Library Policies & Plan

The Sherborn Library establishes plans and policies to ensure the best library experience for all of our patrons. Please read below for the policy and strategic plan voted on by the Library's Board of Trustees. 

The Library's strategic plan is a document that sets goals to focus on during a five-year timeframe, 2022-2026.  It is intended to help the Library move towards meeting its overall mission and vision.  The state also recommends maintaining an up-to-date plan as a best practice, also enabling the Library to be eligible for state grants. At the Sherborn Library we’re putting our Strategic Plan into place and action! To read more about our 2022-2026 Long-Range Plan, "A Branch to the Future" goals and objectives, open the detailed PDF here

See below for the Library's approved policies. 

The Sherborn Library provides welcoming environments for children of all ages in our Children’s Wing. This requires that everyone follow the Patron Behavior and Library Use Policy adopted by the Library Board of Trustees. Children are welcome in all areas of the Library when accompanied by a responsible adult, or Library staff. It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure that their children behave appropriately when in the library, whether or not a parent/guardian is present.

The Library staff is very concerned for the well-being of visiting children, but cannot be held responsible for incidents, accidents or other events that may arise. The responsibility for the safety and behavior of children in the Library rests with the parent/caregiver and not with Library personnel. The Library reserves the right to contact parents/guardians.

The Children’s Wing is primarily for children ages 0-12 and their caregivers during library hours. Adults without a child present who are not actively using or searching the youth collections or seeking help from staff are not allowed in the Children's Wing, regardless of whether or not a minor is present in the space. Computer use for kids and families only.

Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied and supervised by a parent or caregiver (must be ages 16 and up) at all times in the Children’s Wing and the Library. Parents/caregivers must not leave the Library while their children under 10 years of age are attending a program. It is at the discretion of the Librarian running the program to determine whether a child under the age of 10 may be left unattended in the program area for the duration of the program while a parent/caregiver remains accessible in the Library nearby.

Children ages 10 and up may be left unattended, at the discretion of a responsible caretaker. The child should know how to reach an adult, and both child and adult should be aware of the closing time of the Library and have plans for when the Library is closed. Once the building is closed, children cannot wait inside and staff is unavailable to wait with them. If a child of this age group is not able to leave the Library without an adult, he/she should not be in the Library unattended.

If it is determined a child is lost, or unattended to the point where staff on duty is concerned, the police may be contacted for assistance. Emergency procedures will be enacted if required.

Effective Date: This policy was adopted October 24, 2023.


The Sherborn Library Trustees and Director shall be authorized to accept gifts of cash, marketable securities and other assets, unrestricted donations of books and other Library materials, and in-kind donations specifically designated or solicited for existing projects. Potential donors are encouraged to reach out to the Director or Trustees to discuss potential donations.


Encouragement of gifts for memorial purposes

The Trustees of the Sherborn Library actively encourage the establishment of trusts and gifts for memorials.

Conditions for money and other tax deductible gifts
Tax deductible donations can be made to the Sherborn Library. The Library staff cannot estimate the value of a gift for tax purposes. The Director will write a letter acknowledging the receipt of the item, but the donor must determine the value. Expenditure of money or
proceeds from these gifts is determined by the Trustees.

All information obtained from or about donors/prospects and gifts shall be held in the strictest confidence by the Trustees, Director, Library staff and volunteers, without written or oral approval of the donor, unless the information exists in the public domain or
disclosure is required by law.

Conditions for acceptance of books and other materials
Materials in good physical condition, containing accurate current information, and deemed by the Director likely to be of use to patrons, may be accepted.

Disposition of gifts
The Director may accept materials which are not added to the collections, with the understanding that these items may be sold, donated or otherwise disposed of by the Director. The donor relinquishes and assigns to the Library all legal rights to the donated material.

Acceptance of personal property, art objects, portraits, etc.
Gifts of this nature will be considered on an individual basis by the Library Trustees and the Director. Gifts that may encumber the Library either financially or administratively require approval of the Board of Trustees before acceptance. The Trustees reserve the
right to decline a gift. These items may be displayed, stored, or disposed of at the direction of the Library Trustees. The donor relinquishes and assigns to the Library the all legal rights to the donated material.

Acceptance of shelving and special collections
The primary consideration in accepting a special collection is its usefulness to Library patrons. Special collections present challenges, particularly in shelving. Separate shelving reduces the effectiveness of a collection as a working part of the Library’s holdings and is discouraged by the Director and Trustees. The Director determines the acceptability and disposition of special collections.

Use of special bookplates
The Library has special bookplates to be used in memorial books or other donations. In the case of a large number of books purchased through a trust fund, the donor may have special bookplates designed and left at the Library to be added to books as they are purchased.

Acceptance of historical materials and writings of local authors
The Director may accept books and other printed materials for its Sherborn collection. The Director may accept the writings of local authors in so far as they meet the criteria set forth in the Library’s Material Selection Policy.

