Library Cards

In order to use library services you must present a current library card in good standing from the Holyoke Public Library or from another library in the C/WMARS network (Central and Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing) to borrow materials from the Holyoke Public Library. If you do not have a library card, you may apply for one. 

How to Apply for a Library Card 
Any Massachusetts resident may apply for a FREE Holyoke Public Library card by presenting the required identification at the circulation desk. We accept other C/WMARS PUBLIC LIBRARY cards. ACADEMIC LIBRARY card holders must also obtain a card from a C/WMARS PUBLIC library.  Library cards are not transferable. No one may use another person's card. (Exception: Homebound people may designate another person to use their cards to borrow materials for them.) 
One of the Following Forms of Identification is Required to Receive a Library Card
  • MASSACHUSETTS DRIVER'S LICENSE and proof of current address
  • MASSACHUSETTS LEARNER'S PERMIT and proof of current address
You will be able to borrow up to the number of items set by the C/WMARS network, and have access to interlibrary loan, various online resources and computer access. 
Type of Library Cards
  • Permanent Residents—City of Holyoke and Massachusetts residents may obtain a library card without charge. Proof of identity is required
  • Non-Residents—Patrons who reside outside Massachusetts may obtain a library card. Proof of identity is required. Acceptable forms of identification are listed above
  • Temporary Residents—Any person living in the City of Holyoke temporarily may obtain a library card without charge. Proof of identity and a local mailing address are required at time of application. Acceptable forms of identification are listed above.
  • Temporary Borrower's Card—Expires 30 days from the date of application; extensions may be granted upon request if needed 
How To Replace A Lost Library Card
You will be responsible for anything checked out prior to the time you report your card missing. If your library card is lost or stolen, report it IMMEDIATELY in person to the circulation desk or by calling 413-420-8101. The record will be blocked so no one else can use the card.   You may request a replacement card by presenting a picture ID with your current address to the circulation desk.
  • $1.50 – first time replacement fee
  • $5.00 – second time or more replacement fee
Services Available with a Library Card
  • All of these materials 
  • Check your library record and see the status of your library account.
  • Renew library materials.
  • Inter-Library Loan—Search to place a Reserve/Request on library materials.
  • Be automatically notified by e-mail--login to your C/W MARS account
  • Digital Treasures—a Central & Western Massachusetts digital library project
  • Digital Commonwealth—throughout the Commonwealth, repositories house irreplaceable collections of books and private and public documents that serve as a rich resource for researchers involved in local, state, regional, national, and international studies.
  • Manuscripts, Archives & Special collections—The Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections Directory is a guide and locator of collections residing in Massachusetts libraries, archives, historical societies and town clerk's offices. 

How to Check Out Materials

Check-out Loan Period
Loan periods vary based on the type of materials. Items may be renewed ONCE if no other user has placed a hold on them. The renewal period is for the same amount of time as the original loan.
  • 21 Days- most items not on reserve list—fiction and non-fiction.
  • 7 days – videocassettes and DVDs
Check-out Maximum
You may borrow any circulating material. This includes most hardcover and paperback books in the collection, videos, CDs, audiocassettes, books on tape, CD-ROMs, and children's games, puppets and toys. 
Items labeled REFERENCE, newspapers and periodicals, materials on microfilm, special collection materials, and current periodicals DO NOT circulate and must be used in the library.
You may check out 1 item when you first register for a Library card. There are also C/WMARS network wide and Holyoke Public Library limits on certain types of media. Most borrowers may have up to 50 items checked out through the C/WMARS network at any one time. (Temporary borrowers have a 6 item limit at any one time.)
  • Adult Non-fiction items: Maximum of two (2) on the same subject.
  • Juvenile Non-Fiction items: Maximum of two (2) on the same subject.
  • CD-ROMs - a total of 6 throughout C/WMARS
  • Video/DVD: Adults: Maximum of four (4) from the Holyoke Public Library collection, a total of 10 throughout C/WMARS. Minors: Maximum of one (1) from the Holyoke Public Library collection. Patron must be present when checking out video/DVD.
  • Audio/CD items: Maximum of four (4), a total of 20 throughout C/WMARSAdult Books-on-tapes: Maximum of six (6), a total of 12 throughout C/WMARS
  • Juvenile Books-on-tapes: Maximum of _____
  • Adult Fiction books: Maximum of ten (10).
  • Juvenile Fiction books: Maximum of _____.
  • Adult Paperbacks: Maximum of ten (10).
  • Juvenile Paperbacks: Maximum of _____.
Overdue materials
Borrowing privileges are suspended and patrons are billed immediately after items are four (4) weeks overdue. There is no grace period for overdue materials.
Overdue Charges 
  • The Holyoke Library Overdue Fine is 10 cents a day per item on all materials up to a maximum of $3 per item. EXCEPTION: the Overdue Fine on Videos/DVDs is $1.00 per item per day up to a maximum of $5.00. All fines, fees and gifts are used as revenue for library services and materials.
  • Items that are more than 28 days overdue are considered lost and we will bill you for the replacement cost of the item. When you have items that are more than 42 days overdue, you may be referred to a collection agency. When this is done, an additional $10 collection agency fee is added to your bill. If you return a billed item, the replacement cost is deducted from your bill and you are charged only the $3 maximum overdue fine and the $10 collection agency fee (if applicable). (EXCEPTION: ILL maximum is $30.)
  • If you have overdue Interlibrary Loan items, you are billed for the full replacement costs charged by the library that loaned us the material. This may include substantial processing, lost item, and overdue fees in addition to the actual replacement cost of the item.
  • If you report an item LOST before it has become overdue, we bill you the replacement cost of the item. If you wish, you may supply an EXACT copy in good condition of the lost item instead of paying the replacement cost.You may pay overdue fines and other fees by cash, or check (made out to Holyoke Public Library).
How to Pay Fines 
You can pay fines online from your C/WMARS account using a credit card or you can pay in person at the library.  Payments made directly to the library help support our programs and services.
How to Pay Online
  • Login to your C/WMARS account at, with your library card number and PIN.
  • On your patron account page, select PAY SELECTED FINES at the bottom right of the page.
  • Complete all of the relevant information on the PAYMENTS tab.
  • Click NEXT.  A confirmation page will appear asking if you are sure that you want to pay.  Select SUBMIT PAYMENT.  
  • A receipt will display for printing. If you have a valid email address, receipt of payment will also be sent to the address you entered with your billing information.
  • For more info on your CWMARS account and paying fines visit My Account.

