Several policies pertaining to the Westwood Public Library are highlighted below. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Lizzy McGovern, Library Director at ehmcgovern@minlib.net. 

  • Please silence your cell phone while in the Library.
  • Phone conversations should take place in the foyer or outside either library.
  • Library staff may require that your phone conversations take place in these areas.
  • Refusal to comply may result in your being asked to leave the Library.

                                                            ART & EXHIBIT POLICY

The purpose of the library’s exhibition space is to provide artists an opportunity to display their works, and library users the opportunity to view them. The Library encourages exhibitions and displays of paintings, photographs, sculpture and other art works and crafts.The Westwood Public Library may grant permission to an individual or a group to place exhibits in the library gallery area subject to the following conditions established by the Board of Trustees: 

  • Exhibitors are chosen on a first come, first booked basis with preference given to residents of Westwood.
  • Exhibits for commercial purposes are not allowed.
  • Exhibits are accepted at the discretion of the Library Director and the Library
  • Board of Trustees or their designee.
  • The Library Board of Trustees reserves the right to decline an exhibit that is
  • considered inappropriate.
  • The library encourages displays or exhibits associated with almost any aspect of community, i.e. historical, cultural, nature and social. 
  • Displays on religious or political subjects are permitted, however proselytizing or recruitment are not allowed.
  • The content should be suitable for patrons of all age groups.
  • The art should not discourage patrons from using the Library for other purposes.
  • The library assumes no responsibility for the preservation, protection or security from damage or theft of any material displayed on the library premises. All items exhibited are done so at the owner’s risk. 
  • The decision by the library to permit use of the exhibit space does not in any way endorse or advocate viewpoints  of the exhibit or exhibitors. 
  • The library accepts requests for exhibits on an ongoing basis and maintains a schedule for specific dates for exhibition. Samples of works (in the form of actual works, images of, or other documentation) may be requested before exhibition. 

General Conditions:
Each exhibit will be displayed for one month beginning the first of the month and ending on the last day of the month. Exhibits must be free of charge and open to the public during regular Library hours.


  • The exhibitor is responsible for installing and dismantling the exhibit.
  • Installation will be within the first two days of the month and dismantling will be within the last two days of the month and must be completed during regular library hours.
  • Library staff are not available to assist the exhibitor.
  • Artworks should be framed with wire for hanging, in stable condition and should not require extraordinary procedures or equipment for maintenance or display.
  • No additional hooks, nails, or other fasteners can be attached to the walls of the
  • Library.
  • Nothing may be glued, taped or fastened directly to the walls or building.
  • Exhibitors may reserve the Library's meeting room space for a reception.
  • Use of the Meeting Room requires a separate application and is subject to the guidelines outlined in the Library's Meeting Room policy
  • Online gallery exhibit form to be completed https://www.westwoodlibrary.org/about/fall-members-exhibit/#1
  • Any use of floor space adjacent to an exhibit must not compromise or restrict access to other uses of the room. The exhibit must not impede traffic flow in the lobbies, hallways or safety exits.
  • Press releases are the responsibility of the exhibitor.
  • Library staff may not act as agents for any exhibitor.
  • Price lists and contact information can be available with the exhibit.
  • No sales may be conducted on Library property.
  • Invitations and/or flyers are the exhibitor's responsibility.



Presentation of an exhibit does not imply an endorsement of the opinions or viewpoints of the exhibitor by Westwood Public Library or the Town of Westwood.

Neither the Library Board of Trustees nor the Town of Westwood can be held responsible for any damage, loss, disappearance or theft of any artwork, exhibit item or other part of an exhibit.

The Library does not insure any exhibits and all work is displayed at the exhibitor's risk.

All exhibitors must sign a waiver accepting full responsibility for the safety of any items in the exhibit.

Neither the Westwood Public Library nor the Town of Westwood is responsible for any financial damages or bodily harm caused by, or related to the exhibit.

The Library reserves the right to disassemble an exhibit should unforeseen circumstances arise or in the event the artist does not do so by an agreed upon date.


The Friends of the Westwood Library currently welcomes for resale, donations of most gently used books and puzzles. Donations may be dropped off in the vestibule of the Main Library

The Friends of the Westwood Library currently welcomes for resale, donations of most gently used books. Donations may be dropped off in the vestibule of the Main Library. We are also accepting Puzzle donations! Donated puzzles MUST be secured in their original box with a piece of tape at the top and bottom. No damaged or incomplete puzzles please. 

We Like:

Hardcover and Paperbacks in good condition (fiction or non-fiction)
Books published in last 5 years
Recent best sellers
Classic titles in excellent condition
Book and Puzzle Donations

Below is a list of what we do not accept.

Textbooks, dictionaries, encyclopedias
Torn, discolored, creased, moldy or warped books
Highlighted or annotated books
Travel over 3 years (no atlases please)
Music CDS
DVD’s, video cassettes'

The FOL has a bin placed behind the Senior Center that accepts books that we can’t resell at the library. Please donate your dictionaries, textbooks, encyclopedias, and older travel books at this location. 

