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Most materials may be borrowed for 21 days. The number of physical items you may borrow at any one time is limited according to the type of material. Total number of items checked out at any one time is 100. Some restrictions apply to children's cards.

Item Loan Period (Days) Limit
Books and Magazines 21 Combined Limit of 100
Bestseller Books* 21  
Jigsaw Puzzles 21  
Music CDs 21  

Bestseller DVDs* and DVDs 21 Combined Limit of 25

Adult & Juvenile Audiobooks 21 Combined Limit of 25
Playaways 21  
Playaway Launchpads 21  

eMedia Check Loan Periods Varies by Vendor

Parent Packs 21 Combined Limit of 3. Combined hold limit of 10.
Read & Play Kits 21  
Sci-Finders 21  
We-Stories Kits 21  

Chromebooks 21 1
Chromebook & Hotspot Kits 21 1
Musical Instruments 21 3
Portable Projector 21 1
Tabletop Games 21 3
Telescopes 21 1
Video Games  21 3
Wi-Fi Hotspot 21 1

Binoculars 21 Combined Limit of 20
Fishing Equipment 
(Fishing Pole and Fishing Kits)
Fort Building Kits 21  
HyperTiles Kits 21  

Interlibrary Loan 21 10

MOBIUS Books 28 Combined Limit of 10  
(holds count towards limit of 10)
Prospector Books 21  
Prospector AV 7  

Non-requestable, one renewal allowed

More Information

You can place holds on circulating items that are currently checked out to someone or to have an item sent to your preferred library from another location.


  • Holds can be placed on all physical material with the exception of reference and some genealogy materials.
  • Holds can be placed on Overdrive/Libby eBooks and eAudiobooks.
  • Holds cannot be placed on Overdrive/Libby magazines.
  • The maximum number of physical item holds that a customer may have at any one time is 50. Digital hold limits vary by vendor.
  • Requested items will be sent to the branch or bookmobile you designate as quickly as possible.


Placing Holds

To place a hold, log in to your account and search for the item you want in the catalog search box at the top of the page. Click the “Place Hold” button next to the item you want to hold. You may also place a hold on circulating materials by asking library staff or by calling 314-994-3300

You will be notified by email or telephone when your request is ready for pick-up. Requested materials will be held for 6 days. Mobius AV material is held for 5 days.

For digital holds in OverDrive/Libby, you’ll have 3 days to checkout your item once you receive your email notification. You can also choose to deliver your digital hold later. Visit Libby's “delivering holds later” for help.


Hold Request Failed/Not Available for Hold

You may attempt to place a hold only to see a message stating "Your request for this material was unsuccessful." There are a few reasons why something might not be available for a hold.

  • Holds/Requests are not permitted because an item is designated for in library use only.
  • An item has been designated "reference” and you will have to visit the branch location where it is held.

Another reason could be that your library card has expired and needs to be renewed. Getting it renewed is simple! Visit your nearest library in person and present photo identification, such as a driver's license, showing your name and current address.

Wish to cancel your hold(s)?

  • Log in with your library card number and PIN.
  • Click on your account name/profile and click the number above Holds.
  • Locate the item you wish to cancel and click on the Cancel Hold button.
  • Confirm you wish to cancel or keep your hold.

Going out of town and know you won’t be able to pick up items that may become available for pick-up or have a lot of holds you know you won’t be able to enjoy all at once? You may freeze your holds. Freezing a hold means your position in the hold queue is skipped over until you unfreeze your hold. This way your hold won’t be filled while you’re gone but you will still keep your spot in the waiting list. When you are ready to pick up the item, simply unfreeze the hold and pick up the item when it becomes available.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Log in with your library card number and PIN.
  • Click on your account name/profile and click the number above Holds.
  • Locate the item you wish to freeze and click on the drop down arrow to the right of Cancel Hold button.
  • Select Freeze.
  • A message indicating you have successfully frozen your hold will appear in green.
  • To unfreeze, click on the drop down arrow to the right of Cancel Hold button again and select Unfreeze.

Items issued for 21-days may be automatically renewed 3 times unless there are requests on the title or they are part of the Bestseller collection. Books and DVDs in the Bestseller collection may be renewed for one additional 21-day period. 

Renewals will be processed on eligible items one day prior to the item's due date. The Due Date reminder will indicate which items, if any, have been renewed for you. You may renew your own items through the online catalog, mobile app or by calling 314-994-3300.

You may return our materials to any of our branch regardless of where they were checked out. Book drops are open 24 hours a day at all branches. Items can also be returned to any St. Louis Public Library (SLPL) location

Items such as musical instruments, puzzles, telescopes, sci-finders kits, binoculars and other items that will not fit through book drop slots should be returned inside a branch.

The library distributes overdue notices as a courtesy. Failure to receive an overdue notice does not exempt a cardholder from responsibility for replacement fees.

  • A due date reminder will be emailed one day before items are due. At this time, the item will be renewed if it is eligible for renewals. 
  • An overdue notice will be emailed when items are 3 days past due
  • A second overdue notice will be emailed when items are 21 days overdue
  • A charge for the price of the item will appear on your account 63 days after the due date. An email informing you of the charge will be sent to you and a printed bill will be mailed to you. (See Lost & Paid for refund details.)
  • Accounts owning $50 or more will be restricted from making additional checkouts until the balance is below $50.
  • Accounts with a balance of $250 and more that are past due for 60 days will be referred to a collection agency.

Materials that have been paid for and subsequently returned are eligible for a refund as long as they are returned in good condition within 30 days of payment and are valued at $10 or more.

  • A $5 handling fee will be charged for all refunds.
  • Refunds will first be applied to outstanding fines.
  • No refunds will be issued for less than $5.

You are responsible for all items issued on your card. Report lost cards to the library immediately.

Materials issued on your card prior to the time the loss is reported remain your responsibility. Parents or legal guardians are responsible for all materials issued on cards for children under age 18.

  • All materials are issued for 28 days to customers receiving Homebound Service.
  • Interlibrary Loan service is not available to Homebound customers. 
  • Homebound customers are responsible for damaged and lost materials.

Please see Homebound Service for additional information.

St. Louis County Library is not responsible if audiovisual equipment is damaged while using library materials.

Library Services