Getting Started


Home Catalog My Account Getting Started

Table of Contents
How do I get a library card? How do I find materials?
What are the loan periods? How do I request materials?
How do I renew items? How do I manage my account?
What are the late fees? How do I find my PIN?
Can other people use my library card? How do I change my address or phone number?

How do I get a library card?

Library cards are available at no charge to the following:

Applicants must provide documentation that shows identity and current address to receive a library card.

Preferred: photo ID with current address, such as a driver's license or U.S passport.

Acceptable: ID without a photo such as birth certificate, along with proof of address.

Proof of address may include one or more of the following items:

In order to receive an out-of-county library card at no charge, some applicants may need to provide additional documentation:

A library card may be obtained at any age. If the applicant is under 18, a parent or guardian's approval is required. Anyone who is not eligible for a free library card may obtain an out-of-county library card for an annual fee of $60.00.

Online Library Card Application

A 21-day temporary library card number, good for using most online resources from home as well as for placing up to three holds on library materials, may be obtained by filling out the online library card application. To check out materials, or to continue using online resources beyond the 21-day temporary period, applicants must appear in person at a library branch and present proof of identification and residency in order to receive a permanent library card number.

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What are the loan periods?

The loan period for books, magazines, audiobooks, music CDs, DVDs, and multimedia is two weeks.

A total of 75 items may be checked out to a single account. All media items, including DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks, are limited to 10 items per type on a single account.

Lending periods for eBooks vary, and items are "returned" automatically so that no fines accrue.

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How do I renew items?

Items can be renewed up to two times after you have checked them out. Each renewal will reset your due date to two weeks from the renewal date. An item can only be renewed twice and only if no other patrons are on hold for it.

To renew your items:

  1. Click on My Account.
  2. Enter your library barcode and PIN.
  3. Click on "Log In."
  4. Click on "Items Out" at the top of the page.
  5. Check the check boxes next to any item that you wish to renew. Make sure these items have renewals left by looking to the right in the "Renewals Left" column.
  6. Click the "Renew Selected Items" button.
  7. The screen will display if your items renewed and if not, it will display the reason why it did not. For instance, if you have already used your two renewals or if the item is on hold for another patron, you will not be able to renew.
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What are the late fees?

To encourage the prompt return of materials so that others may use them, the library charges 20¢ per item per day for late returns. For your convenience, all library branches have drive-up book drops available 24/7.

When a patron's fees total $10.00 or more, the library card is blocked until the total goes under $10.00.

Also, when a patron owes $10.00 or more in any combination fees or the value of long-overdue materials, the account is referred to Unique Management Services, Inc., a collection agency that specializes in libraries, and an additional processing fee is added to the account.

If packaging or component parts from media are not returned, the borrower will be charged a replacement fee.

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Can other people use my library card?

Adding other users to your library card allows them to check out items from the library using your library card. They can either present the library card or personal identification at checkout. Authorized users need to know the account PIN in order to access online resources or use the computers.

Keep in mind that the cardholder is financially responsible for any items checked out on the card, whether it was the cardholder or an authorized user who checked the items out.

To add an authorized user to your card, notify us in person during your next library visit.

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How do I find materials?

Instructions for searching the catalog:

  1. Click on Catalog.
  2. Once on the catalog home page, click on the "Search" tab.
  3. Type your search terms into the "Keywords search for:" box.
  4. Select the appropriate "Search by" field to start the search – "Author" to search for an item by author, "Title" for a title search, etc. then click "Go!"
  5. Click on "More Information" for an item to see detailed information about it.
  6. Click on "Is it on the shelf?" to see if the item is available and which branches have it.
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How do I request materials?

Place a Hold

You may place a hold for any circulating library material currently checked out or owned by any Forsyth County Library branch.

