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Frequently Asked Questions

Catalog
Your Account
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Yes. You can choose to save your reading history by logging into your account and changing your account preferences. A new reading history does not include items checked out in the past or items currently checked out. It begins with the next item checked out after your preferences have been changed. The reading history is updated during an overnight process. Please be aware that if you enable your reading history your data may be accessed by law enforcement personnel without your consent.

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Customers are able to select their preferred method  of notification; Email, Phone, or Standard mail.

Depending on which option customers select, PGCMLS will attempt the following courtesy notifications:

 

Almost due (2-3 days before due date) = email

Hold pick-up = email, phone

1st Overdue (14 days past due) = email, phone, standard mail

2nd Overdue (30 days past due) = email, phone, standard mail

Collection Warning (account balance $25 or more) = standard mail

 

If selecting email contact, please be sure to set your email account to accept mail from librarynotices@pgcmls.info and polaris@pgcmls.info in order to receive our notifications. If you experience problems, please visit our Email Whitelist Instructions.  You may also, if you wish, opt to receive additional text notifications.

 

NOTE: All notifications are courtesy contacts and their receipt is not guaranteed.  Customers are strongly encouraged to retain their checkout and renewal receipts to confirm dates due. 

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The information you key in must exactly match the information in our computer record.

  • Type in your complete library card number with no spaces (number is on the back of your card under the barcode).
  • Type in your password. (Initially your password will be set to the last 4 digits of the primary telephone number listed on the account when you applied for your card. )

 

Once you have logged in you may, if you wish, reset your password to one of your choosing.  Please note; updating your phone number in our system will not update your password.

If you have forgotten your password or do not remember your original  phone number please contact your local branch library and they can reset your password to the last 4 digits of the primary phone number currently on file.  They can also verify that the library has your current phone number and that you aren’t using an expired or renumbered card.

 

Library Cards
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To apply for a library card, visit any branch library, complete a library card application, show a state or federally issued Photo ID and show Proof of Address if your current address is not listed on your Photo ID.

Examples of acceptable Photo IDs include driver's licenses, age of majority cards, US Military IDs, passports or permanent resident cards. The Photo ID must be numbered, unexpired, and issued by the government.

If your current address is not listed on your Photo ID, bring a Proof of Address document such as a utility bill, lease agreement, pay stub, or mail canceled by the US Postal Service with your name and current address listed.

Minors must be accompanied by a parent/guardian who will sign for the card and show appropriate Photo ID and Proof of Address.

You can start the application process online.

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Anyone who lives in Maryland, the District of Columbia, or the following Virginia counties (Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church, Loudoun, Prince William) may obtain a Prince George's County library card for free.

Anyone who temporarily lives, works or goes to school in Maryland is eligible for a free temporary library card.

Anyone who does not meet the above criteria can pay $50.00 per year for a non-resident library card.

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Report that your card was stolen immediately. Call or visit any branch library. You are responsible for all materials and charges up to the time you report your card lost or stolen.

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Report that your card is lost immediately. Call or visit any branch library. You are responsible for all materials and charges up to the time you report your card lost or stolen.

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Yes. Replacement library cards are free. Visit any branch library with Photo ID and Proof of Address.

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To renew your library card, visit a branch with Photo ID and Proof of Address. Staff will verify your contact information, update the information in your record and renew the card for another three years.

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Library cards expire every three years. Expiration dates and the renewal process provide an opportunity to update contact information, stop fraudulent usage of cards, and eliminate accounts that are no longer active from the library's database.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

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Minor changes such as adding an e-mail address or updating contact information can be processed for customers via “Contact Us,” over the phone, or in person at the branch. You will need to provide your library account number.  Major changes such as name changes or replacing a card must be done in person at the branch. Photo ID is required.  A card may be reported lost or stolen via any of the above methods.

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It is important to update your library card information when you change your address, phone number, email address or name so that the Library can properly notify you about overdue materials and materials on hold.

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Yes. We can reuse library card numbers from public library systems in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Northern Virginia (Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax , Falls Church, Loudon and Prince William Counties.) An application still must be completed. A state or federally issued Photo ID and Proof of Address will need to be shown.

