Goal of the Policy

The mission of the Sargent Memorial Library is to make available a wide variety of library materials, provide up to date and accurate information, and to offer services and programs desired by the Boxborough community. The Library collection is specifically selected to satisfy the informational, recreational, educational, and cultural needs of the community. As a basis of this policy, the Board of Library Trustees endorses the principles of intellectual freedom stated in the “Library Bill of Rights” adopted by the American Library Association.

The purpose of the Sargent Memorial Library Materials Selection Policy is to guide the Library staff and to inform the public about the principles upon which the Library’s collection is built. The intent is to provide a basis for building and maintaining the Library’s information resources in a manner that is both cost effective and relevant to library users.

Responsibility and Criteria for Materials Selection

Ultimate responsibility for materials selection policy lies with the Board of Library Trustees. The Board delegates to the Library Director the selection of library materials and the development of the collection. Professional staff members aid in this selection process after consulting professional review media. Staff members consult with each other to review the needs of the community as documented in statistics and patron requests. Final responsibility for the purchase of materials resides with the Library Director. The following factors influence the selection process:

  • Community Interests and Needs: Recognizing that any community contains people with different backgrounds, sensibilities, personalities, interests, and needs, the Library must strive to provide materials that balance all elements. A conscious effort will be made to create an unbiased collection, thereby avoiding one set of religious, political, or moral values in the selection process.
  • Merits of Items:  Non-fiction will be selected on the basis of its timeliness, accuracy, authoritativeness, and clarity, relation to the existing collection and relevancy to the community. Fiction works will be considered on the basis of the quality of the writing, significance of the author, popular appeal, permanent values, and relevancy to the community. The final selection of items is based on favorable reviews in professional journals, inclusion in professional bibliographies, and/or examination by Library staff.
  • Materials are selected on the basis of the content as a whole, rather than focusing on isolated passages, and without regard to the personal history of the author. In no case is any item included or excluded merely because of race, nationality, or the political or religious views of the author. In the case of controversial issues, variety, diversity, and balance of opinion are represented whenever available. Serious works, which present an honest aspect of life, are not necessarily excluded for frankness of expression.
  • Constraints: Duplication of titles is determined by popularity and importance of the item. The materials budget, the existing collection, the limits of shelf space, and the availability of the work elsewhere are further limitations on the selection materials. The Library seeks to draw upon the collection and resources made available through the C/W MARS network, and the Massachusetts Regional Library System to provide effective use of the budget, and reduce unnecessary duplication of resources.

Criteria for Removal

In order to facilitate a relevant collection of resources, the collection must be maintained by evaluating what has been obtained and withdrawing items no longer appropriate. The withdrawal of outdated materials is as crucial to the maintenance of a useful and viable collection as is the selection process.

Frequency of circulation, community interests, and availability of newer and more valid materials are of prime consideration. Local history is an exception. Fiction, once popular but no longer in demand, is removed from the collection, as are nonfiction materials which are determined to be no longer accurate or current.

Reconsideration of Materials

Sargent Memorial Library adheres to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement, and the Freedom to View Statement. The library’s collection is developed to serve the needs and interests of a diverse population. The materials are curated carefully and every patron has the right to peruse them.  Patrons are free to read, listen to, or view any library material, or decline the ones they do not approve. Patrons cannot infringe upon the right of other patrons to read, listen to, or view the materials. Responsibility for materials selected and used by minors lies with their parents or legal guardians. If a patron has concerns over the inclusion of a material in the library’s collection and would like to request it be reconsidered, the patron must:

1.      Be a resident of the Town of Boxborough; only residents may request that a material be reconsidered.

2.      Have read, viewed, seen, or heard the material.

3.      Review the Sargent Memorial Library Collection Development Policy and the Library Bill of Rights.

4.      Complete the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form and submit it directly to the Library Director. Once received, the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials will be presented to the Trustees in the next Library Board of Trustees meeting. A decision will be voted on in the subsequent meeting. The material that is challenged shall remain in the collection until a final decision of removal has been made.

Approved the Board of Library Trustees 12/15/2021

Gifts and Donations

Gifts and donations of materials accepted by the Sargent Memorial Library are subject to the same process as purchased materials. They are considered with explicit understanding that such factors as duplication, merit, lack of community interest, processing costs, physical condition of the materials, or inadequate shelf space may prevent their addition to the collection or permanent retention on the shelves. Gifts and donations are accepted with the understanding that the Library may, at any time, discard them or offer them for sale through the Friends of the Boxborough Library book sales.

Approved by the Board of Library Trustees 3/04/08
Last Reviewed 09/05/2019


Patrons are able to have 50 items, including up to 20 DVDs, checked out under their account, and place up to 20 holds at a time with their library card.

