Library FAQ

Who can I email or call if I have questions?

  • Call (650) 522-7800.  Leave a voicemail and your call will be returned.
  • Email:

We will respond to inquires as soon as possible.

How long will the library be closed?

An opening date for all San Mateo City Libraries is to be determined.  We will be following guidance from the San Mateo County Health Department.  All programs, events, and meeting room reservations have been cancelled.

Can I return my borrowed items while the library is closed?

Checked out library items should be kept and not returned during the closure.  Book drops are closed.  Borrowed items may be returned once the library reopens.

What if my items are due during the closure?  Will I accrue late fees?

We will automatically extend checkout times for borrowed items and no one will be fined during this closure.  eBook due dates are not affected by the library building closures.

Should I return my LINK+ (Interlibrary Loan) items during the current library closure?  Will I accrue late fees?

Please do not return LINK+ items until the library reopens for public service.  We will not charge you for any LINK+ overdue fees that may be incurred during this period.

Can I donate materials to the library while the library is closed?

Donations are not being accepted at this time.

What if my holds are ready for pick up? 

Beginning June 1st, holds that were placed and available for pickup at the Main Library before the shelter in place started may be picked up by appointment at the Main Library. This service is currently only available at the Main Library, Monday - Friday from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM and an appointment is required. If you have a hold currently on the shelves at Main, you will be contacted via email and be prompted to make an appointment. If you have questions about this service, please call or email us at (650) 522-7833 or

Holds that are currently at the Marina and Hillsdale Library will be available for pickup in the next few weeks. Following that, a more expanded curbside service will be available to patrons to make new requests for library materials later in June.

May I apply for a library card online? 

During the library’s closure, San Mateo residents may apply for a temporary card using the online application form.  Please note, all temporary cards will expire in 90 days and are valid for only select resources.  Visit any San Mateo Public Library location upon our reopening to reactivate your library card with full borrowing privileges.

My library card is about to expire.  How can I renew it? 

 Library cards that will expire during the closure period have a new expiration date of June 30, 2020.

What library resources can I access while library locations are closed?   

The San Mateo City Library has access to many eBooks, eAudiobooks, streaming movies, and digital magazines that are available 24/7 with a library card.  Check out our eLibrary resources for eLearning materials, including research databases, language learning, career and test preparation, financial information, professional development and more, all from your home.