Southborough Library
Southborough Library

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Frequently Asked Questions

Updated October 2023

How do I get a library card?
To get a library card, please bring in a photo identification and proof of your current residence, such as a valid driver’s license or non-driver's identification with your current address printed on the front, or a photo ID (e.g., a passport or school identification) with a piece of recent, registered mail or other valid proof of address. Read more about how to get a library card.

The library also issues replacement cards for free which you can request at any circulation desk.

Does the library have meeting rooms available?
No, there are no meeting rooms available to the public. 

Can I book a private study room?
No. All space at the library is open and public. If you need a private meeting space, the library unfortunately cannot accommodate you.

I am a private tutor. Can I tutor students in the library?
The library's main floor is a shared public space. Note that this area is not equipped as a private tutoring space and we offer no private study space. We ask that if you choose to tutor here, you are respectful of those around you who may be trying to quietly read or study and understand that you may be asked to move if the space is being used for an event.

Where can I Zoom / videoconference in the library?
There is no place to take a Zoom call or videoconference in the library. This is disruptive to other people in the building who are trying to read or study.

Where can I use my phone or take a phone call at the library?
We ask that you take any phone calls outside the building. The minimizes disruptions to people who are trying to read and study inside the library.

How do I put a book on hold?
You can put a book on hold by logging into your online account on our website at and clicking on "Manage Your Account" on the homepage upper right hand corner. Enter your password and PIN (Your default PIN is typically the last four digits of your phone number) to log in and then search for the title you would like to place on hold and then hit "Place Hold" in the gray box to the right of the item. You can also call the library at 508-485-5031. To be notified of a book's availability, the library can send you an email or give you a call.

How do I pick up a book on hold?
When you have been notified that the material is available, please visit the book hold area next to the circulation desk on the Main Floor for patrons to pick up books on hold. Please note all CHILDREN, YOUNG ADULT, and ADULT materials can be picked upstairs on the Main Floor and will be sorted by your last name. Items on hold must be checked out at a circulation desk.

How do I get the materials I placed on hold for curbside pickup?
Patrons can still pick up items through curbside service, although pickup availability is limited as the library building is now open to the public. You must schedule your appointment online. Items can be picked up inside on a table next to the side entrance downstairs.

How do I return books or other materials I borrowed to the library when the library is closed to the public?
Books, DVDs and audiobooks can be returned to our two outside book drops near the parking lot entrance. Books should be returned to the left side, multimedia to the right.

More Than Books items, such as telescopes and puzzles can not be put in the outside book drops. Please bring these items inside to retun at the Main Circulation desk upstairs. 

How do I renew materials?
If your item is eligible for renewal, it will be automatically renewed and you will receive an automatic email notification from C/W MARS. Log into your online account by visting and clicking on "Sign In" in the upper right hand part of the screen. Learn more about loan periods of items by clicking here or wait for eligible items to be automatically renewed. 
Why is the book I returned still showing up in my account?
Please contact us at 508-485-5031 if you are concerned that a book was returned but was not removed from your account. Please note: all fines will be waived for returned items until further notified.

Why can’t I access my online account?
Your library card may have expired. Please call the library and a staff member can update your library card. You also might have entered your barcode or PIN incorrectly. Your barcode is on the back of your physical library card and is typically either a 13-digit or a 14 digit number. Your Personal Identification Number (PIN) is typically the last four digits of the telephone number that you provided when you registered for your card. If you’re still having trouble accessing your library account, please contact the library director Ryan Donovan at

Can I chat with a Librarian? 
Yes, you can use the new online LibraryH3lp Chat feature on the library website at about placing holds, recommending materials, providing program/event information, database/electronic resource information, ask about how to return books, material renewals, curbside pickup, hours or any potential closures or unexpected service changes.  

For security reasons, please call us at 508-485-5031 to retrieve or change library card account information instead of using chat for this purpose. 
You can also call us about checking out "More Than Books" nontraditional circulation items, including:

  • Telescope
  • Puzzles 
  • Gardening Kits
  • Wireless Hotspots
  • Games and more

How do I download an eBook?
Downloading eBooks from Libby/Overdrive is different depending on the device you use:Chromebook, Windows or Mac computer, Android device, iOS device (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch) Windows 8 and up. Patrons can take a look at an Overdrive Tutorial online here. Patrons can download books, audiobooks, movies and more through Hoopla as well.

