Services

Computers

The Purchase Free Library offers computer stations free for patron use. Computers are only for patrons with Westchester Library System cards.

Users access the library computer hardware, software, and documentation at their own risk. The Purchase Free Library is not responsible for equipment malfunction, loss of data, any damages to the user’s disks, flash or external hard drives, data etc. or electronic transactions of any type which are related to the public use of library computer resources.

Do not download and/or install software programs on library computers. If you do, you may lose library privileges.

Do not access pornographic or obscene materials. If you do, you may lose library privileges.

Some Internet sites are inappropriate for viewing in a public setting. Users should refrain from the use of Internet sounds and visuals that may disrupt the ability of other library patrons to use the library and its resources. Library staff reserves the right to end Internet sessions when sexually explicit or pornographic materials are displayed.

If no computers are available, PFL offers laptops for in-house use.

Save your work on a flash drive, external hard drive, or internet storage. Do not save or download anything on the hard (C:) drive.

Computer workstations are designed for use by one person at a time.

Computers in the children’s area are for use by children age 11 and younger.

Librarians are partners with parents in guiding children to safe and appropriate use of the Internet. Children are not allowed to use adult computer stations unless it’s for homework or their parent/guardian is present.

Wireless Internet (WiFi)

For patrons who bring their own laptops or devices, a free Wi-Fi connection is available throughout the Purchase Free Library.

Museum Passes

The Purchase Free Library is pleased to office its patrons (as well as Harrison and West Harrison patrons) passes to your favorite museums. Below are the passes currently available at PFL!

  • The Guggenheim
  • Intrepid Museum (Purchase patrons use this link to reserve your visit date with the Intrepid: Intrepid Tickets)
  • Stamford Museum & Nature Center
  • Museum of the City of New York
  • The Maritime Aquarium
  • Museum of Natural History
  • Westchester Children’s Museum at Playland
  • Children’s Museum of Manhattan

Call us at 914-948-0550 to reserve a pass today!

Contactless Curbside Pickup

Here is how it works:

  1. Browse the library’s collection online by visiting https://www.purchasefreelibrary.org/search/ or call the library at 914-948-0550 if you know what you are looking for.
  2. Reserve your item by either placing the hold online through https://www.westchesterlibraries.org/ or call the library and a clerk will place the hold for you.
  3. Holds placed over the phone are limited to 5 items per day.
  4. Once your hold is available call the library to schedule a pickup time.
  5. Contactless Curbside Pickup is from 10 AM- 5PM. Park where you see the signs for “Curbside Pickup”, call 914-948-0550 and provide your name. Stay in your car, and a library employee will leave your items—bagged and with your name written on the outside—on the bench in front of the library.
  6. Walk-ups can call the library upon arrival from the bottom of the stairs. Please wear a mask and maintain 6 feet of distance from library employees while they place your items on the bench.

 

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Policies

Library Usage

The Purchase Free Library is to be used by patrons with Westchester Library System cards. The Library reserves the right to restrict admittance and request that any party leaves the premises on request.

Service Animals Welcomed

Only service animals or animals used in library programs are permitted in the building.

Code of Conduct

The Purchase Free Library (PFL) is committed to ensuring that the Library maintains an atmosphere conducive to patron enjoyment of Library facilities, and has adopted rules to ensure a welcoming, safe, clean, and comfortable library experience for all.  The Library does not restrict use of services on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical disabilities, social, economic and political status.

 

By utilizing the Library’s services, patrons and visitors agree to the following rules:

 

  • Respect the rights, privacy, and property of others.

 

  • Comply with requests from Library staff regarding Library rules and conduct.

 

  • Behave in a legal manner that does not discriminate, disrupt, harass, intimidate, or interfere with other patrons and staff.

 

  • Communicate in a civil manner, and do not talk loudly, or use offensive language or gestures.

 

  • Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by a supervising adult, and parents/guardians are responsible the care, safety and behavior of their children on Library premises.

 

  • Treat other patrons and staff respectfully, and do not engage in sexual harassment, inappropriate touching, or disturbances prohibited in New York State Penal Law Section 240.20.

