FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I suggest an item for purchase?

How do I suggest an item for purchase?

Are you looking for a book, CD, DVD, or other item that The City Library doesn't own? The City Library accepts suggestions for items that have already been released and are not found in the library catalog.

Click Here to fill out and submit the "Suggest an Item for Purchase" form.

How do I get a library card?

How do I get a library card?

All Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County residents are entitled to a free library card. To receive a City Library card, you must visit a City Library location with the information listed here:

  • Official photo ID with name, birth date, and current Salt Lake County address is required for either a Basic or an Expanded Library Card.
  • An official and current piece of mail, such as a utility or credit card bill, may be used along with photo ID to provide the correct residential address.

  • An Introductory Card, with a four-week expiration date, may be issued using photo ID that lacks a current address. A second form of ID with the correct residential address must be presented prior to the expiration date; a patron may then choose either the Basic or Expanded option. A library card is issued on the spot and can be used immediately. Patrons under the age of 18 must obtain a parent's or legal guardian's consent.

    What are the different types of library cards? What is the difference between Introductory, Basic, and Expanded cards?

    What are the different types of library cards? What is the difference between Introductory, Basic, and Expanded cards?

    The City Library offers several types of library cards based on your address and check-out needs. You may only have one card at any given time. (See "How do I get a library card?" for requirements.)

    INTRODUCTORY CARD
    You may check out up to 13 total items. Within that limit, you may check out a total of 1 Lucky Day item, 3 DVDs, and 3 CDs (including Music CDs, CD-ROMs, and Language Learning Sets). An Introductory card expires four weeks from when it is issued. Official proof of residency in Salt Lake County is required to upgrade to Basic or Expanded card.

    BASIC CARD
    You may check out up to 13 total items. Within that limit, you may check out a total of 1 Lucky Day item, 3 DVDs, and 3 CDs (including Music CDs, CD-ROMs, and Language Learning Sets). A Basic card does not expire. Official proof of residency in Salt Lake County is required for a Basic Card. A Basic card is a good option for people who wish to limit the amount of items they are responsible for. Parents can select this option for their children.

    EXPANDED CARD
    You may check out up to 100 total items. Within that limit, you may check out a total of 10 DVDs, 30 Music CDs, 10 CD-ROMs, 10 Language Learning Sets, and 1 Lucky Day item. An Expanded card does not expire. Official proof of residency in Salt Lake County is required for an Expanded Card.

    ORGANIZATIONAL CARD
    Businesses, nonprofit organizations, or government agencies within the legal boundaries of Salt Lake City may apply for an Organizational card with The City Library. These groups agree to be responsible for all items checked out by anyone using the card. An Organizational card is a good option for businesses whose employees live outside Salt Lake County but wish to check out City Library materials. Applications are available at all City Library locations.

    INTERNET CARD
    An Internet card allows you to use The City Library's public computers but does not allow you to check out materials. Anyone with current photo ID can get an Internet card, regardless of address. An Internet card is a good option for people visiting Salt Lake City or for residents who don't wish to be responsible for library materials.

    What is a PIN and how do I get one?

    What is a PIN and how do I get one?

    A PIN is a four digit personal identification number. It is a security code for using your library card online, and it is necessary to enter when logging into any of our public PCs or your library account online.

    If you received your library card before December 15, 2011 then your default PIN number should be the last 4 digits of the phone number you have on record with the library. If you received your card after December 27, 2011 you should have been asked to supply a PIN at the time you signed up for your card.

    If you don't have a PIN, or don't remember what it is, call 801-524-8200 with your library card number and birth date ready, or come in to any City Library location with your library card or valid photo ID.

    How do I place an item on hold?

    How do I place an item on hold?

    If the item you want from the City Library's collection is checked out, you can claim a spot in line to check out the item by placing a hold. Holds can also be placed on items that are currently available—our staff will locate the item for you and have it waiting for you on the Hold shelf at your preferred City Library location.

