Borrowing Materials

Borrowing Materials

Self Check-out

If you don't feel like standing in line, and you only have books to check out, try our self check-out machine. (If you are checking out CDs or DVDs, please use the staff-assisted checkout.)

To use the machine, scan your library card and then follow the instructions. At the end of the transaction, you can get a printout of your checked out books and have a copy emailed to you if your email address is on file.

Loan Periods

Books, MP3 Playaways and Books on CD can be checked out for an initial period of 21 days.

DVDs, music CDs, VHS videocassettes and LPs can be checked out for 7 days.

If there is no hold on the item, it can be renewed ten times. If someone has placed a hold on your item, you may not renew it.


• Return item by due date -- No fee
• Item not returned in 30 days after due date -- $5 overdue fee
• Item not returned in 60 days after due date -- Lost/damaged fee
          Magazine $8
          Hardcover $20
          Paperback $15
          Media (CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, videocassettes) $15
• Fees totaling $40 or more – library card blocked from checking out materials
• No fees are charged to library accounts for kids ages 19 and younger

Library users can pay fees with their Visa or MasterCard online by logging into their catalog account. Cash payments are not accepted.

Item Limits

You may check out a maximum of 50 books at a time, 10 DVDs and 10 CDs.

Returning Items

You may return borrowed items at any DC Public Library; it does not matter where you checked them out.

Expired Privileges

If your card has expired, please visit any DC Public Library with a current picture ID and proof of current address in our service area. 

Interlibrary Loans

Interlibrary Loan is a way to request books, microfilm, articles and other material not owned by the DC Public Library. The service is available to DC Public Library customers with current library cards in good standing.

Customers assume cost of postage, insurance and handling charges. If the lending library charges a borrowing fee, that must be paid by the requesting customer. Materials cannot be requested from the Library of Congress.

You can find out more information on the Interlibrary Loans page.