Library Policies

Click on a policy to be taken directly to it, or scroll to view them all.

Behavior Policy

Building Use Policy

Circulation Policy

Computer and Internet Policy

Confidentiality Policy

Conflict of Interest Policy

Exhibits and Displays Policy

Financial Policy

Open Meeting Policy

Public Statements Policy



Behavior Policy

It is the mission of the Argyle Free Library “to meet the changing needs of all persons for education, personal enrichment and recreation.” Therefore, the library offers services to all community members regardless of age, sex, racial or ethnic origin, or religious or political affiliation. The library staff is committed to creating and maintaining a quiet and inviting environment for all library users.


Patrons are asked to adhere to the following rules of behavior in order to maintain an appropriate environment:

1. Engaging in disruptive or threatening behavior is not tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to using abusive or obscene language, verbally, physically or sexually harassing others, stealing or damaging library property, or creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition. Do not bring weapons into the library.

2. Please talk quietly, including when talking on cell phones. If a lengthy conversation will disturb other patrons, please take the conversation outside.

3. Use computers and other audio equipment in such a way that sound is not disturbing to others.

4. Food and beverages are not allowed at computer work stations. Please carry beverages in closed containers.

5. Children under age 8 should not be unattended in the library. Parents/guardians are responsible for their children’s behavior.

6. Smoking or the use of tobacco products is not allowed. Do not bring alcohol or illicit drugs onto library property.

7. Please do not solicit or engage in sales without permission from the library staff. The rules stated above are not inclusive or exclusive. It is the responsibility of the library staff to ensure that safe and appropriate conditions are maintained in the library at all times. Therefore, patrons are asked to comply with the reasonable requests of the library staff. Anyone failing to do so will be asked to leave the library. Questions or complaints concerning how these regulations are enforced should be made to the Library Director. The Board of Trustees of the Library will respond to patrons’ complaints.

Building Use Policy

As part of our mission of maintaining facilities, resources, and services for individuals in the Argyle community, the library building will be available for community use in the manner described below.


Use of Building During Regular Hours

Because the library does not have a separate meeting room, use of the building by community groups during library hours must be necessarily limited:

1. During library hours, the building will not be available for public presentations or for large groups meetings that would impede normal library activities and the provision of services to library patrons.

2. Small groups, with generally no more than 10 people, that can meet in the library’s space without requiring furnishings to be rearranged, and without substantially impeding normal library activities and the provision of services to library patrons, may apply for permission to use the library from the library director.

3. Groups using the library are asked to comply with library policies and to respect the needs of other patrons.

4. There is to be no financial benefit to individuals, groups or commercial concerns.

Use of Building Outside Regular Hours

1. Groups affiliated with the library, e.g. the Friends of the Library, may schedule meetings and programs by speaking to the library director. The group is responsible for opening and closing the building.

In all other cases:

2. Civic, educational and cultural groups may apply to the library director for permission to use the library facilities. There must be a signed letter of agreement. The maximum group size is 40. No fee will be charged. Donations are accepted.

3. A library staff member or a member of the library Board of Trustees must be available to open and close the building and to be on the premises during building use.

4. All meetings and programs held at the library must be non-profit and open to the public. There is to be no financial benefit to individuals, groups or commercial concerns. However, Library programs or programs of the Friends of the Library may allow the sale of books and other items by authors and artists.

Rules Applying to all Groups

1. Except for groups affiliated with the library, the library name and address may not be used as the official name, address or headquarters of any organization using the library.

2. Children’s groups must have adult supervision.

3. The library does not provide personnel to assist in handling exhibits or other materials needed by groups using the building.

4. The library is not responsible for the group’s equipment, supplies, materials or other items.

5. Light refreshments may be brought in and served. There are no kitchen facilities available in the library. Serving alcoholic beverages is not allowed.

6. Each group is responsible for cleaning up after their use, returning furniture to its correct position and for the replacement of lost or damaged equipment.

7. All trash must be removed from the library.

8. Smoking is not allowed.

9. The director is authorized to deny permission for the use of the library to any group that is disorderly or objectionable in any way, or that violates these regulations.

10. Complaints about groups using the library, or about these policies, may be made to the Board President.

Circulation Policy

Rules regarding lending of materials to library patrons.

Library materials may be borrowed by anyone who has a valid Argyle, SALS or MVLS
Library card.

Library cards can be obtained by completing an application form available from the library

Cards will be issued to anyone who is at least 3 years old. Applicants less than 14 years
of age will require a Parental signature on their application form.

Tourists (someone who does not have a permanent address in the areas covered by
SALS or MVLS) may obtain a library card by completing an application and providing
both a local and a permanent home address.

