Norwalk Public Library Policies

The following is an abridged version of the Norwalk Public Library policy manual. To see the policy manual in full, you may view a copy here: Policy Manual (last updated 2003).

Library Loan Periods:

  • Print Materials & Audiobooks – 3 weeks
  • TV Series on DVD & Blu-Ray – 2 weeks
  • DVDs, Blu-Rays & Magazines – 1 week

Library Fines:

  • The Norwalk Public Library chooses not to enforce fines for items we own. Other member libraries may charge fines at their discretion. We will collect fines charged by other libraries at our location.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Norwalk Public Library is to provide materials and services which fulfill educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs of the entire community in an atmosphere that is welcoming, respectful, and businesslike.

Who May Use the Library

The library will serve all residents of the community and the public library system area.  Service will not be denied or abridged because of religious, racial, social, economic, or political status; or because of mental, emotional, or physical condition; age; or sexual orientation. 

The use of the library may be denied for due cause.  Such cause may be failure to return library materials or to pay penalties, destruction of library property, disturbance of other patrons, or any other illegal, disruptive, or objectionable conduct on library premises.

Patron Responsibilities and Conduct

It is a patron’s responsibility to maintain necessary and proper standards of behavior in order to protect his/her individual rights and the rights and privileges of other patrons. If a patron creates a public nuisance, that patron may be restricted from the Library and from the use of the library facilities. Those who are unwilling to leave or do not leave within a reasonable amount of time, after being instructed to do so by the staff will be subject to the law.  

  1. Young children:  
  1. The Norwalk Public Library encourages visits by young children, and it is our desire to make this important visit both memorable and enjoyable for the child.  Library staff is not expected to assume responsibility for the care of unsupervised children in the library.  
  1. Therefore, it is library policy that all children under age six must be accompanied by a parent or designated responsible person while in the library.  Also, if the young child is attending a library program, we require the parent/responsible person to remain in the library throughout the program.  
  1. Disruptive children:  
  1. Children of all ages are encouraged to use the library for homework, recreational reading, and program attendance. The library staff realizes that the library will be noisier at busy times and that children by nature can cause more commotion. However, children (whether with parents or not) who are being continually disruptive will be given a warning that he/she must settle down or will be asked to leave the library. If after a second warning the child continues to be disruptive, he/she will be asked to leave the library. If the child needs to contact a parent, they may do so and then wait with a staff person until the parent arrives. 

Material Selection Policy

The ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials rests with the library director who operates within the framework of the policies determined by the Norwalk Public Library Board of Trustees. This responsibility may be shared with other members of the library staff; however, because the director must be available to answer to the library board and the general public for actual selections made, the director has the authority to reject or select any item contrary to the recommendations of the staff. 

  1. Criteria for Selection 
  1. The main points considered in the selection of materials are:  
  •  Individual merit of each item 
  •  Popular appeal/demand 
  •  Suitability of material for the clientele 
  •  Existing library holdings 
  •  Budget 

Interlibrary Loan

Because of limited budget and space, the library cannot provide all materials that are requested. Therefore, interlibrary loan is used to obtain from other libraries those materials that are beyond the scope of this library’s collection. 

In return for utilizing interlibrary loan to satisfy the needs of our patrons, the Norwalk Public Library agrees to lend its materials to other libraries through the same interlibrary loan network, and to make an effort to have its current holdings listed in a tool that is accessible by other libraries throughout the state. 

Gifts and Donations

The library accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that they will be added to the collection only if appropriate and needed. If they are not needed because of duplication, condition, or dated information the director can dispose of them as he/she sees fit. The same criteria of selection which are applied to purchased materials are applied to gifts. Memorial gifts of books or money are also accepted with suitable bookplates placed in the book. Specific memorial books can be ordered for the library on request of a patron if the request meets the criteria established by the Board. It is desirable for gifts of or for specific titles to be offered after consultation with the library director. Book selection will be made by the director if no specific book is requested. The Norwalk Public Library encourages and appreciates gifts and donations. 

By law, the library is not allowed to appraise the value of donated materials, though it can provide an acknowledgment of receipt of the items if requested by the donor. 

Potential Problems or Challenges

The Norwalk Public Library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Selection of materials will not be made based on anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely based on the principles stated in this policy. 

Responsibility for the reading of children rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of library materials 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. 

Internet Usage Policy

The Norwalk Public Library is providing access to the Internet to enhance the information and learning opportunities for the citizens of the library’s service area.  The Board of Trustees has established the Internet use policy to ensure appropriate and effective use of this resource. 

Access to the Internet is available to all patrons; however, this service may be restricted at any time for use not consistent with the guidelines.  Parents of minor children must assume responsibility for their children’s use of the library’s Internet service. 

  1. Expectations:  
  1. Users should be aware that the inappropriate use of electronic information resources can be a violation of local, state, and federal laws and can lead to prosecution.  
  1. The user will be held responsible for his/her actions using the Internet. 
  1. Users are expected to abide by the policies below which include generally accepted rules of network etiquette. Unacceptable uses of the service will result in the suspension or revocation of Internet use privileges.  
  1. Warnings:  
  1. The Internet is a decentralized, unmoderated global network; the Norwalk Public Library has no control over the content found there.  The library will not censor access to material nor protect users from offensive information, and it is not responsible for the availability and accuracy of information found on the Internet. 
  1. The library cannot assure that data or files downloaded by users are virus-free.  The library is not responsible for damages to equipment or data on a user’s personal computer from the use of data downloaded from the library’s Internet service. 
  1. The use of the Internet and e-mail is not guaranteed to be private.  Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities will be reported to the proper authorities. 
  1. Guidelines: 
  1. Users may use the Internet for research and the acquisition of information to address their educational, vocational, cultural, and recreational needs. 
  1. Users may use the Internet for the receipt and transmission of electronic mail (email) as long as they use a free email service which will establish and maintain an account for them; the library is unable to manage e-mail accounts for any organizations or individuals. 
  1. Internet use is offered in sixty (60) minute sessions on a first-come, first-served basis; each user is allowed one session—if there is no patron waiting for the service at the end of a session, the user can have another session, but once having had the service for 60 minutes the user must abandon use of the Internet if another patron requests use of the service.  Adults take precedence over children—if an adult needs a computer, the child on a computer the longest must surrender that computer immediately for the adult. 
  1. Users will respect and uphold copyright laws and all other applicable laws and regulations; they will not use it for illegal purposes. 
  1. Users will respect the rights and privacy of others by not accessing private files. 
  1. Users agree not to incur any costs for the library through their use of the Internet service. 
  1. Users shall not create and/or distribute computer viruses over the Internet. 
  1. Users shall not deliberately or willfully cause damage to computer equipment, programs, or parameters. 

Printing Policy

  1. Printing, copying, and scanning are free. 
  1. A suggested donation is $ .20 per page. 
  1. Printing of more than five pages must have permission from the librarian.