The Acton Public Library Board of Directors is currently working on updating polices. Please check this page for the most current policies. There are also printed copies at the Main Desk.
Click on the policy names below to bring you to the full policy.
The Acton Public Library, a department of the Town of Old Saybrook, is a taxpayer-supported
institution. The Library Board is responsible for establishing rules of conduct to protect the rights
and safety of all library patrons, volunteers, and staff, as well as preserving and protecting the
Library’s materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds.
Acton Library Board of Directors has established the guidelines below.
All patrons, volunteers and staff:
• Will have the right to free and open access, while respecting the rights and privacy of
others to use the Library;
• Will respect the Library's collections and understand their value;
• Will use the Library's facilities in a manner that ensures the comfort and safety of
others, including taking responsibility for our children's behavior;
• Will respect the work of the Library's staff to ensure a positive and safe environment
and promote and support literacy and learning;
• Will understand the importance of zero tolerance for tobacco, drugs, alcohol,
harassment, discrimination, or violence of any kind in the Library.
Violations of this Code will result in increasing levels of action, ranging from asking the patron
to leave the Library for the remainder of the day, to permanent loss of Library privileges, to legal
prosecution. The level of action shall be determined on a case-by-case basis and shall be within
the sole discretion of the Library Director or their designee.
These policies are drafted in accordance with Sec. 11-32 of the Connecticut General Statutes;
Legislative Body of Municipality May Establish or Operate a Public Library.
Collection Development Policy (previously Materials Selection)
Library Board Policy as of March 1994.
Reviewed and approved November 9, 1999
Reviewed, revised and approved February 2004
Reviewed, Revised and approved April 9, 2019
Reviewed, Revised and approve April 12, 2022
Purpose of Policy
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the selection of Library materials in accordance with our Mission Statement. The Acton Public Library adheres to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Free Access to Libraries for Minors (an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights), and the Freedom to Read (statements attached as Appendix A, B and C).
The Library provides a broadly based and diverse collection of resources and materials with a balanced point of view on topics.
Children and Young Adults have complete and open access to all materials within the entire library. Parents are ultimately responsible for what their Children and Young Adult’s select for reading, listening, and viewing.
The materials selection policy statement is directed toward the development and maintenance of a well-balanced collection of available materials. These materials include books, periodicals, newspapers, audiovisual, and digital offerings. Other forms of information will be added as they develop and become in demand.
Responsibility for Selection
Responsibility for the collection rests with the Library Director. The Director and delegated staff will determine items to be included in the collection by using staff recommendations, reviews in library journals, and recommendations from individuals and groups. Suggestions from patrons are welcome and are given serious consideration.
The following considerations will be made when purchasing materials for the collection:
• Reader request or local interest;
• Reviews in professional journals;
• Evident need in a subject area;
• Heavy demand for popular items;
• Importance as a document of the times;
• Attention of critics, reviewers and public
Requests for Purchase
Suggestions for purchase are welcomed and appreciated. We will use the same criteria when considering requests from Old Saybrook patrons as mentioned above in our Selection Criteria.
Donations and Gifts
The Acton Library accepts donations of books and other materials. Donated items are subject to the same criteria as any purchased additions to the collection. Gifts are accepted without commitment as to final assignment.
In order to provide the best service to our community, the collection is regularly evaluated. Materials are evaluated on an on-going basis for accuracy, currency, enjoyment and will be withdrawn when their individual value to the library’s collection no longer exists. Materials which are no longer useful because of condition, lack of circulation, or because they no longer meet selection criteria will be withdrawn from the collection. General guidelines for collection management are adapted from the CREW method, an industry standard developed by the
Texas State Library. CREW stands for Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding. Withdrawn materials will be donated to other non-profits, consigned to Baker & Taylor’s Sustainable Shelves Program for credit, or be discarded.
Reconsideration of Library Materials
Objections by Old Saybrook residents to materials owned by the library should be made in writing, giving reasons in detail. Material Reconsideration Forms are available for this purpose. The Library Director will review the material in question, make an initial determination on the request, and discuss it with the person who challenged the material. If the complainant is dissatisfied with the Library Director’s determination, the complaint will go to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will meet with the Library Director and will make a determination about the materials and will respond to the patron. Decisions of the Board of Trustees will be final. The Library Director and the Board of Trustees will use this policy, the Library Bill of Rights, The Freedom to Read Statement, and the related supportive documents of the American Library Association to help make its final determination of any challenged materials.
Objections to Lion’s shared digital collection, OverDrive electronic/audiobooks and OverDrive magazines, will be directed to the Lion eMaterial Committee, in consultation with the Lion Board of Director, will review the concern and respond to the patron within 30 days of submission. See Appendix H for more details.
Appendix A: Library Bill of Rights
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
VII. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.
Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019.
Inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.
Although the Articles of the Library Bill of Rights are unambiguous statements of basic principles that should govern the service of all libraries, questions do arise concerning application of these principles to specific library practices. See the documents designated by the Intellectual Freedom Committee as Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights.
