The Northeast Harbor Library serves everyone from the Town of Mont Desert, the Town of Cranberry Isles and their surrounding communities, who seek information, enlightenment, and the pleasure that comes from the life of the mind.
Statement of Purpose
The Northeast Harbor Library, serving the towns of Mount Desert and the Cranberry Isles, affirms the following purposes and roles in serving its community:
- To supply popular materials, meeting patron demand for books and periodicals.
- To be an independent learning center for individuals of all ages. Support for this purpose will be provided by:
- A general collection including works defined by collection development sources as classics and an adequate collection of standard reference works.
- Audiovisual materials, including classic works, music, and local history.
- Free access to public computers and the Internet.
- A local history collection of materials related to the community and including the State of Maine and the New England region, with archival collections of local materials. Works to cover the range of human learning and experience in psychology, philosophy, religion, the arts, literature, social sciences, science, technology, national and world history, geography, current affairs and biography.
- A children’s library for preschool through teenage years integral to formal education resources and providing works defined as classics by standard authorities.
- An affiliation agreement with Mount Desert Elementary School serves the school library function.
- A commitment to a scholarship program for Mount Desert Island High School graduates residing in the town of Mount Desert and pursuing further education, and seeks through its children’s services to support youth’s aspirations.
- Expansion of the library’s collection by providing interlibrary loan services for requested materials not available in the collection.
- The library serves as a community meeting place for nonprofit community organizations having educational, cultural, historical and civic purposes. The library provides information concerning community organizations, events and services, and hosts cultural, educational, historical and artistic programs and exhibits.
- The library supports free access to materials and endorses the American Library Association’s statements concerning the Right to Read and Intellectual Freedom. The Northeast Harbor Library Board of Director policies and hiring practices likewise uphold the ideals of free speech and human equality. The Northeast Harbor Library Board of Directors hires personnel adequate and able to support the library programs and services.
Library Organization and Legal Status
The Northeast Harbor Library is a private, non-profit 501(c)3 corporation. We are governed by a Board of Directors who are elected by members of the corporation. The Library’s operations are funded by its Endowment, by contributions and other gifts, and by annual municipal appropriations, primarily from the Town of Mount Desert. Although the Library is not a municipal facility, it is a public library and generally observes applicable standards and policies of the American Library Association such as the ALA Code of Ethics, Library Bill of Rights, and Freedom to Read Statement.
Who may use the library?
Everyone is welcome to use the Northeast Harbor Library, regardless of residency or age. Each applicant will receive an individual library card number upon registration. We suggest that very young children, those who cannot yet write their own name, use their parent’s library card. When a child under the age of 12 joins the library, a letter will be sent home to the parents of each applicant. This letter will explain the child’s rights and obligations as a library member, as well as those of the parent as legal guardian to the child. Parents and guardians are legally and financially responsible for their children until the age of 18, but the library’s policy of confidentiality for all ages should always be considered. Please note that an individual’s library account will be treated in a confidential manner in accordance with state law.
The library encourages people of all ages to visit the library. Those using its resources have the right to expect a safe and comfortable environment that supports appropriate library services. Children and young people are expected to adhere to the same standards of patron conduct expected of adults. Responsibility for the safety and behavior of children rests with the parent/guardian/caregiver, not with library personnel. Children under the age of 7 should not be left unattended but should always be in the immediate presence of and under the control of the person who is responsible for those children. Older, unaccompanied children who are disruptive may be asked to leave the library. If they cannot safely return home alone, they should phone an appropriate adult.
|Item type||Circulation period||Overdue fine||Replacement policy|
|Most print items, audio items, DVDs, etc.||2 weeks, renewals possible||.05 cents per day per item||Full retail replacement cost for similar edition|
|Magazines||1 week, renewals possible||.05 cents per day per item||Full retail replacement cost|
|Circulating Reference||Circulation period varies according to item, no renewals||.05 cents per day per item||Full retail replacement cost for similar edition|
|Special Collections/ Archives||By special arrangement only||.05 cents per day per item||Assessed on an individual basis|
|Inter-library loan||Varies by lending library||.05 cents per day or the lending library’s fine, whichever is higher||Full retail replacement cost for similar edition|
When a patron has accrued $20.00 in fines or replacement costs and/or an item is more than 21 days overdue, a patron’s account is suspended. All borrowing privileges will be suspended until the matter is resolved.
