Mission Statement & Policies
Our mission is to inspire lifelong learning and to actively promote personal enrichment by connecting community members to information, ideas, culture, unique historical resources, and each other in a tradition of innovation and excellence.
Art Gallery and Art Jury
The Art Gallery of the Concord Free Public Library is administered by the Friends of the Library and by representatives from the local art community. An art jury is held once to several times a year in order to select work of qualified artists for display in the art gallery.
The Concord Free Public Library does not charge for the use of the gallery, and takes no commission from any sales. It carries NO insurance on its content and CANNOT accept responsibility for the theft or damage to any property accepted on loan from the artist. Setting up and taking down the exhibit is the responsibility of the artist(s). Each exhibit is displayed for approximately four weeks.
Art jurors ask for five representative pieces that exemplify the body of work planned for an upcoming exhibit; i.e., five pieces representing one complete show, instead of a sampling of all of an artist’s work.
In addition to the exhibition of art or photography, the Concord Free Public Library exhibits material from its own collection, as well as any material that may be of general interest to the community.
Bulletin Board Policy
The Concord Free Public Library bulletin boards are a resource for local information and community activities and events, both sponsored by the Library as well as groups/individuals serving the Concord community.
The public is permitted to post items on the Public Board. Postings are encouraged to be a single sheet 8.5” x 11” or smaller. Staff will attempt to accommodate larger posters as space allows, but larger items will be the first to be removed if additional space is needed. Postings will be date stamped and kept posted for up to one month, but may be removed sooner as spacing warrants. Submissions are not saved or returned.
All postings should be of topics related to/of interest to the Concord community and should clearly display at least one contact person/organization.
Town and Library Board:
The Town and Library Board is limited to use by library staff only, for postings provided by the Town of Concord, the Concord Free Public Library and its official partners, The Friends of the Concord Free Public Library, and the Library Corporation. Submissions should be given to library staff at the Circulation Desk for placement on the board.
The Library reserves the right to remove any posting, at any time, for any reason.
Approved by the Library Committee on July 26, 2022.
Children’s Use of the Library Policy
The Concord Free Public Library welcomes children of all ages and strives to create a welcoming, fun and safe environment for children to develop a love of books, reading, and libraries. We hope that families will take advantage of the tremendous resources the Concord Free Public Library has to offer. We request that parents and caregivers partner with us in this effort by adhering to the following guidelines:
- Parents and guardians, not Library staff, are responsible for the actions and safety of children visiting the Library.
- Children aged 9 years and younger must be accompanied and supervised by a parent/guardian or designated caregiver (aged 13 or older) at all times in the Library.
- If children aged 9 years and younger are attending a Library program, their parents or guardians must remain in the Library building.
- Children aged 10 and older may use the Library without a parent or guardian present. They must have a way to contact a parent or caregiver when they are unattended in the Library.
- If a child becomes separated from their parent or guardian, Library staff will try to locate the missing caregiver. If a parent or guardian cannot be located within a reasonable time, the librarian in charge will call the Concord Police Department, who will remain with the child until a parent or guardian arrives.
- If the child’s parent or guardian cannot be located after the Library has closed, two Library staff members will stay with the child until the police arrive.
- Library staff members are prohibited from transporting children from the Library to any other location.
The Children’s Library and Children’s Room at Fowler are accessible to all, but the spaces are primarily intended for children up to 8th grade and for individuals for whom that space is developmentally appropriate. We strive to ensure that the space is safe, relaxing, and responsive to the needs and interests of children from 0 - 13 years old. For this reason, children aged 0 - 13 years old will be given priority for service and for the use of the space, including the furniture and computers.
Adults are permitted in the Children’s Library and Children’s Room at Fowler when accompanied by a youth or if the adult is actively using the collection/space in a way deemed appropriate by the staff. Unaccompanied adults may be encouraged by Library staff to use the facilities, services, and equipment in the adult sections of the Library. If the individual does not comply with staff direction or repeatedly violates this policy, the individual will be asked to leave. This policy has been developed out of concern for the safety of children in the Library.
Approved by the Concord Town Manager and Concord Free Public Library Committee, November 3, 2009
Revised February 15, 2022
Collection Development Policy
Mission Statement and Goals
Our mission is to inspire lifelong learning and to actively promote personal enrichment by connecting community members to information, ideas, culture, unique historical resources, and each other in a tradition of innovation and excellence.
The Collection Development Policy reflects the library’s intention to provide library materials in a variety of formats that:
- Inform the public of timely issues and timeless ideas
- Empower citizens to explore diverse opinions on current and historical matters, and research topics of interest
- Inspire people to learn, create and discover
- Reflect the unique history and literature, local life and landscape, and evolving role of Concord in national and regional history, thought, and politics, and support the contextual exploration of American and New England history and leisure
- Entertain all ages seeking recreation and leisure
Purpose of the Collection Development Policy
The Concord Free Public Library is committed to serving the informational, educational, cultural, and recreational needs of all its patrons. The collection development policy is intended to guide staff and to inform the public of the principles on which collection development and management decisions are based. Collection development is the ongoing process of locating materials for purchase or for licensing; and making the decision, first, on their inclusion, and second, on their retention. Adherence to and utilization of this policy will ensure responsible use of funds, define the purpose of the collection, and establish limits and priorities on collection parameters.
The Concord Free Public Library’s commitment is to provide services to all patrons regardless of age, education, background, personal philosophy, religious belief, occupation, economic level, ethnic origin, and human condition. The library’s mission is to make available a broad range of library materials, to provide current and accurate information and is organized to provide free access to patrons within the limitations of space and budget. Included in the collection are works of enduring value and timely materials on current issues or interests as well as items purchased in response to significant patron interest.
