What is your service area?

NCW Libraries provides library services to contracting municipalities and annexed communities in five counties: Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Grant, and Okanogan.

Fun fact: We are the largest library system in Washington State, geographically speaking!

How many libraries do you have?

We have 30 public libraries, a Mail Order Library, a Bookmobile, and a Book Club Library. View our full list of locations to find the library that's nearest to you!

Who can use NCW libraries?

Everyone is welcome to visit and use our library buildings! However, you must have a library card to access the full range of services available. Read more about the benefits of having a library card on our My Card page.

Everyone who lives or owns property in our service area can get a library card. We also offer reciprocal and fee cards.

How old does my child need to be to get a library card?

Children of all ages are eligible to get a library card! You are your child's first and best teacher, and we want to help you share your enthusiasm and love of reading with your child whether they're a week old or in their early teens.

What do I need to get a library card?

Getting a library card is quick and easy! 

If you are over the age of 18 and live in our service area, please bring valid photo identification and proof of address to your local library. If you are 17 or younger, you do not need photo ID or proof of address to apply.

Still have questions? More information is available on our My Card page.

Where can I use my NCW libraries card?

Your library card will work at all of our libraries, and gives you 24/7 access to our online resources!

We also have reciprocal use agreements with several library systems across Washington State that allow you to use libraries outside of our area when you travel. Look at this list of participating libraries before your next in-state trip!

Who may use my card?

If a person has possession of a library card, it is understood by our staff that the person has permission to use that card, unless it was previously reported lost or stolen. You may loan your card to a friend or family member if you wish. 

Remember that you are responsible for all materials that are checked out on your account, regardless of who checked them out, so be cautious!

How do I report my card lost or stolen?

Call any of our libraries to inform us that your card is missing or has been stolen. Your account will be frozen until you are able to come in and have a new card made.

What will it cost if I lose my card?

Replacement library cards are free, and you can get one at any of our libraries! When your new card is created, the old card will be deactivated.

How do I renew my account?

Call or visit your local library to renew your account. The librarian will ask if your contact information is still accurate and will update your account. This ensures we can continue to provide you with excellent service!

Why is my account expired?

Library card accounts expire every two years and educator library accounts expire every year so that we can get in touch with you to make sure your contact information is still accurate.

Call or visit your local library to renew your account. This ensures we can continue to provide you with excellent service!

What if my library card login doesn't work?

Contact your local library to see if there is a problem with your account. If there's not, the librarian can reset your password to help you gain access.

How many items may I borrow?

You may borrow up to 100 items at a time. There are no limits on how many of a specific type of item (like DVDs) you may borrow.

More information about your library card is available on our My Card page.

How long may I keep items I borrow?

Books: 28 days
Audiobooks, Magazines, and Music CDs: 14 days
DVDs: 7 days

Each item may be renewed up to two times, unless another borrower is waiting for it.

More information about item due dates is available on our My Card page.

How do I renew items online?

You do not need to contact your local library to check your due dates or renew items - although we love your calls!

Log in to your account. Due dates are listed on your account summary page. The due date for overdue materials will appear in red. To renew items, select the Renew button next to the item, or scroll to the bottom of the page and choose Renew All. Most items can be renewed up to two times, unless someone else is waiting for them.

Learn more on our Using the Online Catalog page.

How many times may I renew an item?

Most items may be renewed up to two times, as long as another borrower is not waiting for them. 

More information is available on our My Card page.

Is it okay if I return an item a few days late?

If you know you will be late returning an item, try to renew it online. You can also call your local library and let a librarian know - they will be happy to work with you to find a solution!

More information about checkout periods is available on our My Card page.

If I checked an item out at one library, may I return it somewhere else?

Yes, absolutely! You may return items at any of our libraries, regardless of where you checked them out.

Why can't I find the item I'm looking for online?

Our catalog search bar runs a basic keyword search. It does not have the mind reading abilities of Google or Amazon, but it is highly effective if you know how to work it. Read our best tips for searching and give it another try!

If you still can't find what you're looking for, please submit a purchase suggestion so that we can try to get the item for you.

How can I search for a specific type of item?

You can limit your results by item type (book, DVD, audiobook) on our advanced search page. When you're looking through your search results, be sure to check the item's material type to make sure you're ordering what you want.

Don't miss more of our best tips for searching!

Where can I find a complete list of all your DVDs?

NCW Libraries owns thousands of DVDs, and we're adding more constantly. You can search a complete list of DVDs by visiting the advanced search page in our catalog. Simply select DVD, Juvenile DVD, and Spanish DVD and click Search. To refine your results further, consider adding a date range to your search.

Don't miss more of our best tips for searching!

How can I find a list of the newest DVDs or Audiobooks?

Begin on our advanced search page. Leaving everything else blank, select the item type you want and limit the publication date range to the current year. 

Note: This search is the best way to gather the results you want, but it is imperfect! Items are re-published constantly, so your results will include both the latest blockbusters and re-released classics. More information about searching can be found on our Using the Online Catalog page.

