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Borrowing and Holds
If you have a specific title or author you’re looking for, type that into the search bar under the menu bar. If you wish, you can then limit your search to title, author, subject, or keywords by selecting an option under the search bar.
To narrow your results further after you search, use the options on the left hand side of the screen to limit by item type (book, DVD, children’s book, etc.), owning library, publication date, and more.
When you find an item you’re interested in, click “Full Display” to see the detailed record or “Availability” to see if the item is available on the shelf. If you find an item in the catalog that’s not available at your preferred branch, click the “Place a Hold” button on the right hand side of the record.Login if you haven’t already, and select the branch at which you would like to pick up the item. The Library will automatically send you an email or phone you when the item is available and can be picked up. You have 5 days to pick up, cancel or extend your hold before the item is removed from the hold shelf.
You can check out a maximum of 75 items. Additionally, accounts are limited to 2 DVDXpress items.
Digital content is limited to ten Libby checkouts at one time, and five hoopla digital checkouts per calendar month.
Eligible items will be automatically renewed three days before their due date. Exceptions to auto-renewal include:
- Items that have been placed on hold by another customer
- Items that have reached the maximum number of renewals
- Any e-content (digital books, magazines, music, movies, etc)
- Any account that is blocked
Items that are automatically renewed will be renewed from the original due date. Customers with email addresses will receive notification of items automatically renewed and of those that could not be renewed. Most items may be renewed up to 4 times if not on hold for another user. Items borrowed from Maryland Libraries other than Calvert, Charles, or St. Mary’s (Marina items) may be renewed once if permitted by lending library. No renewals are allowed on BookXpress and DVDXpress. For additional information or questions, please call your branch (Charlotte Hall: 301-884-2211; Leonardtown: 301-475-2846; Lexington Park: 301-863-8188)
Materials checked out may be returned to any Library location in St. Mary’s County or in the tri-county area (Calvert and Charles). Materials returned to public libraries in these three counties will be immediately checked in.
If you find an item in the catalog that’s not available at your preferred branch, click the “Place a Hold” button on the right hand side of the record. Login if you haven’t already, and select the branch at which you would like to pick up the item. The library will automatically send you an email or phone you when the item is available and can be picked up. You have 5 days to pick up, cancel or extend your hold before the item is removed from the hold shelf.
If the item is not found in the catalog, you can check the availability of the item at other Maryland libraries using Marina. Use your Library card to login and place a request (hold). Be sure to indicate at which branch you want to pick up the item. These items may take longer to arrive but you will be contacted when the item is available for pick up by email or phone. You have 5 days to pick up, cancel or extend the hold before the item is returned.
If the item is not available in any Maryland library, then visit any branch to see if the item can be requested from outside the state. A small fee may be charged for this service.
Holds are assigned a status. Possible status entries are:
- Inactive — Inactive holds have an activation date into the future. The future date has been set by a staff member in the staff client or the customer through their account.
- On the wait list — When a hold request is first placed it will have this status. This may change overnight to Checking our shelves if the item is on the shelf, or it may stay On the wait list if all copies are currently checked out.
- Checking our shelves — An item with this status is on a library branch’s list of items to pull for holds.
- Located — An item has been located on the shelf to fill a hold, but has not been scanned for the hold yet.
- Being shipped — The item is in the process of being shipped to a branch to satisfy a hold.
- Held — The item has been placed on the hold shelf for pick up by the customer.
- Not Supplied — A request that cannot be filled.
- Unclaimed — If the requesting customer does not pick up the held item within the specified period of time, the hold status will automatically be changed to unclaimed. These items will be pulled from the hold shelf and checked in to either return them to the shelf, branch, or shipped to fill another hold.
- Expired — If a hold cannot be filled within the specified period of time, the status automatically changes to expired.
- Cancelled — Cancelled requests will not be filled. They can be reactivated by staff or by the customer through their account.
Because of the way the hold system works for physical materials, we are unable to tell you where you are in the hold list or when your hold will be ready for pick up. We share materials with Calvert and Charles County Libraries, and holds are filled based on the library that owns the item and the library where the customer will pick it up.
You could be number 10 chronologically on the hold list, but if you are the only person waiting from Lexington Park Library, the next available copy owned at Lexington Park will bypass the other 9 people on the list and come to you. If Lexington Park does not own a copy, but Leonardtown or Charlotte Hall does, you would get the item after any customers of the owning branch, but before customers who may be ahead of you on the list from Calvert or Charles Counties. If St. Mary’s County does not own a copy at any of our locations, you may wait longer as customers of the owning county will get the available items before they are sent for customers of another county.
