Policies

Please click on a Policy below to view.

Purpose

In order to help fulfill its mission to promote intellectual freedom, life-long learning and cultural and leisure activities, the Lower Merion Library System (LMLS) encourages local residents, community groups, schools and other non-profit organizations to display their original works of art in the designated exhibit spaces of its six member libraries (local library). LMLS is the agency responsible for the use of exhibit space. Each local library Head Librarian is the local LMLS representative.

Eligible Exhibitors

Applications for the use of exhibit space may be submitted by local residents, community groups, schools and other non-profit organizations on a first come first serve basis. All exhibitors must complete and sign an application form before approval and must acknowledge the LMLS Art Exhibition Agreement prior to placing artwork in an LMLS library.

What May Be Displayed

While all artwork will be considered, exhibit space will not be provided for commercial, nor specifically religious or political purposes. The use of exhibit space is not a right but a privilege which is subject to review by LMLS and local library boards. Art displays must be appropriate for all ages and generally suitable for a public library environment. LMLS and local library boards reserve the right to reject any exhibit in full or in part. LMLS and local libraries reserve the right to impose size restrictions on all items based on display space. Selection criteria for art exhibits follow the standards set in the LMLS Collection Development Plan. LMLS endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read, and Freedom to View Statements. Challenges to exhibited material will be handled in accordance with the LMLS Procedures for Complaints about Library Resources. LMLS and local library boards assume no responsibility for ensuring that all points of view are represented in any single display. Exhibitions do not imply endorsement by Lower Merion Township, LMLS, or local library boards.

Period of Display

The duration of any exhibit will be at the discretion of the local library, and coordinated with that library’s calendar. Library sponsored or cosponsored exhibits take precedence over other exhibits at all times and LMLS and the local libraries reserve the right to, on 48 hours notice, cancel the use of display space by outside exhibitors if LMLS or the local library board determines that the display space is needed for library purposes.

Liability

Lower Merion Township, LMLS, local libraries, and their boards, officers, agents, employees and volunteers shall not be responsible or liable for bodily injury to the exhibitor or any damage, theft or other loss of value to any exhibit or artwork displayed in LMLS libraries. Exhibitors should consider obtaining their own insurance.

Installation and Removal

Unless as otherwise required by the local library, exhibitors are responsible for the hanging, placement, and removal of all items. The installation and removal of any exhibit will be at the discretion of the local library, and coordinated with that library’s calendar. Exhibitors are responsible for ensuring that artwork is ready for hanging. Local libraries provide no display materials or storage space. Exhibitors will adhere to local requirements regarding nails, thumbtacks, adhesives or tape. Exhibitors causing damage to exhibit spaces will repair the damage, or reimburse the local library as determined necessary by LMLS or the local library. LMLS, local library boards and library staff have the right to remove a display if it has not been removed by the exhibitor in a timely way. LMLS, local library boards, and library staff cannot be held responsible for exhibits or artworks that are not removed by the designated date after the exhibit.

Materials Offered for Sale

Exhibited artwork may not be labeled with prices. Exhibitors are encouraged to post a statement about their works with the display, and may provide contact information inviting inquiries. If a piece is sold during the exhibit, the exhibitor and buyer must leave the piece in the exhibit until the duration of the exhibit is complete. LMLS encourages exhibitors to make a donation to the local library providing exhibit space, but the opportunity to display is not contingent upon a donation.

Public Information

LMLS or local libraries may choose to publicize exhibits, but it is the exhibitor’s responsibility to publicize art exhibits if so desired and to confirm library hours and events schedules when preparing publicity. The local library and non-library affiliated groups may schedule programs and meetings in exhibit areas regardless of the presence of an art exhibit. Publicity should note that exhibits are not available for public viewing if the area has been scheduled for other programs or meetings. All publicity is subject to the approval of the Township Public Information Director, LMLS, and the local library.

Art Exhibit Events

Exhibitors who desire to hold an event in conjunction with their exhibits must abide by the LMLS Meeting Room Policy for that event. Refreshment regulations may vary from library to library. All costs will be borne by the exhibitor.

Art Exhibit Application Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

Art Exhibit Agreement Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

Art Exhibit Policy 

LOWER MERION LIBRARY SYSTEM – PATRON RESPONSIBILITIES

The Lower Merion Library System welcomes and encourages the use of its libraries. Our libraries are community gathering places, however they are not alternative domiciles, childcare or personal care centers. To help us provide an inviting environment for all who wish to use the library’s services, please abide by all library polices, and particularly observe the following:

FOR YOUR SAFETY

●        No pets allowed in the library. Trained service animals are permitted as specified by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
●        Do not leave personal items unattended.

FOR YOUR CHILD’S SAFETY

●        Children 10 years old or younger must be accompanied by a parent or responsible care provider while in the library.
●        All parents and guardians must be in visual contact with children in their care up to the age of six.
●        If a child is participating in a supervised program, the parent or responsible care provider must remain in the library.
●        If staff cannot locate a child’s parent or caregiver in the library or by phone at closing, staff is authorized to notify the Lower Merion Police Department for assistance.

IN CONSIDERATION OF OTHERS

●        Nuisance behaviors are prohibited; respect other patrons and staff.
●        Our libraries are smoke-free buildings, including e-cigarettes.
●        Dress properly. This means a shirt and shoes.  Shoes must be kept on at all times.
●        If your personal hygiene interferes with the ability of others to use and enjoy the library, you may be asked to leave.
●        Conversations are permitted provided they are not disruptive to others.
●        Solicitation is not allowed.
●        Consumption of food is prohibited.
●        Beverages are permitted with a lid or cap; open containers are not permitted. Beverages are prohibited while using library computers or laptops.

LIBRARY PROPERTY

●        Rearranging furniture and equipment is not allowed. Unoccupied seats are available to any library patron.
●        Misuse of library restrooms is prohibited.
●        Destruction or defacement of library materials or property, or any other potentially
criminal behavior, will be immediately referred to the police.
●        Personal property will not be permitted in the library when it interferes with the use of the library by others.

Violation of the Lower Merion Library System Patron Responsibilities Policy or illegal activity may result in one or more of the following consequences, depending on the severity of the violation:

●        Violators will receive a verbal warning and an opportunity to cease.
●        If the violation continues, the patron will be asked to leave the building for the remainder of the day.
●        The Lower Merion Police Department may be notified.
●        Repeated violations may result in suspension of library privileges for up to one year. The patron will receive written notification of the suspension from the Township Director of Libraries outlining the decision and the length of suspension.
●        Appeal of suspension decisions may be made in writing to the Director of Libraries within 30 days.
●        Further appeals of suspension decisions made by the Director may be submitted in writing to the LMLS Board of Directors within 30 days.

Library Staff have the authority to enforce these policies, as stated in Pennsylvania law:

Act of Nov. 1, 2012, P.L. 0, No. 210 Cl. 24 – EDUCATION CODE (24 PA.C.S.) – PUBLIC LIBRARY CODE

§ 9371. Free use of libraries.

(a) Residents and taxpayers.–Each library established or maintained under this chapter shall be free for the use of the residents and taxpayers of the municipality in which it is located.

(b) Nonresidents.–The board of library directors may extend library privileges to persons not residing in the municipality upon the terms and conditions that the board prescribes.

(c) Terms of usage.–Usage of the library shall be subject to reasonable rules and regulations adopted by the board of library directors.

(d) Loss of privileges.–The board of library directors may exclude from the use of the library a person who willfully violates the rules and regulations adopted under subsection (c).

Originally approved by the LMLS Board – September 9, 2008
Revised – February 5. 2019

Patron Responsibility Policy 

Policy Statements

  • Lower Merion Library System recognizes its role to provide notification of information, events, and services that are of interest to the community. Lower Merion libraries maintain bulletin boards, located in the library vestibules, which serve a primary purpose of displaying such information.
  • Information fulfilling an educational or community-interest function is suitable for posting.
  • Information that is commercial; implies endorsement of a candidate, political group, or political activity; advocates a political position; or is inflammatory is not suitable for posting in the libraries.

Endorsements

  • Posting materials does not imply endorsement on the part of the library, its trustees or the Township.

Preferences

  • Limitations as to material size, format, and length of time to post may be decided by each local library to accommodate the varying size of display areas. Preference will be given to library-sponsored or library-related activities.

Approval

  • All requests to post information on library bulletin boards must be submitted to and approved by the Head Librarian. Items posted without approval of the Head Librarian will be removed.

Bulletin Board Policy Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

THE LOWER MERION LIBRARY SYSTEM

BY-LAWS  (Download a PDF version)

I.                    Members of the System

The Lower Merion Library System, a non-profit Pennsylvania corporation provides library service for Lower Merion Township. The members of the Lower Merion Library System consist of the following libraries, each a non-profit Pennsylvania corporation:

Ardmore Free Library
Bala Cynwyd Memorial Library
Belmont Hills Public Library
Gladwyne Free Library
Ludington Public Library and
Penn Wynne Library

II.                 Corporate Purpose

The member libraries hereby reaffirm the charter purposes as set forth in the Certificate of Incorporation of the Lower Merion Library Association granted by the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, November Term 1935, and indexed to No. 19 Miscellaneous Docket #17, reading in part: “To establish and maintain in the Township of Lower Merion, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, a public library and branches to be operated as a non-sectarian library available at all times to residents of Lower Merion Township and to be available without cost …”.

Each member library by its approval of these by-laws affirms its policy to operate as an integral unit in the Township-wide library service, granting to the Lower Merion Library System Board power to determine uniform policies binding upon each member library and to make such administrative and executive decisions likewise binding upon each member library.

III.              Management of the System-Directors

1.      Management: The management of the System shall be entrusted to a Board of Directors. Each member library is represented by an individual Board of Trustees.

2.      The Board of Directors: Membership of the LMLS Board of Directors shall consist of up to eleven (11) members. One member will be nominated by each member library; one member appointed by the Board of Commissioners of the Township; one elected at-large member approved by the Township Board of Commissioners, and up to three members-at-large, proposed by the Nominating Committee and elected by a two-thirds majority of the System Board of Directors.

Each library shall nominate one candidate for Director, who, upon election, shall represent that library board only as long as he or she is a member in good standing of the local library board which he or she represents. Directors representing member libraries are recommended to have at least two years’ experience on the local board.

Every January of even years the President of the Board of Commissioners of the Township shall appoint to LMLS one Commissioner who is the Chairperson of the Library Committee of the Board of Commissioners. The Vice-Chairperson of the Board of Commissioner’s Library Committee will be the alternate Commissioner Representative to LMLS. The Commissioner Representative shall be the de facto Vice-President of the LMLS Board of Directors. Both the Commissioner Representative and the Commissioner Alternate serve at the pleasure of the Board of Commissioners which shall fix their terms of office.

There shall be up to four (4) at-large members of the Board. The at-large member representing the Board of Commissioners shall be recruited and selected by the Library System Board, recommended to the Board of Commissioners, and elected upon approval by the Board of Commissioners. The term of office for all members-at-large shall be two years, and he or she may succeed him or herself for two additional two-year terms, that is, a total of six consecutive years.

In addition to the normal duties of a System Board member, the representative of a local library shall attend his or her local library board meetings, report to the local board on LMLS matters and to the LMLS on local library matters. The appointed Commissioner member shall report to the Board of Commissioners on LMLS services and budget needs. At-large members, including the Commissioner at-large member, are expected to advocate for the community as a whole at board meetings and to promote the Library System and its interests as they interact in the greater Lower Merion community. At-large members may not serve on local library Boards during their at-large tenure.

3.      Terms of Office: The term of office for regularly elected directors shall be two years. Directors may be nominated and elected to succeed themselves for two additional two-year terms that is a total of six consecutive years.

a.       Reelection of Former Board Members: A Board member who has completed three consecutive terms may be re-nominated after one two-year term has elapsed during which he or she did not serve.

b.      Emeritus Member:  At its discretion the Board may elect Emeritus Members. Such Members may participate in all Board discussions but may not vote. Such members are elected on the basis of their knowledge and assistance to the Lower Merion Library System. The term of office for Emeritus members is two years. They may be nominated and elected to succeed themselves for two additional two-year terms, that is a total of six consecutive terms. In general, it is recommended that Emeritus members have served as former members of the LMLS or a local Board or staff.

4.      Alternate Members: Each member library shall also nominate an alternate who shall forthwith be elected by the Board of Directors of the System as an alternate. In the absence of the elected Director, the elected alternate shall represent the member library with voice. In the absence of the elected Director or the elected alternate, another member of the local board may vote only with the written or verbal proxy of the elected Delegates. The term of office for an alternate shall be for two years. They may succeed themselves for four additional years, or a total of six consecutive years.

At-large delegates shall have no Alternates.

5.      Vacancies: Vacancies on the board among the library representatives shall be filled by nomination from the appointing library. A Commissioner vacancy shall be filled by nomination from the Board of Commissioners: A vacancy in the at-large Commissioner delegate shall be filled according to the process noted in III(2) above. Vacancies among at-large members shall be filled at the discretion of the Board of Directors, as noted above. Interim directors so nominated shall be forthwith elected by the Board of Directors and shall serve the unexpired term of the Director who shall have ceased to act for any reason. When Directors so nominated and elected shall have completed the unexpired term, they may be nominated again and elected for three additional terms, that is, a maximum of eight years.

6.      Removal of Board members:

a.       Attendance at meetings: any Director who is absent from more than two consecutive System meetings or more than three within                            any one calendar year shall be deemed to have tendered his/her resignation unless he/she can establish reasonable cause for the                            absence.
b.      Conduct Unbecoming a Board Member: On the basis of fraud, conflict of interest, personal conduct, lack of fitness to service or                             failure to perform, a Board member may be removed by affirmative vote of two-thirds of the elected members.

7.      Compliance with all laws and policies: Members of the Board shall abide by all applicable federal, state and local laws and policies, including but not limited to those pertaining to the Township’s Conflict of Interest, Whistleblowers and Records Retention policies.

IV.              Meetings of the Lower Merion Library System

1.      Annual Meeting: The annual meeting of the System shall be held on the first Tuesday of February of each year at a time and place to be specified by the LMLS Board. At each annual meeting the directors shall be elected as provided in Article III, and their names shall be recorded. Such business as requires consideration or action by members of the System may be transacted at this meeting.

2.      Regular Meetings: The Directors shall hold regular meetings in person or electronically on the first Tuesday of February (after the annual meeting of the System), and on the first Tuesday of March, April, May, June, October, and December, and on the second Tuesday of September and November.

3.      Special Meetings: Special meetings of the Board of Directors may be called by the President at any time, and shall be called by the President upon request in writing by the elected LMLS Directors from two or more of the members.

4.      Notice of Meeting: Notice of meetings of the System shall be provided in a timely manner to the Township Secretary, as well as to each member of the Board of Directors of the System. Notice of regular meetings shall be given annually, with reminders at each monthly meeting.

