Library Policies

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

Amended:  February 13, 2018

FREE ACCESS                       The Trustees of this library recognize that, as a requisite for State

Aid, Mass. General Laws Ch. 78, section 19B as amended by Chapter  47B, section2, Acts and Resolves, 1987, require:


That public libraries be open to all residents of    the  Commonwealth


                                                                                                                                                 That public libraries do not charge for normal library services

That public libraries lend books to other libraries in the Commonwealth and that they extend borrowing privileges

To the holders of cards issued by other public libraries in the Commonwealth on a reciprocal basis*


                                                                The Trustees of this library, therefore, abide by the above.


*Reciprocal borrowing occurs only when libraries meet minimum standards for service. If these standards are not met, the Board of library Commissioners does not require other libraries to offer reciprocal borrowing privileges to the residents of the town in noncompliance.


Residents from communities not certified to receive state aid to public libraries are welcome to use the resources of Holmes Public Library in-house, including library materials.  However, there will be no check-out or admittance to children’s programs to residents from communities not certified for state aid to public libraries.  The Holmes Public Library Board of Trustees believes that each community is responsible for adequately funding its public library, and the failure to do so creates an unfair burden on the residents of a community that is meeting the state aid funding requirements.  


Approved:  October 11 ,2016


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.


Approved: September 18, 2006

The Holmes Public Library Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees of the Holmes Public Library endorses the Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statements of the American Library Association. These statements endorse freedom of access to information and literary materials, with limits set only by budgetary restraints, constraints of physical space and the criteria of selection as stated in this policy.


Purpose of the Collection Development Policy

 This document provides the public with an understanding of the purpose and nature of the library’s collection. It explains the criteria staff use for making decisions to add or withdraw items in the collection.


Mission Statement

The Holmes Public Library is a welcoming and integral part of the community that fosters lifelong learning. We respond to the needs of patrons of all ages, abilities, and cultural backgrounds via a dedicated and informed staff, a vital collection, current technology and access to comprehensive sources. We are dedicated to protecting the individual’s right to decide for themselves what library materials to use. We will not restrict what we add to the collection, or base decisions on what to remove from the collection, based upon protecting potential users from the contents of the material. We strongly encourage all parents to establish guidelines for their own children’s use of library materials.


Library Assessment

The Holmes Public Library aspires to offer our patrons an inviting and accessible place conducive to a lifetime of learning through research, enlightenment, creativity and enjoyment. In the developing the FY2018-FY2022 Strategic Plan, it was decided by the Long-Range Plan Committee that the focus should be on three service roles: Lifelong Learning, Information Fluency and the library being the Center of the Community. As a member of an automated resources sharing network and the state supported regional library system, the Holmes Public Library supplements its resources with materials borrowed from other libraries through these larger entities.


Selection Responsibilities

The Board of Library Trustees delegates the authority and responsibility for selection and management of all print, non-print, and electronic materials to the Library Director and appropriate library staff members. Selection and management of the materials in the library’s collections are shared among the staff, who shall use this collection development policy as a guide to the management of the library collection.  The Director allocates the materials budget annually.

Materials Selection Process

Selection Resources

Librarians use a variety of tools to aid in selection of materials, including professional review journals, including Library Journal and Horn Book, publishers’ catalogs, purchase alerts and patron and staff recommendations.


Selection Formats

The library provides materials and services that reflect the diverse educational, information and recreational needs of its users. The library provides access to content through print, multimedia and technology. The library provides materials in a variety of formats including print, non-print and digital resources. Digital Resources should make up 10% of the library’s total materials budget


Selection Goals

-To provide diverse materials, reflecting many points of view for patrons of all ages.

