Library Cards and Accounts

Automatic Renewals: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Basic Information

What is an automatic renewal (auto-renewal)?

Most items checked out from the Pratt Library will now renew automatically on your account. Three (3) days before items are due, our system will check your account for eligible items and renew them. The loan periods will extend from the original due dates.

Which items DO automatically renew?

Most physical items borrowed (books, DVDs, audiobooks, music CDs) are eligible for up to 3 auto-renewals. Marina items are eligible for up to 2 auto-renewals.

Which items DO NOT automatically renew?

The following are not eligible for auto-renewal:

  • Items that have reached their renewal limit
  • Items another customer has requested to borrow (items on hold)
  • OCLC items (special items borrowed from another library system)
  • Lucky Day items (5-day DVDs and 14-day books)
  • Downloadable and streaming materials (e.g. eBooks and eMagazines)
  • 16mm films
  • Maps and magazines (must be renewed in person)

Does an automatic renewal give me less time to borrow an item?

No. Since an auto-renewal calculates the new due date from the original due date, you will not lose any time.

If an item did not auto-renew and I don’t return it on time, are there still fines?

There are no fines for Pratt materials. Interlibrary loans items (marked as Marina or OCLC on a white band) are still eligible for fines. Be sure to be mindful of due dates by checking your Account. You are still responsible for any fines of interlibrary loan items returned after their due date.

Can I opt out of auto-renewal?

No, not at this time.

Notifications

How am I notified when an item auto-renews?

Auto-renewal notices are ONLY sent via email 3 days before an item is due. If you've provided an email address on your account, you should be receiving notifications.

You may also look at your account online or contact your local branch to check on your account.

What information is in an auto-renewal notification?

The email will contain a notice that your items were auto-renewed and will list the new due dates.

Will I be notified of items that are not eligible for auto-renewal?

Yes. This notification will be sent via email 3 days before the due date if the auto-renewal doesn’t go through. This will be a separate email from the auto-renewal notice.

What if I'm not receiving email notifications?

Be sure you've provided a valid email address. Please call or visit your local branch to confirm the email address.

Manual Renewals

Can I still renew materials whenever I want?

Yes and no. Manual renewals (items renewed by yourself or a staff member) can only be done 6 days before the due date. You can also call or visit your local branch to ask for a renewal within the 6 days before an item is due. The 6 days includes the due date. For example, if your item is due on a Saturday, the earliest you can renew manually is Monday.

Do I have to manually renew items in my account?

No - it is not necessary now.

Why would I want to manually renew an item if they can renew automatically?

Some customers may feel more comfortable knowing their items are renewed (perhaps before a trip out-of-town) and would like a longer cushion of time to return their material if it may not renew.

Popular items may have requests from other customers in which the item will not renew, so in that case you may want to check sooner to see if it will renew if you want to keep beyond the original loan period.

If I manually renew, will I have less time to borrow?

No - the loan period will be the same and will extend from the due date just like an auto-renewal.

More Information on Renewing Library Items

If you don't find what you need using the information above, please contact your local branch or the Circulation Department at 410-396-5325 / crc@prattlibrary.org. You may also use the main number: 410-396-5430.

If you’d like to send us feedback, please use our online feedback form, How Is Pratt Doing? to submit a comment.

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