5.      Quorum: A quorum for the meetings of the Board of Directors shall be a majority of the members which must include at least four member library representatives.

6.      Open Meetings: All meetings of the Board of Directors shall be open to the public.

7.      Meeting place: Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be at the office of the System, 75 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, or at such place or places including electronically as from time to time may be selected by the Board of Directors and specified in notices for such meetings.

V.         Officers

1.      Election: The officers of the System and the Board of Directors shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Treasurer, and a Secretary. The President, Treasurer and Secretary shall be elected from the present members of the System Board. The Vice-President shall be the Commissioner Delegate. The elected officers shall be selected by the board at each annual meeting of the System. The term of office shall be one year, and officers may be re-elected for a total of six consecutive terms of office.

2.      President: The President shall be the chief executive officer of the System and the Board. He or she shall see that all orders and resolutions of the System and Board of Directors are carried into effect, shall execute all contracts in the name of the System, and shall exercise such powers as are usual to a chief executive. The President of the Lower Merion Library System shall serve, ex-officio, as the Vice-President of the Lower Merion Library Foundation.

3.      Vice-President: The Vice-President shall, in the absence of the President, perform the duties of the President. The Vice-President shall serve on the planning committee of the board. As noted under Article III above, the Commissioner Delegate to the board is the Vice-President of the Board.

4.      Treasurer: The Treasurer shall have custody of the funds and property of the System, shall keep accounts of receipts and disbursements in books open to examination by the Officers and Directors, and shall deposit all funds in the name of the System in such depositories as may be designated by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer shall disburse the funds of the System as authorized by the Board, taking proper vouchers for such disbursements, and shall render to the President and Directors, whenever required, an accounting of all transactions and of the financial condition of the System.

The Treasurer shall be bonded by the System in such sum and in form with security satisfactory to the Board of Directors for the faithful performance of the duties of the office. He or she shall perform such other duties as the Board of Directors may from time to time prescribe or require.

The Treasurer shall annually submit the accounts of the System to the certified accountants of the Township for audit.

5.      Secretary: The Secretary of the Board shall attend all meetings of the Board, acting as clerk thereof, and recording all votes and the minutes of all meetings in a book to be kept for such purpose. The Secretary shall send out all notices of meetings of directors and of the System, and shall attest to any instrument requiring the same, when authorized and directed to do so by the Board of Directors.

The Secretary shall maintain a roll of elected Directors and their terms of election, shall keep and carefully preserve all books, papers, and documents belonging to the System, shall keep record of attendance, and shall verify the proxies of alternate directors as required.

6.      Absence: In the case of absence due to illness or disability of any Officer of the System, or for any other reason deemed sufficient by a majority of the Board, the Board may delegate powers or duties to any other Officer, or to any director for the time being.

7.      Vacancies: If a vacancy occurs in the office of the President, the Vice-President shall assume that position. Vacancies in the offices of Treasurer or Secretary shall be filled by appointment of the President, subject to approval by the Board of Directors. A vacancy in the office of the Vice-President shall be filled by the Board of Commissioners when it appoints a new or interim Chair of the Library Committee.

VI.              Committees

1.      Standing Committees: The standing committees of the System shall be the Executive Committee consisting of the Officers of the System; the Finance and Development Committee which shall include the Treasurer of the System; the Planning Committee, which shall include the Vice-President; and the Nominating Committee, the chair of which shall be the Vice-President. The President shall serve ex-officio on all committees.

2.      The Finance and Development Committee shall:

a.       Conduct an annual review of budgets: Township, LMLS, Local Libraries

Budgets to Include:
Narrative Cover Sheet
Annual Fund-Raising Goals
Project-specific Plans to be Funded
Fund Balance Report identifying all cash on hand by purpose
Context for costs exceeding established spending levels

b.      Conduct an annual review of the LMLS fine and fee structure
c.       Review the relationship with the Lower Merion Library Foundation
d.      Present to the LMLS Board its recommendations for action

3.      Special Committees: From time to time, the Board may appoint from its members and from other citizens of the Township any committee or committees for any purpose specified in the resolution of appointment, provided that at least one member of the board shall sit on each committee.

4.      Committee Actions: Committees shall serve an advisory function. Actions on reports of such committees shall be subject to approval by the System Board

5.      Executive Committee Empowerment: From time to time, especially during those months in which the board is not scheduled to meet, the Executive Committee may be empowered to act for the board.  The Executive Committee may meet in person or electronically.  In case of emergency, the Executive Committee may take action for the board without a vote of the board, subject to later notice and review.

VII.           1980 Memorandum of Understanding

To the extent still applicable, the Lower Merion Library System accepts the division of authority and responsibility (including financial responsibility) specified in the 1980 Memorandum of Responsibility (July 16, 1980) and all revisions thereof.  [Appendix A]

VIII.        Director of Libraries

1.      Appointment: The Board of Directors shall be included in the selection of a professionally trained librarian to be called “Director of Libraries” to manage the affairs of the System. Selection and employment of the Director of Libraries shall conform with the Township administrative code.

2.      Responsibilities: The Director of Libraries shall have authority and responsibility for the administration of the Township-wide library service, under the jurisdiction of and in accordance with the policies of the Board of Directors of the System and Township Administrative Code. He or she shall furnish to the Board advice and guidance in the making of such policies, and shall be responsible for informing the Township Manager as well as the officers and the Board of Directors of the System on library activities. The Director of Libraries, all members of the Director’s immediate staff, and employees of the six member libraries shall be Township employees.

Specifically, the Director of Libraries shall inter alia be responsible for and have control of and supervision over: (i) the maintenance of adequate standards of library operation by each of the six member libraries; (ii) professional qualifications, training and performance of the librarians and their assistants and the adequacy of their staffs and personnel matters in connection therewith; (iii) procedures for library statistical and financial reporting and related matters; and (iv) the performance of such other duties as the Board of Directors may from time to time assign to him or her.

3.      Relation to Local Library Boards: The Director or his or her designee may attend meetings of the boards of member libraries for advice and consultation. The Director of Libraries shall prepare a separate budget for his/her office. This budget is called “The System Budget” and is presented for approval to the LMLS Board. The Director of Libraries shall assist the finance committees of the member libraries in the preparation of their budgets which shall be in such form as may be integrated with the System budget. The Director shall supervise the Head Librarian of each library who shall have the immediate responsibility for the operation of that library, as determined by its Board of Directors and Township Administrative Code.

IX.              Finances

1.      In accordance with the Library Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the System shall be the sole representative of the public library system of the Township in negotiations for grants-in-aid and in reporting to government agencies and to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

2.      Audit: The member libraries and their respective treasurers shall submit their books of account showing all library receipts and expenditures at least annually to the certified public accountants of the Township for audit and for the preparation of a consolidated statement of account of operating receipts and expenditures of the System.

3.      Budget and Finance: The member libraries and their respective treasurers shall prepare and pass annual budgets no later than their regular October board meetings. The Library System shall provide such information as is necessary to prepare those budgets, in particular the distribution of state funds, and expenditure targets. It should be understood that the Library System may have to estimate this distribution and correct it when state funding distributions are finalized.

X.                Dissolution

Any member of the corporation may withdraw from the System by the adoption by two­ thirds vote of a resolution of withdrawal by the member library’s board of trustees. Notice of intent of such withdrawal must be given to the Secretary of the LMLS Board of Directors six months prior to passage of such a resolution. The Board Secretary shall notify the Township Secretary of the member’s intent. Such withdrawal shall terminate representation of the member library on the Board of Directors of the System and all benefits to the library of membership in the System.

In the event of dissolution of the System, its assets shall be distributed to such organization or organizations as may be selected by the Board of Directors, provided that such organization or organizations shall be such as are described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or corresponding provisions of the Internal Revenue law which shall be in effect at the time of the dissolution.

XI.              Registered Office

The principal or registered office of the System shall be 75 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, Pennsylvania, 19003.

XII.           Corporate Seal

A corporate seal shall be inscribed as follows: “The Lower Merion Library System, Incorporated in Pennsylvania, 1935”.

XIII.        Amendment of By-laws

1.      These By-laws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Board of Directors, or at any special meeting called for that purpose, by affirmative vote of two-thirds of the elected directors.
2.      Notice of the text of the proposed amendment shall be given to the Board at least one month in advance of the voting thereon.
3.      Any such amendments shall indicate the date on which they were ratified by the Board.

XIV.        Deliberations of this body shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order.

Approved, Board of Commissioners Adopted, Board of Directors December 15, 1965
Amended, Board of Directors December 16, 1965
Amended, Board of Directors December 21, 1971
Amended, Board of Directors September 18, 1979
Amended, Board of Directors October 4, 1983
Amended, Board of Directors December 4, 1990
Amended, Board of Directors November 5, 1996
Amended, Board of Directors September 6, 2007
Amended, Board of Directors May 7, 2019
Amended, Board of Directors June 23, 2020

(Download a PDF version)

ADDENDUM:
Conflict of Interest Policy
Records Retention Policy
Whistleblower Policy

PURPOSE

The circulation policy of the Lower Merion Library System informs library users of the terms and conditions under which materials are loaned in LMLS libraries.  Library service and borrowing privileges for cardholders in good standing will be available without discrimination to individuals of every race, color, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, handicap or disability, use of guide or support animals because of the blindness, deafness or physical handicap of the user or because the user is a handler or trainer or support or guide animals, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

The Library Code Act of June 14, 1961, P.L. 324, as amended through July 4, 2004 S 4415 states that every library, established and/or maintained under the provisions of this act, shall be free to the use of all the residents and taxpayers of the municipality, subject to such reasonable rules and regulations as the board of library directors may adopt, and the board may exclude from the use of the library any such person who willfully violates such rules.  The board may extend the privileges of such library to persons residing outside the limits of such municipality upon such terms and conditions as the board may prescribe.

REGISTRATION

Upon registration, all residents and/or non-residents must sign a Lower Merion Library System responsibilities consent form.  Children under the age of 18 must have the signature of a parent or guardian on this form.  A copy of the LMLS Privacy Policy will be given with the new or updated registration.

The person whose name appears on a library card is responsible for all materials checked out to that card.  Adults who sign the registration form for juveniles are responsible for materials checked out on the juvenile’s card.  If a library card is lost or stolen, that fact must be reported to the library so that the lost or stolen card may be invalidated.  All items checked out prior to the date the card is reported lost or stolen are still the responsibility of the library user.  The library charges three dollars ($3) to replace a borrower’s lost card.

LMLS deems library users who allow third persons to use their library cards or library account information to have consented to the access of their private and confidential library use records by the recipients of their cards or account information.

RESIDENTS

All Lower Merion residents are entitled to borrowing privileges at the six Township libraries.  There is no minimum age to obtain a borrower’s card.  Residents under the age of 18 will be issued a card with a juvenile status after receiving his/her parent or guardian’s consent.

Patrons must complete a patron registration form after supplying identification that provides a current and permanent address within the Township.  Photo identification is preferable.  Acceptable forms of ID are:

  • Deed or Lease
  • Utility bill with Property Address
  • Driver’s License/Registration
  • Voter Registration Card
  • Checking Account Statement with Property Address
  • School ID (K-12)
  • Passport plus identification showing address in Lower Merion

College students are considered Lower Merion residents as long as they live on the campus of a Lower Merion college or university, or if they live off campus within Lower Merion Township.  College students must show a piece of cancelled mail addressed to them at their Lower Merion address or college dorm in addition to their photo ID if that ID shows a different home address.

Au Pairs or foreign exchange students may register for a card if they have a photo ID and a piece of canceled mail addressed to them at their Lower Merion host family residence.

Temporary residents, those residing in Lower Merion Township for a period less than 6 months, are not issued library cards.  However they will be eligible for guest passes to use the library system’s computers.

NON-RESIDENTS

The Lower Merion Library System is a member of the Montgomery County Library and Information Network Consortium (MCLINC).  If a non-resident of Lower Merion Township who is covered by a MCLINC library wishes to register with Lower Merion instead of at their home library, a temporary MCLINC card can be issued which the patron can exchange for a permanent card at their home library.

For other non-residents of Lower Merion Township who reside in Pennsylvania, the Access Pennsylvania Program, also known as the Statewide Library Card Program, entitles them to borrowing privileges at participating public libraries.  The Lower Merion Library System is a fully participating member of the Access Pennsylvania Program.

Non-residents must have a current and valid library card from their home library with the blue Access Pennsylvania sticker on it before they can register at a Lower Merion library.  The registration procedure is then the same as above, except that they will not receive a Lower Merion library card.

Non-residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may receive a card upon the presentation of valid identification and the payment of an $80 annual fee.  You are exempt from paying the non-resident fee if you are:

  • A person who owns residential or business property in Lower Merion
  • A student attending a public/private Lower Merion school (K-12)
  • A teacher in any public/private Lower Merion school (K-12)

These patrons may receive a card without a PA Access sticker for a period of one year.

ASSOCIATIONS

Library users can associate or link their library cards with other family members as a way to share account information. Parents may link their children without the child’s signature.  The library cards of all associating parties are required at time of sign-up.

All parties must be present when applying for Adult associations.  Adults choosing to link library cards have consented to the access of their private and confidential library use records with all parties linked.  (See: LMLS Privacy and Confidentiality Policy)

Linking library accounts allows you to:

  • Check the status of linked accounts
  • Pick up reserve books
  • Pay fines
  • Check out items on linked cards
  • Carry one card

If at any time a patron wishes to dissolve an association they must fill out a “LMLS Request to Dissolve an Association” form.  After the dissolution, the library will keep the paperwork on file.

EXPIRATION OF CARDS

 Library cards expire after a period of two years.  Upon expiration of a patron’s library card, Polaris issues a block at checkout for staff to update the patron’s record.  MCLINC patrons with an email address in their library accounts will receive an email warning that their card is about to expire.

Updating a library card must be done in person with proper identification.  Outstanding overdue materials or fines over $20.00 on the account must be settled before reactivating the card.

PASSWORDS/PIN NUMBERS

Library users may access their library record or account in the library at the online public access catalog computer terminals throughout the library, or online from home.  Two pieces of information are required:

  • the “user id” which is the barcode number on the library card, and
  • a password or pin number.

Library users may review what materials they have checked out and renew the items if they choose and/or they may place a hold/ reserve on materials.

The library user must choose a 4 to 10-character password/pin number in person at the circulation desk.  The staff member inputs the password/pin number on their record.  The library user may request to personally input this pin/password at the circulation desk.  Library users can change the password/pin number in person, with their library card, at the circulation or reference desk or they can change it online from their account.  The library card barcode number and a pin/password are mandatory to use the public computer workstations.

A child under 16 must have a parent or guardian present in order to be issued a password.  At age 16, children may be issued their own passwords.

LOAN PERIOD

 Library users are required to bring their library card or proper identification in order to have borrowing privileges.

