Patron Code of Conduct

The Sidney Memorial Public Library’s mission is to connect our community with resources that educate, enrich, and engage. In order to fulfill this mission, we must provide an environment that assures the safety of all library users, library materials, equipment, and furnishings; and to assure the use of the library is not obstructed by inappropriate behavior or actions

Any patron who violates the Code of Conduct Policy in the Library may be banned from the premises. An Incident Report will be kept on file.  Consequences of violating the Code of Conduct are as follows:

  • 1st infraction: verbal warning.
  • 2nd infraction: 6-month suspension of library privileges.
  • 3rd infraction: complete ban of library privileges.

Patrons engaging in the activities listed below, who refuse to leave the library when requested, are subject to arrest under the Criminal Trespass section of the New York State Penal Law.

  1. Conversing in louder tones than the general noise level.
  2. Verbal or physical fighting (real or mock).
  3. Boisterous behavior, including foul language, shouting, or running.
  4. Congregating or socializing which blocks access to the library.
  5. Campaigning, petitioning, soliciting or proselytizing for any cause.
  6. Inappropriate dress, including absence of shoes or shirts.
  7. Smoking in the library or within 100 feet of the building entrances.
  8. Spitting or throwing anything out of the windows.
  9. Exhibiting behavior not consistent with the normal range of socially accepted behavior. This includes following Delaware County Department of Public Health’s guidelines for all businesses during a health pandemic, including but not limited to the wearing of face masks and the use of hand sanitizer when entering the building.
  10. Leaving trash in and around the library.
  11. Loud music or videos.
  12. Sexual harassment of staff or other patrons.
  13. Use of controlled substances on library property
  14. Drinking alcoholic beverages, except for in Library-sponsored programs.
  15. Using the elevator inappropriately
  16. Misuse or destruction of library property.

Illegal activities will be reported to the police (including defacing or mutilating library property, harassment, or threats) and will result in an immediate ban from the library.

Revised and Board Approved 5/12/20

Sidney Memorial Public Library Pandemic Response Plan

 The Sidney Memorial Public Library is committed to serving its community during hard times and good.

The Sidney Memorial Public Library Board of Trustees authority to adopt these measures is found in our charter, bylaws, New York Education Law Sections 255, 260, 226, 8 NYCRR 90.2, and Article 2 of the Not-for-profit corporation law.  We also consider it our duty to develop these measures to keep our services accessible at this time. 

Staff at the Sidney Memorial Public Library and its Masonville and Sidney Center branches have the authority to enforce these measures like any other of the Library’s Rules.  Concerns about this policy should be directed to the Library Director.  Thank you for honoring these measures, which are designed to keep our community safe, while allowing access to the library.

The Sidney Memorial Public Library and its branches operate per relevant law and Executive Orders, including those pertaining to mandatory workforce reductions.  Therefore, the temporary practices in this Policy may be further modified as needed to conform with relevant Orders.


To establish a protocol that will be used in the event of a pandemic or other public health emergency.

The Library should plan for staff being unable to report to work in the event of a serious infectious disease outbreak. In addition, during any public health emergency organizations may be required to take measures to help slow the spread of illness such as closing by order of county, state or federal health or government officials. It is important to ensure that core business activities of the Library can be maintained with limited staff and reduced hours as determined by the Library Director.

Planning Team: Director, Senior Account Clerk, and the Library Board of Trustees.

The Planning Team will make decisions during a pandemic infectious disease outbreak regarding SMPL and branch health protection supplies, communication about the pandemic with staff and public, curtailment of services and/or closing of libraries, and staffing assignments during the outbreak.

Continuity of Operations Plan—Pandemic

This plan differs from a general emergency preparedness policy or procedure. With an emergency preparedness policy, there is an assumption that staff will return to the building or begin recovery work almost immediately after the event or crisis (such as after a fire or storm). If there is a serious infectious disease outbreak, recovery may be slow and limited staff, services, and hours may be necessary for several weeks or more.

Library Closure

Sidney Memorial Public Library and it’s Masonville and Sidney Center Branches may temporarily close or limit services because of a public health emergency such as an epidemic/pandemic in the event that any of the following occur:

  1. A mandate, order, or recommendation for closure is issued by Delaware County Health Department, New York State Department of Health or other local government officials.
  2. If a Library employee has been diagnosed with the epidemic, the libraries will temporarily close that location.
  3. At the direction of the Library Board of Trustees
  4. At the discretion of the Library Director

Types of Library Closures:

  • Complete Closure: no staff in the building at any time.
  • Library Closure with Essential Services Only: exempt and other essential library employees may be required to work from home or on site during closures to perform necessary duties, such as payroll, bill paying, building maintenance, emptying book drops, etc.
  • Library Closure with Reduced Services – staff may:
  • be allowed to work inside the building, although the building is closed to the public
  • be assigned to provide services to patrons in newly determined ways
  • be assigned to clean the building

 Compensation in a Pandemic

In the event of a closure due to a pandemic, all employees scheduled to work will be considered to have worked and will be paid for their hours scheduled. The extent to which the library staff shall be paid should an emergency closing extend beyond a day shall be determined by action of the Board of Trustees.

