Frequently Asked Questions

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-- Membership --

How can I join the library?

If you live, work or study in Dublin City or County, or if you already have a valid public library card from any library authority in the country, you may apply for a Dublin City Libraries (DCL) card.

Please note that, although you can reserve and borrow items from DCL if you have a valid public library card from any library authority in the country, you *do* need a valid Dublin City library card if you want to access some digital content and services, such as Oxford Dictionary of Family names, OED etc. available with DCPL membership - please see eResources for details.

To get a DCL card you need to fill in the official application form – you can do this online or at your local library - and present the form along with photographic identification and proof of where you live. Please see the information referred to the membership regulations for the acceptable forms of both.

If you are under the age of eighteen you must get the permission of a parent or guardian who must sign the necessary form. Parents/guardians are responsible for their children's selections and library materials and services, including use of the library and access to the Internet.
See Using Your Library for more.

Benefits of adding your email to your account.

Can I join online?

Registering yourself online is a quick way to become a member of your local library. Upon registering, you will receive a temporary borrower number, after which you have 3 months to call to your local library with photo ID and proof of address to collect your new library card. Registering online enables you to reserve one item immediately and collect it later at the branch of your choice. 

Is there a library membership fee?

No. Membership is free, but there are nominal charges for printing and photocopying.

Renewing your library membership

Your library membership lasts one year. It's important that you renew your library card as once it expires you won't be able to borrow, renew or reserve books and you won't be able to use online services. To renew, call into your local library with your library card and photographic I.D. If you have changed address since you last renewed your membership, please bring along proof of address. (E.g. a bill for gas, electricity, telephone, mobile phone; a bank statement, issued within the past 6 months).

Can I check my library membership record online?

You can check your personal record online if you have a PIN. This number prevents unauthorised people from gaining access to your record. If you do not have a PIN, call in to any branch and you will be assigned one. 

How do I get a PIN?

Present your library card at any branch and you will be assigned a PIN. It is important that you attend in person so that your identity can be verified. This is to prevent unauthorised people from gaining access to your personal record.

What if I lose my library membership card?

Report the loss of your card to your local branch library. When you call in to the branch, please bring photo ID and you will be issued with a new card. Your borrower information, including outstanding loans or requests will be transferred to the new card.

-- Using Your Library --

What can I borrow from the library?

Adults and children can borrow a maximum of 12 items - books, CDs and DVDs  - for three weeks. In addition you can borrow a maximum of 5 eBooks and 5 eAudiobooks for three weeks, unlimited graphic novels and comics for one week, and unlimited digital magazines (no time limit).

How can I keep library items for longer?

You can renew items for a further period by phone, post, by online renew or in person provided they are not requested by another borrower. To renew items, please give the number above the barcode on the item, or give the number of your membership card. You cannot renew an item that is reserved by someone else, or where its renewal limit (5 renewals permitted) has been reached.

Can I reserve library material?

Patrons may reserve for collection in their local branch library materials which are currently out on loan or are available from another branch in Dublin or elsewhere in the country.
Items are collected and delivered between libraries on a twice weekly basis, so once a reserved item is available it should arrive to the local library within a week.
Items not available in any of the participating libraries may be requested through any branch library (we make our best efforts to supply such items but cannot guarantee that we will supply every item so requested. Please see our collections development policy for more information).

To reserve online from the library catalogue, you need your library card number along with your Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you don't know your PIN, please call to your local library.

You cannot have more than 12 items on reserve at any one time.

There is **no charge** for requests for items in the catalogue placed online or at the library desk.

Is there a charge to reserve library material?

There is **no charge** for requests for items in the catalogue placed online or at the library desk.

Reserves of items to be supplied by the British Library Document Supply Centre or similar supply mechanism incur a charge of €5.00 per reserve. You will be advised of this charge when placing the reserve.

What are the opening times for the branch libraries? What about holiday arrangements?

Opening times vary. Check individual branches for details.

Holiday arrangements vary. Dublin City Libraries closes for a number of days over the Christmas and Easter periods; and on St Patrick's Day and bank holidays (e.g. Public Holiday Mondays, libraries close on the Monday and preceding Saturday).

Check the library homepage or library noticeboards for details of particular holiday arrangements. Notifications are also posted on our Twitter account (@dubcilib).

Can I renew library items online?

Items can be renewed online using your PIN number, provided they are not requested by another borrower. Your PIN number prevents unauthorised persons accessing your individual borrower record. If you do not have a PIN number please call to any branch, where you will be assigned one.

What if I lose or damage an item borrowed from the library?

Members agree to take good care of all library materials borrowed and, with the exception of children's material, agree to reimburse Dublin City Council for the cost of any loss or damage to these materials. If you have lost and paid for an item, and then find it, you can return it to the library for a refund.

What happens if I don’t return library items on time?

If you do not either return an item or contact a library staff member to discuss an overdue item before you receive a third reminder, your card will be blocked from taking out or renewing any further items, including e-books and e-audio books.

[See also the Using Your Library PageUsing Your Library - Children]

-- Dublin City Library and Archive --

Where is the Dublin City Library and Archive?

The Dublin City Library & Archive is located south of the River Liffey at 138-144 Pearse Street, between Sandwith Street Upper and Erne Street Upper, Dublin 2. It is a fifteen-minute walk from College Green and can easily be reached by bus numbers 2 & 3, which stop outside the library, or by Dart or Commuter train to Pearse Station, Westland Row. Car parking facilities are limited to on-street pay-and-display parking.

