Policies

We’re Going Fine Free!

The Pennington Public Library will go Fine Free in the new year! Starting January 1, 2023, we will no longer charge fines for books and other materials that are returned late. Additionally, all existing fines will be cleared, and patrons whose cards were blocked because of unpaid late fees will once again be able to check out materials. 

Why Fine Free?
We want to make our library a more welcoming and accessible place. Fines currently account for only 0.3% of the Library’s annual revenue, and fines discourage and even stop people from using the library. In fact, public libraries across the country have seen an increase in return rates after eliminating overdue fines. Simply put, late fines are ineffective in getting people to return items on time. Fine Free allows us to improve customer service and remove barriers to library use.

What does this mean for you?
You will no longer be charged a daily overdue fine on late items. However, library items still need to be returned or renewed by their due date. To help with on-time returns, we will continue to send out reminder notices. If you have an item that is 28 days overdue, your card will be blocked from checking out other materials. The block will be lifted once the item is returned. Lost or damaged materials will be charged a replacement fee. Patrons receive several reminders before they are billed for lost items.

COVID-19 Precautions Policy

The Pennington Public Library will be mask-optional as of October 5, 2022.

We ask that patrons be respectful of staff and other patrons’ choice to wear a mask or not. Masks will continue to be provided for use in the Library.

We recommend 6 feet of social distancing in our public spaces and suggest requesting curbside pickup if you have been exposed to or are recovering from illness.

Please note that the masking requirement remains in place for all other areas of Borough Hall. Also, the mask policy could change in the future and decisions will be made in consultation with our local health department.

Loan Periods

Loan periods are determined by type of material:

  • Books 3 weeks
  • Magazines 1 week
  • New DVDs 1 week
  • Series DVDs 3 weeks (Excludes “New to the Collection” titles.)

Did you know vacation loans can be arranged?  Ask at the Circulation Desk.

Renewing Items

All Library materials are renewable except for:

  • Books from the “New Titles” collection
  • New DVDs
  • Materials that have been requested or reserved by another patron
  • Materials that have reached the renewal limit. No item may be renewed more than 3 times.

Don’t forget you can renew materials online! The PIN for your account is the last four digits of the phone number used to obtain your library card.

Overdue Fines

  • Movies and DVDs: $1.00 per day
  • All other library materials: 10 cents per day.

Donation Policy

Due to limited storage space, donations of recent hardcovers, paperbacks in excellent condition, children’s books, DVDs, and audio books are accepted ONLY with prior approval from the Library Director.

Old hardcover books, textbooks and Reader’s Digest Condensed books cannot be accepted.

If any of the donated books in a grouping appear to be moldy, none of the books can be accepted.  Also, if your books were stored in a dark and damp area for 24 hours or more, or have a stale smell, we cannot accept them as mold spores travel through the air and could affect the rest of our collection. We appreciate your sensitivity and understanding of these issues.

Unattended Children

The Trustees and Staff of the Pennington Library hope that children and parents find our Library inviting and enjoyable and will visit often.  In the interest of safety, no child under the age of ten years may be left unattended in the library.  This includes during Story Time and other Library Programs.

Children under the age of ten (10) must be attended in the library by a responsible caregiver age twelve (12) or older. A staff member who discovers an unattended child under the age of ten will attempt to contact the parent or guardian of the child. If a parent or guardian cannot be contacted, the library staff may contact the Pennington Police Department.

Additionally, parents or caregivers may be asked to remove children from the Library if they are exhibiting disruptive behavior.

Cell Phone Use Policy

Use of cell phones is permitted outside of the Library in the hall area.

In consideration of others, we ask patrons to please turn off phones or set them to vibrate when entering the Library. Thank you.

Code of Conduct

Patrons are also expected to follow the Pennington Public Library Code of Conduct.