Note: A few online library resources are restricted to use by library accounts with PGCMLS barcode numbers.

Borrowing Items
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Items

Loan Period

Renewal Limit

Books, Audio Books, Magazines & Music CDs 21 days 2*
Entertainment DVDs 7 days 1*
Educational DVDs & Television Series 21 days 1*
Marina Interlibrary Loan Items 21 days 1
Interlibrary Loan Items (ILL) Special 0

*Items with an open hold request on the title cannot be renewed regardless of number of renewals normally allowed.

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A child's library card can be used to borrow videos from the Juvenile collection. It is blocked from borrowing Adult videos.

If a child has possession of an adult's library card, it is assumed the adult card owner has given permission for it to be used for any and all checkouts. 

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Yes, as long as your accumulated balance is below $20.00 and your account is not otherwise delinquent.

Delinquent accounts meet one or more of the following criteria and are blocked from borrowing until the delinquency is cleared.

  • Owe $20.00 or more in fines or fees.
  • Have two or more overdue items.
  • Have any items 45 days or more past due.
  • Have been referred to collections and a balance is still owed.
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If you only have one overdue item and it is less than 45 days overdue, you will not be blocked from checking out. 

If you have two or more overdue items, you will be blocked from checking out.

If you have an item more than 45 days overdue, you will be blocked from checking out.

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As soon as you notice the problem, ask the Circulation staff of the branch library where you checked out the item for assistance.

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Ask the Circulation staff of the branch library where you returned the item for assistance.

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Please contact your local library about lost component charges.

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In some cases, replacements may be accepted to replace a lost item. 

Replacement materials must

  • have the same title and ISBN of the lost item
  • be the same or a more recent edition of the lost item
  • be the same format as the lost item 

Print material must be new or in pristine condition.

Audio and video format materials must be new with seals and manufacturer's shrink­wrap intact.

Items which have been in a billed status for one year or more, may not be replaced but must be paid for as lost.

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You are responsible for returning materials to the library or renewing them by their due date. If you return or renew materials after the due date, we charge a fine for every day late that the Library is open. Fines are calculated upon the item's renewal or return. 

Material

Overdue Fine per Item per Day

Maximum Overdue Fine per Item

Adult Books, Magazines, Audio Books and CDs 25 cents 8 dollars
Teen Books, Magazines, Audio Books and CDs 25 cents 8 dollars
Children's Books, Magazines, Audio Books and CDs 10 cents 5 dollars
DVDs 1 dollar 10 dollars

Non-returned items 45 days or more past due are considered lost and the replacement cost of the item plus the overdue fine will be billed to the account. Return the item in good condition to any PGCMLS branch within one year and we automatically waive the replacement cost, but the overdue fine is still owed.

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Payment of fines and fees upon an item's return is ideal. We do allow a small balance to be carried on an account.

Caution:

Accounts with a balance of $20.00 or higher will be restricted from borrowing and renewing.

Accounts with a balance of $50.00 or higher or ones with materials 45 days or more past due, may be submitted to Collections and charged additional fees.

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When an item ages 45 days past due, it is considered lost and the replacement cost of the material as well as an overdue fine is billed to the account. If the customer returns this material in good condition within one year of the billing date, the replacement cost of this item will be waived. The overdue fine is still owed. After one year, the replacement cost will not be waived upon return regardless of condition.

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PGCMLS materials may be returned to any PGCMLS branch.

Book drops are available at all branches for when the library is closed.

Interlibrary Loan materials should be returned to the branch where they were borrowed.

Materials checked out from PGCMLS (except video and interlibrary loan materials) may be returned to public libraries in Maryland, DC, and the following northern Virginia counties (Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church, Loudoun and Prince William.) Materials returned to a different library system will remain on a customer's record until they are checked in at the owning library.

