Library Policies

Electronic Information Resources

Acceptable Use Policy

The West Haven Public Library provides access to a variety of electronic resources and online databases. In order to encourage the responsible use of these resources by our customers, the library has established the following definitions, guidelines, and policies.

External Networks and the Internet

The West Haven Public Library provides free, limited access to resources available on the Internet. This service is available to all users of the West Haven Public Library. The library is not and does not intend to be a full-service Internet provider. Some Internet services may not be provided through the library’s connections. Services which may not be available on all library Internet connections include newsgroups, chat, telnet, and FTP (file transfer protocol). Customers and staff who use the library’s Internet connection to access other computer systems are subject to the policies and procedures established by the administrators of those systems as well as those of the West Haven Public Library.

The library takes precautions to protect its system and equipment from viruses. However, users of any publicly accessible systems and equipment should be aware of the potential for transmission of computer viruses. Downloading is generally not available from these machines. If available, downloading is done at your own risk. The library is not responsible for any computer viruses transmitted to customers’ computers.

The library is responsible only for information pertaining directly to the library and its services. It does not control the availability of external connections to other computer systems which may change unpredictably. Not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information. Therefore, the library does not assume responsibility for the content and/or accuracy of information residing on other computer systems. Parents of minor children are responsible for supervising their children’s use of the library’s Internet resources.

Individual assistance on using the library’s Internet connection is available upon request at the reference desk. Many staff members are able to answer questions and offer suggestions on where to search for information. However, library staff members are available for one-on-one technical training with a prior appointment.


In accordance with Connecticut law, the West Haven Public Library is required to protect the confidentiality of our library users’ borrowing and library use records. However, patrons using the library’s computers to send and receive personal messages over the Internet, if such service is provided at the library, are advised that the privacy of those communications is not guaranteed. As a precaution, users should avoid posting personal information such as home addresses, phone numbers, and credit card numbers to websites or any unknown Internet users.

Legal, Ethical and Responsible Use

Library equipment used to access electronic resources and/or networks may only be used for lawful purposes by library customers and staff. Library electronic resources should be used in accordance with the ethical standards of the library. By using library system equipment and electronic infrastructure, library customers imply their agreement to abide by the Library’s Rules and Regulations and the following list of acceptable behaviors.

  • Users of electronic resources will respect the needs of other library users to do research in calm surroundings without interference from others.
  • Users of electronic resources will not bring food or beverages (including water) near library computers. These items can cause severe damage to equipment if spilled or dropped.
  • Users are responsible for disconnecting from remote sites reached via the Internet connection on library workstations and returning to the West Haven Public Library’s screen.
  • Users of local or remote databases will not spend excessive amounts of time at library computers or engage in any online activity which impedes other library customers’ access to electronic resources.
  • Users will not cause damage to equipment, software or databases through abusive or destructive behavior.
  • Children accompanying users of electronic resources are to be supervised and monitored to prevent them from playing with the equipment or otherwise causing damage.
  • Parents, not library staff, are responsible for monitoring their children’s use of the Internet and other electronic information resources accessed using the library’s connection.
  • Users are responsible for material that is accessed. The Internet may contain some material of a controversial nature.

Examples of unacceptable use include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Harassment or stalking of other users.
  • Libeling or slandering other users.
  • Destruction of, damage to, or unauthorized modification of equipment, software, or data belonging to the library or other users.
  • Disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications.
  • Unauthorized or illegal copying of copyright-protected material, a violation of US law (US Code, Title 17).
  • Violation or attempted violation of computer system security. This includes rearranging or tampering with equipment or network connections in any way.
  • Unauthorized use of computer accounts, access codes, or network identification numbers assigned to others, or any activity that is in violation of Connecticut law.
  • Engaging in activity that wastes technology resources including bandwidth, file space, and printers.
  • Violation of software license agreements.
  • Violation of network usage policies and regulations.
  • Violation of another user’s privacy.
  • Violation of Connecticut law by using the library’s electronic systems to display explicit sexual material.
  • Monitoring
  • The Library staff monitors the use of the library’s electronic resources. The Library reserves the right to interrupt activity or block access to sites that interfere with the performance of the library’s computer system, conflict with authorized use of library resources or equipment, or violate local, state, or federal law.