Library Materials can be borrowed for the following length of time:  

Material TypeLoan Period
Books, books on CD, Playaways, CDs3 weeks
New books2 week
DVDs1 week
Magazines1 week
Library of Things Collection2 weeks (no renewal)

Borrowed materials can be renewed online once through the patron's library account. The patron is responsible for returning borrowed items on time, and for any fines and fees associated with overdue or non-returned items.

Borrowing Guidelines for Library of Things
  • Borrowers must have a valid CW MARS Library card and no outstanding Library fines above $10.

  • Borrowers must be 18 years old or older.

  • Items can be borrowed for 2 weeks at a time with no renewals.

  • Items can only be checked out and returned in person at the Sargent Memorial Library circulation desk. The only exception are the hotspots which can be returned via the bookdrop.

  • Items cannot be returned to other libraries.

  • An item can be re-checked out to the previous borrower after it has been returned for 24 hours.

  • A borrower may have up to 2 items checked out at a time.

  • The Library reserves the right to refuse the loan of any Library of Things item at its sole discretion.

Fines and Liabilities for the Library of Things Collection
  • The Library is not responsible for any manufacturing defects in quality of workmanship or materials inherent in any borrowed tools and equipment.
  • By checking out any of the items, the borrower is certifying that they are capable of using that item in a safe and proper manner, and acknowledging that the Library is not responsible for any use or training associated with the items borrowed.
  • Late fines accrue at a rate of $1.00 per day per item. Replacement cost will be charged to the borrower if the item was not returned within 28 days past the original due date.
  • The borrower is solely responsible for the item and will be billed for reasonable repair or replacement costs associated with damage or loss of items and/or accessories. A list of the replacement costs of the items is maintained by the Library and is available upon request.
  • Responsibility for a child’s use of an item rests with their parent or guardian.
  • The borrower understands that any use of the items is undertaken at their own risk. The library is not responsible for injury, loss, or damage that may occur through the use of the item.
  • The borrower agrees to report any damage to the Library immediately.

Overdue Fines and Lost and Damaged Items Policy

  1. Sargent Memorial Library strives to provide patrons free access to a wide array of information resources. To that end, the library has eliminated late fees for books, audiobooks, DVDs, CDs, video games, and book kits that belong to Sargent Memorial Library.
  2. Materials from other libraries will accrue fines following the policies of the lending library.
  3. Museum passes and circulating equipment, such as Hotspots, telescopes, and ukuleles, will incur a $1.00 daily fine for each overdue item.
  4. Patron privileges for accounts exceeding $10 of late fees and replacement costs are suspended.

Patrons will receive different types of notices regarding the status of their item:

  1. Two days before an item is due: a courtesy reminder about the due date.
  2. On the original due date: a renewal notice notifying the borrower on whether the item has been successfully auto-renewed by the library system.
  3. 14 days after the due date: an overdue notice.

Any item not returned within 28 days after its due date will be marked as “lost” and patron will be billed for the replacement cost.

Lost and Damaged Items

Patrons are responsible to pay for lost, missing, or damaged items at the cost of replacement.

Paying Fines

Patrons can pay their fines in person at the library with cash or check (made out to the Town of Boxborough), or online through their Library Account.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees 09/05/2019

The Internet offers a wealth of information that enables libraries to augment Sargent Memorial Library’s collections. Sargent Memorial Library (the Library) does not control or monitor materials available on the Internet. Sargent Memorial Library assumes no responsibility for Internet content, including information that may be inaccurate or out-of-date. While much of the information on the Internet is professionally and culturally enriching, there may be material that is offensive to some individuals, or that may be illegal. Parents and guardians, not the Library or its staff, are responsible for information accessed by their children. Sargent Memorial Library endorses the ALA Library Bill of Rights, its interpretations, and in particular Access to Electronic Information, Services and Networks (http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill). Sargent Memorial Library is committed to the protection of patron privacy in their use of the Internet.

Prohibited uses include:

  • Using the Internet for illegal purposes
  • Using the Internet in violation of the Massachusetts General Law 272 Section 31, the Harmful to Minors statute.
  • Unauthorized copying of copyright-protected material in any format.
  • Viewing child pornography or attempting to use sexually explicit images to entice a child may be reported to the Police.
  • Transmission of chain mail, broadcast letters, or junk mail of any type.
  • Transmission of threatening, harassing, defamatory or obscene materials.
  • Unauthorized access to remote computer systems.
  • Unauthorized use of computer accounts, access codes, or network identification code/numbers assigned to others.
  • Destruction of or damage to equipment, software or data.
  • Disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications.
  • Violation of computer system security.
  • Violation of software license agreements.
  • Violation of network usage policies.
  • Violation of another user's privacy.

