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Borrowing Library Materials

Borrowing

  • You may check out up to 100 items on your card.  You may check out up to 20 DVDs.
  • Please bring your library card when checking out materials. Without it, you must show a photo ID.
  • If an item you want is not on the shelf, you can place a hold through our catalog. If MCPL doesn't own an item you need, you can request it from another library system through interlibrary loan.
  • If you owe $25.00 or more on your library account, you will not be able to check out or renew items, place holds, or use library computers.  See paying fines and fees.
  • Library cards expire annually.  If your card expires, you will not be able to check out materials, place holds, or renew items beyond the card's expiration date.  Read about card expiration and renewal.

Renewing

You may renew most library materials 3 times. Each renewal period is 3 weeks. You will not be able to renew items if you owe $25.00 or more on your library account. See paying fines and fees.

Renew items by:

  • Bringing them to any MCPL library check-out desk; or
  • By calling 240-777-0007, our always-available automated renewal line; or
  • By logging in to your account on our catalog.

Certain items cannot be renewed:

  • Items for which others have placed hold requests.
  • Items that have already been renewed three times.
  • Express books. These current bestsellers, identified with red B&T spine labels, are not eligible for renewal after the 3-week loan period.
  • Express DVDs. These entertainment DVDs are not eligible for renewal after the 1-week loan period.
  • Interlibrary loan items received from OCLC are not eligible for renewal. ILL items from Marina may be renewed.
  • Items borrowed on an Educator account.
  • Kits (Storycare Kits, Peas in a Pod, etc.).

Returning

  • Return materials to any MCPL library. All branches have 24-hour book drops.  Please bring materials inside to the circulation desk if possible, since they can be damaged in book drops.
  • Materials can also be returned to any public library with which MCPL has reciprocal borrowing privileges, including libraries throughout the state of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Northern Virginia. You may return materials belonging to these library systems to any MCPL library. It may take several weeks for items returned outside their owning system to be cleared from your account.

Loan periods, renewal limits, and late fines

Item type Loan period Renewals Daily late fines Maximum late fines
Adult materials
Books, audiobooks, and CDs 3 weeks 3 $.35 $15.00
Mass-market paperbacks and periodicals 3 weeks 3 .35 5.00
Express books - current bestsellers identified by red B&T spine labels 3 weeks 0 .50 15.00
Express DVDs 1 week 0 1.00 15.00
Non-express DVDs and Videotapes 3 weeks 3 1.00 15.00
Large print books 6 weeks 3 .35 15.00
Vacation loans 6 weeks 0 According to material type.
Children's and young adult materials
Books, audiobooks, and CDs 3 weeks 3 $.10 $5.00
Mass-market paperbacks and periodicals 3 weeks 3 .10 2.50
Non-express DVDs and videotapes 3 weeks 3 .25 5.00
Vacation loans 6 weeks 0 According to material type.
Educator loans 9 weeks 0 According to material type.
Reference materials
Any reference books, adult or children's Overnight 0 $10.00 $25.00
Interlibrary loans
Marina items 3 weeks 3 $.35 $15.00
OCLC items Determined by the lending library. 0 .35 15.00
E-Library downloadables
E-books and audiobooks up to 3 weeks Read about renewing. Never any fines. Items return themselves on their due date.

Fees

Reason for fee Fee
Holds not picked up $1.00 fee per hold, if it is not picked up within 10 days of notification of availability. Cancel unneeded holds in your online account or by contacting Ask-a-Librarian at 240-777-0001.
Replacing lost or stolen card $2.00 replacement fee
Lost or damaged items Full replacement cost
Interlibrary loan items Any fees charged by the lending library including photocopy fees
Nonresident card $10.00; non-refundable
Printing $.15 per page