18 Summer Street, Lynnfield, MA 01940 | 781.334.5411 or 781.334.6404
Lynnfield Public Library

Library Policies

  • Collection Management

    Collection Management Policy

    (Collection Management Policy PDF Print Version)

    This policy serves as a guide for the selection and retention of materials and is designed to support the library’s mission to, “facilitate townspeople of all ages in the meeting of their personal, professional, informational, educational, recreational and cultural needs by providing both current technologies and traditional means of access to materials, programs, and services”.

    The library provides free and equitable access to materials in a variety of formats, for all ages, that are responsive to the needs and interests of the community, including, but not limited to: print, electronic, audiovisual, and digital formats.


    Within budgetary and space limitations, the collection serves to enhance the cultural, literary, educational pursuits, and personal enjoyment of the community and further the mission and vision of the Lynnfield Public Library.

    The Lynnfield Public Library supplements the collection through resource sharing within our consortium (NOBLE), as well as state-supported regional sharing (ILL) and a mediated national inter-library loan system.

    Materials are purchased by designated selectors under the direction of the Library Director, who operates within the framework of the policies, goals, objectives, and the library budget.  The Director allocates an annual materials budget based on Town appropriations and state-mandated budget formulas and requirements.

    A number of different tools and considerations are used by selectors to acquire materials: review professional journals, popular print and broadcast media, publisher’s catalogs, consortium generated purchase alert reports, patron and staff requests and recommendations.  The following criteria may be used by librarians to determine the suitability of an item for purchase: current usefulness or interest, accuracy, popularity and local demand, price and availability, ability to support the existing collection, and long term benefit to the overall collection.

    Multiple copies of titles (in print format) may be purchased based upon the number of Lynnfield patrons waiting for the title; an additional print copy is purchased for every five Lynnfield patrons on hold.

    Not all materials are subject to the same purchasing criteria.  It is expected that some popular fiction and non-fiction will not be maintained in the collection indefinitely (see weeding policy and criteria), while some materials (both fiction and non-fiction) are purchased to support our collection over the long term.

    The Lynnfield Public Library upholds the American Library Association (ALA) Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement.

    While every patron may not agree with the viewpoints offered in some Library material, the Library has a responsibility to provide a balanced collection with access to material reflecting diverse ideas through which any side of a question, cause, or movement may be explored.  A title will not be excluded from purchase so long as it meets the outlined selection criteria and coincides with budgetary limitations.  Selection of materials by the library staff does not mean endorsement of the content or the views expressed in those materials.


    We collect subject specific non-fiction materials at an introductory or generalist level. We tend not to purchase materials that are highly specialized or of limited general interest.  Materials of current and/or popular interest are purchased based upon patron interest and requests, strength of reviews, vendor catalogs, and mention in popular print and broadcast media. Materials may be purchased in a variety of formats – print, audiovisual, electronic – to support the learning and access preferences of our patrons.


    Materials are purchased based upon patron requests, strength of reviews, well-known and best-selling authors, and local interest.  Materials may be purchased in a variety of formats – print, audiovisual, electronic – to support the access preferences of our patrons.

    Children’s and Young Adult

    Materials are purchased based upon a variety of criteria: mention in review journals and vendor catalogs, patron requests, best-selling authors and series, local interest, the support of local primary and secondary school curriculum and special author promotions.  Materials are purchased in a variety of formats – print, audiovisual, electronic, kits – to support the learning and access preferences of our patrons.


    Materials may be removed (weeded) from the collection for a variety of reasons. Materials that are in poor or unusable condition, outdated, duplicated, or no longer circulating may be considered for removal from the collection.  Space constraints may be taken into account while reviewing items for removal. Reports are routinely run to identify materials that are no longer circulating; these reports also help us determine which topics/subjects may no longer be of interest to our patrons.  The library attempts to replace outdated material with newer materials to maintain a sufficient level of subject coverage in the collection. We consider replacement of lost or worn materials that are still of value for informational or recreational needs based upon price and availability.

    Curriculum changes at the local primary and secondary school levels may influence weeding in the children’s and young adult collection as well as certain areas of the adult non-fiction collection.

