(715) 468-2074 | Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat. 9am-1pm staffslplibrary@gmail.com


Circulation Policy


In order to provide equal access to library materials, Shell Lake Public Library sets policies for the length of loan period, renewals and reserves.

 Materials Circulation

All library materials (excluding reference materials and newspapers) may be checked out by anyone with a valid library card issued by any library in the Northern Waters Library System (NWLS).

 Library privileges will not be extended to anyone having outstanding charges against their card in excess of $4.99, with the exception of internet access, until such charges have been paid for and the materials have been returned.

 Lake Superior Zoo passes are only checked out to adults (eighteen and older) in good standing (no bills or overdues) with a Shell Lake Public Library card.

 Loan Periods

  • 3 days: Lake Superior Zoo pass
  • 7 days: DVDs
  • 14 days: magazines
  • 28 days: books and books on CD

 NWLS Interloans: follow the Shell Lake Public Library’s loan periods for the above.

 WISCAT Interloans: set by lending library.

Rare or Out-of-Print Books: Books no longer in print will not be allowed to go out of the library unless there is more than one copy.

Reference Materials: Items marked “Reference” must be used in the library.

Limit: 50 total checkouts may consist of:

  • 10 DVDs
  • 10 books on CD
  • 10 magazines

Parents/Legal guardians have the option to place a limit of 10 total checkouts for their children instead of the existing limit of 50 total checkouts.

Renewals: Most items can be renewed twice, providing no one else has a hold on the item.

Censorship: No patron regardless of sex, age, race, or religion will be limited to any part of the library or denied any item they may want to check out. A “Request for Reconsideration” form can be filled out if the patron wishes to do so.

Damaged Materials

Any material defaced in a way that the library deems unacceptable for circulation must be paid for by the borrower at replacement cost.

Replacement cost can be found on the MARC record or determined by the director or designated staff.

Replacement of lost or damaged items by patrons is discouraged, and any exceptions must be approved by the library director or designated staff.

If replacement by patron is allowed, the replacement must be a new and exact match of the lost item.

If materials are found and returned within 30 days, a refund may be given. If the library has already purchased a replacement for a lost or damaged item, no refund will be given.

Library Cards

  • Registration: Anyone 5 years old and older may apply for a library card..
  • Children under 18 years of age must have a parent or legal guardian’s signature. The parent must be present to sign the registration card.
  • Patrons must fill out a registration card.
  • Patrons will need to show a photo I.D. and/or proof of current address.
  • All patrons, adult and juvenile, are expected to bring their library cards with them if they intend to check out items. In order for all patrons to receive efficient and accurate service, borrowers should present their library card each time they check out, renew materials or place holds.
  • An exception may be made if a borrower can provide photo identification and/or is recognized by library staff (If they do not have a photo I.D. with them they must verify two fields in the patron record: birthdate AND address or telephone number). Staff will verify against the patron record.
  • If a patron loses their library card, they should notify the library as soon as possible and request a replacement.
  • Patrons may allow another person to use their card to check out materials they have to pick up on the holdshelf. 

Overdue Notices/Bills

An automated call, a text or an email notice will be sent one and two weeks after the library materials are due if they have not been returned.

A bill will be sent (via USPS) three weeks after the library materials are due if they have not been returned.

Reserves: Patrons may reserve up to 20 items per library card on the Internet, in person or over the phone.


As specified in Wisconsin Statutes 43.30, “records of any library which is in whole or in part supported by public funds, including the records of a public library system, indicating the identity of any individual who borrows or uses the library’s documents or other materials, resources or services may not be disclosed except by court order or to persons acting within the scope of their duties in the administration of the library or library system, to persons authorized by the individual to inspect such records, or to libraries authorized under subs. (2) and (3).”

The Shell Lake Public Library adheres strictly to all sections of this Statute regarding the protection of the confidentiality of its users.




                                                                                                                                                                  WiFi and Public Computer Policy

  • Shell Lake Public Library provides free public access to the Internet via a WiFi network and public computers.  
  • Access to the Library Internet is available to all who chose to use it; however, this service may be restricted at any time for use not consistent with this policy. 
  • All users “agree” to abide by the Shell Lake Internet/Wireless policy when logging into the WiFi.  Parents of minor children must assume responsibility for their children’s use of the library’s WiFi and public computer use.
  • Prior to being granted access to the Library’s public computers, anyone under 18 years of age, along with a parent or legal guardian, must sign the WiFi and public computer policy agreement. 
  • Any/all computer use may be suspended or revoked by Shell Lake Public Library staff at any time, without prior notice or hearing, for abusive conduct or violation of the conditions of use.
  • Shell Lake Public Library will be the sole arbiter of what constitutes abusive conduct or violation of this policy.
  • In cases of WiFi and public computer policy abuse, patrons will receive one (1) verbal warning, unless violation warrants immediate removal from the library and revocation of public computer privileges for one month.
  • Patrons may not use the public computers under any circumstances while suspended; the second incident will result in the loss of public computer privileges permanently.
  • All users of the Wi-Fi network are bound by the WiFi and public computer policy. 


