Library building

Keene Public Library

Policies

This page is under revision.

LIBRARY MISSION STATEMENT

To provide free, open, and convenient access for all Keene residents to acquire information for growth in their personal knowledge; for life-long learning and enjoyment; for the fulfillment of informational needs, desires, and curiosities; and for enhancing quality of life in the community.

POLICY STATEMENT

The Board of Trustees of the Keene Public Library has adopted the following policies which it intends to follow in governing the Keene Public Library. These policies may be amended at any duly-called meeting of the Board of Trustees, by majority vote of those Trustees present and voting.

  • General Library Objectives

    1.001  To assemble, preserve and administer, in organized collections, books and related educational, historical and recreational materials in order to promote knowledge, enlightened citizenship and the enrichment of personal lives.

    1.002  To serve as the information center of the community.

    1.003  To provide the opportunity for continuous self-education of children, young people and adults.

    1.004  To identify with community needs, to provide programs of service to meet such needs, and to cooperate with other organizations, agencies, and institutions which can provide local programs or services.

    1.005  To cooperate with the school district libraries to strengthen community resources.

    1.006  To provide opportunity for a more advantageous use of leisure time through books, audiovisual materials, programs, and other art forms and formats.

    1.007  To inform the public of Library objectives and services, and encourage use and support of the Library by maintaining good public relations throughout the community.

  • General Policies Governing Use of Premises

    4.001  No alcoholic beverages are to be consumed on Library premises except by prior approval of City Clerk.

    4.002  With the exceptions of the staff rooms and approved spaces no food or beverages are to be consumed on Library premises except by permission of the Library Director or by specific vote of the Board of Trustees designating the time and location.

    4.003  No smoking is permitted on Library premises.

    4.004  Any person or group of persons failing to comply with regulations governing the use of the Library premises may be disallowed further use of the same. [See also Library Rules of Behavior]

    4.005  No organization or individual shall be permitted to solicit donations in the Library.

    4.006  Political information may be distributed only in the Library’s lobby area. Political discussions and meetings are limited to the Library’s approved spaces.

    4.007  Except for seeing eye/helper dogs, no animals or other pets shall be allowed in any part of the Library, unless the animals are part of a scheduled presentation.

  • Meeting Rooms

    6.001 Meeting Room Policy Philosophy 
    In accordance with its stated mission to provide free, open, and convenient access for all Keene residents to acquire information, personal knowledge, life-long learning and enjoyment and for enhancing the quality of life in the community, the Keene Public Library provides meeting rooms available to the public, 18 years and older, for civic, cultural, educational, recreational and political programs or meetings. As such, priority is given to public meetings, which must be free and open to all.

    If space and staff are available, non-public meetings are permitted as long as they do not interfere with library services or operations.

    Persons and groups are welcome to use library space regardless of beliefs or affiliations in accordance with Article VI of the Library Bill of Rights. Use of meeting rooms does not constitute Keene Public Library sponsorship and/or endorsement. No individual or group may state or imply Library endorsement or sponsorship of events in the library meeting room. 

    6.002 Liability
    The Keene Public Library assumes no liability for theft or damage to property brought onto library property or for injuries that occur as a result of actions of sponsors or participants during activities taking place in meeting rooms. The individual or group reserving a meeting room will be held responsible for the order and conduct of the group, and any loss or damage to Library property. Young children accompanying adult users of the meeting room shall not be left unattended in the library. Any abuse or misuse of facilities will be sufficient cause to deny the use of Library meeting rooms in the future.

    6.003  Public meetings
    All public meetings and programs must be non-commercial, non-soliciting in nature, open to the public, and free of charge. Admission fees, requests for donations, and sales of materials are not permitted. Exceptions to this directive are granted to presenters of Keene Public Library-sponsored events with the prior approval of the Director or Assistant Library Director with the stipulation that products presented for sale must be related to the program or event held and be limited to the space provided. 

    A sponsor of a meeting or instructional program may request a fee from participants only to the extent that such fee covers the actual cost of materials, such as textbooks or supplies furnished to participants. Attendance is not be limited to those individuals who pay the materials fee, and no portion of any fee shall accrue to the benefit of an organization or individual.