Failure to comply with a request from a library staff member to abide by these rules may result in suspension from the Library or reporting to legal authorities.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees 07/2016
Last Reviewed 09/05/2019

Social media are websites and applications that enable users to create and share information, ideals, personal messages, or other content (“post”). The Sargent Memorial Library (“Library”) uses its social media channels primarily to inform the public about Library programs, events, and materials. The Library also uses social media to encourage dialogue and exchange of information between the Library and Library staff. These channels include but are not limited to: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. 

The Library welcomes users to comment on Library posts, and about library-related subjects, resources, and programs. The Library’s social media uses adhere to the Town of Boxborough’s Social Media Use Policy. The contents on the Library’s social media account may be considered public records under Massachusetts Public Records laws. If requested, the Library must disclose public records to third party requestors unless certain exemptions apply. Users should have no expectation of privacy in postings on Library’s social media sites, and by utilizing these sites, users consent to this policy and the Library’s right to access, monitor and read any postings on the sites.

Users are personally responsible for their commentary on the Library’s social media channels and should be aware that they may be held personally liable for commentary that is defamatory, obscene, proprietary, or libelous by any offended party. Postings by patrons do not indicate Library endorsement of the ideas, issues, or opinions expressed in posts on the Library’s social media accounts. 

The Library reserves the right to restrict or remove any content that is deemed to be in violation of this policy or any applicable law. Content and comments on the library’s social media channels containing any of the following are not allowed and will be removed immediately:

  1. Obscenity or pornography.
  2. Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination and/or harassment on the basis of race, creed, color, age, gender, marital status, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, ancestry, or other protected characteristics.
  3. Disparaging, harassing, abusive, profane or offensive postings.
  4. Proprietary, or confidential information about any person, business, or entity, including patrons, vendors, the Library, or Library partners.
  5. Content that violates or potentially violates local, state, or federal laws, including intellectual property and copyright laws.
  6. Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity.
  7. Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems.
  8. Content not related to library business, programs, events, resources, and materials.
  9. Spam.
  10. Advertising or sale of merchandise or services.
  11. Charitable solicitations or political campaigning.

Users are expected to follow the terms and conditions set by third party social media platforms, and the appropriate Federal and State laws.

The Library does not use social media platforms to document or address Library user problems and concerns, or influence Library policy, procedures, or programs. The Library asks that complaints be conveyed directly to the Library Director so they can be addressed quickly. 

Violations of this policy:

Postings which the Library in its sole discretion, deems unpermitted under this policy, may be removed in whole or in part by the Library or its agents immediately upon discovery by the Library (or its agent) without prior notice. The Library reserves the right to terminate library accounts, ban or block users who have posted in violation of this policy on more than one occasion.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees 09/05/2019
Revision approved by the Library Board of Trustees 7/6/2022

There are two bulletin boards in the library:

Bulletin board in the foyer
Only library events and announcements are posted on this board.

Bulletin board in the printer/copier corner
Town-related and non-profit organizations can have community related fliers posted on this board. Other brochures and handouts can be placed on the shelf underneath.

Further policies:

  • Notices for commercial or business purposes will not be displayed.
  • The Director must approve all requests for postings and/or distribution of notices. Items posted on any of the bulletin boards will be dated and initialed.
  • Library staff will discard notices and signs that are posted without prior approval.
  • Due to limited space, the library reserves the right to limit the time available for display and the number of publications supplied by any one person or group.
  • Posters over 8.5x11 will be discouraged and posted only if room is available.
  • Notices and materials displayed longer than one month are subject to removal.
  • Obsolete notices will be removed and discarded by library staff.
  • The library subscribes to the equitable use of its bulletin boards and distribution centers regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of the individuals or groups requesting use.
  • Posting or distribution of notices within the library does not constitute an endorsement of an organization's policies or beliefs.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees 09/05/2019

The Library acknowledges the great importance of gifts and donations to the Library’s future growth and development. In recognition of such, the Library welcomes gifts of cash, securities, library materials, furnishings or real property. These gifts help enrich and improve the Library’s resources.

