Section 1: Library Cards
Library cards will be issued to the following patrons free of charge:
- Washington Twp. Residents and property owners
- Non-residents who rent or lease property in Washington Twp., and their dependents
- Non-residents who own a business in Washington Twp., and their dependents
- Non-residents who operate a non-profit organization in Washington Twp.
- Employees of Washington Twp. Public and private schools
- Washington Twp. Municipal employees
- Employees of Gloucester County agencies who work in Washington Twp.
Applicants who do not fall into any of the above categories may purchase a library card for an annual fee of $100 per person if they are not a resident of a municipality in the LOGIN consortium. This includes, but is not limited to; exchange students, visitors, and non-custodial children (see Policy 1.4—Custodial Library Card.)
Per the LOGIN (Libraries of Gloucester, Salem, and Cumberland Network) consortium policies, “There should be only one patron record in the database for each registered individual. New patrons/customers need to register at their home library. Staff should use valid, current ID to check for duplicate patron records before registering a new patron/customer.”
Library cards will not be issued in the name of any group, organization, religious institution or business unless the card is generated as part of the library’s outreach program as approved by the library director. It is the responsibility of the group, organization, religious institution or business to follow all library policies related to the circulation of library materials.
Residents of group homes may get library cards upon approval by the Director and submission of a signed agreement letter by the group home administrator to the library, confirming:
1. The applicant’s name and street address
2. That the applicant is authorized to receive mail at that address
3. That the group home assumes responsibility for the materials checked out by the applicant, including fines caused by overdue, lost, or damaged items.
Washington Twp. Residents (Free Card), two year renewal period:
Must have one of the following up-to-date forms of identification stating applicant’s current address.:
- Valid NJ Driver’s License with current address
- Non-driver ID issued by NJ Motor Vehicle Commission
- Current utility bill with Washington Twp. address
- Current rent or lease receipt
- Current tax receipt or bill with Washington Twp. address
- Deed to Washington Twp. property
- Current bank statement
- Current credit card statement
- Current car insurance card
- Current car registration
- Home Settlement papers
Non-Residents (Free Card), one year renewal period:
Must have one of the following up-to-date forms of identification in addition to one form of identification listed under Washington Township Residents requirements (see above) stating applicant’s current address.:
- Deed or rent receipt for residential property in Washington Twp.
- Current ID or recent pay stub showing applicant is:
- Gloucester County employee working in Washington Twp.
- Employed by a non-profit agency located in Washington Twp. along with proof of non-profit status.
- Employed in any capacity in Washington Twp. public or private schools
- Employed by Washington Twp. as a municipal employee
Non-Residents ($100/year), one year renewal period:
Must have one form of identification listed under Washington Township Residents requirement (see above) stating applicant’s current address. Identification must not have a Washington Twp. address or show residence of a municipality in the LOGIN consortium.
Patrons are responsible for their library cards. The library and library staff cannot monitor the possible use of library cards by persons other than the original cardholder.
All Washington Township Resident library cards carry a two year expiration date. All other library card types, including Washington Township Non-Resident library cards, carry a one year expiration date. All patrons will be required to re-verify eligibility to renew their borrowing privilege and all previously accrued library fines/fees must be paid at this time.
Parents/guardians are responsible for materials borrowed on the cards of juveniles in their care. If a juvenile’s borrowing privilege is suspended due to overdue items, fines, or lost/damaged materials, the adult(s) responsible may also have their card(s) suspended until fines are paid and/or materials are returned.
A homebound cardholder cannot authorize someone with a suspended card to borrow with their homebound card.
If a patron forgets their library card, an unexpired government issued form of photo identification, such as a photo driver’s license, may be used to verify identity and check out library materials.
A library card may be issued to a permanent Washington Twp. resident who cannot furnish I.D. but who resides with a qualified resident who is willing to assume responsibility for the applicant’s card.
A qualified custodian:
- is a permanent Washington Twp. resident
- does not have to be a library cardholder
- has no outstanding fines or materials if they have a library card
- resides at the same address as the applicant
- is willing to assume legal responsibility for the applicant to receive and use a library card by signing a custodial form
The applicant must be a permanent Washington Twp. resident who is a:
- spouse who does not have I.D. and whose name does not appear on any documentation accepted as I.D.
- child over the age of 18 who does not have I.D.
- relatives who do not have I.D. and are residing permanently with the custodian
- child under the age of 18 who is living with a legal guardian or foster parent
Homebound and disabled patrons can authorize an individual to use or obtain a library card in their name in order to borrow library materials and renew borrowing privileges on their behalf. The authorized person must not have a suspended library card. The authorized person does not have to be a library cardholder but must present a photo I.D. for identification purposes.
The homebound patron will need to complete the library card application for homebound patrons and supply an acceptable form of identification as stated in Policy 1.2 Acceptable Forms of I.D. to Obtain a Library Card. The homebound patron is responsible for all items borrowed on this card.
Lost and stolen cards are subject to a $3.00 replacement fee. Cards with normal wear and tear will be replaced at no cost. The patron must show current ID to re-verify eligibility. There are no refunds for old cards that are later found.
Section 2: Circulation
Patrons are responsible for their library cards. Library staff cannot monitor the possible use of library cards by persons other than the original cardholder. Patrons are responsible for knowing the due date for all materials borrowed from the library and returning materials before or on this date. Materials returned after the due date will accrue overdue fines. Patrons with fines exceeding $10.00 in total will lose borrowing privileges until their fines are paid. Cardholders are limited to checking out three holiday books owned by the Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library during the season in which the holiday is celebrated. Materials may not be renewed if on request (on hold) by another patron. Patrons should be aware that policies may vary for materials borrowed from other LOGIN libraries. The Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library is not responsible for fines or fees charged by other libraries in the consortium.