Helpful Hints:

Call ahead (781-320-1045)

Limit your donation to 1 to 2 boxes at a time

Do not bring us books we must discard

Tax Receipt:

If you would like a receipt, count the items you are donating. We can give a signed, dated receipt for the number of items, but cannot assess the value.

Thank You:

Your useable gift allows the Library to add valuable items to the collection. The items we cannot use are sold at Friends of the Westwood Library book sales (proceeds benefit the Library). 

The Library provides free access to the Internet from its public computers and on its wireless network.  Internet resources are available on the Library’s web site, on the Minuteman Library Network site, and by searching the web.  In establishing access to electronic resources, the Board of Library Trustees is guided by the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and a supplemental document entitled Access to Electronic Information, Services, and Networks.

While much of the information on the Internet is valuable and enriching, there may be material that is controversial, offensive, erroneous, or illegal.  The Westwood Public Library does not monitor, and has no control over information accessed through the Internet, and is not liable for its content, presentation, or use. The Library does not filter Internet access, but requires all users to observe acceptable use guidelines.  People with concerns about Internet content should speak with the staff or Library Director.

A complete copy of the Internet Policy is available at either the Main or Branch Library.


Meeting Room Policy

Library Meeting Room Statement

The Westwood Public Library’s meeting rooms are available at no charge for use by community groups for educational, cultural, informational, or civic meetings and programs when not needed for library or Town of Westwood purposes. 

However, such meetings must always follow the library’s Standard of Conduct policy to create and maintain a safe, comfortable and peaceful environment in which all patrons and staff may use, share and enjoy the Library’s resources. No use of meeting rooms will be allowed that is likely to disturb library patrons in entering and using library facilities, impede library staff in the performance of their duties, or endanger the library building or collection. The meeting room space may not be reserved by an individual or for a private event. Library or town sponsored activities have priority in consideration of the rooms. 

Meeting rooms are available to groups on an equitable basis. Granting permission to an organization to hold a meeting at the Library does not in any way constitute an endorsement by the Library of the content of the program of that meeting or of that organization’s policies or beliefs.

Available Meeting Rooms

The following meeting rooms are available for public use:

Main Meeting room (The Roche Brothers Community Meeting Room) – capacity: 75

Conference room (The Dedham Savings Conference Room) – capacity: 25

Please note that use of the Children’s Program Room is strictly limited to organized Westwood youth library programs and certain collaborations with town departments such as the Early Childhood Council. Use for parties or play dates is not permitted. 



Eligibility for Meeting Room Use Without a Fee

When the meeting room is not in use for Library sponsored programs, Westwood based non-profit community groups, and all Westwood Town Departments and Boards may request to use the space for no fee.

All meetings and programs must be open to the public if the room use fee has been waived.

Eligibility for Meeting Room Use With a Fee

When the meeting room is not in use for Library sponsored programs, non Westwood based non- profit groups and other organizations may request to use the space for a fee defined in this policy.  The fees may be waived at the discretion of the Library Director. 

Reservation Policy

Requests to use the meeting rooms must be made in advance by a Westwood resident using the Library’s Meeting Room Request form available online. Request forms must be submitted and approved by Library Administration before any reservations can be confirmed. The Library may require additional information before granting room requests.

Meeting rooms will be scheduled according to the following priorities:

Library related meetings or programs

Municipal related meetings or programs

Other government departments and agencies

Local non-profit community groups

Other non-profit group and organizations

Reservations for all meeting rooms will be handled by the Library. Applications are available on the Library website (www.Westwoodlibrary.org). All applications will be approved or disapproved by the Library at its sole discretion; an application for use does not assure approval.

The Library Director may rescind permission or refuse to grant permission for any meeting room request if there is reason to believe that such use will subject the Library to undue costs or subject the Library operations to undue disruption

Applications may only be submitted by adults over the age of 18. The request form must be submitted by an adult (18 years or more) who, jointly and severally with his or her organization and its members, assumes full responsibility for the conduct of the events, its participants, and compliance with this policy. This responsibility extends to liability for damage to property or equipment of the Library and any third parties. It further extends to responsibility for any extra costs, including, but not limited to, custodial clean-up or repairs, police protection the Library deems necessary because of either anticipated or unanticipated problems related to the reservation. The Library Trustees and the Town are not responsible for any financial loss or injury to any person or organization arising out of a reservation or room use.

Meeting room use applications must be made at least 3 days in advance and up to three months in advance.

In order to ensure equitable access for all eligible applicants, no more than three repeating meetings may be submitted in advance unless they are no more frequent than monthly, without advance permission from the Library Director.

If an applicant must cancel a meeting room reservation, at least 24 hours notice should be given. Refunds of fees will only be provided if one week notice of cancellation is provided. Any applicant that fails to honor its reservation of meeting space without notification of canceling will forfeit the right to reschedule and will still be responsible for any fees.

The Library is not responsible for the cancellation of approval for use of meeting rooms in case of emergency (i.e. storm, power failure), which results in the closing of the Library, and thus the meeting rooms.

On the rare occasion that the Library finds it must use a meeting room unexpectedly for Library or governmental purposes, even though a non-Library meeting has been previously scheduled, the Library will make every effort to schedule an alternate time for the non-Library meeting. A refund will be issued if a fee was required.

