Code of Conduct

It is the mission of the Westborough Public Library to create a welcoming, inclusive environment for all members of our community who use our facilities and library services.  In order to ensure that our library is equitable and open to all, to protect the rights and safety of library patrons and staff, and to preserve and protect library materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds, it is important that library users be considerate of the rights of others and use the library in a safe and non-threatening manner.

For the comfort and safety of patrons and staff, and the protection of library property, the following actions are examples of conduct not allowed on library property. The following is not an all-inclusive list.

  • Carrying firearms and dangerous weapons of any type (except by law enforcement officers in the conduct of their duties).
  • Smoking, vaping, or the use of tobacco or marijuana products, being intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs, selling, using, or possessing illegal drugs; or selling alcohol, cigarettes, or marijuana.
  • Bringing animals (except service animals or animals used for library programs) into the library.
  • Playing audio equipment loud enough for others to hear it.
  • Leaving children 11 years or younger unattended in the library.
  • Blocking of public entrances or interfering with people entering or exiting the building.
  • Damaging or defacing library materials or property. Those who damage or deface library materials or property will be prosecuted (MGL Ch.266, Sec. 100).  Parents may be liable for damage done by a child under the age of eighteen (MGL Ch.231, Sec.85).
  • Abusing library computer equipment. The abuse of library computer equipment violates the law (MGL Ch. 226, Sec.100) and such actions will be prosecuted.  Abuse of equipment includes but is not limited to banging on the keyboard or other use of excessive force, misappropriation of hardware or software, and attempts to alter the software.
  • Creating a disturbance by making excessive noise, talking loudly, or engaging in other disruptive conduct. (MGL Ch. 272, Sec.41).
  • Eating in the computer area or the Westborough Center for History and Culture. Beverages in containers with lids are allowed throughout the library, except in the Westborough Center.
  • Sitting on tables and heating units, placing feet on furniture, or lying on floors.
  • Entering the library without shoes or without being fully clothed.
  • Misusing the restrooms (e.g. using them as a laundry or washing facility).
  • Skateboarding, rollerblading, or recreational scootering on library property. However, patrons may bring these items inside while they are using the library.
  • Sleeping in the library.
  • Distributing literature, gathering signatures, soliciting contributions, or conducting surveys inside the Library facility or on Library grounds, without Library authorization is restricted to designated public spaces. Individuals soliciting signatures for petitions or nomination papers may not actively approach people in the library building.  When requested, Library Staff will designate a location in the Library building where people soliciting signatures may sit in a public space with documents to be signed.  Nomination papers and political petitions may not be left unattended in the Library for signatures as that might be construed as using public funds/positions to support a candidate or issue.
  • Smoking, vaping, or the use of tobacco or marijuana products in the library or on the library’s property.
  • Entering employee areas without permission.
  • Theft of library materials, use of false identification to obtain a library card, or use of another person’s library card without his/her permission (MGL Ch.266, 99a).
  • Threatening the safety or rights of another person including, but not limited to violent or disorderly behavior, threats of violence, abusive language, and possession of weapons. 
  • Harassing (sexually, verbally, physically), intimidating, or threatening other patrons, staff, or volunteers. This includes but is not limited to behavior such as stalking, unwelcome leering or staring, lurking with the intent to disrupt or intimidate, offensive touching, obscene acts, and indecent exposure.  
  • Interfering with, or attempting to interfere with, another’s right to use the library or with the library staff’s ability to perform duties. This includes but is not limited to swearing, vulgar language, or gestures.
  • Hateful conduct, including but not limited to, posting flyers with symbols identified with a group or movement targeting persons because of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender or gender identity; positioning toys or materials into hate symbols or threatening acts; or leaving pamphlets that promote hate groups and hate speech within the environs of library property.
  • Distributing, in any manner, unauthorized private or non-library materials or documents.
  • Taking photographs, audio recordings, or videos of library users without their permission.

While patrons of all ages are welcome to browse and check out materials from the Teen Collection, the use of tables, furniture, TV, and gaming equipment is exclusively for the use of young people ages 12-22. The library reserves the right to utilize the Teen Rooms for scheduled teen programs, events, and gaming activities. 

Patrons shall follow all Westborough Public Library policies and guidelines or abide by any reasonable request from staff to refrain from disorderly or disruptive behavior. Violations of policies or guidelines may result in removal from the facility and/or suspension of library privileges. Illegal activity shall result in expulsion from all library facilities, suspension of library privileges, and where federal, state or local laws apply, may result in arrest.

Rev. 06/2023

Safe Child Policy
  • The Westborough Public Library provides current, high-demand, high-interest materials in a variety of formats for persons of all ages.  The Library encourages children of all ages to visit with their parents to take advantage of the resources available for them to meet their informational, recreational and educational needs.  The library has an obligation to provide for the general welfare of all persons using the library and also to prevent undue disruption of normal library activities.
  • It is the responsibility of parents to ensure the appropriate behavior of their children in the library, and library staff are not responsible for the supervision of children left unattended by their parents.  Disruptive children will be required to leave after receiving one warning. 
  • Children age 11 years or younger shall, at all times, be attended and adequately supervised by a responsible person, an adult or mature adolescent, and not library personnel. The supervising person should remain within view of the program during programming for children ages 5 and under, and in the library for programs for children ages 6-11.
  • Children age 12 years and older may use the library unattended, subject to library rules and regulations.
  • The Westborough Public Library assumes no responsibility for children of any age left unattended at the library.  Parents assume all liability for damage done by their children to the library facility, equipment and materials.


  • Unattended child during business hours: an unattended child found frightened or crying in the building should be reassured by the staff, and brought to the children’s librarian or person in charge.  Staff should try to identify and contact the parent or attending adult.
  • If the parent is in the building, staff should accompany the child through the library to seek the adult.  Upon locating the attending adult, staff should reunite the child with the adult and explain the library policy regarding unattended children.
  • If the child is alone in the library, with the child’s help, staff should obtain the parent’s name and phone number, and call the parent to inform him/her of the library’s policy and request the child be picked up.  If library staff cannot reach the parents within an hour, or if the parent does not respond within that same hour, the librarian shall call the police and ask that they assume responsibility for the child. 
  • If the library is forced to close (e.g., due to inclement weather or loss of power), unattended minors will be asked to call a parent or guardian to pick them up immediately.  The librarian in charge, along with another staff member, will stay until a parent or guardian retrieves the minor.
  • Unattended children after business hours: if a child is alone at the library at closing and appears to be vulnerable, library staff will attempt to call a parent.  If staff cannot reach a parent on the first attempt, the person in charge will call the police to assume responsibility for the child.  Two staff members will remain with the child inside the library entrance until a parent or police arrive.  Library policy will be explained and a copy of the written policy will be given to the parent.

Except in cases of immediate danger to the child, under no circumstances will library staff transport or take a child away from the library building.                                                                        

Use of the Children’s Department

In an effort to provide a safe and comfortable children’s area, the Children’s Department and the services provided are reserved for children, their supervising adults, and those who are utilizing the collection.  Adults not accompanied by a child, who are not utilizing the collection, will be asked to move to the Adult/Circulation or Reference Departments.

Adults not accompanied by a child may visit the Children’s Department to retrieve materials but may not remain in that area and must return to settle in the Adult areas of the library.

Adults unaccompanied by a child are not permitted to participate in children’s activities such as crafts, book talks, or any other program designated for children.

Use of Children’s Department Computers by Adults

Adults accompanied by children may access Children’s Department computers provided that no child is waiting, the adult is able to provide adequate supervision for his/her charge(s), and they follow the library’s Acceptable Use Policy for library computers.

Adults who are not accompanied by a child shall not use Children’s Department computers, with the exception of accessing the online library catalog to locate materials in the department. Adults doing otherwise shall be asked to leave the department and use computers in the Reference Department. Exceptions may be made to this policy with the approval of the Children’s Librarian or librarian-in-charge at the time.

 Rev. 12/2018

Meeting Room Use Policy

Meeting spaces at the Westborough Public Library are available to civic, cultural, charitable, and educational groups and organizations that have a substantial connection to the Westborough community and are engaged in activities consistent with the library’s mission. The meeting rooms are not available to businesses or to private organizations. 

The rooms are not to be used for social, partisan religious, partisan political purposes, or for the benefit of commercial enterprises or individual use; you may not solicit for a particular business or cause, or gather personal information from attendees.

Questions of interpretation will be referred to the Library Director. Final determination rests with the Board of Trustees. Permission to meet at the library does not in any way constitute or imply endorsement of the users’ policies, beliefs, or programs by the library staff or Board of Trustees.

Regulations for Use
  • The applicant is expected to adhere to the stated purpose of the meeting.
  • Meetings must be free and open to the public. Attendance is limited to no more than 40.
  • Patrons, groups, or organizations may have 2 bookings of meeting space per month and book up to 2 months in advance.
  • Failure to cancel a reservation (min. 24 hour notice) will result in suspension of meeting space reservation privileges.
  • Patrons must check in at the main floor Circulation Desk before using any reserved meeting space.
  • No admission fees can be charged. No collections or donations can be solicited. No items can be sold.
  • Meeting spaces may be booked for up to 4 hours maximum.
  • Coffee and light refreshments may be provided. No smoking or alcoholic beverages allowed.
  • The space must be left in a clean and orderly condition, as determined by library personnel. If it is not, a cleaning charge of $50 per hour will be billed to the applicant.
  • Each group is responsible for setting up the room. The library staff will assist if time and staffing allow. Wall hangings may not be removed or disturbed.
  • Library staff shall have the right to cancel, reschedule, or transfer meeting room locations or dates that conflict with library sponsored programs and/or special events. In such cases, the library will make its best effort to give advance notice.
  • Programs may not disrupt the use of the library by others. Persons attending the meeting are subject to all library rules and regulations.
  • Meeting times must be scheduled during normal library hours and end fifteen minutes before library closing. Special permission to meet beyond closing hours may be granted to town boards and committees by the Board of Trustees. However, all exits will be locked at normal closing times. All town Board and Committee meetings shall end by 10:00 pm.
  • Any handouts or distributed or exhibit materials are subject to inspection by the Library Director or Board of Trustees, and any press releases, advertisements, or announcements must be cleared with the Library Director (excluding official postings by Town Boards and Committees) prior to distribution or publication.  
  • Walk-in use of library space is arranged at Main Circulation or with the Reference Librarian; and is first-come, first-served. All participants must adhere to stated library policies.

Tutoring Policy

The Westborough Public Library welcomes tutors and students. The library recognizes the benefit to the students and parents of the community of permitting tutoring within the library, however, the library must manage its limited space and resources in a way that best serves the needs of all users.

The Westborough Public Library does not sponsor, recommend, or assume liability or responsibility for the work and/or activities of tutors who use library space. All arrangements must be made between the tutor, student, and parents.

The following procedures are intended to provide a balance between the use of the library by tutors and their students, and the use of the library by other members of the community.

The Meeting Room (lower level/near Children’s Department) is available for multiple tutors and their students, Monday-Friday from 2:30-5:30 p.m. unless a library program requires use of the space. All meeting room policies are applicable.

ONLY if the meeting room is over capacity or otherwise occupied, are tutors permitted to use designated tutor tables in the Children’s Department (for tutoring students under 12) or on the main floor (for students over 12 years, including adults).

No tutoring is allowed in the Teen Zone or (front) Reading Room.

Tutors and students must be conscious of and not be disruptive to other library patrons.

Parents must adhere to the Library’s Safe Child Policy (by remaining in the library building during tutor sessions for children 12 and under).

