5.1 No Smoking, Vaping or use of Tobacco Products

The Oswego Public Library is dedicated to providing a healthful, comfortable and productive work environment for our employees, patrons and visitors. 

The U.S. Surgeon General, in the report, Reducing the Consequences of Smoking, concluded that: 

  • Second-hand smoke is a cause of disease, including lung cancer, in healthy nonsmokers,  and 
  • The simple separation of smokers and nonsmokers within the same air space may reduce, but does not eliminate, the exposure of nonsmokers to environmental tobacco smoke. 

In addition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Cancer Institute have concluded that passive smoke causes cancer and heart disease, including approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths and over 30,000 heart disease deaths annually among nonsmoking adults. 

In light of these findings, The Oswego Public Library shall be entirely smoke-free, effective June 1, 1999, smoking will be strictly prohibited within the library or immediately outside on library-owned property. This policy applies to all employees, patrons, contractors and visitors. 

All individuals share in the responsibility for adhering to and enforcing the policy. Any problems should be brought to the attention of the appropriate supervisor and handled through the normal chain of command.

Employees who violate this policy will be subject to the same disciplinary actions that accompany infractions of other library rules.

5.2 No Loitering

Loitering in the library, on library steps, entryway or library property thereby creating a nuisance to those who are trying to enter or exit the building or to use library resources is prohibited.

5.3 Fire Escape Plan

The library is on a fire system—The Fire Dept. will be notified immediately if the system is triggered. We do not need to call 911. Do not attempt to put out any fires with fire extinguishers but exit the building quickly once you have cleared your floor. Head count will be done by the staff member in charge for the day. Follow the following procedure:
Children’s Floor—The Children’s Coordinator & staff should clear the Children’s Room & upper level addition. Check bathrooms & proceed down emergency stairwell /fire exit. Upon leaving the building, go to the front of the County Court House (facing E 2nd St) for head count.
Adult Floor—The Librarian & staff should clear all the main floor and addition. Check bathrooms & proceed out front door or fire exit whichever is closest. Staff should go to the front of the County Court House (facing E 2nd St) for head count.
Lower Level & Administration offices—Director & Secretary should clear all administrative office areas & community room. Proceed out the side door or nearest emergency exit. Upon leaving the building go to the front of the County Court House (facing E 2nd St) for a head count.
Basement—Custodian should clear out basement & proceed to the front of the Oswego County Court House (facing E 2nd St) for a head count.

Reminder: Reset air handlers once they are triggered. They do not reset.

5.4 Study Rooms

The Oswego Public Library Study Rooms are available for use by library patrons. The following criteria shall apply:

  • Reservations for use of a study room must be made at the circulation desk.
  • Priority will be given to groups of two (2) to four (4) people.
  • Groups and individuals may reserve a study room for up to for two (2) hours at the circulation desk.
  • Use of the study room may be extended for up to an additional two (2) hours if no other group or individual has signed up.
  • No food or drink may be consumed in the study rooms
  • Study rooms may not be used to distribute or solicit orders or sell goods or services of any kind.
  • Failure to comply with these criteria may result in denial of access to the study rooms.

5.5 Use of Administrative Area (Board Room, Staff and Office Area)

The Administrative area may be used only for library designated activities such as Board of Trustee meetings, Friends of the Library meetings, and other administrative functions as approved by the Board of Trustees.

5.6 Community Room

The Mission of the Oswego Public Library is to be the learning center for the Greater Oswego area and the place people turn to for the discovery of ideas, the joy of reading and the power of information. Community needs drive our services. We believe that library services should be delivered in a welcoming, convenient and responsive manner.


The Board of Trustees makes the Library Community Room available for uses that will enhance the Library’s role as an essential community resource. Programs in the Library’s Community Room shall not impede the delivery of regular public Library Services.

