Library Policies

Coventry Public Library is pleased to circulate nearly all of it collections to library users in good standing with valid library cards.  In order to ensure maximum use of the collections, equal access to library holdings, and responsible care of library materials, Coventry Library has developed a set of circulation policies to govern the lending of library materials. 

All library patrons must have a valid OSL card in order to check out library materials.  Cards are not transferable to other family members or friends.  The patron is responsible for materials checked out on his or her card.  Please immediately report loss of card or change of address. 

  • Patrons can apply for a library card or renew their library card online at https://www.oslri.org/application/ . 
  • Without their card present a patron must show valid photo ID to check out materials. 

  • All books, audio books, music CDs, cake pans, kits and puppets may be renewed twice, providing there are no holds on the items and the items are no more than 2 weeks overdue.  There are no renewals on DVDs, museum passes, Nooks, and the Express Collection. 

  • Telephone renewals are allowed on items as long as the patron has his or her card available, the item to be renewed is not more than 2 weeks overdue, and there are no holds placed on the item.  In-house patrons’ needs must take precedence over telephone renewals in which case the phone patron may be asked to call back. 

  • If a person loses their library card, there is a one dollar ($1.00) replacement fee.  Proper ID is required to replace the card. 

  • Coventry Library reserves the right to determine charges for lost or damaged items and the right to deny borrowing privileges to anyone who has library materials overdue from any OSL library or owes fines amounting to more than five dollars ($5.00) from any OSL library.   

  • A parent or guardian, in signing for their minor child, is financially responsible for any delinquencies on that card.   

  • The library is not responsible for damage to patron’s devices that may result from damaged or defective library materials. 

  • You may use your OSL card at all other OSL libraries.  Circulation policies and rules may vary with each library.  Items may be returned to any OSL library unless otherwise noted, however the patron is responsible for all materials until they are checked in by the owning library. 

Collection Development Policy 

This Collection Development Policy offers guidance to library staff in the selection, retention and withdrawal of library materials and serves to inform the public of the library’s principles for section and collection maintenance.  

This policy is based on the library’s mission and observes the American Library Association policies regarding freedom of access, including the Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read, Freedom to View (appended), and related interpretations of Intellectual Freedom Committee.  

Responsibility for Materials Selection 

The ultimate responsibility for book and non-print materials rests with the Library Board of Trustees. The Trustees, in turn, delegate the authority for selection to the Director and the Materials Selection Team. 

The Materials Selection Team consists of the Director and other professional librarians who have training and experience in the art of selection, and are charged with selecting materials in designated subject areas. Suggestions from other staff members and library users are encouraged and seriously considered in the selection process. 

Criteria for Selection 

Coventry Public Library provides a robust, relevant collection of resources in a wide range of formats to meet the informational, educational and recreational needs of the community. The library strives to meet these needs within the limitations of space, staffing and the budget.  

The library’s goal is to build a collection that reflects the community and to represent a variety of ideas, information, stories and experiences. The library recognizes varying viewpoints, ideas, beliefs and philosophies and will provide access to diverse points of view. Inclusion in the library’s collection is not an endorsement of any particular point of view or belief. 

Materials are selected to fill the needs of both actual and potential readers. Items for the collections are chosen based on: 

  • Community needs and interest 

  • Current usefulness or permanent value to the collection 

  • Favorable reviews in professional journals 

  • Authority and competence of the author, composer, filmmaker, etc. 

  • Relevance to existing collection strengths and weaknesses  

  • Public demand and interest  

  • Literary merit, significance 

  • Availability of the material in other OSL libraries 

  • Quality of content, design, format or production 

  • Relevance to existing collection strengths and weaknesses 

  • Cost 

Tools used in selection include professional and trade journals, newspapers, subject bibliographies, publishers’ promotional materials and reviews from other reliable sources.  

Patron suggestions are always welcomed and will be evaluated in relation to the existing collection. Suggested works will be added if they meet the selection criteria stated in this policy and funds are available. 

The Use of the Library’s Materials 

Library materials shall be selected to provide a broad range of viewpoints and shall not be marked or identified to show library approval or disapproval of the contents. No book or other item shall be sequestered. Responsibility for the reading, viewing or listening habits of children rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of materials for the library’s collections shall not be restricted by the possibility that children may obtain materials their parents consider inappropriate.  

The use of items in collections which are fragile or valuable, or unusually susceptible to theft, shall be controlled only to the extent required to protect them from damage or theft.  

