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Circulation Policies

Your Library Card

1. Anyone who lives or owns property in the city of Fort Worth is eligible for a free Fort Worth Public Library account. Youth cards are available for residents through age 17. Apply at any Fort Worth Public Library location. Adults can also apply online.

2. Photo ID and address verification are required.

3. Accounts must contain the correct name and current residential or property address. A PO box can be used for a mailing address. Accounts must also contain an email address for notifications.

4. Library card accounts must be renewed every 3 years. Cards can be renewed if there are charges on them. To renew cards in-person, bring photo ID and address verification to any Fort Worth Public Library location. Accounts can also be renewed by emailing DigitalLibrary@fortworthlibrary.org. Include your library card barcode number, and attach a photo of a recent utility bill or other address verification showing its date and the cardholder's name at that address.

5. Resident/property owner cards can be used to check out physical materials and access the digital collection. Any circulating material may be checked out on any card, except Youth accounts are blocked from checking out video media unless the parent/guardian has indicated permission on the application. Adult cardholders and Youths’ parents or guardians are responsible for the choice of materials checked out and accessed.

6. Account holders agree to comply with the library's borrowing rules, pay all charges to the account, and notify the library immediately if their cards are lost or stolen, or if their names, addresses, or other contact information change.

7. Passwords for new cards default to the last 4 digits of the cardholder's phone number. You can change your password by logging into your account from the library's website.

8. If you are not a Fort Worth resident or property owner, you might qualify for another type of library card: Nonresident, MetrOPAC, TexShare, Business/Institutional, Temporary, Computer

9. No information about a patron's account will be given to anyone other than the account holder, those the cardholder has authorized to access the account, a youth's responsible parent/guardian, library staff, the library's contracted vendors, or other City of Fort Worth staff approved by Library Administration. Patrons must present proper identification, such as their library card or a picture ID with an address that matches the account, for staff to provide information about that patron’s account. Refer to the Library's Privacy and Confidentiality Policy for more information regarding disclosing patron information.

Lost, Stolen, and Damaged Cards

10. Cardholders are responsible for items checked out on their accounts, so report lost and stolen cards immediately. Cards reported lost or stolen will be deactivated and will not be reinstated. Lost, stolen, and damaged cards will be replaced at no charge. Accounts whose barcodes are replaced must be updated with OverDrive. Contact DigitalLibrary@fortworthlibrary.org for assistance.

Borrowing, Renewing, and Returning Materials

11. Loan periods:

  • Physical materials (Books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, Videocassettes, CDs, Magazines): 21 days
  • .
  • Botanic Garden and MUSE passes: 7 days
  • .
  • Interlibrary Loans: Varies with lending library
  • Special reference loans: At the librarian’s discretion
  • OverDrive: Although some OverDrive titles have lending periods that cannot be changed, you can choose the loan period for most OverDrive items.
    • eBooks: 7, 14, or 21 days
    • eAudiobooks: 7, 14, or 21 days
    • eVideos: 3 or 7 days

Loan periods for items belonging to MetrOPAC libraries may vary.

12. You may have up to 50 physical items checked out at any given time. You may have multiple copies of the same title. There are limits on some specific types of high-demand items:

  • Playaway Back Pack: 2
  • Youth Early Literacy Backpack: 2
  • Youth Early Literacy Kit: 2 (must be checked out on Adult Account)
  • Complete multi-item sets may be checked out
  • Hotspots: 1 (Fort Worth Residents only)

You may also check out up to 10 OverDrive eformats (eBooks, eAudiobooks, eVideos, eMagazines). These do not count toward checkout limits on physical materials.

13. If you do not have your card with you, you can check out by showing photo ID. You can also use a photo of your card and its barcode that is stored on your electronic device.

14. You can return materials at any Fort Worth or MetrOPAC library location. Returned materials are credited to your account the day they are returned to any of these libraries. All materials can be returned in book drops. Materials returned in a book drop while the library is open will be credited as returned on that day. Materials returned in a book drop while the library is closed will be credited as returned on the last day that library was open.

