Borrowing

Take this guide with you! Click the link to download MPL's official Borrower Guide [pdf] ... en Español

Applying for a Library Card

Library cards are available free of charge when an Online Borrower Registration Form is filled out, then verified in person with the required documentation. A parent or legal guardian must verify the account of a juvenile cardholder, 17 years or younger. To get a library card:

  1. Fill out and submit the Online Borrower Registration Form
    • Upon submission of this form, you will receive a temporary barcode. Please make note of this barcode, then:
  2. Visit any library location and present your temporary barcode. Account verification requires that you also present both:
    • Your government-issued photo ID (U.S., Canada, or Mexico), and
    • Proof of your current U.S. mailing address

Either your library card or Texas ID is required for all transactions concerning library books and materials. Each registered borrower assumes full responsibility for the materials and fines charged to the card.

Card Fees

  • Address change and name change: no fee
  • Replacement card(s): $3.00

Loan Guidelines

Limits exist for all library materials that you may borrow. For instance, you may borrow up to 3 eBooks from http://bit.ly/mplebooks with an MPL card and PIN #. Borrowers may have a total of up to 25 items on their card at one time.

Books (hardbacks or paperbacks)

25 per card

DVDs / Blu-Rays

4 per card

Music CDs, audiobooks on CD

4 per card

eBooks

3 per card


Fines and Loan Periods

Fines apply as listed below. Overdue notices are sent for items 30 days overdue. Borrowing privileges will be blocked if fines equal $1.00 or more. Patrons will be billed for items not returned. If an item is not returned in 30 days, the item is considered lost and full replacement cost, plus a $5 processing fee per item, is charged to the patron.

Type of Item

Loan Period

Fine (per item)

Circulating books

2 weeks

$0.10 per day

CDs, audiobooks

2 weeks

$0.10 per day

eBooks

2 weeks

no fine*

DVDs / Blu-Rays

1 week

$0.50 per day

*eBooks automatically expire from your device at end of loan period.

Payment of Fines

The Library will accept the following forms of payment for fines accrued:

  • Cash
  • Personal checks made out to the “City of McAllen” or “McAllen Public Library” for the exact amount of the fines being paid

Credit cards and debit cards are not yet accepted.

Returning Items

Items checked out from any library location may be returned to any library location. If, for instance, you checked out a book at the Palm View Branch Library, you are free to return it at the Main Library or Lark Branch, whichever location is most convenient for you.

There is a book drop accessible from the exterior of all library locations.

Your Library Account

You have access to your personal library account by clicking “My Account” on MPL's online catalog.

  • Enter your Library ID, which is your 6-digit library card number (starts with a "P"), and your PIN. If you do not know your PIN, visit the circulation desk of any library location, and staff will assign one to you in person.
  • You may review items currently checked out on your library card, overdue and lost items, and outstanding fines. (Fines will not be posted to your online account until items are returned or renewed.)
  • You may renew items as long as they are not overdue and not on hold for someone else.
  • You may review the status of titles you have placed on hold and cancel holds on items you no longer need.

Renewing Items

Most items may be renewed up to three times each. You may renew items in one of three ways:

  • By accessing your account through the online catalog before the due date.
  • By bringing them in person to the library.
  • By telephone (during operating hours) with your library card number or DOB.

Materials may not be renewed for which there are pending holds or reserves. If the item you renew is overdue, a fine will be posted to your record.

Requesting Items

You may place a hold on an item free of charge by logging into your account through the online catalog and locating the item through the catalog’s search engine.

  • Select the library location where you want the item sent.
  • You will be notified by text message or email when the item is available for pick-up.

If you need help with our hold services, please contact the library location where you intend to pick up the item.