Email Notification FAQs

What is email notification?
LIPS (Library Information Phone Services) is the name of the service that informs borrowers of their items out and their holds, and allows renewals of items and cancellations of holds.  It also has the capability to send overdue notices and hold notifications via email.

When will emails be sent?
A list of customers to receive LIPS and email notifications is produced by the automated library system late each weekday evening.  Those emails are sent following the completion of the list.  Weekend emails are sent on Monday morning.

How do I sign up?
You have two choices:

  1. Fill out a printed form at your local branch location
  2. Click on Email Notification on the Library's homepage.  Complete the information requested on the form and click "Submit."  A Library staff member will change your borrower record and turn on email notification.

What if my email address changes?
Please let the Library know of changes to your email to avoid missing notifications.  You may change your address by letting a Library staff member know of the change or by changing your email address on the online catalog.  Go to the "My Library Card" tab, then "My Contact Information," enter your new email address and click "Update" (this will not turn on email notification if you have never had it but will allow you to change your address if you are already set up for email notification).

How can I ensure I get my emails?
The email you receive for holds or overdues will be sent from Loudoun County Public Library.  The subject line will be "This is a message from the Loudoun County Public Library."  Please be sure that this user/address is listed as acceptable in any spam-blocking software that you or your email provider uses.

What about bounceback emails?
If Library emails to you can't be delivered they bounce back to the DEPT-LIBSERV-EMAIL_NOTICES mailbox.  Library staff who monitor this mailbox will put a message on your record and will get in touch with you to verify the address to ensure you get your notifications.  If they continue to bounce back, the Library will turn off your email notification so you will receive your messages via LIPS, the automated phone service.

Some reasons why the emails may bounce back:

  • Out of space (mailbox full):  Some Internet providers limit the space for storing emails per user.  If the user has no more space, the message will bounce back.
  • Spam:  If you or your Internet provider has the spam blocker set up to block the Library's address, the emails will not arrive (or they will be stored to a spam folder for monitoring).
  • Bad address:  If your address is not valid, the message will bounce back.
  • Out of office/Vacation:  If you have a return email or an out-of-office rule set up on your email, the message will bounce back, but you will have received the message.  Holds are kept on the hold shelf for five (5) days and your message will tell you the expiration date.  If your hold has expired when you return, you may replace the request at your convenience.

When will I begin receiving email notifications?
Your record should be changed to email notification within days from when you submit the request.  The information in your record at the time the LIPS and email notification lists are produced will determine how you receive notification.

I received a second copy of the same email. Why?
The email notification list is produced at the same time as the printed notice list.  If Library computer room staff must reprint the print notices for any reason, it will also resend the email notices.  Please ignore those notices; they are duplications.

What does the email say?
REQUEST AVAILABLE:  Your pickup location and expiration date are listed below.  If you no longer need these items, please contact your pickup location.
(titles, call numbers, and pickup locations are listed)


The return address is the branch location where you are registered.  The location showing after each title is the selected pickup location for the item.  Library staff will be happy to change your registered location to the branch where you pick up your holds if you originally registered at a different branch.

notification screenshot

Does the email contain the titles?
Yes, the titles are listed in the email.  If family members share an email address, the message will be available to all those with access to that address.

How long will you hold items on the hold shelf?
The hold shelf period is five (5) days from the time it changes to "Hold Shelf" status.

What should I do if I no longer need the item?
Contact your branch location to let them know.  That way the next person on the request list will have the opportunity to get the title sooner.  Please do not send a reply to the email notification.

What does the first overdue notice email say?
OVERDUE NOTICE:  Items must be returned or renewed before using your card again.  You may renew at library.loudoun.gov or call 703-771-5626.  If you have already returned them, please disregard this notice.
(titles, barcodes, and due dates are listed)

notification screenshot

Can I renew items?
If you receive an email for your first overdue notice and you have no other long overdue items on your record, you may use the link to the catalog that is included in the body of the email.  This link goes to your borrower record where you may renew items that have no requests on them.  You may also renew by calling 703-771-5626 for the automated renewal line.  By the time a second overdue notice is sent out, your record will be blocked and you will need to return the item to clear your record in order to use your card.  Please do not send a reply to the email notification.

What does the second overdue notice say?

notification screenshot