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Learn more about your library's policies to help create a welcoming space for all.

Use the dropdown options below to learn more about each policy.


Borrow Materials

The library offers books, audiobooks on CD, DVD/BluRay movies, music CDs, and videogames for loan. You can borrow items at your local branch (or any branch in the WCFL system!). You can also borrow materials for your smart device through our Digital Library services. Each cardholder can borrow up to 100 items per library card. 

Loan periods, renewal limits, and item limits on specific items are below:


 Loan Period 

 Renewal Limit 

Item Limit per Card


3 weeks

3 renewals


Reading Express Books & Audiobooks

3 weeks

No renewals

4 Books, 4 Audiobooks


1 week

3 renewals

10 DVD/Blu-rays 

(Limit of 2 Anime DVD/Blu-rays)


3 weeks

3 renewals


Music CDs

2 weeks

3 renewals

6 Music CDs


2 weeks

3 renewals

2 Videogames

Interlibrary Loan


No renewals



Request Materials

If an item is checked out or unavailable at your branch, you can place a request for the item to be delivered to your local branch for pick up. 


Renew Materials

If there is an active hold on an item from another cardholder in the system, the item cannot be renewed. 

You can renew items but visiting the online catalog, logging in with your library card number and password. 

  • After logging in, you will see a summary of checkouts, holds, and fines on the account. Select your name again to see your Bookshelf. Under the My Bookshelf tab, you will see Checkouts, Holds, Fines and Fees, and Profile. Select the Checkouts tab for a listing of items currently checked out. Then, choose the items that you would like to renew and select "Renew."

You can renew items by visiting your branch library or calling your library. You will need your library card number.


Return Materials 

Borrowed items can be returned to any Washington County Free Library location or book drop. 

If you accrue fines or fees of $6.00 or more, borrowing privileges may be suspended. Information about fines and fees is available under the Get a Library Card page's Frequently Asked Questions section. 


General: Collection development refers to the ongoing process of assessing the materials available for purchase or licensing and making the decision, first on their inclusion, and second on their retention or removal. This policy defines the scope of the collection and provides a framework for the continuing development of materials and resources available at the Washington County Free Library (WCFL). This policy is a system-wide policy intended for application in all libraries within the Washington County Free Library System.

Selection Philosophy: The Washington County Free Library selects, maintains, and provides access to information, services, and materials in a variety of formats to fulfill the educational, informational, recreational, and cultural needs of the Washington County community. Since no library can possibly acquire all print and non-print materials, every library must, by necessity, employ a policy of selectivity in its acquisitions.

It is the function of the Washington County Free Library to provide materials for all citizens, inclusive of, but not limited to, age, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, religious or spiritual beliefs, race, ethnicity, disability, or national origin. Providing free access to these materials allows our entire community to explore, learn, create, and connect.

WCFL endeavors to provide a balanced and reliable collection covering a range of opinions across many subject areas; limitations are those of space and budget. A balanced collection provides information in a variety of formats and reflects the diverse interests, ideals, and needs of all segments of the community, and also allows for discovery, exploration and enlightenment. In order to achieve a balanced collection, selectors will exercise open-mindedness and flexibility when evaluating materials for inclusion into the collection. Selection is based upon established library principles. Labels, such as call numbers or genre designation, will be added only as viewpoint-neutral directional aids. Labels will not be added to materials as a value judgment or to warn of content or themes in an item. Because items move back and forth between branches, and within the three library systems covered by the Western Maryland Regional Library, all materials will not be available at all branches. Materials that are no longer used in one branch may be reassigned to another.

Full details are continued in the PDF below

General: The Washington County Free Library’s (WCFL) materials are selected according to the parameters and framework provided by the Library’s Collection Development Policy. WCFL believes that books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people in the communities we serve, and that libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues in order to reflect the diversity found in contemporary society. Consequently, the collection may include material which is controversial or offensive to some. The Library acknowledges that occasionally patrons may have complaints or concerns about individual materials or categories of materials in the collection. WCFL will handle these concerns systematically and equally with due consideration as described in this policy, ensuring that the complainant is respectfully heard, while still adhering to the parameters of the Collection Development Policy and the fundamental principles of intellectual freedom, as expressed in the Library Bill of Rights and American Library Association (ALA) Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements.

Because the WCFL adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom, it does not endorse particular beliefs or views, nor does the selection or retention of an item express or imply endorsement of the viewpoint of the author or content of the item. Library materials will not be excluded based on expressions, including, and not limited to those of race, religious or spiritual views, gender, nationality, politics, or social views, nor because of the race, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, or the political, social, or religious views, or other status, of the author.

Choice of library materials and resources for personal use is an individual matter. WCFL relies on each individual's freedom of choice to select or to not select materials for their needs. Any patron is free to reject materials for their own use if that patron does not personally approve of them.

Full details are continued in the PDF below

Welcome to your Washington County Free Library, we hope your experience with the Library is a positive one! Let's work together to create a safe, welcoming, and comfortable space for everyone.

To that end, please follow these basic rules of courtesy and responsibility during your library visit and respect the rights of other library users by:

  • Observing library policies and the rules listed here.
  • Avoiding any behavior that disrupts the work of staff and patrons.
  • Cooperating with library staff who interpret and apply the rules.
  • Understanding that physical and virtual library spaces are designed to be used for multiple purposes and are intended to be used by a diverse community of patrons.
  • Providing proper supervision of children and vulnerable adults in your care.
  • Respecting the use of designated service areas.
  • Observing all federal, state, and local laws.

Full details are continued in the PDF below

The priority of the Washington County Free Library is to provide library services to the Washington County community. The photography and/or filming described below is allowed only if it does not interfere with the provision of library services and is consistent with the WCFL’s mission statement and rules.

Photography or Filming in the Library

The Washington County Free Library allows for photography and filming of Library buildings, programs, or collections that does not invade the privacy of Library patrons or restrict their access to information and materials.

While the Library is a public place, it is considered a “limited public forum” under federal law. Public libraries may reasonably restrict the exercise of free speech rights in their buildings, particularly when the conduct would be disruptive to, or interfere with, other patrons or be inconsistent with the Library’s mission.

All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. In order to protect the rights of individual patrons and to prevent disruptions, or interference, with their receipt of information, access to materials and/or programming, or to prevent conduct inconsistent with the Library’s mission, photographing and video or audio recording on library property are restricted as follows:

  • Any persons filming in the Library must not harass, interrogate, question, or confront other library users, or invade a library patron’s privacy by filming or recording their reading or browsing activities in the process of the filming.
  • Media are subject to the provisions of the Policy for Patron Use of Space and may not disturb the normal operations of the library.
  • Photography or filming is prohibited in restrooms and all non-public areas (i.e., behind service desks, in staff offices and workrooms, and other staff-only areas), and no photographs or recordings shall be taken of a library staff member’s computer screen due to patron right to privacy.
  • Any consent granted pursuant to this Policy to permit photography or filming may be revoked at any time upon failure to comply with terms of the Policy or other rules and regulations of the Library.
  • Requests will be evaluated in terms of their impact on Library operations and services.
  • In the event of a critical incident or emergency requiring police or fire response, public and media access may be limited to allow emergency personnel to ensure safety and security.

The terms above apply to the media as well as to amateur photographers and audio/video creators.

Full details are continued in the PDF below

WCFL Collection Development Policy
WCFL Material Reconsideration Policy
WCFL Policy for Patron Use of Space
WCFL Policy for Photography and Filming