Regular Loan Periods

  • All DVDS with 1 or 2 discs 1 week
  • All DVD series of 3 or more discs 3 weeks
  • All magazines 1 week
  • All other Lower Merion books and materials 3 weeks
  • ILL material and MCLINC titles Loan period will vary

Library materials are never due on a day on which the library is closed, but will be due on the next library business day.  These loan periods apply to Lower Merion items only.  Items from MCLINC libraries will follow that library’s loan period policies.

Patrons are responsible for returning all items charged to their account on time.  As a courtesy, the library system generally sends out a reminder when items become overdue.  MCLINC patrons with an email address in their account will also receive a reminder notice when their items are coming due.

Renewals:

  • All Lower Merion items, except interlibrary loan materials, may be renewed twice if a reserve/hold has not been put on that item.
  • Renewals can be done at any MCLINC member library circulation desk, by telephone, or through the online catalog.
  • The library card barcode is necessary for any renewal.  Renewing an overdue item does not absolve the library user of paying overdue fees.
  • Renewals of MCLINC items will follow the renewal policies of the owning library.

RETURNS

Library materials may be returned to any LMLS branch, MCLINC library, or Access PA library with the exception of interlibrary loans which must be returned to the lending library.  Also, LMLS DVDs must be returned to a LMLS branch or a MCLINC library only.

Book drops and Audiovisual drops are available at each library for returning materials after hours or on days the library is closed.  The library will give fine free days for MCLINC items to compensate for the hours closed.  Materials from any non-MCLINC library cannot be checked in.

LIBRARY FINES

To promote the return of material and optimal sharing of the library collection, the Lower Merion Library System charges fines and fees for overdue, lost, and/or damaged library materials.  Library users are responsible for returning or renewing items by the due date.

Overdue fines are as follows:

  • Adult books and materials: 30 cents/day/item, maximum fine $10.00
  • Juvenile books and materials: 20 cents/day/item, maximum fine $5.00
  • DVDs:   $3.00/day/item, maximum fine $10.00
  • Museum Passes: $10/day/pass, up to the cost of membership

Fines for MCLINC items will follow the fine policy of the owning library.  No fines are charged when the libraries are closed.

Borrowing privileges will be suspended when a patron’s account reaches twenty dollars in fines or replacement costs.  Borrowing privileges will be reinstated upon payment of the full amount.  The status of an individual’s library card will be used only in regard to circulation of materials at the library, and does not affect the person’s use of other services at the library.

If any material is lost or damaged beyond repair, the library user will be charged the replacement cost of the material at list price.  If a library user locates a lost item within a month after payment, and there is a record of that payment, a refund will be issued.  The overdue fines will be charged.

PENNSYLVANIA CONSOLIDATED STATUTES – TITLE 18

 Sec. 6708.   Retention of library property after notice to return.

(a)     Offense defined. – A person is guilty of a summary offense if he retains, any book, pamphlet, magazine, newspaper, manuscript, map or other property belonging in, or to, or on deposit with, any library open to the public or any part thereof, for a period exceeding 30 days after such library has given written notice to return the same.

(b)     Disposition of fine. – Any fine imposed under this section shall be paid over by the magistrate imposing such fine to the library instituting the prosecution, and the costs of prosecution.

(c)     Form of notice.  – Such notice may be given by personal service upon the borrower, or by the mailing of a registered or certified letter to the address of the borrower on file with said library.  The notice shall recite this section, and shall contain a demand that the property be returned.

1972, Dec. 6, P.L. No. 334, effective June 6, 1973.

RESERVES

Reserves may be placed on all MCLINC items eligible for “holds.”  This excludes Browsing Collections and Reference Materials.  Other local restrictions may also apply.

  • The fee for placing a reserve is $.50 per video and DVD and $.25 for all other items.  The fee is assessed upon arrival at the lending library, even if not checked-out by the patron.
  • A library user may reserve items in person at the library, by phone, or electronically from our public catalog computers or from a home computer.
  • The barcode number from the library user’s card is mandatory for placing a reserve.

As soon as a reserved item becomes available, the library will notify the requesting cardholder.  Reserved items will be held for three business days following notification.  Any reserved items not picked up within this period will be given to the next requesting cardholder or, lacking further reserves, put back on the shelf.  Library users may choose to be notified of reserves by e-mail.

Patrons placing reserves from home on items that are listed as available should wait until they are notified or until the status of their hold changes from active to held when they access their hold requests online.

The library card used for placing holds must be the card used for hold pick-up unless cards are associated.

If a staff member needs to telephone a patron about a held reserve only the person for whom the reserve is held will be told the title of that item.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Telephone requests for information about materials checked out to patrons (adult or child) will be responded to only if the caller has the barcode number on the library card.

Associations or linked library cards are permitted in the Lower Merion Library System.  However, linking library records waives your privacy rights under PA 24 PS Section 4428 among the linked parties.

The library user has a right to know that all borrowing information will be kept confidential.  The Lower Merion Library System will act in accordance with state laws to protect library user confidentiality.

Pennsylvania State Law mandates that:

Records related to the circulation of the library materials which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of the state Library or any local library which is established or maintained under any law of the Commonwealth or the library of a university, college or educational institution chartered by the Commonwealth or the library of any public school or branch reading room, deposit station or agency operated in connection therewith, shall be confidential and shall not be made available to anyone except by court order in a criminal proceeding.”

                                                            (Section 4428. Library Circulation Records.)

Policy Effective January 1, 2012*

Voted by LMLS Board October 4, 2011 

* Loan periods updated June 13, 2014 in accordance with MCLINC policy change
* Change to DVD circulation voted by LMLS Board November 14, 2017, to be effective January 1, 2018
*Reserve fee clarification updated September 17, 2018

Circulation Policy Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

The Basics

  • Ask a Librarian is available to all LMLS patrons with a valid library card.
  • Ask a Librarian is intended for questions that can be answered quickly and effectively online, or with resources available in the library.
  • Ask a Librarian reserves the right to decline, refer, or limit any search.
  • Ask a Librarian will make every effort to respond to your question within 48 hours, excluding weekends.

Beyond the Basics

  • Ask a Librarian will make every effort to protect your privacy during search procedures but cannot guarantee the security of all transmissions.
  • Ask a Librarian cannot be held responsible for privacy or security issues encountered in the use of any electronic source to which you may be referred.
  • Ask a Librarian can not be held responsible for the quality, accuracy, or currency of any information we supply.  Even long-trusted traditional sources are not infallible.
  • Ask a Librarian may refer you to legal or medical resources for information.  These referrals are not to be construed as advice.

What We Don’t Do

  • Ask a Librarian is not a document delivery service.  If traditional Interlibrary Loan service cannot answer your document needs, you may be asked to come into the library to pursue your search.
  • Ask a Librarian does not provide genealogical research.
  • Ask a Librarian is not the library catalog.  To search the collection and to place reserves, click here.

EReference Policy Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

EARLY LITERACY STATION COMPUTER USE
Approved at the Library General Staff Meeting on February 28, 2008

Description and Purpose: The Early Literacy Station (E.L.S.) is a self-contained computer system intended for toddlers through second graders. Thirty-four educational software packages address seven curricular areas, and the software is top-rated by Children’s Technology Review. A child-friendly colored keyboard and a small-sized computer mouse enhance child interest, and the E.L.S. is connected to a color printer. All six libraries of the Lower Merion Library System have an E.L.S. workstation. As a self-contained system, the E.L.S. is not connected to the Internet. This policy explains the rules governing the use of the E.L.S.

 Rules of Use:

  • The recommended length of an E.L.S. session is 30 minutes.  Patrons are asked not to exceed 30 minutes when others are waiting.  Patrons are welcome to use the E.L.S. for a longer time if no one is waiting.
  • The E.L.S. is intended for preschoolers through second grade children. Older special needs children may also use the E.L.S. Use of the E.L.S. by teenagers and adults is unacceptable.
  • Printing costs 50 cents per page. Please request paper and pay at the desk.
  • In accordance with our Library Behavior Policy, children under seven years old must be accompanied by an adult.
  • In accordance with our Library Behavior Policy, noisy, disruptive behavior, and interfering with another person’s use of the E.L.S. or library, is unacceptable.
  • Library staff may limit the use of the E.L.S.

Application: This policy will be reviewed by September 2008 and/or as needed.

Early Literacy Station Policy Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

Lower Merion Library System Internet Use Policy

The Lower Merion Library System (LMLS) welcomes you to its Internet Gateway. LMLS has chosen to comply with the filtering provisions of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).  All Library computers are filtered.

RULES OF USE:
  • Internet access is available to all patrons who have a valid library card as well as a password/PIN that is registered with the Montgomery County Library and Information Consortium (MCLINC).  Out of area “guests” will be given a “guest Pass” with a temporary barcode and password/PIN.
  • If users feel that an Internet site has been blocked erroneously by the filtering software, they should report that to a staff member.  Staff can temporarily allow access to that site and will pass the site on to the MCLINC office for review.
  • When others are waiting, time limits will be enforced.  If all workstations are in use, the next available computer may be reserved.
  • Staff may limit the number of persons sitting at a single workstation.
  • Staff may intervene in the reservation process at any time for library purposes.
  • Users may download files to external devices.  Users may not load their own software programs onto library workstations.

USER RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Users may not display or print images that are inappropriate for viewing within a public setting.  LMLS expressly prohibits any use of library computers for illegal activities, including hacking, or to access material that is obscene, contains or makes reference to explicit sexual materials as defined in 18 PA. C.S. 5903, contains child pornography, or is harmful to minors.  Copies of 18 PA. C.S. 5903 and the CIPA may be found in the LMLS Internet Use Handbook, which is located at the Circulation and/or Reference desk at each library.
  • Users must respect copyright laws and licensing agreements.
  • Users must respect the privacy and privileges of others.
  • Users must respect library hardware and software configurations.
  • Users must act in accordance with Pennsylvania and federal law to promote the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications.  Internet Safety Guidelines for Minors are posted by library workstations.  LMLS also offers its brochure, Parents, Kids and the Internet, to promote Internet safety.
  • Minors must not disclose personal information on library Internet workstations.
  • Parents and legal guardians must assume responsibility for their children’s use of the Internet, as with other library materials.  Library staff does not act in the place of a parent to determine which materials are appropriate for an individual child.

BROWSER BEWARE:

The Internet may contain information that is inaccurate, incomplete, misleading or personally objectionable.  Some information accessed electronically may not meet the standards set by a library’s selection or collection development policy.

Because of the enormous amount of constantly changing information on the Internet, no filter will ever be free from error.  Filtering software may erroneously block “appropriate” sites, or fail to block “inappropriate” sites.  LMLS is not responsible for the limitations of filtering products.

Virus protection is active on all workstations.  All files on infected personal devices will be automatically erased.  LMLS cannot assume responsibility for damages resulting from viruses.

CONSEQUENCES OF MISUSE:

Any user demonstrating unacceptable use of the LMLS workstations or of the Internet via LMLS’s workstations will be asked to close the website and/or terminate the session.  Noncompliance may result in revocation of library privileges and/or prosecution under applicable local, state, or federal law.

CONFIDENTIALITY:

LMLS considers personally identifiable data to be protected under the Pennsylvania Confidentiality statute.  Due legal process is required to access LMLS computers or any information stored therein.

QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS:

Questions or concerns about this policy may be addressed to the Director of Libraries, 75 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003.

Approved 09.13.11

Internet Use Policy Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

Reporting on evidence for effectiveness of cloth face coverings, the Centers for Disease control states that “cloth face coverings are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control. This recommendation is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows cloth face coverings reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of cloth face coverings is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain.”

In Pennsylvania, the wearing of facemasks or other nose/mouth covering in indoor spaces, such as a Library facility, is mandatory.  See Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency to Ensure the Safety and Health of Employees and the Public (“Require all customers to wear masks while on the premises.”)  The wearing of masks is also recommended by the Lower Merion Township Health Advisory Council.

The Office of Commonwealth Libraries authorizes the Board of the Lower Merion Library System to develop a policy for handling library reopening safety and mask wearing.  The Board has determined the following requirements:

  1. If you have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus within 14 days, been exposed to it, or have symptoms, please make use of our online services from your home.
  2. All persons entering the Library must wear a face covering and maintain social distancing (a minimum six-foot distance from all other persons). Face coverings must comply with guidelines from the Township Health Advisory Council and the state Department of Health and must be properly worn at all times.
  3. Lower Merion Township policy is that all persons entering Township Buildings must have their temperature taken. Persons with temperatures of 100.4 or above will be asked to visit the library at a later time.
  4. Children under the age of two are exempt from wearing a face covering, but must be closely monitored at all times by their parent or guardian.
  5. A disposable face mask will be provided free of charge to individuals who do not have a face mask.
  6. Reasonable accommodations such as contactless delivery and online resources are available to those who are medically prevented from or decline to wear a face covering. Entrance into the library without a face covering is not a valid accommodation.
  7. Those refusing to have their temperature taken, properly wear a face covering, or to maintain six-foot distance will be required to leave the Library. If a person refuses to leave the Library for not following this policy, police may be contacted.  This could result in a ban from the Library for a specified period of time.
  8. Patrons who exhibit adversarial behavior that is argumentative with staff or other patrons will be subject to the general Patron Responsibilities policy. Patrons will be asked to leave until they comply with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requirements and guidelines in place to protect other community members and staff.
  9. This policy shall be enforced until the Pennsylvania Department of Health or other authorities determines that it is no longer required.

Mask and Temperature Check Policy

 

Approved by the Lower Merion Library System Board of Directors July 14, 2020.

Purpose

Library meeting rooms provide opportunities for bringing together the resources of the library and the civic, cultural, educational, and recreational non‐profit resources of the community. However, the prime purpose is for library‐sponsored activities. The Board of Directors of the Lower Merion Library System has established the following policy regarding the use of public meeting rooms of its member libraries.

Facilities Available

  • Ardmore Library: 30 seats (auditorium arrangement)
  • Bala Cynwyd Library: 49 seats (auditorium arrangement); Linda Bagley & Eli Dweck Conference Room: 8 seats (conference set-up only)
  • Belmont Hills Library: 45 seats
  • Gladwyne Library: 45 seats (auditorium arrangement)
  • Ludington Library: Auditorium: 120 seats (auditorium arrangement); Small Meeting Room: 7-8 seats (conference set up only)
  • Penn Wynne Library: 30 seats (conference set up only)

Policy

1. ELIGIBLE GROUPS: The library meeting rooms are available for use only by local non-profit community organizations of an educational, civic, or cultural nature operating for the public good. Meeting rooms are not intended for individual, private, commercial, promotional, nor purely social use. Meeting rooms are not equipped nor intended for dramatic presentations requiring stage equipment.

2. EQUAL TIME PROVISION: Operating in the public interest, the Lower Merion Library System makes its meeting rooms available for informational meetings by incumbent public officials. Prior to elections, equal time provisions will be afforded to all declared candidates. The Lower Merion Library System encourages programming which provides an opportunity for debate of all issues affecting the public good.

