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We have free wireless internet access available at 8 branches including Downtown Reno, Incline Village, North Valleys, Northwest Reno, Sierra View, South Valleys, Spanish Springs and Sparks.
How to get a library card

All you need to get a borrower's card from Washoe County Library is proof of residence in Nevada and a photo ID. There is no charge. Acceptable identification includes:
  • Valid Nevada driver's license or Nevada identification card
  • Local bank checks with imprinted address
  • Local utility or phone bill
  • Current rent receipt or lease showing at least one month's residence
There are other acceptable forms of identification, but these are the most commonly used. There is a short application form to fill out as well.

Minors may obtain a card by showing local school identification from the current school year, or by their accompanying parent or guardian showing acceptable identification.

Non-Nevada residents may obtain a card if they own property or a business in Washoe County, are employed in Washoe County, or attend school in Washoe County. Proof of such ownership or employment is required. For non-Nevada residents not meeting these requirements, a card is available for a $50 annual fee.

Checking out items

To check out any items from the library, you will need your library card or photo ID.

Most library branches will give you a printed receipt with your due dates listed for each item, or each item will be stamped with the due date.

You may check out as many items as you wish to be responsible for, with the exception of limits on certain smaller collections and audiovisual materials.

Bags are usually available, but it is always helpful to bring your own if you think you will need it.

Loan periods

The loan period for most items is three weeks.

Certain items which are specially checked out, such as reference materials or items borrowed from other library systems, have shorter loan periods.

Returning items

Library items may be returned to any branch of Washoe County Library, regardless of which branch they were checked out from.

Most branches have a slot to drop off books after hours. If you drop off a book the night of the due date, the item will not be considered late. Check with your branch for drop slot availability and location.

Renewals

All items may be renewed one time after being checked out, unless the item has been placed on hold for another patron.

Overdue items may be renewed to stop the accrual of fines, but fines will be charged for the number of days that the item is overdue.

Renewals can be made online though our library catalog at any time. Instructions on how to renew your own materils are here. Renewals may also be made over the phone by calling any library branch and giving them your card number. You may write the new due date in, but it will not be stamped. You are responsible for knowing when the books are due.

Items may be renewed without having the items present. If you have your card, items left at home may be renewed when you visit a branch.

Fines

Adult Library Cardholders: 25 cents per day per item, maximum fine per item $9.00. Minor Library Cardholders (age 17 and younger): 10 cents per day per item, maximum fine per item $2.00.
Your PIN is the last four digits of your phone number. When entering your library card number, be sure to enter the entire number without any spaces. For further assistance please call or visit any library branch.
All items may be renewed one time for a maximum checkout period of three weeks unless the item is on hold for another patron. Renew items in person, online, or by phone.

