I. Library Bill of Rights

The Monessen Public Library subscribes to the ALA Library Bill of Rights. The Library Bill of Rights was adopted on June 13, 1939 by the ALA Council and was last amended on January 23, 1996. The Library Bill of Rights states:

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries that make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

II. Materials Selection
  1. Purpose
    The materials selection policy is intended to implement the general objectives of the public library.  The purpose of the selection process is to obtain expertly selected books and other materials to further the library programs of providing information, reference assistance, and help to those engaged in educational pursuits, as well as to provide recreational and general reading.
  2. Selection criteria
    The library aims to be impartial in materials selection.  No particular opinions or special interests are favored.  In the case of controversial subjects every effort is made to see that all sides are fairly represented. Criteria used to select materials is as follows:

    • Reputation and significance of author
    • Importance of subject matter to the collection
    • Scarcity of material on the subject
    • Timeliness or permanence of the material
    • Authoritativeness
    • Reputation and standards of the publisher
    • Availability of material elsewhere in the WCFLS
    • Importance of the subject matter to the community
    • Price of material
    • Library budget
    • Reviews of material
  3. Citizen Request for Reconsideration of Materials The library has a form for anyone wishing to request reconsideration of library materials. Please contact the Library Director for more information about this form and process. Form is in Appendix A.
III.  Administration

Ultimate responsibility for selection, as for all library activities, of library materials rests with the Library Director who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Monessen Public Library.
Any library expense that exceeds $5000 must have Board approval. This was ratified by the Board on November 9, 2011.

Patrons are welcome at all times to make suggestions regarding material to be purchased for the library collection and their suggestions will be given serious consideration.  However material for the library collection will be chosen according to criteria outlined in this policy manual.

IV.  Gifts/Donations

Donations of books and other materials are accepted by the library with the understanding that final disposition of said donation(s) is at the library’s discretion.

V.  Discarding and Replacements

The library engages in a continuing process of weeding materials according to the CREW method of library weeding.


I. Reserves

Materials may be reserved in person, by phone, or online.  Materials will be held for period of at least three days.

II. Materials

All materials are loaned for a period of three (3)weeks unless otherwise designated. Material may be renewed if there are no reserves on the item.

III.       Overdues

  1. As of October 13, 2021, the library is now fine free. However if any library-owned items are not returned, then the library will follow the procedure in Appendix B (Overdue Material Policy) to retrieve said items.
IV.  Lost Material

Lost material must be paid for by the borrower.  The current list price of the item plus a $3.00 per item processing fee will be the amount owed by the borrower for the lost material.  If a replacement price cannot be found, a reasonable charge for comparable material will be assessed.  The borrower may replace the lost material him/herself if the Library Director so agrees. Lost library cards can be replaced for a cost of $3.00 per card.

V. Memorials
  1. The minimum amount to place a memorial in the library with a book plate and notification card is $25.00.  The donator can choose either fiction/non-fiction and adult/juvenile ONLY.  If a memorial donation(s) is less than $25.00, said amount will be pooled with other memorial donations to purchase library material and a notice will be sent informing that a contribution has been made in the person’s name.
  2. When funds are given to the library for memorial items, the procedure is as follows:
    1. A notice is sent to the deceased’s family notifying them that a donation has been made to the library.
VI. Inter-library Loan(ILL)
  1. Monessen Public Library will make every effort to fill all patron ILL requests in a timely manner
  2. In filling ILL requests the Monessen Public Library will make every effort to adhere to the PA ILL Code.
  3. Overdue fines are assessed and retained by the borrowing library according to its own rules and procedures.
  4. If an ILL item is lost or not returned the borrower is responsible for all costs to replace the item.
VII. Damaged Material

The borrower is responsible for any and all damages to library material.  If library material is returned in a damaged condition the borrower must make restitution to the library in the amount of the replacement cost for said material.

VIII. Miscellaneous
  1. The use of a library card that is not your own, without consent of the library card owner is strictly prohibited. It may result in suspension of library privileges.
  2. Children of school age are not permitted in the library during school hours while school is in session. If this situation occurs, library staff will call the school district.
IX. Charges
  1. Faxing charges are $1.00 per page
  2. Copying and printing charges are .20 per page for black & white and .50 per page for color.


I. Hours of Service

In accordance with PA Library Laws the Monessen Public Library will be open a minimum of 45 hours per week September through May with the schedule of hours adjusted during the months of June, July and August.

