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Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

What holidays will the libraries be closed?
The schedule of closings for the current fiscal year is available here.

Do you accept donated books and other materials?

Donations of books, DVDs, music CDs, and magazines within the guidelines below can now be accepted:

  • during regular business hours
  • at every branch EXCEPT South and Williams
  • every day of the week

We can accept no more than two boxes at a time.

Notes on donations of textbooks and magazines:
Textbooks – we cannot accept textbooks more than nine years old.
Magazines from recent years may be placed for sale on our Book Nooks, depending on demand.

Each branch has limited space available for donated materials; please check with the specific library location before bringing materials to donate.

Questions about library cards and accounts

What I.D. is required to get a library card?
You must be present when applying for a library card. Identification requirements depend on your age.

Adults (19 years of age or older) will need to provide current photo identification. Identification must include photo, name, and current address within the City of Lincoln or Lancaster County. Examples of accepted forms include:

  • Current driver’s license
  • State ID card
  • Passport

If the above documentation is not available, any 2 of the following forms of identification are acceptable for adults, provided one shows a photo and name and the other the applicant’s current address Lincoln/Lancaster County. Examples include:

  • Current college or university photo ID, employee photo ID, or Armed Services ID
  • Medicare/Medicaid card
  • Birth certificate
  • Motor vehicle registration
  • Current rent bill* or lease agreement
  • Statement from a homeless shelter/rehab/residential facility*
  • Bank statement*
  • Any piece of mail delivered by the US Post Office*

*Note: these must be dated within the last 30 days, as indicated by the postmark, date of printed e-bill/receipt, or dated statement.

If you don’t have any identification that meets these requirements with you when you apply for a library card, we can still provide you with a limited use card that will allow you to check out up to 5 items at a time and allow off-site access to our online resources. Limited use cards expire after 1 year. If the required information can be provided within that time, the limited use cards will be updated to regular adult cards.

Youth (18 years of age or younger) must live in Lincoln or Lancaster County. A full address must be provided; a telephone number and/or e-mail contact information is highly desirable. A guarantor (parent or legal guardian, including those who are unmarried minors) is required to be with the youth at the time of registration and must verify the accuracy of registration information including name, date of birth, guarantor information, address, telephone, and e-mail. A guarantor may verify information for a youth patron even if the guarantor is not registered as a Lincoln Adult City Resident or Lincoln Adult County Resident.

If a guarantor (parent or legal guardian) is not present at the time of registration, a limited use card can still be issued, with a check-out limit of 5 items. When the youth customer is accompanied by a guarantor (parent or legal guardian), library staff will ask that adult to verify the customer’s registration information including name, date of birth, guarantor information, address, phone number, and email address. will then change the customer’s Borrower Category to Lincoln Youth City Resident or Lincoln Youth County Resident, as appropriate. If a guarantor never accompanies the youth customer to the library, the card will expire on the customer’s 19th birthday, at which time the card will be changed to an Adult Limited Use card.

How much does a library card cost?
Library cards are free for residents of Lincoln/Lancaster County. Non-resident cards are $15 for three months or $60 for one year. Non-resident summer cards (valid during the dates of the Summer Reading Program) are available for $5.

When does my card expire?
For Lincoln and Lancaster County residents, regular cards do not expire, but an annual address check needs to be done to keep the card active. If you move or change contact information, please notify us so we can make the change on your record. Cards that are not used to check out physical items for several years may be deleted from the system. (Using a card only for our online resources, including e-Books, will not keep the card from being deleted.) 

Limited Use cards expire after 1 year, but may be renewed on a limited status or upgraded to an Adult or Youth Resident card with the proper forms of identification.

I have an Omaha Library Card. Can I use it at Lincoln City Libraries?
If you have an Omaha Public Library (OPL) card, you may get a Lincoln City Libraries card to borrow materials and use Library services without having to pay a non-resident fee. You will still need to complete a registration form and verify your identity and address. Library staff will need to see the OPL card. Items checked out need to be returned to a library in the city in which they were checked out; OPL will not accept LCL items for return, and LCL will not accept OPL items for return.

Do I need to get a new card if I go to another branch library?
The Lincoln City Libraries card can be used at all of our locations.

What if I need to update my information on my library account?
To make a change to your name, address, email, or phone please contact staff at any of our library locations in person or by phone. It is not necessary to replace your library card when you update your account.

What do I do if I have lost my library card?
If your card is lost or stolen, immediately notify us; you can use this online form, or call or stop in at any of our locations. As soon as possible, bring identification with you to one of our libraries to get a new card. There is no fee to replace lost cards.

My card has become brittle and chipped. Can I get a new card?
Yes, next time you are at one of our libraries ask for a new card at the Checkout Desk. There is no fee to replace worn or broken cards.

The catalog is asking for my password or PIN. I didn’t even know I had a password!
A password (usually a 4-digit PIN) is needed to use the 24-hour telephone renewal system or to access your account on our catalog via the Internet. It is also needed for using most of our online resources from outside of the Library. If you obtained your library card prior to April 27, 2015 your PIN was changed to the last 4 digits of the home phone number we had listed on your library account.

