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Library Policies

Bulletin Board and Literature Display Policy

The Library maintains bulletin boards and literature display areas for the dissemination of library, community and public service information of an educational and/or cultural interest. The Library will consider materials for posting or distribution that are provided by non-profit organizations, community groups, educational institutions and government agencies. Materials will be posted or distributed on an equitable basis, subject to space limitations, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of the individuals or groups represented. At the discretion of the Library Director or his/her designee, for-profit business materials may be considered if they inform and benefit the community. The bulletin boards and display areas are not intended to be a forum for public comment, advocacy or advancement of a particular point of view. Materials devoted solely to the sale, advertising, solicitation or promotion of commercial products or services will not be accepted. Petitions will not be accepted.

All notices, posters and literature must be approved by the Library Director or his/her designee before placement on bulletin boards or in display areas. Only library staff is authorized to post or distribute materials. The Library reserves the right to determine the size, number and location of materials as well as the duration of the posting or distribution. Materials approved for posting or distribution will not be returned; materials not approved for placement will be discarded. Materials left without Library authorization will be discarded.

The Library does not assume responsibility for the content of materials posted or displayed. In the event of damage, destruction or theft of any materials posted or displayed, the Library does not assume liability, nor does such posting or display of materials imply endorsement.

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Collection Development Policy

Sachem Public Library’s Collection Development Policy is guided by the principles set forth in the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights. As such, the Library provides resources which represent, insofar as possible, all points of view on current and historical topics. Selection of resources is based on knowledge of the community, the existing collection and its use and the Library’s Mission Statement. The Library makes available, in a wide variety of formats, resources that inform, educate, entertain and enrich. Over time formats may be added and others removed in response to community needs and market considerations.

Responsibility for Selection

The responsibility for the selection of resources rests with the Director who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Board of Trustees. This responsibility may be delegated to staff members who are qualified through education, training and experience.

Criteria for Selection

Resource selection is made from current review sources, standard lists and recommendations from patrons and staff. Self-published works and resources receiving unfavorable reviews may be selected if they are of particular local interest or if they fill a special need. A resource is evaluated on the basis of the content and style of the work as a whole, not by selected portions or passages.

Criteria for selection include:

  • Appropriateness of subject, writing or artistic style and reading level
  • Availability and accessibility of the same materials from another library
  • Current appeal and popular demand
  • Importance of the subject to the collection
  • Professional reviews
  • Relevance to community needs
  • Reputation of the author, artist, publisher or producer
  • Scarcity of material on the subject
  • Suitability of format and/or technical characteristics, such as physical quality and durability
  • Value of material in relation to cost

Textbooks may be purchased in areas where there is little or no material in any other format. It is the responsibility of the local educational institutions to provide copies of their course materials for their students. The Library does, however, work collaboratively with local school administrators to obtain copies of the current textbooks for inclusion in the Reference collection.

Collection Maintenance

An up-to-date, attractive and useful collection is maintained through a continual process of withdrawal and replacement. Withdrawn resources may be recycled, discarded, offered to another organization or donated to the Friends of Sachem Public Library.

Criteria for discarding and/or replacing include:

  • Accessibility from another library
  • Availability of updated, newer, or revised materials
  • Circulation or usage
  • Condition of the item
  • Cost
  • Historical value
  • Item's place in a series
  • Possible future usefulness
  • Relationship to the collection as a whole
  • Scarcity of material
Gifts and Donations

Donations must meet the same selection criteria as materials selected for the collection.

Challenged Resources

Sachem Public Library’s role is to provide resources which allow individuals to freely examine issues and make their own decisions. Although resources are carefully selected, differences of opinion regarding suitable materials can arise. It is the responsibility of individuals to limit their and/or their children’s access to resources which are compatible with their individual tastes. The Library does not approve nor endorse any particular viewpoint or belief represented in its collection. Library resources will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents, nor will items be sequestered, except for the purpose of protecting them from theft or damage. Patrons who object to a particular resource may complete a Statement of Concern About Library Resources which is available in the Library.

Upon receipt of a completed Statement of Concern, the Director will respond in writing describing the Library's review procedure. A copy of the Collection Development Policy will be included with the letter. The Director will appoint a committee to evaluate the challenged resource. Committee members will then read, listen to or view the resource in its entirety, look at the resource in relationship to the Library's Collection Development Policy and to the collection as a whole and examine published reviews. The committee will recommend one of several actions such as to retain the resource, to retain the resource but to move it to another location in the collection or to withdraw the resource.

The Director will, at the earliest possible date, study the information provided by the review committee and respond in writing to the person who initiated the Statement of Concern. The Director will keep the Board of Trustees informed of the receipt of aStatement of Concern, the committee’s recommendation and the Director’s determination.

