Below you will find our library policies helpfully divided into categories. To view the full text or open a printable version, click the title of the policy. 

Collection Development

 Printable Version

The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library, Inc.’s mission is to inspire lifelong learning, foster intellectual curiosity, and strengthen our community. One of its main activities in achieving that purpose is to develop a collection of material that is relevant and useful.


Goals of Material Selection
  • To maintain a well-balanced and broad collection of materials for information, reference and research.
  • To provide materials for the education and enlightenment of the community.
  • To provide recreational resources.


Materials Selection Process

Librarians use a variety of tools to aid in awareness and selection of materials, including such sources as professional review journals, popular print and broadcast media, bookstores, electronic interest groups, publishers’ catalogs, integrated library system reports of items that are in high demand, and patron and staff recommendations. In addition to professional review journals and other sources cited, the children and teen department staff refer to relevant state and national educational standards in selecting materials. Award-winning materials are also given high consideration for acquisition.


Librarians exercise judgment, experience, and expertise in the application of the following Criteria for Materials Selection, making acquisition decisions as objectively as possible. Evaluation of a work includes the entire work, not just individual parts of the work. A work’s overall contribution to the collection is a critical determinant for acceptance or rejection. No single criterion can be applied to all materials, and various criteria carry different weights in different circumstances. Contextual considerations –such as budget and space availability, interlibrary loan availability – also shape the selection process.


Criteria for Materials Selection

The library considers all acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, in terms of one or more of the following:


  • Level of funding for materials
  • Informational and recreational needs of users
  • Appropriateness for specific audience
  • Local demand
  • Current usefulness or interest
  • Authority and accuracy
  • Importance as a record of the times
  • Relevance to the existing collection’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Availability of material through other sources including network transfers, inter-library loan, and digital resources
  • Standards of quality in content and format
  • Recognition by literary awards
  • Price and availability
  • Format, durability, and ease of use
  • Suitability of format for subject and user’s needs
  • Relevance to the history and specific interests of Cape Ann


Scope of the Collection

The library provides materials and services that reflect the diverse educational, literacy, informational, recreational, and physical needs of its users. While trying to serve the academic needs of students in the community, the main focus of the collection is popular materials.


The library provides access to content through print, multimedia and technology. The library recognizes that content and medium should be suitably matched, and that library users have different learning styles and preferences for how they receive information. Therefore, the library provides materials in a variety of formats, including, when appropriate:
* Print – such as hardcovers, paperbacks, magazines, and newspapers
* Non-print – such as audio and video formats, and microforms
* Digital resources – such as on-line databases; digital books, recordings, and images; digital historical archives; and the Internet.


Because the library functions in a rapidly changing society, it is flexible about changes in communicative material, both in form and style of expression. Materials in alternative formats are judged in terms of the Criteria for Materials Selection.


Self-published material:
Every attempt is made to acquire titles by Cape Ann authors that are published by mainstream publishers and fit the Material Selection Criteria. Titles by local writers that are self-published are generally not added to the collection unless there is a compelling reason to do so (valuable local content, high local interest). Preference will be given if the work, or other works by the author, have been professionally reviewed. Local authors often donate their self-published books to the library. If the donated book does not otherwise meet the Material Selection Criteria, it will not be accessioned.


Children and Teens
The children’s collection focuses on highly recommended books and materials for children from infancy through elementary school as well as their caregivers and educators. While seeking to promote children’s literacy, as well as to serve the academic needs of students in the community, the main emphasis of the collection is at general readership. The children’s collection centers on highly recommended picture books for preschoolers and on popular reading and the information needs of children of school age. The teen collection serves young people from seventh through twelfth grades. The library cooperates with the public school system so that their respective services may complement each other. Library staff strives to assemble materials that support the curriculum and respond to the homework needs of students through elementary, middle and high school.


The children’s collection is selected with an emphasis on books and materials that inform, encourage, challenge and inspire children in the achievement of literacy, exploration, and enjoyment of the world.


The library maintains a collection selected for teens as a bridge to the adult collection. Selected materials address the interests and issues specific to this age group. An effort is made to provide titles that appear on school reading lists.


Collection Maintenance

In order to maintain a collection that is current, reliable, in good condition, well used, and which relates to the needs and interests of the residents of Gloucester, materials are withdrawn on a systematic and continuing basis. Materials are withdrawn when they are judged to be dated, inaccurate, seldom used, in poor condition, or otherwise not in compliance with the Criteria for Materials Selection. See the Deselection Policy for more detail.


Gifts and Donations

The library evaluates all gift materials, including memorials and honoraria, according to the Criteria for Materials Selection. Not all donations are recommended for addition to the collection. A special bookplate with an appropriate inscription acknowledging the gift may enhance the material. If a donation is integrated into the collection, the library reserves the right to decide the conditions of display, housing, access, and withdrawal of the material. See the Material Donation Policy for more detail.


Controversial Materials: Intellectual Freedom

The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library, Inc. does not promote particular beliefs or views. Rather, it provides a resource for the various opinions which apply to important, complex, and controversial questions, including unpopular and unorthodox positions. Language, situations, or subjects that may be offensive to some community members does not necessarily disqualify material for inclusion in the library collection. See the Reconsideration of Library Materials Policy for more detail.


Approved by Board of Directors: March 3, 2015

Cultural Assets Acquisitions + Deaccession

Printable Version


The Cultural Assets Collection of the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library consists of artwork, furniture and other non-literary artifacts owned by the Library. It does not include manuscripts, books or other printed materials.


Scope of Policy

This document refers to all cultural assets currently existing within the collections of the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library (SFL). It also refers to cultural assets proposed as donations to the SFL. Items offered to the SFL for the purpose of sale and conversion to cash are outside the scope of this policy.


Acquisition Process
  1. At this time the SFL does not actively pursue non-literary gifts. However, the SFL may consider donations of such gifts provided that they meet the following criteria:
    Object(s) must be consistent with the mission of the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library and must have one or more of the following qualities:

    • A demonstrable Gloucester or Cape Ann connection
    • Historical, cultural or aesthetic significance
    • Rarity or uniqueness

    In addition to the above:

    • Object(s) must have good and clear title.
    • In most cases, gifts of objects must be free of restrictions and limiting conditions
    • Object(s) must be a good state of repair and must not pose a financial burden on the institution in terms of conservation and preservation
  2. Initial proposals for gifts are made to the Executive Director. If necessary, consultations are made with conservators, legal professionals and/or other outside specialists.
  3. If an appraisal is sought for tax purposes, it is the sole responsibility of prospective donor. The SFL does not provide appraisals, nor does it recommend specific appraisers. The American Association of Appraisers can provide a state-by-state list of accredited appraisers arranged by subject category:
    American Society of Appraisers
    11107 Sunset Hills Road
    Suite 310
    Reston, VA 20190
    Telephone: (800) 272-8258
    Email: asainfo@appraisers.org
  4. After initial processing, proposals of gifts will come before the SFL’s Special Assets Committee at its regular quarterly meeting. The Committee will decide whether to recommend to accept the proposed gift by a majority vote if a quorum is present.
  5. The SFL Board of Directors will receive the Committee’s recommendation and will make a final vote to accept or reject the proposed donation at a meeting of the full Board of Directors by majority vote if a quorum is present.
  6. A Deed of Gift must be signed by the donor before the SFL takes legal possession of the object(s).


Accession Procedures
  1. An accession number will be assigned to each object coming in to the Collections and the object will be marked or tagged.
  2. All gift documents must be filed with corresponding numbers.
  3. The object(s) must be photographed and a hard copy of the photograph should be filed with the same.
  4. Curatorial information including digital photographs will be entered into a collections catalog database.


Deaccession Procedure
  1. The SFL recognizes that from time to time it may become appropriate to remove items from the SFL’s Cultural Artifacts Collection. With reference to the SFL’s mission and acquisition criteria, an object will be considered for deaccession if it is:
    • Not within the SFL’s scope or mission
    • Beyond the institution’s capacity to maintain
    • Not useful for research, exhibition or educational programming in the foreseeable future.
    • Duplicate item(s) in the Collection
    • Deemed unauthentic; a copy
    • Is physically deteriorated / hazardous to the SFL’s collections
    • Acquired illegally or unethically
    • Subject to donor restrictions or requirements that the SFL is no longer able to meet.
  2. Recommendation for deaccession originates with the Executive Director. Item(s) appraised at a market value of $500.00 or below can be deaccessioned at the discretion of the Library Director, who will dispose of the item(s) as outlined below in Part VI.
  3. Recommendation for deaccession of objects appraised above $500.00 in value originates with the Executive Director, who will bring the request for deaccession to the Special Assets Committee. The Committee may accept the recommendation by a majority vote if a quorum is present.
  4. The SFL Board of Directors will receive the Committee’s recommendation for deaccession and will make a final vote to deaccess at a meeting of the full Board of Directors by majority vote if a quorum is present.


