49 Madbury Road - Durham, NH 03824 - durhampl@gmail.com - 603-868-6699

Durham Public Library Policies

library card
Library Policies

Art Exhibit Policy
Behavior Policy
Board of Trustees Bylaws
Bulletin Board Policy
Circulation Policy
Collection Development Policy
Ebook Reader Policy
Emergency Opening Policy
Gift Acceptance Policy
Investment Policy
Library Closing Policy
Meeting Room Policy
Museum Pass Policy
Personnel Policy
Purchasing Policy
Telescope Policy

Appendix A - Library Bill of Rights
Appendix B - Freedom to Read
Appendix C - Internet Use Policy
Appendix D - Unattended Children
Statement of Concern
Durham Public Library Policy
Revised 2/19/04
Mission Statement revised 10/18/07

I. Mission Statement

The mission of the Durham Public Library is to enhance the quality of life in Durham through open access to ideas and information, encourage exploration and learning in people of all ages, and support cultural enrichment by establishing the library as a center of our community.

II. Objectives of the Durham Public Library
A. To operate this library in accordance with the New Hampshire Library Laws and to strive to meet the current standards set by the American Library Association and the New Hampshire Statewide Library Development System for public libraries in towns of comparable population.
B. To adhere to the ALA Library Bill of Rights and "Freedom to Read" statement. (See Appendix B.)
C. To seek to identify community needs and to assemble and organize books and related programs in order to promote and stimulate knowledge, wisdom, culture, enjoyment and continuous self-education for all residents regardless of age, race, color, creed, ethnic origin or occupation.
D. To cooperate with the district school library and other libraries in the Statewide Library Development System to strengthen its own services and resources and, in turn, the the state's library systems.
E. To serve the public in an efficient, impartial, courteous, and friendly manner.
F. The long-range goal of the Trustees is to meet the New Hampshire Public Library Standards for Associate Libraries.


III. The Board of Library Trustees
A. Seven (7) legal residents of the town of Durham shall be elected Trustees to the Board of the Durham Public Library according to the laws of the State of New Hampshire. Up to three (3) Alternate Trustees may be appointed according to the same criteria.
B. This Board shall be the governing body of the Durham Public Library, and determine written policies that will govern the operation, program, and personnel of the Library.
C. The Board shall meet once a month, or more often as needed, with notice of the meetings posted as required by law. Regular board meetings are open to the public.
D. The Board shall adopt bylaws for its governance.
E. The Board shall employ a competent and qualified library Director. The Director shall attend all Board meetings except when the position, salary, or performance evaluation of the Director is being discussed.
F. The Board, with the cooperation of the Director, shall prepare the annual budget, present the approved budget to the proper municipal officers and be available to answer queries at budget hearings and other meetings as required. It is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to secure adequate funds and proper facilities in order to carry on a library program that fulfills the informational, recreational, and educational needs of the town of Durham. Funds appropriated by the town of Durham shall be encumbered or expended annually. Income from trust funds will be expended according to the terms of the bequest of donation. Income from fines and/or income generating equipment shall be spent according to law. The fiscal year shall be January 1st to December 31st.
G. The Board, with the Director, shall prepare and submit any report required by state or local laws.
H. Membership in and conference attendance to NHLTA for all Trustees, and membership and conference attendance to NHLA for the Director shall be provided for in the library budget.


