To view NOPL’s policies click on one of the links below:

Computer & Internet Access and Usage Policy

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In keeping with its mission, The Northern Onondaga Public Library is dedicated to making a full range of information resources and services available. The library offers access to computers and the Internet as an electronic means of reaching ideas and information. The Northern Onondaga Public Library will strive to offer our patrons fair and equitable access to computer resources. The library also provides wireless access to our patrons with mobile/portable devices.

Computer Rules

To achieve a place of safe and friendly research, the library has established the following rules regarding the use of public computers.

  1. Protect the library’s equipment and network.
    1. All users of electronic information resources are expected to use these resources in a responsible manner; activities that disrupt the library or its network are prohibited.
    2. Only library-provided software may be used on the library’s computers. Software owned or supplied by users may not be installed or used.
    3. Users may not alter or attempt to alter the setup of library computers.
    4. Users may not save their data on the hard drives of library computers. Users must supply their own devices for saving data. (USB flash drives may be purchased at the Service Desk.)
  2. Obey the law.
    1. Users may not use any library computer for illegal or criminal purposes, including but not limited to: coercion, fraud, theft, copyright infringement or violation of software agreements.
    2. Libraries are open and public spaces. Images prohibited by NYS Penal Laws, §245.10, §245.11, §263.11 and §263.16 may not be displayed in the library.
  3. Be a good neighbor.
    1. Users are asked to respect the privacy of other computer users. This includes not representing oneself as another user, not modifying passwords, not trying to gain access to someone else’s data or search history, and not hovering over others using computers.
    2. Text or graphics, which may reasonably be construed as obscene, may not be sent, received or displayed over Northern Onondaga Public Library connections, including wireless.
    3. The library’s computers are set up for use by a single individual. However, in some cases, such as a parent/guardian with a child, it may be important for two persons to work/sit together at a single computer. In all cases, because of limited space, a maximum of two persons may sit and/or work together at any one computer.
  4. Protect all personal information.
    1. Users are responsible for logging out of any sites they log into, including, but not limited to, banking sites, email accounts and online shopping accounts.
    2. Library users using public access computers to search the Internet should quit the web browser before moving away from the computer.


The library reserves the right to use filtering software on selected computer connections (e.g. the Children’s Room and Teen area). It should be noted that filtering cannot be relied upon to be wholly effective.

All computers in the library are filtered for:

Phishing and Fraud
Downloads of executable files

In addition to the above, Children’s and Teens’ computers are filtered for:

Illegal Drugs
Adult/Sexually Explicit
Intolerance & Hate
Spam URLs

In addition to the above, Children’s computers are filtered for:

Personals and Dating

Internet Use by Children

Parents or guardians are responsible for the Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. Parents are encouraged to monitor their children’s use of the Internet as they deem appropriate.

Signing-Up for Computer Use & Time Limits

    • The number of computers available for public use is limited. In order to ensure that as many people as possible are able to use library computers, a one hour time limit may be enforced. Note: All printing and/or downloading must be completed within this time limit.
    • Library computers designated for public access may be used without charge, but there will be charges for printouts.
    • Each NOPL library has its own procedures for signing onto a public access computer. Users can find out about these procedures at their library’s Service Desk.


    • The library is not responsible for any damage done to computer users’ equipment or data by any virus or malware which may have been contracted on or through library equipment. Although the library has installed virus protection on its computers, it is always possible for a new virus to appear and therefore protection cannot be guaranteed.
    • The library is not responsible for any damage done to computer users’ disks, data, hardware or software as a result of the malfunctioning of library hardware or software.
    • NOPL staff members will make every effort to assist you or to direct you to helpful resources, but they cannot be familiar with every program and personal device, and other duties may limit time available for extended one-on-one assistance. Patrons needing computer help are welcome to take advantage of the regular training offered by the library in basic use of the Internet, email, and common software applications (e.g. word processing).
    • Not all sources on the Internet provide information that is accurate, complete, current, legal or philosophically acceptable to all citizens. The Northern Onondaga Public Library is unable to monitor or control the content of the materials on the Internet.
    • NOPL will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by members of the public except as required by law, pursuant to a subpoena or as necessary for the proper operation of the Library.

Compliance with Library Policy and Rules

Violation of the policies and regulations that govern the use of the Library’s computer and Internet resources may result in suspension or loss of the privilege to use these resources. Illegal activity involving these resources will be subject to prosecution by the appropriate authorities.

