Borrowing Items

To apply for a library card, visit our Get a Library Card page.

During COVID-19 there are currently three ways to borrow library materials:

  • Place a hold. If you want specific books/materials: place holds through the library catalog, or call the library with your request at 781-316-3233.
  • Request a Grab Bag. If you would like a librarian-selected variety based on your preferences: fill out a Library Grab Bag request form.
  • Browse and check out. Reserve a 15-minute Browsing Pass for the General Collections or the Children’s Room. Walk-ins also welcome as capacity permits. Try the Mobile Checkout feature in the MLN app to check out materials to yourself on the spot!

If you place a hold or request a Grab Bag, you will receive an email notice or a phone call when your item(s) are ready. You can drop into the lobby to check out your items anytime, no appointment necessary. If you are more comfortable with contactless pickup, our Contactless Pickup booking tool remains available; you will pick up your items from the vestibule area just inside the first set of doors and they will already be checked out for you.

To learn about our Homebound Delivery Service, please call Marie Cannon, Head of Circulation at 781-316-3242 or fill out the Homebound Delivery Service Request Form.

How long can you borrow stuff?

Item Time
Books 3 weeks
Magazines 1 week
Speed Reads 2 weeks
CDs, Audiobooks 3 weeks
Library of Things 1 week
Discover it Yourself 3 weeks
American Girl Doll 3 weeks
Video Games 1 week
Book Packs 6 weeks
Art Prints 6 weeks (limit is 2)
DVDs 1 week
DVDS – TV Series 2 weeks
Non-Fiction DVDs 1 week
Netbook Laptops 2 hours in the library
Playaways 3 weeks

1. Limits are per library card, not household.
2. Limits apply to Arlington’s Libraries only.
3. Renewable items are restricted to two renewals.


The Robbins Library inside book drops are in the lobby, and the outside book drops are in the rear of the side parking lot on the sidewalk next to the building. They are big and blue and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Fox Library book drops are temporarily closed–due to COVID-19 there are no daily deliveries between Robbins and Fox.


You may renew most materials twice unless another library user has requested the item. Renew online.

By phone

Robbins Library 781-316-3200

Please have your library card number handy. Because we are a busy library, there may be times when you will need to call back or leave a message with your card number and request.

Overdue Fines

Most library materials can be borrowed fine-free, with the exception of non-MLN interlibrary loan material and in-library use equipment.

Item Per Day Maximum
Non-Minuteman Library Network interlibrary loan material $2.00 $20.00
In-library use equipment (laptops, keyboards, digital projector, mice) $10.00 $10.00

Billed Items

The Minuteman Library Network issues email reminders about overdue materials before they are billed. If you don’t have email, you’ll receive notices via USPS. If you lose an item or return it with serious damage, you will be assessed the replacement price listed in the item record. We are unable to issue refunds for items lost and found, so don’t rush to pay if you think the item(s) will turn up!

Lost Library Card

If you lose your card, let us know as soon as possible. You are responsible for material borrowed on your card. Visit us in person for a replacement card.