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Frequently Asked Questions

General questions
  • Where are you located and what are your hours?
    Hours, locations, and phone numbers for the libraries can be found here.
  • What holidays will the libraries be closed?
    The schedule of closings for the current fiscal year is available on our Hours and Locations page.
  • Do you accept donated books?
    Lincoln City Libraries does accept used books, CDs, and DVDs. Items need to be clean, dry, and otherwise in good condition. Books stored in a garage or damp basement rarely survive and should be disposed of. Sorry, we do not accept text books. All items are evaluated for addition to the library's collection. Those items not added to the collection are sold at the annual book sale.

    Donations may be dropped off at any of the Lincoln City Libraries; stop by a customer service desk for a receipt.

    Donations to Lincoln City Libraries may be tax deductible. The donor is responsible for determining the value of the materials donated.


Questions about library cards and accounts
  • What I.D. is required to get a library card?
    You must be present when applying for a library card. We need to verify both your identity and your address. To verify your identity, you can bring any of the following kinds of photo ID:
    • current driver's license
    • military identification
    • school identification
    • passport
    • other photo identification
    To verify your address, you can bring any of the following:
    • current driver's license with correct address
    • checkbook with correct address
    • utility bill with correct address
    • rent receipt with correct address
    • piece of mail with correct address postmarked within 30 days
  • How much does a library card cost?
    Library cards are free for residents of Lincoln/Lancaster County. Non-resident cards are $15 for three months or $60 for one year. Non-resident youth cards for June through August are available for $5.
  • I have an Omaha Library Card. Can I use it at Lincoln City Libraries?
    If you have an Omaha Public Library (OPL) card, you may get a Lincoln City Libraries card to borrow materials and use Library services without having to pay a non-resident fee. You will still need to complete a registration form and verify your identity and address. Library staff will need to see the OPL card. Lincoln City Libraries does not have a reciprocal return agreement with Omaha, so items checked out need to be returned to a library in the city in which they were checked out.
  • Do I need to get a new card if I go to another branch library?
    The Lincoln City Libraries card can be used at all of our locations.
  • When does my card expire?
    For Lincoln and Lancaster County residents the card expires one year from date of issue. The card is renewed after an annual address check is completed. If you move or change contact information, just notify us so we can make the change on your record.
  • What do I do if I have lost my library card?
    If your card is lost or stolen, immediately notify us. As soon as possible, bring identification with you to one of our libraries to get a new card. There will be a $1 fee for the card.
  • My card has become brittle and chipped. Can I get a new card?
    Yes, next time you are at one of our libraries ask for a new card at the Checkout Desk. There is no fee to replace worn or broken cards.
  • The catalog is asking for my password. I didn't even know I had a password!
    A password (usually a 4-digit PIN) is needed to use the 24-hour telephone renewal system (TeleCirc) or to access your account on our catalog via the Internet. If you got your library card prior to August 4, 2001, the last 4 digits of the home phone number we had on file for you on that date were automatically assigned as your PIN. After August 4, 2001, you needed to specify a 4-digit number when you obtained a library card.

    If you've forgotten your password or PIN, library staff at any of our locations can reset it for you; please call or stop in during our open hours. Be sure to have your library card number when you call. You can also ask staff to change your PIN, or you may change it yourself by logging into your account (on the Internet or on one of our catalog computers) and clicking on "change my password."

