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Frequently Asked Questions

    • There are various options.

      • Visit or contact a branch.
      • Use the Live Chat service.
      • Edit your address, phone number, or email address yourself via the My Account section in the online catalog.
        • Under My Information, click/tap the Submit Change Request button.

      NOTE: The DIY option is currently unavailable within the mobile app.

    • Visit a library branch, or if 18 years or older, apply online. 
      NOTE: If you've had a physical card before, but are not sure where it is, contact your home branch to see if you are eligible for a replacement card.

      • Apply for a full-service card
        • Visit a local branch with proof of identification.
        • Receive a physical library card. The card can be used at all branches.
        • Check out and place holds on physical items.

      • Apply for an online account
        • Online accounts may access the online catalog, the mobile app, and various resources
        • Accounts expire every five years. 
        • No physical card; limited services.
          • Example: The option to request items that the library doesn't own (aka Interlibrary Loan) is not available.
    • Full-service library accounts expire every 5 years so that we may have the most current information on file. This includes online-only accounts. See exceptions below.


      • Temporary account is valid for 3 months.
      • Libraries Southwest cardholders must contact the home parish library for details.
      • Mobile users (OverDrive) is valid for 1 year; no renewals.

      Renew Your Account

      • All expired accounts must renew in person.
      • Staff will need to verify that all information in your account is up-to-date.
      • Please bring proof of address and photo ID.

      Outstanding Balances

      • Balances must be paid before accounts can be renewed or items can be checked out. This includes both physical and electronic material.
      • All linked, associated accounts must be clear of fines as well. 
      • Outstanding fine balances may be paid using the online payment service.
      • Blocked and Barred users must visit a local branch to clear up the account. 
    • Did you find the item that you paid for and now need a refund?

      • If you've already paid for it, bring the item to the library with your receipt.
        • Must be within 6 months of payment.
      • The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury will mail the refund.
    • This service is offered at several of our branches. For more details, please contact the following library locations. 

    • Our branches do offer fax, scanning, and printing services.

      • We also have Wi-Fi, charging stations, and more.
      • Other services include curbside pickup and rooms for meetings, studying, etc.
    • Due to the rising cost of background checks, we discontinued our volunteer program. 
      However, we'd LOVE to have you as a FRIEND! What's a Friend of the Library? Glad you asked.

      Friends of the Library, Calcasieu are parish residents who work together to help the Calcasieu Parish Public Library, including all branches and Library To-Go, better serve the community.

      View membership options and the awesome benefits that help your library!

    • Patrons may donate funds to purchase library materials in memory of someone or in honor of someone. They may make general suggestions regarding the subject.

      Materials are selected and bought by the Collection Development Coordinator.
      A bookplate is placed in the material, and when it is sent to the library branch, the donor and the honoree’s family are notified.

      Direct donation of actual materials is discouraged as these are often not in compliance with collection selection rules regarding currency, authority, etc.

    • Gifts of money are always welcome and appreciated.

      Specific recommendations from the donor are honored as far as the suggestions enhance subject areas of need within the collection and follow the Collection Development Policy selection guidelines.

      Collection Development Policy Selection Guidelines

    • Print and complete the donation/memorial form then bring it to your local branch.

      Donations & Memorial form

    • UPDATE: Donations are only being accepted by the Friends of the Library at the Central Branch and the Westlake Branch.

      • Central Branch (301 W. Claude St., Lake Charles) - Tuesdays from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and Sundays from 2 pm - 4 pm during their regularly scheduled book sale hours. The contact number is 337-721-7116.

      • Westlake Branch (937 Mulberry Street, Westlake) - Thursdays between 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm during their regularly scheduled book sale. If book sale staff is limited on that day, donations will not be accepted. Contact the Westlake Branch ahead of time. The number is 337-721-7113.

      The library accepts unrestricted, irrevocable gifts of books and other library materials.

    • Your donations are accepted with the understanding that they’ll be added to the collection following the Material Selection Plan.

      The library reserves the right to sell or otherwise dispose of gifts and donated materials through branch book sales, the Friends of the Library book sales, recycling, or disposal services.

      Calcasieu Parish Public Library will not assign a value to donated gift materials. However, the library will stamp or sign the patron’s list of items for X number of books, boxes of books, books-on-tapes, etc., which you can use for tax purposes.

    • You've searched the online catalog and Loanshark and were unable to find what you needed. Request/suggest that we purchase the item to add to our collection. How?  

      • Use Loanshark to submit requests.
        • Use the Blank ILL Request option located near the top left-hand corner of the screen.
      • Log in with your library card and PIN.
      • Additional details.


      • This service is unavailable to temp users and online accounts that haven't been upgraded to full-service accounts.
      • It is also unavailable to non-Calcasieu residents unless you have an LSW card and use it in Calcasieu Parish.
      • Your library card must also be in good standing to use this service.
    • The Library follows a set of criteria based on professional standards and approaches. We build a collection appropriate for our role in the community, providing materials for both informational and leisure purposes.

      View CPPL's Collection Development Policy.

    • Similar to how items are added in the collection, the Library applies the same selection criteria to suggestions and requests. We may be unable to fulfill certain interlibrary loan requests if no lending library has the item available (IV. SELECTION, E. Suggestions & Requests). Additionally, we may not be able to purchase an item if it is unavailable from an approved vendor (IV. SELECTION, G. Purchasing).

      View CPPL's Collection Development Policy.

    • The library removes library materials that are damaged, are no longer checked out, or contain out-of-date information.

      • This process is necessary to make space on the shelves for adding new materials that library users want.
      • Removed materials are recycled through local friends of the library book sales, donated to other non-profit agencies, or disposed of through Team Green of Southwest Louisiana.