Archives: How To

Renew a Book

There are two ways you can renew your items:


Contact your local library over the phone and request to renew the items.

Online Renewal

  • Go to our Online Catalog.
  • Click My Account Login and fill out the forms to login.
  • Your information will be displayed
  • Click on the text,   “[#]  items checked out “
  • All the items you have checked out will be displayed
  • Click Renew all, or  to renew individual items  use the check boxes and click renew selected.
  • The due dates for the renewed items will have changed if the renewal was successful.

Use a Computer

Every library in Lancaster County has computers that are open for public use.

In order to use the computers you need to do the following:

  1. Get a Lancaster County Library Card
  2. If  younger than 18, you need to have your parent’s signature for consent- upon signing up for a library card.
  3. When you sign onto the computer – you will have to agree to the Internet Use Agreement.
  4. In some libraries having fines will prevent you from using the computer.

The amount of time you are allotted varies for each library, as do time extensions.

Click on the link below with your preferred language to read the policy:

Request an Item

If the library book that you are looking for is not available at your local library. You can request the item, have it sent and held for you  there.
A library staff person can help you out with this -either face to face or on the phone. You can also make  this request online

Online Requests

Follow these steps to request an item and put it on hold:

  1. Go to our Online Catalog
  2. Click My Account Login and fill out the forms to login
  3. Once you login click New Search link on the upper right part of the page
  4. Use the search to find the item you are looking
  5. Once you found the item click on it
  6. You are now looking at the item record, click Request link above the search bar.
    • *Please note- some items cannot be requested because they are newer.
      (contact the library that has the item to see if any arrangements can be made to fulfill your request)
  7. Select a Pickup location from the drop-down menu
  8. If the request was successful you should reach a page that says, “Your Request for [item-name] was successful”

What if the book in not on our Catalog?

If this is the case then you can apply for an interlibrary Loan. Click here for more information.

Pay My Fines

You can pay for your fines at your local library  at the front desk.

You can also make payments online.

  1. Go to our Online Catalog
  2. Click My Account and fill out the forms to login
  3. Click on the Fine/Fees link. Please note you need to have at least $3.00 in fines in order to pay online
  4. Click on the Pay Online Button
  5. A popup box will come up with a list of the fines currently on your account
  6. Make sure the fines that you would like paid are selected, and then click Continue
  7. Fill out the form in order to make your payment
  8. If the transaction was successfully completed you will see a payment confirmation page and be sent an email receipt

Fines and Fees

  • 30 cents per day for Adult and YA (Young Adult) materials with a maximum fine of $5.10 per item
  • 20 cents per day for Children’s material’s with a maximum fine of $3
  • $1 per day for all Videos and DVDs with a maximum of $5 per item.


First Notice at 2 Weeks

The first overdue notice will be sent to the most recent address listed in the library records for the patron account when the item is 2 weeks overdue. The notice will include a list of overdue materials.

Failure to return the items listed in this notice within seven (7) working days of the date of this notice will result in a suspension of a cardholder’s borrowing privileges in each library in Lancaster County until the account is cleared.

Failure to return these items within 4 weeks after the original due date will result in a charge to the cardholder’s account for the replacement cost of the materials.

Second Notice: Bill for replacement at 4 weeks

The second notice is sent when the item is 4 weeks overdue. This is a bill for the replacement of the books. If the billed items are found, you need only pay the overdue fines.


Lost item charges equal the price of the item. It is the responsibility of the library patron to contact the library to arrange for the payment of overdue fines. Any questions about an account may be directed to the cardholder’s local library.


Library patrons of the parents of the juvenile library patron are expected to return library materials promptly and to pay any overdue fines incurred.
If an item is more than 14 days overdue, borrowing privileges are suspended until the materials are returned and the overdue fine is paid.
Fines must be paid and overdue materials returned before suspended borrowing privileges are restored.

Find My Due Date

In order to find out when your books are due, you can either contact your local library or check online.

Find out online

Follow these steps to check your due dates online

  • Go to our Online Catalog
  • Click My Account Login and fill out the forms to login
  • Click on the link that reads “# items currently checked out”
  • The items that you have checked out should be listed
  • Under the status column the due date will be displayed.

Check Out Periods

  • Videos, DVDs, High demand / Best Sellers need to be returned in  1 week
  • All other materials need to be returned in 2 weeks

Get a Library Card

A library card for the Library System of Lancaster County will be issued without charge to any resident of Lancaster County who is five years old or more.

In order to obtain a library card you will need to fill out and submit a library card application. You can print the form  from the file below.

Applicants will need to produce proof of address from one of the following sources:

  • A valid driver’s license
  • A current identification card
  • A bill from a utility company of retailer addressed to the person and dated in the last three months
  • A tax bill for a Lancaster County property
  • Working papers issued to a teenager
  • A copy of a current lease or deed for a Lancaster County property
  • Checks with a pre-printed Lancaster County address
  • Valid Lancaster County college / university ID

A child under the age of 14 years must have the library card application form signed by a parent or legal guardian who agrees to assume responsibility for monitoring the materials borrowed by the child, as well as the child’s fines and the cost of any lost or damaged materials.

Library Card Application

Click here for a library card application. Print it out and complete the information. Take the completed form to your local library to obtain your library card!