Appendix B: Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors
An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
Library policies and procedures that effectively deny minors equal and equitable access to all library resources and services available to other users violate the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights. The American Library Association opposes all attempts to restrict access to library services, materials, and facilities based on the age of library users.
Article V of the Library Bill of Rights states, “A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.” The “right to use a library” includes free access to, and unrestricted use of, all the services, materials, and facilities the library has to offer. Every restriction on access to, and use of, library resources, based solely on the chronological age, educational level, literacy skills, or legal emancipation of users violates Article V.
Libraries are charged with the mission of providing services and developing resources to meet the diverse information needs and interests of the communities they serve. Services, materials, and facilities that fulfill the needs and interests of library users at different stages in their personal development are a necessary part of library resources. The needs and interests of each library user, and resources appropriate to meet those needs and interests, must be determined on an individual basis. Librarians cannot predict what resources will best fulfill the needs and interests of any individual user based on a single criterion such as chronological age, educational level, literacy skills, or legal emancipation. Equitable access to all library resources and services shall not be abridged through restrictive scheduling or use policies.
Libraries should not limit the selection and development of library resources simply because minors will have access to them. Institutional self-censorship diminishes the credibility of the library in the community and restricts access for all library users.
Children and young adults unquestionably possess First Amendment rights, including the right to receive information through the library in print, sound, images, data, games, software, and other formats.1 Constitutionally protected speech cannot be suppressed solely to protect children or young adults from ideas or images a legislative body believes to be unsuitable for them.2 Librarians and library governing bodies should not resort to age restrictions in an effort to avoid actual or anticipated objections because only a court of law can determine whether or not content is constitutionally protected.
The mission, goals, and objectives of libraries cannot authorize librarians or library governing bodies to assume, abrogate, or overrule the rights and responsibilities of parents and guardians. As “Libraries: An American Value” states, “We affirm the responsibility and the right of all parents and guardians to guide their own children’s use of the library and its resources and services.” Librarians and library governing bodies cannot assume the role of parents or the functions of parental authority in the private relationship between parent and child. Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that only parents and guardians have the right and the responsibility to determine their children’s—and only their children’s—access to library resources. Parents and guardians who do not want their children to have access to specific library services, materials, or facilities should so advise their children.
Librarians and library governing bodies have a public and professional obligation to ensure that all members of the community they serve have free, equal, and equitable access to the entire range of library resources regardless of content, approach, or format. This principle of library service applies equally to all users, minors as well as adults. Lack of access to information can be harmful to minors. Librarians and library governing bodies must uphold this principle in order to provide adequate and effective service to minors.
1 Brown v. Entertainment Merchant’s Association, et al. 564 U.S. 08-1448 (2011): a) Video games qualify for First Amendment protection. Like protected books, plays, and movies, they communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium. And ‘the basic principles of freedom of speech . . . do not vary’ with a new and different communication medium.”
2 Erznoznik v. City of Jacksonville, 422 U.S. 205 (1975): “Speech that is neither obscene as to youths nor subject to some other legitimate proscription cannot be suppressed solely to protect the young from ideas or images that a legislative body thinks unsuitable for them. In most circumstances, the values protected by the First Amendment are no less applicable when government seeks to control the flow of information to minors.” See also Tinker v. Des Moines School Dist., 393 U.S.503 (1969); West Virginia Bd. of Ed. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943); AAMA v. Kendrick, 244 F.3d 572 (7th Cir. 2001).
Adopted June 30, 1972, by the ALA Council; amended July 1, 1981; July 3, 1991; June 30, 2004; July 2, 2008 under previous name "Free Access to Libraries for Minors"; and July 1, 2014.
Appendix C: The Freedom to Read Statement
The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.
Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.
These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.
Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.
Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.
We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.
The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.
We therefore affirm these propositions:
It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.
Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.
Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.
Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.
It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.
No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.
There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.
To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.
It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.
The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.
It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.
It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.
It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a "bad" book is a good one, the answer to a "bad" idea is a good one.
The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader's purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.
We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.
This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.
Adopted June 25, 1953, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004.
Appendix H: Libraries Online, Inc. Digital Collection Challenge Policy and Procedures
Explanation of Digital Collections
Libraries Online, Inc. (LION) shares two digital collections among its member libraries, Overdrive electronic/audiobooks and Overdrive magazines.
Overdrive electronic/audiobooks are selected by the LION eMaterials Committee, which is composed of librarians from member libraries. Given the cost of eBooks and audiobooks, the selection team follows collection development principles that focus on materials that appeal to a broad range of public library users of all ages. These include, but are not limited to:
• NYT best sellers • Major prize winners & popular award winning titles • Popular fiction and non-fiction authors • Books that turn into movies • Series – if available , including backlists of new releases • Additional titles will be considered upon patron recommendation.
