Library Policies

The Forbush Memorial Library serves the Town of Westminster as a center for education, culture, recreation and information provided through its collection of materials and by making available technological resources both at the library and by remote access. The library also provides access to programming and serves as a community gathering space for people of all ages.

Click on each policy to access the full text.

The purpose of this policy is to set forth guidelines for accepting and handling gifts offered to the Forbush Memorial Library.

Library materials

  1. Gifts or donations of books, audio and audio-visual materials and music CDs will be accepted if the donations are in accordance with the Materials Selection Policy.
  2. The library will accept only items in good condition (free of mold, stains, pencil, or ink markings, without torn or missing pages) that are of general interest to the public.
  3. While some items may be added to the collection, the library retains the right to sell donated items or to otherwise dispose of them.
  4. The value of the item(s) given is to be determined by the donor for tax purposes. The library staff will not provide a letter or receipt indicating any determination of cash value or worth.
  5. The Library Director or his/her designee will determine where in the collection donated items will be placed.
  6. The following categories of items are those which the library cannot accept:
    • Abridged books
    • Medical books
    • Magazines
    • Books published by magazines
    • Encyclopedias
    • Outdated textbooks or legal books
    • Used computer books
    • Dictionaries

Art and artifacts

Forbush Memorial Library is pleased to consider the donation of gifts of art or artifacts as additions to the existing collections comprised of fine art, prints, archival photographs, instruments, militaria, household objects made or used in Westminster or the region, and other items related to persons or organizations connected to the Town of Westminster subject to the following stipulations:

  1. Donor’s agreement with and signature on the library’s Deed of Gift form
  2. Positive recommendation by the Curatorial Committee to the Board of Trustees, acceptance by them and subject to a favorable vote at an Annual or Special Town Meeting
  3. Being within the scope or existing collections, i.e., related to the people and/or history of Westminster or Worcester County
  4. Having sufficient space for display or storage
  5. Estimated expense of conservation and maintenance is deemed acceptable
  6. Acceptance must be free of donor restrictions and is irrevocable
  7. Appraisal for tax purposes is the obligation of the donor; the library cannot give valuation estimates

Adopted by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 07/07/2011

Updated by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 07/20/2021, 09/12/2023

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This policy is to govern access to print and recorded materials in Special Collections located in the Eloranta Room, Hurd Room as well as anything in the library that is part of the Archives Collection.

Special Collections include the 1901 Collection, town histories, town reports, Miles Collection, Olin L. Warner Collection, genealogies of Westminster families, vital records, high school yearbooks, books by local authors/residents, maps of the Town of Westminster, as well as media in the form of movies or sound recordings that pertain to Westminster or its inhabitants.

  • Access to Special Collections or Archives will be available by appointment during hours that the library is open.
  • Any member of the public will be allowed to have access.
  • Exact copies of rare or irreplaceable items may be presented to the requestor in lieu of a fragile original.
  • Special Collections may be used under the following conditions:
    1. Materials will be retrieved by a member of the staff by appointment, or on demand if staff is available. Patrons are encouraged to call the library at 978-874-7416 to request material in advance.
    2. Users may not be left alone in the Hurd Room when browsing the collection. Special collection items cannot be taken from the library.
    3. Items retrieved for patron use are to be consulted at the tables on the main floor. Note-taking is to be done by tablet or similar device or by pencil, not with ink pen. Refrain from eating, drinking, or gum use when using archival material.
    4. Handbags, briefcases, three-ring binders (especially with pockets), backpacks, over coats, shopping bags, or other large objects must be left at the Public Service Desk when materials from Special Collections or Archives are in use.
    5. Return all retrieved materials to the main desk. If one needs to return another day to continue research, items can be held at the main desk.
    6. Staff is responsible for reshelving all materials and securing the Eloranta or Hurd rooms.

Copyright

The Town of Westminster and Forbush Memorial Library do not hold the copyright to many of the items in its collection. If the work is subject to copyright, the copyright remains with the producer or publisher of the work, or with others to whom the copyright may have been assigned. The researcher is responsible for obtaining permission from the copyright holder before publishing any of the material.

Some graphic material may have additional restrictions beyond copyright. If literary rights are involved, it is up to the researcher to respect the owner’s rights.

In addition, we request that any material reproduced from our collections include the credit line “Courtesy of the Forbush Memorial Library, Westminster, MA”.

Making copies

  • Before copies can be made from Archival or Special Collections material, a member of the staff must examine the item to determine whether it is sturdy enough to withstand being copied. Some material cannot withstand copying and some may require staff to make the copy.
  • 10 cents will be charged for each copy made in the library.
  • Printed material may be photographed for personal use. Photography of illustrations or artwork requires filing a written permission form. Photography intended for publication requires filing the Application for Permission to Use Photographs form available from the Library Director’s office.

Adopted by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 11/08/2008

Updated by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 09/12/2023

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Anyone living in Massachusetts who resides in cities or towns with a state certified library may borrow or request materials from the Forbush Memorial Library. Residents who reside in communities with decertified or closed libraries may not borrow or request materials, unless by specific exception voted on by the Trustees. Any member of the public is welcome to use the computers or materials in the library or attend programs in, or sponsored by the library.