To renew online
  • Go to the library catalog and log in with your library card number and password (try the last 4 digits of the account's phone number).
  • Select "Renew" for each title and then choose "Renew selected" or simply choose "Renew all."
  • Overdue items may be renewed to stop the accrual of fines, but fines will be charged for the number of days that the item is overdue.
  • Items may be renewed at a branch without having the items present.
We do not currently accept online payments. We are working to make online payments available soon. Please visit any of our branch locations to settle your library account.
You can apply for a library card online or in person at any library branch. You will need to present appropriate identification as listed on the library card application.
The library notifies patrons of available holds by phone or email. Set your notification preferences by logging in to your account and selecting the Messaging tab or by contacting a librarian. Need to update your account phone number or email? After logging in to your account select the My Details tab or contact a librarian.
  • Go to the library catalog.
  • Use the search feature to find the item(s) you wish to place on hold.
  • From the search results page, or, from an item's detail page, select Place Hold.
  • Next, enter your library user ID and your PIN. (Your user ID is the full library card number without spaces and your PIN should be the last four digits of the account phone number.)
  • Choose your Pickup Location from the dropdown menu and choose Place Hold.
  • When you enter the above information, click the "Place Hold" link.
  • Accelerated Reader™ (AR) is a reading program used by Washoe County School District (WCSD) to monitor and assess the reading skills of students. Other schools in Washoe County, including private schools, may use the Scholastic Reading Counts! (SRC) or other programs.
    Each WCSD school either produces a list of available AR titles, or subscribes to a service allowing students to take a test for any AR title. Some schools’ lists can run 100 pages or more. Students at schools participating in Scholastic’s SRC program will be able to take tests for all titles available through that service.
    Washoe County Library System does not provide or maintain AR or SRC lists, but we do have many of the books available for checkout. Please contact your child’s school directly for a copy of that school’s list.
    Washoe County Library welcomes donations of books and audiovisual materials. Donated items are considered for addition to the Library’s collection in accordance with the Collection Development Policy. Items not added to the collection may be sold to raise funds for new library materials, either through branch booksales or the Friends of Washoe County Library. We appreciate your donations – they help strengthen our libraries!
    The Library will generally accept the following items:
    • Hardback and paperback books in good condition (clean, without markings, with covers and pages intact, etc.)
    • Audiovisual items (e.g. CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, software) in excellent and usable condition
    • Recent volumes of popular magazines
    The following items are generally not needed by the Library, as they may have limited use and we may already receive more donations than we can use, sell, or give away. These types of materials may be accepted by WCSD's Education Alliance, The Salvation Army, Savers, and other similar organizations:
    • Encyclopedias more than five years old
    • College textbooks more than five years old
    • Reader's Digest condensed books
    • National Geographic magazines
    Donations of up to two (2) boxes will be accepted at library branches during normal operating hours (branch hours & locations). The Library is not able to pick up donations. Library staff will accept your donation and can provide a donation acknowledgement letter. We do not place a cash value on the donation but will acknowledge the quantity donated for tax purposes. If you have more than two boxes of donations, please consider donating directly to the Friends of Washoe County Library, whose book sales generate much-needed revenue for new library materials and services.
    Yes, you can. Just use this form. Please Note: We may or may not actually purchase the book or other item that you request. We will evaluate your request in accordance with our Collection Development Policy and our budget. If we do purchase the item, it could be several weeks or longer before it is available. We will automatically put it on hold for you, so you will be notified when the item is available. If you have an urgent need for the item, please consider submitting an Interlibrary Loan request. If you would like to purchase the book yourself, then donate it to the library, please refer to our procedures for donating books and other library materials.
    • From the library's online catalog, choose Advanced search.
    • Select the checkboxes for DVD Video and DVD Special Collections item types.
    • Click Search.
    To view the newest DVDs in the collection change the sorting dropdown menu from "Relevance" to "Acquisition Date: Newest to oldest."
    To search for movies, enter "feature films" in the subject field and also check DVD Video and DVD Special Collections item types.
    The following Libraries offer public FAX service to local and toll free numbers only.
    • Downtown Reno
    • Duncan Traner
    • Incline Village
    • North Valleys
    • Northwest Reno
    • Senior Center
    • Sierra View
    • South Valleys
    • Spanish Springs
    • Sparks
    The following Libraries offer document scanning for patrons.
    • Downtown Reno
    • Incline Village
    • North Valleys
    • Northwest Reno
    • Senior Center
    • Sierra View
    • South Valleys
    • Spanish Springs
    • Sparks
    Nevada birth and death certificates are available to qualified applicants from the State of Nevada’s Office of Vital Statistics. Please visit their page for information on how to request them.
    For birth and death records in Washoe County, contact the District Health Department.
    The Downtown Reno Library has microfiche records listing all divorces and marriages reported to the Nevada State Division of Health, beginning with 1968. The records are complete through August 2005.
    To request a search of these records, call 775-327-8312 or send e-mail to informationservices@washoecounty.us. Be sure to include your name, contact information, plus the name(s) you want searched and (if known) the location and date of marriage.
    For information on marriage certificates (aka Proof of Marriage), visit the Washoe County Recorder's website or calling (775) 328-3660. You can also search a limited range of marriage records on their website.
    To search or order Clark County (Las Vegas) marriage records, please visit the Clark County Recorder’s website.
    For information on obtaining a certified copy of Decree of Divorce granted in Washoe County, please visit the Washoe County Courts website.
    Our library does not have marriage certificates, but you can request a copy for $10.00 from:

