FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Following are some of the most frequently asked questions received by the Library. If your question isn't listed here, please Email Us or Call the Library at 1-866-57-ASKUS (1-866-572-7587).

 
 

What is required for a library card?

To register for a permanent library card, you will need to provide:

 

Adults: 

  • current picture identification (I.D.)

  • current address verification

 

18 and Under: 

  • current picture identification (I.D.) or birth certificate

  • current address verification

  • signature of a parent or legal guardian. Please read our letter regarding library cards and minors.

 

How do I find a particular book, movie or CD?

You can search for items in the Library Catalog several ways:

 

By KEYWORD - Use Keyword if you aren’t sure of the title or want several items about a subject. Use significant or unique words from the title or words identifying the subject you want.
By TITLE – Use Title to find a specific item when you know the title. You don't need to enter the complete title, just enough of it to narrow the results.
By AUTHOR/NAME – Use Author/Name to locate items by or about someone. Use "last name, first name" format.

 

Books not found in the catalog may be available through our Interlibrary Loan program.  We can borrow books for you from other libraries throughout the country, but the process does take time. Staff at the Information Desk or by telephone can submit a request for you. Interlibrary Loan is for items published more than six months ago. DVDs and CDs cannot be requested through Interlibrary Loan.

 

You can suggest the Library purchase new/recently published items by completing the Suggest a Purchase form online or by telephone.

 

How many items can I have checked out on my card?

You are allowed to have up to 50 items checked out on your card at any time. However, there are some limits on specific material types. For example, you may only borrow up to 10 items with the BROWSE label.

How do I place a hold/request an item?

You can place holds/request items yourself through the catalog on this website. Library staff can also place holds for you by phone or at the desk. To place a hold online:

 

  • Search for the desired item in the Library Catalog by Title, Author/Name or Keyword

  • Click the title wanted to display the full record
  • Click the Place hold button on the left sidebar
  • Follow instructions to enter your library card number, last name, and last four digits of your phone number, then click Enter
  • Select a pickup branch by clicking a branch name
  • Ignore the Vacation Hold option and date unless you will not be able to pick up items until after a certain date you will return from a vacation.
  • Click Place Hold. The screen will display "Hold Placed" and will show your place number on the Holds list and how many copies are available.

How do I find out if my holds are ready to pick up or where I am on the waiting list?

The Library's automated notification system will contact you by email or telephone message. You have 7 days to pick up your holds.

 

You can also check the status of your holds online. Click on Your Account in the upper right corner. Enter your library card number, last name, and last four digits of your telephone number. Click Holds. Items on your hold list will display "This title is available for pickup" and a "Pickup by" date if the item is ready for you. A Status of "Intransit > sent" displays when the item is on its way to your branch. The "Queue position" will tell you where you are in the holds list for a "Request pending" item of a title.

Can I renew items online?

Yes. Click on Your Account and enter the requested information. Click View Loans.

There are 2 ways to renew materials.
1) Click the box next to each item you wish to renew, then click on Renew at the top of the screen. OR
2) Click the orange Renew Loan button underneath the item you wish to renew.

The renewed materials will move down to the bottom of the list where you will see the new due date for each item that renewed. (Note: You may have to click the Show More Loans button in order to see them.)
Note the new due date.

Some reasons an item might not renew: others have requested it, it has been renewed twice already, item is in the Browse collection (red sticker), or it’s an Interlibrary Loan item from another system.

An item I checked out is lost or damaged. What do I do?

To replace lost items, the Library charges the cost of the item plus a non-refundable $10 processing fee. A receipt is issued when you pay for a lost item. If you find a lost item within one year of paying for it, bring it to the Library along with the receipt and the cost of the item can be refunded. Charges for damaged items vary depending on the damage. Bring the item to a customer service desk to determine if there is a damage fee.

I just received a letter/telephone call about lost items from Unique, a collection agency. What should I do?

First, return the items if possible. Then you only owe late fees, not the replacement cost of the items. If you aren’t able to pay the entire amount at one time, you may make payment arrangements at the customer service desk. Returning/paying for items and fees once notified stops the collection process before your credit rating is affected.

What if I'm interested in working or volunteering at the Library?

We have a variety of things volunteers can do for the Library. Check out the Volunteer page on our website. You can download either the adult or teen volunteer application form and review a partial list of volunteer opportunities. Turn in your application form at your branch to arrange a meeting with the Volunteer Coordinator and find a volunteer opportunity that works for you.

 

All Library job postings and applications are done through the County’s Human Resources Department. Job postings can be found at http://www.solanocounty.com/.  Click “Employment Opportunities” to view open jobs. Assistance is available at the Human Resources Department, 675 Texas Street, Suite 1800, Fairfield. Phone (707) 784-6170.

 

Job Information Line:
Phone: (707)784-6174
Toll Free (888)321-6174

Does the Library accept donations of books, DVDs, etc?

The Library accepts donations of items in good condition and of current interest. Most items go to the Friends of the Library and are sold to raise funds for special Library programs and needs. Due to space limitations, donations are only received at the larger branches and Rio Vista. Please call for further information as not all types of materials can be accepted; we can provide information on alternative sites for material the Library and Friends cannot use.

Can I call my library directly?

The Library’s Telephone Assistance Center (TAC) coordinates calls for the entire system and can transfer you to a specific branch if you request that.  The TAC can answer all types of reference questions, place holds and interlibrary loan requests, renew items, check if your holds are in, give information about upcoming events, book a computer for you, and more.

I had a library card several years ago. Is it still valid?

Cards expire after three years. To renew or replace an expired card, present it and/or current ID with proof of address at the customer service desk of any branch.

I lost/can't find my card. What should I do?

Call the library at 1-866-57-ASKUS (1-866-572-7587) immediately to block your card from being used by someone else. You can get a replacement card for $1 with proof of ID or, if you find your card, reactivate it by showing proof of ID and the card at the customer service desk.

How much is the fine/late fee for overdue items?

The late fee for most items is 20 cents per day up to a maximum of $6 per item. Late fees for children’s items are 10 cents per day up to $6 per item. Late fees begin the day after the item was due. Late items can sometimes be renewed, call the Library for assistance. Late fees apply for the time between the due date and the day the item is renewed.

How do I pay fines/late fees?

You can pay by cash, check or credit card at the Library’s service desk. You always get a receipt showing the amount paid by item. You can also pay by mail. Send a check for the amount owed payable to Solano County Library. Write your library card number on the check so the correct account is credited.

How do I update my email address in my library account?

Call us at 1-866-57-ASKUS (1-866-572-7587) or send us an email with your new email address from the ASK US Email page. Please provide your library card number so that we can access your account and make the update.