Library materials including books, audio books, periodicals and videos are available for a three week loan period. Any material can be renewed for an additional 3 weeks if no other patron is waiting. A modest overdue fine of .05 cents a day (that the library is open) is collected. A book drop is located outside the library for the opportunity to return items when the library is closed.

Our library software allows patrons to search our catalog, put books on hold and request renewals, all online via this website.

Circulation & Borrowing Privileges

Registration Requirements

The Bowdoinham Public Library is a tax-supported public library.  This means that people residing within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Bowdoinham Public Library pay taxes to support the library.  Those people who live or own property within Bowdoinham need pay no additional fee to be eligible to receive their library card.  Library cards are renewed automatically every year without additional fees, provided the library card holder continues to reside within Bowdoinham and is a patron in good standing.

Individuals residing beyond Bowdoinham, may purchase a non-resident card for the price of $10 per year.  This fee entitles the entire family to use the Bowdoinham Public Library.

Students attending any of the SAD75 schools are eligible for a free library card, no matter what town they live in. Family members of students may use the student’s card.

Children under the age of 14 must have a parent’s signature on any initial application for a library card.  The application must be completed with both the child and adult present in the library.

Fees and Fines

The Bowdoinham Public Library has discontinued the collection of fines for overdue books, with the onset of the COVID pandemic.  National research has shown that fines do not ultimately result in people returning their books on time, but only create “ill will”.  We don’t want to handle coins and we certainly don’t want ill will.  Donations are accepted for people who are inspired by late returns.

Length of Loans

The Bowdoinham Public Library circulates materials in a variety of formats including books, magazines, books on cassette, DVD’s and CDs.  The following terms of loan are applicable as indicated.  All materials circulate for three weeks with two, three week renewals allowed.  If there is a waiting list or hold on any material, no renewals will be allowed.

Lost and/or Damaged Materials

Materials borrowed via any mechanism are the responsibility of the library patron.  Replacement cost (not original purchase price) is the responsibility of any patron who borrows and loses any library material.  In the case of children under the age of 18, it is the parents’ responsibility to pay for lost or damaged items.

Interlibrary Loan

When patrons want material that is not available within the Bowdoinham Public Library, we ask other agencies to provide it.  This is the process of interlibrary loan.  Since the Bowdoinham Public Library borrows materials using the postal service, the patron is asked to pay a $3 fee for the borrowing of each item.  Materials borrowed through interlibrary loan have a circulation period determined by the lending library, not the Bowdoinham Public Library.  We are happy to borrow materials from other libraries for you, but we ask that you respect the date by which those materials must be returned to their home libraries.  When the Bowdoinham Public Library is lax in returning materials borrowed through interlibrary loan, the library can lose the privilege of borrowing materials in that way for any of its patrons.  It is crucial that materials borrowed through interlibrary loan be returned in a timely manner.  Habitual failure to do so may result in individual loss of the privilege in order to preserve the privilege for other library patrons.  Email the library director or call to request materials. Include title, author and publication date.

Holds

Patrons may reserve materials which are not immediately available for patron use, but are in the collection of the Bowdoinham Public Library.  When the reserved materials are available to the patron who has placed the reserve, the library will notify the patron via phone, text or email.  The specific title of the material will not be stated to anyone other than the library patron who placed the reserve.  If the patron is not available by phone, a message will be left.  The date of the message will be noted and the material will be held for the patron for a period of one week.  If additional patrons are waiting for the material, the next patron on the list will be called and notified of the availability of the item, and the same procedure will be followed.  If no additional patrons are waiting for the material, the material will be placed back into general circulation.

Confidentiality of Records

The Bowdoinham Public Library abides by Maine Statute Title 27, Chapter 4A section 121 Confidentiality of Library Records which states that the records of patron transactions and the identity of registered library patrons is confidential material.  The Bowdoinham Public Library does not make available the records of patron transactions to any party except in compliance with the law.  The Bowdoinham Public Library does not make available lists of registered library patrons except in compliance with the law.

Fees

(NOTE: Fees are currently not being collected during COVID to reduce the handling of coins.)

Copies:  .15 per page.  If enlargement or reduction is required by the patron, the per page fee applies to each step in that process.  Enlargement and reduction is not an exact science and may take several pages.

Computer printouts:  .15 per page.  This fee applies to all material printed by library printers including, but not limited to, Internet downloads, CD-ROM product information, personal work, and graphics.

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