The Library Card and Circulation Policies outline the requirements for issuance of a library Card and the Terms of Use for that card. It ensures all library users understand the policies and expectations of borrowing materials from the library.

Library Card Eligibility

  • Library cards are issued free of charge to any resident of Allegheny County. Applicants must have photo id and proof of residency. A current driver’s license is preferred, but the library will accept any valid photo id and an item that establishes residency like a utility bill, lease, etc.
  • Children under the age of eighteen must have a parent or legal guardian sign their registration card when applying for a library card. Parents or legal guardians who sign for a child’s card accept responsibility for items charged out to that card.
  • Non-Allegheny County residents who have a valid library card from a participating ACCESS Pennsylvania Library may also receive a library card free of charge.

Library Card Terms of Use:

  • A library card issued by a library in Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA)* is valid at any library within ACLA.
  • A library user may only have one library card at a time.
  • Library cards automatically renew as long as the card has been used in the prior year.
  • If a library card is lost, a replacement card may be issued for a $1.00 fee.
  • Cards may not be issued to third parties. The applicant must be present to sign for his/her library card.
  • Library users are responsible for all items checked out on their library card. Items that are damaged, lost, or stolen will be subject to replacement and reprocessing costs.
  • It is the library user’s responsibility to notify the library of any changes regarding name, address, phone number or email on their account. The library will request proof of identity and residency when updating library card accounts.
  • Items can be returned to any library in ACLA.

*ACLA includes all the public libraries in Allegheny County. It does not include private libraries or academic libraries, such as the libraries at University of Pittsburgh, or Carnegie Mellon University.

Circulation Policies

Item Type Loan period Renewals
Books 3 weeks 6
Books on Tape/CD 3 weeks 6
DVDs 1 week 6
DVDs over 300 min. 3 weeks 6

After six weeks overdue the user will be charged the replacement cost of the item plus a $5.00 processing fee.


If an item is not available at the user’s library, it can be requested from another library in the Allegheny County library system. The item will be shipped to a library in the Allegheny County library system of the user’s choosing. The user will be notified when the item is available for pickup. Items not picked up after seven days will be sent to back to the owning library or to the next person on the hold list. Any reserve items will have the time period for the loan and number of renewals assessed based on the checkout location, even if those rules differ from the item’s owning library.

Items not located in the ACLA system can be requested by establishing an inter-library loan account through the online catalog.

Lost or Damaged Material

Cardholders are responsible for the replacement cost of lost or damaged items. For children under 16, a parent or legal guardian is responsible for replacing children’s items. Library materials that are lost or not returned after six weeks are automatically billed to the user’s account. Bills include a $5 processing.

For items owned by other libraries:

The user is responsible for all materials borrowed on his/her library card and will be charged the price as listed in the library catalog plus a $5.00 processing fee. No refunds will be given and checks should be written out to the owning library. For any issues regarding items owned by other libraries, the owning library needs to be contacted.

Last updated: 1/4/21