Using the Library

HOW DO I? - Get a Library Card?


It's Easy to Get a Library Card!

El Paso Public Library cards are free to residents of the city of El Paso. The cards are good for two years and may be renewed after that for another two years.

Only Residents of the US are Eligible for a Non-Resident Card
Effective October 5, 2013, El Paso Public Library will implement a non-resident fee for checking out books and other materials. The new policy is in response to an increased demand in services and reductions in State and Federal funding. To maintain full borrowing privileges, those who live outside the City limits will need to pay a fee of $25 for 6 months or $50 for a full year of service.

You must:

  • Show a United States government issued photo identification card with your picture, your name, and your current address. (General Delivery will not be accepted as an address.)
  • Complete a library card application form.

If your identification card does not include your current address, we will also need:

  • Your United States government issued identification card with your picture and your name.
  • One of the following documents
    • Texas motor vehicle registration
    • Bank statement
    • Utility bill (gas, electric or water) dated within the last 60 days
    • Unexpired lease
    • Current tax bill
    • Unexpired voter registration card

Adults must be present in the library before library cards will be issued.

If you are under 13 years of age, your parent or legal guardian must present his/her ID and sign your library card application.

Children must be present in the library when library cards are issued.
Military personnel and their dependents may show their military ID when applying for a library card, but must also provide proof of residency within the United States.

You must be registered as a library cardholder in order to borrow materials, and you must present a library card or photo ID when checking them out.

Please report lost library cards promptly. You will be charged $1.00 to replace a lost children/teen library card or $2.00 to replace an Adult library card. Library cards damaged during normal use will be replaced without charge.
Library cards must be renewed every 2 years. You must present the same kind of identification that you presented when you first requested a library card. (See above.)

Library Card Application

Download a Library Card Application Form. Please bring in the completed application to a library near you.

The Responsibilities of a Library Card

You are legally responsible for all library materials borrowed on you card, whether the items were borrowed with or without your permission. Parents and legal guardians are responsible for materials borrowed on their children’s cards. You must report any change of name, address, or loss of card to the Library immediately. Patrons must pay any fines and/or fees for damaged or lost items. Patron owing fines will be blocked from checking out materials until payment/renewal is arranged.

If You Lose or Damage an Item

If you lose or damage an item you will be charged for the replacement cost, which is equal to the retail price of the item. If you pay for a lost item but it is found and returned to the library within 60 days of your original payment, the replacement cost will be refunded automatically to your library account.

HOW DO I? - Check out Books and other Materials


You can check out How Many* How Long
Books 30 3 weeks
Magazines/Revistas 15 1 week
Fotonovelas 15 1 week
Music CDs 3 1 weeks
Audiobooks 3 3 weeks
Kits 3 3 weeks
DVDs 3 1 week
Reference books May not be checked out

Returning Library Materials

You must return all library materials on or before their due dates. All materials may be returned to any El Paso Public Library location, no matter where they were checked out.

All materials may be renewed up to 5 times. You may renew materials in person, by telephone at any library location, or on the Internet by logging in to your account.

To better assist you, we would like to know your e-mail address. In the future we would like to e-mail you notices about your account and books that you have requested. You may add your e-mail address on to your account online or by contacting your nearest branch library.

Find out how to get a PIN number

Overdue Fines

All overdue items are fined at a rate of $0.15 per business day, starting the day after the items are due. Fines are not charged for days that the El Paso Public Library location owning the items is closed. Please note: items from facilities open more than five days per week may accrue larger fines over the same time period than items from other facilities.

El Paso Public Library staff will accept cash, checks, or money orders as payment for overdue fines and lost items. Patrons owing fines will be blocked from checking out any more materials until payment is made. If patrons refuse to pay fines, borrowing privileges will be cancelled.

Requests for Library Materials

If you don't find what you need on our shelves, you can ask our staff to help you place requests for library materials from other El Paso Public Library locations. A maximum of 5 requests may be placed on each library card at any one time. You may also place requests yourself by using the Internet. Contact your local library to find out how.

Your requests will be filled as soon as possible, but please be aware that other patrons may be requesting the same items, and that each patron is allowed to renew items once. Library staff will telephone you once your requested items arrive at the destination you choose. Your items will be held for 7 business days. Please pick them up as soon as possible.

HOW DO I? - Access my Online Account

In order to access your online account. You need a PIN Number.

How do I get a PIN Number?

You must request your PIN number in person at any EPPL facility. You must have a valid EPPL Library Card. PIN numbers and LIbrary cards are FREE.

What is a PIN Number?

A PIN (Personal Identification Number) is a four-digit number that you choose while at the Service Desk at your local library. This four-digit number along with your library card number can help you access your library account online while you are at home.

Why do you need a PIN ?

With your PIN and library card number you can:

- Check online for books that are available.
- Request books and other items.
- Renew your items.
- Check to see if you have items overdue, and fines.
- Make changes to your address, phone number and email address.

E-mail notices will be sent from time to time about library services. So, don’t forget to give your email address to the library staff.