IV. Personnel
A. The Library Trustees shall appoint the Director, who shall not be a Trustee (RSA 202 - A: 11 section V).
B. The Director will hire all other library personnel.
C. Selection of all staff members shall be based solely upon merit, with consideration of personal and educational specifications, training and aptitudes for the position involved.
D. The Library Trustees will work towards compliance with the state standards for the number of staff members for associate libraries.
E. All employees will serve a probationary period of three months. during this period the employee may be discharged at any time.
F. After successful completion of the probationary period, employees may only be discharged following conditions set forth in RSA 202-A: 17.
G. Employees may be offered reimbursement, as budget allows, for successful completion of Library Courses approved in advance by the Director.
H. The Director shall be given a copy of the current Library Policies and the Town of Durham Personnel Plan as detailed in the Town of Durham Personnel Policy Handbook.
I. Starting salary will depend upon qualification and experience and will be paid according to the procedures of the Town of Durham. Salary adjustments will be subject to the passage of the proposed budget.
J. The Director will be evaluated annually by the Trustees and all other employees will be evaluated annually by the Director. A written report will be part of the staff members' personnel record.
K. Employees shall receive benefits as specified in chapters 3-6 of the personnel plan of the Town of Durham in including, but no limited to, health insurance, workers compensation, life and disability insurance and vacation time.
L. Library Director:
  1. Qualifications: M.L.S. (or current enrollment in an accredited M.L.S., or M.L.I.S., or comparable program to be successfully completed within sic years), prior library experience, and computer literacy.
  2. Duties: The Director is the administrative head of the library and responsible for the overall management of the facility.
  3. Benefits: Membership in New Hampshire Library Association, registration and mileage for attendance to approved library related meetings, full scholarship for successfully completed continuing education courses with prior approval and limited to one a year.
M. Additional Staff: The Library Director will develop job titles and descriptions as necessary to meet community needs.


V. Library Service Hours
A. The library service hours will be determined by the Trustees in consultation with the Director.
B. The library will be closed on all state legal holidays.
C. During inclement weather, or emergencies, at the discretion of the Director, the library may delay opening, or close early. Other planned closings will be at the discretion of the Board of Trustees.

VI. Library Services
A. The Director will utilize interlibrary loan to borrow materials not owned by the library or to loan materials to other libraries as long as materials requested are not in use or on reserve. The patron will be responsible for all charges.
B. Reference materials and reference assistance will be accessible to all patrons.
C. Technologically related services such as OPAC, CD-ROM, photocopying and Internet access will be available to all citizens and patrons of all ages. Procedures for technological access will be developed by demand. The library has no control over information available on the Internet. Refer to Appendix C for Internet Use Policy.


VII. Resource Development and Programming
A. Objectives: It is the responsibility and aim of the Durham Public Library to provide circulating materials and reference service to meet the needs of Durham residents of all ages. Materials are selected and maintained for general information, education, and occupational uses, and the enjoyment and enrichment of leisure time. As a public agency, the library attempts to meet reasonable community needs within the limitations of budget and space. The Durham Public Library does not seek to duplicate specialized reference materials in the University of New Hampshire library collections; nor can it meet all curricular needs of the schools.
B. Responsibility: Responsibility for materials selection lies with the Library Director who operates within a framework of policies adopted by the Board of Trustees. The responsibility for children's choices in library resources rests with parents and legal guardians. Library resources will not be limited by the possibility that controversial issues may be available to children.
C. Criteria: Criteria for materials selection, including books, periodicals, electronic materials, and audiovisual materials, is based on three factors: the needs of the community, the individual merit of the material, and the existing collection and budget of the library.

Judgment in selection is based on reviews and professional library and literary evaluation as shown in professional journals such as Library Journal and Publisher's Weekly. Final decision is based on the value of the material to the library and the community, regardless of the personal taste of the selectors.

Any book requested by five or more patrons, regardless of reviews, will be purchased if the budget allows.

The Director shall also be responsible for the withdrawal and disposal of library materials. Such materials may be sold, distributed to other institutions or destroyed.

D. Gifts: The standards and criteria set here apply equally to materials purchased and those accepted as gifts.
E. Programs and Exhibits: Library programs may be presented in coordination with other agencies, organizations, and institutions as well as other public and private resources. Library sponsorship of a program does not constitute endorsement of the content of the program or the views of the participants.

Library programs are free and open to all members of the public. However there may be a materials charge requested by a cosponsoring agency for materials that cannot be reproduced by the library. All programs and exhibits must be approved by the Director.

F. The Library Bill of Rights: The Durham Public Library endorses the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement as adopted by the American Library Association. The Statement reads in part: "There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others . . . It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich quality and diversity of thought and expression." (See Appendix B)
G. Interpretation of Policy: Questions concerning the scope and development of the collection may be discussed with the Director. Final authority for the determination of policy is vested in the Board of Trustees. In the event that a patron questions a program topic or speaker, or items in the collection, s/he will be asked to complete a "State of Concern about Library Resources", found in Appendix E, which will be reviewed by Trustees at their next regular meeting and the patron will receive a written reply within thirty days of the meeting.