Approved March 28, 2016

Social Media Policy

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The Northern Onondaga Public Libraries use social media tools as an important enhancement to communication, collaboration and information exchange between staff, library users and the general public.

Library social media offerings may include information regarding library programs, services, collections, news and projects, as well as useful and entertaining information.

This policy governs the use of social media in three areas: employee use, public use, and the publication of comments on social media.

Social media is defined as any online forum that allows users to share information. Social media may include, but is not limited to, blogging, instant messaging, social networking sites, wikis, posts, and community reviews.

Employee Use

When staff uses social media, behavior and content is not only a reflection of the staff member, but also of the Library. This policy complements, rather than overrides, any existing requirements that staff act professionally, respectfully, and honestly.

Employees may participate on social media sites while on work time if they have an authorized business need and it is approve by the Library Director or designee in advance.

Employees are prohibited from creating new social media accounts without prior approval. Decisions regarding new social media outlets and accounts are made by the Library Director and the Marketing Department, who oversee all such accounts. All content is subject to being reviewed, edited or deleted by the Marketing Department.

The use of any Northern Onondaga Public Library logo on a social media site must be approved by Library Administration and should be obtained directly from the Marketing Department, not copied from another account or webpage.

All library-sponsored social media accounts must have a minimum of two administrators, one of whom should be the Community Information Librarian. Staff who wish to contribute content or participate in the library’s social media accounts should contact the Community Information Librarian, who will review guidelines and training with the staff member.

Ongoing Use Evaluation

The role and use of social networking services in relation to the goals and purposes of the Northern Onondaga Public Library will be evaluated periodically by the Marketing Department and Library Administration and may be terminated at any time without notice to subscribers.

Public Use

The Northern Onondaga Public Library assumes no liability regarding any event or interaction that takes place by any participant in any Library-sponsored social networking services, and does not endorse content outside of the pages maintained by the Northern Onondaga Public Library. Participation in the library social media services implies agreement with all Library policies, as well as the Terms of Service of each individual third-party social network service.

The library reserves the right to use any posts on library social networking sites in public relations and marketing materials.

Users are encouraged to protect their privacy by not posting personally identifying information, such as last name, school, age, phone number, or address.

As with more traditional resources and the Internet, the Northern Onondaga Public Library does not act in place of, or in the absence of, a parent/guardian and is not responsible for enforcing any restrictions which a parent/guardian may place on a minor’s use of social media sites.

Comments on Social Media

By posting a comment you agree to indemnify the Northern Onondaga Public Library and its officers and employees from and against all liabilities, judgments, damages, and costs (including attorney’s fees) incurred by any of them which arise out of or are related to the content that you post.

The library reserves the right to monitor content on all their social sites, and to modify or remove any comments or postings that it deems, in its sole discretion, to be abusive, defamatory, illegal, or in violation of copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property right of any third party, or otherwise inappropriate.

Forums and messaging may not be used for commercial purposes or for political activity.

Approved October 23, 2017

Code of Conduct Policy

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The Northern Onondaga Public Library has adopted the following policy to protect the rights and safety of library users and staff and to protect library materials, equipment and property. The Board of Trustees of the Northern Onondaga Public Library is committed to providing a positive environment that enables staff to provide excellent customer service to all patrons.

Library users are expected to:

    • Treat our staff and other patrons with respect
    • Wear proper attire, including shirts and shoes while in the library.
    • Turn down volume on cell phones and play other audio equipment so others are not disturbed.

The following behavior or activities are prohibited:

    • Violating local ordinances, state, and/or federal law
    • Violating library policies and/or guidelines
    • Using abusive, obscene or threatening language or behavior
    • Harassing others
    • Misusing library furnishings, materials, equipment, or computers
    • Bathing in public restrooms
    • Sleeping in the library
    • Disruptive behavior such as staring or spitting
    • Fighting and physical abuse
    • Running in the building
    • Noise or loud talking that is disturbing to others

Weapons such as explosives, firearms except by law enforcement officers, knives, look-alike weapons, or any other objects that can reasonably be considered as weapons, are not permitted on Library property or at library sponsored events. For the purpose of this policy, a weapon is defined as a firearm or other dangerous instrument as such terms are defined in the New York Penal Law, or any other instrument the officers or staff of the Library may deem dangerous.

