Pandemics, Natural Disasters, and Other Emergencies

Whelden Memorial Library establishes the following policy for pandemics, public health emergencies, weather related events, natural disasters, and other emergencies to supplement other approved policies. During emergencies, the Library Director is given the authority to deviate from approved policies as necessary to ensure the health and safety of patrons and staff members.

The Director is encouraged to continue providing in-person services and to resume those services as soon as safely able to do so while also complying with the orders and direction of local and state authorities and guidance from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). Internal considerations on open hours, staffing levels, services, and programs will include the availability and/or health status of staff members, the need to maintain safe staffing levels, and conditions in the community. In cases in which the Director is unable to obtain prior approval for changes by the Board or Head of the Trustees, they will notify the Trustees of any changes made as soon as reasonably possible.


Some steps that the Director may take may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Closing the building early, not opening, or delaying openings
    • When change in open hours occurs unexpectedly due to weather, emergencies, and disasters, scheduled staff members receive no loss in pay
  • Reducing public access to areas of the library 
  • Canceling, suspending, and resuming both library and non-library programs
  • Temporarily raising the age at which unaccompanied minors may come to the library by themselves
    (as of 1/20/22, children under the age of 10 must be accompanied while using library services)
  • Setting in-person total occupancy limits and limits on how long individuals may stay
  • Implementing a requirement that all patrons wear masks when inside the building or attending programs
    • Note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, patrons who qualify for exemptions to wearing face coverings will be directed to use curbside pickup or other remote services to the best of the library’s ability
  • Eliminating the use of public restrooms or reducing the number of restrooms available to the public 
  • Temporarily approving a reduction in the minimum staffing levels during open hours, making modifications to services and areas where patrons may go in the library as necessary
  • Determining when and which staff members are authorized to work from home and their assignments during remote work
  • When a tornado warning or other weather event or emergency occurs during library hours, the library may remain open past its normal closing time to shelter patrons until it is determined that it is safe for everyone to leave 

Other temporary changes in operational hours, staffing levels and assignments, services, and programs may be made by the Director as they deem appropriate for the circumstances. 


In cases in which the Director is unavailable, they will designate a staff member or the most senior library staff member is given the authority to make any temporary changes to the daily operations of the library. The Library Director and Head of the Trustees will be notified of any changes as soon as reasonably possible. 


Approved: Whelden Memorial Library Board of Trustees, February 1, 2022 

Behavior Policy


Whelden Memorial Library welcomes all members of the public. This policy is designed to promote a safe, comfortable environment for its users and staff while supporting appropriate use of the library and its services.


Scope and Enforcement 

This policy shall apply to all library buildings and grounds, library programs conducted on or off site, and all persons entering in or on the premises, unless otherwise specified. 


If a patron cannot understand and follow the Behavior Policy and/or becomes sick, anxious, or disruptive and/or requires transportation, staff will help by locating their companion, if any. If a companion is not available on-site to assist the patron, staff will, to the best of their ability, contact a parent/guardian/caregiver/family member to assist the patron.


Staff members observing unacceptable behavior will inform patrons of policy infractions with a warning. If the behavior continues, staff may ask the patron to leave the library for a stated period of suspension. In the case of any misconduct that, in the judgment of a staff member, is extreme, staff may ask a patron to leave immediately without warning. The Library Director will be advised of the incident and any action taken as soon as possible, which could include restriction of library access or privileges. A parent or guardian of a minor involved in unacceptable behavior will be contacted. When deemed necessary, the Barnstable Police Department will be called. Incidents in which a patron’s access or privileges are suspended will be documented and shared with the Board of Trustees.


If a patron wishes to appeal the decision to suspend privileges or library access, they may contact the Library Board of Trustees via letter, mailed or emailed, and will be contacted directly by the Head of the Trustees or their designee.


Library Rules and Unacceptable Behavior 

Unacceptable behavior is any behavior that either consciously or unconsciously violates or restricts the rights of others to use the library, prevents employees from doing their jobs, or jeopardizes the safety of library users, staff and/or property.


