Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions that aren’t answered on this page, please contact us.

Questions about the Library’s Reopening:

During Express Service hours, patrons are able to come inside to check out books and use the public computers.

MTPL will be open for Express Service:

Monday – Wednesday 10 AM – 1 PM and 4 PM – 7 PM
Vulnerable Patrons Hour Tuesday 10 AM – 11 AM
Thursday – Friday 10 AM – 1 PM
Saturday 10 AM – 2 PM

Everyone entering the building is asked to wear a mask and must maintain social distancing. If you are not able to use a mask, consider using our Curbside Holds service. There will be a capacity limit enforced by staff, and if patrons arrive after the capacity limit is reached, they will be asked to wait outside the building. To help accommodate all visitors, patrons are asked to limit their time inside the library. MTPL will offer a Vulnerable Patrons Hour on Tuesdays 10 AM – 11 AM.

All tables, chairs, and study rooms are unavailable during Express Service. Children’s play computers and toys will not be available.

Public internet computers and Catalog computers will be available and seating will be limited to computer users only. Patrons may use a public computer for one hour-long session per patron per day. Patrons must have their library card or a photo ID to access a public computer. Printing and self-serve copying will be available for $0.25 per page for black and white, and $0.50 per page for color.

Holds placed through the Online Catalog or by phone will be available for pick-up through the Curbside Pick-up service.

Curbside Pick-up is available:

Monday – Wednesday 11 AM – 7 PM
Thursday – Friday 11 AM – 4 PM
Curbside Pick-up is not available on Saturdays.

Patrons may place 5 holds at a time. To request items, login to your account on the Online Catalog or call us at 717-560-6441. Patrons who call may be asked to leave a voicemail. All requests will be processed as quickly as possible.

Once your request has been filled, you will get either an email notification or a call. When you arrive for curbside pick-up, please call the curbside pick-up number to let staff know you have arrived. Staff will ask you to verify your library card number and will bring out your holds to a table in front of the library.

For more information, visit our Curbside Holds page.

All patrons and staff are asked to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth while they are inside the building. If you are unable to use a mask, consider ordering books through our Curbside Holds Pick-up service. If you have questions, please contact us.

Items can be returned to our regular book drops. Returned items will be quarantined before they are checked in and they will remain on your account until the quarantine period is finished. Once the quarantine period is ended, items will be backdated to their return date. If anyone in your household is experiencing symptoms of illness, please wait to return your items.

If your items need to be renewed, you can call us at 717-560-6441 or login to your account on the Online Catalog.

Library Cards:

Lancaster County residents can apply for a card online by contacting the Library System of Lancaster County and indicating on their contact form that you wish to apply for a card.

Patrons may apply for a card in person during our Express Service hours. A library card for the Library System of Lancaster County will be issued without charge to any resident of Lancaster County who is five years old or more. A child under the age of 14 years must have the library card application form signed by a parent or legal guardian who agrees to assume responsibility for monitoring the materials borrowed by the child, as well as the child’s fines and the cost of any lost or damaged materials. (See Confidentiality)

Applicants will need to a photo ID and proof of address from one of the following sources:

A valid driver’s license
A current identification card
A bill from a utility company or retailer addressed to the person and dated in the last three months
A tax bill for a Lancaster County property
Working papers issued to a teenager
A copy of a current lease or deed for a Lancaster County property
Checks with a pre-printed Lancaster County address
Valid Lancaster County college / university ID
Non-residents of Lancaster County should see the librarian to obtain a card.

Minor applicants may have their parent or legal guardian provide the proof of address.

Library cards are set to expire every three years. To renew, patrons will need to appear in person with a photo ID and proof of current address.
Those who are unable to come in-person may call or email info@mtpl.info to have their library card renewed for 6 months.

Checkouts and Returns:

Items can be returned to our regular book drops. Returned items will be quarantined before they are checked in and they will remain on your account until the quarantine period is finished. Once the quarantine period is ended, items will be backdated to their return date. If anyone in your household is experiencing symptoms of illness, please wait to return your items.

If your items need to be renewed, you can call us at 717-560-6441 or login to your account on the Online Catalog.

If your items need to be renewed, you can call us at 717-560-6441 or login to “My Account” on the Online Catalog.

Items that are returned will be quarantined and then backdated to their return date. Patrons will not receive fines for the quarantine time. If you have concerns about your account or due dates, please email us at info@mtpl.info or call the library at 717-560-6441.

MTPL is quarantining returned items for safety before checking them back into the library collection. It may take several days for your books and items to register as checked in. Your items will be backdated to the date you returned them so you won’t accrue any fines.

MTPL is quarantining returned items for safety before checking them back into the library collection. It may take several days for your books and items to register as checked in. Your items will be backdated to the date you returned them so you won’t accrue any fines.

Each library card account can now have 200 items checked out at a time. This is an update from our usual 100. Beware, fines can accumulate quickly when you have this many checkouts!

Patrons may place 5 holds at a time, and Curbside Holds has a similar limit of 5 items or 4 items and 1 grab bag.

All items that were due 2/15/20 or later were automatically renewed during the libraries closure. As libraries in our system begin to re-open, due dates will be adjusted to make sure that libraries are not overwhelmed with returns.

If you want to know the due date for your items or if you want to renew items, you can call us at 717-560-6441 or login to your account on the Online Catalog.

Holds:

Holds placed through the Online Catalog or by phone will be available for pick-up through the Curbside Pick-up service.