Please remember:

    • Children under the age of eight should be in the company of a parent or caregiver while in the library. The safety and behavior of children in the library is the responsibility of the parent/caregiver.
    • The library is a tobacco product and alcohol/drug free environment. Smoking, including electronic cigarettes, is not allowed in library buildings or on library property.
    • Library materials may not be taken into the restrooms.
    • Persons with offensive body odor or poor hygiene that create a nuisance to others and/or disrupt Library service may be asked to leave.
    • Rollerblades and skateboards may not be used on library property or brought into the library.
    • Bicycles may not be brought into the building.
    • Because the library cannot be responsible for lost or stolen articles, do not leave valuable or personal belongings unattended.
    • Assistance animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act are the only animals permitted in the library with the exception of those being used in a library program.
    • Commercial Solicitation, panhandling, and the sale of merchandise, unless related to a library program or authorized by the library, are prohibited.
    • Any use of cameras and recording devices in library buildings must be authorized.
    • Flyers, petitions or non-library related literature may not be posted or distributed without permission.


NOPL is committed to maintaining facilities that are clean, comfortable and welcoming. To support this goal we have adopted the following guidelines for public areas of our libraries:

    • As authorized by the Library, food and beverages may be consumed in Library meeting rooms and at special events.
    • Consuming beverages from lidded containers is permitted in the Library except in the vicinity of library computers. Violation of the above polices may result in a warning, a request to leave the premises, or barring from NOPL libraries.

Approved June 5, 2017

Meeting Room Policy

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The Northern Onondaga Public Library meeting rooms are available to the community for use by groups for educational, cultural, civic, and community service meetings. The room is available for use by community groups and non-profit organizations only, regardless of the beliefs and affiliations of their individual members. Use of the room by groups and individuals shall be at the discretion of the Library Director and the Board of Trustees of the Library.

Meetings may not be used for:

    • Sale or promotion of products or services, except in conjunction with a library sponsored program. Names of participants cannot be collected by program presenters for later financial gain.
    • Partisan political activities, except for events such as candidates’ night when all candidates representing different views or parties are invited by the library or independent civic organization.
    • Purely social, commercial or fundraising functions unless sponsored by the library.
    • Personal events, such as birthday parties, showers or family reunions, or for the benefit of a private individual.
    • The rooms may not be used for profit making activities. Any use of a meeting room for classes or programs which entail a fee, tuition, or other charge or donation must have prior approval from the Director. Membership dues and/or registration fees covering the cost of materials are acceptable. Tickets may not be sold nor donations or free will offerings taken.

Library sponsored and co-sponsored programs shall have first priority in all cases. Rooms can be booked up to two months in advance, and reservations will be honored on a first come first served basis. Community groups are limited to one meeting room use a month (exceptions may be granted by the Library Director or Director designee). Reservations requests must be made by phone or in person.

On rare occasions the library may cancel a reservation in the event of a conflict with a library program. Notice of such cancellation will be given as soon as possible. Organizations must notify the library of any cancellation on their part as soon as possible. In the event of the library’s closing due to inclement weather or other emergency reasons, all activities will cancelled.

Meetings can only be held during the library’s normal hours of operation and must be vacated 15 minutes prior to the library’s closing time (exceptions may be granted by the Library Director or the Director designee). Occupancy limits are set by local fire departments and must be observed.

The room and equipment must be returned to the condition in which they were found, including returning tables and chairs to their original positions. Organizations are responsible for any damage to the room, equipment or its contents. If damage occurs or special cleaning is needed, an appropriate charge will be levied.

Adult supervision (18 years or older) is required for any group of minors. This requirement may be waived at the discretion of the Director.

Users should note that the library is a public building and all uses shall be non-exclusive, open to the general public (except lawful executive sessions of governmental bodies).

No smoking is permitted on library property. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted to be served by community groups in the meeting room.

The right of a group to meet in the public library does not constitute an endorsement of the group’s policies or beliefs by the Northern Onondaga Public Library. Events or meetings of community groups may not be publicized in a manner that might suggest NOPL sponsorship or affiliation.

The library reserves the right to revoke permission to any user whose planned use of the meeting rooms does not comply with this policy. Violation or policies and procedures may result in denial of future access to the space.

Approved June 26, 2017

Photo Policy

SMILE! NOPL staff may take photos, videos, and record audio of people enjoying the library’s many services and events. These images may be used for publicity purposes in print and electronic media, or ultimately published on the Internet. If you do not wish your image to be published, please notify a staff member. The library does not tag photos or include children’s names on social media.

Collection Management Policy

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The Collection Management Policy offers guidance to library staff in the selection and retention of materials for the Northern Onondaga Public Library and serves to inform the public of the Library’s philosophy for selection and collection maintenance.