Acceptance of Gifts

  1. Any donations or gifts to the library must be consistent with the library’s policies, goals and objectives, and/or master plan.
  2. Books or other library materials purchased by the donor for presentation to the library will be gratefully accepted provided they meet the library's selection policies and procedures and, in the opinion of the professional staff, enhance the value of the library's collections. Donated books are evaluated according to the same criteria that are applied to purchased material. Donated materials which have not undergone the library's selection process will be disposed of at the discretion of the library. Books not added to the library's collection may be sold at the Friends of the Library's annual book sales. The library reserves the right to refuse to accept any materials.
  3. All donations become the sole property of the library. No gifts are accepted unless freely given to the Library without restriction to be used as the library sees fit.
  4. The decision as to the acceptance of furnishings and equipment shall be made by the Library Board of Trustees on the advice of the Library Director. Among the criteria on which the decision shall be based are need, space, impact on staff time, and expense and frequency of maintenance.
  5. The decision as to the acceptance and location of gifts of exterior or interior ornamentation, sculpture and signage shall be made by the Library Board of Trustees on the advice of the Library Director.
  6. Gifts of cash will be directed to the Sargent Memorial Library Foundation. Gifts of securities, real property and bequests that support the mission of the Library will be handled by the Library Director, who, in consultation with the Board of Trustees, will determine the suitability of the gift and the terms of acceptance compatible with the Library's mission and policies, the donor's intent, and applicable laws

Disposition of Gifts

  1. The Library retains unconditional ownership of an accepted gift. All donations are accepted only if the Library Director or the Board of Trustees determines that they can be utilized by, or benefit the Library. Once conveyed to the Library, no gift will be returned to the donor.
  2. Gift items of books and other circulation material will be integrated into the regular library collections in normal sequence, available to all library patrons, and handled as any other material belonging to the library.
  3. The library reserves the right to decide the conditions of display, housing, and access to the materials.
  4. All gifts may be utilized, sold or disposed of in the best interest of the Library. When gift items are withdrawn from the collection, the Library will not notify the donor of the withdrawal. The Library will not automatically replace worn-out, damaged, or lost gift items.
  5. The library is not obligated to keep donated materials for any length of time. The Library Board reserves the right to make the final decision on the disposition of any gift.
  6. The library will not appraise items for tax purposes. The library is unable to provide book value statements to patrons. Patrons who wish to have items appraised must themselves acquire and pay a professional appraiser. For further information about IRS regulations, publication 561, "Valuation of Donated Property," and publication 546, " Income Tax Deduction for Contributions, are available free of charge from local tax bureaus and on the web at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p561.pdf. The library will provide a receipt to the donor of professionally appraised gifts, both thanking the donor and acknowledging the value of the donation. The library will provide (on request) a receipt to donors of un-appraised gifts which, while acknowledging the donation, will not establish, assign, or concede any value.
  7. Monetary contributions are transferred to the Library Collection Development Fund administered by the Sargent Memorial Library Foundation, Inc. for collection improvement. Foundation contributions will not be used for normal operating or maintenance expenses.

Acknowledgement of Gifts

  1. All gifts, other than donations of used materials, shall be acknowledged by a personal note to the donor from the Library Director or an appropriate representative of the library. In instances where the gift is in honor or memory of a third party or individual, a letter will be sent to the honoree or to his or her family to let them know about the tribute. A letter of acknowledgement goes to the donor as well.
  2. The library will place a bookplate into books purchased with donated monies when appropriate. The library will not agree to form separate collections of either donated materials or materials purchased with donated money.
  3. For gifted items that are not books, it shall be the final decision of the Library Board of Trustees on whether there will be any forms of donation recognition such as plaques. The Board of Trustees will determine the manner and location of the recognition.
  4. The library will be in charge of selecting, designing and installing any memorial gift plaques, labels or bookplates. The wording will be composed in consultation with the donor.
  5. The donor must bear the full and current cost of any donated item. No recognition plaques or plates of any kind will be affixed or connected with any item for which the full retail price has not been borne by the donor seeking said recognition.

Acknowledgement of Gift by Sargent Memorial Library Foundation, Inc.

General monetary donations to the Sargent Memorial Library Foundation are accepted at any time and appreciated. Donations of $500 and above are uniquely recognized on the “Giving Tree” located in the library main hall. Gifting levels are recognized according to the chart below:

  • Silver Leaf:          $500+
  • Gold Leaf:           $1,000+
  • Small Stone:        $5,000+
  • Large Stone:        $10,000+

Approved by the Board of Library Trustees 09/05/2019

Sargent Memorial Library Policy on Endorsements and Solicitations

The Board of Library Trustees may endorse nonprofit organizations whose mission is consistent with that of the Sargent Memorial Library and/or whose activities help accomplish the Library’s mission and benefit the Library’s constituents. Such endorsement may include encouraging financial and other support for the organizations endorsed, or providing an opportunity for solicitation or fundraising activities.

A majority vote of the Board of Library Trustees will be required for any endorsement or fundraising activities in the Library building or grounds and in Library publications. Activities for other organizations may take place within the Library Meeting Room only if they are consistent with the Library Meeting Room policy. Permission will be granted on a very limited basis, and preference will be given to Boxborough residents and organizations. Activities will only be granted if they do not interfere with regular library use or programming.

