Cornwall Public Library

Circulation Policies

All borrowers, including children, have equal access to all library materials. Guidance on selection of materials by children is the responsibility of the parent or guardian.


3 Weeks – 2 renewals, if no reserves
Older general interest books, audio books, young adult materials, children’s materials.

2 Weeks – NO renewal
All NEW general interest books, music and magazines.

1 Weeks – NO renewal
Fast Fiction and DVDs


As of July 1, 2023, the Cornwall Public Library does not charge late fines for any overdue circulating materials. CPL does assess some fees for lost materials, damaged materials and other instances.  Even though CPL is a fine-free library, patrons will be held responsible for the replacement cost of lost or damaged items.  CPL reserves the right to charge a fee for damaged DVD cases. Please review our updated fees information below for details.

Replacement Fees

Borrowers are responsible for returning or renewing the items they check out before the due date. If they do not, the item will be labeled as overdue and the patron will be notified. Items are declared lost after they have been overdue for 50 days and a replacement fee will be charged to the patron account.

  • Replacement fees are determined by the official vendor’s pricing of the lost item.
  • Replacement fees will vary depending on the type of item that is lost.
  • If patrons return the item, even after it has been declared lost, the Library will remove the replacement fee from their account. Refunds cannot be made.
  • Borrowers will be assessed the replacement cost of any library materials checked out to them if those materials are intended for in-library use only and are not returned by the end of the designated loan period.
  • Borrowing privileges will be suspended for cardholders with replacement fees totaling $10.00 or more. Patrons with blocks on physical material borrowing cannot use their library cards to access e-books and/or Library computers.

Payment Method

CPL accepts cash, check or credit card.

Within RCLS: Items are subject to the lending policies and fine structure of the loaning library.
Outside RCLS: Items may be borrowed up to 4 weeks unless otherwise stipulated by loaning library. Items are subject to the fine structure of the loaning library.

Collection Management Policy

I. Purpose

This Collection Management Policy (the Policy) sets Cornwall Public Library’s policy and procedures governing:

  • Selection
  • Procurement
  • Cataloging
  • Evaluation
  • Removal

of Library Resources as defined in this Policy.

The purpose of this Policy is to position the Library to assure its community and relevant oversight authorities that the Library’s collection management practices meet the needs of the community served by the Library, uphold the Library’s mission, and comply with relevant law and regulations.

II. Definitions

(the) Library: The Cornwall Public Library which is a School District Public Library Chartered by the NYS Board of Regents in 1959.

(the) Charter: The most recent version of the document that creates the Library, as approved by the Regents.

Area of Service: The precise, geographically-defined community served by the library, as described in its Charter and Plan of Service and any contractual or policy arrangements.

Trustees (or the Board): The members of the Library’s governing board, responsible for setting Library policy and hiring the Library Director.

Library Resources: As defined by 8 NYCRR 90.s, “Library Resources” means “the print and

non-print materials owned by the library and any other services provided by the library to the resident borrowers of the Library’s Area of Service.”  In this Policy, Library Resources held by the Library are collectively referred to as the “Catalog” or “Collection Materials.”

Collection Management: The overall term for the selection, procurement, cataloging, evaluation, and removal of Library Resources.

Selection [of Library Resources]: The process by which Library Resources are chosen by Library staff (see “Selection Criteria” below), based on the Library’s budget and through the use of vetted materials.

Selection Criteria: The criteria determined by the Director and other Library staff, based on the goals and identified community needs in the Library’s Long-Range Plan adopted by the Board that must be met by the Collection.

Procurement: The process by which selected Library Resources are purchased.  Procurement is governed by a combination of law, regulation, and Library Policies, including CPL’s Procurement Policy.  For certain purchases, it may also be governed by grant terms required by funding sources.

Cataloging: The process by which collection materials are formally added to the Library’s collection. “Cataloging” includes how selected materials are listed in the Enterprise catalog, and in what section of the Library they are placed (where they are shelved).

Evaluation: The process by which collection materials are periodically reviewed to ensure they remain physically intact, relevant, and meet “community needs” as required by NYCRR 90.2(6).

Request for re-Evaluation: The formal process by which any trustee, library employee, or individual served by the Library, either by residing in the Area of Service, or being served by the RCLS Library System, may request a re-evaluation of a Library Resource being included in the Library’s Catalog, per the Library’s Selection Criteria.

Long Range Plan: A community needs-based, board-approved, written long-range plan of service developed by the Library Trustees and staff.  As required by 8 NYCRR 90.2, the Library’s Long-Range Plan includes the goals and identified community needs that must be met by the Library’s collection.

Annual Report (to community): An annual report to the Library’s community setting forth the Library’s progress in meeting its mission, goals, and objectives, as outlined in the Library’s Long-Range Plan.  This requirement became law in 2021.

Annual Report (to Education Department): An annual report to the State Education Department, required by 8 NYR+CRR90.1 and the NY Education Department’s Division of Library Development.

Record Retention Period: How long different records pertaining to actions under this Collection Management Policy are retained, after which they are purged.  As a public library, the Library follows the record retention periods in the LGS-1.

Donated Materials: Books or other materials that are donated to the Library.  These items are not immediately added to the Collection; they are evaluated according to the same Selection Criteria that are applied to purchased material.  Donated materials that do not meet the library’s Selection Criteria will be disposed of at the discretion of the Library.

Accession:Accession” is a term not defined by law or regulation in New York, but is used by libraries, museums, and archives to refer to collection development where the origins (provenance) of the item are relevant.  As noted in the LGS-1, “some libraries ‘accession’ manuscripts, rare books, and special collections, but not their general library holdings.”

This policy does not address accession.

lll. Collection Management

A. Selection

The Selection Criteria of the Library, as informed by the Long-Range Plan approved by the Trustees, are attached as Appendix A.

Selection Criteria are set by the Director.

