Library FAQ

Who can I email or call if I have questions?

  • Call (650) 522-7800.  Leave a voicemail and your call will be returned.
  • Call (650) 522-7818 for live reference assistance during open hours. 
  • Email:

We will respond to inquiries as soon as possible.

When is the library open?

Main Library:

  • Monday: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Sunday: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Hillsdale Library:

  • Monday: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Marina Library:

  • Monday: 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

What in-person library services are available?

  • Holds pickup
  • Browsing 
  • Computer use (no appointments required, 3 hours per day)
  • Scanning and fax service 
  • Reference service
  • Magazine checkout
  • Wi-Fi usage
  • Friends of the Library Bookstore (Main Library only)
  • Small group conference rooms
  • Limited in-person events
  • In-person JobSeekers assistance
  • Passport services  Make an appointment

What library services remain unavailable?   

  • Community meeting rooms  
  • Café

What library resources can I access from home?   

The San Mateo City Library has access to many eBooks, eAudiobooks, streaming movies, and digital magazines that are available 24/7 with a library card.  Check out our eLibrary resources for eLearning materials, including research databases, language learning, career and test preparation, financial information, professional development and more, all from your home.  

When can I return my borrowed items?

Checked out library items can be returned at the Main, Hillsdale, or Marina Libraries.  The book drops are available to return library items.

Will I accrue late fees?

Overdue fees will not be incurred for items due.  eBook due dates are not affected.

Can I use Link+ (Interlibrary Loan)?  How should I return my LINK+ items?  

Link+ service has resumed at all three San Mateo Public Library locations.  Link+ materials should be returned to the location where they were originally checked out.  Link+ items may be returned through the manual book drops.

Are hotspots and Chromebooks available for checkout?

Hotspots and Chromebooks are available to borrow for San Mateo Public Library cardholders (your card must begin with “29047”).   The loan period for MiFi hotspots and Chromebooks is 21 days with no renewals. The overdue charge is $1.00 a day per item. 

Can I donate materials to the library?

Donations are not being accepted at this time.

May I apply for a library card online? 

San Mateo residents may apply for a temporary card using the online application form.  Please note, all temporary cards will expire in 90 days and are valid for only select resources.  Visit any San Mateo Public Library location during our open hours to reactivate your library card with full borrowing privileges.

My library card is about to expire.  How can I renew it? 

Library cards that will expire in the next few months will have a new expiration date of December 31, 2021.