Flint Memorial Library Policy Statement


The Flint Memorial Library was established in 1872 as the Flint Public Library in a rented room in the old Academy Building. In 1875 the library moved to a room in the just completed Flint Memorial Hall. The basis for the original book collection was the former Farmer’s Library, established in 1860 and dissolved in 1871. Harriet Flint, widow of Charles Flint, provided the initial funding in 1872 and continued to support the library for the remainder of her life.

The library remained in increasingly crowded quarters in Flint Memorial Hall until 1958 when the collection was moved across the street into the freshly renovated Damon Tavern building. The building was renamed to Weeks Memorial Library Building in honor of William Weeks whose generous bequest provided the funds necessary for the move.

The basement of the Weeks Building was remodeled into a much needed Children’s Room, the Flint Youth Room, in 1963. The second floor of the building was renovated to include a meeting room, a Trustee’s room and a kitchenette and lavatories in 1968-69. The restoration of the famous Rufus Porter murals on the ballroom walls was completed during this renovation. A Local History Room was created on the second floor in 1978 to encourage the preservation and study of materials relating to the history of the town.

In October 1991, the library moved from the grossly overcrowded and structurally inadequate, Weeks Memorial Building, to the newly renovated and expanded Flint Memorial Hall. The library occupies all 22,000 square feet of the building. An adjoining vacant lot was purchased and is used as a 32 space parking lot. The Local History Room is located on the second floor and the Children’s Department occupies the entire fourth floor of the building. The Library Activity Room, located on the ground floor with direct access from the parking lot, was designed so that it can be used even when the library is not open. This was done to encourage the community to participate in all aspects of the library’s programs and facilities.


The Flint Memorial Library is the only institution in North Reading whose mission is to make readily available print and non-print materials selected in response to the informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs of all segments of the community.

The library seeks to meet these needs by facilitating informal self-education of all members of the community using traditional library resources as well as new technologies; by providing information, materials or referrals using local and library network resources; by enriching those areas of knowledge which people are studying in a formal educational setting; by encouraging the use of library facilities for cultural and community activities; by providing specialized programs aimed at specific age groups; and by promoting the use of all library services to increase public awareness of the library in the community.


The essential goal of the Flint Memorial Library, represented by its Trustees and staff, is to provide a wide range of materials, both print and non-print, selected to enrich the lives of all the individuals who constitute the community of North Reading.

The library-related needs of the community are considered to be informational, educational, cultural and recreational in nature. The library strives to respond to each of these needs through a variety of services and programs. The library is an essential ingredient in the total community because it is the only free cultural and intellectual institution that seeks to meet these needs for all segments of the population. The library Trustees and staff subscribe to the belief that a library should offer something for everyone through its collections, services and programs.


The Flint Memorial Library falls under the jurisdiction of the selectmen in the Town Charter. The selectmen appoint the Board of Library Trustees, according to the formula set forth in the General Laws, Chapter 78, Section 10. The Town Administrator appoints the Library Director on the recommendation of the Trustees. He also appoints all other staff members on the recommendation of the Library Director.

The Trustees are responsible for policy setting, long range planning, and overseeing expenditures. The Director is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the facility in all its aspects, including: personnel, materials selection, public relations, budget preparation and allocation, and operational details.


The Trustees of the Flint Memorial Library support the Library Bill of Rights promulgated by the American Library Association and the Freedom to Read statement of the American Library Association and the Association of American Publishers. These two documents are the basis for the selecting and lending policies of this library.

The materials which constitute the library’s collection are the foundation and justification for its existence. Because the library is a public institution, supported by taxes paid by members of the entire community, its collection must represent a wide range of viewpoints , opinions, and tastes to satisfy the needs and interests of the entire community of individuals. Unpopular as well as popular positions, both sides of controversial issues, minority views, all current political issues, and a wide variety of recreational and special interest materials all have a legitimate place on the library’s shelves.

The Library Director has the final responsibility for the selection of all materials to be incorporated into the library’s collection, regardless of the mode of acquisition. It is the Director’s responsibility to provide materials that are of both current interest and permanent value, that are up-to-date, that are responsive to the interests and needs of the population and that do not discriminate against any political, religious, economic or social view or group through deliberate exclusion of their views. The Library Director shall try to provide for a diversity of materials without exercising either direct or implied censorship. The Director shall be responsible for expending available funds in an equitable manner so that all divisions of the collection receive a just proportion of said funds.

