Borrowing Frequently Asked Questions

If you do not find the answers that you are looking for, feel free to contact us at (207) 287-5600.

1. How do I register for a library card?

In order to have full borrowing privileges at the Maine State Library, you must register, either in person or online for a library card.


  1. You must be a Maine resident to receive a library card.
  2. You must pick up your card at the Maine State Library if you wish to check out materials from the library and the University of Maine system libraries.
  3. You must provide a valid ID with your current Maine mailing address:  i.e. Maine drivers license, checkbook, car registration, Maine ID card, hunting or fishing license, etc.
  4. We will provide you with an online database access number if you only want to access those databases. You will not have to pick up your card at the State Library.

Your borrowing privileges go into effect immediately after you complete all three requirments above.


2. How can I use my library card online?

You may manage your patron account and request items in URSUS, the Maine State Library catalog.

  • Renew materials
  • View checked out items
  • View fines
  • Requests library materials from other Maine libraries (how to do interlibrary loan)

3. How long may I keep an item?

The first time you check out library materials, you get three weeks.

  • You may renew items once for an additional 3 weeks.
  • You may not renew if someone else requested your item.
  • If your account has been billed for delinquency, you may not renew.

4. How do I renew an item?

You can renew items:


5. Who can use my library account?

  • You are the only person who can use your library card.
  • Children 13 and over may get their own cards. If they do not have an ID with their current address, a parent or guardian must be present to verify the child's address.
  • A parent or guardian, with a valid card, may also choose to authorize their children as additional users of their account.

6. How many items can I check out?

You may check out up to 25 items.


7. May I check out magazines?

Magazines do not circulate. You are welcome to make photocopies of articles from periodicals, or you may find articles on the Digital Maine Library: Maine's Virtual Library.


8. How much does it cost to make copies?

Photocopies and Internet copies are 15 cents per page. Microfilm and ledger sized copies are 30 cents per page.


9. Is there a way to return items after hours?

Unless it is otherwise stated on the cover, items may be placed in the book drop located in the front of the building.


10. How much do late fees cost?

  • The library does not charge a daily late fee. However, overdue and billing notices are sent to you.
  • If you ignore the notices, a $10.00 (per item) processing fee is charged, and borrowing privileges are suspended until the fee is paid.
  • If an item is not returned, and must be replaced on the shelf, then you will be charged a minimum of $30.00 in addition to the $10.00 processing fee even if the item is found and later returned to the library).
  • Any book returned damaged will also result in a minimum fee of $40.00 (per damaged item) and borrowing privileges will be lost until the book is paid for.
  • The library does not accept replacement copies for lost or damaged books.

11. If I cannot make it to the library, can I mail my items back?

Yes. You may mail the items back to us at your own cost. Our address is:

Maine State Library
C/O Circulation Department
64 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0064