If you’ve forgotten your password or PIN, library staff at any of our locations can reset it for you; please call or stop in during our open hours. Be sure to have your library card number when you call. You can ask staff to change your PIN, or you may change it yourself by logging into your account (on the Internet or on one of our catalog computers) and clicking on “change my password.”

What is a Library OneCard (formerly ConnectEd) account?
Lincoln City Libraries is working together with Lincoln Public Schools to ensure that all students have an account at the public library. A separate library card is not needed. Students can access their public library accounts using their school identification number. Please see our Library OneCard page for more details.

What is an eCard?
An eCard is a temporary electronic Library card that will provide instant access to our online resources and digital materials. It also allows you to place holds on items in the library catalog. eCards are good for 60 days. To continue using Library services after that, or to check out physical items, you will need to visit a Library location to update to a full access card by showing photo ID and proof of your current address. Information on identification needed to receive your permanent card is available here. You must be a Lincoln/Lancaster County resident to apply online for a library card. Non-residents must apply in person for a Non-Resident card (fees apply). If you already have a Lincoln City Libraries account, you do not need an eCard.

Questions about checking out and renewing materials

How long can materials be borrowed?
Most materials, including books and CDs, can be borrowed for one three-week period and may be renewed for up to four additional three-week periods if no one is waiting for them. Items requested by another customer cannot be renewed. Video games check out for seven days and may be renewed up to four times. DVDs check out for seven days, except for multi-disc sets, which have a three-week loan period, and the Lied Bookmobile’s collection, which has a four week loan period. Binge Boxes have a three-week loan period with four renewals. Downloadable audiobooks and eBooks check out for seven, fourteen, or twenty-one days. Loan periods for items borrowed from other library systems through our Interlibrary Loan service are determined by the lending library system. A few other specialized materials have different loan periods.

How many items can I borrow?
You may have up to 150 items on your account at one time. No more than 25 DVDs, or 3 video games can be on your account at one time. Binge Boxes are limited to 3 each of Adult Binge Boxes and Youth Binge Boxes per customer. Our downloadable audiobooks and eBooks from OverDrive are limited to a total of 10 items (in any format) at one time. Hoopla checkouts are limited to 4 per month.

All copies of the book I want are checked out. Can I be notified when one comes back in?
You can place a hold (sometimes also called a request or a reserve) on an item and when it is returned we will hold it for you at the library location of your choice and send you a notice. You can have up to 25 holds at a time on your record. There is no charge for this service. Notices are sent by phone, e-mail or text; you can sign up for e-mail notification here. Notices by US Mail are no longer available. (Holds cannot be placed on books labeled “Books to Go.”)

There’s a copy of the book I want at different library location than the one I use; can it be sent over?
If an item is available at any of our library locations, it can be sent to any other library location for you to pick up. There is no charge for this service. Please allow two to three days for the book to arrive. (Books labelled “Books to Go” cannot be sent from one branch to another.)

May I return my books to a different library location than the one I borrowed them from?
Yes, books borrowed from Lincoln City Libraries may be returned to any of our locations.

How do I renew my books?
Most books, CDs, and other items may be renewed up to two times, provided there are no requests for them. (Books labelled “Books to Go” cannot be renewed.) You can use any of the following ways to renew your materials:

    • Use our online catalog. You may renew all of your materials at once or just selected ones.
      1. From a Library Catalog screen or from the Library’s Web site, click on the “My Account” link.
      2. Enter the number on the barcode of your library card.
      3. Enter your 4-digit PIN and click “Log In.” (Safari users may need to enter their PIN manually instead of using AutoFill,)
      4. Go to the “Checkouts” tab.
      5. Check the box for each item listed in your account that you want to renew.
      6. Click the “Renew” button.
    • Call our automated renewal system at 402-441-8506; have your library card ready and listen carefully to the instructions.
    • Call or bring your materials in to any of our library locations.

How much are overdue fees?
Effective September 1, 2022, overdue fees are no longer being charged. Charges are still assessed for the replacement or repair of lost and damaged items

  • Items not returned 21 days after the due date are considered lost.
  • When accumulated fees are more than $10, no further borrowing will be allowed.
  • Accounts for cardholders with accumulated fees who do not respond to the Library’s notices to clear their account may be referred to a collection agency and a nonrefundable $10 fee will be assessed.

Can I pay my fees with a credit card?
Credit cards can be used to pay fees online by logging into your account in our online catalog. A minimum payment of $1.00 is required for credit card payments.

I’ve lost an item that I borrowed! How much do I have to pay?
The fee for lost items is the replacement cost of the item. If you find a lost item after this fee is assessed, the replacement cost can be removed if the item is returned within the six month period after the payment.

Can you notify me by e-mail about overdue books?
You can sign up for courtesy e-mail notifications here; pre-notifications are sent out three days in advance of an item’s due date, and overdue notification is not sent until the item is two days overdue.

