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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get a library card?

Any resident of California can obtain a Riverside County Library System card. Cards can be obtained at any of the thirty-five libraries or two bookmobiles in the Riverside County Library System.

To get a card, you will need to show either a valid California Driver License with a current address, or two forms of identification, one showing who you are and the other indicating your current mailing address in California. Parents or legal guardians must sign for children's cards. Non-residents of California can obtain a library card for a $10 annual fee.

Get a library card.

Print out a Library Card Application in either Spanish or English and bring it with you* to the library.

*Note that parents or legal guardians must sign for children's cards.

What is my PIN?

Your PIN (Personal Identification Number) is the last four digits of your telephone number unless you have asked for it to be changed to some other number.
You will need your PIN to access your library account information online and to place holds on items in the catalog. If using the last four digits of your telephone number as your PIN does not work, please call any branch of the Riverside County Library System for assistance.

How do I place a hold on an item?

You can place a hold on most items in the library system so that when that item is returned, it will be sent to the library of your choice to pick up.
Follow these easy steps to place a hold on an item and have it sent for you:

1. From the Library's home page, select "Catalog" from the links across the top of our home page.

2. Search for the item you are looking for by author, title, subject or keyword (keyword is the default).

3. If the item is owned by the library system, the next page will either have a single item or a list of items displayed. If it is a single item, you will see a "Place Hold" link in the separate column on the left-hand of the screen. Do you see that column on the left? If Yes, skip to Step 5 below; if No, then continue to Step 4.

4. From the list of items, scan down the list to see if the one you are looking for is there. When you have found it, click on the "Place Hold" link. Continue to Step 6.

5. Click on the "Place Hold" link, and when the Login page appears, enter your library card number without any spaces between the numbers (this number appears just below the barcode on your library card), and your PIN (this is usually the last four digits of your telephone number). After you have entered your library card number and PIN, click on the LOGIN button.

6. When the Submit Hold screen appears, choose your pickup library from the drop-down menu and then click on the SUBMIT button.

7. The next screen will tell you if the hold has been successfully placed. You will receive notification either via e-mail, mail, or phone when the item is available to pick up at the library you specified.

8. If your hold attempt was not successful, there could be several reasons why--the item you tried to request could not be requested (a reference book, for instance), you may have the maximum number of holds on your card, or your library card may have expired. Please contact your local library for further assistance.

Note: If the screen tells you that the hold was not successfully placed, there could be several reasons, including that the item cannot be held, or that your card is blocked for some reason. If you have any questions, call any branch library for assistance.

How will I know when my hold is available for pick up?

When any item you've requested arrives at your branch you will be notified by phone via a recorded message (or by email if you requested that). Once you get the notification you have 10 days to pick up the item.

It can take about a week before you get the call. It can take much longer than that if other customers are on the list ahead of you.

Please make sure we have up to date contact information for you, so you don't miss the call.

You can also check your hold status online by clicking on "My Account".

How much are the fines for overdue items?

Adult items: (books, recordings, paperbacks, magazines, pamphlets): $0.25 a day per item, $5.00 maximum per item. Children's items: (books, recordings, paperbacks, magazines, pamphlets): $0.10 a day per item, $3.00 maximum per item. Videos and DVDs (adults and children's): $0.25 a day per item, $5.00 maximum per item.

Can I pay for my library services and fines online?

YES!  You can pay for fines, photocopies, printing and all other library charges using our online system. Please note: There is a minimum $5.00 deposit to your account.  It will stay on your account until all funds are used. There are no refunds for any unused funds left on the account. To use this service please click here. You will need your library card number and pin to login.

How long are books loaned out?

Most items check out for 2 weeks and may be renewed up to four times, in person, by phone, or online as long as no one has reserved the item. All DVDs and videos are not renewable.
Please have your library card available to renew.

Phone Renewal: 1-888-388-0664 

When renewing by phone, how do I enter my PIN if I have numbers and letters in it?

(Phone renewal: 1-888-388-0664)

You can enter letters by using a sequence of asterisks and numbers.

The asterisks tell the software you want the letter that corresponds with that number on the keypad. Because three or four letters may correspond to a number on the keypad, you may need to enter the number more than once.

Telephone Key Pad Numbers to Letters Key:

2 - ABC
3 - DEF
4 - GHI
5 - JKL
6 - MNO
7 - PQRS
8 - TUV
9 - WXYZ

Example 1

If your PIN is 'pdef' you would enter the following:

  • To select 'p', enter *7*
  • For 'd', enter *3*
  • For 'e', enter *33*
  • For 'f', enter *333*

So you would enter the following when asked for the PIN:


After you have entered your PIN (followed by the # sign) the system will repeat your PIN back to you for confirmation.

Example 2

If your PIN is 'sn0w' (that is, 'sn(zero)w'), you would enter the following:

  • To select 's', enter *7777*
  • For 'n', enter *66*
  • For '0', enter 0
  • For 'w', enter *9*

So you would enter the following when asked for the PIN:


Note - the zero (0) in the PIN is just the number without the surrounding asterisks (*). A letter value in the PIN must have an asterisk (*) before and after the corresponding number on the keypad.

Important note

It is highly recommended that you write out the PIN before calling the Automated Phone Renewal phone number.

The system will timeout if you take too long entering your PIN number.

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