Borrow & Return

Checkouts & Renewals

Manage your library loans confidently.

Checkout Periods & Renewals for Physical Items
Format Checkout Period Renewals Returns
Most Items 3 weeks 3 Return at any SJPL location.
SJ Access Devices 90 days 1 (30 days)
  • Return at any SJPL location.
  • Hand directly to a library staff member.
LINK+ Items
(for Full Access cards only)
  • 7 days on some media items
  • 21 days for everything else
  • Return at any SJPL location.
  • Hand directly to a library staff member.
Lucky Day Items
  • Books: 3 weeks
  • DVDs: 1 week
  • Books: 3
  • DVDs: 0
Return at any SJPL location.
Magazines 1 week 1 Return at any SJPL location.
Videos 3 weeks 3 Return at any SJPL location.

Note: Checkout periods and renewals for Educator Cards are different. They are 6 weeks with 1 renewal for an additional 6 weeks (automatic renewals unless there are outstanding holds).

Checkout Limits

  • Full Access Cards: up to 100 physical items, including a maximum of 10 videos and 2 maximum of SJ Access devices
  • Limited Status Cards: up to 1 physical item
  • Temporary Cards: up to 20 physical items, including a maximum of 10 videos
  • Student Cards: up to 5 physical items, including 2 maximum of SJ Access devices
  • Educator Cards: up to 100 physical items, including up to 30 DVDs and 2 maximum of SJ Access devices
  • Limits vary for eLibrary items.


  • We will automatically renew most physical items, including books, DVDs, and CDs that are checked out on your account.
  • Each renewal changes the due date to 3 weeks after the original due date, except for hotspots, Chromebooks, iPads, and laptops.
  • Educator Cards get 1 automatic renewal per item for 6 weeks.
  • You can still renew items yourself if you want.
  • An item cannot be renewed if it has been requested by another customer.
  • Learn more about how auto-renewals work.

Hold Requests

Reserve your next favorite item easily.

Holds Limits

Placing Holds

Place holds on items you want to check out. When you receive a notice your items are ready, pick them up at your selected location.

You can place a hold either from your search results or from the page of an individual title.

  • Select "Place a Hold".
  • If you are not logged in, you will be asked to log in.
  • Once you are logged in and have selected "Place a Hold", you will be asked to select your pickup location.
  • After selecting your pickup location, you need to select the "Confirm Hold" hold button.
  • You will see a popup message at the top of the page that says your hold was requested.
  • If you want to check on your holds, you can select "On Hold" after selecting the "Log In / My SJPL" button in the upper right corner of the page.
  • Wait until the hold status shows "Ready for Pickup" or you receive a notice before coming to the library to pick up your item(s).
  • After your items arrive at your pick-up location, we will hold them for up to 7 days.

Learn more about holds from catalog help.


Returns made simple. Drop off items at any location.

Return your items at any SJPL location. It doesn't need to be returned to the same SJPL location where you checked it out. If you are returning an SJ Access deviceLINK+ item, or an interlibrary loan (ILL) item, please hand the device or item directly to a staff member.


  • When you pick up your item(s), a paper receipt with due dates will be provided.
  • You can also check your due dates online or contact us for help.
  • If you have an email address in your account, you will get an email notice 3 days before the item is due.
  • You can add or update your email address under "Account Information" in "My Settings".

Fines, Fees, & Lost/Damaged Items

Depending on the item or when you checked out your items, fines and fees are handled differently. Educator Cards and Student Cards will never have late fees but can have lost or damaged item fees.

Since March 17, 2020, the Library has not charged late fines on overdue materials.

Starting January 3, 2023, fines and fees resumed. Adult, LINK+, and interlibrary loan (ILL) materials that have been checked out or renewed after January 3, 2023,  accrue fines if they become overdue and are returned late. All children and youth materials, devices, and state park passes will continue to be fine-free.