The library reserves the right to restrict or ban tutoring at any time without prior notice if space resources are monopolized or if such activities interfere with the use of the library by others.

Revised 02/2019

Collection Development Policy


The purpose of the Collection Development Policy of the Westborough Public Library is to provide guidelines for acquisition and removal of library materials, allocation of resources, and short- and long-range collection development in accordance with the library’s mission. 

The Westborough Public Library is a member of CWMARS, an automated resource-sharing network of libraries in Central and Western Massachusetts, and of the Massachusetts Library System. These two organizations provide bibliographic access to local and regional library collections and an efficient delivery system. For patrons with needs outside the scope of Westborough’s local collection or the collections of network libraries,  interlibrary loan service is available through cooperative agreements with libraries statewide and beyond. 

Responsibility for Collection Development 

The Board of Library Trustees considers and adopts a Collection Development Policy, which they authorize the  Library Director to administer. The Director designates staff to develop acquisition and removal procedures and to make purchasing decisions subject to approval by the Director. The Director allocates the materials budget annually. 

Library staff exercise judgment, experience, and expertise in the application of the following Selection Criteria,  making acquisition decisions as objectively as possible. Evaluation of a work includes the entire work, not just individual parts of the work. A work’s overall contribution to the collection is a critical determinant for acceptance or rejection. No single criterion can be applied to all materials, and various criteria carry different weights in different circumstances. Contextual considerations including budget, space availability, and interlibrary loan availability, also shape the selection process. 

Selection Criteria 

All materials, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the criteria listed below. An item need not meet all of these standards in order to be added to the collection.  

Public Demand and Community Interest 

● Popularity  

● Local emphasis, either subject matter or author 

● Patron requests 

Merits of Individual Titles (Media Items) 

● Creative, literary, or technical quality: clarity, originality, readability, artistic excellence

● Accuracy and currency of information, depth and breadth of coverage and indexing

● Reputation, expertise, and/or significance of author, illustrator, publisher, or producer

● Quality of physical format, bindings, durability, illustrations/reproductions, the technical quality of  non-print formats, ease of use 

● Treatment of subject for age of intended audience 

● Reviews, critical assessments in a variety of journals 

Merits of Individual Items (Non-Media Items) 

● Quality, function, and value 

● Ease of use 

● Ability to be repaired/availability of repair professionals 

● Durability 

The library does not mark or identify materials to show approval or disapproval of contents. The library also does not mark materials to restrict their use by ages, or sequester them except to protect valuable items from 

damage or theft. The library does not rely on private advisory codes or rating services in developing collections, nor does the library remove such ratings if they are an integral part of the item or its packaging. 

Collection Goals 

● Contemporary significance or permanent value: source material or a record of the times;  representation of an important movement, genre, trend or culture 

● Relevance to the library’s mission and service roles 

● Relationship to the existing collection: contribution to balanced, up-to-date coverage of a broad  range of subject areas that is suitable for readers of different ages and reading levels, interests, and  backgrounds  

● Representation of diverse points of view 

● Relationship to materials in other area libraries, especially availability within the CWMARS  consortium 

● Materials serving diverse local populations, including speakers of languages other than English ● Materials accessible to patrons with different learning abilities, educational levels, and physical  needs; for example, audio and large print formats 

● Currency and usability of formats  

Financial Considerations 

● Price and availability 

● Value for cost 

● Library materials budget 

Selectors will consult professional library literature and publishing review media, examine other libraries’  holdings in the CWMARS catalog, and review suggestions directly from the public and other staff. An item may be purchased if there is heavy demand, even though reviews may be unfavorable or other items on the same subject are in the collection. 

Guidelines for Specific Subject Areas and Formats 

1. Fiction 

Current fiction is a mainstay of the collection and is purchased extensively. The collection includes recreational reading, classic literature, and titles representing styles of various periods and countries, all in multiple genres.  The collection shall include titles intended for diverse populations (e.g. ages, cultures, languages, and interests) Controversial books of recognized literary merit may be acquired. 

2. Non-Fiction 

The library collects recognized, standard works as well as timely materials for current demand. Non-fiction may be excluded for inaccurate information, lack of integrity, sensationalism, intent to promote hatred or intolerance, and content that is too limited or specialized. In the case of controversial questions, variety and balance of opinion are sought whenever available. 

3. Audiovisual and Non-Print Collections 

1. The music audio collection represents significant performers, composers, and styles of popular and classical music, including a variety of cultures and traditions. Quality of content and performance,  production values, and diversity are considered. 

2. Audiobooks include both fiction and non-fiction according to the same criteria as books, with the additional consideration of quality of the performance and recorded production. Audiobooks are collected in primarily unabridged formats, though abridged will be considered when appropriate to the topic. 

3. Video recordings, including DVD and Blu-Ray, include contemporary and classic feature films as well as  TV series and foreign films. The library collects non-fiction video including, but not limited to,  documentaries, health, travel, history, science, local concerns, “how-to” subjects, and self-paced instruction. 

4. Other non-print materials include puzzles and games, technology, and other items for the Room of  Things. The library also purchases some loanable equipment for which the cost per use may be unreasonably high for a single household to acquire.

5. Digital resources include items such as online databases; recordings, and images; digital historical archives; software programs for patron use; and internet service for the public. 

4. Downloadable Content 

The library provides access to a collection of downloadable/streaming content made available to our patrons by virtue of our membership in CWMARS and the statewide Commonwealth eBook Collection. Additional streaming services are purchased by the library for use by Westborough patrons based on the library’s evaluation of patron needs. 

5. Periodicals 

The library subscribes to popular interest periodicals, news and informational publications, and a limited number of professional journals. Selection of periodicals is based on community interest, budget, and space considerations. Requests from patrons and gift subscriptions are considered using the same criteria. Magazines and newspapers are acquired for both casual reading and research purposes, and may be provided in print and/or electronic formats. Newspapers are selected to meet reference and research needs of patrons, to provide current information, and to satisfy casual interest in current events. Local and national newspapers are supplied upon sufficient demand and within budget and space limitations. 