This policy flows from our mission statement:

The Northern Onondaga Public Libraries transform and enrich lives by connecting our members to information, ideas and imagination. We are committed to the development and sustainability of an engaged, vibrant community.

Intellectual Freedom

The Northern Onondaga Public Library subscribes to and supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the American Library Association Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements. The Library recognizes its responsibility to provide materials presenting various and diverse points of view and does not attempt to promote any beliefs or points of view through its collection. The Library does not endorse the opinions expressed in materials held.

The Library believes that individuals may reject for themselves or their children any materials that they find unsuitable. Parents are responsible for the borrowing of library material by their children.

Library Profile

NOPL is made up of three branch libraries, located in North Syracuse, Cicero, and Brewerton, and serving a population of 56,167. While these communities share many characteristics, we view them as distinct from each other and the branch collections may reflect variations in reading preferences or interests.

Cooperative Collection Development

Shared collections and staff promote efficiency and reduced costs and result in stronger collections and a wider variety of programs and services which are available to all NOPL district residents. Some collections “float” among the branches, and others are chosen by a single selector who purchases for all three locations.

Collection Objectives

The Northern Onondaga Public Library provides a contemporary, relevant collection of resources in a range of formats to meet the informational, educational and recreational needs of the communities it serves. The Library strives to meet these needs to the extent allowed by limitations of space, staffing and budget.


Library staff use professional judgement and expertise in making purchasing decisions, including identifying titles for purchase, determining quantities, and selecting appropriate locations for materials. On occasion, staff may consult with experts in a specific subject for collection advice. In addition to the guidelines below, system-wide availability, physical space limitations, and available funds are considered. Titles may be acquired in multiple formats. Materials and formats are not maintained when they are no longer relevant. Textbooks and highly technical or specialized materials are typically excluded from NOPL collections.

Guidelines for Materials Selection

Collection development is based on a variety of criteria:

  • Community needs, interests, and demands
  • Reputation, qualifications, or prominence of the author, illustrator, publisher, producer, performer, etc.
  • Relation to existing collection
  • Suitability and sustainability of physical or digital format
  • Appropriateness and effectiveness of medium to content
  • Recommendations of reviews from professional journals or other reputable publications
  • Literary, artistic, historical, scientific, or intellectual merit
  • Price and availability for purchase
  • Representation of varied points of view
  • Availability of other information on the subject
  • Suitability of subject and style to intended audience

The importance or weight of each of these factors will vary, and other factors may be considered. Selection of library materials for adults is not limited by the possibility that children may come in contact with them. Parents and legal guardians have the responsibility to monitor the use of library materials by their children.

Patron Requests and Suggestions

Patron recommendations are welcome and encouraged. Decision for purchase or inclusion is made by the selecting librarian, branch manager, or director, and according to the Collection Management Policy.


The Library accepts gifts of materials for the collection using the same selection criteria that are applied to purchased materials. Decisions regarding the final disposition of gifts are the responsibility of library staff, using the following guidelines:

  • Not all gifts are added to the collection. Gift materials not added to the collection are not returned to the donor.
  • The Library retains unconditional ownership of the gift.
  • The Library reserves the right to decide the conditions of display, housing and access to the materials.
  • Unused gifts may be given to the Friends of NOPL Libraries or handled as described in the NOPL Surplus Materials and Equipment policy.
  • Gifts can be acknowledged with a written receipt that lists the number and type of material donated. However, the Library cannot legally make a determination of value of the donation or act as an appraiser.

Gift Subscriptions of Periodicals and Giveaway Publications

Gift subscriptions to periodicals and giveaway publications are considered by the Library manager or director and are subject to the same selection criteria as purchased subscriptions. Gift subscriptions chosen to be added to the collection require a three year subscription.

Monetary Gifts to Support the Collection
The Library is pleased to accept monetary gifts intended for the purchase of library materials when the donor’s intentions for the gifts and the Library’s collection development objectives align.

Collection Maintenance

To maintain the quality and relevance of the collection, the Library regularly withdraws materials that are worn, outdated, superseded, or obsolete. Space limitations require that duplicate copies no longer in demand also be withdrawn.

