All Library Policies

Trustee Duties and Responsibilities

The governing Board of the Scarborough Public Library consists of twelve members chosen from the community, a member of the Town Council appointed by the Council and a representative of the Friends of the Library, making a total of fourteen Trustees. 


The Scarborough Public Library was first organized in 1899, and for many years maintained a modest collection of books in a one-room building which was open for four hours only on Friday afternoons. In contrast, the present Library, completed in 1990, serves a rapidly growing community of approximately 19,500 inhabitants, with public access 55 hours weekly, circulating 209,407 items last year. The collection contains 76,658 titles in print, audio and video formats. 

Scarborough's Library is part of a larger community network of informational services including both schools and town. It is also part of a statewide system through the Maine Regional Library System, and is connected nationally through computer networking and the Interlibrary Loan Service. The whole spectrum of informational services is changing rapidly, and we are well aware of the necessity of keeping abreast of current technology. The Scarborough Public Library has achieved an enviable reputation among small libraries for excellence and both staff and board intend to maintain that leadership position.

While the Library is a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3), corporation with its own Board of Trustees, 91 percent of its operating budget is funded by the Town of Scarborough. The balance is provided internally through fines, fees, income from fundraising and investment income. The total budget for 2015-2016 is $1,067,728. The Library participates in the Town's annual budget process in essentially the same manner as a Town department.

Board Structure

The governing Board of the Scarborough Public Library consists of twelve members chosen from the community, a member of the Town Council appointed by the Council and a representative of the Friends of the Library, making a total of fourteen Trustees. All Trustees will demonstrate a commitment to the Library as a vital resource to the community, and some may be selected for a particular expertise or background. 

The officers of the Corporation are a president, a vice-president, a secretary and a treasurer, and they form the nucleus of the Executive Committee.

The Board of Trustees meets monthly throughout the year, although a summer break is usually taken if the business schedule permits. The meetings are ordinarily held at the Library on the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. 

The President is authorized by the by-laws to appoint Board members and non-Board members to certain committees in order to provide technical assistance or breadth of community participation. Committees may vary as to frequency of meeting. Board members may also be asked to work with the Library Director as a Board advisor on particular policies or projects.

Duties and Responsibilities

Trustees have an obligation to familiarize themselves with the by-laws of the Corporation, the annual operating budget and the ongoing business of the Library. In addition, Trustees are expected to attend all meetings of the Board and to uphold their Trustee responsibilities, as well as to actively participate in committees as assigned. 

Any Trustee who misses three consecutive meetings and/or four meetings in any given year without reasonable cause may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the Board. 

Any Trustee finding it necessary to do so may resign by delivering a written notice of resignation to the Corporation at its principal office, or to the President or Secretary of the Board of Trustees. The resignation shall be effective upon receipt unless the resignation states another date.

Trustees have a variety of responsibilities individually and collectively, both as members of the community from which they are called, and as participants in a Management, Planning and Support process.


Trustees will maintain careful oversight of the sources and use of funds. Trustees have the responsibility for safeguarding the physical plant, equipment, collections and investments having a replacement value of approximately $2.7 million.

The Trustees must also hire a librarian and authorize the hiring of other staff and determine salary and benefit levels and rules of personnel practice. It is the responsibility of all Board members to be aware of current trends in libraries and the changing needs of our patrons. 


Trustees must be active and thoughtful participants in both short- and long-term planning to assure the continuing strength of the Library. Members of the Board must have their fingers on the pulse of the community in order to aid in the planning process. The Board holds an annual retreat where the long-term goals are discussed in depth. All trustees must share in the annual planning process involving such areas as personnel expenses, capital expenditures and preparation of the annual budget.


Trustees are expected to provide their financial support to the Library’s annual appeal and other fund-raising initiatives.

The good health of the Library and its ability to serve Scarborough depends heavily on the good will of the citizens. Trustees should be willing to promote the Library whenever there is an opportunity to do so. 

Since the largest percentage of the Library’s operating budget is provided by the Town of Scarborough, an awareness of the political realities inherent in the Library’s dependence is essential. Trustees are expected to be supportive of the Library’s fiscal requirements in budget hearings or other deliberations of the Town. 