Selection Criteria are maintained as a schedule to enable ease of amendment and flexibility with respect to evolving community needs.  It is expected, but not required, that Selection Criteria as set forth in Appendix A may be updated more frequently than this policy. Such revision does not require approval by the Board.

Records Management: records pertaining to Selection of Library Resources are kept for 0 years after no longer needed (See LGS-1 #600).

B. Procurement

The procurement of selected Library Resources by the Library is governed by the Library’s Procurement Policy.

At times the Director and the Board distinguish between Selection and Procurement.  “Selection” is how Library materials are chosen; “Procurement” is how they are purchased using library funds (for example, Donated Materials are not procured).

Records Management: records pertaining to Procurement of Library Resources are kept for 1 year (See LGS-1 # 599).

C. Cataloging

The procedures for Cataloging the Collection of the Library, as informed by the Library’s Long-Range Plan, are attached as Appendix B.

The procedures for Cataloging are set by the Director, as informed by the Long-Range Plan approved by the Trustees, and the Director’s familiarity with current relevant standards as set by CPL and the library and information management professions.

The procedures for Cataloging are maintained as a schedule to enable ease of amendment and flexibility with respect to evolving community needs.  It is expected, but not required, that the procedures for Cataloging as set forth in Appendix B may be updated more frequently than this policy. Such revision does not require approval by the Board.

As required by 8 NYCRR 90.2, the Library provides a circulation system that facilitates access to the Library’s Collection as cataloged after selected materials are acquired.

Records Management: As the final cataloging is set out in the catalog, records pertaining to the procedures for Cataloging are kept for 0 Years (see LGS-1#62).  Printed manuscript or published library catalogs are kept permanently; continuously updated library catalogs (such as databases) are kept until updated (see LGS-2 #598).

D. Evaluation

  1. Routine Evaluation

As required by 8 NYCRR 90.2(6), Library Resources in the Library’s Collection are routinely evaluated to ensure the collection meets community needs; to ensure routine evaluation the Director oversees such evaluation per the schedule attached as Appendix C.

The Director reports to the Board on the routine evaluation of Library resources not less than annually.

Routine evaluation decisions are often affected through a process referred to as “weeding.” The Library’s procedures for weeding are included in Appendix C.

Records management: records pertaining to Routine Evaluation are kept for 0 years after no longer needed (see LGS-1 #600).

  1. Request for Re-Evaluation

A Trustee, employee, or Cornwall Public Library cardholder (a Request-Maker) may request that the Selection or Cataloging of a Library Resource or Resources be reconsidered.

To initiate a Request for Re-Evaluation, the Request-Maker must fill out the Request for Re-Evaluation Form attached as Appendix D.  ONLY the factors listed in the form are a suitable basis for filing such a request.

The procedure for removal based on a Request for Re-Evaluation is addressed in Section III.E.3 of this Policy.

Materials shall generally only be subject to Re-Evaluation under this sub-section “2” once every 5 years.  For repeat requests within 5 years, the prior determination shall be applied unless the Selection Criteria have changed with respect to the subject materials.

Records management: records pertaining to a Request for Re-Evaluation are kept for 6 years (see LGS-1 #601).  In addition, also per the LGS-1 #601, because such records deal with serious constitutional issues and may have value for future research, the Library shall appraise such records for historical significance prior to disposition.

E. Removal

Per Education Law Section 260, “prior to the discarding of used or surplus books or other such reading materials by trustees of a chartered public, cooperative or free association library which receives over ten thousand dollars in state aid, the Trustees shall offer to donate such books or materials to a not-for-profit corporation or political subdivision located within the area of the library system, or offer to sell such books or materials to the general public.”  Also as required by law, the Trustees shall retain any proceeds from the sales of such books and materials for the purpose of maintaining and improving library service within the system.

  1. Removal of damaged or technologically obsolete items

Upon finding that a Library Resource is too damaged to be useful or has become technologically obsolete to the point where it can no longer function in the manner intended, the item will be removed from the collection.

Records management: records pertaining to Removal based on Routine Evaluation are kept for 0 years (see LGS_1 #600).

  1. Removal based on Request for Re-Evaluation

If a Request for Re-Evaluation form is properly submitted and either the Director, or the Board of Trustees upon appeal, determine that the Library Resource it pertains to should be removed from the collection, it will be removed from the Collection and the Catalog by the Director (or their designee).

All Requests for Re-Evaluation will be evaluated per the Library’s Plan of Service, this Policy, and the following excerpts from the American Library’s Code of Ethics:

I. We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.

II. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.

IV. We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.

VII. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.

Decisions shall be communicated using Appendices E, F, and G, with modifications as determined by the issuing authority.

Records management: records pertaining to Removal Based on Requests for Re-Evaluation are kept for 6 years (see LGS-1 # 601) and may be kept longer based on a determination of operational or historic significance.

IV. Access to this Policy

To facilitate community understanding of the Library’s services, operations, and governance, this Policy and its Appendices shall be posted on the Library’s website, available in hard copy at the Library, and a copy shall be provided when a person or authority inquires or raises a concern related to Collection Management.

V. Review and Update of this Policy

This board-approved written policy for Collection Management shall be reviewed and updated by the Board of Trustees at least once every five years (as required by 8 NYCRR 90.3 (b) (4), OR earlier if required by law, OR if a law, regulation, or policy impacting it changes.

 Approved by Cornwall Public Library Board of Trustees 12/12/2022


Computer Use & Internet/Wireless Usage Policy

To fulfill its mission of providing public access to information of all types in a wide range of formats, Cornwall Public Library provides access to computers and the Internet.

