Circulation Policy

Belmont Public Library Circulation Policy

The Belmont Public Library is a member of the Minuteman Library Network (MLN). Your library card entitles you to borrow materials from our Belmont Library as well as 42 other public and academic libraries.

Policies regarding loan periods, fines, renewals, etc. vary depending on the individual library. Items checked out in Belmont will follow this Belmont Circulation Policy, details below.

Click here to go to the Minuteman Library Network (MLN)

View our circulation policies in PDF

Apply For a Library Card

1. Library Card Policy

A library card may be obtained by presenting photographic identification and confirmation of current address. Children who are able to write their own name or are at least age six may have a card and a parent or legal guardian may confirm their name and address using their own identification. A full legal name and current mailing address must be on file for cardholders of all ages. If applicant is under 13 years old, parent or guardian must provide proof of identification and address and sign the library card application. A child must be present for a parent or legal guardian to get them a library card. If applicant is between the ages of 13 and 17 and cannot meet the ID and address requirements, parent or guardian must provide proof of identification and address. A teen must be present for a parent or legal guardian to get them a library card.

Belmont residents are eligible to sign up for a library card, as are all Massachusetts residents not living in a town that has had its reciprocal borrowing privileges suspended by the Board of Library Trustees due to lack of certification by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. As members of the Minuteman Library Network, Belmont adheres to the Minuteman policy of issuing only one library card per person for use at all public libraries in the network.

Out-of-state residents who meet the following requirements may be issued a library card with sufficient identification: work and/or attend school in Massachusetts; own property in Belmont; are temporarily living in Massachusetts for more than one month. Out-of-state residents must provide identification showing their home/permanent address.

Please present your library card when checking out materials. We take your right to privacy very seriously; therefore we require that you use only your own card. You may use a representation of your card on your own personal smartphone if it is done with an application that properly displays the barcode for our barcode readers. In order to pick up a hold for someone else you must have their library card in hand.

In order to provide the best service, all patrons are strongly encouraged to bring their library cards, a digital image of their card, or utilize the Minuteman Library Network Mobile App, which includes a digital card.

Library accounts belonging to children ages fourteen and under who are present in the library but have forgotten their library cards may be looked up by library staff. However, the staff will only look up the library account belonging to said child, per their own in person request. The child must be able to provide identifying information confirming that the patron record belongs to him or her such as address, phone number, date of birth, or other details found in the library record.

Please notify the library immediately of any loss of your card or device holding its representation, and notify us of any changes in address, telephone or email.

2. Valid ID(s)

Before creating a new patron record, the individual must present the following:

– Current, valid Massachusetts Driver’s License or Massachusetts State Identification Card with current address

OR…one document from Section 1 AND one document from Section 2 below:

Section 1:

  • Passport
  • Alien Resident Card
  • Government issued cards, such as Military ID
  • State issued photo ID including welfare, Medicaid or FID card
  • University or school ID
  • Senior / T.A.P. ID Issued by the MBTA

In addition to one of the items listed above, please bring one of the following documents to prove your current local address which must include your name

Section 2:

  • Utility bill or tax bill (dated within the last 60 days)
  • Imprinted bank check or deposit slip
  • Official school schedule with applicant’s name and address typed on it
  • Official letter verifying residency and mailing address dated within last 30 days from a social service provider, temporary employer that provides housing, or a short-term residence.
  • Postcard or piece of mail, mailed to applicant from the library
  • eBills

Not acceptable as proof of current address:

  • Lease agreements, rent receipts, or personal letters

*a Post Office Box or business address is not sufficient – a current residential address is required.

3. Ways to Apply

Apply in person, in the library or online.

4. How to complete the online registration:

  • Pick up your full service library card at a Minuteman public library of your choice within 6 months.
  • After 6 months, temporary accounts, including item requests, are deleted.
  • Please mention that you have already registered for a temporary card and bring your temporary library number or a copy of the confirmation email.
  • If applicant is under 13 years old, parent or guardian must be present to pick up the card, provide proof of identification and address and sign the library card application. A child must be present for a parent or legal guardian to pick up this card.
  • When you pick up your card you must present a photo ID and proof of address (see above).

5. Smartphones

Your library card barcode can be scanned into your smartphone and used at the staffed circulation desks as well as the self-checkout machines. Please visit your device’s app store for the appropriate barcode scanner app for your device.

Loan Periods, Renewals, Limits and Late Fees

Patrons are allowed a total of 150 items to be checked out to their account. There is a limit of 50 requests per account. Items cannot be borrowed or renewed if the overdue charges are over $10. Video games have a limit of 3 per card.

Item TypeLoan Period
Text Books2 hours (must remain in library)
DVDs & Blu-Rays1 week
Rokus1 week
Speed Views1 week
Speed Reads2 weeks
CDs & TV series2 weeks
Children's Materials2 weeks
Magazines2 weeks
NEW Books2 weeks
Kindles*2 weeks
Video Games*2 weeks
New YA books2 weeks
YA Reading List Books2 weeks
Circulation Bags2 weeks
Audiobooks4 weeks
Older Books, Paperbacks, & YA Items4 weeks
Book Club Kits6 weeks

*Kindles and Video games may only be reserved by Belmont patrons and must be picked up in Belmont.

Fines and Charges

Items which are returned or renewed past their due date will accrue an Overdue Fine. All items are subject to a maximum late fee of $5.00.

Item TypeFees
Adult materials$ .10/day
Children’s materials$ .05/day
DVDs & Blurays$ .50/day
Video Games, Kindles$1.00/day
Book Club Kits$1.00/day
Special equipment$1.00/day
Circulating Musuem Passes$5.00/day

Other Charges:

Lost Library Card$2.00
Black & White - copy & print$.10/page
Color - copy & print$.25/page

Lost or Damaged Items

You are responsible for items checked out to your card. Lost or damaged items must be paid for as we are not able to accept replacement items. Please pay in person or online for lost or damaged items. If paying by check for a Belmont item, please make check payable to the Town of Belmont. If found after payment is made refunds can be issued within 30 days of receipt of payment.

The replacement fee for a lost or damaged Commonwealth Catalog item is $100.00.

The replacement fee for a lost or damaged ILL item varies depending on the lending library’s policies.
Lost Book On CD Costs are either $10.00 per disc, or the total cost of the item. Replacement costs for circulating technology varies.


Most library materials are renewable as long as no reserves are pending. To renew, please have your library card number ready. You may renew items: online, by phone at 617-993-2855 or in person. Overdue materials may also be renewed, however fees will apply for the days the materials were late. Items cannot be renewed if charges are over $10. Most library materials are renewable up to two times, as long as no reserves are pending.


To reserve an item you will need your library card number and PIN. You can do this online or in the library. You can also call the Reference Department at 617-993-2870 for adult materials and 617-993-2880 for children materials.

You cannot reserve:

  • Most recent magazine issue
  • Reference materials

Only Belmont residents may reserve:

  • Feature Films & TV Shows added to collection in the last three months
  • Kindles
  • Rokus
  • Video games
  • Museum Passes

You will receive an email or phone call when your reserve is ready for pick-up. Reserves must be picked up within seven days.

Reserved material must be checked out on the library card of the borrower who has placed the reserve. Reserves cannot be released to any individual other than the cardholder unless the individual has the library card or reserve pick-up notice in hand. 

Voted April 2016

Amended August 2016

Amended February 2017

Amended March 2018

Amended July 2018