The library's mission statement:
The Monroe Free Library aims to provide, to the residents of the Town of Monroe, in a responsive and proficient manner, open, timely, and equal access to information and ideas for every level of interest and ability from a variety of perspectives and formats.
The mission of the library is to provide a commons environment addressing the need of people to meet and interact with others in the community, to provide access to current topics and titles, fulfilling the desire for satisfying recreational experiences as well as providing information about popular cultural and social trends, and to ensure access to information literacy, helping to address the need to provide skills related to finding, evaluating, and using information effectively.
Bulletin Board / Exhibit Area Policy.
It is the policy of the library, as part of its information mission, to provide access to free materials/community information through the distribution of free handouts or the public posting of flyers, notices, and posters.
Rules for Use.
- The library bulletin board is to be used for the posting of notices of either library business or activities, or public service items of educational, cultural, intellectual, charitable, or civic interest to the community.
- Members of the public are not permitted to post notices. Only authorized library personnel may post notices on the library bulletin board. Any notice to be considered for posting must be submitted to library management for approval. Note: Notices posted without authorization will be removed.
- The bulletin board is not to be used for advertising or for commercial notices. No printed matter soliciting membership or contributions for any group or individual will be posted. No materials endorsing or promoting a particular religion, party, or partisan issue will be accepted for display within the library. Because the library does not have sufficient space to allow varying viewpoints to be exhibited on topics and institutions which are subjects to controversy, such as politics, sex, religion, gun control, etc. Posters, bulletins, newspaper clippings, etc. on these subjects shall not be permitted.
- All notices intended for posting on the library bulletin board must contain the following:
- name of sponsoring agency, and
- address and telephone number of sponsoring agency or authorized representative.
- Notice size (physical dimensions) can be restricted if deemed necessary to maximize available space.
- Notices may be removed after two weeks, when they are no longer timely or when space is required for more current items. The library will not be responsible for the return of posted materials.
- The library does not necessarily advocate or endorse the viewpoints of organizations permitted to post notices on the library bulletin board. The library accepts no responsibility for loss or damage to any item accepted for posting.
Petitioning or Distribution of Literature in Library
In libraries: It is the policy of the library that petitioning, solicitation, distribution of literature or leaflets, canvassing, or similar types of appeals by members of the public are not allowed
On library grounds: In accordance with the US Constitution, groups or individuals who wish to petition, solicit, canvass or distribute literature to the public on library sidewalks, or other grounds surrounding the library building may do so if they do not impede access by the public to the building or interfere with use of the building.
Failure to comply with these rules may result in denial of future posting privileges.
In keeping with the mission statement of the Monroe Free Library, open and wide access to available material will be made to all current and potential library users in the community on an equal basis. The following sets policy for length of loan periods, renewals, reserves/interlibrary loans, overdue materials, damaged materials, and fines. The library will determine who is eligible to borrow materials and will provide for the return or replacement of such material. In order to borrow any material, a patron must present a valid library card. At no time may staff check out material by typing in a patron ID, patron barcode number, or a patron's name.
Obtaining a Monroe Free Library Card
To obtain an MFL library card one must:
- Be a resident within the town of Monroe and where the Library's funding is represented on a line item in their property tax bill.
- Provide one piece of identification with the applicant's photograph a physical address. Identification with a P.O. Box only will not be accepted as proof.
- An optional photo of the patron will be taken at time of issuance.
NOTE: Library card applications do not leave the building. All new cards will be handed over to the patron at time of sign-up.
Obtaining a Library Card Under Age 18
An applicant who is under eighteen (18) must have a parent or guardian present at the time the application is made. All of the above rules apply with the caveat that the parent or guardian's identification is sufficient and acceptable proof for the minor.
Obtaining a Temporary Library Card
Patrons who are not eligible for a RCLS library card, but will be living in the Monroe/Harriman area for an extended period of time may apply for a temporary card. The patron must:
- Pay $100.00 for a one year membership or $25.00 for a 3 month membership
- Follow general Monroe Free Library rules.
Note: a Temporary Monroe Free Library card can be used at the Monroe Free Library only and is limited to 15 items out on the card at a time.
Upon completing the application process and providing proper identification a patron will immediately be provided with his or her library card.
