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 phone number, including the area code. From this portal, you can:
- Renew items on your record
- Place reserves
- Defer your reserves
- Set a secure password
- Bookmark items for later
- Note your favorite, popular authors for automatic reserves on future titles
- Suggest titles for possible addition the collection
- Manage your notifications, phone numbers, and addresses
- View your borrowing history
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.
- Storytimes are designed for particular age groups, but we do our best to accommodate siblings and others for whom the program may be developmentally appropriate.
- Parents and caregivers should participate along with their children at storytime, singing, dancing, doing fingerplays, making crafts, etc.
- It is normal for young children to wiggle, make noise, and get distracted during storytime. A child that is disrupting the storytime experience for others should be taken out of the room until they are more settled.
- Parents and caregivers should refrain from talking to each other and using their phones during storytime.
- Parents and caregivers are responsible for the safety of their children. Children age six and under must always have an adult within sight. Children 7 and 8 must always have an adult in the library.
- Programs for older children may have age limits applied.
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 for more information.
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 for more information.
In addition to Consumer Reports Buyer’s Guides and current print issues available at each location, members 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 as well as other electronic resources.
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.
Family Memberships have access to ebooks through Overdrive and digital magazines through RBDigital, a.k.a. Zinio for Libraries.
Visit our Instructions Page for step-by-step instructions on accessing our online resources.
If an item has someone else waiting for it we cannot extend a reserve, but we can extend one day if no one is waiting. If you are need of an extra day on your reserve, contact us through one of the following ways:
- phone: 512-327-3045
- text: 512-649-2247
- email: email@example.com
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.
- Details are in our Code of Conduct.
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 *accessible through only through our libraries’ computers.
- HeritageQuest Online
You can set your notification preferences from your Catalog Account. Log in and select My Account. Then, click the ‘Notifications’ tab to review your settings.
Members of the library are automatically enrolled in our twice-a-month newsletter. If you are not a member and would like to get the newsletter, you can subscribe here.
If you live in the Westbank Library District, which covers households within the Eanes 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.
Click here to view different levels of membership: Membership Options.
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.
Our Internet Use Agreement is found on our Policies Page.
A late item will accrue $0.20 a day, for a maximum of $3 per item.
Area school employees can get a free Neighbor Card membership, which allows for 6 items at a time. View other details here: Membership Options.
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 Library does not accept replacement copies.
Lost books will cost the original amount of the item plus a processing fee. If an items is 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 and our monthly guided hikes.
- Books, Audio Books and Magazines check out for two weeks.
- Movies and Children’s DVDs check out for one week.
- eBooks and eAudioBooks from Overdrive check out for two weeks (available to Family Memberships only).
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 NewsBank 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 Zinio.
The Westbank Library parking lot can get filled when events are going on. We encourage you to car pool 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 the Circulation Desk Coordinator.
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 Kristi. Not all requests for presenting a program can be accepted based on the sheer volume that we receive and it may take up to one month to receive a reply for a request.
Printing is allowed from our public PCs only
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. Fax is only available for local or 1-800 numbers only.
Westank Libraries does not require registration for the majority of its 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 Kristi Floyd.
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 that 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.
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 come into either library and ask at the front desk for the Membership Station to renew.
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 and magazines may be renewed twice if they have not been reserved by another library member.
- DVDs can be renewed once if they have not been reserved by another library member.
- Bluebonnet and Lone Star titles cannot be renewed.
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 two days. So if you’re notified on Monday, you have the rest of Monday, all day Tuesday, and Wednesday to pick up the item.
Reserve Express allows you to note your favorite popular authors for automatic reserves on their future 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 have two exterior drops at each location. One on the front side of each building near the entrance, and another drive up drop (by the drive up window at Laura’s, and as you leave the parking lot 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, 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.
- Read 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.
- 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.
@ Laura’s Library on the 1st Saturday of the month from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
@ Westbank Library on the 3rd Saturday of the month from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
@ Westbank and Laura’s Library each Tuesday of the month from 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
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, you can apply for a free TexShare membership for use at Westbank Libraries. See our Membership Options for more.
- 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. 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.
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
- House of Tutors
2400 Pearl Street
Austin, Texas 78705
- 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