Use of Meeting Rooms

All community meetings held in the Library meeting rooms must be open to the public. Meeting rooms may not be used for social activities, private parties, commercial endeavors or gatherings which advertise a product or service.

Groups using the rooms may not charge a fee for attendance or offer items for sale. The sale of items is only permitted by the Friends of the Westwood Public Library, with the permission of the Board of Library Trustees.

Use of the rooms may include use of the facilities in the kitchen off the meeting room. Each group will be responsible for leaving rooms in a clean and orderly fashion.

The Main Meeting Room and the Conference Room have projection, sound and Internet capability. Use of equipment for a meeting must be indicated on the Meeting Room Request form.

 Library audio visual/presentation equipment may not be compatible with all devices so compatibility should be tested prior to the meeting presentation.

A reasonable degree of training of the equipment from library staff may be arranged prior to using the meeting spaces. Library staff may, at their discretion, consider the attendee trained to use our equipment. Use of this equipment must be reserved ahead of time during the application process. The library does not provide dongles or special cords and library staff are not necessarily available to assist with setup or troubleshooting during the event. 

The Library does not publicize non-Library sponsored events. Groups using the meeting room for non-Library events must clearly communicate that the library is not a sponsor in their advertising and delivery. This must be done by advertising “Presented by [group name]” and “held at the Westwood Public Library”. Westwood Public Library must not be listed as a host or sponsor on any flyers, social media posts, and other advertising. 

The Trustees will not assume responsibility for the loss or damage of property not belonging to the Westwood Public Library.

Meeting rooms can only be reserved for times and days when the library is open. All meetings must end at the time scheduled. All meetings must end at least 15 minutes before closing. Meetings held in the Community Room may be scheduled beyond library hours, but only with prior approval of the Library Director or his/her designee. 


Organizations shall follow the Rules of Conduct policy of the Westwood Public Library. Failure to adhere to this policy will be cause for either cancellation of future meetings or a request to suspend the meeting.

Alcoholic beverages, smoking, lit candles, or other open flames are not permitted anywhere in the building including the meeting rooms.

Refreshments may be served only inside the meeting rooms, not in adjacent areas. All meeting activities must be confined to the meeting room.

The kitchen adjacent to the main Meeting Room is available for serving light refreshments. The user is responsible for leaving the kitchen clean or be subject to a cleaning fee.

Organizations must provide their own supplies. The Library does not have space to store organization supplies.

Decorations and/or displays must be limited to tables or easels. No materials are to be posted or attached to the walls. Materials on display in the meeting rooms are not to be moved, covered, or rearranged.

Meetings where crafts, floral arrangements or other art is assembled are required to leave the room in an orderly manner.

Solicitation of business or encouragement of library patrons to participate in the meeting room activity is not allowed. Meetings may not disturb library patrons, impede library staff or endanger the library building or collection. 

For security reasons all people must enter the Library by the front door. For after hours meetings all people must use the designated exit.


Responsibility for Damage and Free and Harmless Requirement

By agreeing to the meeting room Terms and Conditions, the applicant, acting for the group or organization, accepts responsibility for any damage to Town Property. The applicant, acting for the group or organization, also agrees to keep the Town of Westwood, the Board of Trustees, the Library Director, their agents and employees forever free and harmless, and indemnified against costs or expense arising out of any accident or other occurrence causing injury to any persons or property as a result of the use of the above premises as set forth in the Town’s RELEASE AND WAIVER OF LIABILITY AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT which can be provided upon request. 

The Board of Library Trustees establishes policy concerning meeting rooms. 

Any decisions or interpretations of this policy will be made by the Library Director

Approved May 2024

Reserve Museum Passes Online!  You can now reserve your own museum pass online by selecting a specific museum or by selecting a specific date.

CLICK HERE to reserve your museum pass.

Please note: Passes do not provide discounts for museum store purchases or parking, nor do they cover any special exhibit fees.


  • Museum passes are available for WESTWOOD RESIDENTS and town employees only; residents and employees must have a valid Minuteman Library Card in order to borrow passes.
  • Passes may be reserved up to 30 days in advance in person or by phone 781-326-7562.  
  • Passes may be picked up at the  Circulation Desk the day before use or anytime on the day of use. A Library Card in good standing must be presented.
  • Passes are due back the same day they are used and must be returned only to the WESTWOOD PUBLIC LIBRARY. Passes may be returned at the Circulation Desk or in the book return when the Library is closed.

The Westwood Public Library frequently takes photos of its public programs, activities, and their participants. Please be aware that these photos may be used in brochures, flyers, web pages, news releases, or other promotional materials. Those wishing not to be photographed or recorded should inform the photographer or library staff

Need WiFi on the go? Check out a mobile hotspot from the Westwood Public Library!

The Library now offers Mobile Beacon 4G mobile hotspots. Internet service is provided on TMobile's 4G LTE network allowing library patrons access to high-speed internet service anywhere a cell phone signal can be received.  Up to 10 devices can be connected, with unlimited data. Please note that if TMobile's coverage is not available, the devices will not work effectively. Click here to view the TMobile's coverage map.