What kind of information is available in the Dublin City Archives?

Dublin City Archives contains records of the civic government of Dublin from 1171 to the late 20th century. These records include City Council and committee minutes, account books, correspondence, reports, court records, charity petitions, title deeds, maps and plans and drawings all of which document the development of Dublin over eight centuries.

How do I register for a Library Research Card?

[Pertains to the Reading Room, Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street. D.2]

A Research Card can be obtained by filling out an application form, available at the Reading Room. Please bring along photographic identification such as Passport; Driving Licence; Student Card; Social Welfare Identity Card; Work ID; National ID Cards (where applicable)  to aid the registration process.  A valid Dublin City Public Libraries’ Borrower’s card is also acceptable as ID to obtain the Research Card. Research Cards are valid for a period of 3 years from the date of issue.

Can I borrow books and archive material from the Reading Room?

[Pertains to the Reading Room, Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, only]

Library and archive material cannot be borrowed or removed from the Reading Room. Collections can be accessed by filling out request forms and can be viewed in the Reading Room only.

-- Learning Opportunities --

Does the library provide elearning or self-learning opportunities?

You can learn a language or choose from over 400 courses online. Many branch libraries also provide computer and language learning resources, short courses, talks and demonstrations. Find out more about learning opportunities in Dublin City Libraries.

Can I learn how to use computers in the library?

Yes. Dublin City Libraries has a programme called 'Websmart' that is free to customers. This involves Internet demonstrations/illustrated lectures and the provision of individual and small group workshops for members of the public, using the extensive network of Public Internet Access Points located in branch libraries throughout the City. Contact your local library for details.

Can I get accreditation for the courses I complete in the library?

You can earn a Certificate of Course Completion (signed by your Branch Librarian and the City Librarian) after 50 hours of learning related to a specific programme, such as a Linguaphone Course.

-- Resources --

Can I access the Internet in my library?

Dublin City Libraries provides free broadband and wireless access to the Internet in its network of branch libraries. Contact your local library to find out more about using our internet service, see our Internet usage policy and our Internet booking procedures.

Can I view old newspapers?

Current issues of newspapers are available in a number of branch libraries. Current and back issues of a number of titles (hardcopy) as well as a number on microfilm and online, can be accessed in the Business Information Centre, Central Library, Ilac Centre, Dublin 1.

Dublin City Library and Archive holds a wide range of newspapers in hardcopy and on microfilm ranging in date from the eighteenth century to the present day. Current and recent issues of newspapers are not available for viewing for a period of six months.

The Irish Times Digital Archive, Irish Newspaper Archives and ProQuest are available online and free of charge for Internet users at all branches of Dublin City Libraries. The Irish Times Digital Archive contains the entire The Irish Times from the first edition in 1859 to the present. With the Irish Newspapers Archives you can search, retrieve and view Irish newspapers from 1700s to present.  ProQuest provides access to full-text articles in c.850 newspapers worldwide, including Irish national and regional papers.

Can I get information on local history and tracing my family tree?

Yes. The Dublin and Irish Local Studies Collection includes new and second-hand material on Dublin City and County covering a range of books, newspapers, periodicals, photographs, maps, prints, drawings, theatre programmes, playbills, posters, ballad sheets, audiovisual materials and ephemera. Given the status of the City of Dublin as the capital city of the Republic of Ireland, the City Library collections extend to subjects of national interest and include books and other materials relating to Ireland, by Irish authors, or in the Irish language. The collection includes sources for family history and advice on tracing your family tree.

Can I get information on starting my own business?

Yes. The Business Information Centre is a reference service run by Dublin City Libraries, specialising in company and market research information. The Centre holds books, directories, Acts of the Oireachtas, databases, business magazines, newspapers, Irish City and County Council Development Plans and has a collection of Irish company reports. The Centre has extensive information on starting a Business, and facilitates Start Your Own Business programmes on a bi-annual basis, usually in the Spring and again in the Autumn. These programmes are run by the Dublin City Enterprise Board in partnership with Dublin City Council.

The Centre is located in the Central Library, ILAC Centre, Henry Street, Dublin 1.

-- Miscellaneous --

How can I contact Dublin City Libraries?

For general enquiries please contact
Administrative Headquarters,
Dublin City Library & Archive,
138-144 Pearse Street,
Dublin 2.

Tel.: (01) 6744800
Fax: (01) 6744879 (Administration) (01) 6744880 (Management)

Contact details for your local library.

I would like to discuss the books I read with other people. Do you have a Book Club?

There are a growing number of Book Clubs that meet in, or are affiliated to, the Public Libraries. Most meet once a month to discuss their reading in a lively and informal atmosphere. Find out more about Book Clubs in Dublin City Libraries.

Does the library have a home delivery service?

The Mobile Library Service provides a home delivery service. They can be contacted at Mobile Library Headquarters, Cabra Library, Navan Road, Dublin 7.

Tel: 00-353-1-8691415
Fax: 00-353-1-8691412

Are there public toilet facilities in my branch library?

Toilet facilities are available for public use in Ballyfermot, Ballymun, Cabra, Drumcondra, Pearse Street, Pembroke, Raheny, Rathmines and Walkinstown libraries. Public facilities are available near the libraries in the ILAC Centre, Finglas Shopping Centre and Donaghmede Shopping Centre.


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