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Library Policies

Mission Statement

We commit to providing an inclusive environment that fosters learning, community growth, and connection in an ever-changing world.

WPPL is open for browsing.

  • Face coverings for ages 2 and up and other temporary policies remain in effect.
  • Computers are available for use.
  • The drive-up window on the south side of the building is OPEN regular library hours.
  • Check the Event Calendar for news about virtual programs.

The following policies and guidelines are in effect during the pandemic and temporarily replace the library's usual policies in several areas.

Temporary Circulation Policies
  • Newspapers are not available for in-library use or checkout since they cannot practically be quarantined for three days after use like all other library materials. Magazines are available for checkout only. 
  • Patrons are encouraged to use self-check. You will need your library card and PIN to use the self-check stations. 
  • Patrons should return items to the drive-up or internal book drops instead of handing them to library staff directly.
Temporary Public Service Policies
  • All staff and patrons over the age of two are required to wear a face covering while in the building. Those that cannot wear a face covering can be served through our telephone reference and drive-up window services. 
  • The first hour of the day, 9-10 am Monday through Saturday, is set aside for older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions. 
  • Food and drink are not allowed in the library. 
  • There is a limit of 80 patrons in the building at any one time. 
Temporary Group Services Policies
  • Meeting room usage is on hold while the state’s ban on mass gatherings of more than 10 people remains in place.
  • Study rooms can not be reserved due to the difficulty of ensuring they can be properly sanitized between uses.
  • In-person programs are canceled but high-quality programs are offered virtually through Zoom and our social media platforms. 
Circulation Policies
Borrowing and Renewing Material
  1. Registered library cardholders may borrow all materials, free of charge, for periods of one week, or three weeks.
  2. Users may have up to 75 checked out items on their library cards at one time. At the library's discretion, we may impose a limit on the number of material types eligible to circulate due to format, popularity, cost, etc.
  3. Your library card is the preferred method for checking out items, but you can use your driver's license or other picture ID.
  4. Fines and fees are charged when materials are not returned on time.
  5. Golden Buckeye cardholders are exempt from most fines, except on SearchOhio and OhioLINK items. Fees for items sent to collections must be paid as well.
  6. Replacement costs, fines, and fees (if materials are overdue) are charged when materials are lost or damaged.
  7. Most materials may be renewed up to six (6) times. The Web catalog is available any time to renew most library materials. The new loan period begins on the date of renewal. If other patrons have requested the item, you cannot renew.
  8. You may call the Circulation Desk (440-871-2600) to request renewals or for further information. You must call in order to request the renewal of items borrowed by interlibrary loan, through SearchOhio, or OhioLINK.
Courtesy Notifications

Reminders, Overdue Items, and Available Holds

You can choose to receive notifications from the library by:

  • email
  • phone
  • text messaging*

* Depending on your cell phone plan, you may incur charges to receive these text messages, so check with your cell phone provider before signing up.

You must set the means of receiving notifications in person at the Circulation Desk or by filling out a Change of Address form online (you will be required to login first).


If you have selected email or text message notifications, you will receive a message 2 days before an item is due.

Overdue Items

You will receive a notification that an item is overdue 1 day, 10 days and 21 days after the due date. When materials are 35 days overdue, a paper notification will be sent to your address.


You will receive notification by the format that you have selected when materials that you have placed on hold are available to check out.

Fines, Fees, and Lost Materials

WPPL is fine free. Borrowers will be billed for replacement of damaged or lost materials. There are fines for SearchOhio/OhioLink items in the amount of $0.50 per day overdue.

  • Repair costs depend upon the extent of the damage
  • A processing fee of $10.00 per patron is charged when an account is sent to collection.
  • The cost to replace lost or damage cases-- for DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, video games, etc.-- varies, ranging from $0.50 to around $11.
Lost Materials

Notify the library when any materials are lost. Total charges for an item will include the cost of the item, fines, and fees.

Suspension of your privileges will occur if:

  • Materials are not returned within three weeks of the due date for most materials, one week for select materials
  • Fees are unpaid for lost or damaged materials
  • Total fines exceed $10.00
  • 10 or more items are overdue

Your neighbors depend upon you to return, on time, the library materials you borrowed.

After-Hours Locker Policy

After-hours lockers are located on the south side of the building, east of the pickup window and drive-up book drops.

Customers may place requests for after-hours locker pickup of materials via phone, e-mail, or in person.

Customers’ library card numbers will serve as the locker combination. Lock combinations will work only on the night they are assigned.

Library staff will reset the combination daily for each locker.

Staff will place materials in the lockers prior to closing.

Materials must be picked up no later than opening time the next day. Materials left in lockers will be placed back into circulation the next morning.

Every effort will be made to accommodate after-hours requests prior to closing. Staff will check on the availability of materials; and, available items will be sent to Circulation. Circulation will check out the materials to the patron and place them in the locker for pick up.

The code is set for the last seven (7) digits of the library card number. When the patron keys in the code, ending with the pound (#) sign, their specific locker will open.

The after-hours lockers room is unlocked and lit when there is material waiting for pick up.

Drive-Up Window Policy

Drive-up window transactions are limited to short term transactions i.e. picking up small loans or paying fines (except for collection agency fines). Patrons must be in a vehicle to use this window (not on foot, not on a bicycle).

Transactions involving collection agency accounts must occur inside the library at the circulation desk.

Registration for a library card, bulk loans or other complicated transactions must occur inside the library at the circulation desk.

The drive-up window will be open during library hours.

Institution/Corporate Library Card Policy

Any institution, business, or corporation may request a library card.

An application form will be mailed to the institution, business, or corporation requesting a card, with the following instructions:

  • The completed form must be returned to the Library.
  • A letter on company stationery stating who in the organization is authorized to use the card; and, that the institution/business/corporation accepts responsibility for any fines, fees or charges leveled against the card needs to accompany the application form.
  • Once the application form and letter are on file with the library, a library card will be mailed to the organization.
  • Any changes to Institution cards such as the names of authorized borrowers, address, phone numbers, etc. need to be requested in writing on the institution's letter head.

The library card will be required when materials are checked out.

Institutional loan policies are the same as for all library cardholders:

  • Limit to 75 items
  • Normal loan periods apply
  • Six (6) renewals, if no holds are waiting on an item
  • Fines must be paid for overdue materials
  • Fees must be paid for notices, etc.
  • Lost materials must be paid for
  • Accounts with long overdue materials will be sent to a collection agency.

Institutions/businesses/corporations may call and request specific items to be held for them at the Circulation Desk, as may other library customers.

If there are only a few items being held, they may be picked up at the Drive-up Window or placed in the After-hours Pick-up Lockers.

Public Service Policies
Library Use Policy

The Library Use Policy was established in order to promote an environment conducive to regular library activities for everyone using the library. It prohibits behaviors that are unsafe or injurious, or that would inordinately disturb others using the library. To provide an atmosphere conducive to an enjoyable library visit by all, visitors to Westlake Porter Public Library must refrain from:

  • Harming, accosting, harassing or otherwise abusing others;
  • Disrupting library use;
  • Leaving youth unattended;
  • Damaging, stealing, or otherwise misusing library property;
  • Engaging in unlawful activities;
  • Creating unsafe or unhealthy conditions;
  • Bringing animals into the building (except for those assisting people with disabilities).

Any individual who willfully violates or aids/abets one who willfully violates the Library Use Policy may be excluded from the library and/or have his or her library privileges revoked. Library employees have the right and responsibility to enforce these policies. A publication available at the Library's Circulation Desk explains specific inappropriate library activities from each of the above categories and what sanctions may be taken.

Cell Phone Policy

In order to provide a pleasant and peaceful environment for all customers, cell phone use may be restricted in certain areas of the library. Cell phone usage is permissible in the library unless it becomes disruptive. Patrons should turn their phones off or to vibrate before entering the library.

Children in the Library

Children under the age of 9 may not be unattended at any time or location in the library. Children and teens should not be left alone at the library at closing time. If this occurs, Westlake police will be called. 

To ensure that everyone has reasonable access to our Federal Government Documents collection, Westlake Porter Public Library will provide mediated services to patrons under the age of nine who cannot come into the library with a caring adult. Assistance can be provided through phone service or via email by contacting Adult Services.

Food and Beverages in the Library

Covered beverages and small, dry snack foods may be brought into the library. Food is prohibited at all computer workstations. Carryout meals/pizzas, and sticky or messy foods (bananas, ice cream, Popsicles, etc.) are not permitted in the library. Beverage containers and food wrappers must be disposed of in wastebaskets. Partially consumed beverages should be emptied into a sink before disposal. Appropriate foods are up to the discretion of the library staff.

Information Security Policy

Approved: January 20, 2021

Information security is defined as the administrative, technical, or physical safeguards the Westlake Porter Public Library (“Library”) uses to access, collect, distribute, process, protect, store, use, transmit, dispose of, or otherwise handle confidential customer or staff information (“confidential information”).

