Appropriate Library Use Policy
Computer and Internet
Registration & Borrowing
Parking policy
Gift Policy
Program Attendance Policy
Meeting Room Policy
Photograph and Video Policy
Privacy Policy
High School Volunteer Policy

Appropriate Library Use Policy

*All library patrons age 2 and older are required to wear a mask covering both their nose and mouth at all times while in the library until further notice. Patrons who can not wear a mask should continue to use the library’s curbside pickup option.*

The Fobes Memorial Library is committed to protecting the rights and safety of the Library’s patrons, volunteers, and staff, and to preserving and protecting the Library’s materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds.

To that end, Library staff will intervene fairly and reasonably to stop prohibited activities and behaviors. Failure to comply with Library policies could result in removal from the Library, arrest, and/or termination of Library privileges.

Examples of prohibited behavior:

• Engaging in any activity in violation of Federal, State, local or other applicable law, or Library policy.
• Neglecting to provide proper supervision of children seven (7) years and younger.
• Verbally or physically threatening or harassing other patrons, volunteers, or staff.
• Stealing, damaging, altering, or inappropriate use of Library property.
• Trespassing in nonpublic areas of the Library without permission of an authorized Library employee.
• Creating verbal or physical disruptions such as yelling, running or fighting.
• Entering the Library barefooted, without a shirt, or otherwise dressed so as to be disruptive to the Library environment.
• Bringing pets or animals, other than service animals necessary for disabilities, into the Library, except as authorized by the Director or the Board of Trustees.
• Representing yourself as another person for purposes of fraud or other illegal activity.

Revised 4/2020

Computer and Internet

Computers are available only during open library hours. The library may generally impose limits, such as time limits, on the use of Library equipment. The Library reserves the right to terminate computer sessions at any time. Patrons are not allowed to eat or drink while using the computers to avoid possible spills and damage, and other messy activities should take place at an appropriate space.

Both desktop and laptop computers are available for one hour time slots. Laptops must be checked out from the circulation desk and may not be taken out of the Library. Patrons may be permitted more time at a computer if there are no other patrons waiting. Users seven (7) years and younger must be accompanied by an adult. The child may not be left alone at the computers or at the library. Parents are encouraged to supervise their children’s Internet sessions.

Use of the Internet is governed by the Appropriate Library Use Policy.

While respecting the individual’s right to privacy, Library staff reserves the right to monitor use of the internet workstations to ensure compliance with the policy. Staff may ask users to remove themselves from library equipment if the staff observes any violation of this policy.

You may not:
– Use any library workstation for illegal or criminal purpose.
– Send threatening or harassing material.
– Libel, slander or maliciously offend another.
– Attempt to modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others.
– Attempt to crash, degrade performance of, or gain unauthorized access to the library’s computer systems and networks.
– Modify or damage equipment, software, or data belonging to the library or other users.
– Expose children to harmful material.
– Intentionally send, receive or display text or graphics which may reasonably be construed as obscene as defined by law.

It is the responsibility of the patron to respect copyright laws and licensing agreements and assume responsibility for payment of fees for any fee-based service.

Revised 6/12/13

Registration & Borrowing

All borrowers must be registered and have a valid library card in order to borrow library materials.

To obtain a new library card, patrons must:

1. Present a photo ID, such as
• a driver’s license
• a junior operator license (learner’s permit)
• a passport
• a high school or college ID
• a State issued photo ID, including welfare, Medicaid, or FID card (Federal ID)

2. Present proof of current address, such as
• recently cancelled mail with current address
• a driver’s license with current address
• a junior operator license (learner’s permit) with current address
• re-printed bank checks with current address
• a lease
• up-to-date car registration
• a FID card
• a high school or college report card

Applications by persons 13 years of age and younger require a parent or guardian’s signature. The applicant’s parent or guardian must be a registered borrower and is responsible for any lost or overdue material borrowed by their child.

If an applicant under the age of 18 is unable to provide proof of their identity and address as described above, they may have a parent or guardian who is a registered borrower attest to their identity and co-sign their Library registration card.

