2All Rutherford residents should have his or her own library card that may not be transferred to another person. Adult library cards are free to all Rutherford residents age 18 or older with identification that documents residency. Acceptable forms of ID include: driver’s license; government-issued ID with Rutherford address; lease agreement; tax bill; or water or utility bill. Parents who are Rutherford residents may open a library account for their children with the same documentation. Rutherford property owners, employees, and nonresident students at schools in Rutherford may also apply for a card with proper documentation that proves their ownership, employment, or enrollment. If a patron loses a card, he or she may purchase a new one for $3.
Materials may be borrowed when a patron presents a library card. The loan period for each item type is as follows with the following renewal limits:
|Material Type||Loan Period||Renewal limit|
|Juvenile books||4 weeks||2 times|
|Juvenile DVDs||2 weeks||2 times|
|Juvenile CDs||4 weeks||2 times|
|Juvenile audiobooks||4 weeks||2 times|
|Juvenile reference||Staff discretion (typically 2|
|Juvenile periodicals||2 weeks||2 times|
|Adult NEW books||2 weeks||2 times|
|Adult books||4 weeks||4 times|
|Adult NEW DVDs||2 weeks||0 times|
|Adult DVDs||2 weeks||2 times|
|Adult CDs||2 weeks||2 times|
|Adult audiobooks||4 weeks||2 times|
|Adult reference||Staff discretion||0 times|
|Young Adult Books||4 weeks||2 times|
|Periodicals||2 weeks||2 times|
If an item is on hold for another patron, the current borrower may not be able to renew the
Patrons may borrow up to 50 items at any given time. Different material types have different
limits, as follows:
|Material Type||Item Limit|
|Adult CDs and audiobooks||15|
The library also loans technology hardware such as Internet devices, laptops, tablets, e-readers,
and language learning devices, which may be borrowed by holders of a Rutherford resident
adult card in good standing. Each type of device has a separate borrower agreement which
must be signed by the borrower.
Overdue fines will be assessed for any item returned late, vary based on material type, listed
|Material/item Type||Daily Fee|
|Juvenile books||$ .10|
|Juvenile DVDs||$ .50|
|Juvenile CDs and audiobooks||$ .10|
|Juvenile reference||$ .10|
|Adult NEW books||$ .10|
|Adult books||$ .10|
|Adult NEW DVDs||$1.00|
|Adult DVDs||$ .50|
|Adult CDs and audiobooks||$ .10|
|Adult reference||$ .10|
|Mobile wi-fi devices||$20.00|
|Museum Passes||$10.00 (beginning 11AM date due)|
Patrons are responsible for lost or damaged items and fines depend on item and material type.
So that the Rutherford Free Public Library may provide an atmosphere conducive to use of library services and facilities, the public is required to comply with a code of conduct. Participating in any illegal activity or in any of the following activities is not allowed on library premises, including buildings and grounds.
To assure the personal safety of our users and staff, do not:
- Leave children who are unable to care for themselves unattended in the library without supervision of an adult.
- Smoke, strike matches or lighters, or carry lighted smoking materials.
- Use alcohol, narcotics, or hallucinogens on library property or come to the library intoxicated or display behavior leading to suspicion of intoxication.
- Request staff to protect or monitor children, adults needing care, or your personal belongings.
- Film, photograph, solicit, or interview users within the library without the permission of the Library Director.
- Engage in sexual acts.
To maintain a pleasant environment for everyone, do not:
- Threaten, physically harm, or verbally abuse staff or users.
- Use obscene or abusive language or gestures.
- Carry a weapon into the library, unless authorized by law.
- Engage in disruptive conduct including loud talking, making noise, running, pushing, or fighting.
- Interfere with another person’s use of the library or with library personnel’s performance of their duties.
- Talk on cell phones (ringers should be turned off upon entering the library).
- Sleep in the library.
- Bring animals into the library, except service animals to assist users with disabilities.
- Play audio equipment so that others can hear it.
- Wear roller blades or cleats, or use a skateboard.
