Borrowing & Returning Policy

A library card is required to check out materials at the Watertown Free Public Library.

Loan Periods

Loan Periods at the Watertown Free Public Library are:

21 Days: Books, CDs, Children’s Books & CDs

14 Days: Videos, DVDs, New Books, Video Games, Children’s DVDs & Video Games, eReaders, Kill-A-Watt Devices

7 Day: New DVDs (Children’s Included)

1 Day: Museum Passes

2 Hours: Headphones, Laptop

The Watertown Free Public Library assumes no responsibility for damage to equipment.

Lost and Damaged Materials

Patrons will be charged for lost or damaged items according to the list price of the item, or the generic price entered in the bibliographic record. Patrons may also replace a lost or damaged item with an identical copy.

Overdue Fines

Fine rates are as follows:

.10 per day for books and magazines ; up to a $3.00 maximum per item

.10 per day for all CDs, DVDs, and Video Games; $3.00 maximum per item

.05 per day for Children’s Materials (books, CDs, DVDs, video games); up to a $1.50 maximum per item.

.10 per day for eReaders; $3.00 maximum per item

$1.00 per day for headphones; $3.00 maximum per item

$10.00 per day for museum passes.

$10.00 per hour late for Laptops

Fines on overdue items from other Minuteman Libraries will be collected at Watertown rates. Fines owed to public libraries outside of the Minuteman Library Network must be resolved with the owning library.

E-mail Notice Delivery: It is also possible to arrange for E-mail delivery of overdue notices. Once the address is entered, overdue and reserve notices will be sent to the patron’s e-mail as soon as they are generated by the system.


Materials may be renewed in person, by telephone, or online. Materials that are reserved for another patron may not be renewed. For telephone renewals, either the library card number or the item number of the item is required. Materials may also be renewed online.


Materials may be returned to the Circulation Desk when the Library is open.

Book drops are located in the front and rear of the Library. There is a drive up book drop on Thaxter Street between the Library and Town Hall. Also there are two remote drops throughout town, one at Middle School on Bemis and Waverly Streets and at the Hosmer Elementary School on Boylston Street. Drops are emptied daily.

Materials from other MLN libraries may be returned to the Watertown Free Public Library where they will be checked in. Overdue fines on materials from other MLN libraries will be charged according to Watertown’s policy.