Tacoma Public Library
Print      Close window

Make the most of your library experience!

The Tacoma Public Library has over 300 books on dogs, a mere 200 on puppets and puppet plays, and 500+ books on automobiles and repair (in fact, an entire Reference Collection on the subject at the Main Library), and over 1,040 cookbooks! Did we mention we have more than 71,000 books, compact discs, videos and other materials just for kids?  If you need it, we probably have it (or can get it for you)

New Loan Periods & Overdue Fines

In order to ensure that you have access to the materials you want in a timely fashion, the Tacoma Public Library sets limits on the number of items any one person may check out, and the length of time those items may be kept. You may check out in any combination of books, media, and other library materials as detailed below.

Standard Card

  • 60 items check out at one time.
  • 30 items on HOLD at anytime.

Limited Card

  • 10 items check out at one time.
  • 10 items on HOLD at anytime. 

Temporary Card

  • 3 items check out at one time.
  • 3 items on HOLD at anytime. 
  • These limits will be removed upon showing acceptable proof of permanent residence.
  • 21 day check out for most books
  • 3 renewals (unless there are HOLDS)
  • 25 cents per day overdue fine

Audio Books

  • 21 day check out
  • 3 renewals (unless there are HOLDS)
  • 25 cents per day overdue fine


  • 7 day check out
  • 3 renewal (unless there are HOLDS)
  • 25 cents per day per DVD/VHS overdue fine

Compact Discs

  • 21 day check out
  • 3 renewals (unless there are HOLDS)
  • 25 cents per day overdue fine

Items which have a reserve (hold) on them by another patron cannot be renewed.

If you renew by telephone, please have your library card available, as well as the items you want to renew.  Call our Telephone Reference at (253) 292-2001.

You can also renew your materials on-line. You will need your Library Card number and your secret PIN (Personal Identification Number). If you do not know your PIN or have never used this on-line service before, try entering the last four digits of your home telephone number. In most instances, the Library has assigned this as your default PIN. If you need assistance, call our Telephone Reference at (253) 292-2001.

The confidentiality of your records is important to us, and is mandated by law. If you call to renew someone else's items [spouse, child, etc.], we can tell you due dates, but not titles of items. For that, we need to speak directly to the cardholder.

Oops! I Forgot to return it by the DATE DUE
Fines are levied when materials are kept beyond their due date, and will include Sundays and other days the library is closed. Fine monies collected go back into the library's general fund and are used to purchase new materials.
You may continue to use your Tacoma Public Library card even if it has fines on it, up to a maximum of $20. Once your unpaid fines reach $20 you may not check out items until the outstanding total is once again below $20. You may pay fines with cash or check, at any branch of the Tacoma Public Library system. You may also pay your fines online with a debit or credit card.

Overdue statements are mailed on a regular basis, and will include any fines, fees, or charges attached to your library record. 

Please be sure the library has your current address! Contact us about any fines you feel are in error. If we cannot contact you about fines, or you do not contact us, your name and account may be referred to a collection agency 30 days after the overdue notice is sent to you.  A $20 Collection Agency Fee will be added to the account if it is sent to collection.

The Tacoma Public Library also sends overdue statements via email.  You can sign up to receive email notification at any of Tacoma's libraries. Email notification is much quicker and it saves the Library money. The Library will not use your email for any other purpose without your permission. You can also choose to receive supplemental notification by opting into SMS text notices. Log into your library account and click "Modify Personal Information."

Damaged materials.
We are very careful with library materials. We do our best to assure you can borrow items in good shape: books with no stains or tears, videos and cassettes with no cracks or twisted tape, compact discs and DVDs with no scratches.  Each time an item is returned, we check it for damage. Please inform us if damage of some type occurs while library items are in your possession. If damaged items are returned in the bookdrop, the computer automatically sends you a letter and charges you the full replacement cost for the damaged item.

Lost materials.
Items checked out and not returned will be billed to the patron account. In addition to the cost of the item, overdue fines may be accessed.

Refund Notice

Refunds for lost materials may be made within 90 days of payment when an item is found and returned to a Tacoma Public Library location. Library staff must initiate the process for refunding the lost item cost. If you are returning an item that you have paid for within the last 90 days, please bring it to the attention of a circulation staff member. You must present your receipt of the payment for the lost item.

Return to the top of page


Last Updated 21.05.2015