When a MFL library card is lost, it can be replaced by applying in person. There is a $3.00 charge for any replacement card. This fee is non-refundable and once a card is set to "lost", it is no longer valid
When a patron moves from any other RCLS library to Monroe, a replacement card can be issued to the patron at no cost.
When a patron moves from any other RCLS library to Monroe, a replacement card is issued at no cost. When a Monroe Free Library card becomes unusable or damaged, a replacement card is issued at no cost. This card will be handed to patron over the counter and old/damaged card will be destroyed.
Responsibility of the Library Card Holder
Cardholders are responsible for material checked out on their library card whether the owner of the card or anyone else uses the card. If card is lost, the cardholder must notify the library immediately to prevent liability for future borrowed material.
Library Loan Periods
The Monroe Free Library establishes standard loan periods for the various materials in their collection. These loan periods apply to all individual cardholders and are as follows:
- 14-day loan for new fiction, express fiction and music CDs
- 28-day loan for all non-fiction, older fiction, mysteries, large print books, pamphlets, books-on-tape/CD, juvenile materials, and miscellaneous material
- 7-day loan for magazines
- 3-day loan for single DVDs
- 7-day loan for DVD sets, travel, fitness and foreign DVDs.
- Reference materials are not available for circulation.
NOTE: loan periods for materials borrowed through interloan (coming from other libraries) adhere to the checkout library's loan periods and fines.
Occasionally patrons need more time with material they have borrowed. The following are rules and restrictions that apply to renewals:
- Magazines are not renewable
- Patron can renew an MFL item twice
- Materials must be renewed with a patron's library card or on the Internet. Material that is eligible for renewal will be renewed automatically with the following exceptions: If the item(s) has exceeded the renewal limit or if the item is on hold for another patron or if the patron's record has reached a maximum fine of $10.00.
- Note: if the person comes into library for the renewal, material in question may or may not be present.
- No telephone renewals are accepted
- If the item is on reserve for another patron, item cannot be renewed.
All materials will be considered overdue if they have not been returned or renewed on the day after the due date. At 70 days, the material is set to "lost" by the computer system and a notice will be generated as a courtesy to inform the patron of overdue material.
Lost and Damaged Items
Materials will not be checked out to any patrons with any lost items on their record. Material will not be checked out to patrons with fines over $10.00 or more. If a patron has paid for a lost item and later finds that item, no refund will be issued and the patron may keep the previously lost and paid-for item. Fines are waived when a patron pays for a lost item.
Occasionally, material becomes damaged through misuse or carelessness on the part of the borrower. If this is determined to be the case, the borrower must pay the replacement cost of the item as determined by the price set up in the computer or determined by the department supervisor. A processing fee of $5.00 will be added to the replacement cost. Use of the borrower's library card is suspended until the matter is cleared up. The borrower then "owns" the damaged item. NOTE: a patron who allows another party to check items out to his/her card is responsible for those items.
When the library is closed, the drop box located on the side of the building is open for items that are being returned. All material can be put into the drop box. If these items are put into the drop box between the closing of the library and opening the next day, they are checked in on the previous day's date.
All items can be returned to any RCLS library except if noted on the item.
Placing Material on Reserve
Monroe Free Library allows RCLS cardholders in good standing to place a hold or reserve on its own material and to request material from other RCLS libraries when they are unavailable at the Monroe Free Library. Requests may be made in person, by telephone or by internet via the library's home page (www.monroefreelibrary.org). Patrons have four (4) days to pick up material after they are notified either by phone or e-mail. If the item(s) is not picked up on a timely basis, a cancellation will automatically be sent via email to the patron and the item will be sent back to the lending library or reshelved if the item belongs to the Monroe Free Library.
As a basis for use of Community Room space, Monroe Free Library subscribes to the philosophy stated in Article VI of the Library Bill of Rights that facilities are made available to the public served by the given library "on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use." Further, according to Article V "a person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views."
Rules of Use
- There are two Community Rooms available to the Monroe Free Library cardholder: A and B.
- The library Community Rooms will be available for the use of established and recognized institutions, groups, and associations, with educational, cultural, or civic purposes. There is to be no charge for any scheduled meeting itself although it is permissible to charge a fee for materials that are provided for an activity. Any request of the use of the Community Room must be reviewed by the Assistant Director or Executive Director with 24 hour advance submission of completed Community Room Application.