In the event that the person(s) who initiated the request is not satisfied with the decision of the Director, he/she may request a review of the findings by the Board of Trustees. Upon receipt of the written request, the Chairperson of the Library Board may elect to add the item to the Board’s monthly agenda. The person(s) will be notified of the time and place of the Board meeting. The final decision on collection development rests with the Board of Trustees.

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Designated Spaces Policy

The Library reserves the right to limit access to and use of designated spaces designed for specific audiences and/or purposes. Limited use/access areas include but are not limited to the Children’s Room, Teen Services, and the Tutorial/Group Study Areas. The Director is authorized to develop and amend guidelines pertaining to the utilization of designated spaces.

Children’s Room

The Children’s Room is designed and intended for use by children, birth through 5th grade, and their parents/caregivers. All others should limit their visit to the Children’s Room to the perusal of the collection and the selection of materials.

Teen Services

Teen Services is comprised of two distinct environments; the quiet study/homework area and desTEENation, an area for creative collaboration and gaming. Both spaces are designed and intended for use by teens in grades 6 through 12. All others should limit their visit to Teen Services to the perusal of the collection and the selection of materials.

Teens may enjoy desTEENation up to a maximum of five hours per day. The sign-in sheet is located at the Librarian’s Desk.

Tutorial/Group Study Areas

The Library has designated several areas for tutoring/group study; each with its own requirements.

The tables in the lower stack are intended for shared use, including tutoring/group study. These tables may not be reserved nor may other library users be asked to move to accommodate tutoring/group study.

The Meeting Room behind the Reference Desk, when available, is intended for shared use, including tutoring/group study.

desTEENation is available for group study by those in grades 6 through 12. No tutoring is permitted.

The Tutorial Rooms, available for tutoring/group study, are reserved for use by Sachem Library residents, grades 6 and older. A Sachem child, grade 5 and under, may use a Tutorial Room provided the child is accompanied by two adults, both of whom are at least 18 years of age and one of whom is responsible for the child’s well-being and behavior. Occupancy of a Tutorial Room is limited to 4 persons. During periods of high demand, use may be limited to two hours per person/group per day. The sign-up sheet is located at the Reference Desk.

All tutorial/group study areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis with the exception of the Tutorial Rooms which may be reserved by Literacy Volunteers. The Library does not guarantee availability of tutorial/group study space.

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Display and Exhibit Policy

In keeping with the Library’s mission to provide a community center where residents of all ages may interact, learn and flourish, Sachem Public Library showcases displays and exhibits for the artistic, cultural and informational enrichment of the community.  For the purpose of this policy, the term “display” includes wall and floor exhibits and enclosed display cases.

The Library has designated various areas to accommodate displays.  Library use of these areas takes precedence.  The Library reserves the right to determine the schedule of displays, including their length and location.  Displays are available for viewing during the hours that the Library is open to the public. Should the Library preempt a display for its own purposes, the Library will make every effort to schedule an alternate date for the display.

All displays must meet existing federal, state, and local laws and/or codes including those on obscenity, libel, defamation of character, or invasion of privacy. Displays may not be for commercial purposes, for the solicitation of business, for profit, or for fundraising.   The Library reserves the right to deny, cancel, or rescind displays at any time. The fact that an individual or organization is permitted to use a Library display area in no way constitutes an endorsement by the Library.

Exhibitors are responsible for the installation and removal of displays. Items placed in the Library for display are done so at the owner’s risk.  The Library assumes no responsibility for the preservation, protection, damage, or theft of any item displayed.  If the exhibitor or Library determines that the display warrants insurance coverage, it is the sole responsibility of the exhibitor to secure such coverage.  If the Library requires insurance, it shall be in an amount determined by the Library.  Damages to the premises, equipment, or furnishings as a result of exhibitor use will be charged to the individual or group responsible. If the Library must remove a display because it is not removed as scheduled by the exhibitor, the Library is not responsible for any damages and the cost of removal will be charged to the exhibitor.  The failure of the exhibitor to remove the display as required by the Library shall be deemed an abandonment of any ownership rights by the exhibitor/owner and such display shall be disposed of as determined by the Director.

No prices may be posted on items in a display, nor may an admission fee be charged. No transactions for the purchase or sale of display items may be made on the premises.

An exhibitor interested in scheduling an opening or reception may do so, pending Library approval, within the time frame of the display and within normal Library hours.  Finger food and non-alcoholic beverages may be served. The event must be open to the general public.

The Library may publicize displays in its online calendar of events, webpage and/or in the Library newsletter.  Additional publicity is the responsibility of the exhibitor and must be approved by the Library prior to dissemination. Press releases or other promotion of the display shall not imply endorsement of the viewpoints put forth in the display.

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Food and Drink Policy

The consumption of food and drink in the Library or in Inside/Out is allowed on a limited basis and should be consumed in a considerate and responsible manner. Portion size should be limited to that of an individual. Overly scented or greasy foods should be avoided. Covered drinks are the recommended choice; beverages must be non-alcoholic. Food deliveries are not permitted.