 

  • Enter and remain fully attired as appropriate to a public building, including shirts, footwear, and personal hygiene that is not a nuisance to others. PPE masks are required for entry for all persons over the age of 3 years old.

 

  • Mute the ringer on cell phones, and go outside the building for loud or extended conversations and video-chatting sessions.

 

  • Use headphones when listening to audio content, and sound should be kept inaudible to others.

 

  • The following activities are prohibited on Library premises: littering; sleeping; smoking or use of smokeless tobacco products (i.e. “vaping”); being under the influence, possession, or use of alcohol or illegal drugs; or possession of firearms, weapons, fireworks, or other dangerous materials.

 

  • Eating is not allowed in the Library, and beverages must be covered and disposed of properly.

 

  • Photographs, videos, and recordings of staff or patrons are prohibited without their permission.

 

  • Pets and other animals are not allowed in the Library, except for trained service animals.

 

  • Solicitation, distributing literature or promotional materials, sale or marketing of goods and services, and political electioneering are prohibited on Library premises. Requests to post promotional materials from outside organizations on the Library’s bulletin board must be submitted and approved by the Administrator.

 

  • Any theft or intentional defacement, marring, or destruction of library materials or property is prohibited and may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties under New York State law.

 

  • The Library is not responsible for any patron or visitor’s personal property.

 

The following policies have been added to address the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency.

  • Any individual who is over age 2 and able to medically tolerate a face-covering shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance.
  • The library reserves the right to deny admittance to individuals who fail to comply with the directive to wear a face covering.
  • Patrons using the library’s computers must wear gloves. Gloves will be provided.
  • Patrons must follow social distancing procedures, 6ft apart, when applicable.
  • Patrons that are sick or are experiencing flu-like symptoms are asked to stay home.
  • The library is committed to suppressing the spread of COVID-19 by conducting regular cleanings, despite these efforts a completely virus-free environment cannot be guaranteed. Patrons who visit the library enter at their own risk.

 

The above rules are not intended to be a complete list of expected behavior.  The Library Board, the Library Director, and Library staff reserve the right to take appropriate action against any other behavior that is offensive or disturbing to Library patrons or staff.

 

Patrons and visitors who fail to abide by Library rules may be denied the privilege of access to Library materials and resources and required to leave the library premises.  Repeated or serious offenses may result in a patron being banned from the library, and may prompt civil and/or criminal penalties including arrest and prosecution

*This policy is issued by the Library Board of Trustees and is subject to periodic review and/or revision at the sole discretion of the Board.

Audio / Video Recordings Policy

The  Purchase Free Library (PFL) reserves the right to make visual and audio recordings on its premises at its discretion. This disclaimer is to fully inform all persons of their consent, waiver of liability, and release by entering PFL premises, as follows: By entering Library premises, all persons:

  1. consent to photography, audio recording, video recording and its/their release, publication, exhibition, or reproduction to be used for news, webcasts, promotional purposes, telecasts, inclusion on websites, or for any other purpose(s) at the discretion of the PFL Board and/or designee(s);
  2. release the PFL Board, its officers and employees, and each and all persons involved from any liability connected with the taking, recording, digitizing, or publication of interviews, photographs, computer images, video and/or sound recordings;
  3. waive any right to inspect or approve these materials; and,
  4. waive all rights to any claims for payment or royalties in connection with any exhibition, streaming, webcasting, televising, or other publication of these materials, regardless of the purpose or sponsoring of such exhibiting, broadcasting, webcasting, or other publication, irrespective of whether a fee for admission or sponsorship is charged.

 

 

*This policy is issued by the Library Board of Trustees and is subject to periodic review and/or revision at the sole discretion of the Board.

Unattended Children Vulnerable Adults Policy

The Library encourages children and vulnerable adults to use its facilities and services. While the Library is concerned for the safety of children and vulnerable adults in and around library facilities, the Library does not act in loco parentis (in place of parents).

 

A parent, legal guardian, teacher, custodian or caregiver is responsible for monitoring the activities and managing the behavior of children or vulnerable adults during their Library visits. Library employees have many duties and do not serve as a substitute for daycare or babysitting. The Library is not responsible for any consequences of parents, legal guardians, teachers, custodians or caregivers not fulfilling their responsibilities.

