Frequently Asked Questions - Borrowing

You may apply for a library card at any Ventura County Library. The initial card is FREE. There is a $1.00 replacement fee for a lost card. Your card gives you borrowing privileges at all Ventura County Library locations.

When you request an item and it is ready to be picked up at the Ventura County Library location you chose, a notice will be mailed to you at the address you have provided. An email notice will be sent to you if you have provided your email address on your library card application.

A parent or guardian's signature is required for applicants under the age of 18.

  • Library card application forms are available in both English and Spanish at any branch library. Complete the application form and present it with picture identification showing your current street address. (Driver's license is preferred. If you have just moved, a letter or bill with your current address in addition to your picture I.D. is acceptable.) A card will be prepared and given to you, and you may borrow items on the day you receive your new card.
  • Bring your library card whenever you visit the library. You will be able to use your card as identification if you borrow desk research material or for use within the library for Internet computers. Your card also grants you access to the content of our online databases found on our eLibrary page.
  • You may be asked to update your address and contact information.
  • If your card is lost or stolen, please report it to a library staff member immediately. A block will be placed against your file so that no one else can use your lost card.

Not at this time. Please visit one of our libraries to get your card!

The PIN number is *usually* the last 4 digits of the phone number used when you originally got your library card, unless you chose another 4 digit combination at that time.

To reset or change your PIN when you don't know your current PIN, bring your library card and I.D., along with verification of address (if it has changed) to one of our library locations (see:, where you can change your PIN number to one you remember.

Once you have your PIN - you can change it within our catalog without our assistance.  

Your library card is your key to borrowing books, cassettes, compact disks, etc., at any Ventura County Library. Just present your card and library materials to the staff at the customer service desk. (You may only check out books and materials on your own library card.)

  • Circulating books, cassettes, compact discs, pamphlets, and magazines are checked out to you from any Ventura County Library branch for three (3) weeks.
  • DVDs and videocassettes can be checked out for three (3) weeks. These cannot be renewed.
  • Research materials as well as some magazines, newspapers, and government documents, are generally not available to be checked out but can be viewed at the branch.
  • Parents or guardians are financially responsible for items checked out on cards of their children 17 years of age or younger.

  • Items may be renewed online through the Ventura County Library online catalog. You will need your library card and your library PIN. When your library account was originally set up, the last 4 digits of your phone number at that time were used unless you specified another set of numbers. If you do not know your PIN, call or visit your local library. 
    • Some items do not renew - these include DVDs, sketchbooks and short loan reference items. 
    • Most items may be renewed three times (for three weeks each checkout/renewal period) unless another customer has placed a hold on the book.
    • Items requested by someone else may not be renewed and must be returned.
  • Books may be renewed at the branch or by phone. You must have your library card with you to renew by phone. 
  • Most library materials do not have to be returned to the library from which they were borrowed. They may be returned to any Ventura County Library.
    •  [Ventura County Library books may be returned to any public library in Ventura County, Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County. However, you are responsible for the book (and it will continue to accrue fines if overdue) until it reaches a Ventura County Library.]
  • After hours, items may be returned in the branch library's bookdrop.
  • Because audiovisual materials can be damaged when heavy books fall on top of them in the bookdrop, we prefer cassettes, compact discs, and videocassettes be returned to the customer service desk during the branch library's open hours.


  • Overdue fine: $.25 per item per day on most items
  • Maximum fine per item returned: $6.00
  • Charge for item lost or damaged beyond use: replacement cost

Short loan and research books

  • Short loan and research books per item per day: $.50
  • Maximum fine short loan and research per item: $16.00

Items from other library systems

  • Items borrowed from other library systems per item per day: $.50
  • Maximum fine per item borrowed from other systems: $40.00

Payment of fines

  • We recommend you pay your fines by cash or personal check in person at the customer service desk
  • If you would rather mail your check:
    • Please call your library location to get information regarding sending the correct amount to the correct location.
    • If you have verified your amount, you may send a check payable to "Ventura County Library"
      to P.O. Box 771 Ventura, CA 93002.
      Important! Please remember to enter your library card number in the memo line.
  • Ventura County Library is working with the County of Ventura to provide a future, online pay option.
    Thank you for your patience!

Please note:

  • You will not be able to check out items if you have fines or charges of $40.00 or more
  • Delinquent accounts may be referred to a collection agency
  • Collection Agency referral fee: $10.00 per referral

Borrowers are legally responsible to pay for items lost or damaged beyond normal wear and tear. These charges cover the cost to the library for replacing the item, plus processing.

The Ventura County Library asks you for your email address for the following reasons:

  • The primary reason is: having your email address allows the Library to send notices by email, thereby enabling the Library to more efficiently serve you. In most cases, your Library Notice is delivered to your email address within minutes of its being produced.
  • It's over four times as expensive to send a printed notice than to send a notice by email. The Library regularly sends several hundred notices each day.
  • If you are having trouble receiving your email notices - please see our FAQ under "Catalog".

  • To ensure that your library card is secure and in your possession.
  • To make sure no one but you can access your library account.
  • To ensure you are safe from any identity theft issues that may occur if someone else has access to your card and personal information.
  • The information on your library record is personal and by law we are required to protect your privacy.
  • We need to always be sure who checked out library materials in order to recover those materials if they are not returned to the library.   The books, CDs, DVDs and other materials in this library have been purchased with your tax dollars and we want to have them available for everyone.
  • We want everyone to have equitable opportunity to use the library’s computers.  In order to provide that opportunity, we ask you to bring your card to the library.

Notify us as soon as possible. We can set that lost card to "Lost" status and issue you a replacement card for just $1.00. That way, no one else can use the lost card. You will need to simply show identification and fill out a new application form.

It depends.  Unused cards are purged from our system periodically, but yours *may* still be active. You can try bringing it in to any of our libraries, along with your identification, to see if you are still in our system.

Each library location has a book drop - see the library's location page under "Services" to get the exact location of the drops.