Acceptance of special interest literature
The Library needs to maintain a balance on matters of opinion, so the Director reserves the right to limit the quantity of material accepted concerning special causes and viewpoints.

Gift Acknowledgement form
Both the donor and a Library staff member should sign and date the Gift Acknowledgment Form for all donations to the Library. One copy of the form goes to the donor and one is retained by the Library.

Landscape Gift Acceptance Amendment - April 19, 2022

In January, 2017 a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the renovation and expansion of the 1971 Library.  The Library schedule calls for a Fall 2022 reopening of the Library building at 4 Sanger Street.  Costs associated with landscaping the grounds surrounding the Library are not eligible for the use of grant monies awarded to Sherborn by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program.  For this reason, the Library Trustees anticipate that landscape design and the renewal of plantings surrounding the Library may be attractive to private donors for tributes and memorial gifts established on the Library grounds.

As the time has come to plan for the design of the Library’s landscaping and identify its funding sources, a Landscape Committee has been formed.  Talented landscape designers, knowledgeable arborists and Library leaders have come forward to volunteer their time to develop and implement a plan.

A period of opportunity for supporting identified plantings of trees, shrubs and plants will commence in 2022 and conclude when the design has been fulfilled.  A limited number of naming opportunities for plantings and associated care plans, and outdoor furnishings, will become available.   When the landscape design is fully met, this Landscape Amendment to the Gift Acceptance Policy reverts to shared consultation by the Library Trustees, Library Director and Department of Public Works Director, Select Board members and other Town administration department to review donors’ intentions in regard to the Master Plan for the Municipal Campus.  The Amendment will be reviewed for future development.

The overarching guidelines in the above Gift Acceptance Policy also pertains to contributions to the landscape fund and the naming of garden and landscape elements in the comprehensive design.  The choices of plantings and furnishings will be pre-arranged in the professional design plan available on the Library’s website.  The method and content of donor recognition is subject to approval of the Library Trustees and Landscape Committee.

Donations for special plantings and installation may include the provision of funding for the entire associated project, from planning to installation to maintenance, including the cost of professional consultation if required.   The Library landscape plan will specify the parameters of long-term nurturing of plantings to maintain the splendor of the design to maturity.

Donors are responsible for determining the value of all gifts; donors may wish to have an appraisal of value for income tax purposes prior to making the donation.

The Library and Town of Sherborn retain the right to alter, relocate or remove any landscape objects as the future needs of the Municipal Campus may dictate, although historically unforeseen changes are uncommon and often caused by catastrophic circumstances.

Effective Date: This policy went into effect July 17, 2018. Amendment added April 19, 2022.

It is the policy of the Sherborn Library to provide the public with free access to the Internet on Library-owned public access workstations, laptops, tablets, and other devices.  It is also the policy of the Library to use the Internet to assist the public with research and to provide information.  The Library also provides free wireless Internet access which patrons may use to search on their own devices.

This policy applies to all individuals and organizations having access to the Sherborn Library and its digital resources.

The Library subscribes to the principles of intellectual freedom expressed in the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read statements, and its interpretations of these documents.

Given the size and constantly evolving nature of the Internet, there may be occasions when information of a controversial nature is accessed by patrons.  Some Internet sites may contain material that could be considered by some to be defamatory, offensive, or even illegal.  The display of materials which are intended to or reasonably likely to create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or sexually offensive environment in the Library, is prohibited. Similarly, display of materials which are intended to or reasonably likely to create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or offensive environment in the Library based upon gender, race, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, or any other category protected under state and federal law, is prohibited.

Rules of Conduct             
All users of the Library's resources are expected to use them in a responsible manner, consistent with the educational, informational, and recreational purposes for which they are provided, in the spirit of the Library’s Materials Selection Policy.

Responsible, ethical use of such resources includes the following:

  • Internet users are reminded that the Library's computers are located in public areas which are shared with Library users and staff of all ages and backgrounds.  The Library has a duty to maintain a place of public accommodation where all patrons can be free from unreasonable interference with their use and enjoyment of the facility.
  • Internet users are responsible for complying with copyright law, as well as the licensing agreements and policies of individual websites that are viewed.
  • Whether using a Library computer or a personal device, patrons are expected to refrain from displaying graphics which are inappropriate for public viewing, or playing audio that could disturb other patrons. 
  • Patrons are expected to share the Library’s property and be considerate of other individuals who may also wish to use the available hardware.  Patrons are expected to work efficiently when using the Library’s property and may be interrupted at the discretion of a Librarian to allow another to use the equipment.
  • Patrons are expected to be careful of the Library’s equipment and discerning about questionable sites and emails.  Patrons must maintain a clean work area that does not risk damage to the equipment or the Library’s property.

