FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. How do I get a library card?
You can apply for a library card online by clicking on the "Library Card Application" tab above. You will receive a temporary card number which you can use to request items or to access some our databases. You must visit one of our branches within 30 days to pick up your permanent card. If you apply in person at one of our libraries, you will receive your card immediately. You must have a picture ID and proof of current address with you. For more detailed information about our policy, please visit http://www.splibraries.org/Circ_Services_policy.htm.
2. How do I renew books online?
You can check your account and renew items online by going to the "My Account/Renewals" link above. You will need your library barcode number and your password. Click on the Items Out link right under the logo on the top left of the page. You will get a list of items checked out to you, when they are due, and the option to renew those that are eligible for renewal. You can also renew by telephone by calling 727-388-4940.
3. Do I have to return my library items to the same branch where they were checked out?
No, you can return library materials to any public library in Pinellas County.
4. Where do I find my library barcode number?
Your barcode number is the 14 digit number on the back of your Pinellas Public Library Cooperative card.
5. What if I don't know my password?
At the account login screen you will see a link "Forgot your Password?" If you click on this link, your password will be sent to the email address in your library account. If you do not have an email address listed in your account, try your last name in all lower case letters, or the last four digits of your telephone number. If neither of these work, you will have to ask a staff member at one of our branches to reset your password for you. We're sorry, but this cannot be done over the telephone.
6. I know my password, but I am still unable to log into my account. What should I do?
Verify your barcode number. You may be using an old card that is no longer valid in the system. Also, make sure that you do NOT put in the spaces when typing in the 14 digit number. If you are still unable to log in, please ask a staff member to check your account.
7. I am getting a message that my account is expired. What does that mean? I use the library all the time.
Library accounts expire periodically to allow us to catch up on address and telephone number changes. To keep your card active, you'll need to renew your account. Two easy steps is all it takes to complete your renewal - outstanding balances need to be cleared and staff will briefly verify your ID and your contact information. Please note that the library's public computers will not accept expired library card numbers.
8. What should I do if I lost my library card?
Please notify us immediately by calling or visiting any of our branches. We will put a note on your account. Until your card is replaced, a picture ID will be required if someone tries to use it. This will ensure that there are no unauthorized users checking out items on your account. You can get a replacement card for a fee of $1.00 at any of our libraries.
9. Can I pay my library fines with a credit or debit card?
Not at this time, but we are looking into providing this capability in the future.
10. How do I request an item I want?
You may place requests on the items you wish by going to our library's catalog: http://pals.polarislibrary.com/polaris/. In the search box, type in the title and click search. A new page will open with a list of items that match your search. Find the one you want, then click on the option to "Place Request". You will be asked for your library barcode number and password. Choose the library where you wish to pick up your books, and click "SUBMIT". You will be notified when the items are available.
11. What if I can't find what I want in the library catalog?
For items that are not owned by our member libraries, you may want to try our InterLibrary Loan Service. We will search libraries nationwide. If a copy is available, it will be sent to you at your designated St. Petersburg branch pick-up location. This service is limited to print materials only. Please note that this process may take 4-6 weeks. We can also obtain copies of magazine articles for you in this way. Please read our InterLibrary Loan policy for more information and for an online request form.
12. Do you accept book donations?
All of our branches gladly accept donations and can provide you with a receipt if you wish. Just visit the branch most convenient to you with your donation. A list of branches with addresses, phone numbers, and hours can be found at http://splibraries.org/hours.htm.
13. How long can I use a library computer?
Normally, the computers in our library branches give you a 90 minute session when you sign on. This varies in some branches. Your session may be shorter if there is a reservation on the computer. You will be notified of this when you sign in. There are some 30 minute computers in each branch also, usually in the Child or Teen areas. When you have 10 minutes left in your session, you will be notified that your time is almost up. Please remember that at the end of the session the PC will be rebooted automatically and all of your work will be gone. Be sure to allow enough time for printing your documents if that is needed. The total minutes allowed per day per location is 90 minutes. If all of the PC's are being used when you come into the library, a staff member can make a reservation for you, giving you a time later in the day when a computer is available. You can also make a reservation for the next day if you wish. For more information, please read our Computer Access Policy or ask a staff member at your local library.
14. Is wireless access available in your library buildings?
Yes, all of our branches have wireless access. For more details, see http://www.splibraries.org/wireless_info.htm
15. I am no longer receiving reminders or other notices from you through my email.
Please check the SPAM or Junk Mail filter on your email account and make sure our emails to you are not getting caught there. Also, if you can, add Webmail.firstname.lastname@example.org AND email@example.com to your Safe Senders list. If you continue to have problems, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
16. I am supposed to be receiving telephone notification about books I have requested. I am not receiving this notification.
Notify a staff member or email email@example.com and we will check on this for you.
17. I'm interested in getting a copy of an obituary about one of my relatives. I believe it appeared in your local newspaper. Can you tell me how to do this?
Check our Obituary Research page for full information on how to obtain an obituary.
18. I'd like to do some volunteer work at the library. Do you accept volunteers? How do I sign up?
We definitely accept and appreciate volunteers at our libraries. However, our policy requires that you be at least 14 years of age to work with us. Please call or visit the librarian at the branch most convenient to you to discuss the possiblilites. A list of all of our branches with addesses, phone numbers, and hours can be found at http://splibraries.org/hours.htm.