Failure to use the West Haven Public Library ‘s electronic resource access equipment appropriately and responsibly may result in revocation of library use privileges, and may also have legal consequences.

Internet Use at the Library

  • Effective June 1, 1998, all persons using the Library Internet must read the Internet Use Guidelines.
  • A parent or legal guardian must sign, in person, for users under 18 years of age.
  • You must register to use the Internet. There is a 4-hour daily time limit, used in 60 minute increments, to use the computers.
  • Computer use ends 15 minutes before closing. Computers shut down automatically.
  • Pornography is prohibited and will result in internet privileges being revoked.
  • You may use flash drives on our computers. They can also be purchased for a small fee.
  • There is a copy fee of 20¢ per sheet, or 50¢ for color.
  • Users must terminate their session when their use is complete by clicking the exit button on the bottom right. DO NOT TURN THE COMPUTER OFF.
  • Failure to adhere to these guidelines will result in revocation of Internet use privileges.
  • All persons over 12 MUST have a valid library card to use the computers. If you do not, you will be charged a $1 fee for a guest pass.
  • Courtesy checks for card numbers for children are not guaranteed during busy times of the day.

CIPA Compliance

Effective October 1, 2017, the library will be complying with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) [Pub. L. No. 106-554 and 47 USC 254(h)]. This is to protect children against access to obscene visual depictions, child pornography, and/or other material harmful to minors, as required by law.

The filter may unintentionally block sites that have legitimate research value and fail to block objectionable content. Users should be aware that Internet filtering software installed for CIPA compliance should not substitute for individual judgment and/or parental involvement and oversight. Supervising children’s use of the public library, unlike schools, does not serve in loco parentis (in place of parent). Librarians cannot act in the place of parents in providing constant care and supervision of children as they explore the Internet.

As the law requires, the Library will disable filtered Internet access to persons 18 or older who request it for research or any other lawful purposes.

Library Conduct

  • Be considerate and respectful of all library users and staff.
  • Treat library property (materials, furnishings, and equipment, etc.) with respect.
  • Dress appropriately: shirt and shoes are required.
  • Supervise your children and assist them in observing appropriate conduct.
  • Silence your cell phones and pagers.
  • Bicycles and gasoline-powered vehicles must be left outside.
  • Skateboards, roller blades, scooters and other personal items must be carried or kept under a table and out of aisles.
  • Assistance dogs are the only animals permitted in the library.
  • Comply with staff requests in regard to library policies.
  • Unacceptable conduct includes, but is not limited to, loud, disruptive and other inappropriate behavior, eating, drinking, use of any tobacco product, possession of firearms, weapons, or illegal substances.
  • Noncompliance with the Rules of Conduct may result in suspension from the library.

Unattended Child Policy

Children and families are strongly encouraged to use the library and its services. However, as the library is a public space, unattended children can be quite vulnerable if left without supervision as it is not the duties of library staff to monitor these children. There are also times when emergencies happen, and unexpected evacuations of the library could occur and leave children vulnerable. If an unattended child cannot reach a parent or guardian at closing time or during an emergency, the West Haven Police may be notified. Staff under no circumstances will transport children to another location.

Conn. Gen. Stat. $ 53-21a states that “Any parent, guardian or person having custody or control, or providing supervision, of any child under the age of twelve years who knowingly leaves such child unsupervised in a place of public accommodation or a motor vehicle for a period of time that presents a substantial risk to the child’s health or safety, shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.”

