Getting a Springfield City Library Card
ID Options: Massachusetts Residents
Children 17 or Younger
Students in Area Colleges
Computer Use Only Card
Renewing Your Card
Lost or Stolen Cards
Disabled and Homebound
Library in Your Mailbox
Confidentiality of Library Records
What You Can Borrow (Loan Periods and Item Limits)
Overdue Materials and Billed Items
Paying Fines and Fees
Check Your Circulation Record
Getting a PIN
Renew Materials Online
Requesting Materials from Other Libraries
Lost & Found
Your Springfield City Library Card
Your Springfield City Library card allows you to borrow or request library materials, use library computers, and access other electronic Library resources at all ten locations of the Springfield City Library and at most of the 140+ member libraries in C/WMARS, the Central and Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing network. It also gives you access to many other library services including remote access to the Library's online resources.
If you already have a card from another C/WMARS public library, you may use it in person or online to access most Springfield City Library and C/WMARS services. You do not need to get another card.
If you do not have a card from Springfield City Library or another C/WMARS public library, you may apply for one at any Springfield City Library location. You must apply in person. Click here for information on what IDs to bring.
Library cards, card numbers, and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) are issued to individuals and may be used only by the person to whom they were issued, whether for borrowing library material or using library computers. There are only two exceptions to this. A family member may use another family member's card to check out holds for that family member and a Designated Borrower may check out materials for the homebound or handicapped person who has authorized him/her to use their card.
GETTING A SPRINGFIELD CITY LIBRARY CARD
If you are a resident of Massachusetts, you may get a free Springfield City Library card by presenting any of the ID Options for Massachusetts Residents at any of the Library's ten locations. You must apply in person. If you already have a card from another C/WMARS public library, you may use it at Springfield City Library. You do not need to apply for a Springfield card. Click here for a list of C/WMARS libraries.
Important Notice About Service Limits to Residents of Communities with Decertified or Uncertified Libraries.
ID Options for Massachusetts Residents
You may use any of the ID options described below to apply for a Springfield City Library card. All IDs must show your current name and current residence.
A. One of the following: Valid MA Driver's license OR Valid MA State ID
OR B. Any ONE from EACH of the following two lists:
1. Current Picture ID (must include name and photo)
- Passport Alien Registration Card
- Government issued cards such as Military ID or DOC ID (Department of Corrections)
- University or school ID
- Out of state driver's license
- PVTA bus pass
- State Issued photo ID, including welfare, Medicaid, or FID card (Federal ID)
2. Address Verification (Must include name & current MA residence) (A Post Office box or business address may not be used.)
- an imprinted bank check or deposit slip
- Rent receipt (confirming 30 day occupancy)
- Utility bill dated w/in last 30 days
NOTE: PO BOX or business address may not be used. Must have a residence of any duration.
OR C. Name and Residence Confirmation Postcard
If you do not have the IDs and residence verifications in ID Options for MA Residents A. or B. above, you may address a Name and Residence Confirmation postcard to your current residence. We will mail you the postcard. Bring in the postcard with a postmark dated within the last 30 days and it will be your ID. You won't need any additional ID or photo ID.
OR D. Letter verifying residency and mailing address
If you do not have the IDs and residence verifications in ID Options for MA Residents A. or B. above, you may use a letter dated within the last 30 days from a social services provider or temporary employer that provides housing or a short-term residence. The letter must verify your residence OF ANY DURATION.
The letter must be on the provider's official letterhead. Ask at the circulation desk of any Springfield City Library location for a form that your social services provider or temporary employer can copy onto its letterhead and fill out for you.
The letter must verify your residence, not just a PO Box. You won't need any additional ID or photo ID.
ID Options for Children age 17 and younger
The parents of children age 17 and younger are responsible for all lost and damaged items and fines and fees on their children's library cards. Name & Residence Confirmation postcards, library cards, and other correspondence are addressed to the child's parents or legal guardians.
Children age 11 and younger
Even if you have your own IDs, one of your parents must approve your library card either by signing the Name and Residence Confirmation postcard we mail them or by showing his or her own IDs to library staff when you register for your card.
Children age 12 - 17
You may use any of the IDs in ID Options A. or B. above .
OR you may come in with a parent or legal guardian who has any of the IDs in ID Options A. - D. above.