    Holds may be placed through our online catalog, through our mobile app, or by speaking to a library staff member. When the item is ready for you to pick up, you will receive an email or text message notification. Items not picked up within 5 days of notification will be reshelved.

    Patrons with Expanded cards may place up to 25 items on hold, and patrons with Basic cards may place up to 5 items on hold.

    How many times can I renew my items? How do I renew them?

    How many times can I renew my items? How do I renew them?

    Unless your item is on hold for another patron, items can be renewed up to three times. Lucky Day items cannot be renewed. (See "How long do my items check out for (i.e., loan periods)?" for more information about loan periods.)

    To renew your materials, please log in to your "My SLCPL" account, navigate to your "Items Checked Out" section, check the boxes next to the items you wish to renew and press the green "Renew" button. You may also renew materials over the phone by calling The City Library at 801-524-8200.

    How long do my items check out for (i.e., loan periods)?

    How long do my items check out for (i.e., loan periods)?

     MOST ITEMS CHECK OUT FOR 21 DAYS:

  • Books
  • CD-ROMs
  • Audiobooks
  • Language Learning Kits
  • Music CDs
  • Literacy Kits
  • DVDs (excludes Children's
  • Book Club Kits
  • and Feature Films)
  • Maps
  • Art Prints
  • Zines

  • A FEW ITEMS CHECK OUT FOR 7 DAYS:
  • Children's DVDs
  • Magazines
  • Feature Film DVDs
  • Lucky Day Collection
  • What is the Lucky Day Collection?

    What is the Lucky Day Collection?

    Feeling lucky? Drop into any City Library location and check out something from the Lucky Day Collection! The Library sets aside few copies of our most popular items so they're ready for you to pick up when you walk through our doors. You can't place Lucky Day items on hold or view the Lucky Day Collection through our online catalog—you can only get them by dropping by! To keep the collection fresh, Lucky Day items check out for 7 days and cannot be renewed.

    Can The City Library email me when my items are due?

    Can The City Library email me when my items are due?

    The City Library can send you an email (or SMS text message alert, if you prefer) a couple days before your items are due, helping you avoid overdue fines. You can modify your Contact Preferences by logging into your Library Patron account and updating the "Contact Information and Preferences" section, or by speaking with a librarian at any City Library location. You can change/update the email address in your patron account at any time.

    How can Library Elf help me to keep track of when items are due?

    How can Library Elf help me to keep track of when items are due?

    The City Library subscribes to Library Elf, a virtual assistant that helps busy library users keep track of when their items are due and when their holds are ready to pick up. A perfect solution for families with multiple library cards, Library Elf allows users to consolidate their accounts to see all the materials checked out, due, and on hold on several cards.

    Library Elf keeps you connected with text messages, emails, or RSS alerts when your items are due or when your holds are ready to pick up (or about to expire). To learn more about Library Elf, visit libraryelf.com. The City Library subscribes to Library Elf, so anyone with a City Library card can take advantage of premium services free of charge. To sign up, click here.

    Where can I return my items?

    Where can I return my items?

    Any items checked out from a City Library may be returned to any City Library location. Book drops are located at all City Library locations as a convenience for patrons to return materials. The City Library is not responsible for items left in book drops. The City Library does not accept returns of Salt Lake County Library materials, and the Salt Lake County Library does not accept returns of City Library materials.

    How much are overdue and lost item fines?

    How much are overdue and lost item fines?

     OVERDUE FINES:

    All Materials (except DVDs and items in the lucky Day Collection) 20¢ per day, per item
    DVDs and Lucky Day items 50¢ per day, per item
    Maximum fine (all materials except DVDs and Lucky Day items) $6.00 per item, per loan period
    Maximum fine for DVDs and Lucky Day items $10.00 per item, per loan period

    FEES
    Damaged item, if repairable $2.00
    Lost or non-repairable item Cost of item + $3.00
    Returned check $10.00
    Lost or damaged large art print folder $35.00

    What should I do if I lose or damage an item owned by The City Library?

    What should I do if I lose or damage an item owned by The City Library?

