Borrowing Materials

Loan Periods

  • 3 weeks -- Books, DVDs, audiobooks and music CDs
  • 1 week -- Passes
  • 8 weeks -- Book Group Take-Out Kits

Checkout limits

You may have a total of 75* items checked out to one library card at a time.

*Due to higher demand, there is a limit of fifteen (15) DVDs/Blu-rays and five (5) periodicals that may be checked out to one library card at a time. Please note: The Decatur Library does not circulate periodicals. 

DeKalb County Public Library materials can be returned to a branch either inside the library at the Circulation Desk or outside the library in the book drop.


Most materials can be renewed three times unless

  • there are holds on the item
  • you owe $10 or more in fines or fees
  • you have more than 20 items overdue

Items can be renewed online by visiting My Account in the Library Catalog, by calling Telecirc at 404.508.6900 or by visiting or calling any DeKalb County Public Library branch. You will need your library card number and PIN.

Holds on Materials

  • You may place a Hold for any circulating library material currently checked out or owned by any library branch. Find the item you want in the Library Catalog and click on "Place a Hold". Follow the on-screen instructions.
  • There is no charge for placing a Hold.
  • Staff can assist you in placing Holds in the library or over the phone. Phone requests are limited to three items.
  • You may have up to 15 Holds at one time. When placing Holds on DVDs, please remember the checkout limit of fifteen DVDs/Blu-rays.
  • Please allow 2-4 days for an item that is available at another branch to be shipped to you branch. If you need the item sooner, please call that branch and ask them to pull the book for you.
  • You can be notified that your Hold is ready for pickup by Telecirc, e-mail or text. You can also check My Account in the Library Catalog to see if your Hold is ready for pick-up.
  • Items remain on the Hold Shelf for six days.
  • Please alert Library staff if you notice a Hold request is about to expire on your account so that time can be extended.

Interlibrary Loan

Through Interlibrary Loan (ILL), you can borrow items from other libraries that DeKalb County Public Library does not own, such as: books, periodicals or reference articles or genealogical materials. Read more about this service.

Overdue Notices and Bills

To assist you in keeping track of materials checked out on your card, the Library sends notices on the following schedule:

Notice Type  
Date Due Reminder e-mail or text  3 days before due date
1st Overdue e-mail, call or text 4-7 days after due date
2nd Overdue e-mail, call or text 18-21 days after 1st notice
Bill for Fines/fees printed when balance is $10 or more
Bill for Lost Item printed 7 weeks after due date
Collection Referral letters and calls begins 4 weeks after bill

If you have been billed for an item and you return it, you will only owe the overdue fine. If you pay for a lost item and later find it and return it, you may be eligible for a partial refund if the item is in good condition and has not been withdrawn from the Library's collection.