Circulation Policy



Effective 9/1/16

Acton Memorial Library strives to make available a collection which meets residents’ needs and to support the use of that collection by cardholders. These rules are intended to assist in maintaining the collection and making it accessible to the community; access to borrowing may be denied if a cardholder fails to comply with them. 

Acton Memorial Library is a member of the Minuteman Library Network (MLN).


  1. Library cards are available to anyone 4 years and older who lives in Massachusetts or works in Acton. Valid name and address identification are required. In the event a new user’s address cannot be verified, the individual will be able to borrow 2 items at the time s/he applies for a card. The card will be held at the library until the address is verified.
  2. Users may only have a card at one MLN library, except for users affiliated with an MLN college or university, who may have 2 library cards.
  3. People staying in Acton less than 2 months may receive a card with which to borrow only Acton materials.
  4. Cardholders are responsible for keeping the library updated re: changes of name, address, phone numbers, email, etc.
  5. Library cards expire after 4 years. Updating/verifying the user’s name, address and contact information in person renews the card for another 4 years.
  6. Borrowers are responsible for all items checked out on their cards. Lost or stolen library cards should be reported to the library immediately.
  7. A parent or legal guardian must co-sign applications for children under 13 years of age.  The adult is responsible for items checked out on the child’s card and any fines incurred on the card.
  8. Individuals may apply online for an electronic library card. The card is good for 6 months and can be used to: a) login to My Account and establish a PIN; b) place up to 5 requests in the catalog and up to 7 requests in OverDrive and 10 checkouts in OverDrive; c) download e-books and e-audiobooks and d) use state-provided online research databases (within Massachusetts only.)  To complete the registration and receive a full-service card, people must come to the library, where the requirements described in 1) above must be met. 


  1. In order to check out library materials, users should present a valid library card. In lieu of their card, users may provide an official photo ID.
  2. An individual carrying a library card is deemed by the library to have been given permission to use it by the cardholder.
  3. When a person comes in to pick up an item which is on hold for another borrower at that person’s request, they must either produce that user’s card or use their own card to check out the item. 
  4. Loans:
    1. New adult books circulate for 2 weeks and may be renewed once.
    2. All other books, CDs, college courses on CD or DVD, and audiobooks circulate for 3 weeks and may be renewed twice.
    3. Periodicals circulate for 3 weeks and may be renewed once.
    4. Telescopes circulate for 2 weeks and cannot be renewed.
    5. Speed Reads circulate for 1 week and may be renewed once.
    6. TV series on DVD circulate for 2 weeks and may be renewed once.
    7. With the exception of TV series on DVD as noted in f) above, DVDs, VCDs, CD-ROMs, Kill-a-Watt meters, video players, and electronic games circulate for 1 week and may be renewed once.
    8. Items may not be renewed if there is a reserve on them.
    9. Daily museum passes can be checked out the day before the reserved date if available and are due back the day they are used. Weekend passes may be checked out any time during the week prior to the weekend they are used. They are due back the day they are used.
    10. The maximum loans on a card at any given time are 150.
    11. Library staff have the right to limit the number of items borrowed by a cardholder on a topic.
    12. Reference materials circulate at the discretion of the Reference Staff.
    13. Loan rules for downloadable products are set by their vendors and/or the Minuteman Library Network (MLN).  Current loan rules are available on a service's (i.e., OverDrive’s) "Help" screens or by calling the library’s reference desk at 978-929-6543. 


  1. Reserves may be placed in the library, online, or by calling the library.
  2. A maximum of 50 holds per card is allowed, except for downloadable titles, where the maximum is set by the service.
  3. Speed Read books and Rental DVDs may not be reserved.
  4. New entertainment DVDs in both the Adults and Children’s collections may only be reserved by Acton residents for the first 3 months they are in the collections.
  5. Users are notified by email or telephone when their reserves are available.
  6. Items are held at the circulation desk for 5 days. This may be extended on request if there are no other reserves on the item.
  7. When a reserved downloadable eAudio or eBook title is available, an email notice is sent to the user which includes information on how to access the title.
  8. Museum passes may be reserved online or by telephone.  Reservations are taken up to 3 months in advance.  The number of passes which can be reserved by an individual is limited and may vary with the dates sought.