OR you may fill out a Name & Residence Confirmation postcard addressed "To the parents of" which we will mail to you. When you receive the postcard at home, have your parent or guardian confirm the name and address you wrote on the card, write in your date of birth and school, and sign the card. You may then bring the completed postcard postmarked within the last 30 days to the Library as your ID. You won't need any additional ID or photo ID.
OR you may bring in a letter dated within the last 30 days from a social services provider or temporary employer that provides housing or a short-term residence. The letter must verify your residence and mailing address OF ANY DURATION.
The letter must be on the provider's official letterhead. Ask at the circulation desk of any Springfield City Library location for a form that can be copied onto the letterhead of the social services provider or temporary employer. The letter must verify your residence, not just a PO Box. You won't need any additional ID or photo ID.
ID Options for Students in Area Colleges
If you are a student in an area college, show your school ID AND an ID with your permanent address from ID Options for MA Residents A. or B. (or out of state equivalent) AND any ID with your name and current local address if this is different from your permanent address.
If you do not have an ID with your name and current local address (most college IDs do not have this), you may fill out a Name & Residence Confirmation postcard, which we will mail to you. When you bring in the postcard postmarked within the last 30 days, we will give you a library card.
ID Options for Out of State Residents
If you are an out of state resident
- who owns property in Massachusetts, you may get a free Springfield City Library card when you show the deed or other document confirming your ownership of Massachusetts property AND the out of state equivalent of the IDs in ID Options for MA Residents A. or B. above.
- who owns a business in Springfield OR who works for the City of Springfield OR who works in the City of Springfield, you may get a free Springfield City Library card when you show proof of Springfield business ownership or Springfield employment AND the out of state equivalent of the IDs in ID Options for MA Residents A. or B. above.
- who is living temporarily in Springfield and working inside or outside Springfield on a temporary basis, usually three months or less (Six Flags employees or a visiting business person are examples), you may get a Springfield City Library card for an annual refundable deposit of $10 AND by presenting the out of state equivalents of the IDs in ID Options for MA Residents A. or B. above AND a letter dated within the last 30 days on your employer's letterhead verifying your local address. Ask at the circulation desk at any Springfield City Library location for a form that your employer can copy onto his letterhead and fill out for you. We will give you a receipt for your $10 deposit. We will refund your $10 deposit when you turn in your library card, all checked out library materials, and your deposit receipt at the end of your stay.
- who does not meet any of the out of state options above, you may get a Springfield City Library card for an annual fee of $35 payable by cash or check or money order made out to Springfield City Library AND by presenting the out of state equivalent of the IDs in ID Options for MA Residents A. or B. above.
If You Do Not Have Any of the ID Options above
If you do not have any of the IDs described above, you may present an ID of any kind with your name on it, tell us your full date of birth and we will give you a COMPUTER USE ONLY card. This allows you access to all computer resources in the Springfield City Library but does not allow you to borrow.
Getting Your Library Card
If your ID qualifies you for a Computer Use Only card, you receive that card immediately and may use it immediately to access Springfield City Library computers.
When you use a Name and Residence Confirmation postcard postmarked within the last 30 days as ID, you receive your card immediately and may immediately check out up to the network maximum, currently 50 items.
When you use any other IDs, we mail you your library card. You may check out two items immediately when you register and may check out up to the network maximum, currently 50 items, after you receive your card in the mail.
Expiration Dates on Your Card
When you use a Name and Residence Confirmation postcard or a residence confirmation letter from a social service agency or temporary employer as your ID, your card will be good for three months. Cards issued with all other IDs are good for one year.
Renewing Your Card
If you used a letter from a social service agency or a temporary employer as your ID, every three months we will ask you to get a new letter to confirm your current address. When you present the new letter, we will update your card for another three months.
If you used any other form of ID, circulation staff will ask you to state your full current address orally.
• If the address you give orally matches the address in the Library's record, we will renew your card for one year.
• If the address you give orally is different from what is in the Library's record, we will ask you to re-verify your address by ID. If you confirm your new address with an ID in ID Options for MA Residents A. or B above, we will renew your card for one year. If you do not have ID Options A. or B. with your new address, we will renew your card for three months and ask you to fill out a Name & Residence Confirmation postcard.