Pay Fines & Fees Online
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As the merchant of record, the Library is responsible for all transaction activity, including online payments and credits, assessment and reduction of fines and fees, direct customer service, dispute resolution, and all corresponding terms and conditions. If your problem specifically relates to credit card payment, either call the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System Office of Finance & Budget at 301/699-3500 (M-F, 9am to 5pm) or submit this email form. Branch staff will not be able to resolve credit card problems.

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Charges and credits will be identified on credit card statements as originating with PGCMLS.  Specific information about the materials involved, such as the title of a book or audio device, will not appear.

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No. The Library does not retain credit card information. In order for us to access online payment details to answer questions or resolve disputes, it will be necessary to provide the transaction ID number.

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The Library is using an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate for all online transactions. This is a method of encryption which encodes data sent over the Intranet and is designed to allow only the intended recipients to receive the information in a readable format. Most web browsers will show a small padlock image at the bottom of the screen to indicate you are using a secure site

The Library’s online payment system is managed by controls that conform to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard. Credit card transactions are secured through a third-party vendor, PayFlowPro, which is the same company that hosts PayPal.

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Refunds for the replacement cost for lost materials that are paid for and then returned will be accepted for thirty days after payment. Original receipt is required for a cash or check refund for a lost and paid item. The credit for the returned item will post automatically to the customer’s credit card account.

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The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System is strongly committed to protecting the confidentiality of both your personal information and your Library account information. Library staff will not enter your personal credit card information on any workstation. Staff will gladly help you navigate the website and show you where and how to make a credit card payment from any internet access point, but they will not be able to conduct the transaction for you. Credit cards are accepted at the Express Check Out stations and at the branch Check Out desks.

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You can pay online through any computer with an internet connection and a browser.  It can be done at home, at work or at the library. You can also pay by credit card in all the branches -- either at the Express Check Out station or the Check Out desk.

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After submitting a payment you have the option to print the confirmation statement. 

Also, a receipt will be automatically sent to your email account if you have one listed on your PGCMLS account.

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The transaction is instantaneous with your Library account and will post to credit cardholder accounts within two business days.

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If you have multiple fines and/or fees on your account, you can choose to select specific charges rather than the entire sum, however you may not pay a portion of any one fine.

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It’s very easy:
1) Log into your account.
2) Click the Fines & Fees button.
3) Select the fines or fees you wish to pay.
4) Click “Pay Fines Now”.

View our Online Payments Video for a demonstration

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Yes.  We accept Visa and Mastercard payments submitted through our online catalog. Debit cards with Visa or Mastercard  logos that can run the payment as a charge are accepted as well.

Cash Procedural change
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No, there is no additional charge to the customer for using a credit/debit card for payment.  There is no minimum amount that will be accepted by the Library for online payments.

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It is possible to carry up to $20.00 on your library account with no impact. You may always pay a fine with a Visa, Master Card or Discover credit or debit card.

You can pay with cash at these branch libraries.

  • Hyattsville
  • Greenbelt
  • Spauldings
  • South Bowie
  • Oxon Hill
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·         Add email and/or text notification to your library account so you will receive a courtesy reminder three days before your materials are due.

·         Use the after-hours drop box at all branches for returning materials. 

·         Renew By Telephone: You can renew items twice by telephone by calling your local branch or to the phone renewal line at 301-336-3111. You will be asked for your library card barcode number and PIN, (usually the last four digits of your phone as saved on your library account).

·         Renew Online: Go to My Account on the library’s website www.pgcmls.info.

·         Renew via PGCMLS's Mobile App:  Manage your account with the OWLibrary app ( Apple App Android App)

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Cash, will be accepted at:

o   Hyattsville

o   Greenbelt

o   Spauldings

o   South Bowie

o   Oxon Hill

  • You may pay online from any Library branch or from home using a credit or debit card with the Visa, MasterCard or Discover logo
  • You may deposit money in advance on your account using cash or a check at the five branches which will continue to take all forms of payment.
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  • The pressing need to improve the security of library branches and for delivery drivers.
  • Efficiency of operations. Reduced staffing requires streamlining operations.  

The Library’s sole purpose in collecting fines for overdue materials is to discourage customers from keeping materials so long that other customers are denied the use of them. 

