Frequently Asked Questions

Borrowing Materials

  • What is my User ID?

    Your User ID is the number on your library card. It is also referred to as your barcode. The User ID is usually 14 digits long.

  • What is my pin number?

    Your pin number is the month and the day of your birth. For example, if you were born on October 15, 1960, then your pin number would be 1015.

  • What if I damage or lose a library item?

    Notify library staff as soon as possible if an item becomes damaged or is lost. Lost or damaged materials must be paid for, plus a $6 processing fee. GRRL does not accept replacement copies of items. Items not returned after 45 days will be marked as “lost” and a bill will be sent. If the item is not returned and all late fees not paid within the following 14 days, the account may be referred to the collection agency.

  • What happens if I forget to return my materials on time?

    Great River assesses a fine if you fail to return your materials on time.  Children's DVD and VHS late charges are 10 cents/day. Late charge on other VHS items is 25 cents/day, and on other DVDs $1/day. The overdue charge on other children's materials is 10 cents/day. The overdue charge on other materials is 25 cents/day. The maximum fine for an overdue item or renewal is $6.

  • What do I do if a DVD or CD I checked out is too scratched to play?

    Because GRRL circulates thousands of discs each year, it is inevitable that items will wear out and need to be repaired or replaced. GRRL has a disc cleaning machine that repairs scratched or dirty CDs and DVDs.

    To report a damaged disc, please indicate the problem on the disc care insert found inside each case and return the item to any GRRL library.
    GRRL is not responsible for damage to equipment that occurs while using library materials.

  • How many items may I check out?

    There is no limit.

  • How long may I keep materials?

    Most materials have a 3 week check out period. All entertainment DVDs and VHS videos have a one week check out window.  Interlibrary Loan items may have a special due date set by the owning library.

  • How do I renew items and how many times may I renew an item?

    You may renew items twice as long, as no one has requested the item through GRRL's online catalog, by visiting or by calling your local library. Interlibrary Loan items may not be renewed.

  • Do I have to return my library materials here?

    You may return your items to any GRRL library.

    Items borrowed through our Interlibrary Loan service must be returned to a GRRL library so they can be properly removed from your record before going back to their home library system.

    Materials checked out at libraries outside GRRL, but returned to GRRL will be sent back to the owning library, but there may be overdue charges from the home library since the delivery process can take additional time. This primarily affects our customers who use other Minnesota libraries such as Hennepin County Libraries or Kitchigami Library System.

    GRRL materials returned to other Minnesota libraries will not be considered returned until and unless they actually come back to a GRRL library. Most Minnesota libraries participate in the courtesy return process, but the items may incur fines during that time.

Requesting Materials

  • Is there a limit on the number of items I can request?

    You may have up to 100 active requests on your account at one time. That includes requests that are waiting to be filled, in transit or Being Held at your chosen pickup location. Any MnLink or other Interlibrary Loan requests will also appear on your request list.

    • There is a limit of 25 active requests on the MnLink site.
  • How long will you hold my item for me?

    Holds are available for seven calendar days, including the day they arrive in the library.

  • How do you let me know my requested items have arrived?

    You may choose to have e-mail notification when your GRRL requests come. Choosing e-mail notification also allows you to receive notification three days before a checked out item is due (non-receipt of a notice does not release you from your obligation to return items by their due dates).

    To help ensure email delivery, add us to your email contacts:

    If you prefer, you may be notified by automated telephone call instead of e-mail.

  • How do I request materials to arrive at a specific time?

    It is not possible to guarantee delivery arrival times. It is possible to suspend requests within your account to delay delivery of requests for a period of time. You can access this feature yourself through the My Account tab in the catalog or ask library staff for assistance.

  • How do I request materials that GRRL does not own?

    Once you have searched the catalog and determined that your selection is not owned by GRRL, you may choose one of several options.

    • Click on the Suggest a Title tab in the catalog and fill out the online form. There are also paper versions of this form available and staff will be happy to assist you with the process. GRRL staff will decide to either purchase the item or borrow it from another library. Once the decision is made, the item request will be placed on your account. If the item is not selected and not available for Interlibrary Loan, you will be notified.
    • You may place an Interlibrary Loan request from another Minnesota library yourself using the MnLink Gateway. This statewide service allows you to request material NOT OWNED by GRRL and have it delivered to your GRRL library. You will need your entire GRRL library card barcode number to access this service.
    • For best results, use the Suggest a Title form for new materials since other Minnesota libraries may not be willing to lend them and GRRL purchases most new items requested by our customers.
  • How do I request materials from other libraries?

    Any circulating Great River Regional Library materials can be requested using the online catalog from home or at the library. Library staff will also assist you over the telephone or within the library. Check our schedule for times and locations.

    Reference materials may be sent to your nearest GRRL location for use in the library.

    If an item is not owned by a Great River Regional Library, it may still be available through Interlibrary Loan from a Minnesota library outside our region through MnLINK or from another U.S. public library through our title request form.

  • How do I find the items that are on hold for me?

    Most items are shelved by the library barcode number If you are unsure how the items being held are shelved, be sure to stop at the circulation desk to inquire.

  • Can someone else pick up the items I have on hold?

    Yes, another person may pick up those items you have on hold as long as they have your library card with them.

Computers and Internet

  • How much does it cost to make a copy or print from the computer?

    The cost for copies is ten cents per page.

  • How long can I use the internet computer?

    Most libraries allow half-hour or hour long reservations. It is best to check ahead.