15. You can renew most materials 2 times if no other patrons have placed a hold on the title and there are no blocks on your account. You can renew items in person or by calling a library, calling the TeleMessage automated service at 817-392-7771, or accessing your account online. If you initiate the renewal, items are renewed from the date of the renewal, not the original due-date.

16. Only Interlibrary Loan staff may renew interlibrary loan materials. Staff must get permission from the loaning library. Contact the ILL office at 817-392-7731 for assistance with ILL renewals.

Almost Overdue and Auto-Renew

17. The Library emails Almost Overdue reminder notices 3 days before the due-date. They indicate which materials were auto-renewed and which materials are due on their original upcoming due-date. Almost Overdue notices are only sent by email.

Eligible items are set to auto-renew when the Almost Overdue notices are run, 3 days before the due-date. However, items are auto-renewed from their original due date and will receive their full three or one-week renewal period. It is not possible to opt out of auto-renew.

Auto-renewals are counted toward the 2-renewal limit.

Items will be auto-renewed if the renewal limit has not been reached, there are no requests on the title, and there are no blocks on your account at the time the Auto-Renew process is run. Items will not be auto-renewed if your account will expire before the new due-date. You can check your account online to see which items were and were not auto-renewed.

If items were not auto-renewed, you can try renewing them yourself since it’s possible the items became eligible for renewal after the Almost Overdue process was run.

OverDrive items are not auto-renewed.

Holds and Transfers

18. You can have up to 10 hold requests on physical materials at any one time. This includes Active/Pending requests, holds in transit, and items on the hold shelf. Additionally, you can have up to 10 ILL requests and 10 open holds on OverDrive eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eVideos.

Most items that are on-shelf at one location can be transferred to another location for pickup.

You can place holds yourself through the Library's online catalog 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need to pick up items immediately, please call the owning library and have the materials set aside for you. Only staff can place requests on specific copies of a title.

You will be notified by your preferred notification method when a requested item is available for pickup.

FWPL items will be held for 10 days beyond the time they are received at the pickup library. MetrOPAC items will be held according to the MetrOPAC library's policies.

Hold requests remain active for 8 months. You can suspend and cancel Active/Pending requests from your account online. Holds cannot be cancelled if they are in-transit or being held at the pick-up library.

You can place holds and transfer requests if your account charges exceed $49.99, but total charges must be cleared to check the items out.

You may not check out items that are being held for other patrons.

Blocked Accounts

19. Checkout and access to digital collections will be restricted if there are blocks on your account. Accounts are blocked for the following reasons:

  • Expired card
  • Card reported lost or stolen
  • Outstanding Fees over $49.99
  • Materials that are returned damaged or missing parts
  • Account sent to debt collection
  • Address verification or correction needed
  • Phone correction needed
  • Notice returned/undeliverable. Utility bill or first-class business mail postmarked to the new address within the last 30 days is required to remove block.
  • Duplicate account
  • Bankruptcy
  • Other problems or questions about the account that must be resolved

20. A "Patron has blocks" error message in OverDrive usually means the card has expired. Cards can be renewed in person at any location, or by emailing DigitalLibrary@.fortworthlibrary.org. Include your library card barcode number in the email, and attach a photo of a recent utility bill or other address verification showing its date and the cardholder’s name at that address.

Library Fines and Fees

21. Items are due on the date indicated on the date-due receipt. You can call the library, access your account online, or call TeleMessaging at 817-392-7771 to determine due-dates.

22. There are no overdue fines on Fort Worth Public Library materials. Some MetrOPAC materials may accrue overdue fines.

23. Overdue notices are sent 8 days after the materials are due, in your preferred notification format (email, text, or telephone). For phone notifications, TeleMessaging calls 3 times over 2 days. If there is no answer, the library sends an email notice on the third day. A second overdue notice is emailed and/or texted 34 days after the due-date.

