Borrowing

How do I get a Loudoun County library card?

Loudoun County Public Library cards are available for free to individuals of any age who:

  • live in Loudoun County
  • work in Loudoun County
  • own property in Loudoun County
  • own a business in Loudoun County
  • attend school in Loudoun County
  • live in any one of the jurisdictions that participate in the regional reciprocal borrowing program

Cards may be obtained by visiting any one of the library branches in person or by applying online. If you applied for a card online, please bring your driver’s license or other form of identification during your first visit. Customers registering for the first time will need to provide a photo ID and proof of current address or other documents that may be used to establish eligibility. You are asked to present your library card whenever you check out library materials.

Where may I use my Loudoun County library card?

You may use your card at any Loudoun County Public Library branch. You may check out and return materials, as well as request materials and pick them up at any branch location.

I don't live in Loudoun. Does my county/city participate in the regional reciprocal borrowing program?

If you are a resident of any one of the following jurisdictions, you are eligible to borrow items from Loudoun County Public Library: the cities of Falls Church, Alexandria and Winchester; the District of Columbia; Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Prince William, Clarke and Frederick counties in Virginia; and Montgomery, Prince George's, Frederick and Charles counties in Maryland; and cardholders of the Thomas Balch Library in Leesburg.

You must provide identification (photo ID and proof of current address showing your residency in any one of the reciprocal jurisdictions).

What are some of the examples of acceptable documents that may be used to establish my eligibility for a Loudoun County Public Library card?

To establish eligibility, you must provide a picture ID with a current address. If the current address does not appear on the photo ID, one of the following is required:

  • Proof of residency in Loudoun County: Piece of mail with name and current address OR checkbook with printed checks showing name and address
  • Proof of property ownership in Loudoun County: Deed of property OR real estate tax bill
  • Proof of business ownership in Loudoun County: Business license OR tax bill
  • Proof of employment in Loudoun County: Work ID OR pay stub
  • Proof of attending school in Loudoun County: Student ID

When logging into the online catalog for the first time, current patrons must enter a personal identification number (PIN) in addition to their library card number (the number listed with the barcode). The "Log In" button is in the upper right corner of the catalog home page.

Your PIN is your birthdate in MMDDYY format. For example, July 4, 1976 would be 070476. If the Library does not have your birthdate on file, your PIN has been set to 999999.

  • Enter your card number in the row below "Library Card Number or EZ Username."
  • Then enter your PIN in the second row under "PIN or EZ Password."
  • Once you've successfully logged in, you can manage your account by clicking on the "Account" button in the upper right-hand corner of your browser.
  • You can change your PIN by clicking on the "Library PIN" button in the column on the left. Your PIN can be any combination of 4 to 6 numbers.
  • You can also create an EZ Login by clicking on the "EZ Login" button on the left. Your username must be unique. Your password can be whatever you wish.
  • After you've created an EZ Login, you can access your account with either your library card number and PIN or your EZ Login.
  • Please take a moment to make sure your information is up-to-date by clicking on the "Contact Information" link.

If you have any problems logging in, please contact us through email or ask a librarian. Please DO NOT register for a new library card. You can also call your local branch if you need further assistance.

What are the loan periods?

All library materials can be checked out for three weeks and can be renewed up to three times (unless another customer is waiting), with the exception of DVDs (one week) and 7-Day Hot Picks books (one week, no renewals). Borrowing periods vary for eBooks and other digital resources.

How do I renew my items?

No action is needed. Your items will be automatically renewed up to three times as long as another customer has not placed a hold on them. You can review and manage your account online or by calling your local branch. Please note that 7-Day Hot Picks cannot be renewed.

Are there fines for overdue items?

No, late fees for overdue items have been eliminated. Fees are charged for lost or damaged materials. Items are considered lost 21 days past the due date.

I've lost or damaged an item. What is the fee I have to pay?

You will be charged the replacement cost for items not returned or items that are damaged. Please note that LCPL does not accept replacement copies for lost/damaged items, and only accepts cash or credit cards for the payment. If the item is returned, the lost-item fee will be waived.

May I check out or renew books without my library card?

Yes, but only if you can provide a photo ID.

Do I need a library card to use the Internet or WiFi in the library?

Yes. Or you may receive a temporary number from a staff member to access these services.

May I obtain my library card number remotely or get help with my account via phone, email inquiry or the Contact Us form?

You can obtain this information remotely from library staff if your driver’s license number has been added to your borrower record and you can provide this number.

How do I put an item on hold and have it sent to my branch?

Is the item you want checked out, but you’d like to be placed on a waiting list so you can check it out once it’s available? Simply place a hold on an item through the catalog. When you see an item you want in the catalog, click “request item,” enter your library card number and PIN, and select your preferred pickup location. When your requested item becomes available, you will be notified by either phone, text message or email. Requested items are kept for you to pick up at the branch for seven days.

May I pick up holds without my library card?

Yes, but only if you can provide a photo ID. Library staff will be glad to hold your items for an additional day if necessary.

May I place a request in the library if I do not have my library card?

