How Do I?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click on the FAQ topic below to read all frequently asked questions (and answers of course!).

The left side-bar menu also contains separate pages with some of our most commonly asked questions on it (although you will also find these included below). Any FAQs mentioned throughout this website can also be found below.

If we missed including one, please submit our feedback form to let us know!


Library Cards & Accounts

How do I get a library card?

Residents of Placer County Library can sign up for a library card online, and visit any Placer County Library location within 30 days to show ID and receive their card. 

Non-County residents will need to visit one of our locations or mobile stops to apply for and receive a library card. 

See the Get a Library Card page for more information.

How do I renew or replace my library card?

Easily replace a lost library card, or renew an expired account by visiting your nearest Placer County Library location and presenting a valid photo ID or your library card.

Replacement library card costs $1.00. Don't forget to report a lost or stolen library card to us as soon as you can!

Accounts expire to ensure we have your current contact information and/or that you are still within our service area.

How do I find my PIN/password?

PINs are issued with every library card number. If you registered for an account online, you would have created your PIN yourself; if staff did this for you at one of our locations, staff would have disclosed your PIN at the time.

PINs are encoded for your privacy and cannot be viewed by staff. 

You can reset your PIN with your username or library card number from the My Account login page here. You can visit any Placer County Library location and show your library card or photo ID to staff and they can reset your pin for you.

Why is your online library card registration limited to your service area?

Our digital content licenses are for those living within our service area. Our service area is Placer County. Those that live outside our service area can still receive a library card if they visit one of our locations in person because by doing so they are within our service area at the time of application.

I lost my library card, what do I do?

Never fear! If your library card is lost or stolen, just report it to any one of our library locations immediately (over the phone, through email, or by visiting us and speaking with a staff member). 

To get a replacement card, visit any Placer County Library location and show your government-issued photo ID to verify account. You can then receive a replacement card by paying $1.00.

I have a Sacramento/Roseville/Lincoln Library card. Can I use it at a Placer County Library location?

No. At this time, our libraries only accept Placer County Library cards. You are welcome to sign up for a Placer County Library card: see the Get a Library Card page for more information.

Why did my account expire and how do I renew it?

Most accounts expire every 3 years so we can verify and update your contact information. This must be done in person at any Placer County Library location as we want to ensure your information and identity is kept secure. Visit a branch with your library card and/or photo ID.

When a youth turns 18, their library account expires, preventing them from checking out materials, using computers, or accessing such online resources as e-Books and databases. Former child card account holders must sign up for a new library card; former teen cardholders can have their accounts updated. Patrons must provide a valid government-issued photo ID and proof of current address.

Collections & Borrowing

How do I suggest a purchase?

PCL cardholders can recommend titles not currently found in our catalog

To recommend physical items such as books, DVDs, videogames, and CD Audiobooks, visit our Suggest a Purchase form to submit a request. If you log into your library account, your contact information will be carried over so that our staff can follow up with you if we are able to purchase your requested item. You can also email your request to [email protected].   To recommend a digital item, such as an eBook or eAudiobook, you can visit Placer County Library’s OverDrive website and follow the instructions here. You will need access to your account to submit a request. For Hoopla recommendations, please email [email protected] with the title you would like the library to add. 

Why are there limits on some of your online resources?

Hoopla and Kanopy eLibrary resources have pay-per-use model for the library. To ensure that we don’t go over budget with the platform, there are monthly limits on check outs for customers. Find out about these limits on our Streaming Movies & TV page.

Libby’s model is a little different: most items are metered by the number of times an item has been checked out. Once an item has been checked out a certain number of times, the license expires and we would have to purchase it again to add it back to our collection. Having check out limits helps keep materials in our collection. Learn more about Libby on our eBooks and More page.

Why is an item I returned still checked out to me?

Items returned to our manual book drops can take several business days to get checked in. If they are still checked out after that time, or if you returned them to the desk in one of our locations, please call or send us an email for further help. You are welcome to visit the branch to which you returned the items, but in most cases, we can resolve these issues remotely.

Will you add a book I wrote to your collection?

We have a self-published local author collection in our library. If you would like to submit your book for consideration, review the policy and fill out the Self-Published Local Author form. Return the form and your book to a Placer County Library location.

What do you do with old books?

Part of keeping a vibrant and healthy library collection is making room for new materials. We follow our Collection Development Policy when weeding our collections. 

When materials are discarded, they are first offered to our Friends of the Library groups to resell and what is remaining (or in poor condition) is responsibly recycled through the Sustainable Shelves program.

What criteria do you use to buy materials?

Our intent is to have a broad and accessible library collection for the Placer County population. You can learn more on our Collection Development Policy.

What does it mean when the catalog says an item is On Order?