How to Reserve, Renew, Return Books

  • Please return library materials on time so that other people may enjoy them
  • You may return the materials you borrowed from Holyoke Library to ANY library on any of the library delivery routes within the state. You may ask for a receipt any time you return materials to any library.
  • DO NOT LEAVE THE MATERIALS OUTSIDE THE LIBRARY. You will be responsible if they are damaged or stolen before they are checked in.
  • If you return them to another C/WMARS library, make sure they check in the items and remove them from your record immediately.
  • If you return them to a library that is not a C/WMARS library, they will remain on your record until they are returned to the owning library and you will be responsible for all overdue fines that accumulate.
  • One renewal per item if items are not on reserve.
  • Materials not in demand may be renewed once for a total borrowing time of six weeks.
  • Items may be renewed by phone during regular library hours or online.
  • If you want an item that is checked out to someone else, you may place a HOLD on it in person by filling out a Reserve postcard at the circulation desk or by e-mail, over the phone, online, or by snail-mail.
  • You must have your library card with you to do this since your barcode number will be needed to place a reserve. When the item is returned, we will hold it for you for one week at the circulation desk of the library location you specified for pick up. We will call you or send you a postcard notification when the item is available.
  • There is a maximum of 5 items on hold per patron per week, a total of 20 holds throughout C/WMARS.
  • If you wish to request a book be held for you, call the Circulation Desk during regular Library service hours. Circulating items will be held for one week and can be picked up at the Circulation Desk in the lobby. You can also reserve materials that are checked out. For Circulation Desk dial (413) 420-8101
Interlibrary Loan
With your Holyoke Public Library card you may borrow directly from any of the 60+ circulating libraries in the C/WMARS network. Each of these libraries has its own loan periods, fines and rules for use which are often different from those of the Holyoke Public Library. These additional restrictions apply when you borrow materials from other libraries.

To Request an Interlibrary Loan
  • Search the online C/WMARS catalog for the material you would like to borrow.
  • Go to the other library and borrow the material with your Holyoke Library card or request  the items through the C/WMARS online catalog and have the item delivered to the Holyoke Public Library.
  • If the item is not available in the C/WMARS online catalog have a Holyoke Public Library staff member create a purchase request for the item

How to Login to Your Library Account Online

Patrons may log into the library catalog, view their records, request library materials, renew materials, and pay fines from any device with internet access by going to the C/W MARS Catalog.  
  • To login to your account click on the LOG INTO MY ACCOUNT button on the upper left hand side of the C/W MARS Catalog (link above) screen . 
  • Sign in using your Library Card Bar Code Number and your Password or Personal Identification Number (PIN).
  • If you do not have a Password or PIN, follow the instructions on the screen to set one up. If you forget your PIN, click the "Forgot Your Password" button. An email will be sent to your registered email address, with a link to reset your Password. (Or you may ask for help at the circulation desk).
  • Your record will display your name and address and all the materials you have checked out from any of the 60+ C/WMARS libraries, their due dates, and outstanding fines.
  • You can also update your email information, and set up Wish Lists and Preferred Searches.  
  • Name and Address changes need to be updated by the Circulation Desk staff. Please have identification with your new name and/or address available.