To keep our records current, we ask you to notify Circulation Desk staff when you move and to re-verify your address by presenting one of the ID options above.
The first replacement card is free. Subsequent replacement cards are free to anyone whose card was stolen. Juveniles pay 50 cents and young adults and adults $1.00 for subsequent replacement cards.
Lost or Stolen Cards
Notify any Springfield City Library location by phone or in person as soon as you notice your card has been lost or stolen so that we can block anyone else from using it. You may also always call the Main Library at 413-263-6828, x218 or x239.
We will not hold you responsible for items that are checked out after you reported your card was lost or stolen, but you will be responsible for items checked out before that.
If you notify us in person of a lost or stolen card, we will ask you for the IDs described in ID Options for MA Residents A. or B. above. If your IDs have also been lost or stolen, depending on what you first used as an ID, we will ask you to fill out a Name and Residence Confirmation postcard or bring in another letter confirming residence from a social service provider or temporary employer.
In any case, we will immediately block your card so that no one else may use it. If you have the IDs described in ID Options for MA Residents A. or B. above, we will issue you a new card immediately. If you use the Name and Residence Confirmation postcard or a letter from a social service provider or temporary employer, we will issue you a new card when you bring in the postcard or letter postmarked or dated within the last 30 days as your ID.
If you notify us by phone of a lost or stolen card, give us your name and we will ask you to confirm various elements in the record we find. We will immediately block your card so that no one else may use it.
To get another library card, come into the Library with one of the ID options described above. If you bring an ID in ID Options for MA Residents A. or B., we will give you a new card immediately. If your IDs have also been lost or stolen, we will ask you to fill out a Name and Residence Confirmation postcard or bring in another letter confirming residence from a social service provider or temporary employer.
In either case, we will immediately block your card so that no one else may use it. If you use the Name and Residence Confirmation postcard or a letter from a social service provider or temporary employer, we will issue you a new card when you bring in the postcard or letter postmarked or dated within the last 30 days as your ID.
Borrowing Materials from Springfield City Library
Present your Springfield City Library card OR a card from any other C/WMARS public library at the circulation desk of any Springfield City Library branch to borrow library materials. Your library card ensures that checkout will be quick and accurate. If you have forgotten to bring your card with you, you may use ID Options for MA Residents A. B. or D. above.
If you have a card from a C/WMARS ACADEMIC library , you must apply for a card from a C/WMARS PUBLIC library to borrow from a PUBLIC library. (For information about borrowing policies for the public at area academic libraries, click here.)
Who May Use Your Library Card?
Only YOU may use your library card. Keep your card safe and never let anyone else use your card because you are responsible for everything that is checked out on your card. Notify the Library immediately if your card is lost or stolen.
There are only two situations when someone may use another person's card. You may use another family member's card to pick up holds that have come in for that person. You may not use another family member's card to check out non-hold items. You may also use the card of a homebound or handicapped person who has authorized you to be his/her Designated Borrower to check out holds and all other materials for that person. We ask you to show an ID with your name on it when you check out as a Designated Borrower.
If you can't come into the Library yourself
The Library offers Designated Borrower, Library in Your Mailbox, and holds pick up to people who can't come into the library themselves.
If you are not able to come to the library yourself due to a permanent or temporary disability, you may designate up to two other persons to use your library card to borrow library materials for you. You always remain responsible for all fines and fees for materials charged on your card. To protect you, we always ask your Designated Borrower to present a picture ID when using your card. To apply for this service, you may print out and complete the Designated Borrower form and have a friend, family member or caregiver bring the completed form to the circulation desk of any Springfield City Library location. Or you may mail or fax the form to the Circulation Department, Springfield City Library, 220 State Street, Springfield, MA 01103. The fax number is 413-263-6817.
Library in Your Mailbox
If you are a Springfield resident who is homebound or disabled you may participate in our free books-by-mail program, called Library in Your Mailbox. Click here for more information about Library in Your Mailbox.
Holds Pick Up
If you can't come into the Library yourself to pick up your holds (items you have requested from other libraries or on reserve from the Springfield City Library), you may have a family member pick them up for you. There are two ways to do this.
You may give your library card to another family member to pick them up for you. The family member will be able use your card only to check out the items that are waiting on the hold shelf for you. He/she will not be able to use your card to check out any other materials.
