Policies

The mission of the Everett Libraries is to:
Instill a love of reading and learning in children and adults by providing access to the world of ideas and information.

Open to all, the Libraries will promote literacy,
protect intellectual freedom & encourage life long learning.

The policies of the Everett Libraries, adopted by the Library Board of Trustees, are designed to provide an environment that will promote the accomplishment of this mission.

OBTAINING A LIBRARY CARD

Positive identification is required to obtain a library card. Forms of acceptable ID include driver's license, Massachusetts ID card or a combination of any ID card that lacks a current address plus a piece of mail that has a cancelled stamp. Applications for children up through grade 6 must have a parent or guardian's signature. The Library accepts a school planner for identification or accompanying parent's ID for children. Please consult the circulation desk (617-394-2300) for further information and clarification. This requirement is based on the fact that a library card provides the individual with access to obtain city property on loan and the library needs to ensure that borrowers can be contacted should items become overdue. No one would expect to borrow from a video store or rent an automobile without positive ID. This is an analogous situation.

Library cards should be presented to borrow items from the library. If you forget to bring your card, staff may retrieve your record from the database upon presentation of another form of identification. The identification of the borrower can be compared to the ID and the loan can proceed if there is a match. Checkouts can also be done for people well known to staff. This policy is for your protection, to ensure that no one else is using your card. Also, if the Library has a computer outage, staff will not be able to check an item out without a bar code number.

Children will be registered at any age, regardless of the child's ability to write his or her own name. This decision will be made by parents or guardians.

BORROWING & FINES

Most of the library's collections circulate for a period of time - usually one or three weeks. Items in the Everett History Room and the Reference Collection must be used inside the building. Most items may be renewed for an additional borrowing period. If an item has been placed on reserve, it may not be renewed. The Library may impose limits on the numbers of items that can be borrowed by one person in order to ensure that scarce materials on a particular subject (for example to satisfy current school assignments) or in a particular format are widely shared. A schedule of loan periods, renewals and borrowing limits is posted at each circulation desk and appears in the Procedures section of this manual.

The Library charges fines for items returned to the library after their due date. $.10 will be charged for each day that an item is overdue to a maximum of $2.00 per item.

Lost items may be replaced by the patron, or paid for at the library's current cost of replacement.

USE OF THE LIBRARY

The library proudly serves all residents of Everett and extends its services, on a reciprocal basis, to residents of other Massachusetts cities and towns. It also welcomes guests from other states and countries to utilize in-house resources or information available over the Internet. Service will not be denied or abridged because of religious, racial, social, economic, or political status; or because of mental, emotional, or physical condition; age; or sexual orientation.

Public libraries are defined in Massachusetts General Laws as "places of public accommodation." Their doors are open to all. However, the use of the library may be denied for due cause. Such cause may be destruction of library property, disturbance of other patrons, or illegal or disruptive conduct on library premises. Failure to pay fines or other fees may result in the restriction of borrowing privileges, but will not result in denial of the use of the library building or in-house services.

Library borrowing privileges are an important and valuable asset and, as such, should be safeguarded along with checkbooks and credit cards.

Patron Responsibilities and Conduct:

It is a patron's responsibility to maintain the standards of behavior outlined in the posted "Rules for Use of the Library" (printed below) in order to protect his/her individual rights and the rights and privileges of other patrons. Patrons are asked remove hats, hoods and sunglasses while in the library with a sign posted at the door and circulation desk. If a patron creates a public nuisance, that patron may be restricted from the Library and from the use of the library facilities. Those who are unwilling to leave or do not leave within a reasonable amount of time, after being instructed to do so by the staff, will be referred to law enforcement officials.

