Library Policies
Library Cards

Library Board policy as of September 6, 2000. Revised September 14, 2011; February 11, 2015; May 19, 2015; September 20, 2018; January 22, 2022; June 12, 2024.

Policies > Library Cards

Use of Library Cards

A valid library card issued either by the Library or by another Connecticut public library is required to borrow materials from the Library.

Borrowers are financially responsible for all items borrowed using their library card or library card number. Patrons who allow others to borrow materials using their card, or who use their card to borrow items on behalf of others, are responsible for those items. Parents and guardians are responsible for items borrowed using their child’s card, as well as for the access and selection of materials by their child.

By registering for a library card at the Library, or by using a card issued by another library at the Library, patrons agree to:

  • Abide by the policies and procedures of the Berlin-Peck Memorial Library
  • Pay for materials that have been lost or damaged while checked out on their account
  • Return items on time, undamaged, and in accordance with any special requirements
  • Protect the privacy of their library card
  • Notify the Library (or their home library) if their address, email address, or telephone number changes, if their card is lost or stolen, or if they suspect their card is being misused

Misplaced Library Cards

If a patron has forgotten or misplaced their library card, they may use a driver’s license, non-driver’s license, or other government-issued photo identification in place of their library card.

If a minor has forgotten or misplaced their library card, they may use valid student photo identification from the Berlin Public School System. If that is not available, staff will ask for corroborating information (such as address, telephone number, etc.) or identification from a parent or guardian.

In order to substitute other identification for a library card, the library card must be valid.
Any restrictions on the library card still apply, including expiration and blocks.

Permission to Pick Up Holds

Patrons may authorize another individual to pick up holds on their behalf and are responsible for any items checked out on their account in this way. Patrons must complete a permission form, and a note will be placed on their account.

Record Linking

Patrons may request to have their records linked to other patron records in the Library’s computer system (“linked patrons”). This feature allows family members, parents, guardians, caregivers, or aides to access and use each other’s library records and accounts. Once linked patrons have shown their own library card, they may request information about the other patron records they are linked to (money owed, items checked out, holds, etc.) as well as borrow items using those accounts.

Record links are reciprocal, meaning both patrons can view each other’s accounts.
They cannot be set up as a one-sided link.

Patrons may only belong to one linked group; two patrons who are both linked to a third patron will also be linked to each other. Children’s cards may be linked either to one parent only, or to both parents together. In the latter case, both parents’ records are also linked.

Patrons looking to link their records must fill out and sign the Linked Patron Records Form, which gives permission for Library staff to link their record. Parents and guardians may give permission on their child’s behalf. Completed forms are retained by the Library’s Head of Circulation. Patrons who would like to remove a link may request to do so at the circulation desk. Staff will remove the link and note the removal on the patron’s record.

Record links are only visible to Library staff. They do not give patrons access through the online public access catalog (OPAC). Record links will not be visible to libraries outside of the LCI consortium or to libraries within the LCI consortium who have this feature turned off in their computer system.


There are no restrictions on the total number of items that can be borrowed at one time.
Limits may be placed on certain types of specialty or high-demand items.

There are no content-based restrictions on library cards. Adults and children may use their library cards in either department to borrow all available Library materials, with some exceptions for high-value items outlined in the Child Library Card section below. Parents and guardians are responsible for monitoring their child’s use of the Library and Library materials.

The Library has the discretion to restrict or refuse to allow a patron the opportunity to borrow Library materials if that patron has committed violations of Library policies.


Resident Library Cards


The Library issues library cards to Berlin residents for free.
There is no charge or replacement fee for lost or damaged cards.


All Berlin residents are eligible to receive a library card from the Library.

To obtain a Resident Library Card, patrons must complete an application form and show proof of residence in the town of Berlin, which encompasses Berlin, East Berlin, and Kensington. Acceptable proof includes:

  • Valid driver’s license, non-driver’s license, or other government-issued photo identification showing full name and Berlin resident address
  • Valid driver’s license, non-driver’s license, or other government-issued photo identification showing full name, plus an official piece of mail (recent bank statement, utility bill, lease, rental agreement, etc.) listing full name and Berlin resident address
  • Valid student photo identification from the Berlin Public School System
  • For minors, proof of residence from a parent or legal guardian

A Berlin post office box (P.O. box) address is not sufficient to prove residency. Likewise, owning property in Berlin is not the same as residing in Berlin. The Connecticut State Library defines a resident as follows:

For purposes of the Connecticard program, a person is a resident of a town if that person is principally domiciled in that town. A borrower who holds dual residency or who owns property in more than one town is considered a resident only in the town in which he is principally domiciled. In all other towns, that borrower is considered a non-resident.