If you are on hold for a digital title in Libby, you can see an estimated wait time by going to your holds shelf in the app. Your estimated wait time is displayed and if you click it, you can see how many people are on hold and how many copies there are. Keep in mind that this is an estimate based on your place on the list, the number of copies, and an average checkout period of two weeks.
You should pick up the requested item within 5 days from the day you are notified that your hold is available. We do not count Sundays. If you do not pick up the hold, contact the library to request an extension or cancel the hold before the 5 day expiration date, the item will be returned to the lending library.
If you believe you have lost an item, please call or visit your Library to report it so you do not accrue or continue to accrue overdue fines. Your account will be charged the replacement cost of the item as identified in the catalog record (a staff member can provide you with the exact cost). If you later return an item that has been recorded as “lost and paid,” a refund will be issued upon presentation of the original receipt. All requests for refunds must occur within one (1) month of payment.
Digital Content/Online Resources
The Library offers audiobooks, ebooks, and magazines for checkout through Overdrive/Libby.
The Library also offers audiobooks, movies, tv shows, music, eBooks, and comics for checkout through hoopla digital.
For more information on downloading digital materials, see our Digital Content page. Please call or visit your Library if you have questions about using any of these services.
St. Mary’s County Library customers have access to Mango Languages. Find information and instructions for Mango here: https://www.stmalib.org/research-learn/language-learning/
You can use Gale Presents: Peterson’s Test and Career Prep to take courses and practice exams to improve scores on academic, civil service, military, and licensing and certification exams, including the GED. From the Library’s online resources page, click Gale Presents: Peterson’s Test and Career Prep (resources are listed alphabetically). Enter your Library card number, then you can find GED practice tests in the Improve Your Score, High School section, under High School Equivalency Exams (or do a search for GED).
You can use the NoveList Plus database to find the order of books in a series. See our online resources and click “NoveList Plus” (tagged as Books and Literature). You’ll need to enter your library card number, then select the radio button for “series” in the search bar. Search for the author, a title in the series, or the series title, if you know it.
You can access the Series Detail page by selecting the “Series” link from the Series tab of your Result List. Or, if your Series search finds an exact match you may jump straight to a Series Detail page rather than a Result List. The Series Detail page provides you with all of the information that NoveList Plus has about the specific series including all the books in the series in reading order and recommendations for similar series.
If you’d like to make a monetary donation to the Library, please consider donating to the St. Mary’s County Library Foundation.
The Friends of the St. Mary’s County Library is now accepting donations of books, DVDs, and more
Donations must be dropped off in the black bins outside the rear entrance of 23250 Hollywood Rd in Leonardtown (the old Leonardtown Library).
Donations may be dropped off Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Please do not leave donations outside of these hours.
Donations cannot be accepted at the Library locations at this time.
Questions? Call (240-561-9828) or email (email@example.com) the sorting room!
The Friends of the St. Mary’s County Library is happy to accept donations of the following:
- Materials in good condition
- Textbooks no more than 3 years old
- Audiobooks (CD only)
- Music CDs
- Board games and puzzles
The Friends of the St. Mary’s County Library CANNOT accept the following:
- National Geographic magazines
- Textbooks older than 3 years old
- VHS tapes
- Cassette tapes
- Computer programs
- Books on cassette
- Vinyl records
- Books damaged by mold, mildew, water, or smoke (including cigarette smoke)
Please consider recycling those items that cannot be donated.
The Friends of the St. Mary’s County Library is an organization of persons interested in libraries who advocate for and support the library as a group and individually. Friends of the St. Mary’s County Library has raised over $724,000 and counting for St. Mary’s County Library. They hold an annual book sale at the St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds every Spring, an annual brunch in Winter, and an annual dinner in May. You can join the Friends of the St. Mary’s County Library on their website.
St. Mary’s County Library is pleased to have the published works of many local authors in our collection. In response to the large number of requests we receive from authors who want to see their materials in our collection, we apply the same criteria to the selection of local, self-published authors, as what is used in the selection of all other materials in our collection. Local authors are welcome to donate their work to the Library for consideration for the collection. All details can be found in our Local Author Donations and Programs Policy.
You can apply for a digital library card online, or come in to your local Library and fill out an application. For Maryland residents, the card is free. Nonresidents pay $20 per year. Identification is required to verify current address. A parent or legal guardian must sign for applicants under the age of 16. A child must be present to receive a card. Library cards may be used at any public library in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties, as well as throughout the state of Maryland.
