Shared Catalog

Berks County Public Libraries offer a shared countywide collection, making it your first stop to locate books, movies, music, and other materials. With one library card, you can borrow items from other Berks County libraries. The catalog is also shared with the Yocum Library at Reading Area Community College (RACC), but some items are noted for current students, faculty, and staff.



Placing holds

If an item is checked out or currently unavailable, cardholders can place a hold (request) on the item by visiting any member library, speaking to a library staff member over the phone, or in the online catalog. Cardholders will be notified when the item is available and may be picked up at the Berks County Public Library that was specified at the time the hold was placed. Special items (like museum passes) must be picked up and returned to the owning library and will not travel through the delivery service. Held items must be picked up within 7 days of notification, but specialty items may have a shorter hold period.

Most cardholders can place a hold request on 20 items of any type. If an item is owned by another library, it will be delivered to your pick up location designated in the hold request. Please be aware that the travel time between libraries will take a few days and can be impacted by inclement weather and library closures.


Renewing items

Most items in the catalog are loaned for 21 days at a time. These include audio materials, books, some DVD sets, e-Book Readers, and magazines. Other items are limited to a 7 day loan period and include DVDs, VHS tapes, and Museum passes.

So long as a renewable item is not reserved for another patron, it will be automatically renewed for an additional loan period at its due date. You can review what items are renewable and submit an electronic renewal request through the catalog. Log into your My Account at the top of any webpage. Then click on 'Items Out' on the left side of the screen and follow the prompts to renew the item.


Request an item not in the catalog

When looking for an item not listed in the shared countywide catalog, library patrons can request an item be sent from another Pennsylvania library. Access PA is the statewide catalog where libraries in Pennsylvania collaborate to share materials.

Search the Access PA catalog to see if a copy is available to request and copy down the title, author, and ISBN number. Contact a library staff member at your library to request the title through Access PA.

If you can’t find what you're looking for in Power Library, you can suggest a book title for your library to purchase through the Suggest a Purchase form.