Public library collections for children and young people are not intended to directly support the school curricula, but to offer alternatives and enrichment. It is acknowledged that children’s interests and abilities vary as widely as those of adults. The library makes the same effort to provide for this diversity as it does in the adult collection.

The criteria for the selection of materials for inclusion in the library’s collection are: permanence of value, currency of interest, diversity of viewpoint, and literary or artistic merit. An item meeting any one of these criteria will be considered for inclusion in the collection. Bestsellers and other popular materials are considered to be of current interest and therefore worthy of inclusion in the public library.

Choice of materials will result from a variety of professional activities on the part of the Director and professional staff. Reviews of new materials from both professional journals and popular reviewing media form the single most important tool in the selection process. Recommendations from staff, Trustees, and the public are evaluated in the acquisitions process. The strengths and weaknesses of the total collection are continually under review and efforts are made to improve weak areas through selective acquisition of new materials. The library will make every effort to keep up-to-date with new formats and technologies.

The criteria for the withdrawal of materials from the collection are essentially the same as those for inclusion. Materials containing outdated information are discarded regularly while those deemed to be of long-term or permanent value are retained on the shelves. The process of weeding the collection is an on-going activity designed to maintain currency in the collection without sacrificing quality.


In accepting donations of any materials intended for the library, the right of the final disposition of such gifts is reserved for the library. The same criteria for inclusion in the collection that are used for purchase decisions shall be applied to gifts. Gifts that cannot be added to the collection shall be disposed of at the discretion of the Director.


In accordance with the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read statement of the American Library Association and with the Minimum Standards for Public Libraries established by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the Flint Memorial Library does not restrict access to any materials in the collections on the basis of color, religion, national origin, socio-economic status, sex, age or place of residence. Free access to the total library is a necessary concomitant to the diversity of materials essential to full public library service to the whole community.

The library subscribes to the reciprocal borrowing standard established by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, whereby residents of all other cities and towns in Massachusetts which also subscribe to this standard, and have not been de-certified by the Board, are offered free access to all the library’s materials.

The Library Director, staff and Trustees are not judges or censors of the public morality. Their function is not to restrict the access of others to library materials. The library staff must not be expected to act in loco parentis by parents who wish to limit the reading material of their own minor children. Parents who wish to limit their own children’s use of library materials should accompany the children to the library to supervise them and not rely on the library staff for such supervision.

The Trustees and staff of the library also support the concept of the confidentiality of library circulation and registration records as propounded by the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the American Library Association and as protected by law. This policy asserts the right of any individual to borrow any library materials without the fear of unwarranted public disclosure. (Mass Gen Laws 4:7 exemption k).


The Flint Memorial Library maintains a full range of free library services for all residents of North Reading.

Reference service is provided in-house, on the telephone, by mail, or by email. Reference librarians will assist patrons in finding a wide variety of information, materials, or referrals to reliable external sources. Staff cannot offer interpretation of legal, tax-related, or medical information.

The library offers access to many materials not available locally through its membership in the Eastern Massachusetts Regional Library System and the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium and their interlibrary loan systems. The deposit collections offered by the Regional System are also utilized to supplement the local collection.

Special collections of materials are made available to special segments of the population. The Children’s Room Department, the Young Adult collections and the Large Print collections are examples of such special collections. A regular deposit collection of materials is provided to the local nursing homes and local housing-for-the-elderly facilities and limited home delivery to shut-ins is also offered.

Diverse programs are offered for the education and enjoyment of the community. These programs are as varied in nature as the library’s collections and are planned to appeal to many different groups within North Reading. The goal of such programs is always to expand the knowledge of those who choose to attend them and to expand the ways in which the library can serve as a community resource.


The Flint Memorial Library is a free public library in the full sense of the term. It strives to provide the widest possible range of materials for all segments of the population of North Reading. It recognizes no barriers in every individual’s search for knowledge, information, education, culture and recreation through published materials, in all formats and media. The library endeavors to meet the needs of the community as a whole and in all its diverse parts. Its goal is to serve the people of North Reading in all aspects of their need to know.

