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Borrowing


Applying for a Library Card


Library cards are available free of charge when an Online Borrower Registration Form is filled out, then verified in person with the required documentation. A parent or legal guardian must verify the account of a juvenile cardholder, 17 years or younger. To get a library card:

  1. Fill out and submit the Online Borrower Registration Form 
    • Upon submission of this form, you will receive a temporary barcode. Please make note of this barcode, then:
  2. Visit any library location and present your temporary barcode. Account verification requires that you also present both:
    • Your government-issued photo ID (U.S., Canada, or Mexico), and
    • Proof of your current U.S. mailing address (such as a utility bill, mailed envelope, or rental agreement dated within the last 30 days).

A photo will be taken of the account holder at the time of registration- library cards are non-transferable, and only the account holder pictured may use the card. Either your library card or Texas ID is required for all transactions concerning library books and materials. Each registered borrower assumes full responsibility for the materials and fines charged to the card.

Library cards are valid for one year from sign-up date. If a library card is expired, it will prevent checkout or renewal of items. In order to renew the library card, patrons must:

  • Provide government-issued photo ID and
  • Proof of current U.S. mailing address (such as a utility bill, mailed envelope, or rental agreement within the last 30 days).
  • Once both verified, library card will be valid for one year from renewal date.

Card Fees


  • Address change and name change: no fee
  • Replacement card(s): $1.00

Loan Guidelines


Limits exist for all library materials that you may borrow. For instance, you may borrow up to 6 eBooks from http://bit.ly/mplebooks with an MPL card and PIN #. Borrowers may have a total of up to 25 items on their card at one time.

Books (hardbacks or paperbacks)

25 per card

DVDs / Blu-Rays

6 per card

Music CDs, audiobooks on CD

4 per card

eBooks

6 per card

WiFi Hotspots

1 per household

Fines and Loan Periods


Fines apply as listed below. Overdue notices are sent for items 30 days overdue. Borrowing privileges will be blocked if fines equal $3.00 or more. Patrons will be billed for items not returned. If an item is not returned in 30 days, the item is considered lost and full replacement cost is charged to the patron.

Type of Item

Loan Period

Fine (per item)

Circulating books

3 weeks

$0.10 per day

CDs, audiobooks

2 weeks

$0.10 per day

eBooks

2 weeks

no fine*

DVDs / Blu-Rays

1 week

$0.50 per day

WiFi Hotspots

2 weeks

$1.00 per day

*eBooks automatically expire from your device at end of loan period.

Payment of Fines


The Library will accept the following forms of payment for fines accrued:

  • Cash
  • Credit Card (online through your library account or at any McAllen library location)
  • Personal checks made out to the “City of McAllen” or “McAllen Public Library” for the exact amount of the fines being paid.

Returning Items


Items checked out from any library location may be returned to any library location. If, for instance, you checked out a book at the Palm View Branch Library, you are free to return it at the Main Library or Lark Branch, whichever location is most convenient for you.

There is a book drop accessible from the exterior of all library locations.

Your Library Account


You have access to your personal library account by clicking “My Account."

  • Enter your Library ID, which is your 6-digit library card number (starts with a "P"), and your PIN. If you do not know your PIN, visit the circulation desk of any library location, and you will select a 4-digit pin of your choice.
  • You may review items currently checked out on your library card, overdue and lost items, and outstanding fines. (Fines will not be posted to your online account until items are returned or renewed.)
  • You may renew items as long as they are not overdue and not on hold for someone else.
  • You may review the status of titles you have placed on hold and cancel holds on items you no longer need.

Coming Soon - Auto Renewals


When will my item automatically renew?
The system will attempt to renew your borrowed items on the due date. If unsuccessful, you will continue to receive notices about due dates or overdue status, and you may try to renew again any time before you return the item.

How will I know if my item was renewed?
You can check your due dates:

  • Via your courtesy notices
  • Via your online account
  • Via the library's mobile app
  • With a staff member during library hours at 956-681-3000
  • At the welcome desk inside the library's main entrance

If your item was eligible for renewal, your new due date will be calculated based on the original due date. For example, you can borrow a movie for 7 days. If the movie was originally due on January 1, the new due date when it renews will be January 7.

Can I try to renew my ineligible items after an unsuccessful attempt?
Yes. The system will automatically attempt to renew your borrowed item on the due date. If unsuccessful, you may try again any time before you return the item. If another customer’s hold prevented your item from renewing, and was subsequently cancelled or filled by another copy after the system’s automatic attempt, you may manually renew the item at a later date.

Why didn’t my items renew?
Items won’t be renewed if:

  • Another customer has requested it
  • The item reached its maximum number of renewals (up to 3 times for most items*)
  • Your account is blocked due to billed items or fines of $3 or more
  • The item is a digital item, such as an ebook or audiobook

*Learning and Lit kits are not eligible for renewals.

Can I renew my items early?
Yes.

Can I opt out of the auto-renewal feature?
No. If you do not wish to keep the item for longer, you are welcome to return items at any time.

What will the library do to encourage others to return items?
The library still requires that our customers return items on time and in good shape so that the entire community will benefit. These changes will make it easier to be responsible and for customers to keep the items they enjoy for longer. In addition, customers with an item 30 days overdue will be billed for the replacement cost and will be unable to check out or renew items until resolved. Customers will still be held financially responsible for lost and damaged items.

What are the benefits of this feature?
This feature will save you time and give you peace of mind. You will no longer receive a bill for items that are eligible for renewal. Automatically renewing two days before the original due date ensures that you will have time to return items that are ineligible for renewal before they are overdue.

Requesting Items


You may place a hold on an item free of charge by logging into your account through the online catalog and locating the item through the catalog’s search engine.

  • Select the library location where you want the item sent.
  • You will be notified by text message or email when the item is available for pick-up.

If you need help with our hold services, please contact the library location where you intend to pick up the item.

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