Courtesy Card Policy

The first priority of the George and Helen Ladd Library is to serve the needs of the students, faculty and staff of Bates College. The library is open to the public for on-site consultation 8am-6pm. Reference services are available to the public, but are limited by the library’s responsibility to serve the Bates community first. As a courtesy, the librarian of the college may extend limited borrowing privileges to local adults for materials housed in the library that are not usually found in other local libraries.

Ladd Library does not provide circulation privileges as a matter of convenience. Strong public and school libraries are essential to the life of the community. The library asks you to rely on your own library for reference and recreational reading materials. The library has efficient policies and procedures for interlibrary loan with all local libraries. The library is a selective depository for United States and Maine government publications, and makes documents and services related to them available to the general public.

As a Courtesy Card applicant, you should be aware of the library’s policies regarding computing services. “Kiosk” computers are provided so that you may use the library, but they are not intended for general computing use. Our equipment and database licenses allow you to use electronic information such as the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) catalog, periodical indexes, government information, and other electronic collections for your research use. While Bates College provides these library services to the public, we do not provide the public with word processing, printing, internet searching or other general computing services. We ask that you use your own equipment or your home library for such services. In addition, some of the college’s databases are licensed for use only by Bates students, faculty and staff, and are not available to the public

Circulation Policies for Courtesy Card Holders

Video and sound recordings circulate for one week and are limited to one title at a time. Items designated as “Local Use Only” are in high demand in direct support of the curriculum. These titles may be used within the library.

Interlibrary loan borrowing services are not available to courtesy card holders. Interlibrary borrowing is provided only to students, faculty and staff of Bates College.

Reference materials and periodicals may not be taken from the building.

Materials circulate for four weeks. They must be returned immediately if needed by another user. Your borrowing privileges are blocked if you do not return recalled materials.

A maximum of 10 items may be checked out at any one time.

All library material must be returned by the date due. Non-returned materials will be billed for replacement.

Materials may be renewed online or by phone.

Courtesy cards are not transferable, and may not be used by your family members, your students, nor any other person.

Material borrowed must be for personal use; nothing taken from the library may be placed on reserve or other similar use at another library or school.

Borrowers are responsible for all materials. If material is lost or damaged, users are liable for the price of the item, plus a processing and non-refundable billing fee.

Borrowers must comply with all regulations of the library, and give immediate notice of change of address.

More information on Loan Periods and Fines.

Courtesy borrowing privileges may be revoked without notice.


Adults with research needs not supported by the collections of other local libraries may apply for borrowing privileges in the library. You must provide the librarian of the college with specific information as to your intended use of the library. In order to facilitate timely return of materials, borrowers must reside or work within 25 miles of the library. Courtesy cards are valid for one year and must be renewed if they are still needed. The library does not retain records of inactive courtesy borrowers.

Members of the Bates community (students, faculty, staff, retirees, alumni, trustees, and family members of the above groups) should apply for Bates identification through established college channels.

By consortial agreement, students, faculty and staff at Colby, Bates and Bowdoin colleges have circulation privileges at all three institutions. Users will need their own college’s identification card in order to borrow materials.

The following are not eligible for borrowing privileges:

Undergraduate students at other institutions. Courtesy cards are not issued to students enrolled in undergraduate courses at other institutions of higher education. Students at other colleges may request material from Bates through interlibrary loan from their own institution.

High school students. Courtesy cards are not issued to high school students. The library provides interlibrary loan services to area high school libraries.

Younger students. Students younger than high school age are not encouraged to use the George and Helen Ladd Library unless accompanied by an adult responsible for the child. As a college library, the library does not direct its services to children, and does not filter the internet on its computers.

These policies are subject to change without notice.


Completed Courtesy Card Applications, either electronic or printed, should be directed to Brenda Reynolds, Head of Access Services: 207-786-6265,

REVISED — August 2023