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Home > About MHL > Visit MHL > Library Cards and Borrowing Privileges >

Getting and Using a Library Card

Q:  How do I get a library card?

Andover residents may apply for a card upon presentation of proof of address. A current driver's license is preferred, but a picture ID with another form of ID is acceptable (e.g. a rental lease, mortgage, current utility bill, or postmarked mail). Post office boxes are acceptable as mailing addresses; however, proof of Andover residence is required.

Residents of towns included in the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium must obtain library cards in their hometown library. The card can be used throughout the consortium.

Residents of other Massachusetts towns may apply for a card upon presentation of your hometown library card and identification showing your address. [When your hometown card is compatible with our computer system, we simply add that number instead of issuing a separate card.]

Out-of-state residents may apply for a card upon payment of $75 per year per individual and presentation of identification. Out-of-state residents who work for a company based in Andover, including Town of Andover employees, may apply for a free 1-year card upon presentation of proof of employment in Andover and identification. These free cards can be used only in Andover for Andover materials.

Children may apply for cards if they can print their name. Those in grades 5 and below obtain cards in the Children's Room and a parent must sign the application form.  Back to Top

Q:  Can I use my card at other libraries?

You may use your library card at any of the 36 online members of the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium. [A bookmark listing all sites is available at the Circulation Desk.] You may also register to use any public library in Massachusetts.  Back to Top

Q:  What if I forget my library card?

We ask that you show identification if you do not have your card with you.  Back to Top

Q:  What do I do if I lose my library card?

Please report a lost or stolen card immediately so you will not be held responsible for any items checked out on it. You may apply for a new card upon presentation of identification. Your card must be clear of any fines or delinquencies before you can reregister.  Back to Top

Q:  How do I borrow materials?

Once you have selected materials you wish to borrow, bring them to the Circulation Desk or self-checkout stations on the Main Floor You must have a library card in our database and be in good standing. If your card has overdue materials, overdue fines, or other fees of more than $10.00, you will have to return items/pay fees before you can check out items.  Back to Top

Q:  Can I use someone else's card to borrow materials?

Library cards are not transferable. Shut-ins may write a letter requesting that a named friend/relative may use their library card to borrow materials for them. This signed letter must be presented at the Circulation Desk and is kept on file.  Back to Top

Q:  How can I renew an item?

You may renew an item twice by:

  • Bringing it to the Circulation Desk
  • Calling the Reference Desk at 978-623-8401 x32
  • Doing it yourself through the online catalog. To renew yourself, click on the Library Catalog icon on this homepage, then access your patron record (your account login) and enter your library card number and your password/PIN. Select "Items currently checked out", then check off the renew box next to the items you wish to renew and then click on the "Go" button next to "renew selected items." If your renewal is successful, a new due date will display.

An item cannot be renewed if another patron has reserved it, or if your card is "delinquent" (that is, if you owe bills or have $10 or more in fines to any MVLC member library).  Back to Top

Q:  Can I return an item when the library is closed?

The library has a 24 -hour bookdrop on the Essex Street side of the building. If you are returning a DVD, video games, VCD, CD, or audiobook, we ask that you secure the package with rubber bands or seal it in a plastic bag to prevent the case from opening up in the bookdrop. The library will supply special rubber bands upon request. Borrowers who return unsecured items that are found to be damaged may be assessed a replacement/repair charge. Items returned in the bookdrop after the library closes will be checked in at the beginning of the next open day. All items in the bookdrop at the start of the day will be checked in with the previous day's date.  Back to Top

Q:  What if I return an item late or lose it?

The library charges fines only on the late return of DVDs and museum passes. However, if you return an item here that you checked out at a library with fines, fines will be charged on your late item. Charges of $10 or more must be paid before you can use your card. If you check out an item and do not return it, a bill will be sent to you after 7 weeks. The item must be returned OR paid for to clear your card. If a lost item owned by MHL is paid for and returned to us in good condition within 1 month, we can refund the payment. Your receipt or cancelled check will speed up the refund process.  Back to Top

Q:  How can I get an item if it is out to another borrower?

You may reserve Memorial Hall Library and other Merrimack Valley Library Consortium items that are out in circulation by:

  • Requesting it yourself through the the online catalog. Click on the Library Catalog link on our homepage. Search for the title. Click "Place hold." Log in to your account by entering your borrower ID and PIN number.
  • A Reference Librarian can place a hold for you.
  • Phoning the Reference Desk (978-623-8401 x31 or x32)
  • Some materials are not requestable.

Back to Top

Q:  How can I get an item if your library does not own it?

If you require an item in our database that Andover does not own, you may:

  • Go to the Reference Desk or telephone the Reference Desk (978-623-8401 x31 or x32) and request that we borrow the item for you, or
  • Request it yourself through the the online catalog. Click on the Library Catalog icon on our homepage. Search for the title. Click the "Request Item" button. You'll need to choose a pickup point library, and enter your borrower ID and PIN number, or
  • Go to another Merrimack Valley Library Consortium library and use your Andover card to check it out.

If an item is not listed in our database, you may:

These items usually take longer to obtain.  Back to Top

Q:  Can I request that the library consider purchase of an item?

If you've read/heard about a book (or item in another format) that we do not own, use the Suggest an Item for Purchase form on this web site or contact the Reference Desk for assistance. Staff members check reviews of the item to see if it is appropriate for our collection. If for some reason we decide not to purchase the item, we will make an attempt to borrow it for you from another library.  Back to Top

Q:  How long may I keep an item and are there limits on how much I may check out?

See Library Cards on this website.  Back to Top

Q:  How does the library notify me when I have overdue materials?

Notices are either mailed or sent by email. A patron may sign up for email notification on our home page or in the library. We send out an overdue notice 14 days after the due date. Seven weeks after an item is due a bill is sent out. Billed materials must be returned or paid for in order to clear a borrower's card for future borrowing. A borrower cannot use his/her card if there are charges for fined or billed materials totaling more than $10. If you have checked out an item belonging to another library, the owning library may opt to notify you by phone instead of mailing or emailing an overdue notice.  Back to Top

Last updated: February 10, 2014
URL: http://www.mhl.org/about/visit/cards/circfaqs.htm
Memorial Hall Library   2 N. Main Street   Andover, MA 01810    rdesk@mhl.org   p:978-623-8400   f:978-623-8407