Yes, staff will be happy to assist you with this service when you visit the library or via the phone.

May my spouse or another family member pick up my holds?

Your spouse or other family members can only pick up your holds if they have possession of your library card.

May I check out, renew or pick up my child’s holds?

Yes, parents have full access to their child's record if the child is younger than 18.

What options are available for receiving notifications about my account?

Email is the default notification method. If you would like to receive notifications by text message or phone, staff can assist in making that change. Notifications can include: when holds are ready for pickup, when items are coming due, when items are overdue, when items are lost, and checkout receipts, depending on which notification option is used. 

How do I change my notification information?

To update your email and phone number, login to your account at catalog.library.loudoun.gov and click the "Account" link in the top right corner. Next, click the "Account Summary" tab, and select the "Contact Information" link.

How do I change my notification preferences?

Please contact staff at your local branch for assistance changing your notification preferences between phone, text message and email.

How can I ensure I get my emails?

Emails you receive for notifications 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.

If an email notification bounces back to our system, it will automatically attempt to contact you via the phone number on your account.

How long will you keep items on the holds shelf?

The hold period is seven days from the time it changes to “Hold Shelf” status.

What should I do if I no longer need an item?

You can cancel holds by logging in to your account, clicking the "Account Activity" tab, and selecting the "Holds" link. You can select any holds in your queue to cancel.

What is the number for phone renewal?

703-771-LOAN (5626)

What services are available if I call the number?

  • Renewal of items
  • Hear a list of items checked out and their due dates
  • Hear a list of items on hold
  • Find out what fees you owe

When is it available?

7 days a week, 24 hours a day

When will it call me?

You will receive phone notifications if you have opted out of email notifications or if your email notifications bounced back from your mailbox.

What notifications will I receive via phone?

You will receive automated messages to inform you of any holds waiting for pickup, when items are lost, when items are coming due, and when items are overdue.

What if I don't see what I want in your catalog?

After staff determines that the item you would like is not available locally, you may be able to obtain it through Interlibrary Loan. The fee for this service is $3 for each item requested, payable at the branch when you pick up your item. You will be notified in advance if there are other fees charged by the lending library.

You may also consider making a purchase suggestion using the Suggest A Title service for items not in the library's catalog.

What if I lose my card?

Please let your branch know if you lose your card so we can prevent use of the card by someone else. Please come into the branch to get a free replacement card.

How long before my card expires?

As a Loudoun County resident, your Loudoun County Library Card has no expiration date. However, cards that have been inactive (i.e. no items checked out) for five years will be purged by the system. The library also asks that you update your library account information every two years. In the meantime, if your address or phone number changes, please let library staff know so your account information can be kept up-to-date.

If you do not live in Loudoun or a jurisdiction that participates in reciprocal borrowing, but have a Loudoun County library card because you work, go to school, or own property/business in Loudoun, your library card does expire every year. Please bring proof of eligibility (such as a work ID) to any one of the branch locations and library staff will renew the card for you.

May I use my Loudoun County library card in other area libraries?

As a Loudoun County resident, you are eligible for library cards from any public libraries in the jurisdictions that participate in the regional reciprocal borrowing program. Please consult each individual library policy on how to obtain a library card from any one of the public libraries in the program. Please note that LCPL does not share patron information or catalog information with any other libraries in the reciprocal program; therefore, you will have to go through the library card application process required by the other library.

The following jurisdictions participate in the regional reciprocal borrowing program: The cities of Falls Church, Alexandria and Winchester; the District of Columbia; Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Prince William, Clarke and Frederick counties in Virginia; and Montgomery, Prince George's, Frederick and Charles counties in Maryland; and cardholders of the Thomas Balch Library in Leesburg.

The Educator Card offers expanded access to library resources to educators living and/or working in Loudoun County. This card is intended for professional use only. It offers more privileges than a personal card and should not be used in place of a personal library card.

Educator cardholders enjoy these privileges:

  • Borrow up to 50 items
  • No fines for overdue items
  • Four-week loan period

Who qualifies?

Public and private school K-12 teachers, homeschool teachers, childcare providers and preschool teachers who either work and/or live in Loudoun County. Please note, these qualifications are different than those for obtaining a personal LCPL card.

How do I get an Educator Card?

Visit your local branch. You must show proof of your status as an educator: letter on school letterhead or other proof of current employment as an educator, daycare provider certification, current homeschool status certification, or similar documentation. You must also show proof that you live and/or work in Loudoun County. LCPL staff will make the final decision about the validity of documentation provided.

Will the card expire?

Educator Cards are valid for one year only and will expire on Oct. 1 each year. The card can be renewed upon expiration by presenting the same documentation provided when you first received your card.

Are there any exclusions?

LCPL's 7-Day Hot Picks collection and Interlibrary Loan services are excluded. 

What about my students?

Library staff is happy to help you get personal library cards for your students. Please contact your local branch to make arrangements for a class visit to the library or for a librarian to visit your classroom.

Are there any fees associated with the Educator Card?

There are no fines for overdue items. However, cardholders will be responsible for the replacement costs of any lost or damaged items.