Policies and Procedures

Bulletin Board | Circulation Policy | Collection Development Policy | Computer Policy | Confidentiality | Exhibits | Interlibrary Loan | Meeting Room | Membership | Notary Public Service | Proctor Policy | School Visit Policy | Safe Child Policy | Surveillance Policy | Telescope Policy | Tutoring PolicyVolunteer Policy

Bulletin Board

The Scotch Plains Public Library has bulletin boards for use by the public to announce not-for-profit community organizations, to announce and advertise special events and/or fund raisers for the public domain of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood area.

  1. Only non-profit organizations may post notices on the bulletin boards. This privilege is open to local community organizations to announce and advertise for the public domain.
  2. All announcements and posters must be reviewed and posted by the library staff. Announcements and posters must be tastefully done, and the Library reserves the right to refuse to post any piece of material.
  3. Items will be posted or made available on an equitable basis, subject to available space, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of the individuals or groups represented.
  4. All items to be posted must be dated. No items can be returned by the library.
  5. Posting of a notice or placement of materials in a display rack does not imply endorsement by the Library staff or Board of Trustees.

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Circulation Policy


Adult DVDs & Videos 4 No No $1.00 $25.00
Juvenile DVDs & Videos 4 No No $1.00 $10.00


Magazines 4 No No $.10 $5.00 Adult
$3.00 Juv
Compact Discs 4 Yes Yes $.10 $5.00 Adult
$3.00 Juv
New Books 3 Yes Yes $.10 $5.00 Adult
$3.00 Juv
Summer Reading 4 No Yes $.10 $5.00 Adult
$3.00 Juv
E-Readers 1 No Yes $5.00 $75
Early Literacy Kits 1 No Yes $5.00 $50
S.T.E.A.M. Kits 1 No Yes $5.00 $75


Adult & YA Books 25 Yes Yes $.10 $5.00 Adult
Juvenile Books 40 Yes Yes $.10 $3.00 Juv
Recorded Books-Adult 6 Yes Yes $.10 $5.00 Adult
Recorded Books-Juvenile 3 Yes Yes $.10 $3.00 Juv

MURAL patrons may borrow all materials, with the exception of E-Readers and electronic materials. All services, including reserves, are available to out-of-town members. Interlibrary loans should be originated through a cardholder’s home library.

MURAL membership is issued for a one-year period. Each year MURAL cardholders must renew their membership by providing proof of valid membership in their home library.

NOTE: Reference materials do not circulate. Special demand for some topics may cause limits on the number of books borrowed on a single topic. Please ask at Circulation Desk for further clarification on borrowing policies.

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Collection Development Policy



The Scotch Plains Public Library and the Fanwood Memorial Library have entered into a shared, cooperative partnership to deliver the highest quality, cost-effective library services to both communities. The libraries agree to create and enact uniform policies and procedures whenever possible.


The Scotch Plains Public Library and Fanwood Memorial Library have agreed to share both a title and patron database in order to most effectively serve both communities.

  • Both libraries will retain autonomy in purchase selection and collection maintenance.
  • Both libraries will consider shared needs when making decisions on unique purchases and removal of items from the collection.
  • Both libraries will endeavor to explore shared collection development in a variety of topics and subject areas.
  • Both libraries will strive to complement rather than duplicate each other’s collection, thereby providing patrons with a broad and current selection of materials.


The mission of the Scotch Plains Public Library is to welcome and support our entire community with resources and services that enhance lifelong learning.

The mission of the Fanwood Memorial Library is to add value to the community by providing citizens of all ages with library services of high professional quality; to meet their evolving and on-going needs for educational, cultural, and recreational information; to promote literacy and lifelong learning; and to foster a love of reading.


  • To guide the libraries in selecting and maintaining a balanced and broad collection in a variety of formats
  • To provide useful, current information sources that reflect a wide range of interests, opinions, and viewpoints
  • To complement rather than duplicate the collections of the local school district
  • To follow a user-centered philosophy for the communities
  • To assist in determining budget allocation for acquired material
  • To ensure that the collections reflect the priorities of the libraries’ long range plans
  • To defend freedom of information and to provide on equal terms, free, open and equal access and service to all individuals and groups

The Scotch Plains Public Library and Fanwood Memorial Library endorse the American Library Associations Bill of Rights, The Freedom to Read and The Freedom to View Statements.


The Library Directors will be responsible for the collection development for the libraries in accordance with general policies established by the Library Boards. The Directors may delegate material selection and withdrawal responsibilities for specific areas within the collection to members of the staff who are qualified to perform collection development duties.


