Borrow, Renew & Reserve Materials

Borrow | Renew | Reserve | Fine Free!


Loan Periods

Books: 3 weeks
New Non-Fiction:  3 weeks
New Fiction (14-day 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
     Feature Films: 1 week
     T.V. Series: 3 weeks
     Central Library:
          - limit 10 per card - Adults
          - limit 10 per card - Children
          - limit 4 per card - Teens
     East & West Branch Libraries:
          - limit 8 per card, Adult and Children combined
Music CDs:
      Central Library: 2 weeks
      East/West (limit 8): 2 weeks
Children’s CD-ROMs (limit 2 per card): 1 week
Cultural passes (1 per week per family): 1 day
[Note: 1 pass per family per month at any one specific museum.]


Most items can be renewed twice, with the exception of Lucky Day/Speed Read titles, 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 (click on "Login" at top right of the page) 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 a book or other item via the library catalog:

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/lost Somerville-owned items. Fine free also does not include books obtained through the Commonwealth Catalog or 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.