The mission of the J. V. Fletcher Library is to serve its clientele as a progressive, responsive public library resource, connecting users of all ages with their popular materials needs, without regard to format and serving as an informational center providing materials on the issues and interests of day-to-day living. A strong secondary role is the provision of educational and informational support to students pursuing both formal and informal educational paths. While the Fletcher Library strives to be both reflective of, and responsive to, the community, it also seeks to be in the vanguard of professional library service -- attracting and leading the community into informational, cultural and technological literacy in a warm and welcoming public setting.
I. ORGANIZATIONAL GOAL:
The essential organizational objective of the J. V. Fletcher Library shall be:
A. To serve as a community resource dedicated to introducing the public to a wealth of ideas, information, cultural art forms and activities necessary to the stimulation of individual thought, to the free exchange of ideas, to the enlightened pursuit of knowledge and to enriched community and personal lives.
B. To serve the greater public by assembling, preserving and administering, in organized collections, an array of books, reference sources, varied print and non-print media, and assorted new technologies to stimulate, educate, entertain and promote enriched personal existence.
C. To serve the greater community as a reliable source of up-to-date, wide-ranging information.
D. To provide a center where inquiring minds may encounter the original, sometimes unorthodox, partisan and critical ideas integral to the stimulation and continued functioning of a free democratic society, dependent for its survival upon the free, unfettered expression of, and competition in, ideas.
E. To actively support educational, civic and cultural groups and organizations working towards the enhancement and betterment of community life.
F. To provide opportunity and encouragement for life-long continued education and individualized pursuit of knowledge.
G. To actively cooperate with assorted organizations, agencies and institutions in providing programs or services which meet community needs.
H. To provide opportunities for the pursuit of recreation, via literature, music, film, artistic and technological forms.
II. USERSHIP GOAL:
The essential usership objectives of the J. V. Fletcher Library shall be:
A. To service all residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and to extend service, via international Inter-Library Loan arrangements and other cooperative networking, to all applying members of the greater library community. To service the public without regard to religious, racial, social, economic, or political status. To neither deny nor abridge service on the aforementioned account, nor to deny or abridge service because of gender or age. To uphold the confidentiality of patron records and patron library transactions to insure the protection of individual users in their pursuit of knowledge.
B. To provide as a community resource, willing, diligent and complete service to the library public.
C. To limit use of the library, only in deference to the greater community good. To equitably serve the public via the best use of staff, collections and resources.
D. To limit or deny use of the library and its services for due cause -- such as: failure to return materials; failure to compensate the Town or cooperating libraries for negligence, loss, destruction, damage or defacement of library property; for disturbance of library patrons or staff, or; for any other objectionable conduct on library premises.
E. To endorse the CODE OF CONDUCT POLICY.
Members of the public are to conduct themselves at all times in a manner that does not interfere with the nature of the library's programs and services. The library provides reading areas and meeting rooms in the library building for the public to study, consult, select and examine library materials or to participate in related library programs. Any activity not connected with these purposes is inappropriate. Anyone who disregards these purposes is subject to removal from the building and/or restriction of library privileges (See USAGE POLICY.19).
III. SERVICE GOAL:
A. The Library Board of Trustees and Library staff endorse the ALA Library Bill of Rights, and will adopt policies and practices consonant with the spirit of that document.
B. The library staff will provide guidance and assistance for patrons to obtain the quality information they seek in print, non-print and automated resources, and in a variety of technological formats.
C. In providing current, varied and quality information, the library service objective will be to help patrons:
1. to equip themselves for productive and meaningful pursuits in the course of daily existence, and the successful management of such practical affairs as vocational choice; parenting and relating; childcare and child development; fitness, health and nutrition; emotional and psychological growth; consumer advocacy and information, and those topics deemed germane to a satisfying modern life.
2. to enable themselves to examine, analyze and formulate judgments on public and private issues and to encourage them to freely express in word and action those judgments.
3. to cultivate their understanding and appreciation of varied cultures, world literature, fine arts, and both natural and technological sciences.
4. to promote individual and social well-being via the personal search for, and develop of, creative and spiritual values and capacities.
5. to discover the joys and challenges of personal scholarship via exposure to the host of knowledge emanating from all cultures and epochs.
D. The library will initiate, host and/or coordinate programs, exhibits and attendant publicity, etc. to stimulate the use of library resources for the enlightenment of people of all ages.
E. The library will cooperate with other community and professional agencies and organizations to determine and meet the educational needs of the community.
F. The library accepts responsibility for securing information beyond its own resources by assertively:
1. collecting information about, and listing for referral, resources of agencies, institutions, organizations, and individuals in and beyond the immediate community.
2. borrowing for patrons with serious interests materials which are not owned by the library and which cannot be purchased, or materials for which the demand does not justify purchase.
3. actively participating in an automated network environment and responding to technological advances in resource-sharing and inter-library communication.
G. The library will honor requests from other libraries, issued directly, electronically, or via the mail materials which are requested for patrons with serious interests which are not available in the borrowing library. Patrons of this library will have priority in the use of owned library materials.
H. The library will endeavor to maintain a balance and parity of service in its programs to men, women, young adults and children. The public library will cooperate with, but will not perform the functions of, school or institutional libraries which are designed to meet curricular needs.