Why would you want to borrow a hotspot?

You’re thinking about taking a road trip, a vacation, or a business trip?

You don’t have unlimited data with your phone plan, but need to get on the internet?

You do not have internet access at home, but need to use the internet when the library is closed.

How can I borrow a hotspot?

WiFi Hotspots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.  These can be placed on hold using the Minuteman Catalog, similar to placing holds on traditional library items.  The initial checkout period is 14 days.  These are not date specific, and they can be renewed up to 2 times (based on availability if no other patrons are waiting).   

WiFi Hotspots Policy and Requirements

You must be a Westwood resident or employee of the Town of Westwood and at least 18 years of age.

You must have a valid Library card in good standing, with a current address on file, and not have fines over $10.

The Library is not responsible for any liabilities, damage or expense resulting from use or misuse of the device, connection of the device to other electronic devices, or any loss of data resulting from use of device.

Any use of the device for illegal purposes, unauthorized copying of copyright-protected material in any format, or transmission of threatening, harassing, defamatory or obscene materials is strictly prohibited.

Internet filtering is NOT provided through the Hotspot.Parents/Guardians are responsible for monitoring what their children access via the Library’s Hotspot.

Borrowers may not change settings on this Wifi Hotspot. Tampering with library equipment, software, or programming, including bypass security functions, is prohibited.

Wifi Hotspots are for use in the continental U.S. only.

Lbrary staff are unable to provide technical assistance with the Hotspots. For technical issues, please visit the Sprint website for their mobile hotspot user guide.

Your Internet usage is not tracked by the Library or the service provider. The Library does not provide patron information to the service provider. The only data about the hotspot program that the Library collects is the total amount of data transmitted and received by each device during a billing cycle.

The Hotspot should be kept in a temperature controlled environment.Please do not leave it in your car!

Hotspots will not work internationally!They only work in the continental U.S. where Sprint coverage is available.

Loan Rules and Duration

Hotspots may be checked out for 2 weeks.

Hotspots are available for pick up at Circulation Desk.

Overdue hotspots will have Internet access deactivated within 24 hours beyond their due date Hotspots that are not returned will result in a replacement fee charge of $50.

Hotspots may not be returned in the Book Return, they must be returned at the Westwood Public Library – Circulation Desk.

Borrowers are limited to one Hotspot checkout, per household, per month.

Patrons are responsible for costs associated with loss or damage of the Mobile Hotspot and/or peripherals.

A. Purpose

The Westwood Public Library exists to serve the needs of the public for information, informal education, leisure pursuits, and all activities that further individuals in their growth and understanding of themselves and the world around them. To this end, the library provides educational, recreational, and cultural materials for use by the community.

In meeting these goals, the library assembles and makes available a collection of books, periodicals, audio and video materials, and digital items, etc. Materials are selected for purchase, accepted as gifts, and discarded under the general guidance of the library staff, which operates within the framework of policies determined by the Board of Library Trustees.

The Westwood Public Library is aware of its responsibility to reflect both local needs and the broader traditions shared by all people. The scope of the collection shall be inclusive and present different points of view.  An effort shall be made to appeal to all demographic groups recognizing that informed citizens are essential in a democracy. The Board of Trustees delegates responsibility for selection of the library’s collection to the Library Director. Under the guidance of the Library Director, library staff members with at least a Masters’ level education in Library Science or equivalent experience select new materials and make decisions regarding material retention in accordance with the following policy. Inclusion of any item does not constitute an endorsement of its contents or viewpoint by the library staff or Board of Trustees.

The​ ​Westwood Public ​Library​ ​endorses​ ​the​ ​Library​ ​Bill​ ​of​ ​Rights​ ​and​ ​Freedom​ ​to​ ​Read​ ​Statement, two​ ​documents​ ​issued​ ​by​ ​the​ ​American​ ​Library​ ​Association.​ ​Included​ ​in​ ​these​ ​statements​ ​is​ ​the commitment​ ​to​ ​honor​ ​the​ ​rights​ ​of​ ​an​ ​individual​ ​to​ ​use​ ​the​ ​library​ ​regardless​ ​of​ ​age,​ ​race, religion,​ ​national​ ​origin,​ ​background​ ​or​ ​social​ ​or​ ​political​ ​views.​ ​Accordingly,​ ​the​ ​staff​ ​of​ ​the library​ ​provides​ ​equal​ ​service​ ​to​ ​all​ ​library​ ​users. 

B.      Specific Criteria/ Selection 

The Westwood Public Library collects materials in a variety of formats (print, audiovisual, physical and digital). The major considerations in selecting and providing access to materials are the educational, informational, and recreational needs of library users.

Selection is a critical and interpretive process. Professional or otherwise credentialed reviews are the principal tool used in the selection of library materials. Staff members selecting library materials are also assisted by bibliographic review publications, authoritative discussions of the subject, publisher and vendor advertising and demonstrations, and requests of library patrons.

