Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question you think should appear on this page, please let us know at ask@pamunkeylibrary.org.  Your questions and comments are greatly appreciated!

General Questions - PamCat - Library Services - Technical Issues

General Questions

  1. How do I get a library card?
  2. How long can I keep books, CDs, or DVDs that I check out?
  3. Can I reserve or put a hold on a book by e-mail?
  4. How do I get books that I need from another branch library?
  5. How many items (books, eBooks, DVDs, CDs, etc.) can I check out?
  6. Are there any fines or fees if I return my books late?
  7. How often can I renew a book, DVD, CD, etc.?
  8. Why is my card blocked?
  9. What happens if I lose a book?
  10. Are you open during the holidays?
  11. How can I volunteer at the library?
  12. How do I apply for a job at the library?
  13. How can I donate new or gently used books and other materials to your library?
  14. How do I suggest books or other materials for the library to own?
  15. Can I join the Friends of the Library?

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Questions about PamCat, our online Library Catalog

  1. How do I log in to PamCat?
  2. Why can't I log in to PamCat from the library's web site?
  3. How do I search for books and other library materials?
  4. How do I renew books and other library materials online?
  5. What does "Privilege expired" mean?
  6. I forgot my password for PamCat.  Can you reset it for me?
  7. What can I do about personal information that appears when I try to place a hold on a book in PamCat?
  8. How can I tell which libraries in my area (other than Pamunkey) have a book that I want?

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Questions About Library Services
  1. Do you have an archivist or historian to help me research my family tree?
  2. Do you have meeting rooms or a quiet study room I can use?
  3. Who can I ask to find answers to questions or help with research?
  4. Does the library have test proctors?
  5. Can you recommend a good book for me to read?
  6. Does the library have any programs or events for my family to attend?
  7. Does the library have 16 mm microfilm readers available for its patrons to use?
  8. Does the library rent video/sound equipment or computers?
  9. Do you have information online about antiques, genealogy, or auto repair?
  10. Can the library help me to identify a book's Lexile value?

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Questions about Technical Issues

  1. How do I save files to/from library computers?
  2. Why do I see session timeout messages whenever I use PamCat?
  3. I've tried to email the library, but I never receive a reply. What's going on?

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Answers

General Questions

Q. How do I get a library card?
A.  Present your personal identification (driver's license, utility bill, etc.) at any branch library for your free library card.  Registration is free to all residents of Goochland, Hanover, King and Queen and King William Counties, persons who own property, attend an educational institution or are employed within the region and to any person over 65 years of age.  All other Virginians may qualify for a free card by presenting a public library card from their place of residence.  All others may register for a library card upon payment of an annual fee equivalent to the Pamunkey Regional Library average per capita local expenditure (more information is available by calling 804-365-6211 or by e-mailing ask@pamunkeylibrary.org).  A parent's or guardian's written permission is required for children under the age of 18 to register for a library card.

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Q. How long can I keep books, CDs, or DVDs I check out?
A.  You can check out most items for 28 days, with two renewals, as long as no one else has requested that item.  Some new items, like talking books and DVDs for adults, and items that are in high demand (like best-sellers) can only be checked out for 14 days.

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Q.  Can I reserve or put a hold on a book by e-mail?
A.  Currently we don't place books on hold when patrons send the library e-mails to do so.  However, you can put holds on library materials by logging in to your account on PamCat or by calling or visiting any of our branch libraries.  For more information on how to place holds, please see our PamCat Guide on Holds.

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Q. How do I get books that I need from another branch library?
A.  Except for reference materials, available items can be delivered from one library to another in usually 2-3 days.

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Q. How many items (books, eBooks, DVDs, CDs, etc.) can I check out?
A. No more than 75 physical items may be checked out at any time, per card.  You can check out 20 eBooks/eAudiobooks at any time per card.

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Q. How often can I renew a book, DVD, CD, etc.?
A.
Library materials may be renewed up to 2 times and then must be returned for shelving.  Renewals can be done by using PamCat, or by calling or visiting your local library.

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Q. Are there any fines or fees if I return my books late?
A. The library charges $.05 a day per item, with a maximum charge of $5.00 per item.  There is a four day grace period before fines accrue on your account. Your library card will be blocked if either 5 items are overdue or $5.00 is owed to the library.  The library accepts cash or checks with valid ID for payment of fines.

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Q. Why is my card blocked?
A. Cards are blocked when either 5 items are overdue or $5.00 is owed to the library.

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Q. What happens if I lose or damage a book?
A.  The library's policy is to charge patrons according to the the prices found on its Standard Replacement Prices list.  If possible, a staff member can renew your book or other item to give you time to find it if it is lost.  The library does not charge for everyday wear and tear.  The library can issue a refund if lost material is returned. If you have any questions about lost or damaged items, please ask a staff member or e-mail ask@pamunkeylibrary.org.

