Library account basics

Your library is fine free.

Get a library card at the library or online and start using it today.

Library cards are free if you live, teach, go to school, or own property in Multnomah County. If you live in nearby counties or in Oregon, there are other options for free access.

Students in Multnomah County school districts may be able to use their student ID number as a library card. Learn more about Library Connect.

If you sign up for a card online

Please pick up your new library card within six months or contact us if you can’t come into a library.

When you pick up your card, bring photo identification:

  • If you are ages 13–17, show a photo ID or bring an adult with you.
  • If you are under age 13, bring an adult with you.
  • Contact us about other ID options.

Do you support learning in your community? Teachers, school librarians, homeschooling families and others can sign up for educator library cards.

The Checked Out page on your account shows items you have on loan and their due dates.

In addition to books, CDs and graphic novels, you can check out up to:

  • 30 DVDs
  • 2 Lucky Day items (popular books without the wait)
  • 20 e-books and audiobooks in Libby/Overdrive
  • 10 Hoopla checkouts including streaming music, movies, TV and comics
  • Limits vary on Kanopy (unlimited kid content)

Check out time and renewal

  • Most items can be checked out for up to three weeks.
  • Loans are automatically renewed, so you can keep materials longer unless someone else is waiting for the item.
  • If items can’t be renewed, you will receive a notice three days before the due date.
  • Checkouts will be automatically renewed up to 50 times.

Return items

Book drops are open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at any Multnomah County Library location[Locations under construction will temporarily close their bookdrops. Please check the locations page for more information.]

  • There are no late fines.
  • If items are lost or damaged, contact us. We can help.

You can place items on hold using the online catalog, visiting a library branch, or by contacting us.

  • You may have up to 20 physical and 20 digital holds.
  • Holds can be canceled at any time.

Pick up your holds

  • Visit a library location during open hours to pick up your hold.
  • Have your holds sent to a library locker and pick them up when it’s convenient for you. Lockers are accessible 24/7.
  • Have your holds delivered to you with Books by Mail.

Contact us if you need more time to pick up your hold.

Pause a hold

A paused hold will continue to move up the waiting list, but will not fill until you are ready.

  • Get items in order, like a book or TV series.
  • Make sure items don’t come in before you can use them.

My MCL help has more information about placing, pausing and canceling holds.

If the item you are looking for is not owned by Multnomah County Library, it may be possible to get it from another library system through Interlibrary Loan.

Contact us right away, then come into any library to get a new card. There is no replacement fee.

There are no late fines.

  • There is a replacement fee for any item not returned for more than seven weeks past the due date. If the item is returned, the fees are cleared.
  • There may be fees for some library services, such as Books by Mail.

Pay fees

Pay online, in person, by phone or by mail.

  • In person, pay with cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Diners Club and some smartphone apps.
  • Online, pay with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover or PayPal. 
  • Pay by mail. Send a check or money order to:

Multnomah County Library
Access Services
221 NE 122nd Avenue
Portland, OR 97230