Policies

  1. Rules for Unattended Children in the Library
  2. Rules and Regulations for Public Behavior
  3. Volunteer Policy
  4. Policy of Confidentiality (Staff)
  5. Laptop Computer Public Use Policy
  6. Book Donation Policy
  7. Meeting Room Policy

1. Rules for Unattended Children in the Library

The Paterson Free Public Library is free and open to unaccompanied children who meet the age requirement and are independent enough to use the Library. The Library staff cares about the safety of children and is concerned when young children are left alone in the building. The mindset of “libraries are a safe haven” is no longer a reality; as in all public places, “stranger danger” is a real concern. Although Library staff members are vigilant, they cannot prevent children from interacting or leaving with anyone.

All children 8 or younger should not be left unattended at any time. If the parent/responsible caregiver in charge of a child wishes to go to another area of the library for whatever reason, the child must accompany the parent/caregiver. Caregivers must be at least 13 years of age and should understand the responsibilities associated with caring for a young child. Parents and caregivers are responsible for their children’s safety and behavior in the Library. Children misbehaving, fighting or being disrespectful to Library staff or other children may be asked to leave.

  • Parents and caregivers should not view the Library as an alternative to childcare. Staff members are required to speak to parents/caregivers who abuse this privilege. If the parent/caregiver continues to disregard this policy, the authorities may be notified.
  • The Library works in conjunction with schools to discourage truancy. Children of school age will not be allowed to enter the Library alone while school is in session. Parents/caregivers who wish to accompany their child to the Library during a regularly scheduled school day may do so, but must stay with the child at all times.
  • Closing times for all Library buildings are posted for everyone to see. Staff members are required to tell everyone to leave at closing time. Parents/caregivers should be aware of library hours and make arrangements for their children. Staff members are not permitted to escort a child home. In the event a child is not picked up by a parent/caregiver when the Library closes, two library staff members will remain with the child inside the building for up to 30 minutes. If the parent or caregiver cannot be reached, the Paterson Police Department will be called to escort the child home or keep the child until the parents/caregivers can be reached.

Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees on September 22, 2010

2. Rules and Regulations for Public Behavior

So that the Paterson Public Library may provide an atmosphere conducive to the appropriate use of its services and facilities, the Public Library of the City of Paterson has adopted the following Rules and Regulations for public behavior:

  1. Patrons shall be engaged in activities associated with the use of a public library while in the building.
  2. Patrons shall not be permitted to consume food, beverages, smoke or use tobacco in the Library. However, capped plastic water bottles are allowed.
  3. Patrons shall not use or be under the influence of alcohol or controlled dangerous substances.
  4. Patrons shall not engage in any illegal activity while in the Library building.
  5. Patrons shall respect the rights of other patrons and shall not harass, intimidate, or annoy others through noisy or boisterous activities, by staring at another person with intent to annoy that person, by following another person around the building, by playing audio/audio visual equipment so that others can hear it, by openly displaying disturbing or offensive visual material, by sleeping, by singing or talking loudly to others or in monologues or by behaving in a manner which reasonably can be expected to disturb or interfere with the use of the Library by other persons.
  6. Patrons shall not interfere with the use of the Library by other patrons, or interfere with Library employees’ performance of their duties.
  7. Any materials borrowed from the Library must be charged out in accordance with established procedures before they are removed from Library premises.
  8. Patrons shall not deface or mark books, magazines, newspapers, recordings, videos or other items in the Library collection nor shall they deface, mark or in any way destroy or damage Library furnishings, walls, machines or other Library property. Spraying graffiti on Library building is a criminal offense in the City of Paterson.
  9. Patrons shall not be permitted to enter the building without a shirt or other covering of their upper bodies or without shoes or other footwear. Patrons, whose bodily hygiene is offensive, so as to constitute a nuisance, shall be required to leave the building.
  10. Patrons shall not bring bicycles, radios, pets or animals into the Library other than service animals.
  11. No one shall sell or distribute any item or service on Library premises. Solicitation of contributions or signatures for the conduction of surveys is prohibited.
  12. Photographs shall not be taken on Library premises without the permission of the library director and written permission of all those to be photographed.
  13. All suspicious brief cases, oversized handbags, carryalls, overcoats, luggage, packages and shopping bags are subject to inspection by the Library’s personnel. These items may not be taken into public restrooms.
  14. Patrons are not permitted to carry a weapon, unless authorized by law. Any patrons authorized to carry a weapon must notify Library staff.

Activities in the Library are also governed by local, state and federal statutes regulating conduct in public places. These regulations prohibit: Intoxication, Assault, Criminal mischief, Disorderly conduct, Harassment, Drug paraphernalia, Public indecency.

Any patrons violating the Library’s rules, or local, state or federal regulations, may be required to leave the premises. Police assistance may be utilized if deemed advisable by the Library staff.

Persistent violation of the Library’s rules may result in the suspension of Library privileges, including the right to use the facilities and/or to borrow materials. Such suspension may be enacted by the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the Director.

Revised and Adopted by the Board of Trustees on October 24, 2012

5. Volunteer Policy

The Board of Trustees of Paterson Free Public Library recognizes the need and value of volunteers as an available resource to further its goals in providing quality library service.
The Board believes that this collaborative effort can be beneficial to both the library and the individual volunteer. Benefits include fostering greater public interest in the library, encouraging personal growth for the volunteer, and enhancing, expanding, and upgrading library service.
The library will seek the support of volunteers and volunteer organizations, actively implement a responsible program of community partnership, and make greater use of volunteer expertise to supplement and support existing staff. It is not the intent of the library to replace regular employee positions with volunteers.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Paterson Free Public Library on February 28, 2007

3. Policy of Confidentiality (Staff)

In accordance with New Jersey Statutes 18A:73-43.2, records of information on library users are confidential. The statute states:

Library records which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of libraries are confidential and shall not be disclosed except in the following circumstances:

a) The records are necessary for the proper operation of the library

b) Disclosure is requested by the users; or

c) Disclosure is required pursuant to a subpoena issued by a court or court order. Law 1985, c.172, 2.