Furniture is to be kept free of spills, crumbs, etc. Major spills should be reported immediately so arrangements can be made for the appropriate clean up. Trash should be disposed of in the provided receptacles.

Food and/or drink are permitted in all areas of the Library with the exception of the Local History Room, Technology Center, and Computer Areas. Additionally, food and/or drink are not to be placed nor consumed near electronic equipment, including keyboards, terminals, photocopy machines, microfilm readers, the ATM, the FAX machine or other mechanical devices.

Adherence to these guidelines will help ensure that the Library is a welcoming, clean, and comfortable community center.

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Gifts and Donations Policy

A donation to Sachem Public Library is an excellent way to enhance and enrich library services for the entire Sachem community. Sachem Public Library welcomes direct gifts of cash, bequests, securities or other types of property, as well as gifts of library materials. The Library Director shall gladly meet with a potential donor to discuss options and opportunities for giving that reflect the donor’s intent.

Sachem Public Library is a not-for-profit institution. As such, donations that are accepted by the Library are tax deductible. Upon acceptance of a donation, the Library shall furnish an acknowledgement to the donor for tax purposes. Except in the case of a monetary contribution, this acknowledgement shall not place a financial value on donated items.

Monetary donations may also be made to the Library's Honor and Memorial program. This program provides a unique way to honor a special event or to provide a lasting memorial. Library staff shall select an item for inclusion in the general collection which reflects a special interest of the honoree.

Donations of furnishings, works of art, equipment, or exterior landscaping items such as ornamentation, sculpture, and signage may be accepted by the Library Board of Trustees on the advice of the Library Director. Among the criteria for acceptance shall be artistic quality, suitability to the building and the community, need, space, impact on staff time, expense, frequency of maintenance, and conformity to landscaping and/or building architecture.

Donations of print and non-print materials may be accepted and integrated into existing collections based upon the same criteria applied to library-purchased materials. These materials must be in good physical condition. Generally, the Library does not accept encyclopedias or magazines. The Library shall be the sole determiner as to classification, shelving, access, location, and disposal of such materials. Donations placed in the library collection shall be discarded in the same manner as library-purchased items.

Gifts and donations shall not be accepted unless given to the Library without restriction. Once accepted, gifts and donations become the unrestricted property of Sachem Public Library and as such may be utilized, sold, or disposed of in the best interest of the Library. The Library will not notify donors of withdrawal or replacement of gift items.

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Internet Usage Policy

Sachem Public Library provides Internet access for educational, informational, and recreational use.  Access is provided on all public computers and through the Library’s wireless network.

While the Internet offers a wealth of information, users should be aware that the Internet is an unregulated source that contains materials which may be inaccurate, dated, incomplete, biased, inappropriate, or offensive.  In accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the Library utilizes filtering software to block access to some Internet sites on Library computers. Sachem Public Library is guided by the following American Library Association statements on access to information:  The Library Bill of Rights, The Freedom to read, and Access to Electronic Information, Services and Networks: an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights.

While the Library provides wireless connectivity to the Internet, the Library does not guarantee that the use of the wireless connection is in any way secure or private.  Monitoring or restriction of a child’s access to the wireless connection is the sole responsibility of the parent/guardian. 

Prior to gaining access to the Internet, Library computer users, and those accessing the Internet via the Library’s wireless network, must agree to accept the Library’s Internet Access Agreement.  While there may be a reasonable expectation of privacy when viewing the Internet in a private setting, Library computer users should not have a similar expectation of privacy, particularly when the computer screen and/or printout could be viewed by others. Library computer users are responsible for using the Internet appropriately. Library computer users must not:

  • Use the Internet for unlawful purposes including, but not limited to, the production or distribution of threatening material; expressions of bigotry, racism, or hate; obscene or sexually explicit material; and material protected by trade secret is prohibited.
  • Print or display of text or media which may be reasonably construed as obscene by community standards.
  • Harass, libel, or slander others.

In no event will Sachem Public Library have any liability for lost profits; for any direct or indirect special, punitive, or consequential damages; or any liability to a third party, even if the Library is advised of the possibility of such damages, arising from the use of its Internet connection. Users assume all associated risks and agree to hold harmless the Library for any personal information that is compromised, or any damage caused to users’ hardware or software due to electric surges, security issues, viruses, or hacking.
 
 At the time of first registering their minor (under 18 years old) child for a library card, parents/guardians may choose to restrict their child from access to Library computers. Parents/guardians may change this selection at any time by coming in person to the Library’s Circulation Desk and filling out a new Application form. Further monitoring of, or restriction to, the Internet on Library computers is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. 

Usage of the Internet in the Library that is inappropriate or inconsistent with this policy may result in termination of the computer session, restriction of access to Library computers, and/or suspension of Library privileges. A patron who wishes to appeal his/her termination of the right to use Library computers shall file a written request to appeal with the Board of Trustees within 30 days of any action taken. The request shall be reviewed by the Board of Trustees at their next regularly scheduled meeting. The appealing party shall have the right to appear at such meeting.

