Monday, January 20, 2020

Get Digital in the New Year with Your Library Card!

Learn how to use your CLAMS Library Card to enjoy entertainment and learning resources including borrowing ebooks and audiobooks on Overdrive, streaming movies on Kanopy and Hoopla, taking classes online through Universal Class and, and taking advantage of other online resources through the Vineyard Haven Public Library and the Boston Public Library e-card program (free to all who live, reside part-time to attend school, own property, or work in Massachusetts.)

Vineyard Haven Library staff will provide one-on-one informal demonstrations and show you how to get started. Please call (508) 696-4210 or email for an appointment. Thirty-minute appointments are available on Monday afternoons between 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm and on Saturdays between 10:00 am - 12:00 pm.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Fine Free MV! FAQ for MV Libraries' New Fine Free Policy

Starting January 1, 2020, all six Martha’s Vineyard libraries will eliminate overdue fines for materials returned late. All past overdue fines for island patrons will be waived, allowing for a fresh start to the new year. Waiving past overdue fines will impact 7,374 Martha’s Vineyard library cardholders. Island libraries are committed to providing equal access to every member of our community. By waiving existing overdue fines, our goal is to remove barriers and make access to our libraries easy, equitable and enjoyable for all.

The Vineyard libraries will join over 450 libraries across the U.S. in eliminating overdue fines. The Martha’s Vineyard Library Association strongly believes in providing access to information for everyone, and that eliminating overdue fines will support our libraries’ core values of providing equitable service, fostering early literacy, and maintaining free access to information.

  • No more daily late fines will be charged on overdue items at any Vineyard library
  • All existing overdue fines from all accounts will be cleared on January 1, 2020, giving everyone a fresh start.
  • Hundreds of patrons will have their accounts unblocked, which will enable them to once again use library services. Libraries previously blocked accounts with overdue fines greater than $25.
  • No more fine-related restrictions will be placed on use of public computers or access to digital materials (eBooks, digital audiobooks, online databases and resources), even for people who had extensive late fees on their accounts.
  • CLAMS member libraries off-island support the Vineyard’s move toward fine-free library services, and will continue to share library items through interlibrary loan.

What does “Fine Free MV” mean?

Starting January 1, 2020, Martha’s Vineyard Libraries will no longer charge late fines on overdue materials. Patrons will still be responsible for paying for the replacement costs of lost or damaged items, however.

Previously when you checked out an item and didn’t return it by the due date, daily fines started accumulating. For some patrons, the growing amount could become burdensome. Under the Fine Free policy, borrowed items still have due dates, and patrons are encouraged to return them on time. Libraries will still send reminders to bring back books, CDs, DVDs, etc.

An item is officially categorized as overdue the day after its due date, but with the new Fine Free policy, that due date will not be associated with a punitive price tag. If something hasn’t been returned by two weeks after its due date, it will be considered lost, and the system will apply a lost item fee to the patron’s account to cover the cost of replacing the missing item. However, as long as the item is returned in good shape, patrons won’t ever be charged overdue fines. If a patron eventually finds and returns the outstanding materials, the lost item fee will be erased from their account. The largest group who will benefit from this new change will be families with children.

Why remove late fines?
The main goal is to remove obstacles and improve access to information and services for everyone. Research and experience from libraries around the country increasingly show that fines are often barriers preventing people from using the library and its services – especially those who most rely on those services. We want to remove those obstacles, end the stress and stigma of owing fines, and ensure that all members of our community can use our libraries.

Late fines, no matter how small, can be a very real burden for individuals, families, and children. What starts as a tiny overdue fine can snowball into a larger amount with each day that an item isn’t returned. As fines grow, patrons may avoid coming back to the library altogether. For many, this means they can’t access books for schoolwork and other vital materials, or use essential services such as public computers or job resources. Island libraries would rather welcome patrons back than have them stay away because they owe late fines.

What about the late fines currently on my account?
When we launch this new policy, everyone will get a fresh start. Existing overdue fines for ALL our patrons will cleared from all Vineyard patron accounts on January 1, 2020. After this date, all overdue materials will fall under the new Fine Free policy. The Fine Free policy applies only to overdue items. If a patron currently has fees related to lost or damaged materials, those remain in effect.

Aren’t late fines part of fundamental library service expectations?
Not anymore. While overdue fines are traditionally associated with borrowing materials from libraries, that is changing. Libraries in many communities recognize that overdue fines sometimes do more harm than good when it comes to connecting people with important resources, so they’re reevaluating borrowing policies and making changes to evolve with the times. The MV Libraries will be joining over 450 other U.S. libraries in eliminating late fines.