The library’s commitment to serving the public includes the adoption of the American Library Association’s guidelines for public access to information as cornerstones of this policy, and as guidelines for the acquisitions and management of the collection. The links to these guidelines are:
The staff of the library strives to provide equal service to all library users. Children and adults are equally free to use the entire library and to borrow all materials in the circulating collection. It is the responsibility of parents to monitor the materials their children borrow or use in the library.
Materials are selected by the library staff, based on the criteria outlined in this policy. Designated staff are responsible for specific areas of the collection. The responsibility for selection and retention ultimately rests with the Library Director, operating within the framework of this policy as voted by the Library Committee.
The development of Special Collections holdings is distinct from the overall Concord Free Public Library collecting policy. Per the Library Agreement, Special Collections materials owned, given to, or purchased by the Corporation are under the supervision of the Curator of Special Collections in communication with the Library Director.
Staff contributes to the development of patron-oriented collections by:
- Engaging in open, continuous two-way communication with library patrons and recognizing that individuals have different ways of expressing their needs based on age, language, economic status, culture, or other characteristics
- Interacting with patrons with understanding, respect, and responsiveness
- Handling all requests equitably
- Working in partnership with one another to understand and respond to community needs
- Understanding and responding to rapidly changing demographics, as well as societal and technological changes
- Recognizing that materials of varying complexities and formats are necessary to satisfy the diverse needs of library users
- Balancing individual needs and broader community needs in determining the best allocation of collection budget for acquiring or providing access to materials and information
- Seeking continuous improvement through ongoing measurement
- Reviewing the collection regularly to identify areas of community interest that may need to be strengthened
Scope of Collection
The library seeks to develop an outstanding collection for a diverse population within the constraints of budget allocations and shelf space and taking into consideration the availability of network transfer, interlibrary loan or online sources. It strives to provide materials in a variety of formats for a variety of audiences, reflecting multiple perspectives. The collection contains a wide range of popular and classic fiction for children, young adults, and adults, as well as non-fiction materials, covering a wide range of subjects. There are smaller collections in world languages, in both print and audiovisual. The collection is designed to meet the interests and information needs of the community.
General Selection Criteria
The collection contains popular works, classic works that have withstood the test of time, and other materials of general interest. Works are not excluded or included in the collection based solely on a subject matter or on political, religious, or ideological grounds. The materials for the collection are considered in terms of the criteria listed below. Not all criteria must be met, and no one criterion will be decisive. Additional criteria may be used to select materials for specific collections. Materials purchased for the collection are not an endorsement by the Concord Free Public Library of either the content or viewpoint presented by them. Self-published titles are generally not added to the collection unless there is a compelling reason to do so. Among the general criteria used to evaluate potential purchases, acceptance of gift materials, and retention or deaccession of materials are:
- Present and potential relevance to community needs
- Suitability of physical form for library use
- Suitability of subject and style for the intended audience
- Importance as a document of the times
- Relation to the existing collection and other materials on the subject
- Attention by critics and reviewers
- Potential user appeal
- Requests by library patrons
- Availability in the Minuteman Library Network
- Literary merit
- Representation of diverse viewpoints
- Comprehensiveness and depth of treatment
- Skill, competence, and purpose of the author
- Reputation and significance of the author
- Consideration of the work as a whole
- Technical quality
- Representation of diverse points of view
- Representation of important movements, genres, or trends
- Vitality and originality
- Artistic presentation or experimentation or both
- Sustained interest
- Relevance and use of the information
- Effective characterization
- Authenticity of history or social setting
Role of the Branch Library
The selection of the materials in the Fowler branch collection is based on the profile and use patterns of the community. The branch collection targets the more popular circulating materials in several formats and basic research materials.
Treatment and repair decisions will reflect an item’s frequency of use, structural soundness, and importance or uniqueness to both the Concord Free Public Library and the Minuteman Library Network. An item may be withdrawn from the collection for one or more reasons including:
- Item is misleading or factually inaccurate
- Item is worn beyond mending or repair
- Item is superseded by a new addition or better item on the subject
- Item is trivial or of no discernible literary or scientific merit
- Item is no longer relevant to the needs and interests of the library’s community
- Item is available elsewhere and is easily obtainable from another library
In the interest of sustainability, whenever it is possible, items withdrawn from the collection will be donated, recycled, reused, or repurposed.
Gifts of Library Materials
The library appreciates the generosity of the community members who donate materials to the library. The library accepts donations of books and other materials on behalf of the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library. The same selection and de-selection policies apply to gifts of books and other materials. A gift receipt form may be requested, but the library staff will not place a value on any donated item.
Request for Reconsideration
The Library Committee of the Concord Free Public Library supports the guidelines by the American Library Association in its Library Bill of Rights (Library Bill of Rights), Freedom to Read Statement (Freedom to Read Statement), and Freedom to View Statement (Freedom to View Statement), and consider all materials selected under this policy to be constitutionally protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Any patron wishing to express concerns about an item in the collection may contact the Director using the Reconsideration of Library Materials form (see below).
The Library Director will respond in writing to an individual’s written request. Forms must be submitted by a Concord resident or property owner. Requests for reconsideration of materials with the same issue as requests previously resolved may be considered already fulfilled. The Library Committee will, upon written request, hear appeals of the Library Director’s response. Final decisions on appeals rest with the combined Director and Library Committee.
Revision of Policy
The collection development policy will be evaluated and revised periodically as time and circumstance require.
Approved by the Library Committee 9/20/2022
Concord Free Public Library Request for Reconsideration of Material Form
The Library Committee of the Concord Free Public Library has established a materials selection policy and a procedure for gathering input about particular items. Completion of this form is the first step in that procedure. Forms must be submitted by a Concord resident or property owner. If you wish to request a reconsideration of a resource, please return the completed form to the Library Director.
Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main Street, Concord, Massachusetts 01742
Do you represent self? ____ Or an organization? ____ Name of Organization _____________________
1. Resource on which you are commenting:
___ Book (e-book) ___Magazine ___ Digital Resource ___ Newspaper
___ Movie ___ Audio Recording ___ Game ___ Other
2. What brought this resource to your attention?
3. Have you examined the entire resource? If not, what sections did you review?
4. What concerns you about the resource?
5. Are there resource(s) you suggest to provide additional information and/or other viewpoints on this topic?
6. What action are you requesting the committee consider?
Computer Use and Public Internet Access
The Concord Free Public Library (“Library”) provides resources in a wide variety of formats to further its mission, including the use of Library computers and public Internet access.
The Internet is a global electronic network and the Library does not monitor Internet use, has no control over the information accessed through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. The Library cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of information on the Internet. Parents are encouraged to supervise their children’s Internet sessions.
By using a Library computer or by using the public Internet access through the Library, you agree to the below guidelines.
Guidelines for Use
Use of the Library’s computers and Internet is governed by the rules of the Library, including the Library’s Patron Behavior Policy. Copies of these rules are available upon request at any reference desk. Persons who do not abide by these rules may be barred from the Library, prohibited from using Library computers or other Library equipment and/or prosecuted for illegal activities, under applicable law.
Use of the Library computers and Internet for illegal or abusive activities is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, activities such as:
- accessing pornography,
- committing fraud or hacking,
- spreading libel or slander,
- transmission of chain letters, broadcast letters, or any form of junk mail
- transmission of threatening, obscene, or harassing materials
- transmission of computer viruses
- unauthorized access to local and remote computer systems
In addition, display of sexually explicit graphics is inappropriate in a public environment and is prohibited.
Patrons shall not:
- Install, delete or modify Library hardware or software.
- Move or change the arrangement of Library computers and attached equipment
- Make any attempt to damage computer equipment or software
- Make any attempt to cause degradation of system performance
- Misuse Library computers or other equipment and resources.
It is the responsibility of the patron to respect copyright laws and licensing agreements. Copyright restrictions may exist for individual electronic resources. Patrons may only make copies allowable by copyright law or licensed software agreements.
The Library reserves the right to control the time, place and manner of public Internet access and use to ensure that such use does not have a negative impact on the use of the Library by other patrons. The Library seeks to provide an atmosphere conducive to the best use of its resources. To this end, an effort will be made to balance the rights of users to access constitutionally protected information resources with the rights of patrons and staff to work in a public setting free from disruptive sounds and images.
The Library specifically disclaims any warranty as to information accessed on the Internet, including the information's accuracy, timeliness, authoritativeness, usefulness or fitness for a particular purpose. The Library assumes no liability for any damage to user data or loss of user privacy sustained while using the Library computers.
Approved by the Library Committee on July 16, 2013
This service offers Minuteman Library Network card holders in grade 6 to adult in good standing the option to checkout a laptop for use inside the Concord Free Public Library’s buildings. All laptops have wireless Internet access, Microsoft Office software, and web browsers. Laptops circulate with a carrying case, power cord/adapter, mouse, and earphones.
1. Laptops may be checked out to Minuteman Library Network patrons who meet the following requirements:
- 18 years of age or older (minors in grade 6 and up will need to have a parent or legal guardian complete and co-sign the Laptop Borrower Agreement prior to check-out).
- Submit a current valid government-issued photo I.D. that will be held at the Circulation Department for the duration of the check-out.
- Maintain a Library account in good standing (no fines or overdue materials in excess of $10.00).
- Complete and sign a Laptop Borrower Agreement, which will remain on file.
2. Laptops are available for check-out on a first come, first served basis and cannot be reserved. Laptops circulate for up to three (3) hours at a time, with the option of one additional three (3) hour renewal per/day if no one is waiting.
3. Laptops are loaned for in-library use only and may not be taken out of the building.
4. Laptop use is non-transferrable. Borrowers must maintain the laptop in their immediate possession at all times. Laptops must not be left unattended.
5. The last laptop check-out will be 90 minutes before the library closes and all laptops borrowed must be returned 30 minutes prior to closing.
6. Wireless black and white printing is available from the laptop by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org at a cost of .15 per/sheet. Up to 10 attachments per/email can be accommodated with a size limit of 10 MB.
7. Borrowers must comply with the Computer Use and Public Internet Access Policy. Downloading software or otherwise altering the laptop’s configuration could result in a loss of laptop borrowing privileges.
8. When listening to audio files laptop users are asked to use headphones, so as not to interfere with the library use or enjoyment of other patrons.
9. Files should be saved to a flash drive or emailed to oneself in order to prevent data loss when the laptop reboots for the next borrower.
10. Borrowers must return the laptop directly to a staff member in the Circulation Department and will be required to wait until the staff person checks the laptop to determine that all equipment has been returned, is in working order and in the same condition as when it was checked out. The laptop will be booted up and checked for functionality prior to completion of the return process.
11. Laptops need to be returned promptly at the end of the borrowing period. Overdue fines will be accrued at $5.00 for each hour or portion of the hour that the laptop is late.
12. Non-compliance with these policy requirements may result in the termination of laptop borrowing privileges.
Approved by the Library Committee on June 20, 2017. [View Policy in PDF]
Laptop Borrower Agreement [View Agreement in PDF]
Please Read Carefully
I, ______________________, have read the Concord Free Public Library’s Laptop Lending Policy and agree to adhere to the terms for use.
1. I agree to accept responsibility for any damages, loss, or overdue fines associated with borrowing laptop computers. I understand that if found liable for major damages I would have to pay up to $950 to cover replacement and/or repair fees.
2. I will check-out the laptop with my own valid Minuteman Library Network library card in good standing (less than $10 in fines) and will keep it in my immediate possession at all times that it is checked out to me.
3. If the laptop is lost or stolen while it is checked out to me, I understand that I will be held financially responsible for its replacement.
4. I will only use the laptop inside the Concord Free Public Library buildings. If I remove the laptop from the library, I understand that such action will be considered theft.