In selecting materials for the Westwood Public Library, the following criteria will be used as they apply:

  •  contemporary significance, current usefulness or interest
  •  authority and competence of presentation
  • importance as an historical record or of permanent value
  • relevance to existing collections
  • presentation of all views on controversial issues
  • physical quality of format and binding
  • cost in relation to expected use, the individual title, and the overall collection
  • balance of special group interest with general demand

The library welcomes suggestions from patrons and recognizes the importance of responding to individual requests. Consideration of requested material will be based upon the preceding criteria and other pertinent sections of the Collection Development Policy. Items not purchased by the library will be obtained through the Minuteman Library Network or inter-library loan whenever possible.

It is the function and duty of the library to provide objective material on controversial issues. The material should represent a variety of viewpoints so that each individual may have free access to thinking on all sides of an issue in order to make his or her own decision. Since no adequate criteria exist for judging controversial material, the professional staff exercises its judgment in determining which material will meet the popular demand, and yet preserve the balance of the collection. 

Selection of materials for adults will not be inhibited by the possibility that such materials may be accessible to minors. Decisions relating to a minor’s choice of materials are ultimately the responsibility of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

         1. Children's Materials

The children's collection is made up of materials designed to meet the educational, informational, and recreational needs of children from infancy through the eighth grade, as well as adults concerned with this age group. Children's materials are selected using the same-basic guidelines followed in the selection of adult materials. Although materials in the Children's Department generally meet the needs of children, the resources of the adult collection are available for their use in accordance with Article 5 of the Library Bill of Rights.

The library recognizes that in its selection for children the decision about which book is suitable for a particular child cannot be based on age alone. Books that are too mature for some children may be appropriate for others of the same age. It is considered the responsibility of parents to determine what their children may read and selection of materials for the children's collection is not restricted by the possibility that children may obtain material that their parents consider inappropriate.

         2. Young Adult Materials

Young​ ​adult​ ​materials​ ​are​ ​selected​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Teen Services’ ​Librarian​ ​on​ ​the​ ​basis​ ​of recommendations​ ​by​ ​recognized​ ​authorities​ ​in​ ​the​ ​field​ ​of​ ​young​ ​adult​ ​literature;​ ​specific​ ​review sources​ ​such​ ​as​ ​​Kirkus, School Library Journal​,​ ​​Booklist​,​ ​etc.​ ​and​ ​the​ ​criteria​ ​listed​ ​above.​ ​Young​ ​adult​ ​literature​ ​ranges greatly​ ​in​ ​maturity​ ​levels​ ​and​ ​accordingly​ ​this​ ​collection​ ​will​ ​represent​ ​choices​ ​for​ ​a​ ​broad​ ​range of​ ​ages​ ​and​ ​interests.​ ​The​ ​young​ ​adult​ ​user​ ​of​ ​the​ ​library​ ​has​ ​access​ ​to​ ​the​ ​library’s​ ​entire collection.​ ​Any​ ​limitations​ ​placed​ ​upon​ ​the​ ​reading​ ​materials​ ​of​ ​the​ ​young​ ​adult​ ​are​ ​left​ ​to​ ​the discretion​ ​of​ ​parents. 

       3. Islington Branch Library

The Main library on High Street and the Islington Branch (the “Branch”) comprise the public library system in Westwood. While both libraries seek to fulfill the goals described on page one, the approach taken does differ. Based on an understanding of the make-up of Westwood's communities and in order to maintain a broad offering to patrons while preventing unnecessary duplication of services, concentration of resources has been allocated as follows:

  •  General Reading. The Main library contains the central book collection. Efforts are directed towards maintaining a representative sampling throughout the Dewey classification with special emphasis on areas where patron interest is high. Titles of continuing importance to the history of humankind and civilization are also seen as vital to the Main library collection. The Branch devotes the majority of its resources to a collection focused on current and popular materials. Staff are closely guided in purchasing by patron reading habits and demand. In order to meet these goals, titles may be sometimes purchased for one location only; all materials are available to patrons regardless of location.
  •  Periodicals. The Main library has a broad collection of current periodicals for research and loan. Back issues are kept according to informational quality and patron demand. The Branch maintains a collection of popular magazine titles. Both libraries make use of periodical databases provided through the Minuteman Library Network and other resources to satisfy patron requests for articles not owned by Westwood.

          4. Gifts

Gifts to the collection can be made in the form of money or actual materials. Gifts of books and other materials may be accepted by the library with the understanding that they will be considered for addition to the collection in accordance with the Materials Selection section of this policy. Donations must be outright and unconditional. All gifts that become part of the general collection are subject to the Materials Retention section of this policy, and the designated selectors will determine appropriate circulation procedures.

          5. Local Authors

Local authors are defined as writers who currently reside or have spent a significant part of their lives in Westwood or the adjacent towns. Pending evaluation, the library may accept one donated copy of a local author’s work and place it in the Local Author section if it is an Adult book or in the appropriate Youth or Teen collection if it is a Youth or Teen book. All donated works are subject to the same criteria for removal as other materials. Items requested by the author to be purchased by the library are subject to the same collection development criteria as any other work. If an item is considered relevant to local history, it may be placed with the Local History Collection instead of the Local Author Collection.