Reading, listening to, and viewing library materials are individual and private matters. It is the right and responsibility of each individual library user to select the materials that he/she will use. Parents have the primary duty and responsibility to guide and supervise the reading, listening, and viewing habits of their children. The Scotch Plains Public Library and The Fanwood Memorial Library cannot assume such a role “in loco parentis.”

The libraries do not mark or identify materials to show approval or disapproval of their contents. Materials are not labeled to restrict their use by age, nor will they be sequestered, except to protect valuable items from injury or theft. Placement in a special location does not imply censorship.


The selection of materials for the libraries’ collection is based on accepted professional standards. Recommendations may come from any of the following sources:

  • Professional review journals
  • Standard bibliographic sources
  • Media reviews
  • Publisher’s catalogs
  • Suggestions from library patrons
  • Any other appropriate reviewing media

Suggestions from library patrons will be accommodated when the item requested meets the libraries’ selection standards. If the item is not purchased, every effort will be made to obtain the item through interlibrary loan for the patron’s use.

Materials will be selected to meet high standards in quality, format, content and expression. These criteria will include, but may not be limited to the following:

  • Maintaining an integrated and well balanced collection
  • Appeal and relevance to the community
  • Informational or educational value
  • Popularity of the author or particular title
  • Opinion of critics and reviewers
  • Literary merit
  • Recreational value
  • Relevance to the existing collection’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Usefulness to the staff as a professional tool
  • Timeliness of the materials
  • Suitability of format
  • Budgetary limitations
  • Relevance to the libraries’ mission and goals.
  • Relevance to the history of the Township of Scotch Plains or the Borough of Fanwood


The Scotch Plains Public Library and Fanwood Memorial Library are pleased to accept donations of both money and materials to support our library services.

Money donated to the libraries as a memorial, in honor of a person, or as a gift, will be used to purchase items needed for the collection. These items will be selected according to the Criteria for Selection of Library Materials. If the donor requests items be purchased in a particular subject area, every effort will be made to purchase in that area.

The libraries accept gifts of materials without commitment as to their final disposition. Materials that are donated to the libraries will be evaluated by the same criteria as purchased materials. Once accepted, donated materials become the exclusive property of the library. The library will assume responsibility for the disposition of these materials in the manner it deems appropriate.


The collection as a whole is not archival. In order to maintain a collection that is current, accurate, and inviting to library users, materials are withdrawn on a systematic and continuing basis. The choice of materials to be withdrawn is determined by the professional staff under the supervision of the Directors. The following factors will be taken into consideration:

  • Timeliness
  • Subject coverage available in the collection
  • Age of material
  • Physical condition
  • Frequency of circulation
  • Number of copies
  • Compliance with the Criteria for Selection of Library Materials
  • Space limitations


Patrons who feel that an inappropriate item has been selected for the collection may request that said item be reconsidered or withdrawn. In such a situation, the following steps shall be taken:

  1. The staff member to whom the question is first addressed will discuss the complaint with the patron. If the patron is not satisfied with the result of this discussion, the patron will be provided with a Request for Reconsideration of Materials form. This completed form will be given to the Director.
  2. The Director will review the request, evaluate the original reason for purchase, and consider the objection in terms of the Collection Development Policy. The Director will then reply in writing to the patron. A patron who is not satisfied with this reply may request a review by the Library Board of Trustees.
  3. When such an appeal is received by the Library Board of Trustees, it will discuss the complaint at the next regularly scheduled meeting. The patron will be invited to attend this meeting and notified in a timely manner of the Board’s decision.

During the process of reconsideration, the questioned item shall remain in the collection.

Download the Request for Reconsideration of Materials form.

Adopted Scotch Plains Library Board of Trustees 5/17/2006

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Computer Policy

Scotch Plains Public Library makes the Internet available as an information and educational resource in support of our role as the community’s information and lifelong learning center. In addition to the PC workstations provided for public use, library patrons may use their own devices to access the library’s wireless service.

This service may be used to access any resource, engage in any communication, or conduct any activity available on the Internet provided such activity can be done with standard web browsers, with these exceptions:

• Users may not send, receive, or display text or graphics that may reasonably be construed as obscene.
• Users may not use this resource for any illegal purpose.
• Users may not in any way alter, reconfigure, or damage the public access stations of the Scotch Plains Public Library.
• Users may not modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others by seeking unauthorized access to any computer system, or damaging or altering software components of any network, host server or database.

