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Access To Library Materials and Services Policy


All of the West Warwick Public Library's resources and services are provided equally to all library users. Parents or guardians are responsible for their children's use of library resources and services.
On this page you will find the library's rules and polices on the following topics: 

Library Cards

Apply in person at the:

West Warwick Public Library
1043 Main St.
West Warwick, RI 02893

When applying for a library card, two forms of identification are required; one needs to have the patron's current address. For children under the age of twelve the library will accept one piece of identification with the child's name and one with the family's name and current address. A parent or guardian must sign the child's application.

Some acceptable forms of identification are:
  • Current driver's license or Rhode Island State ID
  • Auto registration
  • Postmarked mail
  • Report card
  • Birth certificate
  • Checkbook
  • Passport
  • Lease agreement

    • Always bring your OSL card with you when you visit the library.
    • There is a $1.00 replacement fee for a lost or stolen card.
    • You are responsible for all materials borrowed on your library card from the time they are checked out until they are checked in.
    • Please report a lost or stolen card immediately to avoid responsibility for unauthorized use.
    • When you sign the back of the library card, you agree to uphold the contract that appears on each card.
    • This card is non-transferable. Rhode Island law:
    • Any person who shall borrow library property, and who, upon neglect to return the same within the time required and specified by the library owning the property, after receiving notice in writing that the same is overdue, shall upon further neglect to return the same within sixty (60) days from the date of notice, be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00).

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    Loan Periods and Overdue Fees


    21 days -  books

    Audiocassettes, Compact Discs and Books On Tape
    21 days in any combination. Limit 5

    Videocassettes and DVD's
    Entertainment videos - 7 days
    Non-fiction videos - 21 days
    Limit 3 per card

    Please note:
    To determine the specific day an item is due, check the date on your printed checkout receipt from West Warwick Public Library. The item is due before the library closes that day.


    All Books
    10 cents per day, maximum of $6.00 per item.

    Audiocassettes, Compact Discs and Books On Tape
    10 cents per day per audio item, maximum of $6.00 per item. 

    Videocassettes and DVD's
    $1.00 per day, per video or dvd, with a maximum fine of $10.00 per item. We do not renew video cassettes or DVD's. 

    West Warwick Public Library does not mail notices of fines due, but maintains a record.


    Damage Charges
    Will be determined in each individual case according to the extent of the damage to the item.

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    A/V Borrowing Rules


    Five (5) items (compact discs, books on tape,books on compact disc, children’s kits and language kits) may be borrowed at one time, by the cardholder only.Overdue fines are .10 per day per audio item. Maximum fine is $6.00 per audio item.


    A total of three (3) video cassettes or dvd’s per household may be borrowed at one time, by the cardholder only. Overdue fines are $1.00 per day, per video or dvd, with a maximum fine of $10.00 per item. You may reserve video cassettes and dvd’s.


    In order to borrow audio/visual materials, you will need to have your own OSL card with you. The card must be free of overdue items and fines. The Checkout service area will shut down five (5) minutes before closing.

    The library is not responsible for any problems patrons may have when using A/V materials. Patrons are responsible for any damage to materials they have borrowed.

    All library resources are provided equally to all library users. Parents or guardians are responsible for their children’s use of library resources. The West Warwick Public Library assumes no responsibility for children’s use of library resources.

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    Acceptable Computer and Internet Use Policy

    The West Warwick Public Library serves as your gateway to ever expanding sources of information in a wide variety of formats. We are committed to providing the best library service to meet the informational, educational, and recreational needs of our diverse community within the means of the library and the limitations of policy and law. This includes access to information through technology including but not limited to public access to computers, various software, information databases, and the Internet.

    The Internet, as an information resource, enables the library to provide access to material beyond the confines of its own collection. It allows access to ideas, information, and commentary from around the globe. However, the Internet is currently an unregulated medium and library patrons use it at their own risk. Not all online sources provide accurate, complete or current information. Please exercise caution in assessing the validity of information you find online.

    The West Warwick Public Library attempts to provide equitable computer service to all patrons. Parents or guardians are responsible for the Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children under the age of 18. Library staff has the authority to insure the equitable, responsible, and efficient use of the computer and Internet resources provided in the library.

    Please be aware that every library has its own policies in place regarding computer and internet use, therefore time limits, security, printing, software, etcetera will vary between libraries.

