The Brownell Library, Home of the Little Compton Free Public Library, is dedicated to meeting the informational needs of the community.  The library will meet these needs through our collection, keeping current with rapidly changing technology, providing access to all RI Public Libraries and ensuring all patrons with free and equal access.


Applying for a Library Card

  • To obtain a card you will need to show a valid picture ID from a city, state, or government agency such as a driver’s license, military ID, or a passport.
  • Non-residents who own property in Little Compton need to provide a current tax bill for that property. Non-residents who work in RI must show proof of employment in RI.
  • To replace a lost or damaged card you must pay a $1.00 fee and show proof of address. 
  • All patrons are expected to bring their library cards with them in order to check out materials.

Loan Periods

  • 10 items per card

                                                            Limit          Days

New fiction and Nonfiction                 none         21

All other books                                     none         21

Periodicals                                              2             7

Books on CDs                                             2           21

DVDs                                                       3             7

Museum passes                                       2             3

Items can be renewed in person, by phone, or via the internet.

Items can renewed once unless another request has been placed on that item.

Overdue Fines

Books, books on cd, periodicals         $ .10/day

DVDs                                                $ 1.00/day

  • Items cannot be checked out if fine is above $5.00.
  • Maximum fine per card $10.00
  • Lost items will be charged full replacement value.

Interlibrary Loan Policy

The Brownell Public Library is a member of the Ocean State Libraries consortium, which means a library card issued from any OSL library will allow you to borrow materials from any OSL member library.

Rhode Island library users are able to borrow materials from non-OSL Rhode Island libraries and out of state libraries using the Interlibrary Loan service. The Interlibrary Loan service (ILL) is governed by the Library of Rhode Island standards. You can request materials through ILL at the Brownell Library by contacting a library staff member. There is no guarantee that the materials requested will be available from another institution. There is no charge for placing an ILL request; the customer is subject to normal fines and fees for overdue and lost materials. Interlibrary loan requests are limited to two items per week per customer.

All Little Compton Public Library items set as holdable are eligible for ILL request.

Interlibrary loan materials are generally not renewable.


It is a patron’s responsibility to maintain necessary and proper standards of behavior in order to protect his/her individual rights and the rights and privileges of other patrons. If a patron creates a public nuisance, that patron may be restricted from the Library and from the use of the library facilities.

Young children

The Little Compton Free Public Library encourages visits by young children and it is our desire to make this important visit both memorable and enjoyable for the child. Library staff will not assume responsibility for the care of unsupervised children in the library.

Therefore, it is library policy that a parent accompany all children under age 12 or designated responsible person while in the library.

Disruptive children

Children of all ages are encouraged to use the library for homework, recreational reading, and program attendance. The library staff realizes that the library will be noisier at busy times and that children by nature can cause more commotion. However, children (whether with parents or not) who are being continually disruptive will be given a warning that he/she must settle down or will be asked to leave the library. If after a second warning the child continues to be disruptive, he/she will be asked to leave the library. If the child needs to contact a parent, they may do so and then wait with a staff person until the parent arrives.


As specified in the General Laws of Rhode Island 38-2-2 “Public record “ or “public records” shall mean or other all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, materials regardless of physical form or characteristics made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency.  For the purposes of this chapter, the following records shall not be deemed public: 

(21) Library records which, by themselves, or when examined with other public records, would reveal the identity of the library user requesting, checking out, or using any library materials.

The Little Compton Free Public Library adheres strictly to all sections of this Statute regarding the protection of the confidentiality of its users.


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

Access to the Internet is available to all patrons; however, this service may be restricted at any time for use not consistent with the guidelines. Parents of minor children must assume responsibility for their children’s use of the library’s Internet service; prior to being granted access to the Internet, anyone under 18 years of age, along with a parent or guardian, must sign the Internet Use Agreement.


Users should be aware that the inappropriate use of electronic information resources can be a violation of local, state, and federal laws and can lead to prosecution. The user will be held responsible for his/her actions using the Internet. Users are expected to abide by the policies below, which include generally accepted rules of network etiquette. Unacceptable uses of the service will result in the suspension or revocation of Internet use privileges.


The Internet is a decentralized, unmediated global network; the Little Compton Free Public Library has no control over the content found there. The library will not censor access to material nor protect users from offensive information, and it is not responsible for the availability and accuracy of information found on the Internet.

The use of the Internet and e-mail is not guaranteed to be private. Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities will be reported to the proper authorities.


  • Users may use the Internet for research and the acquisition of information to address their educational, vocational, cultural, and recreational needs
  • Users may use the Internet for the receipt and transmission of electronic mail (e-mail) as long as they use a free e-mail service which will establish and maintain an account for them; the library is unable to manage e-mail accounts for any organizations or individuals
  • Internet use is offered in sixty (60) minute sessions on a first-come, first-served basis; each user is allowed one session–if there is no patron waiting for the service at the end of a session, the user can have another session, but once having had the service for 30 minutes the user must abandon use of the Internet if another patron requests use of the service
  • Users will respect and uphold copyright laws and all other applicable laws and regulations; they will not use it for illegal purposes
  • Users will respect the rights and privacy of others by not accessing private files
  • Users agree not to incur any costs for the library through their use of the Internet service
  • Users shall not create and/or distribute computer viruses over the Internet
  • Users shall not deliberately or willfully cause damage to computer equipment, programs, or parameters

Library Volunteer Policy

To achieve our mission, the Library encourages the active participation of citizens as a valuable resource to the Library. The Volunteers are an important support system for the staff and patrons. 

Policy for Patron Refusal to Comply with Mask Wearing Guidelines and Mandates

RI Department of Health Regulation 216-RICR-50-15-7 §7.4.1(2)(B) requires all individuals in public or in an establishment to wear a cloth face covering unless they can easily, continuously and measurably maintain 6 feet of distance between themselves and others not in their group.

Due to the size and nature of the older building of the Brownell Library, we are unable to provide safe access for patrons inside of the building who refuse to wear a mask, this is based on the guidelines and regulations above. A mask will be offered to a patron who has forgotten their mask, and patrons are always welcome to return when masked.

For patrons who prefer to not come into the building, or for those who choose to not wear a mask, the Brownell Library offers curbside pickup of materials, reference and readers’ advisory via the phone or email, and free WiFi access outside of the building 24 hours a day, seven days a week.