Frequently Asked Questions
- Getting a Library Card
- Getting help
- Managing your account
- Using technology
- Using the collection
- Using the library
You can manage your library account online through the catalog tab. To log in to your Catalog Account you will need your library card number and your password. The default password is your 10-digit phone number. From this portal, you can:
- Renew items on your record
- Place reserves on items – we’ll contact you when the item is available
- Defer your reserves for dates you will be away
- Set a secure password
- Bookmark items for later
- Note your favorite, popular authors for automatic reserves on future titles
- Suggest titles for possible addition to the collection or possible inter-library loan
- Manage your notifications, phone numbers, and addresses
- View your borrowing history
Service dogs which are trained to perform tasks for individuals with disabilities are welcome in the library.
Service animals should be carried or on the floor, but not sitting on furniture. If a service animal behaves in a way that poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, has a history of such behavior, is not under the control of the handler, or is not housebroken, that animal may be excluded. The library will still serve the patron without the animal present.
The Library may choose to offer educational programs for the public that include various animals. Such animals are permitted in the library for the duration of the program and must be accompanied by the owner at all times.
Other (non-service) animals are not permitted in the library.
For persons who have have no vision, low vision, or are unable to hold a book, the Library of Congress in conjunction with The Texas State Library and Archives Commission offers the Talking Book and Braille program.
Also, our libraries have NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) screen reader software installed on our public PCs. Ask a librarian for details on using the software.
Most storytimes are designed for children up to about age six. We encourage parents and caregivers to participate along with their children, singing, dancing, doing fingerplays, making crafts, etc.
It is normal for young children to wiggle, make noise, or play during storytime as their attention spans develop. Children who are disrupting the storytime experience for others should be taken out of the room until they are more settled. We have backyard space that is perfect for this.
We ask that parents and caregivers refrain from talking to each other and using their phones during storytime to set a good example for the children.
Parents and caregivers are responsible for the safety of their children in the library. Children age six and under must always have an adult within sight. Children 7 and 8 must always have an adult in the library.
Occasionally age limits will apply to children’s programs.
- Bring your gently used books to the Westbank Library location and hand them to us through the lobby window. If you have a lot, it is helpful for them to be in boxes or strong bags. We can bring a cart to your car if necessary.
- Book donation receipts are available at the circulation desk.
- For more information about book donations, visit our Book Sale Room page.
To login into your account or search our catalog, Click Catalog & Login on our menu, or visit https://westbank.biblionix.com/
Basic Tips and Examples — Keyword Search
Most likely, you’ll want to use this simple search. It performs a Google®-type search (including support for putting phrases in quotes). It searches all titles, subtitles, authors’ first and last names, various notes, and a number of other fields. You’ll be presented with the list of library items based on their relevancy to your search. Word order and letter case do not matter. NOTE: For searches with “AND”, “OR”, etc, use More Search Options.
To use this method, simply type a word, words, or phrase into the blank at the top of the screen. Then either push the Enter key on your keyboard, or click the GO! button. Other search options in the drop-down menu are “Title Starts With”, “Title Contains”, and “Author”.
Keyword Search Examples:
- DVDs based on books by John Grisham:
- The Lord of the Rings series:
“lord of the rings”
- Snakes in Texas:
- Items involving a particular fictitious character:
- That book you heard about once, written by somebody named Fred that has “Sea” somewhere in the title:
To view your checkout history, log in to your Catalog Account and select My Account. Next, click on the ‘History’ tab. It may take a few moments to load your history, which will display the most recent item checked out on the top. If you do not wish the library to track your checkout history beyond one month, let us know.
- Our libraries provide for a mix of activities, both quiet and noisy. We expect library users to curb the things they are doing that are disturbing to people around them.
- Please silence your phone’s ringer, and take loud or long phone calls outside or into the lobby.
- Read our Code of Conduct on the Policies Page for more information.
If you are moving out of the area, you can contact us by phone at 512.327.3045 or email us to discontinue your membership. If you have returned all materials and cleared any fines, there is no need to close the account. It will expire on its own after a year.
At Westbank Libraries, we expect visitors to respect others, respect property, stay safe, and obey the law. Persons violating the Code of Conduct may be asked to leave the library. Read the full Code of Conduct on our Policies Page for more information.