If an applicant does not have one of the residence verifications listed above, a letter dated within the last 21 days from a social services provider or temporary employer that provides housing or a short-term residence may be provided. The letter must be on the provider’s official letterhead and verify name, date of birth, and the specific time frame of residence. The letter must verify physical residence, not just a PO Box.

The card, when received, makes the borrower responsible for all items borrowed, and requires him/her to abide by library rules and regulations, to report a change of address and to report immediately the loss of his/her library card. There is no charge for replacement library cards.

1. Books may be checked out for three weeks.
2. There is a 14 day loan on DVDs and audio books.
3. Music cds may be checked out for two weeks.
4. Periodicals may be checked out for one week.
5. Reference books do not leave the library.

There is a 20 DVD limit per person. A maximum of 50 items may be checked out by an individual patron at a time. However the Director has the right to make exceptions regarding special collections and in special instances (holiday related items, school projects, etc.).

Holds may be placed in person, online, or over the phone. Patrons will be notified by phone or e-mail when reserved material is available.

Revised 6/12/13


There are no fines or charges for overdue material from the Fobes Memorial Library. Patrons will be notified if the material is not returned by the due date. Cost of lost materials will be billed to the borrower and must be paid before additional items may be borrowed. This rule also applies to materials that have been damaged severely enough to be unsuitable for the collection. Lending privileges may be revoked for failure to comply.

Please note: materials obtained from other libraries through inter-library loan are subject to the fines policies of the library to which the material belongs.  Payment of late fees to other libraries is the sole responsibility of the borrower.

Revised 6/12/13

Parking policy

There are six parking spaces on Maple Street; three abutting Post Office Square and three in front of the library. There is also a parking lot, which includes a handicapped spot behind the library on Ware Corner Road. Parking in the library’s lot during library hours is reserved for library patrons only.

Revised 6/12/13

Gift Policy

Please note: The library is not currently accepting book donations.

The Friends of the Fobes Memorial Library, Inc. welcome donations of books and other suitable materials to the library’s collection on an as needed basis only; for example, when there is an upcoming book sale. Donated materials are received with the understanding that they are ultimately accepted subject to the approval of the Library Director and/or the Board of Trustees. While donations may be added to the collection, most are used for library book sales or are donated to other nonprofit organizations. Because of limited space and because the library has access to other libraries’ collections through inter-library loan, the relevance of materials to our collection is especially considered.

The library will not agree to separate treatment for gift materials. All accepted materials become the property of the library and can be displayed, donated or discarded at will.

Generally the library will not accept items that would be purchased or otherwise added to the collection. Memorabilia and works of art are examples of the kinds of items that the library would not buy from its regular budget. At the discretion of the board, there may be occasional exceptions to this provision as in the case of items the library would purchase but cannot afford.

The library does not affix a dollar amount for donations accepted for inclusion in the collection. If requested, the patron may receive a statement from the library. It is the responsibility of the donor to list titles of the items and affix a value if necessary.

The library may request donations be brought in at set times throughout the year according to storage capacity or upcoming book sales.

Revised 5/8/13

Program Attendance Policy

The library hosts many fun and educational programs for the benefit of the children in our community, including many after school programs. 


Regarding after school programs:

Children ages 8+ are encouraged to attend our free after school programs. Children ages 5-7 are also welcome to attend these programs (with the exception of our children’s sewing classes) without being accompanied by a parent/guardian so long as:

Parents/guardians check in with a library staff member via phone, email, or in person visit prior to sending their child to an after school program for the first time.

Parents/guardians understand that library staff may ask them not to send their young child to programs that are geared towards an older audience.

Child participates in the scheduled activity.

All parents/guardians must complete this form prior to their child attending an after school program for the first time. Forms should be updated annually.

PLEASE NOTE: Children ages 8+ who come to the library after school but choose NOT to participate in the scheduled program will be treated as regular library patrons and will not be supervised to the extent that we supervise children who are participating in the program. Children under age 8 should not come to the library after school without a parent/guardian unless they plan to participate in the scheduled program.


