General Info

Contact Us

Children’s Department

781-631-1481, Ext. 217

Teen Department

781-631-1481, Ext. 218

General Inquiries


Frequently Asked Questions

Library Policies

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How to Get a Library Card

To register for a free library card online, please fill out the form here and you will be contacted with your new library Ecard information. Your new Ecard number will be valid for three years and will grant access to our wide array of digital services to enjoy from home.

Patrons with Ecard barcodes may present a valid ID with a current address to pick up an official library card for full use of all library services. Please contact the Library at or 781-631-1481 with any questions. 

If you know you have an existing account but do not know your library card number, or need to update your account, please email or call 781-631-1481 for assistance.

Please review our Borrowing Policy for more information.

Find Your Account

Log into your account with your barcode and pin number to:

  • Reserve books or other materials from any NOBLE library to be delivered to your NOBLE library of choice
  • Find out when your reserve is available for pickup
  • View the list of items you have checked out
  • Renew the items you have checked out provided that the item has not reached the maximum number of renewals, no one else has reserved the item and renewals are allowed on the item
  • View your unpaid fines
  • View the list of items you have on hold (reserve)
  • Cancel your holds (reserves)
Reserve a Museum Pass

Interested in reserving a museum pass? Discover what museums you can get access to and how to reserve a pass today on Get a Museum Pass page.

Access a Library Computer

More information at Reserve a Computer.

Checkout a Laptop from the Library of Things

For more information, visit the Library of Things page.

Download Audiobooks and Ebooks

For more information, visit the Digital Resources page.

Reserve a Meeting Space

For more information, visit the Reserve a Meeting Room page.

Reserving and Renewals by Phone

To renew materials, please call the Library’s Main Desk at 781-631-1481 Ext. 201.

To reserve an item please call the reference desk at 781-631-1481 Ext. 213.

You may renew the items you have checked out provided that the item has not reached the maximum number of renewals, no one else has reserved the item and renewals are allowed on the item. 

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Borrowing Policy

Library Cards:

Abbot Public Library is a member of the North of Boston Library Exchange (NOBLE). There is no minimum age requirement for obtaining a library card and any personal NOBLE library card is accepted at any other NOBLE library. For all details on the process of issuing cards, please see the NOBLE Borrowing Policy for a list of Identification and Proof of Address required.

Borrowing and check-out limits:

All print material
no limit to number of items that can be checked out (with the exception of high-demand children’s and YA material)
14-day loan period
Up to 2 renewals

DVDs and all other media (Books on CD)
No limit to number of items that can be checked out
14-day loan period
1 renewal

Book Club Kits
1 kit may be checked out at a time
5-week loan period
No renewals

Fines for lost or damaged materials:

Abbot Public Library no longer charges fines for overdue material. However, patrons who owe replacement costs for lost or damaged material will not be allowed to check out materials until the fine is paid. A threshold of $50 will block the account until the fine is paid. Any lost item will incur a replacement charge equal to its original costs. Replacement copies of materials will not be accepted.

Note: To pay fines, find your account at Enter your library card number and your PIN number. You can pay all charges or you can uncheck items you do not wish to pay, then press the “Pay Selected Charges” button. The screen will refresh to allow you to enter your credit card information. The minimum charge payable is $1.01.

Approved by the Board of Trustees, April 2022.
Reviewed February 2023 and December 2023.

Bulletin Board Policy

It is the policy of the Abbot Public Library to provide as much information to the community as possible. In order to achieve this objective, any information of a community interest may be posted on the section of the bulletin boards labeled Community Interest. All items for posting must be delivered to a customer service desk and should include the date submitted.  Please direct questions concerning what may be placed may be referred to the Library Director. Abbot Public Library does not endorse any of the listings. Old items will be periodically removed from the bulletin board.
(Reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees, March 2022)

Code of Conduct

Abbot Public Library encourages people of all ages to use its facilities and resources for research, reference, study, reading, and browsing. Good public service requires that the library environment be conducive to study, reading, and research. Respect for other library users and library staff members shall be maintained at all times. Disruptive or inappropriate behavior that infringes on others’ use or right to use the library shall not be permitted. The library staff reserves the right to determine if other actions not listed below constitute “disruptive or inappropriate behavior.” To ensure such an environment, the library has established guidelines for behavior in library facilities.

The following activities are inappropriate to the library setting and are prohibited in Abbot Public Library or on its grounds:

  1. Smoking or use of tobacco products. This includes, but is not limited to, electronic cigarettes, or electronic vaping devices.
  2. Creating a disturbance by making noise, talking loudly, or engaging in other disruptive conduct. Patrons should at all times be aware that they are in a shared, public space. This means that conversation, including cell phone conversation, should be carried on at a level that does not disturb or interfere with other patrons
  3. Interfering with another person’s use of the library or with the library staff’s performance of their duties.
  4. Engaging in behavior or conversation that makes others feel uncomfortable/unsafe. Verbally or physically threatening or harassing other visitors, library staff or volunteers, including stalking, staring, touching, or using offensive language, and including, but not limited to violence, threats of violence, and possession of weapons.
  5. Distributing written leaflets and/or soliciting patrons within the library facility, in the parking lot, or on walkways immediately adjacent to the library entrances are not permitted.
  6. Bringing animals into the library except service animals accompanying a patron with a disability.
  7. Misusing the restrooms (e.g., using as a laundry or bathing facility.)
  8. Entering areas posted “Staff Only” without permission.
  9. Leaving a child under the age of ten unattended in the library.
  10. Defacing library materials or property. Those who damage or deface library materials or property may be prosecuted. Parents may be held liable for damage done by a child under 18.

Failure to comply with one or more of the library’s policies may result in suspension of library privileges.

