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Welcome to San José Public Library. Let's make the most of your free library card with us!

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Small meeting room available at SJPL Works - table with four chairs, whiteboard and monitor on opposite walls.

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Mosaic of library users and staff that reflect the diversity of San Jose.

Events Calendar

We've got something for everyone! We offer hundreds of free events per month at 25 locations.

Events

Frequently Asked Questions

Borrowing & Checkouts

  • Most books can be renewed 3 times. Each renewal will be for 3 weeks. In most cases, the renewals will be done automatically, so you don't have to renew the items manually yourself. You should receive an email notification informing you of which items were renewed. However, if an item has hold requests (others waiting), then you will not be able to renew.  Non-Fiction DVDs can be renewed if there are no requests. Lucky Day DVDs, Lucky Day books, and magazines are not renewable.

    Related Page: Borrow & Return 

  • No, however, we do offer a different parks pass for Santa Clara County Parks that is also FREE! 

  • To see what you already have checked out, you have two options:

    • Go Directly:
      • Selecting "Log In / My SJPL" in the upper right corner of any page on our site, and then select "Checked Out" under "MY BORROWING".
      • You'll be prompted to log in with your username/card number and PIN.
        • If it's your first time logging in, you'll go through a few steps to register your account. During this process you'll be prompted to create a username.
    • Go to My Library Dashboard:
      • If you prefer to see everything at once — checkouts, holds, fees, and more — select "My Library Dashboard" from the "Log in / My SJPL" dropdown in the header.
      • Then, select "Checked Out" from the sidebar on the page under "My Borrowing".

    Related Pages: Borrow & Return, Catalog & Website – TIPS – My Dashboard, Account Help - Checked Out

  • For fastest service and self-service options, please use your library card to borrow items.

    For occasions when you may not have your library card with you, you may present a valid photo ID.

    Related Page: Borrow & Return

  • San José Public Library holds limits are:

    For questions about these changes, please connect with a library staff member available 7-days a week through SJPL's chat service or call 408-808-2000.

    Additional Notes:

    • Reference Materials may not be requested.
    • Get more information about borrowing at Borrow & Return.

    Related Page: Borrow & Return

Holds

  • Holds Pickup Lockers are a self-service lockers that allow you to check out items you've placed on hold in a convenient, contact free method, with 24/7 access.

    Related Page: Holds Pickup Locker

  • Holds Pickup Lockers are located by the Empire Street entrance of the Joyce Ellington Branch. Holds Pickup Lockers are available 24/7.

    Related Page: Holds Pickup Locker

  • To see what you already have on hold, you can do the following:

    • Go Directly
      • Selecting "Log In / My SJPL" in the upper right corner of any page on our site, and then select "On Hold" under "MY BORROWING".
      • You'll be prompted to log in with your username/card number and PIN.
        • If it's your first time logging in, you'll go through a few steps to register your account. During this process you'll be prompted to create a username.
    • Go to My Library Dashboard
      • If you prefer to see everything at once — checkouts, holds, fees, and more — select "My Library Dashboard" from the "Log in / My SJPL" dropdown in the header.
      • Then, select "On Hold" from the sidebar on the page under "My Borrowing".

    Related Pages: Borrow & Return, Catalog & Website - TIPS - Holds, Account Help - On Hold

  • You will receive an email or a phone call when the item is ready to be picked up. Please make sure we have your updated contact information.

    You can also check the status of your Holds/Requests by logging into your SJPL account online. Select your username in the top right corner and look under under My Borrowing.

    If the Status indicates Ready for Pickup, then your item is ready to be picked up at the location indicated. Any other message under Status means that the item is not ready for pickup.

    Related Page: Catalog & Website - TIPS - Holds

  • Search our catalog to find the item you would like. Use the "Place Hold" button in your search results or on the page for an individual item.

    You may also call 1-408-808-2000 to speak to library staff. If the title you are looking for is not in our collection, you may be able to obtain a copy from the Link+, opens a new window catalog.

    San Jose State Items

    San José Public Library users can apply for special Community User access with San José State University. Note that this account is separate from your San José Public Library account.

    1. Apply for SJSU Community User access.
    2. Receive email confirmation indicating that your account is active and providing information on how to access your account.
    3. Request item through the SJSU OneSearch catalog for pick up at King Library. Community users may only request materials that are owned by SJSU.
    4. Wait for notification that item is ready for pick up at the SJSU service desk.

    Related Page: Borrow & Return

eResources

  • You may have seen the following error message on hoopla: 

    The collective daily borrow limit set by your library has been reached and will reset at midnight. Please browse and add titles to favorites so you can easily access them after midnight.

