Borrowing Items

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An item I checked out was missing a disc or was damaged before I checked it out. What do I do?

As soon as you notice the problem, ask the Circulation staff of the branch library where you checked out the item for assistance.

How can I avoid having overdue items?

  • Add email and/or text notification to your library account so you will receive a courtesy reminder three days before your materials are due.
  • Use the after-hours drop box at all branches for returning materials.
  • Renew By Telephone: You can renew items twice by telephone by calling your local branch or to the phone renewal line at 301-333-3111. You will be asked for your library card barcode number and PIN, (usually the last four digits of your phone as saved on your library account).
  • Renew Online: Go to My Account on the library’s website.
  • Renew via the PGCMLS Mobile App:  Manage your account with our app (iOS App Store | Google Play).

How long can I keep items?

Items Loan Period Renewal Limit
Books, Audio books, Magazines & Music CDs 21 days 3*
Entertainment DVDs 7 days 3*
Educational DVDs & Television Series 21 days 3*
Marina Interlibrary Loan Items 21 days 1
Interlibrary Loan Items (ILL) Special 0

How many items can I check out on my library card?

You can borrow up to 75 items.

How much are overdue fines?

The Library is now fine free and will waive all existing overdue fines from customer accounts. The new “fine free” policy ensures that all Prince Georgians have equitable access to the Library’s resources and services, while eliminating the financial barrier of overdue fines. Customers who previously had outstanding account balances will be able to resume borrowing physical and digital materials and access online library resources.

I am a child. Can I borrow videos?

A child’s library card can be used to borrow videos from the Juvenile collection. It is blocked from borrowing Adult videos.

If a child has possession of an adult’s library card, it is assumed the adult card owner has given permission for their card to be used for any and all checkouts.

I have an overdue item. Can I still checkout?

If you only have one overdue item and it is less than 45 days overdue, you will not be blocked from checking out.

If you have two or more overdue items, you will be blocked from checking out.

If you have an item more than 45 days overdue, you will be blocked from checking out.

I lost a disc from an audio book set. What do I do?

Please contact your local library about lost component charges.

I lost an item. Can I buy a replacement in lieu of paying the replacement cost?

Replacements or Substitutions will not be accepted In Lieu of Payment. It is very costly and time consuming to add the purchased material to the collection. Adding material to the collection involves several departments and many different staff members.

I owe money. Can I still checkout?

Yes, as long as your accumulated balance is below $20.00 and your account is not otherwise delinquent.

Delinquent accounts meet one or more of the following criteria and are blocked from borrowing until the delinquency is cleared.

  • Owe $20.00 or more in fines or fees.
  • Have two or more overdue items.
  • Have any items 45 days or more past due.
  • Have been referred to collections and a balance is still owed.

I returned an item, but it is still on my account. What should I do?

Ask the Circulation staff of the branch library where you returned the item for assistance.

When is an overdue item considered lost?

When an item becomes 45 days past due, it is considered lost and the replacement cost of the material is billed to the account. If the customer returns this material in good condition within one year of the billing date, the replacement cost of this item will be waived. After one year, the replacement cost will not be waived upon return regardless of condition.

Where can I return borrowed items?

  • PGCMLS materials may be returned to any PGCMLS branch.
  • Book drops are available at all branches for when the library is closed.
  • Interlibrary Loan materials should be returned to the branch where they were borrowed.
  • Materials checked out from PGCMLS (except video and interlibrary loan materials) may be returned to public libraries in Maryland, DC and some Northern Virginia locations (Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Falls Church, Loudoun County or Prince William County). Materials returned to a different library system will remain on a customer’s record until they are checked in at the owning library.