Frequently Asked Questions

Check Out Questions

How many items can I check out?

How many holds/requests can I place?

How can I renew items by automated phone system instead of calling the branch?

What's up with automatic renewals?

Can I check out magazines?

How do I request a specific periodical issue?

I'm reading a series and want to know how many titles there are total and what order they're in.

Why don't I have a Full Access Card?

I have fines. Can I pay online?

I forgot my PIN! Do I have to come in to the library to find out what it is?

DVD Questions

How many DVDs can I check out at one time?

How many holds/requests can I place?

Do you have this DVD?

How do I request a book/CD/DVD?

Can I return a DVD to a different branch?

Is there a list of all movie titles in the system?

Why can't I renew regular one week DVDs?

Questions about Other Library Features

I lost an item or damaged it - can I give you a new copy to replace it?

Can I fax something here?

Where can I get something notarized?

How do I download eBooks?

How many music downloads do I get each week (Freegal)

How is the price for a fee card set?

I don't live around here but I need to use the computer. What can I do?

I have a group that would like to use the meeting room. Would that be possible?

I requested an item for purchase/inter-library loan a very long time ago - why haven't I gotten it yet?

I have another question about purchase suggestions/inter-library loans.

Check Out Questions

How many items can I check out?

Limited Access Card: 15 total
When checking out DVDs, this includes:
    - Up to 5 new release DVDs or 7-day DVDs.
    - Up to 15 educational DVDs.

Full Access Card (red card): 50 total
When checking out DVDs, this includes:
    - Up to 50 14-Day educational DVDs (identified by the Dewey number on the case)
    - Up to 5 new release (3-Day) DVDs (DVDs that are new to our collection)
    - Up to 20 7-Day DVDs (TV shows and older movies that have been in our collection for over 5 months)

How many holds/requests can I place?

Full Access Card (red card): 50 total. Mix and match from the following:
- Up to 2 on 7-day DVDs
- Up to 50 on educational (14-day) DVDs
- Up to 50 on print materials and sound recordings
- Up to 10 on downloadable audiobooks and ebooks

Limited Access Card (green card): 15 total. Mix and match from the following:
- Up to 15 on educational (14-day) DVDs*
- Up to 15 on print materials

 

How can I renew items on the phone instead of calling the branch?

Call (219) 756-9356 for automated renewal

 

What's up with automatic renewals?

All Lake County Public Library patrons are automatically signed up for automatic renewals! This means that eligible items will renew themselves instead of becoming overdue, without you having to log in or call us to renew them.

If you're signed up for notifications, you'll also get an email or text reminding you that your items have been renewed or letting you know if they were NOT renewed. The notification includes the adjusted due date to help you avoid late fees. You can also sign into your account at any time to check on the status of your items.

7-day DVDs will renew twice and books will renew 6 times (as long as no one has a hold on them). Bestseller Express books and 3-Day DVDs are not eligible for renewal.
Learn more about automatic renewals.

 

Can I check out magazines?

Yes - both Limited Access Card holders and Full Access Card holders can check out regular magazines and digital magazines!

 

How do I request a specific periodical issue?

Go to the catalog and do a keyword search for the title of the magazine you're looking for. Limit by serial.

You may see two results that look like a match - click "Availability". If it says "MICROFILM" then check the other result. You should see a list of branches that have the magazine.

Click the plus sign to expand a branch's collection and the list of specific issues will appear. Click the HOLD symbol to place a hold by the issue you're looking for.

If you're not already logged in, you will be prompted to do so now. Once you're logged in, you can review your list of holds any time.

 

I'm reading a series and want to know how many titles there are total and what order they're in.

There are several ways to find out this information! Checking the author's website is often a good choice. You can also try Novelist, a database of nothing but books and reading suggestions.

To find a series using Novelist:
- Go to Novelist and type in the name of the series in the search bar (For example, Dresden Files).
- Click the blue "Series" tab at the top of your search results.
- Click the series you were looking for. You will be taken to a page of information about the series.
- Scroll down to see books in the series in order.

 

Why don't I have a Full Access Card?

Not all cities in Lake County contribute taxes to the Lake County Public Library; many belong to different library districts. If you do not pay taxes in one of our taxing districts, you are not eligible for a Full Access Card (see the different library districts of Lake County).

There are other ways to get Full Access Cards, however. Volunteers who contribute a certain amount of time to the library are eligible for special cards that provide full access among other benefits. Residents of other library districts in Lake County may also upgrade to a Full Access Card for $41/year (which is the amount that our taxpayers contribute!)

Please see our Borrowing Privileges page for full information on what kind of card you can get.

 

I have fines. Can I pay online?

Sure! If your fines are $5 or more, you can log into your library account to pay them.

 

I forgot my PIN! Do I have to come in to the library to find out what it is?

Nope! If you have an email address on file with us, you can just go to My Account and click Forgot Your PIN?

DVD Questions

How many DVDs can I check out at one time?