Consumer Reports Buyer’s Guides and current print issues available at each location in the reference section. Members also have access to the electronic version of Consumer Reports. Visit the Instructions Page for step-by-step instructions on how to access Consumer Reports online from home.
An electronic version of your library card barcode can be found online through your catalog account. Sign in to your account, click the “My Account” button, then click “Display scannable barcode.” You can take a screenshot of this and save it in your photos on your smartphone.
Click here to access your Catalog Account.
If you are going out of town, you can defer reserves until your return. Log in to your Catalog Account and select My Account. Next, click on ‘Reserves/Requests.’ Find the link under ‘Going out of town?’ Select the range of dates you will be unable to pick up reserves, then click the ‘Confirm’ button.
Westbank Libraries has a Family Center in each of its locations. This is a closed off area designed for indoor play where kids and their caregivers can have a space for fun and exploration. Since the Family Centers are not soundproof, indoor voices are encouraged.
- Westbank Libraries offer coffee ($1) and healthy vending options (prices vary).
- Outside food and drink are allowed, but messy foods and foods with strong odors should be eaten outside.
- Drinks need lids.
- Please clean up after yourself, and report any accidental spills or damage.
- You can find our Code of Conduct and other policies regarding use of the library on the Policies Page.
Join us for First Friday Genealogy at Laura’s Library on the first Friday of every month.
In addition, Westbank Libraries offers access to resources that can help you with your genealogy research. Below are just a few databases to get you started.
- America’s Genealogy Bank
- Ancestry Library and Family Search (accessible only through our libraries’ computers)
- HeritageQuest Online
- Family Tree Magazine
You can set your notification preferences from your Catalog Account. Log in and select My Account. Then, click the ‘Notifications’ tab. You can choose which library you prefer you reserves to be held at, and you can set up notifications for reserves, overdues, and due date reminders to be emailed or texted to you.
Members of the library are automatically enrolled in our twice-a-month newsletter when they join the library. If you are not a member and would like to get the newsletter, you can subscribe here. If you wish to unsubscribe, simply click on “Unsubscribe” at the bottom of a newsletter.
If you live in the Westbank Community Library District or the Eanes Independent School District, you are eligible for a free Family Membership.
For households outside the district, there are several membership options available. We are not part of Austin Public Library.
New members must present proof of residency.
Click here to view different levels of membership: Membership Options.
Westbank Library – 1309 Westbank Dr. Austin, TX 78746
- Monday – Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- Friday – Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Laura’s Library – 9411 Bee Cave Rd. Austin, TX 78733
- Monday – Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- Friday – Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
2020 Holiday Closures
- New Year’s Day: January 1
- Martin Luther King Day: January 20
- President’s Day: February 17
- Easter: April 12
- Memorial Day: May 25
- Independence Day: July 4
- Labor Day: September 7
- Thanksgiving: November 25, 26, and 27
- Christmas: December 24th, 25th, and 26th
Interlibrary loan is the process by which we borrow materials from another library system. Getting items from other libraries can take up to 30 days. This service is usually free but occasionally a library will charge for this service. We will let you know if this is the case before the request is confirmed. See the Requesting an item page for steps to place an interlibrary loan request.
A late item will accrue $0.20 a day, for a maximum of $3 per item. To avoid late fees, you can renew your items online or by giving us a call.
|Physical items||2 Weeks|
|eBooks||2 week expiration|
Physical items other than DVDs have a 2-week loan period, and two renewals are allowed unless someone else is waiting or the item was borrowed from another library.
DVDs have a 7-day loan period.
eBooks have a 2-week expiration date, at which you may checkout the ebook again, or place a hold on it if it becomes unavailable.
Digital magazines can be checked out indefinitely.
If you have lost a copy of your library card, you can purchase replacements copies for $1. You can also create an electronic copy of your card on your smartphone. If you suspect theft, come to the information desk to get a new card number.
The fee for replacing lost books is the retail cost of the item plus a processing fee. The Library does not accept replacement copies.
If an items is later found and returned in good condition within six months of paying, you may receive a refund.
Damaged books are subject to repair or replacement charges.
The Madrone Canyon Trail, home to many endangered madrone trees and other native flora and fauna, winds through the valley behind Laura’s Library. Visitors are welcome to hike the trail at their own risk. Visit our Madrone Canyon Trail page to learn more about the trail.
- Books, Audio Books and Magazines check out for two weeks.