  • Public computer use is offered in one hour sessions on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Public computers have a 3 hour per day limit. Exceptions can be granted on a case-by-case basis.
  • A maximum of 2 persons at one computer at a given time.
  • Public computers automatically log out 10 minutes prior to closing.
  • Users agree not to incur any costs for the library through their use of the public computers.
  • Anyone over the age of 18 can use the public computers. If they don’t have a library card, they may ask for a guest pass.
  • Cd’s and flash drives may be used on public computers.  User assumes all liability associated with use.
  • Use of public computers and related personal devices requires use of headphones or earbuds when playing movies, music and games or any other software program that generates sound. 


  • Users will not consume food or beverages around public computers.
  • Users will respect the rights and privacy of others.
  • Users will not cause disruption of others.
  • Users will not create and/or distribute computer viruses over the Internet.
  • Users will not deliberately or willfully cause damage to library computer equipment, programs, or peripherals and will be held fully responsible.
  • Users will not be allowed to use personal software on library public computers.
  • Users will not use the Internet for unlawful or malicious activities.
  • Users will not access sexually explicit material.  
  • Users will not misrepresent themselves.

 Please Note:

  • The Internet is a non-moderated global network; the Shell Lake 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 cannot assure that data or files downloaded by users are virus-free.
  • The library is not responsible for damages to equipment or data on a user’s personal device from the use of data downloaded from the library’s wireless Internet service. 
  • Users should be advised that they use the library’s WiFi at their own risk. The library’s WiFi is not secure and could potentially be intercepted by a third party.
  • The library shall not have any responsibility or liability for any claims relating to the loss, damage, or interception of any information, data, work product, or other materials viewed, searched, or stored on users’ mobile devices. Antivirus and security protection are the responsibility of the user.
  • Users should be certain that their personal devices are secure at all times and should never be left unattended in the library, even for brief periods of time. Theft of such devices is not the responsibility of the library.
  • 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. Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities will be reported to the proper authorities.
  • While respecting individual users’ right to privacy, the library staff is required by to enforce library policy if a patron is caught or reported for internet misuse.

WiFi and Public Computer Policy Agreement

For users under the age of 18


Users will respect the rights and privacy of others.

Users will not cause disruption of others.

Users will not create and/or distribute computer viruses over the Internet.

Users will not deliberately or willfully cause damage to computer equipment, programs, or peripherals and will be held fully responsible.

Users will not be allowed to use personal software on library computers.

Users will not use the Internet for unlawful or malicious activities.

Users will not access sexually explicit material.  

Users will not misrepresent themselves.


 I, _________________________, (please print name) have read and understand the WiFi and Public Computer Agreement. I acknowledge that the Shell Lake Public Library does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. I realize that not following the above listed expectations may result in loss of public computer privileges (or banning from the library premises, should the staff judge the offence to be particularly egregious). I further acknowledge and agree that the library assumes no liability for any loss or damage to the user’s devices, data or for any damage or injury arising from the invasion of privacy in the user’s accounts, programs, or files. 


User Signature: ______________________________________


Date: ___________________ 


If under age 18, a parent or legal guardian must also sign this agreement showing that they have approved the same terms and conditions as agreed to by the minor. 


I,___________________________, as parent or guardian, assume responsibility for the above named child in the use of the Library Public Computer. Children under 6 years old must be accompanied by an adult. I am aware that my child may access material that in my absence may be inappropriate. I have discussed the WiFi and Public Computer use policy with my child. A parent or legal guardian is required to be present and sign the agreement witnessed by library staff. 


Parent/Guardian Signature: ____________________________ 


Date: ________________ Staff Member Initials: ____________

Public Bulletin Boards

The purpose of the public bulletin boards at the Shell Lake Public Library is to make available information regarding cultural, recreational, educational, and human services programs and events in the community that are available to the public at large. The Library does not evaluate the beliefs or purposes of the sponsoring organizations, and posting information does not imply endorsement by the library of any group, their ideas, or programs.

Due to space constraints, postings may be limited to programs, events, or services in Shell Lake, Spooner, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire – Barron County, Northwoods Technical College, or by other libraries.

Postings will be removed after the event has passed.

This policy on the use of the public bulletin boards supersedes all of the Shell Lake Public Library’s previous policies on public bulletin boards.


Use of Library Space

Shell Lake Public Library

Use of Library Space Policy


The purpose of this policy is to express the roles and responsibilities of Shell Lake Public Library patrons, staff, and guests to keep the Library’s physical and virtual spaces welcoming, safe, and secure. 


Public library spaces are valued community assets that rely on the stewardship, mutual support, and goodwill of all.

The Library’s mission that “everyone in our community is connected to their library” is achieved in part by the willingness of its patrons to respect one another and coexist in library spaces.

Physical and virtual library spaces are designed to be used for multiple purposes and are intended to be used by a diverse community of customers.

No library spaces can be used for a political purpose that could assist a particular candidate, or used for financial gain.

  1. Shared Space: Library proper

 Roles and Responsibilities
As participants in a shared, public use environment, patrons will be courteous, considerate, and understanding of library patrons and staff.

Parents and caregivers are responsible for supervising the activities of their charges.

