Administrative PoliciesBehaviorLibrary MaterialsUsing the LibraryDonationsReserve Fund
Public Comment at Board Meetings

Public Comment At Board Meetings

Members of the public will be permitted to speak at the Manitowoc Public Library Board of Trustees meeting each month on any matter of public interest. The comments from each speaker shall be limited to five minutes in length unless extended by action of the Manitowoc Public Library Board of Trustees.

Board Approved 05/22/17

Lost/Unattended Child
This policy is intended to provide guidelines in the event that a child should become lost or separated from the parent/guardian while visiting the Manitowoc Public Library.


  • Manitowoc Public Library does not serve in loco parentis (in place of a parent).
  • All minors must abide by the rules in the Public Behavior Policy.
  • Minors under the age of 8:
    • Will not be allowed in the library without a guardian (a guardian is someone 12 years of age or older who is responsible for the care and well-being of the minor(s).
    • Who are noticeably left unattended for 15 minutes or longer, the parent or legal guardian will be contacted by a staff member. If the same minors are repeatedly unattended or left in the library without a guardian, Child Protective Services of Manitowoc County will be contacted, and a registered letter will be sent to the parent stating that CPS was contacted.
    • May be considered unattended even if the guardian is in the library. Unattended means not within eyesight.
  • If a minor should become lost or separated from the guardian, Manitowoc Public Library staff will make every reasonable attempt to locate the guardian of the minor.
  • After staff have made reasonable efforts to locate the guardian, which can include searching or making a public announcement, the City Police Department will be contacted.
  • If a minor is left at closing time, 2 staff members will wait with the minor for 15 minutes. If the guardian does not pick up the minor within that period, the City Police Department will be called.
  • Library staff cannot transport or escort a minor to any location off library property.


  • Guardian: within this policy, the term guardian is defined as a 12 year old (or older) who is responsible for the care and well-being of the minor(s).
  • Unattended: within this policy the term unattended is defined as, not within eyesight.
  • Minor: within this policy, the term minor is defined as any person under the age of 18, unless specified as above.
  • Legal guardian: individuals that have legal authority to care for another person.

Board approved 10-23-17

Code of Conduct


In keeping with its mission to enrich, connect, and inspire, Manitowoc Public Library is committed to providing excellent customer service in a safe and inviting atmosphere conducive to the use of library spaces and resources. Staff and library patrons share responsibility to ensure this atmosphere is maintained at all times. The following guidelines are set forth to define those behaviors and activities that are not allowed on library property. These rules shall apply to interior, exterior, and all grounds controlled and operated by Manitowoc Public Library.

In addition, this policy covers all digital services and sites as operated by Manitowoc Public Library. The purpose of these sites, including social media, is to provide information about Manitowoc Public Library services and programs, as well as other information that is of public interest to residents, businesses and visitors. We encourage you to submit your questions, comments, and concerns, but please note this is a moderated online discussion site and not a public forum.

Library staff will enforce these guidelines in a consistent and impartial manner.

The following behaviors and activities are examples of conduct not allowed on Library property:

