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Frequently Asked Questions

What is my PIN?

You have a PIN number:

When you register for a library card, the default PIN is the last 4 digits of your library card number. We strongly encourage you to change the PIN in the Account area. The PIN is a security measure between you and the library. Upon receiving the library card number and PIN, the system looks up the PIN on record and compares it with the received PIN. If they match, then you are granted access.

How can I change my PIN?

  1. You can change your PIN by going to your Account.
  2. Next, type in your 14-digit library card number and your default PIN (i.e. the last 4 digits of your card number if it has never been changed) in the spaces provided.  Then click on “My Record” on the left side of the screen.
  3. Go to “Change Logon” and click the “Change Password” box.
  4. Type in a new password.
  5. Click Save.

How long may I keep library materials?

Loan Period Renewal Limit Quantity Limits Overdue Fine Rate
Audiobooks 21 days 3 $0.20/day
Adult & Teen Books 21 days 3 $0.20/day
Children’s Books 21 days 3 $0.10/day
Interlibrary Loan 21 days 1 $0.20/day
Movies 7 days 3 25 per card $0.50/day
Magazines Temporarily Suspended Temporarily Suspended Temporarily Suspended Temporarily Suspended
Newspapers Temporarily Suspended Temporarily Suspended Temporarily Suspended Temporarily Suspended
Paperbacks 21 days 3 no fines
Chromebooks
and hotspots
14 days 2 1 per card $5.00/day

How can I renew items?

Please have your library card number available ready when renewing.

You can renew in-person, by phone and online.

Automatic

Most items from the Allegany County Library System and Ruth Enlow Library of Garrett County will automatically renew up to three times, unless there is a request on the item.  You may elect to receive notifications when items are near automatic renewal, or their due date from your online account or by calling the library.  Items from the Washington County Free Library will not automatically renew at this time and will need to be renewed manually by one of the methods below.

In Person
Items can be renewed at the Circulation Desk of any Allegany County Public Library branch. Materials do not need to be with you to be renewed.

By Phone
Items can also be renewed by phone. To renew by phone, simply contact any branch and be prepared to give the librarian your library card account number so that he/she can access your record.

Online
You can renew books online from any computer with internet access:

  1. Click Account from the Allegany County Library System website
  2. Enter your library card number and pin number or password in the designated areas.
  3. Click Log In
  4. On the left side of the screen, click “Items Out”
  5. Click the checkbox to the left of each item you wish to renew
  6. Then click “Renew Selected Items”. A message will appear that your item/items have been renewed. (If you do not see a checkbox next to the item, the item cannot be renewed.  The items has either reached the maximum renewal or another patron has placed a hold on your particular book or item.)

Can I renew at another branch?
You can renew materials at any Allegany County Library System location.


Can I return books at any branch? Does the library have to be open to return books?

Library items can be returned at any branch in the Allegany County Library System, except the LaVale Library, which is closed for renovation.  This does not apply to Chromebook and hotspot loans, please return this equipment to the library that you received it from.

Book drops accessible from the outside of each library are available for your convenience 24 hours a day (Washington Street Library book drop is in the lobby area between the main doors and is also accessible after hours).  If a fine is owed on returned materials, you can pay fines on your next visit to the library.


What if I lose library materials?

An overdue notice will be sent for overdue materials. If the cost of the lost item exceeds $20.00, the patron’s library card privileges will be suspended until the replacement cost is paid. You can pay replacement cost for lost material at any time.


Are programs available for children at the library?

The library offers a variety of programs for children of all ages. For more information, please visit our Story Times and Events & Classes pages.


Can I access the internet at the library?

All branches of the Allegany County Library System have free public computers with internet access available during regular hours of operation.

You can type your library card number and PIN number in the spaces provided on the computer’s Welcome screen. You can also bring your own laptop, tablet, or other wireless device to use in the library. Please visit our Computers with Internet Access page for more information about using the computers and WiFi at the library.


Do I need a separate library card for each branch I may visit?

The Allegany County Library System library card will work at all six locations.


How can I access my patron circulation record?

You can access your record 24 hours a day from the Account link located on the home page.. Simply enter your library barcode number as it appears on the back of your library card and your PIN number in the designated areas. You will see all books that are checked out to you, as well as their due dates. Self-renewal of books can also be done at this point.  In addition, this area will display unpaid fines. You can also view any materials that you have requested to be put on hold.


How can I order a book or movie?

Books and movies can be put on reserve with a library card. To order a title you have found, Contact Us or follow the instructions below with your library card.

Items can also be placed on hold by

  1. Search for the item you wish to place by using the search box at the top of this screen
  2. Find the item you wish to place on reserve
  3. Click the “Place a Request button
  4. Log in (if you haven’t already) with your library card and pin number
  5. Choose the preferred pickup branch from the drop-down list and click: Submit Request.

You will either receive a phone call, email, or text message that your hold has arrived at that particular branch depending on your notification selection. Please Contact Us  if you have any questions.


What is Interlibrary Loan?

Didn’t find it in our library catalog? Marina is the state of Maryland’s Interlibrary Loan service. Best of all, it is a free service! Interlibrary loan materials are checked out for 21 days at no charge with a valid Allegany County Library System library card.

If the library doesn’t own an item you want, you may be able to borrow it from another library system through an Interlibrary Loan in three easy steps:

  1. Login to the Marina catalog
  2. Find it! Search for the title, author, or keywords to find what you are looking for.
  3. Get it! Place a request for it and wait for notification from us when it arrives!

Some materials cannot be requested through Interlibrary Loan:

  • Books on new and bestseller lists
  • Books that have not yet been published
  • Most reference materials
  • Multiple requests for a single title
  • Photocopies of magazine or journal articles over 50 pages in length

Audio-visual materials such as audio books, movies, and music are not available from several library systems in Maryland. Every effort will be made to obtain the material you request where available.

OCLC Requests:
If a title cannot be found by MARINA or if your request comes back unfilled, you may ask a library staff member about obtaining your materials from sources outside the state.

For more information about Interlibrary Loan services, please see a library staff member.