Unattended and Vulnerable Children

The Everett Public Libraries encourage visits by young children and it is our desire to make these important visits both memorable and enjoyable for the child. Responsibility for children using the library rests at all times with the parent or caregiver, not with Library personnel. Parents must use their discretion in determining when their children are sufficiently mature and responsible to use the library unaccompanied by an adult. Parents and caregivers should keep in mind that our library is a public building. An unattended child is any young person who is using the public library unaccompanied by a responsible adult. A vulnerable child is any unattended child whose safety or well-being may be endangered or who is unable to care for his or herself. Because children develop and mature at different rates, there is no particular age at which all children are ready to cope with the variety of circumstances they may face alone in the library. Library staff must use their judgment and discretion in determining whether or not an unattended child is vulnerable or at-risk.

All children using the library must know how to reach a parent or a responsible adult in case of an emergency. Parents and caregivers should be familiar with the library's hours of operation and should not leave children at the Library before opening or after closing. The Library may also be closed due to an unexpected emergency (storms, power outages, etc.). Parents should discuss arrangements and contingency plans for emergency pick-up with their children. Library staff will allow children who need to call a parent or responsible adult if closing approaches to use the telephone.

Library staff shall not remain alone after hours with a child who is left in the building. Under no circumstances is staff allowed to give a child a ride home. Staff will call the Everett Police Department to escort children who have been left in the building after closing.

A parent/responsible person should remain in the library while their young children attend a library program, in case of an emergency. To use the library's Internet computers or online catalog, children under the age of nine must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult. A bank of computers in the area of the Parlin Children's Library, that serves the youngest patrons, provides access to a number of educational games. Children of all ages are invited to use these computers on their own.

Disruptive Behavior

Individuals of all ages are encouraged to use the library for homework, recreational reading, computer use, program attendance and as a gathering place. The library staff realizes that the noise level in the building will rise after school and at other especially busy times. However, a child (whether with parents or not), a teenager or an adult who is being continually disruptive will be given a warning that the behavior must cease so that others may use the library or the person will be asked to leave the library. If, after a second warning, the individual continues to be disruptive, he/she will be asked to leave the library. If a child, who has been asked to leave, needs to contact a parent, they may do so and then wait with a staff person until the parent arrives.

Paging and Cell Phones

The Libraries do not have a system of paging individuals for telephone calls. If possible, staff will assist callers by letting people using the library know that they have a call. However, we will not make an exhaustive search of the building or call individuals back. Library telephones are for City business and may only be used by the public in an emergency.

The use of cell phones is limited to the lobby areas to avoid the disruption caused by multiple cell phone conversations.

Solicitation and petitions

Library patrons should not be disturbed by solicitations or the collection of signatures on petitions. These activities, however well intended, are not allowed on the premises.

RULES FOR THE USE OF THE LIBRARY

The Public Libraries of Everett welcomes all residents of Everett, of Massachusetts and visitors to the Parlin Memorial Library and the Shute Memorial Library. People of all ages are encouraged to use the Libraries' facilities for reference browsing, reading, study, and attending cultural programs. The Library can serve the community most effectively when everyone follows the rules adopted by the Board of Trustees.

  • The purposes of a library require a quiet environment.
  • Smoking is not allowed in any area of the Library.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in any area of the Library
  • Damaging or defacing Library property is against Massachusetts Law. Violators will be prosecuted
  • Removing Library property or materials without checking them out is an act of larceny.
  • Bicycles must be left outside the Library. Skates, skateboards, and other athletic equipment may not be used inside Library buildings
  • Respect other's right to use and enjoy the Library. Harassment or intimidation by threatening or offensive language, hygiene or behavior will not be allowed
  • Shoes and shirts must be worn in the Library
  • Hats, hoods and sunglasses must be removed in the Library.
  • Solicitation is not permitted on Library grounds or within Library buildings
  • Parents are responsible for the supervision and behavior of their young children
  • The Library reserves the right to examine any bags or parcels
  • Sleeping is not permitted on Library premises.
  • Cell phones may be used in lobby areas only.