Cards will be issued upon receipt of a complete application form and borrowing can begin
immediately. Signing the application form implies understanding and compliance
agreement with all Library policies.

Popular and in demand books or magazines have a two (2) week lending period. All
other Library books or magazines have a four (4) week lending period.

Videos are lent out for a one (1) week period. Only five (5) videos are allowed to be
borrowed at a time per patron.

Renewals will match the original lending period and can be obtained either by consulting
the library staff or done on line. Renewals will be limited for materials with a waiting

Overdue materials will be fined:
$.10 per day for books and magazines to a $2.00 maximum
$1.00 per day for videos to a $5.00 maximum

Materials not returned within three (3) months will be considered lost and you
will be billed for the replacement value of the material.

Library privileges will be revoked if a borrower owes more that $5.00 in fines or has not returned materials. This revocation applies to the total SALS / MVLS systems. Payment of outstanding fines or replacement of lost items will reverse the revocation of the library card and re-instate borrowing privileges.

Computer and Internet Policy

To fulfill our mission, Argyle Free Library (AFL) provides computers and internet access at no charge for patron use. This policy is designed to provide users with information concerning the internet access and computer equipment in the library and to establish ground rules for their use. Privacy and confidentiality of patrons’ use of AFL computers and internet access is in accordance with the AFL ‘Confidentiality of Library Records’ policy, available on the AFL website (


1. The Argyle Free Library public computers and internet are available to all members of the public.
2. Library staff will assist patrons with logging into a library computer. If patrons desire additional support with library computers or wireless access, notify the library staff. If enough patrons desire assistance that the library staffs are unable to provide, the library staff may be able to arrange a class for the desired skills.
3. While the Library will make every effort to ensure that the use of the Internet is consistent with this policy, parents are encouraged to work closely with their children.
4. The computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If someone is waiting to use a computer, a 30-minute time limit is imposed.
5. The Argyle Free Library reserves the right to require individuals to discontinue the display of information and/or images which could cause a disturbance in this, a public building.
6. Individuals are required to use headphones if their computer or internet usage generates sounds which may disturb other library patrons.
7. Failure to use the computer station appropriately and responsibly may result in revocation of computer privileges. Examples of inappropriate use include, but are not limited to, the following:
a. Any attempt to damage computer equipment or software.
b. Any attempt to alter software configurations.
c. Use of any library workstation or internet access for any illegal or criminal purpose.
d. Violation of software license agreements and copyright laws
e. Attempting to modify or gain unauthorized access to files, passwords or data    belonging to others
f. Engage in any activity which is deliberately or maliciously offensive, libelous, or slanderous.
g. Violation of another user’s privacy.
h. Install or download any software or files onto a library computer, or run any executables from a USB drive.
8. Users may download files to their personal USB drive that has been inserted into a Library computer’s
USB interface. The library staff has extra thumb drives available for purchase.
9. Printing is not available from wireless devices. Black & white printing is available from Library
computers at $0.10 per page.

Violations may result in loss of access. Unlawful activities will be dealt with in a serious and appropriate manner. Financial restitution will be required from patrons who cause damage to the equipment through ill-usage.

Confidentiality Policy

The Joint Automation Council of Mohawk Valley Library System, Southern Adirondack Library System,and the Argyle Free Library support our nation’s efforts to preserve and protect the many hard-fought freedoms we enjoy as Americans. We have the responsibility of protecting the privacy of our patrons in accordance with New York State Law*. Therefore, we will do our utmost to uphold the privacy and confidentiality of patrons’ free access to information while responding to legitimate security concerns. Library records, as defined by NYS law 4509, should not be released or made available in any format to a federal agent, law enforcement officer or other person unless a court of competent jurisdiction has entered a court order in proper form. The Joint Automation Project does not record patron usage of database searches, individual member library computer use or interlibrary loan requests for materials outside of the systems.
1. Library records that are not necessary for the proper operation of the Argyle Free Library and its systems are purged after 30 days. It is the responsibility of library staff to purge their individual email and/or user files.
2. A visit by a law enforcement officer to the Argyle Free Library
1. If anyone approaches a staff member alleging to be law enforcement official requesting information,
2. Immediately contact the Library Director who will contact the President of the Argyle Free Library Board. If the Board President is not available, contact the Vice President.
3. The Director will ask to see official identification and photocopy the ID.
4. If law enforcement does not have a court order compelling the production of records, the Director should cite the state’s confidentiality law (see below), and inform law enforcement that users’ records are not available except when a proper court order in good form has been presented to the library system. Without a court order law enforcement has no authority to compel cooperation with an investigation or require answers to questions, other than the name and address of the person speaking to law enforcement.
5. If law enforcement presents a subpoena, the Director will contact legal counsel.
6. If law enforcement presents a warrant, to either staff or the Director, do not interfere with their search and seizure. The Director and legal counsel should be contacted as soon as possible.
7. Keep a record of all legal requests.
8. Keep a record of all costs incurred by any search and/or seizures.
9. A search warrant issued by a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court contains a “Gag” order. That means that no person or institution served with the warrant can disclose that the warrant has been served or that records have been produced pursuant to the warrant. The library and its staff must comply with this order. No information can be disclosed to any other party, including the patron whose record is the subject of the search warrant.

