Frequently Asked Questions

Library FAQs/Policies

The DCL staff and member libraries are currently developing a list of questions that patrons ask, both in person and by Internet. We've come up the list below and welcome your input. What questions do you have about library service in Delaware County? Let us know:

Q. How do I get a library card?

A. There are two ways to get a Delaware County Libraries library card:​
Online: Register for a Delaware County Libraries library card online here
In person: Print out and complete the application form- PDF and visit any of our 28 libraries throughout Delaware County to register in person. Our application is also available in the following languages:
     • Español - PDF
     • Deutsch - PDF
     • हिंदी - PDF
     • اردو - PDF
     • 简体中文 - PDF
     • বাংলা - PDF
     • Français - PDF
     • 한국인 - PDF
     • Tiếng Việt - PDF
     • عربي - PDF

To obtain a library card, from either registering in person or online, you will need identification showing your current address in Delaware County, PA.  A photo identification, such as a driver's license, is preferred. 

To register in person, visit any public library in Delaware County and fill out an application form at the front desk. Complete the application form, read and sign the user agreement, show your identification, and your library card will be issued.  

If you register for a library card online, a temporary barcode will be issued after completing the online registration form. Remember this number to access a limited number of resources like placing a hold on a book. Please note that until your physical card arrives in the mail, resources such as Libby by OverDrive will not be accessible with your temporary barcode number. A physical library card will be mailed within three to five business days. After receiving a physical library card, users will have 30 days to go to their local library to verify their account. To verify your account, go to any library in Delaware County, bring your library card, and show photo identification such as a driver's license. If you do not verify your account within the 30 day period, your card will expire.

A Delaware County Libraries library card can be used in any of the 28 member libraries in the county and in most public libraries in Pennsylvania, through the Access PA program. Your library card can also be used to connect to our electronic information resources.  

There is no minimum age for obtaining a library card; however a parent's signature is required for persons under 18.

There is a three dollar fee for replacement of lost cards, and outstanding fines must be paid before a new card is issued.

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Q. Where can I use my library card?

A. Library cards issued by any public library in Delaware County can be used in all county public libraries. Find a list of libraries on the Our Libraries page.

If your library card has a blue and white Access PA* sticker, it can be used in most public libraries in Pennsylvania. (Procedures for registering in out of county libraries varies.) Participating public libraries have a similar sticker on their door. For information on neighboring libraries select a link below.

The Free Library of Philadelphia

Chester County Library System

Lower Merion Library Association

MCLINC (the Montgomery County Library Information Network Consortium).

*In the southeastern portion of Pennsylvania the only public libraries not participating in the Access PA program are the Wyomissing Public Library in Berks County and and Lansdale Public Library in Montgomery County (the Lansdowne Library in Delaware County does participate).

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Q. Why doesn’t my library card work?

A. If your library card is no longer working it has most likely expired. DCL cards need to be renewed every three years. To renew your card simply visit any public library in Delaware County, bring your library card, and show identification to verify your address. This can be a driver’s license, utility bill, etc. Your card will then be renewed for another three years.

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Q. Can non-county residents use DCL member libraries?

A. Pennsylvania residents from outside Delaware County can use their local library card in DCL member libraries if it has the blue AccessPA sticker. The first time you use the card in the county, you will have to complete a registration form and show proper identification.

People living outside of Delaware County who do not have an AccessPA library card may purchase a nonresident card. This card may only be used at the library at which it was purchased. Prices vary, and some libraries do not offer this option.

(People who work in Delaware County and do not have an Access PA library card can use their work address to apply for a regular card.)

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Q. Which libraries are handicapped accessible?

A. All DCL member libraries are handicapped accessible EXCEPT: Darby, Marcus Hook and Ridley Park.

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Q. Which libraries answer reference questions by email?

A. If you would like to ask a reference question via email, select a library below. The reference librarians will not be able to reply at once but will try to answer your question within a few days. Your question should be as complete as possible. If you are a student, include your grade level in school, such as seventh grade, senior or college student. Whenever possible, include the reason for your question.

You can also get help online 24 hours a day 7 days a week with a live librarian through Chat With A Librarian.

Here are some sample questions:

  • I am looking into my family history and would like to know how to begin my research.
  • I am a high school student and would like to know if you have information on pharmaceutical companies in the Delaware Valley region for a paper on major employers in the region.
  • What is the average rainfall in the U.S.?
  • Who wrote Moby Dick?

Haverford Township Free Library
Helen Kate Furness Free Library (Wallingford)
Lansdowne Public Library
Marple Public Library
Media-Upper Providence Free Library
Middletown Free Library
Newtown Public Library
Rachel Kohl Community Library (Glen Mills)
Radnor Memorial Library
Ridley Township Public Library
Springfield Township Public Library
Swarthmore Public Library
Tinicum Memorial Library
Upper Darby/Sellers Library

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Q. Which libraries have extensive business reference materials?

A. Thanks to a collection of online resources funded by the Commonwealth and/or by the County, all of the libraries have extensive business-reference materials. Resources of interest are the Business Plans Handbook (eBook), Weiss Financial Ratings,  AtoZ Databases (a nationwide business directory), among others. These databases are accessible from home for patrons with library cards.

The libraries that are committed to maintaining the most extensive business resources in print are the county’s six larger libraries: Haverford, Marple, SpringfieldRadnor, Ridley Township, or Upper Darby/Sellers. The resource centers can answer questions about banking and finance, management, insurance, corporate profiles, current stocks and bonds, national building codes and foreign investments, and can provide tips for searching databases.

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