Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) butterfly

Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get a Library Card?
Pacific Grove Public Library card opens the door to a world of information, entertainment, and resources. In addition to borrowing materials, your card allows you to download digital media, use electronic databases, get access to local museums, and more. Pacific Grove Public Library Cards are always free to adults, children, and even visitors who don’t have a California ID. Residents who have a disability or long-term medical condition that prevents visiting the Library may use Outreach Services. Please call (831) 648-5760 or email for more information. You may apply for your free library card in person with a valid ID or online. Children may receive a card of their own just as soon as they are able to write their name. Applications in English and Spanish for children and adults are available at the Helpdesk.

To complete the online application, Click Here. You will receive an email providing you a temporary password, allowing you to reserve items. You will receive your card in person at PGPL with valid identification. After placing items on hold and selecting PGPL or MPL, an email will be automatically sent when they are ready for pick up (see library hours). Please note that emails are sent by a third party (bywatersolutions), rather than direct from PGPL. This is in part to ensure your privacy and security. Please know that your account is data protected, and while we can assist you in changing your password, they are encrypted and not visible to us. Please phone Circulation with any questions about your account or items at (831) 648-5760.
How do I return books?
Book Drop is Open - 24 hours a day - On the corner of Central & Grand next to the Library. We check it regularly to get those returned items off of your accounts.

During public access hours, books can be returned at the indoor book drop located at the Helpdesk and given to Library Staff during holds pick up hours. Monterey Public Library and Pacific Grove Public Library materials can be returned to either location.
Pacific Grove Public Library does not accept donations. The Friends of the Library Bookstore at St. Mary’s is Now Open from 10:00 to 12:00 Monday through Friday. They will be selling books during those hours and accepting book donations. Donations will be limited to one bag per patron because books must first be sold to make room. 1st Saturday of the Month Sales most months 

Contact the library if you have any questions about your account.
How do I download an eBook or audiobook?
Go to the eBooks & Audiobooks page. You can visit each eBook provider's site to browse and set up your account, or click the Learn More links for instructions and help
Find out when the PG Library was built?
The section of the library nearest the ocean was an original Carnegie library, opened in 1908. Two side wings were opened in 1938 and 1926, and two front wings were added in 1950. The final and largest section along Central Avenue was added in 1978. You can read more about the Library's history here.
Find books, audiobooks, DVDs, music and other materials in the Library?
You can look up books and other materials in the Library catalog here, search a Public List here, ask the Reference Librarian, Email, or phone (831) 648-5760 circulation / (831) 648-5762 reference.
Find out when the Library has story times?

Weekly story times and activities are held held throughout the year:

Check our "Kids Programs" Calendar for all programs and activities.

You may also check the main Calendar, find PG Public Library on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, visit the Newslist, look for signs and flyers in the library, and subscribe to Newsletters and updates Here.

Support the Library?
Pacific Grove Public Library Friends and Foundation welcomes new members and supporters. The Friends & Foundation help ensure that our library is a thriving community center for discovery and lifelong learning and seeks to develop a source of long-term financial support for the Pacific Grove Public Library to enhance and expand its role as a center of learning, cultural enrichment and community interaction. The PGPLF&F is established as an additional source of funds to supplement, not supplant, public funding.

They also accept donations of books, CDs and DVDs, either to add to the collection or to sell in the monthly book sale at the bookstore at St. Mary’s by-the-Sea. Library staff also accept cash or checks (payable to PGPLF&F) at the checkout desk. 

For more information visit the Support page.
Volunteer or do community service hours?
The library accepts volunteers over the age of 15 to help shelve books, put books in order, and help with Library events. Fill out the online Volunteer Form or get an application at the checkout desk, and a supervisor will call you for a brief interview and training.
Contact a librarian for information or research help?
Contact the Reference Librarian Help via our online form,  call 831-648-5762, or email
Find out what's happening at the Library?
You may check the main Calendar, find PG Public Library on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter, visit the Newslist, look for signs and flyers in the library, and subscribe to Newsletters and updates Here.
Order a book from another library?
You can request books and other materials from Monterey Public Library. Unfortunately, the library is no longer able to borrow materials from other libraries. However, a librarian can tell you what nearby libraries own the book you are looking for.
Log into my Library account?
Go to the Library catalog at and click Log in to your account in the upper-right corner, or go directly to the login page.  For security reasons, your password could not be migrated from the old catalog system. If this is your first time logging into the new catalog, your password is the last four digits of your telephone number. After you have logged in, we recommend that you change your password. You do not need to register for a new card unless you don't have a current card. Please call 831-648-5762 for additional help.
Find out about book clubs?

The Friends of the Pacific Grove Library has a book club, which: 

  •   Meets most second Mondays at the Little House in Jewell Park at 1:30pm for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours  (we reschedule on Federal holidays)
  •   Tends to read fiction, but mixes it up depending on the interests of the members
  •   Rotates book leaders, who make a suggestion for the club, then lead the discussion
  •   Tends to read books that aren't brand new, so members can find books at one of the local libraries

For more information, contact
How do I get tax forms?
Public can call IRS for mailed tax forms:  1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676)
How do I Place Holds?

