Frequently Asked Questions


Q. How many levels does the library have and where are things located?
A. The library has a total of six floors, not including basement and attic. The main public areas are:

  • Ground floor (Elm Street entrance): Children's Room, meeting rooms, bathrooms. Elevator level L.
  • Main floor (Main Street entrance): Circulation Desk, AV Room, new books, large print, pop culture collection. Elevator level M.
  • Third floor: Reference Room, Fall River Room, Friends Bookstore. Elevator level U.

The library also has stack levels with no public areas, just bookshelves. These are not currently open to the public due to the pandemic, but items can be retrieved by staff.

Q. Does the library have free parking?
A. There is a small parking lot behind the library, on Elm Street. Half of this is available for public parking. There is also metered parking on Main Street and Elm Street.

Q. Do I need an appointment to use the library? Why?
A. Because the library is a historic building with an older ventilation system, occupancy is limited during the pandemic to protect the health of both staff and visitors. Appointments allow us to monitor the number of people inside the building at a time. In most cases, appointments can be made the same day.

Q. I returned a book last week, but it is still showing up as checked out on my card. Why?
A. When items are returned, they are quarantined for one week, as recommended by Project REALM (Reopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums). When the week is up, they are checked in and returned to the collection. You will not be charged fines for items in quarantine.

Q. Can I donate books to the library?
A. At this time, because we are quarantining returned materials and our Friends Bookstore is not open, we regret that we cannot accept donations of books. We will post updates if this changes.

Q. When was the library built? Has it always been a library?
A. The library was designed for use as a public library by architect Ralph Adams Cram. It was completed in 1899.