          6. Local History 

The Local History Collection is a non-circulating specialized collection that aims to preserve materials that document the history of Westwood and make materials available to researchers and the general public both at the library and online. The major emphasis of the collection is information pertaining to Westwood, with a secondary emphasis on the surrounding areas, including Dedham, Dover, etc. 

Works are collected if they are relevant to the history and culture of Westwood and/or the surrounding areas, and may include both print and electronic formats. Resources include high school yearbooks, telephone directories, published books, and unpublished manuscripts, newspaper archives, and primary source materials. These items are preserved by various methods as necessary. Preservation methods are determined by the staff member in charge of the collection.

Items and papers originally owned and used by local residents will be considered for the collection if the items contain local information that is otherwise unavailable or hold great historical significance to the community. 

Items in the Local History Collection are withdrawn based on the guidelines in the Gift Agreement, if there are multiple copies, or the condition is so poor that repairing is not cost-effective.

          7. Self-Published Titles

Titles​ ​that​ ​are​ ​self-published,​ ​even​ ​if​ ​available​ ​via​ ​mainstream​ ​distributors,​ ​will​ ​be​ ​added​ ​only​ ​if they​ ​meet​ ​the​ ​library’s​ ​selection​ ​criteria.

          8. Library of Things

The purpose of the Library of Things is to provide diverse opportunities for learning and engagement. To further this goal, the Library of Things may include:

  • Home Improvement and Assistive Devices, such as a Kill-A-Watt meter and a hotspot (internet service) Music and Audiovisual Equipment, digital video camera, analog to digital conversion equipment, and musical instruments
  • Science and Technology Kits, such as a digital microscope, telescopes, simple robotics
  • Puzzles and Games, such as board games, card games, group games, and jigsaw puzzles
  • Children's Learning Kits: kits that circulate out of the Children's Room designed to promote early literacy skills such as talking, writing, playing, critical thinking, and problem solving

The Library of Things is not intended to be comprehensive and the library is limited by a finite amount of storage space for these items.

C. Retention of Collections

In order to retain relevant and reliable collections, in the space available, librarians must regularly evaluate and withdraw materials. Materials are withdrawn when they are no longer of value to the community using criteria that include, but are not limited to, lack of interest, poor condition, unnecessary duplication, or inaccurate or outdated information. Withdrawn materials are saved for Friends or library book sales, donated to other institutions, or discarded. The library does not make arrangements to sell or give withdrawn materials directly to specific patrons.

D. Reconsideration of Materials

The selection of materials is predicated on the library user’s right to access materials and the library user’s freedom from censorship by others. Selections are made based on the merits of the work in relation to the fulfillment of the library mission and the materials selection portion of this policy. The addition of an item to the collection in no way represents an endorsement by the library of any theory, idea, or policy contained in it.

Request for reconsideration of library materials form.

The library recognizes that some materials address issues that some individuals may find controversial. No item, however, will be removed from the collection for the sole reason that the philosophy, perspective, ideas, or view contained in the item is opposed by the individual requesting reconsideration.

Library patrons may request reconsideration of any material as follows:

  • Discussion with the manager of the department in which the material is located
  • If not satisfied, discussion with the Library Director
  • If not satisfied, completion of a Request for Reconsideration which will be given to the Library Board of Trustees (see appendix II)

The Board of Trustees will apply the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement (see Appendix I) in addition to the selection criteria of this policy in all such matters. The Board of Trustees will make a ruling on whether the material in question will be retained, relocated, or removed and the patron requesting reconsideration will be notified as to the decision within a reasonable amount of time. The material in question will remain in the collection pending the decision of the Library Board of Trustees.

Approved March 14th, 2022 by the Westwood Public Library Board of Trustees 

Fine Free Policy

Libraries across the nation have demonstrated that imposing late fees on patrons is not an effective deterrent to the return of late materials. Instead, it commonly creates barriers to library use. In the interest of overcoming these barriers and providing open access to all our patrons, the Westwood Public Library has adopted a fine-free policy with regard to our materials.


  • You will no longer receive an overdue fine for late returns or renewals of all borrowed items. 
  • You are still responsible for returning your items, so that others may enjoy them.
  • We will email you reminders to return your items.
  • You will be billed for items that are 4 weeks overdue. If you return the item, the bill will be cleared from your account.

Late Materials

While traditional fines will not accrue, a replacement cost will be charged if an item is not returned within 28 days past the due date. If a lost item is located within 30 days of being paid for by cash or check, patrons may return the item and request a refund of the replacement cost. After this period, materials are the patron's property, and replacement fees will not be refunded. Items paid for online are not eligible for a refund at any time.

Replacements may be accepted for lost or damaged items. Patrons should contact the library directly if they wish to purchase a replacement item in lieu of paying the replacement cost. Westwood Public Library cannot facilitate the fees or replacements of other library’s materials in the Minuteman Network. Westwood Public Library cannot make policies governing materials belonging to other libraries. Please contact the owning library directly about replacements or fees. 

Patrons with charges for items exceeding the maximum amount set by the Minuteman Library Network will have their account blocked until related fees have been paid or have been satisfactorily worked out with the library director/library staff.

If an item is late due to being lost or damaged, patrons should notify the Westwood Public Library. Library staff will work with patrons to extend due dates (when possible and within reason) for missing items. 