Conversely, the following activities are prohibited:

  • You may not use Library computers for an illegal activity or any activity that in any way violates local, state, or federal law.
  • You may not make any attempt to damage computer software or equipment.
  • You may not make any attempt to alter software configurations for personal preferences or alter software configurations in a malicious manner.
  • You may not engage in any fraudulent activities.
  • You may not attempt to violate computer security, or to gain unauthorized access to the Library's network or computer system, or any other network or computer system, nor may you insist that staff accommodate any such request.
  • You may not distribute commercial advertising, junk mail, chain letters, or computer viruses.
  • You may not display or disseminate content that is harmful to minors, as defined by Massachusetts General Laws chapter 272, section 28.

The Library reserves its right to terminate an Internet session at any time.  Illegal activities or activities that interfere with or disrupt the network, users, services, or equipment are prohibited.  Illegal acts involving Library resources may be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal officials.  The Library does not routinely monitor public computers, but reserves the right to do so when a violation of this policy or illegal activity is suspected.  Staff is authorized to take immediate action to protect the security of computers and the network.  This includes confiscating any removable media, requiring a user to leave a computer or the premises, and/or contacting law enforcement authorities.

Internet computers will not be used for illegal activity or to access illegal materials.  Installation, downloading, or modification of software is prohibited.  Users will not make any attempt to gain unauthorized access to restricted files or networks, or to damage or modify any computer equipment or software.  Users will respect copyright laws and licensing agreements.  Users will respect the privacy of other patrons, and will refrain from attempting to view or read material being used by others.

Use of Computers by Minors      
It is the policy of the Sherborn Library that parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding what resources found in the Library are appropriate for their children.  Parents or designated guardians who wish to limit or restrict the access of their own children should personally oversee their use of the Internet and other forms of electronic information.  Minors who visit the Library without a parent or guardian are responsible for their own decisions and behaviors.

Internet Access Disclaimer         
Provision of access to the Internet does not constitute any endorsement by the Sherborn Library.  The Library cannot assume responsibility for any direct, indirect, or consequential damage related to the use of information accessed on the Internet using Library workstations. Internet users are reminded that:

  • Not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information.
  • Public workstations are not private or secure.

Wireless Internet                          
The Library cannot assure the safety of your data when you use either our wired or wireless (also known as “wifi”) Internet access. The Internet is a public communications network, which means that your communications may be intercepted by third parties.  Wireless networks pose the same risks to your personal information that wired networks pose, as well as some new risks.  Wireless users need to educate themselves about these risks, and take steps to secure their personal information. Cautious wireless users may choose not to transmit their credit card information and passwords while using any wireless network, including the Library's.

Effective Date: This policy was adopted November 2017.


As of May 2023, the Sherborn Library no longer charges late fees for overdue materials.  Lost or damaged materials will continue to be billed. 

Material Loan period Renewals
Books 3 weeks 2
High-Demand Books 3 weeks 0
Kids Books 3 weeks 2
DVDs: TV Series 3 weeks 2
Equipment 3 weeks  2
Games (i.e. video, board, launchpads) 3 weeks 2
DVDs: Feature Films 1 week 2
DVDS: High-Demand 1 week  0
Magazines* 1 week  2
Museum Passes 1 day 0

*The newest issue of a magazine circulates, except for weekly publications


Apply for a new Library card in person or online.

Physical cards must be issued in person. Residents without a Minuteman Library Network (MLN) card may register online for a temporary e-card but must pick up the physical card within six months. The Sherborn Library complies with the Minuteman Library Network policy that patrons may only have one Minuteman Library card. Should you lose your Library card, come into the Library for a replacement rather than attempt to re-register online.

How to complete online registration:

  • Pick up your full service Library card at a Minuteman public Library of your choice within 6 months.
  • After 6 months, temporary accounts, including item requests, are deleted.
  • Please mention that you have already registered for a temporary card and bring your temporary Library number or a copy of the confirmation email.
  • When you pick up your card you must present a photo ID and proof of address (see above).


A Library card may be obtained by presenting photographic identification and confirmation of current address. Applicants must present: Current, valid Massachusetts driver’s license or Massachusetts State Identification Card with current address OR one document from Section 1 AND one document from Section 2 below:

1. Proof of identification –current or expired-- (must include name and photo)

  • Alien Resident Card
  • Government issued cards, such as Military ID
  • State issued photo ID including welfare, Medicaid or FID card
  • University or school ID
  • Senior/T. A. P. ID issued by the MBTA

2. Proof of current local address* (must include applicant’s name)

  • Utility bill or tax bill (dated within the last 60 days)
  • Imprinted bank check or deposit slip
  • Official school schedule with applicant’s name and address typed on it
  • Official letter verifying residency and mailing address dated within last 30 days from a social service provider, temporary employer that provides housing, or a short-term residence
  • Postcard mailed to applicant from the Library
  • eBills
  • Lease agreements

Not acceptable: Rent receipts, and personal letters.

*A post office box or business address are not sufficient – a current residential address is required.