As stewards of the library and its resources, patrons will value and respect library resources and conduct themselves in a safe and orderly way.

Patrons will comply with federal, state, and local laws and policies.

Staff will work with individuals or groups to ensure compliance with the policy. Failure to comply may result in loss of library use privileges.

  1. Meeting Room

Roles and Responsibilities 

  1. Use of the Library facilities or property shall not be permitted if it will unduly burden the Library staff or director.
  2. The meeting room is for meetings and tutoring only. Activities that require art materials are not permissible.
  3. The maximum number of people who may use the room at one time is 6.
  4. That group or person requesting the use of the Shell Lake Public Library Meeting Room must reside within the School District of Shell Lake and the responsible party must be at least 18 years old.
  5. A Meeting Room Application may be obtained from the library staff.
  6. The group or responsible party must apply to the Library director for use of the library meeting room at least two business days (M-F) prior to requested use. The Meeting Room Application form must be completed and returned before it can be considered.
  7. Clear identification of a responsible party who will assume responsibility for the facility as a representative of the organization will be expected at time of application.
  8. The Library Director or staff shall advise the potential user that the responsible party will be liable for any damage to Library property, cleaning costs, or for any expense or liability arising from such use.
  9. Denial of future facility use can be based upon abuse of the privilege.
  10. The Library Director or staff  will inform applicants of the approval or denial of facility use within 24 hours of the application.
  11. Hours and usage are at the sole discretion of the Library Director. 
  12. The one and only exception shall be when the City of Shell Lake requires the room.

Accompanying Procedure: Meeting Room Application 

Associated Policies and Laws
This policy is subject to other policies including but not limited to:

  • Shell Lake Public Library Administrative Policy: Patron Behavior Policy
  • Children in the Library Policy
  • Shell Lake Public Library Board Policy: Internet/Computer Policy





Shell Lake Public Library

Meeting Room Application


Applicant: ___________________________________________________________________


Responsible Party or Organization: ______________________________________________



Mailing address (if different from above): _____________________________________

Phone: ________________________________________________________________

E-mail: ________________________________________________________________


Purpose: ____________________________________________________________________


Date of use: __________________________________________________________________

Total number of people to use the room (maximum is 6): _______________________________

Facility equipment requested: ____________________________________________________


  • I understand that there can be no arts and crafts, paint, or glue used in this room.
  • I understand that this room can not be used for a political purpose that could assist a particular candidate, or be used for financial gain.


Signature of responsible party: ___________________________________________________


Approved: ________________________________ Date: ______________________________

Denied: __________________________________ Date: ______________________________


Date applicant was called with decision: ____________________________________________

Reason for denial: _____________________________________________________________




Patron Behavior

Library as Community Social Infrastructure:

The Shell Lake Public Library is a community funded and supported center of information for everyone to utilize with a reasonable expectation of privacy, empathy, inclusion, and propriety.
An understanding of what constitutes acceptable and adverse behavior is required for everyone to coexist in the library in a positive, constructive, and non-intrusive way.

Individual Electronic Devices:

Patrons may answer their phones in the library, but for the sake of privacy they must not have the conversation on speaker and shall pause the conversation until they are in the lobby or outdoors.
Text messages may be sent and received, but any sounds for both must be silenced.
If a patron finds it necessary to listen to any form of audible media on their individual electronic device, they must use headphones or earbuds to eliminate noise which can be distracting to others. The library staff will be happy to loan headphones or earbuds to a patron who needs them, and they shall be returned to the front desk when the patron leaves.
The viewing of explicit, graphic, or pornographic material in the library space is expressly prohibited. If a library user is seen violating this prohibition, their behavior will be dealt with rapidly up to and including warning and eviction. (See section “Addressing Adverse Behavior”)

Food and Drink:

Food is allowed in the library only under specific circumstances.
To be consumed by staff in the office or Council Chambers
To be consumed by those participating in a library or community partnership program which involves the consumption of food.
Beverages may be allowed in the library under special circumstances as determined by staff. These drinks must be non-alcoholic, covered to prevent spills, and NOT consumed at tables and counters that are a part of a public computer station.
The Shell Lake Public Library takes no responsibility for patron devices that become damaged from mishaps with food and beverage.

Expectation of Privacy:

Even though the library is a public space, invasion of someone’s privacy is not permitted under any circumstances by any individual, staff included. This includes invading the privacy of minors who are being cared for by others and therefore the caregiver’s responsibility.
An individual’s personal preference for self-care is not within the library staff’s purview. It will not be addressed unless there are complaints from multiple patrons or staff members which may indicate that an individual’s self-care constitutes a public nuisance.
It is required that footwear and appropriate clothing be worn at all times by everyone, including any child that is not contained in a stroller or car seat. Wet swim clothes are not deemed appropriate clothing.
Nursing babies in the library: Any mother who needs to nurse while in the library should first alert staff so that comfortable and reasonably private accommodations can be made. The mother should bring a cover or wear clothing which will provide additional privacy.
Diaper changing may take place only in the Women’s bathroom in the lobby, as that is the only one which has a baby changing station . Although the bathrooms are labeled as being gender specific, it is perfectly acceptable for a male caregiver to change a diaper in the women’s restroom.