- Meetings must be held during regular library hours, except when library related meetings and programs are scheduled. Evening meetings may be held with the requirement that the meeting sessions end at/before a half hour before the library closes. The library reserves the right to revoke permission to use a Community Room if the room is needed for library purposes.
- No Tutoring. See Tutoring Policy.
- It is not the intent of the library to provide space on a permanent basis to support the primary activities of a group or organization. The library limits use to 4 sessions per 30 consecutive day period and a maximum of 3 hours per session.
- Smoking, consumption of alcohol and games of chance will not be permitted in the building.
- The organization using the Community Room will be responsible for returning it to its original state before leaving. It will also be responsible for any damage to library equipment, books, or furniture.
- Any request to use the Community Room must be reviewed by the library Executive Director or Assistant Director via a completed Community Room Application.
- If any programs include children, an adult, 21 or over, must be present at all times.
- Community Rooms may not be used for religious services, sales promotion, social meetings, or for the benefit of private individuals or commercial concerns engaged in marketing goods or services. Sale of merchandise is strictly prohibited. Exceptions shall be: Programs or sales conducted by non-profit Library Friends' groups, the proceeds of which shall go to the direct benefit of the library.
- Community Rooms may not be used for parties, showers, memorial services or receptions.
- Community Rooms many not be used for political campaigning on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for elected public office.
- Community Rooms may not be used for any illegal or potentially hazardous activity. The use of open flames or candles is prohibited in the room.
- Groups may not publicize their meeting or event in such a way as to imply library sponsorship or that the meeting is open to the public. Groups cannot use the library’s name, address or telephone as their official address or contact information.
- Monroe Free Library shall assume no responsibility whatsoever for personal injury to any member, affiliated person, guest, etc. who uses or participates in any program utilizing the Community Room. In addition, the Library is not responsible for lost or stolen articles.
- All persons attending meetings at MFL are subject to the User Behavior Policy.
- The Board of Trustees reserves the right to terminate the license for use of the Community Room for any reason at any time.
Note: No Community Room space may be booked more than three (3) months in advance. If a meeting must be cancelled, primarily the Library Assistant Director should be notified at least 24 hours in advance of the date. Applicants will be denied future reservations if he/she fails to notify/show two (2) times.
No group will be permitted use of a Community Room if that use poses a potential disturbance to the normal operation of the library (e.g. excessive noise, a safety hazard, or a significant security risk). The library Executive Director or Assistant Director may also deny the use of Community Room use to groups that violate Community Room rules and/or User Behavior Policy.
Cell Phone / Beeper Policy
An important component of the Monroe Free Library's mission is to support formal and lifelong independent learning as well as to enrich the quality of life.
In order to support these goals, the following guidelines will be observed in regard to cell phone usage:
- Upon entry to the Library building, cell phone ringers must be either turned to off or vibrate.
- Cell phone use can be conducted in either the lobby or outside of the building.
Refusal to comply with this policy or its intent may result in expulsion from the Library.
Donations and contributions are indispensable to the Library's well-being. Gifts (as referred to below) can be in the form of library materials (books, magazines, tapes, etc.), personal property or equipment (computers, furniture, real estate, etc.), money, or bequests. All such are encouraged and accepted under the following conditions.
Gifts are accepted by the Library with the understanding that they are evaluated according to the same selection policy that governs purchased materials. See Material Selection and Collection Development Policies.
Gifts will be accepted with the understanding that they are freely given without conditions attached. The library reserves the right to add them to its collections, distribute them to other libraries, sell or discard them.
No gifts will be accepted on which the donor places restrictions or special conditions, unless those restrictions or conditions are specifically accepted by the Library Board of Trusteess.
Gifts will be formally acknowledged, if the donor wishes. The Library will not appraise or estimate the value of gifts for tax or other purposes. The Library will provide, on request, a pre-printed signed receipt acknowledging the amount of hard and/or soft covered books received.
The Library reserves the right to accept or discard, at its discretion, any unsolicited material sent to the Library.
Individual staff cannot accept monetary gifts from the public.
