Library Policies


Library Card    
Fines & Charges
Standards of Conduct
Internet Policy
Loan periods
Materials Selection Policy
Museum Passes
Child Safety Policy
Meeting and Study Rooms

Library Card

To get a library card, please bring picture identification (preferably a driver's license) with your street address on it. If the identification has an old address, a current piece of mail with the present address must also be provided.

There is no age limit to get a library card, however, parents must register their children and will be completely accountable for material(s) borrowed by them.

Standards of Conduct                                    Top of Page               

The library is a public entity established by the citizens of Walpole to meet a range of individual and group needs. The Walpole Public Library makes every effort 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. Behaviors that diminish or interfere with another person’s ability to use the library are unwelcome. The following behavior standards apply on the premises, including library grounds. 


  • Dress appropriately for a public place. At a minimum, proper attire covers the torso and feet. Obscenities emblazoned on clothing are inappropriate.
  • Behave appropriately for a public place.Activities such as sleeping, dining, and personal grooming are more appropriately done at home. Public bathrooms are not suitable places for time-consuming routines or for socializing. No excessive public displays of affection. No more than one person should be in a single-seat chair at one time. For safety reasons, please do not block access to stairwells and doorways.
  • Conduct yourself in a manner that does not interfere with other people’s ability to use the library. Auditory and visual distractions are unwelcome. Cell phones, cameras, audio equipment and laser pointers are but a few of the devices that may annoy other people. Please use these items considerately so as not to disturb other patrons. Long cell phone conversations are best taken in the lobby area. Soliciting, campaigning, petitioning, conducting surveys and other such behaviors are prohibited.
  • Treat other patrons and staff with courtesy.Swearing is inappropriate. Vulgar language, gestures and pantomimes are inappropriate. Teasing, harassing, jostling, roughhousing, running or throwing things is inappropriate.However subtle, intruding on the privacy of other patrons also is inappropriate. Rude behavior to patrons or staff will not be tolerated. Parents are responsible for the supervision and behavior of their children.
  • Treat public property with care. Do not jeopardize the condition and longevity of public property, especially computers, with food and beverages. The library does not tolerate harsh or negligent treatment of the property in its custody. Eating and drinking, if done responsibility, are allowed throughout the building. Patrons are responsible for properly disposing of the resulting trash. Sitting on tables or other furniture that is not designed specifically for sitting is not allowed.
  • Take responsibility for personal possessions.Secure bicycles in the bicycle rack.Skateboards, roller blades, scooters and similar equipment may not be used in the library or on the grounds and will be confiscated if not kept out of the way. Backpacks or other personal items should not be left in left in areas where they can constitute a tripping hazard. Keep valuable items with you.Library staff is not responsible for patron possessions. No animals are allowed with the exception of certified service animals.
  • Report disturbing behaviors to a staff person.

This serves as notice. Anyone whose behavior is inappropriate will be asked to leave the building. Repeat offenders will be served a notice of no trespass. Failure to leave immediately, as requested, is regarded as trespassing.

 Approved by the Board of Library Trustees March 19, 2013.

Fines & Charges                                                          Top of Page
  • Books, Magazines, Music CD's & Books on CD  = .05 per day
  • DVD's = $1.00 per day

All Walpole materials (not including Reference materials) may be reserved.* You may place your own holds at our public access catalogs or from home.
  • You will be notified by telephone when your reserve becomes available.
  • Once they arrive, reserved items will be held for 3 days.
Materials may be renewed in person or by phone during business hours. Items may be renewed one time and cannot be renewed if there is a reserve on them.

* Please Note: Most materials from other libraries in the Old Colony Library Network may be reserved. New and selected A/V materials may be restricted by certain libraries.

Internet Policy                                                               Top of Page

Access to the Internet is limited to those 16 and above. Persons below that age may use the Internet if granted permission by a parent or guardian. Individuals are reminded that the Internet workstations are located in a public area, which is shared by patrons of all ages and backgrounds and are asked to be sensitive to this when accessing potentially controversial information and images.

The library’s Internet computers may not be used for any unlawful or improper activities prohibited under local, state, or federal laws. These activities include, but are not limited to the following:

* Displaying or transmitting sexually explicit or sexually suggestive (obscene/ pornographic) materials.
* Hacking and /or spamming
* Infringement of copyright law
* Damaging/altering of software and/or equipment.
* Distribution of unsolicited advertising or propaganda, or propagation of computer viruses.
* Libeling, harassing, or slandering other users.
* Fraud
* Solicitation of minors.