    Acceptable Use Policy
    General Access
    The library has public computers available on both the first and second floor of the library. Library users in the ninth grade and up may use any of the public computers on the second floor. Library users may bring their children into the computer lab to use a computer alongside of them if space allows. We suggest library users with small children use the computers in the Youth Services area, which is reserved for children and young adults to age 18. Adults may only use these computers only when school is in session or when they are accompanying a child.

    Computer users in the adult area are allowed 160 minutes per day.

    Computer users in Youth Services must sign in at the Reservation/Print Station with their library card to be assigned an available computer. Computer Users in Youth Services receive 60 minutes of computer time per day.

    Computer users must sign in using their own library card number and last name. Computer users must sign out at the end of their session.

    RI residents who do not have a library card and out-of-state visitors can pay $2 for access to the internet computers and receive 160 minutes per day. Library staff WILL NOT look up library card numbers.

    Responsibilities of Computer Users
    Anyone using the computers during a general-use period must have some basic familiarity with using a mouse, keyboard, and computer. Those unfamiliar with computers or those who have specific questions about the Internet, computers, or software will be referred to our computer classes or library materials.

    Library rules of conduct apply to library users on public computers. The library requires computer users to respect the rights and sensibilities of all library users. Some Internet sites are inappropriate for viewing in a public setting and may not be accessed while on library property.

    Users should refrain from the use of sound unless using headphones. The volume must be kept at a level that does not disrupt other patrons. No loud talking.

    There is a limit of one person per computer in the adult department.

    Staff Assistance
    Library staff attempt to keep all computers in operating order and will try to answer basic questions about the operation of the computers, software, and hardware. Staff is not responsible for any errors that occur during basic assistance. Staff cannot provide in-depth training on the computers or on any specific computer applications. Library users may attend computer classes for computer help.

    Library staff are not required to assist users who are conducting e-commerce from the Library’s Internet computers. Library staff will not access a user’s personal account on the user’s behalf.

    Internet Safety
    The Public Library, unlike schools, does not serve in loco parentis (in place of a parent). Librarians cannot act in the place of parents in providing constant care and supervision of children as they explore the Internet. Parents or guardians are responsible for their children's use of online resources and are advised to supervise their children's online sessions. The West Warwick Public library assumes no responsibility for children's use of online resources. Parents/legal guardians are strongly encouraged to review and discuss the information found on A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety at, Safety Tips for Kids at, and's Rules for Online Safety ( with their children before accessing the Internet. Practical internet safety tips for adults, parents, and kids can be found at

    Computer users may not use the service to upload, transmit or post copyrighted or otherwise protected material and/or software to the Internet without the permission of the owner(s) or person(s) owning the copyright or other intellectual property rights in the transmitted materials.
    Downloading from the Internet copyrighted or otherwise protected material must be done with the express permission of the owner(s) or otherwise authorized persons regarding copying, redistribution, modification or publication. The Library is not responsible for any software or shareware fees incurred through the downloading of software. Users may not use the identity of the West Warwick Public Library as an educational institution to download software designated "for educational use only" for personal use.
    Software registered to the West Warwick Public Library is not intended for personal use and copies of the applications may not be made for home use. Doing so is a violation of US copyright laws and the Library's licensing agreement with software publishers. Access to West Warwick Public Library electronic services will be terminated for such a violation.


    A number of Internet enabled computers have Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2007, others have Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003. USB flash drives are recommended for transferring personal files. Newer computers have CD/DVD burners. Floppy drives will slowly be eliminated from availability. Patrons may use external USB drives on all computers. Flash drives and CD-R’s are available for purchase. There is a scanner available at one adult computer.

    Computer users may install software on public computers as the computer allows. If the computer requires rebooting, software cannot be installed. Installed software will remain on the computer until the computer shut down at which time all nonstandard or atypical software will be removed.

    The Library is not responsible for the accuracy, timeliness, authoritativeness, or usefulness of information obtained via the Internet.

    While the Library is concerned for the safety and security of the users of online information or that entered or saved on the computer the Library cannot guarantee total security of private user information. Should computer users choose to enter personal data and information they do so at their own risk. The Library shall have no liability for direct, indirect, or consequential damages related to the use of information accessed through the Library’s Internet or for damages related to the operation of or failure of the Internet or computer hardware or software.

    Unacceptable Use and Restrictions:
    Unauthorized access to the West Warwick Public Library service through its server(s) is strictly prohibited. Computer users will not engage in any such activity or attempt to access the service for the purpose of altering or manipulating the hardware or software (hacking). Users may not make any attempt to damage computer equipment or software, alter software configurations, or install software. Users may not disconnect or render Library computers inoperable by disconnecting electrical connections, network connections, or any accessory plugged in to the computer. Please refer any questions or problems to staff.