Anyone wishing to borrow materials will need a card issued by the Forbush Memorial Library or another C/W MARS member library in Central Massachusetts. To apply for a library card, present picture identification with your address (e.g. driver’s license) and fill out an application. Children less than 16 years of age must have parental/legal guardian permission to have a library card.

If the Forbush Memorial Library does not have what you are looking for, we can obtain it for you from another library. Ask a librarian for help, search any of the interlibrary loan catalogs, or submit a request online using the Ask a Librarian form.

The library has book/video drops on the parking lot side of the building where materials may be returned at any time.

Loan periods

  • New adult fiction books circulate for 14 days.
  • All other books circulate for 21 days.
  • Audiobooks circulate for 21 days.
  • DVDs and magazines circulate for 7 days.
  • Video games circulate for 21 days with no renewals.
  • Library of Things items circulate for 14 days.
  • Hot spots circulate for 14 days.
  • Museum passes circulate for 24 hours.
  • Most library materials may be renewed if no one else is waiting for them.
  • The loan period for electronic circulation materials is set by C/W MARS.

Lending limits

  • There is a limit of 50 items at a time per library card.
  • There is a limit of three (3) DVDs at one time per library card.
  • There is a limit of three (3) video games at one time per library card.

Overdue fines

The Forbush Memorial Library is no longer charging overdue fines for most Forbush library items (see below). If Forbush Library materials are not returned, replacement fees will still apply, and patron borrowing privileges will be suspended until the item is returned or paid for. Once those items are returned to the library, there will no longer be a penalty for being returned late. Fines and fees for items borrowed from other libraries are set by the owning library, so those may still apply.

  • There are no fines for overdue books, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, video games, or magazines borrowed from the Forbush Memorial Library.
  • Overdue museum passes incur fines of $5/day with a maximum of $15.00.
  • Overdue charges are $5/day for hotspots with a $25 maximum; lost charge is $145.
  • Overdue charges are $15/day for the telescope with a $60 maximum; lost charge is $375.
  • Overdue charges for Library of Things items are subject to replacement costs.
  • Items borrowed through interlibrary loan are subject to the lending policies of the owning library.
  • Overdue notices are sent by email approximately two weeks after the items are due.

Overdue, lost, and damaged materials

  • Approximately four weeks after items are due, a bill for the cost of these materials is mailed. At this time library privileges will be suspended until the material is returned, replaced, or the replacement cost is paid. Bills can be paid at the library’s circulation desks using cash or checks. Library patrons can also pay bills online using a credit or debit card.
  • Failure to pay for lost or damaged items may result in suspension of borrowing privileges at other C/W MARS libraries.
  • Under Massachusetts General Laws Part IV, Chapter 266, Sections 99A & 100, https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartIV/TitleI/Chapter266/Section99A https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartIV/TitleI/Chapter266/Section100 the borrower is responsible for the full cost of replacing lost or damaged items. Forbush Memorial Library may seek legal means, if necessary, to settle severely delinquent accounts.

Adopted by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 11/12/2009

Updated by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 05/10/2022, 05/14/2024

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Forbush Memorial Library encourages children to use the library and is committed to providing a full range of resources, services, and programs for children, tweens, teenagers, and young adults.

The Board of Library Trustees believes that all children:

  • Have the right to enjoy the books, toys, and programs while in the Children’s Room
  • Have the right to use library computers in accordance with the Library Technology Acceptable Use Policy
  • May borrow materials in accordance with library borrowing rules and guidance from their parents/guardians when they are old enough to have a library card—if their account is in good standing

This policy has been adopted to provide a safe and comfortable environment for library patrons of all ages. It is in addition to the Personal Behavior Policy.

Parents and legal guardians are responsible for the behavior of their children while in Forbush Memorial Library. Librarians, staff, and volunteers are NOT responsible for children who are unattended in the library.

The library recognizes its obligation to consider the safety and welfare of children while they are in the library. While libraries carry with them an illusion of safety, public libraries, by their nature, are subject to "stranger danger" and are not necessarily safe for unattended children. We recommend that caregivers discuss personal safety with their children.

Guidelines for unattended children

  1. Parents, legal guardians, or caregivers may not leave children age of 10 years or younger unattended in the library. They should be attentive to their children’s activities and keep them within sight.
  2. Children between the ages of 11 and 13 may be left unattended for short periods of time when attending library programs, doing research for school projects, or finding materials to check out.
    • If inappropriate behavior disturbs other library users, the child will be warned once. If the behavior continues, the child will be asked to leave the building.
    • Parents and legal guardians should be comfortable with the fact that books and DVDs housed in places other than the Children’s Room are meant for adult consumption and may not be appropriate for certain age groups. In addition, computers throughout the library do not have filtering software and usage is not restricted by age. It is parents'/legal guardians' responsibility to be aware of what their children are reading, viewing, hearing, or borrowing.
  3. Parents and legal guardians are responsible for picking up children ages 15 and under left unattended at the library’s closing time. Staff is NOT permitted to remain after closing time with a child or to give them a ride home.
    • Should it appear that a child has been left at the library without a ride home 30 minutes before closing time, an attempt will be made to contact the parent/legal guardian or a family member.
    • If an adult or family member cannot be reached, the Westminster Police Department may be notified to escort the child home or keep the child until the parents/legal guardians can be reached. Staff will remain with the child until the police have arrived. The Library Director will be notified and will explain the policy to the parent/legal guardian and why the action was required.

