Borrow, Renew & Pay Fees

Renew and reserve Library items and check your Library record online at My Account
Who can get a card?
This Library is partially funded by local property taxes and state aid in the form of a grant. If you live in or own real estate in the Rhode Island, your taxes help support the library and a card will be issued at no charge. In order to borrow materials from the Library, users must register for a borrower card. Cards which are free of fines and have not been used for a period of three years will be purged from the database.
        Patron Types:
  • Adult:  Patrons aged 18 or older.
  • Juvenile:  Patrons under the age of 18. A parental signature is required to obtain a library card. A parental signature is also required to have DVD, video and video game borrowing privileges.
  • Non-Resident:  Non-residents who work in RI or college students may obtain a library card but must present a photo ID printed with their permanent address.  Non-residents who work in RI must also show a current paystub of a RI employer.  These cards must be renewed annually and are issued with a local use only limitation (to be used at the issuing library only - no holds allowed on other library's materials) . College students must show a college ID as well as one with their permanent address.  Portsmouth property owners who are non-residents must show a current tax bill.
How to Get Your Card
  • To obtain a card you will need to show a valid picture ID from a city, state, or government agency such as a driver’s license, military ID, or a passport.
  • If your ID does not have your current address, a second piece of identification establishing residency by showing your current address will also be needed. Acceptable documents include a current utility bill, voter’s registration card, vehicle insurance card, or even your checks if they include your current address.
  • Non-residents who own property in Portsmouth need to provide a current tax bill for that property. Non-residents who work in RI must show proof of employment in RI.
Lost Cards
Library users who have lost their card may apply for a new one by showing valid identification and paying a non-refundable $1.00 replacement charge; minors also must be accompanied by the parent or guardian listed as the responsible adult on the minor’s card record. If a parent or guardian wishes to cancel a minor’s card they must be listed as the responsible adult on the minor’s card record. If the first card is later found, it must be destroyed or returned to the Library for reactivation with valid identification. Patrons should report lost or stolen cards as soon as possible; Library users are responsible for all materials checked out on their card up to the time that they report the card as lost.
Loan Periods / Borrowing Limits
The checkout period for books and books on CD is three weeks. DVDs, videos, periodicals, and music CDs may be checked out for one week.
Placing Holds
You can request materials in person, by phone or via the internet. We will notify you by phone or email you when the item is available for pickup.
Renewing Your Borrowed Items
Items may be renewed in person, by phone, or via the internet.  Only books and books on CD may be renewed for one additional 3-week period unless another patron has placed a hold on that item. No other items may be renewed.
Overdue Notices
In order to remind Library users that they have overdue items, three notices will be sent: (1) an overdue notice at 7 days; (2) a second overdue notice at 14 days past due; (3) and a billing notice at 30 days past due.  Notices are sent via email or print depending upon your library card registration preferences.
Library Fines
        Overdue Materials: Fine rates are as follows:
  • DVD/VHS                                      $1.00 per day/per item
  • Interlibrary Loan                           $0.10 per day/per item
  • All other items                              $0.10 per day/per item
       Maximum Fines: To encourage the return of long-overdue materials, there is a maximum per-item fine.
  • For each item                 $6.00 per item
      Payment of Fines: The Library will accept the following forms of payment for fines accrued:
  • Cash
  • Personal check made out to the Library on a check for the exact amount of the fines.
  • Money order or cashier’s check
  • Visa, MasterCard or Discover (online only)
  • Returned checks will be assessed a $25 fee.  Payments must be made by cash, money order or cashier’s check.
Borrower Blocks
  • Patrons will be blocked from borrowing materials if any of the following conditions exist:
  • If their overdue fines are $5.00 or more
  • If they have more than five (5) active claims returned
  • If the Library has reason to believe that the user has changed address; when this is the case, the library user may be asked to present current address verification before being permitted to check out materials.
  • If there is reasonable doubt of the person’s identity or permission to use the card.