FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

LIBRARY INFORMATION & COMMON QUESTIONS

Borrowing Questions

What do I need to borrow library materials?

All you need is a current library card from a library in the Westchester Library System (WLS). Please bring your card each time you visit the library.

How do I get a library card?

Adults and children who live in the Village of Scarsdale are eligible for a free card that will be honored at all Westchester public libraries. Applications are available at the Circulation Desk. Appropriate identification is required with proof of name and street address. A card will be issued to you for immediate use. You can also sign up online on our website at www.scarsdalelibrary.org. Your card will be mailed to you within a week.

What is my PIN?

Your default PIN is the last 4 digits of your phone number. If you have no phone number on your account, the default PIN is 0000. You can change your PIN by logging into the Westchester Library System catalog at catalog.westchesterlibraries.org. If you have forgotten your PIN you can reset it by clicking “Forgot my Pin” after clicking “Log In” from the catalog, or call the Reference Desk (722-1302).

How long may I keep materials?

Most items are checked out for 21 days and can be renewed once, with some exceptions:

New Books 14 days
Trade paperbacks 14 days (no renewals)
JV Holiday Books 14 days
Speedy Readers 7 days (no renewals)
Magazines 7 days
DVD & Blu-Ray 7 days
ILL Materials 28 days (no renewals)

Can I return materials when the Library is closed?

There is a book drop outside the Library past the bathrooms to the right of the doors when facing the building. All materials can be returned here. Materials can also be returned at the local schools.

May I renew an item if I want to keep it longer?

Most materials can be renewed once. Items on hold for other Library patrons or that have already been renewed are not available for additional renewals. Items checked out at the Scarsdale Library will be automatically renewed three days before coming due if eligible.

How can I renew eligible materials?

Eligible materials can be renewed using the catalog at catalog.westchesterlibraries.org, by phone using the 24-hour automated phone system (914-674-4169), by calling the library at 914-722-1302, or in person. Eligible items checked out at the Scarsdale Library or other libraries participating in automatic renewals will be automatically renewed 3 days before they are due. Items are extended from their original due date so there is no penalty for renewing early.

Is there anything I can’t borrow?

Reference materials and archival local history materials cannot be checked out.

Is there a limit on what I can borrow?

Up to 50 items can be borrowed on one card at a time. The library places the following limits on Children’s Room materials: Audiobooks (6), Computer games (1), non-fiction books (2 per subject area), and holiday books (varies by holiday).

What if the item I want is checked out or the library doesn’t own it?

Holds may be placed using the catalog (catalog.westchesterlibraries.org), by phone (914-722-1302), or at the Reference Desk. Regular circulating materials other than speedy readers, express items, and magazines may be placed on hold. When a copy becomes available it will be held for you at the Circulation Desk for seven days. There is no charge for this service. Items that are not in the Westchester Library System may be requested using one of the forms at www.westchesterlibraries.org/ill-services/, or call the Reference Desk at 914-722-1302.

How do I access downloadable materials?

Explore your options at www.scarsdalelibrary.org/elibrary/download/. Most of these resources have apps which can be downloaded to your tablet or smartphone. For more information contact Reference (914) 722-1302).

What happens if I return a book after the due date?

Overdue fines per item, per day:

Children’s books, Adult books, Magazines, Audiobooks, Playaways: $0.25
Speedy readers, Express items: $0.50
Movies, Games: $1.00
ILL Books: $2.00

There are no fines on downloadable materials as they expire automatically.

What about lost or damaged material?

You must pay the current replacement cost of each item, as determined by the owning library. Library materials are expensive to replace. Please take care of everything you borrow.

The library will deny borrowing privileges to users who accumulate fines, fees, and/or replacement costs in excess of $25.00. Privileges will be reinstated when your account balance is below $25.00. If you think you have returned an item that is still on your record please call the circulation desk (914 722-1301) so that we can check the shelves.

What should I do if my card is lost or stolen?

Call the library to report a lost or stolen card. There is no charge for replacement cards.

Other questions?

Please ask! That’s why we’re here—to help you get the most out of our collection and services.

eLibrary Questions

The Scarsdale Library offers downloadable eBooks, audiobooks, music, magazines, comics, and videos. These materials are made available through a number of different companies, including OverDrive, Cloud Library, Hoopla, and RB Digital. Most also have apps for use on your tablet or smartphone.

Visit our LISTEN•READ•WATCH page to learn more.

Location

The Scarsdale Public Library Loft at Supply Field is located at:
244 Heathcote Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583

For more information view our About page.

Questions About Fines

Fines may be paid in person (check or cash only) or online with a credit card (there is a convenience fee of $2.50 for online bill pay). Fines of over $25 will result in suspension of your account until paid.

Fines Schedule

 Item Type Daily Fine Maximum Fine
Children’s books $0.25 $5.00
Adult books $0.25 $5.00
Trade Paperbacks $0.25 $5.00
Magazines $0.25 $5.00
Audiobooks & Playaways $0.25 $5.00
CDs $0.25 $5.00
Speedy readers $0.50 $5.00
DVD & Blu-ray $1.00 $5.00
Games $1.00 $5.00
Interlibrary loan books $2.00 $25.00

 

Questions About Museum Passes

Museum Passes FAQ

Click here to reserve a pass now

 

Who can borrow a pass?