    Weeded materials that are not damaged or outdated beyond use are donated to the Friends of the Lynnfield Library or other organizations for sale or re-use.  Proceeds from the Friends of the Lynnfield Library book sales are used for library programming, our museum pass program, and publicity.


    The library welcomes gifts of needed materials or funds for the purchase of such material or funds in support of other library services, such as programs. The library reserves the right to evaluate and to dispose of gifts in accordance with the criteria applied to purchasing material. The use of the gift is at the library’s discretion.

    Gifts which do not comply with the library’s objectives and policies will be declined and, when possible, referred to a more appropriate recipient.

    Request for Reconsideration of Materials

    Library patrons may request reconsideration of library materials using the following procedure:

    Patrons requesting reconsideration of material will be given a copy of our Collection Policy.

    All requests for reconsideration of materials must be submitted in writing on the “Request for Reconsideration” form which will be provided to the patron. The “Request for Reconsideration” form will be reviewed by the Library Director. Item(s) will not be removed while under reconsideration. The Library Director will notify the patron of the result of the request of reconsideration within three weeks. The Library Director will inform the Library Board of Trustees of the result of the Request for Reconsideration within 30 days of notifying the patron.

    The library supports the following documents:

    * The Library Bill of Rights – Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.by the ALA (American Library Association) Council. For further information, see the Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights.

    * The Freedom to Read Statement – Adopted June 25, 1953, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004., by the ALA Council and the AAP (Association of American Publishers)  Freedom to Read Committee.

    Approved by the Board of Trustees December 2, 2014

    Revisions adopted by the Board of Trustees July 20, 2017

    Library Bill of Rights re-adopted December 6, 2022

  • Chromebooks

    Chromebook Policy

    Chromebook Policy PDF print version

    Chromebooks can be checked out on a valid library card for two hours, and are first-come first-serve only.  Patrons must present a valid library card or picture ID in order to check out a Chromebook (no phone number or address lookups).  Chromebooks may be renewed up to two times so long as no one else is waiting to check out the device.

    Chromebooks are not to be removed from the Library, and are considered the responsibility of the patron until handed to a library staff member for check-in.

    If a Chromebook is damaged while checked out, the patron is responsible for the cost of having a professional evaluation of the device and any and all repairs associated with the damage, up to the cost of replacement if irreparable.   If a Chromebook is lost or stolen, the patron is responsible for the cost of replacement.

    Chromebooks must be returned to a staff member for check-in at the Circulation Desk 15 minutes before closing.

    Revised 10.17.17

  • Damaged/Incomplete Items

    Damaged/Incomplete Item Policy

    (Damaged/Incomplete Item Policy PDF print version)

    Damaged Items

    The Lynnfield Public Library strives to ensure that its materials meet a high standard of quality and durability.  Staff members regularly inspect circulating items at check-in and checkout to note damage or identify materials that need repair or replacement.  We encourage patrons to bring to our attention any damage that may have gone unnoticed so we can note the condition on the item.

    When an item is returned in damaged condition, our staff will evaluate the extent of the damage and determine if the item can be mended.  Items damaged beyond repair will be charged to the last patron who had the item checked out unless a note on the item indicates that the damage occurred prior to checkout.  The patron will be notified of the condition and replacement cost, which will reflect the list price of the item.  The patron will be able to keep the damaged item if the replacement cost is received within three months of returning the item.  After three months, damaged items will be discarded.

    Patrons have the option to purchase replacement copies of lost or damaged items instead of paying the fee mentioned above.  The replacement copy must be exactly identical to the damaged item (same ISBN, edition, etc.) and must be in new condition.  The replacement copy will be subject to review by our library staff before the fee is waived.  We strongly advise all patrons who choose to purchase a replacement copy to first consult with library staff to ensure the correct item is purchased.

    The policy outlined above applies to items owned by the Lynnfield Library only.  Materials borrowed from other libraries will be subject to the procedures of the owning library.  If a patron wishes to pay the replacement fee for an item belonging to another library, the fee must be paid for with a check or money order made out to the owning library.  Cash cannot be accepted for payments to other libraries.

    Incomplete Item Policy                                                              

    Many of the items we circulate contain multiple pieces, including audiobooks, travel books with maps, language materials, DVD courses, music CDs with booklets, and media kits.  Our staff count these items at check-in and checkout to ensure all pieces are included.

