How do I renew my materials?

  • Click on Library Catalog to go to the sign-in screen for the SAILS system.
  • Put in your 14-digit library card number barcode and your pin number. If this doesn't get you in (try again), call the Library during our open hours.
  • Click on My Account under the title bar. Choose Renew My Materials.

How do we make complaints, comments or requests?

  • To make a comment to the Trustees or the Director, you can fill out a form kept at the Circulation Front Desk or email Frank Ward.   This is the appropriate forum if you wish to be heard about policy decisions, for example.
  • If you wish to make a suggestion for a general change, there is a suggestion box near the Computer Catalogs (opposite the stairs.)
  • If you wish to request a particular book or material be purchased, you can leave a message for any of the librarians and we will either order the book or make it available to you from another library system.


What is the difference between a hold, a reserve and an interlibrary loan?

  • A hold is a reserve. What they both mean is that you are selecting a book that is not currently on the shelf at the Richards Memorial Library and you want it either saved for you when it comes in or sent from one of the other libraries in the SAILS system. The item will usually arrive in a timely manner. However, delivery depends on the item's availability, the number of other holds on the item and a variety of circumstances beyond our control.
  • An Interlibrary Loan is a book or material that is requested from a library outside of the SAILS system.
    • The Virtual Catalog allows you to place your own Interlibrary Loan request. Log-in to the Catalog and click on the Virtual Catalog link to the left on the Home page after you have checked to see if any SAILS library owns the material. New materials usually cannot be borrowed.
    • If the item cannot be found in the SAILS system or Virtual Catalog, you can make an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request to search beyond Massachusetts. Ask at the circulation desk or email the Reference Librarian.  Because the ILL system involves sending requests out to five libraries at a time, each with five days to respond, we cannot even estimate a delivery date. 
    • Renewals must be authorized by the lending library so please plan ahead and call or email the Reference Librarian. There are NO renewals on Virtual Catalog items.

What is the procedure if I claim I have returned something?

If an item is still on your account, but you feel you have returned it, please contact the circulation desk immediately by calling or stopping by. We will make a note on your account, renew the item so that fines do not accrue, and will then search the building for the item. If we find it, we will call you and remove the fine. If we don't find it, we will look again the next day and notify you. We may end up renewing the item a few times to give everyone extra time to look rather than accepting payment for a lost item. If it is checked out on your account, you are responsible for it and you will be charged the cost of the item. We do not accept replacement copies of our lost books. If the item belongs to another library in the system, you may check with them about their policy. DO NOT CONTACT US VIA E-MAIL FOR THIS!

Where can I use my card?

Massachusetts Law states that any resident of Massachusetts may use any public library in the state. If you have a valid SAILS or ABLE card, you can go to the Cape, Boston or any other Massachusetts community and get yourself registered in their computer system using the same card that you use with us. They may call us to first see if you have outstanding fines or some other block on your account. Once you are registered you often can use their museum passes just like you use ours. Your card will not work in RI because it is a different state. 

The SAILS system consists of over 50 libraries in the Southeast Massachusetts area. 

Why did I get a message saying my Commonwealth Catalog request is unfulfillable?

  • Don't even bother asking for items that are new. Most systems won't send their new items until they are about 6 months old. This is to give their patrons first chance at the items.
  • There are several libraries -- especially some small libraries in the CWMars consortium -- that are open very few hours or are only associate members of the consortium. If the item is in such a library, it may not be processed in the five day time period or at all. 
  • Materials that have holds on them will not be chosen to fulfill Commonwealth Catalog requests by the owning system. 
  • Some libraries have had more than their share of technical problems that might prevent them from filling the request in the 5 day limit. 
  • Also sometimes when someone goes to look for the book or item, it turns out to be missing. There is no way for anyone to indicate this in the ComCat software.
  • Want us to try to find the item somewhere else? Email us at the Interlibrary Loan account.

Why do I need my card with me?

There are currently in excess of 1/2 million individuals with library cards in the SAILS system. This means that there are increased chances of checking something out to the wrong person if a library card is not used. For your own protection, you MUST present your library card to check out materials. To renew materials, you can either go to the catalog (you will need your barcode or alt.id and your pin number) or call in with the item's barcode. We do not have e-mail renewal. Our policy is that the library card of the person who places a hold must be used to pick up that hold. Again, this is for the protection of all our patrons.

Why is my library card expiring? What if I have lost my card?

  • The SAILS system has been programmed for cards to expire after 3 years. This is to ensure that patron information such as address and phone number are updated on a regular basis. To renew, just call the library with your library card number or stop by with your card. 
  • It also allows to us to "cull" inactive cards that have been expired for a number of years. With so many patrons in the system, the database of names would need more and more memory if we couldn't delete records after a specific number of years of inactivity. 
  • Lost your card? Just come in with your id (and proof of address) and we'll issue a new card set for free.