Using Your Card

Using Your Card header showing three kids on the grass reading Harry Potter books with the words "Find Your Next Adventure"

About Your Account

Your library account allows you to check out physical and downloadable items and use the full array of library services at any facility in the Kanawha County Public Library (KCPL) system, as well as on the library’s website. Students may also use KCPL library cards at many Kanawha County School libraries.

You will be asked to review and update information in your account once a year to renew your privileges. This process keeps your account active.

Patron Responsibilities

You are responsible for all items checked out on your account. Parents and legal guardians are responsible for all items checked out on the accounts of their minor children or wards.

Alert the library promptly about any changes in contact information or problems with your account, including:  
    •    Change of name, address or phone number
    •    Stolen or missing library card or key tag
    •    Concern about an overdue notice or bill

Return or renew items before the due date. Return items in good condition and with all parts. Pay bills promptly for items returned damaged, overdue, or lost.

Patron Confidentiality

Circulation and similar library records at KCPL that identify the patron are confidential in accordance with library policy and state law (WV Code 10-1-22). The library respects the confidentiality of all such records regardless of the age of the patron.  

Authorization to Review Account Information

You may review and receive information about your account through the library’s website or by presenting acceptable identification.   

Written authorization is required to share information about your account in other circumstances not prescribed by the library’s policy or state law, including when:

  • Custodial parents or legal guardians of a child under the age of 18 want to review or share information about their child’s account
  • Patrons age 18 or older want to share information about their account with another adult

Authorization may be provided at the time of registration. Forms are also available at each library facility and on the library’s website to allow for new authorizations or changes. Authorization allows the library to share information from the account with the person(s) you designate. An authorized person may pay fines, bills, and other charges on your account. An authorized person may also check out your holds for you on their library account.

Acceptable identification is required when information is requested or materials on hold are checked out.  

Notices From the Library

The library provides a written notice of the due date when an item is checked out or renewed at a KCPL facility. The library also sends a:

    • Notice when an item placed on hold is available
    • Reminder when an item is 10 days past due
    • Bill when an item is 20 days past due

You may choose to receive notices from the library via a street address or an e-mail address. If you choose to receive notices via an e-mail address, you will also be sent a reminder three days before an item is due.

Borrowing From the Collection

Present your library card or key tag for fast and reliable service. You may be asked for identification or required to enter your library account number and PIN.

Items will be checked out on the library card presented at the time of checkout.  

Checkout periods and the number of items that may be checked out vary depending upon the type of item.

Reference materials are for use in the library only.  

Accounts with items past due or with unpaid bills, fines, or fees may be blocked from additional check-outs until restored to good standing.

Holds on Materials

Holds may be placed on materials not currently available. When using the catalog to search for your title, you may see a “Place Hold” button. You may click on this button to place a hold on the item. You will need your library card number and PIN to place the hold. You may have up to 40 holds at any given time. You also have the option of suspending your hold if you want to get it later or you are going out of town and do not want the hold to be filled.

Your hold will be filled as soon as possible. You will be notified either by e-mail (if the library has one on your account) or by the USPS mail. You will have at least 10 days to pick up the item and your notification will tell you how long you have to pick it up. If you forget to pick it up, the item is moved to the next person or returned to the shelves. Since some titles have other patrons waiting, we ask that you pick up your items as soon as possible when you are notified.

Why are there times when I can’t place a hold?

The system may not allow holds on items for several reasons. Holds are not allowed if:

  • You already have a hold on the same title.
  • There are bills greater than $5.00 on your account.
  • Your account privilege has expired. In this case, you should see the message, “privilege expired.”
  • The items is not part of a holdable collection, such as Express items or reference materials.
  • The only available copy is at a library that is not currently participating in sending holds.

If more information is needed, please contact your local library.

Renewing Materials

Materials may be renewed up to 2 times before being returned to the library. There are several cases where you may get messages stating that you cannot renew items checked out to you. Renewals will be blocked if:

  • There is a hold on the title.
  • You’ve already renewed the item twice.
  • There are bills greater than $5.00 on your account.
  • Your account privilege has expired. In this case, you should see the message, “privilege expired.”

If more information is needed, please contact your local library.

Automatic Renewals

Automatic renewals will begin on December 1, 2022. Each day at 7:00 PM, our system will identify all items that are still due on that specific day and attempt to renew them. The system will only renew those items that can be renewed. Items that would normally not be able to be renewed, will NOT be renewed. Patrons will receive an email (not paper copy) of items that were not renewed and those that were renewed with the new due dates. You can always log in to your account here.

Returning Materials

An item may be returned at any library facility in the KCPL system during operating hours. After-hours book drops are available at each location.

Fines/Overdue Materials

Items may access overdue fines at different rates starting 3 days after the items are due. Fines are not charged for days the library is closed. If you owe more than $5.00 in bills, your privileges will block your account and you will not be able to check out more materials until the payment is made. Some accounts with overdue materials may be turned over to a Collections Agency after 45 days past the due date.

KCPL accepts credit/debit cards, cash, checks, or money orders as payment for fines and/fees on your account. You may also pay bills of more than $1.00 online via the “My Account” option. There is a non-refundable convenience fee of $2.00 per transaction. Credit/debit card payments are not accepted over the phone nor are library staff members able to enter your credit card information manually.

Fine Free

As of January 1, 2023, KCPL will no longer charge daily overdue fines on most library items returned late.

These item types will NOT be Fine Free:

  • Express Books and Express DVDs ($1.00 per day)
  • Wi-Fi HotSpots ($1.00 per day)
  • Tools ($1.00 per day per day)
  • Video Games ($1.00 per day)
  • Laptops from the Main Library's Laptop Kiosk ($1.00 per hour)

Why are we going Fine Free?

  • Fines disproportionately affect children, teens, and low-income families.
  • KCPL is committed to making our libraries accessible as possible to those that need it most.
  • KCPL doesn’t get much income from overdue fines and what is lost will be made up in good will.

Patrons will still be charged for LOST or DAMAGED items.

Patrons will continue to receive notices to return their items.

All patron accounts will be cleared of the daily overdue fine on materials (except for Express Books and DVDs, Wi-Fi HotSpots, Tools, Video games, and Kiosk Laptops) prior to January 1, 2023. Long overdue fees sent to collections will NOT be removed.

Patrons who paid their overdue fines prior to 1/1/2023 will not receive a refund.

Loan Limits

Patrons will continue to have a total limit of 50 items per person. Renewal limits remain the same.

As of January 1, 2023, KCPL will increase the following loan limits:

Item Type

Current Maximum Loan

New Maximum Loan
















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