Open Monday through Thursday: 9:30 - 6:00.
Closed: Friday, Saturday, Sunday and all Legal Holidays
Please wear your face covering and limit your visit to half an hour. We can't wait to see you!
Phone: (978) 249-9515
Directions: 568 Main Street, Athol, MA 01331

Borrowing Privileges

Why do I need a library card?

The Library has more than 50,000 books, magazines, periodicals, audiobooks, Blu-rays, CDs, DVDs, and other items which are loaned to people who have a card. When you take out any item from the library, you are responsible for returning the item on time and in good condition.



How do I get a library card?

If you have a card from a C/W MARS member library, you may use it at the APL! If you are a new borrower, you may get a library card by presenting positive identification with your current address on it, or along with something that has your current address. If you are under the age of 18, you must have a permission card signed by a parent or legal guardian. Your first card is free. To replace a card costs $1.00.



Why do I need to bring my library card with me when I visit the library?

  • Using your card indicates that you approve each check out on your account.

  • Using your card grants you access to the over 100 member libraries of the C/W MARS system.

  • Your card number is required should you wish to use the public computers and/or the computer reservation system.

  • Your card number is required for you to access your library account online.

  • For your protection and security, your library card is how we access your account. The Athol Public Library and the C/W MARS library consortium are dedicated to maintaining the privacy of individuals’ accounts.

  • If you have lost your library card, please let us know.

We ask you to have your card with you when you wish to use the library.



Are there any restrictions on what I can borrow?

In order to be fair and to provide the best service to all customers there are a few restrictions. New cardholders may borrow up to 5 items on the first day, after which the borrowing limit is 50 items. Five of the 50 items may be BR or DVD, 5 may be audiobooks, 5 may be CDs.

Patrons are blocked by the system when:

  • Their registration card expires
  • Patron owes $10.00 or more in replacement costs, Mediated interlibrary loan fines, or equipment fines.
  • Patron has billed materials
  • Patron has 50 or more items checked out


    What do I do when my card is expired?

  • Patron cards expire every two years. (You can check your expiration date by logging into your account online.) If you are trying to access your account online and find that you cannot renew items or place holds, it may be that your card has expired.

  • Please visit the library to renew your card. Please bring your card with you.

  • When you come in to renew, our staff will ask you to confirm the information you gave us about yourself (address, telephone, etc.). Then, you will be all set for another two years.



How long can I keep library materials?

  • Books, Audiobooks, music CDs, and periodicals go out for three weeks. DVDs, Blu-Rays, go out for one week. Museum passes may be borrowed for three days. Equipment borrowing periods vary. Renewals, either by telephone, online, or in person, are possible if no one is waiting for the items. Generally, all materials are allowed one renewal.


Does the library charge any fines?

The library is fine free on most of our materials. There are a few exceptions. See the information on fines for those items below.


Fines are as follows:
Equipment, and museum passes: 1 dollar per day (no maximum)
Mass. Dept. of Conservation & Recreation State Park Passes: $8.00 per day (no maximum)

Mediated interlibrary loans:
10 cents per day for regular materials (no maximum)
$5 per day for audiovisual materials (no maximum)

All patrons (including senior citizens)
must pay fines on Mediated Interlibrary Loan Items.



Returning items:

A drive up book return is available by the northwest corner of the building. A walk up book return is located by the main side entrance.

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