Parents and/or legal guardians are responsible for supervising their children in the use of the library and its materials, including the Internet. The library does not assume responsibility for materials used, borrowed or accessed by minor children which may be found objectionable by their parents.
|Item Type||Loan Period||Renewal*||Overdue Fines|
|Books||3 weeks||2 renewals||25 cents/day/title|
|Audiobooks||3 weeks||2 renewals||25 cents/day/title|
|Summer Reading Materials**||2 weeks||No Renewals||25 cents/day/title|
|Magazines (back issues)||3 weeks||2 renewals||25 cents/day/title|
|Music CDs||3 weeks||2 renewals||25 cents/day/title|
|DVDs and Blu-rays||7 days||2 renewals||$1.00/day/title|
|Newspapers||Do Not Circulate||N/A||N/A|
|Reference Materials||Do Not Circulate||N/A||N/A|
|Magazines (current issues)||Do Not Circulate||N/A||N/A|
|Museum and Garden Passes||3 days||N/A||Refer to Policy 2.2|
|American Girl Dolls||7 days||N/A||Refer to Policy 2.2|
|Book Bundles||3 weeks||2 renewals||$1.00/day|
All fines accrue up to a maximum of $5.00 per item. Fines only accrue on days when the library is open to the public in some capacity. Materials that are in the book drops at opening time will be considered as having been returned the previous day. The library reserves the right to limit fine, fee, and collection payments five minutes prior to closing.
* Materials on request (hold) for another patron may not be renewed.
** Summer Reading Materials as selected by the Washington Township School District will be limited to a two week circulation period without the option for renewal during periods of high demand.
Museum and Garden Pass Policy
Only adult Heggan cardholders in good standing (a current card with less than $10 in fines) may check out one pass at a time. Patrons must use their own library card when checking out a pass. The library staff reserves the right to limit the number of times that cardholders may borrow passes due to demand and availability. Passes can be checked out for three days at a time and may not be renewed. The late fee will be $10 per day, up to $70. On the seventh day, the cardholder will be billed for the full cost of the pass, plus the $70 fine. Passes may not be placed on hold or held for patrons. They are available first come, first served. Passes must be returned to staff at the circulation desk of the Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library and may not be placed in the book return. Any passes placed in the book return will be considered one day late and a $10 fee will be charged to the patron’s account. Passes returned to any library other than the Margaret E. Heggan Library will also be considered late and a $10 fee will be charged to the patron’s account. The pass must be returned in the case that was supplied when the pass was checked out along with the information inside the case about the location. Cardholders will be charged the full cost of the pass if the pass is lost, damaged, or destroyed. Cardholders must sign an agreement before checking out a pass. Cardholders who lose, damage, or destroy a pass, or violate the terms of agreement in any other manner, may be barred from borrowing passes in the future.
American Girl Doll Lending Policy
American girl dolls are not available at this time. Please refer to section 13.1: Limited Library Services
Book Bundles Lending Policy
Only Heggan cardholders in good standing (a current card with less than $10 in fines) may check out book bundles. Patrons must use their own library card when checking out book bundles. The library staff reserves the right to limit the number of times that cardholders may borrow book bundles due to demand and availability. Book bundles may be checked out for three weeks and may be renewed twice unless they are on hold for other patrons. The late fee will be $1.00 per day for the entire bundle. All contents of the book bundle must be returned together, in the bag, or else the $1.00 late fee will apply. Book bundles may be placed on hold. Book bundles must be returned to the Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library only and cannot be returned to other libraries in the LOGIN consortium. The books in the bundle must be returned to the library in the bag they were in when borrowed along with all the accompanying instructions. If a book or books are not returned in the bag, patrons will be charged the replacement fee for the item, which will vary for each book, in addition to a $3.00 processing fee for each book that is not returned. If the bag is lost or damaged, patrons must pay a fee of $8.00 to replace the bag. Cardholders who lose, damage, or destroy any contents of the book bundles may be barred from borrowing book bundles in the future.
All circulating materials may be requested by a patron, in accordance with the circulation policies.
Patrons must have a valid library card to place a hold on materials.
Library staff will retrieve patron requests (holds) on a daily basis. The timelines and frequency of attempts to retrieve requested items will be determined by the library as necessary.
When requested materials become available, patrons will be notified via phone or email. Patrons who would like to receive notifications are responsible for ensuring the library has been provided with updated contact information. Requested materials will be held for a specified period of time as determined by the library. After this period of time, the materials will be returned to the shelves, returned to the lending library, or passed on to the next patron on the hold list.
Messages left on an answering machine or with a person at their home will be considered notification.
If materials are not picked up, patrons must ask to have their name put back on a hold list. Names will be added to the bottom of the list.
Patrons are responsible for their library cards. The library and library staff cannot monitor the possible use of library cards by persons other than the original cardholder, including patron requests (holds).
If a patron will be unable to return library materials by the due date (for specific reasons, such as a long vacation or a medical reason), they may request a specific date for returning the materials. The extension period may be up to, but not exceeding, the circulation period of one renewal. Items with existing holds do not qualify for extended loan periods. Circulation staff will check the items out using a special due date.
Personnel from public and private schools located in Washington Township may request bulk loans of library materials for classroom use. Requests for bulk loans must be made in writing on school letterhead with as much advance notice as possible. The teacher making the request must use his/her library card. Bulk loans are subject to all existing circulation policies, including holiday books, which includes a limit of three during that particular holiday season. Upon request from the teacher, a library staff member will select materials for the school.
Parents of homeschoolers and home school groups should contact a library staff member about obtaining materials for bulk loan. The parent or home school group must use his/her library card. Bulk loans are subject to all existing circulation policies, including holiday books, which includes a limit of three during that particular holiday season.