 

Renewing Items
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Items

Loan Period

Renewal Limit

Books, Audio Books, Magazines & Music CDs 21 days 2*
Entertainment DVDs 7 days 1*
Educational DVDs & Television Series 21 days 1*
Marina Interlibrary Loan Items 21 days 1
Interlibrary Loan Items (ILL) Special 0

*Items with an open hold request on the title cannot be renewed regardless of number of renewals normally allowed.

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To renew online:

Log in to your Library Account.

Enter your library card number (no spaces) and your password.

Click on the Items Out tab.

Select Renew All Items or individually check the items you wish to renew and click on Renew Selected Items.

Wait for the renewal response screen to confirm that your renewal was successful. Then click on the Back link to view your new due date(s). You may wish to mark down or print your new due date(s). It is your responsibility to renew and return materials on time.

To renew by phone:

Call the automated renewal line 301-333-3111 and follow the prompts. You will need to enter your library card number and password during the process.

If the renewal is successful, a new due date will be indicated by the renewal operator. You may wish to mark down your new due date(s). It is your responsibility to renew and return materials on time.

The automated renewal line is available 24 hours a day, except between 7:00 am and 7:30 am.

To renew by mobile app:

Download the OWL iLibrary app to your mobile device.

Configure the app to access your library account information. Have your library card number and password handy.

When viewing your current items, utilize the renew option.

To renew at self-checkout stations:

Scan or enter your library card number and password.

Scan the items and follow the prompts.

To renew with staff assistance:

Call or visit a library branch. Please have your library card or Photo ID handy.

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Video format materials may be renewed one time if there are no open holds on the title.

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You may now renew items that are up to three days overdue. Any late fines will be charged to your account.

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You will not be able to renew items if you have fines of $20.00 or more

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If your renewal is successful through the Phone ­In Renewal System, the new due date(s) will be indicated by the renewal operator.

When you renew materials online, a confirmation screen will appear and the new date(s) will show on the items out screen. 

Please be sure to mark down your new due date(s).

You can check the due date of items by logging into your Library Account.

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The following conditions block renewals.

  • The item has reached its renewal limit.
  • Another customer has requested the title.
  • Your library card has expired.
  • More than $20 is owed on your library account.
  • Two or more items are overdue on your library account.
  • An item is over 45 days overdue on your library account.
  • Your library account is in Collections.
  • There is a block on the library account, which is often due to notifications being returned as undeliverable.
Placing Holds
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The length of time depends on the number of copies available in the Library System and the length of the waiting list, i.e. the number of customers who have also placed a hold on the title. Titles which have copies available on the shelf at the time the hold is placed and no waiting list may be trapped as soon as the next day. Items with a limited number of copies and/or a long waiting list may take up to several months.

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Reference books are not available for loan, except in special circumstances, they may not be placed on hold.

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No. When you place a hold, you must wait to be notified that the material is available. If an item shows "on shelf," you can telephone the owning branch to have staff check on the availability of the material. If available, the material can be sent to the library branch most convenient to you.

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If the item is recently released, call a branch to check on the order status of the item. For other items not owned by PGCMLS, try the Marina network. For items you cannot find in Marina, inquire at a branch library about interlibrary loan.

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You can suspend your holds using My Account through the catalog, or with help from Library staff.

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Log into your patron record and go to the Holds list. You will see the option to cancel holds on that screen

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No. Call your local library to see if you can change the pickup location of your hold.

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There is no charge to place a hold on an item that is in the PGCMLS collection or that is available from the Marina cooperative network.

For materials that are reserved from libraries outside the network through the interlibrary loan process, we will try first to borrow from free sources.  If there is a charge, we will contact you to confirm you are willing to pay the amount before requesting the item.

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You will be informed when to pick up your holds by telephone or e­mail. You have 7 days to pick up your items. If you want email notification and do not currently get it, notify your local branch of your current email address and request that they turn off Phone Notification.

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Yes. When you find the item that you want, click the title to go to the Full Record screen. A Hold Title button will appear on the left side of your screen. Click on this button and follow the steps.

