WASHOE COUNTY IS RESPONDING TO COVID-19
Washoe County Libraries are offering limited hold pickup service, and are otherwise closed to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

 

Washoe County Library logo

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between drive-up and grab-and-go services?

    For drive-up service, you will retrieve your held items from the library's drive-up window, while remaining in your vehicle. For grab-and-go, you will physically enter the library to retrieve your items, immediately check them out at a self-service kiosk, then exit the library. No other services will be provided while you are inside the library and browsing will not be permitted at this time.

  • Can I return my books during grab-and-go?

    All returns are quarantined for seven days, and we cannot personally accept them during grab-and-go service. However, book drops are open 24-hour-a-day at all branches offering grab-and-go service, so you can drop your items in the book return before you pick up your holds. If an item is rejected by our automated materials handler, a cart will be available on which you can place your return.

    Read-and-share and donations are not accepted in book returns at this time.

  • What happens if the item I want is at a branch that is not open?

    Staff are pulling holds at most locations. At this time, you should only specify pickup at open locations, though you may place holds on any items in the library’s collection.

  • Do I need to bring my library card?

    If you have your library card, please bring it to minimize contact. If you are using an instant digital library card number, a printed barcode will be provided for you when picking up your books.

  • Do I need to wear a mask?

    Staff and visitors to Washoe County facilities are required to wear a face covering. If you do not have a mask, a reusable cloth face covering will be provided.

  • Are temperature checks required?

    All visitor inside the library will be checked for high temperatures. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be able to visit the library at this time.

  • Why are items quarantined for seven days?
    The safety of our patrons and staff are of the utmost importance to us. Based on industry studies, we have that a seven-day quarantine period will help us to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We realize this policy will result in longer wait times for materials, and we apologize for any inconvenience.
  • How will the item quarantine period affect my holds?
    This precaution can lead to delays in hold availability for items at the South Valleys Library and the Sparks Library. If you have an item to pick up from one of those branches, pay special attention to the instructions in your hold confirmation email. You can also call the branch during their open hours to verify that the items have been released from quarantine. The seven-day quarantine period can also lengthen the time in transit if an item is moving from one branch to another. Please expect a minimum of seven days for an item to be in transit.
  • I returned an item, so why does my online account still show that I have it checked out?

    In most cases, items will not be checked in until after the seven-day item quarantine period ends, so you may see items you've returned still displaying as checked out. If more than a week has passed, and your account still shows the item checked out, contact us.

  • Why are only certain libraries open?

    All libraries are offering grab-and-go or drive-up pick up of holds with the exception of partnership libraries.

  • When will partnership libraries open?

    The Duncan/Traner, Verdi, and Senior Center libraries are not in Washoe County Library facilities, and the library will coordinate services at those branches with other agencies.

  • Are other services like computers available?

    At this time, only hold pickup is available.

  • Are restrooms/drinking fountains available?

    At this time, the library is unable to offer access to public restrooms or hydration stations.

  • Does the library offer 3D printing?

    Our 3D printing services are suspended until the libraries fully reopen.

  • Can I fax or scan at the library?

    Currently, faxing, scanning and photocopying are suspended until we reopen.

  • Does the library offer free wireless internet access?

    Free wireless internet access is available at the Downtown Reno, Incline Village, North Valleys, Northwest Reno, Senior Center, Sierra View, South Valleys, Spanish Springs, and Sparks Libraries. Wi-Fi is on 24/7 at the above library locations. Generally, wifi can be accessed outside from parking lots, or areas close to the building. There is no password needed. Just look for wc-public or public-wc.

  • Does the library have a copy of my high school yearbook, or is it available online?

    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.washoeschools.net.

  • Can I keep my books longer? What happens if my books are late?

    Currently late fees are suspended, so you will not be fined for returning library materials after their due dates. However, we ask that you return your items when you are able. For your convenience, our book drops are continuously open between Monday at 9 am and Friday at 6 pm, so you can drop off your items anytime, day or night.

  • How can I find local obituaries?

    There are several sources to locate a local obituary, depending on when it was printed.