While in the library or using its resources patrons are expected to:

  • Be considerate and respectful of other library users and staff 
  • Ensure that children under the age of 10 are supervised by an adult 
  • Be responsible for personal belongings
  • Respect other users’ privacy
  • Respect library materials, furnishings, equipment, and facilities by using them appropriately
  • Be responsible about trash, spills, or odors related to food and drink, which are allowed unless they create a nuisance
  • Wear sufficient attire, including shirt and shoes, at all times 

Unacceptable Behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • Loud talking, laughing, or using audio equipment or cell phones that disturbs other patrons
  • Recording staff or patrons without obtaining permission
  • Attempting to record or obtain patron records or personal information of patrons or staff without permission including requesting check-out records, contact information, etc.
  • Any behavior that endangers the safety or health of others
  • Refusal to follow the reasonable direction of a library employee
  • Behavior that is willfully annoying, harassing, or threatening to another person
  • Inappropriate use of library materials, furnishings, or facilities
  • Sleeping
  • Theft, vandalism, or deliberate destruction of library materials or personal property of other patrons and staff
  • Soliciting of any kind, unless permission has been granted by the Library Director
  • Monopolizing library resources or staff time
  • Use of the telephone, unless in an emergency or permission is granted by staff
  • Entering non-public areas, unless invited by a staff member
  • Bringing animals into the building, except service animals or with permission from the Library Director
  • Use of alcohol, cigarettes, e-cigarettes or vaporizers, or illegal substances in the library
  • Having hygiene-related offensive body odor or perfume that disrupts others’ use of the library
  • Failing to provide adequate supervision of a person or group to whom the patron has a duty of care
  • Carrying firearms and dangerous weapons of any type (except by law enforcement officers)
  • Violation of any local, state, or federal law

Staff reserve the right to ask a patron to leave the library for any of the reasons listed above or for other kinds of behavior they deem inappropriate.


Approved: Whelden Memorial Library Board of Trustees, February 1, 2022 

Child Safety Policy

The Whelden Memorial Library is dedicated to providing a welcoming and safe environment for patrons of all ages. The safety and well-being of children using the library is a serious concern. In addition to its Behavior Policy, the library maintains the following policy concerning child behavior and supervision.


Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by a responsible caregiver, defined by the library as an individual over the age of 14 who is entrusted with the care of a minor. Accompanied is defined as “within sight.” An unaccompanied minor is defined as a child who is in the library alone or whose caregiver is in the library but is not adequately supervising.

Staff are not responsible for providing supervision and care of children of any age, whether in the library or on library premises. Staff do not monitor children entering or exiting the building nor do they monitor who they are leaving with. Even when absent, the responsibility for the care, safety, and behavior of children using the library rests with the parent/guardian. Parents/guardians assume all liability for damage done by their children to the library facility, equipment, and materials.

In addition to our Behavior Policy, if a staff member deems a child’s behavior to be inappropriate or disruptive to other users (i.e., running, horseplay, shouting, etc.), staff may give a verbal warning to the child, and if possible, will inform the caregiver. If an unattended minor is asked to leave the library, staff will make their best attempts to contact a parent/guardian/caregiver to inform them of the situation, but they are not required to do so. In some cases, minors may be asked to leave the library for a stated period of time and will not be allowed back until a parent/guardian has met with the Library Director. 

Unaccompanied Minors, Emergencies, and After Hours

In case of a medical emergency, and staff, using their best judgment, determine it to be a dangerous situation, emergency services will be contacted, then the parent/guardian/caregiver, in that order.

 Staff will attempt to contact a parent/guardian/caregiver for the following reasons:

  •  a child under the age of 10 is left unattended during operating hours, or during a library program (unless otherwise permitted in the program requirements)
  •  a child under the age of 14 is alone in the building at closing

If staff are unable to reach a responsible caregiver and a period of 30 minutes has elapsed, they will contact the Barnstable Police Department to assume responsibility for the child. Under no circumstances will a library staff member remove or transport a child away from the library building.  In the case of a child left alone in the building after closing, two staff members will remain with the child until pickup. In all cases, an incident report will be filed and the Library Director will be notified. If/when a parent/guardian/caregiver arrives, staff may explain the Child Safety Policy and provide a written copy if necessary. 

Group Visits

It is recommended that the Library Director be contacted prior to any group visit to the building so the library staff can make the visit special, meaningful, and fun. Adults accompanying a daycare, class, supervised visit, or other group stand  in loco parentis  while using the library. When visiting the library, we ask the following:

  •  The child-to-adult ratio is adequate to ensure appropriate supervision without the assistance of library staff
  •  The Library Director is informed of planned visits that are more than an hour long and/or occur more than three times a week

If it is determined that these requirements are not met, the group visits may be suspended by the Library Director, until changes are made.