In order to prevent viruses and protect the integrity of the workstations:

• Do not install software of any kind.
• Do not download any plug-ins.
• Do not save files to the hard drive. Files are erased each time the computer is rebooted.

Who may use public computers

Scotch Plains, Fanwood, and MURAL cardholders:

• SPPL requires a registered library card in order to access library computers. Scotch Plains, Fanwood, and MURAL cardholders must log in with their valid library card.
• Persons who have a valid Scotch Plains, Fanwood, or MURAL library card are permitted up to two (2) 60 minute sessions per day, but will be limited to one (1) hour if others are waiting.
• Scotch Plains or Fanwood residents who do not already possess a valid library card will be issued one as a new member upon presentation of acceptable ID (see “How do I get a library card”)
• MURAL residents may register their home town library card at the Circulation Desk (Click here to view the list of MURAL libraries)

Guest Pass Policy:

Visitors to SPPL who are from outside the MURAL library network may be eligible to use library computers with a guest pass. To obtain a guest pass, an acceptable form of photo ID must be presented. A guest pass allows one (1) 60 minute session and is valid only on the date issued.

• Visitors 13 years of age or older may request a guest pass from the Reference Desk by showing valid identification. Visitors younger than age 13 must request a guest pass from the Children’s area.
• Guest passes will not be issued on a regular basis and are not intended to replace a valid library card for use of the computers. They are to be used by individuals who are visiting from out of the area.

Additional limits and restrictions:

• Terminals located in the Children’s area are reserved for use by children in grade 6 or younger and adults supervising young children.
• Children younger than aged 10 may use the computers in the Children’s Room only if accompanied for the entire period by a responsible adult or caregiver older than aged 16.

Parents or guardians are responsible for the Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children.

The library shall have no liability for direct, indirect or consequential damages related to the use of information accessed through the library’s Internet service or for damages related to the operation of, or failure of, the filtering software, or for its circumvention by users.

The availability of information via the library’s Internet service does not constitute endorsement of the content of that information by the library.

The library is not responsible for damage to users’ disks or computers or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from use of the library’s computers.

The library reserves the right to terminate an Internet session for inappropriate and/or illegal usage, or if time limits are exceeded when others are waiting.


• Printing costs 15 cents per page for black-and-white and 40 cents per page for color.
• Please make use of the “Print Preview” screen before sending a print job to the printer. You are responsible for all of the pages printed while you are logged on. It is your responsibility to know what you are printing out. If you are unsure of how to use the Print Preview screen, please ask the librarian.
• Some web sites offer a “Printable View” version of their pages that should be utilized whenever it is available. Please ask if you are unsure of how to use this feature.
• If you are printing a large PDF file, please send it to the printer 3 pages at a time. Large PDF files may cause the printer to stop working. Please ask the librarians for assistance.

Please note that users may not provide their own paper for use in Library printers.

Additional Information

• Earphones must be used for sound.
• Our terminals are unable to read floppy disks.
• We recommend using a USB memory drive to save your work. Terminals have USB ports for this purpose.
• If the mouse or keyboard is not used for a period of five (5) consecutive minutes, the session will be automatically terminated. This will happen even in the event that video is being streamed.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees, October 2018

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Library ethical rules state that it is a basic right of every individual to read what he or she wishes without fear of censure or legal consequences. Each person also has the right to privacy. The Scotch Plains Library will protect each user’s right to privacy with respect to all information required for registration, for all information sought and received, and for materials consulted, borrowed or acquired. Such records will not be made available to any individual, organization or government agency except pursuant to Education Code 18A:73-43:2, and under the authority of, and pursuant to, federal, state or local law relating to civil, criminal or administrative discovery procedures and with proper mandated paperwork.


Library records which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding users of libraries are confidential and shall not be disclosed except in the following circumstances:

  1. The records are necessary for the proper operation of the library;
    b. Disclosure is requested by the user; or
    c. Disclosure is required by pursuant to a subpoena issued by a court or court order.

L.1985,c.172,2,eff. May31, 1985

All staff of the Scotch Plains Public Library will receive notice of and instruction in proper procedures to be followed in the event of a legal request from local, state or federal authorities.

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The Scotch Plains Public Library provides display case and exhibit space consistent with the Library’s mission, programs and services, and which contribute positively to the Library’s environment.

