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How Do I?

Your resource for the most Frequently Asked Questions.


Use the Library

Our Welcome Brochure provides much of the information you need to take full use of the services and programs offered by the Guilderland Public Library. The “How Do I” sections below, which cover everything from “Get a Library Card” to “Find a Book,” provides answers your most-asked questions.

Get a Library Card back to top


GPL’s Library Card, reminding you that at GPL you can “Imagine * Discover * Connect”

If you reside in the Guilderland Central School District: To get a resident’s Guilderland Public Library card, please stop by the Library and complete a registration form and provide identification that shows your name, current address, and signature. Preferred form of identification is a valid New York State Driver’s license. Please note: If your mailing address is a post office box you will be required to show proof of your actual physical address. You must live within the Guilderland Central School District to get a resident’s GPL Card. Library cards are issued to youths ages 5 through 16 years of age, however, a parent’s or legal guardian’s signature is required.

The first time you use a new card you will be limited to 4 items. After that, the maximum number of items allowed charged to a patron’s account at any given time is 50 or a maximum dollar value of $1,500, whichever comes first. There are some additional restrictions on the number of new and audiovisual materials that can be charged at any one time. For specifics please inquire at the Circulation Desk.

If you are a Guilderland resident or a resident of any community in Albany or Rensselaer counties, you may use your library card at any of the 29 Upper Hudson Library System member libraries in Albany and Rensselaer counties.


GPL’s Card, just for kids! (And adults, too!)

Don’t reside in the Guilderland School District, but work within the Guilderland town borders or within the school district?  If you don’t already have a card from an Upper Hudson Library,  the Guilderland Public Library has an invitation for you: Come over, right now, and get your free Library Card!

The requirements are simple: Just bring some sort of validation that your place of employment is within the town’s borders or within the Guilderland Central School District. You’ll get a card that gives your full GPL privileges; you just have to renew it annually.

The Board of Trustees and Library Director changed the residency-required policy in September 2015 because they recognize that you support the local economy. Your business is in Guilderland; you shop here and support other local businesses, and are a vital part of the town. Now, as far as GPL is concerned, working in the community is just as good as living in the community.

Are you age 60 or over? There’s good news for you!  Seniors age 60 and over can get their Out-of-District Senior Cards for just $25; it had been $50.

Come to GPL to see all we have to offer. Once you have your library card, there is a wealth of material you can borrow: books, large print books, Playaways (a self-contained digital audiobook player), books on CD, magazines, pamphlets, videos, DVDs, CDs, even fishing poles (in season, of course). You can also use our in-house public computers, or take advantage of our free WiFi to use your own laptop at the Library.

And then there are the things you can do from home: With your Guilderland Public Library Card, you can download audiobooks and ebooks, access a wealth of online databases, learn a language online with the Mango system, let your children use the Bookflix library of online stories, check your account status, and reserve books, CDs, DVDs, etc. If we don’t have what you want, it can be sent from another Library so that you can pick it up here. We’ll even contact you when it arrives.

All this is just a Guilderland Public Library Card away.

If you have questions, or need additional information, please contact Circulation at 456-2400 x 3 or send an email to Ask Circulation.

"Get a Library Card" updated September 14, 2015

Renew items back to top

You have a number of ways or renewing items: Online through the “My Account” link at the top of the Library’s website or by coming into the Library and telling one of the Circulation staff. You can also call Circulation at 456-2400 x 3. Please have available your library card and the item barcode number for the materials you wish to renew. You can renew items individually or all the items you have charged providing there are no holds and it is a renewable item.

The library has loan periods that vary from 7 to 28 days. When you checked the items out, you received a slip listing all the items individually and the dates they are due. Please be sure to check this slip prior to leaving the library in case you have any questions.

For questions about material on your library record, please contact Circulation at 456-2400 x 3 or send an email to Ask Circulation.

Place a request on a library item back to top

You can place a request for certain materials from any computer with Internet access through the “My Account” feature. Or, if you are at the library, you can place your reservation with the Circulation staff.

If you would like to place a request on one part of a multi-part item (such as disc 4 of a DVD set), please call the library or stop by the service desk for assistance.

Use “My Cart” back to top

In order to use the “My Cart” feature, you must have a Library Card issued by a member library of the Upper Hudson Library System. Click on “My Cart”, enter your Library Card number and personal identification number, and you can:

  • See what items you have on loan
  • Reserve a library item
  • View and fines or messages relating to your Library Card.
  • See a listing of all items you have reserved or waiting for you at the Library.

For questions about material on your library record, please contact Circulation at 456-2400 x 3 or send an email to Ask Circulation.

Find a book back to top

The online catalog allows you to search for items in the Guilderland Public Library as well as in all of the libraries in the Upper Hudson Library System. The “SEARCH” feature at the top right of the home page is your most direct route to finding a specific book.

  • Enter a search term into the “What are you looking for? window. (Search terms include author’s name, all or part of a book title, subject area … whatever information you have.)
  • Click the “Search The Catalog” button.
  • Click the gray “search” button
  • A complete listing of all items relevant to your search will appear. Click on the item you want to see if it is available at Guilderland Public Library in the form you want, (for example audiobook, large print etc.) You will also see if other libraries in our system have the item and if it is checked in.
  • If you are a library card holder, you can reserve the item, or place your name on a waiting list to get the next available copy put aside for you.

There is more information about using the online catalog via the Help screens found in the upper right hand corner of each online catalog page. Call the library or stop by the service desk if you would like to speak to a librarian for assistance.

Find an article back to top

Use the Research tab in the main navigation bar to go to our full array of online resources.

We subscribe to a large number of online databases that give you an outstanding array of materials to access at your convenience from any computer in the library, at home or from your favorite café! Look at the list of databases on our research page and choose one that covers your area of interest.

If you go to this page from outside of the library, you will be asked to log in with your user name and a password.

  • Your user name is your library card number, the long number on the back of your card.
  • Your password is your pin # – the last 4 digits of the phone number we have on file for you.

Each of the databases has a Help menu so that you can learn to make the most effective use of the resources in that database. Call the library or stop by the service desk if you would like to speak to a librarian for assistance.


Updated: May 5, 2014