- What do I need to do to get a library
Cards may be obtained only in person.
The library does not issue cards by mail.
Adults need to bring a photo I.D. and proof of street address/residency
(no P.O. Boxes!), e.g., Mass. ID, driver's license, bills
in their name, canceled mail in their name, checkbook, etc.).
We can mail out a postcard for address verification purposes,
If under the age of 18, a patron with a school photo I.D.
needs to present that, plus proof of street address/residency
(no P.O. Boxes!). We can mail out a postcard for address
verification purposes, if needed.
If under the age of 18 but with no photo I.D., a parent's
or legal guardian's signature is required, by mail or in
person (if in person, the parent or guardian must present
a photo I.D. and proof of street address/residency). Non-parental
relatives, friends, or neighbors who are not the legal guardian
cannot grant permission in order to get a card for someone
else's child. Please note: A child must be at least 5 years
of age , and must be present in the library at the time
of issue, in order to be able to acquire a library card
at the Somerville Public Library.
- What is necessary for library transactions
(e.g., checking out materials, paying fines, inquiring about
what materials are on a library card, renewing materials,
checking on the status and titles of reserves, etc.)?
A valid, active library card - or a
photo I.D. of the transacting patron - , and an account
in good standing are required at all times for circulation
transactions. There are no exceptions to this rule, regardless
of age, profession, title, place of work, or familiarity
with the library and/or its staff.
- How many times may I renew an item?
Print materials (other than "Speed
Read" and ILL titles) may be renewed up to two times,
providing that there are not specific reserves on the items.
The same renewal limits apply to cassettes, CDs, and audiotapes.
We do not renew videotapes, DVDs, or CD-ROMs. If you acquire
an item from another library in the Minuteman network, we
may renew the item with the same restrictions applying as
cited above. Items acquired via library loan outside
the Minuteman network (ILLs) are not renewable.
- Sometimes I am
told that my card is "blocked," and that I cannot
use it until it is cleared. What does this mean?
In the Minuteman Network, if you have
$5.00 or more in overdue fines, or one or more items that
are overdue for 30 days or more, your card is unusable until
the fines, and/or the overdue(s), are cleared.
- When I reserve
an item from another library, why can’t I use someone
else’s card to check it out?
When an item is reserved, its barcode
is automatically "locked" onto the library card
number with which it has been requested. This means that
the system will not allow
the item to be checked
onto any other card. This is to ensure that no other patron
erroneously gets the item that has been reserved specifically
Unfortunately, by law we cannot - at the request of
a different patron - "look up" the account on
which the card has been reserved, regardless of any relationship
to the patron. We also cannot check out materials to another
person's account without his or her library card, or -
if the transacting patron is present - that patron's
official photo I.D.
- If I am up to my
renewal limit on an item, but I still need the item, when
can I check it out again?
The item must be returned for at least
24 hours of shelf time in order to allow other patrons a
chance to come across it.