24. Materials that have not been returned after 60 days past the due-date are considered lost. Accounts are assessed a replacement fee for materials that are more than 60 days overdue.

25. You are responsible for taking care of the items checked out on your account. You may be charged replacement costs if materials are returned damaged, or if you do not report a lost or stolen card. You will not be charged for materials stolen from you if you provide a police report documenting the theft.

26. Total damage will be assessed if the material is no longer suitable for circulation. This includes materials that need to be re-bound, or that have been chewed; wet; warped; infested; broken; scratched; severely torn, marked, or stained; or that are missing essential pieces or components. Partial damage will be assessed if the item can be easily repaired by staff in-house.

27. Damaged items are held for 60 days unless they show evidence of fluid, mildew, filth, mold, or infestation. These items are disposed of immediately so as not to endanger staff or the rest of the collection.

28. The replacement cost for lost and damaged items will be the price in the item record, the supplier's current price, or the Amazon.com cost of a new copy in the same format, whichever is lower. If new copies are no longer available, the default price will be used. Costs for used copies are not used to determine replacement costs. The library does not accept replacement copies for lost or damaged materials.

29. Borrowing and digital access privileges will be suspended if you owe more than $49.99 in fees

30. Youth under 18 can read off the item replacement fees on their accounts by participating in our Read Away Your Fees Program. For every hour spent reading, $7.25 in fees will be removed from the account. Youth 12 years and older can also work off fees at the rate of $7.25 an hour as a Library Volunteer.

Claims Returned or Claims Never Had

31. If you believe you have returned materials that show overdue on your account, you can have staff place a Claims Returned note on your record. Items stay on Claims Returned for 60 days from the due date. While staff search for the materials during this period, you may check out as normal. Items that are not found after 60 days will be considered lost. The Library will send you a bill indicating the amount due.


32. The Library does not refund payments for lost materials that are later found if they are returned more than 60 days late. Borrowers are urged to place items on Claims Returned and search thoroughly for such items before paying for them.

Collection Agency

33. Adult accounts owing $50.00 or more will be sent to the Library's collection agency 30 days after the total owed reaches $50. A $10 collection fee will be added to the account.

Accounts sent to the collection agency must be cleared to $0 before borrowing, auto-renew, and online privileges are restored.

The collection agency sends the collection notices, but payments should be made directly to the Fort Worth Public Library, not the collection agency. A "paid in full" letter can be generated when the account is cleared.

Library accounts sent to the collection agency are not reported to credit bureaus.

More information about specific policies

Acceptable forms of photo ID and address verification

Acceptable forms of photo ID and address verification include:

  • Photo ID: ID card issued by a government, school, business, or Matricula Consular.
  • Address: Includes but is not limited to driver license or public safety ID, first-class business mail postmarked within the last 30 days, lease agreement, most recent property tax statement, report card, membership cards that include the address.
  • Digital versions are acceptable.

Youth Cards

Any youth through age 17 who resides with a parent or guardian who meets the residential requirements is eligible for a free library account. Youth can establish identification by showing a current school ID, school transcript, or homeschool association documents. The parent's or guardian's ID is also acceptable to issue a Youth Account. If a parent/guardian wishes to obtain an account for a youth who is not present, the youth's identity must be verified by staff. One of the following forms of verification is required: Birth certificate, immunization record, school transcript, school ID, report card, passport or visa, military ID.

Youth who are not accompanied by a parent or guardian, and who are not visiting the library as part of a school group that has made arrangements for library accounts, can have an application to take home. The parent or guardian must return the signed application before the youth can check out library materials.

Only the parent or guardian listed as the Care-of Adult in the youth's record may change or obtain information about the youth's record. The Care-of Adult may indicate other adults who are also authorized to have these privileges on the youth's account.