  1. Patrons wishing to use CPL computer equipment must have a valid library card in their own name with fines under $10. Those who are not eligible for a library card must show valid picture ID and may be issued an Internet Only card.
  2. Patrons may call the Information Desk to reserve computer time in advance.
  3. Patrons who fail to log in to a computer promptly at their scheduled or reserved time risk forfeit of their allotted time.
  4. No more than two (2) patrons can work at each computer station.
  5. Computer equipment work stations are for computer work only.
  6. Patrons are allowed to use Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports on the CPL computers. Such use is restricted to acessing, e-mailing and printing files; installing software or executable files is not allowed. Patrons may use their own USB drives or may purchase a USB drive from the library. Patrons are not allowed to save files to the Library’s computer hard drives.
  7. Patrons are responsible for any damage to computers and for loss of materials.
  8. Library staff may provide limited instruction and assistance to patrons using Library computers if staffing permits. Extensive instruction is not available on a walk-in basis.
  9. Patrons should report any computer or software problems to the Information Desk. Misuse or abuse of the Library’s computers will result in immediate suspension of computer privileges.The Library is not responsible for documents lost due to a virus, damaged disks or flashdrives, power failure, or being saved improperly to a disk or flashdrive.
  10. Extended computer time cannot be granted if others are waiting to use the computers.

The Internet is an unregulated medium offering a wealth of valuable information that is personally, professionally and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages. However, some information found on the Internet may be inaccurate, incomplete, dated, or offensive to some individuals. Library patrons use it at their own risk. The Library is not responsible for the content of the Internet, changes in content of the sources to which may link the Library’s home page, or for the content of sources accessed through secondary links. CPL does not censor access to materials or protect patrons from information that may be found offensive.

All patrons must agree to the Library’s Computer Use & Internet and Wireless Use Policy in order to use Library computers; parents or legal guardians must sign a Computer Use Agreement form to allow children under the age of 16 to use the Internet. Parents or guardians, not the Library or its staff, are responsible for the Internet information selected and accessed by their children. Parents are advised to supervise their children’s Internet information. We strongly urge parents to discuss appropriate and inappropriate use of the Internet with their children. Children under the age of 11 years old may be asked to use the computers in the children’s area instead of the computers in the adult computer area. People age 13 and older are prohibited from using the computers in the children’s area unless they are a parent, sibling, or caregiver of a small child who is using resources in the children’s area of the Library.

Abuse of the Internet on Library computers will result in immediate suspension of Internet access privileges. The following uses of the Internet on Library computers are considered inappropriate and are prohibited:

  1. Transmission of defamatory material;
  2. Unauthorized copying of copyrighted material;
  3. Plagiarism
  4. Receipt or transmission of obscene material; which shall mean any material in written, pictorial or other form concerning sexual or excretory organs or actions that appeal predominantly to the prurient interest of adults, which is patently offensive to the prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole and without redeeming social value;
  5. Receipt or transmission by or to a minor of material indecent to minors; which shall mean any material in written, pictorial, or other form concerning sexual or excretory organs or actions that appeal predominantly to the prurient interest of minors, which is patently offensive to the prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole and without redeeming social value to minors;
  6. Destruction or alteration of another’s materials or files; vandalism of equipment; or, tampering with the Library’s computer hardware or software;
  7. Patrons using the Library’s computers and/or accessing the Internet agree to comply with all local, State and Federal laws.

Failure to utilize the Library’s computers or Internet access appropriately may result in revocation of Library privileges. Unlawful usage may also result in criminal and/or civil proceedings.

 Approved by Cornwall Public Library Board of Trustees 8/17/2012

Computer Use Agreement Form

Computer Use Agreement Form – Minors

Confidentiality of Library Patron Records

In compliance with New York State Practice Law and Rule 4509, the records of library cardholders are confidential. Library records include, but are not limited to:

  • Patron registration records,
  • Circulation records,
  • Attendance records for library-sponsored programs,
  • Records of computer use or reference services,
  • Any other data linking a particular patron to specific library services or materials.

Patrons have control over their library cards. Presentation of a valid library card will allow the patron whose name appears on the card (or the parent/legal guardian in the case of a minor child) access to information about the current circulation record of that patron. It is understood that a person presenting the library card of a friend or family member has permission to check out items on that card. Patrons who would like another individual to pick up their items on hold must request that a proxy pickup permission note be placed in the library record of the individual who has permission to pick up. No information from a library record may be divulged to a third party by library staff.

No information from library records will be released to any person, agency, or organization, except in the response to a valid court order, subpoena, or search warrant, properly presented to the library director or the director’s representative. Nothing in this policy shall prevent library staff from using library records in the administration of their regular duties or to provide library service to the patron. When no longer needed for administrative purposes, records will be expunged in accordance with the RCLS record management policy.

Approved by CPL Board of Trustees 4/9/2013

Revised 4/2022; Approved 6/8/2022

Credit/Debit Card Policy

For the convenience of Library patrons, the Cornwall Public Library will accept (via Square) Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express credit cards payments or Mastercard, Visa or Discover debit cards run as credit card transactions, by adults age 18 and older, in amounts of $5.00 or more. The Library cannot accept debit card transactions. The Cornwall Public Library reserves the right to discontinue acceptance of credit card payments, and to amend the policy at any time.

The Library will accept credit card payments for the following library charges:

Lost or damaged material replacement (Cornwall Items ONLY)
Fee for replacement of library card

Computer print fees
Fax fees
Program registration fees

Patrons may use a credit/debit card in person in the Library.  No credit/debit card transactions will be accepted via phone, fax, email or any other forms of electronic communication. Library staff members have the right to refuse a credit/debit card.  The patron will be emailed a receipt for the transaction and the Library will keep a receipt copy.

The Library reserves the right to refuse service or cancel transactions at any time. Completion of a payment transaction is contingent upon both the authorization of payment by the applicable credit card company or financial institution and acceptance of payment by the Library. The credit card user remains solely responsible for payments due.

The Library will not process transactions resulting in cash advances or cash back.

The Cornwall Public Library does not normally issue refunds, however, if a fine or fee has been paid using a credit card and a refund is necessary, the refund must be credited back to the account that was originally charged. Refunds in excess of the original amount paid or cash refunds are prohibited.

The Library respects the privacy of the patron. At no time does the Library store credit card information. This information is only made accessible to authorized credit card vendors and financial institutions to complete the patron’s transaction.