Plan Implementation Topics:

  • Hygiene
  • Staffing and Services
  • Communication
  • Safety Practices
  • Recovery


  1. A list of good hygiene practices will be posted on all staff bulletin boards.
  2. Hand sanitizers and tissues will be provided at all public service desks, at public computer reservation stations and all staff work areas.
  3. Hand washing awareness signs will be posted in all restrooms.
  4. Staff will be provided with disinfecting wipes and disposable gloves to assist in keeping work areas sanitized. Priorities include door handles, hand rails, telephones, and keyboards.
  5. Disposable gloves will be provided for employees to use when needed when interacting with patrons or handling materials.
  6. Staff is encouraged to use good personal infection measures (cover one’s mouth and nose when coughing/sneezing, wash hands often, avoid touching one’s eyes, nose or mouth, etc.) and to practice safe social distancing of at least 6 feet.
  7. Should an employee receive a positive test result for the infectious disease, that library branch will shut down and a thorough cleaning will be undertaken by the maintenance department, specifically in all areas that the infected employee might have had contact with.

Staffing and Services:

During a pandemic every effort will be made to maintain library services. Due dates, renewals, and overdue policies may be relaxed during this time.

The Planning Team will authorize any needed service changes in consultation with the Delaware County Public Health Department.

Public meeting room use, public programs, and public use of library equipment may be curtailed or eliminated.

Staff may be re-assigned to a work area in a different area than usual, depending upon available personnel.

Staff that are ill will be strongly encouraged, and may be required, to stay home at least 24-72 hours after they are free of fever (less than 100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C) or free of signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. If an employee has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, they will need to be tested and receive a negative result and/or stay home for the required quarantine period. If an employee should test positive for the disease, they will be required to furnish a negative test result and be symptom free for 72 hours before returning to work. The Director will compile a list of staff members and patrons that the employee has had contact with and convey this information to the Delaware County Public Health Department.

The Planning Team will determine any changes in library hours or library closings due to the number of employees off work or public health directives. Staff might be instructed to stay home.

Essential employees required to be on site in the event of an extended closure will be identified by the Planning Team and training will be provided in necessary tasks. Shifts will be staggered so that not more than two employees will be on site at one time. These employees must follow all CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, wearing masks, and so on.

All employees required to work from home will be provided with a library laptop if needed, with all of the required software installed on the laptop for their particular job. 

Essential employees will continue to use our daily log-in sheets to document when they were at the library and any off-site visits. These may be completed at home and returned via email, as long as they are signed and returned by the Friday before the pay period. All employees will be required to complete time sheets using their normally scheduled hours in order to process payroll.


Information from public health authorities and referral information about the pandemic will be widely disseminated via Health Department and SMPL print and online resources. This will include awareness of symptoms, how the disease is spread, preventative measures, and how to care for someone who is ill. 

The Planning Team will contact staff either via phone and/or email if needed to alert staff to critical news affecting library services. Up-to-date information about the pandemic will also be provided to all staff via SMPL email, Intranet, and staff bulletin boards. Changes in service and library hours necessitated by a pandemic will be publicized in print and online resources.

Safety Practices

The library will require all people on the premises to abide by the following safety practices:

  • All employees and patrons will wear all the Personal Protective Equipment recommended by the CDC and Delaware County Health guidelines.
  • All Personal Protective Equipment, such as masks and gloves, that are deemed required for staff members will be purchased by the library.
  • All employees and patrons will follow social distancing signs/floor markers and stay at least 6 feet from others whenever possible
  • Use hand sanitizer upon entering the library and before using library computers/equipment
  • Any other safety practices recommended by New York State or Delaware County Public Health

PPE will be stored in the office area of the libraries for easy access.


Full or partial library services will be restored as conditions permit. Public programs and meeting room use will resume when recommended by public health authorities, or at the discretion of the Library Board of Trustees and the Director.

If libraries have been closed for the pandemic, infrastructure will be evaluated and cleaning may be necessitated before re-opening.

