Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

  1. How can I get a library card ?
  2. How can I renew my books?
  3. What if I have overdue books?
  4. How many days can I keep the books and how many books can I check out ?
  5. What are the policies for checking out DVDs?
  6. Can I use the library card to borrow books from other libraries ?
  7. How do I access my library account through the Internet... ?
  8. How do I reserve books through my account in the Internet?
  9. What are the library's fees and fines?
  10. How can I get a copy of the circulation policies?
  11. Can I reserve Meeting Room space at the Library?
  12. Where are the Meeting Rooms?
  13. Is there a fee for the use of the Library Meeting Rooms?
  14. What are the Meeting Room Policies?
  15. How can I access the Local History Room?
  16. What kind of material does the Local History Room Have?
  17. How can I apply for a job with the Elizabeth Public Library?
  18. Reserving Computers
  19. Computer Use Policy
  20. How much time do I have on the computer?
  21. Quiet Study
  22. Parking
  23. Fax Machine
  24. Public Phone
  25. Handicapped Access
  26. Public Restrooms
  27. Children's Room Policy
  28. Children's Room Computers
  29. Voluneering (Volunteer Application)

How can I get a library card ... ?

You must register in person, and present two pieces of identification indicating your Elizabeth address in order to obtain an Elizabeth Public Library borrower's card (the ID may be a New Jersey driver's license, a New Jersey Motor Vehicle registration, a utility bill, a property tax bill and so on)

Children from birth to age 12 are eligible for library card if registered by parent or guardians who are residents of Elizabeth. Children are eligible to receive an adult library card at the age of 13, but the parent or guardian remains responsible for the use of the library.

Persons who do not reside in Elizabeth, but are employed in the city are eligible for a library card. They must have a letter on their employers' letterhead stating that he or she is an employee of that company, as well as two pieces of identification as outlined above.

Persons who do not reside in Elizabeth, but attend school in the city are eligible for a library card. The student must present a student identification card, a badge, a current tuition bill, or a current report card. In addition, the student must establish his or her home address in the same manner as someone applying as a resident.

Persons who own real property in Elizabeth, but do not reside in the city are eligible for a library card upon presenting a current tax bill, and another piece of identification as outlined above. The local taxpayers immediate family members are eligible for library cards as well.

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How can I renew my books?

You can renew your books at the circulation desk at any library location or you can call 908-354-6060, x7212

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What if I have overdue books?

Fines are charged at a rate of 10 cents for each day an item is overdue including Sundays, Holidays, and any other day that the library is closed. Book drops are available at the Main Library and at the branchesfor your convenience whenever the library is closed. Videocassettes and DVDs should not be placed in the book drops.

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How many days can I keep the books?

Books may be borrowed for 28 days ( unless otherwise indicated). The limit on the number of items to borrow is 25.

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What are the policies for checking out DVDs?

1. Adults over the age of 18, having a valid Elizabeth Public Library card, or a MURAL library borrower's card may borrow DVDs by signing the designated line on the back of the library card application indicating that they gave received and agree with the library policies for borrowing DVD items..

2. Borrowers will be charged the full retail replacement cost in case of loss or damage, plus a processing fee of $5.00

3. Borrowers may borrow a total up to 5 dvds at any one time.

4. The loan period is 7 days. (If the date due should fall on a Sunday, Holiday, or any other day the library is closed, the DVD will be due on the following day that the library is open.) [Effective November 1st, 2013]

5. No reserves are taken for DVD titles.

6. A nonrefundable rental fee of $1.00 per video is charged for all feature films borrowed from the Elizabeth Public Library collection. ( Educational, documentary, instructional, fitness, sports, literacy and certain other DVDs may be borrowed free of charge.) [Effective November 1st, 2013]

7. Overdue fines of $2.00 per day per will be charged for all DVDs returned late.

8. DVDs may not be left in the book drop.

9. DVDs are not renewable.

10. DVDs may not be borrowed on Interlibrary Loan.

11. DVDs are licensed only for non-commercial private exhibition in homes. Any other use, or copying is strictly prohibited by law.

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Can I use my library card to borrow books from other libraries?