6. Reference 

The library maintains a small print reference collection, and a more comprehensive electronic collection. The  Massachusetts Library System and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners provide some online products, with additional products purchased by the library for use by Westborough residents. Access to online products from the Boston Public Library with a BPL eCard is also available. Factors considered in the selection of reference materials are authority, reliability, scope, treatment, arrangement, format, cost, and existing holdings. 

7. Local Authors 

An effort is made to acquire titles by Westborough authors, artists, and producers that are published by mainstream publishers and whose work fits within our collection development guidelines. Titles that are self-published are not added to the collection unless there is a compelling reason to do so (valuable local content,  high local interest). Local authors’ works are integrated into the general collection.  

8. Children’s and Teen Materials 

The library collects print and audiovisual materials to stimulate creativity and to satisfy children’s and teens’  needs for information. The materials are organized for easy access, given the varied capabilities of children and teenagers. As stated in Access to Libraries for Minors: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, the  

library recognizes parents and legal guardians as the parties responsible for the reading and viewing habits of their children – and only their children. 

1. Teen materials include fiction, non-fiction (shelved in the Adult collection), test prep materials, and audiobooks. 

2. Parenting materials for adults with children or caring for children are provided in the Children’s collection.  Materials include books, DVD’s, and magazines. 

3. The Children’s Department purchases a wide variety of materials to appeal to children and teenagers of varied ages and abilities, who come from varied backgrounds and families, religious affiliations,  ethnicities, and sexual orientations. 

4. The library makes every effort to provide titles that appear on school reading lists in multiple formats. 

9. Academic Titles 

Many books are published that are too specialized, too narrowly focused, or too academic for the library’s collection. These books may have received excellent reviews, but do not meet the needs of the general audience that frequents a public library. Unless the content of the book is of local interest and generates significant local demand, the library does not generally purchase and add these titles to our collection. School and college textbooks are also excluded from purchase.

10. Genealogy and Local History 

Please see the separate policy for the Westborough Center for History and Culture. Decisions about whether items from the Center are allowed to circulate are made by the Local History Librarian. 

Requests for Purchase 

The library welcomes requests for purchase of materials; however such requests will be subject to the same criteria for selection as other considered materials. 

Collection Maintenance 

Library collections should be fresh, exciting, and attractive. Systematic removal of materials no longer useful to the library is essential. Collection analysis is the continuous examination and thorough analysis of library materials for the purpose of maintaining and strengthening the collections. Removal of materials requires judgements as important as those used in original selections. With the exceptions of the collections of the  Westborough Center for History and Culture, the library does not serve an archival function. Materials which are no longer appropriate for the collection because of outdated or incorrect content, bias, poor condition, lack of relevance to the needs and interests of the community, or lack of use will be identified by appropriate staff members and discarded from the collection according to current, accepted professional practices. 

Materials discarded because of loss, vandalism, poor condition, or outdated content may be considered for replacement. 

Removed materials are handled in compliance with legal requirements regarding the disposition of public assets. 


The Westborough Public Library welcomes and appreciates donations to its collections. The library accepts new and used books, audiobooks, music CDs, DVDs, BluRay discs, video games, and other items in good, clean condition as donations. The library does not accept textbooks, outdated reference/nonfiction books,  encyclopedias, VHS tapes, cassette tapes, or items in poor condition (torn, worn, dirty, moldy, smelly). 

Library staff evaluates donations for addition to the collection by the same criteria for which materials are selected for purchase. See the Materials Selection part of this policy for more information. All gifts will become the property of the Westborough Public Library and are retained or disposed of according to this policy’s  Selection Criteria. Donations that are not added to the collection may be given to the Friends of the  Westborough Public Library for their book sales to benefit the library. 

For gifts of art, photography, non-print items, or other specialty items, please contact the Library Director to discuss your donation. No conditions may be imposed relating to any gift after its acceptance by the library. 

The library does not appraise gift materials for tax purposes. Staff will, upon request of the donor, provide a  written receipt for gifts, indicating the approximate number/quantity and general description of materials donated. 

Objection to Library Materials 

The Westborough Public Library subscribes to the principles of intellectual freedom, which allow for every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. The library provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause, or movement may be explored.  

The library also subscribes to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights. Included in this statement is the commitment to honor the rights of an individual to use the library regardless of age, race,  religion, national origin, or social or political views. Accordingly, the library staff provides equal service to all library users.

If a Westborough resident wishes to express concern about, or objects to particular library materials, the library staff will ask the individual to complete a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form,” which is available as an appendix to this document, on the library website (, and at the  Reference Desk. The Library Director will review the title, meet with staff selectors to evaluate the original decision for the purchase of the material, and meet with the individual to review the complaint. The Director will make a written ruling on the request, based on the Collection Development Policy and the Statement of  Concern. The written ruling will be discussed at a Library Trustees meeting, and the Library Trustees will vote on the ruling at that time. The Trustees’ decision is final. 

Library employees are protected by Chapter 78, Section 33, of the General Laws of Massachusetts: Policy for  Selection and Use of Library Materials and Facilities, which states that no employee shall be dismissed for the selection of library materials when the selection is made in good faith and in accordance with the standards of the American Library Association. In addition, the Westborough Public Library will not discipline an employee who has selected materials in good faith and in accordance with ALA standards. 

Policy Review and Revision 

This Collection Development Policy will be reviewed annually by collection development staff and the Board of  Trustees. 

