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Library Policies

A list of MRL policies & procedures. If you have questions about any of our policies please contact us.

Animals in the Library

Check-Out Procedures & Policies

Collection Development Policy

Internet Service Policies

Meeting Room Policy

Patron Responsibility & Code of Conduct

Photograph Use Policy

Security Camera Policy

Social Media Policy

Animals in the Library


To prevent possible damage to library facilities and property, and possible injury to library users and staff, animals are not permitted in any Massanutten Regional Library branch, except for:

  1. Use or exhibition for a valid purpose, as determined by the Library Director or designee, only when such use or exhibition has been pre-approved by the Library Director or designee, who shall provide such approval on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Service animals as defined in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, 2010 Revised Requirements:  Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.

Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties.  Service animals are working animals, not pets.  The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.  Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

Control of Service Animal

A service animal must be under the control of its handler. A harness, leash or other tether should be used unless:

  1. A disability prevents the handler from use of a harness, leash or tether; or
  2. The harness, leash or tether would interfere with the work of the service animal. In such cases, voice control, signals, etc. must be used.

Removal of Service Animal

The Library may request that a service animal be removed from the facility, and further deny access, if the animal:

  1. Is out of control and the handler cannot regain control of the animal.
  2. Is not housebroken.
  3. Poses a direct threat (to include threats from parasites present on the animal to the health and safety of others.)


Check-Out Procedures & Policies

Your library card enables you to borrow books, magazines, videos, CDs, DVDs and audio books, use the library’s facilities to access the Internet, read or study, and access online resources including downloadable media and research databases.

Borrowing Limits:

  • All circulating materials are checked-out for two weeks
  • You may borrow a total number of 100 items, which may include a maximum of 10 music CDs and 10 DVDs (system-wide)
  • If you do not have your library card with you, you may check-out 3 items with a photo ID

Renewal Limits:

  • All materials may be renewed twice, either by phone, in person or online, unless they are reserved for another library patron

Late Fees:

  • Books, magazines, music CDs & audio books accrue a 15 cent per day fee if they are overdue
  • DVDs accrue a $1 per day fee if they are overdue

Overdue Materials:

  • Overdue notices are mailed to patrons to remind them to return materials and settle their accounts
  • After 60 overdue days have passed, all accounts with a balance of $40 or more will be turned over to Unique Management Services, Inc., a collection agency specializing in library materials recovery, and an additional $10 service charge will be added to you account.
  • For your convenience Central Library in downtown Harrisonburg accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa for fine payments as well as cash or check.  All other branches accept cash or check only.  We appreciate the timely return of materials so that others may enjoy them.  Items that are not returned must be replaced at the library’s expense, thereby limiting our budget and ability to purchase new materials for our community.


  • If an item is unavailable it may be reserved either in person, online or by phone.
  • You will be notified by phone or email when it is available and the item will be held for one week before the hold is removed and the item is sent on to the next patron or placed back into circulation.
  • Please provide a current phone number, or an email address so we may contact you.

Cardholders may also review their current check-outs and renew items online. Stop by any branch to receive your PIN in person for online account access.


Collection Development Policy

MRL’s collections are intended to meet the life-long informational, educational and recreational needs of the citizens of Page and Rockingham Counties and the City of Harrisonburg. The scope of the collection is sufficiently broad to offer a choice of format, treatment, and level of difficulty so that the library needs of most individuals can be met. The collection, with the exception of the Genealogy/Local History collection, is not intended to be archival or for deep research; it is reviewed and revised on a continuous basis to meet contemporary, on-going needs.

MRL encourages and accepts gifts with the understanding that all gifts of materials become the property of the library whether or not they are added to the collection.  Gifts added to the collection are handled according to the same guidelines as any other materials belonging to the library:  if added they are available to all library patrons; they may be housed at any branch in the system and they may be withdrawn in accordance with the library’s weeding guidelines.  Materials donated to MRL should be reviewed according to the same criteria for adding new material. Materials not chosen for the library collection are disposed of to the library’s best advantage, such as the Friends of the Library’s book sales.

Check out the full text, including selection guidelines, of the Collection Development Policy.