Child conduct guidelines

Parents are responsible for the behavior of their children in the library whether the parent/legal guardian is present in the library or not. Please help to ensure that everyone has a positive experience in the library. Examples of problematic behavior include:

  • Running around the Children’s Room or climbing on shelving
  • Fighting with other children
  • Destroying library property such as marking up the furniture, windows, walls, etc.
  • Being disrespectful and inattentive during story hour or other children’s programs
  • Leaving toys scattered after play
  • Misusing the water fountain/bubbler

If inappropriate behavior disturbs other library users, and continues after a warning, you may be asked to leave the building.

Emergency protocol

  • If an emergency exists, emergency personnel will be called first and then the parents/legal guardians, in that order.
  • Parents, legal guardians, or caregivers should make sure their children have their contact information with them.

Adopted by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 04/30/2004

Updated by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 10/07/2009, 05/05/2010, 09/12/2023

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In accordance with the Commonwealth’s Minimum Standard for Public Library Service (Massachusetts General Laws, Part I, Title XII, Chapter 78, Section 19B 1 & 6), https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXII/Chapter78/Section19B the Forbush Memorial Library extends reciprocal borrowing privileges to the residents of the Commonwealth who reside in towns or cities that also meet the standards.

Such reciprocity is not possible when a library ceases to provide services or reduces its hours below a reasonable level for the size of the community it serves.

It is therefore the policy of the Forbush Memorial Library to discontinue borrowing privileges (including that of interlibrary loans) to residents of communities that terminate library service or reduce hours of opening to below a reasonable level for the size of that community as determined by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, except when such action is taken for a cause beyond the community’s control such as flood, fire, or other natural causes.

Borrowing privileges will be denied immediately upon notification from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners that a community’s library has been decertified. The Library Board of Trustees, the Select Board, or City Council from the affected community will be notified in writing by the Forbush Board of Trustees or the Library Director whenever the Board votes to implement the above policy.

Borrowing privileges will be reinstated immediately upon notification from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners that a community library has been re-certified.

This policy does not apply to any Massachusetts resident who needs to use the Forbush Memorial Library’s public computers, attend library programs, or use library materials in-house if other library policies are followed.

Adopted by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 06/03/2003

Updated by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 07/08/2008, 07/11/2023

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The authority of library boards for the custody and management of all library property owned by the town is established in Massachusetts General Law Chapter 78: Section 11. https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXII/Chapter78/Section11 As such, the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees is responsible for the approval and placement of memorial objects, artwork, signs, sculptures, banners, benches, trees or other plantings, fountains, detached structures, and walls in or on any land or facility under Library Trustee jurisdiction.

In the spirit of cooperation with the Town of Westminster’s Select Board and/or Memorial Committee, should any of the above be accepted by the Board of Trustees, the Board Chairperson will notify the Select Board and/or Memorial Committee in writing of any memorials (etc.) accepted, named, or renamed.

The following criteria shall apply for acceptance or naming of memorials:

  1. The Board of Trustees shall determine the appropriateness of and vote to accept a memorial at a regularly scheduled or special meeting of the Board.
  2. Memorials in the library proper or on its property will typically honor people or events in some way connected with the library, e.g., employees, trustees, volunteers, or momentous occasions.
  3. Sufficient funds and space must be available to maintain the memorial.
  4. If a memorial is deemed no longer appropriate, its removal shall be voted on by the Board at a regularly scheduled meeting, and appropriate Town boards and/or committees shall be notified in writing.
  5. Living memorials shall exist for the life of the memorial only.
  6. The Board of Trustees will adhere to MGL Chapter 78: Section 11 (above).
  7. The Board of Trustees shall be mindful of (but not governed by) the Town’s Policy for the Naming of Public Land and Facilities and Placement of Memorials passed March 1, 2010, by the Select Board.

Adopted by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 04/06/2010

Updated by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 09/12/2023

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It is the mission of the Forbush Memorial Library to provide information in various formats to all Forbush Memorial Library users. This includes access to computers and the internet within the library. Public access computers and Wi-Fi, located on all three floors of the library, are available to everyone at the library.

The library must provide access to information on all subjects that serve the interests or needs of each user, regardless of the user’s age or the content of the material. The provision of access does not imply sponsorship or endorsement. The library does not provide filtering software on any of its computers and cannot be held responsible for content on the internet. Some information accessed electronically may not meet the library’s Materials Selection Policy.

Library users will not be restricted or denied access for expressing or receiving constitutionally protected speech in accordance with the Library Technology Acceptable Use Policy.

Acceptable uses

Computer and internet resources are to be used in a responsible manner consistent with educational, informational, and recreational purposes. Patrons of all ages are expected to use the computers in a responsible manner, respecting the rights of others.

  • Users have a right of privacy for all legal activities.
  • Users have the responsibility of avoiding “Prohibited Uses”.
  • Users have a responsibility to be mindful that use of library computers is in a public environment and are expected to refrain from displaying graphics which are inappropriate for public viewing or playing audio that could disturb other patrons.

