Below are some of the most common questions we receive at the Avalon Free Public Library. If you have a question that isn't answered below, feel free to call us at 609-967-7155, or reach us using our online contact form.

A. Visiting

1. What COVID-19 protocols are currently in place?

Effective Tuesday, March 8, 2022, the Library & History Center are using CDC guidelines based on community level to guide masking recommendations. Click here for more info:

Porch Pick Up is remains available during all open hours.

You can subscribe to our email newsletter or check our Updates page and social media pages for updates as they occur.

2. Do you have private rooms available where I can work quietly?

No, at this time we are unable to provide this service.

B. Borrowing

1. How many items can I check out at one time?

You can check out up to 25 items at one time. Further restrictions may apply, please ask about these at the front desk.

2. Do you assess late fees?

No, the library does not assess late fees on overdue items.

However, items that have been late for a period of 14 days or more will be billed to the account for the full replacement cost.

3. Can I pay replacement costs online or over the phone?

No. At this time we have no mechanism in place to pay replacement fees by credit card or online. You can mail a check made out to the Avalon Free Public Library to cover the fee if you cannot do it in person. We strongly discourage mailing cash. Our mailing address is 235 32nd St, Avalon, NJ 08202.

4. Can I renew my items?

Most of the time you can. Renewal can be made in-person at the library, over the phone (609-967-7155), or online. Note that online renewal only works once for each item. You will not be able to renew your item(s) if someone else is waiting for them, if they have been checked out to the same card for too long, or if you have fines on your card in excess of $10. Also, Check-It-Out Now materials can not be renewed under any circumstances.

5. I damaged an item, what do I do now?

If you have damaged an item you will be fined the full replacement cost. In many cases, you can purchase a replacement copy yourself online for less money, and bring that in to avoid the fine. Please visit the library or call us at 609-967-7155 to see if you would be allowed to do so.

6. How does Check-It-Out Now work?

Our Check-It-Out Now collections make additional copies of the most popular books and movies available to patrons. These copies are available for a reduced time period (overnight for movies, one week for books), cannot be renewed, cannot be sent or returned via mail, and can't be placed on hold. Too much pressure? The library maintains copies of each of these titles outside of the program, to which these rules do not apply.

7. How does Library By Mail work?

Avalon property owners are eligible to have their items mailed to them or to return them via USPS at no charge. Click here for more information.

8. What are Discovery Kits?

Discovery Kits are fun boxes filled with S.T.E.A.M. themed toys, crafts, and equipment. We offer kits for kids, teens, and adults. You can see a complete list of available kits by clicking here.

9. What are Binge Boxes?

Binge Boxes are curated collections of materials, usually movies, that can be checked out for a period of 1 week. We offer them in varieties for both children and adults, and they are packaged together around themes like "Espionage" & "Romance is in the Air", or highlight popular works from a specific actor or filmmaker, or even contain favorite films from members of our staff. Themes can change throughout the year, so keep an eye out for new ones!

10. Can I check out magazines?

Yes, in most cases. Current and back issues of most magazines can be checked out for a period of 1 week. No issues of Consumer Reports can be checked out, however, you can access the Consumer Reports database online using your library card by clicking here.

11. How do I place a hold on an item the library carries?

If an item you want is checked out you can place a hold on it by requesting it at the front desk, calling us at 609-967-7155, or using the button marked "Request It" on the library catalog page.

12. Can I request materials?

Yes. If you would like to borrow something that the library does not have, you can submit a request for the item in person at the circulation desk, over the phone, or using a simple online form here. A staff member will then do their best to obtain the item by either purchasing it or having it brought in via Inter-Library Loan (ILL). Items received via ILL cannot always be renewed, cannot be sent out or returned via Library By Mail, and may take up to 2 weeks to arrive, so please take that into consideration before requesting an item. If the library is unable to obtain the item through any available means, a staff member will notify you.

13. Do you offer book recommendations?

Yes. Our front desk staff is always happy to help you pick out a book. If you would like some more detailed recommendations, you can fill out our online form here and a member of staff will get back to you with a customized list!

14. Do you offer eBooks or eAudiobooks?

Yes. We offer both eBooks and eAudiobooks through Libby and Hoopla. You can find out more about each of those services, and many others, on our Digital Library page.

15. Do you offer streaming video or music?

Yes. We offer streaming video via Hoopla and Kanopy, and we offer streaming music via Hoopla and Freegal. Freegal also offers downloadable music that is yours to keep. You can find out more about each of those services, and many others, on our Digital Library page.

16. Do you offer online access to newspapers and magazines?

Yes. We offer PressReader for browsers and via the app. PressReader has hundreds of US newspapers, such as The Philadelphia Inquirer, and magazine titles along with thousands of international titles. We also offer online access to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. All of these can be found on our Digital Library page here.

17. Do you offer any technology products to borrow?

Yes. We have an ever-growing collection of technology items like blu-ray players and wi-fi hotspots available for patrons to borrow. You can view the whole collection here. Technology items are only available to Avalon property owners and renters.

