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Borrowing Policies & Procedures

Library Cards

  • Residents of Maryland, the District of Columbia and some Virginia locations (Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Falls Church, Loudoun County or Prince William County) may obtain a Prince George's County library card free of charge.
  • Anyone residing in Maryland on a temporary basis (e.g., students, military personnel, temporary employees) is eligible for a free temporary library card valid for no more than two years. Requests for temporary cards must be made in person.
  • Anyone who does not meet the above criteria can pay $50.00 per year for a non-resident library card, valid for one year. Requests for non-resident cards must be made in person. 
  • Complete a library card application at any of our locations or apply online for a virtual library card.
  • Photo ID. The photo ID must be numbered, unexpired, and issued by the state or federal government. Acceptable IDs include a driver's license, an age of majority card, a US Military ID, a passport or a permanent resident card.
  • Proof of Address. If your current address is not on the photo ID, bring proof of address, such as a recent utility bill, pay stub, lease agreement or mail with your name on it that has an official U.S. Post Office cancellation.
  • Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian who will sign for the card and show appropriate photo ID and proof of address.

Student library cards are limited borrowing cards for Prince George's County K-12 students, which provide full access to online library resources and other library services. The registration process is streamlined to reduce barriers to access.

K-12 students in Prince George's County. The student's enrollment in school acts as proof of residency in the county.

Complete a student library card application at any of our branch libraries. Required information includes your name, address, birthday and school information.

Three (3) items may be borrowed at a time. Students may not borrow entertainment DVDs or materials from other library systems (ILL).

There will be no overdue fines or fees charged to student library card accounts, however, materials must be returned. Lost items will prevent future borrowing. Please visit any branch library to discuss lost items and use of student cards.

Yes, once the application is completed and signed and the parent/guardian identification is shown.

Prince George's County residents can access the Online Library, reserve materials or book a meeting room all without visiting the library. Virtual cards expire every three (3) years. Non-Prince George's County residents may also apply for a virtual card that will expire after six (6) months. You may visit any PGCMLS branch library to upgrade to a physical library card. Photo ID is required.

To sign up for a virtual library card, please follow these directions:

  • Select My Account and at the top of the page and select Click here for a Virtual Library Card.
  • Click OK to indicate that you are 13 years old or older and choose the library that you want as your home library.
  • Enter your postal/zip code and click Continue.
  • Select your city from those covered by your postal code and click Continue.
  • On the form which appears, fill in the fields such as name, street address, email address, phone number and your contact preference (mail, email, phone or text).
  • Choose a password and enter it twice; be sure to remember this password or PIN.
  • Click Submit.

You will receive this message: Your Virtual Library Card number is PACREG followed by six digits (PACREG******). Your PIN is the password you chose on the registration form. You will be able to use this number and PIN for some of the Library’s online services. To access all of the Library’s services, go to your home library with a photo ID and proof of residence to get your physical library card.

If your card is lost or stolen, please report it immediately. You are responsible for all items borrowed up until the time you report it lost or stolen. You can get a replacement library card free of charge. Visit any branch library with photo ID and proof of address.

Library cards expire every three years.

Since people frequently move, expiration dates provide an opportunity to update contact information and delete accounts no longer in use. Having an accurate count of active users is useful for library planning.

To renew your library card, visit a branch with photo ID and proof of address.

Yes. Replacement library cards are free. Please visit any branch library for assistance.

Borrowing Materials

The maximum number of items you may have checked out on your library card at any time is 75.

You can place a request, or hold on materials from our catalog that are currently checked out. When you place a request, you will be notified by phone or email as soon as that item becomes available for checkout.

To Place a Request/Hold:

  • Search the Catalog for the title you would like to reserve.
  • To access the full record, click on the title.
  • To place a request, or hold, on the item click on the Place Request button.
  • The Your Account option will be displayed.
  • Type in your library card number.
  • Type in your password/pin (by default, passwords are set to the last four digits of your telephone number as listed in your account profile).
  • Select Place a Request  and select your pickup library location from the drop down menu and click on Submit Request.
  • You can verify your request by going into My Account and selecting the Requests option on the top menu bar.
  • You will not be able to place holds if:
    • the title does not have copies which can circulate (for instance: Reference or Special Collections materials).
    • You library barcode and PIN/password number do not exactly match with our computer records.
    • If you are unable to place a hold on an item, please contact Digital Services or your local branch.

To View Your Holds List

  • Log into my account and select the Requests option on the top menu bar. Your requests page will be displayed. This screen will display the title, pickup library location, status of your request, activation date and hold position. You will also be able to cancel, suspend and reactivate holds from this screen.

