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Your Library Account



Get a Library Card

There are two ways to register for a library card—online or in person

eCard registration:

Fill out the online registration form and submit. A response will return immediately with your eCard number if an email address was submitted. There will also be an email sent with a “New Customer Notification” subject line, confirming your eCard number. eCards are valid for 3 years. Keep the email or print out your new library card number.

Once you have your eCard, you may immediately use any of our remotely-available electronic resources and place holds (requests) on items. You must replace your e-Card with a full-service card when you come to the library to check-out items.

Please note: eCards are only available to Alameda County residents due to restriction with online resource providers.

Full-Service, In-Person registration:

These cards are available to anyone living, working or going to school in the state of California.

You may print out a copy of our registration form in advance to bring with you to the library. Registration form in Spanish, Simple Chinese 简体中文 or Traditional Chinese 繁体中文.

  • To receive a card the day of application, identification with name and current address must be provided.
  • Acceptable identification includes: California driver's license or California ID, checkbook with preprinted address, a rental agreement, a property lease or deed, a property tax receipt, or postmarked mail.
  • Children under 14 may receive a card the day of application if the registration form is signed by the parent or legal guardian and includes the parent's driver's license.
  • All information in our files is kept confidential.

Library Card Info

  • Your library card is valid for a period of 3 years. When you see the message "your registration has expired", you will need to renew your registration information in person at one of our branches in order to remove this block.

Lost Cards

  • If you lose your card (eCard or full-service) call the library immediately. We will block it from being used. You must call the branch to cancel your eCard before you will be able to re-apply online.


View Your Account

Click on the My Account button.
When you enter your name and library card number, you will be able to:

  • View items you have checked out.
  • View items you have on hold.
  • Fines.
  • Choose or change how you want to be notified of
    • Holds
    • Almost dues
    • Overdues
  • Renew items.
  • Add or view your preferred searches.

Choose your notification preference by clicking on the Modify Personal Information"", checking your choice and submitting your change. Be sure to type in your full email address if that option is selected. Email notification is recommended for the fastest service.


Loan Periods

     • Books
     • CDs
     • DVDs with 1-2 Disks
     • DVDs with 3 or more Disks
     • Magazines & Pamphlet
     • Encyclopedias
3 weeks
3 weeks
1 weeks
3 week
1 week
1 week



Fines and Fees

Overdue fines will be charged on materials returned or renewed after their due date.


     • General material
     • AV (DVDs, CDs, etc.)
     • Children's AV
$.25 per day
$1.00 per day
$.25 per day


Non-refundable processing fees:

     • Holds not picked up
     • Replacement library card
     • Processing fee for lost material
     • Returned check - first time
     • Returned check - second time


Your borrowing privileges will be suspended when total fines and fees reach $10.00.


Paying Fines or Fees

If you have questions about fines or fees, contact the branch Circulation Desk prior to payment. For online payments the library accepts MasterCard and Visa credit cards as well as ATM cards that display the MasterCard/Visa logo. The Library does not accept credit card payments over the phone.

Fines and fees may also be paid in person at the Circulation Desk by cash or check or credit card. (Credit card payment is not available at Centerville, Irvington or Niles).

To pay fines or fees online:

  • Log in by clicking the “My Account” button.
  • Click on “$ 00.00 in unpaid fines and bills.”
  • Click the “Pay Online” button.
  • Enter your address, city, state, zip, and email address if it is not already there. Then enter your credit card information.  Security is provided by Verisign
  • Click the “Submit” button.
  • Verify that the information is correct and click the “Submit” button again.
  • A receipt will be emailed to you.  You may also print a receipt by clicking the “Print” button.
  • If you experience any problems, contact the branch Circulation Desk.


Place a Hold / Request

You may place up to ten holds/requests. If you have more than ten requests, you will not be able to place additional requests until you have fewer than ten.

How to place a request (hold) on an item:

  • From the Catalog page search for the item you want.
  • Your search will either pull up the exact record OR a list of titles.
  • If you have a list, double click on the title you want to pull up the record.
  • Click on the "Request button."
  • Enter your name, barcode, and choose a pick-up location.
  • Click on the "Submit" button.
  • You will get a message that your request is successful."
  • When your hold/request is ready for pick-up you will received an email, telephone call or U.S. Mail notification. Email is the fastest method, followed by telephone and regular mail. To use email notification, log-in to “My Account” and select “Modify Personal Information” and type in your email address. You will also receive “almost” due and “overdue” notices via email.

Note: you can search from any of the options in the catalog. The default is title - you can choose one of the other options listed.
See Catalog FAQs .

How to use the cart to request materials:

  • From the Catalog page search for the items you want.
  • Click on book cart image to save each item.
  • When you are done searching, click on the View Cart button.
  • Click on the "Request Saved" button and enter your name, barcode and choose a pick-up location.
  • To request everything click on the "Request All" button.
  • If you decide to request only some of the items, put a check in the box or boxes. Click on the "Request Selected " button.
  • In the status column "Request successful" will appear.

You will be charged $1.00 for items that you do not pick up or cancel by the pickup date on your notification.


Change a Hold / Request Pickup Location

  • Click on My Account and enter your name and barcode.
  • Click on the link to "Requests (hold) outstanding."
  • Your holds will appear when you scroll down the page.
  • Use the pull-down menu to select a new pickup location.
  • Then choose the "Update List" button.
  • Updated list will show new pickup location.


Cancel a Hold / Request

  • Click on My Account and enter your name and barcode.
  • Click on the link to "Requests (hold) outstanding."
  • Your holds will appear when you scroll down the page.
  • Check the box or boxes of the items you chose to cancel.
  • Then choose the "Update List" button.
  • If you want to cancel all items, choose the "Cancel All' button.
  • The items just cancelled will now be removed from your requests list.


Renew Items

  • TO RENEW ONLINE, click on My Account & enter your name and barcode.
  • You will see a link marked "Items currently checked out." Click on the link to view the materials you have checked out.
  • Select the materials you want to renew by checking the boxes in the RENEW column.
  • Then click the "Renew Selected" button.
  • A new due date will appear with RENEWED in the status column.
  • IMPORTANT: be sure to read the messages in the status column. If you cannot renew items, a message will appear.
  • TO RENEW BY TELEPHONE, have your library card and items to renew available to enter the bar code numbers. Call 510-790-8096 and follow the instructions.
  • Items may be renewed twice with the following exceptions:

Reasons why your renewal may not be successful:

  1. Another patron has a request (hold) on the item.
  2. Your fines or fees balance is $10.00 or above.
  3. An item on your record is ten or more days overdue.
  4. The item has already been renewed twice.
  5. Your library card account needs to be updated.


Preferred Search

Preferred Search is a feature that allows you to stay informed about new materials added to the Alameda County Library collection. You can be notified by e-mail when a new book by your favorite author comes in. A preferred search can be for an author, a subject, or even a key word.

To create a preferred search list:

  • Log in by clicking on the "My Account" button and enter your name and barcode.
  • Click on the "Search" button; choose the type of search you want. For example, if you wish to be notified of new books by an author, select the author search option.
  • Type the information in the search box & click on the "Go" button.
  • Click on the "Save as preferred search" button.
  • Now click the "My Record" button - this takes you back to your account. Click on the "Preferred searches" link to view what you saved.
  • Check box in the "Mark for email" column and then click on the "Update list" button to save your information.
  • When the library receives material noted your preferred search, you will receive an email.