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Mission Statement

The Pontiac Free Library strives to provide reading, entertainment, and informational resources for all our patrons in a pleasant and inviting atmosphere. We endeavor to meet the needs of our patrons by providing a well-rounded collection of leisure reading and audiovisual materials as well as reference resources in a variety of formats utilizing the latest technologies, including internet access.


Service Statement

The Pontiac Free Library primarily serves the Pontiac Village community of Warwick and surrounding areas of Warwick and Cranston. As a member of the Ocean State Libraries consortium (OSL), the Pontiac Free Library allows full access to its materials and services at no charge to all residents of Rhode Island, as well as other states who pay a yearly non-resident fee of $185.00.

The Pontiac Free Library follows the ALA Bill of Rights in making the use of the library available to any patron without discrimination because of age, gender, race, color, religion, national origin, political affiliation or physical characteristics.

The library is staffed with friendly and professional people who provide prompt and courteous service to patrons.

Confidentiality rights of all library patrons will be upheld as provided in the ALA Code of Ethics.

In keeping with the mission statement, the library purchases materials in various formats that can be used for recreational, informational or educational purposes. Such materials include books, newspapers, magazines, DVDs, audio books, museum passes, maps, e-books, and online databases.

In addition, the Pontiac Free Library offers programs for all ages, computers with internet access, word processing, and spreadsheet capabilities, The Library web site provides access to the online catalog, library program offerings, and additional online resources.

The Pontiac Free Library is a member of the Ocean State Libraries network.  We abide by the consortium policies with regard to borrowing privileges and the sharing of library materials.

Revised March 8, 2018

Interlibrary Loan Policy

The Pontiac Free Library is a member of the Ocean State Libraries (OSL) Consortium and the Library of Rhode Island (LORI).

Anyone with a library card issued at an OSL library may borrow materials from the Pontiac Free Library.

Interlibrary loan service is available to valid library card holders, except those holding local-use-only cards.  Library holdings may be requested via the OSL electronic catalog.  These include materials belonging to any public library in Rhode Island, as well as materials owned by college and university libraries that participate in the Library of Rhode Island network (LORI).  Availability of these items is dependent on the owning library’s policies.  Items not found in the public or LORI libraries can be requested from other colleges and universities in Rhode Island.  If the items are not found, they may be requested from out-of-state.  A one-way shipping charge may be required for out-of-state materials. We do not charge overdue fines for ILL materials returned late. Due date is usually one month, however the date is set by the owning library and therefore may be less than one month. Renewals may be requested.

Pontiac Free Library materials are available for interlibrary loan with the exception of items for which reserves are not allowed.

Approved by the Board of the Pontiac Free Library on January 26, 2016.

Revised March 8, 2018

Revised March 5, 2021


Patron Behavior Policy

The following rules are posted for the comfort, safety, and protection of all who use the library. The staff of the library reserves the right to interpret what is considered acceptable behavior within the library. We ask that all patrons, visitors, volunteers, and staff respect the building and its contents and respect others by maintaining appropriate public behavior. Please remember:

  • Appropriate attire must be worn (shoes, shirts, and bathing suit coverups required.)

  • As a courtesy to other patrons, and as a privacy issue, cell phone conversations should be taken outside the library.

  • Children under the age of 10 must be supervised by a parent, legal guardian, or responsible caregiver. Parents are responsible for their children’s behavior.

  • Impaired individuals who might require assistance in an emergency should be accompanied by a responsible person.

  • Electronic equipment should not be audible, with or without headphones/earbuds.

  • Smoking, strong odors, and powerful fragrances present health issues for some people. You will be asked to leave.

The following are not allowed on Library property:

  • Smoking, vaping, e-cigarettes, or use of tobacco in any form.

  • Eating in the library is not allowed, except in designated areas. Drinks with covers are allowed.

  • The use of profanity or other offensive language.

  • Littering. Please use trash receptacles.

  • Loud or disruptive behavior of any kind.

  • Recording, photographing, or filming persons in the library without prior consent from the library director and from the person(s) being recorded, photographed or filmed.

  • Inappropriate use of technology which violates the technology use policy.

  • Possession, use of, or acting under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any substance-abuse-related conduct.

  • Rearranging, defacing, damaging, destroying, altering, or removing library property.

  • Vandalism or deliberate destruction of another person’s items.

  • Theft of library materials or personal property. Violators will be prosecuted.

  • Verbally or physically threatening, harassing, or assaulting patrons, volunteers, or staff including stalking, staring, or lurking.