  • How do I request use of the Internet computers?

    You may call GRRL libraries to reserve a time. You may also walk in and use any Internet computer in the library designated for public use that is not being used after signing in using your library card.

  • Do you have wireless?

    All Great River libraries offer wireless computer connections.

Fines and Fees

  • Why does GRRL use a collection agency?

    Great River uses a collection agency, Unique Management Services, in order to recover materials and fees. The main goal of using the collection agency is to remind patrons of their overdue items and encourage returning them. If an account has a balance of $25 or more for 14 days, the account will be sent to the collection agency and a $10 fee added to the account. If the account is sent to the collection agency, the information may also appear on a patron’s credit report. Parents or guardians are responsible for the accounts of their minor children. You may also contact the Patron Services Specialist at (320) 650-2510 if you have questions about collection agency charges and fines.

  • Where should I direct questions about collection agencies and disputed overdue fines?

    Contact your local library staff for questions about overdue charges. You may also contact the Patron Services Specialist at (320) 650-2510 if you have questions about collection agency charges and fines.

  • What is the maximum fine before I can no longer check out materials?

    All accounts must be payed in full before materials can be checked out.

  • What are the fines for overdue materials?

    Children's Materials: Children's materials loan for three weeks. Overdue charge will be 10 cents/day.

    Children's DVD and VHS: Most children's VHS and DVD items loan for seven days, including the day checked out. A limited collection has a designated three-week loan period. Overdue charge will be 10 cents/day.

    Other VHS: VHS items excluding children's materials loan for seven days, including the day checked out. A limited collection has a designated three-week loan period. Overdue charge will be 25 cents/day.

    Other DVD: DVD items excluding children's materials loan for seven days, including the day checked out. A limited collection has a designated three-week loan period. Overdue charge will be $1/day.

    Interlibrary Loan: The loan period on interlibrary loan items is set by the lending library, not GRRL. Overdue charge will be 25 cents/day.

    Magazines: The loan period on magazines is three weeks. Overdue charge will be 25 cents/day. The charge for magazine replacement is $1.

    All Other Materials: The loan period on other items is three weeks. Overdue charge is 25 cents/day.

    Maximum: The maximum fine per each item checkout or renewal is $6. The maximum overdue fine with checkout and two renewals is $18.

    Replacement Fee: Items that are lost or damaged must be paid for. In addition, the processing fee for replacement of lost or damaged items is $6.

  • Can I pay my fines by credit card?

    Yes, you can pay online with a credit card. You can also pay by credit card at any of our locations with Express Checkout Stations: Buffalo, Delano, Elk River, Monticello, St. Cloud, or Waite Park.


  • What are the library open hours?

    Library open hours are unique to each of the 32 library locations in Great River. Ask for the Find It at Your Library Brochure or visit our go to the Locations & Hours page to locate your library’s open hours.

Library Cards

  • Where can I use my library card?

    You can use your library card at any of Great River's 32 locations. You can also use your library card at any public library in the state of Minnesota that is part of a regional system.

  • What if my library card is lost or stolen?

    Please report immediately if your card is lost or stolen. That way no one is able to use your card to check out materials in your name. Otherwise, you may be held responsible for materials charged against your account. The cost for replacing a card lost or stolen is $1.

  • How much does it cost to get a library card?

    Library cards are free to Minnesota residents. If you lose your card or if it is stolen, you will need to pay $1 for a replacement. Apply for your free library card by presenting at any branch library your completed library card application and identification with your current address information.

  • How do I renew my library card?

    Come in, use the online renewal form, or for fastest service - call your local GRRL branch library. Staff will be able to renew your card at any public service desk, virtually or over the phone. Renewing your library card is free.

    Library cards expire every three years. This allows GRRL to keep address and patron information up to date. If your card is expired, you will be unable to log into My Account until the card is renewed.

  • How do I get a library card?

    Residents of Wright, Todd, Stearns, Sherburne, Morrison and Benton counties may go to any of our 32 locations to get a library card. If you are 17 years of age or older, you need to bring picture proof of identification and address, like a current driver’s license.

  • Can I use my card in libraries not part of GRRL?

    Yes, you may check out materials at other libraries as part of Minnesota's Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement. These libraries must be part of a regional library system.

  • Can I use a card from another Minnesota library to check out library materials?

    Yes, as long as your card is in good standing at your home library.

Other Equipment

  • Do you have a fax machine I can use?

    Great River offers no public fax machines.

  • Do you have a copy machine?

    All Great River libraries have copy machines. The cost for making a copy is 10 cents per page.

  • Can I make colored copies?

    Great River has no color copiers.

Other Services

  • Who can help me with a research question?

    We can help you find information through our reference services. Reference librarians are available at the St. Cloud Library. You can also email a reference request as well as access our IM (Instant Messaging) our reference librarians.

  • How do I find specific titles in your library?

    You can search our catalog by title and by format. You can also ask our library staff for help.

  • Do you have tax forms?

    Computers and printers are available at all Great River Regional Library locations so patrons can print income tax forms from the Internet. Preprinted forms are not available.

    Library staff can assist patrons in locating tax forms online. They can also direct patrons to other print or online resources. Library staff are not financial professionals and cannot assist patrons with filling out tax forms. See our Tax Forms page for links to useful tax-related resources.


  • Do Great River libraries offer programming?

    All libraries offer programs. Be sure to ask at your local library about upcoming programming or visit Great River’s Events page to see upcoming events in your area.