Library Museum Passes may be borrowed by Scarsdale Library cardholders over 18 in good standing. All fines must be paid and overdue items returned before borrowing a pass.

How do I make a reservation?

Passes may be reserved online or by calling the Reference Desk up to a month in advance. A cardholder can make up to three reservations in a 30 day period. Make the reservation for the date of your visit. Print the confirmation sheet and bring it to the library when picking up the pass.

Where do I get the pass?

The pass can be picked up at the Reference Desk the day before the visit and returned there the day after.  The pass may not be returned to another library, and it cannot be renewed.

Do I pay a fee?

All passes can be used for free entry except the Stepping Stones Museum pass which lets you buy one admission and get one free up to three times per visit. For the number of persons admitted to each museum, please see Pass Details for each museum on the Library Museum Passes webpage.

What about fines?

A fine of $10 will be charged each day the pass is late or if it is returned to another library.  The full cost of the pass will be charged to the cardholder if the pass is lost.  The cost of each pass varies and can be as high as $500.

What if I have to cancel my reservation?

If the reservation is more than 24 hours ahead, use the “my passes” link on the reservation page to cancel.  If less than 24 hours, visit the library or call the Reference Desk. Please be courteous to your neighbors who may want the pass you won’t be using and let us know!

Further Questions?

Call the Reference Desk at 722-1300 x2

LIBRARY HISTORY

Click here to see a collection of digitized historical photographs of Scarsdale, including but not limited to the Library itself.

In 1925, Scarsdale residents John W. and Mary F. Dickinson gave 2,500 books to start a library and a $10,000 trust fund to maintain them. The library was housed at Scarsdale High School. On February 28, 1928, the Village Board voted to establish the Scarsdale Public Library; two months later, it secured the right to assess a tax for library equipment and maintenance. On April 26, 1928, the Regents of the State of New York granted a charter incorporating the library. The library opened at Wayside Cottage on October 28, 1928 at which time 100 residents raised $15,000 for services, materials and equipment.

In 1944 the Village Board endorsed the Town Club’s recommendation of a library site in the 11 acre Harwood Park north of the high school. It was agreed that part of the funds would be raised by public subscription; to this end the Friends of the Scarsdale Library was formed in May 1946. The Village set up a reserve fund for public buildings. The new library was its first project, but construction was not authorized until 1950.

The new building opened on September 30, 1951. Total cost was $316,900, of which the Village paid $207,303. Contributions accounted for the remainder, and included gifts from the Friends of the Library, the Junior League, the War Memorial Fund, and remaining funds from the Dickinson donation.

Twenty years later, it was determined that an addition was needed due to increases in the population of the Village, the number of cardholders and the size of the collection. A new wing, containing an additional 7,800 square feet, increased the original size of the building of 11,700 square feet by 50%. The total cost of the addition, exclusive of a program room, was estimated at $775,000. On February 5, 1973, Scarsdale voters approved an $800,000 bond issue to be paid off in 20 years. The $180,000 cost of the program room was given impetus by the generous initial gift of the S. Spencer Scott family. Additional financial support came from the Scarsdale Foundation, the Friends of the Scarsdale Library and other Village organizations. In addition, over 300 individuals donated money to the project. Funding for a local history alcove came from the family of John K. Starkweather. The new addition was opened on June 22, 1975.

In 1981, a gift of $12,500 was given by George Jaffin to construct a conference room in the main part of the library.

In 1995, the Children’s Room was renovated, funded by a gift of $100,000 from Alfred and Luella Slaner. The room was named the Finney Children’s Room, in honor of Eleanor and Burnham Finney, long time volunteers on behalf of the library.

The main reading room, part of the 1975 addition, had been designed to include a mezzanine; however, it was not built at that time. In 1998, the mezzanine was added to the library, using a gift from Luella Slaner of $900,000. The original architect of the 1975 addition designed the project.

In 2007, the Reference Room was renovated, using a gift of $300,000 from the Virginia and Leonard Marx Foundation.

The Scarsdale Library, in its 25,000 square foot building, houses approximately 147,000 items. In 2011, it ranked 6th among the 38 libraries in Westchester in both the number of items circulated (397,084) and Reference questions answered (53, 560).

LIBRARY RENOVATION INFORMATION

Scarsdale Public Library has begun an essential transformation. A light-filled entrance, a welcoming, open main reading room, and a dramatic new glass-enclosed reading gallery will open the library out to the park with views of the pond and beyond.

The Library’s renovation will increase square footage to provide public spaces and services already found in the best libraries of today. Multiple conference and meeting rooms, a business center, and a café will make the library a gathering space for the entire community. Access to historical archives, a dynamic and expanded children’s wing, a separate teen room, and innovative technology will connect the past, the present, and the future of Scarsdale.

Click here for the latest in the Project progress.