Kids’ Card: A special card available for our youngest residents under the age of 18. The Kids’ Card is available to get library cards to and encourage reading by as many children as possible. These special cards can be issued to all youth ages 0-17 (cards expire on their 18th birthday). Children will be able to check out up to five books (no Book Xpress items) and access all of the Library’s online resources. Card holders can place up to five items on hold. Kids’ Cards cannot be used to place holds through MARINA. A Kids’ Card may be issued regardless of whether the child has an existing Library card and whether that card is in good standing.
St. Mary’s County Public Schools students have a SMART card allowing them access to all digital materials, as well as to checkout up to 5 physical items.
Library card number/username: smcps + school network username (eg. smcpsabc1234)
Password: Student’s birth month and date (eg. if the student’s birthday is September 1, the password is 0901)
If you have a Library card, you have an online account. Your account number is the number on the back of your card, under the barcode. To access your Library account online, start here. Enter your Library Card number (all the numbers, no spaces) and your password/PIN. Your password/PIN is usually the last 4 digits of your phone number unless you requested another password/PIN. If you have forgotten your password, please call the Library to obtain it.
Your PIN/password is needed to access your account and some of our online resources. If you registered online for your Library card, you chose your PIN/password at that time. Your PIN/password may also have been set to the last 4 digits of the phone number you provided when you registered for your Library card. If you would like to change your password, you can do so by logging in to your account and using the “Change Logon” tab to change your password. If you’re not sure what your password is, contact the Library.
The library does not automatically retain a list of items you have checked out. If you wish to keep a list of items checked out, you can turn this feature on in “My Account.” Login and then click “My Record” under the “My Account” tab. In the Contact Information and Preferences section, there is a checkbox to “Maintain reading list.” Selecting this box will cause the catalog system to begin keeping a list of everything you check out from the library. You can access your list at any time from your online account. If you choose to turn off the feature at any time, your list will be erased.
The Library accepts cash, check, or credit card (minimum $1 charge; Visa, MasterCard, Discover) for payment in our locations. Online payments (minimum $5 charge) are made through your online account via PayPal. Click the “Fines and Fees” link under the “My Account” tab once logged into your account. Select the bills you wish to pay and click the PayPal button to begin processing your payment. You may use an existing PayPal account to pay, or pay as a guest. You will receive a confirmation email from PayPal after making your payment.
You can cancel your registration yourself if you have the reference number (the reference number is in the confirmation email you received when you registered) or if you registered with your Library card number and PIN. Visit this website and login with your card number and PIN or reference number to view or cancel your registration.
If you’re not able to login to that website with your card number and PIN or reference number, you can call your Library during open hours and Library staff can help you cancel your registration. Phone numbers for the branches are Charlotte Hall: 301-884-2211, Leonardtown: 301-475-2846, Lexington Park: 301-863-8188.
To print black & white copies from copier or computer/printer:
- $0.20 per page
- Double Sided – $0.40 per double sided copy
To print color copies from copier or computer/printer:
- $0.50 per page
- Double Sided – $1.00 per double sided copy
You can use a Library computer to print, or send your print job to the Library from a wireless device in the library, or from any Internet enabled device outside the library.
Each Library has scanners available for customer use. There is no charge for scanning.
Each Library has a fax machine for customer use. Faxing is $1 per page. Fax machines are self service. After faxing, bring your transmission verification report to the front desk to pay.
The Library provides a 3D printing service at all of our locations. Upload your design, we’ll print it and let you know it’s ready, and you pick it up. Here’s how it works!
1. Design a 3D object or download an existing design.
2. Send us your 3D object file by completing the 3D Print Request Form
3. We use our Prusa i3MK3S printer to print your object using PLA filament and contact you when it’s complete.
4. Pick up your finished object at the your Library. There is no cost for this service, but a donation of $1-$5 per object would be appreciated to help keep this service running!
St. Mary’s County Library offers test proctoring for a fee of $10 per exam. There is a proctoring agreement form that must be signed by the student before a test can be proctored. The proctor will not monitor the student during the test, but may check on the student periodically. More information and instructions for scheduling an exam are found here.
St. Mary’s County Library is pleased to offer curbside or drive-thru pick up by appointment at all three Library locations!
Here’s how it works:
- Place your items on hold online with your library card or contact us for help placing holds.
- Wait to be notified that your hold is available. You will be notified via email, phone, or text, depending on your account preferences (you can change your preferences by logging in to My Account).
