Frequently Asked Questions
Find a Book
- How do I place a hold?
Use the "Place Hold" button in the online catalog or ask a librarian to place one for you.
- How do I borrow from another library?
If we don’t have what you’re looking for, we’ll borrow it from another system through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).
Requesting an ILL works best through the Library Catalog Advanced Search—watch the video below to learn how. Once you place your hold, we’ll notify you when your items are ready to be picked up at the branch you specify (generally within 1–8 weeks). When you come to collect your ILLs, please notify a staff member and they’ll let you know the due date.
Any County Library cardholder is eligible to request up to five ILLs, as long as your account is in good standing with less than $10 in fines and has fewer than 15 ILLs currently checked out.
- Search for your item in The County Library Catalog
- If no matches were found in the library catalog? Click the link "Click here to see x result(s) found in other library catalogs." Skip to step 2.
- If you found items, but the Library does not have your item? Choose the link “Borrow From Another Library (Interlibrary Loan)”
- Check the "Borrow From Another Library (Interlibrary Loan)" box
- Choose "Continue"
- When done retrieving results, click "Add Pending Results"
- When you find the title you want, place a hold
- The item will appear in your holds list in your library account
For questions about or assistance requesting through Interlibrary Loan, contact Customer Service at 801.943.4636.
- Search for your item in The County Library Catalog
- How do I get a library card?
Preregister for a library card or stop at the customer service desk in any County Library location.
- How do I replace a lost County Library card?
You can just visit any branch with your current photo ID and ask for a replacement card—the cost is $1. If you’ve lost your card and need assistance renewing items please call Customer Service at 801.943.4636.
- How do I get a list of materials that I have checked out in the past?
We now have available reading history and you can opt in or out.
To opt in to the reading history service, log into the Online Catalog, click on Contact Information and Preferences. Go to the bottom of the page and click on Maintain Reading History. Previously checked out items will not appear but anything checked out in the future will.
- How do I check my holds?
Visit the My Account page of the online catalog to view and edit your holds. You’ll need your library card number and a PIN.
- How long can I check out books?
The checkout interval for books is three weeks. You can also renew the book up to three times unless the item is on hold by another patron.
- How long can I check out DVDs?
DVDs can be checked out for 7 days maximum. You can also renew DVDs up to three times unless the item is on hold by another patron.
- How long can I check out CDs?
CDs can be checked out for three weeks, just like books and can be renewed up to three times unless the item is on hold by another patron.
- How do I pay a fine?
- How can I renew my book by phone?
Customers who receive phone notifications from Salt Lake County Library will continue to receive those notices, but incoming calls for account status are available through text messaging.
Customers who receive phone notices from us are eligible to use text commands from a text-enabled phone to check the status of their library account.
This is an optional service. If a phone notice customer does not wish to use text commands, they can contact Customer Service at 801.943.4636 to check their account status.
Keywords that you can use to manage your account by texting them directly to 801.474.7818. Keyword Description HL Text HL to see a list of your items available for pickup. RI Text RI to request a list of items not eligible for renewal. OI Text OI to request a list of overdue items not eligible for renewal and due back to the library. MYBOOKS View the items checked out, items available for pickup, and total fees/fines. RESEND View messages from the last 3 days. IOWEU View the current total fee/fines for each of the registered family cards.
- What is my library card number?
Your card number is on the back of your library card. If you can't find your card, you'll need to come in with photo ID to get your library card number—Or you can ask for a replacement card with a new number.
- What is my library card PIN?
The default library card PIN is the last four digits of your phone number. If this doesn’t work, you can reset your PIN online or at a branch.
Programs and Events
- How do I search and browse the Library's Programs and Events? Use our Programs and Events Map to search for an event near you or the Event Calendar for an event for you or your family.
- Why aren't more eBooks available? Are you wondering why the library doesn't own the eBook title you want to read? Some of the major publishers and their subsidiaries will not sell eBooks to libraries. The library community is working to remedy this situation, but until it is resolved with the publishers simply ask a librarian to recommend a similar title in digital format.Check which publisher produces the eBook you are looking for. If the book is published by Simon & Schuster or Brilliance Audio it is currently unavailable for the library to purchase.
- How do I download Salt Lake County materials from the Digital Library?
For instructions on downloading see the Help Links.
