1. The library has areas for quiet study. Any person using conduct inconsistent with the purposes of the library, such as interfering with another person's use and enjoyment of the library or with the library personnel's performances of duties, will be asked to leave.
2. NO SMOKING in the library. NO FOOD OR DRINK in the library except in designated areas as authorized by the Library Director.
3. Library privileges may be limited for the following reasons:
- damaging library property;
- stealing library materials;
- harassing, either verbally or physically, any staff or patron;
- inappropriate behavior.
4. No animals shall be brought into the library, other than those assisting persons with disabilities, unless authorized by the Library Director.
5. Bicycles, roller blades, skates, and other similar equipment may not be used in the library or on the ramp at the entrance to the library. Bicycles must be left at the bicycle rack at the front of the building.
6. Running, pushing, shoving, and similar behavior is not permitted in the library.
7. Parents are responsible for the behavior and supervision of their children.
8. No user of the library shall enter a non-public area without authorization from library staff.
9. No solicitation unrelated to the activities of the Morse Institute Library may take place on library property.
10. Shirts and shoes must be worn in the library.
11. No playing of personal audio equipment such that it interferes with another person's library use and enjoyment
12. The Teen Room is a dedicated space reserved for middle and high school students ages 11 to 18.
Please cooperate with library staff who must interpret and apply library rules and regulations. Your cooperation will help to promote excellence in library service.
Cell Phone Policy
In order to create an environment conducive to reading, study, research and quiet collaboration the Morse Institute Library limits the audible use of cell phones in the library. We understand that cell phones are a vital component of communication and information gathering. We ask only that you be considerate and respectful of others by following the guidelines below:
- Maintain the 2nd floor as a CELL PHONE FREE ZONE.
- Please put your phone on vibrate or silence when in the library.
- Limit your calls to brief, quiet conversations so that others will not be disturbed.
- Refrain from using phones at the public service desks and during library programs.
If you are disturbed by in-library cell phone use, please notify a library staff member at the nearest service desk. Users who repeatedly disturb others with their cell phone use may be asked to leave the library.
Approved by the Board of Trustees, Morse Institute Library, February 14, 2012
Amended February 12, 2013
Collection Development Policy
The goal of the Collection Development policy is to ensure fulfillment of the library’s mission of providing free access to print and non-print materials and quality reference service to library users of all ages and abilities. In order to meet this goal the library collection will:
- represent a variety of viewpoints, in accordance with the Library Bill of Rights
- include a variety of formats, as deemed reasonable to meet a variety of user needs
- seek to meet the needs of the residents of the town of Natick
- respond to trends in popular materials
The Director holds final responsibility for allocation of funds and selection and purchase of materials.
II. Selection Process
Adult print materials are selected by the Materials Management Supervisor, with input from library staff, as workflow and other factors permit. Children’s and young adult materials are selected by the Children’s Supervisor and staff and by the Young Adult Librarian.
- Patron interest
- Importance of subject
- Timeliness of material
- Prominence of author
- Local importance
- Review response
- Award winning
- read professional review media
- review needs of the community as documented by circulation statistics, interlibrary loan requests, and reserves and other statistical inputs
- consider comments and requests from library patrons, conveyed to selectors by circulation staff and reference staff
A separate Special Collections Manual covers Archives and Local History collection policies.
III. Standards of selection by type of material
Non-fiction: Meeting patron demands as evidenced by reserves and requests is of primary importance. Strong consideration for purchase is given to an author’s competency and usefulness of the material to the collection and how it fits in with the overall depth and breadth of the collection. Timeliness, current political or social significance, author’s accuracy, readability of the material, and presentation of all sides of an issue are factors that are considered in selection of non-fiction. Staff recommendations are also used in selection. Standard library review journals are consulted (either in print or online) and a few online review sources are used. The weekly Purchase Alert report from the Minuteman Library Network is used for selection as well as spotting trends in borrowing/requesting.
Fiction: The library purchases a wide variety of fiction to satisfy requests and needs of borrowers. Books are chosen based on reviews, specific audience appeal, and literary reputation. We attempt to continue established series when new titles are published, but owing to space considerations, the library cannot guarantee that all titles in a lengthy series can be kept. We rely on the network to fulfill this need.