Disposal of Items in the Collection
  1. The disposal of items deaccessioned from the Cultural Artifacts Collection of the SFL will be carried out through an open public process. Generally, items will be offered for sale though a public auction.
  2. To eliminate potential conflicts of interest, no person affiliated with SFL, including staff, Board members or members of the Special Assets Committee shall be allowed to bid upon or otherwise pursue object(s) deaccessioned from the SFL Special Collections.
  3. The SFL will consider donating or selling the object(s) to another library, museum or archive.
  4. The SFL may extend the courtesy of informing the donor or family members when an item is deaccessioned.
  5. The SFL’s Board of Directors will determine how the proceeds resulting from the sale of a deaccessioned item will be allocated.


Periodic Review of Acquisition / Deaccession Policy

This policy will be reviewed biannually by the Special Assets Committee, and revised then or at any time as needed, subject to a vote by a majority of the Board of Directors if a quorum is present.


Approved by Board of Directors, March 15, 2006
Address of American Society of Appraisers updated, March 4, 2017

Collection Deselection

Printable Version

Need for Deselection

The addition of titles necessary to maintain a healthy, viable collection necessitates the withdrawal of others. It is a disservice to users to keep items that contain inaccurate or dated information or are in bad condition. Each item, through its quality, reliability, current usefulness and appearance, must earn its place on the shelf and contribute to the reliability, accessibility and attractiveness of the library. To keep the collection current, materials must be reevaluated on an on-going basis, at which time decisions will be made using the latest edition of CREW : a Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries as a guide.


Criteria for Deselection

Librarians exercise judgment, experience, and expertise in the application of the following Criteria for Deselection, making withdrawal decisions as objectively as possible. Evaluation of a work includes the entire work, not just individual parts of the work. A work’s overall contribution to the collection is a critical determinant for retention or withdrawal. No single criterion can be applied to all materials, and various criteria carry different weights in different circumstances. Contextual considerations – budget and space availability, interlibrary loan availability – also shape the deselection process.


Criteria include:

  • Dated, superseded, obsolete or stereotypical information
  • Frequency of circulation
  • Physical condition of material
  • Number of copies
  • Physical capacities of the library
  • Subject strengths and collection needs
  • Availability of current published material on a subject
  • Changes in media formats
  • Availability through inter-library loan or through digital format


Items in a series may not of necessity be kept as a complete set.


When in question, materials may be checked against standard bibliographic sources such as Fiction CatalogPublic Library CatalogHigh School Catalog, Children’s CatalogAmerican Library Association Guide to Reference Books, and other guides viewed by the general library profession as authoritative and appropriate for a public library collection.


Materials that have special consideration for retention:

  • Local history, art, and genealogy
  • Writings by Cape Ann authors
  • Items related to local topics, for example fisheries or quarrying
  • Items related to art instruction and artists
  • Items that have been recognized by literary awards
  • Items for which there is a user request for retention


Process for Deselection

Final authority for the determination of the policies in this document are vested in the Corporation. They have delegated the responsibility of implementing this policy to the Library Director. The Library Director shall delegate the on-going task of deselection in the collection to the appropriate staff, directing that the above criteria be used. Items in fair condition may be placed in a book sale. Efforts will be made to recycle books when appropriate, but items will be disposed of at the discretion of the Library Director.


Approved by Board of Directors: March 3, 2015

Reconsideration of Library Materials

Printable Version

The Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library, Inc. selects library materials according to our Collection Development Policy. Our goal is to offer a diversity of ideas and opinions in the materials we select. We endorse the principles of intellectual freedom as expressed in the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights as well as its Freedom to Read Statement and its Freedom to View Statement. Parents or guardians are responsible for their children’s reading and their use of the library. The library staff does not act in loco parentis.

The Library always welcomes the expression of opinions by our users. We recognize that library users may have differences of opinion about the suitability of certain library materials and may object to some of these materials. In order to voice their opinions users are welcome to fill out a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form listing their concerns. This form will be reviewed by the Library Director who will notify the users of his or her decision. All requests for reconsideration will be considered seriously and addressed in writing in a timely manner. The decision can be appealed to the Library Board of Directors. Their decision will be final.


Approved by Board of Directors: April 7, 2015

Material Donation

Printable Version

The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library, Inc. is grateful for the generosity of the community. However, lack of space and other considerations limit the ability to accept donations. For all types of donations the following guidelines apply:


Donations will be evaluated in accordance with the criteria and objectives by which purchased materials are judged. Please refer to the Collection Management Policy for selection criteria. The library reserves the right to review any donation based on the guidelines.

Library may refuse donations due to lack of storage space.