3. APPLICANT: Only Lower Merion Township residents or groups sponsored by a Lower Merion Township resident will be considered for authorization to use the library meeting rooms under the eligibility requirements noted herein.

4. ADMISSION: All meetings shall be open to the public. No admission fee shall be charged, nor any donations solicited by the organization except by special review by the Director of Libraries in consultation with the Executive Committee of the LMLS Board. Such exception could include paid registration to conferences or institutes, or scheduled educational courses.

5. PARKING: Consideration of parking limitations may be weighed in considering approval for meeting room use on any particular day or evening.

6. RESTRICTIONS: Use of library meeting room facilities is subject to all existing laws, fire code regulations, township ordinances and regulations, including prohibition of gambling and the use of alcoholic beverages. Smoking is strictly prohibited throughout the libraries including meeting rooms, hallways, rest rooms, and public areas.

7. REFRESHMENTS: Light refreshments are permitted upon the specific authorization of the Head
Librarian, under specified conditions. No alcohol of any kind can be served on Township property.
All liquids must be served in a cup with a lid or in a bottle with cap. Coffee may be served from a
take‐out box but no coffee pots or hot plates may be plugged in.

8. RESPONSIBILITY: Authorized users of the library meeting rooms will be held financially responsible for any damage to any portion of the facility, contents, or any equipment during such use. Groups that fail to clean up after use will be invoiced for custodial services.

Regulations for Use of Meeting Rooms

1. The Lower Merion Library System is the agency responsible for the use of the library meeting rooms. Each Head Librarian is the local representative of the library system.

2. AVAILABILITY: Rooms are available only during the library’s regular operating hours, and only at such times as they are not required for library purposes. All groups must conclude meetings by the library’s closing time.

3. APPLICATION: Written application must be made to the Head Librarian at least ten (10) days in
advance. Applications will be considered in order of receipt of written application. The
representative of the group must show the signed application to the Librarian‐in‐Charge at the time
of use. There is no charge for the use of the meeting room but donations to the library are gratefully
accepted.

4. RESERVATIONS: Reservations will be accepted for no more than six (6) months in advance. At the
end of that period reservations must be renewed. The library reserves the right to rescind a
reservation if the room is required for library purposes; in such a case, every effort will be made to
give maximum notification of a cancellation to the reservation holder.

5. SET-UP: The organization is responsible for setting up the meeting room and returning it to the condition in which it was found. Library staff is not available for arranging chairs, tables, etc.

6. USE: The library reserves the right to limit the use of the meeting rooms to those activities which will in no way interfere with normal library operations and use, including parking. A responsible adult must be present at all times.

7. MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY: All fire regulations regarding maximum occupancy must be observed.
Maximum occupancies when arranged auditorium style are: Ardmore: 30; Bala Cynwyd: 49; Belmont Hills: 49;
Gladwyne: 45; Ludington: 120; Penn Wynne: 30 (conference style only).

8. PUBLICITY: The organization’s publicity shall in no way imply that the library is sponsoring the group’s meeting nor endorsing its aims unless permission to do so is specifically granted by the Head Librarian on the application form.

9. CANCELLATIONS: The library shall be notified in the event of a cancellation.

Adopted, Board of Directors November 7, 1991
Amended, Board of Directors October 6, 2015

Meeting Room Application  Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

Meeting Room Policy Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

I. Introduction: Your Right to Privacy

Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association. The courts have upheld the right to privacy based on the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. Privacy has deep roots not only in law, but also in the ethics and practice of librarianship. In a library, the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one’s interest examined or scrutinized by others. Confidentiality exists when a library is in possession of personally identifiable information about users and keeps that information private on their behalf.

II. Lower Merion Library System Commitment to Confidentiality

The Lower Merion Library System (LMLS) recognizes your right to privacy regarding the questions you ask and the materials you borrow.This notice explains your privacy and confidentiality rights, the steps LMLS takes to respect and protect your privacy when you use library resources, and how LMLS deals with personally identifiable information collected from users. LMLS makes this notice easy to find on its home page and posts copies in each library.

III. Confidentiality of library records

Pennsylvania State Law mandates that “records related to the circulation of library materials which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of the State Library or any local library which is established or maintained under any law of the Commonwealth or the library of any university, college, or educational institution chartered by the Commonwealth or the library of any public school or branch reading room, deposit station or agency operated in connection therewith, shall be confidential and shall not be made available to anyone except by a court order in a criminal proceeding.” (PA 24 P.S. Section 4428)

IV. Information LMLS Collects

The Lower Merion Library System collects the following information for library card registration: name, address(es), phone number(s), date of birth, driver license number, gender, email, and assigned barcode. The library also retains records listing all materials currently checked out, overdue materials until returned, fines paid and waived, current interlibrary loan, intersystem reserve requests, and electronic reference requests. When a borrower returns an item, the patron barcode number is retained on that item until it is checked out again and returned. LMLS may also collect this information from donors and other library supporters.

LMLS does not ask library visitors to identify themselves or reveal any personal information unless they are borrowing books, requesting special services, registering for programs or classes, or making use of the LMLS public workstation computers.

Some of the databases LMLS offers require the barcode number of the user’s library card for verification purposes. Database vendors do not have access to patron records. These sites may have different privacy policies.

V. How LMLS Protects Your Information

Patron library use records are private and confidential under Pennsylvania law. LMLS will not collect or retain your private and personally identifiable information without your consent. Further, if you consent to give us your personally identifiable information, LMLS will keep it confidential and will not sell or license personal information to any third party without your consent, unless we are compelled to do so under the law or to comply with a court order. Only those authorized by LMLS have access to personally identifying information for the purpose of performing library work.

To ensure the privacy and confidentiality of individual library use records, patrons are advised to not allow others to use their library cards or library account information. LMLS deems patrons who allow third persons to use their library cards or library account information to have consented to the access of their private and confidential library use records by the recipients of their library cards or account information. Adults choosing to link their library accounts through Associations have likewise consented to the sharing of account information.

For library administrative purposes, information may be shared with certain individuals or corporations outside the library, such as automation vendors in the normal course of database creation and management or agencies utilized in the collection of overdue materials and outstanding fees.

LMLS never uses or shares the personally identifiable information provided to us online in ways unrelated to the ones described above without also providing you an opportunity to prohibit such unrelated uses, unless we are compelled to do so under the law or to comply with a court order.

In addition:

  • Patron information will not appear on any circulation records available to the public.
  • Notice of overdue, lost, or reserved materials will be mailed in a sealed envelope.
  • When notifying patrons of the availability of reserved or requested materials, titles will be given only to the person making the request.
  • Requests for information about materials associated with patron accounts (adult or child) can only be responded to if the patron provides the barcode number on the library card, or if patrons’ accounts are associated.
  • In accordance with the LMLS Internet Use Policy, due legal process is required to access LMLS computers or any information stored therein.

VI. Legal Compliance

LMLS authorizes only the Library Director to receive or comply with requests from law enforcement officers. LMLS will not make library records available to any agency of state, federal, or local government unless a subpoena, warrant, court order or other investigatory document is issued by a court of competent jurisdiction that shows good cause and is in proper form. LMLS will not respond to verbal requests.

As a public institution, LMLS is legally obligated to comply with the information request requirements of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, commonly known as the USA Patriot Act, enacted on October 26, 2001 . Should library records be requested under the USA Patriot Act, the law states that library staff shall not inform the person about whom the information is requested, nor speak to co-workers, the media or other government officials about the inquiry.

VII. Redress

Library users who have questions, concerns or complaints about the library’s handling of their privacy and confidentiality rights should file written comments with the Director of Libraries. LMLS will respond in a timely manner and may conduct a privacy investigation or review of policy and procedures.

Approved December 7, 2004

LMLS Privacy Policy Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

LOWER MERION LIBRARY SYSTEM – PROGRAMMING POLICY

Programming is an integral part of library services.  The Lower Merion Library System provides programming that:

●                    Expands the library’s role as a community resource

●                    Introduces patrons and non-users to Library resources

●                    Provides entertainment and enrichment

●                    Provides opportunities for lifelong learning

●                    Expands the visibility of the library

 

CO-SPONSORED PROGRAMS
The Lower Merion Library System may partner or co-sponsor with other agencies, organizations, and businesses provided the programs are compatible with the System’s mission and goals outlined in our strategic plan. The library will generate joint programming and invite partners to co-sponsor or collaborate. Co-sponsored programs must include involvement by library staff in the planning of program content. Professional performers and presenters who offer specialized or unique expertise may be hired for library programs.

Library sponsorship of a program does not constitute or imply an endorsement of its policies, beliefs, or program by any library personnel or by the Lower Merion Township Library System.

THIS PROGRAMMING POLICY DOES NOT APPLY TO:
1)      Events that are developed for special library-related purposes such as donor recognition, fund-raising, or media conferences

2)      Programs offered by other organizations on library premises where space is reserved under the terms and conditions of the Meeting Room Policy https://bit.ly/2DHrEM1 The library cannot assist publicizing these programs

 

PROGRAMMING POLICY
This policy addresses programming (1) developed and sponsored by the library and (2) developed by members of the regional community and cosponsored by the library. If you are interested in information regarding reserving a meeting room, please go to the Meeting Room application here: https://www.lmls.org/library-services/meeting-rooms/

1)      Library staff may use, but are not limited to, the following criteria in program planning:

a)       Relation to library mission and service goals

b)      Community needs and interest

c)       Presentation quality and treatment of content for intended audience

d)      Presenter background/qualifications/reputation

e)      Clearances for Youth Programming (18 and under)

f)        Availability of program space

g)       Budget and staffing considerations

h)      Historical or educational significance

i)        Health or safety considerations

j)        Representation of diverse cultural backgrounds, opinions, and viewpoints

k)       Connection to other community programs, exhibits or events

2)      Additional Considerations

a)       The purpose of programs may not be purely commercial or for the solicitation of business

b)      Programs will be developed with consideration for the principles of accessibility and equity

c)       Programs may be held on site at any library, or off site

d)      The library staff has the discretion to cancel programs based on library needs, to be rescheduled or not.  Staff will provide as much notice as possible

e)      Programs scheduled on a day when the Library System is closed due to inclement weather are automatically cancelled. Rescheduling is at the discretion of the library

f)        Every attempt will be made to accommodate all who wish to attend a program. However, when safety or the success of a program requires it, attendance may be limited. When limits must be established, attendance will be determined on a first come, first served basis, either with advanced registration or at the door.

g)       The library system cannot accommodate events that are expected to exceed code established room capacity

h)      Programs are scheduled to occur during normal hours of operation. A library staff member must be on the premises during all programs.

i)        In some cases, the nature and success of a program may require that attendance is limited based on age, especially programs intended for children and teens that are geared to their interests and developmental needs

j)        In no case will attendance at a program be limited because the content of the program may be controversial

k)       The library system reserves the right to use video or photographs taken of program participants for internal use, publication, and use in promotional outlets, and for evaluation purposes

l)        Library staff will work with cosponsors to develop an advertising plan. All related advertising for programs must be preapproved by the Lower Merion Library System

m)    All programs must be open to the public and offered free of charge

n)      The library system may approve the sale of items related to the program with preapproval

o)      In addition, a program participation fee may be charged, with prior library approval:

i)        To recover the cost of materials, or supplies, when it would otherwise not be feasible to offer the program

ii)       To cover the cost of an educational program which provides an official certification or endorsement

 

If you are interested in suggesting a program please click on this link

REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION
The Lower Merion Library System welcomes expressions of opinion from patrons concerning programming. Patrons should address questions about a program with a library staff member. Patrons who wish to continue their request for review of library programs may submit the Request for Reconsideration form. Requests for review of programs will be considered in the same manner as requests for reconsideration of library material as outlined in the Lower Merion Library System’s Collection Development Policy.

Programming Policy

Approved by the Lower Merion Library System Board of Directors September 20, 2019

Social Media Policy for the Public

Updated and Approved June 5, 2018

The Lower Merion Library System recognizes the importance of social media.  We believe social media applications including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and blogs can contribute greatly to the library system’s ability to provide information about news and programming in our libraries.  By taking full advantage of these applications we affirm the system’s mission to support the informational, educational, recreational and cultural needs of groups and individuals in our community.

Social media is defined as any web based application or site that allows users to engage in a free exchange of information and ideas.  The Lower Merion Library System seeks to use these applications to promote programs, ideas and conversations that enhance the experience of all library users.

In accordance with this, please note the following general rules and provisos:

    1. While the Lower Merion Library System encourages opinion and discussion, we will regularly review comments for content and relevancy.  The System’s social media applications provide a moderated forum for its users.   The System reserves the right at its discretion to delete any comments made on any library-sponsored social media application that are abusive, violate copyright law, constitute commercial promotion or spam, are defamatory, offensive, profane, threatening, false, or libelous as to the library system or any individual or entity, or that promote, foster or perpetrate discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, national original, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation.
    2. Many applications allow users to become a “fan” or “like,” or otherwise associate their own virtual profile with that of the library’s profile on these sites.  As with more traditional library resources, the library system takes no responsibility for enforcing any restrictions which a parent or guardian may place on the use of these applications.
    3. The Lower Merion Library System reserves the right to reproduce comments, posts, and messages in other venues.  For example, if a user posts a positive book review, we may quote from or reproduce the review on the library website, or in a newspaper or newsletter.  We will not use identifying information unless the user grants permission.
    4. Library staff will regularly evaluate all LMLS social media applications for utility and quality.  Any application may be terminated at any time without prior notice.
    5. Participating in any Lower Merion Library System social media application constitutes agreement with our Internet Use Policy.
    6. Residents’ postings on any social media site affiliated with LMLS and the Township do not serve as formal requests for service from the LMLS or the Township. Any citizen needing a response from the Township should call, email or visit the appropriate department.
    7. Comments by the public on LMLS’ or the Township’s sites do not reflect in any way the opinions and position of the Lower Merion Township government, or its officers, elected officials, staff and/or employees.
    8. While Social Media is available 24/7, LMLS and the Township will generally only monitor comments and postings during regular business hours.
    9. Facebook’s “profanity filter” will always be set to “strong” for the Lower Merion page, but this filter does not limit the discretion of the moderator to delete remarks that are deemed offensive.
    10. LMLS and the Township reserve the right to ban users for any violation of the above terms.
      • Posts by violators will be removed.
      • If the violation continues, the user will be blocked for one week.
      • Repeated violations will result in blocking for up to one year.
      • At the end of the blocking period, the user may request to be unblocked.
      • Legal remedies may be sought.
      • Appeal of removal or blocking decisions may be made in writing to the Director of Libraries within 30 days.
      • Further appeals of removal or blocking decisions made by the Director may be submitted in writing to the LMLS Board of Directors within 30 days.
    11. Violations of this policy may be referred to the proper legal authorities.

