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Frequently Asked Questions

Our staff loves helping patrons learn how the library works! Check out our list of common questions to learn more about using the library. Don't see the answer you're looking for? Send us a message or give us a call at 208-459-3242.

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Getting a Library Card

  • How do I get a library card?

The quickest way to get a library card is to come to the library. Make sure you bring a photo ID and proof of residency with you. You can also apply for a library card online. If you apply online, you will need to bring your photo ID and proof of residency with you when you come in to pick up your card.

  • How old do I need to be to apply for a library card?

Anyone can get their own library card! If you are under 18 years old, a parent or guardian will need to be present when you apply for your card.

  • How much does a library card cost?

If you reside inside Caldwell city limits, your library card is prepaid through your property taxes. If you live outside of city limits, you can purchase a non-resident library card that will give your entire household access to library services. Non-resident fees are as follows (prices include tax):

  • Annual non-resident card: $47.31

  • Six month non-resident card: $23.75

  • Annual senior nonresident card: $25.75

  • Six month non-resident card: $12.88

If you are a non-resident City of Caldwell employee or if you teach within city limits, you may obtain a library card at no additional cost.

Students who do not reside within Caldwell city limits but live in the Caldwell School District or the Vallivue School District, including students who are homeschooled or attend a charter or private school, are eligible for a $10 student library card. If you are a student enrolled in the Caldwell School District, the district will cover the cost of your student library card.

  • Do I need a library card to use the library?

Nope! Use of the library is open to the public - no library card required. There are only a couple of things that require a library card to do:

  • Bringing library materials home

    • You can read any of the library's materials while you are in the building, you just can't take them home without a library card.

  • Using a library computer

    • If you do not have a library card and you need to use a computer, you can obtain an Internet-only card at the reference desk. Internet-only cards are free of charge, but you will need to present a photo ID when you sign up.​

    • If you bring your own device, you can use our WiFi for free without a library card

  • How long is my library card good for?

Library cards must be renewed every 365 days. 

  • Can I renew my library card online or over the phone?

You can renew your library card in person or over the phone, but not online. If you are renewing a non-resident card, you can pay your non-resident fee in person or by using your online account, but we can not take payment information over the phone.

  • I am a parent/guardian of a child with a library card. What are my options for managing their account?

Every member of your family is welcome to have their own library card. As a parent/ guardian, you can select how you wish to set up and monitor your child’s account:

  • You can log into your child’s account at using their library card number and the pin you set up when you opened the account. 

  • You can add your email address to your child’s account so that you receive notifications for items checked out or placed on hold.

  • You can link your child’s account to your account. This allows you to pick up items on hold under your child’s account. Unless you are using the Ida App, you will still need to log into your child’s account separately to see items they have checked out. 

  • You can choose not to monitor your child’s library account. However, a parent or guardian will still need to be listed on the account. That person is financially responsible if there are charges for damaged items.

Using Your Library Card

  • What is my PIN?

Unless you have changed it since getting your library card, your PIN will be the last four digits of the phone number associated with your account. You will use your PIN to log into your online account, use the self-checkout machines at the library, and access some digital resources.

  • I forgot my library card at home. Can I still check out materials?

Yes. If you forget your library card, you can show a staff member your valid photo ID and then they can look up your account and check out materials to you using your phone number. 

Pro Tip: If you download the Ida App, you will have a digital copy of your library card stored in your phone. 

  • How many items can I check out at once?

You can have 50 items checked out to your library card at one time. Of those 50 items, the following limits apply:

  • Limit of 10 each: Audiobooks, CDs, Magazines, DVDs/Blu-ray

  • Limit of 3 Lucky Day Items, Video Games

  • Limit of 2 each: Kits

  • Limit of 1 Mobile Hotspot

  • How many items can I have on hold at once?

You can have 15 physical items on hold at one time. If you use the Libby app, you can have 5 ebooks and/or audiobooks on hold at a time. Holds on Libby do not count toward your physical hold limit. 

  • How do I place a hold on an item I want to borrow?

You can place a hold on an item at the circulation desk, over the phone, or our online catalog. You can place holds on print/physical materials using the Ida app. Holds on digital materials can be placed through the Libby app.

  • Can I use my library card to borrow ebooks and audiobooks?

Yes! You can browse our available digital collection using the Libby app or the Overdrive website. You can read/listen directly on the app or send most ebooks to a Kindle device.

  • When are my items due back to the library?

That depends on what kind of items you have checked out.

  • New Books, DVDs/Blu-Rays, Mobile Hotspots, Video Games and Lucky Day Books/Audiobooks can be checked out for 14 days

  • Books, Audiobooks, CDs, and Magazines can be checked out for 28 days

  • Kits and Lucky Day DVDs/Blu-rays can be checked out for 7 days

Please note that materials borrowed from any of the other Lynx Library Consortium branches may have different lending periods.

  • My book is due back to the library, but I'm not done reading it. Can I renew it?

You can renew most items as long as no one else has placed a hold on the item. Most eligible items will renew automatically. You can request a renewal over the phone or by using your online account. You can not renew Lucky Day books or movies.