Students enrolled in the Berlin Public School system may be registered for their library cards through a partnership with the school, in which case the school is responsible for notifying and obtaining permission from the minor’s parent or guardian. All students enrolled in Berlin Public Schools are eligible, including non-residents.

Homebound Card

Patrons who are Berlin residents, and who are temporarily or permanently homebound or disabled may sign up for a Homebound Card. There is no age requirement or limit. Items borrowed on a Homebound Card will be delivered by a volunteer through the Library’s Homebound Delivery service.

Existing patrons may convert their existing Resident Library Card to a Homebound Card. Homebound Cards may be converted back to regular Resident Library Cards at any time.

New patrons registering for a Homebound Card may request a mailed or emailed library card application form, which may be returned by mail or email. Library staff will arrange delivery for their new card.


Minors under the age of eighteen (18) are eligible for a Child Library Card.

Minors under the age of fourteen (14) are eligible for a Child Library Card only and must have a parent or guardian present when applying for a library card at the Library.

Minors aged fourteen (14) and older are eligible for a Child Library Card or a standard adult Resident Library Card and may apply without a parent present if they can show proof of residence. The Library will send a letter notifying the minor’s parent or guardian. The card will be valid for three (3) months, after which time a parent or guardian must renew the card.

Minors or adults transferring from a Child Library Card to a standard Resident Library Card must show proof of residence.

Regardless of card type, a minor’s parents or guardians are financially responsible for items taken out on the minor’s library card. If a parent or guardian wishes to withdraw responsibility from their child’s account, the child’s account will be deactivated.

A child whose parents are divorced may have two separate active library cards, one facilitated by each parent. All requirements for a Resident Library Card still apply.

Child Library Cards cannot be used to borrow high-value specialty items like mobile hotspots, items in the Library of Things collection, or board games from the Adult Department.

Patron-Limit Card

A parent, guardian, or caretaker of a minor or patron with special needs may arrange for a Patron-Limit Card with a borrowing limit of five (5) items at a time.

Validity and Renewal

Resident Library Cards are valid for three (3) years, after which they are considered expired and must be renewed by providing proof of residence.

As a courtesy, Library staff may make an extension of one (1) month, after which the card must be renewed as usual. This courtesy is offered on a case-by-case basis and is not guaranteed.


Non-Resident and Special Cards

The Library issues limited library cards for people who live outside of Berlin or who are not able to show proof of residence. Other forms of identification may be required.

These cards may be used like a Resident Library Card except as otherwise noted.

Staff Library Card

To obtain a Staff Library Card, patrons must be employed by the Library, the Town of Berlin, or the Berlin Board of Education. A staff badge or other proof of employment is required.

Staff members, like all Library patrons, are expected to check out their Library materials,
return Library materials promptly, and pay for any lost or damaged materials.

Teacher Library Card

To obtain a Teacher Library Card, patrons must be public school teachers who live or work in Berlin. This includes Berlin residents who teach in other towns as well as Berlin Public School teachers who live in other towns. A faculty badge or other proof of employment is required.

Teachers may have their own personal Resident Library Card or Staff Library Card, which may be linked with their Teacher Library Card using record linking.

Teacher Library Cards may only be used at Berlin-Peck Memorial Library and have an extended loan period of 9 weeks for books, non-new entertainment DVDs, and other types of items that are not considered high-demand. Renewals are not allowed.

Business Library Card

To obtain a Business Library Card, patrons must be associated with a business operating in Berlin. Proof of business operating in Berlin is required.

Business Library Cards are valid for one (1) year and allow access to online services only.
They may not be used to borrow books or other physical items.

Access Library Card

The Library offers an Access Library Card for patrons who do not have a physical address.

Access Library Cards are valid for one (1) year and may be used to borrow up to five (5) books or other physical items at a time. They cannot be used to borrow specialty or electronic items like mobile hotspots, items in the Library of Things collection, board games, launchpads, backpacks, STEM Kits, etc.

Access Library Cards are not intended for use by residents of other Connecticut towns or out-of-state residents.


Reciprocal Library Cards

As part of the State’s BorrowIT CT (formerly Connecticard) program, the Library honors library cards from other Connecticut public libraries. Likewise, library cards issued by the Library can be used at most other Connecticut public libraries and are subject to the rules of that library.

The Library cannot issue or renew library cards belonging to other libraries and will abide by any restrictions placed on a library card by the issuing Library.

Library cards issued by other libraries cannot be used to access the Library’s electronic materials and databases.

LCI Library Cards

The Library belongs to the LCI consortium. Because the LCI consortium shares an integrated library system, library cards issued by one LCI library may be used immediately at all other LCI libraries as long as they are valid and have no blocks or restrictions.

Non-LCI Library Cards

Libraries outside the LCI consortium do not share an integrated library system, and therefore must manually add a library card to their computer system before it can be used. Patrons must present their valid library card and may be required to show additional identification.