Miscellaneous Behaviors:

Public displays of affection beyond a consensual hug are expressly prohibited.
Gum shall be disposed of properly by using a trash can.
Loud conversations are discouraged, and if disruptive will be addressed by staff.
Abusive, profane, or offensive language is not allowed in the library.
The moving of library tables and chairs to accommodate a meeting or program activity is acceptable, as long as doing so does not impede the use of the library by staff or patrons, and the furniture is returned to their original locations at the end of the activity.
Use of the library’s landline is allowed only with express permission from the library staff.
Any behavior that is witnessed by library staff and determined to be intimidating or offensive will be addressed and dealt with immediately.
Shell Lake Public Library is an inclusive space and as such, prejudicial or biased behavior or language on any level by any individual is not allowed and will not be tolerated.

Illegal or Prohibited Activity:

ALL activity which is illegal by Wisconsin statute or expressly prohibited by city ordinance in the City Hall is also prohibited in the Shell Lake Public Library. Any illegal activity will result in the notification of the police and permanent ban from the Shell Lake Public Library. This may be appealed to the Shell Lake Public Library Board.

The following are examples of prohibited illegal activity; this list is not all-inclusive.
No illegal drug use of any kind.
No smoking, vaping, or use of chewing tobacco
No Lewd and Lascivious Behavior as described by Wisconsin Statute 944
No Disorderly Conduct as described by Wisconsin Statute 947.01
No Battery as described by Wisconsin Statute 940.19
Any Crimes Against Minors as described by Wisconsin Statute 948
No Destruction of Property described by Wisconsin Statute 943.01
No Trespassing as described by Wisconsin Statute 943.01

Responding to Disruptive Conduct:

Let it be understood that the Shell Lake Public Library staff has no jurisdiction to ban a patron from their right to check out library materials, use library services online, or attend a library program outside the library space. Library staff only has the ability to remove library users from the library space. Any behavior which takes place outside the library space falls under the jurisdiction of the appropriate authorities.

In the event disruptive conduct occurs, the Shell Lake Public Library staff may take the following actions, as appropriate to the situation:
Level 1 – Warning
Advise the violator that his/her conduct is unacceptable and request that the person complies with library policy. Warn the person that if the behavior does not comply with library policy, they will be directed to leave the facility..
Level II – Evicted for the day
If the person fails to comply with library policy after being warned, staff shall order them to leave the building for the rest of the day. If a person does not obey an order to leave the building, staff shall request assistance from the Shell Lake Police Department to remove the person from the building.
Level III – Suspension of library privileges for one week
Repeated incidents of disruptive behavior will result in a one-week suspension of library privileges. “Repeated” is defined as more than two warnings (regarding any disruptive behaviors) in a 30-day period, or an incident of disruptive behavior from a patron who has been evicted for the day within the previous 30 days.
Level IV – Suspension of library privileges for a month
If a person who has been readmitted to the library after being suspended for one week again demonstrates disruptive behavior, this will result in a one month suspension
Level V – Permanent ban of library privileges
If a person who has been readmitted to the library after being suspended for a month again demonstrates disruptive behavior, this may result in the person being permanently banned from the library space. This action will be brought to the attention of the Library Board, and the Board will make a final decision.


Children in the Library

The Shell Lake Public Library encourages visits by young children, and it is our desire to make their visit both memorable and enjoyable. Children of all ages are encouraged to use the library for homework, recreational reading, and program attendance. Library staff is not expected to assume responsibility for the care of unsupervised children in the library.

Therefore, it is library policy that:

● All children aged nine (9) years or younger must be accompanied by a parent, guardian,
or designated responsible person while in the library. That person is responsible for the
child’s behavior.
● If the young child is attending a library program, we require the parent, guardian, or
responsible person to remain with the child throughout the program.
● Children may use the public computers provided they have a library card or Guest Pass,
and their parent or guardian has signed the library’s Internet/Wireless Computer
Agreement. The library’s internet access is not filtered.
● Any child determined by the library personnel to be out of control and not listening to
their instructions may be asked to leave. If a child of any age becomes disruptive or
abusive to other library users or staff, staff may follow the guidelines for Disruptive
Children below.

Disruptive children:

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 or she must settle down or will be asked to leave the
● If after a second warning the child continues to be disruptive, they will be asked to leave
the library. If the child needs to contact a parent, guardian, or responsible person, they
may do so before leaving the library.


