Frequently Asked Questions

Account Questions

You can get a free library card if:

  • You live or pay property taxes in Cumberland County or the Shippensburg Area School District; or,
  • You have a card from a Pennsylvania public library that has a blue Access Pennsylvania symbol on it.


To sign up:


If you don't live or pay taxes in Cumberland County or the Shippensburg School District, you can:

  • Buy a library card for $5 per month. You can pay monthly, quarterly or annually. To buy your card, you must visit a library and bring photo identification with you to sign up for a card. You can save time by bringing along a completed library card application.


For people under age 17, a parent or guardian's signature is required.


Join now or get more information.


Temporary access codes let you begin using our web site resources immediately. Until you get your library card, you won't be able to borrow books or use your library's Internet computers. Temporary access codes let you:

  • Request up to 2 items through the online catalog. Library cards allow you to request up to 15 items.
  • Begin using the library system's searchable resources right away, such as genealogy, business, investment and homework support databases. These databases have online books, encyclopedias, reference sources and magazines.
  • Please note that downloadable content (eAudios and eBooks) are not available through temporary access codes.

Your temporary access code is good for only 30 days. By the end of the 30 days, you must visit your library to show identification, complete the registration process, and pick up your library card.



A PIN is password made of letters and/or numbers that you create when you sign up for a card. Thus, if you have a library card, you have a PIN.


If you forgot your PIN, and you have an email address on file with the library, you can have it emailed to you. Just visit the PIN Request page, enter your 14-digit library barcode, and click Submit. The PIN on your account will be emailed to you.


If you do not have an email address on your library card account, please visit your local library with photo identification and your library card. A staff member can edit the  PIN on your account. All PINs are encrypted so, staff members cannot see or tell you your PIN.


Call the library system's automated Telephone Circulation System at:

  • (717) 240-7889 or
  • (888) 697-0371 Ext. 7889 (toll-free) - press 1; wait for the prompt before entering the extension and then hold to be transferred


  1. When the automated system is activated, press 2 to access your account information.
  2. Enter your 14-digit library barcode number. This is the number that is on the back of your library card underneath the barcode.
  3. Enter your 14-digit library barcode number in the first field. This is the number that is on the back of your library card underneath the barcode.
  4. Enter your PIN in the second field. If you don't remember your PIN, use the PIN Request form through our library catalog. Our automated system will send your PIN to the email address we have on your library account. You can also visit your library.
    1. The automated attendent will tell you how many items you have out and how many requests you have.
    2. To check the due dates, press 1 for renewals, then press 4 for the list of items.
  5. Continue to follow the spoken instructions.

To login to your account:

  • Click the My Account link that is located on the top, right hand side of this web site page. If you don't see it above, you can go to My Account.
  • Enter your 14-digit library barcode number in the first field. This is the number that is on the back of your library card underneath the barcode.
  • Enter your PIN in the second field. This is a series of numbers and/or letters you chose when you registered for a library card. If you don't remember your PIN, use the PIN Request form through our library catalog. Our automated system will send your PIN to the email address we have on your library account. If you don't have an email address on your account, or don't have a PIN, you can also visit your library with your library card and photo identification to correct that!
  • Click Login.
  • Important Tip: When you are finished, always remember to Logout to protect your privacy.

You should contact your library as soon as possible to make the changes in your record.


If your card has been stolen or lost, contact your library immediately to tell us about the problem. You can't register for a temporary online card until the problem with your lost or stolen card has been discussed with us.

Yes.  Lost cards are replaced for a fee of $3.    This fee may not be charged if the card is worn due to normal use; or if it was lost due to circumstances beyond your control, such as theft, flood, fire, etc.


Most of the libraries accept donations of books. However, what types of books they will accept and when they will accept them may vary from library to library. (Cumberland County has a federated system of independently operated libraries.) It is advisable to contact the library where you wish to donate books for more information. Please note that the Library System offices at 400 Bent Creek in Mechanicsburg are not able to receive book donations.

You can find the contact information for each of the libraries on this page of our website:

Locations and Hours

Notices and Reminders

Two days before an item is due, you get an email from the library system. The email reminds you about the items you have borrowed and their due date. These due date reminders are also called courtesy notices.

Sign up for email notice due date reminders online or contact your library. Unfortunately, due date reminders (or courtesy notices) are only available by email.

  1. Library Items Waiting notices are emailed within 24 hours after the item is available.
  2. Library Due Date Reminders are emailed 2 days before an item is due.
  3. Library Items Overdue notices are emailed automatically early each morning, Sunday through Saturday.

