Reference assistance is a primary responsibility of the library director, head of children's services and library associates.  All library users are entitled to the help they require to make use of the library’s resources.  Trained staff will initiate a reference interview, and will actively offer help in locating information or materials in the library.  If the necessary material is not available at our library, staff will recommend interlibrary loan.  All reference requests will be followed up to determine if the response of the library satisfies the patron.
Telephone questions will be handled the same way as in person.  Information may be read over the phone, but not interpreted.  The source will always be cited.  Staff will do a “shelf check” for particular titles (limit three) or for a subject and will set aside materials for pickup, if time allows.
Directory information will be given over the phone.  The Street List is published information and staff will respond to up to three specific questions per call.  Names of neighbors of a listed address need not be given unless the caller requests them by house number. 
Legal, medical and tax information will be sought as thoroughly as other subjects but staff will not interpret or offer advice.  The Fitchburg Law Library will be the primary reference source for legal questions. Staff will refer to authoritative databases, special libraries and published “help lines” when appropriate.
XV. Freedom of Information Act Requests
The library complies with all Public Record Laws of the Commonwealth.  In the normal course of library service to the public, the library routinely provides information to be copied at a requested donation of 10 cents per page.
As allowed by state law, for requests under the Freedom of Information Act that would involve more than $25 in copying costs (including paper and staff time), the library staff will prepare a good faith estimate and require advance payment of 75% of the estimate.
As the Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law states: “the estimate should contain a statement advising the requester that the actual cost of producing the record might vary once the custodian begins preparing the record.”  Upon completion and pickup of the requested documents, the actual total cost will be known and the requester will be charged the balance due.
Applicable state guidelines are attached and will be followed.
The Town of Sterling FOIA Request Form, available on the town website, will be used.