Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a library card?

With a library account, you can check out books and movies, use Internet computers, and download e-books, audio books and music! You can also login into your account online to place holds while searching the catalog, renew materials and update your contact information.

If you are an Anchorage resident, fill out this registration form and then bring photo ID to the front desk at any APL location to verify your account and get your card. You will also need to bring a postmarked piece of mail that confirms your address. Mail must be addressed to you, in the envelope and postmarked within the past 2 weeks (i.e. this month’s utility bill).

Youth can get a limited library card without a parent present, which gives them access to online resources and up to 3 items checked out at a time. For a card with full privileges, the parent/guardian will need to turn in a signed verification postcard (mailed to parent/guardian when the child registers for a card). The child does not need to accompany the parent to return the registration card.

  • Alaska reciprocal library member: free card, 3-item limit.
  • Non-Resident: $90 yearly, full borrowing privileges at APL.
  • Visitor/guest cards: $25 for 3 months, 3-item limit.

What is a PIN and how do I get one?

Your PIN number is your password to access your library account online. To get your PIN, go to any library information desk or call 343-2975, select #5. Once you logon with your library card and PIN numbers at My Account, you may renew items, change your pin number, and place holds.

How do I pay fines?

Now you can pay your fines online! Fines may be paid through your online account, at a library self-check machine or at the circulation desk.

To pay your fine online:

  1.    Logon to My Account with your library card and PIN numbers.
  2.    Select your Fines Tab to view amount. 
  3.    Click 'pay with debit or credit card' blue button. Provide an email address to be emailed a receipt.
  4.    Complete the payment form and click submit.  

Accounts in Collections will NOT be able to pay online. Please see a staff member.

Fine Amounts:

  • 50¢/day - adult books
  • 25¢/day - magazines, youth books and storypackets
  • $1/day - all media (DVDs, CDs, VHS, audio books, Playaways) and Book Club Bag kits
  • $5 maximum fines per item; items over 17 days late will be charged a replacement fee, plus a $5 processing fee per item. See staff for details.
  • Fines may be paid in person at any APL branch with cash, credit or debit card. Library does not use an online payment system
  • Fines of $100 and more are sent to a collection agency.

How do I print and scan?

Wi-Fi Mobile Printing is available using the PrinterOn App. If you download the app to your device, you can send documents to the printer from anywhere by connecting to PrinterOn.

More info on printing and scanning.

How do I check out and renew materials?

Anchorage residents may check out up to 50 items at a time including:

  • Books - 21 days
  • Magazines - max 5 for 7 days
  • DVDs - max 5 for 7 days
  • CDs/Audio Books -max 10 for 21 days
  • Holds – up to 10 holds at a time

You can check out materials from any of APL’s five locations and partner libraries, including UAA/APU, Juneau Public and ARLIS. You can also search the catalog to place a hold on an item and have it delivered to the library of your choice.

You can renew materials online through your account or by calling our automated line at 343-2975 and pressing 5. You will need your library card number and PIN for each of these options. You can also bring your materials into a library to renew in person. NOTE: Items with holds may not be renewed.

Are there computers and Wi-Fi?

Library computers with Internet access are available at all library locations. Stations are offered on a first come, first served basis with a one hour time limit (30 minutes for guests without an APL library card). You can sign up for a reservation in the library using a reservation terminal, or ask for help at a reference desk. If there are extra computers available, we often allow users to extend their times.

For in-library use, iPads are available at Mountain View, Muldoon and Loussac; Chromebooks and laptops are also available at all APL libraries.

All APL locations are Wi-Fi hotspots, so you can use your own technology and devices to use the Internet as well.

Visit the Alaska Internet Circle of Safety, with tips for kids.

Where are your meeting rooms?

Need a place to study or have a meeting? We have a variety of spaces for rent to meet your needs. All rooms include WiFi access, power outlets, tables and chairs. Rooms are available at the Loussac, Chugiak/Eagle River, Mountain View, and Muldoon branches.

Search for and reserve a space

Are food and drink allowed?

Food is not allowed in libraries except in designated areas, such as the Cafe at Loussac Library.

Drinks in covered containers are allowed.

How do I suggest something for the library to purchase?

If you have ideas for materials we should add to our collection, we'd love to hear from you! Suggest a purchase.

What are the Library rules?

Anchorage Public Library Code of Conduct:

The Anchorage Public Library strives to provide a welcoming, comfortable, and respectful environment for all users and Library visitors are expected to willingly follow all published rules and regulations. Individuals who do not comply will be asked to leave.

IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES – DO:

  • Contact any staff person with any questions you might have or for any assistance you may need.