Trustees are encouraged to attend programs and activities sponsored by the Library or the Friends of the Library.

Use of Cell Phones Policy

The Scarborough Public Library provides an environment conducive to study and welcoming to all users.

Therefore, the use of cell phones and similar wireless communication devices is not permitted within the Scarborough Public Library by the public or staff, except in designated areas:

  1. Lobby area near public telephone;
  2. Staff break area;
  3. Meeting Room (groups using the meeting room may set their own guidelines): and,
  4. Any area outside the building.

Inappropriate use of such devices is considered disruptive behavior. This policy will be enforced under the Library’s Rules Related to Library Behavior Guidelines

Adopted: June 17, 2004

Rules Related to Library Behavior revised: June 17, 2004; Amended 2/19/2009
Policy Statement Regarding Appropriate Library Behavior 10/1990

Video Selection Policy

This document is a guide to video collection development and covers the selection and withdrawal of materials.

I. Purpose and Scope of Collection

The collection is established to assemble and to organize a collection of visual non-print materials that are both entertaining and informational. The collection includes materials of interest to adults, teens, and youth.

II. Types of Materials to be Purchased

Materials are selected for the Library's collection with the following areas considered a high priority:

  1. Entertainment, instructional, and "nonfiction" videos for which there is public interest and demand; popular television series that for economic reasons are not freely available to members of the community (ex. cable-only programs).
  2. Titles covered by our motion picture licensing agreements to support our afternoon movie programs.
  3. Award-winning or nominated films, feature films, and international films that because of their content and reviews are or will become "classics".
  4. Videos for family viewing; and,
  5. Local presentations and events.

III. Materials Not Included

Works that achieve their appeal strictly through sensationalism or erotic, scatological, or exploitative means will not be added to the collection. Material that is strictly ephemeral in nature and is dependent upon speedy acceptance encouraged by massive publicity will also not be acquired. Curriculum support materials are not a part of the collection—we purchase instructional materials produced for the lay person.

IV. Selection Criteria

Consideration is given to: popular (and timely) demand for the item; relationship of the material to the existing collection and to other materials available on the subject; the likely attention of critics, opinion makers, and the public to the item; its importance to document our times; the cost of the item as compared with comparable material on the same subject; the cost to benefit compared with an alternative expenditure; and, the availability of the title in the Minerva collection.

The Scarborough Library selects titles on the basis of the content as a whole and without regard to the personal history of the persons involved in making the video. In no case is any item included or excluded merely because of the race, nationality, political or religious views or philosophic stance of the writer. Realistic representation of the human condition that includes material or dialogue that is sexually candid or violent is not considered a valid reason for rejection if the video otherwise meets standards for acquisition.

The Library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend one or more patrons. However, selection of titles will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the basis of established professional standards and the principles stated in this policy. Materials will not be marked or identified by the Library to show approval, disapproval, or any other evaluation of their contents by the Library staff.

While every effort will be made to present all aspects of an issue, any film that has the overall intent to belittle or denigrate the ideas, opinions, or practices of individuals or groups will be excluded from the collection unless:

  1. the film accurately portrays events in the context of the historical record; or,
  2. in the judgment of the selector, availability of the film is important to furthering the discussion of issues raised by the film.

For general selection qualities see Appendix I.

The Library affirms that legal guardians have sole responsibility for the use of materials by their minor children. Selection of materials for Scarborough Library collection will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children.

The Library does provide patron information in the electronic catalog in the form of MPAA ratings, content annotations, and audience levels if that information is readily available on the package or from an acceptable bibliographic source.

V. Responsibility for Selection

The Library Board of Trustees has the legal responsibility for all materials in the library collection. The Board in turn, has delegated this responsibility to the professional staff as designated by the Library Director. This staff is responsible for the day-to-day development and maintenance of the Library video collection.

Selection decisions are based upon reviews in professional review magazines and books including Library Journal, Booklist, School Library Journal, Video Librarian, and magazines of popular culture.

