Library Policies

The cost is $0.10 per page for black and white printing and $0.25 for color printing. No exceptions.

Fees will be charged to the public for faxes as follows:

 Cover Page:  Free

To send:   $1.00 per page

To receive:  $1.00 per page

No faxes will be sent out 10 minutes or less before closing

Faxes are considered personal and confidential property of the person to whom it is sent.

The person to whom the fax is addressed must pick it up.

No International faxes will be sent.

Faxes received without a named recipient will be destroyed.

Faxes not picked up within one day will be destroyed.

Adopted:  November 8, 2016

Download Policy for use of the Community Room and Application
Application must be printed, signed, and then mailed, faxed, or brought to the library in person.

Meeting Room Policy (Revisions Adopted by the Holmes Library Board of Trustees, October 14, 2014 )

The Board of Trustees of the Holmes Public Library welcomes the use of the library’s Community Room for cultural, educational, civic and informational meetings of a nonpartisan, nonsectarian and nondiscriminatory nature, subject to approval by the Library Director.

General Conditions, Prohibitions and Procedures:

The Community Room is available free of charge to non-profit and governmental organizations regardless of beliefs and affiliations provided that no admission fee is charged and the room is not used for marketing purposes. Preference may be given to Halifax-based organizations.

All Community Room use requests must be submitted in writing to the Library Director for approval using the Community Room application.

Library programs receive first consideration when scheduling the Community Room.

Use of the Community Room by any organization does not constitute or imply an endorsement of its beliefs, policies or programs by any library official or by the Board of Library Trustees. No group shall imply such endorsement or sponsorship in its publicity.

Meetings will be allowed only during the hours the library is open.

Permission to use the Community Room will be granted to those who are 18 or older.

Attendance is limited to 50 people, the seating capacity of the Community Room.

Light refreshments may be served. Use of the Community Room refrigerator and sink is permitted.

The individual or group requesting the Community Room will be held responsible for the arrangement of the room, returning it to the condition it was in before the meeting took place and for any damage to library property.

The library is not responsible for any loss or damage to personal property by those attending a meeting.

The library may close in the event of inclement weather or an impending storm. Organizations planning to use the Community Room in this event must call the library to ascertain if the library will remain open. The library is often closed when school is closed because of a storm or other emergency.

Use of the Community Room for private parties is prohibited.

Smoking of any type including e-cigarettes, and drinking of alcoholic beverages are prohibited in the library and on library grounds.

No sales or exchange of money may take place in the library except sales made directly by those groups affiliated with the library or authors/artists selling their own work to adult audiences immediately following a library-sponsored talk or performance. Children’s authors/artists are prohibited from selling to audiences of children and/or families. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Trustees.

The library will not be used as a mailing address for any non-library affiliated group or organization. Except in an emergency, the library phone is not available for incoming or outgoing calls.

The Library will provide space on a Community Bulletin Board where individuals and organizations may post notices of interest to the community.  Posted notices become library property and will be disposed of when the information is no longer current or at the discretion of the library staff.

Accepted:   May 21, 1996

Adopted:     May 8, 2017

The Holmes Public Library will provide space in the Maureen Rogers Community Corner for Halifax- based community groups to post notices for informational purposes only. Notices of community interest will be allowed and are at the discretion of the Library Director. Programs sponsored by the Halifax Cultural Council will also be allowed space in the Community Corner. Informational notices cannot be larger than 8 ½ x 11. Outdated information will be removed by library staff.  Library staff is not responsible for the printing or replenishing of notices. The electronic bulletin board will be for library use only.

Adopted:  October 17, 2017

Anyone may apply for a library card. Please bring a driver’s license or another form of picture identification with your current address on it. People under the age of sixteen must have a parent or guardian with required identification sign their application to receive their library card. You must have a valid library card with you to check out items.

By State law, all patron card activity is confidential.  This confidentiality of all library records and patron information is governed by Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 78, Section 7 which reads in part “…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….”, and the Holmes Public Library follows, and is in accordance, with both the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association and the American Library Association Policy on Confidentialty of Library Records.

Confidentiality extends to information sought or received, materials consulted or borrowed, and includes database search records, reference interviews, circulation records, inter-library loan transactions, registration records, and all other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities, or services.

Circulation, registration information, and information retrieval records may not be disclosed except to:

  • The actual cardholder
  • Staff of SAILS Network members and SAILS staff acting within the scope of their duties
  • Representatives of any local, state, or federal government, pursuant to subpoena or to civil, criminal, or investigative power.  Upon receipt of any such subpoena or search warrant, the Library Director will consult with legal counsel to determine if the subpoena or search warrant is in proper form and if there is a valid basis for its issuance before providing confidential information.
  • This policy extends to all library card holders, including children

The Halifax Street List is public information. The public may use the information contained in the Street List at the library. No information shall be given from the street list over the phone.

The Library does not sell, lease, or otherwise distribute or disclose patron name, email address, telephone number, or other personal information to outside parties.

Adopted:  October 17, 2017

If I forget my library card, can I still borrow materials?