Repeat violations of this policy may result in  restriction or loss of library privileges or access  for minors and/or their parents/guardians/caregivers. See the library’s Behavior Policy for appeals information.

Approved: Whelden Memorial Library Board of Trustees, February 18, 2022 

Collection Development Policy

This policy is intended to provide guidance for the selection and evaluation of materials, print and non-print, which anticipate and meet the needs of the West Barnstable community. As the community changes, the library will need to periodically reassess and adapt its holdings to reflect new and differing areas of interest and concern. 

The library fully endorses the principles documented in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association (found on the ALA.org website).

Responsibility for Selection and Suggestions for Purchase

The authority and responsibility for the selection of library materials rests ultimately with the Library Director. Under their direction, selection is delegated to appropriate library staff. All staff members and the general public are encouraged to recommend materials for consideration. All suggestions for purchase are subject to the same selection criteria as other materials and are not automatically added to the collection. 

Selection Criteria

All materials are considered in terms of a variety of criteria including but not limited to: community/local interest, availability in other library collections, cost, overall demand, accuracy or currency of information.

Staff will use their best professional judgment when considering any material for purchase. Addition to the collection does not imply agreement with or approval of the viewpoints expressed in the work. Individual items which may be considered controversial or offensive by some may be selected if it will contribute to the overall variety and balance of the collection.

Responsibility for the viewing or reading habits of children rests with their legal guardians. Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children. Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and no library material will be sequestered except to protect it from damage or theft.

Some material may be designated for “in-library use only” based on age, transportability, cost of replacement, etc. and may be loaned out on a case by case basis at the discretion of the Director.

Requests for Reconsideration

Patrons of Whelden Memorial Library may recommend the removal of material from the collection by submitting a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form. This form will be made available to library patrons upon request. Each submission will be reviewed by the Library Director, and the patron will be notified of the decision to retain or withdraw the material within 30 days. Each request will be evaluated in relation to this collection development policy, the ALA code of Ethics, Freedom to Read Statement, and Library Bill of Rights. A request may not be considered if submitted by an individual who is not a patron in good standing of the Whelden Library. Material under review will remain in the circulating collection until a determination is made.


Maintenance of the library's collection ensures its usefulness and relevance to the community. Evaluation of material depends heavily on the staff's professional education and experience in assessing the needs of the community and the content of the collection. Some factors for evaluation are: physical condition, library space constraints, age/accuracy of information, and circulation statistics.

Materials that are “weeded” are withdrawn from the collection. The library makes every effort to dispose of all material to the best advantage- through donation to the Friends of the Whelden Memorial Library and other community organizations or through recycling.

Material Donation

Donations are gratefully accepted as long as no restriction is placed on their use. They are subject to the same selection, evaluation, and disposal criteria as purchased material. The library cannot guarantee the permanence of any gift in the collection. Materials not added to or weeded from the collection are not typically returned to the donors. 

Approved: Whelden Library Board of Trustees, March 17th, 2022

Gift and Donation Policy

Whelden Memorial Library welcomes gifts of library materials, personal property, or money that improve and enrich the library resources, including donations intended to memorialize a loved one.

Gifts can include books and other library materials, cash, securities, and real property. The Board of Trustees have adopted the following policy to govern the receipt and disposition of donations.

Acceptance of Gifts

Those wishing to make a gift to the library should contact the Library Director or a member of the Board of Trustees.

Acceptance of gifts will be voted on by the Library Board of Trustees based on the recommendation of the Library Director. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Library Director, without Board consultation, for furniture or permanent fixtures to be housed within the building, items of lesser monetary value, and/or library materials.

Return of Items

Once accepted by the library, gifts become library property and are subject to inclusion or removal at the discretion of the Library Director and/or Board of Trustees and will not be returned. The library reserves the right to sell, giveaway, or otherwise dispose of any gift as they see fit.


Upon request, the library will provide written acknowledgement of the receipt of any gifts. In accordance with income tax regulations, the determination of value for non-monetary gifts will be left to the donor.

Guidelines for Acceptance

Library Material

Acceptance of gifts of library materials (books, periodicals, movies, objects, etc.) are subject to the criteria outlined in the Collection Development Policy and will be accepted at the discretion of the Library Director.  