Whom do I speak to with concerns about the Library’s collection?
The Library Board and Lincoln City Libraries have established a materials selection policy for the acquisition of materials for our collections in each of our branches. LCL welcomes and supports all people in their enjoyment of reading and recreational materials, and their pursuit of learning and information. Anyone who wishes to request that a specific item be reconsidered for inclusion in the collection of materials may do so.

Patrons are always encouraged to speak to our library staff who can help answer questions or talk through LCL’s intellectual freedom policy: “The library selects materials for a very broad range of tastes in the community and respects the individual patron’s right to make personal selections from what is available either for themselves or their families.”

If a member of the public wishes to make a formal reconsideration request, they may ask any staff member for a Request for Reconsideration form. It can be filled out and returned to any library location. The materials will be reviewed by the Request for Reconsideration committee. They will provide a recommendation to the Library Director who will make the final decision on the request. Those who submitted the reconsideration request will be notified once the decision has been made. If they choose to appeal the decision, they must notify the Library Director. At that point, the Library Board’s Committee on Administration will review the request and bring their decision to the full Board for approval or denial of the recommendation. Members of the public may be present for the vote. Those who submitted the reconsideration request will be notified of the Board’s final decision.

Questions about library terms

What is the difference between an item “being held” and one in “transit”?
If an item is being held, someone has requested to have it held for them when it became available, or has requested that it be sent from one library to another that is more convenient for them. An item in transit is usually one that was returned to a library other than the one it belongs to, and is on its way back to its home location.

The catalog says the book I want is “In Process.” What does that mean?
“In Process” means that the library has received the item and it is being prepared for use.

The catalog says the book I want is “To be shelved.” What does that mean?
A status of “To be shelved” means that the book has recently been returned and may not yet be back on the shelf. The first place to check for such books is on the shelf where they belong, as the book may have already been shelved. If it’s not there, there may be some carts of books waiting to be shelved that you can check. If the book you want is not in any of these places, you may need to try again in a few days, or ask library staff about obtaining a copy from another branch or placing a hold for it.

Questions about other library services

How can I get access from my home computer to the Online Resources the library subscribes to?
Click on “Online Resources” (under the “Resources” menu) on this website and follow the instructions on the page that comes up; in most cases you will need to enter your library card number and password/PIN. (Please note that due to licensing restrictions, a few of our Online Resources are not available for access from home.)

How can I get help with the eBooks / downloadable audiobooks you offer?
First check the information on our About eBooks and About Audiobooks pages. If you still need assistance, you can request help via our online support form.

Do you have a mobile app?
Lincoln City Libraries has several apps available for reading eBooks and downloadable audiobooks, streaming music and movies, and more! Check out the Our Apps page for more information. Our LibraryLNK app for accessing our catalog is not currently working, but here’s a how-to video on using our online catalog on a mobile device. Printable instructions are also available.

Do you offer wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) access?
Free wireless Internet access is available at all library locations during open hours.

Do you have a computer that I can use to type a letter or a résumé on?
Computers with office software are available at all library locations.

Do you have a typewriter that I can use?
Walt Branch (402-441-4460) has a typewriter available; please call to check on the details.

Does the library provide fax service?
Yes, the library offers outgoing (send) fax services at all branches except Williams. Cost is $1.00 per page sent. (Outgoing domestic calls only.)

When is your annual Book Sale held?
Lincoln City Libraries no longer has a single annual Book Sale. Instead, the Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries operates Book Nooks at several of our locations, as well as occasional “Pop-Up Book Sales” at those locations. please check the Foundation’s Website for schedule information.

Can I have a test proctored at the library?
We are not currently able to offer proctoring services.

Do you have meeting rooms available for the public to use?
Meeting Rooms can be reserved for groups and organizations to use at Bennett Martin Public Library, Anderson Branch, Eiseley Branch, Gere Branch, Walt Branch and Williams Branch. Please see this information about reserving meeting rooms. There may be limitations on the use of these rooms at the present time due to pandemic restrictions.

Do you have study rooms or tutoring rooms available for the public to use?
Study rooms or tutoring rooms are available at these locations. There may be limitations on the use of these rooms at the present time due to pandemic restrictions. Please check with staff at the specific location for details.

  • Bennett Martin Public Library has one Study Room that includes a video phone patrons may use which was donated by the Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The Study Room can be reserved to up to two hours. If no one checks in for a reservations, the room becomes available 15 minutes after the reservation start time. If more time is needed after the initial two hours, you may request that staff extend it for a maximum of two additional hours.
  • Anderson Branch has no study rooms, but if their meeting room is not in use, patrons are permitted to use it for studying/small meetings.
  • Eiseley Branch has three study rooms that can accommodate up to three people each. The ELL room is for ELL instruction first, and the general public after that. It can accommodate up to six people.
  • Gere Branch has four study rooms. Two of the rooms hold up to three people, and two of the rooms up to two people. They can be reserved a week in advance. There is no time limit.
  • Walt Branch has four study rooms. They hold up to three people each. They can be booked one week in advance, for up to two hours. There is also an ELL Room that holds up to nine; it can be booked up to one week in advance, for up to two hours.