Rules of Conduct
Proposed: February 7, 1995
Adopted without revision: February 5, 2002
The following rules of conduct are based on New Jersey Statutes regulating conduct in public places, and designed to allow all patrons to use the Library without fear of harassment or disruption. Statutes providing the foundation for these rules include:
NJSA 2C:2-8 Intoxication
2C:17-3 Criminal Mischief
2C:33-2 Disorderly Conduct
2C:36-1 Drug Paraphernalia
2C:34-1 Public Indecency
2C:20-12 Theft of Library Materials
26:3D-38 Smoking in Public Place
- The following activities are not allowed in the Library:
- Playing of audio equipment so that others can hear it
- Misusing the restrooms
- Talking loudly, making noise or engaging in other disruptive conduct.
- Interfering with another person’s use of the Library or with the Library personnel’s performance of their duties.
- Carrying a weapon into the Library unless authorized by law.
Any patron authorized to carry a weapon must notify Library staff that he/she is carrying a weapon in the Library.
- Those who do not abide by these rules of conduct will:
- First, be advised of the Library’s policies and asked politely to cease the prohibited activities.
- Second, be asked to leave the Library, if they choose not to cease the prohibited activities.
- Third, be advised that the local police will be called immediately, if they choose not to cease the prohibited activities.
- Use of the Library may be limited for the following reasons:
- Damaging Library materials/property.
- Stealing Library materials/property.
- Threatening or physically harming staff or patrons.
These rules have been adopted by the Board of trustees of Plainsboro Public Library in order to guarantee the rights of all citizens to a safe, free forum for information and ideas as defined in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, endorsed by the Board on June 3, 1992.
The Circulation Desk is the gateway to the Plainsboro Public Library. The circulation staff promotes a warm, welcoming, and friendly environment, embodying the Library’s open spirit. Patrons at the desk receive first priority. The circulation staff is trained to handle all circulation procedures, answer directional questions, assist with the catalog, encourage patrons to access our databases, and direct informational questions to the Reference Desk.
Plainsboro Public Library is part of the Libraries of Middlesex County Automation Consortium (LMxAC). Plainsboro residents who have valid Plainsboro library cards are able to use their library card at any of the libraries in LMxAC.
The Plainsboro Public Library supports the American Library Association’s recommended policies regarding confidentiality of patron records, intellectual freedom and freedom of information. The Library observes strict confidentiality in the handling of patron records at all times. No information contained in a patron’s record will be released to any third party except upon the presentation of a court subpoena and then only by the Director and the Board of Trustees with advice of legal counsel.
Staff may not release to patrons the personal contact information of library staff or board members.
Library Card Registration:
- Any resident of Plainsboro is entitled to a Plainsboro Public Library card.
- Proof of Plainsboro residency is required to obtain a library card. Bank statements, utility bills, drivers’ licenses or legal documents showing the applicant’s name and address constitute valid identification. West Windsor-Plainsboro School I.D.s are acceptable as proof of residency. West Windsor students must show a Mercer County Library Card to staff when they register at Plainsboro Library.
• Plainsboro residents without appropriate proof of residency at the time of registration can receive a library card and immediately borrow up to three items. We will mail the library card to the patron’s home address. The patron must then prove residency at the next checkout to receive continued borrowing privileges.
- Each cardholder is responsible for materials checked out on his or her card.
- Lost cards are replaced for $1.00. On reissue, staff must verify the cardholder’s name, address and telephone number and establish proof of residency.
- People who work in Plainsboro but do not reside in an LMxAC town may receive a courtesy card valid for one year. Current proof of employment showing the employee’s name and employer’s Plainsboro address is required to obtain a Plainsboro library card. Current proof is required each time the card is renewed.
- People who reside in LMxAC or Mercer County Library System towns must obtain library cards from their home libraries in order to check out materials from Plainsboro Public Library. Staff will enter valid Mercer and Cranbury library cards into the LMxAC system with an annual expiration date.
- Non-residents who do not reside in an LMxAC, Mercer, Middlesex Union Reciprocal Agreement Libraries (MURAL) or Open Borrowing Library system town may purchase a non-resident card for $40.00, valid for one year. For more information on the Open Borrowing Library System see http://www.openborrowing.org/intro.shtml
- Non-residents who own property in Plainsboro will receive a library card if requested and upon proof of such ownership by presenting a current real estate tax bill. LMxAC residents who own property in Plainsboro must choose which library will be their home library.