The Library will take every reasonable precaution to ensure that any confidential information that is kept by the Library for any purpose is safeguarded from unauthorized access. The Library has a responsibility to ensure that the accessing, handling, sharing and disposing of confidential information complies with Confidentiality of Customer Records and Protection of Personal Information Policy of the Westlake Porter Public Library, and the Ohio Revised Code Chapter 1347.

This policy covers all electronic information resources in the library. It applies equally to network servers, workstations, both staff and public access, network equipment, telecommunications equipment, and peripherals, such as printers, within the library. The policy applies to all library staff, administrators, and contractors using the library’s computer resources.

Roles and Responsibilities

Under the guidance of the Library Fiscal Officer, the IT Specialist will be designated to oversee the library’s information security program. They will address potential risks to the security, confidentiality, and integrity of confidential information that could result in a compromise. The IT Specialist must ensure that the following standards are met on every computing system, equipment, or network with access to confidential information:

  • Secure computing systems, equipment, and networks with confidential information
  • Restrict physical and login access to authorized users
  • Maintain up-to-date software patches and anti-virus software
  • Ensure and maintain complete system backups
  • Enable and use host-based firewalls if available
  • Perform regular security scans on computing systems, equipment, and networks
  • Provide training, or at least written training materials, to all staff, volunteers, and contract workers in the appropriate use of the network, awareness of the possible effects of misuse or unauthorized use of computer resources, and the consequences of any unauthorized use.

Authorized Users

Authorized users may be staff members, volunteers, and contract workers. They are responsible for confidential information in their custody. Maintaining the confidentiality, integrity, availability, and regulatory compliance of confidential information stored, processed, or transmitted at the library is a requirement of all authorized users. All authorized users with access to confidential information will:

  • Notify their manager and the IT Specialist immediately if confidential information, passwords, or other system access control mechanisms are lost, stolen, or disclosed or suspected of being lost, stolen, or disclosed.
  • Restrict physical access to laptop computers when used in public spaces when the user is physically away from the computer.
  • Secure all staff computers by locking the computer when the user physically walks away from the workspace.
  • All electronic equipment, including video cameras, iPads, tablets, etc. are to be kept in a locked cabinet when not in use. Devices should be secured with passwords.
  • Secure computers and mobile devices by requiring passwords (except for public computers with no confidential information). Passwords are integral to security. To minimize the risk of a password being compromised or unauthorized access, follow provided guidelines.
  • Use secure access-controlled methods to transfer confidential data.
  • Not intentionally damage, alter, misuse any library owned or maintained computing systems, equipment, or networks.

Library Managers

Library managers, with guidance or direction from the IT Specialist, are ultimately responsible for ensuring that this Information Security policy and individual responsibilities are clearly communicated to staff and are adequately followed. Specific responsibilities of library managers include:

  • Ensuring staff understand the danger of malicious software, how it is generally spread, and the technical controls used to protect against it.
  • Informing the IT Specialist of the change in status of staff, volunteers, or contract workers who use the library computer resources. This could include a position change (providing greater or more restricted access privileges) or termination of library employment.

General Policies

  • The IT Specialist is responsible for maintaining the security of the computer network. All authorized users of the system are responsible for following all policies and procedures in this policy.
  • Server security shall be exclusively controlled by the IT Specialist. Access to server security mechanisms by all other users without prior authorization shall be considered unauthorized access.
  • Each authorized user will be assigned a unique user ID and initial password according to established procedure to gain access to network resources. Users must not share or disclose unique user IDs/passwords unless the user ID is already designated as a departmental “shared” user ID/password.
  • All users must be authenticated to the network before accessing network resources.
  • Use of network hardware or software such as traffic monitors/recorders and routers shall be restricted to network management or a designated administrator.
  • Security training shall be integrated into existing library training programs such as orientation programs for new employees or volunteers, in the use of computers, software and network information resources.
  • Incident logs and subsequent security reports will be generated and reviewed on a regular basis.


When users fail to comply with this policy, confidential information that is stored, processed, or transmitted on the Westlake Porter Public Library network may be exposed to the unacceptable risk of loss of confidentiality, integrity, or availability. Violations of security guidelines and procedures established to support this policy will be promptly investigated and could result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or termination of rights to use the computer resources.

Breach of Security

Any actual or suspected security breaches involving confidential information must be reported immediately to the IT Specialist, Fiscal Officer, Library Director, or Assistant Director. Incident response procedures will be initiated to identify the suspected breach, remediate the breach, and notify appropriate parties.

PCI Compliance

Within the credit cardholder data environment, the Library will comply with the latest revision of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) and our internal Credit Card Terminal Procedures.

The Library’s designated PCI network will only be used for processing credit card transactions through specifically designated credit card terminals located at public service desks and self-check machines.

Materials Selection Policy

Approved December 2020


Community Profile

Collection development for any public library is greatly influenced by its clientele, both active and potential. For this reason, a community profile is provided in the Materials Selection Policy.

Located on 15.97 square miles in the western edge of Cuyahoga County, Westlake is approximately one mile south of the southern shore of Lake Erie. It is a 15-minute commute via I-90 to downtown Cleveland.

Population & Housing

Westlake's 2019 population is estimated at 32,275 according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey; 2019: ACS 5-Year Estimates Detailed Tables.

The city's residents have many housing options including neighborhoods of single-family homes, as well as condominiums, townhouses and cluster homes and apartments. In addition, the city has 18 independent living, assisted living and nursing home facilities.

Westlake’s convenient location and accessibility to a variety of major highways make it an ideal place for many businesses. Some of the major employers in the city include:

  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Concord Reserve
  • Energizer
  • Hyland Software
  • TravelCenters of America
  • UH St. John Medical Center
  • USG Interiors, LLC
  • Westbrook Place Rehabilitation and Nursing Center

2020 census data is not yet available, but community demographics will be added when they are released.

In general, Westlake residents are heavy library users. Users indicated they appreciate the library’s atmosphere, collection, and staff. The library is consistently ranked as one of the best libraries in the country according to Library Journal’s American’s Star Libraries rating.

Materials Selection Policy: Basic Philosophy and Introduction

The purpose of this Materials Selection Policy is:

  • To guide library staff selectors in the selection of materials, and
  • To inform other staff and interested members of the public of the principles and process involved in selecting materials for this library.

The responsibility of the policy governing the inclusion of materials in the library collection rests with the Board of Trustees. The actual task of selection has been delegated to the Director and the staff members knowledgeable in each of the various subject areas. Selectors choose materials according to the guidelines stated herein, which have been approved by the Porter Public Library Board of Trustees.

Porter Public Library’s collection meets the informational, educational, and recreational needs of its community. Within the limitations imposed by the budget, the library provides materials in a variety of genres, on a variety of subjects, in several formats appropriate for various individual users.

A philosophy of and belief in intellectual freedom underlies Porter’s Selection Policy. The Board of Trustees, administration, and staff of Porter Public Library are committed to these tenets: 1) Intellectual freedom makes possible an informed, enlightened populace by providing a wide variety of facts, opinion, and ideas from which to choose; 2) Free and open access to information is necessary for informed citizens who think and make choices for themselves – voting choices, consumer decisions, opinions on social issues, economic decisions, etc.

Thus, the library has an obligation to provide materials representing diverse points of view on controversial subjects. Material that inspires one reader may indeed sometimes offend another. But, by providing free and open access to diverse information and viewpoints, the public library serves as a cornerstone of the principles of democratic society. However, inclusion of materials in Porter’s collection in no way constitutes or implies agreement with any particular viewpoint, or approval or certification of the content of any item.

Library materials are available for use by all members of the library’s service area regardless of age, sex, or national origin. Library staff cannot make judgments about what a child may or may not read, i.e., they cannot serve “in loco parentis.” Responsibility for the use of the library’s collection by a minor remains with the minor’s parent or guardian.

Porter Public Library’s Board of Trustees supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the interpretations of that document including the Freedom to Read Statement, the statement on Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors, the statement on Labeling Systems, the statement on Expurgation of Library Materials, the statement on Diverse Collections, and the Freedom to View Statement. Links are in the last section of this policy.

This Materials Selection Policy will be reviewed regularly by the library staff to ensure that it continues to accurately describe the library’s philosophy of the selection of materials. As necessary, changes will be recommended to the Board of Trustees for formal approval.

Reviewing Sources

Porter Public Library staff very carefully select materials for this library collection for Porter’s clientele from among the large number of published materials and information available each year.

To do this, trained staff selectors refer to standard professional review sources such as Library Journal, School Library Journal, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly.

In addition, general newspaper and magazine reviews and reviews available on the Internet, as well as publishers’ catalogs and announcements, are used to evaluate potential new materials.

Specific subject or genre guides are used to develop the collection and evaluate older material.

Finally, Porter Public Library encourages user input and tries to be responsive to customer demand. However, titles suggested for purchase by patrons must meet the same standards and criteria applied to all materials selection decisions.

Adult Services Materials General Collection

Print Fiction and Nonfiction Books

Library staff members do not usually have an opportunity to examine materials first-hand before they are purchased, nor can they be expected to be experts in all fields. Therefore, selectors must rely primarily on reviews appearing in professional library journals and in other magazines and newspapers. Based on careful reading of those reviews, staff evaluate and purchase materials. Some evaluation criteria are the same regardless of genre or format, while others vary.