Personal Property

Gifts of items for display or preservation may be accepted based on the following criteria:

  • The item is specifically and clearly related to the library or local history, or otherwise serves the Library’s strategic directions and/or mission.
  • There is adequate space to display and/or house the item.
  • The item can receive proper care and attention.

Monetary Gifts

Monetary gifts are greatly appreciated. Gifts can be given for general purposes to be used by the Library Director and Trustees at their discretion, or for specific purposes as designated by the donor.

Directed donations will be handled by the Board of Trustees, who with the Library Director, will work out terms of acceptance that are compatible with library policies, the donor's intent, and applicable laws.

Gifts of cash for the direct purchase of library materials will be handled by the Library Director and may be accepted with the understanding that all material purchased with those funds must meet the collection development criteria and serve the library’s mission. 


Approved: July 21st, 2022, Whelden Library Board of Trustees

Social Media Policy

This policy governs Whelden Memorial Library’s participation in online venues and social media. Social media is defined here as any web application, site, or account, including but not limited to blogs, social networks, online communications, online catalogs, websites, and mobile apps used by the library.

Social media allows the library and public a convenient forum to discuss and share information on a range of topics relevant to the library and its mission, including: library information, programs, services, and collections. Whelden Library’s social media is not intended to be a public forum for general debate or exchange of ideas. 

Library Use of Social Media

Decisions regarding library utilization of social media shall be made by the Director.

Information posted should be free of bias, personal opinions which are degrading to others, and profane language. All posts should be related to upcoming events, services, materials, or the overall mission of the library. Links to outside sources and third-party apps must be relevant to the post or library mission.

The library is not required to share posts or information on behalf of outside organizations. Links or information may be shared with the intent of keeping our community connected to and informed of resources, events, services, or information relevant to community needs or interest. 

No photos of an individual should be posted without consent. No photos of minors should be posted unless their guardian has provided their consent.

Posting and Participation on Social Media

Patrons, community members, and the general public are welcome to comment on library posts and events to share their opinions and views on library-related subjects. Such postings do not indicate endorsement by the library of the opinions and ideas expressed.

The library is not liable for any content posted by any participant in a library social media forum who is not a member of the library’s staff.

Users may be held personally liable for commentary that is defamatory, obscene, proprietary, or libelous by any offended party.

Social media users should be aware that there is no expectation of privacy when posting on library social media sites. Use of such websites acknowledges the library’s right to access, monitor, read, reproduce, and/or edit (while retaining the original intent of the post), any postings on those sites.

Users are expected to abide by the terms and conditions set by third party social media platforms as well as follow appropriate Federal and State Law.

Social media is not intended to be used by the library to officially document, address, or discuss library user issues, concerns, or problems. The library asks that all formal complaints be addressed directly to the Library Director.

Unacceptable Content and Content Removal

The library reserves the right to restrict or remove any content on its social media sites that violates anything indicated in this policy. This includes the removal of content and comments because they are not related to the particular subject or are deemed inappropriate or unacceptable. 

Examples of unacceptable content include but is not limited to:

  • Obscene material or hate speech 
  • Personal attacks, insults, or threatening language 
  • Private or personal information, including phone numbers and addresses, or requests for personal information
  • Falsification of identity
  • Plagiarized, copyrighted, or trademarked material
  • Comments, links, or information unrelated to the purpose of the forum
  • Advertisement, solicitation, and spam
  • Slanderous, libelous, threatening, or defamatory statements
  • Content not related to library business, programs, events, resources, and materials
  • Images of individuals posted without consent

Library staff will do their best to reach out to the individual who posted the removed content to supply them with a copy of this policy and a brief explanation of why their content was removed. The Library reserves the right to ban or block users who have posted in violation of this policy without prior notification or warning.


Approved: August 19th 2022, Whelden Library Board of Trustees

Facilities Use

Whelden Memorial Library welcomes the use of Library meeting rooms and external spaces/grounds by civic, cultural, charitable, and educational groups and organizations having a substantial relationship with the West Barnstable community.

Order of Precedence

Priority for use of space is given first to Library-sponsored events, meetings, and programming. 

In the event of overlapping requests, use will be granted in the following order of precedence:

  1. Library purposes
  2. Community groups or committees
  3. Meetings of government agencies on matters affecting Barnstable
  4. Other uses

All else being equal, preference will be given to local groups, regardless of when the reservation was made.