Any special collection of materials that a donor wishes the library to consider solely for the purposes of integration into the collection needs to be reviewed. Acceptance is at the discretion of the Library Director only. If a donation is integrated into the collection, the library reserves the right to decide the conditions of display, housing, access, and withdrawal of the material.

If requested the library will give a receipt only stating the type and number of materials donated. The library will not assign any monetary value to the donation. Acceptance of a donation which has been appraised by a third, and disinterested party, does not in any way imply an endorsement of the appraisal by the library.

In addition, the following guidelines apply to specific material types:



  • Books must be current, generally published in the last five years
  • Books must be in good condition: not yellowed, musty-smelling, materials marked, torn or dog-eared
  • Textbooks, academic level material, dated encyclopedias or medical material, review only copies, materials marked or torn and condensed books are not accepted
  • All books not added to the collection may be sold, donated or repurposed at the discretion of the collection development staff


  • Magazines must be current, generally published in the last one to two years
  • Magazines must be in good condition: not musty-smelling, torn, cut up or marked
  • Academic journals, sales catalogs, and specialized magazines are not accepted
  • All magazines not added to the collection may be sold, donated or repurposed at the discretion of the collection development staff



  • Different format types may have different acceptance guidelines and may change as media formats evolve
  • Media must be in good condition: playable, not scratched, dilapidated or marked
  • Media must not be copied or violate copyright in any way
  • All media not added to the collection may be sold, donated or repurposed discretion of the collection development staff

Approved by Board of Directors: March 3, 2015

Art and Artifacts

Printable Version

The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library, Inc. appreciates the special place that it has in the community to provide a cultural showplace that is freely open to the public for works of art and other artifacts. Despite this recognition, the library’s primary mission may not be able to allow for all aspects of this aspiration.


Acceptance of any work or object is at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Once accepted, the work or object becomes the sole property of the Corporation, which has total control and discretion in regards to the display, storage or disposal of the item.


Donors should be aware that the library does not maintain separate insurance on donated works. The donor or his/her lawful agent must complete a Deed of Gift form before a gift can be accepted.


The following factors will be considered in the decision to accept the donation:


  • Relation of the subject or the artist to the library or Cape Ann
  • Size, condition and media of the work
  • Ability of the library to display and maintain the work
  • Reputation of the artist
  • Inclusion of copyright permission for the artwork
  • Restrictions or stipulations on the disposition of the art
  • Provenance or other documentation of the work


  • Relation of the artifact to the library or Cape Ann
  • Size and condition of the artifact and what it’s made of
  • Ability of the library to display and maintain the artifact
  • Restrictions or stipulations on the disposition of the artifact
  • Provenance or other documentation of the artifact


Approved by Board of Directors: March 3, 2015

Acceptable Behavior

Printable Version

This policy is designed to promote the library’s mission to provide services, programs and materials that enrich people’s lives, foster a love of reading, and provide access to information. Use of the library requires respect for others who are also enjoying the library’s facilities and services. To provide a standard of acceptable behavior that is conducive to maintaining a respectful atmosphere in the library, including the Children’s and Teen Areas, and on its grounds, the following behaviors will not be allowed:


  • Physically abusing or assaulting another person
  • Using threatening or profane language to a person
  • Creating a disturbance by shouting, running, or other disruptive conduct
  • Smoking
  • Possessing, consuming, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Extended sleeping
  • Having pets in the library
    • Exception: any type of service animal
  • Engaging in improper acts that are subject to prosecution or liability under criminal or civil codes of the law
  • More than one person at a time in the rest rooms
    • Exception: persons requiring assistance
  • Destroying or defacing library buildings, property, or materials
  • Soliciting or canvassing of any kind
  • Using audible devices without headphones or with headphones set at a volume that disturbs others
  • Using cell phones, pagers, and other communication devices in a manner that disturbs others
  • Using wheeled devices within the library building (e.g. skateboards, roller-skates, scooters, and bicycles)
    • Exceptions: wheelchairs, walkers, strollers and any assistive devices for mobility impairments
  • Carrying firearms and dangerous weapons of any type
    • Exception: law enforcement officers
  • Creating/using any kind of open flame
  • Viewing pornography or other disturbing images on computer screens


The enforcement of this policy shall be carried out at the discretion of the library staff. Persons refusing to comply with this policy may be asked to leave the library for a period of time based on the severity of the behavior.