If a patron wishes to borrow an item that is not owned by the Margaret E. Heggan Library or any LOGIN Libraries, the patron may request an interlibrary loan (ILL). A library staff member will assist the patron in completing an ILL form and inform the patron that every effort will be made to fulfill their request for the item. Patrons are allowed to borrow three ILL items at a time and will be notified when the request is successfully fulfilled or in the event the library was unable to obtain the item. Requested materials will be held for a specified period of time as determined by the library. After this period of time, it will be sent back to the lending library. Loan periods will be in accordance with the Heggan Library circulation policies. The library and library staff reserve the right to limit the use of ILL privileges if patrons fail to pick up requested materials. The library also reserves the right to limit the use of ILL privileges to Heggan cardholders only.
If materials are lost or damaged beyond normal wear, they must be paid for by the patron. Staff must issue a receipt for all materials lost/damaged and paid.
Paying for item:
- Patron must pay list price for the item plus a $3.00 processing fee.
- If a patron returns an item incomplete, the charge will depend on the item and/or missing supplementary materials.
Replacement copies purchased by the patron will not be accepted in lieu of payment. All lost/damaged materials must be paid for by the patron according to library policy. The library reserves the right to limit fine, fee, and collection payments five minutes prior to closing.
- Refunds will be given for all materials returned in good condition within 45 days of payment
- Refunds are made by check once monthly, after board approval. No cash refunds.
- Customer must return with their receipt, or sign our copy of the receipt, and sign a voucher.
The library’s goal is to retrieve and make materials available for patrons. The library utilizes a collection agency for the purposes of reclaiming overdue materials, overdue fines, and payment for lost or damaged materials.
Overdue notices are sent by the library as a courtesy. Patrons are given the due date for materials at the time of checkout and/or renewal. Patrons who would like to receive notices are responsible for ensuring the library has been provided with updated contact information.
All patron accounts with items 60 days or more overdue, lost, and/or damaged are submitted to a collection agency at the patron’s expense. The collection agency makes every effort to collect overdue items and/or monetary expenses associated with overdue items.
The library reserves the right to limit fine, fee, and collection payments five minutes prior to closing.
Section 3: Library Technology
The Library makes the Internet available to library cardholders as an information and educational resource in support of the library’s role as the community’s information and lifelong learning center. Consistent with our mission and the professional principles of public librarianship, this Internet use policy affirms the safeguarding of First Amendment rights, intellectual freedom, equity of access, and confidentiality of information about users and their use of all library resources. The Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from its connections to the Internet. The Library makes no guarantee, either expressed or implied, with respect to the quality or content of the information available on the Internet. The Library reserves the right to ask individuals to discontinue the display of information, content, and/or images which could cause a disruption. All users of the Internet are expected to use this library resource in a responsible and courteous manner, consistent with the purposes for which it is provided, and to follow all the rules, regulations, and procedures established for its use including, but not limited to:
- Use of the Library’s Internet in a manner which respects the rights of others and refrains from activity that prevents others from using the Internet
- Use of the Library’s Internet resources for educational, informational, and recreational purposes only
- Use of the Library’s Internet resources within the time limits permitted
- Refraining from using the Library’s Internet resources to conduct a business or commercial enterprise, or engage in commercial activity
- Refraining from illegal or unethical use of the Library’s Internet
- Respecting intellectual property rights by making only authorized copies of copyrighted, licensed, or otherwise-controlled software or data residing on the Internet
- Respecting the privacy of others by not misrepresenting oneself as another user; by not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others; and by not seeking disallowed access to any computer system via the Library’s Internet
- Refraining from damaging or altering the setup of the equipment used to access the Library’s Internet and
- Refraining from damaging or altering software or data residing on the Internet
- Refraining from the deliberate propagation of computer worms and viruses
- Refraining from the transmission of threatening, harassing, or abusive language and/or images
Violation of the policies and guidelines that govern the use of the Library’s Internet resources may result in suspension or loss of the privilege to use these resources. Illegal activity involving the Library’s Internet resources will be subject to prosecution by the appropriate authorities.
According to N.J.A.C. 15:21-2.5, the “library shall provide the public free access to the Internet all hours the library is open.”
Adult patrons who qualify for a free Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library card or card from another library in the LOGIN consortium may use this card to access library computers. Non-resident patrons who qualify for a library card are strongly encouraged to visit the library in their designated service area or home library in the LOGIN consortium to obtain a library card which can be used to access library computers.
Adults without a free library card via a library in the LOGIN consortium may request a free guest pass after completing a guest application and providing photo identification each time they wish to access library computers. Or, adult patrons who do not qualify for a free library card via a library in the LOGIN consortium may purchase a non-resident library card for an annual fee of $100, which also allows materials to be borrowed.
Adults and minors are given equal access to designated computers. Parents or legal guardians must provide identification and complete and sign library card applications and guest applications for minors under age eighteen. Parents and guardians are responsible for supervising and restricting computer usage by their minors. The library does not assume responsibility.
Computer services will cease fifteen minutes before library closing.
Patrons with a wireless-enabled laptop computer may use the Library’s wireless (Wi-Fi) Internet access free of charge. Wi-Fi users do not need a library card to access the Internet.
Use of the Library’s Wi-Fi access point is governed by the Library’s Internet Use Policy, which prohibits inappropriate, abusive, or illegal activities. This access point is not to be used as a permanent connection. Misuse of Internet access can result in loss of Library privileges.
Patrons are responsible for configuring their personal equipment. Due to insurance limitations and warranties, library staff cannot configure personal computers or devices and/or install wireless devices or any other software on a patron’s personal computer. The Library cannot guarantee that a particular computer or device will work with the Library’s Wi-Fi access point or that access will be available at any given time. The Library and its staff are not responsible for personal computers and devices left unattended in the library.