Approved by the Board of Library Trustees 10/17/16
Last Reviewed 09/05/2019

If you would like to reserve the meeting room, please complete the following steps:

  1. Read the policy below in its entirety.
  2. Call to inquire about the room's availability.
  3. Fill out the meeting room reservation form and submit it to the library.
  4. Confirm the reservation


General Meeting Room Use

The Sargent Memorial Library Board of Trustees welcomes use of the Meeting Room for civic, cultural, educational and philanthropic purposes of a non-profit, non-commercial, public nature having a substantial connection to the Boxborough community. Such use shall not interfere with normal library activities, and those who use the meeting room are expected to behave in a manner that acknowledges the rights of others to a safe, peaceful and respectful environment in which to read and study. No use of the room will be allowed that is likely to disturb library patrons in their customary use of library facilities, impede staff in the performance of their duties, or endanger the building or collection.  

In accordance with the American Library Association, approval of use shall be given “on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.” Acceptance of a group’s application to use the Library Meeting Room is not to be considered approval of its content by the Town of Boxborough, the Library Board of Trustees, or Library staff. Civic, political, or governmental groups seeking use of the Library Meeting Room must abide by all guidelines, and be respectful of all beliefs. Any group that is considered to violate these guidelines may be denied further access.  

Use of the room for library purposes, library related organizations, and library sponsored programs and meetings of Town of Boxborough boards and committees shall take precedence over other uses. The library is not available for private functions such as birthday parties, family events or celebrations, etc. When not required for the use of the library or library- related organizations, it may be reserved for meetings of town boards, departments, commissions, and committees, as well as local non-profit groups and organizations, under the following regulations:  

  1. Only residents of the Town of Boxborough and Acton/Boxborough groups are to use the Library Meeting Room.  No private parties or groups may reserve any library facilities.
  2. The meeting room capacity is 100 people. The Meeting Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that no more than 100 people are at a meeting. The parking lot accommodates 54 autos with an additional 3 handicapped spaces; if the Meeting Coordinator anticipates more than 57 parked cars for the event, the Boxborough Police Department must be notified in advance to determine if a special police detail will be needed for traffic management. Any cost will be charged to the group sponsoring the meeting.
  3. An Application for Meeting Room Use must be completed at least 30 days in advance, and no more than three months prior to the event. We cannot accept bookings beyond the three-month period to allow flexibility in the arrangement of library programs. (The limit refers to all bookings, including both single and repeat bookings.) All applications must be approved by the Library Director prior to the date of use and are considered on a first come, first served basis. Any group or organization not affiliated with the town of Boxborough or not registered as an official non-profit must submit an additional written application stating its proposed usage. All applications are considered pending until the director notifies the applicant that the room is available and the reservation is complete.
  4. All groups and organizations except for the Town and the Library are limited to two meeting room reservations per month.
  5. The Meeting Room may be used only on the date(s) and the time specified, and for the purposes named in the approved application. No other areas may be used or freely visited. The library is not available on days when the library is typically closed. Applicants must use their own equipment unless the user is given advance permission by the Library Director to use Library equipment and it is so stated on the application. Library audiovisual equipment must be operated by a qualified person.
  6. Nothing shall be sold, given away, or exhibited, on library property without prior permission of the Library Director. The meeting room can be scheduled for use by Boxborough and Acton-Boxborough civic and non-profit organizations. No general admission fees may be charged for attending a meeting. The meetings must be open to the public. No fundraising activities should take place in the meeting room during any of the events with the exception of the Friends of the Boxborough Library book sale.
  7. Any marketing material, including press release, promoting the activities or meetings taking place in the library should be reviewed and approved by the library director and library trustees before use or publication.
  8. The set-up of tables and chairs in the meeting room must be returned to the original configuration at the end of each program. No decorations, scenery, or other materials shall be affixed to the building or grounds without the express permission of the Library Director. No artwork or decorations hanging on the meeting room walls may be removed or moved. It is expected that nothing shall be left from the activity which will interfere with the operation of the library the next day. All spaces must be returned to their original condition of cleanliness.
  9. Organizations unable to use the facility on the day or time requested on the application form must inform the Library Director no later than 24 hours before the scheduled date.
  10. It is understood that library and town functions will take precedence over community use of the library meeting room. Library personnel will notify the group affected.
  11. At no time will children be left unsupervised in the Sargent Memorial Library Meeting Room.
  12. Cooking is not allowed in the meeting room. Prior approval is needed when food is to be served at meetings.
  13. Event organizers wishing to have alcoholic beverages served at an event taking place in the library meeting room are responsible for obtaining an approval from the Library Trustees as well as a one-day liquor license specific for the event from the Boxborough Select Board. To request the Trustees’ approval, event organizers complete and submit the Application to Serve Alcohol to the Library Director at least two months prior to the event. The event organizer will be informed of the Trustees’ decision once the application has been reviewed.
  14. Groups using the Library Meeting Room will be financially responsible for any damages to the library facilities incurred during the time that the group was using the facility. The responsible adult who has signed the application shall agree to honor any such damage assessment and agrees to payment in full whenever applicable. Any applicant, individual or organization may be required to present evidence that they carry insurance to include, in their enrollment or membership forms, signed statements holding the Town harmless with respect to any liability for injuries or other harm or damage arising out of the applicant’s supervision or conduct of programs and activities on library premises.
  15. The Board of Library Trustees reserves the right to reject any Application for Facility Use if it is felt that to do so would be in the best interests of the Town of Boxborough. The intent of the Library Meeting Room use policy is to support the Town of Boxborough’s educational, recreational, community, and/or governmental missions. Any applications that could be construed to be more for individual profit or benefit than community profit or benefit fall outside of this facility use policy and will be denied.
  16. Applications for Library Meeting Room Use must be submitted by an adult (at least 21 years of age), and the responsible adult must be present at all times.
  17. Groups using a master key to enter the building are not, under any circumstances, to distribute the key to another group without authorization from the Library Director. The key must be returned to the library by 10:00 a.m. the following day.
  18. If at any time the fire alarm goes off, or if for any reason the building is to be evacuated, participants using the facility are required to comply. The Meeting Coordinator is responsible for immediately evacuating the building in case of emergency.

