Library Card

The Newton Free Library is a member of the Minuteman Library Network (MLN). Your library card entitles you to borrow materials from the Newton Free Library as well as 43 other public and academic libraries. Policies regarding loan periods, fines, renewals, etc. vary depending on the individual library. Items checked out in Newton follow Newton circulation policies.

Library Card Policy

A library card may be obtained by presenting photographic identification and confirmation of current address. Children at least age five or enrolled in kindergarten may have a card and a parent or legal guardian may confirm their name and address using their own identification. A full legal name and current mailing address must be on file for cardholders of all ages. Parents or guardians are responsible for any charges incurred for materials borrowed by their minor children (age under 18 years).
Newton residents are eligible to sign up for a library card, as are all Massachusetts residents not living in a town that has had its reciprocal borrowing privileges suspended by the Board of Library Trustees due to lack of certification by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. As members of the Minuteman Library Network, Newton adheres to the Minuteman policy of issuing only one library card per person for use at all public libraries in the network.
Out-of-state residents who meet the following requirements may be issued a library card with sufficient identification: work in Newton; attend school in Newton; own property in Newton; are temporarily living in Newton for more than 2 months. Out-of-state residents must provide identification showing their home/permanent address.
You must present your library card when checking out materials. We take your right to privacy very seriously, therefore we require that you use only your own card and recommend that you do not give your card to others. You may use a representation of your card on your own personal smartphone if it is done with an application that properly displays the barcode for our barcode readers.
Please notify the library immediately of any loss of your card or device holding its representation, and notify us of any changes in address, telephone or email.
Policy adopted by the Board of Library Trustees on September 25, 2013

Apply for a Library Card

Ways to Apply

Apply in the library or online.

When applying you will need one of the following forms of Valid ID

Valid ID(s)

Before creating a new patron record, the individual must present the following:

  • Current, valid Massachusetts Driver’s License or Massachusetts State Identification Card with current address.
  • OR…one document from Section 1 AND one document from Section 2 below:

Section 1. Proof of identification – current or expired (i.e. driver's license, passport, school ID)

  • Passport
  • Alien Resident Card
  • Government issued cards, such as Military ID
  • MBTA's Senior or Transportation Access Pass photo Charliecard
  • State issued photo ID including welfare, Medicaid or Firearms Identifiaction Card
  • University or school ID

Section 2. Proof of current local address* (must include applicant’s name)

  • Utility bill or tax bill (dated within the last 60 days)
  • Imprinted bank check or deposit slip
  • Official school schedule with applicant’s name and address typed on it
  • Official letter verifying residency and mailing address dated within last 30 days from a social service provider, temporary employer that provides housing, or a short-term residence
  • Postcard mailed to applicant from the library

No longer acceptable as proof of current address: Lease agreements, rent receipts, and personal letters.

*a Post Office Box or business address is not sufficient – a current residential address is required.


You can now access your library card from your smartphone using the Minuteman Library Network App. Visit to learn more.

Your library card barcode can be scanned into your smartphone and used at the staffed circulation desks as well as the self-checkout machines. Please visit your device's app store for the appropriate barcode scanner app for your device.

You may also use other general-purpose barcode scanner apps found in your device's app store and test them for suitability

Replacement Library Card

A lost, stolen, or broken library card can be replaced for a fee of 50¢.

Loan Rules and Late Fees

For the majority of library materials, the loan rules are:

  • 3 Week Initial Loan Period
  • Up to 2 Renewals as long as no reserves are pending
  • Late items are assessed an overdue of 15 cents, up to a maximum of 6 dollars

The following are exceptions to these rules

  • Children's Books and Magazines are assessed a late fee of 10 cents per day, up to a maximum of 3 dollars
  • Video materials, (DVD's, Blu-Ray, Playaway Views, & LaunchPads) may be taken for 1 week, may be renewed twice*, and are assessed 50 cents per day late fees, up to a maximum of 10 dollars *Playaway Views may not be renewed
  • Speed Read Books may be taken for 1 week but may not be renewed or reserved
  • Magazines in the adult collection may be taken for 1 week
  • Kindles & Video Games may only be reserved by Newton patrons for pick up in Newton, and have limits on how many may be borrowed at a time, 1 for Kindles, 6 for Video Games
  • Inter-Library Loan Materials from outside of the Minuteman Network have special rules. Late fees are $2 per day
    • Items obtained via the Commonwealth Catalog may be taken for 4 weeks with no renewal, and a lost/damage fee of $100 minimum
    • Other Libraries will individually set their loan period and may allow renewal if asked by our Reference staff. Call 617-796-1360 if you need a renewal

Patrons are allowed a maximum of 150 items to be checked out to their account. There is a limit of 50 requests per account. Items cannot be borrowed or renewed if the late fees are over $10.

Museum Pass Program

Discounted passes are available to Newton residents. You can make reservations through our website or over the phone at (617) 796-1360.

If you would like to cancel a reservation, please do so online or call the Circulation Department at 617-796-1360.

Passes are limited to Newton residents, and patrons may reserve up to two passes per day. Returnable passes may be picked up the day before or the day of your reservation. If the library is closed the pass may be picked up two days before. Non-returnable passes may be picked up at the library up to a week in advance. Please bring your library card to pick up the pass.

Returnable passes must be returned the SAME DAY they are used. There is an overdue charge of $3 per day if returned late. Please return to a Circulation desk if the library is open or in the overnight book drop if we are closed.

The library is not responsible for honoring reservations when passes have not been returned by the previous borrower.