Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for here, or if you need more information, please call us at 817-392-READ or e-mail us at LibraryWebMail@fortworthtexas.gov with your questions.
For complete information regarding library cards, accounts, and borrowing rules, please see the Library’s Circulation Policy.
For complete information about the use of library computers, please see the Public PC and Internet Use Policy.
Library Cards and Library Accounts | Fines and Fees | Borrowing, Renewing,
Returning, and Requesting Materials | Finding Books and Other Materials
Computers and Internet Use | Library Services and Equipment
How do I get a library card?
Anyone who lives or owns property in the city of Fort Worth is eligible for a free Fort Worth Library card. Proof of identify and proof of residency or property ownership are required.
The following are acceptable forms of identification:
- Texas Driver's License
- Texas Department of Public Safety ID
- Current school ID card
- Military ID
- Matricula consular (separate residency verification required)
The following are acceptable verifications of current address or Fort Worth property ownership:
- Texas Driver’s License
- Texas Department of Public Safety ID
- First class business mail postmarked within the last 30 days
- Lease agreement signed by current landlord
- Current insurance card if it includes the address
- Current Medicaid card if it includes the address
- Personal printed check if it includes the address
- Report card for the current school year
- Tarrant Appraisal District statement for current year
- Tarrant County Assessor/Collector of Taxes statement for current year
- Texas Department of Transportation Vehicle Registration
- Texas vehicle insurance card
- Utility bill postmarked within 30 days
Can I get a card online?
You can begin the registration process by filling out an online application. However, you’ll still need to go in person to any Fort Worth Library to present ID and proof of residency before you can use your card.
What if I don’t live or own property in Fort Worth?
You have several options:
- You can purchase a Nonresident Card in order to check out materials. Nonresident punch cards range from $5.00 for 3 items to $50.00 for 40 items. Donors who contribute at least $100.00 to the Library or The Fort Worth Public Library Foundation may borrow an unlimited number of items for a year. There are other options for nonresident students and nonresident volunteers. Details about Nonresident Cards are here.
- Residents of MetrOPAC cities (Benbrook, Burleson, Haltom City, Keller, Richland Hills, Watauga) may use their library cards from those cities’ libraries to check out materials from any Fort Worth Library.
- If your city participates in TexShare, you can get a TexShare card from the library in your city and use that card to check out books, audiovisual materials, and magazines from any FWL and access databases funded through the TexShare program.
What is a PIN?
Your PIN (Personal Identification Number) provides extra security so others cannot access your Library account. When you register for a new card, your PIN is automatically set as the last 4 digits of your new library card barcode. We strongly recommend that you change your PIN as soon as you receive your card. You can change your PIN online at My Account.
I’ve forgotten my PIN.
Unfortunately, you cannot re-set it yourself online. Call any Fort Worth Library location, and with proper identification, staff can tell you what it is.
When does my card expire?
Residents’ cards must be renewed every 3 years. Property owners’ cards must be renewed every year. You’ll need to come in person to any Fort Worth Library location to verify your ID and address to renew your card. There is no charge to renew your library card.
If you haven’t used your card in 3 years and you have no outstanding fines or fees, we will remove your record from the system.
Are there age restrictions on what can be borrowed?
Any cardholder of any age may check out any circulating materials in the Fort Worth Library. The only restriction is that children under age 17 must have parental permission to check out videocassettes and DVDs.
Help! My card has been lost or stolen!
Report a lost or stolen card immediately to any Fort Worth Library location. You’ll be responsible for all items checked out on your card until you report it lost or stolen.
We’ll put a block on that card, and issue a new one to you if you have proper ID and residency verification. There’s no charge to replace a stolen card. We’ll replace a lost card one time at no charge. After the first time, it’ll cost you $2.00 to replace a lost card. So keep up with it!
Help! I accidentally washed my card in the laundry, the dog ate it, or I’ve used it so much it’s worn out!
We especially like it if you’ve used your card so much that it’s worn out! Just drop by any Fort Worth Library location. Bring your ID (if the dog didn’t eat it, too) and what’s left of the card, and we’ll replace it at no charge.
What are the overdue fines?
Overdue fines for Fort Worth Library materials are:
- Adult Books $0.25 per day
- Juvenile Books $0.25 per day
- Reference Books $2.00 per hour
- Videos $1.00 per day
- DVDs $1.00 per day
- All other media $0.25 per day (adult and juvenile)
Fines and fees for our MetrOPAC partner libraries are different from Fort Worth's. If you owe fines or fees to any of them, you may pay them at any Fort Worth library.