Social Media Policy Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

Policies

Please click on a Policy below to view.

Purpose

In order to help fulfill its mission to promote intellectual freedom, life-long learning and cultural and leisure activities, the Lower Merion Library System (LMLS) encourages local residents, community groups, schools and other non-profit organizations to display their original works of art in the designated exhibit spaces of its six member libraries (local library). LMLS is the agency responsible for the use of exhibit space. Each local library Head Librarian is the local LMLS representative.

Eligible Exhibitors

Applications for the use of exhibit space may be submitted by local residents, community groups, schools and other non-profit organizations on a first come first serve basis. All exhibitors must complete and sign an application form before approval and must acknowledge the LMLS Art Exhibition Agreement prior to placing artwork in an LMLS library.

What May Be Displayed

While all artwork will be considered, exhibit space will not be provided for commercial, nor specifically religious or political purposes. The use of exhibit space is not a right but a privilege which is subject to review by LMLS and local library boards. Art displays must be appropriate for all ages and generally suitable for a public library environment. LMLS and local library boards reserve the right to reject any exhibit in full or in part. LMLS and local libraries reserve the right to impose size restrictions on all items based on display space. Selection criteria for art exhibits follow the standards set in the LMLS Collection Development Plan. LMLS endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read, and Freedom to View Statements. Challenges to exhibited material will be handled in accordance with the LMLS Procedures for Complaints about Library Resources. LMLS and local library boards assume no responsibility for ensuring that all points of view are represented in any single display. Exhibitions do not imply endorsement by Lower Merion Township, LMLS, or local library boards.

Period of Display

The duration of any exhibit will be at the discretion of the local library, and coordinated with that library’s calendar. Library sponsored or cosponsored exhibits take precedence over other exhibits at all times and LMLS and the local libraries reserve the right to, on 48 hours notice, cancel the use of display space by outside exhibitors if LMLS or the local library board determines that the display space is needed for library purposes.

Liability

Lower Merion Township, LMLS, local libraries, and their boards, officers, agents, employees and volunteers shall not be responsible or liable for bodily injury to the exhibitor or any damage, theft or other loss of value to any exhibit or artwork displayed in LMLS libraries. Exhibitors should consider obtaining their own insurance.

Installation and Removal

Unless as otherwise required by the local library, exhibitors are responsible for the hanging, placement, and removal of all items. The installation and removal of any exhibit will be at the discretion of the local library, and coordinated with that library’s calendar. Exhibitors are responsible for ensuring that artwork is ready for hanging. Local libraries provide no display materials or storage space. Exhibitors will adhere to local requirements regarding nails, thumbtacks, adhesives or tape. Exhibitors causing damage to exhibit spaces will repair the damage, or reimburse the local library as determined necessary by LMLS or the local library. LMLS, local library boards and library staff have the right to remove a display if it has not been removed by the exhibitor in a timely way. LMLS, local library boards, and library staff cannot be held responsible for exhibits or artworks that are not removed by the designated date after the exhibit.

Materials Offered for Sale

Exhibited artwork may not be labeled with prices. Exhibitors are encouraged to post a statement about their works with the display, and may provide contact information inviting inquiries. If a piece is sold during the exhibit, the exhibitor and buyer must leave the piece in the exhibit until the duration of the exhibit is complete. LMLS encourages exhibitors to make a donation to the local library providing exhibit space, but the opportunity to display is not contingent upon a donation.

Public Information

LMLS or local libraries may choose to publicize exhibits, but it is the exhibitor’s responsibility to publicize art exhibits if so desired and to confirm library hours and events schedules when preparing publicity. The local library and non-library affiliated groups may schedule programs and meetings in exhibit areas regardless of the presence of an art exhibit. Publicity should note that exhibits are not available for public viewing if the area has been scheduled for other programs or meetings. All publicity is subject to the approval of the Township Public Information Director, LMLS, and the local library.

Art Exhibit Events

Exhibitors who desire to hold an event in conjunction with their exhibits must abide by the LMLS Meeting Room Policy for that event. Refreshment regulations may vary from library to library. All costs will be borne by the exhibitor.

Art Exhibit Application Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

Art Exhibit Agreement Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

Art Exhibit Policy 

LOWER MERION LIBRARY SYSTEM – PATRON RESPONSIBILITIES

The Lower Merion Library System welcomes and encourages the use of its libraries. Our libraries are community gathering places, however they are not alternative domiciles, childcare or personal care centers. To help us provide an inviting environment for all who wish to use the library’s services, please abide by all library polices, and particularly observe the following:

FOR YOUR SAFETY

●        No pets allowed in the library. Trained service animals are permitted as specified by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
●        Do not leave personal items unattended.

FOR YOUR CHILD’S SAFETY

●        Children 10 years old or younger must be accompanied by a parent or responsible care provider while in the library.
●        All parents and guardians must be in visual contact with children in their care up to the age of six.
●        If a child is participating in a supervised program, the parent or responsible care provider must remain in the library.
●        If staff cannot locate a child’s parent or caregiver in the library or by phone at closing, staff is authorized to notify the Lower Merion Police Department for assistance.

IN CONSIDERATION OF OTHERS

●        Nuisance behaviors are prohibited; respect other patrons and staff.
●        Our libraries are smoke-free buildings, including e-cigarettes.
●        Dress properly. This means a shirt and shoes.  Shoes must be kept on at all times.
●        If your personal hygiene interferes with the ability of others to use and enjoy the library, you may be asked to leave.
●        Conversations are permitted provided they are not disruptive to others.
●        Solicitation is not allowed.
●        Consumption of food is prohibited.
●        Beverages are permitted with a lid or cap; open containers are not permitted. Beverages are prohibited while using library computers or laptops.

LIBRARY PROPERTY

●        Rearranging furniture and equipment is not allowed. Unoccupied seats are available to any library patron.
●        Misuse of library restrooms is prohibited.
●        Destruction or defacement of library materials or property, or any other potentially
criminal behavior, will be immediately referred to the police.
●        Personal property will not be permitted in the library when it interferes with the use of the library by others.

Violation of the Lower Merion Library System Patron Responsibilities Policy or illegal activity may result in one or more of the following consequences, depending on the severity of the violation:

●        Violators will receive a verbal warning and an opportunity to cease.
●        If the violation continues, the patron will be asked to leave the building for the remainder of the day.
●        The Lower Merion Police Department may be notified.
●        Repeated violations may result in suspension of library privileges for up to one year. The patron will receive written notification of the suspension from the Township Director of Libraries outlining the decision and the length of suspension.
●        Appeal of suspension decisions may be made in writing to the Director of Libraries within 30 days.
●        Further appeals of suspension decisions made by the Director may be submitted in writing to the LMLS Board of Directors within 30 days.

Library Staff have the authority to enforce these policies, as stated in Pennsylvania law:

Act of Nov. 1, 2012, P.L. 0, No. 210 Cl. 24 – EDUCATION CODE (24 PA.C.S.) – PUBLIC LIBRARY CODE

§ 9371. Free use of libraries.

(a) Residents and taxpayers.–Each library established or maintained under this chapter shall be free for the use of the residents and taxpayers of the municipality in which it is located.

(b) Nonresidents.–The board of library directors may extend library privileges to persons not residing in the municipality upon the terms and conditions that the board prescribes.

(c) Terms of usage.–Usage of the library shall be subject to reasonable rules and regulations adopted by the board of library directors.

(d) Loss of privileges.–The board of library directors may exclude from the use of the library a person who willfully violates the rules and regulations adopted under subsection (c).

Originally approved by the LMLS Board – September 9, 2008
Revised – February 5. 2019

Patron Responsibility Policy 

Policy Statements

  • Lower Merion Library System recognizes its role to provide notification of information, events, and services that are of interest to the community. Lower Merion libraries maintain bulletin boards, located in the library vestibules, which serve a primary purpose of displaying such information.
  • Information fulfilling an educational or community-interest function is suitable for posting.
  • Information that is commercial; implies endorsement of a candidate, political group, or political activity; advocates a political position; or is inflammatory is not suitable for posting in the libraries.

Endorsements

  • Posting materials does not imply endorsement on the part of the library, its trustees or the Township.

Preferences

  • Limitations as to material size, format, and length of time to post may be decided by each local library to accommodate the varying size of display areas. Preference will be given to library-sponsored or library-related activities.

Approval

  • All requests to post information on library bulletin boards must be submitted to and approved by the Head Librarian. Items posted without approval of the Head Librarian will be removed.

Bulletin Board Policy Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

THE LOWER MERION LIBRARY SYSTEM

BY-LAWS  (Download a PDF version)

I.                    Members of the System

The Lower Merion Library System, a non-profit Pennsylvania corporation provides library service for Lower Merion Township. The members of the Lower Merion Library System consist of the following libraries, each a non-profit Pennsylvania corporation:

Ardmore Free Library
Bala Cynwyd Memorial Library
Belmont Hills Public Library
Gladwyne Free Library
Ludington Public Library and
Penn Wynne Library

II.                 Corporate Purpose

The member libraries hereby reaffirm the charter purposes as set forth in the Certificate of Incorporation of the Lower Merion Library Association granted by the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, November Term 1935, and indexed to No. 19 Miscellaneous Docket #17, reading in part: “To establish and maintain in the Township of Lower Merion, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, a public library and branches to be operated as a non-sectarian library available at all times to residents of Lower Merion Township and to be available without cost …”.

Each member library by its approval of these by-laws affirms its policy to operate as an integral unit in the Township-wide library service, granting to the Lower Merion Library System Board power to determine uniform policies binding upon each member library and to make such administrative and executive decisions likewise binding upon each member library.

III.              Management of the System-Directors

1.      Management: The management of the System shall be entrusted to a Board of Directors. Each member library is represented by an individual Board of Trustees.

2.      The Board of Directors: Membership of the LMLS Board of Directors shall consist of up to eleven (11) members. One member will be nominated by each member library; one member appointed by the Board of Commissioners of the Township; one elected at-large member approved by the Township Board of Commissioners, and up to three members-at-large, proposed by the Nominating Committee and elected by a two-thirds majority of the System Board of Directors.

Each library shall nominate one candidate for Director, who, upon election, shall represent that library board only as long as he or she is a member in good standing of the local library board which he or she represents. Directors representing member libraries are recommended to have at least two years’ experience on the local board.

Every January of even years the President of the Board of Commissioners of the Township shall appoint to LMLS one Commissioner who is the Chairperson of the Library Committee of the Board of Commissioners. The Vice-Chairperson of the Board of Commissioner’s Library Committee will be the alternate Commissioner Representative to LMLS. The Commissioner Representative shall be the de facto Vice-President of the LMLS Board of Directors. Both the Commissioner Representative and the Commissioner Alternate serve at the pleasure of the Board of Commissioners which shall fix their terms of office.

There shall be up to four (4) at-large members of the Board. The at-large member representing the Board of Commissioners shall be recruited and selected by the Library System Board, recommended to the Board of Commissioners, and elected upon approval by the Board of Commissioners. The term of office for all members-at-large shall be two years, and he or she may succeed him or herself for two additional two-year terms, that is, a total of six consecutive years.

In addition to the normal duties of a System Board member, the representative of a local library shall attend his or her local library board meetings, report to the local board on LMLS matters and to the LMLS on local library matters. The appointed Commissioner member shall report to the Board of Commissioners on LMLS services and budget needs. At-large members, including the Commissioner at-large member, are expected to advocate for the community as a whole at board meetings and to promote the Library System and its interests as they interact in the greater Lower Merion community. At-large members may not serve on local library Boards during their at-large tenure.

3.      Terms of Office: The term of office for regularly elected directors shall be two years. Directors may be nominated and elected to succeed themselves for two additional two-year terms that is a total of six consecutive years.

a.       Reelection of Former Board Members: A Board member who has completed three consecutive terms may be re-nominated after one two-year term has elapsed during which he or she did not serve.

b.      Emeritus Member:  At its discretion the Board may elect Emeritus Members. Such Members may participate in all Board discussions but may not vote. Such members are elected on the basis of their knowledge and assistance to the Lower Merion Library System. The term of office for Emeritus members is two years. They may be nominated and elected to succeed themselves for two additional two-year terms, that is a total of six consecutive terms. In general, it is recommended that Emeritus members have served as former members of the LMLS or a local Board or staff.

4.      Alternate Members: Each member library shall also nominate an alternate who shall forthwith be elected by the Board of Directors of the System as an alternate. In the absence of the elected Director, the elected alternate shall represent the member library with voice. In the absence of the elected Director or the elected alternate, another member of the local board may vote only with the written or verbal proxy of the elected Delegates. The term of office for an alternate shall be for two years. They may succeed themselves for four additional years, or a total of six consecutive years.

At-large delegates shall have no Alternates.

5.      Vacancies: Vacancies on the board among the library representatives shall be filled by nomination from the appointing library. A Commissioner vacancy shall be filled by nomination from the Board of Commissioners: A vacancy in the at-large Commissioner delegate shall be filled according to the process noted in III(2) above. Vacancies among at-large members shall be filled at the discretion of the Board of Directors, as noted above. Interim directors so nominated shall be forthwith elected by the Board of Directors and shall serve the unexpired term of the Director who shall have ceased to act for any reason. When Directors so nominated and elected shall have completed the unexpired term, they may be nominated again and elected for three additional terms, that is, a maximum of eight years.

6.      Removal of Board members:

a.       Attendance at meetings: any Director who is absent from more than two consecutive System meetings or more than three within                            any one calendar year shall be deemed to have tendered his/her resignation unless he/she can establish reasonable cause for the                            absence.
b.      Conduct Unbecoming a Board Member: On the basis of fraud, conflict of interest, personal conduct, lack of fitness to service or                             failure to perform, a Board member may be removed by affirmative vote of two-thirds of the elected members.

7.      Compliance with all laws and policies: Members of the Board shall abide by all applicable federal, state and local laws and policies, including but not limited to those pertaining to the Township’s Conflict of Interest, Whistleblowers and Records Retention policies.

IV.              Meetings of the Lower Merion Library System

1.      Annual Meeting: The annual meeting of the System shall be held on the first Tuesday of February of each year at a time and place to be specified by the LMLS Board. At each annual meeting the directors shall be elected as provided in Article III, and their names shall be recorded. Such business as requires consideration or action by members of the System may be transacted at this meeting.

2.      Regular Meetings: The Directors shall hold regular meetings in person or electronically on the first Tuesday of February (after the annual meeting of the System), and on the first Tuesday of March, April, May, June, October, and December, and on the second Tuesday of September and November.

3.      Special Meetings: Special meetings of the Board of Directors may be called by the President at any time, and shall be called by the President upon request in writing by the elected LMLS Directors from two or more of the members.

4.      Notice of Meeting: Notice of meetings of the System shall be provided in a timely manner to the Township Secretary, as well as to each member of the Board of Directors of the System. Notice of regular meetings shall be given annually, with reminders at each monthly meeting.

