Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19

Masks are not required at this time but you are welcome to wear one.

Curbside delivery remains available during regular business hours. Upon arrival at the Library, please park and call 883-4723 option 2, to let us know you are here. We will bring bagged materials to your vehicle. If you do not have a cell phone, call the Library from home to arrange a pickup time.

Please note: You will be notified when your requested materials are available for pickup. Please allow 24 hours for holds placed on "Available at Scarborough Public Library" items through the online catalog. If you need something the same day, please contact Adult Services at 207-883-4723 option 4 or Youth Services at 207-883-4723 option 3.

Borrowing

The Library is committed to safeguarding all borrowers' records, including those of children, to the extent allowed by local, state, and federal law. Maine State law requires all library records to be confidential. Since juvenile patron records are not specifically exempted in this statute, the library trustees interpret the law to apply to all patron records without exception.

Unless it is otherwise stated on the cover, items may be placed in the book return located in the front of the building. If you use the book drop, be sure to return your items before we close on the day they’re due. Items otherwise marked as too fragile or too large for the book return must be returned when the Library is open. If you cannot make it to the Library, you may mail the items back at your own cost. Our address is:
Scarborough Public Library
C/O Circulation Department
48 Gorham Road
Scarborough, ME 04074

Portland Public Library logo

The Scarborough Public Library is a Partner Agency Library of the Portland Public Library (PPL) which serves as the Area Reference & Resource Center for the Southern Maine Library District. Residents of Cumberland and York Counties and parts of Oxford County are entitled to a free library card there.

To obtain a PPL card you need to come in the Scarborough Libray with an ID card. We can issue you the card onsite and you will gain access to digital resources immediately. It may take up to a week for your card to be processed to enable checkout of physical materials from PPL.

PPL offers many digital resources that can be accessed from home with a PPL card including online access Consumer Reports

If you have a PPL card you can use it to access additional books through CloudLibrary. Consult the cloudLibrary User's Guide for details on how to add an account to your cloudLibrary app. You can also see a Reference Librarian for assistance. 

You may renew your library materials online through the Minerva catalog (view our Video Tutorial). You must be logged in to the Minerva catalog to renew your materials. You will need your Library card 14 digit barcode number to access your account. If you do not have online access, you may call the Library during business hours and we will be glad to renew your items for you. (207-883-4723 option #2)

When you submit your patron information, the following services are available:

  • View your checked out items and due dates
  • Renew your library materials
  • View your fines
  • View status of interlibrary loan (ILL) materials
  • Request interlibrary loan (ILL) materials.

Materials may be requested through the Minerva catalog (view our Video Tutorial). Items not found in Minerva may be requested through MaineCat. If you need assistance or suggestions, contact us at:

Youth Services at 883-4723 option 3, or email kids@scarboroughlibrary.org 
Adult Services at 883-4723 option 4, or email askSPL@scarboroughlibrary.org 

Looking for something new? Take a look at our lists of new and recommended titles.

Library Materials - The lending period for most library materials is 3 weeks with one 3 week renewal if the item is not requested by another borrower.
Interlibrary Loan - The lending period for most library materials is 3 weeks with one 2 week renewal if the item is not reserved by another borrower.

Borrowing privileges are free to Scarborough residents, taxpayers, students attending Scarborough schools, and to employees of Scarborough businesses. Non-residents may borrow upon payment of a $60.00 annual fee or a $20 fee for a 3-month summer membership.

You can get a library card in person during our regular business hours.  You will need your driver's license.  If your driver's license does not have your Scarborough address, you will also need a document with your local address (bill, vehicle registration, lease, etc). 

If you'd prefer to get a card remotely, please email Mike Windsor, Circulation Manager, at mwindsor@scarboroughlibrary.org. Please provide:

  1. A photo of your driver's license
  2. If your driver's license does not have your Scarborough address, you will also need to provide a photo of a piece of mail with your local address (bill, vehicle registration, lease, etc.)
  3. Phone number

Scarborough Residents (Adult or Youth) or Non-resident Property Owner

  1. You must provide a valid ID with your current Scarborough residence address. (We do not accept a PO Box as valid proof of Scarborough residence.) Acceptable documents include car registration; driver’s license; Maine ID card; checkbook; recent utility bill; rent receipt; lease or mortgage agreement; tax bill; school ID or other proof of current school attendance.
  2. A borrower's card is issued only upon confirmation of residence, ownership of property, resident address, place of employment, or school attendance. You must sign a legal agreement to comply with the rules and regulations of the library. NOTE: Completion of the application requires an alternate phone number in addition to the home number.
  3. Your card is free and may be renewed on an annual basis if you continue to meet these criteria.