Fiction (novels) are evaluated and purchased on the basis of these criteria:

  1. Demand in this community (generated by publicity, school assignments, media tie-ins, patron requests, etc.)
  2. Popularity or significance of the author
  3. Interesting, appealing plot
  4. Good characterization
  5. Effective writing style
  6. Relationship to other items in the collection
  7. Price
  8. Literary merit

Nonfiction books are evaluated and purchased on the basis of these criteria:

  1. Demand (generated by publicity, school assignments, media tie-ins, patron requests, etc.)
  2. Relevance to this community
  3. Need for the subject in this collection
  4. Authority and reputation of the author
  5. Accuracy of the information
  6. Style and clarity of presentation
  7. Access through table of contents and good indexing
  8. Format
  9. Relationship to other items in the collection
  10. Price

Some other general considerations come into play in each purchasing decision, including the following variables.

Textbooks may be purchased when they are the best available source of current information on a subject. Textbooks currently in use in area schools will not be automatically added to the collection.

No material will be selected or not selected solely because of the race, nationality, and social, political, or religious views of the author.

No material will be excluded from purchase solely because of its frankness of expression, unorthodox language, nontraditional theme, or unusual style.

The need for material on a subject, the need for a representative point of view, or patron demand may override ordinary considerations regarding format.

Selectors will not be inhibited by the possibility that a child might come into possession of the material. The library recognizes and respects the sole right of the parent or legal guardian to guide their child’s reading.

Some books are more vulnerable to mutilation, loss, or theft than others. Selectors must be aware of that only as a secondary consideration and will not allow that possibility to deter them from adding something the collection needs.

eBooks and eAudio

With the rapid rise in popularity of e-materials the library is invested in creating and maintaining a robust digital collection. While the criteria for purchasing print books is generally followed (see above), the emphasis is placed on popular titles and demand in the community (generated by publicity, media tie-ins, patron requests, etc.). E-materials are not purchased with the intention of replacing print materials but to enhance the library’s collection as a whole.

Audiovisual Materials

The audiovisual collection of Westlake Porter Public Library exists to meet the informational, educational, and recreational listening and viewing needs of the community it serves, just as the print collection does for reading needs.

Audiovisual materials constitute an integral part of the library collection. A variety of formats is essential to the collection, in fact, so that information is accessible in the format that is most useful to or usable by each individual library patron.

Criteria for deciding what audiovisual formats to purchase for the library collection include:

  • General demand/popularity of the format
  • Budget considerations/price of providing/maintaining/replacing the format
  • Physical space available for housing the format
  • Suitability of the format for the multiple-user scenario of the public library.

The selection of audiovisual materials follows the same general criteria applied to all other library materials. In addition, the capacity of an audiovisual title to increase accessibility by a segment of the general population for whom regular print materials or formats may be inappropriate is an influencing factor. Further factors influencing selection of particular formats follow.

DVDs and Blu-ray Discs

While both entertainment and nonfiction DVDs and Blu-ray titles are purchased, emphasis is placed on entertainment titles. An effort is made to provide a mix of classic films, current wide-release films, smaller films, foreign films, and television movies, miniseries, and series. Nonfiction video titles are purchased on a variety of topics concentrating on those areas where the video format is well suited to the topic and demand is high (e.g., travel, exercise, documentary).

Expected demand for new titles is gauged in large part by past box office performance, popularity of the actors and/or director, patron requests, and past circulation performance of similar titles.

Quality of titles is gauged in large part by reviews, awards received, and other recognition (such as inclusion in the annual Cleveland International Film Festival). In addition to quality of content, technical production quality may also be an influencing factor. Reviews are found in general reviewing sources as well as in specialized review publications and on various Internet sites. Publishers/distributors catalogs, advertisements, and patron requests are also used to identify new titles suitable for purchase.

Books on CD and Playaway Audio

Selection emphasis is placed on audio versions of current popular fiction and nonfiction print titles. Some classic titles are added as well. In addition, some titles unique to the audio format such as radio plays and “learn while you drive” titles are purchased.

We order unabridged editions of adult audiobooks due to patron input and request.

Reviews of audio titles are found in general reviewing sources as well as specialized titles such as Audiofile. Publishers/distributors catalogs, advertisements, and patron requests are also used to identify new titles suitable for purchase. Other influencing factors may include awards received, production quality, durability, and availability of replacement audiobooks. Every effort is made to stay current on new formats and trends in the audiobook industry and with our collection.


Musical works in various formats are added to the collection according to the same general criteria applied to all other library materials. The emphasis is on popular materials. The work of local artists is included whenever demand warrants.

English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Materials

The ESOL collection was originally created in 1996 with a $3,000 State Library of Ohio administered Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) grant. This money, which was matched by the Westlake Porter Public Library, was used to purchase ESOL materials and equipment. Since then, the Westlake Porter Public Library has continued to add to this collection.

The selector follows the same general criteria applied to all other library materials, and actively seeks input from the ESOL teachers. Our collection is comprised of various formats including multimedia kits.

The ESOL Collection is cataloged with the special designation of EL in the call number. This collection is shelved in a special shelving unit so that the materials may be primarily shelved face-out.

Express Collection

The Express Collection is designed to improve patrons’ access to current, popular materials by providing multiple copies of adult “Best Sellers,” and other high demand material.

The Express Collection consists of materials that have a 7-day, non-renewable loan period. No holds may be placed on these items.

Government Documents

Westlake Porter Public Library has been designated a Government Depository library with a partial collection since January 30, 1992.

The library selects the required core collection and a small percentage of additional materials that fit the needs of a small-to-medium-sized public library collection. Of the total number of government documents available, the library selects less than 10%.

The number of documents available in paper format continues to decrease as the United States Government continues to try to contain or reduce paper, printing, and mailing costs by using the Internet to disseminate its information. The library is balancing the two formats, paper and Internet-accessible, to continue to make available to the community the government data it needs with the best and easiest access available.

Large Print Materials

The selection of Large Print materials follows the same general criteria applied to all other library materials and relies on the same reviewing sources.

Popular and genre fiction, including romance, mystery, and fiction, along with some classics, science fiction, and westerns, make up the fiction collection. The nonfiction collection is comprised of biographies, self-help, travel memoirs, inspirational titles, and humor.

Selection is based on the popularity of the author, the need for a particular subject, and the appeal to and relevance for its intended audience and is limited by the availability of materials in the Large Print format. Standing order plans are set up with several vendors.

Local History Materials

The selection of Local History materials follows the same general criteria applied to all other library materials. The selection of Local History materials is on an “exhaustive” level for the specific community that the library serves, i.e., Westlake/Dover Township.

The selection of Local History materials will be based on the following criteria:

  1. The item is written (or recorded) by or about someone in the community.
  2. The item is a record of the history, government, or social life and customs of the community.
  3. The item is a record of the physical or demographic characteristics of the community.
  4. The item is printed/produced in the community.

In all cases, the material must be deemed usable.

Materials associated with areas outside of Westlake may be selected when they have some direct relationship to Westlake/Dover Township or when they serve a popular as well as a local interest.

The library will not aggressively seek to select genealogical materials except in the case of unpublished materials pertaining to Westlake/Dover Township. Because of the ephemeral and irreplaceable nature of Local History materials, the library actively seeks materials that meet the stated criteria. Gifts of books, printed materials, audiovisual materials, maps, original correspondence, and unpublished materials pertaining to Westlake/Dover Township are materials that fall within the parameters of the library’s collection. Realia are not actively sought unless the specific item had special significance in the history of the library. The library will determine the ultimate use and method of processing the gift materials. As with all donated materials, disposition of the materials is entirely up to the library. The library does not accept materials with restrictions.

Local Creators Display/Collection

Westlake Porter Public Library offers a small display area for local Northeastern Ohio authors, musicians, directors, and filmmakers who want their work sampled to library users. This collection is designed to give new and emerging creators, especially those whose materials are not yet widely reviewed or stocked by libraries and bookstores, an opportunity to be shared with friends and neighbors.

  • Books, CD’s, and films for this collection are chosen by the library’s team of selectors. Space limitations may prevent all titles from being approved for display.
  • All donations for the collection are subject to the WPPL Collection Development Policy guidelines. If you publish an eBook through a digital publisher, we are able to consider your eBook for inclusion in our library collection if it is made available through the library’s eBook vendor’s platform.
  • Creators must either be current Northeastern Ohio residents, or the book must take place in Northeastern Ohio, or otherwise demonstrate a strong local interest.
  • Materials chosen will be cataloged and shelved for one year. At the end of this time, they may be rotated out of the collection to make room for newer selections, unless they have circulated regularly. The library reserves the right to purchase additional copies.
  • All materials submitted for this collection become the property of Westlake Porter Public Library, and as such, cannot be returned to the owner.
  • Westlake Porter Public Library bears no additional obligation for marketing the creator’s work.
  • Submission of the form does not guarantee selection.