    Over the course of being a City Library user, you may end up damaging or losing a book, CD, or DVD. We understand that accidents happen to all of us. If you lose or damage an item checked out on your library card, you will be charged the replacement cost for the item, plus a $3 processing fee. Please call The City Library (801-524-8200) or talk to a librarian at any City Library location to report the item lost or damaged. You can pay your fees at any City Library location. If you find an item that you have already paid the replacement cost for, you may receive a refund of all but the processing fee.

    What should I do if I returned a DVD or CD case and forgot to put the disc in it?

    What should I do if I returned a DVD or CD case and forgot to put the disc in it?

    When any DVD or CD is returned to The City Library, we check the case to make sure that the discs are undamaged and in the correct case. If you forgot to include the disc in the case, please bring the disc to any City Library location, and we will see that the disc is put in the correct case. If the disc is returned undamaged and by its due date, there will be no fees.

    Why isn't my library card working? Why can't I place a hold?

    Why isn't my library card working? Why can't I place a hold?

    There are a few situations where your library card will no longer be able to place holds, check out items, use the online resource databases, or other functions. To find out the specific reason your card may not be working, please contact The City Library at 801-524-8200 or visit any City Library location.

    Possible causes for your card not working:

  • If your account has more than $25 of total fees, you may not be able to place holds, use our online resource databases, check out items, and perform other functions at the Library. A staff member at any City Library location is happy to set up a payment plan to allow you to check out more items while paying off these fees.
  • If the address on your library card account is not up-to-date, your card may stop working.
  • If you have a conditional card (out-of-county card, for example), your privileges may have expired.
  • What should I do if I lose my library card?

    What should I do if I lose my library card?

    If you have lost your library card, please contact The City Library right away. You can call us at 801-524-8200 or walk in to any City Library location. You are responsible for all materials checked out on your library card, so treat it as you would a credit card. Once the lost card is cancelled, a new card may be obtained with photo ID.

    Can I get a City Library card if I don't live in Salt Lake City?

    Can I get a City Library card if I don't live in Salt Lake City?

    If you live outside of Salt Lake County, you may purchase a City Library card for $80.00 per year ($20 for three months; $10 for one month). The purchase of a non-county card allows any other residents of your household to also receive a card. All other rules for obtaining a City Library card apply to those living outside Salt Lake County.

    My child attends high school in Salt Lake City but we live outside of Salt Lake County. Must I purchase a card so that she can check out City Library materials?

    My child attends high school in Salt Lake City but we live outside of Salt Lake County. Must I purchase a card so that she can check out City Library materials?

    Children attending Salt Lake City schools (K-12) may obtain a City Library card for free. Proof of attendance must be provided annually. In this case, free cards are only available to students; those living outside Salt Lake County who aren't K-12 students can purchase a City Library card for $80 per year. (See "Can I get a library card if I don't live in Salt Lake City?" for full information.)

    Is The City Library closed on holidays?

    Is The City Library closed on holidays?

    For a complete list of upcoming holiday closures, click here.

    All City Libraries are closed on the following annual holidays:

    New Year's Day
    Martin Luther King. Jr. Day
    Presidents' Day
    Easter
    Memorial Day
    Independence Day
    Pioneer Day
    Labor Day
    Veteran's Day
    Thanksgiving Day
    Day after Thanksgiving
    Christmas Eve
    Christmas Day

    All City Libraries close at 6pm the day before Thanksgiving Day and on New Year's Eve.

    How can I request or reserve a meeting room at The City Library?

    How can I request or reserve a meeting room at The City Library?

    The City Library offers meeting rooms for community use at all locations. To use a meeting room at one of our branch locations, please fill out the the Branch Locations Meeting Room Application [PDF], print, and submit your completed and signed application to the branch where you wish to meet.

    To reserve a meeting room at the Main Library, please visit our Meeting Room Reservation page to submit your application.

    How do I use The City Library's public computers?

    How do I use The City Library's public computers?

