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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I get a library card?
  2. How many items can I borrow?
  3. What are your loan periods?
  4. Can I renew library materials over the phone?
  5. Can I renew online?
  6. How do I reserve Jones Library materials?
  7. How do I get materials from other libraries?
  8. I'm not able to get to the library. Are there services for the homebound?
  9. How do you calculate overdue fines?
  10. What happens if I have too many fines?
  11. Can I pay my fines online?
  12. What if I lose or damage something?
  13. What do I do if a library's audiovisual item gets stuck in my car or home player?
  14. I'd like to suggest a good book for the library. How can I do that?
  15. Are donations to the library tax deductible?
  16. Whose house was this?
  17. Can I use a library meeting room?
  18. Do you close for school snow days?
  19. Who's in charge of the library?
  20. Do you need volunteers?
  21. What can I do with used books?
  22. Which museum passes does the Jones Library have?



How can I get a library card?

You can apply for a card in the Front Office of the Jones Library or at the Circulation Desk at either branch library. To register you must:

  1. fill out an application (The application can be printed and filled out ahead of time. Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to open the file.)
  2. present a photo ID, and
  3. present proof of current address
Our "Getting a Library Card" page has more information.

How many items can I borrow?

Children's Collection: You may have up to 50 library items out at a time, but please limit the number of items to 20 per visit. Up to 20 books and 5 videos/DVDs may be borrowed at a time. Most items are loaned for 3 weeks, but videos and DVDs are loaned for 1 week.

In the General Collection: You may have up to 50 library items out at a time, but please limit the number of items to 20 per visit. Please limit spoken CDs to 5 per visit and DVDs to 5 per visit. Also, please limit music CDs to 10 per visit, although we will try to accommodate you if you need more. Most items are loaned for 3 weeks, but DVDs, magazines, and videos are loaned for 1 week.


What are your loan periods?

See our Loan Rules table for a complete list of loan periods, renewal limits, and fines.

Items may not be renewable if they are two or more weeks overdue, or if they are requested by another patron.

ESL tutors and students may renew ESL materials up to 5 times.


Can I renew library materials over the telephone?

Yes. Please have either your library card or the items to be renewed with you when you call. Our phone number is 413-259-3092.

Items may not be renewable if they are two or more weeks overdue, or if they are requested by another patron.


Can I renew online?

Yes. Log-in to your account and follow the instructions. If you're new to this process, you may want to view our video tutorial on renewing items.


How can I reserve Jones Library materials?

You can call the Reference Desk at 413-259-3096 or place holds online through our C/W Mars library catalog. If you're new to this process, you may want to view our video tutorial on placing holds.


How do I get materials from other libraries?

  1. First, search the C/W Mars library catalog to see if it is owned by any libraries in our consortium.
  2. If the item is not available in C/W Mars, you can check to see if it is available in the statewide Virtual Catalog.
  3. If you still cannot locate the item, contact the Reference Department at 413-259-3096.

I'm not able to get to the library. Are there services for the homebound?

The Library offers free delivery service to homebound residents of Amherst. Contact Amy Anaya at 413-259-3132 for more information or fill out this application (PDF) and return it to the library.


How do you calculate overdue fines?


DVDs & Videos:

On time or first day overdue (1 day grace period!): no charge. Second day overdue: $2.00, increasing by $1.00 per day to a maximum of $5.00 per DVD/Video.*

Walk-ins (Books or DVDs):

7 day loan period. Overdue fine $1.00 a day per item. Maximum amount per item: $10.00. Please note: No grace period.

Regular Books, Audio Books, Music CDs, Software, Magazines, Musical Instruments, and Equipment:

Returned on time or within 7 days of due date (one week grace period!): no charge. Returned 8 days overdue, 40 cents per item. After that, fines accumulate at a rate of 5 cents per day. Maximum fine per item: $2.00.*

E-Readers:

7 day loan. $1.00 per day overdue fine. No renewals. No maximum fine.

Museum Passes:

4 day loan. $5.00 per day overdue fine. No renewals. Maximum fine per pass: $20.00.

* Please note that if you renew your item on or before the due date, no fines will accumulate. To avoid paying fines, please renew items before they become overdue. Late renewals do not eliminate fines. Successful renewals will show a new due date.

What happens if I have too many fines?


The library will suspend borrowing privileges for borrowers with fines of $30.00 or more. Borrowers with fines of $10.00 or more will not be able to request materials from other libraries, or check out previously requested items from other libraries.