Approved by Board of Trustees December 17, 1979

Amended by Board of Trustees January 22, 1990

Reviewed, amended and approved by Board of Trustees September 23, 1992

Reviewed, amended and approved by Board of Trustees January 19, 2005.

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Patron Registration Policies

Any person residing in Massachusetts may be eligible for a free borrower’s card, which will be honored by all member libraries of the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium (MVLC).

North Reading Residents:

Adults (anyone 14 years of age and older) will be issued a card upon presentation of proof of residence and with no outstanding delinquencies at other libraries.

Children three years of age and older will be issued a card upon presentation of parent or guardian’s proof of residence and a parent or guardian’s signature.

Other Massachusetts Residents:

Any resident of Massachusetts who holds a valid borrower’s card from his home town library and whose borrowing privileges are not suspended, may be registered in the MVLC system.

On 3/19/03, the Trustees voted the following: The Flint Memorial Library will only provide service to residents of those towns whose libraries meet the state’s requirements for certification.

Out of State Residents:

1.Any person who has reason to be in North Reading on a regular basis and who has no known delinquent accounts in other libraries, may be issued a borrower’s card. This card will be restricted to use at this library only.

2.Any person who has reason to be in North Reading on a regular basis and who has no known delinquent accounts in other libraries, may be issued a borrower’s card, which will be honored by all member libraries of the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium, upon payment of $75.00 annual fee.


A fee of $1.00 is charged for the replacement of a lost card.

Approved by Board of Trustees, 7/28/92; Rev. 9/20/06

Flint Memorial Library Children’s Department Policy

All general library policies apply to the children with the following exceptions and/or additions.


Children may obtain their own library cards at the age of three. A parent or guardian must submit identification and sign the application.


During peak school-assignments periods, non-fiction materials may be limited by the Youth Services Librarian. The number of materials owned and the number of children requiring information will be taken into consideration.

Items in special collections, e.g., holiday books, school deposits, etc., may be limited during the demand period.

Approved by Board of Trustees, 7/28/92; Rev. 9/20/06
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Service to Non-Residents

The Flint Memorial Library will only provide service to residents of those towns
whose libraries meet the state’s requirement for certification.

Approved by the Board of Trustees, 3/19/03
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Mediated Interlibrary Loan Policy

Mediated Interlibrary Loan Policy

Mediated Interlibrary Loan applies to material borrowed from libraries outside this local (MVLC) network or the Massachusetts Virtual Catalog system. Interlibrary loan service is available only to patrons in good standing.

The Flint Memorial Library offers mediated interlibrary loan as a service to patrons. Unlike interlibrary loan within the MVLC system and Virtual Catalog, materials only available through mediated interlibrary loan must be requested through library staff.

Due to a 28% cut in state tax support for Massachusetts Libraries in FY2011, materials delivered to patrons from other Massachusetts libraries may experience a delay. As of July 1, 2010, materials obtained from certain libraries, usually outside of Massachusetts, may be assessed a charge set by those libraries; this charge is outside of the Flint Memorial Library’s control.

This mediated interlibrary loan is coordinated by the Massachusetts Regional Library System, at the ILL Center at the Wellesley Free Public Library. The ILL Center makes every effort to obtain materials for free, but on occasion, the only option is to borrow from an institution that charges a fee to loan an item. As a result, patrons will be asked to cover the cost of a request that requires a fee, which may range from $3.00 to $20.00 or more.


When requesting materials via mediated interlibrary loan, patrons will be informed of the potential of a fee and agree to pay associated fees upon receipt of the requested material. Patrons must indicate at the time the request is made if and how much they are willing to pay. All fees assessed by the lending library will be the responsibility of the borrower. Patrons must agree to this charge, in writing, before the item(s) can be requested.

The library will absorb postage costs associated with receipt of and return of the item.

This policy applies to both North Reading residents and non-residents.

Approved by the Flint Memorial Library Board of 7/28/10
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Code of Behavior

The Flint Memorial Library is a tax-supported institution that offers everyone, regardless of age, residence, race, education, or religion, free access to information.
Flint Memorial Library staff commits to provide a high level of library service. This service includes: courteous service, fair and impartial treatment for everyone, reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities, competent reference assistance, confidentiality regarding requests for information and/or topics of research and confidentiality of circulation records.