I found an item in your online catalog, but where is it on the shelves?

When you find an item in the catalog, click on its title to be taken into the item's record. On this page, you can see the current location for each item, as well as the item's call number. If you're not sure where to begin looking, jot the call number down and take it to a librarian. They will help you locate the item, and may even give you a brief tour of the library if you're interested!

If you're curious: Librarians use codes (Dewey Decimal!) on the books and in the catalog to figure out where each item should be shelved. If the code has numbers in it, it's nonfiction. If it has only words, it is fiction or a biography. If it has a 'J' it is a children's item. 'E' stands for picture book, and DVDs say 'DVD.' Audiobooks say 'CD' and Music CDs say 'MUS.' In our libraries, we try to shelve all like items together, so that it's easier for you to find what you're looking for!

What if I can't find what I'm looking for?

Please let us know! You can tell a librarian or fill out a purchase suggestion form. This form can be found on the left-hand side of your account summary page each time you log in to our catalog. It is our goal to purchase items that people in our communities want us to have, and we appreciate these suggestions! The process generally takes four weeks or less, and there is no charge.

What happens if I return materials late?

We do not charge late fees for most overdue items,* but your account will be blocked and we will ask you to pay a replacement price if an item is lost (more than 70 days overdue). Once you have returned the item or paid the fine, a librarian can manually lift the restriction from your account.

Fines for lost or damaged material can be paid by cash or check at any of our libraries. More information is available on our My Card page.

*Depending on the policy of the lending library, items borrowed through Interlibrary Loan may have late fees.

How can I pay for lost or damaged items?

Fines for lost or damaged material may be paid at any of our libraries. Cash and checks are accepted. Unfortunately, we do not offer payment by credit or debit cards at this time.

What is a purchase suggestion?

A purchase suggestion is a form you fill out to let us know there is an item you want that we do not currently have. It is our goal to have items that people in our communities want, and your suggestions help make that happen! We will do our best to acquire any item you have suggested, and will let you know when we do. This is a free service.

What is an Interlibrary Loan?

Our Interlibrary Loan department borrows items for you from other library systems, rather than from one of our libraries. These library systems can be across the state or across the country. Generally speaking, we pursue Interlibrary Loan as a last resort, when we cannot acquire the item in any other way.

Do I need to pay for purchase suggestions or Interlibrary Loans?

No, both of these services are free for anyone with a library card. Learn how to make a purchase suggestion on our Using the Online Catalog page.

How long do purchase suggestions take?

Purchase suggestions generally take between 2-4 weeks. Need help making a purchase suggestion? Follow our step-by-step instructions.

How long do Interlibrary Loans take?

Interlibrary Loans generally take between 4-8 weeks. Still have questions? Learn more on our Interlibrary Loan page.

What is a hold and how does it work?

A hold is just library lingo for ordering an item. When you place a hold, the item you requested is put on a list. Our librarians print this list once a day, retrieve the items from their shelves, and put them in transit. The items are sent to our Distribution Center for sorting and are then routed to their final destinations. Once there, a librarian will scan the item in, which generates an automatic notice by phone or email that the item is ready for pick up.

More information about holds can be found on our Using the Online Catalog page.

How do I place a hold?

Log in to your account using your library card number and password (usually the last four digits of your phone number). Search for your item and click Place Hold underneath the item. On the next screen, confirm your pickup location, and then click Place Hold. You will be notified when your item is available for pickup!

Need more details? Read our step-by-step instructions.

What if an item I want is at another library or is checked out?

All of our libraries share materials with each other, giving you access to a vast collection of books, movies, music, and more. You can place a hold on items you want regardless of their current locations - we will happily send them to your chosen library.

If items you want are checked out, you should also place a hold. We will send a copy to you as soon as it becomes available. For details, read our step-by-step instructions for placing a hold.

How long do holds take?

Holds can take anywhere between a few days or a few weeks, although they generally take 1-2 weeks. Hold lengths can vary due to the popularity of an item, but we monitor this and strive to maintain no more than a 2-1 ratio of holds to copies. 

Another factor that can impact delivery time is that our items are spread between our 30 libraries. This gives each of our communities access to a greater selection of materials than any of them would have individually. But it does mean that holds sometimes take longer because they are being transferred from distant locations.

Need help placing a hold? Follow our step-by-step instructions.

Why doesn't the hold I placed show on my account?

You may be placing items in the cart rather than placing a hold. This happens to a lot of people when they first use our system! Please read our step-by-step instructions for placing holds.

If this still isn't working for you, please call your local library so the librarian can help!

Why hasn't my hold arrived?

There are several reasons that a hold might be delayed. Your local librarian will be happy to troubleshoot the problem with you.

How do I order an item to be mailed to my house?

We are happy to mail items directly to your home! Place a hold as you normally would, but select "Mail Order Library" as your pick-up location. Learn more on our Mail Order Library page.

How do I return items to mail order?

You can return items that were mailed to you at any of our libraries to save us postage!