If the applicant is under 13 years old, a parent or legal guardian must provide proof of identification and address. A child must be present for a parent or legal guardian to get them a Library card. Children who are able to write their own name or are at least age six may have a card and a parent or legal guardian may confirm their name and address using their own identification.


If the applicant is between the ages of 13 and 17 and cannot meet the ID and address requirements, a parent or legal guardian must provide proof of identification and address. A teen must be present for a parent or guardian to get them a Library card.

Out-of-state Residents

A Library card may be issued to out-of-state residents with sufficient identification that meets the following criteria:

  • Works in Massachusetts
  • Attends school in Massachusetts
  • Owns property in Massachusetts
  • Lives temporarily in Massachusetts for at least one month

Out-of-state residents must also provide identification showing their home/permanent address. Property owners must provide verification such as their tax bill or utility bill for their Massachusetts property. Students must verify their status with school identification and provide their school address. Out-of-state residents working in Massachusetts must provide their work address. Applicants who are temporary residents (such as college students or au pairs) should be registered with their permanent address in the secondary address field.


The Sherborn Library is a member of the Minuteman Library Network (MLN). Your Library card entitles you to borrow materials from the Sherborn Library as well as 43 other public and academic Libraries. Policies regarding loan periods, fines renewals, etc. vary depending on the individual Library. Items checked out in Sherborn follow Sherborn borrowing policies.

A patron in good standing with MLN can use his or her Library card to access databases, digital books, films, music, reserve museum passes, and borrow materials from Libraries across Massachusetts using the Commonwealth Catalog.

Library Card on Mobile Devices

Your Library card barcode can be scanned into your smartphone and used at the staffed circulation desks as well as the self-checkout machines. Please visit your device’s app store for the appropriate barcode scanner app for your device or download the Minuteman Library App.


It is the policy of the Sherborn Library that materials selection rests with the Board of Trustees.

This policy applies to all of the Sherborn Library employees.

The Board delegates to the Library Director the selection of Library materials and the development of the collection. The professional staff members may aid in this selection process. The general public and the non-professional staff members may recommend materials for consideration.

Criteria for Selection
The Librarian is guided in selection of materials by authoritative professional reviews and standard bibliographies. Recommendations from the public are welcome and will be given careful consideration in terms of overall objectives and the existing collection.

Purpose and Quality
The Library's collection will be built to meet the needs and interests of the community. All materials to be selected are subjected to the following criteria as they are applicable:

  • Current interest and usefulness
  • Permanent value
  • Comprehensive in scope
  • Importance as a record of the times
  • Relevance to the existing collection
  • High standards of quality in content, format and binding
  • Cost in relation to the individual title and to the overall collection
  • Authority and competence in presentation
  • Relevance of format to the presentation of the information

In no case should any material be excluded because of the race or nationality, or the political, sociological, or religious views of the writer. Library materials selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials of a controversial nature may come into the possession of children. There should be the fullest practicable provision of material presenting all points of view concerning the problems and issues of our time, international, national, and local. Materials of sound factual authority will not be prescribed or removed from the Library shelves because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. Patrons' self-guided access to materials retrieved via remote electronic resources offered on-site by the Library, and patrons' use of personal resources brought into the Library to be accessed on Library equipment, are subject to the above selection criteria.

Children's Materials
The same criteria are to be used for selection of children's materials as are used for the general collection. Recommendations for purchase are made by the children's Librarian. Special attention is given to books and materials of value to parents, teachers or other adults working with children.

Physical Maintenance of the Collection
The Library Director and staff will undertake the periodic weeding and updating of the collection. In general, materials will be removed from the collection which are deemed to be:

  • outdated in content
  • duplicates of titles no longer popular
  • no longer in current use
  • in poor physical condition

Reconsideration of Material
The Board endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement in providing Library services for all. Sherborn residents only may fill out a Request for Reconsideration form for an item in the collection and return the form in person to the Library Director.

The Library Director will make determinations on any removal or retention of materials, in consultation with the staff responsible for that collection area.

The patron may choose to appeal the decision to the Board of Trustees. The decision of the Board of Trustees will be final.

All requests made to the Board will be made public and will be presented at the Board of Library Trustees meetings. A response from the Trustees will be issued within 90 days; the item will remain in circulation while under review. The form is attached here and available at the public service desks.

Effective Date: This policy was revised on June 20, 2023.

      Created on September 15, 1992.

      Second revision and amendment: June 10, 1997.

The Sherborn Library welcomes the public use of its meeting rooms in keeping with the Library’s mission of informing and engaging the community. This policy is intended to assist in the equitable use of meeting spaces while supporting the Library’s mission.

The Library’s Board of Trustees establishes policy regarding the use of the Library and is the sole authority in interpreting the policy, rules, guidelines and procedures.  The Library Director has supervisory responsibility for Library use, as delegated by the Board.  Library staff and Trustees reserve the right to attend any meetings held in the Library. 