- Fail to wear proper attire, including shoes and shirts. Users of the library are expected to maintain an acceptable standard of personal hygiene. Infected clothing or personal effects or unpleasant body odor that may disrupt other users or employees of the library is unacceptable.
To protect our facility and materials, do not:
- Steal, damage, or mark library property or library materials. All library materials, backpacks, oversized handbags, overcoats, luggage, shopping bags and packages are subject to inspection by authorized personnel.
- Misuse the restrooms (e.g., as laundry or washing facilities).
- Enter non-public areas without permission.
- Use fire exits, except in an emergency.
- Eat in the library. Drinking beverages in lidded containers is permitted.
Library users who fail to observe the Library Code of Conduct may lose library privileges and/or be subject to police intervention, including arrest.
Rules for Use of Library Computers
- Log into a computer using your BCCLS library card or by obtaining a guest pass from
- 2. Give up the computer when requested by staff.
- 3. You may download files using supported media. The Library is not responsible for damage to your media or for corruption of your data, including damage caused by mechanical malfunction or corruption caused by virus or spyware infection while using library computers.
- The charge for printing from the computers is posted. Please print and pay at the self- service kiosk located in the Computer Lab.
- Respect others’ privacy by not attempting to observe or comment on what others are viewing.
- Close the Internet browser completely and terminate your Envisionware session when you are finished. This helps protect the privacy of your work.
- Do not gather around computers. Doing so may obstruct others or create noise that distracts others.
- Do not misuse computer equipment or software. Any vandalism, destructive behavior or illegal activities may result in police action as well as suspension of library privileges.
Misuse includes but is not limited to:
- Viewing illegal or prohibited material.
- Hacking into the library computer system or any other computer system.
- Mishandling, damaging or attempting to damage computer equipment or software; tampering with computer settings.
- Interfering with system operations, integrity or security.
- Attempting to gain or gaining access to another person’s files or authorization code.
- Harassing others with messages, prints or images.
- Violating copyright laws and software licensing agreements.
- Failing to pay for printing.
- Eating, drinking or horseplay around the computer workstations.
- Refusing or ignoring a staff person’s request to give up a computer.
- Any other violation of the Internet Use Policy.
The Internet Use Policy is determined by the Library Board of Trustees and is subject to periodic review and/or revision at the discretion of the Board. Appeals may be submitted to the Board in writing. The complete policy is available at the front desk and on the Library’s website.
Adopted by the Rutherford Public Library Board of Trustees: May 10, 2005. Revised June 9, 2009, October 18, 2021.
Rutherford residents, 18 and older, with a valid Rutherford Public Library card in good standing can reserve museum passes up to 60 days in advance on a first-come, first-served basis. Passes may be reserved online, in person, or by calling (201) 939-8600. You will need your Library card number. A patron may borrow or reserve up to 2 passes at any one time. Please review the Museum Pass Agreement before reserving a pass. *Please note, during the pandemic, museums may require reservations. Please contact the museum you wish to visit ahead of time to ensure that you can enter safely and at the time you’d like.
Passes are free to borrow and are loaned out for 3 days, non-renewable. Please are due back by 11:00 AM on their due date. Note: passes may be returned in the book drop when the Library is closed.
Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association. In this 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.
The records of patron use of library resources, materials or services are confidential per the laws of the State of New Jersey1 and in accordance with the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics2. All records concerning library users and materials used or checked out by users are confidential and will not be made available to any agency of the federal, state, county or local government or to any other person unless a court order or search warrant requiring disclosure has been entered by a court of competent jurisdiction or persons acting within the cope of their duties in the administration of the library.
As a public institution, the Library is legally required to comply with information requests pursuant to the USA Patriot Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruction Terrorism Act, P.L. 107-56, Oct 26, 2001). In providing information pursuant to this act or by another court order, the Library shall follow the following procedures.
- Any requests for information regarding a library user are to be referred to the Library Director, or designee, who will explain the Library’s policy and the New Jersey law.
