• Central Library main hall header

  • Circulation (Customer Service)

    Circulation Desk

    At the circulation desks in the Central Library or in any Pasadena branch, patrons may take care of the following services:

    Circulation Customer Service
    • Check in and check out items.
    • Register for library cards - Patrons will need some form of identification to verify their name and address. It may be a driver's license, a check book imprint, or a bill.
    • Update library patron records (new address, telephone numbers, etc.)
    • Obtain a PIN (Personal Identification Number) for use in placing hold requests and with the “My Account” feature of the library catalog.
    • Pay overdue fines and/or lost materials.
    • Turn in or retrieve “Lost & Found” items
    • Pick up items that are currently available in the library and have been placed on hold via Telephone.
    • Pick up and pay for books or articles requested through interlibrary loan (ILL).
    • Pick up items on hold for which “pick-up” notices have been sent (the central library and Hastings branch offer self service holds which allows customers to pick up their own library materials without waiting in line.)

    Library Cards

    Library cards are available at all Pasadena locations free of charge to any resident of the State of California. Temporary library card numbers, which can be used for certain online services and which can be converted to permanent library cards within 60 days are available online. 

    Circulation Policies

    Library card holders are responsible for all materials checked out on their card. If card is lost or stolen, report it to the library immediately. The library has established the following policies for the use of library materials:

    Circulation Policies - Library Card Holders
    • Standard Loan Period - 21 days
    • Renewals - 2 per item if there are no holds pending
      • No renewals on eBook or downloadable audio/video items
      • No renewals with Library Media Box DVD service

    Limit on number of items checked out: 

    • Adults - 100
    • Teens Children - 25
    • DVD's - A maximum of six DVD can be out on one library card at any time. A DVD can be checked out for seven (7) days with up to two seven (7) day renewal periods if there are no holds pending.
    • eBook and Downloadable Audio/Video - 5 titles may be checked out at at time, and are returned automatically.

    Overdue notices are sent 14 days after item is due. Replacement charges including a processing fee are imposed 28 days after the item is due. An account becomes delinquent after 42 days and collection agency fees will be added to the replacement charges and processing fees. Library materials may not be checked out to patrons who have fines over $20.00.

    Other library policies are available in our policies section.

    Interlibrary Loans

    If you can't find what you want in our catalog, we can borrow materials from other libraries.

    • We provide this Interlibrary Loan Service (ILL) for those who have a valid Pasadena or Glendale library card.
    • There is a $2.00 nonrefundable service fee, automatically charged to your library account. You will be notified ahead of time if the lending library wants to apply additional charges.
    • The loan period is normally three weeks. Contact the Interlibrary Loan staff three working days before the due date if you would like us to request permission to renew the item.
    • Some materials, such as microfilm, are for library use only.
    • Rare books, reference books and books published within the last year are difficult to obtain. For newer items, you may wish to make a suggestion for purchase.
    • You will be liable for any lost or damaged materials.
    • It may take anywhere from 2-6 weeks to receive an item, with 3 weeks being the average.
    • We will notify you if we can’t locate a library that will loan the requested item.

    You can place your request in person at any Pasadena Public Library location, over the telephone, or online.

    Circulation - Interlibrary Loan
    • By phone, call the Central Library (626-744-4066 option #7) or a branch and have your library card, the title and author's name on hand.
    • To place your request online:
      1. Go to the online library catalog: http://catalog.pasadenapubliclibrary.net  
      2. Check the catalog to make sure we do not own the book or magazine. We do not request materials that we already own in the Pasadena or Glendale Library systems.
      3. If we don't own the item you want, click on “Search Other Libraries” in the lower right corner.
      4. This is the California Libraries Catalog. Enter the title and author's name and click on “Search.”
      5. Look through the results list for the one that best matches your needs. Click on the title.
      6. The resulting page gives detailed information about the book or magazine. Click on the phrase “Borrow this item from another library” or on the ILL icon that looks like two libraries with arrows between them.
      7. Fill out the resulting form. If you want a copy of your request, print prior to submitting it.
      8. If you are requesting a copy of a magazine article, note the article title, author, volume, date and pages in the Comments field.
      9. Click “Submit.” You will get a message stating your submission was successful. If the request was not successful, the notice will state what information is missing from your request.
      10. At any point in the process, feel free to call Reference Services for assistance. (626-744-4066 option #7)

    Contact the Interlibrary Loan desk by email ill_staff@cityofpasadena.net or call 626-744-4223. If staff cannot be reached immediately, messages will be returned as soon as possible.

    Automated Self-Check-Out Machines

    Self Check-Out Machines are available for patrons who are in a hurry or who wish to check out and/or renew their own books. At the end of the transaction patrons will receive an itemized list of the titles and due dates. Currently there are three machines at the Central Library: two are located in the main hall, one of which accepts credit/debit card payments; and one is in the Children's Room.

    Automated Book Renewal

    Automated Check Out & Book Renewal

    Patrons may renew in person or by telephone using a touch-tone phone or online (2 renewals per item if there are no holds pending).

    Automated Book Renewal via Telephone
    Patrons with a touch-tone phone can dial into the library to renew their books. The barcode numbers of the library card are required. Call (626) 356-3914.

    Automated Book Renewal via Internet Using Horizon (the library’s catalog)
    Pasadena and Glendale library patrons with Internet access can renew their books via the web. To renew or to view your records, you need your library card number and your Personal Identification Number (PIN).

    Hold Requests

    Hold requests may be made at no charge from any Pasadena Public Library or Glendale Public Library location to have most circulating materials brought to the nearest Pasadena Public Library or Glendale Public Library branch (with the exceptions noted below). In addition to placing holds by coming in or telephoning any branch, patrons may place their own hold requests using the library catalog in the library or online. A valid library card is required as well as a PIN.


