Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question that’s not answered here? Just ask us. We are happy to help. Need more information about our policies? View them online.

How do I get a library card?

Residents of the City of Joplin are entitled to a free library card. The applicant must supply proof of current address. Acceptable as proof of address are: utility bill or computer generated mail with name and address dated within the last 30 days, or current insurance card dated within the last 30 days. Not acceptable as proof are: printed check, personal mail, Library cards, rent receipts or lease agreements, voter registration card or driver’s license (unless dated within the last 30 days), and business cards.

Someone who owns property inside the city limits is also entitled to a free card, regardless of the place of residence. A property owner must provide the current property tax receipt and proof of address as listed above.

A JPL library card is not to be used by anyone other than the individual to whom it is issued. If it is lost or stolen, this must be reported to the Library immediately as the card holder is responsible for all items checked out on that card.

Minors (anyone younger than eighteen) must have a parent’s or guardian’s signature on the application.

How do I get a card if I live outside the Library District?

The Joplin Library District is fixed by the limits of the City of Joplin. The Library is financed by a real estate tax on property within the city limits. We are happy to provide service to non-residents, but we must ask those patrons to help pay part of the cost. The $50 JPL fee is based on the average tax paid by a Library District resident. A card good for three months for $12.50 is available for those living more than 50 miles from Joplin.

There is no other place we can think of where you get better value for your money. For the price of one novel or the cost of renting half a dozen videos you can have access to the thousands of books, videos, audiobooks and other library materials in the Joplin Public Library collection. You will also be able to use the Library’s computers. For less than the price of two cups of coffee a week you can have the world virtually at your fingertips.

It costs absolutely nothing to use materials inside the Library building, to access our electronic databases, to ask for reference help or information, or to bring children to storytime or to attend teen or adult programming. We are very glad that you wish to use the Joplin Public Library and we encourage you to use your Joplin Public Library card often. You won’t find a better bargain anywhere.

Overdue Fine Elimination Questions?

Joplin Public Library is saying “later” to overdue fines, making our books and other materials even more accessible to everyone. As of August 1, 2018, we no longer charge overdue (late) fines for items returned past the due date. JPL will still charge for replacement fees for lost or damaged items, as well as fees associated with collecting replacement costs through a collection agency.

Why is JPL eliminating overdue fines?
This change makes our collections even more accessible to all library patrons.

When did this go into effect?
August 1, 2018. We have wiped out all existing overdue fines in your account. Fees for lost items as well as an administrative and/or collection agency fee will still be due.

Does the elimination of late fines also apply to larger, non-traditional physical items, like Launchpads?
Yes. However, lost or damaged fees will apply

Do old fines carry over?
No, old overdue fines will not carry over. However, charges for lost, damaged, or missing items or collection agency fees will carry over.

I recently paid off my late fines. Do I get a refund?
No. We thank you for your responsible use of JPL materials. This new policy to eliminate overdue fines takes effect August 1, but we will not refund previously paid overdue fines.

Aside from late fines, are any other fees changing (e.g., replacement costs, collection agency fees)?
Administrative fee (formerly called a processing fee) and collection agency fees will remain the same. Only overdue fines are being eliminated.

When are items declared “lost”?
28 days after the due date, an item will be considered “lost”. At that point, you will be responsible for the cost of the item plus a $7.50 non-refundable administrative fee. If an account is then referred to a collection agency, an additional fee will then be assessed.

What about Interlibrary Loans (ILL)?
ILLs will continue to be charged overdue fines because these come from the lending library. This policy will not change from current policy.

What is this “administrative fee”?
The term more accurately describes what was formerly called a “processing fee”. It covers everything that has gone into trying to get an item returned. It covers, for example: the time and materials (stamps, paper, and photocopies) it takes to generate and send overdue notices and bills; the time it takes to order and purchase a replacement item; the time and materials it takes to catalog and process an item purchased in place of the lost item.

What about Holds not picked up by pick up date?
They will continue to have a $1 charge.

Can I search the library catalog from outside the library?

You can search by title, author, subject, and keyword, as well as look at numerous lists (best sellers, new books, etc.) the staff has prepared. From the catalog site, you can also access your own account, place holds, and make suggestions for purchase. Many of the items in the catalog are accompanied by additional information, such as reviews, cover art, plot summaries, etc.

Does the library have computers for public use?

There are twenty-four computers with Internet access available in the lab in the Main Resource part of our building. Users must present a library card and are limited to 90 minutes a day. Visitors may use a computer for 15 minutes free a day, pay $1.00 for up to 45 minutes a day or pay $2.00 for up to 90 minutes a day and must show a photo ID.