-To balance up-to-date and popular materials with a core collection of recognized classics

-To collect and purchase materials to support the curriculum of local school

-To support the needs of area preschools, and homeschoolers

-To regularly review circulation statistics and focus on popular genres

-To maintain a comprehensive and reliable local history section of both published and unpublished work

-To keep a small ready reference book collection consisting of noncirculating reference titles


Collection policies

-The Library will avoid the purchase of or keeping of multiple copies of materials and rely on our lease program to fill holds of popular items

-We may limit or refrain from purchasing abridged versions of audiobooks

-We refrain from purchasing textbooks

-We recognize that many works are controversial and that any given item may offend some individual. Selection is not made based on anticipated approval or disapproval but solely on the merits of the individual work. No item in the library’s collection is marked or identified to indicate approval or disapproval of its contents or to restrict its use.


Selection Criteria

-relevance to Library’s mission and service roles

-informational and recreational needs of users

-appeal and relevance to community interests

-in demand or recommended by library users

-current usefulness or interest

-high standards of quality in content

-suitability of format for subject and user’s needs

-cost in relation to the individual title and to the overall collection

-availability from another library source


Self-Published Materials

In the interest of supporting the Halifax writing community and providing a place for local authors to share their work, the library will accept donations of self-published materials. Self-published work must be in a format suitable for circulation and the author must reside in Plymouth County. To be added to the collection self-published materials must be consistent with the Selection Criteria outlined in this policy and  will fall under the same guidelines as the rest of the collection regarding removal.


Children and Young Adults

Children will be served in accordance with the “Standards for Public Library Service to Children in Massachusetts” established by the Massachusetts Library Association in 1987 and updated in 2007.


The children’s and young adult’s collections are carefully chosen for children and young adults for all ages and abilities with the emphasis on materials which entertain, stimulate the imagination, develop skills and enable children to learn about the world around them. The same criteria are applied in the selection of materials for children as are applied in the selection of materials for adults. Attention will be given to the collection of materials that support the school curriculum and library programs.


The responsibility for the use of library materials by children and young adults rests with the parents or legal guardians. Holmes Public Library maintains a collection selected for young adults as a bridge to the adult collection. The selection of materials for the adult collection and access to it is not restricted by the fact that children may obtain materials that their parents consider objectionable.


Collection Maintenance

Reasons for Weeding

  • To identify and withdraw incorrect or outdated materials.
  • To remove from the collection those materials no longer being used
  • To remove worn or damaged materials
  • To increase circulation
  • Not in compliance with the Criteria for Materials Selection

Criteria for Weeding

The staff of the Holmes Public Library regularly weeds or deaccessions material for the collections based on the following criteria:

  • Poor condition (replacement with new copy may be considered)
  • Out of date or obsolete information
  • Have multiple copies
  • The item has not circulated within a certain time period
  • Duplication in subject area
  • Lack of space

Titles will be considered for weeding and replacement on a case-by-case basis


With the permission of the Board of Selectmen withdrawn materials are passed to the Friends of the Holmes Public Library. In some circumstances withdrawn materials will be given to the Halifax Elementary School.





The Library welcomes gift books, materials and other items with the understanding that the same criteria apply to the incorporation of gifts into the collection as the selection of books and other library materials. When the library receives a cash gift for materials or a memorial, the library director in consultation with the donor will make the material selection. The Library reserves the right to make all decisions regarding addition of gift material.


Gifts that are declined are passed to the Friends of the Library for the book sale


Holmes Library does not appraise gift materials for tax purposes. The library will, upon request of the donor provide a written receipt for gifts indicating the number and general description of materials.



The library recognizes that the use of electronic multimedia is protected under copyright laws. Therefore, these items are for home use only. All electronic multimedia items are protected under copyright. The liability of copyright infringement lies with the patron.


Controversial Material

The library collects a variety of materials for all age groups, diverse tastes and varying viewpoints. The Holmes Public Library is a proponent of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement. These documents can be found with the Trustee Manual. The library does not label controversial material or restrict its use in any way.


The Board of Trustees recognizes the right of individuals to question materials in the library collection. Whenever a patron objects to the presence or absence of any library material, the complaint will be given consideration as follows:

  • All complaints will be referred to the Library Director, who will discuss the matter with the complainant and clarify the Collection Development Policy
  • If not satisfied with the Library Director’s explanation or actions, the patron may submit a “Request for Reconsideration of library materials” form. This completed form will be shared with the Board of Trustees. A decision will be made regarding whether to add or withdraw the material within a reasonable amount of time, with written reasons for the decision conveyed to the patron. If the patron is dissatisfied with the Committee’s decision, he or she may appeal the decision in person to the Board of Trustees.
  • Materials subject to reconsideration shall not be removed from use and circulation pending final action

                 Approved: February 14, 2017

Amended: November 14,2017

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.