The library does not provide filtering software on any of its computers. Because no permissions are necessary for children to use computers, parents are strongly encouraged to be present and to be aware of what their children are viewing. Forbush Memorial Library cannot be held responsible for content on the internet.

It is, therefore, left to each user to determine what is appropriate. Parents and legal guardians who are concerned about their children’s use of library computers and internet access should provide guidance to their own children. Only parents and legal guardians have the right or responsibility to restrict the access of their children to library resources. For further information on children’s access to the Internet, parents are encouraged to read the brochure Child Safety on the Information Highway produced by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Librarians and governing bodies have a public and professional obligation to provide equal access for all.

https://www.ojp.gov/ncjrs/virtual-library/abstracts/child-safety-information-highway

http://www.safekids.com/child-safety-on-the-information-highway/

Prohibited uses

It is not acceptable to use computers at the Forbush Memorial Library for illegal or abusive purposes including, but not limited to, the following:

Procedures for using computers

  • The library reserves the right to limit use of the public access computers to one hour per patron if someone else is waiting.
  • Computer users must present a valid library card to “check out” a computer. Residents of decertified communities may use computers in Forbush Library as a “Guest” (Library Usage by Guests Policy).
  • Computer users from out-of-town (“guests”) may be assigned a computer with proper identification (e.g., driver’s license, student ID, passport etc.) (Staff will make a copy of the I.D.) (Library Usage by Guests Policy).

Library staff and the public’s use of computers

  • Library staff will assist library patrons with accessing the virtual catalog on the public access computers as time permits.
  • Appointments may be made with the Head of Youth Services or the Adult Services/Reference Librarian for individual or group instruction in general computer use to access library materials.
  • Library staff is not responsible for configuring library patrons' laptops.
  • Public computers are not routinely monitored, but staff reserves the right to do so if illegal or inappropriate activity is suspected.
  • Library staff is authorized to take immediate action to protect the security of computers and the network, including but not limited to confiscating removable media, requiring a user to leave a computer or the premises, and contacting law enforcement authorities.

Related Policies

Chromebook Lending Policy

Hotspot Lending Policy

Adopted by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 07/07/2009

Updated by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 08/08/2023

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Computer use

Guests are welcome to use the Forbush Memorial Library public access computers if they adhere to the Library Technology Acceptable Use Policy.

People from decertified Massachusetts communities may use library computers.

Borrowing

  1. People who are visiting Westminster residents or staying in town temporarily (e.g., on business or on vacation) may be awarded temporary borrowing privileges provided the guest has a valid Westminster address (e.g., a camp, rental property, or place of overnight accommodation) and provides a valid picture ID showing their home address.
  2. If the guest is staying with a Westminster resident, the resident’s address may be used as the valid local address.
  3. The period for which the card will be issued is for no more than one month.
  4. The note will be placed in the guest’s record that reads: “Temporary guest card expires mm/dd/yyyy.”
  5. If the account is settled by the expiration date, the account will be deleted from the database.

Interlibrary loan services

Interlibrary loan services may not be extended to persons holding temporary guest cards.

Adopted by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 07/07/2009

Updated by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 07/11/2023

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Purpose

The purpose of the Forbush Memorial Library Materials Selection Policy is to establish guidelines for the enhancement of the collection of library materials. The purpose of the collection is to meet the informational and recreational needs of Westminster’s residents, to enable a well-informed citizenry and to enhance personal development.

Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the Library Director to oversee the selection of library materials. The Library Director may delegate aspects of selection to appropriate members of the staff.

General selection policy

The library selects materials in accordance with guidelines stated by the American Library Association in its Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements.

The selection of library materials is based upon quality, appropriateness for a publicly held collection, and responsiveness to the changing needs of Westminster residents. Materials are considered as complete works, and not based on a particular passage or passages. A work shall not be excluded solely because it represents a particular aspect of life, frankness of expression, or controversial content. All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, will be evaluated by the following standards:

  1. Present or future relevance to the community’s needs
  2. Suitability of format, subject, style, or reading/viewing level for the intended audience
  3. Reputation or significance of the author/producer/publisher
  4. Positive reviews from critics or staff members
  5. Positive review(s) in one or more professional publications such as (but not limited to) Library Journal, Publishers Weekly etc.
  6. Within the limits of current budgets
  7. Relationship to the existing collection, enhancement of a specific part of the collection, or where insufficient materials are available on the same subject
  8. Author or illustrator is local
  9. High literary or artistic merit
  10. Accuracy of content
  11. In demand by library patrons

An item need not meet all criteria to be acceptable, nor will any single criterion be decisive.

