Borrowing Policies

Loan Period 

Most library materials are checked out for 3 weeks. 


You may renew most items three times unless someone else has placed a hold on that item.  Once you have returned an item, you must wait one day before checking the same item out again. Items will be automatically renewed for patron convenience if eligible for renewal.

Borrowing Limits

You may have a total of 50 items checked out at any one time. Within that total, the number of any particular type of items may be limited, depending on type of material, subject, and local demand.

If your fine/fee total surpasses $50, you will not be able to check out or place holds on any items.

E-books and other digital materials have borrowing limits dependent upon platform.

Returning Library Materials

All circulating Library materials, except tools and hotspots, may be returned to any branch or book drop of the Oakland Public Library.

Materials returned to other public library systems are not considered returned until they are checked in by the Oakland Public Library.

Designated Borrowers

You may add Designated Borrowers to your account.   They can:  

  • Check out items and pick up holds 
  • Renew materials that they identify or ask to renew all materials 
  • Pay fees 

 They cannot:  

  • Update or access information on your account 
  • Use a library computer with your account  

If you want to add or remove a designated borrower from your account, please visit or call your branch library.  

For children 0-7, the parent/legal guardian(s) listed in the record do not need to be listed as Designated Borrowers. 


If you think you don’t receive expected email notices from Oakland Public Library, here is what to do to troubleshoot the problem:

  1. Verify that your email address in your patron record is correct using the “Edit Account” feature by logging in to your patron account online here, and update your email address if needed.
  2. If your email address is correct, check your email spam/junk folder to see if library’s emails are there.
  3. Whitelist OPL's email address if the library’s email is found in spam/junk mail folder.
  4. If library’s emails still ending in spam/junk mail folder after whitelisted, contact your email service provider to resolve it.
  5. If you use an email address where spam filtering may be especially rigorous, and you cannot whitelist library's email address, you should try using a different email address for library email.
  6. If you can’t find the library’s emails in any folders, contact the library and ask library staff to send you a test email.
  7. Check your email to see if you receive the test mail from OPL. If you can't find the test email in the Inbox folder, check the spam/junk folders to see if the test email is there.
  8. If library emails are showing up in spam, do step 3 and 4 above.
  9. Please be reminded that emails in spam/junk folders typically get automatically deleted after a certain amount of time, depending on your email service’s settings. So if you wait too long to check spam/junk folders, you may not find the filtered mails there.
  10. Let library staff know if you don’t receive the test message from OPL in any of your email folders.