Borrowing library materials

With a WBPL Library Card, you can borrow almost anything from the library’s collection. Browse in person, place a hold, or ask a librarian for suggestions!

Reserved items are in the entryway for self-serve, no-contact pickup.  If you can’t make it to the library, we also offer delivery!

What can you check out?

The library is more than books!  We have plenty of those, but we also have movies, TV shows, games, and lots more.

Make sure to check out our Library of Things catalog to browse all the non-book “things” you can check out.

Our collection includes:

  • Books
    • fiction
    • nonfiction
    • picture books
    • graphic novels
    • large print books
    • audiobooks on CD
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • DVDs
    • movies
    • TV series
    • kids’ shows
  • Music CDs
  •  Games
    • video games for many popular consoles
    • board games
    • puzzles
  • Electronic devices
    • drone
    • thermal imaging camera
    • borescope camera
    • external CD/DVD drive
  • Chromebook computers
  • Mobile internet hotspots
  • Cake pans and cookie cutters
  • Baby toys and portable playpen

How long are checkouts?

Most items go our for 3 weeks or 1 weekYou can renew anything you have checked out as long as no one is waiting for it.

  • Books, audiobooks on CD . . . 3 weeks
  • Magazines . . . 3 weeks
  • DVDs, video games, music CDs . . . 1 week
  • Library of Things  . . . 1 week
  • Chromebook computers and mobile hotspots . . . 1 week (ages 14 and up only)
  • Newspapers . . . no checkout (up to 6 pages can be copied for free)
  • Interlibrary loans (items borrowed from other libraries) . . . 3 weeks, renewals at the other library’s discretion

How much are overdue fines?

The West Branch Public Library is proudly fine free!  Your items still have due dates so you know when to bring them back for the next person to check out, but if you’re a little late we don’t charge a set fee.  We do still remind you to return or renew your materials so we can keep track of them.  You will be billed for any items that we have to pay to replace, such as lost or damaged books.

We know a lot of people think of fines as a way to support the library, and we love your support!  We happily accept free will donations if you return items late.

For more on our fine-free philosophy, read the press release!

Renewing books

It can be tough to keep track of everything you have checked out, especially with different family members and checkout times.  To help keep up, there are a few different ways to see what you have checked out.

Phone or in Person

When the library’s open, you may always visit the library or give us a call to find out what’s on your account.


You can check your account online anytime!

  • See what items you have checked out
  • Renew items that are eligible
  • Change notification options

Eligible items will have a Renew button next to them.  Some things will say “Not renewable” because they have a waiting list.  The system will also say “Not renewable” for interlibrary loans or items that have already been renewed three times.

Library staff can check for a waiting list and manually renew things like interlibrary loans. Contact us with all your renewal questions!


Visit the guide on how to access your account if you have never done that before.   If you have any problems at any point, please contact the library.

Texts and Emails

The library can send you automatic text or email alerts 3 days before things are due.  Notifications help remind you to renew or return your items before the due date.

We can also email a receipt whenever someone checks out materials on your account.  This is especially useful to keep family accounts under your control.

You CAN reply to any email reminders directly if you have questions for staff!

Please note that we do NOT receive replies to text messagesIf you need help with a reminder you got by text, contact us by phone or email!


Interlibrary loan

We do our best to make sure we have a wide range of materials for your interests, but we don’t have space for everything!  If there’s anything you’re looking for that we don’t have, you can ask us to try to borrow it from another library.

How does interlibrary loan work?

  1. Ask us to find the item in our system.
    We can borrow books, movies, TV shows, video games, and sometimes even Library of Things items!
  2. We place the request in our system, which goes to randomly selected libraries in Iowa.  We can sometimes find items in other states, too!
  3. Your item is shipped by a special library courier service.
  4. We get our interlibrary loan deliveries twice a week.  When your item comes in, we notify you like a normal reserve!

How do you request an item?

You can always come in or contact us and ask for an interlibrary loan!  You don’t need to fill out any special paperwork.

You can also access your account to make requests.

In your library account, look for the Reserves/Requests tab.  Fill out the information and we will process your request as soon as possible.


We do have a limit of 4 interlibrary loan requests at a time per account.

How much does interlibrary loan cost?

Interlibrary loans are free for you!  Our courier service is paid for by the State Library of Iowa, so we don’t have to pay postage for most items.

We are always happy to accept donations.

How long do interlibrary loans take?

Interlibrary loans usually take 1-2 weeks to arrive, and sometimes longer.  We do what we can to get books from nearby libraries, but delays do happen.  If you need a book for a class project or book discussion, make sure you ask in advance to make sure you get it in time.