Materials Selection Policy

Shell Lake Public Library – Materials Selection Policy


Shell Lake Public Library works to provide carefully selected material in various formats to
support our patrons’ pursuit of education, information, research, pleasure and the creative use of time. A singular obligation of any public library is to reflect within its collection of resources differing points of view on all subjects, including controversial or debatable subjects. In developing and maintaining this collection we will value and consider balance, diversity and inclusivity. This Materials Selection Policy is used by the library staff in the selection of materials and also serves to acquaint the general public with the principles of selection. The Shell Lake Public Library does not promulgate particular beliefs or views, nor does the selection of a resource express or imply endorsement of the viewpoint of the author or vendor. Comments from members of the community about the collection or individual resources frequently provide librarians with useful information about interests or needs that may not be adequately met by existing resources. The library welcomes expression of opinion by patrons but will be governed by this Materials Selection Policy in making additions and deletions to the collection. The American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and The Freedom to Read Statement have been endorsed by the Shell Lake Public Library Board of Trustees and are integral parts of this policy.                                              
A. Purpose of the Materials Selection Policy 
The goal of the Shell Lake Public Library is to make available to all people a wide variety of
materials for informational, recreational, and educational purposes. It is the responsibility of the Shell Lake Public Library to provide, within its financial ability, a general collection of reliable materials which embrace broad areas of knowledge and interest, including both basic works of permanent value and timely materials on current issues.
The purpose of this materials selection policy is to guide library staff in the selection of materials and to inform the general public about the principles upon which selections are made. This policy will be periodically reviewed and updated by the Shell Lake Public Library Board.                                                                                                                                                           
B. Basic Considerations of the Materials Selection Policy
The community is recognized to consist of people with varied backgrounds, abilities, educational levels, interests, ethnic origins, religions, value systems, and occupational and recreational needs. Materials available in the library present a diversity of viewpoints, enabling citizens to make informed choices. All major views, including those currently unorthodox or unpopular, are to be represented. Opposing views on controversial topics of public interest should be represented, reflecting balanced and objective presentation of all sides. Inclusion does not constitute endorsement of any particular viewpoint by the library. It is not the policy of the Board of Library Trustees to exclude resources because of moral, religious, or political prejudice, or to arbitrarily remove resources from the collection because of pressure from any individual or organization. Selection should also not be inhibited by the possibility that certain library materials may inadvertently come into the possession of children. Once an item has been added to the collection it will not be removed at the request of anyone who disagrees with the content or format unless it can be proved that it is in violation of Materials Selection Policy. (See Section J.)

C. Criteria for Materials Selection
All items selected will be considered using at least several of the following criteria:
● Present and potential relevance to community needs
● Representation of diverse points of view
● Contemporary significance or permanent value
● Accuracy
● Artistic or scholarly merit of the whole of the work
● Timeliness of information
● Author’s, artist’s or publisher’s qualifications and/or reputation
● Evaluations in review media
● Relationship of work to the existing collection
● Price, format, and ease of use
● Attention by critics and reviewers
● Quality of production
● Scarcity of information in subject areas
● Popular demand‐the Library should make available materials for enlightenment and
recreation even if not enduring in value, interest or accuracy. A representative sampling
of experimental or short‐lived material should be purchased.
● Patron recommendations for the collection are welcomed and evaluated by the criteria
listed above.                                                                                                                                                
D. Selection Tools and Sources
The library uses a variety of professional journals, publisher catalogs, sales representatives,
and website sources that offer reviews and recommendations. Some of the sources used for the selection process include: Booklist, Library Journal, Goodreads, High Demand hold in Sierra, Amazon, New York Times Best Seller List, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and social media. The library chooses the most appropriate vendors based on criteria such as discount, availability, vendor services, reliability, and speed of delivery.

E. Wisconsin Interest Collection
The library selects materials related to Shell Lake and Washburn County and maintains them in a separate collection currently called the Area Research Collection. Materials may cover, but are not limited to general historical, geographical, social or demographic, biographical and genealogical works related to this area.                                                                                         
F. Responsibilities
The ultimate legal responsibility for selection of library materials rests with the Library’s Board of Trustees. The Library Director is responsible for seeing that the materials selection policy adopted by the Board is carried out. The Library Director in turn, may delegate to professional librarians and other staff members the authority to select materials in accordance with the library’s objectives. Involved in the choice of materials are the experience and knowledge of those selecting materials, their knowledge of the community (its needs, demands and other library resources), the existing collection, and the library budget. Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole, not by a part taken out of context. Reviews in professional journals are used as an aid in the selection or decision process and are sought wherever possible, but the lack of review or an unfavorable review shall not be the sole reason for not selecting a title that is in demand. The Library will be responsive to the public suggestion of items and subjects to be included in the
library collection.
                                                                                                                                                                   G. Gifts
The Shell Lake Public Library gratefully accepts gifts of materials, but with the explicit
understanding that they will be added to the Library collection only when they are needed and only when they meet the same standards of selection that are applied to regular library
purchases. Gifts are accepted subject to the following limitations:                                                  
The library retains unconditional ownership. The library makes the final decision on acceptance, use, or disposition.                                                                                                              
When the Library receives a cash gift for the purchase of materials, whether as a memorial or for any other purpose, the general nature or subject area of the materials to be purchased may be based upon the wishes of the donor. Selection of specific titles, however, will be made by the library staff in accordance with the needs and selection policies of the library.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Special collections and memorial collections will not be shelved as separate physical entities.
Such collections will be accepted only with the understanding that they will be integrated into the general collection. The only form of memorial identification will be a gift plate.
                                                                                                                                                                The Library reserves the right to refuse donations.                                                                             
H. Maintaining the Collection

