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Library FAQ

How Do I?

Get a Library Card

Any adult resident of any city or town in Massachusetts may obtain a Swampscott Public Library Card. Simply bring in identification with your current address, such as a piece of U.S. mail or a valid driver’s license, fill out a short form at the Main Desk, and you will be issued a free library card. If you already have a library card issued by any NOBLE library, you may use that card at the Swampscott Library without registering for another card.

Children can obtain a library card with a parent or guardian’s signature of authorization. Young Adults age 13 and above may obtain a library card without an adult’s authorization with proof of current residency such as a piece of U.S. mail.

If your library card becomes misplaced, stop by the library or call us to report it missing. A staff member will issue you a new card for a $1.00 replacement fee and deactivate your lost card.

Return/Renew Items

We now have automatic renewal here at the library! This is only for Swampscott items, however, and does not include items for other libraries (unless they participate in automatic renewal).

Please note that the message you receive two days before your items are due will still go out, however, if the items are from Swampscott and there are no holds on them, and they have renewals left, they will be automatically renewed on the day they are due. A message will then be generated that says they have been renewed, but it will also tell you what was not renewed. At that point you can check your account to find out why, or call us to find out. (781-596-8867).

Returning Materials

Materials may be brought to the Main Desk as you enter the library or placed in the book drop located to the right of the front door. Children’s materials should also be returned to the Main Desk. Items borrowed from nearby libraries may be returned at the Swampscott Library, and if it is more convenient for you, Swampscott materials may be returned at other libraries in the area. Disclaimer: If you return materials to the Swampscott Library that are not owned by any of the libraries within the NOBLE network, the Swampscott Library cannot check the item in and we cannot be held responsible if the item becomes lost or overdue in the delivery process.

Loan Periods

Material Loan Period
Books/Audio Books/Music CDs 2 weeks
New Fiction/Magazines 1 week
Videos/DVDs 1 week
Children’s Books 2 weeks
Museum Passes 1 day

Request Items Through Interlibrary Loan

Whether you need a book from a library in the next town or from across the country, our Reference Staff can help. If the material you need is within the NOBLE (North of Boston Library Exchange) network of libraries, you may call or stop by our library to request that the material be delivered to our library for you. Also, you can place holds on materials within the NOBLE network from any online computer using your library card and PIN.

The Commonwealth Catalog links most of the library networks in Massachusetts to provide a single search and request capability statewide for materials not available to your library through the NOBLE catalog. The Commonwealth Catalog log-in is available on the Swampscott Public Library catalog. Commonwealth Catalog

Even if our local network of libraries does not have the item you are looking for, most of the time we can still acquire the materials you are requesting from libraries throughout the country. For further information on this aspect of Interlibrary Loan Services, please contact the Reference Department at 781-596-8867 x 3304.

Find Checkout Periods and Overdue Fines

Loan Periods

Material Loan Period
Books/Audio Books/Music CDs 2 weeks
New Fiction/Magazines 1 week
Videos/DVDs 1 week
Children’s Books 2 weeks
Museum Passes 1 day



The Swampscott Public Library is no longer charging overdue fines for most Swampscott library items. If Swampscott Library materials are not returned, replacement fees will still apply, and patron records will be blocked until the item is returned or paid for. Once those items are returned to the Library, there will no longer be a penalty for being returned late. Fines and fees for items borrowed from other libraries are set by the owning library, so those may still apply.

Pay Fines

Bills can be paid at the Main Desk of the library using cash or checks. Library patrons can also pay bills from home using a credit or debit card. MasterCard, Visa and Discover are accepted and processing is done through one of the most secure credit card processors in the industry. User’s accounts will clear almost immediately when the credit card transaction is completed. On statements, LIBRARY-NOBLE will denote payments to any North of Boston library. This is a self-service function, the Library staff cannot accept credit/debit payments at the library. Photocopying and computer printing cannot be paid by credit or debit cards. To pay charges, start by accessing your account at Enter your library card number and your PIN number (PIN numbers are obtainable at the Main Desk of the library). You can pay all charges or you can uncheck items you do not wish to pay, then press the “Pay Selected Charges” button. The screen will refresh to allow you to enter your credit card information. The minimum charge payable is $1.01.