Materials selection policies by collection

  1. Reference (print and electronic): To develop this non-circulating print and electronic collection to meet the informational needs of Westminster residents and to maintain a size easily managed by the reference staff. Specific criteria for electronic resources include ease of use, timeliness of updates, licensing restrictions, technical support, and hardware/software requirements.
  2. Periodicals (print and electronic): To supplement materials in the adult, young adult, and children’s collections with very current content. Periodicals are intended to be more frequently updated than other print materials. Specific criteria for periodicals include ease of use, timeliness of subject matter, and licensing restrictions.
  3. Special Collections: To highlight the history of the community, the library collects printed material and artifacts including artwork of special or unique value to Westminster and the surrounding area. Acceptance of special, non-circulating collection items must be (but are not limited to) material such as local histories of Westminster, surrounding towns, Massachusetts, and New England; genealogical records pertaining to Westminster families; writing by local authors; or objects or artwork historically related to the region. To be accepted as gifts, objects or art works must be voted by the Forbush Library Board of Trustees and acceptance is based in part on donor restrictions, availability of funds and storage space to care for gifts.
  4. Media Collection: To meet the needs of Westminster residents by providing informational and recreational materials in non-print format such as DVDs, audio books, music CDs, and a limited number of video tapes. Special selection criteria in both the adult and children’s collections include cost and space considerations, contributions to a balance and range of information, as well as emphasis on instructional, educational, and informational topics. Some audio books will enhance the print collection. Films may include those that are critically acclaimed or award-winning, animated, and classic Hollywood films as well as those made by local film makers.
  5. Children’s and Young Adult Collections: To provide materials in various formats to meet the needs of children for recreational, informational, and self-educational use, as well as to supplement formal education curriculums. Criteria for the selection of young adult and children’s materials include that which is critically reviewed, works by children’s and young adult authors, editors, and illustrators of high reputation, and material that will encourage reading at all levels. This collection is primarily a circulating collection except for reference sources used by the Children’s Room staff.
  6. Other: To augment the collection, other types of materials, such as games, themed kits, telescope, educator kits, etc. may be added as space and budget allows.

Collection maintenance

As materials become dated, damaged, worn, or lost, staff will decide if items are withdrawn or replaced using the following criteria:

  1. Is the item still available for purchase or held in affiliated library collections?
  2. Might another item, format, or updated version better serve the same purpose?
  3. Does the item have local historical value or is it a classic that should be replaced?
  4. As newer items are added to the collection, available space must be taken into consideration as a criterion in evaluating older little-used materials in the collection.

Requests for reconsideration of library materials

The Board of Trustees and staff of the Forbush Memorial Library support intellectual freedom and subscribe to the principles of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements. The library staff applies the criteria for selecting materials as described in the Materials Selection Policy to provide materials that reflect a diversity of viewpoints within the community. It is also the Board of Trustees’ policy that parents or legal guardians are the only persons who have the right to determine the appropriateness of their children’s reading/viewing habits.

Patrons may nominate books or other materials to add to or to be removed from the collection. When a request for consideration is made, this procedure is followed:

  1. A staff member explains the selection policy. The patron may submit a written Request for Consideration of Library Resources Form to the Library Director.
  2. The completed form is reviewed by the staff and the Library Director to ensure the selection criteria were met. The Library Director shall respond in writing to the patron within 14 (fourteen) to 30 (thirty) days and notify the Board of Trustees of each Request for Reconsideration submitted.
  3. If the requestor is not satisfied with the library staff’s decision, they may appeal in writing to the Library Director, who then convenes a Reconsideration Committee within 30 days of the date of the appeal. This committee shall consist of a trustee who shall be named as chair, two members of the library staff responsible for material selection, and two members of the community selected by a majority of the Board of Trustees.
  4. In reviewing the Request for Reconsideration, the Reconsideration Committee employs the selection criteria (described above) and considers other information including professional reviews and recommendations, comments from library staff, and comments from the requestor. During the reconsideration period, items under consideration will not be added to or withdrawn from the collection.
  5. Within 30 days of the Reconsideration Committee’s review, the committee will recommend what action to take to the Library Director, who will reach a decision and inform the requestor and the committee in writing of that decision.
  6. Should the requester wish to appeal the decision, they may make a final appeal in writing within seven days directly to the Board of Trustees. They will schedule a public hearing with 30 days of the final written appeal to reach a final decision by majority vote.

Request a purchase of library materials

Is there a new title you think we may have missed? Suggest a purchase for the collection using the Request to Purchase an Item Form.

Adopted by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 07/07/2011

Updated by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 07/12/2022, 09/12/2023

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Purpose

The mission of the Forbush Memorial Library is to serve the community as a center for education, culture, recreation, and information. In a desire to fulfill this mission, the library makes its meeting rooms available to all the people in the community. The library upholds the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights:

“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 the library meeting rooms does not constitute an endorsement of the organization’s policies or beliefs by the library.

Description of the rooms

Multi-Purpose Room (MPR; Ground floor, off the Children’s Room)

  • 14 feet by 27 feet
  • Capacity: 30 people; 30 chairs, 4 tables
  • Small kitchenette; suitable for light refreshments
  • Audio/visual facilities: DVD projector, flat panel, and wireless internet connection

Vaito Eloranta Room (Top floor; accessible by elevator or stairs)

  • 23 feet by 40 feet
  • Capacity: 50 people, 50 chairs
  • Staff lounge includes coffee pots, sink, microwave, refrigerator, and counter space
  • Audio/visual facilities: LCD projector, large tv display that accepts HDMI input, wireless internet connection

Kendig Room (Main floor, accessible by elevator or stairs)

  • 13 feet x 25 feet
  • Capacity: 25 people; has large table with 8 chairs, 5 arm chairs
  • Open to the rest of the Main floor, not enclosed, with decorative fireplace
  • Audio/visual facilities: wireless internet connection

Reservations and scheduling

  • Preference is given to library programs.
  • All other scheduling will be in the order in which the request is received.
  • Applications for use of the rooms may be picked up at the circulation desk during regular library hours.
  • Applications for use of the rooms should be made at least three business days before the rooms are required and may be made up to six months in advance.
  • Meeting Room applications require the approval of the Library Director.
  • Rooms may not be reserved for recurring regular meetings (weekly or meetings by any group or organization) except those sponsored, cosponsored by the library, or having received approval by the Library Director.