5. I understand that any documents saved on the laptop will be lost immediately upon restarting the device and take responsibility for backing up my work.
6. I understand that I must keep all food and drink away from the laptop.
7. I have read and agree to comply with the Computer Use & Public Access Internet Policy.
Patron Signature___________________________ Signature of Minor’s Parent or Legal Guardian____________________
Library Card Policy
As members of the Minuteman Library Network, Concord adheres to the Minuteman policy of issuing only one library account per person for use at all public libraries in the network. Massachusetts residents may obtain a library card by presenting photo identification and confirmation of current address in accordance with the Minuteman Library Network’s identification requirements. Library card applications may also be submitted online. In order to complete the registration, you must present a photo ID and proof of address when you pick up your card. As a courtesy, new local residents without the required ID can be given a library card with a 2 item limit pending address verification.
Out-of-state residents, who meet the following requirements, may be issued a library card with sufficient identification: work or attend school in Massachusetts; own property in Massachusetts; are temporarily living in Massachusetts for more than 2 months. Out of state residents must provide identification showing their home/permanent address. Students must verify their status with a school ID. Temporary residents such as Au pairs must provide proof of temporary residence.
Children under the age of 12 must have a parent or legal guardian present to present a photo ID and proof of address when the child receives their library card. Parents or legal guardians are responsible for any charges incurred for materials borrowed by their minor children (age 18 and under).
A child’s library card is granted full privacy rights in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws (Chapter 78, Section 7) and the ALA Code of Ethics and Library Bill of Rights. Based on these standards, if a parent or guardian opens an account for their child, library staff cannot share information with parents/legal guardians regarding borrowed material on a minor’s card or make any changes to the account without permission from the child.
Approved by the Library Committee, December 9, 2014
Revised January 21, 2020.
Revised February 15, 2022
Library of Things Circulation Policy
The Library of Things is a collection of non-traditional library items that complement the Concord Free Public Library’s mission to ignite curiosity, facilitate lifelong learning, and connect our community. Patrons who borrow a Thing agree to abide by the Concord Free Public Library’s Library of Things lending guidelines below.
TYPES OF MATERIALS INCLUDED IN COLLECTION
The purpose of the Library of Things is to provide diverse opportunities for learning and engagement. To further this goal, the Library of Things may include:
Home Improvement and Assistive Devices, such as a Kill-A-Watt meter and a hotspot (internet Internet service).
Audiovisual Equipment, such as a portable record player, digital camera, and q a cassette-to-digital converter.Fire TV Stick.
Science and Technology and Technology Kits, such as a digital microscope, a telescope, and simple computer programming kits.
Coding, such as Cubelets, Dash & Dot robots and Code-a-pillar.
Digital Conversion, such as cassette to MP3 converter and film to digital JPG converter.
The Library of Things is not intended to be comprehensive and the lLibrary is limited by a finite amount of storage space for these items. For a full list of items available, visit concordlibrary.org/resources/library-of-things.
The Library of Things collection is developed and managed to meet the cultural, informational, educational, and recreational needs of library patrons of all ages in the Town of Concord, MA.
The Library’s professional staff will select materials based on the needs of library patrons. The Library welcomes input from the community concerning the collection. A suggestion for purchase procedure enables users to request that a particular item or subject be purchased by the Library. All suggestions for purchase are evaluated using the same selection criteria as for other materials and are not automatically added to the collection. The Suggest a Thing to add to the collection form is available here.
The Library can only accept a limited number of donations due to restricted storage space and the staff time necessary to evaluate, test and maintain each Thing. However, we are happy to accept donations from any patrons. The Library does not accept materials that are not outright gifts, and cannot guarantee the permanence of a gift in the collection. Materials donated to the library are received with the understanding that they are subject to the same selection, evaluation and disposal criteria as materials acquired for purchase. To suggest a donation please email email@example.com with a description of the Thing and your contact information.
Not all library materials may be suitable for all members of the community. Responsibility for a minor’s use of library materials, regardless of format or content, lies with the parent or guardian, not with the library.
Due to the nature of the items contained in the Library of Things, these items will not be shared via delivery with the other libraries in the Minuteman Library Network. All Library patrons are required to check out and return Library of Things items to the Main Desk at the Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main Street, Concord, MA.
EVALUATION OF COLLECTIONS
The Library will use circulation data and community suggestions to guide future selections for the Library of Things collection. Items that are not popular and do not circulate will be withdrawn from library collections according to established procedures.
LIBRARY’S USE OF THINGS
The Library reserves the right to take a Thing out of circulation temporarily to use for library purposes (workshops, demonstrations, or other programs), or to repair a damaged item.
Library of Things - Guidelines for Borrowing and Use
Library of Things - Lending Agreement
Approved by the Library Committee 7/17/18. Amended 12/18/18.
The Library Corporation and the Library Committee welcome the use of the Library’s meeting rooms by Concord Town Committees or not for profit groups in the Concord community for cultural, educational and civic activities provided that (a) meetings are free and open to the public, (b) they comply with library policies, procedures and posted notices, and (c) the use is non-disruptive and consistent with normal library operations. All meeting room use must occur during the Library's normal operating hours except for events sponsored by the Library Corporation or the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library.
Room reservations may not be made earlier than 90 days before the requested date and reservation reconfirmation by the Library will be required, as per the below outlined procedures. Groups which meet regularly may be given the privilege of reserving a room at a specific time and date for an entire academic or calendar year.
The reservation and room usage form(s) will require the requesting group to designate the group's responsible party and contact information, the purpose of the meeting, its time and the number of expected participants as well as other requested information. No use may take place unless a reservation and room use form containing the required information has been fully completed in advance of the expected use date and accepted by an authorized Library staff member. All approved reservation requests shall be subject to the terms of this policy and a group's failure to comply with such terms shall be cause to terminate a group's use of a room and to deny any subsequent request for a room reservation. The Library assumes no responsibility for the safety or theft of any private property brought on the Library premises by the group using the meeting rooms or meeting attendees.
