Frequently Asked Questions

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Circulation Questions

1. What do I do if the Library doesn't own an item I want?
  • Option 1: Make a Purchase Request online and we'll work to acquire a copy of the requested title. Once purchased, you will be placed on the reserve list and notified when it is available for pickup.
  • Option 2: For materials released more than a year ago, you may request the item/s through Interlibrary Loan to borrow the item/s from a library outside of Abilene. This generally takes 2-3 weeks to arrive.
2. How do I get a library card?
Library cards are free for City of Abilene residents, active duty military, military retirees and military dependents holding a valid and current DoD ID card. Visit our Get a Library Card page for details.
3. Can I get a library card if I do not live in Abilene?
Yes.  All Texas residents not residing in the City of Abilene may acquire a library card at an annual fee of $10.00.  Learn more on our Get a Library Card page.
4. How old do I have to be to get a library card?
There are no age restrictions; however, minors will require a parent/legal guardian present to acquire a library card unless the individual is married or is an emancipated minor.
5. Why do I need an email on file with the library?
The Abilene Public Library sends out notifications to patrons via email, not postal mail.  Such notifications include alerts on available holds to pickup, overdue items, pre-overdue notices to alert you 48 hours before item/s are due, etc. If we do not have an email on file, you will not receive alerts from your library. If you have a library card and need to register your email address, Click Here.
6. Why am I not receiving my email notifications?
Contact Us and staff will verify we have your correct email address on file.  Additionally, you may want to check your spam/junk email folders to see if our notices are being sent there so you may make them as being safe to receive.
7. What's a PIN and how do I get one?
A PIN is a Personal Identification Number established when you register for a library card.  PIN's are at least 4-digits and/or characters in length and allow you to access your account online, use our self-checkout stations, etc.  If you did not register for a PIN, or don't remember your PIN, contact us and staff may assist you.
8. How long does my library card last and how do I renew it?
  • Resident Library Cards: 3 years
  • Non-Resident Library Cards: 1-year

If needing to renew your library card, contact us or visit any branch library location and staff will ask to verify your contact information, as well as collect the $10.00 annual fee if you have a non-resident library card.

9. How long can I keep a book?
  • Books/Audiobooks/Music CDs: 3-weeks
  • DVDs: 2-weeks (DVDs in high demand may checkout for 3-days, indicated on the case).
  • Bestsellers & Magazines: 1-week
  • Interlibrary Loan Items: Established by the lending library, but not less than 3-weeks.
10. What are your late fees?
Late fees on all library materials that checkout from the library are $0.25 per day, per item.  Late fees will not exceed a $5.00 maximum per item.
11. How and where do I pay my library fees?

Library fees may be paid in person at any public library branch location.  Acceptable forms of payment are cash, check, or debit/credit card.  You may also pay public library fees at any of the three private university libraries (Abilene Christian, Hardin-Simmons, McMurry).  Please Note: if paying fees for lost/damaged materials, these fees must be paid at the location the item originated from.  The public library does not accept payment for university items, and university libraries do not accept payment for public library items if they're damaged or lost.

You may also pay your fees online with a valid debit/credit card by accessing your library account.  Please note there is a convenience fee added to each payment for processing.  Below are steps for paying online:

  1. Visit our Online Catalog and select the option for "My Account" and enter your 13-digit library card number and PIN.
  2. Once logged in, you will see your "Personal Information" listed first.  Look for the tab labeled "Fines" and select that option. You will then see a listing of your current fees.
  3. You may select to pay all of the charges on your account, or select the charges you would like to take care of if wanting to make a partial payment. Please Note: You will only be able to use this feature if you have at least $3.00 or more in fees.
  4. Once your selection is made, select the "Pay Pal" button at the bottom of your screen and you'll be taken to a secured site to pay your fees online.
  5. Once paid, your account will be updated automatically in our system, but please feel free to retain your confirmation email if needed.
12. I've lost a book.  What do I do?
Contact library staff to assist you further.  We may look towards renewing the item to provide you with additional time to locate it.  If needing to pay for a lost/damaged item, you will be charged for the price of the item and a non-refundable processing fee.

If you have paid for a lost item, and locate it at a later time, bring it back to the library with your receipt and library staff will provide you with a refund (minus the non-refundable processing fee).  Refunds are not available for damaged materials.

Please Note: If you have lost an item belonging to Abilene Christian, Hardin-Simmons, or McMurry University libraries, you will need to contact the university library the item belonged to in order to pay for these materials.  The Abilene Public Library does not accept payment for lost/damaged university items since they do not belong to us.
13. I've returned a book that still appears on my account.  What do I do?
Contact the branch library you returned the item to and library staff will access your account to renew the item and check all library branches for the title.  If unable to locate the item, we may place an internal search to continue to look for it.
14. Can I checkout books if I don't have my library card with me?
Yes.  We will require a valid Photo ID.  If you're a minor, library staff may verify your information to access your account.  If needing a replacement card, they're offered for $1.00 at any branch library.
15. Can I return books to any location?
Yes.  Materials may be returned to any location including university libraries at Abilene Christian, Hardin-Simmons, and McMurry.
16. Can I return books after the library closes?
Yes.  All locations offer a 24-hour book drop for returning library materials.
17. How do I renew library materials?
  • In Person: Visit your library and staff will ask to see your library card to access your account and renew the items requested.  You do not need to have the items present to renew them.
  • Phone: Contact us during our normal business hours and library staff will ask for your 13-digit library card number to access your account and renew the items in question.
  • Online: You may Renew Materials Online 24/7.  You will need access to your 13-digit library card number and PIN to access this feature
18. Why can I not renew certain library items?