The library reserves the right to adjust these policies as needed. The library also reserves the right to deny access to an individual to its Internet workstations should any of the above activities be committed.

Consideration of Other Users, Library Staff and Equipment

Computers must be relinquished promptly to the next scheduled user. Print jobs must also be completed by the end of the scheduled time (do not wait for the next person to show up before starting to print something).

There are no age requirements for using the computers but (as aforementioned) all Internet users under the age of 16 will be required to have prior signed parental permission in order to use the Internet (see Circulation Desk for permission forms).

No more than two people on a computer at once, except with prior approval of the library director.

Keep conversation to a minimum.

Be polite when bumping a user or yielding to someone else.

Treat all library equipment with care; users are responsible for willful damage inflicted.


There is no fee for the use of either an Internet or Word Processing terminal.  However, there is a charge of 15 cents per page for anything printed at any of the terminals.

Note: All charges for computer use help to cover the high cost of ink cartridges

Computer Security and Copyright

Computer users are not allowed to store or change files on the hard disk.

Computer users may not run their own software on library computers.

Programs that are on the public computers are subject to copyright and should not be copied. Only those programs are available.

Computer users may provide their own paper, but should refrain from using extremely thick paper such as card stock as it may jam the printers. Please do not use labels.


The Computer Center is intended for self-reliant users; people who already know how to use installed software or are willing to teach themselves.

The library cannot offer extensive one-on-one training and advises against frequent interruption library staff.

Although the library staff will be happy to provide assistance, they are not extensively trained and cannot be expected to resolve all computer-related issues.

Library Closing Time

Staff starts library-closing procedures 15 minutes prior to the library’s closing time. All library users (including computer users) are expected to be out of the library no later than the scheduled closing time.

If necessary, the staff will turn off all power to the computer room regardless of whether person(s) in there are finished or not.

Loan periods                                                                  Top of Page
  • Fiction, Nonfiction (& New Nonfiction) = 28 days
  • New Fiction, Reserve Books & Children's books = 14 days
  • Magazines, CDs, Books on Tape & CD = 14 days
  • VIDEOS (DVD & VHS) = 7 days
Please Note:
  1. Other libraries in our Library Network [OCLN] may have different loan periods, overdue fines and renewal policies.  Please keep this in mind when borrowing items from other libraries.
  2. Patrons with fines of $5.00 or more, or lost or overdue materials must clear their records before borrowing more materials.

Materials Selection Policy                                   Top of Page

This selection policy of the Walpole Public Library is designed to provide guidelines for the professional staff in the selection of library materials. It does not replace professional judgement, but rather defines the general tools and criteria used for material selection.

Library Objectives

The role of the Walpole Public Library is to provide the community with access to a wide range of materials for their educational, informational, cultural, recreational, and social benefit. To accomplish this, the Library collects material in various formats (written, filmed, recorded, electronic), provides a place to hold the material, and allows the material to be borrowed. It offers professional guidance on locating the material and sponsors programming to promote awareness of what is available. Since the community is diverse, the approach of the Library must be similarly diverse. Within the limitations of its budget, the Library looks to obtain as wide a range of materials as possible. To augment its resources, it also joins together on a regional basis with other libraries and information providers.

In its selection policy, the Walpole Public Library fully supports the principles adopted by the American Library Association in its Library Bill of Rights and its Freedom to Read Statement. The key principle underlying both documents and this policy is that of free speech. In all its activities, the Library will support that principle, providing an unbiased platform for the exchange of ideas.


* "Material" is defined in the broadest possible context. The key criteria is useful content not form.
* Review media are used as tools for selection along with feedback from the community.
* All material must meet the following specific criteria: it must have either current usefulness or permanent value, it must have either a relation to the present collection or fill a gap in the present collection, it must be well-made.
* The library will review specific materials upon written request. A form is available at the circulation desk.
* Titles are selected without regard to the race, creed, nationality, political or religious views of the author.
* In the case of controversial issues, variety and balance of opinion is sought.
* Responsibility for the reading and viewing habits of children rests with the parents or legal guardians. Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that material may come into the possession of children.
* Providing textbooks and curriculum material is the responsibility of the school system. The library will work closely with the school system to provide the general resources necessary to supplement a student's education.
* In selecting material, the library will pay special attention to the commercial, civic and cultural hertiage of the community.
* Selection must not only meet the needs of the current user, but also anticipate the needs of the potential user.
* Library materials are not kept from the general public except for the purposes of protecting the material from damage or theft.
* Systematic withdrawal of damaged or worn-out material is to be expected. Frequency of use, uniqueness, and physical condition are prime considerations in this decision making.
* Interlibrary loans are used to obtain materials not in the Library's collections.
* Gifts received by the Library are judged under the same criteria as purchased materials. They are accepted with the understanding that the LIbrary may dispose of them in any way it sees fit.
* The Library is not an advocate of any particular ideas reflected in the materials in its collection. However, it does defend the principles of the freedom to read and declares that no material under attack will be removed from the Library except under the direct orders of a court of competent jurisdiction.
* Ultimate responsibility lies with the Board of Trustees. Day to day responsibility for material selection is delegated to the Library Director. Input from staff and users of the Library is also actively sought.

