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We have free wireless internet access available at seven of our libraries, Downtown Reno, Incline Village, North Valleys, Northwest Reno, Sierra View, South Valleys, Spanish Springs and Sparks.
How to get a library card

All you need to get a borrower's card from Washoe County Library is proof of residence in Nevada and a photo ID. There is no charge. Acceptable identification includes:
  • Valid Nevada driver's license or Nevada identification card
  • Local bank checks with imprinted address
  • Local utility or phone bill
  • Current rent receipt or lease showing at least one month's residence
There are other acceptable forms of identification, but these are the most commonly used. There is a short application form to fill out as well.

Minors may obtain a card by showing local school identification from the current school year, or by their accompanying parent or guardian showing acceptable identification.

Non-Nevada residents may obtain a card if they own property or a business in Washoe County, are employed in Washoe County, or attend school in Washoe County. Proof of such ownership or employment is required. For non-Nevada residents not meeting these requirements, a card is available for a $50 annual fee.

Checking out items

To check out any items from the library, you will need your library card or photo ID.

Most library branches will give you a printed receipt with your due dates listed for each item, or each item will be stamped with the due date.

You may check out as many items as you wish to be responsible for, with the exception of limits on certain smaller collections and audiovisual materials.

Bags are usually available, but it is always helpful to bring your own if you think you will need it.

Loan periods

The loan period for most items is three weeks.

Certain items which are specially checked out, such as reference materials or items borrowed from other library systems, have shorter loan periods.

Returning items

Library items may be returned to any branch of Washoe County Library, regardless of which branch they were checked out from.

Most branches have a slot to drop off books after hours. If you drop off a book the night of the due date, the item will not be considered late. Check with your branch for drop slot availability and location.


All items may be renewed one time after being checked out, unless the item has been placed on hold for another patron.

Overdue items may be renewed to stop the accrual of fines, but fines will be charged for the number of days that the item is overdue.

Renewals can be made online though our library catalog at any time. Instructions on how to renew your own materils are here. Renewals may also be made over the phone by calling any library branch and giving them your card number. You may write the new due date in, but it will not be stamped. You are responsible for knowing when the books are due.

Items may be renewed without having the items present. If you have your card, items left at home may be renewed when you visit a branch.


Adult Library Cardholders: 25 cents per day per item, maximum fine per item $9.00. Minor Library Cardholders (age 17 and younger): 10 cents per day per item, maximum fine per item $2.00.
Your PIN is the last four digits of your phone number. When entering your library card number, be sure to enter the entire number without any spaces.
All items may be renewed one time for a maximum checkout period of three weeks unless the item is on hold for another patron. Renew items in person, online, or by phone.

To renew online
  • Go to the library catalog and log in with your library card number and password (try the last 4 digits of the account's phone number).
  • Select "Renew" for each title and then choose "Renew selected" or simply choose "Renew all."
We do not currently accept online payments. We are working to make online payments available soon. Please visit any of our branch locations to settle your library account.
You can apply for a library card online or in person at any library branch. You will need to present appropriate identification as listed on the application.
The library notifies patrons of available holds by phone or email. Set your notification preferences by logging in to your account and selecting the Messaging tab or by contacting a librarian.
  • Go to the library catalog
  • Use the search feature to find the item(s) you wish to place on hold.
  • From the search results page, or, from an item's detail page, select Place Hold.
  • Next, enter your library user ID and you PIN. (Your user ID is the full library card number without spaces and your PIN should be the last four digits of your phone number.)
  • Choose your Pickup Location from the dropdown menu.
  • When you enter the above information, click the "Place Hold" link.
  • Select Place Hold.
  • You can see your position on the hold list by logging into your account.
  • Accelerated Reader™ (AR) is a reading program used by Washoe County School District (WCSD) to monitor and assess the reading skills of students. Other schools in Washoe County, including private schools, may use the Scholastic Reading Counts! (SRC) or other programs.
    Each WCSD school either produces a list of available AR titles, or subscribes to a service allowing students to take a test for any AR title. Some schools’ lists can run 100 pages or more. Students at schools participating in Scholastic’s SRC program will be able to take tests for all titles available through that service.
    Washoe County Library System does not provide or maintain AR or SRC lists, but we do have many of the books available for checkout. Please contact your child’s school directly for a copy of that school’s list.
    Washoe County School District (www.washoe.k12.nv.us)
    • Accelerated Reader™ Book Finder (www.arbookfind.com)
    • Scholastic Reading Counts! Book Expert (src.scholastic.com)
    Washoe County Library gladly accepts donations of books and audiovisual items. Donated items are examined and may be added to the Library collections, in keeping with its Collection Development Policy. Many items are distributed to the Friends of Washoe County Library, for sale at their community booksales, whose proceeds benefit the Library.

