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Borrowing Policy

The Topsfield Town Library assists patrons with checking in and out library materials, including holds.

Library Cards

Cards are issued to individuals who provide proof of Topsfield residency. Children ages six (6) through thirteen (13) can be issued a card with a parent/legal guardian and proof of residency. A cardholder is responsible for all materials checked out on their card.

Residents of other towns in Massachusetts

Residents of other towns within Merrimack Valley Library Consortium (MVLC) must go to their hometown for a library card. This card can then be used at the Topsfield Town Library. Residents of towns outside of MVLC must go to their hometown for a library card. This card can then be registered in our system and may be used at all MVLC member libraries.

Living out of state but working in Topsfield

A card that may be used at the Topsfield Town Library only will be issued. Patron must present proof of employment in Topsfield and an ID to the Circulation Desk for registration.

Borrowing Material and Limits

Item Loan Period Renewal Notes
Books 3 weeks 2  
“Hot Titles” Collection 3 weeks No renewal  
Audiobooks 3 weeks 2  
DVDs 1 week 2  
Music CDs 3 weeks 2  
Magazines 1 week 2  
Children’s Room Tablets 1 week No renewal 1 per family; must be returned to the Children’s Room desk.
Museum Passes 1 per day No renewal  
Reference In-Library Use Only    
Newspapers In-Library Use Only    


Library material that is eligible for renewal can be renewed twice. Items are not eligible for renewal when another patron has requested the item. If a patron has borrowed an item from another library, the Topsfield Town Library honors the renewal policy of that library. Exceptions must be discussed with a staff member. A patron with questions about renewing items, may contact the owning library for assistance.

Materials that have been requested from outside of MVLC may have due dates that differ from Topsfield-owned items. These due dates must be adhered to. Borrowing privileges with libraries outside of MVLC are jeopardized if the due dates are not honored. Patrons who do not return these materials on time may lose borrowing privileges.

Late Fines

The Topsfield Town Library does not charge fines for late items. However, patrons should be aware that other MVLC libraries do charge fines and patrons may be subject to fines if material was checked out at another location. The Topsfield Town Library honors the policies of other libraries with regard to their items.

Overdue Notices

Notices are sent to patrons to remind them of material due dates. Renewal of items prior to the item’s due date eliminates the generation of overdue notices. Patrons are encouraged to opt into email notification. Patrons will then receive library notices via email.
Emailed Courtesy Notice: 3 days before due date
Emailed Overdue Notice: 14 days after original due date
Mailed Billing Notice: 45 days after due date.
Phone Call: Staff may do follow-up calls to resolve outstanding issues.
Block on Patron Card: Generated automatically when patron has $20+ of unresolved bill and/or fines. A block may also occur when a patron has twenty (20) overdue items on their card.

What does a block mean?

A block on the patron’s card means that their borrowing privileges are suspended in all MVLC libraries until unresolved bills and/or fines are paid for, lost items are returned or overdue items are renewed or returned.

Lost/damaged items

Payment for lost or damaged items must be collected before the patron’s borrowing privileges are restored. Payment may be made at any MVLC library. The Topsfield Town Library does not accept replacement copies of items. Lost items must be paid for. Payment may be made in cash or by a check made out to the Topsfield Town Library. Other MVLC libraries may have different policies for their items that must be adhered to. If a lost Topsfield item is found after having made payment, the payment cannot be refunded. The patron may keep the item that they have paid for.

Age Restriction and Library Material

There are no content restrictions on borrowing. Parents, guardians, or caretakers are exclusively responsible for deciding what their child may read, view, or hear. Members of the library staff cannot be expected to act in loco parentis in permitting or denying access to any library materials to a patron based on age.

Museum Passes

The Friends of the Topsfield Town Library fund the museum pass program. Passes may be borrowed by anyone with a library card in good standing. Patrons may reserve one pass per day. Reservations may be made up to one month in advance on the library’s website, in person, or by calling the library.

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