Borrowing materials

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You'll need a library card to check out materials in library buildings or online.

Limits

All items (except downloads) – 50 items per account

Download limits:

  • cloudLibrary – 15 eBooks
  • OverDrive – 15 eBooks and audiobooks
  • RBdigital – 15 audiobooks
  • Freegal – 5 songs per week
Loan periods

Most library material can be checked out for 3 weeks.

DVDs can be checked out for 1 week.

Fees and fines are charged for items renewed late, returned late or never returned.

Use the library catalog to place holds online or Ask Us for assistance.

Limits

All items (except downloads) – 50 holds (including holds ready to be picked up)

Download limits:

  • cloudLibrary – 15 holds 
  • OverDrive Digital Library – 15 holds 
  • RBdigital – 15 holds 
Manage your holds
  • Log in to your account to view, cancel or pause your hold requests.
  • Set your holds to “paused” status if you want to delay a hold so you won’t miss it. A paused hold will continue to move up the waiting list but will not be filled until you resume the hold or the paused date expires.
  • Use the "For Later" shelf to save a list of items that you may want to reserve in the future.
Pickup locations

When an item is coming due, an attempt will be made to renew it automatically from the previous due date for another full borrowing period (three weeks for most items, one week for DVDs).

An item can be renewed a maximum of three times, unless another patron has an active hold on it.

Exceptions
  • Interlibrary loans and book club kits cannot be renewed.
  • cloudLibrary titles cannot be renewed but can be checked out again if there is no waiting list.
  • OverDrive Digital Library titles can be renewed three days before the expiration date, as long as there are no holds.
Other ways to renew
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Notifications

It is important to keep contact information up-to-date to receive account notifications. Ask Us to update your email address or phone number or to change notification method.

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Due soon notices

Email only. If you would like to turn this notification off or on, please Ask Us.

Three days before you have items due, you will get an email that lists items that are due soon and items that were automatically renewed (with the new due date).

This is an optional courtesy notice. If the email fails to be delivered, you are still responsible for fines on items returned late.

Hold notices

Email or phone. Ask Us if you’d like to change notification method.

You will be notified when a requested item is ready to pick up, including the pickup location and the expiration date (last day to pick up the item).

Overdue notices

Email or phone. Ask Us if you’d like to change notification method. 

You will be notified when an item is about a week overdue. After about 20 days, your account will be charged for a lost item.

Email

If your email address is correct and you are not receiving notices, you may need to set your email account to accept mail from these addresses:

  • notices@hclib.org (for Due soon notification)
  • notices@hennepin.hclib.org (for Requests and Overdue notification)

When an email is returned as undeliverable, a message will be placed in your account, but that notice will not be re-sent. Phone notification will then be used for future notices until the problem is resolved.

Phone

An automated phone system places calls and leaves messages. As soon as the system detects that the phone has been answered, the message is played, It does not wait for beeps, chimes etc. It cannot interact with voice messaging systems.

Reasons you may not be receiving phone notifications from the library:

  • Phone blocking software
  • Long outgoing messages on your voice mail
  • Phone not answered
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Fines and fees

Fines are charged for overdue materials.

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All children's and teen items, including DVDs
  • $.05 per day
  • Maximum is $1.00 (per item, per loan period)
All adult items, including DVDs
  • $.30 per day
  • Maximum fine is $6.00 (per item, per loan period)
If your fine balance is:
  • Under $10 - You have full borrowing privileges.
  • $10-$49.99 - You can renew items. If you pay at least 10% of the balance, you can check out up to 2 items.
  • $50 or more - You can renew items. If you reduce the balance to less than $50 (minimum payment is 10% of the total), you can check out up to 2 items.

Fees and fines will not prevent you from using library computers, downloads or other online services.

Log in to your account to determine what fees and fines have been charged to your library card.

If the balance is $2.00 or more, you can pay online with a credit card (Visa or MasterCard). To pay online, log in to your account.

Fees and fines of all types remain on your account until paid.

If you think the item may be found, we recommend discussing options with staff before paying the nonrefundable fee.

A nonrefundable fee will be charged for items that have not been returned and are overdue more than 20 days. The fee is based on the average cost for items of that kind, not the exact cost of a particular item.

Instead of paying the non-refundable fee, you may be able to supply the library with a replacement copy (certain rules apply). Please contact library staff before purchasing.

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Interlibrary loan

Use interlibrary loan (ILL) to request items that are not owned by Hennepin County Library.

If Hennepin County Library does not own an item, you can use MNLINK to search for and request it from academic and public libraries throughout Minnesota. If you can't find the item in MNLINK, Ask Us for assistance.

Request an interlibrary loan

Learn more about interlibrary loan