New York; Civil Practice Law section 4509: Library records.
“Library records, which contain names or other personally identifying details regarding the
users of public, free association, school, college and university libraries and library systems of this state, including but not limited to records related to the circulation of library materials, computer database searches, interlibrary loan transactions, reference queries, requests for photocopies of library materials, title reserve requests, or the use of audio-visual materials, films or records, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except that such records may be disclosed to the extent necessary for the proper operation of such library and shall be disclosed upon request or consent of the user or pursuant to subpoena, court order or where otherwise required by statute.”
“It is the court’s determination that disclosure of the information sought [i.e.,employees
who used the Southern Adirondack Library System’s “Library Without Walls” electronic information service to explore the Internet] should not be permitted. …Were this application to be granted, the door would be open to other similar requests made, for example, by a parent who wishes to learn what a child is reading or viewing on the ‘Internet’ via ‘LWW’ or by a spouse to learn what type of information his or her mate is reviewing at the public
library.” (Quad/Graphics, Inc. v. Southern Adirondack Library System, 174 Misc. 2d 291, 664
NYS 2d 225, September 30, 1997).
“Based upon [Section 87 (2) (a) through (I) of the Freedom of Information Law and Section
4509 of the CPLR], I believe that registration cards or other library records containing
‘names or other personally identifying details’ concerning library users are
confidential.” (Committee on Open Government Advisory Opinion FOIL-AO-6721, July 10,
Approved by the Joint Automation Council on July 29, 2003

Conflict of Interest Policy

Board members of the Argyle Free Library believe that Board members and employees must hold themselves to the highest standards of ethical behavior.

Unless the context clearly provides otherwise, the terms set forth below shall have the following meanings:
1. “Interest” means a direct or indirect pecuniary or material benefit accruing to a Board member or employee, or his or her relative as a result of a contract (verbal or written) with the Argyle Free Library.
2. “Relative” means spouse, a child, stepchild, parent, stepparent, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or legal guardian of any of said persons of a Board member or employee or of the spouse of the Board member or employee.
a. “Spouse” means the husband or wife of a Board member or employee unless living separate and apart pursuant to: (i) a judicial order, decree or judgment of separation, or (ii) a legally binding written agreement of separation in accordance with the Domestic Relations Law.
1. No Board member, committee member, or relative of a Board member or committee member of the Argyle Free Library shall derive any personal profit or gain, directly or indirectly, by reason of his or her participation on the Board. Other than compensation, no employee or relative of an employee shall derive any personal profit or gain, directly or indirectly, by reason of his or her employment by the Argyle Free Library except through activities that may facilitate professional advancement or contribute to the profession such as publications and professional service and have been fully disclosed to the Board.
2. Each individual shall disclose to the Board any personal interest which he or she may have in any matter pending before the Board and shall not be present at or participate in any board/committee deliberation or vote on the matter giving rise to the conflict. No individual shall attempt to improperly influence the deliberation or voting on the matter giving rise to the conflict.
3. Approval of a Conflict of Interest transaction shall be by at least 50% of the members of the Board of Trustees who have no interest, financial or otherwise, in the transaction. The existence and resolution of any conflict of interest shall be documented in the Board of Trustee meeting minutes.
4. Members of Argyle Free Library Board, committees, and staff shall refrain from obtaining any list of library patrons that results in personal benefit.

5. Each Board member, committee member, and employee of the Argyle Free Library shall fill out and sign the Conflict of Interest Statement attached to this policy every January, or as soon thereafter as feasible.

Exhibits and Displays Policy

Purpose The Argyle Free Library provides exhibit, display and posting areas consistent with its mission, programs and services. The Library develops exhibits and displays on a regular basis to promote the use of its collection and to highlight its diversity; to bring attention to special or underused aspects of the collection; to make it easy to find information on topics of current issue; to celebrate special occasions. Not-for-profit groups and individuals may use the Library’s exhibit and display or information posting areas for educational, artistic, or cultural materials in accordance with the following provisions. Failure to comply with any part of this policy may result in denial of future exhibit and display privileges.