  • All illegal activities
  • Damaging, defacing, destroying, or stealing library property
  • Carrying, consuming, and/or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Engaging in conduct that disrupts or interferes with the normal operation of the library or disturbs library staff or patrons, including but not limited to: conduct that involves the use of abusive or threatening language or gestures; conduct that creates unreasonable noise; conduct that consists of loud or rowdy physical behavior or talking; or behavior that a reasonable person would find to be disruptive, harassing, or threatening in nature, including stalking, prolonged staring, or following another with the intent to annoy
  • Panhandling or soliciting unless authorized by staff (see Programs, Displays, and Brochures (public posting) Policy)
  • Bringing in personal items of an excessive size or quantity, such as shopping carts, garbage bags, or large pieces of luggage; blocking of aisles, seating, shelves, or any thoroughfare with personal items; or leaving personal items unattended at any time
  • Using library restroom facilities for inappropriate purposes such as loitering, bathing, etc.
  • Smoking or use of electronic smoking devices in the library building and within 25 ft. of the main entrance outside the building
  • Loitering, sleeping, or interfering with free access to the building, library materials, and/or library services
  • Using cell phones, audio, or personal equipment in a manner that disturbs others or interferes with library use and service
  • Violating computer use policies (see Public Use of Computers Policy)
  • Bringing animals into the library except for persons with disabilities as defined by the ADA Act or as allowed by a Manitowoc Public Library approved event
  • Leaving children unattended as outlined in Lost or Unattended Minor Policy
  • Trespassing on library property during a period in which you are banned
  • Entering the building not fully clothed including, but not limited to, a lack of a shirt or other covering of the upper body, a lack of shoes or other footwear, and/or having other exposed body areas not fit for a public setting
  • Wearing an article of clothing or an object, such as hats/hoodies, that affects the security and safety of patrons and/or library staff
  • Having bodily hygiene so lacking as to constitute a nuisance, a health hazard, or an impediment to other members of the public or to library staff
  • Disobeying direction by a library staff member
  • Consuming food or drink that creates a nuisance because of odor, garbage, or spills
  • Using wheeled vehicles such as roller blades, skateboards, and/or similar objects in the library or on library property
  • Inappropriate displays of public affection
  • Using library materials, equipment, furniture, fixtures, or building/grounds in a manner inconsistent with its intended use
  • Any of the following activities on digital media platforms:
    • Vulgar language;
    • Personal attacks of any kind;
    • Comments or content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, genetics, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or intellectual disability or sexual orientation;
    • Spam or links to other sites;
    • Discussion not relevant to topic;
    • Advocates illegal activity;
    • Promote particular services, products, or political organizations or causes;
    • Infringe on copyrights or trademarks;
    • Personally identifiable medical information; or

Information that may compromise the safety, security or proceedings of public systems or any criminal or civil investigations.

Consequences of Violating this Policy

Anyone who disregards the above-listed prohibited behaviors or engages in any other conduct deemed inappropriate by library staff is subject to removal from library property and/or restriction of library privileges. Manitowoc Public Library reserves the right to delete posts/comments/submissions/etc. on any digital platform on which Manitowoc Public Library operates.  The Library will keep an archive of any content removed from these sites. Violations of the Manitowoc Public Library Code of Conduct Policy may also result in a formal banning from Manitowoc Public Library and/or criminal prosecution. Patrons may appeal the decision of library staff by contacting the Library Director and/or the Manitowoc Public Library Board of Trustees.

Board Approved 07/24/2017

Revised 06/24/2019

Access and Borrowing

Using Your Library Card


  • To get a library card identification with your current address is required.
  • Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Lost cards can be replaced at a change of $2.00 per card.

Types of Library Cards:
Each of these cards may have differing checkout policies:

  • Adult: For any resident of the City of Manitowoc and other residents within the library system boundaries.
  • Young Adult (YA): For any resident of the City of Manitowoc and other residents within the library system boundaries ages 13 to 17.
  • Youth: For any resident of the City of Manitowoc and other residents within the library system boundaries up to age 13.
  • Club Cards: For non-profit groups, agencies, group homes and organizations, operating within the Manitowoc Calumet Library System service area.
  • Special Needs Cards: Issued to individuals who are unable to use regular Library services because of disability, medical condition, or age-related frailty.
  • Literacy Cards: Allows literacy tutors and students to check out literacy and ESL materials.
  • Teacher Cards: Educators who live or work in the library system service area and wish to borrow items for instructional use.
  • Temporary Cards: People living temporarily within the City of Manitowoc.