    You may donate:
    • Books in good condition (with covers, pages intact, clean, without markings, etc.)
    • Hardback and paperback books
    • Audiovisual items (CDs, DVDs, computer software, videos, books on tape, records, etc.)
    • Items for adults and children
    Items not generally needed*:
    • Encyclopedias more than five years old
    • College textbooks more than five years old
    • Reader's Digest condensed books
    • National Geographic magazine
    * these items have limited use and we receive more donations than we can use, sell or give away
    Other charities MAY accept these donations:

    WCSD's Education Alliance, Salvation Army, Savers, etc.

    How to donate:

    Call ahead to the library of your choice for drop-off times, locations and items desired. Most libraries accept donations. Library locations and phone numbers can be found at on the library website. OR you can donate directly to the Friends of Washoe County Library for their booksales by taking them to the Friends Book Warehouse at 125 Gentry Way, around the back side of the building, between the hours of 10am and 12pm, Tuesday through Friday. If you need to contact the Friends directly, please call (775) 324-5522.

    Library staff will accept your donation and provide you with an acknowledgement if you wish. We do not place a cash value on the donation but will acknowledge the quantity donated.

    The Library and the Friends are not able to pick up donations. If you have a special need, you may contact the Library's Development Officer at (775) 327-8360.

    We appreciate your donations. These items strengthen our libraries and help us raise needed dollars, too!
    Yes, you can. Just use this form. Please Note: We may or may not actually purchase the book or other item that you request. We will evaluate your request in accordance with our Collection Development Policy and our budget. If we do purchase the item, it could be several weeks or longer before it is available. We will automatically put it on hold for you, so you will be notified when the item is available. If you have an urgent need for the item, please consider submitting an Interlibrary Loan request. If you would like to purchase the book yourself, then donate it to the library, please refer to our procedures for donating books and other library materials.
    If you want to see ALL of the DVDs the library owns (which includes children's, how-to, documentary, movies, etc.), you would go to the advanced search screen at: Library Catalog

    From that screen type in 'DVD' (without quotes) into the first box, labeled 'General.' Then, further down, from the 'Item Group' option, choose 'DVDs' from the choices.

    That will give you everything, all 11,500+ of them.

    If all you want are movies, you would do the same thing, only instead of 'DVD' under 'General', you would put in 'Feature films' under 'Subject.'

    You can also search for particular topics, titles, and performers using the appropriate search fields, title, and author, respectively.
    The following Libraries offer public FAX service to local and toll free numbers only.
    • Downtown Reno
    • Duncan Traner
    • Incline Village
    • North Valleys
    • Northwest Reno
    • Senior Center
    • Sierra View
    • South Valleys
    • Spanish Springs
    • Sparks
    The following Libraries offer document scanning for patrons.
    • Downtown Reno
    • Incline Village
    • North Valleys
    • Northwest Reno
    • Senior Center
    • Sierra View
    • South Valleys
    • Spanish Springs
    • Sparks
    There is a fee for these items. Contact:

    Office of Vital Records 4150 Technology Way, Suite 104 Carson City NV 89706 Telephone: (775) 684-4242 Fax: (775) 684-4156

    For birth and death records in Washoe County, contact the District Health Department.

    A commercial site that offers a related service (not endorsed by the library) is VitalChek.
    The Downtown Reno Library has microfiche records listing all divorces and marriages reported to the Nevada State Division of Health, beginning with 1968. The records are current through August 2005.

    To request a search of these records, call 775-327-8312 or send e-mail to informationservices@washoecounty.us. Be sure to include your name, contact information, plus the name(s) you want searched and (if known) the location and date of marriage.

    For information on obtaining a certified copy of Decree of Divorce visit the Washoe County Courts website by clicking here or calling (775) 328-3110.

    For information on marriage certificates (aka Proof of Marriage), visit the Washoe County Recorder's website or calling (775) 328-3660.

    For information on marriage applications visit the Washoe County Clerk’s website or calling (775) 784-7260.