 

The safety of children and vulnerable adults is a priority for the Library. However, the Library is a public building, open to all. Therefore, they may be at risk when they are left unattended.

 

The Library will adhere to the following guidelines concerning the care and behavior of children
and vulnerable adults.

  • Children under the age of ten (10) and children and vulnerable adults who are unable or unwilling to care for themselves may not be left alone in the Library and must have adequate supervision while in the Library.
  • Children age ten (10) and over and vulnerable adults who can understand and follow the Patron Behavior Guidelines and who can care for themselves are permitted to be in the library unattended. They should have contact information for someone who can assist them in an emergency.
  • Library staff will attempt to contact a parent, legal guardian, custodian or caregiver when:
    • the health or safety of an unattended child or vulnerable adult is in doubt;
    • a child or vulnerable adult is frightened while alone at the Library;
    • the behavior of an unattended child or vulnerable adult disturbs other Library customers and has caused staff to ask the individual to leave the Library;
    • an unattended child or vulnerable adult has not been met by a parent, legal guardian, custodian or responsible caregiver at closing time.
    • If a parent, legal guardian, custodian or caregiver cannot be reached, Library staff will contact law enforcement officials to take charge of the situation involving the unattended child or vulnerable adult.
  • Library employees are not permitted to transport children or vulnerable adults away from Library facilities.

Parents, legal guardians, custodians, caregivers, children and vulnerable adults who are in violation of this policy or the Patron Behavior Guidelines are subject to suspension of library privileges.

An unattended child generally is defined as:

  1. a child under the age of five (5) who is not accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, custodian or caregiver age 14 or older;
  2. a child under the age of eighteen (18) who is not accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, custodian and who does not know or have the information necessary to contact a parent, legal guardian or other responsible adult.

 

A vulnerable adult is an individual over the age of 18 who is mentally or physically challenged to a degree that significantly impairs the individual’s ability to provide adequately for his/her own care or manage his/her own behavior without assistance, cannot reasonably care for himself/herself in an emergency situation, or who needs help beyond assistance with normal library services.

 

 

*This policy is issued by the Library Board of Trustees and is subject to periodic review and/or revision at the sole discretion of the Board.

Privacy and Security Plan

The Purchase Free Library (PFL) is committed to protecting confidentiality through policies intended to prevent the unauthorized use of our patrons’ personal information, and to protect the privacy of their information, which is essential to our mission for the exercise of freedom of speech, thought, and access to information.

 

The Library limits the amount of personal information gathered, and keeps it only as long as needed for efficient operation.  The PFL adheres to the New York State Laws on Library Records (Civil Practice Laws and Rules, Section 4509), which states that library records “…shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except that such records may be disclosed to the extent necessary for the proper operation of such library and shall be disclosed upon request or consent of the user or pursuant to subpoena, court order or where otherwise required by statute”.

 

By registering for Library services, patrons agree to give the Library personally identifiable information in order to manage use of Library services and enable communication by the Library and its affiliates.  Use of Library materials, programs and services may imply additional consent.

 

Disclosure to outside parties

The PFL does not sell or disseminate any information obtained from our patrons to third parties.

 

Protection of personal information

We use our technology to keep personal information and circulation records secure from

unauthorized access.

 

Personal information collected

To establish and maintain a Library account, the following patron information is collected and may be retained:

 

Name

Address

Telephone number

Email address

Date of birth

Library barcode card number

Library Personal Identification Number (PIN)

Materials currently checked out or requested

Unpaid fines

 

Collection and use of e-mail address

We may contact you by e-mail to provide you with information concerning the Library’s services

or to remind you that Library materials, checked out by you, are overdue or to notify you that an

item you placed on hold is awaiting pick-up. If you wish to not receive e-mails from us, please

advise us in writing. We will respect your wishes in regard to the methods we use to

communicate with you.