Chasquido aquí para el uso de tarjeta de biblioteca. Imprímalo y complete la información. ¡Tome la formulario completada a su biblioteca local para obtener su tarjeta de biblioteca!

Click the links below for other languages:

Online Application

To apply for a temporary library card number online. Please visit

Where can I use my Library Card?

One library card is valid at all libraries throughout the Library System. Library cards are available free at all local libraries and the Bookmobile. All that is required is a valid form of identification. For children under 14, a parent or guardian signature is required. In addition to the standard type card that fits in your wallet, we also offer a key-ring card that will help ensure that your library card is always at your fingertips.

Welcome Cards

Some Libraries offer Welcome Cards to visitors. A Welcome Card allows patrons to check out items, place holds, use library computers, and access online resources and digital items, it does come with a few restrictions:

  • The card expires after 3 months
  • They can only check out 3 items at a time
  • They can only place 2 holds at a time
  • They are unable to place any interlibrary loan requests.

Contact a public library to see if they offer a Welcome Card.

– Click here for Library COVID Response – Frequently Asked Questions

Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our patrons and staff. Because of the current library closures, we have instituted many changes to our library services.  Below are facts about our service changes.  If you have questions that aren’t answered on this page, please contact us.  We will update this page as our services change.

Click the question you need answered:

Visiting the Library: 

  • Public libraries in Lancaster County are open with limited services  in accordance with recommendations from the PA Office of Commonwealth Libraries. The health and safety of patrons and staff are of highest importance, therefore not all library services are available. 
  • Not all libraries are open with full services or hours.  Please check with your local library before visiting.  Hours and services may be subject to change at any time as safety, regulations, and guidelines change.  


  • Yes! We reactivated placing holds on books and materials (books, CD’s, DVD’s, etc.) through our library catalog website.
  • Due to COVID-19, please contact the Pickup Location Library for information about hours and procedures for pickup. They may differ from pre-pandemic hours and procedures.
  • You can still place a hold on all OverDrive eBooks and audiobooks.
  • Please contact your local library first before picking up your hold. They may differ from pre-pandemic hours and procedures.
  • For further questions, contact your local library first by phone or email.
  • If you are unable to reach your local library, please contact the Library System of Lancaster County for further assistance.


Library Card:

  • Contact your local library first by phone or email and ask them if they can renew your library card 
  • If you are unable to reach your local library, please contact the Library System of Lancaster County for further assistance. 
  • Contact your local library by phone or email and ask them if they can renew your library card.  You can also visit your local library to renew your library card in person.



  • Please check your spam and junk email folders for your email notices. Your email provider might label our email notices as spam 



  • All libraries are now accepting the return of books and materials.  Please check with your local library first to see when and how you can return your library items.  If your local library bookdrop is still locked, you may return your items to another library that is open. Please do not leave your items next to the bookdrop. 
  • Libraries are quarantining returned items for safety before checking them back into the library collection.  It may take several days for your books and items to register as checked in.  Your items will be backdated to the date you returned them so you won’t accrue any fines.  If you have specific questions about your checked-out items, please contact your local library.
  • Do not renew items you returned to the library!  These items may still appear to be checked out on your account because they are in quarantine.  Renewing your returned items may incorrectly place a fine on your account. 


My Account

  1. Click the “MY ACCOUNT”link in the header. 
  1. In the first box, enter your last name.
  1. In the second box, enter your library card barcode number. This is the 14-digit number that appears on the back of your library card. Please enter the entire number, with no spaces.
  1. In the third box, enter your PIN. (If you do not have a PIN, leave the field blank. You will be prompted to create one after you click SUBMIT.) See“How do I create my PIN?”for more information. If you forgot your pin, see “What if I forgot my PIN? Below to reset it. 
  1. Click the SUBMIT button. You are now logged in to “My Account”. 

You will be prompted to create a PIN when you use My Account for the first time or when your PIN has been reset. 

  • Type in your last name and barcode only (leave the PIN field blank). 
  • Click the SUBMIT button. 
  • You will be prompted to create and confirm your new PIN. 
  • Enter the same PIN in each of the two spaces provided. 
  • Click on the SUBMIT button. 
  • You are now logged in to “My Account”. 

PIN Requirements: 

  • You may use a combination of numbers and letters. 
  • Do not use capital letters. 
  • Do not use special characters, such as punctuation or other symbols. 
  • You may not repeat a character 3 or more times (aaaaaaa …). 
  • You may not repeat a set of 2, 3, or 4 characters 2 or more times (abababcabcabcdabcd…). 
  1. Click the “MY ACCOUNT” link in the header. 
  2. Click the Forgot Your PIN? Link. 
  3. In the PIN Reset Request Form, enter your Last Name and library card barcode number. 
  4. Click SUBMITNote: This form will not work if there is no e-mail address in your patron record. 
  5. The following message will appear, “A message has been sent to the e-mail address we have on record for you. Please follow the instructions in that message to reset your PIN…” Click START OVER. 
  6. The e-mail you receive should have the subject:
    Request to reset your library PIN and from:
    Click on the provided link to go to the
    PIN Reset Form.  (This link is valid for 3 hours) 
  7. In the PIN Reset Form, enter your Last Name, Barcode and your new PIN. Re-confirm your new PIN by entering it again. Click SUBMIT. 
  8. You receive the message “Your PIN has been changed.” Click START OVER.