HOW DO I? - Use a Public Computer


This document constitutes a Library-wide policy for the management of public computers and wireless network resources. In agreement with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA ~ Public Law 106-554, which is codified in 47 USC 254), all Library public access workstations use filtering software to access the Internet. Adults 18 or older who need unfiltered access for any lawful purpose may request it from a staff member. Unfiltered access will be granted on a per-search basis.


The El Paso Public Library offers access to information resources in electronic format and public computers as part of the Library’s reference and literacy services and in accordance with the Library’s mission. The Library’s electronic services are not intended to provide access to every software or hardware application or to every source of information available. The Library only assumes responsibility for information provided on the Library website, which is maintained and updated by Library staff. El Paso Public Library has no control over the information accessed through the Internet, other than the content provided on the Library’s website. Internet resources offer links to many valuable sources of information. However, not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information. A good information consumer evaluates the validity of all information found.

Supervision of a child's access to the Internet is ultimately the responsibility of the parent or guardian; the Library does not have the right or responsibility to act in loco parentis (on behalf of the parent/guardian). However, in accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA ~ Public Law 106-554), the Library does use internet filtering software on all its public-access computers to prevent both minors (persons under the age of 18) and adults from accessing certain visual depictions that are (1) obscene (as defined in section 1460 of title 18, United States Code), (2) child pornography (as defined in section 2256 of title 18, United States Code) or, with respect to use of computers with Internet access by minors, (3) harmful to minors. Furthermore, all customers must abide by §43.22 and §43.24 of the Texas Penal Code, which prohibits the intentional or knowing display of such materials, while being reckless about whether a person, especially a minor, is present who will be offended or alarmed by the display.

Responsibilities of Users

Rules Governing Use

Software has been loaded on most public access computers to manage computer sign-up in defined time increments. This software requires the user to log on to the computer using a barcode, either from a valid library card or a guest pass supplied by the Library. In order to provide equitable patron access, computer usage is limited to a finite number of sessions per day. All computer sessions, regardless of length, count towards the session number total. Session limits may vary by location and by type of workstation. Computer users must respect the established time limit and honor any staff request to end their session. Printing is available for a per page fee from most computer workstations, and patrons are responsible for full payment for any printing done at the Library.

Users may not:

  • Circumvent filtering or blocking software, or other security measures to access visual depictions deemed (a) obscene, (b) child pornography, or (c) harmful to minors, as defined in the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA ~ Public Law 106-554).
  • Circumvent public access computer time management software, or procedures.
  • Use the workstations or laptop devices to gain access to the Library's networks or computer systems or to any other network or computer system.
  • Obstruct other people's work by consuming large amounts of system resources or by deliberately crashing any Library computer system.
  • Attempt to damage computer equipment or software.
  • Attempt to alter software configurations.
  • Attempt to cause degradation of system performance.
  • Use any Library workstation for any illegal or criminal purpose.
  • Violate copyright laws or software licensing agreements in their use of Library workstations.
  • Engage in any activity that is deliberately and maliciously offensive, libelous, or slanderous.
  • Install or download any software.

Violations may result in loss of access. Staff is empowered to terminate or extend a user session if appropriate. Unlawful activities will be dealt with in an appropriate manner, including notification of law enforcement authorities.

Supervising Children’s Use

It is the Library's policy that parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding what electronic and online resources are appropriate for their children. There will be some resources that parents may feel are inappropriate for their children. Parents are responsible for informing their children as to which materials are and are suitable for use by the child. Parents should supervise their child's Internet sessions.

In agreement with CIPA regulations, all Library public-access workstations use filtering software to access the Internet. No filtering software can control access to all materials that an individual may deem inappropriate. El Paso Public Library does not guarantee the total effectiveness of technological protection measures such as filtering software.

Information on teaching children and teens to avoid the dangers that exist on the Internet can be found at NetSmartz: This site is sponsored by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Choosing and Evaluating Sources

The Internet is a global entity with a highly diverse user population and information content. Library customers use it at their own risk. The Library cannot protect users from materials they may find offensive. In choosing sources to link to our home page, we follow generally accepted library practices. Beyond this, we do not accept responsibility for content found in an Internet source. We are not responsible for changes in content of the sources to which we link, nor for the content of sources accessed through secondary links. As with printed information, not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information. Users should evaluate Internet sources just as they do printed publications, questioning the validity of the information provided.


U.S. copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principles of "fair use". Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials (including electronic mail, text, images, programs or data) without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Any responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user; the Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.

The Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility arising from access to, or use of, information obtained through its electronic information systems, or any consequences thereof.


The Library buildings may be subject to power surges and power outages, which may affect personal equipment and transactions taking place on public computers. The Library assumes no liability for any loss or damage to users’ data or devices, invasion of the user’s privacy, or for any personal damage or injury incurred as a result of using the Library’s computing resources.

The Library is not responsible for the theft of personal computers or other devices, personal property loss or damage.