Note that renewals are available by phone and online 24 hours per day. For telephone renewals, call 207-276-3333 and leave a message if the library is closed. For online renewals, visit our web site, www.nehlibrary.org and look for a link to our catalog where you may log into your account.
Inter-Library Loan Policy
- The Library does not normally request or loan:
- Items that are currently owned by the Northeast Harbor Library but are unavailable because they are on loan to another patron.
- More than one audio/visual item at a time (note that Maine State Library Outreach Services may be a viable option for some patrons).
- Books released in the last 6-9 months.
- Overdue fines will be assessed at the same rate currently charged by the Northeast Harbor Library, or if applicable, the rate of the lending library, whichever is higher.
- There is no charge for obtaining items through inter library loan however, the library incurs costs for this service. Tax deductable donations to support the service are always appreciated.
Home Delivery of Library Materials
Depending on availability of volunteers, the library can deliver materials to or pick them up from the homes of house-bound patrons.
Room Use Policy
Meeting room access is granted on an equal basis to all regardless of doctrine. In general, meetings that do not interfere with normal library business are permitted. Library sponsorship of, or permission to hold, any meeting, presentation or other use of any facility does not mean that the library supports, endorses, or advocates any view expressed therein. The Northeast Harbor Library will not normally allow revenue-generating activities hosted by for-profit entities on the premises.
While there is no fee for use of the library please be aware that the library does incur additional heating and energy expense plus some additional custodial requirements. If groups who use the library’s meeting rooms are able, we ask that they please consider a tax-deductible donation to help defray these costs.
After-hours usage key
A lost key will result in a charge of $25. Cleaning, if required, will be billed at $35 per hour.
Any individual or community group that uses the library for any event must clearly state who is sponsoring the event in all publicity materials. For example, any press release, announcement or poster should clearly state “This event is sponsored by (Name of Individual or organization)”. In no case will the library’s logo be used in any publicity materials for community-sponsored events.
Refreshments may be served if the sponsoring group thoroughly cleans up and disposes of trash. Alcoholic beverages may not be served on library premises to any event that is open to the public unless there is a bartender with alcohol liability insurance hired for the event. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on library grounds.
Set up & Clean up
Please be sure to return the area to the condition in which you found it including table and chair configuration. Please do not move the piano or harpsichord without permission. A vacuum and cleaning supplies are available in the main floor janitor closet, next to the elevator.
The person requesting the use of the library’s space is personally responsible for all damage, theft or vandalism that may occur to the library during this/these events. The Mellon Room has a fire code capacity of 70 people. Groups who use the Mellon Room may not exceed 70 people at any time.
All persons requesting use of the library’s space is required to sign a room use waiver prior to use.
Alcohol Use Policy
Alcohol may be served at private events and moderation is expected. All applicable federal, state and local laws must be obeyed. If alcohol is served at a public non-library sponsored function, proof of liability insurance is required.
Policy for Reference Services
The staff at Northeast Harbor Library endeavors to provide accurate information and materials in response to requests from library users in an efficient, courteous and timely manner. Reference services will be delivered free of staff members’ individual bias, consistent with the principles expressed in the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics and Library Bill of Rights.
Priority and Delivery of Service
Services available through the reference desk generally include information services; instruction on the use of the library and library materials; bibliographic verification of items requested; readers’ advisory; inter-library loan services; referral to community services; and tourist information. Questions are generally answered in the order received, with priority given to questions asked by patrons in the library. When answering specific information questions, staff will normally cite the source of the answer. Personal beliefs, opinions, and experience are generally not acceptable sources of answers to reference questions but, if given, will be identified as such. In all cases staff will endeavor to deliver service free from their own personal beliefs and bias. Telephone reference service is normally limited to supplying readily available information that does not require extensive research and that can be accurately imparted over the telephone. Extensive research that requires selection of appropriate materials, interpretation of data and sources, or analysis of information (i.e. genealogical research) will be performed directly by the patron. Detailed information, especially that which is subject to analysis or interpretation, will not be relayed over the telephone. Samples of available materials can be gathered and held for patron pick-up. Staff are not permitted to photocopy materials to be mailed except under circumstances authorized by the library director (i.e. for disabled patrons who cannot come to the library, for other libraries, etc.). Telephone reference questions that can be answered quickly (two or three minutes) without affecting service to patrons in the library should be handled while the patron waits. Questions that require more time to answer, or that are received while other patrons are waiting in the library, will be handled as callbacks.
