Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a library card?

Library cards are FREE to any user living, working, or going to school in West Virginia.  You may register in-person or complete the Library Card Application and Consent Form and take it to any Kanawha County Public Library branch along with at least one form of identification which contains both your name and address.  This identification includes, but is not limited to, a valid driver’s license, lease agreement, vehicle insurance, current utility bill, or other mail (postmarked within 30 days).  College students will need a current student ID.

How long is my library card valid?

All Kanawha County Public Library cards are valid for one year, after which time they must be renewed.  This allows us to keep track of changes in users’ contact information.

How do I renew my library card?

Library cards can be renewed in person at any KCPL location.  Even if you only use the downloadable materials, this card must be renewed in order to keep it valid.

What should I do if my library card is lost or stolen?

Report a lost or stolen care to the library as soon as possible.  You are responsible for items checked out on your card up to the time your card is reported lost or stolen.

Can I return books to any KCPL location?

You may return materials to any KCPL location and students/teachers may return materials to any school that is on the system.

Can I return my materials after the library is closed?

Book drops are available at all branch libraries, including the Main Library in Charleston where the book drop is located off Quarrier Street (the west side of the building).

Why are there times when I can’t renew my materials?

There are several cases where you may get messages stating that you cannot renew items checked out to you. Renewals will be blocked if:

  • There is a hold on the title.
  • You’ve already renewed the item twice.
  • There are bills greater than $5.00 on your account.
  • Your account privilege has expired – in this case, you should see the message, “privilege expired.”

If more information is needed, please contact your local library.

Why are there times when I can’t place a hold?

The system may not allow holds on items for several reasons. Holds are not allowed if:

  • You already have a hold on the same title.
  • There are bills greater than $5.00 on your account.
  • Your account privilege has expired – in this case, you should see the message, “privilege expired.”
  • The items is not part of a holdable collection, such as Express items or reference materials.
  • The only available copy is at a library that is not currently participating in sending holds.

If more information is needed, please contact your local library.

Will I be notified when my holds on materials comes in to be picked up?

If the Library has your email in your account information, you will be notified by email.  Otherwise, notices will be sent via US postal mail when your holds are available.  If you have not given the library your email address and would like notifications sent via email, please contact your local library.

Why am I not getting my emails from the library?

Sometimes, Internet Service Providers and email programs such as Microsoft Outlook or Hotmail classify the email as spam and automatically delete the email or move it to a “junk mail” folder.  You may need to “white list” the library’s email address @kanawhalibrary.org.

How can I get help using the features in the online catalog?

You can go to the catalog page and consult the “How Do I . . .” entries or use the Help icon on the right-hand corner of the page.  If you review this information and still need help, please contact your local library.

How can I reset my PIN or get a new one?

If you know your current PIN and want to change it, log in to your account.  Under the “Personal Information” tab, click the “Change Pin” section and follow the fields.  If you do not know your current PIN or the system will not accept the PIN you are changing, please contact your local library.

How do I use the Library Drive-Up Window Service?

Since the Charleston Library does not have public parking, this location offers a drive-up window service.  The entrance is located off of Quarrier Street and the exit is onto Summers Street.  When you receive a hold notice, you can call the Popular Materials department and have the item sent to the window for later pickup.  You can also have other titles sent to the window by calling ahead to have it delivered.  However, your items will only be held for three (3) days due to space issues.  You will need to give staff at least two (2) hours before picking up materials.  Staff will tell an expected time as staffing may sometimes be an issue.

Does the library accept book donations?

The library accepts book donations throughout the year. Although the library does not provide appraisals for the value of donations, you will receive a receipt.

How do I request an item from another library?

If you are unable to find a specific book or article in the KCPL catalog, KCPL patrons may request an interlibrary loan by contacting their local library or the Reference Department at the Main Library in Charleston (304-343-4646, ext. 1221). Although many interlibrary loans are free, some libraries do charge a service fee. Patrons may choose an acceptable level of service fee and will be responsible for those fees regardless of whether or not they pick up their items. If a patron loses or damages interlibrary loan materials, the replacement cost is determined by the owning library. As with KCPL-owned materials, the patron’s card may be blocked for overdue interlibrary loans or associated bills. Audiovisual and new materials are not available through interlibrary loans.