Your Elizabeth Borrower's card may be used at the Elmora Branch, La Corte Branch and E'port branch. It may also be used at the Hillside Public Library and most libraries located in Union and Middlesex counties except for the East Brunswick, Summit, Westfield, and Woodbridge Public Libraries).

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Can I access my library account through the Internet?

Yes, as long as you...

* are 16 years or older.

* have a library card with barcode number.

* have a PIN number which you can apply for at the first floor Circulation Desk.

* You can access your account by clicking here and then click on the My Account button.

* Enter your library barcode number and your PIN number.

* Information you'll see under your account includes: Items checked out to your accounts; Titles on request by your account; Fees/Fines due for your account.

* You can renew your checked out books yourself at this point as long as the books are not overdue.

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How do I reserve books through my account in the Internet?

Do the steps in "How to access my account through the Internet". Click "Easy Search" on the top left corner of the page, and enter the search word in the empty box. After you find the title you want, click "Request Title"(in red). You will see options for the library location at which you would like to pick up your book. Select one and then click "Submit Request" button. You will then see a message "your request has been successfully processed"(in blue). If you are experiencing any problems on this, call 908-354-6060x7203.

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What are the library's fees and fines?

The fees are:

DVD rental for seven days $1.00

Non-resident library card (one year) $50.00

Photocopies (per page) $0.10 Black and White

Photocopies (per page) $0.25 Color

Microfilm reader printouts (per page) $0.10

Computer printouts (per page) $0.10 Black and White

Computer printouts(per page) $0.25 Color

The fines are:

Overdue fine per item per day--non-video $0.10

Overdue fine per item per day-video $2.00

Maximum fine per item $30.00

Replacement fee for lost library card $1.00, $3 or $5, depending upon the number of cards lost. 

Replacement fee for lost adult book Cost of book plus $10.00

Replacement fee for lost children's book Cost of book plus $2.00

How can I get a copy of the circulation policies?

  If you would like to get a copy of the policies as approved by the board of trustees just click here


Can I reserve Meeting Room space at the Library?

Meeting Rooms are used for programs by organizations engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual and charitable activities.  They are not intended for the commercial benefit of private individuals, or profit-making purposes. Solicitation of money (including admission charges, dues, donations or sales) is prohibited except when in connection with Library sponsored programs and with prior approval of the Director. Reservations of Meeting Rooms are on a first come, first serve basis.  Use of the Meeting Room is obtained through a written request form.   No groups are permitted to use the Meeting Rooms on a continuing basis for regularly scheduled meetings, and meetings are not scheduled on Sundays unless special permission has been granted.

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Where are the meeting rooms?

The Elizabeth Public Library Main Branch has a large auditorium for group meetings on the 4th floor with room capacity for 75 -150 people.  The Elmora branch Meeting Room has capacity for 35 people.

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Is there a fee for the use of the Library Meeting Rooms?

There is no charge to all groups affiliated with the City of Elizabeth. The Meeting Rooms are available for rental during the hours the Library is open for groups not affiliated with the City of Elizabeth. For the use of the Main Library auditorium, the fee is $100. For the use of the Elmora Branch Meeting Room, the fee is $35. This fee is non-refundable and should be submitted with your application. Applications must be approved by the Library Director. Meetings may not disrupt the use of the Library by others.

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What are the Meeting Room Policies?

When not being used for Library programs, the Meeting Rooms may be reserved for public gatherings. Permission to use the Library Meeting Room in no way implies Library sponsorship or endorsement of any group or its program. All meetings are considered open to the public. The complete policy governing the Meeting Rooms are available to download and print HERE.

Some regulations for the use of the Elizabeth Public Library Meeting Rooms include, but are not limited to:

• Admission charges for programs held in the Meeting Rooms are prohibited.

• Smoking is prohibited in any Library Meeting Rooms.

• Selling of or taking orders for goods or services are prohibited.

• The organization using the Meeting Room must not identify the Library as being a sponsor or cosponsor of a program either verbally, in printed materials, or in publicity releases.

• All printed materials to be handed out during the use of the Meeting Rooms must be submitted to the Library Director at least one week in advance of the meeting for approval. No materials may be distributed without such approval.