To Cancel your Requests/Holds

  • Log into my account and select the Requests option on the top menu bar. Your requests page will be displayed. Select the titles you want to cancel by putting a check in the check box and click on the Cancel Selected button. You can also Cancel All requests from this screen.

To Suspend and Reactivate Requests/Holds

  • Log into my account and select the Requests option on the top menu bar. Your requests page will be displayed. Select the titles you want to suspend or reactivate by putting a check in the check box  and click on the Suspend/Reactivate Selected button. You can also select Suspend/Reactivate All requests from this screen.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

  • If PGCMLS does not own the item you want, please visit MARINA to place a hold from another library system.
  • Books, magazines, audiobooks and CDs can be borrowed for three (3) weeks with three (3) renewals allowed.
  • Audiobooks can be borrowed for three (3) weeks with three (3) renewals allowed.
  • Entertainment DVDs can be borrowed for one (1) week with one (1) renewal allowed.
  • Educational DVDs & TV Series can be borrowed for three (3) weeks with one (1) renewal allowed.
  • Marina items can be borrowed for three (3) weeks with one (1) renewal allowed.
  • Interlibrary loans require the prior permission of the lending library.
  • Technology can be borrowed at different rates. Please see the Borrowing Technology page for more information as there are certain restrictions. 
    • WiFi smartspots can be borrowed for nine (9) weeks with no renewals.
    • Electricity usage monitors can be borrowed for seven (7) days with no renewals.
    • Playaway launchpad tablets can be borrowed for seven (7) days with one renewal allowed.
    • Thermal cameras can be borrowed for seven (7) days with no renewals.

MARINA is a free, statewide interlibrary loan (ILL) system for requesting materials PGCMLS does not own from other public library systems in Maryland. Materials requested through Marina are delivered to the PGCMLS branch of your choice. Access MARINA here.

Getting Started

  • You will need your Library card number. Before searching MARINA, please look in our Catalog for the desired material. If the title is not owned by PGCMLS, you will have the option of going to MARINA to expand your search. You cannot request items through MARINA if they are owned by PGCMLS. If all copies of the title that you want are currently checked out, please place a hold request.

Placing a Request

  • In our Catalog, click on the Interlibrary Loan link in the left hand column of the search results screen.
    • Enter your library card number (without spaces) at the prompt.
    • Click on Login button.
    • Enter your search term(s), i.e. title, author or subject, for the desired item.
    • Click on the Search button.
    • Review your results and select the record that best matches the material you wish to borrow by clicking on the title.
    • Once you confirm there are copies of the title available, select your pick-up branch from the drop down menu.
    • Click on the Request button.
    • A confirmation message will appear on the screen. You may wish to note the request number.
    • When your materials arrive at the pick-up branch, you will be notified either by phone or e-mail.
    • MARINA items can be borrowed for three (3) weeks with one (1) renewal allowed.

If the item you wish to request is not available via MARINA or if you have questions, ask a librarian at any PGCMLS branch for assistance.

Through COHS, students may earn a certificate in the following areas:

  • Wifi Smartspots are intended to help children without internet access have a managed WiFi connections for educational purposes. These devices may be borrowed for a period of nine (9) weeks, with no reservations or renewals.
  • Electricity usage monitors can be borrowed by adults for a period of seven (7) days with no renewals. 
  • Playaway launchpad tablets, pre-loaded with learning apps and games, are for children ages 3-5 and can be borrowed by adults for a period of seven (7) days with one possible renewal. 
  • Thermal cameras allow you to find problems around the home or office, like where you’re losing heat, electrical problems, and water damage. These devices can be 

Please visit our Borrowing Technology page for more information!

Who is eligible for Books by Mail?

  • Any Prince George's County resident who is unable to physically access the library due to visual impairment or physical disability, including those who are in a residential care facility or retirement home.

How do you sign up for Books by Mail?

  • Complete a Books by Mail application, have it certified, and drop it off at any of our library locations or mail it to the following address:
    • Outreach Services
      Prince George's County Memorial Library System
      9601 Capital Lane
      Largo, MD 20774 

Who can certify someone as eligible?

  • Health care providers, caregivers and clergy.

How are materials received from the library?

  • Materials are mailed in a postage paid library mailing bag. Please return materials in the same library mailing bag.

How do you return items?

  • When you are ready to return the items, place the items back in the special mailing bag, turn the label over and give to the mail carrier. The return postage is already affixed. Please leave sufficient shipping time for the items to be returned by their due date.