  • The use of wheeled devices in the library, including skateboards, rollerblades/roller-skates (including “heelys”), bicycles, scooters, and shopping carts. This excludes the use of wheelchairs, walkers, assistive scooters, and strollers. Bicycles should be parked at the bike rack in the parking lot.

  • Loitering and sleeping.

  • Panhandling, soliciting, or conducting surveys except as authorized by the Library.

  • Any consensual or non-consensual sexual acts including touching, obscene actions, or indecent exposure.

  • Carrying, possessing or displaying weapons is prohibited with the exception of security personnel and police officers carrying service weapons.

  • Using restroom for bathing, shampooing, or doing laundry.

  • Animals are not permitted inside the Library, except service animals, unless authorized by the director.

  • Failing to comply with a reasonable staff request.

People failing to follow these rules may be asked to leave the Library and will lose their privileges.  Action will be taken should anything interfere with another’s ability to use/enjoy the Library, or should it endanger one’s safety or health. Offenders may have their access to the Library limited for a period of time or indefinitely. Individuals who habitually violate these rules or threaten or endanger others may be banned from the Library. Library staff will enforce all Library rules and, if necessary, call for police assistance. Unlawful activities will be reported to the police.

(Approved by the Library Board of Trustees, 9/18)



Click here for Computer and Internet Policy


Pontiac Free Library Meeting Room Policies and Procedures

  1. Any organization or non-profit group (user) wishing to use the Meeting Room must complete the application form and return it to the Pontiac Free Library at least one week prior to the scheduled date. Exceptions for less than one week’s notice may be made at the discretion of the Director. The contact person designated by the organization or group will be responsible for the organization’s compliance with the rules and regulations of the Library, for the conduct of attendees of the organization’s program, and for the care and cleanliness of the Meeting Room.

  2. After reviewing the application, the Director will notify the applicant as to the availability of the room. The Meeting Room cannot be used without prior approval.

  3. If for any reason the user needs to cancel a meeting, the Director is to be notified as soon as possible. The Director reserves the right to cancel meetings due to unforeseen circumstances or emergencies.

  4. Use of the Meeting Room is only available during the library’s hours of normal operation or as arranged with the Director’s discretion.

  5. Any meetings scheduled during library operating hours must end at least fifteen minutes before the library closes to ensure that all participants will have left the library by closing time.

  6. Meeting Rooms cannot be used for profit making, fund-raising, or commercial activities unless it will benefit the Library and it is approved by the Library. In general, meetings should be open to the public. However, due to an unavailability of meeting space, the Board will allow a user to hold meetings that are restricted to its membership.

  7. The fact that a user is permitted use of the library meeting space does not in any way constitute an endorsement by Pontiac Free Library of the user’s policies or beliefs. The promotion/publicity of any non-library room use is the sole responsibility of the user. The library does not and will not prepare or issue press releases, promotional materials or otherwise promote in any way non-library sponsored meetings and programs.

  8. Smoking is not allowed in the building at any time. Open flames, flame devices, candles or theatrical smoke are not permitted.

  9. Room capacity of 60 people will be observed at all times.

  10. The user of the Meeting Room is responsible for setting up the room as well as returning the room to its original condition. The user may bring refreshments, but is responsible for cleanup, discarding all cups, cans, food, and etcetera, in the receptacles provided. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited. When meeting is over, the user is responsible for turning off the lights in the Meeting Room and notifying Library staff that the meeting has ended.

  11. Groups or organizations using the room assume responsibility for any damage to library property and will hold harmless the Board of Trustees, or any of its employees, for personal injury or property damage arising out of the use of the premises.

  12. The Library does not provide projectors, laptops, extension cords, sound equipment, or other audio-visual equipment.

  13. Users must remain aware that, when the Library is open while they are meeting, noise must be kept to within appropriate levels.

  14. The Library is not responsible for equipment, clothing, or other items left on its premises at the close of a meeting.

  15. In cases when the Meeting Room is being used during times when the Library is closed, users may not go into the library area, the basement, or the Director’s office. Only the Meeting Room, kitchen area, and public restroom is permitted.

  16. The Library reserves the right to conduct programs at any time. A library-sponsored program has priority over other uses. In the event of a scheduling conflict, users will be given as much notice as possible.

The Board of Trustees, through its designated agent, the Library Director, reserves the right to withdraw Meeting Room privileges from an individual, group, or organization not following its policies and procedures. The Board may also refuse the use of the rooms by an individual or group it its use would interfere with normal library operations.

(Approved by the Library Board of Trustees, SA 9/18.)

Click here for the Meeting Room Application Form.