But will people return materials on time without late fines?
Interestingly, libraries that have eliminated late fines have found that return rates actually go up. By removing the threat of daily accumulating late fines, people are less likely to avoid returning to the library, and more likely to bring back any overdue items they’ve checked out. No late fines means more people using the library.

Can a patron hold onto a library item indefinitely?

No. Patrons still have to bring back what they borrow – and we still ask that they try to do so on time – but the Fine Free policy is much more lenient if they miss a due date. After a few attempts to ask the patron to return the item, the patron will be billed for it.

Don’t the libraries need to charge late fines for revenue purposes?

Overdue fines contribute only a small amount of revenue. While our libraries are always carefully watching the bottom line, any loss of overdue fine revenue is small compared with the good this new policy will do for the community. A Fine Free policy opens our doors wider for Islanders who need us the most.

How does having lost or damaged item fees on my account impact my ability to use library services?
While we propose to eliminate late fines, libraries will still charge fees for lost or damaged materials. These fees are necessary to buy replacement books, CDs, or DVDs in our collections so other patrons may use them. As before, when a patron loses a book, CD, DVD or other library item, their account is blocked. That person then cannot borrow any additional materials. The account is unblocked when the items are returned or the replacement fees are paid.

Previously, CLAMS cardholders on island could borrow materials from Cape libraries that are not fine-free.  How does the Fine Free MV policy impact their ability to borrow items?
Interlibrary loan will not be affected. The CLAMS Board has agreed that Vineyard libraries may continue to borrow library materials from off-island CLAMS libraries even without collecting overdue fines. CLAMS cardholders will not be charged overdue fines at any Vineyard library, but a Vineyard CLAMS cardholder may still be charged overdue fines if they visit a CLAMS library on the Cape.

In the past, Island libraries have promoted Food for Fines events to support the Island Food Pantry. What will happen now?
The libraries will continue to collect food and advocate ongoing support for the Island Food Pantry. In the meantime, when Rockland Trust learned about island libraries eliminating overdue fines and libraries’ connection to the Food Pantry through the Food for Fines program, they pledged to donate $500 to the Island Food Pantry this winter. 

Friday, December 6, 2019

Survey: Planning for the B2 Business District

The Tisbury Planning Board seeks your input as they begin working on an Area Plan for the Upper State Rd B2 Business District. To gain a better understanding of how residents currently use this district and what they think could be done to improve it, the Board has developed a survey. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. Your response will contribute to the
development of the Area Plan and its recommendations.

Here is the link to the online survey --

Paper copies are available at the Vineyard Haven Library and the Planning Board Office.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Automatic Renewals Coming Soon!

CLAMS libraries will introduce automatic renewals beginning Tuesday, November 12th! Please contact your local library if you have any questions about this new service, or review the list of Frequently Asked Questions below.

What is an automatic renewal (auto-renewal)?
Most items checked out from the Library will renew automatically on your account. Three days before items are due, our system will check your account for eligible items and renew them. The loan periods will extend from the original due dates.

Which items automatically renew?
Most physical items borrowed (Books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, Audiobooks, Music CDs) are eligible for up to 3 auto-renewals.

Which items do not automatically renew?
The following are examples of material not eligible for automatic renewal:
  • Items another patron has requested (items on hold)
  • Items that have reached their renewal limit (3)
  • Items borrowed from outside the CLAMS network of libraries (Comcat, Inter library loans)
  • Express and Rental items
  • Museum passes
  • Library of Things (Kindles and other devices)
  • Other “non-traditional” items
  • Digital material (downloadable ebooks, eaudios, emagazines)
Are there other situations where an item will not auto renew?
  • Your account is blocked due to billed items or fines of $25 or more
  • Your account has expired
If an item did not auto-renew and I don’t return it on time, are there still fines?
Yes. Items are still subject to late fees/fines (and replacement costs). The patron is responsible for these charges.

Can I opt out of auto-renewal?
This is not currently possible. But patrons are always welcome to return items before the due date.

How am I notified when an item auto-renews?
If you have a current email address in your patron record, you will continue to receive a Courtesy notice 3 days before the item is due to be returned. The notice will list titles with an extended due date if your items were renewed. The new due date is calculated from the original (1 st renewal) or previous due date, not from the date of renewal. The original due date will appear next to items that could not be renewed.

What if I don’t have an email address or have not provided it to the library?
Eligible items will auto renew. Check your account online to view new due dates and items that could not be renewed.

What if I'm not receiving email notifications?
Be sure you've provided a valid email address. Please call or visit your local library to confirm the email address.