Any person engaging in conduct inconsistent with the orderly operation of the Library of who fails to comply with these rules may be asked to leave the Library premises.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Your library record is confidential. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 78 Section 7 states that, "That part of the records of a public library which reveals the identity and intellectual pursuits of a person using the library shall not be a public record as defined by clause Twenty-sixth of section seven of chapter four."

The Everett Libraries strive to protect the privacy of library patrons. No confidential information on library patrons will be revealed to the authorities without presentation of a subpoena or search warrant.

The Library retains only as much information as required to provide services.

Personal information on patrons will be discarded as soon as it is no longer needed. The Library keeps no permanent record of books or library materials that have been borrowed and returned, Internet signups, Internet sites visited, electronic databases used, or searches performed by patrons.

The U.S. Patriot Act allows federal authorities to apply for warrants to seize records of all types, including those from libraries. Library officials are prohibited from disclosing to any person that such records have been requested. The federal law supersedes local library policy and Massachusetts state law. Therefore, if a valid request is received from federal authorities, the Everett Libraries must and will comply.

In our networked, electronic environment, security can not be guaranteed. Because even the most secure networks have been vulnerable to unauthorized access, Library computer users must presume that the files they create and messages they send might read by others. The Library strongly recommends that computer users familiarize themselves with issues of privacy and security and take measures to protect their information.

The Library will allow parents or a guardian access to information about lost books or overdue fines incurred by their children, for whom they have financial responsibility.

When an individual signs up for a library card, we do not share the information, including name, address, birth date, telephone, and email address, with third parties and will only use the information for circulation purposes.

The Library may offer programs that require a specific signup, for example, an email newsletter. The information provided will not be shared with third parties and used only for the purpose authorized during sign-up.

The Library may offer programs that require third party access to library records. All such programs will require individuals who wish to use them to sign-up for them or to provide a bar code number. A disclosure will be made before proceeding and the user will be required to indicate acceptance of the conditions of use. This type of program will be limited to vendors who will provide written assurance to the library that they will confine their use of library records to the minimum required to provide their product or service.

LIBRARY SERVICES

The Everett Libraries provide materials and resources for information, entertainment, intellectual development, and enrichment of the people of the community. The library endeavors to:

  1. Select, organize, and make available books, audio-visual materials and information in a wide variety of formats.
  2. Provide guidance and assistance in the location, selection and use of library materials.
  3. Sponsor and implement programs designed to enhance the library experience.
  4. Secure information beyond its own resources when requested, using interlibrary loan and other resource sharing methods provided through the system and state.
  5. Lend to other libraries upon request.
  6. Develop and provide services to patrons with special needs.
  7. Maintain a balance in its services to various age groups.
  8. Cooperate with and enhance the educational experience, but not perform the functions of school or other institutional libraries.
  9. Provide service during hours which enable use of the library by all members of the community.
  10. Provide materials to our increasingly linguistically diverse community, including English as a Second Language resources.
  11. Regularly review library services being offered.
  12. Use media and other public relations tools to promote the full range of available library services.
  13. Work with other governmental and community agencies to coordinate and enhance services.

Reference

The Everett Public Libraries:

  • will provide information in the form of short answers to specific questions and guidance in locating material for patrons who appear in person, call on the telephone, or request information through email or written correspondence;
  • will assist patrons in the use of the Library and teach basic research skills, when appropriate (this includes providing help in developing a research strategy and advice on whether a trip to the Library would be worthwhile for individuals who telephone);
  • will provide bibliographic verification of items both in the Library and not owned by the Library and will assist patrons in obtaining materials through interlibrary loan, when appropriate;
  • may refer library users to other agencies and libraries in pursuit of needed information;
  • may use not only the Library's resources in printed form, but consult appropriate digital resources as well as the regional resource library and other agencies by telephone in pursuit of information.
  • will take Reference questions in the order received. However, if a question cannot be answered quickly, librarians may ask to call a patron back.
  • will answer questions to the best of their ability but are not expected to conduct in-depth research or lengthy one-on-one training.