Long Range Plan 2018-2023
Pontiac Free Library


Our Community

The nationally registered historic village of Pontiac, a community of approximately 4,000 residents, is situated in the northwest corner of Warwick. Pontiac is geographically separated from the rest of the city by Route I-95, the Warwick Mall and by the Pawtuxet River Valley. Water power created by dams on the Pawtuxet River led to industrialization of the district in the 19th century. The first mill in Pontiac opened in 1810. During the Civil War, fabric manufactured by the local mill was used for uniforms for soldiers. Factories replaced mills as railroads were built and steam technology came into use.

In the village of Pontiac, workers settled in homes clustered around the mill. The community continues to be made up of single and multi-family homes on quiet residential streets.  The Pontiac Free Library, All Saints Church, and a small city park with recreational facilities, and the historic Pontiac train station line one side of Greenwich Avenue and form the village center. Today, a recently constructed hotel occupies part of the mill property.  Future plans for the Pontiac Mill complex may include its potential development for commercial and residential use.

There are three apartment complexes and an assisted-living facility within a half-mile radius of the village. These apartments are occupied mainly by the elderly and people with disabilities. These residents, along with families living in the village and nearby neighborhoods of Warwick and Cranston, comprise the major portion of our library’s patrons.

In order to fulfill the needs of those living in our community and to meet changing needs, we must provide access to current information technology, an informed staff, and special programs for preschool, school age children, and adults. Educational and recreational materials offered in a variety of formats should be available for all.

Goals To Be Achieved

1.     Services

2.     Community outreach

3.     Technology

4.     Staff development

5.     Funding

6.     Evaluation


To improve services for our users:

  1. Conduct a survey of our patrons as to which services and hours of operation would best serve their needs. Use this information to determine how to best allocate our limited resources.

  2. Investigate the feasibility of expanding library hours.

  3. Continue to increase our collection of audiovisual materials.

  4. Continue to develop our collection of Large Print books for the visually impaired.

  5. Reconfigure the space to better meet changing library services.


To reach more members of our community:

  1. Increase use of the library by providing programs of interest to all age groups.

  2. Increase our online presence through the use of social media, library website, etc.

  3. Encourage use of the library by students, tutors, and homeschooling families.

  4. Continue to make our meeting room available for voting and community groups.




Recognizing that technology has become essential to every aspect of library service, the Pontiac Free Library will continue to provide our patrons with access to current technology and to evaluate the adoption of emerging technologies as appropriate for our library.

  1. Upgrade our in-house computer equipment and printers as needed.  We currently have, 3 VDI computers (virtual desktop interface), 3 desktop computers, 1 laptop computer, a networked color laser printer, and a 3-in-1 printer/scanner/fax machine. In 2 to 3 years, replace the 3 VDI computers, with desktop computers and add a printer/scanner.

  2. Track emerging technologies and analyze how best to integrate them into our services.  Research the experiences of other small libraries that provide e-book readers, tablets, etc. to patrons to determine if such services are applicable to our library.

  3. Provide additional support on an annual basis for the Ocean State Libraries E-Zone collection expansion as appropriate for our budget.

  4. Expand our website services. Improve and update our library website and social media presence using Facebook and Twitter.

  5. Offer technology training for our patrons.  Schedule training workshops and tutorials with OSL trainers or other qualified instructors.

  6. Encourage staff education and training in new technologies.  Encourage staff to attend training workshops offered by OSL and O.L.I.S.  Schedule times when staff who have received training are able to train others in-house.


To continue to support the improvement of staff professional skills:

  1. Implement a procedure for annual staff evaluation.

  2. Encourage staff participation in professional workshops.

  3. Provide training sessions for staff members in utilizing new technologies.

  4. Assess the type of skills needed by the director and staff in this changing library environment to provide the basis for training current employees and for new hires.


To increase our funding to reach the above goals:

  1. Hold additional meetings with the Bank of America Trustees for Pontiac Library and keep them informed of the need for increased funding.

  2. Continue to pursue grant opportunities.

  3. Research and pursue alternative funding sources and fundraising opportunities.

  4. Support the fundraising efforts of “Friends of Pontiac Library” and other groups.



As rapidly developing technologies are changing the nature of public libraries, it is difficult to project which services will be needed in 3 to 5 years.  The library board and staff will make an annual review of the progress made towards meeting the goals put forth in this plan.  Each objective will be assessed as to whether it has been completed or whether or not it is still relevant to our mission.  Any adjustments or changes to the Long-Range Plan that are deemed necessary will be made at that time.

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