Sample Library Policies
All institutions need guidelines for decision making and libraries are no exception. Policies allow for consistent implementation 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 [Word, 29 KB]
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 [Word, 20 KB]
Internet Safety Policy [Word, 28 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
Bed Bug Protocol [Word, 135 KB]
Disaster policy and planning
Safe Harbor: Policies and Procedures for a Safe Library - Sample policies & procedures about patron behavior
Skype Policy Template [Word, 29.5 KB]
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.
- 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], Gift and Naming Policy [Word, 27kb]
- Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor, ME: Collection development [Word, 40kb]
Additional Policies and Information
- CIPA compliance information - Maine State Library
- Library Card and Borrowing - San Diego Public Library
- Collection Development - Arizona State Library
- Wisconsin Public Library Policy Resources Page: Sample policies by type (farther down the page)