    If a patron returns an item with a piece missing, the patron will be contacted by library staff to indicate that the piece is missing.  The item will remain checked out to the patron until the missing piece is returned, and overdue fines will apply if the piece is not returned before the due date.

    If a patron loses a piece of a set, our staff will attempt to purchase or find a replacement for the missing part and will charge a replacement fee for that piece only.  This fee will depend on the type and cost of the replacement.  If the missing piece cannot be replaced individually, the patron will be responsible for the replacement cost of an entire new set.

    revised October 25, 2013

  • Hotspots

    Hotspot Procedure

    (Hotspot Procedure PDF print version)

    Patrons must present a valid library card or picture ID in order to check out a Hotspot (no phone number or address lookups).  Hotspots can be checked out for one week with no renewals.

    Patrons may place a Hotspot on hold for pickup at Lynnfield Library only.  Hotspots must be picked up and returned inside the Lynnfield Library.  One Hotspot may be borrowed per library card.

    All parts of the Hotspot Kit must be returned in the case; the Kit will remain checked out to the patron and fines will accrue until all parts are returned.  Replacement Hotspots will not be accepted. Patrons will be responsible for individual items from the Kit if they are lost, stolen, or damaged; the replacement cost will vary depending on the cost of the items.

    Overdue Hotspots will accrue fines at $5 per day until returned, or the maximum fines of $25 are reached, and will be deactivated within 48 hours after the due date.

    By using the Hotspot the patron acknowledges that they are subject to and agrees to abide by the Library’s Internet Access Policy (available online and upon request) and the following conditions:

    • Library patrons will need to provide their own Wi-Fi enabled equipment. The library staff cannot troubleshoot problems related to the patron’s hardware, software or configurations. Library staff is not permitted to handle patrons’ laptops, tablets, smartphones or other personal devices. Please note that the Library cannot guarantee a particular device will work with the Library’s mobile hotspot.
    • Library staff is not permitted to configure patrons’ equipment or provide technical assistance with connecting to the wireless network.
    • Patrons use this service at their own risk. As with most public wireless networks, any information being sent or received over the wireless network could potentially be intercepted by another wireless user.
    • The Library is not responsible for any personal information that is compromised or for any damages, alterations, or interferences with patron’s device or data files resulting from use of the wireless network.
    • The Library is not liable for any consequences of wireless network access including loss of data, transmission of computer viruses, and the interception of sensitive data. Patrons are responsible for virus and security protection on their laptops and other wireless devices if they choose.
    • The Library does not guarantee that the wireless network will be available and the Library is not responsible for outages and/or connectivity issues.

    December 2017

  • Internet Access

    Internet Access Policy

    (Internet Access Policy PDF print version)

    The Lynnfield Public Library endeavors to develop collections, resources, and services that meet the cultural, informational, recreational and educational needs of the community.

    Electronic databases and networks such as the Internet are supplementing and sometimes taking the place of print resources that the Library has traditionally made available to its users. The Internet has become the medium of choice for the dissemination of information from many agencies of the U.S. and state government as well as providers of time-sensitive material. As such, it is an important resource to our Library. The Internet has a wealth of information and varieties of resources available. Patrons are encouraged to ask for assistance from the Reference Librarian to navigate and determine the most trustworthy and best quality sources for their research.

    Internet access is provided in agreement with the American Library Association’s “Library Bill of Rights”, http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill, as it applies to information in electronic format, and in accordance with the Massachusetts General Laws (Chapter 78, Section 33), which state in part, “material should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.” The Library provides on-site access through public computers and free wireless Internet hotspots.

    The Lynnfield Public Library does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. While there is much valuable and valid information on the Internet, some sites may be considered offensive to some patrons. There is no software filter installed on the public computers in the Reading Room and there is no access to the Internet on the computers in the Children’s Room. As with other Library materials, restriction of a minor’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of a parent or legal guardian.

    The following cautions apply equally to all patrons – adults and minors (under the age of eighteen) – who enter and use the Internet within the library.

    1. Patrons should use caution in their disclosure of personally identifiable information by email and other forms of direct electronic communications, as these forms of communication can expose patrons to dangerous

    2. Patrons should also use caution when accessing personal financial accounts on the library’s wireless Internet or public computers, as the network is not password secured and public computers are by definition shared with all

    The following prohibitions apply equally to all patrons – adults and minors (under the age of eighteen) – who enter and access the Internet on any devices within the library.

