Using the Library

The Circulation department is here to assist you! Circulation staff provide the following services (and much more):

  • Creating cards accounts
  • Taking fines and fee payments
  • Renewing items
  • Processing materials
  • Placing holds
  • Answering questions about accounts

To speak to a staff member about your library account, please call 434-979-7151 ext. 2 or email


Who can get a card?
  • All residents of and/or real property owners in the City of Charlottesville, and the counties of Albemarle, Greene, Louisa and Nelson are eligible to obtain free library cards.
  • An individual not meeting the above criteria may purchase a library card on an annual basis for $30. The annual fee must be paid with cash or check. These patrons are also welcome to apply for a free "In-House Use Only" card, which gives access meeting room keys and Chromebooks, as well as use public computers and any database used on the library network (NOTE: Libby and Kanopy are not accessible with In-House Use Cards).
  • Institutional cards are not issued.
  • There are no age requirements for obtaining a library card. Materials charged out to minors are considered to be the responsibility of parents or guardians.


What do I need to bring?

Please bring a photo ID that includes your name and current address.  If you do not live in Charlottesville, Albemarle, Louisa, Greene, or Nelson there is an annual out-of-area fee of $30.  To get a In-House use card, you must have a photo ID.

If your photo ID does not have your current address one of the following may be used (these pieces of mail on a mobile device are eligible as well)*:

  •     Utility bill
  •     Checks or bank statement
  •     Lease
  •     Tax assessment
  •     Recently postmarked letter
  •     Voter's registration
  •     DMV change of address
  •     Package slips
  •     Prison discharge documentation 

*Patrons using the Haven or the Salvation Army as addresses must provide a letter from either organization verifying proof of residency upon registration. 

**Student and employee IDs may qualify as photo IDs as well. However, because addresses are not usually on these IDs, patrons must present proof of address too when applying for their library card.

What if I lost my card?

If you believe you have lost your card, please don't hesitate to present official photo identification at any JMRL branch location to get a new card, free of charge. 

Account expired or problem with my library record
Check out

Most items check out for 3 weeks, including DVDs and audio books. The only exceptions to this are Best-sellers and Museum passes, which check out for 7 days.


If an item does not have holds, it may be renewed twice. If the patron wishes to have it for longer than 6 weeks, and has no holds, it may be checked in and back out to the record. 

Place holds

Patrons are welcome to place holds on items at any branch location; they are notified when the item is ready for pickup. 

Use Computers

Every JMRL branch has computers for patron use. Please either bring your library card or photo ID to use the computers. 

Returning Books

  • Patrons may return materials to any JMRL branch.
  • Fines are automatically calculated and stored by the computer system at time of check-in.
  • Do not place MUSIC compact discs in a book depository. Please read the sign on a book depository for a listing of items that must be returned to the circulation desk inside the library.
Overdue Fines
  • Most items: 25¢/day
  • ILL: $1.00/day
  • DVDs, audiobooks & 7-day loan bestsellers: 50¢/day
  • Max fine per item: $10.00
  • Max fine per item ILL: $30.00
  • Max fine if paid in full: $35.00. It may be to your advantage to call your local branch library to have your balance confirmed before making an online payment.
  • Juvenile cardholders (ages 0-17) do not accrue overdue fines or late renewal fines for items.
    However, juvenile cardholders will be charged for lost or damaged items.
Replacing lost and damaged materials
  • Most materials: List Price
  • Magazines: $3:00
  • Materials with no list price: $15
  • Fiction paperbacks with no list price: $5
  • Replacement for Audio Visual parts: $10 per disc
  • Replacement of lost or damaged Book Club Kit title or bag: $10
  • Replacement of lost or damaged wireless hotspot: $100
  • Replacement of entire Book Club Kit: $150
  • An additional $5.00 non refundable processing fee will be charged on lost or damaged items. If lost and paid items are returned in good condition within 3 months of payment, only the replacement fee will be refunded.
  • Juvenile cardholders are charged the item replacement cost for any lost or damaged items checked out to the card.
Overdue Notices and Bills
  • If the email address on file is current, patrons receive an automatic courtesy notice two (2) days in advance of the due date for checked-out items. Failure to receive a courtesy notice does not exempt the card-holder from any overdue charges.
  • If library notices are not being received, patrons should check their junk mail folders and/or make sure the correct email address in on file.
  • Overdue notices are sent out 3 days after items are past due.
  • Bills are mailed for items that are 30 days past due.
  • Accounts with fines in excess of $20.00 will be blocked until 50% of balance is paid.
Collection Agency

In an effort to bring overdue items back to the library in a timely manner, the Library Board of Trustees has voted to use Unique Management Services, a collection agency that specializes in recovering long overdue library materials.

  • Juvenile cardholders are not sent to collections.
  • Accounts with items 60 days overdue, or fines of $35.00 or more, will be turned over to the collection agency. In addition a $10.00 collection fee will be added to the account.
  • Accounts will remain in collections until the balance is paid in full.