Last Reviewed 12/15/2021

Local History Room


The Local History Room was established to preserve materials with historical significance pertaining to the town of Boxborough and to facilitate the use of these historical resources within the library. When the room is not being used for historical research, it can be used by library patrons for reading, studying, and quiet group work.

Room Use

  1. The room is open to the public and can only be reserved for Library or Town meetings and activities. The person in charge of the meeting should contact the library director directly to make arrangements. All bookings are kept in the Meeting Room Schedule book.
  2. Patrons doing historical research using materials housed in the Local History Room has first priority to use the room when the room is available.
  3. The doors to the room should remain open at all times unless for Library or Town use.
  4. No food or drinks are allowed in the room.
  5. The room is a shared space for public use. Users should not engage in any activities that preclude others from sharing the room, such as taking over the entire table, talking loudly, or display any disruptive behavior.
  6. The staff has the authority to expel any patron who is behaving inappropriately.
  7. Abuse of library properties and staff would result in loss of library privileges.

Young Adult Room

Sargent Memorial Library strives to provide a warm, welcoming, and safe environment for the youths in the community. The Young Adult Room is mainly for the use of patrons between the ages of 10 and 18. The Young Adult Room is reserved for teens and those who accompany them as well as those adults interested in young adult literature. Adults over the age of 18 not accompanying a teen may be asked to leave the teen area at any time. While any one is welcomed to browse the materials housed within, young adults have priority to the uses of the desks, chairs, and computers in the room.

When using the room, patrons are asked to observe these guidelines:

  • Respect library property and the property of others.
  • Respect others using the library.
  • Keep your hands to yourself.
  • Use appropriate language.
  • Pick up after yourself.
  • Use your indoor voice.

Approved by the Board of Library Trustees 10/03/2018

Last Reviewed 09/05/2019

Library staff members often take photographs and videos on the Library ground or in Library events for documentation or promotional purposes.  Patrons and parents/guardians of children who do not wish to be in library photos are asked to inform the library at the start of the program, and every effort will be made to avoid photographing people who do not wish to be photographed.  Patrons are asked to use discretion in photographing and especially in posting photographs of other people's children.

Any photograph of a patron or child that a patron or parent/guardian does not want posted, but is inadvertently posted by the library, will be removed when the library is notified that the patron wishes for the photograph not to be used.  The library also reserves the right to request that any photograph or video taken in the library that includes patrons or children who request the item be removed, be removed from the Internet at the request of the library.

Approved by the Board of Library Trustees 03/12/2019
Last Reviewed 09/05/2019


The Library is closed on all federal and state holidays:

  • New Year's Day (January 1).
  • Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Third Monday in January).
  • Washington's Birthday (Third Monday in February).
  • Patriots Day (Third Monday in April)
  • Memorial Day (Last Monday in May).
  • Juneteenth (June 19th).
  • Independence Day (July 4).
  • Labor Day (First Monday in September).
  • Columbus Day (Second Monday in October).
  • Veterans Day (November 11).
  • Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday in November).
  • Christmas Day (December 25).

Additionally, the Library closes early on Christmas Eve, the day before Thanksgiving and/or on New Year’s Eve. Any such closings will be publicized to the public three weeks in advance.