Fees

At present, there are no fees charged for the use of the meeting rooms. The library welcomes a donation of $25.00 to the Forbush Memorial Library Gifts and Donations Fund.

Meeting room rules and regulations

  1. Meeting rooms are available to all community groups for meetings and programs with the exclusion of any group that discriminates in its membership, programs or philosophy based on race, color, sex, handicap, or in any other manner forbidden by law.
  2. All meetings are open to the public.
  3. No fees may be charged for admittance.
  4. The contact information of the person signing the application must be included so that he/she may be contacted if the room will be unavailable. The contact person is responsible for letting other people in the group know that the room is unavailable. (Unforeseen circumstances making the room unavailable could be, for example, the library closing because of bad weather.)
  5. Each group is responsible for setting up the room (but if special arrangements are required [e.g., tables] advance notice to the library is required), (including arrangement of chairs, tables, etc.) and leaving the room clean and neat. The room must be left as originally found. The group is responsible for providing pens, paper, tape, or any other supplies that are needed.
  6. Smoking and alcoholic beverages are not permitted. Facilities for light refreshments are available. Special permission must be given for use of the staff room to service the Eloranta Room or the Multi-Purpose Room and should be requested at the time of application. Each group is responsible for cleaning up any facilities used and for removing their trash. Each group must provide its own coffee, cups, sugar, and other consumables.
  7. All meetings held during library hours must end, and the room must be cleared, 10 minutes before closing time.
  8. Library programming takes precedence over any booking for either Room.
  9. Program activities must take into consideration the noise and activity limits of the library. Physical activities, such as dancing or jumping by groups of people, are not allowed in the Eloranta Room to protect the collections and because of structural strain on the building.
  10. Meeting rooms may be reserved for use when the library is not normally open under the following conditions.
    1. The request must be made at least three days in advance.
    2. Permission will be granted on the condition that a suitable library representative can be provided to act for the library during after-hour use.
    3. The Reading Rooms and collections will be closed and not available after hours.
  11. All posters, flyers, or other publicity shall be the responsibility of the group using the room. Any publicity to be displayed in the library must be approved by the director. No posters or paper may be attached to any surface in the library. All programs, except those endorsed or sponsored by the library, must include the following statement in their publicity. “Use of the library meeting room does not imply endorsement by the Forbush Memorial Library.”
  12. The library will not assume responsibility for children while parents/caregivers participate in library programs or other activities in the library meeting rooms. Anyone using the library meeting rooms must adhere to the library’s Child Safety Policy, the Personal Behavior Policy, and the town’s Visitor Code of Conduct.
  13. The approval to use the meeting rooms carries with it the responsibility for the facilities used. The individual who signs the application form assumes responsibility to report all accidents and damages to a member of the library staff upon conclusion of the scheduled even or as soon thereafter as possible. Further, the person signing the application is responsible for restitution for any loss and/or damage.
  14. Failure to abide by this policy and the rules and regulations of the Forbush Memorial Library will result in the denial of subsequent use privileges.
  15. The Board of Trustees, the Forbush Memorial Library, or the Town of Westminster will NOT be responsible for personal injury or loss of property that may occur while a library meeting room is used.

Adopted by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 06/11/1997

Updated by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 04/04/2000, 10/07/2009, 07/11/2023, 10/20/2023

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To provide a library environment with a pleasant atmosphere in which all should be able to read, study, play games quietly, and attend programs, the Board of Trustees has adopted a policy regarding personal behavior within the building and on the grounds. While in the library, please follow these behavior guidelines:

  1. The rights of others should always be respected.
  2. Normal conversational tones spoken in a respectful manner are welcome, but foul language and loud voices are not.
  3. Disruptive behavior such as fighting, running, or horseplay is not allowed.
  4. Verbally or physically harassing library patrons or staff in the library or on the grounds is forbidden. If you are concerned about another’s behavior, or a policy/procedure, speak to a member of the staff. Violating another’s privacy by petitioning, campaigning, or soliciting is not allowed.
  5. Please silence personal devices when you enter the building so others are not disturbed.
  6. Library users are responsible for their own personal property. Please do not leave items unattended. Please clean up after yourself before leaving the premises.
  7. All materials must be checked out before leaving the building.
  8. No person should block the entrances, exits, stairwells, or walkways to the library building in any way.
  9. Appropriate attire, including shirts and shoes must be worn in the library.
  10. No smoking, vaping, tobacco, or alcohol products are permitted on the premises.
  11. No animals are allowed in the library except service animals (under control of their owners) or as part of a library-sponsored program.
  12. Bicycles used for transportation to the library should be left outside the building in the rack designated for bicycles. Bicycles, roller blades/skates, skateboards, scooters, or similar equipment may not be used in the building.
  13. Climbing trees on library grounds and climbing structures attached to the library building are prohibited.
  14. Parents are responsible for the behavior and supervision of their children. Children under the age of 10 should not be left unattended in any part of the building in accordance with the Child Safety and Behavior Policy.
  15. The Library Technology Acceptable Use Policy must be followed.
  16. Damaging library property is forbidden and subject to penalties in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Part IV, Ch. 266, Sections 99A & 100 https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartIV/TitleI/Chapter266/Section99A
  17. https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartIV/TitleI/Chapter266/Section100
  18. Any activity that is in violation of federal/state law, or local ordinance is forbidden.
  19. The Forbush Memorial Library assumes no responsibility for injury to any person misusing the library facilities or misbehaving on the library premises.
  20. The Town of Westminster Visitor Code of Conduct is in effect in all municipal buildings.

