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

The Watertown Free Public Library no longer changes overdue fines. This policy applies to items checked out at Watertown only but may not be the same at other Minuteman Library Network (MLN) libraries. Patrons with materials overdue more than 28 days must return them or pay for them before they can check out additional materials. 


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.