  1. Click on Catalog.
  2. Once on the catalog home page, click on the "Search" tab
  3. Type your search terms into the search terms box
  4. Select the appropriate "Search by" field to start the search – "Author" to search for an item by author, "Title" for a title search, etc.
  5. Once the search is complete, click on "Place Request"
  6. Enter your barcode and PIN
  7. Click "Log In"
  8. Choose your pick-up location from the drop-down menu
  9. Click "Submit Request"

There is no charge for placing a hold. Staff can also assist you in placing holds in the library or over the phone. You may have up to 50 holds at one time. Please allow 2–4 days for an item that is available at another branch to be shipped to your branch. If you need the item sooner, please call that branch and ask them to pull the book for you. You can be notified that your hold is ready for pickup by email or telephone. You can also check "My Account" in the library catalog to see if your hold is ready for pickup.

Items remain on the Hold Shelf for 7 days.

Cancel a Hold
  1. Click on My Account.
  2. Enter your library barcode and PIN
  3. Click on "Log In"
  4. Click on "Requests"
  5. Check the box to the left of the title you wish to cancel
  6. Click on "Cancel Selected" at the bottom of the page
  7. Click on "Yes"
  8. Status will show "Cancelled" by this title
Borrow from another library system

You may borrow books from other library systems by submitting an Interlibrary Loan request.

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How do I manage my account?

Saved Searches

Saved searches are automated searches that are run on the library catalog at preset intervals. You can set them up to notify you when results have changed. Saved Searches can be used to notify you when new books from a favorite author or a particular title have been added to the library's collection.

  1. Click on Catalog.
  2. Once on the catalog home page, click on the "Search" tab.
  3. Type your search terms into the search terms box.
  4. Select the appropriate "Search by" field to start the search – "Author" to search for an item by author, "Title" for a title search, etc. If you are setting up a saved search for an item the library does not currently have, it is okay if there are no titles found.
  5. Once the search is complete, click on "Save Search."
  6. Enter your library barcode and your PIN.
  7. Enter a name for the saved search in the "Search name" field and, if you want, a reminder of what the search is for in the "Note" field.
  8. Ensure that your email address is correct and decide if you want the search to email you if there are no results each time it is conducted. If you do not want a "no results" email, uncheck the box.
  9. Once this is completed, click on "Save Search." When an item matching your search criteria is found in the database, you will be emailed a notification. From there, you can search the library catalog and place a hold on the item.
Reading History

Enabling reading history will keep a record of all the items you check out.

  1. Click on My Account.
  2. Log in with your library barcode and PIN.
  3. Expand the "Contact Information and Preferences" section by clicking on it.
  4. Under Preferences, select the box marked "Maintain reading list."
  5. Please note that enabling this option means such data could be accessed via subpoena by law enforcement personnel without your consent. You must click "OK" on the box that pops up to continue.
  6. Click on the "Submit Change Request" button.
  7. A new option will appear under your "My Account" tab now called "Reading History." Click on this to view your check out history.
My Lists

The library catalog enables you to save custom lists of titles.

  1. Click on My Account.
  2. Log in with your library barcode and PIN.
  3. Click on the "Search" tab at the top of the screen.
  4. Click on "My Lists."
  5. Click on "Create new saved title list."
  6. Enter a title for your new list.
  7. Click on the "Search" tab and begin searching the library catalog.
  8. Once you find a title you would like to add to your list, click on "Add to list" to the right of the item's name.
  9. Select the appropriate list. The title is now added to your list!
  10. Now you can go to the search tab and click on "My Lists" to browse your lists.
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How do I find my PIN?

Your PIN is the four to sixteen digit number associated with your ten-digit library card barcode number that you chose when you registered for your card. You can have this PIN emailed to the email address on your library account.

  1. Click on My Account.
  2. Click on "Forgot your PIN?"
  3. Enter your ten-digit library card barcode.
  4. Click on "E-mail PIN."
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How do I change my address or phone number?

  1. Click on My Account.
  2. Enter your library barcode and PIN.
  3. Click on "Log In."
  4. Click on "Contact Information and Preferences" to expand that section.
  5. You can change your phone number and email address from here. If you wish to change your street address, you will need to come in person to one of the libraries with proof of your new address (driver's license, utility bill, etc.).
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