Children under the age of six must be within eyesight of the accompanying parent or guardian at all times. Parents and guardians should be aware of library’s operating hours, as they are subject to change unexpectedly, and it is not staff’s responsibility to monitor children leaving the library. All children under twelve should be accompanied by a responsible parent, guardian or caregiver. Children under twelve left unattended in the library may be asked to contact their parent  or guardian and if the parent is unresponsive may result in the police being notified.

Children, similar to adult users, are expected to respect library property and policy at all times (see Code of Conduct).  Children who are not using the library appropriately, or who require excessive staff attention or supervision, may be asked to leave the library. The parents or guardians of these children may be notified, and if necessary, asked to stay with their children while visiting the library at the discretion of staff. Parents or Guardians assume all responsibility for the conduct, well-being and safety of their children regardless of their physical presence or lack thereof in the library. In addition, if children continue to misbehave while left unattended in the library and a parent or guardian cannot be contacted, the police may be notified.

Online Privacy Statement

The West Haven Public Library is committed to protecting the privacy of visitors to its web site. The following sets forth our information gathering and dissemination practices: When you visit the Library’s web site, we may collect and store information only to measure the number of visitors to different areas of our site to assist us in making our site more useful to you. This information may include:

  • The address (IP) of your computer or internet provider
  • The date and time you accessed our site
  • The Internet address of the web site that referred you to our site.

We may ask visitors to our site to provide their e-mail address, postal address and/or telephone number only when needed to assist in answering inquiries or providing information. If a user submitting their postal address, e-mail address or telephone number is suspected of being younger than 13 years of age, we will delete this information from our records in accordance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPR) [in HTML format] [View in PDF format]

In accordance with the Library Confidentiality Policy, we will not sell, lease, or otherwise distribute or disclose your e-mail address, postal address, phone number, borrower records or other personal information for non-library purposes to outside parties unless required by law.

We will never disclose a child’s personal information as full name, address, etc. (“information that would facilitate or enable the physical or online locating and contacting of a specific individual”) without written approval from a parent or legal guardian. In accordance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPR) [in HTML format] [View in PDF format] we will only display on our site a child’s first name, last initial, location and/or age on our sites to announce contest winners and display user submitted comments.

The Library’s web site may use “cookies” to allow you access to certain functions within our site. These cookie files do not capture any personal user information (such as e-mail address or user passwords). Temporary cookie files are automatically deleted when you close your browser.

Some of the Library web site pages contain links to external sites not maintained by the Library. The Library cannot be responsible for your privacy when you disclose information to outside web sites. It is the your responsibility to protect your personal information.

From time to time, we may use visitor information for new unanticipated uses not previously disclosed in our privacy notice. If our information practices do change, we will post the policy changes on our site to notify you and provide you with the ability to opt out of these new uses. If you have any concerns about how your information is used, please contact the Webmaster.

Wireless Access Policy

Wireless Access Internet (Wi-Fi) is provided free of charge by the West Haven Public Library at the Main Library, Ora Mason Branch and the Louis Piantino Branch for patrons who have the required hardware and software needed for this service. All wireless users should have up to date anti- virus protection on their laptop computers.

Use of West Haven Public Library’s wireless service is in agreement with the terms and conditions of this policy. The library assumes no responsibility for the safety of equipment, data files, device configurations, or security resulting from the network connection.

Wireless service is provided as a free service and on an “as is” basis with no guarantee of service. The library supports the following wireless standards:
802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n. To access please use the password from library staff.

  • Users are responsible for setting their equipment to access the wireless network.The wireless network is secured using WPA-Personal-WPA/WPA 2 security.
  • Library staff will not provide technical assistance and will not assume responsibility for hardware configurations and security changes resulting from connections to the network. If you are unsure if your laptop has a wireless function, please check with the manufacturer or your laptop supplier.
  • There are three (3) wireless connections possible in the Main Library: WHPL Ref located in the reference room, WHPL Circ located in the adult circulation area, WH GrRoom located in the Graham Room (children’s department). There is one wireless connection in the Ora Mason Branch: WHPL OM and one wireless connection in the Louis Piantino Branch: WHPL LP. There may be some dead spots where wireless reception is limited. Moving to another location in the facility may result in a stronger connection. The library does not guarantee that a wireless connection will be made.
  • Printing access is not available via the wireless connection. The file can be saved to a flash/thumb drive or emailed to the user and printed from a public computer for $ .20 cents per page.
  • The use of sound is not permitted in the library. To access audio files, headphones are required and need to be provided by the user or can be purchased for a small fee at each branch.