An up‐to‐date, attractive, and useful collection is maintained by retaining or replacing essential materials, removing, and withdrawing materials (weeding) on a systematic and continuous basis. Replacement of worn volumes is dependent upon current demand, usefulness, more recent acquisitions, and availability of newer editions. This ongoing process of weeding is the responsibility of the library director and is authorized by the Board of Trustees. Withdrawn materials will be handled in a similar manner and under the same authority as donated materials.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Withdrawn materials may be disposed of through book sales, giveaways, or recycling.              
Criteria for weeding materials may include:
1. Physical condition beyond repair
2. Obsolescence of information or presentation
3. Replacement by later edition or version
4. Excess number of duplicate copies
5. Lack of storage space for materials
6. Insufficient use                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Shell Lake Public Library is not a library of historical record, except as outlined in section E of this policy. To ensure a vital collection of continued value to the community, books and other materials which have outlived their usefulness are withdrawn.                                                                                                                                                                                                                I. Potential Problems or Challenges
The Shell Lake Public Library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any
given item may offend some patrons. Selection of materials will not be made on the basis of
anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the basis of the principles stated in this policy. Some materials may be offensive to individuals or groups because of individual perceptions of profanity, human sexuality, social, economic, and political ideas, religious viewpoints, the background of the author, or the kind of information provided. However, these items may be meaningful and significant to other users. The library’s role is to provide materials which will allow individuals to freely examine issues and make their own decisions.
                                                                                                                                                          Parents or legal guardians are responsible for their children’s library material selections.
Selection of library materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and no library material will be sequestered except to protect it from damage or theft.

J. Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials

Individuals who reside in the Library’s service area may request reconsideration of a selection decision of library material. To receive consideration by the Library, all requests must be made in writing using the Library’s request for reconsideration form.                                                                                                                                                                          Reconsideration of a selection will be addressed as stated in the Library Materials Challenge
Policy and will employ all of the criteria of selection listed in the library’s Materials Selection
Policy, including the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement and the Freedom to View Statement.
                                                                                                                                                            Those wishing to submit a Request for Reconsideration of a Library Resource:
● Must be adult Shell Lake Library cardholders and residents of the library’s legal service
● Should pick up a “Request for Reconsideration” form from and return it to the Shell Lake
● Must have reviewed the Shell Lake Library Materials Selection Policy. Must have read,
viewed, seen or heard the material in its entirety, not just as excerpted.
● Should understand that only one item/title may be challenged at a time. Multiple
requests may not be submitted by the same resident.
● Items which have been reviewed within the prior three year period will not be reviewed.
again, but the selection committee will determine which material will be reviewed first
and will conduct only one review at a time.
● Should be advised that items will remain in collection throughout the review process.
                                                                                                                                                Reconsideration of a selection will be addressed as stated in the Library Request for
Reconsideration Appendix and will employ all of the criteria of selection listed in the library’s
Materials Selection Policy, including the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights,
Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement and the Freedom to
View Statement.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Requests for reconsideration about a particular item will not be considered by the Library more than once within a 12‐month period.
Updated 5/17/2023
Updated 5/15/24