5.      Quorum: A quorum for the meetings of the Board of Directors shall be a majority of the members which must include at least four member library representatives.

6.      Open Meetings: All meetings of the Board of Directors shall be open to the public.

7.      Meeting place: Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be at the office of the System, 75 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, or at such place or places including electronically as from time to time may be selected by the Board of Directors and specified in notices for such meetings.

V.         Officers

1.      Election: The officers of the System and the Board of Directors shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Treasurer, and a Secretary. The President, Treasurer and Secretary shall be elected from the present members of the System Board. The Vice-President shall be the Commissioner Delegate. The elected officers shall be selected by the board at each annual meeting of the System. The term of office shall be one year, and officers may be re-elected for a total of six consecutive terms of office.

2.      President: The President shall be the chief executive officer of the System and the Board. He or she shall see that all orders and resolutions of the System and Board of Directors are carried into effect, shall execute all contracts in the name of the System, and shall exercise such powers as are usual to a chief executive. The President of the Lower Merion Library System shall serve, ex-officio, as the Vice-President of the Lower Merion Library Foundation.

3.      Vice-President: The Vice-President shall, in the absence of the President, perform the duties of the President. The Vice-President shall serve on the planning committee of the board. As noted under Article III above, the Commissioner Delegate to the board is the Vice-President of the Board.

4.      Treasurer: The Treasurer shall have custody of the funds and property of the System, shall keep accounts of receipts and disbursements in books open to examination by the Officers and Directors, and shall deposit all funds in the name of the System in such depositories as may be designated by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer shall disburse the funds of the System as authorized by the Board, taking proper vouchers for such disbursements, and shall render to the President and Directors, whenever required, an accounting of all transactions and of the financial condition of the System.

The Treasurer shall be bonded by the System in such sum and in form with security satisfactory to the Board of Directors for the faithful performance of the duties of the office. He or she shall perform such other duties as the Board of Directors may from time to time prescribe or require.

The Treasurer shall annually submit the accounts of the System to the certified accountants of the Township for audit.

5.      Secretary: The Secretary of the Board shall attend all meetings of the Board, acting as clerk thereof, and recording all votes and the minutes of all meetings in a book to be kept for such purpose. The Secretary shall send out all notices of meetings of directors and of the System, and shall attest to any instrument requiring the same, when authorized and directed to do so by the Board of Directors.

The Secretary shall maintain a roll of elected Directors and their terms of election, shall keep and carefully preserve all books, papers, and documents belonging to the System, shall keep record of attendance, and shall verify the proxies of alternate directors as required.

6.      Absence: In the case of absence due to illness or disability of any Officer of the System, or for any other reason deemed sufficient by a majority of the Board, the Board may delegate powers or duties to any other Officer, or to any director for the time being.

7.      Vacancies: If a vacancy occurs in the office of the President, the Vice-President shall assume that position. Vacancies in the offices of Treasurer or Secretary shall be filled by appointment of the President, subject to approval by the Board of Directors. A vacancy in the office of the Vice-President shall be filled by the Board of Commissioners when it appoints a new or interim Chair of the Library Committee.

VI.              Committees

1.      Standing Committees: The standing committees of the System shall be the Executive Committee consisting of the Officers of the System; the Finance and Development Committee which shall include the Treasurer of the System; the Planning Committee, which shall include the Vice-President; and the Nominating Committee, the chair of which shall be the Vice-President. The President shall serve ex-officio on all committees.

2.      The Finance and Development Committee shall:

a.       Conduct an annual review of budgets: Township, LMLS, Local Libraries

Budgets to Include:
Narrative Cover Sheet
Annual Fund-Raising Goals
Project-specific Plans to be Funded
Fund Balance Report identifying all cash on hand by purpose
Context for costs exceeding established spending levels

b.      Conduct an annual review of the LMLS fine and fee structure
c.       Review the relationship with the Lower Merion Library Foundation
d.      Present to the LMLS Board its recommendations for action

3.      Special Committees: From time to time, the Board may appoint from its members and from other citizens of the Township any committee or committees for any purpose specified in the resolution of appointment, provided that at least one member of the board shall sit on each committee.

4.      Committee Actions: Committees shall serve an advisory function. Actions on reports of such committees shall be subject to approval by the System Board

5.      Executive Committee Empowerment: From time to time, especially during those months in which the board is not scheduled to meet, the Executive Committee may be empowered to act for the board.  The Executive Committee may meet in person or electronically.  In case of emergency, the Executive Committee may take action for the board without a vote of the board, subject to later notice and review.

VII.           1980 Memorandum of Understanding

To the extent still applicable, the Lower Merion Library System accepts the division of authority and responsibility (including financial responsibility) specified in the 1980 Memorandum of Responsibility (July 16, 1980) and all revisions thereof.  [Appendix A]

VIII.        Director of Libraries

1.      Appointment: The Board of Directors shall be included in the selection of a professionally trained librarian to be called “Director of Libraries” to manage the affairs of the System. Selection and employment of the Director of Libraries shall conform with the Township administrative code.

2.      Responsibilities: The Director of Libraries shall have authority and responsibility for the administration of the Township-wide library service, under the jurisdiction of and in accordance with the policies of the Board of Directors of the System and Township Administrative Code. He or she shall furnish to the Board advice and guidance in the making of such policies, and shall be responsible for informing the Township Manager as well as the officers and the Board of Directors of the System on library activities. The Director of Libraries, all members of the Director’s immediate staff, and employees of the six member libraries shall be Township employees.

Specifically, the Director of Libraries shall inter alia be responsible for and have control of and supervision over: (i) the maintenance of adequate standards of library operation by each of the six member libraries; (ii) professional qualifications, training and performance of the librarians and their assistants and the adequacy of their staffs and personnel matters in connection therewith; (iii) procedures for library statistical and financial reporting and related matters; and (iv) the performance of such other duties as the Board of Directors may from time to time assign to him or her.

3.      Relation to Local Library Boards: The Director or his or her designee may attend meetings of the boards of member libraries for advice and consultation. The Director of Libraries shall prepare a separate budget for his/her office. This budget is called “The System Budget” and is presented for approval to the LMLS Board. The Director of Libraries shall assist the finance committees of the member libraries in the preparation of their budgets which shall be in such form as may be integrated with the System budget. The Director shall supervise the Head Librarian of each library who shall have the immediate responsibility for the operation of that library, as determined by its Board of Directors and Township Administrative Code.

IX.              Finances

1.      In accordance with the Library Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the System shall be the sole representative of the public library system of the Township in negotiations for grants-in-aid and in reporting to government agencies and to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

2.      Audit: The member libraries and their respective treasurers shall submit their books of account showing all library receipts and expenditures at least annually to the certified public accountants of the Township for audit and for the preparation of a consolidated statement of account of operating receipts and expenditures of the System.

3.      Budget and Finance: The member libraries and their respective treasurers shall prepare and pass annual budgets no later than their regular October board meetings. The Library System shall provide such information as is necessary to prepare those budgets, in particular the distribution of state funds, and expenditure targets. It should be understood that the Library System may have to estimate this distribution and correct it when state funding distributions are finalized.

X.                Dissolution

Any member of the corporation may withdraw from the System by the adoption by two­ thirds vote of a resolution of withdrawal by the member library’s board of trustees. Notice of intent of such withdrawal must be given to the Secretary of the LMLS Board of Directors six months prior to passage of such a resolution. The Board Secretary shall notify the Township Secretary of the member’s intent. Such withdrawal shall terminate representation of the member library on the Board of Directors of the System and all benefits to the library of membership in the System.

In the event of dissolution of the System, its assets shall be distributed to such organization or organizations as may be selected by the Board of Directors, provided that such organization or organizations shall be such as are described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or corresponding provisions of the Internal Revenue law which shall be in effect at the time of the dissolution.

XI.              Registered Office

The principal or registered office of the System shall be 75 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, Pennsylvania, 19003.

XII.           Corporate Seal

A corporate seal shall be inscribed as follows: “The Lower Merion Library System, Incorporated in Pennsylvania, 1935”.

XIII.        Amendment of By-laws

1.      These By-laws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Board of Directors, or at any special meeting called for that purpose, by affirmative vote of two-thirds of the elected directors.
2.      Notice of the text of the proposed amendment shall be given to the Board at least one month in advance of the voting thereon.
3.      Any such amendments shall indicate the date on which they were ratified by the Board.

XIV.        Deliberations of this body shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order.

Approved, Board of Commissioners Adopted, Board of Directors December 15, 1965
Amended, Board of Directors December 16, 1965
Amended, Board of Directors December 21, 1971
Amended, Board of Directors September 18, 1979
Amended, Board of Directors October 4, 1983
Amended, Board of Directors December 4, 1990
Amended, Board of Directors November 5, 1996
Amended, Board of Directors September 6, 2007
Amended, Board of Directors May 7, 2019
Amended, Board of Directors June 23, 2020

(Download a PDF version)

ADDENDUM:
Conflict of Interest Policy
Records Retention Policy
Whistleblower Policy

PURPOSE

The circulation policy of the Lower Merion Library System informs library users of the terms and conditions under which materials are loaned in LMLS libraries.  Library service and borrowing privileges for cardholders in good standing will be available without discrimination to individuals of every race, color, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, handicap or disability, use of guide or support animals because of the blindness, deafness or physical handicap of the user or because the user is a handler or trainer or support or guide animals, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

The Library Code Act of June 14, 1961, P.L. 324, as amended through July 4, 2004 S 4415 states that every library, established and/or maintained under the provisions of this act, shall be free to the use of all the residents and taxpayers of the municipality, subject to such reasonable rules and regulations as the board of library directors may adopt, and the board may exclude from the use of the library any such person who willfully violates such rules.  The board may extend the privileges of such library to persons residing outside the limits of such municipality upon such terms and conditions as the board may prescribe.

REGISTRATION

Upon registration, all residents and/or non-residents must sign a Lower Merion Library System responsibilities consent form.  Children under the age of 18 must have the signature of a parent or guardian on this form.  A copy of the LMLS Privacy Policy will be given with the new or updated registration.

The person whose name appears on a library card is responsible for all materials checked out to that card.  Adults who sign the registration form for juveniles are responsible for materials checked out on the juvenile’s card.  If a library card is lost or stolen, that fact must be reported to the library so that the lost or stolen card may be invalidated.  All items checked out prior to the date the card is reported lost or stolen are still the responsibility of the library user.  The library charges three dollars ($3) to replace a borrower’s lost card.

LMLS deems library users who allow third persons to use their library cards or library account information to have consented to the access of their private and confidential library use records by the recipients of their cards or account information.

RESIDENTS

All Lower Merion residents are entitled to borrowing privileges at the six Township libraries.  There is no minimum age to obtain a borrower’s card.  Residents under the age of 18 will be issued a card with a juvenile status after receiving his/her parent or guardian’s consent.

Patrons must complete a patron registration form after supplying identification that provides a current and permanent address within the Township.  Photo identification is preferable.  Acceptable forms of ID are:

  • Deed or Lease
  • Utility bill with Property Address
  • Driver’s License/Registration
  • Voter Registration Card
  • Checking Account Statement with Property Address
  • School ID (K-12)
  • Passport plus identification showing address in Lower Merion

College students are considered Lower Merion residents as long as they live on the campus of a Lower Merion college or university, or if they live off campus within Lower Merion Township.  College students must show a piece of cancelled mail addressed to them at their Lower Merion address or college dorm in addition to their photo ID if that ID shows a different home address.

Au Pairs or foreign exchange students may register for a card if they have a photo ID and a piece of canceled mail addressed to them at their Lower Merion host family residence.

Temporary residents, those residing in Lower Merion Township for a period less than 6 months, are not issued library cards.  However they will be eligible for guest passes to use the library system’s computers.

NON-RESIDENTS

The Lower Merion Library System is a member of the Montgomery County Library and Information Network Consortium (MCLINC).  If a non-resident of Lower Merion Township who is covered by a MCLINC library wishes to register with Lower Merion instead of at their home library, a temporary MCLINC card can be issued which the patron can exchange for a permanent card at their home library.

For other non-residents of Lower Merion Township who reside in Pennsylvania, the Access Pennsylvania Program, also known as the Statewide Library Card Program, entitles them to borrowing privileges at participating public libraries.  The Lower Merion Library System is a fully participating member of the Access Pennsylvania Program.

Non-residents must have a current and valid library card from their home library with the blue Access Pennsylvania sticker on it before they can register at a Lower Merion library.  The registration procedure is then the same as above, except that they will not receive a Lower Merion library card.

Non-residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may receive a card upon the presentation of valid identification and the payment of an $80 annual fee.  You are exempt from paying the non-resident fee if you are:

  • A person who owns residential or business property in Lower Merion
  • A student attending a public/private Lower Merion school (K-12)
  • A teacher in any public/private Lower Merion school (K-12)

These patrons may receive a card without a PA Access sticker for a period of one year.

ASSOCIATIONS

Library users can associate or link their library cards with other family members as a way to share account information. Parents may link their children without the child’s signature.  The library cards of all associating parties are required at time of sign-up.

All parties must be present when applying for Adult associations.  Adults choosing to link library cards have consented to the access of their private and confidential library use records with all parties linked.  (See: LMLS Privacy and Confidentiality Policy)

Linking library accounts allows you to:

  • Check the status of linked accounts
  • Pick up reserve books
  • Pay fines
  • Check out items on linked cards
  • Carry one card

If at any time a patron wishes to dissolve an association they must fill out a “LMLS Request to Dissolve an Association” form.  After the dissolution, the library will keep the paperwork on file.

EXPIRATION OF CARDS

 Library cards expire after a period of two years.  Upon expiration of a patron’s library card, Polaris issues a block at checkout for staff to update the patron’s record.  MCLINC patrons with an email address in their library accounts will receive an email warning that their card is about to expire.

Updating a library card must be done in person with proper identification.  Outstanding overdue materials or fines over $20.00 on the account must be settled before reactivating the card.

PASSWORDS/PIN NUMBERS

Library users may access their library record or account in the library at the online public access catalog computer terminals throughout the library, or online from home.  Two pieces of information are required:

  • the “user id” which is the barcode number on the library card, and
  • a password or pin number.

Library users may review what materials they have checked out and renew the items if they choose and/or they may place a hold/ reserve on materials.

The library user must choose a 4 to 10-character password/pin number in person at the circulation desk.  The staff member inputs the password/pin number on their record.  The library user may request to personally input this pin/password at the circulation desk.  Library users can change the password/pin number in person, with their library card, at the circulation or reference desk or they can change it online from their account.  The library card barcode number and a pin/password are mandatory to use the public computer workstations.

A child under 16 must have a parent or guardian present in order to be issued a password.  At age 16, children may be issued their own passwords.

LOAN PERIOD

 Library users are required to bring their library card or proper identification in order to have borrowing privileges.