In order to ensure access to information, the library will make every effort to maintain a safe and healthy environment in which library users and staff can be free from harassment, intimidation, and threats to their safety and well-being. All Library users are expected to show respect for the rights of others as well as for library materials and equipment. Library users are expected to:

  • Use only the authorized entrances and exits to the library;
  • Assume responsibility for all materials checked out on their library cards. Forgery, alteration or misuse of Library documents, records or identification cards is not permitted;
  • Be responsible for their own personal belongings;
  • Be responsible for wearing appropriate clothing and shoes;
  • As a general rule, no person shall act in a manner that interferes with, distracts from, or disturbs the academic learning environment of others.Examples include:
  •  Disruptive behavior such as rowdiness, loud talking, running, or other behavior that disturbs those who are studying or doing research is not permitted;
  •  May not use offensive, threatening, harassing behaviors and/or verbally abuse other users or library staff;
  • Cell phones and pagers are permitted on the first and fourth floors and ground level of the building. Users are asked to turn them to silent while in other areas of the library;
  • Using any electronic or non-electronic device producing annoying sounds or disruptive noise to others;
  • Use of athletic equipment in the library (including rollerblades, skateboards, etc.);
  • No tobacco products, open flames or dangerous chemicals of any kind, firearms or weapons are allowed in the library;
  • Inappropriate use or moving of furnishings and equipment, including but not limited to standing on furniture, excessive use of elevator, and handling of electronic equipment (including by children);
  • Consumption of food or drink except in designated areas;
  • Animals, except guide animals (e.g. seeing-eye dogs, hearing dogs)
  • Children under the age of 8, without the supervision of an adult;
  • Damaging, stealing or misusing library materials, equipment or facilities;

Interfering with another person’s use of the library or with the library personnel’s performance of their duties.

An individual’s access to the library may be limited or suspended after participation in prohibited activities, as outlined above, and/or participating in the above behaviors.

Staff members have the authority to enforce the above Code of Behavior, by politely asking the offending party to end the disruptive or inappropriate conduct. If there is no compliance, the person may be asked to leave the building. In more extreme cases, the police may be called.

For the safety of all, these premises are protected by closed circuit videotape recording.


The staff assigned to a particular service area, (Children’s Room, Reference Room, etc.), have the responsibility to speak to disruptive people and attempt to have them cease engaging in such behavior.

In order to ensure that staff members possess a clear understanding of their responsibilities in this regard, the following protocol is to be observed:

  • Persons engaging in disruptive behavior are to be asked to refrain from continuing their behavior by the staff person assigned to the area where the behavior is occurring.
  • If an individual(s) continues to act disruptively, he/she is to be warned that continuing the behavior will result in their being asked to leave the library. Notice that such a warning has been given is to be communicated to the Library Director, or in her absence, to the person in charge of the library.
  • If the unacceptable behavior continues, the person(s) is to be asked to leave the library by the Director or staff person in charge.
  • If the situation has not been resolved by staff intervention, the individual should be warned that the police will be called to escort the unruly individual(s) from the library premises. However, in cases where the disruptive individual is a juvenile, staff will try to contact a parent before the police are called.
  • There may be occasions when the disruptive behavior is so egregious that the foregoing steps cannot be followed. In those instances, the Director or person in charge is to ask the individual(s) to leave and refusal is to result in an immediate call to the police in order to effect the individual’s removal.
  • Under no circumstances should library personnel touch or physically threaten an individual during this process. Staff should remain courteous and tactful, but firmly state the reasons why the behavior is unacceptable and why it will result in eviction.
  • The staff member will document the incident in writing for the Library Director to hold in a file. This documentation should include date, time and description of the incident that occurred.


An individual who has had access to the library limited or suspended may appeal that decision to the Board of Library Trustees. If requested by the alleged offender, the Trustees will hold a hearing on any such appeal, providing the alleged offender seven (7) days notice of the date and time of the hearing. The Board of Library Trustees shall have the authority to establish reasonable procedural rules for the conduct of any such appeal hearing. At the hearing, the Trustees may hear testimony from the alleged offender, as well as, but not limited to the Library Director and/or the staff person(s) directly involved. In addition, the alleged offender or the Library Director (or his or her designee) may present additional evidence and/or witness testimony.