Manage My Account Online

Your online account will allow you to request or renew library items online as well as view your current and past checkouts.

You can access your account online with your library card number and a PIN number. You can obtain a PIN at the library by presenting your library card and an ID such as a license or piece of US mail that has been delivered to you.

You can access your account through the library catalog or through this link.

Download eBooks

eBooks, audiobooks, and magazines can be downloaded through OverDrive and the Overdrive app, Libby, which is available free from your favorite App store.

To find magazines on the Libby App, tap Explore then tap Guide: Magazines.

Overdrive is available to residents of NOBLE communities who have library cards.

We also offer Hoopla which offers a wide-array of e-materials, from streaming movies to audiobooks.

Get Home Delivery

If you or someone you know is homebound and unable to visit the library in person, please let us know. Whether you are permanently homebound or recovering from a temporary illness, the Swampscott Library has some wonderful volunteers who can deliver books to your home. Please contact the library at 781-596-8867 x 3300 for more information.

Book a Meeting Room

The Library has two meeting rooms available for public use. See the description below. To reserve a Meeting Room please call the Reference Desk at 781-596-8867 ext 3304 or the Library Director at 781-596-8867 ext 3301.

The meeting rooms are available for groups providing non-profit programs for the educational, social, and cultural benefit of the community. Meetings must be open to the public without admission charge. Meetings on controversial topics must allow other views on the subject to be addressed. Use of the rooms by groups other than those described above will require special permission by the Board of Library Trustees. The Main Meeting Room accommodates 50 chairs. The library can provide a podium, a screen and a television/VCR/DVD, and meeting room tables. The Baldwin Room can accommodate up to 10 people.
The donation for usage of these room is:

  • $25.00 for Baldwin Room
  • $50.00 Main Meeting Room

Checks may be made out to the Friends of the Swampscott Public Library

Get a Museum Pass

Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Swampscott Public Library, the Swampscott Public Library has museum passes available to borrow – check TixKeeper for a complete list. We encourage you to reserve your pass at least several days in advance. If you wish to reserve passes for a holiday or school vacation week, please plan ahead and reserve early.

Our passes:

Please read the instructions carefully, they vary from museum to museum.

Boston Children’s Museum Admits 4 people at half price per person. Reserve your Library Pass using the TixKeeper link above and the pass will be emailed to you.  Further instructions are in the email.   See museum website for current hours and information.

NEW! BKIDS Play Area at Burke’s. Admits 1 child per pass at $5 each, with a limit of 4 per family per visit for a total of $20. Accompanying adults do not need a pass. Passes are available Monday through Friday (Saturday is not available through the library program). Call ahead to reserve a spot (online reservations not applicable for library passes) or drop in (first-come, first-served availability). Recommended for ages 18 months to 6 years.



Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum  Admits 4 people.  Reserve the library pass using the TixKeeper link above.   Further reservation information will be emailed to you along with the pass.  See museum website for current hours and information.

Museum of Science   Details here.  Please read carefully before reserving your pass.

New England Aquarium  Admits up to 4 people at half price.  Reserve your Library Pass using the TixKeeper link above, the pass will be emailed to you.   See the Library Coupons section of the Aquarium website for more information.

North Shore Children’s Museum.  Admits up to 5 adults/children for half price.   Reserve your tickets using the Tixkeeper link above and the pass will be emailed to you.   Then go to the museum website to reserve your time slot.  When paying for the tickets, choose the Library Museum Pass option and indicate the number attending using the drop down menu.

Massachusetts State Parks .  Provides free parking for one vehicle (not including buses) for most state parks.  See their website for details.  Passes are only available for Saturdays and Sundays.  Reserve your Library Pass using the TixKeeper link above, then come to the library to pick it up.