To return items by mail:

  1. Place the provided return label on the outside of the bag, directly over the top of the mailing label.
  2. Place the item back in the mail bag and seal it.
  3. Put the bag in your mailbox or take it to the post office or any UPS store to be returned to the library.

What's available through mail order?

Books, audiobooks, music CDs, DVDs, and more! If it's available in our online catalog, it can be delivered to you.

Why do I see items on my account that I haven't received?

If you have ordered material through our Mail Order Library, you may notice that items are checked out to you before you receive them. This is because our Mail Order Library checks items out to your account the same day that they are mailed to you. Please allow up to two weeks to receive items from the date they were checked out.

If you did not order the material to be mailed to you, or you have not received the items after two weeks, please contact us.

How do you know what address to mail my items to?

When you order material through our Mail Order Library, we automatically mail items to the address we have on your account. Please make sure that the contact information we have on file for you is correct.

Why are items I returned by mail still checked out to me?

It can take up to two weeks for items to arrive by mail and be checked in by our Mail Order Library. We do not charge late fines, so there is no penalty for having items slightly overdue on your account. As soon as the items are checked in, the items are removed from your account. For questions or concerns, please contact us.

How do I get a copy of the printed mail order catalog?

The printed catalog is automatically distributed to all rural addresses. If you haven't received one, you can download it from our Mail Order Library page or pick up a copy at any of our libraries

Don't forget: The printed Mail Order catalog lists suggested items and popular materials - but you can order anything that is available in our online catalog!

Who can use the Mail Order Library?

Our Mail Order Library is available to anyone who has a library card and lives or owns property in Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Grant, or Okanogan counties.

Can I change the pickup location for a hold?

If the item is not already in transit, you can call your local library and ask them to change the pickup location to another library or have the item mailed to your house.

What is the online cart and how do I use it?

The online cart is used to store items from our catalog temporarily until you are ready to order them (place a hold). You can add items to the cart by clicking Add to Cart under each item. 

From the cart, you can view an item's details, add items to a list, and place items on hold. Read our guide to the cart for more detailed instructions.

Where is my cart?

Once you have begun searching our catalog, you will find the cart on the top left side of the page. More information can be found on our Using the Online Catalog page.

What do I do once I have items in my cart?

Once you have items in your cart, most people do one of two things. You can add the items to a list, so that they are stored permanently, or you can place them on hold and then check them out.

Remember, the cart is for temporary storage and will delete itself, so please don't leave items in there for too long!

How can I join a book club?

Many of our book clubs are closed groups of friends who just get their books from the library. There are, however, library-hosted book clubs in many of our branches that are open to everyone! Look for book club meetings at a library near you, or read more about starting your own book club on our Book Club Library page.

How do I request book club books?

If you are in a book club - or want to start one - contact Book Club Coordinator Anne Brangwin (abrangwin@ncrl.org). She will be happy to help you schedule books from our book club library for your club. Learn more about book clubs on our Book Club Library page.

If you are not in a book club and cannot find what you are looking for, please fill out a purchase suggestion form.

Can I print something out at the library?

Absolutely! All of our libraries offer black-and-white printers for public use. Printing must be done from library computers, there is no wireless printing at this time. 

The first 15 printed pages every day are free. Additional pages are 10 cents each. More information about the library's computers and wifi is available here.

Do you offer copy machines for public use?

Many of our libraries offer copy machines for public use. You can check availability on your library's location page under "facilities."

Do you offer scanning services?

We do not have scanners or scanning services at any of our libraries.

Do you offer faxing services?

We do not have faxing services in any of our libraries.

Does the library accept used materials as donations?

Due to the high cost of processing and the level of wear and tear library books encounter, NCW Libraries rarely accepts used items. The main exception is items about local history, particularly those that are rare or out of print.

However, many of our libraries have a Friends of the Library group that can sell your used books to generate support for library programs and services. Contact your local librarian for details.

How do I donate materials to the library?

If you have materials to donate to the library or to your local Friends of the Library group, please contact your local librarian. In most cases, you will simply drop items off in person. For large volumes of material, other arrangements may need to be made. 

Most donations are given to local Friends of the Library groups. The Friends sell these materials and use the proceeds to enhance their libraries and promote literacy in their communities.

Who are the Friends of the Library?

Most of our libraries have Friends of the Library groups. These are groups of private citizens who support and fundraise for their local libraries. The most common fundraisers are annual used-book sales. The Friends use their proceeds to enhance their local libraries and promote literacy in their communities.

Contact your local library for more information!

What is the difference between the Distribution Center and the Public Library in Wenatchee?

The Distribution Center houses our Administrative offices, Book Club Library, Bookmobile, Material Distribution, Mail Order Library, and Technical Processing departments. This building does not have items for people to browse through, so it is not a library in the traditional sense.

The Wenatchee Public Library, located just a couple of blocks away, is a traditional library. It houses the largest single collection of items in our system and is open to the public seven days a week.

What does the library do with old and surplus items?

We use the Public Surplus website to sell items approved for surplus. If you would you like furniture, equipment, vehicles, and miscellaneous items please find us on their website publicsurplus.com