Frequently Asked Questions
Library Cards & Account
How do I get a library card?
Library cards are free to Beaufort County residents, property owners, USCB & TCL students, military, Beaufort County Government & School District employees, and residents with no address but that have a letter of sponsorship from a recognized non-profit agency. Those who do not meet the requirements for a free BCL card may purchase a card at our branches for an annual fee of $40. Children ages 4 and older are eligible to receive a BCL card with parent/guardian signature. To apply for your library card, visit our Get A Library Card page.
Can I get a library card without coming in?
Yes! Visit our Get A Library Card page to sign up for a library card online. After your application has been received, a staff member will email your account number and temporary password.
How can I renew my library card?
Library cards are in need of renewal every two years. To renew, please call or visit any of our locations or contact us.
I lost my library card...what do I do next?
Please call or visit your branch library to let them know. Replacement cards are available for a fee of $3.
I forgot my online account password. How can I reset it?
Customers can reset their My Account password by visiting the password reset page. Alternatively, customers can call any of our branches (Mondays - Saturdays) for assistance.
What is SCLENDS?
SCLENDS, which stands for “South Carolina Library Evergreen Network Delivery System," is a consortium of 19 county libraries and the State Library that has agreed to share resources and circulating materials. Together, SCLENDS libraries serve the population of almost half of the state’s counties and has a collection of more than 2.75 million items. To read more about SCLENDS, visit here.
How long can I borrow books and DVDs?
Most books are loaned for 3 weeks with the exception of new books and music (2 weeks) and DVDs (1 week). Most items can be renewed twice; however items cannot be renewed if another customer has placed a hold on the item. eBooks (cloudLibrary and Hoopla) have different borrowing periods. See "eBooks" category, below.
How many items can I borrow?
You may have up to 25 items on your account at any given time (includes borrowed materials and holds but excludes eBooks).
What if I can't find what I'm looking for in SCLENDS?
If you are looking for an item not available from any SCLENDS libraries, please contact the reference desk at your local branch.
What is an Interlibrary Loan?
An interlibrary loan (ILL) request is a transaction where one library system borrows material from another library system. This differs from a hold request which occurs between locations of the SCLENDS consortium. Whenever our consortium does not own a book, periodical, microfilm or audiovisual item, our registered borrowers may request these items through their branch's Reference Desk, and our librarians will put the request through a nationwide network of libraries known as the interlibrary loan service.
How many items can I place on hold?
You can place up to 10 items on hold at a time. You may have up to 25 items on your account at any given time, which includes borrowed materials and holds.
How long should I expect to wait for a book that I've placed on hold?
It depends on demand and how many copies are available. Some popular items may have a hold list. If the item is located at another library, it will arrive at your branch library for pickup as soon as it's available.
How will I know when my hold is ready for pickup?
Call or sign up at any service desk to receive text or email notifications when an item is ready for pickup, when your checkouts are approaching their due dates, or when borrowed items are overdue.
Why am I getting this message? "Hold was not successfully placed. Problem: There are no copies available for this hold."
SCLENDS has something called a “six-month hold protection” which limits the borrowing of new books to cardholders of the owning library system. For example, if the new book is owned by the Dorchester County Library, only Dorchester cardholders can borrow it for the first six months that it's in the catalog. In this situation, we encourage you to contact our Reference Librarians to inquire about the status of the book in our library system.
What is auto-renewal?
Essentially, any borrowed physical item (book/DVD) that is eligible for renewal will automatically renew without any action needed on behalf of the cardholder.
Books and DVDs will automatically renew as long as:
Another customer hasn't placed a hold on the item.
Renewals remain (items receive up to 2 renewals)
Library account fines do not exceed $10
Library account is not in need of renewal
Will I be notified if it's renewed?
If you have email notifications enabled, you will receive an email regarding the item's renewal status.
What is Curbside Service?
Our contact-free Curbside Service allows customers to safely pick up library materials that have been placed on hold without ever leaving their vehicles. Each Beaufort County Library branch has a designated Curbside Pickup Location clearly marked by signage for service. View our Curbside Page for full details.