The Monroe Free Library provides library users with the best and most current resources available in part, by offering patrons access to the Internet from workstatihons in the library. The Internet will be managed in a manner consistent with the Monroe Free Library's User Behavior Policy, approved by the Board of Trustees on February 10, 1998.
The Internet is available for use to all adults who both possess valid RCLS (Ramapo-Catskill Library System) library cards and have signed an Internet agreement. It is also available to all minors who possess valid RCLS library cards and who have the signed consent of a parent/guardian. (See point 4 below).
The library's Internet access is a library resource and is intended primarily as an information and research tool. It is not acceptable to use the Monroe Free Library's Internet so as to interfere with, or disrupt other users, services, or equipment. Such activities may result in the loss of Internet privileges and/or criminal prosecution. The library reserves the right to establish limitations on certain Internet activities, such as downloading.
Library computers are for information and communication purposes. Due to the extensive resources accessible via the Internet, some of which may be inappropriate, inaccurate, or offensive to some users, it is the individual user's responsibility to exercise discretion and to be responsible for his or her actions in navigating the network. The library in no way guarantees the privacy of the Internet user. Patrons may not change settings, damage or misuse equipment, download files, software, or other information, or engage in illegal activities on the Internet. Inappropriate use is not permitted. Patrons will only receive one verbal warning of inapproriate internet usage. Any subsequent violations of this policy will result in the loss of Internet access privileges for a period of one (1) year.
Minors (children under 18 years of age) desiring to use the library's Internet must provide written consent from their parents or legal guardian, and the parent/guardian will be responsible for setting and conveying the standards that should be followed by their children when utilizing the Internet. Parents/guardians should be aware that, upon consent, their children will have the same unlimited access to the Internet that all patrons would benefit from, and that the only way to monitor or control their children's search is for the parent/guardian to be present with their child. The library does not monitor users to ensure that they are not accessing inappropriate, lewd, and offensive materials, and therefore is not responsible for the Internet's content.
The library cannot guarantee the validity or accuracy of information found on the Internet. Library patrons are advised, as with all library materials, to exercise judgement and discrimination when evaluating the usefulness and reliability of information found on the Internet.
The library will establish procedures that will make Internet stations available on a first come, first served basis. The library reserves the right to limit the amount of time a patron, or a pair of patrons, may use the station per appointment and the number of appointments a patron may make per day or per week. Patrons should bear in mind that the appointment time includes printing time.
The library reserves the right to establish fees for online printing by patrons.
Due to the demands on staff time, staff assistance on computer functions will be very limited. Patrons with information needs that they cannot resolve on their own will be advised to attend one of the library's Internet workshop offerings. Furthermore, those patrons who are new to or uncomfortable with using the Internet and need special instruction must attend a scheduled Internet workshop.
Patrons use the computer at their own risk. Monroe Free Library is not responsible for damages that result from using the computers, the Internet, or other equipment of any kind.
No Smoking Policy.
(approved November 2016)
To protect and enhance our indoor air quality and to contribute to the health and well-being of all staff and patrons, the facilities and the immediate premises of the Monroe Free Library shall be entirely smoke free. Additionally, the use of all tobacco products, including chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes are banned from the library except as designated in this policy.
Smoking is prohibited in all of the enclosed areas within the library at both library structures, 40 and 44 Millpond Parkway. This includes all public and private areas, meeting rooms, offices, staff kitchen, restrooms, supply and mechanical rooms and all other enclosed areas.
Smoking is also prohibited on the library premises. No one may smoke along any pathway or walkway leading to or from the library's premises, nor may patrons or staff smoke at any picnic table nor outdoors in any of the grassy areas or the parking lot. It is not acceptable that either patrons or staff be required to walk through smoke to reach their vehicle or any other destination on the library premises.
Patrons and staff may smoke in their personal vehicles but the smoke and tobacco products must be completely contained within the vehicle. Staff who choose to smoke in their vehicles do so at their own risk.
Smokers and users of tobacco products must dispose of the remains in proper disposal containers to help keep a clean environment for our patrons and staff.
Staff who fails to comply with this policy will be subject to disciplinary action that can lead up to and include the termination of employment.
Patrons who fail to comply with this policy may be subject to the suspension of their library privileges and/or prohibited from visiting library property. This may be challenged to the Board of Trustees.
Signs will be posted indicating “No Smoking on Library Premises”.