Staffing needs will be evaluated and a return to full staffing will be instituted as soon as possible, depending on staff health, building conditions and whether all requirements given by the New York State and Delaware County Public Health have been met.  Staff may be asked to return in shorter and/or staggered shifts to prepare the library for reopening.  Once the State and County Department of Health have approved reopening, staff scheduling needs will be determined by the Director.

Board Approved 12/8/2020


Library Cards

Library cards are free of charge to residents with photo identification. Residents may download and print an application (Library Card Application) or pick one up at the Sidney Memorial Public Library or one of the branches. A valid library card can be used at any of the libraries in the 4 County system. It can also be used on to place holds and renew items online.

A library card will be required to check out materials at the Sidney Memorial Public Library and the branches. Photo ID will not be accepted. Borrowers are responsible for all materials borrowed on their card. Parents or guardians are responsible for materials borrowed on their children’s cards. The library must be notified of lost or stolen cards and changes of address.


You may borrow:

50 books (3 week loan period)
5 magazines (3 week loan period)
1 storytime kit (1 week loan period)
5 music CDs (3 week loan period)
3 books on CD (3 week loan period)
3 VHS (1 week loan period)
3 DVDs (1 week loan period)
2 puppets (2 week loan period)
3 graphic novels (3 week loan period)


New materials and items that are on hold for another patron cannot be renewed
Sidney DVDs can be renewed 1 time
Interlibrary loans can be renewed 1 time
All other Sidney materials can be renewed 2 times

Overdues and Fines

  • Library privileges will be revoked for any patrons having overdue materials. Patrons will be restricted from borrowing library materials and logging onto the public computers. Privileges are restored when materials are returned and fines are paid.
  • Most materials (including interlibrary loans) are fined 10 cents per day. DVD and video overdue fees are $1.00 per day. (June 2016)

Lost or Damaged Items

Replacement cost is based on current cost in standard price catalogs. We do not accept replacement items.

Confidentiality of Library Records

The Sidney Memorial Public Library’s circulation records and any other records which identify and relate to the names of library users including database search records, reference interviews, circulation records, interlibrary loan records, and other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities or services are confidential.

Such records will not be released or used for non-library purposes except pursuant to a subpoena from a court of law or other valid process, which specifically identifies the information required, and the purpose for the request.

General public access to circulation statistics invades the privacy of the individual patron, and would tend to discourage the freedom of inquiry into sensitive or unpopular subject matter.

Freedom to Read & View

See ALA’s Freedom to Read and Freedom to View Statements

Collection Development

The Sidney Memorial Public Library strives to provide its patrons with materials that meet a wide range of needs in accordance with its mission statement: Sidney Memorial Public Library provides people of all ages with current information on topics related to work, school, and personal life; encourages self-directed growth and development; addresses the need for reading and enhancing daily life through the use of library services and community interaction. The Library also endeavors to offer resources that will enrich, inform, and entertain the community which it serves. This policy supplies appropriate guidelines for the acquisition and removal of library materials.

Selection Criteria

The method by which library materials will be selected depends on many factors, including, but not limited to: subject suitability, similarity of proposed materials to those already in the present collection, relevance of resources with regard to community needs and desires, and availability of comparable materials.

Professional literature, such as Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and American Libraries, will be consulted by the director and library staff to facilitate in the selection of materials as well.


While Sidney Memorial Public Library always appreciates gifts, they will be accepted with the understanding that they will be used at the library’s discretion. A donated material will be integrated into the collection if (a) the library does not own the resource, (b) a replacement copy is required, and/or (c) it meets the selection criteria discussed above.

The library does not assign a monetary value to these gifts, but will provide donation receipts upon request.


To ensure both the longevity of the collection and the relevancy of the information it provides, library materials must undergo periodical weeding. Materials will be considered for removal and/or replacement based on physical condition, currency of content, frequency of circulation, and other factors to be determined by the Library Director and/or staff.

Parking Lot

Parking spaces are provided for the convenience of the public using the library as well as for those attending meetings at the library and for library staff members. Overnight parking is allowed with the approval of the Library Director, except preceding and during snowstorms.

If a vehicle parked in a library parking lot, because of its size, the way it is parked or for any other reason is blocking traffic flow, causing a dangerous situation or in any other way interfering with the legitimate library business of patrons or staff, then the library staff will ask the driver (if known) to correct the situation. If the driver cannot be found, then the library staff may contact the local police, which may be able to contact the driver and/or owner of the vehicle.

If a vehicle has been parked in the library parking lot for more than 24 hours continuously, then the staff will file an Incident Report including a description of the vehicle and license plate number. The staff may contact the driver, if known, to advise the driver of proper use of the library parking lot.