Preferences for Room Use
First priority is Library programs and functions, including the Friends of the Library and the Library Board of Trustees, followed by Sherborn Town Departments, then Sherborn-based Non-Profit organizations next, then other Sherborn groups and individuals. Rooms cannot be reserved by individuals for private social functions. 

In accordance with the American Library Association’s “Library Bill of Rights”, the Library does not limit use of meeting rooms based on the subject matter or content matter of the meeting or the beliefs or affiliations of the meeting’s sponsor.

Meeting rooms are subject to the restrictions set forth by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ public buildings for political use.

Descriptions of Rooms
Community Room:  This room seats 109 persons.  The hours of use for eligible groups may extend beyond the hours of operation that the Library is opened by application in advance.

Trustees’ Conference Room:  This conference room occupancy level is 37 persons and may be reserved for meetings that involve discussion and audio-visual presentations.  

Study Rooms: Two rooms are designated for individual and group work. The occupancy level for Study  Room East is four and the occupancy level for Study Room West is six. Rooms can be reserved online up to two weeks in advance for a maximum of two times per week at Study rooms are not considered meeting rooms and the rules for their use are detailed in a separate section.

The Library will not publicize non-Library sponsored events.  All non-Library events must add to all publicity “Sherborn Library is not sponsoring this event.”  A group’s use of a Library meeting room shall not be considered an endorsement by the Library of that group or the event.

Making Reservations
All rooms must be reserved through the online room reservation system at, or through a librarian, in person or over the phone.  The full reservation form must be completed. Application for the room does not assure approval.

Room reservations follow the preference criteria in the Library’s Meeting Room Policy and are taken in order received. 

Users must sign in at the main desk before they use the room.

Unreserved rooms available on the day of a meeting are assigned on a first-come first-served basis.   Equipment use, and training in the use of equipment, may not be available to short-notice reservations.

The Library reserves the right to assign rooms based on availability, size of group and planned use, in order to accommodate the greatest number of users. The number of attendees is limited to the maximum capacity for each space as determined by the Fire Chief. 

Groups requesting recurring meetings more than 2 times per month must receive permission from the Library Director.

If the Library is closed for bad weather or other circumstances, the Library staff will attempt to contact the meeting sponsor’s organization. Every effort will be made to reschedule the room booking.

Community groups whose organizations hold public programming on an annual or monthly recurring date and time may reserve that recurring date and time up to one year in advance.  Cancellation or postponement of the recurring meeting date and time does not guarantee the availability of an alternative date and time, unless an inclement weather date is established with the reservation in advance. If a room is needed for a Library, Friends of the Library or Library Board of Trustees meeting or program, we reserve the right to use the room and will make all attempts to give advanced notice. 

The Board of Library Trustees reserves the right to refuse the use of the Library meeting space or cancel any reservation when they deem the action to be in the best interest of the Library and/or Town. 

Room Use
Meetings must take place during hours the Library is open, unless permission has been granted by the Library Director at least two weeks in advance of the meeting.

Meetings and their participants must follow all Library rules. 

Attendance must be limited to the capacity of the meeting room.

The Library's Community Room and Trustees’ Room are equipped with a computer, projector, sound System and internet access. Only trained individuals will be permitted to use the AV equipment. Staff may arrange a training to use equipment prior to event. Room renter must inform staff of their technology needs during the application process.  

Any furniture moved by the meeting user must be returned to its original positions at the end of the meeting.  No postings or hangings may be made on meeting room walls.  

The person making the room reservation shall be responsible for cleaning the space immediately after use and remove all trash and other materials brought to the meeting.  The contact person must inform the staff of any changes to the room’s standard set-up.

Meeting room activities must not interfere with or disturb Library staff or users.

The contact person must inform the Library about the sound level of the event (i.e. music, performance, audible voices). 

Food and use of the catering room are permitted.  Alcoholic beverages are not permitted unless the applicant has filed for a special permit with the Select Board following Town Policy, and received the Library Director’s permission.

Meeting room users are responsible for all damage to Library facilities or property.  The person reserving the Community Room must be 18 years or older and is responsible for meeting conduct, extra costs and liability. 

The Library is not responsible for the loss or damage of the group’s property or the property of the persons in attendance.

Effective Date: This policy was adopted November 15, 2022

Museum Pass Reservation General Policies:

  • Sherborn Library museum passes can be reserved by Sherborn residents and Town employees with a valid Minuteman Library card.
  • Patrons must have an account in good standing with the Minuteman Library network (fines under $10.00).
  • Non-residents with a valid Minuteman Library card may reserve available passes one hour before the Library closes the evening before, and anytime on the date of the reservation. Please consult our Library Hours page.
  • Non-residents must reserve passes via telephone or at the Library, since the online software will not authenticate the Library cards of non-residents.
  • You / your family can reserve one museum pass per day. During school vacation weeks, no more than two passes per vacation period can be reserved.
  • Please cancel your reservation if you are unable to use the pass, so that others can benefit. Call (508) 653-0770 to cancel your reservation.