All children attending library programs are subject to our Appropriate Library Use Policy. 

Our approach for handling behavioral issues is as follows:

A verbal warning and discussion about why those actions are inappropriate for a library setting.

A break from play to go over the library’s policies again.

Calling parents/guardians for an early pick-up from the library program. 

Being asked to skip a week of library programs. 

Being asked to skip a month of library programs. 

Being asked to not return to any library programs for the remainder of the school year.

Revised 12/21/19

Meeting Room Policy

As an institution of learning and democratic living, the Fobes Memorial Library offers the use of its Historical Room, Adult Fiction Room or Adult Non-Fiction Room as a meeting place for non-library groups and individuals, with the consent of the Library Director and/or the Board of Library Trustees.

For the use of this facility for non-library gatherings, the Trustees have adopted the following policy:

Meetings must be held during regular library hours and must end no later than 15 minutes prior to the scheduled close of library.

A meeting date must be set 7 (seven) days in advance, made in person, by phone, or by email.

All the information requested on the Meeting Request Form (see below) must be provided.

The meeting must be open to the public. Reservations for the meeting must be made by an adult at least 21 years of age.

The person requesting the meeting space must be a resident of Oakham and assume responsibility for the group.  Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Library Director.

There is no charge in holding meetings at the library.

Student-age groups must be accompanied by an adult.

Meeting space is part of the regular functioning space of the library and will remain open to patrons who wish to access materials in this room.

The Library Director and/or the Library Board of Trustees has the right to refuse disruptive groups use of the room or ask them to leave if they become disruptive.

The attendance is limited to the capacity of the room/building by the safety code.

By allowing any individual or group to meet in the library, it is to be understood that the Trustees, Library Director, or other Library Staff do not necessarily endorse or support any view or position of the meeting.

Each group is responsible for clean-up.

Revised 4/2/13

Photograph and Video Policy

The Fobes Memorial Library periodically sponsors or conducts programs or projects during which there may be photographs or videos of participants, adults and children attending library programs, taken from time to time by staff. These photographs or videos may be taken as a record of the event, for publicity purposes, or to be submitted to the local newspaper or library publications as part of the promotion and encouragement of use of the library. The parent or guardian of the child who participates with the child or whose child participates in a library program or project is deemed to have given permission individually and as parent or guardian for the participant, whether an adult or child, to be photographed or videoed with other participants in the library event and/or is deemed to have waived any objection to such pictures or videos.

However, it is library policy that no information about an adult participant, parent or guardian, or child will be included in any publicity, other than the picture or video, without the written consent of the individual adult or of the parent or guardian who brings the child to or permits the child to participate in the library program. Library personnel will only use and release the specific information which a parent or guardian supplies to the library on the Photograph/Video Information Release Form which is maintained in the library records and is applicable to all library events after being filed with the library. A Photograph/Video Information Release Form may not be completed or signed for a child by anyone other than a parent or guardian of the child.

The library is responsible only for those photographs or videos that are taken by library staff. Generally speaking, events, projects, or programs sponsored by a library, whether or not conducted in or on library premises, is a public event. The Fobes Memorial Library waives any and all responsibility for any photographs or videos that may be taken by other attendees of a library program, by any local or regional newspaper personnel, or by personnel of any other entity attending the public library function.


Privacy Policy

Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association. The right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one’s interests examined or scrutinized by others. Confidentiality exists when a library is in possession of personally identifiable information about its users and keeps that information private on their behalf. Library patrons must not feel constrained in their use of library resources because they fear invasion of personal privacy. The existence of such a possibility inhibits free usage of library resources and facilities and is contrary to the General Laws of Massachusetts:

A town may establish and maintain public libraries for its inhabitants under regulations prescribed by the city council or by the town, and may receive, hold and manage any gift, bequest or devise therefor. The city council of a city or the selectmen of a town may place in such library the books, reports and laws which may be received from the commonwealth. That part of the records of a public library which reveals the identity and intellectual pursuits of a person using such library shall not be a public record as defined by clause Twenty-sixth of section seven of chapter four. Library authorities may disclose or exchange information relating to library users for the purposes of inter-library cooperation and coordination, including but not limited to, the purposes of facilitating the sharing of resources among library jurisdictions as authorized by clause (1) of section nineteen E or enforcing the provisions of sections ninety-nine and one hundred of chapter two hundred and sixty-six.