- Cardholders may not hold two library cards under their name. At registration, staff will determine whether the applicant already holds a valid card. When replacing a lost card, staff will render the original card invalid. A patron relocating from another LMxAC town who had a valid library card will receive a Plainsboro library card and staff will delete the other library card from the system.
• Middlesex County Community College students can have two cards in the system.
- Cardholders claiming a stolen card will receive a replacement card at no charge and staff will render the stolen card inoperative.
Checkout and Return:
- The Library honors all valid cards from the Plainsboro Public Library or any library participating in LMxAC, MURAL, Open Borrowing, or Mercer County Library systems.
- Cardholders must use one of the following items to check out Library items: library card, smart phones with scanned barcode from library card, or a valid ID.
- There is no check out limit on materials.
• Three new DVDs per card.
• Three School Summer Reading books per card.
- Loan Periods:
New books, TV series, Summer Reading Books: 2 weeks
DVDs: 4 days
Books, magazines, audiobooks, CDs: 3 weeks
Cardholders may request additional time for vacations or personal reasons on all items except new books, DVDs and School Summer Reading books.
- Staff will notify cardholders borrowing DVDs of the terms of the loan; that is, staff will mention the item’s due date.
- The following fines are assessed for late items:
Books, magazines, audiobooks, CDs: 10₵/day; maximum fine $5.00/item
DVDs: $1/day; maximum fine $10.00/DVD
Fines are not charged for holidays or days the library is closed.
- At checkout, staff will notify cardholders who have fines less than $5.00 or item(s) overdue fewer than six weeks of the outstanding fines or items. Cardholders may continue to check out items without paying the fines or returning the items.
- Cardholders who have fines above $5.00 or holding any item(s) overdue more than six weeks may not check out any additional items until they have fines less than $5.00 or item(s) overdue fewer than six weeks. The Director, Assistant Director or Circulation Supervisor may make exceptions to this policy.
- Cardholders may return borrowed items to any LMxAC library; however, we caution you about the possibility of lost, late, or damaged materials when using this option.
- Cardholders are liable for damaged items. Damage fees range from $1.00 for a missing barcode to the replacement cost of the damaged item.
- Cardholders may choose to have overdue notices sent via email or through the mail to the home address.
- Cardholders receive a first notice for an item overdue for two weeks. The first notice reminds the cardholder that the item is overdue, that fines are accruing, and advises returning the item at the cardholder’s earliest convenience.
- Cardholders receive a second notice when an item is overdue for four weeks. The second notice is identified as such and explains fines are still accruing and that failure to return the item will result in suspension of borrowing privileges.
- Cardholders receive a bill when an item is overdue for six weeks. The bill is for the replacement cost of the item as specified under “Lost Items.” The bill is sent through the mail to the home address. The bill states that the cardholder’s privileges have been suspended until the item is paid for or returned and the fines paid.
- The Library may engage the services of a collection agency to recover items or fines in excess of $100. Such action occurs no earlier than two months and no later than six months after the due date of the overdue items.
- Upon finding in the Library an item for which a cardholder has received an overdue notice, staff will promptly cancel any accrued fines and update the cardholder’s account.
- The Library charges the cardholder the purchase price listed in the library catalog for lost items. When a price is not listed in the library catalog or on a current Internet retail site, the following prices apply:
Adult, YA Books $20.00
Children’s Textbooks $75.00
Children’s Books, Paperbacks and Board books $10.00
Children’s Audiobooks $30.00
- The Library charges processing fees for all lost items.
- The Library does not accept replacement copies for lost items.
- No refunds are issued for lost item(s) that the cardholder has paid for in full.
- Cardholders may reserve items (except new DVDs) owned or on order by the Library. Cardholders may also reserve items owned by other LMxAC libraries in the LMxAC catalog. Some LMxAC libraries limit what items they allow Plainsboro cardholders to reserve.
- Reserved items are put on a waiting list; staff will notify the cardholder when the reserved item is available.