Guiding Principles 

In the interest of protecting the individual’s right to have access to materials, the library recognizes the guiding  principles of the following documents: 

The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution 

The American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights 

Access to Digital Resources and Services: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors; An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights 

The Freedom to Read Statement (A Joint Statement by the American Library Association and the Association  of American Publishers) 

Approved by Board of Trustees: August 2021

Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form

Item Loan Guidelines

Adult & Children’s DVDs, CDs, and Magazines
2 Week Loan
2 Renewals

Adult, Teen & Children’s Special Collections
2 Week Loan
No Renewals

Special Collections Include: ● Breakout Books ● Board Games & Puzzles ● VOX Books ● Playaway Launchpads ● Teen Summer Reading ● Library of Things Items ○ Including Hotspots Adult, Teen & Children’

Books (Print & Audio)
4 Week Loan 2 Renewals

General Collection

General Collection pertains to all items not mentioned in the Special Collections above.   

For the quickest circulation experience, please bring your C/W MARS library card with you.  Library material may alternatively be checked out with a valid ID and/or confirmation of multiple account details, but we encourage you to bring your card. 

Hold items may be picked up by any member of a household with a valid library account (unless otherwise noted on patron account).   

The fee for a library card replacement is $1.00 or one non-perishable food item to be donated to a local charity.   

BORROWING LIMITS   There will be no limit on the format of items checked out aside from the 50 item limit imposed by the CWMARS network with the few exceptions being listed below.  

Item Limit Exceptions:  

● Breakout Books 1 per card ● Library of Things Items 1 per card ○ Hotspots 1 per household ● Other ○ The Library reserves the right to add a limit to a special collection or format as needed.  Items with a special limit will be clearly marked. 

– Revised 04/2022  

Westborough Public Library “Library of Things”


The Library of Things is a collection of non-traditional library items that complement the Westborough Public Library’s mission to ignite curiosity, facilitate lifelong learning, and connect our community. Patrons who borrow a Thing agree to abide by the Westborough Public Library’s Library of Things lending guidelines below.


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 items that are not books or media, such as:

  • Technology – Chromebooks, TMobile Hotspots, Portable DVD player, GoPro video camera, CD player, geocaching kits
  • STEM devices including a telescope, microscope, and a Sphero robot
  • Home improvement and assistive devices – Pressure washer, roof rakes, stud finder, dampness meter
  • Crafting tools such as a sewing machine, hot glue gun, and knitting needles
  • Cooking – cake pans, ice cream maker
  • Sports equipment and lawn games – Pickleball rackets, hiking poles, horseshoes, badminton, croquet.

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. For a full list of items available, contact the Adult Services Librarian.


Not all library materials may be suitable for all members of the community. Responsibility for a child’s use of library materials, regardless of format or content, lies with the parent or guardian, not with the library.

The Library reserves the right to refuse borrowing privileges to patrons who misuse equipment, who are repeatedly late, or to patrons who abuse or ignore the Library of Things lending policy.

The Library reserves the right to limit consecutive borrowing of items by the same patron in order to make sure that items are available for other patrons to borrow.

Patrons checking out Library of Things items must be present and meet other borrowing criteria. Patrons are not allowed to check out Library of Things items to any other patron besides themselves.

Library of Things Items must be returned to the Main Circulation Desk in person. No Library of Things item is to be returned in the book drop at any time.

All items in the Library of Things can be checked out on a first come first served basis for a period of 2 weeks, no renewals. The items will be inspected by staff when they are checked out and upon return to ensure that items are not defective, that they are complete, and in working order.

Some items in the Library of Things collection require that the borrower be an adult (over 18), present a library card in good standing (no balance over $10.00), and present valid photo identification. These items include, but are not limited to: 

  • Wi-Fi hotspots – Hotspots are available to Westborough residents only. Patrons must wait 48 hours after returning a hotspot before checking out another hotspot, in order to give others an opportunity to use one. Overdue hotspots will be deactivated. Hotspot checkout limited is 1 hotspot per household at any time.


No software may be downloaded or installed on Chromebooks, and software already installed must not be duplicated or removed. Users wishing to save files they have created must back them up to USB drives or personal internet-based accounts. All devices will be wiped clean after a session ends by built-in software, and any content will not be able to be recovered.

Equipment loaned by the library may not be used to engage in illegal activities or to disturb others. Borrowers who wish to view videos or listen to audio must supply and use their own headphones.

Library staff reserve the right to limit the number of items checked out from the Library of Things. 


The library’s Policy for Public Access to Computers and Internet applies to Chromebook use. Users must read and agree to the policy before internet access is allowed.
Library of Things items must not be left unattended. The borrower is responsible for all costs associated with damage or loss or theft of equipment and any peripherals during the period it is checked out, plus a $5.00 processing fee. The library does not accept replacement hardware, software, equipment or peripherals in lieu of payment.

Device borrowing privileges shall be suspended if the patron fails to return any device by the time it is due. For the first policy violation, device borrowing privileges shall be suspended for 30 days; for the second offense 60 days. Subsequent late returns will result in borrowing privileges being revoked. Hotspot lending privileges will be permanently revoked for any device that is over 14 days late regardless of the number of the offense.

Patrons must not loan equipment to others.

Due to the nature of the items contained in the Library of Things, these items will not be holdable or shared via delivery with other CWMARS libraries. All library patrons are required to check out and return Library of Things items at the main floor Circulation Desk.


The library is not responsible for damage to any removable drive (i.e. flash drive), or lost or corrupted files, for any reason.

The library is not responsible for any computer viruses that may be transferred to user storage devices. Tampering with library equipment or attempting to access or modify the operating system or any other software or programming, including bypassing security functions, is prohibited.

The library cannot guarantee that hotspots will work in every location. The devices run from cellular signals, which may be weak or intermittent in some locations.

The library is not responsible for accidents or injuries caused by use of equipment borrowed by patrons. (For example, NEVER look at the sun through the telescope. Permanent eye damage may result.)

Fees will be incurred for damage or replacement.


