Borrower Policy

Items borrowed from the Library can be returned to any of our locations except for Hotspot rentals.

New policy changes are underway as of March 11, 2019. Updates are noted below. 

Time Limits

  • 3 Weeks — All books/media can be borrowed for three weeks, except new release and fiction DVDs.
  • 7 Days — New release and fiction DVDs can be borrowed for seven days.
  • 3 Times — Avoid late fees. Renew items up to three times before the due date. Exceptions include items that have holds waiting, rental DVDs, rental bestsellers and Interlibrary Loans.

Overdue Fines

The Library charges overdue fines for books/media returned after the due date, excluding Sundays and holidays.

  • Overdue fines are $0.25/day for most books and media.
  • Overdue fines are $0.25/day for DVDs.
  • Overdue fines for Interlibrary Loans are $1.00/day.
  • The maximum overdue fine is $10.00 for any individual item, except Interlibrary Loans.
  • Fines and fees may be paid in person at any library, or online.
  • The balance an individual can carry on their account and still check out books or renew materials must be under $10.00.  
  • Customers with fines $10.00 and over can still use library computers and access all library electronic resources.


The Library charges fees in order to pass along to the individual borrower those costs associated with rental items (see Hotspot rental below) or damaged or lost materials checked out on his/her card.

  • Lost library card — The replacement card is free
  • InterLibrary Loan — $2.00 fee for each Interlibrary Loan item; $0.25  per photocopied page for each article requested
  • Non-Resident library card — $45.00 yearly fee per family ($35.00 for adults 62 and over)
  • Internet Day Pass — Free
  • Photocopies — $0.25 per page
  • Printing: Black & White — $0.25 per page
  • Printing: Color — $0.50 per page
  • Rental Best Seller — $2.00 for 3-week rental
  • Rental DVD (New feature films only, with green label) — $2.00 for 7 day rental

Lost & Damaged Items

The Library loans materials freely to patrons, trusting in the patron’s honesty and good intentions. If materials are lost or damaged, the individual borrower is charged the appropriate costs to replace the item.

  • An item is automatically declared lost by the Library if it has been overdue 60 days. A final courtesy notice is mailed to the patron at 30 days, giving the borrower 30 additional days to return the item or declare it lost and pay for it.
  • The borrower is responsible for the cost of the lost item. The cost is usually the retail cost at time of purchase of the original item. If the item is older or the original cost in unknown, a default cost is applied.
  • The Library will refund lost item payments less accrued fines upon presentation of the item within 12 months of payment. Thereafter, no refunds are made.

About Borrowing DVDs

The Library assumes no responsibility for damage caused to a borrower's equipment by a Library DVD. The Library DVD collection is for home use only, unless labeled for other use. Library DVDs are loaned with the understanding that admission fees will not be charged when they are shown. 

Rentable Wi-Fi Hotspots

This service allows you to rent a portable device to access high speed internet anywhere a cell phone signal can be received. Hotspots are rented for pre-determined time frames, with no renewals. They can be reserved through the library catalog here [search for the keyword "hotspot"] the same way that library materials are placed on reserve. The Library has a limited number of  hotspots available, so reservations will be filled in the order they are made.

  • Rental Fees:
    • 7 days (minimum) = $20.00
    • 14 days = $35.00
    • 21 days (maximum) = $50.00
      NOTE: there is no refund for early Hotspot device return.
  • Eligibility:
    • adult age 18+ with valid Charlotte Mecklenburg Library card and current government issued photo ID.
    • Valid Charlotte Mecklenburg Library card with less than $10.00 in outstanding fines/fees​
  • Loan period: 7, 14 or 21 days
  • Check-in: equipment must be returned to the location from which it was borrowed and returned to a staff member (no book drop returns).
  • Borrowing limit: 1 per household
  • Geographic limitations: Hot Spot devices may only be used in the continental United States.
  • Late charges: $3.00/day until device is returned. If the Hot Spot is 7 days overdue, the borrower’s Library account will be blocked and a replacement fee of $90.00 and a $10.00 processing fee will be charged.
  • Lost/damaged replacement fees:
    • Hotspot device (including all parts: SIM card, battery, battery case): $90.00
    • Case: $10.00


The Library offers a limited number of Chromebooks for use by customers while in the Library. Customers can check out a Chromebook for a single two-hour session per day. Chromebooks offer adaptive features like screen magnification and a program called ChromeVox, a screen reading program that allows users to explore the web with the help of synthesized speech. This equipment was purchased through a State Library LSTA Grant, and is being utilized to give more accessibility options to customers with visual impairments. 

  • A valid library card and a photo ID (driver’s license) must be presented for check out. The driver’s license MUST have the current address, or additional proof of address is required to borrow a Chromebook.
  • There must be less than $10.00 in fines on the Chromebook user’s library card and/or a payment plan. The user must also be approved Internet access.
  • Chromebook users must be 18 years or older to check out a Chromebook. Borrowers under the age of 18 may use a Chromebook if a parent is present to accept the responsibility.
  • Teacher Loan Cards and Guest Cards are not eligible to check out Chromebooks.
  • Chromebook use may be denied for failing to comply with other Library policies.
  • Chromebooks must stay inside of the Library and should remain in the user’s possession at all times. If the Chromebook user needs to take a break, they can ask a staff member to hold the device at the desk.
  • Only the person who checks out the Chromebooks (or their child) may use it.
  • Use of the Chromebook is covered by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Wireless Access and Internet Use Policies. Copies of both of these polices are available at the Service Desk.
  • Chromebook users cannot print from Chromebooks, but can save their work on a flash drive or email it to themselves. Flash drives can be purchased at the Service Desk for a nominal fee.
  • Chromebooks must be returned 30 minutes before the Library closes.
  • Failure to promptly return a Chromebook may prevent a borrower from using one in the future.
  • Chromebook users will be advised at the time of any damage or missing items (cords, keyboard, etc.)
  • The Chromebook and all peripheral equipment must be returned in the same condition in which it was loaned. If the equipment is damaged or lost while on loan, the borrower agrees to reimburse the Library for the full cost of $200.00 which will be added to the borrower’s Library record.

Podcast Kits

This service was made possible through the support by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number: LS-0017-0034-17).

Customers now can check out a podcast kit from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.  Kits can be checked out for a total of three weeks at no charge.

Each podcast kit is housed in a numbered case complete with a lending barcode for easy checkout and are stored at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library IdeaBox, housed at the Main Library. Inside the sturdy yet portable suitcase, customers will find almost everything they need to podcast; just add a computer for the editing and hosting steps of the process.

Kits include: four microphones, three foam microphone windscreens, two microphone cables, one H6 handy recorder (with manual), two microphone stands, a USB cord and a 64GB SD card. Kits also come with a set of instructions, including a list of valuable podcasting and library resources to help newbie podcasters get started with and complete a professional-grade podcast.

Late Charges: $10 dollars a day, with a maximum fine of $40.00

Lost/Damage Replacement Fees: $650.00 for the total cost of the podcast kit.  Individual replacement costs for specific items are noted in each kit.