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Meeting Room Policy and Regulations

The Library’s meeting rooms were designed to primarily serve as a venue for Library sponsored services, programs, and activities. For the purposes of this policy, Library meeting rooms are defined as meeting spaces within the Library building. Meeting space in Inside/Out is designed for Library-sponsored programs. It may not be used by outside organizations. Library sponsored programs and activities take precedence in assignment of the meeting rooms and may supersede any program scheduled. As an institution of education, the Library welcomes the use of its meeting room for non-profit educational, civic, cultural, and government groups and individuals who have open membership policies, do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, sex, national origin, religion, or physical disabilities and who adhere to the following rules and regulations established by the Sachem Public Library Board of Trustees. Meeting rooms may not be used by organizations for commercial or business purposes, for the personal profit of the applicant or for private social events for individuals. The meeting rooms are not intended for private parties and/or celebrations. Any meeting conducted in the Library meeting room is open to all members of the community.

The Library Board subscribes to the tenets of the Library Bill of Rights, which states in part, "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." Use of Library meeting rooms by non-profit community groups does not, however, imply endorsement of the beliefs or program of the organization by the Library or anyone connected with the Library.

Application for Use

A completed application form must be submitted in person to the Welcome Desk. Applications must be signed by an authorized representative of the group who is an adult district resident. Said representative must attend the meeting and be personally responsible for the conduct of the meeting and for any damages.

Applications for use by groups larger than 25 may be made no sooner than one month in advance of the proposed date of use. Confirmation of availability will be made two weeks in advance of the intended use. Applications for use by groups of less than 25 adults may be made up to one year in advance. Confirmation of availability for groups smaller than 30 will be made within two weeks of application. No application will be considered officially approved until it is signed by the Library Director or the Director’s designee. Meeting room applications will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Although an applicant may request a particular room, the Library reserves the right to assign a specific meeting space. Reservations for educational and/or governmental functions that are for groups larger than 25 may be confirmed more than two weeks in advance at the discretion of the Director or the Director’s designee.

By executing the application, the applicant agrees to the release of the applicant’s name and telephone number to any person requesting information concerning an organization’s activities or programs. The applicant must certify that the meeting rooms shall be used only for the specific activity stated on the application and for no other purpose whatsoever. No activity may disrupt Library operations.

The applicant should notify the Library as soon as possible if a meeting is cancelled so the room may be rescheduled.

Availability

In order to make the meeting rooms accessible to as many people as possible, the use of the Community Rooms by an organization is limited to one meeting per month.

Meetings may be scheduled Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. and Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Meetings should adjourn at least 15 minutes before the library closes. Meetings must be ended and clean-up completed by the time the library closes for the day. Time for set-up and clean-up should be included in the reserved time period. No organization will be allowed to remain after beyond the Library’s closing time.

Rooms are not available on Friday evenings, holidays and weekends. The Library reserves the right to revoke a meeting room use permit or to reschedule a meeting should there be a conflict with Library related services, programs, or activities; or in the case of an emergency.

Equipment /Supplies

Generally, the Library does not grant permission for the use of Library-owned media equipment by any community group using the meeting rooms. The community group must supply any equipment needed.

The Library is not responsible for the safeguarding of any supplies, equipment or other items owned by the applicant or by persons attending the applicant’s activity. The Library will not store materials for any applicant. Items left in the Library will be considered abandoned property and will be disposed of in accordance with standard practice.

Groups using the meeting rooms are responsible for providing their own supplies such as plates, cups, eating utensils, note paper, flip chart pads, pencils, etc.

The service of light refreshments is permitted with prior approval. Neither the consumption of alcoholic beverages nor smoking is permitted.

Room Arrangement

The library will be responsible for furnishing the necessary meeting space, tables and seating. No library personnel are available to assist any organization to rearrange seating, carry supplies to and from the meeting room, etc. Each organization must count on its own personnel for the performance of any of these tasks.

Group Responsibilities

The responsibility for the maintenance of public order and safety at a meeting is that of the applicant. The applicant must alert the audience to the nearest exits from the meeting room and how to evacuate the building in event of an emergency. The following instructions can be altered depending on which room is being used:

Before we begin our program, I would like to review some safety precautions. In the event of fire or other emergency in the building, you will be instructed to evacuate the building via the nearest exit. You have several means of exit from this area. (Point out emergency exits.) Once out of the building, please walk to the back of the parking lot and await further instructions. The elevator is not to be used during an emergency evacuation of the building.

The applicant shall provide adequate responsible adult supervision. Responsible adults must supervise groups whose membership includes minors. Group participants are restricted to the designated meeting rooms and other public areas.

Sachem Public Library complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Library Board expects that any group utilizing the meeting rooms will comply with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act which requires that a meeting or materials at a meeting be provided in an accessible format in response to a request.

