Placing & Picking Up Holds at the Library

Learn how to place and pick up holds as part of our new Library 101 series.

Placing holds is a great way to fast-track your library experience, or access materials that aren’t available at your nearest location. Because Plano Public Library features a floating collection, items may not always be available at the location you most often visit.

You can place items on hold and they will be sent to the location that is most convenient for you, as well as get you in the queue for items with a longer wait period, such as new releases or popular series. Watch our video below and read through the step-by-step instructions.

Information about Hold Notifications and How to Pick Up a Hold are also included in this article.

How to Place Holds

Head to the Library Catalog

Search for a specific item or browse by topic.

Check to see if the item is available by clicking on “Where is it?” on the right side of the screen. There’s three key pieces of information that will appear on the screen: the location of the item, the collection of the item and the availability of the item.

Below “Where is it?” there is a button for “Place Request”

You will be prompted to enter your library card number and password. The library card number can be found on below the bar code of your library card; it is a 14 digit number beginning with 23058. Enter the entire number without spaces. Your password, or PIN, is the last four digits of the primary phone number listed on your library registration.

The next screen will ask you to select a location to pick up your hold. It will also preset the activation date to the current day, but you may change the date to a later time. The activation date can also be changed any time prior to the hold becoming available for you, and you may call any of the library locations for assistance.

After placing the request, the next screen will tell you how many patrons have holds on the item, and prompt you to confirm that you’d like to place the item on hold.

Congratulations! You’ve placed your hold and will receive a notification by either text or email when the item is available for you to pick up.

Not sure if you already placed a hold request for this particular item? No worries, our system will let you know. There is a link to your list of holds requests on this page, and within the My Account tab at the top.

When you click on the Requests link within My Account, you will see every item you have placed a request for, including eBooks. The list of items includes the title, status of the hold, where in the queue you are for the item, which location you chose to pick the item up at, and the type of item it is.

Hold Notifications

When you register for a library card you will be asked to select a notification preference. This is usually email or text. You may change your notification settings at any time by calling one of our library locations.

When a hold is available for you to pick up, you will receive a notification. Hold notifications are sent automatically in batches throughout the day. You can also check your account online to see which items are on hold.

Once an item is held for you, it will remain on the hold shelf for seven days. For example, if you receive a notification on June 15 that a hold is available for you, it will be held through the end of the day June 22 and pulled from the shelf prior to opening on June 23. If you are unable to pick up the item in the 7 days it will be canceled and you will need to replace the hold and go back in the queue.

How to pick up your Holds

As of October 2020: The library is open to the public, and you may pick up any holds by coming into the library or through our porch side pickup process. See the library website for service updates.

Once you have received notification that your holds are available, you may come to the library you selected for pickup. Consider bringing a bag or other means of carrying your items if you have multiple holds.

If choosing to come into the library, be sure you have your library card hand for easy check out using a self-check. Swing by the Holds shelves, find items under your last name and check them out with the self-check machine.

If choosing porch side pickup: once you are outside of the library you designated for pickup, call the library’s main number and let staff know that you are outside. You will need to provide either your library card number or driver’s license number.

Staff will check out items currently on hold and place in the designated area just outside the library entrance. Once you see items have been placed outside you may walk up and retrieve them.

If you’re ready to start placing holds, visit our Library Catalog and begin searching. Just want to browse? Check out these sections:

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