Books & Media

Circulation Policies

Borrowing Items

For most materials, you may borrow up to 999 physical items at a time for a 3 week period

Your library card also gives you access to streaming and downloadable items, which you can access from anywhere with an Internet connection. Visit Allegheny County’s eLibrary for online resources.

A few item types have specific limits:

  • Chromebooks and hotspots: Chromebooks and hotspots have a 1 week loan period. Chromebooks and hotspots are not renewable. Learn more

Renewing Items

Most items may be renewed, as needed, as long as no one is waiting for that item (someone has placed a hold on that item). Items will automatically renew if they are eligible for renewal. Items will automatically renew 6 times if eligible.

Ways to renew materials:

  • Online through the library catalog
  • Through the automated telephone renewal service: 412-622-1895
  • By calling or visiting any Allegheny County library during business hours

Renewal limits:

Returning Items

Items may be returned to any public library (not school or university libraries) within Allegheny County and will be checked in from your account on the day received. Items returned to book drops will be checked in the day received. Items returned to outdoor book drops after the Library is closed will be back-dated to the previous day’s date as long as they are in the first collection of materials prior to 8 am.

Fines & Fees

Overdue Fines

All items checked out from or returned to CCM have no overdue fines. Learn more

Replacement Fees

Library materials that are lost or remain unreturned after six weeks from the due date are automatically billed to your account. You may also be charged for items that are damaged during your loan period. Bills include a $5 processing fee to cover re-cataloging, processing, labels, barcodes, etc.

If you find a lost item within 6 months of paying for it, you may be entitled to a refund.

CCM may accept replacement items in lieu of a bill. Replacement items must be approved by a CCM staff member. Replacement items must be new and in good condition.

New Library Cards

You can obtain a library card by registering in person or online.

To obtain a library card in person, stop by any Allegheny County library and register by presenting an accepted form of photo ID. If your photo ID does not include your address or contact information, we will ask you to provide that information at that time.

Self Registration

Adults 18 and over can register for a library card online and receive full borrowing privileges for print and electronic materials. Once you successfully validate your information through the online system, you will receive a card number. You can convert this number to a scannable barcode using an app like Stocard.

Patrons who fail the online validation check will receive a temporary card number which can be used to place holds and access some online resources. You can validate and receive your permanent library card when you go to any Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh location. Validation requires that you present photo identification. If you do not receive your permanent card within 30 days, your registration will expire.

Educator Cards

Elementary, middle or high school educators or child care providers, non-traditional educators, student teachers and other individuals who work in early childhood or daycare centers are eligible for an Educator Card.

  • Educator Cards allow you to keep your personal borrowing needs separate from the items you borrow for classroom use.
  • While you remain financially responsible for the items on this card, keeping items separate can help you if you seek reimbursement from your school or organization for lost or damaged items.

To apply for an Educator Card you will need to visit a library in person and bring with you:

  • A letter on institutional letterhead signed by the principal or director indicating your status as an employee for the current or upcoming school year or a recent pay-stub that includes your name, current address and school.
  • Current photo ID.

Text Alerts

Get library notifications & renew items on the go!  Text notifications are an optional service that enables you to connect to your library account via text message. You can receive notifications, renew checked out items, and request information about your holds, checked out items, and late fees with this service.

Text SIGNUP+your-14-digit-barcode+PIN to 833-403-0701.

Is there a charge for this service?

This is a free service offered to anyone registered at an Allegheny County public library. Depending on your cellular phone plan, additional per-message charges may be assessed by your carrier.

What alerts can I get?

You can opt in or out of any of the following notice types by texting the associated keyword to (412) 459-7442: HOLDS, RENEW, OVERDUE, LATEFEE

How do I renew items?

To renew individual items by list, text keyword RL.

To renew all checked out items, text keyword RA.

Will I continue to receive library notices via email, postal mail, or phone call?

Yes. Text notifications are supplemental to existing notification methods and you will continue to receive notices via these methods when you sign up for this service.