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How to Obtain a Library Card

Valid current ID is required to obtain a library card. The preferred ID is a California Driver's License or a California Department of Motor Vehicles ID card. The alternative is a picture ID, and ID with your current address. 

For minors 14 years old or under, the parent/legal guardian must be with the minor at the time of application. Note: There is no age limit for a library card; however, the parent/legal guardian must have ID as required for adults, or have a current PLS library card, with the same address and phone number as the minor child. We also issue library cards during class visits when teachers return library card applications with parental signatures.

For teens, age 15 -17 years, school ID plus parent or guardian signature on the library card application is required to obtain a library card.

In order for library cards to remain current and valid, patron information needs to be updated periodically. For this reason most library cards expire in 3 years. Library cards issued to residents living in temporary housing expire in 3 months. To renew library cards patrons must show current photo and address verification.  

Patrons wishing to apply for a card at the SSF Public Library may apply online.

Loan Periods and Renewals

The loan period is 3 weeks for most library materials. DVD's and Blu-rays are loaned for one week. To serve as many people as possible, restrictions may apply to the number of items of a particular type that can be borrowed at one time:

Most materials may be renewed up to five times if there are no holds on the materials. To renew without coming to the library, call TELECIRC (650) 638-0399 or use the online catalog.

Most library materials may be returned at any of the 34 public or community college libraries in San Mateo County. An after hours book drop is available for the return of items when the library is closed.

Overdue Notices

A telephone, email or postcard reminder is given when materials are either 7 or 14 days overdue, depending on the amount of time the item was originally checked out. Fees for overdue and/or lost materials can be paid at any public library in San Mateo County or online. Cash, check, Visa or Mastercard accepted. A bill is sent for replacement costs when materials are 30 days overdue and to Collections when 65 days overdue.

Library Fines and Fees
Effective 07/01/2016

Adult materials: 25¢/day per item maximum $8 per item. (As a courtesy, seniors who are residents of SSF are not charged overdue fines on SSF materials).

* First library card - FREE; Replacement for a library card - $1
* Inter-library loan non-refundable fee is payable at time of request. The fee is $3.00 per item for South San Francisco residents and $5.00 per item for non-residents
* Lost/Damaged items - Cost of item plus a $5 processing fee

Fees can be paid online or in the Library, either at the Library Payment Center or at a Self-Check machine. Visa, MasterCard, cash and checks are accepted. For a full listing of Library fines and fees, please see the City's Master Fee Schedule.