Programs

A "program" is a planned interaction between the library staff and the program participants for the purpose of promoting library materials, facilities, or services, as well as offering the community an informational, entertaining, or cultural experience.

Programming includes such activities as storytimes, films and activities on no-school days, summer library program for children and speakers for young adults and book or author discussion groups for adults.

COMPUTERS

Equipment Use

Computers are available to patrons on a first-come, first-served basis. Library staff is available for assistance in using the computer. However, staff members are not expected to train patrons in the use of application programs. Electronic tutorials and instruction books will be provided. Printouts are available and cost $ .10 per page and $.25 for color. Black and white print-outs can be paid for at the conclusion of the session. Color prints require staff to release the printer command to the color printer and must be paid for in advance.

A photocopy machine is available to patrons who wish to copy materials at the rate of $.10 per page. Copy machine users are advised that there are restrictions on copyrighted materials. Any violation of copyright is the responsibility of the copy machine user.

AV equipment owned by the Library is used primarily for library programs. Meeting room users must arrange for use of any of this equipment ahead of the time of their meeting and have a capable operator. Permission will be granted at the discretion of the Director. Any breakage is the responsibility of the organization using the equipment.

Internet Access

The Public Libraries of Everett provide access to the Internet in partial fulfillment of its mission to provide information to the public. The Internet has become the medium of choice for the dissemination of information from many agencies of the U.S. Government, state government, schools, organizations and businesses. As such, it is an important resource to our library.

Internet access is provided in accordance with Massachusetts Law (Chapter 78, Section 33) and the American Library Association's "Library Bill of Rights" as stipulated by the Massachusetts General Laws, which state, in part, that "materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background or views of those contributing to their creation."

The Everett Libraries do not monitor and have no control over the information accessed through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. The Library does not advocate or endorse the opinions expressed over the Internet. The Library provides workstations equipped with filtering software in order to comply with the requirements of the federal Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Patrons at least 18 years of age requesting unfiltered access will be accommodated by the use of a password administered by staff. Filtering software may not block all material that might be considered offensive. As with other library materials, restriction of a child's access to the Internet is ultimately the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. The Library is not responsible for any information that a child discloses on the Internet.

An electronic agreement is accepted by each user in order to insure that each person using the Internet is aware of library policies and procedures for the orderly use of equipment, including reservations, time limits and printing charges.

All computer users are specifically required to abide by the following guidelines:

  • Users shall not use library resources to engage in "hacking" or attempts to compromise system security
  • Users shall not engage in any illegal activities on the Internet
  • Minors shall not access material that obscene, pornographic or "harmful to minors."
  • Users shall not disclose personal information about minors, such as name, school, address and telephone number on the Internet.

Any violation of library policy and rules by adults or minors may result in loss of library-provided access to the Internet. When and where applicable, law enforcement agencies may be involved.

Internet stations in the Children's Library at the Parlin Library and Children's Room at the Shute Library are provided primarily for the use of children up through grade 6. Adults are welcome to request the use of computers in these areas when school is in session. When school is not in session, afternoons after 2:30-6:45 P.M. and on vacation weeks, this equipment is reserved for children only.

MEETING ROOM POLICY

As a public service the Parlin Library welcomes the use of its meeting room by groups for gatherings of a civic, cultural or educational character. Individuals and commercial organizations may not use the room. The use of the meeting room for library programs takes precedence over other uses.

All meetings held in the meeting room are to be open to the public, and no admission fee may be charged. No items may be sold by groups using the meeting room without written permission of the Library Trustees.

A group wishing to use the meeting room should submit a request in writing to the Library Director at least a week before the date of the meeting. The library will supply a request form. The form must be signed by an authorized representative of the group, who assumes responsibility for the conduct of the group while it uses the meeting room. Groups may request a series of dates at a time, but requests for Fall Months (Oct.1 - Jan. 1) will be accepted no earlier than Sept. 1; for Winter (Jan. 1 - May 1) no earlier than Dec. 1 and for Summer (May 31-Sept. 30) no earlier than May 1. The meeting room has a capacity of sixty-four persons. That figure is not to be exceeded at any meeting held in the meeting room.