 

Collection of personal information when visiting the Library website

When a visitor accesses the Library’s website, www.purchasefreelibrary.org, certain information may be automatically recorded, and is included in the information protected under Library confidentiality policies:

 

Service Provider and IP address of the accessing computer

Type and version of browser and operating system used to access the website

Date and time

Pages visited, when, and for how long

Previous Web address where the visit was initially launched.

 

When using the Library’s website, a small text file called a “cookie” may be automatically placed on the user’s hard drive.  Cookies do not contain any personally identifiable information, but verify that a user is authorized to gain access, and they make the website function properly and more efficiently.  Users who do not wish to have cookies placed on their computers should set their browsers to refuse cookies before accessing the Library website – but be aware that certain website features may not function properly without the aid of cookies.

 

Protection of personal information when using non-Library websites accessed through

the Purchase Free Library’s website

We cannot be responsible for privacy and security practices of non-Library websites. You will

notice that our website may contain links to other sites such as community services.  While we believe these sites share a similar commitment to user privacy and security, you should review each site’s privacy and security polices as a precaution.

 

The Westchester Library System (WLS)

The Purchase Free Library is a member of the Westchester Library System (WLS).  WLS also maintains a privacy policy, which includes the following information:

 

“The Westchester Library System (WLS) and its member libraries are committed to

protecting the privacy of our staff, donors, customers and other external contacts. The

WLS privacy policy defines our commitment not to collect any personal information

about our users when you visit our websites or register for a program or a library card

unless you choose to provide such information. Any information you choose to provide

will only be used to more effectively provide and better target library services throughout

the County.”

 

“WLS places account information on the secure portion of its computer system. For this reason, patrons are asked to input their barcode number and PIN each time they want to access their account information on the website.”

 

To read the complete WLS privacy policy go to: www.westchesterlibraries.org/wp-content/files/wls-board/policies/WLS_Policy11_Privacy.pdf

 

USA Patriot Act and other law enforcement demands for information

The USA Patriot Act expands the authority of the federal government to conduct investigations

of individuals in the interests of national security. The enactment of this law increases the

possibility that the activities of library patrons, including their use of computers to browse the

Web or access e-mail, could be under government surveillance without their knowledge or

consent. Public libraries face the dilemma of seeking to protect the privacy of their patrons, on

one hand, while responding to national security concerns and legal counsel to determine if such

request is in proper form and to formulate an appropriate response.

 

Library staff shall immediately refer all law enforcement inquiries to the Library Director, or such other person appointed by the Board of Trustees, and shall not release any personal information until authorized by the Library Director or the duly appointed designee.

If the agent or officer requesting such information does not have a subpoena, warrant, court

order or other authorized documentation compelling the production of the information, the

Library Director shall explain the Library’s privacy policy and inform the agent or officer that the information is not available without production of a valid subpoena, warrant, court order or other authorized documentation. If the agent or officer does produce a valid subpoena, warrant, court order, or other authorized documentation, the Library Director shall immediately refer it to legal counsel for review. Based upon advice of legal counsel, the Library Director will act accordingly.

 

 

 

 

*This policy is issued by the Library Board of Trustees and is subject to periodic review and/or revision at the sole discretion of the Board.

Materials Selection Policy

The goal of the Purchase Free Library is to provide every resident with information which satisfies his educational and recreational requirements through the purchase and organization of books, periodicals, non-print and electronic media.

 

The Library Board of Trustees stresses the importance of those materials possessed of contemporary significance and permanent value. Materials are chosen within the limits of our budget to: inform, enlighten, entertain and offer creative inspiration.

 

Selection of library materials is delegated to the Library Director and, under her direction, to the professional staff.

 

Library materials are evaluated according to one or more of the following standards, although an item need not meet every one of these criteria:

 

General Criteria:

  • Present and potential relevance to community needs
  • Suitability of physical form for library use
  • Suitability of subject and style for intended audience
  • Cost
  • Importance as a document of the times
  • Relation to the existing collection and to other materials on the subject
  • Attention by critics and reviewers
  • Potential user appeal
  • Requests by library patrons

 

Objective guidelines determine the selection of materials. All acquisitions are considered according to the following criteria, although an item need not meet every one of these criteria:

 

Objectives of the Library’s Collections:

  • To promote literacy, and offer support for lifelong learning for patrons of all ages
  • To provide information for the purpose of expanding patrons’ knowledge about themselves and their world and to function effectively as members of society
  • To provide access to a variety of opinions on matters of current interest and encourage freedom of expression
  • To encourage continuous learning and to supplement formal study; to support career and job-related skills
  • To provide materials that entertain and enhance the individual’s enjoyment of life

 

No item will be excluded because of the race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, nationality or personal history of the author. Materials are selected for based on the aforementioned objectives and criteria and not necessarily excluded because of coarse language or frankness.