Important Reminders

  1. A patron may be asked to show his or her library card and/or other identification.
  2. Parents are responsible for the behavior and supervision of their young children.
  3. Theft of library materials, use of false identification to obtain a library card, or use of another person’s library card without permission are against state law and will be prosecuted.
  4. Headphones or earbuds are permitted; please be discreet with the volume.
  5. The library reserves the right to inspect all bags, purses, briefcases etc. for concealed library material.
  6. Patrons may be required to leave the library if their personal hygiene interferes with the orderly operation of the library or with the ability of other patrons to use and/or enjoy the facility.
  7. Drinks in covered containers are allowed throughout the library. Snacks may be enjoyed in the lower level seating area located outside the Children’s Room. Food may be served at special events or programs.
  8. Be considerate when using your cell phone in the library.
  9. Do not leave any packages or other belongings unattended.
  10. Lock your bicycle outside in the racks provided.
    (Reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees, March 2022)
Collection Development Policy

Abbot Public Library will make available a broad range of library materials to provide up-to-date and accurate information and will offer services and programs desired by the Marblehead community.  The Library also acts as the most convenient point of access for the needed materials and information and actively seeks to make community members and organizations aware of library resources and services.  


The purpose of this policy is to guide the Abbot Public Library staff in the selection of materials which best meet the needs of the community as well as to inform the public about the principles upon which selections were made.  Due to the increased volume of published materials and ever-present financial and space limitations, the Library must have guidelines for selection if it is to fulfill its objectives.  Resources available through both NOBLE, our library automated network, as well as through other networks, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Internet, have been taken into account in developing this policy.

The American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement have been endorsed by the Abbot Public Library Board of Trustees and are integral parts of this policy.


Ultimate responsibility for materials selection policies lies with the Board of Trustees. The Board delegates to the Director of the Library the authority to select library materials and to develop the various collections.  This authority is shared with other members of the staff; however, because the Director must answer to the Board and the general public for actual selections made, she/he has the authority to select or reject any item contrary to the recommendations of the staff.  The selectors consist of members of the professional staff as well as those people with responsibility for managing a particular collection.  


The Mission and Vision Statements of the Abbot Public Library states that the Library will provide easy access to the world’s knowledge-informational and cultural.  It also states that it will be a primary point of convergence for ideas and information that foster individual as well as community growth and life-long learning.  Therefore, our goal is to make available a broad range of materials, to provide current and accurate information, and to offer services and programs desired by the Marblehead community.

Materials are provided to satisfy the educational and recreational needs of general library users and to meet general research needs of the community.  The collection comprises the classics and popular and informational works, non-print materials including online materials, and reference materials in the main subject areas.  In addition, some scholarly, technical and specialized materials are purchased when these are judged to benefit the broader needs of the community.

The Library recognizes the importance of materials of permanent value as well as timely materials on current issues.  Emphasis is placed on choosing materials in areas of greatest use and need, whether fiction or nonfiction, with basic materials available in all major subject areas.  Selection will recognize the needs not only of those who use the Library regularly but will also anticipate the needs of non-users and/or future users.  Materials are purchased within budgetary constraints in whatever formats best suit users’ needs.

In serving as a secondary resource for student use, the Library selects those texts and other materials, which will also be useful for the general public.  In addition, consideration is given to the needs of individuals and organizations interested in self-education programs.

In the development of its collection, the Library recognizes that it is impossible for a comparatively small public library to provide a balanced comprehensive collection that is strong enough to meet all community needs.  As a member of an automated resource sharing network and the state supported regional library system, the Library supplements its resources with materials borrowed from other libraries through these larger entities.


Involved in the selection and deselection (see Weeding later in the Policy) of materials are the experience and knowledge of staff members selecting materials, their familiarity with the community and documented needs and demands.  The status of the existing collection, the Library materials budget and resources outside of the Abbot Public Library are also taken into consideration.

Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole, not as a part taken out of context.  Reviews in professional journals are used in the selection process and are sought whenever possible.  Bestseller lists, reviews in local media and authors appearing on various television and radio programs are also used in determining purchase.  However, the lack of a review or an unfavorable review shall not be the sole criterion for determining the selection status of a title, which is in demand.  Particular care will be given to attempting to collect as many viewpoints on an issue as possible.  The currency of all material is becoming an important criterion as information changes quickly and writing styles evolve.  This must be considered in any acquisition.

  1. Fiction/Nonfiction (General) Books

The criteria for selection of nonfiction are as follows:

  1.  Scope and authority of the subject matter.
  2. Qualifications of the author/editor in the subject field.
  3. Appeal/need in this community, including predicted popularity.
  4. Timeliness of material.
  5. Relationship to existing collection.
  6. Quality of writing (style, readability, etc.).
  7. Date of publication.
  8. Reputation of publisher.
  9. Organization of content (indices, bibliographies, examples, illustrations, etc.).
  10. Price.

The criteria for the selection of fiction include:

  1.  Appeal (popular or limited) in this community.
  2. Quality of writing.
  3. Characterization (constructive, full development of characters).
  4. Literary merit.
  5. Relationship to the collection.
  6. Reputation of the publisher.
  7. Price.
  1. Reference Collection

Reference material is selected with the goal of attempting to satisfy the majority of the informational needs within the community. While the Library cannot be considered a comprehensive research center, significant efforts are made to support the needs of students of all ages who pursue educational advancement, whether formally or informally.  Questions which fall beyond the limits of our collection, are referred to other libraries through various networks and cooperative agreements. The Reference collection includes both print and digital resources including specialized databases available on the library’s website.  

  1. Other Print Materials
  2. Periodicals

A balanced collection of periodicals (including newspapers and magazines) is maintained as both a current and in-depth supplement to the book collection.  This collection includes titles with popular appeal as well as those more oriented toward scholarly pursuits.  The length of time a particular title is retained is based on appeal, its value to research efforts and storage space.  Microfilm copies, useful primarily for titles with long-term value, will be considered based on the needs of the population and expense of this format of collection.

Criteria for selection include:

  1. Appeal and demand.
  2. Subject coverage.
  3. Accuracy and objectivity of the title’s authors and editors.
  4. Accessibility of a title’s contents through indices.
  5. Contributions to trends and developments within the field covered.
  6. Preservation of a balanced viewpoint within the collection.
  7. Subscription price.
  1. Paperbacks

Paperbacks selected for the Adult paperback collections serve two main purposes.  First, some paperbacks are added to meet the demand for popular, easily portable, inexpensive reading material.  Second, duplicate copies of popular hardcover titles are purchased to make these titles readily available as they are needed.  A balanced paperback collection is not a primary goal and books are frequently weeded.  These considerations result in a paperback collection that is regularly changing and useful mainly for browsing.

