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Internet Use Policy

All patrons must sign-up (with their library card or proper identification) for a one-hour time slot of computer usage. They may use the computer beyond this time if at least one computer with Internet access is unoccupied, but they must relinquish the workstation if all Internet computers are currently occupied.

Patrons may sign-up for only one time slot during any given day, and patrons may not switch to a different computer unless the computer they are sitting at is deemed “unfix-able” for the duration of their one-hour time slot.

The library cannot provide email accounts.

Printing is charged $.10 per page for black and white, $.25 per page for color printing.

A person who damages equipment will be responsible for the cost required to return the equipment to proper operation.

The staff reserves the right to ask patrons to abort his/her search if it is displaying offensive or hostile material. This right is necessitated by the location of the Internet workstations and the possible proximity of children.

Parents must monitor their children’s use of the Internet.

The use of the Internet access through the Swampscott Public Library for illegal purposes or to transmit threatening, obscene, or harassing materials is strictly forbidden.

Materials obtained from the Internet may be subject to copyrighted laws.

Children's Room Policy

For the safety of our children and the comfort of all of our patrons, the Swampscott Public Library strives to create a warm, inviting, fun and safe environment for children. We offer many programs and services that encourage children to develop a love of books, reading and learning. The safety and well being of children at the library is a serious concern, therefore the library maintains this policy:

1. All children under the age of 10 must have an adult or a responsible person 14 years or older with them at all times while they are anywhere in the Library.
2. No library staff member is authorized to accept responsibility for the supervision or care for any minor child left alone or unattended at the Library at any time.
3. No child under the age of 7 will be allowed on the computers without a parent or guardian seated with them.

All Minor Children
1. Parents or guardians should be responsible for having their children picked up by the time or before the Library is closed
2. Should it be determined that a child under age 14 has been left at the Library at closing time, every attempt will be made to contact the child’s parents or other family member. The Swampscott Police will be called if no one can be reached. Staff members will remain after hours with an unattended child until the parent, guardian, or police arrive.
3. Staff members staying with the child will be compensated for time spent waiting, by the town.
4. Staff members should fill out an incident report and leave it for the director when the police are called.
5. Library staff members will not transport children from the Library to any other location.
6. Parents, guardians, or caretakers who violate the rules stated above risk having their library privileges restricted or revoked.

Approved by Board of Trustees May, 2023.

Teen Room Policy

The Teen Room is a dedicated space reserved for patrons 6th to 12th grade.  Use of seating, computers/technology, and other standalone activities within this room are reserved for teens. Out of concern for the safety of young patrons, adults and children aged 10 and under who are unaccompanied by a teen in the Teen Room of the Library, may be questioned by staff, and may be asked to move to another area of the Library at any time.

All other patrons may access the space while school is in session, limited to browsing the collection and use of available seating, but may not utilize the computers.  Access to the room will terminate once school is out of session, and any remaining patrons may be asked to leave.

Room will close 15 minutes prior to closing the building


Our Teen Room follows the same policies as the rest of the library. Patrons using the Teen Room must abide by all of the rules and policies of the library, including the Patron Behavior/Acceptable Use Policy and the Swampscott Public Library Internet Use Policy. Library staff will inform teen patrons behaving disruptively or inappropriately of the rules. If the disruptive or inappropriate behavior continues, the teen may be asked to leave the Library. Any patron who continually violates these policies may be denied the privilege of access to the Library by the Library Director or the Swampscott Police.


Computer Access
The Teen Room has three computers available for use by Teens. All computers connect to the internet and the library catalog. To use any of these computers, patrons must follow the Swampscott Public Library Internet Use Policy. Patrons who do not follow this policy may be denied the privilege of access to the library Wifi and computers by the Library Director or the Swampscott Police.

Patron Behavior/Acceptable Use Policy

We welcome everyone to use the Swampscott Public Library. This policy is designed to promote appropriate use of the library. It will allow the Swampscott Library to carry out its mission to provide services, programs and materials that enrich lives. We have established this policy to ensure the safety of our patrons and staff, as well as safeguard our resources and facilities from damage. We wish to foster a love of reading and provide access to information.  The Library requests respect for others and any act which is inconsistent with the mission of the Library will not be tolerated.

Among these are the following:

  • Disruptive behavior, such as but not limited to, running, playing audio equipment so others can hear it, cell phone usage, threatening or harassing behavior, public intoxication, talking loudly or engaging in any other behavior that would hinder the Library from carrying out its mission.
  • Misuse of restroom, such as using the Library as a laundry or washing facility
  • Smoking or the use of other tobacco products and electronic smoking devices in the library
  • Possession of alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Possessions of weapons including but not limited to knives, clubs, guns, and blades
  • Verbal or physical harassment or assault of patrons or staff
  • Unauthorized taking of videos or pictures of any person in the Library without their consent
  • Theft or damage of any library materials
  • Entering the library without shoes or shirts.
  • Leaving a child under the age of 7 unattended in the library
  • No adult who is not accompanying a child or in search specifically for juvenile books should be in the Children’s room
  • Any activities that violate local, state, or federal laws or rules or policies of the Library

Any patron who violates this Policy may be denied the privilege of access to the Library by the Library Director or the Swampscott Police

Adopted by the Board of Library Trustee- April 25, 2018

Fines Policy

The Swampscott Public Library is pleased to announce that the Library will be fine-free for nearly all overdue materials, effective immediately, and any past-due fines for Swampscott Library items will be removed from patron records. Library overdue fines are a deterrent to equitable access to library services, and serve only as a penalty for most families. This initiative is in keeping with the American Library Association’s 2019 “Resolution on Monetary Library Fines as a Form of Social Inequity,” and is supported by the Swampscott Public Library Board of Trustees and the Town of Swampscott.

If Swampscott Library materials are not returned, replacement fees will still apply, and patron records will be blocked until the item is returned or paid for. Once those items are returned to the Library, there will no longer be a penalty for being returned late. Fines and fees for items borrowed from other libraries are set by the owning library, so those may still apply. For questions, call (781) 596-8867 or contact Caroline Margolis, Head of Circulation at, or Jonathan Nichols, Library Director at

Damaged and Incomplete Items Policy

Damaged Items

The Swampscott 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 Swampscott Public Library only.  Materials borrowed from other libraries will be subject to the procedures and policies 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.

Collection Development Policy