The library staff will select materials for the Library of Things based on the needs and interests of library patrons. The library welcomes input from the community concerning the collection. All suggestions are evaluated using the same selection criteria as for other materials and are not automatically added to the collection. 

Due to limited storage space and the staff time necessary to evaluate, test and maintain each item, the library can accept only a limited number of donations. The library does not accept materials that are not outright gifts, and cannot guarantee the permanence of a gift in the collection. Materials donated to the library are received with the understanding that they are subject to the same selection, evaluation and disposal criteria as material acquired for purchase.

Evaluation of Collections

The library will use circulation data and community suggestions to guide future selections for the Library of Things collection. Items that are not popular, do not circulate or are in poor condition will be withdrawn from library collections according to the Collection Development Policy.

Library’s Use of Things

The library reserves the right to take a Thing out of circulation temporarily to use for library purposes (workshops, demonstrations, or other programs), or to repair a damaged item.

Revised 2/2023

Lost or Damaged Materials Fees

The Westborough Public Library does not accept replacement items from patrons when an item is lost or damaged.

Fees are as follows:

ItemReplacement Fee
Book – LostReplacement cost (list price for book) + $5.00 processing fee
Book – DamagedReplacement cost + $5.00 processing fee
Book – Missing parts (CDs, DVDs, CD-ROMs)Replacement cost of book and non-print material + $5.00 processing fee
Book – Damaged parts (CDs, DVDs, CD-ROMs)Replacement cost of book and non-print material + $5.00 processing fee
Book on CD – LostReplacement cost + $5.00 processing fee
Book on CD – Missing CD$12.00 for missing disc if it can be replaced, otherwise full cost of the item. Additional $5.00 processing fee in either case.
Book on CD – Damaged CD$12.00 for damaged disc if it can be replaced, otherwise full cost of the item. Additional $5.00 processing fee in either case.
Book on CD – Packaging damaged or missing$20.00 + $5.00 processing fee
DVD – DamagedDVD replacement cost + $5.00 processing fee
DVD – LostDVD replacement cost + $5.00 processing fee
DVD – Missing packagingDVD replacement cost + $5.00 processing fee
DVD – Damaged packagingDVD replacement cost + $5.00 processing fee
Music CD – MissingReplacement cost + $5.00 processing
Music CD – DamagedReplacement cost + $5.00 processing
Music CD – Packaging damaged or missingReplacement cost + $5.00 processing
Social Media Policy


The following policy pertains to official and non-official posting to social media services and using posting tools by staff members of the Westborough Public Library (“Library staff”). The Library permits the use of social media sites as a means to disseminate information from the Library to the members of the public. Consequently, the Library has both an expectation and a responsibility regarding the integrity and presentation of information posted on its social media sites by employees both officially and personally through any and all content that is attributed to the Library.


“Social media service/account/site/technology” means internet services/products that can be used/adapted for the distribution of information with a profile/page that can be followed by the public (ex. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). “Posts” or “postings” means the content, information, articles, pictures, videos or any other form of communication posted on a social media site, including responding to submissions/feedback from the patrons in both public and private forums.

Guidelines for Library Social Media Accounts/Posting

  1. The establishment of Library social media accounts and technology is subject to approval by the Library Director and Technical Services Librarian.
  2. The Library shall form a social media team that will designate limited administrators for each social media account operated by the Library. Content should be submitted to the appropriate team member(s) for review, scheduling, and posting.  The social media team shall meet no less than twice a year to discuss social media accounts, trends, and goals.
  3. Posts made on any social media service shall, in some way, adhere to the Library’s mission statement.
  4. Employees representing the Library on social media sites shall conduct themselves at all times as a professional representative of the Library.
  5. Any employee authorized to post items on any of the Library’s social media accounts shall review and be familiar with the social media site’s use policies and terms and conditions, as well as the Library Social Media Policy.
  6. Any employee authorized to post items on any of the Library’s social media sites shall not express their own personal views or concerns through such postings. Postings shall only reflect the views of the Library. Any questions regarding appropriate post content should be brought to the Library Director or Assistant Director.
  7. With the exception of the Library Director, employees may not use personal accounts to be an administrator of any social media service and technology. Employees must create social media accounts using authorized C/WMARS or Town of Westborough contact information for account set-up, monitoring and access to gain administrative privileges. All accounts created by staff for the purpose of being a Library administrator must be filed with the Technical Services and Technology Librarian.
  8. Any post that is found to have incorrect information may be edited to reflect the correct information. At the discretion of staff, posts with out-of-date information may be removed.
  9. Posts made in error or in violation of any portion of the social media policy may be deleted.
  10. At the discretion of the Library Director and/or Library Staff, comments from the public may be deleted/hidden based on the following criteria:
  • Profane, obscene, or vulgar language or content
  • Comments or content that promotes, fosters or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, national origin, religion, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, genetic information, military status, or any other category protected under the state and federal anti-discrimination laws
  • Comments or content that is threatening or harassing; Sexual comments, content, or links to sexual content
  • Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity
  • Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems
  • Content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other party, including patron records
  • Protected health information
  • Content or comments that express opinions or discuss issues before a board or committee, for which such communication by a majority of board or committee members might be construed as violating Open Meeting Laws
  • Other information that is not public record or is otherwise privileged from public disclosure


Guidelines for Non-Library Account Social Media Posting by Library Employees


  1. All library employees must be mindful that there is a greater risk that their comments or conduct while participating in social media (both officially and personally) may have a direct impact upon the integrity of their department and the public’s perception of the Library as a whole. Furthermore, there is a greater likelihood that the public will view their conduct/comments as representative of the Library, even when personal disclaimers are made.
  2. No personal post should be made on work time unless said post is intended to positively promote or highlight a library service, program, or initiative.
  3. Any complaints or concerns Library employees have regarding internal Library operations, including patron and staff interactions, should be properly addressed and mediated without an online audience.