Approved by the Board of Trustees, June 13, 2019

Exam Proctoring Services Policy

Proctoring is available at the Cornwall Public Library.  The student must schedule a specific date/time to come in to take an examination. The library staff does not accept walk-ins for proctoring. Scheduling should occur at the convenience of the library – at non-peak hours and at a time when an adequate staff is present. All specific examination requirements must be approved by the library staff at the time the test is scheduled. The library cannot provide proctoring if a librarian is required to be with the student during the exam. The librarian will not monitor a student continuously during an exam but may check on the student periodically. It is the student’s responsibility to verify that the proctoring conditions provided by the library meet all requirements of the institution administering the exam. When the exam is delivered to the library, all exam materials will be kept in a secure area of the library.

The student must present photo identification at the time the test is taken. Postage stamps and an envelope for mailing the exam are the sole responsibility of the student if the testing institution does not furnish a postage-paid envelope. The library is unable to honor requests requiring special trips to the post office, FedEx, or UPS. When the student has completed the test, the library staff member will sign the examination materials and mail them to the testing institution. Under no circumstances will the student be given the testing information to mail. Should the student not comply with the rules/regulations specified in the testing documents, the library staff will return the materials to the testing agency with a note to that effect and may refuse to sign the testing documents. The library assumes no responsibility/liability for the test actually getting to the testing institution. In the case of an online test, there are occasions when there are technical difficulties with either the computer equipment, the internet connection, or other factors which would prevent the student from completing the exam. Library staff has little to no control over such occurrences and assumes no responsibility or liability for tests that are unable to be completed because of technical difficulties. The library reserves the right to decline proctoring services if library staff feel that testing conditions cannot be met or if staff levels or schedules do not allow for the availability of adequate staff.

Approved by the CPL Board of Trustees 4.13.2010

Updated 10/26/21 CAD; Approved 12/8/21

Student Agreement Form & Proctoring Services Request Form

Exhibits and Display Policy

The Cornwall Public Library provides exhibit and display areas consistent with its mission, programs, and services. The Library develops exhibits and displays on a regular basis to promote the use of its collection and to highlight its diversity; to bring attention to special or under-used aspects of the collection; to make it easy to find information on topics of current issue; to celebrate special occasions. Not-for-profit groups and individuals may use the Library’s exhibit and display areas for educational, artistic, or cultural materials in accordance with the following provisions. This policy shall be attached to and made part of any request to display. Failure to comply with any part of this policy may result in denial of future exhibit and display privileges.

The Library’s own use of any exhibit and display areas takes precedence in scheduling. The Library will endeavor to provide two (2) weeks’ advance notice to exhibitors in the event a Library use will preempt a scheduled user.

All exhibits and displays must be pre-approved by the Library Director or his/her appointed designees. Requests must be submitted on an Exhibit and Display Application and will be considered in the order in which they are received. Displays must be of high quality and will be evaluated based upon the educational, informative, cultural, innovative, relevant, artistic or historical value, as relates to the mission of the Cornwall Public Library.

Upon acceptance of the application, exhibitors will receive a set of exhibit procedures covering the time before, during, and after the exhibit. The Library will preview a representative sample of the work to be shown prior to granting permission to exhibit or display.

Factors considered in the approval process include:

  • consistency with Library’s mission
  • relevance to and consistency with community needs, interests and standards
  • quality of presentation
  • space requirements
  • timeliness

The Library reserves the right to reject any part of an exhibit or display. The Library reserves the right to limit the size, number, and placement of items; the schedule of any display; and the frequency with which an individual or group may have an exhibit or display. Exhibitors are responsible for the installation and removal of their displays with the supervision and approval of the Library. Exhibits or displays that are not removed on or prior to the date established by the Library will be removed by the Library. Any damage to the Library attributable to the installation or removal of an exhibit or display shall be the responsibility of the exhibitor, as is any expense incurred by the Library. Exhibits cannot in any way disrupt the normal routine of the Library. Artists displaying their work may provide their contact information for visitors, but may not post prices on items or sell or remove any work on display during the approved dates of the Library exhibit. The Library will not be responsible for the sale of any art work.

The Library reserves the right to cancel any exhibit or display if a Library event/program needs the area. The Library will endeavor to provide two (2) weeks notice and to reschedule exhibit dates. Exhibitors must provide two (2) weeks written notice of any cancellation.

The Library assumes no responsibility for the possible damage, destruction, or theft of any item displayed or exhibited. All items placed in the Library are there at the owner’s risk and the owner agrees to indemnify and hold the Library harmless from any and all claims, damages, costs, and expense which may arise from owner’s use of the Library facilities.

Exhibitors must sign a release form before any items can be displayed or exhibited. (See Exhibit and Display Release form.) It is recommended that exhibitors verify their insurance coverage with their carriers prior to the installation..

Non-library exhibits and displays do not reflect endorsement or advocacy for any point of view by the Library. The views expressed implicitly or explicitly in any exhibits and displays are those of the individuals or groups using the space.

Revised 8/22/19
Approved by Board of Trustees 11/14/2019

Exhibit and Display Application
Exhibit and Display Release Form

Homebound Delivery Service Policy

Cornwall Public Library offers delivery service for any homebound person living in the Cornwall Central School District. This service includes delivery and pick-up of library materials for any person who, for reasons of health, cannot come to the library and does not have someone available to pick up their library materials. Persons seeking this service may select their own material, or a reference librarian can choose titles for them based on their reading and/or viewing interests.

Homebound delivery services are determined by need and limited to homebound patrons who have either physical or mental limitations that do not allow them access to a library. Deliveries will be made by a member of the library staff or a volunteer. Deliveries will be made to a private home, nursing/retirement home, or adult daycare center.

Materials available through this service include all materials that would be circulated through normal library practices. Loan period will be determined by materials selected for a particular delivery. All fines and fees associated with lost and/or damaged materials apply. Frequency of delivery will be on an individual basis to be mutually determined by the library and recipient of services, not to exceed one delivery per week.