Or the family member may give us his or her own library card and your name. Again, we will check out only the items that are waiting on the hold shelf for you. He/she will not be able to use your record to check out any other materials.
Ask circulation staff about linking your card and a family member's card to make this easier.
Confidentiality of Library Records
WHAT YOU CAN BORROW
You may borrow any circulating material. This includes most hardcover and paperback books in the collection, many current periodicals, VHS tapes, DVDs, CDs, audio cassettes, books on tape, CD-ROMs, and children's games, puppets and toys. Items labeled REFERENCE, newspapers, materials on microfilm, special collection materials, and some current periodicals do not circulate and must be used in the library.
Loan Periods - Loan periods vary depending on the type of materials:
1 week: VHS tapes, DVDs, Magazines
2 weeks: New Adult Books
3 weeks: All other materials
Two items when you first register for a Springfield City Library card. After that, you may have up to 50 items checked out through the C/WMARS network at any one time.
Limits on Springfield Media per Check out
8 each of all other media (including VHS tapes)
Network Limits - by Media
20 - Total CDs and Juvenile CDs
20 - Total Adult & Juvenile VHS tapes and DVDs
20 - Total Adult & Juvenile CD ROMs
20 - Total Adult & Juvenile Books on Tape and Books on CD
50 Total Items Checked Out
10 active holds
ONE renewal for the original loan period if no one else has requested the item.
You may renew materials in person or by telephone at any Springfield City Library location. Please have your library card number ready when you call. You may also view your library record and renew online from the first screen of the online catalog. Click here for instructions.
Apply to all Adult, Young Adult and Senior borrowers.
10 cents a day per item up to a maximum of $3 per item.
BUT ... VHS tapes and DVDs - $1 a day per item up to a maximum of $5 per item
AND ... Non-Network Interlibrary Loans (outside C/WMARS) - $1 a day per item up to a maximum of $30 per item, plus all fees charged by the lending library.
Most C/WMARS libraries use the same loan periods, fine policies, and other rules as Springfield does, but there may be some differences. These all apply to you when you borrow materials from their libraries.
Returning Borrowed Materials
Please return library materials on time so that other people may enjoy them.
You may return the materials you checked out at Springfield City Library to ANY Springfield City Library location or to ANY library within the state. You may ask for a receipt any time you return materials to any library.
All Springfield City Library branches have outside BOOK DROPS so you can return materials even when the libraries are closed. If the book drop is full, DO NOT LEAVE THE MATERIALS OUTSIDE THE BOOK DROP OR THE LIBRARY. You will be responsible if they are damaged or stolen before they are checked in.
NOTE: The Central Library book drop is located at the top of the stairs in the Quadrangle parking lot on State Street across the street from the library.
If you return materials to another C/WMARS library, they will be checked in at that library and taken off your record immediately. You may always request a return receipt. Click here for a list of C/WMARS libraries.
If you return materials to a library that is not a C/WMARS library, they will remain on your record until they are returned to the owning library and you will be responsible for all overdue fines that accumulate.
OVERDUE MATERIALS AND BILLED ITEMS
When an item you have checked out is at least 14 days overdue, we send you a mail or email overdue notice. Click here to learn how to sign up to receive email notices. The overdue notice is a courtesy and you are still responsible for your overdue fines even if you don't receive the notice.
You may check your due dates any time by checking your record on line after you set up a PIN or by calling any library branch and telling the staff member your library card number.
When an item you have checked out is 28 days overdue, we consider it lost and we mail you a bill for the replacement cost of the item. When you have items that are more than 42 days overdue, we may refer your record to a collection agency. When this happens, we add an additional $10 collection agency fee to your library record.
When you have one billed item of any amount or $10 or more in overdue or other fines, we block your record and you may not borrow, place requests for materials or use the computers until you clear your record.
When you return a billed item, we deduct the replacement cost from your bill and we charge you only the maximum overdue fine ($5 for VHS tapes and DVDs; $3 for most other materials; $30 for ILL materials) and the $10 collection agency fee (if applicable).
If you have overdue Interlibrary Loan items, we bill you for the full replacement costs charged by the library that loaned us the material. This may include substantial processing, lost item, and overdue fees in addition to the actual replacement cost of the item and the maximum $30 ILL overdue fine.
