Ricahrds Memorial Library Policy and Procedures

 Welcome to the Richards Memorial Library in Paxton, MA. We encourage you to become a library user and request that you abide by the following policies and procedures.

Library Card Eligibility

 Library cards are free and expire every two years.  In order to obtain a card, you must apply in person with a valid form of identification. Valid identification for an adult user must show your name and current address. Forms of ID include, but are not limited to, a driver’s license or a delivered piece of mail. Any child under the age of 16 must have a parent or guardian approve the card. A parent assumes the responsibility for that child for any fines or fees that may occur.

No person may get a library card if the library in their own town is not certified by the MBLC.

General Lending Policies

You must have a valid library card from any CWMars-affiliated library. Please keep the library apprised of any changes to your address or telephone number.

The library reserves the right to deny borrowing privileges to any patron who is delinquent in Paxton or any other library. If you owe over $10.00 in fines you will not be allowed to borrow any further materials until your fines are rectified.

It is up to a parent to supervise their children’s borrowing habits. The library does not restrict any materials based on the age of the patron.

We request that patrons have their library cards when checking out materials.

Books are normally loaned for 3 weeks, magazines for 2 weeks and DVDs for one week. Under new CWMARS regulations, materials will automatically renew for the same time period if not returned. We do request, however, that patrons make an effort to return any new materials as soon as possible so that other patrons may have a chance to enjoy them.

Fines and Fees

1. When the library is open, please return your materials to the front desk. If we are closed, materials may be put in the book drop. The book drop is only checked when we first open, so if your material is due that day, you may accrue a fine if it is not brought to the desk.

2. The library reserves the right to limit the number of materials borrowed, especially during periods of high demand, such as school assignments including summer reading, or holiday books.

3. Damaged or lost materials must be replaced prior to being able to borrow additional materials.

4. Overdue materials accrue the following fines and fees:

$.10 per day for all material types

$1.00 per day for DVDs with a maximum fine of $5.00

Library Behavior

The Richards Memorial Library is open to all and strives to provide access to information, books, videos and other materials for all. We therefore request that courteous behavior be observed by our patrons to insure it is a pleasurable experience for all.


  • No food or drink at the computers.
  • No use of alcohol or drugs on library property.
  • No use of tobacco products in the library.
  • No running, throwing or fighting.
  • No loud or abusive language.
  • No guns or weapons on library property (except for law enforcement.)
  • No bicycling, skateboarding, rollerblading, or skating on library grounds.
  • Bicycles should be stored in the bike rack at the front entrance to the library.
  • No games of sport (i.e. baseball or football) on library grounds.
  • Any animals left outside the building must be secured and not disruptive to patrons. If an animal is brought into the library, it must be on a leash or held. Animals must not be a nuisance to any patron or we will ask that it is removed from the premises.
  • Any vandalism to property will result in the suspension of library privileges and may be subject to criminal prosecution.
  • Use of cell phones should be discreet and at a level as to not disturb other patrons.
  • A person may be asked to leave if their personal hygiene/ and or use of strong perfumes or scents interferes with the ability of other patrons to use and/or enjoy the library
  • If you use the Children’s room, please pick up all of the toys and books when done.

There is a baby changing station in the main bathroom. Should you change your child, we request that you take any soiled diapers out with you. A bag is available at the front desk.

Mission Statement

The Richards Memorial Library serves as an educational and recreational community resource. We strive to enrich lives, build community, and grow knowledge by bringing people, information and ideas together.

The Richards Memorial library in Paxton adheres to the Library Bill of Rights in the choosing of materials and its availability to all regardless of age, gender, or nationality. The Library strives to serve the needs of patrons with diverse ages, backgrounds, and abilities.  

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. 


The Richards Memorial Library strives to protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality. In order for patrons to make full and effective use of the library, they must feel unconstrained by the possibility that others may become aware of the books they read, the materials they use or the questions they ask. Therefore the Richards Memorial Library adheres to the following guidelines and does not divulge information regarding the following:

Any information on a patron which is not readily available in public records (such as a street address or telephone number).

Borrowers’ records and their contents. The Richards Memorial Library will not reveal the borrowing record, fines, or reserve records to any person other than the owner of the library card to which they are assigned.

