Using Your Library Card

    Ocean States Libraries Card

    The Lincoln Public Library is a member library of OSL (Ocean State Libraries).
    We accept and issue OSL library cards which may be used at most OSL member libraries.
    Ocean State Libraries Library Card and Borrowing Policies 


    Need a library card? Need to renew? Here's what you need to know before you come into the library.
    We issue cards Mondays - Thursdays 9:00 AM to 7:30 PM and Fridays & Saturdays 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.


    Rhode Island Residents
    To obtain a free OSL library card please visit the Circulation Desk inside the library. You will need to fill out an application, provide positive identification and proof of your current Rhode Island address. For children under the age of 14 years old, a signature of the parent or guardian is required.

    To apply for a card online, please see the Ocean State Libraries Online Card Application.


    Non-Rhode Island Residents
    Non-residents who pay property taxes in Rhode Island may obtain an OSL library card at no charge with proof of property taxes paid.

    All other non-residents can pay for a full-use statewide OSL library card for an annual fee of $245.


    Lost/Replacement Library Card
    If you have lost your library card call the library immediately to report it missing. After being notified, the library will not allow anyone to use your card. If you do not report your card missing, you will be held responsible for any items checked out on your card. There is a $1.00 fee to replace a lost library card. Please note, you are allowed only 1 library card through OSL member libraries.


    What kinds of materials can I borrow and how long do I get to check them out?
    The library offers a variety of print, electronic, and digital resources.

    • Print materials available for checkout include books and magazines; museum passes are also available at the circulation desk.
    • The library’s electronic collection includes videos (feature film and nonfiction DVDs Blu-Ray discs, and streaming media), ebooks, audiobooks (CDs, Playaways, as well as files that you can download to your mobile device), music CDs, Wonderbooks, Launchpads, and Hotspots.
    • Digital materials, such as eBooks and eAudiobooks borrowed from one of our digital platforms automatically expire at the end of their lending periods; they will disappear from your device and you will not accrue late fees.
    • With your library card you can have up to 99 items checked out at a time. Please see our Loan Periods for more information regarding how many of each item you can have checked out at a time.


    Fine Free
    Lincoln Public Library is a fine-free library.* The information below pertains to the Lincoln Public Library only. Other libraries in the Ocean State Libraries network may have different loan rules, renewal polices, and fine structures.

    • All Lincoln Public Library materials, with the exception of museum passes & electronic devices like Hotspots or Launchpads, do not accrue overdue fines.
    • If materials reach 7 days overdue, your account will be put on hold, meaning you will not be able to check out additional materials until all overdue materials are returned.
    • If any materials reach 30 days overdue you will be sent an invoice for the cost of the material.
    • We will still have to collect fines imposed on materials from other Rhode Island libraries.
    • Library patrons will still be responsible for the replacement cost of materials lost, damaged, or never returned.

    *A limited amount of our special collections may still have overdue fines. Please see our Loan Periods for more information.


    Library Notices
    Ocean State Libraries provides a notification service for held materials, overdue materials and other service-specific reasons.  Notices are available via telephone, mail or email.  Cardholders will have to select a notice preference and provide a valid telephone number or email address on their account. Borrowers may also elect to receive SMS Text Alerts on their mobile phone (this is in addition to the method by which notices are sent which is chosen at the time of application). Bills for overdue materials will be sent to the mailing address on record at the Library. Cardholders will have to select a notice preference and to provide a valid telephone number or email address on their account. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the borrower to notify the Library if any of their contact information changes.

    Sign up to get text notifications here.

    Note: In the case of borrowers who receive their notices by email, it is their responsibility to make sure that emails sent from addresses with in the sender information be allowed through any filters they may have in place on their Inbox.

    Cardholders who have provided an email address will receive a Courtesy Notice reminding them of material due two (2) days before the due date. Failure to receive a reminder of materials due notice does not absolve the borrower from any fines or fees associated with material being returned late.


    Most circulating materials may be reserved.

    • Use the Library Catalog to place an item on hold
    • Call the Reference Desk (401) 333-2422 ext. 2


    Many library materials may be automatically renewed up to two times. Renewals will not be granted if the materials is on reserve for another patron, if the owning library does not allow renewals, or if the patron’s account is not in good standing (meaning, the patron currently has overdue materials, over $10 in fines, or the account has expired).

    Use one of these methods to Renew Library Materials:


    Books may be returned to any public library that participates in the OSL system. Audiovisual materials should be returned to the library from which it was borrowed. When returning materials inside the library please place all materials in the book drop located on the side of the Circulation Desk.


    Book Drops
    When the library is open feel free to use the book drop inside the building, located on the side of the Circulation Desk. The outdoor book drop is open 24 hours a day for the deposit of materials being returned to the Library. Our outdoor book drop is located to the left of the library’s entrance.


    Responsibilities of a Library Card Holder
    Cardholders accept responsibility for all materials checked out on their card. Library cards are non-transferable. Report lost cards or a change in address as soon as possible. You will be charged for lost or damaged materials.  R.I. Gen. Laws 11-41-14