    Washoe County Recorder 1001 E. 9th Street P.O. Box 11130 Reno, Nevada 89520-0027 (775) 328-3660 www.washoecounty.us/recorder/copyofmarriagecertificate.html

    To order a Clark County (Las Vegas) marriage certificate, click here.
    The Reno Family History Center is a branch of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The Center provides access to most of the microfilms and microfiche in the Family History Library to help patrons identify their ancestors as well as subscription databases, print materials, and trained volunteers to assist in your research.


    The Downtown Reno branch holds limited resources that may be useful for genealogy research. These include local city directories and telephone books, clipping files, and a complete collection of Reno newspapers on microfilm. Please contact us for guidance on your specific need.
    The Downtown Reno Library has current and back issues of the telephone books and city directories for this area. To request a search of these, call 775-327-8312 or send e-mail to informationservices@washoecounty.us. Be sure to include your name, phone number, and fax number or mailing address, and give us as much information as you can (names, dates, any part of the address you know, etc.)
    There are several options for locating obituaries, depending on when they would have appeared.


    Newspaper Archive contains full pages of both Reno Evening Gazette and Nevada State Journal for most years from the 1870s through 1977. This database is available only within the Downtown Reno and Sparks branch libraries. This database also includes many other historical newspapers from around the U.S. and the world.


    There is also an index to Reno newspaper obituaries integrated into our online catalog. This index covers the period from mid-1962 through September 2007. To search for obituary citations in that index, go to Advanced search and enter the name of the deceased into the keyword field. Next, select Subject from the next field's dropdown menu and enter obituaries in the text field. Please note, you are only viewing an index to help locate the obituary and will not be able to view the obituary itself. Once you have the information, you can contact us for assistance retrieving the actual obituary. Also please note, the index does not include obituaries from the Sparks Tribune.


    For obituaries appearing from 1999 to present, full-text is available online, with your Washoe County Library card, in the Proquest database for the Reno Gazette Journal.You can usually find it by simply typing the name of the deceased into the search box. If the name is very common, you may want to limit by date if you know approximately when the obituary would have appeared in the newspaper, to avoid getting a lot of incorrect results.
    Outside of the library's resources, you can find very recent obituaries through the Reno Gazette-Journal website at RGJ.com by clicking on "Obits" (this is provided through Legacy.com, a national obituary listing website).


    Finally, if none of the options above are successful for you, the Downtown Reno library holds a complete collection of Reno newspapers on microfilm. The Sparks branch also holds a significant span of Reno newspapers and 1977-2007 of the Sparks Tribune on microfilm. These can be used in person any time during normal hours of operation. If you require assistance using any of these resources or need us to retrieve an obituary, please contact us.
    The library offers free basic classes that can help you to learn to use a computer, email, and the Internet. Find class schedule and more information here or call Downtown Reno Reference at 775-327-8312.
    The library does not offer a notary public. Free notary service is available at the City of Reno Clerk’s office at City Hall, 1 East First Street. Additionally, your bank may provide free notary service to account holders – contact your bank for more information. Many shipping and copying businesses also offer access to a notary public for a fee.
    Information on obtaining a marriage license and answers to questions about getting married in Reno may be found online at the office of the Washoe County Clerk.
    We are prohibited by law from giving legal advice or interpretations. The Washoe County Law Library is available to the public as a resource for legal research. You may want to consult the Nevada Revised Statutes, Washoe County Code, or the municipal code of Reno or Sparks.
    Washoe County Library System does not include local high school yearbooks in our collection, either in physical or electronic form. The library or alumni association for your high school may have copies of yearbooks.
    Some subscription-based websites, including classmates.com and e-yearbook.com, may provide electronic access to yearbooks from some local schools, but coverage may be limited and access requires a paid subscription.
    Contact information for local public high schools may be found at www.washoecountyschools.org.

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