Maine Library Association (MLA) Minimum Public Library Standards - Achieving Quality Library Service in Maine
Governance and Administration
- The governing authority hires the library director and delegates to the library director full professional responsibility for administering and managing the library, its policies, personnel and finances, as well as the selection of materials.
- The library board meets at least four times a year.
- The library board adopts ALA’s Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement, the Freedom to View Statement and Access to Electronic Resources. (see appendices B, C, D and E.)
- The library board ensures that library statistics and financial records are kept, and that both statistics and financial records are incorporated into a written annual report made to the community.
- The library board has adopted written by-laws which outline the board’s purpose, set the frequency of meetings, define the number of board members, specify the procedures for the appointment of committees, specify operational procedures and address conflict of interest issues.
- Using a formal planning process, the library board works with the library director in developing a written strategic plan that includes time frames and is reviewed and updated annually.
- The library is a member of the Maine Regional Library System.
- The library director is responsible for completing and submitting an Annual Report to the Maine State Library in a format acceptable to the Maine State Library.
- The library director manages the library on a daily basis. The library director plans, organizes and directs a program of library services that serve all people in the community.
- The library director measures and evaluates the effectiveness of library services in relation to the changing needs of the community.
- The library director periodically prepares a written review of the library’s space needs based on community study findings and changes in use of space, services, size of collection, types of materials and staffing levels.
- The public library building complies with building, fire, safety, sanitation and other applicable federal, state and local codes and legal requirements.
- There is a budget allocation and program for the maintenance of the building and grounds.
- There is a written strategic plan for addressing the capital maintenance needs of the building and for securing funds for that maintenance.
- The exterior of the library is well lit. Appropriate and highly visible signs identify the library and include hours of service.
- Professional quality signage identifies service areas and the library’s collections; e.g., Reference, Children’s Room, Large Print Books.
- There is at least one well maintained public restroom
- Written emergency plans have been developed in accordance with appropriate codes; evacuation routes, fire exits and fire extinguishers are clearly marked.
- The library has a specific area for children’s services.
- The library has a written policy for the selection and de-selection of library materials and for general collection development. This written selection policy endorses the Library Bill of Rights, the Free Access to Libraries for Minors Statement, the Freedom to Read Statement, and the Freedom to View Statement. (see appendices B, C, D and E.)
- The materials selection policy includes a procedure for handling complaints, questions and comments about materials along with a procedure for responding to these concerns.
- The library provides no fewer than 6000 volumes. NB Non-print items are counted as volumes; periodicals are not.
- The collection is continually updated to meet the changing needs, tastes and interests of the community.
- The library provides an up-to-date bibliographic card catalog or automated catalog arranged and indexed in the most useful form for patrons.
- The library is open a minimum of 15 hours a week, some of which are evenings and/or weekend hours.
- Library hours are posted and publicized in the community.
- The library’s circulation practices and policies protect patron confidentiality.
- The library has a telephone and the number is listed in the telephone directory.
- The library cooperates with other libraries to provide interlibrary loan and other information services. This service is widely publicized in the library and in the community and available equally to all users regardless of age.
- The library annually calculates at least the following performance measures:
- Library visits
- Registration as a percentage of population served
- Program attendance
- Public workstation usage
- Library directors meet the following criteria. (This minimum standard applies to Library Directors hired after 2000.
Library degree recommended based on population served
|| BA or BS in related field
|5,000 or over
||M.L.S. or MLIS
- The library, no matter how small, has a permanent, paid staff person who is responsible for the administration of library services.
- For safety/security reasons, the library has at least two persons (one may be a volunteer) scheduled at all times the library is open.
- The library has a written personnel policy which is reviewed annually and is in compliance with local, state and federal employment laws. (see appendix G.)
- All library employees are paid at least minimum wage.
- Funding for training/travel is an established regularly budgeted item in the library’s operating budget.
Electronic Information Technology
- The library has at least one public access computer workstation connected to the Internet through the MSLN or other Internet service provider. This public access computer is connected to a good quality printer.
- The library has a written acceptable use policy that addresses access by minors.
- At least one library staff member subscribes to a statewide listserv, MELIBS-L and/or MEINFO-L and other professional listservs.
- The library has a technology plan that is reviewed annually and submitted to the Maine State Library as required by federal e-rate rules or other state/national regulations.
- The library has an exterior sign which clearly identifies the building as a library.
- The building is clean, safe, uncluttered and easy to use. The library staff and library board conduct an annual walkthrough of library facilities to assess the image the library projects. (see appendix H.)
- The library distributes a brochure describing the library’s facilities, resources, services, hours and rules.