What materials are available by mail?

  • Books, audiobooks, and magazines may be borrowed by mail.

How do you reserve materials?

  • You can reserve materials through the library's online catalog.
    • Login to your account with your library card number and password.
    • Find the title you desire and select "Place Request" next to the desired title.
    • Check the box next to "Please mail this to me" and click on "Submit Request."
    • Please call your local library if you need assistance looking up and ordering your materials.
    • You can also call Outreach Services at 240-573-5070 to have staff look up and order your material.

What happens when a book is ordered?

  • When you order books by mail, branch staff pull the titles off the shelves and send them to Outreach Services. Outreach Services staff check out the materials to your account, notify you to expect a delivery, and place the titles in a special mailing bag. Mailing bags can hold 1-3 items. The postage is determined and the mailing bags are taken to the post office for delivery. This process from ordering the material to receipt of the items should take no more than five (5) days.
  • You can call Outreach Services at 240-573-5070 if you have any questions.

Does it cost anything to use the Books by Mail service?

  • The service is free; however participants in the Books by Mail program are subject to the same loan policy and fine rates as other customers. Please renew or return materials on time and allow for a few days of shipping time in order to avoid overdue fines.

Outreach Services can be reached at 240-573-5070 if you have any questions.

Renewing Materials

Yes, all items will automatically renew three days before they are overdue, with up to three renewals if there are no reserves on the item. The new renewal due date will be the full loan period added to the original due date.

You can renew your checked out items from your Library Account screen. To log in:

  • Enter your library card number (no spaces) and your password/pin.*
  • Click on the items out tab.
  • Select renew all items or select the items you wish to renew then click on renew selected items.
  • Wait for the renewal response screen to confirm that your renewal was successful then click on the back button below the confirmation to view your new due date. 

*Your password/pin will initially be the last four digits of the primary telephone number listed on your record. Once you log on to your account you may customize the password should you wish.

Telephone: 301-333-3111 (backup: 301-333-3112 and 240-573-5011)

  • Available 24 hours daily except 7 - 7:30 AM

Getting Started

  • Have your Library card and the library materials you want to renew available.
  • Dial 301-333-3111 (or any of our backup lines listed above) on a touch-tone phone.
  • Press 1 to begin the renewal process.
  • Enter the barcode number on your library card followed by the # key.
  • Enter your password followed by the # key.*
  • Select your renewal option: 2 for a listing of you items out, 3 to renew individual items by barcode.
  • 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.

*Your password will initially be the last four digits of the primary telephone number listed on your record. You may log on to your account online to customize the password should you wish.

  • Books can be renewed three (3) times.
  • Magazines can be renewed three (3) times.
  • Audiobooks can be renewed three (3) times.
  • Entertainment DVDs can be renewed once.
  • Educational DVDs & TV Series can be renewed once.
  • Marina/interlibrary loans can be renewed once. (Interlibrary loans require the prior  permission of the lending library.)
  • Playaway launchpad tablets can be renewed once.
  • WiFi smartspots cannot be renewed.
  • Electricity usage monitors cannot be renewed.
  • Thermal cameras cannot be renewed. 
  • If there is an open hold on your item for another customer
  • If the item is several days past due, you will not be able to renew using the automated service and must contact the branch
  • If your account has expired, you may not renew items until you have updated your record at your branch library.
  • If your account is delinquent for fines and/or long overdue items, you will not be able to renew any materials until the delinquency is resolved.
  • If you have materials which have been renewed the maximum number of times
  • If the item is checked out on another card
  • Items borrowed through Marina may be renewed only once.
  • Interlibrary loan materials (from outside of Marina) cannot be renewed unless requested and agreed to by the lending system in advance of borrowing.

Returning Materials

The date listed on your checkout receipt is the return or due date for your item. If you return materials after the due date, we charge a fine for every day late that the Library is open. When you return materials late and don't pay the fine, the amount owed is added to your record.

The Library attempts to contact customers about overdue materials either by an automated phone message or an email message.

  • Most PGCMLS materials may be returned to any PGCMLS branch.
  • Book drops are available at all branches during the hours that the branch is closed. Please do not place video or audio materials in book drops.
  • Materials borrowed through interlibrary loan should be returned to the branch where they were borrowed.
  • Most materials checked out from PGCMLS (except video and interlibrary loan material) may be returned to any public library in the State of Maryland or to a public library in Washington DC, Falls Church, Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William Counties. Materials returned to a different county will remain on a customer's record until they are checked in at the owning library.

Fines and Fees