A group that has received permission to use the meeting room may serve refreshments and may use the kitchen adjoining the meeting room. The group must provide all consumables and is responsible for cleaning the room after use. Alcoholic beverages may not be served in the meeting room, and smoking is not permitted.

A group that has received permission to use the meeting may use the stack chairs and folding tables in the meeting room. The group is responsible for setting up the furniture and returning the furniture to the storage area when the meeting is over. The group is also responsible for replacing any lost or damaged furniture.

All meetings must conclude 15 minutes before the library's closing time to allow the staff time to secure the building.

The Library does not restrict the use of the meeting on the basis of the views of groups sponsoring meetings or individual participants in accordance with American Library Association standards as mandated by Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 78 Section 33. The Library does not endorse the views of groups who use the meeting room or individual participants. A group that has received permission to use the meeting room may publicize the location of its meeting but must state the sponsoring organization in printed or broadcast announcements.

Failure to adhere to the above rules will constitute cause for future refusal of permission for use of the meeting room

DISASTERS & EMERGENCIES

Fire

At the first indication of smoke or flame, staff will investigate the situation to determine that there is a problem in the building. (Occasionally, people will report the smell of smoke, but the source is outside the building.) The Library is protected by smoke alarms, which notify the Fire Department automatically, while a loud alarm sounds throughout the building. If a problem is identified, that does not set off an alarm, staff will call 911 immediately. Staff will evacuate the building in a calm and orderly manner. Library personnel will meet outside to ensure that all have exited and report to the senior person on duty, who will act as the liaison with Fire and Police departments. The goal of the staff will be to turn the problem over to fire safety officials as efficiently and safely as possible.

Health emergencies

Staff members should exercise caution when dealing with health emergencies of even a minor nature to insure the safety of the injured individual and the potential liability of the staff member. Without specialized training it is not advisable for staff to undertake more than keeping the sick or injured patron comfortable and protected from needless disturbance until medical help can be obtained.

911 should be called immediately in the event of any serious problem. Meanwhile, staff with CPR training or Heimlich training may use it to assist an individual in evident need of assistance. (see Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 112, section 12V.)

No medication, including aspirin, should ever be dispensed to the public. However, first aid kits provide bandages to stop bleeding while help is summoned and band-aids may be provided to anyone who requests one.

Bomb threats

If a bomb threat is received by telephone, staff will listen carefully and question the caller for as much information as possible. If another staff member can be alerted, he or she will call 911 to report it. Immediately after the caller hangs up, staff will call police and clear the building. Staff will follow any instructions given by police or fire personnel. Police or fire will handle the actual bomb search.

Snow storms

Library staff is expected to report to work as scheduled. If weather conditions make this impossible or dangerous, the individual is expected to report as close to their scheduled time as possible. Arrangements to make up time lost must be made with the Director or Assistant Director. Employees may choose to take a personal day off. On rare occasions of very heavy weather, if the Library cannot be made accessible, it will be closed. The Director will make this decision along with the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees and in consultation with the Head of Facilities Maintenance and the Mayor. Calls will be made to all workers by 7 A.M. or 4 hours before the individual's shift.

PUBLIC RELATIONS

Public relations goal of the Everett Public Libraries is to "communicate the library's philosophy and mission and to promote its collections, programs and service."

  • The Board recognizes that public relations involves every person who has connection with the Library. The Board urges its own members and every staff member to realize that he or she represents the library in every public contact. Good service supports good public relations.
  • The Director will be expected to make presentations and to participate in community activities to promote library services. A reasonable amount of library time will be allowed for preparation and speaking. Materials to be used by press, radio, or television will be approved by the Director.
  • Brochures, flyers and other published materials communicate not only information about a particular program or service but also through presentation. All printed material shall be carefully proof read. Designers use this opportunity to use creativity but should remember:
    • Credit donors where appropriate
    • Include the name of the Library, address, phone and web address
    • Check for readability
    • Look at the appearance (neatness, color, etc.) from the patron's point of view.