Due to space constraints, non-Library indoor group meetings in excess of 5 attendees will not be permitted during operating hours. 

Requests for space use which are expected to exceed building capacity (100) or room capacity (varies by space) will not be approved.

No group may consider the Library its permanent meeting place or use the Library as its mailing address.

Groups using the facility and/or grounds may not use advertising and publicity which imply that their programs are sponsored, co-sponsored, endorsed, or approved by the Library, unless written permission to do so has been previously given by the Library Director.

Alcoholic beverages are not to be served, sold, or consumed during any third-party program or event held on library premises.

The following uses are prohibited:

  • Any event that excludes the general public
  • Fundraisers, except by organizations affiliated with the Library
  • Private functions (e.g., family events, private parties, and school reunions)
  • Commercial for-profit activity
  • Any use that requires or encourages participants to pay a fee to attend
  • Any use which interferes with normal Library operation

Whelden Memorial Library will not approve facility use in which there is determined to be discrimination based on race, religion, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, or condition of physical ability.


Although not a requirement, in order to avoid conflicts with the Library’s schedule, the Library recommends requests to be submitted at least 3 months in advance.

Requests may not be made more than 6 months in advance, except for regularly anticipated annual reservations.

Any group wishing to use a space must authorize one person to request a reservation for a particular date, time and area on a form provided by the Library. This person must be at least 18 years of age and provide a valid ID upon request. By signing the completed form, the applicant guarantees their presence at the event and assumes responsibility for overseeing the activity.

In order to offset Library costs for holding events off-site, for groups wishing to reserve library space for more than 6 days in our fiscal year (July 1st-June 30th) or 2 consecutive days there is a non-refundable $100 facilities-use fee.

Reservations must be made on the Room Reservation Form either online or on the paper form, available in the library. The Director or their designee will respond to the applicant no later than 30 days prior to the reservation date. A reservation is not complete until it has been confirmed in writing by the Director or their designee. Completion of a Reservation Form does not guarantee approval.

Applicants are responsible for:

  • Arranging room and rearranging the furnishings to standard placement at the conclusion of their time slot
  • Orderly conduct of the users
  • Leaving space clean
  • Paying for police coverage if needed, determined in advance by the Library
  • Holding Library harmless for losses or damages occurred during usage
  • Prompt notification of cancellation
  • Return of the Library key within a week of the group’s last meeting date

The Library reserves the right to require that the applicant supply a certificate of insurance from an insurer licensed to do business in Massachusetts, in such amount and in such form as the Library may reasonably deem appropriate, naming the Library and its Board as additional insured, and covering damage to the library building, grounds, and collections, and injury to persons or their property arising from the event.

Fees for use

All fees are non-refundable, unless otherwise noted in the policy, due within 2 weeks of confirmation to secure the booking or before the first event date (whichever comes first).

Exceptions can be made at the Director’s discretion. 

  • Groups wishing to reserve the library space for more than 6 days within the fiscal year or more than 2 consecutive days: $100
  • Staff attendance (to be determined in advance by the Library): $30/hr
    • Minimum 1 hour, not billed at a fractional rate.
  • Refundable cleaning deposit: $50
    • In cases of excessive cleaning or building maintenance, users will be billed for the cost of all cleaning and repairs
  • Lost or missing keys: $20 per key

Approved: June 2023, Whelden Library Board of Trustees

Public Posting

As a part of its information mission and as a public service, Whelden Memorial Library provides access to community information by providing space for the free distribution of handouts and the public posting of community flyers, notices, informational brochures, and posters.

Permissible Materials

Non-Library materials acceptable for posting or distribution are limited to those promoting cultural, educational, intellectual, non-commercial, or charitable activities. Campaign materials, materials containing proselytizing speech, and commercial materials such as business advertisements or promotions are not permitted.

Religious and political materials are permissible for special events; materials which have the primary purpose to present a single point of view will not be displayed.

Due to the limited space on its community board, the Library has the right to limit the size of posters to 8.5 x 11 (standard letter size) inches or smaller. Priority will be given to events and organizations located in West Barnstable.

Approval, Display, Location, & Duration

All materials for display or distribution must be submitted for approval by the Director. No more than one notice per event can be submitted. Any material found on the bulletin boards or in the brochure rack that has not been approved shall be removed and discarded.