The meeting rooms must be left in a neat and orderly condition. Posters, pictures, and/or other materials are not to be attached to walls, windows, doors, or furnishings except at the direction of authorized Library staff. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the organization abides by the Library’s Meeting Room Policy and Regulations.

Groups which do not follow the Meeting Room Policy and Regulations will be given a written warning of their noncompliance. Meeting privileges will be revoked upon a second incident of noncompliance.

Regulations

All advertisements, announcements, press releases, flyers, etc. publicizing a meeting in the Library must be submitted to the Community Services Librarian for authorization before distribution by the group. Media coverage and digital recording must be coordinated and approved at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting by the Community Services Librarian. All publicity must clearly state the meeting is not sponsored by Sachem Public Library. In announcements and publicity relating to a meeting room event, the Library may only be mentioned as a location: not as the sponsor of an event nor as the headquarters of an organization. The Library’s telephone number should not be given as a contact for further information regarding a non-library sponsored event.

Literature or other items to be distributed at a meeting must be submitted to the Community Services Librarian at least 48 hours prior to intended distribution. If items intended for distribution are in violation of law or regulation, distribution of same is prohibited. No promotional or informational materials may be left in the meeting rooms or library by any meeting room user.

The Library Director, or Director’s designee, is authorized to order the termination of any meeting or activity making use of Library facilities in violation of any law or use regulation. The determination by said Library official is final. The Library Director, or Director’s designee, is authorized to call upon appropriate security personnel or law enforcement agency to enforce such action if, in the opinion of the Library official, circumstances warrant such an action. The Director may deny use of the meeting room or cancel a scheduled event or meeting if in the judgment of the Director adequate security cannot be maintained or the event will disrupt the normal operation of the Library. If additional security is required, all additional costs incurred will be passed on to the applicant. Permission to use the meeting room may be denied at a later date to any group that proves to be disorderly or that violates any law or regulation.

All meetings are open meetings and free of charge to the public. Organizations meeting on library premises may find that non-members enter their meetings. Non-members may be informed of the nature of the meeting and they may not be excluded if they wish to remain.

The Library does not charge a fee for the use of the meeting rooms during the Library’s regular hours of opening. The organization will be billed for use if the meeting extends beyond Library hours, there is excessive cleanup and/or damages are incurred.

No admissions fees may be charged; no donations may be solicited or accepted; nor may any items be sold. Use of the facilities will not be granted for fund raising purposes, except as may be permissible under law and with explicit consent of the Library Board of Trustees. Such permission shall be deemed extraordinary. Educational courses conducted by non-profit groups may charge fees for learning materials or course credits.

The pianos are to be used for concert performances and related rehearsals only. Prior approval for use of a piano or the pianos must be obtained from the Community Services Librarian.

Personal Liability

Whenever library buildings are used there is the possibility that persons may be injured and may bring legal action against the Library Board of Trustees and/or the contracting organization for personal liability. The Library Board of Trustees carries a public liability insurance policy to protect the library in case any person injured on Library property brings legal action. It is possible that organizations using the property may be sued for personal injury. Each organization should, therefore, protect itself by having a temporary insurance policy protecting it against such legal action. The signature on the bottom of the application is acknowledgment by the organization that it recognizes this responsibility.

Indemnification

By execution of the meeting room application, the applicant hereby indemnifies the Sachem Public Library and its Board of Trustees and employees from any liability or claim arising from the applicant’s use of the meeting rooms, and agrees to hold the Library, its Board of Trustees, and employees harmless from any claim, lawsuit, or liability which arises from such use, including but not limited to, any attorney’s fees, costs, or expenses incurred by the Library in connection with defending any claim arising from applicant’s use.

Additional stipulations may be imposed by the Library, as may be deemed necessary.

The final and sole interpretation of this policy rests with the Library Board of Trustees. Implementation and enforcement are delegated to the Library Director.

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Public Behavior in the Library Policy

Policy Statement

Sachem Public Library has adopted this Public Behavior in the Library Policy for the safety and comfort of all who use the Library. For the purpose of this policy, the Library is defined as the building, the parking lot and Inside/Out. Accordingly, the Library Board of Trustees has established procedures and rules, in accordance with Section 262 of the Education Law of the State of New York, by which patrons and visitors may enjoy the Library's facilities and services.

The Board of Trustees of Sachem Public Library views the use of the Library and its facilities as essential to the fulfillment of the Library's mission. As such, the Board subscribes to Article IV of the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights which states that facilities should be made available to the public served by the Library on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. Accordingly, the Public Behavior in the Library Policy and the Rules of Conduct herein should be observed by all Library users and shall be applied without discrimination and in the best interests of all.

Library users who violate the Rules of Conduct may be subject to suspension of their Library privileges, exclusion from the Library, and/or legal action. A copy of the Rules of Conduct is posted on the public bulletin board of the Library.