  1. Audio-Visual Materials
  2. In selecting material to be available on our music streaming services, reviews are used and selection criteria include quality, type of music (in more or less demand by users), reputation of performer, recording label and need in the overall collection.
  3. E-audiobooks are chosen with similar criteria as for fiction and nonfiction materials.  This collection is heavily used and covers a wide variety of books.  Adaptability to the audio format is also a criterion, as well as the reputation and appropriateness of the reader.  Abridged and unabridged titles are purchased due to the enjoyment and circulation statistics of both versions.
  4. DVDs and other video material available on streaming services are selected primarily to meet informational and entertainment needs.  The criteria for selection within this stated framework include:
  5. Appeal in this community.
  6. Scope and authority of the subject matter.
  7. Qualifications of the performer(s)/instructor(s).
  8. Quality of presentation (style, photography, sound fidelity, etc.).
  9. Reputation of producer.
  10. Price.
  11. Children’s Collection

The Children’s Department serves children from birth through their elementary school years.

The same guidelines used to evaluate general fiction and nonfiction books are used when selecting children’s books, with the following criteria also included or particularly emphasized:

  1. Quality of illustrations and relationship to story.
  2. Language which stimulates the development of a child’s vocabulary and/or is clearly understood.
  3. Vocabulary, which is within a child’s reading ability, recognizing wide variations in individual ability.
  4. Appealing and durable format.
  5. Meeting the need for school-related summer reading materials.

In addition, the Parent and Teacher Collection is a very carefully selected collection which contains materials related to stimulating children’s interest in reading as well as books which may assist parents with their role as parents.

Non-print materials are chosen similarly as those for the adult collections.  

  1. Young Adult Collection

A specialized young adult collection exists to meet the unique informational needs and recreational and emotional concerns of this age group, which is approximately from grades seven through twelve.  The young adult population is served by the general collection in many ways as well. The selection criteria are the same as that stated for general books and periodicals.  In fiction, the goals are to provide lighter reading material as well as books which empathize with or stimulate thought about the process of growing up, making choices and becoming one’s own person.  Standard classics for this age group are included as well as materials to meet summer reading program demands.  Often, a title will be purchased only in paperback or duplicated in paperback due to the popularity of this format with this age group.

The separate nonfiction section will not remain static and will include materials on drugs, growing up, coping with school, sex education, life issues, etc. which are appropriate for this age group.  It will also include basic materials that support the school assignments of the population which is served, recognizing that the Library’s adult collection will also be used and that the Library is unlikely to be able to support all school assignments alone.  Our online resources and interlibrary loan become extremely important in serving this age group.

  1. Marblehead Room

Local history and genealogical materials relating to Marblehead are particularly sought for the Marblehead Room collection.  Histories, vital records, town reports, pamphlets about Marblehead, books by local authors about Marblehead, and books, maps and atlases about this area are collected.  The local newspaper is digitized and articles are clipped from local newspapers and organized by subject. Some of these items are available to borrow, and some are reserved for in-library use only.

  1. Gifts

While most donations of library materials are to the Friends of the Library for their book sale, the Library occasionally accepts gifts of materials which are in usable condition.  This may include books relating to local history or donations from published authors. Items which are moldy, damaged, written in or outdated cannot be accepted.   Before deciding whether or not a book will be added to the collection, it will be reviewed using the criteria for selecting new materials. Factors such as duplication and adequate shelf space will also be considered   If the Library cannot use the donated items, they will be placed in the book sale, which benefits the Friends of the Library;  donated to another institution; or disposed of properly.

Due to the limitations of staff time, staff members cannot make trips outside of the building to evaluate or collect donations.  A statement which reflects the number of items donated may be given to the donor; however, the Library will not place a dollar value on the donation.



Periodic evaluation of the works in the various collections is as important as the acquisition of new materials so that the library collection remains strong, vital and reflective of community needs. Careful, regular and systematic weeding (i.e., the removal of materials from the collection) removes materials which are inaccurate, outdated, unused or in poor condition and which detract from the usefulness and aesthetic appeal of the collection.  Also, works no longer in demand for which there are multiple copies may be weeded.  In addition, works that have had little recent use and are of questionable value may be weeded.  Professional publications may be used as tools to assist the staff in making weeding decisions.  The CREW method: Expanded Guidelines for Collection Evaluation and Weeding for Small and Medium-sized Public Libraries, the Public Library Catalog, the Fiction Catalog and the Children’s Catalog will be consulted during the weeding process.  Various reports which can be created from NOBLE information give us detailed records of the history of the circulation of an item, as well as the date of publication.  Similar guidelines as stated for collecting new materials are followed.

The Library attempts to have copies of all standard and important works consistent with its size and scope.  It does not attempt to replace every copy that is discarded.  For example, if a very old item is discarded due to being worn out, is our only copy and has not circulated in several years, it is possible that the Library might choose to rely on the resources of NOBLE member libraries after checking availability in the database.  Also, it may be that the subject is no longer in demand. Often, the availability of more current materials and/or materials in other formats will be primary considerations.

Areas which will receive prime attention for weeding include those categories where information changes quickly.  These include, but are not limited to, health, medicine, technology, business, employment, the sciences and others.  The Collection Assessment Committee (comprised of department heads) will determine which areas will take first priority on a regular basis.



The Library welcomes suggestions for additions to the collection and staff members actively solicit recommendations. A suggestion form is available for this purpose.  (Please include your name, telephone number and email address so we can notify you if we purchase it and it is available for you.) A request for purchase does not automatically imply that the purchase will be made. All requests will be evaluated by an appropriate selector using the selection criteria stated previously.  Also, efforts will be made to borrow requested material through appropriate networks following their guidelines if that would result in a more timely delivery of material.  The purchase could still be made.