Greene Public Library 

Greene Library, located in the western portion of Coventry, became part of the Coventry library system on July 1, 2010. Many Coventry residents visit both locations so policies and procedures are identical. The Greene collection is similar to Coventry’s but differs in some key areas. For instance, Greene only has a basic reference collection. While staff and patrons at Greene have access to Coventry’s electronic resources, in-depth reference questions may require the assistance of Coventry’s reference staff and additional resources either in person or remotely. 

Gifts, Memorials, and Donations 

The library gratefully accepts gifts, memorials, and donations and reserves the right to evaluate all gifts/donations with the same criteria used in selecting purchases. Those that do not meet the library’s needs or do not meet selection criteria will be disposed of in any manner that seems appropriate. Items that are in good condition but not needed by the library may be sold in the Library Book Nook or given to other libraries or agencies. Bookplates may be provided for gifts and memorials and a statement for tax purposes will be provided if requested by the patron. It is the responsibility of the patron to determine the value of their gift. 

Portraits, sculpture, furniture and other such items shall not, except under special circumstances, be accepted as gifts. 

Local authors, self-published authors, unsolicited materials 

Materials submitted by local authors, self-published authors and unsolicited materials from publishers will be evaluated by the same criteria set forth in this policy.  

Maintaining the Collection 

To maintain an up-to-date, useful collection, worn and obsolete materials shall be continuously weeded. Materials may also be withdrawn if they are little used or superseded by a new edition or better work on the same subject. Materials no longer useful to the library may be given to other libraries or schools, sold for the benefit of the library, or disposed of.  

Collections 

Adult Fiction 

A range of genres and literary styles, anticipated popular titles s are purchased in proportion to demand and user statistics. Efforts are made to complete series and to acquire award winning titles. Additional copies of popular authors may be purchased as funding allows. 

Adult Non-fiction 

The non-fiction collection emphasizes timely, accurate and useful information to support community needs and interests. Attempts are made to select resources that represent all viewpoints of issues. In an attempt to keep pace with progress in new fields of knowledge, the library responds with new additions as they become available.  If subject areas in the collection are found to be lacking, based on patron requests, purchases may be made dependent on availability of material and holdings of other libraries. The library provides both scholarly and non-scholarly materials in a variety of formats and at different reading levels.  

Young Adult 

Materials in the Young Adult collection are published for and marketed towards middle-schoolers and/or high schoolers (grades 6-12, or ages 11-18). Materials are selected based on anticipated popularity, patron requests, reviews and award lists.  

Youth Services  

This collection serves the needs of children from birth to middle school and their families. These materials are specifically designed to help children develop a love of reading, reading proficiency and complete school assignments. Selections are based on professional resources and the requests of parents, children and teachers.  

The collections consist of picture books, non-fiction, fiction, children’s reference materials (non-circulating), periodicals, audio books, DVDs, CD’s, story packs, story sets, and juvenile kits.  

The Youth Services department includes a “play” area which provides children and their caregivers the opportunity for quiet play and a chance to interact with other library patrons in a safe and friendly environment. The library regularly replenishes the toys in this area providing children new and stimulating experiences. 

Periodicals 

Periodicals are chosen to supplement the book collection as an additional source of current information, to provide for recreational and entertainment reading, and to serve the staff as book selection aids and professional reading. (Professional journals are for staff use only. All titles are allowed to circulate. 

Non-print Materials 

The library circulates DVD’s, music CDs, a gaming collection, regalia and audio books. As with print materials, non-book materials are selective rather than comprehensive in scope. The goals of the various collections are intended to provide basic information or entertainment on subjects of interest to patrons. These items are protected by copyright and intended for home use only and should not be duplicated.  

Reference 

Some print reference materials are intended for in-library use. Resources are selected that provide accurate and up-to-date information as well as supplying overviews for topics of interest. In addition, consideration in materials selection is given to the specific needs and interests of our community, so that resources may be included in the reference collection as appropriate. As with other library materials, resources are suitable for a range of reading, informational, and educational levels. 

Examples of print materials in the reference collection are indexes, encyclopedias, biographical resources, dictionaries, almanacs, atlases, and directories. Electronic databases are also available some of which can be accessed remotely.  

Special Collection 

Coventry Public Library’s Special Collection acquires and preserves materials of interest to the people of Coventry and Kent County including the history of these areas, local genealogical materials, and materials related to the Civil War. This collection is intended for in-library use only. 