Rules of Conduct

For the most effective use of the Library, patrons are expected to observe rules of common courtesy. Patrons who are not courteous to others will be asked to stop the discourteous behavior or leave the Library. Discourteous behavior which will not be tolerated in the Library includes but is not limited to:

Harmful, Disruptive, or Destructive Behavior:

  • Engaging in conduct that interferes with other Library users' ability to reasonably use the Library
  • Using abusive or threatening language or actions
  • Interfering with other Library users' reasonable expectations of privacy
  • Creating unreasonable noise such as loud, boisterous talking or using personal electronic equipment without headphones or at a volume that is audible to others Cell phones should be on vibrate mode or turned off when entering the building. Talking on cell phones should be limited to lobbies, empty conference rooms, or outside the main entrance. Cell phone usage should be kept to a minimum in Inside/Out.
  • Throwing, running, climbing or playing sports
  • Using Library materials, equipment, furniture, fixtures or the facilities in a destructive, abusive or potentially damaging manner, in a manner likely to cause personal injury to any person or in any other manner inconsistent with the customary use thereof
  • Carrying weapons or weapon-like items on the Library premises
  • Using skateboards, bicycles, or rollerblades in the building, on the sidewalks or in the parking lot or Inside/Out
  • Soliciting, petitioning, or distributing materials or canvassing on Library premises
  • Disobeying the reasonable direction of the Library Director or the Director's designee

Illegal Activities:

  • Committing or attempting to commit any activity that constitutes a violation of any federal, state, or local statute or ordinance
  • Engaging in sexual conduct or indecent behavior on Library premises, as defined under New York Penal Law
  • Using controlled substances on Library premises
  • Smoking, including the use of electronic cigarettes
  • Consuming alcoholic beverages on Library premises

Other inappropriate behavior:

  • Bringing animals, other than service animals, inside Library buildings or into Inside/Out without the prior permission of Library staff
  • Prolonged or chronic sleeping
  • Using Library restrooms for bathing, shaving, washing hair, or other matters of personal hygiene
  • Entering the building or Inside/Out without shirts and/or shoes
  • Exhibiting personal hygiene which disrupts others from using the Library
  • Loitering on Library grounds
  • Parking vehicles on Library premises when not using the Library
  • Exhibiting any other condition or action which in the judgment of the Director disrupts the operation of the Library or its use by others or which endangers the health, safety, or welfare of Library users or employees
  • Smoking, including the use of electronic cigarettes, within the perimeters of Inside/Out.
Response to Infractions

The Library Director or the Director's designee shall be responsible for the enforcement of these Rules of Conduct. Unacceptable behavior on the part of the Library user can result in loss of Library privileges. Depending on the severity of the violation, the Library will institute discipline ranging from a verbal warning, through denial of specific privileges, such as use of Library computers, to denial of the right to use the Library for a specified time period.

The Director or the Director's designee may either direct the trespasser to cease and desist the violation or vacate the premises. Upon the refusal of such person to obey the directive, the Director or the Director's designee is hereby authorized and directed to make a complaint to the appropriate law enforcement agency and to sign any information as necessary charging said trespasser with the appropriate violation of the Penal Law. In situations where the Director or the Director's designee feels that the health, safety, or security of Library users is threatened, any and all appropriate action may be taken including, but not limited to, calling the police for assistance. In the event of inappropriate behavior by a minor, the child's parent or guardian may be notified by the Library at the discretion of the Director. At the first opportunity, the Director or the Director's designee shall follow the established procedures for recording the facts and circumstances surrounding the enforcement of this policy by completing an Incident Information Form.

The Library shall indemnify and save harmless the Library Director or the Director's designee, and any Library personnel, from any action, claim or proceeding instituted against such person arising out of the enforcement of these rules and regulations by such Library personnel.

In addition to all of the foregoing summary remedies against the trespasser and /or person in violation of law and these rules and regulations, the Library Director may thereafter, in his/her, sole discretion, take the following action with respect to the following categories of persons:

  • District residents may have their privileges to use the Library's facilities and/or services suspended for a period not to exceed one year. All other Library users may be subject to the same restrictions. The Library Director may, at his/her discretion, notify other agencies of actions taken.
  • Employees are subject to the provisions of this policy, applicable portions of the Civil Service Law, New York State "employment law"; the Education Law; and pertinent personnel policies adopted by the Library's Board of Trustees and may be disciplined, censured, suspended without pay or discharged accordingly.
Appeals Procedure

Appeals relating to suspension of Library service privileges and/or revocation of their privileges to enter upon Library premises shall be made to the Board of Trustees. Appeals by Library staff subject to the provisions of the Civil Service Law, Education Law and personnel policies, to the extent relevant, may be made to the Board of Trustees.