Approved by Library Trustees 03/2021

Reproduction Policy for Historical Materials

Library users who wish to make or use copies of historical images and/or materials held in or on the website/databases of the Westborough Center for History and Culture must abide by the following policies.

  1. Anyone who copies or reproduces materials from the Library collection should be aware of Title 17 and especially the provisions of Section 108 of the U.S. Code (Copyright Law) and takes full responsibility for complying with it. A librarian can help point users to resources that can aid in determining a work’s copyright status. The responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright must be assumed by those wishing to reproduce the images or materials for publication in any form.
  • Library users may bring their own scanners or photographic equipment (including phone cameras) into the Westborough Center to make copies of images or materials. In some cases, materials may already be available in digital form through the Library website or digital repository, and a librarian can help users determine if they are.
  • Library users may photocopy materials from the Westborough Center, but must ask the permission of a librarian to remove any non-circulating item from the room in order to do so.
  • The Library reserves the right to prohibit the photocopying or reproduction of historical images or materials if doing so will harm the original in any way.
  • The Library may refuse a request to reproduce images or materials, or may prohibit the copying of materials by library users, if doing so puts an undue burden on library staff or other library users in any way.
  • The Library requests that a credit line that reads, “Courtesy of the Westborough Public Library, Westborough, Massachusetts” accompany images used in any publication, exhibition, or other public display, along with a link to the home page of the Westborough Public Library in the case of electronic publications.
  • The person requesting the reproduction agrees to hold the Westborough Public Library harmless from any and all claims and expenses arising from the use of the reproduction or copy.

Approved by the Westborough Public Library Board of Trustees, April 2021.

Westborough Center Collection Development Policy Statement


The Westborough Public Library collects, organizes, preserves, and provides access to sources that document the history of Westborough and its inhabitants, government, environment, businesses, institutions, and organizations. The aim of this collection is to provide resources for town residents and researchers to explore the personal, historical, and cultural heritage of Westborough and its environs in meaningful and creative ways.

Collection Statement

The emphasis of the Westborough Center collection is to encourage and facilitate exploration of Westborough’s history, culture, community, and setting. Relevant areas of collecting include Westborough’s history, government, environment, settlement, residents both past and present, industry, commerce, recreation, education, and geography, as well as the history of its civic, religious, cultural, and social organizations.

The collection supports activities related to research, exhibits, community outreach, organizational events, publications, and enhanced enjoyment of Westborough and its surroundings, among others. The collection mainly serves the general public, but also supports the research activities of scholars, professionals, and students of all ages.

Primary Areas of Collecting

Primary areas of collecting include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  • Materials that record the history, development, and the current state of affairs of the Town of Westborough. Images of Westborough sites and individual residents are an important part of this collection.
  • Personal manuscripts and other materials that record the history and experiences of Westborough individuals and families.
  • Records that chronicle the history of Westborough organizations and institutions.
  • Materials that record and represent the social and cultural heritage of past and present ethnic, immigrant, and religious groups in the community.
  • Materials that contribute to a better understanding of the area’s geography, demographics, architecture, and other facets of Westborough’s environment.
  • Materials that record and provide context for understanding the life and lives of Westborough residents, both past and present.
  • Materials that provide instruction in the practice of local history, genealogy, preservation, oral history, exhibits, museums, and similar topics related to the work that goes on in the Westborough Center.

Acquisitions from any time period and in any language may be considered. The geographic scope of the collection focuses specifically on Westborough and its environs.

Current strengths of the collection include the history of settlement and early families of Westborough, historical photographs, genealogies of Westborough families, maps of Westborough and surrounding areas, historical Westborough newspapers, records that document the military service of Westborough residents, the history of select churches, and information about historically significant Westborough residents, such as the Rev. Ebenezer Parkman, Eli Whitney, and Esther Forbes.

The collection is currently weak in documenting the history, culture, and lives of Westborough’s immigrant and ethnic groups, the development of commerce and agriculture in town, and the activities of town organizations and institutions. Donations to the collection that focus on these subject areas are especially welcome.


Formats collected include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  • Atlases
  • Audio recordings
  • Biographical dictionaries
  • Books
  • Broadsides
  • Brochures
  • Census records
  • City and county histories
  • Digital files
  • Ephemera
  • Government documents
  • Institutional or organizational records
  • Manuscripts
  • Maps
  • Newspapers
  • Organizational directories
  • Pamphlets
  • Periodicals and journals
  • Personal papers: account books, diaries, financial records, letters, memoirs
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Serials
  • Social media
  • Town directories
  • Video recordings
  • Websites

Three-dimensional artifacts will not be added to the collection unless, in rare instances, they are a critical part of a donated collection, deemed appropriate for inclusion in the overall collection, and can be properly stored and displayed. In most cases, the Westborough Historical Society or the Westborough Historical Commission are more appropriate destinations for such items.

Selection Criteria

  • Relevance to the history of Westborough and surrounding areas.
  • Suitability of the subject to the Westborough Center collection.
  • Available space to house the materials.
  • Non-duplication of material within the collection.
  • Authenticity and completeness of record.
  • Quality of the physical form of material.
  • Ease of use for patrons.
  • Ability to store, display, or otherwise care for the item properly.
  • Cost to preserve, store, and process.
  • Security requirements to store and/or display.
  • Lack of restrictions by donor.


The Westborough Public Library welcomes donations to its historical collection. Each donation to the collection will be recorded in a donor file that will contain a copy of the Deed of Gift and all correspondence and memoranda relating to the transaction. All donors must complete a Deed of Gift in order to establish the transfer of ownership of donated materials (and copyright, if appropriate) to the Library. The transfer to the Library of the copyright owned by donors in individual items makes it easier for the Library and its users to use the items in unique and creative ways. Once the Deed of Gift is signed by the donor, the donated material becomes the unrestricted property of the Library.

