About Us

Important Information for Library Cardholders

Important Information for Library Cardholders

We know you value your library card. Library card ownership is also a responsibility.  
Below is some information to help you take good care of your account, and ensure your access to Library services for years to come. 

Account privacy and security. You are required to enter your library card number and PIN whenever you access your account online, check out at a self service machine, or log in to a Public Computer at the library. To make sure we are working with the proper cardholder, you will be asked for your library card number when you call us to inquire about your account, renew items, or place holds.  You will also be asked for your photo I.D. when checking out materials at our service desks. These are all steps the library takes to make sure your account information and library resources are protected. We understand this may be perceived as an inconvenience, but requiring a PIN, card number and/or I.D. helps us ensure your library account is safe, secure, and private.

The Public Library Albuquerque and Bernalillo County has various card types and borrowing limits designed for the needs of all our customers. New Mexico residents who provide photo I.D. and proof of address receive cards with full privileges. Other cards are available for out-of-state visitors, children, and those who are unable to provide either photo I.D. or proof of address.

Do not lend your card. Library cards are issued to individuals and are non-transferable. You are responsible for everything checked out on your card. Keeping your card for your personal use is the best way to make sure you are not charged for materials you do not have in your possession.

Report a lost or stolen card immediately by contacting the Public Library at (505) 768-5141 | library@cabq.gov or your local branch. Reporting your lost or stolen card blocks your account and prevents you from being financially responsible for items checked out without your permission. Further, it protects library resources. 

Return or renew all borrowed materials on time and in good condition. This keeps your account in good standing.

  • Return borrowed items to any of the Public Library locations, even if it is not the same one where you checked them out.
  • Renew items through My Account online, by visiting your local branch or by phone at (505) 768-5141. (Please have your card number ready when making this call) or visiting your local branch.

Overdue Accounts

  • The Public Library does not charge daily overdue fines.
  • We make multiple attempts to notify you when your account becomes overdue.
  • 14 days overdue: we send a phone message or an email with the information that there are past-due items on the account.
  • 28 days overdue: we send an email or a letter that includes the replacement charges for any overdue items, in case they are lost or damaged.  At this time, we also suspend accounts until the items are returned. Returning all overdue items in good condition clears your account and allows you to begin using your card again.
  • 53 days overdue: accounts become eligible for referral to our materials recovery service. Listing includes a processing fee that must be paid, along with returning or paying for all overdue items, to clear your account. Because this fee represents the Public Library's cost of listing accounts, we are not able to waive the charge.

Your Contact Information

  • The contact information in your account is used to send you notices about holds ready for pick up and overdue items. Make sure your contact information is always up-to-date. The Library is not responsible for notices you miss because we do not have your current email address, telephone number, or USPS mailing address.
  • Update your contact information: through My Account (telephone and email); in person at any branch library; or by phone at (505) 768-5141.
  • Email notification is the fastest and most effective way to receive notices. And it has some added benefits: you will receive courtesy notices as items you have checked out become due; we will send you a reminder as your card is becoming ready for renewal; you will receive hold pickup notices sooner; and we can include specific title information in any overdue notices we need to send. Set up email notification through My Account, in person at any branch location, contacting by phone at (505) 768-5170 or through Ask Us.
  • You can help ensure Library emails are routed to your inbox rather than to a spam or junk mail folder by adding library@cabq.gov to your approved senders list

Card Renewals. Most library cards are issued for three years. When it is time to renew your card, please do so in person at any branch library. Make sure to bring your library card, photo I.D. and proof of mailing address (if it is not on your photo I.D.) with you when you renew.

If you are unable to get to the library for a card renewal, and need access to your online account, please contact us at (505) 768-5141 | library@cabq.gov or your local branch for a temporary, three week, extension.

Lost or Damaged Item Charges to Your Account: These things can happen, and we will work with you to make payment arrangements that meet your needs. Items that are lost or damaged need to be paid for to clear your account.

  • If you need to pay for charges to your account, you may do so: in person at any branch with cash, personal check, money order, or major credit card; with a major credit card by logging in to to My Account; by mailing a check or money order, payable to the City of Albuquerque, to the Customer Service Office at
    501 Copper Ave NW
    Albuquerque, NM 87102
    To make sure the proper account is credited, please include your library card number with your payment. 
  • If you receive a bill for lost items and you still have them, return them as soon as possible to clear your account. 
  • If an item becomes damaged while it is checked out to you, please bring that to the attention of library staff on your next visit. They will work with you to accept payment and clear your account.
  • If you receive a bill for damaged items, contact your local branch with any questions you have about the charge.
  • If you receive a bill for missing media, that's because a DVD, music CD, or audiobook you returned was missing one or more of its discs. Please return the missing discs in person at your library before the deadline in the notice to clear that charge. Or, you may pay the replacement cost if the disc is truly missing. Once the return deadline has passed, you will need to pay the replacement charge to clear your account because the Library has reordered the item.

Refunds: If you find a lost item after paying for it:

  • And the payment was for at least $5
  • And the payment was made within the last 60 days
  • And the item is in good condition

We can issue you a refund.

  • Please return the item in person at any of the Public Library branch locations.
  • Inform a staff member that you would like a refund for the item.
  • A check from a City of Albuquerque account will be mailed to you.
  • Refunds take between 10 and 12 weeks to process.

Charges for missing media, damaged items, and late charges are non-refundable.

Materials Recovery / Collection Agency. If your account is referred to the Library's collection agency, the best action you can take is to return all items on your account to the nearest library. Once the items are checked in, the majority of your bill will be cleared. If you can do this, you will need to pay only the service charge that was added to your account at the time it was referred. You will need to pay the replacement costs of any items you cannot return. Please contact the Main Library at (505) 768-5141 | library@cabq.gov if you need help with or information about our materials recovery program. (more information about the Library's collection agency)

Card Replacements. If your card is worn out or has been lost or stolen, replace it in person at any branch library. Make sure to bring your current photo I.D. and proof of mailing address (if it is not on your photo I.D.) when you visit. There is no charge for replacement cards.

Did we not provide the information you need? Go to Ask Us for more information and to contact us with questions about library cards.