City of Manchester, NH Official Web Site

Circulation Policies

Registration Policy

Resident Card

Individuals currently living, working, attending school, or owning property in Manchester, are eligible for a free library card.  The card expires two years after the issue date.

To obtain or renew a library card, individuals must provide a photo ID or other proof of identification. This can include: a bill or payroll check dated in the last 30 days, a current lease agreement, car registration, tuition bill, or other official dated materials proving eligibility.

You can now apply for a new library card right online.

Young Adult (12-17) Card

Young adults (ages 12-17) living or attending school in Manchester may receive a library card without parental approval. Young adults assume financial responsibility for materials borrowed on their cards. They may show a valid picture ID, class schedule/proof of school enrollment, or school ID as proof of residence in Manchester. As mandated in NH RSA 201-D:11, an individual library cardholder has the right to privacy of information regardless of age. Young adults who are unable to provide this documentation can still register for a card with their parent present, using their parent’s ID/proof of residence.

Children (Under 12) Card

Any child able to write their name up to age 12, who lives or attends school in Manchester, may receive a library card with the consent of their parent/guardian. As mandated in NH RSA 201-D:11, an individual library cardholder has the right to privacy of information regardless of age. This applies to the juvenile/child library card, while still holding the parent/guardian financially responsible for any lost or damaged materials. The library card registration form will be signed for by both the parent and the child.

Out of Town Card

Any New Hampshire resident living outside of the city limits of Manchester may purchase a library card for $50.00. The card expires one year after the purchase date.

PC Access Card

Individuals not eligible or not wishing to have a Library Card may be issued a PC Access Card. This card will allow them to use the library computers without borrowing privileges. The card expires two years after the issue date.

Staff will assist people who are unable to complete the registration card themselves. If applicable, legal guardians must sign staff assisted registration cards.

GMILCS Common Borrower Program

The GMILCS Common Borrower program allows patrons with library cards from other GMILCS (Greater Manchester Integrated Cooperative System) libraries to use their card at the Manchester City Library. These libraries are: Amherst Town Library, Bedford Public Library, Derry Public Library, Goffstown Public Library, Hooksett Public Library, Kelley Library (Salem), Merrimack Public Library, Nesmith Library (Windham) New England College, Rodgers Memorial Library (Hudson) and Wadleigh Memorial Library (Milford). Possession of a Manchester City Library card entitles the bearer to borrow materials from GMILCS libraries. Some libraries restrict what can be borrowed using the common borrower’s card.

Lost or Damaged Library Cards

The charge to replace a lost card is $5.00. There is no charge for replacement of damaged cards or cards on which the patron bar code can no longer be read, if the damaged card is returned at the time of replacement.

Materials Circulation Policy

The Manchester City Library lends a variety of items, including but not limited to books, magazines, CDs, books on CD, video games, DVDs, and framed prints.

Loan periods, renewal periods and overdue fees are as follows:
Type of Material Loan Period Renewal Period Overdue Fee Overdue Fee Limits
Adult Books, Magazines, CDs 21 days 21 days $0.25/day

$5.00 per item, per circulation

DVDs/BluRay 7 days 7 days $0.25/day $5.00 per item, per circulation
Video Games 7 days 7 days None Not Applicable
Framed Prints 60 days None $0.25/day $5.00 per item, per circulation
Curriculum Collection, Leapfrog 21 days 21 days None Not Applicable
Launchpad Tablets 21 days None None Not Applicable

In an effort to encourage self-selection and independent reading, Children’s and Young Adult materials owned by the Manchester City Library will no longer accrue overdue fines.

Materials that can be renewed may be renewed two times. If patrons neglect to renew or return their items, the library will automatically renew their items up to the renewal limit. Materials that a patron may no longer renew, because the maximum number of renewals have been reached, must be returned to the library. A Library Administrator has the authority to extend the renewal period for any items at his/her discretion.

Item Limits noted below apply to one library card up to a maximum of 50 total items:
  • Audiobooks (regardless of format): 15
  • Books: 25
  • CDs: 15
  • DVDs and BluRays: 20
  • Framed Prints: 2
  • Magazines (Back Issues): 15
  • Video games: 2
  • Curriculum Collection/Leapfrog: 1
  • Launchpads: 1
Returning Library Materials

Most items may be returned in the outside return bins provided.  Framed prints and museum passes, Children’s Theme Boxes and Backpacks, board games, Toy Library items, Nature Backpacks, and Teen Wellness Kits must be returned at the Circulation Desk.

