FAQs

I have a question about…

How do I get a library card?

Please use one of the following forms to apply for a Minuteman Library Network borrower card, if you do not have one already. You should print it, fill it out, and bring it with you, along with positive identification and proof of current address, to the circulation desk in one of our libraries.

I don’t know my password or PIN.

If you’ve lost your password or PIN or never created one, you can reset it online by clicking the “Forgot My Password” link under the My Account login box or in person at any library location.

Why am I having trouble using the catalog or My Account?

Check out Minuteman Catalog Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for tips on using the catalog.

How many items can I borrow?

Minuteman Library patrons can borrow a total of up to 150 items at a time. Up to 2 video games can be borrowed at a time, and 1 Library of Things item (like iPads, Rokus, and telescopes) of each type can be borrowed at a time.

How long can I borrow Library items?

With the exception of Quick Pick items, books, audiobooks, music, board games, and telescopes belonging to the Public Library of Brookline can borrowed for 28 days. Magazines, movies, video games, electronics, and cake pans can be borrowed for 14 days. Regular items can also be renewed up to two times if no other patrons have requested them.

What are Quick Pick items?

Quick Pick items include books, movies, and electronics that cannot be requested or renewed. All Quick Pick items can be borrowed for 14 days.

How do I renew an item?

Renewals may be done either online, in person, or over the phone. Please have your library card number handy when renewing. You may renew most* items twice.

To find out why an item is not renewable, please check this list, or speak to a librarian.

How do I order or reserve items?

You may place a hold on any materials in the Minuteman Library Network. Holds can be placed online, in person, or over the phone. When your item comes in, you will receive an email notification, and the item will be held for you for 7 days. If you do not have email access at home, you will receive notification by phone.

You can use your online account to check the status of your holds and get up-to-the-minute information on what is being held for you.

If an item you want is not in the Minuteman catalog, you may be able to request it via the Commonwealth Catalog or Interlibrary Loan.

How will I be notified when reserves arrive?

In addition to viewing your account online at My Account, you can sign up for email or text alerts.

Setting Up Email Notices

You can add your email address to your account over the phone, in person, or online.

To set up email notification online:

  1. Go to My Account
  2. Enter your barcode number and your PIN
  3. If your account does not already have a PIN assigned, see PIN instructions here
  4. To add or change your e-mail address, click “Modify Personal Information”
  5. Fill in your email address
  6. Click submit and close the window

 
Setting Up Text Notices

The Minuteman Library Network uses Shoutbomb text services to allow patrons to:

  • Receive notices about holds ready for pickup, renewal reminders, and overdue items
  • Send a text to renew items or check your fine balance
  • Get reminders about your account status before hitting fine limits or expiration date

 
To set up text message notification, text SIGNUP to 833-201-1813, then reply to the Shoutbomb messages with your library card number. Within an hour, you will receive several introductory messages.

To learn more about the Shoutbomb service, visit the Minuteman Library Network site.

Troubleshooting email notices

In rare cases, you may find that you are not getting your email notices, even if you used to. This is probably because your email provider has changed its algorithm for determining whether messages are junk or spam. If so, see troubleshooting tips here.

How do I request the Library buy an item?

First, make sure that the item is not already in the library catalog. If you’re not sure, please feel free to ask at any of our locations, or call the reference desk of the Brookline Village at (617) 730-2369.

If the item is not new, consider requesting it via the Commonwealth Catalog or Interlibrary Loan; it is likely to be available in another library, and is less likely to be in print.

Then, fill out our purchase request form.

Why can’t I request new films online?

Please click here for the Minuteman Library Network-wide policy concerning new and high demand feature films.

How much are fines for late items?

Except for movies, video games, and electronics, all Adult items accrue 15¢/day in late fines, and all Children’s items accrue 5¢/day in late fines. Movies, video games, and electronics in any collection accrue 50¢/day in late fines.

Commmonwealth Catalog Items accrue $2/day in late fines, and Worldcat Interlibrary Loan Items accrue $1/day in late fines.

How do I pay for a lost item, and can I get a refund if I find it?

We encourage patrons to renew any Brookline items they cannot locate and take the time to search thoroughly for missing items before paying for them.

Library staff will check the shelves in the hope that the item can be found before payment is made.

No refunds will be issued for lost Brookline items after payment is made.

Payment may be made in person with cash or check or you may pay using a credit card in the My Account section of the Minuteman library catalog.

In lieu of payment, new replacement copies of the same format are authorized at the discretion of the Department Head or designee.

I know I returned an item, but it is still on my account. What do I do?

If you returned the item late in the previous day or in the book drop, give us a few hours after opening time to process the returns. If it is still on your account the next day, give us a call or send an email, explaining the situation. Our staff processes more than 1,000,000 returns per year and occasionally misses an item. It is our policy to accept your word that up to two items were returned but failed to get checked in properly.

We give the item in question a status of “Claims Returned”. This allows us to generate a report of such items and search our shelves for them. If the item is found, you will not be charged overdue fines. In any case, you will not be billed for your first two “Claims Returned” items.

