Rensselaer Library Policies

Lending Procedures-

Loan Periods:
New Items, Movies, Audiobooks and magazines- 2 weeks
Books- 28 days

Fines are accrued at 10 cents a day for movies, music, adult and teen books. No fines for children’s items.
Items can be dropped off in our book-drop or to any other library in the Upper Hudson Library System.

We limit 3 DVDs per check-out.

We charge a maximum of $2 per incident and $10 total in fines. Lost items from other libraries must be settled with the owning library. We will take replacement copies in new condition in lieu of payment for our items only.  We do not take credit cards.

Library services will be suspended to borrowers who owe more than $5

Getting a library card:
Borrowers must show a form of I.D. or proof of address to get a library card. Children (age 15 and under) must be able to sign their full name to get a card, and have a parent or guardian permission signature.

Lost library cards will be replaced for $1.

Copies and computer print-outs are 10 cents each, faxes are a dollar a page.

Library Closings

The library will close if the Rensselaer City School District closes for inclement weather.  In the case where the School is not open, the Library Director will make a decision based on road conditions and the condition of the library parking lot.  The Library is required by law to close if there is no running water.

Computer Use-

Patrons must show their library card to use the computers. A guest pass will be given to out-of-town visitors who show valid ID. We have wireless internet- Patrons who use the wireless should follow standard precautions in using a non-secure internet link. Patrons use the internet at their own discretion, but should be aware that they are in a public place when selecting content.  Headphones must be used for all sound-producing equipment.

Children under 10 may only use internet computers with a responsible adult sitting with them. We do not filter the internet or monitor children using the computers.

Meeting Rooms-

Meeting Rooms must be reserved ahead of time. Some groups have a standing reservation for some time slots. The conference rooms can be used by patrons if there is no reservation set.  The library has priority of use of the rooms for their own programs, followed by Rensselaer residents, then the general public.  The library does not charge fees for usage, but may ask for cleaning or repair fees if damage is found after a scheduled meeting. To reserve a meeting time, please call the library directly.

Behavior Policy:

The Rensselaer Public Library’s first rule is to treat others as you want to be treated.  We want the library to be a safe, quiet place to be.  Treat the staff with respect, we are here to help you.

Patrons of any age who do not follow our rules or are disruptive may be asked to leave at any time. Teens and children will receive 1 warning for mild misbehavior, then will be suspended from computer privileges for 2 weeks. The library will call the police if it is deemed necessary for the safety of staff and other patrons.
No food or drink is allowed in the library, except in the conference room for programs. We ask patrons to use headphones and turn off cell phone rings. Pets must be kept on a leash and are not allowed beyond the lobby area. Please wear appropriate attire at all times.

Please let us know if you are bringing in a service animal.

Conduct prohibited in the library includes but is not limited to:

  • Smoking
  • Indecent exposure, sexual acts or other lewd behavior
  • Fighting, threats or provoking fights
  • Swearing or abusive language
  • Blocking entrances or exits
  • Defacing library property
  • Carrying firearms or weapons of any kind, with the exception of law enforcement officers
  • Solicitation, campaigning or handing out pamphlets
  • Disruptive noise or actions
  • Bringing food or drink into the library
  • Bringing in pets
  • Leaving children unattended

Unattended Children

Children under 10 must be supervised at all times at the library by a person of at least 16 years or older.  Parents can ask for their children to be blocked from the internet computers or checking out videos.  The library is not responsible for the supervision of unattended minors.  Children who are left at the library past closing time will be referred to the police.  The Library will report suspected truancy to the Rensselaer School District.

Materials Policy

Our policy for the discarding/withdrawal of library items is consistent with the protocols of the 29 libraries in the Upper Hudson Library System.

The term “withdrawal” refers to permanently removing an item from the library collection, and is also known as a discard.  Upper Hudson Library System uses “withdrawn” as their official wording in their computer system.

Items are purchased from Baker and Taylor or other approved vendors.  We also accept donations of like-new books and DVDs.  We have approximately 17,000 items cataloged as of June 1, 2010. Comparable-sized city libraries (such as Cohoes) have 20-30,000 items.

Items are cataloged when received in the Horizon catalog, a shared online computer catalog hosted by the Upper Hudson Library System.  A computerized inventory can be made of items at any time and can be made available upon request.

If an item is damaged it is marked in the computer catalog as Withdrawn by library staff and properly disposed of, either recycled or in the case of mold damage, thrown out.  Patrons are assessed damage fees if applicable.

The Library Director continually assesses the library collection to ensure that non-fiction items are current and do not contain outdated information, especially health, law and technology. Fiction items that have not been circulating for more than 8 years are considered for withdrawal.  Withdrawn items that are not damaged are donated to either the Friends of the Library for their book sales, or are given to other charities such as The Boys and Girls Club of Rensselaer County or Books for Nigeria.  A list of withdrawn items can be printed from the computer at any time on request.

The Library Board of Trustees oversees the library and its policies.  The Board is appointed by the Mayor of the City of Rensselaer. The Library Director reports to the Library Board in questions over policy or procedures.  Any questions regarding the Rensselaer Public Library’s policies should be directed to the Library Board.