The frequency or content of a patron’s lawful visit, and they will not disclose to any individual, institution, or government agency without a valid process, order or subpoena. The library shall resist until such time as is proper showing has been made in a court or competent jurisdiction.

However, parents or legal guardians who are responsible for a child’s library materials may obtain information about the records of that child. 

Confidentiality Law

Chapter 78, Section 7 of the Massachusetts General laws

As Amended by Chapter 180, Acts of 1988

Section 7. A town may establish and maintain public libraries for its inhabitants under regulations prescribed by the city council or by the town, and may receive, hold and manage any gift, bequest or devise therefore. The city council of a city or the selectmen of a town may place in such library, the books, reports and laws which may be received from the commonwealth.

That part of the records of a public library which reveals the identity and intellectual pursuits of a person using such library shall not be a public record as defined by clause Twenty-sixth of section seven of chapter four. Library authorities may disclose or exchange information relating to library users for the purposes of inter-library cooperation and coordination, including but not limited to, the purposes of facilitating the sharing of resources among library jurisdictions as authorized by clause (1) of section nineteen E or enforcing the provisions of sections ninety-nine and one hundred of chapter two hundred and sixty-six.

Material Selection Information and Policy

1. Materials will be selected by the librarian to reflect a varied point of view, the importance of the collection as a whole, their permanent value, current interests, and when possible, controversial issues.

2. The collection of books is constantly under scrutiny and will be weeded and discarded on a regular basis. This will allow the collection to stay current.

3. The librarian will make every effort to pick materials based on the age, background, abilities and interests of the patrons. 

4. Textbooks are not purchased.

5. Gifts of books are accepted with the same criteria in mind as newly purchased materials.

6. The children’s collection has been especially selected to enrich a child’s literary journey and we strive to cover all fields of knowledge. Although we may assist a child in the choosing of materials, the responsibility for a child’s choice of reading material rests with his or her parent or guardian. 

7. The library does not monitor or restrict the borrowing privileges of any child unless a parent notifies the library of a restriction.

Unattended Children in the Library Policy

We wish to encourage the use of the library by all children and strive to create a warm and inviting atmosphere for young readers. In order to provide for the safety and general welfare of all persons using the library, please adhere to the following:

  • It is the responsibility of parents to insure the appropriate behavior of their children in the library. Staff may request that disruptive children be removed from the library if they have received a warning and do not comply with proper behavior.
  •  No child under the age of 10 may be left unattended at the library. Exceptions may be made during scheduled programs. However, permission must be obtained from a librarian first. Library staff is not responsible for unattended children.
  •  Parents must pick up after their children and assume all responsibility for any damage done to materials or to the library itself.
  • Should an unattended child exhibit disrupted behavior, library staff may call the parent or caregiver and request that the child be picked up. If the parents cannot be reached and the behavior continues, the librarian shall call the police and ask that they assume responsibility until the parent can be reached.
  • Should any child under the age of twelve be left alone at the closing of the library, the police will also be called to assume responsibility of the child until the parents arrive. Under no circumstances may a staff member transport a child from the library.


Non-resident Use of the Library

As a participant in the Library Incentive Grant/Municipal Equalization Grant (LIG/MEG) program administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the Richards Memorial Library must comply with requirements regarding use of its collection that are specified in Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 78, Section 19A & B and further defined in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (605 CMR 4.00).

  • The Richards Memorial Library extends reciprocal borrowing privileges to residents of the Commonwealth who reside in communities that offer state certified library services. However, should a library lose its certification due to not meeting the Massachusetts state mandated requirements, Richards Memorial Library cannot loan to said residents of a non- certified town. 
  • The Richards Memorial Library continues to extend access to its materials for use in the library by all Massachusetts residents as required by 605 CMR 4.0 (1) which states that "all residents of the Commonwealth shall have access to its reading and reference rooms under the same conditions as the residents of the community.”
  • Once a library is recertified, an immediate reinstatement of borrowing privileges will be provided to all affected borrowers.
  • The Richards Memorial Library is a member of the CW/MARS library network and that allows non-residents with valid CW/MARS library cards to borrow materials at any other library in that particular network.
  • If your home library card is not a member of the CW/MARS network, the Richards Memorial Library reserves the right to require you to register in order to check out materials. 

Last updated November 15, 2019.