What is a valid Houston Public Library card?
A valid library card is one that has not expired and has a total of less than $10 in fines and fees pending. Registrations expire after three years. Library cards must be renewed in person and require identification with your current address.
A library card that has expired cannot be used to borrow additional materials until it is renewed. A library card that is blocked because it has accrued $10 or more in fines and fees cannot be used to borrow additional materials until payment is made to reduce the amount due to less than $10.00. A library card that is “In Collection” cannot be used until all charges owed on the card have been paid.
What is a PIN and why do I need it?
PINs (Personal Identification Numbers) are codes of 4 or more digits that must be used when logging in to your account or checking items out at a self-check machine. You will also need it to renew your materials online or by phone. The Library has instituted the use of PINs to more securely protect you and your information. You may change your PIN after you log in to your account online or you may change your PIN in person at any Library location. A photo ID verifying ownership of the account must be presented for PIN change requests made in person.
What If I Lose or Forget My PIN?
If you lose or forget your PIN, you may come into any library location with your library card and ID and staff can look up your PIN and reset it for you. You may also go online and when you attempt to log in, select the “Forgot PIN?” button. You will be asked for your library card number. The system will then send a message to the email address we have on record for you with a link to change your PIN.
How many items can I check out at a time?
You may borrow up to a total of 50 items at one time. Format limits: You may not have more than 10 CDs, 5 CD-ROMs and 5 DVDs checked out on your card.
What can I check out with my library card?
Your library card allows you to borrow books, e-books, e-audiobooks, CDs, DVDs
How long can I keep library materials?
Check-out period is 3 weeks, with the option of one renewal, for a total loan period of 6 weeks. DVDs cannot be renewed. Loan periods for e-books and e-audiobooks vary and are non-renewable.
What materials cannot be renewed?
- Items on library cards with fines or fees of $10 or more
- Items on library cards that have expired
- Items already renewed once
- Items checked out for the maximum loan period of six weeks
- Items on hold for another borrower
- Items borrowed through our Interlibrary Loan Service
What else do I need to know about renewal?
You may renew your materials online through the "My Account" link on the Library Catalog page. Materials currently charged on your account will be renewed for three weeks from the date the renewal is done. Please make a note of the new due date. It is recommended that you print a copy of your account after renewing.
You may also renew items by phone at 832-393-2280.
Where can I return materials?
Items checked out from any Houston Public Library may be returned to any HPL location. Most HPL locations have book drops for your convenience after hours.
How much are overdue fines?
Please note: Library cards may not be used when the amount due reaches $10, until payment is made.Failure to pay your fines may result in your account going to a Collection Agency and possible credit bureau action. List of fines and fees.
What if I lose or damage something I borrow?
If library material is not returned within 30 days of the due date, you will receive a billing notice from the Library. In addition to the replacement cost of the lost item, you will be charged a $10 non-refundable processing fee for each cataloged item or a $5 non-refundable partial processing fee for each uncataloged item that is lost. The same charges apply to items returned with serious damage. Failure to pay your bill may result in your account going to a Collection Agency and possible credit bureau action.The library cannot accept replacement items in lieu of lost items. Items returned with damage that warrants withdrawal from the collection will be treated as lost.
Do I have to have my card with me to check out materials?
If you have forgotten to bring your card, you can usually check out by presenting a picture ID with your current address. You must have either your picture ID with your current address matching your borrower record in our system, or your library card, in order to check out. To speed checkout, we strongly suggest that you bring your library card with you; if the automated system is down for any reason, we will be unable to access your record without the account number and you will be unable to check out.
What if I lose my library card?
You are responsible for all items checked out and all fines and fees charged to your account up until the day you report to the Library that the card has been lost or stolen. To prevent others from charging materials to your account, report your lost or stolen library card to us as soon as possible. Staff can issue a new replacement card the next time you visit the library.