  1. All exhibits and displays are to be reviewed by the Library Director or designee prior to set-up, with an agreed upon term of exhibit.
  2. Exhibits and displays are presented in an equitable basis, regardless of beliefs or affiliations of individuals and groups representing space.
  3. Religious and political exhibits and displays are permissible for informational purposes only; displays, which proselytize for a single point of view, will not be permitted.
  4. Exhibits and displays may not involve the sale, advertisement, solicitation or promotion of commercial products.
  5. The Scotch Plains Public Library is not responsible for any items that are lost, damaged or stolen while on exhibit or display. Insurance is the responsibility of the individual or group seeking permission to display inside the Library.
  6. A signed release must be filled out before exhibiting at the Library.
  7. The presentation of any display or exhibit does not imply any endorsement of the content by the Scotch Plains Public Library, its Trustees or staff.

Adopted May 15, 2003

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Interlibrary Loan

Request an Interlibrary Loan

  1. Who may request Interlibrary Loans?
  • Any Scotch Plains resident with an up-to-date Scotch Plains Library card may request an interlibrary loan.
  • Out-of-town residents must place interlibrary loan requests through their home libraries.
  1. Loan Period/Renewals/Recalls/Charges

DVDs and VHS tapes circulate for one (1) week only, with no renewals. All other materials may circulate for two (2) weeks. If (non-film) items are returned on time, a one (1) week renewal can usually be granted within our system. If a patron insists on a two-week renewal, we will make the request via JerseyCat, with the understanding that such requests are often denied and items are then recalled for immediate return. If denied, the patron must return the item immediately, losing the option for a one (1) week renewal.

Interlibrary loans may be recalled at any time.

All ILL videos will be charged $1.00 per week.

  1. New Books:

The library will decline interlibrary loan requests for items published within fewer than six (6) months of the request. This is because libraries usually do not lend such new items via ILL.

  1. ILL Limit
  • Patrons may have up to five (5) items in process at any time (checked out/requested/sent to us).
  • Items that patrons borrow in person from other MURAL libraries do NOT count towards this total.
  1. Unavailable Items

Some items may be unavailable through interlibrary loan. Scotch Plains Public Library will decline an interlibrary loan request if the item is in our shared collection (Fanwood & Scotch Plains), even if it is checked out or on hold. Exceptions will be made for lost or missing items.

Items that have been borrowed and returned may not be requested again within a six (6) month period.

  1. Overdue Interlibrary Loans

Patrons with overdue interlibrary loan items will be notified by phone. If the item(s) remains outstanding, a notification letter will be sent. If the item is returned within ten (10) days of the mailing, the patron will be charged our customary overdue fines. If the item is not returned within ten (10) days of the mailing, the patron’s account will be billed for the cost of replacing the item(s), with a minimum charge of $25.00 per item.

Interlibrary loan is a costly and time consuming process.
We urge patrons to use their MURAL borrowing privileges to pick up books in person at participating MURAL libraries whenever practicable. Librarians will help locate likely sources for them.
Interlibrary loan should be reserved for non-local and hard-to-find items.

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Meeting Room

Download the Bertha Curran Meeting Room Usage Application.


The primary purpose of the Scotch Plains Public Library’s meeting room is to support library programs and activities. Therefore, library and library sponsored programs take precedence over all other activities in the scheduling of its meeting room space. The Scotch Plains Public Library reserves the right to prioritize meeting room use based on the following criteria:

  1. Library meetings or Library sponsored programs.
  2. Scotch Plains Township official meetings (including Scotch Plains Fanwood Public School related meetings), Union County, State, or Federal official meetings.
  3. Non-profit community organizations based in Scotch Plains.
  4. Use of the room by other groups and organizations may be considered on a case-by-case basis considering the value of the event to the Scotch Plains community.

The meeting room is not available to organizations based outside of Scotch Plains, commercial enterprises, or for private social functions. In addition, it may not be used for political or religious meetings.

Reservation of the Meeting Room

Applications for use of the meeting room must be submitted at least thirty days in advance of the date requested and must be reserved by an adult Scotch Plains cardholder in good standing.

Space cannot be reserved more than 3 months in advance and no groups are permitted to use the meeting room on a continuing basis for regularly scheduled meetings.  The meeting room is not available for use on Sundays.

The Library reserves the right to approve or reject request for meeting room use based on the availability of space and whether the proposed usage complies with the regulations set forth in this policy.

Download the Application for Use of the Meeting Room here or request a copy in person at the Library’s circulation desk. Applications must be submitted to the Administration office in person, by fax at 908-322-7592, or via email at [email protected]. Dates cannot be reserved by phone.

