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

Applicants for library cards must show proof that they live or pay property taxes in RI.  Adults applying for a library card must show a state issued picture ID.  If that cannot be provided, another photo ID may be presented along with a document showing proof of residency in RI. 

Students aged 13 -17 may provide proof of enrollment in a public or private school in Rhode Island in lieu of a photo ID.  They may apply for a library card without the signature of an adult or guardian. 

Children aged 0 – 12 must have their application signed by a parent or guardian, who may provide identification on their child’s behalf.  Both the parent or guardian and the child should be present to apply for a library card.

Library cards can be applied for in person in the library or online at  

Cardholders should present their library card when checking materials out from the library.  Scanned library cards that are presented via a mobile device will be accepted at checkout.

The complete Ocean State Libraries library card borrowing policy can be found at . All consortium libraries follow these policies as part of their agreement to participate in the Ocean State Libraries consortium.

Loan Periods:

  • Books – 21 days
  • Magazines – 7 days
  • Books on CDs – 21 days
  • DVDs – 7 days for movies and 21 days for series
  • Museum passes – 3 days
  • Kits/Library of Things – 7 days

Many items can be renewed in person, by phone, or via the internet. They will be renewed twice automatically unless another request has been placed on that item.  Museum passes, kits, and Library of Things items do not renew.

We do not charge overdue fines.  Items cannot be checked out if previously checked out items are overdue or billed.  Patrons will be charged full replacement value for lost items.

Interlibrary Loan Policy

The Brownell Public Library is a member of the Ocean State Libraries (OSL) consortium, which means a library card issued from any OSL library will allow you to borrow materials from any OSL member library.  You can request books via the library catalog or by contacting a staff member at the 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 patron is subject to the lending institution’s fees for lost materials. Interlibrary loan requests are limited to two items per week per patron. Interlibrary loan materials are generally not renewable.

Patron Responsibilities and Conduct
It is a patron’s responsibility to maintain necessary and proper standards of behavior in order to protect their 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.

Unaccompanied 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 or designated responsible person accompany all children under age 10 while in the library.

Disruptive patrons:

Patrons of all ages are encouraged and invited to use the library.  The library will be noisier at busy times and during programs.  However, any patron of any age who is intentionally disruptive or harasses staff or other patrons will be asked to stop their harassing behavior.  This behavior can include, but is not limited to:

  • rude or vulgar talk,
  • physical confrontations,
  • harassing or threatening speech towards another person,
  • filming or photographing another person without their consent,
  • any viewing of pornographic materials on library or private laptops,
  • any behavior that is harmful to library property. 

If the behavior continues, the patron will be asked to leave the library.  If after a second warning the behavior continues to be disruptive and the adult patron has not left the library the police will be called.  If the disruptive patron is a minor, the parent or guardian of the child will be called.  If the parent or guardian cannot be reached or does not come to the library to pick up their child the police may be called.

Staff and patron witnesses involved in an incident of disruptive behavior will be asked to fill out an incident form.  This form will be given to the library director.

If the behavior reoccurs, the library will file a complaint with the Little Compton Police Department and request a no trespass order to prevent the patron from being on library property for a period of one year. 

The patron may request a meeting with the Library Director to discuss any removal from the library.

As specified in the General Laws of Rhode Island

§ 38-2-2. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:  (4) “Public record” or “public records” shall mean all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data processing records, computer stored data (including electronic mail messages, except specifically for any electronic mail messages of or to elected officials with or relating to those they represent and correspondence of or to elected officials in their official capacities), or other material 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:

§ 11-18-32. Video, audio and publication rentals.   (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to reveal, transmit, publish, or disseminate in any manner, any records which would identify the names and addresses of individuals, with the titles or nature of video films, records, cassettes, or the like, which they purchased, leased, rented, or borrowed, from libraries, book stores, video stores, or record and cassette shops or any retailer or distributor of those products, whether or not the identities and listings are kept in a remote computing service or electronic storage or the disclosure is made through or by a remote computing service. It shall not be unlawful to make disclosures to other employees of the library or business incident to the normal course of their work or pursuant to lawful compulsion.  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.

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 their 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 library receives federal funds to provide Internet service.  Due to this funding, the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA) applies and all computers will be filtered in compliance with this Act.  Filters are not precise and are not capable of fully blocking access to material that is obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors.  Filters also may block constitutionally protected material.  Staff are able to provide access to blocked sites and the filters may be disabled completely for a patron over 18 who requests the filter to be disabled.

The use of the Internet and e-mail is not guaranteed to be private.


  • Internet use is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.  All computer users start with a 1 hour session.  If other patrons are waiting, the computer user who has been on the longest will be asked to give up their computer for the waiting patron.  If no other patron is waiting, computer users may stay on the computer as long as they wish.
  • 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.

Approved by the Little Compton Free Public Library Board of Trustees May 13, 2024