  1. Permission to use the Community Room does not constitute Library endorsement of the policies, beliefs, goals or activities of the program sponsor, nor shall any advertisement or publicity indicate endorsement or sponsorship by the Library without prior approval of the Board of Trustees or its Designee.
  2. The Library Board of Trustees or its Designee reserves the right to approve or disapprove each application for the use of the Community Room. It may impose added restrictions it deems appropriate for a particular program or use. The Library Director shall be authorized to implement procedures for the use of the Community Room consistent with this Board-approved policy.
  3. The Board of Trustees or its Designee may deny, rescind, or cancel any application when it is deemed to be in the interest of the Library to do so. Failure to observe regulations governing the use of the rooms may result in denial of use in the future.
  4. Scheduled Library programs take precedence in cases of scheduling conflicts. The Library reserves the right to pre-empt the use of meeting space for Library purposes upon two (2) week’s notice to the organization or business requesting the space.
  5. The room is scheduled on a first-come, first –served basis and is available at the sole discretion of the Board of Trustees or its Designee. No more than three (3) events will be scheduled per day. Exceptions must be approved by the Library Director.
  6. One week notice must be provided in case of cancellation unless the organization or business is faced with an emergency situation. If the library is closed due to weather conditions, the organization or business will be notified that the Community Room is not available.
  7. In the case of events (an event being where an organization invites the general public), the organization or business may be asked to provide a Certificate of Insurance that is acceptable to the Library Board of Trustees or Designee.
  8. Use of the room by groups must be incompliance with local codes and regulations.
  9. No meeting may have more than 95 people (75 if tables are used) in attendance. All applicable fire and building codes must be complied with.
  10. Applicants must announce fire exits prior to the start of the meeting/program.
  11. The use of open flames or candles in the room is prohibited.
  12. Library facilities may be made available to non-library organizations and businesses for the pursuit of social, cultural, educational, recreational and non-partisan political activities. Religious organizations and businesses are eligible to schedule meetings but they may not hold worship or instructional services at the library.
  13. No meetings will be allowed if there is any commercial intent or solicitation for profit or sales from the group, the individual, the organization or business. However at the discretion of the Board of Trustees or its Designee, the following will be permissible at Library sponsored programs: a. Fund raising to benefit the Library and/or sponsored by the Library, Friends of the Library or other Library-related groups. b. The sale of books, media, and other items by authors or artists as part of a Library program.
  14. The Board of Trustees reserves the right to establish limitations on multiple uses of the room by any organization. a. Reservations may not be made for more than three (3) successive months without specific authorization of the Library Director. b. Reservations may not be made for more than two (2) days per month without specific authorization of the Library Director.
  15. The room will be available during, and outside of, regular library hours. The regular hours being Monday through Thursday 9-7, Friday and Saturday 9-5. Use of the room outside library hours must be obtained by special permission from the Library Board or Designee at least ten (10) days in advance of the meeting.
  16. Reservations for the room should be made at least ten (10) days prior to the scheduled program and no more than 3 months in advance. The organization or business should indicate in their registration if they need the AV equipment or kitchenette and whether tables and/or chairs are required.
  17. An authorized adult representative of the group or business must request the use of the Community Room. This representative will be required to sign a Community Room Reservation Application. By signing the form, the applicant agrees that the rules and regulations regarding the use of the Community Room have been read and understood. Failure to abide by these regulations may disqualify the organization or business from future use of the room.
  18. All organizations and businesses are required to notify the Director or Library Designee when the meeting is finished.
  19. When the room is scheduled for use by minors, an adult supervisor must be present in the room at all times.
  20. All groups are responsible for their set-up in the Community Room. Please allow time for set-up and restacking of chairs and reflect that additional time needed in your reservation application.
  21. Any personal or group equipment, supplies, or materials left in the room will be the responsibility of the group reserving the room. The Library assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage to personal property. Any items left for more than 24 hours will become the property of the Library and disposed of as the Library deems appropriate unless prior arrangements have been made.
  22. The room must be left neat, clean and orderly. If substantial cleaning is required, a minimum charge of $25.00 will be assessed and billed to the organization or business to cover cleaning costs or repairs. The group will be charged for any damage to the equipment or furnishing.
  23. Refreshments may be served if noted on the application. However, no hospitality services or custodial assistance will be provided in connection with food service and groups will be responsible for cleaning and removal of all refuse. The Library does not supply porter service or storage space for supplies and equipment. No red juice will be allowed in this room.
  24. Smoking is prohibited. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited unless special arrangements have been made with the Board of Trustees or its Designee. Any use of alcohol must be in compliance with NYS Alcohol Beverage Board regulations.
  25. No object, poster or writing, etc. will be placed on the walls unless the group uses “Post it” papers. No tape, tacks, nails or glue are to be used to affix items to the walls.
  26. The Library supplies AV equipment as a courtesy and assumes no responsibility for its availability or proper functioning. No organization or business may use the equipment unless they have received prior training from the staff. Organizations and businesses must arrange for training of the person who will be responsible for using the equipment when reservations are made.
  27. The organization or business agrees to indemnify the Library and hold the same harmless against any and all claims, demands, damages, costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees for defense of such claims, arising out of the organization’s use of the Community Room. A representative of the organization or business must sign the indemnification form.