The library reserves the right to prohibit or terminate use of the premises at any time if the conduct of the group interferes with staff work or patron use of the library, is disruptive to library service or patrons, or is abusive or dangerous to the building, library materials, exhibits, furnishings, or individuals in the building.

In the event that the Library should close due to a weather or other emergency, every effort will be made to notify the booking group in a timely manner. The Library shall bear no responsibility for any associated program costs incurred by the booking group.

Fees for the Use of the Meeting Room

Meeting room fees will not be charged to Library or Governmental organizations. Donations to the Library Gift Fund in lieu of any fees are graciously accepted.

Hours of Use

The meeting room is available for use during regular library hours, with the exception of Sundays. All meetings must end 30 minutes before library closing time to allow cleanup and exit before the library is locked.

Set-up of the meeting room will be done by library personnel prior to the event. The library will not open prior to its normal hours of operation for room set-up.

Additional Rules for Use of Meeting Room

The following additional rules apply when using the Library’s meeting room:

  1. All meetings scheduled in the Library must be open to the general public. Groups may not charge admission fees for a meeting room event. Promotions or sales of services, products, merchandise, materials, or other items are prohibited.
  2. The meeting room is to be used for the stated purpose on the Usage Agreement only.
  3. Fundraising is prohibited, except for the benefit of the Scotch Plains Public Library or the Friends of the Scotch Plains Public Library.
  4. Selling of articles or pieces of artwork is not permitted.
  5. Authors and musicians are permitted to offer their books or CDs for sale after a speaking engagement or performance.
  6. If the room is to be used by minors, the application must be made by an adult who will attend the meeting and be responsible for the conduct of those present.
  7. A representative from the group must both sign in at the circulation desk and sign out when leaving recording the actual number of attendees.
  8. Light refreshments may be served with prior approval. A refundable custodial fee of $50.00 applies when bringing food into the meeting room. Groups must provide their own supplies and are responsible for cleaning up the room when finished. Kitchen facilities are not available and storage for food cannot be provided.
  9. Areas designated as staff lounges are for the use of Library staff only.
  10. Tobacco, alcohol, and games of chance are prohibited.
  11. Groups may not hang signs, posters, displays, or other decorations in the meeting room.
  12. The sponsoring group or individual making application for use of the meeting room assumes all responsibility for damage to library property and for leaving the premises in the condition in which it was found. This includes the arrangement of furnishings and the cleanup of trash.
  13. The Library is not obligated to lend Library equipment. The meeting room has built-in A/V equipment and free wireless Internet. A group may bring its own laptop to connect to our video equipment. Please notify us in advance of any needs and to arrange for an introduction to the Library’s A/V equipment.
  14. Groups must provide their own supplies such as pencils, paper, easels, etc. Supplies cannot be stored on premises.
  15. Any publicity referring to an event by a non-Library group should clearly designate the sponsoring organization and explicitly state that the Scotch Plains Public Library does not endorse the policies, beliefs, or activities of the sponsoring organization.
  16. All incorporated groups wishing to use the Meeting Room must have liability insurance to cover their meeting.


Permission to use the meeting room does not imply Library endorsement of the goals, policies, or activities of any group or organization.

The Library is not responsible for loss or damage of equipment, supplies, materials, or any personal property owned by those sponsoring or attending meetings at the Library.

Adopted October 7, 2015

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Resident of Scotch Plains

  • Any resident of Scotch Plains may apply for a free library card. Proof of residence in the Township is required at the time of application. This may be a driver’s license, lease agreement, tax bill or utility bill with the address and name listed. Additional forms of identification may be acceptable if the information clearly determines address.
  • Cards are issued for three years, at which time, the cardholder will be asked to reconfirm address and phone number for our records.
  • Replacement cards may be obtained at no charge by coming to the library.
  • Juvenile residents must have a parent or guardian present identification and sign as the responsible party for any lost or damaged materials.
  • Temporary cards will be issued for three months for those who are visiting the Township for an extended visit or work. A letter must be presented by a Scotch Plains resident affirming the temporary residence of the individual applying for borrowing privileges.