The Library recognizes that many materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some users. Selections will not be made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval but solely on the basis of the principles stated in this collection development policy.

Responsibility for specific choices of material for children rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children. Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents and no item will be kept unavailable to the general public except for the express purpose of protecting it from injury or theft. The use of rare and/or scholarly items of great value may be controlled to the extent necessary to prevent them from harm, but no further.


The Library asserts its right and responsibility to maintain a collection of materials based on the stated policies included in this document. The library community in general, and the Abbot Public Library in particular, support the concept of intellectual freedom. If a Marblehead resident voices a complaint to a staff member, whether in person or by telephone about a particular work in the collection, the following procedure has been established:

  1. The staff member will report the complaint to the Library Director or the Assistant Director/ Head of Public Service as soon as possible. 
  2. The Director will respond with a note to the complainant recognizing that not everyone may agree with every choice made. A copy of this collection development policy as well as a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials should be included. Note that anyone challenging a book must have read the book in full before submitting.  The form should be returned within four weeks or the complaint is considered dropped. The material will stay in the collection until a decision is made to remove it, if that occurs.
  3. If the form is returned, the Director will review the selection and respond to the complainant within a reasonable time period, not longer than a few weeks. The response should include the decision and reasons for it, an explanation of the applicable areas of the Collection Development Policy and citations to any authorities consulted in reviewing the work. If the complaint is valid, the Director will acknowledge it and remove the material in question. If the complaint is invalid, the material will stay in the collection.
  4. Should the complainant be dissatisfied with the Director’s response, the matter may be appealed to the Board of Trustees, which will be the final authority on the matter.  The Board may consult anyone it chooses, such as legal counsel, the American Library Association, etc. in coming to its decision. The Board will announce its finding at the next convenient Board meeting and within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed three months without further notification to the complainant.
  5. Note that only Marblehead Residents may challenge material at Abbot Public Library.

Reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees, March 2022 and January 2023.

Confidentiality Policy


All employees, volunteers, contractors and governing authorities of member libraries are expected to comply with the Abbot Public Library’s confidentiality policy as outlined below. Any failures to observe this policy must be reported to the Library Director and/or the NOBLE management team.
The Abbot Public Library is a member of the North of Boston Library Exchange, Inc., known as NOBLE. As such, the Library’s representative to NOBLE, normally the Library Director, has voted to support NOBLE’s Confidentiality Policy as a member library of the network, and follow its guidelines in maintaining library patron confidentiality and privacy.

The Abbot Public Library recognizes its responsibilities to its users under the Massachusetts General Laws, Ch. 78, S. 7.

“…That part of the records of a public library which reveals the identity and intellectual pursuits of a person using such library shall not be a public record as defined by clause Twenty-sixth of section seven of chapter four. Library authorities may disclose or exchange information relating to library users for the purposes of inter-library cooperation and coordination, including but not limited to, the purposes of facilitating the sharing of resources among library jurisdictions as authorized by clause (1) of section nineteen E or enforcing the provisions of sections ninety-nine and one hundred of chapter two hundred and sixty-six.”

NOBLE libraries maintain no record of items that have been borrowed and returned unless an overdue charge is outstanding, or if a patron manually opts into keeping a history of their loans on their personal Evergreen account. Access to patron information within the library must be enforced by authorization passwords maintained by NOBLE and library staff. Patron information will only be released to its owner upon presentation of positive identification to access their borrowing record.

NOBLE recognizes and utilizes Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 78, Section 7, which states: “Library authorities may disclose or exchange information relating to library users for the purposes of inter-library cooperation and coordination, including but not limited to, the purposes of facilitating the sharing of resources among library jurisdictions as authorized by clause (1) of section nineteen E or enforcing the provisions of sections ninety-nine and one hundred of chapter two hundred and sixty-six.” Library user information can only be used by the library to contact residents of their own community (public libraries) or persons directly affiliated with their own institution (non-public libraries) for library use only in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Should a library use a contractor for such purposes, the contractor must execute a document in the format provided by NOBLE specifically citing the data will not be retained nor sold or otherwise distributed or disclosed.

Under no circumstances will any information regarding patron information be released to a third party, except as described in these unique instances below:

  • No records can be made available to any inquiries, including law enforcement, unless a subpoena or warrant has been served by a court of competent jurisdiction. Records will be made available immediately upon presentation of a valid warrant. Records will be released in response to a subpoena after consultation with legal counsel. Whereas a subpoena or a search warrant under the USA Patriot Act (P.L.107-56) suspends state statutes, confidential patron information will be turned over to federal law enforcement officers if such documents are presented. Library representatives shall not honor requests from federal law enforcement officers unless a subpoena or search warrant is presented pursuant thereto. Only Federal officers can use the Patriot Act to request information.
  • Information may be released as minimally necessary to validate patrons using third-party services contracted by a library or NOBLE. All contractors to whom patron data or access to patron data is provided must execute a document in the format provided by NOBLE specifically citing that the patron data will not be retained nor sold or otherwise distributed or disclosed.
  • For children in grade six and lower, the Library recognizes that instances may arise when it may be necessary for a parent or legal guardian to be provided with certain information connected to their fiscal responsibility for materials checked out on a child’s card. In these cases, the financially responsible parent or guardian may receive a verbal or printed record of the necessary information. A caregiver who presents a written request from the parent may also obtain this information. (NOBLE Policy:) The records of minors with their own cards are also considered to be private to those persons. Parents or legal guardians who are responsible for a child’s library materials may obtain records pertaining to overdue items.

Approved by the Abbot Public Library Board of Trustees January 2023.

Emergency Closing of the Building

In the event of an emergency, the Abbot Public Library Board of Trustees authorizes the Library Director to take whatever actions are necessary, including but not limited to closing the facility, to protect the health, safety, welfare and security of patrons and staff, and if possible, to do so in consultation with the Chair of the Trustees.
Reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees, March 2022

Friends of Abbot Public Library Policy
The Board of Trustees of Abbot Public Library (Trustees) recognize the Friends of Abbot Public Library (Friends) as a valued community partner and wish to maintain a cooperative and harmonious relationship with their Board of Directors. The role of the Friends is distinct from the role of the Trustees. Friends may be Trustees and Trustees may be members of the Friends; however, there should be no overlapping boards.

