Borrow, Renew & Reserve Materials

Borrow | Renew | Reserve | Fine Free!


Please remember to bring your library card when visiting the library!

Loan Periods

Books: 3 weeks
New Books (Fiction and Non-Fiction): 2 weeks
Lucky Day/Speed Read: 2 weeks
Audiobooks: 2 weeks
Interlibrary Loans (ILLs): varies depending on item
Magazines: 1 week
Children's Magazines: 3 weeks
Console Video Games: 1 week (limit 6 per card)


  • Feature Films: 1 week
  • TV Series: 3 weeks
  • Central Library:
    • limit 10 per card for adults
    • limit 10 per card for children
  • East & West Branch:
    • limit 8 per card, adult and children combined

Music CDs:

  • Central Library: 2 weeks
  • East & West Branch (limit 8): 2 weeks

Cultural passes (1 per week per family): 1 day
[Note: 1 pass per family per month at any one specific museum.]

Library of Things: 2 weeks
[Note: Please visit our Library of Things page for details.]


Most items can be renewed twice, with the exception of Lucky Day/Speed Read titles, Library of Things items, non-MLN ILLs, and items reserved by another person. DVD Series can be renewed one time, unless reserved by another person. Toys and games cannot be renewed. Renewals may be made in person, by telephone, or via the library catalog using your library card number and password. When renewing in person or by phone, please have your library card, your receipt, or all of the materials in front of you.


Requesting materials that either are currently checked out or belong to another library is easy. Simply ask a reference librarian in person or by calling the library, fill out a request card, or place a request online.

Instructions for requesting materials online:

  • Login to the library catalog, then search for the item in the catalog
  • Click on the "Request it" button  to the right of the item and select the delivery location and indicate the date needed, if applicable.
  • For more information on placing requests using the library catalog, visit the Minuteman General FAQ webpage

Fine Free!

The Somerville Public Library is fine free. This means that staff will not be collecting late fines on any items that are checked out at any Somerville location. Please note that we will still be collecting fees associated with damaged or lost Somerville-owned items. Fine free also does not include materials obtained through the mediated interlibrary loan system. 

Why go fine free?
We want to ensure that everyone in our community has access to library books and materials. Late fines have been shown to be ineffective in getting books returned any quicker, can often cost more money than it brings in, and can alienate community members, especially those who face economic hardships.