You will not be able to renew library materials if:

  • Overdue: Item/s that are currently overdue may not be renewed online; however, you may renew these items by contacting us over the phone or visiting the library during our normal business hours.
  • Outstanding Holds: If an item/s is on a reserve list with outstanding holds, they will not be available for renewal.
  • Interlibrary Loan: These items are not renewable.  They must be returned at their original due date so they may be returned to their holding library.
19. How many items can I checkout?
  • Books: No limit.  Patrons may checkout as many books as you'd like at a time.
  • Audiobooks/DVDs/Music CDs: 10 titles per library card (DVDs may only be checked out on an adult library card).
  • Interlibrary Loan Materials: 10 titles per month.
  • OverDrive Digital Items: 10 titles may be checked out at one time.
  • Hoopla Digital Items: 8 titles per month.
20. How do I request an item or place a hold?
  • In-Person/Phone Hold: Visit or contact us and staff will ask for your 13-digit library card number to place a hold on an item for pickup at any of our three branch locations.  Available holds are held for 8-days once they arrive.
  • Interlibrary Loan: Visit our Interlibrary Loan Page to make a request (you will need your 13-digit library card number and PIN).  You may also visit or contact us and staff may place the request on your behalf.  Available Interlibrary Loan materials come with a set due date and the library will hold these items until they are due back to the lending library.
  • Online Hold: You may place a hold online on our catalog for items.  You will need your 13-digit library card number and PIN.

General Questions

1. Can I access the library's catalog and databases outside of the library?
Yes. The online catalog and databases are accessible remotely from any Internet-enabled computer or device.  You will need your 13-digit library card number to access most databases; however, the AncestryPlu database is only accessible inside the library.
2. I can't log into the catalog? What's wrong?
Contact us and staff will assist you.  Some of the common reasons may be due to having a fine in excess of $3.00, an expired library card, or our system being temporarily down.
3. Are there meeting rooms available at the library?
Yes. Both the Main Library and Mockingbird Branch offers access to meeting rooms at a rate of $10.00/hr (free for non-profits). The South Branch Library also offers access to a meeting room at a rate of $50.00 for the first two hours (free for non-profits) with an optional $25.00 fee for use of advanced AV equipment.  For more information, view our Meeting Room Section on our policies page.
4. Does the library offer programming for adults?
Yes. We offer a wide range of programming and adults can take advantage of our book club and various workshops hosted over a variety of topics on a regular basis. View our Events Calendar to see the current program listings.
5. Does the library provide access to business center services?
All locations offer access to computers, word processing programs, printing, Wi-Fi, photocopiers (both black & white and color copies), scanning services, and notary services (available upon request).  At this time, we do not offer faxing services, but we may refer you to nearby businesses if requested.
6. Can I donate books to the library?
Yes. We accept donations at the Main Library (202 Cedar St.). Items may be dropped off inside the library, or you may do so by the double doors in the alley way (near the outside book drop). By ringing the doorbell, staff will help you unload your donations. This service is offered between 9AM-4PM on weekdays.
7. Do you offer library tours?
All locations are available to provide tours to school groups, organizations, clubs, etc. Contact the branch location of your choice and library staff will connect you with the proper employee to handle your request.
8. Do you have Wi-Fi?
Yes. Wi-Fi is available at all library branch locations during normal business hours.
9. Do you provide Internet access?
Yes. Internet-access is available at all library branch locations. You must have a valid library card to sign on or guests/visitors may see library staff to inquire about signing on as a guest.
10. Do you proctor exams?
Yes. Librarians at each location may serve as proctors. This service is offered at no charge; however, we do ask that you contact us and speak with staff so we may acquire some information and answer your questions. Although this service is free, charges may apply if requiring library staff to mail in a test. In this case, students will be responsible for mailing fees.


MAIN LIBRARY
202 Cedar St.
Abilene, TX 79601
PH: 325-677-2474

HOURS OF OPERATION
Mon, Tues, Thurs | 9AM - 9PM
Wed, Fri, Sat | 9AM - 6PM
Sundays | Closed

SOUTH BRANCH
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
Abilene, TX 79606
PH: 325-698-7565

HOURS OF OPERATION
Mon, Tues, Thurs | 10AM - 9PM
Wed, Fri, Sat | 10AM - 6PM
Sundays | 1PM - 6PM

MOCKINGBIRD BRANCH
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
Abilene, TX 79603
PH: 325-437-7323

HOURS OF OPERATION
Mon, Tues, Thurs | 9AM - 9PM
Wed, Fri, Sat | 9AM - 6PM
Sundays | Closed

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