The Trustees and the Library Director will support the Friends to the best of their ability. This support may include technical assistance or providing space (subject to availability) for meetings, special events and book sales. Every effort will be made to assist the Friends in appropriate ways.

The Trustees will appoint a Trustee to serve as a liaison to the Friends. The Trustee liaison and/or the Library Director will attend all General Meetings and meetings of the Friends’ Executive Board so that information can flow freely between the two organizations. The Trustee liaison and/or Library Director provide technical assistance on library policy and professional resources for the Friends. The Trustees should receive a copy of the minutes of Friends group meetings.

Fundraising by the Friends is done with the knowledge of the Trustees and in coordination with the Library Director. Cooperative projects for the benefit of the Library are encouraged, provided no such project compromises the Trustees’ statutory responsibility for Library policy and management. Friends supplement what cannot be provided by the library budget with funds, materials, equipment and services. Friends decide how to spend their money after conferring with the Library Director and the Trustees to determine what might be needed.

Any public relations work by the Friends on behalf of the Library should be coordinated with the Library Director or designee, who may share ideas, offer suggestions and assist in an advisory capacity throughout the duration of the PR program.

Contributions by the Friends will be suitably acknowledged by the Trustees.

Reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees, November 2022.

Gift Giving Policy

In support of a proud tradition of public and private support that can be traced from its beginnings in the late 1870s with a founding gift from Benjamin Abbot, the Trustees and Director of the Abbot Public Library appreciate donations to the Library. A gift to the Library is a gift to all of the citizens of Marblehead. The following options are available: 

Monetary Contributions

A. Abbot Public Library Foundation

The mission of the Abbot Public Library Foundation is to serve as the primary fund-raising arm of the Library by soliciting and acquiring gifts, grants, endowments, bequests, memorial and tribute gifts,and pledges from individuals and organizations for capital improvements and programs at the Library. The overall goal is to enrich, not replace traditional tax-based support for the Library. One immediate goal is to provide additional support toward the costs of the current renovation project. The organization is committed to incorporating and upholding the values of collaboration, innovation, service and inclusion in all aspects of their work. The Abbot Public Library Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. All donations are tax-deductible.

All donors of $5,000 or more will be listed in one of the Recognition Society plaques located near the main library entrance at 235 Pleasant Street. 

  1. $5,000-$24,999 – The Gregory O. Lyon Society
    Honoring a citizen of Marblehead who provided the seed funding for the establishment of the current library site. 
  2. $25,000-$99,999 – The James J. H. Gregory Society
    Named for the “Seed King” of Marblehead who in 1877 convinced the Town to establish a Library in Abbot Hall
  3. $100,000 and above – The Benjamin Abbot Society
    Recognizing one of Marblehead’s most illustrious benefactors who provided the funds to build Abbot Hall. The “free” public library, which was originally housed in Abbot Hall, was named in his honor.


B. The Friends of Abbot Public Library

This nonprofit organization works to further community awareness and use of the Library. Monies raised support library programs and purchase material for patron use.  They operate very successful book sales and have their own guidelines for donations. Annual memberships are available and additional gifts are always welcome. 


C. The Second Century Fund 

The Board of Trustees gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the Second Century Fund, a permanent endowment fund that is dedicated to supporting the Library, providing resources that ensure excellence in collections, materials, and access. The fund generates income to supplement, not to replace, public support provided by the Town of Marblehead, ensuring that the Library’s collections meet outstanding levels of breadth and currency that best serves its citizens. All donations are tax deductible. 


Direct Contributions of  Books and Other Materials

A. Books and other Library Materials

While most donations of library materials are to the Friends of the Library for their book sale, the Library occasionally accepts gifts of materials which are in usable condition. This may include books relating to local history or donations from published authors. Items which are moldy, damaged, written in or outdated cannot be accepted.   

Before the Library Administration team decides whether or not a book will be added to the collection, it will be reviewed using the criteria for selecting new materials as stated in the Collection Development Policy. Factors such as duplication and adequate shelf space will also be considered. If the Library cannot use the donated items, they will be placed in the book sale, which benefits the Friends of the Library, donated to another institution; or disposed of properly.

Due to the limitations of staff time, staff members cannot make trips outside of the building to evaluate or collect donations. A statement which reflects the number of items donated may be given to the donor; however, the Library will not place a dollar value on the donation.


B. Other Gifts

Works of art, paintings, personal property, personal archives, equipment, etc. may be offered to the Library.  The decision as to whether or not to accept them is made by the Library Director and/or the Board of Trustees.


Approved by the Board of Trustees, April 1999.  Amended October 2002 and January 2023.  

Internet Use Policy

The Abbot Public Library promotes access to information, ideas, and commentary from around the globe, via use of the public Internet. Internet access is unfiltered. Parents should be aware that oversight of a child’s access to the Internet is the sole responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. Library staff encourage caregivers to talk with their children about the safe use of Internet resources and the importance of maintaining the privacy of personal information.

Rules for Internet Use on Abbot Public Library’s devices:
1. Users must log in with a valid library card to use an Internet workstation, or, at the discretion of staff, with a Guest Pass.
2. Library staff may implement time limits or other procedures to ensure fair access.
3. It is prohibited to:
• use the library’s equipment for any illegal purpose.
• view graphic pornography.
• damage or alter the configurations of library equipment or software, or to attempt to bypass security or gain access to network resources without authorization.
• willfully exploit the shared nature of library equipment to access data or accounts belonging to others.
• interfere with the comfort, security, or privacy of other library patrons.
• attempt unauthorized access to any wired or wireless network belonging to the Town of Marblehead, other than the public wireless Internet service offered by the Library.
Users are encouraged to take advantage of the Internet and to exercise good judgment and discretion in their use of it. Failure to observe the above rules may result in the revocation of Internet use privileges, and/or other sanctions imposed by the Abbot Public Library or law enforcement.
For more information, please reference the North of Boston Library Exchange (NOBLE) Internet Policy.
Reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees, April 2022.