Each person, not an employee of the Library, shall have the right to submit a written notice of appeal to the Board of Trustees within thirty (30) days of any action taken by the Library Director which suspends borrowing privileges or revokes the right to enter the Library premises. The Board of Trustees, or their designee, shall convene a hearing within thirty (30) days of submission of such a notice of appeal, at which time and place the aggrieved shall be afforded the opportunity to present evidence, testify and cross-examine witnesses. Within fourteen (14) days of such a hearing, the Board of Trustees shall render a decision in writing.

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Rules of Conduct for Library Patrons

Sachem Public Library has adopted these Rules of Conduct as a means to provide a safe, comfortable environment in the Library and to promote a worthwhile and satisfying library experience for all patrons.   Library patrons are expected to follow all Library policies, including these Rules of Conduct.  Failure to do so may result in expulsion from the Library and/or loss of Library privileges.

Applicable Laws and Ordinances

Patrons are expected to abide by all Federal, State, and Local laws and ordinances while at the Library.  The Board of Trustees has enacted regulations for the purpose of maintaining public order in the library and on the grounds, in accordance with Section 262 of the Education Law of the State of New York.

Rules of Courtesy

For the most effective use of the Library, patrons are expected to observe rules of common courtesy.  Patrons who are not courteous to others will be asked to stop the discourteous behavior or leave the Library.  Discourteous behavior which will not be tolerated in the Library includes but is not limited to:

  • Interfering with other patrons' ability to reasonably use the Library.
  • Abusive or threatening language or actions.
  • Interfering with other patrons' reasonable expectations of privacy.
  • Failing to keep personal and/or explicit activity, information, and images private.
Prohibited Activities at the Library

Examples of prohibited activities include but are not limited to:

  • Defacing, destroying, or tampering with library material, property or equipment
  • Relocating furniture or equipment
  • Using audio equipment without headphones or at a volume that is audible to others
  • Taking or making cell phone calls in quiet areas.  Cell phones should be used in lobbies, outside the main entrance, or in an empty conference room.
  • Bringing animals, other than those used as service animals, into the Library
  • Soliciting in the Library building or on the grounds
  • Personal hygiene that disrupts others from using the Library
  • Prolonged or chronic sleeping
  • Bare feet or inappropriate dress
  • Running in the Library
  • Skateboarding, bicycling, or rollerblading in the building, on the sidewalks or in the parking lot
  • Use of alcohol, controlled substances, or illegal drugs on the Library premises
  • Carrying weapons or weapon-like items on the Library premises
  • Smoking or other use of tobacco inside the Library
  • Any other condition or action which in the judgment of the Director disrupts the operation of the Library or its use by others or which endangers the health, safety, or welfare of patrons, employees or visitors

Failure to follow these guidelines and/or the directions of the library staff may result in expulsion from the Library.  Library staff is authorized to contact the appropriate law enforcement agency to ensure compliance.  These guidelines are extracted from the Library's formal Public Behavior in the Library Policy, a copy of which is available on request.

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Social Media Policy

Social media is defined as any web-based tool such as a blog, micro-blog, online forum, content-sharing website, or other digital channel established for online interaction and connection.  The Library maintains a presence on several social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. These sites allow users to interact with the Library’s profile.

Although, comments and posts are welcomed on the Library’s social media sites, postings containing any of the following will be removed:

  • Obscene comments or hate speech
  • Personal attacks, harassment or threatening language
  • Potentially libelous statements
  • Plagiarized or copyrighted material
  • Commercial messages or spam
  • Material that is deemed off-topic or inappropriate
  • Private or personal information
  • Falsification of identity
  • Hyperlinks to material not directly related to the discussion
  • Any illegal activity
  • Solicitation for donations, or memberships or services requiring a fee
  • Photos or other images that may fall in any of the above categories

The library does not collect, maintain, or otherwise use the personal information stored on any third party site in any way other than to communicate with users on that site. Users should be aware that third party websites may have their own privacy policies.

By posting any comments, the user agrees to indemnify Sachem Public Library and its representatives from and against all liabilities; damages and costs incurred which arise out of or are related to the posted content.

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Unattended Child Policy

Sachem Public Library welcomes all children and their families to use its facilities/grounds, resources, and services. Responsibility for children using the Library rests with the parent/guardian or caregiver. Though staff will always respond with care and concern, they cannot assume responsibility for the safety, behavior and comfort of unattended children.  Staff cannot be expected to monitor or prevent an unattended child from leaving the building/grounds.

Children age 9 and under must be accompanied at all times by a parent/guardian or other responsible person age 14 or older. Children attending programs are supervised by the staff only during the scheduled time of the program. The parent/guardian or caregiver must remain in the Library and immediately join the child at the end of the program.

