Lending to Decertified Libraries Policy

The Georgetown Peabody Library supports the importance of maintaining the minimum standards of public library service required for a community to be certified by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). If a public library does not meet these standards the library becomes decertified non non-certified. As such, a public library is not eligible to receive state aid, apply for LSTA grants or contract with a region to provide supplemental services. Massachusetts General Law and state regulations (605 CMR 4.01) state that certified public libraries are not required to lend materials to residents of municipalities with decertified and non-certified libraries.

This policy aims to address the issue of the fair and appropriate use of Georgetown tax dollars spent on public library service by limiting the reliance of a municipality with a decertified or non-certified library on the Georgetown Peabody Library and its resources. Massachusetts regulations (605 CMR 4.01) state, “all residents of the Commonwealth shall have access to reading and reference rooms under that same conditions as residents of the community.” Although all residents of the Commonwealth are welcome to use the resources within the Georgetown Peabody Library, only residents of communities with libraries certified by the Board will be allowed to borrow materials from the Georgetown Peabody Library. Full use by residents of decertified or non-certified communities would be an inappropriate reliance on the Georgetown Peabody Library. Permitting such use would subsidize library services to a community unwilling to support its own public library at the expense of Georgetown taxpayers. Therefore, the Georgetown Peabody Library will not lend library materials to residents of decertified or non-certified communities, either through direct reciprocal borrowing or through inter-library loan and network transfers.

Public libraries that receive waivers for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners are considered certified. Residents of communities where the library has received a waiver will be allowed to borrow materials from the Georgetown Peabody Library.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees on 3/9/2016.