on these criteria prepares the library to meet patron demands.

Reconsideration

Community members will voice concerns or submit formal complaints to library materials. The library has a policy and procedure in place to handle these objections. This policy establishs the framework for registering a complaint that provides for a review process with appropriate actions while defending the principles of freedom of information, the right of patrons to access materials, and the professional responsibility and integrity of the librarians involved in the selection process. The principles of intellectual freedom are inherent in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and are expressed in the Library Bill of Rights, adopted by the Council of the American Library Association. If materials are questioned, the principles of intellectual freedom should be defended rather than the materials.

Whether during an informal complaint or a formal reconsideration of a library resource, library staff, administrators, and trustees complete their work using general agreed-upon principles such as:

  • Libraries have diverse materials reflecting differing points of view, and a library’s mission is to provide access to information to all users.
  • All library users have a First Amendment right to read, view, and listen to library resources.
  • The Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association can be used as guiding documents.
  • Any person has the right to express concerns about library resources and expect to have the objection taken seriously.
  • When library resources are reconsidered, the principles of the freedom to read, listen, and view are defended rather than specific materials.
  • A questioned item will be considered in its entirety, not judged solely on portions taken out of context.
  • Parents or guardians have the right to guide the reading, viewing, and listening of their children but must give the same right to other parents/guardians.
  • Questioned items will remain in circulation during the reconsideration process.
  • The reconsideration process should be completed in its entirety and not subverted or ended prematurely, leaving the library open to legal challenge.
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Library Reconsideration

Allowing for public comment is an essential part of any collection development policy. By providing a process for reconsideration of materials, the library recognizes the importance of varying points of view among the community for whom they provide service. A well designed reconsideration process provides structure for allowing people to voice their opinions. It also allows the library to consider a request for reconsideration with a level of objectivity and fairness.

Library Reconsideration Policy

The library fully endorses the principles documented in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association. Materials available in the library present a diversity of viewpoints, enabling citizens to make the informed choices necessary in a democracy. The library also selects a wide variety of library materials that satisfy the diverse interests of our community. The library upholds the right of the individual to secure these resources, even though the content may be controversial, unorthodox, or unacceptable to some. The library’s varied collection is available to all; however, it is not expected that all of the collection will appeal to everyone.

Patrons who wish to request the withdrawal or reclassification of materials currently owned by the library are encouraged to discuss their concerns with the library director. If the patron is not satisfied with the response to their request, the director will provide the patron with information and a form to request formal reconsideration of the library resource. Withdrawn books are donated to the Friends of the Library for book sales. The proceeds from such sales are used for the benefit of the library. Books that are not sold will be disposed of at the discretion of the Library.

 Library Procedures for Handling Informal Complaints

The process begins with a librarian discussing the complaint with the patron who brings it to the service desk. During that interaction, the librarian will explain that the library has materials for everyone and everything goes through a selection process or is purchased because of patron requests. The librarian should offer to assist the patron to find alternate materials that would better meet the needs and interests of the patron and/or their family members. If the patron chooses to go forward with the challenge, the complainant should be provided with a request for formal reconsideration form.

 Library Procedures for Handling Formal Complaints

The following steps will be used when an individual feels that further action is necessary to address concerns about a library resource. For the duration of this process, the material in question will remain in circulation in the library collection.

  1. A concerned patron who is dissatisfied with earlier informal discussions will be offered a packet of materials that includes the library’s mission statement, selection policy, reconsideration form, and the Library Bill of Rights.
  2. Patrons are required to complete and submit a reconsideration form to the library director.
  3. The director will review the reconsideration form and the material in question, to consider whether its selection follows the criteria stated in the collection policy.
  4. Within 15 business days, the director will make a decision and send a letter to the concerned person who requested the reconsideration, stating the reasons for the decision.
  5. If the individual is not satisfied with the decision, a written appeal may be submitted within 10 business days to the Board of Trustees.
  6. If the board plans to address the appeal at their board meeting, the individual will be notified of when the meeting will be held.
  7. The decision of the board is final.

 Guidelines for reconsideration

Under the best professional standards, reconsideration policies ask those charged with reviewing a challenged book or other resource to set aside their personal beliefs and evaluate the work in light of the objective standards outlined in the library’s materials selection policy. Listed below are some best practices for Reconsideration:

  • Bear in mind the principles of the freedom to read and base your decision on these broad principles rather than in defense of individual materials. Based in the First Amendment, the freedom to read is essential to our democracy.
  • Read or view all materials referred to you including the full text of the material in question, available reviews, and notices of awards, if applicable.
  • Review the library mission statement, materials selection and reconsideration policies, and professional guides such as the Intellectual Freedom Manual.
  • The general acceptance of the materials should be checked by consulting standard evaluation aids and your institution’s selection policies.
  • Challenged materials should not be removed from the collection while under reconsideration.
  • Passages or parts of the work in question should not be pulled out of context. The values and faults should be weighed against each other and the opinions based on the materials as a whole.
  • The recommendation is to be an objective evaluation of the material within the scope of a library’s selection policy.
  • The recommendation should be presented to the governing body or administrator, as directed in the reconsideration process, with a recommendation to retain the material in its original location, to relocate the material, or to remove the material. The report may differ depending on the type of resource that is being challenged, such as library material, display, curriculum, reading list etc.
  • Communicate the recommendation to the governing body or administrator and to the person who made the formal reconsideration request.