Borrowing Guidelines

Who can get a CPL card and how?

Residents of Chelmsford, Business/Property Owners, and Town of Chelmsford Employees: Upon presentation of proof of Chelmsford residency, ownership, or employment (i.e., MA Driver’s license, mail, or any other legal proof), a library card will be issued. 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 towns whose libraries belong to the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium: Apply for a card at your hometown library. Use it in Chelmsford and all 36 MVLC libraries. A temporary card will be issued for people without a hometown library card, which will give the patron 30 days to get a full card from their hometown library.

Residents of other Massachusetts towns: Apply for a card at your hometown library. Bring your 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 residents: A 1 year Local-Use Only card may be issued to people who work 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.
    • The most current issue of a magazine is not available for check-out.
    • The Library reserves the right to limit the number of in-demand items in a single subject area checked out to any one patron
  2. 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
    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

  3. 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.
  4. Charges for lost or damaged materials:
    • The full cost for lost or damaged items will be charged to the cardholder. Replacement costs are as follows:
      • Book or magazine: no replacements accepted – patron is charged 100% of the full price
      • DVD, music CD, or video game: replacement allowed only if it is new and still sealed in the original package, otherwise the charge is the same as books, 100% of full price
      • Book on CD: $10 per CD (if the entire item is lost, then 100% of full price)
      • Playaway, CD-ROM, kit: 100% of full price
      • Lost CD or DVD insert: $2
      • Lost CD or DVD case: $2 (so lost case & insert is $4)

    • 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.
  5. Receipts:
    • Receipts are available upon request.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.