The library subscribes to a small number of newspapers to provide local, state, and national coverage of general and business news. The emphasis is on local news. All the major newspapers of Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties as well as the local newspapers that specifically cover Westlake are part of the collection.

That base collection is augmented by papers The Plain Dealer for regional news and The New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today for national news.

Business newspapers include The Wall Street Journal, Crain’s Cleveland Business, and Barron’s.

The retention periods for the newspapers vary. Selected newspapers are retained in microform if they are valuable sources of local history and information or if they are indexed but not available in full text in those indices.

Paperback Collection

Selection of paperbacks follows the same general criteria applied to all other library materials in addition to the following:

  1. To serve as an economical alternative for multiple copies of hardbound editions
  2. To fill the need for titles of temporary and/or current interest as well as older titles of popular authors
  3. To provide materials not available in any other format.

Donations of paperbacks are accepted for those in like new condition, with preference given to filling in holes or replacing older copies in the collection. Duplicate copies are ordered of new, popular titles.

All paperbacks are cataloged.

Paperbacks are retained as long as they are in good condition, circulating, and/or part of a series. To keep the collection fresh and current, worn or damaged titles are removed from the collection. Physical condition, circulation statistics, and space are the basis for the decisions on retention.


Periodicals are selected according to the same general criteria applied to all other library materials. They, too, meet the recreational, informational, and educational needs of library users. Factors considered in the acquisition of a periodical are popularity and potential usage of a title; indexing by a service which the library already has; coverage of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Northeast Ohio, or Ohio; and cost.

Periodicals of a highly technical or specialized nature are not usually selected. Duplicate subscriptions of popular titles are ordered as Express copies.

Gift subscriptions are the result of 1) a donated subscription of a specific periodical; or 2) donated current issues of a periodical delivered to the library by the donor. The periodical in question may be a periodical the library has been subscribing to or one that the library would like to try. If the donor does not renew the gift subscription, the library may or may not choose to continue subscribing to it. The library may accept or refuse gift subscriptions, according to the same general criteria applied to all periodicals.

Gifts of back files of periodicals will be accepted only if the library currently subscribes to the periodical and wants to replace worn or missing copies. In instances where demand warrants, duplicate copies may be added as Express copies.

Free subscriptions and trial offers from publishers are periodicals that are received free of charge and without any commitment on the library’s part. The library reserves the right to utilize or refuse such publications at its own discretion.

Retention of back issues of periodicals is determined by usage, availability online or in other formats, availability in other libraries, and availability of storage space.

Reference Materials

The reference collection contains materials in the whole range of the Dewey Classification System. The reading level of these materials varies from middle school to college.

These materials are selected according to the same general criteria applied to the selection of all library materials. In addition, it is important that reference materials be updated as frequently as the budget allows, be authoritative, clearly presented and arranged, adequately indexed and easy to use.

The availability of comparable information from authoritative Internet sources and the reference resources of surrounding libraries are also considered, especially if the reference work in question is expensive, specialized, or requires a considerable amount of shelf space.

The business/investment collection receives special emphasis. Legal reference sources are another larger part of the collection and include state and city codifications of laws and regulations, form books, and handbooks. Other areas with some depth are the college and scholarship guides, the medical books, and the car repair manuals. Other subject areas may be developed in response to school assignments.

Some reference titles that are published periodically are placed on a standing order basis with either the specific publisher or a library jobber.

In most cases, only the current edition of a title is kept in the reference collection.

Online Databases and Streaming Services

Westlake Porter Public Library provides information or access to information in whatever format is available and usable. As the budget allows and customer needs dictate online databases and streaming services are acquired through subscription or in a cost-per-use format, to replace or supplement print materials.

Online databases accessed through the Internet offer speed of access, current information, and enable the user to manipulate information and generate it in a format he/she needs.

Online databases and/or streaming services must meet these criteria:

  1. There must be a need or demand for the subject area.
  2. They must be user friendly and as intuitive as possible. Help screens should do just that.
  3. The information given should be presented clearly and with authoritative sources.
  4. Frequency of updates, vendor support in technical help, staff training, and the reliable provision of usage statistics in an understandable and usable format are pluses.
  5. The cost of the subscription plus the number of simultaneous users permitted and the availability of remote access off-site are important factors.

Selection will be made after staff members preview the product. Reviews in appropriate sources may also be consulted.

These products will be retained or renewed based on usage statistics, cost, and availability of the same or similar information in OPLIN-provided resources, free Internet websites, or other consumer products.


The Research Databases & Subscriptions section of the library website includes links to quality sites on a variety of topics. Although the library does not limit access to any content on the Internet, only relevant, useful, quality sites will be linked to from the website. These sites must meet the informational, educational, and recreational needs of this community. These sites are also selected to enrich and complement the library’s print and audiovisual collection. Often the Internet is able to provide more current or esoteric material than is available in the library. This policy is consistent with the collection development policies for other library materials.

Some criteria the web site needs to meet before a link can be established:

  1. Information must be current and updated in a timely fashion
  2. Information must be accurate and verifiable
  3. Site is well organized and easy to navigate
  4. Consistently available stable site

Often the library will take recommendations from credible sources such as Library Journal. If a link becomes inactive, or out-of-date it will be eliminated.

Youth Services Materials

Children’s Print Materials

Selection of children’s materials will follow the same general criteria applied to all other library materials within each genre.

In addition, because children's materials encompass a broad range of levels and audiences, additional consideration is given to the format or physical make-up of the materials. These include:

  1. Illustration
  2. Design or layout
  3. Text
  4. Type size
  5. Binding
  6. Paper quality
  7. Vocabulary and reading level
  8. Suitability of content
  9. Intrinsic appeal

Children’s materials are selected to promote the growth and development of cultural, informational, and recreational reading on all levels of children’s comprehension and reading abilities. The children’s collection must be current, fresh, lively, and attractive.

In concert with Porter Public Library’s philosophy of intellectual freedom for juvenile as well as adult users, no material will be excluded from the collection solely because of potentially controversial words or situations.

Porter Public Library provides a diverse collection to meet the diverse reading needs of all children in the community. The library recognizes and respects the sole right of the parent or legal guardian to guide his/her child’s selection of individual items from the array of library materials provided.


Selection emphasis is placed on popular demand for children’s and young adult titles.

Young Adult Materials

The selection of Young Adult (YA) materials follows the same general criteria applied to all other library materials.

The Young Adult collection consists of fiction, graphic novels, comic books, and periodicals which address the special needs of maturing young adults. Materials which promote and develop a tolerance and understanding of people, cultures, and personal situations and dilemmas are given special consideration. The small collection of Young Adult non-fiction is continuously updated to keep abreast of teens’ current interests.

In concert with Westlake Porter Public Library’s philosophy of intellectual freedom for all library users, regardless of age, no material will be excluded from the young adult collection solely because of profanity, sexual frankness, or controversial situations.

Westlake Porter Public Library provides a diverse collection to meet the diverse reading needs of all young adults in the community. The library recognizes and respects the sole right of a parent or legal guardian to guide his/her child’s selection from the array of materials provided.

Collection Management

Collection Deselection


In order to maintain a collection that is current and relevant to the community’s needs, items must be removed from the collection according to the same criteria by which new materials are added. It is the materials selector’s responsibility to continually reevaluate the usefulness of materials previously added to the collection. In this process the selectors are guided by “Westlake Public Library Materials Deselection Policy” (1996) and The Crew Method: Expanded Guidelines for Collection Evaluation and Weeding for Small and Medium-Sized Public Libraries.

Disposition of Deselected Materials

Deselected materials are neither given nor sold to individuals. No special care is taken to retain advertising supplements or inserts or to reserve them for individuals or groups. Instead, deselected materials in fair to good condition are donated to the Friends of the Library to be sold in their public book sales. Materials not needed by the Friends of the Library are donated to a non-profit organization that donates books to people in need. This enables the library to maintain its service to the public as a lending rather than a commercial institution. It also benefits the library monetarily because proceeds from the Friends’ book sales are used to purchase new materials and equipment for the library or to fund library programming.

Westlake Public Library Materials Deselection Policy

Just as the Westlake Porter Public Library carefully selects materials for purchase, it must also carefully deselect materials that no longer fit the library’s established roles. The library’s primary role is a “Popular Materials Library,” featuring current, high demand, high interest materials in a variety of formats for persons of all ages. A very close secondary role is as a “Reference Library,” providing timely, accurate, and useful information with a variety of format, access, and delivery options for community residents, organizations, and businesses. A third role is that of “Preschoolers Door to Learning,” encouraging young children to develop an interest in reading and learning through services for children, as well as for parents and care givers.

Deselection of nonfiction materials is based on four criteria:

  • Poor content: this includes outdated, obsolete information (especially in the areas of computers, law, science, health, technology, geography, travel, and transportation), inaccurate or false information, unused sets of books, superseded editions, biased or sexist terminology or views.
  • Poor appearance: worn out or ragged items, poorly bound or poorly printed editions, items that are dirty, shabby, warped, moldy, bug infested, marked up, mutilated, yellowed, torn or missing pages, or too damaged to be used.
  • Unused materials: items uncirculated for one year and not needed for reference or in-house use, unneeded duplicates, periodicals that are not indexed, unused volumes or sets, unneeded titles in little used subject areas, materials on the “hot topics” of several years ago, more books than are needed on any one subject.
  • Topics no longer within our collection priorities: materials readily available elsewhere in the community, or subjects no longer relevant to our changing clientele.

