Washington County Library is often asked to consider adding items to our collection that are independently written and/or published. This can include materials that are self-published or published through micro-niche publishers. There are now more nontraditional titles published than from traditional publishers. The librarians at Washington County Library have no efficient way to evaluate all of these titles to make informed decisions on selection. The best way to bring a title to our attention is through reviews. A positive review in one or more of the library review journals, such as Library Journal, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, or a local Twin Cities newspaper will give your book an improved chance for purchase by Washington County Library (and other public libraries as well). Review sources that specialize in self-published and small press materials include the following:
The next best method is a fact sheet mailed to the Collection Development Department. Librarians generally have only a few seconds to look over a fact sheet, so it is to your advantage to emphasize the essentials. You should include:
If your items is added to the collection, be prepared to accept purchase orders, and to wait several weeks for payment. As a public library that focuses on items in popular demand, we select materials whose content is aimed at the general reader/listener rather than for the specialist or practitioner. Also, due to the constant and sometimes careless use by the public, the Library purchases materials that are sturdily packaged. If you send a sample copy to the library, it will not be returned in the event the title is not purchased. We will treat your item as a donation. Washington County Library reserves the right to dispose of unsolicited materials in any manner it deems appropriate. If your book is available as an eBook, please contact our vendors for inclusion in their catalogs.
Drop in visits to market your book are not encouraged. Due to their busy schedules, it is possible a librarian might not be available to meet with you. If you would like Washington County Library to consider your materials, please send the fact sheet with the professional reviews attached to:
Attention: Collection Development DepartmentWashington County Library8595 Central Park PlaceWoodbury, MN 55125
If you are interested in presenting a program in relation to your book, please see our Author or Book Talk page.
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You can search all library materials in our catalog. You can access the catalog directly or use the “Search Catalog” bar at the top right corner of any page of our website. You can search for materials by title, author, subject, or general keyword.
Visit our Locations and Hours page to see a complete listing of Washington County Library branches and Library Express locations.
Anyone who lives in or pays property taxes in Washington County is eligible for a free library card. If you have a library card issued by a regional library system in Minnesota, you may register and enjoy borrowing privileges in Washington County. We also offer special library cards for students, educators, and organizations.
You can apply for a library card online or by visiting a Washington County Library branch and showing proof of address. Learn more about getting a library card.
Yes, Washington County Library participates in the Safe at Home address confidentiality program. Any adult applying for a library card who is in possession of an official Safe at Home program card will be registered using the program address.
With a valid library card you can check out materials in person at any Washington County Library branch or online through our mobile apps. For more information about renewals and returns, visit our Borrowing and Fees page.
If the title is not in the library catalog, you can request it from another Minnesota library using MNLINK. MNLINK searches titles in libraries throughout Minnesota. Magazines, video games, and book club kits are not available from other libraries. If you cannot find an item through MNLINK, ask a librarian for assistance.
You can check out ebooks, audiobooks, and digital magazines from public libraries throughout the Twin Cities using Libby by OverDrive. Learn how to get started using Libby here. If you have any questions or need help using Libby, contact the staff at any of our library branches.
Our Magazines and Newspapers page has links to many magazine and newspaper databases. To search for specific magazines, journals, or newspaper articles, use ProQuest or EBSCO MegaFILE databases.
You can also see a full list of magazines at your local library branch, or check out current issues of over 3,000 digital magazines using the Libby app.
All upcoming events and classes are listed in our online calendar. You can view all events or filter the calendar by category, audience, location, and more. You can also select a specific library location from our Locations and Hours page to see upcoming events for that branch.
You can pay library fees online with a credit card by logging into your account. You can also pay in person with cash or check at any of our library branches.
There are several reasons your library account may be blocked. For example, you may have unpaid fees, you may have reached borrowing limits on your account, or we may need to verify your address. To discuss specific account issues, contact your local branch or email AskALibrarian@washcolib.libanswers.com.
Library accounts have an expiration date between one and three years, depending on the account type. This provides an opportunity to update contact information including home address, phone number, and email address. To unblock your account, visit, call, or email Washington County Library and provide your current contact information. Library staff will update your account and unblock your library card so you will have full access to library services. Call 651-731-1320 or email AskALibrarian@washcolib.libanswers.com with questions.
To change your library PIN, log in to My Account and select “Change PIN” under the Personal Information tab. Your default PIN number is the last four digits of your phone number. You can change your PIN to any four-digit number.
To update other personal information like your name, phone number, or email address, please speak to a library staff member. If you need to update your address, please bring proof of residency to any library service desk.
Your laptop, tablet, or smartphone should be able to connect to the library's free wireless network. For most devices, simply open your web browser and attempt to navigate to any web page. You should be redirected to the Internet Use Policy. Please read the guidelines and click “Accept” at the bottom to connect to our wireless network. For some devices, you may need to connect through a settings or network connections menu. For troubleshooting, ask any library staff member for assistance.
To use a library computer, you will need to log in using your library card number and PIN. Guest passes are available for those who do not have a Washington County library card or do not have their card with them. To ensure fair use of the library's computers, a daily time limit may be enabled. However, your time can be extended when possible.
Laptops are also available for use inside the library. Speak to any staff member to request one during your visit.
Yes, our libraries have public printer/copiers available to use for a fee per page. Payment is accepted in the form of cash or coins only. You can send documents to the library's printers and pick them up when you're ready. Items can be sent from your own computer or mobile device at home, in the library, or on the go.
You can reserve a library meeting room online or by calling your local branch. Please review our meeting room guidelines before making a reservation.
We offer home delivery via U.S. Mail for individuals who are physically unable to visit the library due to illness, disability, or visual impairment. Visit our Home Delivery page for more information about how to apply for this service.
Yes, unsupervised student exam service is available at most branches. The library does not proctor exams by observing students during the test. Please see our Exam Services page for details.
Please see our page on Tax Forms for the most up-to-date tax information available through the library. We can print or photocopy tax forms for a small fee. You may also download and print tax forms from the IRS and Minnesota Department of Revenue.
Please see our Suggest a Title form to recommend books, DVDs, video games, CDs, and other materials for the library's collection. Simply fill out the form and submit.
Each form is reviewed by staff in our collection development department. If we purchase the title you’ve suggested and you’ve provided your library card number, we will add you to the holds list for when the title arrives.
Please contact your local Washington County Library branch directly before bringing in books for donation. Learn more about what materials we accept and how they are used on our Donations and Book Sales page.
If you would like to offer an event at the library, please choose one of the following links according to the type of event and fill out any required forms.
Please see our Volunteering page for details. Links to our volunteering form (which can be filled out online or in person) are at the bottom of the page. You will be contacted about available volunteer opportunities that suit your skills and schedule.
Yes, we have microfilm/microfiche access at two locations: R.H. Stafford Library in Woodbury and the Law Library at the Washington County Government Center in Stillwater.
The microfilm machine at R.H. Stafford Library is available any time the library is open – no appointment is required. Since it is used infrequently, it can take some time to initially set up.
R.H. Stafford Library has the following microfiche/film on site and available for use:
You can also request microfilm through interlibrary loan from sources like the Minnesota Historical Society to view on the library’s microfilm machine.
The Washington County Law Library has a microfiche available for public use. Appointments are recommended so the machine can be set up in advance.
The Law Library has the following microfiche/film on site and available for use: