You need a library card to borrow materials. If you don't have a library card, you can apply online or in person at any Hennepin County library.

Learn more about library cards

Borrowing materials

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


All items (except downloads) – 50 items per account

Download limits:

  • OverDrive Digital Library/Libby – 15 eBooks and audiobooks
Loan periods

Most library material can be checked out for 3 weeks.

DVDs can be checked out for 1 week.

No overdue fines are charged for items returned late up to 41 days after the due date. Starting 41 days after the due date, if an item is not returned, a replacement fee is charged. More about fees for items not returned.

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


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

Download hold limits (OverDrive Digital Library/Libby) – 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.

  • Interlibrary loans and book club kits cannot be renewed.
  • OverDrive Digital Library titles can be renewed three days before the expiration date, as long as there are no holds.
Other ways to renew

Returns are accepted at all library locations. Book drops are open for returns 24/7.

The following locations offer drive-up book drops:

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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.


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:

  • (for Due soon notification)
  • (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.


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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Items not returned

A fee will be charged to a patron’s account for items not returned within 40 days of their final due date. If the item is returned within one year of the due date, the fee will be removed from your account.

Once a patron has paid a replacement fee, it cannot be refunded even if the patron finds the item after paying. Instead of paying the nonrefundable fee, you may be able to supply the library with a replacement copy (certain rules apply). Please contact library staff before purchasing.

Replacement fees for lost items

Fees for lost library material (based on average cost for the type of material):

  • Group 1: includes board books; comics; magazines; Minnesota Driver's License Manuals; newspapers; children's paperbacks - $5.00/item
  • Group 2: includes mass market paperbacks; children's fiction books; easy readers; easy mixed media; adult readers - $10.00/item
  • Group 3: includes music CDs; easy and teen fiction and nonfiction books $15.00/item
  • Group 4: includes adult fiction books; children's nonfiction books; children's mixed media; children's and easy DVDs; music CD boxed sets - $20.00/item
  • Group 5: includes adult nonfiction books; large print books; adult and teen DVDs; children's and easy audiobooks on CD; adult and teen music CD boxed sets - $25.00/item
  • Group 6: includes adult and teen audiobooks on CD; read-alongs; adult mixed media - $50.00/item
  • Group 7: includes laptop computer; power check energy meter - list price (default $100)

Fee balance

If your fee balance is:

  • Under $30 - You have full borrowing privileges.
  • Over $30- You can renew items. If you pay at least 10% of the balance, you can check out up to 2 items.

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

Paying fees

Log in to your account to determine what fees 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.

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