Library Basics

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Through our offering of educational programs, services and helpful staff, AACPL is working to fulfill its mission to educate, to enrich and to inspire all members of the community. Use these guidelines to enjoy the wonderful materials and resources available to you with an AACPL library card.


Library Cards are available free of charge to anyone who lives, works or owns property in Maryland. Please present valid identification when registering for a full-service card.

  • AACPL cards are valid at any branch in the county system and at other Maryland public libraries,
  • subject to their registration process, policies and regulations.
  • Library cards will expire after two years of nonuse.
  • Notify the library if you change your name, address, phone number or email address.
  • One each of the following may be checked out on one account at one time: museum passes, Wi-Fi hotspots and Chromebooks kits.
  • Children under 14 years of age need the signature of a parent or guardian to apply for a library card.
  • A library card and PIN is needed to use public computers in all library branches.
  • Limited DVD cards are available for children up to age 16 at the request of the parent. The limited DVD cards restrict DVDs rated “R” by the Motion Picture Association of America and “TV-MA” by the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board.
  • The library does not assume the parental responsibility for children’s choices of library materials.
  • Report lost or stolen cards immediately to prevent unauthorized use. Customers are responsible for any items checked out on your library card until it is reported lost or stolen.

Loan Periods are three weeks for most items. An extended loan may be possible upon request.

  • Some popular fiction and non-fiction titles may only be borrowed for seven days.
  • Entertainment DVDs, museum passes, Wi-Fi hotspots and Chromebook kits may only be borrowed for seven days.

Holds can be placed free of charge on materials not currently available or on materials available at other library branches in the county. Materials can be borrowed from other library systems in Maryland and across the country through Interlibrary Loan (a fee may apply).*

Renewals are available for most materials up to five times unless there is a hold on the item. The new due date is calculated from the day of renewal. Renewals may be limited for items obtained through Interlibrary Loan.* An auto renewal will be granted up to five times for most items, if the items are eligible for a renewal.

Notification about overdue materials and items on hold is available via SMS text message or email. Notification includes a courtesy date due reminder via email or text three days before your items are due. Customers who do not supply an email address or cell phone number for notification are still responsible for lost or damaged items.

Account Information is accessible remotely. Customers can review the list of items that are placed on hold, check for items being held at the library, renew materials and check their account for overdue materials. Customers must have their library card number and PIN for all transactions. Access your account here.

Damage to home equipment (DVD players, etc.) due to the use of library material is not the responsibility of AACPL. Replacement copies are not accepted as substitutes for lost, missing or damaged item fees.



Most materials can be returned to any branch in the county or any public library system in Maryland. Chromebooks, Interlibrary Loan items and museum passes must be returned to an AACPL branch.

Book Drops are available at all library branches and are open 24/7.

Fines and Fees

Fines will not be charged on AACPL materials.

Fines are charged for each day an Interlibrary Loan item is overdue, excluding Sundays, holidays and days that the library system is closed. The fine for Interlibrary Loan material is 30¢/day, $15 maximum.

If your account balance is $50 or more, you will be referred to collections. If the bill is not paid after 60 days, a $10 referral fee will be added to your account. If your account is blocked or in collections you must pay 20% of the amount due to checkout or renew material.

Customers are responsible for the cost of lost or damaged material. The library accepts cash, checks and credit cards for all payments. Payments can also be made online using the library's SmartPay system.

This information is subject to change. Signs posted in branches will supersede this schedule of charges.

Updated March 2, 2021

Please view the entire Circulation and Fines Policy here.