Frequently Asked Questions

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

COVID-19 Resources:

Vaccinate Lancaster

Beginning April 22nd the Lancaster County Community Vaccination Center, located in the former Bon-Ton department store at Park City Center, will be open for scheduled and same-day appointments from 8 AM to 6:30 PM, Monday – Saturday.
How to Register for an Appointment
Location and Transportation information
Vaccinate Lancaster Phone Registration line: 717-588-1020. Phone registration is available Monday through Friday, from 7 AM to 5 PM and Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

More Lancaster County Resources:

Lancaster County page on COVID-19

Interactive Map of Lancaster County COVID-19 information.

LNP Coronavirus Coverage

Lancaster County Office of Aging 717-299-7979

Pennsylvania Resources:

PA Department of Health

PA Department of Health – Vaccine Resources

PA Department of Health hotline  1-877-724-3258.

National and International Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  CDC Mask Guidelines
  CDC Guidelines for those Fully Vaccinated

World Health Organization

Johns Hopkins interactive map

LitCovid, Current scientific literature about COVID-19 curated by the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine.

National and International Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization

Johns Hopkins interactive map

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.

Express Service is available:

Monday – Wednesday 10 AM – 7 PM
Thursday – Friday 10 AM – 5 PM
Saturday 9 AM – 4 PM

Everyone entering the building must wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth and maintain social distancing. If you are not able to use a mask, try our Curbside Holds service. There will be a capacity limit enforced by staff. Patrons who arrive after the capacity limit is reached will be asked to wait outside the building. To help accommodate all visitors, patrons are asked to limit their time inside the library.

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 and must sign in at the Circulation Desk to begin their session. 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 may be picked up using our Curbside Holds service.

Items Holds, Grab Bags, and Take Home Bags can be picked up through our Curbside Holds Pick-up.

Curbside Pick-up is available:

Monday – Wednesday 10 AM – 7 PM
Thursday – Friday 10 AM – 5 PM
Saturday 9 AM – 4 PM

No appointments are required for Curbside Pick-up. Once your items are Ready For Pickup, visit any time during our Curbside hours. When you arrive, please call 717-560-6441 and have your library card number ready. Staff will check out your items and bring them to a table in front of the library.

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.

Grab Bags are available for all ages! Use the Grab Bag Request Form to request a “grab bag” with an assortment of library items. Children’s Grab Bags come with 10 items, and YA and Adult Grab Bags come with 5 items, and Audiobook Grab Bags come with 3 items. See the form for all the genres you can choose from! Please limit your request to TWO Grab Bags at a time.

For more information, visit our Curbside Pick-up page.

Grab Bags are available for all ages! Use the Grab Bag Request Form to request a “grab bag” with an assortment of library items. Children’s Grab Bags come with 10 items, YA and Adult Grab Bags come with 5 items, and Audiobook Grab Bags come with 3 items. See the form for all the genres you can choose from! Please limit your request to TWO Grab Bags at a time.

Those who are looking for reading suggestions can use the Your Next 5 Books form, and Children and Teens can view suggestions on the Youth Services Recommended Reading page.

If you are looking for a specific item, place your hold through the Online Catalog by calling us at 717-560-6441.

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.

Patrons do not need to renew items that are in quarantine. If you have questions about your items, please call us at 717-560-6441.

Library Cards:

Lancaster County residents who are 14 and older can apply for a card online by completing the Online Self Registration. Online Self Registration gives patrons a temporary card number and access to online resources. To upgrade a temporary card to a full access library card, patrons must appear in person with Photo ID and proof of address and complete a full registration form. Patrons may use our Curbside Pick-up service to update their cards. Please call 717-560-6441 with any questions.

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. At this time, patrons 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.

Patrons do not need to renew items that are in quarantine. If you have questions about your items, please call us at 717-560-6441.

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

Patrons do not need to renew items that are in quarantine. If you have questions about your items, please call us at 717-560-6441.

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.

All of the libraries in the Library System of Lancaster County are 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.

Patrons do not need to renew items that are in quarantine. If you have questions about your items, please call us at 717-560-6441.

All of the libraries in the Library System of Lancaster County are 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.

Patrons do not need to renew items that are in quarantine. If you have questions about your items, please call us at 717-560-6441.

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.

Items will now circulate for their regular check-out times. Please note that all returned items will be quarantined before they are checked in and they will remain on your account until the quarantine period is finished. Patrons do not need to renew items that are in quarantine. If you have questions about items on your account, please call us at 717-560-6441.

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:

Items Holds, Grab Bags, and Take Home Bags can be picked up through our Curbside Holds Pick-up.

Curbside Pick-up is available:

Monday – Wednesday 10 AM – 7 PM
Thursday – Friday 10 AM – 5 PM
Saturday 9 AM – 4 PM

No appointments are required for Curbside Pick-up. Once your items are Ready For Pickup, visit any time during our Curbside hours. When you arrive, please call 717-560-6441 and have your library card number ready. Staff will check out your items and bring them to a table in front of the library.

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.

Grab Bags are available for all ages! Use the Grab Bag Request Form to request a “grab bag” with an assortment of library items. Children’s Grab Bags come with 10 items, and YA and Adult Grab Bags come with 5 items, and Audiobook Grab Bags come with 3 items. See the form for all the genres you can choose from! Please limit your request to TWO Grab Bags at a time.

For more information, visit our Curbside Pick-up 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.

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.