General Borrowing FAQs
You are eligible to obtain a Greenwich Library card without charge, if you reside or own property in Greenwich, or if you work or go to school in Greenwich.
Connecticut residents are entitled to borrowing privileges if they have a public library card from the town of their principal Connecticut residence. It is necessary to bring identification and a current, valid hometown library card to register. For a more detailed explanation of the borrowIT CT rules, visit the CT State Library website.
If you do not live in Connecticut, and you do not either work or go to school in Greenwich, you may purchase a Greenwich Library Card for $125.00 that is valid for one year. The names of your immediate family who reside at your address and who wish to use the card must be included on the application at the time of purchase.
A current CT driver’s license or CT Photo ID with a Greenwich residential address is acceptable identification.
Greenwich residents who have not yet updated their driver’s license information may provide current photo identification and proof of current residential address. A post office box is not sufficient address. Additional suggested forms for proof of current address include:
- Telephone Bill
- Cable Bill
- Electric Bill
- Credit Card Bill
- Automobile registration
- Automobile insurance card
People who work in Greenwich need to have photo identification with proof of residential address and proof of current employment in Greenwich. Suggested forms for proof of current employment include:
- Current pay stub with Greenwich address
People who go to school in Greenwich need photo identification and proof of current student status.
People who wish to purchase a Greenwich Library card need a photo identification, proof of residential address and $125.00 (cash or check).
People whose principal residence is a Connecticut municipality other than Greenwich need to present a valid library card from their home library and photo identification with proof of residence in that municipality.
Cards do expire and each type of card has a different expiration date. An expired card cannot be used to borrow materials or use any of the online or telephone services. The expiration date is on the card, and displays below your name when you view your account online.
To renew your library card, bring your card and appropriate identification to the Library.
When your registration was renewed, a new barcode number may have been issued. Your Internet Browser may have been set up to remember passwords for sites you regularly visit. Your computer may automatically insert your old barcode in the box. To fix this problem, just highlight the old number and type in your new barcode number. Your browser will ask you if you want it to associate this new password with the page you are visiting. Just say “yes ” to this question box, and you should have no problem viewing your record. The next time you try to log in to your account, your browser will automatically enter the new barcode number for you.
Your Greenwich Library Card provides access to a vast array of books and media, and is the key to accessing a rich selection of databases via the Internet from your home, office or on the road. Most importantly, it allows you to manage your library account.
Only Greenwich and Perrot Library card holders with accounts in good standing may download ebooks, audio books and digital music.
Yes, the library does loan video games. Following are the loan rules for borrowing video games:
- Loan period is 7 days. Overdue fines are $1.00 per day; replacement cost for a lost video game varies depending on purchase price. Video games may be renewed two times.
- Holds may be placed on video games.
- Five video games may be checked out on a patron’s card at the same time.
If Greenwich is your principal residence, you can take your current Greenwich Library card and appropriate identification to any public library in Connecticut and borrow materials. This is done under the auspices of the state borrowIT CT Program.
You may get a card at the Patron Services Desk of the main Greenwich Library (to the left of the Returns Desk), or at one of our two branches, Byram Shubert or Cos Cob.
There are two ways you can create a PIN:
- You may go to the former catalog login screen. On this screen you will be asked to provide your barcode and PIN number. At this time you may key in the PIN you would like to use. The PIN must be 4 numbers and cannot be consecutive (i.e. 2222 or 4455 or 1234). After clicking “submit” you will be prompted to key in the PIN you just chose two more times. Click “submit” to finalize the process.
- You may visit any branch and the staff at the Lending counter can assist you with creating your PIN.
Your materials may be returned via the book drops conveniently located outside of all three libraries, before, during and after Library hours. If an item is put in the book drop at least one hour before we open the next morning, the item will be checked in as if it were the previous day.
In addition, materials from Greenwich Library may be returned to any public library in Connecticut. Materials returned this way will stay checked out to you, and will remain your responsibility until they are returned to Greenwich Library and are checked in. This can take two weeks or more. Because of the risk of damage and loss, Greenwich Library would prefer that any item inside a case such as CDs, DVDs, and video games not be returned at an out-of-town library.
It is very important to report a lost or stolen card immediately since you are responsible for everything checked out on your card. You may call the circulation desk at the main library (203) 625-6524 or you may visit the Patron Services Desk at any of our libraries during working hours. As soon as you call, your card will be blocked to prevent further transactions.
