Several policies pertaining to the Westwood Public Library are highlighted below. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Lizzy McGovern, Library Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
The Main Library has space for art exhibits and to display public notices. The Branch Library has similar, but more limited space for exhibits and notices. Library exhibits and displays are, for the most part, assembled and maintained by the Library staff.
This policy and application is for artists wishing to exhibit their work.
The Library does not endorse either side of an issue and presents exhibits and displays so that patrons can form their own opinions.
Organizations are allowed to set up cultural and educational displays provided they meet criteria established by the Board of Trustees and depending on the space available.
No notice or similar item can be displayed without permission of the Library or Board of Trustees. Exhibits and displays shall be educational and/or cultural in nature. The Library Director shall determine a display's appropriateness under this policy.
Any exhibits or displays on political candidates or ballot questions shall be assembled by the Library staff.
No organization or individual is allowed to solicit cash donations in the Library, and notices, posters, or exhibits which advertise a commercial endeavor are not permitted. Fund raising projects carried out by the Friends of the Library are permitted with approval of the Board of Trustees.
Art exhibits or displays are subject to the limitations of space, facilities, and staff time. The Library staff will provide limited assistance with assembling exhibits by outside groups. Arrangements for assistance must be made in advance.
The Friends of the Westwood Library currently welcomes for resale, donations of most gently used books and CD’s. Donations may be dropped off in the vestibule of the Main Library
Paperbacks in good condition (fiction or non-fiction)
Books published in last 5 years
Recent best sellers
Classic titles in excellent condition
We Don't Need (and can't sell at the Book Sale):
Books in poor condition: yellowed, broken bindings, musty smelling...
Reader's Digest condensed books
Dated information (old travel guides, etc)
Call ahead (781-320-1045)
Limit your donation to 1 to 2 boxes at a time
Do not bring us books we must discard
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.
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.
Library Meeting Room Statement
Meeting rooms at the Westwood Public Library are intended to provide space for library activities and for use by local, non-profit groups and organizations sponsoring civic, cultural, and educational events. The meeting room space may not be reserved by an individual or for a private event. Library 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 – capacity: 75
Conference room – capacity: 25
Children’s Program room – capacity: 50
Please note that use of the Children’s Program Room is strictly limited to organized Westwood youth programs such as the Early Childhood Council with appropriate adult supervision. Use for parties or play dates is not permitted. The room is available during normal library hours. Reservations for the Children’s Program Room are available in the Children’s Department.
The Library’s two study rooms located on the second floor are not considered meeting rooms and the rules for their use are detailed in a separate section.
For Profit Groups
The following meeting rooms are available to for profit groups:
Main Meeting room – capacity: 75
Conference room – capacity: 25
For profit groups are subject to the policies and rules outlined in this document and in the request forms for the abovementioned rooms.
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.
Rooms are assigned in order of receipt of application. Priority is given to the Library and to Town officials; the Library reserves the right to transfer a group or organization to another area or cancel a reservation if necessary.
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.
Requests for meeting rooms must be made at least three (3) days in advance of the proposed meeting. Requests may be made up to 90 days in advance in any given period. In order to provide meeting room space in a fair and equitable manner, the Library reserves the right to limit the number of meetings requested by any group in any given period. Organizations are requested to notify the Library at least 24 hours in advance of a change in a previously scheduled meeting.
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.
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. The Library staff will oversee equipment use, but are not required to troubleshoot problems with non-library equipment such as laptop computers.
The Library does not publicize non-Library sponsored events.
The Trustees will not assume responsibility for the loss or damage of property not belonging to the Westwood Public Library.
For non-profit groups and organizations, rooms are available free of charge during regular Library hours. The Main Meeting Room and the Conference Room are available for use after the Library is closed, Monday through Thursday. Organizations using the room after hours must pay a supervised closing fee. The closing fee is assessed on an hourly basis for each part of an hour after 9:00 pm. Checks must be made payable to The Town of Westwood. Failure to promptly pay the Town of Westwood for Meeting Room use will result in termination of Meeting Room privileges.
- Organizations shall follow the Rules of Conduct policy of the Westwood Public Library. Failure to adhere to this policy will be cause for either cancelation 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.
The Board of Library Trustees establishes policy concerning meeting rooms. Any decisions or interpretations of this policy will be made by the Library Director.
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.
Overdue fine is $5.00 per day.
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
The Board of Library Trustees has approved a set of general rules for conduct in the Westwood Public Library. Staff should be familiar with these rules and apply them if a situation warrants.
The aim of the Westwood Public Library is to provide high quality resources that meet the cultural, educational, and informational needs of the community, thereby enhancing the quality of life.
The Library serves the community most effectively if everyone adheres to a few simple rules.
- Whoever willfully disturbs persons assembled in a public library by making a noise or in any other manner will be asked to leave the building.*
- Please observe the NO SMOKING rule throughout the building and on Library property.*
- Consumption of food and/or drink is restricted to the Main Library's first floor Gallery area. Please put all food wrappers, bags, or drink containers in the trash receptacles.
- Under state law, it is an offense to mutilate or destroy library property.*
- Under state law, it is an offense to willfully conceal and remove any library materials or property.*
- Parents or guardians are responsible for the behavior and supervision of their young children in the Library.
- Loitering on library premises, grounds, or parking lot is not permitted.
- No solicitation of any kind may take place on library property.
- Cell phone conversations are not permitted on the Main Library's 2nd floor Adult Services Department and at the first floor Circulation Desk. Brief cell use is restricted to the first floor Children's Department and in the Gallery area.
* The following Massachusetts General Laws pertain to these rules:
Disturbances: MGL Chap. 272, Section 41; Mutilation/destruction of materials: MGL Chap. 266, Section 100; Smoking: MGL Chap. 270, Section 22
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 Sprint’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 Sprint coverage is not available, the devices will not work effectively. Click here to view the Sprint 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.
Fines are $5 per day for each day the device is kept over the 2 week period.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.
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.
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.
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