Use of the Wi-Fi access point is at the patron’s own risk. The Library is not responsible for any damage that may occur to a personal computer or device while connected to the Library’s Internet access point.
Patrons shall defend, indemnify, and hold the Township of Washington, its officers, employees, and agents harmless of all claims, actions, and judgments based upon or arising out of the patron’s use of the Library’s wireless connections.
Patrons are allocated 11 sessions per day with each session lasting a maximum of 60 minutes. Terminating a session early will count against a patron’s daily allotment. Patrons may use consecutive sessions on a computer if they have used all 60 minutes of one of their sessions and the computer has not been reserved.
Email, chat rooms, bulletin boards, games, and some other applications are not supported by Library staff. Library staff are not obligated to provide instruction on any of the above activities.
The Library reserves the right to terminate a session at any time for just cause based on library policies.
Patrons are not permitted to conduct business or commercial enterprises including but not limited to the distribution of advertising.
Internet computers may not be used to provide any type of group training unless given by the Library.
Patrons may make only authorized copies of copyrighted, licensed, or otherwise-controlled software or data residing on the Internet. The fee for printing is 15¢ per page for black and white and 25¢ per page for color copies.
Send-only fax service is available at a cost of $1.00 per page. There is no charge for required cover sheets; however, the cover sheet may not be the only page sent. Faxes must be sent domestically in the United States; international send-only fax services are unavailable. Patrons are responsible for making sure the desired fax destination is ready and able to receive a fax prior to requesting fax services. Library staff reserve the right to limit faxing to three attempts per document per day.
Copy and faxing services will cease fifteen minutes before library closing.
Staff will assist patrons in getting started on the library’s computers, but there is no guarantee that trained staff will be available at all times. Time permitting, staff will try to answer limited, specific Internet questions and offer suggestions for searching. For patrons needing in-depth instruction, the library offers free group training sessions and one-on-one reference appointments, in addition to lending books and DVDs on Internet and computer instruction. Staff and the library shall be held harmless for any damage to equipment owned by patrons while assisting them.
Section 4: Meeting Spaces
The Library Board of Trustees of the Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library welcomes non-profit organizations, community organizations, and government agencies engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual, or charitable activities to utilize the Library Meeting Rooms, as available. Priority will be given to eligible groups that are from Washington Township in Gloucester County. The library meeting rooms may not be used for commercial activities, by for-profit groups, or for personal functions. Use of the Library Meeting Rooms does not constitute Library endorsement of any policies or beliefs of any individual, group, or organization which uses rooms in the Library. Those who do not comply with the Library’s policies will be asked to leave the premises and may be restricted from using the room in the future.
In accordance with state health guidelines, the library may require groups using the meeting room to maintain social distance during meetings. Groups are required to clean surfaces of tables, chairs, and counters after the meeting has concluded. It is possible that reservations may need to be cancelled with little notice if there is an unexpected health emergency.
Although there is no charge to use the meeting room, the library welcomes monetary donations to offset the cost of cleaning supplies and other operating expenses associated with the use of the room. Checks may be made out to the Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library or cash may be placed in the donation containers located on the circulation desk.
Conducting Private/Commercial Business on Public Library Premises
The Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library and its public areas are maintained to serve residents who visit to read and borrow library materials, attend Library cultural and educational programs, conduct research with support from Library staff, and utilize library resources and technologies. Students of all ages are encouraged to study quietly. It is critical to the Library’s mission that community residents are able to enjoy undisturbed use of Library public areas. Public areas are not available for private business transactions or meetings. The Library cannot be used as a temporary or permanent office for anyone not formally authorized as a current Library employee or volunteer. The Library cannot be used for the solicitation or sale of goods or services.
Guidelines for Meeting Room Use
- The Library’s peaceful environment and cultural and educational activities remain of primary importance.
- The Library permits use of selected Library Rooms and Areas, provided that the Rooms/Areas are not needed for Library programs, and that access to the Library facility and its services will be undisturbed. In accordance with state health guidelines, use of the meeting room by outside groups may be limited because of the need for staff to social distance when administering library programs in the room.
- The Library does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, political ideology, creed, ancestry or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, in choosing to make its premises available.
- Each sponsoring organization is responsible for providing needed ADA accommodations, e.g. special assistive technologies, which are not readily available as a service of the Library.
- To lessen outside noise, groups shall keep doors closed while their programs are in progress. The emergency exit door may not be used by meeting room attendees unless there is an actual emergency. The emergency exit door may not be propped open.
- The library uses an automatic thermostat system and the temperature in the room cannot be changed by staff for groups using the meeting room.
- Those using the room are permitted to use the lectern and the easels. The Library provides wireless access but is not responsible for technical difficulties or interruptions in network service. Those using the meeting room are not permitted to use the screen, projector, or the Ethernet ports.
- Use of Library Meeting Rooms is controlled under the authority of the Library Board of Trustees. The Board reserves the right to permit or deny any usage and may limit an Event’s frequency, duration or attendance, in the interest of the Library.
- The Library reserves the right to cancel or relocate any scheduled meeting, if circumstances warrant.
- The Library may limit or deny usage for groups larger than 75 people due to the space limitations of the meeting rooms.
- The Library follows Township of Washington Policy in denying the right of any group to hold demonstrations, rallies or do any political fundraising on Washington Township public property or in Washington Township public buildings.
- The Library does not permit outside groups to stage any “high-profile” media events, e.g. those which may attract news vans & cameras to the Library building and/or parking lot; such events disturb Library access and environment.
- The Library may terminate any usage if conduct of any member or guest is disruptive or potentially harmful to any Library visitors or staff, or to the Library facility or to Library property.
- Storage of goods cannot be accommodated and no items may be attached to the walls, doors, ceilings, or floors in or outside of the meeting room. Groups must provide their own office supplies. Any supplies in cupboards are Library property and may not be used.