Internet Service

Internet access is available at all library branches for library card holders in good standing (no outstanding fines or fees). For guest access visitors must present a valid picture ID when they sign up and will be charged a $1 use fee per person, per location, per day. We also have printers available for your use at 25 cents a page for black and white copies, or 50 cents per page for color copies.  Our computers use Windows 10 and have Office 2016 available for use.

Wireless Internet Policy

The Massanutten Regional Library offers wireless network “WiFi” access to the Library’s Internet service for properly equipped devices. Use of the Internet in the Library constitutes acceptance of the Library’s Internet Use Policy. Please read the policy before accessing the network or see a librarian for a written copy of the full policy. The Library cannot guarantee your equipment will work with the Library’s network.

The Library’s wireless network is an open network and therefore not secure.

MRL cannot guarantee the safety of traffic across its wireless network. The Library assumes no responsibility for the configurations, security or files on devices resulting from connection to the Library’s network. Information sent to or from a device can be captured by anyone else with a wireless device and appropriate software, within the range of the access point.

The Library is not able to provide technical assistance, and there is no guarantee that patrons will be able to make a wireless connection. Library staff members are not permitted to touch or handle patrons’ devices. If assistance is needed, please contact the manufacturer of the device or software. The Library is not responsible for any changes made to the settings of a device.

Adopted by the MRL Board of Trustees September 2014


Meeting Room Policy

The meeting rooms of the Massanutten Regional Library system are available to the public for meetings and programs during hours of operation with an approved meeting room application.  Rooms are available on equal terms to all in the community, regardless of the beliefs and affiliations of individual members.

Permission for a group to use a room does not constitute nor imply a statement of support for the organization or for the content of the meeting by the Massanutten Regional Library or the Library Board of Trustees.  Publicity (brochures, flyers, radio, TV announcements) must carry the name and telephone number of the organization sponsoring the meeting. The Library may not be identified or implied as a sponsor. The Library does not permit the rooms to be used for partisan political purposes due to the absolute prohibition by the IRS of even indirect participation by a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization in any political campaign.  The Library reserves the right to make whatever judgments it believes to be in its best interest concerning the use of the meeting rooms.  Contact information (name, telephone, etc.) used to reserve a meeting room may be given by the Library to individuals inquiring about the meeting.  No publicity is allowed on Library property without prior permission.  No group shall use the Library as a mailing address.

Library and Friends of the Library sponsored events have first priority in scheduling of rooms. Local and State Government will have second priority.  Thereafter, the rooms are available on a first come, first served basis.  Groups that do not fulfill their obligations as stated in this and other Library policies and procedures may be denied use of the Library’s meeting facilities until such time as these obligations have been met to the satisfaction of the Library.

Meeting facilities available and their capacity:

Library Capacity
Central Library

Community Youth Center (available to local youth organizations serving youth, ages 0-17, only)

[contact Youth Services at 540-434-4475 x107 to reserve this room]
North River Library (540.434.4475 x4) 40
Page Public Library (540.434.4475 x5) 12
Grottoes [Town offices (540.249.5896) arrange for use of the town’s room]

Rules of the Library:

  1. The group or individual who wishes to use meeting space must review that library’s guidelines and complete an application form. Forms are available at each location or on the MRL website (
  2. Applicants must be adults age 18 or older and be present and responsible for all meetings.
  3. In the event of inclement weather, registrant should contact the Library to ensure it is open. In the event that the Library is closed due to weather, an effort will be made to reschedule or refund the reservation charge.
  4. The sponsoring group or individual will assume all responsibility for damage to library property and will see that the premises are left in the condition in which they were found. Groups are expected to pick up and properly dispose of trash.  Any damage or cleaning fees will be assessed to the group.
  5. There may be no admission charged and no products or services advertised, solicited, or sold.
  6. Smoking is not permitted in any Library facility.
  7. The consumption of alcoholic beverages is not permitted inside Library buildings or on Library property.
  8. Burning of any materials, including incense and candles, is prohibited.

Adopted by the MRL Board of Trustees January 2016


Patron Responsibility and Code of Conduct

The Massanutten Regional Library is a non-profit organization supported by funds from Rockingham County, Page County, the City of Harrisonburg, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. The residents of these localities expect each of our facilities to be a clean, comfortable, and safe place for reading, research, study, meetings, and leisure. Everyone has an equal right to access library services and facilities; no person has the right to interfere with the ability of others to use and enjoy library resources, facilities, and services.