Multiple copies: The number of copies of a particular title that are purchased is determined by patron demand. In general, one copy of a fiction title for every 5 requests and one copy of a non-fiction title for every 3 requests is purchased. This is due to the difference in the loan period of new fiction and non-fiction.
Speed Read Collection: This collection is funded through the generosity of the Friends of the Morse Institute Library and is used primarily to provide copies to Natick patrons of popular books that have lengthy reserve lists. It is also a useful small browsing collection that people like. It is used occasionally to highlight books of particular literary and/or critical appeal that might otherwise be overlooked. The collection may be primarily fiction, but non-fiction books with lengthy reserve lists or local appeal are included, as are popular or timely subjects like gardening, crafts, cooking, DIY, or holiday celebrations.
Paperbacks: The primary purpose of this collection is to provide a light browsing collection in an easily portable format. The collection is intended to be changing, frequently weeded for space and condition, and up-to-date with newly published titles. As such, cataloging and processing are kept to a minimum.
Librarians’ Choice: This collection is made up of fiction and non-fiction recommended by the staff. Usually the library waits until a title is in trade paperback before purchasing. The staff is frequently solicited for suggestions.
Local authors: We strive to collect books by local Natick authors or an author with ties to Natick which are published by peer reviewed publishers. The policy for self-published books by local authors will take precedence in all other cases.
Self-published books: Also known as print-on-demand or vanity press pay-for-printing titles. It is a growing industry aided by the Internet and advancements in the technology. Local Natick authors who want their book included in the Library collection are requested to present the library with one copy of their book and if more are needed, the Library will purchase additional copies.
Regional interest books: Based on reviews, historical or genealogical usefulness, and patron interest, the Library purchases titles of this type that may be of greater depth and scholarship than in the general non-fiction collection. Massachusetts and New England are rich in a long history and much scholarship.
Audio-books: The audio-book collection consists largely of popular fiction, with some popular non-fiction titles, in the following formats: books on cd, Playaways, and MP3 discs. Most are purchased through standing orders with library packagers/suppliers, because they come pre-packaged for library circulation and offer disc replacement at minimal cost. Also, downloadable audio-books are available through the library’s e-book service. Other titles are purchased for patron interest or with special funds and need to be repackaged for circulation.
DVDs: Adult and Juvenile DVDs focus on popular movies, TV series, and foreign films, but also include a broad non-fiction collection that supports subjects in the book collection, such as computer instruction, job hunting and resume writing. Many DVDs are on standing orders with Baker & Taylor, although other distributors such as Midwest Tapes and Amazon are used to fill hard-to-find titles or subject areas.
Music: The library purchases music CDs in a range of genres based on reviews, popularity and patron requests.
Teen Room: The Teen Room focuses largely on popular fiction for grades 6-12, with a smaller collection of non-fiction titles of popular and particular interest to teens. It is expected that teens will also make use of the adult non-fiction and other collections. The teen room also collects video games and graphic novels with a teen or younger rating, young adult magazines, and popular Books on CD. Multiple copies of books prescribed by Natick’s high school and middle schools’ summer reading lists will be purchased.
Children’s Department: The Children’s Room focuses on materials appropriate for the educational and recreational needs and interests of children from birth to grade 6. The collection includes a broad array of picture books, easy readers, chapter books, popular magazines, and non-fiction. A collection of multiple copies of Natick elementary schools’ summer reading list titles is also maintained. Books on CD and kits are also purchased based on popular interest and educational value. Popular children’s DVDs are purchased and currently shelved in the adult area, in a separate section.
Literacy/ESOL: The Literacy Program provides free, student-centered instruction and materials to adults learning English as a second language, as well as adults requiring basic literacy skills. In addition, support services for volunteer tutors and trainers are provided. The Literacy collection supports this program and materials are selected by the Literacy Coordinator according to available grant or other funding.
Reference: In order to provide quick and easy access to current accurate information on a wide variety of subjects, the library maintains a core collection of up-to-date resources in print and/or electronic format, as well as providing remote 24/7 access to electronic reference resources for Natick residents. This collection includes dictionaries, almanacs, encyclopedias, atlases, directories, bibliographies, and other reference sources. Standing orders are placed, for print or on-line publications, which are regularly revised to ensure currency. Online databases are chosen for their relevance, ease of use and general ability to meet the information needs of library patrons.
International Languages: The International Language collection is designed to respond to the interests of the general public and the needs of non-native English speakers. The collection includes a broad selection of books with an emphasis on lighter popular fiction, but will also include some classics, non-fiction and popular periodicals. The library has standing orders for general interest books in various languages, such as Chinese, Russian, Hindi, and Spanish.
Veteran’s Oral History Project: The library collects all DVDs recorded by the Natick Veteran’s Oral History Project. As funding from the Project allows, the library purchases materials on military history and other related topics in a variety of formats to support this special project.
E-Books: The Minuteman Library Network Overdrive collection of e-books is selected through recommendations of the Network Digital Content Working Group which reviews titles and solicits and reviews input from member libraries. Library selected e-book purchases are made based on the "most requested items” list. The library may purchase additional e-books from other vendors as demand and availability increase.
Electronic databases: Online computerized databases extend the collection by providing timely and versatile access to information in electronic format and serve to supplement reference service. Many of the databases contain specialized information beyond the scope of the library's print collections; others have information that does not exist in print format.
Periodicals: Periodicals are selected to provide recreational reading and current information on a wide variety of subjects appealing to a general readership. They are selected on overall quality and appeal and reviewed on an ongoing basis.
Donations of books or other materials: Gifts of miscellaneous books or other materials in good condition are accepted with the understanding that they become the property of the Library and items which are not added to the collection will be disposed of at the discretion of the Library. The Library does not accept books or any other materials on the condition that if they are not added to the collection, they are returned to the donor.
The Library cannot provide an appraisal of donated materials, but receipts for donations are available upon request at the Circulation Desk.
IV. Objections to Library Materials
Any individual may express his or her objections to particular library materials by completing a "Statement of Concern about Library Materials” form. After the form is completed, it will be brought to the attention of the Library Director who will evaluate the original reasons for the purchase of the material. The Library director will then respond to the person making the objection. Any remaining objections will be addressed by the Board of Library Trustees. Library materials are not rejected or dropped from the collection because some content is considered offensive by some readers. They are judged on overall quality and appeal.
V. Review sources
Sources for selecting books include but are not limited to:
Baker & Taylor Booking Ahead
Early Word (online)
TitleSource III reviews (online)
LJ PrePub (online)
MLN Purchase Alert
AAAS Science Books & Films
Amazon Movers & Shakers
Amazon Best Sellers
Amazon Best Sellers by Categories
Advertisements for books by small presses, or of local or special subject interest
Publishers catalogs: many publishers have reputations for excellent publishing in specific areas and are thus go-to catalogs when needing to boost a specific collection
Reference Department suggestions/title recommendations for subject area purchases based on demand, school assignments, lack of sufficient or up-to-date material in an area
VI. Weeding/Mending and Collection Goals
In order to provide easy access to relevant and in-demand materials and information, weeding is frequent and thorough, keeping collections current, trimmed and useful. The library does not have the space or the mandate to keep materials that do not circulate regularly.
Materials are withdrawn from library collections when the information in the materials becomes outdated or obsolete, when the materials are no longer of interest or in demand, or when the condition of the damaged material is not worth the cost of repairing or no longer meets our retention guidelines.
Materials in need of mending will be reviewed by trained staff and directed to: mend, discard, or replace using the following criteria:
- number of copies owned by Morse Institute Library
- number of copies in Minuteman Library Network
Approved by the Board of Trustees, Morse Institute Library, January 8, 2013
Computer Usage Agreement
1. Viewing of certain text and/or images in the library may infringe the rights of other patrons to a public space free from the display of materials that may constitute sexual harassment.
Library staff reserves the right to prohibit the public display of images and/or text, even though those images and/or text may not be offensive to an individual patron.
It is not permitted nor acceptable to:
- Alter, tamper with, repair, circumvent, remove, or damage configurations, software, or hardware on library computers.