Checkout policies per item are as follows:

DVDs 7 Days $1.00
Books 21 Days $.20
Music CDs 21 Days $.20
Books on CD 21 Days $.20
Magazines/Comics 21 Days $.20
Wi-Fi Hotspots 14 Days $1.00
Discussion Kits 6 Weeks $1.00
Toys 21 Days $.20


  • Items can be renewed three times if there are no holds on the item
Book Discussion Kit Policy
  • Book discussion kits may be checked out for 6 weeks. They may not be renewed.
  • Kits must be reserved by calling 920-686-3010, or by emailing mplservice@manitowoc.org in advance so that the kits can be prepared for you. (If you are not a resident of Manitowoc County or Calumet County, please contact your local library to borrow the kits through Interlibrary Loan.)
  • Kits are checked out to one person. Members of the group should get their copies from that member of their group. You may not check out a single copy of a book in a kit. Teacher cards and specialized borrowers cards can be used to check out a kit.
  • No more than two kits at a time may be checked out to an individual.
  • Overdue book discussion kits will be fined $1.00 a day per kit.
  • Kits must be returned to the Service Desk while the library is open. (The containers will not fit through the 24-hour drop box slot.)
Collection Development

Manitowoc Public Library

Collection Development Policy

The mission of the Manitowoc Public Library is to promote a culture of reading and to provide access to information. Through our services we strive to foster an environment that meets the educational, recreational and cultural needs of the community.

Policy Objectives:
This formal policy serves as a guideline for the following purposes:

  • Support the mission of the Library
  • Guides the staff as they select material, manage material and allocate budgets
  • Informs the public of the principles used to select and deselect library material
  • Serves as a public declaration of Manitowoc Public Library’s support for the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read statements

Responsibility for Selection
The Library Director is responsible for the selection of library materials and, under his/her direction, this
responsibility may be delegated to staff who are qualified for this activity by reason of education,
training, and experience. Suggestions from the public are encouraged and seriously considered in the
selection process.

General Selection Criteria:
One or more of the following criteria may be used to determine whether or not an item should be
added to the library’s collection:

  • Suitability of subject and relationship to mission
  • Relevance to community needs
  • Authority and significance of the author/creator
  • Current appeal and popular demand
  • Suitability and quality of format
  • Comparison of existing material on the same subject
  • Accessibility of material in the resource sharing system
  • Cost of material

Collection Maintenance
The following principles will be considered in withdrawing materials: physical condition, currency of information, availability, permanent value, user demand, and space available. Gifts and memorial items are subject to this maintenance policy.

Gifts of Library Materials
The Manitowoc Public Library Board recognizes that a gift to the library is a gift to the community.
Therefore, gifts are both welcomed and encouraged. Gift materials are subject to the Manitowoc Public Library Collection Development Policy.

Request for Reconsideration
Citizens wishing to comment on the appropriateness of a specific item in the collection may complete a
form Request for Reconsideration and submit to the Library Director. The director will make a written response to the patron. If not satisfied, the patron may appeal to the Manitowoc Public Library Board of Trustees, which makes the final decision.

Board Approved 4/28/2014

Library Card Policy
Borrowing privileges are extended to any resident of the City of Manitowoc and other residents within the library system boundaries


  • Library card holders are entitled to borrow any item in the library’s circulating collection and to use other services provided by the library. In the case of specialized borrower’s cards, some restrictions apply.
  • If a library card is lost, it must be reported to library staff so that the lost card may be invalidated. The cardholder will be held responsible for any use of the card prior to it being reported lost. Parents or legal guardians are responsible for material checked out on their children’s card.
  • If a cardholder has incurred fines above the given limit, the cardholder cannot use library services until the fines are paid.
  • Patrons may also sign a library consent form, which authorizes others to do business on the cardholder’s behalf.
  • The library cannot place limits on what children check out or on internet usage. Parents are responsible for monitoring their child’s library activities.
  • Manitowoc Public Library card privileges must be renewed every two years. Cards can only be renewed when all fines and fees are paid.