Revision approved by the Board of Directors October 26, 2016

Internet Use

The Sawyer Free Library’s public access workstation is a free service permitting access to the Internet. Patrons agree to use the service in a responsible manner and to refrain from inappropriate or illegal activity while making use of the Library’s Internet service. As an open resource provided by an external vendor, the Library does not guarantee a level of service or reliability of the connection. The Internet is an unrestricted global electronic network, and the Library does not own or control the information found on external sites not part of the Library’s own website. The Library does not control potential harmful or offensive information found on some sites, nor does it endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the content. Resources available over the Internet may contain controversial material. The Library reserves the right to block any site it deems inappropriate. Information links often change rapidly and are unpredictable, and response times will vary in speed.


Parents must assume responsibility for their children’s use of the Internet resources through the Library’s connection. As with all materials in the library, responsibility for a child’s use of the Internet rests with the parent or guardian. Parents are encouraged to work with their children to develop rules for the use of the Internet, including rules for the safety of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of electronic communications.


A. When using the Library’s Internet access, it is not acceptable to:

  • Violate federal, state, or local laws
  • Violate copyright laws of database license agreements
  • Display or print graphics or text that is obscene, pornography, or harmful to minors.
  • Engage in any activity that is deliberately offensive or creates an intimidating, disruptive, or hostile environment for patrons or library staff.
  • Invade the privacy of individuals
  • Gain unauthorized access to other computers, resources, or entities.
  • B. Consequences of violation of this Internet policy will lead to:
    Patrons being asked to discontinue activity.
  • If they continue, they will be asked to leave the library facility.
  • If the refuse to leave, they will be considered trespassers and the police will be called to remove them.
  • If the activity is thought to be illegal as defined by law (above), police may be called to investigate.
  • The privilege of using the public computer stations may be withdrawn at any time at the discretion of the Library.

C. To use the adult computer stations:

  • Computer stations in the adult department are for the use of adults and children who are in the seventh grade and higher. Younger children should use the computer stations provided in the Children’s Department.
  • Patrons must sign on to an Internet or word processing station using their own public library card that is contained in the NOBLE library database.
  • Patrons must have their card in their possession to be able to use the computers. Use of computers will be restricted if a patron has $100.00 or more in outstanding delinquencies. Out of state residents may acquire a guest pass at the Reference Desk. There is no fee for the use of the computer stations.
  • An internet session is 30 minutes. If no other patron is on a wait list, the session will be renewed automatically for 30 minutes at a time. If all Internet stations are occupied, a patron may place themselves on a wait list at the reservation station. There is a two hour daily time limit.
  • Computer sessions on the word processing stations have no time limits. There is no wait list for word processing stations.
  • No more than 1 person at a time is allowed at each computer station to prevent noise and disruption to other patrons. Exceptions may be made at the librarian’s discretion.
  • All printing must be prepaid at the main circulation desk. Money placed on a patron print account is retained indefinitely. At the end of the day, guest account print allowances are cleared. The print charge is $0.15 per page.
  • Printing costs are non-refundable, except in the case of mechanical failure of the printing process.
  • Materials may be downloaded to a flash drive, but the Library shall not be responsible for damage to any patron’s drive or computer, or for any loss of data. The Library shall not be responsible for the use of any downloaded data which is in violation of any local, state, or federal law.

D. The following are specifically prohibited:

  • Using the Library’s internet access equipment for illegal purposes or to send, receive, or display obscene or pornographic text, video or graphics.
  • Attaching personal hardware or accessories, except for data storage purposes or headphones.
  • Changing software configurations or settings on Library computers.
  • Saving files to a hard disk drive.
  • Careless or destructive use of the equipment, including, but not limited to, unplugging, turning off, moving and reconfiguring the hardware.

E. To use the Children’s Library computer stations:

  • Computer stations in the Children’s Library are for the use of children who are in pre-school through sixth grade. Accompanying adults may use the computer for brief periods by making arrangements with the librarian on duty.
  • Patrons must sign in at the Circulation desk. There is no fee for use of the computers; however, there is a print charge of $0.15 per page, payable at the time of printing.
  • A computer session is 30 minutes per day. An additional 30 minutes may be given if there is no one waiting. With advanced notice a child may have extended time for school projects. The librarian on duty has the right to ask a child to leave when he or she is being disruptive.
  • Children’s computers will no longer permit access to Myspace, Facebook, Friendster, and other ‘social networking’ websites. The Library has decided that providing access to these sites does not serve its primary mission of providing access to information. The library reserves the right to block websites. Any questions may be directed to Library Administration.


Summary: Internet access is provided by the Library as a benefit for its patron; use of these resources should not be construed as a personal right without limitations. Use shall be governed by the above policy and rules and any others that the Board of Directors may, from time to time, deem appropriate. Violations may result in the loss of Internet and other Library access privileges.