The Library reserves the right to refuse an offered donation. The Library will not accept material that shows damage from mold, mildew, water, insects, smoke, or dirt, as such material can harm other items in the collection. The Library may also refuse a donation based on the Selection Criteria.

The Library reserves the right to decide how the donated material will be displayed or stored, how the material may be used by the public, and how long the material will be retained.

Donated materials may be scanned and placed on the Internet for viewing or otherwise reformatted. They may also be moved from the Westborough Center collection to other sections of the library, sold, transferred to another library, or discarded.

The Library will not, and cannot, conduct any monetary appraisals for donors nor give tax advice. If donors plan to take a tax deduction for their donations, they should consult a tax accountant or attorney. Any monetary appraisals are the responsibility of the donor and should be conducted before transferring materials to the Library.


The Westborough Center is open for public use during normal Library hours. Every effort is made to make the collection as accessible to the public as possible. Irreplaceable, fragile, and valuable materials in the collection are non-circulating, as are select reference works, and must be used inside the Westborough Center. Users of non-circulating items must consult with a librarian before removing them from the Westborough Center for any reason. Non-circulating materials may be locked away in order to ensure their long-term future use, but they can easily be accessed through the help of a librarian and in some cases are available as images online.

Policies regarding photocopying and the reproduction of items are spelled out in the Reproduction Policy for Historical Materials. Anyone who copies or reproduces materials from the collection should be aware of Title 17 and especially the provisions of Section 108 of the U.S. Code (Copyright Law) and takes full responsibility for complying with it. A librarian can help point users to resources that can aid in determining a work’s copyright status. Library staff may refuse to allow the photocopying or reproduction of fragile material.

Reappraisal and Deaccession

From time to time, the Local History and Genealogy Collection will be reappraised, and the deaccession of some materials may take place. The Library will offer the deaccessioned materials to other institutions if appropriate, sell the items, or discard them.

Approved by the Westborough Public Library Board of Trustees, April 2021.

Public Access to Computers and Internet

The Westborough Public Library in its role as a community information resource provides public access to the Internet. The library does not control and does not monitor any information accessed through the internet for either accuracy or content. The individual user is the ultimate judge of the value of accessed information. In the case of minors, responsibility rests with their parents or legal guardians.

Acceptable Use

Access to and use of the library’s computers and internet connections is a privilege and should be treated as such by all users of the system. The Westborough Public Library’s electronic information resources are to be used in a responsible manner consistent with the educational and informational purposes for which they are provided. The following purposeful, illegal and/or criminal activities constitute unacceptable use:

  • Attempting to gain unauthorized access to the resources of the library’s computers
  • Disrupting the intended use of library computers
  • Wasting resources (staff time, equipment capacity, supplies) through such actions
  • Destroying the integrity of information on library computers
  • Compromising the privacy of users
  • Deliberately displaying obscene images (a violation of Massachusetts General Law MGL Ch.272, Sec. 29)
  • Engaging in communications which are libelous or slanderous
  • Committing fraud
  • Violating copyright law or software licenses
  • Developing or using computer programs which infiltrate, or attempt to infiltrate, a computer or computer system, and/or damage or alter the software components, of a local or remote computer or computer system


All public computers are available for 2-hour sessions with unlimited logins as long as no one is waiting.  *due to COVID-19 computer use time is limited. Please adhere to time limit set by computer session*

Wireless Access

Wi-fi access is available to the public at the Westborough Public Library. We provide open, unsecured access to anyone with a wireless-enabled device. The library makes no guarantees as to the compatibility of the user’s equipment with our network. The library is not responsible for any personal information that is compromised, or for any damage caused to a user’s hardware or software due to security issues or consequences caused by viruses or hacking. Users should not transmit personal information, including but not limited to, banking information, over any unsecured network. Use of the Westborough Public Library’s wireless internet access is governed by the library’s Acceptable Use Internet Policy.

Filtering or Blocking Software

The Westborough Public Library subscribes to the position adopted by the American Library Association that the use of filtering software on library internet workstations blocks constitutionally-protected speech and is inconsistent with the United States Constitution and federal law.


Anyone discovered attempting to damage the library’s equipment or software, attempting to change files or reset configurations, or otherwise violating this policy will immediately lose the right to use those resources. Illegal acts involving library computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities. Users are responsible for any damage to hardware, software or furniture.


Printing is available from public workstations and patrons’ wireless devices. Printing fees are posted at the printer.


While walk-ins are welcomed on both short-term and long-term Internet workstations, patrons may reserve up to one hour of computer time on the long-term Internet computer only, either in person or by phone. These reservations may be made for same day use only. Users arriving more that five minutes late for their reserved time may forfeit their reservation.

Shut Down

To facilitate closing procedures, software will shut down workstations fifteen minutes before the library closes.

User Limits

Users may be accompanied by only one other person at the workstation.


Internet users are cautioned to examine carefully the validity and accuracy of any information obtained over the Internet as well as the validity of its source.

Access by Minors

Parents or guardians must assume responsibility for deciding which library resources are appropriate for their own children. Parents/guardians must provide guidance to their own children for the safe usage of email, social media, and other forms of direct electronic communication. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ensure that their child does not access sites that may be inappropriate or potentially harmful to the child.

The following safety guidelines will be posted at computers in the Children’s Room:

  • Never give out information about yourself, such as home address, school name, or telephone number, to anyone without permission from your parents or guardians
  • Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone via the computer without your parents’ or guardians’ approval
  • Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening, or make you uncomfortable. Show any messages like this to a parent, guardian, teacher or other adult
  • Never post messages or send emails that are suggestive, obscene, threatening, or would make someone else uncomfortable
  • Remember that people online may not be who they say they are
  • Never open attachments or click links in emails from people you don’t know. They could lead to inappropriate websites or contain viruses
  • Remember that everything you read online may not be true.
Library Long Range Plan
What Can We Help you Find? close tab x