(approved November 2016)
Public Access to Records.
(approved May 14 2001)
The Monroe Free Library is a free association library chartered by the State of New York. As such it is subject to the Public Officers Law, Article 7 - Open Meeting Law.
The Library will attempt to comply with requests from members of the community for information concerning the operation of the library. The procedure for requesting a record(s) is as follows:
- A formal request for information must be recorded on the Application for Public Access to Records and submitted to the Library Director. No verbal application will be accepted. Applications on forms other than the Library form will not be accepted.
- The application for a request of records will either be approved or denied at the discretion of the Director on the merits of the request.
- If the request is for access to the Minutes of the meetings of the Board of Trustees, these shall be made available by the Director in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information law within two weeks from the date of the last meeting and within one week of all previous meetings.
- The cost of photocopying shall be borne by the requestor and shall be accomplished in the Library. No documents may be removed from Library property.
- No documents will be released which fit within the exemption clauses of Public Officers Law, Article 7, Open Meetings Law.
(approved May 14 2001)
Social Media Policy
The purpose of the Social Media Policy is to provide an effective and timely method of promoting library services, resources and events to the public.
Definition of Social Media
Social Media is defined as any web application, site or account created and maintained by the Monroe Free Library. These include but are not limited to, Facebook, web site and enewsletters.
Monroe Free Library welcomes comments, posts and messages from the community, however, comments, posts and messages will be periodically reviewed for content. Content containing any of the following will be removed immediately from the Monroe Free Library Forum:
- Obscene, sexist, racist, or otherwise hateful speech
- Personal attacks, insults, or threatening language
- Private or personal information, including phone numbers and addresses, or requests for personal information
- Potentially libelous statements
- Falsification of identity
- Plagarized material
- Solicitation of funds
- Copyrighted or trademarked material
- Photos, videos or other images that fall into any of the above categories
Originally Issued: 3/13/2000
In keeping with Monroe Free Library's mission to enrich the community's quality of life, to support formal and lifelong independent learning, and to provide services necessary for supporting these ends, the following guidelines are to be observed in regard to use of facilities by tutors:
- Tutoring may be carried out by members of established and recognized institutions, groups and associations with educational, cultural or civic purposes.
- Tutoring on the premises of the library may not be carried out for individual profit, salary or any other form of personal financial gain.
- Minors, under the legal age of 18 years of age, must be accompanied by two adults for the tutoring session: two adults at least 18 years of age or older. A tutor of majority age will count as one of the two required adults.
- Minor students are the responsibility of the adult parent, guardian or caregiver, 18 years or older while on the library premises; and released to a parent, guardian or caregiver or to transportation authorized in writing by the parent, guardian or caregiver pursuant to the Unattended Children Policy.
Unattended Children Policy.
The Monroe Free Library strives to provide and maintain a safe environment for all patrons. It is with this goal in mind that the following policy in regard to unattended children is instituted. For reasons of safety and the well-being of young children, the following rules will be followed:
- Parents* of children under 18 are responsible for the behavior of their children.
- Parents are responsible and are expected to be aware of the Library's hours of operation and to pick up their children prior to closing.
- All children 6 years old or younger must at all times be attended and supervised by a parent*.
Further: If it is determined that a parent is needed to remove a disruptive child or pick a child up for any reason, and the parent cannot be reached or located within 30 minutes, library staff may call the police or child protective services. A staff member will remain with the child until the authorities arrive.
Under no circumstances may a staff member drive a child home.
*includes parents, guardians, care-givers
User Behavior Policy.
In order to maintain a safe and healthy environment in which library users as well as staff can engage in appropriate use of the library structure and materials, the following restrictions will be adhered to.
Patrons shall not:
- Smoke or use tobacco or tobacco products.
- Bring in or consume food or beverages, unless otherwise authorized.
- Enter the library without shirt or shoes.
- Use loud or offensive or abusive language (Disorderly Conduct).
- Engage in or allow prolonged crying or tantrums.
- Engage in lewd or indecent behavior or noisy/boisterous activities that disturb others.
- Create an offensive condition by virtue of poor personal hygiene.
- Possess firearms or other weapons or explosives.
- Play audio equipment so that others can hear it.
- Bring pets or animals into the library (excepting service animals).
