Borrowing Materials

See the library's Circulation Policy for more information.

Can I check out if I don't have my card with me?

  • Yes, you can check out materials when you present your photo ID.

How do I get a library card?

  • An applicant must present a government issued photo ID.
  • Parental signature is required when the patron is under the age of eighteen.
  • There is no residency requirement.

How long does a library card last?

  • Library cards expire every three years.

How many items can I check out?

  • New borrowers may check out up to twelve items. 
  • Patrons who have held a library card for 3 months or longer and maintained that card in good standing (returned at least 15 items on time and/or paid any fines/fees in a timely manner, etc.) will move to ‘established borrower’ status and may have up to a total of 25 items checked out at any given time. 

May I use my card at other public libraries?

  • This card can only be used at Sterling Municipal Library.

What if I lose my library card?

  • You are responsible for all material checked out on your library card - even if you did not check it out - until you report it lost or stolen.
  • To prevent fines or charges, report your lost/stolen card by telling a library staff member, calling (281) 427-7331 x2, or filling out this form.
  • A replacement card is $1.

What if I move and my address changes?

  • Ask library staff to update your information.

What is a VIP?

  • Library VIPs (Very Important Patrons) enjoy unlimited item checkout and no late fines for overdue items.
  • VIP status is granted only to patrons with excellent borrowing histories. To become a VIP card holders have to borrow and return 500 or more library items in a three year period.
  • VIP Borrowers, are however, responsible for replacement costs of items not returned. 

Can I get texts from the library?

You can receive texts for holds and overdues. Text SIGNUP to sterling@shoutbomb.com. See Text Alerts for more information.

Can I pay online?

You can pay fines and fees online by logging in to your account.

Can I suspend my holds?

You can suspend or "freeze" your holds until you are able to get them. Freezing your hold means that your position in the hold queue is skipped over until you reactivate your request.

This feature can be found by logging into your library account, choosing the "Holds" function, and selecting the "freeze" box next to your item on hold. Next, choose "update list" and you will then be asked if you want to update the hold. Select Yes, and you have successfully frozen your hold until you're ready to read it!

Whenever you're ready to read your book or watch your DVD, simply log back into your account, de-select the freeze option, update your account and you will be placed back in line, but further up the list as if nothing happened.

How can I renew?

  • Renew online through your library account or (281) 427-7331 x2. 
  • If someone else has put an item on reserve, it cannot be renewed.

How long can I keep borrowed items?

  • Books - Three weeks
  • Audio Books - Three weeks
  • Audio CDs - Three weeks
  • DVDs - Seven days

How much are overdue fines?

  • Books, Audio Books, DVDs, and Audio CDs - 10¢ per day
  • Interlibrary Loan Items- $1 per day

Is there a grace period for overdue items?

  • All items must be returned promptly no later than due date.

What if an item I returned is still on my record?

Use this form to report a returned item still on your account.

Staff will search the shelves for the item(s) in question. You will be notified of the outcome of this process within two business days.

In the meantime, please double-check your home and car to make sure it didn't slip behind a couch or under a car seat.

You can check your library account here.

Can I check out a laptop?

  • Cardholders with a government issued picture ID may check out a laptop for use inside the library for up to four hours.  See the Laptop Policy for more information.

Do you check out digital books?

  • Cardholders have access to many downloadable books and audiobooks. See Digital Media for more information.

Do you have study rooms available?

Does the library have computers for internet access?

Does the library have wireless internet access?

  • Unsecured wireless internet access is available free of charge.

How do I get magazine and newspaper articles?

  • Cardholders have access to many full-text electronic databases from home. See Research and History Fair for more information.

What if the library does not have what I need?

Will the library deliver materials to me?