General Laws of Massachusetts Chapter 78, Section 7

The Fobes Memorial Library’s Trustees, Director, staff and volunteers will act to protect patrons’ right to privacy by holding library records confidential. This includes:

• Information an individual is required to provide in order to be eligible to use Library services or borrow materials.

• Information that identifies an individual as having requested or obtained specific materials or materials on a specific subject.

• Information that is provided by an individual to assist a staff member to answer a specific question or provide information on a particular subject.

No record in any form that is maintained by the Library and meets the criteria listed above will be made available to any individual, spouse, or agency of state, federal, or local government unless a subpoena, warrant, court order or other investigatory document is issued by a court of competent jurisdiction that shows good cause and is in proper form. Only the Library Director or members of the Fobes Memorial Library’s Board of Trustees are authorized to receive or comply with requests from law enforcement officers; legal counsel will be consulted before determining the proper response. All library staff and volunteers have been trained to refer any law enforcement inquiries to library administrators.

Information in a patron’s library record can be disclosed in the following circumstances:

• When parents, guardians, or custodians who present proper identification request the records of their minor children.

• At the request or consent of the individual who is the subject of the record or information.

• For library administrative purposes. Patron record information is available to members of the Board of Trustees and employees of the library for use in the ordinary conduct of library business.

Approximately every three months the Library Director will initiate the deletion of library patrons’ circulation history in coordination with the Massachusetts Library System.

Information that does not identify an individual and is retained for the purpose of studying or evaluating the use of the Library is not considered confidential and is not subject to this policy.

The library does not provide patrons’ personally identifiable information for commercial uses.

Library users who have questions, concerns, or complaints about the library’s handing of their privacy and confidentiality rights should file written comments with the Director of the Library. The Director and/or members of the Board of Trustees will respond in a timely manner and may conduct a privacy investigation or review of policy and procedures.


High School Volunteer Policy

The Fobes Memorial Library in Oakham provides volunteer opportunities for high school students needing to earn community service volunteer hours for graduation.  Volunteers will participate in assignments essential to the library’s mission. Possible volunteer duties include: tutoring; helping with special projects, programs and events; re-shelving books and other materials; and “shelf reading” (Making certain that materials were shelved correctly and shifting books where necessary.).

Volunteers are subject to the requirements of this policy and all other library policies.

Selection of Volunteers:

Volunteers  are selected based on their qualifications to meet the library’s needs and their ability to commit to a consistent schedule of hours.

Prospective volunteers must be a rising 9th grader or older.

Students must complete a Volunteer Application Form.  The form requires a parent or guardian’s signature.

Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation from adults other than family members.

The Library Director will review the application and schedule an interview with the prospective volunteer if the application meets all requirements.

The library may check references and has absolute authority to decline a volunteer application.

Volunteers age 18 or over must agree to a CORI check prior to beginning volunteer work at the library.

General Guidelines:

Volunteers should have the ability to interact with patrons, library staff and other volunteers in a positive and pleasant manner.

Volunteers must exhibit willingness to learn and to do the assigned work effectively.

Volunteer duties often require standing, lifting, bending, reaching, etc.

Volunteers must sign in and out time worked in the volunteer log and are expected to report to work at the scheduled time. Volunteers should notify the librarian as soon as possible if they will be late or absent.

Socializing with friends during scheduled volunteer time is discouraged.

Volunteers are representatives of the library and follow the same work and behavior codes as employees. They work with the status of “at-will” employees.

Volunteers may not work at library service desks or replace paid staff.

By law, all patron information is confidential.  Volunteers should not reveal any personal information to anyone.

Volunteers may be subject to evaluation, correction, and possibly termination in the best interest of the library.

To end a volunteer commitment, volunteers should notify the Library Director of that decision and the effective date.

Revised 4/2/13.