Sample Library Policies
All institutions need guidelines for decision making and libraries are no exception. Policies allow for consistent implemention of daily library operations. Policies should be approved by the library's governing authority, whether that is a board of trustees or town select board. Procedures and rules are the means of implementing policies and help ensure that library services are equally accessible to all patrons. Since polices are not easily changed, the procedures documents are where fine, fee and other payment structures should be located since these might need to be updated periodically. We've provided templates of the policies that all libraries should have.
Acceptable Computer Use (under development)
Circulation and Borrowing [Word, 25 KB]
Collection Development [Word, 20 KB] contains materials selection, collection maintenance, patron requests, gifts,donations and memorials, and request for reconsideration of library materials.
Facilities [Word, 24 KB] includes hours of operation, meeting room use, exhibits and displays, services to patrons with disabilities and emergencies.
Friends of the Library [Wiord, 20 KB]
Internet Safety Policy [Word, 28 KB]
Acceptable Computer Use [Word, 29 KB]
Patron Conduct [Word, 20 KB]
Personnel- Link to the personnel section of the MSL website
Reference [Word, 21 KB]
Volunteers [Word, 19 KB] - Also view MSL's extensive volunteer website
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)- [Word, 25 KB] this document should be used whenever two legal entities, such as a non-profit library and a town, agree to share responsibility for any functions such as payroll or building maintenance. This sample can be modified to fit your library's unique situation.
- Sample user agreement for borrowing an e-reader [pdf]; Word version agreement
- Portland Public Lending Program quidelines
- Mentor Public library Guidelines; Mentor Public Library agreement [Ohio]
- See school agreements, policies, handbook statements, parental waivers
- e-Reader Loan Program - FAQs
Skype Policy Template [Word, 29.5 KB]
Disaster policy and planning
Safe Harbor: Policies and Procedures for a Safe Library - Sample policies & procedures about patron behavior
Social Media Policy [PDF, 79 KB]
Policies for placing external links on your library website: Charlotte Library, Vermont, Boston Public Library
Procedural Documents, Forms and Other Attachments
Lost, Damaged or Overdue Materials Procedure [Word, 21 KB]
Confidentiality of Library Records [Word, 20 KB]
Form for Suggested Purchase [Word, 20 KB]
Forms for Donations, Gifts or Memorials [Word, 22 KB]
Patron Code of Conduct [Word, 21 KB]
Unattended or Disruptive Children [Word, 21 KB]
Meeting Room [Word, 23 KB]
Displays and Exhibits [Word, 20 KB]
Thanks to the following libraries for sharing their policies.
- Camden Public Library, Camden, ME: Library cards, reserving materials, library materials selection, many other policies
- Scarborough Public Library, Scarborough, ME: Behavior, renewals, public computer guidelines, many other policies
- Wells Public Library, Wells, ME: Internet use, circulation, many other policies.
- Gray Public Library, [Word, 33 KB] This file requires either Microsoft Word 2003 or the Word Viewer.
- Maine State Library - Materials selection & collection development, internet use, photocopying, beverage use and more
- Bridgton Public Library - Investment policy [Word, 26kb], Significant Maintenace and Major Projects Policy, [Word, 18kb]
Additional Policies and Information
- CIPA compliance information - Maine State Library
- Library Card and Borrowing - San Diego Public Library
- Collection Development - Arizona State Library
- Fort Bend County Libraries policies: Links to services and library policies: material selection, internet use, meeting room, disruptive behavior and unattended children, and exhibits, displays, and distribution of free materials.
- Wisconsin Public Library Policy Resources Page: Sample policies by type (farther down the page)
- OWLS Policy Resources - templates from the Outagamie Waupaca Library System in Wisconsin