3. The Original Rules

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Just before the entrance to the Joseph Gould room, on the left wall is a copy of the original library rules. Notice Rule #10 stating that "Readers are limited to 50% of fiction" in the books they borrow. This rule ensured that library patrons did not indulge in excessive amounts of "frivolous literature". Before the Mechanic's Institute became a free library, the public did not have open access to the library's collection. If someone wanted to read a book, they would have to request it from the librarian. It is interesting to note that library membership doubled within a year after patrons were given free access to the bookshelves in 1895.

Rules and Regulations of the Uxbridge Public Library

  1. Reader's tickets 5c. The Library shall be open 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. on market days, and 3 to 10 p.m. on Saturdays.
  2. The Reading Room shall be open every lawful day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  3. The annual payment of $1.00, or 10 cents a month, entitles outside subscribers to one book a week. Additional books can be had for 5 cents a week.
  4. All subscriptions payable in advance.
  5. Books shall not be retained longer than two weeks, with privilege of renewal. For longer detention a fine of 2 cents a days will be imposed.
  6. Loaning Books belonging to the Library is strictly prohibited. Exchanging books with other members also prohibited.
  7. The Librarian shall examine every book returned, and if the same be found marked, spotted with ink, with leaves turned down, or in any way injured, the borrower shall pay the value of the book before getting another. Lost books must also be paid for.
  8. Members shall select the books they desire from the catalogue.
  9. Bound Magazines may be had in lieu of books.
  10. Readers shall be limited to 50 per cent of fiction.

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