FAQ

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Library Cards and Account Information

How do I get a library card?

Adults: Library cards are issued free of charge to North Branford residents at the adult circulation desk. To obtain a library card, adults must present a current CT driver’s license or proof of North Branford/Northford residency and complete a library card registration form. Residents of other towns must obtain a library card from the town where they live and then they are welcome to use the North Branford libraries.

Children: There is no minimum age to get a library card, but approval from a parent or guardian is required for children under 14 to obtain a card. A child must be present to receive a card. The borrower or guardian is responsible for the card’s security, for any material checked out, and for any charges incurred.

What if I misplace my library card?

If a library card is lost it will be replaced at no charge. A replacement card can be obtained at the circulation desk with proof of identity such as a driver’s license

How often will my library card expire and how can I renew it?

Library cards are valid for three years. When the card expires it can be renewed in person at the circulation desk at no charge. Card renewals cannot be done over the phone.

Where can I use my library card?

Once you have a valid library card from the Connecticut town where you live you may use it in any Connecticut public library. Some libraries may require you to present your library card at checkout. 

Checking Out Library Materials

What can I checkout with my library card?

Your library card allows you to borrow books, magazines, audiobooks, music CDs, DVDs, museum passes, cake pans and digital materials.

Is there a limit to the number of items I may have checked out at once?

In North Branford and Northford there are no limits to the number of items you can check out on your card.

Is there a way to see what I’ve checked out in the past?

Yes, there is a way to see what you have checked out previously. However, you must opt-in to this feature. To do so, log into your library account:

Click on Reading History in the left hand column under My Account
Click on Start Recording My Reading History
From this point on you will be able to view your checkout (reading) history
You can opt-out of this feature at any time by going to your reading history and clicking on the red tab – Stop Recording My Reading History
Library staff do not have access to view your checkout (reading) history

How long may I keep library materials?

New Adult Books: 14-day loan
Adult Books: 21-day loan
Large Print Books: 21-day loan
Adult Magazines: 7-day loan
Adult DVDs: 7-day loan
Adult Audiobooks: 21-day loan
Adult Music CDs: 21-day loan
Children’s Books: 21-day loan
Children’s Magazines: 21-day loan
Children’s DVDs: 21-day loan
Children’s Audiobooks: 21-day loan
Children’s A/V Sets (Book/CD): 21-day loan
Children’s Music CDs: 21-day loan
Museum Passes: 2-day loan
Interlibrary Loans: 21-day loan; materials we obtain for you from other libraries will be subject to the borrowing rules of the owning library.

May I renew library materials I have checked out?

Renewals will not be allowed on any items that are “on hold” for other library patrons. Additionally, anyone who owes the library $20.00 or more in back fines or bills will not be allowed to renew materials.

New Adult Books: limited to two 14-day renewals
Adult Books: limited to two 21-day renewals
Adult Magazines: limited to two 7-day renewals
Adult DVDs: limited to two 7-day renewals
Adult Audiobooks: limited to two 21-day renewals
Adult Music CDs: limited to two 21-day renewals
Children’s Books: limited to two 21-day renewals
Children’s Magazines: limited to two 21-day renewals
Children’s DVDs: limited to two 21-day renewals
Chldren’s Audiobooks: limited to two 21-day renewals
Children’s A/V Sets (Book/CD): limited to two 21-day renewals
Children’s Music CDs: limited to two 21-day renewals
Museum Passes: NO renewals
Interlibrary Loans: NO renewals; materials we obtain for you from other libraries will be subject to the borrowing rules of the owning library.

May I sign up to receive email or text message alerts when materials I have checked out are due back at the library?

Anyone who provides an email address will automatically receive email notifications regarding materials that will soon be due at the library. Anyone who wishes to receive reminders via text should sign up for SHOUTBOMB.

What is SHOUTBOMB?

With Shoutbomb, you can receive text messages from the library when:

Items you requested are ready for pickup
Items borrowed are almost due
Items borrowed are overdue
From your Shoutbomb account, you can text the library to:

Check to see what you have checked out
Renew your items, even if overdue
Add/manage multiple library cards in one Shoutbomb account
The library does NOT charge a fee for this service, but your cell phone plan’s text-messaging rates do apply.