    1. Patrons shall not access material that meets the state law definition of obscenity, including most especially, but not limited to, child pornography. Such material is illegal and constitutes a potential source of harassment to other patrons and library staff; as such, it will not be tolerated.

    2. Patrons shall not use library resources to engage in attempts to otherwise disrupt, interfere with, damage, illegally hack, or illicitly access websites or attempt to otherwise disrupt, interfere with, damage, or illicitly access websites and electronic data or systems.

    3. Patrons shall not engage in any illegal activities, or transmit threatening, obscene or harassing

    Minors may not access materials deemed “harmful to minors” under G.L. c. 272, § 28 or otherwise.

    Library staff who observe violations of this policy directly or through the reports of other patrons will intercede with the patron in violation. The consequences of policy violation may include asking the patron to leave the Library and the grounds for a specified period of time and / or losing some or all of their library privileges. Actionable offenses will not be tolerated and will be reported to the appropriate authorities.

    Adopted by the Board of Library Trustees June 3, 1997. Revised and adopted November 5, 2002. Revised and adopted September 3, 2013. Revised and adopted March 6, 2018.

  • Library Space

    Library Space

    The Library is a public building for all patrons to use on a first come basis. Due to lack of a program/meeting room, as well as overall space constraints, there are no areas available to reserve in the Library.

    The Library is nonpartisan and does not endorse any group that meets there.

    Approved on July 20, 2017, revised September 12, 2017

    Board of Trustees, Lynnfield Public Library

  • Privacy Policy

    Patron Confidentiality and Privacy Policy

    (Patron Confidentiality and Privacy Policy PDF Print Version)

    With respect to library users’ privacy and confidentiality, the Lynnfield Public Library operates in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association and the Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 78, Section 7, which states: “That part of the records of a public library which reveals the identity and intellectual pursuits of a person using such library shall not be a public record.” Therefore, circulation and registration records, information sought or received, reference interviews, interlibrary loan transactions, and any other uses of library resources that might identify the intellectual pursuits of named individuals are and shall be treated as confidential.

    The law does not distinguish between adults and minors in this respect. In some situations, it may be necessary for a parent or guardian to be provided with limited information concerning a minor’s library card use when items have been lost or damaged and the parent or guardian is financially responsible.

    Having another individual’s library card implies permission from the card owner to access their account. Each patron holds the responsibility for monitoring who has access to their library card. Patrons can designate users, who may pick up holds and check out material on the borrower’s behalf, by notifying library staff members.    

    Approved by the Board of Trustees July 20, 2017

  • Photography/Filming

    Photography/Filming Policy

    (Photography/Filming Policy PDF print version)

    Photography/Filming in the Library by Patrons
    Patrons are welcome to take photographs and/or film inside the Lynnfield Public Library, provided they:
         ● Adhere to the Rules of Behavior, i.e. they do not violate the rights of other patrons to work safely and undisturbed
         ● Respect patron’s right to privacy in terms of their intellectual pursuits
         ● Do not enter Staff Only areas

    Permission from the Library Director or the Assistant Director is required for filming for any commercial purposes, e.g. commercials, news programs, television shows, or sales-oriented activities.

    Patrons must have the consent of each individual photographed or filmed. If the individual is a minor, their guardian must give consent.

    Patrons are also welcome to take photographs and/or film on the grounds of the Lynnfield Public Library, outside of the physical building, as long as they do not block the parking lot or driveway.

    Photography/Filming by Library Staff for Internal and Promotional Purposes
    The Lynnfield Public Library reserves the right to use photographs or video taken at the library for publicity purposes in printed materials and online. Attendees and/or participants consent to having their photograph taken and used for such purposes. Staff members will make every effort to notify patrons when photography and/or video filming is taking place, and may include patrons in such recordings. If a library patron does not wish themselves or their child to be photographed, the patron must notify the Library staff to that effect. Staff members shall not make an audio recording of any person’s conversation without their express, prior consent. No names will be used in conjunction with photos/video without express written consent.

    Approved by the Board of Trustees September 6, 2022

  • Public Bulletin Board

    Public Bulletin Board Policy

    Please leave the materials at the Reference Desk for posting.