Computer Use Policy

To fulfill its mission of providing free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joy of reading to our diverse community, the Holyoke Public Library provides access to the Internet.  All Holyoke Public Library cardholders in good standing are entitled to Internet access. The Holyoke Public Library is committed to make access available on an equitable basis.The Holyoke Public Library reserves the right to remove the privilege of anyone who tampers with or damages the equipment or programs involved with Internet access.

Links to Internet sites can be found on the library web page which is designed by the staff of the Holyoke Public Library. The Library follows its materials selection guidelines in linking to other web sites on its website. Beyond this, the Library has not participated in the development of these other sites and does not exert any editorial or other control over these sites. Any link from the Library’s web site to another website is not an endorsement from the Library. The Library does not warrant that its website, the server that makes it available, or any links from its site to other websites are free of viruses or other harmful components.
The Holyoke Public Library cannot be held responsible for the content, quality, currency or accuracy of data gathered from Internet sites accessed through the Library. Internet Web site creators are not regulated and thus are free to publish whatever material they choose, with the exception of copyrighted materials. As in the use of print media, users must obey United States Copyright and other applicable laws.
The Holyoke Public Library also cannot be held responsible for the website choice made by children. Parents, legal guardians or care givers are responsible for supervising their child's Internet use. Librarians are available to help children, if needed, but not to monitor what resources are utilized.Any damage caused to patron computers from downloaded computer viruses is not the responsibility of the Holyoke Public Library. Users should install virus checking software onto their home computers in order to prevent computer damage from information downloaded off of the Internet.
The Holyoke Public Library cannot be held responsible for any loss of privacy, fees incurred, and/or personal harm caused to patrons due to disclosing of personal information over the Internet. Users are warned not to give their names, telephone numbers, addresses, credit card numbers, or any other personal information out over the Internet, since it is not known who is receiving it and for what purpose it is being used. Patrons should exercise extreme caution before arranging meetings with strangers they contact over the Internet.
User Responsibility
The Library does not monitor or control the content of the material accessed through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its contents. Not all information found on the Internet is accurate, complete, up-to-date, legal or philosophically acceptable to all individuals. The Library assumes no responsibility and shall have no liability for any direct, indirect or consequential damages arising from the use of information found on the Internet, or any communications sent through the Library’s Internet terminals. The Library does not monitor an individual’s use of the Internet; nor does the Library employ filtering software.
Access and Usage
The Library does not provide e-mail accounts to users; however, users with existing e-mail accounts may access their accounts through the Library’s Internet terminals. The Library assumes no responsibility and shall have no liability for any claims or damages which result from the provision of such access to users.As with other library materials, restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian.Use of the Library’s terminals for the transmission, dissemination, and/or duplication of information is regulated under various state and federal laws. The Library expects all users to comply with such laws.The Library has developed "Guidelines for Use of Computer Terminals." In addition, the Library Commission has adopted "Guidelines for Library Use" for the Library (Policy # __). Any users of the Library’s Internet terminals must follow the Library Guidelines and Rules of Conduct.
Reservations and User Guidelines
  • Users must present a C/WMARS library card in good standing each time they want to use the computers.
  • Users must choose to sign in as a Patron, then use their library card number and last name as login credentials.
  • Children ages 12 and younger may use the Children's Area computers. Computers are intended for children ages 5 and older.
  • Users start with one hour of time. There is a 2 hours per day limit on Internet use for each child. If a new user  arrives, the patron is past the initial hour, and there are no open computers, they must yield the computer immediately.
  • It is the responsibility of parents/caregivers to assure appropriate use of computers and the Internet.
  • There is a limit of one person per computer unless a child is accompanied by a parent/caregiver.
  • It is forbidden to use the computers for illegal purposes and unauthorized access, including hacking.
  • Users may not install any software or programs on library computers or download from the Internet.
  • Use of false identity or stolen library card numbers will lose library use privileges.
  • Violators of these policies will lose computer privileges. 
  • Computers shut down 30 minutes before closing time. 
  • Printing is $0.10 per page.
  • Scanning documents is free.

Download PDFs of our Full Policies

Click below to download in-depth versions of all of our policies

Computer Use Policy and Guidelines
Donation of Materials Policy
Electronic Resources Access Policy
Internal Security Cameras Policy
Meeting Room Policy​ (currently being updated)

Patron Behavior and Bathroom Use Policy

Unattended Children Policy