After you have had two “Claims Returned” items, we advise that you not return items in our book drops, but bring them into the library and return them directly to a staff member instead. You may want to ask for a receipt so that there is no question that all of your items were checked in properly.

If you have more than two “Claims Returned” items, you will be billed for the third item and any subsequent “claims returned” items.

Please be aware that we can only mark Brookline-owned items “Claims Returned.” It is Minuteman Library Network (MLN) policy that patrons must ask the owning library for a claims returned, even though you borrowed the item from Brookline. Please see About Member Libraries for contact information for other MLN libraries.

Please do not leave returned items on top of a bookdrop, sticking out of a bookdrop, or on the ground if the bookdrop is overflowing. It is better that you keep the item and return it late than leave it where someone could easily steal it. When returning items inside the library, we recommend that you do not just leave items on top of a busy circulation desk, but stick them into the slots provided, if you do not have time to wait for a staff member to process the checkin in front of you.

Will you notify me when my items are overdue?

In addition to viewing your account online at My Account, you can sign up for email or text alerts.

Email notification setup:

You can add your email address to your account over the phone, in person, or online.

To set up email notification online:

  1. Go to My Account
  2. Enter your barcode number and your PIN
  3. If your account does not already have a PIN assigned, see PIN instructions here
  4. To add or change your e-mail address, click “Modify Personal Information”
  5. Fill in your email address
  6. Click submit and close the window

 

Text message notification setup:

The Minuteman Library Network uses Shoutbomb text services to allow patrons to:

  • Receive notices about holds ready for pickup, renewal reminders, and overdue items
  • Send a text to renew items or check your fine balance
  • Get reminders about your account status before hitting fine limits or expiration date

 

To set up text message notification, text SIGNUP to 833-201-1813, then reply to the Shoutbomb messages with your library card number. Within an hour, you will receive several introductory messages.

To learn more about the Shoutbomb service, visit the Minuteman Library Network site.

Troubleshooting email notices

In rare cases, you may find that you are not getting your email notices, even if you used to. This is probably because your email provider has changed its algorithm for determining whether messages are junk or spam. If so, see troubleshooting tips here.

How do I renew an item?

Renewals may be done either online, in person, or over the phone. Please have your library card number handy when renewing. You may renew most* items twice.

To find out why an item is not renewable, please check this list, or speak to a librarian.

How do I get online?

If you have your own device, connect to the network called LibraryWiFi with the password brookline (all lowercase).

The Library has public desktop computers with one-hour sessions available at all locations. You do not have to have a library card or be a Brookline resident to use them.

How much does printing cost at the Library?

Black and white printing costs 15¢/page. Color printing costs 40¢/page.

How do I print from my device at the Library?

To print wirelessly from a personal laptop or other mobile device, please register at bit.ly/brklibprint. Note that your chosen identity number will be used to collect your job at a pay station. Once you’ve registered, visit bit.ly/brklibprinthelp for setup on your personal device. After you’ve sent your print job(s) proceed to a pay station.

At the pay station, tap “Registered User,” enter your identity number, and select “Print.” You can now choose your print jobs and pay for them with coin, cash, or card. Please note, for card payments a $10 temporary charge from NAYAX will appear on your bank account.This $10 charge will be reconciled with your actual print cost within 24 – 48 hours.

For further support please see our pamphlet or ask a library staff member for help.

How do I print from a Library desktop computer?

To print from a library desktop computer, click the print command in any program. Confirm that you want to print, make a note of your station number (labeled on the bottom left-hand corner of the monitor), and then proceed to a pay station.

At the pay station, tap “Registered User,” enter your station number, and select “Print.” You can now choose your print jobs and pay for them with coin, cash, or card. Please note, for card payments a $10 temporary charge from NAYAX will appear on your bank account.This $10 charge will be reconciled with your actual print cost within 24 – 48 hours.

How do I print from a Library Chromebook?

To print from a library Chromebook, click the print command in any program. A program may prompt you for a username and password. The username and password are labeled below the Chromebook’s keyboard. After you’ve sent your print job, proceed to a pay station.

At the pay station, tap “Registered User,” enter your Chromebook username, and select “Print.” You may now select your print jobs and pay for them with coin, cash, or card. Please note, for card payments a $10 temporary charge from NAYAX will appear on your bank account.This $10 charge will be reconciled with your actual print cost within 24 – 48 hours.

For further support please see our pamphlet or ask a library staff member for help.

How do I sign up for homebound delivery of Library items?

The Brookline Council on Aging (COA), in cooperation with the Public Library of Brookline, can set up delivery and return of library items for homebound Brookline residents through our Library Connection program. To sign up or volunteer for this service, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator of COA at 617-730-2743. If you experience difficulty reaching the Volunteer Coordinator, please call the Council on Aging (617-730-2777).

How do I reserve museum passes?

You can book museum passes online, by phone, or in person at any library location.

Are there job openings at the Library?

Job postings at the Public Library of Brookline are posted on the Town of Brookline’s website.

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