Laminated Pass Policies:

  • Laminated passes must be returned to the Library by 10 AM on the day after use, either to the circulation desk if the Library is open, or in the Book Drop if the Library is closed.
  • Late passes incur a $1.00 per day late fee. The fee for a lost pass is $10.00
  • Museums / Organizations that issue laminated passes are:

Discovery Museum
Garden in the Woods
Tower Hill Botanical Gardens
DeCordova Museum

Coupon Pass Policies:

  • Coupon or disposable passes are turned in at the museum, and not returned to the Library.
  • Coupon passes can be picked up as much as a week before the reservation date.
  • Museums / Organizations that issue coupon-style passes are:

Museum of Fine Arts
Children’s Museum
Peabody Essex Museum
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
New England Aquarium
Museum of Science

It is the policy of the Sherborn Library to make reasonable efforts to prevent illegal or unacceptable behavior on the Library's premises.


This policy applies to all individuals and organizations which have access to the Sherborn Library.


Existing legislation, law enforcement mechanisms, and local ordinance are the primary means of recognizing and controlling misbehavior that involves public safety, criminal behavior, and threats or annoyance to the well-being of Sherborn Library users and staff.

Behavior deemed as unacceptable on the Library's premises may be subject to the notice and intervention of Library staff.

The determination of Library staff to deny, limit, or interrupt access to the Library by an individual or organization would be made only after fair warning, if practicable, and careful consideration of the individual user's rights versus the rights of other users.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts enacted An Act Relative to the Theft and Mutilation of Library Materials and Property, M.G.L. Chapter 61 of the Acts of 1990, amending Sections 99 and 100 of Chapter 266 of the Massachusetts General Laws, which states that any person who willfully:

  • Conceals and/or removes any Library materials or property from the premises without authority; or
  • Fails to return any Library materials or property which have been lent to said person by the Library facility, within thirty (30) days after demand has been made for their return; or
  • Uses false identification or a fictitious name; misuses another person's Library card, uses a revoked, expired or canceled Library card or uses a falsely made Library card to borrow Library materials or property; or
  • Alters or destroys Library ownership, electronic or catalog records; or
  • Mutilates, destroys or otherwise damages, in whole or in part, any Library materials or property;may be punished upon conviction by imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $25,000 and required to make full restitution.

The following is a list of examples of behavior which the Sherborn Library deems as unacceptable models of behavior on the Library's premises. These examples are in no way intended to limit the manners of conduct which may result in, or necessitate, the denial or restriction of patrons' Library access:

  • continuous loud voices
  • persistent running or rough-housing
  • vulgar language or verbal abuse
  • defamation of an individual or group
  • rudeness to Library users or staff
  • abuse of Library property or Library policy
  • attire which is not in compliance with Massachusetts Public Health Laws
  • personal hygiene which substantially interferes with the ability of other patrons' use of the Library
  • smoking or sleeping
  • eating and drinking, except in designated spaces and during approved functions
  • loitering on the Library premises
  • solicitation other than for election and related signature collection activities that are permitted by law; but only on the outside pathways leading to the Library’s entrances.
  • using the Library as a base out of which to operate a private business

Effective Date: This policy went into effect April 13, 1993. Revised November 19, 2013.

The Sherborn Library is a limited public forum.  As such, it may enforce the time, place and manner of free speech and expression such as photography, filming and recording within the Library.

Commercial Photography, Filming or Recording

No commercial and/or media photography, filming or recording (including, without limitation, formal, wedding, and/or engagement) may occur within the public areas of the Library without the express approval of the Library Director or their appointed designee.  Any consent granted pursuant to this Policy may be revoked by the Library Director or his/her designee at any time.

Non-Commercial Photography, Filming or Recording

The Library recognizes the public’s right to free speech and expression.   Accordingly, photography, filming and recording within the public areas of the Library are allowed provided that:

  • Photography, filming, and recording and any associated equipment does not interfere in Library operations.
  • Photography, filming, and recording and any associated equipment does not disturb members of the public.
  • Photography, filming, or recording of other patrons only occurs with their express consent (or consent of a parent or guardian in the case of a minor).
  • Equipment such as tripods or selfie sticks does not obstruct passageways.

Public areas include all areas not marked “Authorized Personnel Only.”

Library staff reserve the right to escort individuals who violate this policy from the building.

The Library frequently photographs, films, or records programs and events for its own publicity and promotional purposes. Attendance at programs and events is considered consent to photography, filming, or recording, but Library staff will make an effort to inform patrons when photography, filming, or recording is occurring and to provide reasonable accommodations for those who wish to opt out of photography, filming, or recording. Please notify a Library staff member if you, your child or a minor in your care do not want to be photographed or recorded or would like materials that have been published taken down. 

Photographs of original art on display in the Library require permission of the artist(s) who hold all rights over reproduction of their work.

All questions about video/filming, audio-recording or taking photographs in the Library should be addressed to the Library Director or appointed designee who is responsible for the implementation of this policy.

