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FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

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GENERAL


 

How can I get a library card?
A Charleston County Public Library card may be obtained at any of our branch locations. Library cards are free to Charleston County residents, business owners, property owners, students, members of the military and employees of Charleston County. To receive a card, you must fill out an application and present current identification with proof of address indicating residence or property ownership in Charleston County. With proper identification, a card will be issued and valid the same day. Library cards are good for one year and can be renewed at no cost. 

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If I do not reside in Charleston County, can I get a library card?
If you live outside of Charleston County you can obtain a library card by paying an annual fee of $40. This fee is waived for Charleston County residents, business owners, property owners, students, members of the military and employees of Charleston County. To receive a card, you must fill out an application and present current identification with proof of address. With proper identification, a card will be issued and valid the same day. Valid for one year from date of issue.

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I am attending college in Charleston County. How do I borrow materials?
A student attending any school of higher education in the county is eligible for a library card. To receive a card, you must fill out an application, present current identification with proof of local address and home address. Student cards are valid for one year from date of issue.

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If I forget to bring my library card, may I still check items out?
Items may be checked out without a card by presenting proof of identification at the time of checkout.

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Can I access my library account through the Internet?
You can view a list of items you have checked out, review due dates, renew items  under certain conditions and place holds through the internet. Your library card number and PIN is required. Your library card number is the letter and numbers underneath the barcode on your library card. When inputting your library card number, you must include the letter and all 9 digits with no spaces (Example: D222333444, not D2223 33444). Click here to access the catalog.

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How do I get a PIN?
The initial PIN is CHANGEME even if you had a PIN on the old catalog unless you have changed it since the new catalog was added. If you have forgotten your PIN or are unsure please call any of ourbranch locations or email us. You will need to include your current library card number to have your PIN provided or reset.

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If I cannot access my account, what should I do?
First, be sure that you are entering your library card number in its entirety. All library card numbers begin with D2.  If the system informs you that your PIN is incorrect, you must obtain a new PIN by selecting under My Account. Enter the words CHANGEME in the first PIN field and then enter the personal PIN you choose in the following two fields. If you are still unable to access your account, you may contact any branch location for personal assistance.

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If my account says that I have a book checked out, but I returned it, what should I do?
Call the branch location where you returned the item and ask for the Circulation department.

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How will I know when an item I placed on hold is available for pickup?
You will be notified by postal mail or e-mail. Postal mail notification will be sent to the address you provided upon registering for your library card. If your postal address has changed, please call anybranch location and ask to speak with the Circulation department. If your postal mail address has changed, please visit any branch and speak with someone in Circulation. To receive notification to your e-mail address, you must sign up for e-mail notification.

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Can I pay my fees online?
Patrons may pay fines and fees by credit card, debit card or PayPal account via the public library catalog. Payments may be made for an entire item fine or group of item fines or fees where the total exceeds $1.99. Partial payment of an item fine or payment of a fine less than $2 will not be accepted by credit card, debit card or PayPal account. Click here to download a tutorial on how to pay your fees online (.PDF).

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I placed a book on hold and no longer want the item. Can I cancel the hold?
You may cancel any item you have placed on hold by following these steps:

  • Select the Catalog link from the library's Home page
  • Select the My Account link at the top right (you will be prompted to log in)
  • Select the Holds tab
  • Check the box next to the title you would like to cancel, found under the Holds headline, and then click Cancel Hold(s) to verify your transaction.
  • Please note that a hold that is already available cannot be canceled online. Please contact the branch for assistance. 

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Can I change where I want to pickup an item I have on hold?

  • Select the Catalog link from the library's Home page
  • Select the My Account link at the top right (you will be prompted to log in)
  • Select the Holds tab
  • Check the box next to the title you would like to change the pickup location for, and then click Edit Pickup Location(s) to verify your transaction.

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I would like to narrow my search in the Catalog to DVDs (or Books on CD, Books on Tape, New Books, Music CDs, etc.). Can this be done?
You can narrow your search to various types of formatted material offered by the Charleston County Public Library by using the 
catalog and following these steps: 

  • Select the Advanced Search link to the right of the Search box.
  • Next, go to the Format drop down menu option for Electronic Resources, Books, etc. or the LIMITS section which has (DVDs, Books on CD, Picture Books, etc). Select one or multiple options. 
  • Now click the search button and your selection by material type will appear.
  • Once you receive one or more results, you can use the Publication Date limiters or other factors to narrow down your results list.

 

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What are my options if I cannot find an item in the catalog?
New Releases or Recently Published Items:
If you are searching for a recently published or released item, you may suggest that the library purchase the item by calling any
 branch location or e-mailing Ask-A-Question. You will need to provide the library with as much information about the item as possible, such as title, author and publisher. You must also provide your library card number, phone number, mailing address and the branch location you would like the item to be sent if it is purchased.

Interlibrary Loan:
When Charleston County Public Library resources do not meet your needs,
 Interlibrary Loan (ILL), a mechanism for receiving materials from another library, is offered to library cardholders. You can borrow up to four materials at one time. Requests can be made in person at any branch location, by calling any branch location, or e-mailing ill@ccpl.org. You will need to provide the library with as much information about the item as possible, such as title, author, publisher and publication year. You must also provide your library card number, phone number, mailing address, and the branch location you would like the item to be sent.

Your library card account must be in good standing - fines or charges below $10 - in order to take advantage of ILL. Borrowing time is determined by the lending library. Recently released and published items, and items with a waiting list in the library's catalog, are not available through ILL. Rare and older items may not be readily accessible through ILL.

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Does the library have free Wi-Fi available?
Free Wi-Fi is available at all branches.

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Can I make copies or print pages?
Color copying and printing is available at all branches for $0.25 per page. Black and white copying and printing is available at all branches for $0.10 per page.

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Can I send or receive faxes at the library?
At this time a public scanner and fax machine is available at the Otranto Road Regional Branch.

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How can I get help with a local history or geneaology question?
Learn more about requesting geneaology or local history information by mail or email.

 


How can I quickly find answers to questions?
Simple – ask a librarian! You can text message, email, instant message or call our Reference department for answers. Click here for more information on all of these methods.

If you have a question related to local history or geneaology, please fill out this form. 

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