Materials Selection Policy Appendix: Library Materials Request for Reconsideration
                                                                                                                                                                Shell Lake Public Library materials are selected through the process described in the Library’s “Material Selection Policy.” This policy states that since the collection reflects contemporary society, it may include material which is controversial or offensive to some. The Library acknowledges that occasionally patrons may have complaints or concerns about individual materials or categories of materials in the Library’s collection. The Library will handle complaints, ensuring that the complainant is respectfully heard and that the fundamental principles of intellectual freedom, as expressed in the Library Bill of Rights and ALA Freedom to Read Statement, are upheld. Complaints shall be handled in the following manner:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         1. Complaints:
a. Individuals may initiate complaints about specific titles or types of material in the collection by talking to or writing to a member of the Library staff or the Director.
b. Staff or the Director will then offer a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials
Form (appended to this policy), and explain the formal complaint procedure.
c. No further action is taken by the Library at this point.
d. One form per private individual per month.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       2. Acknowledgement of Library Materials Request for Reconsideration Form:
a. Once a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials is received by the Director, it shall
be acknowledged by letter. This letter will contain copies of this policy and the Material
Selection Policy.
b. If the complainant has checked out the item, no further action will be taken until said item is returned to the Library.
c.. An individual may only have one formal request active at a time.
d. The library will process only one formal request at a time.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             3. Evaluation of Library Materials:
a. The Director and a designated staff member will read, listen to, or view the material in its
b. The Director and designated staff member review the material in relationship to the Library’s Material Selection Policy and determine one of several actions:                                     
                 i. retain the challenged material in the collection.
                ii. retain the challenged material, but move it to another location.
               iii. withdraw the challenged material.                                                                                      
4. Notification of Complainant:
a. The Director shall write a letter to the complainant stating the decision of the Library, as well as the reasoning behind the decision.                                                                                                    
5. Notification of the Board of Trustees:
The Library Board shall be notified by the Director of any formal complaints, usually through
the Director’s Monthly Report.                                                                                                                       
6. Reconsideration by the Library Board of Trustees:
a. If the complainant is not satisfied with the written decision of the Director, they may bring
the matter to the Board of Trustees.
b. To initiate consideration by the Board of Trustees, the complainant must write to the Library Director or President of the Board of Trustees and request that the matter be placed on the agenda of the next regular meeting. The letter must be received at least ten (10) days prior to the next regular meeting of the Board. If received after that time, the matter may be
deferred until the succeeding regular meeting.
c. The Director or Board President shall acknowledge receipt of the complainant’s letter in
writing, and shall include the date, time, and place of the meeting at which the matter will be Considered.
d. Once the Request for Reconsideration is on the agenda, the Board shall consider the
recommendations of committee members present whether it wishes to further consider the
Request for Reconsideration.
e. If the Board votes to consider the matter further, an ad hoc review panel will be selected to evaluate the challenged material, a public hearing is set, and the matter is placed on the
agenda for the next regular meeting.
f. If the Board does not vote to consider the request further, the matter is closed.                              
7. Ad Hoc Review Panel:
a. The ad hoc review panel is composed of at least three members of the Library’s Board of
Trustees. Members of the review panel:
             i. read, listen to, or view the material in its entirety.
            ii. review the material in relationship to the Library’s Material Selection Policy and the
rest of the collection, and
           iii. consider what literary critics and reviewers think of the material.
b. After coming to individual conclusions, the committee meets to discuss the material and
recommend one of the following actions to the Board of Trustees, with reference to the
fundamental principles of intellectual freedom:
            i. retain the challenged material in the collection
           ii. retain the challenged material, but move it to another location.
          iii. withdraw the challenged material.
c. At the regular meeting of the Board of Trustees at least ten (10) days after the Director’s
receipt of the decision of the ad hoc review panel, the Board shall consider the
recommendation of the ad hoc review panel.
d. The Board of Trustees may schedule a public hearing as part of a regular Board meeting or at a special meeting called to address the Request for Reconsideration. Said meeting shall
be properly noticed, to inform citizens of the date, time and nature of the public hearing.
e. The Board of Trustees shall vote on the disposition of the challenged material. A majority
vote of the full Board is required to remove materials from the Library’s collection, to move
materials from one location to another, or to otherwise restrict access to materials.
f. The decision of the Board of Trustees is final. Whatever the decision, the principles of the
Library Bill of Rights will be reiterated, as well as how the decision is in accordance with those principles. Final decision will remain in place for 3 years.

5.17.23                                                                                                                                                        Updated 5.15.24 



Emergency Action Plan

Shell Lake Public Library

501 1st Street, Shell Lake, WI 

The Director must review these emergency action plans with staff at the beginning of each calendar year.


When a tornado warning has been issued (one long siren) in the community:

  • The director/staff will evacuate the library and encourage patrons to join staff at a safe area away from windows within the building (restrooms or inner lobby). Note: We cannot force people to stay in the building during a weather emergency.
  • The library’s weather radio, flashlight and first aid kit from the staff office shall accompany the group to the safe area. Normal routine may resume when the all clear is given by an authorized person.


  • If fire is suspected, find out what is happening and where. If there is any indication of fire, notify city hall, pull the fire alarm, clear the building using the nearest exit, and call 911. No one is to re-enter the building until notified by the fire department that it is safe.
  • All Staff shall familiarize themselves with the location of fire extinguishers and know how to use them to aid in exiting the building. All fire extinguishers are checked annually by the city. Staff shall check the fire extinguisher monthly to ensure that it is properly charged.

Medical Emergencies

  • Immediately call 911. Make the patron or staff member as comfortable as possible and protect them from needless disturbance until medical help has arrived.
  • An AED is located in the lobby. The library strongly recommends that all staff members have CPR training within the first year of employment. The library will cover the cost of training.

Bomb Threats

  • PHONE: Keep the caller on the line as long as possible. If more than one staff member is present, one staff member will contact other city departments about the threat and one will keep the caller on the line. Ask the caller to repeat the message and try to write down every word spoken. If the caller does not indicate the location of the bomb or the time of possible detonation, ASK FOR THIS INFORMATION.
  • Listen closely to the voice (male/female), voice quality (calm, excited), accents and speech impediments.
  • Listen for background noises such as motors running, background music and any other sounds which may indicate where the location from which the call is originating.
  • Immediately after the caller hangs up, call 911 and clear the building. The police will handle the actual bomb search.

Gas Leak

  • The building is heated with natural gas; the furnace is located at the west end of City Hall, next to the supply room.
  • If a gas leak is suspected, notify City Hall immediately, do not use a light switch or telephone, and leave the building to gather in the lot across 2nd Avenue, West of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
  • If after hours, evacuate the building and call 911 once outside. Do not turn out the lights when leaving.

Critical Incidents

  • Contact police at 911. Stay out of sight or get out of the building if directed by law enforcement. Remain out of sight until an announcement is made to come out or to evacuate the building.



Long Range Plan

                                                                                                                                                                      Under Revision


Article I: Library Board:

Section 1: This organization shall be called “The Board of Trustees of the Shell lake Public Library”. It exits by virtue of the provisions of Chapter 43 of the Laws of the State of Wisconsin, exercising the powers and authority and assuming the responsibilities delegated to it under said statute.