If you report an item LOST before it has become overdue, we bill you the replacement cost of the item. If you wish, you may supply an EXACT copy in good condition of the lost or billed item instead of paying the replacement cost.
PAYING FINES AND FEES
You may pay overdue fines and other fees by cash or by check or money order at the circulation desk of any Springfield City Library location. The Library does not accept credit cards. Replacement fees for items owned by non-Springfield libraries may be paid ONLY by check or money order made out to the owning library.
Now Pay Fines Online
You can now pay fines, replacement book costs or other fees of $5.00 or more online using your Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. You can also make a donation to your local library! Click here for more information about this new service .
CHECK YOUR OWN CIRCULATION RECORD
You can check your own circulation record online and from there you can renew materials you have checked out, sign up for email notices, request materials, and turn on (or off) a record of your reading history. To view your record, click on the LOGIN link on the C/WMARS catalog to sign in. Follow the instructions on the screen and type in your library barcode number (found on the back of your library card) and your Personal Identification Number (PIN).
Getting a PIN
The first time you check your record online, you will be prompted for a PIN. Your PIN can contain numbers, lowercase letters, or a combination of both, not to exceed 30 characters. If you forget your PIN, go to any circulation desk and give the staff your library card or an ID in ID Options for MA Residents A., B. or D above. Since the PIN in your record is encrypted, staff will not be able to tell you what it is, but they will delete it and you can go back to the PAC and set up another one. For more information, click here .
Your record will display your name and address and all the materials you have checked out from any C/WMARS libraries, item due dates, and outstanding fines. If your name or address has changed since you first got your library card, show the Circulation Desk staff some identification with your new name and/or address and they will update your record. Your record will also display any outstanding Requests (called HOLDS) you have placed for other library materials and will give you the opportunity to renew materials you have checked out.
Renew Your Materials On line
At the screen that lists your checked out items, click on the buttons for Renew or Renew All. The due date will be changed for all renewed items. The system will not allow you to renew for the following reasons:
- You have already renewed the item once.
- Your record is blocked because of one or more billed items, or$10 or more in fines.
- Your card has expired.
Call any Springfield City Library location to find out why you could not renew your items.
REQUESTING MATERIALS FROM OTHER LIBRARIES
If you want an item that is checked out to someone else, is available at another C/WMARS library, or not found in any C/WMARS library, you may borrow it directly yourself, ask Library staff to request that item for you or you may place the request yourself in a number of ways. You may have up to 10 active hold requests at a time. (Effective February 2, 2009).
With your Springfield City Library card, you may borrow in person from any of the 80+ public libraries in the C/WMARS network. Use the Library's online catalog to find which libraries own the materials you want. Before you pick up material in person at another library, you may ask any Springfield City Library reference librarian to call the owning library to make sure the item is on the shelf and to hold it for you.
If you don't want to go to another library in person, you may ask Library staff to request materials for you or you may request them yourself electronically through the online catalog.
Have Library Staff Request Items You Want
• In Person
Fill out a HOLD Request form at any Library reference desk. You must have your library card with you to do this since we will need your barcode number to place the request for you.
• By Phone, Fax or Online from your home or office
Use our AskALibrarian service online or telephone or fax the reference desk at any Springfield City Library location. Please include your mailing address, telephone number, and library card number, along with details of the items you want.
Place Your Own Item Requests
You may place your own item requests electronically through the online catalog either from a computer in the Library or from your home or office. You may have up to 10 active hold requests at a time. (Effective February 2, 2009).
However you request your materials, we will call you or send you an email or a postcard notification when your materials are ready for pick up. Click here to sign up for email notification. We will hold the item for you for one week at the circulation desk of the library location you specified for pick up.
How long will it take to get something from another library?
Five to ten days is the average time for materials that are available in nearby libraries. It may take longer if the item is not available locally and we have to request it from outside the state.
How will I know when my item has arrived and where do I pick it up?
Circulation or ILL staff will call you, send you a postcard, or email you (Click here to sign up for email notices ) when the material has arrived. You may pick it up at the branch where you requested it be sent.
How long can I keep an item from another library?