 

The same standards apply to the selection of gift materials to be added to the collection as to selection of items for purchase. An item will not be added to the collection solely because it was donated.

 

*This policy is issued by the Library Board of Trustees and is subject to periodic review and/or revision at the sole discretion of the Board.

Library Services for People with Disabilities

The American Library Association recognizes that people with disabilities are a large and neglected minority in the community and are severely underrepresented in the library profession. Disabilities cause many personal challenges. In addition, many people with disabilities face economic inequity, illiteracy, cultural isolation, and discrimination in education, employment and the broad range of societal activities.

Libraries play a catalytic role in the lives of people with disabilities by facilitating their full participation in society. Libraries should use strategies based upon the principles of universal design to ensure that library policy, resources and services meet the needs of all people.

ALA, through its divisions, offices and units and through collaborations with outside associations and agencies is dedicated to eradicating inequities and improving attitudes toward and services and opportunities for people with disabilities.

For the purposes of this policy, “must” means “mandated by law and/or within ALA’s control” and “should” means “it is strongly recommended that libraries make every effort to…”

  1.  The Scope of Disability Law

Providing equitable access for persons with disabilities to library facilities and services is required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, applicable state and local statutes and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The ADA is the Civil Rights law affecting more Americans than any other. It was created to eliminate discrimination in many areas, including access to private and public services, employment, transportation and communication. Most libraries are covered by the ADA’s Title I (Employment), Title II (Government Programs and Services) and Title III (Public Accommodations). Most libraries are also obligated under Section 504 and some have responsibilities under Section 508 and other laws as well.

  1.  Library Services

Libraries must not discriminate against individuals with disabilities and shall ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to library resources. To ensure such access, libraries may provide individuals with disabilities with services such as extended loan periods, waived late fines, extended reserve periods, library cards for proxies, books by mail, reference services by fax or email, home delivery service, remote access to the OPAC, remote electronic access to library resources, volunteer readers in the library, volunteer technology assistants in the library, American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter or realtime captioning at library programs, and radio reading services.

Libraries should include persons with disabilities as participants in the planning, implementing, and evaluating of library services, programs, and facilities.

  1.  Facilities

The ADA requires that both architectural barriers in existing facilities and communication barriers that are structural in nature be removed as long as such removal is “readily achievable.” (i.e., easily accomplished and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense.)

The ADA regulations specify the following examples of reasonable structural modifications: accessible parking, clear paths of travel to and throughout the facility, entrances with adequate, clear openings or automatic doors, handrails, ramps and elevators, accessible tables and public service desks, and accessible public conveniences such as restrooms, drinking fountains, public telephones and TTYs. Other reasonable modifications may include visible alarms in rest rooms and general usage areas and signs that have Braille and easily visible character size, font, contrast and finish.

One way to accommodate barriers to communication, as listed in the ADA regulations, is to make print materials available in alternative formats such as large type, audio recording, Braille, and electronic formats. Other reasonable modifications to communications may include providing an interpreter or realtime captioning services for public programs and reference services through TTY or other alternative methods. The ADA requires that modifications to communications must be provided as long as they are “reasonable,” do not “fundamentally alter” the nature of the goods or services offered by the library, or result in an “undue burden” on the library.

  1.  Collections

Library materials must be accessible to all patrons including people with disabilities. Materials must be available to individuals with disabilities in a variety of formats and with accommodations, as long as the modified formats and accommodations are “reasonable,” do not “fundamentally alter” the library’s services, and do not place an “undue burden” on the library. Examples of accommodations include assistive technology, auxiliary devices and physical assistance.

