FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions are divided into the following categories:

Library Basics
Computers
Building & Gallery Space
Donations & Volunteering
Story Times

 

Library Basics

Where is the library located?

If you are a resident of Cape Elizabeth, just bring a photo ID and something that shows your Cape Elizabeth address, such as a utility bill or other official piece of mail. You will be asked to fill out and sign an application for a library card, which will include your contact information and signature. Library staff will create a library account for you and give you a plastic library card, which you will need to bring with you when you want to borrow library materials. Your library card will also allow you to access your library account online, as well as request items from our library or other libraries from home.

If you do not live in Cape Elizabeth, you may get a Thomas Memorial Library card if you pay an annual nonresident fee, which approximates the amount that Cape Elizabeth taxpayers pay for library services through property taxes. Currently, that amount is $62.00 per year. If you own property in Cape Elizabeth, but do not live in town, you do not have to pay the nonresident fee in order to get a library card.

Children may get a library card in their own name when they are five years old. We ask that a parent or guardian sign the child’s application for a library card. Parents are financially responsible for all items borrowed on a child’s library account. However, due to Maine’s state statute on privacy of public library records, parents may not have access to a child’s library account unless the child gives his or her permission, or unless the parent presents library staff with the child’s library card.

Currently, you cannot use your TML card at other libraries, although you can request materials from other libraries using your TML card. In the future, we hope to be able to work out arrangements with other municipalities to offer reciprocal borrowing privileges.

How do I access my library record from home?

In searching the Minerva catalog, you can expand your search to include all libraries in the Minerva consortium. When you find an item you would like to request, simply click on the Request button (you must be viewing an item record in order to see this button, not viewing a list of search results–click on the item’s name in order to view its record.) You will be asked to enter your name and library card number (the barcode number on your library card.) Once you have done this, click on Submit. You should see a message saying that your request was successful, and that your “request will be delivered to Thomas Memorial Library when it is available.” For more detailed instructions on searching the catalog and requesting items, please see our Catalog Tutorials page.

Most items borrowed from other Minerva libraries may be renewed provided no one else is waiting for them (for an additional two weeks). Items borrowed from the larger MaineCat system may or may not be renewed. If you are unsure about an item you have borrowed, or are unable to renew an item yourself online, please contact the library for assistance.

MaineCat Statewide Catalog combines and links more than 100 library collections contained in 10 large online library systems, including Minerva. Read more.

The library does not have a fax machine. The nearest available fax for public use is at the Pond Cove IGA on Rte. 77.

The library offers a pass to the Portland Museum of Art, made possible through the generosity of the Cape Elizabeth Arts Commission. The pass may be used by one family per day (two adults and up to 6 children from the same family.)

Courtesy of The Opportunity Alliance, library cardholders may now borrow a pass to most state parks in Maine.  The pass is good for one vehicle to enter most state parks and historic sites (with the exception of Baxter State Park, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Penobscot River Corridor, Penobscot Narrows Observatory, Maine Wildlife Park, Peacock Beach and Scarborough Beach.) The pass circulates for a three day loan period, but is only good for one day of park entry (this allows for a scenario which allows the pass to be picked up, used the next day, and returned the day after.) There is an overdue fine of $1.00 per day.  The pass must be picked up at the adult library reference desk, and signed out with a library card at the circulation desk.  The pass cannot be reserved in advance; anyone interested in borrow the pass is encouraged to call ahead to check on availability at 799-1720.

Yes–we subscribe to the print version of Value Line, which is available for use in the library.  Online access is provided free to all Maine library cardholders through the MARVEL! collection of online databases.  For more about MARVEL!, click here. To access ValueLine directly, click here (if you are accessing this resource from home, you will need to log in using your library card number.)  

Video, DVD, and audiobook cases and their contents can get damaged when dropped into the book drop, or when heavy books are dropped on top of them. The extremes of heat and cold can also damage these materials, which are expensive to replace. We ask that you return audiovisual materials inside the library during open hours. Please note that the library is open two evenings a week and on Saturdays. If you find you will be unable to return an item to the library before it is due, please give us a call so we can work out another arrangement.

Currently, there are no posted openings for jobs at the library. However, feel free to drop by your resume and a letter expressing interest for us to keep on file in case of future openings.

Computers

The library has 9 computers available for general use, and three public computers that are limited to searching the library catalog only. All of our public computers are MacIntosh desktop computers. One public computer in the Main Library runs in the Windows environment for those library users who prefer to work in Windows. All the computers run Microsoft Office applications, as well as Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. You may sign up to use any of the public computers for one 30 minute block of time. If no one else is waiting, you may continue to work in 30 minute increments.

No, but you may call the library before you come to check on availability.

Yes. We have four Main Library computers, two Young Adult Room computers, and three Children’s Library computers that access the Internet. The filtering software on the Children’s Library computers wilI not allow you to access webmail programs, but if you are over 17, library staff can temporarily turn off the filter in order for you to access your email.

All public computers are networked to a black-and-white laser printer located at the library’s circulation desk. Printed pages are 15¢ each. We recommend that you use the “print preview” command prior to printing from web pages so you know how many pages are going to print.

No. Anyone is free to use the library’s public computers.

The library offers free wireless internet access throughout the building. Your computer or other wireless device should automatically detect our network, which is called TML Wireless Network.

Building & Gallery Space

All requests to use the Community Room, as well as all other Town public spaces, are handled by Cape Elizabeth’s Community Services department. Please contact Pat Fowler at with your requests.

With the Town’s dissolution of the Cape Elizabeth Arts Commission, which used to curate our exhibits, our policy for exhibiting artwork is under review. Please contact us if you an are artist wishing to exhibit, and we will be in touch with you as soon as our policies and procedures are updated.

When can I visit the Cape Elizabeth Historical Preservation Society?

Yes, the library is wheelchair accessible, and is equipped with automatic doors. There are four lifts in the library providing wheelchair access to each level of the library, as well as wheelchair-accessible restrooms.

Donations and Volunteering

Donations of books and other materials to the Friends of the Library are welcomed year-round. Donations may be placed in a drop-box in the entryway to the library (if you have a large quantity of books to donation, please see staff at the front desk about the best place to leave them.) The Friends of the Library accept books, videos (VHS & DVD), audiobooks, and music cassettes & CDs. They do not accept encyclopedia sets, magazines, or textbooks.

The Friends of the Library hold an annual book sale in the fall, usually close to Columbus Day weekend. In addition, they offer an ongoing lobby book sale featuring selected titles that are replenished each week. Click here for details on this year’s Fall Book & Bake Sale.

Volunteer opportunities at the library vary. If you are interested in volunteering, please call or send us an email expressing your interest and availability.

We welcome monetary donations in honor or memory of someone. Donated funds will be used to purchase materials of a particular type or in a particular subject area, if you request. Materials purchased with such funds will be given a special gift plate with the name of the donor and the honoree. Please stop by the library to fill out a form to provide us with the relevant information, or download the form here.

Story Times

No, registration is not necessary. Older and younger siblings are always welcome to attend. There is a lounge area adjacent to the Community Room where you can bring unhappy or restless siblings during the program. Find out more about our story times here.

No, anyone is free to attend story time!

Where can I find the music used at story times?

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