    All City Library locations have computers for public use. All public computers have Internet access and the Open Office suite of programs. At least one computer at each City Library location has access to the Microsoft Office suite of programs.

    Anyone with a City Library card can use our public computers. If you do not have a City Library card and do not living in Salt Lake County, you may get an Internet Card by showing photo ID to a library staff member.

    The City Library uses a reservation system to ensure equitable use of our public computers. If you approach a computer that says "Available" in green, you may use the computer right away. If the computer says "Reserved," it is not available for you to use. You may place a reservation for a computer using the Reservation and Print Release Station at any City Library location. (The Main Library has Reservation and Print Release Stations on all floors.) Once you place a reservation, you will receive a receipt identifying the computer that is reserved for you and the time it will be available. If you do not log in to the computer within five minutes of the assigned time, your reservation will be cancelled. This will count as one of your computer sessions for the day.

    Each day, you are entitled to two sessions on The City Library's public computers. Each session may last up to one hour. If you log in to a computer and log out before one hour has passed, you have used one session.

    For additional clarification on using computers at The City Library, please call us at 801-524-8200 or visit any City Library location.

    Can I print from The City Library's public computers?

    Can I print from The City Library's public computers?

    All public computers at The City Library are connected to a printer. Printing is 10¢ per page for black-and-white prints (color prints are available only at the Main Library and cost 25¢ per page).

    Every cardholder receives $1.00 in free printing each month (10 free black-and-white pages a month or 4 free color pages a month). If you do not use your $1.00 credit in a given month, the remaining amount does not transfer to the next month.

    When you set a document to print, the print job is sent to the Reservation and Print Release Station in that location. To finish printing your document, you must log-in to the Print Release Station and select your item to print. Any items you do not select to print will be removed from your print queue. To print in color (available only at the Main Library), you will need to use the Reservation and Print Release Station in the Main Library Technology Center.

    Can I print from my mobile device (laptop, tablet, or smartphone)?

    Can I print from my mobile device (laptop, tablet, or smartphone)?

    Yes, you can print wirelessly from your own mobile device to any Print Release Station at the Main Library.

    If you are already at the Main Library, use the PrinterOn MobilePrint Web Portal to submit print jobs from your mobile device:
    1) Select whether you'd like to print in black and white (10¢ per page) or color (25¢ per page)
    2) Enter your email address (in order to identify your print job at the Print Release Station)
    3) Select the file, document, or URL you'd like to print.
    4) Go to a Print Release Station and enter your email address to find your print job. You will then select your payment method, just like you do when printing from the Library's public computers.

    If you are not physically at the Library, but wish to print at the Library, you can send your print jobs as email attachments directly to these addresses: slcpl-main-bw@printspots.com (to print in black-and-white), or slcpl-main-color@printspots.com (to print in color). Patrons then have four hours to come to the Main Library to complete the print job from a Print Release Station.

    If you are a frequent user of our printing services from your mobile device, you can download the PrinterOn App to your Apple or Android device:

    Does The City Library have color printers or copiers?

    Does The City Library have color printers or copiers?

    Yes, the Main Library Technology Center has a color printer which can print color documents from any public computer in the Main Library. Color prints are 25¢ per sheet (4 free color pages a month). To print in color, you must use the Reservation and Print Release Station in the Main Library Technology Center.

    Does The City Library have a document scanner I can use?

    Does The City Library have a document scanner I can use?

    Yes, The City Library has five scan stations, located in the Main Library Technology Center, Level 2, Level 3, Glendale Branch, and Day-Riverside Branch.

    There is no charge to scan and send documents to an email address, Google Docs, or save to a USB flash drive.

    The machines can also print in black and white (10¢ per page) and send faxes ($1.00 per page, with the ability to send worldwide).

    Does The City Library have a public fax machine?

    Does The City Library have a public fax machine?

    Yes, The City Library has five print/scan/fax stations, located in the Main Library Technology Center, Level 2, Level 3, Glendale Branch, and Day-Riverside Branch.

    These machines have the ability to send faxes worldwide at a cost of $1.00 per page.