Approved by Board of Trustees – October 28, 2013

Reconsideration of Challenged Materials + Form
Materials in the Library’s collection are selected under the guidelines established in the Library’s Collection Development Policy which states that the Library Director is responsible for the selection of library materials and, under his/her direction, this responsibility may be delegated to staff who are qualified for this activity by reason of education, training, and experience.
The term ‘materials’, as used in this policy, includes books, periodicals, pamphlets, pictures, photographs, audio recordings, films, video tapes, DVDs, software, databases, microforms, posters, displays, educational toys, and any other form or format in which information and ideas may be conveyed, either existing or as may be developed.
The Library recognizes that there will from time to time be citizen complaints or concerns about a specific title or type of material selected for or deselected (weeded) from the collection. When a complaint is made, the Library must ensure that the complaint is handled seriously and, equally important, that the fundamental principles of intellectual freedom are upheld. This policy provides the systematic approach to be followed.

Steps in the Request for Reconsideration procedure, detailed below, must be followed (in the order elaborated) by citizens when challenging materials, and by the Library staff, Director, and Board of Trustees when reconsidering challenged materials and rendering a decision about these materials. If citizens do not follow steps in the order elaborated, their complaint will not be considered further by Library staff, Director, or Board of Trustees.

The procedure detailed below addresses challenges to materials where the goal is to remove the material from the Library’s collection or to otherwise limit access to the material. Although not specifically addressed, the same procedures apply to challenges in which the goal is to add the material to the Library’s collection or to limit the Library’s ability to weed the collection. In other words, this policy and its procedures apply to any and all challenges to the Library’s collection.