Adopted by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 05/06/2003

Updated by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 10/07/2009, 09/12/2023

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The Forbush Memorial Library is committed to user privacy and confidentiality. The confidentiality of library records is in accordance with library ethics. The Forbush Memorial Library follows the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association. https://www.ala.org/tools/ethics The library does not retain the borrowing history of any patron.

Confidentiality and your library record

Massachusetts General Laws (MGL), Chapter 78, Section 7 states “That 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.”

Confidentiality extends to the following:

  • Registration records (name, address, telephone number, etc.)
  • Email addresses
  • Circulation records
  • Interlibrary loan transactions
  • Database search records
  • Reference interviews or information sought or received
  • Library materials consulted or borrowed

Circulation, registration information, and information retrieval records may be disclosed in the following circumstances:

  • To the library cardholder with card or proper ID.
  • To the parents or legal guardians, who sign the library card application for children under 16 years of age and have access to their children’s library transactions.
  • To the financially responsible parents or legal guardians who are to be provided with information about their child’s library records (for example, when a child’s library materials have incurred fines, or the materials have been misplaced). Should this happen, there are procedures that will enable parents or other parties, who are financially responsible for the child’s library materials, to obtain information about the records of dependent children. When the above reasons exist, the parent or legal guardian will receive the information verbally, printed on paper, or in an email if the adult’s email address is in the child’s library record.
  • To staff of the Massachusetts Library System or CWMARS members acting within the scope of their duties to administer the system and in facilitating interlibrary loans.
  • To persons authorized by the cardholder.
  • To representatives of any local, state, or federal government, pursuant to subpoena or search warrant authorized under the authority of federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or investigative power. (For example, warrants or subpoenas issued under the USA Patriot Act of 2001 https://www.fincen.gov/resources/statutes-regulations/usa-patriot-act

In such cases, referral should be made to the Library Director who may consult legal counsel.

What is retained within the scope of this policy?

  • Personal information (e.g., names, addresses, etc.) for active cardholders is kept indefinitely.
  • Circulation records for physical materials are deleted when an item is checked in, but for items that have incurred fines or were unreturned, the records remain until the account is settled by paying what is owed, items returned, or another patron checks out the same item.
  • Retention of circulation records for materials checked out through Libby depends on your app settings.
  • Computer records (e.g., records of databases searched) are kept by computer, not patron, until that computer is rebooted. The computers do not store usernames or passwords of an individual’s internet or database transactions (e.g., web-based email services).
  • Library program signup sheets with names and contract information are destroyed after the program has taken place. Meeting room reservations with contact information and purpose of the meeting are kept indefinitely.
  • Email addresses that are part of the patron’s library record are kept as long as the record exists but are not shared with other persons or organizations. The email addresses are used for library purposes ONLY.
  • The library, at times, uses patron email or postal addresses for the library’s internal mailing lists. The library may conduct promotional campaigns to inform the community of our services.

Other related guidelines

  • Parents and legal guardians are strongly encouraged to monitor which materials their own children read or view.
  • Because the library does not filter websites and because some materials in the library may be unsuitable for young children, parents and legal guardians are referred to the library’s Child Safety and Behavior, Personal Behavior, and Library Technology Acceptable Use policies.
  • The Board of Trustees adheres to the philosophy that what a patron reads, or views is a matter of privacy. All library employees understand that such records are confidential and not to be made available to anyone except pursuant to such process, order, or subpoena as may be authorized by law. Anyone making such an inquiry shall be referred to the Library Director.

Adopted by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 11/04/2010

Updated by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 09/12/2023

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Town of Westminster Visitor Code of Conduct

The Town of Westminster’s employees strive to provide a positive experience for those visiting Town facilities, by adhering to the standards set forth in the Employee Handbook as well as the Board/Committee Handbook. Employee excellence in the Town of Westminster can only be achieved in a positive and healthy work environment and we are committed to providing that for our staff and visitors.

Additionally, the Town supports a workplace that is conducive to personal safety and security and is free from intimidation, threats or violent acts. The Town does not tolerate workplace violence in any form or from any source, including the threat of violence by those who conduct business with the Town.

The Town will not tolerate harassing conduct that adversely affects employment conditions, interferes unreasonably with an individual’s performance of their duties or that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

Complying with this Code of Conduct is required by all people doing business with Town employees, in any Town building, public space or meeting.