II. Registration

Library registration is free to all residents of Monessen as well as to all residents of areas claimed by the WCFLS. In addition, registration is free to all other patrons who provide proof of their “home library card”.  Failure to provide a “home library card” will result in a $10.00 charge for registration.

III. Displays and Flyers
  1. The use of displays in a library can widen its sphere of influence and service. Displays are a welcome addition to the library if the purpose of the display promotes the welfare or educational enlightenment of the community.  The decision concerning displays in the library will be made by the Library Director.
  2. Flyers for non-profit organizations only will be posted in the library at the discretion of the Library Director.
IV. Conference Rooms


In keeping with the Library’s mission to offer a welcoming place for community interactions, Monessen Public Library meeting rooms are available for use by community groups for informational, educational or cultural meetings and programs when not needed for library purposes. Use of the library meeting rooms does not imply endorsement by the library staff or The Library Board of Trustees of the viewpoints presented.

As part of its service to the community, the Monessen Public Library provides meeting room space for use by cultural groups and neighborhood and civic organizations. Meeting room space is made available by the library “on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.” (Article 6, Library Bill of Rights). Meetings must be for purposes consistent with the objectives and goals of the Library. These include meeting community information needs, individual enrichment, and the support of the educational, cultural, civic and recreational activities of the community. Use of library space may be subject to the approval of the Library Director.

Groups are invited to request use of meeting facilities by contacting the library.

There is no fee for “non-profit”groups who use a library meeting room.

A fee of $25 will be charged to “for-profit” groups who use a library meeting room.

V.  Public restrooms

The library has public restrooms available to all library patrons. Changing of clothes, bathing, sleeping and shaving in the public restrooms is strictly prohibited.  Any individual engaged in changing clothes, bathing or shaving will be asked to leave the library and banned from the library premises.

VI. Discipline

Library staff will ask anyone abusing privileges to leave the library.  The purpose of a “Discipline Policy” is to ensure that patrons will be able to derive maximum benefit form the library without unnecessary disruptions to their concentration or safety.

Prohibited activities include all illegal behavior; damaging library material, furniture, equipment or property; offensive language or contact with patrons or staff; yelling or loud talking that disturbs other patrons; smoking or the use of tobacco products; loitering in the library or on library property; food or drink in the library; running or jumping.  The staff will ask anyone abusing privileges to leave the library.

The police department will be called on in the event of disruptive patrons not leaving the library as requested.  Patrons may be denied library privileges for abuse of the discipline policy.

Parents and guardians are responsible for their children’s behavior, safety and welfare while their children are in the library or on library grounds, which includes their children’s access to library materials and electronic resources. MPL strongly recommends that a parent, guardian or other responsible party be present to supervise children ages 12 and younger. MPL staff is available to assist parents, guardians and their children in the use of the library; however, MPL staff cannot act “in loco parentis” (in place of a parent) for children in the library.”

VII. Behavior Policy for Monessen Public Library

According to PA State Law, everyone in the community has the right to use the library, but they are subject to compliance with “reasonable rules and regulation”.

For the benefit and safety of the Monessen Library customers, staff and community library rules require that patrons conduct themselves in a civil manner when using the property or services.

The library defines inappropriate behaviors and their consequences as follows:

One Warning Behaviors ( patrons will be given one warning and if the disturbance continues the patron will lose library privileges for the rest of the day.  Multiple one warning behaviors will result in patron being banned from the library for a period of time to be decided by the Library Director. )

Disrupting patrons from their legitimate library pursuits – ex: annoying repetitive behavior or noises, invading other patrons’ privacy, unnecessary excessive movement

  • Making loud noises – ex: yelling, screaming, uncontrolled laughter
  • Rude behavior or speech to other patrons or staff
  • Intimidation or other Bully Behavior to patrons or staff
  • Rowdy or raucous behavior

No Warning Behaviors (any exhibition of No Warning Behaviors will result in the immediate loss of library privileges for the rest of the day as well as being banned from the library for a period of time to be decided by the Library Director. )

  • Physical abuse of other library patrons and/or library staff
  • Criminal threatening
  • Fighting (all participants involved in a fight will be subject to discipline)
  • Weapons
  • Drugs
  • Theft
  • Vandalism

As it is impossible to specify every possible type of disruption library staff are instructed to use their discretion and judgment in any unique situation.


2022 Budget

Download the Monessen Public Library Budget here: