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Loan Rules

Using Your Card

For the most convenient service, always bring your card to check out materials. If you forget your library card, you may provide photo identification instead.

Use of your card signifies that you have read and agreed to the library’s current policies.


You may check out up to 100 items (including up to 10 DVDs or 10 Playaways) on your card at one time.

Overdrive, Hoopla, and other digital items do not count towards the 100-item limit. Checkout rules for some cards (Educator Cards, Non-resident - Limited Cards, Courtesy Cards, etc.) may differ.


You may return materials to any Nashville Public Library location or bookdrop. Items left while the library is closed will be considered returned as of the last date the library was open.


Renewals are easy. We automatically renew eligible items, so you don’t have to.

Items will not be renewed when:

  • The item is on hold for someone else.
  • Your card is blocked for any reason.
  • You have reached the maximum number of renewals allowed.
  • Renewals are not allowed on the material (e.g., Lucky Day Collection titles, eBooks). See chart below for renewal information. 

About auto renewal:

  • When your item is automatically renewed, you will see the new due date when you log into your account.
  • You will not be notified if your automatic renewal is successful.
  • If items cannot be automatically renewed, you will receive a due date reminder by your chosen method (text, email or phone).

You can also renew items manually by using My Account or calling (615) 862-5890 and using our automated service. Have your library card number and PIN handy. You will need the barcode numbers of the materials you wish to renew.


If an item you’re looking for is checked out to another customer or if the item is at another branch location, you may place a hold on the item and pick it up at your preferred branch. You will be notified by email or phone when the item is ready for pick up.

  • Holds for physical material are limited to 25 items per account at any given time.
  • Holds are held for 7 days for pick up at the designated library location.
  • Holds are not transferable to other library cards.
  • Holds on OverDrive are limited to 10 items and do not count towards the 25 item limit mentioned above for physical material. OverDrive holds are held for 3 days.

Approved Users

An Approved User is an adult to whom you give access to your account. An Approved User can check out holds, renew materials, and pay fees. To add an Approved User, you must visit a library location in person. Contact any library location to revoke an Approved User. You accept responsibility for all actions that occur as a result of this access.

Overdue, Damaged, or Lost Items

There is no charge for items returned late. If you fail to return borrowed items, account limitations and fees may apply.

  • Accounts with two or more lost or damaged items are not usable until at least one item is returned, replaced, or paid in full.
  • Replacement items are accepted only if they are new or like new. Books must be the same or newer edition than the material that was lost or damaged. They cannot be a used library copy. Non-book items must match the model or description in the catalog record. Please talk with a staff member to learn more about purchasing replacement materials before you buy.
  • Delinquent materials and fees are automatically routed to an outside collection agency when the balance is $56 or more and at least one item is overdue by 52 days.
  • Some services have administrative fees: routing to a collection agency, replacing electronic equipment, etc. If fees equal or exceed $9.99, accounts will not be usable.

Checkouts, Renewals, Fines

Books, CDs, DVDs

Item Checkout Period Renewals Allowed
Books 21 days 3
CD Audiobooks 21 days 3
Playaways 21 days 3
Music CDs 21 days 3
Movies & DVDs (less than six hours) 7 days 1
Movies & DVDs (more than six hours) 21 days 1

eBooks, eAudiobooks, eVideo

Item Checkout Period Renewals Allowed
Hoopla Audiobooks, Comics 21 days No
Hoopla Music 7 days No
Hoopla Movies & TV 3 days No
Odilo eBooks, Audiobooks, Magazines 21 days No
Overdrive eBooks & eAudiobooks 7-21 days Yes

Specialty Items

Item Checkout Period Renewals Allowed
Blood Pressure Kits* 6 weeks No
Board Games* 21 days No
Book Club in a Bag Kits* 6 weeks No
Bookpacks* 21 days 1
Community Passports* 7 days No
Connect with NPL Collection* 21 days 3
Curriculum Kits* 6 weeks No
Launchpads* 21 days 1
Library of Things* 21 days 3
Literacy Kits* 21 days 1
Lucky Day Collection* 14 days No
Metro Arts Lending Library* 90 days 1
NPL BCycle Passes 7 days No
Ukuleles* 21 days 1

*Items have additional borrowing rules.