Unfortunately, a valid library card is needed for checkout.  With proper identification, a replacement library card can be easily purchased for $1.00.

Can’t you just look me up in the computer to check me out?

We require that the physical card be in hand.  Looking up names in the system would put too many patrons, yourself included, at risk of having materials checked out on their account by mistake.

I can’t get to the library to pick up my books.  Can someone else pick up my reserve materials (holds) for me?

Yes, if you give them your library card to pick up the materials.  We assume that if someone has your card in hand, then they have been given the right to procure your books.

Can you tell me what items are out or overdue on my child’s card?

Sorry, no.  Your child’s card gives them the same right to privacy you enjoy.  We cannot tell you specific details about their account, but we will gladly show you how to use the My Account feature on the SAILS catalog which displays all checked out material, fines and has a renewal feature.

For the comfort and safety of patrons, volunteers, and staff, and the protection of Library property, the following actions are examples of conduct not allowed on Library property.

• Engaging in any activity in violation of Federal, State, local or other applicable law, or Library policy.

• Carrying firearms and dangerous weapons of any type (except by law enforcement officers).

• Being under the influence of alcohol/illegal drugs and selling, using, or possessing alcohol/illegal drugs.

• Verbally or physically threatening or harassing other patrons, volunteers, or staff, including stalking, staring, lurking, offensive touching, and obscene acts such as sex acts and indecent exposure.

• Soliciting or conducting surveys not authorized by the Library.

• Stealing, damaging, altering, or inappropriate use of Library property in Library facilities or on Library grounds, including computer hardware and software, printers, copiers, phones, and other equipment.

• Trespassing in nonpublic areas, being in the Library without permission of an authorized Library employee before or after Library operating hours.

• Fighting or challenging to fight, running, pushing, shoving, or throwing things.

• Creating disruptive noises such as loud talking, screaming, or banging on computer keyboards.

• Gambling and group activities which are disruptive to the Library environment.

• Using audible devices without headphones or with headphones set at a volume that disturbs others. Using cell phones, pagers, and other communication devices in a manner that disturbs others. Cell phone and pager audible ringers must be turned off.

• Using restrooms for bathing or shampooing, doing laundry, or changing clothes.

• Littering.

• Smoking, chewing, and other tobacco use in Library facilities.

• Entering the Library barefooted, without a shirt, with offensive body odor or personal hygiene, or being otherwise attired so as to be disruptive to the Library environment.

• Bringing in garbage, articles with a foul odor, or articles which, alone or in their aggregate, impede the use of the library by other users.

• Using wheeled devices in Library property or on Library grounds, except in designated areas, including skateboarding, roller-skating, bicycling, scooters, and shopping carts (exceptions i.e. wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers). Shoes with cleats are also prohibited.

• Neglecting to provide proper supervision of children.

• Bringing pets or animals, other than service animals necessary for disabilities, into the Library, except as authorized by the Library Director or designee.

All bags and other articles are subject to inspection by Library Staff. The Library reserves the right to limit the size and number of items brought into the Library.

Cell phone use within the library can often prove disruptive to patrons and staff. Please turn off cell phones before entering the library or set ringers to vibrate. All cell phone conversations should be conducted outside the library building

The Holmes Public Library has an obligation to both protect the safety of library users and to ensure that all users can freely access and quietly enjoy the library’s services. 

Active solicitation within the library building and the areas of egress to the library is not permitted unless it is a library function or an activity related to fundraising for the library and under the general supervision of the library staff.  Active solicitation refers to any person-to-person communication for the purposes of (1) obtaining contributions and donations, (2) selling merchandise, coupons, or tickets (3) collecting signatures and (4) distributing educational or promotional materials.

Policy to Allow Candidates to solicit signatures for nomination:


  • May solicit signatures outside of the library building as long as it is done in a reasonable and unobtrusive manner.
  • Inside the “common areas” of the library building provided there is no interference with a library patron’s use of the library.
  • Individuals soliciting signatures for political petitions or nominations papers may not actively approach people in the library building.
  • Nomination papers and political petitions may not be left unattended in the Library for signatures.

The library director shall make the final determination as to whether a solicitation is active or passive, and if the activity is permitted under this policy.

Adopted: November 14, 2017

The Holmes Public Library provides public access to the Internet in keeping with the library’s role as a source of information and intellectual development and enrichment for the community.

Internet workstations are located in the “Wireless Center”.

The Holmes Public Library assumes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the information retrieved. Users should be aware that there is no central quality control of the Internet. As is the case with all library materials, any restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the child’s parent or legal guardian.

The library prohibits the transmission or accessing of any materials in violation of any federal or state regulation. This includes, but is not limited to: copyrighted material; threatening, violent or obscene material; pornographic material; or material protected by trade secret. The library is not responsible for loss or damage to a patron’s property or data that may occur from use of the library’s computer or internet service. Users will not make any attempt to gain unauthorized access to restricted files or networks, or to damage or modify computer equipment or software.

Library employees are authorized to take prompt and appropriate actions to enforce the rules of conduct and/or prohibit use by patrons who fail to comply with the Internet Safety and Acceptable Use Policy.