Electronic Notices

Email, text, or other electronic communication will be sent to patrons to remind them of upcoming due dates and for overdue/billed notices. To ensure you receive these messages, please provide an up-to-date email address and/or sign up for text notifications. Not receiving library notices does not negate the patron’s responsibility for returning library items.

Prior Late Fines
All late fines existing before the adoption of this policy will be waived. Lost/damaged item charges will remain.

Approved by Board of Library Trustees, October 2023 

Westwood Public Library

Acceptable Behavior Policy


The Westwood Public Library is open to all; a judgment-free space for everyone, shared by the community and used by many different people for many different reasons. The Library expects each of our facilities to be clean, comfortable, and safe places for community use. To this end, the Library is responsible for establishing rules of conduct to protect the rights and safety of Library patrons, volunteers, and staff, and for preserving and protecting the Library’s materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds.


To ensure individuals' rights to use the library free of disruption, library patrons shall be engaged in activities associated with the use of a public library while in the building. 


Use of the Library requires respect for others who are also enjoying the Library facilities and services. Parents and caregivers are responsible for the supervision of their children. Please see the Children and Teens in the Library policy for detailed guidelines. 

The following activities are inappropriate to the library setting and are prohibited in the library or on its grounds:

  • Smoking, including electronic smoking devices in the Library or on the premises
  • Disruptive behavior, such as creating loud noises, loud talking, screaming, or banging on computer keyboards
  • Entering the Library barefooted, without a shirt, with offensive body odor or personal hygiene, or being otherwise attired so as to be disruptive to the Library environment
  • Possession or the use of alcohol, illegal drugs, or recreational drugs
  • Possession of weapons including but not limited to: knives, clubs, guns, and blades
  • Bicycles or scooters in any Library public area except in designated areas
  • Wearing roller skates/blades in the library; Bringing bicycles or skateboards inside the building, or using them on the outdoor stairs or walkways
  • Running around the building, jumping from stairways and furniture, climbing the outside of stairways
  • Misuse of restrooms (including but not limited to using them for bathing, shampooing, or doing laundry)
  • Bringing animals into the Library, except service animals and those part of library programming
  • Verbally or physically threatening behavior
  • Moving furniture
  • Lying down or appearing to be sleeping in the Library; having feet on furniture; or blocking aisles, exits or entrances
  • Abusing or defacing library materials (including library-owned hardware or software)
  • Misusing computers
  • Interfering with another person’s right to use the library or with the library staff’s performance of their duties
  • Soliciting or canvassing of any kind, except for ballot question petitions and nomination papers and only in lobby of both branches (please see Addendum A on specifications) 
  • Entering areas designated “Staff Only”
  • Leaving a child under the age of 10 unattended in the library 
  • Theft of library materials, use of false identification to obtain a library card, or use of another person’s library card without permission is against state law and may be prosecuted

Additionally, failure to comply with the library’s Acceptable Behavior Policy may result in a patron being asked to leave the library. If a patron does not leave when asked, the Westwood Policy Department will be notified.

Addendum A

Petitions and Nomination Papers

Both the United States and Massachusetts Constitutions protect the right to solicit signatures on nomination papers and ballot question petitions in a reasonable and unobtrusive manner in open public areas. This includes the public areas of municipal property as well as the common areas of privately owned shopping centers. Distribution of printed material in connection with signature solicitation is also protected. The right of signature solicitation (along with other free-speech activities) on municipal sidewalks, in parks and in similar open public areas is clear. Hague v. CIO, 307 U.S. 496, 515-16 (1939).

In Batchelder v. Allied Stores International. Inc., 388 Mass. 83, 445 N.E.2d 590 (1983) the Supreme Judicial Court held that Article 9 of the Massachusetts Constitution protects the right to solicit signatures, and to distribute related printed material, in the common areas of privately owned shopping centers, subject to reasonable regulations. At least the same amount of protection must apply on municipal property that is regularly open to the general public for municipal business.

Therefore, ballot-access and nomination paper signature solicitation must be allowed on municipal property that is regularly open to the general public for municipal business, subject only to reasonable time, place and manner regulations.

In keeping with these protections, the Westwood Public Library allows the collection of signatures for nomination papers, petitions, etc. in the library building, subject to conditions set by the Library Director or their designee, as long as the collectors do not violate Mass. General Law, Chapter 272, Section 41, which prohibits disturbing people in a public library "by making noise or in any other manner."

To this end, the Library Director designates the lobby and walkways as areas in which signatures may be collected, and requires that the person(s) collecting signatures may neither interfere with the ongoing activities of the library, nor prevent library users from freely entering or leaving the building.

Nomination papers should not be left unattended in any public building as it could be construed as using public funds (such as a table or town owned pens) to support a candidate. No nomination papers may be left unattended at the Westwood Public Library.

Children and Teens in the Library Policy

The Westwood Library encourages children and teens to use the Library. We are committed to providing excellent service, as well as materials and programming opportunities for kids age 0-18.
In order to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for all families, we have provided the following policies. Please note, the extent to which these policy guidelines will be enforced will be based on the individual child’s behavior, considerations for the child’s safety and welfare, and the child’s ability to observe behavior guidelines, as determined by library staff.