Regular Loan Periods

  • All DVDS with 1 or 2 discs 1 week
  • All DVD series of 3 or more discs 3 weeks
  • All magazines 1 week
  • All other Lower Merion books and materials 3 weeks
  • ILL material and MCLINC titles Loan period will vary

Library materials are never due on a day on which the library is closed, but will be due on the next library business day.  These loan periods apply to Lower Merion items only.  Items from MCLINC libraries will follow that library’s loan period policies.

Patrons are responsible for returning all items charged to their account on time.  As a courtesy, the library system generally sends out a reminder when items become overdue.  MCLINC patrons with an email address in their account will also receive a reminder notice when their items are coming due.

Renewals:

  • All Lower Merion items, except interlibrary loan materials, may be renewed twice if a reserve/hold has not been put on that item.
  • Renewals can be done at any MCLINC member library circulation desk, by telephone, or through the online catalog.
  • The library card barcode is necessary for any renewal.  Renewing an overdue item does not absolve the library user of paying overdue fees.
  • Renewals of MCLINC items will follow the renewal policies of the owning library.

RETURNS

Library materials may be returned to any LMLS branch, MCLINC library, or Access PA library with the exception of interlibrary loans which must be returned to the lending library.  Also, LMLS DVDs must be returned to a LMLS branch or a MCLINC library only.

Book drops and Audiovisual drops are available at each library for returning materials after hours or on days the library is closed.  The library will give fine free days for MCLINC items to compensate for the hours closed.  Materials from any non-MCLINC library cannot be checked in.

LIBRARY FINES

To promote the return of material and optimal sharing of the library collection, the Lower Merion Library System charges fines and fees for overdue, lost, and/or damaged library materials.  Library users are responsible for returning or renewing items by the due date.

Overdue fines are as follows:

  • Adult books and materials: 30 cents/day/item, maximum fine $10.00
  • Juvenile books and materials: 20 cents/day/item, maximum fine $5.00
  • DVDs:   $3.00/day/item, maximum fine $10.00
  • Museum Passes: $10/day/pass, up to the cost of membership

Fines for MCLINC items will follow the fine policy of the owning library.  No fines are charged when the libraries are closed.

Borrowing privileges will be suspended when a patron’s account reaches twenty dollars in fines or replacement costs.  Borrowing privileges will be reinstated upon payment of the full amount.  The status of an individual’s library card will be used only in regard to circulation of materials at the library, and does not affect the person’s use of other services at the library.

If any material is lost or damaged beyond repair, the library user will be charged the replacement cost of the material at list price.  If a library user locates a lost item within a month after payment, and there is a record of that payment, a refund will be issued.  The overdue fines will be charged.

PENNSYLVANIA CONSOLIDATED STATUTES – TITLE 18

 Sec. 6708.   Retention of library property after notice to return.

(a)     Offense defined. – A person is guilty of a summary offense if he retains, any book, pamphlet, magazine, newspaper, manuscript, map or other property belonging in, or to, or on deposit with, any library open to the public or any part thereof, for a period exceeding 30 days after such library has given written notice to return the same.

(b)     Disposition of fine. – Any fine imposed under this section shall be paid over by the magistrate imposing such fine to the library instituting the prosecution, and the costs of prosecution.

(c)     Form of notice.  – Such notice may be given by personal service upon the borrower, or by the mailing of a registered or certified letter to the address of the borrower on file with said library.  The notice shall recite this section, and shall contain a demand that the property be returned.

1972, Dec. 6, P.L. No. 334, effective June 6, 1973.

RESERVES

Reserves may be placed on all MCLINC items eligible for “holds.”  This excludes Browsing Collections and Reference Materials.  Other local restrictions may also apply.

  • The fee for placing a reserve is $.50 per video and DVD and $.25 for all other items.  The fee is assessed upon arrival at the lending library, even if not checked-out by the patron.
  • A library user may reserve items in person at the library, by phone, or electronically from our public catalog computers or from a home computer.
  • The barcode number from the library user’s card is mandatory for placing a reserve.

As soon as a reserved item becomes available, the library will notify the requesting cardholder.  Reserved items will be held for three business days following notification.  Any reserved items not picked up within this period will be given to the next requesting cardholder or, lacking further reserves, put back on the shelf.  Library users may choose to be notified of reserves by e-mail.

Patrons placing reserves from home on items that are listed as available should wait until they are notified or until the status of their hold changes from active to held when they access their hold requests online.

The library card used for placing holds must be the card used for hold pick-up unless cards are associated.

If a staff member needs to telephone a patron about a held reserve only the person for whom the reserve is held will be told the title of that item.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Telephone requests for information about materials checked out to patrons (adult or child) will be responded to only if the caller has the barcode number on the library card.

Associations or linked library cards are permitted in the Lower Merion Library System.  However, linking library records waives your privacy rights under PA 24 PS Section 4428 among the linked parties.

The library user has a right to know that all borrowing information will be kept confidential.  The Lower Merion Library System will act in accordance with state laws to protect library user confidentiality.

Pennsylvania State Law mandates that:

Records related to the circulation of the library materials which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of the state Library or any local library which is established or maintained under any law of the Commonwealth or the library of a university, college or educational institution chartered by the Commonwealth or the library of any public school or branch reading room, deposit station or agency operated in connection therewith, shall be confidential and shall not be made available to anyone except by court order in a criminal proceeding.”

                                                            (Section 4428. Library Circulation Records.)

Policy Effective January 1, 2012*

Voted by LMLS Board October 4, 2011 

* Loan periods updated June 13, 2014 in accordance with MCLINC policy change
* Change to DVD circulation voted by LMLS Board November 14, 2017, to be effective January 1, 2018
*Reserve fee clarification updated September 17, 2018

Circulation Policy Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

The Basics

  • Ask a Librarian is available to all LMLS patrons with a valid library card.
  • Ask a Librarian is intended for questions that can be answered quickly and effectively online, or with resources available in the library.
  • Ask a Librarian reserves the right to decline, refer, or limit any search.
  • Ask a Librarian will make every effort to respond to your question within 48 hours, excluding weekends.

Beyond the Basics

  • Ask a Librarian will make every effort to protect your privacy during search procedures but cannot guarantee the security of all transmissions.
  • Ask a Librarian cannot be held responsible for privacy or security issues encountered in the use of any electronic source to which you may be referred.
  • Ask a Librarian can not be held responsible for the quality, accuracy, or currency of any information we supply.  Even long-trusted traditional sources are not infallible.
  • Ask a Librarian may refer you to legal or medical resources for information.  These referrals are not to be construed as advice.

What We Don’t Do

  • Ask a Librarian is not a document delivery service.  If traditional Interlibrary Loan service cannot answer your document needs, you may be asked to come into the library to pursue your search.
  • Ask a Librarian does not provide genealogical research.
  • Ask a Librarian is not the library catalog.  To search the collection and to place reserves, click here.

EReference Policy Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

EARLY LITERACY STATION COMPUTER USE
Approved at the Library General Staff Meeting on February 28, 2008

Description and Purpose: The Early Literacy Station (E.L.S.) is a self-contained computer system intended for toddlers through second graders. Thirty-four educational software packages address seven curricular areas, and the software is top-rated by Children’s Technology Review. A child-friendly colored keyboard and a small-sized computer mouse enhance child interest, and the E.L.S. is connected to a color printer. All six libraries of the Lower Merion Library System have an E.L.S. workstation. As a self-contained system, the E.L.S. is not connected to the Internet. This policy explains the rules governing the use of the E.L.S.

 Rules of Use:

  • The recommended length of an E.L.S. session is 30 minutes.  Patrons are asked not to exceed 30 minutes when others are waiting.  Patrons are welcome to use the E.L.S. for a longer time if no one is waiting.
  • The E.L.S. is intended for preschoolers through second grade children. Older special needs children may also use the E.L.S. Use of the E.L.S. by teenagers and adults is unacceptable.
  • Printing costs 50 cents per page. Please request paper and pay at the desk.
  • In accordance with our Library Behavior Policy, children under seven years old must be accompanied by an adult.
  • In accordance with our Library Behavior Policy, noisy, disruptive behavior, and interfering with another person’s use of the E.L.S. or library, is unacceptable.
  • Library staff may limit the use of the E.L.S.

Application: This policy will be reviewed by September 2008 and/or as needed.

Early Literacy Station Policy Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

Lower Merion Library System Internet Use Policy

The Lower Merion Library System (LMLS) welcomes you to its Internet Gateway. LMLS has chosen to comply with the filtering provisions of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).  All Library computers are filtered.

RULES OF USE:
  • Internet access is available to all patrons who have a valid library card as well as a password/PIN that is registered with the Montgomery County Library and Information Consortium (MCLINC).  Out of area “guests” will be given a “guest Pass” with a temporary barcode and password/PIN.
  • If users feel that an Internet site has been blocked erroneously by the filtering software, they should report that to a staff member.  Staff can temporarily allow access to that site and will pass the site on to the MCLINC office for review.
  • When others are waiting, time limits will be enforced.  If all workstations are in use, the next available computer may be reserved.
  • Staff may limit the number of persons sitting at a single workstation.
  • Staff may intervene in the reservation process at any time for library purposes.
  • Users may download files to external devices.  Users may not load their own software programs onto library workstations.

USER RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Users may not display or print images that are inappropriate for viewing within a public setting.  LMLS expressly prohibits any use of library computers for illegal activities, including hacking, or to access material that is obscene, contains or makes reference to explicit sexual materials as defined in 18 PA. C.S. 5903, contains child pornography, or is harmful to minors.  Copies of 18 PA. C.S. 5903 and the CIPA may be found in the LMLS Internet Use Handbook, which is located at the Circulation and/or Reference desk at each library.
  • Users must respect copyright laws and licensing agreements.
  • Users must respect the privacy and privileges of others.
  • Users must respect library hardware and software configurations.
  • Users must act in accordance with Pennsylvania and federal law to promote the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications.  Internet Safety Guidelines for Minors are posted by library workstations.  LMLS also offers its brochure, Parents, Kids and the Internet, to promote Internet safety.
  • Minors must not disclose personal information on library Internet workstations.
  • Parents and legal guardians must assume responsibility for their children’s use of the Internet, as with other library materials.  Library staff does not act in the place of a parent to determine which materials are appropriate for an individual child.

BROWSER BEWARE:

The Internet may contain information that is inaccurate, incomplete, misleading or personally objectionable.  Some information accessed electronically may not meet the standards set by a library’s selection or collection development policy.

Because of the enormous amount of constantly changing information on the Internet, no filter will ever be free from error.  Filtering software may erroneously block “appropriate” sites, or fail to block “inappropriate” sites.  LMLS is not responsible for the limitations of filtering products.

Virus protection is active on all workstations.  All files on infected personal devices will be automatically erased.  LMLS cannot assume responsibility for damages resulting from viruses.

CONSEQUENCES OF MISUSE:

Any user demonstrating unacceptable use of the LMLS workstations or of the Internet via LMLS’s workstations will be asked to close the website and/or terminate the session.  Noncompliance may result in revocation of library privileges and/or prosecution under applicable local, state, or federal law.

CONFIDENTIALITY:

LMLS considers personally identifiable data to be protected under the Pennsylvania Confidentiality statute.  Due legal process is required to access LMLS computers or any information stored therein.

QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS:

Questions or concerns about this policy may be addressed to the Director of Libraries, 75 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003.

Approved 09.13.11

Internet Use Policy Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

Reporting on evidence for effectiveness of cloth face coverings, the Centers for Disease control states that “cloth face coverings are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control. This recommendation is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows cloth face coverings reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of cloth face coverings is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain.”

In Pennsylvania, the wearing of facemasks or other nose/mouth covering in indoor spaces, such as a Library facility, is mandatory.  See Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency to Ensure the Safety and Health of Employees and the Public (“Require all customers to wear masks while on the premises.”)  The wearing of masks is also recommended by the Lower Merion Township Health Advisory Council.

The Office of Commonwealth Libraries authorizes the Board of the Lower Merion Library System to develop a policy for handling library reopening safety and mask wearing.  The Board has determined the following requirements:

  1. If you have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus within 14 days, been exposed to it, or have symptoms, please make use of our online services from your home.
  2. All persons entering the Library must wear a face covering and maintain social distancing (a minimum six-foot distance from all other persons). Face coverings must comply with guidelines from the Township Health Advisory Council and the state Department of Health and must be properly worn at all times.
  3. Lower Merion Township policy is that all persons entering Township Buildings must have their temperature taken. Persons with temperatures of 100.4 or above will be asked to visit the library at a later time.
  4. Children under the age of two are exempt from wearing a face covering, but must be closely monitored at all times by their parent or guardian.
  5. A disposable face mask will be provided free of charge to individuals who do not have a face mask.
  6. Reasonable accommodations such as contactless delivery and online resources are available to those who are medically prevented from or decline to wear a face covering. Entrance into the library without a face covering is not a valid accommodation.
  7. Those refusing to have their temperature taken, properly wear a face covering, or to maintain six-foot distance will be required to leave the Library. If a person refuses to leave the Library for not following this policy, police may be contacted.  This could result in a ban from the Library for a specified period of time.
  8. Patrons who exhibit adversarial behavior that is argumentative with staff or other patrons will be subject to the general Patron Responsibilities policy. Patrons will be asked to leave until they comply with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requirements and guidelines in place to protect other community members and staff.
  9. This policy shall be enforced until the Pennsylvania Department of Health or other authorities determines that it is no longer required.

Mask and Temperature Check Policy

 

Approved by the Lower Merion Library System Board of Directors July 14, 2020.

Purpose

Library meeting rooms provide opportunities for bringing together the resources of the library and the civic, cultural, educational, and recreational non‐profit resources of the community. However, the prime purpose is for library‐sponsored activities. The Board of Directors of the Lower Merion Library System has established the following policy regarding the use of public meeting rooms of its member libraries.

Facilities Available

  • Ardmore Library: 30 seats (auditorium arrangement)
  • Bala Cynwyd Library: 49 seats (auditorium arrangement); Linda Bagley & Eli Dweck Conference Room: 8 seats (conference set-up only)
  • Belmont Hills Library: 45 seats
  • Gladwyne Library: 45 seats (auditorium arrangement)
  • Ludington Library: Auditorium: 120 seats (auditorium arrangement); Small Meeting Room: 7-8 seats (conference set up only)
  • Penn Wynne Library: 30 seats (conference set up only)

Policy

1. ELIGIBLE GROUPS: The library meeting rooms are available for use only by local non-profit community organizations of an educational, civic, or cultural nature operating for the public good. Meeting rooms are not intended for individual, private, commercial, promotional, nor purely social use. Meeting rooms are not equipped nor intended for dramatic presentations requiring stage equipment.

2. EQUAL TIME PROVISION: Operating in the public interest, the Lower Merion Library System makes its meeting rooms available for informational meetings by incumbent public officials. Prior to elections, equal time provisions will be afforded to all declared candidates. The Lower Merion Library System encourages programming which provides an opportunity for debate of all issues affecting the public good.

