Library Materials Responsibility

Library Materials Responsibility Statement

In using your library card, you are responsible for anything you check out of the library. Damage to library property and theft of library materials is a criminal offense. (MGL, Ch. 266, Sec. 100). We know you will make every effort to take care of our shared resources.

Process for Overdue Items

Most items overdue 28 days are marked Billed by Minuteman Library Network (MLN). MLN automatically blocks library accounts that owe more than $100.00 in fines or lost materials.

Options for Resolution

  • If you can locate and return Waltham Public Library materials we are happy to waive all associated fines and continue your borrowing privileges.
  • You can pay for the missing/damaged/stolen items.
  • If items were stolen while in your possession, and you are able to provide a police report or documentation, we will remove them from your account with no additional penalties or fines.
  • Sometimes patrons insist they have returned the materials, but the Library can’t find them. In these cases, patrons agree to look in all areas of their home/car/workplace to recover materials. Library staff will look in our building. If the item cannot be found, we can mark it “Claims Returned.”
    • Patrons are limited to 5 “Claims Returned” items, per MLN Policy.


High Value Items (Library of Things or Laptops or Hotspots)

  • Same as above.
  • Due to the high value of the item, if a patron “Claims Returned” a Library of Things item or Laptop, they are unable to check out any Library of Things/Laptops materials for 6 months/1 year for laptops. A message is placed on your account. After the 6 months/1 year, a note is kept on your account.
  • Typically we reach out to inquire about overdue high value items if they’re overdue by a week, over the phone and If patrons do not respond, we send a written letter warning we may file a stolen property report with the police. After one week, a report is filed.

Any appeals should be in writing/email.

Equity & Accessibility

It is a basic tenet of our customer service to make reasonable exceptions to our standard procedures for individuals on a case by case basis. Despite careful thought to design policies and procedures that promote the best possible experience for our patrons, there are occasions when excellent service requires something different. All staff are empowered to not only make these accommodations, but to suggest them. Additionally, the Library Director maintains the authority to modify or waive any aspect of this policy.

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