Here are some additional details to note, regarding fines, fees, and billing:

  • Billed Notice: After an item is 28 days overdue, you will get billed a notice for non-returned items.
  • Lost/Damaged Items: If you know you have lost or damaged an item, your account will be charged the cost of the item plus a $10 processing fee.
  • $20+ Limits: If you owe $20 or more on your account, you will not be able to place holds online, and items cannot be renewed. Call us at 408-808-2000email us, or chat with us for help in placing holds or renewing items if you have this issue.

Before Our Closure (before March 17, 2020)

  • If you had fines and fees on your account before we closed, those still exist.
  • You can pay those fees online when you log into your account, or pay in person at any library location.
  • Access Programs offer other ways to eliminate your fines.
  • If you owe $20 or more on your account, you will not be able to place holds online, and items cannot be renewed. Call us at 408-808-2000email us, or chat with us for help in placing holds or renewing items if you have this issue.

Fee Breakdown

Here is the breakdown of the fees:


No Late Fees for Children's & YA Items

25 cents

Daily Late Fee Per Item


Maximum Late Fee Per Item


Processing Fee for Lost/Damaged Items

Oops! Mistakes Happen - Before You Pay, Find a Different Way

Do you have library fines you want to eliminate? Take advantage of our Access Programs to keep your account clear of fines.

Read Away Your Fines

Youth Under 18 can eliminate late fines by reading. Attend an approved program to have $5 deducted for every 15 minutes of reading.

Volunteer Away Your Fines

Do you have library fines you want to clear? By volunteering, you can eliminate your library fines at a rate of $20 per hour. For All Ages

Book Replacement Program

Replace a lost book with a new and unused book as payment. Bring the book to your local library and have your fees cleared. For All Ages.

Using Your Library Card

Know how to unlock and maintain your membership.

Special Note for Student Cards

If you have a Student Card issued by your school, visit our Student Card page.

For All Other Cards

Your library card comes with a number and a PIN code. You can use your library card number and PIN to:

  • Log in to your account online.
  • Check out or access items from our eLibrary.

Card Expiration

To check when your card expires, you can go to My Settings, and the expiration date will appear in the first info box, along with your username.

If your card is expired, it can limit your ability to place holds, check out items, and access some parts of our eLibrary.

How to Renew Your Card

If your card is expired, you'll need to take your card and a picture ID with your current address on it to any of our library locations. If your ID doesn't have your current address, it's okay to bring a piece of mail that shows the address, too.

Keeping Your Account Current

You can update some things on your own when you go to My Settings in your account online, such as:

If you need to update other information, such as your physical address, contact us.

Protect Your Account

  • Storing Your Card: Keep your card in a safe place where you know you can find it.
  • Your PIN:
    • Do not share your PIN code with anyone.
    • Select a PIN code that is not easy to guess. For example, do not select "1234".
  • Lost/Stolen Card: If your library card is lost or stolen, please contact us immediately. You are responsible for all charges from items borrowed on your card before the Library is notified of your card's loss. You may be charged a $1.00 fee to replace a lost or stolen card.

Privacy & Confidentiality

Your privacy matters to us.

Using the Catalog

  • Checkouts Are Confidential: What you check out on your library card is confidential. That means no one except authorized staff can see what you place on hold or have checked out.
  • Borrowing History off by Default: Your borrowing history is turned off by default. That means we do not keep a record of what you have borrowed after it is returned, unless you change your borrowing history settings. If you choose to turn on your borrowing history, a list of items you have borrowed will be kept for you in our database.
  • Sharing in our Catalog: Our catalog has some sharing features available, such as ShelvesFeeds, comments, likes, reviews, and more.
  • Catalog Alternative: If you do not want to use our current catalog, Classic Catalog is available and does not use sharing features like our current catalog.

Privacy Policy

Learn more about how we protect your privacy and confidentiality by reading our Privacy Policy.


Get the help you need, your way.

For questions about your library account, you can:

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