Using the Library

Here's what you need to know whether your in a library or using digital services online.

Download Berks County Public Libraries borrowing policies and guidelines.

Borrowing Policies

Material Loan Periods

  • 21 days - audio materials, books, some DVD sets, e-Book Readers, and magazines

  • 7 days - DVDs, VHS tapes, and Museum passes

 

Renewals

Most materials, unless on reserve for another patron, may be renewed for an additional loan period. Renewals for longer loan periods are granted on an exception basis. Nonrenewable items may include DVD sets, e-Book Readers and NEW materials. For more information, contact your local library. Items may be renewed at the library, online through the library website, or by phone. The cardholder’s barcode number is required for telephone renewals.

 

Renewing Items

Log into your My Account at the top of any page, then click on 'Items Out' on the left, and follow the prompts to renew the item.

Returns and Book Drop Policy

Most items belonging to any Berks County public library may be returned at any Berks County public library. Exceptions include museum passes, e-book readers, video games, and items borrowed from outside the BCPL system. Book drops are available at each library for the return of materials when the library is closed.

 

Returning Items

You may return items inside the library when it is open or in the library’s bookdrop when the library is closed. Items put in the bookdrop are checked in the next business day using the previous business day’s date. Therefore, an item that is due one day but checked in from the bookdrop the next morning is not considered overdue and will not be assessed a fine.

Generally, you may return items checked out from a Berks County Public Libraries (BCPL) member library at that library, or at any other member library (See libraries and locations). All public libraries in Berks County are members of BCPL except the Wyomissing Public Library. Standard items checked out at any Berks County Public Library may be returned to the Wyomissing Public Library.

The following types of items are exceptions to that general rule and must be returned to the library from which they were checked out:

  • Museum passes

  • Video games

  • Interlibrary loan items obtained from outside the Berks County Public Libraries system

 

Overdue Notices

Cardholders are notified when items checked out become delinquent. A billing invoice is sent if, after 3 overdue notices, the items have not been returned. Section 6708 of Title 18, Pennsylvania Code makes it a summary offense to retain library property after being notified to return it.

If an item is not available at the time and place that it is sought, cardholders can place a hold (request) on the item at any member library, by phone, or online. Cardholders will be notified when the item is available.

Items placed on hold (requested/reserved) may be picked up at the Berks County Public Library that was specified at the time the hold was placed. Member libraries may restrict or limit pick-up options for certain items. Held items must be picked up within 7 days of notification. This time limit varies for some libraries.

When requesting an item, please use the following instructions to complete your request.

  • Search the Library Catalog for materials available throughout Berks County Public Libraries.

  • Select Place Request to login and complete the request.

  • Can’t find it in the BCPL libraries?

  • Go to Power Library to Find books, movies, and eresources.

  • Directly contact the staff at any library to make a request.

  • Can’t find it in Power Library? Search Worldcat. WorldCat is a catalog of the holdings and services of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide.

  • Directly contact the staff at any library to make a request.

Cardholders are responsible for returning library materials on time. Overdue fines are charged as an incentive to return materials promptly. Fines are calculated by calendar day and vary by material type. The current fine table is posted at the Circulation Desk and online.

There are no fines on juvenile audio, books, magazines, or VHS tapes.

 

Fines for each card type. All fines are calculated by calendar day.

 

Adult Materials:

  • Audio, books & VHS—$.10/day ($5.00 max)
  • DVDs, DVD sets, eBook Readers $.50/day ($10.00 max)
  • Magazines $.10/day ($2.00 max)
  • Museum passes, ILLs $.50/day

 

Juvenile Materials:

  • Audio, books & VHS—none
  • DVDs, DVD sets, eBook Readers—$.50/day ($10.00 max)
  • Magazines—none
  • Museum passes, ILLs—N/A

 

Fees

  • For lost/damaged card: $2.00 (both adult and juvenile)
  • For lost/damaged museum pass: $15.00
  • For all other lost/damaged items: Replacement value plus a $5.00 Administrative/Processing Fee

 

Refunds for lost items

Refunds may be given for lost materials which were previously paid for, if the materials are found and returned in good condition to the library within 60 days. Maximum fines (if applicable) and any Administrative Fees will be deducted from the refunded amount.