The Board of Library Trustees shall issue a written decision on the Appeal within 14 days, unless additional time is requested and agreed to by the alleged offender, in writing.

Approved by Board of Library Trustees 9/28/93, 10/27/93, 1/7/98, 12/1/05, 3/15/06
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Chromebooks Policy

Flint Memorial Library Chromebooks Policy and Procedures

Five (5) Chromebooks are available for in-building use only by card-holding patrons in good standing.

If a patron would like to use a Chromebook and they do not have a library card in our system, they will need to have some form of ID that library staff will hold while they use the Chromebook.

Checkout parameters are for ONE (1) DAY / SAME DAY checkout — no holds and no renewals. The Chromebooks are available to patrons ages 11 and up (or at the discretion of the staff) to be used anywhere on the first floor of the library.

The Chromebooks will be kept behind the counter at the Circulation Desk. Each computer has a power cord. A separate USB-connected mouse is available by request.

The borrowing patron must return the Chromebook to the main Circulation Desk on the first floor.

The borrowing patron is responsible for any damage that occurs to the Chromebook (up to $150) while it is in their possession.

Approved by the Board of Trustees 10/2017
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Inspection of Bags

Flint Memorial Library reserves the right to inspect all bags,
backpacks, and packages.

Approved by Board of Trustees


Reviewed and re-confirmed, 2/16/05
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Meeting Room Policy

Meeting Room Policy
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Meeting Room Fees
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It is the policy of the Flint Memorial Library to provide community access to as many information resources as possible. To further this objective, the library provides access to information through the Internet via computers.

In accordance with the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Access to Electronic Information Services and Networks, the Flint Memorial Library does not control, limit, or monitor Internet use.

Because the nature of the Internet is constantly changing and has information intended for a wide variety of users and of varying trustworthiness, library computer users assume certain responsibilities:

  • Parents or legal guardians are responsible for monitoring their minor children’s computer use. Because children using the Internet without supervision may be exposed to inappropriate or disturbing content, parents are advised to discuss appropriate use of this resource with their children, and to establish family Internet use guidelines and boundaries for their children.
  • Because the Internet as a whole is uncontrolled, individual users assume responsibility for evaluating the accuracy and authenticity of material found on the Internet.
  • The wireless Internet access offered is unfiltered via an open, unsecured network. It is strongly recommended that the network not be used to transmit personal, financial or legal data. It is not possible for the library to protect against malicious theft or interception of such data transmitted over our network. The library disclaims all liability for loss of confidential information or damages resulting from that loss.

The library subscribes to several commercial electronic databases, designed to provide fast access to reliable published articles via indexes. One of the library’s trained professionals can assist users in effective research using these tools.

Library computers may not be used to modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others, or to seek disallowed access to any computer system via the Internet. Library computers may not be used in a way that violates local, state, or federal law. The library reserves the right to ask users to refrain from displaying images which are inappropriate for public view.

Violation of any of these policies may result in suspension or loss of library privileges.


  1. Usage may be limited to 30 minutes if patrons are waiting for a computer.
  2. Printing costs will be posted.
  3. Personal software may not be installed on any computers.
  4. Users are encouraged to bring a flash drive or other removable storage device, and save files frequently. If the computer powers off for any reason, all new data are deleted. The library cannot be responsible for lost files.


Approved by the Board of Trustees 11/27/01; Revised 11/20/02;
8/20/03; 10/19/05; Reviewed 6/20/07; Revised 11/12/15
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The Distribution of Free Literature and the Use of Bulletin Boards


It is the policy of the Flint Memorial Library to provide as much information to the community as possible. To further this objective, items of community interest may be posted on the section of the library bulletin board labeled “Community Interest.”


  1. Submit items at the Circulation Desk for posting.
  2. On the front of each item, note the date submitted.
  3. The director or designated staff will review items before
  4. Library staff will post items.
  5. Library staff will remove periodically. Event notices will be
    removed after the event. Other items will be removed after two
    weeks’ display, or as the library deems appropriate.

