FAQ/How Do I

How do I get a library card?

To check out books or other materials, a patron must have a card registered in the Scotch Plains Public Library system. Anyone who lives in or owns property in Scotch Plains is entitled to a free library card, which must be renewed every three years.  To apply for a card, visit the Library with proof of residence in Scotch Plains and a photo ID (such as a current drivers license, utility bill, or bank statement).

Once your Scotch Plains Library card is issued, please bring it with you each time you visit the library. This will allow you to check out materials, use our convenient self-checkout stations, and access public computers and printers. If you don’t have your card, we can look up your information with valid I.D. such as a driver’s license. If you don’t have your library card or valid I.D. you will not be able to check out materials.

Lost cards can be replaced in person at the circulation desk. There is a $1.00 replacement fee per card.

A non-resident who does not live in a reciprocal borrowing (MURAL) area and who works in Scotch Plains is entitled (with proof of employment) to a “Courtesy Card” at no charge for a period of one year, and this card may also be renewed as long as the cardholder maintains their employment in Scotch Plains.

A non-resident who wishes to purchase a one year membership at the Scotch Plains Public Library may do so. The fee is $90.00 per card.

Where can I use my library card?

Scotch Plains Public Library card holders are welcome to use their library cards at any Middlesex Union Reciprocal Associated Libraries.

Can I access my library account from home?

Yes! You will need your library card number (located underneath the barcode on your library card) and the 4 digit PIN that is created when you registered for your library card. Then visit the library catalog and click LOG IN at the top right corner. If you have forgotten your PIN you will need to stop by the library with your library card and photo id for the staff to re-set your PIN. The staff cannot reveal your PIN or card number over the phone or email.

How long are check-out periods, and are renewals allowed?
  • DVDs may be borrowed for 14 days, except for new DVDS which are 7-day loans.
  • Magazines and new books may be borrowed for 14 days.
  • Other materials will circulate for 28 days.
  • Most materials, with the exception of DVDs and magazines, will be automatically renewed for one 14-day period provided there are no HOLDS on the item(s).
  • Please see our Borrowing Info for further information.
How do I renew my materials?

Materials will be automatically renewed once, provided there are no holds. 

How do I place a ‘hold’ on an item?
  • You may place the hold yourself via the online library catalog, using your library barcode number and PIN. This can be done either at home or in the library.
  • You may also ask the staff to assist you in placing a hold while in the library. 
How much are fines?

The Library is mostly “fine free.”  For exceptions, please see Circulation Policies (under the “Fine per day” column).

Where can I return my materials?
  • Our new Smart Bin will automatically check in most Scotch Plains items as they are dropped into the bin from the outside bookdrop.
  • Please be sure that all DVD and CD cases are securely closed; any cases that cannot be closed, or other damaged items, should be brought inside and given directly to library staff.
  • Other items (such as tech devices and Health Literacy Kits) must be brought inside to return.
  • We ask that you continue to return Fanwood items to the Fanwood Memorial Library.
Does the Library accept book donations?

The Friends of the Library does accept book donations at certain times in preparation for a book sale, but at this time, the Friends are not accepting any donations. 

Does the Library provide internet access?

Yes, the library provides both public computers for in-house Internet access with access via library card and wireless Internet access via Wi-Fi. Please click here to read the library’s complete computer guidelines.

Does the Library have a meeting room?

At this time, we cannot provide meeting room services. 

If the library does not own an item that I would like to borrow, can the library get it for me?
I do not know how to use the library catalog, can a librarian help me?

Stop by the Adult Service Desk any time for assistance with using the online library catalog, call us at 908-322-5007, 204,  or submit your question with this form.  

I am having trouble accessing an online database or service from home….can I call for help?

You may call the Adult Service Desk for assistance with any of Scotch Plains Public Library’s databases. We are available for assistance during library hours. 908-322-5007 Ext. 204, or submit your question with this form.  

Do programs require advance registration? How do I register?

Due to limited space, many of our programs require advanced registration. If registration is required, it will be clearly stated in the program description. Simply follow the prompts to register.  You may need your Scotch Plains or Fanwood Library barcode number to register.

Does the Library offer Museum Passes?

Museum Passes are now available at the Fanwood Memorial Library.  Please see the Museum Pass page.

How do I check out the telescope?

The Library’s telescope can be checked out by a SPPL resident card holder who is 18 years of age or older AND in good standing. The cardholder must present current I.D. and proof of address (i.e., a driver’s license or current utility bill) and sign a new Lending Policy and Agreement each time the Telescope is borrowed. To view our entire telescope policy, please visit the Telescope Policy.

How do I request a book purchase?

You may use this form to request the purchase of a newly-published or forthcoming book.