Non-resident Students Attending a Scarborough School

  1. You must provide a valid school ID to confirm your school attendance and present documentation of your current out-of-town mailing address. Acceptable documents include school ID or other proof of current school attendance.
  2. You must sign a legal agreement to comply with the rules and regulations of the library. NOTE: Completion of the application requires an alternate phone number in addition to the home number.
  3. Your card is free and may be renewed on an annual basis as long as continue to meet these criteria and your account is in good standing.

Non-resident Employees of a Scarborough Business

  1. You must provide a valid ID that will confirm your employment by a Scarborough business and present documentation of your current out-of-town mailing address. Acceptable documents include: car registration; driver’s license; Maine ID card; checkbook; recent utility bill; rent receipt; lease or mortgage agreement; tax bill; pay stub; and verification of employment on company letterhead or business card.
  2. You must sign a legal agreement to comply with the rules and regulations of the library. NOTE: Completion of the application requires an alternate phone number in addition to the home number.
  3. Your card is free and may be renewed on an annual basis as long as continue to meet these criteria and your account is in good standing.

Non-resident Membership

  1. You must provide documentation of your current out-of-town mailing address. Acceptable documents include car registration; driver’s license; Maine ID card; checkbook; recent utility bill; rent receipt; lease or mortgage agreement; or tax bill.
  2. You must sign a legal agreement to comply with the rules and regulations of the library. NOTE: Completion of the application requires an alternate phone number in addition to the home number.
  3. You must pay a non-resident fee for your card. You may renew your card on an annual basis if you continue to meet these criteria and your account is in good standing

Summer 3-month Membership (covers June, July, and August)

  1. You must provide documentation of your current out-of-town mailing address and provide proof that you are maintaining a temporary domicile in Scarborough. Acceptable documents include car registration; driver’s license; Maine ID card; checkbook; recent utility bill; rent receipt; lease or mortgage agreement; or tax bill.
  2. You must sign a legal agreement to comply with the rules and regulations of the library. NOTE: Completion of the application requires an alternate phone number in addition to the home number.
  3. You must pay a summer membership fee for your card.

Other

Due to space limitations, the Friends of the Scarborough Public Library can no longer accept donations of older books. They have created a list of recommended locations for donating or selling used books. Each group’s needs may change, so they recommend contacting them for more information.

DONATE

Goodwill South Portland Location: 207-553-2223

Habitat for Humanity / ReStore Portland Location: 207-221-0047

The Salvation Army Thrift Store 1-800-SA-Truck

Maine Needs Children & YA books only. maineneeds.org

Books for Africa booksforafrica.org/donate/donate-books.html

Little Free Libraries Assorted locations – check out littlefreelibrary.org/map

South Portland Public Library Ongoing Friends BookShop on the main level of the South Portland Library

SELL

Books-A-Million booksamillion.com/storefinder – look for the “Used Buyback” feature

Bull Moose Scarborough Location: 207-885-9553 South Portland Location: 207-347-2400

Nonesuch Books 207-799-2659

Twice-Told Tales Bookstore 207-725-8888

Amazon Amazon.com

eBay Ebay.com

AbeBooks AbeBooks.com

Powell’s Books Powells.com/sell-books

RECYCLE

When a book has overstayed its usefulness, the best option may be to let it become something new. Books can be recycled as a last resort.

 

Public Computing Services

The public computers are in the Adult Services Reference Area. An appointment is not required but you may make a reservation to guarantee there will be a computer available when you arrive. To reserve a computer call 207-883-4723 option 4.

Public computer access is available to everyone, not just Scarborough residents. You may log into a computer using either your Scarborough Library card or your phone number.

Home Delivery for the Homebound

If you or someone you know would benefit from this service, contact Adult Services at 883-4723 option 4 or fill out and mail us this form. We will contact you shortly.

As many as you would like! People typically request between 2-5 items per delivery. The number can be adjusted at any time.

Collections for Institutions:

Nursing homes and senior housing facilities can receive rotating collections of Library materials through the SPL Home Delivery program.

Collections for the Visually Impaired:

The Maine State Library offers materials for the visually impaired through its Federally-funded “Talking Books” program. Recorded books and special players are available to qualifying persons. Call Toll-Free 1-800-762-7106 or visit their website. 

(Please note that this program is facilitated by the Maine State Library and all questions should be directed to them.)

CloudLibrary

The CloudLibrary app can be used with most tablets and computers. Books can also be transferred from a computer to Nook and Kobo eReaders. These devices allow you to enlarge the size of your text for easier reading.

For more information on downloading a CloudLibrary app, or transferring items to your e-reader, visit the Library's eBooks page.

 

Any material that circulates can be requested through Home Delivery. You may request specific titles or our staff will be happy to select materials based on your interests. If the Library does not own a book you would like to read, we can try to borrow it from another library. Basic reference information is also available by phone at 883-4723 option 4 or email at askSPL@scarboroughlibrary.org.