Deselection of fiction materials is based on the above criteria in addition to the following:

  • Relative unpopularity: depends on the age or genre of each title:
    • Current bestsellers: weed if no circulation in six months
    • Recent fiction (less than 2 years old): weed if no circulation in the last (one) year
    • Older fiction (more than 2 years old): weed if no circulation in the last year.
    • Classics (titles still in print for more than 20 years): weed if no circulation in five years
    • Ohio authors or prize winners (titles so designated): weed if no circulation in five years
  • Unnecessary duplication:
    • Recent fiction (less than 2 years old): weed if more than four copies are on the shelf at one time
    • Older fiction (more than 2 years old): weed if more than one copies are on the shelf at one time, except for high circulating authors with lasting popularity
    • Classics (still in print after 20 years): weed if more than one copy is on the shelf unless the title is used for class assignments or reading lists.

Regular deselection of the collection saves both shelf space and database space. It prevents the need to use the hard-to-reach shelves at both the top and bottom of each stack, making the entire collection more accessible to those of all ages and physical conditions. Removing ragged books with illegible labels saves time for both patrons and staff trying to find titles. Library housekeeping from dusting to reclassification is made more efficient.

More specific deselection guidelines from The Crew Method: Expanded Guidelines for Collection Evaluation and Weeding for Small and Medium-Sized Public Libraries are used by each selector to evaluate the portion of the collection for which they are responsible.

Gift Materials

Donated books and other materials are added to the collection according to the general criteria applied to all other library materials. They must be in good physical condition.

Donated books and other materials must be delivered to the library. The library does not have the staff to pick up donated materials.

Library staff members are not qualified to assess the fair market value of donated materials. A donor may request an “Acknowledgment of a Donation” form.

The disposition of donated materials is entirely up to the library. Donated materials that are not added to the collection are often given to the Friends of the Library for their sales that raise money for library projects, programs, and materials.

The library does not accept special collections which the donor stipulates must be kept together as a separate entity or which the donor gives with restrictions concerning circulation, location, or usage, except in the case of Local History materials. The library determines the use, location, and method of processing for all materials.

Gift materials, like all other library materials are subject to theft, mutilation, deterioration, and obsolescence. These items will be deselected on the same basis as the other items in the collection.

Memorial or Special Funds

The library welcomes gifts of books or other library materials, and funds for library projects by individuals or organizations as lasting and useful memorials of friends or family members and as celebrations of special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, etc.

Usually the library selects the title(s), but donors are asked to recommend subject areas or specific authors to be considered. Staff will complete the “Commemorative and Monetary Donation” form. Every effort will be made by selectors to choose materials that will both benefit the collection and please the donors. A gift or memorial plate will be placed on the material if requested.

All library materials are subject to deterioration, loss, damage, and obsolescence, unfortunately, and the library cannot guarantee that “in memoriam” or gift materials will remain a part of the collection forever. These items will be deselected on the same basis as other items in the collection.

Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials

The library collection is selected to reflect a variety of viewpoints and satisfy a variety of tastes. Occasionally, a library user may feel that a particular material is inappropriate for the collection or inaccurate. To address this kind of concern, the library has developed a procedure for the reconsideration of library materials.

The library provides the library user with a “Request for Reconsideration of Materials” form. The completed form is given to the Technical Services & Collection Development Manager, who will work with the Collection Development team (including the selector of the material under discussion) to read, view, or listen to a substantial amount of the material in question, read any available reviews, and, as a group, make a written recommendation to the Assistant Director, who in turn notifies the Director of the decision. The Board of Trustees will be informed at the next Board meeting. The Assistant Director then replies in writing to the library user.

Interlibrary Loan

“Interlibrary Loan is the process by which a library requests material from, or supplies material to, another library” (Interlibrary Loan Code of the United States, 2001).

The library has the responsibility of developing its collection to meet the needs of its community. Interlibrary loan affords the library a means of supplementing its collection, a means of accessing materials outside the scope of the library’s collection or budget.

The library provides Interlibrary Loan services for physical materials primarily through the resource sharing consortium SearchOhio/OhioLINK. The library also utilizes WorldCat Resource Sharing for Interlibrary Loan that extends beyond Ohio libraries. Porter Library belongs to the Ohio Digital Library (ODL) consortium for resource sharing of eMaterials.

SearchOhio/OhioLINK and ODL requests are initiated through our catalog by patrons or with staff assistance. Items are received and delivered through a statewide courier contracted with the State Library.

Interlibrary Loan through WorldCat requires facilitation of library staff and, as materials are sent and received all over the country, has a unique set of protocols that must be followed:

The library will initiate an interlibrary loan request for any material in any format with only these commonsense restrictions: it will not request bestsellers, newly released feature films, or materials already owned by the library but checked out. The library will, of course, request interlibrary loans for titles that are lost, missing, damaged, or long overdue. The library will not request multiple copies of titles for the use of individuals or of groups. The library will, however, interlibrary loan titles in sufficient quantities for the discussion groups it serves or sponsors.

The library will request copies of journal or magazine articles if it has complete enough information to make the request and if the request complies with copyright law.

The library will act as an intermediary to obtain microfilm reels from the National Archives. The patron makes a check out to the lending agency.

A patron requesting interlibrary loan service must have an active card and not be barred or blocked from checking out materials from Westlake Porter Public Library.

This library will lend any material in any format to any reciprocating library, with these restrictions:

  • The library will not lend Express materials or materials that it has had for less than six months.
  • Materials from the reference collection or Local History collection may be lent with the permission of the Reference Manager or the Local History Specialist.

The library will not reserve materials in order to fill interlibrary loan requests. We will renew materials we lend on interlibrary loan for a two-week period if there is no reserve on them by one of our cardholders.

The library is a member of two resource-sharing groups, LVIS, Libraries Very Interested in Sharing, and OHIO, a group started by the Avon Lake Public Library.

ALA Library Bill of Rights and Its Interpretations

Quiet Room Policy

The Quiet Room in the Adult Services area was designed for those library users who prefer to do their solitary reading, studying, or thinking in very quiet surroundings. Customers are asked to make sure that their cell phones and pagers are off before entering this room and to refrain from using any equipment that makes noise within the room. Customers who interfere with the concentration of others in the room will be asked to find another place to work within the library.

Records Policy

Public records are any documents— electronic, email, or paper— that relate to the business or activity of the office.

Records are available Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.

Please contact Fiscal Officer Jana Nassif at 440-871-2600.

Copies are $0.10 per page, or $1 for files on a CD-ROM.

If the records are readily available, they will be provided immediately.

If the records need to be researched or reviewed, you will receive a written response and/or the records in no more than three business days.

Social Media Policy

WPPL recognizes the importance of the Internet in the exchange of ideas and information about our library and is committed to the promotion of our library through the use of social media.

Social media is defined as any website or application which allows users to share information, including but not limited to blogs, wikis, and social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube.

The library will use its media platforms to inform the public about materials, services, programs and events offered. The library will use social media to engage with its community regarding topics or issues related to its resources and services. The library may, at times, conduct surveys or request comments and input from the community regarding materials and services.

The Library does not collect, maintain or otherwise use the personal information stored on any third party site in any way other than to communicate with users on that site, unless granted permission by users for library contact outside the site. The purpose for contact outside the site may include program promotion, volunteer opportunities, reference help, or other similar activities. Users may remove themselves at anytime from the Library’s "friends" or "fan" lists, or request that the library remove them. Users should be aware that third party websites have their own privacy policies and proceed accordingly.

Comments, posts, and messages are welcome on WPPL social media sites, provided they do not contain the following:

  • Potentially libelous comments
  • Profanity, obscene, profane or racist comments
  • Personal attacks, insults or threatening language
  • Plagiarized material
  • Private, personal information published without consent
  • Comments totally unrelated to the topic of the forum
  • Commercial promotions or spam
  • Organized political activity
  • Hyperlinks to material that is not directly related to the discussion

WPPL reserves the right to edit, modify or remove any postings or comments for space or inappropriate content, while retaining the intent of the original post. Posts from any users that are removed should be retained to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.

Comments do not reflect the views of the library, its officers, or employees. Users must exercise their own judgement about the quality and accuracy of information presented.

The library’s social media target audience consists of people residing in its service area and existing patrons.

WPPL’s social media accounts are a digital representation of the library. The interactions occurring via social media will maintain the same high level of customer service patrons are accustomed to in the physical library. Staff members will remain professional at all times. Staff will maintain a friendly, sincere and energetic tone when posting to the library’s social media platforms. Content being posted will come from the point of view of WPPL, not the individual staff member. Staff will refrain from expressing any personal views or conducting personal business when posting on behalf of WPPL. Staff will not make any posts in violation of WPPL’s confidentiality policy. Staff will observe and abide by all copyright and trademark restrictions.

