1. Who may use the library?

Residents of the state of Vermont shall have free library service and may register as patrons.

Children are welcome to register for a Library Card with a parent or guardian’s approval. The co-signing adult assumes responsibility for lost or damaged materials.

Children are allowed to borrow materials from any area of the library in keeping with the principles of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights. We are happy to make recommendations based on the age and interests of the child. Final choices always rest with the children and their parents.

All patrons may take advantage of the interlibrary loan system and reservation policy.

Unaccompanied children under ten may use the library at the sole discretion of the librarian, and children under fourteen may use the library provided they have a contact phone number with a guardian.

Patrons are encouraged to make a monetary contribution when they return overdue library material. Books and materials lost will be charged at current list price plus processing costs. Parents will be responsible for materials taken out by their children.

Materials from the circulating collection will be lent for a period of three weeks and may be renewed, if not on reserve, either by phone or in person. Loans may be made for a longer period at the discretion of the Director.

When hiring or providing services, the library does not discriminate on the basis of class, race, ethnic background, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, or disability. The library strives to provide equal services to all patrons regardless of education level or reading ability.

2. Holidays

The library will be closed on the following legal holidays:

  1. New Year’s Day
  2. Martin Luther King Jr.
  3. Memorial Day
  4. Independence Day
  5. Labor Day
  6. Indigenous People Day
  7. Thanksgiving Day
  8. Day after Thanksgiving
  9. Half day Christmas Eve
  10. Christmas Day

The library will be closed at times when weather and / or other emergency conditions prevent personnel from opening and operating the library at the discretion of the Director.

4. Materials Selection

The Director will select materials, develop the collection, and weed the collection with suggestions from the board and the general public, using the following criteria for selection:

  • Expressed need or interest in the community
  • Accuracy and literary quality
  • Relevance to the library’s role(s) in the community
  • Historical or current topical interest
  • Quality of technical production
  • Usefulness for providing a well-rounded collection, including multiple points of view on current or past controversial issues, when possible.
  • Reviews in professional journals
  • Inclusions in recommended professional lists
  • Local interest. Materials about Dover and the area will be sought and kept.
  • Budgetary considerations
  • Availability elsewhere. For items outside the scope of the collection, interlibrary loan will be encouraged.
  • The library will make every effort to work with the school library to insure the availability of a broad range of materials to townspeople, and to avoid duplication.

Collection development and provision for access to library materials will be carried out in accordance with the “Library Bill of Rights” and the “Freedom to Read” statements appended to this policy statement. When questions regarding intellectual freedom arise, the Board and Director will refer to interpretations of those statements published in the Intellectual Freedom Manual of the American Library Association.

Patrons should be aware that inclusion of an item in the library collection does not imply endorsement of its content by the library board, staff, or community. Some items may be offensive to some individuals. The library will not restrict its purchases, remove items from its shelves, or limit access to items solely because of objections from community members. Conversely, the library will not add an item solely because of endorsement by community members if, in the opinion of the Director, it does not comply with enough of the criteria for selection.

Gifts books and other materials will be accepted on the condition that the library has the authority to make whatever disposition it deems advisable. All gifts will be reviewed in accordance with the criteria listed above.

The library Board or staff members will not act in the place of the parent to restrict children’s access to materials. whatever their content, format, or reading level. Parents must assume responsibility for determining the use of library resources by their children. Controversial items will not receive special treatment, such as special shelving or labeling, which would restrict access.

If a patron wishes to protest an item available at the library, the patron must submit a written request on the form specified in the appendix of this policy statement. If desired, the patron may then present his or her case in person to the Board of Trustees and Director. The Board will respond to all requests with a written statement.

5. Confidentiality of Library Records

The Dover Free Library Board of Trustees affirm that patron and circulation records that could be used to identify which library materials were borrowed or requested by an individual person shall be confidential: unless subpoenaed by the government under Vermont State law or the Federal Patriot Act. More information concerning Vermont State Statutes on Library record confidentiality can be found at the Vermont State website. However, parents will be contacted, if necessary, regarding overdue, lost or damaged materials borrowed by their children.

6. Displays and Exhibits

Announcements of community interest may be displayed in the library building by permission of the Board or Director. Hobby, craft and art exhibits of community significance are encouraged but are displayed at the owner’s acknowledged risk.

No organization or individual shall be permitted to place in the library any receptacle which solicits donations for any cause or organization (other than the library itself, or municipal services); nor shall any display be permitted that advocates or solicits consideration of any product or item sold by any commercial enterprise. Space will be provided for commercial and other notices on the bulletin board outside the library.

7. Use of the Library Rooms

The library facility may be made available for public gatherings of a civic, cultural, or educational nature on an equal basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of the sponsors. Groups using the library must complete a room use form and by approved by the Director, who is responsible for the calendar of events. Such groups may not charge a fee for attendance.  The facility must be left as it was found.

8. Review / Revision of Policy

The Board will review this policy statement on an annual basis and make revisions if necessary.