Meeting Room Policy

Meeting Room Policy

The Library meeting rooms include the following:

Osgood, Lipsky and Chiaramonte Rooms, Main Level (Seats 4-6)

Three meeting rooms are available for public use by reservation only, during regular library hours and do not require a fee. Reservations from 15 minutes to 2 hours may be made up to 7 days in advance.  Patrons may make no more than 2 reservations per day.

 Marblehead Room, 3rd Floor (Seats 10-15)

The Marblehead Room may be made available for private “closed-door” meetings for periods of 15 minutes to 2 hours at the discretion of the Director.  Reservations must be made no less than 7 days and no more than 90 days in advance.  Rental of the Marblehead Room will follow a Fee Schedule that is regularly reviewed and approved by the Library Director and Board of Trustees.

Event Center, Lower Level (Capacity 100-120)

The Event Center may be reserved during regular library hours only, for periods of 1 to 4 hours.  Reservations for the Event Center must be made no less than 7 days and no more than 90 days in advance.   Rental of the Event Center will follow a Room Rental Fee Schedule that is regularly reviewed and approved by the Library Director and Board of Trustees.

Under a separate fee schedule and contract, the Event Center (including the courtyard garden and catering kitchen) is available for rental at the discretion of the Library Director and subject to availability.

1. Purpose:

The primary purpose of the Library’s meeting rooms is to serve as venues for Library and Town events or activities; however, for the purpose of promoting the usefulness of the Library premises, the Board of Library Trustees (the “Board”) allows groups to use the meeting rooms for civic, cultural, and educational purposes.

In determining who is permitted to use the meeting rooms, the Board and Library staff shall not discriminate on the basis of the political or religious beliefs of applicant groups, or on the basis of any other constitutionally or statutorily prohibited basis.

The Library’s primary purpose is to provide a safe, peaceful, and respectful environment in which to read and study. As such, individuals and groups using the meeting rooms are prohibited from doing so in a manner that is likely to disturb Library patrons in the customary use of Library facilities, impede Library staff in the performance of their duties, or damage the Library building, collections, or other property.

Groups are prohibited from using the meeting rooms for non-Library-related entrepreneurial or commercial purposes, for the solicitation or development of business, for profit, or for fundraising. No goods or services shall be sold or exchanged in the meetings rooms.  In addition, except for the Event Center by special arrangement, the meeting rooms may not be used by groups for the purpose of holding private functions such as birthday parties, baby showers, weddings, or other private celebrations.

Meeting rooms may be used for individual study if additional spaces are not available in the library. Meeting rooms are not available for tutoring purposes; however, we ask that all tutors who use our library spaces check in with us when they arrive before setting up. Tutors should note that other patrons are also free to use the areas at the same time.

Groups (“groups” being defined as three or more people) not affiliated with the Library may not reserve the meeting rooms more than twice a month.

2. Meeting Room Requests: 

Abbot Public Library reserves the right to reject a request to use the meeting rooms if the anticipated event/activity is likely to be unreasonably disruptive to regular library functions, too large for the applicable room capacity, disorderly, dangerous to persons or property, or in any other way inconsistent with any of the terms and conditions of this or any other Library policy. In determining whether such a likelihood exists, the Board and/or the Library Director or his/her designee may take into consideration the contents of the application form, the history of the group’s meeting room use in the library, the history of the group’s use of meeting facilities elsewhere, and such other information as they deems appropriate.

No group may use the Library for any purpose that would directly or indirectly violate the civil rights of others, as set forth in 42 USC 1983; Mass. G.L. c. 151B; and Article 1 of the Declaration of the Rights of the Massachusetts Constitution, as well as any other Federal, State, or local law or regulation.

 3. Publicity:

In allowing a group to use a meeting room, the Board and Library staff do not imply any endorsement of the group’s beliefs, policies, or program. No group shall in any of its publicity state or suggest that the Abbot Public Library, the Board of Library Trustees, the Town of Marblehead, or any of the Library staff or other Town employees sponsor or endorse the meeting, the group, or any particular set of ideas.

Groups may identify the library and provide its address in their publicity for the meeting but may not give out the Library’s telephone number or invite potential attendees to contact the library.

The Library does not assume responsibility for promoting a private program scheduled for a specific meeting room use unless otherwise agreed to. No group may consider the Library its permanent meeting place or use the Library as its mailing address.

No banners, signs, or other materials related to the meeting may be displayed outside of the meeting rooms or the entrances without prior approval from the Library Director. Unauthorized material will be removed at the group’s expense.

4. Special Accommodations:

Groups agree to pay for any special accommodations or security presence required, as determined by the Board and/or the Library Director or his/her designee, and for any damage to the meeting rooms or any other Library property resulting from their use of the meeting rooms.

Groups or individuals reserving meeting rooms assume full responsibility for providing and paying for special accommodations requested by participants in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Board and/or Library Director or his/her designee reserve the right to determine, in their reasonable discretion, whether any proposed use of a meeting room will require a police detail or other police protection, and, if so, the anticipated cost thereof. In making this determination, they may take into consideration the contents of the application form, the history of the group’s or individual’s use of the meeting room, the history of the group’s or individual’s use of meeting facilities elsewhere, and such other information as the Board may deem appropriate.  The Board and/or Library Director or his/her designee may consult with the Marblehead Police Department in making said determination.

If the Board and/or Library Director or his/her designee determine that said police protection is necessary, the group or individual seeking to use the meeting room will be required, as a condition of doing so, to pay the Board by such date in advance of the meeting as the Board sees fit, the anticipated cost of said police protection, said sum to be applied thereto, with any surplus being returned to the group after the meeting.

5. Reservations:

Order of priority

  • Library programs
  • The Library Board of Trustees, Abbot Public Library Foundation or Friends of Abbot Public Library
  • Town Boards, Committees, and Departments
  • Local non-profit groups and organizations
  • For-profit groups that have a relationship to Marblehead, and groups outside of Marblehead

Rooms are available to Abbot Public Library cardholders. Meeting rooms may be reserved online via the booking system on the Library’s website. Reservation requests are pending until approved by the Library Director or their designee. Rooms may be reserved no more than 90 days in advance. Library programs and events will take precedence in the use of available rooms; reservations for subsequent use will be approved by the Library Director in the order in which the requests are received.