  • Initiation of Requests for Reconsideration. Individuals or groups may initiate complaints about specific titles or types of materials in the Library’s collection by putting a comment in the suggestion box, or talking to or writing to any member of the staff, the Director, or a member of the Board of Trustees. At this point, such communications are considered informal complaints. The appropriate response to an informal complaint is for the staff, Director, or Board member to offer the complainant a Request for Reconsideration Form (appended to this policy). In addition, the rationale for having a formal complain procedure should be explained. No further action is to be taken by staff, the Director, or a member of the Board of Trustees unless and until a Request for Reconsideration is made in writing on the appropriate form and the completed form is returned to the Library Director. Additionally, no further action can be taken unless and until the complainant returns the challenged material, if it is checked out to the complainant.
  • Acknowledgement of Receipt of Request for Reconsideration. Once a complaint is received in writing on the Request for Reconsideration form, it is acknowledged promptly by the Public Services Coordinator or the Library Director. The complainant is written a letter which describes the Library’s procedure and the time it will take to reconsider the material thoroughly. Copies of this policy and the Library’s Collection Development Policy are sent to the complainant as enclosures to the letter.
  • Inquiries about Specific Requests for Reconsideration. From time to time, complainants, other members of the public, the press, etc., may have questions concerning the status of a specific Request for Reconsideration. Questions should be addressed to the Public Services Coordinator or the Library Director.
  • Board Notification. The Library Board shall be notified by the Library Director in a timely fashion that a formal complaint has been made. Usually such notification will be done through the monthly Director’s Report.
  • Staff Evaluation of Challenged Material. The Library Director appoints a committee of professional staff members to evaluate the challenged material. Usually, this committee is made up of two to three Librarians and/or Department Heads and is chaired by the Public Services Coordinator.Members of the committee weigh several factors when reconsidering challenged materials: they read, listen to, or view the material in its entirety; they also look at the material in relationship to the Library’s Collection Development Policy and to the rest of the collection; in addition they look at what literary critics and reviewers think of the material. After coming to individual conclusions, the committee meets to discuss the challenged material.The committee recommends one of several actions to the Library Director: to retain the challenged material in the collection; to retain the challenged material but to move it to another location in the collection; to withdraw the challenged material.The Library Director then evaluates the challenged material, weighing the factors listed above, and considers the committee’s recommendation. If the Library Director does not concur with the committee, he refers the matter back to the committee. If the Library Director concurs with the committee, he writes a letter to the complainant which states his decision and the reasoning behind the decision. This letter also outlines the steps the complainant must take to bring the matter to the attention of the Library Board of Trustees, if the complainant remains unsatisfied.This step takes some time, usually a minimum of six to eight weeks. Until the director’s decision is rendered, the challenged material is not available for use by other patrons to allow staff time to evaluate it.
  • Reconsideration by the Board. If still not satisfied, the complainant may choose to bring the matter to the attention of the Manitowoc Public Library Board of Trustees.This action may be taken only after receiving a written decision from the Library Director. To initiate Board consideration, the complainant should write to the Library Director or President of the Board 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 will be deferred automatically until the succeeding regular meeting. The Library Director or Board President shall acknowledge receipt of the letter from the complainant in writing, and shall include in the acknowledgement the schedule of Board meetings at which the matter will be considered.Once the Request for Reconsideration is on the agenda, the Board shall decide by a majority vote of the members present whether it wishes to consider further the Request for Reconsideration.If the Board votes to consider the matter further, an ad hoc review panel is selected to evaluate the challenged material, a public hearing date is set, and the matter is placed on the agenda for the next regular meeting of the Board. If the challenged material is lengthy, the matter may be postponed one regular meeting. The challenged material is recalled from circulation and is not available for use by other patrons to allow members of the ad hoc committee time to evaluate it.If the Board does not vote to consider the request further, the matter is ended.
  • Ad Hoc Review Panel. The ad hoc review panel is selected by random drawing of three names from the Library Board roster. Members of this panel weigh several factors when reconsidering challenged materials: they read, listen to, or view the material in its entirety; they look at the material in relationship to the Library’s Collection Development Policy and to the rest of the collection; in addition, they look at what literary critics and reviewers think of the material.After coming to individual conclusions about the challenged material, each member of the panel completes a Board Evaluation of Challenged Material Form (appended to this policy). Each recommends one of several actions to the Library Board of Trustees: to retain the challenged material in the collection; to retain the challenged material but to move it to another location in the collection; to withdraw the challenged material. These recommendations are made with reference to the fundamental principles of intellectual freedom.The panel’s completed Board Evaluation of Challenged Material Forms will be included in the packet for the meeting at which the final decision on the material will be made. They must be returned to the Library Director no later than ten (10) days prior to the meeting date.
  • Public Hearing. The public hearing on the Request for Reconsideration may be held as part of a regular Board meeting or may be held as a special meeting set for that purpose only. The Board shall decide this as part of its decision in step number 6 (above). In addition to noticing the public hearing, the Library Director will issue a news release to inform citizens of the date, time and nature of the public hearing.The President of the Library Board of Trustees shall chair the public hearing. In the President’s absence, the Vice-President will assume the responsibility. After calling the meeting to order, the Chair should review the procedures to be followed at the meeting, and the process followed up to this point for reconsideration of the material. The Library Board should announce at the beginning of the hearing that it will issue its decision at the next regularly scheduled meeting, and that the hearing is simply to hear all sides of the issue.Citizens wishing to make comments shall sign in and register on which side they will be speaking. Speakers should be allowed to speak in the order they signed in. The President of the Board shall decide whether to set time limits. If these are set, a timekeeper shall be appointed and each speaker shall be limited to a specific amount of time, e.g., three or four minutes. No participant shall be allowed to speak a second time until everyone registered has been heard once.Seating will be provided for the public at the hearing. Speakers and other members of the public shall sit and speak from an area designated for that purpose. Members of the press are required to remain in the public seating area throughout the hearing.
  • Board’s Decision on Challenged Material. Having voted to consider the matter further in step number 6 (above) and having placed the matter on the agenda, final action on the disposition of the challenged material is taken at the next regular meeting of the Board (unless the challenged material is lengthy, in which case the matter may be postponed one regular meeting). The Board’s final decision is announced publicly at this meeting. A vote in favor of at least six members of the Board (a majority vote of the full Board) shall be required to remove materials from the Library’s collection, to move materials from one collection to another, or to otherwise restrict access to materials.Whatever the board’s decision, the principles of the Library Bill of Rights should be reiterated and how the decision is in accordance with those principles should be explained. A very brief statement of the reason for the decision should also be made; e.g., We have concluded that the material meets our selection criteria, and will be retained without restriction.