Accepted: 4/21/15

Payment for lost materials belonging to the Holmes Public Library may be made by cash or check (made out to “Holmes Public Library”). Please contact the Holmes Public Library for information about payment for lost items that belong to other libraries.

On the first day of severe weather the library will close when Silver Lake Regional School District is
cancelled. On succeeding days, the library may open if conditions warrant and as determined by the
Library Director or Assistant Director.

On days when school is not in session or in cases on non-weather emergencies, the library will close at
the discretion of the Library Director.

The Director shall take all prompt and reasonable efforts to
contact members of the Board of Trustees of the closings.

In the absence of the Director, the Assistant Director will be responsible for making the decision on
closing the building and notifying the Board of Trustees.

In all circumstances, the Town Administrator’s office must be informed in writing of the decision to close
the library within a reasonable period.
The library staff shall be paid for those hours that the building is closed that they would normally work.

Adopted: November 8, 2016

Children and young adults are welcome and are actively encouraged to make full use of all library materials and facilities at the Holmes Public Library.

Every effort will be made by the library staff to accommodate the informational and recreational needs of children and young adults through age appropriate collection development and programming.

Parents are responsible for the behavior of their children while in the Library. The Holmes Public Library staff is committed to help children with activities related to the Library. However, Library staff cannot, nor is it their responsibility, serve as babysitters, teachers, or disciplinarians. Violations of this policy are grounds for suspension of library privileges. Whenever advisable, the Library will notify the parent or guardian of incidents involving an unattended child.

Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied and supervised always by a parent or another responsible caregiver. A responsible caregiver is defined as any individual over the age of 14.

When the safety of an unattended child is in doubt or the parent or responsible caregiver cannot be located or if the library is closing, Library staff is authorized to call the police and stay with the child until the police arrive. 

From time to time, the Holmes Public Library schedules or provides programs which are designed and suitable for attendance by children without parental supervision. Such program announcements will so indicate, and if no indication is included, then supervision is required. When so indicated, if the parent or caregiver intends to be absent, they must leave word at the circulation desk as to their  whereabouts and if possible, a phone number where they or a responsible adult can be contacted. 

Children over the age of 10 may use the Library unattended by an adult, subject to other Library rules and policies concerning behavior, conduct and demeanor. Children ages 10 to 14 should not be left unattended for longer than two hours at a time.

Unattended Children After Hours

In the event a young person is still at the library 15 minutes after the library closes to the public, the police will be called to pick up the young person. Two staff members must stay with the young person.  Attempts will be made during that 15 minutes to reach parents, but in no instance, will staff take young people home. 

Unattended Children Parental Notification Letter

Adopted December 27, 2016

A lost item is a library material that is not returned to the library. Items not returned within 90 days of the most recent due date are considered lost. Items reported lost, misplaced or missing by a patron are also considered lost.

The cost of a lost item is determined by the price paid by library.

Patrons will be issued a receipt upon payment for an item.

Refunds for a lost item will be given if the item is returned in useable condition within 30 days. Items must be accompanied by the receipt.

Refunds must take place within the same fiscal year.

The library does not accept the replacement of lost items unless the Circulation Librarian has agreed to the exchange in advance. Replacement copies must be a brand-new copy with exact ISBN number.

The above policy only applies to items belonging to the Holmes Public Library. For items owned by another library, local policies apply, and payment is made to that library.

Approved: April 9, 2007

Amended: June 11, 2007

Adopted:  February 13, 2018

The Library Director shall be responsible for the selection, appointment and supervision of all personnel, paid and volunteer. The Library Director shall evaluate the performance of all staff members annually.

Library Personnel are employees of the Town of Halifax and governed by the benefits and by-laws of the Town of Halifax Wage and Personnel Employee Handbook. All Personnel shall be given a copy of the handbook on their first day of work.

Staff members are expected to participate as appropriate in library related programs, workshops and activities. Prior approval from the Library Director is necessary. If meeting attendance results in a workweek that exceeds an individual’s normal schedule, compensatory time of additional pay at the employee’s regular rate or an adjustment to the employee schedule shall be made at the discretion of the Library Director. Mileage shall be reimbursed at the Town’s approved rate.

A minimum of two staff members must be present in the library for the library to open to the public.

For the safety of Library staff and patrons the doors must be locked ten minutes prior to closing.

Accepted: May 21,1996

Revised: August 5,2003

Adopted: February 13, 2018

The Department of Justice published revised final regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA) for title II (State and local government services) and title III (public accommodations and commercial facilities).

Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA.

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.


When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. STAFF CANNOT ASK ABOUT THE PERSON’S DISABILITY, REQUIRE MEDICAL DOCUMENTATION, REQUIRE A SPECIAL IDENTIFICATION CARD OR TRAINING DOCUMENTATION FOR THE DOG, OR ASK THAT THE DOG DEMONSTRATE ITS ABILITY TO PERFORM THE WORK OR TASK. 

Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals.

A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless: (1) the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it or (2) the dog is not housebroken. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animal’s presence.

Adopted April 10, 2018