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In order for a public library to be certified in Massachusetts it must meet certain minimum standards of funding and service mandated by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. A public library that does not meet the minimum standards is “decertified” by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and is not eligible to receive state aid funding, apply for or receive LSTA grant funds, or enter into any contracts with the region to provide supplemental services.
Massachusetts General Laws (605 CMR 4.01) state that certified public libraries are not required to loan materials to residents of municipalities with decertified libraries.
This policy aims to address the issue of the fair and appropriate use of Reading tax dollars spent on public library service by limiting the reliance of a municipality with a decertified library on the Reading Public Library and its resources.
The Reading Public Library upholds the importance of maintaining at least the minimum standards of public library service required for public library certification by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and therefore will not loan materials to residents of municipalities with decertified libraries.
Public libraries that receive a waiver from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners are considered certified. Residents of municipalities in which the library has received a waiver will be permitted to borrow materials.
As stated in the Massachusetts General Laws (605 CMR 4.01), “all residents of the Commonwealth shall have access to reading and reference rooms under the same conditions as residents of the community.” The Reading Public Library welcomes residents of all municipalities. However, residents of municipalities with decertified libraries are only able to use library resources within the bounds of the library building.
The Reading Public Library offers a wide variety of services to meet the educational and recreational needs of children, young adults, and those who work with them. Unlike a school library, the Reading Public Library does not attempt to collect curriculum-related materials unless those materials are of interest to the general public. Rather, the Reading Public Library seeks to complement the materials offered in a school library. Teachers who wish to enhance their students’ access to library materials are encouraged to take advantage of the special borrowing privileges offered to them.
Only materials for use in the classroom or in support of the classroom are eligible to be checked out on a teacher card. As a professional courtesy, teachers are requested to notify a children’s librarian or a reference librarian if they wish to take more than three books on any one topic. This will ensure that sufficient materials are left for the general public.
All teachers of Reading public or private schools are eligible for special teacher cards if their school has formally agreed to pay for any lost or damaged materials. Teachers who change schools must update their card to reflect their current position. Teacher Card Authorization forms, signed by principals, are on file in the Administration Office.
Teachers may get cards at either Children’s or Circulation desks. Each teacher will be issued his/her own card.
Library materials are checked out for 8 weeks.
Due to the 8 week loan period, renewals will be made on an exceptional basis.
Notices will be sent to teachers as a reminder of outstanding library materials. Bills will be sent to principals. In May, bills will be issued for any outstanding charges. Teachers are requested to check with the Library about outstanding items in June, before the end of school. In the fall, the Library will notify teachers of any items left over from the previous year.
There are no fines on overdue materials.
The school is responsible for replacement cost of lost or damaged materials.
The Reading Public Library recognizes the importance of electronic information to the educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs of the community. To meet these needs, the Library offers full access to the Internet, current information about the Internet, and instruction on the use of the Internet through hands-on classes, lectures, and walk-in lessons.
Wireless access provided by the Library is unsecured. Antivirus, security and privacy protection are the responsibility of the customer. Patrons using Library wireless access must comply with this Internet Access Policy.
The Reading Public Library cannot guarantee the accuracy, authority, or timeliness of the information available on the Internet. Patrons are advised to exercise caution in divulging personal information through direct electronic communications, as doing so can compromise personal safety and privacy.
Computers, like other library materials and services, are shared resources, and patrons are expected to limit their time on library computers while others are waiting.
Materials obtained or copied on this computer network may be subject to copyright laws that govern making reproductions of copyrighted works.
The Internet may contain material of a controversial or mature nature that may be offensive or disturbing to some individuals and may not be appropriate for certain age groups. Full access to the Internet is compatible with the Library’s endorsement of the Library Bill of Rights; Access to Electronic Information Services and Networks; and with the policies, goals, and objectives of this public library; however, viewing of certain materials in the Library may be considered improper in time, place or manner. The staff reserve the right to end an Internet session at any time if it is creating a disturbance.
Accessing material that meets the legal definition of obscenity is prohibited. Minors shall not access material “harmful to minors.” Blatantly offensive visual or text-based materials constitute potential sources of sexual harassment to other patrons and to library staff and will not be tolerated. The use of Internet access through the Reading Public Library for illegal purposes or to transmit threatening, obscene, or harassing materials is also strictly prohibited.
Violation of any part of this policy may result in discipline including, but not limited to, loss of access to the computers and, in appropriate cases, exclusion from the library.
The trustees and staff of the Reading Public Library strive to create a warm, inviting, fun, and safe environment for children. The Library offers many programs and services that encourage children to develop a love of books, reading, and learning. The safety and well-being of children at the Library is a serious concern.
The following rules have been established regarding unattended children because we care about the safety of all our customers.
The Reading Public Library supports the right of all individuals to:
To allow for the safety of all patrons:
Patrons should abide by library guidelines for time limitations, computer use, and restrictions on the numbers of people using computers and tables.
The Reading Public Library is for everyone’s enjoyment. We appreciate your cooperation with these guidelines in keeping the library a pleasant place to visit for everyone and ensuring respectful treatment for all individuals who use this public facility.