A change of address should be reported to the Library as soon as possible. This will enable Greenwich Library to continue to provide you with uninterrupted service of Holds, Interlibrary Loans, and access to our online databases and downloadable books.
To report a change of address, bring your Library Card along with one form of identification, or piece of mail, with your new address on it to the Patron Services Desk of the Main Greenwich Library or to the Main Desk of either of its branches.
In some cases, a change of address can mean a change in the type of card you are issued. To see what type of card you qualify for, please refer back to the Card Registration FAQs.
Some books are longer than others. Some weeks there is just not enough time. At Greenwich Library we appreciate this, which is why we offer our patrons the ability to arrange for the extension of their loans by renewing them. Most library materials are renewable at any library location, online or over the phone.
- To renew your items via telephone, just call (203) 625-6524 with your library card during Library hours.
- You may renew your materials online here. Please note you will need your library card number and four digit PIN. .
In person at the Library
- Bring your Library Card to the Returns Desk and ask to have the items on your card renewed.
Yes, whether you renew via telephone, or over the Internet, you will need to provide your library card number. If you come into the Library to renew, please remember to bring your library card with you.
Almost everything can be renewed. The exceptions are:
- Items which are on hold for another patron
- Items which have already been renewed twice
For more information on our loan policies, click here.
Because we want to return Interlibrary Loan books to the supplying library in a timely manner, ILLs can be renewed one time only for a period of one (1) week.
When renewing an item over the website a pop-up box will appear showing whether your item was successfully renewed. If the item cannot be renewed the pop-up box will include an explanation. Items that were successfully renewed will show the new due date.
Most items may be renewed up to four times, assuming that the item isn’t on hold for another patron. Please bear in mind that the renewal period starts on the day that the item is renewed.
This means that if you wait until the day that an item is due to renew it, you will get the most time with the item. If you do this for a second renewal, you could have the item for the maximum possible checkout period.
Yes. Greenwich Library will email all patrons who have provided us with their email address a reminder notice when they have items coming due in two days. To modify, change or delete your email address please visit the My Settings section of our Web site.
If you have provided us with your email address but have not been receiving Greenwich Library email notices, they may have been going to your spam folder. Please find your email client in this brochure and follow the easy steps to be sure our emails arrive.
Holds allow our patrons to get the material they are looking for without coming to the library every day and checking the shelves to see if it has been returned.
If the item you’re looking for is checked out to someone else, you can request that a hold be placed on it. When the item is returned, the lending staff will set the item aside for you, and you will receive an email informing you that your hold is ready to pick up.
To place a hold on library materials, go to the library catalog and click on the “Place a Hold” button.
In order to provide our entire borrowing community with equal access to our most popular materials, Greenwich Library makes it possible for everyone with a valid library card to place a hold request on an item.
With your library card, you can use the “View My Library Account” feature of our website to see which items are on hold for you.
You can also call Lending Patron Services (203-625-6524) during library hours with your library card number. Staff will be able to assist you with any questions regarding the status of your holds or library account.
If your hold has been denied, it is usually because there is a problem with your library record. Some common problems are:
- Your Card has expired.
- You owe a fine of more than $5.00.
- Your card is blocked because the Circulation Staff need to clear up some other problem with your record.
- Your card has been issued by another town in Connecticut, and has not yet been registered with Greenwich Library.
The next time you are in the Library, stop by the Patron Services Desk (to the left of the Returns Desk), and a staff member will be able to help you with your record or you may call us at 203-625-6524.
Periodicals, art prints, and items that have a status of “Missing,” “Billed,” “Claims Returned,” “Lost and Paid,” as well as Reference items cannot be requested.
Yes, a default time period of 180 days will be applied to all requests. If the hold request is not filled by this time, it will automatically be canceled and dropped from the patron’s record.
Please also note that suspended holds will also expire after 180 days if they are not reactivated by the patron.
You can pause a hold that is “not ready for pickup” by selecting the box next to the item on hold and choosing “pause” from the menu above it. While your hold is paused, you will continue to move ahead on the waiting list, but the hold will not be sent to your pickup location while it is paused. Use this option to manage your holds when you are away or don’t have time to read.
Please keep in mind that holds placed on items which have the status “available” must be retrieved from the shelf and there is only a limited number of staff to perform this service. Should a patron place so many hold requests that we feel it negatively affects our ability to provide this service to the entire community, the library will place limits on such requests.
