Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get a library card?
Free Ocean State Libraries (OSL) cards are issued to Rhode Islanders upon presentation of photo identification and proof of current address. Parents or legal guardians must sign applications for children under the age of 17.
Can I get a library card online?
• Adults (18 years or older) may fill out the OSL Registration Form online. You may choose to have your card mailed to you, or pickup at your home library. You may also opt to download the PDF application, which you will need to print out and bring it, along with photo ID and proof of current address into the library in order to receive a library card.
• If you need to place a hold on materials, you may register online for a temporary card and that will allow you to place holds. In order to pick up any materials, you must come to the library in person, with a photo ID and proof of current address, and fill out an application form (or bring in the form mentioned above).
How can I replace a lost library card?
Replacement of lost library cards requires identification and proof of current address. There is a $1.00 fee for replacement cards. Please let us know if your library card has been stolen.
What kinds of materials can I borrow and how long do I get to check them out?
• The library offers a variety of print and digital resources. Print items available for checkout include books and magazines; museum passes and coupons are also available at the circulation desk.
• The library’s electronic collection includes videos (feature film and nonfiction DVDs Blu-Ray discs, and streaming media), ebooks, audiobooks (CDs, Playaways, as well as files that you can download to your mobile device), and music CDs. Ebooks and audiobooks borrowed from one of our digital platforms automatically expire at the end of their lending periods; they will disappear from your device and you will not accrue late fees.
• For a list of lending periods, Click here.
How do I return library materials?
Simply bring the materials into the library during open hours, or drop them in the book drops (at either the Spring Street or parking lot entrances) if the library is closed.
Can I return Newport Public Library materials to another library?
Newport Public Library materials may be returned to other public libraries in Rhode Island with the exception of items from non-Ocean State Libraries interlibrary loans from outside of Ocean State Libraries must be picked up at and returned to the Newport Public Library. Museum passes and ‘Library of things’ items such as the telescope and sewing machine must also be returned to the Newport Public Library.
Can I return DVDs and other non-print materials through the book drop?
DVDs may be returned in the book drop but please use the specially designated AV book drops located at both entrances to the library. ‘Library of Things’ items must be dropped off inside the library.
How do I renew a book?
We now have automatic renewals. Eligible items will be automatically renewed for an additional 21 days (twice) if there are no holds on them. Exceptions are Star books, magazines, DVD binge boxes, non-OSL interlibrary loans, museum passes and ‘Library of Things’ items such as the telescope and sewing machine. For more information, contact the Circulation Desk (401-847-8720, x201).
Does the library charge late fines? As of October 2021, the Newport Public Library is fine-free! Items owned by the Newport Public Library will not accrue late fines, with the following exceptions: museum passes and non-OSL interlibrary loans.
How do I request (place a hold on) a book?
• You may request materials not currently on the shelf at the Newport Public Library but owned by another OSL library. There is no fee for this service.
• Users with cards in good standing may make a request themselves using the Ocean State Libraries online catalog from any computer with an internet connection.
• You may call the library at 401-847-8720 x208 and have a staff member place the request for you.
• If you are in the library, staff would also be happy to place a request for you in person.
What if the Ocean State Libraries system does not own the book I am looking for?
The Newport Public Library participates in interlibrary loan service with academic, special, and out-of-state libraries. Call the Reference Department (401-847-8720, x208) for assistance.
Important Things to know about your library card:
• All library card holders must accept responsibility for the materials borrowed and any fines or fees that may be incurred.
• Library cards are not transferable. Do not loan your card to anyone else, and do not take out materials on anyone else’s card.
• For your own protection, please report a lost card immediately.
For more information on Library cards, please call the Circulation Department (401-847-8720, x201) or email us at [email protected].