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Using Your Library Account

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Find information about how long you can checkout library materials, how to renew items, how to use our library catalog and more!

Checkout Periods (Physical items)
Most items, including books, DVDs, audiobooks, CDs, magazines, and Library of Things items check out for 3 weeks

  • Hotspots and laptops check out for 1 week
  • Book Club in a Bag Kits check out for 6 weeks
  • interlibrary loan materials may have different checkout periods set by the lending library

Checkout Periods (Digital items)
Digital materials have different check-out periods depending on the resource.

  • Overdrive/Libby ebooks and digital audiobooks: up to 21 days
  • Enki ebooks: up to 21 days
  • Hoopla: varies by format
    digital audiobooks – 21 days
    ebooks – 21 days
    music – 7 days
    movies and TV shows – 3 days

These materials are automatically returned at the end of the checkout period. The amount of materials you can check out at a time and the amount of items you can have on hold depends on the type of library card you have. Learn more about the different library cards available on our Get a Library Card page.


Renewing Items

Most items may be renewed up to five times. If there aren’t any holds, the item will automatically renew 2 days before the due date. If you are signed up for email notifications, you will receive an email notification about whether or not your items are automatically renewed.

Sometimes items cannot be renewed. Here are some common reasons why:

  • Someone else has placed a hold request on the item
  • Charges on the borrower account are $10.00 or more
  • There are 25 or more overdue items on the account
  • The item has already been renewed 5 times
  • There is any balance due on a Lost/Replacement item

Renewals are for an additional 21 day period from the date of the renewal.

Almost all of the items in our catalog are available to request, with the exception of items that are for in-Library use only. Placing a hold on an item will hold an item for you when it is returned or will transfer an item from one library to another for you to pick up.

You may place holds for items listed in the catalog in person at any Library location, by calling the Library, or through the Library Catalog, using your Library barcode number and your PIN. You may have a maximum of 20 active, pending, or shipped hold requests on your card at a time.

You will be notified by email or text, whichever method you selected when registering for a library card, when an item is held for you. You have 7 days to pick up the item.

Need help placing a hold request or have questions about the status of your item? Contact us.

Lost Items

The Santa Barbara Public Library encourages library patrons to return items on time so that others may use them. While we do not charge late fees, we still charge for lost or damaged materials.

As a courtesy, the Library will email a reminder 2 days before the date due.

What happens when your items are:

 3 Days Past Due   The Library sends you a courtesy reminder.
 10 Days Past due  The Library sends you a second courtesy reminder.
 17 Days Past Due  The Library sends you a third courtesy reminder. This is the final notice.
 30 Days Past Due  The Library places a charge on your account for the replacement cost of the item.
 60 Days Past Due  The replacement cost is final.
63 Days Past Due (and have accrued $40.00 or more in fees)

 The Library forwards your account to a materials recovery agency

A non-refundable $10 service charge is added to your account.

The recovery agency contacts you to request materials return and/or payment.

Last Updated: Nov 17, 2021
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