Do I have to manually renew items in my account?
No - it is not necessary now. Automatic Renewal does the work for you!

I use the Shoutbomb texting service. Will my text notice change?
Yes. Patrons will no longer get renew notices, however, you will get notices for items that are not eligible for renewal. Text MYBOOKS to the Shoutbomb number (508-543-1253) to see extended due dates on auto renewed items.

More Information on Renewing Library Items
If you don't find what you need using the information above, please contact your local library for more information.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Fall Schedule Changes, Including Sunday Hours!

Sunday, October 20th will be the first Sunday of the season that the library will be open. The library will be open from noon-4pm throughout the winter, except for a few holiday weekends. Please check our events calendar for information on free Sunday afternoon programs at the library, including an talk on Medical Marijuana at 2pm on October 27th.

The library will be closed for Veterans Day on Monday November 11th. For Thanksgiving, the library will close early at 1pm on Wednesday November 27th, and remain closed on Thursday November 28th and Friday November 29th. The library will be open regular hours on Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Special Screening of 'The Cat Rescuers' Documentary

On Tuesday, October 29th at 7pm, the Vineyard Haven Public Library will present a special screening of the documentary film 'The Cat Rescuers', followed by a Q&A session with the film's producer-director, Steven Lawrence. Representatives of Second Chance Animal Rescue will also be present to answer questions on trap, neuter and release programs here on Martha's Vineyard. This event is free and open to the public.

With over 500,000 street cats struggling to survive in New York City, and the city unwilling to address the problem, spirited volunteers have come to their aid. The beat is Brooklyn, where the problem has exploded. Combing the borough's alleys, backyards, and housing projects, they trap the cats, get them fixed and returned to their colonies or adopted. A dedicated group of people in Brooklyn devote their days and nights to rescuing abandoned or otherwise homeless kittens and cats.

Of course, the animals are adorable, but these people are equally inspiring. Their love and commitment to actually making a difference to the lives of these animals and to affecting social change concerning the environment, local laws and public policy is remarkable. The Cat Rescuers shows the skill, resilience, and humor these volunteer activists display in the face of such challenging work, and how their mission to reduce animal suffering -- often at great sacrifice to themselves -- makes a difference for the animals and the community, while changing the rescuers' lives.

Steven Lawrence is a producer-director whose documentaries have appeared on PBS, MTV and A&E. He has produced three films for director Michael Apted including Married in America, an ongoing doc about 9 marriages. His other productions, which have often focused on the arts and human rights, include The Furious Force of Rhymes, a global look at hip-hop as protest music, and Sarabah, about Senegalese rapper Sister Fa’s campaign to end female genital cutting. Currently, Steven is finishing Missing Microbes, a feature doc about the importance of the human microbiome, co-directed with Sarah Schenck. His work has received an IDA Documentary Achievement award, 3 Cine Golden Eagles, the Special Jury Award from the Locarno Film Festival and the Golden Butterfly from Movies That Matter.

Trailer for 'The Cat Rescuers' 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Art in the Stacks: Annette Sandrock

The Friends of the Vineyard Haven Library are pleased to present an exhibit of photographs by Annette Sandrock, on display on the lower level of the library during regular library hours throughout the month of October. This exhibit of black and white images of treetops in Crete is dedicated to the lost trees of Amazonia, and to the the majesty of trees as they grace our lives.

The photographs on display are also found in "Labyrinth," a book of poetry by Annette I. Sandrock that was published in Portugal this earlier this year. On Thursday, October 17th at 7pm, Annette will give a reading from her newly released book of poetry at the library. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing, and refreshments will be served.

Annette Sandrock has been a resident of Vineyard Haven more than 30 years and raised a family of three children here. Her careers as newspaper writer and arts critic, copy writer for television advertising, and English teacher at Martha's Vineyard High School, have all revolved around the spoken and written word. Annette Sandrock is a member of Cleaveland House Poets, and her poetry has appeared in The Martha’s Vineyard Times and the Vineyard Gazette, and in the books Cleaveland House Poetry(2015), Legacy of Light: Poems for the Gay Head Lighthouse (2014), and Martha's Vineyard Poets' Collective New Work (2013). She is a passionate traveler who spends most of her time abroad in Lisbon, Portugal.


The Vineyard Haven Public Library's "Art in the Stacks" space features rotating monthly exhibits and is managed by the Friends of the Library. The library also has a permanent collection of artworks that are displayed throughout the year, including 12 paintings by Vineyard artist Captain John Ivory. Artists interested in showing their work may contact the library at (508) 696-4210.