Nonresident Cards

Individuals outside the city of Fort Worth can use the collections and services of the Fort Worth Library by purchasing a Nonresident Card. These cards have full access to all Fort Worth Library materials and services, including remote access to OverDrive, online databases, and other digital resources. Nonresident Cards may be purchased at any Fort Worth Library for an annual fee of $50. An exception to the fee requirement is made for Nonresident students as defined below.

Lost or stolen Nonresident cards will be deactivated and replaced at no charge.

Nonresident Student Account

A nonresident who is currently enrolled in grades Pre-K through 12, inclusive, of any formally recognized educational institution may receive a Nonresident Student Account. Enrollment is subject to verification by Library staff. Nonresident Student Accounts expire one year after date of issue. Acceptable forms of verification include, but are not limited to:

  • Current Student ID
  • Report card or progress report dated within the last six months
  • Enrollment paperwork for current year
  • Current class schedule issued by school
  • Letter from the teacher or principal or school librarian on school letterhead

Nonresident Student Accounts are not available for homeschooled students. Parents/guardians may purchase a Nonresident Account Card for them, or homeschooled students may complete the requirements for a Nonresident Volunteer Account.

Nonresident Volunteers

Nonresidents who complete 100 hours of volunteer service through the Library's Volunteer Program may receive one Nonresident Volunteer Account free of charge during the time the account is valid. Such accounts are valid for one year following completion of the 100 hours and can be renewed upon completion of an additional 100 hours service. Nonresident Volunteer Accounts have full access to Fort Worth Library materials and services, including remote access to OverDrive, online databases, and other digital resources.

Nonresident City of Fort Worth Employees

Current City of Fort Worth employees who are not residents of the city of Fort Worth are eligible for a free Fort Worth Nonresident CFW Employee Account. City employees must show their employee ID or be listed in the City's email system. Nonresident employees' family members do not qualify for library accounts. Nonresident City Employee accounts must be renewed every three years. Employees must be listed in the City's email system to renew their cards.


Fort Worth residents can use their FWPL card to borrow most types of materials from our partner MetrOPAC libraries: Benbrook, Burleson, Haltom City, Keller, Richland Hills, and Watauga. Their resident patrons can check out most types of materials from Fort Worth Public Library. MetrOPAC library accounts may not be used for remote access to FWPL-licensed online databases or e-resources.

MetrOPAC libraries’ fines, fees, borrowing limits, and loan periods all differ. When checking out from a MetrOPAC library, FWPL cardholders are subject to that library’s policies.

Overdue fines owed to any MetrOPAC library may be paid at any other Fort Worth or MetrOPAC library. However, only the library that owns the material is authorized to waive overdue fines or fees for damaged or lost materials.

Patrons who move to Fort Worth from another MetrOPAC city can receive a Fort Worth Library card if they owe less than $5 to other MetrOPAC libraries.

TexShare Cards

The TexShare Card Program is sponsored by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. It enables cardholders at participating Texas libraries to borrow materials from other participating Texas libraries. TexShare cards are issued by the patron’s home library. Libraries participating in the TexShare Card Program can be found online.

  • TexShare Home Library: Library serving the patron's place of residence or property ownership
  • TexShare Patron: An FWPL patron with a TexShare card issued by FWPL. Any Fort Worth resident with a valid Fort Worth Library card in good standing can obtain a TexShare Card from any Fort Worth Library location. Fort Worth residents’ TexShare Cards are valid for one year.
  • TexShare Visitor: Visitors from outside Fort Worth or the MetrOPACs who present their TexShare card issued by their home libraries in order to borrow materials from the Fort Worth Library.

TexShare Visitors must present their valid TexShare card issued by their home library, along with a picture ID and proof of address, in order to obtain an FWPL TexShare Visitor Card. TexShare Visitors must complete the standard FWPL borrower’s application. Visitors with no home library cannot receive a TexShare Visitor Card from FWPL TexShare Visitors' cards expire on the same date as the TexShare card issued by their home library. TexShare Visitors are subject to the same fines, fees, loan periods, and borrowing limits as resident FWPL account holders. The TexShare Visitor's home library assumes responsibility for materials borrowed by their patrons.