18. Do you offer contactless pick-up of library materials?

Yes. Contactless pick-up of library materials is available by appointment. Details can be found here.

C. Membership

1. How do I get a library card?

Come by the library and ask to join. You will need to fill out a brief form, present your driver's license, and if you own property in Avalon or Cape May County, provide proof of ownership, like a bill or other mail. If you live in Avalon or Cape May County year-round and the address is on your driver's license, no further proof is required. If you have owned a property in Avalon for 6 months or more, we can usually verify it for you. If you are renting in Avalon, you will need to provide proof of that, like a rental agreement or confirmation email.

You can also apply for a library card online here.

2. I don't live in Avalon, can I use the library?

Yes. In addition to Avalon residents and property owners, the following people are eligible to receive a library card: Avalon vacation renters, Cape May County residents, Avalon business employees, Avalon Borough employees, and members of libraries associated with COIL (Absecon Free Public Library, Atlantic City Free Public Library, Linwood Free Public Library, Longport Public Library, Margate Public Library, Millville Public Library, Ocean City Free Public Library, Otto Bruyns Public Library of Northfield, and Vineland Public Library).

Other visitors to the area may be eligible for a subscriber card by paying a fee, ask at the Library for more information.

However many of the services we offer do not require membership, such as computer & internet use, program attendance, printing, and faxing. We also offer a selection of "Beach Reads" in our front porch area that are free for everyone to take (and leave!).

3. Can I get my grandchild a library card?

If you are the child's legal guardian you will be able to get them a card. If you are not, you will need their parent or other legal guardian to sign the application as well. We can give you the form to take with you and get signed, and then can issue the card when you return with it. You can also download the form here to get it signed before you come in.

4. Can I get a library card over the internet?

Yes. If you are an Avalon resident, Avalon property-owner, or a Cape May County resident, you can have a temporary access card after filling out the online library card form. When you are able to come to the library in person to present your valid ID and update your account we will extend the validation period of your card. 

5. Why does my library card expire and how do I renew it?

Your library card expires every 2 years. This is to allow us to review your information with you to be sure that what we have is correct. You can renew your card by visiting the library, calling us at 609-967-7155, or reaching out to us on our contact page here.

6. I lost my library card, what do I do now?

Come into the library and we will replace your card. We can also mail a replacement card to you at your primary address. When getting a replacement card, please let us know if you use Overdrive or Libby so we can transfer your online account to your new card.

7. Do I need a PIN or password to use my library card?

No, you do not need a PIN or password to access and use your library account. A password is also not required for many of the online services we offer, as simply your library card number and possibly your email address will be enough to access them. Some however, like Kanopy, Hoopla, PressReader, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, will require you to create a free account with them, and that account will require you to create and use a password.

8. I am trying to log on to an online resource and it asks for a patron ID, what is this?

In most cases your patron ID will be your library card. There are a few resources, like Kanopy or Hoopla, that require you to use your email address as your patron ID.

9. Do you offer any assistive services?

Yes, we offer several assistive services. You can find out about them on our assistive services page here.

D. Programs

1. Do I need a library card to attend events?

No. Our events are open to everyone, regardless of whether or not they are members of the library. Events that require registration do offer priority access to Avalon residents and property owners.

2. Do I need to sign up for events?

While many of our events do not require registration, due to limited seating or supplies, some programs do require it. This will always be noted in the event description online or by the presence of an asterisk (*) in our printed program guides. Events that require registration are available to sign up for Avalon residents and property owners 1 month before their scheduled date, and 2 weeks prior to their scheduled date for everyone else.

3. Do I need a ticket to attend an event?

We have required tickets to attend select events in the past, though there are not currently any events planned that will require this. In the event that an event does require a ticket, it will be noted in the event description everywhere that it appears, and we will also utilize our webpage and social media accounts to make people aware. If you ever have any concerns about this feel free to ask at the front desk or call the library at 609-967-7155.

4. Do you offer language learning classes or services?

We usually offer language learning courses in the summer, keep an eye on our Calendar or our Events page on Facebook to learn about them as they are scheduled. In addition, you can use your library card online to access the Rosetta Stone program. To access it, head to our Digital Library page, locate the "Learn" heading, and find it in the carousel. Also, we have a selection of language learning books and audiobooks, which can be found in the library in nonfiction in the 400's using the Dewey decimal system (or you can ask for help at the front desk).

5. Do you offer art classes?

We offer a variety of single project arts and crafts programming throughout the year (usually one each month and more in the summer), keep an eye on our Calendar or our Events page on Facebook to learn about them as they are scheduled.

6. Do you offer technology classes?

We offer a variety of classes on technology topics throughout the year, check our Calendar or our Events page on Facebook to learn about them as they are scheduled. In addition, we offer open technology workshops throughout the year, in which you can drop by at any point during the scheduled time and ask questions about the device type highlighted. Technology help is also available most days all year long, but it is recommended to schedule an appointment before coming in, by calling the library at 609-967-7155.