    Groups using the meeting rooms must not disrupt the normal functions of the Keene Public Library. Meeting rooms are available when the library is open. Exceptions may occasionally be granted based on the availability of the space and appropriate staffing.

    Meeting rooms, with the exception of Heberton Hall and Cohen Hall, are available free of charge during library hours.

    Priority will be given to library-sponsored and co-sponsored activities and events. In order to provide equal opportunity to all groups, meeting rooms may be booked for a total of 6 events up to one year in advance.  All other groups will be considered on a first-come/first-served basis. However, except for Heberton and Cohen Halls, the Keene Public Library reserves the right to reschedule confirmed meeting room reservations to accommodate library meetings or events. In such rare instances, the library will make every reasonable effort to give ample notice and to assist the group in reserving another date or library meeting room.

    Priority is given to events that are free and open to the public in the following order:

    • Library and library-sponsored
    • Friends of the Library
    • City or Government agencies
    • Community organizations, Clubs, Businesses

    6.004 Non-public meetings
    If space and staffing are available, non-public meetings, such as membership and other private social gatherings, are permitted and are charged at a different fee. All non-public meetings and programs must be non-commercial, non-soliciting in nature.

    Fundraisers, performances, social gatherings, and special events in the large event spaces are permitted. 

    Large event spaces may be rented for functions charging admission. Fee schedules for these spaces will depend on setup and or rehearsal time, duration, and use of equipment.

    Other public spaces may be available during times that the Keene Public Library is not open or when they will not interfere with public use of the library facility and operations. 

    Events held outside of regular Library hours are booked based on the availability of staff and are cost determined on an individual basis. Private personal events such as parties, receptions, or events by invitation only are cost determined dependent on the availability of staff and the hours that the space will be occupied. The library reserves the right to determine the appropriate staffing level required for the event based on the size and/or type of event.  

    6.005  General conditions
    Keene Public Library staff is not available to assist in room setup, configuration, or troubleshooting of personal technology devices of any kind. Individuals or groups planning to utilize the library’s projection or sound equipment should schedule an appointment with staff to preview meeting area and sound/technology accommodations before the scheduled meeting time to confirm setup options and compatibility of Library equipment/spaces with personally owned devices.

    Tables and chairs are available with advance notice, and it is the responsibility of the meeting/event organizers to ensure that equipment is returned to a designated spot.

    Equipment and or furniture belonging to outside groups may not be stored in Keene Public Library buildings without prior permission. Space, staff, and activities of the library will determine when and where storage is temporarily permitted. The Keene Public Library will not assume responsibility for materials left on the premises. Rooms must be left in an orderly condition. Refuse should be appropriately disposed of in designated containers. Cleaning, maintenance, and removal of items beyond the scope of the room reservation may result in loss of future room reservations. If costs are incurred by the Keene Public Library, the person or group will be billed.

    Fee tiers are determined by cost, capacity, and required insurance.

    Access to the kitchen is permitted at an additional fee. Food may be served and refrigerated but not prepared in the building. 

    Alcohol is not permitted without the prior approval of the City Clerk and the necessary licenses.

    Rental of large event spaces may necessitate proof of insurance for $1,000,000 naming the City of Keene as an additional insured for the time that the space is occupied. At the discretion of Keene Public Library staff, occasionally smaller groups or meetings may be moved to one of the large event spaces to accommodate room allocation. In such cases, insurance requirements and increased fee structures will be waived.

    The Keene Public Library does not advertise meetings held by outside groups. This includes promoting the event on our website, in our email notifications, or on social media. All advertising is the responsibility of the renting group. Any publicity for the meeting must not imply sponsorship by the library or give the Library phone number or website as contact information.

    Individuals seeking quiet space are directed to the Wright and Thayer rooms.

