When Neighboring Municipalities are Not Certified

If a neighboring municipality is not certified, may we refuse to serve residents of that municipality?

Yes, but it is a decision that must be voted on by your board of trustees. 605 CMR 4.01(6) states that "all public libraries participating in the direct state aid grant program must be willing, on a reciprocal basis, to extend direct access and services to nonresidents who are card holders in other libraries participating in the state grant program..." The regulation does not make any statement regarding serving residents of municipalities that are not certified.

Are there any services that we must provide to residents of a noncertified municipality?

Yes. You must provide access to reference and reading rooms. 605 CMR 4.01(1) states that "all residents of the commonwealth shall have access to reading and reference rooms under the same conditions as residents of the community."

May we charge fees to residents of a noncertified municipality?

Yes. If the municipality is not certified, then they are not participating in the State Aid to Public Libraries program and you are not required to offer them free borrowing privileges. Your trustees have the options of:

(1) continuing to extend borrowing privileges to residents of noncertified communities;
(2) charging residents of noncertified municipalities to borrow materials;
(3) denying borrowing privileges to residents of noncertified municipalities;
(4) entering into a contractual arrangement with the noncertified municipality.

Are we required to continue to interlibrary loan items to a noncertified library?

No, unless you are a library contracting with a regional library system to provide ILL.

Will we be reimbursed (through the Nonresident Circulation Offset) for lending materials to resident of noncertified municipalities?

No. Municipalities will not be reimbursed for circulating materials to residents from of out-of-state and noncertified Massachusetts municipalities (605 CMR 4.02).

Page last updated on 07/1/2015