    The West Warwick Public Library reserves the right to suspend or terminate your access to the Internet or other network services without prior notice at anytime and for any reason. Users who knowingly violate any library policies will lose their computer privileges for a length of time to be determined by the library director or assistant director. Violations of the law, such as destruction or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to the library or other users will be dealt with in a serious and appropriate manner. Illegal acts involving library computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.

    Hours of Use
    All public computers are available for public use during regular library hours. The computer lab is not open to the general public while classes are scheduled.

    Computers shut down approximately 10 minutes before closing. Library users can begin a session on a computer up until 10 minutes before the computers shut down. 

    Time Limits
    The Library uses PC Reservation to provide time and print management for computer users. A valid OSL card is required for authorized use. The computer time allowed per patron may differ between departments.

    Computers are available on a first-come first serve basis in the Adult Department. Computers cannot be reserved in advance. The log-in station in Youth Services will assign users an available computer but will not take reservations in advance.

    The cost per page for printing is 15¢ for black and white, 25¢ for color. Computer users may not use their own paper in the networked printer. Patrons who choose to print from the public computers should view their documents before sending them to the printer. Users may view their printing options and costs before printing their document. Computer users must enter their library card number at the Print Release Station to pay for and release their prints. Printing is not currently available via the wireless network from a non-library computer. The Library is not responsible for the loss of data that may occur when printing or for any or all unwanted pages or incorrectly formatted print-outs.

    Saving Files and Documents
    Computers allow users to save documents and personal files in a shared network folder called “Documents”. The folder is accessible from all public computers in the library. Documents and personal files saved to this folder can be viewed, altered or removed by anyone at anytime. The Library is not responsible for the loss or distribution of documents or files saved in this folder. Documents and personal files may be saved or transferred to USB drives, CD-R’s, or DVDs. The Library is not responsible for the loss or corruption of data when saving documents or files.

    Privacy and Security
    In general, the Library will treat information displayed on its computers and/or printers as confidential. Requests for disclosure of information will be answered immediately only in emergent situations such as bomb threats or when the police can verify a threat of immediate danger. In all other situations such as routine or follow-up investigations, the Library will require a warrant or other legal search document before complying with the disclosure request.

    There is no way to ensure sufficient security of any private information entered on public computers. Users access their own data, files, email, and other forms of direct electronic communication on public computers at their own risk. The Library is not responsible for the loss or corruption of a user’s local or Internet-based digital information. The Library is not responsible for any corruption, loss, or misuse of a user’s digital information that is submitted online or saved to the computers. Computer users should remember to log out of every site they log onto and to log off the library computer when they are done.

    Wireless Access
    Wireless connectivity is available anywhere from within the library. Patrons accessing the Internet through the Library’s Wi-Fi agree to comply with the Library’s Acceptable Computer and Internet Use Policy with the exception of time limitations and log-in requirements. Wireless users may receive email through their regular email programs but must use web-based email to send emails. Wireless printing is currently not available.

    The West Warwick Public Library complies with state and federal law mandating the use of filtering software in public libraries. Internet filters are software programs meant to block access to content that is considered inappropriate for viewing in a public setting. Filtering software can be unreliable, and on the one hand may block sites of legitimate or educational value, and on the other allow access to sites that are illegal, obscene, or sexually explicit. The Library is committed to free and equal access to information for its adult users. Subsequently, within the means of the Library and within the limitations of policy and law, staff may disable filtering software on internet computers upon request by anyone 18 years or older.

    The West Warwick Public Library reserves the right to modify this policy to meet current software, hardware, internet, and library conditions.

    Approved by the Library Board of Trustees November 14, 2011

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    Meeting Room Policy

    1. West Warwick Public Library's meeting room is available free of charge to non-profit organizations for meetings of an educational, cultural, or civic nature, that are held during regular library hours.
    • Meetings may be held between 9:00 A.M. and 8:45 P.M., Monday and Tuesday; 9:00 A.M., and 4:45 P.M. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 9:00 A.M., and 1:45 P.M., on Saturday.
    2. The meeting room may be booked as follows:
    • The meeting room may be reserved by visiting the library Administration office, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 
    • An application form for each use of the room must be signed by a representative of the organization at least a week in advance of the meeting. 
    • Reservations cannot be taken more than three months in advance of the meeting date. 
    3. The meeting room is not available for: social, political, partisan or religious purposes; the benefit of private individuals; commercial purposes; or permanent office space.