Violators who do not comply with this policy may be asked to leave the premises.

EXPECTED VISITOR CONDUCT

  • Avoid Causing Disturbances Or Disruptions
  • Show Respect For Others, Building Facilities And Personal Property Of Others
  • Use Common Courtesy When Interacting With Others
  • Do Not Engage In Any Lewd Or Offensive Behavior
  • Any Form Of Violence Is Prohibited
  • Smoking, Drinking Alcohol Or Appearing To Be Under The Influence Of Any Illegal Substance Is Prohibited

Please be advised that severe and/or repeated violations may result in permanent suspension of facility privileges.

Thank you for your cooperation and we look forward to assisting you!

Adopted by the Westminster Select Board: 11/07/2022

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Forbush Memorial Library welcomes and appreciates all volunteers and strives to make their experience meaningful and enjoyable.

A volunteer is someone from the community who, without compensation or the expectation of compensation, performs assigned tasks under the direction and supervision of library staff. Volunteer contributions enhance and expand the library's goals of public service and bring a variety of experiences that make the library an asset to the community.

There are multiple categories of volunteers. Some volunteers want to donate time to help in the day to day running of the library or provide home delivery of library materials to at-home/homebound patrons. Some are volunteers who are working toward satisfying the requirements of the Town of Westminster’s Senior Tax Relief Work Program, and some are fulfilling the terms of referred community service. In addition, there are opportunities for youth volunteers in the Children's Room.

Volunteers are responsible for maintaining confidentiality of ALL library information, per the library’s Privacy and Confidentiality Policy.

If there are no suitable volunteer opportunities available when an application is submitted, the library keeps applications on file for future opportunities or special projects.

General volunteers

Forbush Memorial Library volunteers are recognized by the public as representatives of the library and will be guided by the same work and behavioral policies as employees. They must adhere to the library’s rules of conduct, drug and alcohol, and sexual harassment policies. It is expected that each volunteer’s dress and hygiene will be appropriate for a business environment.

Volunteers do not replace paid staff but donate their time and skills to supplement services provided by paid staff. While volunteers are not paid library employees of the Town of Westminster, they are considered municipal employees subject to the Conflict-of-Interest Law. (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268A)

Volunteers are selected based on their qualifications and the needs of the library at any given time. Volunteers will receive training, if necessary, for duties not previously performed during their volunteer work. Volunteers will be supervised by the Library Director or other staff members during their shift. Duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Shelving material
  • Photocopying and other office tasks
  • Assisting with events
  • Light cleaning
  • Garden tasks

Please note that volunteers do not work at library service desks.

From time to time, volunteers may witness behavior of library patrons that does not seem in compliance with library policies. Volunteers should not intervene unless the immediate safety of persons or property is in danger. Concerns about behavior of library patrons should be brought to the attention of the library staff who will evaluate the situation and act as needed.

Requirements:

Books on Wheels: Homebound Delivery Volunteers

The library’s Books on Wheels service enables the library to provide outreach and delivery of books to patrons who are not able to access the library. Homebound delivery volunteers are responsible for delivering and returning books for at-home/homebound patrons. Volunteers should recognize the limitations of their own schedules and be careful not to accept a commitment that they cannot reasonably expect to fulfill. To qualify as a volunteer for this program, you must be physically able to deliver library materials, possess a valid Massachusetts state driver's license, sign a release of liability, and have proof of current auto insurance.

Requirements:

Senior Tax Relief Work Program

Senior citizens who fit certain income requirements may apply for the Senior Tax Relief Work Program in return for volunteer service. Forbush Memorial Library does not play a role in the placement process. Approved volunteers are placed at Forbush Memorial Library by the Town of Westminster. The town will attempt to accommodate the interests of the volunteer, but it may be possible that a volunteer will not be assigned to their first choice.

Requirements:

  • Applicants must meet age and income requirements as determined by the Town of Westminster.
  • Applications may be picked up at the Westminster Council on Aging Senior Center, 69 West Main St., Westminster, MA 01473.

Referred volunteers

To meet the needs of those required to perform community service under the supervision of a local not-for-profit organization, the Forbush Memorial Library will accept volunteers under the following conditions:

  • A Volunteer Application Form must be submitted
  • A CORI check has been completed
  • Suitable work and appropriate supervision are available
  • The volunteer’s background does not involve predatory criminal activity

The library reserves the right to terminate any volunteer at any time for any cause by notification to the referring agency or court.

Youth Volunteers

Youth volunteers for the Children’s Room will be accepted based on library needs and as current staffing permits.

Application Requirements:

  • Applicants must be at least fourteen (14) years of age
  • Applicants must complete a Volunteer Application Form specifying that they want to volunteer in Youth Services and including the signature of a parent or legal guardian

Volunteer Requirements:

  • Volunteers must commit to a regular weekly schedule
  • Volunteers must notify the library as soon as possible if a shift cannot be worked

Youth volunteers may also have opportunities to assist with library or Friends of Forbush Memorial Library events on an as-needed basis. These events include, but may not be limited to, book sales sponsored by the Friends. Volunteer activities may include setup, breakdown, shelving books, and moving boxes of books.

Adopted by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 06/14/2017

Updated by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: 09/12/2023

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