To this end the library has established rules and guidelines of conduct to protect the rights and safety of Library patrons, volunteers, and staff, and to preserve and protect the Library’s materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds. For a complete listing of these guidelines, please click here.


Photograph Use Policy

Lending Privileges

Photographs in the Massanutten Regional Library archives may be loaned to individuals and organizations, at the discretion of the library administration, for exhibition or reproduction for exhibit purposes. Prior written approval must be granted by MRL as described herein and the borrowing individual or organization must sign the “Massanutten Regional Library Loan Agreement.” The loaned photograph(s) must be returned to the Massanutten Regional Library at the agreed upon date.


At the discretion of the library administration, publishers, commercial organizations, researchers, teachers, students or individuals may purchase copies of photographs from the library archives. Reproduction fees will be quoted prior to reproduction and payment may be requested in advance. If mutually agreeable, library staff will use library scanning equipment to minimize fees. The Massanutten Regional Library reserves the right to approve the quality of a photograph, copy or digitization. No copy or digitized photograph may be re-sold or reproduced, nor may the purchaser charge someone else for the use of the reproduction.

Permission Form

Anyone using materials from any Massanutten Regional Library collection for any purpose–including reproduction, exhibition, publication, electronic distribution or otherwise–must complete a permission form and receive the prior permission of MRL for the intended use. Permission is given for a one-time non-exclusive use as described on the Permission Form and Letter of Agreement. Any further or additional use requires new permission. Some photographs cannot be loaned or reproduced and the Massanutten Regional Library reserves the right to permit or deny photographic requests. In certain instances, approval of the Massanutten Regional Library Board of Trustees may be required. Adequate time will be required to obtain these approvals.

Electronic Distribution

Distribution of images and writings over the Internet is a form of publication; therefore, the digitization of materials is subject to the laws of copyright, privacy, and publicity rights as well as donor restrictions. The Massanutten Regional Library normally will not allow an image higher than 100 dpi to be placed on a web site. Arrangements for higher resolution must be made with the library administration.

Credit Line

A prominent credit line under the exhibited original (digitized or copy photograph) in an exhibition, publication, electronic distribution or otherwise, shall read “Courtesy of the Massanutten Regional Library.”

Image Manipulation

The Massanutten Regional Library’s primary interest is to protect the integrity of the original image. Materials from the collections may not be altered. MRL will not allow inversion of the original or the removal or addition of content. MRL will allow adjustments to contrast and sharpness. Images may be cropped at the edges or a portion may be selected from within a photograph. An explanatory statement must be added describing any changes. Any manipulation of the materials beyond that stated in this policy must be approved by the library administration.


The copyright status of photographs and other materials is often difficult to determine because of factors including the employment status of the photographer, the date material was created, the date material was first published, and the information that accompanied the first publication. The Massanutten Regional Library has not been able to determine copyright status for many of the photographs and materials in its collections. Therefore, the library is acting only as an owner of the physical original. The library is not responsible for either determining the copyright status of the image(s) or for securing copyright permission for any use of the image(s). It is the obligation of the user to obtain permission to use copyrighted materials. Possession of a library photograph does not constitute permission to use it, and the library is not responsible for copyright infringement by a user.

Description of Intended Use

The intended use of the material must be clearly and honestly stated on the request form.

Complimentary Copy

The Massanutten Regional Library requests a complimentary copy of published materials reproducing or citing materials from our collections for digitized images at the highest resolution for the library’s research collections.

Anyone not adhering to the conditions stated herein may be denied future use of the collections.

Adopted by the MRL Board of Trustees November 2015


Security Camera Policy

To complete the Library’s mission of providing a safe and welcoming environment for all, security cameras are used to enhance the safety and security of library users and staff by discouraging violations of the Library’s Patron Responsibility and Code of Conduct, to assist library staff in preventing the occurrence of any violations, and when necessary, to provide law enforcement assistance in prosecuting criminal activity.

