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Library Lending

Photo of young library borrower browsing selection in the Central Library Children's Room

In order to borrow library materials you must present a valid San Diego Public Library card.

With a San Diego Public Library Card, you can:

  • check out books, magazines, DVDs and CDs
  • place holds and access your account online
  • access library databases from home
  • download audiobooks and ebooks

Library cards are free to applicants who reside in California or own property in the City of San Diego, and to men and women serving in the Armed Forces who are stationed within San Diego County. For non-residents, the annual fee for a library card is $28.

When you sign your library card you assume responsibility for anything that is checked-out on the card. If you change your address, email address, etc., notify the library on your next visit. If your library card is lost or stolen, it is very important to notify the library as soon as possible since you are still responsible for items checked out on your card.

When an item is lost, you will be charged the cost of the item, any accrued overdue fines, plus a processing fee.

Your library card privileges must be renewed every two years.

The fee to replace a library card is $2.00/adult and $1.00/children.

Your Library Card may be used at any City of San Diego Public Library location.

Loan Policy and Item Limits

Maximum Items on a Library Card at One Time: 40

Checked out materials may be returned to any City of San Diego Public Library location.

Limits by Material * Item Limit Loan Period
Books, magazines, and music scores 40 21 days
Leased Books 5 14 days
Audiocassettes (AC) 15 21 days
CD-Rom/DVD-Rom 3 21 days
Compact Discs (CD) – Audio Books and Music 10 21 days
Video Material (DVC, DVD, VCD, VC [video cassette], VHS [video cassette], VD) 5 7 days
Museum Membership Pass 1 10 days
eReader 1 21 days

*Material may not be transferred from one library card to another.

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