Emergency Closing

The Library may close early or completely if there were unsafe conditions or other emergencies. Emergency closing will be announced on the Library website, through social media, and on the phone message.

In the event of inclement weather, the library will close, delay opening, or close early if the weather condition was deemed hazardous to the health and/or safety of the public and/or library staff. If the Acton-Boxborough Regional School is closed due to weather, the library will be closed in the morning. A decision will be made on whether the library is to reopen at 1pm of the same day based on the weather condition, road condition, and other safety and health concerns. The closing or reopening will be announced on the Library website, on social media, and in the phone message.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees 09/05/2019

Emergency Minimal Staffing

The Sargent Memorial Library is committed to providing sufficient staffing of the Library in order to:

  • Maintain a high level of quality of service to all patrons
  • Protect the personal safety of all library patrons and all Sargent Memorial Library staff

The following guidelines have been adopted to support those objectives.

  1. A minimum of two staff members should be present in the Library at all times. A staff member is defined as an employee who provides regular library services to patrons.
  2. In the event that fewer than two staff members are available, the library will be closed. 
  • Staff will communicate as quickly as possible to either the Library Director or Board of Library Trustees Chairperson the circumstances necessitating the closing.
  • If the Library must be closed, a notice will be posted on the entrance door and the online event calendar.  This notice will contain the time of closing, state the reason for closing and, if possible, anticipated time of reopening. Every possible effort will be made to notify anyone who has scheduled meeting room space during the time of the closing. While the Library is closed, scheduled staff will work on other tasks. Scheduled personnel hours and wages will not be affected and the hours of work will not be forfeited.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees 12/15/2021

The Sargent Memorial Library strives to provide a safe, welcoming, and comfortable environment for all patrons, regardless of ethnicity, gender, age, background, religion, physical limitations, sexual orientation, and any other defining criteria. The library is a place in which patrons and staff can be free from harassment, intimidation, and threats to their well-being. To that end, the library has established a set of guidelines to insure the existence of a safe and healthy atmosphere, and to protect the public, the staff, the materials, and the premise of the library.

Library Patron Rights and Responsibilities Guidelines:

  1. Respect for library staff, volunteers, and other library users shall prevail at all times.
  2. Engaging in any activity in violation of Federal, state, or local law is strictly prohibited.
  3. Threatening behavior against public peace, such as violence, threats of violence, and possession of weapons is not tolerated (M.G.L., c. 269).
  4. Photography, filming, or videotaping is permitted on library grounds provided that it does not interfere in any way with Library operations, or capture any identifiable likenesses of individuals without their permission.
  5. Fighting or challenging to fight; pushing or shoving a person, or throwing objects (M.G.L. c. 272, §§ 40, 41) is strictly forbidden.
  6. Patrons under the influence of alcohol and or drugs, and selling, using, or possessing alcohol and/or drugs will be asked to leave.
  7. Sexually, verbally, or physically harassing, intimidating, or threatening other patrons, staff or volunteers; this includes, but is not limited to, behavior such as stalking, staring, lurking with intent to annoy, offensive touching, and any open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior is not tolerated (M.G.L., c. 272, §§16) . Patrons displaying such behavior will be asked to leave immediately, and the police will be called.
  8. Smoking (M.G.L. c.270, § 22), chewing and other tobacco use in Library facilities, including use of all e-cigarettes or any other nicotine delivery devices is strictly forbidden.
  9. Willfully disturb other patrons, staff or volunteers is not allowed (M.G.L., c. 272, §§41).
  10. Shouting, running, pushing or other rowdy, rambunctious or disruptive behavior is not permitted. Disruptive behavior is defined as destructive or continuing activity by any individual or group of individuals which infringes on other patrons’ rights to use the library for reading, research, study, etc.
  11. Using profane, obscene or abusive language, including epithets directed at race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other personal characteristics is strictly forbidden.
  12. Destruction or defacement of the library building, property, or library materials is punishable by law.
  13. Only beverages in spill-proof containers are allowed within the library. Food of any kind may only be consumed in the large meeting room if the meeting room is not in use. Greasy, messy, sticky foods or foods with strong odor are not allowed. Patrons must discard all trash and clean up the area they used after eating.
  14. No person shall bring, or let into the library building, any animal other than a service dog, without the authorization of the library director.
  15. Canvassing, selling, soliciting or distributing materials is prohibited without the permission of the library director.
  16. When using cell phones within the library:
    1. Turn the phone off, or set the ring tone volume to the lowest setting available or to vibrate.
    2. Use the cell phone in the library’s meeting room if it is available, or take it outside.
    3. Be considerate of others. Honor requests for quiet and move to another location if an unintended distraction occurs.
  17. No person shall leave children age eight or younger unattended for extended period of time on library premises. Children younger than five should always be accompanied by a parent or a caretaker at the library.
  18. Patrons are asked to use headphones when using audible devices. Patrons using audible devices without headphones, using headphones set at a volume that disturbs others, or using any communication devices in a manner that disturbs others will be asked to use their devices outside of the library.
  19. As a Library employee, staff members cannot transport patrons between the Library and other locations
  20. Patrons failing to comply with a reasonable staff request will be asked to leave.