- Use rollerblades, rollerskates, skateboards, or other sports equipment in the library or on library property.
- Enter unauthorized work spaces or office areas.
- Engage in aggressive or threatening behavior (Disorderly Conduct).
- Use, possess, or distribute alcohol, narcotics or any other non-prescription drug (Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance).
- Hold unauthorized or unscheduled group meetings or conversations.
- Participate in any game which produces noise or conversation.
- Run, fight, roughhouse, or display other disruptive behavior.
- Leave children eight (8) years and under unattended.
- Tamper with, alter, or damage computer hardware and/or software (Computer Related Offenses).
- Sleep or loiter.
- Engage in any illegal activity.
- Sit, or place feet, on tables.
- Block or interfere with the free movement of individuals.
- Solicit, sell, or distribute leaflets not specifically approved by Library Management.
- Use library telephones intended for library personnel.
- Destroy, damage, or steal library books, materials, furniture, or other property (Criminal Mischief).
- Sing or talk loudly to others or in monologues, unless otherwise authorized.
- Stare at another person/s or follow another person/s with the intent to annoy that person/s.
Furthermore: The Library reserves the right to examine all packages, briefcases and any other container before patrons exit the building. The Library accepts no liability for damage or loss to any patron's personal property. All Library users shall obey the reasonable requests of Library staff.
Note:Failure to comply with any of the above may result in immediate suspension of Library privileges including access. Persons who persist in disapproved conduct or who refuse to leave the public library grounds or building when requested to do so will be held for violation of the adopted policies of the Library Board and subject to arrest and prosecution. A patron whose privileges have been denied may have the decision reviewed by the Board of Trustees.
Volunteers are a valuable asset to the Monroe Free Library, and individuals and groups are welcomed to perform service to their community through the library.
In order to provide a positive experience for both the volunteer and the library, the following policy will be followed for all volunteers.
- When performing library duties, volunteers must act in accordance with library policy and standards
- Volunteers must be age 12 or older. Volunteers under 16 years of age must have written permission from a parent or guardian.
- Prospective volunteers must fill out and submit an application which will be reviewed by the Executive Director or Supervising Staff member.
- If no suitable job matches are available at time of application, prospective volunteers will be contacted and informed that his/her application will be kept on file for one year, and if within that time an appropriate position opens, he/she will be contacted.
- If after application a job match exists, the prospective volunteer may be required to be interviewed by either the Library Director or Supervising Staff member.
- Volunteers will not take the place of paid staff and will provide special, unusual, or supplemental services.
- All volunteers shall have access to staff restrooms and kitchen during their work hours.
- Volunteers can be terminated for any of the same reasons as a paid staff member.
Wi-Fi Access Policy.
(approved June 2008)
The Monroe Free Library is pleased to provide free wireless Internet access for the use of our patrons. Agreement to abide by the following rules is a precondition for having access to the wireless network.
Patrons must accept the library’s basic Internet policy and rules for access to the Internet. Paper copies of this policy are available at the Reference desk. The library does not monitor the use of the Internet by laptop users. Parents need to be aware that wireless access for laptops is free and unrestricted. Violations of our policy will result in the loss of library and computer privileges.
Access to the library’s computers requires an authenticated barcode and password. Holders of the Ramapo Catskill Library System library cards may access the network by using their assigned barcode and PIN number.
The patron is responsible for setting up his or her laptop and software to permit wireless access through the library’s network.
Patrons may not use the library’s printers with their own laptop equipment.
The library does not assume responsibility for the safety and integrity of personal equipment, laptop configurations or data files. The library is not responsible for any damage to personal equipment, i.e., viruses, power surges, etc. Patrons are responsible for providing virus protection for personal equipment.
The library cannot vouch for the security of wireless communications. It is strongly advised that wireless communication not be used for the transmission of sensitive or personal information.
Library staff members are not permitted to configure a person’s personal laptop or to provide assistance with the installation of hardware or software.
The library cannot vouch for the reliability of any website nor the success of any given online transaction.
The library’s wireless network may require periodic maintenance, and the library cannot be held responsible for unforeseen downtime.
Patrons using personal laptops in a manner disturbing to others in the library will be asked to turn off the equipment. Repeated violation of this rule will result in suspension of user privileges.