The Library Director and the Board of Trustees welcome the opportunity to discuss these principles with interested individuals or representatives of groups.

Meeting and Study Rooms Policy           Top of Page

(rev. 4/2013)

The Walpole Public Library's meeting rooms are intended for the informational, educational, and cultural needs of the community. The library’s meeting rooms may be used by non-profit groups engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual, or civic activities. The meeting rooms shall be made available to such groups on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting use.

Meeting room reservations are made through the Reference Desk 508-660-7341. Recurring reservations will be accepted for no more than three months at a time. Reservations are not automatically renewable. Please notify the library as quickly as possible in case of cancellation.

Policy: When not being used for library programs, meetings rooms may be used by non-profit groups whose primary clientele are Walpole residents. Such use of the rooms must be free and open to the public. The library reserves the right to move meetings to another appropriately sized room in case of scheduling conflict. The meeting rooms will be scheduled according to the following priorities:

  • Library related meetings or programs up to one year in advance.
  • Municipal or school related meetings or programs up to six months in advance
  • Other local non-profit groups may use a room on a first come first served basis up to three months in advance.

General Guidelines:

  1. All requests to use a meeting room must be made in advance by an individual who takes responsibility for the group's compliance with this policy.
  2. Meeting rooms cannot be used for personal or family purposes. The meeting rooms are not available for purely social functions (functions designed for entertainment with friends or associates).
  3. Groups using the meeting room will be held responsible for any costs incurred by the Library or the Town as a result of that use. The Town may require that a group post a bond to cover anticipated costs (e.g., security) in advance of the program.
  4. The condition of the room must be neat when vacated. Wall hangings and furniture are to remain undisturbed unless special arrangements are made in advance.
  5. Meeting room set-up is the responsibility of the reserving group. The library will assist in room set-up only as scheduling and staffing permit.
  6. Only light snacks may be served. No facilities are available for cooking meals. No alcoholic beverages are allowed.
  7. All activities must be confined to the meeting room. Approaching library users for the purpose of encouraging participation in the group's activities is prohibited.
  8. Storage of personal property, equipment, and/or supplies is not permitted in the Library or in any of the meeting rooms.
  9. No soliciting of business or fundraising is allowed.
  10. The use of any meeting room must not interfere with normal operation of the library.
  11. Attendance is limited by meeting room capacity.
  12. Any exceptions to these guidelines must be approved by the Library Director before a reservation is made. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in loss of use of the meeting room.

Meeting rooms


Community Room:

The Community Room is a 30 x 47 foot space with a seating capacity of 120. The room amenities include black-out and sun shades, a projection screen, a lectern, a sound system, DVD player, nine wireless microphones, ten (2.2 x 5 foot) tables and 120 chairs. The room also contains a small kitchenette that is available for use. An electronic piano is available for use.

Special Guidelines:
1. Individuals requesting the Community Room must be at least 21 years of age and be present when the room is in use.
2. After hours use of the Community Room is permitted as long as prior approval of the Library Director is obtained. The group member must be trained on Community Room closing procedures prior to use of the room.
3. Audio-visual equipment is not allowed to leave the room.

 Children’s Program Room:

The Children’s program Room is a 20 x 22 space with a seating capacity of 30. The room amenities include black-out and sun shades, a projection screen, sink, work counter, five (2.2 x 5 foot) tables and 30 chairs.

Special Guidelines:
1. Individuals requesting use of the Children’s Program Room must obtain approval from the Youth Services Librarian (508-660-6384).
2. Preference is given to Children’s room program and youth centered meetings.
3. Reservations for the Children’s Program Room can only be made one month in advance.
4. The Children’s Program Room may only be used during regular library hours.