5.7 Art Exhibit Guidelines & Policies

The Oswego Public Library encourages exhibitions and displays of paintings, photographs, sculpture and other art works for civic, cultural, educational and recreational purposes and has provided space in the lower level of the expanded library for this purpose.

Conditions of Art Exhibits:

The artwork will meet acceptable community standards.

Applications:    An application for exhibits may be picked up at the circulation desk on the main floor. The completed application should be mailed or submitted to the Library Director.

Reservations will be considered on a first-come first-serve basis with preference given to multiple artist displays. Space may be reserved for one calendar month and only once in a calendar year. Reservations may not be made more than one year in advance.

Approval:  Acceptability of an art exhibit is at the discretion of the Library Director, whose decision may be appealed to the Library Trustees.

The Library Director will work with a Committee on Art Exhibits that will recommend the selection and scheduling of artists’ exhibitions for the Library. All requests by applicants for art exhibit space will be made to the Committee, which will meet on an as needed basis to jury exhibits.

Setting Up:  Artists must arrange time(s) with the Library Director or the Director’s Designee for hanging and/or setting up art works, and are responsible for proper and safe framing and hanging using the Library’s existing system. The artist is responsible for the set up and removal of the display in a timely manner. The Library reserves the right to remove an exhibit that has been left past the reservation period.

Art Sales:  An artist whose work is accepted for exhibition may, discreetly, indicate which works, if any, are for sale and, in order to arrange sales, display the artist’s name and contact information. A recommended procedure is the use of a typed price list keyed to numbers attached to the art works. The Library does not engage in or arrange sales.

Receptions:  Artists are welcome to reserve the Library Community Room (see Community Room Policy) for a reception connected with exhibit of work. Such receptions must to open to the public as well as invited guests. If food is to be served, it is the exhibitor’s responsibility to provide paper goods and food at his/her own expense. Alcohol is not permitted. Tables and chairs are available from the Library and should be arranged with the Library Director.

Custodial help is not available. Groups and individuals will be responsible for cleaning and removal of all refuse.

Publicity:  The Library Director or the Director’s designee will facilitate publicity about an exhibit with local newspapers. If press releases are to be used by the exhibitor, they will first be provided to the Library Director in a timely manner, who will, after review, forward them to the local papers.

Insurance:  The Oswego Public Library does not carry insurance on art work on exhibit at the Library and assumes no responsibility for the preservation, protection or possible damage or theft of any item exhibited. All exhibitors will sign a form that releases the Oswego Public Library from any responsibility for exhibited items.

Permission to exhibit art works at the Oswego Public Library does not constitute an endorsement by the Library Staff or Board of Trustees.

5.8 Bulletin Boards

The Oswego Public Library Bulletin Boards are available for use by community members to publicize community events. The following criteria shall apply:

  • All postings will be submitted to the staff member in charge of the bulletin board, reviewed for content, dated and posted.
  • Individuals may not post their own notice.
  • A section of the bulletin board will be reserved for library use.
  • Postings will be limited to announcements of community interest.
  • The maximum size of any posting will be at the discretion of the designated library staff person.
  • No posting will extend beyond the perimeter of the bulletin board.
  • Posting will be removed when no longer relevant or at the time the item has been posted for thirty (30) days.

