Library Policies

Visitor Use

Thorndike Library is open to the general public. Visitors without library cards may use, in-house, Thorndike Library's collections. Public computers are available in the library lobby to any visitor. Priority is given to those doing library research. All other computer use is limited to 10 minutes if others are waiting. Printing is 10 cents per copy for non-COA community members.

Eligible Borrowers

COA community members are eligible to check out circulating materials. College of the Atlantic extends an invitation to MDI community members and Hancock County educational community members to borrow Thorndike Library materials. Employees of affiliated organizations and researchers are also eligible to check out circulating materials. Download details(236kb .pdf).

Circulation Policies

Most items may be borrowed for three weeks at a time. CD's and videos have a three item limit each and are loaned for 3 days. Periodicals and reference materials do not circulate. Book returns are located at the circulation desk and outside the first floor entrance of the library building, Kaelber Hall. Items may be recalled after 2 weeks and renewals are allowed on most items. Download our full policy.

Access to our archives requires an appointment with our archivist, Ingrid Hill.

See our policies regarding audio-visual equipment for information on equipment usage.

Overdue Materials

The library does not charge late fees. However, no additional library items can be checked out until issues concerning overdue items are resolved. One overdue notice is sent promptly for each overdue item. If the item is not returned or renewed, a bill is sent 7 days later for videos, CD's, and reserves and 30 days later for all other materials. Lost CD and DVD cases result in a $10 replacement charge. The Thorndike Library staff appreciates your efforts to return materials in a timely fashion and care for the collection.

Food & Drink

Food attracts insects that can be harmful to books - and annoying to humans. In recognition of people enjoying a snack while they study, we allow limited food consumption in the library. If you need a snack, please limit yourself to dry food that is quiet to eat and comes in small packages. For drinks, we ask you use covered containers such as a travel mug or bottles with caps. Please clean up after yourself. If you have a spill, contact a staff member so that the situation can be cleared up as soon as possible.


Please, no smoking in the library or on the Blum Reading Balcony. There is a designated smoking area outside the north entrance of the dining hall, Take-A-Break.

Cell Phones

In consideration of others, please refrain from cell phone conversations in the library’s reading room and stacks, and set cell phones to silent or vibrate. The library lounge, outside the library doors, offers comfortable chairs for cell phone use and conversation.

Computers & Loaner Laptops

Library users are expected to abide by the college’s computer use policy. Library users, including visitors, can obtain access to the internet from their personal laptops provided they have the most recent anti-virus software and operating system updates installed. Ask any library staff member for assistance.

The laptops available for checkout from Thorndike Library are primarily for enrolled student use as a supplement to the computers available in the Neva Goodwin Computer Lab. There are two Dell laptops for in-library-use only with the exception of class presentations. There are two laptops, one Mac and one PC, with Adobe for graphic design needs. Six laptops are available for 3-day, out-of-the-library use; extended use needs should be directed to Trisha Cantwell or Zach Soares


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17 U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies and other reproductions of copyrighted material. Library users are expected to act in accordance with this law. Library users may wish to consult our copyright guide.


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