Request for Reconsideration Form

Board Approved 4/28/2014

Reference and Information Services Policy

Reference and Information Services Policy

The Manitowoc Public Library strives to provide through continuous evaluation, a program of reference and information services which accurately and efficiently meet the informational, educational, recreational and cultural needs of the community.

Policy Objectives:

Manitowoc Public Library staff will strive to:

  • Provide accurate, timely, up-to-date reference services whether questions are asked in person, over the telephone, by email, or through the various communication systems.
  • Select and make readily available suitable and timely resources which meet the ongoing needs of patrons.
  • Instruct patrons in the use of library materials, technology, equipment and facilities.
  • Cooperate with other community agencies, organizations, libraries, the Manitowoc-Calumet Library System in their efforts to better serve the community.
  • Periodically evaluate patron satisfaction and reference services by various methods.

The Manitowoc Public Library does not guarantee the accuracy of information contained in any materials owned or obtained by the Library; the Library is not liable for any consequences or damages the user of library materials may suffer based on actions taken or decisions made using information from the Library.

Service is made available to all patrons on an equal basis, regardless of age, gender, race, creed or status.  Each request is taken seriously and treated with respect.  All reference questions are confidential.

Available resources, i.e. personnel, material, staff time, equipment, and facilities, may vary from time to time, and services will be adjusted accordingly.

Effective July 22, 1991
Updated November 2014

Internet Services Policy


Freedom of access to information is a responsibility. The Internet enables the Library to provide access to a wealth of resources available outside of the physical collection to individuals of all ages. However, the Internet also enables access to some materials that may be considered offensive and/or illegal. The library does not support access to these types of materials and requires users to comply with the laws that govern internet use.
Guidelines for acceptable use of Internet resources include the following:

  • Use resources for educational, informational and recreational purposes only; and not for unauthorized, illegal or unethical purposes.
  • Respect the privacy of others by not misrepresenting oneself as another user; by not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others; by not seeking unauthorized access to any computer system, or damaging or altering software components of any network or database.
  • Do not send, receive, or display text or graphics that may be construed as obscene or that may be harmful to minors, as defined by Federal and State statute.


Unacceptable use of the Library’s Internet access will result in discipline ranging from:

  • A verbal warning up to denial of computer privileges, determined by the Library Director.
  • Exposing a child to sexually explicit conduct is a violation of Wisconsin State Statute § 948.055 and is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 or imprisonment of up to 12 years, or both.
  • When deemed appropriate by the Library Director, reports shall be forwarded to the Manitowoc Police Department or other appropriate law enforcement agency.

Board Approved 7/23/2012

Mobile Device Usage Agreement

Mobile Device Usage Agreement


In keeping with its mission to enrich, connect, and inspire, Manitowoc Public Library is committed to supporting the community and digital literacy. Library staff will enforce the following guidelines and procedures for use of Manitowoc Public Library’s mobile devices in a consistent and impartial manner.


Mobile devices will be made available to patrons who meet all of the following requirements:

  • Patrons, aged 13 years or older, who are in good standing (owing fines of $9.99 or less) and who present a valid MCLS library card.
  • Patrons who have read and signed this Mobile Usage Agreement.
  • Patrons , aged 13 to 17 years old, must have this Mobile Device Usage Agreement signed by a registered parent/guardian. Parent/Guardian must be present with the minor patron at the time of signature.

