How do I....?






Here is a list of frequently asked library questions. If you do not find your answer here please contact our staff or submit your question to the Reference Department


How do I get a library card?
Library cards are issued at the Circulation Desk which is located in the main lobby of the library. Bring in a valid photo ID with your current address on it. If your ID does not have your current address, bring in a piece of mail, a magazine, a car registration or any item that has your name and your current address on it. Fill out our form and we will issue you a library card! Cards are free to RI residents. Out-of-state residents may get a card for a $111.00 annual fee. The Cumberland Library belongs to the Ocean State Libraries network, which means your library card is good in every public library in the state of RI.

How do I check my account and renew items from home?
You can use the online catalog to check your account from home. Click on the "View Patron Record " link and enter the barcode from the back of your library card. You can check what items you have out and when they are due. Items that are not overdue, are not on hold or have not already been renewed may be renewed here as well. You may also check on the status of items that you have put on hold.

How do I renew a book/item?
There are three ways to renew a book. You can bring it in to the library with your library card and we will renew it at the Circulation Desk. You may telephone the Circulation Desk at 401-333-2552 ext.4. Or you may use the online catalog, click the "View Patron Record " link and enter the barcode from the back of your library card. Click on the "Items Currently Checked Out" link to see a list of the items you have out. Click on the "Sort by Due Date" button to sort items by due date. Put a check mark next to each item you wish to renew and click the "Renew Selected " button at the top of the list. Overdue items, new items and some media cannot be renewed. Items may only be renewed once.

How do I reserve a museum pass?
The Friends of the Library have donated a number of passes to area museums and attractions. You must be a Cumberland resident to reserve a museum pass. You may only reserve one pass at a time. To reserve a pass, call the Circulation Desk at 401-333-2552 ext.4. or visit our Museum Pass page. Non-residents may check out a pass on the day they wish to use it if it is not reserved for someone else. Passes must be returned inside the library when the library is open. Passes may be returned in the media drop in the case provided before or after the library is open.

Can I return items I check out here to another library?
The Cumberland Public Library is a member of the Ocean State Libraries network. Items borrowed at member libraries may be returned to any other member library. Exceptions are the Cumberland library's museum passes and video games. These items must be returned to Cumberland Library.

For what length of time can I check out library materials?
Check out our circulation policies page for limits on circulating library materials.

What are the overdue fines for Cumberland Public Library materials?
Our circulation policies page lists the overdue fines for our library's materials. Items from other libraries are subject to that library's policies.

Do I need to bring my library card to check out materials?
Yes. The library requires that you have your library card to check out materials. This is a system wide policy and is for your protection. If you forget your card we would be happy to hold the items for you for a couple of days until you can return. If you have lost your card you can get a new one for a $1.00 lost card replacement fee.

Where may I return materials when the library is closed?
The library has two material return slots located on the right just before you enter the library. One slot is for books and large items. The other is for media such as videos, CDs and DVDs. We ask that museum passes be returned inside when the library is open to prevent loss or damage.


How do I search the catalog from home?
Take a look at our Opac Guide to learn how to use the library online catalog. From here you can search for library materials, check your account, place holds and renew items.

Can I ask a reference question without coming to the library?
If you have a question you need answered and can't come to the library, give us a call at 401-333-2552 ext.2, or send an email.  We'll make every effort to answer your question as soon as possible.

Do you have any classes/informational programs?
The library offers a variety of programs all through the year for people of all ages. For an up-to-date listing check out our library programs page.

Can I use the library's online databases from home?
Several of our databases are available for use from home for Cumberland residents. Visit our 24/7 Library and enter your library barcode for access. Other databases are available for all RI residents at

How can I get an item you don't own?
Cumberland Library is a member of the Ocean State Libraries network which means library card holders have access to over 4 million items owned by public libraries across the state. To request an item from another OSL library simply click the "Request" button when searching the library online catalog. Our library staff will also be happy to place the request for you. If the item you seek is not owned by an OSL library we may be able to get it from one of the RI universities or colleges or from another state. Please call the Reference Desk at 401-333-2552 ext.2 to request an item not owned by a member library.


Do you have a fax machine for public use?
Patrons may send outgoing faxes through our Reference Department. Faxes sent within the continental United States are $1.00 per page. Faxes sent to outside the continental United States are $2.00 per page. International faxes are $5.00 per page. The Library cannot accept incoming faxes for patrons.

Do you have a copier for public use?
The Library has one vend copy machines in the Reference Department on the second floor. Copies are $.15 each and each machine takes $1 and $5 bills.  The machine holds both 8.5" x 11" and 8.5" x 14" paper. The Library also has 2 color copiers located in the Reference Department on the second floor and the Children's Room on the first floor. Color copies are $.50 each.