- Movies and Children’s DVDs check out for one week.
- Physical items can be renewed twice as long as they are not on reserve for another member.
- eBooks and eAudioBooks from Overdrive check out for two weeks (available to Family Memberships only).
See Membership page for details on specific membership limits.
We have three newspapers delivered daily to each location:
- Austin American Statesman
- New York Times
- Wall Street Journal (delivered on business days)
We also offer other print publications such as Barron’s, Investor Business Daily, and the Picayune. Access electronic issues of newspapers through your Catalog Account and select your choice under the Electronic Resources banner.
Magazine selection varies by location. We have a wide array, including magazines for youth and teens. The most recent issues are available for in-library use. Back issues can be checked out. Electronic magazines are available through RBDigital.
The Westbank Library parking lot can be full when events are going on. We encourage you to carpool for large events if you can, but if you arrive and the lot is full, here are some tips to help prevent a parking ticket or getting towed.
- You may park on the library’s grass along Westbank Dr. as long as you car is COMPLETELY off the road.
- During the summer ONLY, you may park in the Eanes parking lot. There is a walk-out gate near the library that you can use for easy access to the library.
- Parking is available along Pinnacle Road after 10:00am.
- Do not park in the Staff Parking Log or block the drive to the Staff Lot.
- Do not park along Silver Hill Rd between 11am and 2 pm. Parking tickets are issued during that time.
Space in the foyer of both Westbank and Laura’s Library has been set aside for community displays. The Community News Bulletin Board may be used to advertise events, sales, and other community news and is limited to a single flyer. All items must be signed and dated by desk staff.
Any circumstances not covered in the above rules and policies will be resolved by discussion with the Library Director/Associate Director and/or Programs Librarian.
- Get a date stamp and thumb tack from the checkout desk.
- Max size 8-1/2” x 11” at Westbank and 8-1/2” x 5-1/2” (half-sheet) at Laura’s. No duplicate postings.
- Notices are removed after one month, or after the event has taken place.
- Be tidy – do not to cover other people’s notices.
Westbank Libraries offers a wider variety of programming for all ages. We love to partner with community organizations or those with special expertise to present programs that may be of interest to our community. Please note that all library programs must be educational in nature and not a promotion for a business or organization. If you’d like to present a program at the library, please email our programs manager Leah. Not all requests for presenting a program can be accepted because of our full schedule. It may take up to one month to receive a reply for a request.
Printing is available from our public PCs and wirelessly from most devices.
Black and white printouts are $0.05 per page.
Color printouts are $0.50 per page.
Pay for your prints at the information desk, and a staff member will release it to the printer for you.
Use our Xerox machine to scan and save to your USB drive, or scan to an email as a PDF attachment. Both options are free.
Black and white photocopies are $0.05 per page.
Color photocopies are $0.50 per page.
Pay for your copies at the information desk, or at the slot box near the copier.
You may use our fax machine for outbound documents up to 20 pages going to domestic or toll-free numbers.
Registration is not required for the majority of library programs. From time to time, we may place limits based on the number of materials we have, or by age, depending on the content of the program. Fire code limit for The Commons at Laura’s is 252 and for The Gathering Room at Westbank is 100.
For questions about programs contact the Programs Manager Leah.
Both of our libraries have tables throughout where many people work in reasonable quiet each day. There is a quiet reading room in each library which is generally reserved for quiet study or reading, and Westbank has a collaboration room which is often set aside for quiet work when not in use for meetings. We also have outdoor spaces with tables and wifi.
Our libraries are shared spaces, and we try to be flexible about the use of those spaces to allow for both quiet and collaborative work. We expect visitors to respect the volume level set by others who were in an area before them. Staff members are happy to help you find a quiet place to work, and they will also help you negotiate the shared use of a space if use is in conflict.
During certain programs, like large children’s events, quiet space may be difficult to find.
There are also read-alike recommendations embedded within catalog items by Novelist software, and staff at our desks are always happy to help you find a great book!
Contact us, and we can help find your next book.
Once a year your membership will come up for renewal to verify accurate account information. In some cases this can be done online by logging in to your Catalog Account. Otherwise, you can renew at the library utilizing the Membership Station.
To renew an item from home, log in to your Catalog Account and select My Account. Next, click ‘Items Out/Renew’ and then the ‘Renew’ button for the items you wish to renew.