Museum of Fine Arts  Admits 2 adults / $10.00 charge at the door, up to 4 children ages 7 to 17 at $10 each.  Children age 6 and under admitted free.  Reserve your Library Pass using the TixKeeper link above, the pass will be emailed to you.


Peabody Essex Museum Admits 2 people / $12.00 charge per person at the door.  Open Thursday through Sunday and most Monday Holidays. Reserve your Library Pass using the TixKeeper link above, the pass will be emailed to you. Get  the Promo Code from the confirmation email,  then call the PEM (978-542-1511) or visit their website ( to schedule a time spot for the desired day.  Reserve early, time spots can not be guaranteed.  Advance tickets are required during the month of October.

New! Wenham Museum   This pass admits four (4) people at half price. Any additional people accompanying the four library pass users will pay the regular admission fee. Passes are valid for admission only. Children under age one (1) are admitted for free. Museum passes can be used for general admission only. Not valid for special programs including Kids’ Countdown to New Year’s Eve (on New Year’s Eve Day), Fairy Festival, or other programs that have special pricing. Library pass users do not need to purchase tickets ahead of time.  You must print this pass or display it on a phone upon arrival at the Museum. Only valid for the reserved day of visit.


Zoo New England   Admits up to 6 people.  Pass borrowers must reserve the library pass, then come to the library to pick it up.  People with a library pass no longer need to schedule a specific visit time on the Zoo website, just bring the pass to the zoo admissions booth on the scheduled day.  See museum website for current hours and information.

Use a Computer/Scanner/Copier/Fax

** You may continue to send documents to for printing. ** Black and white copies are 25 cents each and color copies are 50 cents each.

Public Computers

The library currently has eleven IBM-compatible computers in the Reference Room available for use by teen and adult patrons. These computers have access to high-speed Internet, links to magazine and journal databases, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel. The Children’s Room also has computers which are available for children up through the sixth grade. They have games, word processing, and filtered Internet access. Children under the age of seven must have a parent or guardian seated with them in order to use the computers. For more information about Internet access, view our Internet Use Policy.

Wi-Fi Hotspots

We have hotspots available for a two week check out.  You can use the hotspot anywhere that has T-Mobile internet service.  Rural areas may experience slower speeds.  You can connect up to 10 devices to the hotspot.  The hotspot is good for doing basic web searching and email.  It is not recommended for streaming HD video and downloading large files.

Photocopying & Printing

A photocopier is located in the Reference Room on the main floor of the library. Copies can be made on either standard letter (8 1/2″ X 11″) or legal (8 1/2″ X 14″) size paper and cost $.15 each. The photocopier does not produce color copies.

Each of the eleven public Internet-accessible computers located in the Reference Room is connected to a black and white laser printer. A color printer is also available and can be used with staff assistance. Black and white printouts are $.25 each and color printouts are $.50 each.


The Library has a small scanner which may be used by patrons at no charge.


The Library has a fax machine at the Reference Desk. Library staff will send faxes.  The charge is $1.00 for the first page and $.50 for each additional page. Faxes must be 10 pages or less and go to a number within the United States. The Library does not receive faxes for patrons.

Connect to Wireless

The library offers wireless service within the building. There is no charge and no password is needed.

Support the Library

There are many ways to help support the library:

Swampscott Public Library Investment Trust
Trustees of the Swampscott Library established this 501c3 to fund major capital improvements to the library. Donations can be made on a one-time basis or through a bequest. For further information please contact the Library Director at 781-596-8867 x 3301.

Friends of the Swampscott Public Library is a 501c3 non-profit organization that accepts donations. It is dedicated to support the library by purchasing museum passes, providing a monthly newsletter, and funding adult and children’s programming. The Friends also support other various needs of the library.  Donations can be mailed to:

Friends of the Swampscott Public Library
PO Box 28, Swampscott, MA 01907-0028

General Monetary Gifts
At the discretion of the Selectmen, the library can accept restricted and non-restricted monetary donations.

To honor a friend or family member, you can donate funds for the purchase of books in which a bookplate would be placed honoring the recipient.