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Q.  Are you open during the holidays?
A.  The library is closed on the following holidays:  New Year's Day, Memorial Day (in 2011, we will also be closed the Saturday before Memorial Day), Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and one other day in December.  The library is also closed during inclement weather when County offices are also closed.  For individual branch library hours, please see that branch's page or select a library from the Branch Libraries menu on the right hand side of the page.  Please see the
Library’s home page for the latest branch closure information and other important announcements.

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Q.  How can I volunteer at the library?
A.  Volunteer applications are available at each of our ten branch libraries, just fill one out the next time you visit your local branch library.  We need volunteers year-round, but especially during the library's Summer Reading Program.

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Q. How do I apply for a job at the library?
A. You can fill out an application at any branch library. If no positions are currently open, we will keep your application on file for one year. We occasionally place ads in local papers and the Richmond Times-Dispatch for full and part time benefited positions, but check at your local branch library for part time positions, such as Library Aide and Library Page. Volunteers are always welcome! (see also: Library Jobs)

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Q. How can I donate new or gently used books and other materials to your library?
A. Because of limited storage space, not all of our branches accept donations at this time. It is best to call or visit your local branch library beforehand. If you would like to donate a book or other materials in memory of or in honor of a loved one, please visit your local branch library for a "Gifts to the Library" form.

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Q. How do I suggest books or other materials for the library to own?
A. Our patrons are encouraged to suggest books and other materials for the library by filling out a "Materials Request Card," available at any branch library. You can also use our online request form.  If you are a local author, you may forward titles of your newest releases or reprints to us, but they must be accompanied with two (2) citations of or copies of reviews from major sources, i.e. Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, etc.

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Q.  Can I join the Friends of the Library?
A.  Absolutely!  Call or visit your local branch library to find out more about its Friends group. The Ashland  and Mechanicsville Friends of the Library groups are also online.

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Questions about the Library Catalog (PamCat)

Q.  How do I log in to PamCat?
A.  Once you receive your library card, you can log in to PamCat at www.pamcat.org using your library card number and the default password "changeme."  More information about changing your password and your account can be found on the My Account section of the PamCat Guide.

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Q.  Why can't I log in to PamCat from the library's web site?
A.  The library's web site (www.pamunkeylibrary.org) and PamCat ( www.pamcat.org) are two different web sites.  To keep your account information secure, currently there can be only one entry point to your account, which is at www.pamcat.org.

Q.  How do I search for books and other library materials?
A.  A link to the library's online catalog, PamCat, appears in a drop-down menu under the "Library Catalog" heading on the menu bar near the top of each web page.  This menu also links to helpful guides, a magazine and newspaper list, and other information about the catalog.

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Q.  How do I renew books and other library materials online?
A.

  • Go to PamCat, our online library catalog and log in to your account at the top of the screen.

  • Click on "My Account," which you'll find on the menu bar.

  • Now click on "Renew My Materials."

  • You'll now see the box "Select Items to Renew" which tells you how many items you currently have checked out.  Click in the box in front of the title (or titles) you wish to renew or re-check out, which puts a "check mark" in the box.

  • Click on "Renew Selected Items."  If you mistakenly click the wrong items you could click on "Clear Selections" to get rid of the check marks.

  • After you click on "Renew Selected Items" you should see a yellow box that says, "item was renewed."

  • Then click the "OK" button to return to PamCat.

More information about other PamCat features can be found in our PamCat Quick Guides, available in printed form in your local branch library or electronically on our web site under "Library Catalog."  You may also call or visit any of our branch libraries and a staff member will be happy to renew your book for you.  Generally, most materials circulate for 4 weeks, while high demand materials circulate for 2 weeks.  Materials may be renewed up to 2 times and then must be returned.

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Q.  What does "Privilege expired" mean?
A.  Don't worry, this just means it's been a year or more since your card was last renewed.  You can call or visit any branch library and let the staff know of any information that may have changed on your account.  The staff can then renew your card for another year.

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Q.  I forgot my password for PamCat. Can you reset it for me?
A. Certainly. Please call or visit any branch library and a staff member will reset your password back to "CHANGEME," which you can customize to make it easier to remember.

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Q.  What can I do about personal information that appears when I try to place a hold on a book in PamCat?
A.  If you are concerned about the type of information that appears when you try to place a hold on library materials in PamCat, please send an e-mail to ask@pamunkeylibrary.org, and we will adjust you library card record to no longer show that personal information.

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Q.  How can I tell which libraries in my area (other than PRL) have a book that I want?
A.  You can go to a search engine like Google or Yahoo! and enter the title and the phrase "worldcat." You will see search results that include a link to the WorldCat catalog.  You can enter geographic information in Worldcat that helps you locate the item at a library in your city, region, or country.