Titles are withdrawn from the collection in order to maintain its usefulness, currency, relevance, or for contractual reasons between Overdrive, LION’s content provider, and a publisher.
Overdrive magazines are an inclusive collection for which the consortium pays a fixed fee. LION does not contribute to the development of the collection.
Libraries Online, Inc. (LION) provides online access to electronic content to serve the interests of its member patrons.
LION upholds the First Amendment and is dedicated to free inquiry. LION subscribes to the Library Bill of Rights. It also supports the “Freedom to Read” and the “Freedom to View” statements adopted by the American Library Association. LION endorses the Readers’ First principles. LION believes responsibility for monitoring a child’s access to resources rests with a parent or legal guardian. Individual member libraries do not have the authority to remove items in the LION collection.
LION believes that no individual should censor or restrict the freedom of others to read or listen to the collection. LION will respond to patron concerns about the suitability of a particular title. Please direct these inquiries to email@example.com. LION asks that you include the following information:
• Contact information (name, email address)
• Patron’s LION Library
• Item information (author/title)
• Examples of the unsuitability of the item in question
The LION eMaterials Committee, in consultation with the LION Board of Directors, will review the concern and respond to the patron within 30 days of submission.
V. 1, 2/2/22
The Library Director will consult with the First Selectman to decide when an emergency closing is
necessary on the basis of the safety of the staff and patrons. The Library Director will then inform the
Chairperson of the Board of Trustees and appropriate staff. The Director will then post the
announcement on our website, available Town of Old Saybrook forums, social media outlets, and on the
local news stations. There will be posted notices on the doors to advise the public if staff is at the Library
to do so.
Approved March 12th, 2019
The Acton Public Library provides programs of educational, cultural and civic nature, to further
the enrichment of all of our community. Programs may represent the wide range of views and
ideas contained in our materials collection and will represent the Library’s philosophy of open
access to information. These programs will often be presented in cooperation with other agencies
and institutions as well as other public and private resources. Organization name or business
affiliations may be used. This does not constitute endorsement, merely acknowledgement.
These programs draw attention to, and promote the unique resources of the Library.
Library sponsored programs will be free and open to the public. Programs will not be allowed to
serve as a platform for generating income for any sponsoring group or individual, except funds
for the library. Products or services will not be sold during programs at the library. Excepted
from this are authors who come to speak about books they have authored and performers who
have recordings available for sale.
The ultimate responsibility for selection of Library programs rests with the Library Director or
Approved March 12, 2019
An Acton Public Library card is available for any person who shows proof of residence within the Town of Old Saybrook to borrow library materials and be subject to the requirements and restrictions set forth in the application procedure. The library card will be valid for three (3) years. Renewals of library cards must be done in-person. Any person 18 years of age or older or the parent/guardian of any person under 18 years of age with an Acton Public Library card is responsible for all materials and associated fees charged to their card. Cardholders are responsible for notifying the Acton Public Library of card loss or changes in contact information. There is a $1.00 fee to replace lost cards.
Confidentiality of User Records: Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 11-25 (b), identifiable personal information contained in the circulation records of the public libraries within the consortiums shall be confidential.
Library Card Registration:
Adults: Adults must provide the Library with proof of Old Saybrook residency with address. The following items are acceptable forms of identification:
- Driver’s License, Connecticut State Photo ID, or Federal Photo ID
- Utility Bill dated within last 30 days
- Town Tax statement
- Tax bill or receipt
- Mail postmarked within last 30 days
- Other documents accepted on a case by case basis
Minors: Minors until the age of 18 must have a parent or a legal guardian present with the applicant and sign the application. The parent or guardian’s identification or Acton Public Library card will be accepted as proof of residence. Parents or guardians are responsible for all items checked out by children under the age of 18. Parents are also responsible for monitoring their child’s borrowed materials.
Teacher Cards: Teachers, homeschool educators, preschool or daycare providers who live in or work in Old Saybrook, may apply for a teacher library card. The teacher card allows educators to keep their personal account separate and has a 5 week loan period. There are no fines associated with a teacher card, but items lost or damaged are the responsibility of the teacher. These cards are updated yearly.
Out-of-Town Residents: Residents of other Connecticut Towns may use their valid, home-town library card to check-out materials at the Acton Public Library. If a patron has an expired out-of-town LION (Libraries Online) library card, the expiration date will be extended for one month to allow the patron to update their cards at their home library.
Blocked Library Cards: Library cards will become blocked if an item(s) is lost/damaged and not paid for. Parents or guardians whose library cards are blocked due to lost items are not allowed to use their child’s card until their own record has been cleared. A child may continue to use their card to check out materials if their parent’s/guardian’s card is blocked.
Library Card Usage:
Borrowing Materials: Your valid library card must be presented upon checkout. The Acton Public Library is part of the LION Consortium. This consortium is comprised of 30+ public libraries and one college library, and shares a catalog that contains the full collections of the member libraries which can be searched simultaneously or by library.