Library use of exhibit and display areas takes precedence in scheduling. All exhibits and displays must be approved by the Library Director or appointed designees. Requests will be considered in the order of which they are received. Upon acceptance of a request a time will be given for the duration of the exhibit, display, or information posting. Factors considered in the approval process include:
• consistency with Library’s mission,
• relevance to community needs and interests, and
• subject matter, space requirements, and timeliness.
The Library Director reserves the right to reject any part of an exhibit, display or posting. The Library reserves the right to limit the size, number, and placement of items; and the frequency with which a group or individual may have an exhibit, display or posting. Exhibits cannot in any way disrupt the normal routine of the Library. Exhibit and display areas are not for commercial use or benefit.
The Library assumes no responsibility for the possible damage, destruction, or theft of any item displayed or exhibited. All items placed in the Library are there at the owners risk. Exhibitors must sign a release form before any items can be displayed or exhibited.
Announcement Postings
Posting of local announcements of interest may be given directly to the Library Director or library staff, without the need of a formal Exhibit and Display form. The posting should have the date of an activity which will allow the removal of the posting following that date. Postings that are undated will be dealt with as/if room is available on the Library posting board(s).
Exhibit/Display/Posting Time
In order to provide equitable access to exhibit, display and posting areas, non-library exhibits displays for no more than twenty-eight (28) days, and announcement postings may remain for no more than sixty (60) days.

Financial Policy

1. Treasurer Responsibility
A. Annual Budget
The Treasurer shall prepare an annual budget, in consultation with the Library Director and Board Members. (a) The Library Board must approve the Budget no later than December meeting of the prior year, and (b) the Library Board must approve any adjustments to the budget by a majority vote.

B. Investment Policy Formulation
The Library Board shall approve the Library’s investment policy for each class of funds. Each year at its March meeting, the Library Board shall review and approve the Library’s investment policy. Funds will be classified by expected time of use. Short-term funds are expected to be needed within 12 months. Long-term funds will not be needed within 12 months.

C. General Investment Policy by Time Horizon
(a) Short Term Investments
The treasurer is responsible for prudent investments of such funds. Amounts not needed
immediately should be invested in money market funds, savings accounts, or certificates of
deposit of less then one year’s maturity. The Treasurer may also maintain a “working balance” of funds in a non-interest bearing checking account.
(b) Long Term Investments
The guiding principal of investing long term monies is to choose a prudent and conservative
portfolio, which will provide capital growth with some focus on income. The Treasurer must
obtain the approval of the Library Board before making a long-term investment.
D. Reporting Duties
(a) Monthly Reports
The Treasurer will submit monthly reports to the Library Board. The Board will review these
reports, evaluate and recommend long-term investments and assure investment policies are followed.
(b) Annual Reports
The Treasurer shall report to the Library Board at the March Meeting. The report will detail
financial assets held at December 31 of the prior year and investment activity in the prior year. This will include checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit (amount, current interest rate and maturity dates must be indicated). Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds (market value, cost prior years yield, and realized and unrealized gains and losses.
(c) Government Reporting
The Library Board is responsible for assuring that the annual government reports of revenue
and expenses (IRS Form 990) and (NYS Report for Association Libraries) are submitted in a
timely and accurate manner.

E. Annual Audit of Financial Records
Each year during March, 2 board members, or CPA shall be appointed by the President to do a full audit of the prior years financial records. A report will be submitted to the Board at the next board meeting.

F. Petty Cash
The library maintains a Petty Cash fund for the incidental purchase of books, DVDs, postage, and maintenance supplies. Cash received as small donations, payments of fines, and charges for copies, printing and faxes are collected into the Petty Cash fund.
The library staff will log cash entries each day. The library director must approve all purchases to a maximum limit of $50.00. Receipts will be stapled to the quarterly expense log. This log, along with all receipts, will be moved to the financial records file by the Treasurer at the end of each quarter. The Treasurer will count cash and reconcile the fund’s logs each month. When cash reserves exceed expected needs, money will be moved to the library’s checking account at the discretion of the Treasurer.

Open Meeting Policy

The goal of the Argyle Free Library (AFL) is to be of service to all its constituents. As such, AFL welcomes the public to all Library Board of Trustee meetings. This Open Meetings policy is in accordance with the Open Meetings Law and Education Law §260a.