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Questions about Library Services

Q. Do you have an archivist or historian to help me research my family tree?
A. Our Hanover Branch Library has a small selection of genealogical materials in its Virginiana reference collection available for research. While we have no archivists or historians, our staff members are happy to assist patrons who are involved in genealogy, and we can help you get in touch with several local historical societies. Our other branch libraries have general books on genealogy and local families, which can be found in our catalog. The Library of Virginia and the Page Memorial Library (17193 Mountain Road, 804-883-5355) have more extensive collections of local area family histories that also may be of interest to you.

Q. Do you have meeting rooms or a quiet study room I can use?
A. Meeting rooms are available with a valid library card at many of our branches.  A copy of our Meeting Room rules and registration form are available.  Quiet study rooms are available for individual or small group use.  Please check at your local library branch for availability or more information.

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Q. Who can I ask to find answers to questions or help with research?
A. Reference services are available at all our branches.  Our circulation staff will be happy to answer your questions.  Reference librarians are also scheduled at the Ashland, Atlee and Mechanicsville branch libraries.

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Q.  Does the library have test proctors?
A. Yes, we do.  Our Reference Librarians at the Ashland, Atlee, and Mechanicsville Branch Libraries proctor tests for our patrons.  Our Branch Managers can also proctor if your school or program allows.  Please call or visit your local branch libraries to find out more information about test proctoring or see our proctoring guidelines.

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Q. Can you recommend a good book for me to read?
Our circulation staff will be happy to make recommendations to fit your needs.  You may also be interested in our Web Sites for Book Lovers page or our Readers' Advisory database, NoveList Plus.

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Q. Does the library have any programs or events for my family to attend?
A. Programs for children, teens, adults and the whole family, are ongoing and are listed on our web site and flyers available at your local branch.

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Q. Does the library have 16mm microfilm readers available for its patrons to use?
A.  The Library has a 35mm microfilm reader.  It is used primarily with a collection of past editions of the Herald-Progress newspaper. E-mail ask@pamunkeylibrary.org for more information. See our list of microfilm titles.

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Q.  Does the library rent video/sound equipment or computers?
A.  No, the library does not rent any of its equipment to our patrons.  There are a number of local companies who do rent audio-visual equipment.  Our staff will be happy to help you find out more about these companies or e-mail ask@pamunkeylibrary.org.

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Q.  Do you have information online about subjects like antiques or genealogy?
A.  Yes, the library subscribes to the p4a Antiques Database, Ancestry Library Edition, and HeritageQuest.  More useful databases can be found on our Databases pages at the library or from home, work, or school.

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Q.  Can the library help me to identify a book's Lexile value?
A.  Sure!  All branches of the Pamunkey Regional Library have access to NoveList Plus, a reader's Advisory database that provides subject heading access, reviews, annotations, and much more for over 135,000 fiction and non-fiction titles. When you look up a title, the Lexile value will be displayed to the far right in the search results list. You can access NoveList Plus in the library or at home, work, or school.  Have your library card handy when you log in away from the library. Lexile.com also has information on finding recommended titles using Lexile values.

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Questions about Technical Issues

Q. How do I burn CDs on the library computers?
A. It's a good idea to bring a flash (thumb) drive with you if you need to save files from library computers.  Our staff can also show you how to email files to yourself as attachments.

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Q.  Why do I see session timeout messages whenever I use PamCat?
A. These session timeouts happen to patrons using Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that use cache proxy servers to speed up download times by storing the pages their customers use.

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Q. I've tried to email the library, but I never receive a reply. What's going on?
A. When you have a question, comment, or complaint, we try to respond as quickly as possible.  If you haven't received reply in a week's time, you can call the library at 804-365-6211 to find out why.  If your e-mail service has a safe senders list, we recommend that you add ask@pamunkeylibrary.org to the list.

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Branch Libraries

Richard S. Gillis, Jr.
Ashland Branch Library

201 S. Railroad Avenue
804-798-4072

directions/map

 

Atlee Branch Library
9161 Atlee Road
804-559-0654

directions/map

 

Goochland Branch Library
3075 River Road West
804-556-4774

directions/map

 

Hanover Branch Library
7527 Library Drive
804-365-6210

directions/map

 

King & Queen Branch Library
396 Newtown Road
804-769-1623

directions/map

 

Mechanicsville Branch Library
7461 Sherwood Crossing Place
804-746-9615

directions/map

 

Lois Wickham Jones
Montpelier Branch Library

17205 Sycamore Tavern Lane
804-883-7116

directions/map

 

Cochrane Rockville Branch Library
16600 Pouncey Tract Road
804-749-3146

directions/map

 

Upper King William Branch Library
694-J Sharon Road
804-769-3731

directions/map

 

West Point Branch Library
721 Main Street
804-843-3244

directions/map

 

 

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