Is there any kind of grace period for overdue items?
There’s no grace period, but you may continue to check out materials as long as the total fees owed on your account are under $5.00.
Will you notify me if I have materials overdue?
Yes! TeleMessaging will attempt to reach you by phone 8 days after an item becomes due. If we cannot reach you after 3 tries, we’ll send you a notice through the mail.
Can you send me overdue notices by e-mail?
Sure! Just call or stop by the circulation desk at any Fort Worth Library location and give them your e-mail address. If your e-mail address changes, please remember to update the information in My Account.
I’m afraid I’ve lost something I checked out.
Uh-oh. Please report it to any Fort Worth Library location. Unless you’re absolutely sure it won’t turn up, we’ll put a “claims returned” note in your record. This lets you continue to check out materials while we check the shelves for it, and you look under the car seat, behind the sofa, and all those other places library materials hide.
You'll continue to get overdue notices while we look for it, and if it hasn’t been found in 90 days, we’ll have to charge you the replacement price of the material plus a processing fee. So keep looking!
I’m afraid the dog ate something I checked out, or it fell in the tub, or my child re-colored the art work with her crayons.
A little dirt on gardening books, some chocolate on cook books, a gnawed corner on a dog training manual--we understand that some wear and tear will happen. But if materials in your care become so damaged that other library customers can’t enjoy them, we’ll have to charge you for repair or replacement. Repair charges vary based on the severity of damage. If it can’t be repaired, you’ll owe the replacement price of the material plus a processing fee. If you pay full replacement price, you may keep whatever’s left of the item.
Something I checked out was stolen.
You are still responsible for the item, although we might be able to waive the fees under certain circumstances. Please talk with the staff at any Fort Worth Library.
Can I pay my fines and fees online or with a credit card?
Yes! You can pay your fines and fees online: Go to the My Account page in the online catalog and click on the Pay your fines online link. All Fort Worth Library locations except for BOLD and COOL accept credit card payments in person.
You may mail a check for the amount due to:
Attn: Circulation Supervisor
500 W. 3rd Street
Fort Worth TX 76102
Please call the Library to confirm the amount owed before mailing a check.
Make checks payable to the Fort Worth Library. Be sure to write your library barcode on your check so we can credit your account properly.
How many items can I check out?
You can have up to 50 barcoded items checked out at any one time, including 10 DVDs, 10 video cassettes, 10 compact discs, and 10 music audiocassettes.
A first-time adult borrower with current address verification may check out up to 5 items. Without address verification, adults are limited to 1 item until application is completed. A first-time child borrower who has an adult present when applying may check out up to 5 items. Without an adult present, children may check out 1 item until application is completed.
How long can I keep materials out?
- Videocassettes and DVDs: 7 days
- Special loans, e.g. reference materials: determined by librarian at time of check-out
- Everything else: 3 weeks
The item I want isn’t at my closest library branch. Can you send it there for me?
We’d be happy to! If you’re placing an online request, simply indicate the pick-up location at the time you place the request. If you’re calling or in-person, just ask the librarian to have it sent to the right library. On-shelf items are transferred to your pick-up library at no cost.
Can I renew materials?
Yes! Most Library materials may be renewed twice if no other customer has placed a request on the item.
Can I renew materials online?
Yes! Log in to My Account. You’ll just need your library card barcode, PIN, and the barcodes of the materials you wish to renew.
Can I renew materials by phone?
Yes! Call TeleMessaging, the Library’s 24 x 7 automated telephone circulation service, at 817-392-7771. You’ll need your library card barcode, PIN, and the barcode numbers of the items you wish to renew. Of course, you may also call any library and we’ll renew items for you. Don’t forget to write down the new due-date!
Note: TeleMessaging has only one telephone line assigned. If TeleMessaging rings more than three times or does not give a busy signal, please hang up and try your call again.
Can I return materials from one library to another?
Yes! Unless it was a special reference loan, you may return materials to any Fort Worth Library branch or MetrOPAC library. You’ll be credited with returning them on the day you return them to any location. Our courier service will return the materials to their proper home.
Do you have a book drop so I can return materials after hours?