- Books, audiobooks, DVDs and magazines may be renewed twice if they have not been reserved by another library member.
You can also give us a call or drop us an email, and we will help you with your renewals.
To request an item not available in the collection, log in to your Catalog Account and select My Account. Next, click on ‘Reserves/Requests’ and then find the request link under ‘Is the library missing something?’ We will either borrow the item from another library, purchase the item for our collection, or let you know that we can’t get the item. You can place three requests at one time from family membership accounts.
Westbank Libraries have many degreed librarians on staff who are trained to do research. They can
- help you find quality resources in our collections and beyond
- help you with citations
- teach you how to search databases
- teach you how to see and access what other libraries have in their collections
If an item you want is checked out, you can reserve it. To do so, log in to your Catalog Account and select the item you want to reserve. In the window that opens, select ‘Reserve Title’, select a pick up location and how you want to be notified when the item is available and then click ‘Place Reserve’.
Items are held for three days. So if you’re notified on Monday, you have the rest of Monday, all day Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to pick up the item.
If you select Laura’s as your pickup location, you can pick it up at the drive-thru window during library hours.
Reserve Express allows you to note your favorite popular authors to be automatically on the reserve list for their new titles. To use Reserve Express, log in to your Catalog Account and select My Account. Next, click on ‘Reserves/Requests.’ Find the link under ‘Have some favorite authors?’ and then click on the names of the authors you like. Bolded names mark that you are on the list to receive future titles.
Checked out materials can be returned to either Westbank or Laura’s Library, regardless of check out location.
We exterior drops at each location. One is on the front side of each building near the entrance, and another can be accessed by car (by the drive up window at Laura’s and near the parking lot exit at Westbank). During holiday closures, the drive up drop at Westbank will be locked and unavailable, though items can still be returned through the building drop box near the entrance.
Late fines do not accrue on holidays! Stay home and enjoy the day with your family.
- All children are the responsibility of their parents or caregivers, not the library.
- Children 6 and under need to be with an adult.
- Children 7 and 8 must have an adult in the library.
- No running, climbing, or throwing things.
- See more information in our Code of Conduct.
We have self checkout stations at each location. To use these you will need your physical library card or the electronic copy of your card from your phone. You can only renew items on these stations if you have the materials with you (we can renew for you at the desk if you left them at home).
- Windows 10
- Internet Explorer
- Windows Media Player
- VLC Video LAN
- Microsoft Office
- Adobe Reader
- Foxit Reader
- Screen Magnifier
We offer Tech Help during special sessions, during tech classes, and pretty much any time at the desk.
Get help with all of your technology from a tech teen. Bring cameras, laptops, question about social media, apps, or anything else that comes to mind! Our tech-savvy teens will provide one-on-one help with all your technology questions.
Westbank Sundays 12 pm – 2pm
Westbank and Laura’s Library every Tuesday 5 pm – 7pm
Those with a full family membership can get a TexShare card to use at participating libraries outside of our system, such as Austin Public Library. Ask at the front desk for more information.
If you live outside the library’s district or do not have a paid full membership, you will need to visit your home library for a TexShare card.
- Log in to our public PCs using your library card number and phone number.
- Guests of the library may obtain a guest pass for computer use at the information desk.
- Usage is limited to 60 minutes at a time per day for guest pass users.
- Visit our policies page for Code of Conduct and Internet Use Agreement.
Austin Public Library and its 21 branches are supported by taxes through the City of Austin. Westbank Libraries are a separate library district which aligns approximately with the Eanes School District and which is funded by a portion of sales tax collected in the area. If you live in our district, your taxes support our library and membership is free.
If you live outside our district, your taxes likely support Austin Public Library or another area library. Ask at the desk or call us, and we will help you figure out which library is yours.
If you wish to join our library we have several membership options available.
Check out the puzzle exchange at Laura’s Library located on the bottom shelves of the Reserve area. These are free to a good home, or bring them back when you are done, or bring us one you are done with.
We do not offer exam proctoring services. Here are some local organizations that do proctoring for a fee:
- Austin Community College
ACC Business Assessment Center
ACC Highland Campus, Room 2221
6101 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78752
- University of Texas at Austin
Testing and Evaluation Services
2901 North IH-35 Room 1.400
Austin, TX 78722
- Texas State University
Testing, Research Support and Evaluation Center
Texas State University, San Marcos
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666