Patron Responsibility:

  • Patrons using Library mobile devices are subject to the Library’s Internet Services Policy.
  • Mobile device borrower agrees to assume responsibility for proper use and care of library equipment and for returning the mobile device in the same condition as when checked out. Supplemental items such as a power cord, wall adapter, stylus, or other accessories may be available for checkout at the First Floor Service Desk. Any malfunction shall be reported immediately to library staff.
  • When the use period is over, the borrower shall return the mobile device to the Tech Kiosk and all accessories to the First Floor Service Desk.
  • Devices borrowed from the Tech Kiosk must be returned within 2 hours of checkout or 15 minutes before library closing time, whichever is first. Failure to return the device on time or leaving the device unattended will result in suspension of Patron’s Library Mobile device borrowing privileges. (Laptop is outfitted with GPS tracking software and security device.)
  • If there is no active waiting list, a laptop may be renewed within 15 minutes of when it is return deadline. In order to renew a laptop, the patron make their request at the First Floor Service Desk.
  • Laptop is for IN-LIBRARY USE ONLY. It may not be taken out of the library, left unattended, taken into a restroom, or loaned to another person.
  • Theft or damage to a Laptop may be reported to law enforcement authorities and result in criminal and/or civil penalties. Patron may also be responsible for paying full replacement cost for the device.
  • If the mobile device is stolen, the patron should notify Library staff and together, file a police report. Theft or damage to a mobile device or power cord or wall adapter may result in patron being charged for the replacement cost of the items.

Tech Kiosk Loan Periods/Fines:

  • Laptop User must follow all library policies and procedures that relate to equipment use in the library.
  • Laptop may be checked out for a maximum of 2 hours. Renewals are subject to availability and patron demand.
  • Patron will be charged an initial Late Fee of $5.00 and will be further charged at $5.00 per hour until returned; up until closing, at which point the patron will be charged for full Laptop replacement cost. Late fee calculations will be rounded to the nearest hour. There is no grace period for late returns.
  • If a Laptop is not returned by closing time, the Laptop will be considered stolen and will be reported as such to law enforcement authorities and a fine of $800 for the Laptop will be assessed to a borrower’s library account if lost, stolen or unreturned.
  • Charges for Lost and Damaged equipment are as follows:
    • Laptop: $800
    • Cracked screen: $250
    • Power Cord: $55
    • Mouse: $5
  • Reservations for Laptop are not accepted and are issued on a first come, first served basis only.
  • Laptops shall be returned to the Tech Kiosk 15 minutes prior to the library closing. No Laptops may be borrowed 30 minutes prior to the library closing.

User Files:

  • All files and downloads will be deleted when the Laptop is turned off, so please remember to save your work via an external source such as a USB flash drive or cloud storage account. USB flash drives are available for purchase from the Library Front Service Desk.
  • Wireless printing is available on Library Laptops to Library printers, subject to printing fees posted by library public printer.
  • The Library is not responsible for damage to an external device (i.e. flash drive or other external drive) or for the loss of data that may occur while the laptop is in use.

Download Full PDF Mobile Device Usage Agreement

Board Approved: 8/26/2019

Material Donations

Donation Policy –
Material and Monetary Gifts


The Manitowoc Public Library Board recognizes that a gift to the library is a gift to the community. Therefore, monetary and material gifts are both welcomed and encouraged.

According to the Wisconsin State Statues. 43.58 (Powers and Duties), the library board shall have exclusive control of the expenditure of all moneys collected, donated or appropriated for the library fund.


Monetary Gifts

Monies gifted to the library in the form of cash, stocks, bonds, etc. may be used for special projects, programs and services as the Board of Trustees may determine to enhance the Library’s ability to provide the best possible services to the community it serves.

Unrestricted bequests and gifts made to the Manitowoc Public Library may be assigned by the Manitowoc Public Library Board of Trustees to the Manitowoc Public Library Foundation and treated as if the bequest was made to the Foundation.