All patrons using Library Outreach Services are required to sign this Homebound Delivery Agreementaccepting responsibility for proper care of all library materials checked out to them. Termination of services will result from failure to adhere to the Homebound Delivery Agreement.

Gift and Donation Policy

The Cornwall Public Library encourages the interest and involvement of citizens and organizations through bequests, trusts, and donations of monetary or other tangible assets for Library purposes. It is understood that special gifts and bequests should not take the place of public support but should enable the Library to provide and enhance services in ways not financially possible within the current operating budget.

In general, the Cornwall Public Library welcomes gifts of money, books and other materials, equipment, works of art, documents, photographs, or property of any kind which promotes the mission of the Library. The Library reserves the right to refuse any gift that the Library Board of Trustees, in its sole discretion, deems to be not in the best interests of the Library to accept.  If a gift is accepted by the Library, the gift shall be final; no restrictions on the Library’s ownership, possession, use, or disposition of the gift shall be effective other than restrictions approved by the express vote of the Library Board of Trustees and memorialized in writing.


Monetary gifts: The Library welcomes gifts of cash or stock. If the gift is used to purchase library materials, Library staff will try to accommodate the donor’s subject or title preferences. A label with the donor’s name will be affixed to the item purchased when appropriate. Because the Friends of the Cornwall Public Library has been granted a 501(C)3 status by the Internal Revenue Service and gifts to this organization are income tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law, monetary gifts should be made payable to the Friends of the Cornwall Library. 

Materials: Gifts of miscellaneous books or other materials in good condition may be accepted. Donated materials are evaluated using the same criteria that are applied to purchased materials.  Donated materials which do not meet these criteria will be disposed of at the discretion of the Library. These items may be given to the Friends of the Cornwall Public Library for sale, given to other libraries, or discarded. The Library may need to limit the quantity of books /material donations that can be given at any one time. The Library has the right to refuse any donated materials.  Materials for donation must be brought into the Library during open hours; any materials left outside the library will be discarded.

Collections: Gift collections will be accepted only by the Director in consultation with the Board of Trustees and with the understanding that the collection may not be kept intact.

Memorial gifts: The Library welcomes monetary gifts for purchase of materials for the collections given in recognition or memory of individuals or organizations. Memorial gifts should be made payable to the Friends of the Cornwall Library. Whenever possible, the Library staff will purchase items which accommodate the donor’s subject or title preferences. The name(s) of the donor(s) and those recognized by the gift will be listed on a bookplate affixed to the material, if so desired. The donor must bear the full cost of any donated item. For items other than materials it shall be the final decision of the Library Board of Trustees as to whether or not a plaque shall be affixed to or near an item.  The Library will be in charge of selecting, designing and installing any memorial gift plaques, labels or bookplates.  The wording will be composed in consultation with the donor.

Real estate or other personal property: The Library will accept gifts of real property that either support or could be sold to support the mission of the Library. Such offers will be handled by the Director, who in consultation with the Board of Library Trustees will determine the suitability of the gift and the terms of acceptance compatible with the Library’s mission and policies, the donor’s intent, and applicable laws.

Art and decorative objects: In general, gifts of art objects shall be of local interest to the community, of a professional quality, well-executed, and in good condition. As with all other gifts, art objects will be accepted only with the donor’s full agreement that the Library has the right to handle or dispose of the gift in the best interests of the institution. Because of the Library’s limited display and storage areas and focus on its primary mission as a library and not a museum, potential donors of art and decorative objects are requested to discuss any possible gifts with the Director. No gifts that require extensive, regular special care or conservation will be accepted without board approval.

Valuation: With the exception of routine book and materials donations, the Library, Friends, or Foundation will provide a timely, written acknowledgement of the receipt of gifts to the donor and, if desired, to a recognized individual or organization.  The Library will not appraise items for tax purposes.  Income tax regulations leave the determination of the gift’s monetary value to the donor. Donors wishing to have an appraisal of their gifts for income tax purposes should have that done prior to donation.

Future disposition of gifts: Libraries used extensively by their patrons sustain losses through theft, mutilation, and ordinary wear. Resources with obsolete and/or misleading information may be discarded with time. The Library, therefore, cannot guarantee that any gift will be part of the collection or furnishings permanently. Excess articles may be offered to other libraries, given to the Friends or discarded.

The Board of Trustees reserves the right to refuse any gift or donation as it sees fit.

Gift and Donation Policy 7/2019 Approved by Board of Trustees 9/12/19

Gift Agreement Form

Library Manners

Everyone is welcome to use the Cornwall Public Library. However, every patron must refrain from materially disrupting the use of Library facilities, collections or services. Quiet conversation is expected at all times. Patrons are urged to report disruptive behavior immediately to staff so appropriate steps can be taken. The Library reserves the right to inspect the contents of any bag, knapsack, briefcase, etc. Disruptive or unacceptable behaviors include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Engaging in loud or offensive conversation or rowdy behavior;
  • Annoying or harassing behavior, with or without the intent to disturb others, including the use of personal electronic devices. Headphones must be used at all times and the volume must be inaudible to others. Phone calls are restricted to the lobby area and phones must be muted in all other library areas;
  • Abusive speech or actions toward Library staff or other patrons;
  • Using or possessing firearms and/or dangerous weapons of any type on Library property, with the exception of law enforcement officers authorized by law to do so.
  • Damaging, defacing or misusing Library materials, equipment or facilities. The Library and its contents belong to the citizens of Cornwall. Patrons damaging the Library facility or its contents will be held responsible for necessary replacement or repair, as well as face possible legal charges. If the patron is a minor, parents or guardians will be held responsible as provided by Education Law NYS 264¹;
  • Loitering or sleeping;
  • Relocating Library furniture or equipment without the permission of Library staff;
  • Soliciting, selling of any kind, or distributing leaflets not specifically approved by the Library Director;
  • Posting notices without prior approval of the Library Director;
  • Possessing or using alcohol or controlled substances on Library premises;
  • Individuals who are under or appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs are prohibited from using the Library;
  • Possessing or consuming food or uncovered beverages in the main sections of the Library;
  • Using tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, in the Library or within 100 feet of the property line;
  • Holding unauthorized or unscheduled group meetings or group conversations;
  • Blocking or interfering with the free movement of individuals;
  • Using restrooms for meetings, loitering, solicitation for immoral purposes, for the consumption of alcohol or controlled substances, or for the use of tobacco products;
  • Entering the Library’s staff areas, except on approval by Library personnel;
  • Improper attire; shirts and shoes are required;
  • Refusal to produce proper identification if requested by a staff member may result in immediate eviction from the Library;
  • Individuals with offensive odor leading to complaints from other Library users will be required to leave.

