Unfortunately, requesting items through MaineCat is temporarily suspended due to a statewide interruption in delivery services. Learn More »

How do I borrow materials?

How do I place a new hold? Can I still get recommendations from staff?
You can place a hold online in our catalog, or by calling the Downtown Library (207-871-1700), Peaks Island (207-766-5540), Burbank (207-774-4229), or Riverton (207-797-2915).

When can I pick up my holds?
After you get the notification that your holds are available, visit your chosen pick-up location. Make sure you receive the notification that your hold is ready before coming to pick up your item(s).

Can I come in and browse the books?
Yes! All locations are open, although there are capacity limits at Burbank, Riverton, and Peaks Island.

Do I need a library card to use the library?
Yes, you do! If you need to apply for a new card, please email lending@portlib.org for more information.

Thank you for visiting your library. We are glad to see you!


How do I check out materials?

Use your card to borrow books, ebooks, audiobooks, movies, music, games, and magazines, and also use the library’s online resources and public computers. Once you have selected materials to borrow, bring them to the Lending Desk and present your card. See the borrowing chart below for lending periods and lost item fees.

How do I renew my items?

Renew items in person, by phone, or online. For assistance, visit or call the Lending Desk at any location during open hours. You must provide the barcode of your card to renew on the phone.

Most items can be renewed twice if no one has placed a hold. Items from MAINECAT or from other Maine libraries can only be renewed once.

Please note: Due dates for items that are renewed will be BASED ON THE RENEWAL DATE. For items with a 3-week loan period, you may renew any time after the first week you have it out.  You may renew videos with a 7-day loan period after the first four days you have borrowed it.

Where can I return my items?

Return items to any location or into the book drops located at each. Items returned after closing will be checked in within three business days.

Checkout & Return Policies

We do not charge overdue fees. However, if an item is not returned or is returned damaged, the library may bill you for its retail value. If you owe more than $5.00, you may not borrow or renew materials until the items are returned or the fees are paid.

Item TypeMax #Loan PeriodRenewals *Replacement
Books100 items3 weeks2Retail cost
Audiobooks & Music CDs100 items3 weeks2Retail cost
Magazines100 items1 week2Retail cost
DVDs100 items1 week2Retail cost
Video Games1 item3 weeks2Retail cost
MaineCat item (from other Maine libraries)Varies3 weeks1Retail cost
Downloadable ebooks3 titles3 weeksRe-download, retains last page readnone
Downloadable audiobooks3 titles3 weeksRe-downloadnone
Library of ThingsVaries1 weekNo RenewalRetail Cost

* An item cannot be renewed if there is a hold on it.