Lending Policy Regarding Decertified Libraries

Lending Policy Regarding Decertified Libraries

Wilmington Memorial Library upholds the importance of maintaining the minimum standards of public library service required for a community to be certified by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to participate in the State Aid to Public Libraries program. Communities that do not meet MBLC standards and are not granted a waiver are decertified. The closing of a public library for "any reason other than the undertaking of a project to improve library service (construction, automation preparation or inventory) or the occurrence of a natural catastrophe (including a limited emergency closing due to illness or death)"1 results in immediate decertification.

The regulations governing this program state that "all public libraries participating in the direct state aid grant program must be willing, on a reciprocal basis, to extend direct access and services to nonresidents who are cardholders in other libraries participating in the state grant program"2. The regulations do not oblige participants to lend materials to residents of decertified communities, only to provide "access to reading and reference rooms under the same conditions as residents of the [local] community."3

Full use by residents of decertified communities would be an inappropriate reliance on Wilmington Memorial Library. Permitting such use would subsidize library services to a community unwilling to support its own public library at the expense of Wilmington taxpayers. Therefore, Wilmington Memorial Library will not lend library materials to residents and cardholders of decertified communities, either through direct reciprocal borrowing or through inter-library loan and network transfers.

Approved: Board of Library Trustees January 18, 2005