How do I register for SHOUTBOMB?

Text the word SIGNUP to (860)345-1307. You will receive a reply asking for your library card number.  Text your library card number (the barcode). You will receive a confirmation text. When you receive this text registration is complete.

What if I keep my library materials beyond the due date?

Anyone keeping library materials beyond the due date will incur fines. Library items that are returned 1 to 2 days late will fall under a grace period with the exception of Museum Passes, Cake Pans and Interlibrary Loans. A grace period is never extended to Museum Passes, Cake Pans and Interlibrary Loans.

How are fines calculated?

When calculating fines, we count only the days the library is open. If materials are returned 3 or more days late no grace period is applied; fines will be calculated from the first day that the item is overdue.

New Adult Books: 2-day grace period, $.10/day fine
Books:  2-day grace period, $.10/day fine,
Magazines: 2-day grace period, $.10/day fine
DVDs: 2-day grace period, $1.00/day fine
Audiobooks: 2-day grace period, $.10 day fine
Music CDs: 2-day grace period, $.10 day fine
Museum Passes: NO GRACE PERIOD, $10.00 day fine
Interlibrary Loans and materials borrowed from other libraries: NO GRACE PERIOD, $.10 day fine

Where can I return my library materials?

Most materials borrowed from one of our libraries can be returned to either of the North Branford libraries or to other public libraries in Connecticut (NOT SCHOOL LIBRARIES.) Museum passes, equipment such as cake pans, and materials obtained through interlibrary loan must be returned directly to the North Branford library from which the patron borrowed them. Materials returned to our libraries may be placed in the book drops located near the circulation desks as well as the book drops located at the entrance of each building. Items left in the book drop after closing time are considered returned on the next working day.

What if I lose or damage library materials?

Long overdue items will be billed; if they are not returned, the full replacement cost must be paid. The full replacement cost must be paid for any items that are lost or damaged beyond repair. Lesser charges will be made at the discretion of the Department Head for materials which need to be repaired, dried out, or re-covered, or for other types of damage. A patron account with fines totaling $20.00 or more will be blocked and not allowed to borrow materials.

E-Books and More

What kinds of digital materials can I download/access with my library card?

Your North Branford library card enables you to download magazines, eBooks, comics, audiobooks, music, movies and TV shows:

Overdrive – Best-selling and award winning fiction and nonfiction eBooks and audiobooks
Hoopla – Movies, TV shows, music, eBooks, comic and audiobooks; always available with no hold lists
RB Digital – eBooks, audiobooks and over 200 popular magazine titles
Consumer Reports – ConsumerReports.org is the sister product of the Consumer Reports print magazine–both are published by Consumers Union, an independent nonprofit testing and information organization that provides overviews, ratings, and recommendations. Enter your library barcode when prompted for Patron ID
Lynda.com – an online learning resource offering more than 6,000 courses and thousands of video tutorials covering technical skills, creative techniques, business strategies and more taught by industry experts
JobNow – an interactive resume and interview online coaching/career advice resource to help guide patrons through the necessary tasks of looking for and finding a job. Job coaches are available to help patrons with any and all job search-related questions

Can I access digital materials from the online catalog?

Most digital media can be viewed through a search of the online catalog. A general search will bring up all formats that a particular title is available in. If you want to search for a specific format you can narrow the search by limiting the format:

Access the online catalog and click GO at the right of the search box
Utilize the Narrow Your Results option (left hand column) to access Format
Click on Format to access the type of digital media you are searching for – i.e. eAudiobook, eComic, eMagazine etc.

Hoopla, Overdrive and RB Digital provide eBooks and audiobooks – how are they different?

Anyone with a valid North Branford Library Card can download digital content from Hoopla and Overdrive.
The range of content as well as the number of checkouts allotted is different.