5.11 Programming

A “program” is a planned interaction between the library staff and the program participants for the purpose of promoting library materials, facilities, or services, as well as offering the community an informational, entertaining, or cultural experience. Programming includes such activities as storytimes, films and activities on no-school days, summer library program for children, speakers for young adults, and book or author discussion groups for adults.
Selection of library programs topics, speakers, courses, classes, and resource materials should be made by library staff on the basis of the interests and needs of library users and the community. Library programming should not exclude topics, books, speakers, media and other resources because they might be controversial. The library does not conduct programming that is purely commercial or religious in nature.
The board, in conjunction with the library director, will establish a budget and goals for programming to facilitate the effective implementation of this service.

5.13 Disasters


Do not panic, but do not under-estimate the potential danger to customers or staff represented by a fire. At the sounding of the fire alarm, immediately call 911 and have staff vacate the building as per policy 5.3.

The time to think about fires is before they happen. Familiarize yourself with the escape plan and orient all staff and volunteers to this information.

Health emergencies

Staff members should exercise caution when administering first aid of even a minor nature because of the safety of the injured individual and the potential liability of the staff member. Without specialized training it is not advisable for staff to undertake more than keeping the sick or injured patron comfortable and protected from needless disturbance until medical help can be obtained. Since each case is unique, staff members should use their own judgment to do what is prudent and reasonable.
The Rescue Squad/Police 911 should be called immediately in the event of any serious problem. No medication, including
aspirin, should ever be dispensed to the public.

Bomb threats
Keep the caller on the line as long as possible. Ask the caller to repeat the message and try to write down every word spoken by the person. If the caller does not indicate the location of the bomb or the time of possible detonation, ASK FOR THIS INFORMATION. Pay particular attention to peculiar background noises such as motors running, background music and any other sounds, which may indicate where the location from which the call is originating. Listen closely to the voice (male, female), voice
quality (calm, excited), accents and speech impediments. When possible have another staff member contact the police at 911 or call 911 immediately after the caller hangs up. Clear the building. The police will handle the actual bomb search.

Snowstorms or hazardous weather conditions
In the event of snowstorms or hazardous weather conditions the Library will abide the following procedure:

The library will delay opening until noon when the Oswego City School closes due to snow conditions that require extensive snow removal by the city. The library will remain closed at the discretion of the Director. In the Director’s absence decisions will be made in order of responsibility (Policy 1.4a). All staff will be notified by the Director or designated person when the library is going to delay opening until noon. The closing announcement will appear on TV channels 3, 6 & 9 and on www.localsyr.com and www.cnycentral.com under closings and delays.

The library will be open regular hours when the schools close due to “cold conditions” that do not require snow removal. Should the library be open and weather conditions deteriorate, the Director or designated person will determine if the library should close based upon weather reports and recommendations from the city. At least one hour notice will be given to patrons within the building and to the general public. The closing announcement will appear on TV channels 3, 6 & 9 and on www.localsyr.com and www.cnycentral.com under closings and delays. The President of the Board will be notified when the library closes.

5.14 Filming & Photo Shoots

Individuals or groups who want to use the library as a setting or as background for filming and taking photos must first get permission from Library Administration.  Please review the policy statement below.

  1. Submit the request for permission form at least 1 week in advance of filming.
  2. Permission is effective via email confirmation from the library administrator or designee within 48 hours of the request.
  3. Have the permission form in hand during the filming.
  4. Permission for filming or photographing will be granted under the following circumstances:
    1.  Filming does not interfere with patrons reading/studying, library business or library events or public space associated with the library (front & side entrances, parking lots, streets, …)
    2. The site within the library is appropriate to the project and used in a safe manner
    3. The filming is limited to no more than 90 minutes & does not disturb patrons or staff.          
  5. Approved designated areas for filming and videotaping include:
    1. Upper addition
    2. Main floor addition
    3. Children’s room for Oswego Public Library PR only
    4. Community Room
  6. The applicant is responsible to provide their own supplies and equipment. 
  7. Photographers must provide their own subjects or obtain the written consent of anyone who is being photographed. A copy of said consent must be given to the library staff and placed on file in the Director’s office.
  8. The library reserves the right to obtain additional information.
  9. OPL reserves the right to discontinue filming and/or photographing if applicant and/or associates are in violation of the policy.