    4. Continuing and repetitious use of the meeting room is rarely permitted.

    5. To defray the library's cost of utilities and equipment maintenance, there will be a $25 charge made to any group planning to serve refreshments. This charge is payable at the time of application, and is non-refundable. No refreshments or beverages will be provided by the library.

    6. All groups are required to leave the meeting area in a neat, clean, and orderly condition. This is not the responsibility of the library custodian. A vacuum cleaner is available. If the room is not left in a clean and orderly condition, the organization will not be allowed to use the meeting room in the future.

    • Use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. 
    • The library has tables and chairs available for use. All groups are responsible for setting up these tables and chairs for their own use, and for returning them to storage. 
    • The library will not provide storage space for groups using the facilities. 
    7. Groups are responsible for paying for any breakage, damage to library property, or any inordinate amount of cleaning resulting from the use of the meeting room. No signs or posters may be affixed to walls or doors.

    8. Smoking is prohibited by state law. This rule is strictly enforced because of the library's sprinkler system. Any expenses incurred by the library, due to a violation of the Rhode Island No Smoking Law, will be billed to the organization that has used the meeting room.

    9. The person signing the application form assumes full responsibility for the group, agreeing that the organization will pay all charges for damages or cleaning fees.

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

    11. Permission to any group to use the meeting room does not constitute endorsement by the West Warwick Public Library of that group's philosophy or objectives.

    12. A library-sponsored program has priority over other uses of the meeting room.

    13. Decisions as to the use of the meeting room by any group will be made by the Library Director/Board of Trustees. The Library Board of Trustees reserves the right to deny any meeting room application after review. 

    Printable version of Meeting Room Policy (pdf)

    Meeting Room Application form (pdf)

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    Policy on Lost Or Damaged Books


    When a book is determined to be lost, the patron is fined any overdue charges, the replacement cost of the book as listed in a standard bibliographic source, and a $2.00 fine to cover the library's cost in processing the replacement. If the book is out of print, the standard replacement cost is $15.00, the combined average cost of adult and children's books. The patron is given a receipt for the amount paid. It frequently happens that shortly after paying the assessment, the patron locates and returns the book. In this event, the library will refund the amount paid, minus the overdue charges and the $2.00 processing fee, provided the patron can produce the receipt. No refunds will be given after 90 days.


    When an item is returned damaged, and the extent of the damage is such that, in the judgment of the Head of Circulation or any professional librarian on staff, the item cannot be returned to the shelf for further circulation, the following options may apply:

    • The patron is fined any overdue charges, the replacement cost of the item as listed in a standard bibliographic source, and a $2.00 fee to cover the library's cost in processing the replacement. The library will keep the item for 90 days, unless keeping it will harm the collection or staff by introducing mold or bacteria into the environment. After 90 days, the library will discard the item regardless of its condition. The charge will remain on the patron's record.
    • When a book is returned damaged but, in the judgment of the Head of Circulation or any professional librarian on staff, may be repaired and returned to the shelf for further circulation, the patron is fined any overdue charges and a $5.00 fine to cover the library's cost in repairing the book. 
    Approved by Library Board
    February 12, 2007

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    Policy on Disruptive Behavior In the Library Or On Library Grounds

    It is the policy of the library to provide a safe and appropriate environment both within the library building and on library grounds to facilitate the public's use of the library's services and resources. When the behavior of a patron constitutes a disruption which interferes with the use of the library by other patrons or which interferes with a staff member's completion of his/her duties, the following progressive steps will be taken:
        1. The staff member will issue a verbal warning, with the statement that the person(s) will be told to leave if the behavior in question does not cease.
        2. If the disruptive behavior continues after the verbal warning, the staff member will tell the person(s) to leave the building and the grounds.
        3. If there is difficulty in getting the person(s) to leave the building or the grounds, the staff member will call the police.

    All instances of verbal warning, eviction, and notification of police will be documented and logged by the staff of the department in question. 

    Behaviors which will result in warnings and then evictions from the library and its premises:

        • Violation of library rules regarding proper use of materials and equipment
        • Inappropriate, foul, or vulgar language
        • Running or throwing things in the library
        • Inappropriate use of or rearranging of library furniture
        • Use of indelible markers, paints, lipstick, etc., on the library building or furniture
        • Eating, drinking, or smoking 
        • Loitering in or outside the building
        • Solicitation of library patrons or staff members for money for products, services, or causes; solicitation of library patrons or staff members for the signing of political, religious, or other petitions
        • Card playing or gambling
        • Inappropriate public display of physical affection
        • Talking or laughing in a repeated pattern of loud outbursts
    Any time a staff member feels that a patron's behavior is threatening to the immediate safety of other patrons or staff members, the staff member will call the police immediately. 