    To search Clark County marriage records, please visit the Clark County Recorder’s website here or calling (702) 455-0000.
    Our library does not have marriage certificates, but you can request a copy for $10.00 from:

    Washoe County Recorder 1001 E. 9th Street P.O. Box 11130 Reno, Nevada 89520-0027 (775) 328-3660 www.washoecounty.us/recorder/copyofmarriagecertificate.html

    To order a Clark County (Las Vegas) marriage certificate, click here.
    The Reno Family History Center is a branch of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The Center provides access to most of the microfilms and microfiche in the Family History Library to help patrons identify their ancestors.

    Reno Family History Center 4751 Neil Road Reno, NV 89502 (775) 826-1130
    The Downtown Reno Library has current and back issues of the telephone books and city directories for this area. To request a search of these, call 775-327-8312 or send e-mail to informationservices@washoecounty.us. Be sure to include your name, phone number, and fax number or mailing address, and give us as much information as you can (names, dates, any part of the address you know, etc.)
    There are several options for locating obituaries, depending on when they would have appeared.

    Newspaper Archive contains full pages of both Reno Evening Gazette and Nevada State Journal for most years from the 1870s through 1977. This database is available only within the Downtown Reno and Sparks branch libraries. This database also includes many other historical newspapers from around the U.S. and the world.

    There is also an index to Reno newspaper obituaries integrated into our online catalog. This index covers the period from mid-1962 through September 2007. To search for obituary citations in that index, you will need to go to the catalog, select "Browse", enter the name of the deceased (last name, first name) into the search box, then click on "subject" to perform the search. If the name is there, click on it to view the record. You will need to click on the "Catalog Record" tab to view the details of the date and page the obituary appeared. Please note, you are only viewing an index to help locate the obituary and will not be able to view the obituary itself. Once you have the information, you can contact us for assistance retrieving the actual obituary. Also please note, the index does not include obituaries from the Sparks Tribune.

    For obituaries appearing from 2003 to present, full-text is available online, with your Washoe County Library card, in the Proquest database for the Reno Gazette Journal.You can usually find it by simply typing the name of the deceased into the search box. If the name is very common, you may want to limit by date if you know approximately when the obituary would have appeared in the newspaper, to avoid getting a lot of incorrect results.

    Outside of the library's resources, you can find very recent obituaries through the Reno Gazette-Journal website at RGJ.com by clicking on "Obituaries" (this is provided through Legacy.com, a national obituary listing website). The RGJ also has a limited (2002-2008) archive of obituaries formerly appearing on their site at http://acorn.rgj.com/obits/archive/ in full text.

    If you require assistance using any of these resources or need us to retrieve an obituary, please contact us using our ask a librarian page.
    While the library has offered free computer classes in the past, that program was funded by a grant that has been expended and we do not have any classes scheduled at this time.

    Outside the library system, there are other classes available in the community. Some are free, and some are for seniors only. Please check the following links for currently-offered classes, qualifications to register, and pricing.

    Community Services Agency – Usually seniors only - http://www.csareno.org

    Truckee Meadows Community College – Offers a variety of classes for all skill levels; fee-based - http://wdce.tmcc.edu

    New Horizons Computer Learning Center – Mostly advanced/technical classes; fee-based - http://www.nhreno.com

    Osher Lifelong Learning Institute – Membership/fee based; seniors only - http://www.olli.unr.edu
    The library does not provide notary public service. You can get items notarized at the following places in the area:

    • The City Clerk's office at Reno City Hall provides free notarizing – 1 East First St., at the corner of South Virginia and First St.

    • Some banks will notarize, sometimes only for account holders. Contact your bank to inquire.

    • Look in the yellow pages under “Notaries Public”. Some are mobile services that will come to you.

    • Many photocopy/mailing businesses offer notary services for a fee. Call your closest one to ask.
    The Washoe County Clerk's office has the answers to many frequently asked questions regarding marriage online. Or, contact the Washoe County Clerk-Marriage License Division for a recorded message (775-328-3275) or a live person (775-328-3274).
    We are prohibited by law from giving legal advice or interpretations. The Nevada Revised Statutes and Reno Municipal Code are available online. You may also want to call or visit the Washoe County Law Library.
    The Nevada State Library System is a Cooperating Collection of the Foundation Center in New York City.

    Visit the Foundation Center's website for tutorials on grantseeking and proposal writing, a foundation locator with links to websites and tax returns, an online librarian and countless other resources for the nonprofit grantseeker.
    We do not have high school yearbooks, neither in book form nor electronic form.

    Usually, the best is to contact the particular high school. They sometimes have yearbooks, either in their libraries or in an alumni association area.

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