- How long can I check out eBooks?
eBooks can be checked out for three weeks.
- What's the difference between eAudiobooks and eBooks?
eAudioBooks are spoken by narrators and eBooks are a medium that you read.
- How do I become a library board member?
Individuals interested in becoming a Library Board member must complete an application and selection process.
- Where do you have 3D printers and can I use them?
3D printers are available for use, there is a $.50 maintenance charge and $.05/gram charge for filament, at most County Library locations.
Attendance at an orientation class may be required for use. To find an orientation class and other 3D printing programs, stop by one of the County Library locations above or visit our online calendar.
For more information or to request a 3D print completed by staff, please see our request form.
Alternatively, we have do-it-yourself 3D printing options at location with a Create Space.
- How do I obtain a student card?
Student Cards are available for students, ages 0-17. Getting a Student Library Card is easy: students just need to provide a name, address, and date of birth. A phone number is highly recommended as well, but not required.
With a Student Card, young library users can:
- Check out up to three (3) items (maximum) without accruing fines or fees.
- Use public computers.
- Access online homework help and other resources.
- Download eBooks, music, movies, shows and other online content.
Due to the fact that library users are only allowed one County Library Card, many young library users are now using the Student Card instead of the Juvenile Card.
NOTE: If an item is overdue for more than 45 days, no new items can be checked out until the item is returned. R-rated DVDs and CDs with explicit song lyrics may not be checked out.
For more information about the Student Card, stop by your County Library or give Customer Service a call: 801.943.4636
- How do I make a donation?
Information about annual charitable drives and donation opportunities at the County Library is detailed on our donations page.
- How do I check out a telescope?
The County Library, in partnership with Salt Lake Astronomical Society, offers a telescope lending program that gives you the opportunity to “check out” the stars. Telescopes are available at all County Library locations.
“Scope" out the details:
- Up to seven (7)-day checkoutOnly 1 telescope per card.
- To place a hold, please call Customer Service or visit your local branch.
- Holds must be retrieved within 6 days.
- Must be returned to the branch where it was checked out.
- No self-checkout.
- Damages/replacement fees may apply.
- Do NOT look at the sun.
- Follow the safety rules.
- Enjoy this STEM experience!
- How do I check out a Community Exploration Card?
The Community Exploration Card is a partnership with the County Library, the City Library, and the following cultural centers in Salt Lake County:
Clark Planetarium’s Hansen Dome Theater (IMAX not included)
Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Natural History Museum of Utah
Red Butte Garden
This unique program gives County Library card holders the opportunity to experience each of the above cultural centers, via free general admission (admits up to four people to each cultural center)*, during the month/year detailed on the card.
For a chance to participate in the program, visit any of our County Library branches and submit an entry form into the Community Exploration Card box. On the last day of each month, each branch will draw two entry forms from the box. The winning entry recipient will have six days to retrieve the Community Exploration Card from the respective branch. Cards that are not retrieved within six days may be given away as a prize at a County Library program, per the discretion of the branch manager.
Please Note: The Community Exploration Card is valid for general admission only (*admission to the Clark Planetarium is always free – the Community Exploration Card grants the recipient four free tickets to the Hansen Dome Theater) . The Card cannot be used for admission to special events or exhibits. To provide equitable access for everyone, cards are limited to one per customer in a 12-month period.
- What is a Launchpad tablet and where can I check one out?
WEeLearn tablets are pre-loaded with games and apps designed to help children learn numbers, improve concentration and motor skills, think creatively, and develop early literacy and language skills. There are four different pre-loaded tablets available: Animal Talk!, Go Bananas!, Letters, Letters, Everywhere!, and Sí, Yes! Sí!
WEeLearn tablets are available at the following County Library locations:
WEeLearn Checkout Basics:
- 7-day checkout.
- Hold requests and pick-ups available at participating locations only.
- Tablet must be returned to the library where it was checked out.
- Only adults may checkout.
- Only one tablet may be checked out at a time.
Remember, we learn better when WEeLearn together!
- When and where is Kids Café?
Kids Café is a Utah Food Bank nutrition program offered at several County Library locations. In Utah, one in five children are unsure where his or her next meal will come from. Through this program, youths in their communities receive a meal each day, Monday through Friday and Saturday at some locations.