Please look at our calender of events for Thursday Tech Time, where patrons can bring in their device and a staff can assist in person with any questions.

Can I still research databases online?
Yes! The Southborough Library is pleased to offer numerous electronic resources on our website to our patrons. Please click here for more information.

Can you help me choose my next book?
There are a variety of ways to search for your next book including searching our online catalog by clicking here.

Patrons can also review our Adult Reader’s AdvisoryChildren’s Advisory and Teen Advisory. In addition, patrons can select recommended audiobooks for children as well as adults and teens. Take a look at what the library staff is reading!
How long can I borrow materials? 
Please visit our website by clicking here for specific borrow times.

How do I use self-checkout?
The self-checkout machine is located on the Main Floor upstairs next to the Circulation Desk. Scan the barcode on your library card, then scan the library's barcode on the item (usually the top left corner on the front cover). You can get a receipt with the due date and view your account information, including which materials you have checked out. Staff can also assist should you have any questions.

How do I get to the library's WiFi?
The Southborough Library provides free wireless Internet access. It does not require a password, but you will need to agree to the Town of Southborough Terms of Agreement in order to proceed.

Does the library have computers I can use?

  • There are 4 computers for adults on the library's Main Floor upstairs and 1 computer in the Children's Library on the ground floor.
  • The maximum time granted for Internet use is 2 hours. Sessions are limited to one use per day.
  • Users must present a valid library card or out-of-state photo identification before being granted access.
  • Users must log in as a patron using their barcode and PIN.
  • The library provides black & white printing at 15 cents per page. Please see staff at the circulation desk for help releasing print jobs.
  • We ask that users do not install software on library computers or intentionally change settings on the library's machines.
  • The library does not utilize filtering software, but viewing of pornography is prohibited in accordance with all local, state, and federal laws.

Can I print using my own computer?
No, you must be logged into one of the library's desktop computers with your library card in order to print material. 

Are you accepting donations at this time?
Donations are not being accepted at this time. Please do not place any donated materials outside or in the book drops. Books can be donated to the small Little Free Libraries directly in front of the library building facing Main Street, at the Fayville Playground, at the Southborough Commuter Rail, or at Woodward School. Please read more donation details on our website here.
Are there any events happening at the Southborough Library?
We are currently providing indoor and virtual programming for patrons of all ages. Our website has upcoming registration and program details here. You can also look for updates to events and stay current with our eNewsletter as well Facebook or TwitterClick here to subscribe to the library’s eNewsletter.

Are there restrooms accessible to the public?
Yes, two restrooms are available on the ground floor adjacent to the Children's Room, and one restroom is on the Main Floor hallway to the right of the elevator.

Does the library have a public fax machine?
Yes. The fax machine is located in the public facing area next to the Main Floor Circulation Desk. The fax machine accepts credit card payments only. The cost to fax or scan-to-email within the US, Canada, and/or the Caribbean is $1.75 for the first page, and $1.00 for each additional page.

Does the library have a public copy machine?
Yes. In 2021, the library contracted with Canon and purchased a new copy machine for the public. The copy machine currently accepts cash only. Black & white copies are 15 cents per page. Color copies are 50 cents per page.

Can I scan documents at the library?
The Fax24 kiosk provides an option to scan-to-email option. The cost is the same as faxing; it's $1.75 for the first page, then $1.00 for each additional page. It can only scan documents that are 8x11 The Canon copy machine also has an option to scan files as a PDF to a USB flash drive.

How can I participate in the Senior Property Tax Work Program?
The library is not currently accepting any new senior volunteers. To participate in the Senior Property Tax Work Program, please contact the Southborough Senior Center at 508-229-4453 for more information about the program, including when to apply and eligibility requirements.

I heard you are now fine free. What does that mean?
In 2023, the Southborough Library became fine free. That means that for the majority of our items, we will not charge overdue fines once the item is returned. There are still certain items, such as hot spots and the telescope, for which overdue fines will be charged and will not be waived.

Now that Southborough is fine free, does that mean I can keep the book as long as I want?
No. You should return the item by it's due date. 30 days after the due date, if the borrowed item has not been returned, the item will automatically go into billing status and you will receive a bill in the mail. Your account will be blocked and you will not be able to borrow items until the lost item is either returned or paid for. Remember, there are certain items for which overdue fines will not be waived.