VIII. Use of the Library
A. The library shall serve all residents of the community. Persons residing outside the geographical area but owning property in Durham, those attending or employed by the Oyster River schools, or those employed in the Town of Durham shall be considered residents. All UNH students residing in Durham shall have full access to Durham Public Library and other UNH students identified as having specific course-related needs for Durham Public Library materials shall be identified by UNH and shall be allowed access for the duration of the identified nee: as stated in the UNH/Town of Durham agreement of December 10, 1996.
B. Non-residents will be required to pay an annual fee to obtain borrowing privileges in the Durham Public Library. This fee may be waived as a professional courtesy at the discretion of the Director.
C. By borrowing materials from the library, the borrower is deemed by the library to have agreed to return the materials by the stated deadline and in the same condition as they were borrowed. Patrons are responsible for the replacement/repair cost of lost or damaged materials that were taken out by them. Patrons will not be allowed to register for library programs or borrow additional materials until the overdue materials are returned.
D. Use of the library may be denied or restricted by the Board of Trustees or the Director for due cause. Such cause may be failure to return books, destruction of property (RSA 202-A: 24), disturbance of other patrons or other objectionable conduct. The Director may ask a patron to leave the building, however all restrictions/denials longer than twenty-four hours shall be approved by the Board of Trustees.
E. Due to space constraints, the Board of Trustees cannot allow public meetings (other than those specifically related to the library) to be held at the library.
F. Announcements of community interest from nonprofit organizations, schools and governmental agencies may be displayed on the bulletin board in the library. The Director will hang materials and maintain/update the bulletin board as necessary. No materials, leaflets, or posters that advocate the election of a candidate, political or otherwise, may be displayed on library property.
G. Handicapped service: To provide service for wheelchair-bound patrons, the large table in the center of the library is the auxiliary counter. Access to the online catalog is available from a workstation in the back of the room.


IX. Gifts and Memorials
A. Books and other library materials will be accepted at the discretion of the Director on the condition that the library has the authority to make whatever disposition it deems advisable. All materials as acquired must be designated as a gift.
B. Gifts of money, real property and/or stock will be accepted if the conditions attached are acceptable to the Board of Trustees and other applicable laws (RSA 202-A: 4). Personal property, art objects, portraits, antiques and other objects will be accepted at the discretion of the Board of Trustees.
C. The Director will issue a receipt for accepted gifts of personal property, art, antiques, etc. if requested by the donor, but will not attach a dollar amount.
X. Investment Policy
A. It is the policy of the Board of Trustees of the Durham Public Library that all library funds shall be held in interest-bearing accounts with institutions that are authorized by RSA 31:25.
B. Sufficient funds for operating needs shall be held in the checking account. All other money, whether in trust funds, reserve funds, or for operations shall be held in the New Hampshire Public Deposit Investment Pool.
XI. Confidentiality

Pursuant to RSA 201-D:11, the library's circulation records and other records identifying the names of library users with specific materials are confidential. The Trustees, Director, or staff shall not make these records available to any agency of the state, federal or local government without consent of by subpoena,or court order.

XII. Friends of the Library

The Friends of the Library is an autonomous citizen's group. It serves as a liaison between the community and the library. The Friends act in cooperation with the Director and the Board of Trustees and have no statutory authority.

XIII. Volunteers

Volunteers are enlisted to assist the library staff with desk work and any other duties assigned by the Director. All volunteers must be approved by the Director and abide by established procedures.

XIV. Amendments and Review
A. This policy may be amended at any regular meeting of the Trustees, provided that all proposed changes have been submitted to all Trustees in writing four (4) weeks previously.
B. This policy shall be reviewed in its entirety annually with revisions and/or reaffirmations sent to the State Library.




Durham Public Library
49 Madbury Rd.
Durham, NH 03824

Fax 603-868-9944