    All materials must be dated and no larger than 8 ½ by 11.

    When space is required, materials will be removed by date, with the oldest being removed first.

    Materials will be posted subject to library approval.

    Approved by the Lynnfield Public Library Board of Trustees, March 6, 2007

  • Rules of Behavior

    Rules of Behavior Policy

    (Rules of Behavior Policy PDF print version)

    In order to ensure the constructive and responsible use of the library facility, grounds, materials, equipment and services, as well as the personal comfort and safety of all patrons and staff, the Board of Trustees has provided the following Rules of Behavior to facilitate our mission as a life-long learning center for the community.

    General Guidelines

    Pets are not allowed in the building unless they are trained service animals or animals participating in a library sponsored program.

    Staff is not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen items.

    Bicycles should be placed in the bike rack and locked. Bikes cannot be left on the ramp or inside the library.

    Skateboards and other smaller sports equipment may be left at the Reference Desk while patrons are in the library.

    Non-messy snacks and covered beverages are allowed. Please properly dispose of wrappers, bottles and other trash in the designated containers available throughout the library.

    Materials that are used while in the Library but not checked out should be placed on designated carts or tables for reshelving. Toys, games or puzzles used in the Children’s room should be returned to their proper place after use.

    Safety and Code of Conduct

    For the safety and comfort of all patrons and staff we would like to remind you that the following behaviors will not be tolerated in the Library building or on Library grounds:

    No loud or disruptive behavior allowed.

    Using profane or abusive language and/or inappropriate behavior toward staff or other patrons.

    Harassing other patrons or staff, or disturbing them in such a manner that the patrons and the staff are unable to use the library and its services.

    Blocking the entrance/exit of the Library building and the aisles and passageways in the building.

    Destroying, damaging, defacing, or misusing library materials, equipment, furniture, facilities or property. Any purposeful damage done is against the law and may be reported to the police.

    Littering inside the building or on the library grounds.

    Drinking of alcoholic beverages; smoking or making any other use of tobacco (including chewing tobacco); using illegal substances or being under the influence of or in possession of illegal substances is not allowed.

    Any illegal activities conducted on Library property will be reported to the police.

    Minor/Child-Specific Safety

    Parents and guardians are responsible for their children’s supervision and behavior and must monitor their children at all times while on library property.

    Children at a fourth grade level (ages 9-10) or lower may not be left unattended while on library property.

    If a situation arises with a minor (i.e., a person under the age of eighteen) and the staff cannot locate the minor’s parents or legal guardian, the police will be called at the library staff’s discretion.

    Computer Use (please see our Internet Access Policy for additional information)

    The Lynnfield Library does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through the Internet by either public access computers or personal devices, and cannot be held responsible for its content.

    Restriction of a minor’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of a parent or legal guardian.

    There is a limit of two patrons to a computer and one patron to a chair.

    There is a limit of thirty minutes on the computers for each patron, after which patrons may be asked to finish their session so that other patrons may also utilize the public access terminals. If there is no other patron waiting for a computer, the patron may remain on the computer.

    Engaging in illegal activities while on a public access computer or personal device is not allowed on library property.


    Consequences for violation of the terms of behavior will range from verbal warning to suspension of library privileges to the issue of a no trespass order, depending on the severity and frequency of the infraction. This applies to all library property. This determination will be at the discretion of the library staff. Police may be called to respond to any illegal activities or threatening behavior.

    Approved on  September 3, 2013, revised on April 4, 2018 Board of Trustees, Lynnfield Public Library

  • Winter Storm

    Winter Storm Policy

    (Winter Storm Policy PDF print version)

    During inclement weather, a decision to close, postpone opening or close early will be made by the Library Director taking into account observed local road conditions, parking conditions, and the weather forecast.

    Notification of closing or changes in hours will be posted on our website, Facebook, Twitter, the library telephone system, and through local media.

    During periods of bad weather always call the library at 781-334-5411 or 781-334-6404, or check our website, or Facebook page, www.facebook.com/LynnfieldLibrary to confirm hours.

    revised 10/2016

The American Library Association (ALA) affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas.

The Lynnfield Library refers to the ALA Bill of Rights to guide our services and policies.