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Updated: March 23, 2011

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General Information on Developing Policy

Library Policies
A list of resources available on WebJunction. Documents include sample policies, collection development policies, difficult patron behavior, gaming, homeless, and more.

Effective Library Policymaking Adobe Acrobat format
The chapter on policymaking from the Rhode Island Public Library Trustees Handbook [pdf] is organized into the following sections: Benefits of Policy, Who Makes Policy, Review and Revise, Organizing a Policy Manual, Making Policy: Creating Tools for Organizing and Managing, and A Policy List for Public Libraries.

Development of Essential Policies for Public Libraries MS PowerPoint format
A training module designed for trustees that was done by Mike Cross at the Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning.

Primer on Library Policies
Taken from Trustee Corner, July 2000, a publication of the Library of Michigan. This is an update of the Four Tests For A Legally-Enforceable Library Policy published in 1994.

Policy Making Adobe Acrobat format
A section of the 2005 Virginia Public Library Trustee Handbook Adobe Acrobat format. As some other sources do, this makes a useful distinction between external and internal policies and lists the policies each would include.

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Resources on Developing Specific Policies

Collection Development Policies
A section of the Collection Development Training for Arizona Libraries site developed particularly for small and rural libraries. Identifies important elements of the collection development policy with examples from policies posted on the Web and offers suggestions for how to write a policy for your library.

Materials Selection Policies: Eight Elements
Although this is several years old, it still contains a good overview, based on the Michigan Library Association's Before and After the Censor: A Resource Manual on Intellectual Freedom (1987).

Workbook for Selection Policy Writing
From ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom. While it's directed to school libraries, it includes much useful information for public libraries as well.

Internet Acceptable Use Policies
This document by OWLS' Gerri Moeller references suggestions and phrases from the OWLSnet Internet Policy, ALA Guidelines (including the link below), and an article by Bob Bocher to help you develop an Internet Public Use Policy for your library. In addition, the page links to other resources and to some sample policies.

Guidelines and Considerations for Developing a Public Library Internet Use Policy Adobe Acrobat format
From ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Children and the Internet: Policies That Work
This is an electronic revision of ALA's 1998 publication Children and the Internet: Guidelines for Developing Public Library Policy. It includes eight articles addressing various aspects of policy making, as well as sample policies, quotes from librarians about Internet policies, and an introduction that briefly outlines the content of the site.

Four Commandments for Writing Policies for Public-Access Wireless Networks
An article available via EBSCOhost by Michael Sauers, written for the journal Computers in Libraries in 2006. Steps include introducing the service, listing technical requirements, spelling out disclaimers on access, assistance and liability, and alerting users to security concerns.

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Sample Policies

OWLS Sample Policies
A collection of policies from the libraries and the system that is continually being updated.

Sample Library Policies for the Small Public Library, the work of the Small Libraries Committee of WLA as revised in 1999 by David Polodna.

Wisconsin Public Library Policy Resources
This page includes sample policies from Wisconsin's public libraries, as well as sample by-laws and a sample privacy policy (new in Spring 2003) for Wisconsin public libraries.

Policy Model (Illinois State Library)
A wide variety of model policies that public libraries can adapt. Organized into the following groups: Acceptable Use Policies, Board of Trustees, Financial Policies, Legal Requirements, Patron Service Policies, Personnel Policies, and Serving Our Public Policies. Some of the policies are specific to Illinois, and many need to be adapted for use by Wisconsin libraries; but virtually all provide an excellent beginning point, a list of possible points to address, and useful wording.

FAQ: Parental Access to Library Records Law
From the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

PLA Best Practices in Public Libraries
Includes a variety of model policy manuals and policies from individual libraries and states (including Wisconsin).

Library Policies
An extensive collection of policies from San Jose Public Libraries and San Jose State University.

AcqWeb's Directory of Collection Development Policies on the Web
A collection of policies organized by type of library, including public, community college, college, university, university special collections, national and state libraries, and school libraries.

Sample Policies, State Library of Ohio
Organized alphabetically by type of policy. Includes additional policy resources, mostly from ALA and about Internet use.

Library Policies on the Web
From the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington. A collection of sample policies primarily from libraries in the State of Washington, ranging from comprehensive policy manuals to confidentiality policies, Internet use policies, selection policies, and more.

Library Policies of Morton Grove (IL) Public Library
A list of policies including Guidelines Governing the Use of the Library and a World Wide Web Sites policy.

Library Use Policies
A tidy list of policies from the Seattle Public Library, including rules of conduct and unattended children policies.

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