The Library Director will make the decision as to the number of posters accepted at one time.

Posters advertising events with a fee or programs sponsored by local educational, religious or fraternal organizations may be displayed provided they are of reasonable size. The recommended size is no larger than 17 x 22.

Canisters for fundraising are not allowed. Boxes for coupons may be placed with permission of the Library Director in accordance with the library goals. Information for the project should be supplied.

No outside organization or individual shall be permitted to display or exhibit any materials, leaflets, or posters which advocate the election or defeat of a candidate for public office, or advocate for or against any issue.

Approved:   May 21, 1996

Amended:   May 8, 2017

Amended:   September 11, 2018

Amended:   December 12, 2023

The Holmes Public Library Board of Trustees

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 or slides of interest to the community at the discretion of the library staff.

Approved:  October 17, 2017

Amended:  December 12, 2023

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 

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.

Approved: October 14, 2014

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.

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.

Users should be aware that the library’s wireless network is an open, unsecured public network.

The library does not filter access to internet sites but may monitor patron usage. Patrons should be sensitive about viewing or leaving material on the screens which may be upsetting to other patrons, whether on their own laptops or on library PCs. To ensure a safe and secure environment, the library has instituted the following rules:

  1. Patrons are prohibited from transmitting or accessing 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Users will not make any attempt to gain unauthorized access to restricted files or networks, or to damage or modify computer equipment or software.
  4. Patrons are prohibited from accessing blatantly offensive visual or text-based materials which constitute potential sources of sexual harassment to other patrons or library staff.
  5. Library staff are authorized to take prompt and appropriate actions to enforce the Computer Use and Public Internet Access Policy. Patrons who violate the above rules will be removed from the Library by local police with a first warning.  Subsequent violations can result in a permanent No Trespass order carried out by the Halifax Police Department at the discretion of the Library Director.

Approved: April 21, 2015

Amended: January 3, 2019

Why doesn’t Holmes Public Library filter its computers?

In accordance with our Mission Statement, the Holmes Public Library strives to be an important source of information for the people and libraries that use our resources and services.

  1. Filters would compromise that mission because in addition to blocking access to undesirable sites, they block access to information that is constitutionally protected.
  2. Filters are commercial products sold by vendors. The library would have virtually no control over what the vendors decide to block or not to block.
  3. Filters are expensive, both in terms of initial cost and ongoing management. They would interfere with effective operation of the library’s computer resources. For example, in order to be constitutionally acceptable, filters must be disabled upon the request of any adult.
  4. While some federal technology grant funds may be denied to libraries that choose to filter, the vast majority of public libraries have still chosen not to filter. This decision is both philosophical and financial. Our local and state funding is not affected by the decision not to filter.
  5. Determining who is an adult (17 and over by Children’s Internet protection Act definition) and legally entitled to have the filter turned off and who is not, raises issues of our patrons’ privacy.

The Holmes Public Library welcomes the opportunity to allow community groups, organizations and individuals the use of the display areas of the library. The Display Case and the Community Room are available for displays of an educational, cultural, civic or recreational nature.

Exhibits should be appropriate for all ages. The Library will have the final decision on the content of all exhibits. Every item must meet the Library’s standard of value and quality. The Library reserves the right to reject any part of an exhibit.

Applications for exhibits can be found at the Circulation Desk or on the Library website and must be approved by the Library Director.

Exhibits must be scheduled with the Library Director. It is the responsibility of the exhibitor to set up and remove exhibits.  Exhibits will be scheduled for a period of one calendar month. The Library Director must approve exceptions.

The exhibitor will be allowed to use the Library hanging system or their own provided nothing is used that could cause a hole or damage to the walls.

