Rutherford Free Public Library Code of Conduct
So that the Rutherford Free Public Library may provide an atmosphere conducive to the 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. In cases of disruptive behavior, identification including name, address, and phone number may be requested.
Any visitor not abiding by the regulations set forth in this policy may be required to leave the Library premises and may forfeit their Library privileges. Library employees will contact the police if deemed advisable. The Library Board of Trustees authorizes Library staff and law enforcement officers to enforce the Library’s published Code of Conduct policy up to and including the long-term suspension of Library privileges, permanent banning from the Library, or prosecution. A patron whose privileges have been suspended or revoked may have the decision reviewed by the Library Board of Trustees.
- Do not leave anyone who is unable to care for themselves unattended in the Library without supervision of an adult. 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.
- Smoking, vaping, chewing tobacco, and the use of alcohol and drugs are prohibited on Library premises. Patrons may not strike matches or lighters in the Library. Patrons may not use the Library while intoxicated.
- Do not film or record Library patrons or staff without their permission.
- Do not engage in sexual or lewd acts, or inappropriate displays of physical affection.
- Patrons shall not assault, harass, or annoy others in the Library. This includes noisy or boisterous activities, staring at another person with the intent to annoy that person, following another person around the building with the intent to annoy that person, playing audio equipment so that others can hear it, singing or talking loudly, using profanity or obscene gestures, unauthorized filming, displaying print or nonprint materials of an offensive nature to others, or by behaving in a manner that can be reasonably expected to disturb others. Patrons shall not interfere with another person’s use of the Library or with Library personnel’s performance of their duties.
- Knives with blades longer than 3” are not allowed in the Library or on Library property. Individuals carrying guns must have a concealed weapons permit on their person.
- Use of cell phones or other electronic devices in a disruptive manner is prohibited, including but not limited to talking loudly or playing audible sound without headphones. Ringers should be turned off upon entering the Library.
- Do not sleep in the Library.
- Do not bring animals into the Library, except certified service animals or if needed as part of an approved, organized program.
- Do not wear wheeled footwear or cleats, or use a skateboard, scooter, or hover board in or on Library property.
- Patrons shall not enter the building without appropriate clothing, including a shirt, bottoms, and shoes. Visitors whose bodily hygiene is offensive so as to constitute a nuisance to other patrons or Library staff may be asked to leave.
- All Library materials, backpacks, oversized handbags, overcoats, luggage, shopping bags and packages are subject to inspection by authorized personnel, and items left unattended are subject to seizure.
- Patrons shall not deface or mar Library materials, including books, magazines, newspapers, recordings, or other items in the Library’s collection. In addition, they shall not deface, mar, or in any way destroy or damage Library furnishings, walls, machines, or other Library property. Using restrooms as laundry facilities, bathing facilities or gathering places is prohibited.
- Patrons may not enter non-public areas without permission.
- Do not use fire exits, except in an emergency.
- Do not eat in the Library. Drinking beverages in lidded containers is permitted.
- Do not misuse Library computers as defined in the Computer Rules Policy.
Patrons whose actions violate state or local law will be prosecuted.
Adopted by the Rutherford Public Library Board of Trustees on July 17, 2023.
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 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. Passes 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