Borrowing and Fees

Loan Periods

MaterialsLoan Period
Books, audiobooks, and CDs3 weeks
Magazines, DVDs, and video games 1 week
eBooks and eAudiobooks3 weeks
Digital magazines7, 14, or 21 days
Law Library materials1 or 2 weeks

Request First Available Copy

Request titles from any library for pickup at your preferred library or Library Express using the online catalog or Ask a Librarian. Popular titles may have waiting lists. 

Renew Materials 

Items without a waiting list will be automatically renewed four days before their due dates. Most items can be renewed up to three times. Items on waiting lists and interlibrary loans cannot be renewed or have loan periods extended. Renew materials by phone, in person, or online

Return Materials 

Book returns are open 24/7 at all Washington County Library branches and Library Express locations. Materials may also be returned to any public library in the Twin Cities metro area. Items returned at other metro libraries remain on your account until they arrive back to Washington County Library.


To share library resources in a fair and timely manner, there are limits for any library account at one time. Borrowing privileges are suspended when limits are exceeded.

eBooks or eAudiobooks checked out
eBook or eAudiobook requests
15 items
Video games checked out5 items
Washington County Library requests20 items
MNLINK (interlibrary loan) requests10 items
Overdue items25 items
Total borrowed items100 items

Educator and Organization library cards have higher borrowing limits. Users with those cards can borrow up to 150 items and place a total of 50 holds for materials. Learn more about special library cards.


We send courtesy email or mail notices for:

  • Materials that have been automatically renewed (email)
  • Materials nearing due date (email)
  • Overdue and lost materials (email and mail)

Fees for Lost or Damaged Items

We do not charge daily fines for overdue materials, but we do charge a replacement fee for lost or damaged items. We cannot accept purchased books or other items as replacements for lost or damaged materials.

  • Damaged Items – We charge a replacement fee for damaged items. The replacement cost for various items is set annually in the Washington County Fee Schedule.
  • Lost or Not Returned Items – Items that check out for three weeks are considered lost when they are six weeks overdue. Items that check out for one week are considered lost when they are three weeks overdue. A final billing notice for the replacement cost of materials is sent when items are considered lost. If you pay for an item, and later find the item, the payment will not be refunded.
  • Charges Sent to Collections – Charges of more than $50 are sent to Washington County for debt collection 30 days after the final notice is sent. There is an additional $15 fee for any account sent to Washington County for debt collection.

If you have unpaid fees on your library account, borrowing privileges are suspended until the fees have been resolved.

How to Pay Fees

You can pay fees online with a credit or debit card or in person with cash or a check at a Washington County Library location.