How do I get a library card?
Where can I use my library card?
Can I access my account from home?
How long is the check out period and may I renew?
How do I renew my materials?
How do I place a hold on an item?
How much are fines?
Where can I return my materials?
Does the library accept book donations?
Does the library provide Internet access?
Does the library have a meeting room?
If the library does not own an item that I would like to borrow, can the library get it for me?
I do not know how to use the library catalog, can a librarian help me?
I am having trouble accessing an online database from home….can I call for help?
Do programs require advance registration? How do I register?
Which Museum Passes does the library offer and how do I borrow one?
What are the library’s hours?
How do I request a book purchase?



How do I get a library card?

To check out books or other materials, a patron must have a card registered in the Scotch Plains Public Library system. Anyone who lives in or owns property in Scotch Plains is entitled to a free library card, which must be renewed every three years.  To apply for a card, visit the Library with proof of residence in Scotch Plains and a photo ID (such as a current drivers license, utility bill, or bank statement).

Lost cards can be replaced in person at the circulation desk. There is a $1.00 replacement fee per card.

A non-resident who does not live in a reciprocal borrowing (MURAL) area and who works in Scotch Plains is entitled (with proof of employment) to a “Courtesy Card” at no charge for a period of one year, and this card may also be renewed as long as the cardholder maintains their employment in Scotch Plains.

A non-resident who wishes to purchase a one year membership at the Scotch Plains Public Library may do so. The fee is $90.00 per card.

back to top




Where can I use my library card?

Scotch Plains Public Library card holders are welcome to use their library cards at any Middlesex Union Reciprocal Associated Libraries.

back to top




Can I access my account from home?

Yes! You will need your library card number (located underneath the barcode on your library card) and the 4 digit PIN that is created when you registered for your library card. Then visit the library catalog and click LOG IN at the top right corner. If you have forgotten your PIN you will need to stop by the library with your library card and photo id for the staff to re-set your PIN. The staff cannot reveal your PIN or card number over the phone or email.

back to top




How long is the check out period and may I renew?

  • DVDs may be borrowed for 7 days.
  • Magazines, new books, and summer reading materials may be borrowed for 14 days.
  • Other materials will circulate for 28 days.
  • All materials, with the exception of DVDs and Museum Passes, will be automatically renewed for one 14-day period provided there are no HOLDS on the item(s).
  • Please see our Circulation Policy for further information.

back to top




How do I renew my materials?

Materials will be automatically renewed once, provided there are no holds. 

Using your library barcode number, items can be renewed via the telephone, online from any home computer, or in person.

back to top




How do I place a hold on an item?

  • You may place the hold yourself via the online library catalog. This can be done either at home or in the library.
  • You may also ask the staff to assist you in placing a hold while in the library. 

back to top




How much are fines?

The Library is mostly “fine free.”  For exceptions, please see Circulation Policies (under the “Fine per day” column).

back to top




Where can I return my materials?

  • Our new Smart Bin will automatically check in most Scotch Plains items as they are dropped into the bin from the outside bookdrop.
  • Please be sure that all DVD and CD cases are securely closed; any cases that cannot be closed, or other damaged items, should be brought inside and given directly to library staff.
  • Other items (such as tech devices and Health Literacy Kits) must be brought inside to return.
  • We ask that you continue to return Fanwood items to the Fanwood Memorial Library.

back to top




Does the library accept book donations?

The Friends of the Library does accept book donations at certain times of the year in preparation for their annual book sale.  At this time, the Friends are not accepting any donations. 

back to top




Does the library provide Internet access?

Yes, the library provides both public computers for in-house Internet access with access via library card and wireless Internet access via Wi-Fi. Please click here to read the library’s complete computer guidelines.

back to top




Does the library have a meeting room?

  • At this time, we cannot provide meeting room services. 

back to top




If the library does not own an item that I would like to borrow, can the library get it for me?

back to top




I do not know how to use the library catalog, can a librarian help me?

Stop by the Adult Service Desk any time for assistance with using the online library catalog, call us at 908-322-5007, 204,  or submit your question with this form.  

back to top




I am having trouble accessing an online database or service from home….can I call for help?

You may call the Adult Service Desk for assistance with any of Scotch Plains Public Library’s databases. We are available for assistance during library hours. 908-322-5007 Ext. 204, or submit your question with this form.  

back to top




Do programs require advance registration? How do I register?

Due to limited space, many of our programs require advanced registration. If registration is required, it will be clearly stated in the program description. Simply follow the prompts to register.  You may need your Scotch Plains or Fanwood Library barcode number to register.

back to top



Which Museum Passes does the library offer and how do I borrow one?

Museum Passes are now available at the Fanwood Memorial Library.  Please see the Museum Pass page.

back to top



What are a library’s hours?

To view our daily hours of operation, please visit our About page located on the library’s main menu bar.

back to top



How do I check out the telescope?

The Library’s telescope can be checked out by a SPPL resident card holder who is 18 years of age or older AND in good standing. The cardholder must present current I.D. and proof of address (i.e., a driver’s license or current utility bill) and sign a new Lending Policy and Agreement each time the Telescope is borrowed. To view our entire telescope policy, please visit the Telescope Policy.



How do I request a book purchase?

You may use this form to request the purchase of a newly-published or forthcoming book.