The Circulation Desk is located on the first floor to the right as you walk in the front doors. All library items are checked out and in at the circulation desk.

Library Cards

Residents of Hamilton and Wenham may obtain a library card in person by presenting photo identification showing name and local address. If your driver’s license or other photo identification does not include current local address, please also bring a supporting document such as a utility bill, lease/rental agreement, or car registration.  Children under 13 should be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to apply for a card.  There is no waiting period for a library card.

Residents of the towns served by the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium (MVLC) must obtain a card from their hometown library.  Residents of Massachusetts who bring cards from Massachusetts libraries outside of MVLC can register their cards in our system, so long as they provide current ID and proof of address.

Gordon College students must come to the library in person, with both their student ID and a second form of photo ID, to sign up for a library card.


You may print and fill out a library card application and bring it with you the next time you visit the library. Call 978-468-5577 if you have any questions.

Library Card Application

Patrons must have library card or license with them in order to check out any library material.

Residents of Hamilton, Wenham or other Massachusetts communities who do not have a physical library card and are unable to come into a library to get one are invited to register online for the MVLC eCard, which will grant immediate access to electronic resources funded by the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium (MVLC), the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, and the Massachusetts Library System.  Massachusetts residents who are 13 or older are also eligible to register online for a Boston Public Library eCard, granting access to many additional electronic resources through the Boston Public Library.

Circulating Material

Patrons are welcome to take out an unlimited number of materials in all formats, with the following limits:

Item Item Limit Loan Period # of Renewals
Books No limit 3 Weeks 2 Renewals
Books on CD No limit 3 Weeks 2 Renewals
Compact Discs No limit 3 Weeks 2 Renewals
DVDs No limit 1 Week 1 Renewal
Magazines (except for newest) No limit 1 Week 1 Renewal
Hot Titles No limit 2 Weeks No Renewals

Items renew automatically three days before their due date unless there are outstanding requests on the material or the renewal limit has been reached.  Patrons can also renew items for themselves within this three day period by phone, via the online catalog, or in person.

Online Library Catalog

The Online Library Catalog can be used to search the holdings of the library and to request or reserve books.  You can access the library catalog 24/7 from any internet access point, whether in the library or at home.  Please call 978-468-5577 if you need help using the library catalog.

My Account

Access My Account in the Online Library Catalog using your Library Card Number and PIN Number to request items, check their hold status, check due dates, and renew items. Your default PIN is the last four digits of your library card (for some older cards, it may be the last four digits of your phone number.)  You can also change your PIN to a different PIN or to a password of your choosing.

Commonwealth Catalog (ComCat)

The Commonwealth Catalog broadens your search beyond your local library’s resources. In one easy step, you can search through millions of items at participating Massachusetts libraries. Make a request and it will be delivered right to your local library for quick pick up.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

For items that aren’t in either the MVLC or Commonwealth Catalog, or for requests that were unable to be filled, our Interlibrary Loan department can request items on your behalf.

Museum Passes

Museum passes can be reserved online, by phone and at the Circulation Desk.  They may be reserved 21 days in advance.  Passes are limited to one pass per day per patron.


Patrons are welcome to reserve library materials in person, by phone, or by using our online catalog.  When the item requested comes in, you will be notified either by phone or email.


Our library has two book drops in the wall to the right of the main library entrance.  These drops are marked as Book Depository and Other.  Items can be returned outside of library hours, except for Library of Things items.  You will be told how to return these items when you check them out.

Most items that were checked out from our library can be returned to other MVLC libraries (here is a list of MVLC libraries.)  However, some must be returned directly to the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library.  This is true for:

  • Museum passes
  • Commonwealth Catalog (ComCat)
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
  • Library of Things


The Hamilton-Wenham Public Library does not charge fines for late items, with the exception of museum passes, which are highly time-sensitive items. Late museum passes accrue a charge of $10.00. The charge for a lost pass is $25.00. The charge for other lost items varies, depending on the item.

Lost Library Cards

Report lost cards immediately!  Patrons are responsible for all materials taken out on their cards up until the card is reported lost.  There is a $1.00 fee for replacement of a lost card.


Please email with any questions.  You can also visit our FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) or find staff contact information at Contact Us.