  1. It is the borrower’s responsibility to return materials on time.
    1. Courtesy notices are sent to borrowers whose record contains their email address 2 days before an item is due.
    2. Only borrowers with current email addresses in their records will receive first overdue notices, which are sent out when an item is 14 days overdue.
    3. A bill showing the replacement cost is sent when an item is 30 days overdue.
    4. A final notice is sent when an item is 45 days overdue.
    5. A letter authorized by the Acton Police Department (attached) may be sent when the item is 60 days overdue.
    6. If a borrower maintains that an item has been returned but the item is still on the borrower’s record and library staff cannot locate the item on library shelves, it will be designated ‘Claims Returned.’ A cardholder may have no more than 5 active ‘Claims Returned.’
  2. Fines:
    1. Fines may be paid in person by cash or check and by credit card through the online ‘My Account.’
    2. On DVDs, CD-ROMS, video players, Kill-a-Watt meters, and electronic games, the overdue fine is $1 per day with a 3 day grace period and a maximum fine of $10 per item.
    3. On museum passes, the overdue fine is $10 per day with no grace period.
    4. On adult books, books on CD, and college courses on DVD or CD, the overdue fine is $.15 per day with a 3 day grace period and a maximum fine of $15. 
    5. On adult magazines and paperbacks, the overdue fine is $.15 per day with a 3 day grace period and a maximum fine of $7.50.
    6. On YA and Children’s magazines, the overdue fine is $.10 per day with a 3 day grace period and a maximum fine of $5.
    7. On Speed Reads, the fine is $.25 a day with no grace period.
    8. On telescopes, the fine is $1.00 a day with no grace period.
    9. On all other items except downloadable titles, the fine is $.10 per day with a 3 day grace period and maximum overdue fine of $10 per item.
    10. There are no fines on downloadable titles.
    11. The fine on non-MLN interlibrary loans is $2 a day.
  3. Borrowers are delinquent and unable to check materials out when:
    1. There is more than $10 in fines on their card or,
    2. One item is assumed lost (4 weeks overdue).   


  1. Borrowers will be charged the price shown in the item record for a lost or damaged item.
  2. Borrowers may be charged for missing pieces of sets or entire sets if the library is unable to replace the missing piece by itself.
  3. If an item has been lost and paid for and is then found and returned to the library within one month of payment, the library will refund the charge via Town check minus a $10 processing fee.


  1. The library recognizes the importance of protecting the privacy and confidentiality of its users' registration, circulation, and electronic access information.
  2. Any person with positive identification is entitled to view his or her own library account information or the account of a second person who has given the first person his/her library card.
  3. Only users with proper identification may correct their library account information through the library.
  4. Personal information of library users may be accessed by and used by a staff member of Acton Memorial Library or other members of MLN when the staff member is acting within the scope of his or her library duties. 
  5. The library may be required to provide a user's personal information to a local, state, or federal governmental entity pursuant to compulsory legal process.  While Acton Memorial Library will make every effort to respect the privacy of its users, if under a legal requirement to turn over data, such as a court order, subpoena, or search warrant, it will comply with the law.
  6. Acton Memorial Library and the Minuteman Library Network make every reasonable effort to maintain the accuracy of all information it collects and retains.  It is also committed to maintaining the security of all personal information.  Appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures are in place in an effort to safeguard and secure the information it collects to prevent unauthorized access, alteration, or disclosure of data. 
  7. Despite precautions, no system is immune from unlawful intrusion through hacking, which violates both federal and state laws; therefore, Acton Memorial Library and the MLN cannot guarantee that information it collects can never be accessed by unauthorized users.
  8. MLN provides essential information to trusted partners who work on behalf of or with Minuteman; however, these companies do not have any independent right to share this information.  These companies must demonstrate that they agree that end user data will not be retained or sold or otherwise distributed or disclosed.
  9. There is no guarantee of privacy for email that travels over the Internet between a user and the Minuteman Library Network. Users can remove their email address online, or request that it be removed from their record by a library staff member.


Minuteman Library Network works with a variety of partners to provide Electronic Content (eContent) to our users. Before checking out any of Minuteman’s eContent, users should read the privacy policy of the company that is providing the service in question. For example, users who check out eBooks from Minuteman’s website for use on their Kindle (or via a Kindle app) will receive those eBooks via Amazon. Amazon’s privacy policy describes the kind of information that is collected and stored in connection with such transactions, and we encourage our users to familiarize themselves with that policy before engaging in such transactions. In reading Amazon’s privacy policy, users will learn, for example, that Amazon retains (on a long term basis) information about the eBook a user borrows as well as any notes or highlights added to the text by the user.


Approved by the Board of Trustees of Acton Memorial Library this 25th day of August, 2016.