All material will be dated and handled by library staff only. Dated material will be removed as soon as possible after the event. Undated material will be removed after two weeks or when the space is needed for other materials.

Display space for community postings is limited to the community bulletin board and brochure rack. Access to other display locations may be approved by the Director on an as needed basis for information regarding free West Barnstable community events or information relating to library resources or programs.

Rights & Responsibilities

The library reserves the right to limit or prohibit at any time the posting or distribution of materials that represent a threat to the health and safety of Library users or the orderly use of the Library.

The library cannot be held responsible for returning display materials, and it does not assume responsibility for any material damaged, lost, or stolen.

Approval of a display or distribution of handout materials does not indicate endorsement of any cause or activity.


Approved: June 2023, Whelden Library Board of Trustees

Library Programming and Display

It is the mission of Whelden Memorial Library to make available to the entire community those materials and services necessary to assist and support all its citizens in the pursuit of their educational, informational, and recreational interests and needs.

Programming and displays enhance the Library’s role as a community resource, bring awareness to library materials and resources, provide educational opportunities, and bring visibility to library services.

The Library fully endorses the principles documented in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association (found on the ALA.org website).

The ultimate responsibility for programming and displays at the Library rests with the Library Director or their designated staff member.



The Library welcomes community feedback and requests for programming and displays and encourages patron participation in programs. 

Submission of a request does not guarantee approval.

Third party groups wishing to use the library facilities for their own purposes will be directed to fill out a facility use request form. Please refer to the Facilities Use Policy for more information.



The criteria considered when planning programs and choosing display topics, speakers, and accompanying resources include but are not limited to:

  • Support of the Library’s mission, community needs, and interests
  • Availability of space
  • Space limitations
  • Presentation quality, presenter background/qualifications in content area
  • Budget  
  • Historical, educational, or artistic significance
  • Connection to other community programs, exhibitions, or events
  • Relation to Library collections, resources, exhibits, and programs
  • Diversity and inclusivity in our community

Other considerations

Programs may be held on-site or off-site. The Library draws upon other community resources in developing programs and actively partners with other community agencies, organizations, educational and cultural institutions, and individuals in order to develop and present public programs.

To the best of our ability, all Library programs are made free and open to the public. In some instances, the Library may request a fee to cover the cost of materials.

Registration may be required for planning purposes or when the expected attendance will exceed our space limitations. 

Some programs may only be offered for specific ages, times, or places, however, the Library staff strives to make programs accessible to all and welcome requests for reasonable accommodations.

The Library seeks feedback from the community concerning programming. The Library’s programs are a collaborative effort between staff members and the community. Staff will attempt to gather useful feedback from attendees following each program. Patrons are also welcome to contact the Library to offer program feedback or suggestions.

The Library is a safe space for all members of our community, and all library-initiated programs and displays will reflect that.

Restrictions and Cancellations

Any sales of products at Library programs must be approved by the Director.

The Library reserves the right to cancel a program for any reason at any time.

  • Programs may be canceled for a number of reasons beyond the Library’s control, such as:
    • severe weather
    • building emergencies
    • absence of the presenter
    • or low registration.
  • Every effort will be made to contact individuals who have pre-registered.
  • Canceled programs are not automatically rescheduled.

Programs may not be used for commercial, religious, or partisan purposes, or the solicitation of business.

Library promotion of a program or display does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the content of the program or display or the views expressed by participants or material.

At least 10 days prior to an event/program, all presenters/programmers/vendors must return a completed Program Agreement. 


If a patron has a question about a particular library program or display, they should first address the concern with the Director.

Patrons requesting a review of a library program or display will be directed to submit a Request for Reconsideration form.

Requests for review of programs and displays fall under the Requests for Reconsideration section of the Collection Development Policy.


Approved: June 2023, Whelden Library Board of Trustees
Amended: March 20, 2024

Privacy Policy

At Whelden, we are committed to safeguarding the privacy and confidentiality of all users and patrons. This Privacy Policy outlines how we collect, use, and protect your personal information. By using our services, you consent to the practices described in this policy.

In addition to the CLAMS Network policies, Whelden Memorial Library (WML) further adheres to the ALA code of Ethics and establishes the following policy concerning patron privacy, user records, and information.


Confidentiality extends to all records with identifying information about patrons, including but not limited to:

  • borrowing records and account information
  • requests for information and materials
  • loan transactions
  • use of library computers
  • all electronic and print resources accessed
  • all items printed
  • program attendance and registration information

Email/web-based reference inquiries, account assistance, and newsletter subscriptions are considered part of the borrower account.

