San Francisco Public Library
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Request Items

Instructions to Request Items Online

  1. Search for the desired item in the Library Catalog.
  2. From a list of search results, click on the title of the item to display the full record.
  3. Click on the Request button near the top of the screen to request the title displayed.
  4. Follow the instructions on the following screen by entering your Library card number, PIN and Pickup Location from the drop-down menu, and clicking the OK button.
  5. You will see a screen with the title of the item you requested and your pickup location to which the first available copy will be delivered. If the item you requested has more than one volume, you will see a list from which you may select the volume number and location. Choose the volume you wish to select and click on the Request Selected Item button at the end of the list.

Each library user may place up to 15 requests at a time on library materials; the computer system won't let you place more than that.

When the item you requested is available, you will receive a notice via email or U.S. mail telling you where to pick up your request. At that time, you may want to call the branch where the item is being held to make sure it is ready for pickup. Items will be held for ten (10) days; if you do not claim them, they will be returned to the lending library.

See Request Items Details for information about Freezing holds if you are out of town and different Status Categories in the Request List.

Pick-up Notification

Postal, telephone or email alerts are sent when requested materials are ready for pick up. Change which form is sent to you by

  1. Log In to Your Record, enter your library card number and PIN.
  2. Click on Modify Personal Information.
  3. Choose how you would prefer to receive your notices from the list: Postal Mail, Telephone or Email.

The telephone notification service is limited to the following area codes: 408, 415, 510, 650, 707, 831 and 925. If you choose Postal Mail or Telephone, make sure no email address is entered in the Email Address box. If you choose email, enter your email address, and click on the OK button. Once you choose email notification, you will no longer receive paper notices. You may call the Library at (415) 557-4400 or send an email to borrowerservices@sfpl.org to add or change your email address to receive electronic notices.

In Person

Library materials may also be requested in person at the Main Library or any neighborhood branch location.