Trustee Policy

Mission Statement

The Poultney Public Library collects, maintains, and makes available to all members of the community resources that contribute to personal, educational and recreational enrichment.

I. Governance

The Library is governed by a five-member Board of Trustees with one member being elected by the town of Poultney each year for a five-year term.  The Board meets at least five times per year, in meetings that warned and open to the public.  The Town of Poultney supplies an annual appropriation to cover operating expenses, this appropriation being based on a budget prepared by the Board of Trustees in consultation with the Librarian and approved by the voters within the total town budget.

II. Population Served

The Library and its holdings may be used by all residents of the community and by residents of adjacent communities free of charge.  A deposit is required of all temporary residents who are not Poultney taxpayers, including students at local colleges.  If all items are returned and all fees and fines paid, a full refund of this deposit is made upon departure.

Juvenile registrations requiring the signature of a parent or guardian are issued to children through age 15.  It is the policy of the Board that children are granted free access to all library materials.  The responsibility for supervising a child’s reading lies with that child’s parents.  Adult registrations are issued at age 16.

Within the limits of our building and budget, the library is committed to providing the fullest possible access for all community members.  Accommodations will be made on an individual basis and may include, but are not limited to—

-home delivery for those unable to visit the facility

-retrieval by staff of books shelved beyond a patron’s reach, or in areas inaccessible to a wheelchair

-assistance with the automated card catalog and the public access computers

-use of written communication with the hearing impaired

-maintenance of a collection of large print books and audio books, and referrals to the Special Services Unit of the Department of Libraries for the visually impaired

Use of the Library may be denied for due cause, as determined by the Librarian. Actions which might constitute due cause include consistent failure to return materials promptly, misuse of the Library building, equipment or materials, or failure to pay for lost materials.

III.  General Operating Procedures

The Library will be open a minimum of 34 weeks per week, with opening hours distributed to accommodate morning, afternoon, and evening use.  The Library will be closed on Federal holidays.

No overdue fines are charged.  Patrons are required to reimburse the Library, at a rate determined by the Trustees, for costs incurred in retrieving overdue materials.  Borrowing privileges are suspended for patrons with overdue materials or outstanding charges.

Gifts to the Library are welcomed.  The Library reserves the right to dispose of donated materials in whatever manner the Board deems appropriate.

Excessive displays of affection are inappropriate behavior for the Library.

The safety and comfort of Library visitors and staff is of utmost importance.  Therefore, any actions which make others feel unsafe or produce a hostile environment will not be tolerated.  Violators will be asked to stop the offensive behavior immediately or leave the premises.  Noncompliance will result in suspension of Library privileges.

The Board respects the confidentiality of library records as expressed in 22 VSA Section 172.

IV.  Materials Selection Policy

The Library subscribes to the “Library Bill of Rights” and the A.L.A. Council and American Book Publishing Council Statement in “Freedom to Read.” (see attached)

Materials selection is carried out by the Librarian, using professional reviews and standard catalogs, knowledge of the community, and taking into consideration recommendations from the Trustees and the public.  Factors to be considered in selection include:

  • Factual accuracy
  • Effectiveness of presentation
  • Significance of subject
  • Suitability of format for library use
  • Relationship to materials already in the collection
  • Public interest/current usefulness
  • Replacement of standard works as necessary

While trying always to be responsive to the interests and tastes of the public, the Library’s general intent is to purchase only quality materials which have lasting value as recreational reading and/or information sources.

In any given year, an attempt is made to use a minimum of 25% of the materials budget for children’s and young adult materials.

If a patron objects to the inclusion of a particular item in the collection, he or she must submit a written “Request for Reconsideration of Materials”.  This request will then be acted upon by the Board of Trustees in consultation with the Librarian.

Materials are withdrawn from the collection according to the same criteria used for purchase.  Discarded materials are disposed of at an annual book sale, or as deemed fit by the Librarian and the Board.

The Library will make every reasonable effort to obtain through Interlibrary Loan materials which are not available locally.

IV. Personnel

There are four staff positions:  Librarian (37.5 hours), Assistant Librarian (23 hours), Clerk (16 hours), and Assistant Clerk (5 hours).

 Staff is granted three weeks paid vacation and three weeks paid sick leave on an annual basis after one year of employment.

  Staff is granted leave with pay for further training when opportunities for courses and workshops are reasonably available.  Attendance at meetings and conferences is encouraged, with paid time off and travel expenses.

Staff is requested to give one month’s notice upon leaving the library’s employ.

Volunteers are used by the Library to assist with special projects (book sales, children’s programs, etc.).  It is the intent of the Board to maintain paid staff sufficient to handle regular Library operations.

 V. Programming

The Library offers programs for both children and adults, with children’s programming predominating.  Programs are used to promote interest in reading and books, to provide information, and to stimulate library use.  Preschool and toddler story hours are regularly scheduled activities which receive top priority in programming efforts.

Requests for use of the Library for activities not directly sponsored by the Library will be dealt with by the Board on an individual basis.  The Library bulletin board will be used for announcements of non-profit community events, cultural and educational opportunities, and informational notices of general interest.


This policy may be revised at any meeting of the Board of Trustees.  A view of the policy shall be conducted annually, at the spring meeting of the Board.


The Library Trustees are:

D. Bruce Williams, Jean Davis, Ennis Duling, Nancy Luzer, and Jean Roberts.