Library Registration & Circulation Policy


A New Canaan Library card offers access to the wealth of materials and other resources made available by the Library to inspire learning and creativity, including books, DVDs, audiobooks, magazines, research tools, museum passes, downloadable content and more.

Please remember that you are responsible for the use made of a library card registered in your name and for any card registered to your minor children or any child for whom you act as guardian.  

Obtaining a New Canaan Library Card


New Canaan Residents or Property Owners:  Any current New Canaan resident and/or property owner is entitled to receive a library card upon presentation of proper identification (see below) at any public service desk. Children under 15 years of age may have a card in their name with proper identification and approval of a responsible parent or guardian. Registrants are issued two cards, one wallet-sized and one suitable for a keychain. This card is valid for three years.


Temporary New Canaan Residents:  Persons residing temporarily in New Canaan may be eligible for a library card providing access to all materials and services available to a New Canaan resident cardholder upon presentation of proper identification.  A temporary card is valid for three months.


Persons Working in New Canaan or attending a New Canaan school may obtain a library card for use at New Canaan Library only. Verification of employment in New Canaan is required, together with proper identification.  This card is valid for one year.


Household Employees (e.g., housekeepers, nannies, caregivers) may receive a library card with the consent of the resident employer and proper identification.  This card is valid for one year.  Household employees residing with their employer (e.g., au pairs) are considered "Persons Working in New Canaan," and cards are registered accordingly. 


An Out-of-State Resident may obtain a library card for a one-year period for a fee of $155.00.  Use of this card is restricted to New Canaan Library.



borrowIT CT, a cooperative program among Connecticut public libraries, allows the holder of a Connecticut public library card to use such card to borrow materials from any other Connecticut public library participating in the program.  To take advantage of this privilege, the cardholder is generally required to present to New Canaan Library a valid library card from the town of residence, together with appropriate proof of identity.


Under this program materials borrowed from other libraries may be returned to the New Canaan Library for forwarding to the applicable library. Some borrowing restrictions apply. Please see a staff member of the respective library for further information.


Identification Process:  In addition to any requirements noted above, proper identification must be provided in person at any public service desk to obtain a library card.  Residents of other Connecticut towns are also required to show identification that corresponds to their hometown library when registering such card for borrowing privileges at the New Canaan Library. Preferred forms of identification include the following:


  • Current Connecticut driver's license with current address
  • Government issue ID cards or documents (US passport; US Permanent Resident Card)
  • Recent utility bill, bank statement, tax bill or other official mail with recent postmark showing residence address
  • Rental receipt or mortgage paperwork


Be sure to notify the Library promptly of any subsequent change in the mailing address, telephone number or email address furnished to the Library at the time of registering for your card.



Renewing/Replacing Your Library Card


Renewal:  You may renew your card at any public service desk at any time during or following the month it expires by complying with the same identification and any other requirements applicable to the original card.  Fines above $15.00 must be paid before renewal is permitted.


Replacement:  A damaged or lost card will be replaced with a showing of proper identification.  Please remember that you will be responsible for any use of your card until you report its loss.        



Managing Your Library Account


The receipt of a New Canaan Library card results in the creation of an account in your name which can be accessed by clicking "My Account" on the Library's website. Your account gives you access to items checked out with due dates, fines due, holds pending and other information.  You may also use your online account to (i) renew checked out items where permissible; (ii) place a "hold" on an item or suggest an item for purchase; (iii) check the status of an item on hold; (iv) borrow digital material (e.g., e-books, e-magazines et al), or (v) manage your reading history and saved reading lists.


The Library sends email notices of items coming due, items which are overdue, and the availability for pick-up of items placed on hold.  Items on hold that become available are held for three business days, after which they are returned to circulation or offered to the next person in the queue.



Circulation Policies


The Library's borrowing policies and procedures have been developed to facilitate your access, both on the Library premises and remotely, to the many resources the Library has on offer.  These policies as outlined below are intended to provide the best possible service to all of the Library's users. 


The Library's Customer Services Department is primarily responsible for implementing these policies and may be contacted at 203-594-5057 or [email protected].



Checking Out Items


To check out items, you will need your library card.  You may use one of the Library's Self-Check terminals for this purpose.  If you do not have your library card on hand, proper identification must be presented in order to check out items from the Library.   


Please remember that check-outs, renewals and holds will be blocked if fines or charges of $15.00 or more are assessed against your account or if your card has expired.



Loan Periods and Late fines


Items owned by the Library may be borrowed for the following loan periods.  Where the Library has obtained an item from another library through Interlibrary Loan or otherwise, the loan period will be set by the library providing the item. 


Adult Collections:


Item                                                                 Loan Period                             Late Fee


Books; Books on CD                                       3 weeks                                   $0.20/day


Express Books                                                 1 week                                    $1.00/day

(No holds/No renewals allowed)


DVDs                                                              7 days                                      $0.20/day


Magazines                                                       3 weeks                                   $0.20/day


Museum Passes                                              3 days                                      $5.00/day

(No holds/No renewals allowed)


Maximum Fines per item:


Books; Books on CD; magazines                                                                     $15.00


DVDs                                                                                                              $14.00

Children's and Teen Collections:


Item                                                                 Loan Period                             Late Fee


Books; Books on CD                                       3 weeks                                   n/a*


Magazines                                                       3 weeks                                   n/a*


DVDs                                                              1 week                                     n/a*


Board Games                                                  1 week                                    n/a*


* No overdue fines are assessed for materials located in New Canaan Library’s Children’s (Juvenile) and Teen (YA) collections. Patrons are still responsible for lost or damaged items. If an item from the Children’s or Teen Collection is not returned six weeks after its due date, the item is considered lost, and the cardholder will be billed for that item. If the item is returned, all overdue fines will be waived along with the replacement fee. Likewise, if an item from the Children’s or Teen Collection is returned damaged, the cardholder will be billed for that item. (See Lost or Damaged Items below for details.)


Digital Collections:


Item                                                                 Loan Period                             Late Fee


Downloadable Content                                   Varies by platform                   n/a

(e-audiobooks, ebooks, e-magazines,

streaming video & music, etc.)                                         



Renewal of Items


Library items may generally be renewed for up to two additional loan periods provided no hold has been placed on the item by another member.  Renewal of items from other libraries through Inter-Library Loan is contingent on the policy of the lending library.  Renewals will be blocked if fines or other charges are $15.00 or more or if your card has expired.


Items may be renewed (i) online using the My Account feature; (ii) by emailing [email protected] with your renewal request (iii) in person at any public service desk, or (iv) by phone by calling the Library at 203-594-5057 and being prepared to furnish your library card number and the names of items to be renewed.



Lost or Damaged Items


A Library cardholder is responsible for the use of the card issued to such cardholder. In the event that an item checked out to such cardholder is lost or damaged, a fee will be assessed to replace such lost item.


Due to the necessity of processing items in a library approved manner, the Library cannot accept replacement items provided by the Library user.


Notice of an overdue item is sent three days after the due date.  If an item has not been returned within three weeks after the due date, another notice will be sent. If the affected item is not returned after six weeks, the item will be considered lost, and the cardholder will be invoiced for said item.


If an item lost or damaged is paid for, any accrued fines on the item will be waived. In the event that the lost item is located and returned to the Library within three months of payment of such charge, the charge will be refunded.



Next review date:  March 2026




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