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Library Card & Borrowing Policy


The Library issues free Library cards to anyone residing in California.

Library cardholders agree to obey the rules and regulations of the Mountain View Public Library and to abide by the borrower’s agreement.

Library card and borrowing regulations may change as needed to respond to community needs.


The Library cardholder may borrow circulating Library materials, use the Library's Internet stations, and access electronic resources and materials.

A Library card is issued to an individual, who is responsible for:

  • Returning Library materials in good condition by the due date.
  • Paying all fines and fees associated with the cardholder’s account as described in this policy.
  • Paying fees for replacement costs of lost or damaged items.
  • Notifying the Library of changes in name, address, phone number, or e-mail address and immediately reporting a lost or stolen card.

Parents or guardians of cardholders under the age of 18 are responsible for the above.


Per California Government Code 6267, public library records are considered confidential. See the Library Confidentiality Policy for more information.


Getting a Library Card

Library cards are free. All applicants must be able to write their first and last names. Exceptions can be made for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) considerations.

Library cards are available to residents of the State of California. Most needs can be satisfied with a Regular Card. A Limited Card (with a limit of two items at a time) can be obtained without showing proof of address or if living out of State. A Temporary Card (for use of electronic resources) may be obtained through the Library website and used for up to 30 days before coming in person to the Library to show identification.

Types of Library Cards

Current Photo I.D. Required CA Address Required CA Address Verification Required
Temporary Card* No No No
Limited Card Yes No No
Regular Card** Yes Yes Yes

*After registering on the Library website, an access number will be provided that is valid for 30 days. Prior to the end of the 30-day period, the cardholder must visit the Library in person with valid picture ID and proof of current address to obtain a permanent Library card.

**If the picture identification does not have a current address, additional proof of address is required.

Library Cards for Children Under the Age of 13

For children under the age of 13, a parent or a legal guardian needs to provide their own picture identification and proof of current local address and phone number.

Library Cards for Young Adults Between the Ages of 13 and 17

Young adults between the ages of 13 and 17 need to provide the name of a parent or legal guardian and phone number on the card application. Current picture identification and proof of current address is required. If such documents are not available, the parent or legal guardian needs to present their own current picture identification and proof of current address at the time of application. A parent notification letter is sent to all parents when a young adult obtains a Library card.

Borrowing Regulations

Check out MV Library Materials Check out Link+ Materials Access Electronic Resources Use of Internet Stations Place Holds Book Study Rooms Expiration
Temporary Card 0 No Yes No Yes Yes 30 Days
Limited Card 2 No Yes Yes Yes Yes 3 Years
Regular Card 100 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 3 Years

Using a Library Card

Customers need to use their Library card or know their Library card number and PIN when borrowing materials. Picture identification is required to replace a lost or stolen Library card and to check out LINK+ items (see Link+ Section below). To renew a card, customers may visit the Library or contact Customer Service.

Loan Periods, Limits, and Renewals

Material Loan Period Limit Renewals
Books 4 weeks * 3
Music CDs 4 weeks * 3
DVD Sets
1 week
2 weeks
30 per card total 3
Friends of the Library Collection (no holds) 1 week - DVD
2 weeks - books
* 1
Periodicals 4 weeks * 1
Console Games 4 weeks 3 per card 1
Link+ 3 weeks * 1
Book Club Kits 6 weeks 2 per card 1

*Note that the total system limit is 100 items.

Fines, Fees, and Replacement Costs

Material  Fine  Fee Replacement Cost
Hold not picked up  --  $1.00 --
Link+ item  $1.00 per day  -- $115.00
Lost or damaged item  --  --  Replacement cost of item


Customers can make payments at the Library or on the Library website. In person at the Library, customers may use a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card, check, cash, or Apple Pay. On the Library’s website, customers may use a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card.


Renewals are allowed only if there are no holds on an item.

Materials may be renewed online by going to “My Library Account” on the Library website.

Online Renewals Occurring After 11:59 p.m. on the Due Date Will be Treated as Overdue

To renew materials by phone, call the 24-hour automated renewal line at 650-940-1015. This automated line cannot renew items that are overdue. For staff-assisted telephone renewals, please call the Library at 650-903-6336 during open hours.


The Library provides three automated return stations which supply receipts. The return inside the Library is available during the Library’s open hours. The walk-up return is located at the front of the Library on Franklin Street and is available 24 hours a day. The drive-up return is located in the Library underground parking garage and is available during the garage open hours. When the walk-up and drive-up returns are not available, the manual book drop at the front of the Library may be used.


Customers may find out about overdue materials and outstanding fines on the Library’s website or by presenting their Library card at the Customer Service Desk. Borrowing privileges and Library computer usage may be restricted if fines and fees are not paid as required. Library accounts with $25 or more in fines or fees will have borrowing privileges suspended.

Lost or Damaged Material Fees

If an item is lost or damaged, the borrower will be charged for the replacement cost of the item. Customer replacements for lost or damaged items are not accepted. If a lost item is paid for but is then found within six months of payment, the item can be returned for a refund. If any part of an item is missing upon return, the full replacement cost of the item may be charged.


The Library allows customers to request materials or place a hold on any item except reference materials, current issues of magazines, and items from the Friends of the Library collection. There is no charge for placing holds. Items will be held for seven days. A fine of $1 will be charged if a hold is not picked up or cancelled. A maximum of 15 current holds, including LINK+, are allowed for each cardholder.

Holds may be placed by using the catalog on the Library website or by calling 650-903-6336.

When a hold item is available for pickup, the customer is notified via e-mail, text message, phone, or mail. The Library card of the customer who placed the hold or the Library card number and PIN is required to check out the item.

Customers may freeze their holds. Freezing a hold means that your position in the hold queue is skipped over until the hold is unfrozen. Freezing a hold allows you to time the arrival of some of your holds to a more convenient time for you. Customers may do this by logging onto their Customer Account.

Interlibrary Loan

Materials may only be borrowed from other libraries via LINK+.


LINK+ (Link Plus) is a free service that allows cardholders to borrow books not available at the Mountain View Public Library. LINK+ is a cooperative effort among many California and Nevada public and academic libraries. There is no charge for this service.

When you receive a notification, your LINK+ books will be ready for you to check out at the Customer Service desk. Items are held for 10 days. LINK+ books are not kept on the self-service holds shelves, so please ask a staff person for assistance.

Return LINK+ books directly to a staff person at the Mountain View Public Library returns desk and get a receipt. Do not put LINK+ books in the book drop or automated return.

The borrowing policies are governed by the LINK+ consortium. The loan period for LINK+ books is three weeks, with one renewal for three additional weeks if the lending library agrees to do so. The request for renewal is allowed at two days before the due date, with the exception of DVDs, which cannot be renewed. Overdue fines are $1 per day per item, and the replacement cost for a lost or damaged LINK+ item is $115.

Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees: June 19, 2006
Revised: December 9, 2019

View a Printable PDF Version of the Library Card & Borrowing Policy