Borrower Services

Borrower Services

The Library’s collection of approximately 155,000 items includes books, periodicals, DVD’s, videos, music CD’s, and audiobooks, as well as large print books. Some materials, including the Reference and Local History collections, are available for use in the Library only.

Library Cards

Presentation of a library card (or NJ driver’s license for registered borrowers) is required to borrow materials from the Madison Public Library. The Library honors Madison Public Library cards, as well as those from other M.A.I.N., Inc. public libraries, the Morris Union Federation (MUF) libraries and Open Borrowing Program libraries.

Obtaining a Library Card

Madison taxpayers and residents are eligible for a free library card, offering full service in the Madison Public Library, as well as borrowing privileges in other libraries belonging to M.A.I.N., Inc., Morris Union Federation(MUF) and the Open Borrowing Program.

The library requires identification showing proof of address (e.g. current tax/rent/utility bill; valid NJ driver’s license). A PO Box address is NOT acceptable as proof of residency. A resident library card is valid for three years. A library card may be renewed upon proof of current address.

Juvenile cards are available to all Madison children when he or she turns five years old and can write his or her name. Application should be made at the Children’s Room Desk. At least one parent/caregiver must have a library card in order for a juvenile card to be issued. The application for a juvenile card must be signed by a parent or guardian. This card will be valid through fifth grade.

College Students (Undergraduates)

College students living in University residence halls at Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University or the College of St. Elizabeth are eligible for borrowing privileges at the Madison Public Library only. Students will be issued a Madison Public Library card. A college student may not request holds.

The library requires proof of current college enrollment (e.g. tuition bill; current student ID). A student library card is valid for one year and may be renewed upon proof of continuing enrollment.

Graduate Students

Graduate students and their families living on or off campus are entitled to full library privileges and receive a regular library card.

Courtesy Cards

Employees of Madison businesses are entitled to a courtesy card. Courtesy cards are also available to members of the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, au pairs, nannies, and aides. Courtesy card holders are entitled to borrow material at the Madison Public Library and the Morris County Library only. They may also place holds for pickup at the Madison Public Library but other libraries reserve the right to limit items sent for courtesy card holders. The library requires proof of employment (e.g. letter from your employer or a pay stub.) Courtesy cards are valid for one year and are renewed upon proof of continuing employment.

Individuals who live in communities participating in M.A.I.N., Inc., MUF, or the Open Borrowing Program must apply for a library card in their home library.

Number of Loans Allowable Per Item Category

  •  Books – 100 titles
  •  Audiobooks – 10 titles
  •  Music CDS – 10 titles
  •  Language Tapes/CDs – 3 titles
  •  Periodicals – 5 periodicals
  •  DVDs/Videos – 10 titles

Loan Periods

  •  New Books (most recent year)  – 2 weeks
  •  Adult Books in stacks  – 4 weeks
  •  DVDs, Wii games  and videos  –  1 week
  •  TV Show DVDs – 2 weeks
  •  Audiobooks – 2 weeks
  •  Music CDs – 2 weeks
  •  Nook eReaders  – 2 weeks
  •  Magazines   – 1 week
  •  Museum Pass – 1 week
  • Children’s Fiction (J* and J) and Non-Fiction – 4 weeks
  • Children’s Board Books, Picture Books and Easy Readers – 2 weeks


  •  Books and Periodicals  – 2 renewals
  •  Media – 2 renewals
  •  Materials “on hold” for another patron  – No renewal

Ways to Renew Material

  •  Present the item(s) at one of the Library’s circulation desks.
  •  Log onto the Library’s website (www.madisonnjlibrary.org), click on “Search Our Catalog” on the left sidebar and log in with your barcode number (no spaces) and PIN/password. Click on Patron Account, then “Items Out”.
  •  Contact the Library (973) 377 – 0722.


  • Books, periodicals –  $.10 per day/ per item
  • Audiobooks and music CDs  – $.10 per day/per item
  • DVDs, Wii games  & videos –  $1.00 per day/ per item
  • Maximum fine per item –  $5.00
  • Museum passes – $5 per day

Borrowing privileges are blocked when a patron owes $5.00 in accumulated fines.

Lost or Damaged Materials

When a book or media item is “lost” or damaged beyond repair, the patron will be charged the replacement cost according to the unit price schedule maintained by the Madison Public Library Circulation Desk. In the case of certain, more expensive materials lost, the replacement cost may be the actual cost. A receipt for the amount paid to the Library will be given to the patron upon payment for the lost or damaged material. If the lost item is found after payment has been made, the patron may keep the item. The Library has no refund policy. Patrons will be charged for damaged or lost media cases. The library does not accept replacement copies.

Reserves & Interlibrary Loans

What if the book isn’t on the shelf?

If the book (or item) you want is checked-out, you may place a “hold” for a copy of that book. When the book becomes available, the library will contact you with, your choice of, a call to your preferred telephone number or a notification via e-mail. You will then have 7 days to pick-up the items  from the library.

How to place a “hold”:

You may reserve the book by phone or at the library. You may also reserve it (place a “hold”) online through the library web catalog.

In order to place a hold/reserve a book, you must LOG-IN to the website using your library card number and PIN/password. Your PIN/password may be the last four digits of your telephone number. If you do not know your PIN number, call the library.

Special Requests

If you want to borrow a book or other material which does not appear in the catalog, you can request it through the Library Reference Desk. Either contact the Reference Desk at (973)377-0722 ext 212 or go to the catalog search page and choose “Can’t Find It” then “Search Other NJ Library Catalogs”. Select your home library and search the title in JerseyCat. If it is not in JerseyCat, go back and click on “Request A Title” on the left.

Only five (5) loan requests per individual may be submitted per week for processing by the Reference Desk utilizing the “special request“ method.

Reciprocal Borrowing


Borrowing by residents of surrounding communities is welcome. The Madison Public Library is a member of the Morris Automated Information Network (M.A.I.N., Inc.), which includes the Morris County Library, public libraries in Morris County, and Bernards Township Library which offers reciprocal borrowing by patrons of these libraries. Patrons are required to register for a library card at their home library and may use it at any of the M.A.I.N., Inc libraries. Many of the circulation policies are common to all the network libraries.


The library is also a member of the Morris Union Federation (MUF); a reciprocal borrowing arrangement with the public libraries in Chatham, Morristown, New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Summit, Long Hill, Bernards Township and Bernardsville. Patrons carrying library cards from these libraries are welcome to borrow materials at the other MUF member libraries.

Open Borrowing

The public libraries in Morris County also participate in an Open Borrowing Program, which includes some libraries in northern New Jersey counties. Patrons from these libraries are eligible to borrow from all participating libraries using their hometown library card.  Patrons must also obtain an Open Borrowing sticker from the home library. Click here for a list of  libraries participating in open borrowing.  A copy is also kept at the Library Circulation Desk.