Curbside Pick-up is available:

Monday – Wednesday 11 AM – 7 PM
Thursday – Friday 11 AM – 4 PM
Curbside Pick-up is not available on Saturdays.

Patrons may place 5 holds at a time. To request items, login to your account on the Online Catalog or call us at 717-560-6441. Patrons who call may be asked to leave a voicemail. All requests will be processed as quickly as possible.

Once your request has been filled, you will get either an email notification or a call. When you arrive for curbside pick-up, please call the curbside pick-up number to let staff know you have arrived. Staff will ask you to verify your library card number and will bring out your holds to a table in front of the library.

For more information, visit our Curbside Holds page.

Yes! We reactivated placing holds on books and materials (books, CD’s, DVD’s, etc.) through our Online Catalog.
Curbside Pick-up is our current Holds service. All holds placed through the Online Catalog or by phone will be available for pick-up through the Curbside Pick-up service.

Once your request has been filled, you will get either an email notification or a call. When you arrive for curbside pick-up, please call the curbside pick-up number to let staff know you have arrived. Staff will ask you to verify your library card number and will bring out your holds to a table in front of the library.
For more information, visit our Curbside Holds page.

Use our Curbside Holds feature to pick-up your holds! Curbside Holds Pick-up service is available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday from 11 AM – 7PM and Thursday, Friday 11 AM – 4 PM.

Once your request has been filled, you will get either an email notification or a call. When you arrive for curbside pick-up, please call the curbside pick-up number to let staff know you have arrived. Staff will ask you to verify your library card number and will bring out your holds to a table in front of the library.

For more information, visit our Curbside Holds page.

All holds placed before the library closures on March 13 were cancelled. Unfortunately, this decision was necessary in order to reopen library services. Due to the limitations of the library database software, there was no way to fulfill patron holds while allowing for the safe and timely handling of library materials. We regret any inconvenience this causes you.

We have reactivated holds on books and materials (books, CD’s, DVD’s, etc.) through our Online Catalog, and MTPL is offering Curbside Pick-up for holds service. Once your request has been filled, you will get either an email notification or a call. When you arrive for curbside pick-up, please call the curbside pick-up number to let staff know you have arrived. Staff will ask you to verify your library card number and will bring out your holds to a table in front of the library.
For more information, visit our Curbside Holds page.

Catalog:

  1. Open the Online Catalog.
  2. Click the “MY ACCOUNT” link in the header.
  3. In the first box, enter your last name.
  4. In the second box, enter your library card barcode number. This is the 14-digit number that appears on the back of your library card. Please enter the entire number, with no spaces.
  5. In the third box, enter your PIN. (If you do not have a PIN, leave the field blank. You will be prompted to create one after you click SUBMIT.) See“How do I create my PIN?”for more information. If you forgot your pin, see “What if I forgot my PIN? Below to reset it.
  6. Click the SUBMIT button. You are now logged in to “My Account”.

You will be prompted to create a PIN when you use My Account on the Online Catalog for the first time or when your PIN has been reset.

  1. On the “My Account” Login page, type in your last name and barcode only (leave the PIN field blank).
  2. Click the SUBMIT button.
  3. You will be prompted to create and confirm your new PIN.
  4. Enter the same PIN in each of the two spaces provided.
  5. Click on the SUBMIT button.
  6. You are now logged in to “My Account”.

PIN Requirements:

  • You may use a combination of numbers and letters.
  • Do not use capital letters.
  • Do not use special characters, such as punctuation or other symbols.
  • You may not repeat a character 3 or more times (aaa, aaaa …).
  • You may not repeat a set of 2, 3, or 4 characters 2 or more times (abab, abcabc, abcdabcd…).
  1. On the “My Account” Login page, click the Forgot Your PIN? Link.
  2. In the PIN Reset Request Form, enter your Last Name and library card barcode number.
  3. Click SUBMIT. Note: This form will not work if there is no e-mail address in your patron record.
  4. The following message will appear, “A message has been sent to the e-mail address we have on record for you. Please follow the instructions in that message to reset your PIN…” Click START OVER.
  5. The e-mail you receive should have the subject: Request to reset your library PIN from: library-noreply@lancasterlibraries.org.
    Click on the provided link to go to the PIN Reset Form. (This link is valid for 3 hours)
  6. In the PIN Reset Form, enter your Last Name, Barcode and your new PIN. Re-confirm your new PIN by entering it again. Click SUBMIT.
  7. You receive the message “Your PIN has been changed.” Click START OVER.

Passports:

At this time, appointments are required for passport services. To make an appointment use our Passport Calendar call 717-560-6441, or email passports@mtpl.info

To find out who is eligible for a passport and what to bring to your appointment, visit our Passport Essentials page.

Donations:

Donations will be accepted on Tuesdays from 9 AM – 11 AM.

The library accepts donations of new and very good condition used books for our book sales and collection. The library cannot guarantee that any material donated to the library will be added to the collection, and items that cannot be added to the collection may be sold. The sale and proceeds of donated books raise funds for library operations.

All materials must be in salable condition and be free of mold, mildew, or water damage.

The library accepts donations of:

  • used books
  • textbooks
  • DVDs
  • music CDs
  • audiobook CDs

The library does not accept:

  • VHS tapes
  • cassette tapes
  • encyclopedias
  • condensed books (such as Reader’s Digest books)
  • magazines