Approved by the Board of Trustees, 4/20/97; Revised 7/27/05
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The Use of Library Display and Exhibit Space

To fulfill its mission to meet the cultural and intellectual needs of North Reading citizens, the Flint Memorial Library allows use of its display cases, selected wall, floor, and/or shelving spaces by individuals and groups for civic, educational, cultural, philanthropic, or recreational purposes. Additionally, the library seeks to serve the broader educational needs of the town by making these facilities available for exhibits sponsored by governments, civic organizations, and schools.

The library assumes no responsibility for the preservation, protection or possible damage or theft of any item displayed or exhibited. A release form must be signed by the exhibitor.

All who enter the building are exposed to an exhibit, depriving them of the opportunity to exercise free choice as to whether or not to view the exhibit. As is the case with materials selection, the library will exercise judgment as to current usefulness or interest, authority and competence of presentation, importance as a record of the times, relevance to the collection, and standards of quality in content and format. Acceptability of a display is at the discretion of the Library Director, whose decisions may be appealed to the Board of Library Trustees.

In presenting exhibits, the library does not imply endorsement of the beliefs or viewpoints presented. The library endeavors to present a broad spectrum of ideas and a variety of viewpoints. Those objecting to an exhibit may submit their own proposal.

Press releases or other promotion of the exhibit do not imply endorsement of the viewpoints expressed in exhibit materials.

Exhibit space should be booked through the Library Director’s designee and will be made available on a first-come first-served basis. The duration of most exhibits will be one month. Exhibitors will set up and remove their own exhibits.

Approved by Board of Library Trustees 4/20/93; Reviewed 4/20/05
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Holiday Displays

It is the library’s function to provide materials, in a variety of formats, including displays, which people can use to increase their knowledge regarding seasonal and cultural events, holidays, festivals, etc.

In order to best fulfill this function, the library will continue to create such informative displays, but will not create displays which seem to celebrate a particular religious holiday.

Nevertheless, due to a long-standing tradition, the library will permit Christmas trees, decorated with non-religious ornaments, to be displayed. It will also participate in the tradition of placing candles in all the public buildings surrounding the Town Common during the Christmas season.

Approved by Board of Trustees 3/21/95; Reviewed 4/20/05
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Piano Usage Policy and Consent Form

The Flint Memorial Library maintains a Krog Digital Piano, purchased in September 2008, for appropriate usage by library patrons in the library’s Activity Room and in the library’s Reading Room during officially sanctioned library events and with the permission of the Library Director. Except when in use, the piano is stored in a locked cabinet in the library’s Activity Room.

Completion of this form indicates that the undersigned agrees to abide by the following policies in regard to the piano:

1. This form must be completed in its entirety for piano usage to be approved.

2. The undersigned is designated the party responsible for appropriate usage and care of the piano. This includes:

a. Reasonable protection of the piano casing while it is out of the locked cabinet. No food or beverages may be placed on the piano or consumed over the keyboard. The casing is to be kept clean and free from scratches, marks, or dents.

b. Retuning the piano to the locked cabinet in the working order in which it was found.

c. Locking the cabinet and retuning the key in the library drop box or directly to library staff immediately when the library is next open for business. If the piano is found outside the cabinet or the cabinet is unlocked, piano privileges will be suspended for the undersigned for a duration determined by the Library Director.

3. Library staff will inspect the piano for visible damage and any malfunction within 2 hours of the library’s next public opening and before the Activity Room is again in use. If the piano casing is found to be damaged or the piano is malfunctioning, the undersigned will be notified that day. At the Library Director’s discretion, certified repair personnel will be called to inspect the piano. If the damage or malfunction is deemed due to unusual wear and abuse, the undersigned will be responsible for reimbursing the library for all fees incurred in the inspection and repair of the piano. If the damage or malfunction is deemed normal wear and tear, the undersigned will not be responsible for repair costs.

Please print clearly


Mailing Address:______________________________________________________________________

Phone:__________________________________E-Mail Address:________________________________

I, the undersigned, agree to the terms of usage outlined above.



Approved by Flint Memorial Library Board of Trustees, 10/15/08
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