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Frequently Asked Questions

Circulation Questions

  1. How do I get a library card?
  2. How do I get a card for my company?
  3. Can I get a library card if I do not live in Dallas?
  4. How old does my child have to be to get a library card of his or her own?
  5. How do I renew my library card?
  6. How long can I keep a book out?
  7. Can I return books to any Dallas Public Library?
  8. Can I return my books after the Library closes?
  9. Renewing material by: phone / email / in person / online
  10. Why can I sometimes not renew materials via the Web?
  11. Overdue & Lost Materials
  12. How many books and other materials can I check out?
  13. What does the Patron Account tab offer?
  14. Requesting an Item
  15. How many materials can I place on request at one time?
  16. passwords (formerly called "Personal Information Numbers")
  17. Will I be notified regarding the books I requested?
  18. Why am I not receiving email notifications?

General Questions

  1. Can the Library's catalog or other databases be accessed from my home or office?
  2. When I try to log in, I am sent back to the catalog page but not logged in. Why?
  3. Does the Library have a place where I can prepare a resume?
  4. How can I access old newspaper articles?
  5. Are meeting rooms available at the Library?
  6. Does the library offer any programs?
  7. Does the Library offer classes?
  8. Does the Library have a fax machine for public use?
  9. Where can I get tax forms?
  10. Does the Library accept gift books and magazines?
  11. Does the Library offer tours?
  12. When is the Library's Summer Reading Program, and how can I enroll my child?
  13. How can I make a donation to the Library's Pet Memorial Fund?
  14. How can I request that the library purchase a book, audiobook, CD, or DVD?
  15. Can I get something notarized at the library?
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1. How do I obtain a library card?

Library cards are FREE to any City of Dallas resident and City of Dallas employee. Students and certified teachers of public elementary and secondary schools located in the City are also eligible to receive free library cards.

You may register in-person or online. Online registration provides certain immediate privileges. The registration process must be completed, later on, at one of our 28 locations.

Additional details about obtaining a library card may be found here.

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2. How do I get a card for my company?

Any company located in the City of Dallas may obtain a library card by submitting a request on company letterhead (including street address and phone number). State the number of cards desired and name of staff (not to exceed 2) to be using the cards. The letter must be signed by a chief executive officer agreeing to be responsible for any delinquencies that may occur.

These cards are for business-related materials, not for personal use. The company is responsible for keeping track of the personnel using these cards. If the company has 2 cards issued and one is lost, all cards will need to be replaced if the specific card number is not known. If this occurs, the company will be responsible for reporting the card lost/stolen: report the card at 214-670-1740.

Forward all inquiries to Dallas Public Library, Circulation Services, 1515 Young St., Dallas, TX 75201.

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3. Can I get a library card if I do not live in Dallas?

Library cards are available to non-residents for $250 per year for unlimited borrowing. Three limited-borrowing punch cards are also available at $25 for 5 items or $60 for 15 items or $100 for 25 items. Library cards are available free to all residents of the City of Dallas and City of Dallas employees. Students and teachers of public elementary and secondary schools located in the City are also eligible to receive free library cards.

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4. How old does my child have to be to get a library card of his or her own?

Library cards are available for children of any age.

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5. How do I renew my library card?

Library cards can be renewed in person at any library with photo identification showing a current city of Dallas address. If your photo identification does not have your current address, you will need to provide address verification in addition to the photo id. Acceptable forms of address verification include, but are not limited to, the following: lease agreement, vehicle insurance, current utility bill or other business mail.

If you are unable to renew your card in person, we can accept a scanned image of your current driver's license; if your license does not have your current Dallas address, please include a current utility bill or other business mail that has your current Dallas address. You can submit the scan directly to Library Customer Service.

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6. How long can I keep a book out?

You may borrow books, magazines, DVDs, audiobooks, DVDs, records, and many other kinds of materials. Most items can be checked out for 21 days. DVDs and VHS have a 7 day check-out period.

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7. Can I return books to any Dallas Public Library?

You may return most borrowed materials to any Dallas Public Library location. LPs must be returned in person at the Central Library.

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8. Can I return my books after the Library closes?

Night drops are available at all branch libraries, including the Central Library, where the drop off box is located on Ervay St. (the east side of the building). LPs must be returned in person at the Central Library.

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9. Renewing by: phone / email / in person / online

  • By phone: Call the automated telephone renewal system at 214-670-0701 or circulation staff at any library location for assistance during library hours. Have your library card ready as staff will need it to complete the renewal.
  • By email: Contact Circulation Specialist at librarycustomerservice@dallaslibrary.org or your local branch by email. Please include your library card number and name in all correspondence.
  • In person: Renewals may be made in person at any Dallas Public Library location. Have your library card ready as staff will need it to complete the renewal. In addition, you can renew your library materials at any Dallas Public Library location during regular open hours by using any public computer (library card number and password required).
  • Online: Library materials may be renewed online with your library card number and password. To renew a book online, go to the online catalog and log in. Once you are logged in, click on My Account in the top menu, then click on "Items Out." In the list of items you have checked out, click in the check box to check mark each item you wish to renew, then click on "Renew Selected Items" below the list of your items.