If a driver and/or owner of the vehicle cannot be contacted or if the vehicle needs to be immediately towed away, the library staff is authorized to contact a towing company.

After the driver and/or owner has been notified and then disregards or abuses proper use of the parking lot, immediate steps may be taken after the second incident to remove the vehicle from the lot.

If a vehicle is towed away, a record will be kept at the Circulation Desk. The record shall include the location and telephone number of the service company that towed the vehicle.


The Sidney Memorial Public Library has updated their Inclement Weather Closing Policy to match that of the Sidney Central School District Inclement Weather Closing Policy.

  • If the school has a 1-hour delay, the library will open 1 hour late at 10:00 am.
  • If the school has a 2-hour delay, the library will open 2 hours late at 11:00 am.
  • If the school is closed for the day, the library is closed for the day.

Please check our Facebook page or tune into WCDO for delay and closing information.

Safe Child Policy

The Sidney Memorial Public Library is committed to providing a warm, welcoming, and safe environment for all of our patrons.  It is for the safety of each child that the library has adopted this Safe Child Policy.

While it is tempting to believe the library is a safe place that your child can visit without worrying about their safety, the library is a public building open to the entire community.  Parents should use the same precautions for ensuring their child’s safety in the library as they would in any other public location.

With this in mind, we have put the following rules into place:

  • Children 12 and younger are to be under the direct supervision of a parent/guardian or responsible caregiver 15 years of age or older who assumes full responsibility for him/her during the entire library visit.  The parent/guardian/caregiver may not leave the premises without the child.  If the child is found to be unattended and displaying disruptive or inappropriate behavior, the staff will attempt to find the child’s parent/guardian/caregiver.  If the staff member is unable to locate anyone in this position, a law enforcement official may be notified.
  • For children attending a program held in the library, the parent/guardian/caregiver must remain in the building or inform the facilitator that they are leaving and return by the end of the program time.  It is important if the child needs to leave the program for any reason that the parent/caregiver be present to ensure their safety.
  • Children 13 to 17 are young adults and are considered independent users.  Parents are responsible for the conduct of any child under the age of 18 whether they are in the company of that child or not.
  • It is recommended that children visiting the library have some form of identification in his or her possession during the entire visit. This information should also include a telephone number.

When a child engages in behavior in the Library that is potentially dangerous to themselves or engages in activities particularly annoying to other library users, a staff member will speak to the responsible adult concerning the problem and request that they provide closer supervision for their child.  Library staff will not physically restrain a child.  If the problem continues the Library Director will be notified.

If children are left unattended after library closing time, library staff will not give rides, nor will they wait for parents to arrive to pick up their children. Library staff will contact the local police department immediately.  Unattended children will be turned over to their custody and staff will place a sign on the door stating that “unattended children are with the Sidney Police at (607) 561-2301. Once located, parents will be given a copy of this policy and informed that all future incidents will be handled exclusively by the local police department.  Continued violation of this policy will result in suspension of library privileges for the family.

Board Approved 09/08/2020

Food and Drink Policy

Food and drink are strictly prohibited at the library’s computer workstations or near any library electronic equipment, in the Swiss Room, the Public Computing Center, and in the stacks areas.  Snack foods and drinks in spill-proof containers or capped bottles are allowed at library tables and seating not associated with stacks or electronic equipment, and also in the library meeting room, staff areas, and the kitchenette at the discretion of library staff. 

Eating and drinking should not disturb other patrons. Should we receive complaints regarding a patron’s eating or drinking, they will be asked to remove the items from the library.

If your food or drink makes a mess, please be considerate and clean up after yourself.  If you damage library furnishings, equipment, materials, or property while eating or drinking, you are financially responsible for the repair or replacement of the damaged items.

Board Approved 09/08/2020

Cell Phone and Other Electronic Devices Policy

In order to provide a quiet environment in the library, cell phones are not to be used for the purpose of making or receiving phone calls.  If you do need to use you phone for this purpose, you may do so only in the designated areas of the entryways.  Cell phones should be turned off or set to silent while you are in the library.

All electronic equipment accessing sites that generate sound require the use of headphones and the volume level must be set low enough that it cannot be heard by others.

Electrical cords on approved items must be kept out of aisles and cannot in any manner create a tripping hazard.

Library patrons with cell phone or other electronic device usage that violates our behavior policy on disturbances, creating a disturbance by making noise, talking loudly or engaging in other disruptive conduct, will be asked to leave the building.

Board Approved 09/08/2020