- If the Library staff member is presented with a subpoena, he/she is to refer the presenter to the Library Director/designee, who is to contact the Library’s attorney to verify its validity and advise the Library of what action to take.
- If the Library staff member is presented with a search warrant from a law enforcement officer, he/she is not to interfere with their search and seizure. The staff member is to contact the Library Director, or designee, as soon as possible after a search warrant has been served so that the Director can ask the officer to allow them to consult with legal counsel and to ask that the Library’s counsel be present during the search. Whether or not the law enforcement official agrees to await the arrival of counsel, the Library’s attorney should be contacted. Library staff shall not interfere with a search conducted with a search warrant. A search warrant must be specific as to the information requested. Information outside of the scope of the search warrant should not be released.
Under the USA Patriot Act, the person whose records are subject to a search warrant may not be notified that a search warrant has been served. The Director or the Library’s attorney may be contacted without a violation of the act. Staff shall not inform anyone else of the existence of the search warrant.
In either the case of a subpoena or a search warrant, records shall be kept of all legal requests and all costs incurred by the Library (including additional staff time and replacement of equipment).
The USA Patriot Act permits the FBI to get a search warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to retrieve library usage records of someone who is under investigation of involvement in an ongoing terrorist or intelligence investigation. Please note that the USA Patriot Act requires a search warrant and not a subpoena. A search warrant can be executed immediately upon service. A subpoena, on the other hand, allows a party a period of time to respond to and contest same.
The act absolves all institutions and employees from any liability for releasing personal information in compliance with a FISA search warrant. If a staff member fails to comply with an information request, or if information respecting a search warrant is disclosed other than to the Library Director or the Library’s attorney, the staff member may be subject to being charged with contempt of court.
If any staff member has any questions concerning this policy, he/she should direct their questions to the Library Director. The Library Director, after consulting with the Library’s attorney, will respond to the inquiry.
This policy is determined by the Library Board of Trustees and is subject to periodic review and/or revision at the discretion of the Board. Appeals may be submitted to the Board in writing.
Adopted by the Rutherford Public Library Board of Trustees: May 10, 2005. Revised March 15, 2008.
1 *NJSA 18A:73-43:2 Library records which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of libraries are confidential and shall not be disclosed except in the following circumstances:
a. The records are necessary for the proper operation of the library;
b. Disclosure is requested by the user; or
c. Disclosure is required pursuant to a subpoena issued by a court or court order.
L.1985, c 172, s. 2, eff. May 31, 1985
NOTE: NJ Open Public Records Act does not supersede NJSA 18A:73-43:2
2 American Library Association’s Code of Ethics (1995) Section 3: “We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
Service to the public is the primary responsibility of the staff member on duty at the reference desk. All requests for information are to be handled impartially and with confidentiality. Residents and non-residents will receive the same reference services. Our goal is to guide patrons to materials for educational, informational, recreational and cultural purposes as a basic part of reference service. The resources of the reference department are available to all patrons for in-library use during regular library hours. Reference materials may not be checked out.
- To direct patrons to appropriate information sources for their reading and interest
- To provide courteous, prompt and accurate answers to patrons’ questions. This may include direct personal assistance, information acquired from a reference source in a text or electronically based.
- To provide advisory assistance for readers.
It is recommended that ALA techniques for reference interviews be followed:
- Greet – in a friendly manner
- Assess – make sure question is understood
- Verify – repeat the question
- Locate – find the information
- Close – make sure patron found what was wanted
II. Overview of types of service
Following is a list of typical reference services provided by the reference staff.
- When a patron seeks a known title, identify the holding libraries.
- When the item is not readily available, give the patron the option of reserving the item, making an inter-library loan request or going directly to a library that has the item available. If appropriate, the patron should be shown how to place an electronic loan request which will be forwarded to the home library to be processed.
- When a patron wishes to go directly to another library for an item, call that library to make sure the item is available, or strongly advise the patron to call. Phone numbers and directions should be offered. It is helpful to print out a copy of the citation with call number for the patron. Remind the patron to bring along a valid library card.