By signing up to use the Library’s Internet computers, each patron is agreeing to abide by the Library’s established policy and rules governing such use. Copies of the Library’s policy are available at the circulation and reference desks as well as on the Library’s website.


Approved by the Board of Directors January 21, 2009


Printable Version

The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library provides free access to technology as a service for the community. The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library is guided by the American Library Association’s statements on access to information contained in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement. The library technology policy is designed to ensure and protect our users’ access to information in a safe and friendly environment. Any questions or concerns about this policy or an appeal for reconsideration of a denial of use of any technology should be directed to the Library Director or his/her designee.


Wired Devices

  • The library has online computer workstations on all levels.
    • Upper level workstations are intended for use by anyone age 12 and over.
    • Main level workstations are intended for short-term use by visitors.
    • Lower level workstations are intended for use by anyone age 12 and under. For those over age 12, please make arrangements with the staff for use, e.g. accompanying adults, educators, etc.
  • Users must sign on to a computer workstation using their NOBLE library card.
  • Users without a library card may ask for a guest pass at any public service desk.
  • A session is for one hour. Users may use the computers for a maximum of three hours per day if no other patrons are waiting.
  • The library’s computers automatically log out 10 minutes before the library closes.
    • No exceptions can be made.
    • Users are advised to save their work to removable media, email, or the cloud well before that time.
    • For assistance with this please see a staff member.
  • There exists no guarantee of security or privacy in the use of the internet. All transactions, files, contacts and communications are vulnerable to unauthorized disclosure. Users should consider all transactions public.
  • Users are entitled to two free pages of printing a day. Additional printing is available for a small fee.
  • Users regardless of age have unrestricted access to the Internet.
    • Children eight and under are encouraged to use the library Internet with an adult.
    • Restricted access is the responsibility of parents, guardians, or care providers, not library staff.
    • The Sawyer Free Library Children’s website provides links to useful sites on Internet usage, safety, and content. Our staff can assist in search strategies and website evaluation.



Wireless Access

  • The Sawyer Free Library is a free wireless internet (Wi-Fi) “hotspot.”
  • Users are reminded that the library’s wireless access is unsecured and unencrypted, meaning that any information sent or received is NOT secure. Users are advised to exercise caution when sending personal or financial information over such a network. The library is not responsible for any incidents of loss or theft.



Mobile Devices

  • The library portable computers are available for use within the building.
  • Library events have priority over adult users for using these portable computers.



Microfilm Readers

  • The library has microfilm readers and printers in the Information and Research Services area.
  • Printing is available for a small fee.



AV Equipment

  • The library has a variety of AV equipment available for use by groups using meeting spaces and/or during programs. Library events will have priority, followed by city government affiliated events. All other requests will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Equipment must be requested in advance.
    • Applications may be submitted up to three months before a scheduled event.
    • They must be in writing and include contact information for the person making the request.
    • The name of the organization that will be using the equipment.
    • The date and hours that it will be needed.
  • Library personnel can provide basic instruction in use of the equipment by appointment in advance of an event or meeting, but may not be available to assist during its use. Requests for instruction should be made as far in advance as possible.
  • There shall be no charge for use of this equipment.
  • All equipment should be returned in working condition (excepting reasonable wear and tear). Breakage or excessive damage shall be the responsibility of the borrower.
  • The library reserves the right to cancel use of equipment or a reservation for its use in the event of unforeseen or changed circumstances.
  • The library may deny use of A/V equipment to users who do not take proper care of the equipment, or in the opinion of the staff are not familiar with its use.



Other Technology

  • The library has a variety of office technology, e.g. photocopier, scanner, shredder, etc.
  • See staff for details.



When using any library technology, the following is not allowed:

    • Violating federal, state, or local laws, including but not limited to laws involving copyright, harassment, or cyber-bullying, “spamming”, illegal duplication or downloading of copyrighted materials, or unauthorized access into other systems.
    • Displaying images, video or text that is obscene, pornographic, or perceived by staff as harmful to minors.
    • Engaging in any activity that is disruptive for other library users or staff.
    • Engaging in any activity causing damage to library equipment.
    • Communicating in a way that could be harmful or threatening to others.
    • Behaving in ways which violate others’ privacy.
    • Disrupting library equipment or services or software programs.
    • Attempting to install unauthorized applications.
    • Deliberately damaging equipment and furniture.
    • Showing copyrighted material without proper license unless it comes under “Fair Use.” The user is liable for any copyright infringement.
    • Engaging in these behaviors may result in the loss of library privileges or other penalties.


December 21, 2016 revision Approved by the Board of Directors

Teen Area

Printable Version

The Sawyer Free Library is committed to providing an inviting and safe space for teenage patrons to engage in individual and group activities. The social nature and unique characteristics of this age group require a separate space designed for their needs.


The Teen Area at Sawyer Free Library is for the use of teens in the 6th-12th grades. While patrons of all ages are welcome to browse and check out materials from the Young Adult Collection, use of the tables, seating and
laptops is reserved exclusively for students in the prescribed grades.


Teens are expected to respect the overall library environment, and may not engage in activities or communications that disrupt other library users or staff


 All other library policies apply to the Teen Area.


December 21, 2016 Approved by the Board of Directors

Public Spaces

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The Board of Directors and staff of the Sawyer Free Library welcome the use of the library’s meeting rooms by community groups. Available meeting room spaces may be reserved for not-for-profit civic, educational and cultural activities, as well as discussion of current public questions and concerns, and for-profit activities such as co-working, business meetings, and solo-entrepreneurship. The Library facilities are available on an equitable basis without restrictions based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, gender, disability or sexual orientation and shall not infringe upon free speech rights except in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations. Permission to use a library meeting space does not constitute or imply library endorsement of the policies of any organization or the views expressed in the meeting.




  • Meetings should conform to the scheduled operating hours of the library.
  • All meetings held during the library’s operating hours must be free of charge and open to the public.
  • Artists, authors and performers whose programs are sponsored by the library may sell copies of their works only during the time allotted for their program.
  • Use of fire or flames is strictly prohibited.
  • Upon approval of the Library Director or designee, alcoholic beverages may be served only by a TIPS® (Training for Intervention ProcedureS) certified bartender. All alcohol service shall comply with state and municipal laws, ordinances and regulations. The organization shall provide evidence of insurance for the event.
  • Groups using the space assume responsibility for leaving it in a clean and orderly condition and for any damage to the room or its contents.


All organizations or groups shall agree in writing indemnify and hold harmless the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library, Inc., its staff, or the City of Gloucester from any claims, suits, or actions of any kind arising from or related to any negligent act, omission or error of the organization resulting in personal injuries or property damage arising from or related to the organization’s use of the meeting spaces.


Reservations for meeting spaces are on a first-come, first-served basis. All technology requirements must be arranged at the time of reservation. Library-or City-sponsored meetings have priority and the library reserves the right to preempt any scheduled meeting for any reason. Every effort will be made to give advance notice of such preemption.


The library seeks to encourage the broadest use of the library’s public spaces.
Reservations may be made no more than three months in advance. No group may consider the library its permanent meeting place or use the library as its mailing address.


The Library Director or designee has the authority to accept, renew, or deny requests for use of the rooms under the established terms of this policy or any other library policy. Appeals may be made to the Library Board of Directors if necessary.


Revision approved by the Board of Directors October 26, 2016

Unattended Children

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The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library, Inc. welcomes children and families to use the children’s library and enjoy our programs and resources. Our care and concern for children’s safety and security is of primary importance. However, as we are a public building, the library cannot assure the safety of children. In the library the behavior, supervision and well-being of children are the responsibility of parents, caregivers and guardians, not library personnel. The library is unable to assume responsibility for children left unattended in the building.


We require that children under the age of eight be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or caregiver. If unattended children are found in the building, library staff will call responsible caregivers, parents, or guardians. Children ages eight and older may use library services and attend programs unaccompanied by adults. Parents are reminded that they are responsible for awareness of library hours, and for providing children with the telephone number of an adult who can assist them in an emergency, such as sudden illness, or an unexpected change in library hours. It is important to note that parents will be contacted to pick up their children, should they demonstrate inappropriate or disruptive behaviors.


In the event that library staff cannot locate responsible parents or adults local authorities will be contacted to assure child safety.


Approved by Board of Directors: March 3, 2015

Interlibrary Loan

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Interlibrary loan is defined as the borrowing, lending and copying of materials between libraries upon request. The purpose of interlibrary loan is to supplement the holdings of a library by borrowing and lending materials that the library does not own to help meet the needs of its patrons. Most materials and formats that circulate at lending libraries can be borrowed through interlibrary loan. However any interlibrary loan request is filled at the discretion of the lending library. Certain materials are difficult or impossible to acquire including materials published within the last 6 months, entire issues of periodicals, non-circulating materials, microfilm, mass market paperbacks, genealogical materials or rare materials. However we will make every reasonable effort to acquire them. The Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library, Inc. attempts to be as generous as possible in lending its materials through interlibrary loan.