I. Library service will be offered and provided during those hours which best meet the needs of the community.
J. Periodic review of library service to the community will be conducted for the purpose of best determining what level of present service should be maintained, and the possible discontinuation, expansion, deletion or addition of service programs based upon community interest.
IV. MATERIALS/COLLECTION GOAL:
A. The library will provide any materials which support the accomplishment of its objectives of community service. Materials may include, but are not limited to: books, periodicals, pamphlets, newspapers, pictures, slides, films, scores, maps, recordings, micro-forms, tapes, passes, puzzles, software, database access and new technological forms.
B. Materials acquired will be responsibly selected to meet high standards of quality in content, expression, format, and diversity of viewpoint.
C. The library will not attempt to furnish text materials needed for formal courses of study offered by academic institutions. The public library will provide materials for self-study and lifelong learning to the greater community.
D. All materials, excepting those which are labeled "Reference," those which are in special demand or under restricted access, and those which, due to fragility or rarity cannot be photocopied, will be lent for home use in accordance with library regulations and procedures.
E. The Library Trustees endorse and subscribe to the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association.
F. The Library Trustees endorse and subscribe to the Freedom to Read statement prepared by the American Library Association and the American Book Publisher's Council.
G. Materials which are no longer useful in the light of stated objectives of the library will be systematically weeded from the collection according to accepted professional practices. Such materials will be withdrawn from the collection and donated to the Friends of the J. V. Fletcher Library, Inc. for disposal at their discretion.
V. INTER-LIBRARY COOPERATION GOAL:
A. The Board of Trustees and the Library Director recognize that no single library can meet all demands and needs in its community and will be alert to opportunities of cooperation with other libraries, to strengthen the services and resources of all.
B. The library will actively participate in an automated network setting and will investigate and promote new technological means of resource-sharing and inter-library cooperation.
VI. FACILITIES AND ASSETS GOAL:
A. To achieve the goal of quality library service, the Board of Library Trustees accepts the responsibility to see that public library building facilities are provided to the community which will adequately meet the physical requirements of modern, aggressive library service. Such facilities will offer to the community a compelling invitation to enter, read, look, listen, and learn. Each building or bookmobile will fit and expanding program of library service.
B. The Board of Library Trustees will acquire sites and/or
new buildings only after a service program has been adopted and the Library Director or consulting librarian has established an outline of the community's library building needs.
C. The Board of Library Trustees accepts the responsibility to secure funds for needed facilities and physical improvements and upgrades.
D. The Library Director, the architect, and the Board of Library Trustees shall, as a planning team with the assistance of consultants, endeavor to plan facilities to meet recognized professional standards of library service and expressed community needs.
E. The Meeting Rooms in the library may be reserved by prior application for use by non-profit, civic, cultural and/or governmental groups, open to the general public. Meeting room reservations will be honored on a first-come first-served basis. All users will be made aware of current regulations regarding Meeting Room use and library staff support of same.
VII. PERSONNEL GOALS:
A. The Library Department will endeavor to recruit, select, train and retain qualified personnel dedicated to the service objectives of the Library.
B. The Library will maintain a minimum staffing policy to adequately staff the library during open hours.
C. The Library Department will endeavor to offer full staffing of all departments for those hours the Library is open to the public.
D. The Library will encourage Staff Development, continuing education, and professional activity germane to the professional satisfaction of its workers and the improvement of library services.
E. The Library Board will support Library professionals in their actualization of Administrative and Departmental Goals and in the pursuit of enhanced and expanded library service.
F. The Library Department will retain sufficient Support Staff, clerical staff, and maintenance staff to support the library service program and delivery of quality service.
VIII. FISCAL GOALS:
A. The Library will meet those funding and service program minimum standards promulgated by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners which will retain its certified status.
B. The Board will actively solicit funds and will support and promote fund-raising activities designed to further enhance library service.
C. The Library Department will efficiently, economically and accountably expend town appropriations and trust monies so as to maximize resources.
D. The Board will actively promote and advocate a budget which reflects the true program and service needs of the Library.
E. The provision of quality service to the community will be the primary and priority budget objective.
IX. DONORS' GOAL:
A. Within the provisions of Commonwealth law, the Board of Library Trustees adopts the following policies:
1. Books and other donated materials will be accepted on the condition that the Library Director has the authority to make whatever disposition s/he deems advisable and appropriate.
2. Gifts of money, real property, and/or stock will be accepted if conditions attached thereto are acceptable to the Board of Library Trustees.
3. Personal property, art objects, portraits, antiques and other museum objects will not ordinarily be accepted.
4. The library will not accept for temporary loan materials which are not outright gifts.
X. PUBLIC RELATIONS GOAL:
A. Among the primary public relations goals of the library are:
1. Promoting the understanding of the library's objectives and services by governing officials, by civic leaders and by the general public.
2. Active participation by people of all age groups in the varied services offered by the library.
3. Recruitment of new library users and the under-served within the community.
B. The Board of Library Trustees recognizes that effective and positive public relations involves and emanates from every person who represents the library. The Board urges its own members and each staff member to realize that s/he represents the library in every public contact. Quality service engenders positive public relations.
C. The Library Director and professional staff will be expected to actively represent the library before civic groups and in community activities. A reasonable amount of library time will be allowed staff members for preparation, public speaking and community involvement. Public releases for press, radio or television will be approved by the Library Director.
Revised and Voted 9/4/90. Rev. Mission Statement 10/93. Revised Code of Conduct Language 10/21/96.