Covid-19 Addendum

  • Patrons entering the building are required to wear a facial covering that properly covers their nose and mouth.
  • Patrons entering the building understand that they should not be exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (illness, fever, cough).
  • If a patron begins to exhibit symptoms associated with COVID-19, they will be asked to leave.
  • Patrons will be required to practice social distancing while inside the library building, to protect themselves, our other patrons, and our staff.
  • Patrons are expected to practice proper hand sanitization measures while inside the building.
  • At the discretion of the Library Director, patron visits may be subject to time restrictions.

Entering the Library signifies agreement with these rules and regulations. Enforcement of this policy will consist of the Library staff giving the patron violating this policy a verbal warning. If the patron continues to violate this policy, s/he will be asked to leave. Finally, if a patron refuses to leave, the Cornwall Police will be notified and the offender may be prosecuted for trespassing. By following these rules, staff and patrons will make the Cornwall Public Library a good place for learning, recreational reading, research, and programs for the community.

Approved December 2000

Amended May 2014; June 2020; December 2022

¹Education Law NYS 264, Injuries to Property, states the following: Whoever intentionally injures, defaces or destroys any property belonging to or deposited in any incorporated library, reading room, museum or other educational institution, shall be punished by imprisonment in a state prison for not more than three years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or both such fine and imprisonment. (Formerly 266, L. 1947, c. 820; renumbered 264, L. 1950, c.273, 5.)

Lending Agreement for iPads & Laptops

**Please read the policy thoroughly**

RCLS library cardholders who meet the following criteria will be allowed to borrow an iPad or laptop for in-library use:

  1. RCLS library cardholders who are 18 years of age and older whose cards are active and not blocked.
  2. RCLS library cardholders who present a current driver’s license, state identity card, or passport and their current RCLS library card.  Both photo ID and library card must be presented prior to signing an agreement.  When borrowing a device: a patron must have an agreement on file and photo ID must be presented and will be held by library staff in a secure space during borrowing time.


  • RCLS member library cardholders who are 11 to 17 years of age and whose parent or guardian has signed the iPad agreement on behalf of their child may borrow an Early Literacy iPad.  Both the parent or guardian and the minor child must have an RCLS member library card that is active and not blocked.  The parent or guardian must show photo ID and the library card when signing the     The minor child must present his or her library own card each time the iPad is checked out and the library card will be held by library staff while the iPad is checked out.

Loans are filled on a first-come, first-served basis and loan procedures are as follows:

  • iPads & laptops are to be used in the library building and not left
  • iPads and laptops can be borrowed for a period of 60 minutes. iPad loans cannot be extended.
  • A limit of one iPad or laptop may be borrowed per patron per 60 minute period, unless the patron is borrowing the equipment for more than one of his or her minor children.
  • iPads are circulated with a silicone screen and protective case, which must remain on the iPad.
  • Patrons must follow the library’s Internet/Wifi Usage Policy while using the equipment (Please see our website for details).  Laptops have Envisionware installed and must be signed onto with borrower’s valid library card.
  • Borrowers cannot download anything onto the equipment.  App suggestions are welcomed by library staff.
  • If the equipment is stolen, lost or damaged, the borrower will be responsible for its full replacement cost, including the cost of the case and any peripherals.
  • The borrower must report any problems with the equipment to library staff upon return.
  • Equipment is not to be taken into the lobby or restrooms (please leave the equipment with the front desk while in the lobby or restroom).
  • iPads and laptops are not available for circulation a half hour before closing.  All equipment must be returned a half hour before closing.
  • Printing is available (from laptops only) at the current rate per page – ask a librarian for help.
  • Parents and guardians are advised that both iPads & laptops have full access to the Internet and are not filtered.  Parents who give permission to their minor children aged 11-17 to borrow iPads must also sign the library’s Internet Policy giving their child permission to access the Internet.  If a parent does not wish to give Internet access permission to his or her minor child aged 11-17, the parent must borrow the iPad on behalf of the child and remain with the child when it is in use.  A permission statement will not be placed in the child’s library record.

revised 11/2019
Approved by Board of Trustees 11/14/2019

Parking Lot Policy

The Cornwall Public Library welcomes everyone who is using the library or attending a library program to park in the library’s parking lot. The parking needs of library employees and patrons are the first priority in regard to available parking space. Those attending library-related programs and meetings, Friends of the Library programs and meetings, and programs and meetings of nonprofit, not-for-profit civic, educational, cultural, or governmental organizations are given the next priority. Non-library uses will be allowed only when the library is closed. Anyone violating the following rules, or engaging in any unlawful activity on the library’s premises, will be subject to action by the Cornwall Police Department.