- After notification, the reserved item is placed on the hold shelf and held for 5 days. If the item has not been picked up by the end of the fifth day, staff will notify the next person on the reserve waiting list or re-shelve the item.
- Cardholders may request that a family member pick up their reserved item by calling the Library in advance of pick up. The cardholder must give staff the name of the family member they have approved to pick up their reserved item. The person picking up the reserved item must have the family member’s library card and their own valid I.D.
- Cardholders may renew items in person, online, or by phone. They may renew items up to three times for an additional three week period each time, providing there are no reserves on the items.
• New books (blue dot) may be renewed only once for two weeks.
• DVD’s and DVD-MULTI’s may not be renewed.
- Cardholders may checkout an item that they had previously renewed the maximum number of times after waiting one day.
Revised and adopted:
October 5, 2011
September 6, 2016
Collection Development Policy
The following policy is a guiding document to inform decisions regarding materials selection, purchase and retention. The policy provides the framework for the evaluation and purchase of materials in a variety of formats to meet the diverse and continuously changing needs of the community.
II. Statement of Principles
The Library upholds the right of the individual to access information, even if the content may be controversial or unacceptable to others. The Library reserves the right to not include sensational, inflammatory, or inaccurate material in our collection that does not meet the selection criteria in this policy.
Materials for children and teens are intended to broaden their interest and curiosity in their lifelong learning journey. The reading and viewing activity of minors is ultimately the responsibility of their parents or guardians.
The Library seeks to provide and maintain a balanced collection of print, non-print, and digital materials across a wide spectrum of subjects. The collection strives to meet the informational, educational, recreational, and cultural needs of our diverse community which includes users of all ages, education levels, and cultural backgrounds. The collection development objectives are:
- To provide resources that inform, educate, and/or entertain
- To provide works of enduring value
- To provide timely material on current issues
- To select materials based on community needs and demand
The inclusion of an item in the Library collection in no way represents an endorsement of its contents. Only individuals can determine what is most appropriate for their needs and can define what material or information is consistent with their views and values.
In the development of its collection, the Library recognizes that it is impossible for a Library of our size to meet all the needs of our community. As a member of Libraries of Middlesex Automation Consortium (LMxAC), a resource sharing library consortium and the state supported inter-library loan system, the Library supplements its resources with materials borrowed from other libraries through these larger entities.
The Library supports the West Windsor-Plainsboro school district curriculum by purchasing general materials related to relevant subject areas. The Library does not typically purchase textbooks. Textbooks may be added to the collection if they provide the best or only source of information on a subject.
The director has ultimate responsibility for the shaping of the collection. The director delegates selection and retention decisions to qualified staff members in each department. These staff members have the primary responsibility to develop and maintain the collections in their respective areas.
V. Selection Criteria
In general, the Library staff will select materials based on one or more of the following criteria:
- Demand and usage
- Educational value
- Cultural enrichment and social significance
- Classic status; titles that have enduring value as a standard work
- Local interest and/or local authorship
- Currency and accuracy of information
- Overall balance of variety and viewpoints
- Availability of the subject in library resources
VI. Methods of Selection
Library staff’s primary method of selection will be to read reviews in established professional trade journals and nationally known print and online reviewing sources. Cost-effective additions to the collection may also come through other channels, such as donations and gifts. Selections will be consistent with the criteria mentioned above.
i. Donation and Gifts
The Library accepts donations of books and other materials. The Library may add donated materials to the collection following the same selection criteria as listed above. The Friends of the Library assumes ownership of donated materials. The Library accepts donations of money for the purchase of print, non-print, or digital collections. However, the Library retains the right to make the selection and purchase decisions from any monetary donation given for a specific collection.
Library patrons are encouraged to request materials. Suggestion forms are available on every floor in the Library and may be submitted to the Library staff in person or online. Every effort will be made to fill each request, either through purchase or through the available Library’s resources. Items for purchase will be subject to the same selection criteria as above.
VII. World Language Collections
The Library maintains selected world language collections that reflect the demographics and demand of the Plainsboro community. Growth in these collections will be maintained as budget, donations, and grants allow.
Weeding will be done on a regular basis in conjunction with systematic collection evaluation.