Effective Date: This policy was adopted on October 24, 2023. 

The Sherborn Library maintains an online presence via social media to keep the community informed about upcoming Library events and Library-related topics and to promote community engagement. 


This policy applies to all individuals and organizations having access to the Sherborn Library’s social media accounts.  


For the purpose of this policy, the Library defines social media as any form of electronic communications in an online community to which the Library posts content, including but not limited to websites, blogs and corporate owned social media properties, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Nextdoor, YouTube and Pinterest. The Library uses these online forums to interact with patrons and potential library users where they are in a way that aligns with the Library’s mission to provide access to information and to promote life-long education, recreational reading and cultural advancement.

Rules of Conduct

The Library sets rules for use of its online venues and social media sites, just as it does for use of the Library’s physical space. The Library respects diverse viewpoints and encourages thoughtful discussion. The Library is not responsible for the content of public comments or other user generated content. 

The Library reserves the right to remove content that is not topically related to the Library or its services. Additionally, the Library reserves the right to remove: 

  • Content that promotes discrimination, attacks, insults or bullies others
  • Content that constitutes or encourages illegal activity
  • Commercial promotions or spam
  • Profane or vulgar language
  • Sexual content or links to sexual content
  • Content that violates another party’s intellectual property rights
  • Private information about an individual shared without that individual’s consent
  • Content that compromises safety or security
  • Content regarding political campaigns and ballot measures
  • Potentially libelous content 
  • Personal attacks, insults, defamatory or threatening language

While the Library regularly monitors and reviews interactions, it cannot guarantee in all cases that inappropriate content will not be posted by users, and the Library assumes no liability for the posting or viewing of any such material.


The Library Director authorizes or retains a webmaster to manage the Library’s social media accounts. Only the Library webmaster, the Library Director, or the Director’s designee, is authorized to make content or technical changes to the Library’s social media pages and accounts.  The webmaster may train and assign routine clerical updating to staff assistants.
The Library reserves the right to regularly monitor and review content posted on social media for relevancy and reserves the right to remove from its social media accounts content that does not meet its rules of conduct. 

The Library evaluates information that it posts online, but sharing or linking to content online does not mean the Library endorses or is affiliated with the content or content use.

Effective Date: This policy was adopted January 21, 2020

The Library has two study rooms located on the second floor of the Library.  The study rooms provide a quiet environment for individuals to study, as well as a place for people to work together on a project without disturbing other Library users. Wi-Fi access is available. 

Description of Rooms

Study Room East: This room is located on the second floor of the Library nearest the elevator. The occupancy level for this room is four.

Study Room West: This room is located on the second floor of the Library nearest the fireplace. The occupancy level for this room is six.

Room Reservations

Rooms can be reserved online up to two weeks in advance for a maximum of two times per week at  When not reserved, rooms are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If no one shows up within the first 15 minutes of a reservation, the room will be made available to others.  

The Library reserves the right to resolve schedule problems by adjusting or canceling reservations when they deem the action to be in the best interest of the Library and/or Town. 

Room Use

Users are responsible for their personal property at all times, and should never leave items unattended. The Library is not liable for loss or damage to personal property.

Rooms must be left clean and in good condition for the next users.

Effective date: This policy was adopted November 15, 2022

Website Policy – Development, Management & Usage

It is the policy of the Sherborn Library to provide a website for access to Library information, promotion of Library sponsored-events, and links to databases selected or developed by the Library, or licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners or the Minuteman Library Network.

This policy applies to all individuals and organizations havingaccess to the Sherborn Library and its website or who help to maintain the website.

The World Wide Web, a global collection of distinct national, regional and local computer networks capable of communicating with each other through a telecommunications network, is one of the resource options the Library has for providing information to the public. The Library’s local website adheres to the standards set in the Material Selection Policy, Computer Use and Patron Behavior Policies, and compliance with American Library Association professional standards which have been adopted by the Board of Library Trustees.

Website Scope
The Library website provides public and staff access to a variety of educational and informational resources in electronic format, and is a dynamic collection of links, content, and graphic presentation on a variety of subjects for users of all ages and levels of experience. Because of the dynamic nature of the Web and its interconnectedness on the internet, the Library cannot be held responsible for unintended consequences of internet use launched from a Library website search and which is not approved content of the Library’s distinct website.

The Library’s website complements and supplements the print and multimedia collections of the institution, and serves a preservation role in the digital collections of Sherborn, and state and national digital preservation Libraries. The information includes, but is not limited to, a catalog of print and multimedia materials owned by the Library, and by other members of the Minuteman Library Network, including online databases, electronic books and magazines, and information on Library services and programs, a calendar of Library events, interactive museum pass and room reservation software, electronic forms and links to other selected Internet websites.