Overdrive

Provides access to eBooks and audiobooks
Titles can be placed on hold and therefore, may be checked out and not immediately available
A maximum of 10 items can be checked out at any given time
Initially you must download the Overdrive app or the Libby app to listen to audiobooks or read eBooks

Hoopla

Provides access to eBooks, audiobooks, comic books, music, TV shows and movies
All titles are readily available at all times
A maximum of 4 items in total can be checked out in one month. Once the maximum number of items has been reached you must wait until the following month to check out more Hoopla titles.
Initially you must download the Hoopla digital app to access downloaded materials

RB Digital

Provides access to eBooks, audiobooks and complete editions of over 200 popular magazines. RB Digital titles can be streamed or downloaded to a computer or mobile device (smartphones and tablets). On mobile devices you must download and install the RBdigital app from your device’s app store. The RBdigital app is available on iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire. Choose Libraries Online, Inc. as your Library.
Magazines: Access to over 200 popular magazines, with no wait list and no item limits. Issues may be kept as long as you wish, there are no checkout limits (unlimited borrowing). They do not need to be returned but you may return an issue by Clicking on the Checked Out tab on your account and either clicking on the X  in the upper right hand corner or clicking on the magazine cover and then click on Return. You can also download magazines to a mobile device for offline reading.
eBooks: Only 1 item can be checked out at any given time, for up to 7 days, with a maximum of 1 item on hold. To read titles on your computer, you will need to install Adobe Digital Editions. Adobe Digital Editions is a free software that is used on your computer to download and read eBook titles checked out from your library’s RB Digital website.
Audiobooks: A maximum of 15 items can be checked out at any given time, for up to 21 days, with a maximum of 10 items on hold. To listen to titles on your computer, you will need to install Media Manager. The RB Digital Media Manager is the easiest way to download, transfer, and manage audio titles on your computer. Using the Media Manager requires a one-time program installation. Once you have installed the Media Manager onto your computer, simply double-click the Media Manager icon on your desktop. Log in to the Media Manager using your RB Digital username and password.

Is there a limit to the number of digital items I can borrow at once?

Anyone with a North Branford library card may checkout e-materials from Hoopla, Overdrive, and RB Digital:

Hoopla: Access to eBooks, audiobooks, comic books, music, TV shows and movies. A maximum of 4 items in total can be checked out in one month. Once the maximum is reached you must wait until the following month to check out more Hoopla titles.

Overdrive: Access to eBooks and audiobooks. A maximum of 10 items can be checked out at any given time.

RB Digital:
Magazines: Access to over 200 popular magazines, with no wait list and no item limits. Issues may be kept as long as you wish, there are no checkout limits (unlimited borrowing). They do not need to be returned but you may return an issue by Clicking on the Checked Out tab on your account and either clicking on the X  in the upper right hand corner or clicking on the magazine cover and then click on Return.
eBooks: Only 1 item can be checked out at any given time, for up to 7 days, with a maximum of 1 item on hold
Audiobooks: A maximum of 15 items can be checked out at any given time, for up to 21 days, with a maximum of 10 items on hold.

May I renew digital materials?

Renewing digital titles works a little differently than renewing physical books from the library. Most eBooks and audiobooks cannot be renewed before they expire:

OverDrive – eContent from OverDrive can be renewed within the OverDrive app starting 3 days before the due date if the title is not on hold by other patrons. (You may need to download the title again after renewal.)

Hoopla/ RB Digital – Wait for the title to expire and then check it out again. You may be able to place a new hold on the title a few days before the title expires to help ensure continuous reading/listening.

What do I need to start using Lynda.com?

Anyone with a North Branford library card can partake of the course offerings:

Access Lynda.com
Initiate an account by inputting your library card number and creating a password
Provide your name and an email address
Download the Lynda app accessible through links at the bottom of the page under Apps. Available apps include an iOS app for iPhone and iPad; an android app for smartphone and tablet; a Windows 8 app for tablet and PC; a desktop app for Windows and OS X and an Apple TV app. 

Online Catalog

How do I access the online catalog from outside the library?

Library materials are included in the LION online catalog or through our website

How do I search for the most recent book written by my favorite author?