Out-of-Town Residents

  • Those who work or own a business within the township may apply for a courtesy card that is valid for one year or as long as the individual continues to work within the township. Proper home identification is required as well as proof of employment. This may be a worker’s ID, pay stub or a letter from the firm confirming employment.
  • Residents from other Union and Middlesex County towns and cities that participate in MURAL may apply for a non-resident card that is valid for one year. To receive this card, proper home identification is required as well as confirmation from the individual’s home library that the patron holds a valid library card in good standing. Each year, these cards must be renewed by confirming home library status. Since some libraries have different hours than Scotch Plains, there may be a waiting period if the home library is not available to confirm status and accept responsibility for the patron. In this case, every effort will be made to hold materials desired until the proper credentials can be issued.
  • Non-residents may opt to purchase a Scotch Plains Public Library card which will be valid for one year.  The cost of the card is established by the Library Board of Trustees.  When purchased, only one card shall be issued to the purchaser. In no case shall multiple cards be issued, and duplicate cards shall not be issued to other members of the purchaser’s family.  Such a card will entitle the purchaser to the same borrowing privileges as a resident Scotch Plains Public Library cardholder.   The 2019 fee for a paid membership is $90.00 per card.

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Notary Public Service

The Scotch Plains Public Library is unable to provide Notary service at this time.

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Proctor Policy

The Scotch Plains Public Library professional staff will offer to proctor student exams under the following guidelines:

  1. Proctoring of exams is limited to Scotch Plains resident cardholders in good standing.
  2. To arrange to have an exam proctored, the student should come to the library to arrange date and time for exams, and to complete any preliminary paperwork. Arrangements must be made at least one week in advance.
  3. It is the student’s responsibility to verify that the proctoring conditions provided by Scotch Plains Public Library meet any requirements of the school administering the test. The library reserves the right to cancel a proctored exam if the school’s requirements cannot be met.
  4. The library will not be able to provide a computer for online tests.
  5. A librarian will proctor the exam, which must be completed in the adult section of the library during open library hours. The library is a public space, and the student cannot expect a distraction-free environment. The library cannot provide a designated quiet area for test-taking.
  6. The librarian cannot monitor the student continuously, but will check on the student periodically.
  7. The student must show ID before taking the exam.
  8. The student should provide postage for mailing the examination, but the library will mail the exam within twenty-four hours of the actual test.
  9. The student is responsible for providing supplies such as pencils, paper, or calculators, which are not provided by the school administering the test.
  10. All examinations should be mailed to the Scotch Plains Public Library, Attn: Adult Services Department, 1927 Bartle Avenue, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076.

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Scotch Plains Public Library Safe Child Policy

Exceptional service is of high priority to the Scotch Plains Public Library; the library is dedicated to providing a welcoming, exciting, and safe environment for its customers. While children of all ages are welcome and encouraged to use the library’s materials, programs, and services, parents and caregivers must be aware that the library is an open, public building and the well-being and safety of young children left alone or unsupervised is a serious concern. It is for the safety of each child that the library has adopted the Safe Child Policy.

An unattended child may be defined as a child unable to care for himself/herself when left in the Library without a parent or responsible adult within sight or sound range, any child left unattended for long periods of time, or any child not picked up at closing time.

Parents or guardians, not library staff, are responsible for the safety, care, and supervision of their children while at the library.


• Children aged 10 and younger must be supervised by, and remain in immediate proximity to, a parent or caregiver aged 16 or older at all times.
• Middle School and High School students (Grades 5-12) are welcome to use the library unattended provided they comply with the library’s Code of Conduct, which includes but is not limited to the prohibition of food and drink, foul language, disruptive cell phone usage, and horseplay. Students using the library unaccompanied are still the legal responsibility of their parent(s) or guardian(s).
• Parents or caregivers are responsible for being aware of the library’s hours of operation if leaving their child unaccompanied at the library.
• Library staff will not physically prevent a child from leaving the library, assume responsibility for a child, accompany, or transport an unrelated child off library premises.
• A staff member who discovers an unattended child younger than age 10 will attempt to contact the parent or guardian of the child. If a parent or guardian cannot be contacted, the library will notify the Scotch Plains Police Department.
• When the library closes, staff will attempt to contact the parent or guardian of any unattended child. If a parent or guardian cannot be located or contacted within 15 minutes, the Scotch Plains Police Department will be notified. Two library staff members will wait with the child until the police arrive.

Emergency Closings

The library may have sudden emergencies, such as lack of heat or electricity, that may necessitate the library closing without warning. Significant inclement weather may also necessitate the library closing. Children should know what to do if the library must close unexpectedly. If a child is left unattended during an emergency closing, then the same guidelines outlined above under regularly scheduled closings will apply.