You can cancel the service 2 ways:

If our telephone notification system does not reach you on the first day, a notice will be printed by the library and sent via U.S. mail. Also, the library sends some billing notices for long overdue items by U.S. mail. Email customers will be emailed their billing notices.



The library's email server can't accept any emails. If you have questions about the email, contact your library directly.



No, not as a result of signing up for this service. The library system does not sell or lease users' personal information to companies, universities or individuals.

The Cumberland County Library System can not guarantee receipt of messages. Thus, failure to receive a notice does not waive the borrower's responsibility for the timely pick-up or return of materials.



First and second notices for items that are overdue are sent by either automated telephone call or by email. Customers who ask for mailed notices only get one overdue notice 2 weeks after the item was due. You choose which method you want to use. Bills for long overdue materials are sent by email or U.S. Mail.


Email and telephone overdue notices are sent one week after an item is overdue, and a second notice is sent two weeks after the item is overdue. Mailed overdue notices are sent two weeks after an item is due. A final notice that includes a bill for the item(s) is sent three weeks after the item is due.


After two months, if you still haven't made payment arrangements, your account may be referred to a collection agency if it has $25 or more in fines, fees or outstanding materials. A $10 long overdue account fee is also charged to the cardholder.



Depending on the type of notice we are sending, library notices are sometimes sent from the library that owns the item, and other times from your home library. Be sure to set your email account to allow emails from the following addresses. If you don’t receive an email notice, check your spam or junk mail folder.

Borrowing from the library


If you forget your card, you must provide identification (such as a driver's license).

If you have special circumstances such as a hospital visit or an extended vacation, you may request a vacation loan. Vacation loans are only possible for items that are not in high demand. See list of vacation loan periods.

Borrowing period information is available here.


Reference books can't be borrowed. Sometimes, overnight loans are possible. Ask your librarian if this can be arranged.


Due dates are listed on the paper slip you get when you borrow items.



No. As long as you have a library card, items may be borrowed for free from the library. However, if you keep something past the item's due date, then you will be charged a late fee each day the item is overdue.


For current fine rate information, go to our Pay Fines page.

Fines can be paid at any of the libraries in the library system with cash, check, or credit. They can also be paid online.


The library system accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover for online fine payments. Please note:

  • There is a convenience fee of $1.50 for online transactions.
  • You can visit the library and pay without being charged this additional fee.
  • Online or in person, all transactions are final – no refunds will be issued.

  1. Go to the Pay Fines page. You will need your library barcode and PIN.
  2. Look for and click on the "Click to Pay Now" image. 
  3. Enter your library barcode and PIN.
  4. Select the Pay Fines/Fees tab.
  5. Select the Fine/Fee(s) you wish to pay.
  6. Enter your credit card information and select Finish.
  7. Logout.



At the library or online, you can choose which fines you wish to pay. However, until your balance is zero, you will be unable to use your card

One month after a billing notice has been issued, you may be referred to a collection agency if:

  • Your account has $25 or more in fines, fees or outstanding materials and
  • You have not made payment arrangements with the library.

If you are sent to a collection agency, you will be charged a $10 long overdue account fee.



Lost or Damaged

If you think you've returned something that's still checked out on your card, you can tell the library about the problem by using the Report Item Returned form.


After you have reported the item as returned, if the library doesn't find it on the shelf, or find out that it is checked out to someone else, you will be given a 2 month grace period to try and find it.


During that time, both you and library staff will look for the missing item. If it's not found after 2 months, you will be billed for the item’s replacement cost, plus any late fees before it was reported missing. If the item is found, late fees will be charged up to the time the item was returned.

Contact your library as soon as possible to report the missing item. (If your item was overdue, this will stop any additional late fees from being charged to your card.) If the library is closed now, you can use the Report Lost Item form.  You will be billed for the item's original list price, plus a $5 processing fee.

Contact your library as soon as possible to report the damaged item. (If your item was overdue, this will stop any additional late fees from being charged to your card.) If your library is closed now, you can use the Report Damaged Items form. Your library will probably need to look at the item to determine what charges, if any, you will need to pay.  Charges for damaged library materials are determined on a case-by-case basis.  Fees range from $1 to the item's full replacement cost.