7. Do you hold a book club?

Yes. In fact we offer 4! Our regular book club meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, our romance book club meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, our mystery book club meets on the 4th Thursday of each month, and our history book club meets the 1st Wednesday of select months throughout the year, each from 6:00 to 7:30pm. Please note that this schedule can change due to special events, holidays, weather or other reasons at our descretion. Keep an eye on our Calendar or our Events page on Facebook to learn about any changes as they are announced.

8. Do you offer a children's story time?

Yes. September through early June we offer children's story time every Wednesday at 10:00 am. It is open to children of all ages, but suggested for ages 3 and under. It includes stories and songs. We also host monthly kids' and family activities and during the summer months we have many children's activities throughout the week, including story times.

Keep an eye on our Calendar or our Events page on Facebook to learn about upcoming programs or any changes as they are announced. 

9. Do you offer a Summer Reading Program?

Yes. At the beginning of every summer patrons of any age can sign up for one of our Summer Reading Programs. It is offered for children, teens, and adults, with each age group offered different incentives which are distributed weekly and/or at the end of the summer season. This program is subject to change from year to year, so feel free to inquire about it at the front desk or by calling the library at 609-967-7155.

10. How do I suggest a program?

You can suggest a program by visiting the library, calling us at 609-967-7155, or using our easy online form here.

11. How do I use Zoom to attend a remote Library program?

Please view our video instructions for how to attend a Zoom program. If you have questions, please reach out to our programming department at [email protected].

E. Technology

1. Do you offer public wifi access?

Yes. We offer free access to wifi inside and immediately around our facility. Our network is named "avalonlibrary" and there is no password, though you will have to agree to usage terms on a splash screen before being able to use the service.

2. Do you offer printing?

Yes. You can print documents on our public printer from one of our public computers or from your own device using one of the methods on our Technology Services page under the heading of "Wireless Printing." Either way, you will need to retrieve your print job at the Print Release Station located near the public computers. There is currently no charge for printing, though we do impose a limit of 25 pages per user per day.

3. Do you offer photocopying?

Yes. A self-service, black & white photocopier is available to use near the entrance to the Children's room. Color photocopies can be made using the Scan Station and selecting the option to "Print in Color". There is currently no charge for photocopying services, though we do impose a limit of 25 pages per user per day.

4. Do you offer scanning?

Yes. We have a self-service scan station located near the public computers. It allows users to scan documents or pictures to an external storage device, email address, or fax number, all at no charge.

5. Do you offer faxing?

Yes. You can fax documents for free using the library's Scan Station. If you need to receive a fax at the library, it should be sent to 609-967-4723. It is advised that you come in to pick up any faxes sent to that number promptly, as the library will not be responsible for any lost faxes sent.

6. Do you have computers I can use?

Yes. We have 4 desktop PC's available for visitors to use. Library members can log in to use them as a Patron using their library card number. All other visitors must first obtain a Guest Pass by visiting the front desk. Use of these PC's is limited to 120 minutes per day, broken into 2 segments of 60 minutes each, and may be further restricted if people are waiting to use a computer. We also have laptops available for attendees to use in any classes that require access to a computer.

7. Do you have a Mac I can use?

The library does not currently have any Apple devices available for patrons to use.

8. Do you have laptop chargers?

We do not currently have laptop chargers available for patrons to use.

9. Do you have phone chargers?

We do offer chargers that are compatible with most portable Apple and Android devices, which can be used while visiting the library. These are available upon request at the front desk.

10. Do you loan out iPads or other tablets?

At this time we do not have any tablets of any kind available to borrow.

11. Do you loan out eReaders?

At this time we do not have any eReaders available to borrow.

12. Do you loan out video games?

Yes. We offer a variety of the most popular games for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo WiiU, and Nintendo Switch. Patrons can browse the selection by looking through the plastic sleeves located near the CD's, which they can then bring to the front desk to exchange for their desired game. Patrons may borrow 2 video games per card for a period of 2 weeks.

13. Do you loan out video game consoles?

Yes. We currently offer the following video game consoles to borrow: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii, Playstation 4, and Xbox 360. These are available for a period of 1 week, and may only be checked out by Avalon property owners and renters.

14. What different technology products do you have available to borrow?

We have an ever-growing collection of technology items like blu-ray players and wi-fi hotspots available for patrons to borrow. You can view the whole collection here. Technology items are only available to Avalon property owners and renters.

15. Can you help me with my phone, computer, or other device?

Yes. We have several staff members who are more than happy to offer assistance with your device. For quick questions feel free to pop in and see who is available at the front desk or at the tech help desk located near the rear exit. For more in-depth issues it is suggested that you make an appointment, either by visiting the front desk or calling the library at 609-967-7155.

16. Can you help me learn online?

Yes. We have many online resources to help you with your education or independent research, including genealogy services, online tutoring, language learning programs, magazine & newspaper access, encyclopedias, business resources, book review sites, and more. They can all be accessed from our Digital Library page here.

F. Donations

1. Do you accept donations of items?

Yes! We will accept books, audiobooks, DVD's, and CD's that are in good condition. If the items are moldy, musty, or damaged we cannot accept them. We also do not currently accept donations of encyclopedias, magazines, or VHS tapes.