As a member of the Allentown Public Library you have access to over 200,000 books, CDs, audiobooks, magazines and DVDS as well as the capability to view online databases and download eBooks and audiobooks.
Click on the drop down menus below to learn more about how to get your free library as well as other information you may need to know about using the library.
- Getting a Library Card
Residents and property owners in Allentown and Salisbury Township can get a FREE library card with Valid Identification at the circulation desk.
You can also APPLY ONLINE and we will email you a library barcode which you can use to check out eBooks, eAudiobooks, online magazines and to access all other APL online resources. Please allow two business days for us to process the request. Later, you may come into the library to validate and activate your barcode. At that time you will receive a card and be able to borrow books, CDs, and DVDs. There is no charge for getting your library card but replacing a lost card is $2.00.
People with current library cards from other Pennsylvania public libraries can get a library card at the Allentown Public Library with a photo ID and their home library card with a blue and white ACCESS sticker on it (placed by their home library).
Parents of children up to 14 years of age must sign for the child’s card and show identification. A legal guardian must present proper documentation.
Your library card is for your personal use only – each member of your family should get his or her own. You will be responsible for anything that is checked out on your card, so please don’t lend it to anyone and report it to us immediately if you lose it. Please bring your library card with you whenever you come to the library. If you forget it, you must have valid identification before we will check anything out to you. This is for your protection.
- Requesting Holds on Materials
You can place a hold on an item if it is checked out by another person, or if the item is labeled "In Processing" or "On Order" in the catalog. To place the hold you must be logged in to "My Account" using your barcode number and access pin.
Materials found at Bethlehem Area Public Library or Easton Area Public Library (which, like the Allentown Public Library, are part of the Lehigh Valley Library System) can also be placed on hold and picked up at the Allentown Public Library. To search for items in all three libraries select "Search Entire Consortium" in the catalog.
You can request a hold be placed on materials in person at the Reference Desk, by phone at 610-820-2400 x 2, or online through your Online Account. When a requested item is ready for pick up the library will, at your option, email you a notice or phone you.
Items you cannot request a hold on include:
- Rental copies of best sellers
- Bethlehem or Easton owned 2-week loan books or “new” DVDs.
Some materials not found at Allentown, Bethlehem or Easton can be requested through Interlibrary Loan service.
- Check out Period
After checking out materials please check your receipt to see when items are due.
Standard check out period
- DVDs - 2 Weeks
- New Books - 2 Weeks
- Other Books, Audiobooks, and Magazines - 3 Weeks
- Renewing Items
Items without a pending holds request may be renewed twice. Items may be renewed during regular library hours at the circulation desk (bring your library card) or by telephone (610-820-2400, ext. 5). Items may also be renewed through your Online Account 24/7.
If you renew online, please be sure to note the new due date(s).
- Returning Library Materials
Library Books and AV Materials must be returned in the outside drop boxes which are available to access 24/7. These are located either at the main door on Hamilton Street or the rear parking lot closest to Jefferson Street.
Materials returned to the book drops before the library opens on any given day are checked in as if they had been returned the previous business day. However, please note that all returned materials are then quarantined for 72 hours prior to receiving into the library's computer system.
For this reason, even though you may have returned a book on time, if you were to check your account before the quarantine period is over it will appear that the book remains checked out. This will be resolved at check in. You do NOT need to account for quarantine days and you will not be charged late fees for quarantined items. Simply use the due date that is printed on your receipt as your reference.
You may return our books to Bethlehem, Easton, or other public libraries in Pennsylvania, but please be sure that the library is a participant in the ACCESS Pennsylvania program and that that library will return the books to us.
PLEASE DO NOT RETURN DVDs TO LIBRARIES OTHER THAN ALLENTOWN, BETHLEHEM, OR EASTON.
- Overdue Fines and Notices
Overdue Fines & Notices
Charges Per Day
Books (hardcover and paperback), music CDs, magazines, toys, kits, reading bags, and interlibrary loans $ .20 $10.00
First notice – 14 days overdue
Final notice – 28 days overdue
Bill (considered lost) – 42 days overdue
DVDs 1.00 10.00 First notice – 7 days overdue
Final notice – 28 days overdue
Bill (considered lost) – 42 days overdue
Maximum fine threshold per card is $10.00. Once that amount is reached, privileges are withdrawn.
You may choose whether to have overdue notices mailed to you via the U.S. Postal Service or emailed to you directly from our automated system. They will be mailed USPS unless you sign up to Get Your Library Notices by Email. If you choose to get email notices, you will not receive any notices by regular mail.
The advantage of email notification is that you will receive courtesy notices BEFORE an item is due.
You are responsible for keeping your email address up-to-date to avoid missing notifications.
If you lose or damage library materials, you are charged the item price plus a $5.00 processing fee.
It is the Library's decision whether or not to accept a replacement copy of a lost or damaged item. Items lost and owned by Bethlehem or Easton must be paid in cash or by check.
You may pay your fines:
• With cash or check at all locations.
• Through the mail by check.
• In person at the Library using credit (Visa, MasterCard, Discover) or debit card.
• By phoning 610-820-2400 x5 during posted library business hours to pay by credit
When charges on any account reaches $25.00 we use the services of a Library Collections Agency.
- Check Out Limits
SPECIFIC CHECKOUT LIMITS
Limit per card, per category
Adult, YA, and Children's card limits
Materials in ALL Collections
Books, Magazines, Toys, Puppets, Kits & Reading Bags
"My First Card" Limits
Materials in Juvenile Collection
Books, Magazines, & Reading Bags
- Special AV Borrowing Policies
1. Allowable DVD checkouts by age groups are as follows:
• Children 5 to 12 – ratings of G or PG
• 13 to 17 years of age – ratings of G, PG and PG13
• 18 years of age and older – ALL ratings
• Non-rated DVDs may be checked out by any age group.
2. DVDs, Playaway Views and games may be returned to Bethlehem's Main Library, South Side Branch, Bookmobile, or our book drops. Please be careful to close their cases securely to prevent damage. They may also be returned at Bethlehem Area Public Library or Easton Area Public Libraries.
3. Library staff will visually inspect each DVD before it is checked out and again when it is returned. The patron who checked out the item is responsible for any damage while it is in his or her possession.
4. If you have any problems viewing a DVD, please report it when returning it to the library.
5. The Allentown Public Library takes no responsibility for damage to patrons’ equipment from the use of library materials.
6. Because of copyright and licensing restrictions, DVDs may not be duplicated or broadcast. Only those DVDs licensed for public performance may be shown by organizations or public institutions. All others are for home viewing only.