The Library has installed filtering software on all Library computers designated for Internet access. For those under 18, a parent or legal guardian must sign a permission form in person at the Computer Lab to allow computer use.

Are there limits to the number of items I can check out?

You can check out limited numbers of some types of library materials.

  • DVDs: 4 per card
  • CDs: 4 per card
  • Books on CD: 4 per card
  • Magazines: 4 per card
  • Encyclopedias: 1 per card

How long is the checkout period?

Most items check out for three weeks. The following items check out for one week:

  • New Fiction
  • CDs
  • Movies, Documentaries & Children DVDs
  • Display Items
  • Magazines
  • Any item on which there is a hold

Can I ask that something be held for me?

You may place up to twenty holds on library materials although there are smaller limits on A.V materials. The Library will notify you by automated phone call, e-mail, text or postcard when the items become available. Holds may be placed from any catalog terminal in the library, via the Internet, or with staff assistance. When placing a hold, you may request pick-up at the 24/7 Lockers (located outside the Library entrance). With your card and PIN, you can pick your items up any time, day or night.

How much are fines on overdue items?

Effective August 1, 2018 we no longer charge Overdue Fines except for Interlibrary Loans which are charged at $1.00 per day. Please read the Overdue Fine Elimination Questions above for more FAQs.

Overdue notices are sent via email, text, and/or mail as a courtesy reminder to patrons. After an item is overdue by 28 days, the patron is charged $7.50 non-refundable administrative fee and the replacement cost for the item. The Library submits long-overdue accounts to a collection agency and an additional fee will then be assessed.

Can I renew checked out items?

All renewable items (not items with holds, DVDs or CD music) will renew automatically 2 days before they are due for the same time as the original checkout period. If you have an email address noted in your patron registration, you will get a notice with your current due dates. No item will renew more than once. You can check your due dates online or by calling the Circulation Desk during normal library hours.

How do I request items the library doesn’t have?

If you would like the Library to acquire an item that it doesn’t own, you may fill out a Suggestion for Purchase request.

You may also borrow items from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan. Interlibrary loan requests must be made in person at the Reference Desk. Depending on the type of request, there may be a fee for this service.

What are the library’s hours?

For current library hours, visit our Contact Page.

How do I make a donation to the library?

Gifts to the Library can take many forms. If you want to make a contribution to the Endowment Fund in memory of someone or in honor of someone, you may write a check to the Library for that specific purpose. The Library also gladly accepts donations to the Building Reserve Fund, which is used to finance special projects. You may also name the Library as a beneficiary in your will.

The Library also accepts donations of gently used books, videos, DVDs and CDs and recent issues of popular magazines. Donated materials may be sold by the Library if they are not added to the collection.

How do I apply for a job at the library?

The Library accepts applications only when there is a position open. All openings are listed on our Employment page.

Where is the library located?

The Library occupies the northeast corner of 20th & Connecticut. Entrance to the Library parking lot is on the north side of the building from Connecticut and to the east of the building on 20th St. Entrance to the Library itself is on the north side of the building towards the east. If you are coming from I-44 it is easiest to get off at Exit 8 and go north to 20th St and then turn left onto 20th St. The Library will be on the right (north) side of the street, approximately .9 miles from Rangeline.

How much money do I save by using the library?

Use our Library Savings Calculator to find out how much you would have to pay for the services your library provides for free.

How do I show my art at the library?

The Post Art Library accepts applications for local artists to display their creations.

How do I set a Hold to be picked up at the 24-7 Lockers Outside?

  1. Find the title you want to place on Hold in the online card catalog (OPAC).  catalog.joplinpubliclibrary.org
  2. Click on the “Place Request” button found to the right of the item title.
  3. Enter your library card barcode and PIN when prompted.  Click “Log In”.
  4. Use the down arrow by “Pickup Library” to select “24-7 Lockers” as your pickup location.
  5. Click “Submit Request”
  6. When you are notified your Hold is ready, you may pick it up at the 24-7 Lockers whenever you wish, even if the library is closed.
  7. Touch the word “Checkout”; either scan your library card or type your full card number in (starts with 2334). You will need to know your PIN. Once you “Accept” your items, the locker door will pop open and you can retrieve your items. Close the locker, print your receipt, and click “Finish” so the 24-7 Lockers are ready for the next person to checkout their items.

If you have any questions about our 24-7 Lockers, please stop at Circulation (to the right after coming through our Entrance, just after the book drop.)