    Newspaper Archive contains full pages of both the Reno Evening Gazette and Nevada State Journal for most years from the 1870's through 1977. This database is available only at the Downtown Reno and Sparks Libraries. This database includes other historical newspapers from around the US and the world.

    The library's online catalog includes an index to Reno newspaper obituaries printed from mid-1962 through September 2007. To find an obituary citation in that index, search the deceased's name as a subject using the advanced search interface. This is an index to help locate an obituary and you will not be able to view the obituary itself in the catalog. When you have a date and page number, you can find the obituary using microfilm, or contact us for assistance. Please note, the index does not include obituaries from the Sparks Tribune.

    Obituaries appearing from 1999 to present are available in full-text with your Washoe County Library card in the Proquest Reno Gazette-Journal database. 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 too many irrelevant results.

    Very recent obituaries are available online through the Reno Gazette-Journal by clicking on "Obituaries" (provided through Legacy.com, a national obituary listing website).

    If none of the options above work for you, the Downtown Reno Library holds a complete collection of Reno newspapers on microfilm. The Sparks Library also holds a significant span of Reno newspapers as well as the Sparks Tribune (1977-2007) 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 help retrieving an obituary, please contact us.

  • What can I do if I lose an item?

    Please contact your local library when we reopen.

  • Where can I get something notarized?

    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.

  • Can I pay my late fees online?

    Payments for overdue fines and replacement costs for lost or damaged books may be made online using a credit or debit card. To make a payment, log in to your account. Click the Fines tab on the left of the page. Select the box (or boxes) next to the fine(s) you wish to pay, then click the Make Payment button. You will then be directed to the payment page. For more detailed instructions on online payments, visit the help page.

  • What is the PIN for my library account?

    Your PIN is usually the last 4 digits of your phone number. If you have an email address on file, reset your PIN here. If your email address is not on file, please call our telephone reference line for more assistance at 775-327-8327 Conference ID 438 896 636#

  • How can I start borrowing from the library?

    All you need to get a Washoe County Library card is proof of Nevada residency and a photo ID. There is no charge. Get a card here.

    You will need your library card or photo ID to check out. You will be given a receipt showing the due date for each item borrowed.

    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.

    The loan period for most books, magazines, and audiobooks is three weeks. Books from the "Lucky Day" collection and items borrowed from other libraries check out for two weeks. Most DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, and music CDs is one week.

  • How do I activate my child's new account created when we registered for school?

    Visit this page for current information about obtaining a library account.

  • What is the law on ... ?

    Library staff are prohibited by law from giving any 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 codes of Reno and Sparks.

    Many books about legal topics are available in the library's print and electronic collections, including popular legal titles from Nolo Press.

About the Library

  • What is the difference between drive-up and grab-and-go services?

    For drive-up service, you will retrieve your held items from the library's drive-up window, while remaining in your vehicle. For grab-and-go, you will physically enter the library to retrieve your items, immediately check them out at a self-service kiosk, then exit the library. No other services will be provided while you are inside the library and browsing will not be permitted at this time.

  • Can I return my books during grab-and-go?

    All returns are quarantined for seven days, and we cannot personally accept them during grab-and-go service. However, book drops are open 24-hour-a-day at all branches offering grab-and-go service, so you can drop your items in the book return before you pick up your holds. If an item is rejected by our automated materials handler, a cart will be available on which you can place your return.

    Read-and-share and donations are not accepted in book returns at this time.

  • What happens if the item I want is at a branch that is not open?

    Staff are pulling holds at most locations. At this time, you should only specify pickup at open locations, though you may place holds on any items in the library’s collection.

  • Do I need to bring my library card?

    If you have your library card, please bring it to minimize contact. If you are using an instant digital library card number, a printed barcode will be provided for you when picking up your books.

  • Do I need to wear a mask?

    Staff and visitors to Washoe County facilities are required to wear a face covering. If you do not have a mask, a reusable cloth face covering will be provided.

  • Are temperature checks required?

    All visitor inside the library will be checked for high temperatures. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be able to visit the library at this time.

