A Library Primer (1899)/Chapter XLI

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Printed rules, telling the public how they may use the library, are best put in the form of information and suggestions. Thus published they do not give the impression of red tape and restrictions so much as of help in making access to the library's resources easier and pleasanter.

The following suggestions and rules are copied with slight modification from a set in actual use.

The Utopia free public library
Information and suggestions

The library is open to everyone.

Do not hesitate to ask questions.

Suggestions of books for purchase and of changes in methods are asked for.


The circulating department is open from 10 to 9.

All persons residing in the city of Utopia, and giving satisfactory reference, are entitled to use the circulating department of the library on subscribing to the following agreement:

I hereby certify that I am a resident of the city of Utopia, and, in consideration of the right to use the free circulating department of the library, agree to comply with the regulations provided for its government.

A card-holder is responsible for all books taken on his card.

Immediate notice should be given of change of residence.

The library card should be presented when a book is drawn, renewed, or returned.

To renew a book, bring or send your card and the number of the book.

Lost cards can be replaced at once on payment of 10 cents for renewal, or without charge after a delay of two weeks.

One book, or one work if not in more than three volumes, may be taken at a time and kept two weeks, when it may be renewed for two weeks.

Four weeks is the limit of time that a book can be retained in any one household.

Books must be returned on the same card on which they are drawn.

A book cannot be transferred from one account to another unless it is brought to the library.

A fine at the rate of 2 cents per day is assessed on each book retained over time, payable on its return.

A book retained more than a week beyond the time limited may be sent for at the expense of the delinquent.

Books marked with a * in the catalogs are reference books, and are not lent.

No pen or pencil marks should be made in the books.

Any person who refuses to pay the fines or expenses mentioned, or wilfully violates any of the foregoing rules, forfeits thereby all right to the use of the library.

Teachers, and for good cause others, can take out more than one book (other than fiction) at a time, for such a term as may have been agreed upon before the books leave the library. In the absence of such agreement the books can be kept for the usual time only.

Persons not resident in the city may be allowed, at the discretion of the librarian, to take books on payment of $1 per year, and on signing an agreement to comply with the regulations of the library.


The librarian and assistants are glad of opportunities to help those wishing to do reference work of any kind to a knowledge of the location of the books and the use of catalogs, indexes, and other aids.


The reading room is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on week days; and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Conversation and conduct inconsistent with quiet and order are prohibited.

Back numbers of papers and periodicals may be had on application to the attendants.

The books, papers, and periodicals should be carefully used, and neither marked nor cut.

Persons who wilfully violate any of the foregoing rules thereby forfeit all right to the use of the reading room.