1001 Library Cards

Policy Number 1001
Effective Date: February 1, 2019
Updated: June 17, 2022
Subject: Library Cards


To detail card types, item renewals, loans, holds, and returns as well as associated fees and card renewal requirements for Chesapeake Public Library (CPL) cards.


A CPL Card allows card owners to check out books, music, movies and more from all locations in Chesapeake. At chesapeakelibrary.org, card owners can access digital materials and online resources twenty-four (24) hours a day.

Individuals are limited to one CPL card type per person. Library cards are issued until 15 minutes before closing; exceptions may be made by Library staff. Applicants of all ages must be physically present to receive library cards.


Traditional library cards, CPL Limited cards, and Business cards will be issued to eligible applicants upon completion of library card application and presentation of government-issued identification. Patrons under 16 years of age must have a guardian present to receive a traditional or CPL Limited card. E-cards will not require identification.

Types of Cards

Traditional Library Cards

Loan Limits: 30 Items
Loan Period: 3 weeks
Holds: 15 items at one time
Hold Period: 5 days
Item Renewal: 2 times

CPL Limited Cards

Loan Limits: 5 Items
Loan Period: 3 weeks
Holds: 5 items at one time
Hold Period: 5 days
Item Renewal: 2 times


E-cards are available without identification. Patrons may be issued e-cards that will allow access to online resources by visiting any library branch, and presenting their name and date of birth to Library staff.

E-cards are for online resources only.

Business Cards

Licensed or non-profit groups, including daycares and classrooms, are eligible for Business Cards. Business Cards require the personal information of two representatives who will assume fiscal responsibility for borrowed items.

Loan Limits: 30 items
Loan Period: 5 weeks
Holds: 15 items at one time
Hold Period: 5 days
Item Renewal: 1 time


The general collection consists of but is not limited to books, DVDs, music CDs, books on CD, etc. Special collections include reference materials, professional materials, local history and the Library of Things. Special collections may be in-house use only or circulated with the general collection.


A loan limit is the maximum number of items the patron can check out at one time from the general collection. Loan limits for Interlibrary loans and special collections will vary.

A loan period is for materials in the general collection. Loan periods for Interlibrary loans and special collections will vary. Loan periods for holidays, scheduled Library closures and inclement weather are globally adjusted.


A hold is a request on an item in the collection placed by the patron.

A hold period is the amount of time processed holds will be held for a patron. Hold periods for Interlibrary loans and special collections vary. Patrons will receive notification through email or phone with the available hold period. Hold periods for holidays, scheduled Library closures and inclement weather are globally adjusted.

Item Renewals

An item renewal is the maximum number of times an item can be renewed before it is returned to the library. Items are automatically renewed with the exception of those on hold for another patron, from an Interlibrary loan, or in a special collection.


Book drops are available 24 hours a day. Library staff make every effort to process book drops in a timely manner, but it is the responsibility of the patron to ensure the materials are returned properly. Leaving materials outside the book drop does not ensure proper return.

Interlibrary loans and special collections are not eligible for return in book drops and a lost or damage fee may be assessed.


Accounts will not be charged overdue fees on general collection material, but will be subject to lost item or damaged item charges. Accounts with balances of $50 or more are blocked from borrowing additional materials, using many online resources and renewing materials online.

Stolen Cards

Card owners, legal guardians and parents are responsible for payment of fees for interlibrary loan, lost, damaged or stolen materials from the general and all special collections. In the event a card is stolen and material is checked out and not returned, the card owner is responsible for the payment of those materials, unless a Police Report has been filed and is provided to Library staff. It is the responsibility of card owners to alert the Library if a card has been stolen.

Card Renewals

In order to ensure Library records remain accurate, card owners may be periodically asked to update their information. In order to update the patron's account in the computer, patrons must call or come in and confirm Library records are correct. Any change in patron information by library staff requires an in-person library visit with proof of requested change. Patrons who borrow at least one item or use one online resource within three years will not need to renew their card.

It is the responsibility of the account holder to update their information; failure to do so does not exempt them from fees accrued on their account.

A library card and PIN (Personal Identification Number) or a valid photo ID are required to access library accounts, check out materials, place materials on hold, and use public computers. Only those patrons whose name appear on the account or have established a relationship in the system are able to access materials.