    Behaviors which will result in the immediate calling of the police:

        • Hitting or striking another person
        • Threats of violence to oneself or others
        • Deliberate vandalism to library materials or property, or to the personal property of library patrons or staff
        • Theft of library materials or property, or of the personal property of library patrons or staff
        • Disrespectful attitudes or language, goading, teasing, or other types of harassment of library patrons or staff
        • Loitering on library grounds, or remaining on library grounds after being evicted from the building

    A minor who has been evicted from the building more than twice or whose disruptive behavior has resulted in the police being called will not be allowed to use the library again unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. When possible, a letter will be sent to the parent or guardian stating this policy. The minor will be allowed to use the library again without parental supervision only after the parent/guardian has spoken with the Library Director, Assistant Director, or Head of the department where the offense occurred; and only at the discretion of the Head of the department.

    Approved by the Board of Trustees
    March 10, 1997

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    Policy On Unattended Children

    It is the policy of the library to provide a safe and appropriate environment for library users of all ages. The library is, however, a public building with staff trained to provide public library services. The library is not equipped, nor is it the library's role, to provide long- or short-term daycare for children of any age. Aside from the planned programs, services, and activities designed for specific age groups, the library's staff is not responsible for supervising or tending to the needs of individual users or groups of users. 

    Accordingly, children under the age of eight must always be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or responsible childcare provider while in the library. If a child under the age of eight is attending a library program or activity, the parent, guardian, or responsible childcare provider must remain in the Children's Department throughout the program.

    In general, parents of any minor children should not leave them unattended for long periods at the library. This is especially important in the evening. The library closes at 9 p.m., 5 p.m. or at 2 p.m., and children should be picked up no later than five minutes before closing time. Police will be notified concerning any children left alone at the library after closing time. 

    Parents are responsible for the behavior of their children in the library, whether or not the parents are present.

    Approved by the Board of Trustees
    March 10, 1997

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    Cell Phone Policy

    • Cell Phone use in the library is prohibited.

    • Staff will ask patrons to turn cell phones off or use the silent signal function while in the library.

    • If patrons must make or recieve a call, staff will ask them to leave the building for the duration of the call.

    Approved by the Board of Trustees
    May 2003

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    Donation Policy

    As always we are grateful to get more books, as they are our stock in Trade! Our general rule of thumb is that we can use books that are general interest and are likely to be checked out by several readers. Here are our more specific guidelines for what we do and do not accept:

    We do accept:
    • General fiction and non-fiction of any date, as long as it is in good condition. It is not necessary to provide the original dust covers.
    • Non-fiction reference books for which accuracy or timeliness are not at issue. This includes quotation books and guides to great works of literature.

    • Hardcover and paperbacks in good condition
    We do not accept:
    • Textbooks of any type, including those for college courses.

    • Non-fiction reference works that are more than three years old. This includes encyclopedias, almanacs, atlases, and other works which may have inaccurate or dated information.

    • Books that are not in good condition. This includes books that have torn pages, any traces of mold or mildew, or have writing in them.

    Although the library receives many donations which fall into the acceptable category, we cannot always use them. For donations, the library applies the same selection criteria for inclusion in the collection as it applies to materials it purchases. Some of the reason a book may not be added to the collection are:

    • We already have enough copies of this work in good condition.
    • We already have enough, and perhaps more recent, works in this subject area.
    • Upon further inspection, the book has been found to need repair work or not to be in the best condition.
    • The work does not meet our selection criteria, such as being reviewed in a professional journal or recognized review source, or being issued by a reputable commercial publisher.

    The Library reserves the right to dispose of all material donated to it and not accepted for the collection. This means the library may put the book up for sale or discard it.

    The Library does not evaluate the worth of any books, including donations. For tax purposes, you are urged to make a list of each title donated, along with author, publisher, date, whether the book is a hardcover or paperback, and your best good-faith estimate of its value. Your tax prepareer will advise you how or whether to proceed in claiming deductions.

    If the material you want to donate falls under our guidelines and if you agree with the conditions described above, please call the Circulation Department at 828-3750 to make arrangements to deliver the materials to the library.

    Approved by the Board of Trustees
    October 2003

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