From the catalog, a patron can request any title, and, subject to the policies, an available item will be retrieved and sent to the patron’s library via the State Library’s deliverIT program. LION also participates in an auxiliary delivery system to streamline the efficiency of book delivery from library to library. The LION collection totals over 830,000 titles and 2.5 million items.
Loan periods at the Acton Public Library are created to align with the LION Consortium’s best practices. If the due date falls on a Holiday or a day when the library is closed, the loan period will be extended until the next day the library is open.
Loan Periods (in days):
- 3 Days: Fast Flix Movies
- 7 Days: Adult Express Books, DVD’s & Blue Rays, Magazines
- 21 Days: Books, Audiobooks, Kits, Music CD’s, Playaways
- 90 Days: Rotating Collections
Renewing and Reserving Materials: Most items can be renewed. Renewals can be made in person, on the phone and through the catalog. Museum passes, Fast flicks, Express items cannot be renewed. Other items can be renewed 2 times unless there is a reserve on the item, and ILL items may be renewed once provided the lending library allows.
A reserve can be placed on any item except museum passes, Fast Flicks and Express fiction. Reserves are honored in the order taken. Patrons will be notified when item is available and it will be held for one week.
Returning Items: Items can be returned when the library is open or closed. Books should be returned to the main circulation desk when returning inside. There are 2 external book returns slots located near both the front and rear entrances of the building. If the book returns are full and you cannot insert any more items, please do not leave items outside.
Inter-Library Loans: Items that are not within the LION Consortium, but within the State of Connecticut will be subject to our InterLibrary Loan (ILL) Policy found on page 19 of this manual.
Non-Circulating Items: Newspapers, ready Reference materials, and items in the case reference section (Local Historical), do not circulate. Copiers are available for people needing copies of information from materials that don’t circulate. There is a charge for copies made using library copiers.
Fines and Billed Items
Fines: As of January 1st, 2019 the Acton Public Library eliminated mandatory fines on a majority of our materials. Fines can prevent some patrons, especially children, from checking out our collection items. One of the library’s missions is to connect patrons with materials and the threat of fines gets in the way of this goal. The Acton Public Library will remove all fines on borrowed materials as of October 12th, 2021 to make sure everyone can have equal access to materials without fear of punishment.
The Library does not want to financially burden patrons, but if patrons are able to donate, the library is appreciative. The Acton Public Library has instituted a donation jar so that patrons may still contribute to the library collection procurement.
Billed Items: After an item is two weeks overdue, a reminder is sent to the patron. At three weeks overdue the item is considered lost, the card will be blocked, and no activity will be allowed on the card. A bill for replacement cost will be sent, with the following language; “This is a bill for replacement of lost materials. To reduce the amount owed, please return the item(s). No refunds of any of these charges will be made if lost item is found after payment.
Lost or Damaged Items: A patron who lost or damaged an item of the Acton Public Library’s collection will be asked to pay the replacement cost of the item, a default cost of 25.00 per book. Consideration of age and availability will be taken into consideration when an item is charged to a patron for replacement. We will not accept replacement items in lieu of money.
Items that belong to other libraries, even if checked out at the Acton Public Library may have different fine schedules. The fines rules from the owning library will apply.
Approved December 11th, 2018
(Updated October 12, 2021)
Statement of Purpose:
The Acton Public Library offers free computer and wireless internet access throughout the building. All patrons
using the Library’s computers and wireless internet connection must agree to the library’s Computer and Internet Policy.
The Library staff reserves the right to terminate any internet session, including wireless internet sessions, at any time.
Patrons violating this Computer and Internet Policy may lose their internet privileges.
The Acton Public Library is not responsible for the content, accuracy or availability of information on the
internet. The Library Board of Trustees and its employees assume no responsibility for damages of any type arising from
the use of any information, software, or data obtained from the internet.
Patrons are responsible for their own computer equipment and any confidential information such as credit card
numbers, web IDs and passwords, etc. Please do not leave equipment unattended.
Patrons may not damage, alter, or degrade library computer equipment, peripherals, software, or operating
configurations. Installation of software applications or directly accessing or altering computer hard drive files is not
permitted. Patrons may not shut down computer work stations.
• Patrons are expected to read and agree to the Computer and Internet Policy prior to use.
• Patrons may not use the library’s internet service or the wireless internet access to send threatening or harassing
material or engage in any activity that is deliberately offensive or creates an intimidating or hostile environment.
Loud or disruptive behavior is prohibited.
• The Acton Public Library strives to preserve the confidentiality and privacy of all library users. However,
absolute privacy for patrons using electronic resources in the library cannot be guaranteed. All users are asked to
respect the privacy of other users and not attempt to censor or comment on what others are viewing.
• Illegal or unauthorized use, such as hacking (purposely violating computer or network security), spamming, or the
dissemination of viruses and /or worms, hoaxes, or violations of applicable Federal, State or other laws are
prohibited. Violations of copyright or software licensing agreements are prohibited.