Security Camera Purpose and Placement Guidelines

  1. Video recording cameras will be used in public spaces of library locations to discourage criminal activity and violations of the Library’s Patron Responsibility and Code of Conduct.  The recording of audio is restricted under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and will not be used.
  2. Cameras may be installed in outdoor and indoor places where individuals lack a reasonable expectation of privacy.  Examples include public common areas of the library such as parking lots, entrances, seating areas, service desks, and areas prone to theft or misconduct, or areas where money is stored or handled.
  3. Cameras will not be installed in areas of the Library where individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy such as restrooms or private offices.
  4. Signs will be posted at all entrances informing the public and staff that security cameras are in use.
  5. Because cameras will not be continuously monitored, the public and staff should take appropriate precautions for their safety and for the security of their personal property.  The Massanutten Regional Library is not responsible for loss of property or personal injury.
  6. Recorded data is confidential and secured in a controlled area.  Video recordings will typically be stored for approximately 30 days. As new images are recorded, the oldest images will be automatically deleted.
  7. Regarding the placement and use of the digital recording cameras, staff and patron safety is the first priority; protection of library property is of secondary importance.
  8. Cameras are not installed nor will they be used for the purpose of routine staff performance evaluations.

Use/Disclosure of Video Records

  1. Access to the archived footage in pursuit of documented incidents of injury, criminal activity or violation of the Library’s Patron Responsibility and Code of Conduct is restricted to designated staff.
  2. Those designated managers may also have access to real-time images, viewable on desktop monitors placed in staff areas to ensure private access.
  3. Access is also allowed by law enforcement when pursuant to a subpoena, court order, or when otherwise required by law.
  4. Video images will not be maintained, provided no criminal activity or policy violation has occurred or is being investigated.
  5. Video records and still photographs may be used by authorized individuals to identify those responsible for library policy violations, criminal activity on library property or actions considered disruptive to normal library operations as delineated in the Library Code of Conduct.
  6. In situations involving banned patrons, stored still images may be shared with staff system-wide.  Shared images may remain posted in restricted staff areas for the duration of the banning period.  After the banning period ends, these images will be archived in the Administrative Offices for 5 years.

Unauthorized Access and/or Disclosure

  1. Confidentiality and privacy issues prohibit the general public from viewing security camera footage that contains personally identifying information about library users.  If the Library receives a request from the general public to inspect security camera footage, they will be advised to file a police complaint.
  2. A breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.  Any library employee who becomes aware of any unauthorized disclosure of a video recording and/or a potential privacy breach has a responsibility to immediately inform the Director of the breach.

Disclaimer of Responsibility

A copy of this policy may be shared with any patron or staff member upon request.  The policy is also posted on the Massanutten Regional Library’s official website.

Questions from the public may be directed to the Library Director.

The Library disclaims any liability for use of the video data in accordance with the terms of this policy, given that the library is a public facility and the security cameras shall be limited to those areas where patrons and/or staff have no reasonable expectation of privacy.

Adopted by the MRL Board of Trustees January 2016


Social Media Policy

See the full Social Media Policy here.

User Responsibilities

By choosing to comment on Library Social Media sites, public users agree to these terms:

  1. Comments are moderated by Library staff, and MRL has the sole discretion to not post or to remove comments that do not adhere to these terms.
  2. Users may not post comments, tags and images that impinge on another’s privacy or that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory. Violations include, but are not limited to:
  • off-topic and/or disruptive posts
  • commercial promotions or spam
  • duplicated posts from the same individual
  • threatening language and personal attacks
  • private, personal information published without consent
  • obscene, sexist, racist or libelous content
  • copyright infringement/plagiarized material
  • political advocacy
  • posts that violate laws or Library policies
  1. Users of all ages have the responsibility to protect their privacy and should not post personally identifying information, such as last name, school, age, phone number or address. The Library does not act in place of, or in the absence of, a parent.
  2. Persons who repeatedly violate these terms may be barred from further postings.
  3. By posting on the Library’s social media sites, you give the Library permission to use your first name, profile picture, and the content of any posting you make without compensation to you or liability on the part of the Library. This permission ends when you delete your posting.

This policy applies to all patrons, whether registered with Massanutten Regional Library or not.

Adopted by the MRL Board of Trustees March 2014