Borrowing Library Materials FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t live in the city of Albany. May I borrow materials from Albany Public Library?

May I use my Albany Public Library card at any of the branch libraries?

Can other members of my family use my library card?

How many items can I check out at a time?

When are my items due?

Where do I return materials that I have checked out?

What do I do if I’m not ready to return my materials by their due date?

How can I renew my items?

I'd like to access my account online. What is my PIN?

Can I request materials to be sent to my branch?

How will I know when the items I ordered are ready to be picked up?

Can I send a family member or friend to pick up the books I requested?

How much are late fines?

Will I be notified of overdue material?

Why is there a fine on my card for a cleaning fee?

I owe a lot of money on my card. I don’t think I can pay it all at once. Is there any way I can pay a little at a time?

I’m sure I returned an item that is still checked out on my card. What do I do?

What do I do if I lose a book?

I think my card has been stolen. What do I do now?

 

 

Q. I don’t live in the city of Albany. May I borrow materials from Albany Public Library?
A. If you are a resident of Albany or Rensselaer County, you may apply for a library card, free of charge. If you already have a card from another public library in Albany or Rensselaer County, you may use it here. If you live outside these counties, you may borrow materials from Albany Public Library for a $50 non-refundable annual fee. Applications for library cards must be made in person at an Albany Public Library location or with library staff at an outreach event. For more information please see How to Register for an Albany Public Library Card.
   
Q. May I use my Albany Public Library card at any of the branch libraries?
A. Yes, your card may be used at all APL locations. You may also use your card at any public library in Albany and Rensselaer County.
   
Q. May other members of my family use my library card?
A. No. Under no circumstances can anyone but you use your card.
   
Q. How many items can I check out at a time?
A. If you are an adult and have a permanent card, you may borrow up to 200 items, including 10 DVD movies and 10 music CDs at a time. If you have been issued a temporary card some restrictions apply. Please speak with a staff person for more information.
   
Q. When are my items due?
A.

When you check out materials, you will receive a receipt that shows what items were checked out and when they are due. You may also check your account online to see when your materials are due. Loan periods for Albany Public Library are as follows:

Items Loan Period
Fiction and nonfiction books 4 weeks
New nonfiction books 2 weeks
New fiction books 1 week
Audio books 4 weeks
Magazines 1 week
Music CDs 1 week
DVDs 2 days
Nonfiction DVDs, Television series DVDs, and Children's DVDs 1 week
Children’s books 4 weeks
Children’s holiday books 2 weeks
Overdrive E-books and Audiobooks up to 3 weeks
Museum Passes 1 week

 

Q. Where do I return materials that I have checked out?
A. You may return your materials to any public library in Albany and Rensselaer County regardless of where they were checked out.
   
Q. What do I do if I’m not ready to return my materials by their due date?
A. You may renew most materials once. Some materials, such as magazines, interlibrary loan items, and items requested by other customers are not renewable. If you have reached your renewal limit, you must check in your materials and wait one business day before you can check out the same materials again.
   
Q. How do I renew my items?
A. You can renew your items in person, over the phone, or online. You do not have to bring your items to the library, just make sure you have your card. If you renew your items over the phone, make sure to call when the library is open. You will be asked to read your library card number over the phone. Only the person who borrowed the item may renew it.
   
Q. I'd like to access my account online. What is my PIN?
A. When you register for a new card, your PIN is set to be the last four digits of your phone number, unless you have requested a different PIN. Your PIN is also your password to use library computers.
   
Q. Can I request materials to be sent to my branch?
A. Yes. Please refer to Place a request on a library item. Some items, like DVDs, are not requestable from Albany Public Library.
   
Q. How will I know when the items I ordered are ready to be picked up?
A. You will receive an automated phone message when your items are ready. If you prefer to have an email or letter sent, please let us know and we can change your notification options.
   
Q. Can I send a family member or friend to pick up the books I requested?
A. No. Only the person whose card was used to request the items may pick up the items. In some situations, an adult borrower may designate another adult to pick up hold items. Please speak with a staff member at the circulation desk for details on how to initiate this arrangement. Some restrictions apply.
   
Q. How much are late fines?
A. Late fines for Albany Public Library are $0.25 per day per item. Cardholders with fines greater than $10.00 must pay prior to checking out additional material, using the library computers, or renewing online. Other libraries in Albany and Rensselaer County charge different rates. Please check with the lending library if you are concerned about their rates.
   
Q. Will I be notified of overdue material?
A. Overdue notices will be sent by mail or email. Notification preferences may be updated at the circulation desk.
   
Q. Can I be charged for damaged or dirty items or items with missing labels?
A. You are responsible for taking care of the items you check out. If something is returned with significant damage, you are responsible for the cost of cleaning or repairing it. You are responsible for returning all parts (stickers, cases, boxes, liner notes, pouches, and barcodes, etc.) of all materials you borrow in good condition.
   
Q. I owe a lot of money on my card. I don’t think I can pay it all at once. Is there any way I can pay a little at a time?
A. Please visit an Albany Public Library location and speak with a staff member.
   
Q. I’m sure I returned an item that is still checked out on my card. What do I do?
A. Please stop by the lending library and speak to a staff member. Library staff will check the shelf to see if it is there. If it is not, you will complete a "Request for Library Material Search" form. During the next 60 days, the library will continue to try to locate your item. After 60 days if the item is not found, you will be responsible for paying for the item.
   
Q. What do I do if I lose a book?
A. You will have to pay the lending library for the lost item. Replacement copies are NOT accepted. You may pay with cash, check, or credit card at Albany Public Library locations. You will receive a receipt for your payment. Please hold on to your receipt! If you find the lost item and return it within 60 days, you may receive your money back, less the $5.00 maximum overdue fine, ONLY IF YOU HAVE YOUR RECEIPT. If you are paying for a lost item from another library, please speak with a staff member.
   
Q. I think my card has been stolen. What do I do now?
A. Please call Albany Public Library immediately because you are responsible for anything checked out on your card until it is reported lost or stolen. When a card is reported lost or stolen the library will delete the card from the system and issue you a new card for $1.00. You will be required to show a photo ID at the time you get your replacement library card. Once you have your new card, the old one will not work.

 

Last updated: September 12, 2014
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