Items will be weeded out of the collection using a variety of criteria including:
- Review of statistical information such as circulation reports, collection turnover rates, and use statistics for digital resources
- Age of material
- Continued value
- Alternative coverage of subject or genre in the collection
- Availability of better or newer materials on the subject
- Physical condition
IX. Reconsideration of Library Materials
Occasionally a person may find a particular item in the collection that does not support his or her tastes or views. The director or appropriate staff member will meet with the person to discuss their concerns, review this policy, and identify alternate materials. If a concern is not satisfied through discussion with staff and/or the director, the person may complete a Reconsideration of Materials form. The director will present the form and his or her recommendation to the Library Board of Trustees for discussion and final determination.
Neither the director nor any staff will remove an item from the physical or digital collection in response to a request for reconsideration without the direct authorization of the Library Board of Trustees.
Adopted June 3, 1992
Revised February, 2002
Revised December 2002
Revised February, 2003
Revised December 5, 2017
Library Meeting Space
Revised May 3, 2016
Meeting rooms are used for programs sponsored by the Library, Library Board of Trustees, Friends and Foundation of the Plainsboro Public Library, and other library and Township-related organizations. The meeting rooms are intended to further the library’s mission and fulfill its library service responsibilities. When Library activities are not scheduled, community groups engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual, charitable, or social activities may meet in the rooms.
The Library adheres to Article VI of the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS adopted by the American Libraries Association Council, and endorsed by the New Jersey Library Association. The NJLA Intellectual Freedom Manual interprets the use of Library Meeting Rooms as follows
If meeting rooms in libraries supported by public funds are made available to the general public for non-library sponsored events, the library may not exclude any group based on the subject matter to be discussed or based on the ideas that the group advocates.
Governmental, educational, community, and non-profit organizations may use the rooms. The use of the meeting rooms is not intended for individuals or private functions. The library meeting rooms may not be used by for-profit businesses or for any commercial activity. Permission to use the meeting rooms does not imply Library endorsement of the aims, policies, programs or public statements of any group or organization. Such permission is revocable and does not constitute a lease.
The use of a meeting room must be consistent with the provisions of this policy and may be denied: (a) where use is inconsistent with policy and/or regulation, (b) where there is a likelihood of physical hazard to participants or audience, (c) when there has been misuse of premises or equipment or violation of this policy by the organization in the past.
Application forms must be submitted for use of the meeting rooms. Completion of the Application Form is not a guaranteed acceptance. Applications falling within the provisions of this policy and regulations are approved by the Library Director. The Library Board of Trustees reserves the right to review all applications, and shall review applications not approved by the Director, if requested by the applicant.
Once completed, email the form back to Sharon Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Museum Pass Policy
With the generosity of the Friends of Plainsboro Library, the Library lends museum passes to adult Plainsboro library cardholders.
- Plainsboro library cardholders must be at least 18 years old and owe less than $5.00 in fines, fees, or lost materials.
- Eligible cardholders may reserve museum passes up to three months in advance by calling the Circulation Desk.
- Each museum pass may be reserved one time per month per card.
- Museum passes are checked out for three days.
- Museum passes must be picked up and returned to library staff at the circulation desk.
- Museum passes cannot be renewed.
- There is a $20.00 late fee for each day the museum pass is past due. The maximum fine will not exceed $100.00.
- The cardholder is responsible for the full replacement cost of the museum pass if it is lost or damaged.
- Reservations can be cancelled up to the day before checkout.
- Cardholders who repeatedly return museum passes late or cancel reservations late may be blocked from borrowing museum passes.
The library thanks you for your consideration of others who are waiting to use the pass.
Adopted April 4, 2017
Quiet Study Rooms
The Quiet Study Room Policy is in place to insure fair and equitable Quiet Study Room access to members of the Plainsboro Community. By using a Quiet Study Room, you agree to follow this policy. The Plainsboro Public Library has 4 Quiet Study Rooms with a maximum capacity of four (4) persons per room. The Quiet Study Rooms are not intended for social gatherings, but rather are intended to provide a quiet area of study or similar work for individuals or small groups.
- Acceptable use of Study Rooms includes, tutoring, homework assignments, study groups, committee meetings, discussion groups, interviews, mentoring and counseling.