  • Does the library charge late fees?

Nope! We do not charge late/overdue fees on the vast majority of our items. Mobile hotspot devices and in-house video game controllers that are returned late may accrue a fee. Learn more about fees by reading our Borrowing Policy.

  • I lost a library book. What should I do?

First, make sure that the book is really lost. A lot of patrons tell us that they lost a book, and then they find it the next day. If you are sure the book is gone, you can let us know at the front desk or over the phone. You will be charged the cost of replacing the book plus a $5 processing fee.


If you end up finding and returning the book within 60 days of paying the replacement fee, you will be issued a refund of the replacement fee, minus any other fees present on your account. The $5 processing fee is non-refundable. 

Please note that materials borrowed from any of the Lynx Library Consortium branches are subject to the permissions and fees set by the owning library.

  • I damaged a library book. What should I do?

Bring the book back to the library and notify a staff member of the damage. Damages to materials are assessed on an individual basis. If we are not able to repair the damage, you will be charged the full replacement cost of the book. If this happens, you can choose to keep the original damaged item. 

Please note that materials borrowed from any of the Lynx Library Consortium branches are subject to the permissions and fees set by the owning library.

  • Can I return items that I borrowed from a different library to the Caldwell Public Library?

Yes! You can return books from any branch of the following libraries to us, and we will make sure they get back to their home library. You can also return Caldwell Public Library books to any of these branches.

  •  Ada Community

  • Boise Public Library

  • Eagle Public Library

  • Garden City Library

  • Meridian Library District

  • Nampa Public Library

  • Kuna Library District

  • Emmett Public Library

  • Mountain Home Public Library

  • Twin Falls Public Library

  • Can I borrow books from other libraries using my Caldwell Public Library card?

Yep! Your library card works at all of the libraries in the Lynx Library Consortium. If none of the consortium libraries have a copy of the book you want, you can also request an Interlibrary Loan from other libraries across the country. 

  • How do Interlibrary Loans work?

If an item is not owned by one of our Lynx Library Consortium partner libraries, we can try to find it outside of the Treasure Valley. A willing library can mail the item to us for you to check out at no cost to you. The process may take a couple of weeks before the item is ready.

  • Can I return materials when the library is closed?

Yes. We have two 24/7 book drops at the library. You can return books to the bookdrop to the right of our main entrance (facing Dearborn Street) or to the bookdrop located in our West parking lot (facing 10th Ave).

  • What is the difference between the Ida App and the Libby App?

  • The Ida app belongs to the Lynx Library Consortium. With the Ida app, you can manage your account, browse our catalog, place holds on materials, check out books directly from your phone using the Self Checkout feature, scan your library card barcode, and more.

  • The Libby app is run by Overdrive and contains our digital collection. You can brose and borrow ebooks, e-audiobooks, and e-magazines on the Libby app. You can read/listen directly on the app, or you can send most ebooks to a Kindle device.

Library Services

  • Does the library have internet and computer services?

Yes! We have free public WiFi available throughout our building. You can also access the WiFi from our parking lot. We have computers available for patrons with a library card or internet-only card.

  • Does the library have printing services?

Yes. You can print, scan, and copy documents at the library. We charge $0.10 per page printed in black & white and $0.50 per page printed in color. We have a mobile printer available so that you can print directly from your phone, or you can use our print release station to print from a library computer.

  • Does the library offer faxing services?

No, we do not have a fax machine. You can scan documents to an email using our copy machine, but you can not send a fax from the library.

  • Does the library have meeting rooms that I can use?

Yes, we have two meeting rooms available by appointment. 

  • The Community Room seats up to 100 people. The room features a 98" 4K Ultra High Definition digital display with an HDMI connection and casting capabilities. 

  • The Idaho Room seats up to 15 people and has a projector and screen suitable for displaying videos or slide presentations. 

All meetings held in our meeting rooms must be open to the public, and you can not charge an admittance fee. The rooms can not be used to host private events like parties or weddings. For more information, please read our meeting room policy. To book a meeting room, give us a call at 208-459-3242.

  • I can't make it into the library to pick up materials. Do you deliver?

We have two types of delivery service that you can apply for. 

  • Our Homebound Delivery Service offers bi-monthly deliveries to patrons who are unable to come to the library in person due to illness, age, and/or disability. You can apply for our homebound services online or by giving us a call at 208-459-3242.

  • Our Contactless Delivery Service offers one-time delivery for qualified patrons who can't make it to the library. You can apply for our contactless delivery services online or by giving us a call at 208-459-3242.

  • What digital resources does the library offer?

So many! Visit the Databases and Online Learning page on our website for a full list of digital resources. Some resources require a library card or require that you live in Idaho to access them. Your library card gets you free access to online tutoring, recipe databases, digital newspapers, music streaming, online language learning classes, and so much more.

  • What kind of programs does the library offer? Does it cost to attend?

The library has a wide variety of programs for all ages. Programs are free to attend and the are open to the public - no library card required. Visit our online calendar for more information on upcoming programs. 

Gettig aLibrary Card
Using Your Library Card
Library Services
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