A library card issued at any one of our Libraries entitles you to use the resources and services available at all the libraries, opens a new window in the Peninsula Library System. Please be aware that remote use of some online resources is limited to cardholders of the subscribing library.
Get a Library Card
If you live anywhere in San Mateo County, applying for a library card is as simple as applying online. Your new library card will be mailed to you within 3 business days.
Youth Library Card
San Mateo County Libraries have eliminated daily late fees for materials checked out to children and teens effective July 1, 2016. In honor of this policy change, we partnered with four amazing California-based artists and illustrators (Lisa Brown, opens a new window, Joe Cepeda, opens a new window, Alina Chau, opens a new window, and Christian Robinson, opens a new window) to create some new beautifully designed youth library cards for children and teens to choose from.
Start here to apply online for your youth library card today.
Teacher Library Card
San Mateo County Libraries offer a special Teacher Card for teachers, home school educators, or daycare providers who live or work in our service area (see list of participating libraries) and who want a separate library card for classroom use only.
- No fines fees on SMCL materials (you will be responsible for lost or damaged items).
- Longer loans on materials used in the classroom (excludes holiday and high-demand material).
- Teacher Card library records to help keep classroom use materials separate from personal use items.
If interested, please contact Customer Care at 1-833-YES-SMCL (1-833-937-7625) or text us at (650) 851-0147 from 10 AM - 8 PM, Monday through Thursday, and 10 AM - 5 PM, Friday through Sunday, except on holiday closures.
Notices by Email
We will email you when items placed on hold are ready to pick up or if your items are overdue. Log in to your San Mateo County Libraries account to set up this service. Click MY Account and then My Settings. Under Contact Information, click on Show your contact information. Enter your email address in the Email Address box and click on the Save Changes button. You will now get your notices by email.
Notices by Text Message
SMCL is pleased to offer the convenience of notices by text message powered by Shoutbomb. Instead of receiving paper, phone, or email reminders, library notifications can now be sent via text message. To register for this service, simply send a text message with the keyword SIGNUP to email@example.com and answer a few simple questions. Once the registration process has been completed, all of the features, Auto-Renewal, Holds and Late Fee notices, are turned on.
If you would like to discontinue the text messaging alerts service all that is required is to send the word QUIT to firstname.lastname@example.org You will receive a reply asking for your barcode and pin number. If both are valid, the system will inform you that the account has been deleted and no future messages should be expected.
Currently, Shoutbomb is only available in English and Spanish. In order to text in Spanish the appropriate keyword that corresponds to the English equivalent must be utilized. Below are the Spanish translations for each of the English keywords.
Note: In some cases the keywords are always in English.ENGLISH
SIGNUP + card# + PIN#
ADDCARD + card# + PIN#
DROPCARD + card# + PIN#
QUIT + card# + PIN#
ADDEMAIL + email address
REGISTRESE + tarjeta# + PIN#
ADDCARD + tarjeta# + PIN#
DROPCARD + tarjeta# + PIN#
SALIR + tarjeta# + PIN#
ADDEMAIL + correo electrónico
If there are items to renew, you will receive a notification via text message. You have the option to reply with the key phrase RL, which is an abbreviation of renewal list. You will receive one or more messages that contain the title of the overdue items. In order to save on space, the length of the titles is limited to 25 characters. Allowing enough characters to identify the item while reducing the number of messages received.
If there are items on hold that are available to be picked up you will receive a notification via text message. You have the option to reply with the key phrase HL, which is an abbreviation of hold’s list. Once HL is texted, you will receive one or more messages that contain the title of the items on hold. In order to save on space, the length of the titles is limited to 25 characters. Allowing enough characters to identify the item while reducing the number of messages received.
On the "To": type the number 121, in the body type email@example.com (space) then type the message.