Information regarding any patron’s application or the patron’s borrowing record shall be maintained as strictly confidential.

I have read and understand NJ Statute 18A:73-43.2.

Signature _____________________________________________________________________

Name (please print) _____________________________________________________________

Position _____________________ Date _________________

Approved and adopted by the Board of Trustees on April 22, 2009

4. Laptop Computer Public Use Policy

1. All laptop computers must be used within the individual department or library location. They are not to be taken out or removed from the library. Laptops have Lojack locator software installed to prevent loss or theft.

2. Users must present a valid library card or current picture ID before a laptop computer can be assigned.

3. The library staff will log on the laptop computer for the user.

4. The library staff will retain the user’s library card or picture ID while the laptop computer is in use.

5. Library card or ID is released to the user upon return of laptop computer to library staff.

6. General session time rule applies:

Library card holder – 60 minutes per session

Guest account – 30 minutes per session

7. Removal of laptop from the area of library will result in police report being filed, reporting a loss of $1,000. Legal action will be pursued.

Revised and adopted by the Library Board of Trustees on February 22, 2012

5. BOOK DONATION POLICY

The Paterson Public Library appreciates donations of books and other materials. Donations are accepted with the understanding that they may not be added to the library’s collection, but may be sold or put out for patrons to take, at the librarian’s discretion.

Please note: The Adult Circulation staff is not authorized to accept donations without the permission of a librarian.

Acceptable Donations:

  • Hardcover and paperback books, in good condition, both fiction and non-fiction, for adults and children.
  • DVDs and CDs.

We Cannot Use:

  • Books that have been stored in basements, attics, sheds, or garages.
  • Damaged, yellow, dirty, stained, or smelly books.
  • Magazines or newspapers of any kind.
  • Reader’s Digest Condensed Books.
  • Outdated publications such as almanacs, tax guides, etc.
  • Travel guides, text books, and technical books older than 3 years.
  • Old Encyclopedias.

Do NOT bring books that need to be recycled to the library. If you have any questions, please contact us first – 973-321-1223 ext. 2321.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees on January 27, 2010

6. Meeting Room Policy

The Library maintains meeting rooms for library and community use. The meeting rooms are available for meetings and programs open to the public that are sponsored by non-profit organizations and community interest groups and boards and agencies of the Library, City Government and schools. Preference is given to Paterson organizations, but regional and statewide groups are accommodated when there are no schedule conflicts. Permission to use the meeting room does not imply endorsement of the aims, policies, programs or public statements of any group or organization.

Use of the Library meeting space is governed by the ALA Library Bill of Rights, ALA policies on Intellectual Freedom and policies adopted by the Library Board of Trustees.

The use of a meeting room must be consistent with the provisions of this policy and may be denied:

a) Where use is inconsistent with policy or regulation

b) Where this is a likelihood of physical hazard to participants or audience

c) When there has been a misuse of premises or equipment or violation of this policy by the organization in the past.

Regulations

A. Prohibited Uses

The meeting room may not be used:

1. For any meeting closed to the general public, with the exception of:

a. Courses of academic instruction provided by the Paterson School District or the New Jersey Department of Education or the institutions under its jurisdiction;

b. Executive sessions of otherwise qualified organizations, when those executive sessions are carried out under the provisions or applicable state laws.

2. For any meeting sponsored by or for a commercial organization or purpose; or at which goods or services are advertised or sold for profit.

3. For any meeting which has noise or physical activities what are disturbing to other people in the library.

4. For any meeting which is attended by fewer than ten (10) people (this is necessitated by the scarcity of meeting rooms in the City of Paterson).

5. For any use by private teachers who are holding instructional sessions or who wish to have their students demonstrate or exhibit their abilities or talents.

6. For any private social event, such as a party.

7. For the conduct of unlawful activity.

8. For any meeting for which admission is charged.

B. Conditions on use

  1. Application forms for use of a meeting room must be filled out completely, signed by the applicant, and submitted to the Library Administrative Office at least two weeks in advance of the requested meeting.
  2. Applicant is responsible for its own set-up of chairs, etc. and must clean up the room, returning it to the condition in which it was found, after completion of the meeting. Set up and clean up must occur within the reserved time for the meeting.
  3. No materials may be affixed to the walls or ceiling by any means whatsoever.
  4. The applicant assumes full responsibility for misuse of or damage to the premises and equipment.
  5. Applications for meetings of young people, through senior high school, must be sponsored and signed by an adult who will assume responsibility. At least one adult must be in attendance when the meeting room is being used by such a group or organization.
  6. The Library is a smoke-free building. Smoking is not permitted in any area of the Library, including the meeting rooms.
  7. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
  8. Refreshments may be served at program meetings at the discretion of the Library Director. No utensils or appliances are provided by the Library. The applicant must leave the meeting room in the same condition in which it was found.
  9. The Library cannot supply audiovisual equipment. A large screen can be provided, if needed.
  10. The Library cannot permit use of the meeting rooms after library closing hours. Any group or organization using a meeting room must vacate the room, including clean up and exit the Library by closing time.
  11. Neither the name nor the address of the Library may be used as the mailing address for groups or organizations using meeting rooms.

Meeting Room Application