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Frequently Asked Questions: My Account

How do I update My Account?

To update your contact information, PIN, or preferences in your online account:

  • Log into My Account using your library card number and PIN 
  • Click on My Profile in the left sidebar menu
  • Here you can edit your address, email, change your PIN, as well as update your language, pickup location preferences. 
  • Click the Save Changes button

Note that under Preferences, you can choose to record your checkout history. You can change your settings at any time. Your checkout history is kept confidential by Harris County Public Library.

How can I receive library email notifications?

HCPL can send out notifications to your email when the items you have requested are ready for pick up or an item you have on loan is about to become due.

·Here is how to add an email address through My Account

  • Log in to My Account
  • Click on My Profile in the left sidebar menu
  • Enter your email address
  • Click the Save Changes button

Please note that it may take one or two days to take effect.

Why am I not receiving email notifications?

They are many possible reasons you may not be seeing notifications. If you suspect that you are not receiving email notices that you should be getting, please try the following:

1. Check your email spam folder and/or junk mail folder in case your email client is miscoding library email as junk mail or spam. Library email notification messages are sent from the sender

Below are sample notifications

   Library overdue notifications have:
   From: Library Central Circulation
   Subject: Your HCPL item will be due on DATE

   The request hold notifications have:
   From: BRANCH NAME that holds your item
   Subject: Harris County Public Library Email Notification

2. Check your email settings, allowing emails coming from

3. Check your Windows security levels, antivirus program, and firewall settings.

4. If you still are not receiving expected notifications, contact your Internet and email service provider. The emails sent from the library might have been filtered out by your service provider as spam and have never made it to your mailbox. Find out what they can do for you. Let them know that anything from the domain is important email and is not spam.

5. If everything you try fails, consider signing up for a web-based email service such as Gmail and use it to receive notifications from the library. To change your library email preference setting:

  • Go to the library home page.
  • Click on My Account, log in to your account
  • Click on My Profile in the lefthand sidebar menu.
  • Replace your previous email address with your new email address
  • Click the Save Changes button

Can I get a list of the items I’ve checked out in the past?

The view checkout history function is not yet available on the new website, but if you opt-in now by logging in to My Account and updating Preferences, your checkouts will be recorded and will be accessible when view checkout history is available.

However, if you opted-in to record your checkout history on the old website, your checkout history is still being recorded and you can access your list by logging into the Enterprise Classic Catalog using your library number and PIN.

What is a PIN?

PIN stands for Personal Identity Number. Your PIN is used to keep your library account secure. You will use it

  • When accessing your account,
  • When placing holds, 
  • When calling the library to get information about your account.

I don’t have a PIN. How do I get one?

Please call or visit any HCPL branch to have a temporary PIN assigned to you. Once you have logged in with the temporary PIN, you can go to My Account account and change it if you like.


I forgot my PIN. What do I do?

  • Click on My Account and the Forgot my PIN link.
  • You will be prompted to enter your library card number. 
  • Click enter
  • You will receive an email to the account associated with your library card number. Click on the link provided
  • Enter a new PIN and confirm the PIN. 
  • Click enter. 
  • Now you can log in to My Account using your library card number and new PIN.
  • You may also call or visit any HCPL branch location.

How do I renew the items I have checked out?

You can renew your items over the phone, in person at your local branch, or using your online account. To renew online:

  • Log into your account using your library card and PIN
  • Click the Checkouts / Renewal tab
  • Click the Renew button on the item you would like to renew

You cannot select multiple items to renew at this point. Our website developers are working on that functionality and we will deploy as soon as we can. We apologize for any inconvenience.

I tried to renew an item online, but I couldn't, why?

If some of your items will not renew it could be for the following reasons:

  • Item has reached the maximum number of renewals
  • There are customers waiting for the item
  • You have a fine of $25 or more

How many times can I renew an item?

DVDs and Blu-ray can be renewed once. Most other items can be renewed twice. You cannot renew any item that has been requested by another library patron.

How do I place holds online?

  • To do a basic search, enter your search term(s) and click the search icon button.
  • You will receive several results from the HCPL catalog. If none are what you are looking for, you can click the Refine search option which will give you more results and offer filters to narrow them down. When you find the item you are looking for, the "Place Hold" button is right there for each title. 
  • Click this button on each item you want to request.
  • At the Request Confirmation screen, select your Pickup Location from the pull-down menu (click the arrow to the right and scroll through the menu to find your preferred branch) and click Request.
  • You will get confirmation that your request has been placed.

How do I manage my holds in My Account?

To view items you have on hold:

  • Click on the pink My Account in the upper righthand corner of your screen.
  • Enter your library card number and PIN and click Login.
  • Click Holds in the left sidebar menu.
  • You will now see your hold(s), the queue position (where you are in the wait list) and the status.
  • Click Cancel Hold if you no longer want the item(s).
  • Click Suspend Hold if you wish to suspend your hold.