 All publicity materials relating to exhibits shall be submitted for approval to the Library Director.

The Library does not carry insurance on and is not responsible for the damage or loss of any items owned by the exhibitor.

Exhibitors will be allowed to leave contact and price information. No prices will be allowed to be displayed on items. There is no exchange of money within the Library. All items must remain on display for the duration of the exhibit.

The Library will not provide storage for the property of organizations or individuals displaying in the Library.

Download the application here.

Approved:  May 21, 1996

Amended:  December 10, 2019

The Holmes Public Library Board of Trustees

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.

Approved:  November 8, 2016

The Holmes Public Library welcomes gifts of money, books and other materials, equipment, works of art, documents, photographs, or property of any kind which promotes the mission of the Library. The Board of Trustees reserves the right to refuse any gift that the Board, in its sole discretion, deems to be not in the best interests of the Library to accept.

If a gift is accepted, the gift shall be final; there shall be no restrictions on the Library’s ownership, possession, use, or disposition of the gift. Each gift will be considered on its individual merit.

Books and Materials
Gifts of library materials donated to the Library are examined by Library Director to determine if they will be added to the collection. Materials will be accepted and withdrawn subject to the Library’s Collection Development Policy. The cost of processing, availability of space, and the physical condition of the item are also factors in the selection process.

Books and other materials may be accepted with the understanding that the Library reserves the right to add them to its collection, donate them to the Friends of the Library, distribute them to other libraries or discard them. Materials must be in good physical condition and have not been exposed to mold, mildew or any other harmful materials. Donated materials will not be returned to the donor.

The Library does not accept responsibility for notifying donors of withdrawal or replacement of gift items.

Monetary Donations
Unrestricted monetary gifts will be used at the discretion of the Board in accordance with this gift policy. Monetary gifts given without restriction will be utilized to purchase materials or equipment, support Library programs, or in other ways that the Board deems appropriate.

Monetary gifts offered with specific restrictions, require Board approval of such restrictions before the gifts are accepted by the Board. Restricted donations will be accepted on the condition that the specific use requested is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Library.

Art and decorative objects
Gifts of art and decorative objects shall be of local interest to the community, of a professional quality and in good condition. As with all other gifts, art/decorative objects will be accepted only with the donor’s full agreement that the Library has the right to handle or dispose of the gift in the best interests of the library.

The library does not conduct appraisals for income tax purposes.

Adopted: October 12, 2021

The trustees of the Holmes Public Library shall allow library-affiliated organizations to be formed that are open to the public and non-discriminatory. Such groups shall be allowed to organize events of interest to the public, fundraise for specific library-related purposes, and engage in publicizing library services to the community.

Such groups must be organized with a governing body duly elected by the general membership of the group. By-laws of such groups must be reviewed and approved by the Board of Library Trustees.

All events and goals set forth by such groups must be approved by the Board of Trustees or by the Library Director.

All monies raised by such groups shall be used in accordance with the Holmes Public Library Mission Statement.

Such groups must be financially self-sustaining.

The Board of Trustees shall appoint a liaison to such groups to ensure clear and factual communication between the two bodies.



Amended: October 15, 2020

Approved: June 25, 1996


A valid driver’s license or another form of picture identification card with a current address is required to apply for a library card. A piece of mail (not junk or advertisement) or other official document with name and address may be used to prove residency.  People under the age of sixteen must have a parent or guardian with required identification sign the application to receive a library card. A valid library card is required to check out items.



Adopted: October 15, 2020

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.

Approved:  November 8, 2016

The Holmes Public Library (Town of Halifax) creates Library Displays for public browsing reflecting the informational, cultural, or recreational holdings of the library’s collections, all of which have been purchased consistent with the Trustee-approved Collection Development Policy.

New acquisitions will be displayed as well as titles and media which reflect the ever-changing demographics and diversity of the community of Halifax.

“STAFF RECOMMENDS” titles are curated, rotating titles which reflect the personal taste and reading preferences of various individual staff members.

The display of materials in Library Displays does not constitute Town support, sponsorship, or endorsement, nor does the absence of titles reflect non-support.


