Frequently Asked Questions

Services | Programs | Meeting Rooms | Library Cards | Borrowing & Returning | Holds | Renewal | Fines & Fees | Library Notices | eCards


Do you have computer printers, photocopiers and fax machines?

Yes, all locations have printers, photocopiers, fax machines, and scanning services.




Black & White .15 per page
Color .50 per page
Photocopying (SW Only) .15 per page
Faxing (Out-going only)
Local and Toll-Free .50 per page
Long Distance 1.00 per page
Scanning FREE
Notary FREE
*Call ahead for availability of notary at individual branch*

Can I use the Internet at the library?

Public Internet access is provided at all branches of the Richmond Public Library. See the Richmond Public Library Computer and Acceptable Internet Use Policy for details about Internet use.

Can I use word processing and other computer applications at the library?

Public access to computer applications is provided. To find out what is available, call the individual library.

How do I view files in PDF format on the website?

FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader software needs to be downloaded for viewing PDF files.

Do you have programs or classes?

We have many activities for children, teens and adults. Admission is FREE. Check our Calendar of Events or drop in at any of our libraries and pick up schedules of storytimes, programs, and classes.

Is meeting room space available?

Yes. All study, conference, and meeting rooms require advance reservation and a library card to use. Study rooms may be reserved by all patrons. Conference and meeting rooms may be reserved by patrons 18 years or older. Call or visit any library location or use our form to reserve a meeting room space.

How do I get a library card?

Options and requirements can be found on the Get A Library Card page.

What are my responsibilities when having a library card?

Patrons are responsible for all use made of their card and materials borrowed. It is the patron’s responsibility to keep their account current by notifying the library of any changes in name, address, and phone number. Please update your information by visiting any Richmond Public Library location. You will need to bring in proof of your current address or name change.

What is my User ID?

Your User Id is the 13-digit number on the back of your library card.

What is your pin number?

Your pin# would have been set-up when you applied for the card.

What if I forget my PIN number?

Please visit your local library with current photo identification.

How do I change my PIN number? (To change your pin you will need to know your current pin number)

  • Go to the Richmond Public Library iBistro catalog
  • Click on “My Account” on the menu bar
  • Click on “User Pin Change”


Borrowing & Returning

What type of materials can I borrow from the library?

Books, sound recordings, scores, pictures, CDs, audiobooks, magazines,  DVDs, and e-books are available for lending to registered borrowers.

How long can I check out items?

All materials that circulate may be borrowed for 2 weeks and are eligible for renewal.  Items not in demand may be renewed up to four times, for two weeks each time. You are given a one-day grace period.

How many items can I checkout?

A total of 30 items may be checked out at one time, including no more than 6 CDs, and/or DVDs.  But wait – there’s more!  You can also check out up to 10 books from Overdrive at a time and 8 items from hoopla each month.

Where do I return the items I have borrowed?

Library materials can be returned to any Richmond Public Library. Book drop boxes for returning material after hours are located at all branches. Interlibrary Loan Service materials must be returned to your branch library.



How do I place a book on hold?

Place a hold on a book or other library materials online in the catalog, in person, or call any library location. Be sure to have library card when placing item(s) on hold.

How will I know when the hold is available for pickup?

You will be notified by email or phone when the item is ready for pickup at the library you designated. If you have provided your e-mail to the library, you will only be notified, via e-mail about your hold being available.

How long will you hold my item?

Once your item is available for pick-up, you will have seven days to retrieve the item.

What if I want to borrow something that the library does not own? 

The library cannot purchase every item published. While you are welcome to recommend items for purchase, you also have the option of requesting an Interlibrary Loan. Whenever possible, Richmond Public Library will try to borrow items from another library system for our customers. You can visit your local library to request an item through Interlibrary Loan.



How do I renew books and other materials?

For your convenience, materials may be renewed by phoning your local branch or 804-646-4531, please have your library card ready before dialing.

  • Items may be renewed up to 4 times, for 2 weeks each time.
  • Items will be due in 2 weeks from the date of renewal.
  • Items on hold for another patron may NOT be renewed.