Access the LION online catalog
Type the author’s name (last name, first name) in the search box
Click GO (located at the right of the search box.)
Click on the heading – Added in the Last – located in the left hand column beneath the heading Narrow Your Results
Click on a particular time frame – i.e. On Order, Month, 2 Months, 6 Months, etc.

How do I limit searches to audiobooks, DVDs, etc.?

You can narrow a search to a particular format:

Access the LION online catalog
Type the title you are seeking in the search box at the top of the page
Click GO (located at the right of the search box)
Click on Format – located in the left hand column beneath the heading Narrow Your Results. If the format you are searching for isn’t immediately visible click on More to access a wider range of options
Select a format –  i.e. DVD, audio CD, etc.

Placing a Hold (Reserving Library Materials)

The item I want is checked out. How can I place a hold on it?

Find the title you want to request in the LION online catalog
Click Place Hold
Enter your Last Name and Patron ID Number (barcode) in the popup box
Select Continue
Verify that the library showing beneath the heading I want to pick this up at is correct. If you want to change the location utilize the right hand arrow to access a drop down menu
If you need the item by a certain date fill in Cancel if not filled by using the calendar to the right of the screen. If you have no time restrictions pertaining to your request omit this step
Click Submit Hold Request

How can I cancel a hold?

Login to your account through the LION online catalog
Click on the heading – Titles on Hold- located in the left hand column beneath My Account
Click on the Cancel Hold button located to the right of the title you wish to cancel
A prompt asking if you wish to cancel the hold will display – click OK

How many holds can I place?

There are no limits to the number of holds you can place

How will I know when my hold is ready for pickup?

We can notify you that a hold is ready by phone, email and text. Anyone who does not register for email or text notifications will receive a call from the library.  

Add an email address or update it by accessing My Account
Register for text messages via SHOUTBOMB. Text the word SIGNUP to (860)345-1307. You will receive a reply asking for your library card number. When you text your library card number (barcode) you will receive a confirmation text.  At this point, your SHOUTBOMB registration is complete.

How long is a hold held for me?

An item on hold stays on the hold shelf for 7 days before it is returned to the circulating collection.

I am going on vacation. Can I pause a hold?

Yes, if you have requested materials and want to “pause” your requests you can freeze them. This means that your holds will not be fulfilled until you “unfreeze” them but you will still maintain your position in the request queue. (Holds on eBooks and eAudiobooks cannot be paused.)

Login to My Account
Click on Titles on Hold (Left hand column)
Click on the check box to the right of the title (titles) labeled Freeze Hold. If there is no check box available you cannot freeze the title as this means that the item is available or on the way to you.
Click the MAKE CHANGES button
A frozen request displays more faintly and the FREEZE box is checked
To reactivate or unfreeze a hold uncheck the checkbox and click the UPDATE button
Click the MAKE CHANGES button

Computer and Internet Access

Can I use a library computer if I don’t have a library card?

The libraries have a number of Dell computers available for public use. You do not need a library card to use one of these computers but you must sign in at the Circulation Desk.  

How do I reserve a library computer?

Public computers are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Sign in at the Circulation Desk to use one of the available computers.

Do library computers have internet access?

All of the public use computers in the libraries have internet access.

What software do the library computers have?

Each Windows 10 computer is loaded with:

Web browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Office 2016: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher

May I use a flash drive on a library computer?

All of the library computers have USB ports and accept flash drives.

Can I print files from a library computer?

Yes, you can print files from a library computer; pages will print in the adult circulation department. There is a fee of $.10 per page for black and white copies and $.25 per page for color copies.

Does the library have WiFi?

The libraries offer free wi-fi access for your internet-connected devices. There is no card number or password requirement. Simply connect and you are free to browse the Web.  

Can I plug my device into electrical outlets in the library?

Yes, electrical outlets are available at many desks, workstations, and reading chairs.

Can I print files from my device using library printers?

Yes, you can utilize a library printer to print files from your mobile device:

Access the file you want to print
Select print from the dropdown menu at the top of your screen
Choose the printer identified as Atwater Library or Smith Library
Your printed copy will be available at the Adult Circulation Desk. The cost of a single-sided copy printed in black and white is $.10 per page. The cost of a single-sided page printed in color is $.25 per page.

