Renewals: Frequently Asked Questions

Renewals: Frequently Asked Questions

Library customers can renew library materials up to 10 times, as long as no holds are on the items up for renewal. This only applies to physical materials that are already available for checkout; ebooks, e-audiobooks and other electronic materials are not eligible for the 10 renewals limit. This renewal policy also does not apply to educator cards.)

1. Where's the renewal button?

To renew items, click on this link. You can also access this function whenever you are searching the catalog, by clicking on the orange "My Account" link in the upper-right-hand corner of all pages on From here, you can see your checkouts, bills, and outstanding hold requests. You'll need your DC Public Library card number and your PIN in order to renew materials.

2. What's the renewal period?
Books, MP3 Playaways and Books on CD will be renewed for an additional period of 21 days up to ten (10) times. DVDs, music CDs, VHS videocassettes and LPs can only be checked out for seven (7) days.

3. How many times can I renew an item?
In most cases, items may be renewed ten (10) times.

4. What does "in most cases" mean?
If there are other people waiting on an item (e.g  if there are holds on the item) or if it is new or popular, the system will not let you renew the item online.

5. What's my customer ID?
Your customer ID is the number below the barcode on your DC Public Library card. Please enter this number without spaces.

6. What's a PIN? How can I get one?
A PIN is a Personal Identification Number. It provides a measure of protection for your privacy. You won't be able to place holds, view checkouts, bills or pending holds without a PIN. In the interest of protecting your privacy, we cannot reveal PINs over the telephone or via e-mail. Obtain one in person at your nearest library when you present identification. Click here if you would like to reset your PIN online.

Deciphering Common Error Messages Within the Catalog/Account

1. "User Not Found"
This message is generally encountered when a user ID is entered incorrectly. Are you using the complete barcode number that is printed on your library card? Are you entering this number without spaces? If you encounter this message, please try again.

2. "Please enter your correct PIN"
If you do not remember your PIN (Personal Identification Number) or never knew what it was, please visit your nearest DC Public Library for assistance. To protect your privacy, PINs cannot be revealed by email or by telephone.

3. "Item has holds"
In order to meet the demand for popular titles, the system will not let customers renew items when there are other people waiting to check them out.