• Patrons may not view, print, distribute, display, send or receive images or graphics of obscene or pornographic
materials, or material that violates laws relating to child pornography while using the library’s internet service.
• The Acton Public Library does not use internet filtering software. It reserves the right to filter out any internet
site or sites that violate this policy, causes library computers or wireless internet connections to malfunction,
proves harmful to users, or is deemed inappropriate for library use.
• Printing from computers/internet is available. Printing is possible from the library’s computers, or your laptop,
tablet, or mobile device, using the wireless feature.
Use of the internet by children:
The computers located in the children’s room are primarily for the use of children, and adults who are with children
11 and under, the teen computers are for use for minors 12-17, and the adult computers are for ages 18 and up. As
with all library materials, restriction of a child’s access to the internet is the responsibility of his or her parents or legal
guardians. The library staff cannot act in place of parents in providing supervision of children as they explore the
internet. The responsibility for what minor children read or view on the internet rests with parents or
Approved by APL Library Board 9/09/2014, updated August 11, 2020
Statement of Purpose
The Acton Public Library Board of Directors views the use of the meeting rooms as an extension of library
services. The rooms should be available to the Library’s community and should reflect the educational,
cultural, social, and recreational role the Library plays.
The Board subscribes to Article IV of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights that states that
facilities should be made available to the public served by the Library on an equitable basis, regardless of the
beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. Use of a room by any group or individual
does not in any way constitute an endorsement of the group’s policies or beliefs by the Library or the Town.
Availability and Application for Use
The following rooms are available for use:
The Friends’ Conference Room, capacity not to exceed 12
The Grady Thomas Program Room, capacity not to exceed 75, (when divided into two smaller rooms
capacity not to exceed 35 each)
A. Meeting rooms will be scheduled on a first-come, first served basis, according to the date the
application is received.
B. Application for the use of meeting rooms should be submitted prior to the date of the event, but no more
than 12 months in advance. Application forms should be completed and signed by a representative of the
C. In order to make the rooms available to as many eligible groups as possible, no group may schedule
more than 12 meetings per calendar year (one per month). Applications may be made in person, by
calling 860.395.3184, or on the library website.
D. Room reservations must end 15 minutes prior to the library closing time.
E. Local for-profit groups may use the meeting rooms for informational programs only and must be open to
F. No charge shall be made for admission to any program or meeting held at the library. However, groups that
normally collect dues or membership fees may use the Meeting Rooms. Solicitation and sales of any kind is
prohibited. The exception would be sales during library sponsored programs.
G. Friends’ Conference Room can be used for an individual study in two hour intervals and will be
accommodated only on a walk-in basis. The time may be extended if the room is not booked.
H. Youth groups may use the rooms if they are accompanied by an adult supervisor of the group (21 yrs. or
older). The adult supervisor shall sign the application for the use of the facility and shall assume full
responsibility for supervision of the group for the entire time they are in the Library.
I. The following scheduling priorities will prevail when rooms are booked:
1. Library sponsored programs
2. Friends of the Library
3. Town commissions/boards
4. Old Saybrook community organizations
5. Other non-profit organizations
J. Groups that have booked a room must notify the library as soon as possible in advance of the meeting
date if they decide not to use the room. Failure to do so may result in loss of meeting room privileges.
K. Neither the name nor the address of the library may be used as the address for groups or organizations
using meeting rooms. L. Library meeting rooms are not available for individual and private parties.
GENERAL RULES OF USE
A. All publicity is the responsibility of the sponsoring organization.
B. No decorations, signs or posters may be put up in meeting rooms without prior permission. Materials
and signs shall not be affixed to the walls or doors.
C. Refreshments may be served in the meeting rooms, provided that no fee is charged. Kitchen facilities
and a coffee pot may be used with prior arrangement, but paper supplies, coffee, and utensils are not
provided. The kitchen must be left clean and food must be removed.
D. Groups may not store supplies at the library.
E. Groups using videos/DVDs in the meeting rooms must secure all necessary public performance rights or
agree to indemnify the library for any failure on their part to do so.
F. If a group requires audio-visual equipment, the user must be comfortable with the technology and will
be held responsible for any damage to hardware or software.
G. Smoking and alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the library.
H. Any publicity should clearly indicate the sponsoring organization’s name, and that the Acton Public
Library is not responsible for the program.
I. Activities and noise levels must not interfere with the use of the other meeting room or the Library.
J. Library staff reserves the right to enter any meeting space at any time.
K. The group using the room is responsible for:
Setting up chairs, tables and equipment.
Proper supervision of children attending programs (including time prior to and following meeting)
Restoring the room to the same condition in which it was found.
Any costs arising from any damage or loss during use.
L. The Library reserves the right to suspend or cancel meeting space privileges to any individual, group or
organization that fails to comply with the Meeting Room Policy or any other library policy.