- Study Rooms are reserved with a Plainsboro Library Card. Those without a Plainsboro Library Card may sign up as a guest at the Reference Desk. A Plainsboro Library Card must be presented when a room is reserved. If no card is presented, Study Room access will be granted if identification is presented. A name must be left on record when reserving a Study Room.
- Individuals wishing to reserve a study room must be at least fourteen (14) years of age.
- Study rooms must be reserved before use. Advance or walk-in reservations are acceptable. Patrons may reserve Study Rooms at the Reference Desk on the second floor up to one week in advance for two (2) hour reservation periods. This time may be extended only if there is no demand for Study Rooms.
- The reservation start time is firm. If the patron does not arrive within 15 minutes of the scheduled time, the time will be made available for other users.
- Study Rooms must be vacated ten minutes before the closure of the library.
- No food or beverages are permitted except water bottles. At least one person from a group must stay in a Study Room at all times. If Quiet Study Rooms are vacated for more than 15 minutes, patrons must remove all their belongings from the room. Items left for longer than fifteen (15) minutes may be removed by Library staff. The Library staff will place all removed items at the Circulation Desk on the first floor. The removed items will be released to the patron after ownership is established.
- The Library shall not be responsible for any loss of or damage to any personal items left unattended and/or removed in the Quiet Study Room.
- Failure to abide by this policy may result in suspension of Quiet Study Room Privileges for a period of three (3) months.
- The Library may declare other areas of the library to be temporarily or permanently designated Quiet Study Rooms, and thus fall under this policy.
- This policy will be reviewed periodically.
- If rooms are not in demand on a particular day, individuals may request an additional room reservation. If demand increases, repeat users will be asked to vacate Study Rooms for new users.
- Library Staff will give vacated rooms to Study Room patrons based on the order in which they requested a Study Room; precedence will be given to individuals who have not yet used a Study Room as an individual or part of a group; previous Study Room users will be given a room only if no new users are waiting.
- When a current room user needs to relinquish a room to a new user due to demand, they will be given a five minute warning to vacate the Study Room.
- The Study Rooms may not be used for commercial or business activities, including any sales, advertising or promotional activity.
- Furniture may not be brought into or removed from a study room without approval from library staff. Study Rooms must be left in the same state of cleanliness and repair they were in prior to the Study Room being used. Failure to do so will result in suspension of Study Room privileges for three (3) months.
- While using a Study Room, patrons must continue to abide by the Library’s Rules of Conduct and not disturb others or engage in destructive behavior. Failure to do so will result in being asked to leave the Quiet Study Room and/or the Library, in addition to loss of Study Room Privileges for three (3) months.
- Room capacities must be observed while using the Study Rooms.
- Study Room patrons who sign up for a new room will be given an open room; if no room is open, they will be given the next room to become available. Study Room users who have used their room past their reservation period must relinquish the room to new users; those who have spent the most time in a Study Room on a given day will be the first to give up their room to new room users.
- When rooms are not in demand, individuals or groups may continue to use a Study Room past their reservation period; this extension will automatically occur until room demand increases.
- Library users who have not yet used a Study Room that day receive precedence over individuals or groups who have already used a Study Room.
Approved by the Plainsboro Library Board of Trustees 10/06/2015
The Plainsboro Public Library offers notary services to Plainsboro residents and those who work in Plainsboro. Proof of current residency is required.
- Notary Service is available Saturday & Sunday 10 – 4pm and Wednesday 4-8pm. Patrons must arrive at least 30 minutes prior to scheduled end time to ensure adequate time to process the paperwork.
- Notary service is provided on a first-come, first serve basis during the scheduled times.
- Valid photo identification is required of any patron seeking notary service.
- Notary service is limited to three documents per person per day.
- There will be a $2.00/per signature charge on each page including original documents and photocopy pages.
- The library will not provide witnesses and witnesses may not be solicited from patrons. In order to serve as a witness, the witness must know the person whose document is being notarized and must be in possession of valid photo identification.
- Foreign language documents cannot be notarized unless the notarial certificate itself is in English.
- New Jersey law requires that a notary and the patron seeking notarization be able to communicate directly with each other. Library notaries are not permitted to make use of a translator.