As with most public wireless networks, West Haven Public Library’s wireless network is not secure. Any information transmitted (including credit card numbers, passwords, and other sensitive information) could potentially be intercepted by another computer user.

Library Cards

  • You must present a valid Connecticut Library card in order to borrow materials.
  • To obtain a West Haven Public Library card, you will need to come to the Library and provide one picture ID and one item that has your name and current local residential address.
  • This can be a personal check, current utility bill, piece of mail addressed to you at your local address, etc.
  • You are financially responsible for items checked out on your card.  Please do not lend your card to others.
  • Parents are financially responsible for items checked out on their child’s card.
  • Children under 17 and under must be with their parent or guardian when applying for a card or have them sign and notarize the application. Parents are responsible for items their children check out.
  • There is a replacement charge for lost cards.

New Library Cards/Renewals

Acceptable ID for applying for a West Haven adult library card:

Also needed for library card renewals every three years:

West Haven adult resident age 18 or older:

  • Department of Motor Vehicle CT Driver’s license or DMV non Driver Photo ID with your current West Haven address.  A change of address sticker on the back of your ID is acceptable.


If you do not have a photo ID with a current address please provide the following with a photo ID:

  • Acceptable Photo ID’s:  Any photo ID with legal name.
  • A document with your current West Haven address with your name ie: utility bill, mortgage or lease papers, postmarked letter.

Military or Veteran’s picture ID.  If applicant has no current residence in West Haven, a three month library card will be issued to you.  Expiration date of the temporary card is renewed every three months until patron finds a place to live in West Haven.  If residency is found outside of West Haven please refer to the Out of Town ID needed.

UNH student ID: Show your UNH ID and this semester’s course list and a temporary West Haven Public Library card will be issued to you until the end the current semester.

Special Needs resident that belongs to a West Haven Town program:  Patron must be vouched for by a staff from the program showing organization ID.  The Director of the program will be responsible for all lost items.

Homebound West Haven resident: Show a valid picture ID to the Bookmobile driver.

P.O. Box is not accepted        

Out of town Connecticut residents:

1.  Current library card from the current town in which you live.

2.  Current DMV CT Driver’s license or DMV  CT non-driver photo ID.

3.  New Haven Residents may show a current Elm City Residency Card.  No other form of ID needed.


An official photo ID which may be out of date or not the current address will be accepted along with:

A document showing your current resident address with your name ie: utility bill, mortgage or lease papers, postmarked letter.

If you do not have a valid photo ID, a valid passport is acceptable.


Out of State residents:

Patrons with an out of state primary residency may show a current out of state ID as long as they are also currently a resident of West Haven.

In this case please show:

A current out of state ID card

And Resident address with your name (i.e. a utility bill, mortgage or lease papers, postmarked letter).


First Time Children’s Library card for a person 17 years or younger

Child must be present with parent or guardian.

*Parent or guardian will be responsible for all materials checked out with the child’s card and must show the above acceptable forms of ID.

Loan Periods






28 days

30 books 1 renewal
Books & CDs
14 days
1 renewal
7 days

14 days


1 renewal



New DVDs
(copyright the last two years),


7 days

3 days

7 days


5 DVDs


Museum Passes

3 days

1 pass


To reserve or renew materials, please call the Circulation Desk at 203-937-4233 or come into the Library.

You cannot renew:

  • Magazines
  • Museum Passes
  • Any item on request for another customer

Collection Development Policy

Request for Reconsideration of Material Form

QUESTIONS?  Call 203-937-4233
Our staff will be happy to help you.