Insider Tips for the Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs has a fantastic library system!  The Pikes Peak Library District not only has a very large selection of books, but many helpful services that they offer to their patrons.

Here is some of the “insider information” that I’ve gleaned in my use of the Pikes Peak Library District.  This is unofficial information, so please realize that any of this information is subject to change at any time.  Always consult the library itself for the most up-to-date information.

Need some ideas of books to check out?  Here’s a list of books we have enjoyed reading.

Library cards, checkouts, and fines

Stack of our PPLD library books

You can check out up to 100 items on a single PPLD patron card.  (On occasion, they will override this if you’ve just dropped off a bunch of books that haven’t been checked in yet.)

PPLD offers a grace period for returns – as long as you return it within three days of the date it was due, you won’t be subject to a fine.  However, if you go past three days, you will owe the fine starting at the original due date.  Fines are nominal; just $0.10 per day for books with a maximum of $2.00 and $0.25 per day for other items with maximum of $5.00.

Your account will be blocked once you hit $10 in accrued fines and you will not be able to check out books or place books on hold until the fine is paid.  You can pay online or at the library.

If you do not return an item, you will be charged a replacement cost.  However, if you pay the replacement cost and then find the item later, you can return the item to the library and they will issue you a refund for what you paid less the maximum overdue fine.  I have done this several times and it is such a blessing!  Sometimes they will issue you a cash refund at the library and sometimes they will have to mail a check.

If there isn’t a hold on an item, you can renew an item up to two times before it must be returned.  You can usually renew an item even if it is due or overdue within the grace period.

The Bookmobile

Pikes Peak Library District Bookmobile in Black Forest

Our family loves the PPLD Bookmobile!  This unique library-on-a-bus drives around to various stops in the Colorado Springs area each day and has books available for checkout.  The selection is small (it is a bus, after all!), however, what we really love about it is that you can opt to pick up your hold items at your designated Bookmobile stop!   Now, you have to choose a Bookmobile stop that you want to go to weekly to pick up your holds, because they remove the holds for that particular stop at the end of the day (so if you miss your Bookmobile day, you’re out of luck until the next week).

To place an item on hold at the Bookmobile, choose “Mobile Libraries” as your pick-up location and then they will put it on the Bookmobile on the day of your Bookmobile stop.  If you haven’t already, you will need to call the library or talk to a librarian and ask them set up your card so that it defaults to the correct Bookmobile stop for you.

Another big benefit of the Bookmobile is that you get longer checkout times – six weeks (plus a six-week renewal) for books and two weeks (plus a two-week renewal) for DVDs.

There are various Bookmobile stops both in the city and in farther areas like Black Forest and the eastern plains.  You can find out more about the Bookmobile here.

Online System and Mobile App

The online system for the library is pretty self-explanatory – it’s not the most intuitive system, but it works pretty well.  You can search for books across the entire system or at one particular library.

The mobile app for PPLD is really nice to look up something really quickly, but it does have quite a few glitches at this point.  Still, when it works, it’s awesome to be able to place a hold on a book from your phone!


Placing Holds

You can place holds on most items, and it will send you an email when it is ready to be picked up.  They’ll keep the book on the holds shelf at the library you selected for a week – be sure to pick it up by then or they will remove it and put it back in the library or move it to the next person in the holds line.

In my experience, once you have placed the reservation online, it usually takes about a day to get a book actually on your holds shelf where you can check it out if the book was already at the library you are picking it up at.  If it was at a different library, it’s usually about two days.  And of course, if there are other people in line ahead of you, who knows how long it could take!

You can look in your account online to see the books that you have on hold, where you are in line, and cancel holds if you no longer need the item.  There is no charge for using the holds system!

Another feature of the online system is that you can create lists of books – say, on a particular topic – and then put them all on hold at once when you are ready for them.

Digital Book and Audiobook Downloads

You can check out ebooks and audiobooks via the Pikes Peak Library District, too!  There are several different apps and services they use for this, though the only one I’ve ever used is Overdrive.  Find out more about the digital items that are available for check out here.

Free MP3 Downloads and Checkouts

You can also download up to three MP3s free per week using Freegal and your PPLD card!  There’s another service where you can checkout music, too – find out more about these here.

Summer Reading Program

Pikes Peak Library District has a great summer reading program – it’s open to infants through teenagers, and usually includes some great prizes (our favorite is the free Chick-fil-A meal that’s usually included)!  It typically starts around June 1st and you can find information on this and other Colorado Springs-area summer reading programs here.