3. APPLICANT: Only Lower Merion Township residents or groups sponsored by a Lower Merion Township resident will be considered for authorization to use the library meeting rooms under the eligibility requirements noted herein.

4. ADMISSION: All meetings shall be open to the public. No admission fee shall be charged, nor any donations solicited by the organization except by special review by the Director of Libraries in consultation with the Executive Committee of the LMLS Board. Such exception could include paid registration to conferences or institutes, or scheduled educational courses.

5. PARKING: Consideration of parking limitations may be weighed in considering approval for meeting room use on any particular day or evening.

6. RESTRICTIONS: Use of library meeting room facilities is subject to all existing laws, fire code regulations, township ordinances and regulations, including prohibition of gambling and the use of alcoholic beverages. Smoking is strictly prohibited throughout the libraries including meeting rooms, hallways, rest rooms, and public areas.

7. REFRESHMENTS: Light refreshments are permitted upon the specific authorization of the Head
Librarian, under specified conditions. No alcohol of any kind can be served on Township property.
All liquids must be served in a cup with a lid or in a bottle with cap. Coffee may be served from a
take‐out box but no coffee pots or hot plates may be plugged in.

8. RESPONSIBILITY: Authorized users of the library meeting rooms will be held financially responsible for any damage to any portion of the facility, contents, or any equipment during such use. Groups that fail to clean up after use will be invoiced for custodial services.

Regulations for Use of Meeting Rooms

1. The Lower Merion Library System is the agency responsible for the use of the library meeting rooms. Each Head Librarian is the local representative of the library system.

2. AVAILABILITY: Rooms are available only during the library’s regular operating hours, and only at such times as they are not required for library purposes. All groups must conclude meetings by the library’s closing time.

3. APPLICATION: Written application must be made to the Head Librarian at least ten (10) days in
advance. Applications will be considered in order of receipt of written application. The
representative of the group must show the signed application to the Librarian‐in‐Charge at the time
of use. There is no charge for the use of the meeting room but donations to the library are gratefully
accepted.

4. RESERVATIONS: Reservations will be accepted for no more than six (6) months in advance. At the
end of that period reservations must be renewed. The library reserves the right to rescind a
reservation if the room is required for library purposes; in such a case, every effort will be made to
give maximum notification of a cancellation to the reservation holder.

5. SET-UP: The organization is responsible for setting up the meeting room and returning it to the condition in which it was found. Library staff is not available for arranging chairs, tables, etc.

6. USE: The library reserves the right to limit the use of the meeting rooms to those activities which will in no way interfere with normal library operations and use, including parking. A responsible adult must be present at all times.

7. MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY: All fire regulations regarding maximum occupancy must be observed.
Maximum occupancies when arranged auditorium style are: Ardmore: 30; Bala Cynwyd: 49; Belmont Hills: 49;
Gladwyne: 45; Ludington: 120; Penn Wynne: 30 (conference style only).

8. PUBLICITY: The organization’s publicity shall in no way imply that the library is sponsoring the group’s meeting nor endorsing its aims unless permission to do so is specifically granted by the Head Librarian on the application form.

9. CANCELLATIONS: The library shall be notified in the event of a cancellation.

Adopted, Board of Directors November 7, 1991
Amended, Board of Directors October 6, 2015

Meeting Room Application  Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

Meeting Room Policy Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

I. Introduction: Your Right to Privacy

Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association. The courts have upheld the right to privacy based on the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. Privacy has deep roots not only in law, but also in the ethics and practice of librarianship. In a library, the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one’s interest examined or scrutinized by others. Confidentiality exists when a library is in possession of personally identifiable information about users and keeps that information private on their behalf.

II. Lower Merion Library System Commitment to Confidentiality

The Lower Merion Library System (LMLS) recognizes your right to privacy regarding the questions you ask and the materials you borrow.This notice explains your privacy and confidentiality rights, the steps LMLS takes to respect and protect your privacy when you use library resources, and how LMLS deals with personally identifiable information collected from users. LMLS makes this notice easy to find on its home page and posts copies in each library.

III. Confidentiality of library records

Pennsylvania State Law mandates that “records related to the circulation of library materials which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of the State Library or any local library which is established or maintained under any law of the Commonwealth or the library of any university, college, or educational institution chartered by the Commonwealth or the library of any public school or branch reading room, deposit station or agency operated in connection therewith, shall be confidential and shall not be made available to anyone except by a court order in a criminal proceeding.” (PA 24 P.S. Section 4428)

IV. Information LMLS Collects

The Lower Merion Library System collects the following information for library card registration: name, address(es), phone number(s), date of birth, driver license number, gender, email, and assigned barcode. The library also retains records listing all materials currently checked out, overdue materials until returned, fines paid and waived, current interlibrary loan, intersystem reserve requests, and electronic reference requests. When a borrower returns an item, the patron barcode number is retained on that item until it is checked out again and returned. LMLS may also collect this information from donors and other library supporters.

LMLS does not ask library visitors to identify themselves or reveal any personal information unless they are borrowing books, requesting special services, registering for programs or classes, or making use of the LMLS public workstation computers.

Some of the databases LMLS offers require the barcode number of the user’s library card for verification purposes. Database vendors do not have access to patron records. These sites may have different privacy policies.

V. How LMLS Protects Your Information

Patron library use records are private and confidential under Pennsylvania law. LMLS will not collect or retain your private and personally identifiable information without your consent. Further, if you consent to give us your personally identifiable information, LMLS will keep it confidential and will not sell or license personal information to any third party without your consent, unless we are compelled to do so under the law or to comply with a court order. Only those authorized by LMLS have access to personally identifying information for the purpose of performing library work.

To ensure the privacy and confidentiality of individual library use records, patrons are advised to not allow others to use their library cards or library account information. LMLS deems patrons who allow third persons to use their library cards or library account information to have consented to the access of their private and confidential library use records by the recipients of their library cards or account information. Adults choosing to link their library accounts through Associations have likewise consented to the sharing of account information.

For library administrative purposes, information may be shared with certain individuals or corporations outside the library, such as automation vendors in the normal course of database creation and management or agencies utilized in the collection of overdue materials and outstanding fees.

LMLS never uses or shares the personally identifiable information provided to us online in ways unrelated to the ones described above without also providing you an opportunity to prohibit such unrelated uses, unless we are compelled to do so under the law or to comply with a court order.

In addition:

  • Patron information will not appear on any circulation records available to the public.
  • Notice of overdue, lost, or reserved materials will be mailed in a sealed envelope.
  • When notifying patrons of the availability of reserved or requested materials, titles will be given only to the person making the request.
  • Requests for information about materials associated with patron accounts (adult or child) can only be responded to if the patron provides the barcode number on the library card, or if patrons’ accounts are associated.
  • In accordance with the LMLS Internet Use Policy, due legal process is required to access LMLS computers or any information stored therein.

VI. Legal Compliance

LMLS authorizes only the Library Director to receive or comply with requests from law enforcement officers. LMLS will not make library records available to any agency of state, federal, or local government unless a subpoena, warrant, court order or other investigatory document is issued by a court of competent jurisdiction that shows good cause and is in proper form. LMLS will not respond to verbal requests.

As a public institution, LMLS is legally obligated to comply with the information request requirements of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, commonly known as the USA Patriot Act, enacted on October 26, 2001 . Should library records be requested under the USA Patriot Act, the law states that library staff shall not inform the person about whom the information is requested, nor speak to co-workers, the media or other government officials about the inquiry.

VII. Redress

Library users who have questions, concerns or complaints about the library’s handling of their privacy and confidentiality rights should file written comments with the Director of Libraries. LMLS will respond in a timely manner and may conduct a privacy investigation or review of policy and procedures.

Approved December 7, 2004

LMLS Privacy Policy Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24

LOWER MERION LIBRARY SYSTEM – PROGRAMMING POLICY

Programming is an integral part of library services.  The Lower Merion Library System provides programming that:

●                    Expands the library’s role as a community resource

●                    Introduces patrons and non-users to Library resources

●                    Provides entertainment and enrichment

●                    Provides opportunities for lifelong learning

●                    Expands the visibility of the library

 

CO-SPONSORED PROGRAMS
The Lower Merion Library System may partner or co-sponsor with other agencies, organizations, and businesses provided the programs are compatible with the System’s mission and goals outlined in our strategic plan. The library will generate joint programming and invite partners to co-sponsor or collaborate. Co-sponsored programs must include involvement by library staff in the planning of program content. Professional performers and presenters who offer specialized or unique expertise may be hired for library programs.

Library sponsorship of a program does not constitute or imply an endorsement of its policies, beliefs, or program by any library personnel or by the Lower Merion Township Library System.

THIS PROGRAMMING POLICY DOES NOT APPLY TO:
1)      Events that are developed for special library-related purposes such as donor recognition, fund-raising, or media conferences

2)      Programs offered by other organizations on library premises where space is reserved under the terms and conditions of the Meeting Room Policy https://bit.ly/2DHrEM1 The library cannot assist publicizing these programs

 

PROGRAMMING POLICY
This policy addresses programming (1) developed and sponsored by the library and (2) developed by members of the regional community and cosponsored by the library. If you are interested in information regarding reserving a meeting room, please go to the Meeting Room application here: https://www.lmls.org/library-services/meeting-rooms/

1)      Library staff may use, but are not limited to, the following criteria in program planning:

a)       Relation to library mission and service goals

b)      Community needs and interest

c)       Presentation quality and treatment of content for intended audience

d)      Presenter background/qualifications/reputation

e)      Clearances for Youth Programming (18 and under)

f)        Availability of program space

g)       Budget and staffing considerations

h)      Historical or educational significance

i)        Health or safety considerations

j)        Representation of diverse cultural backgrounds, opinions, and viewpoints

k)       Connection to other community programs, exhibits or events

2)      Additional Considerations

a)       The purpose of programs may not be purely commercial or for the solicitation of business

b)      Programs will be developed with consideration for the principles of accessibility and equity

c)       Programs may be held on site at any library, or off site

d)      The library staff has the discretion to cancel programs based on library needs, to be rescheduled or not.  Staff will provide as much notice as possible

e)      Programs scheduled on a day when the Library System is closed due to inclement weather are automatically cancelled. Rescheduling is at the discretion of the library

f)        Every attempt will be made to accommodate all who wish to attend a program. However, when safety or the success of a program requires it, attendance may be limited. When limits must be established, attendance will be determined on a first come, first served basis, either with advanced registration or at the door.

g)       The library system cannot accommodate events that are expected to exceed code established room capacity

h)      Programs are scheduled to occur during normal hours of operation. A library staff member must be on the premises during all programs.

i)        In some cases, the nature and success of a program may require that attendance is limited based on age, especially programs intended for children and teens that are geared to their interests and developmental needs

j)        In no case will attendance at a program be limited because the content of the program may be controversial

k)       The library system reserves the right to use video or photographs taken of program participants for internal use, publication, and use in promotional outlets, and for evaluation purposes

l)        Library staff will work with cosponsors to develop an advertising plan. All related advertising for programs must be preapproved by the Lower Merion Library System

m)    All programs must be open to the public and offered free of charge

n)      The library system may approve the sale of items related to the program with preapproval

o)      In addition, a program participation fee may be charged, with prior library approval:

i)        To recover the cost of materials, or supplies, when it would otherwise not be feasible to offer the program

ii)       To cover the cost of an educational program which provides an official certification or endorsement

 

If you are interested in suggesting a program please click on this link

REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION
The Lower Merion Library System welcomes expressions of opinion from patrons concerning programming. Patrons should address questions about a program with a library staff member. Patrons who wish to continue their request for review of library programs may submit the Request for Reconsideration form. Requests for review of programs will be considered in the same manner as requests for reconsideration of library material as outlined in the Lower Merion Library System’s Collection Development Policy.

Programming Policy

Approved by the Lower Merion Library System Board of Directors September 20, 2019

Social Media Policy for the Public

Updated and Approved June 5, 2018

The Lower Merion Library System recognizes the importance of social media.  We believe social media applications including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and blogs can contribute greatly to the library system’s ability to provide information about news and programming in our libraries.  By taking full advantage of these applications we affirm the system’s mission to support the informational, educational, recreational and cultural needs of groups and individuals in our community.

Social media is defined as any web based application or site that allows users to engage in a free exchange of information and ideas.  The Lower Merion Library System seeks to use these applications to promote programs, ideas and conversations that enhance the experience of all library users.

In accordance with this, please note the following general rules and provisos:

    1. While the Lower Merion Library System encourages opinion and discussion, we will regularly review comments for content and relevancy.  The System’s social media applications provide a moderated forum for its users.   The System reserves the right at its discretion to delete any comments made on any library-sponsored social media application that are abusive, violate copyright law, constitute commercial promotion or spam, are defamatory, offensive, profane, threatening, false, or libelous as to the library system or any individual or entity, or that promote, foster or perpetrate discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, national original, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation.
    2. Many applications allow users to become a “fan” or “like,” or otherwise associate their own virtual profile with that of the library’s profile on these sites.  As with more traditional library resources, the library system takes no responsibility for enforcing any restrictions which a parent or guardian may place on the use of these applications.
    3. The Lower Merion Library System reserves the right to reproduce comments, posts, and messages in other venues.  For example, if a user posts a positive book review, we may quote from or reproduce the review on the library website, or in a newspaper or newsletter.  We will not use identifying information unless the user grants permission.
    4. Library staff will regularly evaluate all LMLS social media applications for utility and quality.  Any application may be terminated at any time without prior notice.
    5. Participating in any Lower Merion Library System social media application constitutes agreement with our Internet Use Policy.
    6. Residents’ postings on any social media site affiliated with LMLS and the Township do not serve as formal requests for service from the LMLS or the Township. Any citizen needing a response from the Township should call, email or visit the appropriate department.
    7. Comments by the public on LMLS’ or the Township’s sites do not reflect in any way the opinions and position of the Lower Merion Township government, or its officers, elected officials, staff and/or employees.
    8. While Social Media is available 24/7, LMLS and the Township will generally only monitor comments and postings during regular business hours.
    9. Facebook’s “profanity filter” will always be set to “strong” for the Lower Merion page, but this filter does not limit the discretion of the moderator to delete remarks that are deemed offensive.
    10. LMLS and the Township reserve the right to ban users for any violation of the above terms.
      • Posts by violators will be removed.
      • If the violation continues, the user will be blocked for one week.
      • Repeated violations will result in blocking for up to one year.
      • At the end of the blocking period, the user may request to be unblocked.
      • Legal remedies may be sought.
      • Appeal of removal or blocking decisions may be made in writing to the Director of Libraries within 30 days.
      • Further appeals of removal or blocking decisions made by the Director may be submitted in writing to the LMLS Board of Directors within 30 days.
    11. Violations of this policy may be referred to the proper legal authorities.

Social Media Policy Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24