Violation of the Safe Child Policy may result in suspension of library privileges for the family.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees, October 2018

School Visit Policy

Teachers and librarians are working toward the same goals. The Scotch Plains Public Library welcomes area schools who would like to request a field trip to the library. In order to provide meaningful use of the library and resources, library staff must be prepared for group needs and must ensure that the visit will not conflict with other group visits or events.

Schools and groups of 6 or more individuals should prearrange visits a minimum of four weeks in advance. Activities are customized to the age or grade of participants and may include information about library resources, story sharing, and a library tour.

To schedule a field trip for your class, please contact Lanora Melillo, Head of Youth Serices at 908-322-5007, ext. 209.

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Surveillance Policy


The Scotch Plains Public Library strives to maintain a safe and secure environment for staff and community members using our facility. It is the Board’s policy to employ video security surveillance systems to document daily activities at the facility as deemed necessary by the Library Director. Security cameras may be installed in situations and locations where the security of either equipment or people would be enhanced. Employees and service providers are to review and comply with the Policy, Administrative Guidelines, and relevant federal and state laws in performing their duties and functions related to the operation of the video surveillance system. Furthermore, cameras will be positioned to only record identified public areas and exit/entrance areas. Video security surveillance systems complement other means being used to promote and foster a safe and secure environment. Surveillance activities involving the collection, retention, use, disclosure and disposal of personal information in the form of video surveillance shall not be used or disclosed for purposes other than those for which it was collected, except with the consent of the individual or as required by law. The focus of the cameras used in video surveillance will not cover areas where there is an expectation of privacy.
Adopted by the Scotch Plains Public Library Board of Trustees
RES: 08-20
February 21, 2008

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Telescope Policy

The Library’s telescope can be checked out by a SPPL resident card holder who is 18 years of age or older AND in good standing. The cardholder must present current I.D. and proof of address (i.e., a driver’s license or current utility bill) and sign a new Lending Policy and Agreement each time the Telescope is borrowed. To view our entire telescope policy, please visit the Telescope Policy.

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Tutoring Policy

Tutoring in the Library is a privilege granted by the Scotch Plains Public Library (SPPL) as part of its service to the community. All tutors who arrange to meet in the library must sign a SPPL Tutor Agreement. Tutoring will not be permitted to interfere with the use of the Library by other community members.

SPPL does not sponsor, recommend, or assume liability or responsibility for the work and/or activities of tutors who use library space. All arrangements must be made between the tutor, students, and parents.

The following regulations apply to all tutoring which takes place in the library:

  • The Library will provide a designated area for tutoring as space permits. Tutoring is limited to the gallery area in the lower level at the following times: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm ; Tuesday and Friday from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. At all other times the tables are reserved exclusively for library programs.
  • The tutoring area is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The Library reserves the right to assign tutoring locations or relocate tutors in the building.
  • Several tutors may be using the same space at one time.
  • Tutors may work with a maximum of two (2) students per tutor per session.
  • Tutoring sessions must end 30 minutes prior to closing time.
  • Individual study carrels in the library are reserved exclusively for individual reading and study. Tutoring is not permitted in study carrels.
  • Tutors are responsible for establishing communication protocols for their students and the student’s parents. Library staff will not relay messages to tutors or students. Library phones are not available for use for incoming or outgoing calls.
  • Tutors must provide their own supplies, including paper, pens, staplers, etc. The public photocopier is available at a cost per copy if copies are needed.
  • Tutors are responsible for the behavior of students being tutored during the tutoring session. Appropriate noise levels will be observed at all times.
  • SPPL recommends that a parent/adult legal guardian accompany a child who is being tutored for the duration of the session. SPPL assumes no responsibility for children left unattended.
  • Children who are tutored in the library are the responsibility of the tutor while on library property until released to a parent/adult legal guardian and/or authorized transportation.
  • SPPL does not sponsor, recommend, or assume liability or responsibility for the work and/or activities of tutors who use library space. All arrangements must be made between the tutor, students, and parents.
  • Tutors may not publish or distribute advertisements, flyers, letters, press releases or e-mails identifying the Library as their place of doing business or imply SPPL sponsorship of their activities.
    Tutors may not solicit library patrons while in the Library.
  • SPPL reserves the right to restrict or ban tutoring at any time without prior notice in the event that library staff determines that it interferes with Library programs or use of the Library by other community members.

Approved by Scotch Plains Public Library Board of Trustees, June 15, 2017

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Volunteer Policy

1. Adult volunteers

Adult volunteers (minimum age of 18) must be Scotch Plains residents and Scotch Plains Public Library cardholders in good standing.  