Section 2: Appointments to the Library Board shall be in accordance with Wisconsin statutes. Shell Lake’s Library Board shall consist of one (1) School District of Shell lake appointee chosen by the district administrator, appointed by the mayor, and approved by the city council; five (5) persons appointed by the mayor and one (1) person appointed by the mayor to act as his or her representative on the Board. Of these seven appointees listed above, not more than two (2) may be from townships outside the City of Shell Lake but must be within the boundary of the School District of Shell Lake. This includes the school district representative. According to WI Statutes 43.60(2)(a) County Board chairperson may appoint additional persons.

Section 3: The Library Board may suggest to the mayor possible nominees to the Board when vacancies occur.

Section 4: The board shall recommend to the appointing official that a trustee serve no more than two full consecutive terms; full terms are three (3) years. A former board member may be reappointed after a lapse of one year. If a trustee is appointed to serve the remainder of a board member’s unexpired term of office and the remaining term exceeding eighteen (18) months it shall be considered a full term.

Article II: Officers

Section 1: The officers shall be a president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer, elected from among the appointed board members at the May meeting of each year.

Section 2: Officers shall serve a term of one year from the annual meeting at which they are elected and until their successors are duly elected.

Section 3: The president shall preside at all meetings of the board, authorize calls for any special meetings, appoint all committees, execute all documents authorized by the Board, serve as an ex-officio voting member of all committees, and generally perform all duties associated with that office.

Section 4: The vice-president, in the event of the absence or disability of the president, or of a vacancy in that office, shall assume and perform all duties and functions of the president.

Section 5: The secretary shall keep a true and accurate record of all meetings of the Board and shall perform such other duties as are generally associated with that office.

Section 6: The City Administrator shall be the disbursing officer of the Board and mail out checks. The board treasurer shall keep accurate account of savings and checking auxiliary account

Article III. Meetings

Section 1: Regular meetings shall be held the third Wednesday of each month unless agreed up in advance by the Board at its previous meeting.

Section 2: The May meeting shall be held for the purpose of election of officers, the September meeting to begin formulation of a budget for the approaching fiscal year, and the budget finalized at the October meeting.

Section 3: The order of business for regular meetings shall include, but not be limited to, the following items, which shall be covered in sequence shown so far as circumstances permit:

a.  Roll call of members

b. Consent Agenda items; approval of minutes of previous regular meeting and subsequent special meetings, financial reports, NOW account, vouchers

c. Public comments or presentations

d. Progress and service report by Director

e. Personnel report

f. Committee reports

g. Unfinished business

h. New business

i. Adjournment

 After the minutes have been approved, a change to the order of business for the current meeting may be made to accommodate special circumstances upon a motion, second, and majority vote of the members in attendance.

Section 4: Special meetings may be called by the secretary at the direction of the president of the library board, or at the request of three members, for the transaction of business as stated in the request for the meeting.

Section 5: A quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting shall consist of 51% of the board present whether in person or attending remotely (as permitted by the Bylaws.)

Section 6: The proceedings of all meetings shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order.

Section 7: The date and agenda of each regular meeting shall be posted in the City Hall and Library bulletin board. The agenda must be published at least forty- eight hours prior to the meeting unless an urgent matter necessitates a last-minute change to the agenda. Supporting information for each item in the agenda shall be sent to library board members at least forty-eight hours prior to the meeting so as to allow adequate time for review.

Section 8: An affirmative vote of the majority of all members of the board present at the meeting shall be necessary to approve any action before the board.

Article IV. Library Director and Staff

The board shall appoint a qualified library director who shall be the executive and administrative officer of the library, on behalf of the Board and under its supervision and direction. The Director shall communicate to the Board the appointment of new employees. The Director shall be held responsible for the:

  • proper direction and supervision of the staff
  • care and maintenance of library property
  • adequate and proper selection of books and periodicals in keeping with the stated policy of the Board
  • efficiency of library services to the public, and
  • financial operation within the limitations of the budgeted appropriations

Article V. Committees

Section 1: The president shall appoint committees of one or more members for each such specific purpose as the Board may need from time to time. The committee shall be considered to be discharged upon the completion of the purpose for which it was appointed and after the final report is made to the board.

Section 2: All committees shall make a progress report to the library board at each of its meetings unless no committee meetings have been held.

Section 3: No committee will have power other than advisory powers unless, by suitable action of the board, it is granted specific power to act.

Article VI. General

Section 1: An affirmative vote of the majority of all members of the board present shall be necessary to approve any action before the board. The president may may move, second, or vote upon a proposal before the board.

Section 2: The bylaws may be amended by the majority vote of the Board provided written notice of the proposed amendment have been mailed to all members at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting at which such action is proposed to be taken. 

Section 3: Any rule or resolution of the board, whether contained in these bylaws or otherwise, may be suspended temporarily in connection with business at hand. Such suspension, to be valid, may be talked about only at a meeting at which the majority of the members of the Board shall be present and the majority of those present shall so approve. 

 Section 4: All library policies shall be subject to review and needed revision at least every four (4) years by the Library Board. (3.5.80)