Searching the Catalog
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Use the Recommend A Purchase form found on the Contact Us page.

Please check the Library's catalog before you suggest that we purchase an item.

It is not necessary to suggest bestselling titles or authors.

For specialized, technical, or out of print titles, consider using Interlibrary Loan, a cooperative borrowing agreement among libraries.

If you need help using this service then please contact your local branch.

Due to high volume, we are unable to respond individually to each suggestion. Items selected for purchase usually appear in the catalog within four weeks.

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The Marina system is free of charge and allows you to find and borrow materials from cooperating libraries throughout Maryland.

Materials from out-of-state libraries may be available for a fee. Please see your branch staff about arranging to borrow these materials.

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You can either place a hold on an item that is available at another branch and have it delivered to the branch that is most convenient to you, or you can ask one of the information professionals at your library to reserve the item for you or have them ask the owning branch to hold the material for you so you can go to that branch and check out the material there. Likewise, you can call the branch to check on availability.

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Call Number Prefixes Materials
BIOGRAPHY
BIO Adult Biography
J BIO Juvenile Biography
Y BIO Young Adult Biography
RECORDED BOOK
RB Adult Book on Cassette
J RB Juvenile Book on Cassette
Y RB Young Adult Book on Cassette
BOOK WITH CASSETTE
J BC Juvenile Book with Cassette
E BC Easy Book with Cassette
BOOK WITH CD
RB/CD Compact Disc, Book
JRB/CD Juvenile Compact Disc, Book
COMPACT DISC
CD Adult Compact Disc
JCD+dewey number Juvenile Compact Disc
CS Computer Disc
DVD
DVD Digital Video Disk
DVD+dewey number Educational DVD
JDVD Juvenile Digital Video Disk
CHILDRENS
E Easy
EFB Easy First Book
J FIC Juvenile Fiction
J Juvenile
ADULT
FIC Adult Fiction
MYS Mystery
SF Science Fiction
WES Western
FOREIGN LANGUAGE
Korean, etc Foreign Language Collection

 

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For help on any page, click the Help button on the left of your screen. Review the Lists of Other Help Topics for additional help.

Downloadable Resources
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We provide downloadable content through third party vendors. These are the lending period settings.

Vendor

Lending Period

Lending Period Customization Options

Axis 360 21 days - eBooks At the time of checkout, you can use a sliding bar to select 7 to 21 days.
Freading 14 days - eBooks  
Freegal Forever - Music Songs  
Hoopla

72 hours - Videos

7 days - Music Albums

21 days - Audio Books

 
OneClickDigital 10 days - Audio Books & eBooks At the time of checkout, you can use a drop down menu to select 1 to 10 days.
Overdrive 21 days - Audio Books & eBooks In your Overdrive account settings, you can set your default lending period to 7, 14, or 21 days.
Zinio Forever - Magazines  

 

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We provide downloadable content through third party vendors. These are the borrowing limit settings.

Vendor

Borrowing Limit

Content

Axis 360 6 titles at a time eBooks
Freading Spend tokens (10 tokens awarded per week, unused tokens expire after 4 weeks) eBooks
Freegal 5 songs per week Music
Hoopla 12 titles per month Audio Books, Music Albums, Videos
OneClickDigital 6 titles at a time Audio Books, eBooks
Overdrive 6 titles at a time Audio Books, eBooks
Zinio Unlimited Magazines

 

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We provide downloadable content through third party vendors. Vendor help files will often include tutorials, information on how to use different features, and answers to technical questions, such as which devices and which browsers are compatible. Clicking on a vendor below will take you to their help files.

eBook Resources:

Axis 360 - Click on Help.

Freading

OneClickDigital

Overdrive

Audio Book Resources:

Hoopla

OneClickDigital

Overdrive

Magazine Resource:

Zinio

Music Resources:

Freegal

Hoopla

Video Resource:

Hoopla

 

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With a temporary registration you can access most Online Library resources.

The following CANNOT be accessed with a temporary registration.

