Borrowing Guidelines

Who can get a CPL card and how?

Residents of Chelmsford, Business/Property Owners, and Town of Chelmsford Employees: Register in-person at our Borrower Services desk. Present proof of Chelmsford residency or employment (e.g. MA Driver’s license, mail, paystub) and use your card immediately. Don’t have proof of residency yet? You can still check out up to three items on your initial visit, and the card will be mailed to your address.

Furthermore, residents of Chelmsford and Town of Chelmsford employees can apply for a Chelmsford Library card online or over the phone!

Residents of towns whose libraries belong to the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium (MVLC) should apply for a card at your hometown library. Use it in Chelmsford and at all 36 MVLC libraries. We will issue a temporary card for those without a library card from their hometown who visit our library; you will have thirty days to get a full card from your hometown library.

Residents of other Massachusetts towns: Apply for a card at your hometown library. Bring your card to the library’s Borrower Services Desk with proof of your residence in that town to our Front Desk and we will register you to borrow in our system.

Out-of-state residents working in Chelmsford: A 1 year Local-Use Only card may be issued to people who work in Chelmsford. Register in-person at our Borrower Services Desk, and present proof of employment in Chelmsford. This card will not give access to state-wide or MVLC electronic resources or to inter-library loan services.

2.2 Circulation Policies

2.2-1 Confidentiality

All circulation transactions and information must be treated with confidentiality. The patron’s right of privacy must be  protected as much as possible. All patron requests for materials should be discussed only in a professional context.

2.2-2 Rules for Borrowing Library Materials

  1. Limitations on borrowing materials:
      • Reference books are not loaned.

  2. The Library reserves the right to limit the number of in-demand items in a single subject area checked out to any one patron
  3. Loan Periods:

    Table of Loan Periods and Limits

    Format How Long? How Many? Fines? Renewable?
    Books 3 Weeks Unlimited No Yes
    Audiobooks 3 Weeks Unlimited No Yes
    Playaways 3 Weeks Unlimited No Yes
    Launchpads 1 Week 1 No No
    Music CDs 3 Weeks Unlimited No Yes
    Movies and TV series DVDs 1 Week Unlimited No Yes
    Documentary and Non-fiction DVDs 1 Week Unlimited No Yes
    Binge Boxes 1 Week 1 No No
    Language Audio Materials 3 Weeks Unlimited No Yes
    Video Games 1 Week 3 No Yes
    Children’s CD-ROM 3 Weeks Unlimited No Yes
    Fast Track Books 1 Week 1 No No
    Fast Track DVDs 1 Week 1 No No
    Magazines 1 Week Unlimited No Yes
    Museum passes (Chelmsford residents or Friends of CPL) Good for one day 1 per day,
    5 per month
    Yes No
    Ebooks & other Downloadable/Streaming Content Varies by vendor – see our Download It tab at the top of this page for access
    Book Club Kits 6 Weeks 1 No No
    Experience Bags 3 Weeks Unlimited No No
    For telescope, wifi hotspots, Roku streaming devices, and much more, see our Library of Things list

  4. Renewals:
    • Most of the materials owned by CPL may be renewed twice in person, online, or by telephone. Items that cannot be renewed are: materials on hold for another patron,  Fast Track items, and Video Games.
  5. Charges for lost or damaged materials:
      • Books: patron is charged 100% of the full price; no replacements please. If a replacement is already purchased and it is undamaged in like new condition, we may choose to accept it on a case by case basis. Why do we prefer payment? We may choose to purchase a newer edition of the title, or a different title on the same topic.
      • Magazines: patron is charged 100% of the full price. No replacements accepted.
      • DVD, music CD, or video game: replacement accepted only if it is new and still sealed in the original package, otherwise 100% of full price.
      • Book on CD: $10 per CD (if the entire item is lost, then 100% of full price) Why don’t we accept replacements? We purchase library editions with special packaging.
      • Playaway: $25 replacement fee.
      • Kit, non-video game, Library of Things item: 100% of full price. We may choose to accept an undamaged, like new replacement on a case by case basis, but please discuss it with us in advance.
      • Lost CD or DVD insert or other insert or instructions: $2
      • Lost CD or DVD case: $2 (so lost case & insert is $4)The full cost for lost or damaged items will be charged to the cardholder. Replacement costs are as follows:
    • If a borrowed CD or DVD does not play or skips, please alert staff to the problem so it can either be replaced or repaired.
  6. Receipts:
    • Receipts are available upon request.
  7. Refunds:
    • In order to avoid “buying back” items after the Library has replaced them, refunds will not be given to patrons who have paid for lost materials.
    • Membership in the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium allows for payment for lost or damaged items and overdue fines from any MVLC Library to be paid at any MVLC Library.
  8. Schedule of overdue notices:
    • First notice: Sent seven days after due date via email.
    • Second notice: Mailed to patron 14 days after due date.
    • Bill notice: 49 days after due date. Accounts with overdue items for a period of 49 days or greater and/or have an amount greater than $20 owed or more than 20 items overdue are subject to suspension until the account is cleared.
  9. Library cards:
    • Any resident of Chelmsford, owner of a business or property in Chelmsford, or Town of Chelmsford employee, upon presentation of proof of Chelmsford residency, ownership, or employment (i.e., MA Driver’s license, mail, or any other legal proof), may receive a library card. People without proof of residency may check out up to 3 items on their initial visit, and the card will be mailed to their address.
    • Residents of other MVLC towns should get a card from their hometown library, which will work in Chelmsford. A temporary card will be issued to people without a hometown library card, which will give the patron 30 days to get a full card from their hometown library.
    • Residents of MA that do not belong to MVLC can bring their hometown library card and proof of your residence in that town to our Front Desk and we will register you to borrow in our system.
    • Out-of-state people who work in Chelmsford may obtain a 1-year Local-Use Only card upon proof of employment. This card will not give access to other libraries, online resources, or to inter-library loan services.