    Available Spaces

    • The Price Room: The Price Room may be used for study or consultation by one or more students with tutors. In accordance with its primary mission of promoting literacy, the Keene Public Library makes the exception to its policy of financial benefit for individuals engaged in tutoring. Any fees that are negotiated for tutoring are between the tutor and those being tutored. The library is not involved in fees charged, nor does it endorse the charging of fees for tutoring within the library. No money may exchange hands while on Library property. Advance reservation is suggested, although walk-in sign-ups are permitted when the room and staffing are available. Tutors must assume responsibility for the use of the room. The room may be reserved in increments of two hours for one month in advance, on a first-come-first-served basis. If not in use for tutoring, groups of two or more people or an individual needing space for virtual meetings may request use of the Price Room on a first-come, first-served basis to a Keene Public Library cardholder.

    • The Henkel Room: This collaboration Room is provided for informal groups working together for a short period or individuals actively engaged in group endeavors such as tutoring or virtual meetings. The room may be booked one week in advance for one 2 hour period once a week or utilized on a first-come, first-served basis for up to 2 hours per day. The person signing into the room must be a Keene Public Library cardholder and assumes responsibility for the use of the room. The occupants of the room understand that the room is a public space and may be entered at the discretion of the staff.    

    • Booras, Eppes, Green, and Miller-Vincent Meeting Rooms: The Library has four rooms seating 6-16 people. Rooms may be booked 12 months in advance, but not for more than six dates. If available, groups of two or more people or an individual needing space for virtual meetings may request the use of these rooms on a first-come-first-served basis with a Keene Public Library cardholder.

    • Ruth Huntress AuditoriumThis is a theatre-style room with fixed seating for 75 and a pull-down screen; suitable for lectures, films, or presentations.

    • Kay Fox Room: An open space with columns adjoining the Auditorium. This space is designated a Family Place Library area for children and their caregivers but may be available for booking when not in use.

    • Masiello Classroom: This 2nd-floor room has tables and chairs classroom style for up to 12 individuals. 

    • Performance/Event Spaces: There are two available halls that may be rented for larger private events. Heberton Hall is a large first-floor room with a stage and hardwood floor that is suitable for dances, plays, or concerts. Cohen Hall, located on the 2nd floor, does not have a stage or natural light and is ideal for film, concerts, performances, and seating in the round.

      • A limited amount of performance preparation and storage space is permitted in the basement level. This shared space is available for up to two weeks before a scheduled performance or special event and up to one week after. Removal of items beyond the scope of the room reservation may result in the loss of future room reservations. If costs are incurred by the library, the person or group will be billed.

    • Putnam Atrium: The main lobby of the library accessed by the West St. entrance is tiled and furnished with informal seating. Food is permitted in this area, and it is intended for patrons to use while visiting the library. It may be rented when the Keene Public Library is closed to the public based on the availability of staff. Fees charged are determined by specific circumstances. 

    • Gallup-Minard Courtyard: This courtyard is a small enclosed outdoor area adjacent to the Putnam Atrium which may be rented when the Keene Public Library is closed to the public based on the availability of staff. Scheduling use of the courtyard is also dependent on the noninterference with other events booked in adjacent spaces. The fees charged are determined by specific circumstances. 

    Meeting Room Reservation Form Assumption of Responsibility Form to be filled out when reserving all meeting rooms.

    Large Event Space Information Sheet | Large Event Space Use Application 

     

  • Use of the Youth Department and Teen Room

    5.001  The Keene Public Library offers the following guidelines to ensure a welcoming and comfortable environment for children, their parents and guardians, and other adults doing research with children's literature.

                (a)  All Youth Department restrooms, furniture, equipment, materials, and services, including the use of the Internet, are intended for the use of young people under the age of 14 and others needing children's materials and services.  See 15.000, Internet Access Policy.

                 (b) Priority will be given to the youth department's targeted age and others may be asked to relocate to other areas of the library.

       5.002  The Keene Public Library offers the following guidelines to ensure a welcoming and comfortable environment for teenagers, their parents and guardians, and other adults doing research with young adult literature.

                (a) All Teen Room furniture, equipment, materials, and services, including the use of the Internet, are intended for the use of young people between and including the ages of 11 and 19 or those enrolled in the equivalent of grades 6 through 12. See 15.000, Internet Access Policy.