Digital Collections 

The library also purchases and collects materials in electronic format. These include  

EZone, Hoopla, Kanopy, Ancestry.com, Providence Journal Archives and several others. Criteria for selection remain the same as for any title. The choice of electronic materials is influenced by the following needs: to supplement the print collection with the most current information on all subjects possible; to supply information that may not currently be in print form; to provide recreational pleasure or entertainment; and to offer a dimension or timeliness on subject areas that the print collection alone is unable to provide. 

Miscellaneous Collections 

The Coventry Public Library maintains various additional collections. These collections include: 

  • Adult Literacy Collection – Basic Literacy & English Language Learners 

  • Professional Collections (non-circulating) 

  • Fishing poles and tackle boxes 

  • Educational toys 

  • Gaming Collection 

  • Cake pans 

  • Library of Things  

All special collections are selected and developed by trained library staff. In the case of Literacy Volunteers of Kent County’s adult literacy collection, selections are made by the Program Director, an individual who has direct contact with students and tutors therefore having first hand knowledge of their needs.  These selections are then reviewed by a member of the library’s Selection Committee before purchases are made. The Adult Professional Collection primarily assists the library staff in growth and development. The collection consists of library manuals and texts that cover different areas of library studies. The Youth Service’s Professional Collection is maintained primarily for use by the staff in developing programs and providing services for children. This collection includes oversized books, pop-up books, and classic editions of picture books. Non-print items include picture books with props, puppets, and other learning toys that support children’s programming. The Gaming collection includes representative games for a variety of gaming systems and for patrons of all ages. 

Networks, consortium, cooperation 

The Coventry Public Library is a member of the Ocean State Libraries (OSL). Membership in OSL affords the library’s patrons access to collections beyond their community. Many titles that are requested by patrons that are not in-house may be interlibrary loaned (ILL). Materials not available from a library in the OSL system may be searched for in other networks. There may be a small search, copying, or postage fee for some materials received from out of state. 

Request for reconsideration of library materials 

The choice of library materials by patrons is an individual matter. Parents and legal guardians are responsible for the materials that their children borrow. While a person may reject materials for themselves or for their children, they cannot exercise censorship to restrict access to library materials by others. 

The Coventry Public Library supports freedom and endorses the American Library Association (ALA) Freedom to Read Statement, Freedom to View Statement, the Library Bill of Rights and all relevant Library Bill of Rights Interpretations. Patrons wishing reconsideration of library materials must complete the Coventry Public Library Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources Form in its entirety. Only signed forms will be considered. The Library Director will acknowledge receipt of the form within two weeks. 

The relevant Library Staff will review the library material to ascertain whether it meets the standards set forth in the library’s Collection Development Policy, and will make a written recommendation to the Library Director as to the validity of the request. 

The Library Director, after reviewing the recommendation, will decide whether the library material remains on the shelf or is removed and will notify the patron of said decision. A final appeal may be made to the Library Board of Trustees. 
 
A copy of the request form without identifying patron information will be mailed to the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee. 

Review of collection development policy 

This policy shall be reviewed by the Board of Trustees. If there are no sections requiring revisions, it will then be accepted by the Board as policy. It shall be reviewed and revised every year by a committee of staff and the Library Director. It will then be presented to the Board for approval. 

Approved the Library Board of Trustees, May 2022 

The Coventry Public Library recognizes the importance of Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service and perceives it as a core library service. As a member of Ocean State Libraries and the Library of Rhode Island (LORI), the library shares most of its collections with the patrons of other libraries.  

All materials: print, non-print, realia, and digital (when possible) are available to all who come into the library in person. 

Scope: 

The following materials are available for Interlibrary Loan (allow holds) from Coventry Public Library: 

Circulating Books 

Circulation Periodicals 

Circulating non-print materials (DVDs, CDs, Audio books, Games, etc.) 

Photocopies of non-circulating materials 

The following materials are not available for Interlibrary Loan from Coventry Public Library: 

Reference Materials 

Special Collection Materials 

Express Collection 

Nooks/Laptops 

Story Packs 

Cake Pans 

Fishing Poles & Tackle Boxes 

Puppets 

Museum Passes 

Databases with prohibitive Vendor License Agreements 

Responsibilities of Requesting Libraries: 

  • Interlibrary Loan does not take the place of adequate collection development. 

