Book Replacement Program

Stack of old books next to a stack of new ones.

Replace a lost book with a new one.

San José Public Library (SJPL) now offers an ongoing Book Replacement Program. We will accept a new book from our book replacement list (PDF) as payment for a lost book.

You can bring a new and unused book from that list to any of our Express Pickup locations.

Book Replacement List (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible?
All SJPL cardholders are eligible to bring a new book to replace a lost book.

How does it work?

  • Bring a new and unused book from one of these lists:
  • Go to an Express Pickup location and call or text that location's Express Pickup number. (The number is available on our Express Pickup page and is also posted at the location itself.)
  • When you text that location, let them know you are there to drop off an item for the Book Replacement Program.
  • Have your library card number ready. You will need to provide your card number, so staff can clear the fine.
  • Drop the book off in the designated box or bin at that location.
  • The new book is treated as payment for the lost book, and fees will be cleared.
  • Special Covid-19 Note: For your safety, all items are placed in quarantine.

Here's what to do if you don't have a cell phone for calling or texting:

  • Before leaving home, write your name, library card number and the following message on a sheet of paper: "I'm here to drop of an item for the Book Replacement Program."
  • Locate the door near the Express Pickup signs
  • Knock and hold up the hand-written sign to show staff.
  • Our staff will respond and help.

Need special assistance or have a special request? Please contact us before arriving at the location.

What materials are not included in this program?
These are that materials that are not eligible:

  • Media (DVDs, CDs, Audio Books, Kits, etc.)
  • LINK+ materials
  • ILLiad (interlibrary loan) materials
  • San José State University materials

Why are we doing this?
The Book Replacement Program is intended to help cardholders regain access to the library. The program is part of our effort to reduce barriers to information and services.

How can I clear my past fines?
Learn how to Volunteer Away Your Fines. Learn how children and teens under 18 can participate in Read Away Your Fines.