Telescope Lending Policy

The Library's Telescope can be checked out by a Manchester City Library card holder who is 18 years of age or older AND in good standing (current, no outstanding fines, fees or overdue materials). The patron must sign a new Borrowing Agreement each time the Telescope is borrowed. The Library will check to make sure the patron's address is correct at check out.

The Telescope can be checked out for a maximum of 3 weeks with no renewal and must be given directly to a staff member at the children's circulation desk only. DO NOT leave the telescope outside of the library or in the enclosure of the handicapped entrance, or leave it unattended at the circulation desk. If the Telescope is left unattended outside of the library, the patron will be charged a $25.00 fee for unnecessary risk to the Telescope.

The Telescope cannot be renewed. If there isn't a waiting list for the Telescope upon return, the current patron may re-check out the Telescope after staff have conducted the full check-in process.
The overdue fine for the Telescope is $5.00 per day, with a maximum fine of $350.

If the Telescope is more than 60 days overdue, or is returned damaged beyond repair, the patron will be charged $200 for the Telescope, $80 for the zoom eyepiece, $20 for the telescope carrying case, and $30 for the supportive materials, for a total of $350. (This is due to the fact that the Library's Telescope was donated with a zoom eyepiece and cords, written materials, organizational pouch, Starry Night discs, and headlamp, as well as the carrying case, all of which would need to be replaced.) Any missing items will result in charges. Manchester City Library submits library accounts with a balance of $40.00 or more to a debt collect agency after materials have been overdue for a period of 60 days. Submission to debt collect will result in the addition of a $10.00 debt collect fee to the account.

Do not leave the Telescope unattended while it is checked out to you. Do not allow children to play with this device without adult supervision. DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN WITH THE TELESCOPE. PERMANENT EYE DAMAGE COULD RESULT.

Please treat the Telescope with care, keeping it in a clean, dry, dust-free place and safe from liquids, extreme temperatures, and from being dropped. All covers should be kept attached to the Telescope at all times.  Do not attempt to clean the Telescope with any chemicals or liquid or store the Telescope outdoors. Keep the dust caps on the front of the telescope and on the focuser when not in use. Make sure to turn off the range finder when not in use.

The Telescope kit includes 1 Orion StarBlaster Telescope; 1 laminated manual; 1 Sky and Telescope article; 1 organizational pouch; 1 telescope carrying case; 1 headlamp; 2 Starry Night discs; 1 National Audubon Society pocket guide; paperback copy Zoo in the Sky; and 3 cords attached to dust caps and related items.
The borrower is responsible for reading the instruction manual for proper care and use, and the Manchester City Library will not be held liable for any injuries incurred as a result of telescope use.

The Telescope may be reserved by calling the library at 624-6550 ext. 3328; or going to the library catalog via our website at

Damaged and Lost Materials Policy

The Manchester City Library reserves the right to charge patrons for any damaged items returned. Damage includes, but is not limited to missing barcodes, book pockets or hanging bags as well as damaged or missing plastic book jackets or broken or heat damaged cases.

Library customers who return library material that cannot be easily repaired or cleaned must pay the replacement charge of the item borrowed or purchase a replacement copy. The replacement copy must be a new copy of the title and be the exact edition that was damaged or lost. In extenuating circumstances, a library administrator may authorize the acceptance of another edition. Once paid, the library customer may keep the damaged item.

Returned Checks Policy

The library shall charge a penalty of $30.00 for each check that is returned for insufficient funds.

Manchester City Library E-Commerce Policies

Manchester City Library E-Commerce Privacy Policy

In order to use the E-Commerce portal provided through our GMILCS Consortium, patrons must use a valid financial institution issued Credit card and ensure funds are available to pay the selected charges on the customer’s library account. The Manchester City Library (MCL) respects the privacy of patron’s financial information and therefore the GMILCS E-Commerce portal does not copy or record patron’s credit card information. Customers will be directed to a third party service provider, which has been accredited by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) to securely perform credit card transactions between the customer’s financial institution and GMILCS merchant account provider. Patrons may make E-Commerce payments from their home computing devices or in the library on a public computer. The library does not recommend using the library’s public wifi to conduct credit card transactions, because the public network is not secure. The library is not responsible for any theft of personal information or monetary loss that results from the use of our public computers.

Library staff may not handle customer credit cards, but may assist patrons to log into their library accounts. Per New Hampshire State Law: Title 16-Chapter 201:D11, MCL cannot provide any of your personal information to third parties without your permission and cannot sell any personal information to third parties.

Manchester City Library E-Commerce Refund Policy

All payments and convenience fees paid by credit card are final and non-refundable. Convenience fees are non-refundable by the library. If you feel you are entitled to a credit on your library account for a payment, please contact the library.

