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Q

When I check my account online, I see "Your account renewal date is . . . such-and-such a date." Why is this?

I've never seen this before. Do cards expire?
Last Updated: Aug 22, 2016  |  41487 Views

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Answer

Library cards must be renewed annually.  MCPL wants to be sure that your contact information is up-to-date and that any fines or fees are paid. If your card expires, you will not be able to check out materials, place holds, use the databases or renew items you have checked out beyond the card's expiration date.  You will also be unable to use the library's public computers.  Read more about why library cards expire annually.

You can renew your library account from your account online. 

If your account is in good standing and your contact information has not changed, you can renew your card online in My Account. After signing in, click on Renew My Account in the summary box on the right. The Renew My Account button will only appear when your account is under 30 days from expiration.

You can also renew by phone by calling either Ask-a-librarian at 240-777-0001 or your local library.

If you owe money, pay all fines and fees.  If you pay online, please wait a day or two to renew your account, because we must manually post your credit card payment to your library account.

We send a renewal reminder by email a month before your card expires if you receive email notifications from the libraries.  If a library account is renewed before the actual expiration date, the day that the account is renewed becomes the new anniversary date of the account. The account will expire one year from the renewal day.

Update contact information on your library account as follows:

For help, call Ask-a-Librarian at 240-777-0001 or ask your branch.  We do not renew library card privileges via chat or email.

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Other Answers / Comments (15)

  1. I am a librarian and have had an account for decades. As a resident of Montgomery County, not as a librarian, necessarily, I find it somehow insulting to be suddenly asked to renew my account! I didn't even know it had expired until I tried to place a hold on a book, and got a message to the effect that my account was not current.

    Why bother with this step? I don't get it.

    Please - stop it!
    by Annoyed Librarian on Feb 11, 2013.
  2. MCPL implemented the account renewal policy in an effort to keep account and contact information up-to-date and to avoid sending unpaid accounts to collections without first notifying the cardholder and giving them an opportunity to take care of their account. In some cases, when there are no changes to be made, we understand it may be an inconvenience to long-time residents. MCPL asks for your patience and understanding.

    Just to let you know, you may check your account status, including your account privilege renewal date, by logging in to "Your Account" from MCPL's home page.

    http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/content/libraries/index.asp
    by askalibrarian on Feb 11, 2013.
  3. I too find it annoying that suddenly our accounts are being checked to ensure that every .25 fine is collected. I understand the budget crunch, but MCPL is becoming so user-unfriendly that paying for Kindle books is more and more attractive. It's sad because the library is such an important resource, particularly for the people who are lower income.
    by Jennifer on Mar 04, 2013.
  4. It shouldn't be too difficult, technically, to limit this step to people who owe money and haven't made a payment in recent months. Failure to limit it so suggests that the library system has not thought this program through carefully.
    by treeowl on Mar 05, 2013.
  5. I agree with treeowl. MCPL should limit the registration to those who owe fines. I actually hadn't owed anything until I tried to renew my daughter's books and found that my account had expired. While I can see that MCPL tries to notify people of the impending renewal date, many of us don't have the time to set aside for such an unnecessary task. Certainly it wont be a priority until you actually need to access your account. Unfortunately in my case, that means that the County essentially forced me into giving them my money. So I'm really not feeling very supportive of my local library right now.
    by Frustrated Mom on Mar 14, 2013.
  6. This renewal is really a pain. Another government control issue. I tried to renew online and didn't notice that it says to use UPPERCASE letter for the PIN because it's in very light font.
    What ever happened to ADA?
    by Rebecca on Mar 20, 2013.
  7. Thanks for your suggestion about making that hint easier to read, Rebecca. We have made it darker. We apologize for the inconvenience you experienced.
    by Ask-a-Librarian on Mar 21, 2013.
  8. You say that the renewal process is designed to keep our contact information up to date. However, I just now renewed online without entering anything but my card number and pin.
    by J Telesco on Apr 10, 2013.
  9. As long as the contact information on your account is correct and your account is in good standing, you may renew your account online. We offer this as a convenience, since many customers are in good standing and do not have any contact information to update.
    by Ask-a-Librarian on Apr 12, 2013.
  10. I don't find it overly burdensome to renew annually. It seems the library system is doing the best that it can to ensure that its records are up-to-date. Otherwise, you would have people complaining that they didn't receive proper notice of fines, etc.

    Perhaps (for people who don't check their accounts online, or who don't use the internet much), the library staff could remind them to renew online anytime they come in to check out books.

    I also don't think the library is becoming user-unfriendly. To the contrary, I feel it is becoming more convenient by allowing patrons to place holds via the website, using email to notify patrons that their holds have come in, lending out DVD movies, etc.

    Finally, I think borrowing from the library is still more convenient (and cheaper) than purchasing books (either hard copies or "Kindle").

    Frankly, I find claims of excessive government control, etc., to be a little over-the-top. I have no axe to grind here. I'm just a long-time patron and avid reader.
    by Avid Reader on Jun 07, 2013.
  11. I dont have an issue with renewal but I paid my 1.00 fine online and now must wait 2 days to be able to renew...in 2013 i think it should be instant.
    by D.D. on Jun 22, 2013.
  12. Hi D.D., I am sorry for the inconvenience. Because credit card payments are manually processed, fines are not immediately removed from your library card account in our circulation system. Today’s payment will be posted to your library account within 2 to 3 business days.
    by Ask-a-Librarian on Jun 24, 2013.
  13. I just received a 30-day notification to renew. If I renew now, will this be effective for 12 months from my expiration date (next month) or will the next 12 months start counting from now, effectively giving me only 11 months renewal? If I don't renew now, will I get another email reminder in time for the actual expiration?
    by Carol on Jul 26, 2013.
  14. Hi Carol,

    If you renew now, your account renewal will be effective from the 12 months from the date you renew. We only send one reminder, about a month before the renewal is due. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call Ask-a-Librarian at 240.777.0001 or stop by your local branch. Thanks for your comment!
    by Ask-a-Librarian on Jul 26, 2013.
  15. I am a librarian and a county resident. I used to work as a reference librarian in one of the MD county libraries (not Montgomery County). I understand that Montgomery County libraries have been hit hard with budget reductions. It is sad to see that reference librarians have been phased out a the Wheaton Library. I just tried to put a book on hold and found out my card was not current with a very small fine. While I paid online (and as noted above now have to wait until it can be processed), I want to suggest that you still allow people to put books on hold, and then require them to renew their cards when they go to the library to pick them up. You want to encourage traffic into the library, not put up obstacles. It is counter intuitive. Thanks.
    by Jean on Aug 16, 2013.

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