- The Library will not accept telephone calls for members of groups who are using the meeting room.
Any infraction of these guidelines may result in the loss of Library Room use privileges. Written appeals regarding usage issues will be reviewed by the Library Board of Trustees; their decision will be final.
- The Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library, Township of Washington, their agents and employees shall not be held responsible for any personal injury or personal property loss or damage, which may result during or due to Library use by a non-Library group.
- The Library reserves the right to review details of each proposed Event, including but not limited to such aspects as Event safety, security and management, and may amend or deny any proposed use.
Publicity for Private Events at the Library
- Proposed print advertisements or invitations, or related online publicity, must be submitted in advance to the Library for approval.
- Publicity for events may not imply Library sponsorship.
- Any publicity (print, online, other) which lists the Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library name and/or address, must also include the following easily visible disclaimer: This Event Is Not Sponsored by the Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library.
- Publicity must include the organization’s own contact information, and may not include Library telephone numbers.
Conduct & Supervision
- Please read the Safety Announcement at your event.
- Conduct of meetings and events must be well governed, and participants are expected to respect library staff members and follow their directions at all times. Failure to do so may result in the library staff asking the group to leave the meeting room immediately.
- All groups are expected to leave the room as clean and as they found it. Chairs and tables are provided by the library. Set-up and break-down of tables, chairs, and equipment is the responsibility of the group/organization. Only library staff are permitted to open or close the room dividers. Library staff will not provide assistance in setting up the meeting room. The library meeting room can accommodate a maximum of 75 chairs only or 48 chairs with tables when the full space is reserved. When reserving the left side of the meeting room (side with closet and emergency exit door), the space can accommodate 50 chairs only or 32 chairs with tables. When reserving the right side of the meeting room (at end of entrance hallway), the space can accommodate 25 chairs only or 16 with tables and chairs.
- Excessive noise, use of hazardous or illegal materials, and smoking/tobacco products are prohibited at all times.
- All participants must follow the Library Rules of Conduct at all times. However, food and beverages are permitted, but must be supplied, set up, and cleaned up by the organization. No sternos, open flames, or cooking is permitted on the premises. Please report any spills immediately. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted, unless by special advance exception by both the Library Board and Township Mayor and Council. Groups/individuals are responsible for any damages to the Library facility, and agree to pay costs for any extra cleaning or repairs necessary after their Event, through a maintenance fee. Please note that food/beverages may be restricted if the CDC recommends mask wearing due to Gloucester County COVID-19 case reporting and/or if a local/state mandate is reinstated.
- On duty library staff members are permitted to be present at any and all meetings, or to enter the meeting room as needed, even while meetings are in session. Library staff members shall be permitted to interrupt meetings, as needed, to make any type of announcement pertaining to the policies and procedures of the library.
- Those using the meeting rooms may not congregate in the hallway or in the library lobby for an extended period of time due to fire hazard issues and to ensure traffic flow.
- The meeting room must be vacated one-half hour prior to the time the library closes. Failure to do so may be immediate grounds for not allowing future use of the room.
Failure to abide by these rules may result in cancellation and/or denial of future reservations.
Children’s/Young Adult Events
- Youth Events (with attendees under 18 years old) must have an adult sponsor complete and sign the application.
- During Youth Events, at least one (1) adult supervisor for every 15 children must be present in the room at all times.
Guest Capacity/ Maximum Seating per event/ individual meeting
|Maximum Capacity Standing||Maximum Capacity Seating|
|Full Meeting Room||75 people||75 people|
|Left Half Meeting Room||50 people||50 people|
|Right Half Meeting Room||25 people||25 people|
Meetings and events may be scheduled between these hours and must be inclusive of set-up and clean-up times
|Monday-Thursday||10 AM – 8:30 PM|
|Friday||10 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Saturday||10 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Sunday||1 PM – 4:30 PM|
- Library rooms may be scheduled up to 60 days in advance. Reservations are limited to once every 30 days by any one organization. However, groups with sub-groups needing to meet before or after a general meeting are permitted to meet twice in one day. If there will be two separate meetings held by a group and a sub-group in one day, two forms, one for each group, must be accurately completed and approved before the room is used.
- Reservations will be considered upon receipt of the completed application, then approved based on Library criteria and schedule and confirmed, according to date and time submitted (first-come, first-serve basis).
- The Library requests notification of cancellations at least 5 days before the scheduled reservation.
- Non-Profit Organizations must provide proof of current non-profit status. Documentation of non-profit status must be resubmitted every three years.
- Completed meeting room applications must accurately reflect the purpose of the meeting and the estimated number of attendance.
Safety Announcement-Required By Law
Please read this message to the occupants of each event held in the Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library Meeting Room prior to your program start.
“Ladies and Gentlemen:
In the interest of safety I would ask you to note the position of and access to exits from this room.
Meeting Room: Point out the two (2) exits
In the event of an emergency please walk quickly to the nearest exit and make your way outside. Follow the red Fire Exit signs and the instructions of staff members.
Do not delay and do not re-enter the Library unless you are advised that it is safe to do so. Now please enjoy yourself in comfort and in safety. Thank you!”
Meeting Room Application
Please refer to 13.1: Limited Library Services.
Section 5: Rules of Conduct
The library welcomes children to use its facilities and services. However, the responsibility for the care, safety and behavior of children using the library rests with the parent, guardian or caregiver.
An unattended child is defined as:
- A child unable to care for himself/herself when left in the Library without a parent, guardian or caregiver within sight or sound range and/or
- A child without a safe way home from the library at closing time.
It is not the intention of the Library to seek out unattended children, but to have a reasoned response prepared when a problem does present itself. The library assumes no responsibility for juvenile/minor children left inside or outside on library property at any time without a parent, caregiver or guardian. Parents who leave juvenile/minor children unattended do so at their own risk.