Group Services Policies
Bulletin Boards, Free Publications, and Outdoor Signage Policy

Westlake Porter Public Library provides space for publications and/or announcements of cultural, educational, civic or recreational events. Space will not be provided for propaganda materials of any kind. Propaganda is defined as: “information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.”

All material to be distributed or posted must be submitted to the library for approval. These materials may be left with the receptionist. Approval is at the discretion of Group Services. Although every attempt will be made to post materials in a timely manner, up to 5 days may be required to review the material, depending on staff schedules, etc.

If space is limited, priority will be given to materials from Westlake organizations. Space is not provided for political, religious or commercial purposes, including “for sale” promotions and solicitations.

Posters and flyers should be no larger than 8-½ by 11 inches. Larger items will be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Outdoor signage on library grounds for community events, programs, etc. will be limited to those publicizing library or approved library partnership events.

Items posted without approval will be removed. Approved items will be dated and initialed, posted and removed by staff.

Displays, Art Exhibits, and Gallery Wall Policy


Gallery space is available for exhibits of artwork particularly of local and regional. Westlake Porter Public Library provides this space to feature art, as part of the library’s cultural mission. The library is a central community gathering place, and its easy public accessibility and numerous hours of operation make WPPL’s space an advantageous public venue. Having artwork in the library also enhances the library’s environment for patrons, and helps to promote both art and artists. While all artwork will be considered, this space is not provided for commercial, nor for specifically religious or political purposes. Westlake Porter Public Library makes the final decision on the content and arrangement of all Gallery Exhibits accepted.

Other selection guidelines for exhibits include:

  • Selection criteria for art exhibits follow the standards set in the library’s collection development policy.
  • The Library reserves the right to refuse artworks not conforming to WPPL’s collection development policy or gallery policy.
  • Patrons may request to reconsider an art piece just as they can any other material available in the library. The procedure for reconsideration is explained in the collection development policy.

In return for the opportunity to exhibit at the library, WPPL requests a commission of 20% for any artwork sold. The commission on any artwork sold will be placed into a fund to purchase a collection of artwork for the library.

WPPL assumes no liability for items installed, displayed or exhibited. The library does not insure exhibits.


Individual artists must apply in advance to exhibit their work at the WPPL. Slides, photographs or color copies of the work must be submitted with an itemized list of the artworks to be exhibited, an artist’s biography, and an artist’s statement. Artists and groups approved to exhibit their work at WPPL will be given specific scheduled dates after their work has been evaluated. Once an artist has been selected to display artwork at WPPL, exhibitors must comply with the dates/times established for setting up and taking down artwork. Assistance will be provided, but the artist or artist’s representative must be present and assist with both hanging and taking down the exhibit.

Other exhibiting logistics & policies are:
Library sponsored or co-sponsored exhibits take precedence over other exhibits at all times and the library reserves the right to, without notice, cancel the use of the display areas by outside exhibitors if the Library Director or Library Board of Trustees determines that the display space is needed for library purposes.

Artwork must be ready for exhibition with two-dimensional work having proper matting, framing, and wire for hanging. Three-dimensional work should be ready for the display cases and all work must be tagged on the back with title. Any work not conforming to these standards will not be exhibited. All items must be labeled with the artist’s name, the title of work, and price or “NFS”.

The Library's hanging system allows for some flexibility in the height and location of paintings. No additional hooks, nails, or other fasteners will be attached to the walls of the Library. Additional hangers are available.

Exhibitors may book one of the Library's Meeting Rooms for a “Meet the Artist” reception.

  • Use of the Meeting Room will be allowed subject to the terms and conditions outlined in the Library's Meeting Room policy.
  • The Library cannot be held responsible for artworks that are not picked up by the designated date after exhibition.
  • Exhibits in the meeting room shall be available to the general public only when no other meetings are in session. No meetings shall be interrupted to set-up, remove, or to view any exhibit while a meeting is in session.
  • Exhibits must remain throughout the duration of the dates scheduled
  • The library provides no display materials or storage space.

The Library coordinates display for all exhibits and as a courtesy to exhibitors, the Library will facilitate publicity about the exhibit and may include some promotion such as press releases to local and regional newspapers, calendars, and brochures. If an artist contacts, on his/her own, any local media, the artist must inform the library.

Applications may be picked up from the Group Services office or the Reception Desk.

Other Displays/Exhibits

Westlake Porter Public Library provides space for displays and/or exhibits of a cultural, educational, civic or recreational nature. Space is not provided for commercial, religious, or political purposes. Westlake Porter Public Library shall make the final decision on the content and arrangement of all displays/exhibits.

Westlake Porter Public Library assumes no liability for items displayed or exhibited.

Applications are taken on a first-come, first served basis through the Group Services Department. Forms may be picked up from the Reception Desk.

Exhibitors must comply with the dates/times established for setting up and taking down displays and exhibits.

Meeting Room Policies

Policy Approved: January 25, 2006

As a community service, Westlake Porter Public Library provides meeting rooms that may be used by community organizations. The library has three meeting rooms and a conference room that may be scheduled for educational, cultural, intellectual or civic activities. These rooms can accommodate individual speakers, panel groups, AV presentations, art and gardening projects, and board or committee meetings. These rooms are available during times when they are not in use for the library or library-sponsored programs and activities.

Individuals may not profit from, nor use the library’s facilities, meeting rooms, or tutoring rooms to run a business.

Meetings planned by a company or individual to promote, advertise, or lead to a sale of a product or service are not permitted.

General Reservation Rules and Policies

The meeting rooms are available on a first-come, first served basis. Reservations must be made in writing, on the Meeting Room Application, and are accepted on a school-year basis (September to August). This time frame was chosen because it coincides with the organizational and planning year for most community groups. Reservations may be made beginning June 15 for the upcoming school year, encompassing September 1 through August 31.  The Application Form must be submitted each year, for specific date(s).

Alcoholic beverages, smoking, and the use of smokeless tobacco products, electronic cigarettes or vaping devices are NOT permitted in the Library.

All meetings shall be open to the general community. If there are any inquiries regarding your meeting the applicant's name and telephone number will be given as contact information.

The Library and its meeting rooms are wheelchair accessible. Any other special needs of handicapped persons should be brought to the attention of the Events Facilitator at least 48 hours in advance of a scheduled meeting so that, if possible, the request can be filled.

Attendance Cards

The library reports statistics on the use of its meeting rooms.  An attendance card will be given to all groups for each meeting.  At the conclusion of each meeting, please fill in the attendance number and turn it in at the Reception Desk. GROUPS MUST CHECK IN AND CHECK OUT AT THE RECEPTION DESK EACH TIME THEY MEET.


Groups should notify the library as far in advance as possible, but at least 24 hours in advance, of cancellations.

Failure to cancel sooner than 24 hours before the scheduled meeting may result in future applications being denied.

While every effort is made to honor all reservations, the library retains the right to cancel scheduled organizational meetings if the need should arise. In such an unusual case, as much notice as possible will be given.

Equipment & Setups

Groups are responsible for transporting, setting up and operating their own equipment. A cart can be provided upon request for bringing such equipment into the building. Groups may NOT store or leave their equipment at the library overnight.

The large meeting room and the medium-sized meeting room contain standard folding tables and stacking chairs that may be used by groups. Groups may choose a configuration from the Meeting Facilities list of Standard Room Set-ups and should register their request at least one week in advance of the meeting. Groups preferring a room configuration that is different from the options provided are responsible for setting the room up themselves and for returning it to normal immediately afterward.

Library audiovisual equipment is available for use during the meetings held at the Library. Groups are responsible for operating any equipment furnished and are liable for any damage to it. Groups that view videos must secure all necessary performance licenses and indemnify the library for any failure to do so. Reservations for available audiovisual equipment must be made with the Group Services Department at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting date.

Groups using library equipment must pick up remote controls from the service desk. The remote will be signed out to the group’s representative with proper identification. A replacement fee will be assessed for failure to return a remote control, and future meetings will be canceled until restitution is made.


Groups using library rooms may not charge fees. With the exception of Westlake Porter Public Library or Friends of Westlake Porter Public Library, no fundraising activities or solicitation may occur. A reasonable charge may be made to cover the cost of activity/craft materials, but is subject to library approval in advance.

The Library may choose to partner with organizations or businesses to provide fee-based services if they are deemed to be in the public interest and if they fit the mission of the library.

The Library will allow its meeting rooms to be used for classes provided by the Westlake City School District, the City of Westlake (Recreation Department or Senior Center for example), and accredited area colleges and universities, or other organizations of an educational nature which have entered into a partnership with Westlake Porter Public Library to provide classes which would benefit the public. Such groups sponsoring classes, which meet for several nights in a row or several weeks, will be assessed a fee to recuperate overhead costs.