Limitations of Reference Service
Staff members are not authorized to make purchases for or act as an intermediary between patron and the marketplace (i.e. online shopping). In no case may a staff member be given a patron’s personal credentials such as user name, password or credit card information.
Instruction about the use of a patron’s personal computer will be generally limited to advising patrons on how to access the library’s public networks. Staff may not act as “tech support” for a library patron or assist with configuration of a patron’s PC or other electronic device. Staff may never directly touch a patron’s computer and are not personally liable for any damage caused to a patron’s computer when advising about its use.
All requests for reference information are strictly confidential. Reference staff may consult with each other when necessary to serve the patron or consult with staff at other libraries, agencies, and organizations. Questions are tallied for statistical purposed and may be compiled to assist in staff training. In all cases, patron confidentiality and privacy will be maintained.
Additional care and caution will be exercised when providing legal, medical, or consumer information. To avoid misunderstandings, it is advisable that patrons visit the library to review this type of information, rather than receiving the information over the telephone. Reference staff will provide definitions, quote material verbatim, and direct patrons to information sources. Staff will not offer advice or opinions, condense or abstract information, or suggest a course of action or diagnosis. Staff will provide the source and copyright date for legal and medical information.
Based on Model Policies for Small and Medium Sized Public Libraries 1998, Neal Schuman Publishers, inc. pp106-107.
Collection Development Policy Summary
The Northeast Harbor Library’s material selections are guided by a Collection Development policy.
In selecting materials for the collection, the Northeast Harbor Library aims to:
- Primarily serve the needs of residents of Mount Desert and the Cranberry Isles. Patrons from other communities are welcome and encouraged to use the Library as well.
- Provide a wide variety of engaging materials, representing as many viewpoints as possible, in the format that is most useful to the patron.
- Provide materials that assist Library users with lifelong learning, crafts, obtaining useful skills, hobbies, home economics, “do it yourself” skills. To the extent that is possible, the Library serves as a research facility for a broad range of subjects. Necessarily, breadth of collection will be achieved at the expense of depth in certain areas.
- Collect and preserve fiction and non-fiction items about Maine, Hancock County, Mount Desert, and the surrounding areas.
- Make accessible to patrons up-to-date and accurate reference materials. Materials will be collected in the formats that are most suited to the user and with future collection considerations in mind.
The Library staff will also strive to:
- Continuously evaluate the Library’s collections, weeding materials that are out of date, worn, inaccurate.
- Stay aware of technological changes which may improve our service or affect the development of the collection.
- Cooperate with other libraries, to avoid inappropriate duplication of resources and services, while ensuring wide coverage of subjects.
- Participate in cooperative programs promoting collection development of shared resources within the state of Maine.
Policy on Collection Accessibility
All materials except museum, archive items and special collections will be freely and easily accessible to the public. There will be no labeling of any item to indicate its point of view or bias. The Library assures free access to its holdings for all patrons, young and old, who are free to select or reject for themselves any item in the collection. Individual or group challenges to a particular item or type of material in the collection will not preclude its use by others. Children are not limited to the children’s collection, although these collections are kept separate from other Library collections to facilitate use. Responsibility for a child’s reading rests with the parent or guardian, not with the Library. Staff are prohibited from restricting access to the collection. Northeast Harbor Library Board believes that the right to read is an important part of the intellectual freedom that is basic to democracy. The library has adopted the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom To Read statements, together with the ALA interpretations of those statements, as official Library policy.
Requests for Withdrawal of Materials (material challenges)
Whenever any patron formally objects to the presence or absence of any Library material, the complaint can be given a hearing. Any complainant will be supplied with the “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form and offered the opportunity to have her/his concern heard. If the request is for withdrawal of material, the Library Director will convene a committee to examine the item in question. The ad hoc materials review committee will consist of the Library Director, one or more staff members and one or more members of the Library Board. Decisions will be rendered by majority vote.