Other Donations

Donations of art objects, portraits, antiques and other museum objects are accepted or rejected on the basis of suitability to the library’s mission, décor and availability of space, as well as the understanding that the Library Board of Trustees has the authority to make whatever disposition is deemed advisable which may include the sale or transfer to another agency.

Requirement of special housing or special handling of any item proposed as a gift may render it unacceptable.


Materials gifted to the library in all formats are subject to the Manitowoc Public Library Collection Development Policy. Any items not added to the collection will be given to the Friends of Manitowoc Public Library. Friends of MPL will either make those items available for sale at its ongoing or special event sales, or dispose of the items, as they see fit.  The library staff with provide an acknowledgement of the material donation but this will not include a value of the material.

The following items are useful to the Friends of Manitowoc Public Library:

  • Hardcover editions of works by popular authors
  • New paperbacks (under a year old), particularly romances that are in great condition

The following items are not useful and can incur a recycling cost to the library:

  • Encyclopedias
  • Textbooks
  • National Geographic magazines
  • Other magazines

Memorial Donations

Manitowoc Public Library accepts and encourages donations to be made in memory of the deceased or for other significant life events, like the birth of a child or anniversaries.  Memorial donations for books will be acknowledged with a bookplate; In Memory of (Honoree’s Name) by (Donor’s Name (s).

To make a memorial donation please use the form on the library’s website www.manitowoclibrary.org or contact the Business Office 920-686-3041.

Board approved 4/8/10
Revised November 2015

Reserve Fund

Reserve Fund Policy

1. Reserve Fund refers to the difference between assets and liabilities in governmental funds. The reserve fund serves as a measure of the financial resources available to a government agency. The Manitowoc Public Library Board of Trustees has approved a Reserve Fund Policy that establishes a range at which the General Reserve Fund balance should be maintained.
2. This policy is established to provide financial stability, cash flow for operations, and the assurance that the Library will be able to respond to emergencies with fiscal strength.

The five categories of reserve fund, as established by Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 54, are as follows:
1. Nonspendable – amounts that cannot be spent because they are not in spendable form (e.g., principle portion of permanent fund, inventory).
2. Restricted – amounts not available for expenditure due to external restrictions, including grant restrictions, laws, or regulations.
3. Committed – amounts that are designated for specific purposes by formal action of the Library Board. (The Library Board may reverse this action if it is later determined the funds are needed for another purpose.)
4. Assigned – amounts management (i.e., Executive Director) intends to use for specific purposes.
5. Unassigned – refers to amounts available for any purpose.

Unrestricted reserve fund refers to the total amount of committed, assigned, and unassigned fund balances.

Note: The Library will spend the most restricted dollars before the less restricted, in the following order: restricted, committed, assigned, unassigned.

Level of Unrestricted Reserve Fund
It is the goal of the Manitowoc Public Library Board of Trustees to maintain no less than 10% and no more than 15% of operating expenses in the General Reserve Fund.

Should the General Reserve Fund fall below 10% of General Reserve Fund revenues a plan for regaining compliance with the policy shall be submitted to the Library Board of Trustees. In the event the General Reserve Fund Balance is above 15%, the difference must be used for property tax relief and/or one-time capital expenditures, which do not increase ongoing Library costs.

Restricted Fund Balances
Funds that are provided by a specific line item in the annual property tax levy are legally restricted to the purpose of that fund.

Monitoring Targets
The Executive Director in conjunction with the Manitowoc Public Library Board of Trustees will monitor revenue collections, expenditures, and availability of cash by reviewing monthly financial reports. The Executive Director shall advise the Board whenever revenue projections suggest that revenue will fall short of expectations, unexpected expenditures will exceed budget, or fund target(s) may not be met by the end of the fiscal year.

Reserve fund balances may fall occasionally outside of the target ranges because of special projects, construction, emergencies, other extenuating circumstances, and/or levy restrictions.

This Reserve Fund Policy will be reviewed on an annual basis by the Manitowoc Public Library Board of Trustees.

Board Approved April 27, 2021