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07/10/2017

Thomas Memorial shares borrowing with four neighboring libraries

Effective immediately, your Thomas Memorial Library card is also good at the South Portland Public Library, Scarborough Public Library, Baxter Memorial Library in Gorham and the Walker Memorial Library in Westbrook.

The Town Council on July 10, 2017 agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding with the libraries for shared borrowing services. The arrangement is similar to that used when the Thomas Memorial Library was undergoing renovations in 2015-16, and was in fact inspired by it.

"There was some indication among not only the librarians but also among a lot of members of the public that this is something that they really like and that they really found useful," said Kyle Neugebauer, director of the Thomas Memorial Library.

Shared borrowing services is new not only for our and surrounding towns, but for the state, Neugebauer said. "It's very very common in other states," he said. In fact, "One of the most common bits of feedback we get when people first move into Cape from out of state is, 'I can only go to one library with my card?' Maine for various reasons is behind on that and we are really hoping we can change this," he said.

Matthew Sturgis, town manager, said the agreement supports one of the Town Council's ongoing goals for sharing services and resources with other communities.

To use your Thomas Memorial Library card at a participating library, your card must be in good standing, and is limited to materials that are already available through interlibrary loan, and are currently available to check out. Museum passes, equipment, unique databases and the like are only available to patrons of their home library.

Borrowed materials need not be returned to the lending library - they can be dropped off at a participating library and delivered by courier service.

Here is a complete list of FAQs:

  1. Which libraries are participating in this agreement?
    Baxter Memorial Library, Scarborough Public Library, South Portland Public Library, Thomas
    Memorial Library, and Walker Memorial Library.
  2. Will I need to get a new library card to borrow from a different library?
    No, your current library card will work at another library.
  3. I forgot my library card. Can I still borrow materials from another library?
    Although each library may have different policies regarding checking out materials without a
    library card, you will need to have your card to check out materials at another library.
  4. May I return my library books to a different library than the one I borrowed from?
    Yes. Materials from another library will be returned through our courier service.
  5. My materials are late. Will I be charged late fees?
    Regardless of where materials are borrowed from, the policies of your home library will
    determine if late tees are charged.
  6. What can I borrow from another library?
    This agreement only covers materials that are available through interlibrary loan. Museum passes, equipment, unique databases etc. are only available to patrons who have a card at that library.
  7. Can I place an interlibrary loan request through another library?
    No. This policy covers materials that are currently available to check out. We ask that
    interlibrary loan requests be made through your home library.
  8. I have fines on my account. Can I still borrow materials from another library?
    Your account must be in good standing, as defined by your home library, to borrow materials. Any fines owed must be collected by your home library.