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?
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?
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.
Due Dates During COVID Closures
During the library’s extended COVID closure, due dates on all materials were extended to October 19, 2020. After October 19, all standard borrowing periods and fines will reactivate. Therefore, items currently checked out should be returned or renewed prior to October 20 or fines will accrue as per the normal structure. Items eligible for renewal will auto-renew accordingly. More info on auto-renewals below.
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.
What is auto-renewal?
Essentially, any borrowed book or DVD that is eligible for renewal will automatically renew without any action needed on behalf of the cardholder. A notification will be sent out to inform customers when their materials are auto-renewed. This notification will be sent out via email or text one day prior to the due date. Customers will also receive a notification if their book/DVD cannot be auto-renewed. Automatic renewals will not occur if:
The book/DVD is needed to fulfill a "hold" (another customer is waiting for it)
The book/DVD has already been renewed twice (each item receives up to 2 renewals)
An account has fines exceeding $10
A library account is in need of renewal
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 at our library system.
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.
Will Curbside Service continue after the library branches reopen?
Yes! We look forward to serving our customers both inside and outside of our branch libraries. Curbside will be available during each branch's normal operating hours.
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 two platforms to read eBooks or listen to eAudiobooks: the cloudLibrary and Hoopla Digital. Both services are free and offer free apps for use on phones, tablets, and computers.
How do I get started?
Just download the free apps for each service and have your Beaufort County Library card number handy.
The cloudLibrary will prompt you for your library card number and your library account password.
Hoopla will prompt you for your library card number and you will use your email address to create your account.
I can't remember my cloudLibrary/Hoopla password.
To contact the Hoopla support team, click the “Forgot Password” link (at top of page) or the "Contact Us" link (bottom of page) on hoopladigital.com.
I get an error message/app isn't working correctly. What should I do?
Oftentimes, these errors are caused by the app needing to be updated. We recommend logging out of the app and then logging back in. If that doesn't resolve the issue, please uninstall/delete the app and then reinstall from the app store. Library card numbers (13-digits) and passwords should have no spaces. To reset your password, please use the Forgot your password? function on the SCLENDS My Account page or contact the library.
How many eBooks can I borrow at one time?
cloudLibrary: Library cardholders can borrow up to five (5) cloudLibrary eBooks at one time.
Hoopla: Library cardholders are given eight (8) borrows each month. On the first of every month, each cardholder is issued 8 fresh borrows. (Borrows are not carried over each month.)
How long can I borrow an eBook?
cloudLibrary: The borrowing period for each eBooks/eAudiobook is 14 days. Customers can renew a book if no other customer is on hold for it.
Hoopla: Borrowing periods depend on format. eBooks, audiobooks, and comics = 3 weeks. Music albums = 7 days. Movies and TV episodes = 2-3 days. You can renew items but please note this "spends" an additional borrow.
Can I read eBooks offline?
You must have an internet connection to initially borrow and download eBooks, but if you're using the apps, your books will be available offline.
I'm having trouble finding an eBook/I'd like to suggest the library purchase an eBook.
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 safely by car in the library parking lot.
Do you have internet computers?
All of our branches offer public internet computers. Please check our COVID Operations page for current availability.
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
cloudLibrary Use your Library/SCLENDS My Account login
Flipster Digital Magazines Log in with your library card number
Hoopla Create an account with your library card number
Morningstar Log in 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?
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
When will you offer library events and storytimes again?
In-house programs are currently suspended until further notice due to COVID-19.
How can I reserve a meeting room?
Meeting room use resumed with limitations in June 2021. Please visit our Meeting Room page for more information.
Can I borrow a 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 this year?
In previous years, free in-person tax assistance was offered at branch libraries through organizations such as VITA and AARP. Because of safety precautions due to COVID-19, plans must be modified. Please stay tuned to our Tax Help page for updates.