Borrowing

To borrow books and other library materials or to request items from other libraries, you must have a current library card.
What can I borrow?
A lot! We have large collections of books, magazines, DVDs, videos, music CDs, books-on-CD, Playaways (portable audio players), and books-on-tape — as well as a large and growing collection of digital books, downloadable audiobooks, and digital magazines. You may also borrow musical instruments, e-readers & tablets, and museum passes. And from our Audiovisual Department, you may borrow equipment including video players, tape recorders, a portable MP3/CD player, TTYs, magnifiers, a Perkins talking book cassette player, and a Perkins talking book digital player.
How many items may I borrow?
You can borrow up to 50 items at a time. Please limit the number of books-on-CD, DVDs, and Playaways (portable digital players) to 5 per visit.
How long may I borrow items?
See our Loan Rules table for a complete list of loan periods, renewal limits, and fines. Items may not be renewable if they are 2 or more weeks overdue, or if they are requested by another patron. ESL tutors and students may renew ESL materials up to 5 times.
Are there items I can't borrow?
Yes, there are a few types of items that can't be borrowed, including reference books, materials in our Special Collections, newspapers, the most current issues of magazines, and magazines that are over 10 years old. Most of these items can be read or viewed inside our libraries.
Where can I use my Jones Library card?
You can use your Jones Library card at any of the public libraries in the C/W MARS consortium. You cannot use your Jones Library card at the college libraries in C/W MARS, though you can place holds on items owned by these libraries for pick up at a public library.
Can I borrow items from other libraries?
Yes! You can easily borrow items from around the region via the C/W MARS consortium, from across Massachusetts via the Commonwealth Catalog, and from throughout the country via Inter-Library Loan (ILL). Requested items can be held for you to pick up at any of our libraries. See Searching & Placing Holds for details. And please contact our Reference Desk at 413-259-3096 for assistance.
Where can I return items?
Items borrowed from any public library in the C/W MARS consortium may be returned to any other C/W MARS library. Items borrowed through the Commonwealth Catalog or via Inter-Library Loan (ILL) must be returned to the Jones Library or one of our branches.
Will the library send me overdue notices?
Overdue notices are sent by email when an item is 1 week overdue – or sooner if it is a 1 week loan. Bills are sent by regular mail or email when an item is 4 weeks overdue. If we do not have an email address for you, the first notice you receive in the mail will be a bill for overdue items.
How does the library calculate overdue fines?
See Calculating Overdue Fines for details.
Can I pay my fines online?
Yes, you can pay your fines online with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover, by logging into My Account.
What if I lose or damage something?
It is your responsibility to replace or pay for any items that are lost or damaged. Some libraries accept exact replacements in excellent condition. Any exceptions must be approved by the owning library. Failure to replace or pay for lost or damaged items may result in suspension of borrowing privileges at the Jones Library, our branches, and other libraries in the C/W MARS consortium. Payments for lost or damaged items from other libraries may be paid in person — by check only — at any of our libraries. A list of standard of Amherst's replacement costs is available at the Front Office; you can also ask about replacement costs at any of our Circulation Desks. All fines and fees may be paid online using My Account.
What happens if I have too many fines?
We will suspend all borrowing privileges if you have fines of $30 or more. If you have fines of $10 or more, you will not be able to request items from other libraries or borrow previously requested items from other libraries. All fines and fees may be paid online by logging into My Account, or by visiting our libraries or any library in the C/W MARS consortium.
What if I lose my card?
Please report lost cards to any Circulation Desk or the Front Office as soon as possible. Replacement cards are free.
I've moved. What should I do?
Please report address changes to any Circulation Desk or the Front Office as soon as possible.