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Services for Visitors

  • Services
  • Materials to Check Out
  • Materials for In-Library Use

The Amherst College Library welcomes all visitors—regardless of their affiliation or lack of affiliation with the college—so long as they abide by its policies. All visitors may use the library's print and electronic collections, computing facilities, and study spaces.

Area Resident Borrowers consist of adult residents of the state of Massachusetts who live in Hampshire County or one of the four immediately adjacent counties. Area Resident Borrowers may check out print books from the Amherst College Library after receiving an Amherst College Library card.

To receive a card, borrowers must present a Massachusetts picture ID (either a driver's license or a Mass ID). The same picture ID must be presented each time the library card is used to check out books. Patrons must have a card in hand to charge out books and are responsible for all items charged out with their card. Cards expire on January 1st of the coming year and may be renewed annually. Area residents must provide a current email address so that they may received notices of recall and overdue.

The Amherst College Library welcomes summer programs and visitors. Please be aware, however, that Amherst College has no summer session. The Library reduces its hours and some of its services during this time.

Everyone is welcome to use our list of freely available resources.

    Residents may check out books from the circulating collection at Frost Library and Keefe Science Library. For music materials, please contact Jane Beebe, the Music Librarian, or Ann Maggs, the Music Library Specialist. Items housed at the Amherst College Depository may be requested through the online catalog or directly through the depository request form; they will be delivered to the Frost Circulation Desk. Items in the Course Reserve Collection can also be borrowed briefly, provided the needs of the class have been met. There is a limit of 25 loans at any one time for resident borrowers.

      Certain materials may only be used by Area Resident Borrowers while in the library: periodicals, DVDs/videos, scores and recordings, and the library's non-circulating collections (which includes all materials from Archives & Special Collections).

      • The regular loan period is 28 days with up to three renewals. Area residents must visit each Five Colleges library to use its particular resources.  Access privileges may vary by library, and materials cannot be requested through Five College Delivery.
      • Overdue recalled items: $2 per day, to a maximum of $30. All notices (recall, overdue, etc.) are sent by email. Please be sure the library has your current contact information. 
      • The library's computers are intended for library research and have full Internet access.   The College's software licenses restrict access to standard office-productivity software (e.g., MS Word, Adobe Photoshop, etc.) to current students, faculty, and staff only.

      Many public libraries provide access to electronic resources within their library and remotely. Contact your local public library for more information or check their website. Most Massachusetts residents can access a number of subscription online databases through the Massachusetts Library Information Network, using the barcode on their public-library card.