Borrowers will be charged a replacement cost for lost or damaged library items.

Can I pay my fines online?


Yes! To pay your fines online, please log in to your library account.

What if I lose or damage something?

The Library charges for the replacement of lost or damaged titles. A list of standard replacement rates is available from the Library Office.


What do I do if a library's audiovisual item gets stuck in my car or home player?

  1. Notify the Audiovisual Department staff (413-259-3090 or by email at audiovisual@joneslibrary.org). We are willing to waive overdue fines on our materials in this case.
  2. Visit these websites for suggestions on removing stuck videos or cds:
    Fixer Corp.
    How to mend it.com
  3. The Library is not responsible for damage to your equipment from our materials. You may have to take your player in for repair to remove the item.

I'd like to suggest a good book for the library. How can I do that?

Fill out a request form at the circulation desk or send a suggestion via our website at the "Buy Requests" page.


Are donations to the library tax deductible?

Yes, contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.


Whose house was this?

In the 1920's, the Trustees of the Jones Library decided to create a library building that would embody the image of "Mother Amherst welcoming her children" into a large, overgrown Colonial revival style home. The original reading rooms were designed to resemble living rooms with wood paneling and fireplaces, oil paintings, sculpture and oriental rugs. They very consciously rejected the Carnegie library style at the time which sought to create a "temple of learning."

In 1993, the original building was enlarged with a glass-roofed center courtyard and new Reference, Audiovisual, and Special Collections rooms. The front face of the library remains the same, however, and the interior rooms preserve its traditional homelike atmosphere. While some people seem to live here, this was never a private home.


Can I use a library meeting room?

There are two meeting rooms at Jones Library available by reservation in advance. Groups and individuals must register with the Library Office and pay rental fees, if applicable. Use of the Munson Library meeting rooms is scheduled through the Bangs Community Center at 413-259-3060.


Do you close for school snow days?

Town libraries close when other Town offices, not the schools, close due to hazardous winter weather. Announcements regarding library closings are made after 6:30 am via radio station WHMP - Northampton 99.3 FM and WRSI 93.9 FM and TV Channels WGGB 40 and CBS-3, as well as via the library phone line at 413-259-3094.


Who's in charge of the library?

The Board of Trustees of the Town Libraries and The Jones Library, Inc. consists of six publicly elected Trustees. Their meetings are held once a month and are open to the public.


Do you need volunteers?

We are unable to accept general applications for volunteers at this time. Those interested in volunteering for ESL tutoring can find more information and an application here.


What can I do with used books?


Several organizations in the area are happy to accept books that are in VERY good condition:
  1. Book sale (on-going in the library or annual Friends sale)
  2. Donate books to:
    • The Jones Library accepts nonfiction and fiction books during the first 7 days of each month. Please check with a library staff member before dropping off items - there are categories of books we can not accept. Please contact Linda Wentworth at 413-259-3168.
    • The Amherst League of Women Voters holds an annual book sale at the beginning of May. Donations are accepted beginning in early spring only. Their number is 413-549-7443.
    • Reader to Reader, a non-profit organization, distributes books to needy schools and libraries all over the country. Their number is 413-256-8595.
    • Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Hampshire County accepts children's books in good condition. Their number is 413-253-2591.
    • Books for Soldiers
    • Goodwill or Salvation Army stores - please contact the store first
      Goodwill in Amherst at 413-835-0096
      Salvation Army in Hadley at 413-582-0403.
    • Prison Book Project
  3. Distribute books through:
  4. Sell books through:
  5. Art or altered book projects:
PRINTABLE LIST: Here's a printable list of organizations [PDF] that accept used books.

Which museum passes does the Jones Library have?


We have passes to 13 museums and attractions:
  1. Amherst History Museum
  2. Historic Deerfield
  3. Holyoke Children's Museum
  4. Springfield Library and Museums at the Quadrangle
  5. The Eric Carle Museum
  6. Boston Museum of Fine Arts (discounted coupon, not a pass)
  7. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (discounted admission)
  8. Clark Art Institute
  9. Massachusetts ParksPass
  10. Mystic Aquarium (discounted admission)
  11. Smith College Museum of Art
  12. MASS MoCA
  13. The Zoo at Forest Park
Check the catalog for the status and more information. To reserve or check out a pass, please see the staff at the Children's Desk.

This page last updated on September 27, 2013.