If you are having problems renewing via the Web, contact Library Circulation Specialist at librarycustomerservice@dallaslibrary.org please include your library card number and name, Central Library Circulation at 214-670-1740 or circulation staff at any branch library for assistance. Have your library card ready as staff will need it to complete the renewal.

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10. Why can I sometimes not renew materials via the web?

There are also several cases where you cannot renew items checked out to you. Renewals will be blocked if:

  • There are outstanding fees on your card.
  • The material is overdue.
  • Your card has expired or if your card will expire prior to the new due date.
  • There is a request on the item by another library customer.

Renewal dates are from the date renewed, not the date material is due. (We recommend renewing one day prior to the due date in case there are problems.)

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11. Overdue & Lost Materials

On May 22, 2019, Dallas Public Library discontinued charging late fines for overdue materials. Fees for replacing lost library cards and looking up account numbers were also eliminated.

When an item is 7 days overdue, your account will be charged the replacement cost of the item plus a processing fee (see fee below). You will be responsible for those charges until you bring back the overdue item.

If you are unable to return the item(s), you may also bring in a replacement copy of the book in new condition.

The following fees are in effect:

  • Lost materials Processing fee - $28 + cost of material
  • Unlimited use annual non-resident card - $250
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12. How many books and other materials can I check out?

On a first time application, you may borrow up to 5 items. After the application is processed, you may borrow up to 100 "circulating" items. Within the 100 item limit, there is a limit of 10 DVDs, 10 Music CDs, 10 Audiobooks, 10 Blu-Rays, and 10 DVD Box Sets per library card.

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13. What does Patron Account tab offer?

This page, accessible through the Dallas Public Library Web Catalog, provides the following information:

  • Displays your name and address as indicated in our database.
  • Indicates items currently charged (checked out) to your account. These items may be renewed on this screen. (See also Why can I sometimes not renew materials via the Web? below.) This screen will also provide you with the date the material is due back to the library.
  • Provides you with the amount of fees due on your account.
  • Indicates any outstanding requests for library materials on your account.

To use this page, you need your Dallas Public Library card number (the 14-digit number on the back of your library card) and your password. If you don't know your password, contact Central Library Circulation at 214-670-1740 or circulation staff at any branch library for assistance.

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14. Requesting an Item

In the Dallas Public Library catalog, requesting an item means asking the system to locate the first available copy of the item you want in order to have it sent to the library unit of your choice for checking out to your account. The process may take several days. The pickup location will notify you when the material becomes available for you.

By following the steps in our online guides, it is possible for your to place a request on an item. It is even possible to request a particular volume such as one episode from an annual television series.

You will need to log in using your library card number and your password number. (A password number is assigned to your library account when your account is created and, along with your library card number, validates your login session. If you don't know your password number, contact Central Library Circulation at 214-670-1740 or circulation staff at any branch library for assistance. You can also change your password number yourself on the web catalog's About My Account tab.)

You will be notified either by email or phone when the material is available at your chosen pickup point. IMPORTANT: To check out the material, you will need to bring the same library card (same account number) which you used to request the material.

Some items cannot be requested. You will not be able to request materials if any of below apply:

  • If you already have a request on this same record. (You cannot place a second request; library staff, however, can do this for you if the need arises.)
  • The material is overdue.
  • Your card is expired.
  • There is a request placed on the item by other library customers.

Please note that you must ensure that your email provider is not blocking the address we are using to send notifications to you. You may need to add librarycustomerservice@dallaslibrary.org to your email "white list."

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15. How many materials can I place on request at one time?

The following request limits are in place:

  • 50 total requests on your library card account
  • With no more than 20 total DVD requests
  • With no more than 20 total CD requests
  • With no more than 20 total Audiobook requests
  • With no more than 20 total Blu-Ray DVD requests
  • With no more than 20 total DVD Box Set requests

  • Interlibrary Loan Account changes
There are several ways to manage your requests:
  • Change the active date to limit the number of items being searched for
  • Suspend your request(s)
  • Lists - keep track of items you want to request in the future

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16. Passwords

If you don't know your password, contact Central Library Circulation at 214-670-1740 or circulation staff at any branch library for assistance. Have your Dallas Public Library card ready, as staff will need this information. You may also request to have your password reset by email (librarycustomerservice@dallaslibrary.org). Please include your library card number and name in the email.

You can also change your password number yourself after logging in to your account.

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17. Will I be notified regarding the books I requested?

You will be notified by email or phone when your requested material is available. If you wish to be notified by email, please contact the circulation staff at any branch library or at central.

