Checkout & Borrowing


Physical items in the Library's collection can be checked out at any Library location, including the Bookmobile and Outreach Van stops. In addition to face-to-face checkout service, the Main Library and Ellettsville Branch offer self-checkout machines for your convenience.

Depending on the particular eLending platform, the Library's digital materials (eBooks, streaming media, etc.) can also be "checked out" for streaming or download—or, in some cases, are instantly accessible with no checkout process or due dates. For more information, you can see all of the Library's eLending platforms, by category, on our Instant Access Page.

Checking Out: What You'll Need

A valid Library card in good standing is all that's required to borrow from the Library. Cardholders age 18 or over may present either a Library card or an acceptable photo ID at the time of checkout.

▶ List of Acceptable Photo IDs*
  • Driver's License
  • State ID
  • Learner's Permit
  • Consular ID
  • Military ID
  • Passport
  • Student ID

*Patrons age 17 or under who do not have a photo ID may supply other identifying information to verify identity.

Checking Out for Someone Else

When checking out Library items to another person's account, you must:

  • Have that person's Library card in hand –or–
  • Know their My Account username and password (for self-check) –or–
  • Verify, with an acceptable photo ID, that you have their permission* to pick up Holds for them.

*Cardholders grant permission for others to pick up their Holds by completing a form (available online [PDF]) and presenting it, along with acceptable photo ID, in person.

Within the Library's confidentiality policy, holds for patrons age 17 or under may picked up by their parent or legal guardian.


To borrow physical Library items (e.g., books, audiobooks, DVDs), just bring them to any designated Library service desks or self-checkout stations (Main Library and Ellettsville Branch) with a valid Library card. Any time you check out physical Library items, you'll have the option of getting a paper receipt—and you can always see online what you have checked out in My Account.

Borrowing eMaterials (e.g., eBooks, streaming movies, eMagazines) is easy, but each eLending platform has its own checkout procedures. For more information, see the Help sections of the Library's various eLending platforms listed by category on our Instant Access Page.

▶ Borrowing Periods & Limits

The maximum total number of items, of any type, allowed on a Library account at any one time is 100.

Item Type Max. Number Loan Period
DVDs 14 7 Days
Music CDs 21 21 Days
Magazines No limit 7 Days
Everything else No limit, unless otherwise indicated 21 Days

NOTE: Certain items (e.g., Express items, mobile hotspots) may have special borrowing terms, including irregular borrowing periods. Always be sure to consult your receipt or My Account for due dates on specific items.


Renewing Library Items

Unless someone else has requested an item you've borrowed, most physical Library items may be renewed twice. Items are renewed in two ways:

NEW! Automatic Renewals

Items eligible for renewal will automatically renew shortly before their due date. You will receive email or text notification* of any automatic renewals, along with the new due dates. Normal borrowing and return policies apply to items not eligible for renewal.

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for more details about auto-renewals.

*Your contact information must include an email address or text number to receive notification of automatic renewals. See your contact settings at My Account > Contact Information.
▶ Renewing Items Manually
  • Log in to My Account
  • Choose "My Items Out / My Renewals" in the block on the left-hand side of the My Account page
  • To renew all items on your account, choose "Renew All Items" below the list of your current checkouts
  • To renew selected items, check the boxes next to their titles in your list of current checkouts, then choose "Renew Selected Items"


Returning Library Items

Regardless of where Monroe County Public Library items are borrowed, they may be returned at any of our locations, including the Bookmobile and Van Outreach. For your convenience, return slots are also located both inside and outside the Main Library and the Ellettsville Branch. Outdoor return slots remain open twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, allowing you to return items at any time.

Although most Library items are suitable for return slots, certain items must be returned directly to a service desk; please note any special return instructions on items you borrow.


Fines & Fees

Currently the fine for items returned past their due date is 25 cents per calendar day.

Payment options

You may pay any balance owed the Library in person using cash, personal check, or debit/credit card. For your convenience, debit/credit card payments may be also be made online at My Account > Fines & Fees.


See the Library's complete Checkout Policy.