Reservation requests will be processed in the order received. Although efforts will be made to accommodate requests for particular rooms, times and dates, the Library reserves the right to designate room, time and date use as it deems appropriate and may limit a group’s use to no more than two evenings per month.
If on a given day an individual library patron desires to use an unoccupied and unreserved meeting room, such person may sign up at the reference desk on a first-come first-served basis for use of the room for a two-hour period. Parties of two or more will have priority over individual patrons. No advance booking is allowed for such daily individual or group patron use.
Use of rooms for Library programs or by the Library Corporation, the Town Library Committee or the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library shall take precedence over other all other uses. Any previously approved reservation may be cancelled by the Library Director or the Library Corporation on reasonable notice and immediately in the case of weather or other emergency.
Arrangements, such as the setting up of library chairs and tables are the responsibility of the sponsoring group and must be coordinated with library staff. The Library's audiovisual equipment shall not be used without prior approval of the Library staff. Any publicity regarding the meeting shall be the responsibility of the sponsoring group and any mention of the Library shall be limited solely to identify it as the location of the meeting and the acceptance of a reservation shall not imply the Library's endorsement or sponsorship of the group, program or event. Legal room occupancy limits shall be observed. Alcoholic beverages, use of open flames and smoking are prohibited. Groups may serve light refreshments. At the end of the meeting all chairs, tables and other Library equipment and materials shall be placed in their proper storage location as may be directed by the Library staff, all trash shall be removed and the room shall be left clean and in good order. Groups are responsible for damage to Library property and for excess cleaning expenses occasioned by a group's use of a meeting room.
Use of rooms for tutoring is subject to the Library's separate policy relating to this activity.
Any questions concerning this policy shall be directed to the Library Director who may refer them to the Library Corporation or the Library Committee as may be appropriate.
This policy is subject to change without notice.
Original Policy 11/17/76
Photography and Filming Policy
Non-commercial photography, filming, and recording are welcome in all public areas of the Concord Free Public Library (the "Library") within the following guidelines:
- Photography, filming, and recording and any associated equipment may not interfere in any waywith Library operations;
- Photography, filming, and recording and any associated equipment may not disturb members ofthe public;
- Photography, filming, or recording of other patrons may only occur with their express consent(or consent of a parent or guardian in the case of a minor);
- No photography, filming, or recording of Library events may occur without the approval of Library staff; and
- No photography, filming or recording may occur in Special Collections without permission from Special Collections staff.
No commercial and media photography, filming, or recording (including formal, wedding, and engagement photography) may occur without the written approval of the Library Director, the Concord Free Public Library Corporation, or their appointed designee.
Any consent granted pursuant to this Policy to permit photography or filming may be revoked by the Library Director or designee at any time.
The Concord Free Public Library frequently photographs, films, or records programs and events for its own publicity and promotional purposes. Attendance at programs and events is considered consent to photography, filming, or recording, but Library staff will make an effort to inform patrons when photography, filming, or recording is occurring and to provide reasonable accommodations for those who wish to opt out of photography, filming, or recording.
Policy Approved by the Library Committee January 17, 2023
Policy Approved by Library Trustees, February 8, 2023
The Concord Free Public Library offers programs intended to further the Library’s mission to “inspire lifelong learning and to actively promote personal enrichment by connecting community members to information, ideas, culture, unique historical resources, and each other in a tradition of innovation and excellence”. The Library functions as an information, recreational, and cultural resource for the community. Programs are a means through which the public can share experiences, explore ideas, appreciate special interests, exchange information, and connect with each other and with the Concord Free Public Library.
Library sponsorship of a program does not constitute an endorsement of the content of the program or the views expressed by participants. Program topics, speakers and resources are not excluded from programs because of possible controversy. Library programming will reflect a wide range of diverse perspectives and opinions.
In developing and delivering programs, Library staff utilize staff expertise, collections, equipment, facilities, and an awareness of sustainability’s triple bottom line: environmentally sound, economically feasible and socially equitable. The following criteria are used in making decisions about program topics, speakers, and accompanying resources:
- Community needs and interests
- Budget and cost of program
- Space required for program
- Presenter background/qualifications in content area
- Relevance/appropriateness of program to the Library’s mission
- Staff time
Performers, speakers, community members, etc. may use our Suggest a Program Form to let the Library know of programs that may be of interest to the Concord community. Priority is placed on community relationships and partnerships.
At any Library sponsored event
- All programs are free and open to the public, with the exception of private events hosted by the Concord Free Public Library Corporation or the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library.
- Programs may be held on site at the Library, off site, or online.
- Decisions related to whether the program is in person, hybrid, or virtual are made by the coordinating staff in collaboration with the performer or speaker.
- A program may be converted to virtual as needed (weather, speaker issues, etc.).
- We will make every effort to let potential participants know about changes.
- Professional performers are selected by Library staff.
- Program attendance will not exceed the capacity of its space as determined by the fire code.
- Program attendance of virtual programs cannot exceed the capacity of the Library’s hosting account.
- Programs may be designed for and limited to a specific audience, age, or grade level. Standard age ranges for programs are:
- Children are defined as those 9 years of age and younger.
- Tweens/Teens are defined as being between the ages of 10 and 17 years old.
- Adults are defined as those 18 years of age and older.
- Family is defined as appropriate for all age and grade levels.
- In an effort to be inclusive, exceptions to age guidelines can be made for accessibility.
- Decisions concerning an event’s audience, registration, capacity, late arrivals, and allowable walk-ins will be made by Library staff supervising the event. Patrons will respect decisions made by Library staff with the presenter’s input regarding an event’s audience, registration, capacity, late arrivals, and allowable walk-ins.
- The safety of our patrons is our top priority
- All Concord Public Health protocols will be adhered to.
