Borrowing and Loan Information


You may use your current CLAMS library card, or if you don’t have one yet please stop by, and we will be happy to issue one to you after you complete our registration form. You may print this registration form at home, complete the information and bring it to the Library. Children must be age 5 to get a library card. A parent or guardian will need to be present and sign the application form before the card can be used.

Please bring a picture ID such as a driver’s license with you. If you lose your library card it can be replaced for $3, just remember to bring a photo ID with you.

We have a dedicated computer for CLAMS catalog searches and it sits on top of the original card catalog where you can still look up items in our collection the “old fashioned” way if you desire. Of course, we are happy to teach you how to use the electronic catalog-just ask. We look forward to making searching for materials in the library work successfully for all our library patrons.

The West Falmouth Library collection includes fiction and non-fiction books, children’s books, magazines, audio books and Playaways, (portable pre-loaded audio books) and an ever-growing number of DVDs. Our books and audio books are available for circulation for a period of two weeks; DVDs and magazines for one week. We now have a limited number of titles on Playaways, which are self-contained, pre-loaded audio books – just plug in your ear phones into these card deck sized players and away you go. New books, audio books, and DVDs are added to the Library’s collection each month.

What may I borrow, and is there a limit to the number of items I may borrow?

Books, audio books, DVDs, compact discs and magazines may all be borrowed. The limit to the number of items borrowed is fifty. We ask that you self-limit the number of DVDS by choosing a reasonable number you can watch within the due date period of one week.

May I renew books?

Most items can be renewed twice if no one is waiting for them. The renewal period is the same length as the original loan period (see chart above). Material may be renewed in person, by phone or online using the CLAMS My Account feature.
Please Note: Titles borrowed from Interlibrary Loans, Commonwealth Catalog and Digital Downloads may not be renewed.

Overdue Fines

Change for overdue books

The CLAMS program is set to allow for a one-day grace period after the due date with the exception of Commonwealth Catalog and Interlibrary loan items. The late fees are charged when items are kept beyond the loan period. This is to encourage prompt return of the items so that someone else may use them. There are no fines accrued with Digital Downloads as they are removed automatically on their due dates.

Material Loan Periods Daily Late Fine Maximum Fine
Books, CDs, audio books, playaways (adult and juvenile) 14 days 10 cents $3.00
DVDs (adult and juvenile) 7 days $1.00 $3.00
Magazines 7 days 10 cents $1.00
Virtual Catalog 28 days $1.00 $10
Interlibrary Loan items varies $1.00 $10

Virtual Catalog and Inter-Library Loans

If you cannot find what you are looking for at any of the CLAMS libraries, click on the Commonwealth Catalog link on the CLAMS home page to search for the item statewide. Requests can be placed from home or you can ask a Library staff member to place the request. Most Virtual Catalog requests are able to be accommodated but not all, based on the loaning library’s policies. Inter-library loans (ILL) offers further searches for items from outside of the Massachusetts library systems and can be requested through your CLAMS library of choice.

Please note: postage may be required on some of the ILL items.

Where may I return items I borrow?

Items may be returned to the West Falmouth Library or any other CLAMS library. This includes most Cape-wide libraries (except for Sandwich Public Library which belongs to the Old Colony Library Network). An exception is our magazines which need to be returned directly to the West Falmouth Library. Our book drop, located to the left of the front door, is open at all times. When possible, it is requested that items be brought to the circulation desk during open hours. This prevents wear and tear to the Library’s materials. Items from any CLAMS library may be returned through the West Falmouth Public Library.

Vacation Loans

If you know you will need items for an extended period, ask a librarian for a vacation loan.
Note: Vacation loans are not available on items with ‘holds’ or on Interlibrary Loans.

Digital Downloads

Are you ready to start using the growing selection of digital downloads available through CLAMS and their partners at OverDrive? Have you noticed the words “electronic resource” when searching for a title in the CLAMS catalog? Click on the “OverDrive icon” and acquaint yourself with the ins and outs of this handy means of checking out digital items. Digital downloads may seem daunting at first but you can use the ‘HELP’ offered on CLAMS or bring your questions to your local librarian. Classes and tutorial sessions on how to use OverDrive on hand held devices are offered at local libraries.

Another source for digital downloads is the Commonwealth eBooks Collections. Here you will find 3 digital sources. Axis 360 provides a selMA eBook Projectection of popular fiction and non-fiction titles; Biblioboard features primary sources, historical documents, images, and video for downloading or viewing on your browser; EBL provides items to help with academic research and personal interests, from cooking to gardening.

For even more information

Please visit our How Do I…? page for even more useful information available to you through CLAMS and your CLAMS account. Or drop by the circulation desk and we will be happy to assist you with your questions.