1. A notice of all AFL Board of Trustee meetings will be posted in the library, advertised in a local
news media, and posted on the Library web page at least one week prior to each regularly
scheduled meeting. All board meetings are open to the public.
2. Public comments to the Board are welcomed and taken seriously by the Board and staff. The Board of Trustees will provide time in the agenda at every Board meeting for comments from the public.
Since this is a Library meeting people are requested to abide by the AFL Behavior Policy and to be polite to one another and to the Board and staff.
3. If a document is scheduled to be the subject of discussion during a meeting, that document will be available online at AFL’s website if possible. If that is not possible, a copy will be available at the library for review prior to the meeting.
4. Working sessions of the board will be advertised and open to the public if a quorum of the board members is expected to attend.
5. The Board may call an executive session and exclude the public and news media for any of the
following purposes:
a. Discussions regarding proposed, pending or current litigation;
b. The medical, financial, credit or employment history of a particular person or corporation,
or matters leading to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, discipline,
suspension, dismissal or removal of a particular person or corporation;
c. The proposed acquisition, sale or lease of real property or the proposed acquisition of
securities, or sale or exchange of securities held by AFL, but only when publicity would
substantially affect the value thereof.
6. Educational sessions in which the Board does not conduct business are exempt from the Open Meetings Law and this policy.
7. Minutes will be prepared for all Board Meetings. The Secretary will maintain hard copies of the minutes. The minutes will also be posted on AFL’s website and available to the public. These minutes will be available in draft form within two weeks of each meeting. If revisions are necessary, an update will be posted after the Board approves the minutes.

Public Statements Policy

This policy defines how the Argyle Free Library will interact with individuals, the media, or government
agencies regarding library matters. It is intended to eliminate any confusion possibly caused by
misrepresentations or incomplete information being disseminated about library matters.

• The President of the Argyle Free Library Board or their designated substitute is the only
person authorized to make official statements regarding Argyle Free Library policies or
• All inquiries from Media, Government agencies, or the general public regarding policies
or actions taken by the AFL will be directed to the President of the AFL Board for
• When an inquiry is received by a staff member or a board member, information as to the
nature of the inquiry, the person, organization or agency requesting the information,
time sensitivity of the inquiry, and a return contact number or e-mail address should be
collected and then forwarded to the Board president who will then reply in a timely
• Depending on the nature of the request the President may contact other board members
or library staff for their input or clarification of issues but, the official response will be
made by the president.

Records Retention Policy

To fulfill our mission, Argyle Free Library (AFL) prepares and maintains information pertaining to library operations and maintenance. This policy is designed to ensure that library records are retained as long as needed, and that they are promptly disposed of after they are no longer needed. This policy is in accordance with the New York State Library Trustees Organization and New York State Education Department guidelines and recommendations.

In order to legally dispose of unneeded records, it is the policy of the Argyle Free Library to follow the
New York State Education Department Records Retention and Disposition Schedule MI-1 issued pursuant
to Article 57-A of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, as modified for applicability to AFL per
this policy.
The purpose of the modified Schedule MI-1 is to:
1. ensure that records are retained as long as needed for administrative, legal and fiscal
2. ensure that state and federal record retention requirements are met.
3. ensure that record series with enduring historical and other research value are identified
and retained permanently.
4. encourage and facilitate the systematic disposal of unneeded records.
The library will follow the modified MI-1schedule included in this policy and will review any future revisions and re-issuances thereof for applicability to AFL. The library director is responsible for the proper retention and disposition of all library records in accordance with this policy and New York State Education Department Records Retention and Disposition Schedule MI-1 for special district libraries (i.e., not part of city, town, village, or county government). Schedule MI-1 (current as of April 2015) may be viewed online at:
In accordance with this policy, the following procedures will be followed:
a. Those records that are described in New York State Education Department Records Retention
and Disposition Schedule MI-1 may only be disposed of after they have met the minimum
retention periods described therein.
b. Only those records that do not have sufficient administrative, fiscal, legal, or historical value to merit retention beyond established legal minimum periods may be disposed of.
c. The records the library maintains which are not described in New York State Education Department Records Retention and Disposition Schedule MI-1 may be disposed of after a period of no less than three months.
d. Note that the catalog of holdings and loan records are maintained by the Southern Adirondack Library System (SALS), who is responsible for the retention and disposition of that data.

In addition to schedule MI-1, the following schedule shall be followed for the Argyle Free Library’s fiscal and meeting minutes records:
1) Orders and invoices shall be kept for one (1) year.
2) General ledgers shall be kept permanently.
3) All other types of financial records shall be kept for seven (7) years.
4) All library board meeting minutes shall be kept permanently.
The AFL Board of Trustees Treasurer is responsible for maintaining and disposing of financial records.
The AFL Board of Trustees Secretary is responsible for maintaining board meeting minutes.