- If requested by a performer or speaker, we may require certain safety measures for specific programs.
Ticketing or Registration
- Some events may require tickets or registration. This is done in order to:
- Maintain necessary room or venue capacity.
- Allow the presenter to prepare for the number of people attending.
- All registered attendees will be sent a reminder about the upcoming event at least 24 hours in advance.
- We request that registered individuals notify the organizers as soon as possible if they are unable to attend in order to allow other people to register.
- In cases of high demand programs (such as limited seating craft programs), if a patron repeatedly doesn’t show with no prior notification, they may be blocked from registering for these types of events for up to 3 months.
- For high-demand events, we may create a waitlist in lieu of allowing walk-ins.
- The waitlist will be activated as soon as registration is full.
- Should spots become available, we will make every effort to notify waitlisted patrons in time for them to attend the event.
- If there is still space, walk-ins will be allowed.
- The Library can only promote Library-sponsored programs.
- Library staff are responsible for program graphics. All external graphics must be approved for use by the supervising staff or Library Director in regards to collaborative programs.
- If time and space allows, the Library may share community program information.
- Please refer to the Library’s Social Media Policy and Bulletin Board Policy for more information.
- Even in the event of preregistration, the Library does not guarantee seating once a program has begun.
- If the event does not have a waitlist, walk-ins may be allowed to fill unclaimed spots.
- In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we will make sure there is seating available for anyone who needs accommodation.
- The Library requests at least two weeks of notice for any accommodation such as an interpreter, listening devices, etc.
- All are welcome and we will do our best to make reasonable accommodations.
- Patrons causing a disruption of an in-person program may be asked to leave by the supervising staff or Library Director.
- Caregivers are responsible for their children’s conduct.
- Attendees causing a disruption during a virtual program may be muted or removed from the program.
- At all events we adhere to the Library’s other policies, such as the Rules of Behavior, Photography and Filming, Social Media and Meeting Room policies.
- Authors or booksellers may sell books as part of a Library program. Programs sponsored by the Library Corporation or the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library may include the sale of merchandise as a fundraiser to benefit the Library. Sale of any other products at Library programs is not permitted unless authorized by the Library Director or designee.
- Programs are not used for commercial purposes or for the solicitation of business. However, the presenter may leave business cards for participants to pick up after the program for anyone interested in purchasing items or services from the presenter.
Any patron wishing to express concerns about a program may contact the Library Director using the “Request for Review of Library Program” form. Requests must be submitted in writing at least two weeks prior to a program.
The Library Director will respond in writing to an individual’s written request. Forms must be submitted by a Concord resident or property owner. Requests for review of a program with the same issue as requests previously resolved may be considered already fulfilled. The Library Committee will, upon written request, hear appeals of the Library Director’s response. Final decisions on appeals rest with the combined Library Director and Library Committee.
Revision of Policy
The Programming Policy will be evaluated and revised periodically as time and circumstance require.
Approved by the Library Committee on March 22, 2023.
Concord Free Public Library Request for Review of Library Program
The Library Committee of the Concord Free Public Library has established a Programming Policy and a procedure for gathering input. Completion of this form is the first step in that procedure. Forms must be submitted by a Concord resident or property owner. If you wish to request a review of a program, please return the completed form to the Library Director at Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main Street, Concord, Massachusetts 01742.
Program Title: _______________________________________________________________________________
Date of Program: _______________________________________________________________________________
Name of Person Requesting Review: _______________________________________________________________________________
E-Mail address: _______________________________________________________________________________
Do you represent yourself? ____ Or do you represent an organization? _____
Name of organization: _______________________________________________________________________________
What are your specific objections to this program? _______________________________________________________________________________________________
Have you read any reviews of this program or speaker? _______________________________________________________________________________________________
What do you recommend be done regarding this program? _______________________________________________________________________________________________
How did you become aware of this program or service? _______________________________________________________________________________________________
What do you know about its content and purpose? _______________________________________________________________________________________________
Have you attended the program (or another event with this presenter) or used the service? _______________________________________________________________________________________________
What do you believe might be the result of attending this program/using this service? _______________________________________________________________________________________________
Do you see any ways in which this program or service could be of value? _______________________________________________________________________________________________
Please suggest alternative events or services that could provide similar information on this topic or support in this area to the community. _______________________________________________________________________________________________
Rules of Behavior
The Concord Free Public Library strives to provide a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. All residents and visitors have the right to use the library services and materials safely and freely. With this right comes the responsibility for conduct that allows each patron to study, read and work without interference. The Library has established these Rules of Behavior to ensure the rights and safety of library users and staff, and to preserve and protect the library’s materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds. These rules, along with other library policies, will be applied in a fair and reasonable manner.
Respect for other library users and library staff members shall be maintained at all times. Disruptive or inappropriate behavior that infringes on others’ use or right to use the library shall not be permitted. The library staff reserves the right to determine if other actions not listed below constitute “disruptive or inappropriate behavior.” Individuals who will not respect these expectations may be asked to leave the library, have library privileges suspended, or be subject to legal action.
Examples of disruptive or inappropriate behavior include (but are not limited to):
- Solicitation on library premises, including distributing written leaflets within the library facility, in the parking lot, or on walkways immediately adjacent to the library entrances.
- Smoking, vaping, using electronic cigarettes, consuming alcohol* or any other controlled substance while on library property. (*Use of alcohol is only permitted during Library Corporation sponsored events.)
- Use of profanity, running, throwing things, fighting, pushing or shoving.
- Stealing, damaging, altering, or inappropriate use of the library facilities, collection, or technology.
- Using personal electronic equipment, such as computers and cell phones, in a manner that disturbs other library users, such as loud audio equipment and playing or listening to music without headphones.
- Using the public restrooms for bathing, laundry, or any other unintended purpose.
- Excessive public displays of affection.
- Indecent exposure/public indecency.
- Interfering with others’ use of the library, its services and materials.