General Behavior Guidelines

●  Do not leave personal belongings unattended. The library is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

●  Food and Drink is limited to the Gallery area of the library.

●  The Westwood Library Children’s Program room is only for official or booked library programs. The public should not enter unless a librarian is present.

●  Use of restrooms in the Children’s Department is restricted to Children ages 12 and younger, or adults with children. All others must use the restroom in other areas of the library, such as the gallery or the second floor.

●  Children’s Department bathrooms are equipped with changing tables. All diapers must be changed in the bathrooms only, and not in public spaces. Diapers should be taken with you instead of left in the bathroom trash can. Plastic bags are provided.

●  Shirt and shoes must be worn on the library premises for all children ages 3 and up.

Supervision of Children and Teens in the Library

●  Children and teens in the library are expected to follow the Behavior Guidelines of the Westwood Public Library. Children and their parents or care-givers should be aware that children are subject to the same policies as adult patrons and may be asked to leave the library or lose library privileges if they do not observe these policies. If a patron, including a child, refuses to leave the library when asked, the Westwood Police department will be notified.

●  The Library is open to a wide cross-section of the public, similar to a shopping mall or a supermarket. Library staff are concerned about your child’s safety but cannot substitute for parents or teachers, or childcare providers. The responsibility for the safety and behavior of children in the Library rests with the parents, legal guardians, or other responsible caregivers. Library staff are not responsible for the care and safety of unsupervised or unattended children in the library. The Library does not provide transportation, babysitting, or day care services. Parents and Caregivers are expected to assume responsibility for the behavior of their children while in the library. Such responsibility includes the parental exercise to bring disruptive behavior under control.

●  Unaccompanied Adults in the Children’s and Teen Area of the Library. For the safety of children in the library, adults unaccompanied by children are asked to remain in the adult section of the library unless they are actively using the collection. Out of concern for the safety of young patrons, adults who are unaccompanied by a child or children in the children's area of the Library may be questioned by staff, and may be asked to move to another area of the Library. Unaccompanied adults in the Teen area may also be asked to leave the space if they are not actively using the collection.

●  Unaccompanied Children. In accordance with Massachusetts General Law 119, Section 39 children under the age of 10 may not be left unattended in the Library. Children 10 and over should still not be left in the library for an extended period of time without supervision or guidance from a caregiver or adult, as well as a reliable way to contact them. If a child under the age of 10 is left unattended and we are unable to locate the parents or caregivers, the Westwood Police department will be notified.

●  Children over 10. Although they are old enough to be at the library without adult supervision, tweens and teens are expected to conduct themselves in a way that does not interfere with other library patrons or staff. They should be familiar with the behavior guidelines and should have a way to contact their caregivers at any time. Library staff will ask tweens and teens to leave the library if they are not following behavior guidelines and will not notify caregivers first.

Technology use in the Children’s Department and the Teen Room

●  Computers in the Children’s department are reserved for use by children aged 5-12 years old. Children under 5 should be accompanied by an adult. All other users should use the computers in the adult section of the library.

●  Computers in the Teen Room are reserved for use by kids aged 11-18. All other users should use the computers in the adult section of the library or in the Children’s Department if under 11 years old.

●  All patrons must comply with the library’s Internet Acceptable Use Policy. Because of its international character, however, there is no external monitoring of the Internet. Library staff do not monitor or supervise internet access. Parents and guardians, NOT the library staff, are responsible for the Internet information selected and or accessed by their children. It is the library’s policy that parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding what is appropriate for their children to view on the Internet.

●  Computer users in the library, including children 5-18, should expect privacy during their time on the computer. In practice, this means that other patrons should not look over their shoulder or interfere, unless invited by the patron.

●  Headphones should be used at all times on both public and personal computers, so as not to disturb others in the library.

●  Brief cell phone conversations are allowed in the Children’s and Teen Rooms. The use of cell phones should not disturb other Library users. Cell phone ringers should be silent. Volume on videos, music or Facetime calls should not be audible to other patrons.

●  Programming for babies, toddlers and preschoolers are designed to be parent or caregiver-child programs. The parent or caregiver must stay close to their child and ensure they are interacting with their peers in a safe and friendly manner. Cell phones or other technology should not be used during these programs.

●  If a child is attending a program that the library staff has deemed for children only, such as a STEAM program or bookclub, parents must stay on the library premises if their child is under the age of 10. This is in accordance with the library unaccompanied age policy.

●  Parents of children 10 and older are permitted to leave the library during a program, but must ensure that the child has a way to contact them.

●  Library staff expect children of all ages attending programs to adhere to acceptable library behavior guidelines. Parents and caregivers are responsible for the behavior of young children with whom they attend programs.

●  For kids aged 5-11 who are attending programs without parental supervision, they are also expected to follow library behavior guidelines. If staff deems a child’s behavior is disrupting the program for other participants, the caregiver will be notified and the child will be asked to leave.

● In programs designed for kids aged 11 and up, parents will not be notified if a child is deemed disruptive. Instead, the child will simply be asked to leave the program.