Loan periods are set by the owning library. Most libraries in the C/WMARS network use the Standard C/WMARS Loan Periods, so loan periods vary depending on the type of materials borrowed. Materials borrowed from libraries in the C/WMARS network may be renewed once and the overdue fine for most of these is 10 cents a day up to a maximum of $3 per item. The overdue fines for VHS tapes and DVDs may be $1 a day up to a maximum of $5 per item. See Overdues Fines and Replacement Fees for additional information.
Materials borrowed from outside the C/WMARS network may not be renewed. The overdue fine may be $1 a day up to a maximum of $30. Most items are considered lost when they are 30 days overdue, at which time you are billed for their replacement cost. In this case, you are charged whatever replacement costs and fees the owning library assesses; these can be considerable. See Overdues Fines and Replacement Fees for additional information.
Email Holds Available, Courtesy and Overdue notices
Springfield City Library can email you when:
- your requested items are ready for pickup
- your checked out materials are about to reach their due date and
- when your items are overdue
It's easy to sign up! Just add your email address to your library record:
- Go to the Springfield City Library catalog (PAC)
- Click on the red LOGIN link
- Follow the instructions on screen:
Enter your name
Enter your library card number
Enter your PIN (Personal Identification Number)
(If you don't have a PIN, follow the instructions to set one up)
- When your record displays:
Click Update Your Email Address
Type your email address in the white window
Click Close Window
Click the red LOGOUT link when done
If you later decide you want to receive paper notices again, just follow these same steps and DELETE your email address from your record.
The library will continue to mail you paper bills for long-overdue items.
Neat Things You Can Do with Your Springfield City Library Card
- Borrow in person at more than 80 member public libraries in the C/WMARS Network.
- Return your materials to any of the 80 member public libraries and have them cleared immediately from your record.
- Check your library record, renew materials yourself, cancel holds online.
- Keep an online record of everything you have checked out.
- Request materials yourself online from all member libraries and have them delivered to the member library of your choice.
- Receive email overdue and holds available notices (that the items you requested are ready for pick up). New! You will also receive a reminder that materials will be due soon, so you can return or renew them by the due date. Click here for instructions on how to sign up for email notices
- Borrow discount and free admission passes to area attractions -- click here for more information.
Lost and Found
Lost and Found items are held for a short time at the circulation desk in every Springfield City Library location. Call any branch library to check on lost items.
For further assistance, you may contact the Borrowers' Services Department at 413-263-6828 x218 or x239, or the service desk of any branch library.
Circulation Policy Effective August 20, 2007
Alford, Barre, Hancock, Hawley, Hubbardston, Medway, Monroe, New Ashford, Otis, Randolph, Savoy, Tyringham, Washington
List Revised 2/18/2009
At present your town is not certified as a participant in the Massachusetts State Aid to Public Libraries program which is administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.
Because your town is not certified by the MBLC, other libraries in Massachusetts are not required to provide free library services to you. In May 2005, the Springfield Library Commissioners voted not to provide free library services to residents of decertified/uncertified towns. However, they did agree to provide service for payment of a $35 per person annual fee.
As of July 1, 2005, the only way you may borrow Springfield City Library materials directly or request them via system-wide holds will be to pay a $35 annual fee to Springfield City Library. Payment of this fee will also give you access to materials at the libraries in Amherst, Easthampton, Northampton, Greenfield, and Williamsburg. It will NOT give you access to materials at other libraries that block services to residents of decertified/uncertified towns.
You may pay this fee by check or cash at any Springfield City Library location.
If you do not pay the annual fee, you will still be able to use Springfield City Library materials in the library. You will also be able to use Springfield City Library as a pick up and check out location for materials from libraries that do not block service to you. However, the only way you will be able to borrow Springfield City Library materials will be to go to your town library or another library that will provide you service and ask the librarian to request them from Springfield by mail, email, or fax through traditional Interlibrary Loan.
Residents of all Massachusetts towns other than those listed above are eligible for all Springfield library services without the $35 fee. Hampden Library re-opened July 1, 2006, but is not yet re-certified. To recognize Hampden's reopening, Springfield City Library registers Hampden residents for free beginning July 1, 2006.
For the most recent list, click http://mblc.state.ma.us/ then click Grants & Related Program, State Aid to Public Libraries, Awards and Certification, Communities not certified.