Please note that you must ensure that your email provider is not blocking the address we are using to send notifications to you. You may need to add librarycustomerservice@dallaslibrary.org to your email "white list."

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18. Why am I not receiving my email notifications?

Library notices -- alerting patrons to requested items that have come in or alerting them that they have books overdue -- are sent from our circulation computer. Unfortunately, many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and email programs such as Microsoft Outlook or Hotmail classify the email as spam and automatically delete the email or move it to a "junk mail" folder. Recently, in their effort to combat spam, many ISPs have changed how bulk email is screened, and this has affected receipt of library notices.

Accordingly, you may need to "white list" the library's email address (librarycustomerservice@dallaslibrary.org).

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19. Can the Library's catalog or other databases be accessed by from my home or office?

The library catalog can be searched via the Library website from your home or office computer. Use the Search the Library Catalog link on the Library's home page. You may also go directly to the databases page of the library's website. In most cases, you will need to use the 14-digit number appearing under the barcode on your library card.

Other electronic databases are available only at one of the twenty-five library locations.

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20. When I try to log in, I am sent back to the catalog page but not logged in. Why?

Your Web browser must accept cookies in order for the system to log you in. If you try to log in but cannot, and you know that you are entering the correct library card number and password/pin, check your browser settings to make sure cookies are enabled. If you need assistance checking your cookie settings, consult your browser's help or documentation. You may also contact customer service at librarycustomerservice@dallaslibrary.org or call 214-670-1740 for assistance.

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21. Does the Library have a place where I can prepare a resume?

The Central Library and branches can provide access to Microsoft Word to prepare a resume.

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22. How can I access old newspaper articles?

The Humanities Division, housed on the 3rd floor, maintains older copies of some national newspapers on microfilm.

The Texas/Dallas Division on the 7th floor has microfilm copies of many Texas newspapers.

The Dallas Morning News historical archive (1885-1977) is accessible electronically via the Newsbank database.

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23. Are meeting rooms available at the Library?

Meeting rooms are available for community groups for instructional or informational programs at all branches and at the Central Library for a fee. Please contact the branch at which you are interested in reserving a room, directly, for further information.

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24. Does the library offer any programs?

The branches and the Central Library offer many programs.

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25. Does the library offer any classes?

Classes are available at may branches for preparation for the G.E.D. (high school equivalent) exam and for English Language Learning. Computer classes are also offered at most locations. Check the events calendar for current classes..

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26. Does the Library have a fax machine for public use?

Faxes may be sent from the library's scanners at every location. Ask a staff member for assistance.

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27. Where can I get tax forms?

Original tax forms and booklets--including current and previous years--are available at the Central Library on the 6th floor in Government Information.

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28. Does the Library accept gift books and magazines?

The Library accepts gifts and donations. Although the Library does not provide appraisals for the value of donations, all gifts are tax-deductible. The Central Library and branches accept old and new books and magazines at the circulation desks.

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29. Does the Library offer tours?

Please see the tours information page.

Contact the branches to schedule tours there.

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30. When is the Library's Summer Reading Challenge, and how can I enroll my child?

The Mayor's Summer Reading Challenge begins in June and ends in August each year. Learn more.

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31. How can I make a donation to the Library's Pet Memorial Fund?

This fund was established in Dallas as a result of a cooperative between the library and the Texas Kennel Club. It is a lasting way to remember a beloved pet. Animal lovers, pet owners or friends wishing to donate may pick up a form at any Dallas Public Library location or send a check to Pet Memorial Fund, Dallas Public Library, 1515 Young St., Dallas TX 75201. This donation will be used to purchase library materials that provide information and enjoyment for animal lovers of all ages. A $25.00 minimum gift is necessary for acknowledgement in the Pet Memory Book and a bookplate in the book purchased. However, all gifts are greatly appreciated.

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32. How can I request that the library purchase a book, audiobook, CD, or DVD?

Customer Requests for purchase are welcome for items not in the library catalog. If you are unsure about an item's availability, please check with a librarian. The Customer Request Program is for Dallas Public Library cardholders only. Please include your library card number and preferred pickup location.

What can I request through this program?

  • Books, Audiobooks on CD, CDs, and DVDs can be ordered. Please specify the format when placing a request.
  • Requests for items not yet published or released will not be accepted more than 30 days prior to the publication or release date.

What cannot be requested through this program?

  • Textbooks, workbooks, activity books, magazine subscriptions and items with a list price greater than $100.00 cannot be ordered.
  • Out of print and special order items (items unavailable from our primary vendors) cannot be ordered through the Customer Request Program. Interlibrary Loan may be an option for these items.
  • Requests for special order items will be forwarded to the appropriate special collection librarian for consideration.
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33. Can I get something notarized at the library?

Notary services are offered at no charge to DPL customers at the following locations.
Please call ahead for availability.

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