• Organizations with liability insurance coverage must submit a certificate of insurance to the Library Director at least one week in advance. For further details on liability insurance, see the policy governing the Meeting Rooms HERE.

• The Meeting Rooms must be left in an orderly and clean manner. Failure to do so and any situation which generates additional cleaning for the Library will result in cleaning charges to the organization. Failure to abide by these regulations may result in the withdrawal of meeting room privileges. Application forms are available in the Administrative Office in the Elizabeth Public Library Main Branch or are available to download and print HERE. You may also contact the Assistant Director of the Library at (908) 354-7154 for general inquiries.

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How can I access the Local History Room?

The Local History Room is located on the 3rd floor at The Elizabeth Public Library Main branch and is open to the public from 2:30-4:30PM on Mondays and Thursdays, and 6:30-8:30PM on Wednesdays. If visitors would like to visit at another time, they may schedule an appointment by calling (908)354-6060 x7152, or by filling out a Genealogy and Local History Research and Appointment Request Form HERE and e-mailing it to

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What kind of material does the Local History Room have?

The Local History Room is the only one of its kind in Elizabeth and contains items such as local government documents, genealogy materials, Union County history, high school yearbooks and maps. The Local History Room microfilm collection includes the Elizabeth Daily Journal (1871-1991) as well as a card index (1915-1991) and The New York Times (1851-Present.) These items may be accessed during all Library operating hours. Remote research can be provided for a $25.00 fee which includes up to one hour of research. For more information, visit the Local History Room on the Library website at: .

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How can I apply for a job with the Elizabeth Public Library?

Candidates interested in applying for a job at the Elizabeth Public Library must have a current resume, references, and be 18 years old or older. Resumes are accepted either in print addressed to: Director, The Elizabeth Public Library, 11 South Broad Street, Elizabeth, NJ, 07202, or by email to: To access the online application form, go to any page on our website and scroll to the bottom of the page where you can download and print the form or click HERE.

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Reserving Computers

Library card holders can reserve computers for one hour at the Elizabeth Library branches only. You may call the branch with your valid and active Library card. Users must be prompt. Reservations are held for only 10 minutes after your sign-up time, after which anyone with a valid card may use the computer.

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Computer Use Policy

The Elizabeth Public Library provides access to digital information in many formats including electronic databases and the Internet. Not all information found on the Internet is accurate, legal, or acceptable to everyone. The Library assumes no responsibility for any direct, indirect, or consequential damages arising from the use of information found on the Internet, or any communication sent through the Library’s computer terminals. Links to other websites found on the Library’s homepage were selected by Library staff, but the Library has not participated in the development of these sites, nor do we exert any editorial control over them. The Library does not limit access to materials, monitor an individual’s use of the Internet, or attempt to prevent users from viewing materials some individuals may find offensive. A link to another external website is not an endorsement by the Library. The Library does not warrant that our website, the server that makes it available, or any link to external sites is free from viruses or any other harmful components. There are four computers in the Periodicals Department designated for word processing only. These computers are reserved for writing and resume work. Internet and chat, email, and game sessions are not permitted on these computers. Print-outs from these computers can be retrieved from the Teen desk; print-outs are 10¢ a page for B/W, 25¢ for color.

Patrons must:

• Not use the Library computers to access materials that are legally defined as obscenity, child pornography, or harmful to minors;

• Not use the Internet for illegal activity;

• Not damage or destroy equipment, software, or data belonging to the Library or to other users including adding, altering, or deleting files on Library work stations hard drives or other Library equipment;

• Not violate the Library’s computer system or network integrity by such means that may include bypassing network security functions, obtain passwords in a fraudulent manner, or altering the configuring of library work stations in any way;

• Refrain from the transmission of threatening, harassing or abusive language and images;

• Avoid congregating around computers;

• Avoid disruptive or disorderly behavior, or risk having their Internet work station sessions terminated;

• Use his/her library card to access the Internet. It is not permissible to use the Library card of a family member or friend to access the Internet. In instances where a patron is using someone else’s Library card, both the patron’s own account, and the account of the person whose card is being misused may be blocked. The Library reserves the right to ask a patron to show his/her Library card to a staff member when asked to verify that he/she is in fact the cardholder.