FWPL's TexShare Visitors may only check out, request, and transfer materials belonging to the Fort Worth Library. They may not check out, request, or transfer materials belonging to other MetrOPAC libraries. FWPL's materials must be returned to any FWPL location.

TexShare Visitors may have remote access to the TexShare databases available through FWPL's website. They may not have remote access to databases, eBooks or other digital resources licensed by FWPL.

There is no charge to replace a lost or stolen TexShare or TexShare Visitor card.

Business/Institutional Card

Businesses, 501(c)(3) organizations, and institutions within the corporate limits of the City of Fort Worth can obtain a free library account in order to check out library materials and have remote access to the library's digital resources.

An officer of the company with financial authority must request an Institutional Library Account on company letterhead stationery. The letter must state that the company accepts financial responsibility for all uses, and state the number of cards requested, up to five cards.

The officer completes an FWPL application form with the name of the institution as the patron and signs it, indicating his position with the company. The officer signs each card with the same signature that is on the application.

The officer is responsible for distributing and monitoring the use of these cards. The institution is responsible for fines and lost materials.

All of the institution's cards share the same account. If one associated card is delinquent, none of the cards can be used until the delinquency is cleared. The account is subject to the maximum borrowing limits.

Institutional Accounts must be renewed every three years. All delinquencies must be cleared before the Institutional Account can be renewed. To renew an institutional Account, the financial officer must request the renewal on company letterhead. The letter must specify the number of cards they wish to renew, and any cards they wish to replace, up to five total.

City of Fort Worth Departments can obtain Institutional Accounts. The Department Director must send a letter on departmental letterhead. The person who signs the department's application must also sign the cards and is responsible for materials checked out on the accounts.

Temporary Card

Any individual who has resided at the YMCA, YWCA, a Fort Worth hotel or motel, or a shelter within the corporate limits of the City of Fort Worth for a minimum of three months is eligible for a free Temporary Account. The individual must present a signed letter from the residential manager on letterhead stating that the facility is a permanent address and that the individual has resided there for a minimum of three months. Temporary Accounts are available for adults and youth and are valid for 6 months. The residential manager is not responsible for materials checked out on these accounts.

Computer Card

The Library issues Computer Cards to patrons who do not qualify for a Fort Worth borrower’s card, or who do not want a borrower’s card, but who wish to use Library computers. Computer Cards cannot be used to check out library materials. This will apply anywhere that PC Management Software is implemented. No Photo ID or address verification is required.

Default Prices

This average list price will be used to determine replacement value if no other price information is available for the item.

  • Audiocassette: $10
  • Book – Adult: $20
  • Book – Child and Young Adult: $15
  • Book on CD: $15
  • Book with Media: $20
  • Braille: $15
  • CD With Book: $15
  • Children's Program Materials: $75
  • DVD/Blu-ray: $25
  • Electronic Device: $150
  • Emergent Literacy Materials: $25
  • Fotonovela: $2
  • Hotspot: $0
  • Kit: $15
  • Laptop: $2,500
  • Laptop Power Supply: $25
  • Lucky Day: $25
  • Map: $75
  • Mass Market Paperback: $7
  • McNaughton: $20
  • Microform: $25
  • Muse Pass: $5
  • Music CD: $15
  • Paperback – Child: $3.99
  • Periodical—Circulating: $3
  • Periodical—Reference: $3
  • Playaway: $45
  • Playaway Book Pack: $70
  • Reference: $75
  • Score: $100
  • Shopping Basket: $10
  • Special Loan Material: $75
  • Staff Training Material: $75
  • Videocassette: $20

Last updated: Oct. 31, 2019