Freegal
One Click Digital
Overdrive
Transparent Language
Treehouse
Zinio

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Zinio Apps

Apps are available for the following devices:

  • PC,
  • Mac,
  • iPhone,
  • iPad,
  • Android,
  • Kindle Fire
  • Blackberry Playbook.

Note: Zinio apps are not available for the Nook Color or Tablet. Barnes and Noble does not allow the Zinio app to be downloaded from their app store. Zinio may be accessible through the Browser depending on the memory of your Nook. 

Zinio Web Browser Requirements

User experience depends on:

  • Speed of wireless device
  • Processor speed
  • Memory space of the device being used Minimum

Requirements:

  • 1GB internal memory
  • 1GHz processor
  • Android Honeycomb OS
  • Adobe Flash and ActiveX plug-in
  • High Speed 802.11b/g/n wireless - Color screen 

Zinio Recommended Devices

According to Zinio, the following devices meet all requirements and offer an optimal experience:

Samsung Galaxy Tablet 

  • o Android Honeycomb OS
  • o 1GB internal memory
  • o High speed WiFi

Blackberry Playbook Tablet 

  • o Blackberry OS
  • o 1GHz processor
  • o 1GB internal memory
  • o High speed WiFi

Le Pan II

  • o Android 3.1 Honeycomb OS
  • o 1GHz processor
  • o 3GB internal memory
  • o 802.11b/g/n wireless

LAN Lenovo

  • o Android 2.3 OS
  • o 1GHz processor
  • o 1GB internal memory
  • o 802.11b/g/n wireless

LAN HP Touch Pad

  • o HP WebOS 3.0
  • o 1GHz processor
  • o 1GB internal memory
  • o 802.11b/g/n wireless

LAN Sony Tablet S

  • o Android Honeycomb
  • o 1GB internal memory
  • o 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN
Axis 360 Downloads
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Click here to download Blio ereader software for your computer or mobile device.

When checking out a Blio formatted ebook in Axis 360, you will be prompted to log into or create a Blio account. Use the same login to setup your Blio software. 

Freegal Music Downloads
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The downloads on this site are all in the MP3 format with no DRM. This service will work with any MP3 player, including iPod, and can be loaded into iTunes.  It works on both PCs and Macs.

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  • Library users have a weekly download limit of 5 songs.  You will be able to keep track of your downloads in the upper right corner of the site. Every song has a sample clip you can listen to before you download.
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You can log into Freegal Music Downloads using you library card number and your password.  Freegal requires you to have a Prince George's County Memorial Library System card.  We allow customers to register their barcodes from other County systems if they prefer to have just one card, but those cards (barcodes) cannot access this new service.    Anyone registered with a library barcode from a different county has the option of getting a PGCMLS card and using that card for PGCMLS services.   The terms of our contract for Freegal  and the authentication process require the use of a PGCMLS barcode.

Hoopla Digital Downloads
OneClickDigital Downloads
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OneClickDigital provides detailed help on their website.  You can access their help screens at here.

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Yes OneClickDigital requires you to create a free account on their website.  With a Free Account, you will be able to access your library's eContent collection from home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Overdrive Downloads
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Overdrive provides an excellent Quick Start Guide and detailed information on the different downloadable formats.

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Overdrive provides us with detailed information on Supported Devices at their Device Resources Center pages

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We provide downloadable ebooks and audio books purchased from the third party vendors.  You can download WMA Audiobooks and MP3 Audiobooks from Overdrive.  To find out more information please visit the Overdrive Help pages.

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We provide downloadable ebooks and audio books purchased from the third party vendors.  You can download EPUB eBooks and PDF eBooks from Overdrive.  To find out more information please visit the Overdrive Help pages.

Zinio Downloads
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To create an account in Zinio you will need a PGCMLS library card and an email address.

To download free magazines from the library you will actually be creating two accounts, a RBdigital Gateway account and a Zinio account.  The RBdigital Gateway account  allows you to checkout the magazines available for free from the library. The Zinio account is for managing your personal reading list.

Use the same email address for both accounts.