The El Paso Public Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from use of its Internet server (home pages), Internet connections (wireless or wired) or from its connections to other Internet services. The Library does not guarantee that individual users are protected from accessing information they personally may deem undesirable or disturbing.

HOW DO I? - Access the FREE WiFi

EPPL offers FREE Wireless Internet Access. In order to use the FREE WiFi you must have a device capable of receiving wireless internet signal.

FAQ from Digital El Paso Website

Q. How do you use it?

A. Residents in the Downtown coverage area who wish to participate in training and the take-home computer program should register for courses at La Fe Clinic, or, soon, Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Accessing the Wireless Internet: The user will need a computer or laptop with a wireless card. The user must be in a "hot spot," or coverage area. (See Map) Depending on the wireless card and operating system (Windows or Mac), the user will see a pop-up or icon on the screen with information about available wireless networks. The user may click on the icon to see a list of available networks. The user should select "digitalelpaso" from the list of available networks and connect. Finally, the user may launch a web browser (such as Internet Explorer or Safari) to access the web.

Q. Do I need to register?

A. No, you don't need to register or get a password.

Q. What operating system will I need to use the wireless Internet?

A. Windows 2000 or later. Mac users OS 9.0 or later.

Q. How fast is the wireless Internet?

A. Speed will vary between 500 K to approximately 2 Mbps, depending on how many people are connected and what type of content is uploaded/downloaded.

In other words, you should be able to access simple web pages and some video clips, depending on how many people are accessing Digital El Paso at the same time.

Q. Where do I go for help?

A. You may choose an independent service provider from the local phone book (look under Computers or Internet). Depending on your issue, they may charge a fee for their services. You may also contact the Help pagefor the EPCC service desk.

Q. Is my web browsing being monitored?

A. No. Your access to the web is not monitored. However, EPISD students navigating on school laptops will be routed to your school Internet browsing system.

For more information visit the Digital El Paso website.

HOW DO I? - Use the Wireless Print Service

EPPL offers you the ability to print wirelessly! In order to use the wireless printing service be connected to the internet and follow the instructions below. For a follow along guide please click here.

First Time User:

  1. Click Here for Windows 2000/XP/7 users
  2. Click Here for Mac OSX Users.
  3. For Windows users click Yes to download and Run / for Mac users unzip the application and install it.
  4. A small window will appear on the bottom right corner of your desktop.
  5. Click on Start Print Session, and then enter your library card number and PIN.
  6. Choose which City of El Paso branch and section to print to.
  7. At this point, any print job you submit to the "Wireless Printer" can be retrieved at the Print Release Station at the location you selected.
  8. Once you finish with your print session, click on ‘Terminate Wireless Client’. This will terminate the session and no further print jobs will be forwarded to the Library branch.

Returning User:

  1. Go to Start > Programs > Wireless Library Print System > Wireless Print System
  2. A small window will appear on the bottom right corner of your desktop.
  3. Click on Login. Then Login with your Library Card Number and Last Name.
  4. At this point, any print job you submit to the "Wireless Printer" can be retrieved at the Print Release Station at the location you selected.
  5. Once you finish with your print session, click on ‘Terminate Wireless Client’. This will terminate the session and no further print jobs will be forwarded to the Library branch.

Uninstalling Print Module from your laptop:

If you no longer need Library Wireless printing and are ready to uninstall the print module from your laptop: Windows Users, Go to Start > Programs > Wireless Library Print System > Uninstall Wireless Library Print System. This will completely remove the print module from your wireless device.

Mac Users, to uninstall this app, simply drag the print control to the Trash.

HOW DO I? - Donate used books to the Library

All EPPL facilities accept public donations of books, music recordings, and other materials. Materials should be in good condition. To donate please contact the manager of your nearest facility.

HOW DO I? - Pay Library Fines & Frees

Securely pay library fines and fees online with a credit or debit card using "SmartPay." You'll need your library card and PIN to login to SmartPay and retrieve your account information. Visa, MasterCard and Discover are accepted.

How to Pay your Fines with a Credit Card

  1. Login to SmartPay
  2. Click on the Pay Fines/Fees tab
  3. Click the Check All button or choose the fine(s) you wish to pay by credit card
  4. Enter your credit card information
  5. Click Finish

Additional Information

  1. Charges must be a minimum of $1.00.
  2. A convenience fee of $1.00 will be added the total charge amount.
  3. Visa, MasterCard and Discover are accepted.
  4. Library fines and fees are cleared automatically during the payment process.
  5. A failed transaction may leave a pending charge on your account. These "pre-authorized" amounts normally clear within 24 hours.

El Paso Public Library does not collect or store any personal information or credit or debit card processing data from the SmartPay site. When you select the "Click here to go to SmartPay" you are leaving El Paso Public Library's website and will be directed to SmartPay. Technical requirements and services are the sole responsibility of SmartPay. By proceeding you agree to accept and assume all risks and responsibilities for the losses and damages that may arise from your use of SmartPay and release El Paso Public Library from all liability.