Loan Policies & Fees

Loan Periods and Fines/Fees: Effective July 1, 2011; Revised September 2014

Item Loan Period Overdue Fee
Books except BookXpress 21 days 25¢/day; $10 max
Music CDs, CD-ROMs, Magazines, WoW Bags 21 days 25¢/day; $10 max
BookXpress 14 days $1/day; $20 max
DVDs, Blu-rays 7 days $1/day; $20 max
DVDXpress 3 days $2/day; $20 max
NonFiction DVDs, Books on CD, PlayAways 21 days $1/day; $20 max
Returned check fee $ 15 per check
Collection Agency fee $10

Check Out of Library Materials:

  • Customers with a valid library card (owing less than $10 in fines), may check out library materials.
  • If the customer does not have the library card, he/she should present another ID or verify information on the account in order to check out library materials.

Limits Per Card:

  • Maximum of 75 items checked out
  • 2 DVDXpress

Online Account Access:

  • All customers can view their library account, renew items, and manage holds from the My Account page. external link
  • Sign up for Library Elf external link to view items checked out and on hold and receive reminder emails. Customers can add multiple library cards to their Library Elf account.


  • Beginning April 2016, eligible items will be automatically renewed three days before their due date. Exceptions to auto-renewal include:
    • Items that have been placed on hold by another customer
    • Items that have reached the maximum number of renewals
    • Any e-content (digital books, magazines, music, movies, etc)
    • Any account that is blocked
  • Items that are automatically renewed will be renewed from the original due date.
  • Most items may be renewed up to 4 times if not on hold for another user.
  • Items borrowed from Maryland Libraries other than Calvert, Charles or St. Mary’s (Marina items) may be renewed once if permitted by lending library.
  • No renewals are allowed on BookXpress and DVDXpress.
  • Customers with email will receive notification of successful automatic renewal, as well as a list of items that were not renewed.

Fees for Lost or Damaged Items:

  • Replacement cost of the item
  • All cases (except Books on CD) $5
  • Book on CD cases $10
  • Each Book on CD disk $10
  • Playaway Lanyard $5

Overdue Notices & Bills Schedule:

  • Customers with email: 7-day overdue notice, 21-day overdue notice, 45-day overdue notice.
  • Customers without email: 21-day overdue notice via automated phone service, 45-day notice via the US mail.
  • Bills are sent to all account with $25 or more in fines, even if materials have been returned.

Lost Item Policy:

  • The replacement cost of a lost or damaged item is the replacement value identified in the catalog record and will be posted on the customer’s account.  The Library will accept payment for the item or the identical item in new condition.  No substitutes will be accepted.
  • If a customer returns an item that has been recorded as “lost and paid,” a refund will be issued upon presentation of the original receipt.  All requests for refunds must occur within three (3) months of payment.


  • St. Mary’s County Library partners with Calvert Library and Charles County Public Library to offer a materials for the residents of Southern Maryland. If materials are not available in a customer’s home branch, they may place a hold on the item in the catalog. external link.
  • If a title is not available in the tri-county area, but is owned by another public library in the state, it can potentially be requested through the MARINA collaboration of Maryland public libraries. Customers may place their own requests using MARINA external link, or by asking information staff at any library to help.
  • If a title is not available locally or state-wide, please see information staff at any library for help.
  • The customer is informed that the item is in through either an email message or a phone call.

Blocked Cards

  • Customers with a balance of $10 or more or more than 75 items checked out will be blocked from checking out, placing holds, and downloading books.

Collection Agency:

  • An account with a balance of $25 or more for 60 days is automatically sent to a collection agency, even if all items have been returned and a $25 fine remains.
  • A $10 collection service charge is added to the account.

Additional Information:

  • Items not returned within 30 days are marked “lost” and become a fine on the customer’s account.
  • Holds will be held for five (5) days from date of notification.
  • Interlibrary Loan items from Maryland libraries other than St. Mary’s, Calvert and Charles may be renewed if permitted by the lending library.
  • Library cards are blocked from use if a customer has an account balance that exceeds $10 or has 75 items checked out.