M. Any individual or group that uses the meeting rooms pursuant to these rules agrees to indemnify and
render the Acton Public Library, its Board of Trustees, and its employees harmless from any and all
claims, actions, causes of actions of any kind which may arise out of the use of the meeting rooms by
such individuals or group.
APL Board of Trustees; Reviewed and approved April 9, 2019
Reviewed and Updated April 12, 2022
Statement of Purpose:
The Acton Public Library is a department of the Town of Old Saybrook and is a taxpayer-supported
institution. As a result, the Library Board is responsible for establishing policies and rules of conduct to
protect the rights and safety of all library patrons, volunteers, and staff, and for preserving and protecting
the Library’s materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds.
In accordance with Connecticut State Statute 53-21a, children under 12 must be accompanied by a
responsible adult, 18 years of age or older. At all times, caregivers are responsible for the conduct and
safety of their children on Library premises. Caregivers must provide appropriate supervision based on
the ages, abilities, and the levels of capability of their children.
This Child Safety Policy defines permissible and non-permissible use of the Children’s Room facilities
and equipment at the Acton Public Library and the scope of the staff’s responsibility to minors. This
policy is an extension of the Code of Conduct and the conduct expectations for all library patrons,
volunteers, and staff.
Permissible and non-permissible Children’s Room use includes, but is not limited to:
All children under 12 must be accompanied by a responsible adult age 18 or older when using the
Children’s Room. The responsible adult must remain in the Children’s Room with the child or children at
The Children’s Room is reserved for the use of children and developmentally delayed adults. Adults
unaccompanied by a child may use the Children’s Room only if they are looking for materials to check
out and they must leave the room once they have located the items. Adults unaccompanied by a child
may not use the Children’s Room to lounge. Any adult found in the Children’s Room not supervising a
child or browsing for materials to check out will be asked to leave immediately.
The use of the children’s computers is restricted to children under the age of 12.
Patrons on the sex offender registry are not permitted in the Children’s Room.
Adults unaccompanied by a child are prohibited from using the restroom in the Children’s Room.
Parents should be aware that the Library is a public building open to all individuals. It is not the Library
staff’s function to provide supervision for children or to care for children while parents or caregivers are
outside the Library. The Library staff is not authorized to act in place of parents. Staff members are
responsible for assisting all Library patrons and cannot monitor unattended children. Staff will not
monitor unsupervised children at the point that they are leaving the Library.
Parents, guardians and caregivers are referred to Connecticut General Statute Section 53-21a - Leaving
child unsupervised in place of public accommodation or motor vehicle.
(a) Any parent, guardian or person having custody or control, or providing supervision, of any child under the age
of twelve years who knowingly leaves such child unsupervised in a place of public accommodation or a motor
vehicle for a period of time that presents a substantial risk to the child's health or safety, shall be guilty of a class A
Unattended Children, Closings:
Caregivers are expected to be aware of the opening and closing times of the Library, bearing in mind that
these times can and do change. Sudden emergencies may occur in the Library and in such cases the
Library assumes no responsibility for unattended children. Power failures or other emergencies can occur
and require unexpected closing of the building. Parents, guardians, and caregivers should be sure that
their charges know what to do or where to go when the Library closes.
If a child is left at the library after regular closing time or on the occasion of an of an emergency closing,
staff will attempt to contact a parent or guardian. If no responsible person can be contacted, the police will
be called. Under no circumstances will library staff escort a child off library property or transport children
to another location. A minimum of two library staff will remain with the child until a
parent/guardian/caregiver or the police arrive.
Violations of this policy will result in increasing levels of action, ranging from a verbal request asking the
patron to leave the Library for the remainder of the day, to the enforcement of permanent loss of library
privileges, to legal prosecution.
Approved March 2019
Revised November 2019
Revised March 2020
Revised March 2021
Purpose of Policy
The Acton Public Library provides space to showcase local artists, and local accumulators of
special collections. These items are displayed for educational and entertainment purposes and
selection does not imply endorsement of the artist’s or collectors’ views or themes. Works of art
should be suitable for a family setting. These items are considered on short term loan to the
library and have specific set-up and removal dates. The library shall not accept for exhibit or
display any materials being offered for sale, will not facilitate sales of art or objects, and there
will be no price tags allowed on the pieces.
Art Displays and Case Exhibits
There are three areas where artwork can be displayed:
• Grady Thomas (framed art)
• Gallery (framed art)
• Low case (framed art or memorabilia)
The library has an art hanging system installed in the Grady Thomas Room and in the Gallery to
hold framed art.
These items are on display for a month at a time. The library decides the conditions of display,
housing and access to any loans.
The Library cannot store any exhibit pieces. Because of the space limitations, the Library cannot
generally accept as donations the artwork or collections it displays.
Artwork displayed in the Grady Thomas Room may not always be available for public viewing
due to programs or meetings.
The Acton Library reserves the right to publicize exhibits. Exhibiting artists may prepare a lettersize sheet with information about their works, including how artists can be contacted, for posting
during the exhibit.