Library Services

How do I use a copier at the library and how much does it cost?

Each library has a self-service copier available. The cost of a single-sided copy printed in black and white is $.10 per page. The cost of a single-sided page printed in color is $.25 per page. Copiers accept one-dollar bills, five-dollar bills and coins (nickels, dimes and quarters.)

Can I send or receive a fax at the library?

Outgoing fax service is available at both libraries at the adult circulation desks. Faxing costs $1.00 for the first page and $.50 for each additional page. The Library will provide a fax cover sheet upon request. This cover sheet will not count toward the total number of pages being sent. The Library does not accept incoming faxes on behalf of patrons.

How can I find out about library sponsored programs?

Numerous programs are offered for adults and children at our libraries. All library programs and program updates will be listed on our website. Access the libraries on Facebook, sign-up to join our email list and receive our e-newsletter and announcements about upcoming events or stop in at either library and speak to one of our librarians to find out what’s happening.

Does the library have study rooms?

The Seminar Room in each library may be reserved for study purposes. To promote the accessibility of the Seminar Room to a wide variety of users any individual or group is limited to a total of 3 outstanding reservations at one time.  

The library reserves the right to schedule the room for library use as needed
Six fit comfortably in the Seminar Room
Only one reservation per day is allowed for any individual or group
Anyone using the Seminar Room for commercial purposes will incur a charge of $10.00 per hour
Furniture arrangements must be maintained to comply with fire code
No alternate setups are allowed
Covered drink containers only

Does the library have a meeting room that I can reserve?

The Community Room at each library may be reserved for non profit and public functions. Rules and procedures as established under the Meeting Room Policy govern use of the Community Room. To promote the accessibility of the Community Room to a wide variety of users, any individual or group is limited to a total of 3 outstanding reservations at one time.  

The library reserves the right to schedule the room for library use as needed
The maximum occupancy of the Atwater Community Room is 36, and Smith’s is 34.
Anyone wishing to reserve the Community Room must complete a written application and sign a copy of the Meeting Room Policy. Both must be delivered to the library in person. All requests must be reviewed by the Library Director before approval is granted.

 

Does the library have a delivery program for residents who cannot get to the library?

Yes, the North Branford Libraries offer home delivery of library materials to North Branford residents who are permanently or temporarily homebound due to disability or health problems. Whether you like to read books and magazines, watch DVDs, or listen to audiobooks and music, the library will arrange to have items delivered to and picked up from your home by staff members. Please call the Atwater Memorial Library (203-315-6020) or the Edward Smith Library (203-484-0469) for further information.

Does the library have a book club?

Yes, a book club meets monthly at the Atwater Memorial Library on the third Thursday of each month at 12:00 noon. Check our Facebook site, signup for our e-newsletter or stop in at one of the libraries to get details.

Does the library publish a newsletter?

Yes, we have an e-newsletter so you can stay up-to-date on upcoming programs, resources and services at the libraries. You can subscribe by entering your first and last name and email address in the “Subscribe to our e-newsletter” box on our homepage.

Get Involved

Does the library accept donated materials?

The Atwater and Smith Libraries are grateful when people think of donating books and other materials. Every gift to the library must be reviewed and approved by the Library Director before being cataloged. Donated items which the library is not going to keep may be sold or given away. Please refer to our donation guidelines. For receipt of donated materials, please bring this completed form to the Library for approval.

Does the library sponsor a used book sale?

Yes, both the Atwater and Smith Libraries have an ongoing used book sale.  Donations for this sale are accepted at the adult circulation desk.  Please do not put donated materials in the book returns at the front of the building or at the circulation desks. Proceeds from the sale go toward the funding of library programs.

How can I volunteer?

The library’s volunteer program is designed to enhance public service to the community.  Volunteers generally provide support services to paid staff and/or work on special projects. Anyone wishing to volunteer should contact the Library Director, at director@nbranfordlibraries.org or complete and submit our volunteer application form.