    The message above has recently been one of the most common errors for hoopla users. Hoopla only charges the library for what people use, and the library has a daily allowance for these materials. Once the library’s daily allowance is reached, users receive the error message above. The library has a budget for hoopla that is divided into a daily budget. This budget can be hit early in the day and an error message will pop up when you attempt to check out something.

    This collective daily limit is NOT related to your 6 monthly checkouts offered by San Jose Public Library. The collective daily limit will prevent checkouts even if you have additional individual checkouts available. 

    The best way to avoid this is by using hoopla as early in the morning as possible. The limit resets at midnight, so you can try again the next morning. If the limit has been reached, you can still put items into your favorites to check out at a later time. 

  • The San Jose Public Library provides free online access to the New York Times on Internet computers and library wi-fi at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library and at all Branch libraries during our normal operating hours. We also offer 72-hour offsite "At- Home" access through our website.

    Offsite "At-Home" access:

    1. Select this link to get your New York Times access code. This code will be usable by you for 72 hours.
    2. Click on "Redeem".
      After the first 72 hours have passed, you will need to redeem another code for another 72 hours of remote access (i.e. Repeat Steps 1&2).  
    3. Create an account with the New York Times or sign in with an existing New York Times account.  Please be advised that registering an email address with New York Times will opt you into receiving marketing emails from the New York Times. To opt out of receiving emails, be sure to click on the check box during your initial sign up.
    4. You will see a page that looks like this*:

    Click on "Go to NYTimes.com". Please note the date when your access ends.

    1. Enjoy the New York Times for 72 hours!

    Reading on The New York Times app

    The New York Times Digital app is free and available for the following operating systems:

    • Android
    • iOS
    • Kindle Fire

    Please visit your device's app store to get the app. You will need to follow the "Offsite " At-Home" access" instructions above in a browser before you log in to the The New York Times app:

    1. Follow steps 1 and 2 above to get your 72 hour access.
    2. Open the NYTimes app
    3. Log in with the email you used to register -- the access code will have already been applied.

    Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

    To access The New York Times Online on library internet computers and over branch wifi:

    Go to your favorite browser and type in www.nytimes.com. You can also find it by going to the San Jose Public Library website.

    1. Select Books & eResources at the top of the San Jose Public Library homepage. 
    2. Select “Newspapers & Magazines” from the “eBooks & Other Formats” category
    3. Find “New York Times (In-Library Access)” in the alphabetical list and press on the link for New York Times (In-Library Access)
    4. Finally, press on the link for the New York Times (In-Library Access) to access this resource

    * The text in the image reads:

    Welcome to The New York Times
    Enjoy your 3 days of unlimited access to NYTimes.com, and the NYTimes smartphone and tablet apps.
    An email confirmation has been sent to [your email]. Your digital access begins immediately and runs through [date]. Go to NYTimes.com [link].

    Related Page: Online Resources Help

  • Here are a few methods to solve this issue: 

    Change your default Kindle to your new device.

      1. Go to www.amazon.com and sign into your account.
      2. Mouse over the "Accounts & Lists" menu and choose "Content & Devices.
      3. Once you're in "Content & Devices", you'll see four tabs across the top of the screen, Select "Devices."
      4. You will see a section for your "Amazon devices" and another for "Amazon apps installed on devices". Select the image for "Amazon devices."
      5. It will give you images of all devices you have connected.
      6. Under one of them, with blue lettering will be the words "Default device". If you want to make the new Kindle the default device, select the image of that new Kindle.
      7. It will open a page with three grey text boxes on the right side. Select "Set as default device."
      8. When the confirmation window pops up, select "Save".
      9. Now, when you send items to your Kindle from OverDrive, they will automatically go to your new device.

    Choose a different Kindle when you check out your book.

    If you don't want to change your default device, you can just choose a different device when you collect your OverDrive book.

      1. After you have checked the book out and have been redirected to Amazon to "Get Library Book", look under the yellow button and choose a different device
      2. Select "Deliver" when you've made the selection.
    •  

    Download book from your Kindle Library.

      1. If you have sent your Kindle book to the wrong device, you can still read it by going to your Kindle Library on the Kindle you prefer and tapping on the cover
      2. The book should download to your device.
      3. If you don't see it in your library, select the "Sync" button to force your Kindle to check for library updates.
        • Make sure that you are connected to Wi-Fi.