Books                                  28-day loan

New Books                      14-day loan

DVDs                                   7-day loan

Audiobooks                     14-day loan

Magazines                        14-day loan

Kits                                       14-day loan

Music CDs                         14-day loan

*Libraries in the SAILS Network offer one automatic renewal on their library materials, as long as the item is a renewable item and it is not on hold for another patron. 3 days ahead of the due date, you will receive either an email or a text notification letting you know that the item has either been renewed or not renewed.


Audiobooks                     50¢ per day

Books                                  10¢ per day

DVDs                                   50¢ per day

Kits                                       50¢ per day

Magazines                        10¢ per day

Music CDs                         50¢ per day

New Books                      10¢ per day

MAXIMUM CHARGE $2.00 per item.  Senior Citizens (62+) exempt from overdue fines.


Black & white copies                                                  .10¢ per page

Color copies                                                                    .50¢ per page


To send or receive a fax                                             $1.00 per page

Fax cover sheet                                                              No charge

Replacement Library Card                                       $1.00

Approved: September 10, 2019

The Holmes Public Library Board of Trustees respects the right of patrons to decide which materials are appropriate to their individual circumstances, however, no individual or group has the right to restrict access for others. The Board of Trustees endorses and follows the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, which states that a library serves all members of the community, offers diverse materials, and condemns censorship.

Intellectual freedom is a right for all, and libraries are tasked with providing reliable information, quality service and diverse resources to enable that right.

Adopted: October 10, 2023

While everyone has an equal right to access library services and facilities, no person has the right to interfere with the ability of others to use and enjoy library resources, services, and facilities. To this end, the Library is responsible for establishing rules of conduct to protect the rights and safety of Library patrons, volunteers, and staff, and for preserving and protecting the Library’s materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds.

The Children’s Room and Toy Room are reserved for use by children and their parents, guardians, or caregivers. Adults may browse the children’s and young adult collections for the purpose of borrowing library materials. The use of the Community Room is governed by separate policy.

These rules will be enforced in a fair and reasonable manner. Library staff will intervene to stop prohibited activities and behaviors. Failure to comply with the Library’s established rules, regulations, and policies could result in removal from the premises and expulsion from the Library or in arrest or prosecution. Violations could also result in the restriction and/or termination of Library privileges, including the use of Library computers. Expulsion may be appealed in writing to the Board of Library Trustees.
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).

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

• Soliciting patrons or staff for donations or for signatures on petitions. Candidates for office collecting signatures for nomination papers may be asked to stand or sit in a designated area to collect signatures in an unobtrusive way.

• Stealing, damaging, altering, or inappropriate use of Library property or Library grounds.

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

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

• Creating disruptive noises individually or in groups.

• Using computers, cell phones, or devices at a volume that disturbs others.  Ringers must be turned off.

• Using restrooms inappropriately.

• Littering.

• Smoking, chewing, and other tobacco or e-cigarette use in Library facilities or on Library grounds.

• Entering the Library barefooted, shirtless, with offensive body odor, or being otherwise attired or carrying belongings as to be disruptive to the Library environment.

• Using recreational wheeled devices in Library property or on Library grounds, except for transportation purposes (exceptions e.g. wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers). Shoes with cleats are prohibited.

• Neglecting to provide adequate supervision of children. Children’s behavior must be closely monitored by parent, guardian, or caregiver at all times.

• Bringing pets or animals other than service animals, 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.

 Approved: July 14, 2015

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.

Approved:  October 17, 2017

The Holmes Public Library Board of Trustees has authorized use of this form. The person who has a concern about material in the library’s collection may fill it out and return it to the Director of the Library who will evaluate the original reasons for purchase of the material. The Library Director will then respond in writing to the person making the objection.  If there are any remaining objections, they may be brought to the attention of the Board of Library Trustees.


