Using the Library

A compiled list of our most frequently asked questions and answers organized by topic.

Library Cards

How much do library cards cost?
Library cards are free for McLennan County residents age 5 & older. Those under 18 must have a parent/responsible adult present.

Short-term residents can get a three month card for $30.

Residents outside McLennan County can get a Library card for $100 for a year.

How do I get a library card?
Sign up for a library card at any of our four locations. You can also register online! 

You will need to show a valid picture ID and proof of residency (up to date or postmarked within the last 30 days)

Examples of acceptable IDs:

  • Driver's License
  • Department of Public Safety ID card
  • Resident Alien ID
  • Passport
  • Department of Corrections Photo ID
  • Military Photo ID

Examples of Proofs of Residency (print or digital):

  • Mortgage, lease or rental agreement
  • Utility bill or cell phone bill
  • Bank statement
  • Proof of auto insurance
  • Postmarked envelope

Why did I get a notice that my account is going to expire?
Library accounts come up for renewal every 3 years for most accounts and every year for non-residents. To renew your account just present a recent proof of residence (bill or postmarked letter) for Waco or McLennan County to the circulation desk.

What if I lose my library card?
Lost library cards can be replaced for $1 with a photo ID. You do not need to create a new account if you lost your card. You can also access a copy of your library card number in the Cloud Library app if you have already set up an account.

Do I need a library card to only use the computers?
McLennan County residents can get a computer use-only card with a photo ID. This card is for in-library computer use only.

Who may use my library card?
Only the owner of the card may use their library card. They must be present at the time of check out. This includes juvenile cards. The child must be present in order to check out on his or her own card.

Library Materials

What can I check out with a library card?
With a library card, you have access to:

  • Books
  • eBooks
  • eMagazines
  • DVDs
  • Audiobooks/Playaways
  • Magazines
  • Special Items
  • Museum Passes

How long can I keep materials?

  • Books and audiobooks check out for 21 days and may be renewed twice.
  • Special Items check out for 21 days and can not be renewed.
  • DVDs check out for 7 days and may be renewed twice.
  • Electronic items from cloudLibrary check out for 14 days and may be renewed.
  • Museum Passes automatically expire after 7 days and do not need to be returned.

Can I keep them longer if needed?
Items can be renewed through your online account or at any location. They are renewed from the renewal date (not the current due date). Items may not be renewed if another patron has them on hold.

Why didn’t my items renew?
Library items may not renew for a few reasons:

  • There is a waiting list on the item
  • The item is a special format that does not allow renewals
  • There are fines accrued on the account

Contact the library for additional information.

Are there fines or fees?
Fines and fees will be assessed for late, missing or damaged items:

  • Books and Audiobooks: $.20/item/day (up to $5.00)
  • DVDs: $1.00/item/day (up to $10.00)
  • Lost/Damaged Items: Cost of item plus $5 processing fee

When are my books due?
If you have lost your check out receipt, you may find the due date by accessing your online account or by calling the library.

May I return my books to any of the Waco libraries?
Yes! You may return books checked out at one of our branches and return to another. The Waco-McLennan County Library locations are the Central Library, East Waco Library, South Waco Library and the West Waco Library and Genealogy Center. Special items and bulky materials like kits do need to returned to the Circulation Desk at the location it was checked out from.

Can I see what items you have available from home?
Yes! Our library catalog is available online. You may also access your account, renew and request items, and pay fees.

Library Technology

Do I need a library card to use a computer?
Yes, you will need either a regular, computer use or short-term resident card with the online account setup.

How long can I use the computer?
Computer use is limited to one hour per day. Time may be extended if no patrons are waiting.

How do I reserve a computer?
If a computer is available when you arrive, sign in using your library card number and PIN. If no computers are available, one of our staff members will make a reservation for you.

I do not want to get a card (I'm from out of town). What can I do to use a computer?
If you are a guest to Waco, you can get a guest pass with your photo ID. This one-time use card allows you to use the computer for a single hour-long session. Time may be extended if no patrons are waiting.  A library staff member will help you get a guest pass.

What can I do on the Library's computers?
All Library computers have Microsoft Office and Internet access. If you need to borrow some of our assistive technology, just ask a staff member.

Can I access the Internet from my own computer at the Library?
Yes! We have free, unlimited WiFi access at all four locations.

Can I print?
Yes! Printing is $0.20 per page for black and white and $0.50 for color. From any computer, send your document to SmartAlec Print and follow the instructions.

Can I use a copier?
yes, all four locations have copiers for public use.

$0.20 per page for black and white
$0.50 per page for color
You can bring in documents on paper or on flash drives.

You can use the copiers to scan documents to a flash drive, too for $0.20 per page

Can I use a fax machine?
Yes, All four library locations have fax machines for public use.
$1.00 per page

Library Events

Where do I go to see what events are happening at the library?
Our Event Calendar has all scheduled activities. We also routinely post about happenings at the library through our various social media.

Facebook Icon Instagram Icon Twitter Icon YouTube Icon

Do I have to have a library card to come to events?
No, all events are free and open to the public.

Do I have to register to attend an event?
Some events may require registration. It will be noted on the event details. Some events are popular, and we are limited by space, so you'll want to get there early.

Why do some events say they are ticketed?
Some events are limited on space or supplies and have to limit attendance. The event details will note "get there early to get your ticket."