Getting Items

Here's how to find items, check them out, return them, and what to do if you keep them a little too long.


If you are looking for specific items, we recommend that you place them on hold. If you're not sure what you want, you may browse the collection in person and use a self-checkout kiosk. Please bring your library card with you. 

Things may have moved around a bit since your last visit, due to our renovation. You can download a map of the building to help you find your way around, or take a closer look at our Kids Room.

When you find something (or a stack of things!) to check out. Use one of our convenient self-check machines:

Placing Items on Hold

Log in to your library account and search the catalog for items you would like to check out. 

A screengrab from the library's online catalog showing a book called "Happy Pig Day!" with an arrow pointing to where the availability status of the item is listed.

You can filter your search results to only the available items by checking the box on the left side of the screen. 

A screengrab from the library's online catalog showing several children's books by Mo Willems with an arrow pointing to where you can filter your item search by availability.

Choose whether you would like the items held at the library or taken to a bookmobile community stop. If you aren’t prompted to choose a pickup location when you place a hold, you may need to turn off one-click holds in your library account. You can also change your settings to set your default pickup location.

Screenshot of account preferences dashboard in the library catalog user account

We will get the requested items off the shelf and set them aside for you. This may take several days depending on when you make your request, the availability of the item, and how many requests we're working on.

When your items are ready to be picked up you will receive an email confirmation. Please wait until you receive that email before coming to get them. Your items will not be ready until we notify you.

Picking Up Items

After you receive an email stating that your items are ready, you will have seven days to pick them up at the location you selected when you placed the hold.  

If you selected pickup at the library, enter through the west doors. Your items will already be checked out to you. Just grab them and go! 

If you selected pickup at the bookmobile, visit any of our scheduled community stops.

Returning Items

You may return checked out items by placing them in the open book drop on the south driveway of the library, the drop box inside the east doors, using the self-service return station inside the west doors during service hours, or bringing them to one of the bookmobile's community stops. 

Donations are still prohibited. Any non-library items placed in the book drop will be disposed of.


Log in to your account to see checkouts, due dates, fines, renewals, and reserves.


You can renew most items up to three times if no one else is on the waiting list. Eligible items will be automatically renewed. Log in to check your due dates or manually renew items.

To renew items borrowed from another library:

  • For LINKin items, log in to your library account. DVDs borrowed through LINKin can be renewed once for a one week period. All other LINKin items can be renewed once for a two week period.
  • For Interlibrary loan items, call 847-673-7774 ext. 3141, or request a renewal online. Interlibrary loan items can be renewed once.

Loan periods and fees

Most library materials can be checked out to Skokie cardholders for a period of 3 weeks. Eligible items will be automatically renewed up to three times.

We do not charge overdue fines on late materials. Period!

Item Loan Period Renewal Reserve*
CDs, audiobooks 3 weeks 3 Yes
DVDs and Blu-rays 3 weeks 3 Yes
Hot Pick DVDs and Blu-rays* 1 week 0 No
Video games (limit 10) 3 weeks 3 Yes
Books 3 weeks 3 Yes
Most Wanted books* 2 weeks 0 No
New fiction or nonfiction 3 weeks 3 Yes
Magazines 1 week 3 Yes
Library of Things* 3 weeks 3 Yes
WiFi Hotspots* 3 weeks 3 Yes
Chromebooks* 3 weeks 3 Yes
STEAM Kits* 3 weeks 3 Yes
*Limited to Skokie cardholders

If you have one or more items that are 21+ days overdue, or you owe $30+ in replacement costs or collections fees, you will not be able to check out anything else or renew any currently checked out items until you return the late items or pay down your balance. If you owe more than $30, you may also be referred to a materials recovery agency and you will not be able to use your card until you pay down your balance to $0.

Paying Replacement Costs

Lost items may incur a replacement charge. 

Pay replacement charges by: 

  • Check: Please make the check out to "Skokie Public Library" and write your barcode number on the memo line. Please bring checks to a first floor help desk or mail to: Skokie Public Library, attn. Patron Services, 5215 Oakton, Skokie, IL 60077
  • Credit or Debit Card: Pay online by logging into your account and selecting "Fees" and then "Pay Online"
  • Cash: Pay with cash at the self-checkout kiosk on the first floor

Payment timing

Payment of fines post to your account within 24 hours. If your account has not been sent to our collection agency, your library card will be available for use when the fees on your record total less than $30.00. If your account has been sent to collections, your library card will be suspended until the balance is $0.

Refunds for "lost and paid" items

We will refund you for “lost and paid” items if you return the item in good condition within 30 days. Refunds are only issued by check and mailed to you within two weeks. 

Getting Help

Not sure what you're looking for? We're here to help. Our expert staff have created lots of lists of their favorite titles. We can also recommend titles specifically for your tastes through our Bookmatch and Screenmatch services. 

You can also call 847-673-7774 to get help from our staff any time during normal library hours. 

Send us an email if you have suggestions. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so that we can stay in touch regularly. And subscribe to library emails by entering your email address below so that you get all the latest news.