Delinquent Accounts Policy

Cardholders with more than $10.00 of fines on their cards will lose their borrowing privileges until their fines have been paid.

Delinquent accounts are sent to a collection agency when a fines and/or fees reach a balance of $40.00 or more. Accounts with outstanding materials which have a balance of $40.00 or more and are 60 days overdue will also be sent to a collection agency. A collection fee of $10.00 is added to the account. Borrowing privileges are suspended until the balance on the account is under $10.00.

Reserving Materials Policy

Any circulating item in the library collection may be reserved by a library cardholder. Reserves can be placed at the library, over the phone, or though the library’s automation system.

Items may not be reserved for specific dates. Reserves will be satisfied only at the time the requested items become available. Reserves are filled in the order they are received.

As soon as a reserved item becomes available, the Library will notify the requesting cardholder

Reserved items of all formats will be held in reserve for the requesting cardholder for five days following the day of notification. Reserved items which are not picked up within five days will be given to the next requesting cardholder or, lacking further reserves, be returned into circulation.

Interlibrary Loan Policy

Interlibrary Loan is a transaction in which the Manchester City Library borrows materials from another library on behalf of a patron or another library borrows materials from Manchester City Library on behalf of its patron. An important distinction to make is that this policy refers to materials not available through the self-initiated patron requests available through our GMILCS Consortium.

This service supports the mission of Manchester City Library in providing enhanced access to library materials and information. With our Interlibrary Loan service, patrons have access to materials from libraries throughout New Hampshire and the rest of the United States. Interlibrary Loan serves to greatly expand the range of library materials available to customers without allocating large sums of limited funds for seldom requested materials. Manchester City Library affirms that Interlibrary Loan is an adjunct to, not a substitute for collection development within our organization.

Patron guidelines:

  • A patron can have up to 3 Interlibrary Loan requests at one time.
  • A patron’s library card must be in good standing, up-to-date and have an account balance under $10.00.
  • Patrons will be responsible for reimbursing the library for any postage costs as well as any other charges levied by the lending library or vendor.
  • If a patron chooses not to pick up Interlibrary Loan materials that have been obtained for him/her, up to three times, the privilege of requesting Interlibrary Loans will be revoked for a period of one year. The patron is responsible for any charges incurred obtaining materials.

The Library adheres to the New Hampshire State Library’s New Hampshire Interlibrary Loan Protocol Manual and the National Interlibrary Loan Code of the American Library Association. The library will lend books and other library materials only to other libraries who follow the New Hampshire Interlibrary Loan Protocol Manual or the ALA National Interlibrary Loan Code. Manchester City Library does consider interlibrary loan requests from outside the United States on a case by case basis.


The Library Director has the authority to revoke the borrowing privileges of any borrower who chronically abuses library policies and regulations.

Confidentiality of Library Records Policy

The library’s circulation records and other records identifying the names of library users are confidential. (RSA 201-D:11)

The Trustees, Director or staff shall not make these records available to any agency of the state, federal or local government without consent or by subpoena, court order, or where otherwise required by statute.

Upon receipt of such process, order, or subpoena, the Library Director will consult with the City Solicitor to determine if such process, order, or subpoena is in proper form and if there is a showing of good cause for its issuance. If the process, order, or subpoena is not in proper form or if good cause has not been shown, the Director will insist that such defects be cured.

Museum Pass Policy

Museums and other educational institutions in the region offer library pass programs. The passes are purchased and circulated to library patrons to extend library and educational service. Museum passes, funded with the proceeds from Library book sales, may be borrowed by adults (18 years and older) with a valid Manchester City Library card. A pass may be requested up to sixty days in advance, with a specific date to use the pass. There are a limited number of passes, therefore patrons are allowed one pass per week and a specific museum pass once per month.

The borrower must have their library card or a valid photo ID with them to borrow the pass. They must bring the library card or ID that matches the account that the pass was reserved on. Our reservation system connects the reservation to a specific library account and cannot be transferred to another account upon check out.

All passes can be picked up no more than 5 days before the date of visit. Passes that are not picked up by 11:00 am on the date of visit will be released for another patron to use. Passes do not need to be returned to the Library as the museums now keep them. Replacement passes are not available for ones that have been checked out and misplaced before the date of visit.

If a patron reserves a pass and changes their plans, they must call us in advance to cancel their reservation. A patron who reserves a museum pass and fails to pick it up will be considered a “no-show.” If a patron has had three “no-shows” within the past 365 days, they will be blocked from reserving and borrowing passes.

Manchester City Library

405 Pine St
Manchester, NH 03104
(603) 624-6550

West Manchester Branch Library

76 North Main St
Manchester, NH 03102
(603) 624-6560

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