Worcester Public Library board: new policy on lending to the homeless

At last night’s Library Board meeting, they approved a new lending policy. The old policy contained restrictions on borrowing by those living in homeless shelters. That policy got the library sued.

Huge jpegs of the new policy:

Here’s a transcription.


How to Get a Library Card

from the Worcester Public Library

You may sign up for a Library Card at any of the library’s three locations. The application must be submitted in person. A library card gives borrowing and computer usage privileges at the Main Library and branches and provides remote access to the Library’s online resources.

Residents of Massachusetts with identification may obtain a library card for free, although fees are charged to replace lost cards ($.50 for children, young adults and seniors; $1.00 for adults). Library cards, card numbers and PINs are issued to individuals and should be used only by the person to whom they were issued, whether for borrowing library material or using library computers.

As a first-time borrower, you may borrow two items when you receive your Library Card. On subsequent visits, the Worcester Public Library, as part of the C/W MARS library network, allows a person to have up to 50 items checked out at one time.

A library card will be issued to you when one of the following is presented:

  • Valid Massachusetts Driver’s Livense, or
  • Valid Massachusetts State Identification Card

OR, any item from EACH of the following two lists:
Current Picture Identification (I.D.):

  • Passport
  • Alien Registration Card
  • Military I.D.
  • School-issued student I.D.
  • Employee identification card
  • Out-of-state driver’s license

Address Verification: (must include name and Massachusetts address)

  • An imprinted back check or deposit slip
  • Rent receipt (confirming 30 day occupancy)
  • Utility bill dated within the last 30 days
  • Letter verifying residency and mailing address dated within the last 10 days from a social service provider, temporary employer that provides housing, or a short-term residence

OR, if you are unable to provide the above means of identification and address verification, the Library will mail you a post card. When you return that post card, you will receive your Library Card.

Any change in the information on your Library Card application should be reported at the Library Card Desk. Most Library Cards are valid for two years. If your current address is temporary, your Library Card will be valid for three months and can be renewed with address confirmation.


If you are between the ages of 12 and 17 and cannot meet the I.D. requirements, you will need your parent or guardian (with sufficient identification) to sign the application. Your Library Card is valid for two years or when you turn 18 years old.


If you are under 12 years old, you will need to have your parent or guardian (with sufficient identification) to sign your Library Card application. Your Library Card is valid for two years or when you turn 12 years old.


If you are an out-of-state resident with sufficient identification, you are eligible for a Library Card for a $10 annual fee. (The fee is waived if you own property in Worcester and present a tax bill or if you work in Worcester and show proof of Worcester employment.)

If you are an out-of-state resident with sufficient identification, who is visiting or working in the area for less than 3 months, you are eligible for a Library Card after paying a $10 refundable deposit and providing verification of temporary address.


If you are a student at a Worcester college or private high school and have your school identification and photo identification with your home address, you will receive a Library Card. Student cards are valid until the end of the current semester.

Draft Sept 11, 2006

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