Questions about checking out and renewing materials
  • How long can materials be borrowed?
    Most materials can be borrowed for one three-week period and may be renewed for two additional three-week periods if no one is waiting for them. Items requested by another customer cannot be renewed, nor can books labelled "Books to Go." Video games and DVDs labelled "DVDs to Go" check out for seven days. Downloadable audiobooks check out for seven or fourteen days, and downloadable e-Books check out for seven, fourteen, or twenty-one days.
  • How many items can I borrow?
    You may have up to 150 items on your account at one time. No more than 25 compact discs or 10 DVDs can be on your account at one time.
  • All copies of the book I want are checked out. Can I be notified when one comes back in?
    You can place a hold (sometimes also called a request or a reserve) on an item and when it is returned we will hold it for you at the library location of your choice and send you a notice. You can have up to 25 holds at a time on your record. There is no charge for this service, but requests that are not picked up will result in a 50-cent fee. Notices are sent by phone or e-mail; you can sign up for e-mail notification here. Notices by US Mail are no longer available. (Holds cannot be placed on books labeled "Books to Go.") 
  • There's a copy of the book I want at different library location than the one I use; can it be sent over?
    If an item is available at any of our library locations, it can be sent to any other library location for you to pick up. There is no charge for this service. Please allow two to three days for the book to arrive. (Books labelled "Books to Go" cannot be sent from one branch to another.)
  • May I return my books to a different library location than the one I borrowed them from?
    Yes, books borrowed from Lincoln City Libraries may be returned to any of our locations.
  • How do I renew my books?
    Most books and other items may be renewed one time, provided there are no requests for them. (Books labelled "Books to Go" cannot be renewed.) You can use any of the following ways to renew your materials:
    • Use our online catalog. You may renew all of your materials at once or just selected ones.
      1. From a Library Catalog screen, click on "Log in to Your Account," or from the Library's Web site, click on the "My Library Account" link
      2. Enter the number on the barcode of your library card
      3. Enter your 4-digit PIN and click "Log In"
      4. Click "Renew" for each item listed in your account that you want to renew, or
    • Call our automated renewal system (TeleCirc) at (402) 441-8506 from a touch-tone phone; have your library card ready and listen carefully to the instructions; or
    • Call the library at (402) 441-8525; or
    • Bring your materials in to any of our library locations.
  • How much are overdue fees?
    Overdue fees are charged as an incentive to return materials on time so that other customers will also have access to them.
    • 35 cents per day per item is charged (the maximum fine per item is $7.50, except for magazines, which have a $3.00 maximum). Overdue fees for packaged collections (such as Classroom Loan Bags) are $1.00 per day.
    • When accumulated fees are more than $10, no further borrowing will be allowed. Please ask staff for details if materials are lost or damaged.
    • Accounts for cardholders with accumulated fines who do not respond to the Library’s notices to clear their account may be referred to a collection agency and a $10 fee will be assessed.
  • Can I pay my fees with a credit or debit card?
    Credit and debit cards can be used on some self-service checkout machines at Bennett Martin Public Library and at the Anderson, Eiseley, Gere, Walt, and Williams Branches.
  • I've lost an item that I borrowed! How much do I have to pay?
    The fee for lost items is the replacement price plus any accumulated late fees. If you find a lost item after this fee is assessed, the replacement price can be removed, but there will still be overdue fees (up to the maximum fee per item).
  • Can you notify me by e-mail about overdue books?
    You can sign up for e-mail notifications here; pre-notifications are sent out three days in advance of an items due date, and overdue notification is not sent until the item is two days overdue.

Questions about library terms
  • What is the difference between an item "being held" and one in "transit"?
    If an item is being held, someone has requested to have it held for them when it became available, or has requested that it be sent from one library to another that is more convenient for them. An item in transit is usually one that was returned to a library other than the one it belongs to, and is on its way back to its home location.
  • The catalog says the book I want is "In Process." What does that mean?
    "In Process" means that the library has received the item and it is being prepared for use.
  • The catalog says the book I want is "To be shelved." What does that mean?
    A status of "To be shelved" means that the book has recently been returned and may not yet be back on the shelf. The first place to check for such books is on the shelf where they belong, as the book may have already been shelved. If it's not there, there may be some carts of books waiting to be shelved that you can check. If the book you want is not in any of these places, you may need to try again in a few days, or ask library staff about obtaining a copy from another branch or placing a hold for it.

Questions about other library services
  • How can I get access from my home computer to the Research Resources the library subscribes to?
    Click on the "Research Resources" (under the "Research Tools" menu) on the Lincoln City Libraries website and follow the instructions on the page that comes up; in most cases you will need to enter your library card number. (Please note that due to licensing restrictions, a few of our Research Resources are not available for access from home.)
  • Do you offer wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) access?
    Free wireless Internet access is available at all library locations during open hours.
  • Do you have a computer that I can use to type a letter or a résumé on?
    Information about computer services available at Lincoln City Libraries can be found on our Publicly Available Computers page.
  • Do you have a typewriter that I can use?
    Gere Branch (402-441-8560) and Walt Branch (402-441-4460) have typewriters available; please call those branches to check on the details.
  • When is your annual Book Sale held?
    Lincoln City Libraries' annual Book Sale is normally held in October. Details about hours and location are usually available in early September, or by contacting the Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries at 402-441-0164.
  • Can I have a test proctored at the library?
    We are not currently able to offer proctoring services.
  • Do you have meeting rooms available for the public to use?
    Meeting Rooms can be reserved for groups and organizations to use at Bennett Martin Public Library, Anderson Branch, Eiseley Branch, Gere Branch, Walt Branch and Williams Branch.

    Tutor/student rooms are available at Bennett Martin Public Library and the Eiseley and Walt branch libraries.