Library staff cannot verify the ages of children who come into the library. If a child is disruptive and/or is not using the library for any of its intended purposes, the parent/guardian should be found. If they are not on the premises, they should be called to pick up the child. If the parent/guardian cannot be reached, the police may be called. A child should never be asked to leave the building on their own. Staff members or library volunteers are not to transport children anywhere under any circumstances. As in all public places, interacting with strangers is a real concern. Library staff cannot prevent children from interacting with or leaving the library with persons who are not the appropriate chaperone.
The following guidelines have been established to ensure that children are safe and cared for while in the Library and have been made with the understanding that individual children mature at different rates:
Children Under the Age of 5: A parent, guardian or responsible caregiver must remain with or be immediately accessible to the child at all times.
Children Ages 5-9: A parent, guardian or responsible caregiver must remain in the library for the duration of the child’s visit.
Children Ages 10-12: Are welcome to use the Library unattended but should not be left alone for extended periods of time.
Children Ages 13 and Over: May use the Library responsibly.
When juvenile/minor children are left at closing time, a staff member will call a parent or caregiver to arrange pickup. If no one can be reached, two staff members will wait with the child for ten minutes and then call the police. If a parent or caregiver is reached but does not arrive at the designated time, the police should be called. Staff will be compensated for their time.
Children who are left alone occasionally at the library are not considered “neglected” or “abandoned” by NJ Law. These terms apply only to long-term situations that put the child’s mental and/or physical health in danger.
Section 6: Patron Privacy
The Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library believes that it is the basic right of every individual to read what he or she wishes without fear of censure or legal consequence. It also affirms the right of every person to privacy. The library will do all within its power to protect each user’s right to privacy with respect to all information required for registration and for information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed or acquired. Such records will not be made available to any individual, organization, or government agency except pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:73-43:2 which reads:
“Library records which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of libraries are confidential and shall not be disclosed except in the following circumstances:
a. The records are necessary for the proper operation of the library;
b. Disclosure is requested by the user; or
c. Disclosure is required pursuant to a subpoena issued by a court or court order.”
All records, formal and informal, in the Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library relating to patron registration and the subsequent circulation by patrons of materials provided by the library shall be considered to be confidential in nature.
Under state law, therefore, libraries may not disclose records that contain names, addresses, or other personally identifiable information about library customers to anyone, including law enforcement officers except as permitted by N.J.S.A. 18A:73-43.2 referenced above.
Any request for records must be reported to the Library Director who will take proper action after consultation with the Library Board President and Library Solicitor.
Any issues in any way relating to the privacy of a patron shall be referred to the Library Director who shall take proper action after consultation with the Library Board President and Library Solicitor.
According to New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act, “government records shall be readily accessible for inspection, copying, or examination by the citizens of this state, with certain exceptions, for the protection of the public interest.”
What is a government record?
Generally stated, a “government record” means any record that has been made, maintained, or kept on file in the course of official business, or that has been received in the course of official business.
What records must be made available?
All government records as defined above are subject to public access unless specifically exempt under OPRA or any other law. OPRA provides many exceptions too numerous to mention here. Generally see N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1 et seq.
Who may file an OPRA request?
Anyone. OPRA request may even be filed anonymously without providing any personal contact information.
Who is the custodian of records authorized to provide records to the public?
OPRA defines the “custodian of government record” as that individual designated by formal action of a public agency’s director or governing body that has custody or control of the government records of the public agency. N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1. The custodian for the library is the Library Director.
Do some records require immediate access?
OPRA requires that custodians must ordinarily grant immediate access to budgets, bills, vouchers, contracts (including collective negotiations agreements and individual employment contracts) and public employee salary and overtime information. N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5.1.
What is the time frame for a custodian to respond to an OPRA request?
Custodians should fulfill a request as soon as possible but not later than 7 business days after a request is received, subject to certain exceptions.
For additional detailed information refer to the website of the New Jersey Government Records Council. www.state.nj.us/grc
Parents may access their children’s library records at the Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library. The library complies with the state’s disclosure statute and general interpretation that parents are entitled to access information about their minor children as follows:
- Every parent, to the extent permitted by federal and state laws concerning privacy, except as prohibited by federal and state law, shall have access to records and
information pertaining to his or her child whether or not the child resides with the parent, unless that access is found by the court to not be in the best interest of the child
or the access is found by the court to be sought for the purpose of causing detriment to the other parent.
- The place of residence of either parent shall not appear on any records or information released pursuant to the provisions of this article.
The Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library’s policy on children’s use of library materials and services states parental responsibility for minor children. Parents need access to their children’s records if they are being held responsible for them according to the following library policy.
Parents are responsible for supervising their children in the use of the library and its materials, including the Internet. The library does not assume responsibility for materials used, borrowed or accessed by minor children which may be found objectionable by their parents
Section 7: Collection Management
Patrons may donate money for the purchase of a book(s) to honor or memorialize someone. The library requests that the donor complete a Gifts & Memorials form. Librarians will then select a book on the subject chosen by the donor. Letters of acknowledgement can be sent at the donor’s request. A book plate will be placed in the front of the book displaying a message provided by the donor.
Materials will be reviewed by Librarians for discard from the collection as needed based on the following criteria:
- Poor Circulation
Materials will be disposed of by the following methods:
- Materials that are damaged or obsolete will be recycled
- Materials that no longer circulate, but are in good condition and are fairly current will be sold in the Friends of the Library Book Sale. Proceeds will be used for library purposes as designated by the Friends of the Library.
- Discarded materials will not be “saved” or “held” for any customer.
The Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library has a responsibility to provide a comprehensive collection representing the widest range of ideas and viewpoints, and has a commitment to the right of free access to information for all individuals. Therefore, the library has a responsibility to consider the addition of materials that some may find controversial or disagreeable because they are a reflection of our free and pluralistic society.
Selection of materials is based on the criteria outlined in the Collection Development Policies intended to provide a collection that serves the entire community of readers with various tastes and needs. Works are not normally excluded because of language or explicit text or illustrations if they meet previously stated criteria.
The ultimate decision of what is read is made by the reader. The library can merely provide the alternatives. When a reader deems something controversial or disagreeable, he/she should realize that the selection has been made with a different audience in mind.
Responsibility for the reading, listening or viewing choices of children or adolescents rests entirely with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of adult material will not be inhibited by the possibility that the material may be used by children or adolescents.
Library material will not be marked or identified to show library approval or disapproval of content. No cataloged item will be sequestered except for the purpose of protecting it from damage or theft. Rare books will be controlled as necessary to protect them from harm.
Acquisition of material does not imply approval or endorsement, and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or values of the individual selectors or the Library Board of Trustees.
Any patron may request that the library review a decision to select or withdraw an item. Those who wish reconsideration of such a decision should complete the Request for Reconsideration Form. A committee of staff selectors as designated by the Library Director will review the material in question. Committee members will make their recommendations to the Director who will make the final decision concerning the material. The Director will notify the person requesting the reconsideration of the decision. The Director’s decision is final.
The library accepts donations of the following materials in good condition:
- Audio Books
- Audio Cassettes
- VHS Tapes
- Comic Books
- Discards from other libraries
- Materials in poor condition
The library reserves the right to add appropriate materials to the collection. Materials not added to the collection will be sold in our ongoing book sale.
Upon request, a receipt will be given for donations. It will provide the quantity and type of materials donated, but will not assign a value to the donation.
Section 8: General Policies
The ADA requires that “no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity.” (Title II, Section 202)
Individuals with disabilities will be offered:
- Large Print Books
- Audio Recordings
- Qualified Readers*
- Assistance with accessing materials
*The Qualified Reader will be assigned to assist the visually impaired in using the library catalog, finding materials on the shelves, and using reference materials. The Reference Librarian on duty will serve as the Qualified Reader. When a reference librarian is absent, a member of the circulation staff will assume the responsibility.
Access to the library facility complies with the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.
In compliance with ADA regulations, service animals are permitted to accompany people with disabilities in all public areas of the library. All persons requiring a service dog must comply with the library’s rules of conduct. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.
A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless (1) the handler cannot control the dog or (2) the dog is not housebroken. Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for refusing service to people using service dogs. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, staff must offer the patron an alternative method for obtaining goods or services.
The materials displayed on the bulletin boards and in the brochure racks will be restricted to library-related materials, including The Friends of the Library, and local non-profit materials and events only. For-profit businesses and events cannot advertise in the library. When space is limited, preference will be given to library-related materials. Materials may be removed at the discretion of the Library Director.
- Parties interested in scheduling an exhibit must email email@example.com. Final approval of displays and bulletin boards will be made by the Library Director. The Heggan Library reserves the right to deny certain exhibits.
- Each display/exhibit shall be on display for one month unless other arrangements are made.
- Each exhibitor shall sign an Artist’s Release Agreement.
- The exhibitor shall be responsible for setting up and dismantling the display/exhibit. Any costs for framing, transportation, etc. will be incurred by the exhibitor. Please do not use any kind of tape, nails or thumb tacks as they will damage the lobby walls. Artwork may only be hung on the library’s hanging system, under the supervision of library staff.
- All displays/exhibits must be framed and ready for hanging. Special care must be made to insure that the frames and hanging wire are securely fastened. While the staff makes every effort to monitor the display/exhibit, the exhibitor is responsible for items that fall and need to be re-hung.
- Displays/exhibits must be hung during library hours.
- The Heggan Library is a public facility. This means that while your exhibit is on display in the gallery, that space may also be used for meetings or programs.
- Exhibitors display their works at their own risk and shall not hold the Heggan Library liable for any damages or losses.
- The Heggan Library reserves the right to review all displays/exhibits. The library will make no effort to censor or amend the contents of any exhibit unless it violates community standards of decency for family viewing or library quality standards.
- Displays/exhibits must be removed by the date specified on the Artist’s Release Agreement. Articles not removed by the specified date will be removed by library staff. The library cannot guarantee the condition of items removed by staff.
Customers may use the library phone for the following reasons only:
- Children may use the phone to call for a ride home
- Customers may use the phone for library-related matters (i.e., calling for someone to bring them their card)
- Customers may use the phone for emergencies (i.e., car problems)
- Customers may receive a call at the library in the event of an emergency. If a customer repeatedly receives calls at the library, tell the customer that in the future, only emergency calls will be accepted.
Collect calls to the library are not accepted.
Employees should avoid using the library phone for personal use. All personal calls should be kept brief.
Cell phones are permitted in the library, but they must be used in a manner that is not disturbing to others who are using the library.
All patrons attending library programs are expected to follow the library rules of conduct at all times. Programs may require prior registration.
The library reserves the right to restrict programs to current Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library cardholders in good standing (a current card with less than $10 in fines).
Photographs taken during library programs, events, and
meetings may be exhibited by the library or submitted to the media by the library only after a Photograph Release Form has been completed and signed by the patrons being photographed. A parent or guardian must approve the photographing of their children in the library and complete a Photograph Release Form for the child.
The library maintains an online presence on the library website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media as a way to inform the public of library policies, services, events, and other library-related matters. The information displayed shall be limited to library-related matters. There will be no paid advertising displayed or accepted by the library for use online. No other organizations, with the exception of the Friends of the Library, will be permitted to display information. Revisions and updates are made on an as needed basis by library staff, with the approval of the Library Director.
