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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Don't see your question here? Call a County Library or email us.

How do I get a PIN?
You can request a PIN online or by calling a County Library.
What does the message "Privilege has Expired" mean?
Your library card expires every three years. To reactivate your card, call a County Library and verify your address and phone number. The next time you check out library materials you will be asked to show a valid ID. To check your library card expiration date, log into the online catalog (top-right corner) and it is displayed under your name.
Why does my account say "User Blocked/ Barred"?
An account that is blocked or barred may have fines/ fees, overdue items or the address on the account needs to be verified. Contact a County Library to discuss your account.
What do I do if I have returned an item and my record shows it is still checked out to me?
Contact the County Library where you returned the item to discuss your account.
I returned a non-county item to one of the County Libraries by mistake. What do I do?
Contact the County Library where you returned the item to see if the item is still there. Each day the library staff check in materials that have been returned. If an item is from a different library system the item is sent to our Headquarters Office where the item is then shipped back to the owning Library. This process takes about two weeks. After the item is returned to the owning library the item is checked in and your record will be cleared.
Can I get library notices by phone or email instead of by mail?
Yes, you can sign up for phone or email notices online or by calling a County Library.
Can I pay my fines/fees online?
Yes. You can pay your fines and fees with a credit card in our online catalog. At this time, you can only pay your entire balance. You must know your library card number and PIN. If you need to make partial payment, do not have a credit card, or don't wish to pay online, you can also visit a County Library and pay by cash or check.
Can I reserve a computer online?
Reservations cannot be made through our website. Call a County Library or make a reservation on the library computer during your session. At some of our libraries, no reservation is required. Visit the library when you need a computer to sign up for the first available public computer.
Do you have wireless Internet?
Yes, there is Wi-Fi at all County Libraries. To use a computer, customers need a library card and PIN.
Why do I have to reenter my library card every time I place a hold?
Log into the online catalog at the top-right corner of the screen, and you will remain logged in for the entire session and not have to continuously reenter your library card number. When you are logged in your name is displayed at the top of the screen. Don't forget to log out.
Can I change the default pickup location for my holds?
If you log into the online catalog at the top-right corner of the screen at the beginning of your search, your local Library appears automatically as the pickup location each time you place a hold. To change the location, call a County Library.
How will I know when my hold is available to pick up? How long does it take?

You receive a notice by phone, mail, or email when your hold is available. You can sign up for phone or email noticesonline or by calling a County Library. To check the status of your holds, log into the online catalog (top-right corner) and click on "My Account" and "Renew materials/ manage holds." The availability of your hold or your number on the waiting list is listed under "Holds."

The time it takes for your hold to arrive varies depending on where the item is being shipped from and if there is a waiting list.

How do I search for DVDs and videos?
To search for DVD and VHS, add the word VIDEORECORDING after your search term in the Quick Search box (example: die hard videorecording). To search for DVD or VHS, use the Advanced Search page, scroll down to "Format" and choose DVD or VHS.
How do I download an eBook or audiobook?
See our Downloads page to get started and for information on supported devices.
I haven't used the catalog before. How do I get started?
See our Get Started Guide.
Where do I go to get the library's mobile app?
Visit colapublib.org/mobile on your mobile device to download our mobile app. It's available for Apple devices, Android phones and tablets, and Blackberry.