  • Requested material should be described completely and accurately. 

  • The requesting library is responsible for borrowed materials until they are returned and received by the loaning library. This includes damage/loss of requested materials. 

  • Photocopies of materials not available for Interlibrary Loan are allowed within the parameters of U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code).  

  • The requesting library will honor the loan period of the loaning library. Every effort will be made to ensure materials are returned on time. Renewal requests will be made to the loaning library. Material may be recalled at any time. 

Responsibilities of the Loaning Library: 

  • Loaning library will honor the material request within 3 business days. 

  • Any special instructions for the use of materials will accompany the loaned materials. 

  • Loaning library will provide complete information identifying borrowing patron. 

  • Loan period is the same as regular circulation loan period for material categories. 

  • If material is in disrepair, such condition will be noted before material is sent to requesting library. 

Other Conditions: 

  • All ILL transactions are confidential. 

  • ILL records will be kept in accordance with state/federal laws. 

  • No transaction fees will be charged. 

  • No overdue fines will be charged to the requesting library. 

Material may be checked out for the following loan periods. Please note late fees. 

Material Loan Period Overdue Fine
Books, magazines, audiobooks, music CDs, preschool kits, cake pans, fishing poles 21 days Fine free
DVDs, Blu-rays, and video games, 1 or 2 discs 7 days (no renewals) Fine free
DVDs & Blu-rays, 3+ discs 21 days (no renewals) Fine free
Binge Boxes 21 days (no renewals) Fine free
All Express Books 7 days (no renewals, no holds) $1.00 per day
All Express DVDs 2 days (no renewals, no holds) $1.00 per day
Ukuleles 21 days (no renewals, no holds) $1.00 per day
Equipment  Varies $5.00 per day
Museum Passes 2 days (no renewals, no holds) $5.00 per day
Nook e-readers 21 days (no renewals, no holds) $5.00 per day
eBooks, audiobooks, and streaming movies from the eZone, Hoopla, Kanopy Varies No fines/Never overdue

 

  • All items checked out for 21 days may be renewed twice, unless someone is waiting for them. 

  • A maximum of 99 items can be checked out at one time. 

  • A maximum of 25 holds (requests) can be on a patron's account at one time. 

  • A maximum of 10 DVDs can be checked out at one time. 

  • Replacement costs for above items will be determined on an individual basis. 

Patron Behavior Policy

In order to maintain an atmosphere conducive to library use and to ensure the safety of library patrons and staff, the Coventry Public Library has adopted the following list of behavior guidelines:

 

  • Proper dress is required (shoes and shirts are required) 
  • Eating, and drinking from uncovered containers inside the library is prohibited
  • Use of personal electronic equipment that interferes with other library users or staff is prohibited
  • Stealing, abusing, defacing or destroying any library property is prohibited
  • Carrying on sustained conversations above acceptable noise levels is prohibited
  • Using profane or obscene language and gestures on library premises is prohibited
  • Any form of harassment of library staff or patrons is prohibited. Harassment includes, without limitation, physical harassment, verbal harassment, visual harassment, and innuendo
  • Disrupting or interfering with the use of the library by other patrons is prohibited; offensive personal hygiene that disturbs others is not permitted 
  • Physically assaulting library staff, vendors or patrons is prohibited
  • Carrying, possessing or displaying weapons is prohibited with the exception of police officers carrying service weapons
  • Using tobacco or vapor products inside the library is prohibited
  • Using, selling or trading alcohol and illegal substances or possessing the same for purposes of using, selling or trading on library premises is prohibited 
  • Being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs on library premises is prohibited
  • Sleeping in the library or on library grounds is prohibited
  • Moving library furniture from an existing location is prohibited
  • Bathing or excessive grooming in public restrooms is prohibited
  • Engaging in sexual acts on library premises is prohibited
  • Entering into non-public areas of the library or using library equipment or facilities without authorization is prohibited
  • Soliciting patrons and library personnel is prohibited
  • Parents or legal guardians are ultimately responsible for the behavior of their children in the library and on library premises
  • Animals are not permitted inside the library, except service animals assisting patrons

 

We ask all library patrons abide by these guidelines, and all state and local laws, while in the library and on library premises. Patrons violating one or more of these guidelines will be asked to stop engaging in such violations and may be asked to leave the premises and/or be barred from using Coventry Public Library and/or its branch, Greene Public Library.

Approved by the Coventry Library Board of Trustees, May 2022