Services available 24/7 – “The Library’s Internet Branch”

This web page was created and is maintained by St. Mary’s County Library staff.  It provides electronic access, in the library branches or remotely, to information about the library, circulation services, the library catalog, online databases, and more.



Access from outside the library to certain online services is through an Account PIN.  The PIN assigned to customers is the last four digits of their phone number unless they request otherwise.  The PIN may also be the word “change.”

COSMOS (Collections of Southern Maryland Online SystemCATALOG
COSMOS is a tri-county on-line catalog incorporating the holdings of the Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s County public libraries. See Circulation Services section for more detail.

Most materials may be renewed up to four times if not reserved for another customer.  How to renew items on the Internet:

  • Click on “Check Your Account”; click on “Renew My Materials”
  • Click in the box next to each item to be renewed (A check mark will appear in the box)
  • Click on Renew Selected Items; a message will tell you if it was successfully renewed.

You cannot renew an item online if:

  • Your account balance is more than $10.00
  • Someone else has placed a hold on the item
  • You are over the renewal limit of four times per item

When something you need is not on your local library’s shelf, you may reserve it or borrow it from another library.  You may use your library card and Personal Identification Number (PIN) to reserve an item or request that it be sent to a certain branch.  There is a limit of 25 holds at one time.

Shows what is currently checked out, due dates, fines accrued, and materials on hold.

The policies and procedures for this are in the Administrative Policies section of this manual.

A variety of different online databases and information services can be accessed from the library’s or COSMOS www site.  A current listing is available on the www site or at the Information Desk.  These databases are also available from outside the library in a customer’s home, office, school etc. if they have a library card.  Customer needs to put in their library bar code number and pin # to gain access if they are not in the library.

HelpNow! is an live online homework help service purchased by SMRLA from a company called BrainFuse.  It provides free online homework help with your library card number.  It is targeted to grades 3-12 and is available 7 days a week from 2 to 11PM.

A large selection of print and audio books as well as movies can be downloaded to a cardholder’s home PC or other compatible electronic device.  Current information about the titles available and downloading instructions are available at the library’s www site and at each branch.

Ask us now!
A 24/7 live online interactive service.  It uses the expertise of librarians to provide answers to questions, research guidance, and help navigating the Internet.  It is a partnership of Maryland public, academic and special libraries.   St. Mary’s County library staff gives 10-hours a week to staff this service.  To use, customer only needs to enter a MD 5-digit zip code.  A library bar code number is not necessary to use this service.


This is Maryland library community’s public information network.  This is a project of Maryland public libraries which is administered by SOC (Sailor Operations Center) housed in Baltimore City at Enoch Pratt Library.