Within the framework of the library’s mission and collection policies, public, school, and academic library collections should include materials with accurate and up-to-date information on the spectrum of disabilities, disability issues, and services for people with disabilities, their families, and other concerned persons. Depending on the community being served, libraries may include related medical, health, and mental health information and information on legal rights, accommodations, and employment opportunities.

  1.   Assistive Technology

Well-planned technological solutions and access points, based on the concepts of universal design, are essential for effective use of information and other library services by all people. Libraries should work with people with disabilities, agencies, organizations and vendors to integrate assistive technology into their facilities and services to meet the needs of people with a broad range of disabilities, including learning, mobility, sensory and developmental disabilities. Library staff should be aware of how available technologies address disabilities and know how to assist all users with library technology.

  1.   Employment

ALA must work with employers in the public and private sectors to recruit people with disabilities into the library profession, first into library schools and then into employment at all levels within the profession.

Libraries must provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities unless the library can show that the accommodations would impose an “undue hardship” on its operations. Libraries must also ensure that their policies and procedures are consistent with the ADA and other laws.

 

 

*This policy is issued by the Library Board of Trustees and is subject to periodic review and/or revision at the sole discretion of the Board.

Internet Use Policy

The Purchase Free Library offers free access to computers and the Internet in support of the Library’s Mission Statement, which articulates the broad principles for library programs and services provided for Westchester patrons. The Library will not tolerate the use of library equipment to access material that is obscene, illegal, or harmful to minors and/or subjects, patrons, or library employees to unwanted Internet images.

 

USE OF EQUIPMENT AND SOFTWARE

  • Use of all Internet workstations in the library is for age 13 years and older, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • To protect performance and reliability, patrons may save only to external storage devices such as a USB flash drive. Data saved to the computer’s hard drive is not retrievable and will be deleted.
  • Only computer equipment and software owned and previously installed by Westchester Library Systems may be used on PFL computers. Adding, deleting, copying, or modifying the installed hardware or software is not permitted.
  • The Library is not responsible for damage to peripheral equipment or loss of data that may occur from use of the Library’s computers.
  • The Library supplies paper for the printers. A fee will be charged for printing from any PFL computer or copies made.
  • Users may not turn off, reset, or reboot computers, nor otherwise attempt to bypass any security features that are installed on the Library computers.

 

 

INTERNET SPECIFICS

Computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be reserved.

Users may reserve a computer up to seven days in advance.

Users who do not have a Purchase Free Library or Westchester Library System card, must sign in.

  • Internet access is available as an informational and educational resource.
  • The Library does not permit electronic commerce or commercial activity.
    • Exception: Lawful credit card purchases or orders of items by the user for personal use is permitted. However, sending any information, including credit card numbers, via the Internet is at the sole risk of the user. The Library has no control over the security of this data.
  • As Internet resources are global in nature, the Library does not and cannot control the information available, including sources that may contain unreliable, offensive, controversial or inaccurate material. The selection, evaluation and use of information retrieved from the Internet are the sole responsibility of the patron, and subject to state and federal law.
  • Violations of this policy will result in cancellation of a patron’s privilege to use the Internet.
    • Examples include but are not limited to: harassment or “cyber-bullying”; violation of another patron’s rights; sending, receiving or displaying text or graphics which may reasonably be construed as obscene/offensive; and any action that tarnishes the library’s reputation.
  • Parents and legal guardians are responsible for their child’s safety on the Internet and for monitoring and supervising their child’s use of the Internet. There are no child safeguards or content blockers on the Library’s computers.
  • In the case of a child without a card, parental supervision and use of the parent’s library card are required for children age 13 and under.

 

 

PATRON RESPONSIBILITY

  • Patrons must have their own valid library account to log on to library-designated Internet computers.
  • All use of electronic resources must be ethical and legal. The user must comply with copyright law and licensing agreements
  • The parents or legal guardians are responsible for their child’s viewing of Internet content.
  • Violations of this policy will result in suspension or termination of a patron’s library privileges, and the patron may be subject to prosecution.

 

 

*This policy is issued by the Library Board of Trustees and is subject to periodic review and/or revision at the sole discretion of the Board.