The library staff reserves the right to ask a patron to leave the library for any of the reasons listed above.


Enforcement of these regulations may take the form of any of the following, depending on the severity of the misconduct, which will be determined by the staff on duty at the time. These disciplinary procedures are guidelines. The library may implement any procedure listed, including an immediate ban from the library premises at any time.

  • Minor Disruption:  In the case of a minor disruption, the library patron will receive two warnings. If the behavior continues, the patron may be asked to leave the library for a stated period of suspension.
  • Extreme Misconduct:  In the case of any misconduct that, in the judgment of a staff member, is extreme, the offender may be given only one warning, may be ordered to leave the library immediately for a stated period of suspension, or the police may be called.

Permanent Ban from the Library:

Patrons who engage in repeated disruptive behaviors that interfere with others’ use of the library or the general operation of the library or engage in behaviors that violate the law may be permanently banned from the Sargent Memorial Library premises by the Director. A written notice of permanent ban may be given to the patron. A written appeal of the Library Director’s decision may be made to the Library Board of Trustees within 30 days.

Guideline 17 edited to reflect the revised Safe Child Policy. 9/20/2023
Approved by the Board of Library Trustees 10/16/2019
Last Reviewed 09/05/2019

The Sargent Memorial Library welcomes children of all ages to visit the library and use the resources. The Library is open to a wide cross-section of the public, similar to a shopping mall or a supermarket. Library staff care about your child’s safety but are not substitutes for parents, teachers, or babysitters. The responsibility for the safety and behavior of children in the Library rests with the parents, legal guardians, or other responsible caregivers (hereinafter referred to as “parent/caretaker”). Library staff are not responsible for the care and safety of unsupervised or unattended children in the library. The Library does not provide transportation, babysitting, or day care services. 

It is the parent/caretaker's responsibility to make sure that all children in the Library follow the Library Patron Rights and Responsibilities Guidelines and are expected to use the Library appropriately. Children who do not follow these rules are subject to the same consequences as other library users, including being required to leave the Library or losing library privileges

For the protection and wellbeing of children who visit our library, the following policy has been established.

Library Use

Only parents and guardians have the right and the responsibility to determine their children’s—and only their own children’s—access to library resources. Parents and guardians who do not want their children to have access to specific library services, materials, or facilities should so advise their own children.

Unattended Children

Under 5. Children under the age of 5 may not be left unattended by a parent/caretaker in any part of the library at any time, including during programs. If children under the age of 5 are found unattended, staff will attempt to locate the parent/caretaker.

Children 5-9. Children between the ages of 5-9 must have a parent/caretaker in the library building with them for any visits longer than 15 minutes. If children between the ages of 5-9 are found without a parent/caretaker in the library for a prolonged period and without an immediate pickup plan with the parent/caretaker, the parent/caretaker will be contacted.

Children 10 and older. Children 10 and older may use the library unattended at the discretion of the parent/caretaker. Pickup times, library hours, and personal safety must be discussed between the parent/caretaker and child before the visit to the Library. The child must have a way for the staff to contact the parent/caretaker at all times. If problems arise, the parent/caretaker will be contacted. It is the responsibility of the parent/caretaker to be accessible and able to pick up the child at any given time.

Unattended children at closing time. It is the responsibility of the parent/caretaker to be aware of library hours of operation when making transportation arrangements. 30 minutes before the library's closing time, a staff member will verify that any unattended child has transportation home before closing. If a parent/caretaker cannot be reached 15 minutes before closing, the police department will be asked to assist the staff in helping to get the child home safely. As Library employees, staff members cannot transport patrons between the Library and any other location.

Please remember, if your child is under 16 years old, the staff must have a way to contact the parent/caretaker at all times. 

Approved by the Board of Library Trustees 11/1/2023.

The Library extends borrowing privileges to all residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. All residents, regardless of their community library’s certification status, are free to access the reading and reference rooms, and may use the Library’s collections on site. 

When a local community loses its library certification, the Library Board of Trustees will vote on whether to continue to offer borrowing privileges to residents of that community. Exceptions will be made for those employed in the town of Boxborough, by the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District, and children attending the schools in the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District.