A renewal is when you ask the library for more time to borrow your book, video, etc.  There are three ways to renew items:

  • For personal service, call your library during its operating hours for renewals.
  • After hours, call (717) 240-7889 to reach the automated Telephone Circulation System.
  • To renew online:
    • Login to My Account. You will need your library barcode and PIN
    • Select Items Out/Renewals
    • Put a check mark in the box for titles you want to renew
    • Click the Renew button If the item could not be renewed, you will get a red error message saying “One or more of your items did not renew. Please scroll down for details.” In the line of the item that didn’t renew, there will be a message telling you why the item couldn’t be renewed.
    • After you are finished, remember to Logout.
    • Renewal help in the catalog is available.


When you renew a book, the computer system will give you 2 more weeks from the date you renew it. (Note: The system does not give you 2 more weeks from the book's due date.) When you renew a video or DVD, the computer system will give you 1 more week from the date you renew it. (Note: The system does not give you 1 more week from the videorecording's due date.) The longer you wait to renew an item, the more time you may have to use it. (However, you won't be able to renew something if another person has requested it.)


Effective June 11, 2012, you may renew most items 3 times if no one is waiting for it.


If an item isn't available, you can request that it be held for you through the online catalog. You can also request it by contacting your library. You will be notified by email or phone when the item is ready for pick-up.



If you need something that is at another Cumberland County library, you can request that it be held for you through the online catalog. You can also request it by contacting your library.


When it's available, it will be delivered to your library. (The library system has daily delivery services between libraries.) You will be notified by email or phone when the item is ready for pick-up.


Yes. You can have up to 15 items requested on your library card at any one time.

If you have a temporary library card, you may only request 2 items online until you pick up your permanent card.


Your account will be charged for each item that is not picked up by you. For more information, please see the policy on Placing Requests for Items.



Please contact your library and tell them you no longer need the item. This will allow the next person on the request list to get the title sooner.



You can suspend any pending hold requests until the date you return. This means that until that date, your name will advance on the waiting list, but if the item becomes available while your request is suspended, your name will be skipped. Hold statuses may be suspended by calling the library or by logging into My Account and changing the request status.



If the item is new (has been published in the last 6 months or year), you may suggest it for purchase.


If the book is not new, you may place an interlibrary loan request for it. This service, usually free of charge, borrows books and other materials from public and academic libraries from across the nation. It usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to get an item through interlibrary loan.



Yes. While we can't guarantee that we will purchase it, your suggestion will be considered. Library staff evaluate suggestions by reading reviews, considering its subject content and price, as well as its context within the library's whole collection.


If it is purchased, a hold will be placed on it for you. You will be notified when it is available for loan.


Purchase Suggestion Form



Your position in the hold queue doesn’t display on your account because the information is misleading, and always has been.
Cumberland County Library System gives first priority on holds to customers whose home library actually owns the item.  This policy reduces the amount of time the item spends being transported across the county, fills holds more quickly, and allows libraries to use the funds that they have raised from their local community for their own customers first.  
Priority holds mean that you can be far down on the list, but if everyone else ahead of you has a home library that doesn’t own the item, and the item is owned by your library, you will zoom straight to the top of the list and get first priority.  
The reverse is also true.  You can become the first position in the holds queue, but if people behind you are customers of the library that owns the item, they will get it before you.  
With our new software system, the vendor does not give us the option to display this inaccurate queue information.  (Our old software system displayed the information even though it was also incorrect.)
While not perfect, our policy of serving home library customers first shortens the amount of time an item spends traveling across the county to fill holds.  It also reflects the priority given to customers whose home libraries actually purchase the items with local funds, and it makes titles available more quickly for most customers.
If you are concerned about an item going on the hold shelf while you are away, you can Freeze the hold using Encore. Once a hold is frozen, you will continue to move up the queue, but your hold will not be filled until you clear the Freeze, or 255 days have passed since you placed the hold. 
Staff members can also freeze your hold until a specific date, but in that situation, if you want to unfreeze earlier than the specified date, you will need to ask the staff member to unfreeze your hold.


You can return items to any Cumberland County public library.


Each Cumberland County library has an after hours return bin or depository slot for books and most audio visual items.

  • Amelia Givin Library (Mt. Holly Springs) has a slot on its side entrance door. You can use this for books and audiovisual items.
  • Bosler Library (Carlisle) has a return slot into its building for books. You'll find the slot off Bosler's rear driveway.
  • Fredricksen Library (Camp Hill) has separate outdoor bins for books and audiovisual items.
  • East Pennsboro Branch Library (Enola) has separate outdoor bins for books and audiovisual items.
  • John Graham Library (Newville) has an outdoor bin for both books and audiovisual items.
  • New Cumberland Library has outdoor separate bins for books and audiovisual items.
  • Shippensburg Library has an outdoor bin for both books and audiovisual items.
  • Simpson Library (Mechanicsburg) has separate bins for books and audiovisual items.