  • Why are items quarantined for seven days?
    The safety of our patrons and staff are of the utmost importance to us. Based on industry studies, we have that a seven-day quarantine period will help us to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We realize this policy will result in longer wait times for materials, and we apologize for any inconvenience.
  • How will the item quarantine period affect my holds?
    This precaution can lead to delays in hold availability for items at the South Valleys Library and the Sparks Library. If you have an item to pick up from one of those branches, pay special attention to the instructions in your hold confirmation email. You can also call the branch during their open hours to verify that the items have been released from quarantine. The seven-day quarantine period can also lengthen the time in transit if an item is moving from one branch to another. Please expect a minimum of seven days for an item to be in transit.
  • I returned an item, so why does my online account still show that I have it checked out?

    In most cases, items will not be checked in until after the seven-day item quarantine period ends, so you may see items you've returned still displaying as checked out. If more than a week has passed, and your account still shows the item checked out, contact us.

  • Why are only certain libraries open?

    All libraries are offering grab-and-go or drive-up pick up of holds with the exception of partnership libraries.

  • When will partnership libraries open?

    The Duncan/Traner, Verdi, and Senior Center libraries are not in Washoe County Library facilities, and the library will coordinate services at those branches with other agencies.

  • Are other services like computers available?

    At this time, only hold pickup is available.

  • Are restrooms/drinking fountains available?

    At this time, the library is unable to offer access to public restrooms or hydration stations.

  • Can I call to have an item pulled for me to pick up?

    At this time, you must place a hold on an item and wait until you are notified to pick up your hold. You may search the catalog and place holds yourself in the library’s online catalog. Please contact us if you need assistance.

  • Does the library have Accelerated Readerâ„¢ or other reading lists for schools in Washoe County?

    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 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Reading Counts!™ or other programs.

    Washoe County Library System does not provide or maintain AR or Reading Counts! 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.

    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 the Reading Counts! program will be able to take tests for all titles available through that service.

    Washoe County School District | Accelerated Reader™ Book Finder |Reading Counts! Book Expert

  • Does the library offer 3D printing?

    Our 3D printing services are suspended until the libraries fully reopen.

  • Does the library offer computer classes?

    Until the library fully reopens, our computer classes are suspended. However, you can access self-guided learning resources here.

  • Can I fax or scan at the library?

    Currently, faxing, scanning and photocopying are suspended until we reopen.

  • Does the library offer free wireless internet access?

    Free wireless internet access is available at the Downtown Reno, Incline Village, North Valleys, Northwest Reno, Senior Center, Sierra View, South Valleys, Spanish Springs, and Sparks Libraries. Wi-Fi is on 24/7 at the above library locations. Generally, wifi can be accessed outside from parking lots, or areas close to the building. There is no password needed. Just look for wc-public or public-wc.

  • How do I donate books or other items to the library?

    Currently the library is not accepting donations or read and return items. Friends of Washoe County Library are also not accepting donations.

  • How do I get email notification of my holds at the library?

    You may choose to be notified of available holds by phone or email. Set your notification preferences by logging in to your account and selecting the Your Messaging tab.

  • Does the library have a copy of my high school yearbook, or is it available online?

    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.washoeschools.net.

  • Can I see a list of all the DVDs/CDs/books the library owns?

    Unfortunately, those types of lists are too long to print, but you can use the online catalog to generate an extensive list that can be narrowed down by criteria of your choosing.

    Start at the advanced search page in the library's online catalog. Select one or more item types and click Search.

    To view the newest items first, select "Acquisition Date: Newest to oldest" from the sorting menu. To get a list of movies, use the subject search for "Feature Films."

  • Can I keep my books longer? What happens if my books are late?

    Currently late fees are suspended, so you will not be fined for returning library materials after their due dates. However, we ask that you return your items when you are able. For your convenience, our book drops are continuously open between Monday at 9 am and Friday at 6 pm, so you can drop off your items anytime, day or night.

  • What can I do if I lose an item?

    Please contact your local library when we reopen.

  • Where can I get something notarized?

    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.

  • Can I pay my late fees online?