VI. Weeding and Replacement of Materials

Weeding (de-accession) by virtue of lack of use, accuracy and currency of information, outdated format, damage to the item, loss, or a long overdue status is continuous. Material is discarded in an appropriate manner . Worn or damaged materials of continuing value or needed to extend the coverage of subject/genre in the collection will be replaced.

VII. Acceptance of Gift Materials

Gift materials will be accepted with the understanding that the same selection standards will be applied to gift materials as to those purchased for the collection. Final disposition of the gift(s) is to be left to the judgment of the collection manager.

VIII. Sponsored Films

Films funded by organizations and businesses for a specific purpose are referred to as sponsored films. Films that meet the criteria of film selection and that add scope to the collection will be gratefully accepted, providing no stipulation is made governing their use.

IX. Affirmations of Intellectual Freedom

The Scarborough Library subscribes to the standards set forth in the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement, and Free Access to Libraries for Minors as adopted by the American Library Association with regard to the loaning of materials to patrons of all ages. The Library does not restrict access to materials by the age of the patron.

X. Procedure for Handling Complaints

When a patron objects to a particular item, the objections shall be made in writing  The party registering the complaint will complete a copy of the Request for Reconsideration of Material" form. The request will be reviewed in keeping with Board policy for the review of materials.

12/16/99;  rev.  02/2013


Appendix I: General Quality Criteria

Some or all of the following may be considered when making a purchase decision:

  • Is the title of present or potential relevance to community interests?
  • Does it fill a weakness of the collection in a particular area?
  • Does it provide insight into human and social needs?
  • Does it accurately present factual information?
  • Is it useful for its intended audience?
  • Does it satisfy public demand resulting from the attention of critics and reviews?
  • Does it provide high quality performances and accurate content?
  • Is it produced with technical skill?
  • Does it provide information or presentation that is unique to or only available in the format?
  • What is the cost effectiveness of one format over another?
  • Is any commercialism minimal, not distracting from theme or content?

12/16/99;  rev.  02/2013


Wireless Network Policy

The Library provides a wireless network to allow public access to the Internet before, during, and after library business hours. It is a separate network from the Library wired network and by its nature, like all public hotspots, is less secure.

A login and password are required so that we may manage the number of users on the network at one time.

Devices Covered

This policy covers all wireless data communication devices.

Content Filtering

Content filtering is a requirement of our Internet service provider Maine School and Library Network (MSLN)

Responsibility of Library Staff

The Library is not responsible for any loss of data caused by use of the library wireless network. Library staff will strive to inform wireless users of security and privacy policies and procedures related to the use of wireless communications in common areas.

The Library makes available printed directions for configuring a device on the Library wireless network. The Library staff will not configure a user’s computer.

Staff Access Points and Cards

Employees of the library may not provide personal off - the - shelf base stations and access points for themselves. Abuse Interference or disruption of other authorized communications or unauthorized interception of another's wireless traffic is a violation of this policy.


Any employee found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Any public user in violation of this policy will be denied further access to the wireless network.


Wireless access points operate over a shared bandwidth. As the number of users increase, the available bandwidth per user diminishes dramatically. For that reason, we use methods to limit the number of concurrent users on our wireless network. Users needing higher bandwidth should use a wired library public access computer. As per our agreement with our Internet provider (MSLN), users cannot directly send and receive mail to and from mail servers located outside the MSLN network using the POP mail protocol. Users on the library wireless network must have configured their mail program to use the IMAP protocol in order to access their email directly from a server.*

Wireless networks inherently have greater risks than wired networks because wireless transmissions occur on unlicensed radio frequencies. Consequently, it is difficult to know who or what devices may be connected and listening. Users use the wireless network at their own risk. Users of the library wireless network should consider all unencrypted communications over the network as insecure and available and all content as clear text.

* POP was designed for, and works best in, the situation where you use only a single desktop computer. Normally, messages are downloaded to your desktop computer and then deleted from the mail server.


Adopted: June 17, 2004
Revised: March 21, 2013; April 18, 2013