All publicity pieces with the exception of program flyers and ongoing items must be cleared with the Director or Assistant Director.

Displays and Exhibits

As an educational and cultural institution, the Everett Public Libraries arranges displays of interest, information and enlightenment to the community. The Director shall accept or reject material offered for display based on its suitability and availability of appropriate space.

The Library assumes no responsibility for the preservation or protection, and no liability for possible damage or theft of any item displayed or exhibited. All items placed in the Library are there at the owner's risk.

Public Notice Bulletin Board and Distribution

Bulletin board materials may be submitted for posting by nonprofit organizations for civic, educational, or cultural purposes or for educational services such as tutoring and music lessons. Brochures and free magazines of public interest are distributed on the information table and cubes. Examples of items that will not be accepted are: commercial advertising, personal ads and real estate sales or rental ads. The Director or Assistant Director must approve all postings and may not accept those that do not meet library policy. Library staff will place and remove postings according to their advertised dates. Front windows of the Library are reserved for Library or City events only.

VOLUNTEERS & FRIENDS

The Library Board encourages individuals and groups to volunteer their time and efforts in the service of the Parlin and Shute Memorial Libraries. Volunteers are welcome in a number of capacities. Upper class high school and college students serve as coaches fore the Homework Center at the Shute Library. Young adults who wish to volunteer work either with the Young Adult or Children's Librarians. Many wish to fulfill community service requirements of the National Honor Society, their school, or religious organization. Court ordered community service workers must apply to the Director and are placed according to the Director's discretion.

All volunteers must fill out an application form and be interviewed. The needs of the library and the needs and skills of the applicant are reviewed in order to make a good match. A successful volunteer experience results in benefits for both the individual and the organization.

Volunteers are asked to note their hours on a sign up sheet so that they can be recognized for their efforts and so that the library can keep statistics on the number of volunteer hours worked each year. Letters of recommendation will be written by the volunteer's supervisor upon request. The Library and the Friends organization plan recognition events to thank volunteers for their many efforts.

The Friends of the Everett Libraries is an independent non-profit dedicated entirely to the support of the City's public libraries. The Library provides the Friends' membership brochure, which offers low cost membership. All are welcome, including people who live outside of Everett. The Friends organization has an Executive Board that provides for the day to day operation of the organization's activities.

In the past Friends activities have included:

  • Annual Book sale
  • Ongoing Book sale
  • Program sponsorship
  • Annual volunteer recognition luncheon
  • Annual meeting with speaker
  • Sale of poster, notepaper, computer paper and disks
  • Provision of toner for public use computers
  • Refreshments for many programs
  • Fund raising
  • Purchase of furniture and equipment to enhance library programs and services
  • Newsletter

A list of the current officers of the Friends of the Everett Libraries, Inc. appears on the following page.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

The Everett Libraries are governed by a Board of Library Trustees. There are thirteen trustees, who are all nominated by the Mayor of the City and appointed by the Board of Aldermen. Their authority is based on Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 78 Sections 7-13.

The trustees have a set of bylaws which provide the basis for their work. Broadly, the Trustees are responsible for setting library policy, approving expenditures, supervising special funds, hiring and evaluating the Library Director and overseeing the buildings.

Opportunities to learn more about libraries and their jobs as trustees are offered by regional and statewide agencies and organization such as the Friends of Massachusetts Library Trustees. Trustees are invited join state library organizations and to participate in the education of legislators and the governor and legislature of the benefits and needs of public libraries.




The preceding statements of Everett Public Library's policies shall be subject to review and needed revision at least every five years by the Library Board. Individual policies will be reviewed or added as needed. Dates of revision or addition will be noted.