Frequently Asked Questions

Commonly asked terms:

Interlibrary Loan is a fancy way of saying an item that we borrow from another library. These items typically take a few days to arrive at SPL (unless there are many holds on the items making them unavailable or if the item is coming from far away). Interlibrary Loans (ILL) are free for you to borrow and you can pick them up at SPL.

Hold is a term that is used for an item that you requested. If you go to our catalog or call us, we will put a hold on the item you’d like. Sometimes those items can be available same day (you’re contacted when they are ready), while others could take a few days to a few weeks to arrive, depending on availability.

Consortium is a word that basically means ‘group of libraries’. Libraries in a consortium share their collections with one another, so that if one library has something another library’s patron needs, they can request it. Our consortium is NOBLE: North of Boston Library Exchange. You can see the libraries in our network here. Visiting from a library outside of NOBLE? We can add your card to our system!

What do I need to get a library card? Does it cost anything? Library cards are free to any MA resident! Bring a form of identification and an item to confirm current address (like a utility bill or something with your name and address shown together).

How do I reserve a museum pass? SPL offers a variety of passes to local museums (and more) that allow patrons entrance at a discounted rate (similar to a coupon). Head here to see which passes we have available. Some are digital and will be emailed to you, while others will be print passes that need to be picked up at the circulation desk, usually within two days of the pass date.

Where can I find what programs you are offering or sign up for an event? Head here to see what our current events are! You can sign up for events that require it by finding the event and clicking on the green ‘Register’ button!

How can I order an item online? You can head to our catalog here and search in the search bar by author, key term, or title! Note that the catalog is pretty specific, so spelling and punctuation may impact your searches! Need an item that Stoneham doesn’t own/have? Make sure the library bar is set to NOBLE to search the other libraries in our consortium. Having a trouble locating an item? Call Maureen in Reference at (781)438-1324 for adult materials or Katie in Youth Services at (781)438-1325 for youth and teen materials.