Library Use Policy

Library Guidelines

  1. Researchers must register at library reference desk. Coats may be left at the coat rack at the library reference desk.
  1. Briefcases, canvas bags, and other large bags and containers must be placed on or under the coat rack or in the lockers provided at the library reference desk. Researchers retain the locker key until they leave the library.
  1. A fee of $7.00 per day for use of the library is charged of nonmembers of the Historical Society. However, no charge is made to students currently enrolled in an educational institution. No charge is made for Lancaster Mennonite Conference or Atlantic Coast Conference pastors or for church workers of LMC/ACC-affiliated congregations or institutions doing research in connection with their work assignment.
  1. This is a smoke-free building.
  1. Food and beverages may be used in restricted areas but not in the reading room. A lunch room is available for those interested.
  1. Children under the age of ten years must be accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult at all times.
  1. Computers with Internet access are available for patron use. Wi-Fi access is available upon request.
  1. The reading room contains open shelves. Researchers have access to materials on the Open, Reference, Church Records, Cemetery, and Audiovisual shelves for browsing and retrieval.
  1. The following materials are shelved in non-browsing areas of the library and may be requested from library staff:
  • Materials designated in the library catalog as being located in the Closed Stacks, Rare Books, Oversized, Periodicals, or Vertical File
  • Folders containing newspaper clippings, correspondence, copies of family Bible records, and other loose materials pertaining to a given surname (referred to as “Genealogical Archives”)
  1. Please do not re-shelve books or other materials. Place all books, folders, and other materials on the book return cart next to the reference shelf. Materials will be re-shelved by the library staff.
  1. Please do not rearrange, mark, or otherwise alter library materials. If you feel that an entry is in error, bring it to the attention of the library staff. Forms for correction of erroneous information on cards in the genealogical card file as well as for addition of new information are available at the library reference desk.
  1. Photocopying may be done by researchers. Photocopy charges are as follows (sales tax included):

         Black and White Copies

  • Patron Rate: $.25 per sheet for 8.5” x 11” paper and $.30 per sheet for anything larger

         Color Copies

  • Patron Rate: $.50 per sheet for 8.5 x 11” paper and $1.00 per sheet for anything larger


Patrons may print from the public computers at the same rates as those for photocopies

Researchers should keep a tally on the registration sheet beside their name of the number of copies made and pay for all copies when leaving the library. The library reserves the right of copying rare or fragile materials by the library staff. The library reserves the right of refusal to photocopy any item.

A photocopy and research service is available to persons who cannot come to the library. Interested persons should contact the Historical Society for information and rates.

  1. Personal scanners are permitted for a fee. For $5.00 patrons may make any number of images during a single day. There is no charge for the use of personal cameras.
  1. Materials in the library may be protected by copyright (Title 17 U.S. Code) or by literary property rights code. Under current copyright law, an author has ownership of works generated by that person whether or not a copyright notice appears within that work. In general, photocopies of selected pages or sheets may be made, but entire works or large, continuously paged sections of works may not be copied by mechanical means without permission of the copyright owner. This applies to published and unpublished works, including unpublished, designated collections held by the Historical Society. All responsibility for infringement of copyright laws rests with the person making copies.
  1. Permission by written request to the Historical Society must be obtained before publication of any material obtained from its archival collection, including genealogical archives (surname files). The library requests that it receive a copy of a dissertation or published work based on information obtained at the Historical Society.
  1. Some books in the library circulate and may be signed out for a two-week loan period, renewable for one subsequent two-week period. For overdue books there is a charge of 25 cents per book per day the library is open. Borrowers wishing to renew the loan must notify the library; otherwise, books are considered overdue until notification or return of books. Books should be returned to the library in person if possible. Borrowers must be members of the Historical Society. Exceptions will be made for Mennonite pastors and church workers needing to borrow items in connection with their work assignment or for students enrolled at Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

The following items do not circulate; they must be used in the library:

Genealogy (books classified under CS)

Local history (F)
Atlases (G)
Fine Arts (N-NX)
Books on Closed Stacks
Rare Books
Books on reference shelves
Church Records
Will abstracts
Cemetery files
Surname files (Genealogical Archives)
Archival items
Martin E. Ressler Collection
Microfilms, microfiches
Pennsylvania German Society series publications
Pennsylvania German Folklore Society series publications

Vertical file itemsThe library reserves the right to deny circulation of other materials not designated above.

  1. The library does not currently participate in an interlibrary loan program.

May 27, 2017