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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked question

How can I join the library?

If you live or work in Westmeath County you can join at any branch of Westmeath Public Libraries. 

  • Simply fill out an application form available at the information desk
  • Provide official identification to staff , photograph and address eg driver’s license, or passport & utility bill.
  • From Feb 2017, you will be able to register online at Libraries Ireland
  • Any Libraries Ireland member can use their membership card in participating libraries

What is the charge for joining the library?

  • Membership is free for all from Jan 2016

What can I borrow from the library?

You can borrow books, cassettes CDs, DVDs and videos. You can borrow 12 items on a ticket.

You may also download audiobooks, ebooks and magazines. All you need is your library card number and your pin. Find out more at www.westmeathcoco.ie/Libonline

How long can I keep a book out for?

Items can be borrowed for a loan period of 3 weeks.

Are there fines if I do not return my books on time?

Fines are 05c per day.

Can I keep library books for longer than three weeks?

You can renew items for a further period by phone, by on-line renewal or in person. You cannot renew an item that is reserved by someone else, or where its renewal limit has been reached To renew items by phone or in person please have your membership card ready.

How do I renew online?

Visit Libaries Ireland lgoin to your account. To use the My account facilities, you will be asked to enter:

  • your 14-digit library card barcode
  • and your four-digit personal identification no. (PIN), you can get this by asking our staff.

1) Select Loans from the menu on the left. Tick the boxes to the left of each title and select the Renew button to extend the loan. Items can be renewed provided they are not already requested by another library member. Each item can only be renewed 5 times.

For more details please refer to How to Renew Online

Can I request a book that is out on loan?

After searching the catalogue, library members can request (or place a ‘hold’ on) books or other items by clicking Request copy. You then enter your barcode & PIN, before clicking on the final Request button. (You also have the option to add a comment, e.g., “Cancel request after 1st January ”). Some items may not be requested for loan, e.g., Reference items. (read more)

Can I request a book that my library doesn’t have?

If the book you require is not available in any public library in Ireland you can request a book via Inter Library Loan. Please speak to a member of staff for more information. The following fees apply:

  • Inter Library Loan  €12.00 

You may also request a book by filling out this form. Please note, your membership must be in date.

 

How do I contact my local library

Contact details for individual libraries are listed under Your Library.

What are the opening times for my library?

Opening times vary. Check individual libraries for details.

What about holiday arrangements?

Holiday arrangements vary. Westmeath Libraries closes for a number of days over the Christmas and Easter periods; and on St. Patrick's Day and bank holidays (e.g. Bank Holiday Mondays, libraries close on the Monday and preceding Saturday).

Check the library website and your local library noticeboards for details of particular holiday arrangements.

Can I check my library membership record online?

You can check your personal record online if you have a PIN. This number prevents unauthorised people from gaining access to your record. If you do not have a PIN, call in to any library and you will be assigned one. (read more about your online account here)

How do I get a PIN?

Present your library card at any library and you will be assigned a PIN. It is important that you attend in person so that your identity can be verified. This is to prevent unauthorised people from gaining access to your personal record. (Read more for information on resetting your PIN)

Can I access the Internet in my library?

Westmeath Public Libraries provide internet access in all our local libraries. There is now wi-fi access in Athlone, Mullingar, Castlepollard and Moate libraries. Internet sessions last for 50 minutes and cost €1.00 for members and €1.50 for non-members. Express Internet sessions last for 15 minutes and cost €0.50c.

Children and teenagers must have written parental permission. The Internet Permission Form (7kB)   must be signed by a parent in your local library.

Wireless Internet is available for library members in Mullingar and Athlone libraries. Please read the Wi-Fi Guidelines (83kB) .

Restrictions apply on access to certain sites.

For security, we cannot allow removable media such as memory sticks. For further details of our internet usage policy, please read the Guidelines for internet usage (10kB) 

Can I search the catalogue online?

Yes. The online catalogue may be searched by author, title or keyword. The catalogue will tell you the location, and if the item is available or on loan.

Can I view newspapers?

Current issues of newspapers are available in a number of local libraries. Older local papers are available in the Local Studies Department on microfilm in Mullingar and Athlone libraries. You can also find the Westmeath Examiner online through the online Irish Newspaper Archives which you can access in any Westmeath library.

The Irish Times Digital Archive is available online and free of charge. The digital archive contains the entire The Irish Times from the first edition in 1859 to the present.

Can I get information on local history and tracing my family tree?

Yes. North Westmeath resources and General Material on Westmeath are held in our Library in Mullingar. The Aidan Heavey Public Library in Athlone holds South Westmeath resources. Small collections of local interest are held in all our libraries. Before your visit contact us by e-mail or with a phone-call to check on the availability of particular material.

What if I lose my library membership card?

Report the loss of your card to your local library. You will be then issued with a new card, there is a fee of €1.00 for your replacement card. Your borrower information, including outstanding loans or requests will be transferred to the new card.

What if I lose an item borrowed from the library?

If you lose an item you will be expected to pay for it, or supply us with a new copy in good condition. You will also have to pay any fines and postage incurred before you report it missing.

What happens if I don’t return library items on time?

Items not returned on time, and not renewed, will be subject to a fine. The fine is 5c per day. You can avoid paying fines by renewing your items on time. You can renew in person, by phone, or on-line through the library catalogue.

Can I donate books to the library?

Westmeath County Library Service is always grateful to those who consider donating material to the library service. However, we have to be selective in what we accept as donations because of the work involved in processing stock, the cost of book storage and the cost of disposal of irrelevant stock. Westmeath County Library Service reserves the right to accept or reject any donation. Donations must be outright and unconditional with ownership transferring immediately. (Please see our Donations Policy (2012) (69kB)   for further information) 

There is one exception to this rule. Archival / historical material relating to Westmeath may be accepted on a permanent or short term loan in certain circumstances. (Please see our Deposit Agreement Form (2012) (93kB) for more information).

Donations are also accepted on the basis that access, location and disposal of donations will be determined by Westmeath County Library Service.