    How can I show my art at a City Library location?

    How can I show my art at a City Library location?

    The City Library sponsors art exhibits throughout the system as a source of ideas and inspiration that support and advance our mission. Exhibits are chosen by a staff committee according to the needs and interests of the community, the variety of shows, the artistic quality of the works, and the suitability of format for each library’s physical space. Artists interested in exhibiting are invited to submit a portfolio to the City Library location where they most prefer to exhibit. Portfolios should be submitted within the two-week period prior to the following deadlines: April 10 and October 10.

    For full information, please visit our Art Exhibit Call for Entries page.



    Teen artists and art instructors, submit your or your student's portfolio to be featured at The City Library! We are always on the lookout for original art exhibitions for the Main Library's Canteena Space on Level 2, and welcome submissions year-round.

    For more information, please visit the Teen Art Exhibit Call for Entries page.

    How do I create a Flickr Set / Portfolio for my City Library Art Exhibit Submission?

    How do I create a Flickr Set / Portfolio for my City Library Art Exhibit Submission?

    The City Library now accepts electronic submissions to our semi-annual Art Exhibit Call for Entries. Part of the electronic submission is to create a Set on Flickr where City Library staff can review your artwork.

    How to create a Flickr Set as a portfolio for consideration:
    1. You must have a Flickr account to create a Flickr Set. Accounts are free and can be created by clicking "Create Your Account" at flickr.com.
    2. Once logged in to Flickr, upload your images clicking "Upload Photos & Video" and following the instructions. Each item must be given a description that includes the title of the piece, medium, and size.
    3. To create your Set, click on "Organize & Create" at the top of the page to access Flickr's Organizr. In the Organizr, click the "Sets" tab, then click "Create a New Set" directly below the tab.
    4. Your images are available at the bottom of the page. Click-and-drag the items you wish to include in your set from the bottom of the page to the middle of the page. Once dragged to the middle of the page, you can reorganize the images by dragging them to a new location or remove them by dragging them to the bottom of the page.
    5. Give your Set a name and description on the left side of the page. When done, click "Save" in the lower-left corner of the page.
    6. In order to share the Flickr Set with the library, return to your Photostream and select the proper set from the right-hand column. When viewing the set, copy the URL from your browser's address bar or click "Share This" then "Grab the Link" from the right side of the screen. Paste the link into the proper field in the library's Art Exhibit Online Submission Form.

    Click Here for full information about the Art Exhibit Call for Entries and to access the electronic submission form, or Click Here for the Teen-Specific Art Exhibit Call for Entries form.

    What is the Community Exploration Card?

    What is the Community Exploration Card?

    About the Community Exploration Card
    The City Library opens doors to the community with the Community Exploration Card! Library cardholders can visit a number of Salt Lake City’s cultural centers for free by checking out a card from any branch of The City Library. With the Community Exploration Card, four people will be admitted to Discovery Gateway, The Leonardo, Natural History Museum of Utah, and Red Butte Garden.

    The Community Exploration Card is valid for general admission but not for special events or exhibits. A limited number of cards are available for check out at the beginning of each month and must be used during that month. To provide equitable access for everyone, cards are limited to one per household in a 12-month period.

    What other libraries are around Salt Lake City?

    What other libraries are around Salt Lake City?

    Although The City Library operates the seven public libraries within Salt Lake City's official boundaries, there are several other libraries in the area that can provide you with service, as well. Residents of Salt Lake County can borrow from the Salt Lake County Library, The City Library, or Murray Public Library.

    Click the following links to visit these library's websites:
    - Salt Lake County Library Services
    - Murray City Library
    - Marriott Library at the University of Utah
    - Giovale Library at Westminster College
    - Utah State Library

    Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Frequently Asked Questions

    Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Frequently Asked Questions

    What is Interlibrary Loan?
    Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is the process of borrowing materials from libraries across the nation and making those items available for your use. It is used for requesting materials not owned by the library and that fall outside the scope of our collections. The City Library is pleased to provide this service at no or minimal cost to our patrons.