Online Renewal

You may also renew online through the Richmond Public Library’s IBistro Online Catalog. You will need your library card to renew

  • Go to the Richmond Public Library iBistro catalog
  • Click on “My Account” on the menu bar
  • Click on “Renew My Materials”
  • Enter your User ID (Library Card Number) and PIN
  • Select the materials you would like to renew or the “Renew All” radio button.
  • Click on “Renew Selected Materials” or “Clear Selections” to start over.
  • Please review your account after renewing to verify the due dates of each item renewed.
    • Items with holds will not be renewed.
    • You are responsible for fees on items not renewed.
    • Keep a copy for your records.


Fines & Fees

How much are overdue fees?

Richmond Public Library holds materials as a community resource, and loans materials for use by our library patrons. The use of library materials is free for the stated loan period. Fines are assessed for items that are returned or renewed past the due date. Acceptable forms of payments are cash, checks, money orders, and credit/debit cards. Photo identification must be presented when paying by check.

Overdue Fines (per item) after 1 day grace period

Type of Material Overdue Fine (per item) Maximum Overdue
Books $.10/day $5.00
CDs: Music & AudioBooks $.10/day $5.00
Downloadable eBooks/ Audiobooks None None
DVDs $.10/day $5.00


Borrowing privileges will be suspended for accounts with a balance of $10 or more.

Lost and Damaged Items

30 days after an item is past due, borrowers will be charged the replacement cost and a $5 processing fee for each non-returned library material. If the item is returned, the replacement cost and the $5 processing fee will be cancelled and the borrower will be charged the overdue fine for the item.

If an item is returned damaged, the borrower will be charged the replacement cost and a $5 processing fee.

The library does not accept replacement materials in lieu of the replacement cost fee.

Collection Agency

The library uses a collection agency for the recovery of non-returned library materials. Accounts with a value of $25 or more and the bill is more than 45 days outstanding will be referred to the collection agency. A non-negotiable service charge of $10 will be added to all accounts referred to the collection agency. If the account is in a collection status, the borrower must pay all fines and charges before they can use their library card.

Library Refund Policy

The Library will, under certain conditions, issue a refund if the item is returned within 90 days of the receipt date. For example, library materials lost, paid for, and then found can be returned and a refund may be issued under the following condition:

  • Item/material is in satisfactory condition,
  • Refunds will exclude the Library’s $5.00 processing fee, Unique Management’s $10.00 referral fee,
    and the overdue amount for each item returned. Materials paid through the State Set-Off Debt Program are non-refundable,
  • Refunds for payments made by a credit/debit card will be issued onto the card that was used to make the payment
  • Item/material paid for by check requires a 30-day waiting period from the date of the transaction before a refund is issued. Refer refund request to Administrative Office with supporting documentation.
  • Refunds will not be issued for overdue fines related to borrowed items.

Library Notices

Item Due Reminders Notice-Patrons who have elected to receive e-mail notices will be sent a reminder 3 days before an item is due.

Overdue notices will be sent 14 days after an item is past due as a courtesy by U.S. Mail or by e-mail for borrowers who have elected to receive e-mail notification.

Failure to receive notices does not waive a patron’s responsibility to return items on time and pay any fines and fees incurred.

Bill Notice: 30 days after an item is past due, a bill notice is sent to the address on file listing the replacement cost and processing fee. This notice is send by U.S. Mail.

How do I sign up for email notices?

Richmond Public Library offers email notices for upcoming due dates, past due items, and holds availability. Visit any Richmond Public Library location to sign up to receive email notifications.


Who can apply for an eCard?
Residents of the City of Richmond and surrounding areas who’ve never had a RPL card and only want to use RPL’s computers or online services may apply for an eCard.

What services can I use with an eCard?
Use your eCard to:

  • access our online resources, including eBooks and eAudiobooks
  • place holds on library materials
  • access public computers and the Internet at all library locations

What services are not available with my eCard?

You must convert your eCard to a card with full borrowing privileges to:

  • check out physical materials
  • request an interlibrary loan

You can convert your eCard at any RPL location. Valid ID with name, photo and current address is required.
Please be aware that if you change your eCard to a regular library card and you use Overdrive, we will need to merge your accounts to retain access to your holds and checked out items. It may take up to 24 hours to merge your account.

What if I lose my eCard number?

Request your eCard number by sending an email to from the email address you used to create your eCard. If the email address don’t match, we will not be able to process your request. Please visit one of our locations for a staff to assist you.

If I already have a card, do I need an eCard?
No, your current card can be used for online services.