FAQ - Library Card

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How do I apply for a library card?
At the Circulation Desk you may apply for a new card, replace a lost one, or update your current card. Library cards are free of charge to all California residents. You will need to provide a form of valid, government-issued photo identification, such as a driver's license or passport that shows your home address. If your photo identification does not match your current address, bring in any piece of mail that has your name and address on it. If you do not have any mail, we will send you a postcard that you can bring in as your proof of address once you receive it in the mail. Children from birth through 5th grade are eligible for their own library cards with the signature of a parent or guardian. Teens ages 12 through 17 can apply for their own card.

How do I obtain a temporary library card online?
This service is for new Library Cards only. To obtain a temporary library card online, click here. A temporary account allows you to access online resources and place holds on materials. Within 30 days, visit the Goleta Valley Library to convert your temporary library card into a permanent card. Proper identification is required, (please see above).

How do I obtain a digital library card? 
Residents of the Black Gold Cooperative member libraries service area can now get immediate 24/7 access to online services without having to visit a library. Complete the online application to get your eCard number now. If you already have a public library card from Goleta Valley Library you do not need an eCard. Your current library card number can be used to access online resources and place holds.

What if my card is lost or stolen?
If your card is lost or stolen, please notify us immediately. There is a replacement charge of $2. Bring ID with name and current address to the Circulation Desk to get a replacement.

I don’t have my library card with me.  Can I use a photo I.D. to check items out?
Yes, you may check-out items using a governmentally-issued photo I.D., providing that you have a valid library card on file with the library.

I've downloaded an image of my library card onto my smartphone. Can I use my smartphone to check-out items?
Yes. The library can scan the downloaded image of your library card barcode that’s on your smartphone. There will be no need to show additional I.D. 

Can I view my own record?
Yes. Click the My Account link and enter your library barcode and password to view a list of items that you currently have checked out, items you have requested, fines you may owe and your reading history (this option must be enabled by you). If you have never used a password before, you can create one.

Can I receive my overdue notifications by email?
Yes. You can request to be notified of your overdue items by email. This feature is set up by viewing your patron record, choosing the Change Your Contact Information link and adding your preferred email address.

Can I delay the delivery of an item I requested?
Yes. Within the My Account link, you can “freeze" a request, allowing you to delay delivery of requested items for your convenience. You will not lose your place in the hold queue but you must remember to "unfreeze" the reserve in order for your hold to be filled. Please note: This function is only available for items where there is an existing list.

Can have an item sent to me from another library?
Yes. When the material arrives, you will be notified and it will be held at the Circulation Desk.

Where can I find my Library Card barcode?
The library barcode is located on the back of your library card. With your library barcode you can view your library record; request, reserve, and renew items; access Online Research databases and more.

In addition to my Library Card barcode, do I need a password?
Your default password is your last name, all in lower-case letters. If you wish to change your password, click on the My Account link on our website. If you have forgotten your password, or have trouble, you may have it deleted so you can create a new password. Please go to the library Circulation Desk for assistance.

What should I do if an item is overdue?
If you have a fine to pay, bring the item to the Circulation Desk. You will be asked to pay the fine at that time.

Can I pay my fees online?
Patrons who owe $1.00 or more can pay their library fines online from home or by using the Library computers. The “Unpaid FInes and Bills” button is located in the My Account feature. Acceptable payment methods are: Visa, MasterCard or Discover credit card. Debit cards may be used if they contain the Visa or MasterCard logo. An email confirmation for the payment will be sent to you if you have provided your email address. This service uses encrypted and secure E-Commerce technology and is in use throughout the Black Gold libraries.

What do I have checked out on my card and when is it due?
You may click My Account, enter your library barcode or username and password to view your checked out items and their due dates.

Can I personally view a list of all materials I’ve checked out from the Library?
To keep track online of all of the items you have checked out from this date forward, please follow these steps:

  • Go to Black Gold
  • Click on  “My Account”
  • Click on  “My Record”
  • Type in your library card number. Your password is generally your last name all in lower case. Click “Log In”
  • Click on  “Contact Information and Preferences”
  • Scroll down until you see a small box on the bottom right next to the phrase “Maintain reading history”
  • Click “Maintain reading history” box
  • Click “Submit Change Request” at bottom of page

 From now on, any time you log into your account, you can see a list of all the items you’ve checked out using your library card.

Where should I return Library materials?
When you have finished with your library materials, they can be dropped off at the Circulation Desk in the library building, or you can use the convenient book drops available outside the building. You may also return them at any Black Gold library.

Can I renew my items?
If you need more time, most materials may be renewed. Items can be renewed at the Circulation or Reference Desks, online through the Library's website and by phone. Items cannot be renewed if there is a waiting list or if you have exceeded the renewal limit.

Can I place an item on hold?
Yes. Call, come in person, or use your library card barcode and password to request an item online either in our library, from home via our Library website, or from other libraries in Black Gold. In the library, holds may be placed at the Reference Desk or online through the library catalog. When using the Library catalog you can request an item using your library barcode and password. When the item you are interested in comes up on the screen, click on the Place Request button. It will ask for your barcode and password number. Once entered, your request will be submitted and you will be called or emailed by a member of the library staff when the item is available for pick-up.

Can I receive notifications by text message?
Yes.  You can receive text alerts on your cell phone for hold pickups, courtesy notices and overdue notices. This feature is set up by viewing your patron record, choosing Contact Preferences, making Text Messages your preference, adding your cell phone number in the text alert box, and adding your mobile carrier. This text alert feature is in addition to the regular email, phone or mail notifications that you already receive. Standard text message charges will apply, so please check your phone service plan.

Can I receive notifications in Spanish?
Yes.  Patrons can choose to receive their library notices in Spanish. This feature is set up by viewing your patron record, choosing Contact Preferences, then change Language Preference from English to Spanish.