How do I get a library card?

Any resident of Ohio may get an Avon Lake Public Library card. Show us your photo ID with your current address. If your photo ID does not have your current address, show us an alternate document, such as, a utility bill or bank document. We will issue you a library card, on the spot!

How old does my child have to be to get their own library card?

Any Ohio resident, three (3) years of age and above, is eligible to apply for an Avon Lake Public Library account. Minors under eighteen (18) years of age must have a parent/legal guardian sign for the account.

How many items may I borrow?

With some exceptions, up to 50 items may be borrowed at one time.

How long can I keep an item?

Most items circulate for 21 days, and most are renewable 2 times. You can renew your materials by telephone, online or in person.

What is an automatic renewal?

Most items will renew twice.  Items will not renew if another patron has placed a hold for that item.  Equipment does not renew.

Does the Library charge fines?

Yes and no.  We do not charge overdue fines on most items, however, if the item is not returned after the final due date the patron will be billed for the item.  We do charge a $5 a day overdue fee on equipment, musical instruments, bicycles and DiscoveryWorks Science-to-go kits.

If I owe fines can I still use the Library and my library card?

Once your fines reach $10, your borrowing privileges are suspended. However, you are always welcome to use the Library while visiting the Library and online.

Does the Library use a collection agency?

Yes, we have since 2007, and with great results.  Since using the collection agency, we have realized a return averaging 7 : 1, that is, for every $1.00 we spend on collections, we get $7.00 back in the form of returned materials and paid fines.  The Library is funded with taxpayer dollars and we see this as being responsible to our taxpayers.

Does the Library accept book donations?

We do and we don’t.  We do accept newer and gently used fiction, non-fiction, children and teen books.  We do not accept tattered, mildewed and/or damaged books, textbooks, encyclopedia sets and years worth of National Geographic.

What does the Library do with book donations?

Once we take what we can use for our collections, the remaining books are passed on to the Friends of Avon Lake Public Library.  They sell many of them via their ongoing book sales (located by DiscoveryWorks) and at their annual book sale.  Unsold items are given to Better World Books.  Better World Books is a non-profit that funds literacy initiatives worldwide.  Better World Books sells in-demand items through Amazon and gives the Friends a commission.  Damaged and unsalable books are recycled.

Who are the Friends of Avon Lake Public Library?

The Friends is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises funds for the Library.  The Friends underwrites Library programming, supports the levy and provides volunteer opportunities for their members.  For a modest membership fee, you can join the Friends.

What is DiscoveryWorks?

DiscoveryWorks is an interactive, hands-on learning and science center located in our Library.  It is divided into two sections:  the Early Learning area for babies, toddlers, and children to age 7, and the Tweens area for children 8 years and up.  Children ages 5, 6, and 7 must be accompanied and closely supervised by an adult in the Tweens area; children 8 years and up may explore the Tweens area on their own.  Children under age 5 are not permitted in the Tweens area.

Is DiscoveryWorks open the same hours as the Library?

DiscoveryWorks has more limited hours than the rest of the Library to accommodate their hands-on classes and groups that use the space during the department’s downtime.  Check the Library’s homepage for a listing of public hours.

My child came to a science class at the Library taught by DiscoveryWorks staff. What’s that all about?

DiscoveryWorks offers hands-on, science-focused classes for grades K – 5 throughout the school year for our local schools and homeschoolers as a means of curriculum enrichment.

How is the Library funded?

Approximately 20 percent of our funding is from the State of Ohio Public Library Fund.  About 75 percent is a combination of local property taxes, state rollbacks and credits.  Fines, fees, interest, etc., account for 5 percent.

How can I support the Library?

You can join the Friends and/or donate to the Avon Lake Public Library Endowment Fund, which is managed by the Community Foundation of Lorain County.  The interest earned on the Endowment Fund is used to fund special projects, such as, the installation of the King Neptune glass etching in DiscoveryWorks, and the Library’s participation in the Lorain County Reads program.

What is an online catalog?

You can search the Library's collections, check the status of your account, personalize your PIN [Personal Identification Number], renew materials and place items on hold by clicking on My Account on the home page, www.alpl.org and entering the ID number from the back of your library card, along with your pin.  You may also use the password (aka alternate ID) that was set up when you registered for a library card, along with your PIN.  Your password must be entered in capital letters.

What is a PIN [Personal Identification Number]?

Every library card comes with a PIN that can be used to renew books, place holds and check the status of materials online.  It can also be used to access time on an in-house personal computer.  If you have forgotten or misplaced your PIN, you can retrieve it or change it, in person, at any desk in the Library, or by emailing info@alpl.org using the same email account that is associated with your library card.  PINs cannot be given out over the phone.