All visitors using the public computers must respect the privacy and sensibility of other users. The Library reserves the right to terminate Internet access privileges of any person who is not willing to comply with this policy.

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How much time do I have on the computer?

All Internet sessions are limited to two one-hour sessions to those persons holding a valid and current Elizabeth Public Library or Internet Only Library Card. Patrons can access additional Internet sessions in one hour increments if there are free work stations available. Non-residents who are not eligible for a Library card may be eligible for an “Internet Only Card.” To get this card, you must visit the Circulation Department and produce valid identification. Having this card is subject to the same application requirements as residents who apply for Library cards. For further information on obtaining cards, please go to “How Can I Get a Library Card”.

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Quiet Study

There are two designated areas in the Main Branch for quiet study. One is located off the 2nd floor entrance on South Broad Street and the other is on the 3rd floor behind the Periodicals desk.

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The Elizabeth Public Library located at 11 South Broad Street at the corner of Rahway Avenue offers parking to patrons with entrances on both Rahway Avenue and South Broad Street. The Main Branch and all three branch libraries have on-site parking. The parking lots are for the use of Library patrons, staff, and trustees only. Persons may not park on the lots to attend to non-library matters in nearby offices or stores.

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Fax Machine

Fax machines are not available at the Elizabeth Public Library. However, there are businesses within walking distance of the Library that offer fax services. Please see the Reference staff for suggestions.

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Public Phone

The Elizabeth Public Library has one public phone located on the 1st floor at the Rahway Avenue entrance in the corridor facing the Circulation Desk.

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Handicapped Access

The Elizabeth Public Library has handicapped access for the Main Library branch and all branch libraries.

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Public Restrooms

The Main Branch has public restrooms on the ground (first) floor. There are additional bathrooms on the 4th floor when the auditorium/ meeting room is open for events. The Children’s Department has bathrooms for children and accompanying adults only. Each branch Library has restroom facilities. The Library’s public restrooms are for short-term and immediate use. Improper use of Library restrooms, including but not limited to, washing or drying clothes, bathing, or shaving is forbidden. Books, magazines, newspapers, recordings or other items of the Library’s collection are not allowed in the public restrooms. Patrons shall not consume food or beverages, smoke or use tobacco or tobacco products, be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, bathe, or deface our public restrooms. Any patron not abiding by these or other rules and regulations of the library may be required to leave the Library premises. Library employees may contact the Elizabeth Police if deemed advisable. Any patron who violates these rules and regulations may be denied the privilege of access to the Library by the Board of Trustees, on the recommendation of the Library Director. A patron whose privileges have been denied may have the decision reviewed by the Board of Trustees.

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Children's Room Policy

It is the duty and privilege of parents to supervise the reading and material selection of their children. The Library is in full compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act. The Library has installed filtering software on all computers in the Children’s Room with Internet access, and will enforce the operation of the same during any use of the computer to prevent minors from visual descriptions that are (1) obscene, (2) child pornography (3) harmful to minors.

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Children's Room Computers

As with other Library materials, supervision of a child’s use of the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. In the Children’s Room, all computers have been configured to automatically provide filtered access to the Internet. Although the Library provides state-of-the-art Internet filtering software, all software is not foolproof. The Library does not warrant that Internet workstations with filtering software turned on will effectively block objectionable material in all cases. Parents and legal guardians should be vigilant in supervising their children’s use of the Internet and should not have a false sense of security that their children using Library computers are fully protected from objectionable material. To help ensure the Internet security of children using the Internet, children will not be allowed to use chat and email.

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Volunteering (Volunteer Application)

The Board of Trustees of Elizabeth Public Library encourages the participation of volunteers who support our mission. If you agree with our mission and are willing to be interviewed and trained in our procedures, we encourage you to complete this application. The information on this form will be kept confidential and will help us find the most satisfying and appropriate volunteer opportunity for you. Volunteers under the age of 18 will be assigned to the Children’s or Teen Department for special assignment. For instructions on how to apply, download and print the online application form, please click HERE.

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