  1. Users must be registered members of the library in order to request materials from interlibrary loan.
  2. All users must adhere to the following interlibrary loan rules:
    • Photocopies of journal articles need to be requested through the library staff. These articles must be requested in accordance with U.S. copyright law, Title 17, U.S. Code and its accompanying guidelines.
    • Users are responsible for returning materials acquired through the Massachusetts Library System on or before the due date. There are no exceptions to this very important rule. However users may request renewals by contacting the reference staff before the due date. There is no guarantee that the lending library will grant a renewal.
    • We reserve the right to deny interlibrary loan service to individual users if due dates or other rules are repeatedly not observed.


Approved by Board of Directors: March 3, 2015

News Media and Public Inquiries during an Emergency

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In the event of an emergency, the Library Director, President of the Board of Directors, or a person otherwise designated by the Director or the President, shall be the only person authorized to release information on behalf of the Library. This spokesperson will coordinate information and information release with the Gloucester Public Information Officer, law enforcement personnel, emergency medical personnel, health department staff, and other appropriate public officials as required.


In the event that no person identified in the preceding paragraph is available and that no other person has been previously designated, any member of the Board of Directors, working in collaboration with other board members to the extent possible, may act as spokesperson consistent with the responsibilities described above.


During and after an emergency situation; Library employees:

  • Will NOT respond to media or public information requests other than to refer all such requests to the Library spokesperson described above.
  • If no Library representatives as described above are available, will refer all public and media inquiries and information requests to:
      • The Police Department or Fire Department as appropriate
      • Other on-scene public or emergency agency spokesperson
  • Will NOT discuss or speculate on the cause, consequences, events, impact, or personnel involved with the situation. This includes communicating via the social media.


Approved by the Board of Directors October 26, 2016

Promotional Materials

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Promotional materials generated by or on behalf of the Library shall not contain recognizable images of library patrons and users without written permission of the individuals depicted or a parent or legal guardian acting on their behalf. This requirement covers use of images generated through photography, videography, digital or other technological methods, or artistic depictions. Similarly, Library users’ names or other personal information, or statements by them, shall not be used by the Library for promotional or marketing purposes without written permission.


December 21, 2016 Approved by the Board of Directors

Protection of Vulnerable Populations

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Recognizing the Sawyer Free Library users include vulnerable populations, including physical infirm, elderly, minors and others, no program or activity within the library shall take place without oversight or nearby physical presence of at least two Library staff members or volunteers.


Approved by the Board of Directors October 26, 2016


Printable Version

Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library Inc. (hereinafter “the library”) is committed to operating in furtherance of its tax-exempt purposes and in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, including those concerning accounting and auditing. The library prohibits fraudulent practices by any of its board members, officers, contractors or volunteers. This policy outlines a procedure for volunteers and contractors to report actions that one reasonably believes violates a law or regulation or that constitutes fraudulent accounting or other practices. This policy applies to any matter that is related to the library’s business. This policy does not relate to private acts of an individual not connected to the business of the library.


If a library volunteer or contractor has a reasonable belief that a board member, officer, contractor or volunteer associated with the library has engaged in any action that violates any applicable law or regulation, including those concerning accounting and auditing or constitutes a fraudulent practice, the volunteer or contractor is expected to immediately report such information to the Library Director. If the volunteer does not feel comfortable reporting the information to the Library Director, he or she is expected to report the information to a member of the Board of Directors.


All reports will be promptly investigated. In conducting its investigations, those acting on the library’s behalf will strive to keep the identity of the complaining individual as confidential as possible while conducting an adequate review and investigation.


Approved June 2, 2015 by the Board of Directors

Child Safety

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The safety and wellbeing of children in the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library, Inc. is a serious concern of the staff. However, parents, guardians, and caregivers are responsible for the safety of their children in the library.


The library is a public space. Library staff cannot know if children are accompanied by a guardian, a friend, or by a stranger. In advance of a library visit, as in preparation for a visit to any public area, parents and caregivers are advised to review basic family safety rules with children. Please see also the Unattended Children Policy.


The Children’s Library is reserved for children, parents or caregivers, adults interested in children’s literature, such as educators, authors, or college students, as well as users accessing the collection. Extended use by adults and teenagers unaccompanied by a child is not encouraged. Due to concern for the safety of children, adults who are unaccompanied by a child in the Children’s Library may be questioned by staff, and may be asked to use another part of the library.


Online Safety


It is important to note that children’s use of library computers and the Internet are the responsibility of parents, caregivers, or guardians. The Children’s Library staff provides training on computer basics and Internet use. Staff recommend sites suitable for children and families, available on the Children’s pages of the library website.


Approved by Board of Directors: April 7, 2015