The ad hoc committee will check reviews and other standard guides, survey Library colleagues, and determine whether the item conforms to the selection standards of this policy. If it is a request for addition of an item that has been rejected by the Library, the Library Director will reconsider its addition. The committee has final responsibility for deciding whether to add or withdraw the material in question and will notify the complainant and the Board, giving the reasons for the decision. Materials subject to complaint shall not be removed from use pending final action. All material challenges will be handled in a manner consistent with the Library’s confidentiality policy.
Internet Acceptable Use Policy
- Please sign up to use any computer.
- Do not use our computer resources or network unlawfully.
- Do not tamper with our computers, systems or settings in any way.
- Do not expose other individuals to material that they or, if under 18, their parents, may find objectionable.
- Please report any problems with library computers to a staff member immediately. The Library shall have no liability for any damages, direct or indirect, occurring as a result of the use of our electronic resources.
- If you do not comply with these rules, you will be held liable for any damage and your privilege to use the Library’s computer resources will be revoked.
Staff members are not authorized to:
- Assist with any online purchases of financial transactions.
- Reconfigure or install software on any computer not owned by the Library
A note for wireless users:
- Our network does not protect your machine from viruses or third party eaves-dropping.
Print / Copy Policy
Copies and computer print-outs are available as a convenience to our patrons. The cost for this service is twenty-five cents per sheet, regardless of size or number of sides copied. There is no charge for reasonable amounts of copies to local students in grades K-12 as long as the copies being made are directly related to school assignments.
The Library’s Mellon Room and other exhibit areas are part of the Library’s collection space. The Library selects and exhibits artwork and other materials that are consistent with its mission. As with the Library’s materials collections, the Library seeks to make available materials that represent a variety of media and techniques, that are of artistic or literary value, that match the interests of our patrons, fit attractively in the available space, have some relationship to Northeast Harbor or surrounding areas, or to Maine, and that represent a variety of viewpoints.
The Northeast Harbor Library does not discriminate based on doctrinal point of view expressed by an exhibit and hereby endorses the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights and the ALA interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights as related to library exhibit spaces and bulletin boards.
As with any other part of the collection, the library welcomes requests and suggestions from patrons and others for materials to be displayed. The library does not, however, guarantee that any particular request will be granted and reserves the right, in its discretion, to reject any exhibition. Objections to the materials displayed, where a patron asks that the materials be removed or limited in some manner, are treated in the same manner as challenges to books and other materials.
Some work exhibited at the Library is available for purchase. Artists are asked to donate to the Library 20% of all sales generated by exhibit at the Library.
Bulletin Board Policy
It is a legitimate, and expected, function of a public library to assist in providing notice of public affairs and timely events. However, uncontrolled utilization of walls and shelves for posting notices interferes with the attractiveness of the library and can deny access to some worthy notices. In order to maintain decorum yet provide access to public display to all, the following policy is adopted:
- Except for library materials, no notice or poster may exceed 11 x 17 inches in size.
- Non-library material to be posted on a bulletin board must be presented to the librarian or her designated assistant, and stamped with the date of posting.
- Except for library materials, no notice or poster will be allowed to remain on a bulletin board for more than 30 consecutive days.
- Material removed after 30 days may not be re-displayed until after a lapse of at least 30 days duration.
The use of the Northeast Harbor Library bulletin board for display of public notices will be guided by the following priorities:
- Notices of library programs, events, activities and services will have first priority.
- Notices of community interest offered by organizations with community affiliations will be considered next.
- Notices will concern cultural, educational or recreational topics of interest to the community.
- All material for display must be approved and posted by the Library Director or his/her representative.
- The library will not guarantee any specific length of time of display.
- The library reserves the right to remove from display any non-conforming material.
Gift Acceptance Policy
The Northeast Harbor Library welcomes gifts of library materials, money or real property. Gifts and donations may be made to the library in a number of ways: through the Annual Appeals, memorial gifts, to the library’s endowment, or, through the gift of tangible objects and ephemera. The Northeast Harbor Library reserves the right to decline any gift for any reason.