Name                    _______________________________          Date    ______________________________

Phone                   _______________________________          Email   ______________________________


Title                        _______________________________________________________________________________                          


Author                   ______________________________________________________________________________


                1.       Specify what you object to in this resource. (cite pages if book or magazine)


                2.       Did you read or use the entire resource of just parts of it?


      3.       Have you seen a review of this resource?



4.       What would you recommend in place of this resource?




                       Approved: February 14, 2017

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.

Approved: April 10, 2018

Social Media Policy

The purpose of the Library’s social media sites is to inform Library users about educational opportunities, library programs, events, and materials in order to better serve its mission. Posts are
intended to encourage dialogue and the exchange of information and knowledge between users and Library staff about these programs, events and materials.

Employees who contribute to the Library’s social media should present content in a professional manner and should check facts, cite sources, avoid copyright infringement, acknowledge and correct errors, and
check grammar and spelling before posting. Shared posts should come from established professional social media accounts.

The Library permits patrons to comment on Library posts and patrons are invited to share opinions about Library-related subjects, resources and programs.

Postings do not indicate Library endorsement of the ideas, issues, or opinions expressed in posts on its social media sites.
The Library reserves the right to restrict or remove any content that is deemed to be in violation of this policy or any applicable law.

Approved: October 8, 2019

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.

Approved: November 14, 2017

The Holmes Public Library uses volunteers to enhance the Library’s program of service and not to replace regular staff. The Board of Trustees values volunteers for their dedication, enthusiasm, and valuable work in support of the library. The Board also recognizes that the same management principals used in general library administration shall be applied to volunteer workers.

Volunteers will receive orientation and training from a regular staff member. They will not be assigned to tasks that could cause a disruption in library service if there is an unanticipated absence. Further, it is recognized that making effective use of volunteers requires considerable staff time and effort; therefore, there will be a maximum number of volunteers that can be utilized at any given time. Volunteers must be willing to make a weekly commitment for a minimum of 1 hour per week for an extended period of time.

Occasionally volunteers may be needed on a short-term basis for a specific task and these duty hours may be assigned at the discretion of the director.

Volunteers are encouraged to apply for staff position vacancies for which they are qualified. Selection will depend upon an individual’s qualifications and abilities. Consideration will not be limited to current volunteers.

Approved: February 20,1996

Amended: May 20, 2003

Amended: May 7, 2019

The Holmes Public Library Board of Trustees

The Holmes Public Library works to provide a safe and enjoyable experience to all its users, offering an atmosphere conducive to everyone’s right to unimpeded and enjoyable library use. The library also recognizes that there are times when the desire or need to capture a permanent image of an event or the building is important.

To retain the privacy of library users as well as providing a safe and enjoyable space the following is the stated policy for photography, filming and recording in the library.

  • Photographing and/or filming and/or audio recording of members of the public, members of the library staff on duty, and pubic programs is prohibited (unless permission has been granted in advance by the library)
  • Photographing and/or filming and/or audio recording does not interfere in any way with library operations
  • Equipment such as tripods or selfie sticks may not obstruct passageways or cause disturbances to library users.
  • Does not use any supplemental lighting
  • Images are not to be used for any commercial purpose


The Holmes Public Library frequently engages in photographing and recording programs and events for its own publicity and promotional purposes.  Library staff will make every effort to notify members of the public when filming and audio recording is takin place. Please notify a library staff member if you do not want to be photographed or recorded.

The law distinguishes between a traditional public forum, or Public Square, and facilities opened to the public for a particular use or purpose.

Libraries are considered to be limited public forums for purposes of the First Amendment.

A limited public forum is a place purposefully opened by the government for designated expressive activity by part of the public or all of the public. Rules about what kinds of restrictions on speech may be legally imposed in a given place are based on the type of forum that has been established.

In a limited public forum, the government agency administering the space is only obligated to allow those First Amendment activities that are consistent with the nature of the forum, even if the facility is open to the public.

Full constitutional protection is afforded only to those expressive activities that are consistent with the mission and purpose of the library.


Approved August 13, 2020

Holmes Public Library Board of Trustees

General Information

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.


Register online for a temporary card today! 

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.

Download and log into the Sails Mobile App and ‘carry’ your library card with you all the time on your smart phone.

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.