- If a book is not found in the BCCLS system, the library will attempt to request the
item through JerseyCat. There is no guarantee that the requested item will be
available. If the item is available, it may take as long as a month to get the item.
Occasionally, there is a charge for the loan by the lending library. This does not
happen often; however, the patron must agree to pay a charge of up to $10 before
the request is made.
- When a patron has a partial or erroneous citation, the librarian should make a
reasonable effort to verify the citation with applicable tools such as the BCCLS
database or other appropriate catalogs.
- When a patron asks a question of a common “ready reference” nature (easily located within 5 to 10 minutes), identify the proper source in the library and report the information to the patron. As appropriate, common BCCLS databases and the Internet should be used to guide a patron to materials and information. Remind the patron to return for additional assistance if needed.
- This service is available during regular library hours for providing brief answers to questions. The reference staff gives priority to in-person requests over telephone requests. When staff is unable to respond to a reference call, the staff is requested to take messages and return calls after patrons who are actually in the library have been helped. If a user comes to the desk while a telephone inquiry is in progress, the person’s presence will be acknowledged and the phone conversation concluded as quickly as possible.
Requests for medical, legal and financial information
- Reference staff will provide information but not advice on these topics. Definitions and descriptions can be given from published sources but will not be interpreted by the librarian. Since timely information in these areas can be crucial, patrons should be advised to consult professionals in a given area rather than rely on print sources exclusively.
- Patrons should be aided in the use of print materials and common BCCLS databases including the full text periodicals and newspaper citations.
III. Reference service does not include
- checking a long list of citations
- compiling bibliographies
- checking indexes and bibliographies
- or completing assignments
Requests for extensive research
- If a patron’s research needs require extensive investigation, a fee-based service is available at Newark Public Library where specialists will supply the information needed. This service for in-depth research is also obtainable at The New York Public Library for a fee.
This policy is determined by the Library Board of Trustees and is subject to periodic review and/or revision at the discretion of the Board. Appeals may be submitted to the Board in writing.
Adopted by the Rutherford Public Library Board of Trustees: June 14, 2005
Rutherford Public Library (hereinafter “Library” or “RPL”) strives to provide a safe and welcoming environment to patrons of all ages and abilities. The Library is a public building open to all, and
staff members are unable to supervise children or dependent persons (individuals of any age who are unable to make decisions about their own safety and wellbeing) when their parents or caregivers are unavailable.
Responsibility for the safety and behavior of minors and dependent persons rests with the individuals’ parent, guardian, or caregiver, not the Library staff. Parents or caregivers should not expect that staff can meet the specific needs of their child or dependent person nor expect that staff will know if a child or dependent person is leaving the building with parents or strangers.
In order to create the safest environment possible, RPL has instituted the following policy:
All children under the age of 9, as well as dependent persons of any age, must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver over the age of 13 at all times when visiting the Library. In the case of children under 9 attending Library programming unchaperoned, a parent or caregiver is encouraged to remain in the building and must be immediately visible when the
child exits the event.
Unaccompanied minors aged 9 and older must know how to contact a parent or caregiver in the event of an emergency. If an emergency arises, RPL staff may attempt to contact the child’s guardian. If contact cannot be made, staff may enlist the assistance of the Rutherford Police Department as needed.
All unaccompanied minors must abide by the Library’s operating hours – including early closings due to inclement weather or other emergencies – and should be picked up prior to closing time. RPL staff will attempt to contact the child’s parent or caregiver if necessary in order to facilitate a safe departure. Staff will make every reasonable effort to make this connection. If contact is unable to be made at closing time, staff may contact the Rutherford Police Department and request that an officer be dispatched to wait with the child and a library staff member until he or she is picked up. The Rutherford Police Department may also attempt to make contact with a parent or guardian.
Serious and ongoing violations of Library policies, including the Unattended Child Policy, may result in further action including, but not limited to, suspension of Library privileges.
Approved August 16, 2021