- Public documents that cannot be copied and notarized are birth certificates, death certificates and marriage certificates.
- Notary service is not available for deeds, real estate closings, wills, living wills & trusts, which require legal knowledge.
- In accordance with NJ notarial law, notaries will not provide service if the customer, document or circumstances raise any issue of authenticity, ambiguity, or doubt. The library notary may, at her sole discretion, decline to provide notary service.
- Documents must be complete and must be signed in the presence of the notary.
Proposed and adopted by the Library Board of Trustees: April 3, 2012
Revised and adopted on May 6, 2014
Revised and adopted December 6, 2016
The Plainsboro Public Library strives to be a gateway to the global network of recorded thought and information. The Library is committed to providing superior services to all segments of its diverse community, as well as employing state-of-the-art technology to improve access to global resources. As part of its mission to meet the educational and recreational needs of its public, the Library makes available free access to the Internet.
The Plainsboro Public Library endorses the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights, the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read statement and the New Jersey Library Association’s People’s Library Bill of Rights. Thus, all Library users are provided equal access to resources available on the Internet.
The Plainsboro Public Library does not endorse the viewpoints or vouch for the accuracy or authenticity of information accessed via the Internet. Internet users must determine what information is appropriate and must evaluate for themselves the accuracy of the information accessed. There is sexually explicit material and other possibly controversial information on the Internet. It is advised that parents or guardians supervise their children’s Internet access.
All Library users have the right to confidentiality in their research and use of services provided by the Plainsboro Public Library. The Library supports the users’ rights to privacy; however, users are advised that because of the open nature of the Internet, the Library cannot guarantee the privacy of information or searching conducted at its public access computers.
The reference staff of the Plainsboro Public Library is able to answer quick questions about use of the Internet and offer searching suggestions to help locate information resources, but is not able to provide in-depth training on personal computer use and/or Internet skills –such as setting up and accessing private email accounts. The Library will offer occasional classes to instruct patrons in the general use of available computer based resources and networks. Internet users are further advised that more accurate, comprehensive or current information may be found in the Library’s collections of books, periodicals, online databases and links available through the library’s website. For thorough research on a topic, it is wise to consult with a member of the Library reference staff.
When allocating the use of public Internet terminals, priority will always be given to those doing research.
E-mail, games, chat-room activities and other forms of digital entertainment will not be allowed when terminals are needed for information retrieval.
Finally, the Plainsboro Public Library reserves the right to terminate an Internet session at any time.
Adaptation of Policy proposed by LMxAC , 12/20/96; Adopted by Plainsboro August 5, 1997; Revised and adopted by Plainsboro May 2, 2000; and March 7, 2006.
Proposed and adopted by the Library Board of Trustees: July 2, 2013
The Plainsboro Free Public Library is dedicated to providing a welcoming environment that encourages children to visit the Library, attend programs and use the Library’s resources. Library staff is available to assist and support children in using the Library, but they are not responsible for children who are left unattended. The library encourages parents to consider the safety and well-being of their children and the needs of other library users of all ages by familiarizing themselves with the policies regarding children in the Plainsboro Library.
- Parents/Caregivers of toddlers and preschoolers should remain attentive and within sight and conversation distance of their child at all times. Children ages 5-7 must have a parent or adult caregiver on the same floor with them at all times who assumes full accountability for the child’s safety and behavior in the Library.
- Children between the ages of 8-10 years must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver who is at least 16 years of age. Children ages 11-12 are welcome to use the library unattended, but, should not be left alone for extended periods of time (over two hours). Parents should be certain to provide their children with an emergency number where they can be reached at all times.
- Children of any age with mental, physical or emotional disabilities which affect decision-making skills or render supervision necessary must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver at all times.
- If children of any age attend a program, caregivers should be ready to meet the child promptly when the program ends.
- Parents of all unattended children and teens will be notified if there is a problem, and should be available to pick up their child at any time.
Unattended Children at Closing:
Children must be picked up no later than five minutes before closing time. Children left unattended at closing time will have the opportunity to contact an adult. If no contact can be made, or if a ride has not arrived within 10 minutes of closing, the police will be called to assist library personnel in locating the parents.
Library employees are not permitted to transport children to another location.