- Interfering with library staff members’ ability to perform their responsibilities.
To ensure that the Library is welcoming and comfortable for all:
- Covered beverages are permitted in most areas of the library. They are not, however, allowed in Special Collections or at the public computers.
- Food is limited to the Teen Lounge and Commons at the Main Library, and the Meeting Room at Fowler, or in other designated spaces during library sponsored events.
- Shirts and shoes must be worn in the library at all times.
- Walkways throughout the building and access to library materials should not be obstructed. Power cords should not cross pathways or be used in ways that create a trip hazard. Bulky objects brought into the library should not obstruct access to library materials nor block walkways.
- Animals, except for service animals, are not permitted.
- The use of study rooms and meeting rooms is limited to those who have signed up.
- Personal belongings should not be left unattended. Library staff members are not responsible for patrons’ personal property. Police may be called to remove items that appear to have been abandoned.
- The library reserves the right to inspect all bags, purses, briefcases, backpacks, etc., for concealed library material.
- Patrons should not bring personal property into the library that the library staff considers to be hazardous. The library staff may refuse to permit a patron to have access to the library in such circumstances.
- The telephones at all service desks are business phones. They may only be used by patrons, with staff permission, in cases of emergency.
- The material and equipment in the library are here for patron and staff use. Any purposeful damage done to the material, equipment, furniture, building or property of the library is against the law and will be reported to the police.
- Use of personal transportation devices (including bicycles, skateboards, or roller-blades) on library property is not allowed.
- The storage of personal transportation devices (including bicycles and scooters) inside the library is not allowed. Such devices should be placed in the designated location outside.
- Guns and other weapons are not allowed in the building at any time (except by law enforcement officers).
- Solicitation activities, including distributing written leaflets, may be conducted on public sidewalks a reasonable distance from the library entrances, but shall not impede entrance into and egress from the library.
- Single person restrooms should only be used by one person, unless a parent or other caregiver is required.
Approved by the Concord Free Public Library Committee, March 18, 2014.
Revisions Approved by the Library Committee on August 18, 2020, November 15, 2022
Signs on the Library Lawn Policy
The Library Corporation Board of Trustees only permits signs for library events and services hosted by the Library, the Library Corporation, the Library Committee, or the Friends of the Library. Signs may be displayed for library partnership organizations. From time to time, the Town of Concord may place signs of general interest and importance on the lawn.
An organization is considered a “partnership organization” if the Library, the Library Corporation, or the Library Committee, or the Friends of the Library is an advertised sponsor, the Library is hosting the event, or is a significant contributor to an event or program.
Signs may be placed on the Main Library Lawn at the triangle formed by Sudbury Road and Main Street, or on the lawn by the Sudbury Rd entrance; for Fowler signs may be placed at the triangle formed by Church Street and Main Street in West Concord.
Approved by the Concord Free Public Library Corporation October 12, 2022
Approved by the Library Committee October 18, 2022
Social Media Policy and Guidelines
The Concord Free Public Library manages five social media platforms, in addition to a social media management tool. These platforms include:
- Facebook (page username: “Concord Free Public Library”)
- Instagram (username: “@concordlibrary”)
- Twitter (username: “@CFPL_Updates”)
- TikTok (username: “@concordlibrary”)
- Youtube (channel name: “Concord Free Public Library)
- Hootsuite (social media management tool for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter)
MESSAGE AND TONE
The goal of all Library social media platforms is to reflect and feed back into the mission of the Library mission: “To inspire lifelong learning and to actively promote personal enrichment by connecting community members to information, ideas, culture, unique historical resources, and in each other in a tradition of innovation and excellence.”
As such, the Library strives to maintain a professional tone in all messaging, images, and videos shared, and encourages learning, information, and engagement with the Library and what the Library provides.
When considering the Library’s mission statement, other Library policies, and the general tone and professional quality of the Library’s social platforms, the following content will be posted to CFPL social platforms:
- Historical content, such as what is contained in Special Collections, or original content from the Library about a historical event, such as the 2021 Inauguration.
- Information about Library services
- Information about Library programs
- Staff curated booklists
- Events, creative work, or similar things occurring in or outside on Library property, such as the Storywalk, approved posters on the lawn, the yearly gingerbread house, etc.
- News from the Library, including the above, as well as new technology or tech services available to the public, etc.
- Content that may be silly or entertaining, while still encouraging values outlined in the Library’s mission statement, such as education or growth (in particular on TikTok, which will exist primarily for the teens and tweens in the community)
- Very rarely, the CFPL will share content from other community partners/Library stakeholders that matches the message and tone of what is normally posted. These partners include the Library Corporation, the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library, the Town of Concord, etc.
When considering the Library’s mission statement, other Library policies, and the general tone and professional quality of the Library’s social platforms, the following content will NOT be posted to the CFPL social platforms:
- Other’s content, without express permission and only if the content falls into the category of what will be posted
- Shares of other’s posts, unless they are a community partner/Library stakeholder
- “Empty” content that has no educational, newsworthy, or informative value
HOW AND WHEN CONTENT IS POSTED
The Library manages Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter through the social media management tool Hootsuite. All content for these platforms will be scheduled in advance via Hootsuite. Very rarely, the Library will respond to a timely event and forego scheduling a post and instead post it immediately via Hootsuite, within reason.
TikTok content will be created by a small group of Library staff, and will be managed outside of Hootsuite, as Hootsuite does not currently support management and scheduling of TikTok videos. Like other social platforms, TikTok will be managed and overseen by designated staff members in order to maintain content and messaging that is in line with what the Library posts in other social platforms.
As a best practice, the Library does not post more than 3 times a day on any social media platform.
The Library will post most Library-created, long form video content to the Library’s YouTube page, ideally timing it alongside the same video post/premiere on Facebook.
AUTHORIZATION TO POST
The Library has the authorization to post any images or videos of Library staff, images or videos captured by Library staff of non-human/non-creative work (i.e. animals, Library architecture, etc.), and graphics or artwork created by Library staff.
To post images or videos of people or other’s artwork or graphics, Library staff must collect a release form, signed by the individual. If an image or video of a child is captured, that release form must be signed by a legal guardian.
The Library will change the passwords of all social platforms and social media management tools every three months as a best practice.
The Library will immediately change the passwords of all social platforms and social media management tools immediately if there is a suspected security breach, and then report it to management as well as the Town IT.
The Library will monitor engagement with each social platform, and if there is suspected trolling or aggression on any Library social platform, it will be reported to management and the suspected user may be banned from the social platform and/or reported to the social platform host (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or YouTube).
Approved by Library Committee
Revised June, 2021
Study Room Policy
General Principles & Purpose
As part of its mission to inspire lifelong learning and promote personal enrichment, the Concord Free Public Library offers study rooms for use by members of the public. These rooms are available for quiet study or small group work. Study Rooms may not be used for commercial purposes. Use of rooms for tutoring is subject to the Library's separate policy relating to this activity (see “Fee-Based Tutoring” Policy).
Main Library (129 Main St.) has three study rooms:
1 technology-free room with a capacity for 2 people (Note: This room has weak internet signal and is not accessible.)
2 rooms with a capacity for 4 people
Fowler (1322 Main St.) has one study alcove:
Quiet Study Alcove with capacity for 6 people. (Note: This space does not have a door.)
Use of Study Rooms
- Study Rooms are available on a first come, first served basis.
- Please visit the Reference Desk to reserve a Study Room at the Main Library. The Study Alcove at Fowler cannot be reserved.
- We do not book Study Rooms in advance or by telephone.
- There is a two hour limit per day.
- No food is permitted in the Study Rooms, but covered beverages are allowed.
- Power and wireless internet access are available in all rooms, unless otherwise noted.
- The Quiet Study Alcove (Fowler) is equipped with a monitor/display that can be used to share a laptop screen. HDMI cable and adapters are available for check out at the main floor service desk.
- The Library is not responsible for loss or damage to personal items. Do not leave personal items unattended if you leave a room for any reason.
- Public use of the Library’s Study Rooms must be subordinate to the need to provide a safe, peaceful, and respectful environment in which to read and study. No use of the Study Rooms will be allowed that is likely to disturb library patrons in their customary use of library facilities, impede library staff in the performance of their duties, or endanger patrons, staff, or the library building or collections.
Approved by the Library Committee on April 26, 2022
Telescope Circulation Policy
1. The telescope may be checked out to Minuteman Library Network patrons who:
- are Concord residents 18 years of age or older
- have an account that is in good standing (no fines or overdue materials in excess of $10.00)
- sign the “Telescope Borrowing Agreement”
2. The telescope circulates for 7 days with no renewals. The late fee is $10/day with a maximum fine of $50. Failure to return the item on time may result in the inability to borrow the item again. Users will have 3 days to pick up the item once notified that it’s available.
3. The telescope must be returned to a staff member at the Circulation Desk at the Main Library (129 Main Street, Concord, MA). The telescope must not be left unattended at the Circulation Desk or outside the building. Staff will inspect the telescope kit before checking it in.
4. The complete telescope kit is valued at $415 and includes:
- 1 Orion StarBlast telescope (replacement cost $350);
- 1 carrying container (replacement cost $10);
- 1 laminated instruction manual (replacement cost: $10);
- 1 National Audubon Society Pocket Guide to Constellations of the Northern Skies (replacement cost: $10);
- 1 red/white headlamp (replacement cost: $15);
- 1 zippered pack (replacement cost: $10);
- 2 travel pillows (replacement cost: $10).
If the telescope and/or its accompanying items are damaged or lost the borrower will pay the replacement fees.
5. Children under age 18 must be supervised by an adult while using the telescope.
- The borrower is responsible for reading the instruction manual for the proper care and use of the telescope; the Concord Free Public Library will not be held liable for any injuries related to the use of the telescope.
- Never look directly at the sun through the telescope or its finder scope – even for an instant – as permanent eye damage can result.
- Do not wipe or clean the lens. There is a protective coating that will be damaged if touched.
- Do not point the telescope at the sun, as parts will melt.
6. Any situation not covered by this policy will be reviewed and acted upon by the Library director.
CAUTION: DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN WHILE USING THE TELESCOPE; DOING THIS CAN BLIND THE USER. THE LIBRARY IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGES RELATED TO THE USE OF THE TELESCOPE.
Approved by the Library Committee on October 27, 2015; revised March 22, 2016.
Please click here to read the Telescope Borrowing Agreement (on page 2).
Wireless Hotspot Circulation Policy
The Concord Free Public Library offers wireless Hotspot devices for loan to library patrons. Library patrons who are 18 years of age and older must have a signed “Wireless Hotspot Borrowing Agreement” on file assuming financial responsibility for lost or damaged equipment in order to check out a wireless hotspot.
- Loan period: 1 week, with a 1 week renewal option
- $2/day late fine
- Wireless hotspots are available on a first-come first-served basis.
- Limit: 1 wireless hotspot per person
Do not place wireless hotspots in book drops (outside or inside)
Wireless hotspots must be returned to the Circulation Desks at either the Concord Free Public Library’s Main Library at 129 Main Street or at the Fowler Branch Library at 1322 Main Street and may not be returned to any other Minuteman Library Network location.
Patrons are responsible for any damage, loss, or theft of the wireless hotspot while it is checked out to them. Do not leave the wireless hotspot unattended while it is checked out to you.
Replacement costs are as follows:
- Lost or damaged wireless hotspot - $150
- Processing fee - $10
- Travel case - $15
- 2 Cables - $30
- Outlet plug - $22
- Total cost= $227
Adopted by the Concord Free Public Library Committee on April 19, 2016.
Updated in January 2023