Yes! All Fort Worth Libraries and MetrOPAC libraries have depositories so you may return items when the library is closed. Items returned in the depository will be checked in the next day that library is open, but you will be credited with returning them the last day that library was open.
The item I want is checked out right now. Can I get on a waiting list for it?
Sure! Library staff will be happy to do that for you, or you can place your own request online. Just find the item in the online catalog and click the "Request Item" button on the right side of the record. You’ll need your library barcode and PIN. Be sure to specify your preferred pick-up location. We’ll notify you when it’s available.
Can I request an item that’s on order?
Yes! Find the item’s record in the catalog and request it the regular way. Keep in mind that the Library orders new books and DVDs as many as 3 months before they’re published, so there might be a bit of a wait.
Can I change the pick-up location for an item I requested?
Yes! Simply call any library and ask them to change the pick-up location for you. Unfortunately, you cannot do it online yourself.
Can I cancel or suspend requests?
How do I look up a book?
The Library's catalog is on the Web. There's a quick Search the Catalog box at the top of all our pages. You can also reach it easily from anywhere on our site by navigating to Books and Beyond/Search the Catalog.
- Quick Search is a general keyword search, which means it looks for your search term(s) everywhere in the title, author’s or performer’s name, subject, or notes. This is similar to searches on Amazon.com. It’s a very broad search, and sometimes returns lots of titles you’re not really interested in.
- Keyword Search lets you specify whether your search term appears in the author’s or performer’s name, title, or subject.
- Advanced Search lets you combine author/performer, title, and subject searches, choose from a wider variety of search indexes, and specify format, publication date, age level, language, location, and other criteria.
- Browse gives you an alphabetical list of titles, authors/performers, or subjects that includes your search term.
I looked up a book but it doesn’t tell me where to find it.
Once you’ve found the item in the catalog, click either on the title or “show full record and copy information.” This will give you a list of the libraries that own it. It also tells you the call number and lets you see if it’s checked out.
How do I search just for a particular kind of material, such as children’s books, DVDs, or books on CD?
It’s not possible to get a list of everything the Library has in a particular format (such as all the magazines, all the DVDs, or all the books on CD). The results list would be too long. But you can limit your searches to a particular kind of material:
- Select the Advanced search tab.
- Enter a search term in the Title, Author, Subject, or General Keyword field.
- Select the collection, format, location, and/or language you want. The Collections list gives you the most choices.
- You can select several collections, languages, formats, or locations at the same time by holding down the control key and clicking each desired limiter.
How can I recommend that the Library buy certain books or other materials?
We love getting suggestions! Simply mention the title to any librarian, or fill out our online suggestion for purchase form. If we think others in Fort Worth will be interested in the title too, we’ll try to order it, and we’ll let you know when it comes in.
The Library doesn’t have the item I’m looking for.
If Fort Worth Library doesn’t have the book or other material you’re looking for, you can request an Interlibrary Loan.We’ll try to borrow it for you from another library.
I’m having trouble accessing the online databases from home.
Does the Library have computers for public use?
Yes! All Fort Worth Libraries have computers for the public to use. You must have a Fort Worth Public Library card to use the computers. Visitors who don’t have a card can get a guest card at the Circulation Desk.
Can I access the Internet from Library computers?
Yes! All Fort Worth Library computers have Internet access, except those reserved for searching the Library's catalog.
What software is available on Library computers?
All public PCs have Microsoft Office (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access), Internet Explorer, Real Player, Shockwave, Media Player, Flash, QuickTime, Java, security and spyware software, and Adobe Reader. All public PCs have CD/DVD read/write drives and USB ports.
Does the Library offer Rosetta Stone?
We're sorry, but we no longer offer the Rosetta Stone language-learning program. Instead, the library offers Powerspeak Languages for language learning.
How long can I use the Library computers?
You may have two one-hour sessions each day. Some libraries also have 15 minute Express PCs. Time can be extended as long as no one is waiting.
How do I reserve a computer?
Simply go to the PC Reservation Station at your library and put in your barcode number. The system will reserve the next available PC for you, and give you a receipt with your reservation time and PC number. An overview of the reservation process is here, but please see staff for details.
Does the Library have WiFi access?
Free WiFi is available at most Fort Worth Library facilities. All you need is a Fort Worth Library card. More information about Library WiFi is here. Some Fort Worth community centers managed by the City of Fort Worth Parks and Community Services Department also offer wireless access.