You will receive an email from email@example.com.
In the interest of fairness to other patrons, the amount of time that your items will be held for you cannot be changed.
In order to make sure that you are notified about your hold, it is important to make sure that you inform the Lending Staff if your email address changes.
You can also check on the status of your holds online, by using the “My Account” menu option. From here, you can see all of your holds and their status. If a hold’s status is “Ready For Pickup”, you can come in and get it.
As with all of our patron record information, your email address is considered confidential. Greenwich Library does not share this information with anyone. For more about Greenwich Library’s Confidentiality Policy, click here.
When an item’s status is “Available”, it means that the item is in the Library. If you place an online hold for an “Available” item, you will not be able to pick it up until your online record indicates that the item is “Ready for pickup”.
It normally takes several days to process an “Available” hold request. In the meantime, it is still possible that the item may be checked out to another patron who found it on the shelf before our staff was able to set it aside for you.
The fastest way to have an item set aside for you is to call the Reference Desk during library hours at (203) 622-7910, and ask them to pull the item from our shelf and set it aside for you.
Holds may remain on the shelf a maximum of 5 days for books/CDs and 4 days for DVDs. In the morning, we remove all expired holds at 9:00 a.m.
In order to provide fair service to our entire borrowing community, the amount of time given to pick up your materials cannot be changed.
We ask that patrons pick up all items being held for them.
You must bring your family member’s card with you, or you will need to have your accounts linked. If you do not have your family member’s card, once your cards are linked, we can check out the items for you at the Returns Desk. Forms for linking accounts are available at the Returns Desk.
ILL items will be kept behind the Returns Desk.
No, the discs are still kept behind the Returns Desk. You may check-out the case at the self-check machine and retrieve the disc from a staff member at the Returns Desk. Alternatively, you may check-out the game at the Returns Desk and obtain the disc at the same time.
In such cases, we will put one of the items (or a “book dummy”) on the shelf and attach a slip to let you know where your items are located.
You can check on the status of your hold by using the “Account” link. This will tell you if a hold is “ready for pick up”, or not. You can also see how far down the waiting list you are for an item. Keep in mind that your position on the list may fluctuate slightly due to unforeseen events beyond our control. It is for this reason that we ask our patrons to look at the list as an approximation of when their materials will be available, and not as an exact meter.
You can log in to “My Account” to see which items are on hold for you. To view your holds, click on the link that says how many requests (holds) you have. You may also call Lending Services at 203-625-6524 during library hours.
The self service hold shelves are located in the Self Check-out Area where the self check machines are currently located.
Hold slips contain the item’s information, the first four letters of your last name and the last four digits of your barcode; no other personal information is on the slip. Items are arranged alphabetically by a combination of your last name and card number.
For example, material for John Smith with card #21117001234567 will be filed under Smit, 4567.
A person cannot check-out an item that is not on hold for them. The self check machines will stop the transaction.
Interlibrary Loan is the process by which a library requests material from, or supplies material to, another library.
The purpose of Interlibrary Loan is to complement our collection by sharing resources with other libraries, based on the belief that no library, no matter how large or well supported, is self-sufficient in today’s world.
In the interest of providing quality service, Greenwich Library uses Interlibrary Loan to obtain material to meet the needs of our patrons, when our local resources do not meet those needs.
Anyone with a valid Library Card issued by either Greenwich Library or Perrot Memorial Library may request Interlibrary Loans. If your library card number starts with a Greenwich number (21117…,) or a Perrot number (22021…,) and it is not expired or blocked, you may request Interlibrary Loans.
You may request books or photocopies of periodical articles.
Interlibrary Loan photocopies of journal articles cost $0.20 per page. These photocopies are sent to the patron through surface mail, and a fee is added to the patron’s record.
You can place an Interlibrary Loan request at any of the Information Desks at Greenwich Library or by submitting your request online: Request Interlibrary Loan
You can also place a request at the Main Desk of the Byram Shubert or Cos Cob Libraries. Requests can be taken over the phone by calling the Reference Desk at (203) 622-7910.
Interlibrary Loan books will be held at the Holds Desk of the branch of Greenwich Library where the request was taken. Photocopies of periodical articles will be sent to the patron via surface mail, and a fee of $0.20 per page will be added to the patron’s record.