    • No hold requests may be placed on reference material including items marked “Special Collections”, “Centennial Room” or “Librarians’ Resource (LRC)”.
    • Do not place hold requests on items that have no copies listed or items where all copies are listed as “missing” or “lost”.
    • No hold requests may be placed on items listed as "Rental" or "Bookmobile" from the Glendale Public Library System.
    • The Brand Library only allows the transfer of books and music CDs and may be picked up at any Pasadena Branch. However, upon returning the material these must be hand delivered to staff at the circulation desks.
    • Records (LPs) from the Montrose Branch of Glendale Public Library may only be picked up and returned at the MONTROSE Branch.
    • Films (16mm) from the Glendale Central Library may only be picked up and returned at the GLENDALE CENTRAL Branch.
    • Patrons with guest cards may not place holds.

    Self-Service Holds Pickup (at Central Library and the Hastings Branch)
    Pick up your own holds. We notify you by email, telephone message delivery, or via postal mail when your hold is ready for pick up.

    Self-Service Checkout
    Use the Self-Checkout Machines to check out your library materials. Currently there are two machines located in the main hall at the Central Library; currently only one accepts credit/debit card payments.

    Lost Items

    Failure to return or renew an overdue item will result in the item being deemed “lost”. Patrons are financially responsible for items deemed lost on their record and will be charged the replacement cost of the item plus a processing fee.

    • Unpaid library charges may result in collections activity.
    • When lost items are returned, the replacement and processing fees will be waived and the maximum late fee will be applied.
    • Patrons are encouraged to return or renew Library materials by the due date to avoid charges. If we have a current e-mail address, you will be notified 3 days prior to due date. As a courtesy, the Library sends overdue notices before an item is deemed “lost”. It is the borrower’s responsibility to adhere to due dates regardless of whether the notices are received.
    1. Billing for lost items takes place in the following order: 
      • For 21 day loans:
      • 28 days after due date.
      • For 7 days loans:
      • 12 days after due date
    2. Payments for lost items: 
      • The Library charges the cost of the lost item plus a non-refundable processing fee for every item billed as lost.
      • Partial payments for lost items are not accepted; both cost and the processing fee must be paid at the same time.
      • If patrons have a collections fee in addition to the lost item fees, the lost item fees must be paid first and the collections fee last.
    3. Replacing Items: 
      • BOOKS: With prior approval from the Circulation Supervisor/ Branch Manager or the Acquisitions Department, patrons may purchase a replacement copy of an item rather than pay the cost.
        • When patrons have purchased a replacement without first contacting the library to consent approval, the item will not be accepted until approval is granted.
        • When the replacement is approved, the patron will only pay the Processing Fees. The replacement copy must have the same ISBN, same number of pages, and must be in new condition. Books with stickers, writing, stamps, yellowed pages, or loose bindings will not be accepted in lieu of payment. In the case of a classic title (e.g. Pride & Prejudice) the purchased copy must be an unabridged edition.
      • MEDIA: Replacements for DVDs and Audio books are not allowed.
      • PAPERBACKS: Un-cataloged paperbacks will not incur a processing fee if lost or damaged. The library will accept a replacement paperback in lieu of the lost or damaged uncataloged paperback. The replacement paperback must be in good condition and of comparable quality. Paperback books with stickers, writing, stamps, yellowed pages, or loose bindings will not be accepted.
    4. Refunds: 
      • A refund is provided for items that are found and returned within three months of payment. The Processing Fee, however, is non-refundable.
      • Refund policy does not apply for replacements in lieu of lost books, and partial replacements on A.V. sets. E.g. missing audio book discs and DVDs.

    Fee Schedule

    1. Overdue FinesCirculation - Customer Service - Fees
      1. Daily
        1. $.25 (twenty-five cents) per adult item
        2. $.15 (fifteen cents) per juvenile item
        3. $.25 (twenty-five cents) per day, per title (videos)
      2. Maximum
        1. $5.00 per adult item
        2. $2.50 per juvenile item
      3. Special Loan Material
        1. Daily $2.50 per item
        2. Maximum $50.00 per item
    2. Lost and Damaged Material  
      1. Replacement fee generally is the cost of the item plus $7.40 processing fee
      2. A default value is assigned to each item that is billed for replacement that does not have a special price.
        1. Reference material $50.00
        2. Paperbacks $5.00
        3. DVD/VHS $50.00
        4. Magazines $3.00
        5. Music cassettes, cds and toys $20.00
        6. Books $15.00
      3. Processing fee per item. Non-refundable $7.40
      4. Replacement Fee
        1. Playaway View case $5.99
        2. Playaway View battery charger $14.99
        3. DVD or CD case $2.55
        4. Toy bags $2.55
        5. Book covers $2.55
        6. Barcodes $2.55
        7. Audio unabridged CD $6.95 per disc (when available individually)
        8. Replacement fees for lost parts of video/dvd sets will be determined on a case-by-case basis
      5. Collection Agency fee $25.00 per occurrence
    3. Library Card Replacement
      1. A $2.50 replacement fee will be charged for a lost or missing library card.
    4. Interlibrary Loan and Holds
      1. A minimum fee of $2.00 will be charged per interlibrary loan request.
      2. There is no charge for placing holds on Pasadena and/or Glendale items.

    Payment of Fees

    Fines paid in cash can be paid in person at any Pasadena Public Library branch. Fines paid by check or money order can be paid in person or mailed to the attention of the Circulation section of any branch. Checks should be made payable to “City of Pasadena Library” and the library card number should be written on the check or money order. When paying by mail please include name of cardholder and a valid phone number with the check. Currently the library only accepts credit/debit card payments at one of our self-check-out machines at the Central Library.

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