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How do I get help ?

We are here to help. You can search our Website for answers using the search box in the upper right hand side of the page. If you're in the Library, ask anyone with a library name tag for friendly assistance. Give us a call at (205) 879-0459 or send an email to if you can't find the answer here.

Card/Account Management

How do I get a library card?

To get a library card you can apply online or visit any Jefferson County Public Library location. Anyone who resides or pays property taxes in Jefferson County, Alabama can get a card. If you live elsewhere in the State of Alabama, you can apply and pay for a nonresident card for a $50.00 annual fee.

Library cards expire after two years. Library cards can be renewed in person at any Jefferson County Public Library location or online. We ask you to renew to make sure that we have all of your current contact information.

Adults must present up to two current forms of identification, one to prove identity and one to prove place of residency.

Examples of acceptable identification include:

  • driver's license or Government-issued ID
  • utility bill
  • bank book
  • apartment lease
  • letter on letterhead from a shelter

We also ask for your e-mail address, which is used to provide you with library information ONLY, including notice of items on hold or due, and information about library services and activities.

How do I pay my fines?

Fines and bills may be paid at your local library. The Emmet O'Neal Library accepts cash, checks, MasterCard, and Visa at the main circulation desk.

The Pay Online button for fines can be found by going to the catalog and clicking on the Your Record link. Once you are in your record and have clicked on the $ in unpaid fines and bills link, you will see the Pay Online button. Click on this button and you will be able to pay online.

The Library accepts MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover cards online.

If you include an email address with the credit card information you submit, a receipt will be sent automatically to that email address. A payment receipt also displays online and may be printed.

The Library contracts with a third party to manage this service and neither has access to, nor is responsible for, the credit card information of patrons who choose to use this service.

How do I renew books or materials?

You may renew eligible materials in person, by telephone, or online. Not all materials are eligible for renewal.* Some limitations apply.

If you renew items, you are confirming that you still have each item.  Therefore, before renewing, you are responsible for:

Carefully matching material that you plan to renew against library material in your possession.
Immediately reporting any discrepancy to the library from which the material was checked out.
To renew online, login to your library account

You must examine the STATUS column for each item to determine IF it has actually been renewed. If it has been renewed, note the new due date for your records. If it did not renew (limitations), return the material promptly.

NOTE: Even if you do not notice that an item did not renew, you are responsible for any overdue fines.

*Limitations on Renewals
Some materials are not eligible for renewal. You may not renew items:

  • if you do not have your card number
  • if you have material that is long overdue
  • if the item has been reserved by another patron
  • if it is less than 7 days since you first checked out the material
  • if the item is a video or popular book that the home library has designated as no renewal
  • if the material has already been renewed once

When you received your library card to use Jefferson County Library Cooperative Libraries, we explained your responsibilities. A current copy of these responsibilities is available here.

Finding Information

How do I find a book or other material?

You can search using our catalog or kids' catalog to find any material available:


How do I reserve an item?

You can reserve items through the catalog using the following steps:

  1. Search the catalog for the title you wish to reserve.
  2. Click on the Request button.
  3. Type in your name and library card number.
  4. Choose the location where you would like to pickup the item.
  5. You will get a pop-up window that tells you the status of your request.

If you're having trouble finding or reserving an item, give us a call at the library (205) 879-0459, and we'll help you out. We can also find items for you that can be reserved through inter-library loan if not available in our catalog.

How do I find ebooks, audiobooks, or movies?

We have several different ebook and audiobook services (although you can find most items in our regular catalog), as well as a couple of ways to stream video.



You can find details on all the ebook, audiobook, and streaming services on the Adults page and the Children's page.

How do I see my reading history?

The library's system does not keep a history of what people have checked out in the past. It only keeps a record of what is currently checked out and items with problems, such as fines.

You may choose to opt in to your Reading History. It allows you to keep a record of your checkouts. As the card holder, only you have access to your history, you may delete any or all of your checkout records, and you may opt out at any time. Please note that the library routinely erases checkout records for privacy reasons, and by opting in to this feature, you are choosing to retain the information.

Go to your library account and select View Your Record and opt in to keep a history of you have checked out.

Does the Library have computers and business services? (currently unavailable)

The library has about 20 computers with high speed internet access and the Microsoft Office Professional 2010 Suite installed. Use your library card to log in to a public computer for 2 hours (you may request additional time if no one is waiting).

You can print in both color ($.50/page) and black & white ($.15/page) from the library computers or your own computer. 

You can make both color or black & white copies in the Library.

The Library offers self-serve scanning for $.05/page.

Adobe Creative Cloud software is available for use by appointment only in the Makerspace. Call (205) 445-1103 to make an appointment.

Other Questions

How do I find a department?

First Floor - Children's Department, Staff picks, Adult Audiobooks, Large Print, and Adult New Releases

Second Floor - Adult & Reference Department, Young Adult Department, Makerspace, Adult Public Computers, Administration

How do I find a place to study? (currently unavailable)

The library has study tables and carrells throughout the library. Group study rooms (2 downstairs; 3 upstairs) are available on a first-come, first-served basis for one hour at a time (longer if no one is waiting) to groups and individuals. For scheduled meetings, please check out the Community Room and the Library Board Room, available for a small fee.

How do I reserve a meeting space? (currently unavailable)

The library has two meeting rooms available for rent.

Community Room (capacity 150)
130 chairs are available, along with 30 two-person tables and 2 large serving tables.

Conference Room (capacity 25)
12 rolling leather chairs around a stationary solid wood meeting table are available. 13 meeting room chairs may be requested as well.

Does the Library have wi-fi? (currently available in our parking lot only)

Yes, we have a wireless network available to our patrons.

About our wireless network:

  • The Library's wireless network is not secure. 
  • While on a web filter and behind a firewall, our wireless network is completely open.
  • Library employees are not able to provide advanced technical assistance.
  • The Library makes no guarantee that you will be able to make a wireless connection.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for the safety of equipment, configurations, security or data files resulting from connection to the Library's wireless network.
  • If you make changes to your laptop’s configuration, make sure that you are able to change them back so that you can keep your computer as safe as possible.

If your computer cannot see the wireless network at all or if you have a signal, seem connected, but you cannot get a web page to load, please try the following things:

  • Move to another area in the library; it could be that the access point nearest you is overloaded or out of service.
  • Check that you have wireless functionality turned on.
  • Make sure you are trying to connect to a network that begins with EOL. If not, you are not on the Library wireless network.
  • If applicable, check your firewall settings: Are you only allowing trusted sites to connect to your laptop? If so, unselect “Only allow trusted sites.”