Any monetary gift may be deposited in any of the following funds at the discretion of the Library Board.
The Library Board and Library Director will raise money for the Annual Fund through community-wide appeals and direct solicitation of individuals, corporations, and foundations. Donations to this fund shall be unrestricted unless a specific condition is stated by the donor. Acknowledgement of all monetary gifts shall be sent soon after receipt of materials. Donations may be made to the annual appeal at any time during the year. Monetary gifts received by mail will be applied to the budget year during which the gift envelope is postmarked.
Restricted Gifts and Memorial Gifts
The library accepts monetary donations, bequests, annuities, stocks and bonds for the purchase of collection materials, furnishings and fixtures, special programming, or area of interest of the donor or grant maker, consistent with the mission of the library. Funds may be given as an outright gift, in memory of, or in honor of individuals. Memorial books or other library materials are designated by a memorial bookplate, unless otherwise requested. Gifts of furnishings and equipment may be identified with a small plaque. Any Memorial Gifts received by the library that are not restricted by the donor may be designated for a specific fund or purpose by the Library Board. Donations may be made to this fund at any time. Expenditures from these funds do not require prior approval of the Library Board if they meet the donor’s designated purpose.
Memorial Gifts added to the library’s collection may be withdrawn in the same manner as purchased material.
Library Endowment Fund
Unless otherwise designated by the donor, large contributions will be added to the library’s unrestricted endowment.
Monetary donations made to support one-time material purchases will not replace regularly budgeted library expenditures and will not be used to replace already funded activities.
Policy on non-monetary gifts:
Art, Books and Other Tangible Objects
Gifts of books and other library materials are accepted without conditions attached. For example, special housing or permanent shelving cannot be promised, nor can the library guarantee to keep intact a group of donated materials.
Defined in part as: book collections or non-book materials, specialized collections, magazine subscriptions, prints, maps, clipping files and ephemera; may be given to the library provided that the Library Director may accession or dispose of these gifts as s/he sees fit. Such donations to the collection are accepted with the understanding that the library applies the same criteria for evaluating gift material as it applies to purchased material. The library is not responsible for notifying donors of withdrawal or replacement of gift items.
If requested by the donor, and when such a request is practical, the library staff may review some gifts prior to their acceptance to determine their suitability to the library’s collection.
The Northeast Harbor Library has been particularly fortunate in the past in receiving fine paintings, sculpture, as well as furniture, equipment and estate items from donors. When appropriate, acceptance of such gifts will usually be made by the Library Board, with the recommendation of the Library Director. Gift terms such as a request to display or keep an item or group of items in perpetuity are substantial commitments that will rarely be made. Such decisions are made by the Library Board with the recommendation of the Library Director.
Appraisal of gifted items
Although the library acknowledges gifts for tax purposes, the library staff is not authorized to appraise gifted materials. If the donor requires an appraisal for income tax or other purposes, it is the donor’s responsibility to have the appraisal made prior to transfer of ownership to the Northeast Harbor Library.
Privacy and Confidentiality Policy
Maine has a confidentiality of library records law:
MAINE REVISED STATUTES
TITLE 27. LIBRARIES, HISTORY, CULTURE AND ART
CHAPTER 4-A. LIBRARY RECORDS
27 M.R.S. § 121. Confidentiality of library records
Records maintained by any public municipal library, the Maine State Library, the Law and Legislative Reference Library and libraries of the University of Maine System and the Maine Maritime Academy that contain information relating to the identity of a library patron relative to the patron’s use of books or other materials at the library are confidential. Those records may only be released with the express written permission of the patron involved or as the result of a court order.
Accordingly, library staff members are not authorized to discuss library records with anyone other than the cardholder, nor are they allowed to release your private information without a court order. Minors are afforded the same privacy rights as adults.
The library maintains a mailing list for fund-raising and other purposes. We will not sell or rent this list, nor grant access to anyone except pursuant to official Northeast Harbor Library business.
Record Retention Policy
Your private library records contain personally identifiable information. To protect your privacy we will cull our circulation records on a biennial basis, keeping the past 2 years of circulation records that identify you or books, etc. you may have borrowed. We will keep Internet sign-up logs for only as long as we need to record the statistical, not personally identifiable information (usually about a month).