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Using the Library

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Borrowing Information

Registering for a Card
Borrower's Agreement
Loan Periods
Lost Items
Expired Cards
Lost Cards

Registering for a Card

To register for a card, click on this link to fill out the required information. Bring the six digit confirmation number and a current government issued photo ID to the Customer Service Desk and we'll set you up with your Library card.


If you don't have a government issued photo ID, we'll need to see an acceptable photo ID and a secondary ID (you can find a list of acceptable IDs here).

Borrower's Agreement

The holder of a Santa Clara City Library card may borrow library materials and access the Library’s Internet workstations and most subscription databases. 

The individual to whom the Santa Clara City Library card is issued is responsible for the following:

  • the return of all materials borrowed, in good condition
  • payment of fines incurred for any overdue, damaged, or lost material
  • immediately reporting a lost or stolen card and any changes in name, address, or phone number
  • all charges/activity associated with cardholder’s account until the card is reported lost
  • complying with all library rules and guidelines

In order to access your library account or check out materials, cardholders must present staff with either their library card or a valid photo ID.

Parents or guardians of a library card holder agree to be responsible for the above and to teach their child library rules and guidelines to help him or her use the card. Please visit our information for parents page to find out more about library cards for children.


You can check out up to 60 items at any one time. There are a few other specific item limits:

Material Type

Item Limit

DVDs 10 per card
Easy Readers 20 per card
Chromebooks 1 per card
iPads 1 per card
Mobile Hotspots 1 per card
Video Games 3 per card 
Overdrive eBooks 8 per card
Hoopla digital items 5 per card

Loan Periods

Material Type

 Loan Period

Books, audiobooks, CDs, pamphlets, non-feature DVDs, Kill-a-Watt energy detectors, engravers, video games 3 Weeks
DVDs, magazines, CD-Roms, Chromebooks, iPads, Hotspots 1 Week


Renewal limits vary, depending on the item type:
  • DVDs, Chromebooks, iPads, Hotspots, pamphlets, magazines, and video games, Link+ and ILL items can be renewed one time only, unless someone has placed a hold on the item.
  • All other materials except Browsing Collection materials are renewable up to nine times, unless someone has placed a hold on the item.
  • Browsing Collection materials are not renewable.

You can renew by logging into your account and doing it online or by calling us during open hours at 1-408-615-2970. For all methods of renewal, please have your library card number and the materials you want to renew available.

Items that are renewed after the due date are subject to late fees.


You can return your materials to either of our branches. Both locations have bookdrops available for after hours returns. 

Chromebooks and iPads should only be returned to the front desk during open hours. Do not return these items through the bookdrop. 

Returns/renewals are processed in "real time." Because of this, you should either return or renew your materials before midnight on the due date.


Material Type Fine Amount

Most Library Materials $0.25 per day overdue
Interlibrary Loans $1.50 per day overdue
Link+ Materials $1.00 per day overdue
City Council DVDs $2.50 per day overdue
Chromebooks $30 if overdue
iPads $30 if overdue
Replacement Card Fee $2.00

Fines are charged daily for items that are not returned or renewed by their due dates. To avoid overdue fees, a receipt is given to you at checkout with the due dates of your materials. Please keep this receipt. If it is misplaced, you can log into your record to find your due dates, or give us a call and we can let you know when your items need to come back.

It is your responsibility to keep track of due dates. Fines will not be waived due to courtesy notices not being received or receipts being lost.

If your library record has fines of $25.00 or greater, you will be unable to checkout more material, or renew online, until some of it is paid for. Payments can be made by cash or check (payable to the City of Santa Clara) at the front desk, or you can pay by credit card (Visa or Mastercard only) by logging into your account online or at the Customer Service Desk.

Library accounts that owe at least $50 in fines and bills will be referred to a collection agency. A $15 collections fee will also be added to the fines on the account. Patrons who have been referred to collections are responsible for paying all charges in full to avoid being credit-reported. 

Lost Items

A lost item will result in your card being billed for both the item price and a processing fee. The item price is determined by the price we paid for the item originally. The processing fee is $5.00 for paperbacks and magazines and $15.00 for all other item types.


You can request books, audiobooks, Chromebooks, iPads, CD-Roms, music CDs, and nonfiction DVDs/videos that are currently checked out. This can be done through the website, in person, or over the phone.

When the item becomes available, we will contact you by e-mail (if we have your e-mail address), phone, or mail. The item will be held for you on the hold shelf under your name (unless you have provided us with an alternate “alias” to use instead). Once you pick up the item from the shelf, you’ll need the card it was requested on in order to check it out. Requested Chromebooks will be held behind the front desk and you will need to show staff a valid photo identification as well as your library card to check it out. 

You can be on hold for 10 items at a time. This includes 
Link+ holds.

Expired Cards

Your library card will expire every three years. To update it, we'll ask you for your current address, phone number, and e-mail address (that one's optional). This can be done in person or over the phone (1-408-615-2970). If your card hasn't been used in over three years, there is a good chance it may have been deleted. If this is the case, you would have to register for a new card.

Lost Cards

If your card is lost or stolen, tell us as soon as possible either by phone (1-408-615-2970) or in person. Don't wait to do this since anything checked out on your card is still your responsibility up until the time you declare it lost. To replace it, just come by the circulation desk with a current photo ID and we can get you a new one. If you are under 18, your parent or legal guardian must show a valid photo ID.


The privacy of your library account is very important to us. You can read about our privacy policy here.

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