NOTE: Perrot Memorial Library has its own Interlibrary Loan Department. If a patron wishes to pick up an Interlibrary Loan at Perrot, the request must be placed with them. Please feel free to contact the Perrot Memorial Library at (203) 637-1066.
Interlibrary Loan books must be returned to the branch of Greenwich Library where the request originated, and the book was borrowed.
Interlibrary Loans are checked out for 3 weeks. They may be renewed once, for an extra 7 days.
Occasionally, the supplying library will stipulate that a book it lends is to be used only inside the Library. In the interest of maintaining good relations with other libraries, while meeting the needs of our patrons, these “In Library Use Only” books will be checked out to the patron and used only inside the Library. The patron can look at the book every day for up to three weeks during Library hours, but the book must be returned to the Holds Desk before Greenwich Library closes each night.
In addition, sometimes the supplying library will “Recall” the loaned book, because one of their patrons has requested it. In the event that this does occur, the Interlibrary Loan Department of Greenwich Library will make every effort to get the book back for our patron from a different source. While this is rare, we do expect our patrons to return their Interlibrary Loan books as soon as possible after they have been notified of this “Recalled” status.
Interlibrary Loan books may be renewed once for a 1 week period.
Interlibrary Loans generally take at least two weeks to fill, and some can take as long as a month depending on the availability of the book and the location of the supplying library.
We will do our best to get Interlibrary Loan materials to our patrons as quickly as possible, but much of this process is out of our hands, since it involves staff at other libraries, as well as the US Postal Service, so please be patient.
If it has been more than a month since your request, and you haven’t heard from us, please feel free to call us at (203) 622-7944.
Please limit your requests to three items per day, with a maximum of ten per week.
Patrons assume complete responsibility for all materials checked out on their library cards; therefore, lost or damaged materials will be billed to you at the replacement cost as invoiced by the lending library.
When Interlibrary Loan books arrive, you will be notified by email and given one week to pick them up. In order to maintain a good relationship with the supplying library, and better serve the whole community, no exceptions to this rule can be made.
Interlibrary Loan photocopies of periodical articles will be sent to you through surface mail, and a fee of $0.20 per page will be added to your record. You can pay this the next time you are in the Library.
If you have any questions that have not been answered in the FAQ, please feel free to call the Interlibrary Loan department at (203) 625-6505. Thank you for using the Greenwich Library.
Museum & State Park Passes
Passes may be checked out at the Patron Services desk at the main library.
To Borrow a Pass
- Greenwich or Perrot Library cardholders only.
- Loan period is 3 days. Overdue fines are $1.00 per day; replacement cost for a lost pass varies depending on purchase price. Passes cannot be renewed.
- Passes are circulated on a walk-in basis only. No reservations are taken. However, call 203-625-6524 , if a pass is Available we will hold it for you for one hour.
- Limit of two passes per patron.
- The pass may be used only once per day.
- Some passes may not be valid for special events.
- Check the museum’s website to verify hours or plan your visit. For further information, please contact the museums.
- Lending Art is a collection of over 200 circulating art prints available to patrons who wish to decorate their home or office.
- Choose among quality museum reproductions, photographs and original prints in a variety of styles.
- The collection is cataloged and can be viewed online for easy browsing.
- Prints are framed and ready to hang.
- Canvas bags are included with each print for easy transport.
- This collection is sponsored by the Friends of Greenwich Library
- Lending period: 6 weeks, can be renewed four times for 3 additional weeks each.
- Lending period: 6 weeks, can be renewed four times for 3 additional weeks each.
To view available pieces, click here.
Greenwich Library has a large and diverse selection of periodicals for use in the library and for check-out.
- Magazines circulate for 7 days with no renewals
- There is no limit on how many periodicals can be checked out at one time.
- Overdue fines are $0.10 a day.
- You may not place holds on magazines.
- Current issues of each magazine do not circulate but can be enjoyed in the library.
- Magazines: Periodicals, 1st Floor
- Business Magazines: Business, 1st Floor
- Health Magazines: Periodicals, 1st Floor
- Young Adult Magazines: Teen Central, 2nd Floor
- Music Magazines: Music, 2nd Floor
- World Languages Magazines: World Languages, 2nd Floor
- Children’s Magazines: Children’s Room, 3rd Floor
- Digital Magazines: RBdigital Magazines
If you are looking for a particular magazine or journal via our online databases you can use our full-text finder for a full-list of our online journals.