- When you are notified that your hold is available, schedule a pickup appointment.
- Follow the instructions in your confirmation email when you arrive for your appointment.
- Enjoy your items!
The Library does not maintain a list of tutors. Our staff would not be able to ensure that the tutor knows the material well enough to be a tutor and/or if the person should be alone with a child.
The best advice we can give is to check with the child’s teacher or the school’s guidance counselor or parents of other students to see if they know of tutors.
We do have an online tutoring service offered by the Library called Brainfuse HelpNow!.Live tutoring help is available from 1 p.m. through 11 p.m. daily, and there are other resources available outside those times.
Each Library location has a bulletin board available for content from individuals and groups engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual, or charitable activities. Criteria for use of the boards are as follows:
- Approval must be obtained from the Branch Manager. Only authorized Library personnel may post notices on the library bulletin board. Unauthorized notices will be removed.
- Unless the date of a specific event is listed on the announcement, the material will be kept a maximum of one month.
- The size of material to be displayed will be limited to space available.
- Advertisements for businesses, personal services, and want ads are not permitted. Ads for fundraisers are not permitted unless to benefit a non-profit or charitable organization.
- Campaign posters are not permitted. A poster announcing a rally for political candidates at a specific time and place is acceptable. A poster encouraging the public to vote for a particular candidate is not permitted.
- Notices intended for posting must contain the name of the sponsoring group and the phone number of an authorized representative.
- Neither the Library nor the Board of Library Trustees will be responsible for loss or damage to any item accepted for posting.
- Announcements of events not open to the public are not permitted
Please bring any items meeting this criteria that you would like posted to the front desk at any of the Library branches.
St. Mary’s County Library is not affiliated with Accelerated Reader, which is operated by a private company called Renaissance Learning. However, your librarians will be happy to help you determine the AR level and points of books in our collection. You can also look up the levels and points at http://www.arbookfind.com/
Several of our area schools use Accelerated Reader. If your child is enrolled in Accelerated Reader through a school, it is best to contact the school librarian or media specialist for instructions on taking quizzes. Students may be able to take them online from home with a special login, or the school may require that quizzes be taken in the media center.
Meeting and Study Rooms
Information on the rooms and policies and a link to make reservations can be found here. Meeting room reservations can be made up to 90 days in advance and study room reservations can be made up to 48 hours in advance.
A cancellation link is provided in your confirmation email that allows you to cancel your reservation if needed. Please use this link to cancel your reservation. If you reserved the room with your library card number and PIN, you can login to that website with that information to cancel. If you did not use a library card number and PIN to reserve the room, you can use the reference number you received in the email confirming your request.
If you are unable to cancel your meeting room reservation, you must email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, the name of your organization, and the location, date, and time of your reservation so we can cancel the reservation.
How do I search for magazine articles and scholarly journals using the Library’s online resources (databases)?
Our online resources (databases) are collections of reliable sources of information and reference materials previously available in print and not available online. They are not internet sources. To access these free resources, visit our Online Resources page.
These resources can be accessed from any internet connection with a valid library card. Due to licensing restrictions, some resources can only be used inside a Library building. These resources are marked with “In Library Use Only”.
There are various print resources dealing with genealogy at all three Library locations. These include general how-to guides for conducting genealogical research, as well as specific resources relating to local history like census and burial records. The Leonardtown Library houses the St. Mary’s County Genealogical Society Collection, which includes family histories, marriage and death records, and more. The Lexington Park Library has local newspapers, Southern Maryland News (2020-present), The Enterprise (1952-2020), and The Beacon (1852-1984, with some gaps) available on microfilm. The Beacon (1923-1984, with gaps) and The Enterprise (1952-2020) is also online at https://www.stmalib.org/research-learn/local-newspaper-archive/.
The Library also has a subscription to Ancestry: Library Edition that is available for use inside the Library locations. Heritage Quest Online is available to Library users from any Internet connected device with your Library card.
The Lexington Park Library has back issues of Southern Maryland News (2020-present), The St Mary’s Enterprise (1952-2020), and The St. Mary’s Beacon (1852-1984, some issues missing) available on microfilm. There is a printer available, as well as indices of obituaries from both papers. Please call the Lexington Park Library (301-863-8188) if you have any questions about the microfilm.
The Beacon (1923-1984, with gaps) and The Enterprise (1952-2020, with gaps) are also available for searching and viewing online at https://www.stmalib.org/research-learn/local-newspaper-archive/
The Beacon (1852-1922, with gaps) is available online at the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America.