                (b) Priority will be given to the room's targeted age and others may be asked to relocate to other areas of the library.

  • Fine Art Exhibits

    7.001 The Keene Public Library invites artists to exhibit their works in approved spaces. An artist who wishes to make use of these spaces must agree to these provisions:

    (a) The artist will assume total responsibility for the mounting of the exhibit and must conform to any constraints placed upon the exhibit space by the Library.

    (b) The artist will assume full responsibility for the works exhibited. Neither the Keene Public Library nor the City of Keene shall assume any responsibility or obligation for any loss or damage to any item or items so displayed. The displayed items are not and will not be covered under any insurance policy owned by the City of Keene. A certificate proving adequate insurance is held by the exhibitor to cover the value of the exhibited works and must be presented to the Library Director and the Library Fine Art Display Release Form signed before the exhibit is mounted.

    (c) No prices may be posted on the art works, or admission charged. A price list may be discreetly placed in the exhibit. However, no sales may be made on the premises.

    (d) The selection of the artistic content of the exhibit will be governed by the same principles of intellectual freedom which underlie the Keene Public Library’s materials selection policy. See Policy 10.000 et seq., below.

    7.001A Fine Art Display Release Form

  • Displays in the Library

    8.001 The contents of any displays of public information in the Library shall be governed by the same principles of intellectual freedom which underlie the Keene Public Library’s material selection policy. See Policy 10.000 et seq., below.

    8.002 Displays which contain works of art will also be governed by Policy 6.000 and the displaying organization will be required to sign the Fine Art Display Release Form. (See Policy 7.001A)

    8.003 Local non-profit organizations may publicize their activities on the Library premises, with prior approval from the Library Director.

  • Materials Selection

    10.001  The Library will adhere to the tenets set forth in the American Library Association’s  Freedom to Read Statement and the Library Bill of Rights.

    Responsibility for the selection of Library materials and for the development of the collection is delegated by the Board of Trustees to the Library Director.

    Materials no longer useful are to be withdrawn systematically from the collection, according to accepted professional practices. Such material may be given to the Friends of the Keene Public Library for its annual book sale or disposed of at the discretion of the Director and/or the Board of Trustees.

    In the event that a patron objects to a specific item in the collection, the patron will be asked to complete a written complaint form. See Appendix for a copy of the Request for Reconsideration Form. This form will be reviewed by the Board of Trustees at its next regularly-scheduled meeting. The patron filing the complaint will receive a written reply within ten days.

    10.002  Disposition of Historical Materials

    Primary source materials of local historical significance will be donated to the Historical Society of Cheshire County so that they may be properly handled and preserved. Because these are archival materials, if the Historical Society of Cheshire County does not accept them, they will be offered to institutions which can provide appropriate care.

    Materials of state or regional historical significance will be donated to appropriate agencies, such as the New Hampshire Historical Society. A comprehensive list of such agencies will be compiled and the agencies contacted in a priority order. If these agencies decline acceptance of these materials, they will be handled in accordance with the Material Selection Policy (See Policy 10.001).

     

  • Friends of the Keene Public Library

    11.001  The Board of Trustees endorses the Friends of the Keene Public Library. A member of the Board of Trustees may be a liaison on the Board of the Friends of the Keene Public Library. The Trustees concur with the policy of a Friends organization set forth in New Hampshire Library Trustees Handbook which states: “Friends of the library working in cooperation with the trustees and librarian provide valuable support and assistance in the local Library Program. Friends are volunteers who form a non-profit organization to bring about public awareness of the Library, its resources, service to the community, and needs. They advocate and support programs to improve and expand good library service in the community.”

  • Membership in Organizations

    12.001  Memberships in Library Organizations

    All Trustees are encouraged to become members of: New Hampshire Library Trustees Association (NHLTA), Association of New Hampshire Library Friends (ANHLF), and the New Hampshire Library Association (NHLA)

    12.002  Membership in Civic, Service and Business Organizations

    The Library as an organization will not be a member of the Chamber of Commerce or other civic organizations. Members of the Library Staff may belong to such organizations as individuals and participate in their programs.