6. Fees:

Fees are listed in the library’s reservation system and reviewed on a regular basis by the Board of Trustees.  Under a separate fee schedule and contract, the Event Center (including the courtyard garden and catering kitchen) is available for rental for concerts, receptions, wedding ceremonies, or charity events at the discretion of the Library Director and subject to availability.

The rental fee will be waived for the following groups:

  • Organizations that are co-sponsoring a program with the Library
  • The Library Board of Trustees, Abbot Public Library Foundation and Friends of Abbot Public Library
  • Official Town Departments and Committees

Payment may be arranged via credit card through the use of a NOBLE library card account.  The fee may also be paid by check (made out to The Town of Marblehead). Full refunds will be provided for cancellations of prepaid reservations. Notice of cancellation of a reservation  is to be given to the Library at least 48 hours in advance. Rental fees collected will only be waived or returned if cancellation occurs at least 48 hours in advance. For contracted rentals, notice of cancellation is to be given to the Library at least 14 days in advance.

Any false, misleading, or incomplete statement on the application form shall be grounds to forbid the use of meeting rooms by the applicant group or individual.

Minors seeking to use the meeting room must have one or more adult supervisors present at all times during said use.

Applicants who are denied use of a meeting room for any reason other than availability may appeal to the Board by submitting a written request to the Library Director.

7. Commercial or fundraising use:

Meeting rooms shall not be used for entrepreneurial or commercial purposes, for the solicitation of business, for profit or for fundraising other than fundraising that supports the Library, unless specifically permitted by the Library.

 8. Hours of use:

The meeting rooms will be available during the hours the Library is open to the public. No non-Library meetings will be allowed to continue after the Library closes.  Rooms may be reserved for up to 4 hours per day. Meetings that are held at the end of the day (i.e. close to the library’s closing time) must conclude fifteen minutes before the library closes to allow attendees time to gather their items and exit the library and to permit staff to close up the room and library on time.

9. Cancellations and emergency closings:

Room bookings are subject to cancellation or room relocation if the room is needed for Library purposes. Whenever possible, the Library will endeavor to provide at least one week’s notice of the change.

Reservations may be canceled through the reservation system at any time. However, failure of the group or individual to notify the Library of cancellations may result in forfeiture of the right to future use of the meeting room.

The library staff is authorized to cancel reservations at any time in the case of an emergency which results in the closure of the library.  In such an event, all efforts will be made to contact reservation holders with as much advance notice as possible.

If the Library closes for a weather emergency or for any other reason, meetings are automatically canceled, and the Library takes no responsibility for notifying participants.

Groups are advised to orient their members and participants to the exit routes available in case of emergency. The Library shall not be held responsible for loss, injury or damage to persons or property occurring during or as a result of an individual’s or a group’s use of Library facilities.

10. Food and beverages:

Food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed in the Event Center. No food or drink is permitted in the Marblehead Room, or the meeting rooms on the main floor. It is the responsibility of the party using a room to clean up after each use. (See room condition requirements below.)

11. Attendance:

Attendance is limited to meeting room capacity. (Capacity details are provided in the Library’s online room booking system.) All activities must be confined to the reserved meeting room. Approaching library patrons for the purpose of encouraging participation in the group’s activities is prohibited.

12. Posting and distribution of materials:

Posting or mounting materials on the walls or doors of the room without permission from Library staff is prohibited. Distributing materials on Library property without approval of Library management will not be permitted. Unauthorized material will be removed.

13. Room condition:

Abbot Public Library is a smoke-free facility.

All room use must conclude at least 15 minutes prior to library closing.  All attendees are expected to vacate the room by the end of the reservation time, removing all trash and restoring the room and its furnishings to their starting conditions. Please report any damages, technology issues, or other concerns to the staff at the Main Desk prior to leaving the library.

14. Storage and personal property:

The Library will not provide storage for any group other than the Abbot Public Library Foundation and Friends of Abbot Public Library. All items used for a meeting must be removed immediately following the meeting.

The Library staff is not responsible for and will not monitor personal items left unattended in the meeting rooms. The Town of Marblehead, the Trustees of Abbot Public Library, and Library employees assume no responsibility for the loss, theft, or damage of any property.

15. Political activity:

All political activity in support of one candidate, groups of candidates, or ballot measures is prohibited. Such activities include, but are not limited to, meetings hosted by candidates or their campaigns, and any other meeting held in furtherance of or in opposition to a political campaign. Political debates in the interest of civic discourse and voter education may, however, be permitted.

16. Indemnification and Insurance:

 All groups or individuals using any of the meeting rooms shall execute and deliver a writing in a form to be prescribed by the Board of Library Trustees by which said groups or individuals shall agree to hold the Board, the Town of Marblehead, and all library staff and other Town employees harmless from and to indemnify them against all costs, damages, losses, claims, and expenses incurred, directly or indirectly, as a result of such group’s use of a meeting room. Such costs, damages, losses, claims, and expenses shall include, without limitation, any damage to the meeting room or any other part of the library building, grounds or collection; the cost of employee overtime, if occasioned by the use of the meeting room; the cost of police protection, if deemed necessary by the Board of Library Trustees; and any claim asserted by any third person against the Board, the Town of Marblehead, and/or any Library staff or other Town employes on account of any alleged injury causally related to the meeting, together with defense costs including reasonable attorneys’ fees.

Said writing shall also constitute a release by the group and each and all of its members or by the individual of any claim against the Board, the Town of Marblehead, or the Library staff or other Town employees for any injury to persons or damage to property suffered by such group or any of its members during or as a result of the use of the meeting room, except insofar as such injury or damage is directly and solely caused by the negligence or intentional misconduct of any person belonging to or acting on behalf of the Board, the Town of Marblehead, or the Library staff or other Town employees.