Please follow the below steps to place holds:

  1. Log into your account (Click Here).
  2. Browse the Catalog here:
  3. From the search results, select the item(s) you wish to place on hold, and click the "place hold" button at the top of the search results. 
  4. Before confirming, be sure to select a pick up location at either Pacific Grove Public Library (PGPL) or Monterey Public Library (MPL).
  5. Verify your account information and email address is up-to-date from the "Your Personal Details" tab on the left hand side. Email notifications will be sent to you when your items are ready for pick up.
  6. To request an addition to the Library collection, you may do so from the "New Purchase Suggestion" tab on left hand side.
  7. Holds expire after one week.
For assistance or questions, visit the Helpdesk, email us at or call us at (831) 648-5760. We would be happy to help!

Please note that emails are sent third party from This is in part to ensure your privacy and security. Add this email to your safe sender list to ensure notifications aren't routed to your spam folder. Please know that your account is data protected, and while we can assist you in changing your password, they are encrypted and not visible to us.
How do I book a class visit?
Class visits for all ages are welcome by appointment only. Please call the Library at (831) 648-5760.
Library of Things
Yes, you can check-out more than just Books, Audio-Books and DVDs inside PGPL and MPL!
Our library of things includes art prints, youth STEM kits, American Girl dolls, student scientific calculators, and now Cooking Tools. MPL even has a ukulele and a telescope. We also distribute, discount museum passes, MBA Shelf to Shore Passes, MST Taxi Vouchers, and Ca Library State Parks Passes.
How do I check-out kitchen tools?

  • May be checked out for 14 days
  • No renewals
  • Holds allowed (PGPL pick-up only)
  • Must be over 18 to check-out appliances
  • Check-out and return only at the PGPL helpdesk
  • Please wash before and after use
  • Get cooking!

We enjoy hearing your feedback, seeing photos, and shared recipes. You are welcome to email or tag us on social media with pictures of what you’ve created using PGPL Cooking Tools. 

Please note as you are doing your spring cleaning, we appreciate thinking of us but kindly direct your donations elsewhere; we currently aren’t adding to the collection while we evaluate the impact of this pilot program. 

Also please be aware that unlike other library items, checkout is for 2 weeks with no renewals. This is to have as many patrons as possible try out our new tools. Thank you! 

Where can I find a list of cooking tools?
You can find the lists for cooking tools and art prints (loaned for 120 days) HERE
State Parks Passes
What are State Library Parks Passes?
Pacific Grove Public Library card holders can now check out a California State Library Parks Pass.

The pass entitles the user to a free vehicle day-use entry for one passenger vehicle with capacity of nine people or less or one highway licensed motorcycle at over 200 participating state park units. To view an interactive map with California’s public libraries and nearby participating state parks, click here.

The pass will not be honored at state park units operated by federal or local government and private agencies or concessionaires. Also, the pass is not valid for per-person entry or tour fees (such as museums), boat use, camping, group use or sites, special events, additional/extra vehicle fees, sanitation disposal use or for supplemental fees. To see a list of ineligible parks click here, and read full terms and conditions here.
How do I borrow one?
  • The passes can be checked out with a valid Monterey or Pacific Grove Public Library card.
  • You can check availability by searching the library's catalog.
  • The passes may be reserved, however they can not be reserved for a specific date. You can reserve one through the library's catalog.
  • State Parks Passes are checked out for three weeks. They are not renewable.
  • Passes must be returned in person to staff at the helpdesk.
  • You may ask library staff for assistance. We are happy to help!

Can I return my pass to the book drop?
No. Passes must be returned in person to staff at the helpdesk.
Where can I find out more about the program?
Zip Books
What are Zip Books?

Funded by the California Library Services Act (CLSA), this program allows the library to order items through Amazon and have them shipped directly to patrons, as an alternative to inter-library loans. Libraries may then choose to add the item to the collection and make available to other patrons once it has been returned. 

Requests are submitted to the Reference Desk. If your Zip Book meets the guidelines and is approved, the order will be placed and shipped to the address associated with your library card. Please make sure your account is kept up to date. 

The Zip Book will then be checked out to you. Zip Books are due six weeks from the order date and are not renewable if holds are placed on it. Zip Books should be returned in special envelopes provided by the library.

Please see below for some of the program guidelines. 

Certain titles not meeting the criteria for a Zip Book purchase may be referred to our Purchase Suggestion Form Here, and the Reference Librarian can tell you what nearby libraries own the book you are looking for. 

What are the Guidelines

Following are some of the program guidelines. 

  • All PGPL and MPL cardholders are eligible for this program  
  • Must be print books, large type books, or audiobooks on CD 
  • Cannot be an item already owned or 'on order' by PGPL or MPL 
  • Up to 1 item may be approved and ordered per calendar month
  • Must be less than $50 for print/large type books and less than $75 for audiobooks/foreign language books 
  • The title must be available on with Prime Shipping 
  • Must be immediately available to purchase (no pre-orders) 
  • The title must be sold/fulfilled by Amazon (no 3rd party sellers)
Certain titles not meeting the guidelines above or other criteria for a Zip Book purchase may be referred to our Purchase Suggestion Form Here, and the Reference Librarian can tell you what nearby libraries own the book you are looking for.
When does the Zip Books Program end?
The program is dependent on grant funding from the California State Library. It ends June 30 or when the funds have been spent, whichever comes first.

Certain titles not requested within the funded period or meeting the criteria for a Zip Book purchase may be referred to our Purchase Suggestion Form Here, and the Reference Librarian can tell you what nearby libraries own the book you are looking for.

stay informed

white butterfly