  • Confidentiality of Library Records

    13.001  The Trustees recognize that the Library’s circulation records and other records identifying the names of Library users with specific materials are confidential. The Librarian and staff shall not make these records available to any agency of state, federal or local government except pursuant to such process, order or subpoena as may be authorized under the written authority for and pursuant to federal, state, and local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigatory power. See also NH RSA 201-D:11.

    13.002  This confidentiality policy shall not apply to any borrowers who have overdue books. See Policy 2.001 regarding the borrower’s obligation to return books by the stated deadline and in the same condition as the books were borrowed.

  • Personnel and Volunteers

    14.001  Unless voted to the contrary by the Board of Trustees, the Library will follow the City of Keene’s Employment Handbook.

    14.002  The Board of Trustees may establish such rules and regulations for the government and management of the Library as they may deem advisable.

    14.003  The Library Director shall be the executive head of the Library and shall be responsible to the Board of Trustees. The Library Director shall have charge of the administration of the Library, subject to the control of the Board of Trustees, and shall be responsible for the efficiency of the Library service to the public, shall have charge of the employment and direction of the staff and shall be in charge of the operation of the Library, all subject to the supervision and approval of the Board of Trustees.

    14.004  Salary scales and classification shall be made, at the discretion of the Board of Trustees, in accordance with the established Salary Plan for the City of Keene, and these shall be developed in cooperation with the City Manager, or designated representative. Any change in amounts, range designations, or positions may be made by an amending ordinance.

    14.005  No member of a Trustee’s family may be employed by the Library.

    14.006  Whenever it becomes necessary to reduce the staff of the Keene Public Library the following criteria, in the order of priority hereinafter stated, shall govern such reduction in staff:

    (a) the need of the Library for particular skills and experience. 
    (b) the education, training and experience of the staff members.
    (c) the seniority of the staff member.

    14.007  Keene Public Library welcomes the skills and talents of volunteers to support and extend the services of the library.  Per RSA 508:17 V (c), "’Volunteer’ means an individual performing services for a nonprofit organization or government entity who does not receive compensation, other than reimbursement for expenses actually incurred for such services.” Volunteers do not replace paid staff for regular and/or professional level work, but do assist with special projects and supplement existing services.

    The number and type of volunteers accepted will be based on the amount of work and supervisory time available. Volunteers are selected based on their qualifications and the needs of the Library at any given time. The Keene Public Library will follow the City of Keene’s Administrative Directive on Unpaid Student Interns and Other Volunteers. Selection, training, and supervision of volunteers are the responsibility of the Supervisor in the department in which that the volunteer will work.  All Library volunteer applicants must complete a Volunteer Application and Background Investigation Waiver in order to be considered. Applicants who are selected will complete a Volunteer Waiver and Volunteer Service Statement and Agreement before their service may begin. Volunteers will keep a record of hours they work each week. 

    All Library volunteers age 18 and older will be subject to a State of New Hampshire background check. A national-level background check is required for a volunteer candidate who has lived in New Hampshire for less than five years. Volunteers interested in obtaining a paid position at the Library are subject to the Library’s employment process. Volunteers will not be charged the cost of the background checks.

    Keene Public Library will abide by all applicable laws concerning volunteers.  Volunteers must be aged 14 or older.  In addition, minors may only act as volunteers with the written consent of a parent or legal guardian.  Volunteers aged 14 or 15 must also provide proof of age to the Library and a Youth Employment Certificate issued by the minor’s school.  Volunteer services cannot begin until a photocopy of proof of age is on file with the City.  Volunteers aged 16 or 17 must also complete and submit the New Hampshire Department of Labor “Parental Permission” form and provide proof of age to the Library.  Volunteer service cannot begin until the Parental Permission Form and a photocopy of proof of age are on file with the City, and for volunteers aged 14 and 15, until the Youth Certificate is obtained from the school. 

    Volunteers are expected to have a good knowledge of the mission of the Library and to operate within the stated policies and procedures.  They are also expected to maintain patron confidentiality at all times and must abide by the same level of personal conduct required of all Library workers. The Library’s mission statement and its policies/procedures are made available on the Library’s website.