- Use library computer or Internet access for illegal, fraudulent, harmful, obscene or abusive purposes.
- Send any virus or harmful code to any third party.
- Attempt to or to break into or violate the security of any computer file, database, or network, or violate another person's privacy or access, alter, steal, corrupt or destroy any data.
2. The library assumes no liability for any damage to the user's data or equipment, loss of the user's privacy sustained while using library equipment or any damages, direct or indirect, arising from its connections to the Internet.
3. The library can make no guarantees with respect to the quality or content of the information available on the Internet. Not all the information on the Internet is accurate, current, or complete. Users are encouraged to evaluate the validity of information accessed via the Internet.
Exhibit and Display Policy
The Morse Institute Library welcomes the opportunity to allow community groups and organizations to use the various display and exhibit areas of its libraries. Space is provided for displays and exhibits of an educational, cultural, civic, charitable or recreational nature, not for advertising for commercial enterprises nor for exhibits designed to serve specific candidates, campaigns or parties.
The Morse Institute Library does not endorse the beliefs or viewpoints of topics which may be the subject of exhibits or displays in the library.
The Morse Institute Library shall have the final decision on all exhibits and displays. The Library reserves the right to reject any part of an exhibit or to change the manner of display.
Application for use of display/exhibit space by non-library affiliated groups will be honored on a first-come basis at the full discretion of the library administration.
Organizations based in Natick or serving primarily Natick residents shall have priority for exhibit space. In order to provide maximum access to exhibit spaces, those organizations that have not used exhibit space within the past year shall have priority over those who have used the space more recently.
Reservations for display space shall not be made more than one year in advance. The Library will maintain a calendar of scheduled displays/exhibits.
It is the responsibility of the exhibitor to set up and remove the exhibit on the date and time specified on the Application for Display/Exhibit Space at the Morse Institute. The library is not responsible for items left after the appointed take down date and time.
Exhibitors are encouraged to visit the Library prior to installation to determine how they would like the exhibit arranged.
The Library will not provide any supplies or staff assistance in the setting up or removal of an exhibit. If assistance is needed in setting up an exhibit, the exhibitor must schedule this assistance with the Executive Assistant.
Display reservations are not transferable to another person or group. Displays may not be changed after installation without prior consultation with the Library.
Library use of display areas takes precedence over any other use and the library reserves the right to cancel the use of the display areas by outside exhibitors if the Library Director determines the display space is needed for library purposes. The Library will put forth reasonable effort to give advance notice of such preemption and to assist the exhibitor in reserving another date.
All displays/exhibits must be set up and removed with as little interference as possible to the daily operations of the Library. Displays/exhibits will be set up and removed at pre-appointed times.
The Library will not provide storage for the property of organizations or individuals displaying in the Library.
No fees are charged for display spaces and groups using display spaces may not charge an admission fee, request donations or in any way solicit funds.
All exhibits must conform to the space restrictions of the display areas available at the Library.
Exhibits hung on the walls or display panels shall be done so securely and under the guidelines of the library.
Labels for exhibits must be furnished by the exhibitor. In all exhibit situations lettering for signage or textual information should be of high quality: neat, clear and articulately stated.
All art must be suitably framed, with hanging apparatus or mounted and stabilized on a pedestal or display case. Framed art work must be installed on the Library’s hanging system or as free-standing art within the exhibit space. Work that is fragile in nature or whose framing or display arrangement is of questionable durability may be rejected.
The library shall not be responsible for handling any money from the sale of items displayed. Exhibitors who desire to sell items shall include as part of their displays information on how to purchase items. Any items sold during a display period shall remain on display until all items are scheduled to be removed.
Exhibits in the Lebowitz Meeting Hall shall be available to the general public only when no other meetings are in session. No meetings shall be interrupted to set-up, remove or to view any exhibit while a meeting is in session.
Exhibit areas are open to the public only during the regular open hours of the library unless by special arrangement.
The Morse Institute Library accepts no responsibility for the preservation, protection or possible damage or theft of any item displayed or exhibited. All items placed on display at the Morse Institute Library are done so at the owner's risk. All exhibitors are required to sign the Application for Display/Exhibit Space at the Morse Institute Library releasing the library from responsibility for exhibited items.