The Library shall provide approved links from its website to other websites to support the Library’s goal of providing a wide range of information to the public. Staff Librarians will recommend websites to the Library webmaster for their informational and/or educational value. Government, non-profit, and commercial websites free from excessive marketing may be included. To be selected, websites must meet the following criteria:

  • Primary intent of the website is to educate or inform in a Library environment.
  • Site's owner or sponsor is easily identifiable, and contact information is provided.
  • Third party site does not charge for access or ask patrons to provide their personal information or credentials.
  • Site does not promote a specific religious, political, or social agenda.

Because website content may change or disappear entirely without notice, the Library cannot be held responsible for the content or accuracy of websites not maintained by Library staff. Every effort will be made by Library staff to keep approved links current. Website visitors are encouraged to inform the webmaster if they find a link that no longer functions or that is inconsistent with the above stated criteria.

Emergency notices shall be posted on the website insofar as possible for closure caused by weather advisories, facility, utility or staffing catastrophes. Note that, in the event of any widespread power outage, updates to the website for emergency messaging may be impossible.

Contact information for Library officials, Library staff, Friends of the Library volunteers, and a link to the Town of Sherborn official website for contact information may be provided and are kept current insofar as possible. The Library reserves the right to revise the scope of personnel contact information. The Library reserves the right to dismiss or curtail contacts that are not manageable by electronic methods or deemed inappropriate or excessive, or to refer contacts to appropriate personnel or redirect information requests to methods that may be best served by the appointed Records Officer subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Library staff are subject to Town of Sherborn policies on computer use, email and social networking; however, the privacy of patrons’ research and personal Library records is protected by MGL Chapter 78, Section 7.

Monetary Transactions
Payments of fines and fees initiated from the Library’s website to the Minuteman Library Network are a pass-through from the Library’s website to the Minuteman Library Network’s server, which is a secure socket layer (SSL) transmission hosted by Minuteman. The Minuteman Library Network does not store any credit card data. Users’ "My Account" data is encrypted and transmitted securely between Minuteman’s server and your computer.

Monetary donations to the Friends of the Library Annual Appeal, gifts, or ticket sales and application payments to Friends’ events, are managed by PayPal and are not directly connected to the internet.

Website Privacy
The Sherborn Library website URL is The Library’s website is not stored on the Town of Sherborn server or the Library’s local server; rather it is remotely hosted by a professional service with proven reliable and secure firewalls.

Certain information on Library sites may be trademarked, service-marked or otherwise protected as intellectual property. Protected intellectual property must be used in accordance with state and federal laws and must reflect the proper ownership of the intellectual property.

The Sherborn Library website may use Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”) to gather and analyze website-use data to better serve our web visitors. Google Analytics uses “cookies”, which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyze how users engage and use the site. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) is not personally identifiable and will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage to improve this site. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google’s behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser. By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.

Libraries that use Internet browser data from Google Analytics and third-party proprietary software that may be licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for residents to access in public Libraries or software and databases that are licensed by the Minuteman Library Network for its member Libraries use such data in the aggregate and do not associate use of any web page or any resource with a particular computer or a particular user. Confidentiality of our visitors is of the utmost importance, and no private information is collected or distributed by the Library through its use of Google Analytics or third-party software vendors.

For information on Google's cookie policies and privacy policies, please see Google Analytics Privacy. Patrons may prevent Google Analytics cookies and tracking on all sites by disabling cookies on your browser or by using theGoogle Analytics Opt-Out tool. Third-party software products that are accessed through the Library’s website by licensing use institutional authentication and do not send cookies to individual workstations but gather data based on usage by the institution itself.

Website Management
The Library Director authorizes or hires a webmaster to develop the website, make site changes, and create and maintain web pages, content and links with the approval of the Director or the Director’s committee or designee.

The webmaster organizes content and links to other websites based on the selection criteria for electronic resources outlined in the Library’s Materials Selection Policy.

Only the Library webmaster is authorized to make content or technical changes to the Library website. The webmaster may train and assign routine clerical updating to staff assistants.

Website Passwords
A user name and password combination are issued by the owner of the host server for accessing the Sherborn Library’s website. The user name/password combo is given to the Library Director, Webmaster and the backup web technician, if one is appointed. In the interest of maintaining the integrity of the Library website, upon separation of service of the Library Director, Webmaster and/or the backup web technician, a request will be submitted to the owner of the host server to change the user name/password combo.

Waiver of Responsibility
The Sherborn Library does not actively monitor and has no control over the information users access over the Internet via the Library’s website and cannot be held responsible for any negative consequences. The Board of Trustees of the Sherborn Library, the Library staff, the Friends of the Library, and the Town of Sherborn are not liable for any negative consequences that may occur as a result of using the Library’s website to connect to resources on the Internet. As in all use of websites and Internet resources, the user is responsible for maintaining secure personal passwords. In using personal devices to access the Library’s website and Internet resources, it is the owner’s responsibility to keep virus software up-to-date and to use good practices to avoid negative consequences and damage to their property.

Effective Date: This policy was adopted September 17, 2017.