Art on Long Term Loan
On occasion, the Acton Library will accept special art pieces to display in the interior or exterior
of the library. These pieces must adhere to the above-mentioned criteria. In addition, we must
know the intended length of the loan. Each year the loan contract must be renewed and initialed
to make sure it is still acceptable to both parties. The loaner is responsible for all maintenance
Acton Public Library
and upkeep of the art on loan. The Library would appreciate two weeks advanced notice before
the long-term art item(s) will be removed.
As a community service, The Acton Public Library provides bulletin board space for posting
notices that publicize services, programs, and events of interest to the Old Saybrook community.
The library’s bulletin boards are reserved for materials submitted by nonprofit organizations for
civic, educational, or cultural purposes.
The two (2) bulletin boards in the front and rear entry ways are split; in half for library programs
and half for community programs and information. The bulletin board under the main stairway
focuses on public health information.
Flyers should be no bigger that 8.5 x 11 inches.
Flyers will be hung for a month before the event. Flyers with not end date will be hung for an
appropriate amount of time.
Political advertisements are not permitted. No campaign or ballot-related literature will be posted
on the bulletin boards.
Any and all flyers must be given to a staff member designated by the Director to approve and
display. Approval for displaying notices will be based in part upon compliance with the terms of
this policy, and in part upon the amount of bulletin board space available at the time.
The Library will display (free) handouts from sources cited in the section above. The Library
will accept and display multiple copies of newspapers or magazines of local or general interest,
as space allows.
Revised November 2019
Statement of Purpose:
The purpose of the notary public service is to provide patrons a convenient way to get items notarized. A Notary Public is
a public servant appointed by state government to witness the signing of important documents and administer oaths. We
suggest that you call ahead to the library to be sure that a Notary is on duty at the specific time that you plan to use the
service. Notary Service is limited to three (3) documents per person/per visit.
What Can and Cannot Be Notarized:
The Notary at the library is able to:
• Administer an oath
• Notarize acknowledgements
• Notarize an affidavit
• The library will only notarize documents written in English
• The Notary must be able to communicate in English directly with the signer
The Notary at the library is not able to:
• Notaries cannot certify copies of vital records such as birth, marriage and death
• Notary Services are not available for wills or I-9 forms
• Notaries cannot dispense legal advice
• The notary cannot perform a notarial act over a document that is missing pages or that contains blanks that should
be filled-in prior to the notarial act. If missing pages cannot be presented to the notary, or if the signer does not
know how to deal with the blanks in the document, the notary cannot proceed. (Note: some blanks are clearly
intended to be filled- in later, such as "Office Use Only.")
For Notary Services to be performed, you must provide two forms of identification; a picture ID as well as another current
form of identification containing your signature. Acceptable forms of ID include:
• A current passport from any country, in a language the Notary can read.
• A valid driver’s license.
• A valid state ID.
• A signed library or credit card.
• If witnesses are required, please bring them with you as the library is not required to provide this service.
• *Birth certificates and Social Security cards are not acceptable ID*
• If notaries doubt the validity of the document or the identity of the person signing the document, they have the
right to refer such people elsewhere.
When Are Notaries Available:
Call (860) 395-3184 to schedule an appointment. Notaries may have varied schedules and it is best to call before you
come to make sure they are available.
Please don't sign the document(s) until you appear before the Notary Public.
Approved July 9th, 2019
Statement of Purpose
In support of lifelong learning, the Acton Public Library provides a limited test proctoring
service to Old Saybrook residents.
Only those tests which meet the guidelines listed below will be proctored. These guidelines
insure the integrity of the testing process and equitable treatment of all students. The Library
reserves the right to limit or deny this service if the proctoring request does not meet the
1. The Library Director, or designee, will proctor print or online examinations by appointment during the
Library’s regular hours of operation.
2. A minimum of one weeks’ notice is needed to allow the scheduling of staff to proctor the
3. Exams cancelled or postponed by the student due to illness, weather, or other unforeseen
circumstances will be rescheduled as staffing allows.
4. Exam must conclude an hour before closing.
1. Exams and/or online login information must be sent directly from the testing institution to the
2. Librarians cannot proctor exams that students bring in themselves, even if the exam is a sealed
3. Students must provide packaging and sufficient pre-paid postage for the return mailing of their
4. An exam cannot be proctored if it requires the release of Library staff personal information
(e.g. address, phone).
6. Due to the demands on staff time, proctors are not able to monitor a student continuously
during an exam, but may check on the student periodically.
7. Proctors will adhere to time limits that are placed on the exam, as well as other rules set forth
in the examination materials.
8. Library staff can only sign a proctoring verification form that accurately reflects what the staff
member has been able to do.
1. Computer-based tests must be compatible with the hardware and software available on the
2. Online exams must not require the modification of Library hardware, software, or security
3. The Library cannot proctor an online exam if it requires the Library to retain student electronic
files, either on the hard drive of a computer or a removable storage device.