In return for the grant of permission to exhibit or display, all exhibitors will be required to agree to hold the Library (and the Town of Natick) harmless from any claims arising out of the damage, loss, or theft of any exhibited materials, even if such damage or theft is caused by the staff of the Library, or employees of the Town of Natick, or by members of the public and to indemnify and defend the Library and the Town of Natick against any such losses, damages or theft. Exhibitors will agree to hold the Library and the Town of Natick harmless and make them whole for any damages or injury to the Library and its staff and employees of Natick and the general public arising out of the placement and maintenance of the exhibit. The exhibitor is encouraged to insure itself for any losses to itself or the Library and the Town of Natick under the terms of this paragraph.
Damages to the premises, equipment or furnishings as a result of exhibitor use will be charged to the individual or group responsible.
V. Board Prerogative
Amended February 14, 2012.
Meeting Room Policy and Procedures
In accordance with the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and its interpretation pertaining to meeting rooms, the library does not limit use of the meeting room based on the subject matter or content of the meeting or on the beliefs or affiliations of the meeting’s sponsors.
The Library Trustees and/or Library Director reserve the right to disallow the use of a room for any purpose incompatible with the overall mission of the Library.
All meetings must adhere to the rules established by the Morse Institute Library. Failure to comply with the established rules may result in loss of future use.
Library space cannot be reserved for private functions.
There will be no charge for the use of the meeting rooms for town agencies. Nonprofit or for-profit/commercial organizations will be required to pay fees based on the fee structure. (See Meeting Room Procedures below.)
Permission to use the meeting rooms will be granted to adults only.
Use of the meeting room does not imply endorsement, support, or cosponsorship by the Morse Institute Library of the activities that take place in the meeting room or of the beliefs of the group using the meeting room. Groups or individuals using the meeting room may not imply that the event or program is sponsored, cosponsored, or endorsed by the library in any advertising or publicity.
All meetings and programs held in the library meeting rooms must be open to the public. No selling, solicitation, or taking of orders for future purchases may occur without written permission from the Library Director.
No admission fees may be charged for programs held in the meeting room.
Meetings in the Community Room or the Lebowitz Meeting Hall must coincide with library hours unless permission has been granted and arrangements made to begin earlier or remain later.
Meetings held in other areas of the Library (i.e. Study Room 1A) must always coincide with library hours.
Custodial fees will be charged for before or after-hours use.
Any publicity must be cleared by the Library Administration prior to publicity going to print. Publicity must clearly state who is sponsoring the program. Publicity must include a contact telephone number (not the library phone number). Library administration must receive final copies of any publicity.
Any expenses (damage, police attendance, etc.) are the full responsibility of the organization using the Library facilities. The library is not responsible for the loss or damage of the organization’s property or the property of individuals in attendance.
All programs held at the Morse Institute Library are to be free and open to the public.
There will be absolutely no smoking or serving of alcoholic beverages (including beer or wine) on Library premises. The use of lit candles is also prohibited.
A business or commercial entity cannot sell or promote its products or services on the Library’s premises.
The Library does not provide special services such as the use of: a fax machine, computer, projector, copier, or laptop computer. Also, the library staff will not photocopy materials for the presenter or offer other office services.
In addition, the Library should not be used as the mailing address for any group or organization.
The fact that an organization is permitted to meet at the Library does not in any way constitute an endorsement of the group’s policies or beliefs.
The Library reserves the right to cancel the use of the facilities as the result of an emergency. In the event that the Library cancels a reservation, a full refund will be issued.
Decorations and/or displays must be limited to the tables or easels. Any other requests must be cleared through the Library Administration. Materials on display in the meeting rooms are not to be moved or rearranged.