BEHAVIOR ON LIBRARY PROPERTY OR AT APL EVENTS - DO NOT:

  • Skateboard, roller or in-line skate, actively use wheeled shoe skates, run, or use sporting equipment except at APL sanctioned events
  • Sleep within any APL facility or stay overnight on library property unless approved by the library director for an APL event.
    • Any person found sleeping or camping on APL grounds after close of business shall be considered a trespasser.
  • Leave personal belongings unattended as APL is not responsible for personal belongings and may dispose of them if you are not found and the items are deemed abandoned.
  • Eat or drink except in designated areas (may use a covered drink container).
  • Speak loudly or use public or cell phones in a disruptive manner.
  • Play audio materials without using headphones or earbuds.
  • Have the volume loud enough to be heard by others through headphones or earbuds.
  • Put feet on furniture or walls.
  • Solicit for personal, political, or religious purposes
    • Solicit – make an urgent request, plea, or entreaty; entice; ask
  • Distribute, post, or sell materials or merchandise not approved by the Library Director or appropriate staff.
  • Gather more than two (2) people around a computer if ADA and/or fire codes are violated.
  • Use tobacco or smoke in any and all forms available including, but not limited to, chewing tobacco, cigarettes, hand-rolled products, or e-cigarettes.
  • Rolling smoking products inside any APL facility is also not allowed.
  • Possess, sell, distribute, consume, or be under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or any controlled substance.
  • Engage in lewd, offensive, or threatening behavior.
    • Lewd – lustful or sexual behavior; Engaging in sexual intercourse in a public place; Exposing private body parts
    • Offensive – obnoxious, causing annoyance, discomfort, or painful or disagreeable sensations.
    • Threatening behavior – intentional behavior which causes a person of ordinary sensibilities fear of injury or harm (not just rude).
  • Use abusive, threatening, obscene language.
    • Abusive – harsh or coarse insulting language.
    • Threatening – words that express an intent to injure or physically abuse another person.
    • Obscene – offensive, rude, derogatory, racist, sexist, or sexual.
  • Harass or threaten other patrons or library staff verbally, physically, sexually, or electronically. This includes sexual harassment.
    • Harass – unsolicited annoying, alarming, or abusive conduct or words which are threatening.
    • Threaten – intentionally behaving in such a way as to cause a person of ordinary sensibilities fear of injury or harm.
  • Urinate or defecate outside of a toilet.
  • Spread or smear bodily fluids on yourself or any part of an APL facility including furniture, walls, fixtures, floors, etc.

APPEARANCE ON LIBRARY PROPERTY OR AT APL EVENTS:

DO:

  • Wear clothing and footwear

DO NOT:

  • Have disruptive, strong smells such as body odor, perfume, or cologne.
  • Have a visible infestation of lice, parasites, or other pests.
  • Have open wounds, sores, bleeding, or a violent illness.
  • Have wet or soiled clothing that may stain or befoul library furniture

FACILITIES:

DO NOT:

  • Block access to doors, aisles, computers, services, materials, stairs, elevators, and emergency exits.
  • Belongings must not intrude upon or disturb other patron’s space.
  • Move, alter, rearrange, damage, deface, or destroy library property (e.g. materials/furniture).
  • Bring in animals other than service animals.
  • Misuse restrooms inside any APL library – including bathing and washing your clothes or engaging in activities that will clog toilets.

LIBRARY MATERIALS:

DO NOT:

  • Remove library materials from any APL library without checking them out.
  • Steal, damage, alter, or misuse library property.
    • NOTE: if staff suspects that you have removed materials accidentally or willfully without checking them out, staff reserves the right to check your bag(s).

CHILDREN –

DO NOT:

  • Leave children under the age of 8 years old unaccompanied within any APL library. They must be actively supervised at all times by a responsible person 14 years of age or older who will be held responsible for the child(ren)’s actions.
    • NOTE: some areas, designated by signs, are restricted for the use of youth, their families, and people using youth materials. Unaccompanied adults, please do not loiter in these areas.

TRESPASS POLICY:

Guests who engage in unacceptable behavior as defined in this code of conduct may, depending on the severity, receive one warning or be banned immediately from the premises and if necessary, be trespassed from entering any APL library for a period of time. In some situations, if the behavior is extreme, no warning is necessary. This trespass would apply to all APL programs, facilities, properties, and services.

The length of trespass is determined by the Library Director or her/his designee and depends on the severity of the situation. Note that if you willfully endanger staff or the public, you may be suspended for up to five years. This includes engaging in any activity that has the potential of spreading blood-borne pathogens, assaults, batteries, and/or destruction of property.

Conduct in violation of Federal, State, or local laws, ordinances, regulations, or policies is prohibited in Library facilities and Library grounds. Persons found in violation of any of these may be asked to leave, barred from the Library, or prosecuted.

The Library Director may promulgate reasonable rules pertaining to the use of the properties and facilities of the Anchorage Public Library without Assembly review required. Such rules shall be set forth in writing and available for public review (AO 83-121).

APPEAL PROCESS:

1. Patrons wishing to appeal any disciplinary action may present their case to the library director in writing within 14 days of the decision. The written appeal must be delivered to: Administration/Anchorage Public Library, Attention: Library Director, 3600 Denali St., Anchorage, AK, 99503.

2. For trespass durations of 23 months or less, the library director will review the appeal within 14 days and any decision made is final.

3. For trespass durations of 2 years or longer, the library director, in consultation with the Library Advisory Board, will review the appeal within 14 days and any decision made is final.

Recommended for approval by the Library Advisory Board and approved by Mary Jo Torgeson, Library Director. March 22, 2017