    Related Page: Online Resources Help

  • San José Public Library eBooks can be checked out with a valid SJPL library card. Depending on the eBook format, you may need to download additional software. Visit the eBook Help pages for device-specific instructions.

    SJPL customers may obtain a OneSearch account to access San Jose State University materials. SJPL customers may access the University Library electronic resources only while in the King library on either personal computers or wireless devices.

    Related Page: Online Resources Help

  • After borrowing an OverDrive title from the SJPL catalog, you can use the Libby app to download titles directly to your mobile devices. If you want to download an eBook to a dedicated eReader, you can do so through Libby by following these steps.

    You can also use SJPL’s OverDrive website to download EPUBs or PDFs.

    Related Page: Online Resources Help, eResources - Books, Libby, Overdrive

Device Checkout

  • Due to budget adjustments for the fiscal year 2024-2025, the Hotspot circulation program will be discontinued as of August 1, 2024

    Related Page: Important Update: SJ Access Hotspot Program Ending 

  • Due to budget adjustments for the fiscal year 2024-2025, the Hotspot circulation program will be discontinued as of August 1, 2024

    Please return the hotspot device and charging cables to any SJPL location in person or through the book drop.

    Related Page: Important Update: SJ Access Hotspot Program Ending 

  • Due to budget adjustments for the fiscal year 2024-2025, the Hotspot circulation program will be discontinued as of August 1, 2024

    Access Free Library and Community Wi-Fi

    You can access free Wi-Fi (wifi) at library branches or connect to Community Wi-Fi in Downtown San José or select East Side Union High School District (ESUHSD) attendance areas. The process is simple and works for any wireless-enabled device, which includes most laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

    Free and Low-cost Internet Plans

    For households that meet specific income restrictions many internet service providers (ISPs) offer free or low-cost internet plans. To find out what plans you may qualify for:
    • Go to the Everyone On website
    • Search for your zip code
    • Check any boxes that apply to you
    • See information about any plans you might qualify for
    Additionally, the Lifeline Program is a federal program that makes phone and phone-internet service more affordable. You may be eligible to get Lifeline based on your income or participation in a government assistance program. If you qualify, you can get a monthly deduction off the cost of home phone or cell phone services. Visit the California Lifeline website for more information.
     

    Community-Based Organizations 

    We’d also like to highlight the following community-based organizations! They provide a variety of public support services including helping people sign up for affordable home internet, help with getting an affordable device, and offering digital skill-building classes. Below are links to their websites, contact information, and a brief description of their focus area. 

    Organization  Contact  Focus Area 
    Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County  408-468-0100
    info@ccscc.org
    2625 Zanker Rd, Suite 201, San Jose, CA 95134 Monday-Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 
    Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County serves and advocates for individuals and families in need, especially those living in poverty. 
    International Children Assistance Network (ICAN)  408-509-8788
    2072 Lucretia Avenue, San Jose, CA 95122 
    ICAN’s mission is to engage, inform and inspire Vietnamese Americans to raise the next generation of leaders. 
    International Rescue Committee, Inc. (IRC)  408-277-0255
    SanJose@Rescue.org
    1210 South Bascom Ave. Suite 227 San Jose, CA95128 
    The International Rescue Committee provides opportunities for refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking, survivors of torture, and other immigrants to thrive in America. 
    Step Up and Do Something! Inc.  408-772-8679
    unite@stepupanddosomething.org
    1314 Gainsville Avenue San Jose, CA 95122 
    StepUp! provide services to help people find solutions and resolutions to problems in at risk communities. 
    Sacred Heart Community Service  408-278-2160
    1381 South First Street San Jose, CA 95110 
    Sacred Heart’s mission is to build a community free from poverty by creating hope, opportunity, and action. 
    Tech Exchange  510-866-2260
    support@techexchange.org
    2530 International Blvd., Oakland, CA 94601 
    Tech Exchange’s mission is to ensure that all families have a computer, internet access, and the technology skills necessary to improve and enhance their lives 
    Vietnamese Voluntary Foundation Inc (VIVO)  408-532-7755
    2072 Lucretia Ave, San Jose, CA 95122 
    VIVO’s mission is to empower refugees and immigrants, low-income ethnic families to become productive participating citizens, by providing comprehensive Community Social and Cultural Services. 

    Related Page: Important Update: SJ Access Hotspot Program Ending 

  • Unfortunately, we are not offering this service for the 2023/2024 school year. Please see Wi-fi Hotspots for Students for more information. 

  • You can have two SJ Access device checkouts on your account. 

    Related Page: SJ Access: Free Internet & Tech Devices

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