When you see an item in our catalog that says “On-Order,” that means that we have ordered the item from our publisher but it hasn’t yet arrived at the library. Since we order some materials months in advance, you may see this status for an extended period of time. But don’t worry, you can place a hold on the title and we’ll notify you when it’s ready for you to pick up.

Why don’t you have all the books in my favorite series?

There are a variety of reasons why we don’t have certain books. Sometimes our vendors simply do not carry the title you are looking for. Other times the book has gone out of print.

Does the library carry textbooks?

The library is not able to carry textbooks for several reasons. The two primary reasons are the cost of the textbooks relative to low number of customers using the textbooks and the constant publication of new editions. Professors often change which edition they are using which would require the library to have access to all course syllabi for all local universities and updated versions each semester. Multiple copies of each textbook would be needed further increasing the cost. In addition to these practical issues, it is not the mission of the public library to replace or duplicate the services of academic libraries. Unfortunately, maintaining a collection of up-to-date textbooks would require a significant reduction in the quality of the primary collection utilized at our libraries.

Help & Support

Are eBooks accessible for people with visual disabilities?

Both Libby and Hoopla utilize assistive technology such as VoiceOver on Apple devices and TalkBack on Android devices. Some of Libby’s additional accessibility features include reducing color variation, reducing text variation, reducing motion, and reducing vibrations. Libby and Hoopla both include features like adjusting text size, font, and margin space. Accessibility varies but will mostly default to the device’s accessibility features.

Adobe Digital Editions 2.0, which is an app used to read eBooks from OverDrive, is compatible with several screen readers for people with low vision or visual disabilities.

Individuals who are unable to read standard print material due to a permanent or temporary visual or physical disability are eligible for downloadable book service via the National Library Service Braille and Audio Reading Download Service. This service is available through the California State Library’s Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL).

Is there someone to help me use the computer?

Library staff will help users get started, but they may not be able to provide individual instruction.

How does the Library protect my privacy?

In order to protect the identities and privacy of our customers, Placer County Library staff will not give your account information over the phone or email. Customers who want to update their accounts need to do so in-person at one of our locations. ID is also checked in person to sign up for, or complete registration, for a new library account. See our Get a Library Card page for more information on library card registration. 

Customers can log into their account to see what items they have checked out or on hold, review current contact information, and renew items. Library staff can assist customers with renewing items over the phone, but cannot disclose titles of material.

Donations & Book Sales

Does the Library have books for sale?

Yes. Book sales are held throughout the year by the Library's Friends of the Library groups. For times and dates, view the Friends of the Library page. Some of the Friends groups have websites.

Do you accept book donations?

Contact your local library about whether or not the Friends of the Library at that location are accepting donations. You can also reach out to a Friends' group directly through their website or Facebook page; find each location's Friends information here

May I have some of your old books?

We’re unable to give away library materials that were bought with public funds. Items removed from circulation are given to the Friends of the Library to sell at their bookstores and booksales. The proceeds are then used to help fund library collections and programs. You can purchase used materials for nominal prices at these bookstores and at Friends' booksales.

Library Mobile Service

Will Library Mobile Service still visit if it’s raining or snowing? 

RAIN: Yes, the Library Mobile Service vehicle will be at stops as scheduled if it is raining. This will allow patrons to pick up materials they have on hold.  We will not set up display tables in the rain.  

SNOW: Unfortunately, regularly scheduled stops will be cancelled if there is active snow falling or dangerously icy roads to better ensure staff and patron safety while traveling. 

EXTREME HEAT: Yes, the Library Mobile Service vehicle will still visit scheduled stops during extreme heat warnings, but may not set up display tables and staff may stay in the vehicle. Patrons can approach the LMS vehicle to pick up materials they have on hold. 

Can I pick up holds from a Library Mobile Service stop? 

Yes, you can! When placing holds in our catalog, select “Mobile Service” as your pickup location.   

How long do Mobile Service items check-out for? 

All Mobile Service items check out for four (4) weeks and there are never any late fees!

Other Amazing FAQs

Does the library have tax forms?

Contact your preferred library location first prior to making a visit about whether or not they have the tax materials you need. When able, some of our locations will try to stock the most used tax booklets, forms, and instructions in limited supply and for as long as supplies last.  

Federal Tax forms, instructions, and publications are available online at the Internal Revenue Service website. California State tax forms and instructions are available online at the California State Franchise Tax Board website. The nearest IRS office is at 4330 Watt Avenue in Sacramento. 

How do I access a computer?

All Placer County Library locations offer free access to public computers with Internet. Computer users must have a Placer County Library card in good standing. 

All users must read and sign the Computer Acceptable Use Policy.

The ability to reserve computers ahead of time and the length of reservations depends on each location. Please contact your preferred Placer County Library location for more information. 

How do I reserve a meeting room?

Placer County Library currently has four community meeting rooms which the public can reserve.

Find out how and more information on our Meeting Rooms page.

How do I pay fines or fees?

See our Library Fines and Fees page for information.