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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 your account using your library card number and PIN
  • Click on My Profile tab
  • Click on the Edit button
  • Select a field to edit
  • Click Save

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

· Click Profile

· Enter your email address and click update

Please note that is 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 [email protected].

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

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

2. Check your email settings, allowing emails coming from [email protected].

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

4. If you still can’t receive the notification, 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 Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, Gmail, etc. and use it to receive the notification from the library. To change your library email preference setting, go to the library home page, click on “My Account”, log on to your account, and click on “Profile.” Then simply replace your email address with your Hotmail (or whatever) email address.

How do I update my email and physical address?

You can update your contact information by calling or visiting your local HCPL branch. You can also log into your account online to update your email and physical address, please log on to your account and click on My Profile tab.

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

HCPL values your privacy. We do not keep a record of items you check out unless you tell us to do so. You can visit your local branch to opt-in to record your checkout history or you can set it up online. Simply log into your account using your library card and PIN, click on the Preferences tab, and check off “Record my checkout history.”

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, or 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 your local branch to have a PIN assigned.


I forgot my PIN. What do I do?

Please call or visit your local branch to have your PIN reset.

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
  • Select the items you would like to renew
  • Click the Renew

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?

DVD’s can be renewed once. Most other items have two renewals.

Can I renew my items over the phone?

Yes, you can renew 24/7 by calling our automated system, TeleCirc at 713-747-4763.

You will need:

1. Your library card number - The 14 digit number on your Library Card which begins with 24028.

2. A PIN (Personal Identification Number) - This is the four-digit number you selected when you received your library card. If you did not request a PIN number, contact one of our branches.**

3. A touch-tone phone


Dial 713-747-4763.

Following the welcome message: Enter your library card number, followed by the # key.
Telecirc will ask you to select a language: 1 for English, 2 for Spanish
Telecirc will ask you to enter your PIN followed by the # key.
From the menu select the number for the transaction you need:

Press 1 to Renew Titles.
You will be asked to choose:
1--to renew by title, 2--to renew by barcode, 3--to renew all
Renewal may be blocked if more than $25 is owed on the account.
Items without barcodes cannot be renewed through Telecirc.
Titles requested by other customers cannot be renewed.
Interlibrary Loan items cannot be renewed.
Please stay on the line until all items have been renewed.
Telecirc will list the new due dates when the process is completed.

Press 2 to list titles checked out on your account.

Press 3 to list or cancel titles waiting for you at the library.
This option allows you to find out what items/titles are waiting for you and the branch location.

Press 4 to hear current fines.

Press 5 to list your overdue items.

Press # to repeat Options.

Press * to exit.

What can I do on TeleCirc?

  • Renew items you have checked out.
  • Tell you which items you have checked out.
  • Tell you which items are waiting for you on the library hold shelf.
  • Cancel titles that are on the hold shelf.
  • Tell you if you have fines and/or fees.
  • Tell you if you have any overdue items on your account.

How do I place holds online?

  • From the Harris County Public Library Homepage click Online Catalog.
  • · In the catalog, search for the item(s) in which you are interested. To do a basic search, enter your term(s) and click the Gobutton.
  • · At the results screen (you will see the copies available on this screen), click the item in which you are interested to go to the item record.
  • · In the item record, click the Request Item button to place a hold.
  • · Enter your library card number and PIN and click Login.
  • · 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.
  • · Click Return to Searching to look up more items.

How do I manage my holds in My Account?

  • To view items you have on hold, click My Account.
  • · Enter your library card number and PIN and click Login.
  • · Click Hold Requests.
  • · You will now see your hold(s), the queue position (where you are in the wait list) and the status.
  • · Click the check box(es) and click Cancel Request if you no longer want the item(s).
  • · Click the check box(es) and click Change Status if you wish to suspend your hold.