Using The Manchester Public Library


Manchester residents may register online for a temporary library card number that will allow them to access online materials.

Register HERE.

Getting a Library Card

female librarian checking books at desk

Any resident of Manchester may come to either library building (Mary Cheney/ Main library or Whiton Branch) to get a free library card. Adults will need to show a photo ID and proof of Manchester residence. If your ID includes your current Manchester address, that is all you need. If not, you must also bring a document such as a lease or piece of mail that shows your name and current Manchester address. Children in grade 8 (or younger than age 14) need to have a parent's signature on their application form.

Your library card is required for borrowing materials and using our internet computers.

Cards expire and must be renewed after four years. New cards and renewals are free, but there is a $1.00 replacement fee for lost or stolen cards. We recommend that you do not loan your card to others; you are responsible for all materials checked out on your card. If your card is lost or stolen, call the library immediately.


two woman at library check out

Your physical library card may be used at all public libraries in Connecticut.  In Manchester, you may also use our phone app instead of your physical card.  You must have your physical library card or phone app with you every time you want to borrow materials. There isn't a limit on the number of books you can check out, but DVDs and Blu-rays are limited to 25 per card. Any card, whether an adult's or child's, can be used to borrow any material. If you are coming to the  Main library to get an item that is on hold for you, please pick it up from the hold shelves and then bring it to the circulation desk for check out.

Loan Periods

Most library materials may be borrowed for three weeks. These include:

  • All books
  • Audiobooks
  • Music CDs
  • Documentaries and non-fiction DVDs
  • Magazines
  • Board Games
  • Take me Home Totes (not renewable)
  • Family Movie Night Totes (not renewable)

Some other materials get checked out only for one week. This includes:

  • Feature film and television show DVDs and Blu-rays
  • Museum Passes (not renewable)

If you're borrowing materials that belong to a library from a different town, they may have other loan rules.


two female librarians at desk (2)

Most materials are eligible for renewal, with the exception of some special collections including tote bags and museum passes.

All eligible library materials will be automatically renewed up to three times, as long as they were checked out in Manchester, not on hold for another patrons, and checked out to an account in good standing with fines under $25.00. For your convenience, your materials will renew three days before their due date. If we have your email on file, you should receive a courtesy notice two days before anything becomes overdue. Any titles that show up in your courtesy notice could not be renewed and need to be returned to avoid being billed for any items.

If you would like to try to manually renew your materials prior to their automatic renewal date, you may do that over the phone or by logging into your online library account. If you have recently checked out the items, it may be too soon for them to renew.

Placing Holds

man holding library book

If an item you want is checked out, you may ask us to place a hold on the item. If you'd like a title that we don't own, we can try to request it from another library. You can also place holds yourself online when you log into your library account and search the catalog.

When your hold is ready to pick up, you will receive a letter in the mail or an email (if we have your email address in our records). Your item will stay on the hold shelf for seven days. If you are picking it up from the Main library, please find your hold on the hold shelves and then bring it to the circulation desk for checkout.


You may return most materials to either building's circulation desk. Most materials may also be returned in our outdoor book drops except for museum passes, board games, tote bags, and someother special collections which must be returned only at the Main library circulation desk and may NOT be returned in the book drop. Some materials, such as book-it kits and playtime backpacks, must be returned at the Main library children's room desk.


Overdue fines for museum passes are $1.00 per day if not returned on item. Although other items don't accrue overdue fines, items that are not returned after a period of time will accrue a bill on your library card. Items that are lost or damaged will be charged a replacement cost plus a processing fee of $2.00