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What is CLAMS?

CLAMS is a non-profit, cooperative association of libraries on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket, that share resources through a computer network with terminals located in each member library.

Use of a single CLAMS library card allows patrons to borrow books and other materials from all member libraries.

The shared system gives library card holders access to over 1.6 million items including books, magazines, and non-print resources.

In 2022 CLAMS library patrons checked out 1.5 million books, DVDs, etc. and over 747,000 digital items.

CLAMS library patron base is currently 191,000.

Savings are achieved through cooperative development of library collections.

Technical support and training is provided to member libraries and their staff from a central site.

Delivery between CLAMS libraries is made possible through the Massachusetts Library System (MLS).


CLAMS is primarily funded through membership fees and receives significant support through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). Additional funding for telecommunications comes from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) E-rate program.

CLAMS Policies

Privacy Policy

Kindle eBooks Privacy Statement

Social Media Policy

Accessibility Statement

Library Card

Register for a library card at a convenient CLAMS member library or get a temporary 30 day CLAMS eCard online.

List of CLAMS member libraries

A picture ID and proof of current address are normally required.

Children's cards: a parent or guardian must sign the library registration form and accompany the child to the library when registering for a library card. Children are defined as patrons under the age of 18 in most libraries.

Some libraries issue a young adult card - check with your local library for registration guidelines.

Your CLAMS card is free of charge to Massachusetts residents.

There may be a small replacement cost if you lose your card.

Three years from the time you first register you will be asked to update your information (phone number, address, etc.).

Your CLAMS card may be used at any CLAMS library to borrow materials.

Your card gives you membership in your local library plus access to most collections of the 38 CLAMS libraries. Some online library services may not be available to all CLAMS card holders, depending upon the online service provider.

You may use your card in all member libraries to check out books, DVDs, and other materials, seek information, do research, or just browse.

Library cards may also be issued to other categories of borrowers, e.g., local institutions, teachers, homebound or out of state residents. Different registration guidelines may apply.

General borrowing guidelines at CLAMS Public Libraries

CLAMS patrons who wish to borrow materials from any member library must present a valid CLAMS card.

A valid library card is one that is:

  • current (cards expire after 3 years) and
  • “in good standing”.

If you owe over $25 or, if your card has been stopped or suspended for some other reason (e.g., you have a billed item), you will not be able to use your card. Contact your local CLAMS library if you have questions about your card or borrowing privileges.

For full borrowing privileges at CLAMS public libraries, Cape Cod Community College students will need to acquire a CLAMS card from a public library.

Loan periods

Standard loan periods are used at most CLAMS libraries

Exceptions and variations may apply – please check with your local library

Public Libraries

Most books, magazines, audiobooks, and music CDs may be borrowed for two weeks.

Movies (DVDs and Blu-Rays) may be borrowed for one week.

CLAMS digital titles can be checked out for 7, 14, or 21 days, with 14 as the default lending period. There can be 5 titles checked out at a time, and up to 15 titles on hold. This applies to the CLAMS OverDrive website and the Libby app.

Rentals may be borrowed for a small fee.

Reference material is for in-library use only.

Renewals: you may renew most borrowed material three times unless the item has been requested by another library patron.

Wilkens Library, Cape Cod Community College

Wilkens Library, Cape Cod Community College

Most books circulate for 3 weeks and may be borrowed with a barcoded CCCC ID or a CLAMS Library Card.

VHS, DVDs, CDs do not circulate and cannot be requested from the College Library.

Pick up - requested books, DVDs, etc.

Library materials may be sent from any CLAMS public library to your home library upon request. (There are exceptions, such as museum passes.)

Your home library is the library that issued your CLAMS card. The policy of the library that owns the item takes precedence over policies at the library where you choose to pick up material.

Returning material to a CLAMS library

Materials borrowed from CLAMS libraries, except museum passes and non-renewable inter-library loans may be returned to any member library.

Inter library loans are books and other materials borrowed from non-CLAMS libraries.

If the library is closed, return bins are usually provided – restrictions on certain material types may apply. Please check with your local library.

Overdues and Fines

CLAMS libraries reserve the right to deny borrowing privileges to anyone who has overdue library materials from any CLAMS library.

Late charges may be paid at any CLAMS member library.

Late charges

Books, audiobooks, music CDs: 10 cents per day with maximum fine of $3.00 for Adults, $1.00 for Children.

DVDs, Blu-Rays: $1.00 per day with maximum fine of: $3.00 (Adults and Children).

Certain material e.g. Passes, Interlibrary loan materials or Wilkens Library materials may be subject to higher late charges. Check with your local library.

Wilkens Library, Cape Cod Community College

Fines for books: 10 cents per day with a maximum fine of $10.00.

**These guidelines and charges are subject to change.