The Scarborough Public Library offers free delivery of materials to Scarborough residents who are unable to visit the Library due to long or short-term illness, immobility, or age. We strive to offer the same access you would have when visiting the Library in person.

Materials are delivered to your door every other Friday at a mutually convenient time.

Solar Panels and EV Charging Station

It depends on the vehicle, size of the battery, and the remaining charge in the battery. Most electric vehicles will charge anywhere from 4-10 hours.

86 solar panels were installed for the rooftop PV system, and 4 for EVPV station.

No, there is no cost to charge an electric vehicle. The four solar panels will provide enough electricity for 5,000 miles of driving annually.

ReVision Energy is a full service renewable energy contracting company that provides a full range of engineering, design, installation and equipment service for homes, businesses, municipal buildings and nonprofits.  Since 2003, they have installed more than 5,000 solar energy systems in Maine and New Hampshire.

The solar panels were primarily paid for through town appropriation (i.e., Scarborough tax payers). However, we're not really paying for the panels, but rather the electricity created by the panels. This is part of our Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) whereby we pay Revision Energy a set price for the electricity generated by the panels for the first 7 years. After that time we could either buy the panels outright (at an already agreed to amortized price) or continue paying Revision for the electricity. We'll evaluate the economics and viability of each choice at that time.

The EV Charging Station was funded entirely through grants, private donations and business sponsorships.

The rooftop system is 26.23 kilowatts, with a production estimate of 30,029 kilowatt hours/year. This is roughly 20% of the library’s annual load. Rooftop PV panels will reduce 31,500 pounds of CO2 emissions annually.
The charging station is 1.22 kilowatts, with a production of 1,300 kilowatt hours/year. When not being used to charge vehicles, the electricity from the station can be used by the library. This will reduce an additional 1,350 pounds of CO2 annually, for a combined reduction of 32,850 pounds of CO2.

Fines and Fees

The Library accepts cash, checks, and credit cards. You can pay your accumulated fees in person, call us with your credit card information, or mail a check.

If you fail to return material(s) you will be charged a lost fee equaling the current replacement cost of the item(s). If the replacement cost cannot be determined the following fee schedule will be applied.

Category Replacement Cost
Adult Fiction 25.00
Adult Non-fiction 40.00
Adult Trade Paperback 17.00
Adult Mass Market Paperback 8.00
Children's Picture Books 22.00
Children’s Fiction and Beginning Readers 17.00
Children's Non-fiction 27.00
Children's Trade Paperback 17.00
Children's Book & Cassette/CD Kit 17.00
Children's Board Book 6.00
Children's Mass Market Paperback 6.00
Magazine 4.00
Audio Cassette (each cassette, book or music) 10.00 or set price*
Music CD 17.00 or set price*
Audiobook CD (per disc) 10.00 or set price*
Video Cassette 15.00 or set price*
DVD 25.00 or set price*
Processing Fee 10.00


*Items with multiple parts: When individual parts cannot be replaced, the borrower will be charged the replacement cost for the entire set.

NOTE: Valuable or rare items with a list value greater than 150% of the scheduled cost (see above) will be billed at list. Items that are out-of-print, but not deemed to be rare or valuable, will be billed at the scheduled cost, with the understanding that the library will make a good-faith effort to determine a fair cost.

At the librarian's discretion, a patron may replace a lost item with an exact duplicate of title and edition. An additional $10 processing fee will also be charged.

Maine Criminal Law states that unlawful retention of library materials is theft. If items are not returned, you will be billed for their replacement cost as well as accrued fines. You won’t be able to borrow anything else until late materials are returned or paid for. Once billed items are returned, your privileges will be . If you do not return or pay for items borrowed, the matter will be treated as theft and referred to local authorities. Note: Some libraries also use a debt collection agency recover the cost of materials that are not returned.

Other libraries have their own billing procedures for lost or damaged materials and expect us to collect the fee from you. Be aware that many libraries charge a flat fee for lost materials that may be as much as $75 dollars per item. Lost materials borrowed from a university or college library frequently incur a high replacement fee.

The library makes the final decision about whether a book is repairable or not.  If the item is considered unrepairable then you will be charged the replacement cost.

As of April 1, 2021 the Library no longer charges fines for overdue materials and all outstanding fine balances were forgiven. However, you must still pay to replace unreturned or damaged materials. You will be prohibited from borrowing more materials until you return or pay for billed materials. 

 

REPAIR OF A DAMAGED ITEM: $3.50

SANDY BOOKS: $2 to replace cover.

REPLACE LOST LIBRARY CARD: $3

Value Line value

The discounted price for a personal Value Line subscription is $198.00 annually. They don't offer a monthly option.