Children age 10 may use the Library unattended for a reasonable period of time provided they are able to maintain proper library behavior. Children will be expected to follow the rules of conduct as outlined in the Public Behavior in the Library Policy. They must have with them the telephone numbers of a parent/guardian or caregiver who can be contacted to pick up the child in case of an emergency. Staff will attempt to contact a parent/guardian or caregiver when a child’s:

  • health or safety is in doubt;
  • behavior disturbs other library users
  • parent/guardian or caregiver is not present at closing time
  • actions violate any of the Rules of Conduct for Library Patrons

Every reasonable effort will be made by the staff to assist the child in contacting the appropriate adult. If no responsible adult is reached, or the child is not picked up within 15 minutes of Library closing, staff may notify the police.

If, in the judgment of the staff, an unsupervised child’s conduct, age or maturity level or the conduct or age of those with or responsible for the child, exposes the child or others to risk, disrupts the operation of the Library, violates any of the Rules of Conduct for Library Patrons or requires continual staff intervention, then the staff will require that such child leave the Library, unless, in the judgment of the staff, the child cannot safely leave the premises without adult supervision due to age, capacity, time of day, or other circumstance. In such event, the staff will attempt to contact the parent/guardian or caregiver and request the child’s removal from the Library. If a parent/guardian or caregiver is unavailable then proper authorities will be notified.

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Unattended Vulnerable Adult Policy

Sachem Public Library strives to provide a warm, welcoming and safe environment for all community members. The Library is particularly concerned for the safety of vulnerable adults* in and around the Library. A parent/guardian or caregiver 18 years of age or older must be responsible for monitoring the activities and managing the behavior of vulnerable adults during their Library visits. Staff cannot be expected to monitor or prevent vulnerable adults from leaving the building/grounds or to assume responsibility for monitoring their behavior.

The Library will adhere to the following guidelines concerning the care and behavior of vulnerable adults:

  • Vulnerable adults, who can understand and follow the rules of conduct and who can care for themselves, are welcomed to be in the Library unattended. Vulnerable adults will be expected to follow the rules of conduct as outlined in the Public Behavior in the Library Policy. They should have contact information for a parent/guardian or caregiver who can assist them in an emergency.
  • Vulnerable adults who are unable or unwilling to care for themselves must be attended and have adequate supervision at all times.
  • Staff will attempt to contact a parent/guardian or caregiver when a vulnerable adult’s:
    • health or safety is in doubt
    • behavior disturbs other Library users
    • actions violate any of the Rules of Conduct for Library Patrons
    • parent/guardian or caregiver is not present at closing time.

Every reasonable effort will be made by the staff to assist the vulnerable adult in contacting the appropriate adult. If no responsible adult is reached, or the vulnerable adult is not picked up within 15 minutes of Library closing, staff may notify the police.

*A vulnerable adult is an individual over the age of 18 who is mentally or physically challenged to a degree that significantly impairs the individual's ability to provide adequately for his/her own care or manage his/her own behavior without assistance.

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Volunteer Policy

Sachem Public Library provides opportunities, on a limited basis, for volunteers to participate in special programs or projects. In order to aid the community in locating a wider range of volunteer opportunities, Reference, Teen and Children's Services maintain files of community agencies identified as accepting the assistance of volunteers. Also, Friends of Sachem Library, a non-profit organization of volunteers that work to support the goals of Sachem Public Library, welcomes new members.

From time to time, the Library encounters special short-term projects where voluntary assistance may be helpful. Volunteers may be recruited through individual contact with staff members, through existing community groups, or through names submitted for consideration for such duty. Prior to the commencement of any volunteer services, all volunteer groups or individuals who function within the Library must receive the Director's or the Director's designee's written approval of the services to be performed and the specific individuals to perform such services. The Library reserves the right to request references and/or background information on any proposed volunteer and may decline the services of any volunteer without having to state reasons for such declination of services. Volunteers shall not be used to supplant or replace established staff positions.

Volunteers shall work directly with and under the supervision of one primary staff member who shall guide them in their work. Volunteers are expected to act in accordance with all Library directives and policies, follow all directions and instructions by the supervising staff member and reflect positive customer service attitudes to all Library patrons. The Library does not compensate volunteers through wages, benefits, reimbursement of expenses, or any other form of compensation. Understanding that recognition is an important component of a volunteer program and that it is often the only way in which the Library can say "thank you" to a volunteer, each volunteer shall receive a "Certificate of Community Service" upon completion of the project.

The parent or guardian of all volunteers under the age of eighteen (18) years of age shall provide his/her written consent to the minor serving as a volunteer at the Library prior to the commencement of any services by the minor. Such consent shall contain an acknowledgement of the specific services to be performed by the minor and specify the parent's or guardian's understanding of the terms of this Policy. All volunteers shall be provided with a copy of this Policy prior to commencement of their services.

Nothing in this policy shall be deemed to create a contract between the volunteer and the Library nor shall any volunteer be considered an employee of the Library. The Library reserves the right to discontinue volunteer opportunities or terminate the services of any individual volunteer or volunteer group without prior notice and with or without cause at the discretion of the Director or the Director's designee.

A click here for Volunteer Application
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