Qualifying adults may inquire any time about volunteering to adopt-a-shelf, coming in once a month to straighten and put in order a section of the Adult Room collection. Volunteers choose a favorite area of  interest and devote an hour or two once a month to its upkeep.  

We also welcome adult volunteers on an “as-needed” basis for work such as shelving library materials and helping set up for occasional  library events.   

Inquire in the Adult Room.

2. Teen Volunteers (Grades 6-12)
There are two different ways for Scotch Plains and Fanwood students in grades 6-12 to volunteer at the Scotch Plains Public Library.  All Teen volunteers must complete submit an application, complete an interview and attend two mandatory training sessions before they begin volunteering.

A. Teen Advisory Board

The first way is by signing up for the library’s Teen Advisory Board (TAB). Students who are interested should fill out an application and turn it in at the Youth Services Desk. TAB members help plan and implement programs for youth and give their feedback on services offered to teens. Members earn volunteer hours through participating in meetings, assisting in library events and through writing book reviews (a total of 12 hours per calendar year may be earned. Each review counts as 1 hour).

TAB meetings will be held monthly on Wednesdays, unless otherwise noted, and members are required to attend at least 6 meetings within a year from the time they turn in their applications in order to remain active. New members may apply at any time!

Click here to download a copy of the Teen Advisory Board Application

Click here to view the Teen Volunteer Rules and Procedures.

B. Teen Volunteers

The second way is by becoming a Teen Volunteer. Students who need to complete required community service hours or are interested in helping out at the library are welcome to sign up during the first week of each quarter of the year (January 2-January 10, April 1-April 10, July 1-July 10 or October 1-October 9).

There are several types of volunteer work. We have reoccurring weekly shifts, monthly, shifts and as-needed shifts available.

Weekly volunteers will be assigned tasks such as shelving recently returned titles or shelf reading during a specific time, for example: every Wednesday from 4pm-4:30pm. As-needed and monthly volunteers may sign up for specific tasks such as craft preparation or program help. Volunteers should sign up for only one as needed task per week, unless otherwise noted. Weekly volunteers may sign up for one additional as-needed task per week. This is to ensure all volunteers have an opportunity to contribute. Please note that due a high volume of applicants, weekly positions are not guaranteed and are given out on a first come, first served basis.

Click here to download a copy of the Teen Volunteer Application.

Click here to view the Teen Volunteer Rules and Procedures.

3. Volunteers working with job coaches

The library will consider accepting, on a case-by-case basis, volunteers who will report to work with a job coach or certified employment specialist from an accredited educational institution or agency. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. They must be Scotch Plains residents and Scotch Plains Public Library cardholders in good standing, or members of Scotch Plains Public Library’s Next Chapter Book Clubs.

3. Volunteers working with job coaches

The library will consider accepting, on a case-by-case basis, volunteers who will report to work with a job coach or certified employment specialist from an accredited educational institution or agency. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. They must be Scotch Plains residents and Scotch Plains Public Library cardholders in good standing, or members of Scotch Plains Public Library’s Next Chapter Book Clubs.

4.Next Step Library Intern Program

This is a special volunteer opportunity open to a limited number of qualified applicants each year. It affords the opportunity to spend one morning or afternoon working at the library each week (2-3 hours). This program is intended for individuals who have trained at this library with a job coach or certified employment specialist, and are now preparing to volunteer on their own. (over) Applicants must: Be residents of Scotch Plains and Scotch Plains Public Library cardholders in good standing, or members in good standing of one of Scotch Plains Public Library’s Next Chapter Book Clubs. Have worked at this library with a job coach or certified employment specialist affiliated with a state-approved or state-licensed agency for at least six months before applying for Next Step. Have both the job coach’s and the librarian’s (Head of Adult Services) recommendation, based on the coach’s experience with the applicant, and the librarian’s observations, that the applicant can do the job that he/she has trained with the coach for, independently and with minimal assistance or supervision from the library staff. In addition, the applicant’s demeanor must be appropriate to the library.

Next Step interns must bring needed skills and positive attitude to enrich the library, just as they will derive real-life job experience from their work here. An intern’s participation can be curtailed at any time at the determination of the Library Director or Head of Adult Services. Reasons for such action include, but are not limited to, inability to work independently to the degree required for the task, inappropriate behavior that continues after discussion with the intern, excessive absences that adversely affect the completion of assigned work, and neglecting to call to report absences.

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