Parking Lot Guidelines:

  • Parking lot traffic is one way.
  • Vehicles are to park within the lined spaces only.
  • Parking in handicapped spaces requires the correct permit or tags.
  • Staff are to park in the spots farthest from the entrance, or in the side section closest to the wooded area.
  • Overnight parking is not allowed.
  • The parking lot is to be used for parking only. There is to be no loitering in or around vehicles during or after library hours.
  • The parking lot is not to be used for any type of public forum including rallies or meetings without the proper facility use permit.
  • Use of the parking lot for commercial purposes is prohibited without the proper facility use permit.
  • Drugs, smoking, and/or alcoholic beverages are not permitted on library property including the parking lot.
  • Roller skates, rollerblades, scooters, skateboards, bicycles and other coasting devices are not vehicles and are prohibited from library property, including the parking lot unless used as means of transportation to the library. “Extreme” sports outside of library programming are prohibited on the library property, including the parking lot.
  • The library does not at any time or under any condition assume any responsibility for damage to, or theft of, any privately-owned vehicle in the parking lot, or for personal injury, from any cause whatsoever to any person or persons utilizing the lot.
  • Requests for special parking needs are to be made to the Library Director.


CAD 4/14/2022; Approved  by the Board of Trustees, June 8, 2022

Pets Policy

Pets are not allowed in the library.

While the library occasionally presents educational programs that feature animals, members of the public may only enter the library with an animal if it is a service animal that requires accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Under the ADA, a service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The dog must be trained to take a specific action to assist the person with a disability, and the task(s) performed must be directly related to the disability.

Emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals that have not been trained to perform a specific job or task do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

If it is not obvious that a dog brought into the library is a service animal, as per 28 CFR § 35.136 – Service animals, a staff member may ask the following questions:

  • Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
  • What specific work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

A staff member attempting to ascertain whether a dog is a service animal will never ask about the nature of a person’s disability.

Service animals must be under the immediate control of their handlers at all times.

Service animals that are not housebroken, bark excessively, are uncontrolled, or are otherwise disruptive will be required to leave the premises.

Animals may never be left unattended on library grounds.

Service animals are not allowed on library furniture or fixtures, or in library baskets or carts, and must remain on the floor or be carried (as appropriate) by their handlers at all times.

Misrepresenting a dog as a service animal is a violation of the library’s Patron Code of Conduct, and may result in suspension of library privileges.

Observing the above helps make the library a safe, clean and friendly place for the entire community. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Approved by the Board of Trustees, June 13, 2019

Public Relations and Communications Policy

General Policy to communicate accurately and consistently with the public about the Cornwall Public Library’s missions, policies, procedures, programs and services to effectively serve the public.

Library Spokesperson The Library Director, or a staff member designated in writing by the Library Director, is the media spokesperson for the Library.  The Board President may speak on behalf of the board in response to questions from the media.

Patrons are encouraged to offer suggestions, requests or complaints regarding Library operations to staff members, who shall direct all such communications to the Library Director for appropriate follow up.

Newsgathering in the Library The Library is a public forum and accordingly members of the media may conduct news gathering activities in the library.  The Library expects that members of the media will conduct themselves in a professional manner, be respectful of the staff and other patrons and abide by the library’s policy for patron behavior while in the library.

Photography and videography in the Library The Cornwall Public Library permits photography and filming to the extent that is does not interfere with the operations, programs, services and activities of the library, and in accordance with the following guidelines:

  1. Casual amateur photography is permitted provided it does not capture any identifiable likeness of individuals without their permission.  Photographers are responsible for securing the necessary releases.
  2. No commercial or media photography, including filming may occur in Library facilities without prior written permission from the Library Director.  Permission may be revoked at any time if the photographer or videographer fails to comply with the terms of this policy or other rules and regulations of the Library.
  3. The Library reserves the right to use photos and videos from public programs and events held in Library facilities and spaces on the Library’s website and in publications for promotional purposes.

Social Media – The Cornwall Public Library presence on social media sites and services is an extension of the organization’s information networks, and is governed by the organization’s policies.

Official use by Cornwall Public Library of social media services is permitted only by its duly authorized agents and shall be in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and policies including those regarding copyright, fair use, records retention, Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), First Amendment, health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), privacy laws and information security policies established by the Cornwall Public Library.

Cornwall Public Library reserves the right to withdraw certain posts and/or remove inappropriate comments that are not consistent with Library policies.

Cornwall Public Library employees posting library and/or public sector industry related content on personal social media account(s) are not doing so on the organization’s behalf and the views expressed are personal and do not reflect the views of the Cornwall Public Library.

Revised: 10/2019

Approved: 12/12/2019

Study Room Policy

In order to be equitable to patrons, the use of the study room will be ruled by the following:

The Study Room Schedule is available at service desks.

The study room will maintain certain open hours that are subject to change depending upon reservations.  The number of patrons in the study room at these times will be limited to eight or fewer, at the discretion of the library director or the Librarian on Duty.  Cell phones should not be used in the room when sharing the room with another patron.

There will be a usage limit of one hour per day, which may be extended to up to two hours, at the discretion of the library director or the Librarian on Duty, both for open and reserved hours. The maximum limit will be two hours per day, even if the hours are not consecutive hours.

The room must be reserved for meetings, interviews, and small programs (book groups, a writers’ group, etc.). Patron reservations may only be made up to two weeks in advance. Only staff may enter patron reservations onto the study room calendar. The patron making the reservation must give a name and phone number or email address so that staff may contact them in an emergency situation.

Time slots on the calendar that do not have a reservation will be considered Open Hours, or the library may reserve time slots for Open Hours.  Reservations cannot be made for Open Hours as reserved by the Library.  Open Hours will be for general use, more than one person will be allowed in the Study Room at those times, but the Rules of Open Hours Must be observed, as well as the Rules of Conduct. The Rules of Open Hours are as follows: phone calls cannot be made; space must be shared; remain quiet.

Tables may be moved apart to have two tables with four chairs around each but must be pushed back together at the end of the work session.

Patrons using the room are asked to follow CPL’s Patron Code of Conduct and will be asked to leave the room if they become loud, disruptive, or are encroaching upon another patron’s reserved time.


CAD 9/22/2021; Revised and approved 12/8/21.

Revised 9/28/22; Approved 11/9/2022.