Items can also be returned to any participating Access Pennsylvania Library. These items will remain checked out on your library card account until they are received in a Cumberland County library.



Items returned in the book drop on their due date will not receive late fees.

Services from the Library

Yes. All Cumberland County libraries provide free wireless (Wi-Fi) Internet access for people with wireless-enabled computers.



Yes. All Cumberland County libraries have computers with Internet service and Microsoft Office software that you can use. Computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis for any library card holder in good standing.


Guest cards are usually available at each library for visitors.


To make Internet computers available to as many people as possible, there is a 1-hour use limit per day. At busy times, use is limited to ½ hour.



To comply with federal laws, the library system filters all computers, even if your child is accompanied by a parent or guardian.  If a site is inappropriately blocked, please ask a librarian for help.  Also, if you are age 17 or older, you may ask that filtering be turned off when you have bona fide research or have other lawful purposes.


Filters aren't foolproof. Filters can give you a false sense of security that you are protected from harmful material. Filters can also block sites that may be considered inoffensive or useful. As always, if you don't find what you need, please ask a library staff person for help.



Each library has computers with Internet access and Microsoft Word 2007, Microsoft Excel 2007 and Microsoft PowerPoint2007.



Yes, each library has printers that the public may use.

Printing costs $.25 per page. (Wireless network printer is also available from your own device using SmartALEC. Learn more...)

For those requiring computer training, the Bosler Library (Carlisle) offers free technology appointments. More information is available through their Information Services Department at 717-243-4642 Ext. 2237. There are tutorials for basic computer skills on the right side of this page, and our Learning Express Library database contains tutorials on popular software packages.

John Graham (Newville), Shippensburg, and Simpson (Mechanicsburg) libraries have microfilm readers. Only Shippensburg's and Simpson's equipment have the ability to make prints. There is a small fee per page for each print. There are no microfiche readers or printers in the Cumberland County Library System.

Several libraries have limited space available for special art or collection displays. Contact the library for more information:

Bosler (Carlisle)

Fredricksen (Camp Hill)

New Cumberland

Simpson (Mechanicsburg)


Each library has limited space available for public display of flyer or posters for non-profit, non-partisan events. Occasionally limited space may also be available to distribute newsletters or brochures. All materials must be approved by the library before being displayed or distributed. Contact your library for more information or to have your materials reviewed.



If you're an adult in Cumberland County who can't visit the library regularly due to your age, an illness or a disability, you can ask for free STAR lending services.  STAR service is not available for all requesting customers. Reasons for declining service may include:

  • Availability of household members to visit the library;
  • Short-term nature of the individual’s reason for not being able to visit the library regularly;
  • Unavailability of volunteers for the assignment; or
  • Potential risks to the health and safety of staff or volunteers while visiting the homebound individual’s residence

Learn more about STAR





  1. You must have a library card from the Cumberland County Library System.
  2. You can't owe $5 or more in fines and fees.
  3. You must have a compatible web browser (Internet Explore 7.0 or later, FireFox 8.0 or later, Safari 5.1 or later, Google Chrome 16 or later).
  4. Select the title of the database you want to use.
  5. If you're using a library computer, you will be connected immediately to the database.
  6. If you're using a home, office or school computer, you will see a login screen.
  7. Type in your barcode number. (It is important that you type all 14 numbers carefully).
  8. Then, select the "Login" button or hit the "ENTER" key on your keyboard.
  9. Each time you select a database, you will need to enter your library card number and click on the login button before you can use the database.

The online system knows if the computer you are using is a library computer or not. Anyone visiting the library can use the databases without entering their library barcode number because they are using a library computer.



Sometimes, if too many people are using a database at the same time, there will be a login screen instead of automatic access to the database. Unfortunately, the only solution to this is to wait a while and try again.



The software we use requires cookies to work properly. If you have your cookies disabled, or if the cookie is corrupted, you will not be able to access the databases. You'll see a blank database list, an invalid authorization notice, and a message that says "welcome to [[null]]. Make sure your cookies are enabled. If they are, try clearing your cookies and your cache.



You can only use databases from: Databases page. Accessing databases from any other link or bookmark, will corrupt your cookies file and you won't be able to use databases from home. This will results in a lot of browser errors or blank pages.



Check to make sure you entered your library card number correctly with all 14 numbers. If you did enter it correctly, and it still says your card is not on file, visit your local library to update your account. The library system regularly deletes inactive accounts from its database.



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