Food & Beverages

Light refreshments may be served. A coffee maker is available in each meeting room for coffee or hot water. The kitchenette and staging room are available for any group to use, so long as they are cleaned afterward. The staging area may be used for deliveries of prepared food or box lunches, etc. A refrigerator and microwave are also available in this area. Groups must bring their own supplies, coffee, cups, and any other materials they will need. 

The meeting rooms, restrooms, and kitchenette must be left in neat and clean order. Organizations will be responsible for and billed for any equipment or property loss or damage as well as for any cleaning required.


The meeting rooms are available during regular library hours free of charge to qualifying groups. On Monday through Thursday only, groups whose meetings begin while the library is open may continue to meet a maximum of two hours beyond the library’s closing time, provided the time is scheduled and the required fee is paid at least one month in advance of the meeting. This non-refundable fee is $50.00 per hour (not prorated). In such instances, all attendees at the meeting must vacate the building no later than 11:00 pm. Normally, the library’s doors are locked and the security system set promptly at 9:00 pm. Groups, that have not registered and paid in advance to remain after hours, must completely vacate the meeting rooms by 8:45 pm, so that the meeting room wing can be secured.


The use of a meeting room by a non-library group shall NOT be publicized in such a way as to imply Library sponsorship of the group’s activity unless the activity is truly and formally being co-sponsored by the Library.

The name, address or telephone number of the library may NOT be used as the contact address or headquarters of an organization. A contact name and telephone number must be given in any publicity for meetings or programs held at the library.


An adult leader must be present at all times and responsible for the supervision of any group of minors (under the age of 18) using the meeting rooms.


Because the demand for use of the rooms is so heavy, the maximum number of times any one group may reserve the use of meeting rooms is 12 times per year. However, if rooms are available, additional times may be reserved, but requests may be made only 7 days in advance of the date desired. Meeting rooms are NOT available for receptions or private parties. 

The Library’s meeting rooms may be used by political groups for regular meetings of an organizational nature. They may be used for public forums, debates, and candidates’ nights but not for self-promotion of any one candidate.  A form certifying that all sides will be represented must be completed before an application can be approved.

Space is available in the Library’s study rooms for individualized tutoring or study. (See Study Rooms Policy)

Important Notes

  1. Failure to abide by these Meeting Room Policies is justification for denying the group further use of meeting rooms.
  2. The Library is not liable for injuries to people, damage to their property, or loss of property belonging to individuals or groups using the meeting rooms.
  3. All organizations must comply with fire and access codes that regulate the use of the Library. Maximum capacity regulations MUST be observed, adequate aisle space must be provided and doors MUST NOT be blocked.
  4. The individual filing the Meeting Room Application must agree to assume full responsibility for any damages to the facility or equipment, which may occur as a result of the group’s use.

Please direct any further questions about Westlake Porter Public Library’s meeting rooms to the Group Services Department.

Piano Use Policy

Westlake Porter Public Library has two pianos, which may be used by music teachers and organizations for scheduled public performances and one practice session per performance, in conjunction with the use of the meeting room. The use of the pianos is at the discretion of the library. The grand piano will not be moved out of the Porter Room.

The library will allow piano recitals to be held at the library under the following conditions:

  • The meeting room will be booked following all general meeting room policies including that the recital is open to the public at no cost, and may not conflict with library sponsored use of the room.
  • All recitals must vacate the room one hour before the library closes.
  • No more than two (2) bookings per calendar year by any teacher or organization.
  • Any additional equipment, other than the pianos, will be provided by the teacher or organization.
Technology Training Lab Policies

Westlake Porter Public Library has one computer training lab that may be scheduled for groups to provide training or needing computer resources as part of their meeting. This room is only available during times when it is not in use for library or library-sponsored computer training and activities. At the discretion of the Library, staff may be present to monitor the room or equipment during any session.

All general meeting room reservation policies apply to this room. For-profit organizations may use the room for training purposes for a fee of $50 per hour or part thereof (not prorated). Individuals or businesses may not profit from, nor use the library’s facilities, meeting rooms, or study rooms to run a business. The library will not install an individual’s or a group’s personal software on library computers.

Because this room has specialized equipment in it, there are additional guidelines that apply to the usage of this room:

  • No food or beverages are allowed in the Computer Training Lab.
  • The latest scheduled ending time for the computer training room is 15 minutes before the library closes.
  • Training and orientation to the equipment in the Computer Training Lab are available prior to a scheduled meeting upon request.
  • Because WPPL training courses take priority, the Computer Training Lab may not be booked more than 2 months in advance.

Scouting Computer Badge Policy

Westlake scouting groups from first grade through high school may work with Library Staff to obtain a computer badge. The Scout Leader will contact the Youth Services Manager to arrange for staff and lab time:

  • Lab times will be scheduled by library staff during normal library hours of operation, with respect to troop meeting times.
  • No fee will be charged.
  • The troop leader and one other adult must remain in the room at all times.
  • No food, snacks or beverages are permitted in the lab.
  • The troop leader will provide staff with the badge requirements at least 2 weeks in advance of the scheduled lab time.
Study Rooms Policy

In addition to the larger meeting rooms, Westlake Porter Public Library has a small group study room that holds 4-6 people and five study rooms that hold 1-2 people. Study rooms are available during times when they are not in use for the library or library-sponsored programs and activities. Study rooms are available during the hours the library is open, until fifteen (15) minutes before closing.

All general meeting room reservation policies apply to these rooms.

  • Study rooms may be scheduled for tutoring, proctoring of exams, and business/educational purposes. Customers may book the rooms in-person at any staff desk or may book the rooms up to a week in advance in person, by phone or email, for up to two (2) scheduled hours per use, daily. Students under 18 receive priority for the study room in Youth Services.
  • Fees may not be charged by customers using the study rooms, and use of the study rooms by paid tutors/trainers for profit is prohibited.
  • Any videos viewed in these rooms by more than 3 people must have PUBLIC PERFORMANCE RIGHTS. Customers are responsible for operating equipment and liable for damage.


  • Excessive no-shows or cancellations by individuals will result in loss of privileges. Bookings will be held for 15 minutes unless the user has notified the library that he/she will be late.
  • Individuals who wish to use the rooms to study are permitted to do so, on a first-come, first served basis. They must sign-in at the Public Service Desk in that area. They may only use the room if it is not reserved for other purposes. There is a maximum guarantee use time of two (2) hours per day; additional time may be requested if there is no one waiting to use the room.
Public Internet & Computer Use Policy

Approved: February 20, 2008


Integral to public library service is the provision of diverse information in multiple formats to meet the information needs of the entire community. Every public library endeavors to develop collections, resources and services to meet such needs. That goal is emphasized in the mission of Westlake Porter Public Library: Through diverse resources and services and easy access to "educate, empower, engage, enlighten, and excite the public." It is within this context that Westlake Porter Public Library offers free access to the Internet via the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN). OPLIN services are provided and funded by the State of Ohio.

Providing access to the Internet and other electronic resources enhances the library's collection through the Internet's immediate access to a variety of up-to-date information.

The same standards of intellectual freedom, privacy, and confidentiality endorsed by the library for traditional resources and services will also be applied to electronic media, including usage of the Internet. The library is mindful of its commitment to the principles of freedom of access but sensitive to the fact that the library's computers are in a public location subject to view by a wide audience. Staff members reserve the right to prohibit material that, in their judgment, is inappropriate for viewing in a public area, particularly as it relates to Ohio's "harmful to minors" law.

Finally, the library cannot be held responsible for the technical reliability of the OPLIN or the Internet, or any loss or inconvenience users may suffer as a result of a system disruption. Although the library makes every effort to maintain reliable equipment and procedures, some "down time" is unavoidable and can occur at any time. Specific sites on the World Wide Web may be unavailable because that system may, for example, have failed, is too "busy," may have "moved," may only be available to certain institutions or members, or may no longer exist.


The library has a policy of open access. The user need not have a library card. Usage is not restricted by age (supervision is the parent's responsibility), is not prioritized by information need (everyone's information need is important to him or her), and is not restricted by residency.

Our Youth Services web page features links to websites of special interest to children. Informational programs for parents on this topic are scheduled, as needed. Information about the library's policy is on the registration form for children's borrower's cards.

The number of individuals using a single computer workstation is limited by the discretion of staff. The size of the group may not encroach on neighboring workstations. Group work can be a valuable learning and sharing experience. However, if the group creates a disturbance to others' effective use of the library, they will be asked to correct their behaviors, disband, and/or to leave the building. Large groups interested in reserving computers for teaching purposes are encouraged to ask at the Group Services Desk about reserving the Computer Training Lab.

To ensure equal access to the library's computer resources our automated computer scheduling system may impose a maximum daily time or login limit.

There are electrical outlets in the Study Rooms, on the curved wall near the Large Print and nonfiction stacks, and in other public areas of the building. Customers using their own laptop computers may use these outlets, provided that no cord is left lying across carpeting. Outlets in columns cannot be safely used for this purpose.

The library has installed data jacks and phone jacks so that customers with laptop computers can access the Internet. To use a data jack (orange and labeled D) a customer must have an installed network interface card on his computer and a category 5 patch cord. Customers who prefer to use a phone jack hook up need a phone cord. Both category 5 patch cords and phone cords are available at the Reference Desk. A form of ID is required to borrow the cords and is kept at the Reference desk while cords are being used.