The Board reserves the right to require any applicant group or individual to supply a certificate of insurance, from an insurer licensed to do business in Massachusetts, in such amount and in such form as the Board may reasonably deem appropriate, such amount not to exceed $1 million, naming the Board as an additional insured, and covering damage to the Library building, grounds and collection and injury to persons occasioned by the meeting. Said certificate shall evidence that the insurance it represents is not cancelable except on at least 10 days’ written notice to the Board. In the event of such cancellation, the meeting reservation shall be canceled unless the group or individual forthwith substitutes a new insurance certificate meeting the aforesaid requirements.


17. Violations:

Violations of this policy shall be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Violations may, after a hearing on the matter, result in the loss of meeting room use. Denial of use may be appealed in writing to the Board. Any illegal acts regarding meeting room use are subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.

18. Exceptions: 

Exceptions to this Policy may be made at the discretion of the Board of Library Trustees or the Library Director or his/her designee as deemed in the best interest of the Library and the Town.

Abbot Public Library Foundation and the Friends of Abbot Public Library may charge fees for admittance and collect donations.

Authors, artists, and entertainers presenting at Library-sponsored programs are permitted to sell books, artwork or other materials, as is applicable. For book sales, an arrangement with a local bookstore is preferred.

Commercial entities or professional practitioners may rent a library meeting room to provide an educational program open to the general public that is related to their field of expertise. In such case, an educational opportunity offered by an expert provides benefit to the public and visibility to the presenter. During such a program, no attempt may be made to sell a specific product or service offered by the entity or practitioner or any other commercial interest, at the time of the program or in the future. Therefore, the individual or entity offering the program is asked not to hand out business cards or brochures promoting any business, product, or service. Otherwise, commercial entities are not permitted to hold public programs at the Library unless the program is one that the Library itself has organized.

19. Co Hosting Events

If you would like to host a meeting co-sponsored by the library that would be open and of educational, cultural or civic interest to the general public, please contact the Library Director by filling out this application form  to inquire about the possibility of co-sponsoring the event with the Library.

Click here to make a reservation. (Reservations open July 1, 2024). 

Revised and approved by the Abbot Public Library Board of Trustees, August 2021. Revised May 2024.


Purpose and Mission 

Abbot Public Library’s mission is to serve as a vibrant hub of education, community and culture for the Town of Marblehead. It will continue to be a free, inclusive and safe gathering place for all where the pursuit of knowledge, literacy and continuing education is actively encouraged and supported.

With this in consideration, Abbot Public Library maintains a Facebook and Instagram page to better serve our community by providing social media outlets for patrons to find information about the library’s programs, services, and resources. Our Social Media sites aim to serve as a means of communication between the library and library users as well as the general public.

Please understand that, while our page is available at all times, to best utilize staff resources we are only able to monitor the site regularly during normal business hours. For questions about your library account, registering for programs, and other services with which you need direct staff assistance, please contact the library at 781-631-1481. 

This policy is adopted in addition to Abbot Public Library’s Internet Use Policy.

Posting Guidelines

Please be advised that Abbot Public Library’s Social Media is a moderated discussion, not a public forum. With that in mind, APL reserves the right to remove postings that we deem to be inappropriate. Inappropriate content includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Content of a graphic nature.
  • The use of vulgar language.
  • Any post that discriminates against a person or a group because of race, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, socioeconomic status, or religion. 
  • Commercial advertisements or any kind of solicitation, including those political in nature.
  • Comments not relevant to the topic being discussed or to the APL in general.
  • Personal attacks on other users, the library, or the library staff.
  • Endorsements and/or inciting of illegal activity.
  • Infringements of copyright or trademark.
  • Renewal requests, museum pass requests, and hold requests. These should be done in person, over the phone, or via our email.


Any post, comment, or message that fails to comply with Abbot Public Library’s policy as outlined above will be removed. Serious and repeat offenders may be banned from Abbot Public Library’s social media sites.


Patrons sign up for and use Social Media sites at their own risk, and Abbot Public Library is not responsible for damages resulting from use of the sites. For your privacy and protection please remember that anything you post on APL’s page can and will be seen by others, not just library staff, and are considered to be public record. Do not post anything pertaining to your library account, including your card number, pin number, or contact information. 

Content posted by third parties on Abbot Public Library’s Social Media does not reflect the views or positions of the library, its staff, its volunteers, the Board of Trustees, or the Friends of Abbot Public Library. 

Please also be aware that the social media sites used by Abbot Public Library have their own privacy policies and Terms of Use. 

Approved by the Board of Trustees, April 2023


Abbot Public Library volunteers supplement the efforts of paid Library staff to provide quality Library services and programs. Volunteering at Abbot Public Library also serves as a method for area residents to become familiar with the Library and creates opportunities for individuals to serve the community. Volunteers are liaisons to the community and, by their contribution, are advocates for quality library service. Policy specifics are:

1. Volunteers perform tasks for the Abbot Public Library without wages, benefits, or compensation of any kind. They are service volunteers who do work for the Library and function in ways similar to staff but do not replace staff.

2. Volunteers are recognized by the public as representatives of the Library and shall be guided by the same work and behavior codes as employees. They work with the status similar to “at-will” employees. Volunteers agree that the Library may at any time and for any reason decide to terminate the relationship or change the assignment.

3. Youth 13 and up may serve as volunteers with the written consent of a parent or legal guardian.

4. Volunteers are bound by Abbot Public Library’s Policies as well as the rules for privacy and confidentiality in accordance with the Library’s standard policies, adherence to NOBLE policy and the American Library Association Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement.

5. All volunteer tasks must aid the Library in achieving its goals and objectives as specified in the Strategic Plan and be consistent with the purpose and intent of the volunteer program. Volunteer talents, experience and interests will be considered.

6. Volunteers shall work under the supervision of a Library staff member.

7. Volunteers are expected to contribute positively to a work environment that is free from unwelcome overtures, advances or coercion by or to any volunteer, employee, or member of the public using Library facilities or attending a Library program.

8. Volunteers will be asked to sign an agreement which specifies expectations and guidelines.

Reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees, November 2022.