Limited Access Card: 5 New Release or 7-day DVDs, or 15 educational DVDs.
You may mix and match to total 15 items. For example, you may check out 1 7-day DVD and 14 educational DVDs, or 5 New Release DVDs, 5 books, and 5 educational DVDs. Total items checked out may not exceed 15, and no more than 5 may be new releases or 7-day DVDs.

Full Access Card (red card): 50 total. You may mix and match from the following categories to total 50:
    - Up to 50 14-Day educational DVDs (identified by the Dewey number on the case)
    - Up to 5 new release DVDs (DVDs that are new to our collection)
    - Up to 20 7-Day DVDs (TV shows and older movies that have been in our collection for over 5 months)

Do you have this DVD?

Searchable list of all DVDs (just type the title where the * is in the search box)

If none of the branches have the title you're looking for, you can make a purchase suggestion.

How do I request a book/CD/DVD?

Check out our Purchase Suggestions page, complete with instructions and detailed Purchase Request FAQs

Can I return a DVD to a different branch?

Yes! Any DVD checked out from a Lake County Public Library (LCPL) location can be returned to any other Lake County Public Library location.
(Please Note: The Crown Point Library, Hammond Public Library, Lowell Public Library, East Chicago Public Library, Whiting Public Library, and Gary Public Library are not part of the Lake County Public Library system.)

Exception for Lowell: If necessary, Lowell Public Library will accept the return of LCPL materials, just as LCPL will accept the return of Lowell Public Library materials. However, please keep in mind that this requires an extra trip for our hard-working courier, and there is only so much space in our van! We appreciate it if Lowell Public Library items are returned to Lowell Public Library locations and Lake County Public Library items are returned to LCPL locations whenever possible. Thanks!

Is there a list of all movie titles in the system?

Yes! Here they are, sorted by popularity. You can also search this list by typing in the title of the movie you're looking for in the search box where the * is.

Why can't I renew regular one week DVDs?

Surprise! As of January 2nd, 2015, you can! We're adding this feature based on patron feedback, so you'll get one renewal for each 7-day DVD you check out.

Questions about Other Library Features

I lost an item or damaged it - can I give you a new copy to replace it?

No. If you lose an item, you are responsible for paying a lost item fee rather than replacing the item yourself. This is because library copies of books are more expensive than copies available for purchase by the general public. They have library bindings and are more durable than commercial copies so that they can be handled by hundreds of people without falling apart.

We also do not allow patron-provided replacements of any DVD due to the different versions available of each item (deluxe editions, availability of subtitles, differences in features, etc).

The lost item fee covers the loss to the library's collection and is based on the retail cost of the lost item plus staff time required to make a new item shelf-ready.

However, if you find a lost item, simply return it to us and we will be happy to refund the lost item fee!

Can I fax something here?

Due to popular demand, faxing and scanning service is now available every branch! Learn more here.

Where can I get something notarized?

Many banks have a notary on staff for their customers. Check with your bank to see if you can get something notarized there.

How do I download eBooks?

Downloading an eBook is slightly different depending on the device you're using. However, the first step is always to locate the ebook you want to read. Head to our ebook page to learn how. This page also has links to more specific instructions for our ebook check out services, Hoopla and Overdrive.

If you still have questions or experience an error, feel free to give us a call or come in for help. We're always happy to provide one-on-one device help!

How many music downloads do I get each week? (Freegal)

You can download 5 songs per week using Freegal. You can also stream whole albums on Hoopla, where you get 7 checkouts per month. Each album counts as a checkout.

How is the price for a fee card set?

Fee cards are full access library cards that people living outside of our taxing district can purchase to access resident-only features (like ebooks or digital music).

The price of the fee card is regulated by Indiana Code 36-12-2-25 (d) (scroll to page 15) but, to put it simply, it is the average amount each resident of our district contributes to the library in taxes each year. The current fee card price is $41.

I don't live around here but I need to use the computer. What can I do?

If you are over 18, you may present a photo ID and get a guest pass for the day. If you will be coming back, you can apply for a computer-use only card. Speak to staff at the desk for either.

I have a group that would like to use the meeting room. Would that be possible?

The library welcomes the free use of its meeting rooms for local non-profit groups. An adult LCPL cardholder in good standing must take responsibility for the group's use of the room, equipment, and conduct of members by signing a reservation and use agreement. That adult must be present at the library before staff will open the meeting room to the group, and he or she must be present throughout the scheduled meeting.

These are the basic guidelines. For more details, please see the full Public Meeting Room Policy.

To receive a meeting room application, please contact the branch at which you wish to meet.

I requested an item for purchase/inter-library loan a very long time ago - why haven't I gotten it yet?

If we can not get an item for you, you will be notified in your patron account and your request will be changed to "Canceled".

In cases in which the status of your request has not changed, it is likely that we have purchased the item but are now waiting on the publishers. We often order items months before they are published; if you've requested one of these from our catalog and the item's release date was pushed back after we placed our order, your wait time may be prolonged.