As materials become worn, damaged, or lost, replacement will be based on whether or not:

  • The item is still available
  • There is ongoing demand or need
  • Another item or format might better serve the same purpose
  • Updated, newer or revised materials would better replace a given item
  • Other system libraries have the item in their collections

Sustainable Practices

By their very nature as resources shared by many users, libraries are efficient. However, in keeping with its commitment to sustainable practices and energy efficiency, NOPL libraries “repurpose” withdrawn materials whenever possible, by:

  • Turning them over to Library Friends who sell them to raise money that supports library programs
  • Donating them to local non-profits, day care centers or senior centers
  • Recycling them through Better World Books where they are sold to support literacy projects around the world.

Requests for Reconsideration of Materials
The Library will consider requests from patrons to remove or reclassify an item in the collection. Patrons may challenge materials by completing a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources” form. This form is available at the NOPL circulation desks and on the Library’s website. All requests are reviewed by the Director with input from professional staff, and their determination is shared with the patron.

Approved July 24, 2017

Surplus Materials and Equipment Policy

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It is the policy of Northern Onondaga Public Library to dispose of library materials, furniture and equipment that is no longer functional or useful. The Northern Onondaga Public Library will dispose of surplus property in an environmentally and fiscally responsible manner in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations. An individual may not dispose of property unilaterally. Disposal of NOPL property for personal gain or favor is prohibited. The Library Director is responsible for the sale or disposal of surplus materials and equipment.

  1. Withdrawn or donated books and other materials not deemed appropriate for the collection will be given to the Friends of the Northern Onondaga Public Libraries or sold through Better World Books or a similar online vendor. At the discretion of the library director, withdrawn or donated materials may be contributed to support county or community literacy projects, be given to daycare or senior centers in NOPL’s service area, or be given away as part of efforts to promote reading and library services.
  2. Computer equipment no longer of use to the Library may be donated directly to a local school district for use in their educational programs or to a community non-profit organization. Computer equipment that is no longer of any value will be disposed of according to Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCCRA) guidelines and in compliance with New York State’s Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act.
  3. Furniture no longer of use to the Library, the value of which is less than $300.00, may be donated by the Library to a non-profit, charitable organization.
  4. Items not covered by the above will be sold through auction or publicly advertised sale with any proceeds from such sale being deposited to the Operating Fund of the Library. Prior to such sale, the Director will provide a list of those items to be included in the sale to the Board of Trustees. All items are to be sold “as is,” and the buyer will be required to sign a form indicating that he understands that there are no explicit or implicit guarantees, warantees, or any other obligations on the part of the library. Staff and trustees may purchase items under the same conditions and terms as the general public.
  5. If an item is determined by the Library Director to have marginal or no resale value, or it does not sell through auction or publicly advertised sale, it may be sold or discarded in the best interests of the Library.
  6. The Library Director is authorized to accept trade-in allowances on any item of equipment being replaced or upgraded for which a trade-in allowance is offered.
  7. In an instance where an item of surplus inventory is determined by the Library Director or Board of Trustees to have unusual, historic or artistic value such items may be referred to the Board for determination of value which determination may include the services of a professional appraiser or outside expert opinion.

Approved April 24, 2017

Film Screening Policy

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The Northern Onondaga Public Library may show films to enrich library programming and to increase awareness of DVD and Blu-ray collections for children, teens and adults. Users of library facilities who would like to show films at the library are responsible for adherence to copyright and public performance rights as well as the library’s content considerations.

Public Performance Rights

Movies cannot be screened as programs unless we have public performance rights to show them. The library obtains licenses for public performance rights through Movie Licensing USA or the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation Additional public performance rights may be purchased if needed.
The library collects and screens movies with G, PG, PG-13, and R ratings. Under some circumstances, an unrated movie can also be collected and shown if we have a license for public performance.

Content Considerations

In addition to paying attention to ratings and critical reviews, selectors should be careful to examine content advisories for the films to be shown.
If the following keywords, or similar keywords, appear in the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) or descriptions, showing the film requires the Director’s permission.
“disturbing violent content” “intense persistent violence” “sexual assault” “strong sexuality” “graphic nudity” “frontal nudity” “torture” “highly disturbing” “disturbing”

If IMDB and/or CommonsenseMedia content advisories are not available, the film requires Director’s permission before it is scheduled for public performance.


Before showing movies that are rated PG-13 or R, a staff member will introduce the movie and say a few words–usually from IMDB– about the rating and why it was given this rating. Example: “This film is rated R for language including some sexual references.”

No R-rated films will be shown at times when children would likely want to be in attendance. In general, this means “R” rated film showings should not begin between the hours of 2:30 PM and 5:30 PM and should be avoided entirely on weekends. When in doubt please seek the guidance of the Library Director.

Approved 5/22/17