As with other equipment in the library, library staff may reserve certain times in order to provide library tours or to conduct classes for staff, public, or other organizations.


Adult Services

There are other computer workstations currently limited to a guaranteed 60 minutes of usage by any one individual at a time. Patrons may extend their session by 60 minutes in 15-minute increments as long as there is no one waiting or the station has not been reserved by another patron. There is no limit on the number of sessions allowed.

Youth Services

In the Youth Services area, computer workstations are limited to a guaranteed 60 minutes. Children under the age of 14 and adults accompanying small children are encouraged to use these stations. Adults without children accompanying them should use the workstations in the adult areas of the building.

Scheduling for these stations is done only in the library and only for the current day. Users needing instruction on software programs should sign up for one of the library's training sessions.

Unacceptable and Illegal Use of Computers

The library's computers are for educational and informational purposes, not unauthorized, illegal, or unethical purposes. A user may not send, receive, or display text or graphics that may reasonably be construed as obscene.

Consideration for the integrity of the library's and other automated systems is paramount: Malicious use, which is determined at the library's discretion, is totally unacceptable. Use of the computer systems in a manner that precludes or significantly hampers use by others is not allowed. This includes purposefully violating library procedures concerning time limits, providing fraudulent computer user registration information, or using someone else's card, etc. It also includes physical abuse of library equipment. In the case of misuse or physical abuse of PCs by children, it is the responsibility of parents to monitor their child's use of the equipment and to make restitution for any damage.

It is not acceptable to use library Internet access or other library software or hardware for any purposes which violate U.S. or Ohio law; to transmit or receive any obscene or illegal materials as defined in the Ohio Revised Code; to disseminate matter harmful to juveniles (O.R.C. 2907.31); to display matter harmful to juveniles (O.R.C. 2907.311); or to interfere with or disrupt network users, services or equipment.

Users who intentionally execute or transmit programs that: 1) harass others, or 2) infiltrate a computer or computing system, or 3) gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to others, or 4) damage or alter (or attempt to damage or alter) the software components of this library's or any other computing systems, or 5) represent themselves as another person, will not only forfeit Westlake Porter Public Library usage rights, but will also be prosecuted, as legally appropriate.

The Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) prohibits commercial use of any type or kind of its systems and OPLIN-provided Internet connections.

Internet Access

The library has a policy of open access. Frequent computer users must have an updated library card. A frequent user is defined as one who uses any computer more than once a month. Juveniles under age 18 without library cards may apply for a registered computer user card. A computer user card provides computer access to those without library cards.

Visitor cards will be issued with valid photo identification to non-Ohio residents and other infrequent users without library cards. Minors without photo identification will be issued visitor cards at the discretion of library staff. Usage is not restricted by age (supervision is a parent's responsibility), is not prioritized by information need (everyone's information need is important), and is not restricted by residency.

Users signing up for the last block of time for the day on any machines need to be aware that the computers shut down promptly at closing time. Users should plan ahead for any time-consuming printing or downloading by completing any lengthy projects 15 minutes in advance of closing. Users will not be permitted to remain past closing time: Staff must have adequate time to shut down the systems and secure the building.

Internet Content: Filtering, E-mail, Downloading, Printing

Accuracy of Information

The Internet offers global access to information. However, not all sources on the Internet provide information that is accurate, complete, current, or legal. Westlake Porter Public Library is not able to monitor or control and cannot be held responsible for the content of materials on the Internet (which change rapidly and unpredictably). However, Westlake Porter Public Library does provide guidance and recommended sites through links on our Web site, through public programs on locating and evaluating Internet sites, and through printed information for concerned parents.


Some resources and destinations definitely contain material that some patrons will find offensive, as well as sites that are inappropriate for children. Westlake Porter Public Library does not filter Internet access at the library, however, because doing so would block access to legitimate sites and needed information. Nor would the library be able to filter according to the individual preferences or sensibilities of the diverse public it serves.

The library makes available current brochures featuring children's websites, and Internet safety tips. WPPL's Youth Services web page features links to websites of special interest to children. Informational programs for parents on this topic are scheduled, as needed. Information about the library's policy is on the registration form for children's borrower's cards.

One computer workstation with "filtered" access to the Internet is made available in the Youth Services area in an effort to provide an alternative for parents who are concerned about their children's use of that resource. Caregivers are cautioned, however, that the filtering system employed may not block access to all materials unsuitable for minors. (To date, no commercially available filtering system has been proven to be 100% effective.) Further, the filter may prevent access to Web sites that provide useful information. The filtering system is not under the direct control of the library, and sites blocked or not blocked represent the judgment and proficiency of a third-party vendor.

For these reasons, unfiltered access is offered on the balance of the library's Internet access computers. This policy does not require children to use "filtered" access; parents and caregivers must determine for their own children how each may use any library resource. Parents and guardians of children under 18, not library staff, are responsible for their children's use of the Internet, including any information selected and/or accessed by them, as with any other usage of equipment and services of the library. The library recommends and encourages parents and children to use the Internet and other library resources together. For the child's safety and best interests, those under the age of nine may not be left unattended anywhere in the library.


Neither the library nor OPLIN provides email accounts. Customers may access their own web-based email accounts from library terminals, however.


Internet users may download information from the Internet to their own portable devices or have it sent to their own email accounts. Users should not expect library staff, however, to do this for them or to know the specifics of how individual, particular Web sites or email Web sites work. Under no circumstances may a user download or save anything to the hard drive of any library PC or to a network drive.


Customers may print from computer workstations or the wireless network provided by the library. Customers are given a daily allowance of $1.00 to use for printing only. The cost is $0.10 per page (black toner only). The cost is $0.15 per page for color. The library uses an automated print management system. Any unused daily allowance does not carry over. Staff cannot refund any unused amounts deposited on the automated print management system.


The library cannot guarantee the privacy or confidentiality of information or files that are entered into or accessed via its public Internet-connected computers. While security is our goal, electronic communications can be intercepted and can become public. The sending of any information, including name, address, and credit card numbers, is at the sole risk of the user.

On October 26, 2001, Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act. Under the provisions of this act, if a search warrant pertaining to patron records is issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (USA PATRIOT Act amendment), library staff must comply by providing requested information. Furthermore, a search warrant under FISA contains a "gag" order that prohibits a person or institution served with this warrant to disclose that the warrant has been served or that records have been produced pursuant to the warrant.

Private information saved to any storage device, or printed out to paper copies, and left behind after a computer session, or printouts discarded to public waste cans may be seen or confiscated by third parties. The physical security of these media is the responsibility of the individual computer user.

Wireless Internet Access

The library has installed data jacks so that users with laptop computers may enjoy high-speed Internet access through the library's network, free-of-charge.

Phone jacks are also available for users who prefer to use modem hookups and access the Internet through their own Internet Service Provider. The phone connections are set up to permit only local and toll-free calls.

Even though users are operating their own equipment, the Internet access itself is provided to the library through OPLIN, and users are subject to the rules and regulations of OPLIN, Westlake Porter Public Library, and all applicable local, state, and federal laws. Use of network access for any illegal purpose is strictly prohibited, and violators may be prosecuted. Laptop users must follow the guidelines set up for users of the library's Internet stations, as explained in this policy.

All laptop users are reminded that they have chosen to use their equipment in a public building. Westlake Porter Public Library is not responsible for the safekeeping of equipment left unattended, and the library does not provide any anti-virus protection, content filtering, and only minimal firewall shielding via its public connections. OPLIN and this library are not responsible for any loss or inconvenience suffered by the user due to his own actions or the actions of others while he is connected to the library's network. Library staff may not provide technical support or repair service for personally owned computers and/or software.

Printing, both black and white and color, from a wireless laptop or notebook, is available through the library's print management system.

Software, Viruses, Copyright, and More

Third-Party Software

To help assure the security and reliability of the library's systems, patrons may not use their own software or install any programs on any of the library's computers, including circulating software from the library's collection.


The library assumes no responsibility for viruses that may be received by patrons causing their own documents, software, or hardware to be infected or damaged. Virus scanning of personal disks is not permitted as it exposes the library's systems to undue risk.


Individual users are responsible for monitoring and adhering to copyright laws and their own usage of information or publications.

Food and Beverages

Food is prohibited at all computer workstations. See also Food and Beverage Policy.


Providing instruction in using and evaluating informational resources is part of the library's role. However, staff can only devote a reasonable amount of time to assisting individual users with the Internet. Members of the public service staff handle many information requests and cannot devote extensive time to each new user. Users unfamiliar with computer use, the Internet, or any browser software, should sign up for one of the library's hands-on computer training sessions.

Westlake Porter Public Library's Board of Trustees is empowered, through the Ohio Revised Code, Article 3375.4Q, to make and publish rules for the proper operation and management of Porter Public Library. The Board of Trustees may, from time to time, unilaterally, at its discretion, amend, supplement, modify, or eliminate one or more aspects of this or any other library policy.