In the event of a weather emergency, power outage, or other unforeseen event, it may be necessary to close the library and/or evacuate the building temporarily. The procedures for
emergency closings and evacuations are outlined in the Building Emergencies binder. Copies of the Building Emergencies binder are located at all library service desks and in all offices throughout the library. Additional copies are held offsite by the Library Director, the Librarians,
and the Secretary for emergencies that occur while the library is closed.
All emergency equipment including the fire alarms, sprinkler system, fire extinguisher, burglar alarms and motion sensors are inspected annually. The CCTV system is inspected monthly to verify that the DVR is recording accurately. The library conducts a fire drill at a minimum of two
times per year.
The Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library will maintain a Strategic Plan defining the future goals and vision of the library. The plan will serve as a map to guide the library as it adapts to the changing needs of the Washington Township community.
The Strategic Plan will be revised no less than every three years by a committee consisting of members of the Library Board of Trustees, the Library Director, library staff members, the Friends of the Library, and at least one member of the community.
Section 13: Continuing Endemic Policies
American Girl dolls will remain unavailable for borrowing at this time.
The small study rooms will continue to be unavailable for use by the public and will continue to serve as additional private break rooms for staff.
- Patrons are not permitted to engage in any activity prohibited by law.
- Carrying or possessing a weapon, or item intended to be used as a weapon, is prohibited in the library unless authorized by law.
- Persons under the influence of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs are not allowed on library property.
- As per New Jersey law, library staff have the right to inspect all book bags, briefcases, handbags, and packages of persons who enter the library.
- Eating is not allowed in the library, except as part of a library or library-sponsored program. Drinks are allowed as long as they are in a closed container with a sealed lid, and as long as they are not in computer labs and/or located near library computers. In accordance with item #23 below, should Gloucester County reach a zone for COVID-19 case reporting for which masks are recommended by the CDC, food and/or drinks will not be allowed to be brought into or consumed in the library, including the adult meeting room, until such time as the county no longer remains in said zone.
- Smoking and the use of tobacco products such as pipes, cigars, and e-cigarettes is not allowed in or on library property, including personal vehicles on library property. The only exception for use of tobacco products is at the designated location along the side of the library facing Holly Dell Court.
- Soliciting of any kind – including petitioning, canvassing, conducting surveys, and distributing written materials for political, charitable, commercial or religious purposes – is not permitted within the library, within 10 feet of all entrances, or in any way that interferes with the ability of library customers to enter and exit the premises.
- Animals are not allowed in the library, with the exception of those needed to assist a person with a disability and animals that are part of a program sponsored or administered by the library.
- Per the 5.2 Unattended Children policy, guidelines have been established to ensure that children are safe and cared for while in the building. Children are always the responsibility of a parent or guardian.
- The library may restrict adult use of children’s and teen areas in order to ensure the adequate protection of library facilities and of persons and property therein.
- Disruptive conduct will not be tolerated in the library or on library property. This includes but is not limited to talking loudly, running, loitering, and exhibiting lewd or inappropriate behavior. Audio/video and cell phone usage must be conducted in a manner that is not disruptive to others.
- Photography and/or other types of recording of individuals or groups without consent is prohibited.
- Interfering with another person’s use of the library or with a library staff member’s performance of duties is not permitted.
- Physically harming patrons or staff members or exhibiting threatening, harassing, or intimidating behaviors will not be tolerated.
- For the safety of library employees, parking spaces designated as staff parking are not to be used by customers of the library. The loading zone is also a no parking area.
- Unauthorized entry of staff areas is strictly prohibited.
- Stealing, damaging, or otherwise mistreating or misusing library furniture, equipment, property, facilities, and/or materials is strictly prohibited. Feet propped on tables or chairs are not allowed.
- Proper footwear and clothing (i.e., shirt) must be worn at all times while on library property.
- Roller skates, scooters, skateboards, bicycles, or other similar devices must not be used on library property. Bicycles, skateboards, and other modes of transportation are not to be left in the lobby area or walkways. Please use proper accommodations, such as the bicycle rack.
- Patrons must keep belongings with them at all times. The library will not be held liable for any lost, stolen, or unattended items or personal property.
- The library prohibits unreasonable use of rest rooms, including laundering and bathing.
- Violating any library policies previously approved by the Library Board of Trustees may result in a person being asked to leave the building, with potential further escalation as deemed appropriate to the situation. The library reserves the right to limit or revoke the library privileges of any patron who violates a rule of conduct.
- The library follows recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as reported at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#datatracker-home. Should Gloucester County reach a zone for COVID-19 case reporting for which masks are recommended by the CDC, or should a state/local mask mandate be reinstated, the library will require anyone over age two to wear a mask while in the building, until such time as the county no longer remains in said zone or the mandate is lifted. Masks must completely cover an individual’s nose and mouth at all times. Types of masks worn must follow guidelines as instructed by current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control.
Whenever possible, employees and visitors should try to maintain a six-foot distance from others. Workstations have been established that allow for the six-foot distance between employees, and workspace or equipment sharing should be limited or avoided entirely when at all possible. To the extent possible, attempt to limit your travel within the building to the minimum locations necessary and be mindful of the needs others may have for personal space.
The library follows recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as reported at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#datatracker-home. Should Gloucester County reach a zone for COVID-19 case reporting for which masks are recommended by the CDC, the library will require anyone over age two to wear a mask while in the building, until such time as the county no longer remains in said zone. Masks must completely cover an individual’s nose and mouth at all times. Types of masks worn must follow guidelines as instructed by current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control.
Employees who have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, shortness of breath, or any other symptoms identified by the CDC as associated with possible COVID-19 viral infection) should follow recommended steps by the CDC with regard to home isolation, quarantine, and absence from work.