    Who can submit an Interlibrary Loan request?
    Interlibrary Loan service is available to current Salt Lake City Public Library patrons with an Expanded cardholder account in good standing. Your account is in good standing if you have less than $25.00 in total charges (overdue fines, damaged/lost item fees) associated with your library account. Patrons should resolve any outstanding charges on their account before submitting a request.

    Patrons are allowed up to five active ILL requests.

    What can I request through Interlibrary Loan?
    Interlibrary Loan aims to provide access to books, CDs, DVDs, microfilm, journal articles, and other materials that are not available from The City Library. Please search the catalog to confirm that the item is not already owned by The City Library before requesting materials through Interlibrary Loan. Non-circulating items that are owned by The City Library—including reference tools, rare or valuable materials, and bound volumes of periodicals—may not be requested using this service.

    Browse Our Collection

    Be aware that The City Library does not request to borrow VHS, cassette tapes, or vinyl from other institutions, nor can art prints, maps, or periodicals be requested. In addition, The City Library does not request to borrow materials published in the last 6 months via Interlibrary Loan; you may only request items published over 6 months ago. For newer materials published in the last 6 months that The City Library does not own, consider submitting your request via the Suggest an Item for Purchase form instead.

    Materials Selection Policy

    How do I submit an Interlibrary Loan request?
    In most cases, Interlibrary Loan requests can be placed directly via The City Library's online catalog (microfilm and journal article requests being the notable exceptions). Patrons should first expand their search beyond The City Library's collection to include the entire Library of Congress catalog. To do so, click the Select Databases link located just below the search bar on the Keyword Search page of the catalog and select Library of Congress under the Interlibrary Loan section. Then proceed with your search. When the search results page appears, if the search status bar does not indicate that "All retrieved results have been added," click the Add Pending Results link to display items retrieved from the Library of Congress catalog. If the item can be located via this expanded search of the Library of Congress catalog, patrons can submit an Interlibrary Loan request directly by clicking the Place Hold button next to the item.

    Instructional Video: Placing an Interlibrary Loan request via The City Library's online catalog

    This is the preferred method for placing an Interlibrary Loan request because it provides Library Staff with immediate and accurate information about the item being requested, as well as providing them with your account information. In addition, the request and its status are immediately reflected in your online patron account and updated accordingly as your request is processed.

    If your search returns no results, including searches of the Library of Congress catalog as detailed above, you can request the item via Interlibrary Loan manually. To submit a manual Interlibrary Loan request, please email ill@slcpl.org or call 801-322-8143 with your library card account number and specific details about the item you would like to request. As mentioned previously, microfilm and journal articles should be requested in this manner.

    If the requested item cannot be located after an extensive search of other institutions conducted by Library staff, you will be contacted directly to inform you that the search has been exhausted and that your request has been cancelled. If it does not fall within the Materials Selection Policy or the above guidelines regarding what can be requested, you will receive an automated notice of cancellation of your request.

    How much will it cost?
    The City Library will always search for free lenders first, but if your requested item is only available from a charging library, we will contact you first before adding that cost to your account. Some libraries charge a processing, shipping, and handling fee, ranging from $10.00 to $25.00.

    Be aware that The City Library's standard overdue fines, damage fees, and billed charges apply to borrowed ILL materials.

    How long will it take?
    Interlibrary loan staff will request an item from the closest available source—up to 15 institutions, if necessary. As a result, Interlibrary Loan materials may take two to six weeks to arrive. Patrons can request to pick up their materials at any City Library location and will be notified by email or phone when their materials have arrived. Materials will be held behind the Service Desk at each Library location. You must present your library card in order to pick up Interlibrary Loan materials.

    How long may I keep the item?
    The loan period—typically two to four weeks—is set by the institution from which the item is borrowed, not The City Library.

    You may request renewal of the item up to four business days before the due date by emailing ill@slcpl.org or by calling 801-322-8143. Because we must honor loan periods set by the loaning institution, some renewal requests may be denied.