Pinnacle Room:

The Pinnacle Room is a 15 x 22 space with a seating capacity of 12. The room amenities include black-out and sun shades, a projection screen, a whiteboard, six (2.2 x 5 foot) tables and 12 chairs. The Pinnacle Room may only be used during regular library hours.


Walpole Room:

The Walpole Room is a 15 x 22 space with a seating capacity of 8. The room amenities include sun shade, a scanning station, a microfilm machine, one (4 x 9.5 foot) oak table and 8 chairs. The Walpole Room houses the libraries archive collection and is primarily used for local history and genealogy research.

Special Guidelines:
1. The Walpole Room is an overflow meeting space and cannot be directly reserved.
2. In the event the Walpole Room is used as a meeting space, individuals seeking access to the collections therein will be allowed use of the room concurrent with any meeting.
3. The Walpole Room may only be used during regular library hours.


Study Rooms:

The Walpole Public Library has 5 study rooms available for individuals and small groups. Four of the five study rooms seat up to four people. The fifth study room (The Stone Room) is larger than the others and seats up to eight people. Each study room contains one table and a set of chairs. Study rooms are not sound proof. Please check-in at the Reference Desk before occupying a study room.

Special Guidelines:
1. Study rooms are reserved on a first come first serve basis.
2. Study rooms can be reserved for up to two hours at a time. Study rooms may be used beyond two hours if no one else is requesting a study room.
3. Reservations may be made up to one week in advance.
4. If anyone does not check in within 15 minutes after a scheduled reservation, the study room will be made available to the next person who requests a room.
5. The Stone Room may be used as an overflow meeting room and not be available to individuals.
6. Study rooms may only be used during regular library hours.


Museum Passes                                                           Top of Page

Museum passes may be reserved in person or by calling the main circulation desk at 508-660-7340 or online through the library’s website,

Please review the following policy before reserving a museum pass.




  • Museum passes are for the use of Walpole Residents only.
  • Borrowers must have a library card in good standing (i.e. no excessive fines or unpaid materials charges).
  • Passes are limited to one per family for any given day. The only exception is that the Gardner and MFA passes may be borrowed simultaneously.
  • Passes may only be picked up no more than 24 hours in advance. Exceptions include summer weekends and Monday holidays when the library is closed.
  • Museum passes must be returned on the day for which they are reserved. Late fees for passes are $2.50 per day.
  • Patrons will be responsible for replacement charges in the event of a lost museum pass. Replacement Costs are determined by the issuing museum/organization and will be passed on to the patron.
  • Reservations are taken on a first come, first serve basis.


Unattended Child Guidelines                         Top of Page

The Walpole Public Library strives to provide resources and facilities to encourage children of all ages to visit, and to ensure that they will find the library a warm and inviting place.  We hope that through their visits, children will develop a lifelong love of books, reading and libraries.
Our staff does everything in their power to insure the safety of children in the Library, but their duties as providers of Library services prevent them from being able to supervise each individual child left in the Library.  Therefore, when children are using the Library, it is the responsibility of parents or caregivers, not Library staff, to supervise their children.


"Supervise” means that a parent or caregiver is with the child in the Library and is ensuring:
  • That children act in accordance with Library rules.•    That children’s behavior does not present a safety hazard to themselves, other users, or Library property.
  • That children’s behavior does not interfere with the use of the Library by others.

The following age guidelines have been established to ensure that children are safe and cared for while in the Library:
  • Children under eleven years old: a parent or the parent’s representative, age 14 & older, must remain with the child at all times.
  • Children between the ages of eleven and thirteen years may be left unattended for a reasonable amount of time.
  • Children attending programs are supervised by the Library staff only during the scheduled time of the program.  Prompt arrival at program completion is expected.
Suggestions for Parents

Bring children to Library at a less busy time and acquaint them with areas and materials that will interest them.  Introduce children to Library staff, and assure them that if they were ever to become lost or frightened, staff members are there to help.  The Library is a very busy place, and it is open to everyone.  Make sure your children know that if they should ever feel uneasy or uncomfortable with another patron in the building, they should tell a staff member immediately.  Parents should be familiar with the Library’s hours of operation and should not leave children here before opening or after closing.  Library staff cannot be responsible for supervising children left alone on Library grounds.  Walpole Police will be called for children left alone at closing.

Approved by the Walpole Public Library Board of Trustees