Tutoring Policy

Tutoring is an activity that relates to the Cornwall Public Library’s role as an educational support center. Quiet/private space for tutoring activities is subject to availability. Tutors are asked to sign-in at the Reference Desk upon arrival to the tutoring session. Each tutor must complete a Tutor Permission Form that will be kept on file at the Library.

The following guidelines must be observed:

  1. Tutors must contact the Library to reserve use of the community room. There is no guarantee that this room will be available at the desired time due to its frequent use for programming and workshops.
  2. Children under 18 years of age who are tutored in the Library are the responsibility of the tutor while on Library property and until they are released to a parent or guardian or to someone providing authorized transportation.
  3. Those who tutor, and those who are being tutored, in the Cornwall Public Library are strongly encouraged to obtain a valid Library card to further enhance the tutoring experience. A library card will enable access to the supportive education materials, inter library loan service, and technology the library offers.
  4. All tutoring sessions held in the public area of the library are to be conducted with care and consideration of the other library members seated around them. Please keep conversation at a quiet and respectful level.

Tutoring Permission Form

Revised 11-08-16
Approved 11-08-16

Types of Public Libraries: A Comparison

For a comparison of the types of public libraries in New York State, click here.

Unsupervised / Unattended Children Policy


The Cornwall Public Library encourages children of all ages to visit the library and hopes they will find it a warm, inviting place to be. Programs and resources are offered to make the library enticing to children, to help children enjoy their visits, and to develop a love of books, reading, and libraries. However, young children are not safe when left unattended in the library. The staff are not responsible for unattended children and cannot know if a child is leaving the building with their parents or with strangers. It is not the library’s intention to seek out unattended children, but rather to have a reasoned response prepared when a problem presents itself. For the protection and well-being of children who visit our library, the following policy has been established:

Unattended Child When the Library is Open

  1. Children under the age of 6 may not be left unattended by an adult in any part of the library. If children under the age of 6 are found without an adult, staff will attempt to locate the parent/guardian/caregiver. During story times or other programs, adults who do not attend the program with the child must remain in the building and in the Youth Services area and must be visible when the program is over.
  2. Children ages 6-8 must have a parent or caregiver in the building with them at all times during the library visit. If children aged 6-8 are found without an adult, staff will attempt to locate the parent/guardian/caregiver. During story times or other programs, adults who do not attend the program with the child must remain in the building and must be visible when the program is over.
  3. Children aged 9-12 are welcome to use the library unattended but should not be left alone for extended periods of time. No public place, including the library, can guarantee the safety of children. Parents/guardians/caregivers are responsible for their child’s behavior. If a child becomes anxious or disruptive, the staff will attempt to find the parent/guardian/caregiver in the library. If they are not available, the staff will call the child’s home. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian/caregiver to be accessible to pick up the child at any time.
  4. Children ages 13 years old and over are old enough to use the library responsibly. If problems arise, they may be asked to leave or parents/guardians/caregivers may be contacted. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian/caregiver to be accessible to pick up the child at any time. Children over thirteen who are unattended in the library must have a way for the staff to contact a parent/guardian/caregiver while they are in the library.
  5. Staff will make a written report to the Library Director of incidents involving minor children left unattended in the library.

Unattended Youth During Emergency Closings

The Cornwall Public Library may close due to emergencies, inclement weather, power outages, etc. If the CCSD schools close because of inclement weather, or any emergency, the library may also close. No child may be sent to the library if the schools close early due to emergencies, inclement weather, power outages, etc.  When the library closes because of inclement weather, or for an emergency, the closure will be posted on our web page.

Unattended Youth at Closing

No child 16 years or younger may be unattended in the library one-half hour before library closing.  Parents/guardians/caregivers are responsible for picking their child up before closing time. If a child is left at closing time, the staff will notify the police.  Staff will not drive any child home.

Approved 12/14/2022

Volunteer Policy

It is the policy of the Cornwall Public Library to encourage community-minded people to serve as volunteers. Volunteers bring their energies and talents to help the library provide quality service to the public. Volunteers enhance, rather than replace, adequate staffing. Volunteer services aid the library in making the best use of its fiscal resources and build a bridge between the library and the community we serve.

Volunteers are recognized by the public as representatives of the library and shall be guided by the same work, dress and behavior codes as employees. Volunteers are also bound by all of the rules contained in all library policies and guidelines, especially those that relate to patron privacy and confidentiality. Volunteers are considered “at will” volunteer employees of Cornwall Public Library and the library reserves the right to terminate a volunteer’s working association with the library at any time, for any reason.

Volunteers who apply to work in the library are required to complete both the volunteer interest form and Volunteer Emergency Contact Information sheet. Volunteers must have a library card and be in good standing with the Ramapo Catskill Library System.

Volunteer applicants will be interviewed to determine their appropriateness and level of experience. Volunteer talents, experience, availability, and interests will be considered in job assignments. Volunteers must demonstrate communication skills and an ability to work with people of all ages. Numeracy and literacy skills as well as computer competency are an advantage. Volunteers are coordinated by the Library Director or designee. The Library Director is responsible to ensure that all required training is provided and is authorized to amend procedures to support this policy.

Volunteers are asked to record their hours of service in the “Volunteer Log Book” located at the Circulation Desk.
Volunteers must sign in/out of the building at each session. Volunteers must sign in at the library prior to off-site assignments.
Volunteers as part of a court-ordered community service (at the discretion of the Library Director) requirement must include the number of community service hours needed, the deadline for completion and the offense committed. The library will only allow non-violent offenders to do court-ordered volunteering.

Applications for the Summer Teen Volunteer Program are only available in the Spring and have a deadline submission. The same requirements and expectations for adult volunteers (as described above) also applies to teen volunteers.

Cornwall Public Library is committed to maintain a workplace free from sexual harassment. The sexual awareness policy applies to all employees, applicants for employment, whether paid or unpaid, interns, contractors, volunteers, and persons conducting business with the Cornwall Public Library. The policy is available for review by any interested Volunteer. Volunteers who work more than 10 hours per week are required to take the awareness training.