Samuels Public Library Structure

Samuels Public Library Cards and Tools for Parents & Guardians

Who can get a free Samuels Public Library card?


·         Warren County residents and property owners, students in Warren County public and private schools, and individuals who have permanent employment in Warren County are eligible to receive a free library card.

·         Children under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian sign the Samuels Public Library.

·         Residents in surrounding counties may also be eligible depending on the reciprocity agreement with each county.


Can children get their own library card?


·         Yes, but parents/guardians are still responsible for what books or other library materials that the children use and take out from the library.

·         Not all materials in the library are suitable for all children of all ages.

·         It is the parents' responsibility to screen materials and find appropriate ones for their children.


Are there new children’s library cards being developed?


·         There are three options for parents beginning July 11, 2023.

·         Juvenile Limited only allows access to the children’s section for only physical books (no electronic access)

·         Young Adult Limited allows children to take out books (no electronic)  from the Young Adult section as well.

·         The Unrestricted card is for older teens and college students and will grant access to all books in the library, including the adult side of the library.

·         The New Adult section is in the adult area of the library. 


Are there any other tools available to parents/guardians to help them find appropriate books for their children?


·         The library’s catalog has a wealth of information.

o   Simply go to the book title and click on “Full Display.” The entry gives a summary of the book title and intended audience by age and grade level.

o   It also includes “Subjects” which allows the user to screen the book for topics that might not be appropriate for a certain child. 


·         The librarians and staff are also great resources and available to help patrons with kindness and respect. They can explain how to use the library’s catalog, demonstrate how to access non-print media, and explain where certain subjects are found according to the Dewey Decimal system.

Samuels Public Library Books and Material Acquisition

Samuels Public Library is committed to a diverse collection that reflects the library’s mission to bring people, information, and ideas together to enrich lives and build community.



The Library of Virginia is one of the oldest agencies of the Virginia government, founded in 1823.



Any patron can submit a Request for Reconsideration form to have a book reviewed.

Simply ask at the reference desk for the form and details about the policies and procedures related to that request.


The library has always encouraged patrons to recommend books for the collection.

Stop by the reference desk for a copy of the request form.


Additional information and resources can be found at:

Samuels Public Library

Library of Virginia

Financial Implications to Book Challenges

Fifty-three out of 20,461 patrons (0.25% of patrons) have flooded the library with Request for Reconsideration forms to challenge books with LGBTQ content and severely disrupt the normal operations of the library and harass the librarians and staff.


Each Young Adult book that goes through the process of being reconsidered costs approximately $720 in staff time (36 hours x $20) and $600 in in-kind donation of volunteer time from the Board of Trustees (30 hours x $20). Total for all 134 books being challenged equals $96,480 in staff time and related costs and $80,400 in in-kind volunteer time.


The challenges are not in good faith. The frivolous use and weaponization of the Request for Reconciliation wastes valuable Library resources and staff time, jeopardizes the standing of the library in the community, and may lead to a drop in donations and volunteer support.


Private donations and community support are a key factor in the success of the library. The wall honoring donors at the entrance to the library represents at least $1.2 million from businesses, corporations, service and civic organizations, industry, and individuals.


Last year volunteers donated 7,241 hours which represents $108,615 in in-kind donations to the library at $15/hour. As a volunteer panel donating 15 hours per month on average per member, The Board of Trustees donated a minimum of 4500 hours to the library at $20/hour which represents a minimum of $90,000 in in-kind donations of time.


Warren County is still under financial pressure from the EDA scandal and cannot afford to risk lawsuits that might result from violating the civil rights of our individuals.


Warren County has already committed $10,000 to legal fees. The library has allocated $25,000 to fight the challenges. This is just the beginning of the financial implications of these book challenges.


In 2017 the Board of Supervisors created an Ad Hoc Committee to examine the management structure of the library and explore potential options to save County taxpayer money. The results of the study determined that: 1) the library is a source of pride and widely used, 2) the library has comparable expenditures to other libraries in the geographic area, 3) the library is more cost-effective in its current structure than if it placed under direct County management.


The library is a testament to the power of combining County, State, and private donations, community partnerships, and in-kind donations of time to leverage the most cost-effective use of resources and management of the library to serve County residents.


Legal Implications to Book Challenges

Text - The Virginia Human Rights Act

THE VIRGINIA HUMAN RIGHTS ACT (Virginia Code §2.2-3900 -  §2.2-3909)

(Summary emphasizing how the Act relates to LGBTQ individuals and to public accommodations, such as a public library)



 It is the policy of the Commonwealth to:






(Sources for information: Jason S. Miyares, Attorney General of Virginia, Office of Civil Rights, and the Virginia Legal Code.)

About The Virginia Values Act



The Virginia Values Act is landmark civil rights legislation that makes Virginia the first state in the South to have nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people.


In addition to adding nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in existing law, it created all-new protections from discrimination in employment and places of public accommodation on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, or status as a veteran.


The Virginia Values Act defines a place of public accommodation as all places or businesses offering or holding out to the general public goods, services, privileges, facilities, advantages, or accommodations,  including libraries, educational facilities, and government buildings.


Under the public accommodations law, any place or business that is open to the public is prohibited from discriminating against anyone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, or status as a veteran.


Protections in public spaces are critical to ensure that LGBTQ people are able to participate fully in their communities and, most importantly, go about their daily lives without the harm or fear of discrimination.


These rights are enforceable by filing a complaint with the Virginia Department of Human Rights.


Popular support for LGBTQ nondiscrimination remains extremely high. A poll fielded at the end of 2019 reported 72% of Virginians surveyed support nondiscrimination laws covering places of public accommodations, including 53% of Republicans. Support was not limited to Northern Virginia and the Richmond suburbs; there was majority support in the Shenandoah region with 64% support for public accommodations protections.  


The Virginia Values Act and the Virginia Human Rights Act align with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990


(Summary based on the article “The Virginia Values Act: A Landmark Civil Rights Legislation Leapfrogs Virginia into a Leader on Equality” by Sarah Warbelow and Cathryn Oakley, 2021  Richmond Public Interest Law Review)

What is the American Library Association?

The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest, largest, and most influential library association in the world with more than 50,000 members who are librarians,  trustees, publishers, and other library supporters.

ALA is committed to:






(Summary taken from American Library Association website)

The Miller Test and Legally Defining Pornography




Additional Information and Resources

National Teen BPL eCard

We invite individuals ages 13-21 to apply for a free BPL eCard, providing access to our full eBook collection as well as our learning databases. To apply, email