All expenses related to the proctoring of examinations, such as postage for the return of print
examinations, will be paid by the student who is taking the exam or the educational institution.
1. The Library can scan, mail, or fax completed examinations at the student’s (or educational institution’s)
2. The Library is not responsible for test materials left longer than 30 days after a scheduled test
appointment. Print exams not taken within 30 days of the scheduled date will be returned to the
institution if postage has been provided, or will be shredded otherwise. Password and login
information for online exams will be discarded.
3. The Acton Library will not be responsible for any delayed delivery of exams, nor for
any completed exams once they leave the Library’s possession and have been returned to the
educational institution or association.
4. All files generated during the proctoring process (e.g. registration forms) will be deleted or
destroyed two weeks after the exam date. No records will be retained.
Approved November 2019
The Acton Public Library lends out WiFi Hotspots, Laptops, and a telescope to Connecticut libraries card holders in good standing ages 18 and above (i.e. library card is not blocked due to unpaid bills or lost material) accompanied by a valid photo ID. The lending period for the hotspots, laptops, and telescope are two (2) weeks. The hotspots, laptops or telescope may be reserved, but not renewed. The Acton Library reserves the right to refuse service to patrons who abuse equipment or are repeatedly late returning electronic devices. The Library is not responsible for any liability, damages or expense resulting from use or misuse of the device, connection of the device to other electronic devices, or data loss resulting from use of device. Illegal use of this device is prohibited. Compliance with the Computer and Internet Policy is expected when using the hotspots and laptops.
- A patron must present their library card along with a government issued photo identification to the circulation desk. Once a hotspot, laptop, or telescope is checked out to a patron, it becomes the responsibility of the patron. A signed copy of this agreement will be given to patron with equipment.
- Only one hotspot, laptop, or telescope may be checked out to a family or household at one time.
- Any changes in condition of the device, or content while in the patron’s care will be the patron’s responsibility. The patron is responsible for damage, loss or theft. Patrons should have a basic working knowledge of the device on checkout. If any technical issues are encountered while in the care of the patron, patron should notify the library immediately.
- Items must be returned directly to a staff member. They are not to be returned to another library or in the book drops. Each item will be examined upon return and any damage discovered will be billed to the patron.
- A returned hotspot, laptop or telescope must remain available in the library for 24 hours before the same patron, or another patron living in the same household, may check it out again.
- The full replacement cost of $180.00 will be charged for a hotspot or $350.00 for laptop or $375.00 for the telescope. Damaged devices or parts will be charged at full replacement cost.
- I understand and agree to these rules. By signing this, I accept the above loan policy and am stating that I am responsible to return this device in good working condition and free from damage to a staff member at the Acton Public Library.
Library Card#________________________ Photo ID#______________________________
Staff Initials: ____________ Date: _____/____/______ Item Type: ______________________
(Updated October 12th, 2021)
Statement of Purpose
The Acton Public Library strives to offer new and emerging technology to encourage creativity and collaboration within our community. 3D Printing, also called additive manufacturing, means making a three-dimensional solid object from a digital file. This policy establishes guidelines that govern the safe and lawful use of the Library’s 3D printing resources.
Use of 3D Printer
- Library Staff are responsible for ensuring that prior to using the 3D Printer, the individual has been instructed on its use and can demonstrate basic skill in its use
- Patrons may only use filament supplied by the library.
- No estimated print time can exceed 4 hours, and printer will not run after library is closed so print jobs must be scheduled accordingly
- Files are printed on a first come-first serve basis and we cannot guarantee print jobs will be completed by any given date or time
- Individuals may not use the 3D Printer for any inappropriate or unlawful activity including the use of materials protected by intellectual property laws. The 3D Printer cannot be used to create items that can be construed as unsafe, harmful, dangerous, offensive, illegal or posing an immediate threat to the well-being of others or that are otherwise inappropriate for the Library environment.
- Library staff will review every object file before it is printed and reserves the right to reject any 3D Print request.
- The Library is not responsible for any failed print job, although we will do our best to help facilitate a successful 3D Print.
- A parent/guardian must accompany and supervise a child under 12 years old.
- There can be no expectation of privacy during the printing process. Printing will be done in the public view.
- At this time, there is no charge to print on the 3D Printer.
Printing on Our Printer
- The Print job must be downloaded in an .stl file on a USB and then uploaded on Cura, the software used by our Ultimaker S3. The file size is not to exceed 25MB.
- The Ultimaker S3 is a dual extrusion machine, and can have up to a maximum of two colors, as mentioned above the library will provide the filament used in the printer. Color choices may be requested, but will be determined due to availability.
- The 3D Print must be able to fit on our printer (9 x 7.4 x 7.9 inches)
- Printing is available on a first-come, first-serve basis and is coordinated by the staff. Priority will be given to library programs and events.
Approved on June 13, 2022
Applications and Forms