  • 3D Printer Use

    16.001  3D printers are being used for educational, workshop, and programming purposes to make three-dimensional objects in plastic using a design that is uploaded from a digital computer file.

    16.002  The Library's 3D printers may be used only for lawful purposes. Users will not be permitted to use the Library's 3D printers to create material that is:

    (a) Prohibited by local, state or federal law.

    (b) Unsafe, harmful, dangerous, poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others, or is otherwise inappropriate for the Library environment. (Such use may also violate the terms of use of the manufacturer.)

    (c) In violation of another's intellectual property rights. For example, the printers will not be used to reproduce material that is subject to copyright, patent or trademark protection.

    16.003  The Library reserves the right to refuse any 3D print request.

    16.004  Supervision of the use of the 3D printer by Library staff does not constitute knowledge, or acknowledgement, of any unapparent final use of the 3D product, and the Library specifically disclaims any knowledge thereof.

  • Makerspace

    17.001 The Keene Public Library (KPL) provides access to information for life-long learning and enjoyment; for the fulfillment of desires and curiosities; and for enhancing the quality of life in the community. The Kingsbury Makerspace room extends those commitments into the world of making by providing open access to a wide variety of equipment and tools during open hours and for checkout, and by offering classes and programs for guided exploration.

    17.002Keene Public Library’s policy regarding the "Use of the Library (2.005)" and the "Internet Access Policy (15.000)" apply to the Makerspace room. All users and visitors must agree to and sign the Keene Public Library Maker Agreement and Release Form before using the room. Minors (under 18) must have a parent/adult guardian agree to and sign the form. An exception is given to individuals or groups on staff-lead tours of the room.

    17.003 Equipment and tools in the Makerspace room are available at no charge to all Keene residents or users with a valid Library card, generally on a first-come, first-serve basis during open hours. Specific tools or equipment may be reserved for projects and may be used at other locations, at the discretion of the staff. 

    17.004 Makerspace room users are welcome to bring in staff-approved equipment and tool materials (consumables), except for the 3D printers. Other consumable materials may be available for purchase. Charges for consumable materials are to cover KPL’s cost. During Library programs, KPL may provide consumable materials free of charge, as available. Please consult with staff about the availability of consumable material before planning a project.

    17.005 All Makerspace room users of equipment and tools shall attend a safety class prior to participating in open hours and using the equipment. Users under the age of 14 must be supervised by a trained parent, adult guardian (18 or older), teacher, or staff member at all times. For the laser cutter, users must be 16 or over. All equipment shall be labeled with its age requirement.

    17.006 Makerspace room users (or if minors, their parents/guardians) are responsible for any costs incurred for loss or damage to KPL property, not associated with normal wear and tear, that is the result of inappropriate or unauthorized use of tools, equipment, or consumable materials, or for clean-up of the tools, equipment or the room. KPL is not responsible for any damage to, or loss or theft of, users’ personal property including electronic files left on computers.

    17.007 Makerspace room equipment and tools may be used only for lawful purposes. Users will not be permitted to use equipment or tools to create material that is:

    1. Prohibited by local, state or federal law.
    2. Unsafe, harmful, dangerous, poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others or is otherwise inappropriate for the Library environment as determined in the sole discretion of Library staff. (Such use may also violate the terms of use of the manufacturer.)
    3. In violation of another's intellectual property rights. For example, the printers will not be used to reproduce material that is subject to copyright, patent or trademark protection.

    17.008 Projects must be approved by staff prior to the use of 3D printers, the laser cutter, and the CNC machine to ensure that proper file format, size, and materials are being used. The Library reserves the right to refuse any fabrication request.

    17.009 Safety gear is provided and is required for use of some tools and equipment. Users are encouraged to report any unsafe behavior observed in the space to the staff member or volunteer on duty.

    17.010 Supervision of Makerspace room tools and equipment by Library staff does not constitute knowledge, or acknowledgment, of any unapparent final use of the created product, and the Library specifically disclaims any knowledge thereof.

library logo