Fines & Fees
My item is overdue. How much is the fine?
Overdue fines are $.20/day per item, with a $7 maximum per item. Fines are not accrued on days the library is closed. Customers can renew their items online by logging into the My Account feature.
Can I pay my fines online?
At this time, we are unable to offer online payments for fines and fees. Fines/Fees can be paid by check ($10 minimum) or cash at our main service desks. Credit card payments are accepted at our self checkout units inside our branches.
The item I checked out got damaged. What will this cost?
Replacement fees for lost or damaged items vary. Replacement fees are based on the actual price of the item and include the cost of reprocessing the material. Please contact your local branch to receive more information.
What eBook services do you offer?
Our library system currently offers Hoopla Digital for eBooks, audiobooks, and more. Hoopla is free and offers a free app for use on phones, tablets, and computers.
How do I get started?
Just download the free hoopla app and have your Beaufort County Library card number handy. Hoopla will prompt you for your library card number and you will use your email address to create your account.
Wifi, Computers, Printing
Do you offer free Wifi?
All of our branches offer free wifi, and it is also available from outside the library, accessible by car in the library parking lot.
Do you have internet computers?
All of our branches offer public internet computers.
Can I print from your computers?
All of our branches offer printing from our public computers. Black and white printing is available for $.10/page.
Can I print from my laptop/device?
At this time we do not offer wireless printing.
Do you offer photocopy machines?
Each branch offers a self-service photocopy machine. The cost is $.10/page (black and white copies only).
Do you offer scan or fax services?
Beaufort County residents can easily turn their documents digital! All branches offer complimentary use of self-service stations that allow users to scan documents, photos, books, and other items. The units can even translate documents. Users can save scans to a USB drive or save as JPEGs, PDFs, or other file types. From the same screen, documents can be emailed or faxed to wherever they need to go within the United States. The unit's touch screen guides the user through the process.
Do I need a password to access your Online Resources?
It depends on the resource. As always, please do not hesitate to contact our librarians for assistance. Below is a quick guide to the login requirements of some of our resources:
ABCMouse.com No password, but the resource is only available within library branches
Ancestry.com Available only within library branches.
DISCUS Contact us for password (changes annually)
Flipster Digital Magazines Log in with your library card number
Hoopla Create an account with your library card number
Reference Solutions/DataAxle (formerly ReferenceUSA) Log in with your library card number
Tutor.com Log in with your library card number
I have books I'd like to donate - can I drop them off at the library?
Thank you in advance for considering the library for your donations. For the most current information, please contact your nearest branch.
I would like to make a monetary donation - how can I do this?
For monetary donations, please consider the Public Library Foundation of Beaufort County.
Are you hiring? How do I apply?
The Library is a department of the Beaufort County Government. To view current openings at the Library, as well as other advertised County positions, please visit the County's employment page.
I'm interested in volunteering at the library. How do I get started?
We are thankful for our volunteers. Some things volunteers do are shelve returned items to their assigned places, assist customers in using the public computers, and provide tutorials to new computer users. To get started, first visit the branch library where you wish to volunteer and discuss with the manager available volunteer opportunities. For safety and security reasons all volunteers are required to complete a brief application and background check prior to volunteering. Library staff will provide necessary links and forms. Volunteers must possess a Beaufort County Library card and be at least 16 years of age. We also encourage residents to consider volunteering for their local Friends of the Library group.
Library Events, Book Clubs
Do you offer library events and storytimes?
Please check our Event Calendar for current offerings.
How can I reserve a meeting room?
Please visit our Meeting Room page for more information.
Can I borrow an SC State Park Pass from the library?
You can! Our SC State Park page has all the details.
Where can I find up-to-date information about library services?
Please visit our website frequently and follow us on Facebook for updates. If you would like to receive updates via email, please sign up for our newsletter.
Can I have my taxes done at the library?
Free tax assistance is offered at branch libraries through organizations such as VITA and AARP. Please our Tax Help page for updates.