The public libraries are home to special collections that highlight what makes Lancaster County unique.

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How do I get a library card?

One library card is valid at all libraries throughout the Library System. Library cards are available free at all local libraries and the Bookmobile. All that is required is a valid form of identification…any of the following will work:

  • A valid driver’s license
  • A current identification card
  • A bill from a utility company of retailer addressed to the person and dated in the last three months
  • A tax bill for a Lancaster County property
  • Working papers issued to a teenager
  • A copy of a current lease or deed for a Lancaster County
  • Checks with a pre-printed Lancaster County address
  • Valid Lancaster County college / University ID

For children under 14, a parent or guardian signature is required. In addition to the standard type card that fits in your wallet, we also offer a key-ring card that will help ensure that your library card is always at your fingertips.

Most borrowed materials may be returned at any local library, regardless of where the materials were checked out.

Click here for a library card application. Print it out and complete the information. Take the completed form to your local library to obtain your library card!

Chasquido aquí para el uso de tarjeta de biblioteca. Impra­malo y complete la informacion. ¡Tome la formulario completada a su biblioteca local para obtener su tarjeta de biblioteca!

For more information about Library Cards, Borrowing & Return Information, click here.

How do I find out about your circulation policy?

Information on eligibility for a library card can be found here.

How do I find a book?

View our Catalog Search Page

How do I renew a book?

In addition to renewing your books in person at your local library, you may call your local library or renew your books and other materials by telephone (717-394-1721) or online.

Telephone Renewal

Library System of Lancaster County 24-Hour Telephone Renewal Service

To renew materials or get more details on your library account, dial 717-394-1721, then press the following keys:

  • Press 1 to renew materials.
    • Enter your 14-digit barcode number for individual items. For all materials on your record, Press #. If the item is overdue, appropriate fines will be attached to your record. Items will be due two weeks from today’s date.
    • NOTE: Not all items can be renewed with the Telephone Renewal System. Some reasons an item may not be renewed are: another borrower has requested the item; that type of material is not eligible for renewal; you already renewed the item once; or, because of overdue fines on your record.
    • When this service is unavailable, items must be brought to your local library for renewal. Fines will be charged for overdue material.
  • Press 2 to see your checked out items
  • Press 3 for holds ready for pickup
  • Press 4 for fines you owe
  • Press * to return to the main menu

If you are unable to renew your items, please call your local library.

For more information on library procedure, consult Library Circulation Policies.

Online Renewal

For information about online renewal of material, visit our online renewal help section of our catalog.

How do I download audio books and e-books?

You may download these items by visiting our OverDrive platform.

Check out videos to help you download items from OverDrive:  OverDrive Download Help

How do I return my borrowed items to the library after hours?

Our public libraries have special book drop boxes located near the entrance to their buildings. Simply drop your items in these boxes, which are emptied by library staff. All items are then checked in when the library opens.

How can I donate books, videos, CDs, audiobooks, etc. to the library?

The public libraries in Lancaster County hold book sales throughout the year, so your donations help to increase their sale inventory.  Please be sure to donate items that are in good condition that is a condition that you would consider buying. Please check with your local library to find out their procedures for collecting these donations.



The federal government funds public libraries.

False. Lancaster County’s public libraries raise a substantial portion of their budgets through fundraising efforts Lancaster County’s libraries far exceed the national average.

All libraries have the same hours of operation.

False. Visit the individual library’s page for hours at your local library.

Many public libraries in Lancaster County have a book shop that is open year round.

True. Check with your local public library if they have a library book shop. In fact, the Lancaster Public Library also has an off-site book store at 225 North Marshall Street in Lancaster.

You can use the Library's online research tools such as ProQuest for homework and research papers at home.

True. Visit the website and enter your library card number for access to the websites.

Our libraries seem to have plenty of staff and in some instances appear to have too many.

False. It’s important to keep in mind many of the people you see stacking shelves or assisting in the library are actually volunteers.

I don't know how to set up an email account and the libraries do not offer computer help.

False. Several libraries offer help with email account set up, searching the Internet, and using Windows. Click here for the library overview of services to learn more.

You have to return a book to the same library that you checked it out from.

False. You can return a book to any library in the Library System of Lancaster County.

100% of funding for public libraries comes from the state government?

False. While the state of Pennsylvania does help support your local library, these dollars are prone to cuts and are inconsistent from year to year. For most libraries, these dollars account for a very small portion of their overall budget. Your public library counts on local support and contributions through fundraising to raise the majority of their annual budget.