Do you have a scanner for public use?
The library has two scanners that can be used to scan documents to a flash drive. One is located in the Children's Room and one is at the Reference desk.

Can I use the Internet/Word processors at the Library?
The second floor has 14 computers for Internet access and Microsoft Office 2007 which includes Word, Excel and Access. Computers are available from the time the library opens until 15 minutes before closing. Users may sign up for 1 hour time slots, and may stay on longer if no one is waiting.  Printouts are $.15 per page for B&W and $.50 per page for color, including mistakes, payable at the Self Service Print Stations on each floor or at the Information Desks. The Children's Room has 6 computers for use in that room. Three additional computers are available for express use and there are two catalog only.

What kind of printers do you have for the public?
The library has an 2 B&W laser printers that serves the PCs on both floors. Printouts are $.15 each, including mistakes. We also have two color inkjet printers, one for each floor. Color printouts are $.50 each.

Does the Library have WiFi?
The entire Library is a WiFi hotspot, including the meeting rooms. There is no password to use our WiFi and it can even be accessed from outside the building.

Do you have a typewriter for public use?
The library has an electric typewriter available in one of its Study Rooms on the second floor. Call the Reference Desk at 401-333-2552 ext.2 to reserve that room.

Does the library sell office supplies if I forget to bring mine?
Paper is available in all library printers and copiers. Printouts and copies are $.15 each for B&W. Color computer printouts and color copies are $.50 each. We also sell CD-ROms for $1.00 each and USB flash drives for $10.00 each. We do not have envelopes, pens, pencils, markers, or posterboard available for sale.


When and where are your storytimes for children?
The Children's Department has Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring storytimes. There are separate sessions for newborns to age 6. Please check our library programs page for up-to-date info on storytimes and all children's programs.

What other programs do you offer for children?
At various times we have book parties , computer classes, reading groups, chess, sign language, craft programs, special performers, and more! The Summer Reading Program has something new every year. Please check our library program page and our Kid's Page for current activities.

Can I leave my child at the library to do his/her homework?
While we welcome children of all ages for research or just for fun, library policy requires that children under the age of 12 be accompanied by an adult. This is for the child's safety since library staff are not able to watch all children at all times.

How old does my child have to be to get a library card?
While there is no minimum age requirement to obtain a library card, it is recommended that a parent or guardian wait until the child is old enough to sign his/her own application. It is around that stage of development that the child begins to fully understand and appreciate the responsibility and privilege of having their own library card. They must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when they apply for a card. Children under age 17 need a parent or guardian's signature to check out videos or DVDs. Library cards are free to RI residents.


When is the library open?
The Library hours are Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m, September - May. Saturday hours change to 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. in July and August. The library is currently closed on Sundays. For current hours and holiday closings check out our library hours page.

Who is in charge of the library?
The Library Director is in charge of the day to day activities of the library. Library policies and the library budget is governed by a Board of Trustees which is appointed by the Cumberland Town Council.

How do I get to the library?
The Cumberland Public Library is located at 1464 Diamond Hill Road on the Monastery Grounds. From Providence take 146 North to Route 295. Take Route 295 North to Exit 11(Route 114, Diamond Hill Road). Turn right onto Diamond Hill Road and drive about one mile south. On your right, you will see a big red and blue sign that reads "The Monastery". This marks the entrance to the Monastery grounds where the library is located. Turn right at Monastery Drive. The library is set far back from the main road. About 1/2 hour from Providence.

Do you have a notary available?
The library has a notary. Please call 401-333-2552 ext. 5 to be sure she is available. There is a $2.00 fee per item for this service.

Do you have tax forms?
Beginning in January the library has common tax forms available for the state Massachusetts as well as Federal Forms. RI no longer prints extra forms, but we can assist you in getting forms from the state and federal tax websites. Or go to our Government page and find the links there.

How do I donate materials to the library?
The Library is always grateful to accept donations of local history materials, Cumberland High School yearbooks, current bestsellers and items in memoriam. The Friends of the Cumberland Library also accept donations for their book store. Please call ahead at 401-333-2552 ext. 5.

Can I donate in memory of someone?
A memorial gift can be a wonderful way to remember a loved one. For material or monetary gifts read our Gifts and Donations Policy or please contact library administration at 401-333-2552 ext. 5 and we will help you with your choices.

My question was not listed, how do I get further assistance?
Use our contact page to reach the person or department who can help you with your question or contact Administration at 401-333-2552 ext. 5 if you are not sure of the department.