Hourly fees will be charged on the basis of total room usage including the organization’s set-up time, meeting time, and breakdown time. *
- $125/hour or portion thereof
$150/hour or portion thereof before or after library hours to cover room use and custodial fees
- $25/hour or portion thereof
- $50/hour or portion thereof before or after library hours to cover room use and custodial fees
- $25/hour or portion thereof
- $50/ hour or portion thereof before or after library hours to cover room use and custodial fees
- $10/hour or portion thereof
- $35/hour or portion thereof before or after library hours to cover room use and custodial fees
A snow date will be accommodated for groups who wish to book one for 25% of the total fee charged.
Please contact the Library’s Executive Assistant for information on availability:
Amended by the Board of Trustees, Morse Institute Library on April 13, 2010.
Privacy and Confidentiality
The Morse Institute Library is dedicated to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of our patrons. Our policy was created to comply with the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 78, Section 7: “Part of the records of a public library which reveals the identity and intellectual pursuits of a person using such library shall not be a public record as defined by clause Twenty-sixth of section seven of chapter four.” This policy extends to circulation records (borrowing records, reserves or fine records), interlibrary loan transactions, registration records, database search records, reference interviews, and internet use. Except in cases involving the Patriot Act, no records can be made available to any inquiries, governmental or otherwise, unless a subpoena has been served by a court of competent jurisdiction and the library administration has consulted with legal counsel to determine if it is proper to release the requested information.
How Our Privacy and Confidentiality Policy Affects Your Library Experience
What do I need in order to borrow library items and/or manage my account at the library?
If you have forgotten your library card, both photo id and personal information (such as an address or telephone number) are required to access your account.
Can I pick up books on reserve for a family member or friend?
Without the library card, we can only release reserved items being held for someone else with the following:
A copy of the emailed “Ready for Pickup” notification (valid only for the item or items listed)
A phone call of permission from the cardholder (Library card number required at the time of the call.)
Can I pay fines for a family member or friend?
Fines can always be paid on overdue items being returned at the desk. Without the library card, however, no information from the account can be disclosed (such as previously incurred fines or items still checked out.)
Fines can be paid for family members without their cards, but we cannot issue an itemized receipt for fines paid or disclose the titles of fined items.
I am returning these library materials for my family member or friend. Can you tell me what is still checked out on the account?
No. Without the library card, we cannot disclose any information about the account.
Can you access my account over the phone to renew items, change a pin number, place requests, check on the status of requested items or inquire about my due dates?
We are happy to help you manage your account over the phone with your account number. We do not access an account without the number, except to report a card lost or stolen.
We can renew an item with the item barcode number (found on the item or the date due receipt), but due to time constraints, we can only renew no more than two items.
We can place requests over the phone without your card number, but require your name, PIN number, and the address and phone numbers listed in your library account.
Library accounts can be managed online with a library card number and PIN (personal identification number.) If you do not have a PIN, you can set one online, get one at the library (library card or photo id required,) or over the phone (library card number required.)
Accessing your account online allows you to renew items, check due dates, pay for fines or lost materials by credit card, update your email address, place requests, etc.
If you give your library card to a family member or friend to pick up materials for you, we must assume that permission to access account information and to use the account has been granted.
In order to maintain a safe and orderly environment for Library use, and to protect Library property, the following constitutes Library policy concerning the supervision of children.
- Parents, guardians, and caregivers are responsible for the behavior, safety, and supervision of their children at all times while in the Library and on Library property. Caregivers should be 18 years old or older.
- The Library staff is not responsible for the safety, care, or supervision of children of any age, whether in the Library or on Library property.
- Children 8 years and under must be accompanied by an adult at all times. They may not be left alone. During Library programs, parents, guardians, and caregivers of children 8 years and younger must remain in the Library.
- Children engaging in disruptive or other inappropriate behavior or language will be asked to leave the Library. The judgment of the Library staff prevails when requesting such removal, and Police assistance will be requested if necessary.
- Parents, guardians, and caregivers should be aware of Library opening and closing times and make suitable arrangements to meet or transport their children. If a child is left at the Library after closing time, the Police will be called.
- Children who do not have transportation home at closing time will be asked for telephone numbers of people who can pick them up. If transportation is not available within 15 minutes of closing, the Police will be called and asked to pick up the child(ren).
- Library staff will not transport children from the Library to any other location.
Approved by the Board of Trustees, Morse Institute Library – September 8, 2009