Can I print from the computers?
Yes! Color prints are 50¢ per page; black and white prints are 15¢ per page.
Can I download files to Library computers?
No, you may not download files onto Library computers or otherwise change the configuration of Library computers. We have this policy to protect the security and integrity of the computers and Library network. You may save files onto your own storage media such as flash memory drives.
Does the Library have computer classes?
Yes! The Library has a variety of computer classes in English and in Spanish. See the current class schedule.
Does the Library have meeting rooms I can rent?
Yes! The Central Library, Diamond Hill Branch, Summerglen Branch, East Regional Library, and Southwest Regional Library have meeting rooms for the public to rent. Please contact the Library for more information.
Does the Library have photocopiers for public use?
Yes! Most Fort Worth Libraries have black and white photocopiers. Copies are 15¢ per page. They work well, but occasionally they are out of order, so please call the Library before coming in.
Does the Library have fax machines or scanners for public use?
No, the Library does not have fax machines or scanners for public use.
Does the Library have typewriters for public use?
No, the Fort Worth Library does not have any typewriters available to the public.
Does the Library have a Notary Public?
No, the Library does not offer notary services. Local notaries can be found in the Yellow Pages under Notaries Public.
Does the Library have tax forms?
Yes, most Fort Worth Public Libraries provide copies of the most popular forms, instructions, and schedules for you to take away. All Libraries also have reproducible forms, instructions, and schedules. Tax forms for the current year usually arrive in mid-January. Please contact your branch to see what’s available.
You can also get the complete set of Federal tax forms, instructions, schedules, etc. from the IRS’s Web site. Most State forms are available at 1040.com. Previous years are also available at these sites. The Central Library and some branches have reproducible forms from previous years.
Library staff cannot provide assistance or answer questions about taxes or tax forms. Fortunately, AARP Tax Assistance is available each year at selected locations. They get really busy as April 15th approaches, so make your appointment early!
Does the Library offer GED or English as a Second Language classes?
The Library offers GED classes at our eSkills Library and Job Center. Click here for a schedule of classes and more information.
The Library does not offer English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. We do offer English as a Second Language through our Powerspeak Languages database, an online interactive language resource. Visit or call your nearest library for details, or log into Powerspeak Languages with your library card.
The Fort Worth Public Library Foundation produces a directory of literacy providers in Tarrant County. Please visit The Foundation's site for more information.
Can I register to vote at the Library?
Yes, you can complete the voter registration process at all Fort Worth Libraries.
How can I volunteer at the Library?
Volunteers play a huge role in helping the Library deliver quality services. Go to our Volunteer page for details on how you can help.
Does the Library have book sales?
The Library doesn’t have book sales, but the Friends of the Fort Worth Public Library have a bookstore where they sell withdrawn library materials and other items. The Friends website has hours and details.
The Fort Worth Library takes your privacy very seriously. We do not share your Library records with anyone for any reason, except under court order. For details, please see our complete Privacy and Confidentiality Policy.
Does the Library have Book Discussion Groups?
Yes! The Central Library and several branches have very active book discussion groups. Details are available here.
Is there parking at the Library?
Yes! All branches have ample free parking right on site.
For the Central Library, 2 nearby parking garages offer 2½ hours free parking for Library users with a validated ticket from the Library: Sundance Square Garage at the corner of Third and Taylor, and City Place North Garage, at the corner of Belknap and Taylor.
There are a number of other pay parking lots near the Central Library. Also, there are 2 hour and 10 hour parking meters around the Library. Meter parking is free after 6 p.m. on weekdays and all day weekends.
Can our group get a tour of the Library?
Sure! Simply call the Library you wish to tour. Staff will be happy to arrange it for you. They’ll even toss in a story time if you’d like!
Can I leave my child unattended at the Library?
While we try to make the Library a welcoming place, it is important to remember that all library buildings are public buildings, with people coming and going all day long. Library staff is busy helping these customers, and cannot keep tabs on children who may be at the Library by themselves. Please see the Library’s Unattended Child Policy for more information.
Does the Library have a Friends group, and how can I join?
Yes! The Fort Worth Library is fortunate to have a very active and supportive Friends Group. Visit their Web site for complete details.
Does the Library proctor exams?
We're sorry, but the Fort Worth Library does not provide this service.
Updated 3 March 2013