Lending Policy
Any resident of Massachusetts may register for a Bellingham Public Library card provided that he or she resides in a Massachusetts community that has a public library that meets the minimum standards set by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). Individuals whose primary residence is in a Massachusetts community where the library has been decertified will not have borrowing privileges at the Bellingham Public Library. In the event an adjacent community appeals the MBLC decertification decision, the Bellingham Library will continue to lend to its residents who are current Bellingham Library cardholders until the appeal decision of the Commissioners is final.

Residents of other states may apply for a Bellingham Public Library card and must pay an annual fee of $35 for the card.

Registered borrowers must present their library card for full borrowing privileges.  If borrowers do not have their library card with them, they will only be allowed to check out materials if they can present positive identification.  After three times without a library card, the patron will be required to purchase a new card.

The borrower is responsible for all items borrowed on his or her card. Parents who sign registration forms for children through age 18 grant the child permission to use all library services and assume full responsibility for loss or damage to material borrowed on their child’s card and .  Non-payment of replacement fees will result in loss of borrowing privileges until full restitution is made.

Number of Items Loaned
No patron may borrow more than three items on the same research topic without special permission.

Loan Periods
Items placed on hold:  Any circulating material may be reserved if it is not available at the time of the request. Materials must be picked up within 7 days of telephone call or email.  Failure to pick up materials placed on hold results in the return of the materials to the shelves or lending library.

Patrons may renew materials once if the item has not been reserved by another patron.

Overdue charges & Maximum Charges

Item Loan Period
in Weeks
Limit Per day Overdue Fees Maximum Fee
Books 3 Nonfiction,
3 per subject
10 cents $5.00
Magazines 1 3 per title 10 cents $5.00
VHS & Audio 3 4 titles 25 cents $5.00
DVDs 1 4 titles 50 cents $10.00
CDRom 3 4 titles 50 cents $10.00
Video Games 1 2 titles $1.00 $10.00

Provide us with your email address and you will receive an email 2 days BEFORE your materials are due to remind you to get them back on time and avoid fines

The primary concern of the library is to provide a wide selection of materials, not the collection of overdue charges. Patrons with billed items on their card, as well as patrons that owe more than $10.00 in overdue charges, forfeit borrowing privileges until the billed items are returned or paid for and overdue charges are reduced below $10.00.   The institution of overdue charges should in no way prohibit patrons of availing themselves of the library’s other services and materials on site.

Returning Materials
A book drop is located to the right of the front entrance and is available for the return of library materials when the library is closed.

Procedures for Overdue Materials
Library card holders who provide an email address for their library account are sent courtesy reminder notices 2 days before items are due.  If not returned by the due date, an overdue notice is sent via email.  Patrons without email addresses on their account do not receive any overdue notice.  If item is four weeks overdue a bill to cover the cost of the overdue material is mailed to the borrower.

Lost Material
When material is lost, the person who whose card it was checked out will be responsible for its replacement.  The material may, at the library’s discretion, be replaced with an exact copy or by paying its replacement cost, as recorded on the cataloging record.

Lost Library Cards
A fee of $1.00 will be charged for the replacement of a library card or keytag.