As a result of Kids Café, thousands of Salt Lake County children and teens have an opportunity to eat. Many of the youths who spend hours at the County Library are doing so hungry, knowing that the hunger will not subside when they finally return home. Thanks to Kids Café they can have a full stomach and are better able to learn and behave appropriately. In addition, County Library team members are able to connect children and their parents to other services and to make a positive difference in their lives.
The following County Library locations participate in Kids Café:
Granite: Monday–Saturday, 4–5 pm
Hunter: Monday–Friday, 3:30–4:30 pm
Kearns: Monday–Saturday, 10-11am; 2:45–4 pm
Magna: Monday–Friday, 3:30–4:30 pm; Saturday, 1–2 pm
Tyler: Monday–Thursday, 1–9 pm; Friday, 1-6 pm
West Valley: Monday–Friday, 3–4 pm
To learn more about Kids Café, visit Utah Food Bank.
- What is the Lucky Day collection?
Have you ever wanted to checkout a bestseller only to discover everyone else had the same idea? Well, your luck is about to change!
Our Lucky Day collection – which features the most popular, best-selling books – increases your chance of checking out bestsellers without having to wait.
Lucky Day collections are labeled with a Lucky Day sticker and are typically on display near the front of the County Library. Here are the basics:
- First come, first served basis.
- 7-day checkout.
- 2-book maximum.
- No holds or renewals.
- Standard late fees/fines apply.
Stop by your local County Library and let us help make your day lucky!
- How do I find out how the library selects materials?
See the Library's Material Selection Policy.
- What is a PDF?
PDF stands for Portable Document Format. You can use a free program like Adobe Reader to read our PDF files.
- How do I reserve a public meeting space?
Use our public meeting space system.
- How do I become a Library presenter?
Individuals interested in becoming a Library presenter must complete an application and selection process.
- Where can I dispose of fluorescent lightbulbs?
Please recycle your fluorescent and CFL bulbs at the Salt Lake Valley Landfill household hazardous waste (HHW) facility at 6030 West California Avenue (1300 South) in Salt Lake City.
HHW disposal is FREE to residents of Salt Lake County (there is a fee for business disposal) and includes not just light bulbs, but also electronics (including rechargeable batteries), paint, automotive batteries and fluids, pesticides, fuels, and aerosols.
Salt Lake County Library branches no longer accept fluorescent and CFL light bulbs for proper disposal.
Additional information about proper disposal of various household hazardous wastes can be found on the Salt Lake County website.
- How do I request a magazine article copy or borrow microforms?
To request a copy of a magazine article not owned by The County Library or to borrow microforms from another library system please fill out this form.
NOTE: The County Library does not own microfilm readers. Customers will be responsible for locating a way to use the borrowed microform. Suggested locations that may have microfilm readers are university or genealogy libraries.
Give suggestions, reviews and comments
- How do I write a review of a book I just read?
In our catalog, click on "Write a Review" anywhere it appears.
- How do I request a book or other item for purchase?
To make a purchase suggestion use our Suggest a Purchase form.
To borrow materials published more than 12 months ago, place a request to “Borrow From Another Library” in the library catalog.
For more information see Instructions to Borrow From Another Library.
Rent a Space
- What rental space is available?
The Library's Viridian Event Center is a modern, full-service venue for public use at very nominal rates. View Event Center details.
The public may also reserve and use study and meeting rooms in our County Library locations. View public meeting space details
- What type of events can be held?
Receptions, corporate events, concerts, festivals, theater performances and galas are just a sample of what can be done. Browse Viridian upcoming events
- What is the difference between the free meeting rooms space offered at our branches and event rental space at the Viridian?
The County Library offers 20+ meeting rooms throughout our system to library card holders to host meetings that are open to the public and not for commercial purposes (see the meeting room reservation details and policy.) The Viridian is a full-service event center open to all types of groups, functions, events, private and public, commercial or not. We provide a space with resources to make planning and hosting an event a snap, from top of the line audio/visual equipment to an experienced event staff to help with the details. The rental rates are competitive and support the library in providing a valuable resource to the community. Visit the Viridian Event Center.
Print from anywhere
- How do I print from anywhere
Print virtually any document or web page from your internet connected device to a designated printer in any one of our County Library locations. Select the location where you will pick up your print job. It will be available for 24 hours from the time it was received. All printing is 10 cents per page. Printing is done wirelessly; additional software is not required.