Circulation Policies

Your Library Card

Use your library card to borrow items at all 21 Nashville Public Library locations and for all digital services.

Please treat your card with the same care you would a credit card. You are responsible for everything checked out on it. Contact the Library immediately if your card is lost or stolen. Replacement cards are $1.

For the most convenient service, always bring your card to check out materials. If you forget your library card, you may provide photo identification instead.

Checkout Periods and Renewals

Item Checkout Period Renewals Allowed Overdue Fines
Books - Adult and Teen 21 days 3 $0
Books - Children's and Board Books 21 days 3 $0
Books - Adult Literacy and Adult New Reader 21 days 3 $0
CD Audiobooks 21 days 3 $0
Playaways 21 days 3 $0
Music CDs 21 days 3 $0
Movies & DVDs (less than six hours) 7 days 1 $0
Movies & DVDs (more than six hours) 21 days 1 $0
DVD (LSDHH Collection) 21 days 1 $0
Launchpads* 14 days 2 $0
Bookpacks* 21 days 1 $0
Book Club in a Bag Kits* 6 weeks No $0
Literacy Kits* 21 days 1 $0
Curriculum Kits* 6 weeks No $0
Overdrive eBooks & eAudiobooks 21 days No $0
Overdrive Videos 7 days No $0
Hoopla Audiobooks, Comics 21 days No $0
Hoopla Music 7 days No $0
Hoopla Movies & TV 3 days No $0
RBdigital eAudiobooks 21 days 1 $0
Odilo eBooks, Audiobooks, Magazines 21 days Yes $0
Freegal Forever No $0
Ukuleles* 21 days 1 $0
RBdigital Magazines Forever No $0
Country Music Hall of Fame Passports* 10 days No $0

*Items have additional borrowing rules.


Most library cards allow you to check out up to 100 items on your card at one time, including a maximum of 10 DVDs or Playaways. Overdrive, Hoopla, and other digital items do not count towards the 100-item limit. Checkout rules for Educator Cards, Power Cards, Courtesy Cards, and other specialty cards differ. See Get a Card.

Overdue Fines

There is no charge for items returned late (overdue). See No Overdues FAQ for details. Once you have exceeded maximum lending periods, or failed to return borrowed items, charges and limitations apply.


You can extend your original due date by renewing items. You will need your library card numner and PIN.

Renew materials 3 ways:

  • In person at any library location. You will need your library card or ID.
  • Online, by logging into your account. You will need your library card number and PIN.
  • By phone, using our 24-hour automated account system at (615) 862-5890. You will need your library card number and the barcode numbers of the books or other materials you wish to renew.

Items cannot be renewed when:

  • The item is on hold for someone else.
  • Your card is not active (if you haven't used it 2 years or more).
  • Your card is blocked for any reason (e.g., fees over $20, collection agency fees, or no viable contact information).
  • The library computer system is down.
  • The maximum number of renewals has been reached.


Return your materials to any library location or book drop. Items left while the library is closed will be considered returned as of the last date the library was open.


Holds allow you to move an item from one branch library to another for convenient pick up. Holds also allow you to get in line for a title when all copies are checked out.

  • Holds are limited to 25 items per account at any given time.
  • Holds placed on OverDrive do not count toward 25-item limit.
  • Holds will be held for 7 days for pick up at your designated library location. OverDrive holds are held for 3 days.
  • You will be notified when items are ready for pickup by phone or email. Login to your account or call the Library to update your preferred method of notification.
  • Holds are not transferable to other library cards. Items on hold must be checked out on the library card of the patron for whom the hold was placed. Approved users may pick up holds for primary cardholder after presenting a picture ID.

Approved Users

An approved user is another adult who is 18 or older who you wish to have access to your account. You must visit a library location to designate an approved user for your account, unless you did so on your library card application. You accept responsibility for all actions that occur as a result of this access. Revoking access must be done in writing.

An approved user can:

  • Check out patron holds only
  • Pay fees

To access the account to which one is an approved user, the approved user must do one of the following:

  • Present the library card
  • Present an approved form of ID, know the name and address of the patron, and be listed as an approved user on the account

Damaged or Lost Items

  • Damaged or lost items are billed at our purchase price plus a processing fee.
  • Replacement items are accepted only if they are unused. They must be the same or newer edition than the material that was lost or damaged. Please talk with a staff member to learn more about purchasing replacement materials before you buy.

Blocked Cards

  • Cards with a balance of $20 or higher are not usable until part or all of the balance is paid. 
  • Delinquent materials and fees are automatically routed to an outside collection agency when your balance is $56 or more and one or more items is overdue by 52 days or longer.
  • Accounts with collection agency blocks must be paid in full before the library card may be used again.