    Payments for overdue fines and replacement costs for lost or damaged books may be made online using a credit or debit card. To make a payment, log in to your account. Click the Fines tab on the left of the page. Select the box (or boxes) next to the fine(s) you wish to pay, then click the Make Payment button. You will then be directed to the payment page. For more detailed instructions on online payments, visit the help page.

  • What is the PIN for my library account?

    Your PIN is usually the last 4 digits of your phone number. If you have an email address on file, reset your PIN here. If your email address is not on file, please call our telephone reference line for more assistance at 775-327-8327 Conference ID 438 896 636#

  • How do I reserve library materials? Is there a waiting list for popular items?

    When searching the library catalog, just click the "place hold" link in search results or when viewing an item's details. The next available copy will be sent your specified location and you will be notified when your item is available. You will need your library card number and PIN to place a hold.

    After you are notified your item is available for pick up, you may retrieve it during our grab-and-go or drive-up hours. Learn more about pick up, including times and locations here.

  • How can I start borrowing from the library?

    All you need to get a Washoe County Library card is proof of Nevada residency and a photo ID. There is no charge. Get a card here.

    You will need your library card or photo ID to check out. You will be given a receipt showing the due date for each item borrowed.

    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.

    The loan period for most books, magazines, and audiobooks is three weeks. Books from the "Lucky Day" collection and items borrowed from other libraries check out for two weeks. Most DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, and music CDs is one week.

  • How do I activate my child's new account created when we registered for school?

    Visit this page for current information about obtaining a library account.

  • What is the law on ... ?

    Library staff are prohibited by law from giving any 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 codes of Reno and Sparks.

    Many books about legal topics are available in the library's print and electronic collections, including popular legal titles from Nolo Press.

Genealogy

  • How can I arrange a search of Reno telephone books or city directories?

    This service is suspended. Until we reopen, use Ask a Librarian.

  • Where can I find genealogy information in the Reno/Sparks area?

    The Downtown Reno Library 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 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. Also available are subscription databases, print materials, and trained volunteers to assist in your research.

  • How can I find local obituaries?

    There are several sources to locate a local obituary, depending on when it was printed.

    Newspaper Archive contains full pages of both the Reno Evening Gazette and Nevada State Journal for most years from the 1870's through 1977. This database is available only at the Downtown Reno and Sparks Libraries. This database includes other historical newspapers from around the US and the world.

    The library's online catalog includes an index to Reno newspaper obituaries printed from mid-1962 through September 2007. To find an obituary citation in that index, search the deceased's name as a subject using the advanced search interface. This is an index to help locate an obituary and you will not be able to view the obituary itself in the catalog. When you have a date and page number, you can find the obituary using microfilm, or contact us for assistance. Please note, the index does not include obituaries from the Sparks Tribune.

    Obituaries appearing from 1999 to present are available in full-text with your Washoe County Library card in the Proquest Reno Gazette-Journal database. 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 too many irrelevant results.

    Very recent obituaries are available online through the Reno Gazette-Journal by clicking on "Obituaries" (provided through Legacy.com, a national obituary listing website).

    If none of the options above work for you, the Downtown Reno Library holds a complete collection of Reno newspapers on microfilm. The Sparks Library also holds a significant span of Reno newspapers as well as the Sparks Tribune (1977-2007) 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 help retrieving an obituary, please contact us.

  • How can I find information about Nevada birth/marriage/death records?

    The Downtown Reno Library has microfiche records listing all divorces and marriages reported to the Nevada State Division of Health, beginning in 1968. The records are complete through August, 2005.

    To request a search of these records, call 775-327-8312 or send us a message. Be sure to include your name and preferred contact information, plus the name(s) you want searched and if known, the date and location of marriage.

    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 more information. For birth and death records in Washoe County, contact the Washoe County Health District.

    For information on marriage certificates (aka Proof of Marriage), contact the Washoe County Recorder's Office. You can also search a limited range of marriage records on their website.

    For information on obtaining a certified copy of a Decree of Divorce granted in Washoe County, please visit the Washoe County Courts website.

    To search or order Clark County (Las Vegas) marriage records, please visit the Clark County Recorder's website.

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