The Library does not sell, lease, or otherwise distribute or disclose patron name, email address, postal address, telephone number, or other personal information to outside parties.


Circulation, registration information, and information retrieval records may not be disclosed outside of library staff except to:

  • the cardholder (with card or other proper ID)
  • parents or legal guardians of children under age 13
  • parents or legal guardians of minors (ages 13-17) for resolving financial obligations
  • staff of CLAMS member libraries or other affiliated libraries for administrative and interlibrary loan purposes
  • individuals authorized by the cardholder with a signed permission note
  • patrons in violation of library policy whose information may be shared with the Library Board, law enforcement, or volunteers for safety or practical purposes such as instituting bans or addressing repeat offenses/behavior
  • representatives of local, state, or federal governments, subject to a valid subpoena or search warrant. The Board of Trustees will consult with legal counsel to ensure proper form and validity.

Online suggestions and other general emails to the Library that do not apply to borrowing or intellectual pursuits may be considered public records as per Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 66, Section 10.

Programming and Newsletter

The Library maintains regular digital mailings. User registration information for library programs is added to our internal mailing list. Opt-out is available, and express permission is required for re-addition.

Unless pre-arranged and disclosed to patrons prior to sign up, program registrations will be taken by the Library and will not be shared with vendors or any third-party organizations.

Apart from previously agreed upon registration limits, the library does not share registration numbers outside of library staff prior to the event.

Website and WIFI

Website data is separate from individual library account data. When patrons visit the WML website, the Library collects and stores information to measure the number of visitors to different areas of the site to assist in making the site more useful.

External websites linked on the WML website are not within our privacy control, this includes online services used by WML for payment for products or to receive donations. Please consult the privacy policies of those websites should there be questions regarding their use.

WML also offers a wireless network that allows patrons to connect to the Internet. Please be aware that data accessed and sent over the WML's wireless network is not encrypted.


Approved: Whelden Board of Trustees, October 19th 2023

Records Retention and Personnel Files Policy

This policy outlines the internal record retention procedures for the Library Board, its Officers, and the Library Director concerning archival board information and personnel records.


Board Files:

Archival Storage:

Past officers' files, encompassing complete meeting packets (agenda, minutes, treasurer's report, director's reports), are housed in a designated area at the Library accessible to the Library Board.*

These files are permanent archives accessible to the public upon request.

  • Requests for information will be addressed by the Board within 30 days of receipt or at the next Board meeting, whichever comes first.

No personnel files are to be stored in this archive.

Responsibility for Archiving:

The Board President or their designated Board member is accountable for storing and appropriately destroying board files.

In the absence of the Board President or their designee, the Library Director assumes this responsibility.

Access to Board Files:

Regular access to board files is limited to Trustee Officers.


Personnel Files:

Personnel Files Definition According to State Law:

Personnel files, as defined by Massachusetts General Law, include the employee's name, address, date of birth, job title and description, rate of pay and other compensation information, job application resumes, performance evaluations, written warnings, probationary periods, waivers, termination notices, and any other documents related to disciplinary action.

Confidentiality and Contents of Personnel Files:

Personnel files, including the director’s file, are confidential and encompass contracts, evaluations, written feedback, performance documents, interview notes, attendance, payroll information, disputes, and other legal documents, as well as communications between board members or between board members and the Director.

Documents containing personnel matters must be stored exclusively in the locked cabinet in the Director's office.

Employee medical information must be maintained in separate files.

In accordance with state law, the Library and/or Board must notify employees within 10 days (best practice: written and dated notification) of any information added to their personnel record that either:

  • May negatively affect the employee's qualification for employment, promotion, transfer, additional compensation
  • May subject the employee to disciplinary action

Employees have the right to include a written rebuttal in their file and may not face termination for doing so.

Retention Period:

Employee personal records are retained for seven years after termination of employment**

Access to Personnel Files:

Access to personnel files is limited to Trustee Officers, acting through the Library Director or their designee.


**4-drawer file cabinet in the basement designated March 2024.

** Massachusetts General Law specifies a retention period of three years, but considering various federal references and best practices, a seven-year retention period has been adopted for employee personnel records.


Approved March 21st 2024, Whelden Memorial Library Board of Trustees